DRP News Bulletin

DRP NB 20 Sep 2021: Policy needed for Urban Rivers, not Riverfronts

There is no doubt that India urgently needs a guidance note and policy for Environment Sensitive, Climate Adaptive and Socially inclusive Urban Rivers Planning and Development. But this is required for the Urban Rivers and not just Urban Riverfront. The NMCG attempt like that of Sabarmati and numerous other river fronts unfortunately are not bothered about rivers, they are only interested in grabbing land from the Urban Rivers and convert the rivers into concrete channels on two and in some cases three sides (include the sides and the bed of the rivers). That is clearly death knell for the rivers. There is no doubt that there is need connect the people with the rivers, not just river fronts. The NMCG and other government bodies know the difference, so it is not out of ignorance that they have come out with the guidance note for river fronts rather than one for rivers. Unless people, civil society, experts and judiciary raise these issues, the future of Urban rivers seem bleak in India, as can be seen from the stories of Urban rivers compiled here from this week. 

URBAN RIVERS

NMCG Guidance Note for Urban Riverfront Planning & Development “Guidance Note for Environmentally Sensitive, Climate Adaptive and Socially Inclusive Urban Riverfront Planning and Development” was launched by NMCG at ‘Connect Karo’ organised by World Resources Institute (WRI), India. Explaining how this publication will be useful in making river-sensitive urban designs, Shri Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, Director General, NMCG said, “This guideline will help city planners across the Ganga River Basin, and the country at large, understand how to integrate urban river fronts into a Master Plan.” He said, “Riverfronts help in re-connecting people to river and makes their visit to river pleasant.” He added that riverfronts are essential in meeting the increasing demand for public spaces in urban areas. https://pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetailm.aspx?PRID=1755828  (17 Sept. 2021)

We sincerely hope this is an advertisement run by The Week and nothing else. It talks as if all Ganga’s problems are over by one program which has been heavily criticized already. https://www.theweek.in/news/india/2021/09/10/Mission-Possible-Ganga-Rejuvenation.html  (10 Sept. 2021)

Alaknanda; Srinagar नदी के किनारे लगे कूड़े के ढेर पालिका की ओर से शहर से एकत्रित कूड़े को अलकनंदा किनारे बनाए गए अस्थायी डंपिंग जोन में निस्तारित किया जाता है। कुछ समय से कांपैक्ट मशीन खराब होने के कारण कूड़ा निस्तारण नहीं किया जा रहा है। जिस कारण डंपिंग जोन में टनों कूड़ा जमा है जबकि रेलवे परियोजना की ओर से डंपिंग जोन के एक ओर मोटर और दूसरी तरफ रेल पुल का निर्माण कार्य जारी है। इस पर दर्जनों श्रमिक काम कर रहे हैं। इसके साथ ही करीब 100 मीटर दूरी पर नामामि गंगे का स्नान घाट होने से हर समय लोगों की भीड़ जमा रहती है। डंपिंग जोन से लगी आवासीय बस्ती के लोग और व्यवसायी सौकत, जगतराम, अशोक, दिनेश व आनंद सिंह ने बताया कि करीब एक वर्ष से ज्यादा समय से डंपिंग जोन में कूड़े के ढेर लगे हैं। इसकी दुर्गंध से वह परेशान हैं। कई बार पालिका को समस्या से अवगत करवाया गया लेकिन अब तक कार्रवाई नहीं हो पाई है। वहीं दूसरी ओर पालिका के अधिशासी अधिकारी रोहिताश्व शर्मा ने बताया कि पालिका का स्थायी कूड़ा निस्तारण केंद्र तैयार हो चुका है। पहुंच मार्ग सही न होने से समस्या बनी हुई है। कल अस्थायी डंपिंग जोन का निरीक्षण कर समस्या का समाधान किया जाएगा। https://www.amarujala.com/uttarakhand/pauri/the-smell-spreading-from-the-garbage-pile-in-the-dumping-zone-shrinagar-news-drn390447042  (15 Sept. 2021)

Dehradun राजकीय मेडिकल कॉलेज के कोविड अस्पताल में प्रयुक्त सामग्री को बाहर खुले में रखा जा रहा है। वहां मवेशी और कुत्ते घुस रहे हैं। वहीं, बारिश होने पर इस कूड़े से रिस रहा पानी सड़क पर बह रहा है। राजकीय मेडिकल कॉलेज के बेस अस्पताल में 10 साल पूर्व इंसीनरेटर (कूड़े को भस्म करने का संयंत्र) स्थापित किया गया था। यह कुछ समय संचालित होने के बाद बंद हो गया। इसकी वजह प्रदूषण नियंत्रण बोर्ड से एनओसी न मिलना रहा। इंसीनरेटर की चिमनी की ऊंचाई आवासीय बस्ती से नीचे है जबकि चिमनी की ऊंचाई आवासीय भवनों से ऊपर होनी चाहिए ताकि कूड़ा जलाने से निकलने वाला खतरनाक धुआं आबादी को प्रभावित न करे। इस वजह से इसके संचालन पर रोक लग गई। https://www.amarujala.com/uttarakhand/pauri/animals-spreading-the-litter-of-covid-hospital-shrinagar-news-drn390292131  (13 Sept. 2021)

Musi; Hyderabad River front project shelved  Musi riverfront development project The state government has shelved the Musi Rejuvenation and Beautification Project despite spending crores on the much-publicised venture, and annually paying Rs 3.15 crore as salary to employees of Musi Riverfront Development Corporation Limited (MRDCL) for six years. The decision to abandon the project “for the time being” came after MRDCL board of directors met on August 28. It came in the wake of Rs 2-crore expenditure incurred by the corporation on river development works getting washed away in recent incessant rains. Citing urban flooding occurring every year, authorities said they would go ahead with the riverfront project only after preparing a detailed project report (DPR).  https://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/140921/government-shelves-musi-riverfront-development-project.html  (15 Sep 2021)

Sabarmati; Ahmedabad CPCB finds high level of pollution in Sabarmati river A report by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) over wastewater being discharged in the Sabarmati river in Ahmedabad, following directions from the High Court last month, stated that several polluting indicators exceed the permissible or prescribed STP parameters.

A division bench of the HC had taken suo moto cognisance of untreated wastewater being discharged in the Sabarmati river based on media reports in August. The CPCB report, submitted before the bench on Tuesday, concludes based on its interim analysis of river water samples that “untreated/partially treated municipal wastewater is being discharged in the River Sabarmati,” from specific locations. The report also states that the dissolved oxygen level found in its samples indicates “high pollution load in the river”, while noting that the water quality at the riverfront is relatively better. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/ahmedabad/gujarat-hc-looking-into-option-of-joint-taskforce-cpcb-finds-high-level-of-pollution-in-sabarmati-river-7509375/  (15 Sept. 2021)

Trimbakeshwar No compliance of court orders NGT noted that there is no compliance in terms of orders of the Supreme Court or of this Tribunal of taking action against the erring officers for violation of law which is a criminal offence or for preventing the continuing pollution of water or recovering compensation in terms of order of this Tribunal dated January 24, 2020, passed in the presence of the Chief Secretary, Maharashtra.

It said that there is no explanation for such gross dereliction of duty by the authorities in Maharashtra resulting in continuous violation of the binding statutory/constitutional and statutory obligations including the judgment of the Supreme Court and orders of this Tribunal.

The bench was hearing an application filed by Kiran Ramdas Kamble and others seeking to take action for failure of the Trimbakeshwar Municipal Council and other concerned authorities of Maharashtra in preventing discharge of Municipal waste into the river which joins Godavari in violation of the judgement of the Supreme Court, in spite of at least four orders of NGT in the last two years and also general orders in other cases. https://www.latestly.com/agency-news/india-news-ngt-directs-maharashtra-to-deposit-rs-1-crore-as-interim-compensation-for-restoration-of-water-quality-near-trimbakeshwar-2862755.html  (18 Sept. 2021)

HYDRO POWER PROJECTS

Flooded vehicles, machines at Vyasi HEP power station site. Image social media.

SANDRP Blog Uttarakhand: Cloud Bursts around Vyasi HEP On August 25-27, 2021 the most of hilly districts in Uttarakhand witnessed intense rainfall events causing widespread destruction. Media reports and local people suggest at least seven cloud burst incidents occurring in quick succession over Binhar range in Pacchawadoon and Mussoorie hills dividing Ganga and Yamuna basins in Dehradun district. The resultant deluge has also affected the under construction Vyasi Hydro Electric Project (HEP) areas in Vikas Nagar tehsil highlighting that the project is unprepared to cope with existing & emerging disasters. https://sandrp.in/2021/09/17/uttarakhand-cloud-bursts-around-vyasi-hep/  (17 Sept. 2021)

Agitation by local people under Yamuna Ghati (Lakhwar-Vyasi) Bandh Prabhavit Samiti, Lohari demanding promised rehabilitation, compensation, employment completes 100 days on Sept. 13. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4-bjfm2mso  (13 Sept. 2021)

Swami Atmabodhanand, the young seer of Matri Sadan, in Haridwar, is on an indefinite fast since August 18 demanding an immediate prohibition on rampant sand mining in Haridwar and ban on the four hydroelectric projects (HEPs) in Uttarakhand—Tapovan Vishnugad (520 MW), Vishnugad Pipalkoti (444 MW), Singoli Bhatwari (99 MW) and Phata Byung (76 MW).

– The Union environment ministry had recently recommended resuming the construction of seven HEPs, including the above-mentioned four projects plus Tehri II (1000 MW), Madhmaheshwar (15 MW) and Kaliganga II (4.5 MW).

– Alarmed by the ministry’s decision, a group of more than 60 experts and activists have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding that the decision be immediately revoked. Letter to PM is available here:

– According to letter, the Madhmaheshwar and Kaliganga HEPs have been 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,” the letter states. https://www.newsclick.in/haridwar-seer-indefinite-fast-hydroelectric-projects  (19 Sept. 2021)

Himachal Pradesh Fragile hills can’t survive misguided ‘green energy’ projects Hydel power projects and compensatory afforestation plantations carried out in lieu of the forest land diverted in the name of ‘mitigation’, have altered land-use and are aggravating disaster risks.

Disaster risks are a function of the interplay between three key elements: Hazard, exposure, and vulnerability. Some of the factors in exposure and vulnerability are physical and environmental, while others are socioeconomic, such as poverty, lack of preparedness, susceptibility and adaptive capacity. https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/environment/kinnaur-landslides-will-the-fragile-district-survive-misguided-green-energy-projects–78705  (30 Aug. 2021)

A new research paper has found that large scale tree plantations may not improve forest cover or provide livelihood benefits to local people. The analysis found that large scale plantations in Kangra 1965 onwards have not increased proportion of forest canopy cover and shifted tree composition from broad leafed varieties used by local people for fodder and firewood to needle leaf species which are not as useful to people. https://www.hindustantimes.com/environment/tree-plantations-may-not-improve-forest-cover-or-benefit-people-flags-research-101631876664472.html  (17 Sept. 2021)

In this talk, Mansi Asher of Himdhara zeroes in on tribal district Kinnaur’s tryst with hydropower projects. Missed mentioning that a similar resistance is brewing in neighboring Lahaul & Spiti too. The ‘natural’ disaster figleaf is blown off.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5_Zqa4HJmc 

Till now, 399 persons have died since June 13. As many as 54 persons lost their lives in landslides, 10 in cloudburst and flash floods, one in lightning while 33 were drowned. The state has suffered a total loss of Rs 1,035.51 crore and 12 roads, including Shimla-Mandi highway and Shimla-Kinnaur highway, were blocked.

The Shimla- Kinnaur road, which was blocked near Chaura in Kinnaur district after a massive rockslide, could not be opened even after blasting as the rock was big and efforts were afoot to clear the road at the earliest, said Deputy Commissioner Abid Hussain Sadiq. A team of the Geological Survey of India was likely to visit Kinnaur to see 15 sliding points. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/rains-likely-to-last-till-early-october-in-himachal-312331  (17 Sept. 2021)

Centre There must be competition in power sector: RK Singh The existing distribution companies will continue working as they are — however their monopoly will go and they will have to face competition, says a govt letter in the backdrop of Mamata Banerjee’s opposition to Electricity (Amendment) Bill.

J&K utilities reported the highest losses among power discoms in India. J&K recorded aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses of 60.5% in the year ended March 2020. The high loss figure of J&K was followed by Nagaland (52.9%), Arunachal (45.7%), Bihar (40.4%) and Tripura (37.9%). Also, the ACS and ARR gap is the highest in Nagaland (₹5.62 per unit), followed by Arunachal (₹4.92 per unit), J&K (₹1.85 per unit), Meghalaya (₹1.80 per unit) and Tamil Nadu (₹1.27 per unit).

This comes in the backdrop of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approving the marquee  ₹3.03 trillion power discom reform scheme, wherein the Centre’ share will be  ₹97,631 crore. The funds will be released to discoms subject to them meeting reform-related milestones. https://www.livemint.com/industry/energy/there-must-be-competition-in-power-sector-raj-kumar-singh-11631548873966.html  (13 Sept. 2021)

India will soon invite global bids for battery storage projects totalling 4,000 Mw hours, Union Power Minister R K Singh said on Thursday (Sept. 16). Singh added that a battery project of 12 Gw hours will be set up in Ladakh. https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/power/bids-for-4000-mwhr-battery-storage-projects-to-be-invited-soon-power-minister-r-k-singh/86281047  (17 Sept. 2021)

MoEF Agenda for FAC meeting to be held on Sept 17, 2021, uploaded just a day before the meeting. Relevant project: DIVERSION OF 397.8863 HA. OF FOREST LAND FOR LUHRI HYDRO ELECTRIC PROJECT, SJVN LTD. SHIMLA FOR THE SUNNI DAM PROJECT (210 MW) WITHIN IN SHIMLA, KOTGARH, KARSOG FOREST DIVISION DIST SHIMLA & MANDI, HP. http://forestsclearance.nic.in/AgendaDetail.aspx  (17 Sept. 2021)

DAMS

Sardar Sarovar Dam A race is going on in Narmada Valley, particularly Madhya Pradesh to start max number of projects before 2024 to show utilisation of MP’s share of 18 MAF of water from Narmada River as the NWDT allocations is open to review after 2024.

