DRP News Bulletin

DRP NB 26 July 2021: “Unprecedented rainfall” used to escape responsibility?

(Feature image source: India TV https://www.indiatvnews.com/news/india/monsoon-mayhem-maharashtra-floods-landslides-death-toll-latest-news-721924)

As Maharashtra faced the worst flood disaster of SW Monsoon 2021 in India, we see the phrases like “unprecedented rainfall”, “record breaking rainfall”, “frequent landslides” etc. with increasing frequency along with phrases like climate change floating around. While these are not entirely incorrect claims, these should not be used to escape the responsibility and accountability for failing to either accurately forecast the rainfall or to manage the proportions of disasters, including operation of dams, encroachments into water bodies and water path, not accurately marking locations vulnerable to landslides in landslide prone areas or taking up inappropriate “development” projects in vulnerable areas. All of these factors can be seen at play in disasters this monsoon in Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh among others.

Using such phrases, there is an attempt to escape the accountability or responsibility. This is a culture increasing being propagated by Central Water Commission as they did in Kerala in 2018 and Krishna basin floods in Maharashtra in 2019 as in numerous other occasions. It is known now to everyone that climate change is going to lead to more instances of heavy rainfall that can frequently fall in unprecedented category, but that only means we need to take measures to reduce the damage in such instances, predict them accurately and manage them effectively. That is what the Action Plans for Climate Change and Disaster Management apparatus needs to work on, but we have clearly failed there so far.

MONSOON 2021

SANDRP Blog High Rainfall days in India’s districts in June 2021 An analysis of the daily district wise rainfall data from India Meteorological Department (IMD) for the month of June 2021, the first month of India’s South West Monsoon 2021 shows that there were 442 instances when district rainfall of a day was above 50 mm, which is high considering that the normal monthly rainfall of India in this month is 166.9 mm, or daily average rainfall is about 5.6 mm. Such high rainfall instances included 371 instances when rainfall was 50-100 mm, 59 instances when it was 100-150 mm, 5 times it was 150-200 mm and 7 times above 200 mm. As noted in detailed article, the June 2021 rainfall all over India was 11% above normal. https://sandrp.in/2021/07/23/high-rainfall-days-in-indias-districts-in-june-2021/  (23 July 2021)

Why can’t IMD forecast extreme rainfall beyond 200 mm? By Nivedita Khandekar However, the problem of flooding is not just due to accurate or inaccurate rainfall. Experts said that if there is 30 cm or 50 cm rainfall for just one day, there will be a flood problem but that can be managed. But if such heavy rainfall continues for seven days, there will be a problem. The soil is saturated and hence, whatever rain happens now, even if not extremely heavy, the water will be standing and will cause flooding or landslides.

As claimed by the Ratnagiri district collector, not all floods in Chiplun were natural, as much of it was man-made — illegal construction in the Vaishthi river bed and release from nearby dam caused havoc in the coastal town. Therefore, what is needed is prediction by the IMD of wet spells, the possibility of continuous rainfall over a number of days. https://www.daijiworld.com/news/newsDisplay?newsID=856289  (23 July 2021)

Monsoon revival sees rise in extreme rainfall events According to the IMD data on the regional distribution, the ‘South Peninsula’ has seen 29% more rain than normal for the period from June1-July 23. For the same duration, northwest and central India have seen a 10% and 2% deficit respectively and the northeast India a 14% deficit, though this region has a higher base rainfall than other regions.

Mahabaleshwar in western Maharashtra reported over 60cm of rainfall in the last 24 hours (Thursday morning to Friday morning July 22-23) which “exceeded its all-time record” according to the IMD. From Friday morning to 5.30 p.m., it recorded 18 cm. According to the IMD’s district rainfall data for Maharashtra, except for five districts, all the other 31 got “large excess rains”. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/monsoon-revival-sees-rise-in-extreme-rainfall-events/article35497898.ece  (23 July 2021)

Back-to-back lows The outlook for full-blown monsoon conditions for most parts of the country for the rest of July received a further boost with IMD signalling that the Bay of Bengal may host another low-pressure area by July 27 on the back of one expected to form day after tomorrow (Friday July 23). The second one in the back-to-back formations may show up over the North Bay around the same area ceded by the first one and will trigger widespread rainfall with isolated heavy to very heavy falls over a likely saturated East, adjoining Central and North-West India including the hills and plains of the region. https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/agri-business/back-to-back-lows-to-power-monsoon-into-rest-of-july/article35439766.ece  (21 July 2021)

Global models see return of La Nina during Sept-Nov Global climate models suspect that the ‘neutral’ conditions (neither El Nino nor La Nina) in the Equatorial Pacific might give way to a return of La Nina conditions into the autumn and winter even as the annual monsoon in India, a known La Nina beneficiary, readies to cross the half-way stage. Closer home, a similar seesawing of SSTs s currently on over the Indian Ocean with the East Indian Ocean warming relative to the West (negative Indian Ocean Dipole, IOD), not the ideal setting for a concurrent Indian monsoon. It remains to be seen how the Indian Ocean responds to the changes in the Pacific.

The monsoon has thrived during a positive IOD as best evidenced in 2019 when it drove itself up to 110 per cent of normal and extended the season into mid-October (against the September-30 normal). The prolonged stay over India delayed its arrival over Australia, triggering setting off wild bush fires there. https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/global-models-see-return-of-la-nina-during-sept-nov/article35453119.ece  (21 July 2021)

Monsoon may stay strong into next week too If the ongoing week has seen the monsoon reveal its virulent self to the battered West Coast and the soggy plains of North-West India, the coming week does not look like hardly anything markedly different, said an outlook from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF).

IMD too shares a similar outlook saying, skies may clear up by turn over central India during the ongoing week and over the South Peninsula during the week that follows (July 23-29), coinciding with the last month of what is normally the rainiest of the four monsoon months.

Uran near Mumbai was pulverised with an unprecedented 45 cm of torrential rain during the 24 hours ending on Monday (July 19) morning. Other centres recording heavy rain (in cm) are Thane-28; Matheran-27; Palampur-23; Ulhasnagar-20; Mormugao and Harnai-19 each; Gopipur-18; Panjim and Ratnagiri-15 each; Shahjahanpur-13; Kathua, Narnaul and Long Island-12 each; Banda-11; Delhi (Palam), Bulsar and Mahabaleshwar-10 each; Bahraich-9; Bareilly, Patna and Sambalpur-8 each; Dehradun, Una, Patiala, Delhi (Safdarjung), Ambikapur, Aijal, Port Blair and Mumbai (Santacruz)-7 each.

A low-pressure area forming over the North-West Bay of Bengal off the Cuttack-Kolkata in another four days (July 23) will likely send the monsoon soaring to another peak with heavy to very heavy rain heading back to the West Coast, the South Peninsula, East India and parts of North-West India. https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/agri-business/monsoon-may-stay-strong-into-next-week-too-says-european-agency/article35408199.ece  (19 July 2021)

Maharashtra Mahabaleshwar records its highest single day rainfall ever Mahabaleshwar, a hill station in Satara district located in the Western Ghats, has recorded the highest rainfall ever in its history with 60cm in 24 hours. Recording 20cm or more in 24 hours is classified to be “extremely heavy” rain by IMD. Mahabaleshwar recorded its second highest rainfall of 49.7cm on August 11, 2008. Its third highest rainfall of 48cm was reported on Thursday, July 22, 2021. Fourth highest rain, of 43.9cm, was recorded on July 7, 1977.

Between 8.30am on Thursday (July 22) and 8.30am on Friday (July 23), Mahabaleshwar recorded rainfall which is three times that threshold. Other parts of the west coast also recorded exceptional rain and flooding during the past 24 hours with Kolhapur – 40cm; Londa – 38cm; Belagavi – 34cm; Betul – 28cm; Shivamogga – 27cm; Uttar Kannada – 24cm; Sanguem and Hoshangabad – 21cm each; Sanquelim -18 cm; and Kodagu -17cm.

“We need to monitor and forecast these events better as climate change is bringing in more of these short spells of heavy rains. We have better data for the cities, but fewer over the ghats,” said Roxy Mathew Koll, climate scientist at Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/mahabaleshwar-records-its-highest-single-day-rainfall-ever-101627026306344.html  (23 July 2021)

The 24-hour rainfall, ending at 8.30 am on Friday (July 23), was 594 mm. To put the figure in better perspective, this was close to the annual rainfall of some districts of Maharashtra: Ahmednagar – 591 mm, Solapur – 601 mm, Dhule – 623 mm and Sangli – 624 mm.

Friday (July 23) was the second consecutive day when such extremely heavy rain was reported in this town of Satara district. Since Wednesday (July 21), Mahabaleshwar has received 1258 mm of rain. On Friday (July 23), the rainfall recorded between 8.30 am and 5.30 pm was 180 mm. In the last 10 days, Mahabaleshwar has received 2066.6 mm — 40 per cent of the total July rain quota — the IMD rainfall data stated.

Between 2000 and 2021, on seven occasions, extreme heavy rainfall events — more than 400 mm in 24 hours — were reported either in July or August. Even though these are high rainfall receiving area, with June and September average of 5130 mm, this trend of intense spells within a short duration is on a rise. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/mahabaleshwar-records-594mm-rain-7418345/  (23 July 2021)

Mahabaleshwar got 482 mm of rainfall on Wednesday (July 21) and 461 on Thursday (July 22), data from the India Meteorological Department showed. IMD data shows that Mahabaleshwar annual rainfall is around 5,530 mm, of which some 30 per cent has been received in the last three days. The hill station has received 939 mm more rainfall than its annual seasonal average for the period ending July 23, as per IMD data. 

“Mahabaleshwar received 594.4 mm of rainfall in the last 24 hours. This is probably the highest ever rainfall recorded in the hill station,” Dr Jayant Sarkar, head of the IM”s Regional Meteorological Centre told PTI. Giving details of rainfall post 2010, Mumbai RMC senior scientist Dr Shubhangi Bhute said Mahabaleshwar had recorded 432 mm on July 31, 2014, the highest ever till now for the month, while it was 298.7 mm on July 16, 2018 and 290.8 mm on July 26, 2010. https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/maharashtra-rains-record-594-4-mm-rainfall-in-24-hour-period-in-mahabaleshwar-2493308  (23 July 2021)

Heavy Rain Breaks 40-Year July Record Incessant rain over the last 24 hours has led to devastating floods in parts of Maharashtra, with three districts flooded and two districts facing a flood-like situation. This is the heaviest spell of rain in the state in July in 40 years. The Navy has been roped in for rescue and evacuation.

More than 50 per cent area of the coastal town of Chiplun in Ratnagiri, around 250 km from Mumbai and having a population of over 70,000, has got submerged in flood waters, news agency PTI reported. https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/maharashtra-rain-heavy-rain-in-maharashtra-breaks-40-year-july-record-navy-roped-in-2492873  (23 July 2021)

Highest Rainfall Recorded in BMC Areas Rain was recorded at 60 automatic meteorological stations, which are working continuously, the civic body said, adding that the automatic weather stations at Dahisar, Chembur, Vikhroli, Kandivali, Marol, Borivali, Worli and Killa areas at the BMC headquarters received more than 200 mm of rainfall.

“According to this, the highest rainfall of 226.82 mm has been recorded by the automatic weather station at Dahisar Fire Station in the ‘R North’ section area,” it said. “218.45 mm in Chembur area after Dahisar, 211.08 mm in Vikhroli West area, 206.49 mm in Kandivali area, 205.99 mm in Marol area, 202.69 mm in Borivali area, 201.93 mm in Municipal Corporation Headquarters in Fort area. Mm and 200.4 mm of rainfall has been recorded in G South area (Worli),” it said. https://www.news18.com/news/india/highest-rainfall-recorded-in-bmc-area-aaditya-thackeray-details-rescue-efforts-3977804.html  (18 July 2021)

Pune recorded its wettest day of this season on Saturday (July 24). Shivajinagar recorded 80.3mm rainfall in the last 24 hours, while Pashan received 69.7mm and Lohegaon 60.4mm. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/pune-rains-weather-forecast-7419869/  (24 July 2021)

Pune witnessed its wettest day of the ongoing monsoon season as heavy rain lashed all parts of the city on Friday July 23). Rainfall recorded between 8.30 am and 8.30 pm in Shivajinagar was 78 mm and it was 59.6 mm in Lohegaon. Rainfall recorded between 8.30 am and 5.30 pm in Pashan was 63.4 mm.

Meanwhile, moderate to heavy rain was reported in other parts of the state, at Satara (46mm), Kolhapur (135mm), Sangli (22mm) and Solapur (15mm).  As on Friday (July 23), Maharashtra has recorded 34 per cent surplus rain this season. All meteorological subdivisions presently have recorded either normal or surplus rainfall in this season. The rainfall recorded here till Friday (July 23) was: Konkan and Goa – 52 per cent, Madhya Maharashtra – 25 per cent, Marathwada – 59 per cent and Vidarbha – 11 per cent. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/wettest-day-of-current-monsoon-for-pune-78-mm-rain-in-24-hours-7419342/  (24 July 2021)

Editorial A climate risk: On extreme weather events The monsoon is characterised by unexpected variability that forecast models can capture only in a limited way. However, much evidence is accumulating that there is a distinctive change in climate patterns. Studies show that a heating globe has increased atmospheric moisture levels, contributing to short, intense spells of rains. The interaction between warming, rainfall and temperature is complex and variables such as aerosol emissions, particulate matter pollution, agriculture and forestry patterns must be accounted for.

However, the broader picture is that extreme events — bursts of torrential localised rainfall and prolonged droughts and heatwaves — are likely to increase, making the role of accurate forecasts that are able to warn of such events at least three to five days ahead even more important.  But the bigger challenge is to undertake so-called climate-proofing of the most vulnerable regions and taking warnings of scientific risk assessment seriously. https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/a-climate-risk-the-hindu-editorial-on-extreme-weather-events/article35528979.ece  (26 July 2021)

CWC RESERVOIR STORAGE BULLETIN OF 22.07.2021

1. ALL INDIA STATUS The live storage available in 130 reservoirs as per 22.07.2021 Bulletin is 98% of the live storage of corresponding period of last year and 112% of storage of average of last ten years.

2. REGION WISE: a) NORTHERN REGION:- As per Reservoir Storage Bulletin dated 22.07.2021, the total live storage available in 8 reservoirs of Himachal, Punjab and Rajasthan having total live storage capacity of 19.17 BCM is 4.76 BCM which is 25% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 43% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 42% of live storage capacity of these reservoirs.

b) EASTERN REGION:- As per Reservoir Storage Bulletin dated 22.07.2021, the total live storage available in 20 reservoirs of Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal, Tripura and Nagaland having total live storage capacity of 19.96 BCM is 6.20 BCM which is 31% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 30% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 29% of live storage capacity of these reservoirs.

c) WESTERN REGION:- As per Reservoir Storage Bulletin dated 22.07.2021, the total live storage available in 42 reservoirs of Gujarat and Maharashtra having total live storage capacity of 35.24 BCM is 12.54 BCM which is 36% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 40% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 31% of live storage capacity of these reservoirs.

d) CENTRAL REGION:- As per Reservoir Storage Bulletin dated 22.07.2021, the total live storage available in 23 reservoirs of UP, Uttarakhand, MP having total live storage capacity of 45.27BCM is 14.00 BCM which is 31% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 44% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 35% of live storage capacity of these reservoirs.

e) SOUTHERN REGION:- As per Reservoir Storage Bulletin dated 22.07.2021, the total live storage available in 37 reservoirs of Andhra, Telangana, AP&TG (2combined projects in both states), Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu having total live storage capacity of 54.60 BCM is 28.11 BCM which is 51% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 35% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 32% of live storage capacity of these reservoirs. http://cwc.gov.in/sites/default/files/22072021-bulletin.pdf  (22 July 2021)

FLOOD 2021

Understanding floods to prevent them! Jeevitnadi Living River Foundation, in this second video Part 2: Understanding floods released on 25th June 2021 from the series on ‘Everything about floods’,  highlights the need to understand floods better and focuses on the current faulty models of development that serve to worsen the impact of floods. https://www.indiawaterportal.org/article/understanding-floods-prevent-them  (23 July 2021)

Dam Floods Maharashtra Water release from Koyna dam worsens flood situation in the downstream area. https://news.abplive.com/videos/news/india-maharashtra-flood-situation-worsens-after-water-released-from-overflowing-koyna-dam-live-report-1471659  (24 July 2021)

News about crop damage in Hingoli, Nanded and Parbhani districts in Maharashtra following heavy rains and water release from some dams. https://www.uniindia.com/rains-damage-standing-kharif-crops-in-marathwada/west/news/2457427.html  (24 July 2021)

Out of 26 dams in Bhima river basin, two dams – Andra and Kalmodi – have reached their full storage capacity and 12 have reached at least 70 per cent of their total capacity. Last week, water was released from Khadakwasla dam. In Krishna river basin, 11 out of 13 reservoirs have a stock of over 70 per cent of their total capacity. Last week, Satara district received very heavy rain and dam water was released from Koyana reservoir.

At present, Satara is among few districts in western Maharashtra with 81 per cent surplus rain. Since June 1, surplus rain has been recorded over Ratnagiri (66 per cent), Kolhapur (61 per cent), Raigad (49 per cent), Pune (38 per cent), Mumbai (28 per cent), Parbhani (107 per cent), and Jalna (77 per cent). Only Nandurbar (-52 per cent) and Dhule (-25 per cent) remain rain-deficient districts, but rainfall over these districts has been below normal since the beginning of this season. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/incessant-rain-pushes-up-reservoir-stock-in-bhima-krishna-river-basins-7422008/  (26 July 2021)

As per state government figures updated till Saturday (July 24), the death toll from the torrential rains that battered Pune and Konkan divisions, triggering landslides in some areas stands at 112, including 52 in the coastal Raigad district alone. As many as 1,35,313 people have been shifted to safer places, including 78,111 in western Maharashtra’s Sangli district, followed by 40,882 in Kolhapur district.

The Krishna river in Sangli and Panchganga in Kolhapur has been flooded. In Kolhapur, the rainfall activity ebbed and the water level of the Panchganga river at Rajaram weir came down to 52 feet, but it was still flowing above the danger mark of 43 feet, as per the district disaster cell. https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/india-news-maharashtra-landslides-ndrf-recovers-72-bodies-47-people-still-missing/389357  (25 July 2021)

The gates of at least 10 dams in the Bhima and Krishna basin were opened on Friday (July 23) to discharge water following an increase in the storage due to heavy rain in the catchments since the last three days. Among the major dams that started discharging water were Koyna, Varnavati, Kanher, Dhom Balkawadi, Khadakwasla, Kalmodi and Gunjawani.

