Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi spoke on CMSCOP13 in his 62nd Mann Ki Baat

In the famous Indian radio programme "Mann Ki Baat" today, the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi mentioned about the  recently concluded 13th Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) #CMSCOP13. The Prime Minister said "Our country is with great traditions. The legacy that we inherited from our ancestors, the knowledge & values that have permeated entail compassion toward each & every living being and boundless love for nature. All this is a part of our cultural heritage. And to partake of this culture of hospitality in the Indian ethos, every year, numerous species of birds from across the world come to India.

He further added, "Throughout the year, India is home to many migratory species. We are told that more than 500 varieties of birds fly in from varied regions. Recently, Gandhinagar was host to the COP- 13 convention, where this phenomenon was mulled over, discussed and deliberated. India’s efforts concerning the subject were lauded too. Friends, it is a matter of pride for us that for the next three years, India will chair the COP convention on migratory species. Do send in your suggestions on lending more substance to this opportunity, making it more useful."

In his passionate style, the Prime Minister further orated "While discussing the COP convention with you, an important piece of information connected with Meghalaya drew my attention. Very recently, biologists have discovered a new species of fish whose habitat is within the caves of Meghalaya. It is believed that this fish is the largest among aquatic species found under the surface of caves. It lives in deep, dark underground caves, with little chance of light reaching in. Scientists are perplexed at the ability of this large fish to survive in such deep caves. It is a matter of joy that our India, and especially Meghalaya is home to a rare species. It lends a new facet to India’s bio-diversity. We are surrounded by many such mysteries, which are still undiscovered. To discover such a phenomenal enigma calls for fierce detective passion."

Mann Ki Baat is a monthly radio programme in which Shri Narendra Modi, Prime Minister addresses people of the nation on All India Radio, DD National and DD News. Since the first show on 3 October 2014, there have been 62 episodes, today's being the 62nd episode.  


Mr. Sveinung Rotevatn, Minister for Climate & Environment, Norway visited Navjiwan Vihar in India

Sanjaya K. Mishra 

India and Norway have over almost 15 years developed a close cooperation on environmental matters. In 2006, the Norwegian-Indian Cooperation Commission was established, in order for the two countries to share experiences on environmental management.  In the recently concluded India visit of Norway's Minister of Climate and Environment, Mr. Sveinung Rotevatn was focused on the agenda; cooperation to reduce plastic litter worldwide, reduce climate gas emissions and securing global biodiversity. During the Pre-COP, CMS COP13, India and Norway signed an agreement to work together on various aspects including reducing the emissions of HFCs, climate, biodiversity and marine littering and plastic pollution.

In a significant move, on 19th February 2020, Mr. Sveinung Rotevatn, Minister for Climate and Environment of Norway visited Navjiwan Vihar with a delegation. Navjiwan Vihas, a South Delhi posh colony, has inspired many leaders with its consistent working and achievements in beating plastic pollution, 100% waste segregation, elimination of single-use plastic.  Mr. Rotevatn and his delegation, including Ms. Kaia Bilton, Minister Councilor; Ms. Nina Rør, Deputy Director General; Mr. Stig Ingemar Traavik, Special Envoy for Climate and Forest and many other Norwegian dignitaries were given a warm traditional welcome with Tilak, Aarti and flower shower by the children and residents of Navjiwan Vihar. Children also carried Indian and Norwegian flags to greet the visiting leader.

The visiting Minister, Mr. Sveinung Rotevatn and his delegation took a tour of the colony, including dhalao, parks with leaf composters, and "Black Gold", compost generated in the compost pits. They also witnessed garbage collecting carts and interacted with the residents, garbage collectors, domestic helps and children. He also witnessed our parks herbal patches, kitchen garden and blooming flowers.

Dr. Ruby Makhija, Secretary of Navjiwan RWA briefed the visiting Minister about various social and environmental initiatives taken by the RWA, such as; Shramdaan (neighbourhood cleanliness drive); Sanskaar (Value based group for children); Navjeevan Navodaya (Senior citizen care program); Upcycling of bags; Crockery Bank and Say No to Disposables; Drives against Single use plastic; Free Biodegradable Sanitary Napkins for domestic helps; Biomedical Waste program; Jantantra Mahotsav etc.

Some residents' houses were also visited for understanding of waste generation, management at source and the process was recorded. The residents were interviewed by the visitors.  A Senior Journalist from Norwegian Broadcast Corporation officially covered the entire event.

Mr. Sveinung Rotevatn and his delegation also discussed how Navjiwan Vihar model can be replicated in other colonies in Delhi.

