Coca Cola plant in UP lowers groundwater level

Policy matters this week: Coca Cola plant in Mehdiganj lowers groundwater level, Haryana plans water misuse bill and Punjab makes water recycling compulsory for water consuming industries.
Mehdiganj protest (Source: AID Kolkata Newsletter) Mehdiganj protest (Source: AID Kolkata Newsletter)

Coca Cola plant in Mehdiganj lowers groundwater level

The villagers of Mehdiganj, 20 kms from Varanasi, had been struggling to have the Coca Cola plant shifted from the village for a long time as the groundwater in the area had fallen by about 26 feet since it began its bottling operations in 1999.  The Varanasi District Administration in Uttar Pradesh has levied a fine of Rs 1,24,590 on the beverage major and given it a week's time to return the Gram Panchayat land which it had encroached upon illegally for its bottling plant. 

Haryana plans bill to prevent misuse of ground water

The Haryana Government has announced a bill to prevent the misuse of groundwater. The Bill will focus on conserving, protecting and regulating groundwater in the state. The State Government made the first announcement about the Bill during the hearing of a case in the Punjab and Haryana High Court regarding the use of groundwater for construction. During the hearing, the Government also informed the Court that three units of a water treatment plant in Gurgaon have been made functional to provide about 20 millions gallons daily (MGD), which could be used for construction purposes.

Punjab makes water recycling compulsory for water intensive industries

The Punjab Pollution Control Board has set a deadline of December 2014 for all water intensive industries in the State to install water recycling equipment. Dyeing and electroplating industries, sugar mills, distilleries, tanneries and paper mills among others fall under the category of 'water consuming' industries. The decision has come after a water recycling experiment with the dyeing industry in Ludhiana. The Board claims to have saved over 500 lakh liters of fresh water daily while simultaneously reducing pollution in rivers and streams.

Nashik to have robotic desilting machines

The Nashik Municipal Corporation is planning to employ robotic desilting machines to clean up silt from rivers and reservoirs before the onset of the next monsoon. The machines will be operated and maintained by private contractors for three years under a contract worth Rs. 2.74 crore. The Corporation will hand over the cleaning of the Godavari, Nasardi and Waldevi rivers besides that of the reservoirs and nullahs to private contractors. According to the Corporation, these machines can easily remove garbage, hyacinth and silt from rivers, thus reducing the need for manual cleaning.

Post bifurcation, Centre to play a big role in Andhra Pradesh's water management

The Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, 2013, commonly known as the Telangana Bill, will give power to the Centre over the two new states in the management of water resources. According to the Draft bill, the Centre would constitute an apex council to supervise the functioning of the two management boards of Godavari and Krishna rivers. The Godavari River Management Board and Krishna River Management Board would be headquartered in Telangana and the new Andhra Pradesh respectively.\

This is a weekly roundup of policy matters from December 15-21.  Also read last week's news updates.

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