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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<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Coming down heavily on advertisement campaign of Mee Labhaarthi (I am the beneficiary) by Devendra Fadnavis led Government in the state, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday accused the CM and Chandrakant Patil of being the “only real beneficiaries” of this government.He was addressing a farmers’ rally at Karve in Vita of Sangli district. Thackeray had criticized Fadnavis Government on Saturday night during a rally at Miraj. He is on a Western Maharashtra tour.Criticising the government for the advertisement campaign, Thackeray said, “This entire campaign is based on false claims. This campaign is for misguiding the people of the state and Fadnavis along with Chandrakant Patil are real beneficiaries because people have given them mandate.’Minister of state for Water Resources Vijay Shivtare, MLC Anil Babar, Lok Sabha MP Gajanan Kirtikar, Zilla Parishad vice-president and Nitin Bangude-Patil were present on the dais.Stating that he was not interested in becoming Chief Minister of the state, Thackeray said that but he would ensure that Shiv Sena chief minister comes to power in the state. He cautioned the Government that if farmers’ issues are unresolved, he would take it to the streets.Recounting BJP’s slogan of ‘Kuthe Neun Thevlaay Maharashtra Majha’ during the assembly elections which was aimed at criticizing Congress and NCP in the state, Thackeray SAID, `We had supported BJP to bring Aache Din but when I am touring the state I have realized as to where have these people taken my Maharashtra now.’Thackeray said nothing has changed in the past three years and the government is still completing water schemes that were started in 1995 when a Shiv Sena chief minister at the helm. Pointing out that despite Chief Minister’s directions to reduce power rates, his orders are trashed by officers and if the government is ruining the farmers, farmers would not hesitate to pull down this government.Taking a dig at NCP president Sharad Pawar for his criticism of Sena for being in Government and criticizing Government, Thackeray said, `BJP and Sena are two different political parties but Pawar had back-stabbed his own leader late Vasantdada Patil to topple his Government. Pawar who criticized Sonia Gandhi for her foreign origin later became her sycophant. Pawar should not teach Shiv Sena since Pawar is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Guru.’SLAMS PAWARUddhav attacked NCP chief Sharad Pawar over his criticism of Sena for being in a part of the government He said BJP and Sena are two different parties, but Pawar had back-stabbed his own leader Vasantdada Patil
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>President of India, Ram Nath Kovind will unveil Rs 1.54 lakh crore Third Agriculture Road Map, on his daylong visit to Patna on Thursday.This is President’s first visit to Bihar, after moving to Rashtrapati Bhavan. He will land at Patna airport at 11.25am.Kovind’s itinerary also includes a visit to Raj Bhawan roundabout, where he will pay his tribute to Rajendra Prasad, the first President of India. He will then proceed to the newly inaugurated Bapu Sabhagaar at Samrat Ashok International Convention Centre-Patna, where he will launch the Road Map.The Krishi Road Map was approved by the Nitish Kumar led NDA government last month, and the CM said he envisaged having at least one Bihar dish on every platter by 2022, in a bid to boost the agriculture sector in the state. It also aims at ensuring food security, nutrition, inclusive development and increase in farmers’ income, an agriculture department official said.While some of the programmes under the third Agriculture Road Map are a continuation of its previous two editions, as many as 12 departments, including, Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Pisciculture, Revenue and Land Reforms, Water Resources, Power, and Food Processing are coordinating to ensure smooth implementation of the third Road Map.Kovind, who will return to Delhi the same day, will also pay tributes to Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan at his statue near Gandhi Maidan.On Wednesday evening, CM Nitish himself reviewed the preparations for the President’s visit. It may be mentioned that Nitish shared very cordial relations with Kovind, during the latter’s tenure as the governor of the state, and the JD-U chief was among the very first few people who met Kovind after the BJP announced him as NDA’s Presidential pick earlier this year.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The North Koel irrigation project in Jharkhand that got a renewed push under the NDA government has got an in-principle forest clearance for felling of 3.44 lakh trees and submergence of 1,007.29 hectares of forest inside the Palamau Tiger Reserve. The Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change recommended the in-principle approval with 14 general and standard conditions that included, among others, compensatory afforestation over double the diverted forest land and at least 1,000 plants per hectare. It also sought strengthening of wildlife corridors connected to the tiger reserve.The project has already received wildlife clearance from the National Board for Wildlife subject to specific conditions that include plans to mitigate adverse impact on wildlife and preparation of a wildlife management plan.The Palamau Tiger Reserve is the lone reserve in Jharkhand under Project Tiger and has seen its tiger population dwindle from 42 in 2005 to three in recent times. Local activists have raised concerns that the renewed push for completion of the project would lead to yet another round of displacement of tribals. Meanwhile, conservationists have cautioned that the submergence and loss of biodiversity could affect the long-term sustainability of the forest. According to official records, the Kutku range is currently home to wild boars, barking deer, golden jackals, elephants, bears and tigers that are seen there occasionally.Work on the irrigation project had first commenced in 1970s and got a fresh push from the Prime Minister’s Office and Ministry of Water Resources in 2015. The project was to originally submerge part of the tiger reserve’s core. But, in a meeting in August 2016 held under the chairmanship of PMO principal secretary Nripendra Misra and Jharkhand and Bihar governments, it was decided to reduce the project dam’s full reservoir level.The North Koel project was sanctioned at a cost of Rs 30 crore. Till now, Rs 780 crore has been spent to complete construction of a dam over North Koel river in Latehar district and a barrage in Palamu district. The project, though, is not yet fully operational as the dam gates have not been installed. At present, this partially completed project is irrigating 56,000 hectare of land in Bihar and Jharkhand during Kharif season.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chief minister Vasundhara Raje has urged the Centre for nearly Rs 10,000 crore for road infrastructure development at state and reduction of goods and service tax (GST) slab on marble trade.On a three-day tour to Delhi, CM Raje on Wednesday met Union minister for Road Transport and Water Resources, Nitin Gadkari and sought support for development of road and water resource infrastructure in Rajasthan. Later in the evening at a meeting with Finance minister Arun Jaitley she asked for relief for marble, granite and tile industry at the state.”The marble industry of Rajasthan has established a global recognition. We have requested for relaxation in the current GST tax slab for Marble, Granite and Tile industry for betterment of the industry as well as buyers,” she said after meeting the Finance minister at his office at North Block.During the meet she also expressed gratitude of the Union government for relief extended to opium farmers and demanded extension of loan limits for these farmers under Uday Scheme. She was accompanied with urban development minister, Srichand Kriplani and senior finance officers from Rajasthan during the meet.Earlier in the day, at a meeting with Gadkari, the Rajasthan CM sought release of Rs 2,823 crore for road projects approved this year and asked for sanction of additional Rs 7,000 crore projects for expansion of road infrastructure at the state.”The Union minister has always been supportive towards development of Rajasthan and has worked for success of several projects at the state,” chief minister, Raje expressed confidence for support expected from the central government after the meet.She also met Union state minister for Tourism, KJ Alphons during the day. Over the next two days, the chief minister will be meeting several other Union ministers to provide impetus to support of center for development works at the state.Assures victory to AlphonsOn Wednesday, KJ Alphons and CM Raje met for the first time since the former was declared as party candidate for Rajya Sabha from Rajasthan. CM Raje greeted him and assured him of victory at the elections. During the meet she also discussed several issues concerned with tourism at Rajasthan and sought his support for its further development.NH Status for Suratgarh-Hissar Road.CM Raje demanded National Higway status for road between Surathgarh and Hissar. Being declared as NH, the road passing through Rawatsar, Nohra and Bhadra will receive additional funds for development. The Union ministry has recently announced to extend NH status for the road.
