Ganga and Yamuna not living human entities anymore

Policy matters this week
Ganga river at Sangam, Allahabad (Source: IWP Flickr photos)
Ganga river at Sangam, Allahabad (Source: IWP Flickr photos)

SC stays order granting human status to Ganga and Yamuna rivers

In a major relief to the Uttarakhand government, the Supreme Court has stayed the high court order which granted the status of a living human entity to Ganga and Yamuna rivers. The stay has come into effect following the government's petition against the March 20 ruling of the high court; several legal questions and administrative issues have been raised by the petitioner. However, the order has disappointed several environmentalists in the state who believe a strict enforcement of this order would save the rivers. 

Centre seeks clarification from states on groundwater recharge

The Supreme Court has sought clarification from all the states on the implementation of the Centre's 2013 master plan for artificial recharge of groundwater. The order has come following a petition filed in the apex court regarding the depletion of groundwater levels across the country. While the Delhi government has made it mandatory for all new buildings to have water harvesting systems in place, several states like Assam, Goa, Jammu & Kashmir and Haryana have not yet filed affidavits in this regard.

File a report on Cauvery river pollution within six months: SC to CPCB

Taking note of Tamil Nadu's petition which claims that Karnataka is polluting the Cauvery river, the Supreme Court has ordered Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to file a report within six months' time. Besides this, the two states are once again at water wars over the the control of the Cauvery water and the former has moved the apex court against the Karnataka government. As per Tamil Nadu's claims, Karnataka had failed to fully comply with a series of orders passed by the court in the Cauvery water dispute between the two states.

Green nod granted to TN's Cooum restoration project

The environment ministry has granted green clearance to the Tamil Nadu government's Integrated Cooum River Eco-restoration Project for the 9.6-km stretch between the mouth of the river and Chetpet Railway Bridge where experts have observed tidal influence. The project is being taken up by the Chennai Rivers Restoration Trust whose plan is to undertake 20 subprojects in the tidal interaction zone and various measures to abate pollution in the river stretch.

Rs 233 crore sanctioned for Majuli's protection

For providing additional strength to the Majuli river island to withstand erosion, Rs 233 crore has been sanctioned to the Brahmaputra Board. So far, the board has been engaged in the work to provide physical protection to the river island and has reclaimed a landmass of around 23 sq km. Out of Rs 233-crore funds, the Ministry of Development of the North East Region (DoNER) will provide Rs 207 crore.

This is a roundup of important policy matters from July 4 - 10, 2017. Also, read the news this week.