Strong Wind ameliorates air quality in Delhi, Delhi Govt. lifts ban on construction activities

22nd November 2021, New Delhi

The relatively stronger winds have resulted better dispersion of air pollutants across Delhi. Hence, there is a continuous drop in AQI value in the Capital City for last 4 days, though it still remains in Very poor category. The AQI value was 380 on 19th November, which fell to 374 on 20th November, 349 on 21st November and 311 on 22nd November 2021. Notable that the number of monitoring stations from where the data is received have also gone down to 32 on 22nd November. According to Indian Meteorological Department, it is expected to better and shift to Poor category in the coming 5 days.

However, the Delhi Government has claimed that stringent measures introduced by them have been instrumental in bringing down the rising pollution levels in Delhi, taking the fight against pollution closer to its victory line.

Delhi Government's Environment Minister Gopal Rai informed that the overall AQI trend in mornings throughout Delhi has shifted below or around 300. Due to this, and considering the difficulties faced by the workers due to the closure of construction work, the ban has been lifted. But strict monitoring will continue by 585 teams and immediate action will be taken against violators of the 14-point anti-dust pollution measures. He also shared that work from home for GNCTD officers has been extended till 26th November and that a joint meeting will be held on 24th November to review this as well as opening of schools and entry of CNG trucks from other states. One thousand ‘Paryavaran Sewa’ private CNG buses have been hired, and the Environment Minister urged the public to use them. He also informed that the standing permission in metros and buses has been given with limits of 17 in buses, and 30 per coach for metros. The initiative to impound old petrol/diesel vehicles and PUC certificate checking will continue to tackle vehicle pollution. 4000 people have been fined Rs. 10,000 each this month so far for violating pollution norms. In addition to fire brigade machines at hotspots, 500 water tankers deployed throughout Delhi, all of which will continue operating till further notice. All 10-point action plan measures apart from construction ban will continue for now. Gopal Rai concluded by saying that current measures will be reviewed on 24th in the joint meeting and suitable decisions will be taken thereon.

Reiterating CSE data, Gopal Rai, stated that "31% of the total pollution in Delhi is from internal sources, while around 69% is from outside. And within this 31%, half of it comes from vehicle pollution. Hence, as we are strengthening public transport facilities from all ends, it is my request to everyone in Delhi to avail these services and contribute to reducing vehicular pollution. I urge you all to please cooperate and join us in our battle against pollution in the capital.”

The Minister also stated that the industries in Delhi running on polluted fuel are also banned, and most industries have been shifted to operate on PNG. But any industry violating this fuel ban will have strict action taken against them.

Rai further said that “The ‘Red Light On, Gaadi Off’ Campaign Phase 2 will also continue till 3rd December, following which we will also take suitable decisions.

Delhi Jal Board goes faceless

22nd November 2021, New Delhi

Delhi Jal Board (DJB) on Monday has decided to shift all the services of the Zonal Revenue Offices (ZRO) to the online M-Sewa app to smoothen the existing system glitches and make it completely faceless. Thus all the works of the ZRO of the Delhi Jal Board will now be made online. This step is expected to bring more transparency in services to customers, besides maintaining a time frame.

This decision would help citizens to avail 20 services online, which includes applying for a rainwater harvesting Certificate, and also downloading the same. Citizens can also apply for borewell permission, online. All the consumers of Delhi Jal Board can apply/register for the above services online only by visiting the Delhi Jal Board website or on M-Seva mobile Application.

Under the chairmanship of Water Minister, Satyendar Jain, the DJB has also given approval to the creation of 49 posts at the senior level for better coordination and to expedite multiple ongoing initiatives, especially Yamuna Cleaning and the 24x7 water supply project. These 49 posts include 13 posts of Superintending Engineers & 36 Posts of Executive Engineers. In addition to these, DJB also approved 40 posts of Assistant Executive Engineer to be directed recruited from UPSC.

Delhi Shifts focus to Post Diwali Air Pollution

5th November 2021, New Delhi

Delhi Government is putting efforts to curb the increased pollution levels post Diwali. Environment Minister Gopal Rai informed that water sprinkling has begun on Delhi roads with big anti-smog guns. 20 such anti smog guns will be installed at the intersections in Delhi with higher pollution levels. Stubble burning instances shot up from 1000 last week to over 3500 sources yesterday.

Delhi State Environment Minister said, “The results of the Delhi Government’s campaign against pollution, which had been running for the past month of October, have been optimistic. He said, “The pollution levels in Delhi, in October, have been the lowest in the last 5 years. However, these levels have been increasing in the past 3 days. There are two reasons behind this. First, the incidents of stubble burning have increased. In the last week of October, incidents of stubble burning happened at 1000 places. Today, NASA images have shown that stubble burning is happening at 3500 places. What you see today is the impact of these 3500 instances, instead of the previous 1000.”

VC Central University of Haryana Appeals for a Clean Environment, Vocal for Local

4th November 2021, Gurugram

On the auspicious occasion of Diwali, the Vice-Chancellor of Central University of Haryana (CUH), Mahendragarh, Prof. Tankeshwar Kumar conveyed his best wishes to all the teachers, officers, employees, students, researchers and residents of the University. Referring to the problem of air pollution, the Vice Chancellor appealed for cooperation in not burning crackers and making the environment clean. He said that everyone will have to work together to tackle the problem of air pollution. He called upon to not only refrain from burning crackers, but also to motivate our family and people around us not to do so.

The Vice Chancellor, who has been recently nominated as a member of the National Board of Accreditation (NBA), New Delhi, also emphasized on Vocal for Local to realize Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream of Atamnirbhar Bharat, the Vice Chancellor said that we have to give priority to buying locally made goods and also promote them.

The Vice Chancellor met the employees and congratulated them on Diwali by giving them sweets and motivated them to complete their work responsibly. Congratulating all the members of the University family and the residents on Diwali, the Vice Chancellor said that this festival is a festival of mutual interaction and should be celebrated together. On this occasion the Deans of various schools, Head of the Departments, teachers, officers and employees of the University were present.

Erik Solheim lauds Jaipur Sharing Festival

4th November 2021, New Delhi

Plastic pollution disproportionately affects marginalized communities and communities living in close proximity to plastic production and waste sites, constituting an environmental injustice, according to a new report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and environmental justice non-governmental organisation, Azul. The challenge of plastic waste – which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic – is a major part of the global pollution crisis, which, alongside biodiversity loss and climate change, represent a triple planetary emergency that must be addressed by massive shifts in the way humanity utilizes the earth’s resources. Fittingly, in such a pressing time, a special bank has been opened in Jaipur, where plant saplings are being given to people in exchange of plastic wastes. People come with waste items such as plastic wastes, waste furniture, and even used clothes. The campaign is named 'Jaipur Sharing Festival'.

Environmentalist Vishnu Lamba, popularly known as Treeman of India, told that Erik Solheim, the sixth head of the United Nations Environment Program, is currently on a visit to India. While releasing its poster in Delhi on Saturday, he addressed the people of Rajasthan including Jaipur by speaking "Khamma Ghani Rajasthan" through a video message and said that the pollution caused by plastic is the biggest threat to the environment and all Countries need to adopt better waste management to deal with plastic waste found in water and environment. Erik has appealed to people to join and cooperate with this campaign, calling the campaign an effective measure. Erik Solheim, President Green Belt and Road Institute. Work with World Resources Institute, Treelion is a leading voice in drawing the world's attention to serious environmental challenges, including plastic pollution, climate change, environmental protection rights, biodiversity and environmental protection.

Institute Secretary Kush Sharma told that this exchange offer will be from Dussehra to Diwali, in which anyone can do this exchange once a week from Kalpataru Bhawan, Jaipur. This initiative is also eco-friendly and is also helping in fighting Corona. A main center has been set up to collect the material as well as regional centers have been appointed at thirty-five places in the city. The materials received under the campaign will be presented free of cost to the needy people of the city. The workers of the institute will make useful and decorative items from the plastic and waste received and sell them through the exhibition and with the proceeds they will plant saplings on the banks of the river Dravyavati. This campaign also teaches people to live in a minimal lifestyle. The aim of this initiative is to reduce the pollution caused by plastic and bring smile on the faces of the people who have been broken in the global disaster like Corona. Helpline number 9983809898 has also been issued for the campaign. Which will help with garbage collection! Efforts are also being made to contact government and non-government organizations like Pollution Control Board, Environment Department, JDA, Municipal Corporation to participate in the campaign.

School Students, Teachers sensitized on Delhi Govt's Campaigns against Air Pollution

3rd November 2021, new Delhi

The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi has also included School Children in the fight against air pollution. Delhi Govt. Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Tuesday interacted with school students and teachers about the campaign ‘Yuddh Pradushan Ke Virrudh’ and sought their support towards it. He appealed to the students to educate their peers as well to ensure that no one bursts crackers this year. Saying Diwali is the festival lamps, while crackers cause pollution, Rai requested children to educate their peers along similar lines and help save lives and reduce pollution in Delhi.

Gopal Rai said, “Everyone, regardless of their age or gender, needs oxygen to survive. The oxygen that we breathe in is spread across the atmosphere. But, a lot of the things that we do to improve our lives end up polluting this very atmosphere. When this happens, we say that the air is getting polluted.”

Elaborating the causes of air pollution, the Minister said that excavation for build homes, colonies, schools, roads, and auditoriums produces dust. He further explained that “The dust and its tiny particles mingle with the air, the very air we breathe in. We compete with each other in the number of vehicles that we own. We grow envious when someone owns more vehicles than us. Someone may own one car, but because of this envy, ends up buying another. These cars, when they get on the road, require petrol and diesel to run. They also produce smoke. This smoke too gets mixed in the air, and then we breathe in it.”

He continued, “In the winters, people burn garbage, they burn dry leaves in the parks. This too produces the smoke responsible for damaging our environment. But, all the pollution inside Delhi is not Delhi's own. Some of it enters from our neighboring regions too. Recently, paddy was harvested in Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh. This is where we get our rice from. But the process of harvesting involves removing the part that contains the rice grains and leaving the stubble behind. This stubble is then burnt, and once again, smoke is produced which enters Delhi and disrupts lives.”

On Wednesday, Gopal Rai had appealed to all political parties not to downplay Delhi Government’s campaigns to curb air pollution for political gains. Delhi Government has launched "Red Light On Gaadi Off" and "Patake Nahi Diya Jalao" campaign to curb air pollution.

Earlier, on 28th October 2021, Kejriwal Government has launched a dedicated website "" that could offer all pertinent information related to its campaigns at one place. Effective use of the content will help spread awareness. Essential information about the EV Policy and Tree Transplantation Policy among other data shall also be available on the website.

MLAs to Councillors hit Delhi streets to ensure people's participation in air pollution control

25th October 2021, New Delhi

After MLAs, today Delhi’s Councillors took the initiative of motivating people to join the 'Red Light On, Gaadi Off' Campaign, initiated by Delhi Government to fight against air pollution. Leading the charge at the Barakhamba Road Crossing, Environment Minister of Delhi Government Gopal Rai, said that all the people of Delhi are enthusiastically contributing to the campaign; people are shutting down their vehicles at red lights, helping reduce pollution.

Elaborating on the impacts of the campaign, the Environment Minister said, “this campaign is definitely having an impact on pollution levels in Delhi. On an average, every person in Delhi stops at 8 to 10 red lights. If they keep their car running for an average of 2 minutes at every red light, then they are burning oil unnecessarily by keeping their car at red lights for 20 to 25 minutes every day. Impressed by this campaign, people are now choosing to turn their engines off at red lights and reducing the smoke generated by vehicular pollution which affects their breath.”

He also stated that Green Marshals are working in a steadfast manner to encourage those people who are not turning their vehicles off.

The campaign officially started on October 18 and will run till November 18. Under the campaign, civil defence volunteers have been deployed at 100 major intersections in Delhi. Around 2,500 Civil Defence Volunteers posted at these 100 major intersections are making the drivers aware through pamphlets and banners, encouraging them to turn their engines off at a red light. Moreover, 20 civil defence environment marshals have been deployed at 10 major intersections. The timings for the campaign are 8 am to 8 pm, divided into two shifts of 8 am to 2 pm and 2 pm to 8pm. Civil Defence Volunteers wearing T-shirts and caps hold up placards for awareness, to ensure the drivers at the traffic signal read and follow them. RWAs, market associations, clubs and environmental NGOs are also contributing their help to make the campaign a success.

Delhi MLAs hit road for ‘Red Light On Gaadi Off’ campaign

21st October 2021, New Delhi

The Members of Delhi Legislative Assembly took to the road today to make people aware about the ‘Red Light On Gaadi Off’ campaign. Environment Minister Gopal Rai along with MLAs pumped up strength into the “Yuddh Pradushan Ke Viruddh” initiative at the Chandgi Ram Akhara intersection. He said that the councillors of Delhi will run a public awareness campaign at Barakhamba Road intersection on October 25. The Environment Minister further said that the Delhi Government raised the matter of stubble burning to the best of its abilities with the state and central governments and had they not been negligent then the farmers would have not been forced to burn stubble. He said that the increased stubble burning will adversely affect Delhi now.

He said, “our effort is to make people aware to stop the pollution that is generated inside Delhi. A public participation campaign is going on under the leadership of CM Arvind Kejriwal and we are taking it forward with enthusiasm. We, the MLAs of Delhi have gathered here to make people aware about the campaign. After this, on October 25, the councillors of Delhi will run a public awareness campaign on the Barakhamba Road. It is our endeavor that the whole of Delhi should work together to reduce pollution inside Delhi.”

Mr. Rai also informed that there will be a joint meeting with the SDMs and the DPCC tomorrow to take the campaign to Mohalla level.

Gopal Rai said, “the pollution of stubble burning cannot be reduced by applying GRAP. We talked to the central government and the state government about the solution of stubble but there has been gross negligence in it on their part. If the bio-decomposer was sprayed responsibly, the farmers would not be forced to burn the stubble.”

According to a report released by the Indian Meterological Department, the Crop residue burning fire points were observed in Punjab (788), Haryana (155) on 20th October 2021. The contribution of biomass burning in PM2.5 concentration is likely to be 02-10% and reduce significantly on 22nd October 2021.

Delhi Government starts bio-composer spray to curb stubble burning, targets 4000 acre of farm land

11th October 2021, New Delhi

Stubble burning was found, in previous years, to have triggered winter air pollution to the worst level, Delhi government has started spraying the bio-decomposer from today. There is no cost to farmers. Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Monday informed that the process has been started at the fields of Fatehpur Jat village in the Narela assembly and will spread through Delhi. The Bio-Decomposer has helped the Delhi Government achieve great results in making stubble management pollution-free. The number of farmers getting the spraying done has doubled as compared to last year. Those farmers who have still not taken part in this environment-friendly practice can register themselves by calling on- 9643844287.

While discussing on the issue, Gopal Rai said, air pollution includes pollution from dust, vehicles, garbage burning, and biomass but the most crucial problem is ‘stubble burning’. The smoke of burnt stubble starts from areas of Punjab and Haryana and reaches Delhi.

The decomposed stubble gets converted into healthy compost and increased the cultivating capacity of the soil, said the Minister.

The Minister also informed that about 4000 acres of land to be sprinkled with the decomposer, which was 2000 acres last year.

Rai also stated that a third-party audit is also done as asked by the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM).

Gopal Rai also said, “It is important to know that the problems caused by stubble burning cannot be solved without the combined effort of all of us because the smoke from stubble burning has started to come to Delhi’s airspace and if we don’t pay attention now, the air will be heavily polluted. To curb that, I appeal to the farmers to utilize the bio-decomposer, plough the field with a rotavator, and supply ample water so that the stubble can melt and be converted into healthy compost”.

Zero Tolerance on Air Pollution in Delhi

9th October 2021, New Delhi

During the anti-dust campaign in Delhi, 32 sites were fined to the tune of Rs 15 lacs for violating norms among the 103 sites inspected by various teams on Saturday. Under this campaign, Environment Minister Gopal Rai, too, conducted a surprise inspection of an under-construction commercial complex near Khyber Pass on Saturday. During this visit, he expressed happiness that all the guidelines issued by the Delhi Government are being followed at most of the construction sites. Environment Minister Gopal Rai appealed to all the construction agencies to undertake construction work following the standards issued by the government, so that the fight against pollution can be carried forward strongly.

Gopal Rai said that an anti-dust campaign is being run by the Delhi Government from 7th October to 29th October 2021. "In this campaign, DPCC teams are visiting different districts and inspecting all construction sites. I had myself went to inspect the work of L&T going on in front of Pragati Maidan earlier. There was a massive violation of the guidelines issued by the Delhi Government there after which strict action has been taken against them by the government," he said.

Notable that during a surprise inspection of the construction site being managed by L&T on Thursday large-scale violations of the guidelines issued by the Delhi government found, thus a fine of Rs. 5 lacs imposed.

The Government has stated that construction and demolition activity in NCT of Delhi be undertaken only after ensuring the Dust Mitigation Measures prescribed as follow:

1. Dust/wind breaking walls of appropriate height around the periphery of the construction site.

2. Installation of Anti-Smog Gun(s) (for >20,000 m2 built up area).

3. Tarpaulin or green net on scaffolding around the area under construction and the building.

4. All vehicles, including carrying construction material and construction debris of any kind, should be cleaned and wheels washed.

5. All vehicles carrying construction material and construction debris should be fully covered and protected

6. All construction debris and construction material of any kind should be stored on the site and not dumped on public roads or pavements.

7. No loose soil or sand or Construction & Demolition Waste or any other construction material that causes dust shall be left uncovered.

8. No grinding and cutting of building materials in open areas. Wet jets should be used in grinding and stone cutting.

9. Unpaved surfaces and areas with loose soil should be adequately sprinkled with water to suppress dust.

10. Roads leading to or at construction sites must be paved and blacktopped i.e. metallic roads (for >20,000 m2 built up area).

11. Construction and demolition waste should be recycled on-site or transported to authorised recycling facility and due record of the same should be maintained.

12. Every worker working on the construction site and involved in loading, unloading and carriage of construction material and construction debris should be provided with an anti-dust mask to prevent inhalation of dust particles.

13. Arrangement should be provided for medical help, investigation and treatment to workers involved in the construction of building and carry of construction material and debris relatable to dust emission.

14. Dust mitigation measures shall be displayed prominently at the construction site for easy public viewing.

Delhi Govt. to provide financial assistance up to ₹50,000 for rooftop RWH Systems

13th September 2021, New Delhi

To promote and encourage the installation of a rooftop rainwater harvesting system, Delhi Government has said to provide financial assistance of up to ₹50,000 and a rebate of 10% on water bills to the people of Delhi. The Kejriwal Government has also relaxed the compliance norms wherein people can get adequacy certificates for installing the RWH system from architects registered with the Council of Architecture instead of the Delhi Jal Board, only the guidelines issued by the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) have to be followed. The Kejriwal Government has also extended the last date for the compulsory implementation of the rooftop Rainwater Harvesting (RWH) system until 31st December 2021.

To increase the groundwater levels and efficiently utilise the rainwater, Delhi government has adopted several measures. The adoption of the Dungarpur model of Rainwater Harvesting (RWH) is one of them. This model is also known as the INLINE Rainwater Harvesting (RWH) system. This model is cost effective and is being implemented in the tribal-dominated Dungarpur district of Rajasthan.

Water Minister and Chairman, Delhi Jal Board, Satyendar Jain said, “This model uses innovative techniques and is centred on routing the rainwater directly to a bore well, instead of a regular rainwater-harvesting pit.”

In this system, the rainwater gets filtered within the pipe, removing any need for an additional filter system and harvesting pit. The INLINE Rainwater Harvesting System comprises a pipe filter installed horizontally in the rainwater pipe. This pipe is then connected to non-functional and defunct bore wells. The filter media of the INLINE Rainwater Harvesting System has a Geotextile membrane as cover, at the mouth of the rainwater pipe. This is followed by wire mesh at the entry point of the different media. This includes coarse sand, gravel/stone aggregate, gravel/stone aggregate. The total length of the filter media is around 90 cm.

The Minister further said, “For the installation of the RWH system, the Kejriwal Government will provide financial assistance to the people of Delhi. We will offer owners who comply with the RWH guidelines financial assistance of 50% of the cost, which is subject to a maximum of ₹50,000 and a rebate of 10% on water bills.”

The financial assistance to be provided by Delhi Government has been stated to be as follows:

1) For plots sized between 100 sq m and 199.99 sq m, financial assistance of 50% of the total cost of the RWH structure or Rs. 10,000 whichever is lesser.

2) For plots sized between 200 sq m and 299.99 sq m, financial assistance of 50% of the total cost of the RWH structure or Rs. 20,000 whichever is lesser.

3) For plots sized between 300 sq m and 399.99 sq m, financial assistance of 50% of the total cost of the RWH structure or Rs. 30,000 whichever is lesser.

4) For plots sized between 400 sq m and 499.99 sq m, financial assistance of 50% of the total cost of the RWH structure or Rs. 40,000 whichever is lesser.

5) For plots sized from 500 sq m and above, financial assistance of 50% of the total cost of the RWH structure or Rs. 50,000 whichever is lesser.

To avail of these benefits, people must have an adequacy certificate for the RWH system.

To implement RWH on the grassroots levels, Delhi Jal Board has made some guidelines. These guidelines mandate owners of existing and new properties measuring 100 square metres and above to install RWH structures. To ensure that this is taken seriously and actively implemented, the government integrated a system of providing financial support and relaxation to the people. The Kejriwal Government has extended the implementation of the RWH provisions up to 31st December 2021.

The Kejriwal government has also relaxed the compliance guidelines. Earlier, the RWH system should be certified only by the Delhi Jal Board. After the relaxations, the installed RWH systems can be certified by an architect registered with the Council of Architecture on the condition that the structure is made as per DJB guidelines. Shri Satyendar Jain said, “People no longer have to come to the Delhi Jal Board’s office to get the certification of their RWH system. They can get it from architects registered with the Council of Architecture. This will save a lot of people’s time and will provide great relief to them.”

To efficiently ensure the implementation of the RWH system, DJB has set up 12 Rain Centres or Jal Shakti Kendras in every district of the Capital. These centres will facilitate the adoption of RWH systems by providing technical assistance to individuals and institutions. The guidelines for installing the RWH system as well as the list of rain centres can be obtained from the official website of the Delhi Jal Board (

Rainwater Harvesting is a simple, economical and eco-friendly technique of preserving every drop of water by guiding the rainwater that falls through small diameter pipes to bore wells, pits and wells. With an ever-growing population, there is an increasing burden on the available water resources. In such a scenario, Rainwater Harvesting needs to be adopted on a wide scale to meet the growing water-related needs of the citizens of Delhi. Some of the benefits of rainwater harvesting are improvement in the quality of groundwater, reduction in soil erosion, minimization of choking of storm water drains, flooding of roads, etc.

Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot lays foundation Stone for first public EV charging plaza at Nehru Place DTC Bus Terminal; inaugurates Public Charging Station

13th September 2021, New Delhi

Transport Minister of Delhi, Kailash Gahlot on Monday laid the foundation stone for setting up the first Public Electric Vehicle Charging Plaza in DTC Nehru Place Bus Terminal and inaugurated a Public EV Charging Station at the site, which will help in giving a push to faster electric vehicle adoption in the National Capital. Convergence Energy Services Limited (CESL) has been allotted 10x9 meter space at Nehru Place Bus terminal as the first site to set up this EV charging plaza. The project will be completed and open to public within a month.

CESL, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), Ministry of Power, in collaboration with the state-run Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) will develop Public EV charging stations and Battery Swapping stations at seven DTC terminals and depots in the Delhi region. Each of the seven locations will have a total of six charging points, three of which will be for two and three-wheelers and three points which can charge 4 wheelers. Once installed, these locations with their real-time status and availability of charging points will also be available on the ONE DELHI App of the Delhi Government.

CESL and DTC signed an agreement in this regard on September 7th, 2021. Through this, Delhi Government is also endeavoring to reduce carbon footprint, enhancing the usage of renewable energy through the integration of solar rooftop and Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS). Under this collaboration, CESL has been mandated to procure, install, operate, and maintain charging units and related infrastructure at the DTC terminals located at Dwarka Sector-8, Dwarka Sector-2 Depot, Mehrauli Terminal, Nehru Place Terminal, Okhla CW-II, Sukhdev Vihar Depot and Kalkaji Depot, within four months. The charges for usage of location shall be paid by CESL to DTC on a monthly basis at the rate of Rs. 1.00 per kWh of energy dispensed. Initially, the contract period is of 10 years.

Speaking at the occasion, Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot said, “We are moving closer to our agenda of developing innovative charging infrastructure and EV ecosystem in the National Capital and we are happy to be collaborating with CESL, who comes with an expertise in EVs and charging infrastructure in the country. Since the launch of the EV policy last year, we’ve had a significant rise in the number of EVs plying on Delhi roads, with more than 17,000 EVs registered. We are also in the process of deliberation on adding 20 more sites of Transport dept. in the next phase of installation apart from the 100 public charging stations which will be installed through the open tender. This will significantly ease the transition towards e-mobility for public transport and subsequently for the residents of Delhi.”

Talking about this partnership, Mahua Acharya, MD & CEO, CESL said that this will become a channel to build a robust charging infrastructure and propel mass adoption of electric vehicles in Delhi and NCR. She said, “CESL is aiming to complete this project by the end of December 2021 to accelerate the state government’s plan for expansion of the charging infrastructure in Delhi. We are thankful to Delhi Transport Corporation for giving us the opportunity to collaborate with them. We believe that this will mark the beginning of a stronger association not only for fulling the mandate under the EV policy but also for a larger sustainability campaign. We are confident that this will propel an ecosystem for EVs and push widespread adoption with the objective of clean transformation.”

Kejriwal calls Delhi's Neighbouring States to adopt Bio-decomposer

13th September 2021, New Delhi

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday informed that the Delhi Government’s bio-decomposer has turned out to be a smashing success in curbing stubble burning. The CM said that the bio-decomposer is highly effective in decomposing stubble; farmers are very happy, neighbouring states should also implement it. Delhi Government sprayed the bio-decomposer for free on farmlands to prevent stubble burning and the CM has urged the centre to mandate it for other states as well. He said that there is no point blaming and penalising farmers when the state governments have done nothing to curb stubble burning. The CM said that the Delhi Government got the solution audited by WAPCOS, an agency of the Centre and the audit has proved that bio-decomposer is a very effective solution. WAPCOS reports say that 90 per cent farmers stated that stubble decomposes in 15-20 days after spraying of bio-decomposer; fields are now ploughed once or twice instead of 6-7 times; the amount of organic carbon increased by 42 per cent; nitrogen in the soil increased by 24 per cent; bacteria content 7 times, the sprouting of wheat increased by 17-20 per cent and the yields increased by 8 per cent.

Thanking 2 crore people of Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, air pollution levels in the capital city have come down significantly. He also cautioned, from 10th October onwards the air pollution levels could rise till the end of November, and a major reason behind this is stubble burning in Delhi’s neighbouring states.

Talking about the findings of the WAPCOS audit, the CM said, “90 per cent farmers said that the stubble decomposed within 15-20 days whereas it would take 40-50 days earlier. The soil needed to be ploughed 6-7 times earlier, after using the spray the soil needs to be ploughed only once or twice. The organic carbon content in the soil increased by upto 40% after using the bio-decomposer. The stubble essentially ended up becoming a manure for the soil. The Nitrogen levels increased by 24% in the soil. Bacteria content increased 7 times whereas the Fungal content increased 3 times in the soil. The soil quality enhanced so much that wheat sprouting levels increased by 17-20%. Almost half the farmers said that the amount of DAP fertilizer they had to use decreased from 46kg/acre to 36-40kg/acre. The production of the next wheat crop increased by upto 8% after using the bio-decomposer.”

