DRP News Bulletin

DRP NB 6 Sep 2021: DISASTERS GOING UP in Himalayas, across India & Globally

(Feature image: Rani Pokhri bridge on the Dehradun Rishikesh highway collapsed near Dehradun, August 27, PTI https://www.thequint.com/news/india/uttarakhand-rains-bridge-on-dehradun-rishikesh-highway-collapses-no-casualties#read-more)

Data published this week (see below) shows that disasters are going up almost five fold in the Himalayas (data from Uttarakhand, HP below, but this is not different in rest of Himalayas), nationally and even globally. The data from UN report this week shows that the disasters are up five fold in recent years. Damage is up even more. As the data of landslides due to Char Dham High way and hydropower projects show, the contribution from these projects to the disaster is clear. So much so that even the editorial in The Hindustan Times this week asked to stop these disastrous projects. While it is unlikely that the governments or politicians would wake up to this reality anytime soon, one expects the judiciary, media, civil society and academics to take up this issue on urgent basis.

UTTARAKHAND Disaster Data Data maintained by the Uttarakhand disaster management dept shows that over 5,700 people died in natural disasters in the state in last 20 years, of which most deaths were due to flash floods and landslides. In the last 7 years alone, 27 major landslides have been recorded, apart from hundreds of minor ones. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/videos/in-depth/are-uttarakhand-hills-frequently-caving-in-under-the-weight-of-development/videoshow/85814895.cms  (01 Sept. 2021)

A hydro onslaught Himalayas cannot take Mallika Bhanot, C.P. Rajendran In normal circumstances, when a mistake is understood and suffered, one tends to learn from it and not repeat it. Unfortunately, this does not hold true in the case of the policy makers who are bent upon permitting projects and large-scale infrastructure in the already fragile and vulnerable Ganga-Himalayan basin. Recurrent disasters in the last decade in the State of Uttarakhand have been studied and analysed. And in every disaster, the increasing anthropogenic pressure in this area has been found to be a direct or an indirect contributor.

 The most recent example is the Rishi-Ganga valley disaster, in February this year which claimed over 200 lives as the river turned into a flood carrying a heavy load of silt and debris and demolishing hydropower projects along its course. While science and logic tell us to press on with conservation and protection in these sensitive areas, our government has decided to go in the dangerous and opposite direction, pushing more such projects including hydropower projects and Chardham highway among others. https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/a-hydro-onslaught-the-himalayas-cannot-take/article36261151.ece   (03 Sept. 2021)

Aftermath of Chamoli Disaster Still Playing Out Mallika Bhanot, C.P. Rajendran The Himalaya are already rife with unstable slopes, and more and more studies and reports are telling us floods, landslides, etc. are going to become more common. To mitigate these hazards and save more lives, we must stop interfering in these areas, and declare obviously fragile zones to be ‘ecologically sensitive zones’ and protect them accordingly. We must rollback our unresearched, unsustainable activities, restore the natural forest, increase green cover to protect against landslides, and thus minimise the impacts of climate change. https://science.thewire.in/environment/chamoli-disaster-aftermath-raini-village-rockfalls-slope-instability-climate-change/   (03 Sept. 2021)

Editorial in the Hindustan Times clearly asking to stop destructive Hydropower and Char Dham Highway projects in Uttarakhand. https://www.pressreader.com/india/hindustan-times-ranchi/20210904/281685437952363  (04 Sept. 2021)

Himachal Pradesh Kinnaur residents unite against hydro-power projects This time, the locals are determined to resist further degradation by exercising their right to consent, which is embedded in the rule that an NOC from the Gram Sabha is mandatory for setting up a project. Incidentally, the SJVNL, which has been allotted the Jangi Thopan project, became a member of the International Solar Alliance (a coalition of solar resource-rich countries) earlier this year. It would do well to spend more energy on tapping sun and wind — renewable and greener sources — for power generation.  https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/editorials/no-should-mean-no-303921  (30 Aug. 2021)

Power project oustees threaten bypoll boycott Villagers of 16 panchayats, who have been affected due to the establishment of the nation’s largest 1,500 MW Nathpa Jhakri hydropower project, have threatened to boycott the upcoming byelection to the Mandi Lok Sabha constituency. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/power-project-oustees-threaten-bypoll-boycott-in-himachal-304330  (31 Aug. 2021)   

At least 246 people lost their lives to natural disasters such in Himachal this monsoon. The state government is pursuing highway projects, dozens of hydropower projects which are further impacting the sensitive ecosystem. https://india.mongabay.com/2021/09/himachal-pradesh-and-its-recurring-face-off-with-disasters/  (03 Sept. 2021)

UN DISASTER UP FIVE FOLDThe number of disasters, such as floods and heatwaves, driven by climate change have increased fivefold over the past 50 years, killing more than 2 million people and costing $3.64 trillion in total losses, a U.N. agency said on Sept 1, 2021. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) says its “Atlas” is the most comprehensive review of mortality and economic losses from weather, water and climate extremes ever produced.” https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/weather-disasters-killed-2-million-last-50-years-un-agency-says-2021-09-01/  (01 Sept. 2021)

HYDRO POWER PROJECTS

Himachal Pradesh NHPC completes renovation of Baira Siul Power Station NHPC has completed renovation and modernisation of all three units of 180 MW Baira Siul HEP in Chamba dist of HP, which was first commissioned in 1982. https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/business/nhpc-completes-renovation-of-180-mw-baira-siul-power-station-7422781.html  (02 Sept. 2021)

Uttarakhand Go-Ahead for 7 Hydel Projects is Malafide The ministry’s approval for these seven projects does not, however, actually address the basic issues which had prompted the apex court to put a hold on these hydel projects in the first place. In fact the decision, the reasons advanced for it, and the manner in which the decision was arrived at have all raised additional and troubling issues. In particular, MoEFCC and the government as a whole have brushed aside all expert opinion, shown utter disregard for the very real and proven dangers involved, and cynically manipulated the regulatory system so as to frustrate the SC’s order, and recklessly and stubbornly push these few hydel projects.

The MoEFCC affidavit justifies its recommendation by stating that all these projects were more than 50% complete and that even Tapovan-Vishnugad was 75% complete in February this year, but does not mention what small percentage is still standing or salvageable. For unexplained reasons, the affidavit also asserts that the February 2021 floods were caused not by a glacial burst but by an avalanche, as if that made any difference! While MoEFCC spokespersons have given an assurance that this conditionality will apply for any future approvals, this is not stated in the affidavit. The affidavit also contains the empty assurance that all conditions stipulated in the clearance will be adhered to, which has never happened in the past, nor is there a mechanism to ensure this. https://www.newsclick.in/Designed-Kill-Why-Go-Ahead-7-Hydel-Projects-Uttarakhand-Malafide  (03 Sept. 2021)

SC restores appeal filed by Mandakini Badh Prabhavit Samiti The Supreme Court on Sept. 3 has restored the appeal filed by the Mandakini Badh Prabhavit Samiti before the NGT, which was previously dismissed by NGT, due to non-payment of court fees, in their appeal seeking enhanced compensation to victims whose houses were washed away in the 2013 Uttarakhand Floods (Disaster). A three-judge bench of Justices A.M. Khanwilkar, Hrishikesh Roy and C.T. Ravikumar directed the matter to be remitted back to the NGT for fresh consideration on merits.

It admitted the appeal and directed the Original Application before the NGT to be revived. It recorded that in the interest of justice, by way of indulgence and that the appellant is representing the persons affected by flood and is espousing the cause of the claimants, it condoned the delay in depositing court fee. The petitioner association has claimed that activities of the L&T Uttaranchal Hydropower Ltd have resulted in washing away of the houses of the victims in Village Chandrapuri, Bhatwari Sunar, Butol and Gabni located in district Rudraprayag and loss to the property. https://www.indialegallive.com/constitutional-law-news/supreme-court-news/supreme-court-restores-appeal-filed-by-mandakini-badh-prabhavit-samiti-seeking-more-compensation-for-2012-uttarakhand-flood-victims/  (03 Sept. 2021)

L&T concludes divestment of entire stake in Singoli Bhatwari HEP Larsen & Toubro (L&T) on Tuesday (Aug. 31) said it has concluded the divestment of its entire stake in 99Mw (33X3) hydro power plant at Singoli-Bhatwari to ReNew Power Services Private Limited. L&T received a consideration of Rs 1,001.50 crore as divestment proceeds. https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/business/lt-concludes-divestment-of-entire-stake-in-99-mw-hydro-plant-at-uttarakhand-to-renew-power-7411011.html  (31 Aug. 2021)

Meghalaya Umngot dam project ‘scrapped’ But the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of local pressure groups is wary of the “ambiguity” of the announcement as the government had sought public hearings on the project in April, a year after it was said to have been terminated. What planted the seeds of doubt about Umngot was Power Minister’s statement that the government would seek the views of stakeholders if the project was taken up in the future.

“The Power Minister’s statement is ambiguous. He did not specifically say if the Umngot project will be scrapped,” JAC member Treibor Raul Suchen told journalists in the State capital Shillong. Tourism forums have also sought clarity from the government. “We shall not entertain any discussions on the views of stakeholders on any future projects on the Umngot, as the Power Minister said,” Meghalaya Tourism Development Forum (MTDF) president Allan West Kharkongor said. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/after-protests-meghalaya-dam-project-scrapped/article36219044.ece  (01 Sept. 2021)

Ladakh Snow leopard, black-necked cranes named state animal, bird The UT administration came out with a notification to this effect on Tuesday (Aug. 31). https://www.daijiworld.com/news/newsDisplay?newsID=869156  (01 Sept. 2021)

NHPC Nod to raise borrowing limit to Rs 40K cr sought NHPC will seek its shareholders’ approval to raise borrowing limit by Rs 10,000 crore to Rs 40,000 crore in the annual general meeting on Sept 29, 2021. The tentative debt requirement for both ongoing projects and new projects up to 2031 as per Capex requirements will be approx. Rs 50,000 crore, which will exceed paid up share capital, free reserves and securities premium of the company, it added. https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/power/nhpc-seeks-shareholders-nod-to-raise-borrowing-limit-to-rs-40000-cr/85854697  (02 Sept. 2021)

MoEF Agenda of EAC on River Valley Projects to be held on Sept 7, 2021:

1. Kurha Vadhoda Islampur Lift Irrigation Scheme UPSA Sinchan Yojna with CCA 32372 Ha at Village Rigaon, Tehsil Muktainagar, Dist Jalgaon, Maharashtra by Tapi Irrigation Development Corp – FOR Terms of Reference

2. 196 MW Ujh Multipurpose Project in an area of 4350 ha at village Barbari, Dist Kathua and Samba, Jammu & Kashmir by J&K State Power Development Corp Ltd – Amendment in Environmental Clearance

3. 600 MW Tawang Hydroelectric Project-I in an area of 277.06 ha by NHPC Ltd in Jung village, Dist Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh – Extension of Validity of Environmental Clearance

4. 800 MW Tawang Hydroelectric Project-II in an area of 237.88 ha by NHPC Ltd. in Yusum/Kundung village, Dist Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh – Extension of Validity of Environmental Clearance http://environmentclearance.nic.in/writereaddata/Form-1A/Agenda/0109202175470003AgendaRiverValley16thEAC.pdf

DAMS

Polavaram project Locals gear up for showdown Bhadradri Prantha Parirakshana Committee convenor B Sankar Reddy said “We, as residents of Bhadrachalam, will be in another state if we came out of Bhadrachalam. It is an inconvenience to us. Further, many issues with regard to villages that have been submerged by Polavaram project remain unaddressed ”.

The AP government has stated that the project would be completed by next September. The backwaters of the project will be stranded around Bhadrachalam as Godavari River will be in a ‘U’ curve at the holy town. B Ramesh, a local businessman, said “We fear that some parts of Bhadrachalam will be submerged if the Polavaram project touches its full reservoir level. Nobody is giving a correct picture about it”, he said. https://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/020921/polavaram-project-nears-completion-bhadradri-locals-gear-up-for-showd.html  (02 Sept. 2021)

Mekedatu Dam CWMA drops deliberation after TN objection Though Mekedatu was mentioned as a subject in the agenda for the meeting, a discussion on it was dropped following Tamil Nadu’s strong objection, an official release said. At the outset, Tamil Nadu representatives cited a petition by the state government in the Supreme Court seeking rejection of a DPR for the Mekedatu dam proposal. This plea is expected to be taken up for hearing soon by the apex court and hence, the Mekedatu issue should not be deliberated, the TN officials told the meeting.

Also, Tamil Nadu said any discussion on Mekedatu could take place only if all the stakeholders — Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry — concurred. It was argued in the meeting that water release as per stipulations should be done by Karnataka so as to ensure that the short term kuruvai rice harvest is not affected and also to facilitate long term samba rice cultivation in the Cauvery delta region of Tamil Nadu. https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/cauvery-authority-drops-deliberation-mekedatu-dam-after-objection-tn-govt-154673  (01 Sept. 2021)

Report Dubai-based Company to Handle Desilting of Dams Built Over River Narmada A Dubai-based company has been shortlisted for desilting the Narmada dams. Union Minister of State for Jal Shakti, Prahlad Singh Patel on Sept 4, 2021 in Jabalpur said that till now there was no technique available to desilt the dams. The Dubai-based group has recently made a presentation and based on which cleaning of sediments will be taken up in Bargi dam in Jabalpur. https://www.news18.com/news/india/dubai-based-company-to-handle-desilting-of-dams-built-over-river-narmada-4165964.html  (04 Sept. 2021)

INTERLINKING OF RIVERS

Lot of inaccuracies in this article, but it seems to suggest that a proposal has been sent to MoEF to allow 2000 ha of compensatory afforestation be allowed in degraded forest land, rest of 4200 ha of non forest land in contiguous (with Panna Tiger Reserve) area will be provided in Ken Betwa River Link Project.

INTERSTATE WATER DISPUTES

Krishna Water Dispute Arguments mar KRMB meeting  “We were unable to convince the board to get a higher share of water from the Krishna. The arguments from both sides nearly resulted in a fight,” said an official from Telangana’s irrigation department, requesting anonymity. Telangana walked out of the KRMB meeting after KRMB decided to maintain status quo on Krishna water sharing between AP and Telangana in the ratio 66:34 till Krishna Tribunal takes any decision. Telangana wants the sharing ration of 50: 50. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/arguments-mar-krishna-river-management-board-meeting-101630576511889-amp.html  (02 Sept. 2021)

At the meeting, Telangana also charged the KRMB with failing to stop water diversion and installation of telemetries in Krishna basin by Andhra Pradesh.

It further asked the board to immediately stop diversion of irrigated water by AP through Pothireddypadu and Handri Neeva projects by respecting the Bachawat Tribunal order (KWDT-1). Telangana also complained about alleged illegal projects taken up by the neighbouring state. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/power-punch-telangana-walks-out-of-krishna-river-management-board-meeting/articleshow/85854094.cms  (02 Sept. 2021)

This was the 14th meeting of the KRMB. The five-hour long meeting saw representatives of both states pitching their arguments. Following Telangana’s walkout, the meeting was concluded. It can be recalled, in the August first week Telangana higher officials skipped the first-ever joint meeting of the Coordination Committees of the GRMB and KRMB over. The coordination committee was constituted to resolve the ongoing water disputes between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

Both the states’ water conflict has reached to another level in the backdrop of the Union government fixing the jurisdiction of the rivers Krishna and Godavari’s Boards through a gazette notification. Telangana government is up against the gazette which is set to come into force from October 14, 2021 alleging threat to the interests of the state. The gazette has brought as many as 107 irrigation projects in Telangana and Andhra on both the Godavari and Krishna rivers under the jurisdiction of the KRMB and GRMB. https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/unhappy-krishna-river-management-board-meet-telangana-stages-walkout-154718  (02 Sept. 2021)

Even as Telangana government has continued to find fault with Andhra Pradesh for diverting Krishna water outside the basin claiming that it was against the provisions of the Krishna Water Dispute Tribunal (KWDT) – I, the Andhra officials maintained that the state was at liberty and well within the purview of the norms to use the water as per its needs.

Telangana has also alleged that the KRMB has failed to restrain AP from diverting water ‘illegally’ through ‘unauthorised’ projects such as Pothireddypadu head regulator, Handri Neeva Sujala Sravanti. https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/andhra-pradesh/2021/sep/03/ap-has-right-to-divert-water-outside-basin-2353723.html  (03 Sept. 2021)

Cauvery Water Dispute CWMA asks Karnataka to offset T.N. water shortfall this month  The Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA), at its meeting on Aug 31, 2021, “requested” Karnataka to make good in September the shortfall of 27.86 TMC in the realisation of Cauvery water by Tamil Nadu till Aug 30. Disclosing this, CWMA chairman S.K Haldar, who is also the head of the Central Water Commission, said that the Cauvery catchments had recorded around 25% deficit in rainfall. “The realisation by four reservoirs of Karnataka (Krishnaraja Sagar, Kabini, Hemavati, and Harangi) was less by 23% to 24%. Accordingly, there was lower water release,” he said. In view of the Meteorological Department’s rainfall forecast for September, the CWMA has told Karnataka to compensate the shortfall, he added.

– At the beginning of the meeting, Tamil Nadu’s team leader and Additional Chief Secretary (Water Resources) Sandeep Saxena opposed any discussion on the Mekedatu dam project. Both the Mekedatu project and the Cauvery-Vaigai-Gundar link canal scheme had been deferred. The next meeting would take place on September 24. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/cwma-asks-karnataka-to-offset-tn-water-shortfall-this-month/article36214152.ece  (31 Aug. 2021)

RIVERS AS NATIONAL WATER WAYS

Online Discussion Forum on ‘Making Transboundary Inland Navigation Inclusive for Small Boat Operators’  will be live from the 1st-14th of September 2021. Share your ideas by registering to the Water Governance Collective Action Network website – http://wgcan.in

IRRIGATION

Tamil Nadu Extend water release in LBP main canal by 25 days: farmers With water discharge being stopped in Lower Bhavani Project (LBP) main canal due to breach, various farmers associations have urged the State government to extend the water release by 25 days. Water was released from Bhavanisagar Dam into the canal on August 15 to benefit 1.03 lakh acre in the districts of Erode, Tiruppur and Karur for 120 days till December 12.

However, a breach in the canal at Malaipalayam village in Nasiyanur Town Panchayat led to inundation of houses and crops after which discharge was stopped completely. Work commenced immediately to plug the breach. It was initially decided to plug the breach within 10 days and release water for irrigation and carry out permanent restoration works after December. However, people in three villages, who were affected by flooding, and farmers wanted permanent restoration works undertaken. This delayed the work further.. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/extend-water-release-in-lbp-main-canal-by-25-days-farmers/article36282363.ece  (04 Sept. 2021)

Maharashtra गोंदिया: कुएं में किसान आंदोलन , हम जिएं या मरें ?  महाराष्ट्र में धड़क सिंचन विहीर योजना शुरू की गई इस योजना के तहत 2018-19 अंतर्गत गोंदिया जिले के सालेकसा तहसील से 134 लाभार्थी किसानों की सूची तैयार की गई , प्रति सिंचन कुंआ ( विहिर ) हेतु ढाई लाख रुपए अनुदान हेतु निश्चित किए गए। लाभार्थियों ने सरकार की 2.5 लाख की अनुदान राशि पर एतबार किया और विहीर योजना मार्फत लाभार्थियों ने अपने घर का पैसा लगाकर , सोना चांदी गिरवी रखकर , जानवर बेचकर , विहार योजना में पैसे लगा दिए ओर अपने अपने खेत में कुएं खोदे । अब 2 वर्ष बीत जाने के बाद भी उन्हें धड़क सिंचन विहीर योजना की निधि (अनुदान राशि ) उन्हें उपलब्ध नहीं हुई है। https://www.nagpurtoday.in/gondia-farmers-movement-in-the-well-shall-we-live-or-die/08311657  (31 Aug. 2021)

Uttar Pradesh Govt to install drip irrigation plants Drip irrigation plants in 30,000 hectares of sugarcane area will be installed by the Uttar Pradesh Sugarcane Development Department during 2021-22, using subsurface drip irrigation technology. https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/up-govt-drip-irrigation-plants-30-000-hectares-sugarcane-area-2021-22-1849557-2021-09-06  (06 Sept. 2021)

URBAN RIVERS

RIVERS

Why is there very little fresh-water flow in most months after monsoon? SANDRP Coordinator interviewed by IIM-A student Bisweswar Morang on India’s water issues.  https://counterview.org/2021/09/02/why-there-is-very-little-fresh-water-flow-in-most-months-after-monsoon/  (02 Sept. 2021)

India Rivers Forum Inviting nominations for Bhagirath Prayaas Samman (BPS) award, to recognize the unsung heroes for their outstanding & sustained efforts towards protection & conservation of rivers. Please share this and nominate folks. See the link for form:  http://indiariversforum.org/BPS2021

Karnataka No social impact study for 495 acres of Yettinahole project land Officials skipped it to save one year! What are the regulators doing? https://www.deccanherald.com/state/top-karnataka-stories/no-social-impact-study-for-495-acres-of-yettinahole-project-land-1024934.html  (29 Aug. 2021)

Gujarat Stop pollution of Sabarmati river: HC The High Court came down heavily on the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) and the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) for not curbing pollution in the Sabarmati river, noting that untreated effluents continue to be dumped into the river.

