DRP News Bulletin

DRP News Bulletin 08 Nov 2021: Is heavy rain ALONE to be blamed for flooding in Chennai?

In past couple of days heavy rains have caused significant flooding in several areas of Chennai. While weather bloggers claim the rains were unusual and combination of several atmospheric factors, however the same can not be blamed for flooding in several residential areas, roads and other public spaces. Like common problem afflicting several urban centers across the country, Chennai is no exception to gradual encroachments of water bodies, wetlands, drainage channels and common lands.

Apart from lack of synchronization of hydrological factors in infrastructural projects, the urban water governance system is still missing despite the devastating 2015 flood event. Moreover the systematic and ongoing destruction of Ennore Creek which includes floodplain and wetlands of Adyar and Koshthiyar rivers has made lakhs of river, wetlands dependent people victims of such avoidable disasters.

It is rightly said that monsoon is only time when these anthropogenic causes come to the fore and solution to urban floods lies what we do to our drainage system, water bodies, wetlands and rivers after and before the rainy season. As long as this simple but crucial lesson is not learnt and course corrected accordingly, such events are going to persist and the changing rainfall patterns would only be making them worse.

URBAN FLOOD

Chennai Real reasons why urban floods are a never-ending problem in city As in many other Indian cities, in Chennai too, a wide range of issues are responsible for urban flooding. The host of problems at the root of flooding have only been getting worse in recent years. If these issues are left unaddressed, Chennai is unlikely to solve any of its flooding-related problems in the coming 10 years.

Urban floods are not just a result of improper flood management. It is also a result of gaps in governance. With unelected officials who lack any kind of accountability to the local public, it is impossible to get people’s concerns addressed. For the past six years, the city has had no elected local body due to the delay in conducting local body polls.

Along with scientific rigour in designing for such events, municipal governance reforms are also necessary. Even with such measures, the planning and execution of steps to make Chennai flood proof may be many years in the making. Even so, we must press for a long-term road map to be drafted for the city so that in ten years, the city could be relatively safe and liveable despite the rains. https://chennai.citizenmatters.in/chennai-rains-urban-floods-disaster-management-governance-35596  (08 Nov. 2021)

PR Creek, wetlands, river space destruction by TANTRANSCO Renders 10 lakh people flood prone! Even as efforts to monsoon-proof the city focus solely on Adyar, Cooum and Kovalam basins, Save Ennore Creek campaign appealed to the CM to visit the neglected Kosasthalai River’s Ennore backwaters where TANTRANSCO had encroached on more than 39 acres of wetlands, including 16.6 acres of areas identified as mangroves and mangrove buffers in the approved Coastal Zone Management Plan. Despite protests by Ennore fishers, TANTRANSCO has failed to remove the concrete debris roads laid blocking water flow in various parts of the backwaters, including across the Kuruvimedu and Buckingham Canals.

Calling attention to “Before-After” satellite images showing how TANTRANSCO had buried mangroves and illegally reclaimed the wetlands, the campaign referred to TANTRANSCO’s works as an act of ‘eco-vandalism’ that will endanger 1 million people in North Chennai, Manali, Madhavaram, Ponneri and Gummidipoondi if monsoon rains are heavy. Of a total of 30 transmission tower sites surveyed by the campaign, not even one site was restored to its original wetland state as required by the CRZ Clearance obtained by TANTRANSCO. The CRZ clearance issued by Union environment ministry states that “Any physical infrastructure set up during the construction period shall be removed simultaneously with the completion of laying of each segment of the erection project.” Kosasthalai is Chennai’s largest river with twice the flood carrying capacity as Adyar and Cooum combined.

