Development And Economic Growth Predominant Over Environmental Considerations: AG Defends Expansion Of National Highways In Supreme Court

first_imgTop StoriesDevelopment And Economic Growth Predominant Over Environmental Considerations: AG Defends Expansion Of National Highways In Supreme Court Mehal Jain7 Dec 2020 9:07 AMShare This – x”Sustainable development requires balance. The country needs broad National Highways for goods and people to move up and down, as against environmental considerations. The former must be predominant over environmental considerations”, told AG K. K. Venugopal to the Supreme Court on MondayThe bench of Justices L. Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta and Ajay Rastogi was hearing the NHAI’s SLP against…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?Login”Sustainable development requires balance. The country needs broad National Highways for goods and people to move up and down, as against environmental considerations. The former must be predominant over environmental considerations”, told AG K. K. Venugopal to the Supreme Court on MondayThe bench of Justices L. Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta and Ajay Rastogi was hearing the NHAI’s SLP against the January 8 decision of the Madras High Court staying the expansion of the NH-45A as part of the Centre’s Bharatmala Pariyojana Project The bench was also hearing NHAI’s challenge to the November 28, 2019 order of the Karnataka High Court granting interim stay on the work of widening National Highway-4A between Belagavi and Goa, till January 6. Subsequently, on March 9, the Karnataka High Court had noted, “We are told that the work of widening has been stopped and therefore, we are not passing any interim order”.As regards Bharatmala, the primary contention before the High Court was that in terms of the EIA Notifications, for the development of any National Highways for a length over 100 kms., environmental clearance based on an EIA study is mandatory- “Since, the total distance covered in the proposed expansion of NH-45A between Villupuram-Nagapatinam is 179.555 k.ms, obtaining environmental clearance is indispensable. It is to avoid obtaining environmental clearance, the entire distance of 179.555 km has been artificially and arbitrarily split up into four segments, ensuring in the process that each of the segment fell within 100 kms. as to avoid the mandatory EIA. This is contrary to the spirit behind the aforesaid notifications”It may be noted that the notification in S.O.1533 issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forest, dated 14.09.2006, provides for mandatory environmental clearance for different categories of economic or socio-economic activity, and the need to make an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) is sine quo non for the same. The schedule provided in this notification, lists different heads of activity. In this, the head in Sl.No.7(f) deals with the Highways. This notification inter alia requires that in cases of “Expansion of National Highways, greater than 30 k.m. involving additional right of way greater than 20m involving land acquisition and passing through more that one State”, environmental clearance is required. Consequentially, EIA has to be undertaken. This notification was subsequently amended, Vide S.O.No.2559 (E) by the Ministry of Environment and Forest, dated 22.08.2013, as per which, environmental clearance is required only for the “Expansion of National Highways greater than 100 km involving additional right of way, or land acquisition greater than 40m on existing alignment and 60m on re-alignments or by-passes.””There was no concept of environment before the Environment Protection Act of 1986…The government of India forwarded this proposal for the development of the country and the convenience of the people. They said that they will be a criss-cross of roads all over the country. So the National Highways were made four-ways”, explained the AG.”This is an existing road that goes throughout the country. One has to find out what is sustainable – needs of the economy, convenience of passengers travelling in cars, the carriage of goods, as against the environment. There has to be a balance”, he continued.”You can’t travel fast on these roads…they have only two lanes. Four are needed. In other countries, there are eight or more. This is not an internal road I am talking about. If India is not able to produce a proper National Highway, it will be a sad day for the country!”, advanced the AG.”The development of industries, the movement of goods, the growth of the economy will all be cluttered and slow down”, he submitted.”There is 34,000 km of road in Bharatmala. The government of India has divided it on account of finances, men and material. There is no single contractor for any of the 3,400 roads. The NHAI has auctioned each of them separately. Each of the packages are within 100 km each. Only because of necessity, it is been given to separate road contractors.”, explained the AG.”The 2013 amendment will apply. If it applies, environmental authorities don’t come in. Originally, it was 50 km. Then they made it 100. They said you can’t widen the road more than that. The only question is that I should not be deliberately doing it to evade the procurement of permissions. Then I am not wrong”, he said.”In this country, progress will be saddled if I have to go before the authorities in each case. There will be an untold number of permissions and red-tapism!”, argued the AG.”For every tree fell, 10 trees have to be planted. Otherwise, we attract penalties under the Environment Protection Act. The tree-felling is on the National Highway, on government land, not public land. The local permissions are scientifically obtained wherever needed- clearance from the Forest Department etc. Monitoring is also there. We compensate the land owner and we are entitled to cut whatever is growing and no permission is needed to cut these coconut trees and all”, he continued.”The objections raised should not stand in the way of the larger public interest. Goods and passengers need to move comfortably for the development of the country”, he urged.As regards the Belagavi to Goa Highway, on February 24, the Karnataka High Court noted that the length of NH-4A which is taken up for widening may be more than 100 Kilometers stretching over Karnataka and Goa. “If that be so, it cannot be said that widening is undertaken for the length which is less than 100 Kilometers”, the High Court had said. On March 9, the High Court expected the Union of India to take a clear stand whether environmental clearance is necessary for carrying out the work of widening of NH-4A.”Please let the work continue. the machinery, workmen- all are just standing. There are immense losses! 70% of the work is complete!”, prayed the AG.The bench noted that the writ petition before the High Court complained that the environmental clearance was not taken for the expansion of the highway for a distance of 153.75 km. By the order dated October 31, 2019, the High Court had directed the Union of India to file the statement that the environmental clearance has been obtained, also clarifying the period of the environmental clearance. As an affidavit was not so filed, impugned order of November 28, 2019 was passed, granting interim relief.The bench recorded that the AG has informed the court that the Ministry of Environment and Forests, on March 9, has clarified the position as regards the environmental clearance, stating that no clearance is required.Accordingly, the bench directed the Karnataka High Court to dispose off the writ petition in two weeks, as that the project of the NHAI for the expansion of the National Highway is stalled.Subscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Storylast_img read more

