Punjab-Haryana at crossroads over the controversial Sutlej-Yamuna canal
Not ready to share its river waters, the Punjab Assembly has adopted a resolution against the construction of the Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) Canal that was conceived 30 years back. Also, the State Government has given its nod to dispose of hundreds of tonnes of heavy machinery that it had purchased around 27 years ago for the project. It has also decided to de-notify the land that it acquired for the SYL canal. However, the Haryana Government has objected to this move but the State farmers are happy with this decision as they too want their land to be returned.
Maharashtra has most urban centres located on polluted rivers
Per the Water Ministry, there are 650 towns in the country that are located on 302 polluted river stretches. With 161 such towns, Maharashtra topped the list followed by Assam (49), West Bengal (46), Gujarat (38), Madhya Pradesh (37) and Uttar Pradesh (37). Also, 35 out of 46 metropolitan cities in the country are located along polluted river stretches. However, the Ministry has asked the State Pollution Control Boards to prepare action plans for restoration of these river stretches.
Power plant in Farakka shut thanks to water level dip
The National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) was forced to shut down five units of its power plant at Farakka in West Bengal, owing to the low level of water in the Farakka Feeder Canal. The shutdown of the plant that produces 2100 MW of power, is likely to affect Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and industries in the Eastern Region. According to officials, this is the first time in the last decade where NTPC has been forced to shut off all the units.
India tops the Environmental Justice Atlas that maps conflicts
Expressing concern over India's plans on hydropower generation in Himachal Pradesh and the northeast, the Environmental Justice Atlas has listed India at the top among 11 nations. The EJ Atlas is an interactive portal that maps ecological conflicts, resistances and environmental injustices. India has reported over 200 conflicts in water management issues and many such conflicts relate to hydropower generation. Along with this, many conflicts pertaining to industrial waste, groundwater extraction, pollution and poor sanitation are also responsible for placing India at the top.
Ulsoor lake turns into a pool of dead fish
Last week, thousands of dead fish were seen floating at the surface of Bengaluru's Ulsoor Lake. Per Authorities, such fish deaths is an annual occurrence due to rising temperatures and reducing dissolved oxygen levels. However, it has been barely three years since the rejuvenation of this 108 acre lake. Also, last June, 32 tractors full of waste were cleared from the lake and a barrier was installed to restrict the garbage to a corner. The State Government has ordered Authorities to clean-up and have also demanded responses from stakeholders.
This is a roundup of important news updates from March 8 - 14, 2016. Also read last week's policy matters update.
Lead Image Source: Harpreet Riat via Wikipedia