SC refuses to lift ban on sand mining in Rajasthan
The Supreme Court has rejected the Rajasthan government's plea to lift the ban on sand mining in the state. The court has also ordered the environment ministry to explain why sand or bajri is required for construction activities and to submit a study report in six weeks. Although, the court has rejected the plea for all sand mining leases, it has given short term permits to some government, semi-government and DLB projects so that the development works don’t stop. However, there is no such provision for private builders.
Mullaiperiyar dam safety: SC orders to set up committee for preparing disaster management plan
The Supreme Court has ordered the Centre, Tamil Nadu and Kerala governments to constitute special committees to prepare disaster management plans for the 122-year-old Mullaiperiyar dam. As per the Centre, the dam, owned by Tamil Nadu and situated in Kerala, is safe. However, the people downstream are apprehensive of their safety as the dam has crossed its lifespan of 50 years. A committee was formed in 2014 to look at the safety and lifespan of the dam. The role of new committees, as clarified by the court, is restricted to disaster management in case of a tragedy.
Final verdict expected for the decade-old Cauvery water dispute
Taking note of the decade-old Cauvery water dispute between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, the Supreme Court has indicated that it would deliver its verdict in four weeks time. This follows a plea filed in 2016 by a citizens' group that sought the court's intervention in making drinking water available to the residents of Bengaluru and surrounding districts. While the Bengaluru residents fight for their right to water, the Karnataka Lake Conservation and Development Authority (KLCDA), constituted in 2015 to protect water bodies remains weak with just 15 fulltime employees as against the sanctioned strength of 96.
North Koel Reservoir Project: Water ministry signs MoU for completion
The water ministry has signed the memorandum of understanding with the governments of Bihar and Jharkhand for the completion of balance works of the North Koel reservoir project at an estimated cost of Rs 1622.27 crore. A supplementary MoU has also been signed between the water ministry, National Water Development Agency, NABARD with governments of Bihar and Jharkhand for funding of the state share under Long Term Irrigation Fund (LTIF) for North Koel reservoir project.
Judiciary insists on action plan to address sewage issues in Delhi
Taking note of no sewage facility in 45 percent of Delhi, the high court has asked the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) to come up with an action plan to address the sewage problem in the capital. The court has also sought the DJB's direction towards 100 percent sewage facility in the entire city and has ordered the Centre to provide financial assistance to the DJB for the work. In another case, the National Green Tribunal has cancelled a bailable warrant issued against the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) managing director Mangu Singh for the failure of its officials to appear before the tribunal to apprise it on the installation of rainwater harvesting at Delhi Metro.
This is a roundup of important policy matters from January 9 - 15, 2018. Also, read news this week.