– The court held that there is a nexus of civic body officials, Pollution Control Board officials, and industries, with the government apparently “protecting polluters”. The Division Bench of Justice J.B. Pardiwala and Justice V.D. Nanavati also said that it would make a surprise visit to check the river’s condition. The court is hearing a suo motu petition initiated by it following media reports of sewage water and industrial effluents not treated in accordance with set norms being dumped into the river. The court is hearing a suo motu petition initiated by it following media reports of sewage water and industrial effluents not treated in accordance with set norms being dumped into the river. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/stop-pollution-of-sabarmati-river-gujarat-high-court/article36233572.ece  (01 Sept. 2021)

Odisha Kharasrota River Not for Sale In order to supply water to the Dhamra Port Company Limited (DPCL) in the Bhadrak district, the Government of Odisha is using its Basudha Drinking Water Scheme. The DPCL is a 100% subsidiary of the Adani Ports and SEZ. The Government of Odisha is spending Rs 892.14 crore to supply water to the Adani Ports and SEZ in the name of supplying water to the people of Bhadrak district. https://countercurrents.org/2021/09/the-kharasrota-river-not-for-sale/  (03 Sept. 2021)

Bhitarkanika will die if freshwater extraction continues Bhitarkanika National Park, the second-largest mangrove forest in India, was under severe threat due to planned diversion of freshwater from the Brahmani river basin, an activist told Down To Earth.

The state government had ignored the need to conserve it for posterity despite it being a noted Ramsar Convention wetland, Biswajit Mohanty, secretary of the Wildlife Society of Odisha, a non-profit, said. The Talcher-Angul coal mines, steel and power-generating units as well as the Kalinga Nagar steel and power hub in Jajpur district were drawing enormous quantities of freshwater from the Brahmani river. Once the irrigation canals from the Rengali reservoir are complete, more water will be diverted, leaving almost no fresh water for downstream areas, he said. https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/wildlife-biodiversity/bhitarkanika-will-die-if-freshwater-extraction-by-industries-continues-activist-78828  (03 Sept. 2021)

Environmentalists on Friday (Sept. 3) expressed concern over the massive diversion of fresh water from the Brahmani river basin, which could pose a grave threat to the famous mangrove vegetation in Odisha. Bhitarkanika — a notified Ramsar wetland — is spread over 195 sq. km and is home to 62 mangrove species. Besides, 1,600 salt water crocodiles crawl on the mudflats of the Bhitarkanika mangrove forest. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/experts-express-concern-over-diversion-of-fresh-water-from-brahmani/article36279126.ece  (03 Sept. 2021)

Temple on Mahanadi riverbed demolished After a year of legal battle, the district administration on Sept 2, demolished Panchamukhi Hanuman temple on Mahanadi river embankment at Ratilo in Salepur block amid tight security arrangement.

“We have demolished the main temple and other structures illegally constructed on the floodplain area of Mahandi on the basis of NGT’s order,” said Collector Bhabani Shankar Chayani. On Dec 15, 2020, the tribunal had directed the district administration to demolish the temple after a committee constituted by it confirmed that the shrine was constructed illegally on floodplain area. The temple trust had also moved the Orissa High Court challenging the order issued by Kissanagar tehsildar for demolition of the temple on July 19, 2021.   While the High Court’s single judge bench had earlier issued an interim order restraining the operation of the tehsildar’s order, another single judge bench on August 27 declined to extend the stay. https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/odisha/2021/sep/03/odishas-panchamukhi-hanuman-temple-on-mahanadi-riverbed-demolished-2353666.html  (03 Sept. 2021)

Haryana Red water in Dhakoli rivulet: Closure notice to paper mill  A Panchkula-based paper mill has been issued a show-cause notice for closure by the SPCB for chemical discharge into a seasonal rivulet in Dhakoli, Mohali, that turned its water red. The unit was found violating its own declarations and all the pollution control board’s certifications. It has been asked to file its reply within 15 days, explaining why it must not be closed and why the consent to operate (CTO) must not be revoked under Section 33-A of the Water Act of 1974.

The pollution control board has detected a hidden underground pipeline used for illegally discharging the waste chemical-laced water into the rivulet, which further polluted the areas falling in its vicinity in Zirakpur and Derabassi before falling into the Ghaggar River. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chandigarh/red-water-in-dhakoli-rivulet-closure-notice-to-paper-mill/articleshow/85891696.cms  (03 Sept. 2021)

Jharkhand Ramp Walk On A Garbage Dump The lack of proper waste disposal facilities has been for a long time a problem cities across India are facing. The tonnes of waste, both biodegradable and non-biodegradable are often collected from households but are rarely processed or disposed of properly.

Most of the time the garbage ends up in landfills, outside the big cities, which continue to grow in height every passing day, due to the amount of trash that gets dumped there. Jhiri in the outskirts of Ranchi is one of the biggest landfills in Jharkhand, where more than 600 tonnes of garbage is dumped every day. https://www.indiatimes.com/news/india/jharkhand-model-does-a-ramp-walk-on-a-garbage-dump-to-draw-attention-to-the-threat-it-poses-548512.html  (01 Sept. 2021)

Landfill sites are often built in or around water bodies at outskirts of cities polluting groundwater, rivers. The case of Jhiri landfill is similar. Google map shows Jhiri lake close to landfill site in south of Ranchi ring road. The landfill has come up at origin place of Potpoto stream which then joins the Junar river, a tributary of Subarnarekha. https://www.google.com/maps/@23.4091384,85.2574513,902m/data=!3m1!1e3

Tamil Nadu ONGC pumps first gas from KG basin Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) has pumped first gas from its deep-water U1B well in Krishna Godavari block KG-D5 in the Bay of Bengal. The well, in KG-DWN 98/2 Block’s Cluster-2, has an estimated peak production of 1.2 million cubic meters per day of gas, the company said in a statement. ONGC’s KG-DWN-98/2 or KG-D5 block, which sits next to Reliance Industries’ KG-D6 block in the KG basin, has a number of discoveries that have been clubbed into clusters. https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/ongc-pumps-first-gas-from-u1b-deep-water-well-in-kg-basin/85834724  (01 Sept. 2021)

Kerala ‘Neeruravu’ to recharge groundwater of Pullampara The water conservation activities will be undertaken in the catchment areas as part of a massive programme for rejuvenating the Vamanapuram river. The pilot phase of the river conservation project is in Pullampara, where 12 kilometres of the river flows through. https://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/thiruvananthapuram/2021/aug/23/neeruravu-to-recharge-groundwater-of-pullampara-2348356.html  (23 Aug. 2021)

BRAHMAPUTRA Book Review Walking Along Brahmaputra What is ironic, though not surprising, is how the exploitation of natural resources continues unabated, irrespective of the abject dereliction of duty the state owes to its people. This is most powerfully brought out by the writer’s discovery of the 178 dams that are in the pipeline to be built on the Brahmaputra. The destruction that such projects would cause to the ecosystem is beyond any reasonable doubt, the loss of livelihood and displacement incomparable; but the motivation to completely disregard all of this is too compelling of course, because as Choudhury notes, “Money is a great remover of obstacles.” https://livewire.thewire.in/out-and-about/books/samrat-choudhary-the-braided-river-brahmaputra/  (02 Sept. 2021)

CAUVERY Tamil Nadu Govt to add 10 CETPs Common effluent treatment plants (CETPs) would be established with state and central funding in 10 locations in Erode and Namakkal districts to prevent discharge of effluents from industries into water bodies, minister for environment and climate change Siva V Meyyanathan informed the state assembly on Friday (Sept. 3). The move is expected to prevent pollution of Cauvery in Erode and Namakkal districts. Scores of dyeing units are functioning along the banks of the river at Komarapalayam, Pallipalayam and Kokkarayanpettai in Erode and Namakkal districts. Several of these units do not have effluent treatment facilities and illegally discharge chemical waste into the river during night hours.

At present, there are 37 CETPs in the state of which 13 are in the tannery sector while19 have been installed for textile bleaching and dyeing units. Emphasising the importance of CETP, the minister asked the industries to install CETPs to safeguard the environment. The minister said the TNPCB has also taken measures to check the water quality in the water bodies in textile industrial belts of Tirupur, Erode, and Namakkal districts. It installed three online continuous water quality monitors in river Cauvery, Noyyal, Bhavani and Kalingarayan canal in the region to monitor the water quality on a real-time basis. The facility also covers Thamirabarani in Tirunelveli district. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/tamil-nadu-to-add-10-effluent-treatment-plants/articleshow/85917344.cms  (04 Sept. 2021)

GANGA Uttarakhand Char Dham Road begins extracting ecological costs The all-weather Char Dham road has witnessed 25 major landslides this rainy season, forcing the administration to close two stretches of roads in Tehri Garwhal for indefinite periods and indicating that “unscientific” road construction was causing huge damage to the fragile local ecology.

The project was to be originally completed in three years and its new deadline is December 2021. So far, 530km of the 825 km Char Dham road have been constructed, on 12 metre hill cutting width, said officials from road transport ministry. But in five years of Char Dham road construction, there have been at least 200 landslides and death of close to 200 people due to construction work or landslides, activists claimed.

These are just a few examples of the landslides that have happened in 2021. But the hills came down crashing on the road, which road transport minister Nitin Gadkari said in 2015 would be “technologically most sound” when the state received 4% less than normal rainfall till August 31 as compared to average rainfall in the past 10 years. https://www.hindustantimes.com/analysis/char-dham-road-begins-extracting-ecological-costs-25-landslides-this-season-101630488418701.html  (01 Sept. 2021)

Rishikesh-Kedarnath highway has 40 spots with ‘high’ landslide vulnerability Landslide vulnerability is “high” on at least 40 spots on the national highway connecting Rishikesh to Kedarnath, a joint study of a group of technical institutions, including IITs of Roorkee and Bombay, have found. Titled “high resolution geological and geotechnical mapping along Rishikesh-Kedarnath national highways”, the study was conducted by 13 teams of the institutions.

They divided the 223-km long stretch of the national highway into 21 zones for their field study. They found around 100 places right from Rishikesh to Kedarnath where rocks are weak and there are over 40 points out of them like Dharasu, Raithali, Vyasi, Utrasu, Kaliyasaun, Saknidhar, Baswa, Phata, Soneprayag and Rambada where chances of landslide are “high” owing to weakened rocks strength and shear strength of debris. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/rishikesh-kedarnath-highway-has-40-spots-with-high-landslide-vulnerability-finds-study/articleshow/85572089.cms  (24 Aug. 2021)

The reality behind the so called “All weather road” aka Chardham Pariyojana that has miserably failed to survive any weather.The project of road widening that claimed thousands of trees, made the slopes unstable and has rendered 900km of sensitive Himalayas vulnerable to incessant and persistent landslides and Land-sinking.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcgGPHpziZg  (30 Aug. 2021)

भारी बारिश के चलते टिहरी गढ़वाल जिले में ऋषिकेश-गंगोत्री राजमार्ग (एनएच 94) ऋषिकेश से 38 किमी दूर हाईवे का करीब 40 मीटर हिस्सा इस तहत से टूट गया है कि यह झरने में तब्दील हो गया है। वहीं, ऋषिकेश-बदरीनाथ राजमार्ग शिवपुरी और तोताघाटी में मलबा आने से बंद हो गया। इससे जिला मुख्यालय नई टिहरी का राजधानी देहरादून से संपर्क कट गया। चंपावत में भूस्खलन के कारण पूर्णागिरी देवी मंदिर की ओर जाने वाला मार्ग भी क्षतिग्रस्त हो गया। https://hindi.oneindia.com/news/uttarakhand/uttarakhand-nh-94-and-nh-58-in-tehri-garhwal-district-blocked-due-to-boulders-and-rubbles-635975.html  (28 Aug. 2021)

उत्तराखंड राज्य आपदा प्रबंधन विभाग के आंकड़ों के मुताबिक, 2016 में राज्य में भूस्खलन की 18 घटनाएं दर्ज की गई थीं जबकि 2020 में भूस्खलन की 973 घटनाएं दर्ज की गई हैं। साल 2021 में भूस्खलन की 244 घटनाएं हो चुकी हैं। राज्य में अतिवृष्टि और बाढ़ की घटनाएं भी काफी बढ़ी हैं, इसलिए इंफ्रास्ट्रक्चर से जुड़ी बड़ी परियोजनाओं पर बहुत सोच-समझकर आगे बढ़ना चाहिए। http://www.aslibharat.com/big-environmental-crisis-knocked-in-uttarakhand-through-chardham-project/  (31 Sept. 2021)

Uttar Pradesh Neurological diseases abound in Ganga riverside: IMS-BHU study A heavy metal present in the water of the river subsequently enters the food chain through entering into the soil, well water and air. They are the prime cause of mental and cognitive health deterioration in humans. Many of these heavy metals were required in small amounts for cell function and living but when exposed to higher levels over the long period they cause deleterious effects like neurotoxicity. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/varanasi/neurological-diseases-abound-in-ganga-riverside-ims-bhu-study/articleshow/85639261.cms  (26 Aug. 2021)

New bridge at Kareti ghat “The government had approved the construction of this 1272 meters long bridge over river Ganges, between Kareti Ghat to Shahzadpur, in July 2019 and the construction of the bridge was undertaken by us and now the bridge is almost 94% complete,” said the project director, Subhash Pratap Bagri.

Around Rs 248 crore was spent on the construction of this bridge. Like the new bridge over river Yamuna at Prayagraj, this bridge is constructed in the form of an Extradosed cable-stay bridge of German technology. The bridge is supported over 13 pillars. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/allahabad/new-bridge-over-ganga-to-cut-down-distance-between-lucknow-chitrakoot/articleshow/85875290.cms   (03 Sept. 2021)

YAMUNA Delhi Cleaner Yamuna unlikely before 2023: DPCC report Delhi has 35 STPs at present with a combined capacity of 2,715 MLD, while the capital generates 3,273 MLD of sewage. This results in a gap in the treatment capacity of around 559 MLD, the report states. To bridge this gap, key STPs, such as the Yamuna Vihar STP, Kondli STP, Rithala STP, Coronation Pillar STP and Okhla STP, are in the works. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/cleaner-yamuna-unlikely-before-2023-dpcc-report/articleshow/85934148.cms  (05 Sept. 2021)

All big drains to be cleaned up Urban Development Minister Satyendar Jain on Friday (Sept. 3) held a meeting to discuss the plan for rejuvenation of drains that discharge untreated sewage into the river. “The plan is to clean and beautify Najafgarh, supplementary and Shahdara link drains. The minister wants all major drains to be converted into clean water channels again,” said an official. Currently, these drains are massively contributing to the pollution in the Yamuna in Delhi by discharging solid waste, sludge and wastewater into the river.

There are over 60 main drains under the I&FC Department, including 22 big natural drains, which are actually meant to carry surface run-offs to the Yamuna and facilitate recharge of groundwater. A study conducted by the Central Pollution Control Board last year had noted that 14 of these major drains are discharging untreated sewage into the Yamuna. https://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/delhi/2021/sep/04/all-big-drains-flowing-into-yamuna-to-be-cleaned-up-2354114.html  (04 Sept. 2021)

NGT directs officials to ensure proper disposal of sewage NGT has directed secretaries of urban development and environment department to hold a joint meeting to ensure scientific disposal of sewage collected by tractors or vehicles, in pursuance of the licences given by Delhi government. A plea filed in the tribunal claimed that the unscientific dumping of sewage by tractors or vehicles of the septic tank cleaners was happening at Sangam Vihar, Deoli. The applicant said these activities were causing serious damage to the environment, which remained unchecked by the regulatory authorities. DPCC, in its report, said no disposal of waste was found at the site. DJB has given licences to 208 entities for disposal of the waste from 6 designated disposal locations in the area, said the DPCC report. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/ngt-directs-officials-to-ensure-proper-disposal-of-sewage/articleshow/85780908.cms  (31 Aug. 2021)  

Haryana Thapana abuts the 5,000-strong Kanalasi village in the Yamunanagar district of Haryana. It is one of the seven villages that the river flows through in its 15-km journey after it branches out from the Yamuna and before joining the Somb. While the Thapana has always been closely linked to the people’s faith along its banks, it had also fallen prey to pollution and degradation. It was in Kanalasi that the community-driven movement to revive and protect the river took root. https://weather.com/en-IN/india/environment/news/2021-09-02-how-these-villagers-in-haryana-made-their-river-healthy-again  (01 Sept. 2021) Villagers put in several efforts to revive Thapana stream a tributary of Somb in Yamuna Nagar around 2013. But the excessive mining in and around Yamuna and Thapana has adversely impacted the groundwater and river eco-system there.  https://www.news18.com/news/india/how-these-villagers-in-haryana-made-their-river-healthy-again-4155431.html  (02 Sept. 2021)

RIVERS BIODIVERSITY

Tale river in the Tale Valley, the core area of the Tale Wildlife Sanctuary. Photo by Sanjay Sondhi/Mongabay India.

Arunachal Pradesh Nearly 500 moth species in Tale WS An estimated 12,000 moth species are found in India, with at least a few thousand undescribed species. Moth biodiversity assessments at Tale Wildlife Sanctuary, conducted in 2011 and 2019, resulted in a checklist of 497 moth species, including 17 newly discovered species for which no published records exist from India. https://india.mongabay.com/2021/09/moth-biodiversity-assessment-finds-nearly-500-moth-species-in-tale-wildlife-sanctuary/  (01 Sept. 2021)

Uttar Pradesh Indian biologist wins global award in turtle conservation Indian biologist Shailendra Singh has been awarded the Behler Turtle Conservation Award for bringing three critically endangered turtle conservation species back from the brink of extinction. Dr. Singh said that he was happy the award has turned the spotlight on turtle conservation in the country. “Turtles are one of the highly smuggled species in the country. In the past several years, we have rescued about 35,000 turtles and rehabilitated them in the wild,” the biologist said.

A report released by international wildlife trade monitoring body TRAFFIC in 2019 revealed that at least 200 individual tortoises and freshwater turtles fall prey to illicit poaching and smuggling every week; 11,000 do so each year; and over 1,11,130 did so between September 2009 and September 2019. These critically endangered turtles are being conserved as a part of TSA India’s research, conservation breeding and education programme in different parts of the country. The Northern River Terrapin (Batagur baska) is being conserved at the Sunderbans; the Red-crowned Roofed Turtle (Batagur kachuga) at Chambal; and the Black Softshell Turtle (Nilssonia nigricans) at different temples in Assam. There are 29 species of freshwater turtles and tortoises in the country. https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/indian-biologist-wins-global-award-in-turtle-conservation/article36250625.ece  (02 Sept. 2021)

Kerala Cartoon raises awareness about the endangered mahseer A comic strip by the Mahseer Trust illustrates links between the indigenous Mullu Kuruma community and mahseer conservation in Kerala’s Wayanad region. https://lifestyle.livemint.com/smart-living/environment/a-new-cartoon-raises-awareness-about-the-endangered-mahseer-111630393854349.html  (31 Aug. 2021)

Accidental sighting of invasive turtle raises a red flag The accidental finding of a red-eared slider turtle recently from the Malankara dam in Idukki has raised concerns that the invasive species has reached the water bodies in the district, posing a threat to other endemic local species. The turtle is also known to be a carrier of human-infected bacteria such as salmonella, and countries such as the U.S. and Australia have imposed strict regulation on its trading and import. Though a favourite among pet lovers, it was first observed in private aquariums in the State.

The turtle in the Malankara dam was spotted after it was trapped in the net while fishing by a local resident. It was later moved to the forest range office at Muttom to be handed over to the Kerala Forest Research Institute (KFRI) at Peechi. The species was first found in the State at two locations in Thrissur in 2018. In February last, its presence was noticed in Thrissur in small private waterbodies as well. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/accidental-sighting-of-invasive-red-eared-slider-turtle-from-a-dam-in-keralas-idukki-district-raises-a-red-flag/article36273435.ece  (03 Sept. 2021)

Maharashtra 1st endemic tree rediscovered after 180 yrs The trees, located next to a perennial stream, were flanked by rock boulders and had the thick canopy of the semi-evergreen forest of the Kalsubai Harishchandragad Wildlife Sanctuary above them. Initially, the researchers believed these trees were Croton lawianus, a species described by British botanist J.D. Hooker in 1887. But further studies revealed the species to be Croton gibsonianus, described by another British botanist Joseph Nimmo in 1839, based on the field samples collected by Alexander Gibson, the first Forest Conservator of Bombay Presidency. https://india.mongabay.com/2021/08/maharashtras-first-endemic-tree-rediscovered-after-180-years-at-harishchandragad-hill/  (31 Aug. 2021)

UN report Migratory species most vulnerable to plastic pollution  The study focused on the Ganges and Mekong river basins, which together contribute an estimated 200,000 tonnes of plastic pollution to the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean every year. Not only does plastic pollution endanger the lives of the species through entanglement but it can also impact the food web in the form of the ingestion of microplastics.

The study found that species protected under the CMS are impacted by plastic pollution in river ecosystems and on land, including freshwater species, land animals, and birds, which researchers said were often overlooked victims of humanity’s expanding trash crisis.

