Jammu & Kashmir Current Affairs

First project under Prime Minister’s Ladakh Renewable Energy Initiative commissioned

The Union New and Renewable Energy Ministry has commissioned 1.5 MW Small Hydro Power (SHP) Plant in Biaras Drass, Kargil area of Jammu & Kashmir. It is first project to be commissioned under Prime Minister’s Ladakh Renewable Energy Initiative.

Key Facts

The Biaras SHP project was developed by Kargil Renewable Energy Development Agency (KREDA) under Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC). It will power Drass town in Kargil, which is one of coldest places in India.

Power from it will be sufficient to meet normal power requirement of about 1000 families, which would make them comfortable in extreme winter season. Such projects will be able to replace use of diesel to great extent at least for about 8 months in year and reduce greenhouse emissions in region.

Prime Minister’s Ladakh Renewable Energy Initiative

It aims to minimize dependence on diesel in Ladakh region to meet power requirement by diverting to local renewable sources. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is implementing project.

The approach is to meet power requirements through small/micro hydel and solar photovoltaic power projects and use solar thermal systems for water heating/space heating/cooking requirements. It also envisages setting up of 10 solar photovoltaic power plants in defence establishments.

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IUNC to declare Kashmir’s Red Stag as Critically Endangered

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is going to declare the Kashmiri Red Stag (also known as Hangul) as a Critically Endangered species.

The critically endangered status to the Kashmiri Red Stag will help it to get more protection and enhance the conservation efforts to increase its rapidly declining population.

About Kashmiri Red Stag

  • The Kashmir Stag or Hangul is a subspecies of elk native to India.
  • Earlier it was believed that it is a subspecies of red deer. But mitochondrial DNA genetic studies have revealed that it is part of the Asian clade of elk.
  • It is found in dense riverine forests in the high valleys and mountains of Kashmir Valley and northern Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh.
  • As per Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) nearly 3000 to 5000 Hanguls existed around the 1940s.
  • But at present, only about 150 of them survive within its last bastion in Dachigam National Park located on foothills of Zabarwan range on the outskirts of Srinagar, J&K.
  • Protection status: It has been listed under Schedule-I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and J&K Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1978. It also has been listed among the top 15 species of high conservation priority by the Central Government.
  • Reasons for decline in population: (i) habitat destruction, (ii) over-grazing by domestic livestock, and (iii) poaching.

About International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

  • The IUCN is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental organisation working in the field of nature conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.
  • It was founded in 1948. It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • It is a leading non-governmental authority on the environment and sustainable development. It is also involved in data gathering and analysis, research, field projects, advocacy, lobbying and education.
  • IUCN is best known to the wider public for compiling and publishing the IUCN Red List, which assesses the conservation status of species worldwide.

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