Manesar Police Line Complex Building to install 305 KW Grid Connected Rooftop Solar Power Plant under RESCO mode

10th September 2021, Gurugram

Solar energy has started playing an increasingly important role for augmentation of grid power, providing energy access, reducing consumption of fossil fuels and helping India pursue its low carbon development path. India has pledged that by 2030, 40% of total installed power generation capacity will be from renewables. Solar energy is one of the most abundant energy sources in the Indian subcontinent and is the most abundant renewable energy source for Haryana State. Solar energy projects can be installed either through capital expenditure (CAPEX) or through Renewable Energy Service Company (RESCO) route. In CAPEX mode, the user Department has to make huge capital expenditure for installation of the solar power plants and also has to look after the plant throughout its life which is a challenging task for non-engineering departments due to non-availability of trained manpower. On the other hand, in RESCO route, the solar plant is installed by a RESCO, which provides electricity to the consumer from Solar Power plant. There is no investment by the Government office for installation of the solar power plant under this arrangement and all the investment related to installation, repair and maintenance etc. is borne by the RESCO. The Government department has to provide rooftop space only. The user department has to pay monthly bills to that RESCO on the basis of solar units supplied at a pre-determined tariff for 25 years with a net metering facility.

Haryana Government has made the installation of Solar Power Plant mandatory on all Government Buildings having sanctioned load above 30 KW. The Government has decided to install the Solar Power Plant under RESCO mode. Giving this information, Dr.Hanif Qureshi, Director General, HAREDA said that to facilitate government departments/organizations, HAREDA has arranged a rate contract for 3 MW Rooftop Solar Power Plant through RESCO mode for purchase of solar power @ Rs. 4.00 per unit for 50KW-100 KW and @ Rs. 3.60 per unit for 101 KW-500 KW for 25 years by installing said respective capacity roof top SPV power plant. The Department is assessing the capacity of solar power plants to be installed on Govt. buildings and bringing the Govt. departments/agencies on a platform to sign long term power purchase agreements with RESCO companies.

He further informed that the Department has allotted RESCO projects of 3 MW in 18 Government Buildings for which the process of signing power purchase agreements has been initiated. The second Power Purchase Agreement has been signed on 09.09.2021 by Varun Singla, IPS. Deputy Commissioner of Police, Manesar and.Narender Singh, Director, Ultimate Sun Systems Pvt. Ltd. for purchase of solar power @ Rs. 3.60 per unit by installing 305 KW capacity roof top SPV power plant on Manesar Police Line Complex Building.

The RESCO projects provide a good opportunity to meet the electric energy requirement at about half the cost of the grid power. Under NDS tariff category, the slab rate of electricity consumption is Rs. 6.60/- per unit and some other charge also applicable on it which varies with unit consumption apart from fixed charges. So, by installing these projects there will be a savings of approx. 50% in electricity bill.

State-of-the-art 100 kWp Micro-Grid Solar Power Station and 460 kWh Charging Station inaugurated at Malviya Nagar, Delhi

10th September 2021, New Delhi

Delhi Government Power Minister Satyendar Jain inaugurated a state-of-the-art 100 kWp micro-grid solar power station and 460 kWh charging station in the presence of the Justice Shabihul Hasnain, Chairperson of Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC), and officials of the Government of Germany, Government of India, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). This smart power grid system has been made as a pilot project and is installed at Shivalik Grid in Malviya Nagar, Delhi. This state-of-the-art power grid will decongest the power lines, efficiently manage load during the time of high demand for electricity and ensure uninterrupted power supply to the people of Delhi.

Satyendar Jain said, "We will endeavour to scale this up to hundreds of megawatt. If we install such grids in the capacity of 10 Megawatts or 20 Megawatts at different places and make it reach up to 600 or 800 Megawatts, then our energy fluctuation will be very minimal. This will make our grid system more robust. Delhi Government will definitely take measures to make this happen."

This smart micro-power grid is expected to decongest the power network and uninterrupted power supply to the people of Delhi. This state-of-the-art intervention of the Delhi Government will help in stabilising the power grid at the time of higher electricity demand by efficiently distributing the load.

The power grid uses solar panels to generate electricity and has high capacity energy storage batteries of 460 Kilowatt-hour (Kwh). This system consists of solar panels of 100 kilowatts peak (kWp), which is the rate at which these solar panels can generate energy at peak performance.

Earlier, a smart grid system was installed by Tata Power. Delhi Government is working hard towards enhancing Delhi's power sector with modern technologies. This intervention by Delhi Government will not only reduce the cost of electricity production but also serve as an eco-friendly and sustainable model in the power sector.

Kejriwal Govt putting up 7 energy efficient and environment friendly hospitals

1st September 2021, New Delhi

Delhi Government PWD Minister Satyendar Jain on Wednesday convened a meeting with the Public Works Department (PWD) and Senior Officials of Departments concerned to take some key decisions on 7 new hospitals that the Kejriwal Government is constructing. These hospitals are being constructed at Sarita Vihar, Shalimar Bagh, Sultanpuri, Kirari, Raghubir Nagar, GTB Hospital Campus and Chacha Nehru Bal Chikitsalaya.

Satyendar Jain standardised the procedure for the construction of the new hospitals, which will follow the precast building material technique along with an energy-efficient and environment-friendly approach. He further said that all 7 hospitals will be built with precast building materials and will be completely modular. Satyendar Jain also said that all steel & concrete material structures will be manufactured in factories and will only have to assemble them on the construction site, which will boost the construction speed. Satyendar Jain further added that in-house Green Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) will be made in the hospitals with Zero Liquid Discharge.

Mr. Jain added that all 7 new hospitals will have in-house STPs with Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD). The STPs will be devoid of any foul odour and must be energy efficient in operation. He also informed that all the hospitals will use 5-star rated electric appliances that will be energy efficient.

Sewage Treatment indispensable for Yamuna River Rejuvenation

31st August 2021, New Delhi

As Haryana Government acted upon illegal industries releasing polluted water into the River Yamuna, Delhi Government has also reviewed the Yamuna River pollution matter seriously. Minister for Water Resoucres, Satyendar Jain chaired an important review meeting with Delhi Jal Board and Irrigation and Flood Control Board officials regarding ongoing projects. The Minister emphasized heavily upon Yamuna Cleaning Projects. He asked the officials for fast tracking and completing all existing projects being pursued in this direction from upgradation of STPs to drain management at the earliest. The Water Minister also asked for installation of Biological Odor Control Systems and floating aerators in STPs and drains respectively, for preventing the emanating disease causing bad odour and air pollution due to STPs and drains.

The Minister said that "Today technology has made everything possible and the Kejriwal Government is tapping latest technology for finding economical and efficient solutions in public interest".

Irrigation and Flood Control Board officials were also given important instructions by the Water Minister. "All in-situ management work of drains is the prime responsibility of I & FC, all drains in the capital will be revamped under the Drainage Master Plan for making City's drainage system more efficacious".

He further stated, "In the first phase floating aerators should be installed in drains which will not only help in-situ water treatment but will also eliminate the emanating pungent smell from the drains".

Mr. Jain gave special attention to projects related to 24x7 water supply and Yamuna cleaning and directed both the departments to expedite their designated work. These two projects are vital for the overall betterment of the national capital, thus the Water Minister has been meeting the concerned departments regularly for fast tracking all the constituting projects of these two broad projects.

10MW Battery Energy Storage System at Rohini

29th August 2021, New Delhi

Delhi Government Power Minister Satyendar Jain inaugurated a 10 MW 'Battery Energy Storage System' at the Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (TPDDL) plant, Rohini on Sunday. The Energy Storage System of 10 MW, cost of which is about Rs. 55 Crore has been designed by Tata Power System, and is the biggest and first of its kind not only in India but in whole of South Asia. The Kejriwal government's Power Department has been successful in making subsidies fiscally prudent and greatly reducing power cuts.

"The new system of energy storage is designed in a way that it can be charged during off-peak power demand hours and the stored energy can be utilised during the peak demand hours, thereby stabilising the whole grid against fluctuations," stated the Power Minister Satyendar Jain. He also stated that the system could be charged with solar and other renewable sources of energy.

Mr. Jain also informed that Delhi Government is planning to create a 600 MW network of such power banks around the capital, creating a power reserve that shall benefit the consumers in case of grid instability or a shutdown.

What public will say on Gurugram WTE Plant Expansion?

27th August 2021, New Delhi by

Municipal Corporation, Gurugram has proposed to setup Integrated Municipal Solid Waste Processing Facility (IMSWM) with a proposed expansion of Waste to Energy (WTE) plant from 15 MW to 25 MW capacity at Village Bandhwari Tehsil & District, Gurugram. As a part of procedure for seeking the Environmental Clearance (EC), under the provisions of EIA Notification 2006, a Public Hearing is required to be conducted so as to obtain views, suggestions and objection, if any, of the nearby Public on the proposed project. According to Appendix 4 of the EIA Notification 2006, copy of the EIA report needs to be made available to the public 30 days prior to the date of the Public Hearing so that sufficient time is given to citizens to study the document and give their views.

A notice was issued by the Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB), Panchkula regarding the Public Hearing scheduled on 31st August 2021 at 11 AM at the project site. The HSPCB Notice clearly states that the Executive Summary of the project and the EIA study will be available on the HSPCB website ( and the offices of the Deputy Commissioner of Gurugram, Municipal Corporation Gurugram, Zila Parishad Gurugram and Regional office of the Haryana State Pollution Control Board in Vikash Sadan, Gurugram. However, it was not available till 26th August 2021 on the HSPCB website. EA also raised this matter through Twitter on 24th August 2021.

Aravalli Bachao Group, a very strongly active with the aim to protect Aravallis, especially in the National Capital Region has stated that when its team members approached, none of authorities concerned as per per Public Notice, could provide a copy of the Executive Summary of EIA.

"After our team’s visit to the Regional office of HSPCB at Vikash Sadan in Gurugram on 26 August 2021 and after submitting our letter demanding cancellation of the Public Hearing, today morning i.e 27 August 2021 (4 days prior to the date of the Public Hearing on 31 August 2021), the required documents have been uploaded on the HSPCB website. So, instead of the mandatory 30 days period required by law, the government authorities in Haryana are only giving the public 4 days to go through the required documents. How are citizens expected to go through the EIA report in just 4 days, analyse its implications and give suggestions / objections on the Public Hearing scheduled on 31st of August 2021? Aravalli Bachao Citizens Group demands cancellation of this Public Hearing which is in violation of the EIA Notification 2006 and demands that this be held after a month’s time which will give citizens the required time under law to study the documents. Also, all the offices mentioned in the Public Notice should keep copies in English and Hindi of the Executive Summary of the project and the EIA report for the public to go through, “ said Jyoti Raghavan, Aravalli Bachao Team Member.

The enclosed EIA report deliberates on Leachate treatment, which is a pressing problem since long.

The Executive Summary states that the observed concentrations were compared with CPCB standards (National Ambient Air Quality Standards, 2009) It is observed that the monitored parameters are within the permissible limits as per NAAQS, 2009 during the study period except PM10 & PM2.5, which were very high due to the continuous practice of stubbles burning in nearby villages in Haryana as well as Delhi. This raises a question, whether the monitoring was carried out only during stubble burning season? It has remained silent on NOx concentrations which it reports to be in the range of 27.29-74.09 µg/m3.

The report also fails to address the July 2021 fire hazard. It has scripted a generic write-up under disaster management. July 2021 fire accident was horrific and needs a special consideration, as the generic structure didn't work. On the light of fire hazard, the data on Hydrogen Sulphide, Benzene and Benzo (a) Pyrene also needs an appropriate analysis from an environmental laboratory of high standard like Shriram Institute for Industrial Research.

Kejriwal inaugurates 24m high Smog Tower in Delhi's Connaught Place

23rd August 2021, New Delhi

As a move to curb air pollution, a massive Smog Tower was inaugurated in the central part of Delhi on Monday by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. The tower has been established at Baba Kharak Singh Marg near Connaught Place and is estimated to clean 1000 cubic metres of air per second. The Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal informed that the tower has been built with American Technology and experts will closely study the performance of the tower so that similar towers can be built in Delhi. He stressed upon the fact that Delhi Government’s efforts have made PM 2.5 and PM 10 levels have consistently go down in Delhi.

According to a Delhi Government Press Release, the main features of the outdoor air cleaning system, referred as Smog Tower, are that it is based on downdraft air flow model in which 40 huge fans shall induct air from the top of a special type of canopy structure at the height of about 24 meters and release clean air of the tune of 1000 metre cube per second filtered through novel geometry filters of 2 layers. The area of influence is expected to be about 1 km radius around the tower. The 24 metre high tower is powered by 40 fans and 5000 filters. However, it does not specify any details of electric consumption or maintenance of filters.

“This tower has been established as a pilot project and detailed studies will be conducted on its performance. IIT Delhi and IIT Bombay will analyse all the data and submit a report on the effectiveness of the Smog Tower. Once satisfactory results are received about the tower’s effectiveness, then the model will be replicated and smog towers will be established all over Delhi. Tata Projects executed the Smog Tower’s establishment while NBCC provided project consultancy and IIT Delhi and IIT Bombay supervised its technicalities. The Delhi Government got this Smog Tower made for the people of Delhi and I want to congratulate them on the progress we all have made in the fight against pollution,” said Delhi Chief Minister.

Environment Minister of Delhi Government, Gopal Rai said, “Once the monsoon season is over the tower will function on full capacity and then IIT Delhi and IIT Bombay’s experts will start their research on its performance. The Delhi Government is committed in its fight against pollution and this tower will deeply aid this fight and act as a technological foundation for our future projects.”

Delhi PWD Minister reviews water logging issues in City

5th August 2021, New Delhi

Delhi PWD Minister Satyendar Jain on Thursday chaired a meeting with the PWD and Irrigation & Flood Control Board officials regarding the issue of water logging in the capital amid the ongoing rainy season.

The meeting also discussed the problem of water logging in Narela Industrial Estate because of the low capacity of the existing drain in the area.

While addressing the issue Mr. Jain said "Be it maintenance, cleanliness, desilting or even building new drains if required, it should be done as soon as possible, not only just in Narela, but anywhere in the city so that the people of Delhi don’t face any problems due to water logging".

The Minister further asked the officials to stay alert and active in responding to any complaints of water logging coming from any part of Delhi, which is the foremost responsibility of a responsible Government.

In a meeting held last month, the minister had directed officials to use pumps and refurbish roads quickly wherever water logging is there and has caused damage.

Manish Sisodia highlighted on crucial steps taken in last 6 years to reduce pollution in Delhi

30th July 2021, New Delhi

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia during the last day of the monsoon session of the Delhi Legislative Assembly on Friday discussed the important steps taken by the Delhi Government to tackle the problem of pollution in Delhi.

Dy. CM Manish Sisodia informed that to deal with pollution, the Delhi Government has installed anti-smog guns at 56 sites that are under construction, with a build-up area of more than 20 thousand square meters. Simultaneously, the process of setting up smog towers at Anand Vihar and Connaught Place is underway. Delhi Government has also launched the Green Delhi App and Green War Room. In the Green War Room, 70 Green Marshals deal with complaints related to pollution 24x7.

The Dy CM ifnromed the House that Delhi Government has also begun the Switch Delhi campaign, under which the Government subsidizes the purchase of electric vehicles, making it mandatory to adopt electric vehicles in all institutions funded by the Delhi Government and under the Delhi Government. Additionally, 85 Electric Vehicle Centers have been set up in Delhi as per 31st April 2021. The Delhi Government has further improved the public transport facility, because of which the fleet of DTC currently includes 6750 buses. 1300 new buses are soon to be included in the DTC.

Mr. Sisodia apprised the House that to tackle the problem of dust, 60 mechanical road sweepers are being used for cleaning the roads in Delhi. Along with this, the work of cleaning 1612 km of roads and sprinkling water on 1302 km of roads is done every day.

Delhi Assembly was also informed that to increase the green cover in Delhi, Delhi Government has planted 27 lakh saplings in 2020-21 under its 20-point program. In the last 5 years, Delhi Government has planted 1.31 crore saplings in Delhi, due to which the green area of Delhi has increased to 21.88% as per the report of the Forest Survey of India for the year 2019, as compared to 10.18% in 2001.

Mr. Sisodia stated that the Green Budget was passed by the Delhi Government in 2018, in which it was decided to convert industries into PNG-operated industries. So far, 1635 out of 1636 industrial units have been converted into PNG units. Along with this, to deal with the problem of stubble, free spraying of bio-decomposer was done on the agricultural land of Delhi. 169 teams have also been deployed for pollution prevention. Finally, Delhi Government has also taken key steps to reduce pollution by removing debris and garbage from open roads, repairing roads, and identifying traffic jam spots and decongesting them. Measures like deployment of night patrol teams have further been taken to prevent burning of organic waste.

NGT directs Haryana Govt. to report on factual status of illegal sewer and solid waste disposal

29th july 2021, New Delhi

Another grievance against failure of the statutory authorities from stopping discharge of untreated sewage and dumping of unsegregated in Gurugram was taken up by the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

Himanshu Juneja, the applicant has moved to the Principal Bench of NGT with a complaint that untreated sewage and waste are being disposed of in the open in the complex of Diplomatic Greens, Sector-111, Gurugram, Haryana by the residents of unauthorized colony Chandan Vihar, in Chauma Village of Gurugram. The complainant states that such unscientific disposal is adversely affecting the environment and public health in the area. This has led to unsanitary conditions inside the complex where more than 350 families are residing.

It is also deliberated that there is imminent danger of air and water borne diseases and also danger of ground water contamination due to leachate. Further, the said area has become a breeding ground for mosquitoes and also gives extremely foul smell from rotting of organic waste and also breaking up of pollutants due to fermentation and oxidation and the release of the same into the surrounding air and water. The Master Plans of Gurugram also do not show the areas where waste is dumped and discharged to be earmarked for such waste disposal. Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 prescribe duties of the various governmental stakeholders with regard to the disposal of wastes/garbage with strict timelines. Condonation by the statutory authorities of such discharge of untreated sewage and dumping of unsegregated wastes by locals in open areas is against Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016, under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.

While hearing the application on 26th July 2021, the Principal Bench of NGT chaired by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, Chairperson observed that there is a necessity to ascertain the factual position from the concerned authorities with reference to compliance of the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 and also compliance of directions of the Supreme Court on the subject of sewage management in Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti & Anr. v. Union of India & Ors., and also the directions dated 22nd February 2021 issued by the Green Tribunal in OA 593/2017, Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti & Anr. v. Union of India & Ors.

The NGT directed for the constitution of Joint Committee comprising Secretary, Urban Development/ Local Bodies, Haryana, Municipal Corporation, Gurgaon and Haryana State Pollution Control Board to ascertain the factual position and furnish its report to the Tribunal within two months. The direction states that HSPCB will be nodal agency for coordination and compliance. The first meeting of the Joint Committee may be held within two weeks from the date of Order. The Committee may further visit the site and interact with the stakeholders. The Tribunal has given liberty to the Committee to take assistance from any other expert or institution. Based on the facts found, the statutory regulators may take remedial measures, following due process of law.

NGT has also emphasized on the status of sewerage management system as well as status of day to day collection of solid waste from Chandan Vihar and other similar ‘unauthorized’ colonies; remedial measures including channeling of sewage with conveyance system, if any; solid waste collection and transportation to waste processing site. Considering onset of monsoon, to prevent vector borne diseases, like Dengue, the NGT has directed to ensure that the sewage water and solid waste is not flooded on roads and littered around. There is also need to ensure an effective public redressal mechanism.

Faridabad Administration to demolish all illegal structures on land under PLPA Notification

29th July 2021, New Delhi

The Faridabad District Administration on Wednesday said all illegal structures, including farmhouses and educational institutes, on the land notified under the Punjab Land Preservation Act, 1900, would be demolished to clear the encroachment on the forest land. It is reported that around 130 illegal structures spread across 500 acre PLPA notified land.

In a joint press conference with the Municipal Corporation of Faridabad and the District Forest Department, Deputy Commissioner Yashpal Yadav said that notices would be served to the owners of the illegal structures to remove the encroachment and the demolition would be carried out in case they don’t adhere to the directions within four days. Mr. Yadav added that forest department was the nodal office in this matter since the land was notified by it.

The announcement came in the wake of the Supreme Court observation on 23rd July 2021 in a matter pertaining to Municipal Corporation of Faridabad versus Khori Gaon Residents Welfare Association that states, “Needless to observe that the direction to remove all unauthorized structures standing on the forest land applies to “all” unauthorized structures without any exception, including the structures referred to in paragraph 10 of the application after due verification of the fact whether it is unauthorized and is constructed on the forest land as such. That verification shall be done within the extended time specified above and if the structure is covered in the category of unauthorized structure on the forest land, the same shall be removed within the same time.”

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) too had issued an order in August 2020 directing the Haryana government to demolish all illegally built farmhouses, ashrams, gaushalas, temples and other constructions on forest land in the Aravalli hills by 31st January 2021.

The Aravalli Bachao Group has been actively working towards conservation of Aravalli and had been pursuing the matter at various levels of Haryana government. The Group has been insisting that the forest department must increase the number of forest check posts and guards patrolling the Aravalli forests and use the drones that they have bought for surveillance to check illegal cutting of trees in the Aravallis and encroachments and mining.

“The administration in all the Aravalli districts must set up a help line number in each district in South Haryana on which citizens can call and report illegal encroachments and mining activities in the Aravalli forests,” said Neelam Ahluwalia from the Aravalli Bachao Citizens Movement.

“Aravallis are the oldest mountain range in India running across 4 states - Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan and Gujarat. This range plays a critical role in influencing the climate of North India and serves as the green lungs, shield against desertification and water recharge zone for the millions of people living in Gurugram, Faridabad and the National Capital Region, which are one of the most polluted and water stressed areas in India. NCR’s air pollution will become worse if the Aravallis are destroyed as these are the only natural barriers protecting us from the sand storms coming from the Thar Desert. We hope that the Haryana government will do its duty to protect the Aravallis,” said Jyoti Raghawan, another member of the Aravalli Bachao citizens group.

Water crisis in Delhi ends, Haryana claims there was no cut in water quota

13th July 2021, New Delhi

As rain hit many parts of Delhi, and adjoining area, the water problem in Delhi comes to an end. Vice Chairman of the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) Raghav Chadha on Tuesday said that Haryana Government released 16,000 cusecs of water soon after the Kejriwal Government filed a petition in the Supreme Court. Chadha mentioned that Delhi’s legitimate water share has been released by the Haryana government at Hathni Kund and 16,000 cusecs of water will reach Delhi’s Water Treatment Plants in the next 3 days. He further congratulated the people of Delhi on their victory and said that their struggle has paid off compelling the Haryana Government to release Delhi’s legitimate water share.

In another event, responding to a question about the ongoing water dispute between Delhi and Haryana, Chief Minister of Haryana son Tuesday aid that Haryana is giving the same amount of water to Delhi as has been prescribed in the Supreme Court. He further emphasized that Haryana's water requirement is no less than Delhi. Comparing the 2 crore 90 lakhs population of Haryana with Delhi's population of 2 crores, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said "On the basis of population, we need one and a half times more water than them. We get 2000 cusecs of water from Yamuna, out of which we are giving 1050 cusecs of water to Delhi."

Terming Delhi Government's claim as false and politically motiated, Haryana Chief Minister further said that due to the poor water management system in Delhi, the people of Delhi are facing water crisis. Whatsoever the case may be, people of Delhi must be feeling relieved from this news.

Raghav Chadha appeals to Haryana Government not to hinder Delhi water supply

12th July 2021, New Delhi

The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) Vice Chairman, Raghav Chadha, on Monday visited the Wazirabad Pond to inspect the water level situation as Delhi faces a water level crisis. The water treatment plants of Delhi at present are running on reduced capacity because of less discharge of raw water from Haryana. DJB Vice Chairman said that Haryana has withheld Delhi’s share of water in such a manner that water levels at Wazirabad Barrage had not been so low since 1965.

While inspecting the Wazirabad Pond, Raghav Chadha said, “at the Wazirabad Water Treatment Plant, the intake of water is managed by taking water directly from the Yamuna, this water is released by Haryana towards the Wazirabad barrage. The water is then treated and supplied to the homes of the people of Delhi. Normally, this river is completely filled. Today we can see the river has dried up, it looks like a field, this riverbed is entirely filled with water but today, because Haryana has withheld Delhi’s share of water, the river has dried up and drained this riverbed”.

Raghav Chadha explained that Delhi being a landlocked city, relies neighbouring states for water supply. Uttar Pradesh supplies a share of Ganga water, Haryana that of Yamuna water, and some water is received from Punjab through Bhakra Nangal. The biggest share out of this is supposed to be supplied by Haryana. He alleged that Haryana government has impeded the rights of the people of Delhi as it has hindered the rightful water supply of the citizens of Delhi.

He further stated that “Even if the water level in the Yamuna goes down by 1 feet, it causes havoc in Delhi. Today, the water levels of Yamuna have gone down by 7.5 feet because Haryana has withheld Delhi’s share of water. Haryana’s Khattar Government must return Delhi its rightful share of 120 MGD water.”

The present arrangement of water sharing was ordered by the Supreme Court and as per DJB Vice Chairman, all governments till now were abiding by it but now the Haryana government has withheld at least 120 MGD of water that is supposed to be supplied to Delhi.

Chadha appealed to the Haryana Government not to hinder the water supply of Delhi for political reasons.

Waste Landfill Site in Gurugram catches fire, Citizens raise voice to protect Aravalli

12th July 2021, New Delhi

Dense smoke coming out of the solid waste landfil site in Bandhwari village, on the road connecting Faridabad and Gurugram, two major industrial cities of Haryana. Though the reason of fire is not declared categorically, experts view it as a result of methane build-up. The unesgregated wastes also contain polyethylene and many such materials to fuel the fire.

People have been companining that thousands of tons of unsegregated waste, including huge quantity of plastics and even e-wastes enter into the landfill site situated at about 20km distance from the city. Landfill fire with noxious smoke poisoning the region is not new to people of Bandhwari .

Fire Tenders are deputed on site to control the fire. Dr. Sarika Verma, an ENT Surgeon and Allergy Specialist has said that people living 8-9 km away smelt burning plastic.

Members of the Aravalli Bachao citizens' movement along with Citizens for Clean Air visited the landfill site on 12 July evening to protest the mismanagement of Gurgaon and Faridabad cities' waste that led to this inferno. Citizens are extremely concerned at the massive impact on all life in this region that this toxic landfill is impacting. Village residents nearby from Bandhwari have already been reporting multiple cases of dangerous life threatening diseases like cancer and deaths over the last few years. Now toxic smoke blowing in their direction is posing an extremely elevated threat to their health.

"The Aravalli forest where this landfill is located is an extremely critical water recharge zone, green lungs and wildlife habitat in India's National Capital Region. These are the only bits of forest in the Haryana Aravallis that have retained their unspoilt nature as against the rest of the Aravallis which are severely degraded," stated Anu PD from the Aravalli Bachao citizens group. These forests face danger from the fire and the smoke and there is bound to be a heavy impact on the wildlife in this stretch as well.

"We can still see the fire in the landfill at 6:00 pm, 30 hours after the landfill caught fire on Sunday 11 July. There needs to be an enquiry as to how this fire started. A fire department probe could reveal if this fire has been set deliberately. Often these fires are caused by trapped methane which is generated when food waste is dumped. If decentralised composting and biogas is strictly implemented for 60 percent of the wet waste and dry waste recovery centres are set up in Gurgaon and Faridabad, the total volume of waste would come down by almost 80 percent eliminating the need for such a landfill. Also there would be no methane emissions from the landfill which is a strong green house contributor, 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide", stated Chandra Mouli Basu, a film maker and Aravalli Bachao campaigner.

In a Press Release Aravalli Bachao Group has mentioned that the authorities have been asked to clear a 10 acre patch within the landfill site to set up a waste to energy (WTE) plant. This, even as it is well known that WTE plants have generally not worked to achieve the purpose for which they have been designed in many places worldwide and in India. To start with, properly segregated waste that is dry is required in large volumes to keep a WTE plant functional. Some countries have had to actually import such waste to keep these plants running.

