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Menopausal Mother Nature

News about Climate Change and our Planet

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Parliamentary Digest (July 25, 2022): Centre does not reveal lion relocation sites

The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) had constituted a committee to assess the suitability of habitat for Asiatic lions in potential sites in Gujarat and make recommendations for establishment of the lion population in newly identified sites in Gujarat.

Ashwini Kumar Choubey, the minister of state in MoEF&CC told this to the Lok Sabha July 25, 2022, in response to a question about whether the Centre was looking for sites in other parts of the country.

“They have only mentioned a committee tasked with looking into the conservation of lions in Gujarat, in response to the question about whether it is a fact the government has been trying to translocate Asiatic lions into different parts of the country,” Ravi Chellam, lion expert, told Down To Earth.

There was no mention of the Supreme Court order of 2013, he added. 

Composite Water Management Index

The government has not yet published the third round of the Composite Water Management Index (CWMI), Rao Inderjit Singh, minister of state for statistics and programme implementation, told the Rajya Sabha July 25, 2022.

Travel restrictions and lockdowns during the pandemic affected data collection in 2019-20. This impacted the progress of the third round of CWMI. The combined report of the third and fourth rounds of CWMI is in compilation, Singh added.

Demand to increase CNG and PNG infrastructure

The government has set a target to raise the share of natural gas in the energy mix to 15 per cent by 2030, said Rameswar Teli, minister of state for petroleum and natural gas. 

Around 95.21 lakh piped natural gas (Domestic) connections have been provided as of May 31, 2022, Teli added.

Presence of microplastics in rivers

Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute (CIFRI) have found microplastics fragments in the Ganga, Bishweswar Tudu, minister of state for Jal Shakti (water) told the Rajya Sabha.

Ministry of housing and urban affairs, under the aegis of Swachh Bharat (clean India) Mission–Urban, has launched the “Clean Green Campaign”. The campaign aims at the effective management of plastic waste, Tudu added.

Assam flood management

Central assistance for flood management has been released to Assam during the years 2017-18, 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2021-22, Tudu told the Rajya Sabha.

Two comprehensive flood management projects, one at Buridehing River and the other at Manas Beki River, are to be taken up under the World Bank-funded project. The state government has received the approval of the Asian Development Bank for the proposed “Brahmaputra Flood and Riverbank Erosion Risk Management Project, Tudu added.

Import of Cheetah

The Government of India has signed a Memorandum of understanding with Namibia for the reintroduction of Cheetah. The process is in the advanced stage of consultation with South, Choubey, told  Lok Sabha.

Initially, the cheetahs would be introduced in Kuno-Palpur national park in Madhya Pradesh, Choubey added. Cheetah was declared extinct from India in 1952.

Ban on Coal as a fuel

Shifting industrial applications to cleaner modes of fuels is the priority of the government, Choubey told Lok Sabha. A policy to curb air pollution in Delhi and the National Capital Region has been finalised, he said.

The policy contains a list of approved fuels for the Delhi-NCR region. Heavily polluting fossil fuels like coal have been proposed to be banned with effect from January 1, 2022. 

However, coal with low sulphur content shall be permitted as fuel in thermal power plants in the NCR, he added. Relatively cleaner variants like bio-mass fuels and low sulphur fuels are permitted to be used in NCR areas, he said.

Loan to farmers

The Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare is implementing an interest subvention scheme for farmers. The scheme provides short-term crop loans up to Rs 3 lakh at the rate of 7 per cent per annum.

This facility is also available to farmers engaged in Animal Husbandry & Fisheries farmers, Bhagwat Karad, minister of state for finance told Lok Sabha.

There is no proposal under consideration of the union government to waive off loans of farmers, Karad said.

Elephant reserves in Odisha

The Asian Nature Conservation Foundation (ANCF) has suggested the expansion of both the Sambalpur Elephant Reserve and the Mahanadi Elephant Reserve in Odisha.

MoEFCC hasn’t received any proposal for the expansion of Mahanadi and Sambalpur Elephant Reserves from the Government of Odisha, Choubey told Lok Sabha.

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