Centre notifies minimum e-flow for the Ganga river
Following the demise of 87-year old G.D. Agarwal who passed away while on a hunger strike to save river Ganga, the water ministry has notified that the upcoming dams or structures diverting the Ganga river water for the purpose of irrigation, hydropower and domestic or industrial use, will have to maintain the minimum flow. The existing projects which do not meet the norms will also have to comply with the notification within three years. G.D. Agarwal, however, had demanded a complete ban on hydel projects and mining along the river. The experts find many challenges with respect to the implementation of these notifications as it involves the Central Water Commission to play a key role and also data monitoring.
Centre comes up with a draft of River Basin Management Bill, 2018
In its draft of the River Basin Management Bill, 2018, the Centre has sought to set up 13 river basin authorities to resolve the inter-state river water disputes and manage affairs of 13 river basins across the country through an exclusive master plan. The Bill which will replace the River Board Act, 1956 will introduce a new concept of ‘basin approach’ to build capacity and resolve conflicts through cooperation at the state level. While making the recommendations of the authority binding on the state, the Bill will provide a platform for states to discuss issues concerning the river basin.
NITI Aayog recommends introduction of green cess for Himalayan region
In its report, Sustainable Tourism in the Indian Himalayan Region, NITI Aayog has emphasised a series of measures to sustainably develop the Himalayan region, including the introduction of a green cess. Green cess in the form of payments from service consumers will help the government generate funds to address the negative impacts of tourism in the region. Another report by NITI Aayog has recommended a systematic mapping and revival of springs across the Himalayas and the launch of a national mission on springshed management.
India, Finland to work together for environment protection
Cabinet approves a memorandum of cooperation between India and Finland for partnership in air and water pollution prevention and purification, waste management and climate change, among others. Along with bringing latest technologies and best practices suited for bringing about better environmental protection, the agreement will also include cooperation in promoting circular economy, low-carbon solutions, sustainable management of natural resources, conservation of marine and coastal resources and integrated water management.
Cidco opens sluice gates on Panje coast in Navi Mumbai, following court's orders
Following the petition to save mangroves in Maharashtra, the wetlands committee appointed by the Bombay High Court has decided to allow inter-tidal seawater to enter the mangroves at Panje. Cidco, along with other industrial units, had installed sluice gates which were blocking seawater from entering mangroves in Uran. However, after the court's orders, all 76 sluice gates have been opened.
This is a roundup of important policy matters from October 10 - 15, 2018. Also, read news this week.