Overview of Global Inland Fisheries Conference, 26-28 January 2015: Rivers support Livelihoods and Biodiversity!

The Global Inland Fisheries Conference in Rome, Italy, organized by FAO and Michigan State University concluded on the 28th January 2015. The three day conference meant a lot of things: A platform to present the worth, the potential and the challenges of a chronically neglected sector, a place to learn from experiences across the world and, as the conference website says, “a cross-sectoral call to raise the profile of inland fisheries and better incorporate them in agricultural, land use, and water resource planning through development of improved assessment frameworks and value estimation.”

Was it successful in doing all this?

Yes, to an overwhelming extent. But, in the end I was left with some questions as well. Continue reading “Overview of Global Inland Fisheries Conference, 26-28 January 2015: Rivers support Livelihoods and Biodiversity!”


Citizen Memorandum to all political parties in Delhi on Water & Sanitation Imperatives of manifesto

Citizens Solidarity

Forum for Right to Water and Sanitation

Basti Vikas Kendra, F Block, New Seemapuri, Delhi 110095

Contact: Devendra Kumar, President(9250878059), Depinder Kapur, Convener(9711178181)

Date: 26th Jan 2015

Subject: Memorandum for inclusion in your Party manifesto, Delhi Assembly Elections 2015

Dear Sir/Madam,

Drinking water and sanitation is a major priority for residents of Delhi. There is no concrete commitment from any political party as yet in terms of norms, investment, pricing for water and sanitation, or what the elected government will do to ensure improvements in water supply, sanitation and cleanliness of Delhi. The slogan of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is an empty slogan if the political parties are not willing to listen to the demands of the residents of poor and slum settlements of Delhi and commit to providing basic sanitation and water services as a Fundamental Right.

Continue reading “Citizen Memorandum to all political parties in Delhi on Water & Sanitation Imperatives of manifesto”


FAO’s First Ever Global Conference on Inland Fisheries in Rome: Opening Day

On this Republic Day of India, when the American President Barack Obama joined Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to witness the ever-inspiring Republic Day Parade, 6000 kms away in Rome I heard a Native American woman say, “With colonization, we were alienated from all that we held dear, not only our natural resources but also our legitimate place in decision-making. We are Salmon people. Revitalization and protection of our fish is our sacred duty and we will do it despite the dams.”  A fisherman near Farakka Barrage who was hardly making a living due to the barrage had said something similar to me once.

As the concerns about the environment insensitivity of the current government increase, this coincidence was striking. Continue reading “FAO’s First Ever Global Conference on Inland Fisheries in Rome: Opening Day”


Headwater Extinctions by Emmanuel Theophilus: SOME CONCERNS

By Prof Prakash Nautiyal, (lotic.biodiversity@gmail.com) HNB Garhwal University, Srinagar, Uttarakhand

I have gone through the report Headwater extinctions: Hydropower projects in the Himalayan reaches of the Ganga and the Beas: A closer look at impacts on fish and river ecosystems by Emmanuel Theophilus[1], published by SANDRP, thanks for sending the report to me in hard and soft copy. It is indeed excellent, many more pages can be written on the beautiful portrayal. I am flagging some concerns, in context of the whole issue. Continue reading “Headwater Extinctions by Emmanuel Theophilus: SOME CONCERNS”


State must ensure water accessibility to all: Bombay HC

Blog by Debadityo Sinha (debadityo@gmail.com) (with inputs from Himanshu Thakkar (SANDRP))

In a landmark judgment dated Dec 15, 2014, Mumbai High Court bench of Justices Abhay S Oka & A S Gadkari have ruled: “Right to get water is an integral part of right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution of India…” Continue reading “State must ensure water accessibility to all: Bombay HC”

Maharashtra · Mumbai

Water Smart Mumbai is possible without river links and big dams! Open Letter to CM Devendra Fadnavis

Above: Forested Valley, now lost forever for the Middle Vaitarna Dam Photo: Parineeta Dandekar 

Respected Chief Minister,

At the outset we congratulate you for leading some progressive changes in the Water Resources Department of the State. These include decisions about continuing only with those dam projects which are more than 75% complete[1], appointment of independent people with a clean image like Shri. H.T. Mendhegiri as CADA Chief Secretary, changing norms of Economic Survey Report[2], stating that only hoarding water will not be counted towards increase in irrigation potential, etc. Continue reading “Water Smart Mumbai is possible without river links and big dams! Open Letter to CM Devendra Fadnavis”

Godavari · Interlinking of RIvers · Krishna River · Telangana

Pranahita-Chevella Project: Gargantuan Project with Gargantuan Violations

Can you imagine a project-not any project, perhaps India’s largest irrigation project till date- going on for years without most statutory clearances? Can you imagine a project on which Rs 7000 Crores[1] have been spent already but its Dam height (FRL – Full Reservoir Level) is yet undecided? Can you imagine a project whose canal works are ongoing in full swing, without having any idea of the submergence? Can you imagine a Public Hearing where the Project Engineer says that the meeting is only about compensation not about environmental impacts or fundamental questions? Can you imagine a state which is set to lose thousands of hectares of rich forests, protected areas, villages for a project of a different state, but is happy to oblige? Can you imagine a Ministry which turns a stony Nelson’s Eye to a project continuing right under its nose without Environmental Clearance, Wildlife Clearance or Forest Clearance?

Continue reading “Pranahita-Chevella Project: Gargantuan Project with Gargantuan Violations”

Interlinking of RIvers

Interlinking ‘Conflicts’: Maharashtra se Gujarat tak

Above: A girl from the Par Basin. With drinking water problems plaguing her village and the impending diversion project either from Gujarat or Maharashtra, her hardships will only increase. Photo: Parineeta Dandekar

Even as the second meeting of the Special Committee for Interlinking of Rivers was held on the 6th January 2015[i], the Union Minister of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Sushri Uma Bharti sought “co-operation of various States in this project” and said that “States can discuss their apprehensions if any, in the next meeting of the committee.” She informed the meeting that on 07 January 2015, she will meet Chief Minister of Maharashtra Shri. Devendra Fadnavis to discuss Damanganga-Pinjal and Par-Tapi-Narmada link projects.

Continue reading “Interlinking ‘Conflicts’: Maharashtra se Gujarat tak”