NGT pushes to ban RO purifiers for water with TDS below 500 mg/l

NGT pushes MoEF to issue notification to ban unnecessary use of RO purifiers

The National Green Tribunal has reprimanded the Environment Ministry for delaying a notification to ban RO purifiers where total dissolved solids (TDS) in water are below 500 milligrams per litre. The NGT also warned the officer in-charge to comply with the directions by December 31st or he would not be paid his salary. Based on an expert committee report, the NGT had ordered the MoEF on May 20th 2019 to issue this notification to sensitise people about the ill-effects of demineralised water. As per the report, if TDS is less than 500 mg/l, a RO system will remove important minerals and cause undue wastage of water. (News 18)

India allowed to withdraw 1.82 cusec of water from Feni river

The Union Cabinet has approved an MoU between India and Bangladesh to withdraw 1.82 cusecs of water from the Feni River, a transboundary river originating in Tripura that flows into neighbouring Bangladesh. The water withdrawn will be used for a drinking water supply scheme for Sabroom town in Tripura. Water sharing of the Feni river has been a long standing dispute between India and Bangladesh. This development will greatly help the town of Sabroom, which has suffered from drinking water scarcity and iron contamination in its groundwater. (UNI India, The Indian Express)

SC pulls up authorities for not taking coercive steps to control stubble burning

Taking note of the deteriorating air quality in New Delhi and other parts of north India, the Supreme Court has pulled up the Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi governments as well as the Centre, seeking responses from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh on why no steps have been taken to curb stubble burning. The Delhi government has been asked to submit data on whether the odd-even scheme for automobiles has helped in reducing air pollution. However, despite the stringent orders, the air quality in Delhi again worsened to severe category on November 12th. (Livemint, The Hindu)

Panel demands report on foaming in Yamuna river

A few days after Chhath Puja, where devotees were seen standing knee-deep in a froth-filled Yamuna River, the NGT appointed Yamuna Monitoring Panel has sought response from the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC). The panel has ordered the DPCC to identify the location and the reason for such discharge in the river and submit a report. It has also directed DPCC to take necessary action against industries that are creating such environmental hazards. (NDTV)

Centre approves Clean Krishna-Godavari project

Under the Save Rivers scheme, the Centre has approved the Clean Krishna – Godavari project, which aims to rejuvenate the two major rivers in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. The main initiatives to be taken under the action plan include maintaining the ecological balance, preserving flora and fauna along the river banks, taking stringent action against sand mining in the two rivers and undertaking a plantation programme on the river beds. The proposals are being prepared and will be submitted to the environment and water ministries soon. (The Hans India)

This is a roundup of important policy matters from November 5 - 12, 2019. Also, read news this week.