TRIPURAINFO

Environmental quality


Bio-diversity

The state is located in the biogeographic zone of 9b-north-east hills and possesses an extremely rich bio-diversity. The local flora and fauna bear a very close affinity and resemblance with floral and faunal components of Indo-Malayan and Indo-Chinese sub-regions.
There are 379-species of trees, 320-shrubs, 581-herbs, 165-climbers, 16-climbing shrubs, 35-ferns, 45-epiphytes and 4-parasites. Rare plants of Tripura have been put to 18 numbers. There are 266 species of medicinal plants in the state (68-trees, 39-shrubs, 71-herbs and 88-climbers). There are 90 mammal species in Tripura and in the aquatic ecosystem 47 species of fish have been found. As per last census of wild life conducted in 1989, there are 39 numbers of leopard, 182 numbers of elephant and 92 numbers of bison in the state.


Aquatic Ecosystems

About 2.22% of geographical areas of the state constitute waterbodies. Out of the total area of 22,921 ha under water, 20,493 hayields aqua resource. The main aqua resources of the state for fish production are ponds, tanks and mini barrages. The unit area of these water bodies is very small. They are rain fed having considerable depth of water for fish culture during monsoon period but remain shallow during winter. Some of these even dries up during summer. As a result, pisciculture in these water bodies is seasonal. The Gumti reservoir was spread over an area of 4,500 ha at the time of creation in 1975-76. The reservoir was the stock ofdiversified fishery resource upto early 1990s with natural propagation of Indian major carp, exotic carp, minor carp, cat fishes and weed fishes, etc. Due to increasing siltation through Raima and Sarma rivers, the reservoir progressively lost its diversity year after year with decreasing water spread area. The condition of the reservoir nowadays may be called as endangered due to accumulation of silt. Weed infestation poses serious threat to the sustainable natural fishery resource of the state. The Rudrasagar Lake in Sonamura subdivision has water spread area of 240 ha. The lake has the potential for conservation of aquatic fauna and flora such as the self-propagation of wild catfishes, minor carps, weed fishes and turtles. Due to deforestation, use of agricultural pesticides and siltation, considerable destruction ofaquatic fauna and flora of the resources has taken place. The lake is now considered endangered for its polluted watershed and bio resource values.

Hill ranges

Five major hill ranges traverse the State in roughly north-south direction and continue southward into Chittagong Hill Tract. Narrow valleys separate these ranges generally 20 km wide. Theeasternmost range is Jampui, being successively followed to the West by Unokoti- Sakhantlang, Longthorai, Atharamura-Kalajhari and, Baramura-Deotamura. The highest peak lies at Bethliangchhip (Thaidawar, Shibrangkhung), 975.36 mt. Above the sea level.

Temperature

Relatively high temperature, occasional thunderstorms and wind velocities characterise the summer season, which extends from March end to mid May. The average maximum temperature is 34ºC and average minimum temperature is 15ºC. The annual minimum and maximum ambient temperatures recorded at Agartala Airport of the Tripura West District during 1994 are 15.9ºC and 33.4ºC respectively.

Rainfall

The state is a high rainfall zone with the incidence of very high concentration of rainfall (up to 450 mm per day) in the monsoonseason, which lasts from June to September. The average annualrainfall in the state is 2024.4 mm (50 years average). Maximum rainfall is generally received in the months of July to September. Intermittent rainfall is received round the year, but the pattern ofrainfall throughout the year is not homogenous.

Humidity

Humidity is generally high throughout the year. During the summer, the humidity varies between 50% and 75% while in the southwest monsoon it is over 80%. Due to high rainfall in the area and relatively high temperature, humidity is also very high.

Cloudiness

Skies are heavily clouded during the southwest monsoon season. In the post-monsoon months cloud formation is moderate.  During winter season sky is predominantly clear from clouds and occasional light cloud formation prevails.

Winds

Winds are generally light except in the later half of summer and the monsoon months when they are moderate. During summer and to a lesser extent in the post - monsoon season, winds are south-easterly. They gradually are back to a northerly direction in the post-monsoon and early winter season. Thereafter, the southern-lies begin and these become predominant in the summer.

Air quality

The urban centers in the state have witnessed a significant increase in the number of industries in the small and medium sectors and also in the number of vehicles during 1990-2000. As a result, there has been a significant change in the quality of air in most of the urban centers.

