Odisha plans real-time pollution monitoring stations in mineral-rich areas

For monitoring of environmental quality in mineral-bearing areas, the Odisha government has drawn up a proposal for installing monitoring stations.

The State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) has identified eight mineral-rich districts for monitoring pollution by installing online continuous ambient air quality monitoring stations (CAAQMS) and continuous river water quality monitoring stations (CRWQMS) with real-time data transmission systems.

The identified districts are Angul, Sundargarh, Keonjhar, Rayagada, Jharsuguda, Koraput, Mayurbhanj and Jajpur.

In this regard, the board has submitted a proposal to the Odisha Mineral Bearing Area Development Corporation (OMBADC), a special purpose vehicle (SPV) formed by the state government following the Supreme Court order to carry out developmental activities in mineral-rich regions of the state.

While CAAQMS are proposed to be set up in six locations, CRWQMS will be installed in Rayagada and Jajpur.

Occupying an important position on the country’s map, the state’s rich mineral reserves constitute 28 per cent of India’s total deposits of iron ore, 24 per cent of its coal, 59 per cent of its bauxite and 98 per cent of its chromite reserves.

The state’s comparative advantage on this account has attracted the attention of many mining and metallurgical companies.

OMBADC’s objective is to improve social infrastructure such as provision of drinking water, sanitation, livelihood promotion, irrigation, skill development for alternative livelihood and supplementary income in the mineral-bearing areas. Besides, environmental upgradation, construction of roads, anganwadi centres, power supply infrastructure, health services, development of sports and other activities would also form part of the action plan. The task of the corporation is separate from the District Mineral Foundation concept introduced by the new Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation (MMDR) Act.

Courtesy: Business Standard

Govt now set to bypass tribal rights to fast-track mining projects

Environment ministry says consent of tribals and settlement of land rights are not required at the time of giving initial go-ahead to projects coming up on tribals’ traditional land

The Union environment ministry has eased the process for granting ‘forest clearance’ to fast-track mining and other industrial projects that fall on the traditional land of tribal people. Such projects will now not require consent of the tribal communities at the primary stage of their approval by the ministry. FRA-news-20-12-2018

Courtesy: Business Standard

NGT orders reopening of Vedanta copper plant in Tamil Nadu’s Thoothukudi

The National Green Tribunal has set aside the Tamil Nadu Government’s order closing down the Vedanta-owned Sterlite Copper factory in Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu.

The Tribunal has also directed the state pollution control board to renew a key licence, Consent To Operate, and remove other hurdles subject to fulfilment of certain conditions, within three weeks from now. Read more

Courtesy: The Economic Times

‘States must raise voice for conserving Western Ghats’

“Even though various committees appointed by central government including Kasturirangan committee has recommended declaration of 57,000 sq km area as ecologically sensitive zone, it has not been implemented by successive governments,” said Kalidasan. WG is put under severe stress and water availability in future would depend on how effectively the issue is addressed, he said adding WG is the only source of water for south India. Read more

Courtesy: The Times of India

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