Centre allocates Maharashtra Rs 60,000 crore to link its rivers
Under the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY), the central government has announced Rs 60,000 crore to the Maharashtra government for interlinking its rivers and for irrigation projects in the next two years. It has been informed that the work on two major river linking projects in the state-–Par-Tapi-Narmada and Damanganga-Pinjal--will commence in the next three months. The Maharashtra government has also proposed four more river-interlinking projects in the state worth Rs 10,000 crore to which the Centre has given its in-principle approval.
Former environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan booked for diverting Jharkhand forests
A case has been registered against Jayanthi Natarajan, who was the environment minister during the UPA government's rule, for unlawfully diverting 55.59 hectares of forests in Jharkhand for “non-forest” use. It has been alleged that she went out of the way to approve a project proposed by Electrosteel Casting Limited (ECL) in a forest reserved for elephants, whereas her predecessor, Jairam Ramesh, as well as the Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) had earlier rejected the same proposal. The CBI has now registered a first information report (FIR) against Natarajan and ECL and its managing director, Umang Kejriwal.
HC seeks response on conditions of J&K wetlands
The Jammu and Kashmir high court has sought a response from various authorities about the condition of wetlands in the state. The court was hearing a public interest litigation on Supreme Court's direction in relation to the maintenance of two wetlands, Wular and Hokersar, in the Kashmir valley, Mansar lake of Jammu and Tsomoriri, a freshwater to brackish lake in Ladakh. The authorities, however, have shown a huge expenditure to the extent of Rs 945.95 crores on the maintenance of the four wetlands as well as those in other states which seem inappropriate to the court.
NGT concerned over waste dumping near Polavaram project
Following a plea claiming that a huge amount of waste is being dumped in agricultural lands near the Polavaram project, the National Green Tribunal has directed the environment ministry and Andhra Pradesh government to examine the issue. The plea has also sought directions to the state government to stop mud dumping in villages along the West Godavari district for the construction of the dam.
SC directs amicus curiae Harish Salve to suggest ways to improve forest cover
The Supreme Court has ordered amicus curiae Harish Salve to look into the status report of forests filed by the environment ministry and provide suggestions on how to monitor and increase the forest cover. The order is a follow-up of a petition initiated in 1995 concerning the destruction of pristine wooded areas in Gudalur in the Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu. The SC has, however, received many applications since then on several issues regarding forest protection.
This is a roundup of important policy matters from September 6 - 11, 2017. Also, read the news this week.