Centre approves raising Sardar Sarovar dam height

Policy matters this week
Sardar Sarovar Dam (Shahakshay in Wikipedia) Sardar Sarovar Dam (Shahakshay in Wikipedia)

Sardar Sarovar dam height to be raised by 17m

The Central Water Resources Ministry has allowed the Gujarat Government to increase the height of the Sardar Sarovar dam by 17 metres. This will lead to the submergence of 245 tribal villages displacing over 250,000 people across Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat. The proposed project will supposedly irrigate 1.8 million hectares in Gujarat benefitting one million farmers and also provide drinking water to 9,633 villages and 131 towns.

Ban on coal mining in Meghalaya to persist: NGT

The National Green Tribunal upholds its ban on illegal coal mining in Meghalaya but allows transportation of already extracted coals, after the Deputy Commissioners of various districts sealed all the coal pits. It has also directed the state government to use the money recovered from extracted coal for environmental protection of mining-affected areas and has ordered the formation of a panel to prepare an inventory of the extracted coal. 

No need of Centre's consent for defence projects on Indo-China Border: Environment Minister

The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change proposes to empower states to give environment and forest clearance to defence projects falling within 100 km of the Line of Actual Control without the Centre's intervention. The new policy aims to make the process of environement clearance of defence projects simple, transparent and predictable. However, environmentalists fear that this will threaten the fragile ecology of the Indo-China border.

Punjab keeping no check on canal water quality, say Rajasthan farmers

Rajasthan farmers have moved the National Green Tribunal against the Punjab Government for turning a blind eye to contaminated canal water being supplied to the former state. The petitioners claim that industries from Jalandhar and Ludhiana are discharging highly hazardous waste into the Sutlej and Beas rivers, which flow into Rajasthan's canals. The canals receiving contaminated water are the Indira Gandhi canal, Rajasthan feeder, Ferozepur feeder and Gang (Bikaner) canal originating from Punjab's Harike canal. 

18 units in WB closed down for polluting rivers

The West Bengal government has taken stern action against 85 industrial units for dumping sewage in the state's rivers, informs the State Environment Minister. He further said that 18 out of the 85 units have been ordered to close down and pay a penalty while 56 units have been directed to give a bank guarantee. 

This is a weekly roundup of policy matters from June 9-15, 2014. Also read last week's news roundup.

Lead image source: Shahakshay in Wikipedia



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