NGT to hear petition on Ganga revival on a day-to-day basis
The National Green Tribunal has decided to hear a petition filed in 1985 on the Ganga river clean-up on a day-to-day basis from February 6. The decision has been taken following the transfer of matter concerning the discharge of domestic sewage and other sources of pollution in the Ganga to the NGT by the Supreme Court. The tribunal has already been hearing complaints related to municipal solid waste and industrial waste since 2014. Along with this, the tribunal has also sought stakeholders' response on the possibility to intercept drains discharging the sewage into the Ganga river.
Paid Rs 450 crore for Renuka dam land acquisition: Centre to SC
The Centre has confirmed to the Supreme Court that it has paid Rs 450 crore to the Himachal Pradesh government as reimbursement for the land acquisition for the Renuka dam which amounts to Rs 5,242 crore. The confirmation has come after the Himachal Pradesh government had approached the SC for not being able to pay further compensation to the Renuka dam oustees as per the order of the high court. The Centre has now sought disposal of the state government’s appeal as the compensation amount has been reimbursed.
CWC enhances support towards its dam rehabilitation efforts
The Central Water Commission (CWC) has signed two separate MoUs with IIT Madras and IIS Bengaluru for enhancing their capability to support dam rehabilitation efforts for the World Bank assisted Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP). The MoUs include strengthening the testing laboratories, enhancing analytical capabilities, exposure visits to best global institutions and on ground exposure to dam safety concerns of these institutions. DRIP is assisting rehabilitation of 250 dams in seven states which are experiencing different levels of distress.
Odisha government rejects Mahanadi’s negotiation committee
Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik has informed prime minister Narendra Modi that its government has rejected the Centre’s negotiation committee on the Mahanadi river water dispute with Chhattisgarh. Along with this, the minister has also sought constitution of a tribunal to resolve the water dispute between the two states. According to Patnaik, “the outcome from a committee with representatives from states who have no real stakes will lack focus and unnecessarily delay the whole process”.
Centre allows NABARD to raise Rs 20,000 crore for short-term crop loans
To give a boost to the agriculture sector, the government has allowed the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) to raise Rs 20,000 crore for short-term crop loans to farmers at lower rates. The NABARD will be raising these funds at the prevailing market rate. Also, the funds will be used for on-lending to cooperative banks at an interest of 4.5 percent. Along with this, the Centre has also given its post-facto approval for the allocation of additional capital of Rs 2,000 crore to the NABARD for this purpose.
This is a roundup of important policy matters from January 23 - 30, 2017. Also, read the news this week.