DRP News Bulletin

DRP NB 19 July 2021: Unprecedented Europe floods another wake up call

(Feature image:- Germany mounts huge rescue effort after floods leave dozens dead and many more missing https://edition.cnn.com/2021/07/15/europe/germany-deaths-severe-flooding-intl/index.html)

The Europe floods this last week are unprecedented in so many respects. It has lead to close to 200 confirmed deaths so far, affected the Rhine basin areas of Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland and Luxembourg. It is the result of worst recorded rainfall in a century, leading to unprecedented water levels that rose so suddenly that otherwise super alert and smart disaster management system could not neither accurately and in time predict the catastrophe nor remove these people from the path of the destruction. The climate scientists are seeing clear signature of climate change, though more studies are called for. The call for urgent and much more action to reverse the global warming are getting louder in a continent where possibly the climate action is most advanced.

As The New York Times reported on July 19, 2021 (Monday),

The authorities ordered new evacuations on Saturday, and heavy rains in the southern German region of Bavaria caused still more flooding on Sunday.
German meteorologists called the flooding the worst in 500 years, if not a millennium. The disaster thrust the issue of climate change to the center of pivotal elections this fall.

Belguim: Street pavements burst open, houses flattened, and entire villages were destroyed in what’s being described as one of the worst flooding disasters to hit Western Europe in more than two centuries. In Liège, Belgium’s third-largest city, water from the Meuse river overflowed Thursday evening into parts of the city center, prompting city officials to call for residents to evacuate the area or seek higher ground.

Countries like India should see this as a major and yet another wake up call to start taking action to reverse the global warming emissions. Much more can and should be done urgently.

EUROPE FLOODS  Worst rainfall in a century Catastrophic flooding in western Europe has killed more than 100 people, with hundreds more missing, authorities said Friday (July 16), as large-scale rescue efforts continue amidst rising water, landslides and power outages. Shocking images of the devastation in Germany and Belgium showed entire villages underwater, with cars wedged in between collapsed buildings and debris. The Netherlands and Luxembourg have also been affected by the extreme rainfall.

”In some areas we have not seen as much rainfall in 100 years,” a spokesperson for the German weather service DWD said, adding that in those regions, they have “seen more than double the amount of rainfall,” causing flooding and structures to collapse.

Large swaths of western Germany saw 24-hour rainfall totals between 100 and 150 millimeters (3.9-5.9 inches), which represent more than a month’s worth of rainfall in this region, according to CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller. Cologne, in North Rhine-Westphalia, recorded 154 millimeters (6 inches) of rainfall in the 24 hours to Thursday (July 15) morning, which is nearly double its monthly average for July of 87 millimeters.

Heavier localized downpours resulted in extreme flash flooding. In Reifferscheid, in the Ahrweiler district, an incredible 207 millimeters (8.1 inches) of rain fell in only nine hours, according to the European Severe Weather Database. The intense deluges were the result of a slow-moving area of low pressure, which allowed a conveyor belt of warm and moist air to fuel powerful thunderstorms and heavy, long-lasting rain, according to the German weather service. https://edition.cnn.com/2021/07/16/europe/germany-deaths-europe-severe-flooding-intl/index.html  (16 July 2021)

The floods were preceded by widespread heavy rainfall, with totals that have shattered records. In France, the French national weather service reported that the equivalent of two months’ worth of rain fell over the past two days. Many locations saw up to 7 inches (178 millimeters) of rain over two days, according to the Weather Channel. Some totals were even more extreme, though.

A station in Cologne clocked 6 inches (154 millimeters) of rain in 24 hours; the previous high had been around 3.7 (95 millimeters) of rain in one day. CNN reports that Reifferscheid, a town near Bonn, received 8.1 inches (207 millimeters) in just nine hours.

In Hof County, located in Bavaria along the Czech border, a station recorded 3.34 inches (85 millimeters) in just 12 hours, according to Accuweather. It came less than a week after the same station saw 3.5 inches (89 millimeters) in the course of a day, meaning the fresh batch of rain fell on already saturated soils that couldn’t absorb more water. That, along with how widespread the heavy rain was, worsened flooding. https://gizmodo.com/the-worst-european-floods-in-100-years-have-left-120-de-1847306704  (16 July 2021)

Authorities worried that further dams could overflow, were trying to ease pressure by releasing more water. 4500 people were evacuated downstream from Steinbachtal dam in west Germany, which was at risk of breach overnight. Floods at the Elbe river in 2002, which at the time were billed by media “once-in-a-century floods”, killed 21 people in eastern Germany and more than 100 across the wider central European region. https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/further-flooding-feared-western-europe-with-death-toll-over-100-2021-07-16/  (17 July 2021)

AFP pics: Floods caught residents of several regions unaware in Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg Switzerland, leaving destruction in their wake. https://gulfnews.com/photos/news/look-shocking-pictures-of-devastation-as-huge-floods-wreak-havoc-in-germany-and-belgium-1.1626422642697  (16 July 2021)

Intensity & scale of floods in Germany have shocked climate scientists, who did not expect records to be broken this much, over such a wide area or this soon. Precipitation (148 ltrs/sq mtr in 48 hrs) records were smashed across a wide area of Rhine basin. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jul/16/climate-scientists-shocked-by-scale-of-floods-in-germany  (16 July 2021)

Severe thunderstorms, heavy rainfall have led to severe devastation, at least 93 deaths so far in German regions of Rhineland-Palatinate (50) & North Rhine-Westphalia (43). Nine people have been killed in Belgium. Actual death toll could be much higher. https://countercurrents.org/2021/07/flooding-in-germany-and-belgium-leaves-over-100-dead/  (16 July 2021)

Inden: a river changing course, eroding an old channel and flooding an open cast coal mine during the flood in Europe on Wednesday (July 14): https://blogs.agu.org/landslideblog/2021/07/16/inden-1/  (16 July 2021)

Strong rains caused rivers to burst banks, wash away buildings in Belgium & Germany, where at least 1,300 remained missing. Homes & streets in Netherlands & Switzerland flooded. Swift-moving rivers surged through cities & villages in 2 w German states. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/15/world/europe/flooding-germany-belgium-switzerland-netherlands.html  (15 July 2021)

Scientists in Germany have dubbed the low-pressure weather system that caused the weather event “Bernd” and the Environment Minister Ursula Heinen-Esser and the State Office for Nature, Environment and Consumer Protection (LANUV) noted that the large and devastating floods that were seen in the last few days have never been seen before. https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-what-has-caused-the-devastating-floods-in-germany-7409507/  (18 July 2021)

HYDRO POWER PROJECTS

Uttarakhand HC fines petitioners Rs 50K for ‘motivated plea’ Nainital High Court on July 14, 2021, imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 each on five petitioners who had filed a PIL seeking cancellation of 2 hydro projects in upper-Himalayas in Chamoli dist, where over 200 people lost their lives in flash floods in Feb’21. The petition was filed by Sangram Singh, Sohan Singh, Bhawan Rana, Atul Sati and Kamal Raturi – three of whom residents of Raini village while the two others were from Joshimath.

The petition stated they were known social workers and village representatives from the area. Petitioner demanded disbursal of compensation to families who lost their members in floods, to blacklist NTPC & to fix accountability “for criminal negligence in continuing unscientific & harmful construction & operation” of HEPs. They had sought a ban on blasting riverbed mining. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/locals-seek-cancellation-of-hydro-projects-in-flash-flood-hit-chamoli-hc-fines-petitioners-rs-50k-for-motivated-plea/articleshow/84420026.cms  (15 July 2021)

बांध प्रभावितों ने डीजीएम को बनाया दो घंटे तक बंधक यमुनाघाटी लखवाड़ व्यासी बांध प्रभावित समिति के बैनर तले जुडडो में चल रहे धरने के 38वें दिन लोहारी के ग्रामीणों ने जल विद्युत निगम के डीजीएम व उनके सहयोगी कर्मियों को दो घंटे तक बंधक बनाए रखा। बांध की नींव के पास धरना दे रहे ग्रामीणों से सुरक्षित स्थान पर चले जाने का आग्रह करने के लिए डीजीएम पहुंचे थे। डीजीएम ने मामला शासन स्तर पर होने व इसके लिए प्रयास करने का आश्वासन देकर ग्रामीणों के आक्रोश को शांत किया।

बांध प्रभावित लोहारी के ग्रामीण 38 दिन से विस्थापन, जमीन के बदले जमीन, परिवार के एक सदस्य को नौकरी की मांग को लेकर बांध की नींव के पास धरना दे रहे हैं। वहीं बारिश के चलते यमुना का जल स्तर बढ़ने लगा है। इससे बड़ी अनहोनी हो सकती है। इसको देखते हुए जल विद्युत निगम के डीजीएम अजय कुमार अन्य कर्मचारियों के साथ मौके पर पहुंचे। उन्होंने ग्रामीणों से खतरे को देखते हुए धरना सुरक्षित स्थान पर देने का आग्रह किया। https://www.jagran.com/uttarakhand/dehradun-city-vks-21825603.html   (13 July 2021)

लोहारी के ग्रामीणों ने सरकार पर लगाया सौतेला व्यवहार का आरोप जुड्डो बांध निर्माण स्थल पर धरना दे रहे लोहारी के ग्रामीणों ने मंगलवार (July 13) को जल विद्युत निगम और प्रदेश सरकार के खिलाफ प्रदर्शन कर नारेबाजी की। ग्रामीणों ने राज्य सरकार पर सौतेला व्यवहार करने का आरोप लगाया। बांध निर्माण कार्य करीब नब्बे फीसद पूरा हो चुका है। ऐसे में गांव के जल्द ही जलमग्न होने का खतरा पैदा हो गया है। गांव के झील में समाने से पूर्व विस्थापन जरूरी है। कहा कि वोट बैंक की राजनीति का खामियाजा उन्हें भुगतना पड़ रहा है। कहा कि पिछले 39 दिन से सभी ग्रामीण परिवार विस्थापन की मांग को लेकर धरना दे रहे हैं, लेकिन राज्य सरकार का कोई भी कारिंदा उनकी सुध नहीं ले रहा है। ग्रामीणों ने चेताया कि विस्थापन के संबंध में जल्द कोई कार्यवाही नहीं होने पर आंदोलन को उग्र कर दिया जाएगा। कहा कि पूर्व में चयनित जगह पर ही विस्थापन होने के बाद ग्रामीण अपना आंदोलन समाप्त करेंगे। https://www.livehindustan.com/uttarakhand/vikasnagar/story-villagers-of-lohari-accuse-the-government-of-step-motherly-behavior-4217503.html  (13 July 2021)

लखवाड़व्यासी बांध परियोजना के विरोध में उतरे व्यापारीग्रामीण लखवाड़-व्यासी बांध परियोजना स्थल जुड्डो में निर्माण कार्य बंद कराकर धरने पर बैठे ग्रामीणों ने सोमवार (21 June) को दिल्ली-यमुनोत्री राष्ट्रीय राजमार्ग पर दो घंटे धरना देकर चक्का जाम करते हुए अपना विरोध जताया। ग्रामीणों ने बताया कि परियोजना के लिए अधिग्रहीत की गई जमीन के बदले जमीन मुहैया कराए जाने समेत अन्य मांगों को लेकर बांध प्रभावित गांवों के पुरुष पिछले सत्रह दिनों से महिलाओं और बच्चों के साथ निर्माण स्थल पर धरना दे रहे हैं। लेकिन प्रदेश उत्तराखंड जल विद्युत निगम और प्रदेश सरकार उनकी कोई सुध नहीं ले रही है। लिहाजा सोमवार को सांकेतिक तौर पर एनएच पर चक्का जाम किया गया। अब जल्द ही हथियारी में भी बांध निर्माण कार्य बंद करा दिया जाएगा।

धरना दे रहे ग्रामीणों ने आरोप लगाया कि परियोजना का कार्य जल्द ही पूरा होने वाला है, लेकिन उनकी समस्याएं जस की तस बनी हुई हैं। परियोजना कार्य पूर्ण होने के बाद लोहारी गांव जलमग्न हो जाएगा। बावजूद इसके अभी तक ग्रामीणों को विस्थापित नहीं किया गया है। ग्रामीणों का कहना है कि जमीन के बदले जमीन नहीं मिलने से उनके सामने रोजी रोटी का संकट पैदा हो गया है। बताया कि जल विद्युत निगम की ओर से प्रभावित परिवारों के एक सदस्य को रोजगार मुहैया कराने का आश्वासन दिया गया था, लेकिन अभी तक रोजगार भी मुहैया नहीं कराया गया है। https://www.livehindustan.com/uttarakhand/vikasnagar/story-lakhwar-vyasi-dam-project-villagers-protest-blocked-road-kalsi-vikasnagar-4144888.html  (21 June 2021)

लखवाड़-व्यासी बांध परियोजना से प्रभावित गांव लोहारी के ग्रामीण पिछले 7 दिनों से मांगों को लेकर परियोजना के कार्य स्थल पर धरने पर बैठे हैं. लेकिन जल विद्युत निगम प्रबंधन और प्रदेश सरकार की ओर से उन्हें कोई सकारात्मक जवाब नहीं मिल रहा है. जिससे गुस्साए ग्रामीणों ने सरकार की बुद्धि-​शुद्धि यज्ञ किया और मांगे पूरी नहीं होने पर यमुना नदी में सामूहिक जल समाधि की धमकी दी है.

लखवाड़-व्यासी बांध परियोजना के तहत साल 1972 मैं लोहारी गांव डूब क्षेत्र को लेकर जमीन का अधिग्रहण किया गया था. जहां साल 1978-79 में निर्माण कार्य शुरू हुआ और 1991 में बांध के कार्य को बंद कर दिया गया.साल 2013 में एक बार फिर परियोजना का निर्माण कार्य शुरू किया गया जो लगातार चल रहा है. अब निर्माण कार्य लगभग 90 फीसदी पूरा हो चुका है. लेकिन शासन-प्रशासन द्वारा ग्रामीणों की मांगें नहीं मानी गईं. जबकि 30 अप्रैल 2018 को भी ग्रामीणों ने अपनी मांगों के लिए धरना दिया था.उस समय विधायक विकासनगर मुन्ना सिंह चौहान ने आश्वासन दिया था कि 3 जनवरी 2017 को कैबिनेट में प्रस्ताव पास हुआ कि विकासनगर में रेशम विभाग की जमीन ग्रामीणों को दी जाएगी. लेकिन अभी भी यह मामला शासन में विचाराधीन है. https://react.etvbharat.com/hindi/uttarakhand/state/udham-singh-nagar/woman-created-ruckus-during-marriage-ceremony-in-kashipur/uttarakhand20210713211517435  (12 June 2021) 

यमुना पर प्रस्तावित तीन सौ मेगावाट क्षमता की लखवाड़ जल विद्युत परियोजना के निर्माण शुरू होने की एक बार फिर सुगबुगाहट तेज हुई है। प्रदेश के मुख्यमंत्री पुष्कर सिंह धामी ने परियोजना को आर्थिक मामलों की कैबिनेट समिति से मंजूरी दिलाने का अनुरोध प्रधानमंत्री से किया है। जबकि एनजीटी की ओर से परियोजना को इसी वर्ष फरवरी माह में मंजूरी मिल चुकी है। https://www.livehindustan.com/uttarakhand/story-lakhwar-hydro-power-project-delhi-uttarakhand-haryana-six-states-to-get-water-chief-minister-pushkar-singh-dhami-effort-to-start-hydro-power-project-4210616.html  (11 July 2021)

जमरानी बांध भूमि अधिग्रहण के लिए राज्य सरकार की मंजूरी जमरानी बांध परियोजना को केंद्र सरकार से संस्तुति और बजट मिलने के बाद भी देरी हो रही है. बांध के लिए भूमि अधिग्रहण में हो रही देरी के चलते जमरानी बांध निर्माण में अड़चन आ रही है. इसके मद्देनजर अब राज्य सरकार ने भूमि अधिग्रहण के लिए आदेश जारी कर दिया है. डीएम नैनीताल को जमीन अधिग्रहण के लिए अधिसूचना जारी करने के निर्देश जारी किए गए हैं. भूमि अधिग्रहण अधिनियम 2013 के तहत (लारा एक्ट) धारा 8 के तहत किया जाएगा.

जमरानी बांध परियोजना के महाप्रबंधक प्रशांत बिश्नोई ने बताया कि राज्य सरकार ने अधिसूचना जारी होने के बाद जिलाधिकारी नैनीताल को आगे की प्रक्रिया करनी है. भूमि अधिग्रहण अधिनियम की धारा 8 के तहत और योजना के लिए भूमि अधिग्रहण किया जाना है. जमरानी बांध परियोजना के लिए बीते दिनों सोशल इंपैक्ट एसेसमेंट सर्वे कराया गया था. इसके तहत वहां के लोगों की होने वाली आर्थिक सामाजिक मानसिक नुकसान का सर्वे किया गया था.

बता दें कि, कुमाऊं मंडल के तराई क्षेत्रों के लिए पेयजल और सिंचाई के लिए बनाए जाने वाली बहुप्रतीक्षित 9 किलोमीटर लंबी और डेढ़ किलो मीटर चौड़ी और 130 मीटर ऊंची जमरानी बांध परियोजना के लिए केंद्र सरकार ने बजट भी जारी कर दिया है. बांध निर्माण के लिए 43 हेक्टेयर भूमि की आवश्यकता है. 2,584 करोड़ रुपए की लागत से बनने वाले बांध निर्माण में काफी देरी हो चुकी है. ऐसे में बांध निर्माण में भूमि अधिग्रहण की आ रही अड़चन को जल्द दूर करने के निर्देश दिए गए हैं.

गौरतलब है कि जमरानी बांध की जद में 6 गांवों के 158 परिवारों के घरों के अलावा 821 लोगों की जमीन आ रही है. स्थानीय लोगों ने अपनी 12 सूत्रीय मांगों के साथ-साथ प्रत्येक घर से एक व्यक्ति को सरकारी नौकरी देने की मांग की है. गांव वाले भी जमरानी बांध के पक्षधर हैं लेकिन 11 सूत्रीय मांगें बांध निर्माण में देरी का कारण बन रही हैं. जमरानी बांध का निर्माण हो जाने से जहां तराई भाबर के कई गांवों और शहरों को सिंचाई और पेयजल की समस्या से मुक्ति मिलेगी तो वहीं बांध से 14 मेगावाट की बिजली उत्पादित होगी. https://react.etvbharat.com/hindi/uttarakhand/state/nainital/state-government-approval-for-jamrani-dam-land-acquisition/uttarakhand20210605140842036  (05 June 2021)

नैनीताल सांसद अजय भट्ट ने शुक्रवार को जमरानी बांध परियोजना को लेकर अधिकारियों के साथ समीक्षा बैठक की. बैठक में परियोजना की प्रगति पर चर्चा की गई. इस दौरान उन्होंने कहा कि कोरोना के कारण परियोजना में देरी हो रही है. ऐसे में अब प्रोजेक्ट को पूरा करने की गति को तेज करने की जरूरत है. साथ ही उन्होंने विस्थापितों के विस्थापन के लिए किच्छा के खुरपिया की भूमि को चयनित करने के निर्देश भी दिए.

सांसद अजय भट्ट ने बताया कि लारा एक्ट के अनुसार ग्रामीणों की जमीनों का अधिग्रहण किया जाना है. ऐसे में ग्रामीणों की इच्छानुसार उनके लिए भूमि का प्रबंध करना होगा. उन्होंने बताया कि इससे पहले सितारगंज, खटीमा सहित कई जगहों पर भूमि का चयन किया गया, लेकिन लोग वहां जाना नहीं चाहते थे. ऐसे में उन्होंने अधिकारियों को निर्देश दिया कि वो उधम सिंह नगर और किच्छा के खुरपिया फॉर्म को भी चिन्हित करें, जिससे कि वहां पर लोगों को विस्थापित किया जा सके. https://react.etvbharat.com/hindi/uttarakhand/state/dehradun/aam-aadmi-party-state-spokesperson-uma-sisodia-apologized-for-her-statement/uttarakhand20210713213621196  (11 June 2021)

पछुवादून की 4 जल विद्युत परियोजनाओं पर 12 घंटे ठप रहा उत्पादन सोमवार (July 12) को भारी बारिश के चलते यमुना व टौंस नदी का जल स्तर बढ़ने व सिल्ट की मात्रा बढ़ जाने से पछुवादून की चार जल विद्युत परियोजनाओं पर बारह घंटों तक उत्पादन ठप रहा। मंगलवार (July 13) को दोपहर बाद जल स्तर व सिल्ट की मात्रा कम होने के बाद चारों परियोजनाओं पर उत्पादन शुरू हो पाया। https://www.livehindustan.com/uttarakhand/vikasnagar/story-production-stalled-for-twelve-hours-on-four-hydroelectric-projects-of-pachhwadun-4217887.html  (13 July 2021)

रैणी को फिर से बसाने की कमज़ोर कोशिश By Atul Sati चमोली में इस साल फरवरी में आई आपदा के बाद से यहां स्थित एतिहासिक रैणी गांव के लोग विस्थापन चाहते हैं लेकिन सरकार के पास इसके लिये न इच्छाशक्ति है और न कोई ठोस नीति।   https://hindi.carboncopy.info/less-efforts-being-put-to-resettle-reni-village/  (13 July 2021)

French media report on Chamoli disaster and role of hydro porjects. https://www.arte.tv/fr/videos/104941-000-A/les-effets-du-changement-climatique-sur-l-himalaya/ (18 July 2021)

Himachal Pradesh NHPC executive, others arrested in Rs 5-lakh bribery case The CBI has arrested a chief general manager of the State-run NHPC and two other persons including a senior executive of Gammon CMC Joint Venture Ltd in a Rs 5-lakh bribery case related to the pending bills of Parbati Hydroelectric, officials said Wednesda (July 14). The company had pending bills worth over Rs 5.26 crore for its ongoing work in Parbati Hydroelectric Project (Stage-II) of the NHPC near Kullu, they said.

Harjeet Singh Puri, Chief General Manager (CGM)-Finance, NHPC; Sunil Mendiratta, Senior General Manager (Project) of Gammon CMC Joint Venture and Sanchit Saini, who allegedly carried the alleged bribe money, were arrested, they said. The CBI has also booked another person named Sunil Saini, and the company Gammon CMC Joint Venture in the case. The CBI has alleged that Mendiratta requested Puri to expedite the process of payment for which the latter demanded a bribe of Rs 5 lakh. https://www.outlookindia.com/newsscroll/cbi-arrests-nhpc-executive-others-in-rs-5lakh-bribery-case/2120713  (14 July 2021)

Special CBI court on July 15 2021 sent 3 accused arrested in Rs 5-lakh bribery case related to Parbati HEP in Kullu, HP to 5-day police remand. Harjeet Singh Puri, Chief GM(Fin), NHPC; Sunil Mendiratta, Sr GM of Gammon CMC Joint Venture & Sanchit Saini-Delhi.  https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/haryana/five-day-police-remand-for-nhpc-cgm-2-others-283913  (16 July 2021)

Karcham Wangtoo HEP begins commercial operation JSW EnergyJSW Energy has announced that Karcham Wangtoo Hydro Electric Power Plant owned by JSW Hydro Energy has commenced a commercial operation of enhanced 1,045 MW. JSW Energy has a power generation capacity of 4,559 MW with a portfolio of Hydel, Renewables and Thermal. https://www.indiainfoline.com/article/news-sector-power/jsw-energy-commences-commercial-operation-of-1-045-mw-karcham-wangtoo-hydro-electric-power-plant-121071200216_1.html  (12 July 2021)

Meghalaya Scrap Umngot HEP: JAC to CM  Joint Action Committee against Umngot Hydro Project submits memo to CM Conrad K Sangma, demands scrapping of the proposed dam project. “The CM said that gov will first listen to the requests of the people affected by project,” said Suchen.  https://www.eastmojo.com/meghalaya/2021/07/13/scrap-umngot-hydro-electric-project-jac-to-meghalaya-cm/  (13 July 2021)

DAMS

Haryana हथिनी कुंड बैराज के ऊपरी क्षेत्र में बनेगा बांध पोंटा साहिब से कलेसर तक यमुना नदी के प्रवाह क्षेत्र पर हथिनी कुंड बैराज की अपस्ट्रीम (ऊपरी क्षेत्र) में एक बांध बनाने का प्रस्ताव है। यह बांध पहले ही प्रस्तावित तीन अपस्ट्रीम स्टोरेज बांधों, रेणुका बांध, किशाऊ बांध और लखवाड़-व्यासी बांधों से बचे लगभग 23.43 प्रतिशत कैचमेंट एरिया में उत्पन्न बाढ़ के पानी का भंडारण करेगा।

इसकी प्राथमिक रिपोर्ट आने वाले वित्त वर्ष में तैयार की जाएगी, ताकि इसके निर्माण के लिए साझेदार राज्यों और केंद्रीय जल आयोग से सैद्धांतिक अनुमति ली जा सके। वहीं, यमुना और घग्घर नदी में अपशिष्ट जल का प्रवाह रोका जाएगा और इस पानी को इस्तेमाल के लिए रिसाइकिल करने की योजना है। https://www.amarujala.com/chandigarh/budget-2021-in-haryana-news-haryana-government-will-build-a-dam-near-hathini-kund-barrage  (12 March 2021)

यमुना नदी और इसकी सहायक नदियों गिरि तथा टोंस से पानी लेने के लिए यमुना नदी पर अपस्ट्रीम स्टोरेज बांधों रेणुका, किशाऊ और लखवाड़ व्यासी के निर्माण की योजना काम इस वित्त वर्ष में शुरू होने की उम्मीद है। पवित्र सरस्वती नदी के पुनरोद्धार के लिए 1680 हेक्टेयर मीटर पानी के स्टोरेज के लिए आदिबद्री बांध, सोम सरस्वती बैराज और सोम सरस्वती जलाशय के निर्माण की परियोजना विचाराधीन है। https://www.jagran.com/haryana/panchkula-now-thirsty-land-in-haryana-will-not-have-water-scarcity-and-two-year-action-plan-in-haryana-budget2021-21458395.html  (13 March 2021)

Mekedatu Dam No scope for talks on Mekedatu: Duraimurugam Water Resources Minister Duraimurugan has been handling inter-State river water disputes concerning Tamil Nadu since 1989 when he became [Public Works Department] Minister for the first time. The row over the Mekedatu dam project, proposed by Karnataka, has been keeping him busy in recent weeks. He made two visits to New Delhi in the last couple of weeks, including one during which he led an all-party delegation to impress upon the Centre the strengths of Tamil Nadu’s case on the issue. In an interview on Saturday (July 17), he made it clear that for Tamil Nadu, the issue was non-negotiable.

On what is the problem for Tamil Nadu in holding negotiations with Karnataka over Mekedatu?:- There is a long history of negotiations between us and them. But the talks ended in failure. This was why we had to go to the Supreme Court. Now you have the Tribunal’s final order and the court’s judgment, modifying the order. Karnataka must obey the judicial verdicts. When any problem arises, we can only go back to the Supreme Court. Hereafter, there is no scope for talks. Remember, our petition [filed in 2018 on the Mekedatu issue] is still pending in the court.

