DRP News Bulletin

DRP NB 13 Sept 2021: Misleading claim of Water Plus cities

Recently, when the government of India certified that cities like Indore, Surat, Hyderabad, Vizag, etc are Water Plus, it raised a number of questions including the credibility of the claim, lack of credit worthy independent assessment, how sustainable are the claims, etc. The author of the following article rightly raises the question if the cities are at all Water Plus. They are clearly not. While recycling and reuse of 30% of treated sewage and full treatment of waste water is welcome in view of the current pathetic status of city water management in cities, this achievement, if it is real as assessed by credit worthy independent assessment & judged against a set of well-defined criteria of sustainability among others, is worth appreciating, but it certainly does not deserve Water Plus City label. To achieve that label, a lot more and a lot different kind of achievements will be required.

India’s drinking water crisis Raises thoughtful issues: “Do we realise that just about 25-30 years ago, we trusted the tap water across the country? We had no second thoughts or doubts while drinking from taps at most places. Tap water not being safe was an exception rather than the other way round. What happened in these two-three decades that we cannot consume tap water without passing it through multiple filtering and purifying machines? It has become one of the biggest selling commodities.”

– “In other news, Indore, Hyderabad, Surat, Visakhapatnam and a few more places got certified as Water Plus cities. My natural instinct was to believe that these cities have more water than they need. Having lived in Hyderabad, it did seem a tall claim. A bit of reading informed me that it actually means that the city is able to dispose of its waste water responsibly, including recycling and reusing at least 30% of it. As part of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, cities have to make sure sewage water is not going to rivers and other sources of drinking water. I hope one day our cities would be ‘Water Plus’ in the real sense”.  (https://www.newindianexpress.com/opinions/2021/sep/13/the-culture-of-water-in-india-2357822.html Sep 13, 2021)

HYDRO POWER PROJECTS

Uttarakhand No dams in upper reaches of Ganga: Open letter to PM 64 prominent environmental activists and academicians term ‘profound error’ and ‘self-defeating exercise’ the recommendation of going ahead with more hydro-electric projects in upper reaches of the Ganga river in the Himalayas.

Not just this, the activists also reminded the PM of the observation of the Jal Shakti ministry itself: “As may be seen from the views of experts and expert organizations indicated in the foregoing para, the HEPs will adversely affect the ecology of the Himalayas, leading to an irreversible loss to the Himalayan eco system and to the national river Ganga which is the nation’s identity and symbol of faith and heritage.” The letter ended with saying that they “sincerely hope” that the Prime Minister will reconsider the recent MoEF&CC recommendation to restart the construction of the seven HEPs. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/no-dams-in-upper-reaches-of-ganga-open-letter-to-pm-modi-309298  (10 Sept. 2021)

MoEF has previously said that approval for construction must have scientific backing – but experts say the new decision doesn’t. https://science.thewire.in/environment/unjustified-experts-write-to-pm-modi-against-hydro-projects-in-ganga-himalaya/  (10 Sept. 2021)

“Six out of the seven projects (except Tehri Stage II) recommended, lie in para-glacial zones, or in its buffer.  The EB-I Report had explicitly highlighted the dangers of building dams in the para-glacial zone, now understood as the region upstream of the MCT. Several scientific publications thereafter have also supported the EB-I recommendation against building dams in these areas. The destruction of the Vishnuprayag, Phata-Byung and Singoli Bhatwari HEPs in 2013 whereas the Rishiganga and Tapovan  Vishnugad HEPs in February 2021 are recent examples.

The Madhmaheshwar and Kaliganga HEPs are proposed on virgin rivers in a para-glacial zone. Scientific publications in the recent years have highlighted that small para-glacial tributaries are more destructive than the main rivers. For example, the most severe destruction in 2013 was caused by Khiro Ganga, and in 2021 by Raunthi Gad and Rishiganga. Following the June 2013 disaster, Madhmaheshwar and Kaliganga rivers are virtually clogged with sediment. These sediments are likely to get mobilized during extreme hydro meterological events thus likely to impact the Singoli- Bhatwari HEP, whose barrage is located barely a few hundred meters below the confluence of Madhmaheshwar Ganga with the Mandakini river as happened with the two HEPs in February 2021.

Phata-Byung and Tapovan-Vishungad can in no way be considered as 50 per cent complete. They have suffered extreme damage, and lie buried under debris even to this day. Their upstream geomorphology and catchment ecology is completely obliterated compared to what it was when the projects were designed and approved. They would require detailed fresh investigations, new DPRs and fresh clearances if they were to be considered for reconstruction.” https://science.thewire.in/environment/unjustified-experts-write-to-pm-modi-against-hydro-projects-in-ganga-himalaya/  (10 Sept. 2021)

Awash in Apathy Akash Sharma This provides detailed chronology of the Uttarakhand hydropower related issues and concludes by asking: “would the apex court after eight long years of imposing a moratorium on clearing hydro-electric projects following the flash flood concur with the findings of the Union government and give a nod to the development?… on August 17, the centre, side lining the concerns of the recurring tragedy, submitted an affidavit before the apex court stating that the decision was based on a joint decision by three Union ministries—MoEF, Jal Shakti and Power—to give the heads up to the seven hydropower projects and that these projects, being in an advance stage of completion, would meet all necessary requisites during the environmental clearance.” https://www.indialegallive.com/cover-story-articles/il-feature-news/hydro-electric-projects-uttarakhand-kedarnath-flood-chorabari-lake/  (10 Sept. 2021)

टिहरी बांध में क्षमता की एक तिहाई ही बन रही है बिजली टिहरी जल विद्युत परियोजना में कुल क्षमता का करीब एक तिहाई बिजली का उत्पादन हो रहा है। सुबह और शाम पिकिंग ऑवर में नार्दन ग्रिड से मांग आने पर ही इस प्रोजेक्ट की टरबाइनें घूमती हैं। इस अवधि में रोजाना औसतन आठ से नौ मिलियन यूनिट बिजली पैदा की जाती है। सामान्य परिस्थतियों में यहां बिजली का उत्पादन नहीं किया जाता है। वैसे इस प्रोजेक्ट की प्रतिदिन 25 मिलियन यूनिट तक बिजली उत्पादित करने की क्षमता है। https://www.jagran.com/uttarakhand/tehri-garhwal-only-one-third-of-capacity-is-being-power-generated-in-tehri-dam-jagran-special-21995305.html  (06 Sept. 2021)

Himachal Pradesh NHPC official granted bail in ₹5 lakh graft case A special CBI court on Sep 10, 2021 granted Rs 5 lakh bail to Harjeet Singh Puri, chief general manager (finance), National Hydroelectric Power Corp, in a graft case from July 2021. The case is related to Puri asking bribe to clear a bill of Rs 5.26 Cr of Gammon India. Puri and another officer were arrested. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/others/5-lakh-graft-case-nhpc-official-granted-bail-101631301601965.html   (11 Sept. 2021)

Assam Organisations plan stir against NHPC mega dam More than 20 organisations have announced a joint movement against a mega hydropower project being built by the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) on the Arunachal Pradesh-Assam border. “We have decided on a string of protests including blockade of the project site against the NHPC from September 20. So far, 22 organisations have expressed support,” Asom Jatiyabadi Yuba Chhatra Parishad (AJYCP) leader Palash Changmai said.

The AJYCP on Saturday (Sept. 11) organised a public meeting where geological and hydrological experts underlined the threat to areas downstream of the NHPC project. Leaders of the 22 organisations such as All Assam Students’ Union and All Assam Adivasi Students’ Association attended the meeting. According to the AJYCP, work on the project was resumed without consulting 965 villages across four districts downstream of the project, as had been agreed upon in 2014. These districts are Biswanath, Dhemaji, Lakhimpur and Majuli. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/assam-organisations-plan-stir-against-nhpc-mega-dam/article36412127.ece  (12 Sept. 2021)

Tripti Sharma, right, outside her home in Dungara village, Indian-administered Kashmir [Al Jazeera] “If the dam is constructed, we know we will not be compensated enough,” she added, asserting that no compensation would be sufficient for them. Besides, she said, “we can’t live forever on compensation”.
“Our new generations can also live here, eat and earn. We are worried about what will happen to us and our children once we are relocated.”

Jammu & Kashmir Ujh project: Villages facing submergence This also covers the environmental threats and social impact of the Ujh project. The government says at least 52 villages, a total of 3,700 families, will likely lose homesteads to make way for Ujh multipurpose project. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/9/9/kashmir-india-new-himalayan-dam-ujh-environment  (09 Sept. 2021)

Rajasthan Hydropower Purchase Obligation to be Added to RPO Targets Rajasthan Electricity Regulatory Commission (RERC) has issued a draft paper to amend the RERC (Renewable Energy Obligation) Regulations, 2007, to include the hydropower purchase obligation (HPO) until the financial year (FY) 2023-24. The Commission has proposed to factor hydropower purchase obligation exclusively under the non-solar renewable purchase obligation (RPO). The last date to submit comments and suggestions before the Commission is September 23, 2021.

– The hydropower purchase obligation would be met from power procured from eligible large hydropower projects, including pump storage projects with a capacity greater than 25 MW commissioned from 70% of the total generating capacity for 12 years. The date of commissioning must be on and after March 8, 2019, until March 31, 2030.

– In May this year, the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) had invited comments, suggestions, and objections to the staff paper to revise the RPO regulations to factor in hydropower purchase obligation. Early this year, the Ministry of Power issued a notification specifying RPO targets, including large hydropower projects commissioned after March 08, 2019. https://mercomindia.com/hydropower-purchase-obligation-added-rajasthans-rpo-targets/  (06 Sept. 2021)

DAMS

Sardar Sarovar Project Shut since July, Dam powerhouse ran on Aug 26 Interesting information here about the operation of RBPH of SSP on Aug 26 and earlier on July 1-2 and various justifications and non-justifications put forward including the celebration of PM’s birthday on Sept 17 and water release for the cruise operation and Aarti. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/ahmedabad/gujarat-shut-since-july-narmada-dam-powerhouse-ran-on-aug-26-7493246/  (07 Sept. 2021)

The SSNNL, which had closed the RBPH of the dam in July due to the non-availability of water, is now focused on raising the level of water in the reservoir. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/ahmedabad/sardar-sarovar-dam-canal-head-power-house-operations-reduced-to-preserve-water-7503443/  (12 Sept. 2021)

Bihar Minister’s claim of intra linking of rivers as solution to floods questionable Water resources department minister Sanjay Kumar Jha said on Sep 10 2021 that the restructuring of Farakka barrage across the Ganga alone will help in solving the flood problem in the Gangetic basin of Bihar. Jha said the Jalshakti ministry at the Centre has constituted a committee to look into the problem and also suggest recommendations. The central committee also has representatives of the Bihar government.

“We have explained our situation. We hope that the committee will take decision in the light of our position on Farakka barrage,” he said.

– “The volume of water flowing through the barrage is less than what it should be. The flow of water is restricted,” he said. According to Jha, if the restructuring of the barrage is not done, the flood problem will become “more dangerous, as it has already become dangerous” for the state and the Gangetic basin.

– QUESTIONABLE: Jha said the linking of rivers flowing through north and south Bihar – called intra-linking of rivers in the state — could be an alternative solution to the flood problem on which the state government has been working. One pilot project each in south and north Bihar has been taken up – Sakri-Nata intra-linking project in south Bihar and the intra-linking of Bagmati, Burhi Gandak and Baya-Noon in north Bihar. “The project assessment work has begun” Jha said. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/patna/restructuring-of-farakka-barrage-must-to-solve-ganga-flood-problem-bihar-minister/articleshow/86100459.cms   (11 Sept. 2021)

Almatti Dam Maharashtra seeks details from Karnataka amid fears of damages After the Karnataka government announced that the height of Almatti dam on Krishna river will be raised, the Maharashtra government has communicated with the southern state to obtain more details on the decision. The Maharashtra government has apprehensions that the rise in the water level in the dam could cause losses to lives and properties in a few villages in Sangli and Kolhapur that get affected by the backwater in Krishna and Panchganga rivers.

Karnataka chief minister Basavaraj Bommai had recently said that he was committed to raising the height of the dam by 5ft, and a notification over it will soon be issued. He said that he will soon visit Delhi for the necessary legal formalities and that he has held talks with leaders in the stakeholder states. This triggered reaction in the other stakeholder states – Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/mumbai-news/almatti-dam-height-rise-maharashtra-seeks-details-from-karnataka-amid-fears-of-damages-101630437834686.html  (01 Sept. 2021)

Madhya Pradesh Three teenage boys drowned in the water of a fountain located near Halali dam in Vidisha on Sept. 11. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhopal/madhya-pradesh-three-teens-drown-in-fountain-water/articleshow/86125941.cms  (12 Sept. 2021)

INTERLINKING OF RIVERS

Ken-Betwa Link How can PM inaugurate the unapproved project This fails to explain how will the PM lay foundation stone for a project that does not have final Forest Clearance (and unlikely considering the conditions of stage I FC), whose Wildlife clearance is challenged by Supreme Court’s Central Empowered Committee, whose Environment clearance is under challenge before the NGT and whose hydrology is in serious doubt. https://www.news18.com/news/india/crucial-for-mp-and-up-ken-betwa-river-link-project-to-be-inaugurated-in-november-4180448.html  (08 Sept. 2021)

RIVERS AS NATIONAL WATER WAYS

Assam Several feared drowned as 2 boats collide At least one person died and 33 others went missing after a boat carrying over 120 passengers collided with a ferry steamer and sank in the Brahmaputra river near Nimati Ghat in Jorhat district of Assam on Wednesday (Sept. 8), officials said. According to GD Tripathy, CEO of Assam State Disaster Management Authority, about 30 persons have managed to swim to the bank. Search and rescue operations are on for other missing persons for last one half hours.

The drowned boat was travelling from Jorhat’s Neematighat to Majuli river island, when it collided with another headed in the opposite direction. The accident occurred at about 4.30pm, officials said. As per the initial reports, one body has been recovered so far. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/guwahati/assam-several-feared-drowned-as-two-boats-collide-in-brahmaputra-river/articleshow/86036946.cms   (09 Sept. 2021)

The BJP played a convincing game around that public demand for the bridge in Majuli prior to the 2016 polls. Days before Modi was to land in Majuli, then Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari laid the foundation stone of the bridge, thus firming up the public perception of Modi as a deliverer of promises. https://thewire.in/politics/assams-jorhat-majuli-bridge-accident-pm-modi-bjp  (09 Sept. 201)

Avli Verma of Manthan Adhyayan Kendra on Boat Tragedy near Majuli: Traffic proposed to be increased on Brahmaputra Waterway but is it implementable? with safety? https://avliverma.wordpress.com/2021/09/11/boat-tragedy-near-majuli-traffic-proposed-to-be-increased-on-brahmaputra-waterway-but-is-it-implementable-with-safety/  (11 Sept. 2021)

IRRIGATION

Punjab Hundreds of acres submerged under water in Ajnala The reconstruction of a canal minor without taking into consideration the natural topography of the area for the flow of rainwater has resulted into trouble for farmers, as the walls of irrigation channel has created a barrier for rainwater and their crops have submerged in water.

Farmers in Ajnala area protest as the walls of irrigation channel have created a barrier for rainwater causing crops to submerge in water. The Tribune

Jamhoori Kisan Sabha leader Satnam Singh Chak said: “The farmers have been sitting on protest on this issue for the last 36 days. If the department had taken timely action and built under-passes, farmers would not have suffered the losses which the stagnant water has caused to their crops.” He said senior administration officials should look into the matter and come to the help of farmers. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/amritsar/hundreds-of-acres-submerged-under-water-in-ajnala-310432  (13 Sept. 2021)

URBAN RIVERS

PRC Webinar on Riverfront Development Projects and Implications of NGT orders for people’s movements on September 12 at 11 am (IST). Registration Link https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcsdeGtrTIjGdK971zokKuZZ3a1JPTzJyFo; https://prcindia.in/events/ngt-riverfront-webinar/  (09 Sept. 2021)

Pune MPCB sends eighth show cause notice to PMC, PCMC The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) sent a show cause notice to the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) seeking a report on compliance with the steps taken by it to curb pollution in the rivers under its jurisdiction. Sanjay Jagtap, regional officer of the MPCB, in its report said, “Given the poor quality of water, we have issued notices to PMC and PCMC this week regarding failure on their part in using the mandated 25% budgetary allocation to curb river pollution. Earlier too, we had filed a case against both civic bodies and had issued guidelines regarding the same.”

This is the eighth notice issued to the PMC in the past four years and the second one this year. Previously, green tribunals have slapped a fine of Rs8 crore on the civic body for polluting rivers. Notwithstanding the NGT’s explicit warning, the PMC has continued to operate the garbage processing plant at Sinhagad road and is still engaged in large-scale dumping of garbage on the Mutha riverbed. After locals and environmental activists complained, MPCB officials even visited the spot and sought an explanation from PMC officials in May this year. The MPCB has also been issuing notices to the PMC for dumping debris and releasing sewage into the rivers under its jurisdiction. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/pune-news/pune-river-pollution-mpcb-sends-eighth-show-cause-notice-to-pmc-pcmc-101630511640803.html  (02 Sept. 2021)

Cooum; Chennai Restoration likely to be completed soon Most of the sewage outfalls along the Cooum river are expected to be plugged shortly. A few patches of greenery will be developed along the river this year. More waterfront development is likely to be taken up later. Pollution in the Cooum river is expected to reduce after the development of STPs along the river. Dumping of construction debris continues in areas such as College Road. Civic officials said a fine of ₹5,000 would be levied for dumping waste in waterbodies. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/cooums-restoration-likely-to-be-completed-soon/article36312625.ece  (06 Sept. 2021)

RIVERS

Arunachal Pradesh NHIDCL accused of gross negligence and violation in Dibang Valley The National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) has been accused of gross negligence and violation of environment laws, causing excessive damage to forests, wildlife and rivers, as well as compromising the environment and life of people of Dibang Valley (DV) district.

“All the C&D waste, including earth cutting, is being dumped straight downhill, which has destroyed millions of trees, bamboo, cane and other vegetation, and into the river down below. This irrational act on the part of the NHIDCL has not only destroyed huge forest land but has also restrained the flow of river water, also causing it to change its course. In addition, the chemicals discharged from the C&D waste has been polluting the water and is posing threat to the river species, leaving many dead. Overall, the NHIDCL has been playing deaf and has been putting under threat the environment, the ecology, wildlife and human life of DV,” said Mipi.

