Thousands of farmers march to Delhi against the looming agrarian crisis
On November 30, thousands of farmers from across the country reached the Parliament street for the Kisan Mukti March organised by the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee, a coalition of 200 farmer groups from across India. The farmers demanded a joint session of Parliament to discuss the agrarian distress and two Bills--freedom from debt and guaranteed remunerative minimum support price. Both the Bills are in accordance with the MS Swaminathan Commission report and were introduced in both Houses of Parliament three months ago.
Karnataka, Gujarat constitute state-level river rejuvenation committee
In accordance with the National Green Tribunal's directions issued in September, both Karnataka and Gujarat governments have constituted a four-member river rejuvenation committee. The committee will now be responsible for controlling pollution and rejuvenation of all major rivers in the state and will also prepare an action plan for making all polluted river stretches fit at least for bathing within six months of finalising the plan. The action plan will include identification of polluting sources in the polluted river stretches along with other river-related issues.
Ajit Pawar responsible for multi-crore irrigation scam: Maharashtra ACB
The Maharashtra Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has held Ajit Pawar, the then minister of water resource department (WRD) of the state, responsible for scams like the multi-crore Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation scam. The ACB has stated that as per Rule 10 of the Maharashtra government rules of business and instructions, it was the duty of the secretary/ executive director to vet the files and ensure proper procedure was followed. Also, it was during Pawar's tenure that the VIDC projects violated the government rules and accepted substandard work.
Centre okays check dam project worth Rs 4,721 crore for Himachal
The Centre has approved Rs 4,712 crore water conservation project in Himachal Pradesh. The project aims to construct check dams on small rivulets and khuds in the state. The project would be completed in four phases. In the first phase, Rs 708 crore has been earmarked. Along with this, the Centre has also given its go-ahead to a project worth Rs 800 crore for the augmentation and improvement of rural water supply schemes functional in the state before the year 2000. The Himachal government has also sought approval for a new project for flood control and to check soil erosion on the banks of rivulets and khuds.
Groundwater situation remains grim in Punjab: CPCB
As per the latest report of the Central Groundwater Board (CGWB), groundwater withdrawal has increased to 152 percent in the state in 2016-17 as against 149 percent in 2013. Moreover, some central pockets also registered an exponential increase of 300 percent in cities like Patiala, Amritsar, Sangrur and Jalandhar. However, the Malwa belt and south-west districts in the state have better groundwater situation owing to poor quality of groundwater in these areas. The officials have blamed tube wells with high horsepower pumps and paddy cultivation for the extraction of groundwater.
This is a roundup of important news published between November 26 - December 3, 2018. Also read policy matters this week.