DRP News Bulletin

DRP NB 5 July 2021: Supreme Court pulls up MoEF, NGT over environment issues: Will it go far?

(Feature image:- Aerial image of the fire – Photo by Sachin Bharali, from the Facebook page I am Dehing Patkai https://www.facebook.com/iamdehingpatkai/photos/pcb.131915155180713/131915048514057/?type=3&theater)

In the last week, the Supreme Court of India used rather strong words against Union Ministry of Environment and Forests under the leadership of Prakash Javdekar. It said: “You must show it is a ministry for environment and not just ‘of environment’. You (ministry) have been constantly diluting the environmental standards. That’s all that has been happening”. While this was necessary and in fact it should have come several years earlier, one hopes the SC does not stop at using just strong words, but ensures that the MoEF is held accountable for its numerous unpardonable anti environment acts.

In another notable event, the Supreme Court also pulled up the NGT for not understanding even basic conflict of interest: “We are surprised by this order of the NGT. It is the OIL Ltd. which is responsible for the damage to the wetlands and its own Managing Director has been inducted into the committee? … We are very dissatisfied with the manner the NGT has pushed the matter off its hands. It is the National Green Tribunal, it must have some alacrity and concern for the environment. And after the report of the first committee, three committees have been set up separately! What is this?” This again is welcome and was long overdue. NGT had shown similar lack of understanding of conflict of interest in the Lower Subansiri case which also SC needs to open up for review. Conflict of Interest is a MAJOR dark spot in functioning of India’s governance and SC needs to do lot more to correct this.

SC pulls up MoEF over ‘diluting green standards’ “You must show it is a ministry for environment and not just ‘of environment’. You (ministry) have been constantly diluting the environmental standards. That’s all that has been happening,” commented a bench headed by justice Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud while hearing an appeal by the central government against an order of the NGT in 2019.

NGT had found faults with the ministry’s 2017 notification by which new norms for effluent discharge by STPs in waterbodies were laid down. It held that the new notification would lead to deterioration of the water quality and prescribed stricter standards based on the recommendations of an expert committee.

While the expert committee had suggested a timeframe of seven years for existing STPs to switch to higher sewage treatment criteria, the tribunal directed that the existing STPs should apply these norms “without any delay”. The NGT had further held that standards recommended for mega and metropolitan cities will also apply to the rest of the country. The Union government challenged this order before the SC and asked for an immediate stay on the NGT judgment too. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/apex-court-pulls-up-environment-ministry-over-diluting-green-standards-101624906033716.html  (29 June 2021)

Assam NGT Must Have Alacrity, Concern For Environment: SC The bench of Justices Chandrachud and M. R. Shah was considering an appeal arising out of the NGT’s adjudication of allegations of failure of authorities in preventing the blowout of Baghjan 5 oil well of the Respondent-Oil India Ltd., resulting in a massive fire causing irreparable loss to the entire biodiversity of the region and loss of lives and property.

“We are surprised by this order of the NGT. It is the OIL Ltd. which is responsible for the damage to the wetlands and its own Managing Director has been inducted into the committee?!”, Justice Chandrachud had observed at the outset.

“We are very dissatisfied with the manner the NGT has pushed the matter off its hands. It is the National Green Tribunal, it must have some alacrity and concern for theenvironment. We  might decide it ourselves. We will hear you and reconstitute the committee- One Committee, which may be headed by a former Supreme Court judge and would comprise environmental experts. We will do that exercise here only”, said the judge to the Senior Advocate for the petitioner.

“And after the report of the first committee, three committees have been set up separately! What is this?”, pointed out Justice Shah. The bench also agreed with the petitioner’s submission that the Committees so constituted are stuffed with bureaucrats and comprise hardly any experts. The bench also issued notice on the appeal to the OIL Ltd., MoEF and Ministry of Petroleum. https://www.livelaw.in/top-stories/supreme-court-national-green-tribunal-dibru-saikhowa-forest-oil-bhagjan-blowout-176657  (01 July 2021) 

Supreme Court has notified OIL, the MoPNG and MoEFCC to submit a response within three weeks when the next hearing would take place. The apex court further indicated that it might monitor the investigation and restoration efforts in Baghjan in which two firefighters, an engineer, several endangered wildlife species, fishes and birds lost their habitat after fire caused by the blowout.

The petitioners also cited the report of Chief Wildlife Warden of Assam, Dr. M.K. Yadava’s report on the disaster which was recently made public by Yadava himself. Following the disaster, Assam Government appointed Yadava to investigate the impact of the blowout on the fragile ecosystem of Dibru Saikhowa National Park in the vicinity of Baghjan oil and gas field. Yadava had estimated more than Rs 25,000 crores of losses to ecological and human habitat following the oil fire, whose impacts would continue for more than a decade. https://www.eastmojo.com/assam/2021/07/01/oil-officials-barred-from-investigating-baghjan-blowout-says-sc/  (01 July 2021)

HYDRO POWER PROJECTS

IEA Hydropower Growth Set to Significant Slowdown The growth of hydropower plants worldwide is set to slow significantly this decade said the International Energy Agency (IEA) in a new report. The projected growth for the 2020s is nearly 25% slower than hydropower’s expansion in the previous decade. For reversing the trend, the required measures include providing long-term visibility on revenues to ensure hydropower projects are economically viable and sufficiently attractive to investors. This is acceptance of the long known fact that hydropower projects even with all the plethora of overt and covert subsidies, are no longer viable.

– Between now and 2030, $127 billion – or almost one-quarter of global hydropower investment – is set to be spent on modernising ageing plants, mostly in advanced economies. This is notably the case in North America, where the average age of a hydropower plant is nearly 50 years, and in Europe, where it’s 45 years. Still, the projected investment falls well short of the $300 billion that the report estimates is necessary to modernise all ageing hydropower plants worldwide. https://www.albawaba.com/business/iea-hydropower-growth-set-significant-slowdown-1436858  (04 July 2021)

India to add 26Gw hydro projects by 2030 Currently, the installed capacity of the 207 hydropower projects running in the country is 46,209 MW. More than 9,000 MW of large hydro projects are under construction at present. The present installed capacity includes the 4,785 MW of pumped storage hydro projects, which are used devices for storing electricity. Another 1,500 MW of pumped storage hydro projects are under construction. The IEA forecasts pumped storage hydro fleet almost tripling by 2030 to accommodate growing solar capacity. The government has recently awarded 1,200 MW of renewables and storage in a tender that included 900 MW of pumped storage, offering a weighted average price of Rs 4.04/unit and a peak tariff of Rs 6.12/unit, and 300 MW of battery storage at average Rs 4.3/unit peak tariff of Rs 6.85/unit.

In 2019, the government classified conventional hydropower and pumped hydro projects greater than 25 MW as a renewable energy source, making them eligible for more affordable renewables-only financial support. However, from the 1980s onwards share of hydropower in the overall energy matrix of the country has fallen rather sharply. In 1980, hydro provided around 40% of installed capacity which is now around 12% only.

The government has recently approved the 210 MW Luhri Stage-I hydroelectric project in Himachal and an 850 MW Ratle hydroelectric project on the river Chenab in Jammu and Kashmir. In 2003, the Central government had launched a scheme for the preparation of a preliminary feasibility report of 162 new hydro projects with a capacity of 47,930 MW. Out of this, only 2,377 MW are currently under construction and 96 MW are operating. Projects accounting for 17,350 MW had to be shelved due to environmental issues and local agitations. https://www.financialexpress.com/industry/india-to-add-26-gw-hydro-projects-by-2030-iea/2282279/  (02 July 2021)

Arunachal Pradesh Govt declines to share cost benefit analysis of mega hydro project The government has refused to answer a query under the Right To Information (RTI) Act about cost-benefit ratio analysis of the Etalin Hydroelectric Project in Dibang Valley, saying it did not have the consent of the developer to do so. In response to a conservationist’s RTI query about the cost-benefit ratio on June 21, the state government said the information pertains to a third party and consent for disclosure was sought. “M/S Etalin Hydro Electric Power Company Limited does not want to disclose information till FAC reconsiders it.”

Ritwick Dutta, an environmental lawyer, said the analysis is not third-party information. “It is a public document for the benefit of the public at large. So, denial of information is illegal,” said Dutta. “Some information can be the third party such as those involving patents or design of the project, but the ratio analysis can never be third party information. The state should make it public. They do not need the company’s permission to do that.”

Environmentalists working in the region said the analysis is an important document based on which a recommendation is made by the FAC, and the Union environment ministry takes the decision on a project. They say this also enables members of the public to make informed submissions to the FAC when it takes up specific projects for forest clearance. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/arunachal-declines-to-share-cost-benefit-analysis-of-mega-hydro-project-101625026400336.html  (30 June 2021)

Uttarakhand NHPC challenges additional tax on hydel projects in HC NHPC has filed a special appeal in the Uttarakhand high court (HC), challenging the judgment issued by a single bench judge in February 2021, which upheld the state’s right to levy additional tax on hydropower projects. The HC refused to stay the order. After hearing the matter on July 2, 2021, the division bench of Chief Justice RS Chauhan and Justice Alok Kumar Verma issued notices to the state government and the state commission for water tax on electricity generation, water resource department, irrigation department and nodal officer of the research and rehabilitation department. The court has given all respondents four weeks to file their counters.

– In February, the single bench of Justice Lok Pal Singh dismissed 11 petitions filed by several hydropower project owners and upheld an Act passed by the state in 2012, which puts an additional tax on such firms for using the hill state’s water for generation of electricity. The law in question – the Uttarakhand Water Tax on Electricity Generation Act 2012 – imposes a tax amount ranging from two to 10 paise, depending on the size of the hydel project. This tax is in addition to the 12% power that these projects supply to the state government free of cost, as royalty.

– The NHPC, however, contends that through his order, the judge has effectively held that the definition of land includes the water flowing on it, which goes against provisions of the Constitution. Its petition adds that the judgment has given the state government power to put tax on water usage for generation of electricity, but the constitution does not grant the state government any such power. Earlier, THDC, another hydropower generator, had challenged the order on similar grounds. The court had issued notices in the matter as well. However, sources said that despite almost three months having passed since the first hearing, the state, a respondent, is yet to file its reply in the matter. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/nhpc-challenges-additional-tax-on-hydel-projects-in-uttarakhand-in-hc/articleshow/84075105.cms  (03 July 2021)

GSI report on Chamoli disaster A study by National Remote Sensing Centre indicated that the time taken from the initiation of the avalanche and its disastrous impact up to Tapovan barrage site near Joshimath was “barely 50 minutes”, which indicates availability of a “very low lead time for raising any warning for the downstream areas.”

“Areas having risks posed by smaller mountain glaciers were also becoming important sites where such hazards formed. The steep higher order streams and the narrow river valleys in the high-altitude areas of Himalayas remain extremely hazard prone, which are not only vulnerable to GLOF/Landslide Lake Outburst Flood (LLOF) hazards but have also become locale for a major disaster caused due to the domino effect of large/mega landslide and avalanche,” the GSI report noted. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/chamoli-disaster-due-to-avalanche-says-geological-survey-of-india/article35031786.ece  (29 June 2021)

It may never have been wise to develop hydropower at the site of the Chamoli disaster. This same valley had experienced large ice avalanches in 2000 and 2016 and has seen several major floods in recent years. It is of course extremely difficult to predict if, when and where these sorts of events might occur, but this is evidently an unstable landscape.

Scientists have developed a number of ways to monitor how landscapes are changing, particularly using satellite images. We have the tools to spot warning signs and develop hydropower as safely as can be reasonably expected. Tragically though, these tools are not always used, or the warnings are ignored, as seems to have been the case at Chamoli. https://theconversation.com/climate-change-as-mountain-regions-warm-hydroelectric-power-plants-may-be-vulnerable-162635  (29 June 2021)

Meghalaya Interesting to see a debate on the Umngot Dam. https://thenortheasttoday.com/oped/umngot-dam-is-the-dam-in-the-best-interest-of-its-citizens/cid3483437.htm  (02 July 2021)

Bihar Proposed Dagmara HEP is RoR project? WRONG reporting. It says: “It will be a run-of-river hydro project which means it will use the natural downward flow of the Kosi river to generate power.” But the report does not say this is wrong. In reality, it is NOT a run of river project.

“There is no connection between the Dagmara project and prevention of floods,” Dinesh Kumar Mishra, an authority on the river network of North Bihar and convenor of Barh Mukti Abhiyan (an informal network of citizens concerned about the floods in the Indo-Gangetic plains), told Gaon Connection. https://en.gaonconnection.com/kosi-hydropower-project-bihar-farmers-protests-floods-dagmara-developent-loss-displacement-compensation/  (2 July 2021) 

MoEF Agenda of EAC meeting for River Valley Projects to be held on July 7, 2021.

1. WRD-Govt. of A. P. – Environment clearance for Rayalaseema Lift Scheme to supplement 3 TMC per day to SRMC on D/s of Pothiredypadu Head Regulator, which is an integral part of 1. Galeru Nagari Sujala Sravanthi (GNSS) Project in District Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh. 2. Srsailam Right Branch Canal, Andhra Pradesh 3. Telugu Ganga Project, Andhra Pradesh – Amendment to the Existing Environmental clearances to include Rayalaseema Lift Scheme.

2. Ukai Pumped Storage Project of 2400MW in an area of 1064.61 ha by M/s Greenko Energies Private Ltd in village Ukai, Tehsil Songadh, Dist Tapi, Gujarat – Amendment in Terms of Reference

3. Parwan Major Multipurpose Irrigation cum Drinking Water Supply Project in an area of 12,247.79 ha by Department of Water Resources, Govt of Rajasthan in village Akawad Kalan, Tehsil Khanpur, District Jhalawar, Rajasthan – Extension of Environmental Clearances http://environmentclearance.nic.in/writereaddata/Form-1A/Agenda/0207202178749498FinalAgendaRiverValley14thEAC.pdf 

NTPC Plan to add 60 GW renewable capacity by 2032 Speaking at the Bloomberg New Energy Finance summit in Delhi, Gurdeep Singh, Chairman & Managing Director, NTPC Ltd said the company has not added thermal capacity in the last five years and they are evaluating if it won’t be needed in future too and renewable energy will be enough to meet the demand. NTPC recently announced that it will set up 60 Gw of renewable energy capacity comprising of solar and wind power by 2032. The target was 30 Gw earlier.

NTPC incorporated a wholly-owned subsidiary for its renewable energy projects in October 2020 called NTPC Renewable Energy Ltd. Over the next decade, NTPC’s energy basket will see thermal portfolio fall to 70 per cent from 90 per cent and that of renewable sources increase to 25 per cent from miniscule 1.7 per cent right now, according to the company’s presentation to investors.

Apart from solar and wind power projects, NTPC is also looking to invest is green hydrogen and green methanol – cleaner fuels that are manufactured at units powered by renewable energy. Sources said NTPC has already started a pilot of green methanol near its Ramagundam thermal power plant in Telangana, using carbon capture technology. https://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/ntpc-to-hive-renewable-arm-and-list-it-soon-plans-to-add-60-gw-capacity-121062901215_1.html  (30 June 2021)

Centre Electricity Bill likely to be introduced in Monsoon session Participating in the virtual Bloomberg NEF (BNEF) Summit, Power and Renewable Energy Minister R K Singh said the bill seeks to delicense distribution of electricity. The Monsoon session is likely to commence on July 19 and conclude on August 13.

The proposal to seek the Cabinet approval for the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2021 was circulated in January this year and the draft law was to be pushed for passage in the Budget session. The bill seeks to delicense power distribution to reduce entry barriers for private players for creating competition in the segment, which would ultimately enable consumers to choose from multiple service providers. The bill also prescribes the rights and duties of electricity consumers. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/energy/power/electricity-amendment-bill-likely-to-be-introduced-in-monsoon-session-power-minister-r-k-singh/articleshow/83956193.cms  (30 June 2021)

Cabinet approves ₹3.03 trillion power discom reform scheme The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Wednesday (June 30) approved the marquee ₹3.03 trillion power distribution company (discom) reform scheme, wherein the Centre’s share will be ₹97,631 crore.

The reforms-based result-linked power distribution sector scheme, to be applicable till 2025-26, was announced in the union budget presented earlier this year and will subsume programmes such as the Integrated Power Development Scheme and the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana.

The funds will be released to discoms subject to them meeting reform-related milestones, with state-run Power Finance Corporation (PFC) and Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) nominated as nodal agencies for implementation of the scheme.  https://www.livemint.com/industry/energy/cabinet-approves-3-03-trillion-power-discom-reform-scheme-11625051611930.html  (30 June 2021)

DAMS

Polavaram Project First rehabilitate victims, then coffer dam: opposition Leaders of Opposition parties demanded the Andhra government to first complete the Rehabilitation and Resettlement (R&R) package for the families that were displaced due to the Polavaram project & then construct the coffer dam & other water storage facilities. They demanded the AP govt to ensure that Bhadrachalam town does not drown because of the backwater of the project. https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/andhra-pradesh/2021/jul/04/first-rehabilitate-polavaram-victims-then-copper-dam-opposition-to-andhra-government-2325196.html (4 Jul 2021)

Mekedatu DamDon’t pursue Mekedatu project,’ Stalin tells Yediyurappa TN CM MK Stalin, in a letter to Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa on the proposed Mekedatu dam on Cauvery river by Karnataka said that Karnataka constructing “such a major reservoir”, which is too far away from Bengaluru “does not sound valid” by citing the reason of the top court allowing water to be drawn from the Cauvery river as drinking water for the capital city. He added that Karnataka already has adequate infrastructure to draw and meet the drinking water demand of Bengaluru, therefore, “the justification of the need for a reservoir with a storage capacity of 67.16 TMC to utilize 4.75 TMC as drinking water is not at all acceptable. This would definitely jeopardize the availability of water to Tamil Nadu.” https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/dont-pursue-mekedatu-project-stalin-tells-yediyurappa-101625416924314.html  (04 July 2021)

Tamil Nadu Feasibility study on linking two major dams to be taken up soon A proposal to link Papanasam and Manimuthar dams to take the surplus waters of Papanasam dam to Manimuthar Dam will fructify if the feasibility study to be conducted shortly supports it and permission is granted by the National Tiger Conservation Authority as the project has to be implemented inside Kalakkad -Mundanthurai Tiger Sanctuary.

Assembly Speaker and Radhapuram MLA M. Appavu said, “Since it is under contemplation for the past several years, I reminded Collector V. Vishnu about this proposal at the function to release water from Papanasam dam on June 1 for ‘kar’ paddy cultivation. He expressed his willingness to hire a team like technocrats of IIT Madras for conducting a feasibility study. When I mooted this idea to the CM, he instructed the PWD’s Water Resources Organisation to initiate the feasibility study,” Mr. Appavu said. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/feasibility-study-on-linking-two-major-dams-to-be-taken-up-soon/article34851062.ece  (18 June 2021)

INTERLINKING OF RIVERS

Madhya Pradesh NGT halts tree cutting for diamond mine project NGT’s Bhopal bench has directed the state government to ensure that no tree is cut without the forest department’s clearance at Buxawaha in Chhatarpur district for diamond mining, according to an interim order made available on Thursday (July 1).

Besides, the bench of NGT, comprising judicial member Justice Sheo Kumar Singh and expert member Kumar Verma, has directed the applicant in the case to provide a copy of the plea and relevant document to the respondents, as per the June 26 order uploaded on the NGT website in the evening. https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/madhya-pradesh-green-court-ngt-halts-tree-cutting-for-diamond-mine-project-in-buxawaha-2477332  (02 July 2021)

INTERSTATE WATER DISPUTES

Krishna Water Dispute AP to lose crores if Krishna water supply is delayed  Andhra may suffer losses running to thousands of crores in case farmers fail to get timely water supply to raise crops like paddy, red chillies, horticulture crops and vegetables in command areas falling under Srisailam, Nagarjunasagar and Pulichintala irrigation projects. This is imminent as the Telangana state government has started drawing water from the three projects, thereby depleting the water in reservoirs.

In the absence of a workable network of canals and water storage facilities in the district, farmers have to rely on water whenever it gets released. Guntur agriculture joint director M. Vijaya Bharathi said, “Unless farmers get Krishna water for raising crops like paddy and red chillies for kharif season in time, they may delay raising crops and if there is no guarantee of getting water, they may even opt for irrigated dry (ID) crops. This will have a major impact on farm production.”

