NRDWP to get restructured

Policy matters this week
A child drinks water from a hand pump in Madhya Pradesh. (Source: IWP Flickr Photos) A child drinks water from a hand pump in Madhya Pradesh. (Source: IWP Flickr Photos)

Restructuring of National Rural Drinking Water Programme approved

The union cabinet has approved the continuation and restructuring of the National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP). The aim of the move is to make the programme outcome-based, competitive and better monitored with an increased focus on sustainability of schemes to ensure good quality service delivery to the rural population. A total of Rs 23,050 crore has been sanctioned for the programme for the period 2017-18 to 2019-20. The programme will cover all the rural population across the country. 

MoEF&CC recommends streamlining the environment clearance 

Based on the audit report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in 2016 that highlighted gaps in the environmental clearance and monitoring process, the environment ministry has come up with recommendations to improve the mechanism. The recommendations call for regular revalidation of data, maintaining clear activities and accounts, providing clarity in clearance conditions and ensuring that the EIA reports are written as per the terms of reference of the environment clearance. 

Rules framed for imposing penalties on projects violating Forest Conservation Act

The forest advisory committee of the environment ministry has introduced new guidelines for imposing penalties on projects that have been initiated without receiving the forest clearance and the ones that violate the Forest Conservation Act. The new guidelines have given powers to the state governments to take disciplinary action against officials for not preventing such violations. As per experts, however, the guidelines are short-sighted and not comprehensive enough. 

Rs 6,000 crore scheme announced for improving irrigation and water accessibility

The minister for Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation Nitin Gadkari has announced that his ministry has sent a proposal of a project worth Rs 6,000 crore to the World Bank for improving the irrigation facilities and water accessibility capacity in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat. He has said that the scheme will start soon and will also benefit Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan. He has also promised to complete the 35-year-old Gosikhurd project in Vidarbha by 2019 and announced the Rs 25,000-crore-worth Daman Ganga-Pinjar river connectivity project. 

Telangana's Kaleshwaram project runs into trouble

The Rs 80,500 crore Kaleshwaram project, jointly implemented by Maharashtra and Telangana, is facing many hurdles due to land acquisition and charges of cost escalation. Following a petition, the National Green Tribunal has stayed the project. The state, however, has challenged the order in high court and the judgment is expected in a few days. The project received its hydrology and forest clearances only a week back. 

This is a roundup of important policy matters from November 8 - 13, 2017. Also, read the news this week.


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