DRP News Bulletin


Goa Activists to launch mass agitation against coal transportation & nationalisation of rivers GREAT! Goa activists unite to oppose rivers nationalisation and coal transportation along rivers. https://www.heraldgoa.in/Goa/Goa/Activists-to-launch-mass-agitation-against-coal-transportation-and-nationalisation-of-rivers/121112.html


India’s National Register of Large Dams: Shows how little we know about our dams: India’s National Register of Large Dams, brought out by the Central Water Commission has serious lacunae. Here is an overview of 2017 edition of the NRLD. Shocking that there are so many short comings, wrong information and missing information. Plz read, share and share feedback. https://sandrp.wordpress.com/2017/10/17/indias-national-register-of-large-dams-shows-how-little-we-know-about-our-dams/

State wise distribution of completed large dams in India as per NRLD 2017

Middle Vaitarna hydro project: Consultant fails, triggers row between BMC, govt Amazing that Rs 60.5 lakhs have gone down the drain, but there will be no consequences. http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/middle-vaitarna-hydro-power-project-consultant-fails-to-prepare-report-triggers-row-between-bmc-govt-4895864/


Prime Minister Modi at Kedarnath: What was said; what was left unsaid: https://sandrp.wordpress.com/2017/10/22/prime-minister-modi-at-kedarnath-what-was-said-what-was-left-unsaid/

Companies show dis-interest in Hydro Projects Great to see such detailed reporting about hydropower clearances, it only reinforces the fact that large hydro ARE NOT viable even in conventional terms. http://indianexpress.com/article/business/business-others/firms-failure-to-respond-may-put-hydro-project-clearances-at-risk-4895712/

10000 MW Siang Project Opposed: “Siang Indigenous Farmers’ Forum (SIFF) has opposed the project and stated NITI Aayog has decided to merge Stage I and Stage II of the power project over river Siang, which will submerge over 100 villages and affect lakhs of people and their livelihood in Siang river valley in the state as well as in downstream areas of Assam.”

– SIFF general secretary Tasik Pangkam said, “We the Adi people worship and believe that land is the gift from nature or God. So no amount of compensation will suffice and there is also lurking danger of wiping out the rich cultural heritage and history of people in such eventuality in Siang Valley and in Assam.” https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/power/siff-opposes-10000-mw-hydro-project-over-siang-river-in-arunachal/61126355

Even Hydro companies are vary of the proposal Govt of India insists on pushing 10 000 MW Siang project. But article is ILL INFORMED. The Lower Subansiri project is STALLED, NOT because of NGT, but because of agitation.

– “But the Central government is insisting on one big project. If there is one big project, then the district headquarters of Upper Siang, Yingkiong, will completely submerge.”

– THIS WILL BE DANGEROUS: “We just submitted a detailed project report for a 1,600-megawatt dam on the Siyom tributary of the Siang”. https://scroll.in/article/853655/the-centres-proposal-to-build-a-mega-dam-in-arunachal-pradesh-makes-even-hydropower-companies-wary


Wind power projects suffer blow as Karnataka says for PPA nod, cut tariffs first Karnataka’s electricity regulator has refused to approve the power purchase agreements (PPAs) for wind power projects that were commissioned before March 31, 2017, without a fresh tariff reduction of 17% to Rs 3.74/unit. The decision would impact 242.5 MW of wind power plants with a capital cost of about Rs 1,350 crore in the state.

– The wind energy-independent power producers’ association has already filed a petition with the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (Aptel) challenging the Karnataka regulator’s order. The ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) had asked the states to honour the terms of PPAs with renewable energy producers. http://www.financialexpress.com/india-news/wind-power-projects-suffer-blow-as-karnataka-says-for-ppa-nod-cut-tariffs-first/895957/


‘The streams have dried up. Where will we find our fish?’ Children’s film ‘Pipsi’ has some answers PIPSI: FILM BASED ON AMAZING Story of two eight year olds in Maharashtra village, grappling with water and agriculture issues through a brilliant, simple plot. https://thereel.scroll.in/853996/the-streams-have-dried-up-where-will-we-find-our-fish-childrens-film-pipsi-has-some-answers

River Wise Rainfall in Monsoon 2017: IT IS NOT SO WELL KNOWN that India Meteorological Department also provides River Basin wise rainfall data. Nor is that information much used. We here go throughh the RIVER BASIN WISE RAINFALL FIGURES FOR 2017 MONSOON with some analysis and suggestions. Plz Read, Share and send feedback. https://sandrp.wordpress.com/2017/10/18/river-wise-rainfall-in-monsoon-2017/


