IRCTC to use excess groundwater from mines

Policy matters this week
Water at coal mines in Raigarh, Chhattisgarh (Image Source: IWP Flickr photos) Water at coal mines in Raigarh, Chhattisgarh (Image Source: IWP Flickr photos)

IRCTC signs MoU with Coal India to extract groundwater from mines

The Indian Railways has joined hands with the state-owned coal mining company, Coal India to use excess groundwater from mines for manufacturing purified packaged drinking water that would be sold under the IRCTC's Rail Neer brand. As per the officials, the Coal India mines produce nearly 5,700 cusecs of water and is left with a surplus of more than 2,000 cusecs of water after the produced water is utilised by the company itself and distributed to the communities located around the mines. The Railways has selected a mining site at Argada near Ranchi in Jharkhand for setting up the bottling plant.

Delhiites to pay 20 percent water and sewer tariff from Feb 1

Delhi Jal Board has approved a tariff hike of 20 percent for consumers using water over 20,000 litres per month. The hike will be effective from February 1. As per the Delhi government, that is being criticised for the hike by opposition parties, the hike will not affect more than 15 percent of the consumers as the rest of the households will continue to be covered by the scheme under which no charge is levied for the consumption of upto 20,000 litres a month. 

Tamil Nadu gets World Bank aid for modernisation of its irrigation projects

The World Bank has agreed to provide a loan of $318 million to the Tamil Nadu government for the modernisation of the state's irrigation projects, to improve market opportunities for small and marginal farmers and for the adoption of climate resilient techniques. The Tamil Nadu Irrigated Agriculture Modernisation Project, that is going to benefit around five lakh farmers, plans to rehabilitate and modernise nearly 4,800 irrigation tanks and 477 check dams across 66 sub-basins. Along with this, the project will bring more than 160,000 hectares of partially irrigated land into full irrigation.

Government proposes Model Contract Farming Act

The agriculture ministry has drafted a Model Contract Farming Act in order to protect the farmers from price risks and provide incentives to buyers to procure produce directly from farmers. The Act, that can be adopted by the states as per their needs, provides a framework for determining the pre-agreed quantity, quality and price of farm produce between farmer and sponsoring companies. However, the industry and farmers have rejected the draft as the core issue of Indian agriculture lies in its nature of marketing structure which needs to be modified. 

Bamboo not tree, Parliament passes Bill

To improve the earnings of tribals and dwellers living around forests, the Parliament has passed a Bill to exclude bamboo from the definition of a tree under the Indian Forest Act. Although the Bill permits felling and transit of bamboo grown in non-forest areas, bamboo grown on forest lands would continue to be classified as a tree and would remain under the existing legal restrictions. However, the move is being opposed by the former union environment minister Jairam Ramesh who claims that the Bill would work against the tribals' interest in the long run. 

This is a roundup of important policy matters from December 27, 2017 - 2 January, 2018. Also, read the news this week.


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