Kaleshwaram Project Govt Violates Land Acquisition Laws Telangana’s Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project has caused several rehabilitation issues for the people it has displaced, symptomatic of hardships most major large-scale irrigation projects cause in the country.

Land conflicts have erupted over at least five of the project’s reservoirs after villagers opposed the manner in which the state government bypassed and violated the 2013 law, according to data from Land Conflict Watch, a database of ongoing land conflicts in India. The state government also released waters before all the people could move out and forcefully evicted them in midnight operations in April 2020, during the strict COVID-19 lockdown.

Since 2018, the Telangana high court has been hearing over a hundred pleas filed by affected families, including elderly citizens and unmarried adults who have been left out of rehabilitation schemes. The court has accused the state of “coercing” people into giving up their land, has imposed fines on government officials and even sentenced a district collector to jail.

A section of the Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project. Photo: Twitter/KTRTRS

Experts say the KLIP is becoming an example of how large-scale irrigation and water supply projects end up being unfair to those who are displaced from their homes and lands, and also how such projects are stalled in courts when governments use controversial land acquisition practices and violate acquisition laws.

This affects the people involved and causes project costs to skyrocket – from an initial estimate of Rs 40,000 crore, the KLIS budget increased to Rs 88,000 crore by 2020 and is now expected to cost over Rs 1.15 lakh crore due to delays. https://thewire.in/rights/government-violates-land-acquisition-laws-in-telangana-irrigation-project  (15 Sept. 2021)

Karnataka Committee to look into water release from Almatti Very interesting discussion in Legislative Council on Sept 13, 2021 on mismanagement of water release from the Alamatti Reservoir leading to threat of flooding for Mudhol Taluk and surrounding areas. The revenue minister R Ashoka said that the govt would soon constitute a committee to look into the issue. R B Thimmapur said that “because of the official mismanagement of water released from the Almatti reservoir”, people of villages of Mudhol Taluk and surrounding areas were living in constant fear in the monsoon season.  https://www.deccanherald.com/state/committee-to-look-into-water-release-from-almatti-1030415.html  (14 Sept. 2021)

Maharashtra Temghar water level to be lowered for pending repairs: Irrigation dept The state irrigation department on Tuesday (Sept. 14) said water from Temghar reservoir — filled to 100% for the first time this rainy season — would be used on priority so that work to stop seepage from the dam’s wall could be taken up once the monsoon ends.

Irrigation department officials said 95% of the seepage had been plugged and that it was safe to fill up the dam. The remainder of the work could not be completed before the monsoon due to Covid-induced curbs, an official said. Water would be released during the discharge schedule starting next month; Temghar can hold 3.7 thousand million cubic feet (TMC) of water. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/temghar-full-water-level-to-be-lowered-for-pending-repairs/articleshow/86212275.cms  (15 Sept. 2021)

Odisha Govt to develop land near dams for recreation The State government has initiated steps to develop land adjacent to big dams for setting up museums and other tourism-cum-educational facilities. The proposal was discussed at a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra. He directed the officials to develop the area around big dams to places of learning and recreation spots with museums, audio visual shows, guided tours, boating and camping facilities. https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/odisha/2021/sep/19/odisha-government-to-developland-near-dams-for-recreation-2360834.html  (19 Sept. 2021)

INTERSTATE WATER DISPUTES

Krishna Water Disputes Security for Telangana, Andhra Pradesh projects to cost river boards a bomb  The Union ministry of jal shakti’s decision to take over all major and medium irrigation projects in Telangana and AP is going to cost both the river boards a bomb in paying central forces providing security. It is estimated that both the KRMB and GRMB may have to cough up around Rs 50 crore to Rs 70 crore annually for security at 107 major and medium projects in the two states. The Centre took the decision to give security to central forces as there were instances in the past few years where both Telangana and AP officials came to blows at the project sites over hydel power generation or releasing of water. Even the states had lodged police complaints against each other.  https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/security-for-t-ap-projects-to-cost-river-boards-a-bomb/articleshow/86152751.cms  (13 Sept. 2021)

Srisailam, Nagarjuna Sagar filled to brim Water resources officials say that they are surplusing 87,440 cusecs of water by releasing them into the sea by lifting 50 gates at two feet and 20 gates at one feet at the Prakasam barrage and also releasing 16,565 cusecs of water into canals for cultivation purposes. Krishna river conservator A. Raja Swaroop Kumar said that nearly 260.69 tmcft of water was surplused into the sea from Prakasam barrage for three months beginning from July. https://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/in-other-news/190921/andhra-pradesh-reservoirs-filled-to-the-brim.html  (19 Sept. 2021)

AP requests KRMB’s permission for water diversion to avoid floods In a letter to KRMB member secretary, engineer-in-chief (irrigation) C Narayana Reddy requested that as this water now being diverted is only surplus water during the floods, which otherwise go waste into the sea, it should not be accounted against the agreed share of any individual state. He further explained that at present all the reservoirs on Krishna river starting from Jurala, Srisailam, Nagarjuna Sagar, Pulichintala and Prakasam Barrage are full and water is being released into the Bay of Bengal.

Narayana Reddy, in his letter, said that in his earlier letter dated August 2, 2021, the KRMB was requested to accord permission for diversion of water through various outlets upstream of the reservoirs as part of flood mitigation. https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/andhra-pradesh/2021/sep/18/andhra-pradesh-requests-krishna-river-boards-permission-forwater-diversion-to-avoid-floods-2360446.html  (18 Sept. 2021)

For the third time in the current water year, gates of the Srisailam project were lifted on Friday (Sept. 17) to let out surplus water through the spillway, following heavy inflows from upper catchment regions of Krishna and Tungabhadra rivers. Last year, the gates were lifted four times. https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/andhra-pradesh/2021/sep/18/srisailam-gates-lifted-third-time-this-water-year-2360441.html  (18 Sept. 2021)

Narayana Reddy wrote to member secretary of KRMB on Tuesday (Sept. 14) to intimate him about the utilisation of water in the NSRS Srisailam project by APGenco for power generation through the right- side power house. https://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/140921/ap-permits-hydel-power-generation-at-srisailam-project-informs-krmb.html  (15 Sept. 2021)

IRRIGATION

Andhra Pradesh Mission for Clean Krishna-Godavari Canals remains in cold storage The Mission for Clean Krishna-Godavari Canals has not taken off, two years after its ambitious launch, due to a variety of reasons. “Nothing, simply nothing, happened. The Mission has been aborted even before take-off,” a top official told PTI.

There are at least 400 drinking water tanks fed by the canals, catering to the needs of lakhs of citizens in tens of villages in Krishna and West Godavari districts. (PTI Photo)

The Mission required an initial funding of Rs 100 crore for preparing the DPR and starting the sub-projects but the government did not sanction a rupee. Apart from allocation of a certain amount in the state Budget, the government wanted to use funds from the AP Pollution Control Board, earmarked for control of water pollution, and also tap the corporates for grants under CSR. The government also wanted the public to ‘donate’ money for the “betterment of canals and drains of Krishna and Godavari Delta Systems.”

The Mission conceived in September 2019 was estimated to cost Rs 406.79 crore, including extensive beautification of the bunds, but here again no money was made available for the project, leaving it abandoned. AP Water Users Associations Federation president Alla Gopala Krishna Rao pointed out that people in about 600 villages in Krishna and West Godavari districts were badly affected because of the pollution in canals. The proposed Inland Waterways project from Kakinada to Chennai provided some hope of cleaning up the canals but that too did not work out, Rao, a former member of the state Water Resources Apex Committee, lamented. https://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/130921/ap-mission-for-clean-krishna-godavari-canals-remains-in-cold-storage.html  (13 Sept. 2021)

RIVERS

Industries along River Periyar

Kerala Slow death of Rivers Kerala, rich with waterbodies, has been mourning the slow death of its many rivers, lakes and canals over the years, with environmentalists making desperate calls to save what’s left. https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/mullaperiyar-dam-sand-mining-history-slow-death-kerala-s-rivers-155310  (15 Sept. 2021)

CAUVERY Karnataka Large-scale tree planting not the panacea Conscientious persons who care about the dying, crying Cauvery would follow sensible and scientific methods to revive it. Tree planting is easy; cleaning up the other mess is not writs P Jeganathan.

What the recent Karnataka HC order indicates is that it is time scientists, subject experts, and educators also seriously reach out to the members of the judiciary. We need to create awareness about the difference between mere tree planting and ecological restoration and the basic biology of wildlife. The only hope for the common citizen in a democratic country is our judiciary. It is imperative that they are well informed about our precious natural world’s key issues and concepts. https://www.deccanherald.com/opinion/cauvery-crying-large-scale-tree-planting-not-the-panacea-1029798.html  (13 Sept. 2021)

Yettinahole Project Can’t pay uniform rate for land acquisition: Govt Karnataka govt says it cannot pay the same compensation for the land acquired for the reservoir of the controversial Yettinahole district project from two adjoining areas, in Doddaballapur the rate is Rs 32 lakh per acre, in Koratagere it is Rs 8 lakh per acre. The additional cost if the compensation were to be same would be Rs 319 cr. The project cost has gone up from Rs 12912 Cr to 23251 Cr, Rs 8200 Cr has already been paid. https://www.deccanherald.com/state/yettinahole-can-t-pay-uniform-rate-for-land-acquisition-says-karnataka-govt-1030337.html  (14 Sept. 2021)

MLA’s sugar factory causing water pollution: Villagers Residents of Kagwad taluk are furious at their MLA Shrimant Patil as the sugar factory owned by the legislator is allegedly polluting the water bodies in the region, affecting the quality of drinking water. The residents of Kaulagudda, Siddewadi, Kempawad and other villages have been bearing the brunt as Athani Sugars Limited is allegedly releasing certain chemical waste into water bodies, according to the villagers. They also allege that the contaminated water is also affecting the crops and that they are now forced to fetch drinking water from faraway places. Patil is chairman and managing director of Athani Sugars Limited.

Despite villagers approaching the factory administration, they denied any wrongdoing, saying that they release little waste into river. However, the villagers claim that the waste flows into lakes and agricultural fields during monsoons. The residents have also filed a complaint with the Pollution Control Board. Denying allegations levelled by the villagers, Patil said the factory is equipped with effluent treatment plant at a cost of Rs 45 crore. “During rains, some amount of chemical waste may have flown to agricultural lands, but it does not have the potential to damage the crops,” he said. He termed the protest an attempt to defame him and his factory. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hubballi/bjp-mla-patils-sugar-factory-causing-water-pollution-allege-villagers/articleshow/86326081.cms  (19 Sept. 2021)

Rajasthan 800 textile units told to shut shop for polluting Luni State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) on Sept. 13 ordered the shutdown of more than 800 textile units in Balotara Barmer district for releasing effluents into Luni river till the 18MLD reverse osmosis (RO) plant begins operations. The board has also taken serious note over the delay in starting of 18MLD reverse osmosis (RO) set up to process the effluents draining into the river.

Textile units in Balotara have been functioning for the last 40 years but have done precious little to save the environment. SPCB member Anand Mohan said the board took serious note of carelessness of the CETP trust by not starting the RO plant which led the textile units to release polluted water into the river. He said the CETP trust had told the board that the RO plant was ready but when checked it was not operational. In this regard, letters were written to the CETP to start the plant on January 27, March 24, and on April 15. Mohan said the plant was almost ready and could be made operational in 2-4 days if they wanted. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/jaipur/800-textile-units-in-barmer-told-to-shut-shop-for-polluting-luni/articleshow/86215923.cms  (15 Sept. 2021)

GANGA Commentary मूविंग अप्स्ट्रीम: गंगाहजार किस्से मिले नदी के साथ चलने में गंगासागर से गंगोत्री तक पैदल यात्रा कर सिद्धार्थ अग्रवाल ने गंगा नदी को बेहतर समझने की कोशिश की। उनकी इस यात्रा पर बनी डॉक्यूमेंट्री ‘मूविंग अप्स्ट्रीम: गंगा’ इन दिनों चर्चा में है। इंटरनेशनल डॉक्यूमेंट्री एण्ड शॉर्ट फिल्म फेस्टिवल ऑफ केरल, 2021 में इसका अफिशल सेलेक्शन हुआ है। इस डॉक्यूमेंट्री में यह स्पष्ट होता है कि आस-पास रहने वाले लोगों के लिए इस नदी का क्या महत्व है। नदी की खराब होती स्थिति के साथ कैसे लोगों का जीवन भी प्रभावित हो रहा है। यात्रा में नदी से होने वाला कटाव, राष्ट्रीय जलमार्ग, मछली की कमी और विस्थापन के मुद्दे को गहरे से समझने की कोशिश की गई है।

उत्तरप्रदेश के प्रयागराज के नजदीक गंगा में मछली पकड़ते मछुआरे। सिद्धार्थ की यात्रा में मछुआरों की मछली कम मिलने की समस्या उभर कर सामने आई है। तस्वीर- सिद्धार्थ अग्रवाल

सिद्धार्थ की इस यात्रा में पश्चिम बंगाल से लेकर उत्तर प्रदेश के कुछ हिस्सों तक मछुवारे  यह शिकायत करते दिखते हैं कि अब नदी में मछली मिलना कम हो गया है। हिलसा मछली का जिक्र करते हुए लोग बताते हैं कि कभी-कभी यह मछली उत्तर प्रदेश तक पाई जाती थी। अब नहीं दिखती! मछली मारने के लिए इस्तेमाल होनी वाली जाल से लेकर अधिकारियों की बदमाशी- सब के शामिलात प्रयास से यह दुखद मुकाम हासिल हुआ है। जैसे बिहार में एक मछुआरा यह कहता है कि डॉल्फिन सेंचुरी बनने से अधिकारियों को हमें प्रताड़ित करने का अधिकार मिल गया। जब-तब मछली मारने की भी सजा दी जाती है।  https://hindi.mongabay.com/2021/09/17/moving-upstream-ganga-a-documentary-on-the-ganga/  (17 Sept. 2021)

Uttarakhand Matri Sadan sage on fast for Ganga On September 13, the fast of Swami Atmabodhanand has already completed 25 days. Swami Shivanand on his own has fasted 17 times. So far three saints associated with Matra Sadan have died here fasting for protection of Ganga. One saint of this ashram is reported to have been killed by the mining mafia for raising his voice against destructive mining activities. On October 11, 2018 Swami Sanand, earlier known as Prof. G.D. Aggarwal, passed away on the 111th day of his fast.