Mr. Madhusudan Hanumappa of ITC WOW ESREE Team Delhi, who has been an integral part of the entire waste management process said that the details are very specific for all to understand the importance of waste management and community engagement. He added, "It is further to emphasize that they are sensitive to the fact that we as a community are contributing to improving the environment, and enabling more livable cities. This is an inspiration and motivation to the team's working on this. Three cheers to the entire residents and the office bearers of Navjiwan Vihar, the SDMC, the SSIL, the other utilities and the foot soldiers of the ITC Team. I am privileged to be part of this group of like minded, positive and ever striving members with the undying spirit, zeal and passion. Let us not only cheer them for the achievements, but also strength their hands by adopting the similar initiatives across Delhi and this movement should now scale up to the extent where Delhi and it's RWAs should host the Minister of Environment all visiting countries where we share the same concerns for the environment to visit and see how transformation can and is doable if the community comes together. Together we can and we will."

Dr. Ruby Makhija, Secretary, Navjiwan RWA said, “It was an honour to have His Excellency, Mr. Sveinung Rotevatn - Hon'ble Minister for Climate and Environment, Norway and his delegates in our colony, Navjiwan Vihar. We are delighted for being chosen as a model colony for this project visit. I would like to emphasize that the program was organised by CSE where in the awareness programs and the community engagement was carried on Segregation of Waste at Source is being carried out by ESREE Foundation as part of the ITC CSR initiative under the Well Being out of Waste (WOW) program in Delhi. We are grateful to CSE, E Sree Foundation, ITC WOW. Thanks to Crockery Bank, we did not use even a single disposable in the small tea party saving almost 400 of them. Navjiwan Vihar is achieving greater heights under the dynamic leadership of our President Mr. Vinay Bhasin, and ably supported by the best Executive Committee members.”

Mr. Ramesh Verma, Addl. Commissioner, SDMC; Mr. Sudhir Mehta, SE DEMS; Mr. Prabhakar, , Executive Engineer, DEMS; and their other team members, representatives from Centre for Science and Environment (CSE); members of ITC WOW and E Sree Foundation were also present during the programme.

The visiting Minister appreciated the clean, green and serene neighbourhood of Navjiwan Vihar. “I am very impressed with India's efforts to beat plastic pollution. Norway thinks that we need a global agreement dedicated to stopping marine plastics litter and micro plastics, and we invite India to participate in the global process to develop a stronger response to this urgent problem”, says Mr. Sveinung Rotevatn.

Mr. Vinay Bhasin, President of Navjiwan RWA said that "We are gratified for the visit of Mr. Sveinung Rotevatn with his delegation. This is a huge recognition to all the good works done by Navjiwan Family. Words of praise and encouragement from the visiting Minister and his delegation has brought in enormous boost to our energy levels and will help us to continue working with greater enthusiasm."

After an hour of tour and interactions, Mr. Sveinung Rotevatn walked down to Metro Station with the delegation and took the metro ride to his next destination.


Delhi Govt. will create awareness on environmental issues through mass movement: Sh. Gopal Rai

New Delhi: Following a high-level meeting with the environmental experts and department officials on Thursday, Delhi Environment and Forest Minister Shri Gopal Rai visited Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Station at National Stadium on 21st February 2020. 

This came in the view of the Delhi Pollution Control Committee collaborating with the Washington University to undertake real-time source apportionment study. "Once we establish that this model is a success, the study can be replicated across various locations in the city," said Mr. Gopal Rai.

Briefing the media about his visit, Shri Gopal Rai, Environment Minister of Delhi Govt. said, "Several studies have been shared on the Air Quality Index of Delhi and the contribution of PM10, PM2.5 and PM1.0 levels to the air pollution in the city. Primarily, three studies have relevantly come into the picture, including a 2010 study from Nagpur, a 2016 study by IIT-Kanpur, and a 2018 study by TERI." 

The different apportionment studies undertaken by different agencies are based on a particular point of time. The first source apportionment study was undertaken for Delhi in the year 2010 by National Institute of Environmental Engineering, Nagpur. That study was based on PM 10. 

IIT Kanpur undertook a source apportionment study for Delhi Government in the year 2016, which was widely quoted, but it was unable to propose real-time concentrations. The study by TERI in the year 2018 gave the source apportionment study based on PM 10 and PM 2.5, however, seasonal source apportionment was used for the study. 

"We have 26 pollution monitoring centers of the Delhi government across various locations in Delhi. The mechanism in these centers monitors AQI at a particular point of time in a span of one hour. But the mechanism has failed to detect the sources of this pollution," he said.

The Delhi government has associated with Washington University to have a real-time source apportionment study, to obtain data on real-time concentrations from different sources of pollution. The study also highlights the contribution of various gases, waste generation and local burning which are the primary factors in air pollution. 

Mr. Gopal Rai said, "The interim report will be submitted by the University by March 2020 and the model will be functional by the month of June 2020. Further action plans will be devised on the basis of the study report obtained in March. We will launch a targeted campaign based on the findings of the reports, which will help us in identifying the real sources of pollution and to work on reducing the existing pollution levels in the city. Once we are able to identify the real sources, we will be able to take immediate action and balance our efforts in reducing the pollution generated daily by 2 crore people of Delhi." 

