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1. Katowice Cop 24

Agenda of COP 24:

  • The conference focused on three key issues

  • Finalization of guidelines/ modalities/rules for the implementation of Paris Agreement.

  • Conclusion of 2018 Facilitative Talanoa Dialogue (to help countries implement NDC by 2020)

  • The stocktake of Pre-2020 actions implementation and ambition


Key outcomes in Katowice

  • Rulebook Specifics

  • Accounting Guidance Rules to guide the countries for their Climate pledges (“nationally determined contributions”, NDCs), will make it easier to compare pledges and to add them up as a global aggregate.

  • All countries “shall” use the latest emissions accounting guidance from the IPCC, last updated in 2006, but now in the process of being reformed next year.

  • Market mechanisms: This provides for the trading of carbon credits i.e. overachievement of NDCs (cooperative approaches and internationally transferred mitigation outcomes (ITMOs)), as well as individual projects generating carbon credits for sale. Following is the status on this front:

  • Accounting Rules to prevent “double counting” of emissions reductions by the buyer and seller of offsets could not be finalised.

  • The schemes and methodologies for the implementation of Sustainable Development Mechanism- SDM would be discussed in COP-25. The SDM is intended to replace the Kyoto Protocol’s “Clean Development Mechanism” (CDM) for carbon offsets.

  • Overall Mitigation in Global Emissions (OMGE): It is a central and critical new element under the Paris Agreement, that takes carbon markets beyond the offsetting approaches of the existing markets like the CDM. The primary purpose of OMGE is to deliver on cost-effectively reducing greenhouse gas emissions, rather than creating carbon markets for their own sake. Small island countries wanted a mandatory automatic cancellation or discounting for an OMGE applied to all the activities under market mechanism. However this option was removed from the COP decision and made voluntary.

  • Climate finance reporting: Developed country Parties shall biennially communicate indicative quantitative and qualitative information on programmes, including projected levels, channels and instruments, as available public financial resources to be provided to developing country Parties. Other Parties providing resources are encouraged to communicate biennially such information on a voluntary basis.

  • The UNFCCC secretariat to establish a dedicated online portal for posting and recording the biennial communications.

  • Global stocktake: Paris Agreement requires the CMA (Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement) to periodically take stock of the implementation of the Paris Agreement and to assess collective progress towards achieving the purpose of the Agreement and its long-term goals. This process is called the global stocktake.

  • The rules set the structure for the stocktake process, which is to be divided into three stages: Information collection, technical assessment and consideration of outputs.

  • Transparency: The purpose of the transparency framework is to provide a clear understanding of climate change action in the light of the objective of the Paris Convention. This includes clarity and tracking of progress towards achieving Parties’ individual NDCs, and Parties’ adaptation actions, including good practices and gaps, to inform the global stocktake.

  • Moreover, it provides clarity on support provided and received by relevant individual Parties in the context of climate change actions, and, to the extent possible, to provide a full overview of aggregate financial support provided, to inform the global stocktake.

  • The final rulebook applies a single set of rules to all countries, however with flexibility for “those developing country parties that need it in the light of their capacities”, reflecting CBDR-RC principle.

  • Loss and damage: Loss and damage caused by the unavoidable impacts of climate change was a touchstone issue for vulnerable countries, such as small island developing states. The rulebook mentions this issue, however, in a diluted version.

  • The global stocktake rules do add loss and damage clause. The stocktake rules now say it “may take into account, as appropriate, efforts to avert, minimise and address loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change”.

  • The transparency rules also say countries “may, as appropriate” report on loss and damage.

  • Other matters: Rules were finalised in a number of other areas, including how compliance with the Paris Agreement is to be monitored.

  • COP24 agreed to set up an expert compliance committee that is “facilitative in nature, non-adversarial and non-punitive”. It will not impose penalties or sanctions. The committee will be able to investigate countries that fail to submit climate pledges.

  • COP decided that the “adaptation fund” – a financial mechanism set up under the Kyoto Protocol – should continue under the Paris Agreement.

  • Talanoa Dialogue: The final text simply “invited” countries to “consider” the outcomes of the Talanoa dialogue in preparing their NDCs and in efforts to enhance pre-2020 ambition.

  • The text also “welcomes” the 2018 stocktake on pre-2020 implementation and ambition, and reiterates its decision to convene another stocktake next year.

  • Pre-2020: With respect to the “pre-2020” commitments –first agreed by developed countries in 2010 in Cancun – the COP called for developed countries to ratify the Doha Amendment so that it can enter into force. This would extend the Kyoto Protocol on developed country emissions till 2020.

  • The COP also “strongly urges” developed countries to increase their financial support in line with the promise to jointly mobilise $100bn per year in climate finance to poorer countries by 2020. It acknowledges that “the provision of urgent and adequate finance” will help developing countries in order to up their own pre-2020 action.

  • 'Welcoming' the IPCC 1.5°C report: Despite the majority of countries speaking in favour of the report, four countries – the US, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Kuwait – refused to “welcome” the report. The COP welcome its “timely completion” and “invited” countries to make use of the report in subsequent discussions at the UNFCCC.


Analysis of the outcomes

  • Provision of finance by developed countries: Rules on financial contributions by developed countries have been diluted making it very difficult to hold them accountable.

  • Now, developed countries have the choice to include all kinds of financial instruments, concessional and non-concessional loans, grants, aids etc, from various public and private sources, to meet their commitments.

  • The rules on ex-ante (forecasted) financial reporting and its review for adequacy has been significantly weakened.

  • Developed countries now have the freedom to decide the amount and the kind of financial resources they want to give to the developing countries and do this without any strong mechanism of accountability.

  • Loss and damage: The Warsaw International Mechanism, which has to deal with averting, minimizing and addressing loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change, has no financial resources to support vulnerable countries. With no financial provisions, the countries are now left on their own to address the impacts of climate change.

  • Global stocktake (GST):

  • The non- Policy prescriptive rulebook for GST ensures that the process will neither give any recommendation to individual countries or a group of countries, nor will it give any prescriptive policy to everyone. This would result in collection of a lot of technical information without any clear recommendation to increase ambition on mitigation or finance.

  • Also, equity has been mentioned in the text, but there is no mechanism to operationalize it.