"Trying to burn mixed waste that is mostly comprises of wet food waste, like the waste at the Bandhwari landfill will result in a huge deal of toxic emissions of furans, dioxins etc which are lethal for human health. Further, the smoke that these plants emit is highly toxic and the pollution from the proposed WTE plant will continue to pollute the air on a regular basis. The ash that is produced by these plants is also extremely toxic that will pollute our air, water bodies and ground water further. In simple terms, a WTE plant will make things worse, not better, " said Jyoti Raghavan from the Aravalli Bachao citizens group.

Another point is whether the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) study for the landfill site addresses such issues? Whether Environment Management Plans are being followed with right spirit and compliance is verfied? The authorities need to respond on this. #EIA

Delhi to knock Supreme Court against Haryana stalling its rightful portion of water: Raghav Chadha

11th July 2021, New Delhi

Delhi Jal Board (DJB) Vice-Chairman Raghav Chadha said on Sunday that the Delhi government will approach the Supreme Court if the Haryana government stops water supply to Delhi. The Delhi government has urged the Supreme Court to hear the matter at the earliest. Chadha said Delhi is witnessing all-time low water levels in Yamuna river as Delhi's water share withheld by Haryana. DJB has decided to move the Supreme Court against Haryana Govt seeking due supply of Delhi's legitimate share as already determined by the SC in 1995. The level of the Yamuna river at Wazirabad Pond in Delhi should be 674.5 feet. Whereas now the water level of Yamuna has come down to 667 feet, that is, the entire river has dried up. Despite the orders of the Supreme Court, Haryana has stopped the water of Delhi, while the treaty on water has been signed several decades ago. He said that the water level in Yamuna river is considerably low as Haryana has withheld a major part of the water that Delhi gets. He reiterated that due to shortage of water, the capacity of Chandrawal Treatment Water Plant has come down from 90 MGD to 55 MGD, at Wazirabad Plant from 135 MGD to 80 MGD and at Okhla Plant from 20 MGD to 12 MGD.

DJB alleges Haryana government to have withheld the rightful portion of water of Delhi. Because of this, the level of water that comes through Yamuna river in Delhi has dropped. The level of the Yamuna river at Wazirabad Pond in Delhi should be 674.5 feet. If there is a decrease of even one foot in it, then there is a state-wide panic in the whole of Delhi.

On Saturday, Raghav Chaddha addressed a Press Conference in this regard and categorically said that Haryana's Manohar Lal Khattar Government is solely responsible for the water (read more).

Paani Panchayat in Panipat

11th July 2021, New Delhi

A 'Jal Panchayat' aiming at increasing community participation for groundwater management, was organised at Beholi village in Panipat district of Haryana, according to PTI sources.

The 'Jal Panchayat' was organised under the Atal Bhujal Yojana, under which water security plans are made for villages.

According to a Government statement, during its research, the team examined the groundwater condition of the village as well as conducted water quality testing. The survey findings were shared with the villagers and suggestions sought by the government to resolve water-related problems.

On organizing 'Jal Panchayats' across the state, Additional Chief Secretary, Irrigation and Water Resources Department Devender Singh said 14 districts will be covered under the Atal Bhujal Yojana in Haryana, which includes 1,669 gram panchayats of 36 blocks.

He said that the Yojana aims to improve groundwater management in priority areas through community participation and Haryana has a target to reduce groundwater depletion by a minimum of 50 per cent.

Deputy Commissioner, Panipat, Sushil Sarwan also attended the 'Jal Panchayat' and requested the villagers to conserve the water resources.

He also assured support from the district administration in ensuring the successful implementation of Atal Bhujal Yojana.

Project Director, Irrigation Department, Satbir Singh Kadian said that under the yojana in Haryana the first 'Jal Panchayat' has been organized at Beholi village.

During the panchayat villagers in consultation with the expert team of hydrologists also prepared an action plan for groundwater management, said Kadian.

The objective of this scheme is to create a hydrogeological data network of groundwater resources in Haryana.

As a part of the programme, awareness activities, as well as capacity building of stakeholders would be organized and then a 'water security plan' of each village will be prepared and then implemented over the next four years, the statement said.

Atal Bhujal Yojana also termed as Atal Jal is a groundwater management scheme launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the 95th birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, on 25 December 2019. The purpose of the scheme is to improve groundwater management in seven states of India, which includes Haryana.

Haryana blameworthy for Delhi water woe: DJB Vice Chair

11th July 2021, New Delhi

Addressing a Press Conference on Saturday, Vice Chairman, Delhi Jal Board, Raghav Chadha said that Haryana's Manohar Lal Khattar Government is solely responsible for the water crisis hovering over Delhi's head. Chadha alleged that Haryana’s careless & apathetic behavior may lead to water scarcity in the NDMC and the VIP areas including the PM's residence, the Supreme Court, Delhi High Court, the secretariat, and major ministries. He also informed that the water supply in parts of Central, West, and South Delhi is going to be affected.

The young and virant DJB Vice Chairman said that it is the legal responsibility of the Haryana Government to provide water to Delhi as per the Supreme Court orders and several other legal responsibilities including Memorandums of Understanding.

He mentioned that water production at Chandrawal Water Treatment Plant (WTP) has come down from 90 MGD to 55, at Wazirabad WTP from 135 to 80 MGD, and at Okhla WTP from 20 to 15 MGD. Since Haryana has deprived Delhiites of their rights, the daily water production in Delhi has come down from 245 MGD to 150 -145 MGD. He further informed that the Upper Yamuna River Board has directed Haryana to provide an additional 150 cusecs of water besides providing the legally prescribed amount of water to Delhiites.

Delhi Cabinet approves Real-time Sources Apportionment Study

10th July 2021, New Delhi

The exact the data and diagnosis, the better comes out the results. With this perception, Delhi Government has been trying to ascertain the sources of air pollution in Delhi on a real-time basis to initiate mitigation measures.

Delhi Government's Environment Minister Gopal Rai said that Delhi Government would be the first to commission a study to find out and monitor the sources of air pollution on a real-time basis. He said that this would go a long way in identifying the various factors contributing to Delhi pollution and mitigating them.

The “Real-time Source apportionment” project will help identify the factors responsible for the spike in air pollution at any particular spot in Delhi. It will help understand the real-time impact of various pollution sources like vehicles, dust, biomass burning, stubble burning, and emissions from industries. Based on the results obtained, the Delhi government will be able to take the necessary actions to curb the sources of pollution.

A team of IIT-Kanpur, IIT-Delhi, The Energy & Resources Institute (TERI) and IISER Mohali will execute the study in the national capital.

Gopal Rai also informed that with this approval, the scientists will start working on this innovative project.

Dr Mukesh Sharma, the scientist at IIT Kanpur leading the study said – “The team from IIT Kanpur, IIT Delhi, TERI Delhi, and IISER Mohali is excited to partner with the Government of Delhi on this unique project which will provide daily and weekly forecasting of air quality, real-time diurnal source apportionment and suggest short-term daily and weekly actions to systematically assess, reduce and prevent air quality deterioration In Delhi for many years to come. The developed mobile laboratory will provide apportionment of the sources at multiple locations and this laboratory will be perhaps the first of its kind in the world.”

Clinker handling affects Bharatpur Air Quality

10th July 2021, New Delhi

District Collector Bharatpur submitted a report on air pollution to the Bhopal Zonal branch of National Green Tribunal (NGT) on 6th July 2021. The report was submitted as a compliance to the 25th May 2021 NGT Order. The matter relates to degrading air quality in Bharatpur, Rajasthan due to pollution emanating from loading and unloading of clinker, which is raw material of cement, at old Railway stack Yard of the city.

The petitioner Krishna Murari has complained that the clinker hamdling is being done without desired sanction or permission.

The Principal Bench of NGT noted it as a substantial issue of environment. In its Order on 25th May 2021, the Bench comprising, two members, Justice Sheo Kumar Singh, Judicial Member and Arun Kumar Verma, Expert Member directed for the constitution of a Joint Committee consisting of District Collector, Bharatpur, Rajasthan and Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board (RSPCB), and submit a report.

Bharatpur District Collector's report is enclosed with three ambient air quality report prepared by RSPCB. PM10 was reported to be 610 microgram per cubicmeter of air in the Report No. 1578 dated 8th March 2021, 697 and 345 microgram per cubicmeter in Report No. 1617 and 1616, respectively, both dated 6th July 2021.

The RSPCB Test Report does not mention any applicable standards, nor it has given any interpretation.

NGT has listed the matter on 7th September 2021.

Kailash Gahlot with Senior Forest Officers in Van Mahotsav

4th July 2021, New Delhi

Transport Minister of Delhi, Kailash Gahlot along with the family members and staff planted saplings at Rajokri Ridge Reserved Forest to mark the ongoing Van Mahotsav. The Van Mahotsav programme was organised by the West Delhi Division of the Department of Forests & Wildlife, GNCTD. Ishwar Singh, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest, Nisheeth Saxena, Chief conservator of forest and other senior officials of the Forest Department were also present during the plantation drive.

In addition to the plantation work, the Minister also visited the Rajokari Pond to see the work of soil and moisture conservation work done by the Forest Department. He emphasized the importance of Foot patrolling in the conservation of Forest and Biodiversity and distributed Patrolling boots to field staff.

Gahlot, who was also the environment minister in Delhi Government, earlier, informed that 31 lakh trees were planted last year. This year Delhi targets to plant trees more than last year, he added. He appealed to all Delhiites to plant more and more trees.

Van Mahotsav, week long festival is usually celebrated between 1st July and 7th July. The first Indian national tree plantation week was organized by M.S. Randhawa from 20th to 27th July 1947. Randhawa had been inspired by ideas of a forest week, festival of trees or arbor days in various countries. The first event of 20 July 1947 was inaugurated with the planting of Bauhinia saplings by Khurshid Ahmad Khan, Commissioner of Delhi in the morning and in the afternoon, another ceremony was held at the Purana Qila led by the Vice President of the Interim Government, Jawaharlal Nehru.

The idea of tree planting did not originate for fancy. It rather originated due to the understanding that deforestation led to diminished rainfall. The tradition was continued and made into a national activity in 1950 by the Minister of Food and Agriculture Kanaiyalal Maneklal Munshi who moved it to the first week of July and renamed it as Van Mahotsav in 1950.

Starting Saturday, Delhi Government is observing Van Mahotsav. The two-weeks programme started from Garhi Mandu. Kejriwal government has set a target of planting two crore saplings in their second term, under which 33 lakh saplings shall be planted this year.

The Tree Plantation Drive is expected to increase Delhi’s tree cover and green belt area alongside reducing air pollution levels.

DHBVN strives for uninterrupted electricity supply, lowering air pollution

27th June 2021, Gurugram

The Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) carried out a special preventive maintenance drive in Industrial Model Township, Manesar in Gurugram district and Sector 37, Gurugram. Manoj Yadav, Superintendent Engineer (SE) of Gurugram Circle 1, said that to avoid any loss of industrial productivity, maintenance works will be carried out only on Sundays and holidays. This also helps to overcome the possibilities of air pollution due to diesel generator operations during maintenance related shut down.

In today's maintenance, trimming of trees and replacement of weak jumpers etc. was done on 12 feeders of Manesar and 8 of Sector 37 so that smooth power supply could be done. 75 staff members were on the job. The SE also informed that during June 2021 till now, 15 crore units of electricity has been supplied in the industrial area, as compared to 11 crore units supplied during June last year, which is an increase of 37%. He said that DHBVN is committed to keep the power supply smooth in the industrial areas. The Electricity Corporation will not allow any unnecessary power cut and will maintain continuity in power supply.

Sanjay Chugh, General Secretary, Urja Samiti said that excessive unwanted growth of trees causes severe accidents leading to massive power failures. Therefore, it is important to identify and trim the trees. #DHBVN #energy

Dates after Dates in Green Court

Why Delhi Authorities dither to act against illegal groundwater abstraction?

26th June 2021, New Delhi:

It's quite a situation to remind the Hindi Cinema dialogue "Tareekh pe Tareekh", means dates after dates in a court proceeding. The Principal Bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) headed by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, issued an Order on 3rd February 2021, directing the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) and the SDM, Kanjhawala take remedial action and file compliance report within one month in the matter of Original Application No. 47/2020.

The application seeks redressal of grievance against illegal extraction of groundwater by New Waqt Club at Mangol Puri, Ram Leela Maidan, Kalamandir, Delhi. The applicant, Ranjan, has complained that the Club extracts groundwater for commercial purposes in violation of law. The application also has a reference to an earlier NGT Order dated 4th November 2019 in Original Application No. 1005/2019, in which the SDM, North West, Kanjhawala was directed to take appropriate action in the matter.

The NGT Order dated 18th November 2020 reflects in spite of the November 2019 order of the Tribunal, no action was taken. Accordingly, the Green Court sought a report from the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) and the Deputy Commissioner, North-West District, Kanjhawala after verifying whether illegal borewells were operating in the area. The Order reveals that the Deputy Commissioner, North-West District, Kanjhawala, asked DJB to carryout inspection. DJB reported NGT on 13th April 2020 that due to Covid-19, the necessary inspection could not be done. The Tribunal sought an action taken report from the SDM, #Kanjhawala, vide order dated 18th November 2020. But NGT Order dated 3rd February 2021 depicts, no such report has been received from the SDM, Kanjhawala.

Since then the matter has been listed 7th April 2021, 17th May 2021, and 25th June 2021, to no yield. It is now scheduled for a hearing on 14th September 2021.

It is notable that DPCC has been made the nodal agency for coordination and compliance. The NGT has categorically stated that "since the statutory authorities have to exercise their statutory powers, it is not necessary for the Tribunal to hear the alleged violator."

Now, question is whether the matter continue to stretch till the #groundwater exhausts?

DC Gurugram appeals residents for prudent use of water

25th June 2021, Gurugram:

Gurugram Deputy Commissioner, Dr. Yash Garg called upon the residents of Gurugram district to make sensible and justified use of water and shun every possible ways that leads to wastage of water.

The Deputy Commissioner has also appealed to the people not to over irrigate their gardens, and stop washing vehicles unnecessarily so that the Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) can distribute water equally to all residents. He said that everyone should ensure the availability of an appropriate quantity of water in their homes.

Dr. Garg has also appealed to the residents of the Gurugram district to run their water taps only when required, and not to leave the taps, installed in their homes or outside, open. While leaving the taps open leads to wastage of precious water, the wastage of water causes damage to streets and roads and mud, which causes inconvenience to the people in the movement.

Officers of PHED have been directed by the DC to take necessary steps to close the illegal taps with immediate effect and to rectify the leakages in the taps immediately. #Gurugram

SDMC creates Task Force for Plastic Wastes Management

23rd June 2021, New Delhi

Recently, Union Minister for Environment, Javadekar had said that considering the adverse impacts of littered SUP items on both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, the government has taken effective measures to manage plastic waste. In pursuance with the communication from Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India, a Special task Force (STF) has been constituted by the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) to eliminate single-use plastic (SUP) and implementation of Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, which was further amended. The STF is headed by Chief Secretary, GNCTD.

In its first meeting on 8th June 2021, the STF decided to further constitute City Level task Force (CLTF), headed by respective Municipal Commissioners for effective implementation of Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016 and further amendments. South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) has formed a CLTF headed by Chairman, SDMC, and 11 Members including Director (DEMS) as the Member Secretary. Apart from various SDMC Officials, and District Magistrates, the CLTF has selected members from Industrial Associations, Traders Associations, Residential Welfare Associations, and NGO.

According to an order issued by SDMC on 18th June 2021, the CLTF will formulate, implement and monitor the time bound Action Plan for implementation of Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016 and phasing out of SUP with identified activities and timelines. The CLTF has to assess plastic waste generation, collection, recycling, end of life disposal and identify gaps in policy implementation. The Force will work to prepare Enforcement Action Plan and ensure effective enforcement of Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016 and specific bans imposed on identified SUP items.

SMDC also targets to take measures to improve segregation, collection, storage, transportation, processing and disposal of plastic wastes, with special attention to recyclable fractions.

Notable that under the Plastic Waste Management Rules plastic carry bags below 50 microns have been banned. Further, the Ministry has issued a draft notification in March 2021 for amending the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, with respect to prohibiting identified 12 single use plastic items such as disposable plastic cutlery etc.

Delhi Govt. empanels four agencies for Tree Transplantation

23rd June 2021, New Delhi

Reminding the Delhi Government’s ambitious Tree Transplantation Policy, 2020, Environment Minister Gopal Rai said that Delhi government has approved the empanelment of four agencies to carry out Tree Transplantation in the Capital. The Minister informed that the approval for empanelment has been given after rigorous research and study. The four agencies are Green Morning Horticulture Pvt. Ltd, Hyderabad, Rohit Nursery, New Delhi, DD MEP Engineers, Gurugram, and RP Entrepreneurs, Delhi. To carry out transplantation from any project site in Delhi, the applicant shall be required to select an agency from among the empanelled agencies only.

The Tree Transplantation Policy, 2020 which was notified late last year mandates that trees will not be removed unnecessarily in development projects/works and the existing trees in the project site shall be properly preserved through careful planning, design, implementation and post-construction maintenance.

In the event of the possibility of on-site preservation being not viable, at least 80% of the trees shall be required to be scientifically transplanted. At least 80% survival of the transplanted trees after completion of a year from the date of completion of transplantation is also mandated by the Tree Transplantation Policy. However, transplantation does not do away with the present norm of compensatory afforestation in the component of ten times and compensatory plantation has to be carried out for each felled and transplanted tree.

The task of transplantation has to be done through a technical agency empanelled by the government for carrying out the transplantation work. An expert committee was constituted to decide the minimum technical eligibility criteria for empanelment of agencies and later examine the proposals received.

In response to the advertisement published by the Department of Forest & Wildlife, GNCTD 13 agencies submitted their Expression of Interests for empanelment. Around 9 agencies were rejected due to the non-fulfilment of eligibility criteria.

Delhi is the first among Indian States to establish Smog Tower: Gopal Rai

10th June 2021, New Delhi

Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Thursday inspected the ongoing work of the Smog Tower at the Baba Kharag Singh Marg, Connaught Place. He said that Delhi is the first state to establish a smog tower. The Minister pointed out that Delhi government has taken several measures to combat the air pollution in Delhi, such as tree transplantation policy, anti-dust pollution campaign, electric vehicle policy, Red Light on Gaddi Off campaign, bio-decomposer solution to stubble burning.

The Minister informed that the Smog Tower project is being commissioned at a cost of Rs. 20 Crore, and is anticipated to be completed within 15th August this year. Experts will carry out study on the outcomes of the tower. He said that the Delhi government is making this tower on a pilot basis and based on the success of this work such towers will be built across the Capital. He said that the DPCC, IIT Mumbai, NBCC and Tata Project are also working jointly to build this smog tower.

The height of this tower will be around 25 meter. It will have a capacity of air purification of 1000 cubic meters per second. The Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) is the nodal agency, while IIT Mumbai, NBCC and Tata Project are working jointly with the Delhi government to build this tower.

Elaborating the difference between the Smog Tower under commission in Delhi from those installed in China, the Minister said “China has such smog towers but the technology of this tower is different. The towers of China take the polluted air from the bottom and emits the purified air from the top. But this tower works in the opposite direction. This tower has around 40 wings which will emit the purified air at 10 meters above the ground. The effect of this purified air will be till 1 square km area. This tower will also help to get rid of PM 10 and PM 2.5.”

Sonepat air goes Poor, other Delhi NCR cities in Moderate AQI

7th June 2021, New Delhi: The air quality over Delhi-NCT remained in Moderate category today, though the AQI was higher than the previous day. As per Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) bulletin, AQI in Delhi was found to be 180 today, against yesterday's 134. The major pollutants which influenced AQI were PM2.5, PM10 and O3.

AQI in the cities surrounding Delhi were found in the range of 122 - 265 with Sonepat quoting the maximum. AQI in Sonepat was recorded to be 265 against previous day value of 196. AQI in Ghaziabad was 187, Greater Noida 153, Noida 160, Faridabad 156, Gurugram 122, Dharuhera 177, and Bahadurgarh 140. In all the places PM10 was reported to be the major pollutant. In Gurugram PM2.5 was also a contributing factor, while in Ghaziabad and Faridabad O3 was a contributing factor in addition to PM10.

The air quality over Delhi-NCR is likely to deteriorate but may be in moderate to poor category on 8th and 9th June. PM10 envisaged to remain the predominant pollutant. The strong surface winds are favorable for raising dust locally and transport of dust from nearby region. The Outlook for subsequent 5 Days: The air quality is likely to remain in Moderate to Poor category.

The predominant surface wind is likely to be coming from West directions of Delhi, with slightly less wind speed from the previous day, 15-22 kmph and mainly with clear sky and strong surface winds (speed 20-30 kmph) during the day on 8th June, and also on 9th June.

The predicted maximum mixing depth is likely to be approximately 4000 m on 8th June over Delhi. Maximum Ventilation Index is expected to be nearly 47000 m2/s on 8th June. The ventilation index lower than 6000 m2/s with average wind speed less than 10 kmph is unfavorable for dispersion of pollutants.

On WED 2021 Delhi launches drive to plant 33 Lakh saplings

5th June 2021, New Delhi: On the eve of World Environment Day (WED) 2021, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai informed that the Delhi government is launching the mega plantation drive of medicinal plants. Delhi government has 14 nurseries across Delhi, and from Monday any person can visit the nurseries and get medicinal plants for free of cost.

The Minister said that the Delhi government is also going to hold a mega plantation drive or Van Mahotsav from 26th June to 11th July 2021 to plant over 33 lakh saplings across the city.

Gopal Rai said mentioned about various programmes, such as; bringing the tree transplantation policy, anti-dust pollution campaign, electric vehicle policy, Red light on Gaadi off campaign etc. launched by Delhi government to combat the air pollution in the city. He didn’t forget to talk about the bio decomposer solution to stubble burning.

On Friday, just a day before the World Environment Day, addressing a press conference Delhi Environment Minister informed that his government is going to complete the ongoing third party audit of all the plantation works and submit the report at the earliest to ensure transparency and monitoring in the works related to plantation. The third party audit of plantation work of all green agencies doing plantation work in Delhi is being conducted by the Forest and Wildlife Department of Delhi Government.

On the WED 2021 occasion, Gopal Rai also said, "There are various other factors which cause the air pollution of northern India including Delhi. In the NCR there are around 10 thermal power plants which are one of the major contributors to this pollution. The Delhi government has moved the Supreme Court against these thermal power plants."

#WorldEnvironmentDay #Delhi

Gurugram: The Kost Nalla exists along SPR and called as Badshahpur drain (Leg-III) onward of Vatika Chowk. Badshahpur drain/ Leg-III flows through heart of town and major surplus storm water runoff find its way into this drain which crosses under Delhi-Jaipur highway (NH-48) further crossing railway culvert no 61. Badshahpur Nalla is the main drainage line of Gurugram. The department has already constructed a pucca drain from village Ghata to Sohna road crossing and thereafter Badshahpur drain up-to NH-48. The capacity of Badshahpur drain is 2300 cusecs near NH-48. The length of Kost Nallah starting from Ghata and Badshapur drain upto Najafgarh drain is about 7.05 km and 18.98 km respectively. Construction work of Kost Nallah and Badshahpur drain has been completed except bottleneck near M/s Seema Engineering works on old Khandsa road in of 33 m because of restricted ROW which reduces capacity of drain to 800 cusecs instead of 2300 cusecs.

This bottleneck had remained unresolved for the last many years and was a major factor in frequent flooding of various vulnerable and low lying parts of Gurugram.

An initiative was taken by CEO, GMDA to use the authority vested in the Government under NMDA Act. He set the ball rolling by writing to Deputy Commissioner, Gurugram to order use of this land (only 231 sq. mtrs) for the purpose of drawing out of the water under the NDMA Act. The objective was to resolve the problems being faced by the residents and commuters every year due to the existence of this bottleneck. This is probably the first time in the State that authority under NDMA Act has been used in anticipation of a manmade disaster to ensure preparedness of the authorities to face the impending flooding.

As per order of Deputy Commissioner Gurugram and Hon’ble Punjab & Haryana High Court, possession of land has been taken and work of construction of drain has been started which is likely to completed by 1st week of July, 2021. The possibility of water logging in town shall be eased out after completion of this balance portion of Badshapur drain.

HSPCB delaying EC Recovery?

22.04.2021, New Delhi: In the matter of Varun versus Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and others, OA No. 32/2020, an amount of 97 Crore has to be collected from various industrial units operating from Barhi HSIIDC industrial area, in the form of Environmental Compensation Charges calculated by the Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB). It was about illegal groundwater extraction of industrial units. A report filed by HSPCB on 4th March 2021 in this regard, before the Principal Bench of national Green Tribunal (NGT). Based on the report on 5th March 2021, the NGT disposed the matter stating that the Deputy Commissioner (DC), Sonepat is the competent authority to recover compensation charges and seal the bore wells.

In furtherance to the NGT Order the Applicant, Varun pursued the matter with the DC, Sonepat Office through a written letter dated 8th April 2021. In return the DC, Sonepat Office further issued a letter dated 12th April 2021 to the Regional Officer, HSPCB at Sonepat, directing him to act on the recovery of Environmental Compensation Charges from industrial units.

Hero to protect Aravalli Biodiversity Park

20.04.2021, Gurugram: World's largest two-wheeler manufacturer, Hero MotoCorp Ltd. has entered into an agreement with the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram for the ecological restoration and conservation of the Aravali Biodiversity Park, situated in Gurugram, Haryana, for the next 10 years. Spread over 380 acres, the Aravali Biodiversity Park contains ecologically restored and semi-arid land vegetation. It has around 300 native plant species comprising a rich variety of trees, shrubs, herbs, climbers and grasses. Over 183 species of birds can be spotted at the park.

Erring CETPs shatter Delhi’s dream of Clean Yamuna by 2023

09.04.2021, New Delhi: Based on mythological beliefs, River Yamuna is the daughter of Sun, and sister of Yama. Also, earlier, pronounced as Jamuna is the second-largest tributary river of the Ganga and the longest tributary in India. With reference from The Imperial Gazetteer, Wikipedia describes, in 1909, the waters of the Yamuna were distinguishable as clear blue, when compared to the silt-laden yellow of the Ganges. With changed focus of civilization, such resourceful values were kept aside in city planning and development. Thus, Yamuna has become one of the most polluted rivers in the world.

Now, it is used for the vicious part of politics. Raghav Chadha, Vice Chairman, Delhi Jal Board (DJB) has stated in November 2020 that water supply in Delhi gets impacted due to increase in ammonia concentration in Yamuna raw water discharged by Haryana. The matter was subsequently taken to the Supreme Court of India. Haryana has responded through an affidavit that Delhi is responsible for pollution as Ammonia is rising sharply from Delhi contact point. The affidavit says, “Sampling of water of river Yamuna was conducted by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) during 13th January 2021. It has been found by the CPCB that the Ammoniacal Nitrogen rises sharply from the Delhi contact point at Palla to Wazirabad and it indicates unauthorized discharges between Palla and Wazirabad."

Meanwhile, based on the Monthly Analysis Reports of its laboratories, since February 2020, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) has found that the 13 Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETPs) of Delhi are either non-functional or partially functional, which is causing massive pollution to Yamuna. Subsequently, DPCC issued show-cause notices for imposing total Environmental Compensation of ₹12.05 Crore to 13 CETPs. Some people have questioned the amount of Environment Compensation and have asked to review for imposition of higher penalty.

CETPs play a key role to treat the polluted waters coming out from the industries. As it was difficult to monitor individual industries, CETPs become instrumental in terms of monitoring and meeting prescribed standards for effluent disposal. 13 CETPs are in operation in NCT of Delhi with a total capacity of 212.3 MLD. 13 CETPs namely Wazirpur, Mayapuri, Bawana, Narela, SMA, GTK, Okhla, Mangolpuri, Nangloi, Badli, Jhilmil, Lawrence Road and Naraina have been constructed to treat industrial effluent and wastewater generated in 17 industrial areas in Delhi. 11 CETPs are being operated, managed by respective CETPs Societies. Narela and Bawana CETPs are being operated by PNC Delhi Industrial Infra Pvt. Ltd. and Bawana Infra Development Pvt. Ltd., respectively, which are engaged by DSIIDC.

