Delhi Current Affairs

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National Green Tribunal Bans Open Defecation and Waste Dumping on Yamuna Floodplains

A Bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar has banned open defecation and waste dumping on the floodplains of the Yamuna. It has also slapped an environment compensation of Rs 5,000 for people who violated the order. Apart from this, the NGT has also constituted a committee under the head of Delhi Jal Board CEO to oversee the cleaning works of the river and ordered it to submit reports at regular intervals.

The tribunal has also ordered the Delhi government and the municipal corporations to immediately take action against those polluting industries which function in residential areas. These industries are held as the major source of pollution to the river.

NGT’s above orders were issued after hearing a plea on the monitoring of execution of the ‘Maili se Nirmal Yamuna Revitalisation Project 2017’.

Background

The NGT on May 1 ordered the inspection of the sewage treatment plants (STP) to make sure that the effluents are treated before it got released into Yamuna. Almost 67% of the wastewater reaching Yamuna are to be treated under the STPs set up under Phase 1 of the ‘Maili se Nirmal Yamuna Revitalisation Project 2017’. Out of the total 14 STP projects that are to be built for treating wastewater, seven STP projects will be built by the Delhi Jal Board with its own funds.
The central government had sanctioned the Yamuna Action Plan (YAP)-I and YAP-II schemes for the states of Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. YAP-III projects which are to be completed by December 2018 has been introduced in Delhi with financial assistance from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The project involves works like sewerage/interception and diversion of drains, sewage treatment plants, low-cost sanitation and community toilet complexes, electric and improved wood crematoria among others.

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Environment Ministry notifies Graded Response Action Plan to combat air pollution in NCR

The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has notified the Graded Response Action Plan to combat air pollution in NCR Delhi region.

In this regard, MoEFCC amended laws and formally tasked a Supreme Court-appointed panel with implementing a graded action plan for pollution control.

Key Facts
  • Graded Response Action Plan defines the measures to taken based on air quality on the basis of PM 2.5 and PM 10 in the Air Pollution Gradesatmosphere.
  • Based on the air quality the grades have been classified as Emergency, Severe, Very Poor and Moderate poor. It will be enforced by Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA).
  • Under this plan eemergency measures will be automatically enforced in NCR if level of PM2.5 breaches 300 micrograms per cubic metre (µgm/m3) and PM10 levels stay above 500 (µgm/m3)for two consecutive days.
  • The plan recommends measures like odd-even car rationing scheme and ban on construction activities to combat air pollution.
  • During ‘very poor’ air quality, it recommends banning diesel generators and parking fee increased by three to four times.
  • It also lists a number of other measures such as closing brick kilns, stone crushers, hot mix plants and intensifying public transport services and increasing the frequency of mechanised cleaning and sprinkling of water on roads.

For enforcement of the action plan, the Union Government has assigned the task of implementation of the Graded Response Action Plan to the EPCA (Environment Pollution Control Authority) in pursuance of sub-section (1) of section 3 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 (29 of 1986).

Background

The Delhi specific comprehensive action plan was prepared by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and was submitted to the Supreme Court in December 2016. The court had accepted the plan and asked the Union Government to notify it.

Particulate Matter (PM): They are tiny particles of dust which can cause very serious respiratory disorders and even damage the lungs.

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NGT orders inspection of biomedical waste plants

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has ordered inspection of plants which treat waste in the hospitals of the National Capital Delhi and ensure proper segregation, collection and disposal of such waste.

The waste plants will be inspected by joint inspection team of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC).

The NGT also directed the team to submit report about manner in which bio-medical waste was being handled by hospitals and situation prevailing in medical institutions adversely affecting human health and environment.

Earlier the tribunal had asked hospitals and clinics to ensure proper collection, segregation and disposal of bio-medical waste.

What is Bio-medical waste?
  • Bio-medical waste is any solid or liquid waste including its container and any intermediate product generated during the diagnosis, treatment or immunization of human beings or animals or research activities.
  • Biomedical waste poses hazard due to two principal reasons – toxicity and infectivity. Bio Medical waste consists of human anatomical waste like organs, tissues and body parts, waste sharps like hypodermic needles, syringes, scalpels and broken glass, discarded medicines and cytotoxic drugs, liquid waste from any of infected areas etc.
  • In 2016, the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests had issued new Bio-medical Waste Management Rules, 2016 for proper discarding of the bio-medical waste.
  • In India, total bio-medical waste generated is 484 tonnes per day (TPD) from 1,68,869 healthcare facilities (HCF), out of which 447 TPD is treated.

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