  • Carbon market Mechanism:

  • There has virtually been no progress made on non-market mechanisms (sub-article 6.8 of Paris Agreement) to reduce emissions and enhance sinks in forests and land.

  • There is no firm decision on OMGE mechanism. Also, the rulebook has different rules for different markets, which is non-transparent and makes emissions reductions unverifiable. Trading is allowed for sectors which are not covered in a country’s emissions targets, which will dilute the overall mitigation effect.

  • Countries are on their own: The Paris Agreement had both bottom-up and top-down elements. Most of the top-down elements have been diluted in the rulebook. The Paris Agreement and its rulebook is now a totally ‘self-determined’ process. Countries are now on their own to mitigate, to adapt, and to pay the cost of climate impacts.


2. Sixth Annual Report To Cbd

Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

  • It seeks to address all threats to biodiversity and ecosystem services, including threats from climate change.

  • It aims to promote the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources.

  • It’s a near universal convention with a participation of 196 member countries.


Protocols adopted under the Convention.

  • Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety: It seeks to protect biological diversity from the potential risks posed by living modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology.

  • Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing: It aims at sharing the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources in a fair and equitable way, including by appropriate access to genetic resources and by appropriate transfer of relevant technologies.

  • Submission of national reports is a mandatory obligation on Parties to international treaties, including CBD.

  • NR6 provides an update of progress in achievement of 12 National Biodiversity Targets (NBT) developed under the Convention, in line with the 20 global Aichi biodiversity targets.

  • Objective of NR6: To provide information on measures taken domestically to conserve biodiversity.

  • India has achieved two NBTs (6&9), it is on track to achieve 8 NBTs and in respect of the remaining 2 NBTs.

  • Threat to Wildlife: In India has a total of 683 animal species in the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) critically endangered, endangered and vulnerable categories, as compared to 646 species in 2014 when the fifth national report was submitted, and 413 in these categories in 2009.


3. Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification 2018

  • CRZ: The MoEFCC declares the coastal stretches and the water area up to territorial water limit, excluding the islands of Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep and the marine areas surrounding these islands, as Coastal Regulation Zone as under:

  • Land area from High Tide Line (HTL) to 500 mts on the landward side.

  • Land area between HTL to 50 mts or width of the creek whichever is less on the landward side along the tidal influenced water bodies connected to the sea.

  • The intertidal zone i.e. land area between the HTL and the Low Tide Line( LTL).

  • The water and the bed area between the LTL to the territorial water limit (12 Nautical miles (Nm)) in case of sea and the water and the bed area between LTL at the bank to the LTL on the opposite side of the bank of tidal influenced water bodies.


Classification of the CRZ

  • CRZ-I areas are environmentally most critical and are classified as under:

  • CRZ-I A: The ecologically sensitive areas and the geomorphological features which play a role in the maintaining the integrity of the coast viz. Mangroves; Corals and coral reefs; Sand Dunes; Biologically active Mudflats; Salt Marshes; Turtle nesting grounds; protected areas etc.

  • CRZ-I B: The intertidal zone.

  • CRZ-II: The developed land areas up to or close to the shoreline, within the existing municipal limits or in other existing legally designated urban areas.

  • CRZ-III: Land areas that are relatively undisturbed (viz rural areas etc) and those do not fall under CRZ-II. CRZ-III is further classified as:

  • CRZ-III A: Areas with population density more than 2161 per sq km as per 2011 census.

  • CRZ-III B: areas with population density of less than 2161 per sq km, as per 2011 census.

  • CRZ- IV: It constitutes the water area and further classified as:

  • CRZ- IV A: The water area and the sea bed area between the LTL up to 12Nm on the seaward side.

  • CRZ- IV B: the water area and the bed area between LTL at the bank of the tidal influenced water body to the LTL on the opposite side of the bank, extending from the mouth of the water body at the sea up to the influence of tide, i.e., salinity of five parts per thousand (ppt) during the driest season of the year.

  • The Union Cabinet has approved the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification, 2018.



  • To conserve and protect the coastal environment, and to promote sustainable development based on scientific principles Ministry of Environment and Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, notified the CRZ Notification in 1991, subsequently revised in 2011.

  • Various Coastal States/UTs, besides other stakeholders, were demanding for a comprehensive review of the CRZ Notification, 2011, particularly related to the management and conservation of marine and coastal eco-systems, development in coastal areas, eco-tourism, livelihood option and sustainable development of coastal communities etc.

  • In June 2014, Shailesh Nayak Committee was constituted by the MoEFCC to review the the CRZ Notification, 2011.

  • Government in April 2018, released a draft notification on coastal regulation zone taking inputs from states/UTs and recommendations of Shailesh Nayak Committee.


Salient Features

  • Easing FSI norms: This notification de-freezes the restrictions imposed on Floor Space Index (FSI) or the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) under CRZ, 2011 in accordance to 1991 Development Control Regulation (DCR) levels.

  • No development zone (NDZ) reduced for densely populated areas: For CRZ-III areas

  • CRZ-III A areas shall have a NDZ of 50 meters from the HTL on the landward side as against 200 meters from the HTL stipulated in the CRZ Notification, 2011.

  • CRZ-III B areas shall continue to have an NDZ of 200 meters from the HTL.

  • Tourism infrastructure for basic amenities to be promoted: The notification allows for temporary tourism facilities such as shacks, toilet blocks, change rooms, drinking water facilities etc on beaches at a minimum distance of 10 metres from HTL. Such temporary tourism facilities are also now permissible in the NDZ of the CRZ-III areas.

  • CRZ Clearances streamlined:

  • CRZ clearances are needed only for projects located in CRZ-I and CRZ IV.

  • States to have the powers for clearances w.r.t CRZ-II and III with necessary guidance.

  • NDZ of 20 meters has been stipulated for all Islands: in the wake of space limitations and unique geography and to bring uniformity in treatment of such regions.

  • All Ecologically Sensitive Areas have been accorded special importance: Through Specific guidelines related to their conservation and management plans.

  • Pollution abatement has been accorded special focus: By permitting construction of treatment facilities in CRZ-I B area subject to necessary safeguards.

  • Defence and strategic projects have been accorded necessary dispensation.



