No difference in MRPs of bottled water at different places
The food and consumer affairs ministry has sought an explanation from companies selling packaged mineral water on different MRPs at different places. Along with this, the companies have been directed to keep the sale price the same across airports, hotels and malls. The issue came to the notice of food and consumer affairs minister Ram Vilas Paswan after his ministry received several complaints pertaining to different MRPs being charged for packaged mineral water at different places like hotels and airports.
Green ministry fails to ensure environment protection: CAG
According to a report released by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), the environment ministry and its offices have failed to monitor the conditions on which the projects are cleared and thus, have not been able to ensure environmental protection. While analysing the projects that were given environmental clearances (ECs) during January 2011-July 2015, the CAG has reported that there were delays at every step before getting green nods. Moreover, the green ministry has also been criticised for not penalising even a single project for the violation of environment norms.
Seven states selected for the World Bank-aided groundwater project
Under the National Groundwater Management Improvement Scheme (NGMIS), the water ministry has selected seven states-- Karnataka, Gujarat, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh-- for sustainable groundwater management with people’s participation. The project worth Rs 6,000 crore will be implemented over a period of six years. The seven states have been identified as they represent 25 percent of the overexploited blocks in the country. The groundwater mapping for highest exploitation has already been started.
Obtaining CRZ clearances get digital
The environment ministry has launched a portal for obtaining clearances under the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) by the project proponents. The web-based portal is a user-friendly initiative, will enable submission of applications for CRZ clearance in a single-window interface and facilitate the quick flow of information. The objectives of the web portal include enhancing the efficiency, transparency, accountability and responsiveness; ease of business and convenience of citizens in accessing information; standardised procedures and processes across central and state levels.
Maharashtra government’s Jalyukt Shivar Yojana is unsustainable: SANDRP
According to a study conducted by the South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP), it has been found that the Maharashtra government’s flagship scheme Jalyukt Shivar Yojana, touted as a drought-proofing scheme, is unsustainable. In contradiction to the claims, the indiscriminate digging of farm ponds under the scheme has accelerated the rate of groundwater extraction. The study has revealed several other issues with the scheme which includes the exclusion of soil conservation from the scheme, no recharge of groundwater and exposing groundwater to losses through evaporation.
This is a roundup of important policy matters from March 6 - 12, 2017. Also, read the news this week.