Even after the supreme sacrifice of Swami Sanand the problems remained resolved and so other sages of Matri Sadan continued to fast for long periods to draw attention to the various threats to the Ganga river.  These efforts and sacrifices continue to this day.

These demands are based mainly on stopping construction of dams and hydel projects in the Himalayan reach of the Ganga river and its tributaries, stopping destructive mining and related stone crushing activities in and around the rivers. More recently, demands of an unbiased inquiry into the death of some sages and their mistreatment as well as speedy disposal of certain judicial processes have also been addded. https://countercurrents.org/2021/09/year-after-year-sages-of-matri-sadan-continue-their-struggle-and-sacrifice-for-protecting-the-ganga/  (13 Sept. 2021)

रुद्रप्रयाग-केदारनाथ हाईवे पर अचानक भूस्खलन होने लगा. ये पहाड़ी रास्ते कभी भी बड़े भयानक हादसों के प्रत्यक्षदर्शी बन सकते हैं. ऋषिकेश-बद्रीनाथ राष्ट्रीय राजमार्ग पर सिरोबगढ़ में एकाएक भूस्खलन से मार्ग बंद हो गया है और नीचे से गुजर रहे वाहनों को अपनी चपेट में ले लिया, गनीमत रही कि जानमाल को नुकसान नहीं हुआ. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ehp9duOyefE  (10 Sept. 2021)

ऋषिकेश-बदरीनाथ हाईवे भारी भूस्खलन से बंद, जाम में फंसे यात्रियों के 200 वाहन https://www.amarujala.com/photo-gallery/dehradun/rishikesh-badrinath-highway-road-closed-due-to-heavy-landslide-and-200-vehicles-stuck-in-jam-photos  (19 Sept. 2021)

YAMUNA Delhi Govt to treat 155 MGD wastewater from neighbouring states According to a Delhi government statement, currently, the Yamuna receives 105 MGD and 50 MGD wastewater from Haryana and UP, respectively. In a meeting with senior officials of the DJB and the irrigation and flood control department, to discuss the interstate pollution of the Yamuna, Satyendar Jain said, “The drainage from Haryana and UP will be treated either by diverting it to STPs or in situ. This treated water will be used for rejuvenating lakes and water bodies, groundwater recharge and the rest will be discharged into river Yamuna.” https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/delhi-news/delhi-to-treat-155mgd-wastewater-reaching-yamuna-from-neighbouring-states-101631732041432.html  (16 Sept. 2021)

“There is enough infrastructure available with DSIIDC in the form of 13 CETPs to treat industrial waste. “However, these are not utilised to their maximum capacity. To clean the industrial waste flowing into the Yamuna, all the available resources must be utilised to their maximum capacity and all departments must work and achieve their target within three years,” Jain said. https://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/ensure-no-untreated-waste-is-discharged-into-yamuna-satyendar-jain-121091401417_1.html  (14 Sept. 2021)

A thin layer of toxic foam was seen floating on the surface of Yamuna River running through Delhi on September 05. People were seen taking bath in the polluted river. Reason behind toxic foam is the industrial waste including detergents in the river. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/india/delhi-yamuna-river-spills-thin-layer-of-toxic-foam/videoshow/85950705.cms  (05 Sept. 2021)

Uttarakhand यमुना नदी में मलवा जाने से काश्तकारों की भूमि चपेट में https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ex0f07H6428  (16 Sept. 2021) लगातार भूस्खलन होने के कारण यमनोत्री राष्ट्रीय राजमार्ग पर करना पड़ रहा है मुश्किलों का सामना https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhOgamRU3CU  (16 Sept. 2021)

RIVERS BIODIVERSITY

Kerala ‘Cantor’s giant softshell turtles face extinction Fascinating to read about efforts to conserve Cantor’s giant softshell turtles (it can be upto 3 ft long and weigh upto 100 kgs) in freshwaters of Chandragiri river in Kasargod in North Kerala by Ayushi Jain and colleagues with the communities along the river. It says dams (the turtle travels upto sea, which is blocked by dams and sand mining are having big adverse impact on the habitat of this shy turtle. The turtle is also consumed. It can help balance the fish population in the river to keep it sustainable. It has been in existence on earth for about 140 million years, and predates human beings. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/cantors-giant-softshell-turtles-once-lived-with-dinosaurs-they-face-extinction-now/articleshow/86302108.cms  (18 Sept. 2021)

Sikkim ‘Katley’ declared as state fish The government has declared ‘Cooper Mahseer’ locally named ‘Katley’ as the state fish, an official of the Fisheries department said. “In Sikkim, Katley is found in varied altitudes covering entire state predominantly confined in Teesta and Rangit rivers and their tributaries. In the year 1992, ICAR-National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources (ICAR-NBFGR), Lucknow had categorized Katley fish as endangered species. Later on, in the year 2014 the fish was also categorized as endangered by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature),” said Additional Director of the Directorate of Fisheries, C S Rai.

Cooper Mahseer’ locally named ‘Katley (Pic credit: Twitter/@sikkimgovt)

The fish has high market value and is highly preferred by the public in the state. The official said the government has also declared the reservoirs of the state to be open for fishing activities. License shall be issued by the Directorate of Fisheries to the interested individual fishermen or fishermen co-operative societies or SHGs for fishing in the reservoirs in accordance with the existing provisions under the Sikkim Fisheries Rules, 1990, he said. The reservoirs are in Chungthang in north Sikkim, Legshep in west Sikkim along with Dikchu and Rorathang in east Sikkim. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/sikkim-govt-declares-katley-as-state-fish/articleshow/86336628.cms  (19 Sept. 2021)

Uttar Pradesh Reviving sarus sranes habitats from brink Dr Samir Kumar Sinha toiled for eight long years to bring together 14000 farmers and revive the population of Sarus Cranes. And the result has been a resounding success. https://www.thebetterindia.com/262266/uttar-pradesh-wildlife-conservation-hero-sarus-crane-samir-kumar-sinha/  (14 Sept. 2021)

Karnataka Crocodiles in Tungabhadra River causing panic Tungabhadra is famous for its rocks, where crocodiles make their appearance frequently. In fact, historians say crocodiles were a major issue even when the Vijayanagar Empire flourished under Emperor Sri Krishnadevaraya. The 35-km Tungabhadra Otter Conservation Reserve (TOCR), which stretches from Tungabhadra Dam to Kampli, once harboured a good number of smooth-coated otters, mugger crocodiles, four species of rare turtles and hundreds of species of fish listed as vulnerable and endangered under IUCN. https://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/in-other-news/180921/crocodiles-in-tungabhadra-river-causing-panic.html  (18 Sept. 2021)

Madhya Pradesh Fragile butterfly is as important as mighty tiger The magical world of butterflies came alive for 88 experts who went on a three-day butterfly survey at Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary where they spotted, identified and listed 103 species of butterflies. Butterflies are a vital link in the food chain and also an indicator of pollution. https://en.gaonconnection.com/butterfly-tiger-wildlife-forest-monsoon-madhya-pradesh-pollination-pollution-nature-environment/  (15 Sept. 2021)

Event International Red Panda Day 2021 Every year, on the third Saturday of September, the International Red Panda Day is observed. Red Pandas are struggling due to a decrease in available possibilities to live and prosper in their native environment. International Red Panda Day seeks to inspire people to learn more about these lovely species and to contribute to the conservation of the habitat in which they reside. https://www.news18.com/news/lifestyle/international-red-panda-day-2021-lesser-known-facts-about-the-endangered-species-4214831.html  (18 Sept. 2021)

FISH, FISHERIES, FISHERFOLKS

Goa Beaches flooded with tarballs once again The incident has left fishermen and travel stakeholders in the region worried. The collection of tarballs in Goa beaches is a yearly phenomenon. A large amount of tarballs get collected on North and South Goa beaches. Nilesh Cabral, the environment minister, said that the state government will write to the Centre again over the issue, as they don’t have much control over the source of origin of these tarballs.

A study was conducted to find the reason behind these yearly occurrences. It was found that Goan coast was close to one of the Sea Lines of Communication (SLOC). It is used by ships and international oil tankers coming from the Persian Gulf, which results in oil spills in the Arabian Sea. This oil gets deposited on the western coast and eventually takes the shape of tarballs. According to the reports, the tarballs that were found on beaches in May were of crude oil spills from the Bombay High region. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/travel/travel-news/goa-beaches-flooded-with-tarballs-once-again/as86255800.cms  (16 Sept. 2021)

SAND MINING

Bihar Sacked SP didn’t touch salary in his 11-yr service Former Bhojpur superintendent of police (SP) Rakesh Kumar Dubey, who was suspended in June this year for his alleged links with the sand mining mafia, hardly touched money in his salary account during his 11-year service period, according to sleuths of Bihar Economic Offences Unit (EoU) who carried out simultaneous searches at his properties on Thursday (Sept. 16). Dubey was earlier booked in a case of disproportionate assets (DA) worth ₹2.55 crore.

During investigation, EoU found that the suspended SP had invested his money in real estate companies across the country, including in Patna. Dubey has allegedly invested in IPC Infrastructure, Ranchi, Kamini Infrastructure Private Limited, Patliputra Builders, Khyati Construction, Max Blif in Noida, Build Con and other real estate companies.

On May 17 2021, principal secretary of mining and geological department, Harjot Kaur Bamhrah, had written to Bihar police chief S K Singhal, mentioning that illegal mining, storage and transportation of sand could not be possible without connivance of police. Sources in the home department said that several IPS and IAS officers in charge of districts were also under EoU’s scanner. “Such officers indulging in the illegal trade have stopped using their cell phones and were instead using phones of middlemen to carry out the illegal acts,” sources said. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/patna-news/sand-mining-raids-ex-bhojpur-sp-didn-t-touch-salary-in-his-11-yr-service-says-eou-101631807709767.html  (16 Sept. 2021)

Tamil Nadu NGT panel to probe illegal mining on Cooum river bank  NGT, following a petition has asked a panel to probe illegal sand mining along Cooum river in Chennai by an exposure article by New Indian Express. It has asked it to submit report by Oct 8, 2021. https://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/chennai/2021/sep/16/tnie-impact-ngtpanel-to-probe-illegal-sand-mining-on-cooum-river-bank-2359356.html  (16 Sept. 2021)

Uttarakhand कांडा लग्गा रामपुर में स्टोन क्रशर के विरोध में प्रदर्शन कांडा लग्गा रामपुर में स्टोन क्रशर निर्माण के लिए भूमि समतलीकरण की अनुमति मिलने से नाराज ग्रामीणों ने तहसील कार्यालय में प्रदर्शन किया। ग्रामीणों ने कहा कि मामला न्यायालय में विचाराधीन होने के बावजूद क्रशर संचालक जबरन काम करवा रहा है। जिला प्रशासन से अनुमति मिलने के बाद चलणस्यूं पट्टी के कांडा लग्गा रामपुर में श्रीकोट निवासी राजेंद्र बिष्ट स्टोन क्रशर प्लांट के लिए भूमि समतलीकरण करवा रहा है। फरासू, डुुंगरीपंत, बैड़ो, कलीगढ़ व दिखोल्यूं के ग्रामीणों को इस पर एतराज है। https://www.amarujala.com/uttarakhand/pauri/protest-against-stone-crusher-in-kanda-lagga-rampur-shrinagar-news-drn3907513129  (18 Sept. 2021)

Uttar Pradesh बारिश की बंदी में निजी भूमि का पूजन बाँदा समेत यूपी में गत 30 जून से खनन बन्द हैं। यह अगले माह अक्टूबर में शुरू होना हैं। वहीं बारिश की बंदी में भी ज़िले का अवैध खनन और ओवरलोडिंग ने रफ्तार कम नहीं की थी। इसका खामियाजा हाल ही में बाँदा के अपर एसपी महेंद्र चौहान व तत्कालीन डीएम आनंद कुमार सिंह ने भुगता हैं।

गौरतलब हैं मध्यप्रदेश के किसी एसपी सिंह मौरम माफिया से कनेक्शन होने के चलते के अपर एसपी महेंद्र चौहान को एसटीएफ की जांच रिपोर्ट के बाद निलंबित किया गया हैं। वहीं डीएम रहे आनंद कुमार सिंह को स्थानांतरित किया गया हैं। उक्त दोनों अधिकारियों की रहनुमाई में बारिश की बन्दी में भी अवैध खनन व ओवरलोडिंग ने बाँदा में रुकने का नाम नहीं लिया। इससे जहां योगी सरकार की छवि खराब हुई वहीं नदियों का ईको सिस्टम भी प्रभावित हुआ है। उधर बुंदेलखंड की सड़कों का हाल तो गजब ही हैं।  http://www.voiceofbundelkhand.in/uncategorized/in-banda-gancha-area-mauram-contractors-of-madhya-pradesh-worshiped-private-land-in-the-absence-of-rain/ (18 Sep 2021)

