Maharashtra government withdraws plea against ban on construction on wetlands
The Maharashtra government has withdrawn its petition seeking modifications in an earlier court order pertaining to banning of constructions in wetland areas. In the last court hearing, the state government was reprimanded for taking a decision against the wetlands. Along with this, the National Green Tribunal has ordered the environment ministry to submit its report on the survey of the 20 hectare wetland area in Kopri, Thane, in two weeks’ time.
Amendment bill passed to mandate rainwater harvesting in Bengaluru
A bill that seeks to amend the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage (Amendment) Bill, 2016 has been passed in the legislative assembly. Through the bill, the government wants to mandate rainwater harvesting on plots not less than 108 square metres. The new rule will be applicable in Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) limits and seeks to rectify the loophole in the law that was passed a few months back.
Centre calls for survey of northeastern flora and fauna
The environment ministry has ordered the Botanical Survey of India (BSI) and the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) to conduct detailed survey of the flora and fauna of the northeast region over the next few months so as to bridge the data gap. Four of the 34 global biodiversity hotspots are in India. One such hotspot is Indo-Burma, which includes the entire northeastern region, except Assam. As per the ministry, recording the species is the initial step towards their conservation.
Conduct survey of all Hyderabad lakes: High court
The Hyderabad high court has ordered the Telangana government and its civic authorities to take up survey of all lakes under the purview of Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) for determining their full tank level (FTL) and fence them by the end of December. The authorities have also been ordered to remove any illegal construction found within the buffer zone of the lakes. The order has come following a petition filed by K.L. Vyas, an environmental activist, who expressed concern over the indiscriminate encroachment on Ramanthapur lake bed.
Clearance to Visakhapatnam port expansion
The environment ministry has granted green clearance to the expansion of the Visakhapatnam port but the green signal is subject to obtaining prior clearance from the wildlife board. Along with this, the ministry has ordered the project proponent to carry out construction activity as per the Coastal Regulation Zone Notification, 2011. This is to ensure free flow of water to avoid any damage to the mangroves. Also, no creeks or rivers shall be blocked due to construction activities at the project site.
This is a roundup of important policy matters from July 9 - 16, 2016. Also read last week's news roundup.