Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan is now Swachh Bharat Mission

Policy matters this week
A toilet constructed under Parishudh initiative A toilet constructed under Parishudh initiative

Centre approves reconstituting the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan into Swachh Bharat Mission

The Centre has given its nod for the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan to be restructured into the Swachh Bharat Mission. The latter will have two sub-missions: Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) and Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban). The Swachh Bharat Mission for Urban Areas, worth Rs 62,009 crore, is proposed to be implemented in 4041 towns over a period of 5 years. The focus of the scheme is to bring a change in behaviour towards the use of toilets and end open defecation and manual scavenging. 

Telangana initiates restoration of 45,300 minor tanks in the state

The Telangana Government has initiated a mega project to restore 45,300 minor tanks in the next five years. The project, worth Rs 22,000 crore, aims to restore 9,000 tanks each year, in order to provide irrigation water to farmers. The project will involve the desilting  and widening of tanks, removal of trees and water hyacinth and diverting the residue soil after desiltation to the farmers' field. 

SC cancels 214 coal blocks allotted since 1993

Out of the 218 coal blocks allocated between 1993 and 2010, the Supreme Court has cancelled the allotment of 214 blocks. In its earlier decision on August 25, the Court had declared these blocks as illegal as the Centre had allotted them in an “ad hoc and casual” manner. Now, the Court has asked the operational coal blocks, barring the exempted ones, to wind up production by 2015 and to pay a fine of Rs 295 per tonne of coal mined since they started producing.

A blanket approval to the master plans of major ports soon!

The Environment Ministry is mulling plans to give a blanket approval to the master plans of major ports. This will replace the existing procedure of clearing individual projects and would also avoid delay in the implementation of expansion work. Therefore, as per the proposed norms, the country's 12 government-owned major ports will have to provide detailed plans of expansion work along with their 'time-phasing' to the Environment Ministry and any change in their master plan will not require further clearance.

Kasturirangan Committee report on Western Ghats gets the final favor

The National Green Tribunal has given its final approval to the Kasturirangan Committee report on environmental protection of the Western Ghats while rejecting the Madhav Gadgil report. The Tribunal has asked the Environment Ministry to issue the final noitification and has denied issuance of any fresh clearance till the final draft is submitted. The Tribunal has also asked that eco-fragile areas that might have been left out in the draft notification be considered.

This is a weekly roundup of policy matters from September 22-28, 2014. Also read last week's news roundup.

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