ENVIRO ANNOTATIONS

670 new electric buses and 241 charging stations sanctioned under FAME scheme

25.09.2020, New Delhi: In a big push towards electric mobility the Government has sanctioned 670 Electric buses in the states of Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat and Chandigarh and 241 Charging Stations in Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Gujarat and Port Blair under Phase-II of FAME India Scheme.

Announcing this in a series of tweet messages, Union Heavy Industries Minister, Shri Prakash Javadekar, who is also the Union Minister for Environment, said that the decision reflects government's commitment to reduce dependence on fossil fuel and to address issues of vehicular emissions. Shri Javadekar said that the decision is in line with Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi's vision for eco-friendly public transportation.

The Department of Heavy Industries (DHI) under Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, is administering the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India (FAME India) Scheme since April, 2015 to promote adoption of electric/ hybrid vehicles (xEVs) in India .

In the First Phase of the Scheme upto 31st March 2019, about 2,80,987 hybrid and electric vehicles were supported by way of demand incentive, amounting to about Rs 359 crore. Further, DHI sanctioned 425 electric and hybrid buses to various cities in the country with total cost of about Rs. 280 Crores. The Department of Heavy Industry had also sanctioned 520 Charging Stations for Rs. 43 Crore (approx.) in cities like Bangalore, Chandigarh, Jaipur and NCR of Delhi under Phase-I of FAME-India Scheme.

At present, Phase-II of FAME India Scheme is being implemented for a period of 3 years w.e.f. 01st April, 2019 with a total budgetary support of Rs. 10,000 crore.

This phase focuses on supporting electrification of public & shared transportation and aims to support, through subsidies, approximately 7000 e-Buses, 5 lakh e-3 Wheelers, 55000 e-4 Wheeler Passenger Cars and 10 lakh e-2 Wheelers. In addition, creation of charging infrastructure is also supported to address the anxiety among users of electric vehicles.

Central Pollution Control Board celebrates its 46th Foundation Day; pledges for more science-based environment management

“Improving the air quality a shared responsibility”: Babul Supriyo

23.09.2020, New Delhi: Union Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Babul Supriyo today on 23rd September 2020 said, people and governments need to share the responsibility and work together to keep the air clean. Speaking at the webinar to commemorate the 46th Year of Establishment of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the Minister said, CPCB has been doing a phenomenal work in terms of collecting and collating the data related to pollution, which is acting as a key policy input for the government and the concerned agencies to improve air quality. He said, CPCB has been providing a real time data which is commendable.

The Minister further said, that there is a need to ensure that water is not polluted because it can have an adverse impact on the crops and human health as well as ecosystem. He also appreciated CPCB for handling bio-medical waste during the times of COVID-19.

The CPCB was established on 23rd September 1974 under The Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 as a technical arm of Central Government for environmental research, monitoring, regulation and enforcement in the country.

Since its inception, CPCB is working tirelessly towards environmental protection in the country. Some of the pro-active actions of the Central Board include setting sector specific standards (86); real time surveillance of more than 5,000 industries; river basin studies, which led to genesis of Ganga Action Plan; multi-city source apportionment studies; establishing extensive monitoring network and data management for public dissemination; setting national ambient air quality standards; and fixing water quality criteria. CPCB’s actions have been critical in obviating steep environmental degradation expected of rapid industrial, commercial and population growth. With increasing environmental challenges and mounting public expectations, CPCB is working to re-define pollution control technologies and management strategies.

On this occasion, CPCB’s transformative goals for 2030 was presented and India’s Environmental Objectives and Innovative Pollution Control Strategies were discussed.

Ravi Shankar Prasad, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) in his address said that CPCB is on the forefront of efforts for a clean environment. Over the years, it has done lot of commendable works, technological upgradations and is motivated to continual improvement. AQI, NCAP & waste management initiatives will ensure more healthy and conducive environment.

Chairman, CPCB, Shiv Das Meena briefed about the achievements made by CPCB in past 46 years. He also outlined the challenges laying before the Board in ensuing future and appealed to the employees of the Board to continue to work in right earnest to meet the new environmental challenges.

Member Secretary, CPCB, Prashant Gargava, presented transformative goals for 2030. He deliberated CPCB’s vision for revisiting approach to pollution control by revamping monitoring & analysis system, action planning guided by science, capacity building including strengthening research and development department, enhancing engagement of IT tools and future development areas to be focused on.

A panel of eminent speakers, comprising Former Secretary, MoEF&CC, C.K. Mishra; S. P. S. Parihar and Prof. S. P. Gautam, both Former Chairman of CPCB; Shiv Das Meena, Chairman CPCB; and Sunita Narain, Director General, Centre for Science & Environment, shared their views. They expressed admiration for CPCB’s efforts towards environmental protection and emphasized on need for revisiting its role and investing in its capacity building.

Uttarakhand plans 100% coverage under Jal Jeevan Mission by 2022

23.09.2020, New Delhi: The Union Minister of Jal Shakti, Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat held discussion with Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, Shri Trivendra Singh Rawat regarding implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission in the State through video conferencing. Secretary, Addl. Secretary & Mission Director of the Ministry along with Chief Secretary and other senior officers of Uttarakhand government took part in the meeting. Uttarakhand is planning 100% coverage by 2022 to accomplish the ambitious target of providing tap connection to every rural household of the State. In this context, the Union Minister had a detailed discussion on the progress of the mission in the State with the CM.

Emphasizing the importance of the life changing mission to improve the lives of rural people, Union Minister Shri Shekhawat stressed on retrofitting and augmentation of existing water supply schemes. Out of 15,218 villages in the State, 14,595 have piped water supply schemes, but out of 14.61 lakh households only 2.71 lakh (18.55%) have tap connections. The Union Minister urged to take up the work in campaign mode so that remaining households belonging to poor & marginalized sections of the society could be provided with tap connections at earliest.

Shri Shekhawat reiterated the commitment of Union Government to provide all assistance to the State to achieve this goal. For Jal Jeevan Mission, funds are provided by Government of India based on the output in terms of tap connections provided and the utilization of available central and matching state share. Minister of Jal Shakti assured Uttarakhand Chief Minister of all support to make the State a ‘100% FHTCs’ State.

Union Minister further emphasized on preparation of village action plans as well as constitution of Village Water & Sanitation Committee/ Paani Samiti as a sub-committee of Gram Panchayat with minimum 50% of women members, responsible for planning, designing, implementing and operating & maintaining of in-village water supply infrastructure. All villages have to prepare Village Action Plan (VAP) which essentially will comprise of development/ augmentation of drinking water sources, water supply, grey-water management and operation and maintenance component. It was also suggested to take up IEC campaign along with community mobilization to make Jal Jeevan Mission, truly a people’s movement.

