Environmentalists wary of Modi's green agenda

News this week
Launch of Narmada-Kshipra interlink (The Hindu) Launch of Narmada-Kshipra interlink (The Hindu)

Environmentalists wary of Modi's green agenda

Environmentalists have raised concerns about the new BJP government and have said that they should learn from the previous government's failures. There are concerns about Narendra Modi's vocal support for river interlinking and hydropower dams in the Northeast. Although the BJP manifesto did not have any commitments for a clean environment, environmentalists feel that the new government should focus on air and water pollution among other things.

UNICEF's handwashing campaign takes off in Assam

Within a year of it being launched, the UNICEF's Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Campaign has found eager takers in 200 state schools in Assam. Attendance has gone up by 14% in one school as the instance of diarrhoea, chickenpox and other infectious diseases has come down, prompting other schools to demand similar interventions. UNICEF has launched the campaign in 8000 schools across the country.

Clean power v/s wetland in Sambhar

The previous government's plan to set up the world's largest photovoltaic solar power plant on the Sambhar lake in Rajasthan has gone awry. The 4000 megawatt plant will require PV solar panels to be installed over 9,000 ha. This will cover about 40% of the lake spanning over 24,000 ha, affecting the 70 migratory bird species that visit the lake. The World Bank, which would finance part of the project, has asked the government to clear the ecological issues before it can make any commitments.

Fish preservative kills more fish than it preserves

Dry ice, which is carbon dioxide in solid form, used by mechanized boats to preserve fish catch causes more harm than good in the long run when dumped in rivers. Experts investigating into the mass clam mortality in the Betul river in Goa found that the dissolved carbon dioxide spurs growth of water plants like algae, which leads to an increase in biological oxygen demand, killing marine life. 

40,000 tones of sand seized from village near Chambal river

The Madhya Pradesh police recently seized sand mined from the National Chambal Wildlife Sanctuary famous for Gharials, an endangered species. In the past few months, there has been a spate of attacks on police personnel, forest guards and the State Armed Forces jawans guarding the banks of the Chambal river by miners. 

This is a weekly roundup of important news from May 11-17, 2014. Also read last week's policy matters updates.

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