बुंदेलखंड में चित्रकूट मंडल का जिला बाँदा लाल बालू- मौरम के खनन को बहुचर्चित हैं। यहां सरकार चाहे जिसकी हो लेकिन नदियों में रामराज्य तो माफियाओं का रहता हैं। केन,यमुना,बाघेन,रंज नदी में अवैध खनन का कारोबार चरम पर होता हैं। इस धन्धे में सफेदपोश माननीय से लेकर दलगत पार्टियों के कारखास सीधे या पर्दे के पीछे से संलिप्त रहते है। नदियों से मौरम उत्खनन की इस लूट में प्रशासन के सम्मानित आईपीएस / आईएएस अधिकारियों की घुसपैठ भी किसी से छिपी नहीं हैं। बाँदा में इस वक्त करीब 20 खदान संचालित है। खनिज पट्टेधारक और हिस्सेदार हर पार्टी के नेता या ठेकेदार मिलेंगे। http://www.voiceofbundelkhand.in/crime/who-is-the-mastermind-of-illegal-mining-in-banda-sp-singh-found-guilty-in-the-investigation-suspended-the-additional-sp/  (15 Sept. 2021)

Karnataka Made in Malaysia sand making a comeback  This is another bid from MSIL after no demand for ‘videshi’ sand in the state. To tide off the sand crisis and save the river banks, the State Government had taken up an ambitious plan of importing sand from Malaysia in 2018. Since then, 1.03 lakh tonnes of sand have been imported. However, there seems to be an unsteady demand as MSIL has been able to sell only 14,759 tonnes of sand so far. In fact, the imports have stopped since February 2020 where 89,000 tonnes of sand imported from Malaysia is lying at Krishnapatnam port in Andhra Pradesh. https://bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com/bangalore/civic/made-in-malaysia-sand-is-making-a-comeback/articleshow/86186346.cms  (14 Sept. 2021)

West Bengal Digital vigil on sand mining The state cabinet had last month taken a decision to draw up a new sand mining policy for greater transparency and zero environmental damage. The West Bengal Mineral Development and Trading Corporation (WBMDTCL) — an agency under the industries department — was given the responsibility to monitor mining instead of the land and land reforms department, whose officials have often been accused of corruption. The agency has now directed operators to install GPS or RFID devices in all sand vehicles. The final list of operators is expected to be ready by October. They will be enrolled for five years. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/bengal-sets-ball-rolling-for-digital-vigil-on-sand-mining/articleshow/86182729.cms  (14 Sept. 2021)

WETLANDS, LAKES, WATER BODIES

Maharashtra Digital agitation to save Panje wetland Ahead of the World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD), city environmentalists have launched a digital agitation for conserving the 300-hectare Panje wetland in Uran as a biodiversity park and saving the destination for over 1,50,000 birds and the traditional source of survival for the fishing community. WMBD is an annual awareness campaign highlighting the need for the conservation of migratory birds and their habitats and the main days for the international celebrations are the second Saturday in May and in October. The WMBD 2021 theme is ‘Sing, Fly, Soar – Like A Bird!’.

An online petition to the government, posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are part of the ‘digital agitation’. “It will be an environmental disaster of the Himalayan scale if we kill this beautiful wetland despite the concerns from all across, except the vested interests,” said B N Kumar, director of NatConnect Foundation, who wrote to chief minister Uddhav Thackeray.

Traditional fishing community forum Paaramparik Machhimar Bachao Kruti Samiti said no authority worth its name has bothered to look at the genuine, survival issues of the fishing community. “Our constitutional right is being violated to practice our trade and has been denied to us for decades with the onset of projects such as ONGC, JNPT, NMSEZ,” Samiti spokesman Dilip Koli said. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/navi-mumbai/navi-mumbai-environmentalists-launch-digital-agitation-to-save-panje-wetland/articleshow/86320338.cms  (18 Sept. 2021)

CM has directed the state forest secretary Venugopal Reddy to look into the complaint on use of firecrackers to scare away birds in Panje wetlands. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/videos/toi-original/cm-thackeray-orders-probe-into-firecrackers-being-used-to-scare-away-wetland-birds-in-panje/videoshow/86166315.cms  (13 Sept. 2021)

Assam Local oppose railway track realignment Neighbours of Deepar Beel have opposed the proposed realignment of a railway track skirting its southern edge. The project would be catastrophic for the ecology of the Rani-Garbhanga Reserve Forest, affect a prime elephant corridor and uproot the indigenous people, they say. On September 13, a memorandum containing 600 signatures of villagers around Deepar Beel was submitted to W. Longvah, Inspector-General of Forest, at the integrated regional office of the MoEF in Guwahati.

The villagers listed the reasons for opposing the realignment of the railway track that has in three decades killed 14 elephants. The issue of the garbage dumping ground on the edge of Deepar Beel was also taken up with Mr. Longvah. Seepages from the dump and sewers from Guwahati have made the Deepar Beel toxic, threatening aquatic life and waterfowls. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/assam-wetland-neighbours-oppose-railway-track-realignment/article36472679.ece  (15 Sept. 2021)

WATER OPTIONS

A trench being dug in a recharge area: Civil Society.

Uttarakhand When springs dry up in the hills, PSI brings them back. https://www.civilsocietyonline.com/rural-reporter/when-springs-dry-up-in-the-hills-psi-brings-them-back/  (25 July 2021)

IWP Desilting their way to water sufficiency Augmenting tank storage has good impact on the livelihood options of the poor and the marginalised. https://www.indiawaterportal.org/article/desilting-their-way-water-sufficiency  (03 Sept. 2021)

Pune Peshwa-era Katraj nahar keeps water secure even today Perennial water source under various peths which modern development and city governance have chosen to neglect; floods basements every year in monsoon which is a matter of great embarrassment writes Saili K Palande-Datar. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/pune-news/sutradharas-tales-350-year-old-peshwa-era-katraj-nahar-keeps-pune-water-secure-even-today-101631102664591.html  (08 Sept. 2021)

GROUNDWATER

Bihar Arsenic now in wheat, potato Ashok Kr Ghosh, one of the leading scientists of the team that led the research and chairman of SPCB, said: “Our study has confirmed the presence of arsenic in food chain in Bihar through irrigation water. Three common eatables — rice, wheat and potato — have elevated levels of arsenic that increases the disease burden in exposed persons.” There is an urgent need to monitor irrigation water quality along with drinking water, said Ghosh, who is also the head of the department, research, Mahavir Cancer Institute and Research Centre, Bihar. https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/agriculture/arsenic-now-in-wheat-potato-and-more-than-that-in-drinking-water-in-rural-bihar-79032  (15 Sept. 2021)

Haryana Farmers on 98K acres shift from paddy The data for the kharif-2021 showed that the farmers are taking up sowing of alternative crops like maize or pulses or diversifying into horticulture or growing vegetables in place of paddy with the ultimate aim of conserving water. The payment of incentive amounting to Rs 7,000 per acre under the scheme seems to be the primary reason for the switching over from paddy to non-paddy crops, sources said.

A maximum of 16,563 acres of land have been registered for non-paddy crops in Sirsa district followed by Fatehabad (12,187 acres), Hisar (11,471 acres), Jind (11,373), Yamunanagar (6,762) and Kaithal (6,647 acres). An encouraging sign about the awareness about the scheme is the fact farmers in all 22 districts across the state have opted for the innovative scheme, the sources said. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/haryana/to-conserve-water-farmers-on-98k-acres-shift-from-paddy-312761  (18 Sept. 2021)

189 villages to conserve groundwater At 75, maximum villages are in Ladwa block, followed by 65 in Shahbad and 51 in Pehowa are selected for the purpose under Atal Bhujal Yojna Kurukshetra deputy commissioner Mukul Kumar on Saturday (Sept. 18) held a meeting with the officials of the departments concerned in this regard.

As per a report of the groundwater cell, agriculture and farmer welfare department, Haryana, the groundwater table in the state has been falling at an alarming rate year after year. It is declining, on an average, by 0.5-1 metre every year in paddy-growing districts, and Kurukshetra is on the top among the worst-affected districts. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/chandigarh-news/189-villages-of-kurukshetra-in-focus-to-conserve-groundwater-101631992778070.html  (19 Sept. 2021)  

Punjab Water crises THE TRIBUNE editorial on Sept 16 2021 highlights an important issue. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/editorials/punjabs-water-crisis-311795  (17 Sept. 2021)

URBAN WATER

Report Is An Urban Water Crisis Caused Only By Water Scarcity? Indeed: “It is important to deconstruct this simplification because the way we understand and frame problems impacts the nature of the solutions proposed. So, if scarcity is established as the root of the problem then the direct solution for all such water management issues become supply augmentation.” https://www.thequint.com/voices/opinion/opinion-climate-change-is-urban-water-crises-caused-only-due-to-water-scarcity  (19 Sept. 2021)

Need to conserve urban waterbodies Ritu Rao Conserving non-degraded water bodies, rejuvenating degraded water bodies and managing them in a sustainable manner can help build climate change resilience in cities. https://scroll.in/article/1005500/as-climate-change-hangs-over-india-the-need-to-conserve-urban-water-bodies-has-become-more-urgent  (16 Sept. 2021)

Bengaluru Over half of daily sewage flowing into lakes A report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on management of storm water in Bengaluru Urban district, which was tabled in the Assembly on Wednesday (Sept. 15), noted that more than 54 per cent of the 1,440 MLD of sewage that is generated, is discharged into water bodies and drains in the state capital.

The report also revealed that many of the STPs were constructed without machinery, defeating the purpose. It also said that BBMP has not removed 714 encroachments on drains out of the 2,626 identified encroachments. The audit noted that 16 major encroachments in Bengaluru were not among the 2,626 encroachment. “This questions the reliability of SWD engineers,’’ it stressed.

The CAG report noted that rapid increase in the frequency of flooding in the city over the last few years, leading to destruction of roads, traffic congestion lasting several hours and extensive damage to public property and health, has highlighted the need for a thorough examination of the design, adaptability of infrastructure for the management of storm water and therefore, a performance audit was conducted. https://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/bengaluru/2021/sep/16/over-half-of-daily-sewage-flowing-into-bengaluru-lakes-2359331.html  (16 Sept. 2021)

The Bengaluru municipal corporation is currently building sewage diversion drains in almost all the existing drainage lines to stop the flow of untreated sewage into the city’s lakes. What is absurd is the fact that many lakes continue to receive sewage despite having diversion drains. The anomaly was flagged in CAG’s recent report.

The BBMP’s solid waste management division had spent Rs 61.21 crore for 14 works related to sewage diversion in 2014-16, the CAG stated in the performance audit report of stormwater management in Bengaluru Urban area. The CAG further noted that the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike failed to prevent the inflow of sewage into waterbodies, despite taking up works specifically for the purpose.

Another critical factor highlighted in the CAG report is the deficient quality of DPRs prepared by consultants for the BBMP’s different divisions. The auditors found DPRs of many projects to be of poor quality. The report stated the BBMP did not have a proper DPR for executing the remodelling of storm water drains. What can be also noted is that the BBMP had tweaked the system to ensure limited participation of bidders in the Rs 800-crore project. https://bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com/bangalore/cover-story/what-the-muck/articleshow/86355784.cms  (20 Sept. 2021)

Bengaluru is not typically imagined to be a hotspot of biodiversity, and the urban biodiversity here often gets missed in conversations about the environment. The city’s water bodies and green spaces, apart from being recreational spaces, are a home to biodiversity as well as a source of livelihood for many citizens. In this set of illustrations, we examine the components of Bengaluru’s lakes, and get a glimpse of what lies beneath the concrete layers and dense human population in our city. https://bengaluru.citizenmatters.in/a-to-z-lake-biodiversity-booklet-bengaluru-67456  (20 Sept. 2021)

Not enough treated sewage water to fill lakes in Kolar, Chikkaballapur The authorities are not able get 410 MLD of treated sewage water in Bengaluru required to replenish lakes in Kolar and Chikkaballapur, Minor Irrigation Minister JC Madhuswamy told the Assembly, adding that they are able to treat just 330 MLD sewage water. 

The STP at Koramangala-Challaghatta Valley. (File EPS)

CM Basavaraj Bommai added that he will convene a meeting of BWSSB officials, and promised to do justice to the people of the two districts. Replying to Chikkaballapur’s Sidlaghatta MLA V Muniyappa, who raised the issue of non-filling of lakes in his home district, Madhuswamy said at present, out of the select 44 lakes, 26 are getting treated water. “To fill lakes in Kolar and Chikkaballapur, we need 410 MLD of treated sewage water, but are able to get only 290 MLD to 330 MLD.” https://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/bengaluru/2021/sep/15/not-enough-treated-sewage-water-to-fill-lakesin-kolar-chikkaballapur-2358864.html  (15 Sept. 2021)

Not enough sewage from Bengaluru for treatment The government told the Assembly on Tuesday (Sept. 14) that there isn’t enough sewage being generated in Bengaluru to be treated and fill up lakes in the city’s parched neighbourhood. Minor Irrigation Minister J C Madhuswamy was responding to a question on the Hebbal-Nagawara (HN) valley project, of filling up 65 lakes in the arid taluks of Bengaluru Urban, Bengaluru Rural and Chikkaballapur districts by subjecting Bengaluru’s sewage to secondary treatment.

The minister said this project is not going as per plan because of a shortfall in sewage water. “The BWSSB is supposed to give us 210 MLD of sewage, but only 90 MLD has been made available,” Madhuswamy said. “We are unable to fill up lakes as envisaged. If we get sewage, we will supply the water to the lakes,” he said. Similarly, the Koramangala-Challaghatta (KC) Valley project aims to fill up lakes in Kolar and Chikkaballapur by treating 400 MLD of Bengaluru’s sewage. “We aren’t able to generate the required 400-odd MLD sewage from Bengaluru. We’re able to treat 290-330 MLD sewage,” Madhuswamy said. “Somehow, we’re unable to pool in and use Bengaluru’s sewage. Even now, it is flowing into drainage and getting wasted.” https://www.deccanherald.com/state/top-karnataka-stories/not-enough-sewage-from-bengaluru-for-treatment-minister-1030412.html  (14 Sept. 2021) 

BWSSB tweaks law to make RWH must for 30×40 sites Karnataka Legislative Assembly on Thursday (Sept. 16) adopted Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage (Amendment) Bill. The Bill seeks to make rainwater harvesting compulsory for owners of sites with not less than 108 sq m of area. Earlier, only groundwater recharging was mandatory for new constructions on 30×40 sites.

