Environmental News and Media Roundup for Week 34, 2014

Weekly environmental news roundup from across different media networks for Week 34 (starting August 18,  2014), 2014

1. Pollution board may crack down on Delhi Golf Club

The city’s pollution watchdog may reinforce its earlier closure order to Delhi Golf Club, holding it responsible for wasting water, causing pollution and violating other environmental norms.

2. Delhi: Gymkhana Club slapped with Rs. 5-lakh fine

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has asked the prestigious Delhi Gymkhana Club to pay a penalty of Rs. 5 lakh to avoid closure after the city’s pollution watchdog asked it to shut down for violating environmental norms.

3. Gymkhana Club gets partial relief on borewells

Slapped with a closure notice for using five unauthorized borewells and illegally extracting groundwater, Gymkhana Club has got a breather from National Green Tribunal.  A bench led by NGT chairman Justice Swatanter Kumar has stayed the notice issued by Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) to shut down the club and disconnect its electricity supply.

4. NGT tells environment ministry to appoint only experts in panels

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday directed the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) to only appoint people who are specialized in environmental issues in the expert appraisal committee (EAC).

5. Centre to use sensors to monitor effluents flowing into Ganga

The government will monitor industrial waste flowing into Ganga river by installing real-time monitoring sensors at factories, Prakash Javadekar, minister for environment and forests, said on Thursday.

6. Online clearances to remove green hurdles to road building projects

With green clearances on the verge of going online, road building agencies can soon start submitting proposals for Rail Over Bridges (ROBs) and Rail Under Bridges (RUBs) over the internet. They can also track the progress for approval.

7. Industrial waste monitoring to go online soon

After launching online green clearance systems for industrial and infrastructure projects, the government is now keen to kick-start a similar system to strictly monitor treatment of industrial waste – both effluents and emissions – by March 31 next year.

8. Water conservationist cautions centre against Ganga project

Water conservationist Rajendra Singh has said that the plan to start building 16 barrages on Ganga River between Haldia and Allahabad from October, should be put on hold till a proper evaluation of the impact of Farakka barrage on the free flow, bio-diversity and pollution defying capacity of the Ganga is completed.

9. Delhi HC allows Tata Sponge Iron to apply for forest clearance

In a relief to companies whose coal blocks had been de-allocated, the Delhi high court on Thursday allowed Tata Sponge Iron Ltd to apply for forest clearance to the ministry of environment and forests, despite opposition from the government.

10. Cairn India gets environment clearance to hike output from Rajasthan block

The ministry of environment and forests has given environment clearance to Cairn India to raise crude oil production from its prolific Rajasthan block by 50 per cent to 300,000 barrels per day.

11. Nagpur gets India’s first ethanol-run bus

Launching India’s first ethanol-run bus in the city on a pilot basis, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has said that a Bill to make provision for running vehicles on bio-fuels and hybrid electric would be tabled in the Parliament in the next session.

12. South Australia keen on ‘Clean Ganga’ project

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious ‘Clean Ganga’ project received a shot-in-the-arm with the South Australia government showing its interest in cleaning up the river, which is considered sacred by many Indians.

13. Coca-Cola pays its employees to breathe China’s polluted air

How much should a person be compensated to breathe China’s polluted air? If you’re an expatriate employee of The Coca Cola Co. , the answer is a 15% bonus, according to a report last week in the Australian Financial Review.

14. Earth’s resource budget for 2014 already spent: Report

In under eight months, humanity has used up its yearly quota of replenishable Earth resources, according to a report published on Tuesday by an environmental thinktank that monitors mankind’s impact on the planet.

Alok Sharma

Alok Sharma is an Environmental Science professional and holds a master's degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Delhi.

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