Prakasam agriculture joint director S. Srinivasa Rao said “Farmers start raising crops like paddy and red chillies from July 15. When confronted with water problems, they either delay or opt for ID crops.” In Kurnool, the farmers are more cautious. They raise crops based on availability of water from Srisailam reservoir. It should be noted that farmers have appealed to both AP and TS governments to resolve the water dispute amicably and ensure supply of water as directed by KRMB. https://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/politics/030721/ap-to-lose-crores-if-krishna-water-supply-is-delayed.html  (04 July 2021)

Krishna river flows through Maharashtra, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. (Image: Shruti Mathur\The Quint)

Why Andhra & Telangana Have Locked Horns https://www.thequint.com/news/politics/hydel-and-irrigation-projects-of-andhra-pradesh-and-telangana-have-raked-up-several-controversies#read-more  (04 July 2021)

Will use 50% of Krishna water, says Telangana CM Urging the KRMB to conduct the meeting after July 20 which was fixed for July 9, Telangana also asked the board to include contentious issues like ‘illegal’ projects constructed by AP in the agenda for the meeting. The CM, who chaired a high-level meeting with chief secretary Somesh Kumar and special chief secretary (water resources) Rajat Kumar, resolved to continue with hydel power generation at Srisailam, Jurala, Nagarjuna Sagar and Pulichintala projects.

Reminding the KRMB that there were no agreements between the two states on hydel power generation, KCR said: “This year onwards, Telangana will utilise 50 per cent of Krishna water(405.5 tmcft). Of the total 811 tmcft of water in Krishna, Telangana gets 299 tmcft and AP 512 tmcft. The meeting rejected the present 66:34 water sharing formula between AP and Telangana respectively.

The CM said hydel power was required for the state for lifting of water from various irrigation projects and also drinking water schemes such as Mission Bhagiratha and to meet Hyderabad drinking water needs. The meeting also reminded the Centre’s circular to generate 51 per cent of clean energy as thermal power energy is leading to pollution. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/kcr-will-use-50-of-krishna-water/articleshow/84104920.cms  (04 July 2021)

Srisailam is now tussle epicentre In an interesting turn of events, Andhra CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, on Thursday (July 1), admitted that Srisailam was originally a hydroelectric project.  Telangana authorities have been reiterating this contention ever since the AP government began constructing the Rayalaseema Lift Irrigation Project (RLIP).

Originally, there were no allocations for the Srisailam project, barring the 33 tmcft set aside as evaporation losses. Later, the erstwhile AP government began drawing 1,500 cusecs from Srisailam for the Chennai drinking water scheme. The drawls from Srisailam gradually rose to 15,000 cusecs per day during NTR’s rule and to 44,000 cusecs under the YSR government. Now, the Jagan government plans to increase the drawing capacity of the RLIP to 88,000 cusecs. It may be recalled that the erstwhile AP government had also allocated some water to the Telangana region for irrigation purposes on the order of the Bachawat Tribunal. https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/telangana/2021/jul/03/srisailam-is-now-epicentre-of-andhra-pradesh-telangana-tussle-2324716.html  (03 July 2021)

Telangana and Andhra escalate their war The crux of the water dispute between the two States is the allegation by the Andhra government that Telangana is drawing Krishna river water from the Srisailam, Nagarjuna Sagar and Pulichintala projects for hydel power generation without obtaining clearances from the KRMB. The Andhra government says the operation and maintenance of the Srisailam and Pulichintala projects, and the Prakasam barrage, are in its purview, whereas the Nagarjuna Sagar and Jurala projects are under the control of Telangana. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana-and-andhra-pradesh-escalate-their-war-over-the-waters-of-krishna-river/article35102859.ece (2 Jul 2021)

Tension over power generation at Nagarjunasagar continues In addition to Nagarjunasagar project, the State is also generating power at full-steam at the upstream Srisailam project and the downstream K.L. Rao Sagar Pulichintala project, joint multi-purpose projects between the Telugu States, amid maximum protection by security and police forces.

In response to Telangana’s firm stand, the Andhra government marked its visible protest on Thursday (July 1) by fortifying its side of the projects with police forces, also expressing readiness for any future action. An official attempt, however, to protest Telangana’s stand on water usage to generate power was made by its Irrigation and Revenue officials late on Thursday (July 1).

According to Superintending Engineer of NSP (Right Canal) Purushottama Ganga Raju, who entered Nagarjunasagar to register the protest with the NSP Chief Engineer, Telangana was setting aside irrigation responsibilities for power production and letting the water go waste. “The dams are not even filled to capacities, and setting aside irrigation duty for power generation is not proper. We will be answerable to farmers,” he said. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/tension-over-power-generation-at-nagarjunasagar-continues/article35087871.ece  (02 July 2021)

Andhra, Telangana step up security at Nagarjuna Sagar, Srisailam dams Police personnel from Guntur were deployed in large numbers at the Nagarjuna Sagar Dam in view of the tense situation. A large posse of police personnel from Telangana was also deployed at the dam. About 150 Civil, APSP, AR and ANS Special Forces were deployed at the dam. The Kurnool district police deployed security personnel at the Srisailam dam to ensure the safety of the structure and were not allowing anybody to go near it.

Srisailam Circle Inspector B. Venkata Ramana said that on the Andhra Pradesh side only 10 police personnel had been deployed, and the strength would be increased from Friday (July 2) with the arrival of additional forces. Telangana too had deployed police personnel in large numbers on its side of the dam on Thursday (July 1). The Kurnool police also deployed personnel at the Rajolibanda Diversion Scheme right canal as people of Telangana had been demanding that the work at the site be stopped. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/andhra-pradesh-telangana-step-up-security-at-nagarjuna-sagar-and-srisailam-dams/article35087938.ece  (02 July 2021)

Police takes position Telangana police denied entry to some officials from AP, including revenue and irrigation officials from Guntur, at Macherla on Andhra border, who wanted to give a letter to Telangana Genco officials asking to stop hydel power generation from units at Pulichintala and Nagarjunasagar.

Later, amidst heavy security, J Ramesh Babu, superintending engineer, Pulichintala, AP, reached the hydro-electrical power station located on the other side of the state, and submitted a memorandum to TS Genco officials. Nalgonda DIG AV Ranganath and Guntur Rural superintendent of police Vishal Gunni were present during the negotiations between the AP and Telangana officials at the border. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/sagar-srisailam-simmer-cops-take-position-at-dams/articleshow/84051685.cms  (02 July 2021)

This recurring theme resurfaces whenever there is water scarcity as is the case now. The water (mainly from Krishna River) sharing dispute between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana after similar episodes in 2015 and 2017. https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/power/cops-take-position-at-dams-as-telangana-andhra-pradesh-water-war-escalates/84058307  (02 July 2021)

Andhra CM seeks PM’s intervention The Andhra cabinet had on June 30 strongly condemned the attitude of the Telangana govt regarding the usage of the Krishna river water for hydropower generation. After the cabinet meeting, the state’s Water Resources and Irrigation Minister P Anil Kumar also criticised Telangana Ministers for using provocative language and verbally attacking former CM YS Rajashekar Reddy.

Assuring that the AP government is ready to bring projects under KRMB if required, Kumar said, “Telangana has been extending various projects like Palamuru, Dindi, Nettempadu without permission. AP government will write a letter to the KRMB on how Telangana is generating power illegally and would request them to cut down the wastage of water in 299 TMC of water allocated to them.”

Kumar also said that the state government has been constructing irrigation projects as per the regulations and is using the water allocated to the state. The minister said, “Full capacity of 44,000 cusecs of water from Pothireddypadu can be drawn only if water level reaches 881 ft in Srisailam. The water level should reach 854 ft at least to draw 5,000-6,000 cusecs.” He also said that Telangana can draw 6 thousand million cubic feet (TMC) of water at 800 ft level. https://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2021/jul/01/andhra-cm-jagan-seeks-pms-intervention-in-row-with-telangana-over-hydel-project-on-krishna-2323947.html  (01 July 2021)

He complained that Telangana’s unilateral siphoning of water from Srisailam, Nagarjuna Sagar and Pulichintala reservoirs will jeopardise the drinking and irrigation needs of four Rayalaseema, Nellore and Prakasam districts, including Chennai city’s drinking water requirements. https://www.news18.com/news/india/rein-in-telanganas-illegal-water-siphoning-for-power-jagan-to-pm-3916649.html  (02 July 2021)

After reports of Andhra government denying an official team to visit sites of Rayalaseema lift and Pothireddypadu irrigation projects, the Telangana government on Thursday (July 1) flayed its counterpart for “sheer violations” of NGT directives.

Telangana Power Minister Jagadish Reddy claimed that Andhra cannot stop the state from producing power in Srisailam and Nagarjuna Sagar. Talking to media persons, the power minister also took a swipe at the Jagan Reddy government for denying permission to an official team to inspect the “illegal” works. “We urged the Centre to intervene and stop illegal works of irrigation projects,” he said. https://www.news18.com/news/india/none-can-stop-tgana-from-producing-power-minister-flays-andhra-over-illegal-projects-3915518.html  (01 July 2021)

Telangana deploys cops at Nagarjunasagar The Telangana state Cabinet had recently decided to take up hydel generation at the projects up to 100 per cent of installed capacity. Both major hydel power stations of Telangana state are located the on Krishna river, namely Srisailam and Nagarjunasagar, which are joint projects of TS and AP.

The AP government has already lodged a complaint with the Union Jal Shakti ministry against the Telangana state government utililsing Srisailam water for hydel power generation despite lower water level in the dam. The Centre had directed the TS government on Sunday (June 27) to stop hydel power generation but the staet government on Monday (June 28) directed its power utilities to generate hydel power ignoring the Centre’s orders.

It may be recalled that TS and AP police forces had clashed at Nagarjunasagar dam in February 2015 during which a few personnel sustained injuries due to lathicharge on each other to take control of the dam after a row erupted between the states over sharing of Krishna water. https://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/in-other-news/300621/telangana-government-deploys-cops-at-nagarjunasagar-dam.html  (30 June 2021)

Telangana govt defying order on Srisailam: Andhra to KRMB In the letter written to the KRMB member secretary on Tuesday (June 29), Narayana Reddy noted that despite the KRMB’s order to stop drawl of water for power generation, Telangana continued to use large quantities of water. “In spite of repeated requests, Telangana is resorting to draw water for power generation in larger quantities (16,877 cusecs on June 28). It is learnt that Telangana issued a government order to generate hydro power at 100 per cent installed capacity, which means drawl of 4 TMC per day, through the left side power house. Such action will affect interests of AP,” the ENC explained.

Following this, the KRMB on Monday (June 28) asked Telangana to halt power generation on the left bank. With the ‘disregard’ of the directive by Telangana, the ENC had written to the board for the third time on Tuesday (June 29). Noting that except during floods, water drawls from common reservoirs of Srisailam and NSP are to be done only with the release orders of the KRMB, AP argued that power generation is incidental to meet irrigation requirements under the Krishna Delta System & NSP. https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/andhra-pradesh/2021/jun/30/ts-govt-defying-order-on-srisailam-ap-to-krmb-2323356.html (30 Jun 2021)

Telangana asks Genco to generate 100% hydel power  Telangana government on Monday (June 28) issued orders permitting TS Genco to generate hydel power up to 100 per cent installed capacity ignoring the orders of the Centre to stop hydel power generation at Srisailam project. The move is expected to escalate the ongoing water war between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh further over sharing of Krishna water.

The AP government lodged a complaint with the union Jal Shakti ministry. The Jal Shakti ministry has written to TS Genco stating,  “The TS Genco authorities are requested to stop further release of water immediately through Srisailam left power house and follow the water release orders issued by KRMB except in case of extreme grid exigency.”

However, a day after this, Telangana energy department secretary Sandeep Kumar Sultania issued orders stating, “Typical terrain of Telangana state leaves no option except to lift water from either of the rivers (Godavari, Krishna) to fulfill the aspirations of the farmers of the state. For this, huge power is required. At the same time, Telangana has around 2,500 MW hydel power generation installed capacity with much lower capacity utilisation. To tap more hydel power generation in the state, the government has taken a decision to generate hydel power in the state up to 100% installed capacity.”

In its letter to KRMB, the AP government said that if Telangana state continues hydel power generation, they could not draw water for Chennai drinking water, Telugu Ganga, SRBC, KC Canal and Galeru-Nagari projects. In a swift reaction, the TS government dashed off a letter to KRMB indicating that Srisailam is a hydel project and not an irrigation project. https://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/politics/290621/telangana-escalates-water-war-asks-genco-to-generate-100-hydel-power.html  (29 June 2021)

Telangana MMD continues to receive KLIS water The authorities concerned continued to release Kaleshwaram water from Nandi pumphouse at Nandi Medaram in Peddapalli district into the Mid Manair Dam (MMD), on Friday (July 2) as well.

Meanwhile, Executive Engineer of Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme (KLIS) Package-8 Noone Sridhar said that they are also releasing about 18,900 cusecs of water into the Gayatri pumphouse from the surgepool, using six pumps. https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/telangana/2021/jul/03/mid-manair-dam-continues-to-receive-kaleshwaram-lift-irrigation-scheme-water-2324707.html  (03 July 2021)

RIVERS AS NATIONAL WATER WAYS

बिहार  नदियों की तरह बदलती बिहार के जलमार्गो की कार्य योजनाएं बिहार की नदियों की तरह ही इन पर प्रस्तावित जलमार्गों की परियोजना भी हर वर्ष के अपना रास्ता बदलती हुई प्रतीत होती है। इन जलमार्गों को स्थिर, पर्यावरण के लिए अनुकूल और सही मायने में उपयोगी बनाने के लिए स्थानीय जनता और उनकी जरूरतों को ध्यान में रखना जरूरी है।  https://hindi.mongabay.com/2021/06/29/plans-of-waterways-changing-frequently/  (29 June 2021)

URBAN RIVERS

Opinion Indian cities need river-sensitive master plans By Rajiv Ranjan Mishra Victor R Shinde  NMCG-NIUA developed a strategic framework (Urban River Management Plan) that requires cities to take actions on a common 10-point agenda. The URMP framework was launched last year, and Kanpur will be the first city to adopt this framework for making a city-specific URMP.

… while a master plan is an ideal platform for integrating the river with the city’s development landscape, there are hardly any available master plans that have taken a sustainable approach. To address this, NMCG-NIUA developed a document (Making River-Sensitive Master Plans).

The document, which aims to help city planners integrate river thinking into master plans, provides seven avenues for planners to tackle different river-related issues in a city. Some of these are conventional challenges related to land use assignment, development control regulations, and norms and standards for activities allowed in flood-plains. https://www.hindustantimes.com/opinion/indian-cities-need-river-sensitive-master-plans-101624021105180.html  (18 June 2021)

Cooum; Chennai 1st STP to open in 2 months The modular sewage treatment plant constructed in Chetpet, as part of the Integrated Cooum River Eco-restoration Project (CRRT), would be commissioned in two months. Four plants are being constructed, and the others will take some more time for completion. Officials of the Metrowater said the modular sewage treatment plants were based on the moving bed biofilm reactor technology, and the plant at Chetpet has the capacity to treat one million litres of sewage daily.

A portion of the recycled waste water would be used for watering plants maintained by the Greater Chennai Corporation. The remaining would be released into the river to facilitate its flow. The other plants of 0.6 mld, 1.2 mld and 1 mld capacity will come up along the Cooum near College Road, near Choolaimedu railway bridge and near Chennai Bypass Road, Maduravoyal respectively. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/cooums-first-sewage-treatment-plant-to-open-in-2-months/article35008099.ece  (27 June 2021)

Vrishabhavathi; Bengaluru Dumping of industrial waste continues Illegal dumping of untreated and hazardous industrial waste into Vrishabhavati river and its tributary channels, mostly at night, camouflaged as water tankers, is a pervasive malpractice going on for decades. As a result, Vrishabhavathi flows as Vishabhavathi (i.e Visha means poison in kannada) with unimaginable industrial toxicity. https://arkavathiriver.blogspot.com/2021/06/vrishabhavati-river-is-free-for-all-to.html?m=1  (29 June 2021)

RIVERS

Chhattishgarh Govt to lay power lines along river banks for irrigation in forests During a review meeting of the state’s energy department on Tuesday (June 29), CM Bhupesh Baghel instructed officials to draft an action plan in this regard, saying the use of river water for irrigation would help in reducing the exploitation of groundwater, the public relations department official said. The CM directed the officials to utilise funds from the District Mineral Foundation (DMF) for laying the electricity lines on the banks of rivers in the aspirational districts, particularly Bastar, Surguja and Korba.

The work of laying power transmission lines on the banks of the Indravati (Bastar), Shabari (Sukma), Hasdeo (Korba) rivers and water bodies in Dantewada should be done on priority and a proper action plan be prepared after consultation with collectors of the districts concerned, the CM said in the meeting. Besides, to ensure irrigation facilities in the areas which lack electricity supply, solar pumps should be provided to farmers under the ‘Saur Sujala Yojana’, he said. https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/power/chhattisgarh-to-lay-power-lines-along-river-banks-for-irrigation-in-forests/84000762  (01 July 2021)

Odisha 4K-year-old settlement found during excavation  According to the ASI, the site has a circular mud fortification of about 4.9 km between the Sona river to the south and the Burahabalang river on its northeastern margin. “Two small nullas, Gangahara and Prassana, join the site on its north and south, forming a natural moat for the site, which was an ancient water management system developed at least 4,000 years back from present,” the Odisha Institute of Maritime and South East Asian Studies (OIMSEAS), an archaeological wing of the State government said.

Excavation was started with an aim to correlate the simultaneous growth and development of maritime activities, and urbanisation in the east coast of India, linking the Ganga valley in north and the Mahanadi valley in central Odisha, more particularly to focus on early cultural development in northern Odisha, the institute informed. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/4000-year-old-settlement-found-during-odisha-excavation/article35109780.ece  (03 July 2021)

Himachal Pradesh SPCB slammed for inaction on water pollution in Baddi Violations of water pollution are continuing in Baddi and mere stay of order of closure and assessment of compensation for the past violations does not justify inaction for further violations. Coming down heavily on the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) for lack of action on violators of water pollution, the Principal Bench of the NGT made this observation on June 23 in a case pertaining to pollution in Balad river on account of leakage from the Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP).

Polluted water body in Baddi industrial area. The Tribune

“Merely keeping an eye on units discharging more than 200 kilo litres per day (KLD) effluents is not enough and violations by those discharging less than 200 KLD effluents is no less serious or less harmful for the environment and public health,” observed the Tribunal. A four-member joint committee comprising a representative of MoEF, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), SPCB and District Magistrate has been directed to file a status report of compliance after inspecting the erring units. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/spcb-slammed-for-inaction-on-water-pollution-in-baddi-275364  (29 June 2021)

Haryana Govt to develop Saraswati riverfront in Kurukshetra State Education and Tourism Minister Kanwar Pal along with Deputy Commissioner Mukul Kumar, Haryana Saraswati Heritage Development Board Deputy Chairman Dhuman Singh and other officials inspected the Saraswati channel near Pipli on Friday (July 2). The minister said, “A three phase strategy has been chalked out to develop the site as the Saraswati riverfront to attract tourists. The government will introduce boating, and develop park in the first phase of the project. An area of around 600 metre will be developed in the first phase.”

During the inspection, Dhuman Singh apprised the minister about the work being carried out to clean and increase the water carrying capacity of the channel. Dhuman Singh said, “We have planned to develop the Saraswati riverfront on the pattern of the Sabarmati riverfront. For the first phase, a budget of Rs 3 crore has already been passed by the governing body. A temple of Goddess Saraswati will also be constructed in the second phase.” https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/haryana/haryana-govt-to-develop-saraswati-riverfront-in-kurukshetra-277373  (03 July 2021)

GANGA Uttarakhand Red flags raised on faulty construction in Char Dham road A newly-constructed section of the Chamba-Dharasu road on the Rishikesh-Gangotri National Highway (NH-94), which is part of the under-construction Char Dham all-weather road, caved in a few days ago. After this, cracks appeared in the foundation of houses built close to a 440-m tunnel on the highway. Residents living around NH-94 said they had alerted authorities about the inferior quality of construction done by private companies engaged by the government, but nothing came of it.

