(Feature image Wildlife Along Indian Rivers by Green Humour:- http://www.greenhumour.com/2017/09/wildlife-along-indian-rivers.html)
Aquatic freshwater biodiversity has seen the maximum decline over the years and yet has the least protection under law. In fact fish is not even considered for protection under the Wildlife Protection Act. Fishing cat, Mahseer, Otters, Trout fish, Hilsa fish are all at top of the food chain in freshwater sources, like the tiger is in the forests, but none of them have the legal protection. If we have any serious intension of protecting this important source of biodiversity, we urgently need measures, including policy, legal and institutional measures to recognize and protect this biodiversity.
Continue reading “DRP NB 30 Aug. 2021: Why no protection for aquatic biodiversity?”
After August 14, 2021 landslide dam[i] on Chenab river in Himachal Pradesh, there have been two more such incidents in north west Himalayan region of Uttarakhand and Ladakh.
Continue reading “About landslide lake in Uttarakhand & GLOF in Ladakh”
This week (23-28 Aug 2021) it is Stockholm World Water Week (SWWW) with a 30 year history. The organisers say: “World Water Week 2021 is unlike any other week in our 30-year-old history.” But provide no clear reasons why they are saying that. Their possible explanation: “In 2021 people across the world are really beginning to understand the gravity of the situation we are facing – within a decade we must halve carbon emissions, restore the degraded natural world, and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. This will require massive transformations of all sectors of society. World Water Week 2021 is entirely focused on the role of water for these transformations and on developing real solutions.” https://www.worldwaterweek.org/news/join-the-most-important-world-water-week-ever
Continue reading “DRP NB 23 Aug 2021: World Water Week: 30 years long enough for stock taking?”
(Feature image showing July 24 landslide blocking mouth of NTPC’s main tunnel. Mahadeep Panwar/Atul Sati via social media.)
The 520 MW hydro power project (HPP) Tapovan-Vishnugad having proved a recipe for disaster during Chamoli deluge on February 07, 2021, continues to jeopardize the local environment and play havoc with the lives and livelihoods of people in Joshimath area.
National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), the developer of the project was seen working round the clock, close to para glacial zone without installing any Early Warning System (EWS) and providing adequate safety equipment to workers before stuck down by the catastrophic event resulting in death of over 200 innocent workers there.
It has been 15 years, since the project was started in November 2006, at an estimated cost of Rs. 2978.48 crore with 2012-2013 as planned commissioning year, however the project is still far from completion.
Continue reading “NTPC’s Tapovan-Vishnugad HPP after Chamoli Disaster”
Guest Blog by: Subhadra Khaperde and Ananya Mukerji
Agriculture in India directly or indirectly provides livelihoods to 60 percent of the population and so the problems of this sector are most relevant for the overall development of the country and have to be effectively addressed. Especially in distress are the small and marginal farmers who have less than 2 hectares of land and constitute 85% of all farm households (Agricultural Census, 2016).
Continue reading “Barmecide Feast – The Problems in Production and Sale of the Produce of Organic Agriculture”
The numerous landslides this monsoon in Kinnaur and other districts of Himachal Pradesh and other Himalayan states have been literally deadly, killing hundreds of people this monsoon. Mindless “development” projects including Hydropower projects, indiscriminate building of roads in mountains, blasting, tunnelling, mining, dumping of waste into the rivers and valleys, deforestation, building townships, all without any credible impact assessment, public consultations, appraisal, monitoring or compliance. While climate change (another anthropogenic factor) leading to more frequent events of high intensity rainfall is worsening the landslide potential of the area, what we are doing in the name of developments is multiplying the disaster potential several fold. The governments at centre and states and judiciary can continue to be blind to this realities, but local people cannot. The local communities in Kinnaur, Lahaul-Spiti have been opposing such projects strongly and such protests are bound to increase and spread. One hopes this pushes the governments and judiciary to act urgently.
Continue reading “DRP NB 16 August 2021: Landslides in Himachal worsened due to mindless “development” projects”
A huge landslide[i] took place near Nalda village under Udaipur tehsil in Lauhl Spiti blocking the Chenab river flows in early hours of August 13, 2021. The exact location seems to be the left bank of Chanab River at Leh Baring site just upstream of Nalda Village Bridge and opposite Jundha village. The Tanda-Kishtwar NH 26 runs along right bank of the river.
The incident occurred when huge portion of hill slipped into Chenab blocking the entire channel completely. Within hour, the formation of Landslide Lake started submerging huge part of areas upstream.
Continue reading “Landslide DAM on Chenab River in Himachal Pradesh”
As India prepares to celebrate 75th Independence day on August 15, 2021, large parts of Bihar along the Ganga river, including Patna (flood water entered colonies near Ganga in Patna) and Bhagalpur are preparing to face unprecedented floods. In fact, Central Water Commission’s (CWC) flood monitoring site at Hathidah in Patna district crossed the HIGHEST FLOOD LEVEL (HFL) of 43.17 m at 0300 hours in early morning on Aug 13, 2021. The water level is already at 43.33 m at 1300 hrs on Aug 14. It is forecast to reach 43.45 m by 0800 on independence day still with rising trend. This is apparent from the CWC hydrograph of this site shown above.
Continue reading “Why are Patna & Bhagalpur facing unprecedented floods on India’s 75th independence day?”
In another dam related disaster in Andhra Pradesh, a flood gate of K L Rao multi-purpose irrigation project also known as Pulichintala Dam was washed away on August 5, 2021 raising flood alarm in downstream areas along Krishna river. As per latest information the gate has been fixed and officials have started filling up the reservoir again. However, there is no official statement regarding exact causes, financial losses, damages to dam structure and downstream flood impact caused by the apparently avoidable dam disaster. The rule curve seems to be violated in operation of every dam and the gates do not seem to have been properly maintained. An independent enquiry needs to be immediately set up to find out what lessons we can learn and how we can fix accountability for the disaster.
Continue reading “Andhra Pradesh: Pulichintala Dam Gate disaster shows improper maintenance and operation”
The UN’s climate science panel unveiled (part 1of) its Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) on Climate Change on Aug 9, 2021, the first since AR5 in 2014. This 3949 page report is called “The Physical Basis”. A 150 page Technical Summary and a 39 page Summary for Policy Makers has also been published, among other volumes. The World and Science has changed a lot in the intervening seven years. It provides projections for temperature and sea-level rises less than three months before the climate summit -Conference of Parties COP26- in Glasgow-Scotland. After two weeks of virtual negotiations, 195 nations (including India) approved the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) comprehensive assessment of past and future warming on Aug 6, 2021 in the form of a “Summary for Policy Makers” (SPM). The text, vetted and approved line by line, word by word, paints a grim picture of accelerating climate change and dire threats.[i]
Continue reading “IPCC’s AR6: Synergy between Climate Change & Development Impacts”