<!– /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 –>In a shocking turn of events, the 389.31 crore worth Gateshwar Panth Canal Project, which was all set to be inaugurated by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, suffered a major blow as a part of the dam collapsed just 24 hours before the inaugural ceremony.Stirring the administrative head, Minister of Water Resources, Lallan Singh said, “The dam broke due to release of water in full capacity. The incident has not caused any damage to the newly constructed part of the project.”Due to unfortunate accident, the inauguration of the dam has been cancelled.It is said, the Bateshwarasthan Ganga Pump Canal Project was prepared by the government under the irrigation scheme at Kahalgaon in Bhagalpur. Rs. 389.31 crore was spent on this scheme.The Gateshwar Panth Canal Project is told to be very old and took a long time to complete the project.The main purpose of making the dam was to collect water in the canal, so that the farmers would not have to face any problem.The collapsing has created a frantic ambience. Several reports of water logging have been identified and water can be seen entering the city, penetrating many homes of low-lying areas.As soon as the information about the dam broke, the officials concerned immediately reached the spot.Jharkhand was also to be benefited from this project. Through this project, the irrigation facility would have been available in 18620 hectares in Bhagalpur and 22658 hectares in Godda district of Jharkhand.Initially, this was just 13.88 crore plan but in January 1977, the Planning Commission had approved the scheme at a cost of Rs 13.88 crore. (ANI)Ends RT/MMNNNNANI
<!– /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 –>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 –>Goa government has welcomed the decision of the central government to give extension to Mahadeyi Water Dispute Tribunal by another one year. It claimed that the development indicates that the state will win the battle against neighbouring Karnataka. Goa government has contested Karnataka’s move to built dams upstream Mahadeyi river to divert the water. The tribunal was constituted on November 16, 2010 under the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, 1956, for adjudication of the water disputes regarding river Mahadeyi and river valley thereof. Goa Water Resources department minister Vinod Palyekar said the Union government had granted extension of one year for the tribunal. “The fight for Mahadeyi is struggle for our survival. Since I am water resources minister of Goa government, it is my primary responsibility to win this fight,” Palyekar said in a statement issued here today. Palyekar recalled that when he had gone to New Delhi to attend hearing before the tribunal, he had written letter to the Union Minister for Water Resources and River Development Uma Bharati urging her to give extension to the tribunal. “I am happy that union government has granted extension which indicates that Goa is approaching towards winning this battle against Karnataka. “The Karnataka government has always been working to ensure that the tribunal does not get extension,” he said. The tribunal was required to submit its report and decision under the said Act within a period of three years that is on or before November 15, 2013. However, the tribunal term had to be extended twice. When the central government, last year, decided to constitute a permanent tribunal to adjudicate all inter-state disputes over river waters, by doing away with the current practice of having a separate tribunal for every such dispute that arises, the Goa government petitioned the Union ministry of water resources to extend the term of the Mahadeyi Water Disputes Tribunal by another 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 parliamentary panel today expressed apprehension that due to slow pace of work, the government may miss the deadline of making river Ganga clean by 2020. The Standing Committee on Water Resources, in its Demand for Grants (2017-18) for Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, asked the ministry to fast track the projects to ensure expeditious cleaning of the river. The committee, in the report tabled in Parliament today, noted “with utmost concern” that so far only four sewage treatment plant (STP) projects–two at Haridwar, one each at Varanasi and Mathura– have been taken up. It also noted that few more projects are expected to be taken up under hybrid annuity-based Public Private Partnership (PPP) model. In this model, a part of the capital investment is paid by the government through construction-linked milestones and the balance through an annuity over the contract duration. “Keeping in view the slow pace of work, the committee are constrained to believe that the targeted completion of cleaning of Ganga river by December 2020 may remain unaccomplished,” the panel said. It also asked the Ministry to apprise of the details of the total expenditure incurred by the National Mission for Clean Ganga so far and outcome achieved thereby.(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 –>Forty-one of the 173 projects under the Namami Gange Programme have been completed, the Lok Sabha was informed today. The total number of projects span various activities such as sewage infrastructure, river front development, ghat and crematoria, ghat cleaning, river surface cleaning, afforestation and biodiversity conservation, and rural sanitation. “Out of the 173 projects, 41 have been completed so far,” Union Minister of State for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Sanjeev Kumar Balyan said in a written reply. In reply to another question, he said a joint inspection team has submitted its report to the National Green Tribunal after visiting the segment of Ganga falling between Haridwar and Kanpur. “86 major drains have been identified which are directly discharging into River Ganga (30 drains) and its major tributaries, namely, Ramganga (25 drains), Kali-East (26) and Pandu river (5). “Of the 86 drains, 52 drains were found to be carrying domestic sewage, two were found to be carrying industrial effluent whereas remaining 32 were found to be carrying effluent,” he said. In response to another question, the minister said, as per the 4th Minor Irrigation Census, “about 80,128 water bodies are not in use because of encroachments, urbanisation, polluted water, non-availability of water due to less and erratic rainfall, siltation”, among other reasons.(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 –>Plans are afoot to use silt extracted during river dredging to construct roads, the Lok Sabha was informed today.Responding to a series of supplementaries during the Question Hour, Water Resources minister Uma Bharti said her ministry is seeking the involvement of Transport and Highways Ministry to use the silt for road construction.She said instead of carrying silt to far-off places using heavy trucks, it would be better if the waste can be used as a construction material to build highways.Her junior minister Sanjeev Balyan said the government will follow the recommendations of the Madhav Chitle committee by going for scientific desiliting of rivers with the assistance of state governments.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal has directed the Delhi and UP governments to remove the debris lying on the floodplains of Yamuna, noting that indiscriminate dumping of waste is a direct source of pollution of the river.A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said the Department of Irrigation of Delhi and UP would be responsible for carrying out these directions.”The debris on either side of river Yamuna, if not already removed, shall be removed within 3 weeks,” the bench said.The green panel said the work for rejuvenation of river Yamuna should not be stopped unnecessarily as the pollution is rising daily and any “inaction on part of authorities cannot be tolerated.””In the interest of environment and public health, the Government and all concerned authorities must perform their function and ensure that river Yamuna is rejuvenated to its original pristine status. Now, the project is being carried on in a planned, scientific and implementable manner and any obstruction in that behalf will not be tolerated,” the bench said.The tribunal reconstituted the Principal Committee, formed to see execution of Yamuna cleaning, and included Shashi Shekhar, former secretary of Ministry of Water Resources as special invitee.It also convened a meeting of stakeholders including officials from Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, and UP government for cleaning and rejuvenation of river Yamuna which will be held on August 8 at 3 pm at NGT.During the hearing, the counsel appearing for the Delhi government told the NGT that requisite steps are being taken by the Delhi Jal Board to ensure that the work for cleaning of Yamuna is completed with utmost expeditiousness.”In relation to the project report of the second Phase of the Yamuna cleaning, it is submitted that it has already been filed before the tribunal as well as sent to the Principal Committee, Ministry of Water Resources,” the bench noted.The tribunal had earlier asked some northern states to submit a detailed report on rejuvenation and restoration of Yamuna, saying pollution in the river was of serious concern as it was highly contaminated by industrial effluents and sewage.It had directed Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to file a complete report in this regard within three weeks.The NGT had also directed Haryana and Himachal Pradesh Pollution Control Board to jointly conduct a study of water quality and the flow of Yamuna at the point where it enters Haryana, along with the list of industries which are located on the catchment area of the river.The tribunal had earlier banned open defecation and dumping of waste on the floodplains of the Yamuna and announced an environment compensation of Rs 5,000 for those who violated the order.It had also constituted a committee headed by the Delhi Jal Board CEO to oversee the execution of work pertaining to the cleaning of the river and asked it to submit reports at regular intervals.The green panel had noted that almost 67 per cent of the pollution reaching the Yamuna would be treated by the two sewage treatment plants (STP) located at Delhi Gate and Najafgarh under the first phase of the ‘Maili se Nirmal Yamuna Revitalisation Project 2017’.The NGT was hearing a plea on the monitoring of implementation of the project.