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Tripura: 30 polluted water bodies restored, over 31k water-holes identified

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Agartala: Altogether 30 water bodies of Tripura that were earlier flagged as polluted restored to their past form in the last two years, sources in the state pollution control board said.

According to the latest analytic reports, the present quality status of water in these water bodies is out of the danger level.

According to a report prepared by Tripura Space Application Centre– under the instructions of the National Green Tribunal, 31,694 water bodies have been identified in Tripura. Out of these water bodies, 1,910 water bodies cover an area of two acres of land.

“The process of geo-tagging from these water bodies is going on. But as per the analysis, 30 water bodies have been found to be polluted. These water bodies were later restored taking swift and effective steps in very limited time”, the source said.

The expert team filed its recommendations within three months of time. A list of recommended steps and unhealthy practices for the water bodies were subsequently sent to the Urban Local Bodies including Agartala Municipal Corporation.

“The state government took up the issue and initiated prompt action. The prescribed steps were devised immediately and within some time the water quality improved at an encouraging pace. Right now, all these water bodies were completely out of danger level in terms of pollution”, said a source in the state Pollution Control Board.

Apart from that, the state government has also carried out GIS and remote sensing surveys of all these water bodies in order to protect them. “Once you have done the GIS survey, the geospatial data related to it gets saved in the archives. So, if anyone tries to encroach on the water bodies, he or she can be easily tracked down. The issue of land dispute can not arrive any time”, said the source.

Meanwhile, the geospatial data and satellite images are also used to identify water recharge points and flood peak discharge points. The motive is to maximise the groundwater seepage as use of groundwater is gradually mounting up with an increase in the demand for concrete structures dependent on groundwater as a water source.

“Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb has highlighted the issue in the recently held meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah at Shillong. A report is also forwarded to the Union Ministry of Environment Forest Climate and Change and Ministry of Jalshakti”, the source added.

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Environment

6.1 magnitude quake strikes Japan’s Tokyo, no tsunami warning

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Tokyo, Oct 8: An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.1 on the Richter Scale on late Thursday struck Japan’s Tokyo region, but no tsunami warning has been issued, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA).

The temblor occurred at around 10.41 p.m. local time, with its epicenter at a latitude of 35.6 degrees north and a longitude of 140.1 degrees east, and at a depth of 80 km.

The quake logged 5 plus in some parts of Tokyo Prefecture and Saitama Prefecture on the Japanese seismic intensity scale which peaks at 7.

According to utility officials, as of around 11.00 p.m. local time, the earthquake had triggered a blackout affecting around 250 households in Tokyo.

Some train services including subways operated by Tokyo Metro Co and shinkansen bullet trains had been suspended following the earthquake, railway companies said.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters late on Thursday he had ordered officials to help quake victims and prevent further damage.

A task force to assess and monitor the earthquake’s impact has been set up at the prime minister’s office.

According to prefectural government officials, no abnormalities have been detected at Japan Atomic Power Co’s Tokai No 2 nuclear power plant in Ibaraki Prefecture near Tokyo.

There were no reports of damage at Narita airport in Chiba, east of Tokyo after the strong quake.

Runways at Tokyo’s Haneda airport were temporarily closed for inspections, but later reopened as no damage was reported.

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Environment

NGT can take suo moto cognisance of environmental issues, rules SC

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New Delhi, Oct 7: The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has power to take suo motu cognisance – on the basis of letters, representations, and media reports — and can initiate proceedings on its own on issues pertaining to the environment.

A bench of Justices A.M. Khanwilkar, Hrishikesh Roy, and C.T. Ravikumar delivered the judgment on a batch of petitions which raised the issue whether the NGT has suo motu jurisdiction.

Senior advocate Sanjay Parikh had argued that the NGT has been conferred powers to pass orders for the restitution of environment, hence it can exercise suo motu powers. However, a battery of senior advocates opposed his arguments, stating that only constitutional courts can exercise suo motu powers and a statutory tribunal like the NGT has to act within the confines of its parent law.

Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati, representing the Centre, held that the NGT does not have the power to take cognisance of a matter on its own. But she also contended that the tribunal’s powers cannot be bound by procedural constraints.

“This is a peculiar tribunal dealing with environmental matters. Often, environment ends up being nobody’s baby,” she said.

The bench had queried her that if the tribunal were to receive an information in connection with environment, will it not be duty bound to initiate process? The ASG responded that once a letter or communication is received by the tribunal, it is within its power to take cognisance of it.

On September 8, the bench had reserved verdict on the issue. Senior advocate Anand Grover, amicus curiae in the case, had opined that the NGT cannot exercise suo motu powers on the basis of letters, representations, or media reports.

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Environment

NGT has powers to take suo moto cognisance on environmental issues: SC

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New Delhi, Oct 7. The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has power to take suo motu cognisance – on the basis of letters, representations, and media reports — and can initiate proceedings on its own on issues pertaining to the environment.

A bench of Justices A.M. Khanwilkar, Hrishikesh Roy, and C.T. Ravikumar delivered the judgment on a batch of petitions which raised the issue whether the NGT has suo motu jurisdiction.

Senior advocate Sanjay Parikh had argued that the NGT has been conferred powers to pass orders for the restitution of environment, hence it can exercise suo motu powers. However, a battery of senior advocates opposed his arguments, stating that only constitutional courts can exercise suo motu powers and a statutory tribunal like the NGT has to act within the confines of its parent law.

Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati, representing the Centre, held that the NGT does not have the power to take cognisance of a matter on its own. But she also contended that the tribunal’s powers cannot be bound by procedural constraints.

“This is a peculiar tribunal dealing with environmental matters. Often, environment ends up being nobody’s baby,” she said.

The bench had queried her that if the tribunal were to receive an information in connection with environment, will it not be duty bound to initiate process? The ASG responded that once a letter or communication is received by the tribunal, it is within its power to take cognisance of it.

On September 8, the bench had reserved verdict on the issue. Senior advocate Arvind Grover, amicus curiae in the case, had opined that the NGT cannot exercise suo motu powers on the basis of letters, representations, or media reports.

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