On the idea of a third party or any Central agency taking up the execution of projects on the Cauvery, as it did in 1998, when Kalaignar [M. Karunanidhi] was the CM? Four hydro-power projects — two each in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu — were proposed then, and they included Mekedatu as well.: –No such situation has arisen now. So the question does not come up. As for the talks we had in the 1990s, they were conducted when the Tribunal had not delivered its final order. At present, the crux of the matter is that Karnataka neither follows the Tribunal’s final order nor the Supreme Court’s judgment. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/no-scope-for-talks-on-mekedatu-says-water-resources-minister/article35389117.ece  (18 July 2021)

No nod for Mekedatu sans Cauvery panel approval: Centre The Centre has given its assurance that Karnataka will not be allowed to carry out any construction on the Mekedatu dam project on the Cauvery river until its DPR is approved by the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA), according to members of an all party delegation from Tamil Nadu who met Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on Friday (July 16). https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/no-nod-for-mekedatu-project-without-cauvery-panel-approval-centre/article35370548.ece  (16 July 2021)

PMK opposes Centre’s plan to hold talks In a statement, party founder S Ramadoss expressed shock over Union jal shakti minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat’s remarks in Bengaluru that the Centre would hold a meeting, even as the Tamil Nadu CM M K Stalin rejected his Karnataka counterpart’s demand for bilateral talks. “The Union government should implement the orders of the tribunal and the Supreme Court, besides the 1892 agreement between the states. I urge the Centre not to indulge in any activity to support Karnataka, affecting the interests of Tamil Nadu,” the leader said. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/karnatakas-mekedatu-dam-project-nda-ally-pmk-opposes-centres-plan-to-hold-talks/articleshow/84411076.cms  (14 July 2021)

We’ve right to halt project legally: TN minister Hours after Karnataka law minister Basavaraj Bommai said the state government will go ahead with the Mekedatu project, Tamil Nadu water resource minister Durai Murugan said if Karnataka has the right to say that they will construct the dam against the verdict of the Cauvery Tribunal and the Supreme Court, then Tamil Nadu has the right to say they will take steps to halt the project through a legal route.

On Tuesday (July 13), in several districts of Tamil Nadu, farmers staged protests against Karnataka government’s decision to go ahead with the Mekedatu project. Organisations like the Cauvery Urimai Meetpu Kuzhu, carried banners and raised slogans in Thanjavur condemning Karnataka CM B S Yediyurappa. As many as 40 people were arrested for their involvement in burning effigies of the Karnataka CM. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chennai/mekedatu-issue-if-karnataka-can-build-dam-we-can-halt-project-legally-tn-minister-7402813/  (13 July 2021)

The Mekedatu dam initiative is a ‘conspiracy’ to block flow of water to Tamil Nadu from catchment areas below Kabini, Krishnarajasagar, sub-basins of rivers Shimsha, Arkavathi, Suvarnavathy and other small rivers, Stalin said. Since such areas do not have reservoirs, water reached Tamil Nadu without any hindrance and the new dam proposal was only to scuttle free flow, Tamil Nadu CM said. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chennai/mekedatu-dam-conspiracy-hinder-water-supply-tn-stalin-7402013/  (13 July 2021)

TN: All party meet passes 3 resolutions Three resolutions were passed in an all-party meeting convened by Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin on Monday, July 12, to discuss the Mekedatu dam issue. Throughout the meeting, the government pitched a united front, with all the parties as stakeholders in sorting out the issue.

A press release from the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said that three resolutions had been passed with the unanimous support of all parties present to put an end to the Mekedatu issue. Accordingly, “The Supreme Court has said that no construction activity should take place without any permission of lower riparian states. However, the Karnataka government defying the ruling is making an all-out effort to construct the dam. This is condemnable. The project will reduce the water availability for farmers of Tamil Nadu. Hence, we request the Union government and various departments to not provide permission for the project,” the release said. It added that the works undertaken against the SC order are a challenge to the Indian Constitution.

The second resolution was that all the parties should extend support and cooperation to the decisions taken by the Tamil Nadu government to stall the project. Thirdly, as a reflection of the combined opposition shown by the people of Tamil Nadu to the project, it was decided that the resolutions passed during the meeting should be handed over by all the party members to the Union government as a first step. Later, the Tamil Nadu government would be taking all measures, including other legal actions and attending to the pending case in the Supreme Court to solve the issue, the release said. https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/all-party-meet-tamil-nadu-urges-union-govt-not-permit-mekedatu-project-152185  (12 July 2021)

New chapter to river dispute saga Disagreement between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu over the waters of the Cauvery goes back to a time when they did not even exist as the political entities that we know today. It was in 1892 that a dispute began between the erstwhile Presidency of Madras, which was under British rule, and the princely state of Mysore over the latter’s proposed move to build irrigation systems on the Cauvery. The fear then was the same as it is now, that the upstream state would corner the lion’s share of the water and leave the downstream state in a jeopardy, threatening its farmers. https://www.news18.com/news/explainers/explained-how-mekedatu-dam-project-adds-twist-to-more-than-100-yr-old-dispute-3971273.html  (16 July 2021)

Polavaram Project Some details of dam construction work. https://www.thehansindia.com/andhra-pradesh/polavaram-sluice-gates-raised-to-release-water-695978   (15 July 2021)

INTERLINKING OF RIVERS

Ken-Betwa Link Second part of six part series on KBL:- द वायर द्वारा प्राप्त किए गए दस्तावेज़ों से पता चलता है कि केन-बेतवा प्रोजेक्ट के तहत सरकार जितनी ज़मीन प्रतिपूरक वनीकरण के रूप में दिखा रही है, उसमें से भी काफ़ी स्थानीय निवासियों की निजी भूमि है. हालांकि साउथ एशिया नेटवर्क ऑन डैम्स, रिवर्स एंड पीपुल (एसएएनडीआरपी) के कोऑर्डिनेटर और इस परियोजना की एक विशेषज्ञ समिति के सदस्य रहे हिंमाशु ठक्कर ने कहा वन मंजूरी की शर्तों का अनुपालन न करना घोर उल्लंघन है. उन्होंने कहा कि वन सलाहकार समिति ने विस्तृत विचार विमर्श के बाद ये शर्त लगाई थी. इसे ऐसे बदला नहीं जा सकता है.

ठक्कर कहा, ‘पहले तो इस परियोजना को पूर्ण वन मंजूरी नहीं मिली हुई है. ये स्टेज-1 की शर्तें हैं यानी कि जब तक इसे पूरा नहीं किया जाता है, तब तक अगली मंजूरी नहीं मिल सकती है. वन सलाहकर समिति ने अपनी एक सह-समिति बनाई थी, जिसने जमीन पर जाकर पूरी स्थिति की जांच की थी और उसके बाद ये शर्तें लगाई गई थीं. इसे किसी भी स्थिति में नहीं बदलना चाहिए.’

पिछले दो दशकों से नदियों की दिशा में कार्य कर करे ठक्कर ने कहा कि ये शर्तें इसलिए रखी गईं थी ताकि इस प्रोजेक्ट से पन्ना टाइगर रिजर्व को होने वाले नुकसान की थोड़ी-बहुत तो भरपाई की जा सके, लेकिन जिस तरह सरकार इन शर्तों को हल्का कराने की कोशिश कर रही है, नुकसान और बढ़ने की संभावना है.  http://thewirehindi.com/176754/ken-betwa-link-project-modi-govt-trying-to-dilute-forest-clearance-condition/  (14 July 2021)

The first part can be seen in English here. RTI documents reveal that no emphasis was laid on discussing the CEC report on adverse ecological impacts throughout the project’s planning stage. More so, the final Supreme Court decision on the report is still awaited. https://thewire.in/environment/rti-centre-sc-cec-report-ken-betwa-link-project  (18 July 2021)

INTERSTATE WATER DISPUTES

Krishna-Godavari Water Disputes MoJS brings 107 projects under purview of KRMB, GRMB The Union Ministry of Jal Shakti (MoJS) has issued a gazette notification late Thursday night bringing 36 projects in Krishna basin and 71 in Godavari basin in both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana under the jurisdiction of Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) and Godavari River Management Board (GRMB) respectively.

The Centre has said that the gazette would come into force from October 14, the day on which the states will “completely handover” the administration, operation, maintenance and regulation of projects or components (barrages, dams, reservoirs, regulating structures) including hydel power plants, part of the canal network and transmission lines, which have been divided into three schedules, to the respective river management boards.

Since all the outlets of main reservoirs, canals, branch canals, distributaries, and transmission networks, have been brought under the jurisdiction, it has to be seen as to how the boards will regulate them, a top-ranking official told TNIE, after the notification was issued. Unlike in the Godavari basin where there are no common reservoirs shared by both the Telugu states, the Krishna basin has several major, medium and minor projects that have so far been triggering water wars between AP and TS. Hence, implementation of the jurisdiction of KRMB, which is now empowered, will remain more critical, another official opined. https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/andhra-pradesh/2021/jul/16/jal-shakti-ministry-brings-36-projects-in-krishna-71in-godavari-basins-under-purview-of-krmbgrmb-2330991.html  (16 July 2021)

Centre notifies jurisdiction of Krishna, Godavari river boards “Although the Centre’s efforts are aimed at defusing the increasing tension between the two States over water sharing and power generation, it is likely to be a sail through murky waters since regulation of water – project-wise supply for irrigation and drinking needs as also hydel generation at projects – is going to be a tough job in the absence of clarity on water share of the two State as also the project-wise allocation”, a retired senior engineer who spent long years at one of the common projects said.

A.P. and Telangana have been directed to deposit within sixty days from the date of publication of this notification a one-time seed money of ₹200 crore each into the bank account of KRMB to enable it to discharge its functions effectively.

The most important aspect of the notification is the authorisation of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) to assist the KRMB in the day-to-day management of the specified projects and other works related to security assigned by the KRMB on such terms and conditions as laid down by the Central government.

Completed and ongoing unapproved projects in the above schedules will be subject to appraisal and approval as per the said Act and be in accordance with the decisions taken in the 2nd meeting of the Apex Council. It is further stated that the mere inclusion of any unapproved project in the schedules does not confer deemed approvals.

Besides, the Central government stipulated that no person from A.P. and Telangana should be appointed as the chairman, member-secretary, members and chief engineers of the KRMB. The Central government’s decision will be final if any question arises as to whether the KRMB has jurisdiction over any project. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/centre-issues-gazette-notification-on-the-jurisdiction-of-krmb/article35357326.ece  (16 July 2021)

Who will benefit from central control over irrigation projects But analysts say the decision would have serious implications on the irrigation requirements of not just Telangana but even Andhra Pradesh. Both the governments will lose their powers on the operation and maintenance of all the projects – both the existing and ongoing projects.

Both the states will have no bargaining power and have to beg the centre for water releases for irrigation and power generation, whenever they require, since all the projects and its components like overhead works (barrages, dams, reservoirs, regulating structures), part of canal network and transmission lines come into the purview of the centre.

The Krishna and Godavari river management boards, will have complete control over these structures and hold powers to regulate the supply of water and power generated from the projects. The notification clearly said all the ongoing works on unapproved projects in both the states should be stopped immediately until they are appraised and approved in accordance with the decisions taken by the apex council. “Within six months, both governments should complete the unapproved projects appraised and approved failing which the ongoing unapproved projects shall cease to operate,” the notification said. https://www.greatandhra.com/politics/andhra-news/central-control-over-irrigation-projects-wholl-benefit-114488  (16 July 2021)

Govt of Telangana is unhappy with notification of Union Govt to take over control and management of all Telangana irrigation projects, it would adversely impact interests of State, the most important department of irrigation, would lose its sheen. https://www.thehansindia.com/telangana/centres-move-shatters-kcrs-water-dream-696660  (19 July 2021)

J Syamala Rao, Principal Secretary of Irrigation Department said that with the Gazette notification, KRMB and GRMB will have control over the operations and maintenance of the irrigation projects in both Krishna and Godavari basins, which will come into effect from October 14, 2021. He said that this particular notification was long due ever since the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, and added that the State’s water share will now fall under the jurisdiction of the Boards. https://indianexpress.com/article/india/andhra-pradesh-welcomes-centre-order-on-krishna-and-godavari-7408728/  (17 July 2021)

NGT panel to study Palamuru LIP impacts NGT has ordered to constitute an expert committee to examine the Env Impact Assessment of the Telangana’s Palamuru lift irrigation project on July 15. Petition was filed by farmers from Rayalaseema: Prakasam, Guntur & Krishna dists. The tribunal posted the matter for hearing on August 29. Previously, the NGT Chennai bench had admitted a petition on Friday (July 9) filed by Kosgi Venkataiah from Rajapur mandal, who alleged that it violated the Water Act and Environment Protection Rules, 1986. The petitioner claimed there was an indiscriminate removal of black soil in minor irrigation tanks in several villages close to the Udandapur reservoir for construction of a 15.865-km bund, posing a grave threat to the quality of lakes and groundwater and adversely affecting the water storage capacity of the lakes. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/vijayawada/national-green-tribunal-panel-to-study-impact-of-palamuru-lift-irrigation-project/articleshow/84461334.cms  (16 July 2021)

Andhra to bat for Union takeover of inter-state river projects The State government is likely to move the Supreme Court urging it to declare irrigation/hydel projects over inter-state rivers as national projects and hand over their security to Central forces, besides seeking suspension of a GO issued by the Telangana government last month to generate power at Srisailam.

The sources said one upper riparian state (Telangana) is behaving like no law applies to it and is taking unilateral decisions as per its whims and fancies. Under the circumstances, there is no other option but to move the Supreme Court. Water Resources Department officials pointed out that right to water and food are fundamental rights and Telangana’s whimsical behaviour amounts to nothing less than violation of human rights https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/andhra-pradesh/2021/jul/13/andhra-pradesh-to-bat-for-union-takeover-of-inter-state-river-projects-2329384.html  (13 July 2021)

Telangana reduces power generation from Srisailam This is seen as a strategic move to continue power generation despite stiff resistance from Andhra Pradesh and direction from the KRMB to stop power generation. Srisailam right bank power plant superintending engineer M. Srinivas said, “As water is depleting in the Srisailam reservoir due to withdrawal of water by Telangana for power generation and with no inflow of water, it is operating only one unit out of five and generating nearly 130-140 mw of power at present and this exercise will continue just for a few days until water level dips to 805 ft at the dam as it cannot draw water below that level.”

Meanwhile, water resources authorities say that Srisailam reservoir received surplus water for nearly 60 days during August and September last year causing them to release 600 tmc ft of water downstream by lifting the dam gates following good rainfall in catchment areas of the Krishna river. They say that unless there is good rainfall in the Krishna river catchment areas in the days to come and Telangana projects on the river filled up to the capacity, Andhra Pradesh may not be able to get water into its projects and help farmers to take up cultivation of crops especially in parts of Rayalaseema area and also in command area along the river course. https://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/120721/telangana-state-reduces-power-generation-from-srisailam.html  (13 July 2021)

Why Andhra & Telangana are fighting it out over the Krishna. https://theprint.in/india/two-telugu-states-one-river-why-andhra-telangana-are-fighting-it-out-over-the-krishna/696801/  (16 July 2021)  

Delhi- Haryana Yamuna rises again, water woes to ease The water level of the Yamuna at Wazirabad barrage has once again reached the normal level of 674.4 feet as 16,000 cusecs of water released by Haryana from Hathnikund barrage has reached Delhi. A senior DJB official said all water treatment plants were now operating at full capacity and regular water supply would resume soon. Earlier, a shortage of 100-120 million gallons per day (MGD) had been reported due to which Chandrawal, Wazirabad and Okhla water treatment plants (WTP) were operating below their capacities.

The utility manages about 14,500 km of pipelines to supply water and provide sewerage services to about 20 million people of Delhi. DJB has the capacity of producing 935 MGD water through nine WTPs, ranney wells and tubewells. While the Bhagirathi plant produces 108 MGD potable water, Sonia Vihar WTP cleans 140 MGD under normal circumstances. Both plants are fed raw water from the Upper Ganga Canal. The rest of the raw water comes mainly through the Yamuna, DSB canal and CLC Munak canal, besides subsurface sources. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/yamuna-rises-again-water-woes-to-ease/articleshow/84487333.cms  (13 July 2021)

16K cusecs water released in river The Haryana government has released 16,000 cusecs of water in the Yamuna from the Hathnikund Barrage in Yamuna Nagar district and the crisis in the capital will be resolved now, Delhi Jal Board vice chairman Raghav Chadha said on Tuesday (July 13). He said Haryana released Delhi’s legitimate share of water after the DJB moved the Supreme Court and held several rounds of talks with the officials of the neighbouring state. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/haryana-releases-16000-cusecs-water-in-yamuna-crisis-in-delhi-will-resolve-raghav-chadha/articleshow/84375041.cms  (13 July 2021)

DJB blames Haryana for dried-up river “Currently, the level at Wazirabad pond is 667.8 feet against a normal of 674.5 feet,” a DJB official said. “The Wazirabad plant capacity has reduced from 135 MGD (million gallons per day) to 80 MGD. The capacity of Chandrawal Water Treatment Plant has come down from 90 MGD to 55 MGD and the Okhla Water Treatment Plant capacity has reduced from 20 MGD to 12 MGD,” he further added.

Delhi receives Yamuna water from Haryana at three places Delhi Sub-Branch (DSB), Carrier-Lined Channel (CLC) and the Wazirabad pond. About 1,133 cusecs of water from Haryana should be received by Delhi through the three channels, via Munak canal and Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB). However, at present, the water supply has reduced to 920 cusecs.

Raghav Chadha, vice chairman of Delhi Jal Board, visited the Wazirabad Water Treatment Plant on Monday (July 12). He said, “For the first time since 1965, the water level in Wazirabad barrage is at its lowest. The river has dried up so much that the riverbed is visible. One could play hockey and other sports here. The Haryana government is to be blamed for the water crisis in the capital. https://www.indiatoday.in/cities/delhi/story/-can-play-hockey-in-yamuna-bed-djb-s-raghav-chadha-blames-haryana-for-dried-up-river-1827260-2021-07-12  (12 July 2021)

DJB Vice-Chairman Raghav Chadha on Monday (July 12) said the water levels of the Yamuna river at the Wazirabad barrage have hit the lowest point in 56 years as Haryana has withheld Delhi’s legitimate share of water. Mr Chadha, who reviewed the situation at the Wazirabad pond, said Haryana has not been releasing at least 120 MGD (million gallons per day) water that belongs to Delhi and this has led to a water crisis in the national capital. https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/water-levels-in-yamuna-at-lowest-point-in-56-years-aap-minister-raghav-chadha-2485098  (12 July 2021)

DJB goes to court over ‘dip’ in water supply While DJB has alleged that Haryana is not releasing 120 million gallons of water per day (MGD), the latter said it is providing its share despite water scarcity due to delayed monsoons. It also said the situation in Delhi is a result of “internal mismanagement”.

According to DJB vice-chairperson Raghav Chadha, the three WTPs that receive water from Haryana used to produce 245 MGD of water but are now producing only 154 MGD: “Firstly, in the Chandrawal WTP, wherein 90 MGD water was being treated every day, the number has now reduced to 55 MGD. At the second WTP in Wazirabad, 135 MGD of water was being treated daily. This has reduced to 80 MGD. Lastly, the third water treatment plant witnessing heavy water reduction is the Okhla one; here, daily production used to be 20 MGD but today it stands at 15 MGD.”

Responding to the allegations, Haryana Additional Chief Secretary (Irrigation) Devender Singh said: “Delhi has a share of 719 cusecs of water at Munak from Yamuna and Ravi Beas rivers. In addition to this, an extra 330 cusecs of water from the Yamuna is released by Haryana at Munak, in compliance with the Supreme Court orders dated 29-02-1996. Thus, Haryana is supplying 1,049 cusecs at Munak — or more than 950 cusecs of water (against 939 cusecs) at Bawana contact point through its canal system — which is more than their legitimate share.” water supply to Delhi without any reduction.” https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/delhi-jal-board-goes-to-court-against-haryana-over-dip-in-water-supply-to-capital-7400062/  (12 July 2021)

Water scarcity amid monsoon Hundreds of people queue up, unmindful of the sweltering summer heat to fill drinking water from the DJB tanker for their families. But, many of them return home with empty buckets. The Delhi unit of the BJP staged a protest today; DJB blames the neighbouring state Haryana. According to its website, the DJB supplies potable water in water deficit areas through 800 tankers at different zones in Delhi. These are at those locations that do not have piped water connections. But clearly, this is not enough.

According to a research paper, ‘Bridging Water Demand and Supply in Delhi: The Potential of Rainwater Harvesting’, authored by Rumi Aizaz, a Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation, water demand in Delhi is at 1,260 million gallons per day (mgd) and supply is at 937 mgd. This means that about 25 per cent of the demand (or 323 mgd) is not being met. Indeed, 17 per cent of households do not have access to piped supply, and 13 per cent of unauthorised colonies are not covered by any piped network.

The hundreds of unplanned colonies, slums, and villages pose a problem as they do not have proper water lines nor sewage lines.  But, in January this year, the Delhi High Court declared that just because a settlement or a colony was unauthorised, it did not mean it should be deprived of drinking water. The High Court pointed out that the Right to Access To Drinking Water is a fundamental right to life, and under Article 21 it is the state’s duty to provide clean drinking water to its citizens. The court was dealing with a petition filed by 53 retired army veterans. https://en.gaonconnection.com/delhi-water-crisis-shortage-sanitation-raghav-chadhha-arvind-kejriwal-protests-haryana-supply-38175/  (12 July 2021)

Inspecting the water level at the Wazirabad Barrage on Friday (July 16), Delhi Jal Board (DJB) vice-chairman Raghav Chadha said the Haryana government has released around 16,000 cusecs of water which has now reached Delhi. He said the water treatment plants are operating at full capacity and this will ease the city’s water woes. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/yamuna-water-level-delhi-haryana-raghav-chadha-7408369/  (16 July 2021)

IRRIGATION

Haryana यमुनानगर में ड्रेन टूटी तो मची तबाही खिजरी जंगल व आसपास के एरिया से बारिश के पानी की निकासी के लिए बनाई गई नागल ड्रेन तबाही का कारण बन गई। यह ड्रेन गांव खिजरी से अराइयांवाला की ओर जा रही है। करीब दो दशक पहले इस का निर्माण सिंचाई विभाग ने करवाया था। इसकी दिशा सही न होने का हवाला देते हुए निर्माण के दौरान ही ग्रामीणों ने इसका विरोध किया था।

Dainik Jagran image

ग्रामीणों का तर्क है कि निकासी के लिहाज से ड्रेन की दिशा सही नहीं है। यह एरिया आगे जाकर ऊंचा है जिसके कारण पानी की निकासी संभव ही नहीं है। आरोप है कि तत्कालीन सरकार ने राजनीतिक लाभ लेने के लिए इस ड्रेन का निर्माण पर करोड़ों रुपये खर्च कर दिए। क्षेत्रवासियों को इसका लाभ होने की बजाय नुकसान हो रहा है।

ग्रामीणों के मुताबिक निकासी के लिए बनाई गई यह ड्रेन एल आकार में बनी है। जैसी ही जोरदार बारिश होती है तो किनारे बहने शुरू हो जाते हैं। करीब दो दशक पहले इसका निर्माण करवाकर आज तक मरम्मत की भी जहमत नहीं उठाई जाती है। जहां से ड्रेन टूटती है, उसका आनन-फानन में ठीक करवा दिया जाता है। जैसे ही अगली बार बारिश होती है, फिर टूट जाती है। https://www.jagran.com/haryana/panipat-yamunanagar-drain-broken-due-to-negligence-of-officials-now-villagers-raised-issue-21826853.html  (13 July 2021)

Tamil Nadu Give priority to build check dams, farmers to agriculture minister Farmers from five districts including Trichy on Thursday (July 15) urged the state government to give importance to constructing check dams across the Cauvery and Kollidam rivers in the first separate budget for agriculture. A day after taking suggestions from farmers in Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Nagappattinam and Mayiladuthurai, agriculture minister M R K Panneerselvam met farmers from Trichy, Ariyalur, Perambalur, Karur and Pudukottai to record their views. Municipal administration minister K N Nehru said the suggestions to construct more check dams to recharge ground water level was the major demand of farmers at the meeting convened at the Trichy collector’s office. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/trichy/give-priority-to-build-check-dams-farmers-tell-agri-minister/articleshow/84456172.cms  (16 July 2021)

Assam Gogoi demands State Heritage Site tag for Sivasagar Sivasagar, earlier known as Rangpur, is situated 363 km east of Guwahati. The most remarkable landscape of the town is the 200- year-old Sivasagar tank. Its unique feature is that the water level is above the level of the town. Joysagar, 5 km outside the Sivasagar town, is the biggest man-made tank in the country with an area of over 318 acres. https://www.eastmojo.com/assam/2021/07/14/akhil-gogoi-demands-state-heritage-site-tag-for-sivasagar-in-assembly/  (14 July 2021)

Punjab Clash over tunnel-like structures excavated near Golden Temple Volunteers were digging up the site when two structures that resembled tunnels, made of Nanakshahi bricks, were discovered. Despite the objection of some heritage activists, who wanted the structures to be examined, SGPC didn’t stop work. https://indianexpress.com/article/india/clash-over-tunnel-like-structures-excavated-near-golden-temple-7407010/  (16 July 2021)

Archaeological expert to examine site: SDM “After tunnel-like structures were found during the excavation, the work has been stopped for now. The site will be examined by an archaeological expert. A joint meeting of Sikh bodies and government officials will be held. Sentiments of Sikh bodies will be kept in mind while taking the next decision,” said the SDM.

Prof Balvinder Singh, former head of Guru Ramdas School of Planning, Guru Nanak Dev University, and adviser, Indian Heritage Cities Network, said similar structures were found near Gurdwara Lohgarh a few years ago, but were ignored. “It might be some tunnel linking to the summer palace in Rambagh where Maharaja Ranjit Singh used to stay during his visit to Amritsar. It could also have a link with Akhara Sangal Wala as it is quite lower than the road level. A serious and sincere effort is required to explore and preserve such heritage,” he said. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/chandigarh-news/tunnellike-structures-excavated-at-golden-temple-complex-101626366550366.html  (15 July 2021)

URBAN RIVERS

Vishwamitri;Vadodara Citizens object to ‘destructive’ activity for executing riverfront project Several concerned citizen of Vadodara have asked concerned authorities to to stop immediately “utterly destructive clean up activities undertaken” on the river passing through Gujarat’s cultural capital in light of the NGT order, dated May 25, 2021. In a letter to the Union environment secretary and his Gujarat government counterpart as also other officials, including the concerned authorities of the Vadodara city, the citizens insist on demarcation, protection of the entire flood plain zone of the river and maintaining minimum environment flow.

