NGT cancels MoEF's go ahead to 10 irrigation projects
The National Green Tribunal has cancelled the Office Memoranda issued by the Environment Ministry to 10 irrigation projects in Maharashtra and Karnataka. The Ministry had considered these project proposals for ToRs (Terms of Reference)/ environment clearance/ coastal regulation zone clearance despite violations of environmental laws. The NGT judgement is a welcome move for environmentalists and has come following two combined petitions filed by Manoj Mishra of the Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan and Muthuraman, resident of Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu.
No green clearance needed for Statue of Unity: Gujarat Govt to NGT
After being challenged by environmentalists for not getting clearance for the Statue of Unity coming up in the Narmada district, the project proponent, Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited (SSNVL), has defended its stand by saying that the State Authority has already been consulted which said that no green clearance is required for the project. While the Maharashtra Government has already applied for green clearance for the statue of Shivaji, SSNVL says that the two projects are quite different and cannot be compared. Environmentalists have claimed that the Statue of Unity falls in an earthquake-prone zone and is also near the Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary.
Fine on Delhi's Akshardham temple management for taking up expansion work
The National Green Tribunal has imposed a fine on the Akshardham temple management for carrying out expansion without getting prior green nod. The committee on Yamuna revitalization has also been asked to check whether the expanded portion fell on the river's floodplains. The construction of the expansion complex is alleged to have been initiated in 2011 while the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority granted it clearance in July 2013. The NGT has imposed a fine of 5% of the total cost incurred in the expansion complex.
Delhi leads in builing public toilets
Per the Urban Development Ministry, Delhi has constructed 5,776 community and public toilets, the highest number in urban areas under the Swachh Bharat Mission, followed by Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra. Chhattisgarh has built 3,570 toilets while Maharashtra has constructed 2,520. In the individual household category, Gujarat has topped the list.
World Bank ranks MGNREGA as world's largest public works programme
By providing a social security net to almost 15% of the country's population, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Gurantee Act (MGNREGA), has been ranked as the world's largest public works programme by the World Bank in its report titled, 'The State of Social Safety Nets 2015'. The Report has also appreciated several other Indian programmes in the education and health sectors. The report stressed the need to invest more in the social safety net programmes as they are transformational in nature.
This is a roundup of important policy matters from July 7 - 12, 2015. Also read last week's news updates.
Lead image source: Nvvchar via Wikipedia