In a move to save the riverbanks of the Yamuna and the Hindon from encroachment, India’s National Green Tribunal (NGT), on Monday imposed a blanket ban on construction activities on the floodplains of UP, Delhi and Haryana besides ordering the three states to demolish illegal structures in the eco sensitive area.
These directions from a tribunal bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar were in response to a petition filed by Ghaziabad-based green activists fighting for the liberation of the two rivers from the clutches of illegal occupiers. “Wherever unauthorized and illegal constructions have been raised, steps should be taken to demolish it,” the order said.
The NGT also asked the three states for maps showing the extent of encroachment of these riverbanks over the last 25 years. The order binds all authorities of the police, irrigation, environment and PWD departments to ensure compliance. The tribunal has observed that constructions on floodplains not only affects the natural flow of the river but even causes environment problems besides raising risk to human life and property.
A British study points to rapidly diminishing gene pools to say that despite rising numbers, the Indian Tiger continues to face the threat of extinction.
The growth in the number of Indian tigers in itself does not guarantee their future, says a study released on Saturday. According to scientists in Cardiff University in Wales who authored the report, the big cats remain in peril because their gene pool has fallen sharply over years, leading to a “collapse in the variety of mating partners”.
The researchers point out that the number of Indian tigers fell from 40,000 to less than 1800 in just 100 years of mechanized trophy hunting during the British Raj. Now, an unprecedented comparison of the genetic pool of modern tigers with those shot in the Raj years shows a shocking 93 per cent decline in DNA strains.
Alongside the size of tiger territory has fallen by more than 50% during in the last three generations and now mating only occurs in 7% of its historical territory, according to the latest research.
Greenpeace activists were on Wednesday violently removed from the entrance of the Delhi’s power minister Haroon Yusuf’s residence. The activists were peacefully protesting against Delhi’s zero performance on its renewable energy targets as highlighted in the Greenpeace report “Powering Ahead with Renewables: Leaders and Laggards”.
Greenpeace activists had blocked Haroon Yusuf’s residence by placing solar panels at the entrance and chained themselves to it. The activists demanded to meet Haroon Yusuf and that he commits to a policy on renewables energising Delhi.
After persistent demand by activists, Yusuf finally agreed to meet them and accepted the solar panels but was non committal on timeline for strong policy on renewables. He did, however, agree to forward the Greenpeace report and recommendations to Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission for future action.
The solar panels displayed a message that urged the power minister to ‘Switch on the Sun’. The 2.3 KW panels can light up Yusuf’s house meeting most of its energy demands. The activists handed over the panels to Haroon Yusuf to emphasise that he should also look at using solar to power Delhi homes and commercial establishments using their rooftops.
Scientists at The National Institute of Agricultural Botany in Cambridge claim to have developed a new type of 'superwheat' which could boost yields by 30 per cent.
The new strain combines an ancient ancestor of wheat with a modern variety. In early trials, the resulting crop seemed bigger and stronger than the current modern wheat varieties, 'BBC News' reported.
Researchers said it will take at least five years of tests and regulatory approval before the wheat reaches the farms. According to the report, one in five of all the calories consumed round the world come from wheat. However, despite steady improvement in the late 20th century, the last 15 years have seen little growth in the average wheat yields.
Around 10,000 years ago wheat evolved from goat grass and other primitive grains, the report said.
Scientists used cross-pollination and seed embryo transfer technology to transfer some of the resilience of the ancient ancestor of wheat into modern varieties. The process required no genetic modification of the crops.
In a move to promote energy efficiency, the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco), which is in the eye of a public storm over unprecedented load shedding, plans to supply fluorescent lamps (CFL) to hut dwellers in exchange for conventional incandescent bulbs.
The State government has released Rs. 14.6 crore to fully fund the scheme that will cover 11.4 lakh hutments and seven lakh connections across Tamil Nadu in its first phase over four months.
The officials will give one CFL free of cost to each dweller in lieu of a 40-watt bulb. Each lamp will last 6,000 hours and carry a one-year warranty. Tangedco has identified a Kolkata-based firm for the supply of the 9 watt lamps at the rate of Rs 60 a piece. The executing agency is expected to be chosen in about a month.
To identify the beneficiaries in the absence of a reliable database, Tangedco will implement the scheme with the help of local councilors and wiremen.