India should inform us about its future hydel projects: Pakistan
Pakistan has asked the World Bank and India to inform them about the dams and hydropower projects to be built on the western rivers. The statement has come following the news that India plans to start constructing Bursar dam on Chenab river in Kishtwar district, Jammu. According to Pakistan's newspaper Dawn, Bursar dam is one of the biggest projects by India on the two major rivers, Jhelum and Chenab, that flow into Pakistan and assigned to Islamabad under the Indus Waters Treaty. Pakistan fears that the dam would not just violate the treaty, it would also cause water scarcity in Pakistan and contribute towards melting of Himalayan glaciers.
Preparatory works on 106 additional National Waterways begin
Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) has initiated the preparatory works on 106 additional National Waterways (NWs). In the first phase, eight waterways in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Goa, West Bengal and Assam are being considered for development. The government has completed field surveys in 44 NWs while surveys of four others are in progress. Along with this, the draft feasibility report of 36 NWs have been received and are under evaluation.
Studies should not delay project clearance: Environment minister to experts
Environment minister Anil Madhav Dave has urged the non-official expert members of the ministry’s appraisal committees to not delay project clearances by repeatedly asking for different studies. Along with the order to fast track project clearances, he has also directed the experts to ensure zero corruption in the appraisal process, to not compromise on the ease of doing business, to work as a team and to keep an eye on the NGOs funded by foreign interests that don’t want India to develop.
West Bengal all set to protect Hilsa
With an aim to conserve the Hilsa fish, the West Bengal fisheries department is planning to introduce stringent laws against catching, selling and buying Hilsa weighing less than 500 grams. If the law comes into action, Hilsa will become the first Indian fish to get legal protection. At present, catching of Hilsa is banned during pre-monsoon and post-monsoon season when the fish migrates to the Hooghly river from the sea for laying eggs.
Indiscriminate sand mining puts 100 Kerala bridges in danger
The two-decade-old Enathu bridge in Kollam district is in a dilapidated condition allegedly due to indiscriminate sand mining. Minister for public works department G. Sudhakaran has informed that nearly 100 bridges in the state are in danger due to the excessive river sand mining. Over the years, the sand mining has become a huge business in Kerala, owing to the river sand being the main raw material for all construction in the state.
This is a roundup of important news from January 16 - 22, 2017. Also, read the policy matters this week.
Lead image source: Wikipedia commons