Environmental News and Media Roundup for Week 24, 2013

Weekly environmental news roundup from across different media networks for Week 24 (starting June 10,  2013) 2013.

1. Delhi: Solar subsidy to return in new avatar

There may be some respite from increasing power bills in the city soon. Delhi government’s environment department, which had done away with the subsidy it used to provide on installing solar water heaters, has now decided to reintroduce it although in a different way.

2. After high court rap, meet on water bodies soon

After being served a contempt notice by Delhi high court for the government’s inability to deliver any results on the issue of revival of water bodies, the environment department will be holding a meeting with all concerned agencies next week.

3. 60,000 sq km of Western Ghats to be green zone

The Union environment ministry is expected to approve the K Kasturirangan panel report on Western Ghats and declare around 60,000 square kilometers of the southern hills, spanning across six states, as no-go area for mining, thermal power plants and heavily polluting industries.

4. Government seeks research proposals to study mobile radiation

Amid concerns over radiation from cell phone towers, government on Friday called for research proposals to study the possible impact of electromagnetic frequency radiation on humans and living organisms.

5. South Delhi colonies show way in e-waste recycling

You had heard about non-biodegradable and green waste collection. But two housing societies in south Delhi’s Alaknanda area have collected about a tonne of e-waste during a drive launched on the occasion of World Environment Day last week.

6. Bangla couple ride across the world for ‘greener Earth’

They are afraid their homeland may disappear one day. Rising sea levels are pushing communities in Sunderbans to the edge and Mohammad Shahade Firdous and Fatema Sultana from Bangladesh are in Delhi to campaign for action against climate change.

7. Delhi bill to criminalize opposition to GM food

India’s environmental and food security activists who have so far succeeded in stalling attempts to introduce genetically modified  food crops into this largely farming country now find themselves up against a bill in parliament that could criminalize such opposition.

8. Environment ministry relaxes fire safety norms for high-rise buildings

The environment ministry has revised fire-safety norms that linked the height of high-rise buildings to the width of streets, yielding to pressure from states and developers who have been citing it as hurdle to urban development.

9. Small hydel projects not as eco-friendly as touted: Experts

Small hydro power projects which have mushroomed in Uttarakhand and elsewhere across India are not environmentally friendly as they are often made out to be and need regulations, experts said.

10. Environment ministry wants to outsource clearance job

The environment ministry has proposed to partially outsource monitoring of clearances — given for millions of hectares of forests for industrial and other development activities — to private entities. It has also pushed for self-reporting by the industries of their compliance, or lack of it, with the norms stipulated while handing over forest land to projects.

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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