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Monday, June 18, 2012

Ministry wise impact on environment Part IV (reduce vehicle and aircraft emissions, start printing park and promote e-newspapers, experts advise moic)

Increased aviation activities under the civil aviation sector have contributed to the increasing green house gas emissions in the country

A major impact on the environment under the Ministry of Information and Communications (MOIC) is green house gas (GHG) emissions from the transport sector.
The reference group to mainstream environment, climate change and poverty in the 11th Five Year Plan (FYP) reported that surface transport sector under MOIC affected the environment the most.
Uncontrolled growth in vehicle numbers, poor urban public transport services, lack of eco-friendly and eco-efficient public transport systems have had a huge impact on the environment, states the reference group’s report.
While there have been significant impacts on the environment due to the increasing number of vehicles, the reference group also noted that inadequate and poor infrastructure facilities and growing traffic congestions also led to road accidents and loss of lives.
According to the reference group, transport sector alone contributes 45% of GHG emissions. The huge dependence on fossil fuels further resulted into higher GHG emissions. The number of vehicles in the country is increasing at the rate of 10-12% annually, states the group’s report.
To mainstream environment, climate change and poverty in the 11th Five Year Plan, the reference group recommended several alternative options for the information and communications ministry.
The reference group recommended the ministry to effectively enforce rules and regulations like emission tests, explore the use of alternate fuels, and promote efficient long distance buses and freight trucks. “This will reduce GHG emissions which will contribute to national objective of carbon neutral development and also reduce pollution,” states the reference group.
In addition, implementing alternative options will also save time and money, enhance work efficiency, traffic congestion and accidents, the group pointed out.
Another concern within the transport sector was emission from aircraft engine. The group observed that increased aviation activities under the civil aviation sector have contributed to more GHG emissions while also resulting in generation of non-degradable wastes at the airport.
“Increasing use of hand held fire fighting extinguisher at the airports will deplete the ozone layer,” states the reference group.
The group recommended promotion and introduction of aircraft engines that are more fuel efficient and certified with alternate fuel including the introduction of fire extinguishers without ozone depleting substances to reduce the impact on environment.
Under the Information, Communication and Technology sector, the group identified increasing e-waste (electronic and electric) generation posing risks to the environment. The reference group also pointed out that there is a lack of proper e-waste management system like recycling facilities and disposals, lack of awareness and technical skills.
To reduce e-waste and its spiraling impact on the environment, the group recommended mainstreaming enforcement and monitoring of e-waste rules and regulations, and establishment of e-waste management system through public private partnership model in the coming FYP.
Wastes from printing firms especially media sector have also had an impact on the environment. This has been attributed to lack of proper management of wastes like paper, printing equipments, tone and ink from the printing firms.
The reference group recommended the establishment of a printing park where all the printing firms can operate in one location or roof and promote the use of recycled paper for print media.
The group also suggested the ministry to explore alternatives to promote the use of electronic publications like e-reports, e-newspapers and e-magazines to reduce the use of paper.

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