Public money wasted in the name of Ganga revival: NGT

Policy matters this week
Polythene bags and solid waste left behind the Ganga river in Allahabad. (Source: IWP Flickr Photos)
Polythene bags and solid waste left behind the Ganga river in Allahabad. (Source: IWP Flickr Photos)

NGT blames Centre for wasting public money in the name of Ganga clean-up

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has once again reprimanded the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and other agencies for wasting public money in the name of Ganga rejuvenation as, according to the NGT, not a single drop of water in the river has been cleaned so far. The NGT has also cautioned the Centre and the UP government against the ongoing blame game between them and has warned 14 industrial units operating in Bijnor and Amroha districts along the stretch of the Ganga. Just a day after this order, the water ministry has formed a committee of secretaries to speed up the implementation of the Namami Gange programme. 

Frame policy to protect wetlands: SC to Centre

The Supreme Court has ordered the Centre to frame a policy to protect the wetlands in the country by June 30. The Centre has also been directed to notify over two lakh wetlands across the country identified through the satellite imagery and draw up a phased plan of action to conserve the water bodies. However, the Centre has informed the court that it has already formed a National Plan for Conservation of Aquatic Eco-systems (NPCA) for the conservation and restoration of lakes and wetlands which has so far identified 115 wetlands and 63 lakes in 24 states and two union territories for the conservation and management under the scheme. 

Financial nod granted to Ken-Betwa

The investment clearance committee has given its nod to the Rs 18,000 crore Ken-Betwa river linking project. The project, which is yet to receive the environment ministry's nod, has got its approval from the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL), the tribal affairs ministry and lately from the environment ministry's expert appraisal committee. The project, however, is under examination by the committee appointed by the Supreme Court that will look at the adequacy of mitigative measures against its adverse impact on the Panna Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh.

Bombay high court takes note of the impact of water schemes and wetland encroachment 

The Bombay high court has ordered the Maharashtra government to constitute an expert committee to decide if the implementation of the Jalyukta Shivar Scheme and the River Rejuvenation Scheme can cause large scale destruction of the ecosystem. The order has come following a petition that claims the scheme as being unscientific. Taking note of the encroachment of wetlands in the state, the high court has ordered the government to submit the old and the new Google maps of wetland areas to compare the extent of damage caused to the mangroves.

Narmada oustees get Rs 60 lakh as compensation and six months to vacate

Bringing an end to a decade-old litigation, the Supreme Court has ordered the payment of Rs 60 lakh each to 681 families affected by the Sardar Sarovar project on the Narmada river in Madhya Pradesh. The government has been given two months to make the payment and the families have been asked to vacate by July 31. The order has paved way for the smooth operation of the Sardar Sarovar dam.  

This is a roundup of important policy matters from February 6 - 13, 2017. Also, read the news this week.