Catch all the recent news in the Himalayan region with our weekly newsletter (15 June to 21 June), A week in the Himalayas. We bring you the recent updates on mountains, northeast, environment and much more!

Kanwar Yatra in Uttarakhand to be postponed amid prevailing COVID-19 situation

The Kanwar Yatra, an annual pilgrimage of the devotees of Lord Shiva to the pilgrimage places like Haridwar, Gaumukh, Gangotri and others located in the state of Uttrakhand has been postponing due to prevailing COVID-19 outbreak in the country. The decision came after a joint meeting of the Chief Ministers of Uttrakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. It is reported that the step has been taken to stop the spread of COVID-19 for which it is important to avoid large gatherings at public places. As of now Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Haryana account for 15785, 2177 and 9743 cases respectively.

Steps taken against Amazon and Flipkart due to excessive use of plastics in packaging

National Green Tribunal (NGT) while hearing a plea, filled to stop the e-commerce companies like Flipkart and Amazon for their excessive use of plastic packaging has issued notice and directed the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to inform the tribunal about the steps taken against these companies for the non-compliance of the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016. Though a report was filed by CPCB in this regard, to which NGT said “the report filed by the monitoring body does not mention any coercive steps taken in accordance with either the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 or Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016”.

Under the Extended Producer Responsibility enshrined in the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016 it is the responsibility of these e-commerce giants to establish a system for collecting back the plastic waste generated due to the packaging of their products. It should be noted that Single-use plastic packaging constitutes 43% of the total plastic waste that is generated every year in our country. It further turns into micro-plastics polluting the land and water bodies.

Closure notice to the Oil India Limited to shut down Baghjan Oil Fields

Pollution Control Board Assam, accusing Oil India Limited of not taking adequate safety measures and flouting rules of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 has issued a notice to close down all production and drilling operations in Baghjan Oil Fields. The initial probe report indicates that the oil fields were in operation without proper consent and environmental clearance.

The PCBA step came amidst oil spill in one of the wells in the Baghjan oilfield on 27 May which leaked for 13 days and caught fire on 9 Jun. It is reported that the said notice is going to hit the production of crude oil and natural gas from 17 wells in the greater Baghjan oilfield.

Earthquake hits Mizoram, epicenter close to Aizwal 

Mizoram was hit by an Earthquake of 5.1 magnitude on Sunday at 4:16 PM. The tremors were also felt in the neighboring Manipur at around the same time. The entire NE region falls in an extremely sensitive seismic zone, as a result of which Earthquakes are a common phenomenon.

Earlier, Delhi-NCR had witnessed 14 earthquakes in last two months (March 24 to June 3)

Liquor sale to be promoted in the valley, J&K excise dept identifies 183 new locations 

The Jammu and Kashmir government is going to open liquor sale points at different spots across the Valley. At present, the Union Territory has 224 wine shops with 220 in Jammu and four in Kashmir. Fearing militant threats, the four shops in Kashmir are running from high security zone areas. This is for the first time since 1990, when the militancy backed by mass uprising erupted in the Valley, that liquor sale points will be opened in the Valley at a large scale.

The excise department, after a survey, identified 183 new locations, 116 in Jammu and 67 in the Kashmir valley for sale of liquor.

(By: Gautam Kumar)

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