  • CRZ helps in reducing the ecological vulnerability through:

  • Regulated activities in ecologically most sensitive areas (CRZ-I A)

  • Regulate activities such as Eco-tourism subject to approved Coastal Zone Management Plans(CZMPs), exceptional construction of public utilities in the mangrove buffer etc.

  • Construction of roads and roads on stilts, by way of reclamation shall be permitted only in exceptional cases for defence, strategic purposes and public utilities, subject to a detailed marine/terrestrial environment impact assessment, to be recommended by the Coastal Zone Management Authority and approved by the MoEFCC.

  • compensatory plantation of mangroves (Minimum three times the mangrove area affected/destroyed/ cut).

  • Areas requiring special consideration in the CRZ

  • Critically Vulnerable Coastal Areas (CVCA): Sunderban region of West Bengal and other ecologically sensitive areas identified as under Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 such as Gulf of Khambat and Gulf of Kutchchh in Gujarat, Malvan, Achra-Ratnagiri in Maharashtra, Karwar and Coondapur in Karnataka, Vembanad in Kerala, Gulf of Mannar in Tamil Nadu, Bhaitarkanika in Odisha, Coringa, East Godavari and Krishna in Andhra Pradesh shall be treated as CVCA and managed with the involvement of coastal communities including fisher folk who depend on coastal resources for their sustainable livelihood.

  • CRZ for inland Backwater islands and islands along the mainland coast.

  • CRZ falling within municipal limits of Greater Mumbai.

  • Enhanced activities in the coastal regions thereby promoting economic growth while also respecting the conservation principles of coastal regions.

  • Boost tourism in terms of more activities, more infrastructure and more opportunities in creating employment opportunities.

  • greater opportunities for development of densely populated rural areas in the CRZs.

  • CRZ, 2018 is also in sync with the thrust being given to port-led industrialisationand the Coastal Economic Zones projects.

  • Additional opportunities for affordable housing which will benefit not only the housing sector but the people at large looking for shelter.

  • It is expected to rejuvenate the coastal areas while reducing their vulnerabilities.



  • The new notification has done away with or diluted many stringent restrictions in place at coastal areas. The emphasis of the new CRZ norms is on promotion of tourism facilities, quicker dispensation of defence and strategic projects and liberal licensing for the installation of treatment plants.

  • Eco-sensitive regions could see flurry of construction activity thereby hampering the coastal eco system and biodiversity.

  • The notification violates the balance between ecosystem and development. The mandatory 50 m buffer zone for mangrove forest in private land with an expanse of more than 1,000 sq m has been done away with.

  • The fishermen are worried that the entry of the tourism sector will attract the real estate lobbies, who will eventually displace the coastal community and deny them the access to the seas.

  • Further, the reduction of NDZ is done without taking consideration of sea level rise. The coastline is already vulnerable due to erosion, fresh water crisis and loss of livelihoods. The new changes will only increase this vulnerability and promote commercialisation of the coast.

  • The Hazard Line, mapped by the Survey of India has, however, been de-linked from the CRZ regulatory regime and will be used only as a tool for disaster management and planning of adaptive and mitigation measures.

  • The treatment facilities, allowed in CRZ-I to reduce coastal pollution, means several ecologically fragile areas will have sewage treatment plants transferring pollution from land to sea.

  • The notification permits activities like reclamation of land for commercial activities, interference with sand dunes, large scale recreation and drawing of ground water within the 200-500 metres from the HTL, which is

  • Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM): This concept was born in 1992 during the Earth Summit of Rio de Janeiro. This was a World Bank assisted project with the objective of building national capacity for implementation of comprehensive coastal management approach in the country, and piloting the integrated coastal zone management approach in states of Gujarat, Orissa and West Bengal. • The project’s multi-sectoral and integrated approach represents a paradigm shift from the traditional sector-wise management of coastal resources where numerous institutional, legal, economic and planning frameworks worked in isolation, at times with conflicting aims and outputs.

  • The project puts equal emphasis on conservation of coastal and marine resources, pollution management, and improving livelihood opportunities for coastal communities.

  • detrimental to the coastal ecology and that will displace the local communities and affect the bio-diversity.



  • The sustainable management depends on the nature of the social system, comprising political, economic and industrial infrastructure and its linkages, with the knowledge about coastal systems as well as local communities. India need to move from a purely regulatory approach towards an Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM).


4. Sea Level Rise In India

  • Sea Level Rise

  • It is caused primarily by two factors related to global warming:

  • the added water from melting ice sheets; and glaciers

  • the expansion of seawater as it warms.

  • A report by World Meteorological Organization (WMO) says that the Global Mean Sea Level from January to July 2018 was around 2 to 3 mm higher than for the same period in 2017

  • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special report said in October this year that there is no safe level of global warming and sea levels would continue to rise for centuries even if we cap warming at 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, prescribed in the lower limit of the Paris Agreement.


Contribution in Sea Level Rise

  • As per the study by Hyderabad-based Indian National Center for Ocean Information Services, Sea levels along the Indian coast are projected to rise between 3.5 inches to 34 inch (2.8 feet) by the end of century due to global warming.


Impact of Sea Level Rise

  • Large-scale displacement: A large population in the world lives along coastal areas (about 10% of world’s population), a sea level rise will force a large population to migrate from coastal areas creating huge economic and social costs.

  • A disruption in socio-economic life and large scale internal and external migration may crate social strife across nations.

  • Reduction in Drinking Water: Sea Level Rise will increase salinity in underground water in coastal areas, significantly reducing the available drinking water.

  • Impact on Food Security: Due to flooding and salt water intrusion into the soil, the salinity of agricultural lands near the sea increases, posing problems for crops that are not salt-resistant. Furthermore, salt intrusion in fresh irrigation water poses a second problem for crops that are irrigated. Newly developed salt-resistant crop variants are currently more expensive than the crops they are set to replace.

  • International Conflicts: Sea Level Rise will change the exclusive economic zones of nations, potentially creating conflicts between neighboring nations.

  • Impact on Island Nations: Maldives, Tulavu, Marshall Islands and other low lying countries are among the areas that are at highest level of risk. At current rates, Maldives could become uninhabitable by 2100. Five of the Solomon Islands have disappeared due to combined effect of Sea Level Rise and stronger trade winds.

