September 2016 News Digest

September 2016 News Roundup


Bloating dumpyard sounds death knell for marsh: The Perungudi dumpyard has expanded rapidly towards the western part of the Pallikaranai marshland in the past few years, leading to a gradual blockage of the channel that drains stormwater from the city. The civic body is yet to take action to prevent the dangerous spread of the dumpyard in the marsh. A few years ago, the Greater Chennai Corporation planned to hand over 300 acres of the marsh on the northern portion of the Pallavaram-Thoraipakkam radial road to the Forest Department as part of its restoration. However, the dumping of garbage has increased in the western part of the dumpyard, reducing the gap between it and the marsh to 50 to 100 m. The width of the marsh was more than 300 metres a few years ago, permitting it to carry excess stormwater. Corporation officials said the sudden reduction of the marsh area in the western part was because of the dumping in the interior parts of the dumpyard after residents complained about frequent fires.


ADB gives $631 million boost to Chennai-Vizag industrial corridor: NEW DELHI: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Tuesday approved a loan of $631 million or Rs 4228.9 crore (at Tuesday’s exchange rate) for building India's first coastal industrial corridor between Visakhapatnam and Chennai. The programme will focus on increasing women’s participation in the industrial workforce, skills training for 25,000 male and female workers, entrepreneurs, and students along with an investor promotion plan is expected to boost businesses along the corridor, according to the ADB.


A sea of opportunities along India’s coastline, experts tell Niti Aayog: In a meeting held with naval and maritime experts on September 16, the government’s think-tank Niti Aayog was apprised of several measures it could recommend to the government as part of its 15-year vision document to develop India as a ‘blue economy’ by leveraging its potential along the coastline.


Check-dam to prevent seawater ingress: For over five years now, residents of Manali New Town and its neighbouring areas hardly have used groundwater and completely rely on piped or street supply as the groundwater in the localities near the Kosasthalaiyar has turned saline due to seawater ingress into the river bed. In a bid to arrest salinity ingress caused by seawater gushing for over seven km into the river bed, a check dam is proposed to be built at Idayanchavadi across the 150-metre-wide Kosasthalaiyar. As the river bed is dry for most of the year, seawater gushes into the dry bed from the Ennore estuary. This, in turn, has permeated into groundwater up to Subbareddypalayam. The groundwater turned saline nearly a decade ago and many people have opted out of agriculture, say residents. P. Palani, secretary of Manali New Town Residents Welfare Association, recalled that residents used groundwater for cooking and drinking until the late 1990s. But, as the river became dry, it ended up carrying more of seawater.


Coastal zone management authority launches help desk for public: Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala coastal zone management authority has introduced help desk for public to monitor the status of their applications. The help desk will function at Pattom Sasthra bhavan. The number is 0471 2548290. Applications under the authority will be received on the address; member secretary, Kerala coastal zone management authority, science and technology department,Sasthra bhavan, Pattom,Thiruvananthapuram-4.


NGT stays capital dredging activity by MPT: Panaji:The National Green Tribunal, western zone bench-Pune, has stayed capital dredging activity by the Mormugoa Port Trust directing it and the Union ministry of environment and forests to pay Rs 2 lakh each to both the appellants within four weeks. The appellant societies – Old Cross Fishing Canoe Owners Society Ltd and Baina Ramponkar and Fishing Canoe Owners Society – challenged the environmental clearance of February 9, 2016, granted for the capital dredging activity to the MPT.


GRE opposes laying of tetrapods along beaches in state: Vasco:The Goenchea Ramponkarancho Ekvott (GRE) has strongly opposed the plans of the state government over the dumping of concrete tetrapods and the building of flood protection wall along the shore of Kate-Baina, Vaddem, Velsao, Arossim besides other beaches in Mormugao taluka. GRE said that it will lead to destruction of the entire coast, thereby causing immense loss to the biodiversity, degradation of coastal eco system, sea grass beds, tidal wetlands, estuaries, dunes, shell species, crabs and others. While addressing a press conference at Baina on Wednesday, GRE joint secretary Olencio Simoes, general secretary of Baina Raponkar and Fishing Canoe Owners Society Sajid Shaikh, president of Desterro Fisherman’s Association Domingo Mendes, president of Old Cross Fishing Canoe Owners Co-operative Society Ltd and the president of Mormugao Vasco Citizens’ Forum Andrew Alvares has stated that the concretisation of the coast will increase the vulnerability of the coastal communities to cyclones, tsunamis and climate change due to the destruction of the sand bars, dunes. Simoes said that the concrete tetrapods/structures would add obstructions to the flow of sand and would trigger further erosion the Baina beach.


