As Krishna Bhima basin farmers in Maharashtra, Karnataka, AP & Telangana face drought, crop failure, Water scarcity, Maharashtra DIVERTED 350 MCM water from the basin & stored another 2535 MCM reserved to release, literally to sea!

(Photo above: Koyna Dam)

Large parts of Krishna basin spanning Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are facing massive rainfall deficits, drought like conditions and crop failures. The tail-end reservoirs of Srisailam and Nagarjun Sagar are almost empty. Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are already thinking of conserving the available water for drinking water. They are not even thinking of releasing any water for saving the crops in delta farmers. In upstream Maharashtra itself, the Ujani dam has ZERO live storage and perennially dry Marathawada has the highest rainfall deficit. Shockingly, in this very period from July 1 to Aug 6, Maharashtra has diverted more than 350 Million Cubic Meters of water (at most conservative estimates) FROM this very Krishna and Bhima basins to the High Rainfall area of Konkan (it already has had 1467.1 mm rain till Aug 7, 2015) and down to the sea! If this diversion was stopped since July 1, when the signs of severe monsoon deficits in the three states were already there[1], this water would have been available to save crops in lakhs of acres in the river basin, and some of it would have also flowed to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and water may have been available for saving some crops. Even now these Koyna and Tata dams have 2535 MCM water in live storage that is reserved for diversion to Konkan and to sea, but wont be release for the failing crops across the basin. How can we continue such wasteful use of water in a water deficit basin, at the cost of livelihoods of lakhs of farmers? Even now it is necessary to URGENTLY review this situation and consider stopping diversion of water FROM Krishna basin to sea. This may save crops and livelihoods of lakhs of farmers. Continue reading “As Krishna Bhima basin farmers in Maharashtra, Karnataka, AP & Telangana face drought, crop failure, Water scarcity, Maharashtra DIVERTED 350 MCM water from the basin & stored another 2535 MCM reserved to release, literally to sea!”

Dam Induced Flood Disaster

Damodar Valley Dams role in W Bengal Floods – DVC Dams could have helped reduce the floods, they increased it

As at least 222 blocks of 13 districts of South Bengal suffered massive floods with over 51 lakh people affected and crops on 5 lakh hectares ruined, questions have once again been raised if Damodar Valley Corporation[1] dams played a role in increasing this flood disaster. Available information and the statements of the DVC officials leave no doubt that DVC dams indeed released water into the rivers and this release worsened and prolonged the flood situation in South Bengal. If DVC had held back the water while cyclone Komen was active in the region, bringing heavy rains, then the flood intensity, its impact area and the flood duration could have been reduced. The DVC operators should also have kept in mind that this was high tide period when the rivers’ capacity to drain out the water was significantly lower in the delta area. The DVC dams had sufficient storage capacity to hold this water during the period. However, instead of holding back the water during this crucial period, DVC increased water releases from the dams during the flood disaster. Continue reading “Damodar Valley Dams role in W Bengal Floods – DVC Dams could have helped reduce the floods, they increased it”


Dams, Rivers & People News Bulletin, August 03, 2015


NORTH-EAST: ARUNACHAL PRADESH: Mapithel Dam; Social organization demand decommissioning of Mapithel dam (03 Aug. 2015) Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) and Naga People’s Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR) submitted memorandum to the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi demanding a halt to the construction of Mapithel Dam and immediate decommissioning of the project. A joint statement issued by AIPP Secretary General Joan Carling and NPHRM Secretary General Neingulo Krome said the construction of Mapithel Dam under the supervision of the Government of Manipur directly affects and threatens the several scheduled tribes in the affected districts whose sources of income are land and agriculture. It may be mentioned that when it is commissioned the dam would affect over 8,000 people in 22 villages. http://e-pao.net/GP.asp?src=28..030815.aug15

UTTARAKHAND: Expert Body recommends modification of Uttarakhand hydro projects prevent 2013-like disaster (31 July 2015) An expert body appointed by the Centre to analyze the adverse ecological and environmental impact of hydroelectric power projects (HEPs) in Uttarakahand has told the Supreme Court that comprehensive modification of the projects is required to prevent a repeat of 2013 disaster in the state. In an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court, the Centre said the expert body (EB) had suggested promoters of the six projects– National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC), Tehri Hydro Development Coporation (THDC), GMR and Super Hydro Pvt Ltd—to incorporate a number of safeguards in view of the 2013 disaster. The government said the projects would not be allowed to operate till the companies modify their projects. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Uttarakhand-hydro-projects-need-to-be-modified-to-prevent-2013-like-disaster-SC-told/articleshow/48290097.cms

Chief Minister asks industry to invest in small hydroelectric projects (27 July 2015) Chief Minister Harish Rawat today sought help from the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry Uttarakhand for investment in small and micro hydel projects in the state. He sought support for 2 MW to 5 MW hydel projects under the policy formulated by the state government. The state is still not realizing how small hydro projects are equally disastrous for sensitive mountains.  In June 2015 SANDRP visit in Yamuna valley highlights how Gangani and Hanuman Ganga small hydro projects have caused irreversible losses to local environment and community people as well.http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/uttarakhand/cm-asks-industry-to-invest-in-small-hydroelectric-projects/110988.html

Continue reading “Dams, Rivers & People News Bulletin, August 03, 2015”