More dams are likely to begin water release as their catchments continue to receive heavy spells of rains even on Friday (July 23). The storages in all major dams in Krishna basin increased to around 70% to 80% on Friday (July 23). The dams in Bhima basin have storages ranging between 50% and 80%. The major dams in the Bhima and Krishna basin collectively added around 60 TMC water in 24 hours ended on Friday (July 23) morning. Around 23 TMC water was added in the dams in the Bhima basin, while the dams in the Krishna basin got 37 TMC of additional water, stated the irrigation department in a report. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/10-dams-in-bhima-krishna-basin-release-water-as-stock-surges-to-70-discharges-from-more-dams-likely/articleshow/84692422.cms  (24 July 2021)

The districts of Kolhapur and Sangli have been put on alert to avoid a situation similar to 2019, when floods had wreaked havoc here. Kolhapur’s Guardian Minister Satej Patil said, “Besides Koyna, discharge from Almatti dam in Kolhapur is also set to be increased from 1.5 lakh cusecs to 2.5 lakh cusecs. This will also affect rivers in Kolhapur, which will get more flooded.” https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/kolhapur-sangli-on-high-alert-as-koyna-dam-discharge-to-increase-by-evening-7418690/  (24 July 2021)

Raigad, Ratnagiri, Thane, Satara, Sangli and Kolhapur are the state’s worst-affected districts. https://scroll.in/latest/1000967/over-130-dead-in-maharashtra-neighbouring-states-as-incessant-rain-causes-flooding-landslides  (24 July 2021)

As many as 129 people have died in rain-related incidents, including multiple landslides, in Maharashtra over the last two days, while 84,452 people under the Pune division were shifted to safer places on Friday (July 23) as heavy showers continued to wreak havoc in the state, officials said. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/rains-wreak-havoc-in-maharashtra-129-feared-killed-in-two-days/articleshow/84697499.cms  (24 July 2021)

Koyna Dam received a record rainfall of 746mm at Navaja in the catchment area in the last 24 hours. Average hourly inflow of water into the dam was 2.67 lakh in 24 hours. The radial gates will be lifted to 5 feet by 10.00 am at which discharge of 50,000 cusecs will start. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/videos/toi-original/maharashtra-water-released-from-koyna-dam-worsens-flood-situation/videoshow/84668550.cms  (23 July 2021)

Maharashtra is experiencing its heaviest monsoon season in July in 40 years, which experts say is a direct result of climate change. More than 30 people have died in the state’s largest city, Mumbai over the past week in a landslide and a wall collapse caused by heavy downpours. Two people died and 10 others were injured after a residential structure collapsed in the city’s Govandi area on Friday (July 23). Train services have been suspended and the city’s low-lying areas have turned into flood zones. And weather experts say heavy rains will continue to lash the city over the next few days. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-57938839  (23 June 2021)

As the water levels in river Krishna increased, the state administration sounded high alert facilitating the shifting of people away from the river banks to safer locations. The incessant rain leading to increased water discharge from the Koyna dam lead to water flowing into the residential areas in Sangli.

At least four gates of the Koyna dam have been opened. The officials said the water discharge will be increased upto 10,000 cusecs from Koyna dam from Friday (July 23). Along with Sangli, red alert sounded for Satara and Karad with disaster management teams rushed to these locations. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/mumbai-water-level-in-krishna-river-rises-to-30-feet-alert-in-sangli-karad-satara-7418140/  (23 July 2021)

The Almatti dam in Karnataka discharged water at 36,000 cusec, helping the water level of the Krishna river remain stable at 9.9 feet at the Irwin bridge in Maharashtra’s Sangli district despite continuous heavy rainfall on Wednesday (July 21). On Wednesday (July 21) morning, when there was no discharge, the river water level had increased from 7 feet to 9 feet. The danger mark at Sangli city is 40 feet.

Though the irrigation officials had not started discharge from the Koyna dam located upstream of the Krishna river, they plan to start discharge from the powerhouse spillway at 11 am on Thursday (July 22) at the rate of 2,100 cusec. An alert has been issued for the downstream villages. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolhapur/almatti-discharge-keeps-krishna-level-stable-at-sangli-koyna-to-start-release/articleshow/84620446.cms  (22 July 2021)

Chiplun city flooded Torrential rain since last night has wreaked havoc in Ratnagiri district, with Chiplun city being the worst affected. Hundreds of Chiplun residents were stranded in their homes after Vashisti river, the lifeline of the city, overflowed. Officials said in the past 24 hours, Chiplun registered 200 mm rain, the highest in Ratnagiri district. Many market places, residential and commercial complexes are under water. Electricity and communication lines have been snapped, bridges in and around Chiplun are under water and it was difficult to establish contact with local residents, said officials.

Sena leader Bhaskar Jadhav said, “Chiplun is like a saucer surrounded by mountains on all sides. In 2005, Chiplun had seen worse floods. But residents I spoke to are saying the situation now is worse than 2005.” Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat said the state machinery was on alert and efforts were underway to help the stranded residents. “I have also spoken to Koyana dam officials who have stopped discharge of water after generation of electricity, which should help ease the situation in Chiplun,” he said. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/maharashtra-chiplun-rain-flood-vashishti-river-7416882/  (22 July 2021)

As per the IMD’s district-wise rainfall data for Maharashtra, except for five districts, all the rest 31 districts in the state received large excess rainfall in the past 24 hours (8:30 am on July 21 to 8:30 am on July 22).

Satara district has recorded a very high rainfall departure after receiving 900 per cent beyond its normal rainfall in the past 24 hours. Adjoining districts of Sangli, Kolhapur and Ratnagiri have received 841 per cent, 336 per cent and 311 per cent above their normal rainfall, respectively. https://en.gaonconnection.com/heavy-rainfall-causes-floods-in-maharashtra-chiplun-ratnagiri-kolhapur-pune-mumbai-raigad-worst-affected/  (22 July 2021)

The Vashisti River as well as a dam overflowed last night, alarming residents as floodwater began rising rapidly. In scary visuals, buses can be seen completely submerged under water – only the tops are visible. The local market, bus station and railway station are all submerged in Chiplun.

The situation is grim in Khed and Mahaad as well where rescue operations are on. The Jagbudi River is also flowing above the danger mark in Khed; flood alerts have been sounded in nearby areas. Several shanties in Dombivli West near Mumbai have also been destroyed due to the flooding. Locals were seen using a boat to commute from one place to another.  https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/ratnagiri-chiplun-flood-rain-batters-maharashtras-konkan-6-000-train-passengers-stranded-2492343  (22 July 2021)

Officials said in the past 24 hours, Chiplun registered 200 mm rain, the highest in Ratnagiri district. (Image: ANI/Money Control)

Pictorial report on Chiplun flood. https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/photos/india/in-pics-chiplun-city-flooded-after-incessant-rain-thousands-stranded-access-roads-cut-off-ndrf-starts-rescue-operations-7211691.html  (23 July 2021)

In Satara district too, local administration faced difficulties in resuming rescue operations at Ambeghar and Mirgaon, where two landslides were reported. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/others/maharashtra-landslides-opposition-hits-out-at-govt-over-delay-in-rescue-ops-101627044127595.html  (23 July 2021)

Meanwhile, at least 12 villagers are believed to be trapped under debris due to a landslide in Mirgaon village in western Satara district. One body has been retrieved and efforts to locate others are underway. According to the district administration, there are around 110 villages in the district which are landslide-prone, and out of these 20 are particularly at risk. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/maharashtra-rain-raigad-landslide-death-weather-7418672/  (23 July 2021)

Four landslides have been reported in Raigad due to incessant rains, which have led to the roads being blocked. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/maharashtra-15-rescued-from-raigad-landslide-30-still-trapped/articleshow/84666170.cms  (23 July 2021)

In a separate incident, police said that 11 people on board a bus had a narrow escape as they were rescued just before the vehicle got washed away into a river in the Kolhapur district. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/maharashtra-rain-raigad-landslide-death-weather-7418672/  (23 July 2021)

Dam floods Goa Water released from Tilari dam of Chapora River flooded Camurlim, Colvale, Revora, Ranye’s Juve Island, Nadora & Siolim. It submerged agricultural lands, roads and houses while throwing common prople’s life out of gear. https://www.heraldgoa.in/Goa/GOA-REELS-UNDER-RAIN-RAMPAGE/177858  (24 July 2021)

Overnight heavy rainfall wreaked havoc in parts of Goa inundating houses, leaving hundreds stranded homes flooded, communication lines snapped and rail and road traffic disrupted. No loss of life has been reported yet, officials said. Two houses collapsed in the wee hours of Friday (July 23) morning but no one was injured in Valpoi taluka in North Goa as the occupants abandoned their homes no sooner the water began rising at around 3 am. 23 people in Harvalem in Bicholim were rescued and brought to safety. A bridge in Paikul Sattari was washed away cutting the village off from the mainstream while at least three incidents of houses collapsing after being inundated by floodwaters were reported from different parts of Goa. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/others/overnight-heavy-rains-flood-goa-villages-cut-off-houses-collapse-101627045447697.html  (23 July 2021)

Karnataka Portion of wall connecting KRS dam, Brindavan Gardens collapses Amid allegations of illegal mining causing damage to the iconic Krishna Raja Sagara dam, a portion of the wall beneath the stairs connecting Brindavan Garden—a popular tourist attraction—to the area where the idol of Goddess Cauvery is installed near the dam, collapsed late on Sunday, July 18, triggering panic among those residing in the vicinity. According to authorities, around 30 stones supporting the stairs had fallen off, resulting in the collapse of a portion of the wall. “This could have happened due to the incessant rains in the last few days as the mortar, used in construction works those days, may have turned weak in the recent years,” an officer told reporters. https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/portion-wall-connecting-karnataka-s-krs-dam-and-brindavan-gardens-collapses-152650  (20 July 2021)

Tamil Nadu Water level nearing 100 ft at Bhavanisagar Dam Water level in Bhavanisagar Dam is expected to touch 100 feet on Sunday (July 25) morning, after which the entire inflow will be discharged into River Bhavani.

Officials at the Water Resources Department said that inflow continues to be around 9,000 cusecs throughout the day and the level would touch 100 feet by 6 a.m. Sunday (July 25). “As per the flood regulation norms, water should be stored only till 100 feet in July. Hence, the entire inflow will be discharged into the river after that”, they added. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/water-level-nearing-100-ft-at-bhavanisagar-dam/article35516314.ece  (24 July 2021)

Telangana First flood warning issued in Godavari at Bhadrachalam Officials issued the first warning level in Godavari, with the flood water reaching 43 feet at Bhadrachalam by 8 a.m. on Saturday (July 24). The Central Water Commission (CWC) authorities said the flood level was rising in the river. Officials discharged more than 7 lakh cusecs to the downstream, and alerted the Revenue, Irrigation, Tribal Welfare, Medical and Health and other departments personnel.

At Polavaram, flood level reached 30 metres at the spillway and water was being released from all the gates to the downstream. Due to heavy rains in the catchment areas flood was rising, the officials said. The Indian Railways diverted some trains due to incessant rains. Road link has been cut-off to many villages along Godavari bund as flood entered into many habitations.

Irrigation authorities released 3,26,085 cusecs from Sir Arthur Cotton Barrage (at Dowleswaram). Officials released 1,25,811 cusecs into the sea by raising 70 gates from Prakasam Barrage. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/first-flood-warning-issued-in-godavari-at-bhadrachalam/article35504428.ece  (24 July 2021)

At Bhadradri, Godavari level up by 10 feet Heavy inflows aided by huge volume of excess water released from dams and barrages in the Godavari’s upper reaches pushed up the water level in the river by more than 10 feet in a span of 20 hours at Bhadrachalam, since Thursday (July 22) night. Water level in the river at the temple town reached 26.50 feet at 6 pm on Friday (July 23) and continued to swell till reports last came in. The river carried a flood flow of 3.43 lakh cusecs late on Friday (July 23) evening.

According to an advisory forecast issued by the Lower Godavari Division of CWC, the water level in the river at Bhadrachalam was expected to reach the first flood warning level of 43 feet by Saturday (July 24) morning. Discharge of excess water from Medigadda (Laxmi) barrage and Sammakka (Tupakulagudem) barrage coupled with the flood from swollen tributaries of the Godavari was expected to bring in a huge volume of inflows of 13 to 14 lakh cusecs by Friday (July 23) night.

The flood level in the river was likely to cross the first and second flood warning levels of 43 feet and 48 feet before touching the third warning level (danger mark) of 53 feet in the next 24 hours, sources in the Irrigation Department said. In August last year, the river’s water level reached 61.5 feet at the temple town. The highest ever water level of 75.6 feet in the Godavari at Bhadrachalam was recorded in 1986. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/at-bhadrachalam-godavari-level-rises-by-more-than-10-feet/article35499291.ece  (23 July 2021)

Andhra Pradesh Breach in Godavari bund upstream Polavaram dam Due to increased inflows and stagnated backwaters, a breach occurred to Godavari bund upstream Polavaram Dam, creating panic among the villagers. However, irrigation officials said the bund was damaged due to raise in flood level and water was diverted to another direction due to the breach. But, there is no threat to the villages. On receiving information about the breach, police and irrigation officials rushed to the spot. With the water level raising in the river, officials were releasing water from the 42 gates. The approach channel was completely inundated due to the breach, the officials said.

“With the backwaters stagnating for the last few days and flood water entering into the river due to rains in the upstream and hilly areas, there are chances of more breaches to Godavari bund and there is a threat to some river-bed villages,” said a villager M. Swamy. Road communication has been cut-off to many hamlets in Polavaram, Velerupadu, in West Godavari district and habitations were affected in Devipatnam and Yetapaka mandals in East Godavari district. Tribals were reaching their habitations by boats and through forests. Officials laid temporary roads from Gaddapalli and Gajulagondi villages to reach the cut-off villages in Polavaram mandal. Villagers said that there was seepage of water at many places from the bund as the flood level was increasing by the day. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/breach-in-godavari-bund-upstream-polavaram-dam/article35166317.ece  (06 July 2021)

Bihar A month on, flood and fury Thousands of people in Bihar are stranded without food, shelter or clean drinking water; cremations are being conducted from boats, and people have to climb trees to relieve themselves. The Kosi and Gadak rivers continue to wreak havoc in the state. https://en.gaonconnection.com/bihar-floods-2021-disaster-drinking-water-kosi-gandak-imd-supaul-deaths-nepal-rainfall-monsoon/  (24 July 2021)

URBAN FLOODS

Gurugram Water run-off from Aravallis prevented from reaching Golf Course Road Subhash Yadav, the divisional forest officer and head of the urban environment division, Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA), said that till last year, water from the creeks used to flow into the drain system and added to the load on the Badshahpur drain. “This time, we ensured rainwater from the Aravallis did not run off into drains. Water from three creeks was stored in the forests itself with the help of water bodies and check dams made there. This will help in both groundwater recharge and availability of water for wildlife,” said Yadav. Three check dams were built along the creeks on Golf Course Road, while creeks near the Shiv Nadar School and in Wazirabad were revitalised to arrest rainwater flow.

On August 19 and 20 of 2020, the city received over 196mm of rainfall, following which the 7 km Golf Course Road was inundated, with rainwater accumulation as high as 0.5 metres above the surface level at several points. However, this year, despite receiving 185mm of rainfall in two days, waterlogging was not reported from Golf Course Road, Sector 28 and Sector 26 that are located around the Aravallis.

Latika Thukral, the co-founder of iamgurgaon, an organisation that helped authorities conduct a hydrogeological study of the area, said, “This time, a decision was taken that no concretised drains will be made near the Aravallis and try to move the water from the roads into the green areas. So, for instance, MG Road and Faridabad Road are 200 metres above the Golf Course Road; so when water comes from there, it gushes down. But with this trial, this year, water flowed into the forests.” She said that cleaning of the Chakkarpur-Wazibarad bundh helped channel water from roads to the drains and that this part of the city did not get flooded. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/gurugram-news/water-run-off-from-aravallis-prevented-from-reaching-golf-course-road-101626801636017.html  (20 July 2021)

Two days after several parts of Gurgaon remained waterlogged following overnight rainfall, Haryana Home and Urban Local Bodies Minister Anil Vij said a committee will be formed to prepare a plan to resolve the city’s drainage issues. During his visit, Vij also ordered the suspension of two assistant engineers missing from their desks, and relieved an executive engineer for failing to answer for absence. He also directed for the deduction of two hours’ salary from the account of the branch’s section officer. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/gurgaon-committee-to-be-formed-to-find-permanent-solution-to-gurgaons-waterlogging-woes-7417251/  (22 July 2021)

Hyderabad Red alert along Musi, locals have nowhere to go With the lifting of floodgates of Osmansagar and Himayatsagar reservoirs on Thursday (July 22), the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWS&SB) and the police have issued a high alert to low-lying areas, especially to those households located on the Musi riverbank, urging them to relocate. But residents say that they cannot leave their houses unless the government arranges for temporary shelters and carry out rehabilitation operations.

Owing to the continuing rains over the last few days, floodgates of the Osmansagar were lifted up to one-foot level at a discharge rate of 200 cusecs, after a gap of 11 years. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/red-alert-along-musi-locals-have-nowhere-to-go/articleshow/84692830.cms  (24 July 2021)

This is not the first time Hyderabad has experienced flooding. The city faced major inundation in 2008, 2016, 2017, and recently in 2020. Excess rains in October 2020 caused floods that left close to 36 people dead, several lakh people suffering property damage and the flooding cost the exchequer over Rs 8,600 crore. To overcome future urban flooding, the city now has plans to redesign existing stormwater drains and build new drains. The Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MAUD) department began implementing the Strategic Nala Development Plan (SNDP) in January 2021, under the GHMC. The body carried out a study of the stormwater drainage system within GHMC limits and is in the process of calling tenders for projects worth Rs 854 crore. The project, however, will take a few years to complete and municipal officials say that until then, urban flooding will remain an occurrence in Hyderabad.

