Maharashtra Government puts its rivers in danger

Policy matters this week
View of the river Mula in Pune, Maharashtra View of the river Mula in Pune, Maharashtra

Mahashtra scraps state's River Regulation Zone policy

The Mahashtra Government has decided to scrap the state's River Regulation Zone policy, which declared areas within two kilometres of high flood lines on either side of a river as 'no development zones'. As per the Government, the policy was incorrect as it was a hurdle to the state's industrial growth. However, environmentalists have slammed the Government for taking such a step, and fear that the decision will be deterimental to the state's rivers.

Nirma's Cement plant receives NGT's green chit

The National Green Tribunal has given its nod to the proposed Nirma Limited's cement plant in Mahuva block of Gujarat’s Bhavnagar district, while setting aside the Ministry of Environment's revocation to the project. The plant that will come up at the site of the reservoir Samadhiala Bandhara, was strongly protested by local residents as the reservoir provided irrigation as well as protected from the ingress of salinity in the area. Earlier in 2011, the Environment Ministry had revoked the project on grounds of undisclosed and incorrect information provided by Nirma Limited.

Centre paves way for Chhatrapati Shivaji statue

The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has issued a draft notification to amend the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification, 2011. The draft notification seeks to allow reclamations and alterations to natural features such as rocks/hills in the exceptional cases of development of memorials and monuments. It is doubted that the draft has been issued to make way for the proposed 312-feet long equestrian statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji in the Arabian sea.

Kanpur's 700 tanneries receive warning from NGT

Terming the 700 tanneries along the Ganga's banks as being highly polluting, the National Green Tribunal has warned them of complete closure. The Tribunal has also directed inspection of the entire tannery industrial cluster by a team that will constitute representatives of the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board, Central Pollution Control Board, and the Ministry of Environment and Forest and National Ganga River Basin Authority. The Tribunal has asked the team to submit its analyses on January 29.

Demolish illegal structures in Sunderbans: NGT to West Bengal Government

The National Green Tribunal has ordered the West Bengal Government to demolish all unauthorised structures, encroachments on rivers and river banks, and illegally constructed embankments and dykes in the Sunderbans. The Tribunal has also directed the authorities to put a stop to tiger prawn farming and illegal pisciculture in the mangrove. In order to stop further degradation of forests in Sunderbans, the Tribunal has appointed a committe to keep a check on illegal activities in the area.

This is a roundup of important policy matters from January 19 - 25, 2015. Also read last week's news updates.

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