Maharashtra comes out with draft groundwater rules

Policy matters this week
A sugarcane farm (Source: IWP Flickr photos)
A sugarcane farm (Source: IWP Flickr photos)

Maharashtra farmers to need approval to sow water-intensive crops 

In its latest draft of Maharashtra Groundwater (Development and Management) Rules 2018, the government has made a provision that will require farmers in notified groundwater-stressed areas to seek permission before sowing "water-intensive crop". Unhappy with the decision, farmers’ organisations say that there are alternative ways to discourage farmers from growing water-guzzling crops. They suggest implementing a price mechanism that incentivises farmers who refrain from growing water-guzzling crops in water-scarce areas as one of the alternatives.

Constitute team to check illegal sand mining in Son, Ganga: NGT to Bihar government

The National Green Tribunal has ordered the Bihar government to constitute a team to check illegal sand mining being carried out during the monsoon season in the Son and Ganga rivers at Koilwar and Patna. The team will comprise an officer of the mines and mineral department, the district magistrate and the SSP Patna and needs to take action within a month. The order has come after a Bihar resident complained of sand mining in the region which is in violation of Sustainable Sand Mining Management Guidelines, 2016.

Rapti river pollution caused death of children in Gorakhpur in 2014: NGT

The National Green Tribunal has reprimanded the Uttar Pradesh government for not taking adequate steps to prevent the discharge of pollutants into the Rapti river which led to the death of more than 500 children in Gorakhpur in 2014. The tribunal has also ordered the state government to set up a monitoring committee to address the situation. The committee has to collect and analyse samples and carry out a joint inspection of industries and other entities like treatment and waste plants to ascertain their contribution to environmental degradation. 

Submit a comprehensive plan to restore water table in Noida and Greater Noida: NGT

Taking note of groundwater exploitation in Noida and Greater Noida, the National Green Tribunal has ordered the Centre and the Uttar Pradesh government to submit a comprehensive plan to restore groundwater and check erosion of the water table in the area by September-end. The order has come after a Noida-based agency sought intervention into the groundwater exploitation in the area due to large-scale construction activities. The tribunal has also asked the state government to look at the critical zones where water has been depleting faster than other areas. 

Cabinet approves another disaster warning system along the coast

Cabinet has approved an outlay of Rs 1,623 crore for a disaster warning system along the Indian coast. The system is part of a programme called O-SMART (Ocean Services, Technology, Observations, Resources Modelling and Science). O-Smart aims to provide economic benefits to a number of user communities in the coastal and ocean sectors, namely, fisheries, offshore industry, coastal states, defence, shipping, ports, etc.

This is a roundup of important policy matters from August 29 - September 4, 2018. Also, read the news this week.

 

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