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According to them, it is necessary to ensure integrity of the river, especially by taking ito account certain “consequential and incidental issues” like sewage treatment, management of waste, preventing encroachment and plantation.” At the same time, they add, the Vishwamitri River Action Plan should also include “removal of unauthorised structures. https://www.counterview.net/2021/07/citizens-object-to-utterly-destructive.html  (17 July 2021)

Adya-Cooum; Chennai Some progress in Cooum, none in Adyar: NGT The Southern Bench, comprising Justice K Ramakrishnan and expert member Saibal Dasgupta, observed that no short-term measures have been mentioned to prevent pollution in the Buckingham Canal until the implementation of the permanent action plan which is to be completed only next year. On the issue of discharge of sewage and waste into the Buckingham Canal after the monsoon when it is naturally cleaned up briefly, the tribunal asked the city corporation, SPCB, Public Works Department, metro water and the Chennai Rivers Restoration Trust (CRRT) to look into the issue and submit an independent report within three months.

The polluted Cooum river near Madhuravoyal in Chennai. (File photo | Shiba prasad sahu)

The tribunal had taken suo motu cognisance of a news report published in October 2013 and issued an order on Wednesday (July 7). “The Chief Secretary, State of Tamil Nadu, is directed to file a further periodical report to this Tribunal showing the progress of the work and also considering the observation made by this Tribunal regarding short-term measures to be taken for abating the pollution that is being caused to the above said three water bodies till the proposed action plan prepared by them is finally implemented,” the order stated, referring to the Cooum, Adyar, and the Buckingham Canal.

The Bench also directed the district administration to constitute a ‘task force’ in order to initiate action against those responsible for polluting the city’s water bodies. “The Chief Secretary is also directed to consider the question of constituting a “Task Force” under the leadership of the District Collector and the District Police Authorities to supervise these water bodies routinely and take action against those persons who are causing pollution to the same by adopting illegal methods,” the order stated.  https://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/chennai/2021/jul/12/some-progress-in-cooum-none-in-adyar-says-ngt-2328793.html  (12 July 2021)

Resettlement of families along waterbodies in city to resume The Greater Chennai Corporation, the Chennai Rivers Restoration Trust and the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board will resume resettlement of families along the Cooum, the Adyar and other waterbodies next week. At least 2,000 families in 10 settlements along the Cooum and 5,000 settlements along the Adyar are expected to be evicted shortly.

Of the 14,257 families along the Cooum, 12,302 families have been resettled. Enumeration of residents along the Buckingham Canal will begin after resettlement of families along the Cooum. Eco-restoration of Buckingham Canal is expected to be taken up after the resettlement of families.

At least 2,000 families have been identified as encroachers of 55 acres of Kolathur lake. The encroachments on the lake have been a major cause of flooding during the northeast monsoon. Officials will make a decision on resettlement of the families shortly. The removal of encroachment along waterbodies has been taken up as part of flood preparedness after the disaster in 2015. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/resettlement-of-families-along-waterbodies-in-city-to-resume/article35374992.ece  (17 July 2021)

RIVERS

Tamil Nadu Erode Corporation to raise Miyawaki forest at Vairapalayam The Corporation has proposed to raise a Miyawaki forest using native trees on the 7.4 acre Cauvery river bund at Vairapalayam where accumulated legacy waste was bio-mined last year. The then Erode Municipality had encroached the river bund to dump municipal waste for 65 years. The waste accumulated to 90,000 cubic metre and the leachate from the waste had polluted the ground and water. When River Cauvery was in spate for a week in August 2018, over one-third of the waste got washed away in the river.

Under the Smart City Mission project, a private company bio-mined the accumulated waste during 2019 and 2020. Corporation Commissioner M. Elangovan told The Hindu that work to raise a Miyawaki forest using native trees such as neem and pungam would commence in a week. He said that bio-mining of 4.45 lakh cubic metre waste at Vendipalayam compost yard would be completed by the end of December, after which a Miyawaki forest would be raised there. Bio-mining project is being executed by the civic body at a total cost of ₹ 37.25 crore. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/erode-corporation-to-raise-miyawaki-forest-at-vairapalayam/article35290277.ece  (12 July 2021) 

CPCB Report Inadequate sewage treatment behind river pollution The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in 2018 identified 351 polluted river stretches in India. The assessment of water quality for identification of polluted river stretches found that 31 states and Union territories (UT) had rivers and streams that did not meet the water quality criteria. These states / UTs have to submit their action plans for the same.

Sewage Generation and Treatment Capacity (MLD), Maharashtra (DTE)

About 72,368 million litres per day (MLD) of sewage was generated against which operational treatment capacity was only 26,869 MLD in 2021, according to the latest CPCB report National inventory of sewage treatment plant 2021. This is not even half of the total sewage generated in the country. A huge amount of sewage is left untreated / partially treated and discharged directly into rivers. https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/pollution/behind-polluted-indian-river-stretches-inadequate-sewage-treatment-77957  (15 July 2021)

GANGA Uttarakhand Govt to send Ganga water in tankers for kanwarias Encouraging kanwariyas to skip the mass annual pilgrimage this Covid-stricken year, the government has said it will supply water from the Ganga in Haridwar — collection of which marks the culmination of the Yatra — to neighbouring states in tankers.

More than 3 crore pilgrims had turned out in 2019, the last time Uttarakhand had hosted saffron-clad Shiva followers who walk hundreds of kilometres barefoot carrying pitchers of water from rivers considered sacred. This year, the pilgrimage was scheduled to begin on July 25 & end on Aug 6. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/ukhand-to-send-ganga-water-in-tankers-for-kanwarias-in-other-states/articleshow/84506803.cms  (18 July 2021)

YAMUNA Haryana 12 dyeing units in Sonepat sealed The Haryana Pollution Control Board (HSPCB), Sonepat, has sealed 12 illegal denim dyeing units operating in the Pyau Manyari and Kundli areas, which were discharging effluents directly into a drain which joined the Yamuna. These were found operational without any consent from the HSPCB and having no effluent treatment plant (ETP). The units have been sealed and their electricity connections cut.

Varun Gulati, a social activist in Delhi, had filed a complaint to the HSPCB against these units in February 2020. He alleged that the units were discharging their effluents directly into the drain without treatment, which joined the Yamuna. The effluents discharged were a big cause of pollution in the Yamuna, he said. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/haryana/12-dyeing-units-in-sonepat-sealed-282378  (13 July 2021)

Delhi L-G orders installation of CCTVs, removal of debris from floodplain LG Anil Baijal directed the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to remove debris from the Yamuna floodplains and install CCTVs for surveillance. The directions were issued to DDA officials in a meeting on Wednesday (Nov. 18, 2020) where the L-G reviewed the progress of the ongoing restoration work of the riverfront.

DDA officials say that routine drives are being carried out to remove encroachment from the river floodplain. “We already have 78 CCTV cameras installed at 26 different locations on the floodplain. We are in the process of installing 18 CCTV cameras at six different locations. As for removing the debris from the floodplain, a majority of the agencies have already done that. We will be taking action against those who are yet to remove the debris,” said a DDA official. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/l-g-orders-removal-of-debris-from-yamuna-floodplain-installation-of-cctvs-for-surveillance/story-FM0Ln3jKkCrd18TayHkjJO.html  (19 Nov. 2021)

A thick layer of toxic foam was seen floating on the surface of the river Yamuna at the Kalindi Kunj area in the national capital on July. The froth was a common thing in the Yamuna but has increased in the last five-six years. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/india/delhi-thick-layer-of-toxic-foam-floats-on-yamuna-river/videoshow/84464977.cms  (16 July 2021)

Uttar Pradesh River water quality worsening, shows UPPCB data As per the latest UPPCB report, Noida is the only city where the Yamuna falls under “E” category, that makes the river unfit for drinking even after conventional treatment and disinfection, bathing or survival of fish and other aquatic organisms. While the UPPCB report does not mention the data for industrial effluents like amount of hard metals — mercury, arsenic, lead, etc. — the state pollution body has tested water on basic parameters DO and BOD and found the pollution levels very high.

The officials blame “untapped sewage” from Shahdara drain that enters from Delhi for the poor condition of Yamuna, besides additional pollutants from Kondli drain and Hindon river. According to environmentalists, honest efforts are missing to revive the Yamuna in the NCR. “Shahdara drain is one of the major sources of pollution. There are no honest efforts to clean the Yamuna in Delhi where a number of untapped sewage is being discharged into it. At the same time, there are sources of pollution in Noida also. Hindon river is one of the major sources and nothing is being done by the authorities,” said Vikrant Tongad, a city-based environmentalist. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/noida-news/yamuna-water-quality-worsening-shows-uppcb-data-101626027638742.html  (11 July 2021)

RIVERS BIODIVERSITY

Uttar Pradesh देश की इकलौती कछुआ सेंचुरी, जो है भी और नहीं भी  मार्च 2020 में वाराणसी कछुआ सेंचुरी को ड‍िनोट‍िफाई कर इसे गंगा नदी के प्रयागराज, मिर्जापुर और भदोही के 30 किलोमीटर के दायरे में नोट‍िफाई किया गया है। हैरानी की बात रही कि मार्च 2020 से करीब एक साल से ज्‍यादा का वक्‍त बीतने के बाद भी गंगा नदी के किनारों पर बसे गांव के लोगों को सेंचुरी के बारे में कोई जानकारी नहीं थी। वहीं, वन विभाग के अध‍िकारियों के मुताबिक, अभी सेंचुरी नोट‍िफाई हुई है। इसका एक मैनेजमेंट प्‍लान बनाया गया है जिसमें इंफ्रास्ट्रक्चर बनाना, देख रेख की व्‍यवस्‍था करना, अलग-अलग प्रजातियों के कछुओं को छोड़ने जैसी बातें शामिल हैं।

मैनेजमेंट प्‍लान के मुताबिक, प्रयागराज जिले के कोठरी गांव से भदोही जिले के बारीपुर उपरवार गांव तक कछुआ सेंचुरी है। यह गंगा नदी का 30 किलोमीटर का दायरा है। इंड‍ियास्‍पेंड की टीम जब प्रयागराज के कोठरी गांव पहुंची तो यहां कछुआ सेंचुरी के नाम पर कुछ नहीं मिला। घाट पर ही कोठरी गांव के अन्‍य लोग भी मिले, उन्‍होंने बताया कि इस इलाके में बालू खनन का काम भी होता है। बरसात में नदी का पानी बढ़ गया है ऐसे में खनन बंद है। लोगों के मुताबिक, घाट की दूसरी तरफ भदोही जिला लगता है, उस क्षेत्र में बरसात से पहले तक बड़ी-बड़ी मशीनों से खनन चल रहा था।

WII की 2018  रिपोर्ट में बताया गया कि वाराणसी के कछुआ सेंचुरी में पाए जाने वाले कछुओं की 13 प्रजातियों में से केवल पांच प्रजातियां मिली हैं। इसी रिपोर्ट को आधार बनाकर कछुआ सेंचुरी को यहां से ड‍िनोट‍िफाई भी किया गया। इसके अलावा यह भी तर्क दिए जाते हैं कि कछुआ सेंचुरी की वजह से घाट पर बालू बढ़ रही थी और नदी के बहाव पर असर हो रहा था। हालांकि करंट साइंस में छपी एक रिपोर्ट में 1965 से 2018 तक के सेटेलाइट इमेज के आधार पर यह कहा गया है कि कछुआ सेंचुरी के क्षेत्र में पिछले 50 साल में कोई खास बदलाव नहीं देखा गया। WII की रिपोर्ट में इस बात को माना गया है की वर्ष 1974 से 2016 के बीच में कछुआ सैंक्चुअरी के क्षेत्र में बालू में कोई बड़ा बदलाव नहीं पाया गया।

सामाजिक कार्यकर्ता सौरभ सिंह के मुताबिक, “वाराणसी में कछुआ सेंचुरी को सिर्फ इसलिए ड‍िनोट‍िफाई किया गया क्‍योंकि केंद्र सरकार की वॉटरवेज योजना का रूट वाराणसी के कछुआ सेंचुरी से होकर गुजरता है। अगर सेंचुरी ड‍िनोट‍िफाई न होती तो वॉटरवेज को इजाजत न मिलती, इसलिए ड‍िनोट‍िफाई कर दिया गया।” वाराणसी में कछुआ सेंचुरी का महत्‍व बताते हुए स‍िंह कहते हैं, “कछुए नदी को साफ करते हैं। वाराणसी में हरिश्‍चंद्र घाट और मण‍िकर्ण‍िका घाट हैं जहां अंतिम संस्‍कार होते हैं। कई बार शव दाह के दौरान शव का कोई हिस्‍सा नदी में बह जाता है जिसे मांसाहारी कछुए खा जाते हैं। इसके अलावा भी नदी की गंदगी कछुओं द्वारा साफ की जाती है। इसलिए यहां सेंचुरी का होना बहुत जरूरी था।”

फिलहाल वाराणसी में कछुआ सेंचुरी बीती बात हो गई है। जिस जगह सेंचुरी थी वहां वर्तमान में एक लंबी कैनाल खोदी गई है जिससे गंगा का पानी दो हिस्‍सों में बंट जाएगा। साथ ही घाट की दूसरी तरफ बड़ी-बड़ी मशीनों से तमाम काम चल रहे हैं। कछुआ सेंचुरी के यहां रहते इन कार्यों की इजाजत न मिलती, लेकिन अब कोई रुकावट नहीं है। https://indiaspendhindi.com/earthcheck/varanasi-or-prayagraj-indias-only-turtle-sanctuary-761082  (13 July 2021)

Gujarat Crocodile enters residential area in Vadodara A crocodile entered a residential area in a residential area in Salatwada. It was later tied up and handed over to the forest department. https://www.hindustantimes.com/videos/news/crocodile-enters-residential-area-in-vadodara-watch-what-happens-next-101626402984928.html  (16 July 2021) WRT volunteers said that the reptile must have ventured out Vishwamitri river. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/vadodara/croc-walks-into-housing-society/articleshow/84453355.cms  (16 July 2021)

FISH, FISHERIES, FISHERFOLKS

Tamil Nadu TANGEDCO destroying Ennore creek Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited (TANGEDCO) is building another ash pipeline from NCTPS Stage-3 to the ash pond. This pipeline also cuts across the Kosasthalaiyar river & tonnes of construction debris are dumped right next to the river for sinking pillars in the waterbody for the pipeline bridge for which there is no Coastal Zone Regulation (CRZ) clearance, which is mandatory.   

The environment and CRZ clearance obtained in 2016 by TANGEDCO for NCTPS Stage-3 does not mention anything about the ash pipeline, which is under construction illegally. NCTPS committed before the Union environment ministry that the fly ash and bottom fly would be collected and stored in silos and supplied to cement and brick manufacturers. Besides, it also said 100 per cent dry fly ash collected will be done.

Meanwhile, in another alleged violation just a few kilometers from pipeline site, TANGEDCO is building a bridge to carry a coal conveyor belt and seawater from Kamarajar Port to its Ennore SEZ power plant smothering the mangroves and filing large tracts of Ennore creek area allegedly with port’s dredge soil, which is again prohibited.RL Srinivasan, president, Cooperative Society Fisheries, Kattukuppam, said two fishermen died in the last one year when their boat capsized in the main channel as the water flow increased unusually.

The State government has formed an inter-departmental committee to investigate the alleged violations committed by TANGEDCO in Ennore Creek. Sources told Express the committee will be meeting next week to holistically address the issue and resolve the environmental concerns. https://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/chennai/2021/jul/13/is-tn-power-corporation-encroaching-ennore-creek-in-chennai-2329319.html  (13 July 2021)

Ennore SEZ project deviated from approved alignment  Deviating entirely from the Union environment ministry-approved alignment for the coal conveyor corridor, TANGEDCO’s Ennore SEZ project is laying a corridor along an unapproved route by dumping illegally transported dredged sea sand and fly ash into water bodies, including the Kosasthalaiyar river’s tidal channel, claim environmental activists from the Save Ennore Creek campaign.

The activists said TANGEDCO has misled Electricity Minister V Senthil Balaji into issuing a statement that all is legal. “An exercise done using a handheld GPS by the Save Ennore Creek campaign has revealed that the ongoing construction has already led to the loss of more than 15 acres of wetlands, including 1.1 acres of the Kosasthalaiyar river. If allowed to proceed, this alignment will claim an additional 2.4 acres of river-spread including mangroves,” the campaign said on Wednesday.

The map, created by the activists, showing  the alleged deviation by TANGEDCO from the approved alignment for the coal conveyor corridor and encroaching the Kosasthalai river’s tidal channel. They said handheld GPS devices and Google maps were used for this. The green line is the approved alignment. The red line shows the actual alignment in which the construction is being carried out. https://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/chennai/2021/jul/14/ennore-sez-project-deviated-from-approved-alignment-encroached-waterbody-claim-activists-2330073.html  (13 July 2021)

Fishermen oppose Centre’s proposals, to stay off sea on July 19 Opposing the Central government’s proposals as ‘anti-fishermen’, members of all fishermen associations in Rameswaram have resolved to stay off the sea for a day on July 19 and hoist black flags on their boats to express their displeasure. Resolutions were passed at a meeting held in Rameswaram on July 18 in which representatives from various fishermen associations participated.

Speaking to reporters, a fishermen leader V.P. Sesuraja said that the Union government had proposed a series of rules and regulations which were likely to be tabled in the ensuing Parliament session. According to information available with them, Mr. Sesuraja said that the fishermen, who were spotted crossing the international maritime boundary line (IMBL) would be jailed and imposed fines. The fishermen should remit a fee as “entry fee” prior to fishing and among others. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/fishermen-oppose-centres-proposals-to-stay-off-sea-on-july-19/article35391174.ece  (18 July 2021)

West Bengal Spiralling fuel prices are stunting growth of hilsa Steep hike in fuel prices is taking a toll on hilsa in Indian Bay of Bengal as fishermen cast nets in shallow waters along coastline instead of deep sea. They are using finer nets that trap juvenile hilsa instead of larger nets that allow juvenil to escape. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/spiralling-fuel-cost-spells-doom-for-hilsa-population/articleshow/84423860.cms  (15 July 2021)

Kerala How Covid impacted fisherfolks This explains how Covid 19 pandemic has affected the fisherfolks and fisheries in Kerala.  It must be remembered that social distancing, sanitizers, and other means of personal protection are a luxury for these backward communities. https://english.mathrubhumi.com/features/specials/how-covid-impacted-the-fisherfolk-of-kerala–1.5833797  (16 July 2021)

National India opposes fisheries deal at WTO India on Thursday (July 15) opposed a move by developed countries at the World Trade Organiation (WTO) to scrap subsidies for fishermen, demanding a balance between current and future fishing needs of developing countries as well as effective special and differential treatment (S&DT) keeping in mind their developmental needs. https://www.livemint.com/news/india/india-opposes-fisheries-deal-at-wto-11626351567634.html  (15 July 2021)

The government has warned that an unbalanced agreement would bind nations into current fishing arrangements leading to grave consequences for marine exports, further compounded by the fact that fish remains the staple diet for many poor people. https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/business/economy/explained-why-is-india-fighting-the-us-eu-at-wto-over-a-global-fishing-deal-its-implications-for-her-oceans-7182201.html  (16 July 2021)

SAND MINING

Karnataka MP favours constitution of task force for safety of KRS Sumalatha Ambareesh, Mandya MP, has reiterated her concern over the safety of Krishnaraja Sagar (KRS) reservoir and called for the constitution of a task force to oversee its protection. “I will continue to use the ‘Save KRS, Stop Illegal Mining’ hashtag till quarrying stops,” said Ms. Sumalatha. She visited the dam built across the river Cauvery in Srirangapatana taluk on Wednesday and interacted with officials of the dam authorities and Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Ltd.

She told media persons there was lack of coordination among different departments as the dam engineers were focussed only on its structural stability and water management, while the police were engaged in routine security aspects.

The Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) and farmers from Mandya expressed support to Ms. Sumalatha and were at the dam site during her visit. KRRS Mandya president Kempugowda said farmers have been raising their voice against quarrying since 20 years. “KRRS former president late K.S. Puttanaiah raised the issue in the Assembly and fought against quarrying. As it was a genuine cause, farmers are supportive of Ms. Sumalatha,” said Mr. Kempugowda. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/sumalatha-favours-constitution-of-task-force-for-safety-of-krs/article35333228.ece  (15 July 2021)

‘Quarrying In Vicinity Of KRS Dam To Be Completely Stopped’ Mandya District in-Charge Minister K.C. Narayanagowda said that the Government has decided to ban all types of mining and quarrying, both legal and illegal, in 10-12 km radius of KRS Reservoir taking into account the safety and stability of the Dam. Speaking to press persons after holding a meeting at the DC’s office yesterday (July 12), Narayanagowda said that henceforth there will be no legal or illegal quarrying in the vicinity of the Dam. 

Pointing out that the decision to ban quarrying has been taken after consulting all the concerned authorities, the Minister said that all types of quarrying in Bebi Betta of Pandavapura taluk too will be banned and the CM will be approached for issuing an order in this regard. Maintaining that the KRS Dam is safe and any confusions that Mandya MP Sumalatha Ambarish may have in this regard will be cleared along with document proof. https://starofmysore.com/quarrying-in-vicinity-of-krs-dam-to-be-completely-stopped/  (13 July 2021)

Miners Haven’t Paid Rs.1,200 Cr Royalty: MP Mandya MP Sumalatha Ambarish took the officials to task for not collecting Rs. 1,200 crore Royalty due to the State Government from the district mining companies for the last so many years. Out of Rs.1,200 crore pending, not even Rs. 1 crore has been collected. The companies have not bothered to reply to notices served on them for the payment of penalty towards the Royalty dues. Unfortunately, the officers too have maintained a stoic silence in this regard.

“Officers are not giving correct information regarding illegal mining in the district. This shows utter callousness on their part. They have not furnished details on total penalty imposed on illegal mining, against whom cases have been booked and how much Royalty has been collected. Because of their negligent attitude, I am giving instruction to the Deputy Commissioner (DC) to furnish details on the collection of Royalty,” Sumalatha said.

The Department officers have sought three months time for the collection of Royalty. They have been told to do it as early as possible. Officers must give in writing that who was exerting pressure on them for not taking action on illegal mining. It was possible to develop the district out of the Royalty money, she opined. https://starofmysore.com/miners-havent-paid-rs-1200-crore-royalty-to-government-mp/  (14 July 2021)

Kumaraswamy, Sumalatha spar over KRS dam issue The comments by Kumaraswamy came after Sumalatha raised concerns in early June over leakage from the KRS dam due to illegal mining in its surrounding Baby Hill area. BS Balakrishna, a retired Superintendent Engineer of the PWD, said that the KRS dam was constructed of masonry and earthen embankment, and not of reinforced cement concrete (RCC), making it susceptible to shock waves caused by blasting, a process in mining operations which involves the firing of explosives to break minerals. On Monday (July 12), Sumalatha wrote to Murugesh Nirani, Karnataka Minister for Mines and Geology, over the issue who promised that trial blasts will be conducted around the KRS dam to study the impact and determine the permissible magnitude of explosions. According to the minister, mining activities are not allowed in a 15-km radius around the dam.

Nirani added that following Sumalatha’s complaints, a team of officials were tasked with preparing a report about illegal mining in the Baby Hills region around the KRS dam. “Our officials had conducted a joint survey and submitted a report denying there were illegal stone mining activities in the past three months with documentary evidence. We have cancelled 38 mining leases in Mandya and action will be taken if we find anybody involved in illegal mining. There is no need to worry,” Nirani stated. Currently, 136 sluice gates of the KRS dam are being replaced with financial assistance from the World Bank but work has been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/kumaraswamy-sumalatha-spar-over-krs-dam-issue-here-what-started-it-all-152256  (13 July 2021)

Haryana ‘Mining changed Yamuna’s course’ Officials of the Sonipat mining department and the SPCB have been accused of filing false reports with NGT claiming there was no change in course of the river or violation of norms. Sonipat resident Krishan Chander had approached the tribunal earlier last year alleging that DSP Associates, the mining company, diverted the natural flow of the Yamuna by digging a pit that was 20 feet deep and 1km long, and building a bund.

In June, NGT sought a factual report from HSPCB on the issue. The board filed a report in October stating the natural flow of the river wasn’t obstructed and a separate road had been constructed for transportation of the mined material. The report was challenged by the petitioner, following which NGT formed a committee in December to prepare a fresh report. The panel submitted its report in March 2021, in which it highlighted that the course of the river was changed for illegal mining, proving the earlier report false.

It recommended that an environmental compensation of Rs 1.64 crore be imposed on the company. The committee also observed that illegal mining continued with the connivance of government officials for three years, a sand bund was illegally erected, in-stream mining was carried out, and river flow was illegally diverted. In spite of this, HSPCB falsely reported that there were no violations, it said.

In a hearing on July 14, NGT chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel directed the Haryana chief secretary to review the existing monitoring mechanism in the light of the facts disclosed in the case. “The chief secretary may also look into the conduct of the errant officers who failed to take action against illegal mining and gave false reports to this tribunal earlier,” the order said. The tribunal further directed that the state environment department, along with the Sonipat district magistrate, prepare and execute a restoration plan for the area affected. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/gurgaon/mining-changed-yamunas-course/articleshow/84511708.cms  (18 July 2021)

The Principal bench headed by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said, “The fact that mining was continuing for three years without any action by the statutory regulators which shows the failure of the statutory regulatory mechanism, for which remedial action needs to be taken with the intervention of the higher authorities by the Government.”  https://www.indialegallive.com/national-green-tribunal/ngt-directs-remedial-action-against-sonipat-firm-for-illegal-mining-diverting-flow-of-river/  (17 July 2021)

Madhya Pradesh Woman officer gets transferred The transfer of Shradha Pandre SDO forest department from Morena to Umaria within three months of her joining, sparked protest in the district as the locals called it an injustice with an honest officer and praised her effort for curbing the illegal sand mining menace under her division in Chambal Wildlife Sanctuary. Pandre’s transfer order was issued three days after she seized illegally mined sand from a construction site of a woman police station and the government’s pond in Morena.

“On the complaint of Pandre, an FIR has been registered against the sub-divisional officer and sub-engineer of Police Housing Board and two contractors for using illegal sand for the construction of the police station. In a matter of using illegally mined sand for construction of a wall of the pond, police are investigating,” said Rai Singh Narwariya, additional superintendent of police, Morena, adding that no FIR has been lodged.