The environmental activist has also alleged that despite making complaints regarding the issue with the DC, DFO, police of Dibang Valley, and the PCCF, there has not been any action taken to rectify the mistake, and this has only encouraged the NHIDCL to willfully ignore the environmental hazard it is causing at such a large scale.

“There are other highway projects in Dibang Valley, and the same thing is happening. Wild life sanctuaries are being destroyed without obtaining forest clearance. All this is done at the whim and fancy of the requiring agency, thereby destroying flora and fauna of the area, and robbing innocent poor villagers of their ancestral property,” he said. https://arunachaltimes.in/index.php/2021/09/09/nhidcl-accused-of-gross-negligence-and-violation-of-environment-laws-in-dibang-valley/  (09 Sept. 2021)

Odisha Concern over threat to Bhitarkanika mangroves Irrigation canal network of the Rengali mega water project in Angul district is expected to lead to withdrawal of huge quantities of fresh water from Brahmani River thereby affecting supply of freshwater to Bhitarkanika wetland. Experts demand a plan to maintain the fresh water flow. https://en.gaonconnection.com/odisha-bhitarkanika-mangroves-fresh-water-environment-fishers-farmers-livelihood-biodiversity-rengali-irrigation-canal-hydro-electricity/  (07 Sept. 2021)

Since the last two years, the people of Rajkanika are up in arms against the ₹892 crore mega drinking water project that would supply water from Kharasrota river in the area to 91 grampanchayats of Bhadrak district where groundwater has suffered saline ingress due to proximity to the Bay of Bengal. The people of Rajkanika fear that the drinking water project would not only result in the drying up of the riverbed, but deprive them of irrigation water to their farmlands and lead to acute drinking water crisis in the area. On October 16, more than 2,000 locals had formed a two kilometre-long human chain at Rajkanika to protest against the proposed project. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/others/sec-144-imposed-in-odisha-s-kendrapara-amid-opposition-to-water-project-101628653529522.html  (11 Aug. 2021)

Jharkhand- W Bengal Central Committee on Damodar river Damodar river is the lifeline of millions of people in Jharkhand and West Bengal. However, it is getting contaminated due to industrial discharge and urban sewage. The accumulation of silt in the DVC reservoirs is happening so fast that the dams will not be able to stop the severe floods after a decade, said a committee constituted by the centre. https://india.mongabay.com/2021/09/the-sorrow-of-damodar-river-continues-for-millions-of-people/  (09 Sept. 2021)

Madhya Pradesh छिंदवाड़ा: गोटमार मेले में पत्थर मारने की रस्म करीब 300 साल पुरानी इस कहानी के बाद से ही गोटमार मेले का आयोजन हो रहा है. अब गोटमार मेले में जाम नदी के दोनों किनारों पर सावरगांव और पांढुर्ना गांव के लोग जमा होते हैं. नदी के बीच में एक पेड़ है उस पर झंडा लगाना होता है. दोनों पक्ष एक दूसरे पर पथराव करते हुए पेड़ की तरफ दौड़ लगाते हैं और जो पक्ष पहले झंडा फहरा लेता है उसे विजेता माना जाता है. https://www.aajtak.in/india/madhya-pradesh/story/madhya-pradesh-chhindwara-gotmar-mela-over-400-people-injured-ntc-1323549-2021-09-08  (08 Sept. 2021)

CAUVERY Karnataka HC dismisses plea challenging Cauvery Calling project On (Sept. 7) Tuesday, a division bench of Acting Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum noted the need for afforestation and appreciated the Isha Outreach Foundation’s efforts towards the cause.

“Planting trees on a barren land is not a crime,” the court observed. “In case, such a view is taken that planting trees on government land is prohibited, it will create havoc and a large number of plantations which are going on government land by NGO [non-government organisations] without any motive will come to a standstill.”

The High Court also noted that the Karnataka government had stated that Cauvery Calling was not its project and that Vasudev’s organisation was not planting saplings on government land. “Hence the question of interference by this court in a ‘noble project’ like Cauvery Calling does not arise,” the court said. https://scroll.in/latest/1004788/karnataka-hc-dismisses-plea-challenging-cauvery-calling-project-by-jaggi-vasudevs-isha-foundation   (07 Sept. 2021)

Other issues that cropped up during the course of the hearing was about what kind of trees are appropriate for planting, and a Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) report indicting the organisation of encroaching forest land. https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/not-crime-hc-dismisses-plea-against-isha-foundations-cauvery-calling-154984  (07 Sept. 2021) The judgement can be seen here. https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/karnataka-high-court-dismisses-pil-against-cauvery-calling-project-181055  (07 Sept. 2021)

GANGA Uttarakhand 18 tourists drown at Rishikesh in 8 months Data from police show 18 people were reported drowned in the river between Lakshman Jhula and Muni-ki-Reti in eight months this year. Muni-ki-Reti was the most vulnerable area, alone accounting for 13 deaths.

Locals said enough warning signs have not been put up along the river despite the number of accidents — not even when the river is in spate. “The administration should do something to keep tourists from stepping into the river, especially in unmanned areas. In vulnerable areas, public address systems with regular warnings would help,” said Sarvesh Arora from Rishikesh. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/18-tourists-drown-in-ganga-at-rishikesh-in-eight-months/articleshow/86028045.cms  (08 Sept. 2021)

NMCG No trace of coronavirus in Ganga waters No trace of coronavirus was found in the Ganga after bodies of Covid-19 victims were recovered from Buxar, Katihar and some districts in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, as per the recent study conducted by the National Mission for Clean Ganga in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (IITR), Lucknow, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Bihar State Pollution Control Board (SPCB). https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/patna/no-trace-of-coronavirus-in-ganga-waters-finds-study/articleshow/86076477.cms  (10 Sept. 2021)

2/3 of allotted funds released The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), that was conceived as a ₹20,000 crore programme in 2014 to clean up the river has so far been allocated ₹15,074 crore. Of this only ₹10,972 crore, or about two-thirds, has been released by the Finance Ministry to the NMCG, according to a response to a question in the Rajya Sabha on Monday (July 26). The NMCG further allocates the money to the riverine States. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/two-third-of-allotted-funds-for-ganga-clean-up-released/article35546763.ece  (26 July 2021)

Uttar Pradesh NGT slaps penalty of Rs 20 cr on 4 units of Dhampur Sugar Mills The NGT imposed environmental compensation of Rs 5 crore each on Dhampur Sugar Mills, District Sambhal; Dhampur Sugar Mills, District Bijnor; Dhampur Distillery Unit, District Bijnor and Dhampur Sugar Mills, Meerganj, District Bareilly, and directed them to pay the amount in 30 days from September 1, 2021.

The tribunal also constituted a committee comprising members from CPCB (to be nominated by the Chairman), one from UPPCB and the District Magistrates concerned to conduct a detailed study regarding extent of damage caused to the environment. The committee will also interact with the farmers and local inhabitants who may have suffered loss/ damage because of pollution caused by the units, it said.

“We also impose a litigation cost of Rs 10 lakh which shall be paid by respondents no 1 to 3 (Dhampur Sugar Mills Ltd) to CPCB within a period of one month and the said amount will be utilised for the protection and preservation of environment,” the NGT said in its recent order. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/india/ngt-slaps-penalty-of-rs-20-cr-on-dhampur-sugar-mills-for-violation-of-environmental-laws/articleshow/85975874.cms  (06 Sept. 2021)

Chief secy summoned over water pollution NGT has summoned the UP chief secretary and other senior government officials to a December 6 hearing on the alleged little progress made in stopping the industrial pollution of three rivers and a lake in Gorakhpur district in the last seven years. The Bench passed the order after hearing a 2014 petition seeking “remedial action against contamination of water bodies and groundwater, specially Ramgarh Lake, Ami, Rapti and Rohani rivers in and around District Gorakhpur”.

The NGT demanded criminal proceedings against “erring officials” if “there is no change in their attitude”. The tribunal said, “With utter disappointment with the attitude of the concerned officers of the State of UP, we direct the Chief Secretary to now take meaningful and stringent action for compliance of law and hold the erring officers accountable.” https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/lucknow/up-chief-secy-summoned-over-water-pollution-7497679/  (09 Sept. 2021)

Bridge leads to nowhere The new bridge over the Ganga near Balawali in Bijnor came up in 2019 to connect them to three states — Uttarakhand, Haryana and Punjab. Two years on, the bridge remains unused. No one can get there because there is no approach road leading up to it. First, because of a land dispute and then because money ran out.

The project was sanctioned in 2015 and launched a year after that with a budget of Rs 40 crore. By 2019, it was fully constructed. But then, an administrative confusion held up the last leg of the project — a 200m approach road towards the Haridwar side of the bridge which was “mistakenly” identified as government land while it was a farmer’s land. The owner opposed construction on what was his land. When that dispute was resolved, officials said the budget had run out.

“the budget has gone up from Rs 40 crore to Rs 55 crore because of erosion by the Ganga. The revised proposal has been sent to the state government. Once that is released, the approach road will be completed.” With this, the deadline for the project, which was May 2018 and later moved to 2020, has been pushed back further. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/meerut/remote-up-village-got-bridge-2-yrs-ago-that-led-to-nowhere/articleshow/85986395.cms  (07 Sept. 2021)

YAMUNA Delhi Cleaning river: A story of missed deadlines The draft NCR Regional Plan-2041 prepared by the National Capital Region Planning Board (NCRPB) has fixed 2026 as the new deadline to ensure ‘zero discharge of untreated sewage and industrial discharge into the Yamuna’. After the first Yamuna Action Plan (YAP) in 1992 and second plans, YAP-III is presently under way, but the Yamuna is not even fit for bathing in the Delhi stretch, except for Palla — the point where the river enters Delhi — according to city government data.

Officials say the Yamuna can be cleaned, but experts say it cannot be done with “business as usual” attitude. “We can clean the Yamuna and I will say that with a very big ‘but’. The way things are right now, it is not going to happen, but it can be done if the government really wants to do it,” said Manoj Misra, convener of the Yamuna Jiye Abhiyaan.

As per the final draft report of the NIH, a flow of 23 cusecs is needed in the lean season, but increasing the flow is not that easy due to existing interstate water treaties. “Ministry of Jal Shakti has observed that the water-sharing agreement of 1994 between Uttarakhand, H.P., U.P., Haryana, Rajasthan and Delhi is due for revision in 2025 unless any of the States so demand, implying that no revision of water sharing will be possible to achieve the environmental flow in the Yamuna,” the July report reads.

City generates 720 MGD of sewage, the STPs have a capacity of 597.26 MGD. Of the total capacity, 514.2 MGD is utilised (86%), leaving about 123 MGD of untreated sewage into the river, according to the DJB. The DJB had told the NGT’s monitoring panel that it will increase the utilisation of the existing STPs to 99% by June 2019, but more than two years after the deadline, it stands at 86%. Similarly, the Interceptor Sewer Project (ISP), which has been in the plans since 2006, has been delayed multiple times.. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/cleaning-the-yamuna-a-story-of-missed-deadlines/article36422298.ece  (13 Sept. 2021)

RWAs seek timeline for cleaning river The resident welfare associations demanded a definite timeline for cleaning of the Yamuna, effective measures to check unauthorised constructions and preservation of South Delhi Aravalli ridge during a webinar conducted by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to seek people’s suggestions on the Master Plan-2041.

195 participants attended the webinar on Thursday (July 1) during which suggestions and objections were invited on environment, economy, culture, heritage and public spaces. A senior DDA official said that the draft master plan would be notified by the year-end and work on implementation would start from next year. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/delhi-master-plan-rwas-cleaning-yamuna-check-on-unauthorised-construction-7385452/  (02 July 2021)

RIVERS BIODIVERSITY

Report Protecting the Sacred Fish of the Cauvery by Suradha I While local efforts to protect and save fish populations are to be encouraged, temples tend to pose a particularly tricky problem because fish are revered and safe on one hand, and at risk of disease and death, on the other. Such sites can be used to protect fish populations most at risk of extinction if the populations are maintained following scientific methods. There are some challenges with scientific conservation of the mahseer as well; the IUCN and national agencies such as the MoEFCC don’t fully align in their guidelines for breeding and translocation of these fish in restocking efforts. Since the pandemic in 2020, the temple has closed off river access to visitors, and it would be interesting to see how the populations have adapted to the loss of their easy sources of food. Time, data, and science will tell. https://sustain.round.glass/species/mahseer/ 

Arunachal Pradesh New cascade frog species discovered Details of the discovery, made in 2018 in the Siang River basin in Adi Hills (earlier known as Abor Hills) area of the state during an expedition, have been published in the latest edition of Journal of Natural History, London.

Image source: HT

The new species has been named Adi Cascade Frog (Amolops adicola) after people from the Adi tribe who inhabit the region. The literal meaning of Adi in the local language is ‘hill’ or ‘mountain top’. “Cascade frogs are named because of their preference for small waterfalls or cascades in hill streams. The new species was identified based on external morphology, DNA and calling pattern,” said Prof SD Biju of DU, who was associated with the discovery. https://www.hindustantimes.com/environment/new-cascade-frog-species-discovered-in-arunachal-named-after-adi-hills-tribe-101629360584586.html  (19 Aug. 2021)

Kerala  New plant species discovered Three research scholars, one from the United States, have discovered a new plant Ponmudi hills which is part of the Western Ghats, one of the eight global hot spots of biological diversity. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/new-plant-species-discovered-in-western-ghats-101629053181215.html  (16 Aug. 2021)

Goa Researchers discover new species of gecko Interestingly, one of the specimens was found and collected from within the Goa University campus, making it the first species to be discovered (figuratively speaking) right under the noses of the researchers at the Goa University. https://www.hindustantimes.com/environment/researchers-discover-new-species-of-gecko-within-goa-university-campus-101630551130073.html  (02 Sept. 2021)

WWF Social cost of plastic produced in 2019 more than GDP The pollution, emissions and clean-up costs of plastic produced in 2019 alone could be $3.7 trillion, according to a report released on Monday (Sept. 6) by wildlife charity WWF, warning of the environmental and economic burden of this “seemingly cheap” material. There is increasing international alarm over the sheer volumes of fossil-fuel based plastics entering the environment, as microplastics have infiltrated even the most remote and otherwise pristine regions of the planet. https://lifestyle.livemint.com/smart-living/environment/social-cost-of-plastic-produced-in-2019-more-than-india-s-gdp-111630903224292.html  (06 Sept. 2021)

FISH, FISHERIES, FISHERFOLKS

Study Nearly 30% reduction in fish species in Ganga in 4 yrs In a worrying trend, there has been a reduction of nearly 30 per cent in the total fish species in the Ganga river between 2016-2020, owing to changes in the hydrological structure due to dam construction, land modification, pollution, industrial effluents and illegal fishing activities, according to a central government assessment. The Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute (CIFRI), Kolkata, under the Ministry of Agriculture carried out quarterly field sampling from April 2016 to March 2020 to understand the distribution and current status of fish species on the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List along the entire stretch of the Ganga. The assessment shows that the status of fish being threatened is a major concern nationwide, particularly in the Ganga. From the present study, a total of 104 freshwater fish species were recorded in the river. https://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2021/sep/08/nearly-30-per-cent-reduction-in-fish-species-in-ganga-in-four-years-says-study-by-centre-2356097.html  (08 Sept. 2021)

Arunachal Pradesh Fisheries dept to establish hatcheries for cold water fisheries soon: Taki Minister for Agriculture, Horticulture, AH& Vety., DD & Fisheries Tage Taki informed that the fisheries department is planning to establish hatcheries for cold water fisheries in Mechuka, Ziro, Anini, Tawang and Bomdila which will help in job creation and development of the region. He said this during his visit to the NABARD regional office here on Wednesday (Sept. 8). https://arunachaltimes.in/index.php/2021/09/09/fisheries-dept-to-establish-hatcheries-for-cold-water-fisheries-soon-taki/  (09 Sept. 2021)

Telangana-Andhra Pradesh States at odds over fishing in 2 rivers Telangana fishermen are miffed that their counterparts from Andhra Pradesh enter into frequent brawls with them and ruin their business. A couple of weeks ago, around 15 Telangana fishermen were allegedly attacked by a few Andhra fishermen at Pulichintala project. This is among a series of attacks that have taken place since the bifurcation of the two states in 2014.

Following the latest brawl, the Telangana government decided not to allow Andhra fishermen to enter into Telangana waters in the Krishna basin to catch fish. The Telangana government is also miffed that Andhra Pradesh does not release fishlings in its reservoirs. Another bone of contention of Telangana is the issue of licence to fishermen. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/telangana-andhra-now-at-odds-over-fishing-in-2-rivers-101629487987989.html  (21 Aug. 2021)

Kolkata Lake regulars raise alarm after dead fish in water Dead fish found floating on Rabindra Sarobar lake on Saturday (Sept. 11) morning left morning walkers worried about the condition of the water. Many fear this might have been caused by construction debris that were hurled into the water by clubs along the fringes of the Lake, some of which have recently extended their premises. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/lake-regulars-raise-alarm-after-dead-fish-in-water/articleshow/86126340.cms  (12 Sept. 2021)

SAND MINING

Editorial Save our rivers from sand mafia Historically, illegal and unscientific sand mining have taken a toll on rivers and the ecosystem around them. Sand mafias have continued to thrive under political patronage. They work under the cover of darkness and leave a trail of destruction. Excessive sand mining has altered river beds and even forced the water bodies to change their course. River banks have faced erosion, with flooding becoming a new normal. Some rivers have even died a natural death. https://www.newindianexpress.com/opinions/editorials/2021/sep/11/save-our-rivers-from-sand-mafia-2357146.html  (11 Sept. 2021)

Rajasthan Dainik Bhaskar series on how excessive, illegal sand mining deforms & adversely damages Kasavati river bed near Neem-Ka-Thana, Seekar.

Tamil Nadu Cooum sand mined illegally Sand from the Cooum river mouth near Napier bridge in Chennai has been illegally mined for over a year now, right under the noses of the PWD and police. Local sources said the illegal mining has been going on for over a year. Officials from the PWD, the custodian of the river, said they were unaware of the illegal mining. They confirmed that no permission has been granted to any Government or private agency to take sand from the Cooum river mouth. Officials said the only way to take sand from here was through the issue of a Government Order (GO).

