Centre identifies 13 focus states lagging in implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission
In order to accelerate access to safe water for all, the Jal Shakti Ministry has identified 13 states that have fallen behind in implementing the Jal Jeevan Mission. The 13 focus states include Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Kerala, Assam, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh.
The Ministry has also asked all the states to send a firmed-up, state-wide coverage plan by the end of September and get all tendering and awarding of works done by December 31.
The Jal Shakti Ministry's Secretary, Vinni Mahajan, reported that the implementation of the programme has been affected in the last two years as rising steel and plastic prices worldwide have affected the cost of pipes. It has also made concessionaires unviable. (The Economic Times)
HC orders Uttarakhand government to survey Gangotri glacier every year
The High Court disposed of a public interest litigation filed by a Delhi-based activist Ajay Gautam regarding an artificial lake near the Gangotri glacier at the snout of Gaumukh by directing the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) to survey the region every year from May to September and publish its findings.
As per the petitioner, the administration has failed to comply with the earlier Court order of 2018 which directed the government to keep a continuous, vigilant check on the site and submit a report every three months. However, according to the government, a compliance report has been filed and action taken against erring officials.
Along with this, the SDMA has partnered with several research institutes to survey such sites and claimed that the artificial lake at the spot may have dissolved. (The Times of India)
Centre permits Telangana and Andhra Pradesh to operate unapproved irrigation projects
The Jal Shakti Ministry has issued a gazette notification, giving permission to Telangana and Andhra Pradesh to operate certain unapproved projects on Krishna river. On July 15, 2021, the first gazette notification ordered both the states to stop all the ongoing works on unapproved projects and stated that if approvals are not obtained within six months the ongoing unapproved projects shall cease to operate. The term was further extended by another six months.
The gazette notification has been amended, however, to exempt some projects from the clause, allowing them to operate unapproved.
(The New Indian Express)
Ken-Betwa river link: Committee to appoint new body to implement the environment management plan
The 20-member central steering committee of Ken-Betwa river linking project will be setting up the Greater Panna Landscape Council to exclusively implement integrated landscape and environment management plans in the region. The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) has developed the integrated landscape management plan for the river-linking project coming up in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
The body will work towards enhancing tiger carrying capacity of three wildlife sanctuaries and protect habitats of flagship species such as vulture and gharial.
Apart from setting up the Council, the committee has also proposed to appoint a panel for monitoring the resettlement and rehabilitation plans in a transparent and time bound manner. (The Times of India)
This is a roundup of important policy matters from July 17 – August 2, 2022. Also, read the news this fortnight.