The Supreme Court declared illegal all coal block allocations between 1993 and 2010, saying these were done in an unfair, arbitrary and non-transparent manner without following any objective criteria. The court, however, said that further hearing was required to decide whether there is a need for cancelling around 200 coal block allocations.
The petitions were based on the Comptroller and Auditor General’s (CAG) report that the exchequer suffered a loss of Rs. 1.64 lakh crore due to the arbitrary allocations of coal blocks. The coal blocks allocated to private companies between 2004 to March 2010 are situated in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh.
Solanki, a former professor, belongs to Bhind district of Madhya Pradesh and was renominated to Rajya Sabha in August, 2012.
The Government of Madhya Pradesh has launched ‘Gauravi’- India’s first One-Stop Crisis Centre (OSCC) at J. P. Hospital in Bhopal. The centre will help women who are victims of violence by enabling them to register an FIR, medical treatment, psychological counseling and legal help—all under one roof. The single-window centre was inaugurated by Bollywood actor Aamir Khan.
‘Gauravi’ will provide help and assistance to survivors and victims of dowry harassment, domestic violence and other atrocities on women.
The OSCC will extend legal advice, medical and police assistance to the victims. This facility can be availed either by calling on its helpline number or visiting the centre. It will also provide assistance in filing FIRs, providing security, rehabilitation of the victim and forensic support.
The MP government has also asked the Centre to provide Rs 80 crore under ‘Nirbhaya Fund’ to establish similar centres in the remaining parts of the state.
The Narmada Control Authority (NCA) has given nod to raise the height of the Sardar Sarovar Dam by 17 metres to 138.62 metres, which, on its completion, would allow Gujarat to get three times more water for irrigation. The new height would make it the second highest dam in the world after Grand Coulee in the US.
A higher dam will improve the efficiency of hydro-power generation and water supply capacity of this project, and is likely to benefit not just Gujarat but also adjacent states of Rajashthan, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. Gujarat has been waiting for this decision for last 8 years.
Activist Medha Patkar, who drew attention to the dislocation of thousands of people as a result of this move, is protesting the decision and has called the move undemocratic.
As per Patkar, the dam with its current height has 2 lakh people in its affected region. If the height is increased by 17 metres, the thickly populated villages in Nimad area of Madhya Pradesh with houses, farms, shops, temples, mosques and standing crops would be submerged. The centre will allow Gujarat to raise the height of the dam from existing 121.91m to 138.7m
Benefits of Project:
- Irrigation water to 1.8 million hectares to benefit one million farmers.
- Drinking water for 9,633 villages and 131 towns
Who gets what:
- WATER: Rajasthan (1.79%), Maharashtra (0.89%), Gujarat (32.14%), Madhya Pradesh (65.18%)
- POWER: Maharashtra (27%), Gujarat (16%), Madhya Pradesh (57%)