Debris alters course of Ganga near Gaumukh ALARM BELLS? Dr Navin Juyal, Senior Geologist from Physical Research Laboratory says that Ganga at origin has changed course possibly this monsoon and “that if the Ganga continues to flow in its changed course from the lake, it might eventually lead to collapse of Gaumukh.” https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/environment/global-warming/debris-alters-course-of-ganga-near-gaumukh/articleshow/61109748.cms

Vishwanath Srikantaiah celebrates Cauvery River: Kaveri Sankramana or Tula Sankramana

Cauvery Basin, Vishwanath Srikantiah FB page on 17×17

The spring at Tala Cauvery, the birth place of the Dakshina Gange, will well up and as it is believed at an auspicious time and a mighty river will start to flow. If you bathe in these springs or touch the holy waters you attain moksha and are released from the burden of life and death cycles.

The holy date is on the 17th of October this year.

In the rice bowl of Thanjavur , if in the early monsoon the rains fail , a great cry and prayer goes up in the land and it says Mercara, Mercara…for the farmers of the delta pray for rain not in their place but in the source of the river that will feed and nurture their land and their fields. Such was the bond between the delta and the head reaches now torn asunder by linguistic states.

When people die , they are cremated and their ashes taken to the river – Paschim Vahini as she is called at Srirangapatna – she who flows to the west. Here the ashes are immersed praying that the soul be liberated for ever.

In Talakad , a great curse was placed on the Maharaja of Mysuru by a woman, Alamellamma …let Talakad be covered by sand dunes , let the river at Malangi become a whirlpool and let the king of Mysuru never have a progeny – so goes the myth. The first dam in Karnataka on the Cauvery was built here at Talakad, the Madhav Mantri dam and it brought ecological disaster to the place argues Prof. Ganeshiah. The sand dunes were dug every 12 years and prayers offered at the temples buried underneath.

Cauvery photo by Vishwanath Srikantaiah FB page 17×17

The river rolls on ….and creates islands in her flow. The first temple to Lord Vishnu is at Srirangapatna…the second at Shivansamudra and the third at Srirangam…all to the lord Sriranga…Adi ranga, Madhya ranga and Antya Ranga. Wherever there is an island there is a temple to the Lord.

Kaveri rolls along till the oldest dam in India perhaps …the Kalanai , the Grand Anicut …bifurcates her into the delta and three rivers. Here since the 11th century A.D. or is it the 1st century A.D. in one o the most magnificent of barrages ever built irrigating 800,000 acres of delta growing rice for the land since time immemorial the river finally enters the sea at Poompuhar. The Greeks and the Romans came here from Muziris , in search of pepper and silk and trade. The river enabled a port and the port enabled ships and trade. Long gone now and a distant memory , the prerogative of archaeologists and story tellers is Poompuhar.

Dams have sprung up on her now KRS and Mettur the latest.

A tribunal has decided on the sharing of her waters. The Supreme Court is hearing the matter and will pass a decision soon. The river is now no more than the waters to be drawn and consumed by man. Lawyers and Advocates decide the fate of a river clad in their black robes and their Lordships pronounce.

The city of Bengaluru a 100 km away and 300 metres above the river survives on its waters alone. 10 million people receive the Cauvery in their homes through their taps daily. It is they who are the beneficiaries of a mighty river.

It is said that the sari worn by the Kodava ladies in a different style is because the river turned it around 180 degrees.

A river is reborn on Kaveri Sankramana. Greetings to all. May we have the wisdom to appreciate the gift that we have received. May we take care of the forests and the springs that give birth to her and her tributaries. May we leave the sand , the fish and the otters in the river itself. May the birds come to roost at Ranganthittu and other places. May the crocodiles swim along with the Mahseer in its sweet waters. May the river reach the sea to come back as rain the next year. May some of her waters irrigate the fertile plains to grow rice of the best variety that we can get. May the music festival of Thyagaraja at his birth place reverberate to the sound of her flowing waters. For what is the harm in wishing. https://www.facebook.com/sandrp.in/posts/1821008171260181


– The policy document has recommended 16 tree species, including teak, mahogany, and shisham that are of high timber and industrial value. The team, to its credit, acknowledges that the list is not exhaustive. But it is striking that most of the species on the list are not quite representative of riparian landscapes.

– “This is a gross misrepresentation of riparian vegetation across India. Even in dry landscapes with comparatively fewer species, the forest patches along rivers are far more diverse. The species list is just too small,” says Siddarth Machado, botanist and researcher at the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) in Bengaluru. The campaign has stressed on the need to plant native tree species. But mahogany is from southern U.S. and the Caribbean islands; and casuarina is from Malaysia and Indonesia.

