A minister-level committee chaired by Water Resources minister Ram Pratap on Tuesday discussed a study report drafted on the module of farmers loan waivers in Kerala and other states. The committee took the decision to examine the report deeply, which indicates the government wants to buy more time to make any decision on loan waivers for the agrarian community.“The committee will study the report and later will make decisions accordingly. We have to observe financial aspect as well, but we have a target to make farmers debt free. Hopefully, there may be a good news for the farmers in the new year,” said Prabhu Lal Saini, one of the members of the committee, talking to DNA. The chairperson of the committee was not reachable on phone for comment over the development, though. A presentation was given by the officials about farmers loan waiver during the meeting as well. Raje government appears to be in action mode on farmers loan waiver demand which the opposition has started making a poll issue. In Ajmer, Alwar parliamentary and Mandalgarh assembly constituencies bypoll the Congress will churn out this issue to woo farmers. RPCC chief Sachin Pilot, taking out a Nyay Yatra a couple of months back in Hadoti region, already indicated that farmers issues come at the top of the party.Congress is simultaneously raising the issue of farmers suicide making a pressure on the government. “BJP ruled states have gone and given farm loan waiver in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. There is no reason why Rajasthan farmers who are facing severe agrarian distress and are committing suicides, should not be given a farm loan waiver. The government should take waive loans immediately,” said a Congress leader reacting to the development of the meeting. Though, the burden with complete loan waiver decision can’t be ignored by the government. The demand for waive farm loans up to Rs 50,000 per farmer would cumulatively amount to Rs 20,000 crore on the exchequer.Opposition raising the issueCongress is simultaneously raising the issue of farmers suicide making a pressure on the government. “BJP ruled states have gone and given farm loan waiver in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. The government should take waive loans immediately,” said a Congress leader reacting to the development of the meeting.Although, the burden with complete loan waiver decision can’t be ignored by the government. The demand for waive farm loans up to Rs 50,000 per farmer would cumulatively amount to Rs 20,000 crore on the exchequer.
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The BJP’s performance in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh polls is a victory of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s development politics over “dirty caste politics” of Rahul Gandhi-led Congress, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Monday.”All sections of society have voted above caste politics. This is a win of development politics of the Prime Minister. In Gujarat, OBC, patidar, dalit all were used for caste politics by the Congress but caste politics could not get success,” senior BJP leader said.Gadkari said the success of the BJP in both the states is “people’s approval of our policies, work done under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his development agenda”.He said, “As far as Rahul Gandhi is concerned, after he became Congress president, he has lost Himachal Pradesh and could not bring the Congress in power to Gujarat.” Gadkari accused the Congress of leaving no stone unturned in portraying the BJP and the central government in bad light and added that “despite the Congress’ dirty caste-based politics, people have reposed faith in the BJP”.”This will strengthen our policies,” he said and added that in Gujarat the BJP is ruling the state since 1989 and after years of governance, the people have reposed faith in the party.Asked about opposition charges of EVM tampering, the senior party leader questioned as to why they raised the issue only after losing elections.”When they lose elections they raise EVM issue. Were EVMs functioning properly when Congress got lead in several seats? “When you (Congress) won Punjab then EVM was functioning properly and when you lose then EVM malfunctions,” Gadkari, who is the minister of Road, Transport, Highways, Shipping, Water Resources and Ganga Rejuvenation, said.He said victory or defeat in politics and elections should be embraced with an open heart and such kind of allegations were not proper.
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Union minister for Road Transport and Water Resources Nitin Gadkari is expected to lay foundation stones and inaugurate road works worth Rs727 crores in a programme at Baran district on Friday. Foundation laying ceremony of Parwan Irrigation project envisaged to provide water to 2 lakh hectare land in Hadoti region may also mark in the same program which will be chaired by the chief minister Vasundhara Raje.The desert state takes a big leap in infrastructure whenever Gadkari visits. Almost three months back, Prime minister Narendra Modi and Gadkari came to Udaipur and the former inaugurated highway and road projects worth Rs15,000 crore for the entire state. At that time, a major announcement was made by Gadkari to boost Rajasthan infra while spending around Rs2 trillion in the next five years for building the road and national highways in Rajasthan.With his focus, Rajasthan rolls with infra projects, and those big projects which were limbo for several years. One of such big projects is Parwan irrigation project, which will do away water needs in three districts-Baran, Jhalawar and Kota. Gadkari may lay the foundation stone of the project.Rajasthan expects financial assistance from the center to speed up works in the project that costs nearly Rs6489 crores. Raje, in several meetings, discussed it and Gadkari gave assurance as well. Parwan project, the project got embroiled in several controversies regarding displacement of tribals, the forests land getting submerged and most important, the project is brought in only to benefit two thermal power projects. According to the sources, Gadkari has scheduled visit to Baran to lay foundation stone, though final consent is still awaited.
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Infrastructure and irrigation services in Rajasthan are set to take a new leap on December 15 when BJP government will be celebrating programs on its 4th anniversary. Union minister for Road Transport, Highways and Water Resources Nitin Gadkari is expected to laying foundation of road works in the tune of Rs729 crore in Baran and ambitious Parwan water irrigation project cost at Rs6489 crore in Baran of Kota division wherein chief ministers Vasundhara Raje represents from Jhalrapatan.“The state has taken another step towards the development of roads. The Kota division will get road projects worth Rs729.23 crores this month. In a program scheduled at Baran Agricultural Production Market on December 15, the road works covering 294km will be laid. As chief guest of the function, Nitin Gadkari may arrive there,” says a statement released by the office of chief minister.The ceremony will see foundation stone laying for strengthening of 20km long road at a cost of Rs30 crore at National Highway-12. Under PPP model, 74.82km road between Kanvas-Khanpur-Aklera at the cost of Rs175 crore, 14.85km road from Deoli to Kanwas at the cost of Rs34.78 crore and Alot-Gangdhar-Suwasra road stretching 24.55km at the cost of Rs58.11 crore. Apart from them, Rs431 crore will be spent on for the restoration of roads and construction of five high level bridges on rivers like Kali Sindh, Aahu, Ujad and Kalikhar. Apart from the infra project, Gadkari will lay foundation stone for ambitious Parwan irrigation which has been envisaged to provide water for drinking and irrigation to 2 lakh hectare land spreading in three districts- Baran, Jhalawar and Kota.The project tabbed as a boon for farmers was limbo for over a decades. It got embroiled in several controversies regarding displacement of tribals, the forests land getting submerged and most important the project being brought in only to benefit two thermal power projects. Now, Gadkari will lay foundation stone of the project.