CRZ violation: NGT axe pulls down 500 illegal structures. Panaji: About 500 illegal temporary seasonal shacks, huts, cottages and tents in private properties have been demolished in the last one year following the National Green Tribunal order.The order had directed demolition of seasonal structures constructed in  no-development zone in violation of the CRZ Notification 2011.Following the NGT order, the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority  revoked its permission granted to 113 applications and issued order to deputy collector in May this year to demolish the structures.There are over 3000 temporary structures operating in violation of CRZ rules.These structures are located within 500 mts of high-tide line – where construction is not allowed – along the beachfront of Betalbatim, Colva, Varca, Sernabatim, Palolem, Morjim, Velsao, Calangute, Candolim, Mandrem and Arambol.


Dave assures to solve CRZ issue in Goa for fishermen, tourism: Panaji, Sept 16 (PTI) Union Minister of State for Environment Anil Dave today assured the fishermen and tourism community in Goa to work out a solution for vexed Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) issue. "The fishermen have been living on the coast for centuries. CRZ has been an issue of concern for them," Dave said. He was talking to reporters on the sidelines of a summit of environment ministers of BRICS nations held in South Goa, which concluded today.


No nod to structures till sand dune mapping is done: Govt: PANAJI: The Goa government has assured national green tribunal (NGT) that it will not grant permission for erection of shacks, huts, stalls, cottages and other structures till the work of sand dune mapping of the entire coastline is completed. This assurance was made by additional advocate general, Dattaprasad Lawande before NGT recently in the matter filed by Aleixo Arnolfo Pereira against the state. NGT, in its judgement, dated December 17, 2014, had directed Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) to carry out a rapid survey of sand dunes and locate them on a map, and not issue any permission in such areas until a detailed survey is completed.


BMC’s mangrove cell to launch eviction drive: From October onwards, the state government’s mangrove cell will begin an eviction drive of some 1,000 houses that allegedly encroach upon notified mangrove areas in Mumbai. “The mangrove cell, being an authorised body, can initiate action and demolish those buildings that have encroached upon mangrove land. We are waiting for September to end as the monsoon season is still not over. The eviction drive has not been initiated yet on humanitarian grounds,” said chief conservator of forest N. Vasudevan. He added: “The cell had already identified 4,000 such houses, which have encroached upon mangrove area. It had initiated action and these houses and constructions have been razed. We will start the next course of action from October.”


Multimodal transport corridor between Virar-Panvel gets green nod: Paving the way for the state’s first multi-modal transport corridor, the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) has given a go-ahead to construct an 80-km link between Navghar in Virar and Chirner near Panvel in the eco-sensitive coastal regulation zone (CRZ) near creeks and mangroves. The corridor, which will be the first phase of the longer 126-km Virar-Alibaug multi-modal corridor, will comprise a Metro corridor, dedicated bus lanes, lanes for other motor transport and pedestrian walkways. The project will connect towns across the mumbai metropolitan region including Virar, Bhiwandi, Kalyan, Dombivli, Panvel, Pen, Uran and Alibaug.




India will have seven mega cities by 2030: UN: NEW DELHI: At present, India is home to five mega ci ties, with over 10 million population, but by 2030 this number will go up to seven. Delhi will continue to be the second most populous city in the world till 2030, adding a staggering 9.6 million people to its population --the most in any mega city. The facts have been revealed in the 2016 World Cities Report issued by the UN's department of economic and social affairs. The report has not relied on the administrative boundaries of cities but has, instead, preferred to use the concept of "urban agglomeration" which is the "the contiguous urban area, or builtup area". For example, in the case of Delhi urban agglomeration, the satellite cities of Ghaziabad, Noida, Faridabad and Gurgaon are included. Such inclusion makes sense as people in these contiguous areas are economically and socially integrated with the main city.


Essar damaging India's first marine national park, Gujarat fishermen tell NGT: e National Green Tribunal has admitted a case against Essar Group's upcoming port project in Salaya, Jamnagar district, Gujarat, on the grounds that it is affecting the ecology of Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park as well as mangroves and coral reefs in the vicinity, besides endangering the livelihoods of over one lakh fishermen. The Gulf of Kutch is the country's first Marine National Park, notified in 1982, and known to support coral reefs and several endangered marine species, such as the dugong. The case, filed by the Salaya Fishermen's Association and 10 individual fishermen working near the proposed port at Salaya village was admitted by the NGT's Western Zone bench in Pune on 21 September.


Three truckloads of debris dumped on mangroves at BKC in Mumbai: Mumbai: A day after HT reported that city based NGOs alleged that mangrove trees at Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai were dying because of sea water being blocked by the construction of a retaining wall by the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA), fresh debris was spotted at the wetland patch by NGO Watchdog foundation at the site adjoining Mithi River on Thursday. The group filed a complaint with the state mangrove cell and district collector to take action at the site near Bharat Nagar, BKC, Bandra East.