Swachh Bharat Mission: 80% behind target

News this week
Ecosan toilet built in a village Ecosan toilet built in a village

Swachh Bharat seems a distant dream

Government able to build only 24.79 lakh individual household toilets until now, against the implementation target of 1.25 crore such units in the current fiscal year. Construction of community toilets, crucial for the success of the Swachhta Mission, has fared the worst with an achievement of only 5.33%. Over a dozen states have performed below the national average of 19.8%. Also, only 14% Gram Panchayats across the nation have undertaken waste management projects.

Activists question construction of Statue of Unity without green clearance

Environmental activists have warned taking legal action against the Gujarat Government and Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited for allowing construction of the 180-metre Statue of Unity in Narmada district of Gujarat. As the project is being taken forward without conducting any environment clearance, activists have already sent letters to the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) to stop its construction. The project is situated at the boundary of the Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary, which is an ecologically and environmentally sensitive zone, which makes the project mandatory for environment clearance.

Centre identifies 101 rivers to be converted into waterways

With an objective to promote water transport to propel economic growth, the Ministry for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping has set an ambitious target to convert 101 rivers across the country into waterways. As of now, the Government has declared only five river stretches as waterways. Also, the Ministry is planning to launch the PM Jal Marg Yojana and seek the Parliament's nod on a bill that will allow converting any river into a waterway.

Presence of bromate in Mumbai's packaged drinking water: BARC

According to a study by Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Mumbai's packaged drinking water contans bromate, a by-product when water containing bromide is treated with ozone. BARC took samples for disinfection of 18 different commercial brands of packaged drinking water from local markets. Bromate levels was found to vary between below detection limits to 43 µg/l (micrograms per litre), with an average of 10.7 µg/l. Nearly 27% of the samples contained bromate levels above 10 µg/l, the safe limit as per WHO.

Rising pollution in Godavari, thanks to filthy Nasardi, Waldevi & Darna: Report

According to a report by the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) and the National Institute of Environment Engineering and Research Institute (NEERI), the rising pollution in the Godavari in Nasik can be attributed to the pollution in three other rivers, namely the Nasardi, Waldevi and Darna, which flow through the city. Environmental activists say that the Nasardi is polluted with industrial effluents, the Waldevi with household sewage and the Darna with flyash. NEERI has recommended the use of phytorid to curb the pollution in these rivers, especially in the Nasardi.

This is a roundup of important news from January 19- 25, 2015. Also read last week's policy updates.

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