Cabinet approves Dibang hydel project in Arunachal Pradesh
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved Rs. 1,600 crore pre-investment and clearance expenditure for the 2,880 megawatts Dibang hydropower project in Arunachal Pradesh. The project, which is worth Rs 28,080 crores in total, is a storage based hydroelectric project with flood moderation as the key objective.
This is a strategic move by the government in the North East, where it has made many promises to develop the region. It is also a politically strategic move because India and China have for long been at loggerheads over the Brahmaputra river. "Accelerating hydroelectric projects such as Dibang would give user rights to India even as it explores a diplomatic option."
Government officials say the approval of anticipated expenditure shall enable payment towards compensation for land acquisition and rehabilitation activities to project affected families. (Livemint)
World Bank withdraws from Amaravati construction project
The World Bank, which was to lend Rs. 2,066 crore to the Amaravati Sustainable Infrastructure and Institutional Development Project has said it will no longer be involved, citing non-compliance of its policies, especially those related to settlements with affected parties. The Amaravati Capital City Project of the Andhra Pradesh government was to build a planned, modern city on the floodplains of the Krishna river. However, environmental experts, civil society organisations and grassroots activists said the project was in violation of social and environmental laws; it was also financially unviable, and involved large scale conversion of fertile land in the garb of voluntary land-pooling. (Down to Earth)
NGT seeks compliance report on rejuvenation of Yamuna river
Taking note of the authorities' lackadaisical attitude towards the rejuventation of the Yamuna river, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the governments of Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to file compliance reports on the concrete steps being taken to rejuvenate and control pollution in the river. The bench has sought clear tabular statements that should cover all the components of Yamuna Mailey Se Nirmal Yamuna Revitalization Plan, 2017, approved by the NGT including the environment flow, interception of drainages to STPs, up-gradation of existing STPs to meet the standards, setting up of new STPs, etc. Along with this, the green panel has also warned of imposing a fine in case the state governments failed to submit the report. (DNA)
Gujarat government to bring new legislation on domestic water usage
In a bid to monitor and curb illegal use and misuse of domestic water, the Gujarat government plans to table a new legislation providing for metering of domestic water usage across the State.
The Gujarat Domestic Water Supply Protection Bill, 2019 will criminilises any violations of the bill, and further mandates local water distribution and supply authorities and agencies in the state to install meters at water sources and at the household level, to monitor theft and leakages if any.
Along with this, the authorities will have to fix water charges for different categories such as residential connections or group residential connections. Fines will also be imposed for damaging, tampering or illegally drawing water. (News 18)
Maharashtra government notifies 224.68 hectares of mangroves in Mumbai as reserved forest area
Following the Bombay High Court order of September 2018 that sought protection of green cover, the Maharashtra government has notified 224.68 hectares (ha) of mangroves in Mumbai, including 40 ha along the Mithi river, as reserved forests. The tag has been given to mangrove patches in Charkop, Vikhroli, Versova, Turbhe along with smaller stretches in other areas.
The new status, which prohibits all human activity in the protected zone, is significant to areas along the Mithi river because the mangroves can mitigate flooding by absorbing floodwaters. The state government will soon be notifying an additional 1,500-2,000 ha across other districts.
This is a roundup of important policy matters from July 17 - 24, 2019. Also, read news this week.