"We also aim to create awareness in the people, by transcending the environmental situation in Delhi into a mass movement," he added.

It would be noteworthy that much before elections, the Chief Minister Sh. Arvind Kejriwal also stressed on the need of real-time data for further action to control air pollution in Delhi.


Delhi government prepares action plan to reduce pollution in the city

20.02.2020, Delhi:    Delhi Environment Minister Shri Gopal Rai met with the environment department officials, DPCC scientists, and forest department officials to discuss strategic solutions to various environmental issues pertaining to Delhi. Briefing the media on the meeting held with the officials, Mr. Gopal Rai said that the Delhi government has partnered with Washington University to obtain Real-Time Data to monitor the sources of pollution in Delhi. He also said that a roundtable conference involving environmental experts and agencies will be held on 27th February for assessing the environmental solutions for Delhi.

Addressing the media at the Delhi Secretariat, Mr. Gopal Rai said, "The environmental issues pertaining to Delhi have been a subject of constant deliberation and concern. When we formed the AAP government five years back, we have taken various measures to decrease pollution in the city. A lot of work has been done in this sector, as a result of which the Delhi government has been able to reduce around 25% of pollution levels in the city, along with the support of various agencies and the people of Delhi. During the Delhi Assembly elections, CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal Ji vowed 10 guarantees to the people of Delhi, a significant promise was decreasing the pollution levels in the city. One significant promise is to reduce the 1/3rd of pollution in Delhi, and another promise includes plantation of 2 crore trees in the city in the next five years."

"I have been delegated the responsibility of handling the environment department in this tenure. I met with the environment department officials, DPCC scientists, forest department officials, to discuss the efforts taken by the Delhi government towards bettering the environment and the impact that it has created. In totality, along with analyzing a 25 % decrease in air pollution levels in Delhi, we have also analyzed and discussed the attributes of this decrease in air pollution," said Mr. Gopal Rai.

Mr. Gopal Rai said that the implementation of the Odd-Even scheme has been a matter of friction since people believe that vehicular emissions do not constitute a major part of the air pollution levels in Delhi. He also said that people believe that the pollution from stubble burning during the last few months was not a major reason for the alarming levels of air pollution in Delhi.

He said, "Obtaining Real-Time Data is necessary to monitor the real sources of pollution at a particular point in time. Until we can gather information about the sources of pollution, we will not be able to devise any mechanism for reducing these sources. There are no generalized sources of this pollution, and so we cannot work on decreasing or eradicating this pollution in a generalized manner. We need to obtain Real-time Data to devise an action plan on how to reduce pollution levels."

Mr. Gopal Rai informed the media that the Delhi government has tied up with Washington University for obtaining Real-Time Data on pollution. "They will release their final report in March this year, after which the Delhi government will be able to induct Real-Time Data to monitor the sources of pollution, and we will be able to measure our actions as well as the impact of these action plans," he said.

Mr. Gopal Rai said that the data obtained from the pollution monitoring centers of the Delhi government show that the pollution levels in Delhi are decreasing significantly. He said, "We have 26 pollution monitoring centers of the Delhi government across various areas in Delhi, out of which six centers were established between 2017-2018, and 20 more were established between 2018-2019. Composition levels of various gases in the air are monitored in these centers. According to the data obtained in these monitoring centers, the average PM10 levels in Delhi were 324 µg/m³ in 2014, 295 µg/m³ in 2015, 303 µg/m³ in 2016, 277 µg/m³ in 2017, 277 µg/m³ in 2018, 230 µg/m³ in 2019.  The average PM2.5 levels in Delhi were 149 µg/m³ in 2014, 133 µg/m³ in 2015, 137 µg/m³ in 2016, 130 µg/m³ in 2017, 128 µg/m³ in 2018 and 112 µg/m³ in 2019."

The 13 hotspots in Delhi where the PM10 and PM2.5 concentration levels are generally higher are Jahangir Puri, Narela, Ashok Vihar, Vivek Vihar, Dwarka, Mundka, Rohini, Wazirpur, Okhla, Bawana, Anand Vihar, Punjabi Bagh, and RK Puram. Mr. Gopal Rai said that it has been observed that the PM10 levels and PM2.5 levels have significantly reduced in all 13 locations.

Another graph shows that the days with fewer pollution levels are increasing, and the days with severe pollution levels are decreasing in numbers.

Mr. Gopal Rai said, "Various measures inducted that have created an impact are the 24-hour power supply in Delhi, which has reduced the use of diesel generators. There has been a considerable increase in tree plantation and greenery, the construction of East-West Peripheral Highway by the central government, the Dilli Ki Diwali Campaign. The Odd-Even campaign of the Delhi government, on the other hand, has sensitized people and impacted their mindsets, which has motivated them to follow the Odd-Even regulations and make the campaign a success."