  • Impact on India: Mumbai and other west coast stretches such as Khambat and Kutch in Gujrat, parts of Konkan and South Kerala are most vulnerable to sea-level rise. Deltas of Ganga, Krishna, Godavari, Cauvery and Mahanadi are also threatened. 171 million people live in coastal districts who are at risk due to sea level rise which is about 14.2% of India’s Population.


Adaptation to Sea Level Rise

  • Adaptation options to sea level rise can be broadly classified into retreat, accommodate and protect.

  • Retreating is moving people and infrastructure to less exposed areas and preventing further development in areas that are at risk. This type of adaptation is potentially disruptive, as displacement of people might lead to tensions.

  • Accommodation options are measurements that make societies more flexible to sea level rise. Examples are the cultivation of food crops that tolerate a high salt content in the soil and making new building standards which require building to be built higher and have less damage in the case a flood does occur.

  • Protect: areas can be protected by the construction of dams, dikes and by improving natural defenses.

  • These adaptation options can be further divided into hard and soft.

  • Hard adaptation relies mostly on capital-intensive human-built infrastructure and involves large-scale changes to human societies and ecological systems. Because of its large scale, it is often not flexible.

  • Soft adaptation involves strengthening natural defenses and adaptation strategies in local communities and the use of simple and modular technology, which can be locally owned. The two types of adaptation might be complementary or mutually exclusive.


Way forward

  • Arresting Climate Change: Prime Source of Sea Level Rise is Global Warming caused by excess carbon dioxide in atmosphere. 2015 Paris Climate Agreement to limit global temperature rise to 1.5° C should be implemented by Nations.

  • Evolving Adaptation Strategies: All coastal & Island Nations should have comprehensive national adaptation plans involving both hard and soft options to deal with rising sea levels.

  • Acknowledging ‘Climate Refugees’: A Global Convention on Climate Refugee should be seriously contemplated by the UN. Recently adopted Global Compact on Refugees recognized climate change as one of the possible reason for migration but shied away from calling them ‘Climate Refugees’ or covering them under UN Convention on Refugees.

  • Limiting Coastal Settlements: Keeping the future sea level rise in mind, countries should limit and regulate coastal settlements so that number of people at risk doesn’t increase further.


5. Seabed 2030

About Seabed 2030:

  • It aims to bring together all available bathymetric data (measures of depth and shape of the seafloor) to



  • GEBCO is an international group of mapping experts which aims to provide the most authoritative publicly-available bathymetry of the world's oceans.

  • It operates under the joint auspices of the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) (of UNESCO).

  • produce the definitive map of the world ocean floor by 2030 and make it available to all.

  • It is a collaborative project between the Nippon Foundation and General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO).

  • The project was launched at the United Nations (UN) Ocean Conference in June 2017 and is aligned with the UN's Sustainable Development Goal #14 to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources.

  • Central to the Seabed 2030 strategy is the creation of Regional Data Assembly and Coordination Centres (RDACCs), with each having a defined ocean region of responsibility. A board will be established for each region consisting of local experts to identify existing bathymetric data, and to help coordinate new bathymetric surveys.


Significance Sea-bed Mapping

  • Bathymetric data from the deep ocean is critical for studying marine geology and geophysics. For example, Bathymetric data obtained in 1950s and ‘60s led to modern understanding of Plate tectonics.

  • The shape of the seabed is a crucial parameter for understanding ocean circulation patterns as well as an important variable for accurately forecasting tsunami wave propagation.

  • Bathymetric data illuminates the study of tides, wave action, sediment transport, underwater geo—hazards, cable routing, resource exploration, extension of continental shelf (UN Law of the Sea treaty issues), military and defence applications.

  • In coastal regions, bathymetry underpins marine and maritime spatial planning and decision-making, navigation safety, and provides a scientific basis for models of storm surges, while also informing our understanding of marine ecosystems and habitats.

  • Detailed knowledge of bathymetry is a fundamental prerequisite for attaining an improved understanding of the subsea processes.



  • Even using the RDACC model, the goal of mapping the entire world ocean is a significant challenge, and can only be accomplished if new field mapping projects are initiated.

  • Crowdsourcing bathymetric data from fishing vessels and recreational small boats etc. represents one approach for gathering information in shallower water regions, but is less efficient in deeper waters due to depth limitations of standard echo sounders.

  • Deep water mapping remains a major challenge due to the cost involved and the limited number of available research vessels that are equipped with modern deep, water multibeam sonars.


Way forward

  • Reach out to the national and international funding agencies, to get adequate funding to support Seabed 2030 vision.

  • Keeping up with technology overtime to make sure that processes, products and services are forward looking and well-positioned to make use of new technologies as they become available.

  • Given the sheer size of the ocean the Seabed 2030 goals can only be achieved through international coordination and collaboration with respect to data acquisition, assimilation and compilation.


6. Guidelines For Ground Water Extraction

Brief Background

  • India is the largest user of ground water in the world- about 25% of the global ground water extraction. Out of the total of 6584 assessment units, 1034 have been categorized as ‘Over-exploited’; 253 as ‘Critical’; 681 as ‘Semi-Critical’ and 96 assessment units have been classified as ‘Saline’.

  • The Easement Act, 1882, provides every landowner with the right to collect and dispose, within his own limits, all water under the land and on the surface. Landowners are not legally liable for any damage caused to water resources as a result of over-extraction.

  • In its various orders, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has asked the CGWA to regulate the GW extraction by various users through system of registrations and No Objection Certificate (NOC) and user fees with a limit on quantum of GW to be extracted.

  • In compliance with the NGT orders, the CGWA had circulated the draft guidelines for grant of ‘No Objection Certificate’ on the 11th October 2017. After considering all the suggestions from various stakeholders, govt now notified the revised guidelines.


Salient features of the revised guidelines:

  • The revised guidelines aim to ensure a more robust ground water regulatory mechanism in the country through system of NOC and user fee.

  • For Industries

  • Introduction of the concept of Water Conservation Fee (WCF) which varies with the category of the area, type of industry and the quantum of ground water extraction and is designed to progressively increase from safe to over-exploited areas and from low to high water consuming industries as well as with increasing quantum of ground water extraction. The high rates of WCF are expected to discourage setting up of new industries in over-exploited and critical areas as well as act as a deterrent to large scale ground water extraction by industries, especially in over-exploited and critical areas.