Apart from poor quality buildings, the illegal mining is also disastrous to the coastal ecosystem, experts said. “Sand near the river mouth may sometimes be polluted and so, they may also take sand from sand dunes which is easier to pick up near the river mouth. Sand dunes are extremely important to protect the land from the sea; damaging the dunes will allow sea water to come in easily,” said S Janakarajan, president, South Asia Consortium for Interdisciplinary Water Resources Studies. “The Cooum is one of the most important urban rivers. Bodies like the Chennai Rivers Restoration Trust only undertake cosmetic interventions and fail to protect these rivers,” he added. https://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/chennai/2021/sep/07/tnie-exclusive-cooum-sand-mined-illegallyin-the-heart-of-chennai-2355235.html  (07 Sept. 2021)

Odisha Sand policy to govern sustainable mining The government has notified the Odisha Sand Policy – 2021. With the new policy, the government claims it will identify and quantify all potential sand sources and devise mining plans accordingly to address the demand-supply gap as well as the adverse effects of sand mining. https://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/bhubaneswar/2021/sep/04/sand-policy-to-govern-sustainable-mining-in-odisha-2354147.html  (04 Sept. 2021)

Maharashtra 33 dredging fiber boats seized in Palghar In a crackdown on illegal dredging for sand around the Vaitarna river in Palghar district, the administration has seized 33 dredging fiber boats, police said on Friday (Sept. 10). Officials from police and revenue departments seized the boats in a joint operation on Wednesday (Sept. 8) and later destroyed them, Palghar Police PRO said in a statement. However, persons operating these boats managed to escape from the spot, he said.

He said offences were registered at police stations at Palghar and Vasai against unnamed persons engaged in illegal dredging around the river. Dredging has been banned in the vicinity of the river by the district administration as it poses threat to a nearby rail bridge and adversely impacts the environment. Sub-Divisional Officer Palghar Dhanaji Toraskar said one dredging fiber boat costs Rs 4 lakh to Rs 5 lakh. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/maharashtra-33-dredging-fiber-boats-seized-in-palghar/articleshow/86093346.cms  (10 Sept. 2021)

10 boats used in illegal sand mining destroyed Pune Rural Police and Pune district administration seized and destroyed 10 boats used for illegal sand mining from Ghod river, a tributary of Bhima river. Daund, Shirur and Indapur talukas of Pune district have numerous illegal sand mining rackets in operation, especially in the Bhima basin riverbeds, according to police. These riverbeds are known for good quality sand, which is always in very high demand in construction — both in non-government construction projects and government-initiated infrastructure projects.

The action was taken at a location near Shindodi village. Investigations have revealed that illegal sand excavation rackets have multiple criminal activities associated with them from excavation of sand from river beds using boats to illegal transport in trucks and their sale. There are criminal elements involved in each activity and many are known to carry illegal firearms, according to police. Many of the areas where sand mining is being done are forest areas and rampant sand excavation of sand has adversely affected the ecosystem. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/sand-mafia-pune-rural-police-destroys-10-boats-7489866/  (05 Sept. 2021)

WETLANDS, LAKES, WATER BODIES

Maharashtra Act against use of firecrackers around Panje wetlands In a letter to CM Uddhav Thackeray and Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray, NGO Vanashakti has raised the issue of firecrackers being used to scare away birds from Panje wetlands in Uran taluka, and demanded that the violators be arrested.

Activists have also alleged large-scale landfilling over mangroves on the western side of Panje and raised complaints with the state mangrove cell against the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) for blocking the flow of seawater to intertidal forests. The National Green Tribunal in April this year instructed CIDCO to ensure that all tidal water inlets to its 289-hectare property in Uran in Raigad district be opened immediately to ensure flow of seawater to the Panje wetland and its mangrove forests. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/ngo-act-against-use-of-firecrackers-to-scare-away-birds-from-panje-wetlands-7497503/  (09 Sept. 2021)

Final notice on ESZ around TCFS recommended After several months of being in the offing, the Centre has recommended final notification for the delineated eco-sensitive zones (ESZ) around the Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary (TCFS). The decision was taken during the Union environment ministry’s ESZ Expert Committee meeting on August 17, minutes of which were published on September 8. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/mumbai-news/centre-recommends-final-notice-on-esz-around-thane-creek-flamingo-sanctuary-101631205655111.html  (09 Sept. 2021)

‘Despite complaints destructed mangroves await restoration’ Since its inception in 2018, the Bombay high court (HC)-appointed Mangrove Protection and Conservation Committee (MPCC) has received an estimated 142 complaints regarding the destruction of mangroves in the state’s coastal districts. Of these, about 88 complaints have been ‘resolved’, with a few have been transferred to the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) for their consideration. Another 54 odd complaints are pending resolution, according to committee members. However, committee members (including officials in the forest department’s mangrove cell) confirmed to Hindustan Times that not a single complaint has so far resulted in the restoration of damaged mangroves, which is part of the mandate given to the committee by the HC in its final judgement from September 2018. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/mumbai-news/mumbaidespite-complaints-destructed-mangroves-await-restoration-say-experts-101629827884225.html  (24 Aug. 2021)

Teen wins global recognition Ayaan Shankta won the third place in the 8-14 age category for his project Conservation and Rehabilitation of Powai Lake, according to a media release issued on Wednesday (Sept. 8). https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/india/mumbai-teen-ayaan-shankta-wins-global-recognition-for-environment-related-project-7447181.html  (09 Sept. 2021)

Andhra Pradesh NGT directs Collector to inspect Beela wetlands Earlier, the government handed over these lands to Nagarjuna Constructions Company (NCC) for establishing a Thermal Power Plant, but the government cancelled it as locals protested. Again, NCC management tried to establish industrial park by managing some leaders even this attempt was failed. Now, NCC management is making efforts to start aquaculture on these lands.

In this regard, Paryavarana Parirakshana Samithi, local fishermen and former secretary to the Government of India (energy department), EAS Sharma filed a case before the NGT. After verifying details NGT directed district collector to inspect the lands.

The MEFCC and SACON conducted technical assessment on these lands and submitted a report in 2012 and also in 2016 and mentioned that these lands are important to protect ecological balance, environment and biodiversity. He said that previous revenue records also classified these lands at Beela as wetlands. The collector said that they will submit their report to the government soon. https://www.thehansindia.com/andhra-pradesh/ngt-directs-collector-to-inspect-beela-wetlands-705677  (09 Sept. 2021)

Delhi 245 wetlands in Delhi don’t pass water test: DPCC Over 245 wetlands in Delhi are not meeting the parameters for dissolved oxygen and ammonia, according to a report by Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC). The water quality report has been shared with 16 water body agencies, which are preparing an action plan for improving the health of wetlands. The DPCC report is based on the water samples collected from wetlands last year for a baseline survey and a new survey will be done to compare the readings.

The Wetland Authority of Delhi has listed 1,040 wetlands and has allotted unique identification numbers to them. Of these, action plans for conservation of wetlands have been prepared for around 600 wetlands. TOI had earlier reported that Delhi currently does not have a single notified waterbody. An official said the wetland authority would send recommendations to the state government for notification of waterbodies by March 2022 and the final notification process is expected to be completed by June next year. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/245-wetlands-in-delhi-dont-pass-water-test-dpcc/articleshow/86150957.cms  (13 Sept. 2021)

WATER OPTIONS

Chennai College project ends tribals’ struggle for potable water After three generations of struggle, a tribal hamlet of 30 families in Chengalpattu district finally got access to the drinking water supply when a group of Madras Christian College students set up a water tank for them on Saturday (Sept. 11). https://www.newindianexpress.com/good-news/2021/sep/12/chennai-college-project-ends-tribalsstruggle-for-potable-water-2357546.html  (12 Sept. 2021)    

GROUNDWATER

Andhra Pradesh Groundwater in Krishna villages turns saltier Seawater intrusion continues to remain a major issue for areas situated within a 30 km radius of the coastline in the Krishna district. According to a recent study published in the International Journal of Engineering Research & Technology (IJERT), there has been a substantial increase in the salinity levels and hardness of the water in the groundwater samples collected from 23 villages.

“The increased use of groundwater and inadequate rainfall has caused the saltwater interface to coastal regions like Krishna delta,” the IJERT study reads. Another study conducted by Animal Equality between 2019 and 2020 highlights that the conversion of Krishna and Godavari delta lands into water bodies for aquafarming had accelerated salinisation despite the abundant flood from the Krishna River.

The report cites that an increase in aqua farming in Krishna and West Godavari in recent years has converted fertile lands into water bodies, resulting in increasing salination of the groundwater table. Government figures from the fisheries department indicate that there has been a three-fold increase in brackish water area from 2014 to 2017 from 20,000 to 56,094 hectares and if illegal cultivation is considered, this figure could increase up to one lakh hectares. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/vijayawada/groundwater-in-krishna-villages-turns-saltier/articleshow/86047333.cms  (09 Sept. 2021)

Telangana Vast reserves of groundwater, states report It may sound hard to believe, but Telangana has 530 tmcft of dynamic groundwater reserve, which is equivalent to the combined storage capacity of Nagarjuna Sagar and Srisailam projects. https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/telangana/2021/aug/27/water-water-everywhere-telanganahas-vast-reserves-of-groundwater-states-report-2350416.html  (27 Aug. 2021)

CGWB Uranium in drinking water: A growing concern A recent report by Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) reveals that uranium contamination of groundwater is on the rise with Punjab and Haryana being the most affected. https://countercurrents.org/2021/09/71030/  (09 Sept. 2021)

URBAN WATER

Vadodara SC seeks affidavit about construction on water body The apex court sought an affidavit “explaining project development to the extent that no water body is to be utilized for any other purpose including for rehabilitation of slum dwellers”. The state authorities have been asked to file an affidavit in four weeks. Since the HC had given the go-head to the construction project, by allowing the authorities to de-notify part of the land, the SC has sought an explanation on whether construction has taken place on the water body.

The issue was taken to the SC by an NGO, Paryavaran Mitra, after the Gujarat high court in July 2019 dismissed a PIL challenging the government’s decision to de-notify the water body in Tandalja in order to build houses on the land. By dismissing the PIL, the HC paved the way for a private developer to build houses for the poor on the water body, which was notified in 2005 as ‘talav/kharabo’ (lake/wasteland).

The petitioner has been maintaining that the process of de-notifying a water body is illegal. Construction on 90% of the area of the lake and retaining only 10% of the water body is against the directions issued by the high court in 2002. The petitioner has also been arguing that judicial discipline demands that the court not deviate from earlier directions, which have been binding on the government as well as on courts. The petitioner has also contended that there are 55 such water bodies in various towns across that state where the authorities have planned EWS housing schemes. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/sc-seeks-affidavit-about-construction-on-water-body/articleshow/86079586.cms  (10 Sept. 2021)

Bengaluru Real estate developers face few hurdles in getting EC This three-part series examines how the builders responded to the questions on biodiversity and environment in their project sites, and how the state authority that gives environment clearance scrutinised these. In the projects this writer looked into which had got environment clearance, when it came to protecting the site’s biodiversity, the wording on the relevant forms were more often similar. In many cases identical, even when the project locations were diverse in every respect. “Landscaping” seemed the most favoured solution to all aspects of biodiversity. https://bengaluru.citizenmatters.in/part-1-real-estate-developers-face-few-hurdles-environment-clearance-66098  (06 Sept. 2021)

Part 2:- Superficial studies and low transparency make Env Clearance process pointless. https://bengaluru.citizenmatters.in/environment-clearance-eia-real-estate-projects-studies-low-transparency-66104  (07 Sept. 2021)

Part 3:- Biodiversity loss from mega real estate projects: What is missing, what can be done? https://bengaluru.citizenmatters.in/biodiversity-loss-real-estate-projects-eia-study-methods-66115  (08 Sept. 2021)

The environmental clearance process for real estate projects shows little concern for biodiversity. https://india.mongabay.com/2021/09/environmentalists-concerned-over-easy-clearances-for-bengalurus-real-estate/  (08 Sept. 2021)

Jarakabande Kaval, lake disappears from the face of the earth Jarakabande Lake, once the refuge of animals in the eponymous reserve forest situated in northern Bengaluru, does not exist anymore. And the credit for this goes to the Revenue Department’s ingenious officials who split the six-acre lake land — valued at nearly Rs 100 crore — into four parts and doled it out to various individuals.

In the past three years, Forest Department officials made representations to several government agencies, including the Karnataka Tank Conservation and Development Authority (KTCDA) and the Revenue Department, to restore the lake land but to no avail.  https://www.deccanherald.com/city/top-bengaluru-stories/at-bengalurus-jarakabande-kaval-lake-disappears-from-the-face-of-the-earth-1029730.html  (13 Sept. 2021)

Contaminated borewell water leaves 400 sick Residents of Chikkalasandra, off Katriguppe, south Bengaluru, alleged that 400 of them took ill after drinking borewell water over the past 15 days. Hundred of them had to get treated for food poisoning and dehydration. They suspect groundwater contamination due to seepage of water from drains. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/contaminated-borewell-water-leaves-400-sick/articleshow/86150048.cms  (13 Sept. 2021)

Story of open wells The Cubbon Park metro station will play host to murals depicting the disappearing open wells and their historic role in water conservation in the city and the contribution of the Bhovi community. Art in Transit, a collaboration between the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) and Srishti Institute of Art and Design, is supporting ‘One Million Wells’ launched by Biome Environmental Trust. https://www.deccanherald.com/city/murals-at-cubbon-park-tell-the-story-of-bengaluru-s-open-wells-1027839.html  (07 Sept. 2021)

Chennai Palm along lakes to prevent encroachments In a few years, many palm trees will form the boundary of water bodies in Tiruvallur district. In its attempt to put an end to the recurring encroachments, the Water Resources Department has decided to sow palm seeds in the foreshore area and boundary of 75 tanks in the first phase.

Sources said the revenue records of the waterbodies should be provided to the Water Resources Department to demarcate the boundary. The remaining rest of the 600 tanks in the district would be covered in the next phase. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/palm-trees-to-be-raised-along-lakes-to-prevent-encroachments/article36393019.ece  (10 Sept. 2021)

A section of residents in Thalambur are getting to be on first-name terms with a waterbody in their locality. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/a-lake-and-a-community/article36404693.ece  (11 Sept. 2021)

Pune Phursungi water supply project on slow track A water project expected to cater to thousands of residents in Phursungi and Uruli Devachi is on a slow track. Local elected representatives have cited lack of funds and demanded that the administration make provisions for funds to complete the remaining work of laying distribution lines which could reduce the hardships of residents.

Local corporator Ganesh Dhore  said that the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) spends over Rs6crore annually to supply water through tankers to both the areas. The project was sanctioned when both the areas were outside the PMC limits. Hence, the PMC did not allot any funds for the project. “We raised the issue at the recent PMC general body meeting. The mayor has assured a separate meeting to discuss the issue,” Dhore added. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/phursungi-water-supply-project-on-slow-track-corporators-want-funds/articleshow/86151329.cms  (13 Sept. 2021)

Rubble excavated 3 years ago remains uncleared Rubble excavated three years ago during the construction of water tanks remains dumped on the Ferguson College Tekdi hill slope Survey 262. The construction was part of the civic body’s 24×7 water tank scheme. Experts said it was a notified forest area and the heaps of debris could be ecologically devastating.

Tekdi walker Sushma Date said Pune’s tekdis provide the largest natural rain catchment area in Maharashtra, and this particular hill complex houses a large part of the largest aquifer system, which recharges groundwater in the Deccan area. Citizens said they were not against the construction of the water tanks. “If tanks must be built here, then the onus is on the PMC to make sure minimal damage is caused to this fragile ecosystem,” a citizen said.

Aniruddha Pawaskar, the chief engineer of PMC’s water supply department, said, “Once the tank reconstruction work is complete, a major chunk of the rubble will be used for the backfilling exercise and rest will be disposed off.” “The land is owned by the PMC. Hence, we had started the construction of new water tanks here,” he said.

However, the civic body was unaware a separate permission for deforestation was required. The work was then stopped on orders by the forest department. Pawaskar said that a formal proposal was sent to the Centre in 2018 for diversion of 0.7031 hectare reserved forest land in Survey 262 of the tekdi in favour of the water supply department for reconstruction of extra capacity water reservoirs. “We have recently got stage 1, in principal approval for the same. These tanks with capacity 18.5 million litre, will be distributing 66 million litre volume of water,” he said. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/rubble-excavated-3-yrs-ago-remains-uncleared-on-hill/articleshow/86101495.cms  (11 Sept. 2021)

Dams nearly full The catchments of all the major dams that supply water to Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad have received good spells of rain in the last two days. The continuous rainfall in catchments of Varasgaon prompted the state irrigation department to release water at the rate of 4,440 cusecs on Friday morning. It was brought down to 2,665 cusecs in evening. It is for the first time in ongoing season the dam has released water at over 1,000 cusecs.

The state irrigation department did not release water from Khadakwasla on Friday (Sept. 10), however, officials said that water release will begin if catchments continue to receive heavy rains. “Stocks in all the three dams located upstream, Temghar, Panshet and Varasgaon, have reached near to full capacities. We are monitoring the water levels in the reservoirs. Besides, dams around Pune, all other major dams in the Bhima basin have received good rains in the last two days. The stock in five dams were at full capacities on Friday evening,” officials said. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/dams-nearly-full-after-2-days-of-heavy-rain-in-catchments/articleshow/86101481.cms  (11 Sept. 2021)

Pimpri-Chinchwad Daily water supply from November The move follows directions from the state government besides near completion of a water supply plan and the filling up of the Pavana dam. “We are planning to restore daily water supply to the city from November,” Municipal Commissioner Rajesh Patil told The Indian Express on Saturday (Sept. 11). “The work on a jackwell in Talwade is nearing completion. After that, we should be able to start daily supply from November,” he added.

In 2019, the civic administration had stopped daily supply to the area and replaced it with an alternate-day arrangement. Despite protests from citizens and political parties, the administration refused to restore the supply, arguing the system was implemented to ensure equitable distribution of water to all parts of the city.

PCMC executive engineer Pravin Ladkat said Pimpri-Chinchwad will get additional 100 MLD water from Andra dam from November. “We will be lifting the water from Indrayani River in Talwade. Work on a jackwell will be completed in the next two months. The water will be lifted from Talwade and taken to the purification plant in Chikhali from where it will be supplied to the entire town,” he said. Additionally, PCMC will also get 200 MLD water from Bhama Askhed dam by next year. “The pipeline-laying work from the dam will take more than a year to complete,” Ladkat said. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/maharashtra-after-two-years-pcmc-to-restore-daily-water-supply-in-city-from-november-7502904/  (12 Sept. 2021)

Mumbai Lake levels cross 92% The water level in the seven lakes supplying drinking water to the city has gone above 92%, according to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) data. This indicates that the city has ample amount of water till the next one year and is unlikely to have any water cuts. A final decision on water cuts is taken annually on October 1, following the withdrawal of monsoon.

