Forest cover increased by 3500 sq km
Increase in Forest Cover is huge and important. This is because over the years, there was a decreasing trend, but it has changed for the better.
With many forest management activities and synchronization, the forest cover has increased by 3500 sq km. Main areas of increase are - in hill and tribal districts of the country, where there is an increase of forest cover of 1680 sq km and 438 sq km respectively. The North Eastern-states of India account for one-fourth of the country’s forest cover.
The total growing stock of India’s forest and trees outside forests is estimated at 5,768.39 million cubic metre, which comprises 4,234.98 million cubic metre inside the forests and 1,533.41 million cubic metre outside the forests.
Industrial pollution better monitored and controlled
Emission norms for 20 polluting industrial sectors have been revised upward, making them stringent and thereby the pollution load has reduced. Many industries have implemented the norms, some are in various stages of implementation. Each category of industry has been given time to switch over to the new norms.
Nearly 3400 polluting industrial units have been identified and mandated to install 24x7 air and effluent monitoring mechanism. 2400 industries have installed the mechanism and the results are showing. If pollution for any parameter shows more than the prescribed norms for duration of 15 minutes, an SMS alert is generated and sent to all concerned individuals/agencies. Action is being taken based on this and 650 industries have been closed down. After showing an improvement, the industries are allowed to operate again.
2000 approvals have unlocked 10 lakh cr of investment and 10 lakh job potential
Prior to 26th May, 2014, the process of Environmental Clearance used to take extraordinarily longer time. This had created an image of green tapism and it was identified as one the biggest barriers to change.
The Ministry took up the challenge and prepared a strategy for writing a credible story of change. The Ministry undertook a series of measures to streamline the process, making it more transparent and deleting the delays at every stage. As a result, in the last two years the image of the ministry and impression about the process of Environmental Clearance has totally changed and now ministry is perceived to be both responsible and responsive.
Project Approval Period Reduced
The outcome of the above streamlining measures, policy based decisions, decentralization, use of technology, and changes in process without compromising with the rigour of the process of Environmental approvals is that, the ministry has brought down the time required for Environmental approvals from 600 days in 2014 to 190 days at present. Similarly, time required for approvals of forest diversion cases with mitigating measures has reduced from 580 days in 2014 to 180 days at present. Standardization of TOR, has now made possible to get TOR within 30 days, whereas it used to take almost one year earlier.
Protected India's interest in Paris
India was proactive, led the developing world and secured the interests of India and that of the developing world at COP 21. This was due to the dynamic leadership of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, who took the lead in renewable energy and other programmes. COP 21 accepted two concepts proposed by Prime Minister Modi, of Climate Justice and Sustainable lifestyle. India could secure development opportunity and carbon space in future through this agreement. India's INDCs are ambitious and were well received. We are committed to walk the sustainable development path.
CAMPA Bill to provide Rs 42,000 Crore to states for afforestation
In compliance of an Order passed by the Supreme Court, the amounts realized from the project proponents to mitigate impacts of diversion of forest land for non-forest purpose are deposited with an ad-hoc body consisting of three officials and one representative of the Central Empowered Committee. These amounts are presently kept outside the Government accounting system in the Bank deposits. In the absence of proper institutional mechanism, more than Rs. 42,000 crore has been accumulated with the said ad-hoc body.
To provide for appropriate institutional mechanism for utilization of these amounts in an efficient and transparent manner, as well as to bring this fund within the government accounting system and within the overall parliamentary scrutiny, the Ministry has introduced the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill, 2015 in Parliament, and Loksabha has passed it unanimously.
New schemes like urban forest and School Nursery
In urban areas, there is forest land but as it is not protected, encroachments take place. Ministry has launched a new scheme called Nagar Van Udyan Scheme (Urban Forest).
This is being taken up in cities with Municipal Corporations, and Class I cities, for providing wholesome living environment, and contributing to smart, clean, green and healthy cities. NCAC to fund the Schemes on 80:20 basis, the major portion being met from NCAC funds, with counterpart funding from the States. Identified forest land of area between 20 ha, and 100 ha to be taken up. Projects to be funded through a maximum grant of Rs.2.00 crores to be allowed for each Nagar Van. Total financial grant in the current year Rs.50 crores. Further assistance to be considered when the CAMPA Bill 2015 is enacted.
School children must learn to grow with plants. To create ownership feeling amongst children for the plants, they will be taught how nursrry is made, how to sow the seeds, how to care for the plant, and after one year of full care, the students will take the grown plant with them alongwith their annual results. it will be their own creation. its their own tree. they will plant it in their house or nearby area where it can be protected. Connect young citizens/ students with plants, create sense of belonging and oneness with nature, sensitivity to plants & living environment ;
Provide an opportunity for students to be in contact with soil manure, seed, which students in cities often miss and to make them learn and appreciate the natural process of growing saplings from seeds.
School Nurseries to be taken up in recognized Schools in the States and all students from classes 6 to 10 in schools to be involved; A provision of Rs.2.5 crores per year is to be provided from out of CAMPA funds. Initial grant to each School will be Rs.25,000/-. In the next two years, the Schools will receive a grant of Rs.10,000/- each; the Schools are expected to continue the programme on their own after the 3 rd year. School Principals to agree for maintaining the nursery for at least 5 years.
PPP for afforestation in degraded forest
The country imports timbre worth Rs 40,000 crores every year, and on the other hand we have nearly 30 million hectares of forest land which is degraded.
The private industries will be allowed to grow forest and harvest it for their use. this will create employment, will save on imprts, and will create carbon sinks. The ownership and charactewr of land will not change. Rights of forest dwellers will be protected and land will be leased in a transparent manner with bidding for revenue share and rent.