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Updated: Nov 20, 2017, 06:02 PM IST, PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Supreme Court today directed all state governments to make school children aware of the dangers posed by virtual dare games like Blue Whale Challenge.A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud said school-going children should be made aware about the “beauty of life” and the dangers posed by such games. It directed the Chief Secretaries of all states to ask the secretaries of the concerned departments to take steps in this regard. The bench also directed the Union Human Resources Development Ministry to take requisite steps to inform all schools in the country about the ill-effects of such games.The apex court considered the interim report of a committee set up by the Centre to enquire into the suicides committed by students in some states while playing the Blue Whale challenge. The bench disposed of the petition filed by lawyer Sneha Kalita seeking framing of guidelines to regulate and monitor virtual digital games like Blue Whale and other life- threatening online games. On October 27 the apex court had asked Doordarshan to produce a 10-minute educational show on the perils of virtual dare games.It had said educational TV programme should also be shown not only by the public broadcaster Doordarshan but by all private channels on prime-time. The court had also asked the government to set up a panel of experts to block virtual dare games like Blue Whale Challenge which has allegedly led to several suicidal deaths.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a bid to reach out to students in technical institutes in backward areas, the central government plans to use its digital learning initiative ‘Swayam’ to connect colleges in 100 districts in states like Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh.The districts have already been identified by the Ministry of Human Resources Development and the institutes have been asked to arrange for infrastructure to make digital learning available for students. Under this initiative, lectures will be held through video conference. Infrastructure like TV and internet will be managed by a centrally-funded scheme.In a letter to the selected institutions, the HRD Ministry’s National Project Implementation Unit has asked them to convert their classrooms audio-visual rooms with a 55″ LED television and DTH connection.”All institutions linked with TEQIP (Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme) are requested to establish the infrastructure and register for SWAYAM Prabha. The expenditure for the infrastructure may be booked under TEQIP,” the letter says.In a related development, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar has also written to the vice-chancellors of all central universities to adopt digital initiatives of learning like the National Digital Library, Swayam, and Swayam Prabha, among others.The universities are expected to implement by the end of this year a 17-point list shared with them.The ministry is also coming up with an online portal to track digital learning initiatives by various institutes.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Exact estimations of the impact of pollution on health remained “uncertain” due to dearth of relevant studies, green body The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) on Monday, days after a study revealed that India had the world’s highest number of deaths due to different forms of pollution in 2015.TERI sought commissioning of studies to ascertain the impact of pollution on health.”Although there is not sufficient evidence in terms of dose responses in the Indian context about impact of air pollution on human mortalities, the science which tells us about possible ways it impacts human health is well established.”With extremely high pollutant concentrations, health impacts are expected to be high in India. However, exact estimations still remain uncertain due to dearth of relevant health impact studies,” Sumit Sharma, Associate Director, TERI, said in a statement.He said TERI “strongly recommends commissioning these studies, and in the meanwhile, actions for controlling air pollution must continue without any doubts”.According to a study published in the Lancet journal recently, India had the world’s highest number of deaths due to air, water and other forms of pollution in 2015 and that pollution killed as many as 2.5 million people in the country.Most of these deaths are due to non-communicable diseases caused by pollution such as heart disease, stroke, lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), researchers said.According to the study, air pollution is the biggest contributor, linked to 6.5 million deaths in 2015 in the world while water pollution (1.8 million deaths) and workplace- related pollution (0.8 million deaths) pose the next largest risks.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Telegu Desam Party MP J C Diwakar Reddy, who is miffed over “unfulfilled promises” for his drought-hit Anantapur constituency, today said he would resign as he had “failed” to serve his people.As the announcement caused embarrassment to the party, Chief Minister and TDP supremo N Chandrababu Naidu swung into action. He held talks with Water Resources Minister D U Rao, Anantapur district Collector GVeerapandian and other officials, and directed them to look into the issues raised by the aggrieved MP.Accordingly, the minister reportedly promised that 200 cusecs of water would be released into the Chagallu reservoir to meet the drinking water needs in the Tadipatri assembly segment.On the instructions of the chief minister, the water resources minister also spoke to the MP to placate him.Diwakar is peeved that promises made previously on issues he raised remain unfulfilled.”If they (Chief Minister) honour the promises in the next four days, I will have to think about it (taking back his decision to resign),” he said in reply to a question.Diwakar is the MP who allegedly manhandled two staffers of IndiGo airlines in Visakhapatnam a couple of months ago.It all began late today afternoon with Diwakar announcing in Anantapur that he would submit his resignation to the Lok Sabha Speaker early next week, since he “failed as an MP”.”I could not do justice to the people who reposed faith and elected me. My conscience has been repeatedly telling me that ‘you are a failed MP’. So, I will go to New Delhi either Monday night or Tuesday morning and submit my resignation to the Speaker,” he said.He said numerous villages in Tadipatri segment were suffering from acute drinking water scarcity.That the district collector has spent Rs 6 crore so far this season to transport water in tankers to the villages highlights the gravity of the problem, he pointed out.Referring to the alleged lack of development in Anantapuramu town, the MP said the chief minister sanctioned Rs 70 crore for various works within two months after assuming charge (in June 2014).”Till date, nothing happened,” he lamented.”Great people promised many things in the past but did nothing. So, I am deeply pained that I could not do anything to the people who elected me. Hence, I decided to resign from my post. But I will continue in politics,” Diwakar said.”I wanted to go to New Delhi today itself to tender my resignation but the Speaker is away. She is expected to return on Monday, so I will go once she returns,” he added.Since he was holding a conference of district collectors, Chandrababu could not immediately speak to the aggrieved MP, party sources here said.”But the Water Resources Minister spoke to the MP and things will be sorted out,” a senior TDP leader said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Goa minister Vinod Palyekar has claimed that there is a threat to his life from the drug mafia in the state.The Water Resources Minister recently told a local news channel that he was being constantly stalked by someone.Taking cognisance of the threat perception, the state security committee (SSC) has sought a report from police’s Intelligence Branch (IB).Palyekar, a Goa Forward Party (GFP) legislator from Siolim constituency, had said that he feared for his life, as he has constantly targeted the drug lobby operating in the coastal state.”During the morning walks on the beach, I was constantly stalked by someone,” he told the channel.Talking to PTI today, Superintendent of Police (Special Branch) Umesh Gaonkar said, “The SSC has asked the IB to submit the report within a week on the threat perception to Palyekar. The local police station has also been informed about it.”He said Palyekar has been given security just like any other state minister.Gaonkar said the SSC, headed by Deputy Inspector General level officer and comprising of representatives from the home department, district superintendents of police, crime branch, special branch amongst others will review Palyekar’s security after receiving the report.Meanwhile, the GFP has said the concerns expressed by Palyekar are “serious”.”The matter is serious as the minister has expressed his fears. I feel that the state police should investigate it,” GFP chief spokesperson Trajano D’Mello said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistani farmers in the border areas are facing a crop failure as India has choked their water supply. The Pakistani farmers were taking advantage from leakage in Indira Gandhi canal in Sriganganagar. However, now this ‘water supply’ has stopped after the project to plug the leak in 15km area (from Daulatpura of Sriganganagar) has been successfully completed. The government has recently conducted a test and claimed that the farmers of Pakistan, who were getting free water from India were no longer getting it.The information has been sought from the irrigation department in Jodhpur about any leak in the canal which flows in the border area adjoining Jaisalmer. After the trial, the government has recently conducted a survey there. The farmers of that area told that for many decades, farmers from across the border were cultivating from our canal’s water. They were cultivating native cotton, American cotton, sugarcane, wheat and mustard.The scheme was approved in 2004 for ensuring construction work of both Ganganagar and Indira Nahar but the work was stuck for security reasons. In the meantime, in 2015, the Pak Rangers demanded a ban on the construction work on the canal in the flag meeting. After this, the BSF gave the green signal to the project of the Ministry of Water Resources.It is noteworthy that when there is excessive rain in Sriganganagar and Hanumangarh, water flows through the river. Not only this, due to the leakage in the canal, a lot of water is leaked and crosses the border while the Indian farmers are deprived of their share.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Newly-minted Union Minister for Water Resources Nitin Gadkari on Friday announced a central grant of between Rs 55,000 crore and Rs 60,000 crore over the next two years for Maharashtra to complete irrigation projects, adding the state can increase its irrigated land percentage from 22 per cent to 40 per cent in that period.He also announced that India’s first river-linking project will be executed between Maharashtra and Gujarat.The Nar-Par-Tapi-Narmada and Damanganga-Pinjal interstate river-linking project will commence in next three months, he said, adding that a new water sharing agreement between the two states will be inked next week.In a joint press conference, Gadkari and Fadnavis said that boosting irrigation projects would help arrest farmers’ suicides in the state. Most of the deaths have been attributed to high debt because of failed crop due to lack of irrigation, among other factors.Gadkari and Fadnavis also reviewed the progress of various irrigation projects and road projects in the state during a two-hour meeting. All district collectors joined the meeting via video conferencing while state minister for water resources Girish Mahajan, PWD Minister Chandrakant Patil, Minister Eknath Shinde, minister of state Madan Yerawar, and senior officials of concerned departments were also present.Gadkari said there are 30 river linking projects proposed nationwide, which are expected to cost Rs 8 lakh crore. Five of these will start in the next three months; two of those are in Maharashtra and Gujarat.The river linking projects will give Maharashtra an additional 50 Thousand Million Cubic feet (TMC) of water. Fadnavis said this would take care of the water needs of Marathwada, Ahmednagar, North Maharashtra, and Mumbai.ProjectsCentre announced a grant Rs 55,000-60,000 crore to Maharashtra. Gadkari also declared that a water sharing agreement will be signed between Maharashtra and Gujarat for river linking projects.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Maharashtra government will make a fresh demand to the Centre for the release of financial allocation for the completion of pending and new irrigation projects and for the river linking projects. The state government has estimated financial requirement of a whopping Rs 57,400 crore for the completion of 327 irrigation projects. Of which the state government expects central assistance worth Rs 20,000 crore under the Prime Minister Krishi Sinchayee Yojana and loan from the National Bank for Agriculture & Rural Development.In addition, the government will seek Rs 10,800 crore to fast track the completion of irrigation projects in 14 districts with high number of farmer suicides and seven projects in drought-prone area.This apart, the government will urge the Centre to provide funds for the linking of various rivers including Damanganga, Pinjal, Godavari, Tapi with an estimated cost of Rs 14,000 crore. The state government will soon enter into memorandum of understanding for river linking projects.These issues will come up for discussion on Friday at the meeting between newly appointed Minister for Water Resources Nitin Gadkari and the state Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis who will be accompanied by state water resources minister Girish Mahajan.Mahajan informed that there are about 49 irrigation projects are caught in problems relating to land acquisition, forest land clearance. Nearly Rs 26,600 crore will be required for the completion of these projects.Mahajan told DNA, “The state government has been strongly pursuing its case for financial assistance from the Centre. Of the Rs 57,400 crore, the state government’s budgetary allocation for next three years will be Rs 24,000 crore while balance is expected to come from the Centre and through raising bonds.”
