Environmental clearance to Cuddalore thermal plant quashed

Policy matters this week
A thermal power plant in Korba A thermal power plant in Korba

NGT turns down clearance to Cuddalore thermal plant because of threat to mangroves

The National Green Tribunal has turned down green clearance to the 3600 MW thermal power plant in Tamil Nadu’s Cuddalore district. The decision was taken due to the plant's impact on the marine life and the Pichavaram mangroves. The Tribunal has now asked the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change to re-evaluate and conduct a fresh cumulative impact assessment of the proposal.

Environment Ministry now has GIS-based decision support system

The Environment Ministry has launched a GIS-based online support system to bring transparency and reduce delays in clearance processes. With the new system in place, getting relevant information on forest cover is just a click away, as geo-referenced layers of forest cover, forest types, biological richness, landscape integrity, protected areas, tiger reserves and corridors are now readily available to officials. The new system will fast track the process of regulatory forest clearance and help the Ministry take informed decisions.

Karnataka, AP agrees to modernise Tungabhadra canals

Both Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh have agreed to modernise canals on the Tungabhadra's right bank in order to share the river water between the two states. At present, nearly 32,000 million cubic litres of water is going waste due to seepage and silt accumulation on the river bed every year. But modernisation work, which includes concrete lining and reconstruction of culverts, will help plug the leakage and improve water flow into the irrigated fields in Kurnool, Kadapa and Ananthapur districts in Andhra Pradesh.

Punjab set to end it water woes by harvesting rainwater

The Punjab Government has set aside a fund of Rs 120 crore for harvesting rainwater through the Undergrond Pipeline System (UGPS). The system will address the issues of groundwater depletion in central Punjab, scarce water resources in the northern sub-mountainous belt and brackish groundwater in the south-western part of the state. Along with this, the project will also help improve yield and quality of farm produce.

Centre against Kerala Government's decision to denotify virgin forest land

The Environment Ministry has objected to the Kerala Government's decision to gift 129.87 acres of virgin forest land in the Palode forest range to the rehabilitators of the Chengara land struggle. The Government's decision is in violation to the Forest Conservation Act, 1980, as the area is an integral part of the Kumil reserve forest under the Palode forest range. However, as per the leaders of the land struggle, they have not asked for rehabilitation but have demanded supply of water and power to their existing settlement.

This is a weekly roundup of policy matters from November 10-17,  2014. Also read last week's news roundup.

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