Dibang hydel project gets Centre's nod
The Centre has decided to construct the 3000 MW Dibang Hydroelectric Project in Arunachal Pradesh without carying out any public consultation or impact study. On request from the new Government, the Expert Appraisal Committee has reconsidered the environmental clearance of the project, which was rejected forest clearance in August 2014. Anti-dam activists have denounced the Government's move and fear that it might clear all the mega dams in the northeast region.
18 years to restore the glory of the Ganga: Centre
The Centre has submitted to the Supreme Court the action plan for short, medium and long term measures spread over 18 years for the restoration of the Ganga. The Government has also identified as a first target 118 towns along the banks of the river to achieve total sanitation. Also, the Government has called for participation from the public and the State Governments in the five Ganga river basin States - Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal- for the restoration programme.
Centre kick-starts rebranding and renaming three central programmes
The Ministry of Rural Development has invited recommendations for a new logo, unique names and catchy taglines, in order to popularise three of the important central programmes and help people identify with them. These three programmes are the Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP), the National Land Records Modernisation Programme (NRLMP) and the World Bank-assisted National Watershed Management Project Neeranchal. The winners will receive a cash prize of Rs 50,000 for IWMP and Rs 40,000 each for NRLMP and Neeranchal.
CSIR-NGRI undertakes Heliborne surveys for groundwater exploration
The CSIR-NGRI scientists have carried out heliborne geophysical surveys on a pilot basis in five states in the country. The project, which aims to develop sustainable and comprehensive groundwater management plans, has found the presence of fresh water zones below the deserts of Jaisalmer, arsenic-free aquifers in Bihar and water-bearing aquifers in the hard rock of Tumkur, Karnataka. The survey has also been conducted in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu where a map of paleo river channels has been prepared.
UN determined to halve the rate of deforestation by 2020
As part of the UN Summit on Climate Change, Governments, multinational companies and campaigners have vowed to put a stop to the loss of the world’s natural forests by 2030, in order to limit the global temperature rise to 2°C. The signatories have also committed to halve the rate of deforestation by 2020 and restore hundreds of millions of acres of degraded land.
This is a weekly roundup of important news from September 22-28, 2014. Also read last week's policy matters updates.
Lead image source: SANDRP