Centre gives a uniform definition to the term 'Open Defecation Free'

Policy matters this week
An open defecation free zone in Salem An open defecation free zone in Salem

New criteria for villages and Gram Panchayats to be termed Open Defacation Free

The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation has given a uniform definition to the term Open Defecation Free (ODF) to bring more clarity in the granting of ODF status to a Gram Panchayat or village. The two criteria to receive ODF status are: a) no visible faeces should be found in the environment/village; and b) every household as well as public/community institutions must use safe technology options for the disposal of faeces.

Total ban on sand mining in six Kerala rivers

Following a sand audit report of 11 rivers, the Kerala Government has put a total ban on sand mining from six rivers in the state including the Neyyar, Vamanapuram, Kallada, Kuttiyadi, Kabani and Chandragiri rivers. Along with this, restricted mining has been imposed on five other rivers namely the Chaliyar, Pampa, Kadalundy, Ithikkara and Periyar. The ban is applicable for the next three years and during this period the mineable sand quantity from the five rivers will continue to be revised based on subsequent sand audits.

MoEFCC green signal's the coastal road project in Mumbai

The Environment Ministry has given its nod for the coastal road project in Mumbai on certain conditions. The project envisages the construction of two undersea tunnels at the cost of reclamation of 160 hectares of substantial area and the mangroves in Khar, Bandra, Versova and Oshiwara regions. To give way to this ambitious project, the Maharashtra Government has asked the Centre to relax the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms. Environmentalists and activists are opposing this project as it will only promote ownership of private vehicles.

NGT on a mission to determine e-flows of the Yamuna

The National Green Tribunal has ordered the Principal Committee to determine the environmental flows of the Yamuna from Hatnikhund barrage in Haryana that extends till Agra in Uttar Pradesh. The direction is the part of the Tribunal's monitoring of the implementation of Maili se Nirmal Yamuna Revitalisation Project. It has also ordered the Haryana Government to release 10 cumecs of water in the Yamuna from Hathini Kund barrage, in order to maintain a steady flow.

Maharashtra Govt's Jalyukta Shivar Yogna turns into a mass movement

The Jalyukta Shivar Yogna that aims to make 25,000 villages in Maharashtra drought free, has gained enthusiastic participation from local residents. Over 6000 people have already joined the project works and have been able to complete 93,447 water conservation works in Nashik, Amaravati, Nagpur, Pune, Konkan and Aurangabad divisions. In addition to this, residents have also contributed nearly Rs 200 crore to the project in just four months, since its launch. 

This is a roundup of important policy matters from June 9 - 15, 2015. Also read last week's news updates.

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