Richard Branson seeking buyer for Virgin Atlantic: Telegraph

first_imgRichard Branson is seeking a buyer for Virgin Atlantic Airways as he struggles to secure a 500 million pound ($618 million) government bailout, the Telegraph reported.Branson has set an end-of-May deadline to save the UK airline from collapse and is focused on securing new private investment from more than 100 financial institutions, the newspaper quoted people familiar as saying.“Houlihan Lokey has been appointed to assist the process, focusing on private-sector funding,” a Virgin Atlantic spokeswoman said. “Discussions with a number of stakeholders continue and are constructive, meanwhile the airline remains in a stable position.” Virgin’s application for government aid has effectively been shelved, though negotiations could be revived if investment can’t be found elsewhere, the newspaper reported.About 50 investors have asked for information and they will be narrowed down to a handful of bidders, according to the report. Centerbridge Partners, Cerberus Capital Management, Lansdowne Partners, Singapore sovereign wealth fund Temasek and Northill Capital are among those in the running.Delta Air Lines, which owns a 49 percent stake in Virgin Atlantic and is consumed with its own pandemic-related problems, has already bumped up against U.K. limits on foreign airline ownership, the US company’s chief executive officer, Ed Bastian, said Thursday.Branson, 69, has become the highest-profile victim of an airline-industry crisis that’s only just getting started. Virgin Australia, another carrier he founded, entered administration last week after failing to obtain a state bailout.Topics :last_img read more

Woods says meeting Mandela “inspiring time”

