Sardar Sarovar dam to submerge 40,000 families

Policy matters this week
Sardar Sarovar dam (Source: Shahakshay, Wikipedia)
Sardar Sarovar dam (Source: Shahakshay, Wikipedia)

PM Modi inaugurates the controversial Sardar Sarovar Project

On his birthday on September 17, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared the completion of the Sardar Sarovar Project. The gates of the dam have been closed and the reservoir behind the dam is getting filled up to raise water level from 121.92 m to 138.68 m. The raising of the height of the dam is going to submerge and displace over 40,000 families of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra who have not received proper rehabilitation. The Jal Satyagrah, by the people in the Narmada Valley who have been protesting against the project, has been suspended since the water level has stopped rising. They will, however, continue their agitation in other forms till those affected by the project are properly rehabilitated.

River linking project face hurdles from the states

While the central government is keen to carry forward the controversial interlinking project, several states, especially the ones that are supposed to supply excess water have created a major hurdle for the project. The Kerala Assembly has passed a resolution against the Pamba-Achankovil-Vaippar link project. Odisha is opposed to the Mahanadi-Godavari link while Telangana is against Godavari-Krishna link and Karnataka is objecting to the Netravati–Hemavati link. Moreover, the much-touted Ken-Betwa link is also snared in controversy as both Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh governments have not approved the Detailed Project Report for Phase I of the project. 

UP government initiates crop loans waiver worth Rs 7,371 crore

The Uttar Pradesh government has begun the process of waiver of crop loans. In its first phase, the government plans to waive loans worth Rs 7,371 crore for 1,193,224 small and marginal farmers. However, the government data shows that for nearly 11,000 farmers, the loan amounts waived were as low as Rs 1-500 and the loan waiver certificates of extremely small amounts have created a confusion among farmers. Following the announcement of UP government, farmers in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are also demanding waiver of crop loans. 

Andhra gets permission to construct Neradi barrage on the Vamsadhara river

In a major disappointment to the Odisha government, the Vamsadhara Water Disputes Tribunal (VWDT) has permitted Andhra Pradesh to construct Neradi barrage on the inter-state river. However, the latter has to get necessary clearances from the Central Water Commission, Ministry of Water Resources, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Ministry of Tribal Affairs and other statutory agencies. The construction of structures on the Vamsadhara river is being opposed by the Odisha government since 2006 as it would affect the state's water availability from the river. 

Protect Dadri wetlands: NGT to UP government

The National Green Tribunal has ordered the Uttar Pradesh government to protect the flora and fauna in Greater Noida's Dadri wetlands and to ensure no encroachment in the eco-sensitive area. The tribunal has also cancelled the green nod granted to Uttam Steels and Associates (Consortium) and the Shiv Nadar University while directing both of them to preserve the existing low-lying land in the area. Along with this, the NGT has also ordered the UP forest department to carry out suitable afforestation in the marshy areas of the region and has ordered setting up of a monitoring committee. 

This is a roundup of important policy matters from September 11 - 19, 2017. Also, read the news this week.

Lead image source: Shahakshay in Wikipedia