SANDRP Blog Annual Report for Year 2015

WordPress has created this annual report for SANDRP blog, see: https://sandrp.wordpress.com/2015/annual-report/

There were 148 blogs till Dec 29 on SANDRP blog this year, over 240 000 views and counting.

We are thankful to all concerned, and hope we continue to get the support in 2016. Feedback, as usual, is welcome.



Dams · Hydropeaking · Hydropower

India’s Free Flowing Frontier Part I: Dibang at Nizamghat

What does it mean when landscapes, riverscapes, ways of life are altered forever? When a mighty, flowing river is plugged and made to stop, flow in tunnel and released as per our whims? For most of us, life and environment are so fundamentally modified that we would hardly question it. But as our worldview and our politics is set to dam some of the last free flowing rivers in the North East India into Hydro-Electricity Banks, what is at stake? Continue reading “India’s Free Flowing Frontier Part I: Dibang at Nizamghat”

Dams · Ganga

Four Boats at a River Crossing along Ganga

Above: A fisherman crosses the river with his boat. Photo: © Sameer Kumar/VBREC.

-Nachiket Kelkar (rainmaker.nsk@gmail.com)

It was a pleasant November afternoon when we were travelling down the Ganga River by boat, surveying river dolphins. Tall grass had grown on both banks through the flood recession period. The water level had become very low already. Two magnificently large concrete buildings; one, the agricultural college, and the second, the industrial office, stood precariously by the edge of a rapidly eroding bank. At the turn of this bank, the Ganges Voyager appeared in a sudden sight. British tourists with gleaming shades, sunning their fair skins to balanced tan tempered by muslin umbrellas put over brick-red wooden tables, waved at us from the deck of the Voyager. Uniformed Indian attendants confirmed that they were not waving out to any dangerous people, in a re-enactment of the old colonial days. The Voyager had fifty air-conditioned luxury rooms. Their windows were made translucent by pale mauve and white chiffon curtains artistically tied in an hourglass shape. Continue reading “Four Boats at a River Crossing along Ganga”

Dams · DRP News Bulletin

DRP News Bulletin 28 Dec. 2015 (Farmers field school in Jharkhand shows the way in integrated farming)


Farmers field school in Jharkhand shows the way in integrated farming The School has taught farmers how to use waste from their farms as inputs in their farming system. Other organic practices have improved the soil profile and water holding capacity of the fields. The schools are run throughout the cropping season. Farmers receive training on how to manage crops, waste and pests. Meaningful discussions are held in the farms on crop growth, climate, soil conditions and constraints to crop production. Based on these observations, farmers make informed decisions to increase yields and improve the soil fertility of their fields. These schools now serve as the training ground for new farmers. Indeed, improving water holding capacity of the soil is much neglected issue.

Organic manure saves crop from floods For the second year in succession, Velu, a farmer in Morappakkam near Madurantakam, has become the envy of other farmers as the organic crop raised by him survived the inundation during the recent rains.  Continue reading “DRP News Bulletin 28 Dec. 2015 (Farmers field school in Jharkhand shows the way in integrated farming)”


DRP News Bulletin 21 Dec. 2015 (100 people have a narrow escape as Ganga level rises after sudden release from Tehri Dam)

100 people have a narrow escape as Ganga level rises after sudden release from Tehri Dam More than a 100 people who were attending a religious discourse had a narrow escape when the water level rose suddenly in the Ganga River in the temple town of Rishikesh. According to the police, the water level increased after Tehri Dam released water, a routine exercise that is done after informing officials concerned. CD Anthwal, circle officer Rishikesh told HT that the people attending the religious discourse were rescued with the help personnel of the Jal Police (water police).

Continue reading “DRP News Bulletin 21 Dec. 2015 (100 people have a narrow escape as Ganga level rises after sudden release from Tehri Dam)”

Dams · DRP News Bulletin

DRP News Bulletin 14 Dec. 2015 (Your City can be Next Chennai?)

Our cities with their high population density and poor civic standards are vulnerable to the domino effect that can be set off by freak weather it happened in Mumbai in 2005. Last year, it was Srinagar. Now it’s happening in Chennai. Could it happen to your city?