According to a recent study in Science, by 2030, even with ambitious reduction measures, up to 53 million metric tonnes of plastics could enter aquatic ecosystems annually, and if no improved measures are taken, this figure could reach 90 million tonnes annually. This, combined with the longevity of plastics, means that global environmental contamination is likely to continue to increase dramatically for some years to come. https://www.hindustantimes.com/environment/migratory-species-most-vulnerable-to-plastic-pollution-finds-un-report-101630431246141.html  (01 Sept. 2021)

FISH, FISHERIES, FISHERFOLKS

Maharashtra Online exhibition archives oral histories of the Kolis Aarushi Agrawal Mumbai’s coastal ecosystem, just a few decades ago, consisted of lush greenery and dense mangroves, clean water for the most part, and sandy and healthy beaches.

Be the local Koli women or the Jafrabadi women, the women of the fishing community dominate the trading of the fish. Women have always been at the forefront of the fishing business. Image credit: Sadashiv Raje (1958)

The Kolis’ boats dotted the sea as they brought back abundant fish to sustain themselves, which they dried and cut along the coast. Today, their chatter and bustle have been greatly affected by climate change, development, and the resultant ecological destruction. Mangroves are being indiscriminately cut down under the guise of development. Plastic blankets beaches and water bodies, polluting the environment and throwing off a long-sustained ecological balance. And creeks, where fresh water from the rivers meets the sea, which were once breeding grounds for fishes, today witness an alarming loss of marine life due to pollution. https://www.firstpost.com/long-reads/online-exhibition-archives-oral-histories-of-the-kolis-degradation-of-mumbais-coastal-ecology-9908841.html  (29 Aug. 2021)

Fisherman earns over Rs 1 Cr Chandrakant Tare, a fisherman from Murbe village in Palghar district, took his boat to the sea for the first time on August 28 after the monsoon ban on fishing was lifted. While fishing, he noticed that the net had become heavy and he immediately pulled it out. Crew members aboard the boat were surprised to see that he had caught around 150 ghol fish in the net at once.

Ghol fish is not only a delicacy but also has many medicinal properties and is highly valued in various countries. Its parts are used to make medicines and other high-priced products. The fish is also known as “the fish with the heart of gold.” https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/maharashtra-fisherman-nets-fish-with-heart-of-gold-takes-home-over-rs-1-crore-2526162  (01 Sept. 2021) On an average, Tare managed to sell each ghol fish for Rs 85000. Ghol fish fetches a good price also because of the commercial value it carries. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/videos/toi-original/mumbai-fisherman-nets-ghol-fish-and-earns-rs-1-33-crore-in-auction/videoshow/85831345.cms  (01 Sept. 2021)

SAND MINING

Uttarakhand Illegal mining behind Dehradun-Rishikesh bridge collapse Locals believe that illegal mining could be the main reason for the collapse of the Dehradun-Rishikesh bridge near Rani Pokhari village on Friday (Aug. 27) as heavy rains continued to lash parts of Uttarakhand. The incident was captured on camera. According to the locals, due to illegal mining, the pillars under the bridge went hollow. The bridge that connected all the tourist places, the Char Dham with the airport, collapsed around noon. The bridge was estimated to remain intact for at least 100 years. However, it collapsed in its 50th year, sources said to India Today.

From the central road (Rajmarg), the construction of another bridge was approved along with this bridge. However, it has not been constructed despite approval. Uttarakhand has been witnessing heavy downpour for the past three-four days. The Rishikesh-Devprayag, Rishikesh-Tehri and Dehradun-Mussoorie roads have been closed due to landslides caused by heavy rainfall. The Uttarakhand Police have urged people to avoid travelling to the area till the weather becomes normal. Moreover, National Highway 58 has also been closed from Tapovan to Maletha due to heavy rainfall in the area, according to the Tehri-Garhwal district authorities. https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/uttarakhand-rain-illegal-mining-behind-dehradun-rishikesh-bridge-collapse-1846188-2021-08-27  (27 Aug. 2021)

वन विकास निगम की ओर से वर्ष 2018-19 में रानीपोखरी मोटरपुल के पास जाखन नदी में खनन कराया गया था। मानकों के अनुसार मजदूरों से नदी में खनन कराया जाता है। डेढ़ मीटर से गहरी खोदाई नहीं कर सकते। लेकिन मई 2019 की जो मौके की फोटो हैं उनमें वन विकास निगम की ओर से अनियोजित खनन करवाते हुए नदी में खाई सी बना दी गई थी। करीब तीन से पांच मीटर तक नदी से खनन कर दिया गया। वन विकास निगम की ओर से जहां पर खनन किया गया वह क्षेत्र रानीपोखरी स्थित मोटरपुल से ऊपर की ओर (थानो रेंज) डेढ़ किलोमीटर दूर है। स्थानीय लोगों का आरोप है कि खनन करने के दौरान वन विकास निगम की ओर से मानकों की अनदेखी की गई। 2019 की बरसात में जाखन नदी में नागाघेर गांव के पास और ऊपर की ओर से कई स्थानों पर तालाब बन गए थे। https://www.amarujala.com/uttarakhand/rishikesh/mining-done-up-to-three-to-five-meters-depth-rishikesh-news-drn388964038   (31 Aug. 2021)

गौला पुल को भी खतरा, पिलर्स की सुरक्षा दीवारें बही नए गौला पुल के कमजोर होने का खतरा बढ़ गया है। पुल के पिलरों के चारों तरफ बनी सेफ्टी वाल (पत्थरों की गोल सुरक्षा दीवार) टूटकर बह चुकी है। पानी का तेज बहाव और किनारों से रेत निकालने का लालच इसकी वजह है। स्वामित्व रहते लोनिवि ने एक निजी तीनपानी से लेकर काठगोदाम तक की सड़क अब एनएचएआइ को ट्रांसफर हो चुकी है। इसलिए लोनिवि ने भी अब पुल भी ट्रांसफर कर हाथ पीछे खींच लिए हैं।

गौला का नया पुल 364.76 मीटर लंबा है। पानी के अंदर नौ पिलर हैं। जुलाई 2008 में टूटने के बाद लोनिवि ने इसे नए सिरे से बनाया था, मगर कभी पानी के बहाव और कभी अवैध खनन के चक्कर में इसकी सुरक्षा को लेकर सवाल खड़े हो चुके हैं। दो साल पहले नदी में मशीन उतार बहाव को दुरुस्त किया गया था। ताकि बारिश में गौला के उफान पर होने पर पानी सीधा पिलर से न टकराए। हालांकि मौजूदा समय में कई पिलरों की सेफ्टी वॉल टूट चुकी है। ऐसे में मरम्मत की जरूरत समझी जानी चाहिए। वहीं, लोनिवि का कहना है कि एनएचएआइ (भारतीय राष्ट्रीय राजमार्ग प्राधिकरण) को बाईपास रोड ट्रांसफर होने की वजह से अब मरम्मत का काम भी उन्हीं का है। https://www.jagran.com/uttarakhand/nainital-gaula-bridge-in-haldwani-also-threatened-pwd-handed-over-the-bridge-to-nhai-21974559.html  (30 Aug. 2021)

वन विभाग भले पुल के आसपास अवैध खनन की घटना से इन्कार करता है, लेकिन एनएचएआइ का कहना है कि अवैध खनन की वजह से ही सुरक्षा दीवार टूटी होगी। ब्रिज इंजीनियर परशुराम ने बताया कि वन विभाग के साथ पुलिस को भी इस बाबत पत्र लिखा जाएगा। 13 साल पहले जब पुल टूटा था, तब लोनिवि की जांच रिपोर्ट में अवैध खनन को ही जिम्मेदार ठहराया गया था। गौलापार निवासी आरटीआइ कार्यकर्ता रवि जोशी ने पूर्व में पुल को लेकर हाई कोर्ट में याचिका दायर की थी। उसके बाद पुल के अप-डाउन एरिया में एक-एक किमी क्षेत्र को खनन के लिए प्रतिबंधित कर दिया गया था, मगर जोशी का कहना है कि उसके बावजूद घोड़ों से रेत चोरी कर नींव कमजोर की जा रही है। एक तरफ वन विभाग ने चुप्पी साध रखी है, वहीं दूसरी तरफ पुल के ऊपर बने चेक पोस्ट में मौजूद पुलिसकर्मी भी ध्यान नहीं देते। https://www.jagran.com/uttarakhand/nainital-government-sought-report-regarding-gaula-bridge-21980718.html  (01 Sept. 2021)

गौर हो कि हल्द्वानी से गौलापार और चोरगलिया को जोड़ने वाला पुल विभागीय लापरवाही और अवैध खनन के चलते साल 2008 में भरभरा कर गिर गया था. ऐसे में एक बार फिर से पुल के पिलर की सुरक्षा दीवार टूट चुकी है. पिलर का लोहा और सरिया दिखाई दे रहा है. ऐसे में स्थिति यही रही तो आने वाले दिनों में पुल कभी भी भरभरा कर गिर सकता है. स्थानीय लोगों ने प्रदर्शन करते हुए आरोप लगाया कि पुल पहले भी अवैध खनन की भेंट चढ़ चुका है. एक बार फिर से पुल के आसपास अवैध खनन जारी है. ऐसे में पुल पर खतरा मंडरा रहा है. https://www.etvbharat.com/hindi/uttarakhand/state/dehradun/transfer-of-ias-pcs-officers-in-uttarakhand/uttarakhand20210905070748923  (02 Sept. 2021)

Bihar SHO, 6 others injured Altogether seven police personnel of a raiding team led by Rani Talab police station SHO Vimlesh Kumar Paswan were injured after they were allegedly assaulted by sand smugglers at Barer Tola under the Rani Talab police station area of Paliganj subdivision in western Patna in broad daylight on Friday (Aug. 20). The team had rushed towards the Sone river after receiving information about illegal sand mining and its transportation.

Police later raided the tola and recovered a large amount of smuggled IMLF and country-made liquor from the houses of two persons involved in the assault. The incident reflects the morale of sand smugglers even when the state government launched a massive crackdown on illegal sand mining activity last month. The river flows hardly a kilometre away from the spot where the raiding team had come under attack, as per police. The incident took place at around 8 am. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/patna/rani-talab-sho-six-others-injured-in-attack-by-sand-smugglers-during-raid/articleshow/85488749.cms  (20 Aug. 2021)

Sand mining mafia targets police In a report from Bihar, it is stated that six police vans were vandalized by the sand mining mafia in an attack during raids by the cops. The attack was carried out during raids in Bhojpur. 22 people have been arrested for the brazen attack. Bhojpur police received information regarding illegal sand mining that was taking place near the area. The sand mine has been closed down due rainy season. Illegal sand miners on the other hand have been involved in the illegal business. https://www.timesnownews.com/videos/mirror-now/society/bihar-sand-mining-mafia-targets-police-6-police-vans-vandalised/105684  (09 Aug. 2021)

4 cops injured 4 police personnel were injured in stone pelting by those engaged in illegal sand mining on the banks of the Sikri at Paura village under Kadirganj police station outpost in Nawada district on Monday (May 31) night. Police on Tuesday (June 1) arrested 20 people on charges of attacking a joint team of police and mines and geology department.

Kadirganj police outpost incharge Suraj Kumar said two police vehicles and a mines department vehicle were damaged. “One Pappu Yadav is the kingpin of the illegal sand mining racket. He is evading arrest. Raids are on to arrest him,” he said.

Nawada Sadar SDPO Upendra Prasad said a sand-laden truck was seized from the spot. “Driver of another truck managed to escape with his loaded vehicle. Altogether 41 known people, including Pappu, and more than 100 other unknown villagers have been made accused in the FIR. Of them, 20 have been arrested,” Prasad added. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/patna/four-cops-injured-as-sand-mafia-attacks-police-party/articleshow/83153460.cms  (02 June 2021)

Illegal mining in govt’s own backyard The HC of Bombay at Goa has directed that police personnel be placed at two government properties to ensure that illegal sand extraction stops. Advocate Norma Alvares, representing the Goa rivers sand protectors network told the court that illegal sand mining is perennially occurring on land owned by the government- in a property of the fisheries department at survey number 114/2 at Oxel Bhati in Siolim and below the Amona bridge, in property belonging to the PWD.

“Until the next date, police personnel should be placed at the said two sites. If, between today and September 6 there is any activity in relation to illegal extraction of sand at the aforesaid sites, then the police inspectors of the police stations nearest to the two sites will have to be held prima facie responsible,” stated the division bench comprising Justices Mahesh Sonak and M S Jawalkar. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/goa/illegal-sand-mining-taking-place-in-govts-own-backyard-petitioner-to-hc/articleshow/85911730.cms  (04 Sept. 2021)

Madhya Pradesh Unaccounted assets worth Rs 19.5 cr The day-long raids conducted by teams of the Lokayukta Special Police Establishment at the residential premises of Sudha Singh the sarpanch of Baijnathpur village in Rewa district on Tuesday (Aug. 31) revealed unaccounted wealth/assets valued at Rs 19.50 crores.

According to the SP Lokayukta, a case has already been registered against the woman sarpanch under relevant sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 against the woman sarpanch. The woman sarpanch’s husband is engaged in stone mining-related activities in Baijnathpur village, where large-scale stone mining and crushing is reported. The two stone crushing equipment seized by the anti-corruption sleuths are used in those operations only. https://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2021/sep/01/raids-at-woman-village-sarpanchs-house-in-mp-unearth-unaccounted-assets-worth-rs-195crore-2352964.html  (01 Sept. 2021)

DTE Unlawful sand mining needs good governance Violation of environmental laws needs pressing attention by officials; a strict law enforcement is needed against illegal sand mining, says experts.  https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/mining/why-unlawful-sand-mining-in-india-needs-good-governance-78773  (01 Sept. 2021)

WETLANDS, LAKES, WATER BODIES

Assam Locals point to flaws in Deepar Beel ESZ “A thorough study of the notification showed the ESZ will serve no purpose. The minimum distance for polluting units should have been 5 km from the boundary of the sanctuary,” Chakardeo-based dairy farmer and green activist Pramod Kalita said. The notification is not clear about the role of the local communities, he added. “Apart from factories and warehouses set up close to the wetland, Deepar Beel suffers from the garbage dump on its edge at Paschim Boragaon. This dump has been kept out of the ESZ, and this could have been done to book space for some industrial unit in the future,” he said.

Mr. Kalita also pointed out that Guwahati’s sewage is drained into Deepar Beel from 15-20 km away. “What’s the point of limiting the ESZ to a few metres around the wetland if it continues to be used as a sponge for the city’s garbage and sewage?” he asked. The Environment Ministry, Mr. Kalita added, also has to spare a thought about the railway track along the southern boundary of Deepar Beel. “Instead of realigning it, the railway is planning another track alongside, besides electrification,” he said. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/locals-point-to-flaws-in-assams-deepar-beel-eco-sensitive-zone/article36219682.ece  (01 Sept. 2021)

Andhra Pradesh Nurturing wetland Rakesh Pulapa photo of Kakinada mangrove has been selected for wildlife photographer of 2021– Houses on the edge of Kakinada city reach the estuary, buffered from the sea by the remains of a mangrove swamp.

Development has already destroyed 90 per cent of mangroves – salt-tolerant trees and shrubs – along this eastern coastal area of Andhra Pradesh. Flying his drone over the area, Rakesh could see the impact of human activities – pollution, plastic waste and mangrove clearance – but this picture seemed to sum up the protective, nurturing girdle that mangroves provide for such storm-prone tropical communities. https://www.ndtv.com/offbeat/stunning-pics-from-wildlife-photographer-of-the-year-2021-2527100  (02 Sept. 2021)

Maharashtra Mangroves come alive at Uran Reckless dumping of urban garbage for well over 15 years has killed many mangroves at Bori Pakhadi in Uran across Mumbai harbour, but sea plants have grown once more on their own, proving that they can survive and regrow without human intervention. This is the second case of destroyed mangroves coming back to life on their own.

Earlier, over 5,000 sea plants, killed during the expansion of NH348, had sprouted again after the tidal water flow that was blocked was restored due to persistent campaigning by environmentalists. “But the continued violation of Bombay HC order to protect mangroves definitely calls for contempt cases against the NHAI and CIDCO respectively in both these incidents,” said NatConnect Foundation director B N Kumar. https://www.deccanherald.com/national/west/maharashtra-killed-by-garbage-dump-mangroves-come-alive-at-uran-1025436.html  (31 Aug. 2021)

Citizens joined naturally to save nature in Kharghar The Kharghar wetlands and hills group consists of diverse citizens coming together to conserve the biodiversity-rich Kharghar node in Navi Mumbai. Its founding members, Nareshchandra Singh and Jyoti Nadkarni, write about how the group grew, how it kept going despite challenges — and how otters, insects and birds fortify its spirits. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/from-four-to-500-how-citizens-joined-naturally-to-save-nature-in-kharghar/articleshow/85911742.cms  (04 Sept. 2021)

A young environmentalist and wildlife documentary filmmaker, Aishwarya Sridhar (24), has complained to the chief minister’s office (CMO) and other government officials about her encounter with very rude private security guards at the Panje wetland in Uran, where she had gone on Saturday (Sept. 4) to photograph wetland birds.

Sridhar, who is an award winning wildlife filmmaker, added that some of the local fishermen also told her that they too are at times stopped from entering the wetland, but since they are local villagers, they somehow do go to the site to earn their livelihood. She has urged the chief minister Uddhav Thackeray to protect these natural wetlands and mangroves, instead of further destroying them by leasing them out to private companies. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/navi-mumbai/young-environmentalist-complains-to-cmo-about-rude-guards-at-panje-wetland/articleshow/85950458.cms  (05 Sept. 2021)

The Institute of Wood Sciences and Technology, Bangalore, has suggested different bio-control methods to eradicate the pest infestations that are largely seen across mangroves along Mumbai and Maharashtra coasts after winter season. One of these is injecting nuclear polyhedrosis virus (NPV) in the surrounding teak forests such as Sanjay Gandhi National Park from where it spreads to mangroves to get rid of the disease. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/mangroves-too-need-virus-jab-to-survive-pest-attack-in-mumbai-study/articleshow/85937378.cms  (05 Sept. 2021)

West Bengal To reduce excess dependency on the Sundarbans, locals promote alternative livelihoods.The mangrove forests are today at risk of collapse driven by climate change and deforestation. https://scroll.in/video/1004498/eco-india-to-reduce-excess-dependency-on-the-sundarbans-locals-promote-alternative-livelihoods  (04 Sept. 2021)

Commentary Unrealistic picture of Ramsar sites in India Director of WISE paints a rather unrealistically rosy picture of Ramsar wetlands in India, ignoring the ground realities. WISE itself has been part of the system leading to sad state of wetlands in India, including Ramsar wetlands. https://india.mongabay.com/2021/09/commentary-india-establishes-the-largest-network-of-ramsar-sites-in-south-asia/  (06 Sept. 2021)

WATER OPTIONS

Madhya Pradesh खेतों में पानी जमा करके सूखने के बाद फसल लेने की अनोखी विधि  मध्य प्रदेश में जल संचय की अनूठी परंपराएं रही हैं। कुछ ही लोग यह जानते हैं कि नर्मदा घाटी के ऊपरी हिस्से में खेतों में ही पानी जमा करके उसके सूखने के बाद एक फसल लेने की अनोखी विधि आज भी प्रचलित है। यह तरीका जबलपुर, नरसिंहपुर और दमोह तथा सागर जिलों के कुछ हिस्से यानी करीब 1.4 लाख हेक्टेयर क्षेत्र में बड़े पैमाने पर प्रचलित है। मध्य प्रदेश में प्रचलित जल संचयन और सिंचाई की हवेली व्यवस्था फसल चक्र बदलने से गायब होती जा रही है. https://www.downtoearth.org.in/hindistory/water/traditional-water-harvesting/Unique-method-of-harvesting-crops-after-drying-by-storing-water-in-the-fields-78554  (30 Aug. 2021)

Karnataka Tanks: Sharing land, water at a time of scarcity By Vishwanath S Tanks have fallen into disrepair for lack of a clear community ownership; but farmers, mostly women, are now being paid for its upkeep.

As part of Damasha, farmers decide how much land can be irrigated from the tank with help of the traditional distributor of water. Photo: Vishwanath S

https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/water/tanks-in-karnataka-sharing-land-water-at-a-time-of-scarcity-78776  (01 Sept. 2021)

West Bengal Mobilising communities against encroachment of water bodies  Tapas Das, a river and water body conservationist based out of Kolkata, is leading the fight to save several local natural water bodies. “While I was actively involved in student politics during my college days, I grew concerned with several developments around me that adversely impacted water bodies. That was when I got inspired to work on river conservation,” he recalls.  The work of Das has not only been limited to the urban centres but has also reached far fetched rural areas like Tapan, a village in the northern district of Dakshin Dinajpur, West Bengal. The village is named after a huge local water body – ‘Tapan Dighi’ (Dighi means lake in Bengali). The local administration is currently building a wall around the lake to ‘protect’ it. https://www.indiawaterportal.org/article/mobilising-communities-against-encroachment-water-bodies  (20 Aug. 2021)

Rajasthan Barren land to water body Story of Dhun: The dry and dusty piece of 500-acres of land on the outskirts of Jaipur once hardly had 30 trees on it. The land in the Phagi district once had plenty of life in it. But a devastating flood ruined the topsoil and left the land to die and be part of the desert. The fate of the land changed when Manavendra Singh Shekhawat, a hotelier from Jaipur aspired to bring water to this dry land and using traditional water harvesting practices in 2013.

