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Environment & Health News Reports January -March 5, 2014

Written By Gopal Krishna on Wednesday, March 05, 2014 | 6:11 AM

Standardize fuel to improve Delhi air: Experts
The Delhi government has kept mum on dealing with severe air pollution in the city, likely to be as bad as Beijing's. Environmentalists are now hoping that the national auto fuel policy, which is expected to be ready in a couple of months, will bring down the pollution level by implementing uniform and superior fuel emission norms throughout the country. Delhi is likely to benefit considerably, experts point out, as most of over 30,000 commercial vehicles like trucks and buses that pass through the city every day do not use Bharat Stage (BS) IV-compliant fuel. These vehicles still use BS III fuel, which pollutes air more during combustion. BS IV-compliant fuel has been in use in only 13 major cities, including Delhi, since 2010.
Source: The Times of India

No dump yards near schools and hospitals: National Green Tribunal
The National Green Tribunal has directed municipal corporations and other government agencies to not create garbage dump yards near schools and hospitals. The tribunal was hearing a plea by RC Jain, president, Delhi State Public Schools' Management Association, for stopping the construction of a dump yard (dhalao) near some schools in Patparganj, arguing it may affect the health of children.
Source: The Times of India

China’s premier ‘declares war’ on pollution
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday said he is "declaring war" on pollution, describing it as a "red-light warning" against inefficiency as he sought to address public concerns on issues from acrid smog to food safety. China's three decades of rapid industrialization and urbanization have transformed its economy, and seen incomes soar. But they have also brought severe environmental consequences, with the public enraged by cities regularly blanketed in smog, and incidents s ..
Source: The Times of India

Kasturirangan report: MoEF to consider suggestions on ESAs in Western Ghats
The ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) will consider recommendations of all six states in the K. Kasturirangan report about ecologically sensitive areas (ESA) in the Western Ghats.The memorandum citing the development came late on Tuesday night—a day before announcement of dates for Lok Sabha elections due by May.It said since Kerala was the only state which undertook demarcation of ESAs, the ministry has decided to issue a draft notification of these areas based on that recommendation. Agricultural land, plantations and habitations will be kept out of ESAs in the state The memorandum added that the ministry will consider recommendations of other state governments if they undertake the exercise of demarcating ESA by physical verification and submit the proposal to MoEF. It will also seek stakeholders’ comments on the draft notification of the demarcation of ESAs.
Source: Livemint, New Delhi, Mar 5, 2014

Get paid for giving your e-waste to Vadodara Municipal Corporation
The Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) became the first civic body in the country to begin e-waste collection source and even ensure that the citizens are paid for the waste collected. The system was launched formally on Wednesday as a part of the Mahatma Gandhi Swachhta Mission. The civic body has adopted the public-private partnership route for providing the facilities to the citizens. Officials claimed that the returns citizens would get by giving their e-waste to the agency that will collect and dispose it will be much higher than they get under exchange when they buy a new product or when they sell it to a scrap vendor.
Source: The Times of India, New Delhi, Feb 28, 2014
89% of E-Waste Is Neglected Due To Mobile Phone Recycling Popularity
Despite the popularity of the mobile phone recycling industry, handsets only contribute towards a small percentage of the overall E-Waste accumulation. According to a study by the US US environmental Protection Agency only 11% of electronic waste is made up of mobile devices, the remaining 89% is computers, accessories, televisions and TV peripherals. UK based recyclers Bozowi Sell My Camera stated "Because mobile phone recycling has become such a large business venture over the last decade, people forget that handsets are a relatively small part of e-waste and you should consider recycling all your electrical devices the way you would with your phone."43% of e-waste accretion is digital accessories and in 2010 this accumulated to a staggering 1,015,000 tons, 9% of which are digital cameras.
Environmental News Network, February 26, 2014
The dangers of chemicals used in food packaging
The long-term effects of synthetic chemicals used in packaging, food storage and processing food could be damaging our health, scientists have warned. Jo Adetunji reports. We actually know very little about how chemicals affect bodily functions or promote disease, or at what life stage we are susceptible. In a paper published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, the authors said most of these potentially damaging chemicals were found in "food contact materials".
Environmental News Network, March 2, 2014
764 industries, 5 states behind Ganga pollution, National Green Tribunal informed
In a case related to pollution of the Ganga, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) was informed on Friday that the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has identified 764 grossly polluting industries in five states on the main stem of the river and its tributaries. The information was provided to the tribunal through a joint affidavit filed by the Union Environment Ministry and the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA). As per the affidavit, a copy of which is with TOI, the CPCB has issued notices to units which are not complying with pollution control norms while discharging their effluents into the river.
Source: The Times of India, New Delhi, Mar 2, 2014

