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August 2019 - Environment News

  • Ministry of Environment has decided to relax the mandatory charging of lease rent of 30 thousand rupees per Mega Watt for wind power projects. Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar took a conscious decision to relax the condition of charging the lease rent in this regard during a review meeting. The step will boost the investment in wind power projects and will help in providing wind power at a cheaper rate.

    Currently, to establish wind power project over forest land, the existing procedure requires payment of mandatory charges for compensatory afforestation and Net Present value. In addition to mandatory charges, the wind power companies had to pay additional lease rent of 30 thousand per Mega Watt and this additional cost is not mandatory for other renewable energy projects such as solar power and hydel electric projects.

    Promotions of such projects also strengthen Government's commitments towards International Agreements, and one of the National Commitment pledged in Paris in 2015 was to have 40 per cent of the power from renewable resources by 2030. Currently India has overachieved the target and is well on track to ensure that more than 50 per cent of installed capacity come from renewable sources by 2030.

  • Department of Heavy Industry sanctioned 5,595 electric buses under phase II of Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles (FAME) India scheme. The buses are sanctioned to 64 cities in 22 states and union territories for intracity and intercity operations in order to push for clean mobility in public transportation. The buses are expected to run about 4 billion km are expected to save cumulatively about 1.2 billion liters of fuel over the contract period. This will result in avoidance of 2.6 million tonnes of CO2 emission.

  • Plan for coastal zone management unveiled. The Environment Ministry has unveiled a draft plan that will dictate how prospective infrastructure projects situated along the coast ought to be assessed before they can apply for clearance.

    The draft Environmental and Social Management Framework (ESMF) is part of a World Bank-funded project. The document lays out guidelines out for coastal States. Rajasthan the 1st State to Release Bio-Fuel Policy. The Rajasthan government on 9 August 2019 released biofuel rules-2019 on the eve of the World Biofuel Day.

  • Fossils of the largest parrot ever recorded have been found in New Zealand. The fossils are estimated to have weighed about 7kg; it would have been more than twice as heavy as the kakapo, previously the largest known parrot. Palaeontologists have named the new species Heracles inexpectatus to reflect its unusual size and strength and the unexpected nature of the discovery.

  • Scheme to involve school eco clubs launched. In Delhi, a scheme to involve school eco clubs in the DDA's plantation drive was launched at a green belt in Rohini's sector 37 on 16 August 2019 by Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri. As part of an afforestation drive of the Delhi Development Authority, 4 lakh indigenous trees will be planted this year across various biodiversity parks in the national capital.

  • In Uttar Pradesh, a series of world records have been made in the massive plantation drive Vriksharopan Mahakumbh on the occasion of 77th anniversary of Quit India Movement. More than 22 crore saplings were planted at 12.2 lakh locations under the drive in state. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said that the state would plant 25 crore trees next year (2020). That State created four records on 09 August, 2019 under the massive plantation drive. Free distribution of saplings in Prayagraj district created a world record after it was certified by the Guinness as the largest distribution of saplings in the world.

  • Tigers in India face lurking threat from virus. Tiger numbers have increased in the country may be good news. But the loss of habitat, a decline of prey and poaching continues to be a threat to tigers’ survival. Along with these, a potential virus — Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) — that can be transmitted from CDV-infected dogs living in and around wildlife sanctuaries has started to raise concern among wildlife biologists. Canine distemper is a contagious and serious disease caused by a virus that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems of puppies and dogs.



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