Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Four Industry proposals rejected

Here is a glad news for all the environmental activists of India. The standing committee of National Board for Wildlife, headed by Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jayram Ramesh had rejected four Industry proposals and postponed another two.

The rejection include the proposal to build a port at Poshitra in Jamnagar of Gujarat. The site was within the Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park , an ecologically fragile region rich with marine biodiversity.

Another rejection was the proposal of laying pipe to draw water from Majthal Wildlife Sanctuary in Himachal Pradesh. The proposal was by Ambuja Cement to expand their cement plant. Drawing water for commercial purpose is violation of Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 and hence can’t be allowed – the committee noted.

The third rejection was two mining projects in Goa. The proposed projects were near wildlife sanctuaries. The committee noted the Supreme Court direction that no polluting activity should be carried out within 10 kilometers of the boundaries of protected areas.

The fourth rejection was the proposal to carry out a two dimensional seismic survey within the Narayan Sagar Sanctuary in Gujarat.

The postponed projects are one in Andhra Pradesh and the other in Rajasthan. The Andhra Pradesh based proposal was the reduction of Kolleru Lake Sanctuary area while Rajasthan based proposal was the divertion of forest land from National Chambal River Sanctuary for lift irrigation and hydropower projects. Both postponed noting that further detailed studies are required before taking a decision.

According to Jayram Ramesh the rejection were according to the need to protect the environment.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Action plan to exploit new and renewable energy

An action plan has been chartered out for exploiting new and renewable energy resources in my state Kerala. The action plan was worked out in an inter ministerial meeting on the activities of the ANERT ( Agency for Non Conventional Energy and Rural Technology). This was worked out due to the delay in setting up a centre for capacity building in new and renewable energy and Conservation Society (C-CNREC).

As a flagship project for coordinating the projects the total energy security mission was established. Many proposals for biomass gasifiers have been put forwarded by ANERT. The 20.61 Mega Watt Projects are with the support of both World Institute of Sustainable Energy and Energy Resources Institute.

The central government had offered financial support for establishing the corporate structures for public – private partnerships. As a first step a company namely Kerala Renewable Energy Company Pvt Ltd is proposed to set up. The district panchayaths and corporations will be involved in the proposed company. But the movement is with snail’s pace.

The company will have a paid up capital of Rs 10 crore and an authorized capital of Rs 50 Crore. Out of these ANERT will have 50% equity share while district panchayaths and corporations will share the remaining 50% . The latter share contribution will be met from the funds already deposited with the agency.