Delhi's landfill sites 'overflow' as High Court orders construction of new dumping grounds to curb environmental and health 'disaster'
Yet, nothing has been done so far, as has been confirmed by a Delhi High Court-constituted committee.No alternative site for landfill has been provided and no concrete step has been taken to recycle the waste.While the three present sites at Ghazipur, Bhalaswa and Okhla are already overflowing and have reached saturation point, the situation becomes scarier with the daily release of garbage expected to jump to 18,000 tonnes by 2021, committee said. The Supreme Court had on February 2, 2000 said: "We direct that sites for landfills will be identified bearing in mind the requirement of Delhi for the next twenty years within a period of four weeks from today".
Source: Mail Today, New Delhi,2 March 2014

Govt buys fish seed from Bengal for Yamuna
The Yamuna, at Delhi, may be one of India’s most polluted rivers, but that hasn’t stopped the government from trying to encourage people to fish in its dirty waters. According to the development department, fish breeding has completely stopped in the Yamuna because of the high levels of pollution in the river, so it has decided to buy fish seed (fertilized fish eggs) from Bengal.“The water has become so turbid that even sunlight cannot penetrate it, which is essential for fish breeding. Even if fish breeds, the seed cannot survive as there are no planktons to feed on,” said Dharam Pal, development commissioner.
Source: The Times of India

Dolphin chokes to death on plastic off Gujarat coast
The pollution in the sea is taking a heavy toll on the marine life along the coast. Latest in the series of tragedies is death of the 14-foot-long dolphin that choked to death after swallowing plastic. Prakruti Nature Club's Jignesh Gohil, who was present in the rescue attempt, said, "During the postmortem we found that the dolphin, which was about 20 years old, had died because of chocking. In autopsy, we found four thick plastic bags.
Source: The Times of India, New Delhi
 
Supreme Court pushes to give milk adulterers life in prison
Acting tough on rampant milk adulteration, the Supreme Court on Thursday gave the Centre a two-week ultimatum to specify whether an amendment will be carried out to make the offence punishable by life imprisonment. Terming the situation "very, very serious" the apex court said it would be foolish to go lightly on adulterators just because no grievous illness or death has been reported immediately after someone has drinks milk laced with white paint, caustic soda, detergent, shampoo, urea, starch and blotting paper.
Source: Mail Today, New Delhi,28 Feb 2014

Yamuna remains dirty despite huge costs to clean it: Panel
A parliamentary panel has noted that Yamuna river seems "dirtier" than before despite Rs 6,500 crore having been spent on its clean-up even as a project to lay interceptor sewers along the three major drains of Delhi suffers delays. In its latest report, the Standing Committee on Urban Development has asked the ministry to expedite the interceptor sewers project to save Yamuna and "sustain its ecology" while observing that the river seems dirtier than before even though Rs 6,500 crore has been spent on cleaning it.
Source: The Times of India, New Delhi, Feb 24, 2014

Act on noise pollution complaints: NGT
National Green Tribunal (NGT) issued interim directions to police, district administration, civic body and transport authorities on Friday to start a 24X7 call centre where complaints related to noise pollution can be registered and immediately redressed. NGT bench directed that complaints forwarded by call centre should be attended immediately by area station house officer (SHO) and confiscation of amplifiers and other noise pollutants should be done.
Source: The Times of India, New Delhi, Feb 23, 2014


Waste piles up in west Delhi
In most parts of west Delhi, dhalaos are overflowing and garbage has been heaped on the roadside for the past one month. The South Corporation—in-charge of west Delhi—is unable to do anything about the sanitation mess as the problem has its roots in the Bhalaswa landfill site, which is managed by the North Corporation. Sources say, only one of the six bulldozers needed to level the garbage at the landfill is operational. As a result, trucks are taking longer to dump waste.

