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India Green News: India Petroleum Minister Veerapa Moily takes on conflicting role as new Environmental minister, and World Bank eyes Indian solar

Kristina Johnson

Posted January 3, 2014

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December 19th-January 2nd

India Green News is a selection of news highlights about environmental and energy issues in India

Climate Change

Jayanthi Natarajan out, Veerappa Moily faces conflict in new role

NEW DELHI: The government on Saturday put Veerappa Moily in a precarious position as he will have to discharge two contradictory responsibilities – save environment while helping the cause of fossil fuels.

As petroleum minister he will be required to give fossil fuel – considered bad for environment – a push. On the other, as new environment and forest minister he will have to reduce dependence on the same.

Moily was asked to take charge after the incumbent minister Jayanthi Natarajan resigned.

(Hindustan Times, 12/24/2013)

Uttarakhand’s action plan to minimize effects of climate change

UTTARAKHAND: Smarting under the effects of an unprecedented natural calamity in June, the Uttarakhand government is working on a Rs 9,000-crore action plan to minimize the impact of climate change in the state.

The plan was presented on Tuesday by the State Council for Climate Change to chief secretary Subhash Kumar, who approved it and asked officials to give final touches to it within ten days, with inputs from all departments. It will be then sent to the Centre for approval, official sources said.

(CNN IBN, 12/25/2013)


Tamil Nadu Energy Conservation Building Code gets ready

TRICHY: Soon, the commercial and other major buildings in the state may have to adhere to Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) as the process is on to make it mandatory in order to conserve energy. Electrical Inspectorate of Tamil Nadu has sent a draft code to the state government to get its nod.

On the sidelines of the 'Energy Savings Day' celebration in the district, S Appavu, chief electrical inspector, said their department has drafted and submitted the ECBC to the empowered committee. The event was organized by Electrical Inspectorate of Tamil Nadu on Thursday.

"Once the ECBC comes into effect, certain amendments would be made in the municipal bylaws to bring all the new commercial buildings under the ambit of ECBC. The focus of the code is to have energy conservation measure in place for all commercial buildings. The measures should be taken as per the guidelines," Appavu said.

(Times of India, 121/28/2013)

Bids submission date extended for solar projects

NEW DELHI: Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has extended the deadline for submission of bids for solar PV (photovoltaic) projects under Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) Batch 2 Phase 1 to January 20, 2014 from the earlier fixed date of December 28. This decision was taken following requests from stakeholders.

“This extension will give developers some extra time to scrutinise their own bid strategy and perhaps also allow some bench-sitters to come into the fray,” said a report of renewable energy consultancy firm Bridge to India.

(The Hindu, 12/24/2013)

World Bank keen to finance solar projects in India

MUMBAI: The World Bank has launched consultations with the ministries of finance and new and renewable energy for financing solar projects under phase II of the National Solar Mission.

“The World Bank is really impressed with the performance of phase I of the National Solar Mission wherein, the installed capacity has risen to 2,000 MW from 30 MW. The World Bank was engaged with the Ministry of New and Renewable energy during phase I in working out the policy and putting in place necessary guidelines but had not provided funds. However, during phase II, the World bank is quite keen to finance solar projects,” Ashish Khanna, lead energy specialist told Business Standard.

(Business Standard, 12/21/2013)

IFC Proposes Loan for 40-Megawatt NSL Wind Farm in India

NEW DELHI: International Finance Corp., the World Bank’s private-sector financing arm, may provide a $15.75 million loan for a 40-megawatt wind farm in India.

NSL Renewable Power Pvt., 7.9 percent owned by IFC, plans to build the Jath Wind Energy project by March at Vaspet in Maharashtra state’s Sangli district, according to an investment proposal on IFC’s website. The loan proposal will go to the bank’s board on Jan. 15.

(Bloomberg, 12/20/2013)

Environmental Health & Governance

Rural areas sinking in mounds of garbage

VISAKHAPATNAM: The complete lack of waste management in rural areas has resulted in large mounds of trash, predominantly plastic, piling up all along the state and national highways and taking over vast tracts of the rural hinterland.

And its side effects are already being felt. The spread of diseases such as dengue and malaria are primarily a result of the rising levels of plastic waste and the resultant clogging of water tanks, canals and irrigation tanks, point out medical experts.

More importantly, with most of the waste being plastic and non-degradable, the amount of damage to the soil is yet to be ascertained. Cattle too are affected as they invariable consume this inorganic trash. In some cases, the panchayats responsible for cleaning up the mess resort to the easy way out -- burning the trash and adding to the pollution.

(Times of India, 12/27/2013)

PIL raises concern over massive pollution of India’s waterbodies

AHMEDABAD: The Supreme Court has issued notices to the Centre, the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, the Central Pollution Control Board and Chief Secretaries of as many as 19 States, including Gujarat, on an industrial pollution public interest litigation petition filed by the Gujarat-based Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti and the Farmers Action Group.

The hearing on the petition by the two non-governmental organisations, backed by several other groups, was first held on September 21, 2012, and was referred to a larger forest Bench of the apex court comprising Justices A.K. Patnaik, Surinder Singh Nijjar and F.M. Ibrahim Kalifulla.

The Bench heard the petition on December 9 and issued notice to 19 State governments, which is returnable in six weeks.

(The Hindu, 12/25/2013)

Delhi blanketed in thick smog, transport disrupted

NEW DELHI: Delhi residents woke on Wednesday to a third day of thick gray smog in one of the worst episodes this year, which disrupted dozens of flights and train services and caused a rash of health complaints.

New Delhi is among several Asian cities, including Beijing, that are suffering from toxic levels of pollution fuelled by industrial growth and a surge in the numbers of vehicles crowding their roads.

(Reuters, 12/18/2013)

For more news on the issues we care about, visit our India News archive or read our other International blogs.

This compilation of the India Green News was authored by Nehmat Kaur and Kristina Johnson.



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