Himachal govt to restrict commercial activities on Rohtang

Policy matters this week: Commercial activities on Rohtang to be restricted; SC orders Centre to set up National Regulator by April 30; Warning to Pollution Control Boards over pollution in Ganga.
Rohtang pass (Source: Wikimedia Commons) Rohtang pass (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

No more commercial activities on Rohtang pass after May 6: HP govt

The Himachal Pradesh government is all set to restrict the commercial activities on Rohtang pass after May 6, in order to preserve the existing glaciers. Fearing the impacts of the stricter rules on their livelihood, the locals are showing resistance to the government's plan and claim that no glacier existed on Rohtang Pass for centuries. Even the studies conducted by scientists support this claim and say that the transitory snow accumulates on Rohtang due to orographic and avalanche characteristics. 

Set up National Regulator by April 30: SC to Centre

The Supreme Court has refused the Environment Ministry's plea seeking six more months to constitute the National Environment Regulator and has ordered the Centre to set up the body by April 30 and report its compliance by May 5. The National Regulator would be responsible for undertaking comprehensive and independent Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of projects and monitor the implementation of conditions imposed on environment clearances.

NGT gets strict with pollution control boards over Ganga pollution

The National Green Tribunal has directed the Central and Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Boards to take stringent action against the Simbhaoli Sugar Mills, Gopalji Milk Food Pvt Ltd and other industrial units discharging effluents into the Ganga river and its tributaries. It has also ordered the Boards to prepare a time-bound action plan to check, prevent and control pollution in the Ganga and has warned the boards to pass 'coercive orders' if effective measures are not taken in this regard. 

India and Bhutan sign agreement on hydropower projects

The Government of India and the Royal Governement of Bhutan have signed an agreement on development joint venture hydropower projects through public sector undertakings. The inter-governmental agreement will pave the way for implementation of four hydropower projects, totalling 2120 MW in Bhutan that will provide clean electricity to India and in return India will generate export revenues for Bhutan.

Kochi's water distribution system to soon have GIS-aided maps

The Kerala Water Authority is preparing a proposal for mapping the water pipelines in Kochi's distribution system using Geographical Information Systems (GIS). The  three-dimensional maps will help the Authority in identifying the inter-connecting pipleines and tracing defects, leakages and water thefts. The proposal has come following a recent study which revealed that only 50% of the total drinking water produced at the Aluva treatment plant had reached the city. 

This is a weekly roundup of policy matters from April 21-27, 2014. Also read last week's news roundup.



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