Jalyukt Shivar Abhiyan a low impact, high expenditure scheme: CAG

Policy matters this week
Deepening work in progress under the Jalyukt Shivar Abhiyan (Source: Ravindra Pomane) Deepening work in progress under the Jalyukt Shivar Abhiyan (Source: Ravindra Pomane)

Jalyukt Shivar Abhiyan had a low impact in making Maharashtra drought free: CAG

Slamming the implementation of the multi-crore Jalyukt Shivar Abhiyan, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has stated that despite spending Rs 9633.75 crore, the scheme has had little impact in achieving water neutrality and increasing groundwater level. The scheme, which was launched in 2014 with an aim to make Maharashtra drought-free by 2019, was lacking in transparency in the execution of its works and the state water conservation department inadequately monitored it. However, as per Devendra Fadnavis, the former CM of state under whose regime the scheme was launched, the mission would have been more successful had the current government allowed its continuation, but it was stopped midway. (The Indian Express)

Prepare environment plan for Najafgarh lake: NGT to Delhi, Haryana governments

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed both Delhi and Haryana governments to jointly prepare an Environment Management Plan (EMP) for Najafgarh lake in order to prevent encroachment and construction in the area. Along with this, the Environment Ministry has been ordered to steer the proceedings for preparation of EMP with the assistance of Central Pollution Control Board. The order came following a petition filed by an NGO namely Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) seeking execution of NGT's 2017 order that demanded declaration of the lake as a water body. (Republic World)

Gosikhurd dam observes further delay, thanks to fund shortage

The deadline for completion of the Gosikhurd National Irrigation Project in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra has been revised from 2021 to 2024 due to financial constraints. The project, which had a requirement of Rs 1,500 crore for its timely completion has received an annual allocation of just Rs 500 crore from the state government for the year 2020-21. The reason behind less allocation of funds is the Covid-19 pandemic, which has adversely hit the state financially. Another hurdle to the project, which was given a national status in 2009, is the 50 percent shortage of employees deployed for project work. The project delay will deprive 30 lakh farmers from accessing the dam water. (The Indian Express)

Haryana Wildlife Board approves dam construction within Kalesar forest despite WII's warning

The Haryana government has proposed a dam construction on the seasonal rivulets— Ambwali, Nagli, Darpur, Khelawala — passing through the Kalesar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary to provide irrigation water to Yamunanagar district. However, the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun, has concluded in its report that almost 90,000 small plants and around 1 lakh fully grown trees will be chopped off for the construction along with affecting the behavioural pattern of the wild animals and destroying their core habitats and breeding areas. Despite the red flag, the State Board for Wildlife (SBW), Haryana has approved the construction of the dam and conveyed that many changes have been made to the proposal and the number of flora and fauna estimated by WII was very high. (The Indian Express)

Green nod mandatory for Purushothapatnam Lift Irrigation Scheme: NGT

Taking note that the Purushothapatnam Lift Irrigation Scheme in Andhra Pradesh involves irrigation and will not just cater to drinking water and industrial needs, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has deemed environment impact assessment and environment clearance necessary for the project. The panel has also directed the project proponents to ensure compliance of the statutory clearances before going ahead with the project. The project which is located at the Akhanda Godavari Left Bank in East Godavari district envisages diversion of Godavari river water to Yeluru river. (Outlook India)

This is a roundup of important policy matters from September 7 - 21, 2020. Also, read news this week.

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