Next phase of Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban to focus on water treatment

Policy matters this week
Next phase of Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban to focus on water treatment (Image source: India Water Portal) Next phase of Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban to focus on water treatment (Image source: India Water Portal)

Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban: Next phase to focus on water treatment and toilet waste disposal

According to the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs, the Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban (SBM-U) has made significant progress in both sanitation and solid waste management. Since its launch in 2014, 4324 urban local bodies have been declared Open Defecation Free as more than 66 lakhs individual household toilets and over 6 lakhs community/ public toilets have been built. Moreover, in the area of solid waste management, 96 per cent of wards have complete door-to door collection while 66 per cent of the total waste generated is being processed. Now, for the next phase of the mission, the government aims to ensure safe containment, transportation, disposal of faecal sludge, and septage from toilets. (The Financial Express)

Centre plans to launch 1000 springs initiative to make water accessible to tribals

With an aim to restore dried up streams to make safe and adequate water accessible to the tribal population, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs is planning to launch ‘1000 springs initiative’ in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. In the first phase of this community-led initiative, mapping of the springs that have dried up will be done. Tribal youth will be equipped with traditional and scientific knowledge to identify and map springs. The project will be a joint initiative with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) which will be providing localised solutions to meet the water supply needs in remote areas where piped water supply remains a challenge. (The New Indian Express)

UP-Israel signs an MoU to manage water resources

With an aim to bring water security in the water-deficient Bundelkhand region, the Uttar Pradesh government has signed an agreement with Israel to implement its model of water management. The joint project also called as the India-Israel Bundelkhand water project will focus on integrated drip irrigation, reclamation of reservoirs, augmentation of aquifer recharge, rainwater harvesting and advanced agriculture solutions. The flagship project is an example of the multifaceted partnership between the two countries, where Israel is eager to share its most advanced, innovative and cutting-edge water technologies with the Uttar Pradesh government. (The Times of India)

Centre reprimands Gujarat government over inordinate delay of Tapi and Sabarmati rivers

The Union Jal Shakti Ministry has pulled up the Gujarat government over inordinate delay in completion of pollution control works of Tapi and Sabarmati rivers in the state. As part of the National River Conservation Plan, the Centre has sanctioned funds for tackling pollution in the two rivers. While Rs 444 crore have been sanctioned for Sabarmati river clean-up in 2014, the project work on the river is yet to be completed six years after the funds were approved. Similarly, 971.25 crore were sanctioned for Tapi river clean-up and its first installment of Rs 13 crore was released in March 2019, but there has been practically no progress on ground till date in the project. (The Indian Express)

Maharashtra government proposes to designate Mayani Lake cluster as a conservation reserve

The Maharashtra forest department has proposed to identify the Mayani Lake cluster in Satara district as a conservation reserve, which is a protected area and acts as a buffer zone or migration corridor between established national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, reserved and protected forests. The cluster which includes four water bodies and forest patches that spreads across 996.16 hectares (ha) is home to a wide variety of migratory and resident birds of 57 species, including the greater flamingoes and lesser flamingoes, endangered Steppe eagle. As per the officials, the proposal has been mooted after the residents of four villages in the vicinity of the proposed reserve gave their consent for it. (Hindustan Times)

This is a roundup of important policy matters from August 10 - 23, 2020. Also, read news this week.

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