Delhi water tanker scam: Sheila Dixit to be probed

Policy matters this week
Water tankers fill in water (Source: IWP Flickr Photos) Water tankers fill in water (Source: IWP Flickr Photos)

Former Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit to be probed in water tanker scam

Lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung has approved to take up the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) probe against the former chief minister of Delhi Sheila Dikshit for her alleged role in Rs 400 crore water tanker scam. The decision has been taken on the demand of the Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal seeking registration of case against the former CM. In June 2015, the Aam Aadmi Party government had formed a fact-finding committee to investigate the irregularities in hiring about 385 stainless steel water tankers by the Delhi Jal Board during Sheila Dikshit's rule in 2012.

Maharashtra wakes up to its water crisis
The Maharashtra government is planning to interlink all major dams in Marathwada to tackle the water crisis of the drought-hit areas of the state. Jayakwadi, Ujjani, Terna, Vishnupuri, Manjara, Yellara and Siddheshwari are the dams that would be interlinked under the project, worth Rs 2500 crore. Also, in Pune, the civic authority has decided to make treatment and recycling of wastewater mandatory and proposed strict penalty in case of violation, to cope with the water stress in the city.

Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana back with water ministry

The water ministry has once again become the nodal agency of the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) as most of the big projects and dams are executed under the ministry. The water ministry was initially the nodal agency of the scheme but then the responsibility was shifted to the agriculture department. Also, in a related development, a panel has been constituted to study the status of irrigation development and PMKSY in Meerut and Muzaffarnagar districts.

Environment ministry gives legal definition to ‘forests’ 

The environment ministry has legally defined forests under the Forest Conservation Act 1980 (FCA). So far, the FCA has laid down the provisions for protection of forests; however, no definition was given to them. The new definition has classified states into two--one where cadastral surveys were completed before the FCA came in to being and land records were settled for the entire state while another where this process was not completed and the confusion remains over what is a forest land. 

No time frame to assess black-necked crane habitat in Tawang

The environment ministry has dropped the time-frame of 45 days for conducting a study on black-necked crane habitat, located on the site for the proposed 780 MW Nyamjang Chhu hydropower project in Tawang district, Arunachal Pradesh. Earlier in its April order, the ministry had directed the Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India (WII) to conduct the study on the wintering habitat of black-necked crane within 45 days. However, after the opposition from the activists who doubted the possibility of conducting the study within 45 days, the ministry dropped its stipulated time frame. 

This is a roundup of important policy matters from June 11 -17, 2016. Also read last week's news roundup.

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