Environmental News and Media Roundup for Week 24, 2012

Weekly environmental news roundup from across different media networks for week 24 (starting June 11, 2012) 2012.

1. Lutyens’ Delhi in race for UN heritage status

The final dossier containing the much-hyped proposal for nominating Delhi as a World Heritage City will have just two heritage areas – Shahjahanabad and Lutyens’ Delhi (New Delhi) – as against the earlier identified four areas, it was decided at a high-level meeting on Monday.

2. Wasting water in dry Delhi

History repeats itself every summer, leaving most Delhiites high and dry, quite literally. Severe water shortage in the city has hit plush areas, resettlement colonies and slum clusters alike.  And what has most Delhiites up in arms is the fact that the Delhi Jal Board is neither supplying proper piped water nor providing satisfactory tanker service.

3. Illegal eateries face closure in east Delhi

More than 2,000 dhabas and restaurants may shut down in east Delhi as the municipal corporation has decided to take stringent action against units that are operating without health licences.  According to rough estimates, there are 2,700 dhabas and eateries in east Delhi, out of which only 241 have licences.

4. Delhi damned by stuck dam, blocked canal

With the population growing each year, Delhi Jal Board has been banking heavily on two major projects to meet the city’s ever increasing water demand. Munak Canal, a lined carrier that would have brought water to Delhi from Haryana, is expected to yield an additional 80 million gallons per day of water that at present is lost as leakages through the existing system.

5. Activists pledge to protect Mangar forest, fight govt

Soon after the Haryana government notified the Draft Development Plan for Mangar, which poses threat to the sacred grove in Aravalis, environment activists have pledged to protect it.

6. Clean air programme for Delhi ready for roll out

The environment department’s clean air programme is almost ready to be rolled out. The department has drawn up a list of to-dos for which it will be working closely with the transport department.

7. East Delhi BRT plan put on fast track

The fate of Delhi’s first bus rapid transit corridor — between Ambedkar Nagar and Moolchand Hospital in south Delhi — may still be hanging in balance but it has not deterred the Delhi government from planning more such bus corridors.

8. Forests off limits for all mining?

If the environment ministry’s draft proposal for ‘inviolate forest areas’ is accepted, large swathes of healthy forests, including national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, tiger reserves and wildlife corridors, would be out of bounds for all mining activities, and not just coal excavation.

9. Underground Metro ‘drying up’ Ugrasen Ki Baoli

Since the time the Ugrasen Ki Baoli – an example of traditional rainwater harvesting – was built, it has had ample water till about a decade ago. The water table at the 14th century structure – under protection of the Archaeological Survey of India – has, however, drastically gone down since 2005, according to the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB).

10. Rainwater wasted; government needs to act fast

How much is 69 billion litres of water? By a rough calculation it is equivalent to nearly 9 million water tankers – the same ones that can be seen trundling about supplying precious water to Delhiites in a swathe of residential colonies.

11. Delhi, Haryana battle it out

As the water supply situation remained grim on Thursday, the Delhi government has claimed that Haryana’s ‘foul’ act of curtailing water for the second consecutive day will result in a shortage of 30 million gallons per day at the Wazirabad Treatment Plant (WTP).

12. Crisis worsens, Sheila writes to PM

Bad news is in store for Delhi residents already reeling under acute water shortage. The Delhi Jal Board will carry out strict rationing to ensure all areas get at least some water. Even VIP areas will feel the pinch.

13. Poor garbage quality hits waste power unit

You cannot treat garbage like garbage if you are generating power out of it. The South Delhi municipal corporation is facing a unique problem with a waste-to-power generating unit in Okhla refusing to accept the garbage, saying it is not of the required quality.

14. Environment panel for four-time increase in parking rates in Delhi

The Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority, which looks after congestion and pollution issues in the city, has proposed a four-fold increase in parking rates in the Capital.

15. Only 1 councillor of 272 used rainwater harvesting fund

All that MCD talk about rainwater harvesting to help solve Delhi’s chronic water problem has turned out to be just that – talk. The unified Municipal Corporation of Delhi in its last budget had set aside Rs. 5 crore for the project, to be implemented ward-wise.

16. Climate shift: Hill stations not ‘cool’ anymore

For residents of Delhi, summers meant quick getaways to the cooler sub-Himalayan retreats barely 6-7 hours away where the maximum temperature would typically hover in the late 30s.

Aastha Kukreti

Aastha Kukreti holds a Master’s degree in Environment Management and her areas of expertise range from waste management, pollution ecology, green audits, ecofeminism, environmental equity and social justice.

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