The civic body supplies 3,850 million litres of water daily against the city’s demand for 4,200 million litres. In order to meet the shortfall, BMC has been exploring several ways to increase water supply to the city. Around two months ago, the civic body signed a MoU with an Israel-based firm for the city’s first desalination project at Manori in Malad. Under this project, BMC plans to turn seawater into drinking water, and the pilot project is expected to be ready by 2025. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/mumbai-news/mumbai-gets-entire-year-s-drinking-water-stock-as-lake-levels-cross-92-101631041435864.html  (08 Sept. 2021)

Mumbai’s dumping ground continues to be an eyesore https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/comment/a-mountain-of-trash-308947  (10 Sept. 2021)

Delhi Master Plan 2041: No Plan for Augmenting Water Supply & Security One would have expected the Delhi Master Plan for 2041 to suggest concrete strategies and measurable commitments to reduce the dependence on water supply from external sources and to bring up treated wastewater to drinking standards. Instead, the plan makes vague statements and nice-sounding but hollow commitments.

Delhi needs to prepare for imminent water emergencies and shortages. Failed monsoons or water supply being cut off from neighbouring states in times of climate disruption are real risks and Institutional preparedness for dealing with them is essential. https://thewire.in/government/delhi-master-plan-2041  (10 Sept. 2021)

Over 11K borewells sealed 11,235 illegal borewells of the identified 19661 illegal ones have been sealed by district authorities till August 31 with DPCC imposing an environmental damage compensation of Rs 70.65 crore on over 18000 violators, a report submitted by the DPCC to the NGT has revealed. The remaining 8,426 are yet to be sealed. Of the Rs 70.65 crore, only Rs 23.8 lakh has been recovered till August 31 with DPCC claiming that recovery has been slow due to the Covid pandemic.

– The highest were found in North-West district (8,299), followed by South-West district (6,681). North-West district, meanwhile, has acted against 5,814 illegal borewells but 2,485 are yet to be sealed. Similarly, out of the 6,681 illegal borewells in South-West district, only 1,410 have been sealed till August 31 while 5,271 are still left to be sealed. North-East is the only district where no illegal borewell has been identified. Four districts — East, Shahdara, New Delhi and South — which have identified 116, 552, 75 and 84 illegal borewells, respectively, have sealed all of them by August 31. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/11000-borewells-sealed-rs-70-crore-fine-slapped/articleshow/85958160.cms  (06 Sept. 2021)

Environment Impact Authority body reconstituted State Level Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) and State Level Expert Appraisal Committee (SEAC) have been reconstituted, the Delhi government said Wednesday (Sept. 8). The SEIAA has three members while the SEAC has 13 members, and they have been reconstituted for a three-year term. Sarvagya Kumar Srivastava, who was earlier with the PWD, has been appointed the Chairman of SEIAA. The Special Secretary of the Environment Department will be the member secretary. Delhi had sent its proposal for reconstitution of SEIAA/SEAC, and names of experts, to the centre in 2020. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/capitals-eia-body-reconstituted-7497495/  (09 Sept. 2021)

Central Vista: Plan To Divert Deemed Forest Land Gets ”In-Principle” Nod MoEF’s Regional Empowered Committee (REC) has “in-principle” approved a proposal for diversion of 8.11 hectares of “deemed forest” land, where the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts stood, for the construction of three office buildings under the Central Vista redevelopment project. The final approval for diversion of forest land is to be granted by the central government.

In August, the Delhi government had recommended the proposal for approval of the REC “in larger public interest subject to the conditions laid by the forest department”. There are more than 250 trees per hectare at the site. Therefore, it was treated as “deemed forest” and required approval for diversion for non-forest activity under the Forest Conservation Act, 1980, a Delhi forest department official said. Of the existing 2,219 trees at the site, the CPWD seeks to transplant 1,734 and retain 485 trees. https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/central-vista-plan-to-divert-deemed-forest-land-gets-in-principle-nod-2533200  (08 Sept. 2021)

Final touches to policy for green area development The DDA is in the process of finalising the Green Development Area policy to pave the way for planned development in the city’s green belt, said senior officials. The policy, which was placed in public domain recently, will be tabled in the upcoming authority meeting, officials added. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/delhi-news/dda-giving-final-touches-to-policy-for-green-area-development-101630953826137.html  (07 Sept. 2021)

Garbage battle lags as landfills struggle to meet targets Out of the 280 lakh tonnes of legacy waste currently dumped across the capital’s 3 landfill sites — Okhla, Bhalswa and Ghazipur — only 12% have been processed by July 31, according to a report prepared by the DPCC. The report shows the deadline for 25% remediation of legacy waste at the Okhla landfill site is October 2021, but just 10.4% waste have been processed by July 31. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/garbage-battle-lags-as-landfills-struggle-to-meet-targets/articleshow/85958198.cms  (06 Sept. 2021)

Shimla Sutlej bulk water supply project gets forest clearance The World Bank has already approved the project in principle which is a part of the $160-million Shimla Water Supply and Sewerage Project. This project, which involves the laying of a 22-km pipeline from the Sutlej till Sanjauli, will provide an additional 67 MLD water to the city.

Following the forest clearance, 12.24 hectare of government land will be diverted to Shimla Jal Prabandhan Nigam Limited (SJPNL) for the laying of water pipes from Shakrari village, the starting point of the project alongside the Sutlej. “It is estimated that around 1,400 trees will be felled for the project, out of which around 900 are saplings. The saplings can be replanted elsewhere,” said an SJPNL official. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/finally-sutlej-bulk-water-supply-project-gets-forest-clearance-309519  (11 Sept. 2021)

Chandigarh TT water supply project set for revamp The project aims to increase supply from 6 MGD (million gallon per day) to 20 MGD, which is the current demand in the city. “More than 14 MGD of drinking water supply currently being used for horticulture and other similar purposes can be saved through an upgraded tertiary-treated (TT) water system. Increased use of this recycled water can conserve groundwater and canal water and save on pumping energy,” said NP Sharma, MC chief engineer and chief general manager of Chandigarh Smart City Limited.

Under the Water Bylaws 2015, the MC had made TT water connection mandatory for all houses with an area of 1 kanal and above. However, it was way back in 1990 when the civic body had started laying pipelines for supplying the recycled water, initially in Sectors 1-12 and 16. At present, almost 80% of the city has been covered in terms of pipelines, but only around 2,000 of the 7,000 eligible houses are being provided TT water. Residents have, for long, complained of erratic supply and foul smell in the water.

According to initial plans of the MC engineering dept, the proposed revamp project is likely to cost around ₹80 crore. For improving the quantity and quality of TT water, 5 STPs – Diggian, Dhanas, 3BRD, Raipur Kalan & Raipur Khurd – are being upgraded at a cost of ₹530 crore. “Expected to be upgraded by 2022, the STPs will provide 54 MGD of TT water. The contamination level will also go down as the STPs will have the latest technology,” said the official. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/chandigarh-news/chandigarhtertiarytreated-water-supply-project-set-for-revamp-101630868558426.html (6 Sep 2021)

Dehradun Degraded Niranjanpur pond carves a live example These waterbodies are neglected for their size and disappear even before they are documented.

Drying Niranjanpur pond turning into a garbage dumping ground. Photo: Eva Badola/DTE

https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/water/what-is-killing-uttarakhand-s-small-wetlands-degraded-niranjanpur-pond-carves-a-live-example-78931  (10 Sept. 2021)

Faridabad Contaminated water supply raise health concerns Residents of over 250 houses in Ashoka Enclave-3 area said they have been receiving contaminated supply of drinking water, mixed with sewage, for the past six months and that the authorities have failed to implement a permanent fix for the issue. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/gurugram-news/faridabad-ashoka-enclave-3-residents-allege-contaminated-water-supply-in-taps-raise-health-concerns-and-seek-fix-101631471367535.html  (12 Sept. 2021)

WATER POLLUTION

Uttar Pradesh Surge in cases of viral fever among children Cases of viral fever, dengue and malaria have seen a sharp spike. Firozabad has emerged as a hotspot, with majority of cases being reported from the district. The number of fever cases are rising in Delhi too, with the doctors blaming seasonal influenza for the surge. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/delhi-noida-report-surge-in-cases-of-viral-fever-among-children-say-doctors-101631063427510.html  (08 Sept. 2021)

WATER

CWC RESERVOIR STORAGE BULLETIN OF 09.09.2021

1. All India Status:- The live storage available in 130 reservoirs as per 09.09.2021 Bulletin is 81% 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 10.24 BCM which is 53% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 78% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 83% of live storage capacity of these reservoirs.

b) Eastern region:- The total live storage available in 20 reservoirs is 10.93 BCM which is 55% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 74% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 69% of live storage capacity of these reservoirs.

c) Western region:- The total live storage available in 42 reservoirs is 22.41 BCM which is 64% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 90% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 69% of live storage capacity of these reservoirs.

d) Central region:- The total live storage available in 23 reservoirs is 29.33 BCM which is 65% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 87% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 79% of live storage capacity of these reservoirs.

e) Southern region:- The total live storage available in 37 reservoirs is 44.07 BCM which is 84% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 82% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 66% of live storage capacity of these reservoirs. http://cwc.gov.in/sites/default/files/09.09.2021-fb-pdf.pdf

North East Why springs drying upDrying up of water springs, land degradation, sandy soils of the Brahamputra point to a grim situation in the region. “With climate change and rising temperatures, rise in rainfall intensity and reduction in its temporal spread as well as a marked decline in winter rain, the problem of dying springs is being increasingly felt across the Indian Himalayan Region,” a NITI Aayog report said. In Sikkim, over 94 per cent villages have mountain springs. In Meghalaya, Mizoram and Manipur, 55.7, 54.6 and 54.4 per cent villages have them. Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh have 44.7 and 37.3 per cent villages with springs. The springs contribute a large share to the base flow of the large Himalayan rivers such as the Brahmaputra — more than glaciers, ice and snow — according to the report. https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/climate-change/climate-crisis-in-north-east-india-what-is-behind-water-scarcity-in-the-region-78910  (09 Sept. 2021)

Rahul Banerjee on FB post comment:- I doubt whether there is any discernible trend in overall rainfall reduction in the northeast. DTE should have given an analysis of IMD data in support of this claim which seems absurd to me. The primary reason for the springs and base flow drying up is deforestation which reduces natural recharge into the aquifers. Instead of making such absurd claims what needs to be done is to implement massive forest, soil and water conservation schemes in a decentralised manner to augment natural and artificial recharge so as to increase base flows.

AGRICULTURE

Telangana CM advises farmers against cultivating paddy The officials informed the Chief Minister that parboiled rice needed for the next five years was already in store with the Centre, with 70 lakh tonne procured paddy still lying in rice mills. https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/telangana/2021/sep/13/telangana-cmadvises-farmers-against-cultivating-paddy-2357892.html  (13 Sept. 2021)

Kerala Submerged aquatic plants, a new threat to paddy cultivation Submerged aquatic weeds have been posing a new threat to the paddy cultivation in various districts in the State. https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/agriculture/submerged-aquatic-plants-a-new-threat-to-paddy-cultivation/article36336505.ece  (07 Sept. 2021)

Maharashtra ‘India has rich indigenous crops. I grow 70 kinds of rice’ Shamika Mone is an organic farmer who moved fields from academia to agriculture. Sharing her experiences with Times Evoke, she discusses becoming a cultivator, the three pillars of sustainable farming — and the moment she tasted the fruits of her first harvest: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india-has-rich-indigenous-crops-i-grow-70-kinds-of-rice/articleshow/86097487.cms  (11 Sept. 2021)

Report India sugar sector set to have bumper export season Brazil will have lower sugar production due to drought followed by incidence of frost. https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/agri-business/india-sugar-sector-set-to-have-bumper-export-season/article36398808.ece   (11 Sept. 2021)

India’s women farmers are losing jobs and savings despite the boom in agriculture. https://scroll.in/article/1005088/indias-women-farmers-are-losing-jobs-and-savings-despite-the-boom-in-agriculture  (11 Sept. 2021)

MONSOON 2021

Slideshow of images showing IMD’s State, Sub-division, district, River basin wise cumulative rainfall maps as on Sept. 13, 2021.

IMD Monsoon likely to withdraw late this year The monsoon starts waning in September and usually begins withdrawing from September 17. But the Met department’s extended range forecast indicates that there is likely to be widespread rain over the country, including northwest India, till around September 30.

Normally, around six depressions form through the course of the monsoon season, but this time the first monsoon depression is likely to form only in the next 24 to 48 hours.

So far, the monsoon deficiency is 7% across the country. August received 24% less rainfall than it usually does, but Sep has so far seen 16.4% excess rain. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/delhi-news/monsoon-likely-to-withdraw-late-this-year-met-predicts-more-rain-in-store-101631388597445.html  (12 Sept. 2021)

The possible delay in the commencement of monsoon withdrawal is due to the formation of the season’s first depression early next week, which will maintain favourable conditions for rainfall activity over the core monsoon zone. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/monsoon-to-linger-on-withdrawal-may-be-delayed-7501487/  (11 Sept. 2021)

A monsoon going into hyperactive mode in a month when it should begin tapering off could bring misery to the farm sector, which supports half of India’s population. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/rains-threaten-kharif-crops-onion-prices-101631361846891.html  (11 Sept. 2021)

3rd-warmest August received lowest rainfall in 19 years August recorded its lowest rainfall in the past 19 years since 2002 with a deficiency of 24% over the long period average according to IMD. There were two major spells of weak monsoon during August 9-16 and August 23-27, when northwest, central and adjoining peninsular and west coast of India received subdued rainfall. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/thirdwarmest-august-on-record-received-lowest-rainfall-in-19-years-101631258218187.html  (10 Sept. 2021)

Sky Weather September to be rainiest month 07th September was the rainiest day in the last 45 days, measuring 12.4mm rainfall. Prior to this, 23rd July recorded 14.1mm, nearly a repeat of previous day when it clocked 14.4mm on 22nd July. https://www.skymetweather.com/content/weather-news-and-analysis/september-to-be-rainiest-month-of-monsoon-2021-likely-to-be-2nd-best-since-2007/  (07 Sept. 2021)

Delhi 1,000-mm mark breached, 11-year rain record may fall  The ‘normal’ mark for rainfall between June 1 and September 10 is 586.4mm. For the complete monsoon season of June till September, the normal mark is 648.9mm. Delhi has received 1,215.9mm of annual rainfall so far, as opposed to an annual normal of 779mm from January until December.

“Delhi received a large chunk of its rainfall (500 mm) in July. August was in deficit but still recorded over 200mm and the first two days of September alone recorded over 200mm of rainfall,” said an official. In comparison, during the monsoon season, the capital had received 576.5mm rainfall in 2020, 404.3mm in 2019 and 762.6mm in 2018. In 2013, it received 876mm of rainfall between June and September.

Safdarjung has so far received six ‘heavy’ rainfall days – when over 64.5mm of rainfall was recorded in a 24-hour duration. Two such days came on the first two days of September, when Delhi recorded 112.1mm on September 1 and 117.7mm on September 2. It has so far received 248.9 mm precipitation this month – almost double the September average mark of 129.8mm. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/1000-mm-mark-breached-11-year-rain-record-may-fall/articleshow/86102133.cms  (11 Sept. 2021)

Delhi has recorded 380.2 mm rains in the first 11 days of September, and this has made this monsoon season the most bountiful in terms of rains in the last 46 years. While the monsoon arrived late on July 13, since then the months of July and September have produced excess rains while August saw a deficit of 13%. With more rains predicted this week, the city is on course to break the 1975 record of 1,155.6 mm rainfall in a season. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/videos/city/delhi/heavy-september-rains-make-this-monsoon-season-capitals-wettest-in-46-years/videoshow/86135829.cms  (12 Sept. 2021)

Weather forecasters said that this year, while there have been fewer rainy days, the intensity of the showers was more.  “Usually in Delhi, August is the rainiest month, but our recordings show that in July and September we saw excess rain. In August, because of two long break phases, there was a deficit. In just 11 days, the rainfall recordings in Delhi have already reached record levels. This usually doesn’t happen. For instance, in the last two years in September there has been less than 100mm rainfall,” the official said. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/erratic-rain-patterns-mark-delhi-s-monsoon-this-year-101631470524341.html  (13 Sept. 2021)

According to IMD, the city has received 1136.8mm rain so far, making it the wettest monsoon after 1975 when the season recorded 1155.6 mm rainfall. The all-time record, from 1933, stands at 1420.3 mm, according to IMD.

The unusual monsoon this year has set another record — after 1944, which had the rainiest September on record, this year’s September has so far reported the most rainfall. With a good part of the month still left, this year’s September could become the rainiest since 1901, the year when earliest rainfall data is available. In just 11 days, the city has recorded 380.2mm rainfall, according to data. In September 1944, the city received 417.3mm rain.

The city recorded just 10 rainy days in August, the lowest in seven years, and a cumulative rainfall of 214.5 mm, lower than the average of 247 mm.

Sept. 11 rainfall led to heavy waterlogging across the city, with even the Delhi airport being inundated with rainwater in scenes similar to 2019 when the forecourt of the Indira Gandhi International airport was flooded. Airport authorities said at least 100 flights were delayed and five diverted after the early morning showers left the area outside terminal 3 of the airport with knee-deep water. Among the worst-hit stretches were Azadpur underpass, Pul Prahladpur, Palam underpass, Delhi Cantonment, Moti Bagh, Rani Khera underpass, Dwarka sector-20, GT Karnal Road, Malviya Nagar, and Dwarka link road. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/record-rain-wreaks-havoc-in-delhi-roads-airport-flooded-101631384648219.html  (12 Sept. 2021)

IMD data shows that over the past 10 years, only August 2007 saw just seven rainy days while the rest of the years had at least more than 10 rainy days in the month. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/delhi-news/a-month-of-weather-fluctuations-for-delhi-101630276676964.html  (30 Aug. 2021)

In what was a rerun of most of the city’s rainy days during the monsoon this year, a sharp three-hour spell of rain spared few parts of the Capital, leaving homes, shops, marketplaces, and commuters to deal with the aftermath of the shower over the rest of the day. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/delhi-news/intense-3-hour-rain-spell-brings-delhi-to-a-grinding-halt-yet-again-101631388559566.html  (12 Sept. 2021)

Chandigarh More rain in a day than entire Sept last year The 25.6mm rain in about an hour on Monday (Sept. 6) morning was higher than the precipitation recorded in the entire month of September last year, according to the IMD. In 2020, 22mm rain was recorded in September. But it was much lower than the 166.4mm rain witnessed in the same month in 2019. This year, since the onset of monsoon in June, 456.9mm rain has been recorded against a normal of 756.1mm – a shortfall of 40%. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/chandigarh-news/at-25-6mm-chandigarh-logs-more-rain-in-a-day-than-entire-sept-last-year-101631217355644.html  (10 Sept. 2021)

Chandigarh IMD director Manmohan Singh says, “Rain is likely to stay below normal in the region, which includes Punjab and Haryana, due to the prevailing weather conditions. It is unlikely that we will receive any more heavy showers in the city.” https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/chandigarh-news/expect-rain-deficit-in-chandigarh-in-september-too-experts-101630782866053.html  (05 Sept. 2021)

Pune 2nd lowest rainfall recorded in August for a decade Pune has reported 40.6 mm rainfall in August, against the normal forecast rainfall of 122.3mm, as per the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Tuesday (Aug. 31). As per the weather forecasters, this means Pune city got only 1/3 of its normal August rainfall this year, the second-lowest received since 2011. The lowest rainfall received by Pune in August was reported in 2015, at 24.7 mm.

