Emission standards of TPPs shouldn't be diluted: Green bodies

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi March 30, 2017 Last Updated at 17:03 IST

Green bodies today demanded that emission standards set for thermal power plants should not be diluted and said inadequate execution of such norms worsens air pollution killing 1.2 million people in every year.

Volunteers and activists of the green bodies held a silent protest over this issue and submitted a petition, titled 'Clean Air Nation', signed by over a lakh people, to the Environment ministry, which assured the activists that the norms will not be diluted.



Joint secretary in the ministry, Arun Kumar Mehta, has assured the activists of Greenpeace India, Care4Air and Help Breathe, that emission standards of thermal power plants will not be diluted, Greenpeace said in a statement.

The ministry had notified the emission standards for thermal power plants (TPPs) on December 7, 2015 and had set December 2017 as the deadline for implementing it.

With less than nine months left, reports have appeared that the is ready to relax the deadline and even dilute the emission standards.

"We urged the ministry to ensure that a monitoring mechanism for implementation of the emission standards is put in place, so that we do not reach a situation in December where no power plant has complied to the notification," Sunil Dahiya campaigner of Greenpeace said.

"The joint secretary said he is aware of the effect of air pollution on human health and will make sure that pollution level does not increase," he said.

The impacts of air pollution are far-reaching and devastating which include rise in economic and health expenditure. It is a national problem which is killing 1.2 million Indians every year and costing the economy around 3 per cent of GDP, Greenpeace said.

"We desperately need to upgrade thermal power plants to control air pollution. Without these upgrades we will never have clean air," said Help Breathe campaign coordinator Reecha Upadhyay.

"Along with upgrading the newer plants, we need to phase out older power plants and use our resources to invest in clean and green renewable energy for India," Upadhyay said.

According to various studies, exposure to particulate matters have both short and long-term effects on human health. There is a marked increase in pollution-related ailments like redness in eyes, lung cancer and heart attacks.

"In the short term, we must focus on reducing emissions from existing power plants by implementing the standards. In the long term, we need to recognise that coal is the biggest contributor to air pollution. Breaking free from fossil fuels will lead towards a cleaner and sustainable future," Ekta Singh of Care4Air said.

Coal has been a major source of air and water pollution. Reliance on coal has led to loss of forests, wildlife and has destroyed livelihoods of thousands of people. Research suggests that growth in use of coal is responsible for around one lakh premature deaths in India, Greenpeace said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/emission-standards-of-tpps-shouldn-t-be-diluted-green-bodies-117033000811_1.html

 
 

No deadline to implement long pending Inviolate Forest Policy, says govt

Policy recommends keeping 40% of India's forests safe from all kind of mining

Nitin Sethi  |  New Delhi March 30, 2017 Last Updated at 19:15 IST

The has no deadline by which it will implement the long-pending The policy, awaiting a final approval for more than four years now, requires the to sequester good and biodiverse areas from all kind of mining, including coal. 

 

In its last assessment, the government’s Forest Survey of India had recommended under the policy that over 40 per cent of the country’s existing forest cover should be kept safe from mining of all sorts. This recommendation came in a report, submitted in August 2016. This would require denying mining rights in 285,853 square kilometres of lands out of 701,672 square kilometres. 

 

The fact that has no specific deadline to impose this policy was revealed through a response to an application in February 2017. While the policy has been kept in limbo the has continued to give clearance to some of the coal blocks that fall into a deeply pruned list of inviolate areas on a piece meal basis. 