Government of India is committed to provide assured basic services to the people living in rural areas of the country with focus on improving their lives. Drinking water supply is a service delivery, wherein the quantity, quality of water supplied and periodicity of water supply has to be ensured for which the flagship programme, Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) is under implementation in partnership with States. The objective of the Mission is universal coverage i.e. every family in the village gets tap water connection in their households.

Under Jal Jeevan Mission, priority is being given on water quality surveillance through active participation of the local community. 5 persons especially women are being trained in every village to use the Field Test Kits to test the quality of water being provided in the rural areas. Every source needs to be tested once every year for physical and chemical parameters and twice for bacteriological contamination. The State of Uttarakhand was also advised to complete the accreditation of State and district laboratories in next 3-4 months and also to open those for public so that they can test the quality of water supplied at very nominal rate.

Diesel Gen Sets soon to go obsolete?

Cars to Construction, Battery changing many businesses

22.09.2020

The world is passing through a crucial urbanisation and decarbonisation. There is a global shift taking place from internal combustion engines to electric motors. Growing air pollution from transport sector has resulted in a range of electric vehicles being launched in India as well, especially in the past one year or so. Heavy industries such as construction, largely powered by diesel, account for a large part of carbon emissions. And therefore, the battery revolution is moving further to highways to the construction sector. Hong Kong based AMPD Energy is offering a state of the art battery system with high output power electronics that powers the most demanding of loads with no direct tailpipe emissions.

Construction today is powered by diesel generators to meet the heavy power draw of large machinery. The wrath of air pollution in the winters lead to stoppage of diesel generators running due to intermittent regulatory measures, which ultimately causes delay in project execution and project handover. In such a situation, AMPD Energy’s Enertainer, a massive lithium-ion connected battery system, which is powering the giant cranes that erect high-rises, may prove vital. Ampd sells and leases the Enertainers, which are filled with enough lithium-ion, nickel, cobalt and manganese batteries to power 25,000 iPhones. Over 30,000 automotive grade battery cells, designed into fire and explosion-proof battery modules driven by high performance power electronics. Features, hardware and software carefully designed for the specific needs of construction sites.

Though construction cranes run on electricity, they have tended to use diesel generators because the massive power consumption that could drain local grids and risk blackouts. As claimed by AMPD Energy batteries can draw barely noticeable sips from the network all day and night in order to provide the huge discharges required by the builders. The company claims multiple benefits beyond zero end of pipe emissions, for example no diesel, no fire hazards. The product also significantly reduce noise pollution by 10 times as claimed by the manufacturers. Eliminating diesel generators envisages reduction in street-level pollution due to air pollutants, noise and vibration, and also land pollution, which may lead to groundwater contamination, due to spillages of diesel and lubricating oil.

Until recently, battery-powered construction would have been too expensive a proposition. But lithium-ion battery costs have plunged 90% in the past decade as manufacturers gain experience assembling them for electric vehicles, according to BloombergNEF.

Though initial cost of installation and operational expenditure, besides efficiency and reliability could be the trigger points for the success of such products. The legal aspects pertaining to safety requirements, which is not clear at this stage, as compared to diesel generator sets could also be a salient feature.

Brandon Ng, Co-founder and CEO at Ampd Energy states that over the next 40 years, the world will be building equivalent to a new Paris every week, in order to support the hyper-urbanisation of humanity. Ampd Energy is leading the charge to enable us to build the megacities of tomorrow, sustainably.

"75% of the entire population of Greater One-horned Rhinoceros now occurs in India": Babul Supriyo on World Rhino Day

22.09.2020, New Delhi: Some species of rhinoceros are among the world’s most endangered animals, threatened by both habitat loss and poaching. The coronavirus pandemic is forcing us to think deeply about human beings’ relationship with the natural world on which we all depend for our survival. Sound and sustainable wildlife management is, therefore, likely to receive greater attention in the post-COVID-19 world. Here’s one example of an ongoing project in South Africa.

On the eve of World Rhino Day, Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate, Babul Supriyo congratulated the frontline forest staff and officials for working tirelessly to save Rhinos and said that India has been successfully saving its Rhinos and the country is one of the best places for them.

Speaking on the the population of Greater One-horned Rhinoceros which reached to the brink of extinction by the end of the 20th century with fewer than 200 animals in wild, the Minister said timely efforts and stringent protection and management of the Government of India and the State Governments have revived the population of Rhinos in the country and we are walking in the right direction for a better future for the iconic species. Today, approximately 75% of the entire population of Greater One-horned Rhinoceros now occurs in India in the three States viz, Assam, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. Census of Rhinoceros is undertaken at the State-level by the respective State Governments periodically.

The World Rhino Day is celebrated every year on 22nd September to emphasize the importance of conservation of Rhinoceros species and its habitats. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India celebrated the World Rhino Day, 2020 through virtual platforms in the esteem presence of Shri Babul Supriyo, Hon’ble Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change. The senior officials of the Ministry, State Forest Departments and other organizations such as Central Zoo Authority, WWF-India, Aaranayak, and UNDP etc. also attended the meeting.

Efforts are currently ongoing in the country to protect the existing rhino population and also to increase the distribution of the species through the Indian Rhino Vision (IRV) 2020 programme. Success was achieved in restocking the rhino population in the World Heritage Site Manas National Park recently through wild to wild translocations. One-horned Rhinoceros is also one of the 21 species identified for Recovery programme for critically endangered species by the Ministry. The Ministry has also launched the “National Conservation Strategy for the Indian One-Horned Rhinoceros” with the goal to repopulate Rhinoceros population in those areas also which used to hold the Rhinoceros earlier by augmenting the existing conservation efforts and strengthening them through scientific and administrative measures.

The Ministry and the State Forest Departments of the Assam, Uttar Pradesh &West Bengal with support from other organizations are taking appropriate steps in accordance with the “New Delhi Declaration” which was signed after the 2nd Asian Rhino range States Conservation meeting held on 26th-28th February, 2019 at MoEF&CC, New Delhi wherein representatives from Bhutan, Indonesia, Malaysia and Nepal attended the meeting besides India.

Initiatives have been undertaken by the State Governments such as West Bengal and Bihar are also working for the reintroduction of the Rhinoceros in the areas which used to hold the Rhino populations till a few decades back.

The Minister also informed that an alpha male Rhino shall be translocated from Patna zoo to Delhi zoo.

