Godavari Krishna River Linking: Are we celebrating an illegal, unnecessary & misconceived water transfer project? SANDRP recent blog investigates and exposes the reality behind much hyped Godavari-Kirshana Interlinking project which is in true sense mere a pumping of water projects that too without required legal clearances.
(GREEN SIGNALS: Ecology, Growth, and Democracy in India; Jairam Ramesh; Oxford University Press; 605 pages; Rs 850)
Jairam Ramesh (JR for short) is arguably, India’s best ever Environment Minister. His book Green Signals is essentially providing records and some explanations of his own actions during his 25 month tenure at Paryavaran Bhawan, the Ministry of Environment and Forests. JR in general laments the industry mindset on environment and says the NDA government’s attitude is dangerous. Grow now, pay later mindset won’t work in India. He says in India sustainability & ecological issues are not luxury but necessity & he tries to explain what they mean in the context of economic growth. Continue reading “Book Review: GREEN SIGNALS: In search of a Middle Ground”
ओ रे माँझी, ओ रे माँझी
मेरे साजन हैं उस पार, मैं मन मार , हूँ इस पार
ओ मेरे माँझी अब की बार ले चल पार, ले चल पार
Everything about this song: its words, its music, its picturisation and Sachin Deo (SD) Burman’s evocative voice mesmerizes me (I’m one of many others, I’m sure). I loved this song’s connect with rivers and used to repeat it over and over, till my (visibly exasperated) husband told me, “But did you not know? Rivers have influenced SD’s music a lot. He has talked about his lone ramblings on the Gumti in Tripura, listening to folk music based on rivers many times”. I did not know that. Continue reading “Bhatiyali: The Eternal Song of the River”
The national media seems to be celebrating linking of Godavari and Krishna River in Andhra Pradesh on September 16, 2015 as the first major step towards Inter Linking of Rivers in India. An emotional Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Shri N Chandrababu Naidu called it historic and Pavitra Sangam (Holy Confluence).
September 22, 2015
Chairman and Members,
Expert Appraisal Committee on River Valley Projects,
Ministry of Environment and Forests,
Respected Chairman and Members,
We have just seen the minutes of the 86th meeting (uploaded on Sept 14, 2015, but clearance letters in some cases have already been issued even before the EAC minutes are made public or the minutes are finalised at the next EAC meeting) of the Expert Appraisal Committee on River Valley Committee, held on Aug 24-25, 2015.
The minutes make a disturbing reading. The EAC seems to be bending every ecological norm, facts and even legal stipulations to push ahead with every project that the government wants them to clear. There seems to be no application of mind from the EAC on the proposals. The minutes are not even internally consistent. It is putting forward facts in misleading fashion to give a wrong picture. Continue reading “Why the Decisions and minutes of the 86th meeting of EAC on River Valley Projects need to be reviewed”
Rohan Chakraborty’s cartoon on the threat from 780 MW Nyamjang Chhu hydel project to Black- necked Cranes revered by the Buddhist Monpas of Tawang.
UTTARAKHAND: Hydro Power companies, BRO, PWD still dumping debris in Uttarakhand rivers, forest department under pressure as administration and judiciary stand in defence of culprits MOST SHOCKING STATE OF AFFAIRS IN UTTARAKHAND HYDRO AND RIVERS: “SS Rasailey, director of the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve said, “BRO and PWD have been throwing all the road construction-related garbage into the rivers on a regular basis. Similarly, companies behind the THDC run Pipalkoti-Vishnuprayag and NTPC-run Tapovan-Vishnugad hydel projects have been doing this as well, despite the fact that all of them have to dispose waste on a separate piece of land as per the guidelines. While they show that they are following the rules on paper, in reality they don’t.” Rasailey added that while forest officials have taken up this issue, filing cases and even getting the people arrested for alleged waste disposal in Chamoli district, they have not received cooperation from the administration or the judiciary in prosecuting the big companies which are among the violators.
This story sheds light on the plight of people displaced by Tehri Dam as thousands of them are still waiting for proper compensation and rehabilitation. The woes of the displaced people never end. Himangshu Thakkar of SANDRP, who has been working on issues associated with large dams, warned of playing with rivers, “With dams, our politicians are inviting disaster and playing with the lives of people, the Himalayas, the Ganges and future generations. They didn’t learn anything from the June 2013 disaster”.
ARUNACHAL PRADESH MoEFCC massive clearance spree of Arunachal hydro power projects bound to have repercussions as there have been no public consultations in Arunachal Pradesh or Assam. Surprisingly, Subansiri river basin study was not even listed among the 14 subjects that were placed for discussion. However, this did not stop the Committee from taking a decision to go ahead with 26 projects. On 3097 MW Etalin by Jindal group on Dibang, the EAC has recommended primary surveys only in monsoon, not in winter and pre-monsoon, which experts say is an attempt to enable faster clearances while compromising ecological and social security as lot of use of areas by people and wildlife is in winter and pre-monsoon, not just monsoon.
SAD NEWS: SHRI RAMASWAMY IYER IS NO MORE:
He Watered the Arid Fields of Administration with Intellectual Rigour and Honesty: Amita Baviskar payes tribute to Ramaswamy Iyer Iyer’s critical view of large dams became stronger when he was appointed to review the Tehri project in 1996 and to head the India country study for the World Commission on Dams in 1997. Subsequently, studying trans-border river conflicts between India, Nepal and Bangladesh, he began to see dams as only one element in the larger mismanagement of water by engineers impervious to social and ecological impacts. In one more news report paying tribute to him R. Uma Mahashwari writes that Ramaswamy R. Iyer used to see rivers as inextricable parts of the lives of communities
The two recent issues of our magazine “Dams, Rivers & People” is now available online at following links, along with the index of the two issues:
April-June 2015 issue: https://sandrp.wordpress.com/drp-april-may-june-2015-issue/
We are also publishing weekly DRP news bulletins, the latest issues can be seen at following links:
Sept 7, 2015: https://sandrp.wordpress.com/2015/09/07/dams-rivers-people-news-bulletin-sep-07-2015-narmada-canal-salt-mining-in-runn-of-kutch-a-threat-to-endangered-asiatic-wild-ass/
Aug 31, 2015: https://sandrp.wordpress.com/2015/08/31/lathur-residents-maharashtra-facing-tough-time-gaurding-their-drinking-water-drp-news-bulletin-31-aug-2015/
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Feedback is welcome.
Above: Ashok Pawar’s motorbike cruises right inside his dry field, even after recent showers in Marathwada Photo: Ashok Pawar
After a heartbreaking gap, retreating monsoon is now blessing Marathwada with some showers. Small water harvesting structures and those built under the Jal Yukta Shivar Abhiyan, a flagship project of CM Devendra Fadnavis, are clocking an increase in water levels. 96.3% of average September rains in just the first 10 days of September (Dept of Agriculture, Govt of Maharashtra) is indeed a respite for a region that stands at the doorstep of an epic drought. What is lost in June-July-August in terms of crops failures, water scarcity, dismal dam storages etc., cannot be compensated by September rains, which are a fraction of total monsoon (June-July-Aug-Sept) rainfall. But if the rains continue, they can help drinking water situation and possibly Rabi crops. It is heartening to see the farmers celebrating this downpour. Continue reading “Sugarcane in Marathwada: A Syrupy debate amidst Lowest June-Aug Rainfall in the Century”