Art of Living guilty of damaging Yamuna floodplains

The front view of the giant stage under construction for the World Culture Festival. (Source: Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan)
The front view of the giant stage under construction for the World Culture Festival. (Source: Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan)

World Culture Festival damaged Yamuna floodplains, concludes NGT

The committee appointed by the National Green Tribunal has found that Art of Living's World Culture Festival, held in March 2016, damaged the ecology of the Yamuna floodplains in Delhi. This means that the latter will have to pay a fine larger than Rs 5 crore it has already paid. The earlier fine imposed by NGT was an interim compensation against which the festival was allowed to take place. However, the Art of Living Foundation has denied any damage done to the floodplains. According to a petitioner, the unusual water stagnation at the location is proof of the damage done.

Set up National Water Commission, recommends panel

The committee set up by the Ministry of Water Resources has suggested setting up the National Water Commission in place of the existing Central Water Commission and the Central Groundwater Board. It has also been suggested that the new commission will have its presence across all river basins and should look at both surface and groundwater in an integrated manner. Along with this, the panel has also warned against the impacts of interlinking of rivers and dependence on large dam projects.

SC gets strict against Bengaluru lake encroachments 

The Supreme Court has ordered all the builders in Bengaluru to push their projects back by 75 metres from the lakes and wetlands. Along with this, the SC has also refused to halt the demolitions conducted by Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). Last week, the latter went on a massive demolition drive across the city, razing encroachments on lakebeds and storm water drains. It has also informed the high court that out of the 1,923 identified encroachments, 822 had been cleared earlier and the remaining 1,101 encroachments were being cleared now. 

Climate resilient agriculture project gets a go ahead in Maharashtra

The Maharashtra cabinet has given its nod for the climate resilient agriculture project that aims to reduce farmers’ dependence on unpredictable weather cycles. The World Bank-supported project will be implemented in 4,000 drought-hit districts of Vidarbha and Marathwada and some 900 villages on the banks of the Purna river. Along with this, the cabinet has also sanctioned creation of 23 posts for the project. The detailed project report and manuals will be prepared soon. 

Demarcate Ganga floodplains: NGT to Uttarakhand government

In order to expedite the Ganga rejuvenation, the National Green Tribunal has asked the Uttarakhand government to demarcate floodplains of the Ganga river from Gomukh to Roorkee and submit a compliance report. For carrying out this exercise, the state government has been allowed to seek the assistance of Roorkee-based National Institute of Hydrology. Along with this, the NGT has also sought a report on the total number of hotels in this stretch. 

This is a roundup of important policy matters from August 7 - 14, 2016. Also read last week's news roundup.