S. Vishwanath, groundwater and rainwater harvesting expert, said that earlier, the BWSSB Act mandated citizens to recharge or store 20 litre per sq metre of roof area. This was recently enhanced to 60 litre per sq m of roof area. “It is imperative for more citizens to adopt rainwater harvesting and install these systems in their homes at a rapid pace so as to reduce dependence on water supplied by BWSSB,” he said.

In its report CAG had lashed out at Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), BWSSB, and other civic agencies for allowing high run-off of rainwater in urban areas leading to scarcity of water. It had said that about 73% of the city’s water demand can be met out of rain water. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/bwssb-law-tweaked-to-make-rwh-must-for-30×40-sites/article36505675.ece  (16 Sept. 2021)

The new RWH rule does not apply for houses that are already built on the 30×40 sites. This exemption is likely to leave out lakhs of houses as almost half of Bengaluru’s total number of houses is built on the 30×40 sites. Officials were of the view that bringing all existing houses built on the 30×40 sites would have attracted opposition as it covers a large percentage of City’s population. https://bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com/bangalore/civic/with-new-rwh-rule-not-many-can-catch-the-rain/articleshow/86309803.cms  (18 Sept. 2021)

Hyderabad Illegal structures overrun all GO 111 villages When last counted officially in 2016, over 12,000 illegal structures stood tall on the area earmarked under GO 111. Five years hence – at a time when the Telangana government is caught in a legal tussle over the issue – the number has grown at least five times, claim Hyderabad’s environment activists.

This despite a ruling by the NGT staying all activity in this no-construction belt spread over 84 villages which fall in the catchment area of two of Hyderabad’s biggest fresh water lakes – Osmansagar and Himayatsagar. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/hyderabad-what-ban-illegal-structures-overrun-all-go-111-villages/articleshow/86249402.cms  (16 Sept. 2021)

Water bill refund for 3 lakh Hyderabad homes The Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWS&SB) has decided to refund water bills which were paid by the consumers who availed the 20-kilolitre free drinking water scheme in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) limits.

Authorities said over 3 lakh consumers would receive the refund. The water board did not give any clarity to consumers who failed to avail the scheme within the first cut-off date (April 30) and cleared bills in May and June. The HMWS&SB officials did not even prepare a mechanism nor issued guidelines to consumers who paid the bills and just asked them to continue Aadhaar seeding till August 15 without a mention of rebate. https://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/in-other-news/160921/water-bill-refund-for-3-lakh-hyderabad-homes.html  (16 Sept. 2021)

Ajmer 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. 19), will also affect the rural areas.

According to officials, Ajmer will receive 275 MLD of water, down from 305 to 310 MLD previously. The PHED has prepared a plan so that there is no scarcity of water in any area. Officials said that the 282 zones in the city which used to get water every two days will now get supply every three days.

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. Bisalpur dam received over 310 metres of water and with rains in the last 72 hours in Bhilwara, Ajmer and Tonk, there is hope that more water will reach the reservoir. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ajmer/less-water-in-bisalpur-dam-3-days-per-week-supply-for-ajmer/articleshow/86160040.cms  (13 Sept. 2021)

Mumbai Rise in water contamination in 2020-21 Areas such as Dadar, Dharavi, Parel, Byculla, Goregaon and Mulund have reported an increase in contamination of drinking water in the last one year, according to data from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) annual Environment Status Report (ESR) for 2020-21. Of the total 29,051 water samples that were checked by the civic body for the period, 275 — 0.94 per cent of the total samples — were found contaminated.

This March, the BMC had bagged the Jal Nirmalata Award for 2019-20 from the Ministry of Consumer Affairs for purity of water. The civic body is also constructing water tunnels—Powai to Veravali, Powai to Ghatkopar, and Amar Mahal to Trombay Reservoirs – in a bid to prevent water contamination. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/water-contamination-level-rises-mumbai-bmc-report-7514815/  (17 March 2021)

“Catch The Rain” Campaign Begins In Dahisar https://www.mumbailive.com/en/civic/catch-the-rain-campaign-begins-in-dahisar-68145  (08 Sept. 2021)

Nainital Development destroying hills? The plans to ‘develop’ Sukhatal and Sattal in Nainital have only made these questions more urgent. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3F8hFD17eA  (11 Sept. 2021)

Nainital lake’s lifeline is under threat as authorities plan to choke the lake’s most important recharge zone – Sukhatal. https://www.change.org/p/save-sukhatal-nainital-lake-s-lifeline 

JJM/ RURAL WATER SUPPLY

Rajasthan Village action plans prepared The mandatory action plans for bringing safe drinking water through individual tap connections to all rural households under the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) have been prepared for about 23,000 villages in Rajasthan. The action plans for other villages will be presented and approved in the Gram Sabhas to be held on Oct 2.

Public Health Engineering Minister B.D. Kalla said here on Sep 15 that the work for execution of the JJM was progressing on a war footing and the action plans for each of the 43,323 villages in the State would be formulated shortly. A strong institutional framework had been created in the villages with the appointment of water and sanitation committees, he said. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/village-action-plans-prepared-for-jal-jeevan-mission-in-rajasthan/article36486683.ece  (16 Sept. 2021)

WATER

CWC RESERVOIR STORAGE BULLETIN OF 16.09.2021:- 1. ALL INDIA STATUS:- As per reservoir storage bulletin dated 16.09.2021, live storage available in 130 reservoirs is 127.047 BCM, which is 74% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. However, last year the live storage available in these reservoirs for the corresponding period was 146.967 BCM and the average of last 10 years live storage was 127.447 BCM. Thus, the live storage available in 130 reservoirs as per 16.09.2021 Bulletin is 86% of the live storage of corresponding period of last year and 99.69% 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 11.19 BCM which is 58% 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 livestorage capacity of these reservoirs.

b) EASTERN REGION:-The total live storage available in 20 reservoirs is 13.56 BCM which is 68% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 75% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 72% of live storage capacity of these reservoirs. Thus, storage during current year is less than the corresponding period of last year and is also less than the average storage of last ten years during the corresponding period.

c) WESTERN REGION:- The total live storage available in 42 reservoirs is 25.32 BCM which is 72% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 94% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 71% of live storage capacity of these reservoirs.

d) CENTRAL REGION:- The total live storage available in 23 reservoirs is 31.37 BCM which is 69% 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 80% of live storage capacity of these reservoirs.

e) SOUTHERN REGION:- The total live storage available in 37 reservoirs is 45.61 BCM which is 87% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 85% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was68% of live storage capacity of these reservoirs.  http://www.cwc.gov.in/sites/default/files/16092021fb-pdf.pdf 

Gujarat Storage levels in dams up by 10% Rajkot city and district, which were staring at a water crisis a week ago, is now safe, with several dams such as Nyari, Aji, Bhadar and Venu overflowing. Shetrunji dam in Bhavnagar, which was 84% full a week ago, was overflowing on Monday (Sept. 13).

Officials said the water situation is still critical in North Gujarat and Kutch, where storage levels are less than 30% of capacity. The 15 dams in North Gujarat are just about 28% full, while the 20 dams in Kutch have 24% of their capacity. Saurashtra, which has 141 dams, has 51% storage which is about 1,112 MCM less than in 2020. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/storage-levels-in-gujarat-dams-up-by-10-after-recent-wet-spell/articleshow/86189661.cms  (14 Sept. 2021)

The water level at the Ukai dam reached 341.31 feet afternoon — a little more than 3 feet from the danger mark of 345 feet — prompting authorities to begin discharging water from it on Monday (Sept. 13). Seeing heavy inflow from upstream, officials initially began by discharging over 22,000 cusecs of water into the Tapi river, later increasing the same to 53,000 cusecs by Monday afternoon.

This was the first time in the current monsoon season that the Tapi was seen flowing on both its banks. The dam currently has enough water to cater to two years worth of irrigation, industrial and domestic requirements of Surat, Navsari, Ankleshwar and Valsad. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/ahmedabad/gujarat-ukai-dam-nears-danger-mark-7507159/  (14 Sept. 2021)

Official data from irrigation department reveals that storage in 141 dams in Saurashtra was 1,309.16 MCM, against their combined capacity of 2,550.69 MCM. Reserves rose to 1791.67 MCM on Tuesday (Sept. 14). Of the 141 dams in Saurashtra, 37 dams are more than 90% full. Officials said that of the nine big dams in Jamnagar district, eight are 100% full and Aji-IV is 70% full. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/dam-good-storage-levels-surge/articleshow/86214935.cms  (15 Sept. 2021)

1.18 lakh cusecs water being released from Damanganga dam on Sept 14, 2021 against inflow of 1.29 lakh cusecs, dam level is 78.5 m against rule curve requiring 78 m (FRL 79.86 m). The downstream river capacity is claimed to be 3.25 lakh cusecs.

– UKAI dam: The dam water level was 341.8 ft, against rule of 340 on Monday afternoon. Discharge was increased from 54000 cusecs to 85 cusecs. Inflow was 88000 cusecs. “Tapi river’s water carrying capacity is much higher and the current discharge will not create any problem for the villages downstream” said an official. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/surat/discharge-from-south-gujarat-dams-rises-as-inflow-increases/articleshow/86192745.cms  (14 Sept. 2021)

According to the irrigation department’s Rajkot circle, good water inflow was observed in Bhadar dam, Aji (1), Aji (3), Nyari dam (2), and Chaparvadi dam. However, villages downstream of Aji (2), Aji (3) and Chaparvadi dams have been warned not to go close to the water stream keeping in mind the rising water levels. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/rajkot/villages-near-four-dams-on-alert/articleshow/86149995.cms   (13 Sept. 2021)

Pune This was the first time this monsoon that the collective storage in the four reservoirs — Khadakwasla, Panshet, Varasgaon and Temghar — touched 100%, officials said. The stock in Bhama Askhed, which can store up to 7.43 thousand million cubic feet (TMC) of water, stood at 98%. The Pavana reservoir, which supplies Pimpri Chinchwad, was also full, as were nine reservoirs in the Bhima basin. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/dams-catering-to-pune-full-discharge-of-water-begins/articleshow/86182014.cms  (14 Sept. 2021)

AGRICULTURE

Edit Monsoon plays truant This Editorial in the Deccan Herald on Sept 14, 2021 highlights a number of implications of impacts of the current truant monsoon on agriculture, farmers, prices, and economy. https://www.deccanherald.com/opinion/second-edit/monsoon-plays-truant-1030018.html  (14 Sept. 2021)

The structural shift in Indian agriculture is worrying The EDIT in The Hindustan Times on Sept 14, 2021 says: “In an authoritative official study of the transformation in Indian agriculture, the National Statistical Organisation (NSO) has published a report — Situation Assessment of Agricultural Households and Land and Holdings of Households in Rural India — based on a survey conducted in 2019, relevant for the period 2012-13 to 2018-19…. The increase in wages as a component of the income basket shows that farmers are not moving into a higher-paying, stable, productive economy but are becoming more reliant on informal labour to sustain their incomes… Indian agriculture needs a more planned structural transformation; the risk of millions with depleted incomes, in debt, reliant on informal seasonal jobs can have a destabilising impact.” https://www.hindustantimes.com/editorials/the-structural-shift-in-indian-agriculture-is-worrying-101631531670887.html  (13 Sept. 2021)

Low reservoir levels, depletion of fertiliser stocks threaten rabi season sowing The depletion of stocks of Di-ammonium phosphate (DAP) — the second-largest consumed fertiliser in the country after urea — and other major fertilisers could affect Rabi crop as per this report. According to reports, the increase in global prices has resulted in India lowering its imports, leading to further depletion of fertiliser stocks in the country. According to the latest data from the department of fertilisers, the maximum DAP shortfall — around 24 per cent — has been registered in Madhya Pradesh.

– Moreover, there is also a shortage of Muriate of Potash (MOP) in many states such as UP, Telangana, West Bengal and Jharkhand amongst others. Major agricultural states like UP have a MOP deficit of almost 12 percent ahead of rabi sowing with a deficit. https://theprint.in/economy/low-reservoir-levels-coupled-with-depletion-of-fertiliser-stocks-threaten-rabi-season-sowing/732122/  (13 Sept. 2021)

Punjab Study calls for crop contingency planning Projecting that the climate in Punjab may become hotter and drier during the 21st century, a new study by Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Ludhiana, has said that in order to maintain the sustainability of crop production and food supply, the state has to evolve suitable crop contingency planning in view of the climatic changes.

– “Comparison of maximum and minimum temperatures reveals the minimum temperature increase to be more than the rise in maximum temperature. This implies that the diurnal range in temperature would decrease, which is not favorable for enhancing crop production. Punjab state economy is not only largely dependent on agriculture but it also contributes significantly to the rice and wheat reserve pool of the country,” the study states.

