Environmental News and Media Roundup for Week 15, 2013
Weekly environmental news roundup from across different media networks for Week 15 (starting April 8, 2013) 2013.
Govind Singh, who works with Delhi Greens, a non-governmental organisation working on biodiversity and tree conservation issues, spoke to Darpan Singh on the need to change our policies and priorities.
A group of Delhiites came together to highlight the poor condition of the Mehrauli Archaelogical Park on Sunday. They also held a ‘Save the Park’ protest in front of the municipal garbage dump adjacent to Qutub Green Apartments in Mehrauli.
Don’t choke trees on concrete. This plea topped a number of recommendations made by citizens, resident welfare associations and members of the Delhi Green Circle to the government on Tuesday.
The hazard posed by corrosive and explosive gases formed under covered portions of a south Delhi drain (as reported in TOI on Tuesday) could have been avoided had the government followed its own plan to convert the 12.5 km storm water drain from Said-ul-Ajaib to Barapullah into a green pathway with proper wastewater treatment facilities.
Delhi’s green cover spans nearly 300 sq km, which is about 20% of its entire geographical area. Yet, all it has in the name of infrastructure for the greens is a single tree ambulance that caters to only 2% of the city, and a near-defunct helpline which receives – when it’s operational – just three-four calls a day.
At 20%, the Capital may look “adequately green” but cannot afford a slide as it also has the highest population density in the country – 11,297 persons per sq km. Also, the city is woefully short of the Planning Commission’s target of 33% green cover.
Green Delhi, Clean Delhi might have been its motto but it does not figure anywhere on the agenda of the Delhi government.
The mercury is climbing, heralding the dog days of summer. All the while, 35 luxury hotels continue to waste power and water sufficient to supply large parts of the Capital.
High-rises in the Capital are all set to become greener. It may soon become mandatory for high-rises in Delhi to use ‘energy-efficient glass’ on their exterior that allow ample sunlight in but keep the heat out, cutting down on use of lights and air-conditioning.
The National Green Tribunal has issued notices to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, the Centre and the governments of Delhi, UP and Haryana on a petition accusing them of not putting in place rainwater harvesting systems at Metro stations in Delhi and the NCR.
After Vasant Kunj, where a number of trees were felled without permission for a road-widening project, another carnage stares at Delhi’s green cover — this time in Vikaspuri.
Parks in posh South Delhi can be one of the best case studies to support decentralisation of power by involving citizen groups in execution of projects related directly to the people.
Recognizing that the plethora of dams built and planned in the Ganga basin could almost empty the river of its waters in the winter season, an inter-ministerial group has recommended that the projects be re-engineered to maintain 30-50% of water flow in the lean period of December-March.
Citing the fragility and seismic nature of the Yamuna catchment as one of the reasons for not going ahead with the construction of dams, a Delhi-based non-government organisation, Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan, has written to the Planning Commission to refrain from funding construction of the proposed Lakhwar Byasi hydroelectric dam project over the river.
The National Green Tribunal has asked the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests to take expeditious steps to finalise the report of the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel or any other committee set up to study the environmental sensitivity and ecological significance of the Western Ghats.
India is preparing to take on absolute emission reduction cuts under the new global climate compact to be signed in 2015. As part of the preparation, the government is likely to commission four studies including one assessing by when India’s emissions will peak in absolute terms.
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