Designate nodal agencies for restoration of water bodies: NGT to states
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has ordered all states and union territories to designate a nodal agency for restoration of water bodies, wherever there is an absence of one, following the petition filed regarding identification, protection and restoration of water bodies in Gurgaon.
The tribunal has also issued directives to form a central monitoring committee (CMC) that includes the secretary, ministry of Jal Shakti, with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and other authorities. to monitor compliance at the national level. The application has been extended to the entire country in the interest of environmental protection. (The Times of India)
Centre defers clearance to the Lower Orr dam project in Madhya Pradesh
An expert panel of the environment ministry has deferred environment clearance for the Lower Orr Dam project in Madhya Pradesh, which is part of the Ken-Betwa river interlinking project. The panel has also sought fresh environmental data to study the anticipated impact on the environment and finalise if a new public hearing is required or not.
The project, that envisages construction of a 45 metre high and 2,218-metre long dam across Orr river near village Didauni to provide irrigation facility to 90,000 hectares of area, will lead to the destruction of dense forests and threaten the existence of vultures and tigers. (Mongabay India)
Rs 5.5 crore water supply scheme launched for Uttar Pradesh
Through a video conference, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched the Rs 5,555 crore Har Ghar Nal Yojana (piped water in every home initiative) for Sonbhadra and Mirzapur in the Vindhya region of Uttar Pradesh.
The scheme is aimed at providing piped water supply to over 4.1 million people in the two districts. PM Modi appreciated the Uttar Pradesh government for its continuous efforts to ensure clean tap water to every house and develop irrigation facilities in the region in past few years and for successfully handling an outbreak of Japanese encephalitis, a viral disease, in eastern Uttar Pradesh. (Hindustan Times)
Saraswati revival project: Centre directs Haryana, HP to ensure better coordination
Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat has ordered officers of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh to ensure better coordination between them on Saraswati river revival project. The Haryana government started the project to revive the mythical Saraswati river.
In the first phase of the project, two dams will be built in areas of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh with the latter providing 20 cusecs of water to the river. The Haryana Saraswati Development Board and irrigation department have been directed to complete the technical drawing of the project by March 31, 2021. (Outlook India)
Song Dam drinking water project in Dehradun gets approval
The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has approved the construction of the Song Dam Drinking Water Project worth Rs 1100 crore in Dehradun. The design of the project was already approved by the Central Water Commission.
The scheme envisages building a dam of about 148 meters height with an aim to generate power up to six megawatts and provide 24-hour drinking water to Dehradun. The project will also help in reviving the Rispana river. (Business World)
This is a roundup of important policy matters from November 18 - 30, 2020. Also, read news this week.