– On the other hand, the annual decrease in rain is projected to decrease between 33 to 554 mm from the baseline period. During the kharif and rabi seasons, the decrease is expected to be between 20 to 443 mm and 20 to 110 mm, respectively. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/health/warning-of-hotter-and-drier-days-in-punjab-study-calls-for-crop-contingency-planning-312983  (18 Sept. 2021)

Uttar Pradesh Heavy rainfall flattens bajra crop in Agra division Standing bajra (pearl millets) crop suffered major damage as Agra region was battered by over 30 mm of rainfall accompanied by high speed winds in the last 48 hours. Mustard, chilli and vegetable crops were also adversely affected, say farmers. Crop loss assessment has been initiated by the agriculture department in Firozabad, Etah and Kasganj districts even as the meteorological department predicted more rainfall over the next two days. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/agra/heavy-rainfall-flattens-bajra-crop-in-agra-div/articleshow/86326869.cms  (19 Sept. 2021)

Odisha Farmer Creates Indigenous Seed Bank Sudam Sahu has a huge collection of indigenous seeds which include 1,100 varieties of paddy seeds and 70 varieties of oil and vegetable seeds. https://www.news18.com/news/buzz/odisha-farmer-creates-indigenous-seed-bank-preserving-1100-varieties-of-paddy-4198961.html  (13 Sept. 2021)

MONSOON 2021

50 % rainfall deficit in Narmada basin to affect state’s water share Why INDIAN EXPRESS does not do basic FACT CHECK before publishing such stuff, that too in headlines? Going by India Meteorological Department Figures, till 0830 hrs on Sept 17, 2021, Narmada River Basin has received 41% ABOVE NORMAL rainfall, against the claim of 50% deficit rain claimed by INDIAN EXPRESS headline. One does not expect this from INDIAN EXPRESS. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/ahmedabad/50-rainfall-deficit-in-narmada-basin-to-affect-states-water-share-7511548/  (16 Sept. 2021)

First depression brings heavy rain over central, west India This monsoon’s first depression brought extremely heavy rain (over 20cm) to several parts of Odisha and Gujarat on Monday (Sept. 13). Normally, around 5 to 6 depressions form during monsoon season, bringing extensive rainfall to central and west India.

Puri’s Astranga station reported 53 cm; Kakatpur reported 52 cm and Jagatsinghpur’s Balikuda reported 44 cm between 8.30am on Sunday to 8.30am on Monday while Lodhika in Gujarat’s Rajkot recorded 50cm; Visavadar in Junagarh recorded 35cm; Kalavad in Jamnagar recorded 29cm from 8.30 am on Monday to 5.30pm. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/monsoons-1st-depression-brings-widespread-heavy-rain-over-central-west-india-101631588373729.html  (14 Sept. 2021)

The all-time precipitation record for a day in Puri in September was 210 mm on 09/9/1958 (63 years ago). This record has been broken as Puri has recorded 344 mm rainfall till 8:30 am on September 13. Similarly, in the capital city Bhubaneswar, a similar all time record was 163mm rainfall in 24 hours in September month, which was recorded 87 years ago (20/09/1934). This record too stands broken as Bhubaneswar received about 200 mm daily rainfall till today morning. https://en.gaonconnection.com/gujarat-floods-bhupendra-patel-odisha-flood-monsoon-low-pressure-area-record-rainfall-rescue-ops/  (13 Sept. 2021)

https://odishatv.in/videos/exclusive/bhubaneswar-puri-break-rainfall-record-red-warning-issued-for-several-odisha-districts-159631  (13 Sept. 2021)

Delhi Rainfall this season so far highest since 1964 Monsoon this year has already dumped 1159.4 mm of rainfall in Delhi till Thursday (Sept. 16) afternoon, the highest since 1964 and the third-highest ever, according to IMD data. Also, Delhi’s September rainfall has breached the 400 mm mark. At 403 mm till Thursday (Sept. 16) afternoon, it is the highest precipitation in the month since 417.3 mm in September 1944. Safdarjung Observatory had gauged 1,155.6 mm of rainfall in 1975 and 1190.9mm in 1964. The all-time record is 1,420.3 mm rainfall in 1933.

This is only the third time in the last two decades that the monsoon rainfall in Delhi breached the 1000 mm mark. The city had recorded 1,031.5mm rainfall in the monsoon season in 2010. In 2003, the capital had gauged 1,050 mm of precipitation. Delhi received 636 mm, 544 mm, 876 mm, 370.8 mm and 505.5 mm during the monsoon season in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, respectively. https://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/delhi-rainfall-this-season-so-far-highest-since-1964-more-in-store-121091600529_1.html  (16 Sep 2021)

Lucknow Century rain for 2 consecutive days breaks records The city received 107 mm and 128 mm rains on Sept. 16 and 17. These kinds of rains are not a regular affair in the month of Sept, and happened to be a very rare event. 100 mm of rains in 24 hours’ time during the month of September has occurred only once in the last ten years, which was on September 14, 2012. Lucknow has also surpassed the record of highest monthly rainfall in a decade with a few days still left in hand. The last record was 286 mm and this time, 297 mm of rains have already been witnessed against a monthly average of 205 mm. https://www.skymetweather.com/content/weather-news-and-analysis/century-rain-in-lucknow-for-two-consecutive-days-breaks-records-moderate-showers-ahead/  (17 Sept. 2021)

Uttarakhand 13% surplus rains in Sept Till September 14, Uttarakhand recorded 13% surplus rainfall, with Bageshwar getting the maximum showers, at over 200% excess. Meanwhile some districts, including capital Dehradun, registered a deficit.

As against expected rainfall of 115.9mm till September 14, the state received 131mm. At 234mm rainfall, compared to expected 77.4mm, Bageshwar registered the highest excess of 202%, followed by two other hill districts Chamoli and Champawat, which saw an excess of 144% and 58% respectively.

Some districts, mostly those in the plains, recorded a deficit on the other hand. With a departure of -74% Champawat recorded the highest deficit, followed by Nainital at -41%, US Nagar at -39%, Haridwar at -30% and state capital Dehradun at -25%. Dehradun received 70mm rainfall, while Mussoorie recorded 50mm showers on Monday night, According to the Met center. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/ukhand-receives-13-surplus-rains-in-sept-met-dept-warns-of-more-showers/articleshow/86210280.cms  (15 Sept. 2021)

Study Famines in southern India’s semi-arid regions were caused by rainfall fluctuations well within the normal range of variations and not extreme rainfall deficits, a study has said. The study uses paleoclimate reconstruction of historical weather and over 200 years of British administrative records for southern India’s semi-arid regions to shed light on the human vulnerability to climate variability. An average 14% rainfall deficit triggered the famines in southern India, including the Great Famine of 1875 to 1878 which killed millions. https://india.mongabay.com/2021/09/most-famines-in-south-india-under-british-rule-due-to-minor-rainfall-fluctuations-rather-than-extreme-events/  (15 Sept. 2021)

FLOOD 2021

Odisha Hirakud Dam Opens 24 Sluice Gates The inflow of water into the reservoir dam remained at 4,35,794 cusec per second while the outflow was at 4,23,089 cusec. The water level in the dam stood at 628.39 feet against its full reservoir capacity of 630 feet.

Meanwhile, 5.96 lakh cusec water per second was being discharged at Mundali. The water level at the barrage stood at 88.90 feet against the danger mark of 97.25 feet, as per a report taken at 6 am today. Similarly, 2.95 lakh cusec water was being discharged at Naraj. The water level at Naraj was at 25.50 metres against the danger level of 26.41 metres, as per a report take at 6 am. https://odishatv.in/news/miscellaneous/flood-fear-looms-large-in-odisha-as-hirakud-dam-opens-24-sluice-gates-159824  (16 Sept. 2021)

As per a report provided by the Jajpur district administration, around 92,000 people in 724 villages of the district have been affected while 66 villages have remained underwater and 48,000 hectares of farmland have been submerged in the floodwater.

People of several areas including Jajpur, Bari and Dasrathpur blocks of Jajpur district have been severely affected as the flood water has entered many villages of these blocks. While a breach was reported near Bandhadihi in Rasulpur block in Brahmani River another two breaches were seen at Matipada under Bari block. As a result, floodwater has submerged Dharpur, Sahupada, Balia and Ishanpur areas of the district. Similarly, the water of Kharasrota and Budhabalanga rivers have inundated Similia and Panasa areas in Jajpur block.

On the other hand, people of Dangadiha village under Thakurmunda block of Mayurbhanj have remained cut off from the mainland as the temporary wooden bridge over the Salindi River was washed away during the deep depression triggered rains in the region. As a result, people are risking their lives by crossing the river by tying a rope from a tree on one end of the river to the other side of Salindi. Over 1,500 people of around 200 families residing in Bangali Sahi, Ghutu Sahi and Bal Sahi have remained stranded since Monday. https://odishatv.in/news/miscellaneous/flood-like-situation-in-jajpur-and-mayurbhanj-as-rivers-continue-to-swell-159820  (16 Sept. 2021)

Over hundred blocks of 20 districts have been affected as incessant rain battered the state for 3 days in a row. A preliminary report by the state government revealed that over 20 lakh people from 3696 villages have been affected by the heavy rains and consequent flooding.

As per report at least four people in the State have died so far in rain-related mishaps. On the other hand, panic has triggered among villagers in low lying areas as seven rivers in the State are in spate due to the heavy rainy spell. https://odishatv.in/videos/exclusive/incessant-rain-raises-flood-concern-in-odisha-159782  (15 Sept. 2021)

Around 21 lakh people in 21 districts have been affected by inundation and other issues that arose following incessant rains triggered by a deep depression over the Bay of Bengal for three consecutive days in Odisha. https://odishatv.in/news/miscellaneous/21-lakh-people-hit-by-heavy-rain-in-odisha-low-to-medium-flood-expected-in-mahanadi-159780  (15 Sept. 2021)

The excess rainfall also left several areas submersed, bringing the everyday life of people to a grinding halt. https://odishatv.in/videos/exclusive/several-parts-of-odisha-experience-severe-water-logging-flood-after-excess-rainfall-159692  (14 Sept. 2021)

Rajasthan Water released from 4 dams According to junior engineer at Jhalawar flood control room, Prateek Baswal, three gates each of Kalisindh dam, Chapi dam and Rajgarh dam were opened on Saturday (Sept. 18) morning and over 90,000 cusecs water was released but constant rise in the water level till 4.30pm further prompted to open a total 14 gates of Kalisindh dam. Similarly, five gates of Rajgarh dam, four gates of Chapi dam and a gate of Bhem Sagar dam were opened respectively. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/jaipur/rajasthan-rains-lash-parts-of-hadauti-water-released-from-4-dams/articleshow/86334687.cms  (19 Sept. 2021)

Bihar Breach in dam over Kosi The western security dam over river Kosi breached early Friday (23 July) morning, causing panic in several panchayats of Supaul and Madhubani districts. The breach in Sikarhatta-Majhari dam occurred 48 hours after a village bund was washed away in the strong current of Kosi water. Flood threat looms large over Dagmara, Dighiya, Bela, Majhari, Hariyahi panchayats of Nirmali block in Supaul and Narendrapur, Rauvahi, Mainhi villages of Madhubani districts. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/patna-news/breach-in-dam-over-kosi-threat-of-flood-looms-over-bihar-s-supaul-madhubani-101627027806233.html  (23 July 2021)

Kerala Panchayat takes up community-driven tidal flood mitigation program Very interesting and useful experiment in community driven flood monitoring and action program in which the independent experts and academics are also involved in tidal areas of Kerala. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/in-a-first-panchayat-takes-up-community-driven-tidal-flood-mitigation-programme/article36051862.ece  (23 Aug. 2021)

Assam Flooding shifted a village in Dhemaji  Since 1960, the Kumutiya river has shifted by more than three kilometres and the entire village has had to shift with it. In 2009 alone, the village had to shift by around 400 metres towards the north of the river.

Traditionally the community has used bamboo stilts to raise their houses above the ground to save themselves from the flooding. Now this traditional method cannot be used because of the frequent shifting that they need to carry out. 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)

Life in a char Round the year, flooding, poor communication and lack of employment combine to make the lives of char residents much tougher than people on the mainland.  https://www.tbsnews.net/features/panorama/living-fringe-life-char-difficult-it-gets-280009  (28 July 2021)

URBAN FLOODS

Delhi New drains can prevent IGI from turning into a sea port again Delhi International Airport Ltd has held a series of meetings with state and central government agencies over the last three years, mostly to find ways to widen the underground drainage system and create new drains to manage the excessive runoff during the monsoon season. Now, there are plans to create two additional drains, one on the southern air parcel and one on the northern air parcel. However, while one is awaiting the approval of the forest and wildlife department though Delhi Development Authority has cleared it, the other is yet to get the right-of-way approval from DDA, despite clearances given by other agencies, including PWD, the constructing agency. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/how-2-new-drains-can-prevent-igi-from-turning-into-a-sea-port-again/articleshow/86243633.cms  (16 Sept. 2021)

Kolkata Airport goes under water Parts of the Kolkata airport went under water on Tuesday (Sept. 14) morning after spells of heavy rain. Officials said portions of the apron area on the airfield side were waterlogged, too. A section of airport officials blamed the Metro construction work for the flooding. The Metro authorities denied the allegation.

Metro had in August reported that large parts of the airport had gone under water following spells of heavy rain. Even fliers had to wade through water to board a bus after getting off a flight on their way to the terminal. “The terminal is around 200m from the project site and so there is no reason for waterlogging because of Metro work,” said Protyush Ghosh, deputy general manager, Metro Rail. https://www.telegraphindia.com/my-kolkata/news/kolkata-airport-goes-under-water-blame-on-metro-construction/cid/1830775  (15 Sept. 2021)

Twenty-one flights were delayed for anything between 35 to 40 minutes and some others were delayed for less than half-an-hour at the Kolkata airport due to heavy rain between 9am and 6pm on Tuesday. However, there were no cancellations, airport officials clarified. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/heavy-rains-delay-21-flights-at-kolkata-airport/articleshow/86211500.cms  (15 Sept. 2021)

Lucknow Heavy rain, water-logging throw life out of gear Continuous heavy rain on Thursday threw life out of gear in Lucknow and exposed the tall claims of the municipal corporation. The downpour resulted in water-logging, power disruptions, uprooted trees at several places and caused inconvenience to people. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/lucknow-news/heavy-rain-water-logging-throw-life-out-of-gear-in-lucknow-101631804530041.html  (16 Sept. 2021)

Pune Irrigation dept releases water in Mutha “The incessant rain for the last few days in the catchment area has filled the dams to capacity. Thus, the irrigation department is discharging 5,136 cusec water in the Mutha River, which cuts across the city. The discharge would be increased or decreased depending upon the influx of water in the dams. Thus, those living alongside the river should be on alert,” said an officer from the irrigation department.

