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Government Actions this week

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Govt may build dedicated road corridors for electric trucks

Building dedicated corridors for electric vehicles is a very good idea, and trying out a few pilots would be good before jumping onto the bandwagon. The advantage of an electric corridor is that there is little need for the electric vehicles to carry heavy batteries over a long haul. This improves carrying capacity and reduces costs. However given that most trucks will eventually need to get off the corridor, they would still need some batteries.



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NTPC looking to venture into electric vehicles

Another Public Sector Enterprise wants to get onto the electric vehicle bandwagon, this time NTPC is thinking of putting up electric charging stations. Why should NTPC do this? Would it not be better if it simply supplied quality power to those putting up power charging points. Time for NTPC to concentrate on improving its emissions and quality of it its power – its core areas, and let small entrepreneurs do the rest.



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Himachal Pradesh to register only new BS-IV compliant 4-wheelers

Himachal Pradesh, typically has very small towns where everything is clustered around a central street, the impact of vehicular emissions is therefore far more in Himachal, than in other places where both population and economic activity are more spread out. Himachal has taken the tough decision of only allowing Bharat Stage IV standard vehicles to be sold starting 1st April. Why can’t other states do, what Himachal did?



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Supreme Court seeks info from auto makers on unsold BS-III vehicles

On the same matter the Supreme Court is wasting its own time with more and more hearings on what to do about the large number of unsold vehicles that are not BS IV compliant. It wants the auto lobbies to give it a list of no. of non BS IV vehicles lying unsold. The solution is simple. Give in to the lobbies as there are too many unsold vehicles, but pre-pone the introduction of BS VI by one year, that is, in April 2019.



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EPCA pitches for ban on furnace oil & pet coke

The Supreme Court loves ruling on what thou shalt do and what not, and now the Environmental Protection Control Authority has decided to ‘ban’ use of the highly dirty furnace oil and PET coke. However there is no ban on the sale of these dirty fuels that are all produced in government owned refineries! Would have been more effective to limit supply through PSEs than unleash a host of inspectors on the SME and sector.



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Govt to take action against expansion project without environment clearance

Government is finally waking up to potential harm caused by expansion projects without environment clearance. A notification has been issued by the Environment Ministry to ensure projects comply with the environmental laws at the earliest point of time rather than leaving them unregulated and unchecked.



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Climate change is hitting staple crops

As was quite evident climate change would first impact agriculture, and that is beginning to happen. The variability of weather conditions, and changes in winds, temperature and moisture has started to impact agriculture output. It is obvious that this process is going to worsen with time, and governments need to quickly put in place adaption policies.



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1,800 farmers fined for stubble burning

Farmers burn straw, harming themselves their families and their fields for a reason – its costly to collect and dispose off straw. Punjab has commenced imposing fines starting from Rs 2,500 per acre but going up depending upon size of the field. There are better alternatives to fining and burining that improve incomes for the farmer, these involve creating a market for straw.



Initiatives


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Berhampur residents take out silent rally

And now the social initiative of the week. For the great environment disaster that urban India has become, it is surprising that people have not started getting onto the streets. But that process is perhaps starting, with an innovative silent march in Behrampore. Marchers were protesting pollution and garbage burning.



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