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Goa Water Resources Minister Vinod Palyekar today said in order to tighten the noose around rising drug menace in the state, it is the government’s priority to heighten police presence along the coastal belt. Goa police launched a massive crackdown on the drug trade in state’s coastal belt in last one week, in the wake of the death of two youth last Sunday, due to drug overdose. “Drugs should be completely wiped out from the coastal belt. We are already on the job. The first priority is to increase police presence in vulnerable spots,” Palyekar told reporters. The two youth, who hailed from Tamil Nadu, had consumed drug at Vagator beach, which is located in Palyekar’s constituency Siolim. The minister said special focus would be around Anjuna and those beaches where the sale of drug is high. He said whoever is involved in the trade or nexus will be arrested irrespective of the stature of the person.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu today stressed on the need for interlinking of rivers in the country to prevent inter-state disputes over water. Noting that water was an issue of national concern, he said interlinking of rivers will help in better management of resources. The chief minister was speaking at his camp office here with members of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Water Resources, who were on a tour of the state. “Water is an issue of national concern. All rivers in the north and the south need to be connected. Water disputes between states can be prevented and the resources managed in a sustainable way,” a release from his office quoted the CM as telling the visiting delegation. Naidu briefed the committee on the progress of construction works on Polavaram, declared as a national project by the Centre under the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014. The meeting also discussed the Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme (AIBP), Participatory Irrigation Management (PIM), Command Area Development and Water Management (CAD&WM), rain water harvesting programme and the packaged drinking water industry and its effect in AP, the release said. Committee Chairman Hukum Singh, members Siddhant Mohapatra, Apurupa Poddar, V Sathyabama, Ananda Bhaskar Rapolu, Pradeep Tamta, Balwinder Singh Bhunder, A V Singh and Harshvardhan Singh Dungarpur attended the meeting. Officials from the Union Water Resources Ministry, the Central Water Commission and the state government also attended. The panel will visit the Thotapalli reservoir in Vizianagaram tomorrow and inspect the works, the release added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Goa Water Resources Minister Vinod Palienkar has demanded a ban on outdoor music events, including rave parties, after two youngsters died at two separate raves in the popular beach village of Anjuna in North Goa possibly due to drug overdose on Sunday. In a statement issued from St. Petersburg in Russia, Palienkar said he spoke to North Goa District Superintendent of Police to demand a ban on rave parties and other late-night events. The Minister also demanded a thorough probe into the deaths of Pravin Surendran from Tamil Nadu and Nidam Abdulla from Kerala, at a private hospital in Anjuna, located 20 km north of Panaji. ?Drug proliferation increases with outdoor music (parties). I had written to chief secretary and other officials to take strict action. My stand is clear. I also called Superintendent of Police North. It is unfortunate and I have said that all this should stop,? Palienkar said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal has directed all states to maintain a minimum environmental flow of 15 to 20 per cent of the average lean season course in their rivers. E-flow defines the quantity, timing and quality of water flow required to sustain freshwater and estuarine ecosystems, besides human livelihood. A bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar, however, said that if any state is unable to adhere to this average percentage then it may approach the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF). “We direct that all the rivers in the country shall maintain minimum 15 per cent to 20 per cent of the average lean season flow of that river. “However, whichever state is unable to adhere to this average percentage, in that event we grant liberty to that state government to move to the MoEF secretary who shall in consultation with the Ministry of Water Resources examine such a representation…,” the bench said. It also said that if it is desirable to fix any lower percentage than the percentage aforestated, then it will pass appropriate order. The order came after the counsel for the environment ministry told the tribunal that it has completed study of six river basins — Siang, Tawang, Bichom, Subansiri, Dibang and Lohit. It said the Ministry has recommended the minimum flow of the river to be 18 per cent of the average of lean season flow of the river. However, in some of the cases, it has stated to be even 20 per cent. The tribunal also granted liberty to the petitioner in the case to approach the environment ministry if it has material with respect to any of the rivers where this direction is not being followed. “If such representation is moved the same shall be disposed of by the committee headed by Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in accordance with law,” the bench said. The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by environment activist Pushp Saini seeking directions to the Centre and the states to maintain minimum environment flow in the rivers across the country to ensure their uninterrupted flow.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Lok Sabha today paid glowing tributes to former Union minister and BJP MP from Ajmer Sanwar Lal Jat who passed away here this morning. Jat breathed his last at the AIIMS where he was undergoing treatment following a cardiac arrest. “We deeply mourn the loss of our colleague,” Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said while making a brief note about Jat’s political career. The members stood in silence for a minute as a mark of respect to the departed soul. The House was then adjourned for the day. Jat had served as Minister of State for Water Resources in the Narendra Modi government from November 2014 to July, 2016. He was also an MLA for five terms in Rajasthan.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a bid to address the critical water resources challenges in Maharashtra, the state government and 2030 Water Resources Group (WRG) launched the Maharashtra Water Resources ‘Multi-Stakeholder Platform’ (Maharashtra Water – MSP), a project which is expected to attract a funding of around USD one billion. The platform, chaired by the state chief secretary Sumit Mullick, aims to bring together key decision-makers from the public sector, private sector and civil society to forge partnerships for sustainable and scalable solutions, empowered by 2030 WRG’s hydro-economic analysis. “The government can only solve the serious water problem with the active and enthusiastic participation of the private sector and civil society. We have an opportunity to work together, to ensure there is enough water for our farmers to grow their crops, for our industries to provide employment and for the rivers to continue flowing,” Mullick said. He further said if Maharashtra is to keep growing while maintaining social equity and environmental sustainability, “we need to not only balance competing needs but also significantly improve the efficiency of our water use”. Maharashtra reportedly faces a high risk to climate change with longer dry spells and more frequent droughts. “Already, farmers in rain-fed areas of Marathwada and Vidarbha are hard hit by recurrent droughts. But the productivity in the rain-fed areas can be increased with more efficient use of water and its management,” Mullick said. Commenting on the partnership, 2030 WRG Co-Lead, Asia, Bastiaan Mohrmann said it will be working together to develop a comprehensive program that improves the livelihoods of and strengthens the resilience of marginal and small-holder farmers in Maharashtra. “We are developing a project proposal for USD 270 million in funding from the Green Climate Fund, a body which aims to scale up climate change adaptation in rain-fed agricultural areas, to be implemented across Marathwada and Vidarbha, and aligned with the World Bank-funded Project on Climate Resilient Agriculture (PoCRA), resulting in nearly USD 1 billion worth of investments towards drought-proofing Maharashtra rain-fed agriculture,” he added. Under the program, two task-forces would be set up, including command area water productivity and water and livelihood security in rain-fed agricultural areas. “The objective of the task forces would be making financing and implementation arrangements for drip irrigation in sugarcane as well as adoption of water-efficient technology and better farming practices along with development of market linkages and value chains and promotion of innovation and agri-entrepreneurship,” Secretary of Command Area Department of water resources department CA Birajdar said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Centre will not be part of the discussions between Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh over Ken-Betwa river linking project as there is no dispute between the states, Union Minister Uma Bharti said here today. Bharti made the remarks following conclusion of the two- day ‘Jal Manthan-IV’, organised by the Water Resources Ministry led by her. “Madhya Pradesh government has said it wants to talk again on water sharing issue. So, the two states have been advised to talk to each other. “The Centre will not be part of the parleys as there is no dispute between the two states. They will have friendly talk,” Bharti said. The minister said no issue can be ignored while working on a mega scheme like the Ken-Betwa river linking project. The Ken-Betwa river-linking project is the first attempt at inter-linking rivers and aims to irrigate an area of 6,35,661 hectares annually in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh’s three and four districts respectively. In addition, the project will provide 49 million cubic metres of water for drinking purposes to a population of 13.42 lakh in the two beneficiary states. The project will also generate 78 mega watt power.