Dongria Kondhs win the mining battle
Vedanta Aluminium Limited, a multinational corporation listed in the United Kingdom, had its fate sealed when the Dongria Kondh tribals who inhabit the Niyamgiri hills said a resounding no to bauxite mining in the region. The last of the 12 Gram Sabhas in the Niyamgiri hills in South-Western Odisha took place on August 19 as per a Supreme Court order to hold a people's referendum, the first of its kind in the country. Vedanta wanted to mine the hills for bauxite to feed their refinery in Lanjigarh, on the foothills of the Niyamgiri. As if expecting this, the state government and the company are already scouting for other sources to feed the refinery.
69 amphibian species endangered in India
69 of the 168 amphibian species endemic to India are under threat of extinction, says a latest survey by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Mexico tops the list with 171 species that are under threat. Most of the amphibian species lost are from the Western Ghats. Habitat fragmentation, pollution and excessive use of pesticides like DDT are a major threat to amphibians.
Delhi government to pay people to go solar
The state government plans to incentivise people for using solar power. The government has devised a "production-based subsidy" which will be given for each unit of energy that is saved by using solar power. Besides this, a subsidy will also be paid for the excess units one generates from solar power and contributes to the grid. The scheme will be in place once the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission notifies net metering guidelines that will help monitor how much solar energy a consumer generates.
Cauvery basin authority to introduce micro-irrigation
In order to make efficient use of the water from the Cauvery river, the basin authorities in Karnataka plan to introduce micro-irrigation in some villages on a pilot basis. The Authority is holding discussions with villages in the Cauvery basin to select villages where the project can be undertaken and is simultaneously devising technologies for micro-irrigation. One of them would be providing water through micro-sprinklers instead of canals so that more than two acres of land can be irrigated in place of one from the conventional canal irrigation system.
Sand mining policy for Bihar
The Bihar government has approved a sand mining policy which they claim will reduce the control of mafia, protect environment and also increase revenue for the state. The policy makes environmental clearance mandatory for sand mining and states that no mining can be carried out within 300 metres of railway lines, national and state highways and 50 metres of any religious and public place.
This is a roundup of important news from August 19 - 25, 2013.