Pandre was attacked by the mining mafia at least 11 times and registered the complaint at a different police station. Pandre seized more than 80 tractor-trolleys and trucks laden with illegally mined sand worth lakhs of rupees. Despite repeated attempts, Pandre couldn’t be contacted. On Facebook, she had posted, “The transfer is a normal practice for me as whenever I took a tough action against the mafia, I had to face this. Earlier too, I was transferred for the same reason.” https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/bhopal-news/mp-woman-officer-takes-action-against-illegal-mining-mafia-gets-transferred-101626366908961.html  (15 July 2021)

छलनी कर दी चंबल नदी चंबल नदी के 435 किमी लंबे अभयारण्य क्षेत्र से रेत माफिया बेखौफ होकर रेत उत्खनन कर रहा है। हालत यह है कि सबलगढ़ से भिंड जिले की सीमा तक रोज 100 डंपर और 5 हजार ट्रैक्टर-ट्रॉली से रेत खोदकर निकाली जा रही है। मुरैना-धौलपुर के बीच स्थित राजघाट से ग्वालियर तक एक चौकी, पांच थाने व वन चेक पोस्ट के सामने से रेत की ट्रैक्टर-ट्रॉलियों कतार लगाकर फर्राटे भरते हुए निकल जाती हैं लेकिन उन्हें पकड़ने की हिम्मत न वन विभाग में है न पुलिस में। https://www.bhaskar.com/local/mp/gwalior/morena/news/illegal-excavation-of-100-dumper-five-thousand-trolley-sand-daily-5000-pits-are-within-a-radius-of-5-km-at-rajghat-128702099.html (15 July 2021)

Jammu & Kashmir New rules open door for stone crushers Past 40 yrs have been particularly brutal for riverine ecology in Jammu & Kashmir, as pollution, encroachment & water diversion have increased, adding to introduction of non-native species. In recent yrs a new threat has emerged: riverbed mining.

The regional government has recently permitted the establishment of more stone-crushing plants. According to a list seen by The Third Pole, between October and December 2020 the region’s Department of Fisheries issued No Objection Certificates (NOCs) for around 130 additional stone crushers, 70 of them in the Kashmir Valley.

In late February, the administration created new rules for stone crushers and ‘hot and wet mixing plants’ (where stones and gravel are processed), dispensing with the previous requirement for a licence. The rules simplify the process of establishing a unit by reducing the requisite clearances to just two documents: Consent to Operate (CTO) from the region’s Pollution Control Board and an NOC from the relevant district administrator.

Moreover, the issuing of NOCs has been brought under the J&K Public Services Guarantee Act, 2011, making it mandatory to issue the document within 30 days. This leaves little time for due diligence, much less an assessment of the environmental impact of the proposed stone crusher, which means assessments may be being done on paper only. https://www.thethirdpole.net/en/nature/riverbed-mining-kashmir-permissions-final-straw-for-fish/  (16 July 2021)

Bihar Illegal sand mining costs Rs 700 cr a year: Minister The state government incurs an average annual loss of up to Rs 700 crore due to illegal sand mining, mines and geology department minister Janak Ram said. As per the details available on the official website of the mines and geology department, sand mining is the biggest source of revenue for the state government generating Rs 428.06 crore revenue in fiscal year 2015-2016 and Rs 457.65 crore in 2016-2017. This share of revenue from the sand mining was only a little less than 50% of the total revenue of Rs 971 crore generated from all sources by the department in 2015-16 and Rs 994.1 crore in the next fiscal year.

Meanwhile, home department sources said Economic Offences Unit (EOU) has begun its preliminary inquiry, which is a prerequisite for registering a disproportionate assets case, against 42 government officers, including the two IPS officers. He said EOU’s inquiry report on rampant illegal sand mining had named 42 government officers, including the two SPs, who were posted in Patna, Bhojpur, Saran, Aurangabad, Rohtas and Kaimur. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/patna/illegal-sand-mining-costs-bihar-rs-700-crore-a-year-minister/articleshow/84509186.cms  (18 July 2021)

4 deputy superintendents of police (DSPs) in various districts were removed from their posts on Thursday (July 15) and directed to report to the state police headquarters, a decision which, officials familiar with matter said, was part of the ongoing crackdown on the nexus between the police and the sand mafia involved in illegal mining. Sources said the action has been taken on the basis of a report by the EoU, which conducted an inquiry into illegal sand mining in Sone and Ganga rivers in Patna, Bhojpur, Aurangabad and Rohtas districts.

A senior official of home department said several other officials would be booked soon. The official said EOU’s report has been placed before CM Nitish Kumar and his nod was awaited to initiate legal action against them. On July 12, altogether 18 police officers were shifted from their posts on “administrative grounds”. Sand mining is banned in Bihar since May 1, but videos of illegal sand mining and transportation keep circulating on social media, showing police personnel accepting money from truckers transporting sand in Bhojpur and other districts. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/patna-news/biharfour-dsps-shifted-for-illegal-sand-mining-101626364208059.html  (15 July 2021)

Uttar Pradesh 3 kids drown in deep pit dug by mining mafia in Budaun Three children, aged between 7 and 11, accidentally fell and drowned in a large pit allegedly dug for illegal sand mining near Sot river in Islamnagar area of Budaun district on Saturday evening (June 19). The cousins Altamash (11) and Ismail (11) along with their neighbour, Monis (7), hailing from Kunwarpur village, were grazing cattle near the river when the accident took place.

None of the children knew how to swim and drowned. After the other children ran towards the village to seek help, villagers pulled out the bodies.  Bachchu Singh, SHO of Islamnagar police station, told TOI, “All the three children belong to the families of marginal farmers. We had asked them to give the bodies for an autopsy but they refused and did not give any written complaint.” https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bareilly/3-kids-drown-in-deep-pit-dug-by-mining-mafia-in-budaun/articleshow/83696266.cms  (21 June 2021)

खनन विभाग ने लाइम स्टोन को मार्बल बता 1,000 करोड़ रु. की माइंस 5 करोड़ में दी खान विभाग ने प्रतापगढ़ के पिपलखूंट तहसील के दांता में 74.249 हेक्टेयर और केला-मेला में 10.4162 हेक्टेयर क्षेत्रफल में लाइमस्टोन यानी सीमेंट की श्रेणी बदलकर मार्बल कर दी। इन दोनों ब्लॉक में 11.4 करोड़ टन लाइमस्टोन होने का अनुमान है। चूंकि लाइम स्टोन मेजर मिनरल है। ऐसे में इनके लिए 419 करोड़ रु. से बोली शुरू होती, जो करीब एक से डेढ़ हजार करोड़ रु. तक जाती। मगर मार्बल की श्रेणी में आते ही सिर्फ 4-5 करोड़ रु. ही जमा करने पड़ते हैं। डेढ़ हजार करोड़ की बोली के अनुमान का अाधार ये है कि भाजपा सरकार के कार्यकाल में नागौर में 250-250 हेक्टेयर के माइंस ब्लॉक 5-6 हजार करोड़ रु. में नीलाम हुए थे। चूंकि प्रतापगढ़ के दोनों ब्लॉक करीब 85 हेक्टेयर के हैं, ऐसे में इनकी बोली हजार-डेढ़ हजार करोड़ रु. तक जाती।

कांग्रेस विधायक परसराम मोरदिया के बेटे राकेश मोरदिया और उनकी कंपनी एमजीएम स्टोन एग्रीगेट प्राइवेट लिमिटेड से 273 करोड़ रुपये की वसूली करने के लिए खनन विभाग हाईकोर्ट की डबल बेंच में अपील नहीं करेगा। ये फैसला भी हाल ही में लिया गया है। इससे भी खान विभाग को 273 करोड़ रुपए सीधे तौर पर राजस्व का नुकसान होगा। जबकि 7 अप्रैल 2021 को ही राज्य सरकार की ओर से अपील करने का निर्णय किया गया था। दरअसल प्रमुख सचिव खान के पास 29 दिसंबर 2014 और 9 मार्च 2015 को शिकायत आई थी। https://www.bhaskar.com/local/rajasthan/jaipur/news/the-mining-department-has-declared-lime-stone-as-marble-rs-1000-crore-key-mines-given-for-5-crores-128715909.html  (19 July 2021)

WETLANDS, LAKES, WATER BODIES

Goa Coastal plan hearing ends after 15 hours, participants term it farce After 15 hours, the two public hearings conducted on Thursday (July 8) as part of the mandatory requirements to finalise the Coastal Zone Management Plan for Goa, ended amid noisy scenes with participant after participant pointing out flaws and discrepancies in the draft plan prepared by the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management–Chennai.

Irked participants also blamed the authorities for deliberate attempts to frustrate speakers by creating hindrances right from the lack of a podium to the refusal to display the CZMP map, the very map that is under scrutiny. Most of the speakers, both in North and South Goa, said the village plans prepared by panchayats and vetted by local stakeholders were not reflected in the CZMP. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/goa/goa-coastal-plan-hearing-ends-after-15-hours-participants-term-it-farce/articleshow/84257467.cms  (09 July 2021)

Tamil Nadu PIL accuses TNRDC of obliterating water bodies in Padur for OMR Phase II project  The Madras High Court on Thursday (July 15) expressed shock over an allegation levelled by a PIL that the Tamil Nadu Road Development Corporation (TNRDC) was destroying water bodies in Padur village for the Old Mahabalipuram Road (OMR) Phase II project in Chengalpattu district. Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy told government counsel P. Muthukumar that damage to water bodies appeared to be happening on the stretch of OMR, touted as the Rajiv Gandhi Information Technology Expressway, dotted by several wetlands and marshlands.

“Many constructions over there involve desecration of water bodies. The State cannot indulge in such things. Development has to be sustainable. There ought to be elevated corridors. Statutory authorities have to consider it. Ask your officials to visit the place,” the Chief Justice told the counsel. The Bench also called for a status report on the issue from TNRDC within three weeks. The interim order was passed on a public interest litigation petition filed by S. Sridhar, a resident of Padur. The litigant also stated that the groundwater table in Padur had gone down from 80 feet in 2006 to 200 feet now. Therefore, he urged the court to declare the encroachment of water bodies as illegal and order their restoration besides initiating action against the erring officials. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/pil-accuses-tn-road-development-corporation-of-obliterating-water-bodies-in-padur-for-omr-phase-ii-project/article35341261.ece  (15 July 2021)

Maharashtra ‘No decision’ to declare wetlands as bird sanctuaries: Govt Responding to a RTI request from a Navi Mumbai-based environmentalist, the state revenue and forest department said “no decision” has so far been taken by the state wildlife board (SBWL) to declare wetlands in Sewri, Navi Mumbai and Uran as bird sanctuaries. These include 1,600 hectares across Sewri-Mahul on the city’s eastern seafront, Panje-Funde in Uran, and the TSC-NRI wetland complex in Navi Mumbai.

The government’s response, dated June 11, and shared with HT this week by the applicant NGO, NatConnect Foundation, has drawn the ire of environmentalists, given that it is seemingly at odds with earlier commitments made by the state. The then Devendra Fadnavis government had, on December 4, 2015, announced via the official Facebook page of the chief minister’s office (CMO), “CM Devendra Fadnavis chaired the 10th meeting of the State Wildlife Board at Mumbai, in presence of forest minister Sudhir Mungantiwar. The board approved three bird sanctuaries in Mumbai region (Mahul-Shivdi, TSC land near Palm Beach and Panje Funde), which will help in conservation of flamingos.” The announcement is available on the CMO’s page. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/mumbai-news/no-decision-to-declare-wetlands-as-bird-sanctuaries-says-maharashtra-in-rti-101626204474806.html (14 July 2021)

Kerala Kochi Corporation issues stop memo to building Kochi Corporation has issued a memo to Kerala Judicial Officers Cooperative Society Limited to stop construction of a ground-plus-15 storey building at Chalikkavattom near Vyttila stating that a portion of the land on which the construction was going on is a wetland area. The society, however, obtained a stay on the order from the high court after about a week the memo was issued and has been allowed to continue the construction on the land excluding the area under dispute.

The society officials claimed that the corporation issued the stop memo without hearing them. “The HC stayed the memo on May 7 and gave us permission to continue the construction on the land excluding the 3.27 ares. We purchased 84 cents (34.90 ares) in different survey numbers from the previous owner. There was an old building existing on the disputed area from where a parcel company used to function,” said an official with the society.

But he agreed that the disputed area is wetland as per the basic tax register (BTR). “Out of the 84 cents, 8 cents was shown as “Nilam” (wetland) in the BTR. But a building was already there when we purchased the plot in 2018. It is not included in the data bank notified under the Kerala Preservation of Paddy Lands and Wet Lands Act 2008. It is shown as garden land with road access in the fair value notification issued by the Government under the Stamp Act in 2010. Since a building already existed there, there was no difficulty in granting a building permit,” he said. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kochi/wetland-norms-corporation-issues-stop-memo-to-building/articleshow/84509088.cms  (18 July 2021)

Assam Majuli the largest river island slowly disappearing Majuli means land in the midst of two rivers. It is formed by the Brahmaputra River in the south and the Kherkutia Xuti joined by the Subansiri River in the north. Once Majuli held a Guinness World Record for being the world’s biggest river island but now it is being washed away by the waters of the Brahmaputra river. As mentioned in historical texts and folklore, the island was formed after frequent earthquakes between 1661–1696 that set the stage for a catastrophic flood in 1750. https://www.hindustantimes.com/photos/lifestyle/less-known-facts-about-majuli-the-largest-river-island-in-the-world-101626068500496-1.html  (12 July 2021)

WATER OPTIONS

UNDP 41 Indian women recognised as ‘water champions’ 41 women felicitated by UNDP  have been trained by Oxfam India under its TROSA (Transboundary Rivers of South Asia) project. This project runs in the poorest of the riparian communities in Saralbhanga, lower Brahmaputra and Sharda river basins spread across India, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Nepal. Its objective is to reduce poverty by increasing communities’ access and control over riverine water resources. “We work with fisher folk, boat operators, farmers dependent on these rivers and even industries that use this water in 65 villages in India,” said Shobhit Chepe, lead consultant, TROSA. The project which is funded by the Swedish government has empowered women with the knowledge of their rights and entitlements related to water.

Aruna Das, a 44-year-old farmer and a water activist-conservationist in Amtula village in the Lakhimpur district of Assam is one of the water champion who have raised awareness around water and improved access to it. Das learnt the importance of water conservation the hard way. Her village is located in a flood-prone area. In 2017, a flood caused by a dam upstream destroyed everything in her village – property, cattle, crops. It contaminated their drinking water and dumped sand in the fields leaving them uncultivable. With help from People’s Action for Development, an NGO and a partner of Oxfam India, Das learnt about water conservation and management. She brought women in her village together and raised her voice on the issue and ensured the successful completion of the construction of the river embankment. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/41-indian-women-recognised-as-water-champions-by-un-body/articleshow/84234829.cms  (10 July 2021)

Bengaluru Second highest in rainwater harvesting in Indian cities With the severe water scarcity in Bengaluru, a large number of residents have to buy water, more so during summers. And due to indiscriminate digging of borewells in the rush to find water, the city’s groundwater has been overexploited.

But the efforts of many Bengalureans in rainwater harvesting (RWH) already show the way ahead for the city. Currently, Bengaluru is the Indian city with the second-highest number of RWH installations (1.55 lakh), next only to Chennai. Highlighting such efforts, and discussing how to amplify these, was the focus of a webinar jointly organised by BWSSB (Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board), Biome Environmental Solutions, and Citizen Matters on July 10. https://bengaluru.citizenmatters.in/rainwater-harvesting-in-bengaluru-webinar-64351  (14 July 2021)

Encroachment cleared from stormwater drain An encroached stormwater drain on the outskirts was cleared by the officials of Revenue and Survey depts within 100 days. The 4.5 km stormwater drain from Muthanallur lake to Battalkere lake encroachment clearance is also expected to aid the KC Valley Project, said Army veteran, activist Santhosh Kumar. Kumar had earlier spotted the encroachment and approached government officials in 2020.

On March 24, 2021, the clearance work began with government approval by the Revenue department and ended in June. After the recent rains, the water started flowing through Battalkere lake, he said in his post on social media. The land was encroached upon for over five decades; it had affected the lake ecosystem in the region and caused flooding in the low-lying areas nearby, he added. https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/encroachment-cleared-bengaluru-stormwater-drain-city-lakes-fill-152197  (11 July 2021)

Uttarakhand Reaping a rich harvest by conserving water ‘Gramya Project’ that has benefitted more than 54,000 families across the state. The project aims to conserve catchment areas of water bodies such as rivers, lakes and ponds, helping to increases horticulture produce and catalysing other agricultural activities. Many farmers who were unable to cultivate even for one season now get to farm all three seasons and produce Rabi, Kharif and Zayad crops. This has helped double their income and enhance their standard of living, officials say.

Helmed by the state Watershed Management Directorate and funded by the World Bank, the project entails implementing water conversation and harvesting in about 2.638 lakh hectares spread across eight districts and 18 development blocks. It helps as many as 524 gram panchayats with a combined land of about 66,300 hectares, targeting around 3 lakh population. https://www.newindianexpress.com/thesundaystandard/2021/jul/18/uttarakhand-reaping-a-rich-harvest-byconserving-water-2331707.html  (18 July 2021)

IWP Becoming water abundant by harvesting rainwater India Water Portal presents you with some inspiring stories of individuals and organisations in India that have adopted exemplary ways to combat water scarcity through harvesting rainwater. https://www.indiawaterportal.org/article/stories-change-becoming-water-abundant-harvesting-rainwater  (12 July 2021)

GROUNDWATER

Haryana Govt aims to reduce speed of groundwater depletion by 50% in 4 years Haryana government has now embarked on a mission to check the threat 14 of the 22 districts in the next four years under the Atal Bhujal Yojana supported by the central government and the World Bank. Haryana will get financial aid of Rs 678 crore to implement the scheme in four years. It will be implemented in Yamunanagar, Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Karnal, Panipat, Fatehabad, Sirsa, Bhiwani, Charkhi Dadri, Mahendragarh, Rewari, Faridabad, Gurgaon and Palwal. The speed of groundwater depletion in these districts is higher than the national average, say officials.

Haryana Additional Chief Secretary Devender Singh says: “Atal Bhujal Yojana aims to improve groundwater management in priority areas through community participation. 1,669 gram panchayats of 36 blocks are also part of these 14 dists.” These 36 blocks have been marked as groundwater stressed. Referring to a latest report of NASA, Haryana Project Director (Irrigation) Satbir Singh Kadian says, “As per the report, the groundwater level depletes by one metre in every three years in India. But in Haryana, it depletes by one metre every year.”

Under Bhujal Yojana, the state plans to check the speed of depleting groundwater. For example, currently if the water level in a particular area is 100 metres and it’s anticipated that it will reach at 104 metres in next four years, the authorities plan to keep it at 102 metres by reducing the depletion speed by 50 per cent.

To implement the scheme, the government has planned to incur expenditure of Rs 238 crore on water security plan for each village which includes infrastructure development, measurement of the groundwater in the areas concerned, quality of the water and community participation. The remaining Rs 440 crore will be spent on capacity building, which includes training of the NGO volunteers, rainwater harvesting and other water conservation activities. https://indianexpress.com/article/india/haryana-govt-aims-to-reduce-speed-of-groundwater-depletion-by-50-in-four-years-7410037/  (18 July 2021)

URBAN WATER

Bengaluru Groundwater over-exploited in 4 taluks Over-exploitation of groundwater has found mention in the Dept of Water Resources (DOWR), Govt of India, Aquifer Mapping and Ground Water Management Plan. According to the plan, in four taluks in Bengaluru Urban [Bengaluru East, Bengaluru South, Bengaluru North, and Anekal] groundwater is overexploited. While in 36% of the district, coming under city limits, water quality issues abound due to pollution, apart from poor recharge, in the remaining 56%, the over-exploitation is due to the complete dependency on ground water and unmindful drilling of borewells.

In urban areas, apart from the demand and supply gap, urbanisation hindering recharge of ground water, the other issues were leakage of pipes, mining/theft/ pollution of groundwater. In peripheral areas, the problems were pertaining to increase in number of borewells, deepening of the borewells and drying up of Arkavathi, Kumudvathi rivers and Hessarghatta reservoir.

S. Vishwanath, water conservationist, said that as per rules, the Karnataka Ground Water Authority should devise a water management plan. However, the authority is woefully understaffed. “Apart from regulating permissions for drilling borewells, the authority should also ensure the borewells are metered. This will help understand how much water is being drawn, how many borewells have failed,” he said and added that there were over four lakh borewells in the city, of which a mere fraction were probably registered and far lesser metered.

Rules also stipulated that every borewell have a recharge structure. But, in reality, very few borewells that are drilled have such a feature. This, he said, was one of the main reasons for the over-exploitation of ground water. With silt accumulated in many water bodies, there is no chance for ground water recharge. The water bodies had not even been measured for the recharge rate, he added.  https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/groundwater-over-exploited-in-4-taluks-in-bengaluru-urban-study/article35356902.ece  (16 July 2021)

What bogs down BBMP’s lake rejuvenation plans? In the last one year, the BBMP has been inviting bids from contractors almost every second month for developing the Kempambudhi lake at an estimated cost of nearly Rs 1 crore. It has got no response. Same is the case with regard to lakes such as Arekere, Hulimavu, Gangashetty in KR Puram, Horamavu and Vengaiah. Officials have been repeatedly floating fresh tenders only to find no bidders. Senior officials admitted that a few lakes have been receiving no response from the contractors. “It is not that no contractor is participating. We have already tendered out development of around 25 lakes,” the BBMP official said.

Contractors say that they end up waiting for two to three years for the BBMP to release payments. “There was not much response for the tenders of Hulimavu and Arekere lake as procurement of large pipes constitutes 90 per cent of the project cost. The labour cost is only 10 per cent. The contractors feel that it is not worth waiting for 2-3 years for the payment when they have to invest lot of money towards purchasing the pipes,” a contractor said. The lack of response for Kempambudhi Lake, he said, also pertains to cost of materials. It’s learnt that the development of lakes funded by Chief Minister’s Nava Nagarothana scheme and Shubra Bengaluru scheme has received good response from the contractors. https://bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com/bangalore/civic/what-bogs-down-bbmps-lake-rejuvenation-plans/articleshow/84459705.cms  (16 July 2021)

Chennai Groundwater table declining Despite repeated warnings, over-exploitation of groundwater, desalination, anthropogenic activities, socio-economic overuse and administrative lapse, have collectively led to a depletion of both – groundwater levels and quality in Chennai. As per a team at Anna University, 60 % of groundwater will be degraded by 2030. The team also observed that the area of Chennai’s water bodies shrank to 3.2 sq kms from 12.6 sq kms from 1893 to 2017.

Activists and environmentalists pinned the blame for the depletion in groundwater level and quality on urbanisation and construction while some of them have termed poor planning. No matter what the reason, efforts must be made to save Chennai – a city that once completely ran out of water. https://www.timesnownews.com/chennai/article/chennai-is-dry-here-s-why/786192  (17 July 2021)

Porur lake filled with COVID-19 waste On July 17, morning, Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma Subramanian inspected the Porur lake, which is choking with COVID-19 waste, including masks, gloves, PPE kits, hospital waste and general waste. According to reports heaps of waste related to COVID-19 treatment were dumped in the lake. The minister said that strict action will be taken against persons responsible for dumping waste into the lake.

Several reports in the past have highlighted the indiscriminate dumping of biomedical waste in Porur lake. The Health Minister added that the lake was spread over 252 acres while the catchment area is just 50 acres and the rest of the area is filled with garbage and water hyacinth. He also added that the DMK government will take efforts to restore the lake by sending a proposal through the Public Works Department (PWD). Further, access to vehicles will be blocked to the lake so that waste cannot be dumped into the water, he said. https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/tn-health-minister-visits-porur-lake-chennai-filled-covid-19-waste-152520 (17 July 2021)

‘3rd desalination plant will be ready in 2023’ The ongoing project to construct the third desalination plant, with a capacity to treat 150 million litres of seawater a day, at Nemmeli will be completed by April 2023, Minister for Municipal Administration K.N. Nehru said on Saturday (July 17). During an inspection, he instructed officials to expedite ongoing work at Nemmeli, and also initiate measures to start the construction of a 400 mld desalination plant at Perur.

Mr. Nehru noted that nearly 9 lakh residents would have better water supply once the ₹1,259.38 crore desalination plant is commissioned in 2023. The fourth desalination plant would come up at a cost of ₹6,078 crore, and be completed by December 2025. Treated water would be supplied to nearly 22 lakh people from the new facility. Highlighting that the city received nearly 727.67 cusecs (cubic feet per second) of Krishna water from Andhra Pradesh daily, Mr. Nehru said the current daily supply of 851 mld would be maintained till Dec with the available resources. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/third-desalination-plant-will-be-ready-in-2023-says-kn-nehru/article35389142.ece  (18 July 2021)

NGT has directed Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) not to proceed with the phase-2 work along the Nanmangalam Reserve Forest without forest department’s approval. The forest department is also directed to take necessary precautions to protect the biodiversity while granting permission for CMRL to convert a portion of forest land in Nanmangalam for non-forest purposes. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/chennai-ngt-halts-metro-work-along-nanmangalam/articleshow/84516439.cms  (18 July 2021)

Alappuzha Coliform bacteria found in water samples  The presence of coliform bacteria beyond the permissible limit has been detected in water samples collected from seven reverse osmosis (RO) plants in Alappuzha municipality. Health officials said water samples from 39 RO plants had been sent for analysis. Besides, 21 water samples collected from taps of the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) and houses were analysed at a government laboratory. Chlorine was found to be below the recommended level in 30 other samples collected from KWA sources.

The samples were tested following a spurt in diarrhoea and vomiting cases in the municipal area. Officials said 820 people, mostly children, had sought treatment for diarrhoea and vomiting at the Women and Children Hospital, Alappuzha, and the General Hospital between June 26 and July 16. After the detection of coliform bacteria in water samples, Alappuzha municipal authorities shut at least five private RO plants in its limit. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/coliform-bacteria-found-in-water-samples-in-alappuzha-municipality/article35383906.ece  (17 July 2021)

Pune PMC raises demand for 5 TMC water from Mulshi Manisha Shekatkar, executive engineer of PMC water supply department said, “We have tabled a proposal in the CIC to raise a demand for five TMC water from Mulshi dam. We mentioned in the proposal that a total of 23 villages have been merged into the corporation. Khadakwasla dam has been overstressed, due to the merger of villages, the PMC water demand has increased and we need a separate water source to quench the thrust of the increasing population. We have raised the demand to the state government through this proposal.” Khadakwasla irrigation division of the water resource department wants to reduce the water quota of 2.5 TMC from Khadakwasla dam as the city is getting that much water from Bhama-Askhed dam.

During the inauguration of Bhama-Askhed water supply project in PMC, Deputy CM Ajit Pawar had instructed a committee to submit a report to fetch water from Mulshi dam which is around 40 kilometres away from Pune city. After that, the state water resource department appointed a committee headed by retired irrigation secretary Avinash Surve to study the issue and submit a report to the government. The committee was supposed to submit a report in April 2021; however, the committee received an extension. The state government appointed two senior officials of the water resource department retired and posts are vacant.

