Government to notify fuel efficiency standards soon

New Delhi: After wranglings between the power and transport ministries, the government has now decided to notify fuel efficiency standards for auto makers under the Energy Conservation Act which will come into force from January next year, reports PTI.

"The standards will be notified under the Energy Conservation Act, 2002 by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) and not under the Motor Vehicle Act," environment minister Jairam Ramesh said at the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) summit here.

This has been decided, he said, "after considerable wranglings between different ministries and inhibition by the automobile sector.

"And since technical work has been done. Only fine-tuning is remaining. I would urge SIAM to work with the power and surface transport ministries to work with the clear objective of moving towards mandatory fuel standards from January next year."

For quiet sometime, the matter had been a bone of contention between the power and the road transport and highways ministries.

The SIAM has agreed to move towards voluntarily labelling from October this year under which all of its members declare mileage of their vehicles certified by the Automotive Research Association of India.

However, Mr Ramesh felt that it was high time that the automobile industry move at the earliest from the voluntary regime to the mandatory fuel efficiency standards regime in the absence of which it is expected to be a major contributor to the country's total green house gas emissions.

"I had been fighting all along that we must move from voluntary to mandatory regime of fuel efficiency standards. If the US could do it... president Obama has done it even though he had legislation problem, he used the Environment Protection Act to move into the regime of mandatory fuel efficiency standards. Let's also quickly do that," he said.

Presently, the transport sector contributes about 15% to 20% of the country's total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

"But the rate at which the automobile sector is growing our own estimations are that by the year 2025-30 it could account close to 25% of our GHG emissions.

"Hence not only because of the air pollution point of view but also the climate change point of view, environment-friendly transportation assume special importance," the minister said.


‘Expect a Boom in 10 Years’

Pallabika Ganguly (ML): What is the current scenario in the residential real-estate sector?

Milind Korde (MK): The upper middle class population is expected to grow to 500 million in the next 10 years. This will create a boom in the residential market. Our only consideration is that prices may go up due to this huge demand. Developers might not be able to meet the demand due to the delays in supply, mainly caused by factors like regulatory permissions. 

ML: How much area are you currently developing?

MK: We are currently present in 11 cities, and developing around 83 million square feet (sq ft). Around 85% of our projects are joint ventures. In Gurgaon, we are developing 1.1 million sq ft. It is a joint development (residential) project, where the land belongs to the Frontier group and we will share revenues.

We are also developing a project in Mangalore, spread over four acres. The residential portion is around 6 lakh-7 lakh sq ft. We are developing a 24-floor tower; the average size of apartments would be 2,600 sq ft. We are developing over 240 apartments. We would be launching the project soon, at Rs4,000 per sq ft. 

ML: Can you talk about your Pune and Thane townships?

MK: We will be soon launching two townships—Bhugaon (at Pune) and another at Thane. The Bhugaon project is spread over more than 100 acres. The Thane project is spread over more than 10 acres; we will launch it in two-three months.


BMC expects to earn Rs72 crore from carbon credits by 2015

Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) expects to earn Rs72 crore by way of carbon credits by 2015, reports PTI.

The civic body has till now received Rs24.51 crore for the scientific closure of the Gorai garbage dumping ground, which became the first waste site to earn carbon credits.

"The Gorai ground has become the first garbage dumping site in the country to earn carbon credits. The first instalment of Rs24.51 crore was received in September 2009.

This amount was generated by flaring 300 to 400 cubic metre of methane gas," BMC Solid Waste Management, chief engineer B B Patil told PTI.

"By 2015, we are expecting to receive Rs72 crore from carbon credits," Mr Patil said.

Carbon credits are a key component of global attempts to mitigate the growth in concentrations of greenhouse gases. One Carbon Credit is equal to one tonne of Carbon.

The closure of the Gorai dumping ground was carried by Indian firm, United Phosphorus Ltd and Dutch firm Van Der Weil at the cost of Rs 37crore.

The BMC received its first cheque of Rs24,51,39,862 in September 2009 from Asian Development Bank (ADB), with whom the administration has signed an Emission Reduction Purchase Agreement in 2008, where in the Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) or carbon credits generated at the Gorai dump would be sold to.

"The amount would depend upon the quality and quantum of methane gas. The amount might come down. We are expecting another instalment in six months or may be a year," Mr Patil said.

The money essentially is for the capture and combustion of methane gas emanating from the dump which results in a substantial reduction of greenhouse emissions, he said.

The 19.6 hectare Gorai dump stopped accepting garbage on January 2008, 30 years after it was designated a landfill site. By then, it had accumulated an estimated 2.34 million tonne of trash.

Garbage was being dumped at this plot adjoining the Gorai creek since 1972. Thirty-five years later, when the dump was closed in December 2007, it was receiving 2,200 tonnes of refuse a day and the 2.3 million tonnes of accumulated waste had stacked up to 32 metres, Mr Patil explained.


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