In a press release the Delhi Government has stated that as per Delhi CETP Act, 2000, the Commissioner of Industries is the authority for regulation of CETPs in Delhi. As per the provisions of the CETP Act and Rules, the CETP Societies have been formed for the operation and maintenance of CETPs in Delhi. These CETP Societies are fully responsible for the Operation and Maintenance (O&M) of the CETPs and are also responsible for collecting charges from the individual units as per the formula given in the CETP Rules. CETP Societies are supposed to adhere to the environmental laws and run the CETPs as per the prescribed environmental laws. CETP societies are also responsible for the upgradation of the CETP as and when it is required.

This is definitely a big blow to the claims of DJB and Delhi government projection to make Yamuna pollution-free by 2023. Delhi government has stated that “after repeated interventions where they have not complied with our directions, stern action has been taken and in the near future, we will monitor the situation”. An obvious question comes, if the CETPs do not obey the Government directions, who else can control? And, why the government has waited for long without charging the environmental compensation charges earlier? Earlier also people have lodged complaints about CETPs not being functional at different places, and also illegal encroachment on Government land adjoining Nazafgarh drain, due to which many projects are pending.

In this situation, Bawana Factories Welfare Association has claimed that DPCC has finally found the actual fault, and the challans were issued to industries in Narela and Bawana area on the basis of false information. Noted Environmentalist, Varun Gulati responded that no industry was fined on false inputs in Narela and Bawana area. He claimed that several polluted industries are still in operation in Bawana and Narela, which are equally responsible for the Yamuna river water pollution, for which apt action soon envisaged.

Undoubtedly, this may be one of the causes, and not the only reason of Yamuna river water pollution. Shrugging off responsibilities by the states won’t yield. To attain pollution-free Yamuna by 2023, as declared by the Delhi Government, water pollution from industries and domestic sources from Delhi and Haryana must be stopped. This can’t be achieved without witty dialogues between two states. Also, they need to display their capabilities in terms of treatment technologies, and ease-of-life before ease-of-doing-business. Ease-of-life is a serious matter as Yamuna water is supplied for survival of dwellers in and around Delhi, including some cities of Haryana. Before that there is a need to create an effective monitoring network by means of OCEMS at strategic points.

Delhi Govt. to create Centre for Sustainable Mobility

5th April 2021, New Delhi: Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot has said that the Delhi government has signed an MoU with IIIT Delhi to create a Centre for Sustainable Mobility and move towards world-class transport infrastructure. Gahlot said that the Delhi government has allocated Rs. 6.1 crore funds for the Centre for Sustainable Mobility.

Addressing media, the Minister said that contactless ticketing was introduced in Delhi for the first time in collaboration with IIIT Delhi. He said that all the transport advancements under this Centre will be integrated into a single app called One Delhi, which will be done by the Centre for Sustainable Mobility.

Commenting upon the EV policy, Gahlot added that the Centre for Sustainable Mobility will create an app facilitated with an open database of the location of these centres and other relevant information. Above 6000 incentives have been disbursed and 500 charging points are being set up. All of these technological advancements will be integrated into our One Delhi App, which will be done by the Centre for Sustainable Mobility. Right from passenger information system to other relevant information of E-Rickshaws, Metro, Grameen Sewas, and autos will be integrated in the One Delhi app.

The Centre for Sustainable Mobility will serve as a repository of knowledge of mobility in Delhi. The faculty and members will also create regular policy paper/ research articles on the issues that Delhi face in sustainable mobility.

Switch Delhi Campaign creates awareness on Delhi's EV Policy among all sections in society

4th April 2021, New Delhi: The eight week Switch Delhi campaign came to an end. The final week of the that focused on sensitizing Delhi’s youth on the benefits of electric vehicles (EVs) and Delhi’s EV policy saw a large participation of youth in the campaign. Students and activists came forward in large numbers to support the campaign and help spread the message to the rest of the city’s youth to pledge to make their first vehicle an electric one.

In light of the Switch Delhi campaign and its focus on Delhi’s youth in the final week, Vrikshit Foundation, an environmental organization led by a group of students, organized a wall painting event to spread awareness on EVs and on the Switch Delhi campaign. Many youngsters came together and painted a wall at Ashok Vihar, Gulab Market on the message of the Switch Delhi movement. Members pledged their support to the campaign and took the Switch Delhi pledge to make their first vehicle electric.

Air Pollution measures discussed in Kejriwal - Heckner meeting

31.03.2021, New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal met Switzerland Ambassador, Ralf Heckner in Delhi Secretariat on Tuesday. During the meeting, the measures being taken to tackle pollution in Delhi was also discussed at length. Kejriwal deliberated that the Delhi government is serious about controlling pollution in Delhi, with the government taking several steps to combat pollution, including implementing a progressive EV policy. He apprised the visitors that the Delhi government is also taking the support of IIT-Kanpur, IIT-Delhi and TERI. Both, IIT-Kanpur and IIT-Delhi have developed a technology, which allows one to identify the actual source of pollution occurring at certain places during a certain period of time. This technique will identify the actual source of pollution at that place at a given time. When the source is known, it will be easy to take necessary steps. Under the pilot project, super sites and mobile sites will be installed in the hotspot areas of Delhi.

Several important issues like effective management of COVID-19, promotion of tourism in Delhi and dealing with pollution, etc. were discussed in the meeting. According to a release by the Delhi Government, Ralf Heckner lauded the efforts of the Delhi government in dealing with COVID-19.

Interestingly Delhi Cabinet Minister Gopal Rai on the same day quoted two reports, one by, a Sweden-based organisation, and another by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) - reveal that the national capital has dropped down to the 10th spot among polluted cities in the world. According to CSE Delhi’s PM2.5 has decreased at the rate of 25% between 2018 and 2020.

Gurugram saved 7.77 Lac Units from Earth Hour

28.03.2021, Gurugram: Prior to 27th March 2021, the Urja Samiti of Gurugram made efforts and created awareness among people to observe Earth Hour in the district. It resulted in a saving of 7.77 Lac Units.

Extending thanks to people of Gurugram, Sanjay Kumar Chugh, General Secretary, Urja Samiti said that our appeal to the Public was for Saving the Power for just One Hour in the whole day. He said with people's support it became a huge success.

He said, "Just as one city with its switch-off movement could bring power to hundreds of other countries, a single voice can reach out to a million others and raise support for the environment. Lend your voice and your support to the largest environment campaign on Earth."

The Gurugram Power Consumption with the earth hour on the 27th March 2021 is 205.44 Lac units, against the previous day's consumption 212.21 Lac units.

Delhi gets first Energy Storage System

Satyendar Jain, Delhi govt.'s Power Minister inaugurating Delhi's first ever Energy Storage System. As this system does not emit air pollution directly, this may gradually replace generators in many parts of India.

1/3rd of Delhi's Lakes and Water bodies to be cleaned before monsoon

27.03.2021, New Delhi: Delhi Water Minister and Chairman of Delhi Jal Board (DJB), Satyendar Jain reviewed situation of 600 lakes and water bodies in Delhi. In the meeting on 27th March 2021, the Minister emphasized on cleaning of 200 out of 600 water bodies and lakes, which are literally converted into dumping grounds, prior to monsoon. He mentioned that the arrangement for treated water, must go on in parallel.

Delhi Govt. organizing 2 days meeting with Environmental Experts

25.03.2021, New Delhi: Delhi's Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Thursday said that the Delhi government is working on a long-term action plan to combat air pollution in Delhi. A round table conference is slated to be organized in this regard on 12th and 13th April. Environmental experts, various organizations and related departments are expected to participate in the programme. Based on the round table meeting, further action plan shall be formulated.

The Minister said that the concerned officials should regularly monitor all the hot spots in Delhi and also make aware all the agencies related to the construction work regarding dust pollution norms.

Rai also instructed the environment department to make the agencies aware of the construction work so that they are aware of all the aspects related to pollution and take all kinds of precautions. At the same time, all the construction work related agencies have been instructed to follow all the guidelines related to pollution.

Gopal Rai said, "The second important point was discussed on dust pollution. We took action at many places, especially last year. PWD and MCD have also been instructed to spray water continuously on the roads."

Delhi Government sets up Advisory Committee for Ecological Restoration of Central Ridge

22.03.2021, New Delhi: The Delhi government has constituted a six-member Expert Advisory Committee for the timely compliance of the project on “Ecological Restoration of Central Ridge through Biodiversity Enrichment”.

Delhi Government's Environment Minister, Gopal Rai, said, “The project will include the work of replacement of vilayiti kikar with indigenous species by canopy lifting and planting with indigenous local species, which helps achieve the ultimate goal of kikar eradication from the 423 hectare Central Ridge within a five-year period.”

The Advisory Committee will meet every two weeks to monitor the progress of the project and ensure timely and effective on-ground compliance, and will also ensure the highest and aesthetical standards in the design of all civil works.

The Committee will comprise Principal Secretary (Environment & Forest) as chairman, the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Govt. of NCT of Delhi and eminent environmentalists like Dr. C. R. Babu, Dr. Pradeep Krishen, Ms Reena Gupta and Mr Suditya Sinha.

The Mandate of the Committee will be to oversee progress with regard to the implementation of the project; ensure the highest international and aesthetic standards in design and scientific rigor of the project; and monitor the process of the project in all aspects.

7th week of the Switch Delhi campaign

Focus on raising awareness about EVs and Delhi’s EV policy among fleet vehicle owners

21.03.2021, New Delhi: The 7th week of the Switch Delhi campaign is to focus on raising awareness among one of the most important segments - commercial fleet vehicle owners comprising two-wheelers, three-wheelers, cab aggregators, goods carriers, freight vehicles - thereby targeting a large group to adopt and promote electric vehicles in the National Capital. Commercial vehicles ply on the streets for majority of the day and therefore contribute significantly to vehicular pollution.

“To encourage and promote a smooth transition of commercial vehicles to electric vehicles, the Delhi government has taken many progressive steps under the Delhi Electric Vehicle policy launched in August 2020. Delhi today provides the most favorable policy framework across India for commercial vehicles to transition to EVs” Transport Minister, Kailash Gahlot said.

He added, “Fleet vehicles ply for the maximum duration on the streets of Delhi and can contribute significantly to bring down the pollution levels in the National Capital by switching to an EVs”. Currently, there is a restriction on goods carriers to ply on the roads of Delhi during peak hours to avoid congestion. “To incentivise this transition, the Delhi Government has taken the most progressive step under the Delhi electric Vehicle Policy to allow electric good carriers to ply on the streets of Delhi during all hours. This was based on the feedback provided by the fleet companies and we are working on the roll out plan of this major decision. I'm sure this will encourage more and more companies to switch their fleet to electric,” Gahlot said.

The Delhi Government has urged the fleet companies in Delhi to plan a time-bound transition of their entire fleet to electric vehicles. “Fleet operators must show their commitment to the vision of green Delhi and making Delhi the EV capital of India by pledging to upgrade 50% of the entire fleet to electric vehicles by 2023 and 100% fleet by 2025,” Shri Gahlot added.

Switch Delhi is an eight-week mass awareness campaign by the Delhi Government to sensitize every Delhiite about the benefits of switching to EVs to the environment as well as to make them aware of the incentives and infrastructure being developed under Delhi’s EV policy. The campaign aims at informing, encouraging, and motivating each person in Delhi to switch from polluting vehicles to zero-emission electric vehicles.

Haryana targets revitalize 1890 pond and waterbodies in 3 years

15.03.2021, Gurugram: Deputy Commissioner of Gurugram, Dr. Yash Garg said today that the District Administration of Gurugram will rejuvenate 60 ponds in this year. An action plan is ready for the purpose.

He said this while presiding over a meeting with the officials of Haryana Pond and Wastewater Management Authority in Gurugram regarding the restoration of dead ponds and reservoirs in the district. Executive Vice President of the Authority, Prabhakar Kumar Verma and members of the 'Gurujal Society' were present on the occasion.

In the meeting, Deputy Commissioner Dr. Garg informed that Gurugram Administration has identified 320 reservoirs in the district, which are to be rejuvenated in a phased manner. During this year, 60 of these ponds or reservoirs will be rejuvenated. Authority's help will also be taken in this work. The Authority shall be provided with all pertinent information and data. The DC said that so far the district administration has rejuvenated 6 ponds in the district with the help of CSR from various companies and support from Gram Panchayats, while work for rejuvenation of 11 ponds and reservoirs is in progress.

Dr. Garg stated that based on site specific requirements, and water quality, suitable techniques are being adopted for rejuvenation of ponds and water bodies. He also informed that apart from the District Administration, Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) has also identified 25 ponds in its area for rejuvenation by the Corporation. MCG has revived four of these 25 ponds. These ponds are in village Sukhrali, Kadipur, Sarhaul and Basai. Restoration work is in progress in four other ponds in the Corporation area.

The Haryana Pond and Waste Water Management Authority appreciated the works of Gurugram District Administration for the revival of the ponds and advised the District Administration as well as MCG to continue the work and also keep sharing the detailed reports with the Authority, so that all agencies involved in the work can work in better coordination. Prabhakar Kumar Verma, Executive Vice President of the Authority said that the Authority has identified 1969 such ponds in the state, which are filled with dirt or wastewater and are overflowing. Out of these, 1890 ponds have been targeted to be repaired in three years. The Authority targets to rejuvenate 682 ponds in the state in this year, out of which the work of 9 ponds has also been completed.

Kejriwal Govt. pushing Delhi to run on EVs

13th March 2021, New Delhi: “Delhi Electric Vehicle (EV) Policy” with the aim to bring about a material

improvement in Delhi’s air quality has been approved. The policy targets 25% share of Electric vehicles in all new vehicle registrations by 2024. To give a smooth sailing from ICEs to EVs, Delhi Government is organizing an eight-week long Switch Delhi Campaign. After creating awareness among the two-wheeler, three-wheeler and four wheeler segments, the campaign focused on charging infrastructure. Delhi government looks for creation of charging points at a distance of every 3kms to build confidence amongst people of Delhi, so that Delhiites won't hesitate to adopt EVs..

Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot has informed that by December 2021 Delhi government is going to operationalise 100 public charging stations with 500 charging points at prominent locations. This will add to the existing 72 stations already operational in Delhi. Details of these can be seen on the website Gahlot also informed that Delhi government is also building a mobile app to ensure that the geo-locations of all charging stations and the status of chargers, whether they are occupied or available for use, can be seen real time.

Delhi is planning to have more than 10,000 chargers by December 2021.

Earlier, on 12th March 2021, it was further administered that in all new constructions, 20% of the parking capacity should have provisions for charging infrastructure for EVs. All commercial and institutional buildings including malls, shopping complexes, cinema halls, office spaces, hotels, restaurants, hospitals with a parking capacity of more than 100 vehicles will be mandated to set aside 5% of the total vehicle capacity for EVs fitted with suitable EV chargers, with a minimum output of 3.3 KW.

Delhi Transport Minister also stated that his government is in talks with several EV fleet operators to open up their captive charging stations for public use. This will add another 750 charging points at least for public use in Delhi by June 2021.

Varun Gulati's Complaint

Rs. 97 Crore of EC Charges from defaulter industries

05.03.2021, New Delhi: In the matter of Varun versus Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and others, OA No. 32/2020 reveals that despite NGT orders water intensive industries are still in operations without NOC for groundwater extraction from the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA). According to a reply filed by the Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) has filed a report on 4th March 2021, none out of 28 units has obtained NOC from CGWA, while two units have been stated to be closed.

HSPCB Report filed by the Sonepat Regional Office, claims that the total discharge from 29 industrial units stand to be 6.163 MLD, as per Consent granted, and not 21 MD as stated by Varun in his complaint. HSPCB states that the HSIIDC CETP with capacity 16 MLD is adequate to treat the effluent. The statement showing flowmeter readings does not justify illegal bypassing of untreated effluent into the environment. Further, whether the units discharging effluent 950 KLD, 1000 KLD have made any efforts towards recycling and reuse?

Another issue, HSPCB has not mentioned anything about the CETP running on approximately 39% capacity utilization, which is hugely under capacity,

Varun Gulati, Environmentalist says, he is not convinced with the HSPCB report as it is based on documents and does not share details of meter readings to substantiate water sourced through HSIIDC supply or extraction from groundwater, and water consumption in manufacturing processes, and other heads.

Another part of the complaint is regarding fly ash disposal from burning of coal fuel, to which the HSPCB has merely enclosed a letter from HSIIDC stating that no fly ash or furnace ash is disposed in to drains.

Varun Gulati's says, HSPCB should have reported about the total quantity of coal ash generated by the industries, disposal source with evidences. His effort is leading towards a wind fall of Rs. 97 Crore into the Government account, as Environmental Compensation Charges calculated by the HSPCB. With such funds, the Board should induct more competent officials to infuse technical values into environmental management.

Delhi Govt. to run on EVs

27.02.2021, New Delhi: Delhi Government’s Switch Delhi EV Campaign has completed three weeks. Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot informed that since the launch of Delhi EV Policy, 465 new EVs in four-wheeler segment have been registered. The Minister also stated that Incentives up to Rs 3 lakh are provided under Delhi EV Policy, which includes 1.5 lakh subsidy, and exemption from registration fee, and road tax.

Gahlot said the Govt. of NCT of Delhi launched Switch Delhi Campaign to encourage everyone in Delhi to switch to an EV and pave way for a cleaner and greener Delhi.

Further, Delhi Government has issued an order on Thursday saying that all its departments, autonomous bodies, and grantee institutions will replace their existing fleet of hired conventional fuel vehicles with an electric vehicle. 2,000 cars will be impacted by this decision and transition will happen to EVs in the next 6 months.

The Transport Department of Delhi will act as the nodal department to monitor the progress of the transition from existing diesel or petrol vehicle fleets to EVs. It will also be necessary for all departments to produce monthly action reports on the transition to EVs to the nodal department.

An electric car is a car which is propelled by one or more electric motors, using energy stored in rechargeable batteries. Compared to internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, electric cars are quieter, have no exhaust emissions, and lower emissions overall. Hence, EV is seen as a possible replacement for current-generation automobile, in order to address the issue of rising pollution, global warming, depleting natural resources, etc. Though the concept of electric vehicles has been around for a long time, it has drawn a considerable amount of interest in the past decade amid a rising carbon footprint and other environmental impacts of fuel-based vehicles.

Switch Delhi is an eight-week mass awareness campaign by the Delhi Government to sensitize each and every Delhiite about the benefits of switching to EVs to the environment as well as to make them aware of the incentives and infrastructure being developed under Delhi’s EV policy. The campaign aims at informing, encouraging, and motivating each and every person in Delhi to switch from polluting vehicles to zero-emission electric vehicles.

Delhi Govt. sees encouraging response to Switching Delhi Campaign

20.02.2021, New Delhi: The Switch Delhi Campaign has completed two weeks. The second week of the campaign focused on generating awareness on the benefits of three-wheeler EVs along with the benefits offered under the Delhi EV policy for those who want to make the switch from Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles to electric.

Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot informed that since the launch of the Delhi EV policy in August 2020, three wheelers emerge as the highest selling EV segment in Delhi. 5534 new EV three-wheelers have been registered, with more users coming forward to make the switch.

The Minister said that subsidies provided by the Delhi government under Delhi’s EV policy on electric 3 wheeler autos reduce the total cost of ownership of the electric three-wheeler by up to 26%. Further, by switching to electric 3 wheeler auto, an individual buyer can save approximately Rs. 29,000 per year. He also informed that the subsidies provided on electric 3 wheeler e-rikshaw under the Delhi EV policy reduce the total cost of ownership by up to 33%.

Under Delhi’s EV policy, 177 three-wheeler models are available and eligible for purchase and scrapping incentives across 68 manufacturers.

To document the experiences of Delhiites who have switched to EV to encourage others to make the switch, the Switch Delhi campaign launched its #DilliKeGreenWarrior initiative. Following are the stories of two such #DilliKeGreenWarrior -

Erik Solheim, an environmentalist tweeted - “Electric mobility is taking off in India! Delhi just started demarcating the first of the 100 charging sites - this one at Mundka metro station. They will contain 500 electric charging points.”

Ranvir Shorey, an actor tweeted, “The #Delhi govt’s @SwitchDelhi campaign needs to be applauded. Wish more govts would follow suit.”

Switch Delhi is an eight-week mass awareness campaign by the Delhi Government to sensitize each and every Delhiite about the benefits of switching to EVs to the environment as well as to make them aware of the incentives and infrastructure being developed under Delhi’s EV policy. The campaign aims at informing, encouraging, and motivating each and every person in Delhi to switch from polluting vehicles to zero-emission electric vehicles.

Delhi Govt. carving out a long term action plan to curb air pollution

19th February 2021, New Delhi: Delhi Govt. Environment Minister, Gopal Rai reviewed measures curb pollution levels in Delhi. The Minister said that a seven-member committee has been constituted to formulate a long-term action plan to control dust pollution. Members from Delhi Pollution Control Committee - DPCC, IIT Delhi, and DMRC and other departments involved in construction are a part of the committee.

On March 4, a round table conference will be held to consult experts and various organizations will be consulted to formulate an action plan for how to implement the anti-pollution campaign from March to September. Based on the suggestions of the Committee, the Government is going to prepare a long-term action plan to curb pollution from dust particles.

Rai informed that direct action will now be taken against the officials who are negligent in the timely disposal of complaints of pollution in the green-war room. He said that a close monitoring team has been set up to monitor the Smog Tower project being set up at Connaught Place, which will be completed by June.

The Minister stated that MCD and PWD have been asked to increase the number of anti-smog guns and sprinkling tankers to prevent dust particles. The monitoring of the Green-War room needs to be strengthened and if the concerned complaint is not disposed off within the stipulated deadline, action will be taken against the concerned authorities.

The problem of stubble burning is one of the root causes of pollution in Delhi, along with the internal sources of pollution. As we had successfully used a bio-decomposer technique to deal with stubble burning and the entire report was submitted to the Commission constituted by the Centre. Now, the Delhi government will endeavor to issue a guideline for its use to deal with the stubble burning, so that the technique can be implemented in the respective states since November, said the Minister.

Clean Yamuna, next target set by Delhi Government

16.02.2021, New Delhi: On the eve of completing one year of Kejriwal Government 2.0, Health Minister of Delhi Government, Satyendar Jain said that the Government's next target is to clean the Yamuna river in 3 years from now.

The Minister apprised that 1,366,000 people got zero water bills during the last year, and 73% of people got zero electricity bill during Coronavirus pandemic. He also stated that the government is working proactively for 24×7 water supply in Delhi.

Stating about Delhi's Electric Vehicle (EV) policy, Jain said that it will aid in minimising air pollution emanating from vehicles. He informed about setting up 100 charging stations, where 500 charging points will be provided.

Talking about the Coronavirus Delhi Govt. Health Minister also spoke on his government's approach towards handling Coronavirus pandemic.

Delhi Govt. sensitizing three-wheeler owners to adopt e-autos

14.02.2021, New Delhi: In the second week of the Switch Delhi campaign, Delhi Govt. will sensitize and encourage Delhiites to adopt electric three-wheelers in the national capital. Three-wheelers are one of the major contributors to vehicular emissions in Delhi and the policy lays special focus on incentivizing the transition of this segment to electric.

“Two and three-wheelers contribute to 2/3rd of the Delhi's air pollution. Three wheelers run on the road for 12-16 hours every day. The focus of Delhi EV policy on this segment to enable their transition to electric will greatly benefit Delhi’s air quality," Delhi’s Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot said on the occasion of launching the next leg of the Switch Delhi campaign.

While e-rickshaws have a top speed not exceeding 25 kmph, e-autos are comparable to CNG autos and have top speed of around 50-60 kmph and can travel longer distances. E-autos has zero tail pipe emission

Gahlot has said Delhi government will soon bring out a scheme to facilitate easy registration of e-autos in Delhi.

The Delhi govt has already been giving subsidy of Rs. 30,000 on e rickshaws but now under EV policy, the same subsidy has been extended to e carts/loaders and e-autos. Purchase incentives of up to Rs. 30,000 per vehicle shall be provided and scrapping incentives up to Rs 7500 are available for scrapping and de-registering old CNG auto rickshaws registered in Delhi. Road tax and registration fees will also be waived for all electric three-wheelers.

One Week of Delhi Govt.'s Switch Delhi EV Campaign

14.02.2021, New Delhi: The first week of the Delhi government's Switch Delhi electric vehicle (EV) campaign focusing on electric two-wheelers is over. According to Delhi Government, since the launch of Delhi EV policy in August 2020, 630 new EV two-wheelers have been registered and more are being registered every day.

Switch Delhi campaign targets on creating massive awareness on the benefits of EV two-wheelers along with the benefits offered under the Delhi EV policy for those who want to make the switch from Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles to electric.

Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot said, “Since the launch of Delhi EV policy, 630 new EV two-wheelers have been registered and more are being registered every day. Analysis by RMI India reveals that subsidies provided on electric two wheelers under Delhi EV policy have made the upfront purchase price comparable to top selling petrol two wheelers. But the real saving is in operating cost."

Gahlot, who was also Environment Minister in the previous Govt.'s tenure has elaborated the environmental benefits upon switching to Delhi are significant. He said, "An average electric two wheeler provides a life time savings of 1.98 tonnes of carbon emissions as compared to an average petrol two wheelers. To put it simply, we need roughly 11 trees to sequester 1.98 tonnes of CO2. We can save our environment by making this switch and we owe this to our future generations."

The minister has also deliberated that by switching to electric two wheeler, an individual can have monthly savings of approximately Rs. 1850 and Rs. 1650 compared to petrol scooter and petrol bike respectively, or an annual saving of approximately Rs. 22,000 as compared to using petrol scooter and Rs 20,000 as compared to a petrol bike.

As per Delhi Govt., responding to the campaign Delhiites have started switching to electric two-wheelers and have shared their stories on twitter initiative #DilliKeGreenWarrior.

Switch Delhi is an eight-week mass awareness campaign by the Delhi Government to sensitize each and every Delhiite about the benefits of switching to EVs to the environment as well as to make them aware of the incentives and infrastructure being developed under Delhi’s EV policy. The campaign aims at informing, encouraging, and motivating each and every person in Delhi to switch from polluting vehicles to zero-emission electric vehicles.

DJB to extract groundwater from flood plain areas to meet summer demands, use defunct tube wells to harness rainwater

11.02.2021, New Delhi: Delhi Govt. Water Minister and Chairman of Delhi Jal Board (DJB) Satyendar Jain on Thursday brought forth the need to augment the city's water supply. He said DJB will ensure the extraction of around 55 MGD water from the different Water Treatment Plant (WTP) complexes. In a meeting he convened, it was discussed that most of the WTPs of DJB are located in floodplain zones, where groundwater gets recharged every year during monsoon. Therefore, the extraction of water from such WTPs may not impact groundwater levels. This water will be extracted through tube wells and mixed with regular supply water in the reservoirs. By this exercise adequate water could be supplied with necessary pressure at the tail end, especially during summers.

Stating water augmentation to be the only solution to meet the increasing demand for water in Delhi, the Minister instructed DJB to maximize utilisation of existing as well as defunct tube wells for groundwater recharge so that rainwater can be harvested during the monsoon period. This will also reduce the Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) concentration in groundwater after dilution, added the Minister.

The initiative of rejuvenation of 600 water bodies and lakes, flood water harvesting, rejuvenation of old canals, and irrigation minors will also bring overall improvement of groundwater environment. Delhi government's initiatives of floodwater harvesting have also yielded a good result leading to improvement of groundwater up to 2 meters in Palla area, said the Minister.

