New categorisation of industries
Based on the Pollution Index, the Environment Ministry has released a new criteria for categorisation of industrial sectors. The Pollution Index is a function of the emissions (air pollutants), effluents (water pollutants), hazardous waste generated and consumption of resources. The four categories created are coded 'Red', 'Orange', 'Green', and the newly introduced 'White' which are for practically non-polluting industries. The purpose of the categorisation is to ensure that the industry is established in a manner which is consistent with environmental objectives.
168% increase in budget allocation to Water Ministry
A sum of Rs 12,517 crore in the Union Budget 2016-17 has been allocated to the Ministry of Water Resources. This is an increase of more than 168% from the previous year. Along with this, another Rs 6,000 crore has been allocated to National Groundwater Management Improvement Project (NGWMIP), which is proposed to support sustainable groundwater resource management and the creation of an environment for reforms. Also, there are plans to complete mapping aquifers for the entire country by 2022. However, per experts, the Fisheries Sector has been missed out in the budget this year.
Yet again Ken-Betwa riverlink project gets delayed
The Expert Panel of the Environment Ministry has questioned the Madhya Pradesh Government's decision to give a nod to the Ken-Betwa riverlinking project, despite the apprehension shown by senior wildlife officers. R Sreenivas Murthy, the former director of the Panna Tiger Reserve, was transferred to Kuno wildlife sanctuary soon after he opposed the river link. The Committee has now decided to take a call at granting environment clearance to the project only after the Centre has considered it for final wildlife clearance.
Telangana-Maharashtra to sign MoU for irrigation projects
The two States have decided to enter into fresh agreements for the construction of inter-state irrigation projects across the Godavari, Pranahita and Penganga rivers. Both the States will benefit from this agreement, especially Telangana, as the Maharashtra Government has agreed to allow the former take up projects on the Godavari and its tributaries on the condition of no or minimal submergence in the latter State. The projects to be taken up under the agreement are Kaleswaram, Lower Penganga and Lendi irrigation schemes.
Green nod to Kiru hydel project worth Rs 4,641 crore
The Expert Panel of the Environment Ministry has given its nod to the 623 MW Kiru Hydroelectric Project to be developed on the Chenab river in Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir. The project, worth Rs 4,641 crore, will be developed by Chenab Valley Power Projects Pvt Ltd, a joint venture between NHPC, J&K State Power Development Corporation and Power Trading Corporation of India. The project envisages the construction of a 123 metre high concrete gravity dam across the Chenab with four intakes, four pressure shafts, and an underground powerhouse of four units of 156 MW each.
This is a roundup of important policy matters from March 1 - 7, 2016. Also read last week's news roundup.