GHMC oversees the annual desilting of lakes and the Musi riverbed using earthmovers, which is undertaken ahead of monsoon to prevent urban flooding. The task usually begins in January. However, this year, the desilting process began only in May. So far, the GHMC has spent Rs 44 crore so far this year on the desilting of 256 drains. “Desilting alone won’t prevent urban flooding. It is only aimed at keeping the drains clear for smooth water flow,” Chief Engineer (Maintenance), M Devanand added.

Bhaskar S Rao, president of the GHMC Contractors Association, however alleged that GHMC workers refused to undertake the desilting work between January and April this year as they were not paid for their work during the October 2020 floods. According to him, this amounted to up to Rs 40 crore. “We undertook the work in May only because the officials said it was needed to prevent another flooding. The payment for the pre-monsoon delisting work will also be delayed. The GHMC has no money to pay us as the state government has to release funds to them,” he said.

“The delays affect our ability to bid for future projects as we are left with no capital. Many GHMC contractors have also stopped taking up the tenders due to this recurring issue of delayed payments,” he added. Though the GHMC claims that all 256 drains have been cleared, the association says that works are still pending in 40% of the areas. “We stopped the works a week ago due to the rains,” Rao added. https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/desilting-works-delayed-year-will-hyderabad-experience-floods-again-152875  (24 July 2021)

Himayat Sagar and Osman Sagar gates lifted On Thursday (July 22), five gates were lifted at Himayat Sagar while two gates were lifted at Osman Sagar, also known as Gandipet lake. The water level in Himayat Sagar reached 1,763 feet against the storage capacity of 1,780 feet, while water level reached 1,786 feet at Gandipet lake, against the storage capacity of 1,792 feet.

As many as 16 Telangana districts are witnessing a flood-like situation due to heavy rainfall in the state. At the Sriram Sagar Project in Nizamabad, situated on the Godavari river, 33 out of 42 gates have been lifted, while 6 out of 64 gates were lifted at the Jurala project on the Krishna river.

At Adilabad’s Kadem project, 16 out of 17 gates were lifted as the district is witnessing heavy floods. Besides inundating and flooding several towns across districts, the rainfall also caused boulders to fall on the roads in Yadadri Bhuvanagiri district. Reports in regional media also showed water inundation in the premises of the newly-opened Rajanna Sircilla Integrated Collectorate Complex. https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/telangana-rains-hyderabads-himayat-sagar-and-osman-sagar-fill-gates-lifted-152797  (23 July 2021)

The Water Board officials who are ascertaining levels of these reservoirs, are discharging flood water by opening floodgates in a phased manner. “Few more gates are also planning to open, but based on the flows into the reservoirs,” according to a senior HMWS&SB official told TOI.

Meanwhile, the HMWS&SB officials are planning to draw additional quantities of water from Osmansagar and Himayatsagar reservoirs, after water levels rise. Currently, the water board is drawing a total of 14 million gallons of water from the twin reservoirs, to meet Hyderabad city’s demand. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/rise-in-inflows-two-more-gates-of-hyderabads-himayatsagar-reservoir-lifted/articleshow/84679681.cms  (23 July 2021)

Locals in Hyderabad were seen thronging to Gandipet lake for fishing after two gates of the Osman Sagar reservoir were lifted on July 22.

With heavy rains lashing Telangana for the past few days, as many as 12,000 tanks and lakes have reached full tank level. Generally the tanks touch the FTL during August and September every year. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/videos/toi-original/locals-in-hyderabad-catch-fishes-in-the-gandipet-outflow/videoshow/84679818.cms  (23 July 2021)

HMWS&SB sounded a flood alert in the Musi river as the water levels in the Himayatsagar reservoir reached to the brim following heavy rains in catchment areas. With huge inflows into Himayatsagar, officials are likely to release the excess floodwater into Musi, which passes through the city. https://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/190721/officials-on-toes-as-water-board-issues-flood-alert-in-musi.html  (19 July 2021)

One senior official in Hyderabad stumbled upon a melodious musical flood warning system at the Gandipet reservoir which is now defunct. Municipal Administration Principal Secretary Arvind Kumar said the gramophone plays music to alert when flood water levels reach the danger marks in the reservoir, which was built about a century ago and provides drinking water to Hyderabad city.

The component makers’ identity read: ‘Musi Valley Project, Gandipet. Ransomes & Rapier Ltd, Ipswich, 1914, England’. According to The New Indian Express, the gramophone was kept at the Water Museum established by Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWSSB) at Khairatabad in 2009. With the museum closing down, it was brought back to Osmansagar for preservation. https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/telangana-restore-century-old-musical-flood-alert-system-osman-sagar-152888  (25 July 2021)

Mumbai BMC to conclude study on diverting excess water from Vihar lake next year In November 2020, the BMC had appointed a consultant to study the feasibility of the project. Officials said that the consultant is studying rainfall patterns, the quantity of water that needs to be diverted through the tunnel and suitable sites for discharge of water. “The study will also factor in the climate change angle as high-intensity rainfall in shorter duration becomes a more frequent phenomenon. Currently, we don’t know the quantity of rain water that will be discharged into Mithi after Vihar starts overflowing. It is important to study the rain pattern to shape up the project accurately,” said a senior official from the Storm Water Drain Department. He said, “The study will get over in 2022 and based on the findings, ground work will begin.”

This year, the level of Mithi had crossed the danger mark two times; both the incidents took place last week itself. BMC and NDRF had safely evacuated over 200 people from Kranti Nagar, located on the bank of the river, to safety.

Overflow of Vihar Lake leads to discharge of water into Mithi River, which triggers rise in its level during monsoon. In 2019, heavy rainfall leading to overflowing of Vihar Lake had caused a rise in the water level of the 17.8-km-long Mithi River at least three times. Rise in the river level had led to waterlogging in areas such as Kurla, Sion, Mahim, Matunga, Chunabhatti and Vakola. Following the incident, the BMC had proposed construction of a tunnel at the start of Mithi River to divert the lake water. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/bmc-to-conclude-study-on-diverting-excess-water-from-vihar-lake-next-year-7416181/  (22 July 2021)

Tansa, Modak-Sagar lakes overflow Modak-Sagar and Tansa lakes which supply water to Mumbai city started overflowing on Thursday (July 22). The civic body also added that 53.86 per cent of water is available in seven lakes that supply water to Mumbai.

The BMC said that Modak-Sagar lake started flowing at 3:24 am, while Tansa lake started flowing at 5:48 am on Thursday (July 22). “Two gates of Modak-Sagar lake and one gate of Tansa lake have been opened,” said the civic body.

Tulshi Lake and Vihar Lake started overflowing on July 16 and 18, respectively. “The total storage capacity of the seven dams supplying water to Mumbai is about 1,44,736.3 crore litres (14,47,363 million litres) of that, 77,956.8 crore litres as per the measurement conducted at 6.00 am today. (7,79,568 million liters) or 53.86 per cent of water has been stored,” the BMC said. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/mumbai-tansa-modak-sagar-lakes-which-supply-water-to-city-overflow/articleshow/84643573.cms  (22 July 2021)

33 villages on banks of the Tansa river in Sahapur, Bhiwandi, Wada & Vasai talukas in Thane (18) & Palghar (15) districts were on July 20 put on alert. Chief of Thane’s Regional Disaster Management Cell said Tansa dam was in danger of overflowing. https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/maharashtras-tansa-dam-near-overflow-mark-33-villages-put-on-alert-2491107  (21 July 2021)

Mithi rising without high tide a wake-up call: MLA Bandra (West) BJP MLA Ashish Shelar on Monday (July 19) said, “Increased water levels in Mithi river even when there is no high tide is a serious matter. The water level did not recede as expected. This is unusual,” adding, “for the first time, the water treatment plant at Bhandup had to be shut down due to flooding in its vicinity.” The MLA further said in the last 25 years, he had never seen flooding in Mithi river during a time when there was no high tide, and this needed to be studied.

“The water in Mithi river often flows into the sea. If incessant rain coincides with high tide, it occasionally sees increase in water levels. But the past two days, we saw a different picture. The river water was dangerously rising and entering adjoining residential localities,” he added. He also said on July 26, 2005, Mumbai witnessed the worst floods, but even in such an adverse situation, the Bhandup water treatment plant remained unaffected. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/mithi-river-flooding-without-high-tide-a-wake-up-call-for-mumbai-says-bjp-leader-ashish-shelar-7412241/  (20 July 2021)

Dave Petley about the Mumbai landslide on July 19 killing 29 people. https://blogs.agu.org/landslideblog/2021/07/19/mumbai-1/  (19 July 2021)

Thane KDMC temporarily suspends water supply in Kalyan-Dombivli Rainwater entered the Mohane pumping station in the Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation limits in the early hours of Thursday (July 22), leading to a temporary suspension of water supply in the twin cities. The civic body added that the water supply in these regions will be restored only after the rainwater subsides in the pumping station.

The three major rivers around Kalyan and Dombivli — Ulhas river, Waldhuni river and Kamwari river — have overflowed due to the incessant downpour that has been pounding the twin cities and the surrounding regions since Wednesday (July 21) morning. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/thane/kdmc-temporarily-suspends-water-supply-in-kalyan-dombivli-shahad-bridge-closed/articleshow/84627599.cms  (22 July 2021)

Opening of Barvi dam can worsen the floods in Kalyan Dombivali but the dam water level is still about 5.1 m from FRL. Water level at Vashishthi river between Chiplun and Kamathe is above danger level, train line traffic is suspended. https://www.freepressjournal.in/mumbai/will-kalyan-dombivli-soon-get-flooded-amid-claims-that-doors-of-barvi-dam-have-been-opened-heres-what-kdmc-has-to-say  (22 July 2021)

Pune Irrigation department to maintain around 90% storage in Khadakwasla dam The Khadakwasla dam will maintain around 90% stock for the next few days as part of a water release mechanism to avoid sudden increase in discharge, which could cause flooding in low lying areas, an official from the state irrigation department said. The dam was releasing water at the rate of over 10,000 cusec since Thursday (July 22) because of the massive water inflow.

The irrigation department said that the water stock in Panshet had reached near the 80%-mark and the dam might release water, which would come to Khadakwasla. Some space to accommodate the incoming water would be created because of the water release. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/irrigation-dept-to-maintain-around-90-storage-in-khadakwasla-dam/articleshow/84719363.cms  (25 July 2021)

16,000 cusecs of water was discharged from Khadakwasla dam on July 23 following heavy rains in the catchment areas. Water was released as the dam got filled up to 100 percent of its capacity. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/videos/toi-original/watch-water-released-from-punes-khadakwasla-dam-following-heavy-rains/videoshow/84690857.cms  (24 July 2021)

Water was released from the Khadakwasla dam into the Mutha river for the first time this monsoon on Thursday (July 22) after the reservoir’s storage increased to over 90%. The irrigation department started releasing the water at 2,446 cusec in the afternoon and increased the rate of discharge to 25,036 cusec after 11pm. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/khadakwasla-releases-water-total-stock-in-dams-over-50/articleshow/84660766.cms  (23 July 2021)

With incessant rain filling the Khadakwasla dam to its capacity, the Irrigation department started releasing water in Mutha river on Thursday (July 22) and increased the amount to 10,096 cusecs in the evening, while alerting local residents of low-lying areas near the river. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/pune-water-released-from-khadakwasla-dam-residents-of-low-lying-areas-urged-to-remain-alert-7417342/  (22 July 2021)

801 mm of rain in 33 hours at Mulshi dam According to Mulshi (Tata) dam in-charge Basavraj Munnoli, the catchment area of the reservoir received 486mm rainfall in 24 hours, ending at 7am on Thursday (July 22). Between 7am to 4 pm, the region received 315mm rainfall. A total of 53.50 mm of rainfall was reported in the district, as per the authorities, with landslides reported in Maval (Khandala ghat section), Bhor and Khed tehsil, while a part of road caved in at Malavli near Lonavla. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/others/red-alert-for-pune-district-801-mm-of-rain-in-33-hours-at-mulshi-dam-101626972900332.html  (22 July 2021)

Pune Smart City Development Corporation Limited’s flood- alert sensor was reported stolen from Prayeja City, off the Katraj-Dehu road bypass, on Friday (July 23). The sensor was fitted on a bridge over a nullah. The Smart City Operations Centre (SCOC) has installed 40 flood sensors across the city. The SCOC receives alerts and will send messages within a red (0-1 km) and yellow zones (1-3 km) radius, and notify key city agencies, in case of a flood.

Most of the sensors are installed on river bridges, culverts and over nullahs, all linked with the Smart City control centre on Sinhgad road. It also displays information on digital boards installed in main chowks in different parts of the city. Sanjay Kolate, chief executive officer (CEO) Smart City Development Corporation Limited , said, “We have given maintenance and operations to L&T. It is a five-year contract. The company has registered a police complaint.”  https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/others/pmc-updating-software-of-rain-gauges-in-the-city-101627047547369.html  (23 July 2021)

DROUGHT

Madhya Pradesh Farmers may sue IMD for ‘failed’ monsoon forecast Farmer bodies have claimed that around 40% summer crops, especially soyabean and pulses, were lost soon after they were sowed in early June because of poor monsoon rainfall, forcing the farmers to resow the crops. The farmer leaders blamed the IMD for the loss saying their forecast on monsoon rains was wrong. The IMD had predicted good monsoon rainfall in Central India in months of June and July following its quick progression but a close to 20 day break in the weather system’s progress caused a long heat wave in the region instead.

Not only farmers but a weather forecasting expert also questioned the IMD. Retired IMD scientist Shailendra Nayak said, “Global warming, and changes in weather conditions are behind poor forecasting of weather. Indian scientists need to change the study pattern and adopt some new models as their predictions are failing. Even when I was with IMD, I was facing challenges in forecasting due to some undefined conditions in satellite images. A new study should be done in this regard.” https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/bhopal-news/mp-farmers-claim-40-crop-loss-may-sue-imd-for-failed-monsoon-forecast-101626882700845.html  (21 July 2021)

Adverse impacts of cloud seeding Kondala Murali Mohan, a scientist with Krishi Vigyan Kendra (Medak), said these experiments are harmful to the environment. The scientist added: “The method can lead to acidification of the oceans, ozone layer depletion and an increase in the levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Silver is a heavy, toxic metal and it harms the health of plants, humans and animals. Cloud seeding is also a costly method. A foot of rainfall costs around USD 200.”

With so many side-effects, is the process worth it? “India is an agricultural country. When there are droughts and standing crops in the fields, cloud seeding can help to bring some respite. But it is not advisable in the long run,” said Murali. https://www.news18.com/news/buzz/read-how-dubai-created-fake-rain-with-cloud-seeding-3999557.html  (24 July 2021)

More on history of cloud seeding and its adverse impacts. https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/dubai-rain-artificial-man-made-b1888635.html  (23 July 2021)

AGRICULTURE

Monsoon break impacts on agriculture, economy The start-stop monsoons this year have already resulted in a decline in the sown area as compared to last year, a worrisome sign amid a jump in inflation. The government’s weather officials have said that rain clouds have now covered the entire country after a pause, but vast areas of the country are still staring at deficient rainfall, which may spell trouble for agriculture.

According to state-wise data for the distribution of rainfall across the various districts between 1 June and 19 July, about 58 percent of a total of 693 districts for which data was available had received at least normal rainfall while 287 districts (42 per cent) had seen deficient rainfall. Of these, 84 districts — the bulk of them lying in the three states of Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka — had received “large excess” rainfall. On the other hand, 247 districts, with Madhya Pradesh, UP, Gujarat, Odisha and Rajasthan accounting for more than half of them, had received deficient rainfall. https://www.firstpost.com/india/explained-why-monsoon-got-held-up-and-what-that-means-for-agriculture-and-economy-9822991.html  (21 July 2021)

The season (June-September) has recorded only 1.4 per cent below-average precipitation so far, but that aggregate figure conceals poor spatial as well as temporal distribution. The South Peninsula has received 27.1 per cent above-average rains. No less damaging has been the three-week-long dry spell from around June 20. Although preceded by intense rainfall activity during the first half of June — and succeeded by the monsoon’s revival towards July 12 or so — the extended “break” happened at the peak of the kharif planting season.

The effects of poorly distributed rains are visible from the agriculture ministry’s latest sowing data. Farmers have planted 10.2 per cent less area under kharif pulses, with the acreages similarly down 10.4 per cent for oilseeds, 15.51 per cent for coarse cereals and 7.7 per cent for cotton. The monsoon’s late recovery is unlikely to make much difference to the kharif crop, whose main sowing window is from mid-June to mid-July. Even assuming normal rainfall for the rest of the season, the benefits would accrue to the ensuing rabi or winter-spring crop. In fact, there is a clear trend, from the last 10 years or more, of rabi agricultural output showing greater stability and even exceeding kharif production. That has to do both with the monsoon’s increasing unpredictability and technologies to harness stored rainwater, whether through dams, farm ponds or drip/sprinkler irrigation. https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/editorials/bumper-agriculture-produce-southwest-monsoon-rainfall-season-7421957/  (26 July 2021)

HYDRO POWER PROJECTS

Uttarakhand A landslide around 2 am on July 24 has blocked mouth of main tunnel at Tapovan Vishnugad HEP in Joshimath, Chamoli. https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=4232184873526029&id=100002036746060

80 bodies were recovered and 204 people continue to be missing following Feb 7, Chamoli disaster, Lok Sabha was informed on July 20. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/parliament-proceedings-80-dead-204-missing-after-feb-7-avalanche-in-uttarakhand-govt-informs-lok-sabha/article35421784.ece  (20 July 2021)

Chamoli most seismically active zone: Study Scientists have identified 2,291 sq km area in Chamoli dist as “most seismically active zone in Himalayas” after they found that it had highest density of earthquakes & landslides over study of 8 yrs. Floods in Feb that killed 200 occurred here. Researchers said that further construction in the area should be avoided to prevent tragedies. “No hydropower plants or construction activity should be planned in this area.” Vikram Gupta, lead author & senior scientist at Wadia Inst of Himalayan Geology said.  https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/power/chamoli-where-flash-floods-killed-200-in-feb-most-seismically-active-zone-in-uttarakhand-himalayas-study/84573594  (20 July 2021)

Himachal Pradesh Affected villagers in Kinnaur demand to scrap the proposed Jangi Thopan 804 MW HEP. https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=OltDKOQ3PjA&feature=youtu.be  (25 July 2021)

Opinion How India can accelerate Pumped Hydro Storage This seems to be an advocacy for more Pump Hydro without considering the existing options including peak management options and also all the environment impacts. https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/power/opinion-how-india-can-accelerate-pumped-hydro-storage-for-a-clean-energy-future/84178059  (06 July 2021)

MoEF Agenda of EAC meeting to be held on July 27, 2021: 1. Gandhi Sagar Off Stream Pumped Storage Project (1440 MW) in an area of 402.50 ha by M/s Greenko Energies Private Limited in village Block, Tehsil Rampur, District Neemuch, Madhya Pradesh – Environmental Clearance

2. Rammam Hydroelectric Power Project Stage-III (3×40 MW) in an area of 74.077 ha by M/s NTPC Limited in Tehsil Soreng & Darjeeling Pulbazar, District Darjeeling (West Bengal) & West Sikkim (Sikkim)- Environmental Clearance

3. Vishnugad Pipalkoti Hydro-Electric Project of 444 MW in an area of 141.568 ha by M/s THDC India Limited in Thesil Chamoli, District Chamoli, Uttarakhand Environmental Clearance

4. Teesta Low Dam -I & II (Combined) Hydro-ElectricProject 71 MW (2×30 + 1×11 MW) in an area of 170 ha by M/s West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited in Triveni town, Tehsil Rangli Rangliot, Dsitrict Darjeeling, West Bengal – Terms of Reference
http://environmentclearance.nic.in/writereaddata/Form-1A/Agenda/2207202167156087FinalAgendaRiverValley15thEAC.pdf

Key decisions in EAC Meeting Minutes held on July 7, 2021.