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Out of the total 18,063 families affected by Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) in Madhya Pradesh, 6,724 continue to live in submergence area, the Rajya Sabha was informed today. Of these, 884 project affected families (PAFs) are in the process of shifting, Minister of state for Water Resources Sanjeev Kumar Balyan said in a written reply. He also told the Upper House that all the PAFs have been given resettlement and rehabilitation (R&R) package as per the Narmada Water Dispute Tribunal (NWDT) award and the Supreme Court’s February 8 order. There are no PAFs remaining in the submergence areas in Gujarat and Maharashtra, other beneficiary states of the project, Balayan said replying to a query on numbers of PAFs who are still residing in the dam submergence area. “The government of Madhya Pradesh has reported that out of the 18,063 PAFs to be resettled in Madhya Pradesh, only 6,724 PAFs are remaining in the submergence area up to full reservoir and backwater levels corresponding to 100 years’ flood magnitude,” the Minister said. He further said that most of them were residing in the backwater region corresponding to 100 years’ flood magnitude, and therefore, “may not be under a threat of immediate submergence”. Stating the PAFs have been given R and R package, Balayan said families which opt for shifting from submergence villages and wish to construct their houses later on can avail the option of receiving Rs 60,000 for rental transit accommodation and Rs 20,000 for arranging meals/food for three months. The PAFs have also been extended benefit of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana at Rs 1.5 lakh per family (including Rs 18,000 towards labour component under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005). “In order to facilitate the shifting process, 23 camp sites (16 in Dhar, 2 in Alirajpur and 5 in Barwani) have been set up and 3,400 temporary houses are provisioned at these places along with the provision for basic amenities like toilets, washrooms, electricity supply, drinking water, connected roads, health facilities, etc,” he 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 –>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 –>Union minister Uma Bharti today urged the Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh governments to amicably resolve issues related to the Ken-Betwa river- linking programme so that the first phase of the project can be launched at the earliest. The water resources minister’s remarks come against the backdrop of Madhya Pradesh reportedly telling the Centre it would not allow work on phase-I of the ambitious project to begin until it is reworked to incorporate three other water management programmes in the state. Bharti also asked all states to “rise above” their respective outlooks and work instead for a national outlook on water management in the country – an apparent reference to various inter-state tussles on sharing river waters. She added the issue of water “should not be on fire, but must always be used to douse them”. “The officials of UP and MP should amicably resolve the pending issues related to Ken-Betwa link so that the central government may go ahead with the phase-I of the project at the earliest,” an official statement quoted Bharti as saying. She made the comments during the fourth edition of the ministry’s two-day ‘Jal Manthan’, a consultation programme the government organises on various water-related issues. Union Ministers of State for Water Resources Vijay Goel and Sanjeev Kumar Baliyan, Haryana’s Agriculture Minister Om Prakash Dhankar, and Water Resources Minister of Andhra Pradesh Devineni Uma Maheswara Rao also attended the inaugural session. The Ken-Betwa river-linking project is the first attempt of inter-linking of rivers and aims to irrigate an area of 6,35,661 hectares annually in three districts in Madhya Pradesh and four in Uttar Pradesh. 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 watts of power. Bharti further said that the Centre is always concerned about inter-state disputes on water and tries to resolve it “amicably through persuasion”. She appreciated “political maturity” shown by chief ministers of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to resolve the disputes between the sibling states and appealed to other states to follow the same. The ‘Manthan’ will be attended by eminent experts in the water sector, representatives of NGOs and senior officers of the central and state governments, the statement said. The attendees will discuss issues relating to irrigation projects today. Tomorrow, the deliberations will be held on river inter-linking programmes.(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 controversy has erupted over the sale of a forest land near a Buddhist site in Mahasamund district to the wife of Chhattisgarh Agriculture Minister in 2009 which is now used for constructing a resort. The main opposition Congress has demanded a high-level probe and resignation of Brijmohan Agrawal. However, Agrawal has dismissed any wrongdoing, saying the land was purchased from a farmer and everything was done according to rules. Lalit Chandranahu, a farmers’ association leader, today said he had complained to the authorities demanding action in connection with the purchase of nearly 4.12 hectares of land in the name of Agrawal’s wife Sarita in Jalki village. “As per the records, one Vishnu Sahu and five other residents of Jalki village donated 4.12 hectares of land to the Water Resources Department (WRD) as part of a ‘daanpatra’ (donated for public use) in the erstwhile Madhya Pardesh in 1994,” Chandranahu, the convener of the Kisan Mazdoor Sangh (KMS), 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 –>With most of the rivers in Assam flowing below the danger mark, the overall flood situation in the state saw a marked improvement today but the death toll rose to 77 after a person was reportedly washed away in Hojai. Currently, a population of 23,118 is still affected by this wave of floods in nine districts, according to the report of Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA). Around 4,716 inmates are housed in 19 relief camps. Chief Secretary V K Pipersenia today apprised a seven-member inter-ministerial Central team, on the prevailing floods and measures taken by the state government to deal with the situation. The Central team headed by Union Home Ministry’s Joint Secretary V Shashanka Sekhar, arrived here today to assess the recent flood situation and erosion affected areas of the state. The Chief Secretary highlighted the need to strengthen the 5000 km long embankments, improve road communication and to chalk out a permanent solution to the flood and erosion problems in the state, official sources said. Pipersenia also referred to Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal’s recent meeting with the Prime Minister in New Delhi where he submitted a memorandum highlighting the flood and erosion situation in the state and sought Centre’s intervention for mitigating the situation. This is for the first time an inter-ministerial Central team is visiting the state in the midst of flood to assess the damage which signifies the urgent follow up action taken by the Centre, the sources said. The Central team comprising officials from different ministries including Home Affairs, Water Resources, Finance, Expenditure, Road Transport and Highways, Rural Development, NITI Aayog, Agriculture and Cooperation will inspect flood and erosion affected areas of Biswanath, Lakhimpur, Majuli, Barpeta, Cachar, Karimganj, and Hailakandi, and also meet officials of the respective district administrations.(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 deforestation 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.Meanwhile Brijmohan Agrawal told ANI 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,” he said.However, state Chief Minister Raman Singh on Tuesday assured to take a strict action against state minister Brijmohan Agrawal, whose wife has been accused of acquiring the state’s forest land for constructing a resort, adding that the matter has been taken to the collector and detailed report will be asked for.Speaking to ANI, Singh said, “I got to know about this information only today and will get into the details of this matter soon. I have also asked the state secretary and collector to look into this matter and provide me with a detailed report. Very soon, I will have all the facts and figures related to this matter.”