Unlike the Adyar and Cooum that do not have backwaters, the Kosasthalai has backwaters stretching from Manali to Pulicat. At least 10,000 fisher families rely on these waters for a livelihood, while close to 10 lakh people live in its catchment. The Campaign sought the intervention of the State Disaster Management Authority and invites the Chief Minister asking him to urgently visit the Ennore backwaters as part of his monsoon preparedness inspections. The Kosasthalai River, and the population protected by it, deserves the same attention as the elite rivers Adyar and Cooum command, the campaign said. https://storyofennore.wordpress.com/2021/10/07/press-release-monsoon-alert-tantransco-destroys-39-acres-of-ennore-wetlands-including-17-acres-mangroves-renders-10-lakh-people-flood-prone/  (07 Nov. 2021)

Chennaiites who have lived through the devastating floods of 2015 can attest to how the event and its aftermath has had a lasting impact on the city. The sudden and massive scale of the deluge saw scores dead and many lose their homes and possessions. Rebuilding from a catastrophe such as this is a long process that the residents come to grips with it over many years. Krupa Ge’s evocative book Rivers Remember: Chennai Rains and The Story of a Manmade Flood delves into the various aspects of the fateful events that led to the lathe scale flooding. The book deconstructs the fraught relationship that the city has had with its rivers and the impact that our actions have caused leading to the current scenario. https://chennai.citizenmatters.in/interview-krupa-ge-author-of-rivers-remember-chennai-floods-2015-11007  (19 July 2019)

‘Heaviest rain since 2015,’ causes flooding on roads Chennai experienced heavy rain overnight due to the conditions as a prelude to the forming of a low pressure over the Bay of Bengal. Private weather bloggers said this was ‘heaviest rain’ the city has experienced since 2015. Nungambakkam received 215.3 mm of rain while Meenambakkam received 113.6 mm by 8.30am on Sunday (Nov. 6). Rainfall in other areas till 8.30am: Anna University 164mm, MRC Nagar 171mm, Taramani 127.5, YMCA Nandanam 157.5, ACS Medical College 103.5mm, Goodwill School Villivakkam 200mm, Puzhal 146.5mm and Ennore Port 100mm.

Tiruvallur collector said 3,000 cusecs of water would be released from Poondi reservoir starting at 9am. People residing in low-lying areas on the banks of the river Kosasthalaiyar were advised to be on alert. Officials of the Chennai Corporation, Metrowater and PWD were discussing if water should be released from Chembarambakkam lake. Evacuations were under way in some areas. Officials said 500 cusecs of water would be released from Puzhal reservoir from 11 am. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/chennai-receives-heaviest-rain-since-2015-showers-cause-flooding/articleshow/87563020.cms  (07 Nov. 2021)

The State government as part of precautionary measures, following heavy rains, has proposed to open the flood gates of Chembarambakkam lake located in Kancheepuram district and one of the water source for the city at 1.30 p.m. on Sunday (Nov. 7). The floodgates of the Poondi Reservoir was opened at 9:00 a.m. The development comes in the wake of the reservoir receiving huge amount of water from the Krishnaraja Sagar dam leading to the reservoir reaching its danger level of 34.20 feet.

In a press release the State government to safeguard the dam has directed the Water Resources department (WRD) officials to release surplus water of 974 cusecs from the reservoir initially. The WRD officials have been directed to release water from the dam to the extent of 3,000 cusecs from Sunday (Nov. 7) morning. Further the officials of the WRD would be releasing more rainwater based on the water being received in the various canals being received to the lake. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/chennai-rains-fast-filling-poondi-reservoirs-shutters-opened-chembarambakkam-lake-floodgates-to-be-opened-shortly/article37364405.ece  (07 Nov. 2021)

HYDRO POWER PROJECTS

Report India must stop cacking hydropower projects A month before the climate summit COP26 began in Glasgow, more than 300 organisations across 69 countries urged governments not to use climate funds for “false climate solutions” such as new hydropower dams. They urged that these dams be removed from all the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) targets pledged under the 2015 Paris Agreement that aim to combat global warming. The appeal included 26 environment groups from India. India has been promoting hydropower projects in the belief that they are clean and sustainable. Environmentalists point to studies conducted in the past decade that have shown that hydropower dams are major emitters of methane, a greenhouse gas 28-34 times more potent than carbon dioxide. https://www.indiaspend.com/climate-change/why-environmentalists-want-india-to-stop-backing-hydropower-projects-784998  (02 Nov. 2021)