Metro Waste Handling (MWH), the private concessionaire for sanitation in west Delhi, said the problem has lasted nearly a month. "The number of truck trips to the landfill has decreased dramatically. Each truck takes 3-4 hours to dump waste as just one bulldozer is operational. Earlier, we used to dump 700-800 tonnes of waste in a day, but now we dump only 300-350 tonnes," said an MWH official.
Source: The Times of India, New Delhi, Feb 24, 2014

Rare birds vanish from Delhi’s new jungle
Many bird watchers flocking to Delhi’s forests this winter are returning home disappointed after failing to spot their favourite species. An annual bird census at one of Delhi’s newest forests — Garhi Mandu — found only 79 species this year as compared to the 90 species recorded in the 2013 census. The drastic fall has put a spotlight on the degrading habitat of Garhi Mandu and other forest in Delhi due to climate change, human interference and pollution.
Source: Hindustan Times, New Delhi, Feb 23, 2014

Metro plans first solar power plant
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has planned to install a rooftop solar power plant with a generation capacity of 500 kWh on Dwarka Sector-21 Metro station. The plant is expected to start production in six months, DMRC officials said. “After the installation of this rooftop plant, DMRC will also explore the possibility of installing more such plants at its stations, depots, parking lots and residential complexes,” Anuj Dayal, chief spokesperson, DMRC, said. He said efforts were being made to integrate such solar plants with Metro Phase-III stations.
Source: Indian Express, New Delhi, Feb 24, 2014

Cabinet to take up Green India Mission today
The first phase of the ambitious Green India Mission (GIM) which aims at increasing forest cover by five million hectares by 2020, will be considered by the Cabinet on Thursday. The Cabinet will take up the first phase of the mission, which is worth R13,000 crore for the 12th five-year Plan period (2012-17), said environment and forests minister Veerappa Moily on Wednesday. However, since two years of the current Plan period are almost over, the proposed fund has the provision of one year spillover in the 13th Plan period. The government intends to increase forest cover by 10 million hectares in the next 10 years at a cost of R46,000 crore. It has two components — quality improvement of forest cover and creating new forest cover — which are to be implemented through various measures including decentralization of forest governance. This comes at a time when Moily has been both praised as well as criticised for rushing through green nods for many projects.
Source: Finical Express, New Delhi, Feb 20, 2014
Heavy smog alert for Beijing as pollution levels goes high
The Chinese capital has issued a yellow alert for heavy air pollution over the next three days, with children and the elderly being advised to stay indoors. Beijing, its neighbours Tianjin and Hebei Province, as well as central and western Shandong Province can expect heavy air pollution to linger for a week, according to a joint weather forecast issued by the China Meteorological Administration and the ministry of environmental protection. The PM 2.5 readings on Thursday morning in those regions exceeded 115 micrograms per cubic metre, far above the 25 micrograms level considered safe by the World Health Organisation.
Source: The Times of India, New Delhi, Feb 21, 2014,
Agra's leather shoe units told to check pollution
After hundreds of petha (sweetmeat) units were forced to shut down in Agra last fortnight, Uttar Pradesh's pollution control body has now shifted its focus to pollution causing leather shoe units here. The Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board has issued notice to 74 pollution causing leather shoe units, many of them big export houses. Some of the units have been told to apply for the department's consent and many were told to shift outside the city limits. The board's regional officer B.B. Awasthy told IANS Thursday: "Action has been taken, notices issued, now the units are responding and applying for consent. They are also arranging for management of leather cutting waste. Let's see." Agra is a major leather shoe manufacturing hub with more than two lakh people employed in hundreds of small and big units.
Source: The Times of India, New Delhi, Feb 21, 2014,
Haryana drops its plan to shift green zones
Following opposition from most members of the NCR Planning Board (NCRPB), the Haryana government on Thursday agreed to drop its proposal to do away with some of the nature conservation zones (NCZs) in areas falling under "urbanizable/ notified SEZ" in the National Capital Region (NCR) and to compensate by allocating similar land somewhere else in the region. After a meeting where planning board members opposed the move, representatives of the Haryana government agreed to delete the proposed changes before submitting the revised plan, sources said. In its report earlier, TOI had highlighted how the state had proposed a disastrous formula to balance urban development and environment protection.
Source: The Times of India, New Delhi, Feb 21, 2014,
NGT orders UP PWD to ensure groundwater level
The National Green Tribunal ordered the PWD Secretary of the UP Government to conduct a meeting with official concerned to establish what measures they have adopted to implement the orders of the Chief Secretary to maintain the biodiversity and groundwater level in the State. In its order, the NGT stated: “We direct that the Secretary, PWD, State of Uttar Pradesh shall hold a meeting with the Chief Engineer of Ghaziabad Nagar Nigam, Chief Engineer, Ghaziabad Development Authority and senior most Officer of Uttar Pradesh Jal Nigam and pass appropriate directive to ensure a permanent  constructions (including concrete pavements) in parks which  should not exceed more than 5 per cent and the footpaths and tracks constructed only with the permeable and semi-permeable, perforated blocks is enforced and at the same  time the issue with regard to replenishment of the underground water is addressed appropriately.”
Source: The Pioneer, New Delhi, 21 February 2014
AP to ink agreements with solar power developers soon
Andhra Pradesh will soon sign power purchase agreements with solar photovoltaic project developers under the State’s solar power policy a top Government official said. “The letters of intent have been issued to the developers and PPAs will be shortly signed. We expect at least 500 MW capacity to come up by early next year under the State solar policy,” said M Sahoo, Special Chief Secretary, Department of Energy.
Source: The Hindu Business Line, Hyderabad, Feb 20, 2014

