Small Hydro

Kharadi in Yamuna Basin: when Small Hydro unleashes big destruction

Beyond Barkot (first small urban town on Yamuna river) Yamuna Valley opens into Ranwai Ghati, inhabited  by typical mountain community. Kharadi is one such place located 12 KM farther from Barkot on National Highway (NH) 123 in Uattarkashi district. The small marketplace but major ‘Char Dham’ pilgrim’s halting point 35 KM before the Yamnotri Shrine is divided into three parts (Upper, Middle and Lower Kharadi).   Kharadi still cherishes much of the fast vanishing pristine charms and hardships of hill life. Notably, the word Kharadi itself is derived from ‘Kharad’ a traditional skill of harnessing kinetic energy of water to produce wooden products. Continue reading “Kharadi in Yamuna Basin: when Small Hydro unleashes big destruction”

Hydropower · Uttarakhand

Why Vishnuprayag and other Uttarakhand Hydro Projects continue to affect two years after the June 2013 disaster

In the last week of June 2015, there were widespread rains in Uttarakhand, accompanied by warning by the Dehradun Met Department. The pilgrimage to Kedarnath and Badrinath was affected with massive landslides damaging roads and bridges. But strangely there was little news about the hydropower projects. It was only when Vimalbhai informed me y’day that power generation at Vishnuprayag hydropower project has stopped that I decided to dig deeper into this issue. Continue reading “Why Vishnuprayag and other Uttarakhand Hydro Projects continue to affect two years after the June 2013 disaster”

Environmental Flow · Landslide

Yamuna fighting existential battle in the homeland as Govt. speeds up construction of dams

The Landslide warning board exacly on Lakhwar Damsite (all pics by author taken between 24-27 June 2015)
The Landslide warning board exacly on Lakhwar Damsite (all pics by author taken between 24-27 June 2015)

Contrary to common mindset that Yamuna River is still flowing pristine in Himalaya, an exploratory visit (23-27 June 2015) inside Yamuna Valley underlines that construction of 120 MW Vyashi Hydro Electric Project report, proposed 300 MW Lakhwar dam and Katapathar Barrage is compromising the existence of the special river in its very homeland. The report also highlights that the river stretch where all these projects are coming up is prone to large scale landslides. It was also found that downstream community is unaware of environmental flow and the project developers are tight lipped on impact these projects over aquatic biodiversity. Road expansion work upstream these projects is dumping tonnes of debris into river, in complete violation of all norms (neither state nor central government seem bothered about these violations by the government agencies) further lifting up the already escalated riverbed. The perennial natural springs are gradually drying up in the area. Impact of all these impacts and threats on River Yamuna and riparian community still remain unstudied and unaddressed.

Continue reading “Yamuna fighting existential battle in the homeland as Govt. speeds up construction of dams”

Dams · Expert Appraisal Committee · Ministry of Environment and Forests

NGT Quashes MoEF’s Office Memoranda on violating projects: Large number of irrigation projects of Maharashtra & Karnataka affected

Press Release                                                 08.07.2015

In a landmark judgement, the Hon. National Green Tribunal has quashed the Office Memoranda issued by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MoEF for short) on the 12.12.2012 & 27.06.2013 for “Consideration of proposals for  TORs/Environment Clearance/ CRZ Clearance involving violation of the Environment (Protection) Act, 19861 Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification, 2006 / Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification, 2011”. Continue reading “NGT Quashes MoEF’s Office Memoranda on violating projects: Large number of irrigation projects of Maharashtra & Karnataka affected”

Dams · Dams, Rivers & People

Dams, Rivers & People News Bulletin, July 06, 2015

HYDROPOWER

NORTH-EAST: ARUNACHAL PRADESH: 4 hydroelectric projects including 2000 MW Subansiri denied environmental clearance (02 July 2015) ” The committee also noted that public hearings for the projects had not been conducted and asked the power developers to submit response to the various issues raised by the New Delhi-based NGO South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People.” http://www.telegraphindia.com/1150702/jsp/northeast/story_29019.jsp#.VZXfvqRdz5d Continue reading “Dams, Rivers & People News Bulletin, July 06, 2015”