Court puts brakes on govt’s Green India Programme
The UPA government’s Green India Programme (GIP) hit a legal hurdle on Wednesday. The Supreme Court (SC) stalled the transfer of about Rs 10,000 crore to the ambitious project from the custody of a court-appointed panel to a body proposed under a new law.
The government wanted to transfer the huge amount currently lying with a court-appointed panel to its Green India Programme, meant for wildlife protection and afforestation.
The programme envisages locating at least one acre of degraded forestland or other land for planting trees, using over Rs 9,000 crore lying with the ad-hoc Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA), a body set up on the orders of the court under the Ministry of Forest and Environment.
The money was collected by various states from user agencies in lieu of forestland diverted for non-forest purposes. It has in fact been invested in various nationalised banks by the court-appointed panel and the Centre proposed to shift it to Compensatory Afforestation Fund under the GIP.
The SC’s forest bench headed by Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan ordered a status quo on transfer of the fund, dashing the Centre’s hopes to get the amount for compensatory afforestation after the Central Empowered Committee appointed by the apex court objected to the government’s move.
The court also issued notices to all the states, asking them to submit within four weeks site-specific schemes on utilising these funds and asked the CAMPA to scrutinise the proposals and submit its report to it for a decision regarding release of funds. On behalf of the ministry, Solicitor General G.E. Vahanvati said so far 23 states and Union Territories had sent their proposals and CAMPA was scrutinising them.
Mumbai: Four women in their 20s, part of a notorious gang robbing long-distance railway passengers of their belongings, were arrested by the government railway police crime branch on Wednesday. The modus operandi of these women was to pretend that they were travelling alone and in need of help. Police officials said the women from Aurangabad would periodically visit Mumbai and board long-distance trains from Dadar or Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus.
Mumbai It has been a week since the regime changed in Maharashtra and the Mumbai police have already decided to disband the Special Investigation Team formed to investigate Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut's allegations that certain Enforcement Directorate officials collected money from city builders through a South Mumbai businessman.
The Bhagwant Mann-led Punjab cabinet on Wednesday gave final approval for the policy governing the decision to provide 600 units of free power to every household per billing cycle in the state with effect from July 1, 2022. According to the decision, Scheduled Caste, non- BPL and backward class domestic consumers who are eligible for 400 free units (per billing cycle) of power will also get a subsidy of 600 units now.
Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann, 48, will get married at a private ceremony in Chandigarh on Thursday. “Mann saab will tie the knot with Dr Gurpreet Kaur, who belongs to Pehowa in Kurukshetra. It will be a private and simple ceremony,” Aam Aadmi Party's Punjab unit chief spokesperson said. This will be Mann's second marriage after he had separated from his first wife, Inderpreet Kaur, in 2015.
Following heavy rains that continued for the third consecutive day in parts of western Maharashtra, a landslide occurred on a road leading to the Pratapgad fort in western Maharashtra's Satara district on Wednesday. Public Works Department's executive engineer, Sanjay Sonawane, said, the incident took place in the wee hours on the main road (no.17) which leads to Pratapgad, located about 140 km from Pune and over 200 km from Mumbai.