Despite concerns, Etalin hydropower project gets government nod, FAC yet to give clearance
The Power Ministry and impact assessment division of the Environment Ministry has cleared the Etalin hydroelectric project in Arunachal Pradesh’s Dibang Valley. The contentious project, however, awaits approval from the Forest Advisory Committee (FAC).
Scientists and environmentalists are opposing the 3,097 MW hydropower project as it involves the diversion of 1165.66 ha of forest land and the felling of around 2.8 lakh trees in dense subtropical evergreen and subtropical rainforests.
To address the concerns about the project’s impact on wildlife and biodiversity, a four-member committee has been formed by the FAC that has been directed to submit a report in this regard within three weeks. Along with this, a second panel has also been formed to visit and monitor the compliance of conditions of various forest clearance approvals for hydroelectric projects in the state. (Hindustan Times)
Ganga river rejuvenation: Govt sanctions 36 sewage treatment plants in Uttarakhand so far
With an aim to improve the water quality of the Ganga river, the Centre has sanctioned 36 sewage treatment plants (STPs) in Uttarakhand so far under the flagship project, Namami Gange. Moreover, 364 projects worth Rs 30,853 crore have been approved under the ‘Namami Gange’ mission, out of which 183 projects have been completed. In Uttarakhand, setting up of 36 STPs worth Rs 1,373 crore has resulted in upgrading the capacity of the 184 km sewer network. Of these 36 STPs, 34 projects have been completed so far and two projects will be commissioned soon.
Chamoli district in the state has seen a rise in untreated wastage in the last few years, but with the installation of a 1.12 MLD STP in Gopeshwar, treated water is now flowing into the river.
Indo-Bangla waterway project: Tripura govt to conduct study on Gomati river stretch
As part of the India-Bangladesh waterway project, the Tripura government is planning to conduct a field study to operationalise the 54 km stretch on the Gomati river. The government plans to conduct the study from Maharani in Gomati district to Sonamura in Sepahijala, in order to identify the river areas where dredging will be necessary to maintain the river's water level for vessel movement.
According to officials, the field verification is needed since RITES, a central government enterprise, prepared the detailed project report for the waterway in 2013-14. The project has already secured an administrative approval of Rs 15 crores.
Chhattisgarh govt gives community forest resources rights certificates to a village inside the national park
Chhattisgarh has become the second state in the country after Odisha to grant community forest resources rights to a village inside the national park. The former handed over the certificates to the Gond tribal community inside the Kanger Valley national park in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar district.
The grant of community forest rights will empower villagers, encourage community-based conservation and strengthen livelihood means and food security for them.
The villagers in return for receiving the rights have committed to preserve the biodiversity of the area and never hunt the wild animals. (The Print)
In Telangana, a safe drinking water supply to all households is no longer a dream
Telangana becomes the only state in the country that is able to supply safe drinking water through pipelines to all households.
This success is credited to Mission Bhagiratha, for which the state government has spent Rs 46,000 crore.
2 lakh kilometers of pipelines of varying lengths and diameters have been laid under the mission. By providing piped water supplies to all households in the country, the mission contributes to making the state fluoride-free. (The Tribune)
This is a roundup of important policy matters from May 24 – June 7, 2022. Also, read the news this fortnight.