In August, the environment ministry also recommended restarting the construction of seven under construction hydropower plants in the Himalayan region that had been halted for various reasons. Experts have, however, pointed out that hydropower dams pollute and also precipitate natural disasters. “The idea of clean, green, sustainable hydropower, as an alternative to coal, has no truth to it,” said Himanshu Thakkar from the SANDRP, one of the signatories to the appeal. https://scroll.in/article/1009605/hydropower-dams-are-not-the-clean-source-of-energy-the-indian-government-thinks-they-are  (03 Nov. 2021)

New case for ending big dams The argument against major hydropower projects — ravaged ecosystems and large-scale displacement of people — is well known. But dam critics now say that climate change, bringing dried-up reservoirs and increased methane releases, should spell the end of big hydropower. https://e360.yale.edu/features/as-warming-and-drought-increase-a-new-case-for-ending-big-dams  (04 Nov. 2021)

Western Ghats SHPs not green “There is no governance mechanism surrounding small hydel projects in India, that is the main problem,” said Parineeta Dandekar, associate coordinator of the SANDRP. “They are exempt from the EIA (environment impact assessment) notification of 2006 and entire environment clearance procedures.” Being exempt from the EIA notification implies there is no need for a public hearing before a project moves forward, which means local communities affected by it have no way to voice their concerns. https://www.article-14.com/post/small-hydro-power-projects-are-seen-as-green-in-the-western-ghats-local-communities-disagree-6181f91fb3efc  (03 Nov. 2021)

North East 2 board members raising questions on HPPs Two board members of the NHPC Ltd raised questions last year over a Mumbai-based construction firm, whose promoters are from Gujarat, bagging a major work contract in a 2000 MW hydel project in the Northeast. The controversy, sources say, has escalated to the very top echelons of the government, possibly resulting in a delay in giving final vigilance clearance to Abhay Singh, the chairman and managing director (CMD) of NHPC, a little over year and a half after he was appointed to the public sector unit (PSU). A seemingly innocuous construction contract for work on a hydroelectric project in the Northeast sparked friction within the board of directors of NHPC Ltd in late 2020, according to company documents. The two directors raised objections on grounds of the said company’s past performance and whether one instance of previous debarment in a different state should disqualify it from winning.

– The contract was eventually awarded to the company in question, with NHPC’s CMD and the rest of the board overruling the dissent. However, records of board’s meeting minutes raise questions about the role of the power ministry in overseeing this move. In particular, The Wire has learnt the power ministry’s representative on the board did not give an opinion on whether the final awarding of the contract was appropriate, even though the board agreed that the representative’s ratification would be required in light of the issues raised.

– After a tender process, the PSU had to choose between two final bidders: an infrastructure and construction services company called Patel Engineering Ltd and Larsen and Toubro (L&T). The tender evaluation committee chose the former, whose winning bid was Rs 1,564 crore. However, during this time, L&T submitted a complaint, alleging that the Mumbai company’s past track record should disqualify it from the process. This sparked tension in Board meeting.

– NHPC’s director (finance) M.K. Mittal argued that the winning bidder’s past performance and debarment by the Jharkhand state government should have disqualified it. And that L&T’s charge that the company allegedly misrepresented facts should have been subjected to an inquiry by the PSU’s central vigilance officer. At one point Mittal even alleged that undue favour had been shown to the winning bidder in other cases, but the CMD did not allow him to “speak further in the matter”. This allegation was countered by the CMD as not being “substantiated” and best addressed through a separate agenda note to the board. At least one other director also appeared to lend weight to Mittal’s concerns, with NHPC’s director (personnel) saying that the decision to award the contract could be taken during a board meeting when the government’s nominee director (joint secretary-hydro Tanmay Kumar in the power ministry) was in place. Another independent director, J.K. Mohapatra, appears to have agreed with this, noting that work could be awarded subject to ratification by the government’s nominee director. https://thewire.in/political-economy/nhpc-board-subansiri-dam-patel-engineering-contract  (01 Nov. 2021)

