Industries to pay water conservation fee for extraction of groundwater
The Central Groundwater Authority (CGWA) has issued new guidelines for groundwater extraction to conserve groundwater. As per the new notification, a water conservation fee (WCF) would be levied on industries for extracting groundwater from June 2019. The notification would be applicable to mining, dewatering units, packaged drinking water units, individual households with a delivery pipe of greater than one inch in diameter. The agricultural sector, however, would be exempted from the fee. Also, industries will need to apply for a no-objection certificate (NOC) online through a web-based application system of CGWA.
NGT allows the reopening of Sterlite Copper plant in Tuticorin
In a major relief to the Vedanta-run Sterlite Copper plant in Tuticorin, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has set aside the Tamil Nadu government's order of permanently shutting down the plant and allowed its reopening. Also, the tribunal has directed the state pollution control board to pass fresh renewal orders to the plant and the authorisation to handle hazardous substances. Vedanta has also been asked to deposit Rs 2.5 crore as a token for its inappropriate handling of 3.5 lakh metric tons of copper slag on the patta land. The state chief minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, however, has said that the tribunal's order would be challenged in the Supreme Court.
Take urgent steps to check pollution in Godavari river: HC to Maharashtra
In the wake of alleged pollution in Godavari river caused by Kumbh Mela held in Nashik in 2015 and other religious events, the Bombay high court has ordered the Maharashtra government to take appropriate measures to curb pollution in the river and other water bodies across the state. The court has also formed a monitoring committee that will continue as a permanent body and is also supposed to implement the recommendations of the National Environmental Engineering Institute (NEERI) in controlling river pollution.
Government plans to promote inland waterways during Kumbh Mela, 2019
During the upcoming Kumbh Mela to be held in Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh from January 15, 2019, the Centre has planned to promote the use of inland waterways for ferrying people and cargo. The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) has been tasked with facilitating safe movements to the pilgrims coming for the festival. Also, IWAI has set up four floating terminals, one each at Kilaghat, Sarasvati Ghat, Naini Bridge and Sujawan Ghat for the festival. In addition, two vessels namely CL Kasturba and SL Kamla have also been deployed along with setting up of five temporary jetties for embarkment and disembarkment of passengers.
Authorities blame each other for Sabarmati river pollution
The officials of Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) have blamed the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) and the Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority (AUDA) for the rising pollution in the Sabarmati river. As per the officials, a major contributor to the pollution is domestic sewage and despite serving notices to the AMC, nothing has been done to reduce pollution in the river. However, as per the AMC, it is the industrial units that are causing pollution in the river and the GPCB should be taking action against these units.
This is a roundup of important policy matters from December 11 - 18, 2018. Also, read news this week.