Jal Jeevan Mission encourages innovations for Smart supply measurement and monitoring system

20.09.2020, New Delhi: Monitoring has been crux of success of all programmes. National Jal Jeevan Mission in partnership with Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MEITY) has launched an ICT Grand Challenge to create innovative, modular, and cost-effective solution to develop a ‘Smart Water Supply Measurement and Monitoring System’ to be deployed at the village level. The ICT grand challenge will be inviting proposal from Indian Tech start-ups, MSMEs, Indian Companies, Indian LLPs.

Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) aims at providing Functional Household Tap Connection (FHTC) to every rural household by 2024. The programme focuses on service delivery at the household level, i.e. water supply regularly in adequate quantity and of prescribed quality. This necessitates the use of modern technology in systematic monitoring of the programme and to capture service delivery data automatically for ensuring the quality of services. Digitisation of water supply infrastructure has the potential to solve some of the biggest societal problems facing the nation. More importantly, it will help anticipate and address future challenges.

This grand challenge will harness the vibrant IoT eco-systems of India for creating smart rural water supply eco-system. This challenge will provide opportunity to work for cause of Jal Jeevan Mission and to assure potable water supply through Functional Household Tap Connections to every rural household.

The Grand challenge will provide support at ideation Stage, prototype development stage, deployment stage. The pilot will be conducted at 100 villages. The best solution will get cash prize of Rs. 50 Lakh and runner ups will get prize of Rs. 20 Lakh each. The successful developers will be given an opportunity to join the MEITY supported incubator/ CoEs for further nurturing of their solution. This will boost the idea and thrust of initiatives like Atmanirbhar Bharat, Digital India and Make in India.

Details of the challenge can be seen in https://jjm.gov.in/

Advance Action for Air Pollution Management in NCR region initiated by PMO led Panel

19.09.2020, New Delhi: As air pollution is shooting up with monsoon setting off, the Prime Minister's Office has initiated advance action for the management of air pollution in Delhi-NCR. A High-level taskforce led by Dr. P. K. Mishra, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister met on 18th September 2020 to review action taken by agencies and to firm up plans for the coming season. Dr. P. K. Mishra chaired the meeting constituted to improve the air quality in National Capital Region of Delhi. Chief Secretaries of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, Secretaries of different Departments, Ministries of the Central Government including Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Agriculture, Road, Petroleum and Central Pollution Control Board were present in the meeting.

Principal Secretary to Prime Minister emphasized that the meeting was called well in advance before the onset of harvesting and winter season to ensure proper precautionary and preventive measures to combat the causes of air pollution are taken well in time.

A review of the main sources of air pollution, measures taken and the progress made by the State Governments and various Ministries was carried out. It was noted that the incidence of stubble burning has reduced by more than 50% in last two years and the number of Good AQI days have gone up.

The efforts and plan made by the State of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh for control of crop residue burning were examined in detail, including ground level deployment and availability of machinery for in-situ management of crop residue.

It was observed that after recent inclusion of residue based power and fuel plants under priority sector lending by Reserve Bank of India, both State and Central Governments should jointly work out action plans for rapid deployment of such units. Measures related to diversification of crop and strengthening of supply chains were also discussed.

Dr. Mishra highlighted the importance of effective implementation of the existing in-situ management of crop residue scheme of Ministry of Agriculture by the States, and emphasized that State Governments should ensure that the new machinery to be deployed in the current year should reach the farmers before the start of the harvesting season. Ministry of Agriculture was directed to provide all necessary support in this regard.

To control stubble burning, it was stressed that adequate number of teams should be deployed at ground level and they should ensure that no stubble burning takes place especially in the State of Punjab, Haryana and UP. These States need to put extra efforts and appropriate incentives especially in the relevant districts.

Government of GNCT-Delhi was requested to ensure measures to control local sources of pollution. Principal Secretary mentioned that special emphasis should be laid on deployment of teams for control of open burning of waste, IT-enabled monitoring of mechanical road sweepers, improvement in utilization of construction & demolition waste and site specific implementation of action plan for identified hot spots. It was decided that Haryana and Uttar Pradesh would prepare and implement similar site specific action plans in their area falling under NCR.

Principal Secretary emphasized that the envisaged measures should be implemented well before the onset of severe conditions, and focus should also be laid on compliance of emission norms by industry in satellite industrial area.

8 beaches of India recommended for a coveted “Blue Flag” International eco-label

18.09.2020, New Delhi: On the eve of International Coastal Clean-Up Day which is celebrated across 100 countries since 1986, Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) announced at a virtual event that for the first time eight beaches of India are recommended for the coveted International eco-label, the Blue flag certification. The recommendations are done by an independent National Jury composed of eminent environmentalists & scientists. Blue Flag beaches are considered the cleanest beaches of the world. The eight beaches are Shivrajpur in Gujarat, Ghoghla in Daman&Diu, Kasarkod and Padubidri beach in Karnataka, Kappad in Kerala, Rushikonda in Andhra Pradesh, Golden beach of Odisha and Radhanagar beach in Andaman and Nicobar.

Union Environment Minister, Shri Prakash Javadekar who couldn’t attend the event due to the ongoing parliament session, said through a video message that the government is committed to clean the beaches across the country. He said, clean beaches are the testimony to environment in the coastal area. He said, the issue of marine litter and oil spilling has caused disturbances to the aquatic life and the Government of India is undertaking various efforts for the sustainable development of coastal regions.

The event also saw the launch India’s own eco-label BEAMS by e-hoisting the flag -#IAMSAVINGMYBEACH simultaneously at these eight beaches. SICOM, MoEFCC in pursuit of promoting its policies for sustainable development in coastal regions have embarked upon a highly acclaimed program “BEAMS” (Beach Environment & Aesthetics Management Services) under its ICZM (Integrated Coastal Zone Management) project. This is one of the several other projects of ICZM that Govt of India is undertaking for the sustainable development of coastal regions, striving for globally recognized and the coveted eco-label ‘Blue flag”.

The flag hoisting program was conducted simultaneously at these 08 beaches virtually from MOEFCC and physically at the beaches by respective States/UTs through its MLAs and/or Chairman of Beach Management Committees (BMCs).

Speaking on the occasion, Union Environment Secretary, Shri R.P. Gupta said that high standards are being maintained to clean the beaches to keep environment safe and in the next four to five years 100 more beaches will be cleaned.

In a video message, World Bank’s country director Mr. Zunaid Khan applauded India’s efforts towards cleaning up the its beaches and said that India with its strategies for sustainable coastal zone management shall act as a lighthouse for other countries in the region.

