Forced eviction ordered for more than one million tribals and forest-dwellers
After the government failed to defend the Forest Rights Act, the Supreme Court has ordered forced eviction of more than 1,000,000 tribal and other forest-dwelling households from forestlands across 16 states. The order will lead to the eviction of nearly 1.89 million households countrywide. The SC order has come a year after the apex court asked the states to provide a status report on evictions and what action had been taken in case of rejected claims. However, the tribal groups have argued that the rejections in many cases are faulty and need to undergo a review under new regulations.
Rs 75,000 crore PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana launched
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana worth Rs 75,000 crore. Under the scheme, Rs 6,000 in three equal instalments would be given to farmers to supplement their financial needs in procuring various inputs to ensure proper crop health and appropriate yields. The scheme is going to benefit as many as 12 crore farmers who have less than two hectares of land. In the first instalment, Rs 2,000 crore will be digitally transferred to the accounts of over one crore small and marginal farmers.
India plans to stop its share of Indus water to Pakistan: Nitin Gadkari
In the aftermath of the Pulwama attack, the government has decided to stop the share of Indus water flowing to Pakistan and instead divert the water to Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab. The union water minister Nitin Gadkari has confirmed that India has started the construction of a dam at Shahpur-Kandi on Ravi river and the Ujh project will store India's share of water for use in Jammu and Kashmir and balance water will flow from the second Ravi-Beas link to provide water to other basin states.
Aravalli range in Gurugram to be categorised natural conservation zone
Bringing cheers to the activists, nature lovers and birders, the Haryana forest department has recommended that all parts of the Aravalli range in Gurugram be categorised as natural conservation zone (NCZ) where construction is not allowed. Another decision by the Haryana Town and Country Planning department could, however, leave large stretches of Aravallis in Faridabad out of the conservation zone. The recommendation of including all Aravalli areas in Gurugram, if accepted, will ensure the protection of the area from infrastructure and real estate projects.
Schools and colleges with non-functional rainwater harvesting systems should be fined: Panel
A committee headed by a former high court judge has suggested to the National Green Tribunal that a fine of Rs five lakh be imposed on schools and colleges where rainwater harvesting systems are not functional. The panel has compiled a list of schools and colleges where either RWHS were inadequate or non-functioning and visited several education institutions and suggested steps for making RWHS functional. There are also plans to create awareness among the student community regarding rainwater harvesting. Besides, the panel has issued revised guidelines for recycling of water.
This is a roundup of important policy matters from February 19 -26, 2019. Also, read news this week.