Government announces launch of Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana
The Centre has announced a new scheme to safeguard health, environment and economic conditions of tribals living in mining areas. The aim of the Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana is to minimise or mitigate the adverse impacts during and after mining by implementing various developmental and welfare projects in mining-affected areas. Under the scheme, the Government plans to spend nearly Rs. 6,000 crore each year for the development of these regions. This special fund will be taken from the mining companies as an additional royalty on minerals.
Government issues draft notification on new sand mining policy
The Centre has come up with a draft notification for a new sand and minor mineral mining policy to keep a check on illegal mining and bring transparency to the sector. The draft notification has been uploaded on the Government website for comments. Besides this, the National Green Tribunal has ordered the Environment Ministry to not give environmental clearance for sand mining in the rivers of north India till September 1 each year, and not during the rainy season.
MP Government gives nod to Ken-Betwa river link
The Madhya Pradesh Government has given clearance to the Ken-Betwa project, which was deferred by the Central Government a few days ago. The project has also been approved by the State Wildlife Advisory Board and has been forwarded to the National Wildlife Board for further clearance. While asserting the importance of the Ken-Betwa link for the Bundelkhand region, the State Government has assured that all possible efforts will be taken to protect the wildlife.
Mumbai's slum dwellers allowed to have their own toilets
To eliminate open defecation, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has allowed the residents of 740 slums in the city to construct toilets in their homes, something that was illegal until now. The decision has been taken in order to link the 60 lakh slum dwellers who have no access to sanitation, to the city's sewerage network. Also, BMC has proposed to link the new toilets to the sewerage pipes with plumbing lines or construct septic tanks where the locality is too congested. Along with this, the Corporation has also proposed the provision of water connections to the slum dwellers at the rate of Rs 4.32 per 1,000 litres of water supplied.
NGT fines Delhi Metro for violating groundwater rules
The National Green Tribunal has imposed a fine of Rs 2.5 lakh on the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) for flouting norms. DMRC had been using groundwater ilegally for construction purposes without taking proper steps to check dust pollution leaving debris at five of its construction sites in the city. However, per the latter's claims, barricades have been put and all the construction materials are kept within the barricaded area only.
States agree to the green construction norms for urban areas
The Ministry of Urban Development had organised a workshop on 'Climate Change Mitigation in Urban Sector' last week in New Delhi to sensitise the States and other stakeholders to the need for green construction. The 'Environmental Guidelines for Buildings' were presented during the workshop that had about 30 parameters to be complied with for efficient management of energy, water, land, solid waste, air quality and noise levels during pre-construction, construction and post construction period. A broad consensus has emerged for the proposed guidelines and the States have agreed to ensure compliance to these guidelines.
This is a roundup of important policy matters from September 22 - 28, 2015. Also read last week's news updates.