Switch Delhi campaign starts in Delhi

The 8-Week campaign to sensitize Delhiites for shifting to electric vehicles

7th February 2021, New Delhi: The first week of the Delhi Government’s Switch Delhi campaign for Electric Vehicles starts today with the aim of sensitizing and informing Delhiites and encouraging the adoption of electric two-wheelers in the national capital.

A study by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) shows that vehicle pollution is the cause of 28 percent of PM2.5 emissions in Delhi, and two wheelers constitute 7% of this pollution. Considering Delhi’s context, the policy lays special focus on the two-wheeler vehicle segment. Two-thirds of the vehicles in Delhi are two-wheelers and hence, this segment needs to be the one pushing for early adoption for the success of the Switch Delhi campaign. "Delhi’s EV Policy especially focuses on incentivizing the purchase of two wheelers, which comprise 2/3rd of all vehicles in Delhi and cause maximum pollution", said Hon'ble Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot, kickstarting the first week of the Switch Delhi campaign.

Delhi’s EV policy offers various financial and non-financial incentives on the purchase of two-wheelers. A purchase incentive of Rs. 5,000/- per kWh of battery capacity shall be provided per vehicle to the registered owner and subject to a maximum of Rs. 30,000/- per vehicle. For vehicles that are eligible for purchase incentives shall also receive a scrapping incentive of up to Rs 5000 for scrapping and de-registering old ICE two-wheelers registered in Delhi.

Road tax and registration fees will also be waived for all electric two-wheelers during the period of the policy.

Gahlot said, "The total cost of ownership of an electric two wheeler over a period of 10 years is approximately 50% of that of a petrol scooter in Delhi and approximately 54% of that of a petrol bike in Delhi, as per analysis by RMI India. Electric two wheelers are up to Rs. 2.05 cheaper to drive per kilometer as compared to petrol scooters and up to INR 1.82 cheaper to drive per kilometer as compared to petrol bike. Electric 2 wheelers would achieve cost parity with the petrol scooters and bike in a maximum of 6 months."

Analysis by RMI India reveals that subsidies provided on electric two wheelers under Delhi EV policy are reducing the total cost of ownership of the electric two wheelers by up to 30% and have made the upfront purchase price comparable to top selling petrol two wheelers. But the real saving is in operating cost. By switching to electric two wheeler, an individual can have monthly savings of approximately INR 1850 and INR 1650 compared to petrol scooter and petrol bike respectively, or an annual saving of approximately Rs 22,000 as compared to using petrol scooter and Rs 20,000 as compared to a petrol bike.

Under Delhi’s EV policy, 23 two-wheeler models are available and eligible for purchase and scrapping incentives across 7 manufacturers namely Hero Electric Pvt Ltd, Revolt Intellicorp Motors, Ampere Vehicles Pvt Ltd, Benling India Energy & technology Pvt Ltd, TVS, Ather, Okinawa Scooters, Jitendra New EV Tech Pvt. Ltd, and Li-ion Electric Pvt. Ltd.

The environmental benefits upon switching to Delhi are significant. Gahlot said, "An average electric two wheeler provides a life time savings of 1.98 tonnes of carbon emissions as compared to an average petrol two wheelers. To put it simply, we need roughly 11 trees to sequester 1.98 tonnes of CO2. We can save our environment by making this switch and we owe this to our future generations."

On the occasion of kickstarting the first week of the Switch Delhi campaign, Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot said, “The Delhi Government has been working tirelessly to lay the ground for a successful transition to electric vehicles in the national capital. I urge Delhiites to now switch to electric, make this a mass movement, take responsibility for our environment, and make our city the EV Capital of India. I assure you, we're here to help you switch to sustainable transport.”

Switch Delhi is an eight-week mass awareness campaign by the Delhi Government to sensitize each and every Delhiite about the benefits of switching to EVs to the environment as well as to make them aware of the incentives and infrastructure being developed under Delhi’s EV policy. The campaign aims at informing, encouraging, and motivating each and every person in Delhi to switch from polluting vehicles to zero-emission electric vehicles.

Out of 10000 tube wells 4500 are functional for DJB water supply

DJB to use defunct borewells for Groundwater recharge

04.02.2021, New Delhi: Delhi Govt.'s Water Minister and Chairman of Delhi Jal Board (DJB), Satyendar Jain "Groundwater levels in Delhi are depleting at an alarming rate, which is naturally a matter of grave concern. To address this pertinent issue DJB has been instructed to use all the defunct tubewells of groundwater recharge purpose. In addition to this, groundwater experts will be hired in DJB for handholding to improve groundwater levels''.

Jain was chairing the 155th Board Meeting held on Thursday in the presence of Raghav Chadha, Vice Chairman of DJB, Nikhil Kumar, CEO, DJB, Members of the Board and other senior officials of DJB. During the meeting, the members of the Board deliberated upon and approved key projects, and schemes to improve the water and wastewater services provided by the Board.

The Chairman DJB also announced the extension of the Mukhyamantri Muft Sewer Connection Yojna (Chief Minister's Free Sewer Connection Programme) in colonies where DJB will provide household connections in the colonies where the laying of sewer lines work is completed. He said, "It must be noted that currently, a lot of sewage is flowing into the River Yamuna. This is in no way good for our environment and health. Therefore, when more and more homes get legal sewer connections, we can nip this problem in the bud, thereby guaranteeing the basic minimum cleanliness across Delhi."

Board approved notification of colonies where sewer lines have been laid and are ready for commissioning. There will be around 50 colonies in this category. Hon’ble Minister of water Satyendar Jain also extended Mukyamantri Muft sewer connection Yojana for these colonies where DJB will also start the parallel process of providing household sewer connections. Out of 1799 unauthorized colonies, Delhi Jal Board has laid sewerage system in 561 unauthorized colonies and the work is in progress in 593 colonies. However, the response of consumers in taking sewer connections has not been quite good, resulting in sewer flowing into drains and finally into River Yamuna. The main reasons for the consumers not coming forward for taking sewer connections were mainly: a) Deposition of development charges at Rs. 469/square meters; b) Deposition of Infrastructure charges in case of plot size more than 200 square meters; c) the consumer had to cut the public road and obtain permission from the road owing agency, which was cumbersome. No amount on charges like form charges, RR Charges and installation charges etc. will be taken from the consumer applying for sewer connection. DJB shall provide them with the sewer connection at its own cost. DJB has also approved notification of these colonies which means consumers can also avail sewer connection outside the policy.

Due to over-exploitation of groundwater, the water table has alarmingly gone down in Delhi. Hence, it is the need of the day to extensively use the rainwater to recharge the groundwater through natural/artificial water bodies and rainwater harvesting structures. Seeing these situations, the Hon'ble NGT has directed the government of Delhi, Central Ground Water Authority Delhi, and Delhi Jal Board to clean, maintain and restore all water bodies which are in existence in Delhi. In today's meeting, administrative approval was given for the rejuvenation of Tihar lake in Tihar Village, Delhi. Rejuvenation of Tihar Lake will be done by filling the treated effluent (5 MLD) from the proposed STP by taking the sewage from the existing peripheral sewer line near Jail road, this will reduce the burden of sewage in the existing sewer line and alternatively will reduce complaints of water contamination. The total cost of the project at approximately 25 cr and will be completed in 12 months along with 15 years of operation and maintenance. The lake will be used for groundwater recharge, tourist attraction, and will be made into a center of attraction.

DJB accorded approval for the Construction of 2 MGD wastewater treatment plant at Bawana. The 20 MGD Bawana Water Treatment Plant was constructed in the year 2000 but could be commissioned in the year 2015 after commissioning of carrier lined channel (CLC) with the saved water due to improved carrier system. There is no Recycling Plant for this WTP at present leading to wastage of precious water. To save the same, it was directed to construct Recycling Plant for this WTP as has been constructed in all other Water Treatment Plants. The total cost of the project is approximately 14cr. and will be completed in 21 months including 3 months for a trial run.

In order to cut down on the water loss in the water distribution network, the Board also accorded approval for the Replacement of raw water mains from the raw water pump house Haiderpur WTP -I to the Bifurcation chamber and further to channels of clarifiers in Haiderpur WTP Complex. The total cost of the project is approximately 7.8cr and will be completed in 18 Months. On completion of this project, 4 MGD water will be saved.

Board also gave its consent for exploration of fresh water in Dwarka area as well as Brackish water in entire Delhi by Boring of 16 tube wells at Pochanpur village - 6 Ghumenhera village & Kakrola village - 4. For the exploration of fresh water in entire Delhi, the prepared report has recommended extraction of groundwater through bore wells at Pochanpur village, Ghumenhera Village, Kakrola, Bamnoli village in Dwarka. The cost of the project is 3.1cr. and will be completed in 90 days along with O&M for 3 Years.

DJB approved the Consultancy work of 100 Water bodies and drain rejuvenation project near Badshahpur drain in Najafgarh and Timarpur. The project is aimed at the treatment of 100 MGD wastewater coming from Haryana and 150 MGD wastewater at the confluence point of Najafgarh drain at the Yamuna near Timarpur Drain. This will substantially improve the quality of water flowing into River Yamuna from Najfagarh Drain.

Lastly, the board also accorded approval to the work of providing and laying of the water distribution system in Abul Fazal Enclave, part 1 Block E to N in Okhla constituency and Shaheen bagh in Okhla Constituency. Presently, these areas do not have any water supply network leading to the functioning of a lot of illegal bottling plants with R.O. machines. After completion of this project filter water will be gradually added by rationalizing the water supply of different areas. The total cost of the project is approximately 3.3 crores & 7.6 crores simultaneously.

Delhi Power Minister Satyendar Jain inaugurates Smart Power Grid at Narela

03.02.2021, New Delhi: Delhi Government in its continuous endeavour to provide reliable power supply to its consumers has recently set up a new 66/11 kV smart power grid at Narela. The inauguration of which is done by the Power Minister Satyendar Jain. He said that this smart power grid is state-of-the-art and is maintenance-free. The Minister said that 66/11 kV Smart Power Grid is a step ahead in providing 24×7 electricity supply to Delhiites. He said that the latest smart power grid involves minimum input and gives maximum output with zero human intervention.

While inaugurating the substation, Jain said, "I have inspected the whole power plant and found it to be outstanding. It is state-of-the-art and is maintenance-free as it works on a centralized automated system."

The smart power grid is constructed to cater to loads of the chemical industries and solve the problem of overloading in the area. The newly set up power grid is unmanned and operates from a centralized automated system i.e. Supervisory Controlled and Data Acquisition Center (SCADA). This increases the durability of the plant and makes it maintenance-free.

The smart power grid works in an environment-friendly manner by making use of Li-Ion batteries. It also has area allocated for tree plantation and water harvesting, which was mentioned by Satyendar Jain. He said, "Special care should be taken to harvest the rainwater and tree plantation in the area."

He also emphasized that the Delhi Government is committed to providing a 24×7 electricity supply and this smart power grid is a step ahead in this process.

CM reviews Delhi’s redesigning & streetscaping pilot project

20.01.2021, New Delhi: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal chaired a review meeting with the PWD officials on 20th Janaury 2021 and discussed on the status of the ongoing projects of redesigning and streetscaping of seven road stretches, and 540 km of identified roads of Delhi. The Chief Minister directed officials to remove all obstacles to ensure a swift project completion by 2023.

It is noteworthy that Delhi government is working to redesign the 100 feet wide and 540 km long roads of the national capital on the lines of European cities, as envisaged by the Chief Minister. The pilot project started in November 2019. The main objectives of the project is to remove bottlenecks for a smooth traffic flow of traffic on the roads, encourage the use of non-motorized vehicles, construct disabled-friendly infrastructure, and ensure efficient use of space alongside the road stretches.

The project will help increase greenery, the re-harvesting system will be implemented in the sewer drains. The roads designing and construction will also take into account dust control.

Irrawaddy Dolphin population grows in Chilika Lake

16.01.2021, Bhubaneshwar: Asia's largest brackish water lagoon, Chilika lake in Odisha, widely reckoned as a favourite destination of migratory birds has gained fame to be a safe haven for the rare Irrawaddy dolphins.

According to a recent annual survey conducted by the Chilika Development Authority (CDA), the population of dolphins has increased to 156 in 2020 against 150 in 2019.

The Irrawaddy dolphin is the flagship species inhabiting the Chilika Lake. The CDA in a statement said that the present distribution range of this species is only in Asia, from Chilika to Indonesia. Irrawaddy dolphins in India are protected under the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972, ClTES (Appendix-l) and IUCN Red List.

The annual population estimation survey of Irrawaddy dolphin has been conducted by CDA since 2003. The annual survey conducted on 15th January 2021 by "Transact Survey Method", followed worldwide for population of aquatic mammals. Each survey team was equipped with binoculars, GPS, Range finder and data recording sheets.

According to reports, a total of 18 teams had conducted the annual count of the dolphin population for around six hours. While 10 teams of experts conducted the counting in Balugaon area and 8 teams were engaged for the counting in Satapada area, he said, adding that restriction on the visit of the tourists to the lake was also imposed during the counting period.

Earlier, on 5th January 2021, a bird census was also conducted that revealed a total of 1,242,000 individuals of 105 water bird species and 26,405 individuals of 76 wetland dependent species, were counted from the entire lagoon.

During the Flora and Fauna Monitoring of Chilika Lake on 15th January 2021, five species of seagrasses were also reported. According to reports, seagrass species such as Holodule uninervis, Holodule pinifolia, Halophila ovalis, Halophila ovata and Halophila beccarii were recorded during the survey. This occurs over an area of 155 sq km, an increase from 152 sq km of last year. Chilika now has 22 per cent of India's seagrass area.

Delhi orders 1000 BS-VI compliant low-rise buses

15.01.2021, New Delhi: In pursuance of building a world-class public transport system, along with reducing the environmental pollution in Delhi, Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) has ordered for induction of 1000 low floor AC CNG buses. All the buses are expected to be on-road by September 2021. With the induction of these 1000 buses, the total fleet of DTC will increase to 4760, which has happened for the first time in the last 12 years due to the persistence of the Arvind-Kejriwal government.

Congratulating people of Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal shared a message that Delhi Govt is committed to a pollution-free City besides creating a world-class public transport system.

All the buses will be BS-VI compliant, Air-Conditioned, and equipped with State-of-the-Art facilities like Real-Time Passenger Information systems, CCTVs, Panic Buttons, GPS, etc.along with being differently-abled friendly. Bharat Stage (BS) standards are emission standards that regulate the output of air pollutants from motor vehicles.

This is an order placed after a period of 12 years. The last purchase of the new buses was undertaken in the year 2008, with the last bus being inducted in October 2011. On 14th February 2015, the number of buses was 4879. Currently, DTC runs 3760 buses. In the last 2 years, 1681 cluster buses had been added to Delhi’s bus fleet. Presently, there are 6693 buses in Delhi - 3760 DTC and 2933 cluster buses.

Delhi Water Minister stressed on prioritized augmentation in the water supply

15.01.2021, New Delhi: Soon after Delhi Jal Board (DJB) moving to the Supreme Court on the matter of Ammonia Pollution in River Yamuna, Delhi Chief Minister reviewed the status of various projects related to water and wastewater. Today, Delhi Water Minister and DJB Chairman, Satyendar Jain reviewed the water augmentation project to ensure an increase in water supply across Delhi before the summer season. The meeting was convened to review the status of various ongoing projects of the DJB, including water augmentation and installation of tubewell at Haiderpur and Chandrawal Water Treatment Plant, and construction of Innovation Cell Building, etc.

In the meeting, the Minister was apprised that the Water treatment capacity is being augmented at Haiderpur WTP by 16 MGD and at Chandrawal WTP by 12 MGD. Also, ammonia removal plants are being installed at Ranney wells in East Delhi which will augment supply by 4 MGD. Bawana WTP also has the potential to give an extra output of 2 MGD.

He instructed the DJB officials that all projects should be completed before the summer of 2021 and no file should be kept pending for more than 24 hours at any level for these projects. He said, "Providing water is the topmost priority and green corridor should be provided for the processing of all the files which are aimed at immediate augmentation in the water supply."

"We are trying to add 34 MGD before April 2021 that can cater to around 1.5 lakh households. Delhi government has already laid pipeline in 1622 colonies and released water in 1571 colonies. This additional water will provide relief to around 7.5 lakh population and reduce stress on pipelines." he added.

Stakeholder Consultation on Restoration Opportunities Assessment in Haryana

13.01.2021, Gurugram: The second consultation workshop for the project entitled ‘Forest Landscape Restoration based on IUCN’s “Restoration Opportunities Assessment Methodology (ROAM)”’ was held on 13thJanuary, 2021. The meeting held in PWD Rest House Gurugram saw the attendance of Kanwar Pal, Minister of Education, Forest, Tourism, Parliamentary Affairs, Hospitality, and Art & Culture Affairs, Haryana through video conferencing along with senior officials from Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), State Forest Department and other line Departments that are key stakeholders for land restoration in Haryana.

Minister of Forest and Education, Haryana, Kanwar Pal, congratulated the participants from the forest department, line departments, IUCN and IORA Ecological Solutions for taking on Land Restoration Initiatives in Haryana. He emphasised that the COVID-19 pandemic is a reminder to all of us that we need to urgently work towards conserving nature. He mentioned that many native and indigenous tree species are on the verge of extinction and these need to be saved. He said that Haryana supports the global and national target under the Bonn Challenge and the state government has taken on a target to increase its green cover to 20% of its total geographic area. The state is planning intensive afforestation in 2200 villages to achieve this goal.

The ROAM project entails IUCN supporting MoEFCC with coordination, planning, monitoring and reporting of land restoration in India in a pilot phase of 3.5 years. In order to develop and adapt best practices and monitoring protocols, and build capacity. IUCN and MoEFCC have identified five states in this pilot phase - Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh Maharashtra, and Nagaland. IUCN has engaged IORA Ecological Solutions Pvt. Ltd. (IORA), an environmental advisory group with expertise in forestry, landscape management and climate change mitigation and adaptation to carry out an analysis of land restoration opportunities in the five states to tackle the challenge of land degradation. This was the second stakeholder consultation for the project in Haryana undertaken by IUCN and IORA in close collaboration with the State Forest Department.

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is a membership Union, established in 1948, having observer status at UN General Assembly, is the world’s largest environmental network of membership, uniquely composed of both Government and Civil Society Organizations, with about 1500 Member organizations and more than 15,000 IUCN Commission members. IUCN India network comprises of about 40 members, including Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MoEFCC) as State Member and more than 1100 commission members, represented through 6 IUCN Commissions of Ecosystem Management (CEM), Education and Communication (CEC), Environmental, Economic and Social policy (CEESP), Species Survival Commission (SSC), World Commission on Environmental Law (WCEL), World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA). IUCN India works with numerous stakeholders including governments, academia and private sector on biodiversity conservation and wise use of natural resources, including, in the transboundary context. India became a State Member of IUCN in 1969, through the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC).

The purpose of this workshop was to get feedback and to validate preliminary findings with officials who work in different landscapes in Haryana. The workshop began with remarks by the dignitaries present who all stressed on the importance of land restoration in Haryana to support India’s efforts towards achieving Land Degradation Neutrality.

Dr Vivek Saxena, Country Representative, IUCN India, thanked the Hon’ble Minister of Forestand Education, and the Forest Department for supporting IUCN in the implementation of the ROAM project. He highlighted the ongoing pandemic due to COVID19, which is a resultant on forest degradation which brings human in closer contact with wildlife.

James McBreen, Senior Programme Officer, Forest Landscape Restoration Opportunities Assessment Coordinator, IUCN, highlighted how restoring land is possible through stakeholder engagements. He emphasised on how ROAM methodology is a futuristic approach on Forest Landscape Restoration.

IG National Afforestation and Eco-Development Board, Pankaj Asthana congratulated the officers from Haryana on participating in the second consultation meeting under the IUCN ROAM project in the state, and emphasised Haryana’s important role in the project.

VPCCF & HOFF, Haryana Forest Department, V. S. Tanwar highlighted the use of RS/GIS techniques to monitor forest cover by the Forest department. He expressed a desire to carry this out in even more detail with IUCNs support. He assured the cooperation of the department on ROAM initiative.

Principal Secretary to Government, Haryana Forest and Wildlife Department, G. Anupama noted that the remaining natural forests in the state were primarily in the Aravalli hills. Given the challenges of population pressure and conserving and increasing vegetation cover, she stressed the importance of community participation in achieving goals of restoration.

This was followed by a technical workshop where the IUCN-IORA team presented detailed findings and analysis of degradation trends and drivers across 6 Aravalli districts of Haryana facilitated by Dr PP Bhojvaid, Retd. PCCF Haryana Forest Department. The exercise revealed that mining and pressure on peri-urban forests were the key drivers of degradation in the region. It was agreed that the participating departments will work closely with the project team as they move forward towards developing restoration action plans for the region.

Sisodia tries defusing bird flu jitters in Delhi

11.01.2021, New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is closely monitoring the Avian bird flu infection and is talking to the officials concerned . “There is no reason to worry about the bird flu in Delhi. Processed chicken and livestock from other states has been banned as a precautionary measure. Delhi Murga Mandi will also be closed for a few days,” said Deputy CM Manish Sisodia today.

Dy CM Sisodia said this at a press conference today. He said that positive reports of duck samples have come in from the Sanjay Lake. “Due to this, the area is being thoroughly sanitized. We are ensuring deep cleaning is being carried out by the officials,” he said.

Sisodia said that the results of 100 samples that had been sent to Jalandhar recently, and are awaited. “But there is no reason to worry about bird flu in Delhi,” he added. Officers of the Animal Husbandry Unit, Development Department have been directed to carry out intensive campaigns across the state.

Sisodia said that as a precaution, a ban of ten days has been imposed on bringing livestock in from outside Delhi. “Also, there is a ban on selling packaged chicken or processed chicken from outside to Delhi to prevent infection from one state to another. But there is no need to panic about bird flu. It is a common influenza. The news of its spread from bird to human has not been reported so far,” he added.

“People who eat chicken and eggs should also not panic. There is no risk of infection from fully cooked chicken or boiled/cooked eggs.” Sisodia said.

It is noteworthy that Delhi Government had issued an alert to all the doctors and concerned people on October 28, 2020 and issued a directive to monitor Avian bird flu. After this, on January 4, 2021, a guideline was issued to all doctors for continuous sample collection and strict monitoring.

Doctors of all 48 Veterinary Hospitals of the Department of Development, Animal Husbandry Unit of Delhi Government are continuously monitoring bird flu across the state. Also, 11 rapid response teams have been set up which are continuously collecting samples.

Sisodia reviews Delhi's preparedness to handle Avian Bird Flu

07.01.2021, New Delhi: In the wake of Avian bird flu infection, Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, Manish Sisodia has directed strict precautionary measures to prevent spreading of infection in Delhi. Sisodia, met the officials of Animal Husbandry unit of the Development Department in the Secretariat, and reviewed the preparedness on the matter.

Sisodia directed intensive monitoring across Delhi and to also make strict ‘Dos and Don'ts' guidelines to be immediately implemented across city’s poultry marketplaces. He also directed the officials to carry out large scale sample collection and ensure frequent reporting of the same.

Delhi has not reported any case of positive bird flu, so far. On 28th October 2020, the Delhi government issued an alert to all doctors and concerned people of the state and issued a directive to monitor bird flu. Following this, on 4th January 2021, a guideline was issued to all the doctors to continue their regular sample collection and its strict monitoring. Apart from this, health checkup and monitoring of ducks is also being done in various water bodies in the city.

Doctors of all 48 Veterinary Hospitals of the Department of Development, Animal Husbandry Unit of Delhi Government are continuously monitoring bird flu across the state. Also, 11 rapid response teams have been formed which are regularly collecting samples. So far, more than 100 samples have been collected and sent to the designated lab in Jalandhar. The report is expected by Monday.

In the meeting, the Deputy CM directed the officials to keep a close watch on the poultry birds coming in from neighbouring states. He also instructed them to keep a close watch on the birds at major bird sites, especially poultry markets, water bodies, zoos among other potential hotspots. These include Ghazipur Fish and Poultry Market, Shakti Sthal Lake, Sanjay Lake, Bhalswa Horseshoe Lake, Delhi Zoo, and smaller water bodies in DDA parks among others. Sisodia directed them to monitor the sample collection from all such areas on a regular basis and send in frequent reports.

Local Bodies must wake-up to attain cleanliness in Itarsi

05.01.2021, New Delhi & Itarsi: In view of the Swachh Survekshan 2021, the Itarsi Municipality is running a cleanliness drive throughout the city, with enormous pomp and show. The municipality vehicles loudly instructing people to separate the wet wastes from the dry wastes. On the contrary, neither the residents are handing over segregated wastes, nor the municipal representatives deny to accept the mixed garbage.

Even in some cases, respecting the cleanliness drive 2021, the elite citizens, segregate wet and dry garbage, and also put those in to separate compartments of the waste collecting vehicle, the municipal vehicles are just throwing all the wastes in the trenching ground situated in Jilwani. This defeats the entire purpose, and also nullifies the claims made by the municipal authorities.

According to Abhinav Khare, Environment and Water Conservation Activist, associated with NGO, Social Action for Forest and Environment (SAFE), nothing is happening in true letter and spirit.

He further says that the municipal officials have not even fined any individual, a single penny, against failure towards cleanliness of the environment.

Khare cites lack of training, knowledge and awareness among the municipal waste transport vehicle operators as the major problem. It is further aggravated, as there is a huge possibility of mixing of garbage with Covid-19 wastes, which are commonly set on fire by the garbage disposal staff. It is quite visible in different Colony market area, Old bail bazar, Nyas Colony, Punjabi Mohalla, Malviya Ganj, Suraj Ganj and in many other parts of the city. This also leads to air pollution. In addition to such environmental unfriendly activities, misuse of drinking water is also rampant.

Citizens have raised complaints against such unhealthy and illegal practices by the teams deputed by municipal body. The trenching ground has been created in Jilwani, where the residents of nearby Kubrakheda village have lodged their complaints many officials from the Municipal CMO to the District Collector in the last two years.

As informed by SAFE, villagers have complained that many village dwellers and including children are facing breathing problems due to air pollution emanating from the burning of garbage. The local government has come out no solution till date.

Further, there is a huge possibility of surrounding forests being badly affected due to fire caused by garbage burning.

It is therefore, important that the authorities in Itarsi must wake-up to people's needs. Municipality must take cognizance of all serious matters without any further delay. Also immediate actions are indispensable to deal with these problems. There is also a great need to increase awareness among the citizens, as well as waste management staff to attain Swachhata in real terms.

Campaign Eye-care launched in Gurugram

05.01.2021, Gurugram: Aiming at adequate eye-health, education and awareness, Divisional Commissioner, Gurugram, Rajeev Ranjan, launched “Campaign Eye-care Gurugram” today. It is tailor made program for Gurugram with the objective of screening and detective eye related health issues and medical support to all such issues. Apart from Government five NGOs-Niramaya Charitable Trust, Om Indu Rural Hospital, Vivekanand Arogya Kendra, Arunodaya Charitable Trust and Aryaveer Eye Hospital are partners in this initiative.

“Campaign eye-care” will involve comprehensive screening of eye for any health issues. Wherever required, blood pressure and blood sugar will also be measured. First focus of initiative is on training of ANM workers, Asha workers, Anganwadi, MPHW, teachers, municipal staff for awareness and prescreening work. It is going to be followed by eye camps at different places. Medicine, spectacles, or even surgery is going to be provided. Post-surgery health monitoring of eye is included in “Campaign Eye-care Gurugram”

The initiative will also focus on media campaign to create awareness as well as for donation of eyes after death from healthy individuals. Medical camps will be organised on weekends for eye-care support and screening. Literature and presentation for eye-health is the part of awareness campaign. Eye camp will focus on refractive errors, glaucoma, amblyopia and diabetic retinopathy etc.

The whole Gurugram is divided into 5 areas which are allotted to these five NGOs. It is expected to benefit more than lakh individuals in next 11 months only.