Tehri sub divisional magistrate Ravindra Juwatha has submitted a detailed report to the district magistrate in this regard. “Other than faults that led to the incident, we have also highlighted the risk the construction poses to residents and their houses. The ‘pushta’ wall that collapsed during Char Dham road construction caused some serious damage. Cracks have appeared in people’s houses. They are scared,” the official said. Over the last month, many instances occurred of construction on the Char Dham road causing damage. A stretch of the all-weather road between Pithoragarh and Ghat had to be closed for six days following landslides in the area triggered by road widening work.

LD Mathela, executive engineer, NHAI, said “The team from THDC is in Tanakpur to locate all the vulnerable spots on the 150 km stretch between Tanakpur and Pithoragarh. A total of 51 spots have been identified so far. THDC will prepare a detailed project report and start repair work.” NHAI officials said repairs may take a year.

In another such incident, a road connecting Pithoragarh to Almora was blocked for 48 hours after boulders fell on the highway. Vehicles on the road remained stagnant for two straight days until the road was cleared. On Monday (June 28), landslides were also reported in Joshimath where Char Dham road work is ongoing. Boulders fell from Hathi Parvat on the road. The road was slightly damaged and traffic movement disrupted. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/red-flags-raised-on-faulty-construction-in-char-dham-road/articleshow/83964617.cms  (30 June 2021)

Uttar Pradesh Kashi Vishwanath corridor in Varanasi causes ripples of alarm The waters of the beauteous Ganges are turning murky, especially near Lalita Ghat in Varanasi, worrying lovers of the river and environmentalists alike. The local administration is blaming it on the Mirzapur district sewage treatment plant located more than 60 kms away from Lalita Ghat, which has led to the growth of the dirty green algae.

Construction at the ghat. Image Gaon Connection

However, river experts say that the building activity at the ghats is the reason for the stagnation and discoloration of the water. They fear this will not just mar Ganga’s beauty but will also push her away from the ghats. https://en.gaonconnection.com/varanasi-ganga-river-pollution-kashi-vishwanath-corridor-enviroment-mirzapur-sewage/  (29 June 2021)

River scientist questions building spur, canal in Ganga  Noted river engineer and former professor of Banaras Hindu University (BHU) Prof. UK Choudhary has written to CM Yogi Adityanath fearing an impending threat to the Ganga in Varanasi due to the construction of a spur (wall) and canal in the river. He has also posed a series of questions regarding the design of the project seeking answers from the authorities concerned. Prof Choudhary was also appointed as the expert member in Gomati riverfront committee and has 35 years’ experience in teaching river engineering to MTech students of Civil Engineering in IIT-BHU.

How the UP irrigation department and experts associated with the project decided to design the canal on the sand bed of the Ganga? They need to answer certain questions, he said and wanted to know how the discharge in the canal on the sand bed was calculated, how the cross-section was decided and also how the slope was fixed. “As the bed is permeable with different sands, how seepage rate was calculated. As the canal falls in high flood-zone, how the stability of the canal has been decided,” he added.

However, irrigation department’s executive engineer Pankaj Verma clarified that this multipurpose project will reduce the velocity of the river water to avoid pressure on ghats due to which threat of erosion under their steps and historical buildings was increasing. “While creating a new canal it has been ensured that the actual stream is not shifting from ghats. Sixty percent river water will pass through the old stream on the left bank while the new canal on the right bank will have 40% water. The average depth of the river on the ghat side is 10m while the depth of the new canal is 7-8m. The cargo vessels on the National Waterway-I will also pass through the new canal. The project is being implemented at the cost of Rs. 11.95 crore,” he told TOI on Friday (June 12). https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/varanasi/river-scientist-questions-building-spur-canal-in-ganga-in-varanasi/articleshow/83443916.cms  (12 June 2021)

Bihar River water lifting project cost revised The cabinet on July 2, 2021 cleared the revised project cost of the first phase of the Ganga water lifting project at Rs4,174 crore. It is being implemented under the Jal Jeevan Hariyali campaign. Earlier, the estimated expenditure on the first phase of the project had been put at Rs 2,836 crore. The project cost was revised due to the increased expenditure of Rs918.58 crore and additional related works necessitated an expenditure of another Rs420.23 crore. The project envisages supply of Ganga water to Gaya, Bodh Gaya and Rajgir towns. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/patna/ganga-water-lifting-project-cost-revised/articleshow/84075137.cms  (03 July 2021)

YAMUNA Delhi Govt bans fishing The animal husbandry department on Tuesday (June 29) banned fishing in parts of river Yamuna, citing the high pollution levels in the water. “It is hereby brought to the notice of all concerned that in view of the high pollution levels in the Yamuna waters, as per the provisions made in the rules (formulated under Indian Fisheries Act, 1897), the issuing of fishing licence in two portions of public waters is suspended till further orders,” the notification read.

The notification further said fishing will be prohibited in a portion of the Hindon canal, Ghazipur drain and Shadipur drain (road drain 0 to 17000); and portion of river Yamuna, from groyne number 85 (downstream), New Okhla barrage, to Delhi boundary. Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) said the most recent data on river pollution levels was not readily available with the agency.

Contrary to popular notions, despite the highly polluted state of the Yamuna in the national capital, portions of the river are still frequented by fishermen who depend on the river for their livelihood. According to them, even though aquatic life has reduced drastically over the past two decades, owing to pollution and low water flow in the Delhi portion of the river, fish varieties such as puthi and golden fish, are still common in parts of the river. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/delhi-news/delhi-govt-bans-fishing-in-yamuna-says-water-too-polluted-101624988663545.html  (30 June 2021)

Fishing banned at two stretches Rakesh Singh, director, animal husbandry, said, “The fishing licence in two stretches of the Yamuna, which are highly polluted, has been suspended as the fish are unfit for human consumption. The stretches are those that we lease out on an annual basis. We had stopped fishing activity there last year too.”

Bhim Singh Rawat, SANDRP told ToI, “The aquatic life hardly exists in the main stretch of the Yamuna in Delhi. Most of the species survive in the fresh water and many fish species are not found in the river due to pollution. The fishing activity mostly takes place during monsoon as when there is a fresh flow, fish go upstream.” He added that the government should work on improving the water quality of the Yamuna rather than restricting activities like fishing as many communities are dependent on the river for livelihood. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/fishing-banned-at-two-yamuna-stretches-due-to-high-pollution/articleshow/83966448.cms  (30 June 2021)

For Yamuna, change for worse only constant Even as the Yamuna continues to suffer, with toxic froth accumulating on its surface and tonnes of sewage entering the river each day, its floodplain is fighting a battle of its own. With the draft Delhi Master Plan 2041 looking at delineating the Yamuna floodplain’s zone-O into two parts and possibly allowing the existing unauthorised colonies to stay in zone O-II, experts say the river ecosystem could be at risk.

Manoj Mishra, convener of Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan, is dismayed at the lax implementation of the NGT judgment. Mishra said the multiplicity of land-owning agencies only made it easier to pass the blame for non-action. “Jaitpur, where there are brazen violations, is under Delhi government, so DDA can easily overlook the encroachments there,” he pointed out. Similarly, north of the Wazirabad barrage, the land belongs to Delhi government, while the land along the Noida Link Road also is under the jurisdiction of the UP irrigation department. Little action has taken place in these places.” https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/for-yamuna-change-for-worse-only-constant/articleshow/83999582.cms  (01 July 2021)

Govt laxity has turned Yamuna into a drain: MoJS minister In a letter on July 1 to CM Arvind Kejriwal, Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat has lashed out at his government for showing no urgency for completing projects related to Yamuna cleaning despite the Centre extending all help. Expressing strong displeasure at the delay, Shekhawat said the central government has provided Rs 2,419 crore to the Delhi government for 13 projects for the river’s cleaning.

But, 3,500 million litres of dirty water is discharged daily from 18 drains in the national capital into the Yamuna without treatment, he said. The letter also questioned the delay in completion of Coronation Pillar Sewage Treatment Plant and grant of permission for tree transplantation for Kondli STP Phase 2. It further asked why the state government was yet to start work on seven proposed STPs to treat waste water from Najafgarh drain. https://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/delhi/2021/jul/03/kejriwal-governments-laxity-has-turned-yamuna-into-a-drain-says-jal-shakti-minister-2324875.html  (03 July 2021)

RIVERS BIODIVERSITY

Gujarat 194 Crocodiles Relocated From Lake Near Statue Of Unity As many as 194 crocodiles have been relocated from a Panchmuli lake near the ”Statue of Unity” in Narmada district in the last two years for the safety of tourists who come to enjoy boat rides there, officials said on Sunday (July 4).  “In 2019-20 (October-March), we relocated 143 crocodiles. In 2020-21, another 51 crocodiles were shifted to two rescue centres in Gandhinagar and Godhra,” Kevadia Range Forest Officer Vikramsinh Gabhania, told PTI. There are still many crocodiles in the lake, he said.

In 2019-20, 73 rescued crocodiles were released in the the Sardar Sarovar reservoir. The animals rescued later from the lake were shifted to the rescue centres at Godhra in Panchmahal district, and Gandhinagar, he said. “Some 60 cages are placed around the lake to trap the crocodiles. The part of the lake where sea planes (flying between Ahmedabad and Kevadia) land is completely safe,” he said. https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/194-crocodiles-relocated-from-lake-near-gujarats-statue-of-unity-for-safety-of-tourists-2478871  (04 July 2021)

Odisha Carcass of Spinner dolphin found The carcass of a four-feet-long male Spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris) was washed ashore in Odisha’s port town of Paradip within the Bhitarkanika National Park June 30, 2021, taking the number of marine animal deaths in the state within five months to six.

There have been deaths of five marine animals before the Spinner dolphin. An dead Irrawaddy dolphin was found entangled in fishing nets in Odisha’s Chilika lake June 10, 2021. The dead body of a Gangetic dolphin caught in the net of a fisherman was reported in Bhadrak district February 17, 2021.

A dead Irrawaddy dolphin was also found at Konark’s Chandrabhaga beach in Puri district April 8, 2021. A bottlenose dolphin was found dead April 22 on Puri beach. A dead Irrawaddy dolphin was found at Satapada within Chilika June 6, 2021. Forest officials in Odisha counted 544 dolphins belonging to the Irrawaddy, bottlenose and humpback species during the annual census in 2021. https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/wildlife-biodiversity/carcass-of-spinner-dolphin-found-in-odisha-77720  (30 June 2021)

Decapitated body of mugger crocodile found The decapitated body of a three-feet-long Mugger crocodile (Crocodylus palustris) was found on July 4, 2021 on the banks of River Mahanadi near Binikei temple within Satkosia Gorge Sanctuary in Angul district.

The crocodile died a few days ago, according to Suvendu Behera, assistant conservator of forest, Satkosia Gorge Sanctuary, adding that they are investigating the cause of death. Behera said: We suspect the reptile was choked by fishing nets in the river and fishers hacked its head to save their nets. It could have also lost its life due to illegal blast or dynamite fishing in upstream Mahanadi and drifted towards the sanctuary.

Blast fishing is one of the most destructive forms of fishing and indiscriminately kills any animal in the blast area from small fish to crocodiles and dolphins. Sudhakar Kar, a noted herpetologist and the former wildlife researcher of Odisha Forest department, said: Illegal fishing, construction of dams, barrages, irrigation canals, siltation, changes in the river course, artificial embankments and sand-mining caused excessive, irreversible loss of riverine habitat this threatens the existence of the species, added Kar. https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/wildlife-biodiversity/decapitated-body-of-mugger-crocodile-found-in-satkosia-gorge-sanctuary-77774  (05 July 2021)

Karnataka Crocodile takes a stroll on streets A crocodile was seen walking on the streets of Kogilabanna village in Uttara Kannada district during the early hours of Thursday, July 1. The reptile is said to have made its way from the Kali river in Dandeli town, which is situated about 5 km from the village. Upon being notified by the local residents, Forest Department officials captured the animal and released it into the river.

There have been such instances of reptiles making their way into residential areas. A few months ago, an alligator entered the same village and attacked a goat belonging to a local resident. Forest officials had captured the alligator and also provided compensation to the goat’s owner. “Usually, the reptiles are harmless, however, because of crowds or noise they tend to get scared or violent at times,” the official added.  https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/watch-crocodile-takes-stroll-streets-karnataka-village-151576  (01 July 2021)

Punjab Start breeding crocodiles in rivers: CM Reviewing the functioning of the Forests and Wildlife Preservation Department virtually, the CM asked the department to revive the original flora and fauna keeping in view the state’s natural climate and habitat. Amarinder Singh complimented the department for undertaking the plantation of ‘chandan’ and high-yielding bamboo, which gives double the yield of traditional bamboo. The CM asked the department to fully explore the potential of eco-tourism. He said concerted efforts should be made to develop Siswan and Harike as preferred eco-tourism destinations in northern India.

Additional Chief Secretary Anirudh Tiwari said the department has fixed a target to achieve 7.5 per cent area under forest and tree cover by 2023 in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He said the government of India has identified 100 wetlands to be developed on priority and five wetlands are in Punjab. They are Harike, Ropar, Kanjli, Keshopur and Nangal. He said Moga district has been selected as part of the one billion plantation project of the country in five years and 90 lakh plants would be planted in five years in the district. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/start-breeding-crocodiles-in-rivers-says-punjab-cm-275291  (28 June 2021)

FISH, FISHERIES, FISHERFOLKS

Maharashtra Mumbai gets interactive biodiversity map The map was first launched as a static map last year. The new interactive map documents different species with clickable features that show details of the species, their habitats and conservation status. It can be accessed at ministryofmumbaismagic.com.

The map covers the Mumbai Metropolitan Region and the water bodies of Thane Creek, Mahim Bay, Vasai Creek and the Arabian Sea highlighting 17 species of flora and 78 species of fauna. It also highlights the interdependence of indigenous communities on the local biodiversity for their livelihoods. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/mumbai-gets-an-interactive-biodiversity-map/articleshow/83990422.cms  (30 June 2021)

SAND MINING

Uttar Pradesh प्रेसीडेंशियल ट्रेन गुजरने से पहले ट्रैक पर फंसा ट्रक  कानपुर से लखनऊ जाने वाली प्रेसीडेंशियल ट्रेन गुजरने से एक घंटे पहले उन्नाव में जैतीपुर रेलवे क्रॉसिंग पर सोमवार (June 28) सुबह मौरंग लदा ट्रक फंसने से हड़कंप मच गया। रेल विभाग से लेकर प्रशासन तक ने ट्रक को ट्रैक से हटवाने में पूरी ताकत झोंक दी। पुलिस के जवानों और स्थानीय लोगों की मदद से मशक्कत के बाद ट्रक को क्रॉसिंग से हटाया जा सका। ट्रक हटने के बाद प्रशासनिक अफसरों और रेलवे अधिकारियों की जान में जान आई। हालांकि ट्रक फंसने से राष्ट्रपति की ट्रेन गुजरने में कोई बाधा नहीं आई। राष्ट्रपति की ट्रेन 19 मिनट देर से गुजरी।

सुबह साढ़े नौ बजे ओवरलोड मौरंग भरा ट्रक खराब होने से जैतीपुर रेलवे क्रॉसिंग नंबर 16 पर निकलते समय फंस गया। ट्रैक पर ट्रक फंसने की सूचना पर पुलिस और प्रशासन के हाथपांव फूल गए। मजदूरों की मदद से पहले मौरंग उतरवाकर ट्रक खाली कराया और फिर ट्रैक्टर मंगवा ट्रक हटवाकर ट्रैक क्लीयर कराया। इस दौरान कुछ देर के लिए कुसुम्भी रेलवे स्टेशन पर एडवांस पायलेट इंजन रुका रहा। ट्रैक साफ होने पर कुसुम्भी रेलवे स्टेशन पर खड़ी एडवांस पायलेट इंजन को जैतीपुर के लिए रवाना किया जा सका। घटनास्थल पर मौजूद एक युवक इसका वीडियो बना रहा था मगर पुलिस कर्मी ने उसका मोबाइल छीन लिया। पुलिस ने ट्रक को कब्जे में लेकर कागजात जब्त कर लिए हैं। https://www.livehindustan.com/uttar-pradesh/story-truck-stuck-on-the-track-before-passing-the-presidential-train-president-s-train-was-delayed-by-19-minutes-4168053.html  (28 June 2021)

Image source: Amar Ujala

राष्ट्रपति रामनाथ कोविंद की स्पेशल ट्रेन महाराजा एक्सप्रेस उन्नाव के जैतीपुर रेलवे क्राॅसिंग पर पहुंचने से करीब 30 मिनट पहले ट्रक फंसने से अफरातफरी मच गई। मौके पर मौजूद पुलिस ने धक्का देकर ट्रक खींच कर ट्रैक खाली कराया।  https://www.amarujala.com/uttar-pradesh/kanpur/president-leaves-for-lucknow-truck-stuck-at-railway-crossing-in-unnao-before-president-train-reaches  (28 June 2021)

रेलवे ट्रैक में फंसा बालू ट्रक, घंटो रेल यातायात बाधित  जनपद चन्दौली वाराणसी डीडीयू जंक्शन रूट पर हृदयपुर गाव के समीप मानव रहित क्रासिंग पर अपराह्न 2 बजे के करीब एक बालू लोडेड ट्रक बिगड़ जाने के कारण उक्त रुट पर ट्रेनों का परिचालन करीब आधे घंटे तक बाधित रहा। परिचालन बाधित होते ही रेल महकमे में खलबली मच गई। आनन-फानन में आरपीएफ डीडीयू पोस्ट प्रभारी संजीव कुमार मय फोर्स मौके पर पहुंचे और ट्रैक पर फंसे ट्रक को स्थानीय लोगों की मदद से हटवाया। जिसके बाद उक्त रूट पर परिचालन सामान्य हो सका।  इस दौरान ट्रक को हटाने में करीब आधे घंटे का वक्त लग गया और ट्रेनों का परिचालन आधे घंटे तक ठप रहा। http://www.jantakiawaz.org/local/uttar-pradesh/news-637997  (12 Nov. 2020)

रेलवे ट्रैक पर फंसा ट्रक, रोकी गई सुहेलदेव एक्सप्रेस जौनपुर-औड़िहार रेलवे ट्रैक पर फाटक संख्या 17-सी पर रविवार (Sept. 6, 2020) की सुबह लगभग सात बजकर नौ मिनट पर पार करते समय एक ट्रक फंस गया। मध्य प्रदेश के रीवा से गिट्टी लादकर गाजीपुर जा रहा ट्रक ज्यों ही औरी डगरा के पास रेलवे ट्रैक पर पहुंचा, उसकी कमानी टूट गई। इससे ट्रक ट्रैक पर फंस गया। इससे रेलवे ट्रैक बाधित हो गया। गेटमैन रंजीत कुमार ने इसकी सूचना तत्काल अधिकारियों को दी। जिसके बाद आनंद विहार से आ रही सुहेलदेव एक्सप्रेस को मुफ्तीगंज स्टेशन पर ही खड़ा कर दिया गया।

सूचना मिलते ही औड़िहार से आरपीएफ व इंजीनियरिग विभाग की टीम मौके पर पहुंची। ट्रक को किसी तरह पीछे करने की कोशिश की गई, लेकिन ट्रक का पहिया नहीं डोला। इसके बाद क्रेन मंगाकर ट्रक को हटाया गया। इस पूरी कवायद में सवा घंटे का समय लगा, जिसके बाद सुहेलदेव एक्सप्रेस ट्रेन को आगे रवाना किया जा सका। इस मामले में आरपीएफ ने ट्रक चालक अभय कुमार के खिलाफ रेलवे अधिनियम की धारा में मुकदमा दर्ज कर गिरफ्तार कर लिया है। https://www.jagran.com/uttar-pradesh/jaunpur-truck-stuck-on-railway-track-20715047.html  (06 Sept. 2020)

