News In Short

Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

coastal clearances: The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests issued the second draft of the Coastal Zone Management (CZM) notification, which allows green-field airports on coasts. Green-field projects are those being constructed from scratch as opposed to expansion of existing infrastructure. The airports, the draft says, will be allowed in the CZM I--areas designated ecologically sensitive. Airports can also come up in CZM III areas on the seaward side of the setback line. "The line marks the vulnerability of the coast to hazards. How can an airport come up there?" asks Sudarshan Rodriguez of the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment, Bangalore. Other activities allowed in CZM III include defence projects, water sports, recreation facilities, ports and any other activity requiring foreshore space "after appropriate permission from state and central authorities". "It legalizes all constructions that violate the Coastal Zone Regulation notification," says Rodriguez.

orissa for lion's share: The Supreme Court's Forest Bench on May 9 directed Sterlite Industries India Limited to file an affidavit stating they would form the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) with the state government and the Orissa Mining Corporation (OMC) within a week. This comes even as there is confusion on the revenue sharing model of the SPV. "There is no clarity on whether OMC, that own the mine lease, will get any royalties," said Rajeev Dhavan who is representing OMC. The bench last year ruled against Vedanta Alumina Limited's (Sterlite's associate company) bauxite mining project in the Niyamgiri hills of Orissa. The bench said it would consider a project in which Vedanta was not involved and had asked for an SPV to be formed with the state having the majority share in it.

orangutans endangered: World's largest group of wild orangutans at Borneo island, Indonesia, will be extinct in three years, says a local conservation group's report. Commercial logging, rapidly expanding oil palm plantations and poaching are the reasons. From 31,300 in 2004, their population has come down to 20,000 now. The group has criticized a government plan to open up 455,000 hectares of protected land for oil palm growers and not taking any initiative it promised to save orangutans.

Subscribe to Weekly 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.