Government launches Jal Shakti Abhiyan to tackle water crisis

Policy matters this week
Jal Shakti Abhiyan launched to battle water crisis (Source: IWP Flickr photos) Jal Shakti Abhiyan launched to battle water crisis (Source: IWP Flickr photos)

Centre launches Jal Shakti Abhiyan

To tackle the water crisis looming the country, the Centre launched the Jal Shakti Abhiyan, a water conservation campaign focussing on 1,592 stressed blocks in 256 districts across the country.

The Jal Shakti Abhiyan will focus on five key aspects - water conservation and rainwater harvesting, renovation of traditional and other water bodies, reuse of water and recharging of structures, watershed development and intensive afforestation.

To coordinate the implementation of the scheme, the government has assigned officers from the central government, led by additional secretaries and joint secretaries, to these 256 districts. 

Maharashtra to opt out of joint river-linking projects with Gujarat

In a landmark move, the Maharashtra government has decided to opt out of Daman Ganga and Par-Tapi-Narmada-Pinjal river-linking projects with the Gujarat government. Instead, it will implement the projects on its own by raising funds and loans from the open market. The move will help the state get an additional 1,642 million cubic litres of water for several drought-prone areas in the state. The Maharashtra government is expecting that the detailed report of these projects will be presented and approved by August 15. 

Panel approves Rs 2,121 crore dam project on Godavari in Telangana

An expert appraisal committee has given the environment clearance for the construction of the proposed P V Narasimha Rao Kanthanapally Sujala Sravanthi Project (PVNRKSSP) across the Godavari river in the Jayashankar Bhupalpally district of Telangana.

The project is worth Rs 2,121 crore, and will facilitate irrigation during the rabi season, effectively benefitting three districts - Jayashankar Bhupalapally, Nalgonda and Khammam.

The project envisages the construction of a 23 metre high and 1,132 metre long barrage across the river and will require 674.18 hectare land, out of which 94 hectare is private land while the rest is river bed area. 

Construction permit for Polavaram project extended by two years

The environment ministry has given a two year extension to the construction permit for the Polavaram Multipurpose project in Andhra Pradesh. In 2011, the construction of the project was stopped but in 2014, the project was designated as a national project and the 'stop work order' to the project was suspended to allow construction to resume. The 960 MW project envisages construction of an earth-cum-rock filled dam across the Godavari river. The project will irrigate nearly 3 lakh hectares of land and provide drinking water facilities to 540 villages covering a population of 25 lakh in East and West Godavari and Krishna districts.

Karnataka government contemplates ban on construction of apartments in Bengaluru for next five years

To combat the growing water shortage in Bengaluru, the Karnataka government is mulling over banning construction of new residential apartments in the city for the next five years. The plan comes at a time when the city is facing a huge gap between the construction of new residential apartments and the amenities provided to these spaces. In the past few years, Bengaluru has witnessed rapid migration and unplanned growth. Instead of reviving its own water resources, the city's water needs have been fulfilled by depriving the surrounding districts of their water. 

This is a roundup of important policy matters from June 26 - July 2, 2019. Also, read news this week.

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