CPCB gets strict with non-compliant industries along the Ganga

Policy matters this week
Ganga river at Sangam in Allahabad (Source: IWP Flickr Photos) Ganga river at Sangam in Allahabad (Source: IWP Flickr Photos)

Respond immediately or face closure: CPCB to non-compliant industries along the Ganga

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has threatened to shut down those polluting units along the Ganga that haven't disclosed if they have installed monitoring systems. In January, CPCB had ordered some 3900 highly polluting industrial units along the river to install 24x7 online monitoring devices. However, as of now, nearly 66% of the industries have responded to the CPCB order while the remaining 1,332 industries are yet to respond. The pollution watchdog has now ordered these industries to respond immediately or face closure. 

Centre approves Rs 1,540 crore to drought-hit Karnataka

The Home Ministry has sanctioned Rs 1540 crore to Karnataka, which was the first state to declare drought in August. The Karnataka Government had assessed the damage to be over 3.2 million hectares of crops, worth Rs 14,471 crore. Other States that have sought Central relief are Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra. India recorded a deficit of 14% rains with as many as 302 out of 640 districts recording a shortfall of over 20%.

TNHPC decides not to raise the height of Subansiri dam

The National Hydro Power Company (NHPC) has decided not to raise the height of the 2000 MW Subansiri Lower Hydropower Project in Arunachal Pradesh due to protests against the project. However, the Centre has appointed a Project Oversight Committee to assess it by taking views of independent sources and geologists. In this regard, IIT Mumbai and Himachal University have already been approached. As of now, NHPC will only take up protection work on the downstream portion of the dam and will not raise its height. 

Experts unhappy with Centre's new guidelines on river sand mining

Environmentalists and experts fear that the amendment of the EIA Act of 2006 will devastate Kerala's rivers that have already been ravaged by mining. Moreover, they see the Kerala Protection of River Banks and Regulation of Removal of Sand Act 2001 to be more appropriate in protecting the State's rivers. However, State Authorities have sought special provisions to ensure that the State legislation on river sand minig prevails over the Centre's guidelines.

Jail for pilgrims throwing clothes in the Pamba river

The Kerala High Court has ordered the Sabarimala pilgrims not to throw used clothes in the Pamba river and other water bodies in the vicinity of the pilgrimage site. The court has called the practice as having no basis in any religious ritual and has said that it is a punishable offence. Per the Court, any individual violating the law will be penalised according to the Water Act which prescribes imprisonment ranging from one to six years based on the severity of pollution caused to the river. 

This is a roundup of important policy matters from November 10 - 16, 2015. Also read last week's news roundup

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