With a view to protect and conserve the coastal and marine ecosystems and environment through a holistic coastal management, the Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change launched the Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) activities in India for a holistic approach with an interactive, dynamic, multidisciplinary, and iterative planning process to promote sustainable development & management of coastal zones through its own wing SICOM.

The concept of ICZM was introduced in 1992 during the Earth Summit at Rio de Janeiro and most of the coastal countries in the World have been adopting ICZM principles for managing their coastal zones. Thus, adoption of ICZM principles for managing and sustainably developing our coastal regions is helping India in keeping with its commitments to international agreements on ICZM.

The objective of BEAMS program is to abate pollution in coastal waters, promote sustainable development of beach facilities, protect & conserve coastal ecosystems & natural resources, and seriously challenge local authorities & stakeholders to strive and maintain high standards of cleanliness, hygiene & safety for beachgoers in accordance with coastal environment & regulations. This program promotes beach recreation in absolute harmony with nature.

International Coastal Cleanup Day got its start in 1986 when Linda Maraniss met Kathy O’Hara while working for Ocean Conservancy. O’Hara had just completed a report called Plastics in the Ocean: More Than a Litter Problem. The two of them reached out to other ocean-lovers and organized a Cleanup for Ocean Conservancy. The first Cleanup consisted of 2,800 volunteers. Since that time, the Cleanup has grown into an international event in more than 100 countries.

National Water Policy

17.09.2020, New Delhi: To address the present challenges in water sector, revision of National Water Policy has been envisaged and a drafting committee has been constituted on 5th November 2019 to revise the National Water Policy within a term of six months. Due to the work being affected due to COVID-19 pandemic, the term of the Committee has been extended up to 31st October, 2020.The said committee is working towards finalizing its report at present.

The proposed National Bureau of Water Use Efficiency (NBWUE) will have the overall responsibility of improving water use efficiency across various sectors, namely irrigation, drinking water supply, power generation, industries, cities and all other areas where water is used.

This was stated by the The Minister of State for Jal Shakti & Social Justice and Empowerment, Shri Rattan Lal Katatria in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.

The first National Water Policy was adopted in September, 1987. It was reviewed and updated in 2002 and later in 2012.

G-20 Environment Minister Meeting addressed by Union Minister Prakash Javadekar

16.09.2020, New Delhi: Participating in the G20 Environment Ministers meeting today, Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar stated that the world has to channel its best practices to deal with Climate Change. Emphasizing India’s achievements on land degradation neutrality, climate goals, the Union Minister said that India is committed to working with G20 nations for a better world and applauds the launch of the Global Initiative to reduce land degradation and coral reef program. He also highlighted India’s vast bio-diversity and ecosystem.

At a time when the world is arising out of the global pandemic of Covid-19, Union Minister Prakash Javedkar at the Environment Ministers Meeting reminded that countries who are today speaking on ambitious Climate goals and action for 2050, haven't done enough on Kyoto Protocol and also on commitments made at the Paris Agreement. The Minister called for urgent and concrete actions be taken by all countries to conserve and restore the environment.

Shri Prakash Javadekar also congratulated the Saudi Presidency for exemplary work in bringing together the nations of the world to address the urgent environmental challenges and propose impactful solution.

Waste Management Education by NPTEL

National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) has been conducting a programme “Integrated Waste Management for a Smart City”. This course emphasises on Integrated Solid Waste Management aspects within the broad subject area of Integrated Waste Management for a Smart City. The issues of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) management, Construction and Demolition (C&D) Waste and Electronic Waste Management are covered in this course. The programme discusses environmental impact of waste management and its relationship on the big picture sustainable development and smart city development.

The course diligently focus on various aspects of MSW management, such as: Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), Smart Cities, and Make in India. It deliberates on the challenges of waste management for smart cities taking case studies from the first list of 20 smart cities identified in the first phase for this program. The new rules and challenges of implementation with respect of C&D Waste and E-Waste Management are also included.

The course will be beneficial for B.Tech, M.Tech, B.Sc, M.Sc, Researchers, Faculty Members, engineers and professionals working in any area related to waste management, and also the Regulators (SPCB, CPCB and MOEF professionals) and policy makers.

NPTEL has been organizing this programme under the aegis of SWAYAM, initiated by Government of India and designed to achieve the three cardinal principles of Education Policy viz., access, equity and quality. The objective of this effort is to take the best teaching learning resources to all, including the most disadvantaged. SWAYAM seeks to bridge the digital divide for students who have hitherto remained untouched by the digital revolution and have not been able to join the mainstream of the knowledge economy. Courses delivered through SWAYAM are available free of cost to the learners.

Professor Brajesh Kr. Dubey, Associate Professor (Integrated Waste Management and Sustainable Engineering) in the Division of Environmental Engineering and Management at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur, who has worked as Waste Management Expert for UN agencies and World Bank; is the major driving force of this programme.

Odisha gets Rs. 35 Crore from Centre on account of tiger & elephant conservation

14.09.2020, New Delhi: The Govt. of India has released over Rs. 35 Crore to Odisha during 2019-21 for the implementation of centrally sponsored schemes for tiger and elephant conservation.

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan informed that Odisha, which is one of the biodiversity rich states, has witnessed a direct impact of these conservation efforts. The minister said "Odisha, one of the most richly endowed state in biodiversity has witnessed a direct impact of these conservation efforts. #ProjectTiger and #ProjectElephant are addressing the threat of poaching and helping these majestic species thrive in their natural habitat."

"Modi govt’s consistent efforts are ensuring that #tigers continue to roar in the jungle", he added.

Pradhan stated, "Consistent efforts towards environmental sustainability and conservation of wildlife under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and stewardship of Prakash Javdekar has become a trailblazer for the revival of endangered animal species, like tigers and elephants in India."

Union Jal Shakti Minister and Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare highlighted Indian Government’s priorities in G-20 Agriculture and Water Ministers’ Meet

13.09.2020, New Delhi: A virtual meeting of G-20 Agriculture and Water Ministers held on 12.09.2020 was attended by G-20 Member countries and special invitees. Minister of Jal Shakti Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Minister of State (MoS) for Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare Shri Parshottam Rupala attended the meeting. In his opening remarks Shri Shekhawat thanked Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the current Presidency of G-20 and complemented Saudi Arabia for its exemplary leadership during this Covid-19 pandemic for successfully facilitating the dialogue among the member countries through virtual meetings. The Minister stated that technology plays a critical role in the prevailing pandemic situation and applauded India’s IT expertise which India shares with the whole world. He also praised Japan for its leadership during previous presidency and extended best wishes to Italy for the next presidency.