The land today has more than 8 waterbodies. The water also has completely transformed the life and economy of the neighbouring villages as well. With the water feeding the land and with 100s of trees and buzzing wildlife, Manavendra is now stepping on to build an alternate living space here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=415an1V0FxQ  (03 Sept. 2021)   

Kerala ‘Neeruravu’ to recharge gw of Pullampara A model watershed conservation project has begun in Pullampara grama panchayat in the capital with the active participation of the local community. It aims at recharging the groundwater through a slew of programmes and also livelihood projects for local communities.

This is a pilot project of the state mission of the MGNREGS for soil and water conservation in the state. Titled ‘Neeruravu’, the first phase of the project is being implemented in the Chullalam watershed under the Pullampara panchayat. Programmes for recharging of water resources,  including house wells and income generation for the people will be implemented in about 266 hectares of land falling in the Mukkudi and Chullalam wards, according to panchayat president Rajesh P V. https://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/thiruvananthapuram/2021/aug/23/neeruravu-to-recharge-groundwater-of-pullampara-2348356.html  (23 Aug. 2021)

GROUNDWATER

DTE Can solar pumps save gw while cutting debt of power cos? While substantial investment subsidies (SIPs) hold immense potential to mitigate groundwater depletion and power subsidy burden on DISCOM, steps are required to improve its adoption, viability and benefits.

Awareness programmes about efficient water management practices and the benefits of SIPs must be undertaken through existing networks of farmers. Apart from promoting Joint Liability Groups (JLG) among small and marginal farmers, their inclusivity in existing solar irrigation schemes must also be ensured. Finally, an optimal FiT and capital cost subsidy balance will ensure that SIPs are economically viable not only for farmers but also the GOI. https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/renewable-energy/can-solar-pumps-save-groundwater-while-cutting-debt-of-power-cos–78685  (27 Aug. 2021)

Bihar Avoid indiscriminate use of groundwater: Expert Delivering the inaugural lecture of Patna University Geology Department platinum jubilee lecture series through videoconference on Sunday (Aug. 29), leading hydrogeologist and former member-secretary of Central Ground Water Authority, Dipankar Saha observed that despite huge investment on surface water resources so far, dependence on groundwater has increased considerably.

He said groundwater resources are being exploited more indiscriminately in the Indo-Gangetic region leading to arsenic and fluoride menace in states like Bihar, affecting a large segment of the human population. Emphasising the need for proper management of water resources in the country, he pleaded for strengthening of the groundwater organisations at state level and detailed studies of different aquifers in the country. He also pleaded for devising ways for augmenting groundwater recharge through artificial recharge. The government must also ensure greater participation of community in water management programmes. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/patna/avoid-indiscriminate-use-of-groundwater-expert/articleshow/85746158.cms  (30 Aug. 2021)

URBAN WATER

Bengaluru Save Begur lake Pls find the link for the open letter to Karnataka CM to save the Begur Lake and please circulate https://bit.ly/SaveBegurLake

Save Nandi Hills from ruin  The recent landslide on Bengaluru’s popular tourist spot Nandi Hills should be a warning call to the government which has permitted stone quarrying and crushing activities in the vicinity, ignoring protests from environmentalists. Though authorities blame heavy rains that lashed the area non-stop for over six hours, greens say rampant quarrying and deforestation have destabilised the soil leading to the incident. Unless this is stopped, there could be a threat to other hillocks as well, leading to a catastrophe similar to the one in Kodagu a few years ago. https://www.deccanherald.com/opinion/first-edit/save-nandi-hills-from-ruin-1024975.html  (30 Aug. 2021)

Bengaluru misses ‘water plus’ tag 9 cities including New Delhi, Mumbai, Surat and Hyderabad have been awarded ‘Water Plus’ certification by the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. Bengaluru did not feature in the list which was released recently as part of Centre’s Swachh Bharat Mission and Swachh Survekshan assessment. The IT City has, however, managed to retain its ranking in Open Defecation Free (ODF) status.

Three urban local bodies from Andhra Pradesh such as Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation, Vijayawada Municipal Corporation and Tirupati Municipal Corporation have been certified as ‘Water Plus’. Chandigarh and Indore are among the nine cities. https://bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com/bangalore/civic/bengaluru-misses-water-plus-tag/articleshow/85915788.cms  (04 Sept. 2021)

Mangaluru Trial held for turning seawater into drinking water A trial of converting saline water into drinkable water was held at an estuary in Mangaluru on Friday (Sept. 3). The fishermen who venture into deep-sea fishing have been facing inconvenience with the shortage of potable water when the water carried by them in the boat gets exhausted. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/videos/toi-original/mangaluru-trial-held-for-turning-seawater-into-drinking-water/videoshow/85899930.cms#0  (03 Sept. 2021)

Chennai Citizens unhappy over hint of likely hike in water charges In July 2021, the State Minister for Human Resources and Finances, PTR Palanivel Thiaga Rajan presented a white paper that indicates that Chennaiites may soon see an upward revision of water charges. The document draws attention to the mounting losses incurred by Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply & Sewerage Board (CMWSSB) which stood at Rs 2581.77 crores as on March 31, 2021, and identifies “the gross under-recovery of the operational costs” as one of the main contributing factors.

The prospect of an increase in water taxes, however, has not gone down well with residents, especially in certain pockets of the city, where they feel that a blanket hike in charges would be unfair and unjustified. https://chennai.citizenmatters.in/chennai-white-paper-water-charges-tax-cmwssb-33029  (06 Sept. 2021)

Hyderabad Govt to abide by HC directions Chief secretary Somesh Kumar has informed the high court that the state government will act on the directions of the court in respect of issues related to GO 111. The GO 111 was issued in 1996 to prevent undue industrialisation and heavy construction activities in 84 villages and ensure Osmansagar and Himayatsagar were not polluted with effluents, garbage, debris, etc.

However, residents of the 84 villages, located in the catchment of the twin reservoirs, want it to be reviewed. They have asked the government to scrap the GO as these water bodies were no longer meeting the drinking water needs of Hyderabad. The water needs of Hyderabad were currently being met by Krishna and Godavari rivers. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/go-111-telangana-to-abide-by-high-court-directions/articleshow/85940755.cms  (05 Sept. 2021)

It may be recollected that “GO 111 dated March 8, 1996, was issued by erstwhile government prohibiting constructions near Himayatsagar and Osmansagar, and their catchment areas within a radius of 10 km”. As many as 87 parcels of lands fall within the purview of GO 111 and owners of those land parcels have been seeking a relaxation from the order’s purview. https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/telangana/2021/sep/05/telangana-state-chief-secretaryfiles-undertaking-on-go-111-in-high-court-2354445.html  (05 Sept. 2021)

Pimpri-Chinchwad Pavana dam filled to the brim but water woes far from over  Pavana dam, considered the lifeline of Pimpri-Chinchwad, on Sunday (Sept. 5) reached 100 per cent of its storage capacity. However, civic officials said, the industrial city with a population of 27 lakh residents will continue to get water supply on alternate days as it does not have the necessary system in place to ensure equitable distribution across the city.

The inability of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) to provide daily water supply to residents is primarily being attributed to the delay in implementation of the ambitious Rs 244-crore Amrut Water Supply Scheme, besides delay in getting additional water from other projects. The Amrut scheme, work on which began in 2016, has been delayed by three years. The new deadline for completion of the project is December 2021. As on August-end, the project was 85 per cent complete.

For the project, the PCMC was supposed to get 33.33 per cent funds from Central government and 66.67 per cent from state government while contributing 50 per cent of the share from its own funds. “Any increase in water quota will depend on Bhama Askhed and Andra dam project works. Once the pipeline laying work from these dams is completed, Pimpri-Chinchwad can expect increase in their quota of water,” said PCMC executive engineer Pravin Ladkat. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/maharashtra-pavana-dam-filled-to-the-brim-but-pimpri-chinchwads-water-woes-far-from-over-7490906/  (06 Sept. 2021)

Mumbai Construction of underground water storage tanks completed Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) ambitious project of constructing underground water holding tanks near Hindmata — the saucer-shaped and the low-lying area between Dadar TT and Parel — to deal with flooding is completed. After over two decades of waterlogging woes, the BMC last year started constructing two underground water tanks at Pramod Mahajan Park in Dadar West and St Xavier Ground in Parel to provide a catchment for the flood water from Hindmata would be stored during heavy rainfall.

Each tank is 100 meters long, 50 metres wide and six metres deep with a storage capacity of about 30 lakh litres. The project has cost BMC Rs 130 crore. BMC officials said that the work on augmenting the tank capacity to store rainwater for three hours during heavy rain is underway. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/bmc-completes-construction-of-underground-water-storage-tanks-near-hindmata-to-counter-flooding-7482001/  (01 Sept. 2021)

BMC to inaugurate WTE plant near Haji Ali It can process 2 metric tonnes or 2,000 kg of wet waste per day. The plant, developed on an abandoned plot at Keshvrao Khade road near Haji Ali circle spread over 2,000 square feet, can generate 80 to 110 cubic meters of gas per day and 125 to 250 units of electricity per metric tonne of waste. The plan will require 45 units of electricity and 2000 litres of water per day to process 2000 kg of wet waste.

The city generates about 7,500 metric tonnes of waste daily, of which 70 per cent is wet waste. The civic body has reduced around 1,000 metric tonnes of garbage over the past couple of years by introducing measures such as compulsory processing of waste by bulk generators, establishments generating more than 100 kg waste daily on their premises, and segregation of wet and dry waste. Out of 3,300 bulk generators, half of them are flouting the rule despite several notices, said the BMC. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/bmc-to-inaugurate-waste-to-energy-plant-near-haji-ali-7485033/  (02 Sept. 2021)

Trash mountains: another type of Mumbai high rise Efforts to build a WTE plant for the Deonar landfill waste have been on for well over three decades, yet a plant is still to come up. Deonar is one of Asia’s largest dumping grounds and is probably its oldest too. It reflects the dizzying growth and swelling desires of a city. The landfill currently holds between 13 million to 16 million tonnes of garbage, with at least 2000 Metric Tonnes (MT) added to it daily.

But the absence of a waste management system has begun to hurt the city, starting with the lives of the people living closest to the landfill. Some of the most common ailments to be found among the residents here include asthma, multiple drug resistant tuberculosis, cuts, bruises and eye disorders. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/mumbai-news/trash-mountains-another-type-of-mumbai-high-rise-101630264481433.html  (30 Aug. 2021)

Ahmedabad Country liquor in tap water? On Thursday (Sept. 2), residents of some 40 houses at Sarkhej village in the municipal south-west zone, complained that for the past one month, the water supply smells of country liquor. Senior Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) official in the south-west zone confirmed the development and said that the AMC city engineer was informed. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/ahmedabad-country-liquor-in-tap-water/articleshow/85940426.cms  (05 Sept. 2021)

Chandigarh Groundwater unfit for drinking The chemical analysis of groundwater in many pockets of Derabassi and Zirakpur had revealed that it was highly affected by chemical weathering of rock minerals and very hard and alkaline in nature. The results obtained by physio-chemical analysis showed that all the water samples were below the acceptable limit of BIS (2012) and WHO (2006), making it unfit for drinking and irrigation. According to the study, Derabassi has around 300 industries, including those of pharmaceuticals, chemicals and brick kilns, and their wastewater is flowing into a drain between Derabassi and Bhankarpur. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chandigarh/red-water-in-dhakoli-rivulet-closure-notice-to-paper-mill/articleshow/85891696.cms  (03 Sept. 2021)

Delhi Wasteful Use May Water Down 24×7 Dream A DJB official disclosed that per capita water consumption in some pilot areas like Westend was objectionably high with some households where the per person consumption was as much as 1,100 litres per capita per day (LPCD). “When water is supplied 24×7 and there is no need for overhead storage so minimising leakages in the supply system, the per capita consumption should actually go down,” pointed out the official. “We are targeting an average consumption of 230 LPCD.”

The DJB report on the consumption of water in the 5 pilot colonies in the 3 localities reveals that people in Westend Colony are using 443 LPCD. Similarly, Geetanjali Enclave has an average consumption of 295 LPCD, while the consumption in Shantiniketan is 277 LPCD and in Anand Niketan, 229 LPCD. “The situation in Navjeevan Vihar is relatively much better with the average consumption at 208 LPCD,” the water utility official noted. Currently, the 24×7 water supply pilot projects cover around 12% of the population in the three areas. DJB plans to boost it to 77%. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/wasteful-use-may-water-down-24×7-dream/articleshow/85880007.cms  (03 Sept. 2021)

Gurugram People Bristle at WTE Project’s Rush To Expand The Aravalli Bachao Citizens Group also penned a letter to the HSPCB chairman objecting to the proposed WTE plant and its proposed expansion. They also expressed ire over the fact that people weren’t given enough time to raise objections at the public hearing. They said the project proponents only uploaded the proposal documentation on August 27 – four days before the hearing on August 31.

The group also criticised Haryana’s to operate the Bandhwari landfill in the Aravalli hills and to build a WTE plant in the forest. The group has charged that “a waste to energy plant releasing toxic emissions and bottom ash cannot be constructed in NCR’s green lungs and key water recharge zone.” It added that the project has been proposed in a “very critical water recharge zone for the extremely water stressed cities of the National Capital Region”.

It claimed that “toxic ash coming out of the proposed waste to energy plant at Bandhwari will completely destroy the surface water bodies in the Aravalli forest, pollute the air and contaminate the underground water aquifers feeding the NCR cities”. The Group also claimed that the clearance from the Union environment ministry for the 15-MW WTE was obtained by submitting false information in the EIA, and needed to be revoked.  https://science.thewire.in/politics/government/people-bristle-at-waste-to-energy-projects-rush-to-expand-in-the-aravalli/  (03 Sept. 2021)

Piped water will help check illegal extraction: GMDA The Gurgaon Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) aims to contain illegal extraction of around 20 million litres per day (MLD) of groundwater with the supply of piped water to 18 new sectors along the Dwarka Expressway. Around 1.45 lakh people live in sectors 81 to 99 and are mostly dependent on unauthorised borewells or private tankers providing illegally-extracted groundwater in the absence of regularised water connections.

GMDA is supplying water to 9 housing societies in these sectors at present. Executive engineer Vikas Malik said the authority can easily meet the current demand of 25 MLD in these sectors with its present water supply distribution network, which has been set up at a cost of Rs 76 crore. He said the department of town and country planning has issued licences for 229 projects in sectors 81 to 99, out of which occupation certificates (OCs) have been granted to 56. Projects with OCs can apply for water connections.

GMDA chief executive officer Sudhir Rajpal told TOI that supply of canal water to all residential societies is the authority’s top priority, followed by silt-free sewage and better drainage. An estimate of around Rs 226 crore has been approved for a distribution network in three packages across sectors 58 to 115 and work is underway, he added. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/gurgaon/piped-water-will-help-check-illegal-extraction-in-new-sectors-says-gmda/articleshow/85912592.cms  (04 Sept21)

WATER POLLUTION

IWP सावधान! जो पानी आप पी रहे हैं, वह प्रदूषित है अरविंद कुमार सिंह साप्ताहिक रविवार, 1985  दक्षिणी राजस्थान के एक हिस्से में पिछले दिनों किए गए एक सर्वेक्षण में पाया गया है कि वहां की कुल आबादी लगभग सात लाख में से लगभग दो लाख लोग ‘नारू’नामक एक भयानक बीमारी से पीड़ित हैं। वहां लोगों को यह बीमारी प्रदूषित जल पीने से हुई है। उसी तरह कुछ दिनों पहले ‘काशी हिंदू विश्वविद्यालय’ के वैज्ञानिकों ने एक बार फिर यह चेतावनी दी है कि वाराणसी में गंगा में स्नान करने वाले गंगाजल ना पीएं, क्योंकि इससे उनका स्वास्थ्य बिगड़ सकता है। जाहिर है कि ‘हिंदू विश्वविद्यालय’ के वैज्ञानिकों को यह चेतावनी इसलिए देनी पड़ी है कि बनारस में शहर भर की गंदगी के गंगा में मिलने के कारण वहां गंगा का पानी बेहद प्रदूषित हो चुका है और इसके इस्तेमाल का मतलब है, बीमारी को निमंत्रण देना।

पर इन से भी ज्यादा चौंकाने वाली रिपोर्ट तो मुंबई की है। उत्तर-पूर्व मुंबई से गुजरकर अरब सागर में मिलने वाली काली-नदी का पानी इतना ज्यादा प्रदूषित हो चुका है कि इस नदी में मछलियां तो खैर जीवित नहीं ही बची हैं, अलबत्ता इसके पानी के इस्तेमाल से हजारों की संख्या में लोग पक्षाघात तथा दूसरी बीमारियों से पीड़ित हैं। मवेशी बीमार हो रहे हैं और मर रहे हैं और बहुत बड़े इलाके में खेती चौपट हो गई है। इन तथ्यों का पता तब चला जब इंस्टीट्यूट ऑफ साइंसेज के वैज्ञानिकों ने मुंबई में अंबिवली से लेकर टिटवाला तक के 10 किलोमीटर लंबे भाग में जगह-जगह से काली नदी के पानी का नमूना लेकर उसकी जांच की तथा वहां रहने वाली आबादी पर इसके प्रभाव का सर्वेक्षण किया। और तो और, राजधानी दिल्ली के चिकित्सा विशेषज्ञों का मत है कि यमुना-पार क्षेत्र के कुल 16 लाख आबादी का 10 फीसद लगभग डेढ़ लाख लोग प्रदूषित जल को इस्तेमाल करने के कारण छह रोग के मरीज हो चुके हैं। https://hindi.indiawaterportal.org/content/savdhan-jo-paani-op-pi-rahe-hain-vah-pradushit-hai/content-type-page/1319336220  (01 Sept. 2021)  

पार्ट-2: सावधान! जो पानी आप पी रहे हैं, वह प्रदूषित है साप्ताहिक रविवार, 1985 जल प्रदूषण पर रोकथाम के लिए काफी धनराशि की जरूरत होगी और उसका प्रभाव निश्चित रूप से हमारी अर्थव्यवस्था पर पड़ेगा। देश के 142 प्रथम श्रेणी के नगरों में जल शोधन के बाद पानी नदी में प्रवाहित किए जाने की व्यवस्था पर कर्च 1180 करोड़ पर आ गया है। साथ ही खतरे से जूझने के लिए नवीनतम वैज्ञानिक तकनीकों की भी जरूरत है। उत्तर प्रदेश समेत विभिन्न राज्यों में जल प्रदूषण अधिनियम लागू करके उसके क्रियान्वयन हेतु केंद्र सरकार द्वारा नए विभागों का खोला जाना, इस दिशा में सार्थक कदम माना जा सकता है। https://hindi.indiawaterportal.org/content/part-2-savdhan-jo-paani-op-pi-rahe-hain-vah-pradushit-hai/content-type-page/1319336221  (02 Sept. 2021)

JJM/ RURAL WATER SUPPLY

Goa 16K litres of free water to every household  Goa will become the first state in the country to supply free water to 60% of its citizens from Wednesday (Sept. 1) onwards, chief minister Pramod Sawant said. He launched the Save Water to Get Free Water scheme on Tuesday (Aug. 31) under which households will not be charged for consumption of up to 16,000 litres. “From September 1, 60% of the people of the state will not get water bills. Free water means zero water charges, zero meter rent and zero bills. Those covered under this will also not get sewerage bills,” Sawant said, adding that just because the water is free people must not waste it.  https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/goa/starting-today-16k-litres-of-free-water-to-every-household/articleshow/85816640.cms  (01 Sept. 2021)

WATER

CWC:- RESERVOIR STORAGE BULLETIN OF 02.09.2021

1. ALL INDIA STATUS:- The live storage available in 130 reservoirs as per 02.09.2021 Bulletin is 80% of the live storage of corresponding period of last year and 94% of storage of average of last ten years.