1. WRD-Govt. of A. P. – Environment clearance for Rayalaseema Lift Scheme to supplement 3 TMC per day to SRMC on D/s of Pothiredypadu Head Regulator, which is an integral part of 1. Galeru Nagari Sujala Sravanthi (GNSS0 Project in District Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh. 2. Srsailam Right Branch Canal, Andhra Pradesh 3. Telugu Ganga Project, Andhra Pradesh – Amendment to the Existing Environmental clearances to include Rayalaseema Lift Scheme: MORE INFO SOUGHT

2. Ukai Pumped Storage Project of 1600MW in an area of 483.42 ha in village Ukai, Tehsil Songadh, District Tapi, Gujarat by M/s Greenko Energies Private Limited – Amendment in Terms of Reference: APPROVED

3. Parwan Major Multipurpose Irrigation cum Drinking Water Supply Project in an area of 12,247.79 ha by Department of Water Resources, Government of Rajasthan in village Akawad Kalan, Tehsil Khanpur, District Jhalawar, Rajasthan – Extension of Environmental Clearances: APPROVED

4. Shaheed Lakhan Nayak Small Hydroelectric Project of 25 MW in an area of 4.902 ha in Village Tentuligumma, Tehsil Boipariguda, District Koraput, (Odisha) – Reconsideration of Environmental Clearance by Meenakshi Odisha Power Private Limited: APPROVED http://environmentclearance.nic.in/writereaddata/Form-1A/Minutes/1907202152958738Approved_MoM_14th_EAC_RVHEP-19-07-2021.pdf

Relevant Decision of FAC meeting held on June 25, 2021.

Diversion of 535.85 Ha (in place of 505.5 Ha) of forest land for Banda Irrigation project of Water Resources Department in Sagar District, Madhya Pradesh. APPROVED

Agenda of FAC meeting on July 27 2021, relevant agenda:

1 700 HA FORESTLAND 4 NAVNERA BARRAGE ON RIVER KALISINDH DIST KOTA (RAJ)

2 113 HA FORESTLAND 4 KARAPANI IRRIGATION PRJCT, ODISHA

3 301 HA FORESTLAND 4 GANDHISAGAR PUMP STRG PRJCT (1440 MW) IN MP http://forestsclearance.nic.in/AgendaDetail.aspx?id=257!dis1

DAMS

Madhya Pradesh Govt allows desilting, excavation of sand from 4 dams After Kerala and Maharashtra, MP is third states to start desilting of dams in India. In the Cabinet meeting held on Tuesday (July 20), the state government decided to issue tenders for desilting and excavation of sand from Bansagar in Shahdol, Tawa in Itarsi, Bargi in Jabalpur, and Indira Sagar Dam in Khandwa, said home minister Narottam Mishra.

However, experts feel that desilting is an economically unviable process and in the absence of proper guidelines, it could damage the structure of dams. Experts also ask how thousands of tonnes of silt will be transported to different places as the state government aims to provide it to farmers for free. Himanshu Thakkar, coordinator, SANDRP said, “Desilting is not a new process but it was not adopted widely as it not economically viable. Even, farmers have to use it in a scientific way to make the land fertile so they may have to bear the extra cost.”

He added, “Desilting will increase the capacity of the dam but excavation of sand can damage the structure of dam too. In recent years, we saw that unsustainable sand mining damaged the aqueduct of Orsang river, a tributary of Narmada, in Gujarat. A similar, incident was reported from Maharashtra where a bridge collapsed due to sand mining. In MP, we know that illegal sand mining is so rampant.” The state government earned more than ₹500 crore in revenue from the sand mining in 2020. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/mp-government-allows-desilting-excavation-of-sand-from-four-dams-101626782134879.html  (20 July 2021)

Sardar Sarovar Dam Surface treatment taken up for the first time The Sardar Sarovar dam in Narmada district has recorded a decline in water level due to delayed monsoon, along with several smaller dams across the state, even as the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited (SSNNL) has taken up surface treatment to prevent leakage for the first time since its construction in 1986.

Confirming that for the first time since its construction in 1986, the dam is undergoing repair for leakage, the official said, “We have drained the dam this year by releasing water for irrigation during summer. The purpose is to allow the upstream surface of the dam or the dam structure on the side of the reservoir to undergo a leakage proof treatment. An area of 16,000 square metres is treated with chemicals to strengthen the structure and stop leakages. This is the first time that a leakage treatment is being undertaken for the entire width of the dam.”

SSNNL officials added that the water levels in Tava and Omkareshwar dams in Madhya Pradesh are much higher than last year, and with delayed monsoon, the dam reservoir level in Narmada will soon see a rise. The live storage in the dam on Sunday was at 555.25 million cubic metres. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/ahmedabad/water-level-drops-in-narmada-dam-as-surface-treatment-taken-up-for-the-first-time-7421882/  (25 July 2021)

Polavaram Project BHEL completes turbine model test BHEL, Bhopal has successfully completed the Turbine Model Test for 12 x 80 MW Polavaram Hydro Electric Project located in the state of Andhra Pradesh. The test has been carried out in Hydro Lab from July 5 to 13 in presence of customer representatives from APGENCO, WAPCOS & MEIL. https://www.freepressjournal.in/bhopal/bhopal-bhel-completes-turbine-model-test-for-polavaram-hydro-project  (15 July 2021)

INTERLINKING OF RIVERS

Ken-Betwa Link Part 1 of 6-part report by Deeraj Mishra on Ken Betwa Project. RTI reveal that no emphasis was laid on discussing the CEC report on adverse ecological impacts. 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)

Part 2 of series. Not Enough Land to Compensate for 23 Lakh Trees Cut, Govt Tries to Bend Rules  https://thewire.in/environment/ken-betwa-link-not-enough-land-to-compensate-for-23-lakh-trees-cut-govt-tries-to-bend-rules  (19 July 2021)

Part 3. Refusing to Do New Hydrological Study, Govt Moves Ahead With 18-Year-Old Data  https://thewire.in/government/ken-betwa-link-centre-moves-ahead-without-mandatory-latest-hydrological-study  (20 July 2021)

Part 4 covers RTI documents. https://thewire.in/government/ken-betwa-jal-shakti-secy-rejected-provisions-on-water-sharing-between-up-and-mp-citing-cost-hike  (21 July 2021)

Part 5. https://thewire.in/government/ken-betwa-no-cost-analysis-or-environment-impact-study-structures-make-way-into-project  (22 July 2021)

Dheeraj Mishra concludes with story of very those people who is going to face wrath of displacement. Ironically, they were waiting for development and they are getting displacement. https://thewire.in/rights/ken-betwa-project-locals-waiting-for-development-are-now-on-the-verge-of-displacement  (23 July 2021)

Also see Hindi version of same series here 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th

INTERSTATE WATER DISPUTES

Krishna-Godavari Water Dispute KRMB asks Telangana to stop power generation Even as Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) officials prepare to implement a recent gazette notification from the Union Jal Shakti Ministry that all projects on Krishna and Godavari rivers in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are to be managed by the respective boards, the Union government on July 22, 2021 said that the Andhra CM requested it to prevail upon Telangana to stop the ‘indiscriminate withdrawal’ of water for power generation at once. https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/krmb-asks-telangana-stop-power-generation-after-ap-seeks-union-govt-intervention-152798  (23 July 2021)

KRMB, GRMB banking on operational guidelines for clarity Officials of the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) and the Godavari River Management Board (GRMB) are still waiting for the operational guidelines of the gazette notification issued by the Central government on the maintenance of projects in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. “We need clarifications on several provisions of the gazette notification. Once the Parliament session is over, the chairmen of the Boards may go to New Delhi to discuss the same with the Jal Shakti Ministry officials. We will get some clarity on how to implement the gazette notification after the issuance of the operational guidelines,” an official of the KRMB told Express on Tuesday (July 20).

It has been five days since the gazette notification was issued, but Telangana Irrigation Department officials are clueless about the functioning of the Boards. “There is no clarity on the number of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel to be deployed at each project. Depending on the number of CISF and other personnel, the State government may have to give around `1,000 crore to `1,500 crore every year to the Boards for the maintenance of the projects and other works, besides the one-time seed money of Rs 400 crore. This will be a burden on the State’s exchequer,” an official of the Irrigation Department opined. https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/telangana/2021/jul/21/krmb-grmb-banking-on-operational-guidelines-for-clarity-2332994.html  (21 July 2021)

Telangana writes to KRMB seeking 50% share in Krishna water In a letter to the KRMB Chairman, Telangana Irrigation Department Engineer-in-Chief (General) C Muralidhar requested that the board allow for ad hoc sharing of water in 50:50 ratio between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh for 2021-22, until the  Brijesh Kumar Tribunal or Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal-II (KWDT-II) decides on the issue. Stating that Telangana has continued to suffer large distress due to insufficient water, the letter noted that KWDT-I and KWDT-II had emphasised that in-basin areas must be prioritised before water is allowed to be diverted to outside basin areas.   https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/telangana-writes-krmb-seeking-50-share-krishna-river-water-152693  (21 July 2021)

TS govt in jitters as Centre puts Mission Bhagiratha in KRMB ambit The other issue that is worrying the government is the Centre bringing Osmansagar and Himayatsagar, the twin reservoirs, meeting drinking water needs of Hyderabad, under the KRMB. The government will have to seek the KRMB’s permission to utilise water from the two reservoirs.

Since the gazette will come into force from Oct 14, the government is exploring all options to utilise the time to exert pressure on the Centre to exclude Mission Bhagiratha and the city’s two lakes from the KRMB domain. https://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/200721/ts-govt-in-jitters-as-centre-puts-mission-bhagiratha-in-krmb-ambit.html  (21 July 2021)

Centre’s move shatters KCR’s dream 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)

Retired IAS officer Shailendra Joshi. Union Jal Shakti Ministry exercised its powers under AP Reorganization Act, 2014, gazette notified jurisdictions of Krishna & Godavari River Management Board for stretches Krishna & Godavari, flowing in Telangana & AP. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/centres-river-mgmt-experiment-can-throw-up-several-challenges/articleshow/84512074.cms  (18 July 2021)

AP govt has scored a big victory without making much noise as Centre issued a notification fixing jurisdiction of river management boards without taking Telangana’s objections into consideration. AP had been struggling to contain Telangana. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/amaravati/aps-approach-yields-victory-hopes-centres-move-will-end-water-wars/articleshow/84485251.cms  (17 July 2021)

Opinion Sharing during scarcity The Centre must now see to it that the empowered Boards function in a fair manner, as the Union government’s decision will be final with regard to matters concerning jurisdiction of the two bodies.

Both States have their own justification to pursue new water and power projects as several areas await economic development. Rayalaseema is a dry region and it was grievances over poor utilisation of the two rivers in then undivided Andhra Pradesh that was a factor that led to the bifurcation. At the same time, the two States should instead focus on water and energy conservation and improving the efficiency of irrigation schemes and hydel reservoirs.

Given the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the finances of the Centre and in States, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh do need to consider these alternatives and low-cost options. https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/sharing-during-scarcity-on-krishna-and-godavari-river-management-boards/article35434034.ece  (21 July 2021)

RIVERS AS NATIONAL WATER WAYS

NW 110 क्यों फेल हुई यमुना वाटर-टैक्सी परियोजना by Avli Verma वर्ष 2016 में दिल्ली की यमुना नदी पर केंद्र सरकार ने वाटर-टैक्सी परियोजना शुरू की और पांच साल बाद बताया कि यह संभव नहीं है। ऐसे में यह सवाल उठता है कि क्या बिना उचित अध्ययन के ही सरकार ने ऐसी घोषणा कर दी।

यमुना नदी पर राष्ट्रीय जलमार्ग 110 दर्शाता मानचित्र। मानचित्र- असलम शेख, मंथन अध्ययन केंद्र

सरकार जल यातायात को प्रोत्साहित कर रही है पर इनसे जुड़े अध्ययन और आकलन सार्वजनिक नहीं किया जा रहा है। ऐसे में लोगों के लिए यह समझना काफी कठिन है कि किसी योजना की घोषणा के पहले क्या तैयारी की गयी है और भविष्य में इसके क्या परिणाम होने वाले हैं।

यह डर है कि राष्ट्रीय जलमार्ग-110 भी कहीं दिल्ली की यमुना नदी पर वाटर-टैक्सी परियोजना की तरह ही न साबित हो जाए। सरकार ने राष्ट्रीय जलमार्ग-110 से जुड़े अध्ययन इत्यादि भी सार्वजनिक नहीं किये हैं। https://hindi.mongabay.com/2021/07/26/why-water-taxi-project-in-yamuna-failed/  (26 July 2021)

IRRIGATION

Karnataka ‘Release KRS water to irrigation canals’ In the wake of heavy rains lashing the catchment areas of Cauvery in Kodagu and KRS reservoir receiving a good inflow during the last few days, Minister in charge of Mandya district K.C .Narayana Gowda has asked the Irrigation Department officials to begin releasing water to irrigation canals and facilitate farmers of the district to take up agricultural activity. While the irrigation authorities are already releasing water to Hemavathi canal, Mr. Gowda said the process of discharging water to Visvesvaraya Canal will also begin from Monday (July 26).

Even though Mandya district was known as the “sugar bowl” of Karnataka, the farmers grew more paddy than sugarcane. If sugarcane was grown on 40,000 hectares, paddy was cultivated on 60,000 hectares, the statement said. For the last three successive years, KRS reservoir was reaching its full reservoir level, he said while appealing to the farmers against wasting water that is released through the irrigation canals.

Meanwhile, irrigation authorities are discharging 30,000 cusecs of water from Kabini reservoir in Mysuru district in view of the good inflow into the reservoir following widespread rain in Wayanad region of Kerala. The water level in Kabini reached 2,280.28 ft. on Saturday (July 24) against the full reservoir level of 2,284 ft. The inflow into the reservoir was 27,511 cusecs. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/release-krs-water-to-irrigation-canals-minister-tells-officials/article35510578.ece   (24 July 2021)

Uttar Pradesh 3 years since its inauguration, farmers await water from Bansagar Widely promoted by the govt as a mega-irrigation project aimed at supporting farmers practising rain fed agriculture in MP, UP and Bihar, the Bansagar dam is yet to benefit farmers in Mirzapur, complain the local villagers. The state Jal Shakti minister has assured the canal water would be made available within a month. https://en.gaonconnection.com/bansagar-dam-project-madhya-pradesh-mirzapur-uttar-bihar-irrigation-farmers-drought-rice/  (24 July 2021)

URBAN RIVERS

Vishwamitri; Vadodara Question mark on crocodiles as VMC rams their habitat Crocodile experts and green activists have protested in Vadodara, after the city’s municipal corporation started removal of vegetation from the banks of the Vishwamitri river July 10, 2021. They said the action would destroy the riparian, which was an important habitat for ‘muggers’ or marsh crocodiles as well as a host of other wildlife unique to Gujarat’s third-largest city. https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/wildlife-biodiversity/question-mark-on-vishwamitri-s-crocodiles-as-vadodara-municipal-corp-rams-their-habitat-78052  (21 July 2021)

Tapi; Surat Authorities did not pay heed to CEPT suggestions In a case before the NGT, filed in July 2018 by the Nav Yuva Sangathan, a Surat-based NGO, highlighting the need for remedial action in respect of damage to Tapi river in Surat, a report filed by retired Justice BC Patel notes that Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) and Surat Urban Development Authority(SUDA) did not pay heed to recommendations with regard to river embankments and development between embankments, as suggested by experts at the Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT).

The matter first came before NGT in July 2018 and subsequently a committee was also directed to be constituted by the NGT. However in September 2020, the tribunal observed that the monitoring mechanism needs to be modified, given “the past experience of extremely slow progress in last more than one year of constituting the committee”. In this regard, retired Justice Patel was requested by the tribunal to oversee the functioning of the existing committee and to preside over the meetings of the committee, steer deliberations and send his report in four months. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/ahmedabad/report-over-damage-to-tapi-river-surat-authorities-did-not-pay-heed-to-cept-suggestions-7420853/  (25 July 2021)

Tawi; Jammu Riverfront on the lines of Sabarmati Speaking on the Union Territory Administration’s endeavour to develop the ‘Tawi’ riverfront on the lines of Sabarmati Riverfront, the LG Manoj Sinha on Monday (July 19) said that the project will change the face of Jammu and open up new avenues for tourism development. “We need to make committed efforts for the speedy completion of all the other important water projects which are connected with the development of Tawi Riverfront,” the Lt Governor said and set a deadline of one year for the completion of Jammu Tawi Barrage. https://in.news.yahoo.com/tawi-riverfront-change-face-jammu-154447129.html  (19 July 2021)

RIVERS

Tamil Nadu Where’s river Ganga in Tamil Nadu? A statement in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday (July 21) that Clean Ganga Fund under corporate social responsibility (CSR) had been used in Tamil Nadu, with firms spending Rs 52 lakh in the past three years, raised eyebrows of DMK’s P Wilson. To a question raised by Wilson, the Union corporate affairs ministry replied that ‘Clean Ganga Fund’ was among those used for CSR projects in Tamil Nadu.