  • The WCF would also compel industries to adopt measures relating to water use efficiency and discourage the growth of packaged drinking water units, particularly in over-exploited and critical areas.

  • NOC to industries shall be granted only for such cases where government agencies are not able to supply the desired quantity of water.

  • Encouraging use of recycled and treated sewage water by industries.

  • Provision of action against polluting industries, and measures to be adopted to ensure prevention of ground water contamination in premises of polluting


Related News

  • National Green Tribunal Order (3 January 2019): NGT noted that:

  • The guidelines have, rather than laying stricter norms, liberalised extraction of groundwater adding to the crisis unmindful of the ground situation and likely impact it will have on environment.

  • The water conservation fee virtually gives licence to harness ground water to any extent even in OCS areas. There is no institutional mechanism to monitor removal and replenishment of ground water. Delegation provision is virtual abdication of authority.

  • There was no check on injection of pollutants in the ground water in the notification and there is no provision with regard to check on water quality and its remediation, if there is contamination.

  • Hence NGT stayed the enforcement of the guidelines

  • The bench further directed the MoEF&CC to constitute an expert committee by including representatives from IIT, IIM, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), NITI Aayog and any other concerned agency or department. The panel will examine the issue of appropriate policy for conservation of ground water.


industries/ projects.

  • Mandatory requirement of digital flow meters, piezometers and digital water level recorders (with or without telemetry depending upon quantum of extraction).

  • Mandatory water audit by industries abstracting ground water 500 m3/day or more in safe and semi-critical and 200 m3/day or more in critical and over-exploited assessment units.

  • Mandatory roof top rain water harvesting except for specified industries.

  • The entire process of grant of NOC is done online through a web based application system of CGWA. It shall be renewed periodically, subject to compliance of the conditions. The applicant shall apply for renewal of NOC at least 90 days prior to expiry of its validity.

  • For Drinking & Domestic use, -request for NOC shall be considered only in cases where the water supply department / agency concerned is unable to supply adequate amount of water in the area.

  • Flexibility to states: States may suggest additional conditions/ criteria based on the local hydro geological situations which will be reviewed by CGWA before acceptance.

  • Monitoring: Monthly water level data shall be submitted to CGWA through the web portal.

  • Exemptions o Exemption from requirement of NOC has been given to agricultural users, users employing non-energised means to extract water, individual households (using less than 1 inch diameter delivery pipe) and Armed Forces Establishments during operational deployment or during mobilization in forward locations.

  • Other exemptions (with certain requirements) have been granted to strategic and operational infrastructure projects for Armed Forces, Defence and Paramilitary Forces Establishments and Government water supply agencies in safe and semi critical areas.


Issues with the Policy Guidelines

  • Rather than banning extraction of groundwater in areas which have been alarmingly overexploited, the government has made the issue negotiable. Experts say the more one pays, the more they can withdraw water.

  • NGT also, expressed its concern stating that merely imposing a cost was not enough to curb groundwater extraction.

  • The draft rules, which were released in 2017 for public suggestions, had done away with the mandatory limit of reuse of water extracted by the industries. This is when the earlier set of rules had very specific limits depending upon the type of area. It ranged from 40 per cent to 100 per cent depending on if the area was safe, semi-critical, critical or over-exploited for groundwater. However, those limits do not exist anymore.

  • Agriculture, amounting 90% of the annual ground water extraction is kept out of regulations. Only an indicative list of demand side measures are provided to minimise the water uses.

  • All categories exempted from requirement of NOC shall also be exempted from paying WCF.

  • WCF rates are too low to discourage the GW extraction (varying from Rs 1-100 per cubic meters of groundwater based on the nature of areas).

  • Textiles industry would be hurt a lot due to its heavy water dependency. It will have impact on overall economy.

7. India Water Impact Summit 2018 And Urban River Management Plan

  • C-Ganga

  • It has been established at Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IITK) as a centre of excellence to further the development of Ganga River Basin.

  • It channelizes scientific inputs from international experts and organizations for Ganga River Basin Management Plan.

  • It will act in the capacity of a comprehensive think-tank for the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, in its stated goals and objectives vis-à-vis the Ganga River Basin.

  • Recently, 3rd India Water Impact Summit 2018 was jointly organized by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) and the Centre for Ganga River Basin Management and Studies (C-Ganga).


About India Water Impact Summit

  • It is an annual event where stakeholders get together to discuss, debate and develop model solutions for some of the biggest water-related problems in the country.

  • Ganga Finance Forum was introduced which brought together financial sector experts to provide various innovative financial instruments e.g. social impact bonds, masala bonds, long-term debt financing, and use of blockchain in the financial sector were proposed.

  • It highlighted the need of decentralization and community driven treatment of sewage and decided to set up a working group to build a model Urban River Management Plan.

  • Urban River Management Plan for Ganga River Basin(GRB) - It will have a planning horizon of 25 years and will essentially be a compendium of all ‘actions’ to be undertaken during this time for comprehensive riverbank management and wastewater management in the town.

  • Why URMPs are essential?

  • At the present time, many projects on riverbank and wastewater management in various towns are being sanctioned by various ministries under various programmes with the general objective of improvement of the state of rivers in the GRB. However, in the absence of URMPs, it appears that the micro‐level planning that is required for obtaining the optimal benefits from such projects is not in place.

  • Preparation of URMPs thus provides the underlying planning structure that is required for obtaining the optimal benefits from implementation of such projects.


Salient Features of Proposed URMPs

  • Removal of encroachments and land acquisition for riverbank beautification and related development works.

  • Restriction/banning of certain activities on the riverbank or in the river, viz., open defecation, disposal of solid waste, washing of clothes, etc.

  • Development/restoration of the riverbank area, i.e., construction / restoration of ghats, provision of public baths and toilets, etc.

  • Prevention of the discharge of treated and untreated sewage into the river through construction of sewers and ‘nala’ diversion works.

  • Disposal of sludge generated due to sewage treatment in an acceptable manner and reuse of sludge and sludge‐derived products, i.e., manure, compost, etc. within the town and/or elsewhere.


