CWC allows preparation of DPR while TN objects to the Mekedatu project on the Cauvery river
The Central Water Commission (CWC) has given a go-ahead to the Karnataka government to prepare a detailed project report on the construction of a reservoir on the Cauvery river near Mekedatu. The Tamil Nadu government, however, has objected to it and has requested the Centre to order the CWC to withdraw its permission. As per the state, the decision has caused apprehension among the people in Tamil Nadu as the project will pose danger to the livelihood of farmers who depend on Cauvery water. The state is also fearful of violation of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal Award by Karnataka.
Delhi Jal Board reprimanded for failure to utilise treated wastewater and drain mess in west Delhi
The National Green Tribunal has ordered the Delhi Chief Secretary and the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) to deposit Rs one crore each with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) for failing to utilise the treated wastewater in the capital. The tribunal has sought a concrete action plan within a month and in case of failure to furnish the plan with the deadline, both Delhi Chief Secretary and DJB would be liable to pay Rs two crore each. The NGT has also ordered the DJB to deposit a sum of Rs 5 crore as performance security for improving the sewerage network of Inderpuri in west Delhi. The drain, which was supposed to carry only stormwater in the rainy season, has turned into a cesspool of sewage.
Panel calls closure of Sterlite plant unjustified
The panel appointed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to probe the shutting of the Sterlite copper smelter in Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu has called the closure of the unit as not justified and against the natural justice. As per the panel, the state government carried out the shutting without giving any notice to the smelter plant. The plant was also not given an opportunity to present its side. The panel has sought responses from both Vedanta and state government within a week and posted the case for December 7 for further hearing. In May this year, following a violent protest from the public, the Tamil Nadu government issued closure notice to the Sterlite plant for polluting water and air in the area.
Public hearing ordered for Polavaram project
The Supreme Court has ordered the Centre to conduct a public hearing with the affected people of the Polavaram dam project in Odisha and Chhattisgarh. As per the court, the project-affected people have the right to know what is happening with the project and through the public hearing, they could discuss issues pertaining to submergence of their land, compensation, and rehabilitation. The court has also sought details of the public hearing, including the government agency that would hold the hearing. However, a petition filed in the court has demanded a new environmental clearance as there is a change in the dam design.
J&K government asked to dismantle toilets close to water bodies
Following the report prepared by the member-secretary of the State Pollution Control Board, the Jammu Kashmir high court has ordered the authorities to dismantle toilets in close proximity to water bodies forthwith. As per the report, the faecal waste from the toilets pollutes the water bodies making them unfit for even bathing. These water bodies have also become carriers of water-borne diseases. The court has now directed the authorities to come up with an action plan as well as a timeline for the construction of fresh public toilets at places which are not close to water bodies and have been approved by experts.
This is a roundup of important policy matters from November 26 - December 3, 2018. Also, read news this week.