Wildlife clearance granted to Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed train corridor
The committee led by Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan has granted wildlife clearance to the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed train corridor. The project clearance has been given to divert around 216 hectares of land from in and around Creek Flamingo Wildlife Sanctuary (CFWS) in Thane, Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) in Borivali and Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary (TWLS) in Vasai for the project. The State Board for Wildlife, however, has recommended several conditions and measures to mitigate the harm done by the project. In Gujarat, farmers from 29 villages have staged a protest against the bullet train project as it is going to disturb the green zone.
Environment ministry grants forest clearance to Adani's coal mines in 'no-go' zone in Chhattisgarh
The Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) of the environment ministry has granted stage-1 preliminary forest clearance to Adani's Parsa opencast coal mine in the forested Surguja and Surajpur districts of Chhattisgarh. The mine falls in one of the stretches of Hasdeo Arand, which was categorised as a 'no-go' area for mining in 2009 because of its rich forest cover. As per the activists, the entire area that is proposed to be opened up to mining is a pristine forest area and an important elephant corridor. Moreover, the project has been granted in-principle approval for mining without the completion of several legal requirements.
Chhattisgarh allowed Mohar Reservoir Project without green clearance: CAG
As per the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report, the Chhattisgarh Water Resources Department (CWRD) commenced the work on Mohar Reservoir Project in Balod district without ensuring proper land acquisition or obtaining environment and forest clearances. The CWRD had entrusted the task of preparing the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report and Environment Management Plan (EMP) to the same contractor who was to execute the construction work. Moreover, the department did not draw any programme to acquire the land required for the project. The non-compliance has led to an unfruitful expenditure of Rs 9.28 crore in the Rs 228.23 crore project.
HC seeks report on utility of check dams in Rajasthan
Expressing concern over the reservoirs turning dry in the state, the Rajasthan high court has ordered the government to conduct a survey on the utility of the check dams constructed on the catchment areas. The decision has come following a petition filed regarding the revival of Ramgarh dam which was once the lifeline of Jaipur. Nearly 400 check dams were constructed in the upstream of Ramgarh dam which is being attributed to the slow death of the dam. In 2012, the high court gave several directions against the obstruction of flow to the dam but lack of coordination among various departments led to non-compliance of the court's order.
Andhra government approves extension of SS Link Canal worth Rs 292 crore
The Andhra government has given the go-ahead to extend Somasila-Swarnamukhi Link Canal (SSLC) to utilise Krishna water under the Galeru Nagari Sujala Sravanthi (GNSS) project. The project aims to augment drinking water supply to Tirupati and will also provide irrigation facility to about 50,000 acres under the GNSS project. The extension of SSLC is an alternative to the GNSS project which hit a roadblock in Koduru area due to the hostile terrain including dense forests where many wildlife sanctuaries are located. The project envisages pumping water from Kandaleru dam into the SSLC at Arithpadu from where the water will be carried to the reservoir at Merlapaka.
This is a roundup of important policy matters from February 5 -12, 2019. Also, read news this week.