"The Chief Minister met with all the ministers, secretaries and officials of all the departments yesterday regarding the 10-point agenda of the Delhi government, to develop an action plan of all the departments. For this, we believe that environmental solutions should be treated as a mass movement. It needs the participation of all to fabricate solutions to all the environmental solutions. Second, an action team must be formulated consisting of people from multiple agencies, because all agencies play an important role in this sector," he said.

Delhi Environment Minister informed the media about the major decisions taken in his review meeting with the environment officials. He said, "We have taken four major decisions in this regard. Obtaining Real-Time Data is the first and foremost step in this direction. For that, I will be visiting the headquarters of Washington University near Major Dhyanchand Stadium in Delhi, along with the university scientist headquarter tomorrow at around 1PM to understand the process of obtaining real-time data. Second, STPs have been created by the Delhi Jal Board to detect and monitor the causes of pollution of the Yamuna river. I will also visit the STP plant setup in Delhi Gate to oversee the treatment process and its functioning."

A Roundtable Conference will be held on 27th February in the Delhi Secretariat. He said, "Experts from various NGOs and engineers from various departments will be invited to the conference. We will also incorporate their suggestions in dealing with various pollution issues."

"A joint meeting of all the agencies including MCDs, PWD, DDA, RWAs, etc will be held on 28th February, wherein discussions will be held on how to spearhead the Delhi government's ambitious project of the plantation of around 40 lakh trees in the city. We have already completed the plantation of 25 lakh trees, which has resulted in around a 25 % increase in greenery in Delhi. We will also hold a meeting with the environment ministers of all the other states, especially Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Punjab to discuss various issues related to environmental pollution in Delhi/NCR," said Mr. Gopal Rai. 


Sh. Prakash Javadekar speaking at a curtain raiser event on 13th Conference of Parties (COP) of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) to be held from 17th to 22nd February 2020 at Gandhi Nagar, Gujarat, India. The preCOP meetings will take place on14th and 15th February 2020.  

Sh. Dharmendra Pradhan enlightened Lok Sabha on Environment friendly Production of Steel in India

3rd February 2020, New Delhi:   

The Indian steel industry has over the years, undertaken cost effective and environment friendly production of steel through adoption of state-of-the-art technologies and research. The Indian steel industry is addressing the energy & environment issues through the adoption of energy efficient & environment friendly technologies in the plants through technological  upgradation/ modernisation/ expansion. These measures undertaken by the Indian steel industry have also resulted in improvement in energy efficiency and reduction in Green House Gas (GHG) emission.

While steel companies are themselves addressing the issues, Ministry of Steel has facilitated improvement in the energy & environment scenario of steel plants through various mechanisms. Ministry of Steel is providing financial assistance to the industry, CSIR laboratories & academia for carrying out research in the iron & steel sector. Ministry of Steel has also facilitated adoption of the technologies for harnessing waste heat and reducing carbon footprint in the integrated steel plants in collaboration with Government of Japan. Ministry of Steel has also facilitated adoption of technologies for enhancing energy efficiency and reducing carbon footprint in the smaller steel plants in association with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

There are two training institutes under the administrative control of Ministry of Steel i.e. Biju Patnaik National Steel Institute (BPNSI), Puri, Odisha and National Institute of Secondary Steel Technology (NISST), Mandi Gobindgarh, Punjab. These Institutes conduct short term training, workshops/ seminars in the field of steel technology.

This information was given by the Union Minister for Steel Shri Dharmendra Pradhan in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today.


International Significance of Indian Wetlands

2nd February 2020, New Delhi:   Today is observed as World Wetlands Day 2020. Recently, 10 more Indian wetlands got recognition as Ramsar sites. A Ramsar site is a wetland site designated to be of international importance under the Ramsar Convention. Ramsar identifies wetlands of international importance, especially those providing waterfowl habitat. The sites are recorded on the List of Ramsar wetlands of international importance. Wetlands declared as Ramsar sites are protected under strict guidelines of the convention. 

As 10 more wetland sites from India has been declared as sites of international importance, the numbers of Ramsar sites in India are now 37. Uttar Pradesh, which was earlier having only 1 at Upper Ganga River (Brijghat to Narora Stretch) site has now become the State having maximum of 7 Ramsar sites. The 6 new wetland sites in Uttar Pradesh are Nawabganj, Parvati Agra, Saman, Samaspur, Sandi and SarsaiNawar. Punjab, which already had 3 Ramsar sites, now stands second, with addition of 3 more sites; Keshopur-Miani, Beas Conservation Reserve, Nangal. Maharashtra gets its first Ramsar site as Nandur Madhameshwar, got listed as Ramsar site. Having an area of 4230 square kilometer, the Sundarban Wetland in West Bengal is the largest in India. The total surface area covered by these sites is now 1,067,939 hectares.

This is being treated as an acknowledgement of the efforts taken by the Government of India towards conservation, restoration and rejuvenation of its wetlands. 

Expressing happiness over the announcement, the Union Environment Minister, Shri Prakash Javadekar in a tweet message said that the Ramsar Declaration is an acknowledgement of Government of India’s commitment in achieving the conservation and sustainable use of the important wetlands of the country. 