The quality of air is determined in terms of identified parameters such as suspended particulate matter (spm), sulfur dioxide (so2), nitrogen dioxide (no2), carbon mono-oxide (co), lead (pb), respiratory particulate matter (rpm), etc. The central pollution control board (cpcb) notified national ambient air quality standard (April, 1994) with regard to spm, so2, no2, co, pb, rpm for industrial area, residential, rural & other areas and for sensitive areas.

Water quality

Ground water quality: The ground water samplings were carried out at 19 stations distributed over four districts (north: 4, Dhalai: 1, west: 11, south: 3). A total of 30 parameters were analyzed to study physical characteristics, mineral constituents, toxic metals and induction of organic pollution.

A comparative study of results from 4 districts, for the major parameters of 19 samples show that, tds, tss, chloride, fluoride, sulphate remain within permissible limit; the same is applicable for arsenic, lead, cadmium and chromium; bod, cod, oil and grease, phenolic compounds also remain within the prescribed limit. No faecal coliform was found in any sample.

The ground water quality indicate that it is suitable both for drinking and irrigation purposes.

First available data set on water quality monitoring in the states dates back to October November 1997 in 20 stations.

The present study as already mentioned was carried out in 19 selected stations during march-june 2001. An attempt has been made to compare the past data from the same location with the current data set. Only four stations (3 in west Tripura and 1 in north Tripura) within the state are common in the 1st and 2nd survey, which have been compared to study the status of water quality at difference time level. It seen that conductivity, tds, ph, hardness, magnesium, alkalinity nitrate remain low in Dukli and Jirania but iron content is high in both these water samples compared to 1997 water samples.

While in case of khowai and Kumarghat conductivity, tds, ph, hardness calcium, magnesium, alkalinity, iron, chloride remain high compared to 1997 data set but the nitrate content appears low.

Surface water quality: The surface water monitoring include 12 stations along 8 rivers, namely Howrah, Deo, Manu, Dhalai, Juri, Fenni, Khowai and Muhuri in four districts, besides two lakes viz. Amarsagar and Jagannathdighi; effluent water sampling in three locations in the west district was carried out in and around Agartala.

The river water sample study shows tds, tss, chloride, fluoride, sulphate, calcium magnesium, sodium arsenic, cadmium, copper, and lead etc. to be all within permissible limit. Even indicators of organic pollutants, bod value (except for river near Belonia) remain within the limit; dissolved oxygen level shows little higher value than permissible limit in Deo at Kailashahar and Howrah river station near forest office at Agartala.

However, all the river water samples appear highly polluted from bacteriological standard and coliform bacterial loads including faecal coliform bacterial load exceed the tolerance limit. Of the river and stream samples, oil and grease appear to be very high in Howrah and Chandrapur stream at Chandrapur because of location of large number of automobile garages.

The pond water quality study shows that most of the parameters are within limit but concentration of phenolic compounds and oil and grease are well above tolerance limit; this is largely attributed to dumping of waste product. Bacteriological quality of pond water also shows high level of total coliform and faecal coliform, making the water unsuitable for potability (as was the case for surface water).

Effluent water sampling stations were located along engineering processing works, distilleries, bod value appeared very high in case of industrial processing effluent and dairy effluent; the oil and grease level remain just within stipulated limit in these two streams (Ramakrishna engineering work, Agartala and dairy unit in Indranagar Katakhal). Both these sampling stations also show very high level of total coliform and faecal coliform bacterial load.

Noise level quality

Noise level was measured in four townships and semi-urban centres in north district (Kailashahar, Kumarghat, Kanchanpur and Dharmnagar), three centres in Dhalai district (Manu, Ambasa, Kamalpur), six centres in west district (Agartala, Khowai, Bishalgarh, jirania, AD Nagar, Melaghar) and five centres in south district (Amarpur, Udaipur, Matabari, Sabroom, Belonia).

Major noise level can be attributed to motor vehicles, industrial works, air horn and loudspeakers.

Ambient noise level was significantly higher in commercial, residential and industrial areas (including silence zone) in the north district, Dhalai district, west district and south district in Tripura.