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid the controversy over purchase of `forest land’ by Chhattisgarh agriculture minister Brijmohan Agrawal’s wife, Chief Minister Raman Singh today said he will take decision on the issue after discussing it with the BJP leadership. “I have seen news reports and also heard reactions of the opposition leaders,” Singh said, speaking to reporters at the airport after arriving from Delhi. “Yesterday the minister (Agrawal) had given a clarification about allegations and said he was ready to face a probe,” the chief minister said. “I had asked the chief secretary to submit a detailed report which I have received,” he said, adding that the BJP’s central leadership was aware of the issue. “I will take a decision after having a discussion with the central leadership,” Singh said. The minister is accused of purchasing 4.12 hectares of forest land in the name of his wife at Jalki near Sirpur, a popular Buddhist site, in Mahasamund district, and constructing a resort there. Kisan Mazdoor Sangh convener Lalit Chandranahu had first raised the issue last year. The land, owned by Vishnu Ram Sahu and five other farmers, was handed over to the Water Resources Department (WRD) under a “daanpatra” (gift deed for public use) in 1994. Later, it became part of 61.72 hectares of land given to the forest department by the WRD to compensate for forest land falling in the submergence area of an irrigation project in Mahasamund. Chandranahu alleged that Sarita Agrawal, Brijmohan Agrawal’s wife, purchased a part of this land in 2009 from the original owners, though it was then a part of forest land. The minister had yesterday denied any wrongdoing, and said the allegations were part of a political conspiracy. “The land was procured based on revenue records which stated that its ownership was in the name of the farmer. I had mentioned the property in my affidavit (in 2013 election),” he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> After a Chattisgarh Cabinet Minister?s wife was accused of acquiring a portion of the state?s forest land and building a resort on it, the Congress has spoken out against the minister and his wife and demanded A thorough investigation of the case. Speaking on the issue, Congress spokersperson R.P. Singh said that such a case wouldn?t have been possible without pressure from the minister and demanded a thorough investigation on the case. Singh said, ?We?ll take up this issue within our party and if they are found guilty, they?ll have to resign? Speaking to ANI on the same, forest authorities have said that a probe has been ordered for this case and that they will come up with the results really soon. Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) member Sanjay Srivastava believes that these allegations are false and the property belongs to the minister only. In addition to it, he said, ?If the land truly belongs to the state, then it must be returned? Earlier, Sarita Agrawal, wife of Chhattisgarh cabinet minister Brijmohan Agrawal, was accused of acquiring a portion of the state’s forest land and building a resort on it. As per the reports, Sarita is said to have acquired three ?khasras? ? 1.38, 1.37 and 1.37 hectares ? totaling 4.12 hectares on September 12, 2009 for Rs 5,30,600. According to official documents, the land originally belonged to Vishnu Ram Sahu who is a farmer, who had donated the land to the then Madhya Pradesh Water Resources department (WRD) in 1994 for Public welfare. Almost immediately, this plot, as part of a total of 61.729 hectares, was handed over to the Forest Department, in lieu of land submerged by a minor irrigation project. Records show that the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests gave preliminary clearance to this transfer on May 2, 1994. The episode came under spotlight in March 2015 when Lalit Chandranahu of the Kisan Mazdoor Sangh (KMS) of Mahasamund district wrote to Mahasamund Collector Umesh Kumar Agrawal and the then Raipur Commissioner Ashok Agarwal alleging that while the plot was transferred to the government, revenue records did not show this. He wrote a second complaint in 2016. Barely four months later, another complaint was written and sent to the Prime Minister?s office. The PMO responded back by asking for an enquiry on January 13, 2017. On June 30 this year, the Collector again wrote to the Forest and Water Resources departments asking what action had been taken as a report also had to be sent to Chhattisgarh?s Economic Offences Wing and the Anti-Corruption Bureau. Ends SC NNNN ANI(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Chhattisgarh Minister Brijmohan Agrawal, whose wife has been accused of acquiring the state?s forest land for constructing a resort, said that he and his family have always abided by the law. Assuring no error from his side or his kin, Agrawal said that it is possible that the farmer who sold the land might have committed some mistake. ?I have no knowledge about it. Whatever we have done we have always abided by the laws and the rules. We have not made any mistakes. If anything wrong has happened it would have happened from the side of the farmer who sold it to us. I cannot understand what mistake have we done,? said Agrawal. Sarita Agrawal, wife of leader Brijmohan Agrawal has said to have acquired 4.12 hector of Chhattisgarh forest land raising questions of propriety and conflict of interest. According to records, the land originally belonged to Vishnu Ram Sahu who is a farmer and donated the same to the government to the then Madhya Pradesh Water Resources (WRD) department in the year 1994 for Public welfare. Later on the land was transferred to the forest department. Moreover after nine years, Rs 22.90 lakh was spent on afforestation of this land. The resort, namely Shyam Vatika, is being constructed near Sirpur area in Chhattisgarh. Sarita along with her son are working on the resort project. As the companies (Aditya Srijan Private Limited and Purbasa Vanijya Private Limited) which have taken over the project have both mother and son as its directors. The episode came at front in March 2015 when a member of Kisan Mazdoor Sangh, Lalit Chandranahu urged the collector to look in to the matter. Chandranahu in his letter alleged that while the piece of land was donated to the government the revenue records don?t include the information.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A Chhattisgarh cabinet minister?s wife has been accused of acquiring a portion of the state?s forest land and building a resort on it. Sarita Agrawal, wife of Chhattisgarh Minister Brijmohan Agrawal, is said to have acquired 4.12 hector of the Chhattisgarh forest land, raising questions of propriety and conflict of interest. According to official documents, the land originally belonged to Vishnu Ram Sahu who is a farmer, who had donated the same to the government to the then Madhya Pradesh Water Resources (WRD) department in the year 1994 for Public welfare. Later on, the land was transferred to the forest department. Moreover after nine years, Rs 22.90 lakh was spent on the afforestation of this land. The resort, namely Shyam Vatika, is being constructed near Sirpur area in Chhattisgarh. Sarita, along with her son, is working on the resort project. As the companies (Aditya Srijan Private Limited and Purbasa Vanijya Private Limited) which have taken over the project, have both mother and son as its directors. The episode came under spotlight in March 2015 when a member of Kisan Mazdoor Sangh, Lalit Chandranahu urged the collector to look into the matter. Chandranahu in his letter alleged that while the piece of land was donated to the government, the revenue records don?t include the information.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report has observed that there has been a 60 per cent shortfall in release of central funds to Assam for implementing flood management programme. The report comes at a time when the state is grappling with flood situation in 13 districts in which 73 people have died. Till July 19, five lakh people were affected in the latest wave of floods. In its report tabled in Parliament today, the CAG noted that the Centre was to share Rs 2043.19 crore with Assam for implementing 141 projects in the state between 2007-08 and 2015-16. Of this, it released Rs 812.22 crore, a shortfall of Rs 1230.97 crore or 60 per cent. “There was a shortfall in release of central assistance by 60 per cent. Further, the state government also did not release 84 per cent of the allocated budget provision. Insufficient flow of funds adversely affected the implementation of schemes,” the report said. The CAG also recommended the Union Water Resources Ministry to release adequate funds in a timely manner as per flood management programme (FMP) guidelines and impress upon state governments to release funds to executing agencies in a time-bound manner. The ministry may also maintain a strict vigilance on utilisation of funds by the state government and executing agencies so as to avoid parking and diversion of funds. “The ministry may release/reimburse the funds to the state governments only after ensuring receipt of statements of expenditure, utilisation certificates and other requisite documents,” the report said. According to the FMP guidelines, the proportion of central and state share of funds for flood forecasting projects approved up to July 2013 was 75 per cent to 25 per cent. For the projects sanctioned after July 2013, the proportion of central and state share of funds was to be 50 per cent each. In the case of special category states (north eastern states, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir) the proportion of central and state share was to be 90 per cent and 10 per cent respectively. For the projects approved after July 2013, the central and state share was 70 per cent and 30 per cent respectively in case of special category states.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The governments of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh should work out a water-sharing agreement to take the Ken-Betwa River Link Project (KBLP) forward, Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti said today. Bharti said in Lok Sabha the KBLP will irrigate an area of 6,35,661 hactres annually in three districts of Madhya Pradesh and four districts of Uttar Pradesh. In addition, the project will provide 49 million cubic metres of water for enroute drinking water supply to a population of 13.42 lakh in UP and MP. The project will also generate 78 MW power, she said during Question Hour. The status of the project was reviewed at a high level meeting on July 4 with top officials of both the state governments where the MP government proposed that the Kotha barrage, Bina complex and Lower Orr Dam be included in the project. While the Lower Orr project is under examination of the Central Water Commission, the Detailed Project Report of Bina Complex is under appraisal of the CWC and the DPR of Kotha barrage has been submitted to the CWC. “This would also affect the initial allocation of water between the two states as per the 2005 agreement. It was therefore decided that both the state governments should work out an agreement on mutual water sharing to take KBLP forward. “The implementation of KBLP would be taken up once the two states have reached an agreement on water sharing,” she said. Bharti said the Centre was ready to take up similar river linking projects in other parts of the country.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With further advancement of monsoon, almost all regions across the state received heavy to scanty rainfall in the last 24 hours. As many as seven stations in Rajasthan received rainfall in the range of 50-100mm while West Banas at Sirohi was the most drenched place in the state, recording 96mm rainfall, as per the data collected by the Department of Water Resources.The department, while detailing the progress of monsoon, said that seven stations received 50mm and above rainfall while at 217 stations it was below 50mm. However, in the past 24 hours no place has received rainfall above 100mm. If cumulative rainfall is recorded across the state since onset of monsoon from June 1, only Mount Abu has received highest rainfall of 754.8mm.Season’s maximum rainfall on a single till date has been recorded in Ghatol (Banswara) at 240mm on July 14.Normal rainfall for Rajasthan is 530.08mm for monsoon period. Till today rainfall received in the state is 170.95mm which is 3.41 % higher compared to normal which is 165mm for the period from June 1 to July 19. West Banas rainfall station of Sirohi district received 96mm rainfall during the last 24 hours. It received total 385.2mm rainfall against the normal 260mm till date. Nine dams fully filled and overflowing are: Haro (Banswara), Bhula (Sirohi), Chandlai (Jaipur), Latara Bandh (Pali), Baloria Bandh, Bageri Bandh, Chinar (Sirohi), Jhadol, Som Pikup Wier (Udaipur).The data collected on downpour indicates that most parts of Rajasthan received more than normal and above rainfall, Kota and Jaipur zone are still coming under deficit category. Meanwhile, the IMD in its latest forecast predicted of downpour in districts of eastern Rajasthan on Thursday and Friday. Issuing a severe weather warning for two days, the IMD said heavy to very heavy rain at isolated places are very likely to lash of eastern Rajasthan. In view of the warning, the district administration has been geared up to meet any eventuality.