Centre gears up to tackle water shortage

Policy matter this week
Drought in India (Source: IWP Flickr Photos)
Drought in India (Source: IWP Flickr Photos)

Government releases fund for water conservation under MGNREGS

Under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), the ministry of rural development has released Rs 23,443 crore to states to ensure priority work on water conservation measures. The ministry has also joined hands with the water ministry to develop guidelines for this mission to conserve water that will be shared with states. Along with this, states have also been requested to accord top most priority to water conservation works under MGNREGS with a special thrust on drought-prone regions and districts or blocks receiving inadequate rainfall.  

World culture festival: Rs 42 crore and 10 years needed to repair the damages

The NGT appointed committee has informed that the three-day World culture festival organised by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's Art of Living (AOL) last year has completely destroyed the Yamuna floodplains and the rehabilitation is going to cost Rs 42 crore and take almost 10 years. As per the estimation, nearly 120 hectares of floodplains on the right bank of the Yamuna river and about 50 hectares floodplains on the left bank have been adversely impacted. However, AOL has once again denied the report's findings and plans to study the report to decide the future course of action.

Committee submits draft of Ganga Act to government

The committee which was constituted by the Centre to come up with the Ganga Act has submitted its report to the water ministry. The Ganga Act pertains to stricter action against those polluting the river. In the new draft, the committee has proposed to adopt stricter provisions to increase accountability and responsibility for use of resources made available by the Ganga. Before finalising the draft, the water ministry will seek suggestions from various ministries and the public. 

Indus Waters Treaty not unconstitutional: SC

The Supreme Court has rejected the petition seeking the declaration of the Indus Waters Treaty between India and Pakistan as illegal and unconstitutional. As per the petition, the Indus waters pact was not a treaty at all as it has not been signed in the name of the President of India and was a tripartite agreement between three leaders and so, it is illegal. However, the Supreme Court has dismissed the entire petition and does not wish to agree with it.

SC calls for a solution to Sutlej-Yamuna link canal issue

In a move to explore an out-of-court settlement between the Haryana and Punjab governments over the Sutlej-Yamuna link (SYL) canal issue, the Centre has fixed up a meeting between the two states on April 20. The court has appreciated the Centre's intervention. It has, however, made clear that if the negotiation fails between the two states, the court will proceed with the matter in the next hearing. Along with this, the court has also clarified that the only issue before it was the execution of its verdict which seeks construction of the canal. 

This is a roundup of important policy matters from April 11 - 17, 2017. Also, read the news this week.