 

The policy was initiated during the era by the then minister Jairam Ramesh in 2011. It was then called No-go policy. At that time it was to look protecting good forest areas only from But it faced opposition from within the cabinet itself leading Ramesh to relatively prune down the list of coal blocks to be denied permissions. Even this diluted-down version faced opposition from within the as Jayanthi Natarajan took charge in place of Ramesh. She was asked to let clearances be given on a piecemeal basis and get the draft policy revised using better scientific methods. A committee of experts set up within the ministry did so and in 2013 in its report detailed the parameters by which rich forest areas could be identified to be kept safe not only from coal but all kind of mining activities. This came to be known as the inviolate forest area policy

 

But, instead of implementing the policy, towards its last days, the began a process of reviewing and diluting its application after Natarajan was removed as minister. When the took over, this process of dilution continued. The ministry consulted the coal ministry and its institutions on repeated times to see how different tweaking to the criteria for selecting inviolate patches would impact coal blocks and coal-bearing areas. Documents accessed through show that the coal ministry repeatedly asked for dilution of the inviolate forest area parameters and in several cases the ministry relented. 

 

As early as mid-2015 the Forest Survey of India (FSI), a agency that maps country’s forest resources, told the ministry that out of the total 835 coal blocks it assessed 49 were found to be totally in the inviolate zone. Originally 206 blocks had been identified as inviolate.  The pointed out in its 2015 correspondence that another 417 blocks would also face partial restrictions if the inviolate policy was imposed using all the recommended parameters.  informed the that 4 operational coal blocks fell totally within inviolate forest areas and another 117 operational coal blocks would be impacted if the also tried to protect first order rivers that are critical for the good from This hydrological parameter had also been recommended by the experts as one of the several parameters for delineating rich forest areas but the coal ministry has objected to using this criteria and suggested severe dilution to it as it could potentially impact a large number of  

 

The then also undertook an assessment of how much total forest area needed to be protected from all kinds of mining and not just coal. This report was submitted to the in August 2016. The recommended protecting a bit more than 40% of India’s from all kind of mining. 

 

The ministry’s Forest Advisory Committee, which recommends whether should be given over for mining and other activities has begun using this data to make its recommendations at least in some cases, public records of the ministry show. But a universal blanket application of the policy to sequester rich as a default has not been taken because the has not approved the policy. 
 
http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/no-deadline-to-implement-long-pending-inviolate-forest-policy-says-govt-117033001135_1.html

  NGT issues notices to MoEF&CC and CPCB on Climate Change Petition

 

A Petition raising the issue of impacts of Climate Change and inaction of the Government was filed on 22.03.2017 before National Green Tribunal, New Delhi by nine year old girl, Ridhima Pandey. She is part of a class that amongst all Indians is most vulnerable to changes in climate in India yet are not part of the decision making process. The government has failed to take any effective science-based measure, and there is a huge gap in implementation of the environmental legislations.

The Petition came for hearing today (29.03.2017) before Chairperson of the Tribunal—Mr. Justice  Swatanter Kumar, along with  Mr. Justice Raghuvendra S. Rathore and Expert Member Mr. Bikram Singh Sajwan.

After hearing the Counsel of Applicant, Tribunal issued notice to the Ministry of Environment & Forest & Climate Change and Central Pollution Control Board to file their reply to the petition within two weeks. Thereafter, petitioner can file rejoinder to the reply.  The case is now fixed for hearing on 4 May 2017.

Main contention the Applicant is that India has ratified the Paris Agreement but is not taking any steps to bring down the Green House Gas emissions. The Environmental Clearances and Forest Clearances granted do not take into account impacts of the projects on climate.

 

India in its ‘Intended Nationally Determined Contribution’ has committed to reduce the emissions intensity of GDP by 33-35 per cent by 2030 from the 2005 level. Other important goals include achieving about 40 per cent cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel based energy resources, and creating an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030. But all these commitments are not reflected in legal framework or in implementation of projects.

 

Rahul Choudhary
Legal Initiative for Forest & Environment (LIFE)
New Delhi

 

FAC considering diversion of 7175 ha on 30 March 2017   

 

As usual, serious delays in sharing of agenda by MoEF&CC. Agenda was shared just 5 days before the meeting on 25 March. 

Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) of the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEF&CC) is considering diversion of 7175 ha of forest in its meeting on 30 March as per the agenda.