हाथरस रोड कोयल वाले फाटक गेट संख्या 342 पर गुरूवार की सुबह साढ़े आठ बजे करीब मथुरा से अलीगढ़ की तरफ जा रहा ट्रक संख्या आर जे 05 जीबी 1353 का रेलवे लाइन पर ही धुरा टूट गया और इसी के साथ उसकी एक तरफ की कमानी भी टूट गयी, जिससे ट्रक एक तरफ झुक कर जाम हो गया। रेलवे लाइन पर ट्रक फंसते ही गेटमैन मुख्तार शाह ने रेलवे स्टेशन को सूचना दी और तभी भरतपुर से कासगंज जा रही ट्रेन को भी राया रेलवे स्टेशन पर रोक दिया। घटना की सूचना मिलते ही राया प्रभारी आरसी शर्मा मयफोर्स के साथ मौके पर पहुंच गए। थोड़ी देर बाद ही रेलवे पुलिस गयी और ट्रक को हटाने के प्रयास करने लगे। ट्रक में गिट्टी भरी होने के कारण एक क्रेन उसको नहीं हटा सकी तो तीन क्रेनों के कई घंटों तक मशक्कत करने के बाद ट्रक को हटाया जा सका, करीब साढ़े दस बजे ट्रक को हटवा कर रेल मार्ग साफ कराया, जिसके कारण कासगंज से आगरा फोर्ट जाने वाली और भरतपुर से कासगंज जाने वाली ट्रेन करीब दो घंटा तक लेट रही। मुख्य मार्ग पर ट्रक फंसने के कारण दोनों तरफ वाहनों की लम्बी कतार लग गयी, जिससे लोगों को परेशानी का सामना करना पड़ा। वहीं ट्रेन देरी से चलने के कारण यात्री भी ट्रेन में बैठे बैठे परेशान हो गए। https://www.bhaskar.com/news/RAJ-BTPR-MAT-latest-bharatpur-news-042003-261932-NOR.html

रविवार (June 27) को नालंदा जिले के राजगीर रेलवे स्टेशन पर दो ट्रेने अपने निर्धारित समय से अधिक समय बीत जाने के बाद भी नही खुल सकी. ट्रेन रुकने की मुख्य वजह थी कि रेलवे क्रॉसिंग पर एक ट्रक फंस गया था. जिसके कारण राजगीर से नई दिल्ली की ओर जाने वाली हमसफ़र ट्रेन व श्रमजीवी ट्रेन घण्टो रोकना पड़ा. वहीं ट्रेनों के नही खुलने के कारण ट्रेनों से यात्रा करने वाले यात्री काफी परेशान दिखे. https://abhibharat.com/bihar-nalanda-truck-stuck-on-railway-track-trains-halted-for-hours-61264/  (27 June 2021)

जालौन में मौरंग ट्रक की टक्कर से महिला की मौत, पति, बच्ची घायल जलालपुर-कदौरा मार्ग पर खदान से मौरंग भरकर आ रहे ट्रक ने रविवार (June 27) को बाइक में टक्कर मार दी। बाइक सवार महिला की मौके पर ही मौत हो गई, जबकि उसका पति व डेढ़ साल की बच्ची गंभीर रूप से घायल हो गए। दोनों को उपचार के लिए जिला अस्पताल रेफर किया गया है।

अपनी रिश्तेदारी में मौदहा गए 28 वर्षीय विवेक तिवारी, पत्नी शिल्पी तिवारी तथा 18 वर्षीय पुत्री परी के साथ वापस अपने गृह नगर कालपी लौट रहे थे। जैसे ही वह जलालपुर मार्ग पर ग्राम पंडौरा के पास पहुंचे तो उनके आगे चल रहे ट्रक को ओवरटेक करने के चक्कर में उनकी बाइक अचानक अनियंत्रित हो गई और उनकी टक्कर ट्रक से हो गई जिससे उनकी पत्नी शिल्पी तिवारी ट्रक के नीचे आ गई और उसकी मौके पर ही मौत हो गई तथा विवेक और उनकी पुत्री परी उछलकर सड़क किनारे जा गिरे और घायल हो गए। https://www.jagran.com/uttar-pradesh/kanpur-city-road-accident-in-up-woman-dies-husband-and-child-injured-due-to-truck-collision-in-jalaun-21777425.html  (27 June 2021)

लखनऊ प्रशासन की लापरवाही से मोरंग लदा ट्रक पलटा, ड्राइवर की मौत  राजधानी में नियम कानून चंद रुपयों के लिए पुलिस और प्रशासन ताक पर रख देता है। लेकिन इस पर सवाल तब खड़े होते हैं जब यह लापरवाही जानलेवा हो जाती है। मड़ियांव थानाक्षेत्र के फैजुज्जागंज में रविवार (June 20) को मौरंग लदा एक ट्रक घुसा लेकिन नो एंट्री के बावजूद उसे किसी पुलिस वाले ने नही रोक। ट्रक दाउदनगर की घनी बस्ती के बीच एक सकरे रास्ते से होते हुए बिल्डिंग मटेरियल की दुकान पर पहुंचा। यहां मोरंग अनलोड करने के लिए ड्राइवर ट्रक को मोड़ने का प्रयास करने लगा। लेकिन जगह कम होने की वजह से ट्रक मुड़ने की बजाय पलट गया। इसके नीचे दबकर चालक उमर की मौत हो गयी।

Image Dainik Bhaskar

स्थानीय लोगों के मुताबिक घैला चौकी के पास ट्रक को रोककर उससे रुपये लेने के बाद नो एंट्री के बावजूद शहर में घुसने की परमिशन दी गयी। पुलिस वालों की यह चंद रुपये की वसूली ड्राइवर के मौत की वजह बन गयी। वही मड़ियांव इंस्पेक्टर मनोज कुमार का कहना है कि बारिश में जमीन गीली होने की वजह से हादसा हो गया। https://money.bhaskar.com/local/uttar-pradesh/lucknow/news/lucknow-road-accident-latest-updates-truck-overtunred-driver-killed-in-lucknow-uttar-pradesh-128617057.html  (20 June 2021)

सुल्तानपुर मौरंग लदे ट्रक ने पूर्व फौजी युवक को कुचला, मौत कामतागंज बाजार में लखनऊ- वाराणसी हाईवे पर ओवर लोड मौरंग लदे ट्रक ने बाइक सवार रिटायर्ड फौजी व युवक को कुचल दिया। इतना ही नहीं ट्रक चालक दोनों को घसीटते काफी दूर तक ले गया। इस क्रम में आरोपित चालक ट्रक छोड़कर भाग गया। क्रेन से दोनों शवों को करीब एक घंटे बाद निकाला जा सका।

कोतवाली क्षेत्र के रमऊ का पूरवा लाखीपुर निवासी रिटायर्ड फौजी दिनेश दूबे डेयरी संचालित करते थे। रविवार (June 20)  सुबह करीब नौ बजे वह गोसाईं का पुरवा रायचंद्रपुर निवासी धीरज यादव के यहां खोया देने गए थे, जहां से धीरज के साथ कामतागंज बाजार में एक दुकान पर आए थे। काम निपटाने के बाद दोनों लौट रहे थे। हाईवे पर ही शंभूगंज मोड़ के पास लम्भुआ की ओर जा रहे मौरंग लदे ट्रक ने बाइक में टक्कर मार दी।

हादसे में दिनेश व धीरज बाइक सहित ट्रक के पहिये में फंस गए और करीब सौ मीटर तक घसीटते चले गए। डिवाइडर से टकराने के बाद तेज रफ्तार ट्रक का अगला टायर फट गया। इसी क्रम में दोनों युवकों की पहिये के नीचे आने से मौत हो गई। दुर्घटनास्थल पर काफी संख्या में लोग एकत्र हो गए। https://www.jagran.com/uttar-pradesh/sultanpur-moorang-laden-truck-crushed-former-soldier-and-youth-death-21757412.html  (20 June 2021)

तेज रफ्तार दो ट्रकों में टक्कर, खलासी की मौत बांदा-टांडा हाईवे पर दतौली पुलिस चौकी के पास तेज रफ्तार दो ट्रकों में आमने-सामने भिड़ंत हो गई। हादसे में ट्रक चला रहे खलासी की मौके पर ही मौत हो गई। जबकि दोनों गाड़ी के चालक घायल हो गए। पुलिस ने दोनों को अस्पताल भेजा। हादसे के बाद जाम से वाहनों की लंबी कतार लग गई। पुलिस ने धीरे-धीरे वाहनों को निकालकर जाम खुलवाया।

अमेठी निवासी ट्रक चालक इरशाद (35) व खलासी लवकुश (20) निवासी हनुमानगढ़ी थाना जायस जिला अमेठी ट्रक लेकर फतेहपुर से बांदा जा रहे थे। गुरुवार (June 18) रात करीब दो बजे दतौली चौकी के पास बांदा की ओर से मौरंग लादकर आ रहे ट्रक से भिड़ंत हो गई। मौरंग लदे ट्रक का चालक ओमप्रकाश (40) निवासी बड़ोखर जिला रायबरेली था। हादसे में गाड़ी चला रहे खलासी लवकुश की मौके पर ही मौत हो गई। जबकि दोनों गाड़ी के चालक घायल हो गए। सूचना पर पुलिस मौके पर पहुंची और गैस कटर से ट्रक के केबिन काटकर दोनों चालकों को बाहर निकाला और फिर उन्हें अस्पताल भेजा। हादसे के कारण जाम लग गया। https://www.amarujala.com/uttar-pradesh/fatehpur/crime-fatehpur-news-fatehpur-news-knp6350309171  (19 June 2021) 

ओवरलोड मोरंग लदी ट्रक दुकान में घुसी, युवक की मौत, महिला घायल अम्बेडकरनगर जिले मे एआरटीओ द्वारा ओवरलोड मोरंग लदे ट्रक का पीछा किये जाने से बचने के लिए तेज रफ्तार से भाग रहा ट्रेलर दुकान में घुस गया जिसकी चपेट में आकर दुकान में बैठे दो लोग गम्भीर रूप से घायल हो गये। इस घटना में घायल महिला को एक प्राइवेट अस्पताल मे भर्ती कराया गया जबकि युवक की मौत हो गयी। घटना से नाराज ग्रामीणों ने एआरटीओ की गाड़ी को आग के हवाले कर दिया और चालक को मारापीटा जिससे उसको भी चोट आई है। वही घटना स्थल पर पहुचे जिलाधिकारी और पुलिस अधीक्षक ने घटना स्थल का मुआयना किया और मृतक के परिजनों को आर्थिक सहायत देने और टेलर ट्रक के ड्राइवर पर हिट एंड रन का मुकदमा दर्ज करने का आदेश दिया। इस घटना में मृतक के परिजनों को 5 लाख का मुवावजा दिया जाएगा और ट्रक के चालक पर हिट एंड रन का मुकदमा दर्ज किया जाएगा। https://newsexpressbharat.in/news/23858  (12 June 2021)

बहराइचः दो ट्रकों में टक्कर, युवक की मौत बहराइच जिले में नानपारा बाईपास पर शुक्रवार (Feb. 28) सुबह लगभग आठ दो ट्रकों में भिड़ंत हो गई। इस हादसे में गिट्टी लोड ट्रक साइड में खड़े बाइक सवार पर पलट गया। बाइक सवार व ट्रक पर सवार चार लोग गंभीर रूप से घायल हो गए। दुर्घटना की जानकारी मिलते ही कोतवाल जेसीबी को लेकर पहुंचे। उन्होंने दबे हुए बाइक सवार को निकलवाया। चारों घायलों को नानपारा सीएचसी लाने पर चिकित्सकों ने परीक्षण कर बाइक सवार को मृत घोषित कर दिया जबकि अन्य तीन घायलों को प्राथमिक इलाज कर मेडिकल कालेज रेफर कर दिया गया है। https://www.livehindustan.com/uttar-pradesh/story-bahraich-a-collision-between-two-trucks-the-young-man-died-after-being-hit-by-a-truck-4069100.html  (28 May 2021)

सड़क हादसों में दो की मौत, चार घायल बहराइचः जिले के अलग-अलग थाना क्षेत्रों के अंतर्गत हुई सड़क दुर्घटनाओं में दो लोगों की मौत हो गई, जबकि चार लोग घायल हुए हैं. घायलों में रायबरेली जिले के लोग भी शामिल हैं.  मानिकपुर गांव के पास स्थित नरवा पुल पार कर रहा मोरंग लदा ट्रक पुल के धंसने से नहर में पलट गया. ट्रक सवार चार लोगों ने कूदकर अपनी जान बचाई. चालक महेश कुमार निवासी शिवगढ़ जनपद रायबरेली की मानें तो वह बांदा जिले से मोरंग लोड कर मानिकपुर स्थित राम सहारे की दुकान पर आ रहा था. पुल पार करते समय अचानक पुल टूट गया और मौरंग से लोड ट्रक पानी भरे नहर में पलट गया, जिससे मौरंग सहित ट्रक क्षतिग्रस्त हो गया. हादसे में ट्रक पर सवार चालक व तीन अन्य लोग चोटिल भी हो गए. https://react.etvbharat.com/hindi/uttar-pradesh/state/bahraich/two-died-and-four-injured-in-many-road-accidents-in-bahraich/up20210524015851876  (24 May 2021)

मौरंग से लदे ट्रक ने बाइक सवार महिला को रौंदा, मौत रेउसा क्षेत्र के रमुवापुर गांव में मंगलवार (May 11) को मौरंग से लोड ट्रक ने एक बाइक सवार महिला को रौंद दिया। हादसे में महिला की मौके पर ही मौत हो गई है। बाइक चला रहे मृतक महिला के बेटे कृष्ण कुमार को भी चोटें आई हैं। बेवा जुगुला देवी बेटे कृष्ण कुमार के साथ रमुवापुर में बैंक जा रही थीं। रास्ते में रमुवापुर में आशाराम मिश्र के घर के पास हादसा हो गया। मौरंग से लदे ट्रक की साइड लगने से बाइक सवार जुगुला उछलकर ट्रक के अगले पहिया के नीचे आ गई जिससे उसकी मौके पर ही मौत हो गई। जुगुला देवी अभी 50 वर्ष की थीं। https://www.jagran.com/uttar-pradesh/sitapur-overload-truck-from-morang-trampled-woman-in-bike-death-21635984.html  (12 May 2021)

अमेठी : खड़ी कार में ट्रक ने मारी टक्कर, एक की मौत  सुल्तानपुर-रायबरेली राजमार्ग पर कोतवाली क्षेत्र के कृषि रक्षा ईकाई बहादुरपुर के सामने खड़ी कार में रायबरेली की तरफ से आ रही मौरंग लदी ट्रक ने टक्कर मार दी। घटना में एक अधेड़ की मौके पर ही मौत हो गई। सूचना पर पहुंची पुलिस ने शव को कब्जे में लेकर पीएम हाउस भेज दिया।

मंगलवार (May 11) की सुबह समय करीब पौने बारह बजे कोतवाली क्षेत्र अन्तर्गत पूरे पन्नू (औलाद हुसैन) निवासी 45 वर्षीय उस्मान पुत्र सफी अपने छोटे भाई इशरार व बेटे ताहिर के साथ हुंडई की औरा कार से किसी काम से रायबरेली जा रहे थे। उसी दौरान बहादुरपुर चौराहे पर कृषि रक्षा इकाई बहादुरपुर के सामने गाड़ी खड़ी करके तीनों लोग कार में बैठे थे। तभी सामने से रायबरेली की तरफ से मौरंग लदी ट्रक यूपी 44 एटी 5206 ने कार में जोरदार टक्कर मारी। दुर्घटना में अधेड़ युवक उस्मान की मौके पर ही मौत हो गई।

सूचना पर प्रभारी कोतवाली अवनीश कुमार चौहान हमराही के साथ पहुंचकर शव को कब्जे में लेकर उसे पीएम के लिए गौरीगंज भेज दिया। वहीं घटना कारित करने वाली ट्रक को पुलिस ने कब्जे में लेकर कोतवाली ले गई। दुर्घटना के बाद ट्रक चालक मौके से फरार हो गया। एक वर्ष पहले मृतक की पत्नी ने बड़ी बेटी 19 वर्षीय शायरा बानों व 22 वर्षीय बेटा मो. ताहिर की शादी एक साथ तय कर दी थी। उसी के बाद उनकी मौत हो गई थी इसलिए शादी टल गई थी। ईद के बाद शादी की तारीख फिर से तय होनी थी। लेकिन शहनाई बजने से पहले एक बार फिर परिवार में मातम छा गया। https://www.livehindustan.com/uttar-pradesh/story-amethi-truck-collided-with-car-parked-one-dead-4024671.html  (11 May 2021)

रायबरेली में पलट गया ओवरलोड मौरंग ट्रक, दो की मौत रायबरेली के मिल एरिया थाना क्षेत्र के डिघिया में ओवरलोड मौरंग का ट्रक अनियंत्रित होकर सड़क किनारे होटल पर पलट गया। ट्रक की चपेट में आकर एक अधेड़ रफीक और 12 साल के मासूम बच्चे शिवा की दबकर मौत हो गयी। ट्रक पलटने की सूचना से हड़कम्प मच गया और स्थानीय लोगो ने इसकी सूचना पुलिस को दी और मिल एरिया थाना व सदर कोतवाल अतुल सिंह सहित कई थानों की फोर्स मौके पर पहुँची और राहत बचाव कार्य शुरू हुआ।

हाइड्रा और जेसीबी की मदद से मौरंग में दबे लोगो की खोजबीन शुरू करने का काम हुआ लेकिन गनीमत रही कि इस हादसे में और कोई हताहत नही हुआ। वहीं स्थानीय लोगों की माने तो मौरंग से लदा ओवरलोड ट्रक के कारण यह हादसा हुआ है लगातार ओवरलोड ट्रक ना होता तो शायद या हादसा ना होता। https://newstrack.com/uttar-pradesh/rae-bareli-two-people-died-due-to-terrible-accident-overload-truck-overturning-794688.html/amp  (08 March 2021)

मौरंग ट्रक की टक्कर से बाइक सवार महिला की मौत  फतेहपुर जिले में गुरवल मझगवां रोड पर बुधवार (Feb. 25) सुबह मौरंग लदे ट्रक की टक्कर से बाइक सवार महिला की मौत हो गई। जानकारी के अनुसार महिला रामपुर पुलिया मोड़ पर एक बाइक सवार के साथ जा रही थी। मझगवां घाट से लौट रहे ट्रक ने बाइक में टक्कर मार दी। टक्कर से महिला सड़क पर गिर गई। महिला के सिर में ट्रक का पहिया चढ़ गया। ग्रामीणों ने बताया कि बाइक सवार महिला को छोड़कर मौके से किशनपुर की तरफ भाग गया।

कयास लगाया जा रहा कि बाइक चालक ने महिला को लिफ्ट देकर बैठाया होगा। मौके पर पहुंची किशनपुर पुलिस महिला को हरदो अस्पताल ले गई। डॉक्टरों ने हालत नाजुक देखकर जिला अस्पताल रेफर किया। जिला अस्पताल में महिला को मृत घोषित कर दिया गया। महिला की पहचान नहीं हो सकी है। किशनपुर के कई दुकानों के मिठाई के डिब्बे महिला के बैग में मिले हैं। एसओ आरके यादव ने बताया कि महिला की शिनाख्त कराने का प्रयास किया जा रहा है।  https://www.amarujala.com/uttar-pradesh/kanpur/woman-dies-due-to-truck-collision-in-fatehpur  (26 Feb. 2021)

मोरंग में ट्रक के टक्कर से 2 लोगों की मौत विराटनगर। मोरंग के उर्लाबारी नगरपालिका- 4 में ट्रक के टक्कर से स्कुटर में सवार दो लोगों की मौत होने की खबर हैं। मृतक स्कुटर चालक उर्लाबारी नगरपालिका- 8 सिसौली के 23 वर्षीय प्रदीप धामी और 22 वर्षीय सुदीप भूजेल होने की जानकारी में आया है। को 31 प 51 नंबर की स्कुटर को प्रदेश 1, 01-001 क 1035 नंबर की ट्रक ने कल शाम साढे 7 बजे टक्कर मारी थी। इस हादसे से गंभीर घायल हुए दोनो को उपचार के क्रम में अरनिको अस्पताल उर्लाबारी में मृत्यु होने की प्रहरी ने जानकारी दी है। दोनो सवारी साधन के साथ ट्रक चालक को इलाका प्रहरी कार्यालय उर्लाबारी ने नियंत्रण में लिया हैं। https://hindi.ratopati.com/story/5886  (21 Feb. 2021)

मैनपुरी: मौरंग ट्रक ने मारी बस में टक्कर मंगलवार (Feb. 2) को मैनपुरी में के कुसमरा के यादव नगर चौराहा पर यूनियन की बस को तेज रफ्तार आ रहे ओवरलोड मौरंग से भरे ट्रक ने टक्कर मार दी. एक्सीडेंट इतना जबरदस्त था कि बस पास में खड़ी कार के ऊपर चढ़ गई. बस का आधा हिस्सा करीब पांच ​फीट ऊपर लटक गया. टक्कर से बिजली का पोल टूट गया. वहीं वेन भी पूरी तरह से क्षतिग्रस्त हो गई लेकिन गनीमत रही कि कार में सवार दोनों लोगों के कोई चोट नहीं आई.

