MoU signed for groundwater management through community intervention
The Central Groundwater Board (CGWB), Department of Water Resources, Western Sydney University, Australia and others have signed an MoU for the project MARVI (Managing Aquifer Recharge and Sustaining Groundwater Use through Village-level Intervention). The project will help in greater cooperation in training, education and research to achieve water security for agriculture, urban, industrial and environmental purposes. Along with focusing on engaging village communities to monitor, use and manage groundwater at village level, the project will also help to improve livelihood for village communities in India. (The Times of India)
Kerala draws up plan to release water from dams
Learning from the lessons of two consecutive years of floods in Kerala, the state electricity board has released an Emergency Action Plan to reduce human casualties and destruction of property to a bare minimum during natural disasters. For the plan, the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) conducted a study on 27 dams across the state for solutions on how to manage the excess release of water and how to effectively coordinate among officials in various line departments. The rehabilitation plan has been devised by calculating the amount of water flowing out of the dam and the velocity of water that reaches the areas downstream. (The Hindu)
NGT seeks government responses on bird deaths around Sambhar lake
Taking suo-motu cognisance of a report on the state of wetlands in the country, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has issued notices to the Centre and the Rajasthan government seeking responses on the poor condition of wetlands in the country, including Sambhar Lake. In the last few days, nearly 20,000 birds have died around Sambhar lake and the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) has confirmed the cause of death to be botulism, a neuromuscular illness. The NGT has ordered the National Wetland Authority, State Wetland Authority, Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board and Jaipur district magistrate file a joint factual and action report before the next hearing date on January 22, 2020. (The Hindu)
NGT orders Delhi government to prepare action plan to clear waste at landfills
The NGT has ordered the Delhi government to prepare an action plan to clear legacy waste at the Bhalswa, Ghazipur and Okhla landfill sites within a year. Also, the tribunal has asked the government to ensure bio-remediation of the waste to be carried out instead of mere mechanical separation. The panel also remarked that there is a need to increase the capacity of the sites suitably so that the garbage is cleared and land becomes available for public purpose. The Central Pollution Control Board has been directed to verify that waste clearance is as per norms and the chief secretary, Delhi, will be monitoring the implementation of the action plan. (The Hans India)
Following in Kerala's footsteps, Karnataka and Telangana introduce water bells in schools
Last week, the Karnataka government announced that all government schools must ring a water bell three times during school hours to remind students to drink water. Likewise, in Telangana, a directive has been issued to all district education officers to implement the ‘water bell’ concept in schools immediately. The water bells does not mandate students to drink water, but it is just a reminder for them to consume water and encourage each other.
However, the Karnataka Associated Management of Schools general secretary Shashi Kumar, has pointed out that when schools are introducing water breaks they should also address the issue of poor infrastructure and water facilities in schools.
This is a roundup of important policy matters from November 19 - 25, 2019. Also, read news this week.