Environment

NGT forms panel to dispose sand on Yamuna riverbed

National Green Tribunal (NGT) has constituted a committee to weigh and dispose around 70,000 cubic metre of sand and clay lying on the riverbed of Yamuna at Wazirabad and Jagatpur bund areas in New Delhi.

This decision was taken by a bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swantanter Kumar after Delhi Jal Board (DJB) had informed NGT regarding disposing of sand and clay lying on the river bed to contractors which was banned earlier.

Guidelines set by NGT bench

  • The committee will deposit entire earning from this sand and clay with DJB.
  • Mining in the name of dredging will be carried out by any of the respondents till the next date of hearing on January 27, 2015.
  • The royalty would be computed on actual content of clay and sand in the dredging material.

Background
Earlier, NGT had completely banned sand mining in the name of dredging on Yamuna River at the two sites. This decision was taken after a petition seeking a complete ban on illegal sand mining in New Delhi without obtaining environmental clearance.

About National Green Tribunal

  • National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 (NGT) is a federal legislation enacted by the Parliament of India, under India’s constitutional provision of Article 21, which assures the citizens of India the right to a healthy environment.
  • The tribunal itself is a special fast-track court to handle the expeditious disposal of the cases pertaining to environmental issues.

Bangladesh oil spill disaster threatens wildlife in Sundarbans forest

Bangladesh’s oil spill disaster is considered as ecological catastrophe which may threaten rare dolphins, other wildlife species and world’s largest mangrove forests in the Sundrban’s.

Oil spill disaster: The tanker carrying an estimated 350,000 litres of furnace oil partly sank in the Sundarban’s Shela River after it collided with another vessel.

These oil slicks have spread over a 60 kilometre-long area and have entered into another river as well as a network of canals in the vast Sundarbans delta which comprises a network of rivers and canals straddling Bangladesh and India.

Environmental Impact

This disaster may be considered as an ecological catastrophe and can destroy the delicate ecology of the Sundarbans – a UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site.

Sundrban has world’s largest mangrove forest which is home to wide range of fauna, including 260 bird species, the Bengal tiger and other threatened species such as the estuarine crocodile and the Indian python. It is also home to the rare Irrawaddy dolphin.

The oil spills has already blackened the shoreline and started degrading the water quality, threatening trees, plankton, vast populations of small fishes.

Rare Irrawaddy dolphin may be the first victim of this oil spill as the thick layer of oil on the surface of the river may cut down the dissolved oxygen, leading to suffocation of these dolphins  due to lack of oxygen.

It may even threaten Sunderban tigers as there feed on herbivores animals like deer and other are going to suffer from oil spill as their vegetation may be covered by a thick layer of oil and rinse into the soil once the water recedes during the tides.

Typhoon Hagupit approaches Philippines

Typhoon Hagupit has approached Philippines and has made landfall in the town of Dolores in the eastern Philippines with terrifying winds and intense rain pounding in the eastern part.

The powerful storm from the typhoon which has its origin from the Pacific Ocean crashed into the remote fishing communities of Samar Island with wind gusts of 210 km/hr. Almost 7 lakh people were evacuated before the typhoon. United Nations has mentioned it as one of the world’s biggest peacetime evacuations.

Typhoo Hagupit is expected to make five landfalls as it crosses the Philippines before leaving the country by 10th December 2014.

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