Friday February 22, 2019

NGT tells Himachal Govt to take steps to reduce noise pollution

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Shimla: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Himachal Pradesh government to take a slew of steps aimed at reducing air and noise pollution in the state capital.

The state has been ordered to impose Rs.500 as “green tax” on each vehicle emitting pollution on Shimla’s restricted roads, including the Mall Road.

The tribunal asked the government to consider implementing one-way traffic on the Cart Road, the circular road in the state capital.

“Definite steps are required to be taken at the earliest. If not taken now, the day is not far when ambient air quality of Shimla would deteriorate to an undesirable level, causing health hazards,” the NGT bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar observed.

“It’s a matter of common knowledge that air and noise pollution, particularly in Shimla, is increasing by the day. Traffic congestion is one of the major contributors to such excessive pollution,” the bench said.

The state was ordered to declare “silence zones” and display sign boards at conspicuous places in Shimla and ensure that no noise was produced by any process, including horns, in such zones.

The tribunal also directed to ensure no parking was allowed on the sealed roads, besides smooth traffic movement on the Cart Road.

The NGT asked the Himachal government to revisit all vehicle permits for sealed and restricted roads within three months, completely prohibiting or restricting vehicular traffic on such roads.

The 13-page order asked that the state government take immediate steps to strictly comply with the directions.

It said authorities had not complied with its earlier orders.

Favouring the practice of automobile-free zones, the Himachal Pradesh High Court had also sought status reports from the state as to how many vehicles were allowed to ply on the sealed roads of Shimla.

It also sought replies on the steps taken to implement the Shimla Road Users and Pedestrians (Public Safety and Convenience) Act of 2007.

Shimla has several automobile-free zones to facilitate unrestricted movement of pedestrians.(IANS)

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Himachal Pradesh Collaborates with World Bank for Developing Waste Management Strategies

A World Bank team led by environment specialist Pyush Dogra and a Korea Green Growth Trust Fund team headed by Lee Dong Hoon are currently touring the state.

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World Bank's prompt decission to pause two seperate projects with India nad Pakistan came after India's objection against it
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Himachal Pradesh will collaborate with the World Bank and the Korea Green Growth Trust Fund for developing agro climatic zone-based municipal solid waste management strategies, a state government official said on Wednesday.

A World Bank team led by environment specialist Pyush Dogra and a Korea Green Growth Trust Fund team headed by Lee Dong Hoon are currently touring the state.

The areas of collaborations include climatic zone-wise option for integrated solid waste management, support for technology transfer and financial assistance for developing small and micro models for waste management, Additional Chief Secretary R.D. Dhiman told reporters here.

World bank, himachal pradesh
The areas of collaborations include climatic zone-wise option for integrated solid waste management, support for technology transfer and financial assistance for developing small and micro models for waste management. Pixabay

State Environment Department Director D.C. Rana said the teams would undertake technical analysis of solid waste management in three countries – Pakistan, Nepal and India. In India, they will work with the Himachal Pradesh government.

 

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He said the analysis would be completed in nine months and thereafter the implementation of activities would start, including mobilisation of funding for solid waste management.

Rana said the teams would visit industrial hub Baddi on Thursday and later Dharamsala town. (IANS)