Close 23 out of 24 hydel projects in Uttarakhand: SC committee

Policy matters this week: SC committee rejects 23 of 24 hydel projects in Uttarakhand; WB govt planning to amend Land Reform Act; HC orders Gujarat to properly implement the water project.
Bhagirathi river in Uttarakhand (Source:Wikimedia) Bhagirathi river in Uttarakhand (Source:Wikimedia)

SC committee rejects 23 of 24 hydel projects in Uttarakhand

The SC committee has rejected the 23 hydropower projects out of the 24 proposed on the Alaknanda and Bhagirathi rivers in Uttarakhand. The Committee has recommended closure of the projects as they are either proposed in Ecologically Sensitive Zones or in habitats of rare, endangered and threatened species. The Environment Ministry had formed the committee in October 2013, following the Wildlife Institute of India report that observed high danger to the biodiversity of the region owing to these projects. 

Government looking for ways to legalize shrimp farming in West Bengal

The West Bengal government is finding ways to legalize shrimp farming in the state as the farmers, traders and state government are making huge profits from the trade. The farm lands in the state are steadily getting converted to saline ponds for farming shrimps, while ignoring the after-effects of high salinity in the soil. The state government is even ready to amend its Land Reform Act and reclassify the coastline limits. 

HC orders Gujarat to properly implement the 'Sujalam Sufalam' project 

The Gujarat High Court has directed the state government to implement the 'Sujalam Sufalam' scheme at its full capacity by monsoon 2015, as stated in the latter's affidavit. The 'Sujalam Sufalam' project was planned to discharge 2,000 cusecs of water to North Gujarat's canals but it failed to do so. The petitioner who had sought the High Court's direction on proper implementation of the project has also asked for testing and validating the water capacity and strength of the project once a year.

JKPDC seeks cut down in water usage charges

The J&K Power Development Corporation has filed a petition to the State Water Resources Regulatory Authority (SWRRA) for a reduction in water usage charges. The Corporation has claimed to have been charged 'unscientifically' by the authority for exploiting the State’s water resources for power generation and has called for a scientific rationalization of the charges, taking into account all the factors affecting power generation.

AP government agrees to fund Godavari Drinking Water Project

The state government is all set to provide financial support for getting an additional loan of Rs.1000 crore from the Housing and Urban Development Corporation for the Godavari Drinking Water Project Phase-I. The project has cleared a major hurdle as the state government has agreed to support it. The project, once commissioned, will be supplying 172 milllion gallons per day of drinking water to Hyderabad and surrounding municipalities.  

This is a weekly roundup of policy matters from April 5-12, 2014. Also read last week's news roundup.

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