CAG pulls up water ministry for delay in 16 major irrigation projects
In its report, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has observed that all the 16 major water resource development and irrigation projects taken under the Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme (AIBP) in February 2008 are nowhere near completion. As per CAG, the projects have been delayed due to various constraints and hurdles including land acquisition, inter-state coordination, financial constraints and issues relating to rehabilitation and resettlement of affected population. It has also been reported that out of 16 projects, only five projects were under implementation with eight to 99 percent shortfall in physical progress.
Ganga clean-up: NGT raps Uttarakhand government
The National Green Tribunal has reprimanded the Uttarakhand government over the extraordinarily bad situation of the Ganga river. Taking note of the lack of action against the nine status report that had been filed before the tribunal in the last two years, the NGT has directed the Ganga committee in each district to furnish a report regarding Ganga clean up once every fortnight. Although the Uttarakhand government has claimed to issue various directions in this regard, the bench pulled up the government for not showing any results on the ground.
Centre dissolves 28-year-old Cauvery water tribunal
Arguing that no further reference would be necessary towards the Cauvery river dispute, the Centre has dissolved the 28-year-old Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal that was constituted to resolve disputes among Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry. The decision has drawn attention towards four other such tribunals for different rivers which have not shown any result for years. In order to bring an end to such delays, the Centre has drafted a new legislation with a fixed timeline and a single tribunal for all interstate water disputes across the country in March 2017.
Tribal affairs ministry criticises draft National Forest Policy
Criticising the environment ministry's draft National Forest Policy, the union tribal affairs ministry has contended that the new draft will promote privatisation of forests and undermine the rights of communities who live in them. Moreover, the tribal affairs ministry has opposed the exclusive jurisdiction of the environment ministry to frame policies related to forests and noted that it should've been consulted before drafting the policy.
Water-logging in Delhi: HC seeks report in 10 days
Taking note of the water-logging problem in Delhi, the high court has issued a notice to different civic bodies, Delhi Jal Board and Union Ministry of Urban Development. The court has also directed the chief secretary of the Delhi government to take necessary steps in this regard and file a report in 10 days. The Delhi Jal Board has been asked to file a separate affidavit to explain the drainage system of rainwater in the national capital.
This is a roundup of important policy matters from July 16 - 23, 2018. Also, read the news this week.