As told to Parliament (September 17, 2020): Andaman and Nicobar tribes being watched closely for COVID-19

All that was discussed in the House through the day

By DTE Staff
Published: Thursday 17 September 2020

The tribal groups of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are being watched closely by the administration of the Union territory due to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Arjun Munda, Union tribal affairs minister, told the Rajya Sabha September 17, 2020.

The administration was giving special focus and attention to the protection and well-being of Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups like the Great Andamanese (in Strait Island), Onges (in Little Andaman), Jarawas (in South Andaman) and Shompens (in the Greater Nicobar Islands). Proactive measures to prioritise their testing had helped in the early detection of cases, Munda added.

Textile sector revival 

The government had decided to continue the Rebate of State and Central Taxes and Levies (RoSCTL) scheme till the time it was merged with the Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Product scheme, Smriti Irani, Union minister of textiles, told the Rajya Sabha.

For this purpose, the government had approved ad hoc allocation of funds of Rs 7,398 crore for 2020-21 in order to issue duty credit scrips under the RoSCTL scheme, she added.

Anganwadis closure

All the Anganwadi centres across India were closed to limit the impact of COVID-19, in accordance with the directions issued by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, Irani, Union minister for women and child development, told the Rajya Sabha.

Most states and Union territories had also expressed their inability to open Anganwadi centres in the light of increasing incidents of COVID-19 during consultations held with them in July 2020.

However, to ensure continuous nutritional support to Anganwadi beneficiaries, Anganwadi workers and helpers had been distributing supplementary nutrition at the doorsteps of the beneficiaries, Irani added.

Rajasthan groundwater

No proposal was under the consideration of the Union Jal Shakti (water) ministry for the government to issue notification to remove dark zones in various areas / blocks of Nagaur, Jodhpur and Barmer districts of Rajasthan by conducting a fresh survey of groundwater, minister Rattan Lal Kataria told the Lok Sabha.

However, the ministry had constituted a committee under the Central Ground Water Board for assessment of dynamic groundwater resources in the country for 2020 in collaboration with states and Union territories, he added.

Safe drinking water

Around 79.16 per cent of India’s rural habitations, having a population of 77.69 per cent, had provisions of more than 40 litre per capita per day (lpcd) of potable drinking water, Kataria told the Lok Sabha. 

Around 17.89 per cent of rural habitations, having a population of 19.34 per cent, had service levels of less than 40 lpcd potable water, whereas 3.16 per cent rural habitations having 2.97 per cent population, had issues of water quality, he added.

Yamuna Action Plan

An amount of Rs 1,851.95 crore had been released till date as the Government of India’s share above states under different phases of the Yamuna Action Plan (YAP) and other schemes, Kataria told the Lok Sabha.

Sewage treatment capacity of 942.25 million litres per day (MLD) had been created under YAP-I and II in Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. The water quality of the Yamuna had not shown the desired improvement in Delhi due to a large gap between sewage generation and availability of sewage treatment capacity and also the lack of adequate fresh water in the river.

Thirteen projects had been taken up at a cost of Rs 2,419 crore to abate pollution in the Yamuna that were at various stages of implementation, Kataria added.

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