United opposition to the 'Statue of Unity'

News this week: 'Statue of Unity' doesn't have environment clearance, smoke from religious ceremonies causing glacier melt and migratory birds celebrate a peaceful Diwali in Coimbatore.
Statue of Unity opposed Source: statueofunity.in Statue of Unity opposed Source: statueofunity.in

Environment activists unite against the 'Statue of Unity'

The 182 metre high iron and bronze statue of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel proposed in Gujarat's Narmada district has not yet applied for environment clearance. Environment activists have written to the Ministry of Environment and Forests asking them to put a stop to the construction of the statue that is slated to be taller than the Statue of Liberty. The foundation stone of the Rs 2,063-crore-project was laid on October 31. The statue, which is being built near the Sardar Sarovar Dam downstream of the Narmada river, is just 3.2 km from the Shoolpaneshwar Sanctuary. There has been no public consultation for the project, which involves construction in the river bed and a proposed reservoir that will affect downstream villages.

Religious smoke melting glaciers

A joint study by an American Institute and an Indian University blames smoke from religious rituals and ceremonies in the mountaineous region of the Himalayas for glaciers melting in the Indian subcontinent. According to researchers from the US state Nevada's Desert Research Institute and the Pandit Ravi Shankar Shukla University in Chhattisgarh, brown carbon and soot from the burning of mango bark, cow dung, camphor, leaves, vermillion and cow urine has led to pollution in the region, which is in close proximity to the glaciers. As per the study conducted between 2011 and 2012, the impact of emissions from marriage ceremonies, funeral cremations, incense sticks in temples and graveyards is huge- 23% per cent of particles from human burnt fossil fuels in the atmosphere.

Birds have a peaceful Diwali in Coimbatore, thanks to residents

For the second year now, 60 families that stay near the Nanjarayan tank in Coimbatore had a crackers' free Diwali so that migratory birds that visit the 440 acre tank are not disturbed. About 125 migratory birds visit from different continents, including Europe and North America besides the ones from Asian countries, all through the year.

Tata Chemicals awarded for reusing wastewater

Tate Chemicals' Mithapur plant in Gujarat has been awarded the FICCI Chemical and Petrochemical award for using sea water instead of fresh water and recycling it for different purposes. Given the arid climate of the Okha Taluka in which the Tata Chemicals' complex is situated, the operations had to upgrade their technology to reduce dependence on groundwater and source supply from the sea.

NHPC in a convincing mode

In the face of protests from anti-dam activists, the National Hydro Power Corporation is organising workshops and seminars to convince people about the benefits of the Lower Subansiri hydro-electric project that has been stalled following protests. The dam, coming up on the Brahamputra along the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border, is a 2000 Mega watt run of the river project. Once complete, it will be the largest hydro-electric project in India and will submerge about 47 square kilometre of rich forest. Jyotiraditya Scindia, the Union Minister of State for Power, has expressed concern that the delay in resumption of work will lead to increase in tariff which will ultimately have to be borne by the public.

This is a weekly roundup of important news from November 3-10. Also read last week's policy matters updates.

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