IMD also noted that August rainfall across India is at an all-time historical low this year. In August, India reported a total of 195.9mm of rainfall, which amounts to a 24.1 per cent deficiency. IMD sources, remaining anonymous, said that August 2021 may be one of the driest Augusts in recorded history, since 1901. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/pune-news/pune-monsoon-break-second-lowest-rainfall-recd-in-aug-for-a-decade-101630427811733.html  (01 Sept. 2021)

Telangana According to IMD, as much as 390 mm of rain fell in 24 hours to 07 September in Nadikuda in Warangal District. During the same period, Malliala (Karimnagar district) recorded 310 mm; Bornapalli (Karimnagar) 290 mm; the city of Warangal-260 mm and the city of Karimnagar 250 mm. https://floodlist.com/asia/india-floods-telangana-andhrapradesh-september-2021  (07 Sept. 2021)

Research shows that the 19th century droughts were caused by rainfall deficit of 13%, 14% and 17% in Maharashtra, South India and Peninsular India respectively and not some massive deficits as normally thought. https://www.deccanherald.com/national/14-rainfall-deficiency-caused-19th-century-famines-in-southern-india-study-1027714.html  (06 Sept. 2021)

FLOOD 2021

Gujarat 22K cusecs of water being released from Ukai dam With the water in Vallabh Sagar Lake of Ukai gradually approaching the rule level of 340 ft, the dam authorities started releasing water from the second largest reservoir of the state. The release started with 20,000 cusecs and it is being maintained around 22,000 cusecs. The reservoir’s four main hydro-power units, each of 75 megawatts, have started functioning with installed capacity of a total 300 megawatt. Release of 22,000 cusecs of water is required to activate all the four hydro-power units.

The dam is currently 86.57% full, with 6,419 MCM (million cubic metre) of water at a level of 339.35 ft. The inflow has reduced to 1 lakh cusecs as against 1.43 lakh cusecs earlier on Friday and outflow is being maintained at 22,692 cusecs. The discharge from Hatnur Dam in Maharashtra has reduced to 54,102 cusecs. https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/power/22000-cusecs-of-water-being-released-from-ukai-hydro-reservoir/86110030  (11 Sept. 2021)

Maharashtra 5 gates of Bhatsa dam in Thane opened Due to heavy rainfall in the catchment area of Bhatsa dam in Thane district, five gates of the reservoir were opened on Saturday (Sept. 11) morning to discharge water, an official said. The gates were opened around 10am, the irrigation department official from Bhatsa Nagar office said.

“The water level at the dam reached 141.70 metres around 9am today. As the catchment area has been receiving heavy rains, five of its gates were opened,” he said. The authorities in downstream areas, including Shahapur, Bhiwandi and Kalyan, have been alerted to take precautionary measures. They have been asked to instruct the villagers living along the river banks not to venture into water, he added. Bhatsa dam is one of the seven reservoirs that provide water to Mumbai. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/thane/five-gates-of-bhatsa-dam-in-thane-opened-after-heavy-rains/articleshow/86111846.cms  (11 Sept. 2021)

‘Alert’ mark in Godavari after 15 years As heavy rains lash parts of Marathwada region, the water level in the Godavari river has reached the “alert” mark after nearly 15 years, state PWD minister Ashok Chavan was quoted as saying on Thursday (Sept. 9). According to officials, Nanded has received 962.7 mm rain so far this monsoon, which is 118% of its average annual rainfall. A total of 145 circles in Marathwada, which comprises 8 districts, recorded rainfall above 65 mm in 24 hours till Tuesday (Sept. 7). The circles are from Aurangabad, Jalna, Latur, Osmanabad, Beed and Nanded districts.

Heavy rains have lashed Marathwada region over the last few days, with 31 people dying in rain-related accidents in a week, out of which 7 deaths occurred in Nanded. Of the total, 12 were reported on Tuesday (Sept. 7) alone. So far since 1 Sept., 687 domesticated animals, including 598 poultry birds in Jalna district, perished in the region as a result of heavy rains, as per the official. Besides that, 64 houses in the region suffered damages due to the rains, with 41 of them being from Aurangabad. Four small water reservoirs in the region – two each at Kannad (Aurangabad) and Ahmedpur (Latur) were also damaged. https://www.livemint.com/news/india/maharashtra-rains-water-level-reacher-alert-mark-in-godavari-river-after-15-years-11631177647049.html  (09 Sept. 2021)

Huge damages in Marathwada areas due to heavy rains in last 3 days. https://www.newsclick.in/Heavy-Rains-Flooding-Hit-Marathwada-At-Least-12-dead  (08 Sept. 2021)

Incessant rainfall triggered flash floods in Buldhana. Normal life severely affected as roads were inundated. Two children went missing. Cattle were also swept away. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/videos/news/incessant-rains-trigger-flash-floods-in-buldhana/videoshow/86018420.cms  (07 Sept. 2021)

Dam Storage Reaches 100% Ten gates of Majalgaon Dam in Beed district were opened on Monday (Sept. 6) morning after heavy rains took the water stock to 100 per cent of capacity from 69.23 per cent a day earlier, an official said. The gates of the dam, situated on Sindphana river, a tributary of the Godavari, were opened to a height of two metres, he said.

“The dam has gross storage capacity of 453 million meter cube. The water storage in the dam on Sunday (Sept. 5) was 69.23 per cent, while it touched 100 per cent as on 3am on Monday (Sept. 6) due to heavy rains in the past 24 hours. The inflow of water in the dam in the past 24 hours is 102.63 million metre cube,” Sectional Engineer GN Sinare said. “The outflow from the dam has been increased from 77,421 cusecs (cubic foot per second) in the morning to around 88,500 cusecs in the afternoon” Mr Sinare informed. https://www.ndtv.com/cities/maharashtras-majalgaon-dam-storage-reaches-100-due-to-rains-10-gates-opened-2531464  (06 Sept. 2021)

Three sites in Godavari basin have breached HFL.

1 River Wardha at Kapsi level monitoring site in Wardha district has breached previous HFL (124.91 m attained on 30.08.2020) at 11:00 hrs on 08.09.21. New HFL is 0.8 m above previous HFL and river level remained above HFL for 6 hours.

2 River Shivna at Lasur level monitoring site in Aurangabad district has breached previous HFL (511.6 m attained on 11.08.1998) at 06:00 hrs on 08.09.21. New  HFL is 512.6 m attained on 08.09.21 at 07:00 hrs. River water level remained above HFL for 7 hours.

3 River Wardha at Dhanora level monitoring site in Chandrapur district has breached previous HFL (174.09 m attained on 23.07.2021) at 05:00 hrs on 08.09.21. New HFL is 44 cm above previous HFL and river water level remained above HFL for 21 hours.

After 34 hrs of setting up new HFL 205.71 m on 08.09.21 at 13:00 hrs, flood level of River Wardha at Kapsi level monitoring site in Godavari basin, Wardha district has again increased to set new HFL of 205.96 m at 23:00 hrs on 09.09.21. Old HFL is 204.91 m attained on 30.08.2020. The new HFL is 1.05 m higher than the HFL of 2020. This time the river water level remained above HFL for 14 hrs.

Telangana River Maner in Godavari basin at Somanpally level monitoring site in Karim Nagar district has breached previous HFL (127.344 m attained on 24.07.1989) at 21:00 hrs on 07.09.21. New HFL is 127.65 m attained on 08.09.21 at 02:00 hrs. It is 0.306 above previous HFL. The water level remained above old HFL for 7 hrs.

Uttar Pradesh Rapti, Rohini floods People in many parts of Gorakhpur district were forced to use boats to move from one place to another as water from Rapti and Rohini rivers inundated many parts of the district on Wednesday (Sept. 1). “This time it has rained thrice more than it did in previous years and that is why many rivers have crossed the danger mark. He said the embankments were safe despite the pressure of water,” Jal Shakti minister Dr Mahendra Singh said.

River Rapti has already started breaching the embankment from the regulator at Mahewa from Habbort embankment from the last three days. Flood-like situation is also developing at Maniram, Kudria, Banrahan extension near Bhuteli, Pipiganj Makhnahan embankment, Rampur, Nayagaon and in Belipar area, locals said. On Tuesday (Aug. 31) late night the Ilahigabh regulator also started leaking.

Experts said if the rivers continued to rise, people could face a flood like situation as was the case in 1998. In 1998, the highest level of River Rapti was recorded at 77.54 meter. On Tuesday (Aug. 31) evening the Rapti was flowing at 76.95, which is only 59 cm below the mark that was recorded in 1998. In 2001, River Rohini’s highest level was recorded as 85.43 meter which had caused heavy flooding in the region. After 20 years on Tuesday (Aug. 31) evening, River Rohini was flowing at 84.97 meter which is only 46 cm below the mark recorded in 2001. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/others/floodlike-situation-in-gorakhpur-districts-as-rapti-rohini-continue-to-swell-101630519803390.html  (01 Sept. 2021)

Bihar Crop damaged “We are assessing crop damage. Currently, our assessment in 25 flood-hit districts indicates damages worth ₹550 crore. But, it could be more. We will be rolling out crop input subsidy soon to affected farmers after sanction of funds,” said agriculture secretary, N Saravana Kumar. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/patna-news/crop-on-4-lakh-hectares-of-land-damaged-in-25-flood-hit-areas-in-bihar-101630552689741.html  (02 Sept. 2021)

Rail movement suspended due to floods In a precautionary measure, train movement on Darbhanga-Samastipur section was suspended on Tuesday (Aug. 31) due to floods after gushing stream of Bagmati river touched the girder of a railway bridge between Thalwara and Hayaghat railway stations of Samastipur rail division under East Central Railway, officials said.

According to sources, this is the second time within two months that rail traffic between the aforementioned section was suspended due to floods. Earlier on July 10, rail traffic between the section was suspended due to flood water flowing above danger level at bridge number one between Muktapur-Samastipur, a railway official said. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/others/bihar-rail-movement-between-darbhanga-samastipur-suspended-due-to-floods-101630428232449.html  (31 Aug. 2021)

Incessant rains and heavy discharge of water from Gandak barrage at Valmikinagar have resulted in increased water levels of the majority of rivers passing through northern Bihar, forcing the residents of the Gopalganj district to evacuate. “A total of 25 villages situated in low lying areas have been affected due to waterlogging. Hence, over 1800 people have shifted to a safer place,” said the DM. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/others/north-bihar-rivers-in-full-spate-1-800-evacuated-in-gopalganj-101630254340925.html  (29 Aug. 2021)

While in Hajipur people have moved to higher altitudes along with their cattle and family making it difficult for them to survive, floodwaters have damaged crops in Saran leaving farmers in huge losses and debts. Nearly 26 districts in Bihar have been affected by floods due to incessant rainfall. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/bihar-floods-leave-people-displaced-in-hajipur-damage-crops-in-saran-101629599366932.html  (22 Aug. 2021)

Arunachal Pradesh Heavy rain lashes Kamle Heavy downpour lashed Kamle district, triggering landslides and flashflood in many circles, including the district headquarters here on 6 Sept. Flood water inundated many government and private residences in the district headquarters and damaged the main water supply pipelines, affecting water supply. Reports of crop and water supply structure damages have also been received from Bam, Poku and Yukar Villages of Kamporijo circle of the district. https://arunachaltimes.in/index.php/2021/09/09/heavy-rain-lashes-kamle/  (09 Sept. 2021)

Assam Mishing, Miyah Learnt To Live With Brahmaputra Ashima Sharma The Mishing and the Miyah have adapted in different ways to live along the Brahmaputra river. Experts say that Assam is becoming an ’embankment economy’, however – building, maintaining and repairing embankments, only for them to give way in a flood. ‘Investing in supporting resilient communities that are already adapting to the river is better than investing in hit-and-run engineering methods to tame the river.’ https://science.thewire.in/environment/mishing-miyah-adapt-brahmaputra-floods-assam-resilient-communities/  (13 Sept. 2021)

To combat the problems of floods and irregular rainfall, the residents of Majuli, the world’s largest river island, are growing vegetables on rafts. https://www.thethirdpole.net/en/livelihoods/floating-farms-boost-flood-resilience-majuli-assam/  (09 Sept. 2021)

The Kumutiya river floods every year, destroying crops and houses. The river has shifted 3 km since 1960, and an entire village has had to shift with it. https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/climate-change/climate-crisis-in-north-east-india-how-flooding-shifted-a-village-in-assam-s-dhemaji-78934  (10 Sept. 2021)

Assam is witnessing floods despite less than normal rainfall. “For the month of August, the state received 296.3 mm rainfall against the normal of 347.1mm,” Sumit Das, senior scientist at Guwahati-based regional meteorological office, said. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/680-dead-in-monsoon-rains-thousands-displaced-in-flood-hit-assam-bihar-101630501740011.html  (01 Sept. 2021)

In pics: Floods affect over 3.5 lakh people across 21 districts. https://www.hindustantimes.com/photos/news/in-pics-floods-affect-over-3-5-lakh-people-across-21-districts-in-assam-101630385776854-1.html  (31 Aug. 2021)

Andhra Pradesh Heavy water flow on Sangam barrage hits vehicular traffic Vehicular traffic on Sangam barrage stopped abruptly following heavy water overflow on the barrage as a result of release of water from the Somasila reservoir into the Penna River. https://www.thehansindia.com/andhra-pradesh/nellore-heavy-water-flow-on-sangam-barrage-hits-vehicular-traffic-706103  (12 Sept. 2021)

Vijayawada/Kakinada: Crops over nearly 25,000 acres have been affected as rains continued to batter several parts of Andhra. Agriculture authorities have come up with a preliminary assessment of the impact of rainfall on crops. They said crops like paddy, black gram, green gram, sunflower, jute, groundnut, cotton etc were affected due to inundation of fields in parts of East and West Godavari, Guntur, Anantapur and Kadapa districts.

As regards the cumulative rainfall from June 1, AP received an actual rainfall of 492.9 mm against a normal of 438.8 mm with a deviation of 12.3 per cent. Several parts of Godavari districts saw overflowing of streams and rivulets especially in agency areas. A youth fishing in the water fell in the water but was rescued by villagers at Bandamamidid and shifted to a hospital in Rampachodavaram. https://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/080921/rains-fill-up-dams-wreck-havoc-on-farmlands-lives-in-ap.html  (08 Sept. 2021)

Telangana TRS Explains Science Behind City Getting Flooded Telangana Minister Gangula Kamalakar has a unique answer when he was asked why Karimnagar is getting flooded. “Karimnagar and other villages are getting flooded. Previously rainwater used to percolate into the ground. But groundwater is already full since KCR has made the state water-rich,” the Minister said. The minister says that since the groundwater table is already full, the rainwater has no place in the ground and so, is turning into a flood. He requests people not to take it as a government failure. The video has gone viral on social media with people mocking the minister. https://www.mirchi9.com/politics/viral-video-trs-explains-science-behind-city-getting-flooded/  (07 Sept. 2021)

Heavy rains have cut off roads and highways to Hyderabad and brought down an under-construction bridge in Vemulwada, even as three persons died after they were swept by swirling flood waters. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/videos/city/hyderabad/telangana-rain-fury-continues-3-dead-roads-washed-away/videoshow/86032664.cms  (08 Sept. 2021)

Odisha Hirakud Water Level  Nearing FRL Though the western Odisha districts are going to record 25-100 mm rainfall, the data with Water Resources Department and CWC indicates no flood threat in other rivers like Tel, Bheden, Ong, Jonk and Ib. https://odishatv.in/news/exclusive/heavy-rains-in-odisha-hirakud-water-level-nearing-frl-baitarani-near-danger-mark-in-next-48-hrs-159604  (12 Sept. 2021)

People Net Fish On Flooded Road In Paradip Several low lying parts of Paradip including Muslim Basti, Court Chhak, Paradip Gada road went for a deluge on Sunday (Sept. 12) after continuous downpour in the wake of an intensifying low pressure. As per the Met department, Paradip alone has received 166.6 mm of rainfall in the last 24 hours. https://odishatv.in/news/miscellaneous/bumper-catch-people-net-fish-on-flooded-road-in-paradip-watch-159603  (12 Sept. 2021)

URBAN FLOODS

Report Urban Floods are Becoming More Deadly Ajaya Dixit More flood disasters in cities are a result of unregulated urban expansion, high intensity rainfall, drainage congestion and failures of urban governance. Urban expansions today have ignored the science of urban hydrology and paved over green spaces, grassland and open space. Flood water evacuation routes are systematically constrained or even closed. Many smaller streams that flow through cities and settlements have been walled and covered and turned into a sewer. Naturally occurring wetlands and ponds that could buffer flood peaks, are systematically encroached upon to expand coverage for real-estate.

Cities are also facing increasing impacts from floods because of weaknesses in preparedness and recovery efforts as well. This will worsen flooding in South Asian urban regions in the coming decades as more and more people concentrate into cities. If rainfall anomalies, similar or worse than those we see today, become common and if sustainable risk-mitigation strategies are not mainstreamed, urban areas may continue to face severe well-being gaps. https://soanas.org/urban-floods-are-becoming-more-deadly/  (06 Sept. 2021)

Delhi Drains to be redesigned: CM The last drainage master plan was drafted by the Delhi administration in 1976. To be sure, Delhi was administered by a metropolitan council between 1966 and 1990. In 2016, the Delhi government commissioned a study of the city’s drainage system by IIT-Delhi. Following the study, a drainage master plan was compiled which had also pointed out to the fact that the city had no single agency to manage and maintain drainage. However, the plan could not be implemented.