The Union Minister also said that conservation of wetlands would also go a long way in achieving our Prime Minister’s dream of ‘Nal se Jal’ in each household. The government has recently in July launched the new 'Nal se Jal' scheme, which aims to provide piped water connection to every household by 2024.

Wetlands provide food, water, fibre, and help in groundwater recharge, water purification, flood moderation, erosion control and climate regulation. Wetlands are reckoned as the major source of water and considered to be the key source of freshwater. 

In the Wetland Rules, 2017, wetland has been defined as an area of marsh, fen, peatland or water; whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six meters, but does not include river channels, paddy fields, human-made water bodies/tanks specifically constructed for drinking water purposes and structures specifically constructed for aquaculture, salt production, recreation and irrigation purposes. 

It would be worth noting that recently, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has come out with a set of guidelines in order to support the State Governments and Union Territory (UT) Administrations to implement the earlier notified Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2017. The guidelines uploaded on 6th January 2020 is expected to provide guidance on how to prepare a list of wetlands in the State / UT, on identifying wetlands for notification under Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2017, delineating wetlands, wetlands complexes and zone of influence, preparation of Brief Document, Determining ‘wise use’ and ecological character, developing a list of activities to be regulated and permitted, developing an Integrated Management Plan, constitution and operational matters of the Wetlands Authorities and overlapping provisions. In the last six months, the MoEF&CC has set a four pronged strategy for the restoration of wetlands, which includes preparation of baseline data, wetland health cards, enlisting wetland mitras and the targeted Integrated Management Plans.

The Ramsar Convention signed on February 2, 1971, is one of the oldest inter-governmental accord signed by member countries to preserve the ecological character of their wetlands of international importance. The international treaty, also known as the Convention on Wetlands, was for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands. It is named after the city of Ramsar in Iran, where the Convention was signed. 

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Participation of States is key in solving the water management issues: Gajendra Singh Shekhawat

24th January 2020, New Delhi: Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Hon'ble Union Minister, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Govt of India, today said that now the time has come to focus on supply-side management of water conservation instead of just demand-side management.

While speaking at the 5th edition of India Industry Water Conclave and 7th edition of FICCI Water Awards, organized by FICCI, the Union Minister said that the government also already started adopting the latest technologies in water management. He said that rural areas are not getting covered with 3D aquifer mapping to ensure the exact water level in the area. “We have to ensure as to how we can reduce the water usage, recycle it and re-use it,” added Shri Shekhawat.

He said that the National Groundwater Management Improvement Scheme, (worth Rs 6000 crores), will be supported with financial assistance from World Bank, Rs 3000 crores and remaining by the government through budgetary support.  

He further said that the government has recently launched ‘Atal Bhujal Yojna’ which is a groundwater management scheme and it is based on the participation by all concerned stakeholders. “First time we have initiated a pilot scheme for demand-side management which will cover 400 districts in 7 states”, he added.

The Union Minister said that state participation is key in solving the issue of water management and emphasized the need for adopting best practices that states have already implemented in water conservation. “There is a need to expand the time-tested proven technologies and government is working in that direction,” he said.

Highlighting the role of the corporate sector in water management, Shri Shekhawat said that the government alone cannot solve the issue, hence all stakeholders including the corporate sector should come forward. “I urge the industry to come forward and invest in the hydrological system and can play an active role in promoting wastewater use,” he added.

Shri Parameswaran Iyer, Secretary, Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Govt of India, emphasized on ‘People’s Participation’ and highlighted the government’s focus on the subsidiarity principle and the need for state action. He added that the government has set up an innovation task force to improve the efficiency of water. “Water is very much on the national agenda. Water conservation needs to be managed at the grassroots levels,” he said.

He said that source sustainability will become a critical part of Jal Jeevan Mission. He referred to four principles for water management including political leadership and people participation. He also emphasized the greater focus of the government highlighting the ABCDEF (Alignment, Belief, Communication, Delivery, Experience, Forum) of the implementation.

Shri Upendra Prasad Singh, Secretary, Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Govt of India, urged the industry to play a responsible role in water conservation and reflect on the adoption of traditional practices and source sustainability. He also emphasized on the need for basin authority for effective and efficient water management.

Shri Singh added that the government is serious in ensuring water security but also suggested industry to also contribute to this. He further added that it is important that we create awareness about water literacy in the country.

Ms. Naina Lal Kidwai, Chairman, FICCI Water Mission and Past President, FICCI highlighted the need for a much stronger regulatory framework and also suggested having a national wastewater policy. She also urged for greater corporate stewardship.

“Water use efficiency is a key determinant in addressing both quantity and quality of water and for this, the circular approach towards water needs to be addressed at war footing to utilize water optimally across the industry, agriculture, and urban demands,” Ms. Kidwai added.

