Perennial Jamni river will be linked to nearby lakes to assist in irrigation

The Madhya Pradesh government claims to have launched the country's first ever river-lake linking project in the water-scarce Bundelkhand region. The Harpura irrigation and river-lake link project, launched in the Tikamgarh district, will be implemented under the Centre's Rs.7266 crore Bundelkhand package. It will link the perennial Jamni river to the nearby lakes and water bodies built during the Chandel era. Under the project, an additional 1,980 hectares of land are expected to come under irrigation.

Alleging that the Group of Ministers (GoM) on the Bhopal gas tragedy had failed to keep the promises made to victims, victim organizations urged GoM chairperson and Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram to present correct figures of death and injury to provide adequate compensation, and also to treat environmental remediation as a separate issue in itself.

Home Minister P. Chidambaram, along with Minister of Law and Justice Salman Khurshid, and Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs V. Narayansamy, will be visiting Bhopal on Tuesday, to take stock of the situation, regarding disposal of tonnes of hazardous waste lying inside the Union Carbide factory premises.

The war of words between the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) and Shree Maheshwar Hydel Power Corporation Ltd. (SMHPCL), the private company building the Maheshwar dam, has reached its peak with the NBA threatening to file a suit against the company for making “wild and defamatory” allegations.

“The SMHPCL has falsely stated that the petition in the National Green Tribunal was not filed by project oustees but by the office-bearers of the NBA. Both the petitioners are bona fide oustees affected by the Maheshwar and neither of them are office-bearers,” NBA leader Alok Agarwal told The Hindu .

Order welcomed by Narmada Bachao Andolan.

Supreme Court lawyer and anti-corruption activist Prashant Bhushan has said the Maheshwar dam project, the country's first privately-financed hydropower project, mired in financial irregularities, is unviable.

Mr. Bhushan was addressing in Maheshwar on Sunday a rally, taken out by oustees of the project against the recent decision of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) allowing raising the water level in the reservoir up to 154 metres.

Union Minister of Rural Development Jairam Ramesh will be touring 12 backward districts in Madhya Pradesh over the next four months to review the working of the flagship schemes of the Central government.

Speaking at a State-level party program here, Mr. Ramesh assured leader of Opposition in the State Assembly Ajay Singh that he would personally tour districts such as Jhabua and Sidhi among others to review the working of the flagship schemes.

In a case of illegal drug trial, a man from Indore “discovered” through local newspapers that he was an uninformed guinea-pig for a German drug firm. The newspapers reported the matter after it was raised in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly.

Dhananjay Shrivastava did not know trials of Olodaterol — a drug for respiratory ailments — were conducted on him, till his name figured on the list of 1,112 victims of illegal drug trials made public by the Assembly in response to a question from MLA Bala Bachchan on March 1.

Madhya Pradesh, once famous as the “Tiger State,” lost 453 animals over the last decade. And how many culprits did the government bring to book? Just two. Recently accessed documents reveal only two cases of poaching reached their logical conclusion of conviction during this period, as of March 2012.

Sample the facts: according to the conservation programme ‘Project Tiger', the population of big cats in Madhya Pradesh in 2001-02 stood at 710. However, the 2011 census revealed there were only 257 tigers left in its six reserves — Bandhavgarh, Kanha, Panna, Bori-Satpura, Sanjay Dubri and Pench.

The Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) has opposed the Madhya Pradesh government's move to fill up the Maheshwar dam up to a height of 154 metres and has warned of a “ jal satyagraha” if the government goes ahead with the decision.

The State government, along with the Maheshwar project promoter Shree Maheshwar Hydel Power Corporation Ltd (SMHPCL), has asked permission from the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to fill up the dam up to 154 metres.

Recommends several measures to reduce high rate of maternal mortality
The Madhya Pradesh High Court has directed the State Government to ensure maternal safety through proper implementation of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).

The HC order was passed last Saturday by a bench comprising Justices Sanjay Yadav and Ajit Singh in the “Sandesh Bansal vs Union of India and others” public interest litigation.