Thermal, Hydro Power projects on the blink despite clearances by government (23 July 2015) Power sector is now bereft of capital flow. While thermal power projects might see some respite, hydropower projects continue to fester even after getting all the clearances. This puts a question mark on the claims of the hydro lobby that environment ministry and environment clearances are responsible for delaying the projects. Of the 80 stalled power projects, around 25 are hydro-based. Due to delays, the cost of the project, in almost all cases, has increased manifold thereby inviting regulatory tiff over tariff. NHPC’s Subhansari Power Project remains stalled due to the agitation in Assam. NHPC officials need to be held accountable as to how did they start the work without addresing the downstream impacts issues. Due to their callousness, the cos has doubled and work is stlled for over 3.5 years. http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/power-projects-on-the-blink-despite-clearances-by-government-115072200024_1.html
JAMMU & KASHMIR: Baglihar Hydro Electric Power project threatens Doda, Kishtwar (27 July 2015) Baglihar HEP is making life difficult with landslides, floods and additional submergence: “Before construction of dam, rocks were visible on both banks of the river. But when water level increased and became stagnant, rocks are nowhere in sight and water has entered loose soil. The root cause of frequent landslides and sinking of area in Doda districts on both side sides of the dam is stagnant water.”GM Bhat, Geological expert. http://www.tribuneindia.com/…/baglihar-power-pr…/111641.html
“Maharashtra has the country’s 40% large dams, but 82% area of the state is rain fed. We have moved away from our vision of watershed and conservation…We did not think about hydrology, geology and topography of a region before pushing large dams everywhere. But this has to change”
Chronicle of an emphatic victory against crushers continued from May 2015 onwards
After hosting two days long workshop on Sustainable Mountain Development (02-03 May 2015) Maletha continued its agitation against stone crushers. The event popularised the villagers’ strength and struggle on wider platform.
On 8th of May 2015, villagers issued warnings of resuming indefinite hunger strike if the govt. failed to take a stand on the issue of stone crushers. A protest march was organized on 15th of May 2015 and two villagers Vimla Devi, head of Mahila Sangrash Samiti and Dev Singh Negi started observing fast on alternate days. Setting 25th May 2015 as deadline for State Govt. to act, villagers again demanded closing down of all illegal stone crushers running in Kirti Nagar block.
Meanwhile referring to High Court Nainital (HCN) April 2015 order, State Govt communicated that firm action will be taken against crusher units violating the stipulated norms. Following that, Commissioner Garhwal (GC) CS Napalchyal visited Maletha. Despite finding one stone crusher belonging to Satyam Shivam Sundaram Company violating environmental norms, he ordered a magisterial probe in the matter. Feeling disappointed by state machinery, Hemanti Negi a village woman sat on indefinite hunger strike on 25th May 2015.