– Even the native species listed in the document are not without problems. The shisham tree, for example, is native to northern India but doesn’t naturally occur in the south. Similarly, red sanders sandalwood occurs naturally only in the Eastern Ghats and cannot be randomly planted anywhere.

– DO TREES HELP RIVERS FLOW ALL ROUND THE YEAR? the optimism of the rally relies heavily on the rationale that forests act as sponges, absorbing rainwater and releasing it during dry periods, ensuring that rivers flow year-round.

– But it is perhaps true in only 30% of the studies from around the world. “70% of the time, increase in tree cover can decrease the stream flow, including in the dry season,” says Jagdish Krishnaswamy, a leading ecohydrologist from Bengaluru’s Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment.

– Trees are unlikely to survive in places better suited for grasses and shrubs. Grasslands and scrubs, it must be underlined, are unique and valuable in their own right and harbour considerable biodiversity. Local, often landless, communities use these areas to graze livestock.

– In some cases, single-species plantations have been raised on grassland and open shrubland. These trees, it was later found, increased rainwater infiltration into deeper soil layers, but dramatically reduced outflow into nearby streams and rivers, thus creating greater water shortage in an already parched landscape.

– Krishnaswamy is not convinced that the rally’s plan will have such a linear benefit. “It’s unlikely that just a 1 km strip on both sides of a river is going to make a really big difference to rainfall,” he says. http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/do-trees-make-rivers-flow/article19853181.ece


Punjab Sand Mining Corruption http://indianexpress.com/article/india/punjab-minister-rana-gurjit-singh-sand-mine-auction-4894122/


Story of destruction of ANOTHER wetland in Kashmir “Wetlands in the state are under the jurisdiction of the Department of Wildlife Protection. However, the DRF claims Narkara as its own by virtue of its foundational mandate of 1955, under which it was given jurisdiction over certain lands in Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir, like Rakh-i-Arat in Budgam and wetlands near Bandipora’s Wular lake. Since the department has no revenue records of Narkara, the wetland, located 12 km south of central Srinagar, is being encroached slowly, with many portions on the edges being grabbed by land mafia. According to a study titled Urban Sprawl of Srinagar City and its Impact on Wetlands, published in May 2014 in the International Journal of Environment and Bioenergy, Narkara’s area was 342 ha in 1971, which shrank to 261 ha in 2010.” http://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/one-more-to-go-58826


Rice pelleting technique This method uses the larger distance between plants as in SRI, but more assured germination through pallets. It claims more tillers per plant than even SRI. Welcome initiative, needs further work and propagation. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kozhikode/rice-pelleting-technique-to-help-tackle-climate-change/articleshow/61115237.cms


Andra Pradesh government to extend organic farming to 12,900 villages The United National Environment Programme (UNEP) and Azim Premji Foundation came forward to extend support for ZBNF in the State… the government is going to expand it to all the 12,900 villages…. the ZBNF concept is aimed at promoting climate resilient, chemical-free agriculture as well as ensuring welfare of farmers and consumers. http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/andhra-pradesh/2017/oct/18/andra-pradesh-government-to-extend-organic-farming-to-12900-villages-1676997.html

MNCs Syngenta, Bayer, Monsanto blamed for farmers deaths in Maharashtra The special task force in Maharashtra to tackle agrarian crisis Vasantrao Naik Sheti Swavlamban Mission (VNSSM) chairman Kishor Tiwari on Monday blamed the Swiss agrochemicals company Syngenta, Germany’s Bayer and Bayer-owned Monsanto for recent deaths of farmers due to pesticide exposure to the cotton belt of Yavatmal. In a statement issued here, he said that they have been accused of distributing dangerous pesticides without sufficient safety information and violating guidelines and conditions by the Central Insecticides Board and Registration Committee (CIBRC), government of India, and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Code of Conduct on Pesticide Management. http://www.financialexpress.com/market/commodities/mncs-syngenta-bayer-monsanto-blamed-for-farmers-deaths-in-maharashtra/897043/

Gujarat’s expenditure on agriculture and irrigation has fallen since 2013-’14 Gujarat is spending less on agriculture and irrigation in last three years, while its low or no interest loans are disproportionately benefiting the bigger farmers. https://scroll.in/article/854687/gujarat-is-offering-0-interest-loans-to-farmers-but-its-record-on-long-term-support-is-patchy


Draft groundwater guidelines will lead to its destruction, not recharge Ashlin Mathew writes about critique of Draft Groundwater guidelines. https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/national/draft-groundwater-guidelines-will-lead-to-its-destruction-not-recharge

Rainwater harvesting reversed fluorosis Rainwater harvesting and groundwater recharge reduces fluoride in groundwater in this Nalgonda district village by less than half. http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/human-intervention-reverses-fluorosis/article19875324.ece


ARE PEOPLE IN VILLAGES LESS THIRSTY? SAINATH is his usual SHARP and APT here: “there has been a stunning growth of inequality in the last 25 years and a spectacular growth of inequality in the last 15 years. It is not just a question of wealth and income; inequality is visible in every sector. It is visible in water whether (it is) water for irrigation or drinking water. Transfers of water from poor to rich, from agriculture to industry, from village to city are going on.” He asks: SHOULD WE NOT BE ANGRY?

