Wildlife Board approves controversial irrigation projects in Maharashtra

Policy matters this week: Maharashtra's controversial irrigation projects approved; DJB asked to discard metal pipes; SC notice to Centre, UP and Haryana over flow in Yamuna and Ganga.
Irrigation canal in Maharashtra (Source:Wikipedia) Irrigation canal in Maharashtra (Source:Wikipedia)

Maharashtra's controversial irrigation projects get a green signal

Maharashtra Wildlife Board has approved controversial irrigation projects in the state such as Alewadi and Ar-Kacheri near the Melghat tiger reserve. Farmers in the region had strongly opposed these projects, which will acquire 50% of land under irrigation. Several other projects falling within the buffer zones of sanctuaries and national parks have been given conditonal clearance by the Board. 

Court orders DJB to discard metal pipes

Delhi Jal Board has been asked to switch over to non-metallic pipes as the metal in the pipes leads to corrosion and contaminates the potable water. A senior DJB official has informed the court that the civic body is under the process of replacing all metallic pipes and will be experimenting with high density polyethylene pipelines.

SC issues notice to Centre, UP and Haryana over flow in Yamuna and Ganga rivers

The Supreme Court has issued notice to the Central, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana governments to maintain a minimum water flow in the Yamuna and Ganga rivers. The notice has been issued so as to ensure that sufficient drinking water is made available to the residents of Delhi. The order has come following a petition filed for the commissioning of water treatment plants in Delhi and preserving the water flow in the rivers by the riparian states.

NGT questions UP on groundwater recharge in the state

The National Green Tribunal has sought report from the Uttar Pradesh government on steps taken to maintain biodiversity and groundwater level in the state. The state government has also been asked to direct the concerned authorities that construction in parks should be done only with permeable material, to ensure groundwater recharge. The tribunal had earlier passed an order to the state government following a petition filed against blatant concretisation in the state.

SIT submits report on irrigation scam to Maharashtra CM

The Special Investigation Team has submitted a report on the multi-crore irrigation scam to the Maharashtra Chief Minister. The report has put the blame of the cost and time escalation of the projects on irrigation officials, putting the politicians on a safer side. Maharashtra Water Resources Development Centre, Aurangabad has been asked to prepare the executive summary of the report in 15 days after which it will be made availble to the public.

This is a weekly roundup of policy matters from February 23- March 2, 2014. Also read last week's news roundup.

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