A senior government official abreast of the developments, said, “There are about 2,846 drains in Delhi with a total length of 3,692 km. Majority of these drains are managed by the PWD. Delhi is divided into three major natural drainage basins — Trans Yamuna, Barapullah and Najafgarh. In addition, there are also several small drainage basins connected directly to the Yamuna.”

The two panel of experts have given 10 recommendations to the government. These range from removing encroachments on storm water drains to curb drumping of waste and sewage in stormwater drains, preventing construction on drains, rejuvenation of water bodies and designing drains from a broader perspective of the area covered by them, instead of just fixing the local concerns. The panel has also recommended improving flood monitoring and management. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/others/city-drains-to-be-redesigned-for-lasting-relief-from-waterlogging-kejriwal-101629831544736.html  (25 Aug. 2021)

Delhi’s roads were flooded yet again on Tuesday (Aug. 31) when heavy morning rains brought the city to a halt, with commuters across the city struggling as key stretches were inundated, exposing the pathetic drainage system, the failure to prepare for the monsoon, and the lack of a comprehensive plan to rid the city of the annual waterlogging menace. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/others/heavy-rain-exposes-delhi-s-poor-drainage-system-101630431892706.html  (01 Sept. 2021)

In a tragic incident, a man died after being swept away in gushing waters in a drain in Delhi following record rain on Saturday (Sept. 11).  The man slipped into a drain in Narela Industrial Area in the national capital. He got trapped underneath a concrete slab in the drain due to the heavy flow of water following incessant rains. https://www.timesnownews.com/delhi/article/delhi-rain-fury-man-dies-after-being-swept-away-in-gushing-water-in-narela-drain/810793  (12 Sept. 2021)

Gurugram Key roads waterlogged, gridlocked Rainfall of about 100.8mm, between 1am and 5.30pm Wednesday (Sept. 1), left most areas of the city heavily inundated, with the Narsinghpur stretch on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway and areas below the Iffco Chowk Metro station remaining waterlogged till late evening.

On July 28, 2016, Gurugram received just 55mm of rain. While that was not much when compared to other rain days — like the 19th of July when the city received 185mm of rain — it was enough to bring Gurugram to its knees; enough to overwhelm a skeletal drainage network; enough to cause the infamous “Gurujam” when commuters were stuck on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway for nearly two days; enough to flood all arterial roads, enough to inundate houses, and enough to wash away the moniker of “Millennium City”. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/gurugram-news/rainfall-of-100-8mm-drowns-gurugram-key-roads-waterlogged-gridlocked-101630519323364.html  (01 Sept. 2021)

Gurgaon witnessed intermittent spells of rainfall throughout the day on Saturday (Sept. 11), causing waterlogging and traffic congestion in some areas. According to data from the district administration, Gurgaon tehsil received 23 mm of rainfall from 8 am to 5 pm on Saturday (Sept. 11). As per the IMD, the city received 10.2 mm rainfall between 8 am on Friday (Sept. 10) and 8 am on Saturday (Sept. 11). https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/waterlogging-in-gurgaon-after-intermittent-rainfall-7503227/  (12 Sept. 2021)

Gurugram received 34.8mm of rainfall on Friday (Sept. 10) and Saturday (Sept. 11), which took the total rainfall this monsoon to 675.6mm, over the normal rain limit set by the IMD at an excess of 44%. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/gurugram-news/gurugram-rainfall-44-excess-this-monsoon-101631381708415.html  (11 Sept. 2021)

Following a short spell of heavy rain in the morning, heavy waterlogging was reported from the Galleria market Road, at Khandsa on National Highway 48, Narsinghpur Chowk, parts of Dundhahera and interior roads of Palam Vihar, among other stretches, including parts of the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/gurugram-news/gurugram-rain-leaves-roads-waterlogged-commuters-stranded-101631381710903.html  (11 Sept. 2021)

Rajkot Several roads water-logged According to the fire department of Rajkot Municipal Corporation, west zone of the city recorded 59 mm of rain from 6 am to 6 pm on Sunday (Sept. 12), while central and east zones logged 36 mm rain each. Heavy rainfall was reported from Devbhumi Dwarka, Jamnagar and Surendranagar districts in Saurashtra as well as from parts of Kutch district. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/rajkot/several-areas-water-logged-as-rajkot-receives-heavy-rain-7503506/  (12 Sept. 2021)

Surat Heavy showers lead to massive waterlogging. The city got 80mm rain on Sept. 6. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/videos/toi-original/surat-heavy-showers-lead-to-massive-waterlogging/videoshow/86016230.cms  (07 Sept. 2021)

DROUGHT

India drought situation ending on Sept. 11, 2021. https://sites.google.com/a/iitgn.ac.in/high_resolution_south_asia_drought_monitor/home

IMD Over 90% districts face arid conditions As many as 673 out of India’s 733 districts face arid conditions now, a sharp rise from 638 a week ago, according to data from the IMD. Overall, despite ‘normal’ rains, almost 90 per cent of the country remains drier than usual even as the kharif (summer) crop season is underway, the latest Aridity Anomaly Outlook Index released by IMD Pune, for September 2-8, 2021 said. https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/climate-change/over-90-districts-in-india-now-face-arid-conditions-78900  (08 Sept. 2021)

Gujarat, W Rajasthan face drought-like conditions  The standard precipitation index (SPI) for many parts of Gujarat and West Rajasthan is in “severely dry” to “moderately dry” categories.According to IMD, Odisha has recorded a 31% rain deficiency, Gujarat 47%, Kerala 28%, Manipur 58%, Arunachal Pradesh 25%, Mizoram 28% and Nagaland 24%. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/gujarat-western-rajasthan-face-drought-like-conditions-imd-data-101629830127890.html  (25 Aug. 2021)

Rajasthan Less water in Bisalpur dam, 3 days per week supply The city will get piped water three days a week as the Bisalpur dam has received less inflows because of poor monsoon in the catchment areas. The rationing of supply, which started from Sunday (Sept. 20), will also affect the rural areas. In towns like Kishangarh and Beawar also, there will be supply once every three days. The rural districts will face more deduction and will get water every 80 to 85 hours. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ajmer/less-water-in-bisalpur-dam-3-days-per-week-supply-for-ajmer/articleshow/86160040.cms  (13 Sept. 2021)

Water trains for Pali by September end If the average rainfall doesn’t increase by September 15, then Jaipur, Ajmer and Tonk may face water supply cuts. According to officials of the Public Health Engineering Department (PHED), water supply will be cut by 15% in Jaipur and Tonk, and 10% in Ajmer if rains do not occur in five days. “We have already cut 5% of the water supply in Jaipur and Tonk. If by September 15, rainfall doesn’t occur, then we will further cut 10% water supply in both the cities and 10% in Ajmer. We are fully prepared for any crisis and will take appropriate action.”

Currently, out of 727 dams in Rajasthan, 267 are empty, 313 are partially full and 125 full. All the dams together have a capacity to store 12,626 million cubic metres of water in the state. But the total water level was 59.96% as on September 10, which is lower than the level on September 3, 2020 i.e. 71.10%.

The PHED recently announced water trains for Pali district by September-end as the water level in Jawai dam was just at 10 feet due to low rainfall. Along with main cities, Jawai dam supplies water to hundreds of villages in Pali district and the situation will become difficult for people in the coming days. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ajmer/jaipur-ajmer-and-tonk-may-face-water-shortage/articleshow/86109134.cms  (11 Sept. 2021)

Odisha Crops in 102 of 314 blocks affected Govt on Monday (Sept. 6) told the state assembly that standing crops in at least 102 of the 314 blocks have been affected by the rainfall deficit even as former chief minister Hemananda Biswal conducted a puja at his village to “propitiate the rain gods”.

In August alone the state saw 44% less than expected rain, rendering the fate of transplanted paddy uncertain in most of the areas. Between June 1 and September 6, Odisha saw 29% less rain with 25 of 30 districts in Odisha receiving deficit rainfall between 59% and 20% in the last three months. Due to deficient rainfall, agricultural activities have been possible only on 56.33 lakh hectares of farmland against a target of 61.96 lakh hectares.

The revenue minister said while 15 small and medium reservoirs in the state are almost dry, so far only the Mahanadi delta irrigation system and Subarnarekha irrigation system are holding up. Hirakud reservoir has now 62% of its capacity filled up compared to 83% last year while Rengali reservoir has 79% filled up compared to 103% last year. “Rains in September will be crucial for Odisha,” he said. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/others/crops-in-102-of-314-blocks-in-odisha-affected-by-rain-deficit-101631021514726.html  (07 Sept. 2021)

Madhya Pradesh Girls paraded naked to please rain gods In Damoh district of Bundelkhand where rainfall deficit till Sept 5 was 47%. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhopal/in-madhya-pradesh-little-girls-paraded-naked-to-please-rain-gods/articleshow/85995490.cms  (07 Sept. 2021)

DISASTERS

Uttarakhand Earthquake of 4.6 magnitude hits Joshimath According to NCS, the tremors were felt 31 kilometres WSW of Joshimath at 5.58 am on Sept. 11.  https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/earthquake-of-4-6-magnitude-hits-uttarakhand-s-joshimath-101631329401300.html  (11 Sept. 2021)

More villages turning vulnerable to disaster While many are fighting relocation, those who shift face conflicts with host villages over resources like water and grazing land. Is relocation the right way to mitigate disasters that are striking the Himalayan state with increasing ferocity? https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/natural-disasters/long-road-home-uttarakhand-increasingly-declares-villages-disaster-prone–78821  (07 Sept. 2021)

जोशीमठ:- सीमान्त गॉव जुगजू के ऊपर एक बार फिर चटटान कहर बनकर टूटी, ग्रामीणों ने गुफाआंे मंे शरण लेकर जान बचाई। https://uttarakhandsamachar.com/broken-rock-again-at-jugju-village/  (11 Sept. 2021)

रुद्रप्रयाग, जनपद में हो रही लगातार बारिश की वजह से जनजीवन अस्तव्यस्त हो गया है। दूसरी ओर भारी बारिश से बैरांगन-कमोल्डी मोटरमार्ग पर दरारें पड़ गईं हैं। https://samaysakshya.co.in/bhari-barish-se-berang-kamoldi/  (12 Sept. 2021)

LANDSLIDES

Himachal Pradesh Landslide Blocks Key NH  A landslide at Jeori near Rampur Sub Division in Shimla district has led to a block on the NH 5 that connects Firozpur in Punjab with Shipki La on the India-China border. A video shared by Himachal Traffic, Tourist and Railways Police on social media shows a mass of land sliding down a slope. Boulders can be seen tumbling down the slope amid a cloud of dust. Some vehicles, it appears, had a narrow escape as they are seen right on the edge of the point where the landslide occurred. https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/national-highway-blocked-after-himachal-landslide-no-casualty-reported-2531507  (06 Sept. 2021)

Heavy rainfall resulted in landslides on the NH 305 at Shojha in Kullu district of on Sunday (Sept. 12) which has disrupted the vehicular movement. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/shimla/landslide-blocks-national-highway-305-in-himachal-pradeshs-kullu/articleshow/86136124.cms  (12 Sept. 2021)

Local residents blamed the hydro power projects for frequent landslides in the area. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/landslide-blocks-nh-near-jeori-307619  (07 Sept. 2021)

Dave Petley on Jeori landslide in Shimla district on Sept 6, 2021: https://blogs.agu.org/landslideblog/2021/09/07/jeori-1/  (07 Sept. 2021)

Since Wednesday (Sept. 8) morning, rain has lashed Mandi, Kangra and other areas of the state. The Shimla-Kinnaur NH-5 has been closed again after a massive landslide near Jeori in the Rampur sub-division of the Shimla district. https://www.news18.com/news/india/yellow-alert-in-himachals-10-districts-national-highways-closed-due-to-landslides-4178576.html  (08 Sept. 2021)

Activists say bad urban planning, driven by tourism and urban growth, is exacerbating the impact of the climate crisis. https://indianexpress.com/article/india/climate-change-construction-effect-himalayas-7498640/  (09 Sept. 2021)

The fragile ecology, cornered by climate change, mindless tourism and unplanned development, is begging for intervention. http://www.natgeotraveller.in/the-mountains-are-calling-for-help/  (07 Sept. 2021)

हिमाचल प्रदेश में इस साल प्राकृतिक आपदाओं में कम से कम 246 लोगों ने जान गंवाई है। राज्य में भूस्खलन, बादल फटने और बाढ़ जैसी कुदरती अपदाएं बढ़ती जा रही हैं। जानकार इन त्रासदियों को जलवायु परिवर्तन और मानव गतिविधियों का कुप्रभाव मानते हैं। https://hindi.mongabay.com/2021/09/03/how-himachal-pradesh-is-bearing-the-brunt-of-climate-change-every-year/  (03 Sept. 2021)

CLOUD BURSTS

SANDRP Blog Uttarakhand: ‘Cloud Burst’ in Syunsal; Administration disinterested in rainfall monitoring This is second such incident in the Chauthan Patti this monsoon season. First one happened on July 28 in Dumdikot area located about 7 km away from Syunsal village. There has been similar ‘cloud burst’ event witnessed in June 2019 in Mason village of the Patti.

In all these three excessive rainfall incidents in Chauthan, it has been found that the rainfall data which is recorded at tehsil headquarters some 50km away and by IMD, Dehradun has been far less than it actually rained locally in these villages. About 50km radius area lying between Thailisain, Pauri and Gairsain, does not have a single rainfall gauge to properly monitor the changing rainfall patterns. https://sandrp.in/2021/09/12/uttarakhand-cloud-burst-in-syunsal-administration-disinterested-in-rainfall-monitoring/  (12 Sept. 2021)

At least 26 cloudbursts occurred in the Himalayan region from January through July 29, 2021, according to analysis by Down to Earth based on media reports. Some of these incidents were verified by the regional authorities concerned. The IMD, however, did not report any of these incidents as cloudburst.

It is a cloudburst when the amount of rainfall in a particular region exceeds 100 millimetres per hour, according to IMD. The minimum threshold is quite high, which may be why only 30 such incidents have been recorded between 1970 and 2016, according to IMD. Some scientists term rainfall between 50 and 100 mm within two hours as a ‘mini cloudburst’. https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/climate-change/cloudbursts-in-himachal-uttarakhand-evidence-of-climate-change-experts-78220  (02 Aug. 2021)

Uttarakhand सिरोबगड़ में बादल फटने से तबाही बृहस्पतिवार (Sept. 9) देर रात 12 से 1 बजे के बीच मूसलाधार बारिश के दौरान सिरोबगड़ के ऊपरी तरफ बादल फटने से भारी मलबा बदरीनाथ हाईवे पर आ गया। इस दौरान हाईवे किनारे खड़ा डीजल से भरा टैंकर मलबे के सैलाब में सीधे अलकनंदा नदी में जा गिरा। टैंकर में सवार चालक सहित एक अन्य व्यक्ति के लापता होने की बात कही जा रही है। इसके अलावा सिमेंट से भरा ट्रक भी पानी व मलबे के उफान में सड़क से नीचे लटक गया। जबकि दो कारें मलबे में दब गईं। 

अतिवृष्टि के कहर का अंदाजा इसी बात से लगाया जा सकता है कि प्रभावित क्षेत्र में हाईवे पर एक किमी के क्षेत्र में जगह-जगह मलबा भरा हुआ है और यहां यातायात ठप है। सिरोबगड़ में बादल फटने के बाद मलबे के सैलाब से बदरीनाथ राजमार्ग की हालत बेहद खराब हो गई है। यहां हाईवे पर एक किमी से अधिक क्षेत्र में मलबा और पत्थर बिखरे हुए हैं, जिस पर पैदल चलना भी मुश्किल हो रहा है। रुद्रप्रयाग से खांकरा के बीच हाईवे पर कई जगह मलबा गिरा। https://www.amarujala.com/photo-gallery/dehradun/uttarakhand-weather-update-today-cloudburst-in-rudraprayag-sirobagad-disaster-photos  (10 Sept. 2021) https://www.hindusthansamachar.in/Encyc/2021/9/10/Cloud-bursts-near-Sirobgad-two-people-missing.php (10 Sept. 2021)  

नारायणबगड़ में बादल फटने से नुकसान चमोली के नारायणबगड़ में बादल फटने से नुकसान हुआ है। पास की पहाड़ी में हुए जबरदस्त भूस्खलन के बाद मलबा कुछ मकान और दुकानों में घुस गया। इसके अलावा मलबे से एक गोशाला और एक मकान ध्वस्त हो गया। इस दौरान कई लोगों ने भागकर जान बचाई। प्रशासन की टीम ने मौके पर पहुंचकर क्षति का जायजा लिया। मंगलवार (Sept. 7) तड़के जिला मुख्यालय गोपेश्वर से 90 किलोमीटर दूर नारायणबगड़ कस्बे के पास स्थित एक पहाड़ी पर बादल फटने के बाद भारी मात्रा में मलबा आ गया। https://www.jagran.com/uttarakhand/chamoli-chamoli-cloudburst-debris-entered-in-shops-and-six-houses-after-heavy-rainfall-21999884.html  (07 Sept. 2021)

सोमवार (Sept. 6) देर रात श्रीनगर विधानसभा क्षेत्र के सीमावर्ती गांव स्यूंसाल में भारी बारिश के बाद आए जल सैलाब में कई खेत और पशु चरान का बड़ा भूभाग बह गया है. प्रारंभिक सर्वे के अनुसार गांव के करीब 18 किसानों की लगभग 15 नाली जमीन पर फसलें पूरी तरह नष्ट हो गई हैं. https://www.etvbharat.com/hindi/uttarakhand/state/pauri-garhwal/hectares-of-land-have-been-washed-away-due-to-cloudburst-in-srinagar/uttarakhand20210907183559669  (08 Sept. 2021)

नारायणबगड़ में बादल फटने से स्थानीय लोगों का जन-जीवन बुरी तरह प्रभावित हो गया. रिहायशी इलाकों में मलबा आ गया. लोगों ने भागकर अपनी जान बचाई. बारिश की वजह से भूस्खलन के बाद मलबा बहता हुआ रिहायशी इलाके में आ गया. एक मकान और गौशाला मलबे की जद में आ गई. डौंडियाल परिवार और उनके किराएदारों का भी लाखों का सामान मलबे की चपेट में आ गया. https://hindi.news18.com/news/uttarakhand/chamoli-cloud-burst-at-narayanbagad-debris-affected-locals-livelihood-3734286.html  (10 Sept. 2021)

फूलों की घाटी में गिरी आकाशीय बिजली, भारी तबाही, भारी मलबे से भरे आशियाने और दुकाने https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKwfDSPL8Po  (08 Sept. 2021)

7 killed, 3 bodies recovered after landslide hits Pithoragarh At least seven people were feared dead after their houses were hit by debris and muck due to cloud burst in Pithoragarh district, a senior official said on Monday (Aug. 30). “The disaster occurred in Jamri and Tarkot hamlets in Jumma village when heavy rains led to debris and muck hitting the houses. So far, three bodies have been recovered and the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) team is searching for the other missing persons of the village,” Ashish Chauhan, Pithoragarh’s district magistrate, said.

