Centre launches 231 projects under Namami Gange
The water resources ministry has launched 231 projects at 103 locations in seven states, with an estimated cost of Rs 1500 crore, to fast track the implementation of Namami Gange programme. The projects have been split among the seven states--Uttar Pradesh (112), Uttarakhand (47), West Bengal (20), Bihar and Jharkhand (26) and Haryana and Delhi (26). Also, the government is planning to come up with a Ganga Act that will completely bar the industries from dumping untreated waste into the river.
Fine on Adani Ports cancelled; Govt calls the claim incorrect
It has been reported that the environment ministry has waived off the fine of Rs 200 crore on Adani Ports & SEZ for the damage caused during the construction of its port in Mundra, Gujarat, and has also extended the environmental clearance, granted in 2009, to the project. However, the government has called the reports of cancellation of fine incorrect and said that there are plans to impose more serious responsibility on the firm without any cost limit.
NGT raps West Bengal government over arsenic menace
The National Green Tribunal has expressed its concern over the West Bengal government’s lackadaisical attitude in tackling the arsenic menace in the state. Earlier this year, the Central Groundwater Board had informed NGT that the tubewells that were fitted with arsenic-control kit continue to pump out contaminated water due to lack of maintenance to which NGT had sought the chief secretary’s report within three weeks. No response, however, has been received yet. Along with this, NGT is also upset with the attitude of the railways that was asked to submit its stand on whether it was ready to bear the expenses to clean Santragachi Jheel, a waterbody, in Howrah, owned by the railways.
Centre relaxes green norms for Rajasthan mineral mines
The environment ministry has relaxed norms for green clearance for small mineral mines in Rajasthan. As per the new rules, the small mines of upto five hectares and mining clusters less than 25 hectares can get their green nod from the District Environmental Impact Assessment Authority. However, for mines of up to one hectare, owners will no longer have to submit an Environmental Management Plan (EMP) to obtain the green clearance. The relaxation will prevent closure of over 18,000 mines and quarries.
NGT directs railways to impose fine on those littering tracks
The National Green Tribunal has ordered the railways to impose a fine of Rs 5000 on those throwing waste on rail tracks in the north Delhi Station. It has also sought a list of offenders who have been fined till date for throwing garbage and other waste on tracks. Along with this, the NGT has slammed the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) for the delay in relocation and rehabilitation of slum clusters near the railway tracks.
This is a roundup of important policy matters from July 3 - 8, 2016. Also read last week's news roundup.