Judging by the burgeoning urban population, and the uncontrolled growth of urban centres that fail on every parameter including drainage and garbage disposal, most of our cities are disasters waiting to happen.

As per global standards cities across the world should prepare for a 100-year flood recurrence period. In other words, they have to be ready for a severe flood situation, even if it has one-in-100 chance of occurring. But our cities guardians overlook larger flood cycle as freak weather events.

That exactly is happening in IT corridor Hyderabad which is sitting on a plan that lacks a storm-water drainage system and ‪‎Navi Mumbai International Airport in Maharashtra which will be built on the flood plains of Ghadi and Ulwe rivers. Amaravati the state capital of Andhra Pradesh is also doing away its underground water channels which drain out flood waters during stresses.

Continue reading “DRP News Bulletin 14 Dec. 2015 (Your City can be Next Chennai?)”


Dams, Rivers & People News Bulletin 07 Dec. 2015 (Dams sap Earth’s water, release arsenic in groundwater & fuel Climate Change)

Two new studies show that dam not only significantly increase evapo-transpiration but also worsen arsenic problem in groundwater. In the first study done by Stockholm University in Sweden researchers found that dams and irrigation significantly increase evapotranspiration, an effect that increases the loss of freshwater to the atmosphere, thereby reducing the water available for humans, societies and ecosystems on land. The researchers have compiled and analyzed data from 1901 to 2008 for climate, hydrology and water use in one hundred large hydrological basins spread over the world. In the second study done by Stanford University in Cambodia, researchers concluded that hydrological development particularly dams are responsible for release of increased and unnatural amount of arsenic in Cambodia’s groundwater.

Continue reading “Dams, Rivers & People News Bulletin 07 Dec. 2015 (Dams sap Earth’s water, release arsenic in groundwater & fuel Climate Change)”

Climate Change · Dams · Floods

CHENNAI FLOODS: Cities today, countryside tomorrow?

Above: Chennai International Airport & the Adyar river

GUEST BLOG by: Manoj Misra (yamunajiye@gmail.com)

Chennai is going through the same hell today that Mumbai did in July 2005, Surat in August 2006, Ambala and Moradabad in 2010 and Srinagar and Guwahati in September 2014. High rainfall event and the waters’ inability to leave the city harmlessly, flooding houses (many built by the state housing boards), offices, commercial establishments, roads, railway lines and even the airport and the resulting misery for residents, travelers, industry, commerce and the tourists alike. Continue reading “CHENNAI FLOODS: Cities today, countryside tomorrow?”

Climate Change · Dams

COP21: Climate Initiatives Must Not Include Large Hydropower Projects- NGOs

Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP), Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense (AIDA), International Rivers, South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP)

December 3, 2015

In a global manifesto released today, a coalition of more than 300 civil society organizations from 53 countries called on governments and financiers at the Paris climate talks to keep large hydropower projects out of climate initiatives such as the Clean Development Mechanism, the World Bank’s Clean Investment Funds, and green bonds. Continue reading “COP21: Climate Initiatives Must Not Include Large Hydropower Projects- NGOs”

Dam Induced Flood Disaster · Dams · Disasters · Himachal Pradesh · Himalayas

Kinnaur in crisis; Sheer Negligence in hydro projects claiming lives. Who is accountable?

Above: Entirely destabilised house next to 100 MW Sorang HEP transmission lines Photo: Sumit Mahar

Immediate Press Statement from Himdhara 02/12/15

In the last two weeks a half a dozen lives have been lost in the Kinnaur region alone in three separate incidents that have one thing in common – accidents at hydropower project sites. The first event took place in Burang village on the 18th of November 2015 where a penstock pipe burst of the 100 MW Sorang Hydro-electric project led to the death of three people. On 29th November, two labourers died in blasting operations in the 450 MW Shongthong Karchham project, some others were seriously injured. And on the same day in the Bhabha Valley, a young teacher lost her life in a landslide that occurred in the area. Continue reading “Kinnaur in crisis; Sheer Negligence in hydro projects claiming lives. Who is accountable?”