During the Saudi presidency G-20 discussion held on sustainable and resilient water management, thereby optimizing the impacts of water related activities in G-20 forum through collaboration, knowledge sharing on different aspects of water. In the last 10 months, number of meetings have been held among member countries to bring synergy and prepare roadmap for holistic water management. As a part of this dialogue, a 3-days meeting was organized by Saudi presidency during 10-12 September, 2020. Deputy Ministers, in-charge of water and agriculture, deliberated issues related to water and agriculture on 10thand 11thSeptember, 2020 and the Ministers of Agriculture and Water met on 12th September, 2020 to share their views.

TheMinister of Jal Shakti reiterated that India believes in the concept of ‘Universal brotherhood & Collective wisdom’ and will continue to play an active role in collaborative groups such as G-20. The Minister assured the Forum of India’s commitment to work tirelessly to contribute to the objectives, goals and targets set by G-20. The Minister appreciated G-20 and Saudi Presidency for emphasis given on water by initiating a separate dialogue on various aspects of water resources management.

Stating that agriculture is a high priority sector for Government of India, MoS, Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare, Shri Rupala mentioned about the policy measures taken by the government to ensure food security. He also reiterated India’s resolve to work together in collaboration to enhance the productivity, sustainable use of natural resources, development of agriculture value chain and promotion of trade for the benefit of people. He also informed about successful protocols developed by India to use drones for spraying of pesticides for timely control of the dessert locust, thereby appealing G-20 member countries to work in tandem to come up with an action plan for trans-boundary pest and diseases to safeguard agricultural crops. It was also emphasized about the progressive reforms and measures taken up by government of India to open up new agricultural market options, development of agricultural infrastructure, food processing enterprises, value chains and logistics for fisheries and animal husbandry, medicinal and herbal plants. Shri Rupala also appealed G-20 member countries to share knowledge and best practices to reduce the ill-effects of climate change that could affect agriculture and livelihoods of farmers.

The Minister of Jal Shakti highlighted the leadership and initiatives of Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi to address India’s water and sanitation issues.He informed that Government of India has takenseveral initiatives to improve the quality of life of its 1.37 billion people by implementing a 51 Billion USDollar programme, ‘Jal Jeevan Mission’ to provide household tap connections to 190 million rural homes, thereby ensuring drinking water security. Mentioning about Open Defecation Free India,it was informed about the efforts to sustain the gains of Swachh Bharat Mission, with more focus on solid and liquid waste management and grey water treatment and reuse.

India welcomed the new initiative of Saudi Presidency of sharing successful case studies/ best practices in water sector of G-20 member countries. The Minister offered toshare India’sexperience on irrigation development and optimal use of water resources to achieve food security.

India will be part of G-20 Troika from December, 2020 and host G-20 Presidency from December, 2021 to November, 2022 when India celebratesits 75 years of Independence, which will be anexcellent opportunity forG-20 member countries to explore the cultural heritage and various aspects of the world’s largest democracy and ancient civilization.

Thanking Saudi Presidency and G-20 member countrieson behalf of the Government of India, Shri Shekhawat expressed hope that various aspects of water will assume primacy in future G-20 dialogues, paving way for food security and integrated water resource management.

"State Govts. must act against sand mining mafias, ensure sustainable sand mining": Prakash Javadekar

11.09.2020, New Delhi: On the occasion of the 15th National Forest Martyrs Day, Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar, remembered and paid tribute to the martyrs who lost their lives while protecting India's invaluable fauna, flora and natural resources from forest fires, smugglers and mafias.

Expressing deep anguish about a forest staff who was killed by Sandalwood smugglers Shri Javadekar stated that amendments shall be made in regulations so that sandalwood can be cultivated more widely. Union Minister also paid tribute to all forest martyrs who lost their lives fighting forest fires and due to wildlife attacks by tigers, elephants and single horned rhino. Certificates were issued in remembrance of the forest personnel who laid their live while performing their duty in the year 2019-20.

Giving a stern warning to the Sand Mafias the Union Minister stated that the situation will be reviewed and those found not abiding shall be punished. The Union Minister stated that despite the new sustainable sand mining rules and regulations being passed, many states and regions are not abiding by the rules. A forest home guard Kewal Singh was mowed down by a tractor when he along with his colleague tried to stop suspected members of a mining mafia inside the Sariska Tiger Reserve in Alwar.

The Minister appealed to the state governments to take the issue of sand mining mafias seriously and impose strict laws to bring an end to the practice. He appeals that sustainable sand mining must be practiced so as to prevent the depletion of natural resources from river beds. In order to prevent the river beds from drying completely, sustainable sand mining must be practiced and killings of foresters or revenue staff working towards the initiative of sustainable sand mining is completely unacceptable and that steps will be taken to make sure the offenders are punished.

The impressive and extensive biodiversity of India is guarded by a dedicated workforce of Forest Officers and staff who relentlessly work towards the protection and improvement of this irreplaceable wealth. Over the years the department has lost its forest guardians while protecting the faunal & flora wealth of nature and also in the human wildlife conflicts.

It was in the recognition of exemplary valour and sacrifices made by the forest personnel, in various parts of the country for the protection of our environment, forest and wildlife, that the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Govt. of India had declared 11th September, as National Forest Martyrs Day.

The date September 11 was chosen as National Forest Martyrs Day due to its historical significance. On this day, in 1730, over 360 people of the Bishnoi tribe led by Amrita Devi, objected to the felling of trees and due to their protest to save the trees were killed in Khejarli, Rajasthan on the orders of the king. A foundation stone of the memorial pillar was laid on 3rd October 2012 at the Memorial site near Brandis Road, FRI, Dehradun. A Forester Memorial has also been raised in Forest Research Institue( FRI) campus, Dehradun to commemorate the sacrifices made by all those foresters who have laid down their lives in protecting the Forests and Biodiversity of our country.

Environment Ministry with Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) Aided Project “Capacity Development for Forest Management and Training of Personnel” in 13 states has been instrumental in bringing overall qualitative and quantitative improvements for frontline staff of the state Government. JICA has also indicated consent for second phase. For further strengthening the Ministry is also working on a SOP to support frontline staff and their family members.

