Centre urges states to gear up for possible monsoon failure
The agriculture ministry has ordered all the states and union territories to prepare themselves for a possible monsoon failure and operationalise their drought mitigation strategies. For this, the states and union territories have been permitted to earmark 25 percent of funds under centrally-sponsored schemes as flexi-funds for using them for the mitigation of natural calamities. Also, the ministry has allowed the states to expand the coverage of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana in order to tackle loss of production in the event of a disaster.
Government rejects funds to Gujarat's SAUNI yojana
On technical grounds, the Central Water Commission (CWC) has rejected the request to fund the Gujarat government's Saurashtra Narmada Avtaran Irrigation Yojana (SAUNI). As per the CWC, the detailed project report for the scheme lacks key details in relation to technical feasibility. Along with expressing concerns about the Gujarat government's failure to consult Narmada Control Authority (NCA) and other concerned states, the CWC has also raised questions over the water storage calculation for the project. However, after getting rejected by the Centre, the state government has decided to fund the project on its own.
Ramgarh dam encroachment: HC notice to Rajasthan government
The Rajasthan high court has issued notice to several authorities in the state against the encroachment on the catchment areas of the Ramgarh dam in Jaipur. In 2004, the court had ordered the state authorities to demarcate the catchment area of the Ramgarh dam and declare it a no-construction zone. Further to this notice in 2012, the court ordered to remove the encroachment on the catchment areas but no action has been taken in this regard; even the demarcation of the catchment areas is yet to be done.
Telangana to tackle its water crisis using four waters concept
Telangana Water Resources Development Corporation (TWRDC) has launched the Jal Doots programme in which 50 volunteers of various NGOs will educate farmers, members of small help groups and gram panchayats across 600 villages in the state on various recharge and water harvesting structures. The basis of the programme is the ‘four water’ concept (ground, surface, soil moisture and rainwater) that aims to conserve each drop of water. The programme will encourage farmers to build soak pits at home, farm ponds in field and adopt various conservation methods like tank renovation, silt application and drip and sprinklers for irrigation.
India ambitious to mine mineral wealth of the oceans
The Ministry of Earth Sciences has decided to embark on the ambitious Deep Sea Mission. The project, worth Rs 10,000 crore, aims to explore and mine mineral wealth beneath the ocean floor. The project is expected to begin by the year-end in 2017. According to the ministry, the project would be beneficial to the country as it will provide deep ocean energy, deep sea fishing and minerals.
This is a roundup of important policy matters from May 8 - 14, 2017. Also, read the news this week.