Yamuna river pollution: NMCG approves projects worth Rs 1,573 crore
With an aim to curb pollution in the Yamuna river in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Himachal Pradesh, National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) has approved 10 projects worth Rs 1573.28 crore. A major part of the funds has been allocated to the Rehabilitation/Renovation of Agra Sewerage Scheme (Interception and Diversion Works). The components of the project include tapping of 61 nalas/drains; construction, renovation, upgradation, operation and maintenance of sewage treatment plants and renovation of the sewage pumping station. The remaining funds have been allocated between Uttar Pradesh's Kasganj and Sultanpur; Bihar's Chhapra, Fatuha, Bakhtiyarpur and Khagaria; West Bengal's Burdwan Municipality and Paonta Town, Himachal Pradesh.
Centre identifies wetlands for conservation
Under the Central Asian Flyway Action Plan, the environment ministry has identified 20 wetlands and nine wetland clusters for conservation as these wetlands are stopover and wintering sites for several migratory waterbird species. As per the plan, the boundaries of these wetland clusters will be demarcated and notified according to the Wetland Rules 2017. Whenever needed, additional water will be allocated for maintaining the ecological health of these wetlands. The plan proposes several measures to conserve the migratory bird species and for the implementation of single-species action plans for 20 species including Greater Flamingo, Great Knot, Lesser Flamingo etc.
Development plans in the Western Ghats need restructuring: Study
A report titled Kerala Floods 2018-The Disaster of the Century has emphasised that high-rise buildings should not be permitted on the steep slopes of the Western Ghats as the region is prone to landslides. The study has been conducted by a six-member expert panel appointed by the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Development Studies (RGIDS). The report has emphasised on the need to restructure the present development plan and exposed the various deficiencies in the system which aggravated the deluge. It has also recommended a strategy to rethink operations of hydel power stations and to institutionalise a proper strategy for the opening of major dams.
Health assessment mandatory for green nod to thermal plants
For the first time, the environment ministry has made human health and environment criteria mandatory for the environment clearance of new thermal power plants in the country. With the new notification in place, the company seeking clearance will take into account chronic exposure to air and noise pollution which may affect the health of the workers and people living in the plant's vicinity. The condition is not only applicable to coal and lignite-based thermal power plants but also to waste from energy plants. The notification mandates that even after getting the approvals, the company will have to conduct biannual health check-up of workers and study the impact on agricultural crops and large water bodies in the vicinity once in two years.
HC seeks detailed list of complete and incomplete irrigation projects from Maharashtra govt
The Bombay high court has ordered the Maharashtra government to submit a detailed list of completed and under-construction irrigation projects within two weeks. The direction has come following a petition filed in the court with respect to incomplete irrigation projects in the region which led to a spate of farmer suicides in Vidarbha over the years. The Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation (VIDC) has failed to complete works of nearly 45 irrigation projects that resulted in huge economic losses for 30 lakh farmers owing to insufficient facilities.
This is a roundup of important policy matters from November 19 - 25, 2018. Also, read news this week.