MOEF releases draft National Environment Policy (NEP) 2004
The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has recently released
the draft of the NEP-the first-ever official document that draws a
road map of the future of environmental management in India. On the
water front, it offers recommendations on how to protect and nourish
river systems, groundwater and the wetlands. Are these focussed and
comprehensive enough to bring about long-term, sustainable changes?
How do you as a stakeholder rate the policy? Let us know and we shall
highlight your comments through our various information channels
Your opinion counts!
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Newsletter on floods in Bihar released
Samajik Shaikshanik Vikas Kendra (SSVK), a Bihar based NGO, has
launched newsletter on floods in the state titled "Bihar Insight".
The inaugural issue, supported focuses on the problems of floods coincidently
at a time when the state is ravaged by one of the worst recorded floods.
Bihar Insight is a compilation of news clippings on floods in Bihar
published during the month of July 2004 in more than a dozen national
and regional newspapers. This initiative is the first of its kind
ever since the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), a New Delhi-based
NGO had brought out a special issue on Bihar floods and its coping
strategy during 1991.
"Being launched at a time when the state is reeling under the
devastating impact of floods, it has more inclusive purpose of highlighting
the issue on a national scale to attract the attention of the state,
business and civil society actors. It also wants to give a direction
to a host of voluntary efforts that have come up all over the country
to respond to the plight of the flood-affected," said Deepak
Bharati, SSVK in an interview to a national daily.
The inaugural issue of "Bihar Insight" is an effort to keep
the debate on various social issues alive among the policy makers,
intellectuals as well as politicians. "We wish to reach out to
all those interested in the upliftment of Bihar so that a plurality
of thoughts go into seeking solutions to the problems of the state",
Some of the experts on disaster management and floods including Dinesh
K Mishra, Neeraj Labh, Mukul Sharma, Raghupati, Vijay Pratap, Arun
Das, Baagish K Jha, Ranjeev and Hemant are in the advisory panels
of the newsletter.
HC orders water harvesting for public buildings
The Delhi High Court on Wednesday (August 26, 2004) directed the DJB
and other civic agencies to allow water harvesting in public sector
buildings, wherever feasible. It has also sought compliance in this
regard from authorities on those flyovers that got their designs approved
from the agencies for water harvesting. This report has to be submitted
within four weeks.Meanwhile, the Central Ground Water Authority has
also been asked to collect data on underground water for the last
three years and furnish it before the court on the next date of hearing.This
order was passed by a division bench of Chief Justice B.C. Patel and
Justice B.D. Ahmed following a petition by V.K. Jain of Tapas
Source: The Hindustan Times, New Delhi, August 26, 2004, Page No.5
Progressive judicial interventions from the Kerala High Court to curb
indiscriminate groundwater exploitation.
While the administrative set up in the country has failed totally
to stop the indiscriminate groundwater exploitation by the industrial
and commercial units, the judiciary is finally emerging as a saviour
of the threatened groundwater reserves. Two land-mark decisions in
this regard were given by the Kerala High Court in the last few days.
Panchayat to decide on the fate of packaged drinking
The Kerala High court on November 5, 2003 has directed the Chottanikkara
Panchayat to take a fresh decision on permitting a packaged drinking
water unit in consultation with the groundwater department. On November
5, 2003 KHC has directed the Chottanikkara Panchayat to take a fresh
decision on permitting a packaged drinking water unit in consultation
with the groundwater department. Declining the petitioners plea to
permit the operations of the plant, the court said, "this being
a commercial venture, without license from the panchayat, the same
cannot be permitted." The court has asked both the parties to
maintain a status quo, till a decision is made.
Chottanikkara Panchayat had given approval for 'Pure Packages Drinking
water unit' Dec 18, 2002. But due to the objections of the Kudivella
Sanrakshana Samiti (drinking water protection committee), the panchayat
cancelled its earlier permission. The owner of the packaging unit,
Sunita Kurian Thomas filed a petition against this decision. Justice
K Balakrishnan Nair, in his order directed the petitioner to reply
to the panchayat's latest order, meanwhile has asked the panchayat
take a decision in a month's time.
Source: Mathrubhumi, Dec 11, 2003
Stop groundwater extraction in Plachimada
The Kerala High Court today directed the Panchayat and State Government
to ensure that Coca Cola stopped extraction of ground water in Plachimada
within a month. It also asked the department of groundwater to conduct
more studies independently.
Source: Malayala Manorama, dated December 16, 2003
Five month diploma course on rainwater harvesting
The University of Madras is planning to start a post graduate diploma
on rainwater harvesting during the academic year 2004-05. This was
announced by Dr Thyagarajan, Vice Chancellor of the university during
his special lecture on the 40th annual convention of Indian Geophysical
Union. More details awaited.