Low Carbon News in India in April 2016
India among 175 countries to sign historic Paris climate deal
As many as 175 countries, including India, China and the US, signed the Paris Agreement on climate change at the UN headquarters in New York on Friday, to coincide with ‘International Mother Earth Day’. This was the first day of the signing ceremony of the historic global deal.
Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar signed the agreement on behalf of India. The agreement aims to take multiple measures to save the world from disastrous consequences of climate change and was adopted by 195 countries in Paris on December 12, 2015.
India drought: ‘330 million people affected’
At least 330 million people are affected by drought in India, the government has told the Supreme Court
Authorities say this number is likely to rise further given that some states with water shortages have not yet submitted status reports.
The drought is taking place as a heat wave extends across much of India with temperatures crossing 40C for days now.
An 11-year-old girl died of heatstroke while collecting water from a village pump in the western Maharashtra state.
Gujarat announces new policy for power generation from solid waste
To solve the issue of large amount of solid waste generated in cities, the Gujarat government on Wednesday announced a new policy to encourage business entities to utilise it for generating electricity by setting up power plants.
State Energy Minister announced the ‘Gujarat Waste to Energy Policy-2016’ during the Budget session of the Assembly. He said such a policy will help urban local bodies in managing their ever increasing waste piles effectively.
In addition, the policy is also aimed at reducing pollution caused by untreated solid waste. Under the policy, urban local bodies (ULBs), such as municipal corporations, will provide land on lease at a token rate of Rs 1 to business entities who wish to set up their solid waste-based power generations units, the minister said.
Further, civic bodies will bear the stamp duty on the leased land given to the plant. The policy also barred ULBs from imposing any tax/cess/royalty on the power plants, stated the policy document.
Such power plants are eligible to get these benefits from government for a period of 25 years, Patel said. ULBs will provide it’s solid waste to the power plants for free. Further, it will be the responsibility of the civic bodies to deliver the waste to the power plants in their area.
The Gujarat Energy Regulatory Commission (GERC) will take into account the benefits extended to these plants while fixing the tariff rates at which the electricity will be purchased by the government from them, the document said “Such power plants will also be exempted from paying any electricity duty under this policy”. According to the Minister, this policy will prove crucial in tackling the issue of solid waste disposal.
Programmes launched under International Solar Alliance
Shri Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal & New and Renewable Energy and Ms. Ségolène Royal, French Minister of Environment, Energy and the Sea, in charge of International Relations on Climate and President of COP21 co-chaired a Ministerial Side Event on International Solar Alliance (ISA) at Headquarters of the United Nations in New York on Friday.
Ministers and Representatives from over 25 countries including Bangladesh, Brazil, Ethiopia, Namibia, Uganda, Nigeria, Peru, Djibouti, Surinam, Zambia, Bolivia, Seychelles, Sri Lanka ,Mali, India, USA and France participated in the ISA side event .
In order to accelerate massive deployment of solar energy at various scales in their countries, Ministers agreed to take concerted action through targeted Programmes launched on a voluntary basis, to better harmonize and aggregate the demand for:
Solar finance, so as to lower the cost of finance and facilitate the flow of more than US $ 1000 billion investment in solar assets in member countries;
Mature solar technologies that are currently deployed only at small scale and need to be scaled up;
Future solar technologies and capacity building, through strategic and collaborative solar R&D, to improve the efficiency and integration of solar power as well as increase the number of solar applications available.
India’s second bullet train: Delhi to Amritsar in 2.30 hours
India’s second bullet train will run from Delhi to Amritsar via Chandigarh on broad gauge and will be completed by 2024, according to a pre-feasibility report submitted to the railway ministry. The project will cost Rs 1 lakh crore and will run on standard broad gauge. The first bullet train of the country, which has already been approved, will run in between Mumbai and Ahmedabad and is expected to be in operation by 2023.
Top details of the project
- The study has suggested direct government funding instead of a public private partnership (PPP).
- The proposed train, running at a speed of 300-350 kmph, will reduce travel time between New Delhi and Amritsar by about 3:30 hours.
- The proposed train will cover the 458-km-long route in 2:30 hours. An express train currently takes around six hours to travel the distance.
- Rs 1 lakh crore includes the cost of rolling stock and the price escalation, said a senior railway Ministry official Anil Saxena.
- The proposed train will run on a standard gauge
- The report has given a 8-year timeline for completion of the project.
- The report was prepared by a French company Systra in collaboration with PSU Rites of Indian Railway.
Odd even: Delhi set for second phase of traffic scheme to curb pollution
Under the road rationing scheme, cars with number plates ending in even number will be allowed to ply on even dates and vice versa. The restriction is in effect between April 15 and 30; 8 am to 8 pm. Violators will attract a fine of Rs 2,000.