Climate change and Global warming

Climate change is one of the "Harshest" realities facing mankind. While a part of this change is caused by the modifications of the natural factors, a major part of this change can be attributed toanthropogenic activities - industry, transport, agriculture etc. Climate Change is one of the most critical challenges faced by humanity to-day and it has witnessed increasing global response. Climate change is liable to destabilize the natural eco system, decrease the availability and quality of precious natural resources and initiate extreme events that may claim millions of lives. Recognizing the climate change as a global challenge, India is actively engaged in emission reduction activities through variousinitiatives out of which National Action Plan for Climate Change (NAPCC) is the most important national programme. Government of India announced and released India's National Action Plan for Climate Change (NAPCC). NAPCC will run through till 2017 encompassing a number of climate change mitigation and adaptation initiatives across sectors. The plan proposes eight focus areas, known as the National Missions, on the following:

  • Solar Energy

  • Energy Efficiency

  • Sustainable Habitat

  • Water

  • Himalayan Ecosystem

  • Green India

  • Agriculture

  • Strategic Knowledge

  • Following the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit, the Government of India has announced a voluntary cut target of 20-25% in the carbon intensity by 2020 with reference to 2005 baseline. Such target will generate significant 'pull' to transform our domestic economy into a low carbon growth path. The efficacy of the NAPCC in India and achievement of India's voluntary mitigation target will depend primarily on how it translates the policy actions at the individual State level. The Prime Minister recently announced that State Governments would have to present their respective agenda on climate change actions in line with the provisions in the national plan. Till date, though progress in this regard has been mild with only a couple of States announcing their detailed plans, in near future more visible and dynamic actions by the various State Governments is expected. The State Government can play a major role in respect of keeping India's commitment towards emission reduction by way of formulating a state level action plan for climate change. The state will also be benefited significantly if State Action Plans on Climate Change are executedin an appropriate manner. In line with the Govt. of India decisionthe state of Tripura (Though a Carbon Negative state locally) has also decided to formulate state level action plan on climate change. As suggested by NAPCC, the potential area of climate change mitigation and adaptation under the purview of the State Government include the following: Recognizing the climate change as a global challenge, India is actively engaged in emissionreduction activities through various initiatives out of which National Action Plan for Climate Change (NAPCC) is the most important national programme. The State Governments have a big role to play in keeping India's commitment towards emission reduction by way of formulating State level action plan for climatechange in the federal structure of the governance of the country.

    And in this back drop the Tripura State Climate Action Plan hasbeen formulated. The first part of the State Action Plan on Climatechange has dealt with the following major missions of the Government of India.

  • Solar Mission.

  • Energy Efficiency.

  • Sustainable Habitat.


  • Solar Mission

    In coming Solar radiation or Insolation from the Sun is the source of all forms of energy in the earth. Since the energy harnessed from the sun's radiation is unending or never depleting, the energy drawn from this source is termed as the Renewable Energy (RE). It is replenished by the insolation or nature itself. So, the RE provided to us is free, of high quality & is pollution free. This aspect has assumed a greater significance now in the light of the challenges of the Climate change and Global warming. It is required to have the right technology by way of constant up-gradation so that we may be able to tap the maximum amount of RE at the least possible price and use it rationally for the prosperity of the people. Incidentally, by installing some suitable devices we can tap and generate the RE in situ and in such event RE can very well be tapped in remote and in-accessible areas also where it israther costly and strewn with difficulty to transmit power through the conventional mode of transmission line network. The RE has thus definite edge over the energy drawn from the fossil fuel from the point of view of pollution, risk of rapid depletion of the resources and more importantly from the point of view of high cost of transmission of conventional energy. It is fact though stand alone type Off -grid solar photovoltaic power systems have been installed and are operational in many parts of the state but in the context of Climate Change Mitigation Programme, Tripura must have Mega Watt (MW) level, large size Solar Photovoltaic power plants particularly in the western belt of Tripura where the terrain is rather flat and the solar insolation level is higher in comparison to other part of the state. due consideration it has been proposed to install 20 MW Solar Power in the state by the year 2016-17 (12th Five Year Plan) and 60 MW by the end of 13th Five year Plan in 2021-22. It is estimated that installation of such power plants shall reduce CO2 emission to the extent of 2,00,000 tonnes and 6,00,000tonnes respectively on annual basis There will be an investmentof Rs. 900 crores by the year 2022 in this clean energy sector and more than 1000 green job will be generated. Similarly all the hotel and guest houses and shall be motivated to replace the Electric geysers by solar water heaters. This will save additional 8 MW of power and further reduce the CO2 emission level by about 80,000 tonnes. It is further expected that the Stand alone Solar PV applications shall exceed 5 MW by the end 12th Plan and 10 MWby the end of 13th Plan This will reduce significant quantum ofburning of fossil fuels including kerosene.

