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Phasing out single-use plastic recommended in 5-year roadmap on natural resources

Updated : August 16, 2019 03:41 PM IST

A group of secretaries has finalised a vision document which will focus on sustainability, self reliance, competitiveness, efficiency and technologically advanced resources economy.

The group of secretaries has identified carbon intensity, import dependence, risk to investment, monopoly structures and inadequate innovation as key challenges for the resources sector.

The group of secretaries saw representation from the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Ministry of Power, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Ministry of Coal, Ministry of Mines, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, and Ministry of External Affairs.

It is expected that by 2024 India will see 1.2 times increase in gas production, refining capacity and hence oil and gas production will be at 95 mtoe (million tonne of oil equivalent) against 67.1 mtoe (prov) in FY19. In the power sector, peak power demand will rise to 252 GW (gigawatt) by 2024 which will lead to increase in transmission line capacity addition at 518,000 cKm (circuit kilometer).

Increase in peak power demand will be supported by increase in per capita electricity consumption which is expected to rise to 1,630 kWh by 2024 against per capita FY19 consumption of electricity at 1,181 kwh. Discom revitalization is another suggestion given by secretaries for power sector reforms.

India has a target of 175 GW renewable energy target by 2022, it is now expected that the share of solar energy will increase to 65 percent and that of wind to 31 percent, totaling the share of renewable sources to 23 percent in the energy mix by 2024. The group of secretaries has also pitched for 3,000 MW solar manufacturing capacity in India, faster implementation of solar scheme for farmers called Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahaabhiyan (Kusum) and inclusion of hydrogen.

Coal import has been an area of worry for the government as India imported 234 million tonnes in FY19, vision document has estimated 1,120 million tonnes of coal production by 2024 which will help reduce imports substantially.

The demand for coal will increase to 65 percent from the power sector and 35 percent increase in coal demand will come from non-regulated sectors such as steel, aluminium, cement etc. Similar to coal, in the next five-year plan there is an initiative to reduce imports of copper and manganese by 50 percent and ensure a time-time increase in mineral production.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his Independence day speech on Thursday, said: "During my 2014 speech, I spoke about cleanliness. It became a movement in the country and the common man took it up with gusto. Today, I have another request. By October 2, on the birth anniversary of dear Bapu [Mahatma Gandhi]. I want to urge the citizens to give up single-use plastic”.

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has been entrusted to phase out single-use plastics by 2024 and also work on combating climate change and work on clean air and water projects.
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