New CGWA guidelines mandate NOC for industries to extract groundwater

Policy matters this week
Groundwater, a scarce resource (Source: IWP Flickr Photos) Groundwater, a scarce resource (Source: IWP Flickr Photos)

Industries can extract groundwater only after obtaining a NOC: CGWA

Per the revised guidelines of the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA), all industries extracting groundwater will need to obtain a no-objection certificate (NOC) to draw groundwater. If enforced, the new guidelines will impact water-intensive industries, and will also bring industries dependent on groundwater in severely parched parts of UP, Haryana, Rajasthan and other states under the CGWA scanner. However, experts are happy with the move and are hoping that the guidelines are strictly enforced.

State Governments claim on complete rehabilitation of Sardar Sarovar outsees is false: Panel

Per the findings of the panel of four retired judges, the claims made by the Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat governments about the complete rehabilitation of the Sardar Sarovar project affected people is false. At least 33 villages in Maharashtra and 193 villages and a town in MP were yet to be completely rehabilitated. Moreover, the findings reveal that 15,000 families to be affected by increased height of project are not even recognised. Along with this, notice has been issued to MP authorities for granting 22 mining leases in the Sardar Sarovar project area.

NGT seeks Centre, States response on minimum flow in rivers

The National Green Tribunal has asked the Environment Ministry, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Pollution Control Boards of all states to submit their stand on maintaining the minimum necessary downstream flow in the rivers to ensure that there is no damage to the aquatic ecology. These Authorities have been ordered to submit their replies by December 14. The order has come following a petition made to maintain a minimum of 15% flow in the rivers downstream of hydroelectric projects across India.

"Why has the Centre and States failed to identify and protect wetlands?", asks NGT

The National Green Tribunal has sought the response of the Environment Ministry on identifying and protecting wetlands across the country. All the States have also been asked to implead as parties in the matter. The order has come following a petition that alleged that the States and the Centre have failed to identify wetlands as per the Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules 2010 within six months. Also, the petitioner has asserted that the Environment Ministry has not taken necessary steps to protect and save wetlands, and thereby increased the risk of losing them.

Tribal resistance becomes a hurdle to bauxite mining in the Eastern Ghats

Owing to opposition from tribal groups, the Andhra Pradesh Government has decided to put on hold a bauxite mining project in the Eastern Ghats. Earlier this month, the State Forest Department had given a go ahead to divert 1,212 hectares of forest land in Narsipatnam Forest Division in Visakhapatnam district to mine bauxite. All the bauxite deposits fall in tribal areas protected by the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution.

This is a roundup of important policy matters from November 17 - 23, 2015. Also read last week's news roundup


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