SC orders Maharashtra government to pay Rs 100 crore for restoration of Ulhas and Waldhuni rivers
In a landmark order, the Supreme Court has directed the Maharashtra government to pay Rs 100 crore for tackling the pollution of Ulhas and Waldhuni rivers in Thane district. The amount disbursed for the protection and restoration of the rivers will be released in two phases--half within this month and the next half in the following month. The court has also ordered an immediate shutdown of all illegal industries operating in the region and stop water and power supply to jeans-washing units in Ulhasnagar.
MP cabinet gives nod to new sand policy
The Madhya Pradesh government has given its approval to the new sand mining and sale policy 2017. The new policy empowers village panchayats across the state to excavate sand from all rivers but the Narmada and gives rights to them to sell the excavated sand and collect the royalty. The new policy has been prepared with recommendations from IIT Kharagpur experts. Due to illegal sand mining, the state government had banned the activity in May this year. The ban was, however, lifted in October when the government hinted at drafting a new sand mining policy.
Uttarakhand's Pancheshwar dam project has been deferred
The expert appraisal committee (EAC) of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has deferred environment clearance for the Rs 33,108-crore Pancheshwar hydropower dam project in Uttarakhand. The project, which involved the construction of a 315-metre tall rock-fill hydropower dam across Mahakali river, is a joint venture between India and Nepal. As per the EAC, there is a need to study the environmental impact assessment report for the Nepal portion of the project to get a holistic view of the project.
Capital city Amaravati gets a go ahead
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has declined to set aside the environmental clearance to Amravati, the proposed capital city of Andhra Pradesh. The clearance to the project was challenged on the grounds that the capital city would harm the fertile agricultural lands in Krishna and Guntur districts and put the floodplain and wetland ecology at risk. The tribunal, however, is convinced that the project would not harm the floodplains and wetlands. As per the tribunal, the project has now reached a stage of "fait accompli" and thus demolishing it would incur huge financial, environmental and human cost.
Improper disposal of waste: NGT issues notice to states
The National Green Tribunal has issued notices to Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana and Punjab governments over the improper disposal and burning of biomedical waste in the states. The tribunal has sought replies from these four states within a week and has put an immediate ban on the burning of biomedical waste. The four states have also been asked to provide information about hospitals inspected for violation of the Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules, 2016.
This is a roundup of important policy matters from November 14 - 20, 2017. Also, read the news this week.