URMPs vs Other City‐Specific Development Plans

  • City‐specific development plans, e.g, city master plans, city development plans, etc. are ‘city‐centric’, i.e., their main objective is the development in the town and not necessarily the prevention and management of adverse impacts to the river bank and the river.

  • In contrast, the proposed URMP is a river‐centric plan, whose main purpose is the delineation of a roadmap for prevention and management of adverse impacts on river bank and the river from adjoining urban centers.


8. Charging Infrastructure Guidelines

Challenges in setting Effective Charging Infrastructure in India:

  • Lack of Crucial Resources: India has very little known reserves of lithium; other crucial components such as nickel, cobalt and battery-grade graphite are also imported.

  • Lack of Skill: We still lack sufficient technical know-how in lithium battery manufacturing.

  • Time consuming: It still takes longer to charge an electric vehicle than it does to refuel a conventional car at the pump.

  • Sector Suitability: Heavy-duty truck transportation and aviation, will remain difficult to electrify without drastic advances in battery technology.

  • Chemical pollution: Lack of eco-friendly disposal facilities of batteries in India to curb pollution.

  • Need of charging infrastructure: It play a pivotal role on Electric Vehicle (EV) deployment, and, in he absence of a proactive plan and schedule, is a major impediment to mass market adoption.

  • According to McKinsey’s 2016 EV consumer survey of buyers, not having enough access to efficient charging stations as the third most serious barrier to EV purchase, behind price and driving range.


Highlight of Guidelines

  • Objective: To enable faster adoption of electric vehicles in India, promote an affordable tariff system for EV owners and operators of charging stations, generate employment and income opportunities for small business owners, support the creation of EV charging infrastructure and eventually create a market for this business

  • Promoting Private Participation in charging Infrastructure: They will be permitted to set up charging stations at residences, and distribution companies (DISCOMs) are to facilitate the same.

  • Ease of Setting: No license will be required for setting set up a public charging station and any individual or entity is free to set up one if they follow the standards and guidelines

  • Location of Public Charging Station: Charging station must cater to slow as well as fast-charging requirements and it mandates minimum one station in a 9-sq. km area.

  • Rollout plan: Phase I (1-3 years) will cover all mega cities with population above forty lakh, and the associated expressways and highways.

  • Phase II (3-5 years) will cover state and UT capitals.

  • Tariff: The Central or State Electricity Regulatory Commissions will determine the tariff for supply of electricity to the public charging stations. However, such tariff will not be more than the average cost of supply plus 15%. Domestic tariffs will apply for domestic charging of EVs.

  • Open access: Charging station has been allowed to source electricity from any power generation company through open access.

  • Steps taken by Various Ministries and department for Promoting Charging Infrastructure in India


9. Asiatic Lion Conservation Project

Asiatic Lion

  • Asiatic Lion, Panthera Leo Persica is listed in Schedule 1 of Wildlife Protect Act, 1972 and in Appendix-I of CITES, while IUCN lists it in endangered category.

  • The lion is one of five pantherine cats inhabiting India, along with the Bengal tiger, Indian leopard, snow leopard and clouded leopard.

  • Their population is limited to only five protected areas in Gujarat – Gir National Park, Gir Sanctuary, Pania Sanctuary, Mitiyala Sanctuary and Girnar Sanctuary.

  • This remains the only home for the lions even five years after India’s top court ordered the translocation of Asiatic lions. The single habitat is akin to keeping “all eggs in one basket”, which increases risks for the lion population.


Asiatic vs African Lions

  • Size: Asiatic lions tend to be smaller than their African cousins. Adult Asiatic Lion males typically weigh between 350 and 420 pounds While African Adult males average between 330 and 500 pounds in weight, with most weighing around 410 pounds.

  • Mane: Compared to the African lion, the male Asiatic lion has a relatively short, sparse mane. As a result, the male Asiatic lion's ears tend to remain visible at all times. In addition to being less well-developed, the mane is generally darker than that of African lions.

  • Skin Fold: The most distinguishing characteristic of the Asiatic lion is a longitudinal fold of skin that runs along the belly. This trait is found in all Asiatic lions. While it is absent in African Lions.

  • Pride Size: Just like African lions, Asiatic lions are highly sociable and live in social units called prides. However, Asiatic prides tend to be smaller than their African counterparts.

  • The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change launched the “Asiatic Lion Conservation Project” with an aim to protect and conserve the world’s last ranging free population of Asiatic Lion and its associated ecosystem.



  • Asiatic lions that once ranged from Persia (Iran) to Palamau in Eastern India were almost driven to extinction by indiscriminate hunting and habitat loss.

  • A single population of less than 50 lions persisted in the Gir forests of Gujarat by late 1890's. With timely and stringent protection offered by the State Government and the Center Government, Asiatic lions have increased to the current population of over 500 numbers.

  • Recently 23 Lions died in short period of 20 days, due to Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) and tick-bore Babesiosis, again raising a concern for their conservation.


About the Project

  • It will be funded from the Centrally Sponsored Scheme- Development of Wildlife Habitat (CSS-DWH) with the contributing ratio being 60:40 of Central and State share.

  • The project activities is envisaged in a manner to cause habitat improvement, scientific interventions, disease control and veterinary care supplemented with adequate eco development works for the fringe population in order to ensure a stable and viable Lion population in the Country.


10. Tiger Conservation

More on News

  • This new assessment could guide planning for tiger recovery globally and help inform more effective, integrated approaches to tiger conservation.

  • The presence of the big cats in Dibang valley which is not even a tiger reserve is a tribute to the ways the people there have been coexisting with the animals.


Threats to Tiger Population in India

  • Habitat loss:

  • Industrial Development has led to increased pressure on their natural habitat due to increased deforestation.

  • Forest fires and floods leading to habitat loss also continue to pose a threat to their survival.

  • National Highways often run through the tiger reserves which in turn lead to habitat fragmentation.

  • Poaching: Tigers have been illegally hunted due to their demand in traditional Chinese medicines, decorative works, etc.

  • Man-Animal conflict: Growing incidents of human–tiger conflict protected also pose significant challenge.

