Kalamassery municipality asked to ensure scientific treatment of refuse

The government’s Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) cell has okayed a Rs.295-crore solid waste treatment plant in Brahmapuram.

Soon, thousands of schoolchildren in the State will walk onto their campus carrying a bag filled with discarded plastic bottles and ditched electronic devices.

The Union Ministry of New and Renewable energy (MNRE) has ruled out a rollback of its ambitious roof-top solar programme in Kerala amid the raging solar scam in the State.

Instead, the Ministry has plans to strengthen its programmes while ensuring that the people are not taken for a ride by fraudulent agencies in the name of installing centrally assisted photovoltaic systems.

Rs.350-crore facility will be capable of processing 500 tonnes of waste daily

Finally, the government has zeroed in on the technology to be adopted at the proposed solid waste treatment plant in Brahmapuram. Minister for Urban Affairs Manjalamkuzhi Ali told The Hindu on Monday that the new facility would adopt the waste-to-energy technology.

The Centre for Earth Science Studies (CESS) has proposed setting up a greenhouse gas observatory at Munnar as part of developing an integrated climate change database and information system in the State.

The initiative is part of the estimate Rs. 80-crore scientific study to map the impact of climate change on agriculture, fisheries, industries, transport, tourism, bio-diversity and forestry sectors.

Kochiites run short of green shade as Sun spews fire

More than 1,400 trees on public land in Ernakulam have been chopped down over the last one year. But the actual loss would be double the figure because the Social Forestry wing of the Forest Department has data only for tree-felling requests officially submitted as per a government order on February 10, 2010.

The State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) has decided not to grant environmental clearance to any proposals coming under the Ecologically Sensitive Zone-1 of the Western Ghats.

The decision comes in the wake of a direction issued by the National Green Tribunal that the recommendations of the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP) report should be considered while granting environmental clearance to projects in the ESZ-1 in the Western Ghats. ESZ-I areas are those which fall outside the boundaries of wildlife sanctuaries and reserve forests but have been given the status of a protected area in the WGEEP report.

The State Expert Appraisal Committee (SEAC) has deferred its recommendation for environmental clearance to the first phase of the SmartCity Kochi project based on the inference that “the proposal submitted by the proponent had many factual errors and lacked a specific plan of environmental management”.

Stating that the SEAC had expressed its displeasure in drafting the ambitious project of the State government in such a very casual manner, sources told The Hindu that the promoter has failed to seriously consider many of the environmental factors while drafting the proposal.

All the 15 companies, which had submitted requests for qualification for the government’s modern solid waste treatment plant at Brahmapuram capable of processing 500 tonnes of waste materials daily, have been qualified to bid for the project.

Confirming the development, Urban Affairs Minister Manjalamkuzhi Ali told The Hindu on Wednesday that a pre-bid conference is likely to be held next week. Foreign technology will be adopted for the modern plant. The government will not act in haste and will complete all modalities before launching the project, he said.