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Green Tribunal order will debar locals, whereas private companies will promote and operate tourism beyond Manali

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By Guman Singh*

The Principal Bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in its order dated January 21, 2015 has said that vehicles which are more than 15 years old should stop playing from Manali to Rohtang with the coming tourism season.

The NGT has also ordered to “immediately demolish” all kihokas and dhabas which are “unauthorised” and “illegally being carried on at Solang Nallah”. It insists that the directions contained in a judgement/order passed earlier should be applicable to this location as well. The earlier order was issued last year regarding other places up to Rohtang on similar grounds.

The NGT has also ordered to start a ropeway project from Vashist to Rohtang and ply CNG buses only.

The order asks the Chief Secretary and all other concerned authorities of the state government to immediately take a decision on providing a ropeway from Vashisht to Rohtang Pass. The state government decision is supposed to be backed by the report of the expert/s. “This tribunal primarily feels and is of the opinion that with modern technical know-how, the ropeway can be provided, especially on a public-private partnership mode”, the NGT said. Read more

Courtesy: COUNTERVIEW.ORG

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मलेथा में स्टोन क्रशर पर शासन ने साफ किया रुख किसी भी हाल में नहीं चलेंगे क्रशर

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देहरादून। मलेथा में लगे स्टोन क्रशरों को लेकर गरमाई राजनीति के बाद सरकार ने भी अपना रुख स्पष्ट कर दिया है। अपर मुख्य सचिव राकेश शर्मा ने कहा कि किसी भी हाल में मलेथा में स्टोन क्रशर नहीं चलेगा। कहा कि बातों को तोड़ मरोड़ कर पेश करने से भ्रम की स्थिति बनी है। सरकार हर हाल में मलेथा के लोगों की भावनाओं के अनुरूप काम करेगी। तीन क्रशर पहले बंद किए जा चुके हैं, एक पिछले दिनों बंद कर दिया गया। एक का मामला हाईकोर्ट में है, उसे भी नोटिस दिया जा चुका है। हालांकि उन्होंने यह भी कहा कि मलेथा के क्रशर बंद होने से हरिद्वार में लगे क्रशरों को फायदा हो सकता है, लेकिन इस मामले में सरकार की मंशा साफ है। फायदे नुकसान के अंकगणित की बात अलग है, लेकिन सरकार ने मलेथा के सभी क्रशर बंद करने का निर्णय ले लिया है।
मलेथा आंदोलन को दिया समर्थन
देहरादून (ब्यूरो)। मलेथा आंदोलन को दून में भी समर्थन मिल रहा है। उत्तराखंड परिवर्तन पार्टी ने स्टोन क्रेशरों का विरोध किया। रविवार को पत्रकारों से बातचीत में अध्यक्ष पीसी तिवारी ने कहा कि जिलाधिकारी ने चार स्टोन क्रशरों के संचालन की अनुमति को निरस्त किया था, लेकिन वहां फिर से काम शुरू हो गया। उन्होंने अपर मुख्य सचिव के उस बयान की भी निंदा की।

Nod for cement plant expansion, Himachal cabinet cancels 7 hydro projects (all micro hydro projects)

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Dharamshala: Having voraciously protested against illegally setting up of a cement plant as an opposition party, the Congress government here today approved expansion of the very same Jaypee Himachal Cement Plant at Baga in Solan district.

The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting presided over by chief minister Viribhadra Singh at Dharamshala today.

“The expansion has been approved for enhancement of clinkerization capacity,” stated a cabinet spokesman.

Steep fall in electricity prices having rendered many hydropower projects as unviable, continue to deter private project developers from making any investments and have been surrendering sites allocated to them.

The Himachal Pradesh cabinet today cancelled 7 small hydro projects for failing to get work started on schedule. The projects cancelled are Ghagas (1MW), Anni-IV (2.50 MW), Najan (1 MW), Suhi (1.50 MW), Chachul (3 MW), Joiner Top-I (5 MW) and Sainj Bhagaru (0.80 MW) project.

However, the cabinet made a concession for the Chatarkhand (1.5 MW) Hydel Project in district Shimla by restoring the allocation to the entrepreneur after imposing a small amount of penalty fee for delaying the project. Nod for change of elevation and capacity enhancements to Chandernahan (4 MW) was also granted. Read more

Courtesy: HP HILL POST

India’s CCI approves US$1.8 billion acquisition of two hydroelectric projects in Himachal Pradesh for a combined 1,391 MW

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Officials from the antihegemonic Competition Commission of India (CCI) announced it has granted approval to JSW Energy Ltd. to acquire the 300-MW Baspa II and 1,091-MW Karcham Wangtoo hydroelectric projects, both located in the state of Himachal Pradesh. JSW said the acquisition would make it “the largest private sector hydropower generator in India,” bringing its “operating hydropower capacity to 1,391 MW.”

The Baspa II and Karcham Wangtoo US$1.8 billion purchase from Jaiprakash Power Ventures Ltd. (JPVL), according to CCI, is pursuant to a securities purchase agreement entered into Nov. 16, 2014 between JSW, JPVL, Himachal Baspa Power Co. Ltd. (HBPCL) and Jaypee Group Employees Welfare Trust.

In its approval, CCI noted that HBPCL, JSW and its subsidiary JSW Power Trading Co. Ltd. (JSWPTL) are engaged in power generation in India. However, the company’s structure and the amounts of power it would manage are “insignificant” in the committee’s view, when compared to other power producers in India. Read more

Courtesy: hydroworld.com

200 meters down an Indian mine: Why the country’s digging deep for coal

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(CNN)Holding onto the rails of a cage, we descend lower and lower into the coal mine. It is pitch dark, hot and humid. Every now and then a spray of water drizzles on us.

The two-minute ride down seems much longer than that.

Once we reach the bottom of the shaft, we begin a 3.5 kilometer walk underground to the site where miners are excavating coal.

For almost an hour, we trudge through the slush, the light from our safety helmets the only illumination underground. Our protective clothes and faces quickly develop a black layer of coal dust.

Coal is a polluting fossil fuel, which currently powers more than 60% of India. The government produced 462 million tonnes of it last year and is targeting a billion tonnes by 2019.

Typically, the coal that burns in power plants across India is of poor quality, therefore more harmful. India is already the world’s third highest emitter of greenhouse gases.

So why is India so hungry for coal? Read more

Courtesy: cnn