Lok Sabha passes inter-state river disputes bill

Policy matters this week
Cauvery river in Karnataka (Source: IWP Flickr photos) Cauvery river in Karnataka (Source: IWP Flickr photos)

Lok Sabha passes Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2019  

The Lok Sabha has passed the Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2019, which seeks to amend the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act of 1956.

The bill proposes to set up a central tribunal to help adjudicate inter-state disputes related to water sharing and rivers. Therefore, as soon as the bill becomes law, the existing nine tribunals looking at water disputes - including those of the Cauvery, Mahadayi, Ravi, Beas, Vansadhara and Krishna rivers - will be dissolved.

The new bill will help reduce the time it takes to constitute a tribunal each time a dispute arises between two states over river water sharing, as under the new system a permanent agency comprising of benches will be formed, that can hear more than one dispute at a time. (The Indian Express)

NGT gets strict over illegal sand mining

The National Green Tribunal has ordered the forfeiture of a 20 lakh rupee performance guarantee that the Goa Government had deposited with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) over its failure to tackle illegal sand mining in the state. In November 2017, the state government had assured the NGT that it would set up a network of CCTV cameras to help track down those involved in illegal sand mining taking place in the Chapora River in North Goa. However, till date nothing has been done in this regard. Along with this, the NGT has also showed dissatisfaction towards the states of Gujarat, Karnataka, West Bengal,  Haryana, UP and Rajasthan in their inability and lack of will to curb illegal sand mining. (Hindustan Times, India Legal)

Delhi's water conservation project in Yamuna floodplains gets a green nod

The Centre and the National Green Tribunal have given their approval to the Delhi government to launch its water conservation project in the Yamuna floodplains. Under the project, which aims to create a reservoir between Palla and Wazirabad in Delhi, small ponds will be created in the floodplains that will collect water from an overflowing Yamuna during the monsoon season. However, the project is subject to the condition that it be carried out as a pilot at one location only, to study the techno-economic viability and to identify the quantum of groundwater recharged. Along with this, the Delhi government has been asked to ensure that silt removal be carried out in a regulated manner. (Livemint, The Wire)

Maharashtra fails to comply with compensatory afforestation rules: CAG audit report

In a recent audit report, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has flagged non-compliance of Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) rules by the Maharashtra government.

As per the report, the state diverted 65,363 hectares of forest land for 1,671 projects as on March 2018 but no information of non-forest land (NFL) or degraded forest land provided for compensatory afforestation was found.

Moreover, the audit revealed that the state forest department and the environment ministry have failed to ensure compliance of conditions imposed on user agencies at the time of granting forest clearance. (Down to Earth)

NGT panel head on Hindon river quits due to non-cooperation from UP government

The chairman of the monitoring committee formed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to look into pollution in the Hindon river has resigned, citing 'non-cooperation' from the Uttar Pradesh government and a new assignment from the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court. The committee was formed in August 2018 and was tasked with preparing an action plan to deal with pollution in the Hindon river. The latest report submitted by the committee to the NGT says that authorities majorly responsible for compliance of the tribunal's directions are not assisting the monitoring committee and their relaxed approach is affecting the very purpose of the committee. ( The Indian Express )

This is a roundup of important policy matters from July 25 - 30, 2019. Also, read news this week.

 

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