Draft guidelines have been prepared to address the problems of degraded forest areas and the environmental challenges by improving the quality of forests through afforestation by involving various stakeholders. Afforestation of degraded forest areas will improve flow of various ecological services including enhanced productivity.
Policy for incentivizing tree cover outside forest
We have nearly 21% of forest land but our target for tree cover is 33%. This can be achieved by increasing tree cover outside forests. Agro forestry and plantation activities need to be incentivized. This needs an assurance that any amount of tree cover grown outside forests through private initiatives, will not be declared as forest.
Partnership in greening Highways, Railways and banks of Ganga, has been initiated.
Ministry of Railways in consultation with Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has finalized a model agreement between Zonal Railway and State Forest Departments for plantation on railway land along the railway track. Recently, Northern Railway has entered into agreement with Government of Punjab and Government of Haryana for plantation on railway land along side railway track.
Initially Sonepat – Gohana –Jind and Rohtak –Rewari railway lines will be taken up this year for planting. About 1.25 lakh saplings over an area of 115 hectares will be planted.
The notable feature of this agreement is that although Forest Department will be taking up plantation on railway lands, the land ownership will remain vested with Railway authorities to
facilitate the Railway Authorities to take up developmental works along these tracks without
taking prior approval of Central Government under the provisions of Forest Conservation Act,
Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways, has recently launched Green Highways (plantation, transplantation, beautification & maintenance) Policy-2015 to promote plantation of trees along National Highways turfing with grasses, shrub/herb and planting on medians/special landscapes/ embankment slopes. MoEF&CC will provide technical support to NHAI for planting of trees along the National Highways covering a distance of approximately 1 lakh kilometer.
Forest research institute has done a study for afforestation in catchment area of Ganga. Moefcc will participate with MoWR to green the catchment area and banks of Ganga from origin to confluence.
Major tiger and elephant corridors have been mapped across the country, using field data from 2006 onwards with subsequent modelling using Circuitscape and Least Cost Pathways, resulting in effective decision- making for development activities.
MoeFCC will incentivize offering CA land in corridor areas so that corridors can be protected better. AP government has offered CA land in corridors in lieu of land diverted for creation of new state capital at Amravati.
Water and Fodder Augmentation in Protected Areas
Under central component of CAMPA, MoEF has proposed assistance to states for enriching wild life habitats with fodder and water resources. Fodder species will be grown with augmented irrigation systems like drip and micro provisions for irrigating the planted plants. Water will be conserved by water harvesting systems suited to localities. This work will be taken up in the areas where wildlife are known to stray out of forests due to lack of food and water and cause human wildlife conflict. This is expected to help management of human wildlife conflict. States have been requested to give proposals for identified areas. Rs 5 CR have been earmarked to begin with under central component of CAMPA. It will be augmented as the program progresses.
70% of world’s tiger population in India at 2226
India's successful tiger conservation initiatives showcased at the 3rd Asia Ministerial Conference on Tiger Conservation at New Delhi, from April 12-14, 2016. 366 participants from 24 nations along with 8 ministerial heads, besides Kazakhstan participated in the conference which was inaugurated by the Prime Minister, who voiced that “Tiger Conservation is not a choice, but an imperative”. According to the last count in 2014, the number of tigers in the country stood at 2226, compared to 1710 in 2010.
Increased fund allocation for Project Tiger from Rs. 185 crores to Rs. 380 crores.
Notification of new Tiger Reserves taking coverage of Project Tiger to 2.16% of the country's geographical area;
i. Bor Tiger Reserve: Maharashtra
ii. Pilibhit Tiger Reserve: Uttar Pradesh
iii. Rajaji Tiger Reserve: Uttarakhand
iv. Orang Tiger Reserve: Assam
Robust wildlife with 30,000+ elephants; 3000+ Single Horn Rhinos
NBWL approved 400+ projects
SC decided that NBWL approval is final and no SC concurrence is needed
Since 2002, in a court cases, Supreme Court mandated ratification by it of each NBWL decision.
Considering the performance and consistency in the working of Standing Committee, the Supreme Court directed that NBWL decisions will be final and no separate ratification is needed.
Finalized Eco-Sensitive Zones (ESZs) proposals for 404 PAs out of 646
Till May 15, 2014, the Ministry had issued a total of 31 ESZ notifications for Protected Areas (PAs) in the country. The objective of notifying eco-sensitive zones is to create a buffer as further protection around Protected Areas (PAs).
As a result of consistent efforts of the Ministry as a matter of priority, as on date, ESZ has been finalised/notified for a total of 404 PAs of a total of 646 PAs in the country.
Special Efforts to avoid Animal Human Conflict
with human wildlife conflict:
1. specific guide lines issued to states in 2015 for preparing strategy and plans and to seek assistance from MoEF.
earmarked for human wildlife conflict management in Centrally sponsored scheme
IDWH and funds increased:
IDWH: 61 cr in 15-16, 100 cr in 16-17. In project elephant 19 cr in 15-16, 25 cr in 16-17. This includes assistance for creating barriers like electric fence, animal proof trenches, walls and also payment of ex gratia to victims.
Operating Procedures are already in place for dealing with tiger, leopard.
States have been informed again including their powers and responsibility in
improving habitats of wild animals, scheme has been launched for augmenting
fodder (we may use term forage) and water availability in forests where
incidents are more. RS 5 cr has been earmarked under central component of
CAMPA. Plans have been sought from the states.