  • Inbreeding of the tiger species is also a major concern as inbred animals are prone to acquiring crippling defects, lack of capacity to adapt and psychological issues


Conservation Efforts in India

  • Project Tiger: The Government of India launched the centrally Sponsored Scheme the ‘Project Tiger’ in 1973 for forin-situ conservation of wild tigers in designated tiger reserves. The Project Tiger coverage has increased to 50 tiger reserves at present.

  • The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA): It is a statutory body established in 2006 under MoEFCC performing functions as provided in the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. Presently It implements major tiger conservation initiatives like project tiger, Tiger conservation plan etc.

  • Monitoring System for Tigers – Intensive Protection and Ecological Status (M-STrIPES): It is a software-based monitoring system launched across Indian tiger reserves by the NTCA.


Global Conservation Efforts

  • The Global Tiger Initiative (GTI): It was launched in 2008 as a global alliance of governments, international organizations, civil society, the conservation and scientific communities and the private sector and includes organization like the World Bank, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), etc. It aims to work together to save wild tigers from extinction. In 2013, the scope was broadened to include Snow Leopards. The initiative is led by the 13 tiger range countries (Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand, and Vietnam).

  • The Global Tiger Forum (GTF) is the only inter- governmental international body established with members from willing countries to embark on a global campaign to protect the Tiger.

  • TX2: In 2010, the St. Petersburg Declaration on Tiger Conservation was adopted under the GTI and the Global Tiger Recovery Programme or TX2 was endorsed. Its goal was to double the number of wild tigers across their geographical areas. The WWF is implementing the programme in 13 tiger range countries.

  • Conservation Assured Tiger Standards CA|TS: It is a new tool for tiger conservation management. It is a set of criteria which allows tiger sites to check if their management will lead to successful tiger conservation. It is an important part of Tx2 programme.


Way Forward

  • Awareness: Awareness about tiger conservation through discussions, exhibitions and local campaigns, etc should be spread.

  • Strengthening monitoring activities by authorities is a crucial element in tiger conservation. Improving the intelligence and information sharing mechanism is a major aspect in this regard. Drones can also be widely used for monitoring.

  • Stopping Illegal trade: Items prepared from tiger killed must be tackled as it effectively fuels the poaching process.

  • Involving Local communities: Peaceful coexistence with voluntarily participation of the local communities is a must. For example villagers must be instantaneously compensated for their cattle loss or crop damage due to tiger and other wildlife activities.

  • Relocation of tigers: It should be done in a well-planned manner else there is a high chance of losing the animal. This can also help to prevent inbreeding of the tiger species and thus increase the viability of the tiger population.

December Environmental Issues

11. Great Indian Bustard

About Great Indian bustard (ArdeotisNigriceps)

  • It’s among the heaviest bird with a horizontal body and long bare legs giving it an ostrich like appearance.

  • Habitat: Arid and semi-arid grasslands, open country with thorn scrub, tall grass interspersed with cultivation. It avoids irrigated areas.

  • It is endemic to Indian Sub-continent, found in central India, western India and eastern Pakistan.

  • Currently, it is found in only six states in the country — Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Karnataka.

  • Protection: Listed in Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List

  • It is also listed in Appendix I of CITES and covered under CMS or Bonn Convention.

  • Bustard Species Found In India: Great Indian Bustard, the Lesser Florican and the Bengal Florican; Houbara also belong to Bustard family but it's a migratory species.

  • Importance to Ecosystem: GIB is an indicator species for grassland habitats and its gradual disappearance from such environments shows their deterioration.

  • Once the species is lost, there will be no other species to replace it, and that will destabilise the ecosystem of the grassland and affect critical bio-diversities, as well as blackbucks and wolves, who share their habitat with the GIB.

  • Threat: Hunting, poaching, habitat erosion, 'greening' projects that transform arid grasslands to wooded areas, change of land use from grassland to farmland, collisions with high tension electric wires, fast moving vehicles and free-ranging dogs in villages

  • Conservation Steps: Great Indian Bustard, popularly known as 'Godawan', is Rajasthan's state bird. The state government has started "Project Godawan" for its conservation at Desert National Park (DNP) in Jaisalmer. It’s one of the Species for The Recovery Programmeunder the Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats of the Ministry of Environment and Forests.


Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats

  • It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme where GoI provides financial and technical assistance to the State/UT Governments for activities aimed at wildlife conservation. The scheme has three components viz- Support to Protected Areas (National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries, Conservation Reserves and Community Reserves), Protection of Wildlife Outside Protected Area and Recovery programmes for saving critically endangered species and habitats.


Bustard Recovery Programme

  • It recommends linking local livelihoods with bustard conservation

  • A profitable and equitable mechanism to share revenues generated from eco-tourism with local communities should be developed

  • For effective conservation, the guidelines direct state governments to identify the core breeding areas for bustards and keep them inviolate from human disturbances

  • The guidelines suggest restriction on infrastructure development and land use diversion for roads, high tension electric poles, intensive agriculture, wind power generators and construction

  • Only low intensity, traditional pastoral activities should be allowed, that too, not during the breeding season, say the guidelines Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) or Bonn convention

  • It is the only convention under UNEP which provides a global platform for the conservation and sustainable use of migratory animals and their habitats ( and their migration routes). India is a member of the convention.

  • Migratory species threatened with extinction are listed on Appendix I of the Convention.


12. Gangetic Dolphin

About Gangetic dolphins

  • It inhabits the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna and Karnaphuli-Sangu river systems of Nepal, India, and Bangladesh.

  • It is among the four freshwater dolphins found in the world – the other three are found in the Yangtze River (China), the ‘bhulan’ of the Indus (Pakistan) and the ‘boto’ of the Amazon River (Latin America).

  • It is fluviatile (riverine) in habitat, it may also be found in brackish water. It never enters the sea.

  • A long thin snout, rounded belly and large flippers are its characteristics.

  • It is a mammal and cannot breathe in the water and must surface every 30-120 seconds.

  • Because of the sound it produces when breathing, the animal is popularly referred to as the 'Susu'.


Conservation Status

What is CITES?

  • It is an International agreement between governments, drafted as a result of a resolution adopted in 1963 at a meeting of members of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

  • It ensures that international trade in the specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.

  • CITES regulates international trade in species by including species on one of the three Appendices.

  • Appendix I - includes species threatened with extinction. Trade in specimens of these species is permitted only in exceptional circumstances e.g. Tiger, Himalayan brown bear, elephant, and Tibetan antelope.