first_imgTiger Woods makes his approach shot on the 18th hole during the first round of the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge golf tournament at Sherwood Country Club, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, in Thousand Oaks, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — Tiger Woods said the death of Nelson Mandela was “a sad day for many people,” especially those who had the chance to meet him.That moment was 15 years ago for Woods when he was in South Africa for the Million Dollar Challenge.“It’s sad for everyone who got a chance to not only meet him, but I’ve been influenced by him,” Woods said Thursday after the first round of his World Challenge. “I got a chance to meet him with my father back in ’98. He invited us to his home, and it was one of the inspiring times I’ve ever had in my life.”Woods did not go into details of stories about Mandela that he has told many times over the years.At the British Open this summer, when Mandela’s health was failing, he told of walking into a living room in Mandela’s home and feeling a presence he couldn’t describe.“It still gives me chills to this day, thinking about it,” Woods said in July at Muirfield. “A gentleman asked us to go into this side room over here and, ‘President Mandela will join you in a little bit. And we walked in the room, and my dad and I were just kind of looking around. And I said, ‘Dad, do you feel that? And he says, ‘Yeah, it feels different in this room.“And it was just like a different energy in the room,” Woods said. “We just looked at each other and just shrugged our shoulders and whatever. And maybe, I’m guessing probably 30 seconds later, I heard some movement behind me and it was President Mandela folding up the paper. And it was pretty amazing. The energy that he has, that he exudes, is unlike any person I’ve ever met. And it was an honor to meet him at his home. And that’s an experience that I will never, ever forget.”Woods later paid his respects on Twitter.“Pop & I felt your aura went we met, I feel it today & I will feel it forever. You have done so much for humanity…” said one tweet from Woods. It was followed by, “You will always be in my heart Mr. Mandela.”Woods, the first player of Black heritage to win the Masters in 1997 with a record-breaking performance, was in the middle of overhauling his swing in the fall of 1998. The week after Thanksgiving, he played the Casio World Open in Japan and then made his first trip to South Africa.“I had read all the information about him,” Woods told The Associated Press in a 2003 interview. “If you’re a minority, you’ve read up on what he did. To go through what he did for 27 years and come out and be as humble as he was, and then run the country … how tough a person do you have to be to do that?”Woods returned to South Africa five years later for the Presidents Cup, a time when there was uncertainly whether Americans would travel such a long distance in November for the event. Woods never gave it a second thought, telling the AP he surely would have gotten a phone call from Mandela.“How can you not want to do anything for that man?” he said.Mandela met with Woods, Ernie Els and the rest of the players that week at the Presidents Cup, and he attended the opening ceremony.Woods was informed of Mandela’s death after finishing his round at Sherwood Country Club, and before he spoke to reporters.“He certainly had an impact on my life and certainly my father’s,” Woods said. “When he came out (of prison), the country could have fallen apart. It could have gone a lot of different ways, and he led it to where it’s at now. And the world is going to miss him.”For Mandela to spend 27 years in prison and emerge without hatred is what Woods found difficult to fathom.“I don’t think any of us probably here could have survived that and come out as humble and as dignified as he did,” Woods said. “And to lead an entire nation and to basically love the world when he came out, I think that’s a testament to his will and his spirit and who he was.”last_img read more

Giants struggling to draw interest, announce another season-low attendance total vs. Pirates

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO — As the losses continue to pile up, the crowds at Oracle Park continue to dwindle.The Giants sold a season-low 26,627 tickets for their 6-3 loss to the Pirates on Wednesday and fans who elected to stay home didn’t miss much excitement.San Francisco fell behind early and only mustered three hits in another frustrating offensive performance at home, where the Giants are averaging just 3.53 runs per game this year.“Between walks and errors, we gave up some cheap runs and it came …last_img read more

