Uttarakhand to conserve its natural resources

Policy matters this week
The Ganga emerges from the Gangotri glacier in Uttarakhand. (Source: IWP Flickr photos)
The Ganga emerges from the Gangotri glacier in Uttarakhand. (Source: IWP Flickr photos)

Uttarakhand takes decisions to save its natural resources

After the state high court declared Ganga and Yamuna rivers as living entities, it has now granted similar status to the Gangotri and Yamunotri glaciers. Along with this, the high court has also banned mining across the state for four months and has ordered the officials to constitute a high-level committee to recommend guidelines to stop illegal mining and reclaim mined areas. However, the decision is going to cost an estimated loss of Rs 150-200 crore to the state. Also, the high court has directed the state pollution control board to close down units which are polluting the Ganga river and strictly adhere to the earlier order in this regard. 

CM orders probe into Gomti riverfront project 

The Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath has expressed dismay over the expenditure of nearly 95 percent of funds for the Gomti riverfront project while it remains only 60 percent completed. Post the revelation, the CM has ordered a probe into the riverfront works and has also directed to set up a committee to look into the matter and submit a report on the expenditure of funds within 45 days. In order to rescue the cost on the state exchequer, the CM has proposed to link the project with the Centre’s Namami Gange scheme. 

Rajasthan joins hand with JICA to revive 137 dams

Under the Rajasthan water sector livelihood improvement project (RWSLIP), the state government has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to renovate 137 dams and irrigation structures in 25 districts across the state. The project, worth Rs 2600 crore, aims to improve farmers' livelihood by improving water-use efficiency and agriculture productivity through enhancement of existing irrigation facilities. Under the first phase of the project, Rs 1068 crore would be utilised to revive the Bhakra canal system, the Gurgaon main canal system and other irrigation systems. 

Rs 47-crore package for UP’s parched Bundelkhand

The parched Bundelkhand has got some respite as the new CM of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath has approved a package of Rs 47 crore for the region. The funds will be utilised for the immediate availability of drinking water to the people and cattle in the region. Along with this, the state government has also promised to make all efforts towards the development of the region in a planned manner. Also, in order to generate alternative sources for Bundelkhand’s people, the state government has also decided to intensify the National Rural Livelihood Mission on a priority basis. 

Ken-Betwa river link: Forest committee advises to reduce dam height

In order to minimise the use of forest land in the Panna tiger reserve, the environment ministry’s forest advisory committee (FAC) has advised that the Ken-Betwa river linking project considers reducing the height of the proposed Dhaudan dam by at least five metres. Along with this, the committee has also recommended the realignment of the main water-bearing canal. However, as per the officials of the water ministry, reducing the dam height is non-negotiable. 

This is a roundup of important policy matters from March 28 - April 2, 2017. Also, read the news this week.