Voluntary relocation done for 25 villages and 3000 families
Financial support to States enhanced for voluntary village relocation or rehabilitation package for people living in core or critical tiger habitats. The assistance was increased from Rs. 1 lakh per family to Rs. 10 lakhs per adult in the family.
Other measures included Rehabilitation or resettlement of communities involved in traditional hunting, main streaming livelihood and wildlife concerns in forests outside tiger reserves and fostering corridor conservation through restorative strategy to arrest habitat fragmentation. As on date, 169 villages relocated from core/critical tiger habitats.
In last two years, 25 villages are relocated and 3000 families have been successfully relocated to new places where they are carrying out their livelihood in a better way. There is more demand for voluntary relocation and CAMPA fund can help bridge the gap.
6 patents filed by institutes of forestry research
New 655 flora discoveries
Scientists from Botanical Survey of India have made many discoveries through their continuous research and field efforts.
During the last two years, a significant number 655 new plants have been discovered. Besides 26 new trees and 18 new climbers, wild germplasm of many economically important and ornamental plants have been discovered.
New 115 fauna discoveries
Use of technologies like Drones, E-surveillance, satellite, GPS tagging for better Forest and Wildlife Management
In the last two years use of technology has increased. All application processes have been made online. The Tiger count was conducted through camera traps, which captured 1700 images of individual tigers.
Drones and electronic surveillence towers are being used to track movement in wild life sanctuary areas. It has help in preventing poaching, illegal tree felling and other wild life crimes.
We have radio collared tigers and other wild life animals as well as we have put geo-tagging on birds like Amur Falcon.
Emission norms for 20 polluting industrial sectors have been revised upward. These sectors include DG sets, Thermal power plant,Sugar, CETP, Cement with coprocessong, Brick kiln, Man-made fibre, Slaughter house, Textile, STP, Paint, Fertilizer, Pulp& Paper, Steel, Automobile, Coffee, Fermentation, Water quality criteria.
The emission norms have been made stringent and thereby the pollution load has reduced. Many industries have implemented the norms, while some are in various stages of implementation. Each category of industry has been given time to switch over to the new norms.
In a revolutionary decision, highly polluting industries were manadated to install 24x7 air/effluent monitoring devices on the stacks and at effluent discharge point. This has ensured constant monitoring and its tracking.
Out of 3400 polluting industrial units identified and mandated, 2400 industries have already installed the mechanism and the results are showing. If pollution for any parameter shows more than the prescribed norms for duration of 15 minutes, an SMS alert is generated and sent to all concerned individuals/regulatory agencies.
Action is being taken based on this and 650 industries have been closed down. After showing an improvement, the industries are allowed to operate again.
The Ministry emphasised on techno-economically feasible adoption of new technologies which result in minimal pollution.
As such, CPCB had issued in March 2015, directions to 5 Ganga-basin states to achieve Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) standards. The identified 5 industrial sectors were – pulp & paper, distillery, sugar, textiles and tannery.
The Grossly Polluting Industries (GPI) were mandated to install Online Continuous Effluent Monitoring System (OCEMS) as per the directions of CPCB. Out of 764 GPIs, 544 have installed OCEMS.
Closure directions have been issued to 150 units under section 5 of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 for non-installation of OCEMS.
The spent wash and black liquor, the two main pollutants of river have been banned and are not flowing into River Ganga.
The consistent monitoring has resulted in reduction of industrial pollution in Ganga by about 35%.
The Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) for the National Capital Region is further re-constituted by inducting new members representing various stakeholders and sectors of environment so as to make EPCA representative and effective. The reconstituted authority shall have jurisdiction over the National Capital Region Planning Board Act, 1985.
Periodical review meetings with Environment Ministers of Government of NCT of Delhi and Governments of States of Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab to implement the short-term and long-term action plan formulated by these 5 states/UT for control of Air Pollution in Delhi and NCR. Five such meetings have taken place and are yielding good results.
The stubble buring in Punjab has reduced by 40% and in Haryana by 17%.
Measures taken in respect of 5 states in Delhi airshed include establishment of Control Room at CPCB, comprehensive amendments to various waste management rules, revision of existing environmental standards and formulation of new standards for prevention and control of pollution from industries; promotion of public transport network of metro, buses, e-rickshaws and promotion of car pooling, pollution under control, lane discipline, vehicle maintenance, leapfrogging of BS-VI emissions standards by April 1, 2020, commissioning of eastern and western expressway, restriction of non-destined vehicles, environment compensation charges.
Pollution Initiatives II: Waste Management
The Ministry has comprehensively revised and notified waste management rules with the objective of Swachh Bharat. These Rules have been revised after a long period:
These Rules aim at developing partnerships in the management of waste with a major thrust on waste minimisation, prevention, recovery, recycle and reuse. The major objectives of these Rules are to recover the resources for its gainful utilisation through the process of recycling facilities which in turn would generate income and employment.
Further, the major effort is upon combating pollution in open spaces, neighbourhood, drains etc.; and in the entire prescribed process in these Rules, specific focus is upon reduction in the emission of green-house gases in line with the contribution of India in Climate Change Conference. Bringing all Health Care Facilities (HCFs) irrespective of the medical system, under the purview; simplifying the categorisation and treatment of bio-medical wastes to improve the segregation of waste at source and channelisation for proper treatment and disposal; introduce new technologies for disposal, introduce bar-coding for packaging and labeling of waste to eliminate pilferage on the way of transportation; mandates phasing out use of chlorinated plastic bags, gloves and blood bags within two years; introduce stringent standards for emission from Incinerator.
Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016
The salient features are:
- Segregation of waste at source made mandatory for partnership in Swatchh Bharat.