On this occasion the Logo for “Campaign Eye-care, Gurugram” was also revealed. Launch of “Campaign Eye-care Gurugram” was attended by Chief Medical Officers, Sh. Virender Yadav, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Sunita Rathee, District Program Manager, NPCB, Dr. Neena Gathwal.

Divisional Commissioner, Gurugram exhorted eminent persons, corporate bodies and interested residents of Gurugram to lend support to this unique eye-care campaign. He also thanked all present as well as future partners in the noble initiative.

Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackrey advocates Sustainable Development

01.01.2021, Mumbai: The Environment and Climate Change Department , Govt. of Maharashtra has taken up an initiative, Majhi Vasundhara, mean My Earth, to create awareness among the citizens on the impacts of climate change and environmental issues, and also to encourage them to make a conscious effort towards the improvement of the environment.

On Friday, Speaking at the launch of an e-pledge initiative, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said the need of the hour is to make environment protection a people's movement. He said environment protection and conservation should be a way of life for every citizen. The Chief Minister further reminded, how coronavirus outbreak taught people several lessons, adding that pollution levels had decreased during lockdown.

"We cut trees for development and then use machines for providing oxygen to the new roads. We need to correct this imbalance in development and focus on environment friendly sustainable development," he said.

The initiative focusses on all five elements of nature i.e. “Panchamahabhuta” comprises Bhumi (Earth), Jala (Water), Vayu (Air), Agni (Energy), Akash (Enhancement) to ensure sustainable development for the state.

Majhi Vasundhara focuses on identifying potential action points for the betterment of the environment for the local bodies in Maharashtra (Majhi Vasundhara Abhiyan). It also aims to connect with every citizen at the individual level (#Epledge).

The Chief Minister appealed to people to visit the website and click on the #EPledge menu.

Delhi Jal Board extends Rebate Scheme till 31st March 2021

01.01.2021, New Delhi: Considering the highly trying and challenging time due to Covid-19, Delhi Jal Board (DJB) extends the Rebate Scheme on water bills till 31st March 2021.

With this extension of last date of DJB’s scheme, more consumers are expected to pay their water bills at reduced rates without facing any form of financial burden.

Satyender Jain, Minister Water and also Chairman, DJB informed that over 4.5 lakhs consumers have availed benefit of the scheme till date, and DJB has earned a total of Rs. 632 crores revenue out of it. Rs. 400 crores was from domestic consumers and over Rs. 232 crores deposited by 7836 commercial consumers so far, as informed by the Minister.

The scheme offers 100% Late Payment Surcharge (LPSC) waiver for consumers whose bills were pending till 31st March 2019. Further, the scheme has provision of 100% Principal Demand waiver for consumers in E, F, G and H category colony for property tax, while 75% in D category colony, 50% in C category colony and 25% in A & B category colony.

Consumers who install the meter after the commencement of the rebate scheme are required to give an application intimating their Name, Address, K. No. and document of meter installed showing the Meter Number, Make, and Certificate to the respective Zonal Revenue Office.

The form may be dropped in the ‘Meter Installation Intimation Box’ placed at the ZRO offices. Consumers who do not have functional meters may get meters of their choice installed from the list of approved dealers given on the DJB website. This is the third time that DJB has given an opportunity to its consumers to avail the rebate and be a part of the authorized water ambit of the Board.

MCD is accountable for COVID-19 Biomedical Waste Management

01.01.2021, New Delhi: Delhi Government's Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Satyendar Jain on 31.12.2020 said that looking at the significant reduction in bed occupancy levels in hospitals, now LNJP and GTB hospitals, which were earlier fully dedicated to COVID will be soon turned into partially COVID and made available to non-COVID patients.

While replying to a question on the COVID biomedical waste in Delhi, the Minister said, “COVID waste is MCD’s responsibility. They have been made accountable to handle it.”

Revision 4 of the Guidelines for Handling, Treatment and Disposal of Waste Generated during Treatment/Diagnosis/ Quarantine of COVID-19 Patients published by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) dated 17th July, 2020, also holds Urban Local Bodies responsible for ensuring safe collection and disposal of biomedical waste, if any, generated form Quarantine Camps/ Quarantine Homes/ Home Care for COVID-19 suspected persons.

it may also be noted that the guideline also mentions duties for Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) to maintain records, to ensure proper segregation, collection and disposal of biomedical waste as per BMW Rules, 2016 and also the above said guidance document. The DPCC was to allow Common Bio-medical Waste Treatment Facilities (CBWTFs) to operate for extra hours as per requirement and may not insist on authorisation of quarantine camps as such facilities does not qualify as health facilities.

It was earlier reported that 10% of India's biomedical wastes (BMW) is generated from the National capital Delhi. According to a report while Delhi generated 25 tonnes of Covid-19 waste in April 2020, it jumped to 372 tonnes in June 2020. However, the quantity fell in July to 349 tonnes and 296 tonnes in August 2020.

Latest unambiguous data is not easily available on digital platforms offered by DPCC and CPCB, which needs to be considered by the authorities.

River Yamuna Management Committee formed on the line of NGT Orders

22.12.2020, Delhi: In compliance with the directions from National Green Tribunal (NGT), the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has proposed setting up a 16-member committee for conservation, protection and restoration of the Yamuna floodplains in the national capital. Last year, the NGT had directed the land-owning agency to constitute a special purpose vehicle for the rejuvenation of the River Yamuna in Delhi, which could further be a model for 351 polluted river stretches in the country. The River Yamuna Management Committee will be chaired by the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi. The Principal Commissioner (Horticulture & Landscape), DDA, will be its Member Secretary.

Members will include the Delhi Chief Secretary; DDA Vice Chairman; Commissioners of Delhi Police; Commissioners of Municipal Corporations; CEO, Delhi Jal Board and a senior official of the environment department. The committee shall formulate policies, norms and guidelines to protect the floodplain ecosystem from the adverse impact of development, according to a draft submitted by the DDA to the National Green Tribunal-appointed Yamuna Monitoring Committee.

Its tasks will include protecting the floodplains from encroachments and illegal activities and oversee reclamation of land on the river floodplains. The committee will coordinate with DDA, Delhi Jal Board, municipal corporations, Delhi Police, Uttar Pradesh Irrigation Department, NGOs, experts and other stakeholders to achieve its aims and objectives. According to the draft, it will supervise the functioning of all departments which affect the river and its floodplains. The panel will also oversee setting up, upgradation and functioning of sewage treatment plants and effluent treatment plants to ensure that public places and drains are clean.

It can also co-opt experts in the fields of water management, solid waste management, environmental engineering, environmental impact assessment, ecology, botany, biodiversity, hydrology, landscape architecture or any other relevant field.

Kejriwal inaugurates Anti-smog gun mounted on BSVI engine truck to combat Delhi Air Pollution

09.12.2020, New Delhi: According to a 4th November 2020 report by The Energy Research Institute (TERI), 50-70% of the contribution to air pollution in Delhi and the other NCR cities is from within their city boundaries and from the rest of the NCR. The report also states deterioration of ambient air quality has been attributed with 1.24 million premature deaths and 38.7 million disability adjusted life-years (DALYs) loss in India resulting in a national public health crisis.

In a bid to improve the air quality and control dust pollution levels in the Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal inaugurated an anti-smog gun on Wednesday, 9th December 2020. The truck-mounted anti-smog gun is a substantial step in reducing dust pollution in the city, and the truck has BS6 engine installed inside it. The newly inaugurated anti-smog gun has a water tank of a capacity of 5000 litres and will continue to function for 3-4 continuous hours. Under Delhi government's 'Yuddh, Pradushan ke Viruddh' campaign, around 23 anti-smog guns have been installed in the national capital to combat dust pollution.

The anti-smog gun is mounted on a BS6 engine truck, which is a significant step in reducing air pollution owing to lesser vehicular emission. The newly inaugurated anti-smog gun has a water tank of a capacity of 5000 litres and will continue to function for 3-4 continuous hours. The 5000 litres of the water tank can wash the road, footpath, and trees in the median and side berms as this anti-smog gun has the facility to atomize the water and carry particulate matter suspended in the air.

Around 23 anti-smog guns have been installed by the PWD at key intersections and construction sites across Delhi, to combat dust pollution in the city. The PWD department has also taken the responsibility of sprinkling water on trees, roads, and construction sites to combat dust pollution. On the directions of CM Arvind Kejriwal, the number of anti-smog guns and water tankers will be further increased by the authorities as and when required.

Acute Air Pollution in Gurugram’s Daulatabad Road Industrial Area causes unhygienic environment

02.12.2020, Gurugram: As winter is peaking, the level of environmental pollution in Gurugram district and adjoining areas, including Delhi NCR is also on the rise. Though the movement against air pollution is not that strong this year, air pollution is not less in many parts of Gurgaon.

In the west/ north-west direction of the city, an industrial area widely known as Daulatabad Road Industrial Area is located. Though the area is undergoing a change due to many housing and commercial development along with Dwarka Express way project, it hubs some highly polluting industrial units. Some people believe that many of these units are not even possessing a valid consent from the State Pollution Control Board.

Mani Bhushan Shukla, an IT professional describes that some of the industries spew black smokes throughout day and night. He said sometimes, obnoxious smell makes it horrible in the entire area during whole night, as the industrial unit works mostly in the night. Ranjan Acharya, another techie, relocated to Bengaluru due to such pollution. Another nearby resident of Sagar Enclave mentioned that there are many industrial activities going on without any control measures for sound pollution, and vibration.

In early November, the Gurugram District Administration had appealed to all the residents to adopt measures to reduce air pollution level. The administration had also sought residents help on sharing information about those who are contributing in increasing the pollution level in violation of the rules, so that appropriate action taken and polluters are punished as per provisions. But none of the above residents lodged any complaint because they don’t feel confidence about a positive outcome in the favour of common men.

It is noteworthy that the local administration has asked residents to raise complaint against construction works without adopting preventive measures, spray water on road side dust, and inform the Municipal Corporation about the same. District residents have been asked to pass information about pollution causing units and industries using unauthorized fuel. The spokesperson said that these information can also be given on the toll free number 1800-180-0091 or WhatsApp number 9717990677 of the Grievance Redressal Control Room of Haryana State Pollution Control Board. Not only this, the complaint can be made on e-mail message / home page. In addition, the toll free number 1800-180-1817 of the Municipal Corporation's air cell. He also said that information can also be put on the cleanliness app of the Municipal Corporation. The spokesperson said that fire brigade can be informed on toll free number 101 or mobile number 911242392101 for fire incidents. He said that to save the environment, people of Gurugram need to work in this direction with vigilance and proactiveness.

At the same time, the respective authorities need to carry out desired site inspections and identify various polluting industrial units and direct them to install and operate air pollution control devices to treat pollutants. And without such arrangements the industrial units must be stopped to operate. The Police department should also be informed so that pollution due to night operations of such violating industrial units could be clamped down.

High level of Ammonia in Yamuna water may disrupt tomorrow's water supply in Delhi

26.11.2020, New Delhi: Raghav Chadha, Vice Chairman, Delhi Jal Board (DJB) has informed that due to increase in concentration of ammonia, a pollutant, in Yamuna raw water discharged by Haryana, production at Wazirabad, Chandrawal and Okhla Water Treatment Plants is likely to be impacted from tomorrow morning, i.e., 27th November 2020. This may affect water supply in the various parts of Delhi.

Through a twitter message, he has appealed people of Delhi residing in possibly going to be affected area to store, and also use water judiciously. He has also informed that adequate number of water tankers are being deployed, and DJB is working relentlessly, in collaboration with Haryana, to restore normal water supply.

The areas to be affected are Civil Lines, Hindu Rao Hospitals and adjoining areas, Kamla Nagar, Shakti Nagar, and adjoining areas, Karol Bagh, Pahar Ganj, NDMC areas, Old and New Rajinder Nagar, Patel Nagar (East & West), Baljeet Nagar, Prem Nagar, Inderpuri and adjoining areas, Kalkaji, Govindpuri, Tughlakabad, Sangam vihar, Ambedkar Nagar, Prahladpur and adjoining areas, Ramleela ground, Delhi gate, Subhash Park, Model Town, Gulabi Bagh, Punjabi Bagh, Jahangirpuri, Moolchand, South extension, Greater kailash, Burari and adjoining areas, parts of Cantonment area and South Delhi.

DJB central control room number is 1916.

"Jakhni Model could be replicated in many parts of India" - Dr. Avinash Mishra, Adviser - Water Resources & Land Reforms, NITI Aayog

24.11.2020, New Delhi: Catch the raindrops wherever it falls. The more water harvested, soil moisture will be better, which is very important for good yield of crops. Actual implementation of this concept by the farmers of Jakhani village in Bundelkhand, Uttar Pradesh was appreciated by Dr. Avinash Mishra, Adviser - Water Resources and Land Reforms, NITI Aayog, Government of India.

In a surprise visit to see the widely acclaimed slogan "Khet par Med, Ped par Ped" (Ridge on land, and Trees on Ridge) adopted by the farmers of Jakhani village, Dr. Mishra reviewed the agricultural fields, ponds, water bodies, wells and traditional water sources created through community based participatory water management. He also visited the famous Ken river, one of the major rivers of Bundelkhand, and discussed various aspects of water conservation and water management with the members of Jalgram Samiti.

He said that bunding is a suitable method for water conservation as rainwater is hold in the field where it drops, which helps to increase the groundwater level, and proves useful in protecting crops from damage due to water scarcity. Dr. Mishra said he has been telling the Jakhni Jal Gram Samiti for a long time about the advantages of water conservation through bunding method. Now, this traditional model of water conservation method is also being implemented in other states. It should be replicated in many other parts of India.

While congratulating farmers of Jakhani, Dr. Avinash Mishra said that they have achieved fame all over the country by their exemplary works. The young farmers of this village have done amazing work by adopting traditional techniques in the field of farming through community based participatory management, he added.

Advisor, NITI Aayog further mentioned that in India, crores of hectares of agricultural land is dependent on rainwater. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has written letter to the Sarpanches across the country to conserve water through bunding and other traditional methods. He also stated that India has an age old tradition of harvesting crops like Arhar, Urad, Linseed, Jowar, etc. on the farm ridge, as these crops do not require much of water. Hence, there is a need to relook into the agricultural practices, which can save enormous amount of water.

Dr. Mishra was informed that as the ground water level was found increasing in the surrounding area, the elated farmers passed on to the government authorities. The Minor Irrigation Department further reported that the effort done by Jakhni villagers is small, but apt and correct, as it prevents soil erosion, retaining soil nutrients, and moisture. It also help in natural decomposition of crop residues that is vital for farming.

On this occasion, Uma Shankar Pandey, Convener of Jal Gram Samiti, shared information and experience related to bunding. Other members namely, Ali Mohammed, Nirbhay Singh, Premchand Verma, Raja Bhaiya Verma, Ramchandra Yadav, Ram Vishal Kushwaha, Prem Prakash, Ajay Shivhare were also present. Besides being Adviser for Water Resources and Land Reforms in NITI Aayog and Member in various esteemed committees, Dr. Avinash Mishra is also a Member of the Pollution Control Committee constituted by the Supreme Court. Village Youth of Jakhni were extremely delighted to find such a high cadre officer in their place.

Odisha govt to promote homestays at eco-tourist spots


16.11.2020, Bhubaneswar: The Odisha State Government has decided to promote ‘Homestays’ at nature trails and eco-tourist spots. At a high level meeting chaired by Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy today, it was decided that homestays would be supported from the 2021, for a period of ten years.

Major tourist destinations like – Diamond Triangle Buddhist Circuit (Ratnagiri – Udayagiri – Lalitgiri); Onkadelli in Koraput district; Khola, Gupti, Dangmala, Bhitarkanika national park in Kendrapara district; Daringibadi, Belghar in Kandhamala; Simlipal, Pithabata, Jashipur in Mayurbhanj; Tikarpada, Satakosia in Angul; Magalajodi, Chilika in Khordha district and, Dhodrokusum, Zero pint in Bargarh district have been prioritized for development of homestay facilities in the first phase.

“Nature trail and experiential tourism is the current fad, and, Odisha has much to offer in this sector. Develop homestay facilities in the remote areas untouched by hotel network,” said Tripathy, adding that home stays have the potential to promote local entrepreneurship. “However, quality hospitality, hygiene and safety of the tourists needs to be ensured.”

Tripathy suggested that the these facilities should be linked with global online travel aggregators and integrated to their websites. The Chief Secretary asked the departments of Tourism, Forest & Environment to train the local homestay unit owners and field level officials properly so that they could provide best cultural, cuisine and social experiences to the tourists.

Development Commissioner Suresh Chandra Mohapatra said, “Presently homestay facilities in Magalajodi and Dangmala show encouraging results. Such facilities at other places will attract more tourists and will expand economic activities in rural sector. It can be tapped as a sustainable source of livelihood and income generation activity.”

It was decided that around 80 home stay providers at these places would be incentivised each year with financial support. Each home stay unit can let out 1-6 rooms (upto 12 beds) to guests. The rooms must be located on the premises where the owner or his family members normally reside. The owner or his family member should be directly involved in providing hospitality to the guests. A room should be at least 120 sq ft size for twin sharing with attached bathroom and toilet. There should be proper fan and air cooler arrangement, kitchen, power back, pest control and first aid facilities in the home stay units.

Officials have been asked to work out details for providing onetime financial support to the owners for proper furnishing and addition of amenities. The Tourism Department was advised to put in place proper mechanism at the district level to facilitate and carry forward the intervention. Among others, Additional Chief Secretary Forest & Environment Dr Mona Sharma, Principal Secretary Finanace Ashok Kumar Meena, Secretary Tourism Vishal Kumar Dev, PCCF (Wild Life) Hari Shankar Upadhaya, Director Tourism Sachin Ramchadra Jagdev along with other senior officers were present at the meeting.

Gurgaon Administration insists residents to help attain better air quality by passing information through WhatsApp, Email & Telephone

10.11.2020, Gurugram: As winter is peaking, the level of environmental pollution in Gurugram district and adjoining areas, including Delhi NCR is also on the rise. In such a situation, the whole district needs to adopt measures to reduce environmental pollution. The Gurugram District Administration has appealed to all the residents to adopt measures to reduce air pollution level. The administration has also sought residents help on sharing information about those who are contributing in increasing the pollution level in violation of the rules, so that appropriate action taken and polluters are punished as per provisions.

A spokesman for the district administration said on 9th November 2020 that none of the district dwellers should burn waste under pollution control measures, and asked people to lodge complain against anyone putting garbage or debris other than the designated places.

Residents are also asked to raise complaint against construction works without adopting preventive measures, spray water on road side dust, and inform the Municipal Corporation about the same. District residents have been asked to pass information about pollution causing units and industries using unauthorized fuel. The spokesperson said that these information can also be given on the toll free number 1800-180-0091 or WhatsApp number 9717990677 of the Grievance Redressal Control Room of Haryana State Pollution Control Board. Not only this, the complaint can be made on e-mail message / home page. In addition, the toll free number 1800-180-1817 of the Municipal Corporation's air cell. He also said that information can also be put on the cleanliness app of the Municipal Corporation. The spokesperson said that fire brigade can be informed on toll free number 101 or mobile number 911242392101 for fire incidents. He said that to save the environment, people of Gurugram need to work in this direction with vigilance and proactiveness.

How to Use the 'Green Delhi' App

03.11.2020, New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has launched the 'Green Delhi' App to increase citizen participation and ensure timely action in Delhi's fight against pollution. The photo, audio, and video-based 'Green Delhi' app to is designed to enable citizens of Delhi to report pollution violations and local sources of pollution in the city, such as garbage burning, dust due to construction activities, industrial activities, and other local pollutants.

To use the App, you may follow the following steps:

- Download the 'Green Delhi' App through Play Store.

- Register through your mobile number, fill in the required OTP, and register by filling in your name.

- Select the language you want to proceed in at the top right corner of the Home Page.

- Select the 'Register Complaint' option on the app. The app will detect your location through Google Maps.

- Select the type of complaint, department, fill in your address details, district.

- You may choose to register your complaint by uploading an audio, photo, and video of the pollutant on the app (optional). You may also add more information about the complaint in the comments section below.

- Click on the Submit button to lodge your complaint.

- You may also check the total number of complaints registered by you, the number of complaints resolved, and the number of complaints in progress on the Home Page of the App.

Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai launches anti-cracker campaign

03.11.2020, New Delhi: To curb pollution levels in the city due to the use of crackers around Diwali, Delhi Environment Minister Shri Gopal Rai on Tuesday launched the anti-cracker campaign of the Delhi government. He appealed to the people of Delhi to use green crackers and not polluting crackers. Under the campaign, all SDMs and police officials, and 11 teams of the DPCC have been directed to ensure there is no bursting of polluting crackers across Delhi. The teams are ensuring effective implementation on ground, checking that the crackers sold must have a 'Green Cracker' logo on them, and second, the crackers sold in the shops must be from authorised companies. In the wake of the campaign, Shri Gopal Rai visited the Sadar Bazar area in Delhi to inspect the sale of crackers.

Shri Gopal Rai said, "As per the directions of the supreme court, polluting crackers have been banned in Delhi and only pollution-free green crackers have been allowed this year. From today, an Anti-Cracker campaign has been launched in Delhi. All the SDMs, 11 teams of the DPCC and all police officials have been directed to ensure there is no bursting of polluting crackers across Delhi. For the implementation of the campaign, we are ensuring two things - first, the crackers must have a 'Green Cracker' logo on them, and second, the crackers sold in the shops must be from authorised companies. We are following the guidelines of the Supreme Court. The Delhi government will follow any new directions to curb pollution as and when issued."

Shri Gopal Rai said that every year, pollution levels in Delhi have been high due to the use of crackers around Diwali. Due to this, crackers which cause pollution have been banned and we are promoting the use of only green crackers this year. The Delhi government has launched the Anti-Cracker campaign from today, with an aim to curb pollution in the city.

"I want to appeal to the people of Delhi, this is the time when we are witnessing COVID and pollution at the same time, please do not burn crackers. I also want to appeal to them to only use green crackers and keep the crackers away from children, women, elderly and people with co-morbidities. For effective implementation of the anti-cracker campaign, we have constituted DPCC and SDM teams who are inspecting the on-ground situation," he added.

Polluting manufacturing units will have option to shift to hi-tech or service industries: Arvind Kejriwal

03.11.2020, New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on 2nd November 2020 said that as per the new notification issued by the Central Government, only hi-tech and service industries, and no manufacturing activities will be allowed in the new industrial areas. There are many types of industrial areas in Delhi, such as iron, steel, plastic, etc, which are the major sources of pollution in the national capital.

Welcoming the decision, the Chief Minister said, "In the coming days, we hope that all these manufacturing industries will be shut down and more and more service industries will be opened in Delhi. In the service sector, CAs, lawyers, and media offices can be opened, computer hardware and software industries, industries doing systemic integration, industries integrating and manipulating the interfaces of computer and telecom facilities, IT service, Internet and email provider, ITES services, customer interaction services, call centres, email helpdesk, back-office processing, finance and accounting, insurance claims, HR services, business processing, software extensions, media offices, TV and video program production, photo-composing and desktop publication, audio-visual services, R&D services, architect and engineer officers, ad agencies, marketing agencies, placement services, equity research services, vocational training, and educational services can be opened."

This will be an important step in creating a pollution-free and neat, clean, and green Delhi stated Kejriwal. It would be also essential that the pollution control measures and regulations are properly addressed in surrounding areas of Delhi, where the industries will be relocated. There are uproars exposing events of uncontrollable use of materials which are scientifically not feasible to be used as fuel, and still abruptly utilized in the cities falling under the National Capital Region.

'Red Light On, Gaadi Off' practice by 10% of Delhi's vehicle could reduce 1.5 TPA PM10

15.10.2020, New Delhi: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday launched the 'Red Light On, Gaadi Off' initiative to tackle the problem of rising air pollution in the national capital. Addressing a digital press conference Kejriwal said that there are one crore vehicles registered in Delhi, out of which if 10 lakh vehicles turn off ignition at traffic signals, around 1.5 tonnes of PM10 and 0.4 tonnes of PM2.5 will be reduced in a year. The initiative has been launched under the 'Yuddh, Pradushan Ke Viruddh' campaign of the Delhi government.

Despite the Union Minister Prakash Javadekar's claim that air pollution to the level of merely 4 - 5% is caused due to stubble burning, Chief Minister Kejriwal said, "The pollution in Delhi is increasing and the situation of air-pollution deteriorates in Delhi every year due to the toxic air, due to the stubble burning in the neighboring states. The stubble burning has started and with time, the number of stubble burning cases is increasing in the neighboring states. I think the toxic air becomes a bit diluted when it reaches the national capital, but the farmers who burn the stubble are the worst hit."

The Chief Minister further said, "The experts have noted that when a car is in the idling mode, it emits a lot more pollutants than when the car is traveling. If the car is in idling mode for 10 seconds it emits more pollutants than if you stop the engine and then restart it. In this way, you can also save more fuel in your car. Every day, one car spends around 15 to 20 minutes at the red signal on an average. During this time one car utilizes around 200 mL of fuel. But if you switch off the engine at the red signals, you can save Rs.7000 per month."

Running of Diesel Generators & Thermal Power Plants in NCR has direct impact on Air Pollution in Delhi

15.10.2020, New Delhi: Delhi Environment Minister Shri Gopal Rai on Thursday wrote a letter to the Supreme Court-mandated EPCA and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) requesting these agencies to shut down all the 11 thermal power plants of the NCR. He said "Red light On Gaadi Off" campaign can bring down vehicular pollution in Delhi by 15-20%. He said that tomorrow he will hold a high-level meeting with the senior officials of several departments to make a roadmap of this campaign.

The Minister stated that Delhi is the only state where petrol diesel and kerosene run generators have been ordered to be shut. All hotspots have been ordered to have 24x7 patrolling. To further lower the pollution levels, steps have been taken to increase the green cover. As opposed to the given target of 15 lakh, 25 lakhs tree plantation has been done. There were 1500 factories in the city, which used harmful fuel, but 1400 units out of those have replaced and begun to use PNG. The citizens of Delhi were encouraged to make use of electric vehicles as part of the policy. The Delhi government is doing manifold work to suppress the rising pollution levels.

The Minister further mentioned that despite Delhi Govt.'s multipronged approach to curb air pollution, it can't be a reality without support from Central Government and neighbouring States. He stated that within a radius of 300 metres on all four sides of Delhi, there are 11 thermal power plants which are still functioning, and the Central government plans to give them an extension. Out of the 12, only 1 power plant is technologically equipped to lower pollution levels. The other 11 continue to release harmful gases. On 8 May 2020, CPCB said after submitting 18 lakh per month as fine; states can continue operating thermal power plants. But we ask how they can allow them to function after surpassing the deadline for two months."

He said, “We plan to give it in writing to CPCB and EPCA, that for power, under section 5, an order should be issued demanding the shutdown of power plants within 1 week, till circumstances are serious. We request them to not show any partiality. If generators in Gurgaon, Faridabad and Haryana will operate, then Delhi will face direct consequences. The Centre needs to realise that pollution as a problem is not related to the boundary. It is air set related. And the air set cannot be divided. Within a radius of 300 KM is Delhi air set. If there’s any cause of pollution, it will affect the entire city. This calls for a collective effort. All we ask for is assistance, for this cannot be done without a concerted and collaborative application."

DPCC to impose a fine of Rs. 2 million on PWD

15.10.2020, New Delhi: In continuation to his surprise inspections, Delhi Govt.'s Environment Minister Gopal Rai today undertook a surprise inspection of the construction sites of the drain being constructed along the main road of Burari in its series of anti-dust operations in Delhi.

The minister found large-scale violations of the guidelines issued by the Delhi government on the spot. He expressed strong displeasure over this and said that the sites were found to be grossly negligent in complying with the guidelines issued by the government.