  • Appendix II - includes species not necessarily threatened with extinction, but in which trade must be controlled in order to avoid utilization incompatible with their survival e.g. Hippopotamus, bigleaf mahogany, and the gray wolf.

  • Appendix III - a species included at the request of a country which then needs the cooperation of other countries to help prevent illegal exploitation, e.g. walrus, Hoffmann's two-toed sloth, and the red-breasted toucan.

  • It is the national aquatic animal and had been granted non-human personhood status by government in 2017.

  • It is also protected under the Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act (1972).

  • Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary (VGDS) in Bihar is India's only sanctuary for the Gangetic dolphin.

  • It has been categorised as endangered on the Red List of Threatened Species by the IUCN.

  • It is listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Appendix I (See Box).

  • The presence of Dolphins in a river system signals a healthy ecosystem. Since the river dolphin is at the apex of the aquatic food chain, its presence in adequate numbers symbolizes greater biodiversity in the river system and helps keep the ecosystem in balance.


Reasons mentioned in study for decreasing population

  • The hyper-saline zone in Sunderbans, caused by the rising temperature and sea-level.

  • Hydrological modifications like water diversion, deepening, widening and straightening waterways and commission of large barrages upstream.

  • Other reasons include pollution(water and noise), deliberate killing for dolphin oil, bycatch in gillnets and line hooks etc.


Conservation Efforts

  • A Conservation Action Plan for the Gangetic Dolphin 2010-2020 has been formulated by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. It provides following recommendations:

  • Potential sites for intense dolphin conservation should be demarcated and States with Gangetic Dolphin populations should have a regional Dolphin Conservation Centre.

  • The use of nylon monofilament fishing gillnets should be banned and Critical water flow and minimum depths for all river dolphin habitats should be determined.

  • Trans-boundary Protected Areas between India, Nepal and Bangladesh

  • National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG): In its efforts of biodiversity conservation in Ganga River basin, it has been working further on the Ganges River Dolphin Conservation Action Plan and has taken up steps to coordinate with various institutions for capacity building, generated awareness, involvement of stakeholders for Ganga River Dolphin Conservation and Management. rat-hole mining

  • Recently, the collapse of a coal mine in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills in which 15 workers were trapped, has thrown the spotlight on a procedure known as “rat-hole mining”.


About rat-hole mining

  • It involves digging of very small tunnels, usually only 3-4 feet high, without any pillars to prevent collapse, in which workers (often children) enter and extract coal.

  • The National Green Tribunal (NGT) banned it in 2014 on grounds of it being unscientific and unsafe for workers. However, the state government appealed the order in the Supreme Court.

  • Even after ban, it remains the prevalent procedure for coal mining in Meghalaya as no other method would be economically viable in Meghalaya, where the coal seam is extremely thin.


Advantages of Rat-hole mining

  • Less Capital Intensive: This type of mining when done in a scientific way, with suitable equipment is less capital intensive.

  • Less Polluting: Unlike big mine fields which leave the nearby area nearly uninhabitable, rat-hole mines are less polluting to soil, air and water.

  • Easy self-employment: rat-hole mining provides easy self-employment to people.

  • Environmental Degradation: It has caused the water in the Kopili river (flows through Meghalaya and Assam) to turn acidic.

  • Pollution: Roadsides used for piling of coal leads to air, water and soil pollution.

  • Exploitation of workers: Maximum mining in Meghalaya is from rat hole mining where workers put their lives in danger but benefits are cornered by few private individuals.

  • Risk to Lives: Rat-holes mines without adequate safety measures pose high risk to miner’s lives. According to one estimate, one miner dies in these rat-holes mines every 10 days.

  • Fueling illegal activities: Illegal money earned from these unlawful mines also end up fueling insurgency in the state.

  • Encouraging Child Labor: According to a Shillong based NGO, rat-hole mining employs 70,000 child laborers.


Why does it continue?

  • Political Influence: Maximum politicians are either owners of mines or have stakes in the largely unregulated coal mining and transportation industry.

  • Populism: Directly and indirectly about 2.5 lakh people are dependent on rat-hole mining economy, having influence on 16 out of 60 assembly seats.

  • Lack of Adequate Policy: The NGT finds The Meghalaya Mines and Mineral Policy, 2012 inadequate. The policy does not address rat-hole mining and instead states: “Small and traditional system of mining by local people in their own land shall not be unnecessarily disturbed”.


Coal Mine Safety in India

  • In India, the operations in Coalmines are regulated by the Mines Act 1952, Mine Rules – 1955, Coal Mine Regulation-1957 and several other statutes framed thereafter.

  • Directorate-General of Mines Safety (DGMS) under the Union Ministry of Labour& Employment (MOL&E) is entrusted to administer these statutes.

  • One of the reasons why the Coal Mines (Nationalization) Act was enacted in 1973, taking over private sector mines, was their poor safety records. Yet, work at public sector mines remains highly dangerous.

  • The frequency of incidents has increased in the recent years, as flagged by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in its 2014 report titled ‘Views on Mine Safety in India’, while official statistics show otherwise.

  • However, in a bid to attract private players, the Coking Coal Mines (Nationalization) Act, 1972 and the Coal Mines (Nationalization) Act, 1973 were repealed on 8 January 2018.

  • When it comes to coal mining accidents, India has a higher proportion of deaths resulting from strata fall than from the use of explosives, which account for the bulk of the accidents in countries such as China and the US.

  • Use of Violence by Mining Mafia: Anyone who reports on these illegal mining activities is met with violence.

  • Lack of alternative Employment opportunities: It forces people to work in these dangerous mines.

  • Lack of Monitoring: Mining activities are spread across too vast an area spreading over four districts.

  • Legal Framework: Mining activities are a state subject, but safety of mine workers is a central subject which creates problems in implementation of safety policies.

  • Misuse of Sixth Schedule Provisions: The 6th Schedule of the Constitution intends to protect the community’s ownership over its land and the community’s autonomy and consent over its nature of use. Coal mining currently underway in Meghalaya was a corruption of this Constitutional Provision wherein private individuals having private interests in earning monetary benefits from minerals vested under the land are engaging in coal mining.

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