States Current Affairs

Diu Smart City: First to run on 100% Renewable Energy during daytime

Diu Smart City has become first city in India to run on 100% renewable energy during daytime. With this, it has set new benchmark for other cities to become clean and green.

Diu was importing 73% of its power from Gujarat until last year. But now it has adopted two-pronged approach to reduce dependence on Gujarat for power requirements through renewable energy.

Key Facts

The two approaches include 9 MW solar park spread over 50 hectares rocky barren land and installing of solar panels on roof tops on 79 government buildings thereby generating 1.3 MW annually.  To further enhance its solar capacity, Diu has been offering its residents subsidy of Rs 10, 000 to Rs. 50,000 for installing 1-5KW roof top solar panels.

With these renewable energy initiatives, the UT has been saving about 13,000 tonnes of carbon emissions every year. Moreover, due to low-cost solar energy, power tariffs have been cut by 10% in 2017 and 15% in 2018 in residential category.

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Sunderban Reserve Forest to get Ramsar site status

West Bengal government has given its approval to State Forest Department to apply for coveted Ramsar Site recognition under Ramsar Convention to Sunderban Reserve Forest. Now, State Forest Department through Central Government will apply to Ramsar Convention Secretariat.

Key Facts

Once it is conferred Ramsar site status, Sundarbans Reserve Forest will be largest protected wetland in the country. There are currently 26 sites in India recognised as Ramsar wetland sites of international importance, including East Kolkata Wetlands in West Bengal. Sunderban Reserve Forest is spread across 4,260 sq. km. with over 2,000 sq. km. of mangrove forests and creeks making it ideal site of wetland. The status wetland of international importance under Ramsar Convention will help in conservation of Sunderban (already World Heritage Site) which is facing threat from climate change and rising sea level.

About Sundarbans

Sundarbans is vast contiguous mangrove forest ecosystem in the coastal region of Bay of Bengal spread across India and Bangladesh. It covers approximately 10,000 square kilometres of area of which 60% is in Bangladesh and remaining in India. It is located in delta region of Padma, Meghna and Brahmaputra river basins. It is the largest tidal halophytic mangrove forest in the world. It was recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. Sundarban forests are known for its self- Royal Bengal Tiger and other numerous species of animals, including Chital Deer, Crocodile and Snakes. It is facing threat from climate change and rise in sea level. It also faces threat from widespread construction and clearing of mangrove forests for fisheries.

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