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Government Actions this week

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Government vows to improve Ganga's water quality

The change of ministers overseeing the Namame Ganga scheme has been followed by a surfeit of new project announcements.
What can Mr. Gadkari do that Uma Bharati could not?  One component of the difference in styles is evident from the greater emphasis on monitoring in the new regime.  Moreover, cleaning the Ganga requires buy-in and active participation from State Governments and various departments within the Central Government.  Only time will tell whether Nitin Gadkari can succeed where Uma Bharati could not.



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Individuals, private institutions get role in Mission Ganga

A new kind of public-private-partnership to clean the Ganga.
Greater funds are being allocated to get private agencies to help clean parts of the Ganga. Currently concentrating in sewage treatment plants, if successful such a program can easily spread to other components of cleaning the Ganga. What the ministry now needs is a mission mode approach with a focus on interacting and coordinating between government departments and private players in a cooperative environment. Implementation success rests on this ability of the new minister.



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Niti Aayog plans to build India’s biggest dam in Arunachal Pradesh

A large 10,000 MW dam in Arunachal, proposes the Niti Aayog.
This government has many voices and many objectives, one of them stems from a love for large mega-projects.  The proposed dam is over the Siang, which is the Brahmaputra’s main tributary that connects to the Yarlung Tsangpo, as the Brahmaputra is known.  Mega hydel power projects cause massive destruction, but can also lead to great returns.



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Dharmendra Pradhan launches piped natural gas project in Odisha

Biomass burning stoves are a large yet almost invisible polluter, piped gas to homes is a great solution.
Gas burning stoves release far lower pollutants, are healthier for the cook and the environment, and are relatively cheap in the long run.  If one were to put together the combined pollutant release from all biomass burning stoves – firewood, gobar, straw, etc. they would outweigh that from the burning fields of Punjab and Haryana.



Initiatives


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Adani’s Australia Story: What’s the Fuss All About?

Adani’s massive Australian coal-mines face serious opposition.
Adani’s succeeded in winning mining rights over one of the largest coal mines in the world.  But they are facing stiff opposition.
It is not clear how a massive coal mine will be commercially feasible in an era where renewable energy and gas prices are expected to fall steadily.  But then clearly the Adani’s are betting big time on this project.



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India’s Switch To EVs Can Be A Global Role Model For Climate Actions

India’s ongoing switch-over to electric vehicles is an example for the world.
The move to electric vehicles requires concerted action on many fronts.  While key policy announcements have been made by various ministries, there is much required on the regulatory and rules front.  I found this article to be overly optimistic, but one cannot take away from the gamut of actions being taken both at the central and state level.  



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Hot-mix plants still operate illegally in Noida

The NGT had banned hot mix plants used to make roads, but they continue to operate.
Hot mix is critical to make roads, but it pollutes the air.  The NGT had ordered the closure of hot mix plants within Delhi.  But as road building and maintenance improves in Delhi, the need for hot mix has gone up incentivizing the contractors and their suppliers to break the law.  Hot mix is not an India specific issue, most other countries license and regulates its production.  Somehow India is unable to do that without corruption and favoritism creeping into the picture. 



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