Environment Ministry lied to Supreme Court about the Uttarakhand dam report

Policy matters this week
Ganga at Kaudiyala Ganga at Kaudiyala

Centre presents an opposite picture in the Uttarakhand dam case

With respect to the six specific hydroelectric projects on the upper Ganga basin in Uttarakhand, the Environment Ministry had informed the Supreme Court that experts have given a clean chit to the six dams and that the latter can also approve these projects. However, in reality, the Expert Committee Report has warned that these dams will have a huge impact on the people and ecology of the region and hence should not be permitted at all on the basis of the clearances that were given prior to the Uttarakhand tragedy of 2013.

Maharashtra CM approves inquiry into 38 irrigation projects

The Chief Minister of Maharashtra has cleared the proposal of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to conduct an open probe into 38 irrigation projects in Vidarbha. The cost of these projects had overshot to Rs 26,722 crore in four years from its original cost of Rs 6,672 crore. The order has come following a petition filed by the NGO Janmanch, and has brought the then Water Resources Minister Ajit Pawar and Sunil Tatkare into scrutiny.

NGT fines UP officials for not responding to notice on polluted rivers

The National Green Tribunal has imposed a fine of Rs. 5000 on the officials of Meerut, Saharanpur, Shamli, Ghaziabad, Muzaffarnagar and Baghpat for failing to reply on the polluted waters of the Kali, Krishna and Hindon rivers. The order has come following the NGT taking a suo motu cognisance of a report that alleged cancer-causing contamination in the waters of these three rivers. NGT has decided to deduct the fine from the officials' salary and deposit it in the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund.

NGT imposes fine on 11 Delhi hospitals for failing to harvest rainwater

For non-compliance of its rainwater harvesitng orders, the National Green Tribunal has imposed fines between Rs 2 lakh and Rs 5 lakh on 11 hospitals in Delhi and also ordered disciplinary action against the official of a government hospital. During its inspection, the Tribunal had found improper functioning or designing of the rainwater harvesting system at some hospitals, while silt and garbage was found in the pits of others. Along with this, the Tribunal has ordered the Delhi Government to assess the possibility of harvesting rainwater on 13 flyovers across the capital.

Delhi Government eases doing business in the capital

The Delhi Government has allowed micro, small and medium enterprises to set up a new plant without mandatory clearance from the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC). Therefore, to operationalise a factory, these industries will not need any Consent to Operate by the DPCC or any trade license by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi. However, concerned about the already deteriorating environment of the capital, the Government has re-ordered that the industries that are 'polluting by nature' will need a Consent to Operate and Consent to Establish for a new plant.

This is a roundup of important policy matters from February 17 - 23, 2015. Also read last week's news updates.

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