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India Green News: New Moti Bagh Colony of New Delhi gets 'green certification'; Reliance Power and Welspun seek higher solar tariffs

Kristina Johnson

Posted January 16, 2014

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January 9th- January 15th

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

Climate Change

2013 one of the driest years in one of wettest places

SOHRA: The year 2013 was one of the driest in Cherrapunjee (renamed Sohra) -- known as one of the wettest places on the earth -- in Meghalaya compared to the last 35 years.

Residents of the hilltop in northeastern India say their heavenly abode is hotter and drier than ever before - due to global warming.

"2013 was the third driest year in the history with Sohra receiving only 7560.3 mm of rainfall," Vijay Kumar Singh, the meteorological official at Sohra, told the Indian Asian News Service (IANS).

He said it was the driest year in the history of Sohra when it received a rainfall of only 6,807.2 mm followed by the second driest year of 1978 when there was 6,950.3 mm of rainfall.

(Business Standard, 01/13/2014)

Climate change taking a toll on kids' health

BANGALORE: Manifestations of climate change, like diurnal temperature variation, prolonged winters, extremely hot summers, extended rainy season and cloudy skies adversely impact children's health, say experts.

"Climate variations make children vulnerable - it can lead to anything from prolonged bouts of cough to asthma," says MB Rajegowda, agro-meteorologist at the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore.

(Times of India, 01/09/14)


Reliance Power, Lanco seek higher solar tariffs

NEW DELHI: Solar power plants of Reliance Power, Lanco and others, are seeking higher tariffs saying that the data on solar radiation provided by the government was faulty which has led to lower generation. 

Several companies have filed petitions before the central regulator, seeking higher tariffs jut as a panel chaired by Deepak Parekh recommended compensation for Tata and Adani's higher costs of generation. 

(The Economic Times, 01/09/2014)

New Moti Bagh gets ‘green’ certification

NEW DELHI: New Moti Bagh, the upscale government colony that houses over 500 joint secretaries and above rank officers, became the largest residential colony to get green homes certification. The residential complex had made news after it installed a waste water treatment plan and became the first neighbourhood to supply 1 lakh litres of treated water every day to New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC).

Last week, the colony received the tag of Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) Green Homes Silver. IGBC Green Homes is the first rating programme developed in India exclusively for the residential sector. It is based on accepted energy and environmental principles and strikes a balance between known established practices and emerging concepts. The system is designed to be comprehensive in scope, yet simple in operation.

The residential complex, spread over 105 acres, has almost 60% of the land under green area and the ground coverage is only 18%. The project started in 2007-08 was completed in a phased manner by National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC). The Union urban development ministry claims it as the "laboratory" of creating a sustainable neighbourhood in that country that can be replicated by others.

(Times of India, 01/13/2014)

Diplomat row fallout: US Energy Secretary cancels India trip

US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz has cancelled his crucial trip to India this month in view of the strained relations between the two countries over the arrest of an Indian diplomat on alleged visa fraud charges.

The India-US Energy Dialogue to be led by Moniz was expected to make significant progress in energy co-operation and export of American shale gas to India.

It would be rescheduled for a mutually convenient date later, State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki said.

"We place great emphasis, as you know, on the US-India energy partnership. It was an issue when the Secretary (of State, John Kerry) was there, and he even gave a speech talking about these issues - a key element of our strategic partnership," Psaki said.

"In view of these important matters and in order to find the time to allow both sides to deliver on the important issues that we need to from both sides, we're looking for a mutually convenient time in the near future that will permit both sides to do that," she said.

(India Today, 01/09/2014)

Welspun Energy plans to invest Rs 1000 crore for solar power plants in Punjab

CHANDIGARH: Welspun Energy Limited, 100 per cent owned subsidiary of Welspun Group, is looking to invest Rs 1000 crore in Punjab to for 160 MW solar power plants.

A memorandum of understanding to generate around 160 MW is likely to be signed with the Punjab soon, after the land is finalised. "We are looking at power purchase agreement for 25 years," managing director Welspun Energy Limited Vineet Mittal told ET.

The company has set a target to generate 1750 MW (solar and wind energy) by 2017. It is likely to commission grid based solar projects of capacity 325 MW in this financial year. Welspun had already bagged a 35 (DC) solar power plant in Pun jab in July 2013. The agreement with Punjab government is likely to come with penalty clause in case of delay in implementation of projects. "Most of the projects have been completed ahead of schedule in the country. Our performance has been impeccable in setting up solar power projects," says Mittal.

(The Economic Times, 01/07/2014)

Environmental Health & Governance

Govt admits in SC: Something went wrong in coal allotments

NEW DELHI: In its first tacit admission of lapses in the allotment of coal blocks, the Central government told the Supreme Court Thursday that “something went wrong” with the process and that the allotment could have been done better.

Prompted by a bench led by Justice R M Lodha, Attorney General G E Vahanvati said that the decisions, which may have been taken in good faith in the past, may indeed look bad now and those decisions could have been taken in a “more refined” manner.

“Yes, I accept something has gone wrong with the process. Decisions were taken in good faith but somehow, somewhere, things went wrong. We admit decisions could have been done in a better manner,” Vahanvati told the bench, also comprising Justices Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph.

“In hindsight, we can say something has gone wrong and some correction is required to be done,” the government’s top law officer added.

(The Indian Express, 01/09/2014)

Chemical pollution linked to infection, bladder cancer

NEW DELHI: The unchecked discharge of chemical waste into Yamuna from industries in Haryana is threatening to wash away the gains made by Delhi over a decade after industrial units in the city were closed or relocated. Experts say the pollutants are causing water toxicity and illnesses associated with it.

Gastrointestinal infections, typhoid, anemia, kidney and liver damage are some of the common health problems associated with chemical pollutants. Doctors say high levels of amine, a derivative of ammonia, is known to cause urinary bladder cancer.

"There is no anecdotal evidence or data to prove this. But clinical experience shows there has been increase in gastrointestinal infections and nerve issues that are caused due to ingestion of chemicals such as ammonia, lead and arsenic," said Dr Suranjit Chatterjee, senior consultant internal medicine at Apollo hospitals. He said urgent measures are required to check the discharge of chemical pollutants in the supply chain, including municipal waste.

(Times of India, 01/14/2014)

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.



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