News Bulletin : October 2021 – Issue 1

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1. Review mega infrastructure projects in wake of IPCC report: Jairam Ramesh : COASTAL INFRASTRUCTURE

Congress leader and former Union minister Jairam Ramesh is of the opinion that mega infrastructure projects like the Kozhikode-Wayanad tunnel project or Mumbai Coastal Road project should be reviewed and monitored in the wake of the recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that said that cities like Kochi, Mumbai or Chennai are going to be three feet under the water by the century’s end due to global warming.

Source: Times of India

2. Dubai to create integrated economic zones authority : BUSINESS PARKS/ ECONOMIC ZONES

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, has issued Law No. (16) of 2021 creating the Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority, an independent legal entity with financial and autonomy.

According to the new Law, Dubai Airport Free Zone, Dubai Silicon Oasis and Dubai Commerce City will operate under the supervision of the newly created Authority, reported Emirates News Agency WAM.

Sheikh Mohammed also issued Decree No. (36) of 2021 appointing Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum as Chairman of the Authority and Decree No. (37) of 2021 naming Dr Mohammed Ahmed Al Zarouni as CEO of the Authority. Law No. (16) and Decrees No. (36) and (37) of 2021 will be published in the Official Gazette and are effective from January 1, 2022.

Source: Trade Arabia

3. India’s largest floating solar power plant commissioned in Andhra Pradesh : FLOATING STRUCTURES

Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has successfully commissioned India’s largest Floating Solar PV plant. Located at NTPC Simhadri in Andhra Pradesh, the 25 MW floating SPV project covers an area of 100 acres. Besides producing clean power, the project will also reduce water evaporation by providing shade to the covered area. It will also have a higher yield as compared to conventional ground-mounted projects due to the cooling effect.

The floating solar project is to be set up under the Flexibilisation Scheme, notified by the Government of India in 2018

Source: Livemint

4. Sustainable transport goes through inland waterways: European Parliament : INLAND WATERWAYS

The fight against climate change is a crucial challenge for the passenger and freight transport sector, even as the need for mobility continues to grow. This is one of the most important points of the report on inland waterways adopted today by the European Parliament, at the initiative of Renew Europe, which makes clear that freedom of movement and the growth of economic activities are not incompatible with the requirement of high environmental protection. The report proposes to shift European transport policy towards inland waterway transport and urges effective measures to boost multimodality.

The EU has a dense network of inland waterways, but its infrastructure needs to be urgently updated (e.g. bridges, locks, and the interoperable deployment of digital technologies across borders). Furthermore, the decarbonisation of this mode of transport, which is already an efficient and sustainable mode of transportation, should be ensured and facilitated.

Source: Renew Europe Group

5. Indian transport sector: The shift towards digitalization : LOGISTICS

India spends nearly 13% of its GDP on logistics whereas the US spends 8% and Europe about 9%. Due to the pandemic leading to a low-touch economy, we are seeing a massive move towards digitization and remote monitoring in the logistics sector all across the globe. Considering the competitive nature of the logistics industry and the vision to make India a global manufacturing hub, the country’s logistics sector also needs to undergo a full-fledged digital transformation. By using cutting-edge technologies such as AI, IoT, Big Data and so on there is ample scope for value creation in the transportation arena. There are numerous benefits that digitization offers such as effective route planning, smart capacity optimization, interconnectivity with various other aspects of the transportation ecosystem such as shippers and warehouses, as well as improving safety and customer experience etc. Source: DGQ India

6. India will have 900 km of operation metro network by 2022, says Puri : METRO

Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Saturday said that nearly 740 km of metro lines are operational currently in various cities in India. The minister was speaking at the inauguration of the 1.2-km Najafgarh-Dhansa Bus Stand corridor of Delhi Metro’s Grey Line. On Saturday evening, Puri inaugurated the corridor along with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

“We are going to cross major milestones. Nearly 740 km or so of metro lines are operational in various cities in India, and the network span is ‘steadily scheduled to rise’, and we have various steps planned out throughout the country. So, it will be over 900 km, I think by 2022,” he said, adding that 900 km of operational metro network will be an achievement in itself.