Avinash Surve, committee chairman said, “We have-not submitted a report to the state govt. We need two reports, one from Maharashtra state Electricity Distribution Company and another from Tata Power Company. For this project, the state govt will have to approach the water tribunal and convince them about the requirement of drinking water in Pune city.” The Mulshi dam water is controlled by a private company, Tata which utilizes the water for hydropower generation. The Tata hydropower project was set up in 1927. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/pune-news/pmc-raises-demand-for-five-tmc-water-from-mulshi-dam-for-city-101626106428320.html  (12 July 2021)

Mumbai Bhandup treatment plant affected The BMC has asked Mumbaikars to boil water before drinking as torrential rain led to flooding in the filtration and pumping plants at Bhandup water complex and had to be shut down on July 18 morning. Several parts of the city did not receive water even as the BMC worked on a war footing to restore supply.

An MSEDCL spokesperson said the power utility firm had not disconnected supply to the 11kv pumping station. Taps ran dry in the island city and western suburbs; water supply was partially affected in the eastern suburbs. Many housing societies were forced to get water from tankers and complained that they were charging exorbitant rates. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/mumbai-boil-drinking-water-bmc-tells-residents/articleshow/84537612.cms  (19 July 2021)

BMC floats Rs 16.45-cr tender to clear Powai lake off hyacinths Currently, nearly 25 per cent of the lake is covered with water hyacinths and it has to be reduced to 10 per cent. The hyacinths, other floating vegetation, materials and garbage will be picked up using a harvester or amphibious machine and disposed of at a site specified by BMC, officials said. Pramod Salaskar, who has been doing research on the Powai lake, said, “What is needed, is to stop untreated sewer water draining into the lake. The BMC is taking steps to contain it, but people, too, should stop doing dashkriya vidhi (10th-day rituals for the dead) at the lake.”

Kamlesh Sharma, secretary of the Maharashtra State Angling Association, which operates from Powai, said hyacinths were growing rapidly and to remove them from the lake surface would be very difficult. “Also, there are many inlets which take sewer water into the lake. This has to be stopped.” Former MP Kirit Somaiya, meanwhile, said Powai lake beautification and Mithi river cleanliness were “two favourite issues to earn money for the BMC and the Shiv Sena, which has been going on for the last 15 years. It is planned to be continuous and unending process by BMC mafia”. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/bmc-floats-rs-16-45-cr-tender-to-clear-powai-lake-off-hyacinths-7403496/  (14 July 2021)

Heavy rainfall causes Tulsi lake to overflow Tulsi lake, located inside Sanjay Gandhi National Park, one of the seven lakes that supply water to Mumbai, began to overflow at 11am on Friday (July 16), according to Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). Until 6am on Friday, Tulsi lake had 94.07% useful water content, or 7,569 million litres water content, in comparison to 79.42% useful water content around the same time last year. In the 24 hours until 6am on Friday (July 16), Tulsi’s catchment area received 67mm rainfall, and its water level rose by 0.15 metres during this time.

Despite the heavy rainfall recorded in Mumbai over canight, water level in the seven lakes that supply drinking water to the city remained at 7.24% of its total capacity, in comparison to 25.80% on the same day in 2020, and 48.80% on the same day in 2019. Ajay Rathor, chief engineer of BMC’s hydraulics department, said, “For a week now, cumulative water available in the seven lakes has not increased, and remains at about 17%. The catchment area has not received sufficient rainfall. We will observe the lake levels closely for the next two-three days, and then decide the future course of action for the remaining year. A decision about whether to impose a water cut will be taken after this.” https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/mumbai-news/heavy-rainfall-in-mumbai-causes-tulsi-lake-to-overflow-101626432793479.html  (16 July 2021)

Thane Process for underground tunnel land acquisition begins Thane district collectorate has initiated the process of land acquisition for the country’s longest proposed underground tunnel from Borivali to Thane, which will run below the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP). The work on the Rs 11,000 crore six-lane project, which is expected to reduce the travel time between Thane and Borivali to 15-20 minutes, is likely to begin from March next year. Currently, it takes about 1.50 hours to cover the 23-kilometre distance by road. According to officials, around eight-hectare land at Chitalsar-Manpada and Majiwada areas in Thane city will be acquired through private negotiation and handed over to the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), which will undertake the construction of the project. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/process-for-borivali-thane-underground-tunnel-land-acquisition-begins-7409764/  (17 July 2021)

Dehradun Concrete cover up by 600% in 20 years There has been a 600% increase in urbanisation – increase in concrete cover — in Doon between 1995 and 2015. As a result, the city has lost over 18% of its seasonal streams, which have now converted into ephemeral (rain-dependent) seasonal streams. It has also led to a 1% decrease in permanent water cover of the city. This, in turn, has increased the risk of flooding during the monsoon season and led to greater water scarcity during summer months. These revelations are part of the City Water Balance Plan (CWBP) study, conducted by USAID along with the Centre for Urban and Regional Excellence (CURE) to analyse water use in Dehradun, and how to optimise groundwater use and recharge.

The study also highlighted that conversion of 25% of land use from barren and agricultural to urban use has put tremendous pressure on the city’s natural resources, like water. Experts said that the damage done by rapid urbanisation can be countered and minimised by increasing green spaces in the city that enable better percolation of rain water and storm water to the underground reservoirs. Adding to the water woes of the city is the fact that water loss due to transmission through water supply pipes is 30%, much higher than the usual 15-20%. On a brighter note, though, the study found that the city had witnessed conversion of 8% of land into streams, which means more surface water available for evaporation and, hence more rainfall. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/concrete-cover-in-doon-increased-by-600-between-1995-and-2015-study/articleshow/84356711.cms  (13 July 2021)

Water at many localities unfit for drinking: Report A study done by a Doon-based NGO found that 90% of the 125 drinking water samples it had collected from various locations in the city between June 5 and July 8 were not safe. The report was released on Friday (July 16) by Society of Pollution and Environmental Conservation Scientists (SPECS), an organization working for clean water in Doon since 1990, as part of its ‘Jan Jan Ko Sudh Jal Abhiyan’.

The hardness of water (measured by the concentration of dissolved minerals like Calcium and Magnesium) at many places in Doon turned out to be between 326 – 538 mg/l, making it unfit for drinking. Many localities had excess residual chlorine, the standard value of which is 0.2 mg/l. The area near the district magistrate’s camp office recorded a residual chlorine of 1.2 mg/l, while at Rajpur Road near the secretariat, it was 1 mg/l. In 49 of the areas from where samples were collected, like Indra Nagar Colony and Sherbagh Road, residual chlorine was absent altogether.

Meanwhile, fecal coliform, the safe concentration of which is 0 MPN or 100 colony forming units per milliliters, was found at 36 stations, including Sapera Basti, Adhoiwala, Nagal, Nagal Hatnala road and Tarla Nagal within safe limits. “While water filters installed at many homes make the quality of drinking water fit to consume, a majority of households cannot afford those,” Sharma added. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/water-at-many-localities-in-doon-unfit-for-drinking-report/articleshow/84484457.cms  (17 July 2021)

Plea alleges illegal felling of 10K Sal trees; HC directs admin to inspect site The bench of chief justice RS Chauhan and justice Alok Kumar Verma was hearing a PIL on Wednesday (July 14) which alleged that authorities had granted permission to private respondents for flattening of the land without any field visit. It added that the authorities were informed that there were no trees on the land.

The court directed Dehradun district magistrate, divisional forest officer and sub divisional magistrate (Vikasnagar) to inspect the site. It also said that in case no clearances were taken from the forest department, then the DFO must apprise the court of what action has been taken against those involved for violating the Forest Act and environmental laws. Notices have also been issued to the state, principal chief conservator of forests (PCCF) and four private respondents accused of being involved in felling of trees.

The PIL filed by Dehradun-based Rakesh Tomar alleged that he had RTI replies which showed that individuals involved in felling the trees have other cases lodged against them for violating environmental laws. All parties have been given four weeks’ time to respond. The next hearing is on Aug 18. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/10k-sal-trees-felled-in-doon-says-plea-hc-directs-admin-to-inspect-site/articleshow/84452186.cms  (16 July 2021)

Foothills flattened to build Maggi Points, cafes: Plea After a plea in the high court alleged that hillocks at several locations — which are part of the foothills of the Shivalik range — are being flattened to build cafes, dhabas, resorts, Maggi Points and housing in violation of environmental laws, the petitioner in a rejoinder affidavit submitted images from Google Maps and photos of several sites as evidence of rampant construction.

The court has now asked the Mussoorie Dehradun Development Authority (MDDA) to respond to the allegations in three weeks. A public interest litigation (PIL) by Dehradun-based environmental activist Reenu Paul had alleged that the structures were being built even though the state’s bylaws, amended in 2015, prohibited construction on slopes with inclines higher than 30 degrees. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/foothills-of-shivalik-range-flattened-to-build-maggi-points-cafes-plea/articleshow/84531689.cms  (19 July 2021)

Haldwani Government alloted ₹ 25.5 crore for a scheme called ‘Amrit Yojana’ in Haldwani, Nainital. To provide better water facilities in 9 zones of Haldwani and promised of no water problems in these regions. Today even after the scheme is implemented and money used, the condition on ground is such that local people have to give 10,000 just to buy a water connection and yet they have no water supply. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aD0NYz3WvVk  (17 July 2021)

Noida Residents’ body to hold water meet on Nov 23-24 The Confederation of Residents’ Welfare Associations – Uttar Pradesh (CoRWA-UP) has planned to organise a national conference of residents’ bodies to discuss conservation and supply of drinking water. The programme will be held in Ghaziabad on November 23 and 24.

CoRWA-UP has also proposed the setting up of a National Water Authority to coordinate all matters related to water conservation and pollution, storm water and house water drainage, piped water supply and matters pertaining to jal nigams and jal kal vibhags.

This is 8th national conference of RWAs on drinking water. Earlier, such conferences were organised in Hyderabad, Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi. PK Arya, chief advisor, CoRWA-UP, said: “Its high time to think about water conservation and if water-related problems can be looked into through a single platform.” https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/noida/residents-body-to-hold-water-meet-on-nov-23-24/articleshow/84487438.cms  (17 July 2021)

Faridabad NGT pulls up govt for sewage overflow The NGT has pulled up Haryana for its failure to take remedial measures for controlling sewage overflow on National Highway-19 observing that the State authorities had failed in upholding citizen’s right to clean environment. The Tribunal was dealing with a case regarding overflowing of sewage from Seekri village in Faridabad District in Haryana on the service road and on the stretch of Delhi – Agra Highway.

The development came after a status report was submitted on behalf of the SPCB on 5 July 2021 stating that necessary funds have been sanctioned by the Additional Chief Secretary, Development & Panchayat Dept, Haryana and that a Tender has been floated regarding the same. It was also informed that the work is likely to be completed by 31st March next year.

On pursuing the status report, the Tribunal said: “It is difficult to accept that for one and a half year even the issue of tender could not be finalised, even though matter is of such great urgency. The plea that there was a single tender or no person was available to execute the work shows lack of awareness about the concern for environment.” “There is also no prohibition of the work of such an urgent nature being executed departmentally. Further, giving of long timelines, without any firm commitment is also a matter of concern and failure of the concerned authorities in the matter.” It said.

The Court also directed Additional Chief Secretary, Development and Panchayat Department, Haryana to remain present in person with compliance status on the next date which is 7th December 2021. https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/ngt-pulls-up-haryana-state-sewage-overflow-national-highway-177418  (14 July 2021)

Gurugram Fire breaks out at Bandhwari landfill, no casualties According to the fire officials, the incident took place around 12.05pm on July 11 in the Bandhwari landfill. No casualties were reported in the incident, a fire official said. The fire is suspected to have been started due to a build-up of methane, a flammable gas, at the landfill due to the decomposition of solid municipal waste. The fire also spread due to polythene and other plastic waste.

“Ten fire tenders, five from Gurugram and five from Faridabad, were pressed into action. Also, around 40 fire personnel were present at the spot to control the blaze. It took firefighters more than eight hours to control the flames,” Rajesh Kumar, assistant fire officer said. A major fire in 2013 had caused the Bandhwari waste management plant to become defunct. Since then, municipal bodies in Gurugram and Faridabad have continued to dump over 1,000 tonnes of untreated garbage at the site every day. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/gurgaon/fire-breaks-out-at-bandhwari-landfill-site-in-gurugram/articleshow/84317280.cms  (11 July 2021)

बंधवाड़ी लैंडफिल साइट पर फरीदाबाद और गुरुग्राम का लगभग 30 लाख टन कूड़ा जमा हो चुका है। यहां पर गुरुग्राम और फरीदाबाद का लगभग 1500 टन कूड़ा रोजाना पहुंच रहा है, लेकिन निपटान नहीं होने से आफत हो गई है। कूड़े के निपटान के लिए कूड़े से बिजली बनाने का संयंत्र लगाया जाना है लेकिन संयंत्र लगाने के लिए जमीन खाली नहीं है। 2013 से सिर्फ कूड़ा डाला जा रहा है, समस्या का स्थायी समाधान नहीं किया गया है। https://www.jagran.com/haryana/gurgaon-a-mountain-of-smoldering-garbage-in-bandhwari-21824768.html  (12 July 2021)

Ambala Waste dumps, choked nullah  On the outer road of Boh village, Ambala Cantt, one is greeted by heaps of garbage, cow dung and a nullah choked with stinking water. To add to it are freely roaming cattle and stray dogs. How can people stay in such unhygienic conditions? The authorities need to take note of it. The drainage system should be cleaned regularly to avoid water stagnation in low-lying areas. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/haryana/waste-dumps-choked-nullah-dot-ambala-village-281812  (12 July 2021)

Delhi Groundwater tables are going deeper CGWB’s decadal data shows that while the groundwater table has fallen by 2-4 metres in almost every location, parts of Delhi along the Yamuna floodplain, central Delhi, southwest near Najafgarh and a part of the northwest have shown an increase, indicating more recharge over extraction. For central Delhi, rainwater harvesting has played a key role with a number of government buildings utilising such units to increase groundwater recharge.

ToI Image

The latest CGWB data from May 2019 showed that out of 73 wells analysed across Delhi, six had a depth of over 40 metres below ground level (mbgl) and 13 wells were between 20 and 40 mbgl. The deepest point was 62.6 mbgl in South district, while the shallowest point was in South West district at 1.1 mbgl. North district had the best water levels, all ranging between 2 and 10 mbgl. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/how-citys-water-tables-are-going-deeper-underground/articleshow/84488045.cms  (17 July 2021)

Civil society seeks more time to submit comments on draft master plan The civil society members want Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to extend the deadline for submitting their comments on the draft Master Plan of Delhi-2041. The draft plan, which was made public for comments on June 9, pushes for mixed-use development, creating large public spaces, reducing built densities through planned regeneration to allow distancing during pandemics, as part of its plans to develop “pandemic-resilient” infrastructure. Apart from pandemic resilience, the master plan also has provisions to reduce seismic vulnerability and the chances of floods in urban areas.

The “Main Bhi Dilli” campaign, a collective of over 40 civil society groups that aims to make the planning in Delhi “more representative and inclusive”, released an analysis of the draft MPD-2041 on Thursday (July 15). While experts welcomed the provision for mixed land use development, they stressed on the need for walkability, development of inclusive social infrastructure and provisions for bringing the informal sector under the planning ambit. The collective also said 45 days was not sufficient to hold public consultations on the draft MPD. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/delhi-news/delhi-civil-society-seeks-more-time-to-submit-comments-on-draft-master-plan-101626371108621.html  (15 July 2021)

79 more trommel machines at Bhalswa landfill  From August 1, North Delhi Municipal Corporation will empanel 31 companies to set up, maintain and operate 79 trommel machines at the Bhalswa landfill. “Once fully operational by the beginning of December, these machines will process up to 20,000 tonnes of legacy waste at the landfill every day,” said an official.

The landfill currently has 25 trommel machines being operated by 11 companies, which are processing around 6,000 tonnes waste every day. “We are working towards intensifying the process for processing the legacy waste at the site. The companies will also be responsible for installing related equipment,” said the official. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/79-more-trommel-machines-at-bhalswa-landfill-by-early-dec/articleshow/84423898.cms  (15 July 2021)

WATER POLLUTION

Goa Water Runs Black Locals near one of India’s coal-importing ports feel the effects of coal dust and are bracing for an even unhealthier future.

This story of development in Goa is a familiar one for many other states across India. Since July 2014, India has approved over 270 projects in and around its most protected environments, including biodiversity hotspots and national parks, according to an analysis by IndiaSpend. Communities that object are often accused of being opposed to economic growth. https://www.hakaimagazine.com/features/in-goa-the-water-runs-black/  (13 July 2021)

Uttar Pradesh प्रयागराज जिले के कई ग्रामीण गंदा पानी पीने पर मजबूर  प्रयागराज जिले  से लगभग 35 किमी करछना तहसील के अंतर्गति ग्रामसभा मेड़रा  में सैकड़ो घर ऐसे है जो आज भी गंदा पानी पीने  पर मजबूर है ग्रामीणों का कहना है कि जब भी वह  हैण्डपम्प और समरसेबल से पानी निकालते है तो कुछ देर बाद पानी पीला आने लगता है। जब यह सिलसिला  कई दिन तक जारी रहा तो उन्होंने धीरे-धीरे इसका उपयोग करना बंद कर दिया और गांव में बने एक पुराने कुएं से पानी लेना शुरू कर दिया। जो  हैंडपंप के पानी की तुलना में बेहद साफ है। https://hindi.indiawaterportal.org/content/uttarpradesh-prayagaraj-jile-k-kai-gramin-ganda-paani-peene-par-majboor/content-type-page/1319336166  (12 July 2021)

Madhya Pradesh 3 kids die in 1 week due to contiminated water While three children have lost their lives, 12 more are very sick at Chandmari Basti of Madhya Pradesh, which has a predominantly adivasi population. Contaminated water and malnutrition are being cited as the main reasons for this. An investigation is underway. https://en.gaonconnection.com/water-contamination-malnutrition-drinking-water-tribal-panna-madhya-pradesh/  (12 July 2021)

Report Is India open-defecation-free? The country became open-defecation-free (ODF) in October 2019. But a recent joint monitoring programme (JMP) on water, sanitation and hygiene by the World Health Organization and UNICEF released July 1, 2021 stated that at least 15 per cent of the total population in India defecates in the open. One per cent of the urban and 22 per cent of rural population practises open defecation in the country. https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/rural-water-and-sanitation/is-india-really-open-defecation-free-here-s-what-numbers-say-77918  (13 July 2021)

JJM/ RURAL WATER SUPPLY

MoJS 1 Lakh Villages Get Tap Water Connections One lakh villages and over 50,000 gram panchayats have tap water connections under the Jal Jeevan Mission, the Jal Shakti Ministry said on Wednesday (July 14). Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, the Jal Jeevan Mission provided 4.49 crore tap water connections during 23 months and also made 50,000 gram panchayats ”Har Ghar Jal” by providing tap water supply to every household in these panchayats, the ministry said.

Launched on August 15, 2019 by PM Narendra Modi, the JJM aims to provide tap water connections to all rural households. The Centre has allocated a whopping ₹ 50,000 crore for this mega scheme. At the launch of this ambitious programme, out of 18.94 crore rural households in the country, only 3.23 crore (17 per cent) had tap water connections. Tap water supply has reached 7.72 crore (40.77 per cent) households. Goa, Telangana, Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Puducherry have achieved 100 per cent tap water supply in rural areas. “At present, 71 districts, 824 blocks, 50,309 gram panchayats and 1,00,275 villages have achieved the target of ”Har Ghar Jal”,” the ministry added.

During the last 23 months, tap water supply has increased four-fold from 7 per cent to 33 per cent in 117 aspirational districts. Similarly, more than 97 lakh households have been provided with tap water supply in 61 districts affected by Japanese Encephalitis- Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (JE-IES). https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/over-50-000-gram-panchayats-get-tap-water-connections-under-jal-jeevan-mission-centre-2486688  (14 July 2021)

Meghalaya Delay in Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme leads to extra costs The delay in the Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme (GSWSS) has led to higher expenses, with the government sanctioning an additional Rs 65 crore. Although 80% of the physical work is complete, the department encountered several challenges, including laying pipes under roads and passing through the defence and private lands. But most of the issues are resolved, the Public Health Engineering (PHE) minister Renikton Lyngdoh Tongkhar said on July 13.

The GSWSS Phase III aims to solve the water woes faced by the residents of Shillong. The project was approved by the Union Government at a cost of Rs 193.50 crore in October 2008 with a completion deadline of May 2011. The objective of this project was to create infrastructure to provide for the supply of additional 24 million litres of water to the projected population of Shillong Urban Agglomeration from 2011 to 2041.

Tongkhar also inaugurated the Upper Shillong Water Supply Scheme on Tuesday (July 13). This scheme was sanctioned way back in 2010, and the foundation stone was laid on July 14, 2010 but no work was done until today. He said, “We understand that it was supposed to complete 11 years back, but couldn’t be completed due to many reasons. I am happy that the citizens are seeing the light of the day of this project.” The Upper Shillong Water Supply Scheme also need a cost revision. The original estimate was Rs 33 crore and now it has been revised to Rs 39.95 crore. https://www.eastmojo.com/meghalaya/2021/07/14/delay-in-greater-shillong-water-supply-scheme-leads-to-extra-costs/  (14 July 2021)

No supply of pipes, JJM target in danger: MLA Congress MLA Hima Shangpliang believes the government will not be able to implement the Jal Jeevan Mission by December 2022. Shangpliang on Thursday (July 1) said that the supply of pipes is not on time. The PHE department has not finalised the pipe suppliers and works assigned to the Village Water and Sanitation Committee (VWSC).

The Mawsynram legislator urged the government to look into this area on a priority basis so that whatever deadline has been set it has to be completed on time. He said if the government doesn’t meet its deadline, other issues like cost overrun may come up. “If there is a cost overrun then again contractors will claim additional cost. There will be a lot of extra additional expenditures and therefore I feel the PHE department should review once again on the implementation process of the whole JJM,” added Shangpliang.

On March 9, 2021, PHE Minister Renikton Tongkhar informed the Assembly that the government has installed over 68,000 functional household tap connections under the Jal Jeevan Mission. He added that the Centre sanctioned Rs 1,190.64 crore to the state government for the scheme, while Rs 86.94 crore was paid to the contractors executing it. https://www.eastmojo.com/meghalaya/2021/07/01/no-supply-of-pipes-jal-jeevan-mission-target-in-danger-meghalaya-mla-h-shangpliang/  (01 July 2021)

WATER   

CWC RESERVOIR STORAGE BULLETIN OF 15.07.2021

1. ALL INDIA STATUS:- As per reservoir storage bulletin dated 15.07.2021, live storage available in these reservoirs is 57.628 BCM, which is 33% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. However, last year the live storage available in these reservoirs for the corresponding period was 62.134 BCM and the average of last 10 years live storage was 49.921 BCM. Thus, the live storage available in 130 reservoirs as per 15.07.2021 Bulletin is 93% of the live storage of corresponding period of last year and 115% of storage of average of last ten years.

a) NORTHERN REGION:- As per Reservoir Storage Bulletin dated 15.07.2021, the total live storage available in these reservoirs is 4.09 BCM which is 21% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 41% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 38% of live storage capacity of these reservoirs. Thus, storage during current year is less than the corresponding period of last year and is also less than the average storage of last ten years during the corresponding period. http://cwc.gov.in/sites/default/files/15072021-bulletin.pdf   

AGRICULTURE

Report Water is being exported as agri-exports The improved agricultural exports for 2020-21 are equivalent to the annual drinking water needs of 1,500 villages with a population of 1,000. Agricultural exports reduce the imbalance in trade and earn hard currency while causing social, environmental fallouts, primarily for rural people.

Virtual water export is likely only to grow further in the future. Its impact on coming generations would be more catastrophic if corrective actions are not taken at the earliest. VWT, covering both export and import, is here to stay and cannot be avoided, just as oil import is accepted as critical for economic growth.

It is critical to adopt the circular water management model of treating and rejuvenating wastewater at source combined with efficient water management strategies to reduce the water demand by at least 50 per cent to restore the balance by adopting the bottom-up approach. VWT, presently not a concern for policymakers or technocrats, cannot go unaudited; else, the truth will emerge as a shock in the not-too-distant future.  https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/agriculture/india-s-water-is-being-exported-as-agri-exports-is-there-a-solution-77966  (15 July 2021)

Kharif area shrinks by 12% The farmers in India have planted monsoon crops such as rice, cotton and soybeans on 61.19 million hectares (151 million acres) of land as of July 16, a decline of 12% from a year earlier, according to a report. Quoting the Union agriculture ministry, a Bloomberg report said that the crop-sown for monsoon has witnessed a decline as area under sugarcane has risen almost 1.7% to 5.37 million hectares so far this year. For cotton, the crop has been planted in 9.84 million hectares, down 13% from a year earlier, the ministry said late Friday (July 16).

The decline in sowing crops comes after the country’s rain pattern for the monsoon season has dipped, impacting the farm and agriculture sector directly. In June-September this year, the monsoon rains were 7% below average in the week ended July 14, the IMD said. Additionally, the planting of kharif or summer-sown crops has been hit by patchy rains in many parts of the country as the southwest monsoon showed a seasonal deficit of more than 5% for the first time this year on July 10. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/indias-monsoon-crop-area-shrinks-by-12-this-year-as-rain-play-hidenseek-101626508642661.html  (17 July 2021)

Tamil Nadu Farmers want GAIL to remove pipelines laid on farmlands  Farmers under the banner of Tamizhaga Vivasayigal Paadhukaapu Sangam have petitioned the district administration demanding that GAIL remove the pipelines that were laid on farmlands in Kundumaranapalli and some villages of Kelamangalam, under the Kochi-Kootanad-Bengaluru-Mangaluru gas pipeline project. The project has been stiffly opposed by farmers across seven districts through whose farmlands the pipeline was laid. In April, GAIL was accused of putting pressure on farmers to cede parcels of land to lay the pipelines in some villages of Kelamangalam. Trenches were allegedly dug on farmlands for laying of pipelines. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/farmers-want-gail-to-remove-pipelines-laid-on-farmlands/article35291198.ece  13 July 2021)

MONSOON 2021

BBMB Widespread rain may fill up to 90 pc of Bhakra and Pong dams Delayed monsoons over the region and poor snow cover in the upper regions notwithstanding, major dams in the region that had almost bottomed out, are expected to fill up to about 90 per cent of their storage capacity. Widespread rain in many parts of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh over the past two days has come as a relief as it has improved the storage level at Bhakra and Pong dams, though the situation at the moment is still not comfortable.

The unexpected cloudburst near Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh on Monday (July 12) brought in about three lakh cusecs of water into the Pong Dam’s reservoir. “Till this flood event, the storage at Pong was down to just 5 per cent of its total capacity,” Sanjay Srivastava, Chairman, Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB), said. Following the massive inflow, the storage at Pong, which lies on the Beas in Himachal, went up to 11 per cent. This is still below normal as the average storage at this time of the year is 24 per cent.