Negligence is shown in the vigilance that the departments should take to deal with the growing pollution crisis inside Delhi. "We have directed the DPCC to impose an environmental compensation penalty of Rs 20 lakh on the PWD. In addition, PWD has been directed to install two water tankers at the site. At the same time, it is instructed to cover the ejected soil," he said.

The environment minister said, "The government has started an anti-dust campaign to prevent pollution from dust blowing in Delhi. Under which the government has issued necessary guidelines and strict action will be taken on its violation. Particularly, the departments should take caution in the way the pollution crisis is increasing within the city."

Instructions have been issued that all the concerned departments should take immediate action on the complaints of dust blowing. Regarding construction work, the environment minister said that detailed guidelines have been issued by the Delhi government regarding the reasons for which dust pollution can occur. Shri Rai said that all the agencies will have to follow it strictly and if not done, stringent action will be taken against them.

Kejriwal calls for a mass movement to promote Solar energy utilization in Delhi

14.10.2020, New Delhi: Inaugurating the 218 kWp solar power plant at Lady Irwin Colleg, one of the most prestigious colleges of the country, on 14th October 2020, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that to strengthen the solar power usage in Delhi, the solar energy has to be transformed into a mass movement. He said that the Delhi government has formulated policies in this regard, such as Mukhya Mantri Solar Power Yojana, that includes incentivizing the installation of solar power plants for residential and commercial properties and Mukya Mantri Kisan Aay Badhotri Solar Yojana that includes increasing the income of farmers by three to four times. He also said that Green Energy is the future of resources of energy, and Delhi will soon become the Solar Capital of India through such initiatives.

Congratulating Lady Irwin College for the initiative, the Chief Minister said “Two policies were designed by the Delhi government, the first was expanding solar power generation to the citizens of Delhi. Solar power was not affordable and is not under the affordability bracket of the general public. Under the policy, the people only had to give their rooftops. A company would install the solar power panel on the rooftop, and Hydroelectric will provide a subsidy on the solar power panel so that the initial spending is less. The power company would then sell power to you, as well as to other power companies. The residents, RWAs, or any entity which is installing the solar power panel, does not have to spend any capital cost, and in fact, they will save money on power consumption as well. They will be able to save lakhs by just giving their rooftops and completing or signing on some documentations. Our second policy is for the farmers, where if the farmers permit installation of solar power panels at some height and the farmers will receive rent from the solar power plants. They can also continue cultivating their farmlands. This increases their income by three to four times. They can start earning 1 lakh per acre instead of Rs. 40000-50000 per acre.”

Kejriwal informed that within 4 years Delhi’s total solar power generation has gone up from 7 MW to 177 MW. Emphasizing on the need to increase the scope of utilizing solar energy in Delhi, the Chief Minister called for a solar energy movement in the city through promotion, and creating mass awareness about the schemes.

Terming Thermal energy as a polluting source of energy, while hydro-electric power plants require huge land area, and therefore, not feasible for a state like Delhi, Kejriwal said that future belongs to Green Energy, where solar power energy has a pivotal role. Delhi Chief Minister also mentioned about the schemes to promote solar energy such as, Delhi Solar Energy Policy 2016, Mukhya Mantri Solar Power Yojana and Mukya Mantri Kisan Aay Badhotri Solar Yojana.

The Delhi government has signed low tariff renewable energy power purchase agreements and has played a major role in enabling DISCOMS to enter into PPAs for 2000 MW of renewable power at the lowest rates in the country of about Rs 2.8 per unit.

Delhi asks Centre to shut 11 Thermal Power Stations in NCR

14.10.2020, New Delhi: Delhi Power Minister Satyendar Jain on Wednesday, the 14th October 2020, wrote a letter to the Union Power Minister, R K Singh requesting to shut down all the 11 thermal power plants (TPPs) of the NCR. Addressing a Press Conference at the Delhi Secretariat the Minister said that the biggest contributors of Delhi pollution are the TPPs around Delhi. He said that the Delhi government is the only state government which has shut down all the 3 TPPs inside the state. He further stated that despite the Supreme Court order, the Central government intends to renew these power stations and allow them 2 more years, while shutting down the 11 TPPs will create a definite difference in Delhi’s pollution level.

Responding to Media questions the Minister said, "Dadri Power Station, which causes immense pollution in the city despite crossing its threshold of completing 25 years is being planned to be renewed by the Central government. Stubble burning and power plants are the biggest contributors to the harmful quality of air in Delhi. On the issue of air quality, the minister said every step counts."

He also stated that "Delhi has alternative sources to generate power and there is no lack of it even during the peak hours, so these thermal plants can be closed as it will not lead to reduction of power supply."

"All construction sites to practice 5 key anti-dust pollution directives", stressed Delhi Environment Minister

12.10.2020, New Delhi: Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Monday said that every Delhi government, Central government agencies and individuals should follow the 5 key anti-dust pollution directives at construction sites issued by the Delhi government. He said that every construction site should be covered with tin shed, and green blankets, a regular sprinkling of water should take place and trucks carrying construction materials should be covered. The minister informed that from today Delhi Govt. has also started micro monitoring of the 13 hotspots of Delhi. Nine Deputy Commissioners of MCD appointed as nodal officers of these 13 hotspots. Shri Rai said that in a bid to sensitise about the Green app we have launched sensitisation program with the officials of various department. He also said that tomorrow on 13th October, at 12 PM Delhi Chief Minister will launch spraying of anti-stubble burning solution at Narela’s Hiranki Village.

Delhi government has recently launched a war against pollution. Construction work of NBCC site at Netaji Nagar and PWD department at the Kasturba Nagar were stopped, as both these places were not equipped with anti-smog guns. NBCC has installed only one antismog gun in place of the required 2 such guns.

Gopal Rai further said that there are various construction sites having area lesser than 20,000 square meter, which are not following the antidust pollution directives of the Delhi government. He called upon all the central government and Delhi government Bodies that any construction site should follow the five key directives of the Delhi government. These directives are also applicable for private construction works.

Firstly, 10 mt thick teen sheds should be installed in all the construction sites so that the dust does not fly. These shades should be covered with a green sheet so that the dust cannot come out of the restricted spot. Thirdly, the agencies should sprinkle water at the area and outside the area too. For areas more 20,000 sqm they should install anti-smog guns but others should sprinkle water regularly. Fourthly, the construction site and the adjacent area should be covered with a net. Lastly, the cars or trucks which are carrying the construction materials should also be covered and the wheels of these trucks should be washed regularly."

The minister emphasized the urgency of following the directives as it could help to fight against the respiratory related disease Covid 2019, as well. He also stated that anyone found flouting these directives will be subject to punitive action against such agencies and individuals. He stated "I have witnessed that agencies are only putting covers at the sites when they are getting the news that the Delhi government teams will be visiting. This is not the right attitude. This is a collective responsibility of every citizen."

The 13 hotspots of Delhi, where micro monitoring has started, are Rohini, Dwarka, Okhla Phase-2, Punjabi Bagh, Anand Vihar, Vivek Vihar, Wazirpur, Jahangirpuri, R K Puram, Bawana, Mundka, Narela and Mayapuri.

FICCI imposed fine for violation of Air Pollution Control Guidelines of Delhi Govt.

10.10.2020, New Delhi: Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) has imposed a fine of Rs 20 lakh on FICCI for violation of environmental regulations according to sources.

Earlier on 9th October 2020, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai monitored the demolition works at Pragati Maidan and FICCI. He said that if FICCI, an acclaimed industrial body, has ben carrying out demolition activity without installing the anti-smog gun at their Tansen Marg, Delhi project site. The Minister instructed to stop the work and a penalty be imposed.

Gopal Rai noted that to prevent dust pollution in Delhi, the Delhi government has issued detailed guidelines for all construction sites under the Anti Dust Pollution Campaign. He said that to prevent dust pollution in Delhi, the Delhi government has issued detailed guidelines for all construction sites under the Anti Dust Pollution Campaign.

The minister also informed that Delhi government has identified 39 sites with more than 20,000 square meter areas; out of this 33 sites have installed anti-smog guns but 6 sites have not. He also mentioned that Delhi government has issued guidelines for small to large construction sites. Around 14 teams are monitoring whether the guidelines issued by the government are being followed at the sites.

"We will take stringent action if the guidelines are not followed. No relaxation can be given to anyone in this case. Anti-smog guns are just a solution, the main problem is dust and therefore water must be sprinkled. One way of sprinkling water is an anti-smog gun, which sprays water at a distance and it has a system which quickly pulls out the dust. To prevent dust pollution, the government has issued detailed guidelines regarding the sprinkling of water, covering the materials, movement of vehicles and debris etc.", said Gopal Rai.

Delhi Govt passes Tree Transplantation Policy

09.10.2020, New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday launched the "Tree Transplantation Policy" under the 'Yuddh, Pradushan Ke Viruddh' campaign, which requires a minimum of 80% of the trees affected by construction or development projects to be transplanted. The implementation of this policy will be in addition to the policy of the compulsory afforestation of 10 saplings. He also said that it is the responsibility of the agencies which are responsible for transplantation, to ensure that 80% of the transplanted trees survive after a year. A dedicated Tree Transplantation Cell and local committees will be formed which will include government officials, citizens, RWAs to monitor the transplanted trees and to monitor the transplantation task. CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal also announced that the Delhi government is installing the second smog tower in the world at Cannaught Place for which the Delhi cabinet has sanctioned Rs 20 crores for the installation which shall be completed within 10 months.

Addressing a digital press briefing, Kejriwal informed about various measures to be taken under the campaign, including EV, tree transplantation, preventing stubble burning, etc. One of the key components of this campaign was the tree transplantation policy. He said, Delhi being an old city, it has 400 - 500 years old trees, which are strong and woodland is very dense. The Chief Minister stated that despite efforts to preserve the trees, due to construction and development works, the trees are often cut. Until now, the policy was to plant 10 saplings as a compensatory effort, against felling of one tree. With the adoption of tree transplantation policy, in addition to the policy of planting 10 saplings in place of every one tree cut down, the trees now can be transplanted scientifically. Delhi is the first state in the country to have passed such a policy.

The new policy states "A minimum of 80% of trees affected by a project, over and above compensatory afforestation of planting of 10 saplings, will be transplanted. Also, a minimum of 80% of the transplanted trees should survive."

Kejriwal also mentioned that Delhi government is going to form a panel of the agencies that excel in the task of transplantation. Those departments which need trees to be transplanted, can approach any of these agencies. The payment of the agencies will be made only if 80% of the trees continue to survive after a year.

The Chief Minister also said that a dedicated Tree Transplantation Cell will be formed by the Delhi government and local committees which will include government officials, citizens, RWAs to monitor the transplanted trees and to certify that the task has been done with due diligence.

The Chief Minister also informed that two smog-towers are being installed in Delhi, out of which one will be installed by the Central Govt at Anand Vihar, and the second one by the Delhi govt at Connaught Place. Unlike Chinese technology, Delhi smog towers will draw polluted air from above, and release clean air from the bottom. The Delhi cabinet has sanctioned Rs. 20 crores for the installation of this first-of-its-kind smog tower, and installation work will be completed within the next 10 months. Once this pilot project is successful, many more smog towers will be installed across Delhi, informed Kejriwal.

Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai launches War Room to monitor pollution-reducing measures

08.10.2020, New Delhi: In a bid to control the rising levels of air pollution in the national capital due to stubble burning in neighboring states, Delhi Environment Minister Shri Gopal Rai on Thursday launched a ‘war room’ to monitor efforts to contain pollution, fumes, and dust levels in hotspots. Shri Gopal Rai said that the War Room will be equipped with high-end technology to monitor real-time pollution data, hotspot conditions, and NASA-ISRO images of stubble burning. He also said that a 10-member expert team will operate from the war room under senior scientists Dr. Mohan George and Dr. B L Chawla. Shri Rai said that the Delhi government has set up the war room following CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal's launch of "Yuddh Pradushan Ke Virudh".

Shri Gopal Rai said, "To combat the air pollution in Delhi, Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal on Monday launched "Yuddh Pradushan Ke Virudh" to reduce air pollution levels in Delhi. This fight will not be possible without the support of every agency, and therefore, we have set up and launched a centralized war room today in the Delhi secretariat. The war room is fully equipped with technology to monitor real-time pollution data. Three large LCD screens are present across the room. Real-time pollution data which includes air quality and data of PM 2.5 and PM 10, Sulfur Oxide, Nitrogen Oxide, Ozone, and wind speed will be displayed will be shared in one of the screens. Through another screen, we will monitor the situation of 13 hotspots. Through a third screen, we will monitor NASA and ISRO pictures on the stubble burning at the neighboring states."

He also said, "We will also monitor the complaints filed by the people through the Green Delhi app which the CM will launch in the coming days. We will monitor the complaints and implement strict actions. On the other hand, we will also monitor the road sweeping and water sprinkling work done by the MCD through GPS. Daily reports will be sent to the CM, me, and Environment Secretary."

Shri Rai said, "A 10-member expert team will operate from here. Two senior scientists of the Delhi Govt Dr. Mohan George, Dr. B L Chawla, Anil Gidhiyal (OSD to environment minister), Reena Gupta (Advisor DDC), Hitesh Saini (research fellow), Swati Sharma (research fellow), Nipun Matreja (NGO), Aashima Arora (NGO), Suraj Rai (engineer) and Aman Gupta (engineer)."

At the time of the launch, senior officials of the environment department and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee were present. Shri Rai enquired about the situation of the air pollution of Delhi and also asked the officials to explain the prediction. Answering the queries of the minister, the senior officials explained that the air quality of Delhi right now is around 'poor'. The officials also explained that the air quality of Delhi will worsen and the PM 2.5 will increase with the increase in the stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana.

Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal on Monday announced a mega anti-pollution campaign "Yuddh Pradushan Ke Virudh" to reduce air pollution levels in Delhi, which will be a breather for Delhiites in the upcoming winter season. Talking about the war room CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal had said, "A war room will be made which will track each of the activities taken and a daily report will be sent to me. We will monitor the effectiveness of these steps. A new tree transplant policy will also be announced. The government has already announced an electric vehicle policy that will also help in these measures."

Bio-decomposer process of stubble management reviewed by Delhi Chief Minister

06.10.2020, New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today visited the Kharkhari Nahar village to review the bio-decomposer process, under which the capsules produced by Pusa Agricultural Institute are mixed along with readily available inputs to create a fermented liquid solution to be sprayed on the farm fields to soften the stubble to curb stubble burning. The Chief Minister said that the entire cost of the process of creating the liquid solution for spraying it on 700 hectares of farm fields in Delhi is as low as Rs. 20 lakhs. Today onwards, the Delhi government has started the process of preparing this solution under the guidance of Pusa Research Institute, and will be starting the process of spraying it on the fields across Delhi from 11th October 2020. It is a cheaper alternative for the farmers and can also be adopted by neighboring states, addd Kejriwal.

Addressing the media, CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal said, "The harvesting of paddy leaves behind hard stubble on the farm fields. One of the main issues faced by farmers was to get rid of the stubble on the farm fields, owing to the less time between the harvesting and sowing season of the crops. The farmer then used to resort to stubble burning, due to which the healthy bacteria on the farm fields used to get damaged. The smoke came as a health hazard for the farmers and their families and people living in those villages, and used to cover the entire North Indian region."

CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal was accompanied by Delhi Environment Minister Shri Gopal Rai. "In Delhi, the stubble burning is significantly lesser than the neighborhood states. The stubble burning in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and other states contribute nearly 45% of air pollution in Delhi. Keeping this in mind, the Delhi government and the Pusa Agricultural Institute has come up with this new idea of bio decomposers. We want to make Delhi a role model, so that the other states can make no excuses for avoiding stubble burning. States all over India can adopt the bio-decomposer technique of converting stubble into manure, so that the people of Delhi can get relief from the pollution due to stubble burning. Through this technique, the farmers will be able to get rid of stubble burning. In the last meeting with Union Minister Shri Prakash Javadekar, we requested that every state government and the central government should adopt this new technique by which the stubble burning can be completely avoided. We have also approached all the state governments and after getting the results of this technique, we will again reach out to the state governments and urge them to adopt this policy. The work has started and nearly 1200 farmers who want to adopt this technique have registered, we will start the spraying of solution on their farm lands soon," said Shri Gopal Rai.

Delhi declares "Yuddh Pradushan Ke Virudh" Mega Anti-Pollution Campaign

05.10.2020, New Delhi: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today announced a mega anti-pollution campaign "Yuddh Pradushan Ke Virudh" to reduce air pollution levels in Delhi, which will be a breather for Delhiites in the upcoming winter season. Various measures to combat pollution, such as the launching of the Green Delhi App, the creation of a war room to monitor steps, processing liquid solution for farm fields to prevent stubble burning, implementing hotspot-specific action plans to contain pollution, and subsidy on the adoption of EVs have also been announced under the campaign. CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal also appealed to the states to take measures to tackle stubble burning in their states by providing alternatives to the farmers, and by addressing issues in thermal power plants and brick kiln plants that are major sources of pollution.

Addressing a digital press conference, CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal said, "The month of October has started, and we know that every year, the level of pollution rises in the months of October, November, and December in the national capital. One of the biggest reasons for this rise in pollution, is the burning of crop stubble in Delhi and the nearby areas, due to which the farmers and their families have to bear the maximum brunt of the pollution caused by stubble burning. The people living in those villages and the farmers have to bear pollution. Whereas other states are doing whatever they can, we must do whatever we can to reduce the effects of Delhi's own sources of pollution. In the last five years, the people of Delhi have done commendable work, and with sheer hard work and efforts, they did not let the pollution increase in the capital. Due to the increasing traffic, industrial activities, and economic activities, pollution is rising in many cities across the world. In Delhi, the pollution levels have actually decreased between 2014-2019, despite an increase in the economic and industrial activities in the city. The average PM2.5 in 2014 was 154, and PM2.5 in 2018-19 was 115. It is because of the efforts of all the people of Delhi, the pollution levels have come down by 25%. This year, the pollution may prove to be a health hazard for us due to Corona. In the last five years, we have taken many steps to ensure pollution-free Delhi. We have provided 24x7 electricity in Delhi, due to which we have eliminated the use of lakhs of generators sets in the city. The central government constructed the Eastern and Western peripheral highway which has drastically reduced the traffic in Delhi. The Delhi Government has banned some of the dirtiest fuels from use in industry, and we shifted all the industries to the use of PNG. We imposed heavy fines on construction sites violating dust control norms. We conducted plantation drives and followed the directions of the Supreme Court regarding the implementation of the Graded Response Action Plan. But right now, we do not have to be satisfied, and we have to reduce the pollution further for our families and our children, especially during COVID times, since our lungs are the worst affected during Corona and pollution can worsen the situation further. We are declaring a war against pollution from today by launching an anti-pollution campaign, "Yuddh - Pollution Ke Viruddh". We need the support of you all in this, just like we have got your support in the last five years. Apart from what I am announcing today, we will keep on adding new activities in the coming days."

Earlier today, CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal also convened a meeting with various departments, who have all joined hands in this war against pollution announced by the CM, including the three MCDs, PWD, Delhi government, DPCC, Pollution Control Board, transport department, etc.

Unveiling the components of the anti-pollution campaign this year, CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal said, "First and foremost, we suffer from the problem of pollution due to crop stubble burning every year. Every state government and the central government is trying its best to devise a solution for this. This year, the Pusa Agricultural Research Institute has devised a very cheap and simple solution. They have formulated a fermented liquid solution which is to be sprayed on the fields to soften the stubble and prevent its burning. This year, the Delhi government will spray the solution on the basmati rice farm fields itself. If this technique is successful in Delhi, we can tell the other states to implement the same to prevent stubble burning. The Delhi government is preparing the mixture in Delhi on a large scale, and the process will start tomorrow under the guidance of the Pusa Research Institute."

"We are also launching an intensive anti-dust drive from today, under which various action plans will be implemented. Our inspection teams will visit the construction sites across Delhi and impose heavy fines or challans if they are found not following the anti-pollution measures in construction sites. Mechanical sweepers will be intensively used by MCDs across Delhi to ensure no pollution due to road dust. I have also instructed agencies to repair the potholes which are also one of the main sources of pollution. Anti-smog guns have also been installed across Delhi to reduce the impact of pollution," added the CM.

CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal said that there are 13 points in Delhi where the impact of pollution is the maximum, those areas and the colonies in those areas have been identified. The government has done detailed planning, for each of the hotspots to measure the reasons for increased pollution in a particular hotspot. Measures to contain the pollution will then be implemented.

"We will also be launching the Green Delhi App this month. If you witness a source of pollution, including vehicular and industrial emissions, click a photo of it and post it on the app. We have specified a deadline for each type of complaint. I will personally monitor the grievance redressal. We are also creating a war room against pollution for monitoring of various measures that are implemented and have to be implemented in the coming days. I will get the daily report of the frequency, impact and success of these activities. We are also drafting the tree transplantation policy. For instance, if an agency cuts the tree for construction purposes, they have to ensure scientific transplantation of a minimum of 80% of affected trees, over and above compensatory afforestation of planting of 10 saplings," added the CM.

CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal said that the Delhi Electric Vehicle Policy has been hailed as one of the most progressive policies in the world. It will soon be implemented and people will start getting subsidies on the adoption of EVs.

"I want to appeal to the neighboring states, the measures would not have any impact till the time we come together to act against pollution. I have spoken to many farmers in Punjab, they are very troubled due to pollution. But they do not have a choice and need support from the governments. I want to appeal to the neighboring states that just like the Delhi government has devised an alternative, every state government should do the same and help the farmers to deal with the stubble opportunistically and not a problem. The stubble can be a source of income for the problems. Further, there are 11 thermal plants currently in a radius of 300 km from Delhi, that generate electricity from coal. They cause maximum pollution in Delhi, whereas Delhi has shut down its own two plants. Delhi has no thermal power plant. The Supreme Court had directed these plants to address the problem of pollution by December 2019, which hasn't been implemented as of now. There are also thousands of brick kiln plants near Delhi that cause pollution. My request is that the problem of pollution in these plants should be addressed as soon as possible," added CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal.

Punjab Woman Sarpanch leads the movement of ‘Water for All’

05.10.2020, New Delhi: Ms. Kulwinder Kaur Brar, a village sarpanch from Memha Bhagwana village in Bathinda district of Punjab, has impressed many with he contemporary work style for greater good.

Since childhood, Kulwinder has seen village women suffering due to paucity of potable water in the village. Kulwinder was resolute to change their plight, and soon after becoming Sarpanch of the village, she started working towards the cause but with a smarter approach. Her idea and intent were superb, but to kickstart them, huge funds were required. With the launch of Jal Jeevan Mission, things were much more streamlined and soon the piped water scheme for providing water in every rural household was sanctioned for Mehma village.

To take the mission further, the Village Water & Sanitation Committee (VWSC) members went house-to-house explaining how piped water supply will not only save time and energy but will also provide clean drinking water of prescribed quality. The details of the scheme were informed where in 10% capital expenditure required to be contributed for in-village infrastructure. Families were encouraged to contribute and get a tap connection so that they get more time during the day for productive works. Most people agreed to pay the money towards the installation of the water connection as availability of water was a serious concern. But there were few households in the village who could not afford the contribution. Gram Panchayat took the decision to waive off their charges. The expenditure towards their household tap connections were taken up by the Panchayat. Today, for any new water tap connection the VWSC charges Rs. 500/ from the general household and Rs. 250/ from that belonging to scheduled castes.

The next milestone was to regularly take up water issue in Panchayat meetings. Patriarchy was the main hurdle in implementing this idea. Although Kulwinder lead the Gram Panchayat as a Sarpanch but there were very few women who actually attended the Gram Sabha. It was a tough task to mobilize the women. Today, nearly 80% women attend the Gram Sabha and share their concerns. Seeing a woman at the helm of affairs instills confidence in women who are more participative and are willing to take leadership roles.

Jal Jeevan Mission’s IEC Campaign was a great help in steering the community. Role of women and their importance in water management was part of the campaign. In order to carry out regular awareness, an all women Village Water & Sanitation Committee was formed in the village since the women in the village believe that it’s the women who run the house, hence, they can manage water better.

Thanks to Jal Jeevan Mission! A silent revolution is happening in villages. The piped water connection has completely changed the lives of women. They are saved from the drudgery of fetching water. With a tap at home, women have more spare time in their lives. Another visible change is that the dropout rate has reduced since piped water connection has reached the village. A number of adolescents have re-enrolled in the schools.

A five-member committee has been formed in the Panchayat which periodically tests the water source and household tap connection to assess the purity and standard of water supplied in the village. While skilled masons, electricians and plumbers are available in the village for various works related to drinking water supply, now women are also being trained to carry out minor repair worksand maintain the existing infrastructure.

Today Mehma Bhagwana village is a perfect example of community participation and mobilization to own the JJM scheme where the village has 100 percent functional household water connection and running it successfully for a population of 1,484 people, which can be emulated by other villages.

But for Kulwinder Kaur, the journey has just begun, as she now plans to work towards grey water management & installation of solar lights in the village. Under her leadership, she has other plans to see women from her village be economically independent.She is in the process of mobilizing them under the umbrella of SHGs. She says, ‘’I will ensure that these women from the village should take up some gainful economic activity to be financially independent and contribute to the family kitty.’’

The flagship programme, Jal Jeevan Mission is under implementation in partnership with States with the aim to provide drinking water to every rural household of the country by 2024. In the past one year, more than 2.30 Crore households have already been provided tap water connections across the country. As of now, 5.50 Crore households now get assured safe tap water in their homes, i.e. almost 30% of total rural households. In a recent letter dated 29 September, 2020, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has appealed to people and Gram Panchayats to make Jal Jeevan Mission a people’s movement.

Delhi CM among five urban leaders to speak at the prestigious Daring Cities 2020 conference

04.10.2010, New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has been invited among five urban leaders from around the world to speak at a prestigious forum, Daring Cities 2020, on 7th October 2020. The conference is being hosted by ICLEI and the City of Bonn, Germany, with the support of the German government. Daring Cities is a global forum on climate change for urban leaders tackling the climate emergency, especially in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. Kejriwal has been invited alongside urban leaders and decision-makers from Bogota (Colombia), Sao Paolo (Brazil), Los Angles (USA) and Entebbe (Uganda) to discuss multilevel action to tackle the climate emergency and environmental sustainability. The event recognizes these five as daring urban leaders who are going beyond the limits imposed by their respective local contexts to take bold climate action.

It is expected that Kejriwal is going to speak on how Delhi has responded to the existing climate emergency, air pollution crisis including recent innovative solutions such as the Pusa decomposer and the first-of-its-kind EV policy in India to tackle air pollution in the national capital.

This session will be held on 7th October 2020 at 7.30 pm through a virtual forum. The distinguished urban and subnational leaders from Latin America, Africa, North America, and Asia will also present their thoughts on the most essential changes that should be achieved in their respective city/region in the next 5 years so that their plans to tackle climate emergencies are accelerated.

Speaking in the plenary session, CM Arvind Kejriwal will be addressing an international and multidisciplinary audience of over one thousand mayors and city councilors, urban thought leaders, national government representatives, researchers, business leaders and community organizers from all around the world. The plenary session will also include keynote addresses by Mr António Guterres, UN Secretary General, and H.E. Svenja Schulze, Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), Germany.

With cheaper solution in hand, Delhi government offers farmers free of cost stubble management without burning

30.09.2020, New Delhi: Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal on 30th September 2020 announced that the Delhi government is starting the process of preparing a fermented liquid solution to be sprayed on 800 hectares of land in the city, where stubble burning is practiced by the farmers. He said all the arrangements for spraying the solution on the farm fields will be made by the Delhi government and will be provided free of cost to the farmers. The Chief Minister said the process will be executed under the guidance of the Pusa Research Institute and the cost of the implementation of the entire project is less than Rs 20 lakh. A few days back, Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal had written to the Centre over the issue of stubble burning, which poses a health hazard for people in parts of North India, particularly Delhi.

