Govt comes up with regulations for RO manufacturers
Policy matters this fortnight
20 Oct 2021
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A domestic RO water purifier (Image source: IWP Flickr photos)

Environment ministry notifies regulations for RO manufacturers

The Environment Ministry intends to help consumers make informed decisions about what type of water purifier will be required by coming up with the 'Regulation on Use of Water Purification System (WPS),' which will go into effect in 18 months.

According to the new regulation, each water purifier must now have a 'conformance label'--just like a star rating--declaring its efficiency level as well as water rejection and waste levels. In addition, all agencies and organisations involved in water supply are required to inform consumers about the quality of water being provided, as well as the TDS level through advertising and awareness campaigns.

Furthermore, the Bureau of Indian Standards is said to have developed an IS standard for drinking water purification systems. (The Economic Times)

Clarify non-compliance to impact study on drinking water project: NGT to Centre, Odisha 

The National Green Tribunal has issued notices to the Central and Odisha state government seeking clarification on alleged non-compliance with the environment and social impact study on the Rs 892 crore drinking water project on Kharasrota river in Kendrapara district. The Buxi Jagabandhu Assured Water Supply to Habitations (BASUDHA) water project which seeks to divert water of Kharasrota river in Rajkanika block of Kendrapara is feared to adversely affect the ecology of the Bhitarkanika National Park.

The petitioner claims that an Environmental Impact Assessment study for the mega drinking water project was not conducted, and that a monitoring committee for Bhitarkanika National Park eco-sensitive zone, who gave its nod to the project, was constituted without quorum. (The New Indian Express)

File expert opinion on Vishnugad-Pipalkoti Hydro-Electric project in Uttarakhand: NGT to Environment Ministry

Following an appeal against the environment clearance granted to the Vishnugad-Pipalkoti hydroelectric project in Uttarakhand's Chamoli district, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) issued notices to the Environment Ministry and the project proponent, THDC India Ltd. MoEF has also been instructed to obtain and submit, via e-mail, an expert opinion from the Expert Appraisal Committee for river valley and hydroelectric projects within two months.

Petitioners say the World Bank-funded project has gone through a rapid environmental impact assessment, ignoring deficiencies, such as soil erosion, blasting, decline in water quality, loss of aesthetic values, and aquatic biodiversity loss. (The Hindu)

Mumbai won’t be having water cuts next year: BMC

With 99 percent of the lakes full, there is sufficient water for the city for the next 372 days, so there will be no water cuts next year, says the Mumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). There are seven lakes that provide water to Mumbai: Tulsi, Vihar, Tansa, Modak Sagar, Bhatsa, Upper Vaitarna, and Middle Vaitarna.

Water levels in the first four lakes have already overflowed this monsoon, with over 97 percent of stock in all of them, while Bhatsa Dam in Thane, which supplies 55 percent of Mumbai's total water, has 99.43 percent of stock.

Mumbai has received over 3,000mm of rain this monsoon so far. Mumbai experienced a 20 percent water cut last year due to low water levels in the lakes. However, in 2019, no water cuts were experienced due to adequate rainfall and a higher level of water storage. (Livemint)

Experts voice concerns over proposed amendments to Forest Act with respect to Western Ghats

The Environment Ministry has extended the deadline for submitting objections, comments and suggestions on the proposed amendments to the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 until November 1 instead of October 15. The experts have raised serious environmental concerns over the amendments with respect to the Western Ghats.

There has been opposition to the proposed amendment only in English, making it inaccessible to the majority of the public. The amendment opens the door to plundering thickly forested areas of the Western Ghats. For land acquired before 1980, the railways and highways ministries are no longer required to clear forests. One of the ministry's proposals is to add a clause that would make offences non-bailable with increased penalties including imprisonment up to one year, which has also been opposed. (The Indian Express)
This is a roundup of important policy matters from October 5 - 18, 2021. Also, read news this fortnight.

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