Centre to ensure safe drinking water and scale up activities during monsoon, under JJM

Under JJM, Centre to ensure safe drinking water and scale up activities during monsoon

The Centre has advised states to use 25 percent of annual allocation, termed as flexi-funds, under Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) for implementing measures including chemical treatment of water so as to ensure safe drinking water to people in villages and other vulnerable sections during the pandemic. Along with this, the government plans to use the upcoming monsoon season to scale up the water conservation activities under the mission by using the human resources now available in the rural areas and the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA). With an aim to  scale up efforts for harvesting rainwater and rejuvenation of water bodies, the states have been asked to carry out a census of traditional water bodies in the districts, including step wells, old ponds and irrigation tanks. (The Times of India, The Week)

Rs 33,000 cr sanctioned under MGNREGA: Rural Development Minister

The Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has informed that so far the Centre has sanctioned Rs 33,300 crore under the MGNREGA in the current financial year. Out of this amount, Rs 20,624 crore has been released to liquidate all outstanding dues of previous years towards wages and material while the rest is sufficient to meet expenses under the scheme till June 2020. Interacting with rural development ministers from various states via video conferencing, Tomar asked them to focus on water conservation, groundwater recharge and irrigation works under the scheme and convert the challenge of Covid-19 into an opportunity for development and strengthening of rural infrastructure and creation of employment opportunities. (The Financial Express)

BBMP's budget is out, earmarks Rs 999 crore to solid waste management and Rs 310 crore for lakes

Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has presented a budget of Rs 10,895.84 crore for Bengaluru for the fiscal year 2020-21. In the budget, the corporation has allocated Rs 999 crore for solid waste management as it is a huge issue in the city due to lack of proper recycling and garbage processing facilities. Along with this, Rs 310.33 crores have been allocated for the city's drying up, encroaching and cleaning up of toxic lakes. BBMP has also set aside Rs 73.78 crore for urban forestry and environmental management. (The Livemint)

Gujarat government approves the third edition of Sujalam Sufalam Jal Sanchay Abhiyan

Amidst the lockdown of coronavirus outbreak, the state government has given its approval for the third edition of Sujalam Sufalam Jal Sanchay Abhiyan, a conservation plan to deepen water bodies in the state before monsoon. The scheme, which is going to continue till June 6, will take up deepening of lakes, check dams and rivers by removal of silt. The government plans to complete the scheme with people's participation and making it part of MGNREGA. As per the state official, the scheme, that started in 2018 after a weak monsoon, has led to an increase in the state's water storage capacity by 23,000 lakh cubic feet. (Business Insider)

Cauvery Water Management Authority has been brought under Jal Shakti Ministry

The Centre has officially brought Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) under the Union Ministry of Jal Shakti. Along with this, the allocation of business of all river boards including Cauvery, Godavari and Krishna River Management Board have also been brought under the Department of Water Resources River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation in the Ministry of Jal Shakti. The notification is just an allocation of business rules which means the Authority will have to report to the Jal Shakti Ministry and it is not going to impact the independent nature of the functioning of the authority. (Deccan Herald)

This is a roundup of important policy matters from April 15 - April 30, 2020. Also, read news this week.