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GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT, FORESTS AND CLIMATE CHANGE
LOK SABHA
STARRED QUESTION NO: 376
ANSWERED ON:  13.12.2019
Effects of Pollution on Himalayan Glaciers
Ajay Tamta
Will the Minister of



ENVIRONMENT, FORESTS AND CLIMATE CHANGE be pleased to state:-


(a) whether scientists have observed that glaciers in the Himalayan States have been adversely affected by pollution 217 ng/m3 of PM 0.5 carbon black;
(b) if so, the details thereof;
(c) the steps taken by the Government to deal with the said situation and protect Himalayan glaciers;
(d) whether several incidents of inappropriate waste management and recycling, improper burning of garbage including plastic in Himalayan States have come to the notice of the Government; and
(e) if so, the details thereof and the corrective measures taken along with the funds released to State Governments to check/restrict such incidents during the last three years?


ANSWER
MINISTER FOR ENVIRONMENT, FOREST AND CLIMATE CHANGE
(SHRI PRAKASH JAVADEKAR)

(a)to (e): A Statement is laid on the Table of the House.

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STATEMENT REFERRED TO IN REPLY TO PARTS (a) to (e) OF THE LOK SABHA STARRED QUESTION NO. 376 REGARDING “EFFECTS OF POLLUTION ON HIMALAYAN GLACIERS” BY SHRI AJAY TAMTA DUE FOR REPLY ON 13.12.2019:

(a)to (b) Black Carbon is emitted into the atmosphere as a by-product of combustion processes such as fossil fuel, vegetation burning, industrial effluents, motor vehicle and air craft exhausts. Black Carbon (BC) is monitored on Himalayan Glaciers by various institutions. As monitored by GB Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and development, BC concentration over the Parbati Glacier in Himachal Pradesh, is ranging between 0.34 µg/m3 -0.56 µg/m3. In the foothills of the Parbati, Hamta and Beas Kund Glaciers the BC concentration is 796 ng/m3, 416 ng/m3, 432 ng/m3.As monitored by Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, in Gangotri Glaciers, BC concentration is ranging from 0.01µg/m3 to 4.62 µg/m3.

(c) The Central Government have taken several steps to curb environmental pollution in Himalayan states, which inter alia includes, financial assistance to States by Ministry of New and Renewable Energy for setting up of Waste to Energy plants. The details are as follows:
a. For Biogas, capital subsidy of Rs. 1 Crore per 12000 m3 Biogas/day is provided. [Maximum up to Rs. 10 crore/project]
b. Under Power Projects, subsidy of Rs. 3.0 crore per MW is provided. [Maximum up to Rs. 10 crore/project]. In case, developer wants to set up power generating unit at already existing Biogas generation unit, the applicable Central Financial Assistance (CFA) will be only Rs. 2 Crore per MW.
c. For Bio-CNG/ Enriched Biogas, subsidy of Rs. 4.0 crore- 4800 kgs/day of Bio-CNG generated per day from 12000 m3 biogas per day. [Maximum up to Rs. 10 crore/project]. In case, developer wants to set up Bio-CNG generating unit at already existing Biogas generation unit, the applicable CFA will be only Rs. 3 Crore per MW.

Further State Government of Uttarakhandhave taken several steps to curb environmental pollution which inter-alia includes banning of burning of plastic and garbage, establishment of compactors to compact segregated recyclables (plastic, rubber, cardboard, jute bags etc.). Government of Himachal Pradesh has enacted Himachal Pradesh Non-Biodegradable Garbage (Control) Act, 1995 in order to curb environment pollution due to unscientific disposal of non-biodegradable waste andalso regulated the number of vehicles plying to Rohtang pass to 1200 (800 diesels and 400 petrol) in a day.

(d) & (e) VariousNotices/directionshave been issued by State Pollution Control Boards/ Pollution Control Committee of Himalayan States to control pollution from plastics. These inter alia includes following

Himachal Pradesh (HP) State Pollution Control Board

Total compounding fee amounting to Rs. 6,67,700 has been collected by compounding 787 violators in the State of HP in year 2019.

Uttarakhand Environmental Protection & Pollution Control Board:

• Board has issued direction to all District Magistrates for compliance of Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016
• Rs. 110.53 Lakhs collected from defaulters.
• Rs. 24.08 Lakhs has been collected for violation of anti-littering and spitting Act, 2016

J&K Pollution Control Board

• Closure order issued to 07 defaulters (Plastic Manufacturing Units).
• Approximately 28 MT of illegal polythene and other banned items (singe use plastic) has been seized during the last six months.
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