Art of Living pays environment compensation
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) had ordered the Art of Living Foundation last week to pay the environment compensation of Rs 4.75 crore for the damage it caused to Delhi’s Yamuna floodplains by holding the World Culture Festival in March. The NGT had slapped a fine of Rs 5 crore on the foundation out of which it had deposited Rs 25 lakhs. Later the foundation paid the entire fine but reiterated that it has not caused any damage to the ecology of the floodplains. Also, the foundation had mentioned they will produce the evidence of its innocence before the court and if found non-guilty, they need to be refunded.
FSI seeks ban on 417 coal blocks to safeguard rivers
The Environment Ministry’s Forest Survey of India (FSI) has sought a partial ban on mining on 417 coal blocks out of 835 it had surveyed to save the rivers. The Coal Ministry, however, objected to this and have asked to choose only 49 blocks for a partial ban on mining. Along with this, the ministry has also demanded allowing mining till the river boundaries, leaving just 15 metres of protected area. It has also asked that the protection of waterways be limited to just the first order streams and not the larger streams and rivers.
NGT gets strict with Delhi government on cleaning natural water bodies
Concerned over the alarming depletion of groundwater levels in the capital, the National Green Tribunal has ordered the Delhi government to clean and restore all the natural water bodies within three weeks. A notice has been issued to the Environment Ministry, Ministry of Urban Development, Delhi Government, CGWA, DDA and Delhi Jal Board seeking a reply within two weeks. Following the orders, the Delhi chief minister has constituted a committee to look into the matters related to water bodies in the national capital. Along with this, the North Delhi Municipal Corporation has also decided to strictly implement the provision of water harvesting.
NGT restricts dumping of debris in Chenab and Tawi rivers
The National Green Tribunal has restrained authorities from throwing any debris from the construction works of Udhampur to Banihal road in the Chenab and Tawi rivers. The order has come following a petition filed against rampant dumping of muck in the two rivers without taking prior environment nod. Notices have been issued to the various authorities seeking a response within two weeks for dumping waste in the Chenab and Tawi rivers from the work on four-laning of Udhampur-Banihal stretch of the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway.
SwachhYug to make gram panchayats along Ganga open defecation free
Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation has joined hands with Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation to make 5,169 villages under 1,651 gram panchayats across the Ganga open defecation free. The government has called the intensive campaign, SwachhYug, as the efforts will be shared between Swachh Bharat Mission, local youth leaders and Namami Gange project. The initiative will be centered around turning the villages open defecation free in a mission mode along with a focus on swachhta (cleanliness) of the villages through proper solid and liquid waste management and maintaining general cleanliness.
This is a roundup of important policy matters from May 31-June 10, 2016. Also read last fortnight's news roundup.