Govt dilutes green norms for big realty projects

In the name of “housing for all”, a move stipulated to help those in the economically weaker sections, the government has diluted the norms for large-scale construction activities.

In a notification issued earlier this month, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, has relieved projects over 1,50,000 sqm from seeking clearances under the existing Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act and Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act.

The Ministry, according to the notification published in last week, was ensuring “ease of doing responsible business”; and streamlining the permissions for buildings and construction sector which is important for providing houses and for this purpose, the scheme of Housing for All by 2022 with an objective of making available affordable housing to weaker sections in urban area. Read more

Courtesy: The Hindu

L-G reviews action taken to deal with air pollution

Lieutenant-Governor Najeeb Jung on Monday chaired a meeting at Raj Niwas to review the action taken to deal with air pollution in the Capital.

It’s the fourth such meeting to be chaired by the L-G over the issue. Mr. Jung expressed satisfaction over the actions taken by various agencies which, according to data furnished to his office, show improvement in ambient air quality in the city, Raj Niwas said in a statement.

Besides the representatives of different government departments, the meeting was also attended by Deputy Delhi Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, Delhi Environment Minister Imran Hussain, Sunita Narain, Director General, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) and Anumita Roy Chowdhury, Executive Director General, CSE. Read more

Courtesfy: The Hindu

Delhi on fog alert, air pollution to rise

Dense to very dense fog is all set to make a comeback over Delhi-NCR. This will not only curtail the day maximums but will also increase the air pollution manifolds.

Thick fog has been evading the northern plains including Delhi for the last few days, leading to good visibility conditions. This has been on account of the continues flow of cold and dry northwesterlies with increased wind speed.

Now, weather conditions are all set to change during the next few days. Wind pattern is likely to change to easterlies from northwesterlies during the next 24 hours. Humid winds have been blowing from the fresh well-marked low pressure area in Southeast Bay of Bengal. Read more

Courtesfy: skymetweather.com

Air pollution: NGT notice to Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum

The National Green Tribunal has issued notice to two public sector oil companies asking them whether they use any diesel vehicle which is more than 10-years-old, while allowing registration of new BS-IV compliant ones for transporting petrol or petroleum products. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar sought the response from Indian Oil Corporation Limited and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd and asked for their reply by January 9.

The direction came while hearing a batch of petitions filed by various contractors seeking registration of new BS-IV compliant diesel vehicles purchased for transport of petrol from company depots to identified petrol pumps in Delhi-NCR. Read more

Courtesy: The Indian Express

Graded action plan: It must be implemented to tackle air pollution in Delhi – and other choking cities

Last week the Supreme Court directed the central government to notify its graded action plan to tackle air pollution in Delhi. This is a significant moment in India’s battle for clean air, emphasising the need for a comprehensive plan presenting systemic solutions and reminding governments that a plan can be executed successfully only if all stakeholders work in tandem. This template should also be adapted for other Indian cities that suffer appalling air quality. Air pollution extracts an enormous price in terms of health, particularly of children. Combating it must become a governance priority.

The Environment Pollution (Control and Prevention) Authority has presented the holistic plan to which the Centre now has to give statutory backing. This plan categorises pollution into four categories based on atmospheric particulate matter. It then suggests a course of action for each category, with the most dangerous layer triggering an emergency protocol. The plan is not restricted to just the Centre and the state government of Delhi. Neighbouring states also have to play their parts as environmental problems always spill over borders. Read more

Courtesy: The Times of India