NGT takes a stand on Deepor Beel
During the hearing of a petition filed by Right to Information activist Rohit Choudhury on Deepor Beel, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has remarked that the earth is not for humans alone and that all creatures, including wildlife, have a right over it. The tribunal observed that the railways had not reduced the speed of trains passing through the area and had also not synchronised the timing of the trains at the level crossings. Further, the NGT took to notice the shifting of the municipal solid waste plant at the Beel which is causing a huge trash dump near it. The Assam government has been ordered to identify an alternative place for the plant, else it would be directed for a shut down in addition to the imposition of exemplary penalty.
SC stays order directing tribal eviction
The Supreme Court has stayed its February 13 order that directed eviction of lakhs of scheduled tribes and other traditional forest dwellers whose claims for forest land rights have been rejected under the Forest Rights Act (FRA) of 2006. The apex court has taken into consideration the need to further delve into the matter and ascertain whether the gram sabhas and state level authorities under the FRA followed due process before the claims of the tribals were finally rejected. The court has given the states four months time to file affidavit to show that the process of verification of claims and rejections was fair.
SC reprimands Haryana for allowing construction in Aravallis
The Supreme Court has come down heavily on the Haryana government for passing the Punjab Land Preservation (Haryana Amendment) Bill, 2019, despite being told by the court not to do so. The passing of the amendment act has opened up thousands of acres of land in Aravalli hills to real estate and other non-forest activity that were protected under it for over a century. The court has now ordered the state not to take any further action on the law allowing construction in Aravalli area.
Bombay high court holds release of water for 2015 Kumbh Mela illegal
Setting aside Maharashtra chief secretary's January 2016 order, the Bombay high court has held that the water released for holy baths during Kumbh Mela 2015 from Godavari river was illegal. The court has also directed the state to amend its resolutions regarding the Jalyukta Shivar Abhiyan (JSA) and River Rejuvenation Programme using a scientific approach. The court has asked the state to consider recommendations of the expert committee which was formed to look into the matter and take a decision on its implementation.
Haryana approves Rs 3324 crore for irrigation, water resources
In its budget, the Haryana government has allocated Rs 3324 crore for irrigation and water resources in 2019-20. The allocation, which is a 6.2 percent increase over revised estimates of 2018-19, has taken a number of policy initiatives to realise the vision of Har Khet Ko Pani. The state government has taken a slew of measures to improve the water resources in the state. It has also allocated Rs 100 crore to construct the Sutlej-Yamuna link canal in order to get the state's share of water of Ravi-Beas river.
This is a roundup of important policy matters from February 28 - March 5, 2019. Also, read news this week.