Dr. Mihir Shah, Chair, FICCI Water Awards and Chairman of the Government’s Committee to Draft the National Water Policy acknowledged the changing tradition towards the democratization of water and emphasized the need for active participation of primary stakeholders during the formulation of policy and regulatory measures for effective implementation.

Mr. Mukund Vasudevan, Co-chair, FICCI Water Mission, and Managing Director & Country Head, Ecolab also shared his perspective on water management.

The 7th edition of FICCI Water Awards was also given away during the event.

Industrial Water Use Efficiency Category: Arvind Limited was awarded 1st prize in the Industrial Water Use Efficiency Category for its efforts on water-efficient foam dyeing technology, Reverse Osmosis, desalination, and reuse of wastewater, steam condensation and condensate recovery system.

Innovation in Water Technology: SSP Private Limited was awarded 1st prize under the Innovation in Water Technology Category for their innovations on Reverse Osmosis to recover portable water and desalination of brine to recover water and table salt.

Water Initiative by NGO: WASH Institute and Pratiks Enviro Foundation were awarded joint 1st prize under the Water Initiatives by NGO Category. WASH Institute was awarded for its efforts on solid-liquid separation and sludge thickening and effluent treatment. Pratiks Enviro Foundation was awarded for its efforts on the anaerobic and anoxic process and for carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus removal.

Union Minister, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Sh. Gajendra Singh SHekhawat

Union Minister, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Sh. Gajendra Singh SHekhawat

Ozone Depleting Substances (Regulation & Control) Amend. Rules 2019: No import licensing of HCFC141b

22nd January 2020, New Delhi: Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) were widely used in the early 20th century as refrigerants and for making plastic foams producing refrigerators and freezers until research has identified CFCs and HCFCs as the primary Ozone Depleting Substance (ODS). Hydrochlorofluorocarbon-141b, or 1,1-dichloro-1-fluoroethane (HCFC141b) is comparatively new. It was developed as a replacement for fully halogenated chlorofluorocarbons because its residence time in the atmosphere is shorter, and its ozone depleting potential is lower than that of other CFCs & HCFCs. HCFC-141 b is used as a blowing agent in the production of rigid polyurethane (PU) foams. However, scientific studies indicate that at high concentrations HCFC-141b leads to cardiac sensitization, alongside being an ODS. 

Now, India has successfully phased out of HCFC-141 b, completely. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has issued a Gazette Notification bearing S.O. No. 4724(E) dated 31st December 2019, as per the provisions of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. The rule, which may be called as Ozone Depleting Substances (Regulation and Control) Amendment Rules, 2019, prohibits issuance of import license for HCFC-141b with effect from 1st January 2020. Simultaneously, the use of HCFC-141 b by foam manufacturing industry has also been closed as on 1st January, 2020 under the Ozone Depleting Substances (Regulation and Control) Amendment Rules, 2014.

The phase out of HCFC-141b from the country envisages two benefits to the environment. One, assisting the healing of the stratospheric ozone layer, and second, towards the climate change mitigation due to transitioning of foam manufacturing enterprises at this scale under HPMP to low global warming potential alternative technologies. By doing so, India has consciously chosen an environment friendly path in its progressive energy efficient technologies. 

As per the Government, about half of the consumption of ozone depleting chemicals in the country was attributable to HCFC-141 b in the foam sector. The MoEF&CC has adopted a structured approach to engage with foam manufacturing enterprises for providing technical and financial assistance in order to transition to non-ODS and low GWP technologies under HCFC Phase out Management Plan (HPMP). About 175 foam manufacturing enterprises have been covered under HPMP out of which, 163 enterprises are covered under stage II of HPMP. The complete phase out of HCFC 141 b from the country in foam sector is among the first at this scale in Article 5 parties (developing countries) under the Montreal Protocol. The implementation of HPMP through regulatory and policy actions, implementation of technology conversion projects has removed around 7800 Metric Tonnes of HCFC 141-b from the baseline level of 2009 and 2010 of the country.  

The polyurethane (PU) foam sector is linked with important economic sectors related to buildings, cold storages and cold chain infrastructure, automobiles, commercial refrigeration, domestic appliances such as refrigerators, water geysers, thermo ware, office and domestic furniture applications, specific high value niche applications etc. Many large, medium and small enterprises are involved in foam manufacturing sector in India. The Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) play a majority. In order to safeguard the MSMEs from dislocation and for enhancing their capacities in converting to low-GWP non-ODS technologies, training and awareness programmes on non-ODS and low-GWP alternatives to HCFCs including adoption of such alternatives have been organized in close collaboration with Industry. The MSMEs will be provided adequate support for tie-ups with system houses, material testing laboratories, etc., besides other related assistance such as study tours, field visits, etc. 

As a prior effort, the Ozone Cell of MoEF&CC has entered into a MOA with the Central Institute of Plastics Engineering & Technology, Department of Chemicals & Petrochemicals to facilitate and hand-holding foam manufacturing enterprises in transitioning to non-HCFC and low-GWP alternatives. Many technology workshops, field trials, on-site demonstration and support, practical hands on training and product validation are being provided as a part of assistance to the enterprises. 