हादसे के वक्त आसपास काफी लोग थे. सभी लोग बाल—बाल बच गए. सूचना पर मौके पर कुसमरा पुलिस ने ट्रक को कब्जे में लेकर थाने में खड़ा करा दिया जबकि चालक को हिरासत में ले लिया. वहीं बीच सड़क पर पटल बस को क्रेन की मदद से थाने पहुंचाया. पुलिस ने कहा कि ट्रक चालक के खिलाफ कार्रवाई की जा रही है ट्रक में मोरंग भरा था. इसका पता किया जा रहा है मोरंग वैध था या अवैध रूप से लेकर आया था. https://www.upcitynews.com/news/agra/accident-in-bus-and-truck-in-mainpuri/64597  (02 Feb. 2021)

तिलोई मोहनगंज में ट्रक से मोरंग उतारते समय हाई टेंशन तार की चपेट में आने से ड्राइवर की मौत, खलासी घायल https://public.app/video/sp_hcqqndi7onbjz  (18 Jan. 2021)

नौबस्ता में मौरंग लदे ट्रक की टक्कर से मौत, दो घायल नौबस्ता में मौरंग से ओवरलोड ट्रक की टक्कर से बाइक सवार छात्र की मौत हो गई और उसके दो साथी घायल हुए हैं। चालक ने भागने के प्रयास में बाइक से गिरे छात्र को ट्रक के पहियों तले रौंद दिया, जिससे लोगों में आक्रोश फैल गया।

बर्रा स्थित फत्तेपुर एकघरा निवासी 20 वर्षीय आनंद कुशवाहा इंटर का छात्र था। बुधवार (Jan. 6) सुबह वह कोचिंग पढ़ने सेन पश्चिम पारा गया था। लौटते वक्त वह अपने साथी गोलू की बाइक से साथी अनुराग के साथ घर लौट रहा था। अर्रा गांव मोड़ के पास पीछे से आ रहे मौरंग लदे ओवरलोड ट्रक ने बाइक में टक्कर मार दी, जिससे तीनों जमीन पर गिर पड़े। इस बीच भागने के प्रयास में चालक ने आनंद के ऊपर ट्रक का पहिया चढ़ा दिया, जिससे उसकी मौके पर मौत हो गई। गोलू और अनुराग गंभीर रूप से घायल हो गए। सूचना पर पहुंची पुलिस ने घायलों को उपचार के लिए भेजा। साथ ही हादसे की सूचना मृतक छात्र के स्वजनों को दी। https://nishanknews.com/?p=35176  (06 Jan. 2021)

ट्रक की टक्कर से बाइक सवार चचेरे भाइयों की मौत कानपुर में बिधनू थाना क्षेत्र में मौरंग मंडी के पास शुक्रवार (Dec. 25) देर रात बेकाबू ट्रक की टक्कर से बाइक सवार चचेरे भाइयों की मौत हो गई। चालक ट्रक समेत फरार हो गया। पुलिस ने पोस्टमार्टम के बाद शवों को परिजनों के हवाले किया। जहानाबाद के नयापुरवा (फतेहपुर) निवासी किसान राजू पाल का बेटा अनुज (20) मजदूरी करता था। गुरुवार (Dec. 24) वह गोविंदनगर के दबौली निवासी चचेरे भाई आलोक (22) के साथ बाइक से बिधनू कस्बा निवासी बुआ राजनेई के घर गया हुआ था। देर रात दबौली लौटते वक्त हादसे में दोनों घायल हो गए। हैलट में आलोक, जबकि पीजीआई लखनऊ में अनुज ने दम तोड़ दिया। थाना प्रभारी पुष्पराज सिंह ने बताया कि परिजनों की तहरीर पर अज्ञात ट्रक चालक के खिलाफ रिपोर्ट दर्ज कर ली गई है। https://jantaserishta.com/national/a-horrific-road-accident-bike-collision-killed-bike-riding-cousins-755424  (26 Dec. 2020)

बांदा: मौरंग लदे ट्रक से कुचलकर क्लीनर की मौत फतेहपुर जिले के जाफरगंज थाना क्षेत्र के डिघरुवा गांव निवासी मनोज सविता (44) पुत्र जगन्नाथ सोमवार को सुबह साथी चालक के साथ पथरी गांव स्थित खदान बालू लेने आ रहा था। देहात कोतवाली क्षेत्र के करहिया गांव के नजदीक दुकान से सामान खरीदने के बाद अपने ट्रक पर चढ़ते समय हैंडिल से हाथ छूट जाने पर वह सड़क पर गिर गया। इसी बीच पीछे से आ रहे बालू भरे ओवरलोड ट्रक ने उसे कुचल दिया। उसकी घटनास्थल पर ही मौत हो गई। दुर्घटना के बाद चालक और क्लीनर ट्रक छोड़कर मौके से भाग निकला।

बांदा: ट्रक की टक्कर से ट्रैक्टर चालक घायल  गिरवां थाना क्षेत्र के बांसी गांव के मजरा कछारपुरवा निवासी इंद्रजीत उर्फ जीतू (20) पुत्र नत्थू सोमवार को सुबह अमानपुर बरियारी खदान से ट्रैक्टर में बालू लेकर लौट रहा था। खदान से सड़क पर आते ही नरैनी की ओर से आ रहे बालू भरे ओवरलोड ट्रक ने ट्रैक्टर-ट्राली को जोरदार टक्कर मार दी। भीषण टक्कर से ट्रैक्टर-ट्राली के परखच्चे उड़ गए। हादसे में ट्रैक्टर चालक जीतू गंभीर रूप से घायल हो गया। दुर्घटना के बाद चालक और क्लीनर ट्रक को मौके पर छोड़कर फरार हो गए। https://bit.ly/3qL9dhG  (09 Nov. 2020)

ट्रक की टक्कर से बाइक सवार वृद्ध की मौत, लड़का घायल बुधवार (Oct. 21) दोपहर को कदौरा थाना क्षेत्र के ग्राम रघुराजपुर पथरेहठा निवासी राम सेवक (65) पुत्र ऊदल अहिरवार अपने लड़के गयादीन के साथ भूसा खरीदने कदौरा के ग्राम कठपुरुवा बाइक से जा रहा था तभी चतेला गांव के समीप भेड़ी खरका से मौरंग लाद कर आ रहे ट्रक ने बाइक में पीछे से टक्कर मार दी जिस पर दोनों सड़क पर गिर पड़े और मौके पर ही पिता रामसेवक की मौत हो गई जबकि लड़का घायल हो गया। टक्कर को देखकर आसपास खेतो पर काम कर रहे ग्रामीण दौड़े और ट्रक चालक को पकड़ कर पुलिस को सूचना दी। https://www.bharatnownews.com/news-detail/MjIzNTE (22 Oct. 2020)

मौरंग लदे ओवरलोड ट्रक ने महिला को कुचला फतेहपुर जिले के खंभापुर में बुधवार (Oct. 14) सुबह मौरंग लदे ओवरलोड ट्रक ने बाइक में पीछे से टक्कर मार दी। ट्रक की टक्कर से बाइक में पीछे बैठी महिला सड़क पर जा गिरी और ट्रक का पहिया उसके ऊपर से निकल गया। महिला की मौके पर ही मौत हो गई, जबकि पति मामूली रूप से घायल हो गया। हादसा होते ही इलाकाई लोगों का गुस्सा फूट पड़ा। लोगों ने सड़क जाम कर दी। पुलिस ने नाराज जनता को समझाकर यातायात बहाल कराया।

असोथर थानाक्षेत्र के कुशुम्भी गांव निवासी प्रमोद कुमार ट्रक चालक है। सुबह आठ बजे प्रमोद पत्नी किरन (32) को लेकर बिंदकी क्षेत्र के उमरा गांव बाइक से जा रहे थे। तभी खंभापुर स्थिति एक बाइक एजेंसी के पास पीछे से आए मौरंग से लोड ट्रक ने बाइक में टक्कर मार दी। टक्कर से महिला छिटककर सड़क पर गिरी, तभी ट्रक का पहिया उसके सिर से निकल गया। हादसे के बाद चालक ने ट्रक लेकर भागना चाहा लेकिन लोगों ने दौड़ाकर पकड़ लिया और उसकी पिटाई शुरू कर दी। https://www.amarujala.com/uttar-pradesh/kanpur/woman-died-in-road-accident-in-fatehpur-up  (14 Oct. 2020)

Uttarakhand कोसी नदी में डंपर पलटने से एक की मौत, 17 घायल कोसी नदी में उपखनिज से भरा डंपर गड्ढे में पलट गया। घायलों को आनन-फानन में रामनगर के सरकारी अस्पताल में पहुंचाया गया, जहां एक मजदूर की मौत हो गई, जबकि 17 घायल हो गए। हादसे में चार मजदूरों का पांव फ्रैक्चर हो गया है और छह से सात मजदूरों के हाथ और सिर में गंभीर चोटें आई हैं। घायल मजदूरों को एक पिकअप में रामनगर अस्पताल पहुंचाया गया। वाहन में करीब 28 मजदूर सवार थे। इलाज के दौरान रमेश (50) पुत्र वीर सिंह निवासी छर्ररा दादौ अलीगढ़ की मौत हो गई, जबकि अन्य घायलों का अस्पताल में इलाज चल रहा है।

Image source Amar Ujala

खनन गेट कठियापुल और खड़ंजा के बीच दोपहर करीब डेढ़ बजे उपखनिज भरकर एक डंपर नदी से बाहर आ रहा था। नदी में हुए एक बड़े गड्ढे में डंपर अचानक अनियंत्रित होकर पलट गया और वाहन में सवार 28 मजदूर उपखनिज के नीचे दब गए। हादसा होते ही मौके पर चीखपुकार मच गई और मौके पर मौजूद लोगों ने मजदूरों को रेता-बजरी हटाकर बाहर निकाला। कोतवाल अबुल कलाम ने बताया कि नदी में हुए गहरे गड्ढे में डंपर का पहिया चला गया। इससे वाहन अनियंत्रित होकर पलट गया था।  https://www.amarujala.com/uttarakhand/nainital/one-killed-17-injured-by-damper-overturn-in-kosi-river-ramnagar-news-hld412920951  (30 Jan. 2021)

Punjab Sukhbir spots illegal mining on Beas riverbed SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal on his way back from Amritsar on Wednesday (June 30) conducted a ‘raid’ after spotting illegal mining on the Beas riverbed along the main National Highway. As Badal along with his cavalcade and mediapersons reached the spot, the drivers ran away abandoning the mining machinery and JCBs. They had put up the pipelines on the floaters and fork cranes were pressed into service to mine the sand.

Accusing Congress leaders of being hand-in-glove with sand mafia, Sukhbir said hundreds of trucks were involved in illegal mining in the name of desilting and denting the exchequer with crores or rupees. The SAD president also filed a complaint against minister Sukhbinder Sarkaria and MLAs Santokh Singh Bhalaipur, Sukhpal Bhullar, Inderbir Bolaria, Ramanjit Singh Sikki and Kulbir Singh Zira and alleged mining kingpins Ashok Chandak, Rakesh Chaudhary and Mohan Pal at the Beas police station.

He said as per the NGT, no mining activity could take place within 5 km of a bridge, but in this case sand was being mined within a distance of 1 km. Similarly, he said the claim of desilting being done at the site was wrong as desilting could not be done in running water. Truck drivers who were being charged a ‘goonda tax’ of Rs 16,000 per truck filed a separate complaint against sand mafia. Villagers also filed a separate complaint saying panchayat land was being mined by the mafia without their permission. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/sukhbir-badal-conducts-raid-spots-illegal-mining-on-beas-riverbed-276313  (01 July 2021)

Hours after the raid by Sukhbir Singh Badal, the mining division claimed that the positioning the place Sukhbir visited was a authorized mining web site. A division spokesperson criticised SAD for taking part in politics by misrepresenting details and issued a launch informing that government receives Rs 34.4 crore every year from mining block quantity 5.  https://indianews-online.com/?p=129915  (01 July 2021)

A Video posted by a SAD leader alleging illegal sand mining in the premises of a thermal plant on Sunday (June 27) provoked a strong reaction from multiple Punjab Congress leaders, who then trained their guns not at the opposition party, but at each other. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/ludhiana/sad-leaders-video-of-illegal-sand-mining-at-thermal-plant-triggers-cong-vs-cong-clash-7378765/  (28 June 2021)

Bathinda senior superintendent of police (SSP) BS Virk said a SIT under an SP-rank officer was formed on Monday (June 28) to probe an alleged bid on the life of SAD leader Sarup Chand Singla. In his complaint, Singla had said that a few people tried to mow him down under an earth-removing machine, when he was filming suspicious activity at GNDTP on Sunday (June 27). https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/others/defunct-bathinda-power-plant-has-no-sand-says-admn-on-illegal-mining-claim-101624896733981.html  (28 June 2021)

A day after this, Guru Nanak Dev Thermal Plant (GNDTP), the authorities have said that the site has no sand quarry. Singla had alleged that Punjab finance minister Manpreet Badal and his brother-in-law Jaijeet Johal were behind the illegality. Singla had even alleged an attempt on his life, while he was shooting the purported video. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/ludhiana/sand-mining-row-day-after-sad-leader-posted-video-bathinda-police-forms-sit-7380438/  (29 June 2021) 

Rajasthan NGT order on illegal mining is welcome NGT Instructs Mines Director to monitor illegal mining on a regular basis. Mining leaseholders to be held answerable for violations. Government’s accountability fixed in case of environmental violations.

For years Khannan Grast Samiti has been struggling against illegal mining in Kotputli and nearby areas. They had filed a petition (75/2020) on environmental violations by mining leaseholders in 2020 in NGT. NGT had instructed the government to inspect the complaints filed by Sangharsh Samiti and report to the Court. NGT heard the matter and also took into account the comments of the Sangharsh Samiti in its recent order on June 23. https://napmindia.wordpress.com/2021/06/30/rajasthan-ngt-order-on-illegal-mining-is-welcome/ ( 30 June 2021)

Congress MLA Bharat Singh has written to CM Ashok Gehlot on the rampant illegal sand mining. Targeting the mining minister, Bharat Singh has asked the CM to take action on the issue. The letter written by the MLA against ministers in the govt of his own party shows the growing division within Rajasthan Congress. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/videos/city/chandigarh/illegal-sand-mining-congress-mla-seeks-cm-gehlots-intervention/videoshow/83896797.cms  (27 June 2021)

Bihar One killed for opposing illegal sand mining One person was shot dead and another injured for opposing alleged illegal sand mining near Pachrukhiya ghat under Koilwar police station in Ara on Tuesday (June 29), police said. One of the alleged accused was taken into custody in this connection.

According to family members of the deceased, the incident took place when the man went for cattle grazing on his field. He saw some persons mining sand from his field. On raising objection, he was shot. He was rushed to Ara sadar hospital but died on the way, they said.Another village resident also sustained bullet injuries in the arm during the incident. Following this, the Koilwar police conducted raids at several places to arrest the alleged accused involved in the incident. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/others/one-killed-for-opposing-illegal-sand-mining-101624982178368.html  (29 June 2021)

Congress on Wednesday (June 30) asked former Deputy CMi and BJP member of Rajya Sabha Sushil Kumar Modi to break his silence regarding the continuing illegal sand mining in the state. Chairman of media cell of Bihar Congress Rajesh Rathore said here that the turnover of illegal sand mining in Bihar was more than Rs 1,000 crore every year. State was losing hundreds of crores in revenue due to illegal mining of sand, he added. http://www.uniindia.com/modi-should-break-silence-on-illegal-sand-mining-in-bihar-congress/north/news/2435922.html  (30 June 2021)

अवैध बालू कारोबार समाप्त करने के लिए सरकार ने पुराने कानून में संशोधन कर दिया है। शुक्रवार (July 2) को मुख्यमंत्री नीतीश कुमार की अध्यक्षता में हुई राज्य मंत्रिमंडल की बैठक में बिहार खनिज नियमावली-2019 में संशोधन और खनिज समानुदान, अवैध खनन, परिवहन एवं भंडारण निवारण (संशोधन) नियमावली-2021 को मंजूरी दी गई। नए कानून के तहत अवैध बालू खनन करने वाले माफिया के पकड़े जाने पर नाव, पोकलेन, वाहन जब्त कर लिए जाएंगे। साथ ही खनिज मूल्य का 25 गुणा जुर्माना भी भरना होगा और दो साल जेल की सजा भी होगी। https://www.jagran.com/bihar/patna-city-bihar-cabinet-decisions-25-times-fine-of-mineral-value-if-caught-in-illegal-sand-mining-in-bihar-two-years-in-jail-21793299.html  (02 July 2021)

Goa HC wants status report in one week Despite having received a complaint, along with details and photographs of instances of sand mining in north Goa, and with no action being taken by the officials concerned, the high court of Bombay at Goa has asked for a status report to be filed within a week.

The division bench stated that it had received a complaint with particualrs of sand mining with timings and spots where the complainant stated that he approached the deputy collector who is not taking any action. Advocate Norma Alvares also told the court that deputy collector Dharbandora Naik, appointed to take action in cases of illegal sand extraction in south Goa, has been very responsive to the complaints made and as a result, the problem has been substantially contained. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/goa/sand-mining-hc-wants-status-report-in-1-week/articleshow/83969779.cms   (30 June 2021)

Tamil Nadu DMK cadres assault Dindigul BJP functionary The incident in which a BJP functionary was assaulted by the local DMK in Dindigul was condemned by BJP leaders. Varadharajan, a BJP functionary from Dindigul West, learned from local residents that illegal sand mining was taking place in his neighbourhood. He rushed to the location after getting the information and found that it was local DMK cadres who were involved in illegal sand mining. The gang violently assaulted Varadharajan, who tried to stop them.

It is worth noting that, based on several media reports, Water Resources minister Duraimurugan came under criticism a few days back for allegedly handing a sand quarry contract to sand baron Sekhar Reddy and his aides in exchange for a bribe of crores of rupees. K Annamalai, BJP state vice president, said that illegal sand mining has been going unabated after the new DMK government has come to power. https://thecommunemag.com/dmk-cadres-assault-dindigul-bjp-functionary-trying-to-stop-illegal-sand-mining/amp/  (01 July 2021)

44 held in Cuddalore The Cuddalore district police have arrested 44 persons for illegal sand mining among other offences. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/674-persons-held-in-cuddalore-district-for-illegal-sand-mining-ganja-peddling-and-other-offences/article34943567.ece  (24 June 2021)

Telangana Focus on Illegal Sand Mining in Manjeera River https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYB_9ldKAd8  (02 July 2021)

Meghalaya Minister writes to MoEF over EC to Star Cement Meanwhile, CM Sangma on June 15 had said that the state government had no involvement in the environmental clearance granted by the Union ministry. Sangma had said that the state government had written to the Centre a number of times. A public hearing was to be held and but it couldn’t be done due to public opposition.

