Environment Current Affairs - 2020

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“APNA UREA-SonaUgle” brand of HURL launched-To increase Urea Production

The APNA UREA-SonaUgle brand of HURL (Hindustan Urvarak & Rasayan Limited) was launched by the Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers Shri D V Sadananda Gowda.

Recent developments in Urea Production

In order to make India self-sufficient in Urea, the Union Government approved revival of three Urea plants located in Sindri, Gorakhpur and Barauni. The other two major fertilizer plants at Talcher and Ramagundam are also to be reopened. With these measures GoI projects that the annual production of Urea is to increase by 63.5 lakh metric tonnes per annum.

What is HURL?

HURL is a joint venture of Indian Maharatna companies namely IOCL (Indian Oil Corporation Limited), NTPC (National Thermal Power Corporation) and Coal India Limited. The objective of HURL is to make India self-reliant in Urea. The following are the targets set for HURL

  • Revival of three Urea plants by 2021
  • Increase neem coated urea production capacity to 38.1 lakh metric tonnes per annum
  • To start operations of energy efficient and environment friendly natural gas-based fertilizer plants by 2021. The feedstock (Natural Gas) is to be supplied by GAIL.

Current Scenario of Urea Production

According to National Urea Policy 2015, there are totally 31 Urea producing plants in India. Out of these, 28 units Natural Gas as feedstock. The rest of the units use Naphtha as feedstock.

Concerns

The production of urea is water consuming process. The current annual water consumption of urea manufacturing plants as of June 2019 is 191 million cubic metres. Some of the urea plants in India are yet to abide the 2003 Corporate Responsibility for Environment Protection Guidelines, 2003 that was issued by CPCB (Central Pollution Control Board).

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Swachh- Nirmal Tat Abhiyaan

Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) is undertaking a mass cleanliness-cum-awareness drive in 50 identified beaches under the programme called ‘Swachh- Nirmal Tat Abhiyaan’, from 11 -17 November 2019.

About Swachh- Nirmal Tat Abhiyaan

Objective: To strive to make coastal areas across country clean, and to create awareness amongst citizens about the importance of coastal ecosystems so as to save marine creatures from plastic waste, industrial effluents and other harmful substances.

Environment Education Division of the MoEFCC and Society of Integrated Coastal Management (SICOM) under the aegis of Ministry will be responsible for the overall coordination for drive in 50 beaches. Respective State Governments and Central Ministries will also be actively participating in beach cleaning drives.

Identified Beaches: Government has identified beaches in 10 coastal States/Union Territories (UTs) after the consultation with respective States/UTs. These are in- Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Puducherry, Goa, Karnataka, Gujarat, Daman & Diu, and Maharashtra.

Participants: The cleaning drives undertaken in all beaches will involve institutions, school/college students of Eco-clubs, volunteers, district administration, local communities among others.

State Nodal Agencies for Eco-clubs will facilitate the week long intensive cleanliness drive in all 10 States/UTs. Nodal teachers from respective Eco-clubs will be present at the sites during entire cleanliness drive. To monitor the implementation of the drive, Environment Ministry officials have also been deputed.

Beach cleaning activities: A minimum of one Kilometre stretch of the beach shall be identified for beach cleaning activity in which will be a duration of two hours will be spent on daily basis. At about 15 identified beaches, beach sand cleaning machines shall also be deployed. Thereafter collected waste will be processed as per extant Waste Management Rules, 2016.

On completion of the cleanliness drive, best three beaches will be suitably awarded along with a Certificate of Appreciation for all the participating Eco-clubs.

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