Chhattisgarh Current Affairs - 2020

Ministry of Power unveils World’s Largest Street Light Programme

The Union Ministry of Power unveiled world’s largest street light replacement programme in South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) area.

It is implemented under LED based Street Lighting National Programme (SLNP) by the Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a joint venture under the Union Ministry of Power.

Key Facts
  • Under SLNP, 2 lakh street light will be replaced with LED lights in SDMC area. It will result in cumulative annual energy savings of 2.65 crore kWh and daily reduction of 22,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases.
  • The programme will provide benefits to the residents of SDMC area as it would lead to a reduction in dark spots and increased security.
  • It will result in cumulative savings of Rs. 135 crores in next 7 years and Rs. 50 crores per annum. Thus, help in investment in social development initiatives and that too without any extra money.
  • Besides EESL Complaint App for SDMC was also launched. It will allow users can now lodge complaints about faulty street lights.

About LED based Street Lighting National Programme (SLNP)

  • The programme aims to install LED bulbs street-lighting across different cities in the country. The LED lights will replace inefficient lamps.
  • The initiative is part of the Government’s efforts to spread the message of energy efficiency in the country. It will result in energy savings and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
  • It is presently running in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Tripura, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Goa, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan.
  • Note: LED bulbs have a very long life, almost 50 times more than ordinary bulbs, and 8-10 times that of CFLs, and provide both energy and cost savings in the medium term.

Parliamentary committee report highlights alarming rise in forest fires

According to report submitted by Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, there is alarming rise in forest fires across India.

It says that the number of forest fires have touched 24,817 in 2016 from 15,937 fires in 2015. It shows alarming rise 55% in the past year.

The report primarily focuses on the prevention and containing of fires in the Himalayan forests spread across Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir.

Findings of Committee
  • There is increase in forest fires is seen even though 2015 was considered a drought year. But there is decline in frequency of forest fires by around 16%.
  • The three central States Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha contribute a third of the forest fires.
  • Madhya Pradesh has seen a nearly ten-fold increase in forest fires, from just 294 in 2015 to more than 2,600 in 2016.
  • In Himachal and Uttarakhand, over 17,502 acres have been ravaged in 2016 due to forest fires, a rise of over 171%.
  • Large number of posts of front line forest staff were lying vacant, while fire-fighting equipment is rudimentary in many cases.
Recommendations
  • National policy on managing forest fires must be framed.
  • Replacing pine reserve forests areas with “broad-leaf” plants.
  • Procurement of sweeping machines to clear roadsides of Chir pine needles.
  • Advocating large-scale incentives and programmes (including under MNREGA) to collect pines for use as fuel, and other incineration.
Background

The committee was formed after a series of devastating forest fires earlier in the year 2016 including the prolonged one that had charred 4,000 hectares of forest land across 13 districts of Uttarakhand in May 2016. The committee was headed by Rajya Sabha MP Renuka Choudhary.