Government notifies ban on single-use plastics from July 2022
Policy matters this fortnight
24 Aug 2021
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Plastic menace in Kufri, Himachal Pradesh (Image source: IWP Flickr photos)

No more single-use plastics from July 1, 2022

To reduce single-use plastic usage in India by next year and deal with the plastic menace, the Environment Ministry has notified a ban on single-use plastic items from July 1, 2022.

The notification prohibits the manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale, and use of single-use plastics, including polystyrene and expanded polystyrene. As part of this initiative, the ministry extended the thickness of polythene bags to 120 microns from 50 microns and will do so in two phases.

Polythene bags thinner than 75 microns will be banned from September 30 next year, and those thinner than 120 microns will be banned by December 31 next year. (The Times of India)

New retail fuel stations not allowed within 50 meters of water bodies: CPCB

To prevent contamination of water bodies, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has issued new guidelines prohibiting new petrol pumps from being set up within 50 meters of lakes, ponds, streams, rivers, wetlands, canals and creeks.

Additionally, the guidelines order retail outlets between 50 meters and 100 meters from the closest surface water body to use double-walled tanks or concrete protection walls around underground storage tanks as secondary containment measures. These guidelines, sent to every public and private oil marketing company, as well as to state pollution control boards, also specify groundwater and soil sampling protocol to monitor contamination at regular intervals. (The Times of India)

NBWL to impose 2 percent surcharge on projects in protected zones

The National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) has decided to impose a cost of 2 percent of the proportionate value of any development or infrastructure project in a protected zone, such as a national park or a wildlife sanctuary. The board clarified that this percentage won't apply to the entire project value, but only to the portion within the protective zone. The funds will be used to implement mitigation measures within the same protected area.

Environmentalists claim that the decision is legally flawed since it will not be able to prevent habitat fragmentation, and the destruction caused by the project cannot be mitigated by imposing a 2 percent levy. Moreover, questions have been raised over whether the surcharge was arrived at in a transparent manner. (Hindustan Times)

Andhra Pradesh is home to India’s largest floating solar power plant

NTPC has started operating the 15 MW capacity floating Solar PV Project at Simhadri thermal station in Visakhapatnam. The solar project, which spans over 75 acres of the Simhadri reservoir area, will generate enough electricity to power 7,000 homes using more than a lakh solar PV module.

This initiative will save 46,000 tonnes of CO2 and 1,364 million litres of water annually, enough to meet the needs of 6,700 homes for an entire year. Solar floating power plants are regarded as a game changer in India's efforts to create 450 GW of renewable energy capacity due to their advantages over on-land projects that require large tracts of non-farming or non-forested land. (The Economic Times)

Cabinet approves one-time regularisation of unauthorised water, sewer connections in Punjab

The Punjab cabinet has approved a one-time scheme of regularizing unauthorised water supply and sewerage connections and recovering arrears.

It is expected that the move will result in the regularisation of approximately 93,000 connections, which will result in urban local bodies (ULBs) generating more revenue.

In the domestic category, the charge per connection varies from Rs 200 to Rs 1000 based on the plot size, and in the commercial and institutional category, it varies from Rs 1000 to Rs 2000. The penalty for users who have not regularised their connections in this period will be 100 percent. Those who have not regularised their connections within six months may face disconnection, as well as penalty and interest. (Outlook India)

This is a roundup of important policy matters from August 10 - 23, 2021. Also, read news this fortnight.

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