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December News Digest

December News Roundup
Bombay HC stays proceedings against JSW’s Alibaug steel plant: The Bombay High Court, in an interim order on Wednesday, stayed the National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) proceedings following a notice to the JSW group’s Alibaug steel plant alleging it of violating the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms. A bench of Justice VM Kanade and Justice Nutan Sardessai have also asked JSW to file a reply of its arguments.
'Dead zone' found in Bay of Bengal The Bay of Bengal (BoB) hosts a 'dead zone' of around 60,000 square kilometers almost devoid of oxygen, a new multi-national study has shown1. The findings point to implications on global nitrogen balance. Marine 'dead zones' contain no oxygen. Until now, there have been only three major identified dead zones – two in the eastern tropical Pacific (off Peru/Chile and Mexico) and one in the Arabian Sea. The newfound dead zone in BoB joins this list, according to a joint study by National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Goa, India; University of Southern Denmark and the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen, Germany.
Centre nod needed to clear reduction in CRZ limit: Former minister Vinay Kumar Sorake has said that the Environment Directorate at the centre has cleared the recommendation for decreasing the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) limits to 50 meters as against the existing 500 meters. The proposal is currently under consideration with the Prime Minister, he said. At the general body meeting of taluk panchayat, the MLA said that if the Prime Minister approves the proposal, the new policy of CRZ would come into existence all across the coastal borders of the country. He said prior to CRZ, which came into existence in 2006, residents were permitted to stay within the 500 meters periphery and if they had valid documents prior to 1991, they were ensured title deeds.
Find out how India's vastly unexplored 7,500 km coastline can generate millions of jobs: In many ways, India looked a gift-horse in the mouth. And the gift was water. For centuries, India ignored the seas. It has a 7,500 km long coastline which it did not bother about very much. True, the government built 12 ports (government owned ports are called major ports). But it forgot to promote coastal development and coastal tourism. As a result India has a coastline that is largely uninhabited, leaving it open to incursions by smugglers and terrorists. India forgot the old adage that the best type of security is eyes on the ground.
IMS asks Odisha govt to study impact of climate change: Bhubaneswar, Dec 21: The Indian Meteorological Society (IMS) today suggested the Odisha government to start a study at a pilot site along the state’s coast to access impact of climate change. “A pilot site along the Odisha coast may be taken up for the study of impact and assessment of climate change on various sectors such as water resources, farming, health, infrastructure and ecosystem,” the IMS said in its recommendation after its four-day National Symposium on Tropical Meteorology (TROPMET-2016) which ended today. The theme of the symposium was ‘Climate Change and Coastal Vulnerability’
Kapil Sharma booked for ‘destroying’ mangroves near his home: Acting on a court order, an FIR on Wednesday was registered against popular stand-up comedian Kapil Sharma under Environment Protection Act for allegedly destroying mangroves due to illegal construction near his bungalow in Andheri. The 35-year-old comedian was booked under relevant sections of the Environment Protection Act, the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, and also IPC Section 187 (omission to assist public servant when bound by law to give assistance), police said.
Coastal Shipping: Still a long way to go; VPT gearing Up: After decades of lull in the domestic waterways, the country’s major ports are gearing up to promote coastal shipping thanks to the Sagarmala project and focus of the NDA government. Major ports including Visakhapatnam Port Trust (VPT) have started taking measures including offering incentives to boost cargo transportation using coastal shipping. ICC Shipping Association observes the legislation changes and processes but infrastructural issues are yet to be addressed properly as practised in China, Japan, EU and the US. India still faces a shortage of containers, maintenance support and policy push, said the industry body. Organisations such as Food Corporation of India (FCI) have taken measures to transport food grains using coastal shipping.
Why Tamil Nadu's Enayam port is the need of the hour: Ever since the Union government anchored a Rs 27,000 crore container transshipment project at Enayam – a hamlet on the west coast of Tamil Nadu – it has drawn a mixed response. The objective to build the port is to get a share in the global transshipment pie by attracting mother ships carrying cargo meant for India that now dock at Colombo or Singapore or Port Klang in Malaysia.
47 of 68 fish species in India under threat, says study: MUMBAI: More fish species on the east coast, especially in the waters off Odisha and West Bengal, are highly vulnerable to climate change, according to a first-of-its-kind assessment by the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI). That vulnerability stems not only from changes in climate but from fishing pressure and lower productivity. Overall, 69% of the 68 fish species studied were found to be vulnerable to climatic changes. They include Bombay duck, tuna, sharks, various shrimp, pomfret, and catfish, among others. "The west coast also has high fishing pressure but is richer in fish so it is a bit less vulnerable," said Dr P U Zacharia, CMFRI scientist and lead author of the report.
Kerala HC fines DLF Rs 1 cr, spares building: Kochi, Dec 21 (IANS) Real estate major DLF on Wednesday got a major reprieve as the Kerala High Court as the Kerala High Court ruled that while it need not demolish its multi-storied apartment complex here but slapped a Rs 1 crore fine.