World Bank to provide $250 million to ensure dam safety in India

Malampuzha dam in Kerala (Image source: IWP Flickr Photos)
Malampuzha dam in Kerala (Image source: IWP Flickr Photos)

World Bank will provide $250 million for dam safety in India

The Government of India, the Central Water Commission, government officials from 10 participating states and the World Bank have signed a $250 million agreement to support the country's long-term dam safety program and improve the safety and performance of existing dams across various Indian states.

With a maturity of 13 years, the project will be implemented at approximately 120 dams across Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Odisha, Rajasthan, and Tamil Nadu.

To improve the safety and operational performance of 736 dams across the country, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has recently approved the second and third phases of the Rs 10,211 crore Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) (Livemint).

Model Building Bye Laws of 33 states, UTs have adopted rainwater harvesting: Center informs Lok Sabha

In a written reply to the Lok Sabha, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs stated that 33 States/ Union Territories have adopted the rainwater harvesting feature under the Model Building Bye Laws, 2016. Model building regulations require that every building having a plot size of 100 sqm or more, while submitting its building plans for sanction, must include a complete rainwater harvesting proposal.

The release further informed that adequate focus has been given on the requirement of rainwater harvesting (RWH) and water conservation measures in Unified Building Bye Laws (UBBL) of Delhi, 2016, Model Building Bye Laws (MBBL), 2016 and Urban and Regional Development Plan Formulation and Implementation (URDPFI) Guidelines, 2014, formulated by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) for adoption by the States /Union Territories (UTs) suiting their local conditions. (Livemint)

Parliamentary panel suggests renegotiation of the Indus Water Treaty

Noting the fact the Indus Water Treaty does not cover the issues like climate change and global warming, the parliamentary panel has suggested that they should re-negotiate the treaty to include an institutional structure or legislative framework to address these concerns.

India and Pakistan signed the Indus Water Treaty in 1960 to share the waters of the Indus basin. Both nations, then looked at river management and the utilisation of water through the construction of dams, barrages, canals, and hydropower generation.

It has also urged the government to expedite the completion of projects, including Ujh in Jammu & Kashmir and Shahpur Kandi in Punjab, to "exploit full potential of the western rivers for irrigation and other uses." (The Times of India)

NGT takes notice of illegal mining in the Swan river in Una district

In view of illegal mining in the Swan river in Una district, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has ordered that those officers and authorities responsible for illegal mining in the Swan be identified and held accountable under environmental, criminal, and service laws. The order comes after the five-member committee formed to look into illegal mining in the river submitted its report. According to the committee's report, fines of Rs 2 - 4 lakh should be imposed on vehicles and excavators involved in illegal miningThe committee also recommended greater regulation of riverbed mining. (The Tribune)

NGT raps Punjab and Rajasthan governments over Sutlej river pollution

National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed Punjab and Rajasthan governments to submit quarterly compliance reports to the central monitoring committee, Union Ministry of Jal Shakti (Water Resources), along with remedial action taken to curb effluent discharge into Sutlej and Beas rivers. This directive was issued following a petition filed to address the presence of pollutants in the Indira Gandhi canal.

The petitioner requested that the green court order the two states to control industrial waste and sewage water from flowing into the Sutlej and Beas rivers and Rajasthan Feeder Canal, as well as to take appropriate measures to control the effluents from being thrown into the rivers. In NGT's view, the issue was dealt with earlier as well and since the problems have been identified and directives issued, all that remains is continuous monitoring, which is the responsibility of state authorities. (Down to Earth)

This is a roundup of important policy matters from July 27- August 9, 2021. Also, read news this fortnight.

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