When contacted, the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) said Clean Ganga Funds were not released for Tamil Nadu. In his reply, minister of state for corporate affairs Rao Inderjit Singh said 1,316 companies spent Rs 919 crore under CSR in 2019-20 in Tamil Nadu, against the Rs 627.7 crore spent in 2017-18 and Rs 829.3 crore spent in 2018-19. Agro-forestry, education, healthcare, clean Ganga fund and slum area development are among the 28 sectors listed for funding under CSR in TN. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/wheres-ganga-in-tamil-nadu-dmk-mp-p-wilson-on-corporate-social-responsibility-info/articleshow/84627275.cms  (22 July 2021)

Karnataka Nandi Hills parched, water to be pumped up Nandi Hills, believed to be the origin of five rivers, is facing a water crisis, worrying not just locals, but also the government and experts. So much so that now the government is planning to draw treated water from Bengaluru to replenish the lake at the foothills and pump it to the hilltop.  “Around Rs 1-1.5 crore will be invested to get water to the hill top. It is strange that the hilltop and the foothills are facing water shortage, despite there being a kalyani at the former and a lake down below. Drinking water is needed and so it has been decided to draw treated water from Bengaluru,” Tourism and Environment Minister C P Yogeeshwara told The New Sunday Express.

Experts and locals blamed the government for this state of affairs and for still not realising the importance of the eco-sensitive region. Expert A N Yellappa Reddy noted that Nandi Hills is the origin of five rivers — Arkavathy, Kumudavathi, Papigini, Palar and Pennar. “Since the region has been devastated because of mining, blasting, stone crushing, deforestation, rapid urbanisation and commercial activities, the hilltop is now water-starved. After polluting the water bodies, treating it and then pumping it to the hilltop is amusing,” Reddy rued. He said that the government should create wetlands around the lake at the foothills and clear all encroachments around the origin points and the flow channels, which will resolve the issue. https://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/bengaluru/2021/jul/25/nandi-hills-parched-water-to-be-pumped-up-2334980.html  (25 July 2021)

Punjab 2 more CETPs, 200 cusecs of fresh water to clean Buddha Nullah Two more common effluent treatment plants (CETPs), with a capacity to treat 90 MLD (million litres per day) domestic and industrial effluent being directly discharged into the highly polluted Buddha Nullah, a seasonal tributary of the Sutlej, will be made operational by July 31, the government has confirmed. Besides, 200 cusecs of clean water from the Sirhind canal will also be released into the drain by the month-end, a senior officer said on Friday (July 23). With this, three CETPs, with a total capacity of 105 MLD will check the discharge of untreated domestic and partially treated domestic and industrial effluent directly into the nullah. While a CETP with 15 MLD treatment capacity was already operational, other two CETPs, with 50 and 40 MLD capacity each, were in the advanced stage of completion.

This was part of the Rs 840-crore rejuvenation project to give a new lease of life to one of the most polluted nullahs, which runs almost parallel to the Sutlej through most of Ludhiana district, including 14-km in the city, before merging with the river. The project was launched on January 12 to check the existing 625 MLD untreated domestic waste water discharged directly into the nullah and the future discharge, if any. The major work under the rejuvenation of the 47.55-km-long Buddha Nullah has been awarded for domestic waste water management. While the capital cost of the project will be Rs 519 crore, the 10-year operation and maintenance will cost Rs 321 crore. The entire project will be completed within two years. While the project will be completely in operation by November 2022, some components will be put to operation earlier. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/ludhiana/2-more-cetps-200-cusecs-of-fresh-water-to-clean-buddha-nullah-287403  (24 July 2021)

Madhya Pradesh कलियासोत पर भी लागू करें गंगा स्वच्छता के लिए बनी गाइडलाइन एनजीटी ने भोपाल की कलियासोत नदी में प्रदूषण नियंत्रण के लिए बीते सालों में कोई प्रयास नहीं करने पर राज्य सरकार की खिंचाई की है। इसके साथ ही वर्ष 2017 में गंगा नदी की स्वच्छता के लिए पर्यावरण सुरक्षा समिति बनाम यूनियन ऑफ इंडिया केस में प्रिंसिपल बेंच द्वारा जारी गाइडलाइन को कलियासोत नदी पर लागू करने का आदेश दिया है। साथ ही राज्य के मुख्य सचिव को निर्देश दिए हैं कि वे नदी में गंदगी मिलने से रोकने के पूर्व में दिए आदेशों का पालन सुनिश्चित कराएं। क्योंकि कलियासोत पवित्र बेतवा की सहायक नदी है जो गंगा-यमुना बेसिन का हिस्सा है।

एनजीटी ने 7 साल से लंबित इस केस में फैसला देते हुए बीते सालों में प्रदूषण फैलाने वालों पर कार्रवाई नहीं करने की तुलना आम लोगों की जिंदगी पर हमले और नरसंहार से की है। एनजीटी ने कहा है कि प्रदूषण सामूहिक रूप से लोगों को बीमार कर लोगों की जान लेता है, इसलिए जानबूझकर प्रदूषण फैलाने वालों के विरुद्ध कार्रवाई नहीं करना और पीड़ितों के बचाव के कदम नहीं उठाना रूल ऑफ लॉ का मखौल उड़ाना है। पर्यावरणविद् डॉ. सुभाष पांडेय की इस याचिका में कलियासोत की सीमांकन कर नदी के सेंटर से दोनों ओर 33 मीटर तक ग्रीन बेल्ट विकसित करने की मांग की गई थी। एनजीटी ने नदी किनारे हुए अतिक्रमण के लिए जिम्मेदार अधिकारियों की जवाबदेही तय करते हुए कार्रवाई के निर्देश दिए हैं। इस आदेश के बाद गंगा नदी की तरह ही कलियासोत में निर्धारित बहाव, पानी की गुणवत्ता सुनिश्चित करना होगी। https://www.bhaskar.com/local/mp/bhopal/news/apply-the-guideline-made-for-ganga-cleanliness-on-kaliasot-said-not-taking-action-against-those-who-spread-pollution-is-a-crime-like-genocide-128730220.html  (22 July 2021)

GANGA Study Quantitative analysis of Microplastics along River Ganga The Ganga is heavily polluted with microplastics at Varanasi, Haridwar and Kanpur, Delhi-based non-profit Toxic Link claimed. Study done in collaboration with Indian Oceanography Institute. The findings suggest that there is an urgent need to look extensively at this global pollutant not just in the Ganga but also other river bodies in the country. http://toxicslink.org/docs/Quantitative%20analysis%20of%20Microplastics%20along%20River%20Ganga.pdf 

Apart from humans, microplastics are harmful to marine species as well. More than 663 marine species are affected by marine debris and 11 percent of them are said to be related to microplastic ingestion, the study says. https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/what-a-new-study-says-about-microplastic-pollution-in-river-ganga-7420467/  (24 July 2021)

GANGA NMCGNMGC approves new projects for rejuvenation of 6 rivers “At the 36th Executive Committee meeting (on July 16) of the NMCG, chaired by Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, DG, new projects for rejuvenation of six polluted river stretches in the Kumaon region were approved,” the NMCG said in a statement. Out of the rest three polluted stretches, project of Ganga at Jagjeetpur, Haridwar has already been commissioned and on the remaining two, Namami Gange projects are already under execution, it said.

“It (the Executive Committee) has approved the project of Interception and Diversion (I&D) and STP work of six polluted river stretches to rejuvenate rivers Bhela, Dhela, Kichha, Kosi, Nandhore, Pilakhar and Kashipur,” the statement said. It also approved Sewerage (I&D) scheme (Dhela River) Phase-1 of District Udham Singh Nagar, Uttarakhand under Namami Gange Programme at a sanctioned cost of Rs 199.36 crore, the statement added. The project will ensure tapping of a total of 17 nalas which will be intercepted and diverted to nine STPs to be constructed for a total treatment capacity of 30.30 MLD, it said. https://www.outlookindia.com/newsscroll/nmgc-approves-new-projects-for-rejuvenation-of-6-rivers-in-ukhand/2122350  (16 July 2021)

Uttarakhand Char Dham Project चंबा धरासू ऑल वेदर रोड़ के तांगला डंपिंग जोन के मलबे से डडूर व नंद गांव खतरे की जद में आ गए हैं।  पिछले कई दिनों से हो रही लगातार बारिश के कारण चंबा धरासू मोटर मार्ग पर तानगला गांव के पास बना डंपिंग जोन ग्रामीणों के लिए मुसीबत बन गया है। बारिश के कारण डंपिंग जोन का मलबा नीचे  गांव तक पहुंच गया और मलबे से गांव का पंचायत घर आधा डूब गया है। वही गांव के कई मकान भी खतरे की जद में आ गए हैं।  https://www.facebook.com/100063958543534/posts/192179949590622/ 

Plan to fell 25k trees The govt is planning to fell 25,000 trees for the construction of a Science research college in the biodiversity-rich Balawala area of the Raipur forest range under the Mussoorie forest division. The officials have already identified a 103-acre land in the forest for the construction of the campus of the institute, which is to be developed on the lines of the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER).

However, the proposal to fell trees has drawn flak from activists as it will not just deplete green cover but also destroy the natural habitats of several animals like elephants, leopards, deer, snakes, avian species, rabbits, and innumerable small creatures. The dense Balawala forest is rich in sal, amla, and teak trees. Besides, the Song river flowing through the forest makes for a robust forest ecosystem in the area. Further, the forest is close to Shivalik Elephant Reserve and thus, is often frequented by elephants. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/ukhand-plans-to-fell-25k-trees-for-constructing-a-research-college-near-elephant-reserve/articleshow/84714462.cms  (25 July 2021)

YAMUNA Uttarakhand HC orders police protection for activist Ajay Narain Sharma told the court he had been attacked twice, once sustaining head injuries, and threatened four times since he filed the petition in April. He said he had complained to the police and district administration thrice but “no action” was taken. Sharma had alleged that the bed of the Aamwala Ki Rao rivulet in the eco-sensitive Doon Valley was being dried up and revenue records were being tweaked to show that “jal magan bhoomi” (water holding) was “banjar bhoomi” (barren land). It was then being sold off. The state government has been given four weeks’ time to respond on the case.

“Construction has been allowed to come up and flourish, which is changing the very character of the said rivulets in a pristine area of Doon Valley,” the petition had said. Rivers in the valley are seasonal, because of which the beds run dry for a part of the year. When they do flow again, the construction in their path forces them to change course. On hearing the petition, the high court had on April 8 ordered a stay on all construction on riverbeds near Sahastradhara in the valley. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/hc-orders-police-protection-for-ukhand-activist-who-raised-riverbed-encroachment/articleshow/84561847.cms  (20 July 2021)

Delhi-Haryana SC junks DJB’s plea against Haryana over water shortage The Supreme Court on Friday (July 23) dismissed a contempt plea filed by the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) seeking more water from Haryana to meet the Capital’s drinking water needs. The board approached the court alleging that Haryana was in contempt of a February 29, 1996 order the Supreme Court passed, requiring the state to provide enough water to keep the reservoirs at Wazirabad and Hyderpur full to their capacity. The bench of justices L Nageswara Rao, AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian dismissed the contempt petition and said a detailed order with the reasons for this will follow.

Senior advocate Shyam Divan relied on a report by a Supreme Court-appointed panel on April 22 this year that found out that Delhi was diverting water received from Haryana to its plants at places other than Wazirabad and Hyderpur. “The committee found how water from the Yamuna coming to Delhi is being diverted to water treatment plants at Bawana, Dwarka and Okhla. It depends on DJB how much water it wants to send to Wazirabad, as it is fully under their control,” Divan said. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/sc-junks-djb-s-plea-against-haryana-over-water-shortage-101627071312511.html  (24 July 2021)

Haryana Govt unlikely to release river water ‘in excess’ Haryana is actively considering the issue of sticking to a 27-year old water sharing agreement and not releasing water “in excess” from the Yamuna to the National Capital Territory of Delhi. A statement to this effect has been made before the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The bench, in turn, has directed the authorities concerned to examine and initiate apposite steps on a representation in the matter in addition to all other requisite steps.

The submission on water sharing by Haryana Additional Advocate-General Deepak Balyan came during the hearing of a PIL filed by a “public spirited person”, Ashish Chaudhary. He was, among other things, seeking directions to the State of Haryana and other respondents to release water from the Yamuna strictly in accordance with agreement dated May 12, 1994. His argument was that the supply of excess water was not only violative of the agreement, but also Article 14 and 21 of the Constitution. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/haryana/haryana-unlikely-to-release-yamuna-water-in-excess-287371  (24 July 2021)

Delhi 3 sections of riverfront project complete Work on three stretches of the 25-km-long Yamuna Riverfront Development project is complete, said the Delhi Development Authority. The DDA plans to add features such as walkways, eco-trails, and water bodies on the entire stretch between Wazirabad barrage and Okhla barrage. The deadline for the project is December 2023. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/walkways-to-water-bodies-3-sections-of-yamuna-riverfront-project-complete-7422147/  (26 July 2021)

Uttar Pradesh मथुरा में शुद्ध जल के लिए 7 अगस्त से आमरण अनशन यमुना जल प्रदूषण मुक्ति मंच अब आरपार की लड़ाई के मूड में है। यमुना में शुद्ध जल न आने से 7 अगस्त से मंच के कार्यकर्ता आमरण अनशन करेंगे। मंच के सदस्य संजय हरियाणा ने बताया कि साढ़े तीन हजार क्यूसेक पानी मथुरा में छोड़ने के एनजीटी न्यायालय व सुप्रीम कोर्ट के आदेश के बाद भी आज तक एक बूंद पानी न आना ब्रजवासियों के साथ छलावा है। संगठन अब यमुना जल शुद्धिकरण, मथुरा को तीर्थस्थल घोषित करने, नाले डायवर्ट करने व द्वारिकाधीश से यमुना पार तक पुल बनाने की लड़ाई लड़ेगा। https://www.amarujala.com/uttar-pradesh/mathura/mathura-fast-till-august-7-for-pure-water-in-yamuna-mathura-news-agr501054686 (24 July 2021)

शनिवार (July 17) को यमुना के घाटों पर गंदगी का अंबार लगा हुआ देखने को मिला। हालांकि साफ-सफाई के लिए यहां पर कर्मचारी तैनात किए गए हैं, लेकिन उनके होने न होने का असर इसलिए दिखाई नहीं देता, क्योंकि अभी भी यमुना में नाले सीधे गिर रहे हैं। जिसकी वजह से यमुनाजल में प्रदूषण एक बार फिर बढ़ने लगा है। जबकि पिछले दिनों कोरोना क‌र्फ्यू के दौरान यमुना के जल में काफी सुधार हुआ था। प्रदूषण बढ़ने की वजह शहर में अब फैक्ट्री, कारखाने का चलना भी माना जा रहा है। https://www.jagran.com/uttar-pradesh/mathura-drains-falling-in-jamuna-water-getting-polluted-21841145.html  (18 July 2021)

Yamuna river, near Gokul barrage in Mathura, has been flowing with bubbling thick foam and filth, caused by waste discharge. Though the froth appears like snow, this toxic waste is full of residential and industrial discharges, confirmed district authorities in Mathura. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/agra/up-thick-toxic-froth-engulfs-yamuna-in-mathura/articleshow/73177187.cms  (09 Jan. 2021)

यमुना किनारे जुगलघाट पर नगर निगम की अनदेखी के चलते डलावघर जैसे हालात बन चुके हैं। यहां यमुना स्नान व पूजन करने आने वाले श्रद्धालुओं को ऐसे हालात ठेस पहुंचा रहे हैं। इतना ही नहीं बिना इजाजत यमुना किनारे धार्मिक आयोजन इस गंदगी को और भी बढ़ावा दे रहे हैं। https://www.jagran.com/uttar-pradesh/mathura-yamuna-pollution-19160894.html  (23 April 2019)

हजारों मछलियों ने तोड़ दिया दम गुरुवार (July 22) को आगरा में यमुना के प्रदूषित जल में हजारों मछलियों ने दम तोड़ दिया है। बल्केश्वर और बेलनगंज के बीच यमुना किनारे पर हजारों मछलियां मरी पड़ी हुई हैं। उनके गोकुल बैराज से छोड़े गए प्रदूषित पानी की वजह से मरकर आगरा तक बहकर आने की बात जिम्मेदार अधिकारी कह रहे हैं।

आगरा में यमुना की दशा ठीक नहीं है। उसमें 92 नाले गिरते हैं, जिनमें से 61 नाले सीधे यमुना में गिर रहे हैं। पिछले दिनों सीपीसीबी द्वारा कराई गई जांच में सीवेज ट्रीटमेंट प्लांट भी कसौटी पर खरे नहीं पाए गए हैं। आउटलेट पर लिए गए सैंपल अधोमानक पाए गए हैं। हालांकि, जिम्मेदार विभागीय अधिकारियों ने आगरा में यमुना के प्रदूषित होने से मछलियों के मरने की संभावना से इन्कार किया है। गोकुल बैराज से यमुना में पानी छोड़ा गया है। बैराज से छोड़े गए पानी में सिल्ट और सीवरेज अधिक होने से यमुना में डिजाल्व ऑक्सीजन कम होने से मछलियां मरी होंगी। मरी मछलियां मथुरा से बहकर आगरा तक पहुंची हैं। आगरा में अगर यमुना प्रदूषित होतीं तो यहां मछलियां मरने की घटनाएं पूर्व में भी होतीं। https://www.jagran.com/uttar-pradesh/agra-city-water-of-yamuna-is-getting-poisonous-thousands-of-fish-have-died-jagran-special-21856676.html  (23 July 2021)

