Environment Minister Shri Prakash Javadekar addressing a press conference to mark the completion of one year of the NDA government in New Delhi on June 08, 2015. Environment Secretary Shri Ashok Lavasa and other dignitaries are also seen.
The Environment Minister Shri Prakash Javadekar recently made a powerpoint presentation to highlight the achievements of the Government of India in the last one year in protecting the environment and wildlife of India. The Minister mentioned several pointers, achievements, proposals and plans which have been highlighted below.
On the face of it, it does seem that the present Government is trying its level best to protect and safeguard the environment and natural resources of India. However, it becomes the responsibility of each and every citizen to follow-up and constantly work with the Government to ensure the success of each such initiative as well as verify each achievement mentioned.
Following is the text of the Presentation:
I. Steps Towards Wildlife Preservation
- Wildlife growth robust
- Tiger: 2, 226 (70% of the World’s Tiger Population)
- Lions: 523 (24% growth)
- Rhinoceros: 2,889 (2401 in Kaziranga National Park)
- Elephants: 30,000+
- 3 new tiger reserves (Bor in Maharashtra and Rajaji and Pilibhit in, Uttarakhand)
- 4 Tiger Protection Force and 1 Rhino Protection Force sanctioned
- 30 poachers killed in encounter in a continuous drive against poaching
- Burnt confiscated wildlife articles. State inventory ordered.
- 4 villages and 651 families relocated from 4 protected areas
- Collaboration of NTCA & WCCB towards an online tiger/ wildlife crime tracking/ reporting system in Tiger Reserves
- NBWL reconstituted and decided on 225 proposals laying stringent environmental conditions
- 222 Eco-Sensitive Zones approved for providing effective buffer zone for wildlife areas after scientific evaluation and public consultation
II. Steps Towards Forest Protection
- Unlocking of Rs. 38,000 crore through Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) bill for more afforestation
- National Forest Policy being revised to ensure more greening, improving forest quality with participation of tribals and forest dwellers.
- Forest fires reduced by 15%
- Forest stocking (volume) has stabilized in the backdrop of negative trend earlier
- Effective National Afforestation Programme on 75,000 ha of degraded land
- More than 20,000 ha added to the forest area for reforestation while approving projects
- Guidelines being prepared to make 1,00,000 Joint Forest Management Committees more effective
- New plan on anvil for improving fodder and water in Protected Areas
- New scheme for Green Credit on anvil
- PPP for afforestation on degraded forest land
- 14th Finance Commission has given 7.5% weightage for forest cover and has provided for nearly Rs. 55,000 crore for afforestation.
- Received Perspective plans for Green India Mission from 14 states out of which 6 have already been approved
III. Steps Towards Animal Welfare
- Animals in Circuses banned
- Grants for Gaushalas and shelters for stray animals including dogs
- Manja banned
- Streamlining National Institute of Animal Welfare
- New Diploma and Degree courses in Animal Welfare to be launched.
IV. Steps Towards Biodiversity Conservation
- NAGOYA Protocol ratified
- Access benefit guidelines issued
- National Mission on Himalayan Studies established: This will remove data deficit on glaciers, landslides, sustainable methods of building roads and tunnels, weather and other related issues.
V. Steps Towards Effective Pollution Control
- Mandated 24×7 monitoring of pollution for 3,206 highly polluting industries. They have to fix such devices on effluent discharge points and on chimneys. Many industries have installed these devices. Others have furnished bank guarantees
- Comprehensive Air Quality Index launched in 11 cities. Everyday bulletin at 5 PM on 8 parameters; PM-10, PM-2.5, SOX, NOX, O3, Lead (Pb), CO, NH3.
- PSUs supporting AQI expansion in 66 cities
- 3-months action plan prepared in 3 meetings of concerned state governments and other agencies for NCR Airshed
- Environmental norms for Cement industry made more stringent and notified
- Environmental norms for sand, stone-crushing, brick-kiln, fertilizers, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, paper and pulp, paint, distilleries and other sectors are being reviewed. Non-complying 124 industries closed.