2. REGION WISE STORAGE STATUS: a) NORTHERN REGION:- The total live storage available in 8 reservoirs is 10.36 BCM which is 54% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 76% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 81% of live storage capacity of these reservoirs.

b) EASTERN REGION The total live storage available in 20 reservoirs is 10.54 BCM which is 53% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 73% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 63% of live storage capacity of these reservoirs.

c) WESTERN REGION:- The total live storage available in 42 reservoirs is 20.20 BCM which is 57% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 85% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 66% of live storage capacity of these reservoirs. Thus, storage during current year is less than the storage of last year and is also less than the average storage of last ten years during the corresponding period.

d) CENTRAL REGION:- The total live storage available in these reservoirs is 28.06 BCM which is 62% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 86% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 75% of live storage capacity of these reservoirs.

e) SOUTHERN REGION:- The total live storage available in 37 reservoirs is 42.54 BCM which is 81% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 80.5% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 64% of live storage capacity of these reservoirs. http://cwc.gov.in/sites/default/files/02092021-fbpdf.pdf 

Gujarat Dholavira village hopes for renewal via UNESCO tag In the run-up to Dholavira’s inclusion in the UNESCO world heritage list, the Centre released Rs 4 crore for water and sewage connections to the village, and paved street roads. Ashok Vanra, Superintending Engineer of Kutch zone of the water supply board, says the deadline for the new pipeline to get the Narmada water is January next year. https://indianexpress.com/article/india/indus-valley-civilization-dholavira-unesco-7489291/  (05 Sept. 2021)

 ખેડૂતો Vedanta Group ના પ્રોજેક્ટ સામે આંદોલન કેમ કરી રહ્યા છે? તાપી જિલ્લામાં ઝિંક બનાવતી કંપની વેદાંતા પ્લાન્ટને ગુજરાત સરકારે ગત વર્ષે મંંજૂરી આપી હતી. આ મંજૂરી બાદ સ્થાનિક આદિવાસીઓ પ્લાન્ટનો વિરોધ કરી રહ્યા છે. આદિવાસીઓનું કહેવું છે કે આ પ્લાન્ટનેે લીધે પ્રદૂૂષણ ફેલાશે જેનાથી તેમનો વિસ્તાર બરબાદ થઈ જશેે. જુઓ રોક્સી ગાગડેેકર છારાનો અહેવાલ. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5usmaxb_8LQ  (31 Aug. 2021)

Madhya Pradesh Water Sprouts seems to travel to sky in Sidhi district at Devri Dam near Bhuimad on Aug 31 around 4-4.30 pm. https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/watch-stunning-water-spout-in-madhya-pradesh-appears-to-touch-the-sky-2525739  (01 Sept. 2021)

Uttar Pradesh Cloud picking water from Yamuna river Greater Noida. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2biLtLyG1n0  (08 Aug. 2021)

CSE 50% coal-fired plants flouting water norms CSE has claimed that half of country’s fresh water based coal-fired power plants fail to meet the 2015 water-use standards. Citing its study titled ‘Water Inefficient Power’, the CSE claims that even six years after these norms came into force, the thermal-power industry continues to guzzle water. In support of its theory that the sector was adding to water stress in the country, CSE says it found 48% of coalpower fleet to be in waterscarce districts like Barmer and Baran in Rajasthan. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/amritsar/50-coal-fired-plants-flouting-water-norms/articleshow/85940318.cms  (05 Sept. 2021)

AGRICULTURE

Study Soil in Kerala’s monoculture plantations less healthy A study found that monoculture tree plantations in Kerala have reduced soil organic carbon, higher soil temperature and bulk density, all indicators of poor soil health and productivity. They also score poorly on biodiversity and are less drought-resistant compared to natural forests. The study results help understand the effect of soil respiration on climate, a parameter that needs to be included during environmental impact assessments (EIA). https://india.mongabay.com/2021/09/soil-in-keralas-monoculture-plantations-less-healthy-productive-than-natural-forests-study/  (02 Sept. 2021)

Report Rabi Crop Output A Concern India’s rabi or winter crop output could be impacted if the pick-up in monsoon doesn’t sustain as reservoir levels remain low in parts of the country. National reservoir levels are at 63%, only 4% below the 10-year average. But the geographical split tells a different story, according to a note by Credit Suisse. While it is 81% in south India, the north, east and west are all running well below t

India has, so far, witnessed its lowest cumulative rainfall in six years. Weak spells of rains, particularly in August, have left a deficit in large parts of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Even with rains improving over the past week, the cumulative rainfall is still 9% below normal. https://www.bloombergquint.com/economy-finance/rabi-crop-output-a-concern-if-monsoon-pick-up-doesnt-sustain  (03 Sept. 2021)

Himachal Pradesh Apple Prices Crash Apple growers feel that instead of incentivising big corporates, the state government should instead help farmers build cold storages. https://thewire.in/agriculture/adani-in-the-eye-of-the-storm-as-himachal-apple-prices-crash   (02 Sept. 2021)

MONSOON 2021

SANDRP Blog High Rainfall days in India’s districts in August 2021 An analysis of the daily district wise rainfall data from India Meteorological Department (IMD) for the month of Aug 2021, 3rd month of India’s South West Monsoon 2021 shows that there were 431 instances when district rainfall of a day was above 50 mm. The normal monthly rainfall of India Aug is 258.2 mm and actual rainfall was a huge 24.13% below normal at 195.9 mm, the actual average daily rainfall in this month was about 6.45 mm. Such high rainfall instances included 371 instances when rainfall was 50-100 mm, 48 instances when it was 100-150 mm, 11 times it was 150-200 mm and just once above 200 mm.

Interestingly, in June 2021 and July 2021 there were seven instances when rainfall was above 200 mm, when the rainfall is supposed to be much below July rainfall. As noted in detailed article, the July 2021 rainfall all over India was 6.7% below normal. https://sandrp.in/2021/09/02/high-rainfall-days-in-indias-districts-in-august-2021/  (02 Sept. 2021)

June-Aug 2021: District wise rainfall in India’s SW Monsoon In the just concluded month of August 2021, the rainfall in India was a massive 24.13% below normal. Actual rainfall was 195.9 mm, compared to normal rainfall of 258.2 mm, as per figures from IMD. Contrast this with the rainfall in August last year, at 327 mm, was 26.6% above normal, and 44 year high. Even in July 2021, the rainfall was much higher at 266.1 mm, 6.73% below normal. In June 2021, the rainfall was 182.9 mm (10.96% above normal), not much below the August 2021 rainfall, when August is supposed to have much higher rainfall than June. https://sandrp.in/2021/09/01/june-aug-2021-district-wise-rainfall-in-indias-sw-monsoon/  (01 Sept. 2021)

Study Roxy Koll Climate Scientist and IPCC Lead Author “An interesting study digging through British archives finds that small regional rainfall reductions (and not severe deficits) resulted in regional famines during the colonial era in India (1729–1947).”   https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-96826-2  (02 Sept. 2021)

IMD Above normal rainfall likely Sept IMD on Wednesday (Sept. 1) acknowledged that the multi model ensemble forecasting system couldn’t pick up the magnitude of rainfall in August. “Though the models partially picked up the spatial pattern of rains in August, it couldn’t pick up the magnitude of rain in August. We will examine this and endeavour to improve the output. We have taken note of this,” said M Mohapatra, director general, IMD. The model also couldn’t capture severe rainfall deficiency over Gujarat and Odisha also. The MME model uses outputs from 5 best coupled global climate models to forecast.

IMD also acknowledged that monsoon rain patterns are skewed and often a lot of rain is recorded during a few hours instead of being evenly distributed during the month. “Yes this pattern can hamper agriculture. The solution is rainwater harvesting. The rain water stored can be used for agriculture and will also recharge groundwater levels,” Mohapatra said. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/above-normal-rainfall-likely-this-month-predicts-imd-101630482778127.html  (01 Sept. 2021)

Monsoon variations should ring alarm bells Till Aug 27, several states in the North East were suffering from high deficits in rainfall. Manipur had the highest deficit, with 58 per cent less rains than normal. Mizoram recorded a deficit of 28 per cent; Nagaland and Arunachal received 23 per cent and 21 per cent less rainfall than normal. Other states fared better only marginally. https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/climate-change/climate-crisis-in-north-east-india-monsoon-variations-should-ring-alarm-bells-now-78707  (30 Aug. 2021)

Mumbai August remains dry, record showers in June, July In August month city recorded only 338 mm of rain—way below the average rainfall of 585 mm. Mumbai had recorded 1,220 mm of rainfall August 2020. Till July end, this year’s rainfall was way beyond earlier years, but now the overall figure is slightly lower than 2020 and 2019 which were considered as good rainfall years for the city.

Several parts of the city were waterlogged for at least three days in June and July following spells of heavy rain. The Santacruz observatory of the IMD received 961 mm rain against 493 mm average rainfall in June. In July too, the city received almost 50 per cent more rain than usual. https://www.mid-day.com/mumbai/mumbai-news/article/mumbai-rains-august-remains-dry-after-record-showers-in-june-and-july-23190377  (01 Sept. 2021)

Delhi City records highest rainfall in Sept in 19 years Delhi recorded 112.1 mm rainfall in 24 hours ending at 8:30 am on Wednesday (Sept. 1), the highest single-day precipitation in September in 19 years, according to IMD. The capital had recorded 126.8 mm rainfall on September 13, 2002. The all-time record is 172.6 mm rainfall on September 16, 1963. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/delhi-records-highest-rainfall-in-september-in-19-years/articleshow/85831434.cms  (01 Sept. 2021)

During the last 24 hours from 8:30 am on Wednesday (Sept. 1), Safdarjung observatory recorded 118 mm of rains while Palam witnessed 108 mm of rainfall. Safdarjung has broken records on second consecutive day wherein the city saw such rains, the last time the city saw such 14 hour rains in Sept was in the year 2002. With this, Delhi has surpassed its average monthly rains of 129.8 mm in just two days. In fact, the city has seen 117 percent more rains than the average in merely two days. https://www.skymetweather.com/content/weather-news-and-analysis/rarity-of-heavy-delhi-rains-for-two-consecutive-days-break-another-september-record/  (02 Sept. 2021)

Monsoon 29% in excess, but distribution quite uneven The capital woke up to the third consecutive morning of rain, with moderate showers taking the Sept rainfall total to 229.8mm till 8.30am on Thursday (Sept. 2). According to the IMD data, this is almost twice the monthly normal mark of 125.1mm, with September recording two consecutive days of “heavy rainfall”. The last time Delhi received more rain in Sept was in 2010 — 332.9mm, but through the month.

The capital has received 625.4mm rainfall between June 1 and Sept 2 as against the normal 484.3mm. While North West and South West districts are in the “excess” category at 49% and 48%, respectively, East, South and West are “normal”.

This monsoon, Delhi has recorded six “heavy rainfall” days. “Such heavy-to-very heavy rainfall is unusual for Sept, but has been seen in the past,” a Met official said. “Safdarjung has already received over 200mm in two days and if light-to-moderate showers continue, it could pass the 2010 mark by Sept-end.” https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/delhi-monsoon-29-in-excess-but-distribution-quite-uneven/articleshow/85877896.cms  (03 Sept. 2021)

Senior IMD scientist, Dr RK Jenamani said that in June, there was a rainfall deficit but it was comparatively more in July. In August, the rainfall activity reduced again. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/delhi-news/delhis-monsoon-trend-this-year-is-peculiar-imd-scientist-101630858727115.html  (05 Sept. 2021)

Compared to the normal monsoon rain 552.6mm, Delhi has already had a 79% surplus — 988.4mm rain so far, shows IMD data. It has also exceeded the monsoon season’s average rainfall of 648.9mm. “This is already the highest rainfall received so far during the season since 2010 when 1031.5mm rainfall was received. Now, with another week of rain forecast, it may even surpass the 2010 mark,” said a senior IMD official who asked not to be named. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/delhi-news/imd-forecasts-more-intense-rain-spells-delhi-headed-for-wettest-monsoon-in-a-decade-101630777584819.html  (05 Sept. 2021)

Karnataka Forecast of heavy rains worries farmers “The government and farmers should be watchful in Sept as there is a forecast of about 30 per cent of excessive rainfall (270 mm against normal of 210 mm). If we plan well, we may reap the benefit of good rains. But if we are caught off guard, we will see another flood season,” said HS Shivaramu, an agrometeorologist at the Gandhi Krishi Vignana Kendra.

-“Generally, the government waits during dry spells in anticipation of drought and suddenly starts releasing water when there is heavy rainfall. This will result in floods, as we have often seen. This can be avoided by regular discharge,” said BDA Satya Babu Bose, director, Centre for Rural Studies and Development.

– Officials said that they were taking proper measures. “We have an integrated dam management approach, where water released from reservoirs is regulated in accordance with rainfall forecast, possible inflows and carrying capacity downstream. Information on water release is being given well in advance to villages,” said Manoj Rajan, commissioner, Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority.

– Meanwhile, a central team is scheduled to arrive in Bengaluru on Saturday (Sept. 3) to assess the damage caused by floods in the state in July. The state government has assessed the loss at more than Rs 5,690 crore. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/forecast-of-heavy-rains-worries-karnataka-farmers/articleshow/85922439.cms  (04 Sept. 2021)

Editorial There has been an increasing incidence across India of the reduction in the number of rainy days even in a normal monsoon year. Consequently, the southwest monsoon is now characterised by an increasing number of spells of intense rain. For urban India, with perennial water problems and crumbling civic infrastructure, there has to be a renewed focus in terms of resources and political capital in adapting infrastructure to deal with this phenomenon. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/blogs/toi-editorials/monsoon-pattern-reminds-us-of-the-need-to-advance-adaptation-strategies-of-climate-change/  (02 Sept. 2021)

FLOOD 2021

SANDRP Blog The Everydayness of Flood: Experiences from Bhagalpur-Bihar  by Dr. Ruchi Shree This essay has three objectives: first, to narrate the challenges and lessons from my first close encounter of flood, specifically Bhagalpur floods, second, to probe into major reasons of flood and third, to depict the post-flood scenario. To have seen myself in three roles namely flood observer, flood victim and flood survivor is what made me sense the everydayness of flood.  https://sandrp.in/2021/09/01/the-everydayness-of-flood-experiences-from-bhagalpur-bihar/  (01 Sept. 2021) बाढ़ संग जीने की कला: “बाढ़ पर्यवेक्षक, बाढ़ पीड़ित और बाढ़ जीवित… तीन हफ्ते की मेरी तीन मुश्किल स्थितियां” https://www.gaonconnection.com/samvad/flood-disaster-in-bihar-the-art-and-challenges-of-living-with-floods-bhagalpur-nitish-kumar-articles-in-hindi-49776 

CWC विशेष कार्यक्रम – बाढ़ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Irvd7YmbxLg  (02 Sept. 2021)

Uttar Pradesh Ghaghra floods made farmers landless At least 644 villages in 16 districts are facing floods with about 300 villages completely marooned. Ghaghra river is flowing above its danger level, and has caused havoc in Sitapur and Barabanki districts where villagers have lost both their homes and farmlands. Gaon Connection’s ground report. https://en.gaonconnection.com/uttar-pradesh-floods-barabanki-sitapur-villagers-farmers-food-shortage-health-disaster-agriculture-relief-measures-yogi-adityanath/  (02 Sept. 2021)

गोरखपुर जिले में बाढ़ का कहर जारी है। पानी का दबाव नहीं झेल पाने के कारण गोर्रा नदी का तटबंध दो जगहों पर टूट गया। इस कारण एक दर्जन से अधिक गांवों में भर गया है। उधर, देर रात कालेसर के मुक्तिधाम के पास बांध में रिसाव शुरू हो गया। प्रशासन इस पर काबू पाने में जुटा रहा। वहीं, आमी नदी का पानी आ जाने से गोरखपुर-वाराणसी राजमार्ग पर यातायात बंद कर दिया गया है। सिचाई विभाग बंधों को बचाने में लगा है। इसके बावजूद गोर्रा नदी पर बना राजधानी सिलहटा तटबंध किलोमीटर छह पर टूट गया। जबकि गोर्रा की ही शाखा फरेन नाला पर बना आमघाट पुल टूट गया, जिससे कई गांवों में पानी भर गया है। लोगों को अपना घर छोड़कर सुरक्षित जगहों पर जाना पड़ा है। हजारों हेक्टेयर फसल भी जलमग्न हो गई है।https://www.amarujala.com/photo-gallery/gorakhpur/flood-of-gorakhpur-water-filled-in-many-villages-due-to-gorra-river-embankment-broken-in-two-places   (04 Sept. 2021)

गोरखपुर जिले से होकर बहने वाली राप्ती और रोहिन नदी का जलस्तर खतरनाक स्थिति में पहुंच गया है। यहां बाढ़ की स्थिति भयावह होती जा रही है। ऐसे में गुरुवार (Sept 2) सुबह करीब 4 बजे जिले के हरैया स्थित भरवलिया-बसावनपुर रिंग बांध टूट गया। जिससे भरवलीया गांव से संपर्क टूट गया, जबकि ग्राम सभा बसावनपुर सहित कई गांव बाढ़ की चपेट में आ गए हैं। बांध टूटने से ग्रामीणों में दहशत का माहौल हो गया है। एकला बांध कई जगह कट चुका है लेकिन इधर किसी भी जिम्मेदार की नजर नहीं जा रही है। अगर इसी तरह से नदी बढ़ती रही तो यहां का बांध भी टूट सकता है।

राप्ती नदी पर बने कोठा-नवलपुर तटबंध पर मनमोहन नगर गड़ही गांव के सामने बाबा सरयू दास स्कूल के पास और चेड़वा गांव के ठीक सामने मंदिर के पश्चिम बांध पर सुबह से बहुत तेज रिसाव हो रहा है। ठेकेदार और ग्रामीण रिसाव रोकने के प्रयास में लगे हुए हैं। इन स्थानों पर तटबंध टूटता है, तो गगहा और बड़हलगंज विकास खंड के दो सौ से अधिक गांव प्रभावित होंगे। जनपद के सहजनवां के गीडा सेक्टर 15 स्थित इंडियन ऑयल कॉर्पोरेशन लिमिटेड में आमी नदी का पानी भर गया है। ऐसे में संयंत्र ठप हो गया है। गोरखपुर जल निगम से जल निकासी के लिए टैंकर व मोटर पंप पहुंच गए हैं। https://www.amarujala.com/city-and-states/flood-in-gorakhpur-update-bharwalia-basawanpur-ring-dam-broken  (02 Sept. 2021)

साल 1998 में राप्ती नदी का जलस्तर खतरे के निशान से 2.56 मीटर ऊपर पहुंचा था तो बाढ़ ने तबाही मचाई थी। शहरी क्षेत्र के बांध भी टूट गए थे। तारामंडल व रूस्तमपुर सहित तमाम मोहल्ले जलमग्न हो गए थे। दूसरी तरफ देर रात नौसड़ सहित शहर व देहात क्षेत्र के तमाम बांधों से पानी का रिसाव होने का सिलसिला जारी रहा। इससे दहशत रही। बांधों के कटान का खतरा भी है। https://www.amarujala.com/photo-gallery/gorakhpur/flood-of-gorakhpur-rapti-river-flood-2-23-meters-above-danger-mark-situation-of-23-years-ago-flood  (02 Sept. 2021)

गोरखपुर-बस्ती मंडल में बाढ़ से हालात भयावह हो गए हैं। राप्ती, रोहिन, सरयू और गोर्रा जमकर तबाही मचा रही हैं। गोरखपुर में दर्जनों स्थानों पर बंधों में रिसाव हो रहा है, जिससे ग्रामीणों के बीच दहशत है। राप्ती और आमी का पानी गोरखपुर-वाराणसी मार्ग पर पहुंच गया।

बरही-सेमरौना तटबंध, कोठा-रकहट बांध और रकहट-असवनपार बांध पर राप्ती का दबाव पड़ रहा है। बिनहा रिंग बांध टूट जाने से बाढ़ का पानी आसपास के इलाके में फैल गया है। लोग घर-बार छोड़कर पशुओं को लेकर ऊचे स्थानों पर आ गए हैं। सैकड़ों एकड़ फसल बाढ़ के पानी में डूब गई है।

सिद्धार्थनगर जिले में राप्ती नदी का जलस्तर उच्चतम स्तर तक पहुंच गया है। इससे पहले 1998 में बाढ़ की ऐसी विभीषिका देखने को मिली थी। बानगंगा, तेलार को छोड़ बाकी सारी नदियां खतरे के निशान से ऊपर हैं। सिद्धार्थनगर-गोरखपुर, सिद्धार्थनगर-सोहांस, सिद्धार्थनगर-लुबिनी और बांसी-इटवा सहित कई मार्गों पर बाढ़ का पानी बह रहा है। https://www.livehindustan.com/uttar-pradesh/story-flood-water-came-on-gorakhpur-varanasi-road-big-vehicles-stopped-4489439.html  (01 Sept. 2021)

गोरखपुर-बस्ती मंडल में बाढ़ का कहर जारी है। राप्ती, रोहिन, सरयू आदि नदियां खतरे के निशान से ऊपर बह रही हैं। महराजगंज में रोहिन नदी का बांध टूटने से तटीय गांवों में दहशत फैल गई है। लोग सुरक्षित आशियाना तलाशते दिखे। सैकड़ों गांव बाढ़ से घिरे हुए हैं। फसलें बर्बाद हो गई हैं। आवागमन बाधित होने से नावें लगानी पड़ी हैं।

गोरखपुर में राप्ती-रोहिन, गोर्रा और सरयू खतरे के निशान से ऊपर बह रही हैं। कुआनो का पानी भी तेजी से बढ़ रहा है। नदियों में बाढ़ की वजह से 176 गांव प्रभावित हो गए हैं। पौने दो लाख आबादी तबाह हो रही है। 7000 हेक्टेयर फसल बर्बाद हो गई है। 200 से अधिक नावें लगाई गई हैं। महराजगंज जिले के सदर क्षेत्र के बाद लक्ष्मीपुर के मझार क्षेत्र में रोहिन नदी का बांध गौहरपुर के सेमरहवा में टूट गया। पनियरा क्षेत्र में रोहिन नदी के डोमरा जर्दी बांध में रिसाव शुरू हो गया। इससे सीमावर्ती गांवों में हड़कंप मच गया।

देर रात वाल्मीकि गंडक बैराज से 5 लाख क्यूसेक से अधिक पानी छोड़ने की सूचना दी गई। इस सूचना के बाद जिला प्रशासन खड्डा तहसील क्षेत्र से लेकर तमकुहीराज तहसील क्षेत्र तक हाई अलर्ट पर रहा। खड्डा तहसील के रेताक्षेत्र के आधा दर्जन गांवों में अब भी बाढ़ का पानी लगा हुआ है। संक्रामक बीमारियों के फैलने की आशंका भी बढ़ गई है। रतनपुर के पास सोमवार (Aug. 30) को गोर्रा का पानी रिसने से द्वाबा के 52 गावों में बाढ़ का खतरा बढ़ गया है। राप्ती भी लगातार बंधे पर दबाव बना रही है। उधर बरहज में सरयू खतरे के निशान से ऊपर बह रही है। बस्ती में सरयू का जलस्तर बढ़ने से तटीय इलाके हलकान हैं। https://www.livehindustan.com/uttar-pradesh/story-flood-havoc-rohin-river-dam-broke-there-was-a-stir-in-the-coastal-areas-4478322.html  (31 Aug. 2021)

तमकुहीराज (कुशीनगर) क्षेत्र से होकर गुजरने वाली चाफ शाखा नहर की पटरी टूट गई है। इससे नहर की धारा ने पूरी तरह घूमकर अपना रास्ता बदल लिया है। जानकारी होने पर नहर विभाग हेड से पानी बंद कर दिया है। नहर के टूट जाने से किसान चिंतित हैं।

सोमवार (July 19) की सुबह चाफ शाखा नहर बसंतपुर के सामने पुराने रेग्यूलेटर के पास टूट गई। इसके चलते पानी की धारा ने अपना रास्ता बदल लिया। नहर का सारा पानी झरही नदी मे गिरने लगा। अचानक इतनी तादाद में पानी आ जाने से झरही के किनारे बोई गई धान की फसल डूब गई। वहीं नहर के भरोसे ऊंचे क्षेत्र के धान की खेती करने वाले किसानों में निराशा छाई हुई है। किसानों का कहना है कि उस जगह हर वर्ष नहर की पटरी टूट जाती है। विभाग बरसात बंद होने के बाद जैसे तैसे उसकी मरम्मत कराता है। लेकिन स्थायी हल नहीं होने से यह समस्या बार-बार आ रही है। किसानों ने तत्काल नहर की टूटी हुई पटरी की मरम्मत कराकर पानी छोड़े जाने की मांग की है। https://www.amarujala.com/uttar-pradesh/kushinagar/canal-s-lane-damased-water-flow-kushinagar-news-gkp4024780117  (19 July 2021)

River Rapti at Bansi level forecast site in Siddharth Nagar district has at 0600 hrs on Sept 2, 2021 breached previous HFL 85.88 m attained on 20.08.2017. New HFL  was 85.95 m, 7 cms above previous HFL. The water level remained above HFL for 57 hours.