<!– /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 –>With Goa receiving good monsoon rains, reservoirs in the state are filling up fast and are expected to achieve full capacity by this month-end itself, a minister said today. “Dam levels in the state have gone up to almost 80 per cent of the capacity and farmers will not face water shortage for irrigation purpose (in the near future),” Water Resources Minister Vinod Palyekar told reporters here. He released data of all the five major reservoirs in Goa, including Selaulim dam, which supplies drinking water to almost 80 per cent of the state. “Dams are getting filled up fast and are on the verge of getting fully filled by the month-end,” the minister said. As per the data, water level in Selaulim dam, located in South Goa and having a height of 41.15 metres, has touched a mark of 40.24 metres. Anjunem dam, located on the foothill of Sahyadri in Sattari taluka and having a height of 93.2 metres, has been filled up to 87.62 metres. Amthane dam, which has 50.25 metres height, has touched a mark of 49.45 metres. Panchawadi dam in South Goa has a height of 26 metres and is almost full with water touching 25.84 metres level. Chapoli dam in North Goa has a height of 38.75 metres and it has touched a level of 25.84 metres. Palyekar said the government is pushing for rainwater harvesting during the monsoon to recharge the water table. The southwest monsoon arrived in the coastal state in early June 8.(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 –>The weather remained pleasant throughout the day on Tuesday with scanty rainfall. Till morning, 12.3mm rainfall was recorded in the state capital. The maximum and minimum temperatures here were recorded 34 and 26 degree Celsius respectively.Heavy rains are expected to lash eastern Rajasthan for two consecutive days beginning from Thursday, Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said in its bulletin. Meanwhile, the southwest monsoon advanced further, covering isolated areas of many districts in the past 24 hours.According to the data collected by Water Resources Department, Khandar in Sawai Madhopur district received 69mm rainfall during the last 24 hours. It received total 185mm rainfall against the district normal of 178.8mm till date.The data collected on downpour indicates that most parts of Rajasthan received rainfall more than normal and above.However, some districts of Kota and Jaipur zone are still in the deficit category, though rainfall during monsoon recorded across the state is above the average. Normal rainfall for Rajasthan is 530.08mm for monsoon period.Until July 18, it should have been average 157.2mm while it soared to 166.45mm. 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).Meanwhile, the IMD in its latest forecast predicted of heavy rain in districts of eastern Rajasthan. Issuing a severe weather warning for two days from Thursday, the IMD said heavy to very heavy rains at isolated places are very likely to lash east Rajasthan.With the warning, the district administration also geared up for preparations to battle the situation if occurs.In other parts of the state, moderate to heavy rains were recorded. The areas where heavy rainfall in CM (centimetre) was recorded are Ajmer town (Ajmer) 6, Viratnagar (Jaipur) 4, Kishanganj (Baran) 4, Pokhran (Jaisalmer) 4 among others.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday expressed anguish over the current flood situation in various parts of the Northeastern region and assured all the possible helps to combat the situation. Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to express solidarity with the people of the Northeastern region and asserted that the entire nation stands by the people of the affected region. ?I am anguished by the situation arising due to floods in various parts of the Northeast. I share the pain of all those affected by floods. The entire nation stands with the people of Northeast during this time. Centre assures all possible help to normalise the situation,? tweeted the Prime Minister. Prime Minister Modi further said that he had spoken to Arunachal Chief Minister Pema Khandu and MoS home Kiren Rijiju in the regard. ?I have spoken to Arunachal Pradesh CM @PemaKhanduBJP & other officials both in Delhi & the states on the flood situation,? Prime Minister Modi said. ?I have also asked my colleague @KirenRijiju to personally supervise the rescue, relief operations & facilitate all possible help needed,? he added. Death toll increased to 14 after the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team retrieved another dead body today from Arunachal Pradesh?s Papumpare. Earlier on Tuesday, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal paid a visit to Lahorighat of the state’s Morigaon district and took stock of the measures that the Water Resources Department has taken so far to control the menace. He directed the department to take immediate steps to contain erosion. Sonowal convened a high-level meeting at the circuit house, Morigaon, and reviewed the situation emanated from flood and erosion in the 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 –> Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal yesterday paid a visit to the erosion affected areas of Lahorighat in Morigaon district and took stock of the measures that the Water Resources Department has taken so far to control the menace. Visiting the erosion hit areas with Water Resources Minister Keshab Mahanta, Sonowal directed the department to take immediate steps to contain erosion. MLAs Ramakanta Deuri, Piyush Hazarika, Principal Secretary to Water Resources Department, Deputy Commissioner, Morigaon, Superintendent of Police and other senior officers were present during Chief Minister?s visit to Lahorighat. Later, Sonowal convened a high-level meeting at the circuit house, Morigaon, and reviewed the situation emanated from flood and erosion in the district. He also asked all the departments to work as a team to reach out to the affected people and lend their hands to rescue and relief operations. He also directed district administration to monitor the situation constantly to tackle any untoward situation. He also asked APDCL to see that no casualties take place due to electrocution during flood and asked it to regularly check the electric wires including transformer. In the meeting, Chief Minister Sonowal asked water resources department to adopt a long term strategy to check and control erosion in the district. He also took stock of the implications of the steps taken so far in the district to control erosion. Sonowal also asked Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Department along with SDRF to undertake operations to rescue the marooned animals and provide fodder to cattle. He also directed Agriculture Department to ensure supply of superior quality seeds to the farmers whose crops have been devastated in the flood. He also issued direction to PHE to ensure supply of pure and safe drinking water. He also asked environment and forest department to ensure safe habitats for the animals of the Pobitora wild life sanctuary.(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 Odisha government today accused Chhattisgarh of releasing excess water from Mahanadi river into Odisha without information and said the matter will be taken up with the Central Water Commission (CWC). “It is unfortunate that the Chhattisgarh government did not inform Odisha before opening the barrage gates to release the river water into our state,” Odisha’s Water Resources Secretary P K Jena said. The sudden release of water from the upper catchment area of the Mahanadi will affect flood water management in Odisha during heavy rains, though the situation is under control at present, he said. The state government will take up the matter with the CWC seeking its direction to the Chhattisgarh government to share information with Odisha before opening the barrage gates to release flood waters, Jena said. Stating that prior information about release of water is necessary for flood control measures during monsoon, a senior official said both states had agreed to exchange information on the use of Mahanadi water at an inter-state coordination meeting held recently. Chhattisgarh had refused to open the gates of Kalma barrage on the Mahanadi during summer despite repeated pleas by the Odisha government, he said. Now Chhattisgarh has suddenly opened the gates following heavy rains in the upper catchment of the river without prior indication, the official said. Odisha has been protesting “illegal” construction of a number of dams and barrages in upper catchment of the Mahanadi by Chhattisgarh saying it will severely hit river water flow in Odisha. A war of words also began between the ruling BJD and the opposition BJP in Odisha over the development. BJD leader and Cuttack-Barabati MLA Debasis Samantray hit out at Chhattisgarh for its sudden action without prior information. He said it will create flood-like situation in many areas of Odisha. However, BJP legislator Pradeep Purohit said there is no sign of flood-like situation and accused the ruling party of trying to derive political mileage out of the Mahanadi river water issue.(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 –>Odisha government today alleged that neighbouring Chhattishgarh government was giving wrong information on the flow of water to Hirakud reservoir in the downstream of Mahanadi. “It is unfortunate that Chhattishgarh has been spreading wrong information about the gate operation at Kalma barrage. The gates are operated in improper manner, with an intention to arbitrarily restrict the water flow and by this action the inflow to the Hirakud reservoir is reducing,” Odisha’s Water Resources Engineer-in-Chief S K Jain told reporters. Odisha government’s statement came a day after Chhattishgarh Water Resources minister Brijmohan Agarwal’s statement that flow of water in river Mahanadi was normal and there had been no stoppage of water at Kalma barrage. “Today, at the end of the non-monsoon, the scenario in the reduction of inflow to Hirakud reservoir is amply clear from the observation recorded at the Hirakud dam site,” Jain said adding that inflow to the reservoir has been reduced by 79.37 per cent in May last in comparison to 2013-14 to 2015-16. Alleging that the Chhattishgarh government’s act of closing the gates at Kalma barrage caused reduction in water flow to Hirakud reservoir, Jain said: “In the name of changing gate bays from time to time, which is frequently done by switching amongst the 66 number of gates, they resort to complete closure for sizeable time period.” “In the name of testing the gates, gates closure option has been adopted. The pond level is frequently changing as per the information available with Hirakud Dam authorities. Because of these actions, the inflow to Hirakud reservoir has reduced considerably,” Jain said. Meanwhile, senior BJP leader and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has said that he would take up the matter with Central Water Commission. Pradhan also said that he would also urge the Union Water Resources Ministry and Central Water Commission to ensure that free flow of water in Mahanadi river through Odisha is not affected. However, another Union minister from Odisha Jual Oram raised suspicion on the Odisha government’s “sincerity” on Mahanadi issue. He alleged the state government did not want to resolve the matter and kept the dispute alive for political gain. Earlier, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in a letter to his Chhattishgarh counterpart had requested to ensure free flow of water down stream of Mahanadi river by opening the gates of Kalma barrage, one of the six major barrages allegedly constructed unilaterally by the neighbouring state.