Sangma said that reports of how many people supported the project and how many were against it were sent in detail to the Centre. The state government had left the matter with the Central government to decide because it is something that is beyond the state government.  https://www.eastmojo.com/meghalaya/2021/06/22/limestone-mining-meghalaya-minister-writes-to-centre-over-green-nod-to-star-cement/  (22 June 2021)

WETLANDS, LAKES, WATER BODIES

Uttar Pradesh Dhanauri soon to declare it Ramsar site: Forest dept On being asked the reason for the delay, as it was in 2018 that the divisional forest department first sent a proposal to declare the waterbody as a wetland under Wetland Rules 2017 and later in 2019 to declare it a Ramsar site, officials said that “such work often takes time”. “We had been gathering a lot of information regarding Dhanauri, including its actual size, remote sensing images, number of stakeholders involved, number of farmers that own the land in the zone of influence, etc. This is a tedious task. The Covid-19 pandemic slowed the fieldwork further. Now that we are roping in the expert agencies, we hope that this task will be done soon,” added Srivastava.

However, Anand Arya, a Noida-based birder who found the Dhanauri wetland and led a legal battle for its conservation, said that the forest department had been “very lethargic“. “They had been sitting on it for over seven years, when we first approached them for its conservation. As a result, over time this statuary wetland lost its original glory and continues to degrade. It’s high time that something is done in a timely manner and someone is held accountable before this wetland is completely lost,” said Anand Arya. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/noida-news/field-survey-at-dhanauri-wetland-soon-to-declare-it-ramsar-site-says-forest-dept-101624816269712.html  (27 June 2021)

Uttarakhand Opposition to beautification of Sattal Lake Environmentalists and local residents are opposed to the proposed redevelopment plan of the Sattal Lake, which involves building a children’s park, a view point and beautification and landscaping work. They believe concretization in the area will adversely affect the ecology around the lake, which is home to nearly 500 bird and butterfly species.

An online petition to declare the forest around Sattal as a conservation reserve has received over 11,300 signatures. Authorities meanwhile assured that all stakeholders had been consulted before the project was initiated and that the beautification and landscaping work would not disturb the local ecology. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/locals-environmentalists-oppose-beautification-of-sattal-lake/articleshow/82107715.cms  (17 April 2021)

WATER OPTIONS

Jammu & Kashmir Srinagar lake dying for 30 yrs restored In late February, a local environmental organisation Nigeen Lake Conservation Organisation (NLCO) took the initiative to clean the water body. During the restoration attempt, about 15-20 truckloads of weed, silt and waste were taken out of the lake every day for about three months. “We were able to clear some 1000 truckloads of unwanted material and within 100 days, the lake was restored and three navigational tracks were made up-to Saidpora,” Wangnoo said. The locals were delighted to see the lake restored and were determined not to let it get polluted again.

Following the success, the administration has started the work to revive the adjoining Gilsar Lake. “The rejuvenation of Khushal Sar and Gilsar Lakes in Srinagar is one of the best examples of civil society and government working together to rejuvenate water bodies. The SMC has lifted around 820 trucks of muck, silt and weed from these two lakes in the past 60 days alone,” said SMC commissioner, Athar Amir Khan.

Srinagar’s district development commissioner (DDC) Mohammad Aijaz Asad said the restoration of lakes will reactivate the original water navigation circuit in Srinagar district. Asad said he has asked for surveillance and intensification of anti encroachment drives to ensure these lakes remained protected. “We will take strict action as per law against those indulging in littering and dumping of garbage into these natural resources,” he said. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/srinagar-lake-dying-for-30-yrs-restored-to-revive-old-water-channel-101624965077117.html  (29 June 2021)

Poonch DC report on catch the rain campaign He asks for the activities done so far, to be reported in two days along with the plan for next month to harvest rain, rejuvenate existing water bodies, among others. http://www.uniindia.com/poonch-dc-seeks-report-on-catch-the-rain-when-it-falls-where-it-falls-campaign/north/news/2436381.html  (30 June 2021)

Uttarakhand सच्चिदानंद भारती के जल संरक्षण के कार्य https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vu6GBlm2fvY  (28 June 2021)

Report Paddy cultivators adopt aerobic method Cultivating paddy aerobically is low cost, sustainable, cuts down labour, and uses much less water, as this method requires very little irrigation and no transplantation. https://en.gaonconnection.com/paddy-cultivation-aerobic-method-farming-irrigation-farmers-agriculture-drought-rainwater/  (30 June 2021)

GROUNDWATER

Punjab Sangrur village without drinking water With Groundwater TDS levels high, Sangrur village people are forced to depend on Bhakra canal for their drinking water needs. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/others/sangrur-village-without-drinking-water-6-000-residents-using-canal-101625077643376.html  (01 July 2021)

URBAN WATER

Report Smart City Deadline Looms But Targets Remain Distant  Almost 49% of projects under the Smart Cities Mission remain unfinished, with the first round set for an end-2021 deadline and the last, 2023. A slew of factors from resource shortage to red tape is causing this delay

No city has prioritised smart environments over other dimensions, according to a policy analysis by Telematics and Informatics, an interdisciplinary journal. A break-down of the smart environment dimension showed that 17 smart cities have strategised to focus on cleanliness and clean energy. The second-most prioritised sub-dimensions in 16 cities are improvement in air quality and establishing sustainable infrastructure that includes solid-waste treatment, renewable sources of energy, public toilets, and green cover. https://www.indiaspend.com/governance/smart-city-deadline-looms-but-targets-remain-distant-757360  (24 June 2021)

Chennai Why maps, physical markers of lakes are critical The biggest issue in lake conservation is knowing who owns the lakes in Chennai. Some bodies are controlled by the Corporation and others by the PWD. Citizens have to reach out to officials to know who controls a specific water body.

The northern side of Pallavaram Periya Eri. Pic: Renu Karthick Sugumar/ Citizen Matters

Land survey records from the past are one of the key sources that can help gauge the initial areas and spread of the lakes in Chennai. These records are maintained by the revenue department. But with recent developments in technology, GIS mapping offers some of the best means to assess the true area and location of lakes and monitor any changes real time. Digitization of the lakes, however, has been happening at a slow pace.

In a recent ruling, the Madras High Court has ordered that the revenue authorities must complete digital mapping of the lakes in Chennai and make these files available to the general public on their respective websites. https://chennai.citizenmatters.in/mapping-lakes-in-chennai-the-road-ahead-for-conservation-29727  (29 June 2021)

Why more residents should have water meters In a city forever fighting the spectre of a looming water scarcity, residential water meters are a revolution much awaited. But even though there is a law on paper, water meters in residential properties in Chennai are still not common enough. Metering is still in the early days of experimentation, with only some apartment complexes opting for it. https://chennai.citizenmatters.in/water-meters-usage-cost-challenges-in-chennai-27731  (30 June 2021)

Hyderabad 881 encroachments identified in 11 water bodies of Ameenpur SPCB has informed the NGT that 881 encroachments have been identified in 11 water bodies in Ameenpur. Even state-built Indiramma houses were on the encroached lakebed. Notices were issued to 780 structures under Section 23 of the Telangana Water, Land and Trees Act (WALTA). TSPCB has informed that remaining notices could not be issued as owners could not be identified.

SPCB prepared an action plant along with other stakeholders, including HMDA, for removal of encroachments and restoration of water bodies of Ameenpur. It was decided to construct pillars all along the water bodies’ FTL boundaries to prevent further encroachment. And, Rs 64 lakhs has been sanctioned for the purpose, it said. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/881-encroachments-identified-in-11-water-bodies-of-ameenpur/articleshow/83967718.cms (30 June 2021)

Groundwater levels dip despite rains Despite monsoon entering the third week of June, there has been no rise in groundwater table in the 16 mandals of Hyderabad district. “The recorded average groundwater table in June was 4.36 metres below ground level,” the Hyderabad Ground Water Department said in its groundwater table report. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/groundwater-levels-dip-despite-rains/articleshow/84077025.cms  (03 July 2021)

Bengaluru Controversy over felling 6,623 trees After the public outcry and campaigns by environmentalists, the forest department has decided to defer the cutting of trees by another 20 days within which more public objections can be considered. The previous attempt to seek public opinion was just a ten-day window, which ended last week.

The local MLA, who is also the chairman of the Bangalore Development Authority, about Rs 2 crore have already been spent to de-weed and desilt parts of it, and form a tank bund around the lake. Local villagers are divided on how the government executes its plan. https://www.news18.com/news/india/to-save-a-lake-or-a-forest-controversy-dogs-karnatakas-plan-to-redevelop-lake-by-felling-6623-trees-3902435.html  (28 June 2021)

BBMP frees 2 lakes of encroachers The encroachment of lakes continues in Bengaluru despite Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Lakes Department keeping a strict vigil. The latest incident indicates that the BBMP Lakes Department needs support from residents and volunteers to prevent such encroachments.

The Lake Department successfully prevented construction of a structure on Junnasandra Lake’s land. The department also recovered one acre and six guntas of land of Varanasi Lake, on Friday (July 1) by demolishing 11 structures constructed illegally. https://bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com/bangalore/civic/bbmp-frees-2-lakes-of-encroachers/articleshow/84081102.cms  (03 July 2021)

Coimbatore Minister warns against polluting waterbodies State environment and pollution control minister Siva V Meyyanathan has warned against dumping of medical waste and debris in water bodies. Meyyanathan who held a review meeting with officials in Coimbatore on Friday (July 2) instructed the officials of the state pollution control board to ensure that the medical waste and construction debris were being disposed of as per rules.

Not only water bodies, such waste should not be dumped in street corners, sewerage lines or vacant lands, he warned. Meyyanathan also suggested that urban afforestation should be carried out in cities and towns under Miyawaki method and increase the green cover of the district. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/coimbatore/minister-warns-against-polluting-water-bodies/articleshow/84079704.cms  (03 July 2021)

Pune PMC to implement ‘Abhay’ scheme Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) in its standing committee meeting decided to implement the ‘Abhay’ scheme in the city. The scheme will provide relief to those who have an unauthorised water supply connection with them. With this scheme, citizens can convert the connection into an authorised connection by paying a three per cent extra tariff charged by PMC.

As of now, 42,000 meters have been issued. The PMC also trying to increase its revenue. Considering this scheme might be useful the Abhay scheme will be implemented in the city.  However, the PMC does not have any data regarding the unauthorized water supply connection in the city. https://www.punekarnews.in/pmc-to-implement-abhay-scheme-to-convert-unauthorised-water-connection-into-authorised-connection/  (03 July 2021)

Delhi Chilla village residents face acute water crisis Acute water shortage hit Chilla village of East Delhi on July 04. Residents have to wait for water tankers to arrive and then queue up for hours in scorching heat to get water for their daily need. People were not wearing mask and social distancing norms were flouting. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/india/delhi-chilla-village-residents-face-acute-water-crisis-amid-scorching-heat/videoshow/84113625.cms  (04 July 2021)

Project to fix water supply leaks gets new date The much delayed flow meter project for monitoring the city water supply network on a real-time basis has a new deadline of September 30, 2021. This much delayed project has seen several deadline revisions since 2018 when the project was started. Official reports show that 362 primary nodes and 2,842 secondary nodes in the pipeline system have been covered, but issues like electricity connections for these meters continue to plague several sites. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/project-to-fix-water-supply-leaks-gets-new-date/articleshow/84126650.cms  (05 July 2021)

Noida Master Plan 2031 draft allows more land for industrial units The Noida authority on Wednesday (Sept. 16, 2020) started the process to make amendments in the Master Plan 2031 of the city and the Building By-laws 2010. The authority decided to make the changes in a follow up of directions of CM Yogi Adityanath, in a review meeting held on May 14 this year. During the meeting, the CM had directed to make more industrial land available in Noida where demand for industrial plots is on the rise, said officials.

To make that happen, the authority, in its 199th board meeting held on August 18, 2020 had approved a proposal to make the changes. In the Master Plan 2031, a total area of about 2,806 hectares is planned to be developed as industrial. So far, only 1,500 hectares have been developed, said officials. Officials said the authority is not sure how much land it will be able to acquire from farmers in the time to come.

According to Master Plan 2031, out of the total of 15,279.90 hectares on which Noida is developed, industrial area is 18.37%, residential area is 37.45 hectares and recreational (green) areas are 15.92 hectares. The remaining land is meant for commercial, institutional, water bodies and agricultural activities, as per the plan. The revised master plan is expected to change the city’s skyline in sectors along the Noida Expressway, say stakeholders. https://www.hindustantimes.com/noida/noida-to-revise-its-master-plan-building-by-laws-more-area-allowed-for-industrial-units/story-erQsP1ReuNAAMUBuWehC6K.html (16 Sep 2020)

Opinion A city’s nature byHarini Nagendra Across India, habitations didn’t depend only on rivers. Documented evidence from 3,000 years ago shows people had settled around Bengaluru. But there was no river, coast or perennial source of water there. These settlements were based on rainwater harvesting tanks. There is a rich history in the old stone inscriptions that mark such tanks — they recount how people would seek moist depressions and clear these. Being low-lying, these would collect rainwater.

The Mysuru area had thousands of such tanks. Now, there are very few — in old Bengaluru, the Ulsoor lake is the only such water body and it’s half the size it used to be. We’ve also studied old maps which showed there were about 1,500 open wells across Bengaluru in the 1880s — now, there are just around 20. Fortunately, urban conservation groups like Biome have started restoring these. This is a positive development since borewells can’t be the future of the city — the rainwater harvesting structures of the past can support our future more sustainably. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tree-platforms-to-ponds-urban-nature-is-a-panacea-and-a-bulwark-against-climate-change/articleshow/84076272.cms  (03 July 2021)

WATER

Study 50% of freshwater-based coal-fired power plants fail to meet water use standards The CSE surveyed 132 power plants, having total installed capacity of over 154 GW, and found that half of these freshwater-based plants did not comply with the specified standards. Majority of the non-complying plants belong to state-owned companies with Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra possessing the maximum number of such plants.

The study, highlighting how the water-guzzling coal-based power industry is ignoring water regulations even six years after the norms were introduced, noted that the sector is adding to water stress in the country as about 48% of the existing coal power fleet is located in water-scarce districts. The 2015 water norms (later amended in 2018) for power plants were introduced along with the emission norms. While the deadline for emission norms was extended in 2017 and again in 2021, there is no fresh deadline for compliance of water consumption limit after the previous deadline of December 2017 ended. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/fifty-percent-of-indias-freshwater-based-coal-fired-power-plants-fail-to-meet-water-use-standards-says-a-cse-study/articleshow/83943103.cms   (29 June 2021) The report can also be seen in Hindi here. https://groundfact.com/2021/07/01/more-than-half-of-the-power-plants-in-the-country-are-violating-water-rules/  (01 July 2021)

Tamil Nadu Another pipeline leak at Ennore power plant Leakage of raw effluents from the aging pipelines of Tangedco’s North Chennai Thermal Power Plant (NCTPS) in Ennore, 30km from the city, has been a recurring issue. On Tuesday (June 29), there was another massive leak in the pipelines carrying coal ash slurry near Seppakkam village in Tiruvallur district.

ToI Infograph

The North Chennai Thermal Power Station (NCTPS) was commissioned in 1994, and over the years, the power plant has altered the landscape of the region for the worse. Coal ash slurry refers to the waste sent through pipelines to a dyke after the coal is crushed and fed to the boiler in the thermal power plant. This ash slurry in the dykes, after it dries, is sold to buyers, mostly cement manufacturing plants. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/chennai-another-pipeline-leak-at-ennore-power-plant/articleshow/84009316.cms  (01 July 2021)

Experiments with making seawater drinkable At Narippaiyur village, Ramanathapuram district, a solar thermal forward osmosis sea-water desalination system plans to produce 20,000 litres of drinking water from seawater every day. https://en.gaonconnection.com/tamil-nadu-seawater-drinking-water-india-science-wire-ocean-groundwater-iit-madras-renewable-energy-coimbatore-science-technology/  (30 June 2021)

AGRICULTURE

Punjab Farmers reduce area under paddy cultivation Delayed monsoon, water shortage and poor power supply have added to the woes of farmers. Many have even reduced the area under paddy cultivation to avoid crisis. Agriculture officer Naresh Gulati said most of the farmers were waiting for monsoon to sow the remaining paddy saplings. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/amid-power-cuts-in-punjab-farmers-reduce-area-under-paddy-cultivation-277854  (04 July 2021)

Power crisis worsens On Sunday (July 4) the second unit of the Talwandi Sabo power plant developed a snag, causing a shortage of 660 MW of power.

The total power demand Met in the state today is 12280 MW. The state increased buying power from the power exchange, after the transmission capacity of the state has been enhanced further by the Government of India by 400 MW, to 7800 MW. The state’s transmission capacity was 6400 MW last year, and was increased to 7400 MW this year. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/power-crisis-worsens-in-punjab-as-2nd-unit-of-talwandi-sabo-thermal-plant-develops-snag-278122  (04 July 2021)

45% paddy still to be sown The state agriculture department has said that incase power supply remains erratic, it will adversely impact paddy sowing. In a communication to the Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd, the agriculture department has reiterated its demand for 8-hour uninterrupted power supply for agriculture feeders. To date, paddy has been sown on 17 lakh hectare and at least 45% (13 lakh hectare) of total 30.2 lakh hectare is to be sown.

The demand for power is expected to rise further when basmati sowing begins from 2nd week of July. Officials in the department said farmers are already in a fix over erratic power supply. There are 14 lakh agriculture tubewells in the state, and at least 73% of the state agriculture is dependent on groundwater. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/others/45-paddy-still-to-be-sown-erratic-power-supply-hurting-farmers-101625168858924-amp.html (2 July 2021)

PSPCL is facing a fund crunch. The government along owes it Rs 5,000 crore on account of agriculture subsidy and government offices owe PSPCL Rs 2,000 crore. https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-whats-behind-punjabs-unprecedented-power-crisis-7386408/  (03 July 2021)

Farmers operate a tubewell using generator in Bathinda. Image source TIE

Will be forced to uproot paddy: Farmers This is the story of the farmers throughout Punjab where paddy sowing is going on and already around 16-17 lakh hectares area has come under rice sowing out of nearly 3 million hectares. The government had promised 8-hour uninterrupted power supply to the tubewells for the entire paddy season starting from June 10 to October month but the supply is poor from the day one. https://indianexpress.com/article/india/will-be-forced-to-uproot-paddy-if-power-situation-doesnt-improve-farmers-7383696/  (01 July 2021)

Adopt water-saving methods to tide over power crisis PAU’s head of climate change and agricultural meteorology department Dr Prabhjyot Kaur Sidhu revealed that the rainfall data available for around five decades shows that more than 45% of rainfall for June month is witnessed during its fourth week in the state. The rainfall pattern is prone to variations on account of climate perturbations which are on the rise.

“The last week of June was drier than normal this year. The rainfall deficit for this week (June 24-30) in Punjab is more than 60% as per the IMD data. This has aggravated the problems related to meeting the irrigation needs of the rice crop,” she said adding that the IMD has predicted subdued rainfall activity in the coming five to six days and heat wave conditions are likely to prevail over the state. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/others/adopt-water-saving-methods-to-tide-over-power-crisis-pau-advises-farmers-101625249031276.html  (02 July 2021)

Madhya Pradesh Farmers In Gwalior Rely On Borewells In some places in villages around Gwalior, borewell depth is now as much as 700 feet or more. Given that we depend on rains to replenish our groundwater, it then becomes crucial to evaluate the added risks that will come from changes in monsoon patterns and rainfall conditions due to climate change. It is also important to safeguard against such scenarios and invest in rainwater harvesting.  

It is a reality that a water crisis is looming in the Gwalior region. According to the report by India Meteorological Department in Pune, the frequency of rainy days has decreased significantly over the monsoon and throughout the year in Gwalior in the last thirty years. A report by Gwalior Municipal Corporation also recognizes how long term water level declines as a result of injudicious exploitation of groundwater resources have contributed to reduced well yields, low water level and leakage into the aquifer of highly mineralised water.

