New guidelines for industries on groundwater use?

Policy matters this week
A well in Rajasthan (Source: IWP Flickr photos) A well in Rajasthan (Source: IWP Flickr photos)

New guidelines proposed by the Centre on groundwater usage by industries

The water ministry has proposed new guidelines for groundwater use according to which industries, mining and infrastructure dewatering projects—whether existing or new— will need to obtain a no-objection certificate (NOC) for extracting groundwater. The draft rules also propose to levy a new water conservation fee based on the quantum of groundwater extracted. The objective of the new guidelines is to manage groundwater properly. As per experts, however, the proposed guidelines will seriously dilute the present rules and don't seem to have any scientific basis.  

States allowed to lay water and optical fibre lines in forests

The National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) has delegated powers to the chief wildlife wardens of all states to grant permission in their respective forest spheres for laying water and optical fibre lines. The move has been made to reduce delays in projects such as drinking water supply, particularly in water scarce areas. However, similar projects going through national parks, sanctuaries and tiger reserves would need clearance from the state board of wildlife which will then send the details of clearance to the NBWL.

NHRC notice to Maharashtra government over farmers' death due to pesticide poisoning

Following the death of 18 farmers in Maharashtra’s Yavatmal district from inhaling pesticides, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has sent notices to the state government and the agriculture ministry. As per the NHRC, most farmers in the country are not literate about the safe use of agricultural products and it is the duty of government agencies to make them aware of the right method of spraying pesticides. The commission has also ordered the state government to provide free treatment to those farmers still suffering from the infection.

NGT gets strict with Delhi government over rainwater harvesting

Once again the Delhi government has been rapped by the National Green Tribunal for not filing a status report on rainwater harvesting systems installed at government buildings, bridges and flyovers and whether they are functional or not. The NGT has said this was the last warning granted to the state government and in case of non-compliance of tribunal's orders, the secretary concerned would be summoned. A week's time has been given to the Delhi government to file the status report. 

Ganga revival: NGT seeks status report

The National Green Tribunal has sought status report of compliance steps taken towards the revival of the Ganga river stretch between Gomukh and Unnao from the Centre as well as the Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand governments. A few months ago, the green panel had passed several directions for Ganga clean up which included declaring an area of 100 metres from the edge of the river between Haridwar and Unnao as a ‘no development zone’ and prohibiting dumping of waste within 500 metres from the river. The tribunal has also sought the course of action proposed in relation to phase-II from Kanpur to the UP border.  

This is a roundup of important policy matters from October 10 - 17, 2017. Also, read the news this week.

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