Sewage responsible for 70% of river pollution
A government survey reveals that the sewage from cities, villages and towns is polluting the state's rivers in a much bigger way than industrial wastes. According to the government data, 70% pollution in the catchment areas of 20 major rivers is caused by untreated sewage flowing in from towns and villages as against 30% of river pollution being caused by the industrial wastes. According to the study, this pollution has led to a growing number of jaundice and diarrhoea cases.
Source: The Times of India, Mumbai, Feb 19, 2014
Hussainsagar's dredged waste toxic, poses health risks: Pollution control board
The waste material dredged out from Hussainsagar and dumped at the abandoned stone quarries in Gajularamaram have been found to be toxic and a serious health hazard. This startling revelation came to light recently after the AP Pollution Control Board conducted tests on samples collected from the dumping site. Apart from raising major environmental concerns, the test results have negated the claims of the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) that has repeatedly dismissed allegations of toxicity. The samples were collected and tested after TOI reported the risks caused by the dumping, based on a report by the National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI).
Source: The Times of India, Hyderabad, Feb 18, 2014
7 lakh trees felled, but Forest Dept fails to compensate loss
The six-laning work on the National Highway-1 commenced in 2009 for which lakhs of trees were felled, but the Forest Department failed to ensure compensatory plantation on the stretch extending from Jalandhar to Panipat. This was revealed in a reply to a query filled by RTI activist advocate Rajesh Sharma. As per the provisions of the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, the Forest Department has to ensure that 10 saplings are planted for each tree which is felled. But 7,90,016 trees were felled for the purpose and only 45,000 were planted to compensate the loss, which was very less, he said. Rajesh added that the felling of trees in such large numbers with poor compensatory plantation meant that the already polluted air of the state would get worse.
Source: The Tribune, New Delhi, Feb 17, 2014
Introduce online monitoring of highly polluting industries: Central board
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has directed the state Pollution Board to install online quality monitoring systems within 90 days. The aim behind this is to ensure effective compliance and strengthening of monitoring mechanism of 17 categories of highly polluting industries. These 17 categories include cement, paper and pulp, basic drugs and pharmaceuticals, dyes, fertilisers, pesticides formulation, integrated iron and steel etc. Common effluent treatment plants, common hazardous waste and biomedical waste incinerators will be required to follow these directions as per the CPCB orders passed on February 5. Since the management of industrial units had been dithering over complying with laid environmental standards in the past, the central board has now demanded a bank guarantee of 25 per cent of the cost of online monitoring systems for ensuring timely installation of such systems
Source: The Tribune, New Delhi, Feb 17, 2014
Foundation to promote clean and green living
A green foundation has been set up for promoting clean and green living through social, cultural and public programmes. The Green Circle Foundation set up by Royal Western India Turf Club long with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) would also work towards spreading awareness about importance of solar energy and its benefits to society.
Source: The Times of India, Mumbai, Feb 18, 2014

Clear the air on mobile tower radiation, WHO tells India
The World Health Organisation has asked India to participate in its electromagnetic field (EMF) projects, as myths about the impact of mobile phone tower radiation on public health are widespread in the country. The advice came from Mike Repacholi, former head of the EMF Task Force at WHO, during his recent visit to study mobile phone tower radiation in Mumbai. The scenario, he said, was the same in metropolitan cities, including the National Capital Region. Prof. Repacholi made a series of suggestions to the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) and the Health Ministry.
Source: The Hindu, New Delhi, Feb 19, 2014
NGT panel submits report on effluent discharge in drain
The high-level expert panel formed to ascertain levels of toxic pollutants released by industries into the Simbhaoli drain near Ghaziabad that empties into the Ganga, submitted its report to the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday. The inspection report has highlighted instances of discharge of untreated and toxic effluents by at least two industrial units in the region. The committee, comprising Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and UP Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) member-secretaries, inspected the levels of adherence to pollution control norms in Simbhaoli Spirits, Simbhaoli Sugars and Gopalji Dairy Foods. The panel, formed by the principal bench of the tribunal, had conducted the inspection on February 13.
Source: The Times of India, New Delhi, Feb 19, 2014
4 lakh litre chemical water being released to Kshipra 4 lakh litre chemical water being released to Kshipra