- Used Sanitary Waste like diapers, sanitary pads to be wrapped securely in pouches provided by manufacturers of these products.
- No person should through, burn or bury the solid waste in open pulic specaces in the drain or water bodies.
- Generator will have to pay Úser Fee’ to waste collector and ‘Spot Fine’for Littering and non-segregation.
- Integration of waste pickers and waste dealers should be done by State Governments.
Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016
- Any plastic sheet or Carry-bags, either made of virgin or recycled plastic shall not be less than 50 microns in thickness.
- Plastic Sachets shall not be used for storing, packing or selling gutkha, tobacco and panmasala.
- Institutional generators and event organisers shall not litter and hand over the plastic waste to authorised agency or pay user fee.
- All producers and/or brand owner need to work out modalities for waste collection system for collecting back the plastic waste.
- The local body shall be responsible for plastic waste management system.
- The registered shop keepers shall display at prominent place that plastic carry bags are given on payment.
- Use of unauthorised plastic bags is an offence.
Bio- Medical Waste Management Rules, 2016
- Authorisation process for hospitals, simplified and co-terminus with Consent to Operate.
- Phasing out use of chlorinated plastic bags, gloves and blood bags.
- Bar code system for bags or containers with biomedical waste for disposal.
- More stringent norms for incinerators to reduce the air pollution.
- State Government to provide land for setting up common Biomedical Waste Treatment Disposal Facility.
- No on-site treatment and disposal in hospital if common biomedical waste treatment is available within 75 kms.
- Pre-onsite treatment of laboratory and microbiological waste.
E-Waste Management Rules, 2016
The Salient Features are:
- The applicability of the rules has been extended to components, consumables, spares and parts of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) in addition to equipment, including Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL) and other mercury containing lamps.
- Manufacturer, dealer, refurbisher and Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO) have been introduced as additional stakeholders in the rules, alongwith the State Government.
- Collection mechanism based approach has been adopted for collection of e-waste by Producers under Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR).
- Option has been given for setting up of PRO, e-waste exchange, e- retailer, Deposit Refund Scheme as additional channel for implementation of EPR by Producers to ensure efficient channelization of e-waste.
- The roles of the has been also introduced in the Rules in
order to ensure safety, health and skill development of the workers involved in the dismantling and recycling operations.
- State Government is to ensure earmarking or allocation of industrial space or shed for e-waste dismantling and recycling in the existing and upcoming industrial park, estate and industrial clusters.
- The State Government needs to ensure recognition and registration of workers involved in dismantling and recycling; and undertake annual monitoring and to ensure safety & health of workers involved in dismantling and recycling.
- The transportation of e-waste shall be carried out as per the manifest system whereby the transporter shall be required to carry a document (three copies) prepared by the sender, giving the details.
- Liability for damages caused to the environment or third party due to improper management of e-waste including provision for levying financial penalty for violation of provisions of the Rules has also been introduced.
Hazardous Waste Management & Trans-boundary Rules
The Salient Features are:
- The ambit of the Rules has been expanded by including ‘Other Waste’.
- The basic necessity of infrastructure to safeguard the health and environment from waste processing industry has been prescribed as Standard Operating Procedure (SOPs),
- Procedure has been simplified to merge all the approvals as a single window clearance for setting up of hazardous waste disposal facility and import of other wastes.
- Co-processing as preferential mechanism over disposal for use of waste as supplementary resource, or for recovery of energy has been provided.
- The approval process for co-processing of hazardous waste to recover energy has been streamlined and put on emission norms basis rather than on trial basis.
The process of import/export of waste under the Rules has been
streamlined by simplifying the document-based procedure and by revising the
list of waste regulated for import/export.
- The import of metal scrap, paper waste and various categories of electrical and electronic equipments for re-use purpose has been exempted from the need of obtaining Ministry’s permission.
- Responsibilities of State Government :
o To set up/ allot industrial space or sheds for recycling, pre-processing and other utilization of hazardous or other waste.
o To register the workers involved in recycling, pre-processing and other utilization activities.
o To form groups of workers to facilitate setting up such facilities;
o To undertake industrial skill development activities and ensure safety and health of workers.
- List of Waste Constituents with Concentration Limits has been revised as per international standard and drinking water standard.
- The following items have been prohibited for import:
- (a) Waste edible fats and oil of animals, or vegetable origin;
- (b) Household waste;
- (c) Critical Care Medical equipment;
- (d) Tyres for direct re-use purpose; e. Solid Plastic wastes including Pet bottles;
- (f) Waste electrical and electronic assemblies scrap;
- (g) Other chemical wastes especially in solvent form.
· A new Rule, namely, Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules, 2016 has been notified for the first time.
For the first time in the history, Construction & Demolition Waste Rules are being notified by the Ministry. The main features are that the construction and demolition can be done only after covering the site, watering the debris, movement of debris in covered trucks and proper disposal of debris.
As per these rules, local authorities mandatorily commission C&D waste based plants in million plus cities within one and half years, cities with population of 5 to 10 lakhs within two years and for other cities (5 lakh populations) within three years.
Large generators to submit waste management plan and to pay relevant charges for collection, transportation, processing and disposal .
Littering or obstruction to public drains, water bodies, traffic, direct dumping in landfill sites is prohibited;
The service providers for telecom, water supply, sewage, gas pipeline and others to remove all construction and demolition waste.
State Government/ construction agencies to mandatorily procure and utilise 10-20% materials made from construction and demolition waste.
Integrated Waste Management System (IWMS) will provide a customized GIS-based information system for the country. Under the system GIS mapping of 33,000 and MIS data of 27,500 hazardous waste industries has been completed. The user-friendly application can also track the movement of hazardous waste and will also help in ensuring its proper management.