Soil Provides Library of Antibiotic Resistance

first_imgThe “evolution of antibiotic resistance” is a staple in the creation-evolution debates, providing evolutionists with a living illustration of evolution taking place right before our eyes.  What if all the information for antibiotic resistance, however, already exists in a library from which bacteria can find it?  That seems to be the implication of a study by D’Carlo et al. in Science.1  A Canadian biochemical research team decided to survey the techniques of antibiotic resistance already present in soil bacteria.  They were astonished.  Every antimicrobial medicine, including some only recently developed, had a defensive weapon ready for it:This study provides an analysis of the antibiotic resistance potential of soil microorganisms.  The frequency of high-level resistance seen in the study to antibiotics that have for decades served as gold-standard treatments, as well as those only recently approved for human use, is remarkable.  No class of antibiotic was spared with respect to bacterial target or natural or synthetic origin.  Although this study does not provide evidence for the direct transfer of resistance elements from the soil resistome to pathogenic bacteria, it identifies a previously underappreciated density and concentration of environmental antibiotic resistance. (Emphasis added in all quotes.)The authors could not determine whether “The presence of antibiotics in the environment has promoted the acquisition or independent evolution of highly specific resistance elements in the absence of innate antibiotic production,” and are not sure whether today’s resistant pathogens acquired their resistance from soil organisms.  They could not rule it out, however: “The soil could thus serve as an underrecognized reservoir for resistance that has already emerged or has the potential to emerge in clinically important bacteria.”  A frightening implication is that no matter what agents we throw at them, bacteria may be able to check out a defense from this “environmental resistome.”    Alexander Tomasz commented on this study in the same issue of Science.2  He said that, “Actually, the majority of the most effective antibiotic-resistance mechanisms in human pathogens are acquired,” or gained not by evolution but by lateral gene transfer.  The acquired resistance, he says, is superior to that gained by mutations:The superiority of such acquired mechanisms is illustrated by the contrast between Staphylococcus aureus strains that have decreased susceptibility to vancomycin through mutations (so-called VISA strains) as compared to VRSA strains, S. aureus that acquired a complete vancomycin-resistance gene complex via the transposon Tn1546.  The VISA strains have low-level resistance (the minimal inhibitory concentration of vancomycin is 6 to 12 g/ml), are often associated with reduced oxacillin resistance, and show abnormal cell wall synthesis; the multiple transcriptional changes documented by DNA microarray analysis reflect the complexity of this mechanism.  In contrast, in VRSA strains, the Tn1546-based mechanism produces high-level vancomycin resistance (with a minimal inhibitory concentration of more than 500 g/ml) that does not interfere with oxacillin resistance, and cell wall synthesis proceeds with a depsipeptide cell wall precursor specific to these strains.Though the transfer mechanism is not known, “Clearly, mobilization of a resistance mechanism must involve ‘packaging’ into a plasmid, phage, or some transposable element,” he believes.  Tomasz called the sheer variety of resistance mechanisms catalogued by D’Carlo et al. “remarkable”.  It appears that microorganisms might not only make antibiotic weapons in profusion, but also make a plethora of defenses against them.1D’Costa et al., “Sampling the Antibiotic Resistome,” Science, 20 January 2006: Vol. 311. no. 5759, pp. 374 – 377, DOI: 10.1126/science.1120800.2Alexander Tomasz, “Weapons of Microbial Drug Resistance Abound in Soil Flora,” Science, 20 January 2006: Vol. 311. no. 5759, pp. 342 – 343, DOI: 10.1126/science.1123982.Neither of these papers ruled out that the resistance mechanisms have always been present in the gene pool.  If so, then the claim that bacteria “evolve” resistance to antibiotics is negated.  Bacteria may simply find access to an existing library of information, a “resistome” that, coupled with a packaging and delivery mechanism (plasmids and transposons), confers the resistance that previously appeared to evolve out of thin air.    Notice that the resistance conferred by mutations harms the organism.  The case cited by Tomasz reduced the fitness of the organism by weakening its cell wall.  Mutationally-gained resistance is like the illustration Lee Spetner gave: cutting off a man’s arms makes him resistant to handcuffs.  In a population of prisoners being handcuffed, this person would be the fittest, but only in a specific environment and at the cost of overall fitness.  In the wild, he would be at a disadvantage.  Scott Minnich also illustrated this type of bacterial resistance in the film Icons of Evolution with cultures of bacteria exposed to antibiotics.  The kind of resistance conferred by specialized enzymes able to disable the agent, however, require specific genetic information that appears designed.    Too little is known at this point, but these articles uncover the possibility that genetic information that confers antibiotic resistance is already present in the environmental resistome.  If so, this undermines a commonly-used evidence for evolution.(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

2018: a year to nurture opportunities for growth

first_imgA New Year message from Brand South Africa’s CEO, Dr Kingsley Makhubela.Dr Kingsley MakhubelaA new year always ushers in a sense of renewal – a renewal of purpose and collective commitment to excellence in strengthening our country, accordingly helping to build a more resilient Nation Brand.For all of us, 2018 brings opportunities for forgiveness, tolerance and unity. As we close the pages of 2017 and turn the opening chapter of this brand new year, we have much that gives us hope. In our journey as a nation we have accomplished a great deal, however there is so much more to be done.As a collective, we in Brand South Africa, together with government, business and civil society need to strengthen our collaborative efforts to ensure that we get back on our development trajectory of improving the climate for investment and business expansion, which consequently translates into conducive conditions for economic growth and job creation in South Africa.There are encouraging indications that 2018 will be a year of continued positive transformation for South Africa and its people. The confidence of local and international investors remains high as attested by various reputable international investment bodies.According to the 2017 World Bank’s Africa Competitiveness Report, South Africa is positioned at No.2 in the Africa Competitiveness Report, which sees the country’s global ranking for 2016-17 improved by nine places – from 56 in the 2014-15 47 out of 138 countries worldwide.South Africa also ranks No.4 in the most attractive investment destination in Africa, based on the growth factor of the gross domestic product (GDP), ease of doing business in the country and significant population, according to the 2016-2017 Africa Investment Index 2016 by Quantum Global Research Lab.The recently released 2017 Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance states that South Africa ranks No.6 of 54 African countries for its quality of governance, with the 2017 Ernst and Young Attractiveness Programme indicating that South Africa continues to be the top Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) destination in Sub-Saharan Africa and in 2017 attracted the bulk of FDI projects destined for the continent with a share of 20.6%, Egypt at 11.7%, Morocco at 12%, Nigeria at 7.5%, and Kenya at 5.9%.South Africa’s reputation ranks 45 out of 71 countries and is among the BRICS countries, positioned in 3rd place with Brazil and India in first and second place respectively, reports the 2017 Country RepTrak® study conducted by Reputation House. With these indicators comes the firm resolution to achieve desired results and meet deliverables, forthe past year has seen us make momentous decisions that have set the nation on a new direction.This year let us promise ourselves that we will maintain a positive attitude throughout the year – whatever the challenges. I envision a South Africa where we exhibit values and attitudes that foster peace and goodwill – a country where citizens are actively involved in their communities, and most of all, a nation that is deepening its democratic dispensation and strengthening its systems of governance.Let us nurture opportunities and possibilities for progress and new achievements for ourselves, our families, our communities and our country.As we look ahead to a year of greater opportunities and unity, let me wish you and your families a peaceful, prosperous and happy New Year.Notes to the EditorAbout Brand South AfricaBrand South Africa is the official marketing agency of South Africa, with a mandate to build the country’s brand reputation, in order to improve its global competitiveness. Its aim is also to build pride and patriotism among South Africans, in order to contribute to social cohesion and nation brand ambassadorship.About Play Your PartPlay Your Part is a nationwide programme created to inspire, empower and celebrate active citizenship in South Africa. It aims to lift the spirit of our nation by inspiring all South Africans to contribute to positive change, become involved and start doing.A nation of people who care deeply for one another and the environment in which they live is good for everyone.Play Your Part is aimed at all South Africans – from corporates and individuals, NGOs and government, churches and schools, from the young to the not-so-young. It aims to encourage South Africans to use some of their time, money, skills or goods to contribute to a better future for all.Join the conversation:Facebook: Official Brand South AfricaTwitter: @Brand_SAFor more information or to set up interviews, please contact:Tsabeng NthiteTel: +27 11 712 5061Mobile: +27 (0) 76 371 6810Email:[email protected] www.brandsouthafrica.comlast_img read more

