India leads Asian countries in enacting the Plastics Pact

Different types of plastic waste (Image source: IWP Flickr photos)
Different types of plastic waste (Image source: IWP Flickr photos)
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In launching its Plastics Pact, India becomes the first Asian country to do so

India has launched a pioneering initiative in Asia, the Plastics Pact, that will bring together businesses, government agencies and non-profit organisations to set time-bound commitments to reduce plastics from their value chain.

The Plastic Pact, a joint initiative between the World Wide Fund for Nature -India (WWF India) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), aims to make plastic a valuable resource and not a pollutant. Through the Plastics Pact, plastic packaging will remain in the economy and out of the environment, with definitive targets for 2030. (Gaon Connections)

Panel re-constituted to assess the damage caused by Baghjan oil well explosion

The Supreme Court has reconstituted an expert committee to assess the damage caused by the blowout at Oil India Limited's Baghjan oil well in Assam upon the request from activist Bonani Kakker. The blowout fifteen months ago resulted in displacement of over 9,000 people, along with the damage to the environment.

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) had earlier set up a 10-member committee, which included Oil India Limited's managing director, thus creating a conflict of interest. Now that the top court has reconstituted the panel, independent experts will assess damage and recommend immediate actions to be taken.Also, the court has ordered the panel to suggest a remedial restoration plan within a month. (Hindustan Times) 

Mumbai has released its Climate Action Plan

Mumbai is the first city in India and South Asia to launch its Climate Action Plan, which aims to promote climate-resilient future planning and growth.

The action plan will focus on six thematic action areas that include sustainable waste management, urban greening and biodiversity, urban flooding and water resource management, building energy efficiency, air quality, and sustainable mobility.

The state environment ministry has also launched the Mumbai Climate Action Plan (MCAP) website along with the plan to seek suggestions and inputs from experts and citizens and to complete the action plan in two months’ time after public consultation. (The Weather Channel)

Shimla’s water woes to end as the state cabinet approves the water scheme draft 

Himachal Pradesh's cabinet has approved the draft package of the Sutlej water supply scheme worth Rs 1,813 crore. The scheme is intended to end the water crisis of Shimla for at least 2050. The World Bank will provide 1160 crores of funding to the project, while the state government will contribute 652 crores.

The draft calls for the lifting of river water from the Satluj near the village Shakrodi and 67 MLD of water will be elevated to a height of 1.6 km at Sanjauli. The project will also replace the distribution pipelines across the Municipal Corporation and upgrade them into a 24-hour water supply system. (News 18)

Odisha announces a contingency plan and a sand policy

The Odisha Agriculture Ministry has put in place a contingency plan to help farmers cope with the drought-like conditions experienced in 213 out of 314 blocks this monsoon. As part of the plan, the state government will supply water through canals, distribute seeds and kits for vegetable farming and implement the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA) to ensure continued sustenance.

Another move by the state government is the Odisha Sand Policy - 2021, which promotes scientific and sustainable mining of the minor mineral. With the new policy, the government will identify and quantify all potential sand sources and devise mining plans accordingly to address the demand-supply gap as well as the adverse effects of sand mining.(Hindustan Times, The New Indian Express)

This is a roundup of important policy matters from August 24 – September 5, 2021. Also, read news this fortnight.
 

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