थाना नगला सिंघी के गांव रसूलाबाद यमुना घाट पर किसानों के होश उस समय उड़ गए जब उन्हें यमुना नदी में सैकड़ों की संख्या में मरी हुई मछलियों को देखा। शुक्रवार (Jan. 15) की सुबह अचानक इतनी मछलियों के मरने के पीछे ग्रामीण तरह-तरह के कयास लगा रहे हैं। ग्रामीणों चिंता जताते हुए बताया है कि उनके पशु भी नदी से जल पीते हैं, उनके पशु भी बीमार न पड़ जाएं। बीते वर्ष भी जनवरी माह में नदी के किनारे पर सैकड़ों मृत मछलियां पाई गई थीं। ग्रामीणों का कहना है कि आगरा में छलेसर के निकट बूचड़ खाना है। वहां से जहरीले केमिकल का रिसाव यमुना नदी में छोड़ा जाता है। इससे ही मछलियां मरती हैं।  https://www.amarujala.com/uttar-pradesh/agra/fish-death-in-yamuna-tundla-news-agr4765752133  (15 Jan. 2021)

RIVERS BIODIVERSITY

Bihar Crocodiles build 10-feet tunnel inside embankment This incident was reported in the Pipra Piprasi embankment of Bagaha in West Champaran district. After the information of the tunnel made by crocodiles, a team of experts led by Prakash Das, chief engineer of the water resources department, inspected the embankment. Das said that the tunnel site has been reviewed with expert engineers. “The crocodile has made a 10-feet deep tunnel, which has been repaired now. We inspected every point and ordered a search for other tunnels,” he said. Engineers of the water resources department are apprehensive that crocodiles could have made tunnels at many places near the embankment. They fear that due to this embankment may get damaged when the pressure of the water increases. https://www.news18.com/news/india/crocodiles-build-tunnel-inside-bihar-dam-eggs-recovered-3910514.html  (01 July 2021)

Maharashtra Crocodile in streets of Sangli The water of the Krishna river has risen dangerously. https://scroll.in/video/1001062/watch-heavy-rains-bring-out-a-crocodile-to-the-streets-of-sangli-maharashtra  (25 July 2021)

Telangana Smooth-coated otter, listed as endangered, spotted on Hyderabad’s Nagarjuna Sagar dam https://scroll.in/video/1000839/watch-smooth-coated-otter-listed-as-endangered-spotted-in-hyderabads-nagarjuna-sagar-dam  (22 July 2021)

FISH, FISHERIES, FISHERFOLKS

Tamil Nadu Compensate fisherfolk, local residents for loss of livelihood at Ennore: Activists Hitting out at Tangedco for continuing illegalities in Ennore Creek, a three-member citizen panel comprising of water expert Prof S Janakarajan, singer and activist TM Krishna and G Sundarrajan of Poovulagin Nanbargal wrote to Madras High Court Chief Justice and Chief Minister MK Stalin seeking compensation for the fisherfolk and local residents who are affected by the fly ash contamination and air pollution. They also warned the government that Tangedco’s exposure to liabilities arising from its reckless violation of laws in Ennore will place a substantial burden on the exchequer. https://www.dtnext.in/News/City/2021/07/24041928/1308344/Compensate-fisherfolk-local-residents-for-loss-of-.vpf  (24 July 2021)

Draft Marine Fisheries Bill: A netting trouble Fishermen have threatened to blockade ports if Parliament passed the Bill in its present form. “It does not take into consideration the traditional rights of fishermen who have been fishing where they find fish. It talks about fines even for fishermen with non-motorised traditional craft, and the prescribed fine amounts are quite heavy. There has been no consultation with stakeholders or the public whatsoever. The licences are to be obtained under the Merchant Shipping Act, and not the Tamil Nadu Marine Fishing Regulation Act, and the authority to impose fines would be given to the Central forces like the Coast Guard. Already if our boats pass by their craft, we are treated like criminals, asked to kneel down and raise our hands above our heads and threatened to be shot,” said K. Bharathi of the South Indian Fishermen Welfare Association.

This Bill, says Pradip Chatterjee, convener of the National Platform for Small Scale Fish Workers, has been introduced in a hurry without any scope for stakeholder or public comments as it was done in the case of the Draft National Marine Fisheries (Regulation & Management) Bill, 2019. This Bill is far from the realities of Indian marine fisheries as all kinds of boats, including the mechanised fishing boats like trawlers and purse seiners, are designated as small-scale boats. It is a blatant betrayal of the small-scale fishing communities and an open attempt to subjugate the livelihood of small-scale fishers to the interests of mechanised boat owners. The body has written to members of Parliament, requesting them to ensure that the passage of the Bill is deferred until these concerns are properly addressed, and stakeholder consultations are undertaken. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/draft-marine-fisheries-bill-a-netting-trouble/article35517538.ece  (25 July 2021)

SAND MINING

Haryana Rs 1.64-cr fine for violation NGT has imposed a fine of Rs 1.64 crore on a company for mining in the Yamuna by violating environmental norms. The NGT also directed the Chief Secretary, Haryana, to ensure a legal action, including prosecution and blacklisting of such units. Krishan Chander had filed a complaint against a private company, M/s DSP Associates, Sonepat, for illegal mining by diverting the natural flow of the river. He claimed the firm had dug a 20-ft pit and made a bund to stop the natural flow of the Yamuna at Tikola village of the district.

The NGT had sought a report on the issue. Dissatisfied with the report, the tribunal recast a committee and sought further action against the company on October 12 last year. Following the NGT’s order, a fresh report was submitted by the committee on March 30, in which it showed that sand bund was built across the river and was demolished on October 23. It was also mentioned that the mining activity was permitted to be resumed on October 28 by the department. The report further showed that the mining continued for 824 days without any check. The fact that mining continuing for three years without any action by the statutory regulators showed the failure of the statutory regulatory mechanism, the NGT said. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/haryana/ngt-imposes-rs-1-64-cr-fine-on-sonepat-unit-for-violating-eco-norms-287816  (25 July 2021)

West Bengal Mining corporation to auction sand mining rights: CM All sand mining auctions in Bengal will be done by West Bengal Mining Development Corporation instead of district magistrates, chief minister Mamata Banerjee said on Thursday (July 22). To usher in transparency and accountability into the allotment of five-year sand mining rights along river beds state wide, the allotment process would be monitored by the state chief secretary and finance secretary. Bengal, the CM said, would also introduce CCTV coverage and digital mapping of sand mines. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/mining-corpn-to-auction-sand-mining-rights-says-cm/articleshow/84661559.cms  (23 July 2021)

Madhya Pradesh Tribal labourers in stone mines continue to die of silicosis Panna district has 106 stone mines that employ poor, under-nourised tribal workers. Many of them contract silicosis and die a slow, painful death. There is a lack of data on silicosis patients, diagnostic facilities are missing and claiming compensation is an uphill battle. https://en.gaonconnection.com/panna-madhya-pradesh-tribal-stone-mines-deaths-silicosis-covid-pandemic-health-rural-india/  (23 July 2021)

WETLANDS, LAKES, WATER BODIES

Gujarat ‘Cannot allot water body land even if it is dry’ HC has said that it would not allow allotment of land of a notified water body for public projects, even if there is no accumulation of water & there’s dry patch of land idle. Case involves Pragsar Lake at Bhuj-Kutch. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/cannot-allot-water-body-land-even-if-it-is-dry-says-gujarat-high-court/articleshow/84723571.cms  (25 July 2021)

Jammu & Kashmir NGT directs CS for personal appearance NGT Principal Bench, has directed the J&K Chief Secretary to appear personally before it in the case relating to encroachment of wetlands in J&K on 17 November 2021. The NGT listed the matter for further directions and for hearing on the objections to the new rules on 9th November, 2017. It also directed for the application of the principles of Rule 4 of the Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2010 to 2,01,503 wetlands mapped by the Union of India.

Hearing a petition of Raja Muzaffar Bhat regarding the prevention of unscientific dumping of waste and encroachment of Hokersar Wetland, Wular Lake and Kreentchoo-Chandhara Wetland in J&K against the state of J&K and others, the NGT directed the state governments that have not complied with earlier orders or directions given by the Central government should do so within a period of four weeks failing which they would be constrained to require the presence of the Chief Secretaries of the state governments in addition to imposition of heavy costs keeping in mind the necessity of conserving whatever water bodies were left in the country. https://www.greaterkashmir.com/todays-paper/ngt-directs-chief-secretary-for-personal-appearance-in-encroachment-of-wetlands-case  (25 July 2021)

Tribunal directed the Chief Secretary of J&K to remain present in person on the next date, by video conferencing, with compliance status as on 31.10.2021 as also Secretary, J&K to remain present in person on the next date, by video conferencing, with compliance status as on 31.10.2021. “…the National Wetland Committee to expeditiously compile the relevant date of all wetlands”, the Tribunal further directed. The NGT directed the plan may include among others remedial action against weed infestation, sewage discharges, solid waste disposal, encroachments etc. “This may be overseen by the Chief Secretary, J&K in view of significance of the matter and continued violation of orders of the Supreme Court, noted earlier”, read the direction.

Tribunal has expressed its disappointment at inadequacy of the report filed almost 10 months after the last order and four years after the order of the Supreme Court. “It is surprising to note that even after such long period, the National Wetland Authority is not able to get relevant information from the concerned States, in spite of categorical orders of the Supreme Court dated 08.02.2017, requiring the Central Government to inventorize 2,01,503 wetlands to which the principle of Rule 4 of the Wetlands Rules 2010 was made applicable. It is a matter of serious great regret and failure”, the Tribunal recorded.  https://www.dailyexcelsior.com/ngt-seeks-time-bound-action-plan-from-cs-on-wetlands/  (25 July 2021)

Telangana Govt hasn’t identified a single wetland so far Not a single wetland has been identified in Telangana till date though the State Wetland Authority was constituted in 2019. In fact, the lethargic pace at which the SWA has been functioning can be gauged from the fact that its first-ever meeting was held only two years after its formation, on December 29, 2020, as per the data submitted by government to the NGT. https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/telangana/2021/jul/20/telangana-hasnt-identified-asingle-wetland-so-far-2332544.html  (20 July 2021)

Maharashtra 1,450 ha mangroves to come under Forest Dept fold for protection Under pressure from the Bombay High Court and activists, government agencies have initiated the process of notifying over 1,450 hectares of mangroves as reserve forests in Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). To begin with, CIDCO will hand over 219 hectares of mangrove stretches in Kamothe and Panvel to the Maharashtra Forest Department for conservation, announced Virendra Tiwari, additional chief principal conservator of forests.

Speaking as the chief guest at an online discussion organized by NGO NatConnect Foundation ahead of the UNESCO-driven International Mangrove Conservation Day which is being observed on July 26, Tiwari said MMRDA has also agreed to transfer 300 hectares of mangroves. JNPT has also agreed in principle to hand over the mangroves under it after ascertaining through a high-resolution mapping by Maharashtra Remote Sensing Application Centre (MRSAC). The port has already confirmed in an RTI response to NatConnect that it has over 913 hectares of mangroves under its jurisdiction. https://www.deccanherald.com/national/west/1450-ha-mangroves-to-come-under-maharashtra-forest-dept-fold-for-protection-1012569.html  (25 July 2021) 

उत्तराखंड  संकट में झीलों की नगरी झीलों की नगरी नैनीताल और उसके आसपास का इलाका कई वजहों से संकट में है। कार्बनकॉपी हिन्दी पर दो हिस्सों में यह विशेष सीरीज़ जिसमें इसके कई पहलुओं पर नज़र डालेंगे। पहला हिस्सा सातताल में प्रस्तावित सौन्दर्यीकरण को लेकर जिसका व्यापारी विरोध कर रहे हैं। https://hindi.carboncopy.info/city-of-lakes-nainital-in-danger/  (23 July 2021)

Inception of World Mangrove Day The first World Mangrove Day was officially held on 26 July 2016.   On 6 November 2015, at its 38th session of the General Conference in Paris, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) officially declared 26th July of each year, in response to the request of Ecuador, as the International Day of the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem, through the resolution 38C/66. This Day is also known as World Mangrove Day.    

The date was chosen to commemorate Greenpeace activist Hayhow Daniel Nanoto, who died of a heart attack on the 26th July 1998 during a massive protest to re-establish the mangrove wetlands in Muisne, Ecuador. https://www.careourearth.com/world-mangrove-day/ Here is closer look at this important ecosystem and highlighting some of the fascinating mangrove papers that have been published in Journal of Ecology in recent years. https://jecologyblog.com/2020/07/26/happy-world-mangrove-day-2020/  (26 July 2020)

WATER OPTIONS

Rajasthan Villagers construct dam by contributing Rs 45 lakh Villagers in Nainwa subdivision of Bundi district made a 2050-foot-long dam by contributing Rs 45 lakh to tackle the issue of depleting groundwater. The residents of 13 villages came together, and worked day and night to build the dam in 29 days. The 80-foot-wide and 29-foot-high dam was built in the Baman gram panchayat area without government support. Local farmers also gave away more than 56 hectares (350 bighas) of land for the dam.

Baman village was put in the dark zone list due to its depleting groundwater which had shrunk to as low as 800 feet. The villagers have been struggling to get potable water in the region. Frustrated with government inaction to resolve the water crisis, the villagers decided to take the matters into their own hands. https://www.news18.com/news/india/in-rajasthan-villagers-construct-dam-by-contributing-rs-45-lakh-3971114.html  (16 July 2021)

Assam ‘ATM’ is supplying arsenic-free groundwater to villagers The project has brought together civil society organisations and village associations to install and manage machines that dispense safe water. Barigaon’s ATM was the first of its kind in the state. Five more have been installed, although only three of those are operational. A Gramya Vikash Mancha staff member told The Third Pole that work was underway to repair the mechanics.

Achintya Bezbaruah said that the state government has plans to install 172 similar ATMs to prevent arsenic poisoning in Assam, following the success of the model in Barigaon. The main challenge is not technology, but cooperation. The sustainability of such initiatives is dependent on whether local institutions support them or not, said Eklavya Prasad, managing trustee at Megh Pyne Abhiyan, a public charitable trust working on water stress in eastern India. https://scroll.in/article/1000666/in-assam-an-atm-is-supplying-arsenic-free-groundwater-to-villagers  (23 July 2021)

GROUNDWATER

Punjab Sangrur tubewell spews out polluted water Sangrur Amid hue and cry over a tubewell spewing out chemically-contaminated water in Aloarakh village near Bhawanigarh town of the district, the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) has laid the blame on a private factory dismantled 15 years ago. Farmers and owners of the land where the tubewell is located, claimed that they had been raising the issue for over ten years, but no one listened to their pleas.

Harmail Singh, a leader of BKU (Ekta-Ugrahan), said the government should punish those polluting the groundwater. PPCB executive engineer Rajeev Gupta said the factory was dismantled in 2005 and the department had taken up the matter with NGT, which had imposed a fine of ₹2 crore on factory owners, who did not pay up. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/others/sangrur-tubewell-spews-out-polluted-water-ppcb-blames-dismantled-factory-101625761465985.html  (08 July 2021)

Rajasthan Groundwater scheme gets CM’s push CM Ashok Gehlot on Monday (July 19) said Rajiv Gandhi Jal Sanchay Yojana was an ambitious scheme whose main objective was to increase the ground water level and to prepare water harvesting structures. He said water catchment development works should be approved on priority in all the departments related to the scheme so that projects could start soon after monsoon.

Secretary panchayati raj department Manju Rajpal told in her presentation that Rajiv Gandhi Jal Sanchay Yojana was launched in the state on August 20, 2019. In the first phase, 4029 villages have been included in 1,450 village panchayats. He said the selection of works and geo-tagging of all the projects was being done using GIS technology for transparency and effective monitoring. Rajpal informed that 247 lakh hectares was available for water catchment development in the state. Out of this, water harvesting development works were being done in 124 lakh hectares. In the remaining 123 lakh hectares, a comprehensive plan had been prepared for watershed development and sent to the central government. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/jaipur/groundwater-scheme-gets-gehlots-push/articleshow/84567565.cms  (20 July 2021)

Telangana Groundwater rises by over 2 metres on average The average groundwater level in Telangana increased by 2.23 metres during the month of June as compared to last year during the same time, according to a report published by the Ground Water Department. The water level is now 8.52 metres below ground level, from 10.75 metres below ground level. The groundwater levels improved in the southeastern parts of Nizamabad, eastern Kamareddy, the western part of Jagityal, entire Rajanna-Sircilla, central and eastern Siddipet and most of Bhongir districts, compared to all other years in June, so far, the report said.

The increase in the water level is attributed to excess rainfall. Telangana received 51% excess rainfall in June as compared to rainfall during the same period (195 mm against 129 mm) in previous years. Out of the 33 districts, 26 received excess rainfall and 7 received ‘normal’ rainfall. None of the districts reported a deficit in rainfall. As per the report, out of the 594 mandals, 402 received excess rainfall (+20 % and above to normal) ,136 received normal rainfall (-19 to +19 %), 54 received deficit rainfall (-20 % to -59 %), and 2 mandals received scanty rainfall (-60 % to – 99 %). https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/groundwater-rises-over-2-metres-average-telangana-due-heavy-rains-152717  (21 July 2021)

URBAN WATER

Mumbai Citizens receive muddy water The residents from several areas in the city like Worli, Dadar, Mahim, Kandivli, Mumbai Central have complained of getting muddy drinking water supply for the past three days. The BMC, however, said that the water supply was affected after the heavy rainfall inundated the Bhandup water filtration plant on Sunday (July 18), and the advisory to boil drinking water has been issued. The BMC has said the problem would be resolved in a day. The BMC supplies around 3,850 million litres of drinking water to the city against the demand of over 4,000 million litres daily.  https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/mumbai-news/citizens-furious-as-parts-of-mumbai-receive-muddy-water-101626977940757.html  (23 July 2021)

44% rise in water stock at 7 lakes As heavy rain lashed Mumbai and Thane districts, a 44 per cent increase was recorded in water stock at the seven lakes that provide drinking water to the city. In 24 hours, water stock in all seven reservoirs increased by 1,28,093 million litres.

According to BMC data, as of July 19, all seven lakes have 4,15,175 million litres of water or 28.68 per cent of the total capacity of 14,47,363 lakh million litres. This year, after heavy rainfall in early June, rainfall in catchment areas of the lakes was very poor. Out of the seven, Tulsi and Vihar overflowed on July 16 and 18. All seven lakes received rainfall between 69 mm and 306 mm in 24 hours.