Pollution Initiatives III:
In order to bring in more objectivity and effectiveness in the process of calculating CEPI (Comprehensive Environmental Pollution Index) score for industrial areas, new criteria were evolved by CPCB.
The Ministry has approved the revised concept/criteria for calculating CEPI score, which is based on quality of air and water pollutants generated, hazardous waste generated and consumption of resources.
This will give relief to areas which have achieved less pollution score with multiple effort and give pre-warning to the areas which are on the threshhold of crossing the permissible limit.
Industries have been re-categorised, based on the relative pollution potential of the industrial sectors. Under the new concept, Pollution Index scores have been worked out, based on the emissions (air pollutants), effluents (water pollutants), hazardous wastes generated and consumption of resources, for various industrial categories.
Based on the relative scores, the industries have been categorized as Red category - having score more than or equal to 60, Orange category- having score between 41 to 59, Green category - having score between 21 to 40, and White category - having score less than 20.
Under the “Ease of Doing Responsible Business”, the Ministry has approved self-certification for industries which fall in ‘White Category’.
The National Air Quality Index (AQI) has been launched by Prime Minister on April 06, 2015. This is the web-based system designed to provide AQI on real-time basis.
This covers eight pollutants i.e. Sulphur Dioxide, Nitrogen Dioxide, Lead, Ozone, PM 10, PM 2.5, Carbon Monoxide and Ammonia for short term (upto 24 hourly) norms as prescribed in the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS-2009).
There are six AQI categories, namely Good, Satisfactory, Moderately Polluted, Poor, Very Poor, and Severe. Each of these categories is decided, based on ambient concentration values of air pollutants and their likely health impacts.
Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) started disseminating the Air Quality Index (AQI) for 10 cities based on the data CAAQM stations. At present, 23 cities are connected to the web-based system of National AQI. They are Agra, Ahmadabad, Bangaluru, Chandrapur, Chennai, Delhi, Faridabad, Gaya, Gurgaon, Haldia, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Kanpur, Lucknow, Mumbai, Muzaffarpur, Navi Mumbai, Panchkula, Patna, Pune, Solapur and Varanasi.
It is planned to strengthen the network of monitoring systems in all 46 cities having population more than a million and 20 State Capitals, and networking them to the central AQI portal, in phased manner.
Discharge of untreated and partially treated sewage from cities / towns and industrial effluents constitute a major source of pollution in rivers and lakes. Various pollution abatement schemes taken-up under the programmes, inter-alia include interception & diversion of raw sewage, construction of sewerage systems, setting up of sewage treatment plants, low cost sanitation facilities, electric/improved wood crematoria and river front development. Sewage treatment capacity of 256 million litres per day (mld) (211 mld under NRCP & 45 mld for NPCA/NLCP) has been created in the last 2 years at Kolhapur, Sangli in Maharashtra, and at Jallandhar, Hoshiyarpur, Phagwara, Banga, Phillaur, Mukerian and Nawanshehar in Punjab.
STP capacity of about 640 mld has been sanctioned in 16 Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) during the last 2 years under National River Conservation Plan (NRCP)/National Plan for Conservation of Aquatic Ecosystems (NPCA), which includes Sabarmati River Conservation Project (Phase II) at Ahmedabad; JICA assisted Mula-Mutha at Pune and conservation of Laxmi Tal lake at Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh.
The central government has taken upon itself repayment obligation of JICA loan to clean up Mula-Mutha River of Pune. The central assistance thus will be Rs 840 crores, which will be used for creation of 11 STPs of 352 MLD capacity and drainage pipeline of 135 kms.
The project will have significant direct beneficial impact in terms of reduction of pollution load in the river and improvement in its water quality, besides collateral benefits like use of tertiary treated effluent for irrigation and employment opportunities particularly in the construction stage. The project will also improve the aesthetics and sanitation in the town.
Discharge of untreated sewage generated in the city is one of the major sources of pollution of lakes in Bengaluru. Rs. 724.80 crore has been sanctioned for a sewage project in Bengaluru under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) programme to Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewage Board. This will rejuvenate the lakes in Bengaluru by reducing the pollution load being discharged into them.
The Environment Minister reviewed the status of the lakes in Bengaluru for preparing a concrete plan for revival of the lakes in Bengaluru in a meeting in October 2015. Various short-term and long-term measures were identified to be taken up by the Government of Karnataka in this regard.
Wetlands are lifelines for a large number of people and an important source of fresh water. They provide a host of ecosystem services in addition to being host to rich biodiversity.
Under the National Wetland Conservation Programme (NCWP)/NPCA, the Management Action Plans for taking up conservation works in 43 identified wetlands in the states of Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, West Bengal, Puducherry have been sanctioned and funds amounting to Rs. 13. 51 crore released during the last two years.
EASE OF DOING ‘RESPONSIBLE’ BUSINESS
General approval for strategic defence installation infrastructure, Border Roads and road infrastructure in LWE areas
The execution of several strategic road projects to improve connectivity along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and in the Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected districts was getting delayed due to non-availability of forest approvals.
To equip defence and paramilitary forces to successfully face the external treats along the Indo-China border, the Ministry has accorded general approval under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 (FC Act) for construction and widening of two-lane roads within 100 kilometer aerial distance from the LAC.
General approval has also been accorded for construction and widening of two-lane roads in 117 LWE affected districts to facilitate expeditious improvement of connectivity in these areas to help facilitate the security forces to effectively control and eliminate the LWE.
