Bombay HC demands release of water from private dams
Priortising the drinking water needs, the Bombay High Court has given strict orders to the Maharashtra Government to consider releasing water from privately-operated dams and wells to water-scarce areas in the state. The order has brought into the notice, the water stored in the six dams in Bhima Basin, which are privately owned by Tata Power and which divert more than 1400 million cubic meters of water a year. The court has also ordered the state government to reconstitute Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority (MWRRA) within one week for close monitoring and allocation of the available water.
Panel gives nod to Lower Orr dam project
The expert panel of the Environment Ministry has given its green signal to the Lower Orr dam undertaken by the Madhya Pradesh Government. Once implemented, the project will be an integral part of the controversial Ken-Betwa project. The Lower Orr dam which is proposed across the Orr river, a tributary of the Betwa river, is aimed at providing irrigation and domestic water supply to water-deficit areas of the Shivpuri and Datia districts of Madhya Pradesh. As per the environmentalists, the feasibility of the project, however, is doubtful, as it may not be taken up if Ken-Betwa project gets stuck.
Centre grants go-ahead to pilot solar projects on canal tops, banks
Under the National Solar Mission, the centre has given its approval to the implementation of Pilot-cum-Demonstration Project for Development of Grid-connected Solar PV Power Plants on Canal-banks and Canal-tops. With this, the government has aimed to establish 50 MW canal top and 50 MW canal bank projects. Centre will be providing the financial assistance of up to Rs 225 crore for the project which would be disbursed over a period of (maximum) two years after the sanctioning of the plants. Out of the total amount, however, a sum of Rs 69 crores has already been released to the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) for further disbursal to states.
Centre invites comments on draft bills on water conservation, management
The Ministry of Water Resources has invited public comments on two of its released draft bills--National Water Framerwork Bill, 2016, the Model Bill for the conservation, protection, regulation and management of groundwater and National Groundwater Management Improvement Programme. The water bills aim to provide an overarching legal framework for water protection and has also set binding national water quality standards. Along with this, the bills require states to prepare drought mitigation, management policy and action plan within six months of coming into force of this Act.
CPCB comes up with guidelines to manage non-recyclable plastic waste
Following the orders from the National Green Tribunal, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has set guidelines for managing the plastic generated from thermoset plastic that cannot be re-moulded or recycled. Along with this, CPCB has also appointed a committee to draft the scientific and the best ways to manage thermoset plastic. This is the first time guidelines are being drafted for the non-recyclable plastic waste generated from the auto, electrical and construction sectors and from the domestic use. A thermoset plastic, once discarded, accumulates in the environment as it is insoluble and degrades it.
This is a roundup of important policy matters from May 24-30, 2016. Also read last week's news roundup.