Centre all set to sustain country's ODF status
Policy matters this week
2 Oct 2019
A toilet constructed under Swachh Bharat Mission (Source: IWP Flickr photos)

National rural sanitation strategy launched to sustain open defecation-free (ODF) status 

The Jal Shakti Ministry has come up with a 10-year national rural sanitation strategy to sustain India’s 100 percent Open Defecation Free (ODF) status claimed by the Centre. The focus of the strategy is to ensure that people continue to use the toilets, and for solid and liquid waste management (SLWM) to be properly implemented particularly in rural areas. The government has also come up with a report that outlines the steps it intends to undertake, such as retrofitting of single pit toilets to twin pits, providing for pits to be emptied every five years, repairing defunct ones, and constructing soak pits for septic tanks where they don't exist. (Down to Earth)

Government to come up with new National Water Policy

On the occasion of the sixth India Water Week 2019, the Union Minister for Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said that the Centre is planning to update the National Water Policy with key changes in water governance structures and regulatory frameworks. The Centre will also set up a National Bureau of Water Use Efficiency and build consensus among the states to make hydrological boundaries, rather than administrative or political boundaries. Shekhawat also stressed upon the need to extensively use modern water technologies for rejuvenation and revitalisation of traditional water bodies. (The Hindu)

Hailakandi civic body in Assam open plastic bank to encourage eco-friendly lifestyle

The Hailakandi district administration, which banned single-use plastic in August this year, has opened a plastic bank where citizens can go and deposit single-use plastic items. The aim behind the initiative is to bring about behaviour change and to make citizens more aware. The banks will collect plastic bottles, water pouches and plastic covers, and will send these items to cement factories for recycling. The civic body will give bags made of paper and cloth to vendors who voluntarily deposit their stockpiles of plastic bags at the bank. Traders are also being encouraged to discard single-use plastic and help local SHGs by endorsing their handmade products. (India Today)

Andhra and Telangana join hands to interlink Godavari, Krishna rivers

The state governments of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are working on a plan to interlink the Godavari and Krishna rivers and harness flood waters so that both states benefit. The states are yet to reach a consensus on the interlinking point where the Godavari river waters can meet the Krishna. Every year, 3000 TMC of Godavari river water flows into the sea during the monsoon. Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are considering diverting at least a few TMC of this water by pumping it to the Srisailam reservoir on the Krishna river. Once the reservoir is filled, Andhra can utilise its share for the drought-prone Rayalaseema area, while Telangana can pump it to its parched southern districts. (The Indian Express)

Forest-PLUS 2.0 launched by USAID and Centre

Following the completion of the Forest-PLUS programme in 2017, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) along with the environment ministry has officially launched the Forest-PLUS 2.0, the second set of pilot projects meant to enhance sustainable forest landscape management. The five-year programme initiated in December 2018 focuses on developing tools and techniques to bolster ecosystem management and harnessing ecosystem services in forest landscape management. Forest-PLUS 2.0 comprises pilot project in three landscapes — Gaya in Bihar for its forest deficit area, Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala for its rich biodiversity and Medak in Telangana for its ample scope for community livelihood enhancement. (Down to Earth)

This is a roundup of important policy matters from September 24 - October 1, 2019. Also, read news this week.


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