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Goa’s Water Resources Minister, Vinod Palyekar, has been left red-faced after he made a policy blunder on the interstate river dispute between Goa and Karnataka.Palyekar, a Goa Forward leader, practically dumped an Assembly resolution of there being no out-of-court settlement on the Mhadei water dispute policy, informing the media that he has initiated an out-of-court settlement in the case.Fighting for over a decade against the big states of Karnataka and Maharashtra, the Goa government is hoping for a favourable decision in the tribunal.Speaking to correspondents, Palyekar said that he had earlier appealed to Karnataka’s WRD Minister, MB Patil, to come forward for an out-of-court settlement, which will benefit all the three states equally.Palyekar’s statement spread like a wildfire, inviting angry reactions. He called another press briefing within two hours and made a complete U-turn.”There will be no compromise or out-of-court settlement in the Mhadei case with Karnataka. This is the official stand of my department,” he said, retracting his earlier proposal.”Karnataka, on one hand, is asking for an out-of-court settlement and on the other hand they are playing from behind. Their witnesses have been well-exposed in the tribunal at New Delhi and our legal team, led by ASG Atmaram Nadkarni, is doing a wonderful job,” he said.On Wednesday, Karnataka Chief Minister K Siddaramaiah wrote a letter to Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar requesting him to initiate a tri-party meeting on the issue. Parrikar is yet to respond to this letter.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The government has spent over Rs 7,000 crore in two years to cleanse the Ganga which still remains a “serious enviromental issue”, the National Green Tribunal said today as it issued a slew of directives including banning all construction activity within 100 metres of the river edge.In a detailed judgement, the tribunal also prohibited dumping of waste within 500 metres from the river, ordering that every offender would be liable to pay a penalty of Rs 50,000 per default.”There are considerable unutilised funds as of today, besides the huge funds that have been made available under the national project as declared by the Prime Minister wherein Rs 20,000 crore have been allocated for the five years commencing 2015-2020.”Even after spending Rs 7304.64 crores upto March, 2017, by the Central Government, State Government and local authorities of the State of UP, the status of river Ganga has not improved in terms of quality or otherwise and it continues to be a serious environmental issue,” the NGT said.The order, running into 543 pages, said “till the demarcation of floodplains and identification of permissible and non-permissible activities by the state government of this judgement, we direct that 100 meters from the edge of the river would be treated as no development/construction zone between Haridwar to Unnao in UP.””No-development zones” are areas where no construction including commercial or residential buildings can come up.A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar directed all concerned authorities to commence the work of setting up of sewage treatment plants and installation of anti-pollution devices within four months and complete it within two years.Welcoming the order, noted environmentalist and lawyer M C Mehta, on whose petition the verdict was pronounced, demanded a CBI probe into the spending of over Rs 7000 crore by the Centre and state government in cleaning the 500 km stretch of the Ganga.In the order, the NGT said all projects referred to in its verdict should be finalised by National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) and said that primarily it would be the responsibility of Ministry of Water Resources and NMCG to finalise these projects out of the available funds.Regarding shifting of tanneries located in Jajmau cluster in Kanpur, the bench sought an action plan from the leather units within six weeks, failing which “the UP government shall be duty bound to close the tanneries and shift the same to Banthar, Unnao or any other developed site which it considers appropriate.”The NGT directed regulation of activities on banks of the Ganga and its tributaries and ordered UP and Uttarakhand governments to formulate guidelines for religious activities on the ghats during festivals.On the issue of maintaining the flow of the river, the tribunal directed that the minimum environment flow should not fall “below 20 per cent of the average monthly lean season flow.”It also imposed a complete prohibition on disposal of municipal solid waste, e-waste or bio-medical waste on the floodplains or into the river and its tributaries.The tribunal reiterated its earlier order of ban on mechanical mining in Ganga and said “no in-stream mechanical mining is permitted and even the mining on the flood plain should be semi-mechanical and preferably more manual.” “Such mining should be permitted only after a detailed and comprehensive assessment of the annual replenishment of sand and gravel in the river bed and ensuring that the longitudinal and lateral connectivity of the river is not disturbed and that only quantity less or equal to the annual replenishment is permitted to be removed from the river bed or its banks,” it said.”The industries shall contribute finances not exceeding 25 per cent of the total cost in relation to the construction, upgradation of sewage treatment plant, common effluent treatment plant and providing common infrastructure.Till the works on the projects in accordance with the judgement are commenced, “the NMCG and/or any other funding Ministry would not incur any expenditure on any projects in the States of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh relating to cleaning and rejuvenation of river Ganga and its tributaries falling in the segment between Gaumukh to Unnao,” it said.The NGT held that all the industrial units falling in the catchment area of Ganga and its tributaries should not be permitted to indiscriminately extract ground water and asked Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) to carry out the study and notify areas falling between Haridwar and Unnao as “over exploited, critical, semi-critical and safe zone.” “There shall be complete prohibition on extraction of groundwater in the critical areas… Extraction of groundwater should be subject to the CGWA granting permission for such extraction, and that too, only after ensuring that such permission is granted after rigorous water use assessment by the industry…,” it said.The NGT also appointed a supervisory committee, headed by the secretary of the Water Resources Ministry and comprising IIT professors and officials from UP government to oversee implementation of its directions.”This committee shall oversee and supervise proper and effective implementation of all the projects under this judgement and will ensure providing of funds expeditiously and finally submit the implementation-cum-progress report to the tribunal every three months,” it said.An implementation committee was also set up to provide details of the Ganga cleaning projects and the manner and methodology in which these should be implemented.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>City collector, Sampada Mehta has started taking action against illegal wells being dug in the city and issued notices to possessors of the wells in Mahim area. Legal action against the offenders for illegal sale and use of ground water will soon be initiated too.In an affidavit, filed through advocate Abhay Patki, before the Bombay High Court, the collector stated, “Water from wells is being illegally used. Wells have been dug without authorised permission of collector or BMC.”The action follows a rap from the Bombay High Court, which had asked the state government to check on the sale of non-potable water from wells by tankers to street vendors. The court had earlier observed, “Are Mumbaikars eating street food made in non-potable water?”As per the BMC affidavit filed earlier, there are a total of 15,970 wells in Mumbai. Of these, 397 are on government land, 517 under corporation and 15,056 are privately-owned.The direction was given while hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Milind Yavatkar, who states that there is no control by authorities on the city’s wells as well as other parts of Maharashtra. The water tankers draw from these wells and illegally supply to hotels, hospitals and private institutions, thus causing huge losses to the ex-chequer. The petitioner sought directions from the court to the authorities to take over the wells and stop the sale.Mehta says that potability and quality of well water is a subject matter of the local civic body. The Maharashtra Resources Regulatory Authority is the body who is responsible for regulating ground water. The matter will now be further heard after four weeks.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Rajasthan government today said most works under the Mukhyamantri Jal Swavlamban Yojana’s (MJSY) second phase had been completed in over 4,000 villages in the state. Phase three of the project will begin soon, Chairman of the Rajasthan River Basin and Water Resources Planning Authority, Sriram Vedire, said. In phase two, which started in 2016, 4,213 villages of 295 panchayat samitis were selected and most of the works have been completed, he said. “It is a one-of-its-kind project in the world. The MJSY uses advanced technology and people’s participation in water conservation works. Therefore, in a short span we are on the path to achieve PM Narendra Modi’s dream to double farmers income by 2022,” he said. The agriculture department has also issued Mrida Cards in selected villages to the farmers. It has helped in crop cultivation, Vedire said. There has been a 56 per cent decline in water supply through tankers in the summer in the selected villages because of water conservation, the chairman said. He said open wells are being developed in 1,500 villages so that locals get potable water near their habitat.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued a notice to former Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) chief R.K. Pachauri on a plea seeking deferment of a trial in a civil defamation case against women’s right lawyer Vrinda Grover. Grover’s lawyer has been asked by the court to approach the local commissioner in this matter. The court didn’t grant any stay and the trial is slated to take place from June 19 to June 24. Grover moved the court against a trial court order to hear during the summer vacation a Rs. 1 crore-defamation case against her and another woman by the former TERI chief. The petition came up for hearing before Justice C. Hari Shankar yesterday, who rescued from hearing the matter, citing personal reasons and said that it would be heard by some other bench. Pachauri has been charged with sexual harassment by a woman researcher, who used to work directly under the veteran climate scientist and later resigned from her job as she felt ‘let down’ by the TERI. She has now moved to another organisation.