MoRD asks states to focus on water conservation and harvesting in MGNREGA to help achieve Jal Jeevan Mission targets

Policy matters this week
Mahadayi river in Goa (Source: Amol.Gaitonde via Wikimedia commons) Mahadayi river in Goa (Source: Amol.Gaitonde via Wikimedia commons)

Focus on water conservation in MGNREGA: Rural Development ministry to states

The Ministry of Rural Development has asked states to give special focus to works related to water harvesting and water conservation, including river rejuvenation while preparing the MGNREGA labour budget for the 2020-21 financial year. The advisory is in view of the government's ambitious target to provide tap water connections to all rural households by 2024. The government will be giving special emphasis to water conservation in 2,129 identified rural blocks, 1,593 of which are water-stressed by spending maximum amount of labour budget on management of natural resources, including water conservation. (The Indian Express)

Atal Bhujal Yojana likely to be approved soon

In June 2018, the World Bank approved the Atal Bhujal Yojana (ABHY) aimed at solving groundwater depletion across India. However, one-and-a-half-years later, the Rs 6,000 crore scheme is still pending government approval. Last year, the then Water Ministry circulated a Cabinet note, to which the PMO made some observations about the scheme, which have been clarified. But the scheme was still not get cleared by the Cabinet. As per new sources, senior officers at the PMO have reviewed the developments related to the scheme earlier this month and it is expected to be approved soon. (The Indian Express)

Karnataka’s Kalasa-Banduri dam project gets approved, Goa objects

The Environment Ministry has given the go-ahead to the Kalasa-Banduri dam project, while dispensing the need for an environmental clearance as it is just a drinking water project. The project, worth Rs 800 crore, envisages the diversion of west flowing streams in the Mahadayi basin to the allegedly water deficit Malaprabha basin by constructing dams. The ministry's decision to do away with the environmental clearance has been questioned by the Goa government that has fought a 15-year long battle with Karnataka over the waters of the Mahadayi river. The project will involve the construction of three dams, two canals to divert water and the diversion of 499.13 hectares of forest land, including the submergence of 406.60 hectares of forest land. (Hindustan Times, India Water Portal)

Uttarakhand approves water policy 2019

Designed to deal with the impact of climate change on the state's water resources and improper distribution of water, the Uttarakhand government approved a new water policy. The aim of this policy to conserve all water sources, balance the environment and prepare a structure for effective execution. Along with this, the state water policy will take note of the existing situation of water in the state and propose a framework for planning, development and management of water resources which will be based on the consumptive, ecological and development perceptions of the state. (Outlook India)

India's first water metro to come up in Kochi 

The Centre has approved India's first water metro project in Kochi. The project, worth Rs 819 crore, will provide connectivity to 38 terminals across 10 islands through 16 identified routes. The project will be implemented by Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL), a joint venture firm of the Centre and Kerala government. Around 9.51 hectare of land needs to be acquired for the proposed water metro project that aims to provide easy access to scenic islands around mainland Kochi through a 78.2 kilometre channel length and two boatyards. (The Financial Express)

This is a roundup of important policy matters from October 23 - November 4, 2019. Also, read news this week.

 

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