At Bhakra, which lies on the Sutlej, the storage at present is 18 per cent as compared to the average of 34 per cent for this time of the year. It had gone down to 8 per cent during the summer. Last year, the reservoir at Bhakra had filled up to 85 per cent of its total capacity, even though rains and snow had been below normal. This year, its monsoon goes as per the weather department’s forecast, BBMB officials expect the storage deficiency to cover up and the dam to fill up to 90 per cent of its capacity. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/widespread-rain-in-punjab-himachal-may-fill-up-to-90-pc-of-bhakra-and-pong-dams-282576  (14 July 2021)

Report Rain deficiency looms large as monsoon revival remains sluggish The northern limit of the monsoon (NLM) has continued to be in the same position for 22 days since June 19. As on Sunday (July 11), there is an 8% deficiency in rains with 23% deficiency over northwest India; 6% deficiency over east and northeast India and 9% deficiency over central India. There is 7% surplus over south peninsula. Delhi has a large rain deficiency of 64%; Gujarat 47%; Haryana 37%; Punjab 41%; Kerala 39%; Odisha 20%; Manipur 62%; Arunachal Pradesh 23%, among others.

Image source HT

The slow revival has also led to inaccurate forecasts of monsoon onset over Delhi. IMD, for example, forecast that monsoon would advance to Delhi, Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana on July 10. It is now likely to make onset only by the morning or afternoon of July 12.

Farmers have had to deal with very unusual weather conditions in July due to the slow revival of monsoon. “Temperatures have been very high and there is no rain. This is unexpected in July. Diesel consumption has increased to run our pumps which has led to higher costs to farmers. There are power outages too. In some places, the paddy crop couldn’t sustain so it has to be sown again,” said Harinder Singh Lakhowal, general secretary, Bharatiya Kisan Union. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/rain-deficiency-looms-large-as-monsoon-revival-remains-sluggish-101626058780024.html  (12 July 2021)

Dry northern districts have excess rain after July 13 shower By June 30, India had 10 per cent above normal rains cumulatively. The southwest monsoon had covered most regions across the country except Rajasthan, Delhi, Haryana and Punjab. According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD)’s own estimates, the southwest monsoon was supposed to cover the entire country by July 10.

But by July 12, the monsoon winds had remained stalled for over 24 days, according to DTE’s analysis. The year 2021 thus has seen one of the longest hiatuses by the monsoon while covering the entire country. All that changed on July 13 though.

IMD data analysed by Down To Earth (DTE) shows that as of July 12, 16 out of 22 districts in Haryana had reported no rain. On July 13, five out of 22 districts reported large excess rain while Ambala came under the excess rain category.

In Punjab, as of July 12, there was 38 per cent deficiency in rainfall departure for this year. By July 13, the percentage had come down to 22 per cent. Interestingly, only 36 per cent or eight of the 22 districts in Punjab had reported large excess on July 12. On July 13, 73 per cent or double the number of districts reported large excess rains.

In Delhi, while most of the districts received next to no rain on July 12 barring south Delhi, on July 13 only four districts are yet to report rainfall and the New Delhi district received large excess rain. But while the southwest monsoon may have finally covered the entire country, it might remain sluggish for another week and will begin in earnest only after July 19. https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/climate-change/all-in-a-day-dry-northern-districts-have-excess-rain-after-july-13-shower-77940  (14 July 2021)

Haryana Karnal recoreds all time high 24 hour rainfall Karnal recorded a whopping 245mm of rainfall in the last 24 hours ending 8.30 am July 13 morning. This is an all-time 24-hour highest rainfall for Karnal in the month of July. With this, it also surpassed its monthly normal of 171.1mm in a single day. Also, Karnal goes on to record 280.4mm of rainfall in July so far, an excess of 300% from the average.

Earlier, Karnal had recorded a very similar downpour of 242mm on 15th July 1968 and a new milestone now of this subdivision. During the last 10 years, Karnal had a record of clocking highest of 121mm on 05th July 2020. District Karnal had a seasonal deficiency of 36% as it recorded only 60.5mm rainfall against the normal of 95.1mm, till July 13. With this single-day downpour, the city goes on to become surplus, with more heavy rains likely in the next 24 hours. https://www.skymetweather.com/content/weather-news-and-analysis/karnal-records-all-time-high-24-hour-rainfall-on-the-opening-day-of-monsoon-monthly-normal-surpassed/  (15 July 2021)

Gujarat Umargam lashed by 200mm rainfall in two hours Umargam in Valsad district was pounded with nearly 200 mm rainfall in just two hours on July 18. Industrial town of Vapi too was lashed with nearly 225 mm rain during the same period followed by 150 mm in Navsari’s Jalalpore taluka and Valsad each. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/surat/south-gujarat-pounded-umargam-lashed-by-200mm-in-two-hours/articleshow/84531997.cms  (19 July 2021)

Delhi Finally, monsoon checks in Arriving 16 days after its normal date, this was Delhi’s most delayed monsoon onset since 2002, when the rain-bearing wind system had entered the capital on July 19. IMD data in the last six decades shows that the longest wait for the monsoon to enter Delhi was in 1987, when it reached the capital on July 27, almost a whole month after its normal date. For the last two-three years, the normal date for the monsoon to reach Delhi is June 27. Earlier, the date was June 29.

Between 7am and 8.30am, Safdarjung – Delhi’s base weather station – received 24.8mm of rainfall. It recorded another 28.1mm in the next nine hours, providing much-needed precipitation to the capital, which was in the “large deficient” rainfall category till Tuesday morning.

Till Tuesday (July 13), IMD data showed Delhi as a whole had only received 48.9mm of rainfall between June 1 and July 13, as opposed to a normal mark of 140.1mm, making it a deficit of 65%. At Safdarjung, the rain tally during this period was 67.6mm. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/delhi-finally-monsoon-checks-in-makes-big-splash-on-day-1/articleshow/84391486.cms  (14 July 2021)

Monsoon misses yet another date in Delhi IMD postponed monsoon’s onset by one more day, saying the system is likely to reach Delhi-NCR on Monday (July 12). This was the third likely date of monsoon’s arrival issued by the IMD in as many days. Earlier, the department had said the system could hit the region on Saturday (July 10), later revising it to Sunday (July 12).

This year, the monsoon has repeatedly defied IMD’s onset forecast for the capital. The department had originally predicted an early onset over the region, saying the rain system could arrive around June 15, 12 days ahead of its normal date of June 27. But the system stalled at the doorstep of NCR before going into a weak phase for over two weeks.

If the monsoon arrives in Delhi on Monday (July 12), it would be the most delayed monsoon in 19 years. The last time Delhi witnessed a more delayed onset was in 2002, when the monsoon arrived on July 19. In 1987, the monsoon hit Delhi as late as July 26, an all-time record delay, IMD data shows. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/monsoon-misses-yet-another-date-in-delhi-imd-now-says-onset-today/articleshow/84330111.cms  (12 July 2021)

Central Delhi most rain-deficient district in India According to IMD data, Central Delhi received only 8.5 mm rainfall against the normal of 125.1 mm since June 1, when the monsoon season starts, thus recording a shortfall of 93 per cent. Overall, Delhi has received 64 per cent less rainfall than normal so far, putting it in the category of “large deficient” states. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/central-delhi-most-rain-deficient-district-in-india-shows-imd-data-101626055184116.html  (12 July 2021)

IMD blames ‘rare failure by prediction models’ IMD on Monday (July 12) blamed its failure in predicting New Delhi’s monsoon on numerical models. The national capital is reeling under scorching heat even as rains have hit neighbouring areas, such as Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh and Karnal in Haryana.

“Such type of failure by numerical models in prediction of monsoon advance over Delhi is rare and uncommon,” IMD said in a statement. “It is needless to mention that IMD has predicted well with high accuracy about the advance of monsoon over Delhi quite accurately in the recent past years and also the advance of monsoon over different parts of the country during the monsoon 2021 accurately about four to five days ahead.” https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/delhi-monsoon-delay-forecast-imd-prediction-7401457/  (12 July 2021)

‘Very peculiar situation’: IMD After the earlier prediction became wrong, the weather office didn’t issue any further date for the arrival of the monsoon in Delhi. However, while talking to news agency ANI K Jenamani, senior scientist, IMD on Monday (July 12) assured that all components required for the arrival of monsoon are active and conditions are favourable for the same. https://www.livemint.com/news/india/very-peculiar-situation-imd-on-monsoon-skipping-delhi-11626104377243.html  (12 July 2021)

Monsoon 2021: Hits, Misses & The Road Ahead Six weeks of this year’s southwest monsoon season are over and it has been a roller coaster ride. Sridhar Balasubramanian, associate professor with the mechanical engineering department at IIT Bombay was our special guest on Gaon Connection’s Gaon Cafe to discuss the monsoon’s performance so far and what lies ahead. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DCHgHO4AEw  (16 July 2021)

FLOOD 2021

Report Poor regulation of floodplains Floodplains play a key role in nutrient replenishment and naturally controlling overflowing rivers from causing damaging floods. India has poor regulation of its river floodplains. As flood risk increases in India, experts suggest demarcation of zones in floodplains and stronger state policies to reduce damage by floods.

Environmentalists in the past have also blamed floodplain encroachments for playing a role in the floods of Kerala, Pune, Odisha and other states which claimed hundreds of lives in the last few years. Encroachments illegally, as well as through legal ways by the state governments, have allegedly made the floodplain areas more prone to flooding, say experts.

Allahabad High Court and other HCs in the past too had ordered flood plain protection. “There are several fragmented orders and judgments from the NGT, HC and other judicial bodies. However despite such orders coming from the courts, the ground-level implementation of these had always remained far from adequate,” said Himansu Thakkar, River Water expert and Coordinator of South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP).

However, experts said that these two central policy measures are insufficient. “These are at best only suggestive and non-binding to the states. There is hardly any state in India that has taken the issue seriously. One can see no impact of these on the central government’s own programmes, plans, policies and actions. These provisions do not fix accountability on any of the concerned authorities. Is there a single Indian state that has actually, strictly implemented a law to prevent encroachment on floodplain?” Thakkar asked. https://india.mongabay.com/2021/07/with-poor-regulation-of-floodplains-india-more-vulnerable-to-flood-damage/  (13 July 2021)

Kerala KSEB told to keep close watch on reservoirs IMD said on July 18 that a low pressure area was likely to form in the Bay of Bengal by July 23. Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) has been asked to keep a close watch on dam reservoir storage and increase hydel generation. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/kseb-told-to-keep-close-watch-on-reservoirs/article35394999.ece   (18 July 2021)

Bihar WRD minister reiterates demand for multipurpose high dam in Nepal WRD Minister’s advocacy for dams for solving Bihar’s flood problem is non sense. It may be good if he focusses on the other issue he raised here, that of silting and drainage congestion in Bihar due to Farakka barrage.

State water resources department (WRD) minister Sanjay Kumar Jha on Tuesday (July 13) pitched for the construction of multipurpose high dam in Nepal as a way to permanent solution to floods in Bihar, and also called for a “reconsideration” of the issues related to the Farakka barrage across the Ganga, as well as the interstate and international sharing of its water.

He also hoped that India and Nepal would realise the problem of floods in the north Bihar districts and resume their talks so that obstacles in the way of the construction of the high dam are removed. The last time steps were initiated for inter-government talks between India and Nepal was in 2004. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/patna/wrd-minister-reiterates-demand-for-multipurpose-high-dam-in-nepal/articleshow/84386770.cms  (14 July 2021)

Muzaffarpur submerged in floodwater Locals forced to commute in boats as several low-lying areas of Muzaffarpur are submerged in floodwater. Water entered the Ahiyapur police station in Muzaffarpur on July 11. The water is slowly rising due to incessant rain, the water level of the rivers is increasing day by day. Relief material not provided to them by govt, locals said. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/videos/city/patna/locals-forced-to-use-boats-for-commute-after-parts-of-muzaffarpur-submerged-in-floodwater/videoshow/84373642.cms  (13 July 2021)

According to IMD, in June, Bihar received 140 percent more than normal rain, which is unprecedented for the state. Between June 1 and 26, the state has recorded 307 mm rain, about 25 percent of the total monsoon rainfall. Bihar usually gets 1100 mm rainfall during the monsoon.

According to the data obtained from IMD, except Rohtas, all the districts of Bihar have received more than normal rainfall since June 1. Siwan, Supaul, Darbhanga, Madhubani, Samastipur, Kaimur and West Champaran received two to threefold more rainfall than normal. In West Champaran, there should be 321.8 mm rainfall but it has received 1120.2 mm rainfall.

So far, Bihar has received 448.5 mm rainfall which is almost double the normal rainfall (253 mm). Over and above, heavy downpours in the Terai area and the forecast of heavy rains in Nepal are a matter of concern for the state. Since most of the rivers that cause floods in Bihar originate from the neighbouring country, heavy rainfall in Nepal is bound to have an adverse impact on Bihar. https://altlipi.com/opinion/india/flood-havoc-fails-to-wake-up-bihar-administration  (18 July 2021)

Andhra Pradesh Rising floods push tribal families to hilly areas Tribal families have trekked up hills & erected temporary sheds to protect from Godavari floods & backwaters, due to closure of coffer dam. Flood water has entered many habitations. Koya & Konda Reddy tribal families have urged govt to rehabilitate them. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/rising-floods-push-tribal-families-to-hilly-areas/article35332551.ece  (15 July 2021)

URBAN FLOODS

Mumbai Mithi overflows again Floodwater entered the office and house of state Minority Minister Nawab Malik on LBS Road. NCP corporator Kaptan Malik, too, said his car remained stuck on this flooded stretch for hours. Swelling in the river had affected the water receding capacity of local stormwater drains and nullahs that discharge into Mithi. But even though the intensity of the rain slowed after 9 am, areas including Kalpana Theatre, Sheetal Cinema, LBS Road, CST Road, Shivsrushti Road in Kurla east remained completely submerged for at least seven hours, local residents said.

According to the local weather observatory, Kurla alone received 195 mm rainfall between 12am and 12pm. However, as water entered several housing societies abutting the Mithi river, several corporators and citizens questioned the pre-monsoon desilting work in the Mithi.

In 2020-21, the BMC had set a target of removing 1.40 lakh metric tonne silt but in 2021-22 it increased the quantity to 2.74 lakh metric tonne. Activist Anil Galgali said Rs 1,700 crore has been spent over the years by BMC and MMRDA on Mithi River cleaning and other related projects but “nothing had changed”. “There should be an audit of the money spent on Mithi River. Despite crores spent, things are the same each year,” Galgali said.

A retaining wall, constructed on the Mithi riverbank and the construction of Aarey Metro car shed in its floodplains, has caused flooding in many parts of Aarey Milk Colony and Goregaon, environmentalists said Friday. “During the construction of the car shed for Metro-3, there was a concretisation of the Mithi riverbank. This has now blocked the flow of rainwater in Mithi,” Stalin D of NGO Vanashakti said, calling for the demolition of the structures. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/mumbai-mithi-overflows-again-washes-away-talks-of-double-desilting-7408517/  (17 July 2021)

Aarey Colony resident Tabrez Sayed said the road near Unit no. 22, close to Powai check naka, was flooded till 11am. “This is the first time ever that this area has flooded,” he said. Aarey Conservation Group activists blamed the construction of retaining walls along Oshiwara river, that flows through the colony, for the flooding in the open areas. “Aarey Colony never flood-ed till two years ago. The walls along Mithi river and Oshiwara river must be demolished so that there is exchange of water between the forest and river,” said activist D Stalin.

Activist Zoru Bathena said the waterlogging had occurred on a day when the tide did not even cross the 4.5-metre level. “In fact, at 9am, there was a low tide of 1.3m. Flooding no longer has any relation with the tide. It is connected with the destruction of existing flood control systems,” he said. Activist Amrita Bhattacharjee said massive amounts of debris have been dumped along the Mithi on JVLR, contributing to the inundation. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/mumbai-aarey-floods-mithi-swells-after-overnight-downpour-soaks-city/articleshow/84487149.cms  (17 July 2021)

IMD Santacruz observatory recording 253.3 mm of showers – the second-highest rainfall in 24 hours in a decade between July 15-16. In 2019, between July 1-2, the Santacruz observatory had reported 375.2 mm of rainfall, which had been the highest one-day rain recorded so far in the last 10 years. With the Thursday (July 15) night downpour, the city has recorded 70.5 per cent of the average July rainfall, in 16 days. The average July rainfall is 827.5 mm. South Mumbai, meanwhile, was relatively dry with IMD’s Colaba observatory recording light rain at 12.8 mm. The difference in rainfall in the city and suburbs was one of the largest spatial discrepancies over the 25 km distance between the two observatories.

BMC’s rain data showed that between 4 am and 9 am on Friday (July 16), maximum of 186 mm of rainfall was recorded in H-East ward, which includes parts of Bandra East, Kalina and Vakola. It was followed by M West ward (Chembur), which received 175.5 mm of rainfall. Other wards that saw high rainfall were K West (Andheri) at 159 mm. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/mumbai-gets-julys-second-heaviest-rain-in-a-decade-7408556/  (17 July 2021)

Most of heavy rainfall (157 mm) on July 16 during 5.30-8.30am, 253mm rain in 24 hours at Santacruz, 3rd-highest 24- hr rainfall in a decade. https://www.freepressjournal.in/mumbai/mumbai-rains-city-records-third-highest-24-hour-rainfall-in-a-decade  (17 July 2021)

Vihar Lake overflows, streets inundated as incessant rains overwhelm Mumbai. https://scroll.in/video/1000476/watch-vihar-lake-overflows-streets-inundated-as-incessant-rains-overwhelm-mumbai  (18 July 2021)

Mumbai city recorded 156.94 mm rain between 8 pm and 2 am, officials said, adding that the eastern suburbs recorded 143.14 mm and the western 125.37 mm, respectively. https://www.ndtv.com/mumbai-news/videos-cars-swept-away-streets-flooded-amid-heavy-rain-in-mumbai-2489072  (18 July 2021)

Such short bursts of intense rain bear a climate change signature and as these effects become more pronounced, India’s financial capital and the country’s west coast will have to be better prepared, experts said. https://www.hindustantimes.com/environment/mumbai-monsoon-mayhem-freak-bursts-of-rain-sign-of-climate-crisis-101626646484071.html  (19 July 2021)

Reasons for water logging  Historically, Mumbai comprised seven islands, which have been filled up today. There are large parts of the city, however, that still lie below the sea level and are prone to flooding. The city’s water systems were also designed for particular standards during the British rule.

According to the BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation), our storm-water drains were designed for 40-millimetre rain within 24 hours. These standards, however, don’t apply anymore because of climate change; Takutae, for instance, brought 230-millimetre of rain in a single day. The amount and pattern of rainfall that Mumbai will have to deal with as the years go by will obviously be even more erratic and of a higher order.

To add to this, rampant construction in the city has reduced its water absorption capacity. The destruction of mangroves that previously absorbed excess water is a major cause of flooding. Water is unable to percolate into the soil through paved surfaces and collects on roads and plazas instead. New-age infrastructure projects including the coastal road project are also, in a sense, part of the problem as they highlight how we’ve been building inappropriately. https://mumbai.citizenmatters.in/explainer-why-does-mumbai-flood-24735  (28 June 2021)

Pune Urban living changed after Panshet dam disaster City-based researcher and writer Ashlesha Mahajan’s book, titled 12 July, 1961 released on Monday (July 12) 60 years after the fateful day is based on the Panshet dam disaster. The author has interviewed nearly 100 residents of Pune, who experienced the floods. She has also studied 10-12 books and a research paper by Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics to put together the book.  

“Going towards Parvati was a long walk at the time and there were lots of trees and medicinal plants en route. The only mode of transport then was the bicycle. After the floods struck, people even climbed to the top of Parvati hill to save themselves from the increasing water level. People narrated their stories about how they lost important documents, including the proof of their ownership of houses and lands,” said Mahajan. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/urban-living-changed-in-pune-after-panshet-dam-disaster/articleshow/84334955.cms  (12 July 2021)

Hyderabad Hakku Initiative checking monsoon preparedness Whether the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) was planning to take concrete steps for the monsoon or not, a group of individuals came up with the ‘Hakku Initiative’ (‘hakku’ means ‘right’) on behalf of the Institute of Perception Studies (IPS), a nonprofit organisation based in Delhi. The Hakku Initiative team, working from Hyderabad, has been asking the question since May, visiting the most vulnerable areas and showcasing their problems to the concerned authorities, and pushing the officials towards a solution.

Last year, soon after the floods, the team and the IPS did a survey on the impact of the floods and the adequacy of relief measures from the government in November 2020. According to the result, about 77.4% faced financial loss, but 43.7% of this number did not have any possibility of a recovery. Adding to their woes, the city was under lockdown for most part of the year, pushing them further into financial distress.   https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/how-hakku-initiative-has-been-checking-hyderabads-monsoon-preparedness-152479  (16 July 2021)

Residents relive nightmare of 2020 floods The nightmarish experience of last October came flooding back as the city’s residents woke up to a deluge on Thursday (July 15). While the overnight incessant rains resulted in inundation and waterlogging in several parts of the city, many low-lying areas were also marooned, leading to disruption of normal life.

The EVDM wing of the GHMC informed that very heavy to extremely heavy rainfall was witnessed over the city with LB Nagar zone receiving highest rainfall in excess of 15 cm. Meanwhile, MAUD Minister KT Rama Rao took to Twitter to say that extreme heavy rains were recorded in several parts of Telangana, including Hyderabad in last 24 hours.

The heavy downpour led to overflowing of lakes and nalas, while rainwater entered residences, and vehicles were seen partially submerged in several parts of the city. Several colonies in LB Nagar GHMC Zone were inundated with rainwater, making people’s lives miserable. At many places, trees were also uprooted leading to traffic snarls. In Old City, areas like Chaderghat, Karwan, Towlichowki, Nadeem Colony, Saidabad, Bahadurpura and Charminar and adjoining areas also received heavy rainfall and witnessed waterlogging and residents had reasons to be reminded of last year floods. https://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/hyderabad/2021/jul/16/hyderabadresidents-relive-nightmare-of-2020-floods-2330751.html  (16 July 2021)

Saroornagar Lake spews foam amid inundation The lake was seen spewing foam on Thursday, July 15, as the frothing lake water continued to overflow into the nearby residential neighbourhoods. Tapovan Colony, Sai Nagar and Green Park in Saroornagar were among several other localities in the low-lying areas of the city that were flooded on Wednesday, July 14, along with parts of Dilsukhnagar and Uppal. Saroornagar received 14 centimetres of rainfall on July 14, according to the IMD.

Officials said that the nala would be fixed within the initial phases of the Strategic Nala Development Plan (SNDP), a wing of GHMC set up to avoid flooding in the city in the long run. Saroornagar was also among the areas badly affected by the 2020 Hyderabad floods, with the area receiving 94% excess rainfall during the monsoon last year, according to data from the Telangana State Development Planning Society (TSDPS). https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/hyderabad-rains-saroornagar-lake-spews-foam-amid-inundation-152410  (15 July 2021)

Smart city becomes flood city Though Mayor G. VIjayalakshmi has boasted about the ability of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) in handling flood situation in the twin cities, several nalas and storm water drains overflowed in Sunday’s (July 11) rains, including in Nacharam, Miyapur, Gachibowli, Kukatpally, Narayanguda, Adikmet, Balkampet and Serilingampally, apart from stretches along Musi River.

Most nalas have no fencing, which means invitation for a tragedy. A seven-year-old boy B. Anand Sai drowned in an open drain at Old Bowenpally on Saturday (July 10). He accidentally fell into the nala, as the damaged fencing around it had not been repaired since 2020. This is the second such incident in Hyderabad. Last September, a 12-year-old girl named Sumedha Kapuria died after falling into an open drain at Neredmet. https://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/120721/smart-city-of-hyderabad-becomes-flood-city.html  (12 July 2021)

Chennai Arterial roads inundated after downpour Many arterial roads in Chennai were inundated as parts of Tamil Nadu received heavy to moderate rainfall, caused due to an atmospheric air circulation and southwest winds on Saturday, July 17. Parts of Chennai and places surrounding the weather station in Nungambakkam received 7 cm rainfall till 7.30 pm on Saturday, leading to waterlogging and inundation. The Regional Meteorological Department has predicted that the spells are likely to continue till July 21.

The heavy rainfall in Chennai disrupted traffic on many arterial roads. Several videos surfaced from Anna Nagar, T Nagar and Arumbakkam showing visuals of inundation of roads and motorists wading through the water. According to reports, Villivakkam recorded 6 cm of rainfall; Puzhal recorded 5 cm; and Taramani, West Tambaram and Nandambakkam registered 2 cm of rainfall each on Saturday (July 17). https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/chennai-rains-arterial-roads-inundated-after-downpour-more-rainfall-expected-152530  (18 July 2021)

LANDSLIDES

Himachal Pradesh 6 houses swept away as landslide hits Kangra At least six houses were swept away and more than 10 people were feared trapped after a landslide triggered by heavy rain hit the remote high-altitude village of Boh in the Shahpur sub division of Kangra district on Monday (July 12).

Kangra District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) training and capacity builder coordinator Bhanu Sharma said that rescue teams were on their way to Boh, which is 45km from Dharamshala, but the road was blocked due to landslides. “The DDMA has sent a requisition to the Indian Air Force but aerial rescue will not be possible at present due to the bad weather in the area,” he said. A police team is also on its way to the village on foot, he said, adding the extent of casualty and damage to property will be known only after the rescue workers reach the site. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/chandigarh-news/six-houses-swept-away-as-landslide-hits-kangra-s-remote-boh-village-101626082000679.html  (12 July 2021)

Himachal Pradesh Massive landslide dumps five houses under thousands tons of debris The first heavy monsoon rain in Dharamsala region has led to a flash flood in Bhagsunag area and lower Dharamsala and a massive landslide in Boh valley located about 30 kms from here. As per the reports, about 12 people were missing in remote Boh valley as a massive landslide dumped thousands of tons of debris over their houses. About five houses and their inmates are expected to be trapped under debris in Boh valley.

The sources here said though the landslide occurred at about 10.30 am the rescue teams had not reached the spot till the filing of this report. The rescue teams could not reach as the road to the area was blocked due to landslides. About six JCB machines had been deployed to clear the road to the place where the landslide had destroyed five houses.

Earlier in the morning, water breached the banks of natural drain and gushed on the streets in Bhagsunag. The gushing water from the drain damaged vehicles of some tourists parked in the streets. The locals blamed the encroachment on drain by some hoteliers for the flash flood in the area.

They alleged that the natural drain that was more than 20 feet wide had been narrowed to less than 10 feet at places due to encroachments by some hoteliers. The narrowing of drain led to water gushing on to streets and damage to vehicles. There was no loss of property in Bhagsunag area.

The Manji river, which was in full spate due to heavy rain throughout the night, caused damage to public and private property in Bagli village about seven kms downhill from Dharamsala. The flooded Manji river washed away four houses and two shops located on its banks in Bagli village.