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The ruling Biju Janata Dal today called for a four-hour ‘hartal’ tomorrow in four western Odisha districts over the Mahanadi water dispute with neighbouring Chhattisgarh. The hartal will be observed for four hours from 6 am till 10 am tomorrow morning in the districts of Sambalpur, Bargarh, Jharsuguda and Sonepur, BJD vice-president and MP Prasanna Acharya told reporters here. He said rallies and roadside meetings will be held this evening in the four districts to woo public support on the Mahanadi water dispute. Essential services, will be exempted from the strike, Acharya said. BJD’s another vice-president and former minister Debi Prasad Mishra accused the NDA government at Centre of supporting the BJP government in Chhattisgarh which constructed six barrages on upstream of river Mahanadi “unilaterally” and “illegally.” “How come a Central government under federal system support a state which caused problem for the people of another state,” Mishra asked. Mishra said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on June 3 had written to Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh to instruct the officials of Chhattisgarh Water Resources department to immediately open the gates of Kalma barrage and ensure free flow of water in Mahanadi River. However, the Chhattisgarh government did not respond. The Kalma barrage is one of the six barrages “unilaterally” built by the Chhattisgarh government across the river Mahanadi without any reference or regard to the downstream interests of Odisha and its inhabitants, Patnaik had written in the letter. As Chhattisgarh government closed the gates of Kalma barrage, the people of Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, Bargarh, Sonepur and many other districts have been facing acute drinking water shortage, Mishra alleged.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior Odisha BJP leader and Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan has requested Union Water Resources minister Uma Bharti to advice Chattisgarh government to ensure free flow of water in Mahanandi river. “I will request you to advice the government of Chhattisgarh for immediate opening of the gates of Kalma barrage to ensure free flow of water in Mahanadi river to mitigate the suffering of the people of Odisha,” Pradhan wrote to Uma Bharati yesterday. Pradhan said: “It is stated that non-monsoon flow into Hirakud reservoir received from the upper catchment of Mahanadi basin is showing a significant downward trend.” “The percentage reduction has alarmingly gone upto 78 per cent in the month of May, 2017. This stop of flow has caused severe anguish situation in the downstream areas, thus affecting the water needs in peak summer month,” Pradhan mentioned in the letter. This is contrary to the interest of the people of Odisha, Pradhan said adding that it is apprehended that if this trend is allowed to continue, there will be near stoppage of flow of water into Hirakud reservoir and in all likelihood will cause great loss to the reservoir and the downward catchment areas of Odisha. Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on June 6 in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi had sought his intervention for immediate constitution of the tribunal to resolve the Mahanadi water dispute. “I also urge for your goodself, being head of the federal system, to intervene by instructing the upstream state of Chhattisgarh to stop the construction of barrages on Mahanadi river and to open the gates of Kalma and other barrages to maintain the free flow of water downstream which is rightful claim of my state of Odisha and its inhabitants,” Patnaik had said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union minister Prakash Javadekar today asked people to make the city plastic free and clean. He was speaking during a cleaning drive in Nashik Municipal Corporation’s (NMC) ward no 18 this morning. “Elected representatives, NGOs, social organisations and students should make joint efforts to make Nashik plastic free and clean in the country,” said Javadekar, who is the minister for Human Resources Development. Mayor Prathmesh Gite, BJP MLA Balasaheb Sanap and NMC corporator Vilas Sangamnere were present on the occasion. The minister asked NMC to make separate arrangement to lift plastic garbage in the city.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
Indian mining giant Adani gives final investment approval for a controversial £9.5bn project.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Central Water Commission (CWC) on Tuesday issued a clarification on the Gujarat Government?s request for funds for the Saurashtra Narmada Avtaran Irrigation Yojana (SAUNI). It was earlier reported in the media that the CWC had rejected the Gujarat Government’s request for funds for the SAUNI Yojana on technical grounds, questioning the feasibility of the project. The External Assistance Directorate of the CWC claimed that a section of the press had incorrectly reported the matter. The CWC said the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation has conveyed its ‘in-principle’ approval of the SAUNI-II Project to the Department of Economic Affairs, Government of India in October, 2016. Elaborating on the facts, the CWC said as a standard operating procedure, all major and medium irrigation projects are required to undergo technical evaluation by the CWC and that states should submit a compliance report on the observations of the CWC. ?This is a continuous, consultative process, which is taken both at the Preliminary Project Report (PPR) and Detailed Project Report (DPR) stages,? the CWC said in a statement. It further added that in the case of the SAUNI-II Project, the CWC had made certain observations on the Preliminary Project Report submitted by the Gujarat Government. ?The State Government has since submitted a detailed compliance report and the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation has recommended the SAUNI-II Project to the Department of Economic Affairs, Government of India, for obtaining external assistance,? it added. It may be mentioned that SAUNI is a pet project of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Prime Minister had inaugurated the first phase of SAUNI at Aji-3 Dam near Rajkot on August 30, 2016. Again, on April 17 this year, Prime Minister Modi dedicated to the nation Phase-1 (Link 2) of SAUNI project at Botad. Here, he also laid the foundation stone of Phase 2 (Link 2) of the project. SAUNI is an ambitious plan to fill 115 reservoirs in water-scarce Saurashtra with waters of overflowing Narmada.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union minister Uma Bharti has said that during her stint as the Madhya Pradesh chief minister in 2003-04, a plan had been prepared to implement liquor ban in the state. She also said that the present dispensation in Madhya Pradesh led by Shivraj Singh Chouhan seemed to be implementing the plan prepared during her time. “I had asked the officials to prepare a liquor prohibition plan when I was the chief minister of the state. I wanted to implement prohibition secretly. I think Shivraj Singh knows about that plan and he is now implementing the same,” she told reporters at Sagar yesterday. She extended her support to the state government’s liquor prohibition efforts. The Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation said that she had become the chief minister at a time when the financial position of Madhya Pradesh was not sound. “The state was in poor financial condition when I became the chief minister. I had asked the officials how it would affect the financial condition of the state, if the government implements the liquor prohibition. A plan was prepared in this regard,” she added. Earlier in the day, Bharti and Shivraj Singh Chouhan performed a puja of river Narmada at Kaneri village in Dindori district as part of the ongoing ‘Namami Devi Narmade- Sewa Yatra’ and also participated in Jan-Samvad (dialogue with public) programme. “The irrigation area of the state has increased thanks to the completion of pending irrigation projects on priority basis. This has led to a jump in the state’s growth rate. This initiative of Chouhan is a role model for the country,” she said at the Jan-Samvad programme. She said the union government has started a drive to complete 99 pending irrigation projects in the country within a definite time-frame and the decision will enhance the irrigated area by one crore hectares. According to her, the Narmada Sewa Yatra that was launched to protect nature and environment with the active support of society, reveals the “saint-like nature” of Chouhan. She said that Narmada water and cow milk will be the base of Madhya Pradesh’s prosperity.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The water level in 91 major reservoirs in the country stood at 29 per cent of their total storage capacity, the government said today. According to the Union Water Resources Ministry, 46.02 billion cubic metres (BCM) of water was available in these reservoirs in the week ending yesterday. Last week, the stock was 31 per cent (or 48.42 BCM) of the total storage capacity of the dams. The fresh level is 133 per cent of the storage reported during the corresponding period last year. It is 106 per cent of the decadal average, the ministry said in a statement. States which have recorded less water stock vis- -vis last year are Himachal Pradesh, Tripura, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Punjab, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Telangana have reported better water reserves as compared to last year.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A comprehensive national Human Resources for Health (HRH) policy is in the pipeline for prevention and control of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) aims to develop an HRH policy as part of its national healthcare plan to tackle a list of illnesses including NCDs.With its initial focus on diabetes, the union health ministry plans to have a dedicated medical curriculum on NCDs at the undergraduate level. Introduction of a government-certified diabetes education course across the country is being considered.“Concerted efforts towards developing the skills of existing health workers will strengthen their capacity to provide effective healthcare,” Dr Damodar Bachani, Deputy Commissioner (NCD), MoHFW, said.“Cost-effective and optimal utilisation of available human resources is possible only through in-service training of existing health workers and developing need-based curricula for the future,” he said.During a recent national consultation on “Optimizing the Skills of Health Workforce to Tackle NCDs in India”, experts recommended an increase in the number of skilled specialists in the health workforce, effective use of technology for reach and e-learning for building capacity of frontline workers.Plans aheadProposal for AYUSH collaboration for NCD-related training Raise awareness via social media, especially to address juvenile diabetes Enhance intake capacity of the public and private medical and paramedical training institutes