India has always been reckoned as one amongst the few countries across the globe, and in some cases as a pioneer that has used non-ODS technologies, which also have a low Global Warming Potential (GWP). 

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Your Room AC temp. set by default at 24 deg. C from 1st Jan as per New Energy Performance Standards

All Room Air Conditioners to have Default Temperature Setting of 24°C from 1st January 2020

Change from 20°C to 24°Cwill lead to savings of about 24% of electricity

6th January 2020, Delhi: The 24°C default setting has been made mandatory from 1st January 2020 for all room air conditioners covered under the ambit of BEE star-labelling program vide this notification. The default temperature setting doesn’t mean that AC users will not be able to change the settings and lower the temperature up to 16°C. Default temperature simply means the temperature at which the AC turns on. One can reduce or increase the temperature like always. 

According to reports, very few AC users in India, tweak settings in ACs and mostly run on the default auto mode. This will help people in saving power effortlessly. Also, this will help promote energy and climate awareness among AC users. “It is estimated that by increasing the temperature of room by 1°C, we can save about 6% of electricity. Typically, room temperature is set between 20-21°C whereas, as per standard comfort conditions, ideal temperature is 24-25°C. Considering change from 20°C to 24°C, there is potential to increase at least 4 degrees Celsius, which will lead to savings of about 24% of electricity,” Ministry of Power explained.

The Central Government in consultation with the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) has notified new energy performance standards for Room Air Conditioner (RACs) on 30th October 2019.BEE is a statutory body under the Ministry of Power, Government of India that assists in developing policies and strategies with the primary objective of reducing the energy intensity of the Indian economy.

Additionally, the Indian Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (ISEER) as per the new standards will range from (3.30 - 5.00) for split and (2.70 – 3.50) for window air conditioners, which will be applicable from 1st January 2021 onwards.

The notification states, “All brands and types of star labelled room air conditioners, namely, Multi-Stage Capacity Air Conditioners, Unitary Air Conditioners and Split Air Conditioners which are rated from one star to five star, based on their relative energy efficiencies up to a rated cooling capacity of 10,465 Watts (9,000 kcal/hour) and manufactured, commercially purchased or sold in India, shall ensure default setting of temperature in the room air conditioners at 24°C with effect from the 1st January 2020.”

BEE launched the voluntary star labelling program for fixed-speed room air conditioners (RACs) in 2006, and this program became mandatory on 12th January 2009. Thereafter, in 2015, voluntary star labelling program for inverter room air conditioners was launched and which was made mandatory with effect from 1st January 2018.  The BEE star labelling program for Room Air Conditioners now covers both fixed and inverter RAC up to a cooling capacity of 10,465 watts (2.97 TR). Continual enhancement in performance levels has resulted in substantial energy efficiency improvement of about 43% in the minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) for split units, which are the most popular RACs sold in the market. ISEER (Indian Seasonal Energy efficiency ratio) is the energy performance index used for Room Air Conditioners (RACs) and its assessment is based on the bin hours defined in ISO 16358. 

Swarna Jayanti Fellowships Awards 2018-19 for Scientists working on Clean Environment & Water Saving

Swarna Jayanti Fellowships have been awarded to 14 Scientists on 2nd January 2020. The Scientists are associated with projects containing innovative research ideas and with potential of making impact on research and development in the respective disciplines. The scientists, selected for the award through a rigorous three-tier process, will be allowed to pursue unfettered research with freedom and flexibility. 

Dr. Jitender Giri from National Institute of Plant Genome Research is interested in understanding molecular regulation of low phosphate adaptations with focus on finding novel genes and understanding their functions in cellular signaling. His proposed work includes generating new rice varieties with improved P-use-efficiency & low water requirements.

Dr. Kanishka Biswas from Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bengaluru works on Renewable Energy & Clean Environmental solutions. He aims to design and synthesize new lead free inorganic solids, which will possess ultra-low thermal conductivity and high thermoelectric performance and are expected to be nearly maintenance free and environmental friendly. They can also be used in waste heat recovery and in electricity generation.

The Swarna Jayanti Fellowships scheme was instituted by Government of India to commemorate India's fiftieth year of independence. Under this scheme, a selected number of young scientists, with proven track record, are provided special assistance and support to enable them to pursue basic research in frontier areas of science and technology.

The awardees are supported by Department of Science & Technology, for fellowship and research. This will cover all the requirements for performing the research and include a fellowship of Rs 25,000/- per month as well as a research grant of 5 lakh Rupees for 5 years in addition to their salary.  Out of the 443 applicants, 14 scientists have been finally selected this time for this scientist specific fellowship. 