How a 15 MW project with 55 mts high dam threatens 5 villages and a fish sanctuary
After an analysis of a particularly nasty dam, I felt like going back to flowing rivers. It is monsoon after all. The plan was to visit Kal River in Western Ghats of Raigad District in Maharashtra to understand how a community in a small village called Walen Kondh is protecting the river and Mahseer fish. Mahseer (Deccan Mahseer, Tor tor) is classified as endangered as per IUCN classification and most wild Deccan Mahseer populations have been wiped out in India. And hence a small, out of the way place, protecting these fish as well as the river voluntarily was like a breeze of fresh air. Continue reading “White Elephant, Black Fish”→
Lower Penganga, an interstate Maharashtra-Telangana project, proposes to build a dam across River Penganga (a tributary of Godavari river) near Tadsaoli Village in Ghatanji Tehsil of Yavatmal District, Maharashtra to irrigate a massive 2,18,129 ha. It has failed to take off even after two decades of its inception. It is a Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation (VIDC) which has been in limelight for corruption and controversies due to over seven fold increase in project cost in just 10 years. In this project contractors with political backing were favored so much so that even the Environmental Impact Assessment of the project was carried out by one of the contractors! The project floated tenders for securing Forest Clearance! The construction was started illegally violating the environmental laws. It is set to submerge around 1000 ha of forest land and affect some 11,000 tribals dependent on it. There has been a decade long struggle of the affected people to protect their rights. Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) was asked to probe into massive corruption in the project. Continue reading “Lower Penganga Project: Two decades after inception, the struggle continues…”→
At least six of the 34 Meteorological divisions of India seems to be facing the prospects of crop failure and drought, if we look at the rainfall in these divisions in last 18 prime monsoon days from June 25, 2015 (monsoon had set in almost all over India by that date) to July 13, 2015, the latest date for which division wise rainfall are available. In these six sub-divisions, the rainfall during these 18 prime monsoon days has been between 0.1 mm to 12.8 mm. Continue reading “Six regions of India facing prospects of crop failure and drought?”→
UTTARAKHAND: Vishnugad-Peepalkoti Hydroelectric Project affected protested against World Bank (09 July 2015) The affected people of Vishnugad-Peepalkoti Hydroelectric Project (VPHP) have surrounded the officers of World Bank with the slogan of “World Bank Go Back, Let Ganga free”. In even the bad weather and rain, almost 70-80 people have surrounded the hotel in which the team of World Bank was staying. Their officers were present there from 03rd July without the knowledge of villagers. After the incident, Ms.Sona Thakur of World Bank has came out and asked them to sit and talk inside the hotel. https://www.facebook.com/sandrp.in/posts/1083146828379656
MHA to Monitor Landslide Dams to Avoid Any Disaster (10 July 2015) The threat of severe earthquakes in the Himalayan region close on the heels of the devastating one in Nepal, as indicated by several scientific studies, has prompted India to put hundreds of landslide dams or LSDs under constant monitoring so that they do not break with catastrophic consequences. The Centre has roped in the National Remote Sensing Centre, Central Water Commission and the Indian Air Force as part of the new SOPs to ensure continuous monitoring of the quantity of water flow of all major rivers in the upper reaches by visual, instrumental, aerial and satellite surveillance, and ascertaining the cause of a reduced water flow at the earliest. http://epaperbeta.timesofindia.com/Article.aspx?eid=31818&articlexml=MHA-to-Monitor-Landslide-Dams-to-Avoid-Any-10072015003067
NAPM Press Release: Frustrated over long delay in rehabilitation, Sardar Sarovar Project Affected Commits Suicide (10 July 2015) Yesterday, on 9th July 2015, in the village Chimalkhedy, barely 10 to 12 kms away from the Sardar Sarovar Dam, TembhryaKutarya consumed poison and committed suicide. This news reveals the actual dire reality underlying the false tall claims of rehabilitation by Maharashtra Government. While this press note is being drafted the dead body of the old man Tembhrya Kutarya is decaying on the banks of the river Narmada in the village Chimalkhedy and the Govt. is “still thinking” how to take MBBS doctor there to do postmortem. Dr. Anil Patil appointed on the riverine dispensary on the medical barge that is very irregular, in spite of being in Kevadia colony (the colony near SSP) since yesterday morning was apparently neither aware of nor was concerned about this incident. https://www.facebook.com/sandrp.in/posts/1083835098310829
Power house of NHPC’s 44 MW Chutak hydropower project on Suru River in Kargil in Jammu & Kashmir was submerged on the night of June 28, 2015, two weeks later India’s premier hydropower company is still clueless about the cause. One of the costliest hydropower projects of India, the project in Indus basin was dedicated to the nation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi less than a year back on August 12, 2014. For several hours after the water started filling the powerhouse, the project officials were in the dark and media reported that it was locals who alerted the officials. Continue reading “NHPC’s Chutak power house submerged in Kargil: NHPC clueless two weeks after the disaster”→