Work could soon begin in a clutch of stranded highway projects with likely combined investments of over R20,000 crore, as the Union environment ministry is set to give them approvals in one go.

The 555-km Kishangarh-Udaipur-Ahmedabad project from which the developer GMR Infrastructure pulled out in early January citing huge delays in clearances, has now got all requisite approvals from the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF). According to sources, with Gujarat, one of the two states through which the highway passes, also giving forest clearance, the MoEF has given the green signal for the project.

The Rajasthan portion of the six-laning project was cleared earlier and in a meeting today, the Gujarat portion was also approved, paving the way for the project to be cleared from the angles of both environment and forest regulations, a ministry official said.

JAIPUR: In a major relief to the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) in Rajasthan, the forest advisory committee (FAC) on February 4 granted clearance for widening of the Kishangarh-Udaipur-Ahmedabad highway. With the approval, work on the project is expected to begin soon.

FAC, the statutory body for advising on forest clearances, has given the long pending nod for diversion of 78 hectare of forest land to widen the Kishangarh-Udaipur- Ahmedabad section of NH 79A, NH 79, NH 76 and NH8 from four lane to six lane in favour of NHAI. The permission was granted after the concessionaire in the project, GMR, terminated its contract in the absence of forest clearance.

Days after the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) dragged the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to the apex court alleging delays in granting of forest clearance, the ministry has granted forest clearance to the 555-km Kishangarh-Udaipur-Ahmedabad National Highway widening project that had first sparked the conflict.

While the Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) has recommended the project, it is not amused with NHAI's rather public finger pointing at MoEF. Minutes of the FAC meeting held on January 21-22 observe how MoEF has been "blamed unpleasantly" for delays.

Spanning 555 km, the project was to cost Rs 7,500 cr

GMR Infrastructure has terminated the concession agreement on its Rs 7,500 crore, 555-km highway project connecting Rajasthan and Gujarat, India’s largest. GMR Infrastructure reached the decision after weeks of discussions with the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), over getting various statutory clearances for the project.

Jaipur: The pollution control board would keep an eye on pollution level in nine cities of the state on Tuesday.

Among the nine cities are Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bhiwadi, Alwar, Udaipur, Pali, Kota, Bhilwara and Bikaner. The department would send the report on pollution to district collectors, department of environment, ministry of environment and forests, police commissioners and superintendents of police, said an official of Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board (RSPCB).

It was that found Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan were better prepared and more aware to implement project

Coimbatore is likely to be a part of an international effort to build sustainable, low carbon cities, if things go as planned by ICLEI, an NGO, and the British High Commission. The project aims at encouraging local governments to develop State-level guidelines and leverage international and national funds for such projects.

To Cut Emissions In Udaipur, Rajkot & Vizag

Ahmedabad: Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A), Center for Environmental Planning and Technology (Cept) University and Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IIT-D) are going to make Udaipur, Rajkot and Visakhapatnam low carbon cities. The institutes will work together on improving the mobility in these cities while lowering carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. As lead agencies of this project, the institutes will help civic authorities set up greener transport system infrastructure, which will help bring down carbon emissions in the cities.

JAIPUR: The state cabinet on Wednesday cleared the proposal for allotting solid waste management contracts to private firms in eight cities.

British High Commission-supported project to promote use of renewable energy

The International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI), an international organisation offering technical consultation, training, and information services for capacity building and support to local governments in the implementation of sustainable development will soon come out with an action plan to reduce carbon emissions in the city.