Sikkim Dzongu residents defying Teesta dams for 15 years For the past 15 years, the people of Dzongu, North Sikkim, have opposed the dam construction on River Teesta. The indigenous Lepcha tribe who live in Dzongu have long argued, protested and staged a 915-day hunger strike, fearing that their native village would be submerged after the dam construction. The hunger strike and protest in Gangtok and Dzongu started around 2004 and went on until 2009.

There are two dam constructions that they oppose: the construction of 520 megawatts Teesta Stage Four Project of the NHPC on River Teesta and the 280 megawatt Panam Hydro Project upon Dzongu’s native Rongyoung River. North Sikkim already houses Teesta Stage Three in Chungthang and Stage Five in Dikchu, further downhill from Dzongu. There are multiple stages run by the NHPC on Teesta in Sikkim and North Bengal. The Panam project was supposed to be finished in 2015 but was stopped due to financial constraints. Now, the NHPC has proposed to take over the Panam Project along with Stage IV, which they initiated around 2010. https://www.eastmojo.com/sikkim/2021/10/10/sikkim-why-dzongu-residents-continue-to-defy-dams-on-teesta-river/  (10 Oct. 2021)

Arunachal Pradesh Turbid rivers Tongam Rina on causes and concerns behind rivers turning turbid episodes in the state. The latest Kameng is third such incidents in last four years and it continues to remain silt laden even after a week. While the Siang’s turbidity was attributed to natural phenomenon, it was not the case with the Panyor (Ranganadi) river as it turned turbid in February 2019, thanks to the North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Limited’s mismanagement and wilful disregard of the river and the people living downstream. During maintenance, the corporation released silt from the 405-mw Ranganadi hydroelectric plant, leading to extreme turbidity downstream, particularly in Kimin area. Though there was no increase in the volume of the river, the Panyor became unbearably fetid. Aquatic life was destroyed and fishes turned up dead on the banks of the river.

The latest is the Kameng river. The state government has said that glacier movement and erosion upstream of the Warriyang Bung river, a tributary of the Kameng river, led to the turbidity. The river continues to be turbid even after more than a week. With rapidly changing weather pattern, the Siang- and the Kameng-like episodes are likely to occur in the future too. The question is whether the union and the state are equipped to deal with such situations. From the responses seen in the face of human made and natural disasters, the state is dreadfully ill-equipped.  In an ecologically fragile state, the least one can do is upgrade the forecast system. The government or its agencies can’t blame the weather or cite national security each time there is urgency. https://arunachaltimes.in/index.php/2021/11/08/turbid-rivers/  (08 Nov. 2021)

In a bid to create a safe passage for the aquatic lives that are escaping from the turbid Kameng river, the youths of Pakoti village in East Kameng district on Sunday (Nov. 7) dismantled the traditional fishing traps (‘seppe’ in the local dialect) on the Pakoti river. It is speculated that enormous numbers of fish and other aquatic lives are escaping the Kameng river. The youths have also prohibited any kind of fishing in the Pakoti river till the Kameng river’s water becomes clear. The Pakoti river is one of the tributaries of the Kameng river in Seppa area. With the Kameng river’s water having turned turbid, it has been reported that aquatic lives are migrating to the river’s tributaries.