Pithoragarh district has been receiving incessant rainfall for the last four to five days, leading to several incidents of landslides. A 23-year-old woman went missing last week in Joshi village of Dharchula sub-division of Pithoragarh, reports news agency PTI.

Heavy rains have caused a lot of destruction and 166 roads in the state, including the Badrinath and Gangotri highways, have been closed. The Rishikesh-Badrinath road has been put on red alert due to incessant rains, reported news agency ANI.

The Rishikesh-Gangotri NH-94 was closed for vehicular traffic from Narendra Nagar to Chamba on Friday (Aug. 27) after a large portion of it was breached following heavy rains in Fakot and was blocked at a number of places due to landslide debris. It was opened for light vehicular traffic movement on Saturday (Aug. 28). https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/2-killed-5-buried-under-debris-due-to-landslide-in-uttarakhand-s-pithoragarh-101630298412888.html  (30 Aug. 2021)

Pithoragarh district magistrate Ashish Chauhan told TOI that six houses were damaged in the cloudburst. “Five bodies have been recovered. Three of the victims were sisters who were sleeping in their house when it flattened,” he said. The sisters were aged between nine and 15. The other two victims have been identified as Sunita Devi and Parwati Devi. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/5-dead-2-missing-after-cloudburst-hits-ukhand/articleshow/85771078.cms  (30 Aug. 2021)

An official said the rescue teams have reached village and searching for survivors. The village is located on the banks of Kali River that flows from Nepal to India. The cloudburst occurred on the riverside affecting a sizeable chunk in Nepal as well.

Visuals from the village shared with News18 suggest that there has been widespread damage in the bordering village following the cloudburst and incessant rains. Several houses have also been damaged in the sludge that spilled all over. The locals, meanwhile, have been making efforts to save those trapped in the debris. https://www.news18.com/news/india/at-least-3-killed-7-missing-after-cloudburst-in-remote-uttarakhand-village-4143827.html  (30 Aug. 2021)

Eight missing post cloud-burst incident in Dharchula. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d057otwOcWg  (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 नेशनल हाइड्रो पावर कारपोरेशन (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। सुबह झील से रिसाव शुरू हुआ तो आगे धारचूला में काली नदी का जलस्तर अंतरराष्ट्रीय झूला पुल के पास तक पहुंच गया। इससे नदी किनारे बस्तियों को खतरा पैदा हो गया। https://www.jagran.com/uttarakhand/nainital-cloudburst-in-pithoragarh-many-people-missing-more-than-half-a-dozen-houses-destroyed-21974634.html  (30 Aug. 2021)

नेपाल की ओर से भारी भूस्खलन के कारण काली नदी में झील बन गई है। इससे एनएचपीसी तपोवन के परिसर तक पानी घुस आया है। नेपाल की ओर से कालागाड़ पहाड़ी से मलबा काली नदी में आ गया। इससे नदी का प्रवाह रुक गया और एनएचपीसी कॉलोनी में जलभराव हो गया। दर्जनों मकानों में मलबा और पानी घुस गया। इसमें तीन वाहन बह गए। काली नदी का जल स्तर बढ़ने से बीआरओ का क्रशर प्लांट और हट्स क्षतिग्रस्त हो गए जबकि तारकोल के सैकड़ों ड्रम और काफी सामान मलबे में दब गया।

बागेश्वर जिले में बारिश जमकर कहर बरपा रही है। कपकोट तहसील क्षेत्र में रविवार (Aug. 29) की रात और सोमवार की सुबह हुई बारिश से कई गांवों में भारी नुकसान हुआ है। कई स्थानों पर पहाड़ दरक गए हैं। चचई गांव में सुम्येड़ा तोक को जोड़ने के लिए बने दो पैदल पुल बह गए। तोक के करीब 250 ग्रामीणों का संपर्क गांव से कट गया है। कपकोट क्षेत्र के कई गांवों में घरों, गोशालाओं को नुकसान पहुंचा है।

जगथाना गांव को धनाबगड़ तोक से जोड़ने वाला पैदल पुल भी क्षतिग्रस्त हो गया है। इससे तोक के छह परिवारों को आवाजाही में परेशानी हो रही है।चचई गांव में करीब 50 खेत मलबे से पट गए हैं। बागेश्वर में अनर्सा-झटक्वाली मोटर मार्ग के किनारे खड़ी पिकअप सड़क के धंसने से खेत में पलट गई। हरसीला-पुड़कूनी सड़क पर आए मलबे में एक वाहन फंस गया। रेवती नदी के कटाव से सड़क ध्वस्त होने के कारण हरसिंग्याबगड़, बड़ेत, नौकोड़ी सहित आधा दर्जन से अधिक गांवों का संपर्क कपकोट तहसील मुख्यालय से कट गया है। https://www.amarujala.com/dehradun/uttarakhand-weather-today-latest-news-disaster-in-pithoragarh-after-extreme-rainfall?pageId=2  (30 Aug. 2021)

घटना रात करीब दो बजे की है। रविवार (Aug. 29) की रात धारचूला और नेपाल के इलाकों में मूसलाधार बारिश हुई। जिसके बाद रात से ही काली नदी का जलस्तर बढ़ने लगा था। तपोवन एनएचपीसी में बने आवासीय परिसर तक काली नदी का जलस्तर बढ़ गया। इससे अफरा-तफरी का माहौल बन गया। इस दौरान तीन वाहन भी बह गए। बनबसा बैराज के अटेंडेंट जेई संजय सिंह ने बताया कि सुबह नौ बजे शारदा का जलस्तर अचानक बढ़ने लगा, जो दोपहर 12 बजे तक दो लाख 60 हजार क्यूसेक से अधिक पहुंच गया। https://www.amarujala.com/photo-gallery/dehradun/uttarakhand-weather-today-latest-news-search-operation-continue-after-disaster-in-pithoragarh-photos  (30 Aug. 2021)

मसूरी के भितरली गांव के पास फटा बादल मसूरी विधानसभा क्षेत्र के भितरली गांव के पास मजरा कडरियाना में शुक्रवार (Aug. 27) सुबह बादल फटा। दो गोशालाएं बह गईं, आधा दर्जन से अधिक स्थानों पर भूस्खलन से सड़कें बंद हो गईं। मसूरी-दून मार्ग गलोगी धार के पास करीब 14 घंटे तक बंद रहा। खेतों को भी भारी नुकसान पहुंचा है। स्थानीय निवासी अन्नु पुडींर के अनुसार बादल फटने से एक दर्जन से अधिक धान के खेत तबाह हो गए खेतों ने नालों का रूप ले लिया। इससे किसानों को भारी नुकसान हुआ है। रानीपोखरी में जाखन नदी पर 57 साल पुराने पुल के दो हिस्से टूटकर बहने से ऋषिकेश समेत गढ़वाल से सड़क संपर्क टूट गया।

मसूरी में लगाए गए ऑटोमेटिक वेदर स्टेशन में 251 मिमी बारिश रिकार्ड की गई। मौसम विभाग के मुताबिक शुक्रवार (Aug. 27) सुबह साढ़े आठ बजे तक सहस्रधारा में 139 मिमी बारिश हुई। सहस्रधार में शुक्रवार (Aug. 27) सुबह साढ़े आठ बजे के बाद शाम तक 8.5 मिमी बारिश रिकार्ड की गई। इसके अलावा जौलीग्रांट में 94.6 मिमी बारिश रिकार्ड की गई। जहां तक राजधानी देहरादून का सवाल है तो दून में 17.5 मिमी बारिश हुई। https://www.amarujala.com/dehradun/uttarakhand-monsoon-update-today-heavy-rainfall-orange-alert-in-many-district  (27 Aug. 2021)

शुक्रवार (Aug. 27) सुबह साढ़े सात बजे के करीब बिन्हार के पष्टा क्षेत्र के जाखन में बादल फटने पर खेतों में काम कर रहे करीब 30 Villagers उफनाती नदी के पास आकर फंस गए जिन्हें SDRF की मदद से सुरक्षित नदी पार कराई गई। https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x83s9o9 

पछवादून में बादल फटने और नदी में बहने से दो 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। बिन्हार के पष्टा क्षेत्र के जाखन कौशियान में दर्शन सिंह पुत्र मोहर सिंह गुरुवार की रात छानी में सो रहे थे।

शुक्रवार (Aug. 26) तड़के बादल फटने से छानी धराशाई हो गई और उसमें सो रहे दर्शन सिंह मलबे में दब गये। चारों तरफ खेतों में मलबा घुसने से किसानों की फसलें और नींबू कटहल के बगीचे पूरी तरह बर्बाद हो चुके है। बादल फटने से जगह-जगह सड़क भी मलबे में दब गई। बादल फटने से मरने वाले दर्शन का बैल, जयपाल की बकरियां भी बह गईं। साथ ही करीब तीन दर्जन किसानों की फसल और बगीचे बर्बाद हो गए।

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। https://www.jagran.com/uttarakhand/dehradun-city-cloud-bursts-in-jakhan-village-one-dide-after-house-collapse-in-vikasnagar-21966155.html  (27 Aug. 2021)

विकासनगर के पष्टा क्षेत्र के जाखन गांव में बादल फटने से एक मकान ध्वस्त हो दगया। हादसे में एक शख्स की मलबे में दबकर मौत हो गई। वहीं, दर्जनों किसानों के खेतों में मलबा आने से फसलों को नुकसान पहुंचा है। वहीं, तीन पावर हाउसों में बिजली उत्पादन ठप हो गया, मात्र दो पावर हाउसों छिबरौ और खोदरी में जनरेशन चल रहा है।

बदरीनाथ हाइवे पर पत्थर और मलबा गिरने के कारण यातायात पर पूरी तरह रोक दिया गया है। वहीं, गंगोत्री हाइवे पर फकोट के पास आलवेदर रोड का हिस्सा बहने से यहां भी आवाजाही पर रोक लगाने के टिहरी जिलाधिकारी इवा आशीष श्रीवास्तव ने आदेश दिए हैं।

रातभर हुई भारी बारिश के कारण सहस्रधारा में नदी उफान पर आ गई, जिसके चलते भू कटाव के कारण सड़क का एक हिस्सा बह गया। खैरी मान सिंह में बारिश से सड़क और पुस्ते को काफी नुकसान पहुंचा है। नदियों के उफान पर आने से विकासनगर में हरिपुर बस्ती व कोर्ट रोड, पांवटा रोड पर भरा पानी, कोर्ट रोड स्थित दुकानों और पंजाब नेशनल बैंक की शाखा में पानी भर गया। उधर, आसन और शीतला नदी में उफान से सहसपुर, खुशहालपुर, जस्सोवाला, छरबा, लक्खनवाला में किसानों की जमीनों और ग्रामीणों के घरों को बड़े पैमाने पर नुकसान पहुंचा है। https://www.jagran.com/uttarakhand/dehradun-city-see-photo-and-videos-ranipokhari-bridge-collapsed-river-is-in-boom-and-cloudburst-in-vikasnagar-21966428.html  (27 Aug. 2021)

जाखन में बादल फटने से नदियों का विकराल रूप. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEGbvOirYeQ  (28 Aug. 2021)

A bridge over Jakhan river collapsed and a key road caved, damaging several vehicles. No casualties have been reported till now but transport has been badly hit in several parts of the city and even the state. https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/watch-dehradun-bridge-collapses-road-caves-in-after-heavy-rain-2520670  (27 Aug. 2021)

काटल गांव में फटा बादल  मंगलवार (Aug. 24) रात से जारी बारिश के बाद ऋषिकेश में नदियां उफान पर आ गई हैं। वहीं, देर रात (Aug. 25) नरेंद्र नगर ब्लॉक के काटल गांव में बादल फटने से खेत, बिजली के पोल और पैदल मार्ग पर बना पुल बह गया। लगातार जारी बारिश के बाद काटल गदेरे ने भयावह रूप ले लिया। गदेरे में मिट्टी, पत्थर और बड़े-बड़े बोल्डर बहकर आने लगे, अनहोनी की आशंका देख ग्रामीण रात को एक सुरक्षित स्थान पर एकत्रित हो गए। जिन लोगों के मकान गदेरे के पास थे वे मकान खाली कर सुरक्षित जगह पर पहुंच गए। ग्रामीण रात भर सो नहीं पाए। इस दौरान गांव में जो बिजली के पोल थे वे भी बह कर नीचे गिरे थे। नौडू लमदार पुनगुड को जाने के लिए काटल गदेरे पर बना पैदल घाट पुल भी बह गया।

स्थानीय निवासी सुरेंद्र भंडारी और काटल की ग्राम प्रधान सीमा देवी ने बताया कि शिवपुरी-तिमली पसरखेत-गजा मोटर मार्ग की कटिंग का काम दो साल से पीएमजीएसवाई नरेंद्रनगर की ओर से किया जा रहा है। रोड कटिंग के दौरान डंपिंग जोन ना बनाए जाने से सड़क का मलबा गदेरे से गांव में आ गया। जिससे गांव में भारी नुकसान हुआ है। https://www.amarujala.com/photo-gallery/dehradun/uttarakhand-monsoon-update-today-cloudburst-in-rishikesh-and-ganga-water-level-increased-photos  (25 Aug. 2021)

Jammu & Kashmir Enhanced doppler radar for weather service An X-band doppler weather radar has been installed to provide improved weather services to people of Jammu and Kashmir, the IMD said on Saturday (Sept. 4). Union minister Jitendra Singh will dedicate the radar along with an indigenous GPS based pilot-sonde to public at the meteorological office in Jammu on Sunday (Sept. 5), it said in a statement.

IMD said the system will also help in providing weather forecasts for different sectors, including tourism forecast for pilgrims of Mata Vaishno Devi shrine at Katra which has an average footfall of 8.5 million every year. It will also provide inputs to numerical weather prediction models for generating better weather forecasts. https://www.thenorthlines.com/jammu-gets-enhanced-doppler-radar-for-weather-service/  (05 Sept. 2021) केंद्रीय मंत्री डॉ. जितेंद्र सिंह ने रविवार (Sept. 5) को बनतालाब स्थित कार्यालय में एक्स बैड डॉप्लर वेदर रडार प्रणाली का लोर्कापण किया। https://www.amarujala.com/jammu/jammu-and-kashmir-doppler-radar-system-to-provide-accurate-weather-information-launched  (05 Sept. 2021)

ENVIRONMENT GOVERNANCE

Supreme Court NGT’s Suo Motu power? SC Reserves Judgment The apex court on Wednesday concluded hearing oral submissions from concerned parties pertaining to a batch of petitions on the issue whether the NGT has jurisdiction under the provisions of the NGT Act, 2010 (NGT Act) to initiate suo motu proceedings based on a letter or a newspaper report. The Apex Court also directed the parties to file their additional written submission if any, within a period of 1 week. https://www.livelaw.in/top-stories/supreme-court-ngt-suo-moto-powers-suo-motu-cognizance-181206

MoEF ‘Single window’ process for all ECs on anvil The Union environment ministry is in the process of setting up a ‘single window’ process for all clearances pertaining to forest, environment, wildlife and coastal regulation zone, people familiar with the matter said.

In an office memorandum (OM) on Sept 7, the ministry directed all industries, mining companies and infrastructure projects to upload digitised records of clearances granted to them in the past and records of compliance with the directions issued to them under the environmental clearance. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/single-window-process-for-all-environment-clearances-on-anvil-101631296562407.html  (11 Sept. 2021)

Kuno NP to be home to Cheetahs in 6 months “Firstly, this is not reintroduction but introduction of African Cheetahs to India. They belong to the African continent. The Kuno Palpur sanctuary hasn’t been prepared for cheetahs which need large open areas and small catchable prey. The Chinkara group size in Kuno is very small and Chital group size is also shrinking due to loss of open grasslands. We have to be very cautious of zoonotic diseases also during this experiment. It would have been better if suitable habitat was developed before bringing them,” said Fayaz Khudsar, a wildlife biologist who conducted field research in Kuno in the late 90’s. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/mps-kuno-national-park-to-be-home-to-cheetahs-in-6-months-101631040837425.html  (08 Sept. 2021)

Chhattisgarh Iron ore mining drives deforestation Large scale mining projects, that require the clearing of forests, are threatening the environment as well as the rights of the indigenous communities. In some cases, the tribal people are protesting as the mining projects threaten areas sacred to them. https://india.mongabay.com/2021/09/iron-ore-mining-in-chhattisgarh-drives-deforestation/  (01 Sept. 2021)

Haryana Biodiversity plan to focus on conservation for 10 yrs State Biodiversity Board’s plan will provide guidance on reducing negative impacts on biodiversity and focus on biodiversity restoration and maintenance with landscape-based interventions, officials said on Monday (Sept. 6). The board has set a target of March 2022 for developing the plan. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/gurugram-news/biodiversity-plan-to-focus-on-conservation-for-10-years-with-available-resources-101630951847334.html  (06 Sept. 2021)

A drone survey conducted by the forest department has revealed that violators have encroached on around 250 acres of forest area in the city. Of this, nearly 225 acres fall under the Punjab Land Conservation Act (PLPA), while 25 acres are in the Aravali plantation area. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/gurgaon/250-acres-of-aravali-land-encroached-finds-drone-survey/articleshow/85959302.cms  (06 Sept. 2021)

Around 8,000 hectares of the Aravalis in Faridabad are not part of the Natural Conservation Zone (NCZ), the Haryana government has pointed out. This is likely to pave the way for constructions in the green area, an issue that has led to several court petitions by environmental activists. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/gurgaon/8000-hectares-of-aravalis-in-faridabad-arent-part-of-ncz-says-haryana-government/articleshow/86150073.cms  (13 Sept. 2021)

Environmentalists say that by that definition, the provision of the NCZ, which places restrictions on construction activity, will not be applicable to Aravalli areas in Faridabad. https://indianexpress.com/article/india/haryana-govt-panel-suggests-redefining-aravallis-will-shrink-protected-area-7504757/  (13 Sept. 2021)

Goa HC stops Dudhsagar road project plan On Wednesday (Sept. 8), the Bombay high court’s Goa bench restrained the Goa PWD from going forward with a road project to “upgrade” the current kutcha road leading to the world famous Dudhsagar Falls to a paved road. The Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park protected area is a vital wildlife habitat of Goa, being home to a number of endangered species, including tigers. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/others/all-you-need-to-know-about-the-road-to-goa-s-dudhsagar-that-has-environmentalists-fuming-101631266558571.html  (10 Sept. 2021)

CLIMATE CHANGE

Tamil Nadu Govt has a long, arduous road ahead In its first budget, the MK Stalin-led govt allocated ₹500 crore for climate action missions. It is probably the only state in the country to have allocated such a huge sum in this regard. Though it has been welcomed by a large section of society, experts suggest that the state can do more on climate change by taking the first step to publish a climate action plan. The draft SAPCC was prepared in 2014, revised in 2019, but remains yet to be finalised. https://thefederal.com/states/south/tamil-nadu/climate-action-plan-tn-govt-has-a-long-arduous-road-ahead/  (08 Sept. 2021)

Mumbai CAP must consider all by Nikhil Anand, Lalitha Kamath  If the main goal of the Mumbai’s Climate Action Plan is to increase the ability of the city to withstand environmental disasters in the present and near future, then it can only succeed if it ensures that all residents, particularly the city’s most vulnerable, can secure safe, healthy and resilient housing, public space and urban infrastructure in the city. This is very ambitious, no doubt. But that is also what makes it worth doing. https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/mumbais-climate-adaptation-plan-must-consider-all-citizens-especially-the-most-vulnerable-7499760/  (10 Sept. 2021)

The city on an average has experienced four extremely heavy rainfall events each year in the last decade—from 2010-20—clearly showcasing that extreme climatic events have become a regular feature in the recent past. The IMD considers rainfall of more than 204.5 mm in 24 hours as extremely heavy. The analysis was shared by World Resources Institute India at the stakeholder consultation meeting held on Thursday (Sept. 9) to draft MCAP during a discussion on urban flooding and water resource management. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/mumbai-4-extremely-heavy-rain-events-in-city-each-yr-in-past-decade/articleshow/86081568.cms  (10 Sept. 2021)

The civic body on Thursday (Sept. 2) kicked off the first of the six series’ public consultations as a part of the MCAP, which is being drafted by the World Resources Institute (India). https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/others/bmc-kicks-off-public-consultations-for-mumbai-climate-action-plan-101630610955948.html  (03 Sept. 2021)

Within 25 to 30 years, South Mumbai’s Nariman Point, the state secretariat will go be engulfed by the rising seawater level, Mumbai municipal corporation Iqbal Singh Chahal has recently said. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/mumbai-news/mumbais-nariman-point-will-be-under-water-by-2050-says-bmc-chief-explains-why-101630146958078.html  (28 Aug. 2021)

Study 3 new heatwave hotspots North-Western, Central, and further to south-central region of the country are the new hotspot of intense heat wave events over the past half-century, a study, which found an increase in deadly Indian heat waves in recent years, stated.

