Indian Ocean's "hope spots"
The Andaman and Nicobar and the Lakshadweep islands have been designated as 'Hope Spots' by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). As per the IUCN definition, a hope spot is a part of the ocean that needs protection because of its wildlife and significant underwater habitats. The two islands are the first spots in India to be named hope spots and part of 31 new spots across the world in addition to the existing 19 hope spots. The new hope spots were announced during the 3rd International Marine Protected Areas Congress in Marseille, France.
Masterplan to channelise the Beas river underway
The Central Water and Power Research Station, Pune is preparing a masterplan to channelise the Beas river in Manali to prevent damage from flooding during the monsoon. Besides channelisation of the river, the plan will also involve artificial lakes at some distances to slow down the swift current of the river as well as to attract tourists. Given the intensity of the floods in the past few years, the Himachal Pradesh government had been planning to channelise the river for some time now. The length of river between Palchan near Manali and Aut in Mandi district is being studied for the upcoming project.
NGT tells Assam to protect Kaziranga animals
In order to protect wildlife in the Kaziranga National Park, famous for its one-horned rhinos, the National Green Tribunal asked the state government to put barriers, speed cameras and challan vehicles driving rashly on the 20-km stretch of National Highway 37 that passes through the Park. The tribunal also asked the Ministry of Environment and Forests to take necessary measures and cooperate with the state. The NGT was hearing a plea filed against the expansion of the highway stretch running through the Park.
Wildlife sanctuary in Shimla to have only battery cars
To prevent air and noise pollution, petrol and diesel-based vehicles have been banned from passing through the Shimla Water Catchment Sanctuary, situated about eight kms from the city. The Himachal Pradesh forest department has decided to introduce golf carts and battery-driven cars in place of fuel-run ones for visitors to the sanctuary which is located at a height of 2,750 metres. The sanctuary, as the name suggests, is the catchment area of sources of water to Shimla city.
Multi-village water supply project in Dakshin Kannada
A multi-village water supply project that will supply drinking water to 20 villages in the Dakshin Kannada district of Karnataka will be operational by the end of this year. The project will include lifting of water from the Shambhavi river and supplying it to 52 overhead water tanks in eight gram panchayats of the district through a 72-km long pipeline network. The project was envisaged by the Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat in 2002 to deal with the problem of dried up borewells and high iron content in groundwater.
This is a weekly roundup of policy matters from October 28- November 3. Also read last week's news roundup.