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior BJP leader Uma Bharti on Wednesday responded to Wednesday’s Supreme Court order, saying she was ‘ready to face punishment for Ayodhya, Ganga and Tiranga (tricolour).The Supreme Court had earlier in the day said along with Bharti, senior BJP leaders including LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi would face trial in the Babri Masjid demolition case. A day-to-day trial will be held in a court in Lucknow, judges said, and hearing must be completed in two years.Speaking to DNA, the Union Minister for Water Resources, River development and Ganga rejuvenation said, “There was no conspiracy in the Ayodhya movement. Whatever happened was out in the open. The Ram Mandir movement played a very important role.”She added that the government will see to it that the temple would be constructed. “I am yet to discuss it with the prime minister, but Ram Mandir will be constructed,” she said. She also asserted that she was “proud, unapologetic” and does not repent her role in the Ram Janmabhoomi campaign. “I took part in Ram temple campaign with pride and confidence. I had given up the post of Chief Minister for the sake of the tri-colour… I will do whatever it takes to see the Ram temple is constructed…Ram temple will be built, koi maai ka laal use rok nahi sakta (no one has the power to stop it from being built),” Bharti said, adding she was present at the mosque site on December 6, 1992.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Faculty crunch which is usually associated with Indian Institute of Technology and central universities is now affecting premier school educational institutions too. A large number of Kendriya Vidyalaya (KV) and Navoday Vidyalaya, chain of schools managed by the Centre are functioning without principals, reveals the annual reports of the two organisations.Out of 589 Jawahar Navoday Vidyalaya (JNV) in the country, over 215 are functioning without principals. The JNVs, government funded residential school set-up in each district of the country, also suffer with 25 per cent shortage of teachers, as per the annual report of the Navoday Vidyalaya Samiti for the year 2015-16 submitted to the Ministry of Human Resources and Development (MHRD) recently.Over 200 Kendriya Vidyalayas don’t have principals out of total 1,081 KVs in the country. Staff crunch is also a major issue in these schools. Of 56,000 sanctioned posts, only about 42,000 were filled up, says the annual report of the KV Sangathan. A large number of Vice principal posts and administrative posts are also lying vacant.Strangely, these premiums government schools are understaffed despite being in huge demand which eventually puts pressure on serving teachers and learners.”The staff crunch is an old phenomenon as the successive governments have ignored the issue owing to fund crunch,” say teachers associated with these schools.Schools run by the state and private organisations are not better either. The MHRD data shows that more than 10 lakh teachers are required in elementary and secondary schools across the country. This is despite the fact that the Right to Education Act has stipulated student-teacher ratio of 30:1 for primary classes, 40:1 for Classes VI to VIII.There are around 6,000 vacancies in premier institutes like the IITs, NITs and IIMs together. Another 6,000 posts are vacant in central universities. In engineering colleges, 29% of the 4.2 lakh sanctioned posts for faculty in undergraduate courses remain vacant.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti maintained a studied silence on the ongoing investigation into the Narada scam, fuelling speculation among the principal opposition parties on a possible thaw in the strained relations between the BJP and Trinamool Congress.The BJP leaders were on a day’s visit to the state as part of their move to consolidate the party’s position in Bengal. Buoyed by the huge surge in its voting percentage, which catapulted the party into the second position in the recently held by-election, both the central leaders discussed ways with the state leadership to boost future strategies in expanding their base in Bengal.They were critical of the TMC but fell short of criticising the party’s alleged role in ponzy schemes. While the state leadership of the party were at pains to explain the ambivalence, the Congress and CPM saw in it a “meeting and setting” between Chief Minister Mamata and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rehabilitation of Yamuna floodplains, “destroyed” due to a cultural extravaganza organised by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living (AOL), will cost Rs 13.29 crore and take almost 10 years, an expert committee has told the National Green Tribunal. The expert committee, headed by Shashi Shekhar, Secretary of Ministry of Water Resources, has informed the green panel that major restoration work has to be carried out to compensate for the damage to Yamuna floodplains. “It has been estimated that approximately 120 hectares (about 300 acres) of floodplains of west (right bank) of the river Yamuna and about 50 hectares (120 acres) floodplains of the eastern side (left bank) of the river have been adversely impacted ecologically at different magnitudes,” it said. The green body had last year allowed AOL to hold three- day ‘World Culture Festival’ of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living on the Yamuna flood plains while expressing its helplessness in banning the event because of “fait accompli”. It, however, had imposed Rs 5 crore as interim environment compensation on the foundation for the event’s impact on the environment. Initially, a four-member committee had recommended that AOL Foundation should pay Rs 100-120 crore as restoration cost for “extensive and severe damage” to the floodplains of Yamuna river. Later, a seven-member expert committee had told NGT that the event organised on Yamuna has “completely destroyed” the riverbed. The committee had observed that entire floodplain area used for the main event site between DND flyover and the Barapulla drain (on the right bank of river Yamuna) has been completely destroyed, not simply damaged. “The ground is now totally levelled, compacted and hardened and is totally devoid of water bodies or depressions and almost completely devoid of any vegetation. “The area where the grand stage was erected (and the area immediately behind it) is heavily consolidated – most likely with a different kind of external material used to level the ground and compress it. “Huge amount of earth and debris have been dumped to construct the ramps for access from the DND flyover and from the two pontoon bridges across the Barapulla drain,” the expert committee had said. The committee, in its 47-page report, has said that due to the three-day event, the floodplain has lost “almost all its natural vegetation” like trees, shrubs, tall grasses, aquatic vegetation including water hyacinth which provides habitat to large number of animals, insects and mud-dwelling organisms. It has said that it will cost Rs 13.29 crore and take almost 10 years to rehabilitate the river floodplain.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Minister Uma Bharti today asked people to make cleanliness a habit to fulfill Mahatma Gandhi’s dream of a ‘Clean India’. “Each one of us will have to be aware about cleanliness if we are to achieve Gandhi’s dream of a Clean India,” the Water Resources Minister told reporters here. She also released a booklet on conclusion of Swachchta Pakhwada (cleanliness fortnight) observed by her ministry from March 16 to March 31. Parmeswaran Iyer, Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water was also present during the briefing.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Slamming Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA T. Raja Singh for making a controversial remark on the construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, the Congress on Monday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with other party leaders are teaching their members to make such statements which is extremely illegal. ?Such comments are completely illegal and unconstitutional and that person should be immediately put behind the bar. I think this is what the Prime Minister and other BJP people are telling their members to enact,? Congress leader Sandeep Dixit told ANI. Echoing similar sentiments, another Congress leader P.C. Chacko said the government, whether in the state or the Centre, should see that such people are controlled. ?These fringe elements in the party are creating a kind of euphoria and I do not think this is good for the society. They just want to divide the society on communal basis. Such elements should not be tolerated by the society or by the government,? he added. The BJP MLA from Hyderabad said that he would behead the ones opposing the construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. “Some people are saying that they will create ruckus if Ram Mandir is built in Ayodhya. I welcome the ones who are warning of dire consequences. We have been waiting for years to behead such traitors,” the MLA said while addressing a public gathering on Thursday here. Singh, who represents Goshamal constituency in the Hyderabad Assembly, is known for his right wing activities and has also been arrested multiple times. The Supreme Court had observed that Ayodhya dispute is a “sensitive” and “sentimental” issue, adding that the matter should be settled amicably. Since then, various right-wing leaders have been campaigning for the temple to be built. While Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti said she was ready to go to jail for the temple if need be, BJP leaders have been supporting the cause in their own way.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Management and prevention of forest fires should be taught in schools, a citizens’ report has recommended while exhorting that local forest officials should be held accountable for such disasters. The report has also recommended formation of special investigation teams while demanding that a white paper on forest fires should be issued by the government. The report also highlighted the need for setting up of an insurance tribunal to provide compensation to families affected by forest fires while asserting the process of formation and empowerment of forest rights committees at the village level should be expedited under the Forest Rights Act. “A systematic mechanism of control over all activities in the forest area and all authority is in the hand of Forest Department. If there is any incident of forest fire, officials responsible for the particular forest area should be held accountable and action should be taken against them. “In order to enhance the interest of students towards forest fire crisis and to ensure youth participation in preventing forest fire in future, the topic of forest fire management and prevention should be included in the syllabus,” the report titled – ‘Vanagni Sankat se Jujhta Himalay, Uttarakhand Vanagni-2016, Ek Nagarik Report’ said. Natural Resources Knowledge and Activists Hub, Actionaid and Himalaya Seva Sangh have compiled suggestions, learning and experiences of the Himalayan communities on forest fires which took place in 2016 and compiled it as a report. Officials of the organisations said that in 2016 till July, around 2,069 forest fires took place in Uttarkhand alone, highest in areas in and around Nainital district while ten people lost their lives. Noting that the incidents of forest fire are increasing rapidly, the groups said that every year during the month of February to July first week, incidents of such fires have been received from entire country including Uttarakhand, Himachal, and Jammu and Kashmir. “The efforts for increasing interest of youth towards nature and the environment need to be encouraged on a broad scale. There is a need to create an atmosphere to start research and study process in universities and colleges to assess forest damage. “As an active and effective resource for schools and colleges, National Cadet Corps (NCC), National Service Scheme (NSS) and scouts and guides are better groups, these students groups should also be included in the management of forest fires, the report said. To help beneficiaries get proper and timely support by government, relief courts should be formed and activated, it further recommended. MORE(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
