NGT prohibits commercial extraction of groundwater in Maharashtra

Policy matters this week: NGT restricts extraction of groundwater in Maharashtra; Centre OKs Polavaram Project Authority appointment; Delhi govt holds authorities accountable prior to the monsoon.
Groundwater extraction (Source: Karuna Society) Groundwater extraction (Source: Karuna Society)

NGT prohibits groundwater extraction in Maharashtra's 12 districts

Owing to the high levels of fluoride present in the groundwater of the 12 districts in Maharashtra, the National Green Tribunal has passed an order that prohibits the unauthorised extraction of the resource for commercial use by dealers and businesses dealing in packaged water. Earlier the Tribunal had issued notices to the Collector of these districts over rampant and illegal digging of borewells in these already water-scarce areas.

Green signal to Polavaram Project Authority

The Central Government has cleared a proposal to appoint the Polavaram Project Authority for the execution of the Polavaram Irrigation Project, under section 90 of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014. The Authority will be responsible to clear apprehensions about the project with the successor states, Telangana and Seemandhra as well as other riparian states. It will also have to get the requisite clearances to fast-track the execution of the project while taking into consideration the environment safety of the region and the rehabilitation of the displaced.

Delhi Government holds authorities accountable prior to the monsoon

The Delhi government is all set to penalise officials and engineers and hold them responsible for water logging in their respective areas during the monsoon. Delhi has 153 water logging points which bring the capital to a standstill during rains and lead to traffic jams and flooding in some areas. Also, the Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited has started cleaning and desilting industrial areas of the city as part of its summer action plan.

HC orders NEERI to resubmit Panchaganga river pollution report

A petitioner has claimed that the study report prepared by the National Environment Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) on the causes and mitigation measures for the Panchganga river pollution is based on wrong data. Following this, the Bombay High Court has directed NEERI to resubmit the report after including the recommendations from the petitioner along with the Action Plan to be taken up by the Kolhapur and Ichalkaranji civic bodies to combat the pollution in the river.

NHRC wraps up Odisha Government over contaminated water

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has ordered the State's Drinking Water and Sanitation Department to submit the report on water quality of Talapada village in Mayurbhanj district before the end of May. The Order has been passed as 43 people fell ill in the village after drinking water from a tank, that is alleged to have been contaminated with pesticides. While investigating, the Authorities found a bottle of pesticide in the tank for which the NHRC has demanded an Action Taken Report.

This is a weekly roundup of policy matters from April 28-May 3, 2014. Also read last week's news roundup.

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