Encroachment behind Chennai floods: Panel

Policy matters this week
Rescue efforts during Chennai's floods. (Source: IWP Flickr Photos) Rescue efforts during Chennai's floods. (Source: IWP Flickr Photos)

Encroachment of lakes and riverbeds caused Chennai floods: Panel

According to the Parliamentary standing committee, the encroachment of lakes and riverbeds had caused the massive Chennai floods last year. The committee has ordered the Tamil Nadu government to check the real estate mafia involved in illegal construction and has also recommended to regularly maintain the drainage system of the city. The committee has also rejected the union home secretary’s submission that claims unprecedented rains caused the huge damage and instead called for technological preparedness rather than blaming nature’s fury. 

Soon a special act and organisation for Ganga

To avoid dispute over the management of the Ganga river, the centre has come up with a first-of-its-kind bill--the Ganga Act--which will allow the centre to have a final say over state during water disputes. The proposed bill has been derived from the National Highways Act which has empowered the central government to have complete power over roads designated as national highways. Along with this, the water ministry has also proposed to set up a statutory authority to take action against industries polluting the Ganga river and its tributaries.

Telangana and Andhra under scanner for drawing Krishna water

The Krishna River Management Board has rapped both the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana governments for drawing water from major reservoirs across the Krishna river without seeking permission from the board. It has been pointed out that the two states released water from the Jurala, Srisailam and Nagarjunasagar dams without prior intimation to the board. The latter has sought the responses from both governments in the next meeting to be held on August 24. The Andhra irrigation secretary, however, has ruled out any deviation from the standard protocol.

NGT raps centre, UP for their zero result efforts on Ganga clean-up

The National Green Tribunal has come down heavily on the ministries of environment and water resources, the Central Pollution Control Board and several other authorities for their zero result efforts in cleaning the Ganga river. The former has now granted the final opportunity to the authorities and has sought report on the discharge of industrial waste in the river between Haridwar and Kanpur within two weeks’ time. The NGT has also pointed that nothing substantial has been done for applying Zero Liquid Discharge, installation of online monitoring and finding the source of finance for the revival project. 

Loan sanctioned to Telangana’s Mission Bhagiratha

A consortium of eight banks has approved a loan of Rs 6,750 crore for the Telangana Drinking Water Supply Project, also known as Mission Bhagiratha. Syndicate Bank, OBC, and Bank of Maharashtra have extended a loan of Rs 1000 crore each while Indian Bank will give Rs 750 crore. Punjab and Sindh Bank have agreed to provide Rs 700 crore, and Rs 500 crore each have been approved by Dena Bank and Allahabad Bank. The project, that was inaugurated by prime minister Narendra Modi a few days back, aims to provide safe drinking water through pipeline to 67,000 households of Gajwel in Medak district.

This is a roundup of important policy matters from August 15 - 21, 2016. Also read last week's news roundup.


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