Bihar हरलाखी प्रखंड के सोनई में धौस नदी से जुड़े कोसी नहर का तटबंध टूटने से बाढ़ का पानी इलाके के खेतों में तेजी से फैल गया है। जिससे किसानों के सैकड़ो एकड़ खेत में लगी फसल पूरी तरह से बर्बाद हो गई है। बता दें कि पिछले महीने धौंस नदी का जलस्तर बढ़ने के कारण कोसी नहर में भी बाढ़ आ गई और पानी का दबाब अधिक बढ़ जाने के कारण नहर का तटबंध टूट गया और पानी किसानों के खेत मे फैलने लगा। सूचना पाकर अंचलाधिकारी व जल संसाधन समेत कोसी नहर विभाग के अधिकारियों ने स्थल पर पहुंचकर जायजा लिया था। शीघ्र मरम्मति का आश्वासन भी दिया गया था। बावजूद, एक महीने बाद भी नहर की मरम्मति नही कराई गई। जिसके कारण सोनई व सेमहली समेत कई गांवों में लगे सैकड़ों एकड़ की फसल पूरी तरह बर्बाद हो गई। https://m.jagran.com/lite/bihar/muzaffarpur-broken-embankment-of-kosi-canal-in-madhubani-was-not-repaired-hundreds-of-acres-of-crops-ruined-21984591.html  (02 Sept. 2021)

River Bagmati flood level at Benibad level forecast site in Muzaffarpur increased to 49.9 m and missed breaching HFL 50.01 m attained on 22.07.2004 by 0.11 m.

At 09:00 hrs on 02.09.2021, River Gandak at Lalganj level forecast site in Vaishali breached previous HFL 51.75 m attained on 20.07.2020. New HFL is 8 cms above previous HFL. Water level remained above HFL for 24 hours.

Maharashtra Earthen dam bursts in Kolhapur, woman washed away A 55-year-old woman and 11 cattle were washed away after an earthen dam of the Megholi minor irrigation project in Bhudargad tehsil of Kolhapur district burst on Wednesday (Sept. 1) night. A barrage and a bridge across the tributary of the Vedganga river were also damaged. The dam, built in 2000, had a capacity of 2.79 million cubic feet. It served to irrigate over 350 hectare of farmland. Following the dam burst, crops in 150-200 hectare were estimated to be damaged.

Mahesh Surve, superintendent engineer of the Kolhapur irrigation circle, said the dam had developed leakages and a plan with a total outlay of Rs 2.5 crore for repairs had recently been approved. “Over the past few years, leakage points had been observed and some remedial measures were taken. The major repair work, however, was pending. We found that water pressure had caused the dam to burst. By 7 pm, some leakages were observed and we alerted the villagers living in tghe downstream areas. The dam suddenly burst between 10.15pm and 10.30pm.”

Though there was only about 10mm rain prior to the incident on Wednesday (Sept. 1), the region had received heavy rainfall in July and the dam was 100% full since then. “We have given the task of finding the actual cause and events leading to the burst to the dam safety inspection division of our department. To ensure such incidents do not recur at other reservoirs, I have asked the engineers to get an audit done and initiate measures to overcome the shortcomings,” said Surve. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolhapur/earthen-dam-bursts-in-kolhapur-woman-washed-away/articleshow/85874308.cms  (03 Sept. 2021)

3 major dams in Marathwada discharge water  Vishnupuri and Lower Manar major irrigation projects in Nanded, and Sidhheshwar major irrigation project in Hingoli district on Wednesday (Sept. 1) were witnessing discharge of water after they were filled to brim. Of the 11 major irrigation projects, Jayakwadi in Aurangabad district, is 43% full. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/aurangabad/3-major-dams-in-marathwada-discharge-water/articleshow/85843264.cms  (02 Sept. 2021)

Assam 6 Lakh people displaced due to major floods The floods in Assam do not appear to be abating. So far, they have touched 6,47,606 people, with 2.18 lakh mothers and 1.64 lakh children. Authorities cautioned that many rivers, including the Brahmaputra, were approaching hazardous levels, and that the persistent rain would continue to expand them. https://www.timesnownews.com/videos/mirror-now/society/6-lakh-people-displaced-due-to-major-floods-in-assam/108103  (03 Sept. 2021)

According to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), Lakhimpur is the worst-hit where over 105,257 people are affected, followed by Majuli (57256) and Dhemaji (35539). The other affected districts are Barpeta, Biswanath, Bongaigaon, Chirang, Dibrugarh, Golaghat, Jorhat, Kamrup, Morigaon, Nagaon, Sivasagar, Sonitpur and Tinsukia. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/others/over-258-000-people-across-16-districts-affected-by-floods-in-assam-101630252122792.html  (29 Aug. 2021)

URBAN FLOODS

शहरों में बाढ़: क्लाइमेट चेंज को दोष देना कितना सही? नदियों पर काम कर रहे मनोज मिश्रा जो यमुना जिये अभियान के संस्थापक भी हैं – कहते हैं कि शहरों में बाढ़ के लिये खराब नगर निर्माण और अवैज्ञानिक तरीके से बिछाया गया सड़कों का जाल ज़िम्मेदार है। क्लाइमेंट चेंज समस्या का बढ़ा रहा है लेकिन मूल कारण नगरपालिकाओं की विफलता और शहरी निर्माण में खोट है। https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJ1-ZJMMXpQ  (03 Sept. 2021)

शहरों और खासतौर से राजधानी दिल्ली में बाढ़ की समस्या पर पर्यावरण पत्रकार हृदयेश जोशी ने मिश्रा से बात की। कुछ अंश।  दिल्ली में तीन प्रकार के भौगोलिक ड्रेनेज सिस्टम हैं एक तो है नजफगढ़ ड्रेन का ड्रेनेज सिस्टम जो वहां का सारा कैचमेंट है। दूसरा है बारापुला ड्रेन का सिस्टम और तीसरा पूर्वी दिल्ली में है शाहदरा ड्रेन का निकासी सिस्टम। तो तीन मुख्य कैचमेंट हैं और पहले जब पानी आता था तो आसानी से ये सारा पानी इन तीनों सिस्टम के माध्यम से नदी में पहुंच जाया करता था। इसके अलावा दिल्ली में 700-800 वेटलैंड थे यानी तालाब जो बरसात का पानी इकट्ठा करते थे और उसे ज़मीन में भेज देते थे। ये तो करीब 20 साल पुरानी बात है। पहले दिल्ली में सड़कों के किनारे जितनी जगह थी वो सब पक्की और सीमेंटेड कर दी गई है और जो पानी ज़मीन में जाता था वो वहीं अटक जाता है  वह भूजल नहीं बन पा रहा है। तो दिल्ली को यह समझना होगा कि अपना परम्परागत यानी ट्रेडिशनल सिस्टम कैसे वापस लायें। https://hindi.carboncopy.info/interview-delhi-waterlogged-condition-cannot-be-blamed-on-climate-change/  (02 Sept. 2021)

Hyderabad 2-hour rain inundates several areas Unexpected cloudburst caught the city off guard and inundated several localities during evening hours on Thursday (Sept. 2). A largely sunny day was rounded off with sudden and intense shower a little after 8 p.m. The rain lasted for more than two hours with hardly any gap, which turned in several stretches into virtual water bodies, and resulted in traffic jams. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/two-hour-rain-inundates-several-areas-of-hyderabad-city/article36263175.ece  (03 Sept. 2021) A cloudburst that caused heavy rain for two hours in Hyderabad on Thursday evening caused severe floods in many parts of the city, reported The Hindu. https://scroll.in/latest/1004455/heavy-rain-in-hyderabad-for-two-hours-floods-many-parts-of-the-city  (03 Sept. 2021) Swirling rain waters give sleepless night to Hyderabad residents. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/swirling-rain-waters-give-sleepless-night-to-residents/article36281916.ece  (03 Sept. 2021)

Mallaram pump house floods in Siddipet The Mallaram pump house in Siddipet which supplies Godavari water to Hyderabad was flooded on Monday, August 30 affecting operations and water supply to the city. Heavy rains resulted in flash floods that inundated the pump house affecting the pumps, informed officials with the Hyderabad Metropolitan Water supply and Sewerage Board (HMWSSB).

Water entered the pump station after a flash flood breached a compound wall. Plans are afoot to construct a retaining wall to prevent future inundation of the pump house. Efforts are also on to draw the water out from the pump room and resume operations. Officials estimate the water to be cleared in two days and expect service from the pump house to resume in three days. To prevent water shortage in Hyderabad in the meantime, officials are drawing water from other reservoirs to meet the demand. https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/water-supply-hyderabad-hit-mallaram-pump-house-floods-siddipet-154609  (31 Aug. 2021)

Consumers of certain GHMC periphery circles in Hyderabad, will get a short fall of 110 million gallons of Godavari water after a pump house of ‘clear water reservoir’ (CWR) at Mallaram, was inundated due to flash floods. A team of senior officials of HMWS&SB led by HMWS&SB managing director, M Dana Kishore, who rushed to the site, has been noticed that the pump house was totally inundated in floodwater, after 13 centimetres of rainfall reported just within in two hours. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/flash-floods-in-telangana-hyderabad-city-will-get-110-mgd-shortage-of-godavari-water/articleshow/85768662.cms  (30 Aug. 2021)

Twin reservoirs of Hyderabad full Himayatsagar and Osmansagar are full to the brim due to the copious rains that lashed the districts surrounding Hyderabad on Monday (Aug. 30). https://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/010921/twin-reservoirs-of-hyderabad-full-visitors-rush-to-himayatsagar.html  (01 Sept. 2021)  

4 of 15 floodgates of the reservoir were lifted by one foot to release 200 cusecs of surplus water into River Musi river, after the reservoir has received huge amounts of flood water from its catchment areas. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/videos/toi-original/hyderabad-200-cusecs-of-surplus-water-from-osman-sagar-released-into-musi-river/videoshow/85927886.cms  (4 Sept. 2021) 

According to the officials, for the first time in this monsoon, two floodgates of the reservoir were opened on July 22, and then closed on July 25, after inflows into the reservoir, declined. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/rains-in-telangana-four-floodgates-of-osmansagar-lifted/articleshow/85924523.cms  (04 Sept. 2021)

DROUGHT

India drought situation as on 04 Sept. 2021. https://sites.google.com/a/iitgn.ac.in/high_resolution_south_asia_drought_monitor/home 

Report Gujarat, western Rajasthan face drought-like conditions According to IMD, Odisha has recorded a 31% rain deficiency, Gujarat 47%, Kerala 28%, Manipur 58%, Arunachal Pradesh 25%, Mizoram 28% and Nagaland 24%. “We have been informed by farmers in several parts of Gujarat and Rajasthan that drought-like conditions have already set in. In Gujarat, crops have failed in many parts so farmers have left cattle in the farms so that the dry crop can be consumed as fodder. There are no irrigation facilities in these regions so there is little chance of the crop reviving. IMD doesn’t declare drought anymore. But due to scanty rains, crops in west Rajasthan and Gujarat are severely affected. There was significantly low rainfall in Kerala and the northeast also this year,” said Mahesh Palawat, Skymet Weather. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/gujarat-western-rajasthan-face-drought-like-conditions-imd-data-101629830127890.html  (25 Aug. 2021)

Bhanwarlal Chowdhary from Badmer, Rajasthan writes: पश्चिम राजस्थान का बाड़मेर जिला भीषण सूखा एवं अकाल की चपेट में है, चारा पानी की भारी किल्लत पैदा हो गयी है.

Gujarat Even as state faces water scarcity, Govt is happy to release water for the tourists downstream from the dam. https://www.bhaskar.com/local/gujarat/news/narmada-dam-power-plant-started-after-two-months-water-released-for-boating-facility-128869475.html  (30 Aug. 2021)

Odisha Highest rainfall deficiency in 23 years Odisha received only 661.1 mm of rain between June 1 and August 31 this year against a normal of 935.8 mm, a deficiency of 29 percent, the MeT Centre said.

This was the sixth occasion in the last 120 years when the southwest monsoon rain during the period has been deficient by 29 percent or more, an official release said on Wednesday (Sept. 1). The previous rain-deficient years were 1924 (636.2 mm), 1954 (646.8 mm), 1974 (658.7 mm), 1987 (641.4 mm) and 1998 (657.5 mm), the department said.

The seasonal deficit is mainly due to a large deficiency in August. Rainfall over the state during the month was 204.9 mm against a normal of 366.4 mm, recording a deficiency of 44 percent, it said. There were only three times in the last 120 years that the August rainfall was less than 204.9 mm — 1965 (187.3 mm), 1987 (190.3 mm) and 1998 (203.5 mm). https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/india/monsoon-updates-highest-rainfall-deficiency-in-odisha-in-23-years-7422951.html  (03 Sept. 2021)

Govt unveils contingency plan Agriculture minister Arun Sahoo told the state assembly that contingency plans were being implemented to help farmers, following deficient rainfall in 213 of the 314 blocks in Odisha this monsoon.

“Odisha has experienced drought 8 times in the last 20 years. Of 6.196 million hectares of farmlands that we targeted, farmers have been able to grow various crops in 5.763 million hectares due to lack of adequate rainwater. But we are prepared to tackle a possible drought,” Sahoo said in assembly while replying to an adjournment motion. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/odisha-unveils-contingency-plan-with-drought-like-situation-in-213-of-314-blocks-101630554970049.html  (02 Sept. 2021)

LANDSLIDES

Maharashtra मुंबई लैंडस्लाइड: आशियाना ही नहींं जिंदगी भीजमींदोज मुंबई में 18 जुलाई 2021 को भारी बारिश के बाद चेंबूर के न्यू भारत नगर में हुए भूस्खलन में 20 लोगों की जान चली गई और कई लोग घायल हो गए. भूस्खलन के बाद राज्य पर्यावरण मंत्री आदित्य ठाकरे मौके पर पहुंचे और पीड़ित लोगों को पुनर्वास का आश्वासन भी दिया. वहीं प्रधानमंत्री मोदी ने उन परिवारों को 2 लाख का मुआवजा देने का ऐलान किया, जिनके सदस्य की हादसे में मौत हो गई. अब इस हादसे को एक महीने से ऊपर हो चुका है, द क्विंट ने पीड़ितों से बात कर उनकी तकलीफ जानने की कोशिश की. कई लोगों का कहना है कि उन्हें राज्य या केंद्र सरकार से ठोस मदद नहीं मिली है.

मुंबई सिविक बॉडी के मुताबिक 22 हजार लोग 291 भूस्खलन संभावित क्षेत्र में रहते हैं. हर साल हमें ऐसी घटना देखने को मिलती है जहां भारी बारिश से कहीं दीवार गिर जाती है तो कहीं घर ढह जाते हैं. 2019 में मलाड के कुरार गांव में इसी तरह के हादसे में 31 लोगों की जान चली गई थी. https://hindi.thequint.com/videos/news-videos/mumbai-chembur-landslide-takes-20-lives-people-recall-the-incident-after-a-month#read-more  (02 Sept. 2021)

Uttarakhand Nainital sitting on ‘seismic time bomb’, warn geologists Nainital is becoming more vulnerable due to increase in cutting of slopes for human habitations, they say. https://epaper.hindustantimes.com/Home/ShareArticle?OrgId=296cf39db0  (02 Sept. 2021)

भूस्खलन से खतरे की जद में मठ गांव, हर रात खौफजदा भारी बारिश से मठ गांव के नीचे से निरंतर भूस्खलन और भू-धंसाव से गांव को खतरा पैदा हो गया है। जिससे लोगों में दहशत बनी हुई है, लोग हर रात रतजगा कर बिताने को मजबूर हैं। ग्रामीणों ने शासन – प्रशासन से भूगर्भीय जांच कर विस्थापन की मांग की। गौरतलब है कि मठ गांव के नीचे से लंबे समय से भू-धंसाव हो रहा है। जो धीरे-धीरे अब विकराल रूप धारण कर गांव तक पहुंच गया है। भू-धंसाव से मठ गांव के पुष्कर सिंह की मकान खतरे की जद में आ गई है। वहीं भूस्खलन से आनंद सिंह के दो गौशाला भी खतरे में बने हैं। http://chardhamnews.com/uttarakhand-news/math-village-in-danger-due-to-landslide-every-night-scared-mountain-speed/  (03 Sept. 2021)

पिथौरागढ़ में आसमानी आफत ने मुनस्यारी के सैणराथी गांव के ग्रामीणों की मुश्किलें बढ़ा दी हैं। भारी बारिश के बाद गांव के ठीक ऊपर की जमीन दरकने लगी है। जमीन में 300 मीटर लंबी व 3 मीटर चौड़ी दरारें पड़ गई हैं। इससे 80 परिवारों वाला यह गांव आपदा की जद में आ गया है। https://www.livehindustan.com/uttarakhand/story-big-cracks-in-uttarakhand-s-village-80-villagers-shifted-geo-scientists-are-doing-survey-4503116.html  (03 Sept. 2021)

A Video of A Huge Landslide In Joshimath Went Viral Leading To Panic https://www.zee5.com/news/details/a-video-of-a-huge-landslide-in-joshimath-went-viral-leading-to-panic/0-0-newsauto_nntr4f6j1og0  (01 Sept. 2021)

भारी बारिश से थल-मुनस्यारी मार्ग में दोनों तरफ स्थित गिरगांव और भंडारी गांव के ग्रामीणों ने सारी जाग कर बिताई। भू कटाव के चलते धंस रहे दोनों गांवों में चार से अधिक मकानों की दीवारों में दरार पड़ चुकी है। एक मकान का आंगन बहने से खतरे में आ गया है। एक मकान ध्वस्त हो चुका है। रात को भारी बारिश और निकट में पहाड़ से हो रहे भूस्खलन से दोनों गांवों की जमीन भी हिलने लगी थी । पहाड़ से गिर रहे बड़े पत्थरों के टकराने की आवाज और भारी बारिश के बीच आकाशीय बिजली की गर्जना से ग्रामीणों सारी रात प्रार्थना करते हुए गुजारी। https://www.jagran.com/uttarakhand/pithoragarh-landslide-in-bhandarigaon-and-girgaon-due-to-rain-21946083.html  (20 Aug. 2021)

Himachal Pradesh Parked cars damaged in landslide after rain in Shimla’s Vikas Nagar https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/pictures-parked-cars-damaged-in-landslide-after-rain-in-shimlas-vikas-nagar-305519  (02 Sept. 2021)

A massive landslide was caught on camera at Jeori. No loss of life was reported yet in the incident. The Shimla-Kinnaur national highway was closed after the landslide. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/videos/toi-original/himachal-pradesh-massive-landslide-caught-on-camera-at-jeori/videoshow/85969371.cms  (06 Sept. 2021)

CLOUD BURSTS

Uttarakhand 5 dead, 2 missing after cloudburst in Pithoragarh At least five people were killed after seven houses were hit by debris and muck from a landslide triggered by a cloudburst in Jumma village, in Pithoragarh, in the wee hours of Monday (Aug. 30), officials familiar with the development said.