Titled “Meat on Wheelz”, the scheme launched by the West Bengal Livestock Development Corporation under the brand name Haringhata Meat on Monday, was aimed at encouraging farmers’ entry into poultry and animal husbandry, Animal Resources Development Department Minister Swapan Debnath told <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In view of the meat-sellers’ strike in Uttar Pradesh in protest against the crackdown on abattoirs, the West Bengal government has taken up an initiative to serve non-vegetarian delicacies to the residents of the city. Titled “Meat on Wheelz”, the scheme launched by the West Bengal Livestock Development Corporation under the brand name Haringhata Meat on Monday, was aimed at encouraging farmers’ entry into poultry and animal husbandry, Animal Resources Development Department Minister Swapan Debnath told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Rajasthan government today said it will conduct a survey of surplus water in two to three river basins, including that at Mahi, which flows from the state into neighbouring Gujarat. The water in two to three river basins is surplus and it flows into Gujarat, Rajasthan Water Resources Minister Rampratap said replying to supplementary questions in the Question Hour of the Rajasthan Assembly here. “The Rajasthan government is serious on this issue and a solution will be found after conducting the survey,” he said. Replying to another question, state PHED Minister Surendra Goyal said drinking water will be provided through tankers to people living in areas, including deserts, facing water scarcity. The minister said laboratories will also test samples from different water bodies in the state. Goyal said the state has approved and released funds for repairing 113 partially and 11 fully damaged water bodies in Pokaran in Jaisalmer district.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former state PWD minister Chhagan Bhujbal is in jail in a case registered against him by the Enforcement Directorate, but he is an invitee to an awards function organised by the Tribal Development Department of Maharashtra government. Bhujbal, a senior NCP leader, is the MLA from Yeola in the district. He is in jail since last year. His name figures on invitation cards for `Adarsha Sevak and Adarsha Sanstha’ awards function organised by the Tribal Development Department at Kalidas Kala Mandir here on March 27. His name on the invite raised eyebrows, but when contacted, government officials said it could have been printed inadvertently, or because he is a sitting MLA from the district. Union Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamare alongwith state Tribal Development Minister Vishnu Savra and Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan are also expected to attend the event.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The water level in 91 major reservoirs in the country has dipped to 39 per cent of their total capacity, government said today. According to the Union Water Resources Ministry, 60.906 billion cubic metres (BCM) of water was available in these reservoirs for the week ending on March 9. As on March 2, the storage was 41 per cent or 64.55 BCM of the total capacity of 157.799 BCM. The March 9 stock is 132 per cent of the storage reported during the corresponding period last year and 101 per cent of the decadal average, the ministry said in a statement. The states which have recorded less storage vis-a-vis the corresponding period last year are Himachal Pradesh, Tripura, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Punjab, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Telangana have reported a better stock compared to last year.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Narendra Kumar, a Central Water Engineering Service (1979 batch) officer, is the new Central Water Commission (CWC) chairman. He assumed the charge of the post up on superannuation of GS Jha yesterday, an official statement said. Kumar had become a CWC member (river management) in October 2014. Prior to that, he served in the Commission as its assistant director in Design Organisation, deputy director in Project Appraisal Directorate and director in Dam Safety Organisation and Project Monitoring Directorate. He has served as senior joint commissioner in Union Water Resources Ministry’s Command Area Development wing from 2002 to 2005. He was chief engineer, Brahmaputra and Barak Basin (Shillong), between 2009 and 2011. Kumar has also worked as commissioner, Brahmaputra and Barak wing of the ministry from 2011 to 2014. Born on October 11, 1957, Kumar holds a master of technology degree in structural engineering from IIT-Delhi. He has also a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from IIT-Roorkee.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Kerala government today said it plans to further restrict groundwater use by soft drink major PepsiCo at Palakkad in view of severe drought in the state. “The government will take stern measures to restrict usage of groundwater due to prevailing drought and if possible stop Pepsico from drawing it at its plant at Puthussery in Palakkad by using the power vested with it under the State Disaster Management Act,” Minister for Water Resources Mathew T Thomas told the Assembly today. Under these special circumstances, the company has to reduce use of water and the government would take all possible steps in this regard, he said. The minister said the State Disaster Management Authority had already issued notice to PepsiCo to reduce consumption by 75 per cent, to which the company claimed to have brought down water use to 1.5 lakh litres per day from February 3. The company has seven bore wells and used to consume about 6.5 lakh litres per day. Thomas was replying to a submission of CPI(M) veteran and Chairman of State Administrative Reforms Committee V S Achuthanandan, seeking steps to check use of groundwater by the soft drink manufacturer. Achuthanandan said Palakkad district was experiencing the worst ever drought and PepsiCo should be restricted from drawing groundwater. He also brought to the notice of the House the stir by locals against alleged exploitation of groundwater by PepsiCo. The government had declared the entire state drought hit in October 2016 itself due to drastic rainfall deficiency. The water level of all major reservoirs in Kerala has also gone down.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>About 84 per cent of Pakistanis do not have access to safe drinking water, a minister said here. The startling disclosure was made by Minister for Science and Technology Rana Tanvir Hussain in the Senate, the upper house of parliament, yesterday, according to the Dawn newspaper. Hussain said according to a study by Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR), only 72 per cent water supply schemes in the country were functional and 84 per cent of those had supplied water that was not fit for consumption. About 84 per cent of the total 195 million population in Pakistan do not have access to safe drinking water. The water from 14 per cent of supply sources in Sindh and Punjab were found to be heavily contaminated with arsenic, well above the permissible limit of 50 parts per billion, Hussain said. He said Rs 279 million had been spent on the project Provision of Safe Drinking Water over the past four years. As part of the project, six regional water quality laboratories, under the PCRWR, have been upgraded and 17 new water quality testing laboratories have been established at the district level. Funds were also used on the capacity building of 3,000 professionals associated with water supply agencies, Hussain said. The information came as Law Minister Zahid Hamid informed the Senate that commercial banks in the country had earned profits exceeding Rs 472 billion in the last three years.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal today issued bailable warrant against Kanpur municipal commissioner for non-appearance in a matter related to the cleaning of river Ganga. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar asked the official to appear before it tomorrow, noting that despite directions he had not appeared before the tribunal. While issuing warrant of Rs 25,000, the bench warned that if the departments which are collectively responsible for cleaning of the river do not stop giving illusionary answers, it may pass some strict order. The bench, which is hearing the Ganga cleaning case on day-to-day basis for expeditious disposal, had earlier slapped a fine of Rs 25,000 each on officers of the Ministry of Water Resources and UP Jal Nigam for filing incorrect information on 30 drains joining the river Ganga in Garhmukteshwar area of Uttar Pradesh. Earlier, the tribunal was told by an experts’ panel that the functional sewage treatment plants in the Garhmukteshwar area of Uttar Pradesh do not operate as the domestic sewage network is not connected to the main sewerage system. A three-member committee set up by the NGT had said that the Garhmukteshwar stretch of the Ganga should receive special attention as it was the habitat of the critically-endangered Gangetic Dolphin, an indicator species for the river’s ecosystem. In February, the bench had ordered a CBI probe into the execution of the Ganga cleaning project after it noted that Rs 31.82 crore was spent on two sewage treatment plants (STPs) and a 58-km long sewerage line project without due analysis and verification of the actual pollution load in the Garh drain and Brijghat drain. NGT had slammed the state’s Jal Nigam for building the STPs on the drains joining Ganga without any survey and said it had wasted Rs 1500 crore since 1987 and still not cleaned “even a single drop” of the river.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Uttarakhand High Court has rejected the Centre’s prayer seeking more time to constitute a Ganga Management Board and asked Union Water Resources secretary to submit a report on March 20. A division bench of justices Rajiv Sharma and Alok Singh refused to extend the time frame for constituting the board and summoned the top official with all the relevant records. The order came on a PIL filed by Dehradun resident Mohd Salim. On November 8, last year, the same division bench had issued directions to the central government to constitute a management board to look into the cleaning of the holy river.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three persons were killed and two others injured as the wires of an overhead crane snapped at the under construction Bagha irrigation project site in Boudh district today, Odisha Labour minister Prafulla Mallik said. While two persons died on the spot, another died in hospital. Two others were admitted to Sunepur Hospital and later shifted to the Medical College Hospital at Burla, the minister said. The sluice gates of the under construction project at Sagada broke after the wires supporting the overloaded crane snapped and it overturned and hit the gates, the minister said. The deceased have been identified as Bhima Muduli, Ramadas Muduli and Tulu Kera of Auliguma in Nabarangpur district. The minister said he has also asked the local labour officer to inquire into the matter. Expressing grief over the incident, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced Rs 5 lakh compensation for the family of each of the deceased and Rs 50,000, besides free treatment, for the injured. Pataik also asked the chief engineer (Mechanical) of Water Resources department to investigate the matter and submit report within three days.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)