Source: Livemint

7. Railways could turn the corner with infra push : RAILWAYS

The National Rail Plan and other marquee projects can have a transformative effect

Amidst the Covid-triggered gloom that has permeated the country, the Indian Railways has shown resilience and optimism. It recorded highest ever annual freight loading of 1,233 million tonnes (mt) in 2020-21, exceeding the preceding year’s 1,210 mt. It has maintained the momentum in FY22 as well, despite the crippling restrictions and lockdowns.

Source: The Hindu Business Line

8. Indian Railways connects Gujarat’s Pipavav port with a double-stacked electric train for first time : RAILWAYS

Indian Railways’ Western Railway (WR) zone has achieved a landmark after operating the first electric train from Bhavnagar Division’s Pipavav Port, making it India’s first Indian port connected with High Rise over head electrification (OHE).

By running this train, a new customer, which is Pipavav Rail Corporation Ltd. has been added as Container Operator

Source: Livemint

9. To achieve net-zero by 2050, India needs clean energy installations on land the size of Bihar : RENEWABLE ENERGY

If India were to implement a net-zero target by 2050, an area of at least about 65,000 sq km – equivalent to about half the size of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu – is required for large-scale installation of solar and wind power, a latest report has found.

The study by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis estimated that solar and wind power infrastructure could together occupy 65,000 sq km to 95,000 sq km of land, which is 1.97%-2.88% of India’s total landmass of 32.8 lakh sq km. To put it in perspective, 95,000 sq km of land is equivalent to the size of Bihar.

Source: Scroll.in

10. How grid virtualization can pave the way for renewable energy : RESOURCES AND UTILITIES

Renewable energy has been gaining ground on traditional energy sources in multiple markets. More people are purchasing hybrid or electric cars and installing solar panels as more governments commit resources to lowering carbon emissions. Here in the U.S., renewable energy is a big part of new infrastructure legislation that would help bolster the nation’s support for these technologies.

Making the switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources can present technological challenges, but it offers the promise of a more affordable, efficient and sustainable grid.

And when paired with the right technology, the grid can add renewable sources to its portfolio without sacrificing reliability, safety or visibility.

Source: BizTechMagazine

11. What Is the Environmental Cost of Bottled Water? : WATER & ENVIRONMENT

Is it better for your health and the environment to drink water from a plastic bottle or from a tap?

A recent study published in Science of the Total Environment has the answer for this question, at least in the Spanish city of Barcelona. It found that the environmental toll of bottled water was 1,400 to 3,500 times higher than that of tap water, while drinking only tap water would only take an average of two hours off a resident’s life.

“Our findings suggest that the sustainability gain from consuming water from public supply relative to bottled water far exceeds the human health gain from consuming bottled water in Barcelona,” the study authors wrote.

Source: EcoWatch

12. What would the proposed large-scale cultivation of oil palm mean to India’s ecology and economy? : WATER & ENVIRONMENT

In his Independence Day speech, the Prime Minister announced a scheme to support the growth of palm oil in India. Three days later, the Cabinet approved a ₹11,040 crore outlay over five years for the National Mission on Edible Oils — Oil Palm, based on the argument that India needs to reduce its dependence on importing edible oils. Since then, there has been much discussion on whether this is good for the environment or not. The discussion has largely been framed within the rubric of ‘environment versus development’, and many valuable details are being ignored to the detriment of a logical discourse.

There is nothing new about palm oil. As Jonathan Robins explains in his book, Oil Palm: A Global History, the plant was cultivated in western Africa and reached global markets with the Atlantic slave trade five centuries ago. Slaves used it for much-needed nutrition and to ease the pain from bruises accumulated during the punishing journey.

Source: The Hindu

13. Environmental threats ‘greatest challenge to human rights’: UN : WATER & ENVIRONMENT

Environmental threats are worsening conflicts worldwide and will soon constitute the biggest challenge to human rights, the United Nations has warned.

UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet said on Monday climate change, pollution, and nature loss are severely affecting human rights, while countries across the globe fail to take the necessary action.

“The interlinked crises of pollution, climate change and biodiversity act as threat multipliers, amplifying conflicts, tensions and structural inequalities, and forcing people into increasingly vulnerable situations,” Bachelet said.

Source: Aljazeera

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