    Energy Efficiency

    Improving energy efficiency is one of the most important sectorsin Tripura to reduce emission level. The wastage of energy in the following sectors is considered very high in the state.

  • Agricultural Sector

  • Power Distribution System

  • Water Supply

  • Lighting Sector

  • Municipal Service Sector

  • Separate action plan has been suggested to reduce emission. Particularly low carbon technology and Intelligent/ Green building and smart grid have been proposed to be integrated with the above sectors. National Energy Efficiency guideline shall be followed and schemes are required to be prepared for funding and implementation. Though Industrial activities are in low key in the state but there are a large numbers of Agricultural pump sets and Agricultural machineries which consume significant quantum of fossil fuels. The State Climate change Action Plan has addressed this issue in a big way. The electrical transmission and distribution Losses in the state is also considered to be significantly high. The present level of losses is to the tune of 31% and it has been proposed to bring down the losses to 15% by the year 2030. This will save huge quantum of natural gas and will also reduce emission level by 300,000 tonnes.

    Sustainable habitat

    The transport sector in the state is one of the main emitter of Green House Gas. It has been estimated that by the year 2030 the state will have additional 66,000 vehicles on road emitting significant quantum of greenhouse gas. Mass rapid Public transport system, CNG vehicles or electric vehicles could reduce emission to a greatextent. These initiatives have been highlighted in the report. There has been a tremendous growth in the state in the construction sector. The consumption of cement, steel etc has increased many folds causing emission at the National Level. The Report has advocated for construction of more Green Buildings with use of Eco friendly construction materials and use of solar energy both in active and passive manner through change in building bye-laws. And, with rapid urbanization, the production of Municipal Solid Waste(MSW) has increased to a great extent. Appropriate utilization of MSW has been proposed in the Report to reduce methane gas emission. The city of Agartala is highly vulnerable to climate related issues mainly due to its close proximity with the international border. The development plan of Agartala City particularly in regard to management of heavy precipitation situation has a close link with trans-border planning process. This issue has been addressed at length under the State Action Plan.

    Major Rivers

    A Business Development Plan has also been finalized to coverthe component activities of product design, institutional development, capacity building, market development, cluster development and technology induction etc. Tripura Cane and Bamboo handicrafts are considered to be among the best in the country for the exquisite designs, wide range of products and artistic appeal. This industry has a great export potential as well. Steps have been taken to organize/ develop this industry on modern lines. Not only that, in view of availability of large bamboo resources in the State, industrial products like bamboo tiles, laminated products, ply, boards, corrugated sheets etc can be produced, which can be used as building materials, for furnituremanufacture etc. Studies have shown that Bamboo is a very effective substitute for timber and is, in fact, better in many respects. The State Government has launched the Tripura BambooMission. The Mission would be operationalised through PrivatePublic Partnership framework. There are 10 (ten) major rivers in the state. They are generally ephemeral in nature and their flow is directly related to the rainfall, being in spate in rainy season and running almost dry during summer months. The purity and sustained and regular discharge of water is directly proportional to intensity of vegetative cover in the river systems. Due to deforestation in the catchment areas of such river systems all the navigable rivers have become almost dry during lean seasons. The water are muddy during rainy season and bitterly polluted during lean periods. The Burima, Gomati, Khowai, Howrah, Longai, Dhalai, Muhuri, Feni, Juri, Manu are the major rivers. These Tripura rivers are often classified into two broad groups; a few rivers of the sate follow the north direction and the rest of the rivers follow the west direction. The main rivers at Tripura that flow towards the north are Khowai, Manu, Dhalai, Longai and Juri. The rivers of the place that flow towards the west are Gomati, Feni and Muhuri. The Gomati is the biggest river of the state. It is considered very sacred by the people who live in this region. This river has originated in the Tirthamukh. The sacred Dumbur falls is located at this region. River Manu is one of the major rivers in Tripura. It has its origin in the mountainous are of Tripura. It finally enters the district of Maulvibazar in the neighboring country of Bangladesh. The Khowai River has its origin in the eastern area of the Atharamura Hills. The river enters the Bangladesh through Balla.