(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 –>Water Resources Minister of Goa, Vinod Palyekar, on Friday had to pay a fine of Rs 600 for violating traffic rules. Interestingly, the minister was in Varanasi when his driver committed the offence. Taking the matter in his own hands, the minister called the RTO director, and requested for a challan to pay the fine after video of the violation went viral on social media.The video which was widely shared on social media, showed the minister’s car overtaking another car on the Mandovi bridge. The minister was quick to take a stand as soon as the video started circulating. He recorded a video message from Varanasi airport and explained himself.”I am at Varanasi airport and on my way to Goa. My official car was sent for servicing and my driver was bringing it back to pick me up from the airport when he overtook another car. I immediately called the director of transport, Nikhil Desai, after watching the video and requested for a challan to pay the fine,” Palyekar said in his video message.The enforcement wing of the transport department of Goa issued the challan and the fine was promptly paid by one of the associates of the minister.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today paid rich tributes to freedom fighter Veer Savarkar on his 134th birth anniversary. Fadnavis this morning visited Savarkar’s birth place at Bhagur in this North Maharashtra district and paid tributes to the revolutionary leader, said a senior official from Nashik district collectorate. Maharashtra Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan, local BJP MP and MLAs were present on the occasion. Mahajan said an amount of Rs 65 lakh has been approved by the state government to develop a memorial at Savarkar’s birthplace. Meanwhile, police detained some farmers from Sinnar town, who had gathered at Bhagur to protest against proposed Mumbai-Nagpur Samruddhi expressway, a senior police official 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 today said it has given an in-principle approval to Gujarat government’s ambitious Sauni irrigation project after the state authorities submitted a detailed compliance report. The clarification, issued by the PIB today, came days after senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel had claimed that Narendra Modi-led government refused funds for Saurashtra Narmada Avtaran Irrigation Yojana (Sauni) Project of Gujarat. On May 13, Patel tweeted that BJP government in Gujarat should explain reasons for Centre’s decision to deny funds. “Why has Centre rejected funds for Gujarat’s Sauni project? Isn’t it an injustice to the state or the people were being sold unfeasible dreams?” Patel asked. Today, a statement by the PIB clarified that the phase-II of the project has already been granted approval. “The Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation has conveyed its ‘in-principle’ approval for Sauni-II project to the Department of Economic Affairs, Government of India in October, 2016,” said the statement. As a standing procedure, all major and medium irrigation projects are required to undergo technical evaluation by Central Water Commission (CWC) and that states should submit a compliance report on the observations of CWC, said the PIB release. “In the case of Sauni-II project, CWC had made certain observations on the preliminary project report submitted by Gujarat government,” said the release. “The state government has since submitted a detailed compliance report, the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation has recommended the Project to the Department of Economic Affairs, Government of India, for obtaining external assistance” the release added. Narendra Modi, when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat, conceived the ambitious project, which is divided in four phases. Under this project, the state government plans to fill 115 dams of Saurashtra region with excess overflowing water of Sardar Sarovar dam across river Narmada, by a web of pipeline network. Last month, Modi visited Botad town to dedicate phase I of link-II pipeline canal of Sauni project and lay foundation stone for the phase II of link II of the project for Botad and Bhavnagar districts.(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 –>Gujarat minister Babu Bokhiriya today performed ground-breaking ceremony for Gir cow sanctuary, touted as the first such sanctuary in the country, at Dharampur near Porbandar in the state. The sanctuary, to be set up with the support of union government over 350 acres of barren land, would be ready within two years, a press release said. The state government has sanctioned Rs 41.8 crore for it. The purpose of the sanctuary is to preserve the Gir breed of cows and increase their population through semen preservation as well as raise their milk yield so as to increase farmers’ income, Bokhiriya, Porbandar MLA and Minister of Water Resources and Animal Husbandry, said. Junagadh Agriculture University is helping the state government in the setting up of the sanctuary, the release 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 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 –>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 –>The National Green Tribunal today asked the Centre to clarify what should be the minimum environmental flow (E-flow) in the Ganga, in a bid to ensure uninterrupted water supply in the river. The apex environment watchdog also said that unless the excessive extraction of water and discharge of high pollutants are controlled, it would be difficult to restore Ganga to its original pristine condition. The E-flow defines the quantity, timing and quality of water flow required to sustain freshwater and the estuarine ecosystems, besides human livelihood. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar directed the Environment Ministry, Ministry of Water Resources and the Central Pollution Control Board to provide complete information on e-flow to be maintained in the river. It asked them to apprise the green panel about extraction of groundwater in the stretch of 543 km between Haridwar and Unnao, and state whether the water being diverted into the various canals should be regulated so as to help maintenance of minimum flow of the river. “Ministry of Environment and Forests, Ministry of Water Resources and CPCB will take a clear stand as to what should be the minimum environmental flow of river Ganga in Segment-B (Haridwar and Unnao),” the bench said. The NGT fixed the matter for hearing on April 19. Earlier, the Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government favoured the shifting of British-era tanneries releasing toxic wastes into the river Ganga at Kanpur. The UP government had told the NGT that the hunt for a new site for setting up of these leather units, which are the “major source of pollution” in Ganga, was under consideration and would be identified soon. Last year, the then Akhilesh Yadav government had opposed the idea of shifting of over 400 tanneries giving employment to over two million people, saying the moving the tannery hubs to some other place was almost “next to impossible” due to paucity of land. In a detailed report covering various aspects of contamination in the river, CPCB had informed the NGT that the Ganga, spanning a distance of 543 km between Haridwar and Kanpur, was affected by 1,072 seriously polluting industries which were releasing heavy metals and pesticides. At present, 823.1 million litres per day of untreated sewage and 212.42 MLD of industrial effluent flows into the river while three of the four monitored Sewage Treatment Plants were non-compliant with the set standards, it said. The green panel has divided the work of cleaning the river in different segments Gomukh to Haridwar (Phase-I), Haridwar to Unnao (termed as segment B of Phase-I), Unnao to border of Uttar Pradesh, border of Uttar Pradesh to border of Jharkhand and border of Jharkhand to Bay of Bengal.(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 ensure that there is uninterrupted flow of water in the Ganga river, the National Green Tribunal asked the Centre today to clear its stand on minimum environmental flow (E-flow) in the river. The apex environment watchdog said that unless excessive extraction of water and discharge of high pollutants are controlled, it will be difficult to restore the Ganga to its original pristine condition. Environmental flow describe the quantity, timing, and quality of water flows required to sustain freshwater and estuarine ecosystems and the human livelihoods and well-being that depend on these ecosystems. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar directed the Environment Ministry, Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR) and the Central Pollution Control Board to provide complete and correct information on environmental flow to be maintained in the river. The green panel also asked them to apprise it about extraction of groundwater in this stretch, spanning a distance of 543 km between Haridwar and Unnao, and state whether the water being diverted into the various Ganga Canals should be regulated so as to help maintenance of minimum flow of the river. “The Ministry of Environment and Forests, Ministry of Water Resources and the CPCB will take a clear stand as to what should be the minimum environmental flow of the river Ganga in Segment-B (Haridwar and Unnao),” the bench said. The NGT has now fixed the matter for hearing on April 19. Earlier, the Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government had favoured the shifting of British-era tanneries releasing toxic wastes into the river Ganga at Kanpur. The UP government had told the National Green Tribunal that hunt for a new site for setting up these leather units, which are the “major source of pollution” in the Ganga, is under consideration and would be identified soon. Last year, the then Akhilesh Yadav government had opposed the idea of shifting of over 400 tanneries giving employment to over two million people, saying the moving the tannery hubs to some other places was almost “next to impossible” due to the paucity of land. In a detailed report covering various aspects of contamination in the river, the CPCB had informed the NGT that the Ganga, spanning a distance of 543 km between Haridwar and Kanpur, was affected by 1,072 seriously polluting industries which were releasing heavy metals and pesticides. At present, 823.1 million litres per day (MLD) of untreated sewage and 212.42 MLD of industrial effluent flows into the river, while three of the four monitored sewage treatment plants were non-compliant with the set standards, it said. The green panel has divided the work of cleaning the river in different segments Gomukh to Haridwar (Phase-I), Haridwar to Unnao (termed as segment B of Phase-I), Unnao to border of Uttar Pradesh, border of Uttar Pradesh to border of Jharkhand and border of Jharkhand to the Bay of Bengal.