Similarly, to facilitate the Border Security Guards viz. BSF and SSB to effectively guard the international borders, the Ministry has also accorded general approval under the FC Act for construction of border road, border fencing, outposts and other border security related infrastructure within five kilometers aerial distance from the International Borders.
Real estate environmental guidelines standardized
The State Environment Impact Assessment Authorities are empowered to grant Environmental Clearances for building sector (Real Estates). This process used to have delays in many States and locked the investments and delay the housing projects.
After a detailed deliberation with all the stake holders and Ministry of Urban Development, the Ministry has standardized the environmental conditions for difference segments of buildings.
The Ministry has also proposed that building of the size in the range of 5,000 to 20,000 sq.m. should also follow standard basic environmental conditions/safeguards.
The Ministry has issued draft notification for integrating the environmental conditions with building permissions for local authorities/states making the suitable changes in their building laws.
The housing projects will not require separate EC where the State Government has adopted our standard guidelings in their town and country planning bye-laws.
EC for industrial sheds and education sector done away with standard guidelines
The industries which were not covered under EIA Notification, 2006 and were not required to obtain prior Environmental Clearance were also asked by the SPCBs to obtain Environmental Clearance.
The ministry through amendment in EIA Notification, 2006 has done away with requirement of Environmental Clearance for construction of industrial sheds and educational institutions including universities but has given standard environmental safeguards for compliance.
Permission for upgradation for existing forest roads
We have given permission for upgradation of exixsting forest roads in the inteest of tribals and forest dwellers who use these roads.
Widening of national highways passing through forest
Validity of EC increased from 5 to 7 years
Many projects, due to poor market conditions and other reasons beyond control of the proponent, were not able to complete the projects on ground in time. They used to seek extension of validity of Environmental Clearance.
The ministry, through an amendment in EIA Notification, 2006 has increased the validity of Environmental Clearance from 5 years to 7 years.
Permission of forest diversion for creation of new capital city
After bifurcation of the State of Andhra Pradesh, the capital city of the undivided State of Andhra Pradesh falls in the newly created State of Telangana. This has necessitated Andhra Pradesh to set up a new capital city at Amravati. To facilitate the newly created State of Andhra
Pradesh, the Ministry has taken a policy decision to grant permission under the FC Act for use of forest land for construction of a capital city for the newly-created State of Andhra Pradesh.
II. TRANSPARENT PROCESSES
The Ministry has launched a web portal for online submission and monitoring the status of Environment and Forest approvals applications.
This has given power to project proponents and the ministry to track the movement of files, and cut down delays.
There were 6 Expert Appraisal Committees (EACs) for appraisal and approval process of projects for Environment Clearance. Having taken note of pendencies two more EACs have been appointed in December 2015 for industry and infrastructure.
The Ministry has standardized the Terms of References for all the 39 sectors, which require prior Environmental Clearance under EIA Notification, 2006.
The Ministry has also amended the EIA Notification, 2006 mandating that the Terms of References has to be issued to the project proponent within 30 days of acceptance of application.
This has brought down the time taken earlier from anything between six months to one year to 30 days.
The Ministry has delegated powers to 10 regional offices to decide on forest diversion for area less than 40 hectares.
The states are made decision makers in this process. Two of their senior officers are members of the committee alongwith experts to decide on such cases.
This has resulted in reduction of 90% files coming to the ministry.
Keeping in view that majority of the linear projects such as roads, railway lines, drinking water canals, irrigation water canals, transmission lines, telecommunication lines/cables are of public utility in nature and are implemented for benefit of the public at large, the RECs have been empowered to finally dispose of all Forest Clearance proposals related to such projects irrespective of the area of forest land involved.
The State Environment Impact Assessment Authorities have been mandated for taking online application for Terms of References and Environmental Clearances for the projects. The web portal for the same was prepared and launched by the Ministry on July 2, 2015. This has enabled the process to be transparent and monitorable and also helped in reducing delays in procuring the application.
Average days required for project approval brought down from 600 days to 190 days
As a result of the streamlining measures and changes in process without compromising with the rigour of the process of Environmental Clearance, the ministry has brought down time required for Environmental Clearance from 600 days to 190 days.
Forest approval average time has been brought down from 580 days to 180 days
By launching the web portal for online submission and monitoring of forest clearance proposal and continuous monitoring of the proposals uploaded thereon, the average time taken by the Ministry and its Regional offices to take decision on forest clearance proposals has been reduced from 580 days to 180 days. Efforts are being made to further reduce the time taken to take a decision on such proposals.
2000 approvals have unlocked 10 lakh cr of investment and 10 lakh job potential
The Ministry, which saw delays for various reasons, has been streamlined. The policy decisions and processes have been made transparent, with decentralisation and with standardisation.
In 2 years, 2000 environmental, forest and National Board of Wildlife approvals have been accorded, following stringent environment norms. These approvals have resulted in unlocking Rs. 10 lakh crore of investment and 10 lakh job potential has been unlocked. Pendency has now been completely done away with.
All important public infrastructure projects which were pending are approved, no backlog
important road, rail, canal, transmission and pipelines, as well as irrigation
projects and projects of public importance, which were pending for long time
have been given approval for all states.
Mangroves increased by more than 100 sq Km
For intensive conservation and management of mangroves and coral reefs, the Government has identified 42 sites (38 mangroves + 4 coral reefs) sites throughout the country. Under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme on Conservation and Management of Mangroves and Coral Reefs, the Ministry has allocated an amount of Rs 11.37 crore during the last two years to various coastal States and UTs.
Detailed high resolution coastal map and HTL drawn with high resolution technology and low flying survey
Based on aerial photographs and high resolution satellite images, the High Tide Line (HTL) has been demarcated for the entire coastline of the country in 1:10,000 scale and provided to the coastal States/Union Territories for preparing the Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP).
