Coal Ministry bans mining in Mahan forest
The indigenous communities of the region are victorious as the Ministry of Coal confirms that the Mahan forests will be kept off-limits to mining. The Ministry's confirmation on the coal mining ban has come in response to a Right to Information request from Greenpeace. Mahan is one of the oldest and largest sal forests in Asia. The forest is spread across 1,600 hectares in Madhya Pradesh and is an home to over 50,000 indigenous people.
Notice to 118 local bodies and 764 units for polluting Ganga
The National Mission for Clean Ganga has ordered 118 urban local bodies and 764 industries, spread across Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Jharkhand, to take steps towards the release of untreated domestic sewage and trade effluents into the Ganga. Also, these polluters have been asked to submit a detailed action report on controlling and preventing pollution within 15 days of the notice issued. Reputed industries like Britannia, NTPC, ITC, Hindustan Motors, Indian Oil Corporation and Bata are also present in this list.
No more pollution in Ganga through an "uncompromising mission-mode approach"
In the fifth meeting of the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA), Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for an 'uncompromising mission mode approach' to revive the Ganga. Also, for effective functioning, there are plans to convert the NGRBA in coordination with the five states through which Ganga flows, into a commission under a Parliament Act. Also, the Shipping Ministry has announced during the meeting that no barrages will be built on the Ganga for navigation between Varanasi and Hoogly.
Centre appoints panel to review implementation of resettlement and rehabilitation of farmers
To prove its good intentions, the Government has set up a 25 member committee to review and monitor the implementation of the resettlement and rehabilitation (R&R) provisions of the Land Bill. The recent amendments to the Land Acquistion Act has met widespread protest, as the Government has dropped the mandatory social impact assessment and consent clause in relation to affordable housing, defence and defence manufacturing, public-private partnership projects, industrial corridors and rural infrastructure projects, in the name of development and industrialisation.
Maharashtra Government to raise irrigation funds
Maharashtra Irrigation Department is all set to raise Rs. 25,000-30,000 crore, in order to complete pending irrigation projects in the state. The Department has been allocated Rs. 7,200 crore in the budget, which is insufficient as the current requirment is Rs 70,000 crore. However, the state will raise money by taking loans from the World Bank or from any international firm.
This is a roundup of important policy matters from March 23 - 30, 2015. Also read last week's news updates.