The district, which has received 1,170 mm rain since June 1, has been witnessing heavy rainfall for the past few days. Rivers such as Kali, Gori and Saryu have already begun flowing near the danger level. The incessant downpour has als triggered landslides and boulder falls, halting all movement in five border roads and 10 rural roads. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/dehradun-news/cloudburst-in-uttarakhand-7-feared-dead-3-bodies-recovered-101630306662981.html  (30 Aug. 2021) https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/uttarakhand-four-killed-as-three-houses-collapse-in-dharchula-after-heavy-rains/articleshow/85763651.cms  (30 Aug. 2021)

This says cloud burst in Dharchula and Nepal. Landslide lake formed on Kali river. NHPC Tapovan hydro project campus area flooded. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIsao-CJFw0&feature=youtu.be  (30 Aug. 2021)

रविवार (Aug. 29) मध्य रात के बाद धारचूला के साथ-साथ काली नदी पार नेपाल के श्रीबगड़ में भी बादल फट गया। वहां भी पांच लोग लापता बताए जा रहे हैं। वहीं नजयांग नाले का मलबा काली नदी में गिरा तो नदी का प्रवाह भी थम गया और झील बन गई। इससे एनएचपीसी की 280 मेगावाट क्षमता वाली धौलीगंगा जल विद्युत परियोजना के प्रशासनिक भवन सहित अधिकारियों-कर्मचारियों के आवासों में दो मंजिले तक पानी भर गया। सभी ने तीसरी मंजिल पर जाकर जान बचाई। रात भर सभी खौफ के साये में रहे।

भारी बारिश के चलते कपकोट क्षेत्र में चार मकान ध्वस्त होने से प्रभावितों ने पड़ोसियों के घरों में शरण ली है। नैनीताल में ठंडी सड़क क्षेत्र में पहाड़ी से भारी भूस्खलन हो गया। जिससे मिट्टी, पेड़, मलबे तथा विशालकाय बोल्डर सड़क पर आ गिरे तो आवागमन बाधित हो गया। लोनिवि ने मलबा हटाकर आवागमन सुचारू किया। वहीं चम्पावत जिले में टनकपुर-चम्पावत हाईवे पर आठवें दिन भी स्वाला के पास मलबा हटाया जा रहा है। https://www.jagran.com/uttarakhand/nainital-21974634.html  (31 Aug. 2021)

धारचूला तहसील अंतर्गत जुम्मा गांव व नेपाल के श्रीबगड़ में बादल फटने से तबाही की मुख्य वजह चट्टानों के छेद या रंध्र में जमा पानी है। एनएचपीसी धारचूला से जीएम भू-विज्ञानी पद से सेवानिवृत्त भास्कर पाटनी के अनुसार श्रीबगड़ गांव नेपाल के नाले से आए मलबे ने काली नदी में अवरोध उत्पन्न करने से भूस्खलन हुआ। यहां नेपाल ने बांध बनाया है। बांध का पानी एनएचपीसी की तपोवन कॉलोनी में भर गया। यह पानी अवरोध के टूटते ही काफी नीचे स्तर पर आ गया।

पाटनी कहते हैं कि तपोवन में एनएचपीसी को जमीन ही नहीं मिली, इस वजह से उस स्थान पर कॉलोनी बनाई गई। उन्होंने कहा कि नदी, नाले व नालों के मुहानों पर अवरोध पैदा करने से प्राकृतिक घटनाओं से नुकसान अधिक हो रहा है। उन्होंने कहा कि इस तरह की प्राकृतिक आपदाओं की मुख्य वजह धरती का तापमान बढऩा व जलवायु परिवर्तन का संकट है। https://www.jagran.com/uttarakhand/nainital-jumma-village-is-situated-in-a-pile-of-rubble-21977592.html  (31 Aug. 2021)

पिछले हफ्ते भी पिथौरागढ़ जिले की बॉर्डर तहसीलों में मूसलाधार बारिश ने भारी तबाही मचाई थी. बारिश की वजह से हो रहे लैंडस्लाइड के कारण कई रास्ते बंद हो गए थे. वहीं, आमलोगों को भी खतरों का सामना करना पड़ रहा था. बलुआकोट में एक महिला भारी मलबे में दब गई थी. धारचूला तहसील के अलघारा में भारी लैंडस्लाइड हुआ था, जिस कारण चीन बॉर्डर को जोड़ने वाली तवाघाट रोड बंद हो गया था. लैंडस्लाइड में आए भारी मलबे के कारण निचले इलाकों के 20 मकानों पर खतरा मंडरा रहा था. स्थानीय प्रशासन ने 12 मकानों को तत्काल खाली करने का आदेश दिया था. https://hindi.news18.com/news/uttarakhand/pithoragarh-watch-video-uttarakhand-dozens-of-houses-frozen-due-to-cloudburst-in-jumma-of-pithoragarh-nodbk-3717383.html  (30 Aug. 2021)

CM Pushkar Singh Dhami conducted an aerial survey of disaster-hit areas in Dharchula of Pithoragarh district on Aug 31, which got badly affected by a cloudburst incident on August 30. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/videos/news/uttarakhand-cm-conducts-aerial-survey-of-disaster-hit-areas-in-pithoragarh/videoshow/85810430.cms  (31 Aug. 2021)

पछवादून में बादल फटने से 2 व्यक्तियों की मौत बुधवार (Aug. 25) से शुरू हुई मूसलधार बारिश ने पछवादून में भारी तबाही मचाई। बिन्हार क्षेत्र में पष्टा के जाखन गांव में बादल फटने और सेलाकुई क्षेत्र की सारना नदी में बह जाने की दो अलग-अलग घटनाओं में दो व्यक्तियों की मौत हो गई। जाखन में तीन दर्जन से अधिक किसानों की फसलें मलबे में दब गई है। वहीं एकाएक जल स्तर बढ़ने से तीन पावर हाउसों में बिजली उत्पादन भी ठप हो गया है। हथियारी में निर्माणाधीन व्यासी जल विद्युत परियोजना स्थल पर मलबे में कई मशीनें दब गईं। लांघा मटोगी मार्ग जगह-जगह से क्षतिग्रस्त हो गया, जिससे आवागमन प्रभावित रहा। लखवाड़ व्यासी परियोजना के अधिशासी निदेशक राजीव अग्रवाल ने बताया कि बारिश से निर्माणाधीन व्यासी परियोजना क्षेत्र में मलबे में मशीनें और अन्य सामान दबा, लेकिन परियोजना में अंदर कोई नुकसान नहीं पहुंचा। वहीं बारिश से रुद्रपुर में मलबा आने से लांघा रोड बाधित रहने से आवागमन ठप रहा। https://www.jagran.com/uttarakhand/dehradun-city-cloud-bursts-in-jakhan-village-one-dide-after-house-collapse-in-vikasnagar-21966155.html  (27 Aug. 2021)

मूसलधार बारिश के बाद पछवादून में बरसाती नालों और नदियों ने बड़ी तबाही मचाई है। बरसाती नालों और नदियों में आए पानी से कई मवेशी पानी के साथ बह गए, वहीं कई आवासीय भवनों को नुकसान पंहुचा है। नदियों के तेज बहाव ने सैंकड़ों बीघा कृषि भूमि और खेतों में खड़ी फसलों को भी अपने साथ बहा लिया। नदियों से निकलकर आसपास के क्षेत्रों में फैले पानी से कई मार्ग जलभराव की चपेट में आ गए, इसमें देहरादून-पांवटा रोड पर आवाजाही कई घंटे प्रभावित रही। बरसाती नालें के पानी से हरबर्टपुर के कोर्ट रोड में हुए जलभराव के कारण क्षेत्र में स्थित कई दुकानों और एक बैंक की शाखा में भी पानी भर गया।

बारिश और8 नदी नालों में आई बाढ़ के कारण क्षेत्र के ग्राम केदारावाला, छरबा, खुशहालपुर और जस्सोवाला में ग्रामीणों को भारी नुकसान हुआ है। ग्राम छरबा में शीतला नदी के किनारे स्थित एक गोशाला से 15 गोवंश पानी के साथ बह गए। गोशाला संचालक रूमीराम जसवाल ने बताया कि शुक्रवार की सुबह लगभग चार बजे नदी में आया तेज बहाव का पानी गोवंश को बहाकर ले गया।

ग्राम जस्सोवाला में शीतला नदी ने कृषि भूमि को व्यापक स्तर पर नुकसान पहुंचाया है। गांव में नदी के कटाव के कारण किसानों की लगभग ढाई सौ बीघा जमीन बह गई। खेतों में खड़ी गन्ना, धान और मक्का की फसल को भी काफी नुकसान पहुंचा है। इसके अलावा कई मकान भी जलभराव के कारण क्षतिग्रस्त हो गए। https://www.jagran.com/uttarakhand/dehradun-city-dangers-river-in-rain-21967293.html  (27 Aug. 2021)

एक न्यूज रिपोर्ट के मुताबिक इस बार विकासनगर के जाखन गांव में तबाही का बादल फटा। यहां एक मकान के ध्वस्त होने से एक शख्स की मलबे में दबकर मौत हो गई। तीन पावर हाउसों में बिजली उत्पादन ठप पड़ा है। आसपास के इलाकों में अतिवृष्टि भी हुई है, जिससे हर कोई सहमा हुआ है। घटना पष्टा क्षेत्र की है। जहां जाखन गांव में बादल फटने के बाद भारी तबाही मची। इस दौरान एक मकान भरभरा कर ढह गया। इससे वहां रहने वाले एक शख्स की मलबे में दबकर मौत हो गई। गांव के कई खेतों को भी खासा नुकसान पहुंचा है। दर्जनों किसानों के खेतों में मलबा जमा है, जिससे फसलें बर्बाद हो गईं।

वहीं यमुना में पानी बढ़ने और भारी मात्रा में सिल्ट आने की वजह से तीन पावर हाउस में बिजली का उत्पादन रोकना पड़ा। सिर्फ छिबरौ और खोदरी पावर हाउस में ही जनरेशन का काम चल रहा है। देहरादून के दूसरे हिस्सों से भी तबाही की तस्वीरें आई हैं। यहां विकासनगर में शीतला नदी उफान पर है। जस्सोवाला गांव में भी कई मकान ध्वस्त हुए हैं, भारी तबाही हुई है। नदी में उफान आने की वजह से कई मकान सैलाब की भेंट चढ़ गए, हालांकि खबर लिखे जाने तक किसी तरह की जनहानि की सूचना नहीं मिली है। खुशालपुर में एक मकान का कुछ हिस्सा नदी में बह गया। हथियारी में निर्माणाधीन व्यासी जल विद्युत परियोजना स्थल पर भारी मलबा जमा हो गया, मशीनें मलबे में दब गईं।  https://www.rajyasameeksha.com/uttarakhand/18912-cloud-burst-in-vikasnagar-dehradun  (27 Aug. 2021)

In Dehradun, at least 90 families were shifted to a safer location as they resided near the banks of the Chandrabhaga river in Rishikesh. The reports suggested that the water levels were rising dangerously. The floodwater entered houses, electric poles and trees fell at places, and two-wheelers were swept away after the cloudburst late Tuesday (Aug. 31) night, state disaster management officials said on Wednesday (Sept. 1).

In the video released by the news agency ANI on Friday (Aug. 27) morning, the river can be seen swallowing the road as the Maldevta-Sahasradhara link road collapsed. This only happens when the rain increases to such an extent that the rivers start overflowing. Reports say that the security wall of the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium has also been severely damaged due to the rains. The stadium is adjacent to Sahasradhara Road.

A major part of the Amwala-Tapovan road has been collapsed along with a few other bridges due to the rains in the city. Other reports of complete or partial road damage include Raipur, Dharampur and Dehrakhas. https://www.republicworld.com/india-news/accidents-and-disasters/heavy-rains-wreak-havoc-in-uttarakhand-sdrf-team-rescues-villagers-in-vikasnagar.html  (27 Aug. 2021)

टिहरी गढ़वाल के पट्टी दोगी क्षेत्र में बादल फटा मचाई तबाही https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O95jYE7lssw  (03 Sept. 2021) टिहरी में प्रकृति का प्रकोप, कई घर, पुल, खेत हुए गायब https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uRNmvEQQH8  (03 Sept. 2021)   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dMI9PCF6Nw  (03 Sept. 2021)

देर रात से हो रही बारिश के बाद मेड गांव के खैंडी तोक में सुबह करीब पांच बजे बादल फटने से सात घरों में मलबा घुस गया। घटना सुबह के वक्त होने से ग्रामीणों की जान बच गई। गांव के एक व्यक्ति को चोट लगी है। वहीं प्रखंड के गोना गांव के ऊपरी क्षेत्र में भी बादल फटने से गदेरा उफान पर आ गया, जिससे गांव की करीब 30 नाली कृषि भूमि मलबे से पट गई और गांव को जाने वाली पुलिया भी क्षतिग्रस्त हो गई। https://www.jagran.com/uttarakhand/tehri-garhwal-clouds-burst-in-tehris-ghansali-debris-entered-in-half-a-dozen-houses-21844455.html  (19 July 2021) 1 injured after cloudburst in Tehri Garhwal https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ze3hL1KhOFg  (19 July 2021) Coudburst reported in Bhangeli village of Dogi patti in Tehri. http://meruraibar.com/tehri-cloudburst-in-bhangeli-village-of-patti-dogi-causing-heavy-damage/ (15 May 2021)

ENERGY OPTIONS

Delhi Jain inaugurates 10MW battery energy storage system  A 10 MW Battery energy storage system costing Rs 55 crores (Rs 5.5 Cr per MW) has been inaugurated in Delhi, more such systems planned in Delhi. This is much cheaper than the cost of hydropower projects which are claimed to provide peaking power. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/jain-inaugurates-10mw-battery-energy-storage-system/article36172769.ece  (30 Aug. 2021)

THERMAL POWER

Report States yet to submit categorisation of thermal power plants By Nivedita Khandekar A day ahead of the latest deadline to categorise their thermal power plants (TPP), the states sought clarification from the CPCB on Tuesday (Aug. 31), further delaying the process to control air pollution.

The SPCBs or the Pollution Control Committees (PCCs) were supposed to send categorisation of captive power plants by August 25 to the task force headed by the member secretary, CPCB. But despite repeated reminders, none of the states sent any report regarding the categorisation. https://www.daijiworld.com/news/newsDisplay?newsID=866513  (25 Aug. 2021)

Energy security could be at risk due to underutilisation of coal, delays: Panel Expressing concern about the under-utilisation of coal in the country, a parliamentary panel has said that for ensuring energy security, India needs to become self-reliant in coal and increase its domestic production.

In its reports, the parliament’s standing committee on energy highlighted that delays in the completion and execution of power projects range from one year to 15 years and have resulted in cost overruns of over Rs. 720 billion.

Experts and community leaders, however, note that there is no logic in pushing for more power assets without assessing the demand in the sector. They also emphasise the importance of addressing the concerns of communities impacted by such projects. https://india.mongabay.com/2021/08/indias-energy-security-could-be-at-risk-due-to-underutilisation-of-coal-delays-says-panel/  (25 Aug. 2021)

ENVIRONMENT GOVERNANCE

Comment Managing natural resources A project in Meghalaya empowers communities to take informed action pertaining to their environment. https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/managing-natural-resources/article36211512.ece  (01 Sept. 2021)

Centre NGT does not have suo motu powers: Centre to SC NGT does not possess suo motu powers but it can act on letters or communication addressed to it raising environmental concerns, the Centre told the Supreme Court on Thursday (Sept. 2). “The NGT does not enjoy any suo motu powers. But this cannot be stretched to the extent to suggest that a letter or application cannot be entertained by it. The tribunal cannot be tied up in procedural law for exercising power which is amply available to it under the Act. Once the tribunal receives any communication, it is duty bound to take cognisance of that,” ASG Bhati said, conveying the government’s point of view. The court-appointed amicus curiae (friend of Court), senior advocate Anand Grover, supported Centre’s view. Grover said: “What is meant by suo motu is that the Tribunal or its members cannot initiate action or trigger the process on basis of reading a newspaper report.” https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/ngt-can-act-on-letters-communication-but-not-on-news-reports-centre-tells-sc-101630596253070.html  (03 Sept. 2021)

MoEF Willing to bring draft EIA in 22 languages, Centre tells HC The Centre had earlier argued that it does not have any constitutional or statutory obligation to publish the draft EIA notification in any language apart from Hindi and English. The division bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan adjourned Centre’s review petition against the order passed by the court in June 2020 to October 21. https://indianexpress.com/article/india/willing-to-bring-draft-eia-in-22-languages-centre-tells-hc-7474649/  (31 Aug. 2021)

Govt relaxes green norms for projects connecting mines Roads, conveyor belts, railway infrastructure etc. that connect mines to ports or other destinations can now be considered as standalone projects that can be approved by the regional offices of the union environment ministry, the ministry said in a letter to state governments. The ministry has, however, cautioned that all forest clearance proposals for mining shall have an additional column for the project proponent to certify that they have critically examined the mineral extraction pathways and that no new extraction path outside the mining area shall be proposed during the next five years. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/govt-relaxes-green-norms-for-projects-connecting-mines-101630863998260.html  (05 Sept. 2021)

Ecotourism Problem That Arises With Proposed Changes to Forest Act The Union government seems set on diluting the Forest (Conservation) Act’s protections by limiting the scope of the term ‘non-forest purposes’. The Act plays a vital role in regulating ecotourism, an enterprise that doesn’t have a law or policy of its own. The environment ministry has pitched that wildlife tourism and the establishment of zoos and safaris can’t be considered ‘non-forest purposes’. https://science.thewire.in/environment/proposed-amendments-forest-conservation-act-1980-nonforest-purposes-ecotourism-guidelines/  (04 Sept. 2021)

Study India’s 18% tree species stare at extinction The Global Tree Assessment, which was undertaken over the past five years by 500 experts to compile extinction risk information for 58,497 tree species worldwide, found that 30% of tree species are threatened with extinction. It also found that at least 142 tree species are already extinct in the wild. The report has warned of concerns related to ecosystem collapse globally due to increasing tree diversity loss and mass mortality of trees in certain regions.

The main threats to tree species are forest clearance for various projects; other forms of habitat loss, exploitation for timber, medicine etc; and the spread of invasive pests and diseases. The climate crisis is also having a measurable impact, the assessment has warned. https://www.hindustantimes.com/analysis/indias-18-tree-species-stare-at-extinction-41-extinct-in-indo-malaya-region-101630489678860.html  (01 Sept. 2021)

Arunachal Pradesh CM urges Centre for extending area under oil palm cultivation Pema Khandu has requested the Centre for increasing the area under oil palm cultivation in the state to 12,000-15,000 hectares in the first year of the Centre’s new mission to boost its production.

The Union Cabinet had on August 18 approved the National Mission on Edible Oils – Oil Palm (NMEO-OP), with a focus on the northeast region and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, to promote the domestic cultivation of oil palm in the next five years.

Allaying the fear of the impact of oil palm cultivation on forests, the chief minister said it is unlikely to have any effect since the areas identified for the purpose cover only the wasteland, an official statement said here. https://www.eastmojo.com/arunachal-pradesh/2021/09/02/khandu-urges-centre-for-extending-area-under-oil-palm-cultivation-in-arunachal/  (02 Sept. 2021)

Opinion Don’t Lose Ancient Forests To Palm Oil by Neha SinhaOn the very idea of combating the destruction of habitat, the National Board for Wildlife has an idea. If a protected area is impacted by a project, the NBWL says a tiny 2% of the project cost from that impacted area can be used for wildlife. This is a tradeoff that is hard to defend in a time of climate change and mass biodiversity loss. It is unclear how the NBWL believes 2% is the right ‘price’ to pay for the damages.

But this stems from the idea that lost ecosystems or forests can be easily replaced. This logical fallacy is highlighted in the 2021 Dasgupta review on the economics of biodiversity, which points out that “accumulating produced capital at the expense of Nature is what economic development has come to mean for many people” and we are globally losing $6 trillion annually by damaging nature. https://www.bloombergquint.com/opinion/oil-palm-policy-dont-lose-ancient-forests-to-silver-bullet-ideas  (03 Sept. 2021)

Chennai ‘Don’t relocate evicted Chennai residents to faraway places’ With the Assembly session on housing set for Sept., a group of housing and land rights associations has sent a set of 10 requests to the State govt, including one which urged not to resettle evicted persons from Chennai to faraway places, as it was leading to loss of livelihood and was particularly hard on the women and children.