In the District Groundwater Information Booklet, published by the Central Ground Water Board (CBWB), an urgent need to recharge groundwater in the Gwalior district has been noted. Gwalior already has many water harvesting structures in place, which can be revived and used to store rainwater and replenish groundwater. Additionally, as suggested by the CBWB, artificial recharge needs to be done through the creation of percolation tanks, check dams, etc. https://www.youthkiawaaz.com/2021/06/as-rainfall-declines-farmers-in-gwalior-rely-on-borewells-to-meet-agricultural-needs/  (30 June 2021)

SUMMER 2021

CWC BRIEF NOTE ON LIVE STORAGE STATUS 01.07.2021  As per Reservoir Storage Bulletin dated 01.07.2021, the total live storage available in 8 reservoirs under CWC monitoring having total live storage capacity of 19.17 BCM in northern region including states of Himachal, Punjab and Rajasthan is 3.35 BCM which is 17% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 39% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 33% of live storage capacity of these reservoirs.

The 3 reservoirs in Himachal with 12.48 BCM live capacity at FRL have 1.16 BCM live storage against 4.26 BCM live storage last year while the decadal average is 3.73 BCM. Thus average percentage departure from ten years is -69%.  The 1 reservoir in Punjab with 2.34 BCM live capacity at FRL have 0.72 BCM live storage against 1.26 BCM live storage last year while the decadal average is 1.23 BCM. Thus average percentage departure from ten years is -41%.  The 4 reservoirs in Rajasthan with 4.36 BCM live capacity at FRL have 1.47 BCM live storage against 1.87 BCM live storage last year while the decadal average is 1.42 BCM. Thus average percentage departure from ten years is 3%.   http://cwc.gov.in/sites/default/files/01072021-bulletin.pdf  (01 July 2021)

Delhi Severe Heat Wave Delhi reported a maximum temperature of 43.4 degree Celsius, according to the Palam observatory of the IMD. Gurgaon reported 44.7 degree Celsius. The temperature in both the neighbouring cities was over 7 degree Celsius more than the normal temperature for this time of the year, prompting the weather office or the IMD to classify it as “severe extreme heat”.

And with monsoon yet to reach Delhi, the peak power demand rose to 6,921 megawatt (MW) on Wednesday (June 30), the highest so far this summer, according to news agency PTI. Officials of power distribution companies or discoms have said Delhi’s peak power demand has already crossed last year’s peak of 6,314 MW at least five times – June 30, 29, 28, 24 and 23. https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/severe-heat-wave-in-delhi-maximum-temperature-7-degrees-above-normal-2476298  (30 June 2021)

“These are Loo winds which are commonly experienced in May and early June. It’s very unusual to record Loo winds in July or the fag end of June. The wind speed at Palam in Delhi is around 40 to 45 kmph. Till Tuesday the winds were easterly at the lower level and westerly at the higher level so it was a mix of humid and dry winds, making conditions extremely uncomfortable. The temperature is also very high,” said Mahesh Palawat, vice president, climate change and meteorology at Skymet Weather. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/weather-inversion-in-delhi-hot-dry-wind-in-time-of-rain-101625077163256.html  (01 June 2021)

Tamil Nadu The Indian Young Farmers Forum collective is dedicated to training young farmers across the country, starting with Tamil Nadu. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/the-indian-young-farmers-forum-a-collective-where-successful-farmers-mentor-those-new-to-farming/article35121740.ece/photo/1/  (03 July 2021)

MONSOON 2021

SANDRP Blog June 2021: District wise rainfall in India’s SW Monsoon In the just concluded June 2021, the first month of India’s South West 2021 monsoon, India received 182.9 mm rainfall, 10.96% or about 11% more than the normal June rainfall of 166.9 mm as per India Meteorological department. In June 2020, the rainfall was 196.9 mm, or about 18% above normal and in June 2019 it was 33% below normal.

However, the monsoon is currently playing a disappearing act in most of the states. This is clear from the fact that by June 21, India had already received 137.8 mm rainfall, 37% above normal rainfall of 100.5 mm by that date. From June 21 to June 30 (IMD cut off time is 830 hrs for reporting the rainfall) India received 35.1 mm rainfall, against the normal rainfall of 66.4 mm. So in this period India received 47% below normal rainfall and worryingly, that trend continues as we enter July 2021, the 2nd month of the SW Monsoon 2021. https://sandrp.in/2021/06/30/june-2021-district-wise-rainfall-in-in-indias-sw-monsoon/ (30 Jun 2021)

Edit SW monsoon patterns changing A little over 50% of India’s net sown area is under rainfed farming and a large part of the irrigated area depends on groundwater extraction through borewells. Therefore, long-term trends in the southwest monsoon overlap with economic security. In this context, a study last year by IMD on monsoon variability over a 30-year period (1989-2018) is a wakeup call. UP, Bihar and West Bengal are three of five states that have shown a significant decreasing trend in the southwest monsoon.

Electricity is an input everywhere and it can’t be put in a policy silo. A poorly framed power policy can have large negative externalities. Simultaneously, Indian agriculture needs to adopt newer, less water-intensive technologies faster. India’s water challenge is not insurmountable. It needs a doubling down on efforts such as the ongoing GoI scheme to incentivise the use of micro irrigation measures that use water more efficiently. We need more out of each drop. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/blogs/toi-editorials/make-a-drop-count-southwest-monsoon-patterns-are-changing-implications-for-farming-are-huge-and-worrisome/  (29 June 2021)

IMD More heat before rains revive by weekend On Sunday (July 3), IMD said there was just 1% excess rain in the country. Between July 1 and July 4 there is a 40% deficiency in rain, with 65.1% deficiency over northwest India. The subdued monsoon also coincides with the critical period of sowing and paddy transplantation. IMD cautioned on Thursday that subdued monsoon conditions in early July are likely to impact agricultural activities such as sowing and transplantation of crops, irrigation scheduling, and also affect power requirements. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/more-heat-before-rains-revive-by-weekend-imd-101625421486691.html  (05 July 2021)

Monsoon over Punjab, Haryana, Himachal slips into red Cumulative rain is less by 17 per cent in Himachal Pradesh, 12 per cent in Punjab, and 8 per cent in Haryana. According to data compiled by the IMD, the hill state of Himachal received 96.1 mm rain from June 1 to July 3 against the normal of 115.5 mm for this period.

The agrarian states of Punjab and Haryana received 54.3 mm and 52.2 mm rain, respectively for the aforementioned period as compared to the normal of 62 mm and 56.5 mm for these two states. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/haryana/after-surplus-rains-in-early-stages-monsoon-over-punjab-haryana-himachal-slips-into-the-red-277740  (04 July 2021)

The country will receive “normal” rain in July, between 94% and 106% of long period average, but monsoon will revive only during the second week, IMD said in its forecast for the month on Thursday July 1. It also cautioned that subdued monsoon conditions during the next seven days are likely to impact agricultural activities like sowing and transplantation of crops, irrigation scheduling, etc, and also affect power requirements. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/break-monsoon-likely-to-disrupt-sowing-of-crops-says-imd-101625196645041.html  (02 July 2021)

Kharif sowing has started on a sluggish note despite monsoon delivering a 10% surplus in June. https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/agri-business/erratic-monsoon-affects-kharif-sowing/article35082569.ece  (02 July 2021)

Monsoon revival unlikely before July 7 In a statement on Wednesday (June 30), IMD said the monsoon had weakened due to impact mid-latitude westerly winds that didn’t allow easterly winds to progress; unfavourable Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) and absence of formation of low pressure system over North Bay of Bengal which helps monsoon progress and brings rain in its path. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/monsoon-revival-unlikely-before-july-7-says-imd-101625107704376.html  (01 July 2021)

Though there is no sign of revival in the Monsoon (over the next seven days) that entered into break phase over central and peninsular India as well, parts of northeast India, Bihar, West Bengal and east Uttar Pradesh will see heavy rainfall during the next 6-7 days which may even create a flood-like situation in certain districts. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/monsoon-unlikely-over-delhi-haryana-and-punjab-till-july-7/articleshow/84006895.cms  (01 July 2021)

This monsoon break is slightly different. According to Mahesh Palawat of Skymet Weather, the monsoon break normally takes places once the entire country has had a spell of rainfall and monsoon coverage is complete. The break is mostly noticed at the end of July or in August. Monsoon again picks when it starts receding from September. However, this monsoon break is unusual as it happening since monsoon has not covered all of India yet. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/ht-explainer-the-monsoon-is-on-a-break-what-does-it-mean-101625124205654.html  (01 July 2021)

‘Early’ monsoon may now be ‘most delayed’ What make the circumstances particularly odd is that the monsoon was racing through the country in early June, and the Met predicted last month it may hit Delhi by June 15, the earliest in the period for which data is available, before it suddenly slowed down and appeared to hit a “break” phase.

“As of June 30, the rainfall deficiency in Delhi stands at 52%, which makes it the third-highest deficient state after Ladakh and Manipur. We can expect a good rain spell between July 8 and July 15. Till then, temperatures are expected to remain high, with the possibility of some patchy rain on Friday,” Kumar added. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/early-monsoon-may-now-be-most-delayed-101625162514392.html  (01 July 2021)

Monsoon yet to cover 4 states “Since, June 19, there has not been any progress of monsoon. It was due to impact mid-latitude westerly winds and unfavourable Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) and absence of formation of low pressure system over North Bay of Bengal,” said IMD. The weather department said that further advance of southwest monsoon into remaining parts of Rajasthan, Delhi, Haryana and Punjab is not likely till July 7. https://www.livemint.com/news/india/monsoon-yet-to-cover-these-four-states-here-s-what-imd-predicts-for-next-week-11625056924275.html  (30 June 2021)

Monsoon revival in the coming week may be crucial for kharif crop https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/agriculture/monsoon-revival-in-the-coming-week-may-be-crucial-for-kharif-crop/articleshow/83944021.cms  (29 June 2021) 

Monsoon to ditch Delhi for next 5 days The normal date for monsoon arrival over Delhi is June 27. However, this year the monsoon progress continues to be slow and rainfall is subdued across the country.  IMD on Monday (June 28) said that Central Delhi is the second most rain-deficient district in the country as it has recorded just 8.5 mm of rainfall this year. Central Delhi has received only 8.5 mm rainfall against the normal of 55.2 mm since June 1 — a deficiency of 85%, officials said.

India is witnessing a weak monsoon this year, due to which some states are already witnessing a deficit. The top most parched district in terms of rain is Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir. It has recorded 5 mm precipitation against the normal of 70.6 mm — a shortfall of 93%. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/monsoon-to-ditch-delhi-for-next-5-days-humidity-likely-to-go-down-imd-101624958543802.html  (29 June 2021)

उत्तराखंड  मुश्किल में पहाड़ के लोगों का जीवन  पिछले वर्ष 2020 में मानसून के बाद से ही उत्तराखंड में मौसम सामान्य नहीं रहा. देहरादून मौसम विज्ञान केंद्र के आंकड़ों के मुताबिक वर्ष 2020 में अक्टूबर से दिसंबर के बीच राज्य में सामान्य (60.5 मिलीमीटर) से 71% कम मात्र 17.8 मिमी बारिश दर्ज की गई. वर्ष 2019 में अक्टूबर-दिसंबर के बीच 114.2 मिमी बारिश हुई थी. 2018 में 25.5, 2017 में 21.3 और 2016 में 16.2 मिमी बारिश रिकॉर्ड की गई.

जनवरी-फरवरी 2021 में सामान्य (101.4 मिमी.) से 56% कम 44.5 मिमी. बारिश रिकॉर्ड की गई. सर्दियों से उलट, प्री-मानसून सीजन में 1 मार्च से 17 मई तक उत्तराखंड में सामान्य (126.3 मिमी.) से 11 प्रतिशत अधिक 140.8% बारिश हुई है. https://hindi.newslaundry.com/2021/06/24/life-of-mountain-people-in-trouble-in-uttarakhand  (24 June 2021)

FLOOD 2021

Bihar पंडई नदी में उफान से 30 घर बाढ़ में बहे, लगातार दूसरे साल आई तबाही बेतिया में लगातार दूसरी बार बाढ़ के कारण चंपारण सत्याग्रह के प्रणेता और स्वतंत्रता सेनानी राजकुमार शुक्ल का ‘मुरली भरहवा’ गांव डूब गया है। पंडई नदी में उफान के कारण गांव के 30 घर बुरी तरह प्रभावित हुए हैं। 250 घरों वाले इस गांव की कुल आबादी 1300 के करीब है। सभी पर खतरा मंडरा रहा है। लोग किसी तरह अपने घरों से निकलकर पलायन कर रहे हैं। यहां सीने तक पानी है। इस गांव के लिए यह तबाही नई नहीं है। पिछले साल भी बाढ़ में ऐसा ही हुआ था। इससे पहले वर्ष 2017 में भी बाढ़ से गांव तबाह हो चुका है।

स्थानीय लोगों ने बताया कि 2 दिनों से नेपाल की पहाड़ियों पर बारिश होने के कारण पंडई नदी का जलस्तर बढ़ गया है। नेपाल से सटे बेतिया के गौनाहा प्रखंड के कई गांव बाढ़ के चपेट में आ चुके हैं। अगल-बगल के कई गांव में बाढ़ का पानी घुस चुका है। जिले में आई बाढ़ ने ऐसी बर्बादी और तबाही मचाई है कि लोग बेबस और लाचार हो गए हैं। गौनाहा प्रखंड के कई गांव को हर साल पंडई नदी की मार झेलनी पड़ती है। कई गांव टापू में तब्दील हो जाते हैं। इसके बाद सैकड़ों परिवारों को कई महीने सड़क किनारे खानाबदोश की जिंदगी बितानी पड़ती है। https://www.bhaskar.com/local/bihar/muzaffarpur/bettiah/news/bihar-news-250-houses-were-washed-away-in-the-flood-in-bettiah-128651305.html  (30 June 2021)

बागमती नदी में उफान के कारण परियोजना बांध के भीतर बसे मोहनपुर, बसघट्टा, बकुची, पतारी, अंदामा, नवादा, गंगेया समेत अन्य गांवाें की करीब पांच हजार परिवार की 30 हजार की आबादी चारों ओर से बाढ़ के पानी से घिर गई है। इन गांवाें के करीब आधा दर्जन स्कूल, आंगनबाड़ी केन्द्र समेत बकुची पावरग्रिड, बकुची दुग्ध शीत केन्द्र, बकुची काॅलेज, पैक्स गोदाम समेत अन्य संस्थानों के भीतर पानी घुस गया है। https://www.bhaskar.com/local/bihar/muzaffarpur/news/the-water-level-of-the-lakhandei-river-in-aurai-continues-to-rise-the-old-dam-collapsed-at-more-than-a-dozen-places-128660561.html  (03 July 2021)

मूसलाधार बारिश से बेकाबू हुई सिकरहना, जनजीवन अस्त व्यस्त https://www.rashtriyakhabar.com/continuous-rain-creates-havoc-for-many-villages-of-this-area/  (03 July 2021) 

गायघाट: चौर में फैलने लगा बेनीबाद बागमती नदियों का पानी https://muzaffarpurnow.in/गायघाट-चौर-में-फैलने-लगा-ब/  (01 July 2021)

The Paschim Champaran district is still reeling under two recent ‘flash floods’ that wreaked havoc in its villages. Now it is bracing up for another one on July 2. https://en.gaonconnection.com/bihar-floods-champaran-villages-evacuated-bagmati-gandak-madhubani-sitamarhi-saran/  (01 July 2021)

Tripura Heavy rains leave 600 houses damaged  Heavy rains since Wednesday (June 30) have damaged over 600 houses, rendering over 2,000 people homeless in three districts. In 2019, in similar monsoon-related incidents, 17,952 persons had been rendered homeless and were sheltered in 61 relief camps opened in four out of eight districts of the state. One person died in each of Dhalai and South Tripura districts while six others were reported to have been injured. Over 40,000 persons were forced to take shelter in relief camps in 2018 as flood conditions were triggered by water level beyond safety limits in River Howrah, Khowai, Gomati and Katakhal canal. https://indianexpress.com/article/north-east-india/tripura/tripura-rains-houses-damaged-homeless-7384952/  (01 July 2021)

Maharashtra Heavy rains also lashed some places in Buldana district. In Chikhali taluka of the district, heavy rains were seen. Heavy rains lashed Ambashi, Amkhed, Khairwa and other parts of the state this evening (June 28). Due to this rain, water has accumulated in the fields. Due to this rain, many farms in the taluka have been flooded. Also, rivers and nallas have been flooded. Due to floods in rivers, streams and streams, water has infiltrated in some fields. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gauMOjkxuU&t=34s

Patoda, Eklara Mangrul Navghare, Ambashi area has received torrential rains. Moreover, water is flowing from the dam wall at Ambashi. As the dam is full, water has infiltrated the village. Also, the water of the dam has entered the village directly, creating an atmosphere of fear among the villagers. https://www.tv9marathi.com/maharashtra/other-district/due-to-heavy-rain-in-buldhana-chikhli-district-flood-in-river-and-water-coming-out-of-dam-485064.html  (28 June 2021)

Vairagad, Chinchpur, Ganeshpur areas of the Khamgaon taluka in Buldhana on Wednesday (June 16) evening received heavy rainfall causing flash floods in rivers and nallas. In Ganeshpur goods and materials from homes and a hotel along a nala were washed.  Flash flood in Mas river eroded the adjoining farmland. https://www.lokmat.com/buldhana/due-cloudburst-rain-vairagad-area-nala-was-flooded-a310/  (17 June 2021)

Report What’s a 100-Year Flood? A Hydrologist Explains A 100-year flood, like a 100-year storm, is one so severe it has only a 1% chance of hitting in any given year. Unfortunately, many people believe that if they experienced a 100-year flood this year, they will not see another one like it for 99 years.

It just doesn’t work that way. In reality, the chance of being flooded next year, and the year after that, is the same as it was when the house flooded the first time – 1%. One percent is the same as a 1-in-100 chance. Hence, the shorthand: 100-year flood. https://science.thewire.in/environment/explained-100-year-flood-hydrologist/  (28 June 2021) 

India must stop deforesting its mountains if it wants to fight floods The Western Ghats are south India’s lifeline, with millions dependent on the range either directly or indirectly. These mountains need protection. However, while new development in the region continues to be human-centric, the entire concept of nature preservation is relegated. To protect the Western Ghats, what we require is an attitude that recognises the significance of these mountains, and that will involve specific laws. https://theconversation.com/india-must-stop-deforesting-its-mountains-if-it-wants-to-fight-floods-122669  (10 Sept. 2019)

URBAN FLOODS

Hyderabad Heavy rains inundate several areas, lakes overflow Heavy rains lashed Hyderabad and other parts of the state on Sunday (June 27), bringing forth complaints of inundation of some areas around lakes. Indiranagar Community Hall, Tarnaka, recorded 91.8 mm of rainfall till 8.30 pm, followed by Madhusudan Nagar Community Hall at 83 mm. Statewide, the highest rainfall was recorded at Habshipur in Siddipet dist which received 160 mm rainfall.

So far this season, the state has received overall rainfall of 172.7 mm as against the normal of 114.3 mm. This means that the state has on average received 51 per cent more rainfall.

Areas around some water bodies were inundated. A report said areas adjoining the Kapra lake, colonies of DLR Enclave and Rajarajeshwari witnessed flooding as the irrigation department failed to complete works on the lake in time. There was silt oozing out from drains on to the roads, making travel a scary ordeal as there was a chance that cars and bikes could skid. https://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/280621/heavy-rains-inundate-several-areas-of-hyderabad-lakes-overflow.html  (28 June 2021)

LANDSLIDES

Study Major quake can permanently displace 40% of Kumaon Researchers at the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology in Dehradun studied Goriganga valley in Pithoragarh district, the highest seismically active zone of the seismic zoning map of India, and found that a major earthquake in the region could induce landslides that would displace 40% of the Kumaon Himalayas — an area spanning 894 square km.

