CRZ clears inland waterway terminal at Haldia

Policy matters this week
Haldia port in West Bengal (Source: Wikimedia commons) Haldia port in West Bengal (Source: Wikimedia commons)

Green nod to Inland waterway terminal at Haldia

Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) clearance has been granted to the proposed inland waterways terminal at Haldia, West Bengal. The clearance, however, is subject to specific conditions regarding protection of Gangetic dolphins and marine biodiversity. The project, worth Rs 516 crore, will have its impact on aquatic flora and water quality. In its clearance, however, the environment ministry has directed the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) to spend Rs 10.32 crore for marine and coastal biodiversity protection and conservation measures while the West Bengal Coastal Zone Management Authority has been directed to monitor the implementation of these measures every six months.

Kaleshwaram irrigation project: Environment ministry green signals forest land diversion

The environment ministry has given its go-ahead to the stage-II approval for the diversion of 3,168.13 hectares of forest land for Telangana's Kaleshwaram irrigation project. The project has already secured other important clearances. While granting the approval, however, the environment ministry has clarified that the state government must ensure the implementation of the complete process for the identification and settlement of rights to divert the entire forest area in Nirmal and Nizamabad districts. Besides this, a committee will also be constituted to monitor the conditions being stipulated under the approval. 

Centre all set to protect marine ecology

In order to protect the marine ecology, the Centre has banned the use of LED lights and other artificial lights on mechanised fishing vessels. Earlier this month, the government also prohibited the practice of bull-trawling, purse-seining and gill-netting operations in the Indian exclusive economic zone (EEZ) beyond territorial waters. To boost the fisheries sector, the Centre has also increased the duration of the fishing ban from 47 to 61 days with the consent of all coastal state governments. 

Chhattisgarh plans to build water bodies in forest areas

The state forest ministry has given its nod for the Rs 250-crore plan to take up water conservation works on a large scale in forest areas. According to the plan, nearly 1,306 water conservation structures, including stop dams, canals, small ponds and waterholes, would be built in state's forests under the jurisdiction of the forest management committees. The aim of the project is to reduce human-elephant conflict by providing water sources to the animals. At the same time, these water bodies will also act as a source of irrigation for farmers. 

TN's plea for immediate release of Cauvery water gets rejected

The Supreme Court has rejected Tamil Nadu's plea to direct Karnataka to release 30 TMC ft of Cauvery river water at Billigundulu within the next 10 days so as to sustain the former's cultivation. Since the SC has reserved its judgment on the appeals filed by Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala this year against the final award of the Cauvery Tribunal in 2007 on the allocation of water, the court will not be able to pass any interim orders. The court has, however, asked for the ground situation and ordered Karnataka to release 2,000 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu every day as an interim measure. 

This is a roundup of important policy matters from November 21 - 27, 2017. Also, read the news this week.


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