“Only sustainability will save the humankind from the worst of nature furies” said Prakash Javadekar at CII’s 15th Sustainability Summit 2020 in New Delhi

09.09.2020, New Delhi: Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar has said, Indian Government is committed to reduce the carbon emissions. Addressing the special session on Action Agenda for Sustainable and Self Reliant India during the 15th Sustainability Summit 2020 organized by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in New Delhi on the 9th September 2020. He expressed hope that India will achieve the target of reducing carbon emissions by 35% in the next ten years. The Minister said, country’s solar power capacity has been increasing rapidly and noted that 68 countries have ratified the International Solar Alliance Agreement.

Talking about AatmaNirbhar Bharat programme of the Government launched by Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi to make India self-reliant, the Minister said, Aatmanirbharta is not cutting away from the world, it is more about engaging with the world. Innovation and research become the key. “The thrust is being given on innovation and research and efforts are being made to reduce imports and increase the exports.” He said, India should become a leader in innovations and start owning innovations as research and innovation is the key to take the country to next level in terms of development in the next decade or so.

The Environment Minister stated that it is important to achieve a green earth with clean air and blue skies, post COVID-19 despite the odds and that it is possible to do so, alongside industrial activity. Javadekar highlighted that pollution is inevitable when we progress and industrial activities goes up. However, it has to be within the permissible limits already prescribed. He stated that India has only 2.5 % of world’s land, 4% of freshwater resources and around 20% of world population but still has 8% of the world’s biodiversity because in the Indian culture, flora and fauna are part of life.

The Minister pitched for promoting sustainability as it can only save the humankind from worst nature fury. He appealed to the different nations to present their case studies in terms of promoting sustainability.

Highlighting the country’s achievement towards a greener growth in the past few years the Minister said, “India is walking the talk on climate change. Our work on Ujjwala, E Vehicles, BS-VI Engines, Biofuels, Clean air, and Disaster resilience pave the way for a sustainable and resilient India. Targeting 35% emission reduction, we have reached 21% and in 10 years, we will achieve the required 220 Giga Watt renewable power targets, of which a total of 87 Giga Watt including solar and wind has been achieved”, he said. He further elaborated that our energy mix in the installed capacity now includes 37% of renewable energy sources.

Speaking on compassionate capitalism for an Atmanirbhar Bharat, Mr. Sanjiv Puri, Chairman, Advisory Council, CII-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development and Chairman and Managing Director, ITC Limited, said that sustainability strategies are integral to the business, which is essential to transcend to a greener proposition. Mr. Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII, welcomed the Govt. Of India’s draft EIA 2020, and emphasised on the role of inclusive recovery for a self-reliant and sustainable India.

The Sustainability Summit is the annual flagship event of CII in sustainability, launched in 2006 to raise the bar of dialogue, practice and performance of sustainable business. The ‘15th Sustainability Summit – Action Agenda for the Next Decade’ is designed to focus on shaping up of the coming decade, incorporating learning from COVID-19 and reflecting how the drivers of innovation, technology and systems thinking can help us build a more sustainable next decade.

Earlier, speaking at a special session on the first day, 8th September 2020, on Circular Economy for Self-Reliant India at the 15th CII Sustainability Summit 2020, Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways, Commerce and Industry stressed on the importance of incorporating sustainable practices to create a Circular Economy, which he defined as a “profit economy”.

Spotlighting the 3Rs of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle and the Zero Effect and Zero Defect idea enunciated by the Prime Minister of India, Goyal talked about the importance of adopting sustainability as a way of life and focussing on sustainability for all endeavours. These, he emphasised, will not only help the environment but make India more globally competitive as well. He cited many examples where efficient waste management and the 3Rs have led to significant savings of resources such as water, while also curbing pollution and other deleterious effects of economic activity.

There is a strong need to educate the common man to get the best benefits out of a Circular Economy, he said, and urged the Confederation of Indian Industry to prepare a Compendium of 101 ideas to spread the message of sustainability and Circular Economy since “small changes can lead to spectacular transformation”.

A holistic approach and incentivising people, the Minister said, can play a significant role in creating a Circular Economy. As we look at reviving economic growth against the backdrop of the pandemic, a circular model of growth is best suited to revive sustainable growth and could also create 1.4 crore jobs in the next 5-7 years as estimated by NITI Aayog, he elaborated.

On 8th September 2020, speaking at the virtual inaugural session of the 15th Sustainability Summit, Dr. Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Cabinet Member and Minister of Climate Change and Environment, UAE said that Covid-19 has triggered an economic downturn on a global scale and that all recovery plans must have environmental protection as a priority because climate change remains the most important existential threat to humanity.

Dr Abdullah said that the pandemic has exposed weaknesses in the global supply chains, especially food supply, posing a risk to global food security. The UAE is, therefore, developing an integrated and sustainable food safety and security system using technology. In fact, the UAE Government is focussing on innovation and technological advancements to address environmental, societal and economic challenges, he added, specifically mentioning initiatives such as Energy Strategy 2050, which aims to increase the contribution of clean energy in the total energy mix from 25% to 50%, among other goals. He said India’s renewable energy journey has been truly impressive with the country pledging to generate 40% of its power from carbon-free sources by 2030 as part of its commitment to the Paris Agreement.

Recalling Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s last visit to the UAE, he highlighted that UAE-India bilateral trade in 2018-19 stood at around US$ 60 billion and that there is increasing interest in investing in India in sectors such as renewable energy and food, even as more Indian companies look to invest in the UAE. Elaborating further, he said that at the 13th Session of the India-UAE joint commission meeting on trade, economic and technical cooperation held virtually, sectors such as infrastructure, logistics, food parks and renewable energy were identified and the UAE is keen to further strengthen linkages, especially in energy and food security, so that India and the UAE can build a sustainable future for the two countries as well as the world.

International Day of Clean Air for blue skies observed

07.09.2020, New Delhi: The first International Day of Clean Air for blue skies was observed today. Speaking at a webinar the Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar has said that the government is committed to reduce the air pollution level in 122 most polluted cities. Underscoring the problem of Air Pollution the Environment Minister said that in 2014, the government launched the Air Quality Index (AQI) monitoring and today we are tracking the levels of Pollution on eight parameters. The minister also thanked Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi for bringing the issue of air pollution in his 74th Independence Day Speech and putting across the goal of holistic improvement in air quality in 100 cities.

Javadekar said that as India has migrated to BS-VI standards, quality of petrol and diesel has further improved in the country, which is significant to curb air pollution. He also emphasized the importance the roads and highways construction by the government at a record pace in the last few years in lessening air pollution as compared to previous times.

