Maharashtra gears up for irrigation projects

Policy matters this week
Irrigation canal from the Bhima dam, Maharashtra (Source: Nvvchar on Wikipedia)
Irrigation canal from the Bhima dam, Maharashtra (Source: Nvvchar on Wikipedia)

Maharashtra approves cost overrun in irrigation projects, set to complete Gosikhurd project

The Maharashtra government has given its approval for the cost overrun of more than Rs 20,000 crore in 133 irrigation projects in the state. These projects, approved during the Congress-NCP regime were worth Rs 11,835 crores but now with the fresh approvals, the expenditure has escalated by 200 percent. Along with this, the state government has also decided to appoint a public sector company, NBCC (India) in order to complete the remaining work of the Gosikhurd National Irrigation Project within three years. 

Projects worth Rs 280 crore under Namami Gange gets approved

Under the National Mission for Clean Ganga, the government has approved many new projects in Haridwar and Varanasi. The projects, worth Rs 135 crore, include 68 MLD sewage treatment plant (STP) in Jagjeetpur and 14 MLD STP in Sarai under the hybrid annuity based PPP mode in Haridwar. Along with this, in-principal approval has been given for the implementation of 50 mld sewage treatment plant at Ramana in Varanasi at an indicative cost of Rs 120 crore. 

Centre pinpoints errors in Bhagirathi zonal master plan

Citing lacunae in the Bhagirathi eco-sensitive zone plan prepared by the Uttarakhand government, the water ministry has requested the National Green Tribunal to order preparation of a fresh zonal master plan for the area. The proposed master plan envisages activities that are prohibited in the eco-sensitive zone (ESZ), notified in December 2012. These activities include proposals to develop hydropower projects above capacities of 2 MW and mining. The ministry has also recommended to set up a committee of experts to conduct a comprehensive study of the area and draw a fresh master plan.

2017 didn’t start on a good note for Karnataka 

The Supreme Court has ordered the Karnataka government to continue with the release of 2000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu on a daily basis till the next court hearing which is to be held on February 7. However, citing the state of Kabini and Krishnarajasagar reservoirs which are left with just 13 tmc ft of water, the Karnataka government has expressed its inability to release water to its neigbhour. In another blow to the state, the Karnataka government has been forced to withdraw its special leave petition from the SC challenging the Mhadei Water Disputes Tribunal (MWDT) order rejecting its plea to divert 7 tmc ft of water from the Mhadei river basin to the Malaprabha reservoir.

NGT stays construction of Pune metro through Mula-Mutha riverbed

The National Green Tribunal has issued an interim stay order on any kind of construction of Pune Metro route passing through the Mula-Mutha riverbed. The order has come following an environment interest litigation filed in the tribunal against the project which has some portions of its route passing through the riverbed. Along with this, the tribunal has also ordered the Pune municipal corporation not to construct inside the Blue Line of the riverbed of Mula-Mutha which comes under the prohibited zone of 1.7 km on the left bank of the river till January 25.

This is a roundup of important policy matters from January 2 - 8, 2017. Also, read the news this week.

Lead image source: Nvvchar via Wikipedia.