To identify the elevation of the coastal area in order to estimate the extent of flooding due to tides, waves and sea level rise on account of climate change, the aerial photography with 0.5m contour interval 9cm accuracy has been obtained for 7 kms stretch from the HTL on the landward side for the entire mainland of the country. This data will be used for disaster management plan preparation.
Comprehensive INDCs welcomed all over the world –
The stage for the final negotiations of a climate deal to come into force post-2020 was set at 20thConference of Parties (COP-20) held at Lima, Peru in December 2014, which ultimately led to the adoption of Paris Agreement at COP-21 during United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at Paris, France in December 2015.
In the run-up to COP-21 at Paris, India submitted its comprehensive Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on 2nd October 2015, which was welcomed with positive reviews all over the world.
India’s INDC was formulated under the leadership and guidance of the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, who has called for ‘Convenient Action’ in order to deal with the ‘inconvenient truth’ of Climate Change.
Target of reducing emission intensity by 35%,
Increasing non-fossil fuel share of energy mix capacity to 40%,
Creating carbon sink of 2.5 bn tones
INDC sets a target of reducing emission intensity by 33-35% by 2030 from 2005 levels; increasing non-fossil fuel share of energy mix capacity to 40% by 2030 and creating carbon sink of 2.5 – 3 billion tones of CO2 equivalent by 2030.
The INDC document was prepared with a view to taking forward the Prime Minister’s vision of a sustainable lifestyle and climate justice to protect the poor and vulnerable from adverse impacts of climate change and to put across an ambitious target which incorporates all the developmental challenges faced by the country today.
Effective representation of countries’ interest in COP at Lima and at Paris; Network with LMDCs, SAARC, LDCs, SIDCs, BASIC, BRICS and Africa group effectively
On the negotiations front, Indian delegation effectively represented country’s interest at Conference of Parties to UNFCCC at Lima (COP-20) and at Paris (COP-21).
India took a proactive and leadership role during negotiations and networked effectively with LMDCs, SAARC, LDCs, SIDCs, BASIC, BRICS and Africa group.
Major outcome of the COP-21 was the adoption of the Paris Agreement, which will operate under the Convention and which gives development space for India and developing countries.
Proactive and leadership role
A global leaders event was held at the outset of COP-21 on 30th November 2015, in which around 150 Heads of States/Governments participated. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi attended this event, giving a positive signal from the second most populous nation and largest democracy in the world about our seriousness and preparedness to tackle the threat of climate change. He met world leaders at COP-21, including French and US Presidents and shared his vision and views with them.
Prime Minister of India, jointly with the President of France, Mr François Hollande, launched the International Solar Alliance (ISA), an alliance of 121 solar resource rich tropical countries lying fully, or partially, between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn on November 30, 2015 at Paris, France. The intention is to make joint efforts through innovative policies, projects, programmes, capacity building measures and financial instruments to mobilize more than 1000 Billion US dollars of investments that are needed by 2030 for the massive deployment of affordable solar energy. ISA headquarters are being anchored in India.
Indian Pavilion was attraction of Paris COP
Indian Pavilion, inaugurated by Prime Minister, was one of the major attractions of Paris COP. India's pavilion was equipped with a waterfall with spelling patterns, an iPad village, and an interactive display of the challenges faced by the country to counter global warming. This pavilion was designed as a window to our heritage and our progress; our traditions and our technology; our aspirations and our achievements.
· Secured interests of India and developing countries
The agreement emphasizes the principles of Convention including Common But Differentiated Responsibilities & Respective Capabilities (CBRD-RC) and Equity, hence safeguarding interests of developing countries and maintaining differentiation in all pillars of the agreement.
It further recognizes importance of climate justice and sustainable lifestyles, as advocated by India, with developed countries taking the lead in addressing climate change.
One of the important features of Paris Agreement and achievement of India during negotiations is that it is not mitigation-centric and covers all pillars of the Durban mandate, i.e., mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology development and transfer, transparency of action and support, and capacity-building.
India consistently took the lead in asking developed countries to commit to their obligations to cut greenhouse gas emissions, and to adhere to mobilization and provide jointly USD 100 billion annually, taking into account the needs and priorities of the developing countries in the Paris decision text.
India, along with 174 other parties to the Convention, signed the Paris Agreement on April 22, 2016. The agreement will now have to be ratified by Parties for it to come into effect.
National action follow-up started with all stakeholders
In the months following Paris COP, national action follow-up has been started with all stakeholders and mitigation and adaptation initiatives by various ministries, states and industries/ agencies are being closely monitored.
New missions are being planned for coastal areas, health and wind energy are being taken up with financial support from National Clean Energy Fund. Under the Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP), activities on waste to energy are being taken up with the financial support from National Clean Energy Fund (NCEF).
Closely monitoring mitigation and adaptation initiatives by various ministries, states and industries/ agencies
In order to prepare a clear and time-bound roadmap for the implementation of the INDC, an Inter-Ministerial Coordination Committee, with various stakeholders has been set up. Internal consultations have been started to develop a plan of action for INDC implementation. Mapping of schemes having linkages with INDC is also being undertaken. A consultation meeting is being planned in June 2016 to take these initiatives forward.
India’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution provides for sustainable lifestyle, clean development, increasing share of non-fossil fuel based electricity, enhancing carbon sink, adaptation, capacity building, etc. The INDC aims to reduce the emission intensity of GDP by 33 to 35% by 2030 from 2005 level.
