Hazardous waste rules amended

Different types of plastic waste displayed at a sanitation park. (Source: IWP Flickr photos)
Different types of plastic waste displayed at a sanitation park. (Source: IWP Flickr photos)

Centre amends hazardous and other wastes rules 2016 to ban import of solid plastic waste

In order to include the prohibition on the import of solid plastic waste even in special economic zones (SEZ) and by export-oriented units (EOU), the environment ministry has amended the Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management and Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016. The aim of the amendment is to strengthen the implementation of environmentally sound management of hazardous waste in the country. Henceforth, no authorisation is required for the industries under the Water and Air Act, provided the hazardous and other wastes generated by such industries are handed over to the authorised actual users or waste collectors. 

Panel rejects highway project in Odisha threatening migratory birds and turtles

The environment ministry's expert appraisal committee has rejected the proposed construction of a national highway project in Odisha between Gopalpur port and Ratnapur. The committee observed that the proposed road starts near Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary which is a nesting site for the Olive Ridley sea turtles and further divides Balukhand Konark Wildlife Sanctuary and Chilika (Nalaban) Wildlife Sanctuary which are winter homes to millions of migratory birds. The panel also noted that road pillars will have serious consequences on the flow regime of 13 rivers and floodplains in the region. 

Verify 19.5 lakh forest land claims in 15 days: Centre to states

The ministry of tribal affairs has ordered the state governments to validate the 19.5 lakh rejected forest rights claims on the ground within a fortnight. The states have been directed to entrust the responsibility of sanitising the data at the village level to district collectors and submit the data to the ministry as per the given format. The directive has come following the Supreme Court's interim order to stay eviction of tribals and other traditional forest dwellers (OTFDs) whose claims had been rejected under the Scheduled Tribe and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act 2006. 

NGT seeks demarcation reports of Yamuna floodplains in Agra

The National Green Tribunal has ordered the Director of Namami Gange and the Director General of National Institute of Hydrology, Roorkee to inspect the Yamuna floodplain in Agra and submit a report on its demarcation within four weeks. The tribunal has come up with the order following a petition filed alleging that many buildings have been built right on the floodplain and even in the river itself. The tribunal had earlier came down heavily on Agra Development Authority (ADA) for allowing construction on the floodplain of the river and had slammed the Uttar Pradesh government and public authorities in Agra for improper demarcation of Yamuna floodplain. 

SC refuses to lift stay on use of secondary treated wastewater

The Supreme Court has refused to lift the stay on the use of secondary treated wastewater for recharge of groundwater in two districts of Karnataka. Earlier, the apex court has barred the use of secondary treated water from municipal waste and factory discharge after reports of foaming and pollution appeared in Bangalore's Bellandur lake and other lakes. Along with this, the court has allowed the appeals filed by the Karnataka government and has set aside the National Green Tribunal's order enlarging the buffer zone limits around lakes and water bodies in Bengaluru. 

This is a roundup of important policy matters from March 6 - 12, 2019. Also, read news this week.