- New standards for Sewage Treatment Plant issued
- Sugar, Textile, Tanneries and distilleries mandated Zero Liquid Discharge
- Black Liquor Discharge successfully prohibited
- SOPs prepared for inspections
- Harmonised system proposed for Red, Orange and Green categories based on pollution potential of Air, Water and Hazardous Waste.
VI. Towards Clean India (Swacch Bharat)
Following New Rules notified for Public Consultation:
- New Hazardous Waste Rules
- New Solid Waste Rules, including Construction Waste Rules
- New E-Waste Rules
- New Plastic Waste Rules
- New Bio-Medical Waste Rules
These will ensure scientific waste management at all levels. The Notifications are open for consultations till 31st July 2015 and can be accessed on the MoEFCC website.
VII. Towards Clean Water and Rivers
- Top priority given for cleaning water by stopping industrial pollution in rivers/ water bodies
- New norms for STPs notified
- Bio-remediation taken up for drains joining River Ganga
- Mini-lab for major Ghats to monitor bathing water quality at important Ghats along River Ganga
- 8 Water Quality Monitoring Stations are active and 113 more planned
- Special drive to address water pollution issues in every state
VIII. Towards Enforcement and Implementation
- 64 polluting and non-complying industries on the banks of River Ganga and 61 industries throughout the country closed. Units are allowed to be reopened only after complying with the pollution norms.
- 11 units in U.P and 7 units in Delhi are closed for producing plastic carry bags below 40 microns
- Technology-based monitoring system being expanded for forest appraisal, wildlife management and pollution control. Drones, electronic surveillance, camera traps, 24×7 pollution monitoring devices, geo-mapping being increasingly used.
Various committees addressed the following urgent issues:
- Landfill in Mumbai
- Lake pollution in Bengaluru
- River pollution in Pune
- Industrial pollution in Khargon
- Illegal Slaughter houses in U.P and Telangana
IX.Towards Transparency in Environmental Governance
- Online process started for Environmental, Forest, Wildlife and Zoo approvals. More than 3, 200 projects submitted online
- Access to previous EIA reports granted
- Compendium of all OMs/Notifications
- Standard TORs for all 39 sectors are prepared which will avoid the delay of 1 year
- Education and industrial complexes are exempted from EC with more stringent environmental standard conditions.
- GIS-based decision making for forest approvals
X. Steps Towards Encouraging Public Participation
- Doors opened for more public participation
- Urban Forest (Nagari Vanodyan Yojana) launched
- Social forestry, agro forestry and Joint Forest Management to be made more effective through public participation
- ‘Fresh air my birthright’ campaign to be launched ín 20 cities
- Save water and energy campaigns to be encouraged with peoples’ participation
- School Nursery programmes to be launched soon
- Environmental syllabus and skilling courses
- Workshop of 125 voluntary organizations and civil society groups held
XI. Steps Towards Revamping of Laws
- CAMPA Bill introduced
- A Bill for higher penalties for violations is circulated for consultation
- EP Act, 1986, Forest Conservation Act 1980 and Indian Forest Act 1927, Water and Air Acts, as also Wildlife Protection Act will be revised to address the sensibilities of effective environment protection and ensuring development without destruction
- Consultation with stakeholders on High Level Empowered Committee under TSR Subramanian is near completion.
XII. Towards Addressing Climate Change
- India played an effective and proactive role at Lima to bring developing world together and arrive at a consensus that Paris agreement will be based on the principles of UNFCCC wherein equity, CBDR and Polluter to Pay principles are bed rocked into it
- India is taking ambitious pre-2020 actions and is asking developed world to walk the talk
- India has proposed separate brainstorming sessions to sort out contentious issues such as pre-2020 action, finance, technology, legal nature of agreement and differentiation before Paris
- Preparation for Indian INDCs is on track