Sustainable sand mining and minor mineral policy notified
The Ministry has finalized guidelines for environmentally sustainable and socially responsible mining of aggregate to carry out sand and gravel extraction in a sustainable way.
Satellite imagery to decide the quantum and location of sand to be mined.
Bar Coded security featured receipts and technology tracking of movement of excavated sand.
Now, small projects of mining minor minerals to be dealt at district level.
River improvement programme undertaken on 12 rivers in 27 towns of 8 states
Partnering in Railway, Highway and Ganga greening
An agreement between Railway Authorities and Forest Department of Haryana for plantation on railway lands was signed on 02-05- 2016. The notable feature of this agreement is that although Forest Department will be taking up plantation on railway lands, the land ownership shall remain vested with Railway Authorities only. It will facilitate the Railway Authorities to take up developmental works along these tracks without taking prior approval of Central Government, as it will not attract the provisions of Forest Conservation Act, 1980. The agreement provides for taking up plantations by Forest Department either with expenditure incurred by Forest Department, or with the funds made available by the Railway Authorities. In case Forest Department incurs expenditures on plantations, 75% of benefits accrued out of sale of forest produce will be vested with Forest Department and 25% with the Railway Authorities and vice-versa. This agreement encompasses further scope for bringing more area under plantations in view of increasing modernization efforts of Indian Railways in terms of laying of new tracks as well as doubling of existing single tracks in the state in future. The mutual efforts of Indian Railways and Forest Department of Haryana will be helpful in augmenting the Forest and Tree Cover in the state which is at present 6.65% of the geographical area of the state which will ultimately help in amelioration of environment, better air quality and ground water recharge.
Forest Research Institute (FRI), an autonomous organization under MoEF&CC, has prepared a project report titled “DPR for Forestry Intervention for Ganga” under Namami Gange Programme of National Mission of Cleaning Ganga. According to this report, 1 lakh 34 thousand hectare area in the catchment of Ganga and its few tributaries in five states, at 6974 sites is proposed to be taken up for treatment, including afforestation.
Himalayan ecology study undertaken
The Ministry has launched the National Mission on Himalayan Studies (NMHS) in December, 2015, with the objective of building scientific and traditional knowledge, a network of practitioners (individual and institutions) and to demonstrate workable/implementation/replicable solutions to the problems in 25 identified thematic areas during the next 5 years through studies, pilots and interventions.
A total of 27 studies have been approved in NMHS for implementation during the next 3 years on focus areas of Himalayan forest, water and land. The expected outcome includes generation of baseline data, knowledge products in the form of policy guidelines and field based models to meet the objective of the Mission.
· Preparation of building new National Museum of Natural History -
A new National Museum of Natural History will be built near Pragati Maidan on 6.5 acres of land.
This building would be an integrated complex of NMNH, NZP, National Science & Craft Museum.
The conceptual design proposed by the consultant has been approved by the competent authority. The schedule for various sub-activities has been drawn up for construction of the new building complex in a time-bound manner.
More than one lakh Eco-clubs in schools and colleges are being made active
Since children can play catalysts in promoting mass movement, it has been decided to associate eco-clubs for Swachh Bharat activities. The suggestive list of activities that can be taken up by the Eco-clubs during 2016-17 include: i) Cleanliness drive within school/college campus ii) practice paper re-cycling thereby promoting the three Rs – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle iii) Identify dirty/unclean spots and take up cleanliness drives outside the school premises iv) Carry out campaign against plastic and leaf burning and their proper disposal v) create awareness about water conservation and vi) Take up massive programme for plantation.
Bio diversity Special and Climate Express has visited 120 stations and 45 lakh people/ students saw the exhibition
MoEF&CC has successfully run the Science Express Bio diversity Special wich covered 56 stations, 19000 KM, and saw 23 lakh visitors in 2014-15.
Climate Action Special (SECAS) train, was flagged off on October 15, 2015 for spreading awareness on Climate Change and Action. The train completed its long journey of 19,800 kms, covering 64 Stations. More than 6,000 Schools/Colleges visited the train, with the total number of visitors being more than 23 lakh, by the end of the train’s journey in May 2016.
Plastic waste collection by students became successful
The first quarter of the calendar year 2016 has been packed with various media outreach events to showcase various policy initiatives taken by the MoEF&CC, besides a massive outdoor campaign “Plastic Garbage Free Pune”, spearheaded by the Minister of State (IC) for Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
Nearly two lakh students from over 1000 schools and colleges in Pune participated in the campaign. They collected 100MT plastic waste in two hours.
Earlier, two pilot campaigns were held in Shirur and Ratnagiri, where about 6,000 and 10,000 students had participated respectively.
Environmentally friendly building of the ministry opened for the students and public.
The building housing the Ministry is a Net-Zero Energy building. It has a five-star GRIHA & LEED-India Platinum Green Building Ratings.
Regular program of visits of school and college students are organised to increase environmental awareness.
Nature walk with students in Asola Bhatti
Every year, March 21 is celebrated as International Day of Forests. For this year, the theme is “Forest and water”, to raise awareness about how forests are key to the planet’s supply of fresh water, which is essential for life.
The Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change in collaboration with Department of Forest and Wildlife of Govt. of NCT of Delhi celebrated this day in Asola Bhatti Wildlife sanctuary. Environment Minister Shri Prakash Javadekar accompanied by Shri Imran Hussain, Minister of Forests, Government of NCT of Delhi and students from ten schools, led a Nature Walk in the sanctuary.
BUILDING A TEAM THROUGH MOTIVATION
Administered pledge of good governance to staff on January 14, 2016.
More effective communication with all divisions, scientists, field staff.