This meeting seems to have been designed specifically Ken-Betwa River Linking, of which two major projects of Phase 1 & 2 are being considered which involve 6985 ha forest i.e. 97 per cent of the total under consideration.  Both these proposals are located in Madhya Pradesh State of India.

ERC India today has suggested to FAC on Ken-Betwa River Link Project that for once foresters must stand up. FAC should strongly oppose an illegal proposal, since this is not permitted under Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972.  Furthermore, FAC should listen to the PM, Narendra Modi, who has outlined that tiger conservation is a strategy for climate change mitigation.

Sector-Wise Area Proposed for Diversion

S No

Sector

Area

%Area

Proposals

%Proposals

1

Irrigation

6985.24

97.35

2

50

2

Mining

134.24

1.87

1

25

3

Wind Power

55.73

0.78

1

25

-

Total

7175.21

100.00

4

100

 

State & Sector-Wise Area Proposed for Diversion

S. No.

State

Sector

Area

%Area

Proposals

%Proposals

1

Andhra Pradesh

Wind Power

55.7

0.78

1

25

2

Jharkhand

Mining

134

1.87

1

25

3

Madhya Pradesh

Irrigation

6985

97.35

2

50

-

Total

-

7175

100

4

100

 

AGENDA FOR THE MEETING OF FOREST ADVISORY COMMITTEE SCHEDULED TO BE HELD ON 30TH March, 2017

30th March, 2017

SI No.

File no.

Name of the Proposal / Agenda Item

State

Area (ha)

Category

View Documents

Rajagopal Prashant, AIGF(FC)

1

8-25/2012-FC

DIVERSION OF 55.73 HA OF FOREST LAND IN RAMGIRI (EAST & WEST) RF OF ANANTHAPUR DIVERSION FOR ESTABLISHING 40.00 MW WIND POWER PROJECTS- IN FAVOUR OF M/S SARJAN REALITIES LTD., HYDERABAD.

ANDHRA PRADESH

55.73

WIND POWER

Click On

Nisheeth Saxena, AIGF(FC)

1

8-08/2016-FC

DIVERSION OF 968.24 HECTARES OF FOREST LAND IN FAVOUR OF NATIONAL WATER DEVELOPMENT AGENCY, ASHOKNAGAR AND SHIVPURI DISTRICT FOR CONSTRUCTION OF LOWER AND MAJOR IRRIGATION PROJECT (KEN- BETWA LINK PROJECT), MADHYA PRADESH.

MADHYA PRADESH

968.24

IRRIGATION

Click On

2

8-49/2016-FC

DIVERSION OF 6017.00 HA. OF FOREST LAND IN FAVOUR OF RASHTRIYA JAL VIKAS ABHIKARAN FOR DEVELOPMENT OF KEN-BETWA LINK PROJECT FROM DISTT. CHATTARPUR, PANNA AND TIKAMGARH, MADHYA PRADESH.

MADHYA PRADESH

6017

IRRIGATION

Click On

Rajagopal Prashant, AIGF(FC)

1

8-01/2016-FC

JADUGUDA URANIUM MINES

JHARKHAND

134.424

MINING

Click On

 

Analysis by

 

Pushp Jain & Terence Jorge

EIA Resource and Response Centre (ERC)

New Delhi - 110 048. India Web : ercindia.org;

Email : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Comments for Draft Guidelines on Construction and Demolition Waste by 20 March 2017

It is intended to ensure  reduction of environmental impacts from handling of C&D waste. It is a guidance of managing construction and demolition waste in cities with varying population ranging from less than one million to more than million population.
 
It has talked about the whole life cycle approach of managing C&D waste, i.e generation of C&D waste in India which is very much process driven in nature and the probable impacts that is happening from rampant dumping of this waste into low lying areas or abandoned quarries, vacant plots or sometimes even the outskirts of the city till its final disposal and management which can result in natural resource conservation and employment creation.
 
Last date for providing comments - 20th Mar, 2017