Seers and sants from the city of temples on Tuesday visited the Hirli dam built on river Kshipra where 4 lakh litre chemical- mixed water being released to the holy river by 350 industries of Dewas. A delegation of Dharmacharya Parishad Kalyan Samiti, led by State general secretary Dr Avadheshdas Maharaj, visited the Hirli dam and surrounding areas where the Kshipra is being polluted with the confluence of chemical laded water released from industries of Dewas city.
Source: Free Press Journal, , New Delhi, Feb 19, 2014
Punjab pesticide ‘poisoning’ victims await justice
Joginder Kaur (60), who has lost her husband and younger son to pesticides used in the fields, prays every day that her only surviving son does not die before her. With no land of their own, she and her son work as farm hands and spray pesticides to make both ends meet. Her husband and younger son also had the same job: spraying pesticides for years. Sitting on the road outside the District Administrative Complex for the past five days, she is participating in an agitation by farmers seeking compensation for suicide by their family members due to farm debt. There are hundreds others like Joginder Kaur who want to be heard by the authorities. Many of them have lost their children because they were unable to meet medical expenses.
Source: The Tribune, New Delhi, Feb 19, 2014
Toxic river water kills 100 nilgais in Agra
Around 100 nilgais have died in Saurai, Agra district, after allegedly drinking the highly contaminated water of the Karvan river. Panic-stricken villagers, who said the water has turned poisonous due to effluents being discharged by factories in Hathras and Aligarh, added that their heath and crops, too, have been severely affected. One of them said animals have died in the past as well and that "farmers suffer burns to their feet while irrigating the fields because of the toxic water".
Source: The Times of India, New Delhi, Feb 19, 2014

India in top five position in spearheading the global green building movement: IGBC
India has significant opportunity to go the green way and concerted efforts by all the stakeholders is the need of the hour, said vice-chairman of Indian Green Building council (IGBC), Goa, Bharat Kamat on Thursday. Addressing the participants at the two-day advanced training programme on green building rating systems organised by IGBC of CII, he said by the year 2030, building stock in India is expected to reach 100 billion sq.ft from the existing 25 billion sq.ft IGBC , he said, with the support of all the stakeholders has opened up new green employment opportunities like third party commissioning, energy simulation, facilitation of projects, accreditation professionals. India has over 2,380 registered green building projects and is amongst the top five countries in the world involved in spearheading the global green building movement, Kamat said.
Source: The Times of India, New Delhi, Feb 14, 2014
Ganga in Kanpur laden with hazardous toxic metals: AU physicists
A team of Allahabad University physicists has claimed that tanneries and electroplating units of Kanpur are discharging effluents laden with Cadmium, Cobalt, Chromium, Copper, Iron, Lead, Strontium, Antimony, Zinc and Manganese in the Ganga. The presence of these hazardous toxic metals in the National River is far above the permissible limit laid down by World Health Organisation (WHO) and United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). However, the UP Pollution Control Board has questioned the findings of the study questioning the genuineness of samples and methods of analysis
Source: The Times of India, New Delhi, Feb 14, 2014
National Green Tribunal wants rules to stop pollution from straw burning
The National Green Tribunal has directed the agriculture ministry to hold a meeting with Punjab, Haryana, UP and Delhi to prepare "composite" guidelines to prevent pollution caused by straw burning. A bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar directed the agriculture ministry to also specify the manner and time frame required to implement the guidelines. "We direct the ministry of agriculture to hold a meeting with all the states, including Punjab and Haryana, central pollution control board (CPCB) and the national academy of agricultural sciences and prepare composite and complete guidelines for preventing and controlling the pollution resulting from burning agricultural remnants in open fields...modality and time frame for its implementation should be placed before the tribunal," the bench said.
Source: The Times of India, New Delhi, Feb 14, 2014
National Green Tribunal seeks response from coal, power utilities on pollution
The National Green Tribunal has taken serious note of alarming pollution caused by thermal power plants in Vidarbha using inferior quality coal, in violation of ministry of environment and forests' norms. A division bench of NGT, Western Zone bench, Pune comprising Justice V R Kingaonkar (judicial member) and Ajay A Deshpande (expert member) on Tuesday issued a notice to Maharashtra chief secretary, state energy department, environment department, Union power and coal \ministries, MoEF, MPCB, Coal India Limited and its subsidiary Western Coalfields and state run power utility Maharashtra State Power Generation Company Limited (MahaGenco) seeking a reply by March 19.
Source: The Times of India, New Delhi, Feb 13, 2014
Environmentalists see red as trees cut for road project
The area around the Madurai district court would spot a barren look soon as the highways' authority has started cutting down trees for a road-widening project. On Sunday, about 30 workers descended on the spot and started felling old, leafy trees using both axes and machines. Meanwhile, environmentalists in the city have protested the wanton tree-felling and termed the act avoidable. "Trees are cut down only after obtaining permission from the revenue divisional officer," said a top officer of the highways department who did not want to be named. Trees which were brought down were soon chopped into pieces fit enough for shifting to a truck.
Source: The Times of India, New Delhi, Feb 13, 2014
Authorities fail to shift dyeing units from residential areas
The authorities have failed to shift most of the dyeing units operating from residential and non-conforming areas to the special industrial zone in HUDA Sector 29 Part-II here. The zone was created a few years ago. More that 525 of nearly 750 dyeing units are still operating from residential and non-conforming areas, including the Kutani road, Babail road, Kabri road, Chandni Bagh, Tehsil Camp and Kala Bagh near Ugra Kheri. The authorities have apparently turned a blind eye towards the pollution caused by these dyeing units, especially in the residential areas, as much of the effluents produced by these units either flow into open drains or vacant land. Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) regional officer Rajesh Garia said: “The process of closing down such units has already been launched.” “The policy of relocating the dyeing units to the special industrial zone will be implemented at the earliest,” said Deputy Commissioner Ajit Balaji Joshi.
Source: The tribune, New Delhi, Feb14, 2014
National Green Tribunal seeks response from coal, power utilities on pollution
The National Green Tribunal has taken serious note of alarming pollution caused by thermal power plants in Vidarbha using inferior quality coal, in violation of ministry of environment and forests' norms. A division bench of NGT, Western Zone bench, Pune comprising Justice V R Kingaonkar (judicial member) and Ajay A Deshpande (expert member) on Tuesday issued a notice to Maharashtra chief secretary, state energy department, environment department, Union power and coal \ministries, MoEF, MPCB, Coal India Limited and its subsidiary Western Coalfields and state run power utility Maharashtra State Power Generation Company Limited (MahaGenco) seeking a reply by March 19.
Source: Economic Times, New Delhi, Feb 15, 2014