(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 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 –>Telangana Minister KT Rama Rao has been invite to address a conference on water resources and environment in the US next month. The World Environment and Water Resources Congress is being organised in Sacramento, California by the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Environmental and Water Resources Institute (ASCE-EWRI) in the last week of May. The minister will deliver the inaugural address explaining the state government’s schemes such as ‘Mission Bhagiratha’ (to provide safe drinking water), according to an official release. He has been also invited by the Stanford University to speak in its annual meeting on May 18 and 19. The IT and Industries minister is expected to speak about the state government’s achievements in employment generation and entrepreneurial development during the past three years, the release 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 Karnataka government today said it is not in a position to release Cauvery river water to neighbouring Tamil Nadu as the availability is just enough for the state’s drinking water needs. It also reiterated that the proposed Mekedatu dam project across the Cauvery was in the interest of both the states and there was “misconception” about it in Tamil Nadu. “There is not enough water. There is water exactly for drinking purposes until June 15…we do not have water for giving it to Tamil Nadu, we have water only for ourselves, that too for drinking purposes…”, Water Resources Minister M B Patil told reporters here. He said, “We have have brought it to the notice of the Honourable Supreme Court also. We have told this to the team of officials (from Tamil Nadu) that visited here. At present we cannot give water.” “If things improve tomorrow, if we have pre-monsoon showers, if we get some inflows, we will definitely consider, we are open to that,” he added. The Supreme Court had on April 7, dismissed a Karnataka government plea seeking review of its September 20, 2016 order asking it to release 6,000 cusecs of Cauvery water per day to Tamil Nadu till September 27, saying it has become “infructuous” as several subsequent orders were passed. An official delegation from Tamil Nadu had also recently held meetings with Karnataka Chief Secretary Subhash Khuntia and other state officials here with a request to release 3 tmcft of Cauvery water on humanitarian grounds. To the officials too, Karnataka had expressed its inability in releasing water citing water levels in Cauvery reservoirs. There is a total of 7.748 tmc water in four Cauvery reservoirs. It includes 4.438 tmc in KRS, 0.295 tmc in Kabini 1.228 in Harangi and 1.787 in Hemavathi. Noting that the problem in sharing water arises only during distress years, Patil said that’s the reason why the state proposed Mekedatu dam. “Mekedatu dam will help during crisis…it is a misconception that Tamil Nadu’s water will be affected, in fact it will help regulated release during distress years,” he said. “Mekedatu dam is beneficial for both states. We have to convince Tamil Nadu that it is going to help you people,” he said. The Karnataka Cabinet has decided to implement the Rs 5,912-crore Mekedatu Multipurpose (drinking and power) Project which involves building a balancing reservoir with a capacity of about 66 tmc ft, near Kanakapura in Ramanagaram district. The Tamil Nadu government has been protesting against the project and also sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention in the matter.(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 –>Karnataka government today said it has no problem in providing water until June 15 to the people in the state, hit by consecutive years of drought, but there may be water rationing, if required. Appealing to farmers to stop using pumpsets, it advised the people to use water judiciously, as the water levels in almost all the reservoirs was just enough for drinking needs. Water Resources Minister M B Patil said that with optimum utilisation and judicious use of water, along with proper planning and coordination, the department will ensure that water is given to the people. “We have severe drought in Karnataka and this is for the third year. Our priority is that our dam zones throughout the state, wherever we are giving water to the cities or the multi village schemes or towns from our dam is not affected,” he told reporters here. The Department had an internal meeting today and planned to give water up to June 15, he said, adding, the state expects to receive rains by then. Patil said he has also requested Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to make an appeal to farmers not to use their pumpsets in such a crucial period, as the water available was just enough for drinking purpose. Patil said, if required, Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewage Board (BWSSB), Karnataka Urban Water Supply and Drainage Board and Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Departments could resort to some “rationing” of water. “It is they who have to decide- what best possible thing to do is,” he said. According to data on live water storage in various reservoirs, there is a total of 7.748 tmc in Cauvery reservoirs – Krishna Raja Sagar, Kabini, Harangi and Hemavathi. He said combining Krishna Raja Sagar and Kabini water availability is 4.7 tmc, and the water requirement of Bengaluru city is 800 cusecs per day. “So for next 60 days we have to give 800 cusecs. BWSSB requires 6000 cusecs, but we have calculated transmission losses and in between multi village schemes. So for giving 800 cusecs for 60 days upto June 15 we require 4.1 to 4.5 tmc, what we have is 4.7 tmc so we can manage until then”, he said. On rationing of water, he said the water resources department is a bulk or wholesale supplier of water and it would coordinate with all the departments and district administration and “as a team effort we will try to ensure that there is efficient use of water.”(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 –>Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today embarked on a four-day visit to India which will see signing of at least 25 bilateral agreements including in key areas of civil nuclear cooperation and defence. During her visit, which comes after a gap of seven years, Hasina will hold wide-ranging talks with her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi tomorrow during which India is also set to announce a line of credit of USD 500 million to Bangladesh for military supplies. “The upcoming visit is expected to further expand the cordial and cooperative relationship between India and Bangladesh and build on the strong ties of friendship and trust between the two leaders,” a joint statement issued by the two countries said earlier. Hasina will also call on President Pranab Mukherjee and meet opposition leader Sonia Gandhi. She will visit Ajmer on Sunday and will meet Indian business leaders on Monday. She will also join a function at Manekshaw Centre to honour Indian Armed Forces members who embraced martyrdom in Bangladesh’s War of Liberation in 1971. Diplomatic quarters of both sides expected that the reciprocal visit of the Bangladesh premier would take the Dhaka-New Delhi “historic relations” to a new height unveiling newer dimensions of cooperation in various sectors including trade and commerce, economy and connectivity. It will be Hasina’s first bilateral visit to India in her current term as prime minister. Ramping up cooperation in defence and security will be a major focus area of the talks between Modi and Hasina and apart from an MoU to provide USD 500 million credit, another pact is likely to be inked to formalise regular defence engagements. Issues like combating terrorism, containing radicalism and enhancing security cooperation between the two countries are likely to figure prominently besides stalemate over the Teesta pact during talks between Modi and Hasina. Liberation War Affairs minister AKM Mozammel Haque, Water Resources Minister Anisul Islam Mahmud, Law Minister Anisul Haque, Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, the Premier’s Economic Affairs Advisor Moshiour Rahman and State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam are accompanying Hasina for the visit.(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 Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) of the environment ministry, in a meeting last week flagged several issues pertaining to the Ken-Betwa river. They discussed the impact on the large-scale submergence of forests and wildlife habitats inside Panna Tiger Reserve (PTR) because of the Ken-Betwa river linking project, highly placed sources told DNA.The project was subjected to scrutiny on the basis of a site inspection report of its sub-committee. The FAC, among other things, has sought to examine if the height of the project dam can be reduced by at least 10 metres. They also proposed a realignment of the project canal to reduce diversion of forest land.The river linking project has already received wildlife clearance from National Board for Wildlife (NBWL), and the expert advisory committee of the environment ministry has recommended that it be given clearance too. Pegged at more than Rs 10,000 crore, the project involves construction of a 77 metre tall and 2,031 metre wide dam at Daudhan. A 221-km long canal will also be built to transfer the water from Ken river basin to Betwa river basin for irrigating an estimated 6.35 lakh hectares of land in parched Bundelkhand. A total of 6017 hectares of forest will be diverted for the project, but 5454 hectares of pristine forest in Panna will be submerged under water.Sources say the FAC members believe that reducing the dam height is the only way to save the unique ecosystems in caves, gorges and rock crevices in PTR along both banks of the Ken river and reduce its fragmentation. The long-billed vultures use the rock crevices as nesting sites while the caves are inhabited by sloth bears, tigers and leopards.This is not the first time that reduction of the height of the dam has been discussed. Last year, an expert body constituted by the NBWL, had recommended reduction in height of the Daudhan dam. The Water Resources Ministry had argued that reducing the dam height will substantially reduce the irrigation command area. Eventually, the recommendation was dropped. During the meeting, the committee also noted that the cost-benefit analysis of the project submitted by National Water Development Agency, has not considered the ecosystem services lost due to loss of pristine forests and unique riverine ecosystem. It has thus sought a detailed study on ecosystem services and goods, through a reputed institution.Reportedly, the committee has also discussed the issue of a comprehensive rehabilitation plan.