A similar situation arose earlier in July when water was released in the dam due to rain in the catchment area. If the amount of water discharge is increased, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is made to relocate the citizens living in low line areas to camps set up in civic schools. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/dams-filled-to-capacity-irrigation-dept-releases-water-in-mutha-river-residents-in-low-line-area-on-alert-7507052/  (14 Sept. 2021)

Mumbai Ganpati idol raises issue of waterlogging in Mumbai https://www.indiatoday.in/india/photo/ganpati-idol-raises-issue-of-waterlogging-in-mumbai-see-pictures-1852062-2021-09-12  (12 Sept. 2021)

DROUGHT

मध्य प्रदेश  37 साल के एक किसान ने खेत के किनारे लगे नीम के पेड़ पर फांसी लगा ली। परिजनों के मुताबिक कम बारिश होने से वहां फसलें बर्बाद हो गईं वो पहले से कर्ज़ में डूबे थे, इसलिए परेशान रहते थे। हालांकि एमपी सरकार ने अलग तर्क दिया है। https://www.gaonconnection.com/desh/37-year-old-farmer-committed-suicide-due-to-drought-and-debt-in-khargone-madhya-pradesh-the-administration-said-debt-is-not-the-reason-nso-report-farm-loan-49846  (15 Sept. 2021)

LANDSLIDES

Uttarakhand Active faultline, traffic & construction destabilising Nainital: Report B S Kotlia, professor of geology at Kumaun University, was tasked by authorities to suggest mitigation measures for landslides in Nainital. In his report submitted last week, the geologist said a faultline has been activated in the lake town, running from Governor’s House to Mall Road, where four major landslides have been reported in the last two decades. “This is evidence that the faultline is active and poses serious danger,” said Kotlia. The report added that “uninterrupted horizontal vibrations from heavy traffic and excavation done for constructing houses along the road is further destabilising the slope”. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/nainital-in-danger-active-faultline-traffic-construction-destabilising-hill-town-report/articleshow/86177633.cms  (14 Sept. 2021)

Himachal Pradesh मनाली-लेह मार्ग पर गिरीं चट्टानें, छोटे-बड़े सैकड़ों वाहन फंसे पर्यटन नगरी मनाली के साथ लगते नेहरू कुंड के पास बुधवार (Sept. 15) रात हुए भारी भूस्खलन से मनाली-लेह हाईवे-3 पूरा दिन ठप रहा। मार्ग पर रात से सैकड़ों छोटे-बड़े वाहन फंसे हुए हैं। लेह की तरफ जाने और आने वाले पेट्रोल-डीजल के टैंकरों के अलावा पर्यटक वाहन और सेब-सब्जियों से लदे ट्रक भी हाईवे बंद होने से रास्ते में फंस गए हैं।

चौरा पुल के साथ पहाड़ी से बड़ी-बड़ी चट्टानें गिरने से बंद एनएच-5 तीसरे दिन वीरवार (Sept. 16) को भी बहाल नहीं हो पाया। इस कारण मार्ग पर वाहनों की आवाजाही बाधित रही। एनएच-5 बंद होने से किन्नौर सहित लाहौल-स्पीति के लोगों का देश-दुनिया से संपर्क कट गया है। मंगलवार रात को करीब 9 बजे चौरा के पास पहाड़ी से चट्टानें गिरने के कारण एनएच-5 बंद हो गया था। वाहनों में लदी बागवानों की नकदी फसलें रास्ते में फंस गई हैं। https://www.amarujala.com/shimla/himachal-kullu-manali-landslide-news-landslide-near-nehru-kund-manali-leh-highway-blocked-passenger-vehicles-stranded  (16 Sept. 2021)

CLOUD BURSTS

Jammu and Kashmir Cloudburst in Baramulla, 4 members of family killed Four members of a ‘Bakarwal’ (Nomad Goatherd) family were killed by a massive cloudburst in a meadow in Baramulla district on Sunday (Sept. 12). The cloudburst later triggered flash flood submerging paddy fields and some government buildings, including schools in Watergam village of the Rafiabad area. https://www.indiatvnews.com/news/india/j-k-cloudburst-reported-in-upper-reaches-of-baramulla-several-killed-733491  (12 Sept. 2021)

पुलिस अधिकारियों ने बताया कि तलाशी अभियान जारी है और इलाका काफी दुर्गम है, वहीं मोबाइल कनेक्टिविटी भी कमजोर है. इस बीच, एक अन्य घटना में कुलगाम पुलिस ने कहा कि उन्होंने यथ यथुर नाले से एक परिवार के पांच सदस्यों को बचाया है, क्योंकि वे क्षेत्र में कल से भारी बारिश के कारण फंस गए थे.

वहीं, एक पुलिस प्रवक्ता ने एक बयान में कहा कि कुलगाम पुलिस को आज सुबह करीब छह बजे सूचना मिली कि 11-12 सितंबर की दरमियानी रात में लगातार हो रही बारिश के कारण नाला यथ यथुर में जलस्तर अचानक बढ़ गया है और एक परिवार अपने जानवरों सहित नाले के बीच फंस गए थे. पुलिस ने बताया कि सभी को बचा लिया गया था.  इससे पहले इसी साल जुलाई में जम्मू-कश्मीर के किश्तवाड़ में बादल फटने से तबाही मच गई थी. इस हादसे में 6 लोगों को मौत हो गई थी और 40 से ज्यादा लोग लापता बताए जा रहे थे. https://www.tv9hindi.com/india/jammu-and-kashmir-cloud-burst-at-kafarnar-bahak-baramulla-district-820480.html  (12 Sept. 2021)

The multiple cloudbursts that hit Rafiabad forests on Sept. 11 night killed five members of a nomadic family caused massive damage to at least 12 water supply schemes in the area disrupting the potable water supply to 64 villages and posed a threat to human health as hundreds of animal carcasses are found scattered in the streams as well as on the dry land.

A resident of Dangiwacha, Rafiabad, who along with several mohalla residents went to the affected area, said that around 300 animal carcasses including dogs, horses, and sheep were scattered all along the area. He said that the authorities needed to come forward to lift the carcasses to avoid an outbreak of epidemic. https://www.greaterkashmir.com/kashmir/cloudburst-in-rafiabad12-water-supply-schemes-damaged  (16 Sept. 2021)

Uttarakhand नारायणबगड़ के पंती में बादल फटा उत्‍तराखंड में मानसून जाते जाते कहर बरपा रहा है। आज चमोली जनपद के नारायणबगड़ के पंती में बादल फट गया। इससे सड़क पर खडी दो बाइक पहाड़ी से आए मलबे में दब गई। वहीं, आवासीय मकानों में भी मलबा घुस गया है। उधर, भूस्‍खलन से कर्णप्रयाग ग्वालदम हाईवे भी बंद हो गया है। वहीं, दूसरी ओर ऋषिकेश की चंद्रभागा नदी अचानक उफान पर आ गई। इससे चंद्रभागा पुल के नीचे खड़े लोडर वाहन वहां फंस गए।

ऋषिकेश के नगर तथा आसपास क्षेत्र में रविवार (Sept. 19)  की रात से हो रही मूसलाधार बारिश के कारण गंगा की सहायक नदी में जलस्तर काफी बढ़ गया है। चंद्रभागा पुल के नीचे नदी के सूखे क्षेत्र में कई लोग अपने लोडर वाहन खड़ा करते हैं। चंद्रभागा नदी जिसे बरसाती नदी कहा जाता है, अचानक सोमवार (Sept. 20) की अल सुबह उफान पर आ गई। ऋषिकेश बाजार से सटे पुल के नीचे वाले किनारे पर कई वाहन पानी में डूब गए हैं। वाहन स्वामी और चालक पानी के कम होने का इंतजार कर रहे हैं। https://www.jagran.com/uttarakhand/dehradun-city-heavy-rain-expected-in-dehradun-and-nainital-22037002.html  (20 Sept. 2021)

जानकारी के मुताबिक सोमवार (Sept. 20) सुबह नारायणबगड़ के पंती कस्बे के ऊपरी भाग में करीब 6 बजे बादल फटने से मंगरीगाड़ में आई बाढ़ ने भारी तबाही मचाई है। गधेरे (बरसाती नाले) के सैलाब से कर्णप्रयाग-ग्वालदम हाईवे के किनारे बीआरओ के मजदूरों की करीब सात झोपड़ियां बह गईं। जब मलबा आया मजदूर अपनी झोपड़ियों में थे। जानमाल का कोई नुकसान नहीं हुआ है। बाढ़ से मजदूरों के 19 परिवार बेघर हो गए हैं। वहीं एक दुकान में मलबा घुस गया है। https://www.amarujala.com/dehradun/uttarakhand-weather-forecast-updates-today-cloud-burst-in-chamoli-many-children-and-women-swept-away?pageId=1  (20 Sept. 2021)

बरसाती पानी के साथ आए मलबे में चारों तरफ बर्बादी का मंजर देखने को मिल रहा है। पहाड़ी से आए मलबे और बारिश ने गांव में तबाही मचाई है। https://www.livehindustan.com/uttarakhand/story-heavy-rainfall-cloud-burst-narayan-bagad-chamoli-meteorological-department-heavy-rainfall-yellow-alert-uttarakhand-4625981.html  (20 Sept. 2021)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xw82p9pN6N8  (20 Sept. 2021) https://www.abplive.com/videos/states/heavy-devastation-due-to-cloudburst-in-panti-of-narayanbagad-block-1970636   (20 Sept. 2021)

Cloud burst in Katal village under Dongi patti in Narendar Nagar. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_eE2bD-72Xk  (29 Aug. 2021)

Himachal Pradesh  Kullu में सैंज में बादल फटने से बाढ़ आ गई। जिससे नदी और नाले उफान पर हैं। एक गांव में घरों में मलबा घुस गया है। रात करीब 3 बजे बाढ़ आने से अफरा तफरी मच गई। https://www.amarujala.com/video/shimla/flash-flood-in-sainj-kullu-himachal-pradesh  (15 July 2021)

ENERGY OPTIONS

Andhra Pradesh BHEL commissions largest floating solar plant Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL) on Thursday (Sept. 16) said it has successfully commissioned a 25Mw floating solar plant, India’s largest, at NTPC Simhadri. https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/renewable/bhel-commissions-indias-largest-floating-solar-plant-in-andhra-pradesh/86262829  (16 Sept. 2021)

THERMAL POWER

Report India Needs Coal-Ash Pond Design Standards ASAP India produces almost three-times as much coal ash every year as it does municipal waste. The coal ash is stored in poorly designed and engineered facilities that often fail in catastrophic fashion, especially during the monsoons. Coal-ash ponds across India are not subject to any regulations, engineering standards and guidelines. This is a major policy failure. https://science.thewire.in/environment/india-coal-ash-pond-design-standards-policy-failure/  (15 Sept. 2021)

ENVIRONMENT GOVERNANCE

Karnataka Ecology budget from next year: CM Govt will have a separate Ecology budget from next year. CM has asked the forest dept to prepare Ecology budget, including annual assessment of natural resources assets, total deficit and ecology loss. The Budget will have provision to fill the ecological deficit. https://www.deccanherald.com/state/top-karnataka-stories/ecology-budget-from-next-year-says-karnataka-chief-minister-1029424.html  (11 Sept. 2021)

Sadhguru begins drive to up Nandi Hills green cover https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/karnataka-sadhguru-begins-drive-to-up-nandi-hills-green-cover/articleshow/86337671.cms  (19 Sept. 2021)

Report Tree Transplantation Can’t Make Up For Loss Of Green Cover With poor transplanting methods and shoddy aftercare, trees stand a poor chance of survival, show examples from across India. https://www.indiaspend.com/earthcheck/why-tree-transplantation-cant-make-up-for-loss-of-green-cover-775462  (17 Sept. 2021)

Chhattisgarh Creating forest on barren land, abandoned mine The initiative aims to turn the unproductive and mined-out areas into the natural habitat of jungle stretching across 3777 acres. https://www.newindianexpress.com/good-news/2021/sep/16/chhattisgarh-creating-indias-biggest-man-made-forest-on-barren-land-abandoned-mine-2359739.html  (16 Sept. 2021)

Jharkhand ‘Mental poverty’ when only development work carried out in forest: HC It shows “mental poverty” when only development work is carried out around forests without thinking of “connecting those forests” for easy movement of animals, High Court observed on Thursday (Sept. 16). The court made the observation when the issue of steps taken to reclaim fauna in Jharkhand’s forests came up while it was hearing a suo motu case on the death of two elephant calves in forests of Latehar district. https://indianexpress.com/article/india/mental-poverty-when-only-development-work-carried-out-in-forest-jharkhand-hc-7514070/  (17 Sept. 2021)

Delhi Tree Authority has met just 8 times since 1995 Delhi Tree Authority (DTA), a statutory body set up in 1995 to preserve trees in the capital, is largely lying defunct, reveals RTI data. While it is supposed to meet once every three months, DTA has only held eight out of the mandated 104 meetings since its inception, the data collated by an environmental lawyer has revealed. The data also shows DTA, which is required to give consent to fell trees for any project, has met only thrice in the past eight years. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/on-leave-delhi-tree-authority-has-met-just-8-times-since-1995/articleshow/86026556.cms  (08 Sept. 2021)

Haryana ‘Aravalli Doesn’t Exist Because Revenue Records Don’t Mention It’ Environmentalists say Govt’s tack seeks to liberate 20,000 acres of land in the Aravalli for construction activity. https://thewire.in/environment/haryana-government-aravalli-definition   (16 Sept. 2021)

10k trees, not 163, cut in Corbett for ‘PM safari’, says plea to tiger body A tiger safari through Corbett Tiger Reserve (CTR is in the eye of a storm after a plea sent to the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) alleged that 10,000 trees in the protected area, as opposed to the 163 trees proposed by the state, were felled for the project. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/10k-trees-not-163-cut-in-corbett-for-pm-safari-says-plea-to-tiger-body/articleshow/86326890.cms  (19 Sept. 2021)

Interview ‘WTE not an acceptable method or energy producing unit’  It converts the waste into invisible particulate and gaseous pollutants leading to heightened inhalation hazards, says N.B. Nair, Scientific Officer (Retd.), BARC, Mumbai. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/wte-not-an-acceptable-waste-disposal-method-or-energy-producing-unit/article36506873.ece  (17 Sept. 2021)

CLIMATE CHANGE

UNFCCC Nationally determined contributions under the Paris Agreement Following are Secretary-General António Guterres’ statement on new UNFCCC: Today’s report from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on the nationally determined contributions of all parties to the Paris Agreement shows that the world is on a catastrophic pathway to 2.7°C of heating. This is breaking the promise made six years ago to pursue the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement [on climate change]. Failure to meet this goal will be measured in the massive loss of lives and livelihoods.

