National Watershed Management Project gets a go ahead

Cabinet approves the National Watershed Management Project, worth Rs.2,142 crore

Government has given a go ahead to the National Watershed Management Project, also termed as Neeranchal, to ensure access to irrigation for every farm as well as efficient water use. The total cost of the project is Rs 2,142 crore, of which 50% will be borne by the Government while the rest will be funded by the World Bank. Initially, the project will be implemented in nine states including Andhra, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan and Telangana.

NGT gets strict with Centre over Ganga pollution

Unhappy with the Centre and States' failure to act against the polluting industries along the Ganga, the National Green Tribunal has wrapped the Government regarding the Ganga's status, which has gone from bad to worse despite huge expenditure towards its clean up. However, earlier in the week NGT had applauded the Centre for its Swachh Bharat Mission and the National Mission for Clean Ganga. Along with this, NGT also came up with a stage-wise plan to restore the river, following an order from the Supreme Court. 

MoEFCC issues draft of the Environment Laws (Amendment) Act, 2015

Per the draft amendments issued by the Environment Ministry, 'anyone causing substantial damage to the environment within an area not exceeding five kilometers radial distance from the project's outer boundary shall be liable to a penalty of not less than Rs 5 crore and the penalty may increase to Rs 10 crore incase the damage continues'. Also, the draft has made provisions to appoint an adjudicating authority for assessing the environmental damage caused by industries. Along with this, the industries would be allowed to approach NGT to challenge penalities after they have payed 75% of the fine.

Andhra asked to prepare the DPR of Krishna-Pennar-Cauvery river linking

Post the success of the Krishna-Godavari river link, the Water Ministry has asked the Andhra Pradesh Irrigation Authorites to prepare a detailed project report (DPR) of the Krishna-Pennar-Cauvery river linking. The link comprises two stages and envisages connecting the Krishna with the Pennar in the first stage followed by the Pennar- Cauvery link in the second. Although the project involves several states, Andhra has been given the responsibility to prepare the DPR as the State had completed the Krishna-Godavari link in record time.

Maharashtra gears up to the Jalyukta Shivar-II

After succeeding in the first phase of the Jalyukta Shivar project, the Maharashtra Government is planning to irrigate 25 lakh hectares in the next five year by spending Rs 10,000 crore. In the first phase of the ambitious project that focuses on small water conservation works, 6 lakh hectares of area was benefitted across 6,018 villages in the State. The Chief Minister has give the motto 'minimum budget, maximum water' to the project.

This is a roundup of important policy matters from September  October 6 - 12, 2015. Also read last week's news updates.