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Goa government has said that the State has sufficient water stock in its dams to sail through the summer season. “Goa has enough stock to tackle the water shortage problem during the summer. Water resources department is constantly monitoring the levels in the dams and there is no reason for any concern,” Water Resources department minister Vinod Palyekar told reporters here after chairing the meeting of officials. He said that the water in Salaulim dam in South Goa is almost 34.56 metres which is sufficient for almost 300 days for the area serviced by the project. “Anjunem water level stands at 81 metres which is sufficient for 90 days. Amthane dam level is 47.28 metres which is sufficient to provide water for almost 300 days,” he said. “Water level in other dams including Panchawadi is almost 22.41 m which is sufficient for 150 days. Chapoli has 32.68 m water which is sufficient for 525 days,” the minister said. Palyekar said Water Resource department is all set to tackle the problem of water shortage if at all it arises during the summer season. Palyekar said he had a detailed discussions with all the officers regarding their works and projects.(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 adjourned till tomorrow the hearing on the plea relating to the cleaning and rejuvenation of River Ganga. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar posted the matter for March 30 after the counsel appearing for the Uttar Pradesh government sought more time citing unavailability of officers concerned. The lawyer told the NGT that there has been change in the dispensation and a new government has been formed in the state leading to reshuffle in the administration. The bench, however, refused to grant more time saying, “Don’t tell us all this. Don’t discuss political issues with us as we are only concerned with pollution of River Ganga.” The tribunal had earlier issued a show cause notice to Kanpur municipal commissioner and the city’s water body officials asking why action should not be taken against them for degrading environment. The bench, which is hearing the Ganga cleaning case on a 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 sewerage line project without due analysis and verification of the actual pollution load in the Garh drain and Brijghat drain.(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 –>Yogi Adityanath, a five-time Lok Sabha MP from Gorakhpur, was chosen the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh in the BJP legislature party leader meeting held in Lucknow on Saturday. He will be taking oath at Raj Bhavan on Sunday. Elated on his appointed, Minister of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Uma Bharti has said that Yogi becoming UP CM is the best news of 21st century.Speaking to ANI, she said, “For me Modiji being the PM of India and my younger brother Yogiji becoming CM of UP is the best news of 21st century.” She also seemed hopeful that Yogi would focus on development in the state. “Yogiji vikaas aur rashtravaad ko saath leke chalenge, aur vaampanthiyon ke gaal pe ye sab se bada jhaapda pada hai,” she added. (Yogi will simultaneously focus on development and nationalism, which is like a slap on the face of leftist).Yogi met Governor Ram Naik on Saturday evening and staked claim to form the government in the state. Talking to reporters at Raj Bhavan, he said, he would follow Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s slogan ‘Sab ka saath, Sab ka vikas’ and ensure all round development of the state.Senior party leader and Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, who was the central observer at the Legislature Party meeting, said it was a watershed moment for the BJP and it has become a common man’s party. He said, the mandate is for development, and against corruption and black money.
ALSO READ Chetan Bhagat on Yogi Adityanath: When ‘naughtiest’ guy made class monitor, he behaves bestIn the recently held polls in the state, BJP had bagged 312 seats, and its allies 13, taking the alliance’s tally to 325 in the 403-member Assembly.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India has fast-tracked hydropower projects worth $15 billion in Kashmir in recent months, three federal and state officials said, ignoring warnings from Islamabad that power stations on rivers flowing into Pakistan will disrupt water supplies. The swift approval of projects that had languished for years came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggested last year that sharing the waterways could be conditional on Pakistan clamping down on anti-India militants that New Delhi says it shelters. Pakistan has opposed some of these projects before, saying they violate a World Bank-mediated treaty on the sharing of the Indus river and its tributaries upon which 80 percent of its irrigated agriculture depends. The schemes, the largest of which is the 1,856 MW Sawalkote plant, will take years to complete, but their approval could prove a flashpoint between the nuclear-armed neighbours at a time when relations are at a low ebb. “I say the way you look at these projects, it is not purely a hydro project. Broaden it to a strategic water management, border management problem, and then you put in money,” said Pradeep Kumar Pujari, the top ranking official in the power ministry. Pakistan denies any involvement in the 28-year armed insurgency in Indian Kashmir and has repeatedly urged New Delhi to hold talks to decide the future of the region. Pakistan’s foreign ministry spokesman, Nafees Zakaria, said he would confer with the Ministry of Water and Power on the proposed Indian projects, saying it was a technical matter. He noted, however, that India would be attending a regular meeting of the Indus Commission later this month in Lahore, even though the broader peace dialogue was on hold. “It seems that finally India has realized the importance of this mechanism under the IWT (Indus Waters Treaty) for resolving water disputes related to the Indus water and its tributaries.” TRIPLE POWER Six hydro projects in Indian Kashmir either cleared viability tests or the more advanced environment and forest expert approvals in the last three months, two officials in India’s Water Resources Ministry and the Central Electricity Authority said separately. Together these projects on the Chenab river, a tributary of the Indus, would triple hydropower generation in Jammu and Kashmir from the current level of 3,000 MW, the biggest jump in decades, added the officials, declining to be named because the approvals had not yet been made public. “We have developed barely one-sixth of the hydropower capacity potential in the state in the last 50 years,” the senior official at the Water Resources Ministry said. “Then one fine morning, you see we cleared six to seven projects in three months; it definitely raises concern in Pakistan.” Pakistan’s water supply is dwindling because of climate change, outdated farming techniques and an exploding population. A 2011 report by the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations said New Delhi could use these projects as a way to control Pakistan’s supplies from the Indus, seen as its jugular vein. “The cumulative effect of these projects could give India the ability to store enough water to limit the supply to Pakistan at crucial moments in the growing season,” it said. India says the projects are “run-of-the-river” schemes that use the river’s flow and elevation to generate electricity rather than large reservoirs, and do not contravene the treaty. Environmental groups have questioned whether the government has followed proper procedures in fast-tracking projects located in a highly seismic area. “BLOOD AND WATER” Modi told a meeting of government officials on the Indus treaty last year that “blood and water cannot flow together”, soon after India blamed Pakistan-based militants for a deadly attack on its troops in Kashmir. Modi’s message was two-fold, Indian foreign ministry spokesman Gopal Baglay said. Terrorism had to stop and India must fully utilise the economic potential available to it within the Indus treaty. The projects that have won technical approvals in recent months are Sawalkote, Kwar, Pakal Dul, Bursar and Kirthai I and II. Most of the projects have been held up for at least a decade awaiting multiple clearances. Sawalkote, which was cleared by a government-constituted environment committee in January, was first given techno-economic approval in 1991. It is now up for forest clearance from the state authorities, after which the government will finalise financing and begin construction. Some projects like Pakal Dul were stuck in litigation, but that has been resolved, Jammu and Kashmir’s Power Minister Nirmal Singh told Reuters in the summer capital Srinagar. “Things are now in a position of take-off,” he said. In January, senior federal officials made a presentation on energy security to Modi in which they proposed interest subsidies and long-term loans for hydroprojects above 100 MW, according to the document seen by Reuters. But Himanshu Thakkar, coordinator of South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers & People, said some projects had been cleared without impact assessment studies and public consultation. “It’s on one river, the Chenab, where you are doing so many projects. This is a very vulnerable region. It’s landslide-prone, it’s flash flood-prone, earthquake-prone.”(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 bill which seeks to to set up a single, permanent tribunal to adjudicate all inter-state river water disputes subsuming existing tribunals was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.Moving the bill, Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti called it “revolutionary” amid opposition by Bhartruhari Mahtab of BJD who said it was “very wrongly drafted” and asked the government to consult the states before bringing it. Rejecting his contention, Bharti said he had not given any logical reasoning as to why he considered the bill, which is aimed at resolving grievances of states in a speedy manner by amending the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, 1956, as badly drafted.Citing the Cauvery water dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, she said the new law will be effective in dealing with such disputes and sought support of members of various parties for its passage. “The proposed bill seeks to provide for a single tribunal (with multiple benches) instead of multiple tribunals. It shall consist of one chairperson, one vice-chairperson and not more than six members…”The total time period for adjudication of a water dispute has been fixed at a maximum of four and half years. The decision of the bench of the tribunal shall be final and binding on the states concerned…,” the bill says.It notes that inter-state river water disputes are on the rise on account of increase in demand of water by states. The existing Act suffers from many “drawbacks”, it says.
