As told to Parliament (March 25, 2021): Centre shares guidelines for imposing green tax on old vehicles

All that was discussed in the House through the day

By DTE Staff
Published: Friday 26 March 2021
As told to Parliament

The Centre has formulated guidelines for imposition of green tax on old vehicles by the state and Union territories (UT), Nitin Jairam Gadkari, Union minister of road transport and Highways, said in Lok Sabha on March 25, 2021. The guidelines are aimed at disincentivising the use of older, polluting vehicles and have been shared with the states and UTs for comments.

Uttar Pradesh has the highest number (3,199,180) of old vehicles plying on roads, according to the data presented by the minister in the House.

Ground water depletion in Agra

About 94 per cent of the wells monitored in Agra have registered a decline in ground water levels in 2020 compared to the decadal average of 2010-19, said Rattan Lal Kataria, Union minister of state for Jal Shakti and social justice and empowerment, said in Lok Sabha. He was quoting figures from the ground water department of Uttar Pradesh.

The level declined by more than four metres in all blocks, except Achhanera, Akola and Jaitpur Kalan.

For rejuvenation of River Yamuna, sewage treatment plants with a combined processing capacity of 178.6 million litre per day are being built for Rs 842.25 crore. The ‘Agra Sewerage Scheme’ is being executed under the National Mission for Clean Ganga, the minister added.

Curbing river pollution

Sewage treatment capacity of 2,522 million litres per day has been created for 34 rivers in 77 towns, spread over 16 states and UT, said Kataria in Lok Sabha. The project is being undertaken under the National River Conservation Plan at a cost of Rs 5,965.9 crore, he added.

Rs 258.5 crore has been sanctioned for conservation of River Chambal in Kota, Rajasthan on a cost sharing basis between the central and state governments under the Namami Gange programme, the minister told the House.

A central grant of Rs.68.71 crore has been released to the state government and an expenditure of Rs.62.79 crore has been made so far on the project, Kataria added.

His ministry has not received any proposal for river-front development on Luni river in Pali district, Rajasthan under NRCP, he informed.

Water available per capita availability to reduce

The average annual water resource from India’s 20 basins is 1,999 billion cubic metres, according to the “Reassessment of Water Availability in India using Space Inputs” study by Central Waterhousing Corporation in 2019, Kataria said in Lok Sabha.

Based on the above calculation, the country’s average annual per capita water availability might reduce to 1,486 cubic metres in 2021 from 1,545 cubic metres in 2011, the minister said.

This is an average figure and will vary depending on the season and region, he added.

Energy from electrolysis of water

The central government has proposed to generate energy from electrolysis of water, RK Singh, Union minister of state (independent charge) for new and renewable energy, power and Union minister of state for skill development and entrepreneurship said in Lok Sabha.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has been supporting research and development (R&D) and demonstration projects for hydrogen production through electrolysis of water, Singh told the House.

A 5 normal cubic meter per hour (Nm3/hr) electrolyser powered by solar energy has been installed at National Institute of Solar Energy, Gurugram and a 30 Nm3/hr electrolyser powered by grid electricity has been installed at Indian Oil R&D Centre, Faridabad, the minister said.

The hydrogen generated from these projects has been used as vehicle fuel, he added.

Child malnutrition reduces

Child malnutrition in the country has shown a decline from the National Family Health Survey, 2015-16 (NFHS-4) levels, said Smriti Zubin Irani, Union minister of women and child development, said in Rajya Sabha.

Over 38 per cent children under five years were stunted, over 35 per cent are underweight and 21 per cent are wasted, according to NFHS-4. The corresponding figures have reduced to 34.7 per cent, 33.4 per cent 17 per cent in the Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey, 2016-18 report, she added.

Gender gap diminishing

India ranks 112 out of 153 countries in terms of gender gap, with a score of 0.668 out of 1, according to the Global Gender Gap Index Report, 2020 by the World Economic Forum, Irani said in Rajya Sabha.

In the 2018 report, India’s score was 0.665 and the country ranked 108 out of 149, she added.

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