Demolish illegal prawn gheries in wetlands: HC to Odisha

Policy matters this week
A view of the Chilika lake in the evening. (Source: IWP Flickr photos) A view of the Chilika lake in the evening. (Source: IWP Flickr photos)

HC orders demolition of illegal prawn gheries in Odisha wetlands

The Odisha high court has ordered the state government to initiate the demolition of illegal prawn farms in Bhitarkanika National Park and Chilika Lake in order to restore the ecology of the two wetlands. Gheries are areas encroached for illegal prawn cultivation inside the wetland area. Nearly 23,000 acres of area is under illegal prawn culture in Bhitarkanika National Park and Chilika Lake, both of which are in the Supreme Court's list of wetlands to be preserved. Apart from illegal prawn culture, the other issues that need to be dealt with for the conservation of these wetlands are pollution, uncontrolled boat operation and oil spills, siltation and depletion of mangrove forest in Bhitarkanika.

Learn from Surat how to manage idol immersions: NGT to Delhi govt

The monitoring committee appointed by the National Green Tribunal has ordered the Delhi government to follow the Tapti example to effectively manage idol immersions during the festive season. In 2018, the city administration of Surat, Ahmedabad and Rajkot ensured that no idol was immersed in the Tapti river. The immersions took place either in the 22 artificial ponds or at the sea whereas in Delhi, organic pollution increased in the Yamuna river due to human influence and puja ingredients after the Durga Puja and Ganesh Chaturthi immersions. The committee has suggested the authorities in Delhi to construct sufficient artificial ponds and create awareness of health hazards due to idol immersions in rivers.

UP government debarred from carrying out works on Vrindavan riverfront project 

The National Green Tribunal has debarred the Uttar Pradesh government from carrying out any further works on the Vrindavan riverfront project without its approval. All the construction material has been ordered to be removed from the Yamuna riverbed. The work can be restarted only after the approval from the Taj Trapezium Zone authorities and a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the UP Pollution Control Board. The Vrindavan rejuvenation project proposes to expand, renovate and beautify work on a three-kilometres riverfront from Kesi Ghat to the Yamuna downstream. As per the plea filed by nature enthusiast Akash Vashishtha, however, the reclamation of Yamuna floodplain is being carried out in gross violation of Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974.

Raids conducted in connection with the money laundering probe into Gomti riverfront project

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has conducted raids at 10 locations in Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan and Haryana in connection with the money laundering probe into the Rs 1,500-crore Gomti riverfront development project in Lucknow. In 2017, an investigation towards irregularities in the project was initiated by the Yogi Adityanath government. Following the CBI probe, an FIR was lodged against the then engineers involved in the project for misappropriation of funds and giving contracts to favourite companies. 

Panel seeks compensation for farmers in Pali region whose soil has been damaged

In 2018, the National Green Tribunal formed a committee to inspect the industrial units in Rajasthan’s Pali region as the farmers in the area complained of deterioration of their soil health due to wastewater discharge in the Bandi river. The committee report that came out in January has informed that most of the common effluent treatment plants in the region were not complying with standards and did not achieve zero liquid discharge. These units have been discharging wastewater into the river. The committee has now recommended compensation to farmers based on per unit area loss of money due to deterioration of soil health.

This is a roundup of important policy matters from January 23 - 28, 2019. Also, read news this week.

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