State to have e-waste treatment plant
In view of the growing hazard of e-waste, the State Government is planning to implement a project for scientific disposal, including recycling, of e-waste materials generated in Assam. A study has started in this regard, and as per a preliminary survey report, a quantum of 50 MTs of e-waste materials were found available in the surveyed areas. Places where the survey was conducted include Petrochemicals Ltd (Namrup), BVFCL (Namrup), Dibrugarh University, ONGC (Jorhat), Jorhat Engineering College (Jorhat), OIL (Duliajan), IOCL (Digboi), ONGC (Sivasagar) IOCL (Bongaigaon), Army Headquarters (Tezpur), Air Force Station (Tezpur), Tezpur Central University, Assam Engineering College (CSE Dept), and some offices of the Deputy Commissioners of the State.
Source: The Assam Tribune, Guwahati, Feb 10, 2014
NGT committee to determine cause of Ganga pollution
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Wednesday formed a high-level expert panel to determine whether the Ganga was being polluted by industrial effluents that are discharged into it through the Simbhaoli Drain near Ghaziabad. The two-member expert panel comprises member-secretaries of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and the UP Pollution Control Board (UPPCB). The order for formation of the panel was issued by principal bench of the tribunal, headed by chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar. The panel has been formed to effectively adjudicate a case in which it has been alleged that toxic effluents released by industries near Ghaziabad are responsible for polluting the Ganga, besides threatening the lives of endangered aquatic species.
Source: The Times of India, New Delhi, Feb 13, 2013
Urban bees turning to plastic waste to build hives
Ever heard of bees who use plastic bags and plastic building materials to construct their nests? There are some and this shows how they have adapted to the human world with time. A new study reveals that two urban bee species in Canada make nests out of plastic waste. "It's an important discovery because it shows bees' resourcefulness and flexibility in adapting to a human-dominated world," says lead author Scott MacIvor, a doctoral student at York University and Ontario-based University of Guelph graduate. "Plastic waste pervades the global landscape," said MacIvor, adding that few scientists have observed insects adapting to a plastic-rich environment.
Source: Business Standard, New Delhi, Feb 13, 2014
Closure of garbage recycling plant raises stink in Mira-Bhayander
While the closure of the recycling plant has raised a stink in Mira Road and Bhayander, the civic administration is still to take a decision on setting up a new plant in Vasai. The wastes generated in the region was being recycled in a plant at Dhavgi village, Utan in Bhayander (west). The plant operated by Hanjer Biotech has been shut down due to protest by villagers. This has resulted in huge amount of garbage mounting up in Utan.
Source: The Times of India, New Delhi, Feb 12, 2013
Polio-free India to get WHO certification
As India celebrates its victory over polio — completing three years without any case of the debilitating infection — the nation becomes entitled to polio-free certification by the World Health Organisation in March. On Tuesday, President Pranab Mukherjee received Rotary International’s highest award — Award of Honour — a recognition for heads of nations or governments who have rendered unique service to humanity and served their countries and people.
Source: The Hindu, New Delhi, Feb 12, 2014