The study also focuses on the need of developing an effective heat action plans in the three heat wave hotspot regions with a focus on different vulnerabilities among the inhabitants, a statement from the Ministry of Science and Technology said. https://www.livemint.com/news/india/three-new-heatwave-hotspots-in-india-put-large-population-at-immediate-health-risk-study-11631017071853.html  (07 Sept. 2021)

Report India Needs a Climate-Resilient Action Plan For Its Drylands Drylands are degraded across continents due to over-cultivation, overgrazing, deforestation, poor irrigation and rising temperatures. https://science.thewire.in/environment/why-india-needs-a-climate-resilient-action-plan-for-its-drylands/  (09 Sept. 2021)

What a Warmer, Wetter World Means for Insects Esther Ndumi Ngumbi Climate change stressors such as flooding and drought affect what insects eat and can worsen outbreaks of pests like the fall armyworm. While elevation in CO₂ does not directly impact insects, it can alter plants’ nutritional quality and chemistry. This will indirectly affect insect herbivores. There is a need for more insect monitoring and forecasting and modelling so that we can develop adaptation strategies. https://theconversation.com/what-a-warmer-wetter-world-means-for-insects-and-for-what-they-eat-166509  (31 Aug. 2021)

Many creatures are now shifting their shapes to evolve with rising temperatures, threatened ecosystems, and scanty resources. https://www.indiatimes.com/technology/science-and-future/climate-change-forcing-animals-birds-to-survive-earth-549187.html  (11 Sept. 2021)

Changes happening in animals due to climate change. https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/question-corner-what-changes-are-happening-in-animals-due-to-climate-change/article36404349.ece  (11 Sept. 2021)

SOUTH ASIA

India-China China’s Hydropower Plan on Brahmaputra This article by the scholars from the National University of Singapore do not provide much additional details, but seem to confirm the Chinese plan on lower Yarlung Tsangpo. https://thediplomat.com/2021/09/chinas-hydropower-plan-on-the-brahmaputra/  (01 Sept. 2021)

Nepal Kathmandu’s ‘flash floods’ are 4 decades in the making  Kathmandu’s 21st century floods differ from what Kirkpatrick and Oldfield described in the 19th century. The situation has changed. Now, it is not just that Valley residents have built where they never used to, on lowlands where floods routinely sweep over. But the environment has also been remade: not just in the floodplains, but the entire landscape, so that the annual floods have grown much worse than before. Climate change has brought more intense rain. It is part of this new calculus, but only a part. Instead, other widespread changes to the Valley’s environment, especially to the water system, have made floods more frequent and fiercer.

Maps of land use change in Kathmandu Ishtiaque, Asif, Milan Shrestha, and Netra Chhetri. ‘Rapid Urban Growth in the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal: Monitoring Land Use Land Cover Dynamics of a Himalayan City with Landsat Imageries.’ Environments 4 (October 2017).

Most important, until a couple decades ago, the Valley’s soil and sand collected much of the year’s monsoon rain soaking it up like a sponge in the summer and releasing it slowly throughout the year. The problem is not just new buildings in the floodplains. All over the Valley, buildings and roads and courtyards and other ‘impervious surfaces’ block the recharging of groundwater. Once a compact city of bricks and mud, wetlands and ponds, Kathmandu and the entire Valley has become a sprawling metropolis of concrete. https://www.nepalitimes.com/banner/kathmandus-flash-floods-are-4-decades-in-the-making/  (31 July 2021)

Over 380 houses inundated, 138 rescued Flash floods triggered by heavy rainfall have inundated over 380 houses and damaged several residential areas in Kathmandu, police said on Monday (Sept. 6). Heavy rainfall on Sunday (Sept. 5) night inundated more than 100 places in Kathmandu.

Most of the human settlements on the river banks in Kathmandu have been inundated by the flash floods. Kathmandu witnessed 105 mm of rainfall within four hours, according to officials. A total of 382 houses have been inundated by flash floods, the Metropolitan Police Office said. https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/nepal-flash-floods-over-380-houses-inundated-138-rescued-101630923555865.html  (06 Sept. 2021)

Electricity production reaches around 2K Mw Nepal’s electricity production has reached around 2,000 MW after the 456-MW Upper Tamakoshi Hydroelectric Project (UTHP) started full-fledged production from Sept 5, 2021.

– Despite having adequate production, lack of infrastructure including the transmission lines has led to the wastage of the produced energy. According to the NEA, a total of 400 MW of electricity is going to waste during night while the loss during day time stands at around 200 MW to 300 MW on a daily basis. This has made the power utility to face a financial loss of Rs 40 million every day. NEA has proposed to export 456-MW of the UTHP and 45-MW of Bhote Koshi Hydropower Project to India, which is yet to be materialized. Currently, 108 private hydropower projects have been supplying 815-MW of electricity to the national grid. In total, the country now consumes 1,542 MW of electricity.   https://myrepublica.nagariknetwork.com/news/nepal-s-electricity-production-reaches-around-2-000-mw-with-upper-tamakoshi-starting-full-fledged-production/  (07 Sept. 2021)

ASIA

Tigris dams create water scarcity downstream Difficult situation in Iraq and Syria after more and more damming of Tigris and Euphrates in Turkey. https://www.pri.org/stories/2021-09-10/drought-iraq-and-syria-could-totally-collapse-food-system-millions-aid-groups  (10 Sept. 2021)

Netherlands Go with flows Extreme rainfall is causing deadly and destructive floods globally. The Netherlands averted disaster this summer by creating flood plains. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/07/world/europe/dutch-rivers-flood-control.html  (07 Sept. 2021)

Lebanon Running out of water More than 70 percent of Lebanon’s population faces critical water shortages, UN children’s agency warns.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/8/25/lebanons-critical-water-crisis-interactive  (25 Aug. 2021)

THE REST OF THE WORLD

COLOMBIA Presidential candidate found responsible for dam debacle Colombia’s Comptroller General found that presidential candidate Sergio Fajardo, 16 other former officials and 10 contractors are responsible for the near-collapse of a hydroelectric dam. Fajardo was among 19 former officials who were investigated for their alleged responsibility in the HidroItuango disaster that cost more than $1.1 billion (COP4.3 trillion). Fajardo’s negligence when he was governor of the Antioquia province contributed to the 2018 disaster that nearly collapsed Colombia’s biggest hydroelectric dam, according to the Comptroller General’s Office. https://colombiareports.com/presidential-candidate-found-responsible-for-colombias-1-1b-dam-debacle/  (07 Sept. 2021)

USA Can Retrofitting Dams for Hydro Provide a Green Energy Boost? “The era of building big dams is essentially over,” said LeRoy Coleman, a spokesperson for the National Hydropower Association, an industry group. “So our focus as the industry is … to develop on what’s out there.” https://e360.yale.edu/features/can-retrofitting-dams-for-hydro-provide-a-green-energy-boost  (27 July 2021)

Florida river gets curves back in 22-year, $980m restoration Even as we talk of channelisation, building walls and embankments, straightening rivers and disciplining them, this effort shows how difficult, time consuming and costly it is to put past mistakes right.

The Associated Press: This photo provided by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers shows a ribbon cutting ceremony at at Riverwoods Field Laboratory in Lorida, Fla,, on Thursday, July 29, 2021. State and federal officials in Florida are marking a major milestone in a 22-year project to restore The Kissimmee River. (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers via AP)

22 years, millions of dollars and just a stretch of river gets its meanders back again. But it is a historic moment no doubt. Listen up river restoration in India. https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/florida-river-restoration-project-marks-22-year-milestone-79166805  (30 July 2021)

Drought has many lessons for India Water levels at Lake Mead and Lake Powell to the northeast have already reached historic lows amid the summer drought.

The overall situation is not good, but why? This whole reservoir system along the Colorado River Basin was designed to get us through the drought years. Why isn’t it working? A glimpse into the history of the system, how it was designed and the impacts of climate change sheds light on why it was destined to fail — and why it may never recover.

..the Colorado River Compact of 1922 determined the river belonged to all parties where the river and its tributaries flowed. Everyone would share it equitably. This would include the upper basin states (Wyoming, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico) and the lower basin (Arizona, Nevada, and California).

The compact stated the upper basin would share 7.5 million acre-feet per year and the lower basin would also share 7.5 million acre-feet per year. Since the majority of this water originates in the Rocky Mountains of the upper basin states, those states must ensure the consistent delivery of water to the lower basin.

While this plan initially seemed to work well, it was doomed from the beginning, for three reasons.

1. The water was already over-allocated

How did the compact come up with the number 15 million acre-feet? Well, the number wasn’t just picked out of hat. There was a bit of analyzing of annual precipitation and runoff to come up with the estimate. In the early 1920s, data from the previous 10 to 20 years would be used to calculate the estimate. Unfortunately, the 1910s was a relatively wet decade and skewed the estimates higher than they should have been. https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2021/09/10/lake-powell-mead-drought-history/  (10 Sept. 2021)

Even in this record drought season, USA and Mexico put some water back into the Colorado Estuary for the environment. One might say that we are doing it all wrong and instead of putting water back in, we should just have caps on taking water out. All that is true. But it is special that two countries, bitter enemies when comes to water, are putting something out for the parched Colorado delta in one of the driest years. Change is messy.

The Colorado River is grabbing national headlines this summer as water shortages become more urgent. Hot and dry conditions are coming home to roost in its reservoirs, dropping the two biggest — Lakes Mead and Powell — to record lows. Even in a dry year like this one, Pitt said both the U.S. and Mexico have agreed to set aside water for the environment.

“If we don’t figure out at this moment how to support the river itself and all of nature that it supports, I fear that we lose them permanently. So I think at this time it is more important than ever,” she said. https://cronkitenews.azpbs.org/2021/08/02/even-in-an-epically-dry-year-water-flows-into-parched-colorado-river-delta/  (02 Aug. 2021)

New NASA research is showing how drought in the region is expected to change in the future, providing stakeholders with crucial information for decision making. The study, published in the peer-reviewed journal, Earth’s Future, found that the western United States is headed for prolonged drought conditions whether greenhouse gas emissions continue to climb or are aggressively reined in.

While the risk of intense single-year droughts increases as greenhouse gas emissions increase in the model results, the risk of multi-year droughts is high regardless of the emissions scenario, the study found. Credits: NOAA Climate Program Office / Anna Eshelman

However, the study also showed that the severity of acute, extreme drought events and the overall severity of prolonged drought conditions can be reduced with emissions-curbing efforts compared to a high-emissions future. This is important information for decision-makers considering two tools they can use to reduce climate impacts: Adaptation and mitigation. https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2021/nasa-drought-research-shows-value-of-both-climate-mitigation-and-adaptation  (08 Sept. 2021)

Building a better river delta Moodie and his colleagues’ new research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, describes a new framework for selecting the optimal placement for river diversions. “Because of the interaction between the river wanting to do what rivers do and a society that wants to minimize damage to itself, there emerges a best location that does both of those things,” said Moodie. “It lets the river do the closest to what it wants to do, but it also minimizes the damage to the society.”

Moodie’s framework points to urban areas as often better locations for river diversions than the rural and suburban areas where most river diversions are constructed. This finding counters a prevailing theory that cities are less sustainable and may have to be abandoned as seas continue to rise. Placing diversions closer to cities makes economic sense because losses from flooded farmland may last a season, but floods in urban areas can cause longer-term damage. “It’s actually easier to justify more expensive projects because you have to protect this infrastructure now or you lose so many more benefits from it,” he said.

The biggest challenge to implementing a new river diversion framework is involving different parties and their needs, which are diverse and sometime conflicting. Shareholders include rural, suburban, and urban residents and landowners; agricultural businesses; water engineers; municipal, state, and regional governments; environmental organizations; and local community leaders. https://eos.org/articles/building-a-better-river-delta  (08 Sept. 2021)

Australia Queensland water utility wins appeal against 2011 flood damages ruling State-owned Wivenhoe dam operator Seqwater has won an appeal against a landmark ruling on the 2011 Queensland floods. In 2019, the Supreme Court in New South Wales found the Queensland government, Sunwater and Seqwater, had acted negligently and had contributed to the disaster. It was ruled engineers had failed to follow their own flood mitigation manual, leading them to release large volumes of water at the height of the flood, damaging more properties. A judge ordered more than 6,500 victims whose homes or businesses were damaged were entitled to almost $900 million in compensation. Two of the defendants agreed to pay their share of the settlement but Seqwater — which was found liable for 50 per cent — appealed against the decision on a number of grounds. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-09-08/qld-court-2011-floods-appeal-hearing-class-action/100143440  (08 Sept. 2021)

Irrigation game How complicated can water management get as river flows dry up in a changing climate. And how water markets and trading make things more difficult. https://www.smh.com.au/environment/sustainability/irrigation-hunger-games-battle-over-australia-s-food-bowl-soon-to-heat-up-20210618-p58225.html  (20 June 2021)

UK Scotland’s fastest-flowing river ‘devastated’ by hydro schemes The 109-mile (175km) Spey – Scotland’s second longest river after the Tay – flows through the Highlands and Moray. A Spey Fishery Board-commissioned study said too much water was being diverted away from the Spey for use in generating electricity. It said water flow and levels on the river had dropped as a result. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-58462914  (10 Sept. 2021)

Sewage discharge rules eased over fears of chemical shortage Sewage treatment chemicals have been added to the growing list of products in short supply because of the UK’s chronic lorry driver shortage, it has emerged. The government has told wastewater plants in England and Wales they may be able to discharge effluent that had not been fully treated because of disruption caused by “supply chain failure”.  https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2021/sep/07/government-ease-sewage-discharge-rules-amid-chemical-shortage  (07 Sept. 2021)

WMO Weak La Nina to disrupt weather pattern again A weak La Nina is likely to emerge between September and November for the second consecutive year, and exacerbate drought in some parts of the world, and heavy rainfall and flooding in others, the World Meteorological Organisation said on Thursday (Sept. 9). https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/weak-la-nina-to-disrupt-weather-pattern-again-101631214056654.html  (10 Sept. 2021)

IUCN Conservation body calls for global moratorium on deep-sea mining The IUCN Congress said in a statement it recognised concerns that “biodiversity loss will be inevitable if deep-sea mining is permitted to occur”. https://indianexpress.com/article/technology/science/conservation-body-calls-for-global-moratorium-deep-sea-mining-7500387/  (10 Sept. 2021)

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

Also see: DRP News Bulletin 06 Sept. 2021 & DRP News Bulletin 30 Aug. 2021  

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

3 thoughts on “DRP NB 13 Sept 2021: Misleading claim of Water Plus cities

  1. “Recently, when the government of India certified that cities like Indore, Surat, Hyderabad, Vizag, etc are Water Plus” I think they are talking about rain water that’s threatening citizens and their property. Because I have serious doubt in their approach of a true nationalistic idea of nation building. More so because of their unfounded lies about keeping India safe under their banner. If a government works in favour of a handful business owners, keeps planning to destroy our ecology and environment, our forests and non renewable resources then all their claims are nothing but lies.
    Regarding the 7 dams in Uttarakhand that got nod for going ahead, if these himalan rivers get stopped at every here and there, that gives rise to lower amount of flow, stagnant water and thereby more river pollution. Where on earth, experts from a government believe that that won’t be the case in India, in Uttarakhand or Himachal-pradesh? Constructing dams in para-glacial zones are just willingly inviting troubles.
    Honestly speaking I have no hope that central ministries for water and energy and MOEF&CC will change any of their policies. But I still support environmental activism from your organisation and likes. Thank you.

    Like

  2. P.C.Shah,
    ​M.E,LL.M.
    Retd. City Engineer,
    Surat,
    Dear Sir,
    Like Ken Betwa Project may I have update status of
    Par Tapi Narmada link Project.
    As I know, no details on internet after 30 Aug.2019
    With regards,
    P.C. Shah

    ________________________________

    Like

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