The district administration got vacated houses and commercial establishments located on the banks of river Manji. The slum dwellers residing on the banks of river Bagli were also shifted to a government school in the area. The road leading from Bagli to Sheela Chowk was also washed away due to flash flood in Manji river disrupting traffic in the area.

The flash flood in Manji river and Bhagsunag were more manmade than a natural catastrophe. People in Dharamsala region have been encroaching into riverbeds while the authorities turn a blind eye to the developments. The encroachments on river beds were to primary cause of loss to property. The president of hotel association, Ashwani Bamba, said that all bookings in Bhagsunag have been cancelled after news of flash flood in the area. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/himachal-five-feared-dead-as-massive-landslide-hits-boh-valley-in-kangra-district-282071  (13 July 2021)

Uttarakhand Uttarkashi-Gangotri highway closed after landslide A landslide, triggered by heavy rainfall, at the Dabrani region of Uttarkashi district blocked the Gangotri national highway on Tuesday (July 13). Due to the falling of huge boulders and debris on the road the Gangotri national highway is blocked.

According to the district administration officials, the border road organization (BRO) was seen trying to clear the highway. Due to the increase in the water level of Dharasu Gad, there is damage in the high altitude village. The heavy rainfall and flood have damaged the irrigated fields, channels and roads in the high altitude village. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/uttarakhand-uttarkashi-gangotri-highway-closed-after-landslide-heavy-rainfall/articleshow/84368931.cms  (13 July 2021)

गंगोत्री और यमुनोत्री हाईवे तीसरे दिन भी सात घंटे बंद उत्तरकाशी जिले में बीते तीन दिनों से लगातार हो रही मूसलाधार बारिश के चलते जनजीवन अस्त व्यस्त हो गया है। बारिश से गंगोत्री और यमुनोत्री राष्ट्रीय राजमार्ग पर कई स्थानों पर भूस्खलन होने से सात घंटे से अधिक समय तक यातायात ठप रहा है। वहीं करीब तीन दर्जन लिंक मोटर मार्ग भी बंद हो गये। जिले में गत रात्रि को मूसलाधार बारिश शुरू हो गई थी, जो मंगलवार (July 13) दोपहर बाद तक जारी रही। बारिश के कारण गंगोत्री हाईवे डबरानी, रतूडी सेरा में मलबा आने से बंद रहा।

वहीं यमुनोत्री हाईवे पालीगाड़ के पास मलबा आने के कारण यहा भी मांर्ग सात घंटे बंद रहा। मार्ग बंद होने के कारण सड़क के दोनों तरफ वाहनों की लंबी कतारें लगी रही और लोगों को भूखे प्यासे वाहनों में बैठने के लिए मजबूर रहना पड़ा। https://www.livehindustan.com/uttarakhand/story-gangotri-and-yamunotri-highways-closed-for-seven-hours-on-the-third-day-due-to-heavy-rains-life-disrupted-monsoon-uttarakhand-4217177.html  (13 July 2021)

कोटीमिनस मोटर मार्ग आठ घंटे रहा बंद जौनसार-बावर क्षेत्र के हरिपुर कोटी मिनस मोटर मार्ग पर 11 घंटे यातायात ठप रहा। शनिवार (July 10) तड़के तीन बजे से सुबह 11 बजे तक मार्ग पर गाड़ियां फंसी रही। इससे स्थानीय लोगों के साथ राहगीरों को भी दिक्कतें उठानी पड़ी। आठ घंटे तक मार्ग बंद रहने से लोगों में लोनिवि के खिलाफ रोष भी देखने को मिला। हरिपुर कोटी मोटर मार्ग पर धमोग मंदिर के समीप आए मलबे ने यातायात बाधित हुआ। इस दौरान जौनसार-बावर सहित हिमाचल प्रदेश की ओर से विकासनगर, देहरादून और सहारनपुर की मंडियों में नगदी फसलें लेकर जा रही गाड़ियां मार्ग पर फंस गई। https://www.livehindustan.com/uttarakhand/vikasnagar/story-the-koti-minas-motorway-remained-closed-for-eight-hours-4206911.html  (10 July 2021)

Manipur All-weather road push: Gadkari unveils 16 projects Union Minister Nitin Gadkari inaugurated 16 highway projects on Tuesday (July 13). The projects will cover a total length of 298 kms with an outlay of ₹4,148 crores. According to the road ministry, the projects will provide all-weather connectivity to Manipur with the rest of the country and the neighbouring countries. The ministry said projects will boost agricultural, industrial & socio-economic progress. It further added that the projects will facilitate healthcare and emergency service to the remotest areas and generate employment. https://www.hindustantimes.com/videos/news/modi-govt-s-all-weather-road-push-in-ne-gadkari-unveils-16-projects-in-manipur-101626181864630.html  (13 July 2021)

Mumbai 22 dead, several injured in landslides after heavy rains  At least 22 people were killed and several others injured in Mumbai and one of its suburbs after they were trapped under houses that collapsed due to landslides following heavy rains that lashed the city and nearby areas on Saturday (July 17) night and on Sunday (July 18) morning, officials said.

According to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC’s) disaster management cell, the accident in Vashi Naka of Mumbai’s Mahul area was reported at around 6.30am when the retaining wall of a house collapsed due to a tree fall, it said. In a separate accident, five people died and two were injured after four to five houses collapsed due to a landslide in the Vikhroli area due to heavy rainfall overnight. The accident was reported at around 2.40am.

The city reported heavy rainfall overnight especially between 12am to 2am. Waterlogging was reported at several places in the city, including Borivali, Kandivali, Malad, Andheri, Chembur, Kurla, Gandhi Market, Hindmata, etc. According to BMC, the island city recorded a rainfall of 156 mm followed by eastern suburbs reporting 143 mm of heavy rainfall and western suburbs reporting 125 mm of rainfall between 8pm on Saturday (July 17) and 2am on Sunday (July 18). The Central Railway and Western Railway suspended suburban train services due to waterlogging in the tracks after the overnight heavy downpour. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/mumbai-news/mumbai-rains-updates-landslide-vikhroli-chembur-bharat-nagar-22-dead-several-injured-after-heavy-downpours-101626574611191.html  (18 July 2021)

Mangaluru Landslide hits train movement on Konkan railway network Two trains were regulated, two more partially cancelled and terminated and two more fully cancelled due to a landslide on the Mangaluru-Mumbai line (Konkan Railway network) between Mangaluru Junction railway station and Kulashekar under Palakkad division of Southern Railway around 10.40am on July 16. A huge volume of mud slid from a nearby hillock and settled on the track, in the afternoon on July 16, according to a report in Kannada Prabha.

The landslide triggered by heavy rains brought down a portion of the retaining wall too thereby blocking the track. Though the Palakkad division of Southern Railway immediately commenced track restoration works, it may take a long time for resumption of services, Palakkad division officials said.

Konkan Railway incidentally has taken many measures to prevent landslides during the monsoons all along the 750 kilometres stretch that starts from Thokur and ends at Roha. Despite this, trouble spots persist on tracks under the jurisdiction of Palakkad division. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/landslide-near-mangaluru-hits-train-movement-on-the-konkan-railway-network-101626456269090.html  (16 July 2021)

CLOUD BURSTS

Himachal Pradesh Photos of rescue operations, damages Heavy rainfall in  Kangra, Dharamshala, Bhagsunag led to flash floods. At least nine people died in the last two days.  https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/shimla/flash-floods-in-himachal-photos-of-rescue-operations-damages/photostory/84400327.cms  (14 July 21)

Flash floods in Dharamsala damage houses, vehicles Encroachments on natural drains and heavy rains led to flash floods in Bhagsunag area of Upper Dharamsala on Monday (July 12) morning. Due to flash floods, many cars of tourists parked in the Bhagsunag area were damaged.

Consistent encroachments on natural rivulets have narrowed them down which leads to flash floods after heavy rains. Due to heavy rains, most rivers flowing from Dhauladhar hills were in full spate. Flash floods in Manji river damaged three houses and five shops in Bagli area on Dharamsala-Kangra road. The road leading from Sheela to Bagli was also damaged.

Dharamsala recorded the precipitation of 119 mm, the highest ever in this monsoon. Palampur in Kangra district recorded 155 mm rain, the highest in the state, while it was 48 mm in Dalhousie, 10 mm in the state capital and 55 mm in picturesque tourist resort Manali. The southwest monsoon arrived in Himachal on June 13, in its earliest onset in the past 21 years. Its normal arrival in the state is June 26. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/in-pictures-flash-floods-in-dharamsala-damage-houses-vehicles-282032  (12 July 2021) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tg0pr3Joeso

The people assumed that it was a cloudburst that led to a flash flood. But there was no official confirmation regarding the cloudburst so far.  Further, there were reports that some bridges were also damaged or washed away as most rivers and rivulets were in spate following the heavy rains. The flash flood is also being linked to haphazard and over-construction alongwith encroachments that narrowed down rivulets and interrupted drainage of rainwater. https://himachalwatcher.com/2021/07/12/flash-flood-in-dharamshala/  (12 July 2021)

Heavy rains have wreaked havoc with flash floods being reported in several parts of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Jammu and Kashmir.

Pictures and visuals being shared on social media show several houses and shops being damaged due to a swollen Manjhi River in Dharamshala’s Bhagsu Nag. Several houses suffered damage due to the flash floods as the river changed its course and moved towards the road in the Chaitru village of Dharamshala, ANI reported. Several reports suggest that the city has received over 3,000 mm rainfall so far. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=148&v=Qog0vkSNbC0&feature=emb_title

“The river has changed its course and moved towards the road. A number of points on the road have been damaged. Restoration work is underway,” Sushil Dadwal, Executive Engineer, PWD, was quoted as saying by the news agency. The national highway near Jhakri in Rampur area of Shimla district was also reportedly blocked.

The rainfall had spurred a landslide near the Dabrani region of Uttarkashi district on Monday, 12 July, causing a blockage of the Gangotri national highway. A restoration mission is being conducted around the highway by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), ANI reported.https://www.thequint.com/news/india/flash-floods-heavy-rains-cloud-burst-himachal-pradesh-dharamshala-kashmir-ganderbal  (13 July 2021)

Flash flood after cloudburst in Dharamshala Cloudburst led to flash floods in Dharamshala on July 12. Videos of devastation were shared on social media. Cars were seen getting washed away in the heavy flow of water on the streets. The heavy rainfall led to swelling of the Manjhi river, as per reports. The overflowing river reportedly damaged buildings in Dharamshala. The Rishikesh-Badrinath National Highway 07 was also reportedly blocked due to debris. Watch the full video for more. https://www.hindustantimes.com/videos/news/watch-flash-flood-after-cloudburst-in-himachal-s-dharamshala-101626077575380.html  (12 July 2021)

Flash floods triggered by heavy rains swept away buildings and cars at tourist spots while bad weather also led to the closure of the airport in Dharamshala. The flash floods also damaged a bridge on the Mandi-Pathankot highway after which traffic was stopped on both sides, leading to a traffic jam. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/himachal-floods-ndrf-teams-deployed-says-amit-shah-hp-cm-claims-heavy-damage-282069  (12 July 2021)

On July 11 also, Himachal received an excess rainfall of 69 per cent, shows the IMD data. As against its normal rainfall of 8.3 millimetre (mm), the Himalayan state received 14mm rainfall on July 11. Between 8:30 am on July 11 and 8:30 am on July 12, seven districts of Himachal received ‘large excess’ rainfall (see map below). These include Chamba (80% large excess rainfall), Kangra (275% large excess rainfall), Mandi (225% large excess rainfall), Kullu (677% large excess rainfall), Solan (79% large excess rainfall), Shimla (273% large excess rainfall) and Kinnaur (242% large excess rainfall).

In the same period, Sirmaur district received 34% excess rainfall and Hamirpur received minus 17 per cent rainfall. Lahaul & Spiti district received ‘deficient’ rainfall of minus 40 per cent, and Una and Bilaspur received ‘large deficient’ rainfall of minus 96 per cent and minus 85 per cent, respectively. Interestingly, even though the state is now facing flood, in the month of July (July 1 to July 11) it has recorded ‘deficient’ rainfall — a rainfall departure of minus 21 per cent. 

Also, since the beginning of this monsoon season, between June 1 and July 12, Himachal has reported rainfall departure of minus 18 per cent. Against its normal rainfall of 187.8 mm, the state has so far received only 154 mm rainfall (till July 12, as reflected in the IMD’s data). A large chunk of this rainfall has been received in the past two days. District wise rainfall data from June 1 to July 11 shows that of its total 12 districts, only five have received ‘normal’ rainfall, whereas six districts have received ‘deficient’ and one has received ‘large deficient’ rainfall.  https://en.gaonconnection.com/heavy-rainfall-causes-flash-flood-in-dharamshala-mcleod-ganj-himachal-pradesh-but-overall-minus-18-monsoon-rainfall-in-the-state-so-far-imd-weather-alert/  (12 July 2021)

Remove encroachment on govt land in Shimla: NGT The NGT has directed the Himachal Pradesh chief secretary to ensure removal of encroachment on government land in Shimla’s Narkanda area. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said in view of the long delay which has already taken place, irrespective of the question whether land is forest or non-forest government land, the state authorities must ensure further action. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/ngt-directs-hp-chief-secretary-to-remove-encroachment-on-govt-land-in-shimla-281593  (11 July 2021)

कांगड़ा में आई जल त्रासदी के बाद मलबे में तब्दील हुई बोह घाटी में एक परिवार के पांच सदस्य दब गए। 22 लोगों की जान बचाने वाले भीमसेन घटना के समय अपनी पत्नी मस्तो देवी और तीन बच्चों के साथ अपने नए घरमें मौजूद थे। एकाएक पहाड़ का मलबे ने भीमसेन समेत उनके दो बेटों, एक बेटी और पत्नी को अपनी चपेट में ले लिया https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Odz26dDDRhI&list=LL&index=12  (14 July 2021)

कुल्लू जिले में भारी बारिश का कहर देखने को मिला है। सैंज में बादल फटने से बाढ़ आ गई। जिससे नदी और नाले उफान पर हैं। एक गांव में घरों में मलबा घुस गया है। https://www.amarujala.com/video/national/heavy-rainfall-in-kullu-district-in-himachal-cloud-burst-is-the-reason  (15 July 2021)

सैंज घाटी की भलाहण-दो पंचायत के जौली नाले में भारी बारिश के बाद बाढ़ आ गई। बाढ़ का मलबा कई घरों में घुस गया। गुरुवार (July 15) सुबह करीब तीन बजे अचानक पानी आने की आवाज सुनकर लोगों की नींद खुली। बारिश के बीच लोग अपने परिवार को साथ लेकर सुरक्षित स्थानों की ओर भागे। गनीमत यह रही कि नाले ने अपना रुख गांव की ओर नहीं किया। बावजूद बाढ़ का मलबा कई घरों में घुस गया। बाढ़ से खेती को भारी नुकसान हुआ है। https://www.amarujala.com/shimla/himachal-pradesh-news-heavy-rain-wreaks-havoc-in-kullu-cloudburst-caused-floods-debris-entered-houses  (15 July 2021) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IL5E3UpC3dE

जानकारी के अनुसार कुल्लू जिले की सैंज घाटी में हुई भारी बारिश से ग्राम पंचायत भलाण-2 के जौली नाले में बाढ़ आ गई. इस बाढ़ में पूरा गांव बाल-बाल बच गया. रात करीब 3 बजे बाढ़ आने से पूरे गांव में अफरा तफरी मच गई. गनीमत ये रही कि खड़ी फसलों को छोड़कर घटना में किसी भी तरह के जान-माल का नुकसान नहीं हुआ है. https://react.etvbharat.com/hindi/himachal-pradesh/city/kullu/flood-due-to-cloud-burst-in-sainj-valley-of-kullu/hp20210715104410614  (15 July 2021)

चम्बा जिले में न्याग्रां-बड़ा भंगाल के लिए सड़क निर्माण कार्य में लगी पोकलेन मशीन भूस्खलन की जद में आने से रावी नदी में जा गिरी। हादसे के वक्त मशीन में कोई सवार नहीं था। लोक निर्माण विभाग के अधिशासी अभियंता संजीव महाजन ने बताया कि बजोल गांव में पोकलेन मशीन के भूस्खलन की जद में आने से ठेकेदार को 70 लाख रुपये का नुक्सान हुआ है। https://www.amarujala.com/video/shimla/landslide-in-chamba-poklen-machine-swept-away-in-ravi-river  (14 July 2021)

Lack of planning, unauthorized & unscientific construction paves the way for disaster. https://thenewzradar.com/uncategorized/blaming-nature-for-disasters-is-not-always-justified-lack-of-planning-unauthorized-unscientific-construction-paves-the-way/  (13 July 2021)

Jammu & Kashmir Flash floods in Ganderbal, Samba  As per the news reports, rains have disrupted normal life and a large number of the rivers and nullahs in the union territory (UT) are in full spate. Ganderbal has reported severe flash floods. Meanwhile, at least 11 people were rescued today on July 12 following flash floods in Kathua district of Jammu. A small bridge on Tawi river has been reportedly washed away.

The IMD rainfall data shows that in 24 hours, between 8:30 am on July 11 and 8:30 am on July 12, J&K received 380 per cent ‘large excess’ rainfall. As against the normal rainfall of 5.4 millimetre (mm), the UT received 25.9 mm rainfall, thus triggering flash floods. District wise data shows that between 8:30 am on July 11 and 8:30 am on July 12, all the twenty districts of the UT received ‘large excess’ rainfall. The highest rainfall was in Ganderwal district with 2271 per cent ‘large excess’ rainfall.

Poonch and Samba districts received 1877 per cent and 1090 per cent ‘large excess’ rainfall. Baramulla, Anantnag, Reasi, Jammu, Udhampur and Kathua received 1411 per cent, 488 per cent, 455 per cent, 855 per cent, 132 per cent and 99 per cent rainfall, respectively.  Predictably, the rivers are in full spate causing flash floods.

Whereas the UT is at present facing flash floods, IMD’s rainfall data for this entire southwest monsoon season shows J&K is still in the ‘deficient’ rainfall category. Between June 1 and July 12, J&K has registered a rainfall departure of minus 27 per cent. Of its 20 districts, 11 have ‘deficient’ rainfall and one ‘large deficient’ rainfall (Kishtwar district) in this monsoon season so far. Only six districts have received ‘normal’ rainfall, one ‘large excess’ (Samba district) and one ‘excess’ rainfall (Jammu district). https://en.gaonconnection.com/flash-floods-cloudburst-in-dharamshala-himachal-pradesh-ganderbal-samba-jammu-kashmir-heavy-monsoon-rainfall-flood-weather-alert/  (12 July 2021)

The weather office said that Jammu district saw the highest rainfall (150mm) in the region in the past 24 hours till 8.30am, followed by 76mm in Katra and 28mm in Kashmir’s Khanbal.

Flashfloods were reported across Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts. Several localities were marooned and a vital bridge was damaged disconnecting densely populated Gadigarh area in Jammu city.

One person was killed when a retaining wall of Government Medical College collapsed on Sunday in Rajouri due to heavy rainfall. Nine families were evacuated from Kalka Colony of Jammu city after their houses were partially damaged in flashfloods. A police post in Gadigarh and government primary health centre and tubewell were also submerged.

Eleven people were rescued following flash floods in Kathua where heavy rains disrupted normal life and inundated several areas, officials said. People belonging to a nomadic community were stuck in flash floods in Ujh river in the Rajbagh area and were rescued by police and SDRF personnel, they said. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/chandigarh-news/flash-floods-hit-kathua-samba-1-dead-in-rajouri-101626119989688.html  (13 July 2021)

Uttarakhand उत्तराखंड सरकार ने बादल फटने की घटनाओं और जंगल में आग की रोकथाम को लेकर एक निजी कंपनी के प्रस्ताव का अध्ययन करने के लिए आपदा प्रबंधन मंत्री डा धन सिंह रावत के निर्देश पर सचिव आपदा प्रबंधन एसए मुरुगेशन ने अंतरिक्ष उपयोग केंद्र के निदेशक की अध्यक्षता में एक उच्च स्तरीय समिति का गठन किया है। इसमें मौसम केंद्र, देहरादून और एरीज नैनीताल के निदेशक को सदस्य के रूप में शामिल किया गया है। यह समिति इस निजी कंपनी की रिपोर्ट का अध्ययन कर दो सप्ताह के भीतर अपनी रिपोर्ट शासन को सौंपेगी। समिति का दावा यदि सही पाया जाता है तो इस परियोजना को राज्य में पायलट प्रोजेक्ट के रूप में शुरू किया जाएगा। https://www.jagran.com/uttarakhand/dehradun-city-proposal-to-prevent-cloudburst-incidents-in-uttarakhand-will-be-studied-21829437.html  (14 July 2021)

स्थानीय स्रोतों के मुताबिक इस वर्ष अब तक 21 बादल फटने की घटनाएं हिमालयी राज्यों में ही दर्ज की गई हैं। हालांकि, अभी तक भारतीय मौसम विभाग (आईएमडी) ने एक भी क्लाउड बर्स्ट यानी बादल फटने के घटना की पुष्टि नहीं की है। इसकी एक बड़ी वजह है आईएमडी के क्लाउड बर्स्ट का पैमाना। इस पैमाने के चलते आईएमडी ने बताया है कि 1970-2016 के बीच कुल 30 क्लाउड बर्स्ट की घटनाएं दर्ज हुई हैं। इनमें 17 उत्तराखंड के गढ़वाल क्षेत्र में दर्ज की गई हैं। 

पुणे स्थित इंडियन इंस्टीट्यूट ऑफ ट्रॉपिकल मेट्रोलॉजी के वैज्ञानिक एनआर देशपांडे और सहयोगियों ने मिलकर विभिन्न स्टेशनों के गर्मी मानसून के 126 वर्षों (1926-2015) के वर्षा आंकडों के आधार पर बताया कि न सिर्फ क्लाउड बर्स्ट बल्कि मिनी क्लाउड बर्स्ट घटनाओं में काफी बढ़ोत्तरी हो रही है। शोधपत्र में मिनी क्लाउड बर्स्ट को परिभाषित करते हुए बताया गया है कि यदि लगातार दो घंटे 50 मिलीमीटर या उससे अधिक वर्षा हो तो उसे मिनी क्लाउड बर्स्ट (एमसीबी) की श्रेणी में रखा जाए। https://www.downtoearth.org.in/hindistory/natural-disasters/cyclone/a-total-of-21-cloudbursts-in-himalayan-states-this-year-90-percent-of-himachal-uttarakhand-affected-77961  (15 July 2021)

उत्तरकाशी में बादल फटने से तीन की मौत उत्तरकाशी में कल देर रात बादल फटने के बाद पैदा हुए हालात में तीन लोगों की मौत हो चुकी है। मांडो में 2 महिला व  1 बच्चे का शव बरामद किया गया है। शवों को जिला अस्पताल में लाया गया है। समाचार एजेंसी एएनआई के अनुसार बादल पटने की घटना के बाद से मांडो गांव में अब भी चार लोग लापता हैं। 

भारी बरसात के कारण अचानक भागीरथी नदी समेत गाड़-गदेरे उफान पर आ गए हैं। बादल फटने से गांव मांडो, निराकोट, पनवाड़ी और कंकराड़ी के आवासीय घरों में पानी घुस गया। साथ ही गदेरा उफान पर आने से तीन लोग मलबे में फंसकर घायल हो गए। जानकारी के अनुसार, मांडो गांव में नौ मकानों में पानी घुस गया। जबकि दो मकान पूरी तरह से धवस्त हो गए हैं। कई जगहों पर वाहनों के बहने की भी सूचना है। 

जिला आपातकालीन परिचालन केंद्र के आंकड़ों के मुताबिक ऋषिकेश जिले के रायवाला में सबसे अधिक 120 मिमी बारिश दर्ज की गई। वहीं, ऋषिकेश में 105.2 मिलीमीटर, मोहकमपुर में 80, यूकॉस्ट में 43, मसूरी में 70, सहसपुर में 43, नागथात क्षेत्र में 12.5 और कालसी में 2.5 मिलीमीटर बारिश दर्ज की गई।

केंद्रीय जल आयोग के केंद्रीय बाढ़ नियंत्रण कक्ष हिमालयन गंगा डिवीजन की ओर से दिए गए आंकड़े के मुताबिक राज्य के पर्वतीय क्षेत्रों में हो रही मूसलाधार बारिश के चलते गंगा का जलस्तर रविवार को 337.89 मीटर पहुंच गया। ऐसे में गंगा खतरे के निशान 340.50 मीटर से थोड़ा नीचे ही बह रही हैं। केंद्रीय बाढ़ नियंत्रण कक्ष की रिपोर्ट के मुताबिक डाकपत्थर में यमुना नदी का जलस्तर 455.03 मीटर पर पहुंच गया है, जो खतरे के निशान से सिर्फ 34 सेंटीमीटर कम है। https://www.amarujala.com/dehradun/uttarakhand-monsoon-rainfall-update-disaster-in-uttarkashi-after-extreme-rainfall?pageId=1  (19 July 2021)

रविवार (July 18) की रात निरकोट और कंकराणी क्षेत्र में बादल फटा। निराकोट क्षेत्र से जलजला मांडो गांव पहुंचा, जहां तीन जिंदगियां दफन हो गईं। कंकराड़ी क्षेत्र में दो मकान ध्वस्त होने और एक व्यक्ति के लापता चलने की सूचना है। गंगोत्री राष्ट्रीय राजमार्ग नेताला, सुनगर, रतूड़ी सेरा सहित कई स्थानों पर बधित है, जबकि यमुनोत्री राष्ट्रीय राजमार्ग डाबरकोट, धरासू बैंड, कुथनौर के पास भूस्खलन होने से बाधित है। https://www.jagran.com/uttarakhand/uttarkashi-cloud-burst-in-uttarkashi-three-died-and-one-is-missing-after-heavy-rainfall-21844154.html  (19 July 2021)

टिहरी जिले के भिलंगना ब्लॉक में भी घनसाली क्षेत्र के ग्राम मेड के ऊपर बादल फटने की घटना सामने आई है. घटना सुबह तड़के 4:00 बजे की बताई जा रही है. लोग सुरक्षित हैं लेकिन कुछ घर मलबे में दबे हैं 3-4 घरों में मलवा घुसा है। कोई जन/पशु हानि की सूचना नहीं है। 1 व्यक्ति सामान्य घायल हुआ है। https://newsheight.com/big-breaking-25/  (19 July 2021)

Last week, a landslide, triggered by heavy rainfall, blocked the Rishikesh-Gangotri national highway which leads to the Sino-India border. https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/three-dead-several-missing-after-cloudburst-in-uttarakhands-uttarkashi-2489526  (19 July 2021)

Haridwar में Heavy rainfall के बाद Ganga (पीली नदी) का जलस्तर बढ़ने से श्यामपुर में टापू पर फंसे चार मजदूरों को Rescue कर सुरक्षित निकाला गया। पुल के निर्माण कार्य करने वाले मजदूर रात में टापू पर ही सो गए थे। रविवार तड़के अचानक नदी का जलस्तर बढ़ने से मजदूर फंस गए थे https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AATHf-UkcYg  (18 July 2021)