Sainath quotes what Ambedkar said in that fantastic speech on November 25, 1949, “In politics, there is democracy and equality; in society and economics, there is no democracy or equality. And one day, the tension between those dispossessed of democracy and equality and your political system will explode your fine political democracy.” http://www.indiawaterportal.org/articles/are-people-villages-less-thirsty


Plastic pollution of Urban Tap Water Micro plastic contamination of drinking water sources. https://www.pri.org/stories/2017-09-05/if-youre-drinking-tap-water-youre-consuming-plastic-pollutants

WELCOME INITIATIVE: “Delhi: Hills, Forest and a River recently, an ecological map of the Capital” is the result of an extensive study by Landscape Foundation India, a research studio started by Delhi-based landscape architects Brijendra S Dua and Geeta Wahi Dua, who edit LA, a journal of landscape architecture.

Spanning the last 12 centuries, the map highlights ecologically significant areas — manmade as well as natural — It is split into two sections: “Journey So Far” and “Mapping Nature”. Its convenient foldable format (146mm x 193mm) makes it easy to carry around. http://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/books/delhi-hills-forest-and-a-river-delhi-ecological-map-landscape-foundation-india-4895718/


Anantpur Downpour ANANTPUR, known to receive the second lowest rainfall among all districts of India has received lot more this year:

– The district received an average rainfall of 159 mm in just the first 12 days of October as against a mere 7.1 mm of rainfall for entire October last year!

– Such has been the bounty of rainfall received by the district that 906 of the 1,265 tanks have filled up completely for the first time in almost two decades, while most of the remaining are filled to at least half their capacity.

– More than 60,000 farm ponds dug up under the “Panta Sanjeevani” programme of the State government have finally and completely been made use of with almost every single one getting filled. http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/water-water-everywhere/article19862992.ece


WELCOME HT EDIT: WE NEED SPONGE CITIES SPONGE CITIES is what we need, indeed, cities need to absorb, recharge, store, slow down and drain rainwater if they are to survive. The HT EDIT also provides example from Berlin and China. China, it says, has said that cities must be able to use at least 70% of rain water. http://www.hindustantimes.com/editorials/india-cities-must-become-sponge-cities-to-tackle-urban-flooding/story-QYnkjNFus3RtW6JPfXCJrI.html

Tarun Bisht RESPONSE ON SANDRP FB PAGE: Well, I live near Rummelsburg, apart from the innovative pavements and roof modifications, this part of Berlin has an amazing tree cover. We should learn more from recent US flooding events, which were also partly attributed to the impervious urban environment. [Thanks, Tarun Bisht.]

Bangalore monsoon in 2017 Bangalore this year experienced very odd monsoon. 61% deficit in June-July and heavy surplus next three months (Aug-Sept-Oct). Highest rainfall of last twelve hears. https://www.thequint.com/news/india/bengaluru-torrential-rain-freak-year-or-climate-change

Venkatesh Hemmige response on SANDRP FB Page is noteworthy: The article is a bit off in stating that “Bengaluru should receive heavy rainfall during the monsoon months of June and July”. Usually May sees decent amounts of rainfall and there is a dip in June followed by increases in July, Aug, Sept and Oct. The long term frequency distribution map of rainfall for 100 years shows that September and October are the rainiest months in Bengaluru. Please see: http://bengaluru.citizenmatters.in/some-lessons-for-bengaluru-from-100-years-of-rain-data-8013 [WE ARE THANKFUL TO VENKATESH FOR PROVIDING THIS CORRECT INFORMATION.]