According to a statement, following a discussion on August 28, the associations urged the State government to build houses for the poor under Central government scheme that provides Rs 5 lakh financial assistance to build a 300-sqft house. https://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/chennai/2021/aug/30/dont-relocate-evicted-chennai-residents-to-faraway-places-2351615.html  (30 Aug. 2021)

Karnataka Shrinking forest cover brings endangered species on roads In view of the shrinking forest cover and absence of native trees, lion-tailed macaques (LTM), an endangered species residing in rainforests of Western Ghats, come up to the hairpin curve of Agumbe ghat in Shivamogga to get food thrown by travellers. Ajay Kumar Sharma, an environmentalist, lamented the condition of these species and said that though the sight seems beautiful to the travellers, it is sad to see these LTMs like this. “LTMs are the pride of the Western ghats of Karnataka and Shivamogga. They are on the verge of extinction. We should do something for them,” added Sharma. https://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/in-other-news/010921/karnatakas-shrinking-forest-cover-brings-endangered-species-on-roads.html   (01 Sept. 2021)

Himachal Pradesh NGT refuses to allow multi-level parking project in Shimla A bench headed by NGT Chairperson justice A K Goel said the project is not permissible as per the earlier directions of this tribunal which held that new constructions were required to be restricted in the core/green/forest area and even constructions for public utilities were required to be regulated to protect ecology. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/ngt-refuses-to-allow-multi-level-parking-project-in-shimla-305541  (02 Sept. 2021)

Forest ecosystem project launched Forest Minister Rakesh Pathania on Sept. 1 launched the Rs 33 crore Himachal Forest Ecosystem Services Project which would be implemented in select panchayats of Kangra, Chamba and Mandi districts. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/forest-ecosystem-project-launched-in-himachal-305338  (02 Sept. 2021)

6 years on, 69 road projects stuck Even the DPR of any of these roads has not been prepared so far. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/six-years-on-69-himachal-pradesh-road-projects-stuck-in-red-tape-305653  (03 Sept. 2021)

Ladakh Toxic love weighing heavy on its natural resources Growing tourism in Ladakh has brought in economic benefits but also added pressure on its natural resources. As a result of the shift to tourism, locals are also gradually giving up farming – their traditional source of livelihood. Experts and conservationists argue that damage to the environment of Ladakh can be prevented if environmentally-conscious practices are followed by travellers. https://india.mongabay.com/2021/07/the-toxic-love-for-ladakh-is-weighing-heavy-on-its-natural-resources/  (20 July 2021)

Edit Need urgent pollution policy A study by an American research group has put into stark numbers what we always knew — air pollution is a killer. The study, done by University of Chicago’s Energy Policy Institute, says that air pollution can reduce the life expectancy of Indians by nine years. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/editorials/need-urgent-pollution-policy-305673  (03 Sept. 2021)

Report India’s renewable energy plants ‘not bird-friendly’ Bird mortality high in India’s Thar desert, a hub for solar and wind energy, with the great Indian bustard especially threatened as it nears extinction. https://www.eco-business.com/news/indias-renewable-energy-plants-not-bird-friendly/  (03 Sept. 2021)

Recykal cleaning up mess India generates 62 million tonnes of solid waste every year, according to a 2016 report by the Press Information Bureau. Rapid urbanisation, population growth and economic development will see this figure nearly triple of 165 million tonnes by 2030, and a staggering 450 million tonnes by 2045. 

Currently, of the 62 million tonnes, about 43 million tonnes (70 percent) is collected. And of this, only 12 million tonnes is treated, while the remaining 31 million tonnes ends up in landfills and oceans.  The entire waste management industry in India, defined as the collection, transportation and disposal of garbage, sewage and other waste products, is worth $100 billion, says Deshpande. It’s cash-driven, largely informal and fragmented with multiple middlemen. https://www.forbesindia.com/article/take-one-big-story-of-the-day/how-recykal-is-cleaning-up-the-mess/70177/1  (02 Sept. 2021)

CLIMATE CHANGE

Himachal Pradesh Snow cover down by 18% A government study has found that 23,542 sq km was under snow cover in 2019-20, which dropped to 19,183 sq km in 2020-21, a decline of 3,404 sq km or 18.52%. The Centre on Climate Change of the Himachal Pradesh Council for Science Technology and Environment (Himcoste) and the Space Applications Centre, Ahmedabad, conducted the study to assess spatial distribution of seasonal snow cover in Himachal Pradesh from October 2020 to May 2021. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/chandigarh-news/climate-change-snow-cover-in-himachal-down-by-18-101630412993338.html  (31 Aug. 2021)

Maharashtra Govt forms Council to prepare action plan Terming it as a “climate emergency”, environment minister Aaditya Thackeray said the council will prepare an action plan within a month to deal with the challenges of climate crisis. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/mumbai-news/maharashtra-forms-council-for-climate-change-to-prepare-action-plan-101630528745993.html  (02 Sept. 2021)

Study 100 Districts Most Vulnerable Eight states in the country, Jharkhand, Mizoram, Odisha, Chattisgarh, Assam, Bihar, Arunachal Pradesh, and West Bengal, all in eastern India, are found to have higher vulnerability, Akhilesh Gupta, Senior Adviser and Head, Policy Coordination and Programme Management (PCPM) Division, and a climate change expert at the Department of Science and Technology (DST), underlined at a policy dialogue. https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/100-districts-in-india-most-vulnerable-to-climate-change-study-2529121  (03 Sept. 2021)

Eight states, including Arunachal, are found to have higher vulnerability to climate change in a study by the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, IIT Mandi and IIT Guwahati and supported by the department of science & technology. These include Assam, Mizoram, Jharkhand, Odisha, Chattisgarh, Bihar and West Bengal.

– This year, the western region of Arunachal, like Papum Pare, Lower Subansiri, East Kameng, etc, received heavy rainfall, causing large-scale devastation. On the other hand, eastern districts like Namsai and Lohit faced a drought-like situation. https://arunachaltimes.in/index.php/2021/09/06/time-to-tackle-climate-change/  (06 Sept. 2021)

Report ’30 by 30’ becomes a conservation battleground In July, the U.N. released a draft of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, which called for 30% of Earth’s land and sea areas to be conserved. Known as “30 by 30,” the plan has drawn fire from Indigenous rights activists and their allies, who say that it could prompt mass evictions.

Earlier this month, 49 foundations sent a joint letter to the plan’s drafters, saying a focus on creating new protected areas would “lead to human rights abuses across the globe.” “30 by 30” is exposing fault lines in the modern conservation movement over who should control biodiversity protection and where funding should be directed. https://news.mongabay.com/2021/08/as-cop15-approaches-30-by-30-becomes-a-conservation-battleground/  (26 Aug. 2021)

What IPCC Report Forecasts for Development Future In the near-term, the IPCC report reaffirms that India can no longer afford to ignore the very real developmental challenge that climate change poses at home. In a significant development, the government’s statement contains a clear and welcome acknowledgement of the relationship between climate change and extreme events. To embark on a low-carbon development pathway, however, India will need an institutional architecture with a more strategic bent. https://science.thewire.in/environment/what-the-ipcc-report-forecasts-for-india-development-future/  (04 Sept. 2021) 

DTE Despite caution from scientists, policymakers and corporates still assume that natural carbon sinks like forests will mop up their fossil fuel emissions https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/forests/let-s-talk-land-sinks-are-they-enough-to-beat-global-warming-78765  (01 Sept. 2021)

SOUTH ASIA

Bhutan Solar Plant- Benefits, and not in my backyard? This article rightly advocates Solar Power in Bhutan, as even better option than more hydro power projects. https://kuenselonline.com/solar-plant-benefits-and-not-in-my-backyard/  (04 Sept. 2021)

Bangladesh Could ‘eco-bricks’ do more harm than good? The switch from polluting clay-fired bricks to concrete-based ‘alternative bricks’ is presented as an environmentally friendly policy, but experts say overlooks carbon emissions in the supply chain and destruction of riverine ecosystems. https://www.thethirdpole.net/en/pollution/could-bangladeshs-eco-bricks-do-more-harm-than-good/  (27 Aug. 2021)

Afganistan Severe Drought Leaves Afghans Hungry Many Afghans were struggling to feed their families amid severe drought well before the Taliban seized power last month and millions may now face starvation with the country isolated and the economy unravelling, aid agencies say. https://www.ndtv.com/world-news/severe-drought-leaves-afghans-hungry-amid-economic-turmoil-un-2527977  (02 Sept. 2021)

ASIA

MEKONG Mekong Basin issues need political will Activists are asking Mekong governments to show political will in tackling Mekong environmental issues and ensure water security in the region, as the first ever Water Security Dialogue is held by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and the Mekong River Commission (MRC). https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/general/2167391/mekong-basin-issues-need-political-will-activists-say  (19 Aug. 2021)

So, after years of witnessing the ecology of the Mekong River being choked by the development of hydro-powered dams, communities in this region can have some hope after the Asean and the MRC stepped in and co-hosted the Water Security Dialogue, held in Laos. https://www.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opinion/2168131/mekong-talks-not-inclusive  (20 Aug. 2021)

THE REST OF THE WORLD

Study Over 50% of Earth’s ‘Rivers’ Actually Stand Still or Run Dry Every Yr Our traditional idea of a river, an endlessly flowing stream of water, needs a rethink, scientists argue in a new study. Even when a river runs dry, they say, it’s still a river. These winding watercourses shouldn’t have to flow all year round to receive our attention and protection. In fact, most of them don’t.

In new research, scientists found at least 51 percent of all rivers worldwide stop running for at least one day per year. In colder climates, rivers may temporarily freeze up, and in warmer climates, water may evaporate to stall flow. In Australia, for instance, 70 percent of the rivers are thought to be non-perennial. It’s the first time researchers have attempted to map all the non-perennial waterways in the world, and as it turns out they’re ubiquitous.  https://www.sciencealert.com/more-than-half-of-the-world-s-rivers-aren-t-flowing-all-the-time  (20 June 2021)

Study reveals role of wetlands in flood prevention Wales’ coastal wetlands provide more flood protection than previously thought, researchers have found. A team led by Swansea University used hydrodynamic models of eight Welsh estuaries to simulate storms of different strengths and modelled the damage they would be likely to cause. They found estuary wetlands reduced flooding across all eight areas. This could save up to £27m in avoided damage per estuary during a large storm, they found.

They said the vegetation reduced the average flood extents by 35% and the amount of damage caused by 37%. The study warned wetlands were facing growing threats from continued urban development, with 22 of the largest 32 cities in the world – including London, New York and Tokyo – built on low-lying land around estuaries, which puts them at increasing risk of flooding in a warming climate. It said climate change was driving increases in the magnitude and frequency of storms, as well as sea level rise. Previous research has focused on wetlands along open coastlines, where the plants absorb wave energy and stop waves pushing inland, but the new study focused on estuarine environments. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-58370371  (01 Sept. 2021)

Report Hydropower dams are not the solution to the climate crisis This article in THE HILL says: Dams and reservoirs create ongoing methane releases often fueled by microbes feeding on flooded vegetation. Scientific research shows that a hydropower facility can cause more warming in its first few years than a coal-fired power plant. And when reservoirs experience fluctuations in water levels — say during a megadrought — it increases the amount of released methane previously held in the deeper parts of the water into the atmosphere. Furthermore, the construction of new dams, which use large quantities of cement and concrete, is itself a significant source of methane emissions.

But methane is not the only concern with hydropower. It’s the dams themselves that are the problem. The structures ruin ecological habitats by literally standing in the way of fish migration. The reservoirs that dams create raise water temperatures, which in turn reduce oxygen and devastate fish populations. Dams also trap silt and other nutrients, which would otherwise nourish downstream habitats as nature intended.

Reservoirs and dams can rapidly increase freshwater evaporation. What’s more, dams do not impact all communities equally. Rather, the burden is often thrust onto Native American tribes and other frontline communities.

And that does not even begin to factor in the unsuitable physical conditions of dams. Approximately 2,000 dams in the U.S. are in need of repair. Over two-thirds of all dams in the U.S. have passed or are nearing their expiration date. It’s time we stop throwing good money at bad. https://thehill.com/opinion/energy-environment/569586-hydropower-dams-are-not-the-solution-to-the-climate-crisis  (26 Aug. 2021)

This response by the CEO of USA’s National Hydropower Association also do not support new dams, particularly in tropical climate: “While there are legitimate scientific questions about emissions from new reservoirs, specifically in tropical climates… Only 3 percent of existing dams are used for electricity generation with roughly 87,000 existing non-powered dams that are currently used for flood control, water storage, irrigation or recreation. Many of these non-powered dams are prime candidates to add hydroelectric generation facilities. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that adding generation to non-powered dams, upgrading existing facilities, and closed-loop pumped storage development could add almost 50 gigawatts of clean energy onto our grid… the hydropower industry, which my organization is a part of, has entered into a historic collaboration with the river community, environmental groups, and dam safety advocates to accelerate the “3Rs:” retrofitting dams to increase renewable power generation; rehabilitating dams to address any safety concerns; and removing dams determined by their owners to no longer serve a purpose… the U.S. Congress now has the historic opportunity to address the scale of the challenge by including the bipartisan Twenty-First Century Dams Act in the reconciliation package. The change we seek must be transformative, and this bill makes a $25.8 billion investment in hydropower, river restoration and safer communities.” https://thehill.com/opinion/energy-environment/570578-dont-be-fooled-hydropower-is-an-essential-part-of-a-us-climate

Can hydropower withstand future of extreme weather? Hydropower has long been seen as a reliable renewable energy source. But during drought and heavy rain, hydropower plants often come to a standstill. Will climate change spell the end for this clean energy alternative? https://www.dw.com/en/can-hydropower-withstand-a-future-of-extreme-weather/a-58968255  (27 Aug. 2021)

UN Weather disasters soar in numbers, cost, but deaths fall Weather disasters are striking the world four to five times more often and causing seven times more damage than in the 1970s, the United Nations weather agency reports.

But these disasters are killing far fewer people. In the 1970s and 1980s, they killed an average of about 170 people a day worldwide. In the 2010s that dropped to about 40 per day, the World Meteorological Organization said in a report Wednesday (Sept. 1) that looks at more than 11,000 weather disasters in the past half-century.

The report comes during a disaster-filled summer globally, including deadly floods in Germany and a heat wave in the Mediterranean, and with the United States simultaneously struck by powerful Hurricane Ida and an onslaught of drought-worsened wildfires. https://apnews.com/article/environment-and-nature-united-nations-weather-climate-change-science–ccc665512d6b2c10e51bd95c6cf06888  (01 Sept. 2021)

Brazil Energy minister warns of energy crisis with record drought Brazil’s Mines and Energy Minister Bento Albuquerque is warning that the country’s energy crisis is worse than previously thought, as a record drought hampers hydropower generation. In a televised national address on Tuesday (Aug. 31), preempting the nightly news, Albuquerque said the crisis had deepened, with water reserves at hydropower plants already at their lowest level in 91 years of records.

He said that because of the drought, Brazil had lost hydropower output equal to the energy consumed by the city of Rio de Janeiro in five months. Hydropower is the largest source of energy in Brazil. Emphasising that Brazilians must do everything possible to reduce energy usage to alleviate the crisis, Albuquerque said federal government agencies had been directed to cut electricity consumption by 20 percent. https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2021/9/1/brazil-warns-of-energy-crisis-with-record-drought  (01 Sept. 2021) 

Brazil’s worst drought in nearly a century is drying up reservoirs and threatening its energy supply. Water levels in many hydroelectric dams have dropped to record lows. The government says it may have to start rationing electricity. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B45ZWaYLh50  (04 Sept. 2021)

USA Cambria County dam overspilling, residents evacuated At one stage on Sept 1, 2021, National Weather Service declared that Wilmore dam in Cambria County, following heavy rains in the catchment brought by Cyclone IDA, was broken. Evacuation notice was given to some of the communities. It was then corrected to say it has over flown and then it was said that the spillways are working at full capacity and holding and they declared it safe. https://phl17.com/national-news/breaking-cambria-county-dam-overspilling-residents-evacuated/  (01 Sept. 2021)

Massive flooding inundated broad swaths of the US northeast on Wednesday night, including New York City and downstate New York, as well as New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Areas of Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts were also flooded, and tornadoes were reported on Cape Cod. At least 43 people are dead and more than 250,000 households and businesses are without power. Subway and commuter rail services were halted in many areas, roads were closed and the homes of hundreds of thousands of people were damaged or destroyed. https://countercurrents.org/2021/09/at-least-43-dead-as-massive-storm-ravages-us-northeast/  (03 Sept. 2021)

Hurricane Ida, one of the most powerful hurricanes ever to strike the US Gulf Coast, made landfall on Sunday (Aug. 29) in Louisiana, destroying entire communities. https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/hurricane-ida-at-least-44-dead-as-flash-floods-drown-us-states-10-points-101630631548272.html  (03 Sept. 2021)

Record rainfall, which prompted an unprecedented flash flood emergency warning for New York City, turned streets into rivers and shut down subway services as water cascaded down platforms onto tracks. https://www.ndtv.com/world-news/new-york-hurricane-ida-news-at-least-44-dead-as-flash-floods-slam-new-york-area-2528123  (03 Sept. 2021)

Ida’s remnants brought 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm) of rain to a swath of the Northeast from Philadelphia to Connecticut and set an hourly rainfall record of 3.15 inches for Manhattan, breaking one set by Tropical Storm Henri less than two weeks ago, the National Weather Service said. New York officials blamed much of flooding on the high volume of rainfall in a short span of time, rather than the daily total, which was within predictions. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/at-least-44-dead-as-flash-floods-slam-new-york-area/articleshow/85886575.cms  (03 Sept. 2021)  

Australia Fears of Floods downstream of almost full Hume Dam on Murray river. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-09-03/forecast-of-heavy-rain-stirs-nerves-in-people-below-hume-dam/100429406  (03 Sept. 2021)

Report Fish Farming is Feeding World, But at What Cost?  The result is a troubling paradox: the seafood industry is ostensibly trying to slow the rate of ocean depletion, but by farming the fish we eat most, it is draining the stock of many other fish—the ones that never make it to the aisles of Western supermarkets. Gambia exports much of its fish meal to China and Norway, where it fuels an abundant and inexpensive supply of farmed salmon for European and American consumption. Meanwhile, the fish Gambians themselves rely on for their survival are rapidly disappearing. https://www.maritime-executive.com/editorials/part-i-fish-farming-is-feeding-the-world-but-at-what-cost  (29 Aug. 2021)

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

Also see: DRP News Bulletin 30 Aug. 2021 & DRP News Bulletin 23 Aug. 2021  

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

2 thoughts on “DRP NB 6 Sep 2021: DISASTERS GOING UP in Himalayas, across India & Globally

  1. The Himalayas is our natural guard in the North as well as the mother of innumerable large and small snowfed rivers which in turn feed millions of people along its course.
    Geographically, the South face of the Himalayas ie our side is more vulnerable than the North face ie that of the Chinese side. That’s why, they could have made motorable road till Shigatse, the base camp of Mt. Everest of the North face while those approaching from South face have to trek to reach the base camp. Nepal has got airstrips near border areas, couldn’t they build some road network if it were possible!
    Due to the strategic position of Uttarakhand as its northern villages lie near the border, it can be understood, why road network should be kept in accessible conditions throughout the year. But for tourism purpose, revenue generation, road widening projects aren’t worthy. Moreover, in recent times, we have found border area roads and bridges have been constructed and inaugurated with much fanfare though those places were earlier accessible by “kachcha” road.
    Inspite of repeated warnings, even from the Supreme Court, our government seems to be determined with a forceful implementation of those dam projects in remote areas that have proven disastrous and will be so in near future.
    It’s an irony that Ladakh declares Snow Leopard as National Animal and we, in the rest of the India, declare Cow. Have we demoted our previous national animal(Royal Bengal Tiger)? Hope our wise government take some urgent recognition of the valuable lives of people living in the Himalayas and take mindful actions, going by scientific means, rather than looking at profit making goals.

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  2. “How will the project impact biodiversity?
    Officials have said that the government wants the cultivation of oil palm crops to take place only on lands already being used by farmers. Environmentalists, however, remain skeptical and are concerned about the kind of impact the project could have on India’s wildlife.

    Sudhir Kumar Suthar, an assistant political science professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, said that replacing one type of forest cover with another — as in the case of palm oil cultivation — threatens the existence of biodiversity.

    India’s northeastern region is home to 51 types of forests, and palm oil cultivation could prove destructive, he said.

    A 2020 study by Malaysian scientists found that the conversion of forest areas into oil palm plantations also resulted in higher carbon emissions. It noted that from 1990 to 2005, about 50% to 60% of oil palm plantation expansions were the result of forest clearances.”

    Destroying rainforests would impede international efforts to combat climate change.

    https://www.dw.com/en/indias-ambitious-palm-oil-push-triggers-biodiversity-fears/a-59098806

    Looks like a deliberate effort to undermine our country’s name and destroy the ecology of different areas under the name of development.

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