July 11, 2014
Express News Service | New Delhi
The National Green Tribunal on Thursday issued a notice to the Centre on a plea that sought a stay on the Signature Bridge project across the river Yamuna at Wazirabad, until environmental clearance is granted.
A bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar sought response from Ministry of Environment and Forests, Delhi government, Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation (DTTDC) and Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) on a plea filed by environment activist Vikrant Kumar Tongad.
“Notice be issued to the respondents by registered post/acknowledgment. Requisites to be filed within three days from today (Thursday),” the bench said, while ordering respondents to file responses within three days and listed the matter to August 19.
The Signature Bridge, which is being built across the Yamuna, was envisioned as a link between North and East Delhi. The project, which has been under way for the last nine years, is expected to be completed by the year-end. The Rs 1,131-crore project, which is being executed by DTTDC, is intended to replace the existing bridge at Wazirabad. Officials said the bridge will have a bow-shaped steel pylon 154 metres high.
But in his petition, Tongad has claimed that the construction of bridge is covered under Clause A of the Schedule of Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 2006, which mandates prior environmental clearance from the regulatory authority concerned.
He said the construction of the bridge without an impact assessment and environmental clearance will result in large-scale damage to the river. The petition seeks to “direct the respondents to obtain the environmental clearance for Signature Bridge after conducting proper environment impact assessment of the project”.
November 22, 2013
By PTI |
(The Gujarat-headquartered organisation has patented its nanotechnology which reduces water percolation into roads )
NEW DELHI: Zydex Technologies today said it is eyeing building up to 20,000 km of moisture-resistant green roads in India by 2016 using its nanotechnology, after building such highways in US, Europe and Africa.
“We are looking at building 10-20,000 km of roads using our innovative technique in India in the next three years to provide moisture-resistant and pothole-free roads, which need no maintenance for about 15 years. We have already completed about 500 km of roads here with Border Roads Organisation and other agencies,” Zydex Industries CEO Ajay Ranka told PTI.
The Gujarat-headquartered organisation has patented its nanotechnology which reduces water percolation into roads.
Use of this technology can help the government save Rs 7,200 crore per annum on bitumen only, Ranka earlier told reporters.
”Bitumen consumption in India is about 4.5 million tonnes per annum, which costs Rs 18,000 crore, of which 80 per cent is used to resurface roads. Use of Zydex’s technology will not only double the life of roads but cut the cost by Rs 7,200 per year,” Ranka said.
Also, he claimed that using this technology the government can save over Rs 21,000 annually in maintenance of rural roads.
“The annual cost to the country for maintaining rural road assets is Rs 21,700 crore, which could be saved. In view of the cost of water proofing of about Rs 12,000 per lane km for the top layer and side slopes, the rain inflicted damages can be brought down very economically,” he said.
Ranka said the technology is getting wider recognition globally, including in Texas, where he claimed 40 per cent of roads were built using it, but rued that in India procedural delays prevent the country from getting the benefits of this advanced technology.
“We have orders from Canada, US, Germany, Sweden, Nigeria, Mexico, Russia, Turkey, Indonesia, Japan and many other countries which are rapidly using the technology but on home turf we are faced with roadblocks. Set protocols are there in other countries, which we lack here,” he said.
However, the company has built roads using the technology in Leh Laddakh region in collaboration with Border Roads Organisation.
Besides, in some states it is working under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, he added
November 21, 2013
NEW DELHI, Nov 20 – Taking strong exception to non-compliance with the Environment Clearance (EC) conditions, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Government of Assam to recommend measures for protection of wildlife and human beings on National Highway (NH) 37 running through the Kaziranga National Park (KNP), by December 10.
The increasing number of deaths of wildlife on the 18-km stretch of the NH runningparallel to the wildlife sanctuary, home to the one-horned rhino, may lead the NGT to impose tough measures like regulating speed of vehicles, use of cameras and restricting use of horns. A proposal to build a bridge over the vulnerable stretch is also not ruled out.
The case relates to a petition filed by Rohit Choudhury before the NGT regarding safety of wildlife of the KNP and protection of the environment of the sanctuary. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highway (MoRTH), National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and the Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL), besides the Assam Government were also madeparty in the case.
Slamming the authorities for not complying with the Environment Clearance (EC) conditions, the NGT remarked that strangely, the NHAI and NRL took no steps for modification or alteration in the conditions imposed in the EC order till date. At this stage, it remains unquestionable that the conditions of EC regarding alternative construction of road are not complied with, it observed.
The NGT noted that the MoEF had granted EC in 1991. One of the conditions of the EC order provided for creation of an alternative highway or diversion of NH-37 passing through the Kaziranga sanctuary.
However, the Assam Government has informed that it is not possible to make an alternative highway.
A part of the case relates to the environmental hazard resulting from the highwayconstructed in the sanctuary. High rate of animal deaths is another grievance raised by Choudhury. “We are primarily concerned with the environmental impact of the traffic on this NH in a sanctuary relating to air and other pollutions and most importantly on theenvironmental dynamics, therein.”
This condition was admittedly imposed and communicated to all including Assam Government and yet it has not been complied with. The stand taken by NHAI is that only two per cent of the traffic of the NH is generated directly or indirectly because of their activity.
Hearing the matter, a Bench comprising Chairperson of NGT Justice Swatanter Kumar, Justice UD Salvi, Judicial member Dr DK Agrawal, Expert Members, BS Sajwan and Dr RC Trivedi on Monday directed the Chief Secretary of Assam to immediately hold a meeting and submit a report to the Tribunal suggesting measures for protecting the environmenton the National Highway, as well as injury to wildlife and human beings, particularly with regard to the 18 Km stretch.
The Chief Secretary has been asked to draft the recommendations in consultation with the Secretary of Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF). The meeting would also be joined by representatives of Ministry of Road Transport and Highway, NHAI and Ministry of Petroleum not below the rank of Additional Secretary and the Chief Warden of the Wildlife of Assam.