Karnataka allowed to implement Kalasa-Banduri project
In a major relief to the Karnataka government, Centre has issued a gazette notification for the implementation of the Mahadayi water dispute tribunal’s August 2018 verdict. The notification allows the Karnataka government to go ahead with the implementation of the Kalasa-Banduri project, which aims to use 13.4 tmcft allocated to it by the tribunal, for irrigation. The move is the outcome of Supreme Court's order to the Centre to issue a notification on the water sharing dispute between Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra. (The Times of India, Deccan Herald)
MP releases draft of right to water law
Madhya Pradesh becomes the first state in the country to have drafted a Right to Water legislation.
The law promises a minimum of 55 litres of water a day per person to the state’s 76.2 million residents, a fine and a jail term of up to 18 months for anyone affecting the water quality, and a 0.5 percent cess on all construction work to fund development of water infrastructure.
The draft aims to set up two bodies, which are the state water management authority (SWMA), to ensure protection of quality of water sources and soil health besides stipulating regulations for treatment plans, and Jal Manch, a committee of stakeholders in every panchayat. (Hindustan Times)
National Chambal Sanctuary in MP is now an eco-sensitive zone
Centre has notified an area to an extent of zero to two kilometres around the boundary of National Chambal Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh as the National Chambal Sanctuary Eco-sensitive Zone. With this, the government has prohibited any new construction of hotels and resorts within one kilometre from the boundary of the wildlife sanctuary or up to the extent of the ESZ, whichever is nearer. Along with this, the Centre has also directed the state government to prepare a Zonal Master Plan for the area. The sanctuary is home to Gangetic Dolphins, critically endangered species of gharial, nine species of freshwater turtles and more than 180 species of migratory birds. (Outlook India)
HC slaps a fine of Rs 100 crore each to Punjab and Haryana over damages to Sukhna Lake
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has fined both Punjab and Haryana Rs 100 crore each for causing damage to the catchment area of Sukhna Lake and have ordered the state to pay the fine within three months. The court has also ordered the demolition of all the structures in the catchment area of the lake and directed that the owners whose building plans were approved by the authorities would be relocated and compensated with Rs 25 lakh each. Along with this, the Court has declared Sukhna as a living entity and has directed the authorities to declare the lake as a wetland within a period of three months. (Hindustan Times)
Jal Shakti Mission: Rajasthan seeks increase in Centre's share
In a letter written to the Water Ministry, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has appealed to the Centre to provide financial assistance given under the Jal Shakti Mission to the state in the ratio of 90:10 instead of 50:50. The minister reasoned the increase in funds to Rajasthan's adverse climatic conditions, water scarcity and large desert area in the state. Moreover, most of the villages and hamlets of the state are scattered in desert areas, due to which the cost of drinking water schemes is much higher than other states. (Outlook India)
This is a roundup of important policy matters from February 21 - March 3, 2020. Also, read news this week.