Environmental News and Media Roundup for Week 25, 2013

Weekly environmental news roundup from across different media networks for Week 25 (starting June 17,  2013) 2013.

1. Govt to seek NGOs’ help to catch monkeys
Delhi government’s environment department has decided to approach NGOs to train monkey catchers to ensure minimum damage to the simians.

2. Delhi: Lack of river zone angers activists
In the wake of the flooding of the Yamuna river and subsequent fears of an Uttarakhand-like scenario in Delhi, environmentalists have lashed out against the Ministry of Environment and Forests  for not notifying the River Regulation Zone.

3.Eco-imbalance may cause Uttarakhand-type calamity: Dikshit
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit Saturday urged Delhiites to plant more saplings, saying that environmental imbalance may invite an Uttarakhand-type natural calamity that has claimed over 600 lives.

4. Close municipal waste-based power plant: Okhla residents
A group of Okhla residents have written to Union Minister of Environment and Forests Jayanthi Natarajan complaining against the operation of a municipal waste-based power plant within the eco-sensitive zone of the Okhla Bird Sanctuary and Wildlife Park and sought its immediate closure.

5. High diesel, mercury pollution linked to autism risk: study
Pregnant women exposed to high levels of diesel fumes and mercury are twice as likely to give birth to autistic children compared with those living in less polluted areas, according to a study published in Environmental Health Perspectives journal on Tuesday.

6. Choked NCR floodplains need help
In wake of the surging Yamuna and the tragic developments in Uttarakhand, experts have warned of severe consequences due to rapid and rampant urbanisation and concretisation of the stretch between the Yamuna and the Hindon rivers.

7. Delhi and Noida at risk of flash floods: DU study warns building boom has destroyed key forest and farmland that absorbed rain
Rampant building activity in the Hindon-Yamuna basin has not only left Delhi vulnerable but exposed large parts of Noida to the risk of flash floods.

8. Unchecked infrastructure projects made it worse in Uttarakhand
Not just nature’s fury, rampant unplanned infrastructural development is also to be blamed for the devastation caused by the recent floods in Uttarakhand. Environmentalists feel the damage to life and property there and also in Himachal Pradesh may be the result of indiscriminate encroachments on riverbeds and unchecked infrastructure projects.

9. Human hand behind disaster: Experts blame violation of environment laws for Uttarakhand floods
Ecologists point out that the huge expansion of hydro-power projects and construction of roads to cope with the lakhs of tourists in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh has compounded the scale of the disaster.

10. Govt puts on hold clearances for GM crop trials
The government has put the clearance given by Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee for field trials of genetically modified rice, wheat, maize and castor on hold. The decision was taken by the environment ministry keeping the ongoing case in the Supreme Court on GM crops in mind.

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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