Do not rush through with TSR committee's proposals on green laws: Parliamentary Panel

Policy matters this week
Ufrenkhal forest that gives water to Gad Ganga Ufrenkhal forest that gives water to Gad Ganga

Panel suggests that the Govt not rush through with changes in green laws

Taking into consideration the views of over 50 organisations, individuals and experts from across the country, the Parlimentary Panel has asked the Government not to rush through the proposals of the high-level committee (HLC) on amendments to green laws. The HLC with TSR Subramanian as its head, has come out with 55 recommendations to bring changes to green laws. However, environmentalists have strongly objected to these suggestions, and they have also raised concerns over the composition of the HLC. The panel has now suggested the formation of a new committee to review the laws.

Government lagging behind in its target of toilet construction in schools

Last year, the Prime Minister had promised to built toilets in every school in the country by August 15, 2015. The day is just around the corner but not even 50% of the target has been reached. The ambitious plan seems to have failed as Corporate India and public sector undertakings, who had taken up the responsibility of constructing toilets, did not support the Government in achieving its target. Among all the corporates that participated in the drive, Tata Consultancy Services has performed the best. The Government has now decided to take the help of the State governments to achieve this target. 

MoEF refuses the proposal of a new dam at Mullaperiyar

Refusing the Terms of Reference (ToR) for Kerela's proposal to construct a new dam at Mullaperiyar, the Environment Ministry has deferred clearance to the proposal. The Ministry has observed that the proposal has legal restrictions and is awaiting the Supreme Court's orders before considering it. The Kerala Government has proposed to build a new dam at Mullaperiyar in place of the exsting 120 year old one but riparian neighbour Tamil Nadu is against it.

Ranchi mandates water harvesting before digging a borewell

Ranchi civic authorities have made water harvesting structures a must for its residents seeking permission to dig borewells of six-inch diameter at home or offices. The new rule has been implemented with an aim to end unchecked deep borewells. The residents can also apply for provisional permission that will give them a time span of two-three months within which the individual or the organisation will have to set up a water harvesting structure. However, the new rule is not applicable to under-construction apartments or those that have come up within the last year.

HC raps Uttarakhand Govt over illegal waste dumping in rivers

Recently, a petition has been filed by a Rudraprayag-based NGO alleging that three private construction companies are dumping their muck into the Mandakini and Alaknanada rivers. Following the petition, the Uttarakhand High Court has sought a response from the State Government on the matter. Per the report prepared by the NGO, the illegal waste disposal is causing a reduction of the river's spillway capacity, unnatural formations of the river water, and a change in the river course.

This is a roundup of important policy matters from July 21 - 27, 2015. Also read last week's news updates.

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