Government bends its own guideline, fast-tracks green nod to Arunachal hydel project
After giving its green nod to the 1200-MW project on the Lohit river, the expert panel of the Ministry of Environment and Forests is all set to consider the 3097-MW hydel project in Dibang Valley and the 3097-MW Etalin hydroelectric project for clearance. However, all these clearances are against the Ministry's own guidelines of May 2013, according to which subsequent projects in a river basin will be considered for green nod based on the cumulative impact assessment.
New version of the India Water Tool launched
The Confederation of Indian Industry's (CII) Water India 2015 event launched the new version of the India Water Tool (IWT 2.0), the first of its kind country-specific tool. The tool is user-friendly and publicly available and will help users understand water risks, as well as prioritise actions for sustainable water management. Also, the IWT 2.0 online platform provides easy access to, and analysis of, comprehensive and critical data from which users can create maps or export spreadsheets.
UP Government neglected state's western rivers: Villagers
The Uttar Pradesh Government has allocated Rs 400 lakh in the budget for cleaning the Gomti river while neglecting the Kali, Krishna and Hindon rivers whose poisonous water has affected the lives and health of villagers living on their banks. The action has brought criticsm to the UP Government from both environmentalists and residents of the region according to whom the Government is not sincere about cleaning the state's rivers.
In six years less than 3% benefit from the Nagpur Municipal Corporation's 24x7 water supply scheme
Since its launch, the round-the-clock water supply scheme of the Nagpur Municipal Corporation has been able to provide 24X7 water to just 9,613 of the 3.25 lakh consumers in the city. The scheme has also overshot its final deadline of March 31, 2014. The reason asserted for this time lag is the delay in the commissioning of the Pench-IV water treatment plant. However, the project proponents are positive and are expecting the conversion of many areas into the 24X7 supply from next month.
UNEP offers to evaluate toxic waste contamination from Union Carbide leak
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has offered to evalute the spread of toxic waste in and around the 3.5 km area of the abandoned Union Carbide factory in Bhopal. The offer, initiated by the Bhopal Group of Information and Action, is still awaiting the Government's nod. Since 1999, nearly 16 studies have been conducted evaluting the toxic waste contamination from the Union Carbide leak in 1984.
This is a roundup of important news from February 24 - March 2, 2015. Also read last week's policy updates.