Surat may not provide the best model for Hyderabad, but we need to act soon:

“As per rules, building permission can be granted in 30 days. But we have a lot of pressure to grant it early. With limited staff, processing and checking the facts on the ground is difficult. We will study the Surat model and check if it can be applied to the city . Hyderabad has been witnessing 8-10 cm rain in a span of oneand-half hour. We need Rs 12,000 crore to clear encroachments on nalas. Last October, we demolished 800 structures soon after the floods, but legal cases followed. This time, we have served notices on 1,000 structures. We have filed a caveat to stop litigation,” GHMC commissioner B Janardhan Reddy said. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/experts-push-for-surat-model-to-curb-flooding/articleshow/61095765.cms


UP TO FACE ANOTHER DROUGHT? Uttar Pradesh is facing the prospects of drought… last year 50 districts were declared drought hit. http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/a-drought-on-ups-doorstep/article19862850.ece


Lake that caused Kedar floods now dry CHORABARI lake breached on June 17, 2013, triggering floods in Kedarnath. Now it has no water, reports Rohit Joshi.

The lake is estimated to have formed around 15 to 17,000 years ago by rain water and snow melting from the surrounding mountains. In the past few decades, scientists had found only 4-5 meters of water level in the lake. But just before the disaster, on June 13, 2013, WIHG scientists reported that the lake’s water had risen up to 7 meters. On June 16, 315 mm of rain was recorded in the area in just 24 hours contributing to further increase in the water level of the lake. “The capacity of this lake was 20 meters, but on the day of the disaster, an avalanche occured and tons of snow had fallen into the lake. It caused the lake’s embankment to burst. A detailed report prepared by WIHG found that more than 262 million litres of water and tons of debris rained on Kedarnath town in a few minutes causing that terrible catastrophe,” said Dobhal. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/lake-that-caused-kedar-floods-now-dry-will-take-100-yrs-to-restore/articleshow/61134966.cms


Nepal: OPPOSITION TO PANCHESHWAR in NEPAL: Reservoirs of Suspicion “Madhav Belbase, a joint secretary at the Ministry of Energy, has strongly opposed the proposal, arguing that it violates the 1995 Mahakali Treaty and, if agreed to by Nepal, will set a precedent for other rivers.” http://nepalitimes.com/article/nation/reservoirs-of-suspicion/hydropower-geopolitics%20,3991

Upper Karnali gets forest clearance 900 MW Upper Karnali project of GMR in Nepal gets forest clearance. http://kathmandupost.ekantipur.com/news/2017-10-19/upper-karnali-hydro-receives-forest-clearance.html

Pakistan: China speeds up hydro project opposed by India USD 2 Billion Karot Hydropower Project is being built on Jhelum river on “Build-Own-Operate-Transfer” basis for 30 years. It will be owned by the Chinese company for 30 years, after which ownership will be turned over to the government of Pakistan. Karot Power Company Limited, a subsidiary of China Three Gorges South Asia Investment, owns the 720 MW Karot Power Station, state-run Global Times reported. https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/power/china-to-speed-up-construction-of-power-project-in-pok/61119474


How Big Water Projects Helped Trigger Africa’s Migrant Crisis EXCELLENT article by Fred Pearce about how mega dams are creating migrants and refugee crisis from Africa. http://e360.yale.edu/features/how-africas-big-water-projects-helped-trigger-the-migrant-crisis

World’s Deepest Lake Undergoing Gravest Crisis In Recent History LAKE BAIKAL seems like such an amazing place and is now in some serious problems. https://www.ndtv.com/world-news/worlds-deepest-lake-undergoing-gravest-crisis-in-recent-history-1764724?pfrom=home-topstories

SILVER LINING: Friends Of Russia’s Lake Baikal Mark Small Victory Over Dam Project, Vow To Fight On. https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-mongolia-baikal-dam-project-activists-environment-/28804304.html

Mukund Sathe on SANDRP FB PAGE: Sad to read. I had an opportunity to visit the lake. I have never seen such a pure lake (as of those days). I think it was January or February,lake was frozen but the ice was so transparent that we could see the fish moving below the ice. [Thanks, Mukund Sathe ji.]

Cost of Oroville dam repair in USA nearly doubles Cost of repair of Oroville dam has gone up hugely, partly due to the unsuitable rock base of the original spillway. http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/article179858341.html

Dear White House: No one wants to burn more coal. Even us. Thanks, Texas Wind Energy installed capacity to overtake Thermal capacity in 2018. Three Thermal Power projects to be retired in 2018.

– Texan’s embrace of wind is driven by economics: Older coal plants are no longer profitable as wind, solar, and cheap natural gas push down the price of wholesale electricity. https://qz.com/1103816/texas-wind-power-capacity-will-overtake-coal-in-2018-after-the-shuttering-of-three-coal-power-plants/

CHINA: Good decision,  but more needs to be done China halts more than 150 coal fired plants https://unearthed.greenpeace.org/2017/10/11/china-halts-150-coal-fired-power-plants/


You may also like to see DRP News Bulletin of 16 Oct, 2017 &  DRP News Bulletin 09 October 2017

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