The administration today reviewed the ongoing water crisis at a meeting attended by district sub-divisional officer K.K. Prabhat and heads of civic bodies and corporate houses.

- Adityapur Municipal Council bleeds as transporters evade tax

Jamshedpur, April 28: On the banks of Kharkai, a row of trucks wait for their turn to get loaded. Sand is what they carry. Sometimes the consignment is authorised, but more often it

Supply-requirement gap shoots up to 10 MGD in peak summer

HOJAI, March 3

HERALD REPORTER

MARGAO, JAN 20
Thanks to the High Court directives, the Margao Municipal Council has decided to start collection of bio-medical waste from the city

Jan. 16: The Centre has issued draft notification to rationalise Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification 2006, in an effort to bring in more transparency and efficacy.

Promoters will soon have to make public the terms of environmental clearance to enable monitoring by citizens. This will increase societal vigil of projects affecting the environment.

Solan, September 15

Not caring two hoots about the High Court

Thane's notorious water scarcity crisis might be on its way to becoming even worse with the Thane Municipal Council announcing that the first phase of its proposed water supply project is running behind schedule by a month. The civic body missed the March 31 deadline and it was expected that the authorities would meet the April 15 deadline. Now the masses and their representatives will have to wait till May 12 to see if the revised deadline is met or not. Till then, Thane citizens have no choice but to suffer the water scarcity.

INTERNATIONAL Finance Corporation (IFC) will soon start providing assistance to municipal bodies in carrying out energy audits (details of energy availability and consumption). Based on these audits, the corporation will provide financial assistance to energy-saving companies working with municipal bodies. IFC would also provide technical assistance to municipal entities in floating energy tenders. "We are in talks with more than 200 municipalities across the country. IFC would be providing these municipalities assistance in energy audits. IFC would also provide financial support to energysaving companies if they are not being completely supported by the municipal corporations,' IFC chief investment officer (south Asia) Anita Marangoly George told ET. IFC, a World Bank arm, has prepared a new manual in association with the Bureau of Energy Efficiency and Alliance to Save Energy to bring out the energy audits. IFC claims 20-30% of India's energy requirements could be addressed if municipalities adopt the energysaving mechanisms suggested in the new manual. IFC would provide support to the municipalities throughout the bidding process for bringing the energy audits as well as awarding contracts to the energy-saving companies for the implementation of energy-saving techniques in the towns.

The state government has imposed curbs on "sale, purchase and change of character' of plots within the East Calcutta Wetlands, off EM Bypass, to prevent unauthorised construction and other activities that are harmful for its ecology. The order specifying the curbs was issued on February 29 by M.L.Meena, the principal secretary in the state environment department and member-secretary of East Calcutta Wetlands Authority. It came into force immediately. The wetlands, spread across 12,500 hectares, have been declared a "no-development' zone by Calcutta High Court. But there are often complaints of violation of the ruling. "A large number of unauthorised structures are coming up in the wetlands, violating environment norms and creating ecological imbalance. There are also reports of other unlawful commercial activities in the zone,' said Meena, explaining the rationale for issuing the order. The order bars "transfer (of) land to any person or persons in any manner through deed of sale or providing lease or tenancy right' without "prior clearance of East Calcutta Wetlands Authority'. The authority was set up under the chairmanship of the chief secretary in 2006 to preserve the character of the wetlands. The land and land reforms department has been asked "not to issue any certificate for the change of the character of land', while those dealing with registration have been been directed "not to allow registration of any land, house or pond' without the authority's consent. Similarly, the municipal or panchayat bodies have been debarred from sanctioning plans of buildings to be used for commercial purposes, keeping the authority in the dark. "If anyone wants to transfer plots within the East Calcutta Wetlands, he/she has to approach the member-secretary of the authority, who will decide on the applications within two months,' said Biswajit Mukherjee, a senior law officer in the state environment department. Environmentalists, however, are sceptical about implementation of the order. "The idea is good but will it work?' wondered Dhrubojyoti Ghosh, who was the first to document the ecological role of the wetlands. "There are numerous instances of landfill in the Ramsar zone but the violators have all gone scot-free, despite the high court ruling. Any day, you can find middlemen involved in land transfer in the wetlands,' he pointed out. "A number of big housing estates and a college have come up within the wetlands. And there are quite a few smaller violations. But the government has done nothing to honour the judicial verdict,' said another green activist.

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