<!– /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 –>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.)
Water Resources not to accord techno-economic clearance for Mekedatu or any other project in the Cauvery Basin of Karnataka till the concurrence of all co-basin states were obtained by it, and after the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) and Cauvery Water Regulation Committee came into force “and the judicial references are finally settled. ” <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Water Resources not to accord techno-economic clearance for Mekedatu or any other project in the Cauvery Basin of Karnataka till the concurrence of all co-basin states were obtained by it, and after the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) and Cauvery Water Regulation Committee came into force “and the judicial references are finally settled.” “Further, instructions may also kindly be issued to the Ministries of Power, Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Drinking Water and Sanitation not to accord the clearances for the Mekedatu or any other project of Karnataka, till the whole issue is settled,” he 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 –> After the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) emerged victorious by securing 470 seats in the Maharashtra civic polls; Minister of Water Resources Uma Bharti on Thursday declared there is no rift between the BJP and Shiv Sena. ?The love and bond between BJP and Shiv Sena is not from now, but age old. With this love, some or the other positive result will surely come out. When there is love there are small fights too and it?s all ok in the party, nothing is serious,? said Uma. Uma also congratulated Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on BJP?s victory and called it a splendid success. ?For Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, I wish him a hearty congratulation on his success. It was a splendid win, the hard work taken up by him and the party showed up on the results. In Mumbai, where we once had 30 seats currently we own more than 400 and I totally grant this success to him,? she said. The BJP and the Shiv Sena secured substantial wins in the BMC election. In all ten municipal corporations and 25 zila parishads went to polls in Maharashtra. Parties that faced crushing defeats included the Congress, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) and the nationalist Congress Party (NCP). Of the 227 seats up for grabs in Mumbai, the Shiv Sena has won 84 seats, the BJP 82, the Congress 31, the NCP nine and the MNS seven. Other candidates have won 13 seats. In Pune, the BJP has won 74 of the 162 seats, the NCP 34, the Shiv Sena eight, the MNS five and the Congress two. In Thane, the Shiv Sena won 42 of the 131 seats, the NCP 16, the BJP 14, while the MNS and the Congress won four and one seat respectively.(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 –>Government has informed the National Green Tribunal that it has issued a notification for regulating developmental activities on the floodplains of River Ganga and its tribuatries. The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) told the green panel that the Ministry of Water Resources has issued a notification on October 7, 2016 which provides for protection of flood plain, its demarcation and activities which can be carried out in such eco-sensitive areas. Taking note of the submissions, a bench headed by NGT chief Justice Swatanter Kumar disposed of a plea by an environment activist claiming that construction of concrete farmhouses, plots, colonies and commercial setups in the river bed damages natural environment and posed a grave hazard to human life. “Counsel appearing for the Respondents, State and Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change have brought to our notice that the Notification dated October 7, 2016 has been issued by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation which provides for protection of flood plain, fixation thereof and the activity which can be carried out in the flood plain. “In the light of the above, the present application has been rendered infructuous. The parties are free to take appropriate steps in furtherance thereof including, if anybody wishes to challenge the same in accordance with law. The States and Centres are free to act with the notification in accordance with law,” the bench said. Environmentalist Akash Vashishtha had contended in a plea that apart from obstructing the natural course of two rivers, the constructions exerted massive stress on the river’s ecosystem due to discharge of huge amounts of waste. According to the notification, the bank of river Ganga and its flood plain “shall be construction free zone to reduce pollution sources, pressures and to maintain its natural ground water recharge functions”. In cases where construction has been completed before the issuance of notification, “National Mission for Clean Ganga shall review such constructions to examine whether they caused interruption in the continuous flow of water or polluted the river or its tributaries, and if that be so, it shall cause for removing them.” “No person shall construct any structure, whether permanent or temporary for residential or commercial or industrial or any other purposes in the Ganga, bank of Ganga or its tributaries or active flood plain area of river Ganga or its tributaries,” the notification 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 investment clearance committee, comprising officials from NITI Aayog and Union Water Resources Ministry, for Ken-Betwa river linking today gave the nod for the Rs 18,000-crore national project envisaged to address drinking water and irrigation requirements of the parched Bundelkhand region. Union Water Resources Secretary Amarjeet Singh, who heads the committee, confirmed the investment clearance given to the project. “The investment clearance committee has recommended the investment clearance for the project after detailed deliberations and discussions,” he said. The first-of-its-kind project covers parts of Madhya Pradesh and poll-bound Uttar Pradesh. Phase I of the project has received clearances from the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL), Tribal Affairs Ministry and lately from the Environment Ministry’s EAC. However, the Environment Ministry’s final nod to the project is still awaited as it decides taking into account the recommendations of its Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC). Also, the EAC’s nod comes even as the project is being examined by Supreme Court appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) for adequacy of mitigative measures against its adverse impact on the Panna tiger reserve in Madhya Pradesh. The first phase of the project will cost about Rs 9,393 crore and is likely to be completed in nine years. The project comes under Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP) in which the Centre contributes 60 per cent funds and the rest is by the state. But the Water Resources Ministry has asked NITI Aayog to change the funding pattern to 90:10 ratio given it is a national project. Sources in the Water Resources Ministry said the NITI Aayog is convinced of the ministry’s proposal but the final call on the funds would be taken by the Finance Ministry. “We will follow whatever is the government’s decision in this regard meanwhile (until the funding pattern is finalised),” sources in the ministry said. The project envisages construction of a dam across river Ken in Chhatarpur district in Madhya Pradesh to irrigate 6.35 lakh hectares of land, serve drinking water purposes in Bundelkhand region and generation of 78 MW hydropower. Of this, 3.69 lakh hectares will be covered in Madhya Pradesh’s Chattarpur, Tikamgarh and Panna districts. The remaining 2.65 lakh hectares of area falls in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh’s Mahoba, Banda and Jhansi districts. A total of 10 villages consisting of 1,585 families are likely to be affected by this project. About 9,000 hectares area would be submerged, out of which 4,141 hectares is forestland in Panna Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh. The project comprises two powerhouses of 2×30 MW and 3×6 MW each, two tunnels of 1.9 km long at upper level, 1.1 km long tunnel at lower level and a 221 km long Ken-Betwa link canal, proposed on the left bank of the river. The project was first mooted in the early 1980s but was actively taken up by the previous NDA government under then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. It was then challenged in the Supreme Court, which finally gave the nod in 2013.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)