As told to Parliament (July 24, 2023): First phase of cheetah reintroduction project to cost Rs 91.65 crore, says minister

All that was discussed in the House through the day  

By DTE Staff
Published: Monday 24 July 2023

The estimated cost for the first phase (five years) of the cheetah reintroduction project is Rs 91.65 crore, Ashwini Kumar Choubey, minister of state in the ministry of environment, forest and climate change, told the Lok Sabha, citing the Action Plan for Introduction of Cheetah in India.

Every year depending upon the availability of animals and the status of introduced Cheetahs, 12-14 individuals are proposed to be brought from South Africa, Namibia, or other African countries during the next five years, Choubey added.

Waste management

Approximately 76 per cent of the waste generated in the country has been processed, Hardeep Singh Puri, Union minister of housing and urban affairs, told the Rajya Sabha. The Government of India launched the Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban (SBM-U) on October 2, 2014 to make the country open defecation free (ODF) and promote scientific processing of municipal solid waste, Puri said.

SBM-U 2.0 was launched on October 1, 2021 to carry forward the progress. The scheme has been extended for another five years with a vision of achieving garbage-free status for all cities through 100 per cent source segregation, door-to-door collection and scientific waste management, including safe disposal in scientific landfills. It also aims at remediation of all legacy dumpsites and converting them into green zones, said the minister.

Status of smart cities

As on July 7, 2023, Rs 73,454 crore has been released for 100 Smart cities. Nearly 90 per cent of the released fund, amounting to Rs 66,023 crore, has been utilised, Kaushal Kishore, Union minister of state in the ministry of housing and urban affairs, told the Rajya Sabha.

Centre launched the Smart Cities Mission on June 25, 2015. Hundred Smart Cities have been selected through four rounds of competition from January 2016 to June 2018. The Centre will provide financial support up to Rs 48,000 crore over five years, indicating an average of Rs 100 crore for each city every year. The state governments will contribute an equal amount on a matching basis.

The ratio of Centre-state contribution is 90:10 for the 13 smart cities in North-Eastern / Hilly States, Kishore said.

Protecting drinking water sources 

Every state/ Union Territory should identify and train five persons at village levels, preferably women, to conduct water quality testing using field test kits (FTK) or bacteriological vials, Prahlad Singh Patel, minister of state for Jal Shakti (water resources), told the Rajya Sabha.

State/ UT authorities should take necessary measures to make adequate FTKs / bacteriological vials available at village levels. As on July 21, more than 2.242 million women were trained for water quality testing using FTKs, the minister said, citing state government data. So far, more than 16.720 million samples have been tested, he added. 

Ethanol blending

Currently, ethanol-blended petrol is being sold in all the states and UTs as per the availability of ethanol except in the islands of Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep, RameswarTeli, minister of state in the ministry of petroleum and natural gas, told the Rajya Sabha.

In the ongoing Ethanol Supply Year (December, 2022-October, 2023), the maximum sale of ethanol blended petrol was recorded in Uttar Pradesh, followed by Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Gujarat, he added.

E-waste management

The Central Pollution Control Board estimates the e-waste generation at the national level based on the countrywide sales data provided by producers and the average life of notified electrical and electronic equipment, Choubey told the Lok Sabha.

E-waste weighing 13,46,496.31 tonnes and 16,01,155.36 tonnes has been notified under the E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2016, in 2021 and 2022, respectively.

Stubble Burning

A central sector scheme on crop residue management has been implemented since 2018-2019 to support the air pollution mitigation efforts of governments of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, Choubey told the Lok Sabha. Efforts are being made to regulate stubble burning and subsidise machinery required to manage crop residue.

Under this scheme, financial assistance is provided to the farmers and cooperative societies to purchase crop residue management machinery. During 2018-2019 to 2022-2023, Rs 3,138.17 crore has been released (Punjab — Rs 1,426.45 crore, Haryana — Rs 916.71 crore, Uttar Pradesh — Rs. 713.67 crore, Delhi — Rs. 6.05 crore and The Indian Council of Agricultural Research — Rs. 75.29 crores).

The states have distributed more than 0.240 million machines to individual farmers. This also includes the distribution of more than 4,500 balers and rakes, which are used for the collection of straw in the form of bales for further ex-situ utilisation, Choubey added.

Subscribe to Daily Newsletter :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.