NGT tells Mahagenco to use clean coal
The National Green Tribunal has ordered the Maharashtra power utility to strictly abide by the Environment Ministry's notification, which prohibits coal and power utilities from using coal that has over 34% ash content. Inferior quality coal generates large amounts of fly ash, a threat to the environment and public health. The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board claims to have issued directives to 15 thermal power stations in Vidarbha to use clean coal and beneficiation technology to reduce impurities but to no effect.
Delhi civic agencies face contempt over cutting trees
The National Green Tribunal has issued a contempt of court notice against the Public Works and the Forest Department for not complying with its order to leave one metre space while undertaking construction near trees, which leads to the cutting of their roots. In another case disposed off just last month, the NGT had ordered the two agencies to protect trees while undertaking construction on the same stretch of the road that has been cited in the order this time but the agencies did not pay any heed to it.
Odisha to adopt rainwater harvesting in drought-prone areas
Having gained success in 10 blocks in the state, the Government is excited about the prospect of rainwater harvesting at a sub-surface level. The sub-surface water storage is within 10 meters of the surface from where plants can source water and groundwater can be recharged besides improving the moisture level of the soil in drought-prone areas. The technology used is low-cost with a per hectare expenditure of Rs 15,000-20,000.
Naxal-affected forest is first biodiversity heritage site in Maharashtra
Aptly named "Glory of Allapalli", a dense forest in Ghadchiroli has been designated a biodiversity heritage site under the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 and will be brought under 'scientific management' as the state Forest Department calls it. A preservation plot of six hectares was established in the forest in 1953 with an intent to maintain the original vegetation and study stages in ecological succession that may take place over the course of time. About 113 floral species have been identified in this plot belonging to 50 plant families.
NHRC tells Allahabad administration to submit report on water toxicity
About 80 villages of the trans-Ganga and Yamuna area in Allahabad where the two rivers meet, are suffering due to contamination of water with harmful substances that have disturbed the pH balance and increased turbidity and hardness of the water. In the report required by the National Human Rights Commission, the city administration is planning to mention the World Bank project to provide potable water and sanitation in six of these villages.
This is a weekly roundup of policy matters from May 18-24, 2014. Also read last week's news roundup.