    It finally pours into River Meghna River. The Howrah River has its origin in a hilly locality of Tripura in the central area of Tripura. The name of the hills is the Boromura Hills. The river finally unites with PadmaRiver, which is one of the main rivers of the country of Bangladesh. Besides, there are many small lakes and ponds in the state. There are as many as 13 lakes inside Trishna wildlife sanctuary, and 2 inside Sepahijala wildlife sanctuary. Many migratory birds visit these lakes. Special mention may bemade of a clear water lake “devtapukur” at the source of Muhuri River which can be a beautiful tourist spot in future.

    Source: Forest & Industries Department, Govt. of Tripura .

    Minerals

    Geological Mapping and exploration activities undertaken by the Geological Survey of India and Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. have proved economic mineral deposit of Natural Gas (including Condensate) in Tripura. The State has vast reserve of Natural Gas. The gas is available in non-associate form, with 97% methane content.

    Petroleum Exploration Licenses have so far been issued in 4 (four) Blocks to ONGCL including one under New Exploration License Policy (NELP)- III. Besides, Consortium of GAIL and M/s Jubilant Oil & Gas Pvt. Ltd. have also been issued one Block under NELP-IV.
    The present availability of gas is 1.58 MMSCMD. However ONGCL has taken up an Action Plan to make additional 4.5 MMSCMD, thus total 6.0 MMSCMD Natural Gas is expected to be available after 2012-13. As per intensive exploration being undertaken by the 2 (two) Licensees, a vast reserve of Natural Gas yielding better availability of Natural Gas is expected.
    Natural Gas is currently being used for generation of Power and to some extend in Domestic, Industrial, Commercial and in Transport sector as CNG.

    Further, the high methane content of the gas makes it an ideal feedstock for urea fertilizer production. Emphasis has been laid for setting up industries using gas as a feedstock like Ammonia, Urea, Methanol, Methanol based Petrochemical industries, PVC etc. Natural gas can also be utilized as a cheaper source of energy for various energy-intensive industrial projects. The State Government would encourage private sector investment in gas based industries

    The most important mineral potential possibility of Tripura is oil and natural gas. There were several gas seepages near Ampi Bazar, Saikhanbari headwaters of the Channel, Chara stream and about 2 Km. W.N.W of Kaphelapa village.

    The other minerals are:

    Glass Sand: Deposits of white sand with an average silica content above 98% and suitable for the manufacture at ordinary coloured glassware's occur along the bank of Bijainadi stream in Bisramganj with an estimated reserve of 1,60,000 tonnes, near old Agartala with an estimated reserve of 50,000 tonnes, and at Purba and Paschim Champamura.

    A glass factory was set up  at Arundhutinagar near Agartala with a capacity of 2 tonnes of glassware per day. Sand deposits located at Agartala may meet the demand of raw material for the production of soda ash for use in the soap factory.

    Clay: White plastic clay suitable for the manufacture of coloured ceramic products occur at several places near Agartala, Dharmanagar and Bisramganj areas. Small deposits have been reported from the Teliamura - Ampi Bazar road cutting and near Khowai and Jogindernagar.

    Grey plastic clay has been located on the hill-sides near Paschim Champamura with a reserve of 914 tonnes, in Ranir Bazar with a reserve of 20,000 tonnes, at Sekerkot with an estimated reserve of 60,800 tonnes. Grey and white plastic clay occur at Tarkarjala village, Mohanpur and Latiachara areas.

    Lignite: Small occurrences of pyritiferous non-cacing variety of lignite occur in the rocks on the western flank of  Unkoti kolangshi hill, north of Kumarghat, at Betaga and Sabrum.

    Limestone: Sporadic occurences of occasionally fossiliferous siliceous limestone have been reported from the Sakhan and Jampui ranges.

    Building material: The shale deposits in the Atharamura range can be used for the manufacture of clay-cement-nodules to be used as road metal.

    The lateritised conglomerate moorum with quartz pebble is being extensively quarried for road metal. Grey-coloured, tough calcareous sandstone found in Gagrachara can be used as road metal.

    Hydro Potential: The Geological Survey of India is actively collaborating with the state government for the construction of the Manu Earth Dam which is proposed to be constructed at the upper reaches of the Manu river, for flood control and irrigation.

    A gravity type of brick and stone concrete dam with a reservoir at the upper reaches of the Gomati river has been constructed for the generation of hydel power from two generators each having a 5 MW capacity. The Geological Survey of India was actively associated with the construction of the hydel project.

    There is a proposal for construction of a dam in the upper reaches of the Khowai river to control seasonal floods and improve irrigation.
    Source-http://www.webindia123.com/tripura/economy/mineralresours.htm