NGT takes notice of waste dumping in Assam's Deepor Beel
The National Green Tribunal has ordered the Assam Government to submit a status report of the Deepor Beel, which is a large natural wetland and a Ramsar site. In its order, the NGT has also asked the State Government to present a detailed report on whether illegal dumping of garbage was taking place at Deepor Beel and if there were any construction activites going on near the wetland, which is home to many migratory birds. The order has come following an application filed that alleges unrestricted and unregulated illegal dumping of garbage on the wetland.
Adani's power project in Gondia to come up at the cost of 148.59 hectares of forest land
The Maharashtra Government has okayed the diversion of 148.59 hectares of forest land in Gondia district for the construction of the Adani Group's propsed coal-based thermal power plant. The project received final clearance on August 29, 2014, and the Adani Group has been asked to comply to 17 conditions. The company has paid the State Government for compensatory afforestation but as per a certificate issued by the Collector of Gondia in 2008, there is no alternative non-forest land available for the purpose.
Centre to install 20,000 solar water pumps for tribals in India
The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation has targeted installing 20,000 solar power-based pumping systems in tribal and inaccessible hamlets/ habitations in 2014-15 with an aim to provide potable piped water in these areas. It has been decided that 2,000 pumping systems each will be installed in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha and Rajasthan, and 1500 each in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, and 1000 each in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Telangana. Each system can cater to the drinking water needs of 250 persons and will cost nearly Rs 4.9 lakh, which excludes the cost of borewell installation and water treatment.
Probe against Naveen Jindal for mining in Saranda forests initiated
The Central Bureau of Investigation has initiated a probe against Naveen Jindal's company, which had got consent for mining iron in Jharkhand's Saranda area from the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change under Jayanti Natarajan in 2013. The granting of approval was also opposed by Jairam Ramesh, the then Minister of Rural Development. Saranda is Asia's largest sal forest and is also a part of the core area of the Singhbum reserve which is one of the finest habitats for elephants.
Centre plans to appoint a Special Purpose Vehicle for linking Ken-Betwa rivers
Centre considers appointing a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for implementation of the Ken-Betwa river interlinking project, similar to the Polavaram Project Authority. The Ken-Betwa river link is the first interlinking project to be taken up under the NDA Government. Both Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh Governments involved in the project, have also given their consent for the creation of a SPV.
This is a weekly roundup of policy matters from October 21-27, 2014. Also read last week's news roundup.