Aiming for an outcome-oriented programme, Government sets ambitious targets for MGNREGS
The Rural Development Ministry is all set to add 1 million farm ponds and wells and another million vermi composting farms in the next two years under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Generation Scheme (MGNREGS). The target is as much as the earlier Government had achieved in the past one decade under the same scheme. With an aim to make the programme outcome-oriented, the Ministry plans to achieve breakthroughs in irrigation for rain-fed areas and also improve groundwater recharge.
Environment and Water Ministry at crossroads over dams on the Ganga
The Union Water Minister, Uma Bharti, has objected to the conditional clearance given to the five new dams on the Ganga's tributaries in Uttarakhand. However, the Environment Ministry has presented the 1916 pact as the basis of its decision. The former has also questioned the Environment Ministry for setting a policy benchmark for how much water should be allowed as minimum flow in the Ganga and its tributaries, as this was a decision that had to be taken jointly by the two Ministries.
Government decentralises process of green nod for sustainable sand mining
The Environment Ministry has created the District Environment Impact Assessment Authority (DEIAA) with an aim to decentralise the process of environment clearance of mining sand and minor minerals. Along with this, the Ministry has also prepared guidelines for sustainable sand mining in consultation with the State Governments. The Ministry also plans to use information technology tools to monitor the mined out sand from source to destination.
Government gets strict with sugar industries to combat water pollution
The Environment Ministry has issued stricter environment standards for sugar industries across the country in order to minimise water pollution. Per the new standards, specific wastewater discharge standards have been limited to 200 litres per tonne of cane crushed as against the earlier limit of 400. Along with this, the notified standards also contain a protocol for ‘treated effluent irrigation’ and ‘wastewater conservation and pollution control management’.
Clearance given to ONGC's Rs 53,000 crore Krishna-Godavari basin infrastructure project
ONGC has been accorded environmental clearance for drilling 45 development wells and other related infrastructure in the Krishna-Godavari basin in Andhra Pradesh. The project worth Rs 53,000 crore, has been subjected to specific and general conditions which includes obtaining Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearance and complying with all recommendations and conditions specified by the Andhra Pradesh Coastal Zone Management Authority.
This is a roundup of important policy matters from January 19 - 25, 2016. Also read last week's news roundup.