Addressing a digital press briefing, Shri Arvind Kejriwal said, "The month of October is starting tomorrow, and we know that this time around, entire North India is troubled with the smoke that covers the belt due to the crop stubble burning every year. Whereas Delhi and other cities have to suffer from the smoke, the farmers who are forced to burn the stubble and their villages are the ones who have to suffer the most. This is the time of Corona, and this smoke is a hazard for everybody living in villages and cities. Every responsible government must devise alternate systems for their farmers so that the farmers are not forced to burn the crop stubble."

While explaining about the process, Delhi Chief Minister said that Pusa Research Institute is one of the acclaimed institutes in the field of agricultural research in India. The institute has presented a very low cost alternate to avert the problem of stubble burning, which is primarily responsible for air pollution in Delhi and northern states.

Delhi Chief Minister also expressed that he is quite hopeful about adoption similar solutions to mitigate the air pollution.

Delhi Govt. working towards 24x7 water supply

27.09.2020, New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday announced that after ensuring 24x7 electricity supply, his government is now making efforts to provide 24x7 water supply to every household in Delhi. This may bring an end to installation of individual water pumps to lift water to overhead tanks.

Addressing a digital press conference, CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal said, "We promised you that just like the AAP government has ensured 24x7 electricity in the last five years, we will also ensure 24x7 clean water in every household in Delhi in the next five years. I am glad to share that we have started this process. In a meeting that was held the day before yesterday, we have decided to appoint a consultant in Delhi who will suggest measures to ensure the provision of 24x7 water to every household in Delhi. The process got a bit delayed due to Corona, otherwise, the process would have been completed in March or April."

The Chief Minister said, "Every day, around 930 million gallons of water is processed in Delhi. This means that for every citizen of Delhi, around 176 litres of water are processed. This includes water that is used for all purposes, such as industrial, swimming pools, water for farm fields, etc. "

Kejriwal also informed that a considerable amount of water gets wasted in Delhi, as there is no accountability, which needs to be rectified with the help of professionals and state of the art technology, like the SCADA system available with Delhi Jal Board.

The Chief Minister also clarified that there will be no privatization of water supply in Delhi.

Delhi Chief Minister visits IARI to take a call on bio-decomposer as a remedial solution to control Delhi Air Pollution

24.09.2020, New Delhi: Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal visited the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) today, to see the process of the bio-decomposer technique of converting crop stubble into compost, which is deemed as a cost-effective way to deal with the issue of air pollution caused due to crop stubble burning. CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal said that this technique involves the spraying of Pusa decomposer capsules along with a liquid formulation using readily available elements, that will help decompose the stubble into compost, decrease the use of fertilizers and increase the productivity of the farm soil. He also said that he will meet the Union Environment Minister in a day or two to discuss the efficient and effective implementation of this simple, doable, and practical technique to stop stubble burning.

Briefing the media after his visit, CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal said, "Delhi and many other North Indian states are covered with smoke due to stubble burning in the neighboring states by the farmers. We visited the Pusa Agricultural Institute today and spoke to its director. They have developed a new and innovative technique, under which they give four capsules, with the help of which the farmers can prepare a 25-liter of a liquid mixture with jaggery and chickpea flour, which is sufficient to cover 1 hectare of land. When the farmer sprays the 25 liters of the liquid mix on the stubble, the stubble softens and melts down in 20 days. The farmer can then begin his sowing again and he does not need to burn the crop stubble. The soil loses its richness due to stubble burning, and it also destroys the useful bacteria and fungi in the soil, apart from causing harm to the environment. This improves the fertility and productivity of the soil as the stubble works as manure and compost for the crops and lesser fertilizer consumption will be required in the future. The cost of the capsule is very less, we will be getting a proposal mentioning all the important details such as cost per acre soon. This is the result of many years of hard work and efforts of the scientists, and they have got the validation after a year after all their pilot testing and projection. They have also given their technique a license for commercial exploitation. I will meet the Union Environment Minister in a day or two to discuss this and I will request him to speak to the neighboring states to take all measures to effectively implement it despite the crunch of time. We will surely implement this technique in a very efficient and effective manner in Delhi."

On a question of why there is no action on stubble burning throughout the year, CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal said, "I agree that no major efforts have been made the whole year on stubble burning. I do not want to blame anyone but the central government is also trying its best. The union has held meetings, initiated new schemes and implemented custom hiring sectors, and given subsidies on new machinery. The scientists gave a presentation to me yesterday, and this is a very simple, doable, and practical approach. If we look at the net cost-benefit analysis, a farmer will get twice the profit of what he will spend. This is a new invention and Pusa Institute is one of the most reputed institutes in the country. We must implement this as soon as possible."

Taking to social media, CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, "Farmers are also worried about the pollution that is caused due to stubble burning every year. A technique has been developed by the scientists of IARI - Bio Decomposer. I visited to observe the technique today. Scientists believe that because of this, farmers will not have to burn stubble, the stubble will turn into manure and the farmers' yield will also increase."

The technology, called Pusa Decomposer, involves making a liquid formulation using Pusa decomposer capsules and readily available inputs, fermenting it over 8-10 days, and then spraying the mixture on fields with crop stubble to ensure speedy bio-decomposition of the stubble.

Delhi government keen to develop a sustainable & effective solution to stubble burning issue that causes major air pollution in Delhi, especially during winters: Gopal Rai

16.09.2020, New Delhi: Delhi Environment Minister Shri Gopal Rai on Wednesday visited the Pusa Agricultural Institute and said that the Delhi government is committed to develop a sustainable and effective solution to the issue of stubble burning which causes major pollution in Delhi, especially during the winter season. He said the process of decomposing stubble and using it in the farming fields will be a great initiative and will also save the people of Delhi from the health hazards caused by stubble burning in the neighboring states of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, and Haryana. He also said that the Delhi government will speak to the Centre and states to implement this initiative and the cost of spraying of this compost in Delhi will be borne by the Delhi government, which will ease the burden on the farmers.

Briefing the media following his visit, Shri Gopal Rai said, "The pollution in Delhi takes a very dangerous form during the winter season. Last year, the stubble burning comprised 44% of Delhi's pollution apart from Delhi's own share of pollutants. In Punjab, around 20 million tonnes of stubble is produced, and last year around 9 million tonnes of stubble was burned in Punjab. In Haryana, around 7 million tonnes of stubble is produced, out of which 1.23 million tonnes of stubble was burned last year, due to which people of Delhi had to suffer from major pollution last year."

Shri Gopal Rai said that the central government has devised a scheme in which aid is provided to the farmers for stubble. The farmers have to pay half of the money and the rest of the half will be paid by the government for a machine that is required for the process. He said, "I met the director of Pusa Agricultural Institute, who said that they have developed a recomposing technology which can turn stubble into manure, which can be used in the fields itself. Today, I am here to see the demonstration of the process. We have also invited some farmers to witness the process. The cost of the spraying of the manure in the fields will be borne by the Delhi government so that there is no financial burden on the farmers and an effective solution to the problem of stubble burning can be developed. We will also get in touch with the governments of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Punjab based on the results of the process so that this model can be implemented in those states as well to ease the financial burden on the farmers, and the issue of polluted air in Delhi and those states can be resolved. We will speak to the governments of other states and will help the farmers of Delhi with the issue of stubble burning."

"I believe that the same amount of money that is spent on the purchase of machines and the subsidy provided for that can be used for the decomposing of the stubble in those states. This will be a very successful initiative by the governments. We will speak to both the central government as well as the states. The Environment Ministry of the Central Government has a very important role to play in this initiative. We will create a proper strategy after discussion with the Hon'ble CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal," he added.

Gurugram sets up flying squad teams to prevent burning of crop residue

07.09.2020, Gurugram: Deputy Commissioner Amit Khatri said that Gurujal, water conservation and rainwater harvesting project has also offered employment workers under the MNREGA scheme, besides cleaning of water tanks of the Public Health Department in addition to other areas.

In compliance with the orders of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) and Hon'ble Supreme Court of India, Deputy Commissioner Amit Khatri has set up flying squad teams for prevention and monitoring of burning of crop residue. These teams have been formed at the rural, division, subdivision and district levels, which will submit their reports daily from 15th September to the Deputy Commissioner Office.

Tree Plantation programme by HARCOFED

03.09.2020, Gurugram: Haryana State Cooperative Development Federation Limited (HARCOFED) Panchkula carried out plantation under the 'Loyalty to Community' program in the premises of Milk Freezing Center (Vita) Bilaspur, Gurugram.

Saplings of peepal, neem, jamun, belpatra, mulberry, lemon, gooseberry trees were planted under the plantation program. On this occasion, Assistant Cooperative Education Officer HARCOFED Rohtak called for more and more plantation. He said that increasing pollution levels in the environment is a matter of concern for all of us. In order to reduce the level of pollution, it is essential that all of us take responsibility towards the society and plant more and more trees so that the future generations can get a clean environment. Citing the reference of 7th guiding principle of cooperative, loyalty to the community, he emphasized that HARCOFED motivates the officers, staff and members associated with the cooperative to conserve the environment. On this eve, an oath to plant saplings was also administered to all the officers and employees including the cooperative fraternity.

Haryana to have 10,000 MW De-centralized groundmounted grids under KUSUM Scheme, to be connected to solar plants

26.08.2020, Gurugram: Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission (HERC) Chairman Deepender Singh Dhesi today said that under KUSUM scheme, 10,000 MW de-centralized ground mounted grids are being set up in Haryana, which will be connected to various solar plants. He said that there is a plan to replace thermal with solar by 2025. Except for India and China at the international level, thermal is being eradicated in the rest of the world. He said that the headquarters of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) is located in village Gwal Pahari in Gurugram, which was formed by 121 countries together. The ISA, formed as an international organization, aims to reduce the dependence of energy on fossil fuels by optimally exploiting solar energy in the countries.

The Chaurnman, HERC was reviewing progress under the Kisan Energy Security and Upliftment Mahabhiyan (KUSUM) Scheme at PWD Rest House Rewari today. During the review, he directed the officials to complete the survey of cases pending under the Kusum scheme as soon as possible, so that the farmers can get benefit of the scheme. He said that a target of 1275 solar pumps has been fixed for Rewari district and to meet this goal, the survey work need to be expedited. He said that Kusum scheme would be instrumental in bringing prosperity in the lives of farmers. This scheme is being implemented with the objective of saving electricity in agricultural operations besides reducing the electricity expenditure of farmers and for promoting solar energy. Mr Dhesi said that this scheme is especially for the farmers, which is also being seen as a significant step towards increasing their income.

D S Dhesi enquired in detail about the progress under ‘Mhara Gaon- Jagmag Gaon’ scheme. He also reviewed the progress of feeders supplying electricity to rural households (RDS) and the sub stations. He sought information about the electricity supplied to RDS, method of generating electricity bills, methods used for taking meter reading etc. It was informed in the meeting that the solar pumping systems were being provided to farmers at a subsidy of 75 percent and he need to pay only 25 percent of the total cost. Scheme is being implemented to subsidize 50 thousand farmers of the state by subsidizing solar pumping systems of 3 HP to 10 HP capacity. The eligible farmers who have either installed micro irrigation systems and laid underground pipes or have agreed to do so, can install solar pumps for irrigation.

On this occasion, Deputy Commissioner Rewari Yashendra Singh informed that 182 solar water pumping systems were installed in Rewari district in the year 2018-19. A target has been set up to install 1275 solar water pumping systems in the year 2021 and so far this year 48 solar water pumping systems have been installed in the district. The remaining task of survey will be completed soon. In the meeting, CGRF chairman Sanjeev Chopra apprised that so far 54 complaints have been received in Rewari district, of which all but one have been redressed. He said that most of the complaints were about electricity bills.

The meeting was attended by Deputy Commissioner Yashendra Singh, SDM Ravindra Yadav, Chairman of Consumer Grievance Redressal Forum (CGRF) Sanjeev Chopra, Superintendent Engineer Pradeep Chauhan, Executive Engineer Neeraj Dalal, Satbir Yadav, Vijaypal, DHO Satbir Sharma, New and Renewable Energy Department Project Officer Banwari Lal, Assistant Project Officer Ravindra were also present.

Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot discussed charging infrastructure issues with Minister of State (I/C) for Power, and New & Renewable Energy, R K Singh

20.08.2020, New Delhi: Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot met with Minister of State (I/C) , Power, and New & Renewable Energy, R.K. Singh, today via Video Conferencing to discuss installation of Charging infrastructure in Delhi NCR as part of the recently launched Electric Vehicle policy. The meeting was attended by officials from DHI, MoPNG, CEA, BEE, NTPC, EESL, Transport department officials, and various DISCOMS. Various provisions for effective implementation and any bottlenecks that may arise due to limited availability of charging infrastructure within Delhi were discussed in the meeting.

The Delhi EV Policy, which was launched on 7th August, 2020 by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, aims at having 5 lakh (25% of all new vehicle registrations) electric vehicles in Delhi by 2024. Along with providing category based incentives, it also aims to develop an effective network of charging stations and infrastructure throughout the city.

The strategy that will be adopted to cater to the sudden jump in sales of Electric vehicles due to subsidies that the policy offers, is something that has been widely discussed by the public and experts in the field. The first leg of the policy targets installation of 200 charging stations within the city within the next year, such that there is a charging station every 3 km. There are also provisions to encourage more private players to venture into being partners in the initiative through setting up private charging stations/ battery charging points, but ensure that there is enough competition so that the technology is affordable to the common man.

After the meeting, Mr. Gahlot was quoted saying “We had a very fruitful discussion today. The Delhi EV Policy is being discussed worldwide now, it is the result of more than 2 years of hard work by our Government in consultation with experts in the field. I express my heartfelt thanks and gratitude to Mr. R.K.Singh for expressing his appreciation and extending his support to the Delhi Government for moving forward with the policy. Mr. Singh has also assured to consider subsidies to 1000 Electric buses in the city. The Centre’s support will act as a huge catalyst to the policy, and motivate more people and organizations to switch to EV.”

Biodiversity Park sprawling over 100 acres of land to be developed in Aravalli in Kasan village, Gurugram

17.08.2020, Gurugram: A Bio Diversity Park will be developed in the Aravalli mountain range on about 100 acres of panchayati land in the district village of Kasan. For this, the gram panchayat has passed a resolution in the gram sabha. The Forest, Education and Tourism Minister Kanwar Pal visited the project and also visited the proposed park area. He also planted saplings in the proposed park area along with officials and sarpanches of Kasan and surrounding villages.

To develop a Biodiversity Park in village Kasan, Forest Minister Kanwarpal also visited the already developed Biodiversity Park in the municipal area near village Nathupur coming from Faridabad to Gurugram. Not only this, he also visited the Mangar Bani reserved forest area.

After planting saplings in the proposed Biodiversity Park area in village Kasan, in a program organized by the forest department in the temple complex located nearby, the forest minister churned with the sarpanches of selected villages to increase greenery and invited suggestions from sarpanches. He appreciated the initiative taken by the village Kasan and said that now it is to see which more villages in the district come forward to develop gardens on their panchayati land. He also said that the Haryana government has approved development of gardens on panchayati land. This will not only increase the greenery in the area and improve the environment, the ground water level will also rise but the income of the panchayat will also increase. Then the Gram Panchayat will not have to look towards the government to get the development work done in the village. He informed that gardens are being planted on about 1000 acres of land in districts of North Haryana like Karnal, Yamunanagar, Panchkula etc.

He said that during the last few times, people have assumed that the work of planting saplings is only with the forest department, on the contrary, the work was for the whole society. The Forest Minister said that all of us should take responsibility for planting saplings, growing them and taking care of them, the Forest Department will cooperate. The department can develop nurseries to provide plants, give information about plant care but it is the responsibility of all of us to plant and grow it. Mr. Kanwar Pal said that you should be friends with the tree, you will benefit. He also said that the makeup of the earth is from trees. If someone has called Kashmir a heaven, he has also said that by looking at the trees and the greenery there.

Talking to media representatives after the event, Forest Minister Kanwarpal said that Haryana has a 3 percent reserve forest, which has been targeted to be increased to 20%. For this, 125 million saplings will be planted in the state this year, which will be tried very hard to keep them alive. 1100 villages of the state have been selected for this plantation.

According to Gurugram Divisional Forest Officer Jayakumar, herbal plants containing herbs along with other plants will also be planted in the proposed Biodiversity Park in village Kasan. The reservoir in the park area will be constructed by Guru Jal's team.

Earlier, while giving his views in the program, Pataudi MLA Satyaprakash Jaravata said that when he was elected MLA, he had come to him with a project to build a village biodiversity park of village Kasan and he also made a written request to the forest minister about it The Minister has done excellent work for generations to come by giving approval.

Colonel Anil Yadav, who came from NSG Manesar at the program, told that the NSG has taken the initiative to plant around two lakh trees in the village of Naurangpur and surrounding area. He also assured full cooperation of NSG in plantation work. Welcoming the Forest Minister, Chief Conservator of Forests Vasavi Tyagi, who was present at the program, said that in the last few days, the NSG has promoted greenery by planting 53000 saplings inside and outside its campus. He also asked all the sarpanches to cooperate in plantation and try to make the environment of this region friendly to all animals. He also said that people have understood the importance of herbs in the time of Corona epidemic, so plant herbal plants and protect their lives.

On arriving at the program, the sarpanches of the villages Kasan, Alire, Dhana and Bas Kusala collectively wore a turban to honor the Forest Minister. Forest and Education Minister Kanwarpal also awarded the Certificate of Merit to the talented girl students of village Kasan.

Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Dr. Amarinder Kaur, Chief Conservator of Forests Vasavi Tyagi, Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) Mahendra Singh Malik, Divisional Forest Officer Jai Kumar Narwal, SDM Jitendra Kumar of Gurugram, District Education Officer Indu Bokan, MLA of Pataudi Satyaprakash Jaravata, NSG commando Colonel Anil Yadav, Sarpanch Satyan Dev Sharma of Kasan village and many other dignitaries were present.

DJB Vice Chairman Raghav Chadha pushes construction of 12.4 ML UGR/BPS at Mayapuri

11.08.2020, New Delhi: Delhi Jal Board Vice Chairman Raghav Chadha visited the project site on 11th August 2020 early morning to take stock of the construction of Underground Reservoir (UGR) and Booster Pumping Stations (BPS) in Mayapuri, West Delhi which was expected to complete in 18 months, but is delayed by over 14 months and counting. The Under Ground Reservoir at Mayapuri was inaugurated in 2018 to keep pace with the growing water demands of the area and ensure proper equitable and supply to all.

Chadha expressed disappointment over the non-completion of the project. Reprimanding the contractor for delaying the project by over 14 months, he said, such unprofessional conduct and laxity will not be tolerated.

To rationalize the water distribution system of Delhi a study was conducted, according to this study a proposal for constructing this UGR was formulated. Proposed UGR of 12.4 ML capacity UGR/BPS was proposed to be constructed at Mayapuri. This UGR will be fed by South Delhi Main of 1500 mm dia emanating from Haiderpur Water Treatment Plant upto Janakpuri District Centre. Also another 700mm dia water line will be laid from the water main that goes up to Kirti Nagar UGR to feed this UGR.

On commissioning of this Mayapuri UGR/BPS a population of 1.50 lakh will be benefited with equitable water distribution with increased pressure. At present these areas are getting water from Subhash Nagar UGR, online booster Tilaknagar and from Naraina Main.

Delhi Govt. launched EV Policy to reduce pollution & boost economy, jobs

08.08.2020, New Delhi: The Delhi government on 8th August 2020 launched the ambitious Electric Vehicle (EV) Policy that aims to boost Delhi's economy, while reducing pollution levels in the city, and generate employment in the transportation sector. While announcing the launch of the policy, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that this EV Policy will make Delhi a world leader in the field of EVs and this is one of the most progressive EV policies in the world.

Addressing a digital conference on 8th August 2020, Kejriwal said, "After working hard in the last 2-3 years and holding discussions with consumers and experts, we have prepared the electric vehicle policy in Delhi. The policy has been notified in this morning. China is being considered in the first position when discussions on electric vehicles are held across the world. It is believed that China has a really good system in place when it comes to electric vehicles. I am sure that when discussions on electric vehicles will be held across the world after five years, Delhi will be leading the way in this field. I am happy to say that this policy is not only the most progressive of its kind in the country but, it is also considered as one of the most progressive policies of all the electric policies across the world."

It is envisaged that EV policy would help to reduce pollution. In his address, the Chief Minister emphasized on a Delhi with clean air, where we can breathe clean and there is no pollution, which is sustainable. The EV policy is for 3 years, after which it will be reviewed, and reframed as per requirement. With this policy Delhi Government aims at electric vehicles contributing 25% of the newly registered vehicles across Delhi by the year 2024, which is currently 0.2%.

Under the EV Policy, the Delhi government is providing a subsidy up to Rs 30,000 on the purchase of two-wheelers, auto-rickshaws, e-rickshaws, freight vehicles each, and Rs 1.5 lakh incentives on cars. There is a scheme named as FAME India Phase 2 scheme of the Central government, where major incentives and subsidies are available. The incentives announced by the Delhi government are in addition to the incentives by the Central government, which also includes scrapping incentives.

To purchase an electric commercial vehicle, the government will also offer loans to the people on low-interest rates. The registration fees and he road tax on the newly-registered vehicles will be waived off. There are two types of electric vehicles, one which runs on fixed charging and the second in which there is a need for battery swapping. The incentives will be available on all kinds of electric vehicles.

A huge network of 200 charging stations, which the Chief Minister says at every 3 km, in the next one year shall be created in Delhi to support the growth of EVs. Besides, a State EV fund is also to be set-up that would encompass all the expenditure of the EV Policy. A State Electric Vehicle Board shall be constituted for effective implementation of the EV policy, and the chairman of the board will be the Transport Minister Shri Kailash Gehlot. A dedicated EV Cell will also be constituted.

CM Arvind Kejriwal expressed hope that at least 5 lakh electric vehicles in Delhi will be registered in the next five years, and EV Model of Delhi will also be widely recognized and discussed.

Delhi Govt.'s 17-day mega plantation drive ends with plantation of 8.5 lakh saplings

27.07.2020, New Delhi: Delhi Govt. Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Sunday, 26th July 2020 concluded the 17-day 'Vrikshaaropan Pakhwada' campaign under the 'Plant Saplings, Save Environment' plantation drive of the Delhi government. He said that under the campaign, the Delhi government has been able to complete the plantation of 8.5 lakh saplings at various locations in Delhi. He also thanked the officials of horticulture and forest departments for participating and making the drive a success even in the time of Corona.

The Minister said, "We started this drive by planting a banyan tree at the same place on 10th July. Following that, we planted trees at various locations in Delhi. The plantation drive was carried out under the leadership of CM, Cabinet Ministers and various constituency MLAs. Today marks the end of the plantation drive of the Delhi government. The plantation drive is being carried out today in all the 70 constituencies under the leadership of MLAs."

"I am happy to tell you that even in the time of the Corona pandemic, the officials of the horticulture and forest department, DDA, MCD, PWD, and various other agencies, have worked with such conviction to save the environment. In the last 15 days, 8.5 lakh saplings have been planted in Delhi, out of which 6 lakh saplings were planted by the departments themselves, and 2.5 lakh saplings were planted by the people. The drive witnessed a huge participation from the people," added Gopal Rai.

Shri Gopal Rai said, "I planted a banyan sapling on 10th July here itself. I want to congratulate the departments that the plantation drive has completed over 7.5 hectares of land. I am happy that this drive was not only about planting, but the department also took care of things such as which variety of plants should be planted in which soil, for better preservation of the trees and fertility of the land. Our target is to plant 31 lakh saplings this year, out of which 8.5 lakh have been planted during this drive. We have kept a target of 31 lakh saplings till 31st March 2021. If we have fulfilled the target of 8.5 lakh saplings in the time of Corona, I am sure that we will be able to achieve our target of 31 lakh saplings by March 31, 2020 in the coming days. Delhi has also witnessed a lowering graph in the impact of Corona, and with the help of the people of Delhi and the proactive efforts of the government. I am sure that we will be able to plant 31 lakh saplings by March 31, 2021 as an effort to fight against pollution in the city."

Third-party audit to assess the survival rate of the saplings and outcome of the plantation drive shall take place in due course. "The saplings that are planted this time will be audited via a third party agency. The preservation of the saplings has been a challenge, which is why the Delhi govt has decided that a third party audit of the saplings planted under the plantation drive of the govt will be conducted to assess the survival rate of the saplings," he added.

The best staff of each district will be honored with the title of 'Pariyavaran Mitra' at the end of the drive. Shri Gopal Rai said, "On the occasion of the conclusion of this plantation drive, I want to thank the officials of the horticulture and forest department from the bottom of my heart, for working with such conviction even in the time of the Corona pandemic to save the lives of the people of Delhi."

"During our audit and analysis to be conducted at the final stage of this plantation drive, the best employees of each district will be honored with the title of 'Pariyavaran Mitra' on behalf of the Environment Ministry, Delhi. This is the end of the 17-day 'Vrikshaaropan Pakhwada' but the drive will continue till March 31 next year," he added.

Delhi Pollution Control Committee submits Public Hearing Report on Hazardous Waste Treatment, Storage, and Disposal Facility (TSDF)

22.07.2020, New Delhi: Delhi Pollution Control Committee has submitted the proceedings of Public Hearing for Environmental Clearance for Hazardous Waste Treatment, Storage, and Disposal Facility (TSDF) at Bawana. The Public Hearing was held on 14th July 2020 with precautions and social distancing measures required due to COVID-19. The proceedings were submitted to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change through a letter dated 20th July 2020.

With an estimated stockpile of 59700 MT of hazardous wastes from CETPs and industries, Delhi has planned to operate TSDF covering an area of 14 acres of land, adjacent to waste to energy plant, and Pragati Power Plant at Bawana. The facility will be operated by M/s TamilNadu Waste Management Ltd. on BOT basis. The EIA Consultant, M/s Ramky Enviro Services Pvt. Ltd. made the presentation and elaborated technical aspects of the Terms of Reference (ToR) of the project, the waste collection, transportation, and scientific treatment of the hazardous wastes. It was also informed that NABL accredited testing laboratory shall be set up in the TSDF, which has a very important role. In the presentation it was stated that the project would be based on combination of technologies and systems having processes like autoclaving, shredding, bailing, recycling, reuse etc., which would minimize rejects reaching to landfill and incinerator for disposal. The facility shall be provided with online stack emission monitoring devices. However, it was not clearly stated about the polluting parameters to be measured.

As mentioned in the DPCC report, according to the EIA consultant one of the several benefits of the proposed TSDF is it minimizes pollution load on environment with an additional benefit of green and clean surroundings. The statement was not supported with any factual data or data of assumption. TSDF will reduce environmental liability due to captive storage of hazardous waste in the industry and CETP premises. But whether it could attract industrial investment in Delhi is a point to ponder upon.

To a question about how many incinerators will be installed and their capacity, the Consultant replied hazardous waste incinerator capacity scalable up to 1.5 Ton per hour and biomedical waste incinerator proposed with capacity scalable up to 1.5 Ton per hour. In another question it was stated that plastic will be decontaminated, shredded and made into granules and then sent to the authorized recyclers or used for fuel recovery. Replying to another question on how much damage will be caused to the environment by this plant, it was said that the plant is the waste management facility and it will treat the wastes with all air pollution control devices. There was no statement with reference to air pollution modeling done or to be done.

The questions raised by public included proposed CSR activities, as there will be many trees to be cut, which was not denied. Considering this the EIA Consultant’s claim of green and clean surroundings doesn’t really holds good without in-depth analysis.

There were several objections, which have been replied and incorporated in the Public Hearing report.

The facility is proposed to offer secured landfill for 65000 MT in the first year, and 20000 MTA from second year onwards till 25 years of operation. It could manage e-waste in the form of domestic hazardous waste of 2000 MT per year, besides 40 ton per day of biomedical waste, recovery from 1000 – 10000 KL/ year of used oil, recycling of spent oil up to 1000 KL per year, paper, and plastic up to 1000 ton per year.