IAS officer suspended for targeting illegal sand mining

News roundup - IAS officer suspended in UP, groundwater contaminated by gold mines and the number of households with improved sanitation rises.
Sand mining near the Yamuna river Sand mining near the Yamuna river

IAS officer in Uttar Pradesh suspended for action against sand mining

Durga Shakti Nagpal, the 28-year-old sub-divisional magistrate of Gautam Buddha Nagar district, has been suspended by the state government for acting against sand mining mafia operating on the banks of the Yamuna and Hindon rivers. Nagpal had 66 FIRs registered in case of illegal mining in six months besides confiscation of vehicles, JCBs and arrests. Following this, the state mining department has proposed to raise its own force to deal with the menace of illegal mining.

More houses have improved sanitation and drainage

Data collected by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation shows that the number of households with closed drainage has risen from 18.52 million in 2001 to 35.09 million now. Bihar, Odisha and Chhattisgarh however, have improved the least in this regard. Households that use solar energy have risen by over 30% even as the use of kerosene for lighting has fallen by 18%.

Pune Municipal Corporation calculates its carbon footprint

This year's Environment Status Report of Pune says that the carbon footprint of the city is around 4.7 million tonnes. About 57% of that is because of electricity consumption and about 36% because of the use of petroleum products. The Corporation studied the green house gas emission of the city from 2006 to 2011. The level of nitrogen oxide, an air pollutant, has also gone up in the city because of an increase in the number of vehicles, says the report.

Karnataka government owned gold mines pollute ground water

Unscientiifc dumping of poisonous waste by Hutti gold mines in Raichur and Yadgir districts have contaminated 63 drinking water borewells. An expert committee appointed by the state government finds reckless dumping of cyanide waste to be the main reason behind the high arsenic content in the borewell water. The administration has sealed the borewells.

Fine for dumping on the Yamuna riverbed

The National Green Tribunal has ordered a fine of Rs five lakh for anyone who dumps waste or construction debris on the banks of the Yamuna. The offender will also have to remove the waste from the river bank in line with the "Polluter Pays" principle. The Tribunal also ordered that the waste that has been dumped on the river bank in Geeta Colony, on which there is dispute between the Metro rail corporation and Delhi Development Authority, be removed from there by August 15.

This is a roundup of important news from July 29-August 4, 2013.

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