National Green Tribunal questions permits given to polluting industries
In a case pertaining to pollution of the Ganga, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Monday directed UP Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) to clarify within two days how it has been granting permits annually to a sugar mill and a dairy plant near Ghaziabad, which have been polluting the river waters continuously. The orders were issued after an inspection conducted by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) revealed that the units were not complying with pollution control norms.
Source: Economic Times, New Delhi, Feb 11, 2014
After 2 years, no progress on Delhi’s pollution action plan
There is now mounting evidence that Delhi's air quality is comparable to, if not worse than, Beijing's notoriously poor air quality. But, the second-generation action plan for Delhi's pollution—drafted to deal with the deteriorating air quality after CNG introduction—doesn't seem to have been finalized almost two years after it was prepared. All the government departments are still to give their response, and seem to be in no hurry to finalize the plan.
Source: The Times of India, New Delhi Feb 12, 2014
Yamuna pollution issue lead to water supply over Yamuna pollution
After the trouble over power supply, the prospect of a water crisis looms large over the National Capital. The Uttar Pradesh government has threatened to cut the supply to Delhi, claiming the sewerage the city daily pumps into the Yamuna is polluting the Ganga. The news come at a time when the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party government is already facing a battle on the power front, and has put the power discoms on notice to ensure an uninterrupted supply in Delhi. Also, the threat from the neighbouring state will put pressure on the Kejriwal government's plan to provide 700 litres of water free to every household in Delhi. Interestingly, the letter comes close on the heels of Kejriwal mentioning Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav in a list of corrupt politicians.
Source: Daily Post, New Delhi, ,Feb 12, 2014
Polluting Phagwara units under Green Tribunal lens
After directions of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) has initiated a survey to identify polluting industrial units in Kapurthala’s Phagwara town. The PPCB authorities swung into action after the NGT had, on January 22, issued directions to the board for conducting a comprehensive survey of Phagwara and identifying industrial units causing pollution. The tribunal has also asked the PPCB to hold a survey of polluting industries located within the 3-km radius of Upkaar International, a diesel engine manufacturing unit, and submit a report in this regard on March 6.
Source: The Tribune, New Delhi, Feb 12, 2014
Supreme Court issues notice to Centre, Delhi on air pollution
The Supreme Court on Monday issued notices to the Centre and the Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana government on an application to take immediate and adequate steps to prescribe stringent emission standards for both petrol and diesel vehicles to control and reduce air pollution and protect the health and well-being of citizens. The Green Bench comprising Justices A.K. Patnaik, S.S. Nijjar and Ibrahim Kalifulla issued notices after hearing senior counsel and amicus curiae Harish Salve bringing to the court’s notice the report of the Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority for the National Capital Region and seeking its immediate intervention. The report said: “Particulate pollution, a serious public health threat and key target of air pollution control measures, is rising rapidly after initial stabilisation.
Source: The Hindu, New Delhi, Feb 11, 2014

U.P. notice to Delhi Government for releasing toxic water into Yamuna
With water from the Yamuna becoming increasingly contaminated and unfit for human consumption in Agra and Mathura, the Uttar Pradesh Government has served notice on the Delhi government to ensure that toxic water is not released into the river by factories. The State government is of the firm view that toxicity of the Yamuna increases downstream as it flows into Agra and Mathura, mainly on account of the putrid water released by 16 ‘nullahs’ (drainage channels) in Delhi. “Our priority is to provide safe and potable water to the people of Agra and Mathura,” said Uttar Pradesh Irrigation and Public Works Department Minister Shivpal Singh Yadav here on Sunday. Referring to the notice served on the Delhi government on Friday, Mr. Yadav said sewage treatment plants should be installed in factories operating in Delhi.
Source: The Hindu, New Delhi, Jan 10, 2014

Note:R K Pachauri is one of the supporters of world's most environmentally destructive project, Interlinking of Rivers, his words on water wastage is quite insincere. Only development fundamentalists like Narendra Modi, Pachauri and Suresh Prabhu support such projects which cause Ara Sea type disaster. Pachauri is accused of being an environmentalist by the corporate media although he has mostly been on the wrong side of environment. He is a supporter of Dioxins emitting incinerators as well. 

