Fly ash from power plants remains a worry for human health, crops
Villagers and farmers residing around Kahalgaon super thermal power station in Bhagalpur district are living in constant fear of health hazards and damage to their standing crops due to improper management of fly ash generated at the plant in course of production of electricity, a study has claimed.
Apart from the health hazard caused due to heavy concentration of small particles in ambient air, standing crops on around 80 hectares field near the plant was damaged last year and early this year as the ash dyke breached its embankment and pipe of ash slurry burst owing to technical fault near Chaitola and Masdaha near Kahalgaon.
The plant is owned and run by National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), a central public sector enterprise.
Similarly, several houses were flooded with ash slurry in Bokaro after a pond built to store the fly ash near the Bokaro thermal power station, also run by NTPC, overflew in September 2019. Power station authorities attribute the accident to excessive rains.
These are a few incidents of fly ash management at coal-fired power stations in Bihar and Jharkhand featured in a study carried out jointly by advocacy groups like Asar Social Impact Advisors, Research on Energy and Clean Air and Manthan Adhyay Kendra recently. The study, titled “Lest we Forget – A status report of neglect of coal ash accidents in India (May 2019-May 2021)”, was released recently.
The report says penalties being levied on coal-based power plant operators have hardly improved things. “Despite clear rules for fly ash management, villagers and farmers are exposed to suffer,” it says.
“Power plants have failed at not only removal of ash, remediation of sites, addressing health impacts but also in paying full compensation to affected villages,” report said.
OECD – G20 Inclusive Framework Tax Deal
The G20/OECD Inclusive Framework Tax Agreement has been signed by India.
Most members of the G20/OECD Inclusive Framework for Basic Erosion and Profit Shifting, including India, passed a high-level statement containing an outline of a consensus solution to the taxation challenges posed by the digitalization of the economy.
The proposed solution is consists of two components:
Pillar One, which consists of re-allocating an additional share of profit to market jurisdictions; and
Pillar Two, which consists of a minimum tax and is subject to tax rules.
Some significant issues, such as profit allocation and the scope of subject to tax rules, remain unresolved and must be addressed.
Furthermore, the proposal’s technical details will be worked out in the coming months, with a consensus agreement expected by October 2021.
Methane in the Moons of Saturn
By flying through the plumes of Saturn’s moons (Titan and Enceladus), NASA’s Cassini spacecraft discovered an abnormally high concentration of methane, as well as carbon dioxide and dihydrogen
It discovered methane in Titan’s atmosphere and a liquid ocean with erupting plumes of gas and water on Enceladus.
An international research team used new statistical methods to determine whether methanogenesis, or microbe-produced methane, could explain the molecular hydrogen and methane.
Tallest Sandcastle in the World – Denmark
A sandcastle made in Denmark has entered into new Guinness World Record for being the tallest sandcastle in the world.
The triangular-shaped sandcastle has been constructed in the town of Blokhus in Denmark. It stands at the height of 21.16 metres (69.4 feet). This new structure is 3.5m taller than the preceding report held with the aid of a sandcastle measuring 17.66 m in Germany in 2019. Dutch creator, Wilfred Stijger, was once assisted through 30 of the world’s first-class sand sculptors. The shape is built in the form of a triangle to avoid collapsing like many others have. A wood structure used to be built around it to enable the artist to carve the top-notch figures in the sand.
Ashadhi Bij – Kutchi New Year
On the occasion of Ashadhi Bij, the Kutchi New Year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets the people.
About Ashadhi Bij:
♦ Ashadhi Bij is an auspicious day for agricultural communities in northern India, espicially Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, and other places.
♦ The festival takes place on the second day of the Shukla Paksha of the Hindu calendar’s Ashadha month.
♦ The festival, known as the Kutchi New Year, is associated with the start of the rains in Gujarat’s Kutch region.
♦ During this festival, farmers, astrologers, and others forecast the monsoon to determine which crop will be the most productive in the coming season.
Five Portals on the AYUSH Sector Launched
The Union Minister of Ayush launched five important portals and issued four publications.
♦ Ayurveda Dataset on Clinical Trial Registry of India (CTRI): The CTRI is a primary Clinical Trials Registry under the WHO’s International Clinical Trials Registry Platform. The creation of an Ayurveda Dataset in CTRI makes it easier to use Ayurvedic terminologies to record clinical studies based on Ayurvedic interventions. This will increase the global visibility of Ayurveda-based clinical trials.
♦ CCRAS-RMIS: Research Management Information System is a one-stop solution for Ayurveda-based research and development. The portal provides free reference material, research tools, and clinical and scientific advice. It was created in collaboration with the Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS) and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
♦ E-Medha (electronic Medical Heritage Accession) Portal: NIC’s e-granthalaya platform provides online public access to a catalogue of over 12000 Indian medical heritage books.
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