Stressing that States must now work with city specific plans, as every city has different source of pollution the Environment Minister said that the use of electric vehicle must be encouraged. He said, Brick kilns in various states should adopt zig zag technology to reduce pollution emerging out of them. The Union Minister said that people participation would be vital to clean the air. Car-pooling and use of public transport must be promoted.

In January last year, the Environment Ministry had launched National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) to tackle the problem of air pollution in a comprehensive manner with a target to achieve 20 to 30% reduction in PM 10 and PM 2.5 concentrations by 2024 keeping 2017 as base year. The plan identified earlier 102 non-attainment cities, across 23 States and Union Territories. 20 more non-attainment cities have been included under NCAP based on latest data trend on air quality.

The webinar which was organized by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change on the occasion of first ever International Day of Clean Air For Blue Skies was attended by Principal Secretaries of the Urban Development Department and Environment Department of 28 states and 8 Union Territories. Commissioner of 122 cities as identified in NCAP programme also participated and put forth their experiences and best practices.

Shri Javadekar alongwith Minister of State, Shri Babul Supriyo and Secretary, MoEF&CC, Shri R P Gupta launched a brochure on Integrated Measures to Combat Air Pollution under the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP).

Minister of State, MoEF&CC, Babul Supriyo emphasized on wider educating public and ensuring their participation in attainment of clean air, because it is the same air we all breathe, as air has no boundary.

R P Gupta, Secretary, MoEF&CC, stressed on 24x7 round the clock supply of quality electricity by the State Governments that could be significant to keep air pollution down.

Earlier on, Member Secretary CPCB shared a presentation on status report before the Ministers, and officials.

The General Assembly of United Nations on 19 December 2019 adopted a resolution to observe the International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies on 07th September every year starting from 2020. As per the presentation, 113 real-time and 468 manual monitoring systems have been installed across the nation. Realtime tracking of 5000 industries air emission is also taking place. He also emphasized on management of construction and demolition waste and composting of bio-degradable wastes.

The Day aims to:

  1. Raise public awareness at all levels—individual, community, corporate and government—that clean air is important for health, productivity, the economy and the environment.

  2. Demonstrate the close link of air quality to other environmental/developmental challenges such as – most and foremost – climate change and the global Sustainable Development Goals.

  3. Promote and facilitate solutions that improve air quality by sharing actionable knowledge best practices, innovations, and success stories.

  4. Bring together diverse international actors working on this topic to form a strategic alliance to gain momentum for concerted national, regional and international approaches for effective air quality management.

The General Assembly of United Nations on 19 December 2019 adopted a resolution to observe the International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies on 7th September every year starting from 2020.

CSIR-CMERI develops Affordable Solar Powered Battery based Sprayers to tackle Water Crisis in Agriculture

05.09.2020, New Delhi: Durgapur based Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CMERI), the apex R&D institute for mechanical engineering under the aegis of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) which was recently in news for having developed the World’s Largest Solar Tree, is also working on many other solar and water conserving products vital for agricultural sector. CSIR-CMERI is working on methods to reduce water consumption required for irrigation. Initially, Drip irrigation was considered but later it was realised that Drip irrigation is not affordable for marginal to small farmers, who are the major stake holders in Indian Agrarian scenario. Those farmers use manual sprayers costing a few thousand rupees.

Pesticides play a major role in increasing crop productivity, but large amount of pesticide sprays is wasted due to lack of appropriate machinery, and soil, water and air become polluted. Due to such harmful effects of pesticides, there is an increasing pressure to reduce their use and make their spraying more efficient. To make efficient sprayer, there is need to understand science of surface tension, viscosity, wettability, air drag, dynamic pressure, particle size, etc. CSIR-CMERI developed two variants of battery operated spray systems one for “marginal famers” and other for “small farmers”. Back Pack Sprayer, having capacity of 5 litres, is made for “marginal farmers”, while the Compact Trolley Sprayer having capacity of 10 litres, is made for “small farmers”. These sprayers are equipped with two separate tanks, flow control and pressure regulator to handle different water requirements of the crops, target/site specific irrigation, maintaining appropriate dilution of pesticide/fungicide to control the pest (on foliage, under the leaves, at root zone etc.), creating water based micro-roughness of leaf surface, maintaining soil moisture levels in a narrow range, and weed control. The systems functions on Solar-Powered batteries, thus enabling its usage even in energy and power deprived agricultural regions of the Nation, thus reducing dependence on price volatile fossil fuels. The sprayers are simple to develop, easy to learn and implement, therefore will help to overcome water crisis faced by Indian farmers.

The flow control feature of the Sprayers helps achieve multiple levels of Water/Pesticide flow thereby enhancing the flexibility and dynamicity of the coverage area as well as the intensity of the application. The Dual-Chamber design of the Sprayers helps achieve a degree of resource versatility as it allows the system to carry two variants of liquids at any particular instant. As per experiments conducted at CSIR-CMERI, the engaged farmers have informed that it helps save 75% of Water and 25% time-consumption while using the CSIR-CMERI developed sprayers. This design element might also help reduce the time consumption for Spray based Agricultural applications, as the farmer need not empty the contents of a single vessel completely before using a different content.

CSIR-CMERI has already developed solar tree of capacity 1 Kwp, 3 kwp, 5 kwp, 6 kwp, 7.5 kwp and 11.5 kwp, which is now the Largest Solar Tree in the world.

Jal Jeevan Mission promotes Research and Development

03.09.2020, New Delhi: Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) is envisioned to provide safe and adequate drinking water through individual household tap connections by 2024 to all households in rural India. JJM aims at ensuring potable water supply of 55 litres per person per day and of prescribed quality to every rural household on regular and long-term basis. The mission is being implemented in partnership with States. As on date, out of the total 18,97,86,242 rural households, over 28% are provided tap connections. More than 1 lakh families are given tap water connections daily.

The rural drinking water supply is a complex subject with various social, environmental and technical challenges like geo-genic and anthropogenic water quality issues, long-term potable water supply in harsh edapho-climatic conditions and disaster-prone areas, measurement and monitoring of water service delivery, behaviour change management, cost-effective grey-water treatment and reuse etc. Thus, given the challenges and the knowledge gaps being faced while implementing the Jal Jeevan Mission with speed and scale along with the future of rural water security, there is a pressing need for significant research and innovation in the water supply sector.