देहरादून में शनिवार (July 17) की शाम से शुरू हुई मूसलाधार बारिश ने राजधानी के दर्जन भर से अधिक इलाकों में लोगों का जनजीवन अस्त-व्यस्त कर दिया। मालदेवता क्षेत्र में पहाड़ी का मलबा सड़क पर आने से शेरकी गांव के समीप पीपीसीएल-टिहरी मार्ग बाधित हो गया। मलबा और बारिश का पानी तेज गति से आने के चलते मवेशियों को भी नुकसान हुआ है। रिस्पना और बिंदाल जैसी नदियों के किनारे बसी दो दर्जन से अधिक बस्तियों के लोगों की भी सांसे अटकी रहीं। लोगों को इस बात का डर सताता रहा था कि ना जाने कब दोनों नदियां उफान पर आ जाएं और उन्हें भी भारी मुसीबत का सामना करना पड़े। https://www.amarujala.com/dehradun/uttarakhand-weather-update-heavy-rain-alert-in-dehradun-today?pageId=2  (18 July 2021)

शनिवार (July 17) को बागेश्वर जिले के बस्ती गांव में बादल फट गया। हालांकि राहत इस बात की है कि खबर लिखे जाने तक गांव में किसी तरह के जानमाल के नुकसान की सूचना नहीं मिली है। https://theuttarakhandlive.com/heavy-damage-to-fields-and-roads-due-to-cloudburst-last-night-in-sangad-basti-village/  (17 July 2021)

कुमाऊं में शनिवार (July 17) की रात से शुरू हुई बारिश से जहां-तहां सड़कें बंद हो गईं हैं। इन सड़कों पर घंटों यात्री फंसे रहे। पूर्णागिरि धाम के हनुमानचट्टी के पास बड़ी चट्टान दरकने से पूर्णागिरि-टनकपुर मार्ग बंद हो गया। डेढ़ सौ से अधिक श्रद्धालु पूर्णागिरि क्षेत्र में फंसे हुए हैं। https://www.amarujala.com/photo-gallery/dehradun/uttarakhand-monsoon-rainfall-update-disaster-in-kumaon-many-places-photos  (18 July 2021)

बनबसा में पिछले 24 घंटों में हुई 73 मिमी वर्षा रिकॉर्ड की गई। कपकोट में 60 एमएम बारिश हुई। वहीं, शारदा नदी का जलस्तर 67429 क्यूसेक पहुंच गया था। सरयू नदी का जलस्तर 866.50 मीटर रिकॉर्ड किया गया। गोमती नदी 862.65 मीटर पर बह रही है। हालांकि दोनों नदियां खतरे के निशान 870.70 मीटर से नीचे बह रही हैं। https://www.amarujala.com/photo-gallery/dehradun/uttarakhand-monsoon-rainfall-update-disaster-in-kumaon-many-places-photos?pageId=6   (18 July 2021)

इससे पहले पिछले शनिवार (July 10) प्रदेश के पहाड़ी इलाकों में हुई भारी बारिश की वजह से नदी-नाले उफान पर आ गए। इसके चलते विभिन्न हादसों में चार लोगों की मौत हो गई। जबकि पिता-पुत्र नदी के तेज बहाव में बह गए थे। तब कपकोट तहसील के सुमगढ़ ग्राम पंचायत के ऐठाणवण तोक में पहाड़ से हुए भूस्खलन में एक मकान जमींदोज होने से पति, पत्नी और बच्चे की मौत हो गई। https://bit.ly/3wLGFGk  (17 July 2021)

THERMAL POWER

Study Fly ash wreaks havoc on human health, crops Research organisations Asar Social Impact Advisors, Research on Energy and Clean Air and Manthan Adhyay Kendra recently released a study, titled “Lest We Forget – A status report of neglect of coal ash accidents in India (May 2019-May 2021)”. The report stated that residents living around power plants such as Kahalgaon and Bokaro power stations were at the receiving end of the casual approach in handling fly ash, despite penalties and fines being levied on coal-based power plant operators. “Despite clear-cut rules for fly ash management, villagers and farmers are exposed to suffer,” the report said. According to locals, airborne ash has been leading to tuberculosis cases and breathing issues especially across central India. Impacts also included severe pollution in natural water bodies as ash was dumped directly in rivers, the study recorded. https://www.hindustantimes.com/environment/fly-ash-from-power-stations-in-bihar-wreaks-havoc-on-human-health-crops-study-101626339847523.html  (15 July 2021)

ENERGY OPTIONS

Centre Manufacture renewable energy equipment in India: RK Singh India will try to ensure that jobs created from the rapid increase in renewable energy capacity remain in the country, Power and Renewable Energy Minister RK Singh said Thursday (July 15). He noted that tariff barriers on import of renewable energy equipment would remain in place and that non-tariff barriers would practically restrict the purchase of such equipment to those manufactured locally. The government has announced a 40 per cent basic customs duty (BCD) on solar modules and 25 per cent on solar cells from April 1, 2022, aimed at encouraging local manufacturing.

“If you want to sell in India, you will have to set up manufacturing here. If you don’t set up manufacturing here, I can give it to you in writing that you will not qualify for entry into that approved list of models and manufacturers,” Singh said at an event on self reliance in renewable energy manufacturing organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). He added that other countries had also placed such non-tariff barriers and that it was necessary that India keep the jobs created by the country’s rapid addition in renewable energy capacity. https://indianexpress.com/article/business/renewable-energy-equipment-if-you-want-to-sell-in-india-manufacture-here-says-rk-singh-7406919/  (16 July 2021)

India to call bids for 4 GWh of grid-scale battery storage This was announced by union power and new renewable energy minister Raj Kumar Singh on Thursday (July 15)  at a conference organised by lobby group Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). According to Singh, this “storage which will sort of act as instant intervention mechanisms wherever whenever there is any sharp fluctuation because of renewables. And part of that will be reserved as an ancillary to the grid controller, and part will made available to the developer.”

 According to India’s apex power sector planning body Central Electricity Authority (CEA), by 2030 the country’s power requirement would be 817GW, more than half of which would be clean energy. https://www.livemint.com/industry/energy/india-to-call-bids-for-4-gwh-of-grid-scale-battery-storage-11626420916255.html  (16 July 2021)

ENVIRONMENT GOVERNANCE

MoEF Memorandum stayed The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Thursday (July 15) granted an interim stay on the operation of an office memorandum issued by the MoEF, which provided a procedure for the grant of post facto clearance to projects that have come up without environmental clearance under the EIA notification, 2006.

A Division Bench of Justices T.S. Sivagnanam and S. Ananthi granted the stay on a PIL filed by activist R. Fatima of Thoothukudi. The petitioner challenged the office memorandum issued on July 7. The law mandated prior clearance, and there was no provision for the grant of post facto clearance under the EIA notification. The memorandum provided a backdoor entry to violators, she said.

By way of the memorandum, violators of the EIA notification could obtain clearance and regularise violations. The EIA was an important tool to ensure the optimal use of natural resources for sustainable development. Its purpose was to identify, examine, assess and evaluate the likely and probable impact of a proposed project on the environment, the petitioner said.

She said a project could be granted sanction to commence activity only after an exhaustive assessment of risks. The mandate of ensuring compliance before the commencement of construction and operation was an important aspect of the EIA notification and it helped to ensure protection and preservation of the environment. The ex-post facto clearance was alien to the environmental jurisprudence, she said.

Post facto clearances destroyed the very fabric of the environmental regulation. The office memorandum ran counter to the EIA notification and had no legal validity. It was against the principles of natural justice, and the right of the people to participate in environmental decision-making. If this procedure was allowed to be followed, it would cause an irreversible damage to the environment. It was violative of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, she said. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/environment-ministrys-memorandum-stayed/article35353973.ece  (16 July 2021)

Amnesty scheme for violators of environment norms The MoEF has put together an amnesty scheme for infrastructure and industrial projects that have violated environmental clearance norms. The standard operating procedure (SOP) laid out by the ministry in an office memorandum dated July 7 states that projects that don’t have prior environmental clearance (EC) should be closed and appraised afresh.

People involved in all projects that violate environmental norms will also have to pay a penalty, according to the office memorandum, which also has a provision for demolishing industries that were never eligible for environmental clearance because of their environmental footprint.

Environmental experts, however, said such a move to regularise projects, irrespective of size, scale or impact, is purely a political move. The provisions of the new amnesty scheme are very similar to provisions of dealing with violation cases under the draft environment impact assessment notification 2020 which drew widespread public criticism last year for “post-facto” clearances. https://www.hindustantimes.com/environment/ministry-releases-amnesty-scheme-for-violators-of-environment-norms-101626232197368.html  (14 July 2021)

New SOP: Violations may lead to closing, demolition of projects The SOP — issued by the ministry on July 7 in the form of an Office Memorandum – is a result of orders from the NGT, which earlier this year directed the ministry to put in place penalties and an SOP for green violations. The memorandum gives powers to government agencies such as the CPCB, SPCBs and state environment impact assessment authorities to identify such violations and take penal action against them. In 2017, the ministry had initiated a six-month amnesty scheme on penalising green violations, which was later extended.

Environmentalists, however, have raised concerns, saying the memorandum normalises “post facto regularisation of violations” – in which violations are first committed and then the project proponent files for clearance by which they “are let off by paying a penalty”.

Kanchi Kohli of the Centre for Policy Research says, “Firstly we find that this is an acknowledgement by the ministry that despite EIA rules being in place for seven years, most projects seem to continue to fall outside the prescribed environmental norms and are therefore violators. Our concern is also that this is the institutionalising of violations on the basis of the polluter pays norm. Unlike in 2017, this is not an amnesty scheme but actually makes the process of first violating and then paying a penalty and getting away with the violation a routine affair, which is in direct contradiction to the premise of the EIA. We feel that such a directive will allow violations to continue on a regular basis.’’ https://indianexpress.com/article/india/moefcc-issues-sop-violations-may-lead-to-closing-demolition-of-projects-7398763/  (11 July 2021)

The five-point SOPs, issued to different agencies including CPCB and SPCBs this week, also include the procedural details for identification of violation and non-compliance, and a formula to impose penalties.

Environmentalists, however, said that this regulation should have come through a proper notification, issued under the Environment (Protection) Act 1986, and this should not have come through the mode of OM. “The central government neither circulated the draft, nor did it seek public comments. Such substantial law could not be enacted through an OM,” said Ritwick Dutta, environmental lawyer and founder of the LIFE.

He said, “It is problematic since for the first time the applicant has the option for complying or not complying with the law. If they find that compliance with the law is expensive then they can decide to continue without approval.” Dutta believes that the SOP does not have any legal basis. “It is important that the ministry should withdraw this and in fact strengthen the punishment provisions in the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 which would serve as a better deterrent,” he said. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/govt-issues-sops-for-tackling-violators-of-green-guidelines/articleshow/84284798.cms  (10 July 2021)

After Approving Nicobar Sanctuary Denotification, WII Says No Expertise  Curiously, B.C. Choudhury, a former scientist with the WII, said the WII has in fact undertaken research involving leatherback turtles at the Andaman and Nicobar Islands – including one under his supervision a decade ago. “This was a collaborative project with the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad,” Choudhury, who is the South Asia regional vice-chair for the IUCN Species Survival Commission’s Marine Turtle Specialist Group, said. “I also collaborated on another project with the Indian Institute of Science and the Dakshin Foundation for the first satellite-tagging study on leatherback turtles here.” “I am not sure why WII has taken the stand that it has not studied the leatherback in the islands.”

Another senior turtles-researcher aware of the issue said on condition of anonymity that “the WII director’s statement never made ecological sense”. According to him, “The logic for connectivity between the Galathea River and the bay where it enters the sea and where the turtles nest was not clear. It is also not clear what mitigation plan is being proposed or how it will be implemented.” Choudhury agreed, adding that director Mohan’s statement – that “connectivity between the river and the bay needs to be maintained” – is akin to the WII giving its professional and scientific okay for the port development project. https://science.thewire.in/environment/wildlife-institute-feeds-doubt-about-fate-of-leatherback-turtles-on-an-islands/  (16 July 2021)

Uttarakhand Harela festival celebrates biodiversity The Harela festival in the mountain state of Uttarahand is all about thanksgiving for Nature’s beauty, generosity and bounty. It is a time when Nature is allowed to do her job and people pause from their hectic lives to enjoy her biodiversity. https://en.gaonconnection.com/uttarakhands-harela-2021-folk-festival-celebrates-biodiversity-nature-conservation-and-the-monsoon/  (16 July 2021)

CLIMATE CHANGE

Study Climate researchers say that excess irrigation over north India shifts SW monsoon rainfall towards NW subcontinent, increases widespread weather extremes over Central India. https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2019GL083875  (2019 Study) https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/ab63e1  (2020 Study) https://www.pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1732832  (05 July 2021)

CPR Report Institutions and Governance for Transformative Low-Carbon Development This brief lays out a new approach to Indian climate governance. We suggest India’s institutional structure should be aimed at generating and adopting low-carbon development pathways. Doing so implies going beyond energy and emissions policies to also look at deeper economic structures such as patterns of urbanisation, industrialisation, and job creation. We propose a new, independent, non-executive, multi-stakeholder Low-Carbon Development Commission backed by law, to bring both analytical credibility and mechanisms to ensure policy relevance. We further propose the Commission interface with an enhanced set of bodies within the executive branch, interacting through a set of annual reporting requirements and incentives for climate action. By laying out a set of principles, institutions, and mechanisms for interaction, we suggest a path to analytical credible and policy relevant Indian climate governance. https://cprindia.org/research/reports/building-climate-ready-indian-state-institutions-and-governance-transformative-low  (1 June 2021)

Report Climate crisis reason behind increase in lightning strikes At least 74 people have been killed in lightning strikes in the past 24 hours in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh. Of these, 11 are visitors who were killed on Sunday (July 11) when lightning struck them at Amer Fort near Jaipur.

The numbers may seem high but should not surprise anyone. Thunderstorms accompanied by lightning strikes (usually in the pre-monsoon and monsoon months) are the single-largest killers among natural disasters (extreme weather events) in India, according to National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). Lightning strikes have killed at least 2,000 people every year in India since 2004, IMD said last month in an awareness workshop on lightning strikes.

In 2019, there were 2,876 deaths due to lightning, compared to fewer than 1,500 on an average, annually, between 1968 and 2004. There was a brief period of three to four years in between when lightning strikes killed more than 1,500 people, but the larger trend held. The disaster management division of ministry of home affairs is yet to update the data on lightning deaths for 2020.

According to a paper published in Elsevier journal, Weather and Climate Extremes by the ministry of earth sciences titled “An assessment of long-term changes in mortalities due to extreme weather events in India: A study of 50 years’ data, 1970–2019”, the mortality rate of tropical cyclones reduced by 94% over a 20 year period, whereas that for heatwaves and lightning, increased by 62.2% and 52.8%, respectively. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/climate-crisis-reason-behind-increase-in-lightning-strikes-101626129386299.html  (13 July 2021)

SOUTH ASIA

Pakistan Chinda suspends work at Dasu Dam after blast kills engineers A Chinese company that is constructing the Dasu dam in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) on Saturday (July 17) said it decided to suspend the work after a blast in the northern province killed several engineers. On Wednesday (July 14), a passenger bus had exploded in KP’s Upper Kohistan district, killing 13 people, including nine Chinese engineers. The explosion took place when the bus was on its way to Dasu. “Owing to the explosion attack on July 14th 2021, which has caused extremely heavy casualties, CGGC DASU HPP Management has been forced to suspend the construction of the DASU Hydropower Project,” the Chinese company CGGC said in a statement, as quoted by Sputnik. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/suspending-work-at-dasu-dam-in-pakistan-after-blast-kills-engineers-chinese-company/articleshow/84500572.cms  (17 July 2021)

Afganistan Officials say Taliban dropped mortars on Salma Dam The Afghan National Water Authority has announced that a large number of mortars have recently been fired by the Taliban at the Salma Dam in the Chesht district of Herat province. “If these attacks continue, the Selma Dam will be damaged,” it said, adding that a number of them had landed near the dam. The Afghan National Water Authority added that a large number of Afghan citizens would lose their lives and property if the Salma Dam was damaged. According to the organization, the lives and livelihoods of many Afghan citizens in eight districts of the province depend on water stored in the Salma Dam.

It has called on the Taliban to ensure that the Salma Dam is the national capital of all and should not be damaged by national military wars. The agency called for the protection and prevention of any attack on the Salma Dam, adding that if the dam is damaged, the residents of Chesht Sharif to Kahsan districts will be affected by the residents. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told the BBC that they “did not shoot at Salma Dam at all.” He claimed that the security of Kamal Khan Dam is now up to the Taliban. https://www.bbc.com/persian/afghanistan-57832499  (14 July 2021)

At least 16 security personnel were killed in an attack by the Taliban on a security checkpoint at the Salma Dam in western Herat province. Salma dam located on the Hari River in the Chishti Sharif District of Herat Province in western Afghanistan was attacked on Sunday (July 4) night by the Taliban, The Khaama Press reported citing local sources. Sources claimed that the checkpoint and its equipment had fallen into the hands of the Taliban. Both the Taliban and government officials have not made any comments on this matter yet. https://www.business-standard.com/article/international/16-security-personnel-killed-in-taliban-attack-near-afghanistan-s-salma-dam-121070600209_1.html  (06 July 2021)

Bhutan Monsoon landslides becoming more deadly On the morning of 16 June, Bhutan woke up to the tragic news that 10 people had been killed in a landslide at around 1am in the northern district of Gasa. This was the largest number of fatalities in a natural disaster in Bhutan this year. Landslides and flooding killed six people in 2019 and four in 2020.

A 2019 study looking at Chukha district in southwest Bhutan found that 53 mm of rainfall over a period of 24 hours was the threshold for landslides to occur. Precipitation above 88 mm over 10 days, and above 142 mm over 20 days, was found to be the threshold after which such disasters become much more likely. Despite this knowledge being available, and an increase in the number of intense rainfall events over the last few years, no comprehensive system of landslide warning has been created in Bhutan.

Bhutan is particularly threatened by floods and landslides. According to the Bhutan status report 2020 by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, more than 70% of the country’s settlements and most agricultural land and infrastructure are located along the country’s main river basins. Bhutan lies in a high rainfall zone, and the monsoon brings in 70% of the country’s annual precipitation between June and Sept, when landslides and flooding usually occur. https://www.thethirdpole.net/en/climate/bhutan-landslides-climate-change/  (14 July 2021)

CHINA

Three Gorges Dam defends first large flood of this year Three Gorges dam of China passes first large, 40000 cumecs flood that reached the dam at 8 pm on July 12, 2021. In anticipation, in the previous week space of 800 MCM was created in the reservoir on Yangtze river. https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202107/1228661.shtml  (14 July 2021)

ASIA

MEKONG Loas Threat of a Dam Disaster in Luang Prabang  Building a huge dam just upstream from a legendary UNESCO World Heritage site in an earthquake prone region poses serious risk to the local population and the town of Luang Prabang, warns a leading Thai earthquake specialist. Dr. Punya Churasiri, formerly the earthquake expert at Chulalungkorn University’s geology department, has considerable field research experience in northern Laos. As construction on the dam moved forward, he told The Diplomat, “We worry about what could happen and the possibility of damage to the World Heritage site.”

The main developer and builder of the dam is the Thai construction giant CH Karnchang corporation. The dam site sits precariously close to an active earthquake faultline only 8.6 kilometers away. A sharp reminder of the danger was provided on July 7, when a 4.7 strong earthquake was registered in Luang Prabang district. Many local people in the World Heritage city fear that the 1410 MW Luang Prabang dam could trigger another disaster after the Xepian Xenamnoi dam accident in 2018. Damage to the dam caused a massive flood that swept away villagers and villages alike, leaving 14,440 people homeless and 71 confirmed dead. https://thediplomat.com/2021/07/the-threat-of-a-dam-disaster-in-luang-prabang/  (17 July 2021)

Iran-Iraq Life on the Mesopotamian Marshes—and the Specter of Drought Exploration of the Mesopotamian marshes on Iraq Iran border, once the largest wetland ecosystem of Western Eurasia but since imperiled by climate change and human influence. During Iran-Iraq war-1980-88, wetland’s proximity to Iran border turned it into a theater for bloody battles. In early 1990s, in aftermath of a Shiite uprising against his Baath Party, Saddam Hussein intentionally drained region—where many of Shiite rebels had fled—as a punishme.  https://www.harvardmagazine.com/2021/07/the-context-life-on-the-mesopotamian-marshes-and-the-specter-of-drought  (14 July 2021)

THE REST OF THE WORLD

USA Severe drought threatens Hoover dam, water The wellspring of Lake Mead created by the dam’s blocking of the Colorado River has plummeted to an historic low as states in the west face hefty cuts in their water supplies

Surveying the dam’s sloping face from its curved parapet, Michael Bernardo, river operations manager at the US Bureau of Reclamation, admits the scarcity of water is out of bounds with historical norms. While there is no “average” year on the Colorado River, Bernardo and his colleagues were always able to estimate its flow within a certain range. But since 2000, scientists say the river’s flow has dwindled by 20% compared to the previous century’s average. This year is the second driest on record, with the flow into Lake Mead just a quarter of what would be considered normal. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jul/13/hoover-dam-lake-mead-severe-drought-us-west  (13 July 2021)

Record high tide flooding hit coastal communities last year High tide flooding hit record levels in the US last year and is only expected to get worse, according to a new report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Coastal communities experienced twice as many days with high tide flooding last year than they did 20 years ago. Records were either matched or broken in 14 places across the Southeast Atlantic and Gulf coastlines.

Nationally, coastal communities were hit with a median of four days of high tide flooding in the past year — although some places suffered through more than quadruple that number. NOAA’s outlook for the rest of the year until April 2022 rises to three to seven days of flooding. But because of sea-level rise tied to climate change, the long-term forecast is more alarming: 2030 could see seven to 15 days of flooding. And 2050 could bring on a whopping 25 to 75 days of high tide flooding. That could harm roads, waste, and stormwater systems, NOAA warned. With high tide flooding becoming much more frequent, cities and neighborhoods will need to adapt. https://www.theverge.com/2021/7/15/22578542/us-coast-record-levels-high-tide-flooding-2020  (15 July 2021)

Algae Abound Along Florida Coast For several months, communities along the west coast of Florida have observed substantial blooms of the harmful algae Karenia brevis. The algae occur naturally in the waters around Florida, but the bloom in 2021 has been particularly bad near Tampa Bay, causing large-scale fish kills in what some people refer to as a ‘red tide’ event. The bloom is also unusual for how early it is occurring.

Karenia brevis is a microscopic algae that, like other phytoplankton, can multiply into massive blooms when there are enough nutrients in the water—often in the autumn along the Gulf Coast. The algae produce neurotoxins that can kill fish and cause skin irritation and respiratory problems for humans, particularly those prone to asthma and other lung diseases. In extreme concentrations, K. brevis can turn water brown, red, black, or green; however, it is not always visible from space. https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/148590/algae-abound-along-florida-coast  (14 July 2021)

International Rivers What does a dam do to rivers and riverside people When a dam is built across a river, blocking its flow, a series of local biological processes is radically changed: fish population perish by lack of food and cannot migrate; turtles are unable to reach the shore to spawn; and subject to an unpredictable rhythm dictated by the hydropower dams, the forest suffer from flow or dry seasons. 

For people who live near these dams, the consequences are devastating as well.  The hydropower dam Belo Monte, located on Volta Grande do Xingu (Pará, Brazil), changed the life of indigenous and other riverside communities. The Juruna, an indigenous ethnic group which identified themselves as people of the rivers, for years has been denouncing the damages inflicted by the project on their food habits, religious rites and territorial relations. They also struggled to be part of decision-making about megaprojects in their territories. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGRZj4THuPU

In the meantime, the hydropower industry continues to present hydropower dams as a green source of energy. Transnational organizations such as International Hydropower Association (IHA) publicize dams as a clean alternative to fossil fuel-based power generation, craving for financial support meanwhile countries consider and amplify solid investments on renewable energy sources, like solar or wind.

Therefore, it’s vital to democratize information about dams affecting rivers and riverside people. International Rivers, in partnership with the peruvian organizations Amo Amazonía and Centro para la Sostenibilidad Ambiental (UPCH) launch the animation Dams on Amazon: An Predictable Impact. The video is available on Youtube and Vimeo. https://www.internationalrivers.org/resources/capacity-building-tools/video-what-does-a-dam-do-to-rivers/

GERD Dam at the security council On July 8, UN Security Council convened in response to a call by Tunisia to discuss Egypt & Sudan objections to Ethiopia’s unilateral launch of 2nd phase filling of Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam before reaching an agreement between the 3 riparian states.

This announcement came with an invitation to share info, an offer to arrive at an acceptable solution for dam’s operation through negotiating only under African Union president. Ethiopia said that right to operate dam is an internal & technical matter.

Council had 2 positions before it: Ethiopia’s, which had informed Egypt & Sudan in official communication that 2nd stage of filling had commenced with summer rainfall. 18.4 BCM reservoir would take 2 years to fill, during which 6.9 BCM to be stored in July & 6.6 BCM in Aug 2021. https://www.thecairoreview.com/essays/the-renaissance-dam-after-the-security-council/ 

Downstream Impacts On Nile River About downstream impacts of GERD, sounds a bit exaggerated. A water deficit of that magnitude, if unmitigated, could reduce arable land in Egypt by up to 72%. Economic losses to agriculture would reach $51 billion, push unemployment to 24%. https://www.eurasiareview.com/14072021-the-dire-downstream-impacts-of-grand-ethiopian-renaissance-dam-on-nile-river/  (14 July 2021)

South Africans will pay for costly electricity from DRC’s Inga 3 dam The government’s touted plans to procure power from the proposed Inga 3 hydroelectric dam project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) would cost Eskom over R10-billion more a year compared to procuring the same energy from alternatives such as wind and solar, according to a new report. https://mg.co.za/environment/2021-07-12-south-africans-will-pay-for-the-costly-electricity-from-drcs-inga-3-dam/  (12 July 2021)

Inga dam deal is a grand delusion South Africa badly needs more reliable, affordable and sustainable electricity. The growth in renewable energy in the region, along with better management of Eskom, could more than make up for its current shortfalls. The answer is not Inga 3. In its current form, Inga 3 is as bad for SouthAfricans as it is bad for the Congolese. https://mg.co.za/article/2019-04-12-00-inga-dam-deal-is-a-grand-delusion/  (12 April 2019)

UK Water pollution in rivers rising BBC analysis of EA data showed that 325 category one and two serious water pollution incidents were recorded in the year to March 2021, up 23% on the year to March 2020. This was still lower than a peak of 377 in 2013-14. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-57804260  (14 July 2021)

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

Also see: DRP News Bulletin 12 July 2021 & DRP News Bulletin 05 July 2021  

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

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