Kerala blames Tamil Nadu for massive floods in the state
Entering into a legal battle, the Kerala government has told the Supreme Court that the reason behind the deluge in the state was the sudden release of Mullaperiyar dam water by Tamil Nadu. As per Kerala, it had requested Tamil Nadu to gradually release the dam water when it crosses 137 feet but received no positive assurance. The Kerala government has also sought the appointment of supervisory and management committees to avoid a similar crisis in the future. Taking note of the matter, the Supreme Court has now ordered the Tamil Nadu government to maintain the water level of Mullaperiyar dam at 139 feet, two feet below the permissible limit, till August 31.
MoU signed for construction of Lakhwar multi-purpose project in Uttarakhand
The Centre has signed the memorandum of understanding (MoU) with six states—Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and Delhi—for the construction of 300 MW hydroelectric project on the Yamuna river near Lohari village in Dehradun district of Uttarakhand. Once completed, the project will cater to the drinking water needs of the five states along with the national capital. However, environmentalists are objecting to this project as the project site is in a highly seismic area. Moreover, its spillway capacity was designed in the 1980s and has already been declared inadequate.
Activists demand cumulative impact assessment on Satluj river basin
In its submission to the expert committee of the environment ministry, the Himdhara Collective, an environmental group in Himachal Pradesh, has demanded cumulative impact assessment for individual projects on the Satluj river basin. Earlier, the Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited (SJVNL) had planned to construct a 750-MW project on the last free-flowing stretch of the river but owing to the protest by the locals, the project was dropped. Three new dams are to come up on the same stretch in place of it. The collective is objecting to these three projects and wants the panel to study the overall impact of these dams instead of looking at each project individually.
Urban flooding unit stays on papers since 2010
Following the 2005 Mumbai floods, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) had come up with a report in 2010 in which it mentioned the need to set up a dedicated urban flooding unit under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MHUA). The report noted that since the nature of urban floods is different from the rural ones, there is a need to address urban flooding as a separate disaster. However, despite the devastating floods in Srinagar and Chennai in 2014 and in Kerala this year, the urban flooding unit is yet to be established.
Karnataka disagrees with Kasturirangan-led panel report on eco-sensitive areas
Two days before the deadline to submit recommendations on the demarcation of ecologically-sensitive areas (ESAs), the Karnataka has informed the Centre that it disagrees with the K. Kasturirangan-led panel report. In its report, the panel had suggested that the Karnataka government declare 1,576 villages along the Western Ghats as ESA, which would intensify conservation measures as well as put restrictions on certain construction activities that involve landscape changes.
This is a roundup of important policy matters from August 22- 28, 2018. Also, read the news this week.
Lead image source: Jayeshj via Wikipedia Commons