India gets new water resources minister

Policy matters this week
Yamuna river in Delhi (Source: Sudhanshu Malhotra via IWP Flickr Photos)
Yamuna river in Delhi (Source: Sudhanshu Malhotra via IWP Flickr Photos)

Nitin Gadkari takes charge of water resources and Ganga rejuvenation

The road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari has taken the additional charge of the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation. The former water minister Uma Bharti has been given the charge of drinking water and sanitation. Also, Arjun Ram Meghwal has assumed the charge as union minister of state for water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation and Mahesh Sharma took charge as the minister of state in the Ministry of Environment. 

NGT gets strict with states on clean up of Ganga and Yamuna rivers

The National Green Tribunal has issued bailable warrants against Haryana and Rajasthan governments for not submitting their action plan on the cleaning and rejuvenation of the Ganga river. The tribunal has also ordered four states--Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh-- to submit an action plan for the rejuvenation and restoration of the stretch of the Yamuna river falling beyond the Capital. Also, the Delhi government and Delhi Jal Board have been directed to submit an affidavit on the progress of Phase-I of Yamuna action plan. 

Panel defers green nod to raise the height of Almatti dam

The environment ministry panel has deferred the clearance to the Karnataka government's proposal to raise the height of the Almatti dam over the Krishna river. The panel's decision is based on the concerns raised by the neighbouring states and the Karnataka government has been asked to get the clearance from the Central Water Commission (CWC) for hydrology and interstate aspects. The project aims to increase the height of the Almatti dam from 519.60 metres to 524.256 metres which will result in the submergence of 17 villages and 10 wards of Bagalkot and three villages of Vijayapura district. 

Green ministry strict with Haryana over classification of Basai wetlands

The environment ministry has blamed the Haryana government for not taking any steps to identify and classify wetlands, including Basai. As per the ministry, the Haryana government has not submitted any brief document regarding Basai wetland and have not taken any action towards the identification and classification of wetlands in the state’s territories. Moreover, the environmentalists have claimed that the encroachment on wetlands had led to massive flooding and depletion of groundwater across Gurgaon. 

NGT slams ASI over poor condition of Delhi's Purana Quila lake

Concerned over the unclean and unhygienic condition of the Purana Quila lake, the National Green Tribunal has slammed the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and has sought an explanation from it on why the tribunal's orders have not been complied with. Despite earlier orders, the ASI officials have been unable to remove silt, sand and debris from the lake. Moreover, the lake has become a dumping ground for waste.   

This is a roundup of important policy matters from August 29 - September 5, 2017. Also, read the news this week.