Mumbai gets about 3,900 million litres of water daily from these seven lakes. Earlier, on July 12, Powai lake, which supplies water to industries, had also overflowed. Last year in August, Mumbai faced water cuts as water levels in catchment areas of the lakes was low due to lack of rainfall. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/mumbai-rain-city-lakes-7412461/  (20 July 2021)

Pune Heavy rain ensures dams get a month’s quota in 2 days The dams supplying water to Pune added 1.3 thousand million cubic feet (TMC) in the past two days following heavy spells of rain in the catchment areas. This is enough to meet the city’s needs for a month. The collective storage in the four dams in Khadakwasla circle reached 11 TMC on Tuesday (July 20) morning, with stock in Panshet and Khadakwasla increasing to 45%.

Temghar received over 140mm of rainfall, while Panshet and Varasgaon recorded 120mm each in the 48 hours that ended on Tuesday (July 20) morning. The stock in Bhama Askhed increased to 45%, while the live storage of Pavana dam, which supplies water to Pimpri Chinchwad, is at 40%. On Sunday (July 18), the collective stock in the four dams in Khadakwasla irrigation circle had stood at 9.7 TMC. It increased to 10.1 TMC on Monday (July 19) and to 11 TMC on Tuesday (July 20) morning — an increase of nearly one TMC in 24 hours.

State irrigation department officials said most dams in the Bhima basin have recorded good spells of rain in the past two days, which has led to an increase in water stock. “Seven dams recorded more than 50mm of rainfall each in the 24 hours ending on Tuesday (July 20) morning. Vadivale dam received over 91mm of rainfall, which was the highest among the 25 major dams in Bhima basin. Pavana recorded 60mm, while Mulshi received 81mm,” an official said. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/heavy-rain-ensures-dams-get-a-months-quota-in-just-two-days/articleshow/84598730.cms  (21 July 2021)

Chennai Residents fined for letting sewage into stormwater drains The NGT joint-committee in March & June 2020 inspected the SWD canal, which is bound by Pallavaram municipal area on the northern side and Chitlapakkam town panchayat area in the south. Residents from two streets on either sides released untreated sewage into the canal, the committee’s report said. Residents had used small pipes to release wastewater from their houses into the canal which drained into the Sembakkam Lake, Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board, which was part of the committee, told the tribunal. Notices were issued to the violators & a fine of Rs 500 was collected under the Public Health Act. Considering the progress reported, NGT disposed of the case with specific directions to the local bodies and Chengalpet dist collector to avoid such complaints in the future. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/chennai-residents-who-let-sewage-into-stormwater-drains-leading-to-sembakkam-lake-fined/articleshow/84640327.cms  (22 July 2021)

Water board plans door-to-door inspection of RWH structures The Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB) plans to take up door-to-door inspection of rainwater harvesting structure (RWH) across the city as part of its efforts to enhance groundwater recharge potential. The team will check water quality in the buildings during inspection. This will help assess the quality of water used at the household — be it from open well, borewell or board’s water connection.

Every year, the board organises awareness campaign and conducts random checks of rainwater harvesting structures in domestic and commercial buildings. But this year, it plans to check all buildings across the city. There are nearly 13 lakh buildings in Chennai. Sources in the water board said volunteers and non-governmental organisations would be roped in for the exercise. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/water-board-plans-door-to-door-inspection-of-rwh-structures/article35517677.ece  (25 July 2021)

Bengaluru Rs 750-crore sewage plan Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) is all set to upgrade 2 STPs located in the upstream of Bellandur Lake at a cost of Rs 750 crore. Such an upgrade is planned to address the complaints of farmers who were not happy with the quality of treated water pumped to neighbouring Kolar district. The high cost of up-gradation has, however, cast doubts among some experts and retired officials.

While the State Government has agreed to provide Rs 450 crore towards buying modern equipment, the BWSSB will bear the remaining cost of the project needed for operating and maintaining (O&M) the plant for the next seven years. Of the two plants, the 218 MLD STP has undergone rehabilitation twice as it is one the oldest plants in the City. Another plant (30 MLD STP), which is much smaller in size, was constructed in 2002.

As per BWSSB’s latest plans, both these STPs will be upgraded to meet the sewage treatment parameters prescribed by the NGT. BWSSB pumps around 350 MLD of treated domestic sewage water to the parched district of Kolar from four STPs connected to the Koramangala and Challaghatta valley. https://bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com/bangalore/civic/rs-750-crore-sewage-plan-no-say-experts/articleshow/84696311.cms  (24 July 2021)

Waterlogged roads and overflowing sewer manholes were the common complaints reported by citizens following a 59mm rainfall that lashed several parts of the City on Sunday (July 25) evening. The employees of the BWSSB war room said that about 70 per cent of the complaints received from citizens during the monsoon are related to overflowing of manholes.

Over the last 25 days, Bengaluru has received a total of 202mm of rainfall, which is said to be moderate. Officials tried to pin the blame on citizens for allowing rainwater to flow into the drains. “There are over 2.5 lakh manholes in the city. These are designed to carry only sewage. Many houses/apartment complexes instead of harvesting rainwater are letting it into the drains, which is against the rules,” a senior BWSSB official said. https://bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com/bangalore/civic/manhole-breach-when-it-rains-it-pours-sewage/articleshow/84745770.cms  (26 July 2021)

This lake’s waste is now a burning issue At Malathahalli Lake, Palike’s contract workers burn bushes and waste materials on open ground, then dump them in the lake, leaving residents of the area aghast.  According to the NGT, people can be fined Rs 25,000 for illegally burning waste on open ground. https://bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com/bangalore/civic/this-lakes-waste-is-now-a-burning-issue/articleshow/84663912.cms  (23 July 2021)

Palike is all set to install CCTV cameras in 2,415 ‘garbage vulnerable points’ across the City. The project which comprises setting up a command control centre is estimated to be Rs 22.32 crore. This is not the first time BBMP spending money on installing CCTV cameras at the blackspots. Three years ago, the civic body spent Rs 20 crore to install more than 2,500 CCTV cameras to monitor the reckless disposal of waste in public places. An amount of Rs 10 lakh was given to each of the 198 wards. At present, not a single CCTV camera is up and running. https://bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com/bangalore/civic/bbmp-sinks-rs-22-cr-in-garbage-cams/articleshow/84745601.cms  (26 July 2021)

Hyderabad ‘How can city attract investors with such roads’: HC The court told the GHMC that areas prone to waterlogging should’ve been identified beforehand and fixed in time before monsoon, the New Indian Express reported, while asking the civic body how many decades it would take to repair city roads. Appearing on behalf of GHMC, senior counsel S Niranjan Reddy said that the civic body was unable to fix the roads in time due to a lack of funds. When it was pointed out that the Union government had granted funds for the city under the AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation) scheme, the GHMC counsel reportedly said that in spite of such financial support, the GHMC was facing a shortage of funds and that it might now have to seek help from the state. https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/how-can-hyderabad-attract-investors-such-roads-telangana-hc-ghmc-152709  (21 July 2021)

Private agency undercuts GHMC’s income from waste Income of GHMC is being undermined by Ramky Enviro Engineers, the private agency which has bagged the contract for processing construction and demolition (C&D) waste. This is mainly due to weigh bridges showing 50–80 metric tonnes (MT) excess of C&D waste. The private party has been monetising the excess weight and claiming bills. https://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/240721/private-agency-undercuts-ghmcs-income-from-waste.html  (24 July 2021)

Guwahati Underestimating Garbage Problem Guwahati featured on the Indian government’s first list of 20 cities selected under its ‘Smart Cities’ mission. The mission guidelines say a ‘smart city’ ought to have a waste management system that removes household and commercial waste and disposes it in an ecologically and economically sound manner, while the guidelines for water quality say all sewage needs to be treated before being drained. Guwahati is currently struggling to do either. https://science.thewire.in/environment/guwahati-a-planned-smart-city-may-be-underestimating-its-garbage-problem/  (22 July 2021)

People braved the police and the rains, and flouted pandemic safeguards, to come out in the thousands to protest an allegedly illegal dumping site at Chandrapur, an ecologically sensitive area in the suburbs of Guwahati. Residents alleged that the dumping ground bears no resemblance to what the state government had proposed – an integrated solid waste management facility (SWMF). “We fear the pollution from the dumping site will bring disaster,” said Kalpana Basumatary, who joined the protests with her family. “Our land, water and the air will be severely impacted, and the garbage poses grave threats to our lives and livelihoods.”

After 22 days of protesting, the judiciary intervened. On July 19, the Gauhati high court issued a notice to the Assam government seeking details of its plan. In response to a PIL filed by one Pradeep Baruah, challenging the GMC’s decision, the court also asked the city to discontinue dumping waste at the site for two weeks. In his PIL, Baruah said Chandrapur is an ecologically sensitive protected place that is equally, or perhaps more, sensitive to waste-dumping then the previous site, at Paschim Boragaon. https://thewire.in/urban/guwahati-chandrapur-garbage-dumping-protest  (22 July 2021)

Gurugram Bandhwari landfill fire: Serious lapses by govt: NGT These remarks were made by a bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel while hearing a plea alleging failure to maintain environmental norms in handling the Bandhwari landfill site on Monday (July 19). The tribunal also constituted a three-member committee to submit a report within a month on the causes of fire, reasons for unauthorised persons working at the landfill site, progress on remediation of the site and setting up of the waste processing plant. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/gurgaon/bandhwari-landfill-fire-serious-lapses-by-haryana-government-says-ngt/articleshow/84624207.cms  (22 July 2021) 

2 XENs booked for fraud 7 persons including 2 XENs, 1 junior engineer, 1 assistant engineer and 3 contractors — have been booked for allegedly getting bills of over Rs 2 crore sanctioned fraudulently. The accused allegedly used fake satisfactory certificates of local councillors. The payment was stopped after the fraud was exposed during an audit.

The matter was flagged by Vinay Pratap Singh, the then commissioner of the Gurugram Municipal Corporation, in November last year. In his letter to additional chief secretary of urban local bodies department, he said he had received a number of complaints that payments for development works like repair of roads and streets, drains and laying of sewer lines were being put up in a suspicious manner. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/haryana/2-gurugram-xens-booked-for-fraud-287251  (24 July 2021)

JJM/ RURAL WATER SUPPLY

Opinion Indians need safe drinking water Bibek Debroy writes: There’s no denying India’s water crisis, which can only be addressed with accurate data, big picture reforms. https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/getting-all-indians-tap-water-may-be-desirable-but-whats-really-needed-is-safe-drinking-water-7416031/  (22 July 2021)

DISASTERS

Haryana Land starts rising abruptly after rains. https://indianexpress.com/article/trending/trending-in-india/ground-underwater-rises-abruptly-in-haryana-7417002/  (23 July 2021) यह घटना 14 जुलाई 2021 को करनाल के कुचपुरा गांव के एक किसान के खेत में घटी. खेत के मालिक नफे सिंह ने बताया, “हमने फसल कम होने के कारण जमीन की मिट्टी को बदलने का फैसला लिया और कुछ दिन पहले हमने इस खेत की मिट्टी को खुदवा कर बेची थी जिस वजह से वहां काफी गड्ढा हो गया था फिर उस गड्ढे को भरने के लिए हमने इसमें राइस मिल की राख और मिटटी डाली थी लेकिन इसी बीच तेज बारिश की वजह से खेत के गड्ढे में पानी लग गया और एक दिन उसमें से एक हिस्से की जमीन फटकर ऊपर आ गई. https://www.aajtak.in/india/news/story/fact-check-video-showing-farm-lands-rose-up-from-water-ntc-1295845-2021-07-23  (23 July 2021)

Madhya Pradesh Visuals of a house developing cracks and then collapsing like a pack of cards after heavy rain caused flash flood in Atahikheda village of Vidisha district. https://www.ndtv.com/video/news/news/on-camera-house-develops-cracks-collapses-after-heavy-rain-594947  (23 July 2021)

LANDSLIDES

Himachal Pradesh Multiple landslides; 9 tourists dead, 3 injured At least nine tourists were killed and three others were injured in multiple landslides that took place on Sunday (July 25) Kinnaur district. Batseri bridge in the Sangla valley also collapsed as several boulders came down from the top of the mountain. The tourists were travelling in a vehicle on which heavy boulders fell killing nine of 11 tourists, reports said. The incident comes weeks after Himachal witnessed a flash floods in which at least three were killed and severeal got stranded. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/multiple-landslides-in-himachal-8-tourists-dead-4-injured-101627211587013.html  (25 July 2021) The weather office recently issued a landslide warning in Himachal due to heavy rainfall predicted in the next few days. In the last few years, landslides have become a common occurrence in the hill state. https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/on-camera-himachal-bridge-swallowed-by-boulders-rolling-down-a-hill-2494459  (25 July 2021) Dave Petley on Sangla valley rock slide. https://blogs.agu.org/landslideblog/2021/07/26/batseri-1/  (26 July 2021)

Uttarakhand Roads start caving in, developing cracks in Nainital after rains On Wednesday (July 21), a 10m stretch of the road leading to the governor’s house in Nainital caved, damaging some shops underneath and forcing the administration to order cutting trees and halting traffic. Three days later, cracks appeared on the Nainital-Bhowali highway, which residents said were signs of a bigger disaster waiting to happen.

While local residents blamed these incidents on monsoon rains, experts pointed to a trend. Roads caving in with the start of monsoon has become the norm in Nainital. In August 2018, a large chunk of Nainital’s Lower Mall Road fell into the Naini Lake. A year later, landslides occurred at Cheena Peak, a popular tourist spot, followed by cracks appearing at Tiffin Top, another tourist destination. Apart from these, several other roads in the Lake Town have also developed cracks over time.

Geologists and researchers TOI spoke to blame this on rapid urbanization and relentless construction on steep slopes – with inclines between 40 to 60 degrees – and on geological fault lines. A 2016 study done by Prof Tiwari had found that construction in locations where it is banned had increased by around 50% in 10 years (2005 to 2015). This was higher than the increase in construction in the rest of the town. Harsh Vats, a researcher at ISRO’s Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (IIRS), pointed out that 60% of the Nainital town area is unstable. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/roads-start-caving-in-developing-cracks-in-nainital-after-rains/articleshow/84739103.cms  (26 July 2021)

ENERGY OPTIONS

Punjab Govt to renegotiate pacts on renewable energy The Govt will be renegotiating the power purchase agreements (PPAs) made with 117 companies generating electricity from renewable energy sources. The state plans to reduce the charges paid to them by Re 1 per unit. A decision to this effect was taken in a meeting between the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) and Power Department officials on July 23. The rate at which the government is buying power from the power producers (through 95 PPAs for solar power) is between Rs 2.67 and Rs 10.62 per unit. Similarly, power being contracted from plants set up in sugar mills and biomass and mini-hydel projects is also at a very high tariff. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/punjab-government-to-renegotiate-pacts-on-renewable-energy-286918  (23 July 2021)

ENVIRONMENT GOVERNANCE

Tamil Nadu HC closes backdoor entry for violators In the last two decades, government after government has sought to regularise projects in violation of environment laws. So far, at least 11 such attempts have been made via office memorandums, circulars and notifications. The fate of most of them has been fatal.

The Supreme Court, high courts and the NGT have repeatedly held that concept of post-facto environmental clearance is in derogation of fundamental principles of environmental jurisprudence.

Most recently, the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court has granted an interim stay on a July 7 office memorandum that would’ve made way for retrospective regularisation of projects. The petition before the high court was bound to succeed since any retrospective blessing to environment law violators can only be given via an amendment to the Environment Protection Act, KN Bhat, senior advocate practicing at the Supreme Court, told Bloomberg Quint.https://www.bloombergquint.com/law-and-policy/madras-high-court-temporarily-closes-backdoor-entry-for-environment-law-violators (22 July 2021)  

HC orders NGT, Centre to respond to plea alleging transfer of all suo motu cases The first bench comprising the Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy admitting the plea on July 23 ordered the Union government and the NGT, Principal Bench to respond to the plea by July 30.

According to the petitioner, MR Thiyagarajan, the president of Meenava Thanthai KR Selvaraj Kumar Meenavar Nala Sangam, the entire NGT Act and the NGT Rules are completely silent on the NGT having suo moto jurisdiction. It is a settled principle of law that a tribunal, such as the NGT, which is a creature of statute, cannot travel beyond the provisions of the statute and must act within its four corners. This principle has been upheld by the Supreme Court in 2011, he added. He also stated that on June 12, 2021, a NGT office ordered that all suo-moto matters having pan-India, inter-State implications will be listed at the Principal Bench of at least three members. It is arbitrary, unsustainable and illegal, stressed the petitioner. https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/tamil-nadu/2021/jul/24/madras-hc-orders-ngt-centre-to-respond-to-plea-alleging-transfer-of-all-suo-motu-cases-2334563.html  (24 July 2021)

SC Allows TN to Acquire Land Using State Laws, Not LARR The Supreme Court on June 29 has stamped its approval on Tamil Nadu’s decision to revive three state laws and retrospectively bypass the 2013 land acquisition and rehabilitation law to acquire private property. The decision could set a precedent for other state to bypass the landmark Land Acquisition Act of 2013 by using state legislations instead. https://thewire.in/law/supreme-court-tamil-nadu-land-acquisition  (24 July 2021)

Documentary Wounded Hills The Hindu visits the wounded hills and talks to the experts, environmentalists who point us towards root causes and coming disasters in Western Ghats. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTV-56QagQM  (17 Jan. 2020)

Gujarat Vedanta’s Zinc plant Public Hearing Turned ‘Violent’ On July 5, a public hearing for the Hindustan Zinc Limited, a smelter plant by Vedanta group in Tapi district of Gujarat, ended in violence, with police firing over 50 tear gas shells and lathi-charging agitated villagers to “disperse” them, some of whom allegedly resorted to stone-pelting. The public hearing had been called by the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB), and as per reports, tribal villagers had sought its postponement due to the pandemic. Tribal villages in the vicinity have had many apprehensions on the project’s impact on soil fertility and livelihoods. They felt all their queries were not heard out in the public hearing. https://www.newsclick.in/Gujarat-How-GPCB%E2%80%99s-Public-Hearing-on-Vedanta%E2%80%99s-Zinc-Plant-in-Tapi-Turned-%E2%80%98Violent%E2%80%99  (08 July 2021)

Sarpanches of 45 villages under the banner of Adivasi Ekta and Vikash Andolan in Tapi district opposing the upcoming plant of Hindustan Zinc Company Limited allegedly waited for three hours to meet District Collector HK Vadhvaniya and left without meeting him. President Pragnesh Gamit said, “The villagers fear health and water issues over the upcoming zinc plant in Doswada. We went to meet the collector but he did not give us time. We gave the memorandum to RAC, as told. We will take up the issue in the upcoming public hearing meeting to be called.” https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/ahmedabad/tapi-zinc-plant-doswada-villagers-pollution-7385043/  (01 July 2021)

Himachal Pradesh Demand for forest land rights In a letter to the committee, NGO Himdhara said that looking at the land-use pattern and dependence of local communities, Himachal Pradesh should have been in the category of Orissa, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, where lakhs of people had received both individual and community titles over the forestland. It wrote: “But the number of titles issued in Himachal gives a wrong impression that it is a state such as Punjab and Haryana where 80% of the area is private owned and forestland is just 5%, which leaves no need for the Act.” https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/shimla/ngo-seeks-forestland-rights-for-himachals-communities/articleshow/84599381.cms  (21 July 2021)

CLIMATE CHANGE

Webinar Can South Asia work together to combat climate change? Ahead of 26th UN Climate Change Conf of Parties, Third Pole explored the role of regional cooperation for alternative climate diplomacy, seeing past failures & new opportunities for dialogue & climate action, joined by leading experts from S Asia & beyond. https://www.thethirdpole.net/en/regional-cooperation/south-asia-climate-change-cooperation/   (07 July 2021)

Climate Change and Asia’s Sinking Cities Climate change, rising sea levels and flooding are expected to have an outsized impact on Asia where millions of people live on low-lying land in close proximity to the ocean. A new report by Greenpeace East Asia looks at the risks in seven regional cities, concluding that in these metropolises alone, more than 15 million people could be affected by rising sea levels and flooding by 2030.