A Compressed Explanation of Video Compression

first_imgThis video was first shared by Techquickie. If you want to learn more technical terms check out the rest of the videos in their ‘As Fast As Possible’ series.If you want to learn more about compression or any other post-production term check out the PremiumBeat.com Blog. We have hundreds of articles and tutorials dedicated to helping you be a better film/video pro.Have any other tips for compressing? Share in the comments below. Trying to wrap your head around video compression? This tutorial explains compression in easy-to-understand language.Video compression is admittedly confusing. We all know that uploading a video to YouTube or Vimeo is going to make the quality go down, but what does that all mean? Why exactly is shooting in RAW files better than shooting in a compressed format? All these questions are valid and they will be answered in just a second, but first, a backstory…Do you remember when you had to create codecs by hand? Now of course I don’t mean actually having to go into the code, but having to choose bit rates, quality sliders, and compression codecs. It was incredibly confusing and it wasted a lot of time. Over time compressing videos has gotten a lot easier, but can still be confusing…especially to beginners.The following video created by Techquickie explains compression in a quick and easy-to-understand video. The video covers:MacroblocksSpacial vs. Temporal CompressionRedundancylast_img read more

a month agoDonnarumma insists AC Milan players behind coach Giampaolo

first_imgDonnarumma insists AC Milan players behind coach Giampaoloby Carlos Volcanoa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveAC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma insists the players are behind coach Marco Giampaolo.Milan threw away the lead to lose 2-1 to Torino on Thursday night.“It’s a defeat that burns. It’s a dark day and I struggled to sleep last night,” Donnarumma told Sky Sport Italia.“Yesterday I saw the team give everything, I’m sorry for everyone, the fans included. We have to follow the Coach because we’re working well and we have great ideas on how to play. We must follow him.“Giampaolo’s a great Coach. I’m sorry because yesterday we had a great game and we didn’t deserve to lose.“We’re all with him. It’s normal to struggle a bit at the start with new ideas and new players, but we should continue to follow him. We’re all with him.“After the first goal, we fell apart. We need to improve on this. If we’d remained compact, we would’ve been able to take the win home.” About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

6 days agoIbrahimovic slams Maldini: AC Milan are a disaster

first_imgAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Ibrahimovic slams Maldini: AC Milan are a disasterby Carlos Volcano6 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveLA Galaxy star Zlatan Ibrahimovic is sorry to see the state of former club AC Milan.The Swede slammed Paolo Maldini’s work as director.He told Gazzetta dello Sport: “Milan are a disaster. They’re all talk and no action.“This is not the club everyone fell in love with, in Italy and all over the world. Perhaps there are too many wrong people who should be elsewhere.“Paolo Maldini doesn’t have what it takes to be a director, whereas in his playing career he was one of my all-time favourites.“In fairness, Maldini does have a difficult task, because it’s not easy to do well with limited resources.” last_img read more