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Home » NGT asks govt to ban RO-purifiers that demineralises water

NGT asks govt to ban RO-purifiers that demineralises water

Sikkim Govt convened meeting with Director Agriculture J&K to discuss prospects of Saffron Cultivation in Sikkim A meeting was convened by Governor Ganga Prasad today in the gracious presence of Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang at Raj Bhawan Gangtok. The meeting was held to discuss in detail the prospects of Saffron Cultivation in the State of Sikkim. Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang in his address, under the leadership of Director Agriculture Government of Jammu & Kashmir Dr. Iqbal, how to increase the saffron cultivation a team will be sent for research. Dr. Iqbal, while giving a presentation on the cultivation of saffron, described the climate of Sikkim as suitable for saffron cultivation, Sikkim in future and In coordination with Kashmir, expressed the possibility of producing not only saffron but also other organic crops. During the meeting, Governor Ganga Prasad said that the land and environment of Sikkim in the entire North East is suitable for saffron cultivation, if more attention is paid in the field of agriculture, the means of employment will be available to the youth. If the income of the country is doubled, then our society, country will be able to emerge as an advanced nation. The meeting had the presence of Agriculture Minister Lok Nath Sharma, Vice Chancellor Sikkim University Prof. Avinash Khare, Secretary Agriculture Rinzing Chewang, Secretary to HCM SD Dhakal, Secretary Raj Bhawan Raj Yadav, Director Agriculture Government of Jammu & Kashmir, Dr. Iqbal Choudhary, Officers of Agriculture Department, and Joint Director ICAR-NOFRI. Saffron cultivation has long been restricted to a limited geographical area in J&K, mainly Pampore, followed by the districts of Budgam, Srinagar and Kishtwar. It should be noted that the saffron has been kept underground for about 45 days and the temperature should be below zero. The crop also needs sufficient rains if it is sown in August. For the plantations in Sikkim, saffron seeds / bulbs were purchased and shipped to Yangyang from Kashmir by air.

The National Green Tribunal (NGT), on Tuesday, directed the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to issue by the year-end a notification banning RO purifiers where total dissolved solids (TDS) in water are below 500 milligrams per litre.

An expert committee report stated that if TDS is less than 500 milligrams per litre, a RO system will not be useful. In fact, it will remove important minerals and cause unnecessary wastage of water.

“Even after one year, further extension of time has been sought by MoEF on the ground of lock-down. Let necessary action be now completed positively by December 31, 2020,” the bench said.

The NGT had earlier said the delay in compliance with its order is causing harm to public health and environment and it be complied with expeditiously.

The Ministry had in January sought four months for executing the NGT order.

The MoEF in its plea had said that for effective compliance of the order four months are required two for wide circulation of draft notification for inviting comments, and two for the incorporation of comments, finalisation of notification and obtaining approval from Ministry of Law and Justice.

The matter is listed for next hearing on January 25.

The NGT had on the last date of hearing slammed the ministry for the delay in issuing the notification and warned the officer concerned of stopping his salary.

The tribunal had earlier said its order was based on a report of an expert committee, which also comprised a representative of the MoEF, and is enforceable without permission of any other authority with penal consequences.

RO stands for reverse osmosis. It is a water purification process in which water is passed through a partially permeable membrane to remove ions, unwanted molecules and large particles from drinking water.

According to Transparency Market Research’s forecast, the Indian water purifier market will be worth $4.1 billion by 2024. Demand for affordable and pure water will ensure swift uptake of water purifiers. According to Transparency Market Research, the market for water purifiers has gained immense traction in recent years due to an awakening towards healthier living and the dearth of sources of potable water has made the usage of water purifiers indispensable. Also, contamination of water bodies and depletion of freshwater resources has made water purification systems a dire need.

It will be seen how recent guidelines by NGT, will impact the RO industry in the country.

Written by Kumar Saurav, He is Journalism graduate from Indian Institute of Mass Communication New Delhi.

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