All that was discussed in the House through the day
To promote rooftop solar in the country, the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) is implementing Rooftop Solar Programme Phase II. A cumulative rooftop solar (RTS) capacity of four gigawatts is targeted for residential sector through central financial assistance (CFA), RK Singh, Union minister for new and renewable energy and power, told the Lok Sabha February 11, 2022.
For individual households, CFA up to 40 per cent of the benchmark cost is provided for RTS plants upto 3 kilowatts (kW) capacity and 20 per cent for RTS plants of capacity beyond 3 kW and up to 10 kW, Singh added.
For group housing societies / residential welfare associations, CFA is limited to 20 per cent of the benchmark cost for RTS plants of up to 500 kW capacity used for supply of power to common facilities, he shared.
States notify electric vehicle policies
As many as 17 states — Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Gujarat, Assam, Goa, Meghalaya, West Bengal and Uttarakhand — have approved or notified dedicated electric vehicle (EV) policies.
The state policies work in tandem to supplement the steps taken by the government for faster adoption of EVs, Krishan Pal Gurjar, Union minister of state for heavy industries told the Rajya Sabha.
8 states get central funds for natural farming
An area of 409,000 hectares has been covered under the Centre’s natural farming initiative and a total fund of Rs 49.8 crore has been released to eight states across the country, said Narendra Singh Tomar, Union minister of agriculture and farmers’ welfare, told the Rajya Sabha.
The Union government has been promoting natural farming through Bhartiya Prakritik Krishi Paddhati (BPKP) introduced during 2020-21, the minister said. The scheme emphasises on exclusion of all synthetic chemical inputs. It promotes on-farm biomass recycling with major stress on biomass mulching, use of cow dung-urine formulations and other plant-based preparations.
Under BPKP, a financial assistance of Rs 12,200 per hectare for three years is provided for cluster formation, capacity-building and continuous handholding by trained personnel, certification and residue analysis, added Tomar.
Over 6,000 Smart City projects tendered
The Government of India released Rs 28,413.6 crore for 100 Smart Cities as on January 21, 2022, Hardeep Singh Puri, Union minister of housing and urban affairs, told the Lok Sabha February 11, 2022. Out of this, 23,668.27 crore (83 per cent) has been utilised, he added.
So far, these Smart Cities have tendered out 6,721 projects worth Rs 188,506 crore; work orders have been issued in 6,124 projects worth Rs 162,908 crore; 3,421 projects worth 58,735 crore have been completed, Puri said.
Waste-to-energy plants installed
Waste-to-energy plants of a total capacity of 117.1 megawatts have been installed as on January 31, 2022 for power generation from municipal solid waste (MSW) in the country, Singh said. These plants utilise around 9,250 tonnes per day of MSW.
In the last three years, a cumulative CFA of Rs 250 crore has been sanctioned under the ‘Programme on Energy from Urban, Industrial, Agricultural Wastes / Residues and Municipal Solid Waste’ for setting up usch plants, Singh said.
363 projects taken up under Clean Ganga project
A comprehensive set of interventions, such as wastewater treatment, solid waste management, riverfront management (ghats and crematoria development), e-flow, afforestation, biodiversity conservation and public participation have been taken up for rejuvenation of Ganga and its tributaries under the Namami Gange Programme.
So far, a total of 363 projects have been taken up at an estimated cost of Rs. 30,841.53 Crore, out of which 177 projects have been completed and made operational, said Bishweswar Tudu, Union minister of state for Jal Shakti (water resources), told the Lok Sabha.
A majority of the projects pertain to the creation of sewage infrastructure as untreated domestic / industrial wastewater is the main reason for pollution in the river.
As many as 160 sewerage infrastructure projects have been taken up at a cost of Rs 24,567.82 crore for creation and rehabilitation of 5,024 million litres per day (MLD) of sewage treatment plant (STP) capacity and laying of around 5,227 km sewerage network, Tudu said.
Among these, 75 sewerage projects have been completed, resulting in creation and rehabilitation of 1,163 MLD of STP capacity and laying of 3,807 km sewerage network.
In order to sustain the continued operation of the sewage treatment infrastructure, Hybrid Annuity-based PPP mode has also been adopted, the minister added.
Water crisis in Rajasthan's Dausa
The Rajasthan government has informed that the entire Dausa district with 1,079 villages and five towns were facing a water crisis, Tudu said in the Lok Sabha.
The villages were identified through a detailed benchmarking survey of rural areas and urban towns by the state, the minister informed.
Out of a total of 295 assessment units (blocks) in the state, 203 blocks have been categorised as ‘over-exploited’, where the annual ground water extraction is more than annual extractable groundwater resources. All the blocks in Dausa district have been categorised as ‘over-exploited’, the Jal Shakti minister said.
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