Uttarakhand against living person status to rivers

Policy matters this week
Ganga river at Kachla, Uttar Pradesh (Source: IWP Flickr Photos) Ganga river at Kachla, Uttar Pradesh (Source: IWP Flickr Photos)

Uttarakhand challenges living person status to Ganga and Yamuna rivers, moves SC

On the grounds that the Ganga and the Yamuna are interstate rivers, the Uttarakhand government has sought a stay from the Supreme Court on the living person status conferred to the two rivers. Earlier this year, the high court had given living status to the rivers and made three government officials, including Uttarakhand chief secretary and the advocate general, their guardians. This has irked the state government which says that the state officials could be held responsible in case of a disaster or a mishap in these rivers.

Kalma barrage water dispute: Odisha moves CWC against Chhattisgarh 

The Odisha government has moved the Central Water Commission (CWC) against Chhattisgarh as it has failed to keep the former in the loop while opening 46 gates of the Kalma barrage constructed on the Mahanadi river. Being the downstream riparian state, the information would help Odisha in implementing appropriate flood mitigation strategies during the coming monsoon period. As per the CWC, the Chhattisgarh Water Resources Department has already been requested to inform the Odisha government in advance about their gate operation activities across all projects.

Plea to stop Tamirabarani water to soft drink plants rejected again

The Madras high court has dismissed for the third time, the public interest litigation to ban the supply of Tamirabarani river water to nearly 30 industries, including co-packers of Pepsi and Coke, in Tirunelveli district, Tamil Nadu. The rejection was based on the reason that the petitioners have failed to submit any scientific proof to show that water supply to the industries would adversely affect either agriculture or drinking water requirement. The judges also pointed out the need for industries to generate employment and improve the economy of the state.  

Eco-friendly guidelines approved for faster clearance through wildlife areas

The environment ministry has approved eco-friendly guidelines to speed up approvals of linear projects in wildlife areas. The guidelines for safeguarding animals and birds have been framed by Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India (WII) in consultation with National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and would serve as a template for project proponents and the national board for wildlife that examines projects in over 660 wildlife areas in the country. The first project where these guidelines would be applied to is Kandi Road in Uttarakhand that is expected to connect the Garhwal and Kumaon regions. 

Government gives node to ONGC for drilling in KG basin

The Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has been granted the environmental clearance for drilling to explore shale gas and oil in the Krishna Godavari (KG) basin of Andhra Pradesh. The project worth Rs 217 crore plans to drill wells which will require around five to six acres of land per well while the duration will be 90-120 days for each well. The proposal that was first vetted by the expert appraisal committee has been granted approval subject to certain conditions, one of which is that all these wells should be drilled with water-based mud. 

This is a roundup of important policy matters from June 27 - July 3, 2017. Also, read the news this week.



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