While problems surrounding the sinking of Indonesian capital Jakarta have been well known, the report actually puts Bangkok at the top of the most affected cities. Greenpeace expects more than ten million people will be at risk in the Thai capital if a ten-year flood occurred at 2030 sea levels, jeopardising 96% of the city’s GDP – more than $500 billion calculated at purchasing power parity. https://science.thewire.in/environment/chart-climate-change-and-asias-sinking-cities/  (20 July 2021)

Climate scientist explains key reason behind recent floods In an interview with Gaon Connection, Roxy Mathew Koll, scientist with IITM Pune, explained the reasons behind the unprecedented heavy rainfall in Maharashtra as well as the floods in China and Germany. Climate change is an usual suspect, but how does it lead to the changing of rainfall patterns? https://en.gaonconnection.com/maharashtra-heavy-rainfall-floods-deaths-raigad-landslide-flood-chiplun-kolhapur-mumbai-rains-climate-change-monsoon-germany-china-gaon-cafe/  (25 July 2021)

2021: A year of extreme weather events Among the extreme weather events across the world this year are the unprecedented heat wave that drove temperatures across Canada and parts of the United States to a record high, causing hundreds of deaths between June 25 to 30; the recent floods in Germany that killed over 180 people in the country; cyclones Tauktae and Yaas that hit India’s west and east coasts, respectively; as well as the floods in New South Wales in March.

Germany received record rainfall this time, with Chancellor Angela Merkel describing it as a catastrophe of “historic scale”. Areas of Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia were hit by 148 liters of rain per square metre in just 48 hours in a part of Germany that usually sees about 80 liters in the entire month. https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-frequent-extreme-weather-events-flood-heat-wave-climate-change-7413646/  (22 July 2021)

Great Barrier Reef in trouble Unesco’s World Heritage Committee has decided to give Australia more time. Australia says it has committed more than A$3bn (£1.bn; $2.2bn) to improving the reef’s health. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-57938858  (23 July 2021)

Potent methane plumes have been detected in a key coal mining district in Australia, one of the world’s biggest exporters of the commodity, underscoring the fossil fuel’s role in exacerbating climate change. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-07-21/methane-leaks-detected-by-australia-s-coal-mines  (22 July 2021)

SOUTH ASIA

India-Bangladesh Threats to Meghna river basin ecosystem Meghna river basin, shared by Bangladesh & India, has 29 transboundary rivers originating in India which flow through Bangladesh. It directly supports life & livelihoods of over 50 m people in Bangladesh & India including Khasi, Garo & Jaintia communities. https://thefinancialexpress.com.bd/views/threats-to-meghna-river-basin-ecosystem-a-wake-up-call-for-bangladesh-india-1627142147  (24 July 2021)

Pakistan WAPDA Colony flooded in Thore Valley after heavy rainfall. The colony was established to house people working on Diamer-Bhasha Dam project. Building damaged extensively. Local journalists are blaming wrong site selection for the destruction. https://twitter.com/pamirtimes/status/1417731670351007744?s=20 (21 July 2021) Flood enters the newly constructed building of WAPDA Colony in Thor area of Diamer. https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1197995747371442  (20 July 2021)

Rawalpindi faces acute water shortage Pakistan’s Rawalpindi is facing a water shortage as the city’s groundwater level continues to deplete amid sweltering heat. The crisis also increased due to water shortage in the Rawal and Khanpur dams as they touched the dead level causing water shortage in one of major cities of Pakistan, according to a report by Express Tribune.

The citizens of Rawalpindi continue to face difficulties as the gap grows between water supply and demand. This has also led to a thriving water tanker business in the city with one tanker selling at PKR 3,000 to PKR 4,000. Out of the 460 tubewells which are functioning under the Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA), three of them have halted extracting water from 350 feet underground. The pressure of water which was being supplied from the 600 feet deep tubewells has also declined. https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/rawalpindi-faces-acute-water-shortage-amid-scorching-heat-report-101627223327702.html  (25 July 2021)

Villages access to water no guarantee of safety Villagers in coastal Sindh either have too much water or too little; sample tests reveal most of it is unfit for drinking. https://www.thethirdpole.net/en/pollution/water-supply-pakistan-sindh/  (22 July 2021)

CHINA

2 dams collapse Two dams in Hulun Buir City in North China’s Inner Mongolia were reported to have collapsed on Sunday because of heavy rain since Saturday (July 18), but no injuries have been reported. https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202107/1229047.shtml  (19 July 2021) Some details about the two dams in China’s Inner Mangolia that were swept away on July 18, 2021. No deaths, but a lot of destruction. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/china/two-dams-in-chinas-inner-mongolia-collapse-after-torrential-rain/articleshow/84551347.cms  (19 July 2021) Dave Petley blog provides some useful details of the twin dam collapse in Inner Mongolia of China on July 18 2021. https://blogs.agu.org/landslideblog/2021/07/20/hulunbuir-1/  (18 July 2021)

China army blasted a dam to release floodwaters threatening one of its most heavily populated provinces, carried out Jul 20 night in Luoyang city, just as severe flood overwhelmed Henan provincial capital of Zhengzhou, trapping residents in subway system. https://m.economictimes.com/news/international/world-news/china-blasts-dam-to-divert-floods-that-killed-at-least-25/amp_articleshow/84615536.cms  (21 July 2021)

The Chinese military has opened a dam to release the floodwater from Henan, however, they added that the death toll is likely to rise further, the Associated Press reported. https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/was-awaiting-death-survivors-share-details-of-being-stuck-on-china-subway-flood-101626952639109.html  (22 July 2021)

On Tuesday (July 20) night, the army warned a damaged dam in Henan province “could collapse at any time” after a record downpour. Troops blasted an opening in the dam to release water and raced to reinforce other embankments with sandbags across the province.

Last year, authorities in eastern Anhui province were forced to blow up two dams to release water from the rising Chuhe River over cropland. The burden on China’s dams is likely to grow as climate change makes extreme weather events more common. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/china-flood-why-is-the-country-facing-record-rains/articleshow/84618070.cms  (21 July 2021)

Many factors contribute to flooding, but a warming atmosphere caused by climate change makes extreme rainfall more likely. Scientists have warned that widespread dam construction has exacerbated climate change problems in China’s flood zone, says the BBC’s China correspondent Stephen McDonell. Connections between rivers and lakes have been cut and disrupted flood plains which once absorbed much of the region’s annual summer downpours. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-57861067  (21 July 2021)

Meteorologists are now anxiously watching the progress of Typhoon In Fa which has already dumped heavy rainfall on Taiwan and the east coast of China and is expected to make landfall from Sunday (July 18), in an area home to tens of millions of people. “After landing, In-fa may circulate in the east China region, bringing long periods of extremely heavy rainfall,” the National Meteorological Center said.

Questions have been asked on how China’s bulging cities could be better prepared for freak weather events, which experts say are happening with increased frequency and intensity due to climate change. Henan province is marked by rivers, dams and reservoirs, many constructed decades ago to manage the flow of floodwater and irrigate the agricultural region. https://www.ndtv.com/world-news/villagers-flee-fresh-floods-in-central-china-as-typhoon-approaches-2492872  (23 July 2021)

Officials have stated that Zhengzhou recorded 617.1 mm rainfall from Saturday to Tuesday, nearly the same as the annual average rainfall in the city (640.8 mm), as China’s central Henan province witnesses its heaviest rainfall in a 1,000 years. https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-chinas-heaviest-rain-in-1000-years-floods-7415657/  (22 July 2021)

The unbelievable rainfall in Henan (China) on July 21, 2021. https://blogs.agu.org/landslideblog/2021/07/21/henan-1/  (21 July 2021)

100,000 people were relocated from Zhengzhou city in central province of Henan, also known as world’s biggest production base for iPhones, after record rainfall led to widespread floods & death of  12 people. It got 8 months rainfall in a day on Jul 20.  https://www.ndtv.com/world-news/chinas-iphone-city-relocates-1-00-000-after-floods-leave-12-dead-2491216  (21 July 2021)

Death toll from China’s devastating floods has risen to 33, 8 are missing, 2 lakhs have been displaced, 3 mil affected. Storm damaged dams & reservoirs, collapsed roads, cut power to a hospital, was linked to a massive explosion at factory in Dengfeng. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jul/22/china-floods-military-blasts-dam-release-water-as-floods-death-toll-climbs  (22 July 2021)

The death toll from the rain-triggered unprecedented floods in central China has risen to 51 with the official estimate of losses totalling about USD 10 billion, the state media reported on Friday (July 23). The torrential rains, the heaviest in 1,000 years, have affected about three million people in Henan province and a total of 376,000 local residents have been relocated to safe places, the provincial emergency management department said. https://www.news18.com/news/world/death-toll-in-central-china-floods-rises-to-51-losses-mount-to-usd-10-billion-3998300.html  (23 July 2021)

ASIA

MEKONG 3 Years On, Lao Flood Survivors Still Dealing With Aftermath of Dam Collapse On the third anniversary of a hydropower dam collapse that caused deadly flooding in southern Laos, villagers in six communities hit hardest by the disaster say they are still facing hardship due to unsuitable land on which to grow crops year-round, a lack of permanent housing, and the near end of monthly rice supplies and financial allowances from the project’s builder. https://www.rfa.org/english/news/laos/flood-survivors-07222021171823.html  (22 July 2021)

Study 2050 deadline on tipping point for Mekong Delta salinity The increasing salinity in Mekong Delta is currently being driven by the building of dams upstream and sand mining downstream, but climate change will likely be the predominant factor by 2050, a new study shows. The Mekong Delta is a key farming region, and already more frequent and extensive saltwater intrusion is killing off large swaths of crops with greater frequency.

The study’s authors say regional stakeholders need to address the anthropogenic drivers of saltwater intrusion in the delta now, before climate change makes it a global problem. The study also has implications for other delta systems across Asia, which face similar pressures, both anthropogenic and climate change-driven. https://news.mongabay.com/2021/07/study-puts-2050-deadline-on-tipping-point-for-mekong-delta-salinity/  (22 July 2021)

“Thailand, Laos, & Cambodia have tangible opportunities for meeting projected electricity demand & CO2 emission targets with less hydropower than currently planned—options range from halting all dams in Lower Mekong to building 82% of planned ones” https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-021-24437-6  (06 July 2021)

Germany What to Know About the Devastating Downpour WSJ explains how Rhine flooded Europe last week. Major flooding was caused by a cold, low-pressure area that German scientists call Bernd. As weather system slowly swept across Europe on July 14-15, unusually high precipitation occurred over small area. https://www.wsj.com/articles/germany-flooding-bernd-whats-happening-11626446298  (19 July 2021) Good to see they are already talking about lessons from the flood disaster. https://www.dw.com/en/germany-ponders-lessons-from-deadly-floods-as-it-happened/a-58311369  (19 July 2021) As the floodwaters recede following the devastating deluge in western Europe, survivors have begun long, difficult process of cleaning up & rebuilding. But what can be done to reduce future risks? https://www.dw.com/en/germany-belgium-floods-climate-crisis-adaptation/a-58318340  (19 July 2021) At 9pm on July 14, the Wupper and Bever dams were seen to be filling up extremely quickly. The dams had overflowed by 11pm, and that night, the water began to flood around the opera house. https://www.classicfm.com/music-news/germany-wuppertal-opera-house-flooded/  (19 July 2021)

Belgium devastated by flooding for second time in just over a week The provinces of Namur and Walloon Brabant southeast of the capital city Brussels were among the worst hit, after thunderstorms and heavy rain reached the country on Saturday (July 24). The province of Liege was also badly affected last week but rivers are not expected to overflow significantly this weekend and there is no need to evacuate the area yet, officials said.

More than 210 people died in the floods in western Europe last week, with most of the casualties in Belgium and Germany. The cost of recovery is expected to be billions of euros. Many scientists blamed climate change, warning that such events will become more frequent and severe, meaning countries will have to adapt. This will include re-examining flood risk calculations, preparing populations and improving warning systems. https://news.sky.com/story/belgium-devastated-by-flooding-for-second-time-in-just-over-a-week-12363369  (25 July 2021)

Iran Violence escalates in water-shortage protests in Khuzestan Six nights of protests over water shortages have turned deadly, with three civilians and one police officer killed. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/7/21/violence-intensifies-after-six-nights-of-water-crisis-protests-in  (21 July 2021)

THE REST OF THE WORLD

Should rivers have the same rights as people? By Patrick Barkham But what is a river? Most would say not its banks but its flowing water. Unfortunately, the “elephant in the room,” says Dr Erin O’Donnell of the University of Melbourne and author of a book on rights for rivers, is the fact that none of the rivers legally recognised as living beings or legal persons actually have any rights to the water that flows within their banks.

“There is increasingly an attempt to give rivers a right to flow and so the Magpie River in Canada has got the right to flow, but how you enforce that right is very unclear,” says O’Donnell. “And if that’s not actually embedded within water law, which it isn’t yet, then it’s probably not worth the paper it’s written on.”

In India, a state high court tried to give the Ganges and Yamuna River legal personhood in 2017, but the decision was appealed to the Supreme Court. Campaigners are still waiting for the verdict while the rivers continue to be polluted and exploited.  https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jul/25/rivers-around-the-world-rivers-are-gaining-the-same-legal-rights-as-people  (25 July 2021)

USA Marijuana farmers blamed for water theft Extreme and prolonged drought in the American west is prompting water thieves to tap into other people’s scarce supplies. More than 12bn gallons of water have been stolen in California in the past eight years, according to state officials, but the issue has been further exacerbated by the ongoing drought and recent searing early summer heatwaves.

A significant amount of recent water theft has been blamed by the authorities on illegal cannabis cultivation in some parts of the state. While the term “water theft” has been disputed by some experts and activists, state officials told the TV news network that examples of recent occurrences have involved “tapping into fire hydrants, rivers and even small family homes and farms”. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jul/23/water-theft-marijuana-farmers-california-american-west  (23 July 2021)

The dying villages of Mexico’s Lake Cuitzeo As Mexico’s reservoirs run dry, the fishermen, farmers and ranchers stuck on the drying lake beds wonder how they will survive. https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2021/7/25/doomed-to-stay-the-dying-villages-of-mexicos-lake-cuitzeo  (25 July 2021)

GERD Ethiopia says the second filling of GERD is complete. https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/second-filling-ethiopias-giant-dam-nearly-complete-state-run-media-2021-07-19/  (19 July 2021)

Report Chemical pollution turning into planetary crisis Thousands of synthetic substances have leaked into ecosystems everywhere, and we are only just beginning to realise the devastating consequences.  https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg25133440-700-why-chemical-pollution-is-turning-into-a-third-great-planetary-crisis/  (21 July 2021)

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

Also see: DRP News Bulletin 19 July 2021 & DRP News Bulletin 12 July 2021  

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

2 thoughts on “DRP NB 26 July 2021: “Unprecedented rainfall” used to escape responsibility?

  1. Sir,

    Very concerning news. “Unprecedented rainfall” – IMD is equally responsible as CWC in utilizing this word effectively and evade responsibility for its failure to prevent disasters. If one looks at IMD, it’s data shows “Unprecedented rainfall” and stakeholders have no option but to accept.

    But why do stakeholders and Indian citizens think IMD as first rate organization?

    In fact, IMD is not a first rate organization. Because IMD is as much a non-transparent organization as CWC in disclosing its rain-gauge stations, quality of rain-gauges, the caliber of the personnel managing them, forecasting models, the error in the models are never ever disclosed because it brings shame to them. What is disclosed in IMD website is pure junk which no single stakeholder will understand. They follow the dictum, “If you cannot explain, confuse them”. Just compare USGS site and IMD site.

    This is similar to the CWC hydrological observations where a 10th class pass collect discharge data and then the same data is propagated as expertise and used to build dams. But the fact that a 10th class pass collecting river data that is used to build millions of dollars worth water structures is never disclosed to the citizens.

    In both the organizations, those who speak truth are crushed. You can never expect first class disaster management from fifth class outdated organizations. Stakeholders have to demand explanation from Director-General, IMD to disclose the status of IMD forecasting, the models used, the error, the quality of radars, the annual expenditure for repairs, the dysfunctional systems, etc. Else, this goes on and on.

    Therefore, IMD is equally complicit as CWC in evading responsibilities over its failures. So do not exclude IMD because IMD is the ‘cousin’ of CWC. Due to these incompetent and unaccountable organizations, the brunt of disasters are faced by the nation in the form of loss of lives and cost to its exchequer.

    D.R. Prashanth,
    Sangli

    Like

    1. IMD needs to provide much more accurate, advance and more localised forecasts of rainfall, and they also need to provide prompt area specific rainfall figures, particularly keeping in mind the hydrologocial units of sub basins. Unfortunately IMD is failing here.
      Himanshu Thakkar

      Like

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