Several studies have predicted that the Goriganga area is susceptible to an earthquake of magnitude 8 or higher. Earthquakes can lead to co-seismic landslides, an important hazard phenomena in the hilly and seismically active mountainous region.  “Often the destruction caused due to the earthquake-induced landslides is much greater than the destruction caused by direct ground shaking of an earthquake,” said Vikram Gupta, a scientist at Wadia Institute, who was part of the study published in the ‘Bulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment’. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/major-quake-can-permanently-displace-40-of-kumaon-himalayas-finds-study/articleshow/83964080.cms  (30 June 2021) This work is the first of its kind in the Himalayas region, in which earthquake-induced landslides have been explored in view of future major to great probabilistic earthquakes. https://dst.gov.in/more-40-percent-kumaun-himalaya-susceptible-permanent-displacement-case-major-earthquake; https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10064-021-02267-6

Arunachal Pradesh Pasighat-Pangin road cut off  The Pasighat-Pangin and Aalo highway has been cut off after a portion of the highway was washed away due to heavy rainfall on Sunday (June 27) morning, 36 kilometres from Pasighat, near Rottung village in Siang district. When contacted, Pasighat Highway Executive Engineer Dabe Perme informed that restoration would take at least 15-20 days as a new formation has to be excavated. Perme informed that the side slope is a completely rocky hill, which may delay the formation-cutting work.

“The two-laning of the Pasighat-Pangin road from 28 km to 41 km (Package-II) was awarded to M/s SRK, and the work was executed by M/s TK Engineering and completed in November 2016. After completion of the defect liability period, the section of the road from 28 km to 41 km is being maintained by the department,” the EE informed. https://arunachaltimes.in/index.php/2021/06/28/pasighat-pangin-road-cut-off/  (28 June 2021)

THERMAL POWER PLANTS

Uttar Pradesh 660 MW Unit 2 of Tanda STPS starts operation NTPC announced that Unit-2 of 660 MW capacity of Tanda Super Thermal Power Station, Stage-II (2 x 660 MW) is hereby declared on commercial operation w.e.f 00:00 Hrs of 01 July 2021. With this, the commercial capacity of NTPC and NTPC group will become 52400 MW and 65165 MW respectively. https://www.business-standard.com/article/news-cm/ntpc-declares-commercial-operations-of-660-mw-unit-2-of-tanda-stps-121062801074_1.html  (28 June 2021)

ENVIRONMENT GOVERNANCE

Report ‘In 2020, wildlife board cleared land diversion for 48 projects’ A study, analysing all the clearances granted by the Standing Committee (SC) of the NBWL last year, has found that the SC-NBWL considered 82 proposals, out of which 25 were for diversion within wildlife sanctuaries and national parks.

Most of the projects cleared were for linear diversion within sanctuaries, national parks and tiger reserves, said the study carried out by, Legal Initiative for Forest and Environment (LIFE). Linear projects are land-disturbing activities that are linear in nature such as roads, railways, transmission lines, pipelines or any utility lines. It said, “Linear projects are known to be especially destructive because they fragment the entire landscape and interrupt movement range of animals.”

Around 1,040 hectares was approved for diversion from eco-sensitive zones while nearly 594 hectares were approved from within tiger habitats for linear projects, defence and infrastructure development. Remaining around 158 hectares were diverted in wildlife sanctuaries, national parks and conservation reserves, it said. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/in-2020-wildlife-board-cleared-land-diversion-for-48-projects/articleshow/84129084.cms  (05 July 2021)

Gujarat Govt bars Adivasis from protesting on flimsy grounds After the sarpanches of over a dozen Adivasis’ villages of Songadh taluka of Tapi district in south Gujarat expressed their solidarity with the Adivasi Panch’s opposition to a proposed zinc smelter plant, the district administration denied permission to the Panch to stage a dharna in front of the district collector’s office saying it would amount to violation of ‘COVID-19 protocol’.

Ironically, Gujarat State Pollution Control Board has fixed July 5 for a public hearing on the proposed zinc smelter plant for as many as 91 villages in the radius of 10 km from the plant site, evidently unmindful of the same ‘COVID-19 protocol’.

The Adivasi Panch has opposed the holding of the public hearing on the ground that it would not only violate the social distancing protocol but also because very few Adivasi farmers would be able to attend it due to their preoccupation with transplanting of paddy.

Meanwhile, Vedanta Zinc Limited came out with a one-page leaflet in which the company has sought to allay the fears expressed by the Adivasi Panch that the residue of Lead, Cadmium, Arsenic and Sulphur Dioxide from the smelter plant would pose great threat to the health of people and their cattle besides poisoning their fertile agriculture land.

The leaflet, which did not carry the names of the author and publisher, claimed the plant will in no way pose any such threat to the people, their livestock and agricultural land. It also contended that the plant would use minimum possible quantity of water from the nearby Ukai dam. https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/india/gujarat-govt-bars-adivasis-from-protesting-against-vedantas-zinc-smelter-plant-on-flimsy-grounds  (30 June 2021)

Chhattisgarh Cancel EC to Ambuja coal washery: NGT panel A joint committee of the NGT recently recommended the MoEF&CC to cancel extension to the environmental clearance granted in 2019 to Ambuja Cements Ltd coal washery, Raigarh. The proposed coal washery would supply coal to Ambuja’s captive consumption and will be located on Gare Palma iV/8 coal mine. 

Concerns among the locals increased for the conditions in the EC were not comprehensive enough to address the environmental issues posed by the washery. The MoEF&CC clearance conditions, for instance, did not stress on any specific management plan to recycle the rejects / middlings / waste produced by the coal washery. https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/environment/cancel-environmental-clearance-to-ambuja-coal-washery-ngt-panel-to-environment-ministry-77666  (28 June 2021)

MoEF Govt seeks help as bird droppings soil building The Union environment ministry is facing a challenge but of garden variety—bird droppings soiling the courtyard of Indira Paryavaran Bhawan, which houses it, and is among India’s highest green-rated buildings. On Wednesday, the ministry invited proposals for solutions to the recurring problem of the droppings in the central courtyard of the building. Individuals or organisations that will offer the best solution will be awarded ₹1 lakh. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/environment-ministry-offers-rs-1-lakh-award-for-solution-to-bird-droppings-101625053161294.html  (01 July 2021)

Telangana Missing woods for trees The fate of ‘Podu’ or shifting cultivation in land belonging to the forest department continues to be on the boil, particularly with repeated promises by the state government that it would solve the issue, once and for all. At last count, in the middle of 2020, as many as 15,558 claims on 53,566 acres of forest land under Podu by tribals were pending with the state government.

That apart, another 3.27 lakh acres of forest land are under illegal occupation, thanks to those who filed 91,942 claims for Podu rights never being informed that their applications were rejected. This takes nearly four lakh acres, the forest land that is currently under illegal occupation in the state. https://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/270621/telangana-missing-woods-for-trees.html  (28 June 2021)

Karnataka Forest dwellers stuck between dispossession, deprivation Experts believe that done right, rehabilitation of tribals is a win-win situation for both the forest dwellers and forest conservation. https://www.deccanherald.com/state/forest-dwellers-stuck-between-dispossession-deprivation-1004649.html  (04 July 2021)

Delhi Thousands trees to make way for infra projects Thousands of trees on construction sites and other projects are to be transplanted across Delhi over the next few months. The state government has empanelled four expert agencies for the task. These agencies will assist construction companies and others in ‘safe’ tree transplantation that assures a high survival rate of the trees. Some projects requiring such help are the Central Vista development and the Dwarka Expressway. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/green-lungs-walking-thousands-of-trees-to-make-way-for-infra-projects/articleshow/83934701.cms  (29 June 2021)

Opinion India’s cities need to be sustainable, not smart by Aravind Unni, Jasmine Singh and Tikender Singh Panwar How Modi government’s flagship missions have irreparably damaged urban governance frameworks and put people at the periphery

It is only with the principles of decentralisation, empowerment of urban local bodies through financial support and autonomy, coupled with participation of its citizenry that a new urban environment can emerge. https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/india-smart-city-mission-7383242/  (30 June 2021)

CLIMATE CHANGE

Opinon Forest rights means forest conservation By Shruti Agarwal  There are compelling reasons for India to recognise and support CFR rights. Strong, peer-reviewed evidence from across the world shows that community forests with legally recognised rights are healthier and associated with lower deforestation rates, higher carbon storage and biodiversity compared to other forests. In its 2019 Special Report on Climate Change and Land, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change also noted that “land titling and recognition programmes, particularly those that authorise and respect indigenous and communal tenure, can lead to improved management of forests, including for carbon storage.”

Global attention is on ecosystem restoration — the United Nations theme for the decade. India’s restoration commitments are amongst the most ambitious in the world. Its potential to benefit from forest restoration is also among the highest. It also has a legal framework — the Forest Rights Act — that facilitates an approach internationally acknowledged as essential for combating climate change. All that is needed now is to recognise and support community forest rights. https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/forest-rights-banni-grassland-conservation-climate-change-7380113/  (29 June 2021)

Language, culture, environment are linked By Saumya Kalia When languages die, we lose people, civilizations, perspectives, ideas, and opinions. Most importantly, we lose unique knowledge and ways of existing. “The wisdom of humanity is coded in the language,” notes Lyle Campbell, director of the university’s Center for American Indian Languages. Language, culture, and environment are inextricably linked.  “Once a language dies, the knowledge dies with it.” https://theswaddle.com/as-indigenous-languages-die-india-loses-vital-means-of-preserving-biodiversity/  (30 June 2021)

Report Are we overlooking role of grasslands? by Aathira Perinchery Forest restoration is more well-known than grassland restoration, even though grasslands, just like forests, are important carbon sinks and crucial for carbon sequestration. Nature-based solutions include restoration activities and these are considered the cheapest and quickest nature-based measures to implement to tackle climate change.

However, developing the right solutions is important, and attention should be paid to systems that are not just forests, caution studies. Though dialogue on the need to conserve and restore grasslands has begun, we could still be a long way from changing the “forest-centric” view, say researchers. https://india.mongabay.com/2021/06/are-we-overlooking-the-role-of-grasslands-in-mitigating-climate-change/  (29 June 2021)

Biodiversity loss could wreck global financial system Corporate Australia is familiar with the concept that climate change presents a financial risk to the global economy, but more recently biodiversity loss has emerged as an equally important risk. In fact, climate change and biodiversity loss are now often referred to as the “twin crises” facing the global financial system and awareness of the role the financial sector plays in this is rising swiftly.

Crucially, a recent global review on the economics of biodiversity commissioned by the UK government, often referred to as “The Dasgupta review”, concluded that our economic system is dependent on biodiversity. This fact is rightly of concern to the financial sector, given the world’s biodiversity is declining faster than at any other time in human history, and an estimated 1 million species are at risk of extinction. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jul/04/biodiversity-loss-could-wreck-the-global-financial-system-and-its-only-a-matter-of-time  (03 July 2021)

Study Amazon HEP contributes significant greenhouse emissions The team studied methane and carbon dioxide emissions during Belo Monte’s first two years of operation and compared the results to levels prior to the reservoirs being filled, finding a threefold increase in greenhouse gas emissions. https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/amazon-hydropower-plant-contributes-significant-greenhouse-emissions-study/article35015734.ece  (28 June 2021)

SOUTH ASIA

IWT India to divert excess waters “Now, of our three rivers of the Indus system, there are some tributaries whose water remains untapped because of geographical adversities and flows into Pakistan. It has a major river called Ujh, which has five tributaries. Ujh’s confluence is along with the Ravi river downstream of Madhopur, which is our last diversion structure, where we have a barrage. After that, the Ravi river enters and exits Pakistan’s territory 17 times. It crisscrosses like this, and at most of the places, it’s Ravi that is the line of division between the two countries. So, because of that, one couldn’t get an appropriate location to divert it… We have prepared its DPR. So that the water gets released in a controlled way and produces electricity, and also gets diverted, we are working on stage two of the plan for its diversion and preparing its DPR,” said Union Jal Shakti minister Shekhawat. https://www.livemint.com/news/india/india-to-divert-excess-waters-under-indus-treaty-to-irrigate-own-land-11625424591964.html  (05 July 2021)

Nepal Cause of Melamchi disaster Dave Petley on the landslide dam on Melamchi that led to death of over 20 and destruction worth over Rs 1 billion. https://blogs.agu.org/landslideblog/2021/07/02/melamchi-disaster/  (02 July 2021)

Image Rajkumar Karki/TKP https://tkpo.st/3w7JPDP

Six dead, three missing as floods and landslides wreak havoc in various districts. https://kathmandupost.com/national/2021/07/01/six-dead-three-missing-as-floods-and-landslides-wreak-havoc-in-various-districts  (01 July 2021)

Interim order against export of construction material The Supreme Court has issued an interim order to the government not to implement its decision to export construction material like stone, gravel and sand. The government had announced the decision in its budget speech for the fiscal year 2021/22.

Citing the fundamental right of citizens to clean environment in Article 30 of the constitution that says every citizen shall have the right to live in a clean and healthy environment, the court has directed the government not to implement the decision, The Kathmandu Post reported today. https://nefej.org.np/1709/  (01 July 2021)

Bhutan What is cost of mining boom? With the issuance of new licences, the past decade has ushered in a golden age for mining in Bhutan. As of 2013, the latest year for which official data is available, there were 27 mines and 46 quarries in operation, from just 17 mines and 10 quarries in 2006.

The sector has long been embroiled in controversies and criticised for putting corporate interests before people and the environment. Critics say that the current system benefits only a few rich individuals while burdening local communities with a host of environmental impacts, from air pollution to road and infrastructure destruction and poorly managed waste. Corruption allegations are rife. As the mining industry grows, Bhutan is struggling to reform it and its chronic issues are becoming more severe. https://www.thethirdpole.net/en/pollution/what-is-the-cost-of-bhutans-mining-boom/  (30 June 2021)

ASIA

Japan Landslide engulfs Atami city A devastating landslide hit Atami city on Saturday (July 3). 20 people remain missing in the town as the landslide engulfed and obliterated houses in its path. Eyewitness footage shows people running away from the torrential mud before it crashed into buildings and roads. The local government has requested military assistance and rescue. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/videos/international/watch-landslide-engulfs-japans-atami-city-20-people-missing/videoshow/84117783.cms  (04 July 2021)

THE REST OF THE WORLD

Press Release Inga 3 HEP would cost South Africans extra R10 bl/yr International Rivers and WoMin African Alliance published a new report, INGA 3: Too High a Cost – A study of the Socio-Economic Costs of the Inga 3 Dam for South Africa. The study, conducted by financial experts from UK-based TMP Systems, provides the first authoritative accounting of the true costs to South Africa of importing power from the planned Inga 3 hydropower scheme in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Its findings are dire yet clear: Offtaking hydropower from Inga 3 would be too costly, and an unmitigated disaster for South Africa. The study shows that the cost of importing power from Inga would be three times the current cost of generating electricity in South Africa, and would cost South Africa over R10 billion more per year compared to readily available alternatives. This additional burden would likely fall on the shoulders of ordinary South Africans through increased tariffs and taxpayer subsidies for Eskom. https://www.internationalrivers.org/news/press-release-south-africas-energy-crisis-new-study-confirms-inga-3-hydropower-would-cost-south-africans-an-extra-r10-billion-per-year/  (29 June 2021)

Impact of large, small dams on malaria transmission This is the first study to systematically examine the adverse malaria impacts of small dams and to compare those impacts with those arising from large dams. The results highlight two major findings. First, adverse malaria impacts of small dams greatly exceed those of large dams in areas of both stable and unstable transmission. Second, impacts of dams on malaria incidence remained pervasive while population density increased in all four study basins over a period of 15 years. Nevertheless, both large and small dams in the four basins studied continue to exacerbate malaria burden in the vicinity of the reservoirs that they created. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-92924-3  (25 June 2021) 

USA Before the flood From the blurb of this Aug 2021 publication about story of submergence of four towns for a dam in USA: In the tradition of Silent Spring, a modern parable of the American experience and our paradoxical relationship with the natural world.

Though it seems a part of the “natural” landscape of New England today, the Swift River Valley reservoir, dam, dike, and nature area was a triumph of civil engineering.  It combined forward-looking environmental stewardship and social policy, yet the “little people”—and the four towns in which they lived—got lost along the way.  Elisabeth Rosenberg has crafted Before the Flood to be both a modern and a universal story in a time when managed retreat will one day be a reality.

Meticulously researched, Before the Flood, is the first narrative book on the incredible history of the Swift River Valley and the origins Quabbin Reservoir. Rosenberg dive into the socioeconomic and psychological aspects of the Swift River Valley’s destruction in order to supply drinking water for the growing populations of Boston and wider Massachusetts.

It is as much a human story as the story of water and landscape, and Before the Flood movingly reveals both the stories and the science of the key players and the four flooded towns that were washed forever away.   https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Before-the-Flood/Elisabeth-C-Rosenberg/9781643136448 

Article about it from the author of the book: https://www.technologyreview.com/2021/06/29/1025739/building-the-dams-that-doomed-a-valley/  (29 June 2021)

Dam removal project set to happen later this year  A Washington state dam removal project that aims to improve the passage of fish is set to begin later this year in the Yakima Valley. The Nelson Dam along Highway 12 was built in the 1920s to divert irrigation water into Yakima and the surrounding area. But the dam has hampered the routes of salmon trying to migrate upstream for nearly a century. That has state fish officials very concerned. The dam has also caused the Naches River to overflow its banks during even minor flooding. So city and state officials are taking action. https://newstalkkit.com/dam-removal-project-set-to-happen-later-this-year/  (02 July 2021)

230 dead as Canada records all-time high temp Over 230 people have died in British Columbia, Canada, since Friday (June 25) as a catastrophic heat wave delivered record-breaking temperatures. It was a “unprecedented time,” according to the province’s chief coroner.

The deaths came as Canada set a new all-time high temperature record for a third day in a row Tuesday, reaching 121 degrees Fahrenheit (49.5 degrees Celsius) in Lytton, British Columbia, about 155 miles (250 kilometers) east of Vancouver, the country’s weather service, Environment Canada, reported. https://www.wionews.com/world/230-dead-as-canada-records-all-time-high-temperature-of-495-degrees-celsius-394794  (30 June 2021)

Many weather scientists and organisations such as NOAA have studied these climatic changes and arrived at the conclusion that a heat dome typically lasts a week. They said that the formation becomes too bog to keep standing and falls over, releasing the trapped air and ending the swelter.

The weather scientists have been highlighting the effects of rising temperature (climate change) on more extreme heat waves. According to a 2017 NOAA survey, average US temperatures have increased since the late 19th century. In decades to come, the climate scientists expect more days of severe heat wave. Apart from the US, cities as far north as the Arctic Circle broke heat records this week. https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/what-is-a-heat-dome-extreme-temperatures-in-canada-us-explained-101625114011568.html  (01 July 2021)

Mexico water supply buckles on worsening drought A long-term drought that has hit two-thirds of Mexico is likely to worsen in coming weeks with forecasts of high temperatures and warnings of crop damage and water supply shortages on the horizon, including in the populous capital of Mexico City. Experts are sounding the alarm that parched crops could under-produce after temperatures hit 40 degrees Celsius (104F) on June 30 in some parts of northern Mexico, including key farming areas. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/7/2/mexico-water-supply-buckles-on-worsening-drought-crops-at-risk  (02 July 2021)

Report Call for global treaty to end production of ‘virgin’ plastic by 2040 Cleaning up the vast plastic waste footprint spread across the world requires the targeting of clogged waterways, drains and sewers in many developing countries that do not have rubbish collection services and where creating and boosting waste management services would be necessary. Producers of plastic would also be required to contribute to help fund clean-ups in some countries. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jul/01/call-for-global-treaty-to-end-production-of-virgin-plastic-by-2040  (01 July 2021)

Compiled by SANDRP (ht.sandrp@gmail.com)

Also see: DRP News Bulletin 28 June 2021 & DRP News Bulletin 21 June 2021  

Follow us on: www.facebook.com/sandrp.in; https://twitter.com/Indian_Rivers      

5 thoughts on “DRP NB 5 July 2021: Supreme Court pulls up MoEF, NGT over environment issues: Will it go far?

  1. When authorities rely more on destroying an environment for development projects, they are less likely to think about the damages caused by them. While people in urban areas can only imagine such impacts, the real hazards are borne by the locals in rural areas as most projects are built at remote sites.
    There’s a parallel canal with the Bosphorus strait under construction in Turkey and according to locals, more the protests grew, more determined Erdoğan seems to be. This under construction canal is likely to destroy agricultural fields and forest areas. But Erdoğan says, Turkey can earn money from the ships that would use the canal instead of the Bosphorus in case of heavy traffic.
    All these governments use similar tactics to obtain public consent forcefully which later turn out to be disastrous.

    Like

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