Centre approves bringing down protected zone around Okhla Bird Sanctuary from 10 km to 1
The Environment Ministry has approved the draft notification that proposes an eco-sensitive zone of 100 metres to 1 km around the Okhla Bird Sanctuary in Noida, as against the 10 km suggested by the NGT. Per the Ministry, the decision has been taken keeping in mind the property developers who had already started constructing housing projects within a 10 km radius of the sanctuary and the investmenst of home buyers. However, environmental activists are not happy with the Government's decision and have called it to be 'arbitary and illogical'.
States fail to upload images of toilets under Swachh Bharat Mission
Most of the state governments have failed to upload the photos of constructed toilets on an integrated management information system of the Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MDWS). The objective behind this excercise is to bring transparency and effective monitoring to the Swachh Bharat Mission. Nearly 1,53,806 photos have been uploaded on to the system, out of which 39,423 have not been approved.
NGT makes rainwater harvesting a rule in all Govt projects and institutions in Delhi NCR
The National Green Tribunal has ordered the Governments of Delhi NCR to include a provision for rainwater harvesting in all new Government projects such as bridges, flyovers or any development works. Failing to do so will hinder the approval of such projects. Along with this, the Governments have also been made liable to ensure the efficient working of the flyovers or any development work.
No approval of SC or Wildlife Board required to use forest land outside protected areas
The Environment Ministry has allowed for use of forest land outside protected areas without the approval of the Supreme Court or National Board for Wildlife (NBWL). The move is in contradiction to the SC's guidelines that mandates the seeking of approval from the standing committee of NBWL if the project is inside or near a protected area. The decision has been taken after the NGT rapped the Government for granting clearance to widen NH-7 that cuts through a critical tiger habitat outside a protected area.
Wildlife experts stand against MP Govt's decision to allow sand mining in Son and Chambal sanctuaries
Recently the Madhya Pradesh Government has made an attempt to lease out parts of the Son and Chambal sanctuaries for sand mining. Wildlife experts have strongly objected to the Government move and stated it to be illegal and against the Wildlife Protection Act. The State Government is losing Rs 400 to 500 crore annually from royalty of sand mining and besides this, another Rs 500 crore per annum is lost due to illegal sand mining.
This is a roundup of important policy matters from August 18 - 24, 2015. Also read last week's news updates.
Lead Image Source: Amit Pratap via Wikipedia