Gopal Krishna
ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA)    

AAP's free water policy may end up in lot of wastage: Pachauri
The AAP government's policies on water and electricity are well intended but not the best way to achieve desired goals as supply of over 600 litres of free water to Delhi residents may end up in a lot of wastage, director general TERI R K Pachauri has warned. "The intentions are very good but I am not sure this is the best way of going about it. In the case of water and even electricity firstly you have got to look at the whole economics of water supply and power supply," he told PTI in an interview here when asked about Aam Aadmi Party government's policies on water and electricity.
Source: The Times of India, New Delhi, Jan 10, 2014

15 bird species in India critically endangered: International report
Fifteen species of birds seen in India have been declared critically endangered by the International Union for Conversation of Nature (IUCN) for 2013. The endangered birds, including the Great Indian Bustard, Siberian Crane, White backed Vulture and Red-headed Vulture, are on the decline, said a report of IUCN updated till December 2013. The major reasons for the decline in the population of these birds include loss, modification, fragmentation and degradation of habitat, environmental contaminants, poaching and land use changes, particularly conversion of large areas for crop cultivation. Also, changes in cropping pattern due to various reasons, including implementation of irrigation schemes, increased pesticide usage, livestock-grazing, high levels of disturbance and developmental activities like mining and hydel projects resulted in marginal fall in their population, said the report.
Source: The Times of India, New Delhi, Jan 10, 2014

HC directs NHAI to plant 10 saplings for every tree felled
The Madras High Court Bench here on Thursday directed the National Highways Authority of India’s (NHAI) Project Implementation Units (PIUs) in Madurai, Tiruchi, Thanjavur, Karur and Karaikudi to plant 10 saplings for every tree felled by them to widen the highways within their jurisdiction. A Division Bench of Justice Satish K. Agnihotri and Justice R. Sudhakar ordered that the plantation work on the sides of the highways must be started on February 15 and completed within six months. Periodic progress reports should be filed in the court on the first working day of every month. The judges also appointed advocate T. Lajapathi Roy as amicus curiae in the case to suggest the types of plants that could be planted by NHAI. Apart from him, a team of lawyers was also constituted to monitor the commencement of plantation works in all five PIUs on February 15.
Source: The Hindu, New Delhi, Jan 8, 2014

High Court attention drawn to pesticides in fruits, veggies
The Delhi High Court was on Wednesday told that the Centre and the city government have failed to address the issue of banned pesticides in fruits and vegetables. The submission was made in a report placed before the court by the amicus curiae appointed to examine if banned pesticides are being used on fruits and vegetables and what steps the authorities have taken to address the issue. The report was opposed by the Delhi Government.
Source: The Hindu, New Delhi, Jan 7, 2014

Ban on mining, power projects in Western Ghats to continue
The orders imposing restrictions on new mining, thermal power and other polluting industries in the designated Western Ghats area continue to stand, Environment and Forests Minister Veerappa Moily told the Rajya Sabha on Thursday. In written replies, he said the Ministry had issued directions under Section 5 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 “with a view to providing immediate protection to the Western Ghats and maintaining environmental integrity.” Mr. Moily was referring to the orders issued by his predecessor, Jayanthi Natarajan. The orders under Section 5 imposed an immediate ban, begun November 13 last, on entertaining proposals for environmental clearance pertaining to mining, thermal power plants, large building and construction projects.
Source: The Hindu, New Delhi, Jan 8, 2014

Delhi beats Beijing as the world's most polluted city
Delhi has beaten Beijing to the dubious title of world's most polluted city as the air pollution is literally choking this city. It has been tagged as having the worst air quality in the world, beating Beijing in terms of particulate matter pollution which causes cancer and various asthmatic and respiratory problems. Data from the CSE shows that between October 1, 2013 and January 31, 2014, Delhi met the bare minimum for breathable air for just three days. On all other days in the 4-month period, Delhi's air quality in terms of Particulate Matter 2.5 was hazardous. Beijing has for long been infamous for its very visible haze, but data now shows that Delhi's air pollution, though less visible, is just as insidious. The biggest offendors are vehicles, especially diesel vehicles and dust raised by construction. While Beijing has made massive gains in curtailing pollution, Delhi has lagged far behind. Experts say the problem lies in implementation.
Source: IBNLIVE








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