– Science tells that we need a 45 per cent cut in emissions by 2030 to reach carbon neutrality by mid-century. Today’s report implies an increase of 16 per cent in emissions in 2030 compared to 2010 levels. https://unfccc.int/sites/default/files/resource/cma2021_08_adv.pdf  (17 Sept. 2021)

Study Crop-eating moths will flourish as climate warms Climate change in this century will allow one of the world’s costliest agricultural pests, the diamondback moth, to both thrive year-round and rapidly evolve resistance to pesticides in large parts of the United States, Europe and China where it previously died each winter, according to a study by U.S. and Chinese researchers. https://phys.org/news/2021-09-crop-eating-moths-flourish-climate.html  (13 Sept. 2021)

UN Environmental threats ‘greatest challenge to human rights’ UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet said on Monday (Sept. 13) climate change, pollution, and nature loss are severely affecting human rights, while countries across the globe fail to take the necessary action.

“The interlinked crises of pollution, climate change and biodiversity act as threat multipliers, amplifying conflicts, tensions and structural inequalities, and forcing people into increasingly vulnerable situations,” Bachelet said. “As these environmental threats intensify, they will constitute the single greatest challenge to human rights of our era.” https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/9/13/environment-to-become-biggest-challenge-to-human-rights-un  (13 Sept. 2021)

Opinion Biodiversity loss threatens human health K Srinath Reddy Biodiversity builds resilience against natural disasters like floods and storms, besides offering protective barriers against pandemics. Loss of over 35% of the earth’s mangrove forests has made us vulnerable to floods and is resulting in rising sea levels that threaten coastal agriculture. Deforestation, with loss of multiple plant species, is damaging soil integrity and causing landslides precipitated by loose soil. Deforestation also leads to increased spread of zoonotic infections, by removing the protective boundaries between wildlife and human communities. It destroys the natural hosts of forest-dwelling microbes and offers them an easy passage to veterinary and human hosts.  https://www.newindianexpress.com/opinions/2021/sep/17/biodiversity-loss-threatens-human-health-2359810.html   (17 Sept. 2021)

SOUTH ASIA

IWT This conclusion is broadly right: “So, the timing is not conducive for re-negotiation as of now. Rather, India should work out a detailed plan to exploit its share effectively as guaranteed by the treaty… Till the geopolitical/strategic environment changes in favor of India, our priority must be to set home in order and prepare the ground for the renegotiation.” Though many aspects are questionable. https://www.sundayguardianlive.com/culture/raison-detre-renegotiating-indus-water-treaty  (18 Sept. 2021)

Nepal Surplus power Edit in the Himalayan Times on Sept 15, 2021: With the 456-MW Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project operating in full swing since August, Nepal has not only become self-sufficient in electricity generation but is even facing a 400-MW surplus, which remains unconsumed during the night time. The power that is going to waste, according to the Kulman Ghising, the executive director of NEA, is causing a daily loss equivalent to Rs 40 million. With more power coming from private hydropower projects in the immediate future, the NEA must find ways to make good use of surplus energy. What immediately comes to mind is, of course, exporting power to neighbouring India. The NEA has held discussion with Indian officials to export surplus power to Bihar (in monsoon and importing in winter) under a proposed mutual seasonal electricity exchange with the Bihar State Power Holding Company, but there has been no word from the other side so far.

– Currently, there are 136 projects of 3,034-MW capacity under construction, while 99 others of 1,841- MW are under financial closing process. Altogether 111 projects, both public and private, supply about 1,300-MW of power to the national grid at present. https://thehimalayantimes.com/opinion/editorial-surplus-power  (14 Sept. 2021)

Bangladesh Fish production increased by 400pc in 20-yrs Fish production in Bangladesh has increased dramatically almost 400 percent in the past two decades, starting from 1.781 million metric tonnes in 2000-2001 and reaching 4.134 million metric tonnes in 2019-2020. Employment opportunities in the sector are a boon as well – official statistics show that the fisheries and aquaculture sectors (directly and indirectly) support more than 18 million people. It also showed that Bangladesh is becoming less reliant on capture fisheries and is embracing aquaculture to meet domestic and export demand. https://dailyindustry.news/fish-production-increased-by-400pc-in-20-yrs-in-bangladesh/   (13 Sept. 2021)

Villagers build ‘jungla dams’ to prevent land erosion Over the years, the Meghna river has eroded entire villages in Bangladesh. To arrest land erosion, villagers have built eco-embankments. But, 16 coastal districts are at the risk of river erosion. https://en.gaonconnection.com/villagers-in-coastal-bangladesh-build-eco-embankments-using-wood-and-bamboo-to-prevent-land-erosion-but-for-how-long/ (28 Aug. 2020) 

Third Pole Droughts, late monsoon floods batter South Asia Intensifying climate change means that opposite disasters are manifesting at the same time across the region, making emergency responses harder than ever. https://www.thethirdpole.net/en/climate/2021-monsoon-drought-floods-batter-south-asia/  (16 Sept. 2021)

Study Genetics can aid conservation in Himalayas Scientists in the Himalayas are increasingly using advanced genetic studies to discover new species and uncover genetic diversity; their findings have major implications for the conservation of Himalayan biodiversity. https://www.thethirdpole.net/en/nature/genetic-science-a-boon-for-conservation-in-the-himalayas/  (10 Sept. 2021)

ASIA

Indonesia WB awards $380 ml for 1 Gw pumped storage HPP The World Bank has decided to award a $380 million loan to Indonesia’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources for the construction of the 1,040 MW Upper Cisokan Pumped Storage Power Plant, a project under development since 1986. https://www.pv-magazine.com/2021/09/13/indonesia-moves-forward-with-1-gw-pumped-storage-hydropower-plant/  (13 Sept. 2021)

Middle East Water crisis could lead to conflicts Disputes over water are quite frequent in the Middle East, as many of the rivers and lakes in the region are shared by two or more countries. Building dams in one country significantly reduces the amount of water available to neighbouring countries, which see the area available for irrigated cultivation diminish, threatening the livelihood of their citizens. Already several rivers in the Middle East have lost almost half of their annual flow in the last fifty years. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/water-crisis-could-lead-to-conflicts-in-the-middle-east/articleshow/86193211.cms  (14 Sept. 2021)

THE REST OF THE WORLD

USA Preliminary assessment of 2020 mid-Michigan dam failures A five-person Independent Forensic Team (IFT) released its interim report Monday (Sept. 13), but noted a more detailed analysis will not be completed for another several months. The interim report focuses on the geological, structural and weather factors that caused the dam failures. The upcoming report will cover the human factors the IFT determines contributed to the disaster.

For the time being, the IFT is laying the blame for the failure of the Edenville Dam and subsequent topping of the Sanford Dam on a process identified as static liquefaction, which the report calls the “most plausible principle mechanism” for the Edenville Dam breach.

As a failure mechanism, stated the IFT, static liquefaction is “rare, but not unprecedented.”

The report explains: “Static liquefaction is a phenomenon in which a saturated, loose sand tends to lose strength and collapse rapidly under sustained (static) shear loading, generating high pore water pressure in the soil mass and very low strength. The stress-strain behavior is brittle, and the low residual strength is much lower than the static shear stresses, creating a large force imbalance, acceleration and velocity, and flow of the soil mass.”

Although the water level was at a record high, the report concludes the failure of the Edenville Dam was not caused by water overtopping the dam. Relying on the home video, the IFT said the visual evidence is not consistent with the overtopping hypothesis.

The IFT also determined internal erosion was not to blame for the Edenville Dam failure. “With no signs of significant seepage or eroding material from the dam face, the available information does not support the sudden breach being principally caused by internal erosion. … Regardless of whether the embankment was bi-zoned or homogeneous, the conclusion would be the same: the lack of observed seepage or embankment distress prior to the sudden failure does not support internal erosion as the primary failure mechanism.” https://www.thecentersquare.com/michigan/forensic-team-releases-preliminary-assessment-of-2020-mid-michigan-dam-failures/article_64251372-14c6-11ec-ae4d-076f3e496fb1.html  (13 Sept. 2021)

A sudden loss of soil strength under saturated conditions likely caused the catastrophic failure of the Edenville Dam near Midland last spring, according to an investigation report commissioned by federal regulators.

In an interim report on the disaster released Monday, Sept. 13, a five-member independent forensic team pinned the disaster on “static liquefaction,” a rare type of failure more commonly associated with tailings dams that store mining wastewater than water storage dams like Edenville.

The expert team, chosen last August in the disaster’s wake by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), reported there is “strong evidence” the collapse came through static liquefaction, which it called the “most plausible principal mechanism for the failure.”

The team was led by John W. France, president of JWF Consulting. Other members include dam engineering expert Irfan Alvi, hydraulics structural engineer Steve Higinbotham, water resources expert Arthur Miller and geotechnical engineer Jennifer Williams.

According to the report, the team has “essentially completed” investigation into the physical mechanism of the failure, but “evaluation of human factors is still in progress.” A final report is pending.

According to the 42-page interim report, the Edenville collapse may have been triggered by increased groundwater pressure within loose embankment sands combined with shear stress while the dam was holding back historic water volume on May 19, 2020 following several days of heavy rain. Reservoir levels at the time were about 5.5 feet above normal pool levels and are believed to have been three feet higher than the previous record. That “almost certainly contributed to the static liquefaction instability failure.”A static liquefaction failure is “rare” for water storage dams, which geotechnical engineers have “generally assumed” won’t have dramatic soil strength loss under most conditions.

Report authors noted that the failure occurred at a location along the earthen embankment where clay tile drains (a type of plumbing typically used on farms to drain excess water from subsurface soil) were noted as missing in a 2012 survey report. https://www.mlive.com/public-interest/2021/09/investigators-pin-edenville-dam-failure-on-static-liquefaction.html  (13 Sept. 2021)

A 5-member independent forensic team said there is “strong evidence” the failure of the Edenville and Sanford dams during steady rain in May 2020 came from static liquefaction, which it called the “most plausible principal mechanism for the failure.” https://cwdetroit.cbslocal.com/2021/09/14/report-shows-loss-of-soil-strength-likely-led-to-dam-collapses-in-mid-michigan/  (14 Sept. 2021)

Kenya Drought puts 2.1 ml at risk of starvation National disaster declared as crops fail after poor rains and locusts, while ethnic conflicts add to crisis. https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/sep/15/drought-puts-21-million-kenyans-at-risk-of-starvation (15 Sept. 2021)

UK Pollution damaging rivers more than public thinks Troubled Waters report for a coalition of charities, including the RSPB, the National Trust and the Rivers Trust, reveals how even wildlife-rich protected wetlands and rivers are threatened by pollution, while restoring water quality is hampered by a lack of effective monitoring and enforcement. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/sep/15/pollution-is-damaging-uk-rivers-more-than-public-thinks-report-says  (15 Sept. 2021)  

Every freshwater body in England currently fails chemical standards and only 16 per cent are classed as being “in good ecological health”, compared to 53 per cent on average across the EU, according to the Wildlife and Countryside Link, the largest environment and wildlife coalition in England, made up of 61 organisations. The report warns that the climate crisis is worsening conditions for England’s “already beleaguered waters”. https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/news/rivers-water-sewage-pollution-england-b1920062.html  (15 Sept. 2021)

Study Mass Extinction Events Can Turn Freshwater Into Toxic Soup Apart from the global catastrophe that killed off most of the dinosaurs, some experts think almost all the mass extinctions in Earth’s history were followed by a proliferation of microbes in rivers and lakes.

According to the geologic record in Australia, the damaging impacts of climate change and climate-driven deforestation during the Permian extinction event most likely caused a toxic soup to sprout in the Sydney Basin, one of the oldest known freshwater ecosystems in the world.

That’s disconcerting, the authors say, as human activity is leading to a similar mass extinction event today. “We’re seeing more and more toxic algae blooms in lakes and in shallow marine environments that’s related to increases in temperature and changes in plant communities which are leading to increases in nutrient contributions to freshwater environments,” says geologist Tracy Frank from the University of Connecticut . https://www.sciencealert.com/mass-extinction-events-can-turn-freshwater-into-toxic-soup-and-that-s-bad-news-for-today  (19 Sept. 2021)

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

Also see: DRP News Bulletin 13 Sept. 2021 & DRP News Bulletin 06 Sept. 2021  

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

One thought on “DRP NB 20 Sep 2021: Policy needed for Urban Rivers, not Riverfronts

  1. According to various news reports, most of the roads in Uttarakhand are closed due to landslides triggered by cutting and blasting coupled with rain. Recently Uttarakhand High Court allowed Char Dham Yatra with covid protocols and restricted number of people. But as roads to those shrines are closed at different points, religious pilgrims have no other option but to take helicopter rides to those places.
    If tourists and pilgrims are to take expensive air travels to visit such places, why are there so much investments in the name of All Weather Roads and consequent destruction of the local ecology as well as businesses?As far as I know, there are millions of people having small businesses on way to Char Dham who are in dire needs to have some income after no tourism last year. Those people include the tea and pakoda sellers on the roadside to small traders of different items in the market areas and low cost hotel businesses.
    I could not visit Uttarakhand after August 2014. I am wondering, how will those places I frequent, look like when I will visit next time! Or even, will I be able to travel there by road? Because, unlike government officials, stake holders or contractors, I don’t feel optimistic about any project that destroys a bigger chunk of environment to provide little or no benefit.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.