CAG blames TN government for Chennai floods in 2015
The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has held the Tamil Nadu government responsible for Chennai floods of 2015. The CAG report, ‘Flood management and response in Chennai and its suburban areas’, has revealed that the state's water resources department had allowed the indiscriminate discharge of water from the Chembarambakkam reservoir which burdened the Adyar river, leading to floods in the city and its suburbs. Moreover, the report has disclosed that the state was devoid of an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) and the government had failed to update its system and manuals as per the Central Water Commission's guidelines.
SC reprimands Centre, Delhi government over groundwater exploitation
Taking note of water crisis in Delhi and Shimla and flood-like situations in Mumbai, the Supreme Court has come down heavily on the water resources ministry. It has also pulled up the Delhi government and Delhi Pollution Control Committee for not taking concrete steps to tackle the groundwater depletion in the national capital and the drying Yamuna. The National Green Tribunal has put a ban on the extraction of groundwater by industries in the Narela and Bawana localities of New Delhi.
Adopt Gujarat's policy of reusing treated wastewater: Centre to states
The Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation has asked the states to consider implementing Gujarat government’s month-old policy of reusing treated wastewater. With an aim to take a concrete step towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 6 which is about ensuring clean water and sanitation for all, the policy envisions maximising the collection and treatment of sewage generated and reusing treated wastewater on a sustainable basis. As per the ministry, the policy would help in reducing dependency on freshwater resources and will promote treated wastewater as an economic resource.
SC slaps fine on states over inaction towards solid waste management
The Supreme Court has slapped a fine of Rs one lakh each on 10 states and two union territories for not filing their affidavits on their policies for a solid waste management strategy. In April 2016, the Solid Waste Management Rules came into force but two years down the line, more than two-thirds of the States/UTs in the country have not yet complied with the basic requirement of the rules. The apex court has also shown its anguish towards attacking the judges for judicial activism after the governments fail to act in a responsible manner.
Niti Ayog bats for zero budget natural farming
Niti Ayog wants the states to promote zero budget natural farming (ZBNF) under the two farm sector schemes--Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana and Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana. As per the government think tank, ZBNF is better than traditional farming technique as it neither uses fertilisers nor pesticides and uses very less amount of water for irrigation. NITI Ayog believes that not only would ZBNF help in doubling farmers’ income by 2022, but it also has a potential for the global market.
This is a roundup of important policy matters from July 8 - 15, 2018. Also, read the news this week.