Govt of India sanctions 2636 EV Charging Stations in 62 Cities acorss 24 States/UTs

3rd January 2020, New Delhi: In a major thrust to clean mobility in Road Transport sector, the Department of Heavy Industries has sanctioned 2636 charging stations in 62 cities across 24 States/UTs under FAME India (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles in India) scheme phase II.  Out of these 2636 charging stations, 1633 Charging Stations will be Fast Charging Stations and 1003 will be slow charging stations. With this, about 14000 Charging Stations will be installed across the selected cities. 

A maximum of 317 EV charging stations have been allotted in Maharashtra. Further, 266 in Andhra Pradesh, 256 in Tamil Nadu, 228 in Gujarat, 205 in Rajasthan, 207 in Uttar Pradesh, 172 in Karnataka, 159 in Madhya Pradesh, 141 in West Bengal, 138 in Telangana, 131 in Kerala, 72 in Delhi, 70 in Chandigarh, 50 in Haryana, 40 in Meghalaya, 37 in Bihar, 29 in Sikkim, 25 each in Jammu & Kashmir and Chhattisgarh, 20 in Assam, 18 in Odisha and 10 each in Uttarakhand, Puducherry and Himachal Pradesh. 

The Minister of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises, Shri Prakash Javadekar said that in future at least one charging station will be available in most of the selected cities in a grid of 4 Km X 4 km. He said it will boost the confidence of users of Electric Vehicles and also encourage the OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) to launch the new electric vehicle models due to the lack of charging infrastructure.


Atal Bhujal Yojana launched by Prime Minister

Drinking water through taps will be provided to every household: Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat 

Atal Bhujal Yojana will be implemented through Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) in 8350 villages in seven States

25 December 2019, New Delhi:  On the Birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi launched Atal Bhujal Yojana (ATAL JAL), in an event held in New Delhi on 25th December 2019. Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi highlighted that the subject of water was very important to Atal ji and very close to his heart. Our Government is striving to implement his vision. Atal Jal Yojana or the guidelines related to the Jal Jeevan Mission, are big steps in proving the resolve to deliver water to every household in the country by 2024, the PM added. He said that this water crisis is worrying for us as a family, as a citizen and as a country also it affects development. New India has to prepare us to deal with every situation of water crisis. For this, we are working together on five levels. 

The Prime Minister emphasized that Jal Shakti Ministry freed the water out of Compartmentalized Approach and laid stress on a Comprehensive and Holistic Approach. In this monsoon, we have seen how extensive efforts have been made for water conservation on behalf of the society, from the Jal Shakti Ministry. He said that on one hand, Jal Jeevan Mission, will work towards delivering piped water supply to every house, and on the other hand Atal Jal Yojana, will pay special attention to those areas where groundwater is very low. Shri Modi said that a provision has been made in the Atal Jal Yojana, in which better performing gram panchayats, will be given more allocation. He said that in 70 years, only 3 crore out of 18 crore rural households have access to piped water supply. Now our Government has set the target to deliver clean drinking water to 15 crore homes in the next five years through pipes.

Prime Minister Modi deliberated that water-related schemes should be made according to the situation at every village level. This has been taken care while making the guidelines of the Jal Jeevan Mission, he added. He also said that both Union and State Governments will spend Rs 3.5 lakh crore on water related schemes in the next 5 yrs. He requested the people of every village to make a water action plan and create a water fund. Farmers should make a water budget where groundwater is very low.

The Union Minister for Jal Shakti, Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, in his address said that under Atal Bhujal Yojana, the government is committed to provide safe drinking water to every household in the country. He further said that largely we are dependent on ground water and it is fulfilling 85% of drinking water requirements in the country. There is every need to take steps to increase the ground water level, he added.

A total outlay of Rs. 6000 crore to be implemented over a period of 5 years (2020-21 to 2024-25), out of which 50% shall be in the form of World Bank loan, and be repaid by the Central Government. The remaining 50% shall be through Central Assistance from regular budgetary support. The entire World Bank's loan component and Central Assistance shall be passed on to the States as Grants.

The Minister of State for Jal Shakti, Social Justice & Empowerment, Shri Rattan Lal Kataria and other dignitaries were present on the occasion. 


10th Water Talk organized by National Water Mission

21st December 2019, New Delhi:  The National Water Mission, Ministry of Jal Shakti organized 10th Water Talk, yesterday, at Ambedkar International Centre, New Delhi. 

Dr. Mihir Shah, an Indian Economist and former member of the erstwhile Planning Commission and an expert on water and rural development, gave a insightful presentation on various aspects of water management. Dr. Shah, who is also involved in the reshaping of National Water Policy, stressed upon considering water as an infrastcucture. Dr. Shah also raised the point that in a country like India, which consumes 90% of water in agriculture should have agronomists in appropriate positions in the departments looking into water.

Shri U.P. Singh, Secretary, Do WR, RD & GR, MoJS apprised the gathering about the interventions being made by the Ministry.  Shri Singh along with Dr. Mihir Shah also interacted with the audience in the questionnaire session.