Now, more than ever, National Jal Jeevan Mission will be supporting, promoting and cultivating research and innovation to solve the issue faced by water supply sector in rural areas. National Jal Jeevan Mission is inviting proposals from young innovators, researchers, academia, entrepreneurs, start-ups working in this sector to provide cost-effective solutions and fill knowledge gaps. Further, the Department/ National Mission/ SWSM will conduct action research and concurrent evaluation studies for adopting evidence-based technical intervention to manage rural water supply efficiently, effectively and economically. These R&D projects under Jal Jeevan Mission will facilitate in building partnership with scientists and R&D institutions, innovators, entrepreneurs and create useful knowledge that will help in in addressing various challenges in the drinking water sector so as to improve the lives of people.

To read R&D guidelines is available on the Departmental portal click here. All interested individual/ agencies/ institutions may use this opportunity and apply their proposals.

Oil India not to carry out post-capping environmental studies?

02.09.2020, New Delhi: Oil India Limited (OIL) after 80 days finally became successful in capping on 17th August 2020. Now, there was an attempt to kill the well by injecting killing fluids into the well. However due to rupture of a casing valve the killing operation had to be suspended. The well condition is being assessed for continuing with the well control operations. In the meanwhile several other options like drilling of relief wells are being actively evaluated. State Government has again been requested to allot land for drilling relief wells.

A fire broke out at the Baghjan Oil Field on Tuesday, where a major blowout took place on 27th May 2020. This came days after the OIL warned that gas was still leaking “uncontrollably” out of the plant and said the company was adopting measures to avert a blaze. The incident occurred at well number five of the plant and no immediate casualties were reported. Images taken at the site of the blaze showed dark clouds of smoke billowing from the plant and engulfing the premises. The incident has triggered panic among the residents of the Baghjan village, where the gas-producing well is located.

The company has issued a statement on 19th August 2020 that data collection at site have been completed for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) study by various agencies, viz.M/s TERI, M/s ERM, M/s CSIR-NEIST, IIT-Guwahati. Analysis/study on collected data is in progress by respective agencies. OIL’s in-house monitoring of Air quality/Noise level/Gas presence is being continued. Bio remediation activities at affected areas are in progress.

However, it is noteworthy that earlier on 24th July 2020 OIL stated that the ecological survey carried out in the Dibru-Saikhowa National Park (DSNP), Maguri-Motapung Beel and Baghjan area. Environment Monitoring has been completed prior to Capping of well. Post monitoring of the well will be carried out after capping of the well. OIL has assigned the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) study to a NABET accredited consultant, ERM India Pvt. Ltd. OIL engaged The Energy Research Institute (TERI) for bio-remediation for impact of blowout on environment and site assessment. Alongside, it was reported that regular monitoring of Air quality, Water quality, Noise level and presence of Gas with lower explosive limit is being carried out by OIL at wellsite. Study using seismological technique on tremor report from the neighboring areas was conducted by Council of Scientific & Industrial Research – North East Institute of Science & Technology, Jorhat facilitated by Govt. of Assam. Necessary arrangements were made for the seismologists to come to site with requisite equipment and the pertinent recording is in progress for seismological study in the vicinity of Baghjan-5 well. And, IIT- Guwahati conducted the study on Thermal Mapping and Sonic Measurement. The team from IIT Guwahati completed data collection for thermal imaging and sound measurement at required areas under guidance of district officials and OIL team. Interpretation of the data will be carried out using specialized software at IIT Guwahati and the report will be submitted soon.

It is therefore important in the part of OIL to conduct the post-capping environmental studies and also share information on pre-capping environmental status.

The company has reported a total of 30,677Metric Tonnes of Crude Oil and 72.21Million Metric St. Cubic Meter of Natural Gas have been lost respectively as a result of protests/blockades/ bandhs in and around Baghjan area since 27thMay, 2020 due to the Blowout. Your Response

Ministry of Jal Shakti launches Water Heroes Contest 2.0

02.09.2020, New Delhi: A fresh impetus to its primary objective to make water conservation a people’s movement and strengthen the water consciousness in India, the Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Jal Shakti (MoJS) has launched the ‘Water Heroes – Share Your Stories’ Contest from 1st September 2020. The contest aims to reach out to people on the important subject of water conservation and management.

Through this Water Heroes Contest, MoJS hopes to encourage and collate best practices in water conservation from across the nation. The programme also targets to disseminate such efforts across India to encourage more transformational efforts in this area. Every month, from September, 2020 onwards, entries would be invited for consideration of awards. Every month a maximum of 10 entries can be considered for the awards. All selected entries will be awarded a cash prize of Rs. 10,000 each and a certificate.

To take part in the contest, the participants will have to post their success stories on water conservation through a specially made video of 1-5 minutes, along with a write-up of up to 300 words and some photographs depicting the efforts and significant contributions to conserve and manage water resources. The participants can share their videos with the link of their YouTube video on the MyGov portal (www.mygov.in). In addition to the MyGov portal, the entries can also be submitted at waterheroes.cgwb@gmail.com. The participants are also advised to mention only the YouTube links of their videos in the comments section and not upload the entire video-there.

This series of Contest will end on 31st August 2021.

India aims for 100 million tonnes (MT) coal gasification by 2030

01.09.2020, New Delhi: India aims for 100 million tonnes (MT) coal gasification by 2030 with investments worth over Rs. 4 lakh crores, said Shri Pralhad Joshi, Union Minister of Coal and Mines. Addressing a webinar on Coal Gasification and Liquefaction, Shri Joshi said that Coal Gasification and Liquefaction is no more an aspiration, but a requirement. He added that for encouraging use of clean sources of fuel, government has provided for a concession of 20% on revenue share of coal used for gasification. He emphasized that this will boost production of synthetic natural gas, energy fuel, urea for fertilisers and production of other chemicals. The webinar was organised by Ministry of Coal (MoC) in New Delhi for discussing the road map for achieving the target. The webinar was attended by around 700 delegates from Government of India, CIL and the coal sector.

Reiterating on government’s commitments for green initiatives in the coal sector, Shri Joshi said that Coal Gasification and Liquefaction are well in the government’s agenda and various actions have been taken for development of Surface Coal Gasification in India. A Steering Committee has been constituted in this regard under the chairmanship of Dr. V.K. Saraswat, Member, NITI Aayog comprising of members from the Ministry of Coal. CIL has also planned to set up at least 3 gasification plants (besides Dankuni) on BOO basis through global tendering and has signed an MOU with GAIL for marketing synthetic natural gas.

Shri Joshi urged the attendees of the session to explore more about technologies & other aspects in Coal Gasification sector, in line with our country’s SWOT analysis. He added that this will help in harnessing nation’s reserves for maximum utilisation while heading on the path to sustainability, as per global standards.

The primary concern in coal gasification may be appropriate handling of ash and slag, which is quite attainable.