East Kameng DC Pravimal Abhishek Polumatla had issued an executive order on 1 November, prohibiting fishing, sale and consumption of fish sourced from the Kameng river. The DC also appealed to the people to recognize the importance of the aquatic lives of the Kameng river which are under severe distress. He expressed anguish that many people were seen fishing extensively in the tributaries of the Kameng river, taking advantage of the increased fish presence. The DC appealed to the people to “protect and improve the natural environment, including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife” and to “have compassion for living creatures under Article 51 A (g).” https://arunachaltimes.in/index.php/2021/11/08/youths-dismantle-fishing-traps-to-create-safe-passage-for-aquatic-lives-escaping-turbid-kameng-river/  (08 Nov. 2021)

Aerial survey to ascertain cause of Kameng turbidity The DC in his report informed that there was “intense erosion” of the Warriyang Bung river’s bank, resulting in deposition of mud, debris, boulders and trees. “This could be possibly due to a landslide/avalanche on the upper reaches of the Warriyang Bung river, which could not be observed due to the presence of thick clouds,” the DC said.

-He further informed that, “as per the independent researcher and the observations based on aerial survey and satellite imagery, the width of the Warriyang Bung river has increased to certain extent due to erosion and approximately up to 30 kms downstream.”  “Preliminary observation shows that no water body has been formed along the river. However, continuous monitoring is going on,” the DC stated.  https://arunachaltimes.in/index.php/2021/11/06/team-conducts-aerial-survey-to-ascertain-cause-of-kameng-rivers-turbidity/  (06 Nov. 2021)

Kameng remains muddy even on Monday, Nov 1, 2021, 4-5 days since the incident started. Quotes SANDRP. https://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2021/nov/01/arunachal-river-turns-black-as-massive-landslides-stop-flowglacial-outbursts-suspected-2378415.html  (01 Nov. 2021)

Jammu & Kashimir Aug. 19, 24 and Oct. 31 satellite images by Irfan Rashid, Assistant Professor, Department of Geo-informatics, University of Kashmir show considerable part of Indus flow channel blocked by moraine debris of Zanskar river post Aug. 22, Rumbak GLOF event. The pondage behind moraine dam has been rising posing as potential flash flood threat in case of sudden breach or earthquake in the area. SANDRP has wrote about Rumbak GLOF here: https://sandrp.in/2021/08/29/about-landslide-lake-in-uttarakhand-glof-in-ladakh/  (29 Aug. 2021)

Union Minister, Power, New and Renewable Energy, R.K. Singh, virtually inaugurated the Diversion of Marusudar River of Pakal Dul Hydro Electric Project in Kishtwar district. https://thekashmirimages.com/2021/11/02/power-minister-inaugurates-diversion-of-marusudar-river-at-pakal-dul-he-project-1000-mw-in-kishtwar/  (02 Nov. 2021)

Uttarakhand बांधों से बेहाल हिमालय साठ के दशक में ‘नए भारत के तीर्थ’ माने गए बड़े बांध आजकल किस तरह की त्रासदी रच रहे हैं, इसे देखना-समझना हो तो केवल उत्तराखंड की यात्रा काफी होगी। गंगा और उसकी अनेक सहायक नदियों पर जल-विद्युत, सिंचाई और बाढ़-नियंत्रण की खातिर ताने जा रहे असंख्य बड़े बांधों ने हिमालय का जीना मुहाल कर दिया है। https://www.spsmedia.in/land-forest-and-water/himalaya-suffering-from-dams/  (05 Nov. 2021)

Making of disaster vulnerabilities Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh are no strangers to the landslides, forest fires, and cloudbursts that cause colossal damages to life and property year after year. In this Himalayan ecology, people’s degree of vulnerability and risk to these disasters is also attributed to hampered access to land and forests, disappearing indigeneous knowledge, and changing land relations with the onset of migration to and from the Himalayas. Without turning the focus to these risks, the conversation on disaster management in the Himalayan region is incomplete. https://thebastion.co.in/politics-and/the-making-of-disaster-vulnerabilities-in-the-himalayas/  (02 Nov. 2021)

Dhauladhar is a range where tourists, locals and the wild coexist at different altitudes. But it is also a luminous, magical place of mystery and stories.  https://lifestyle.livemint.com/news/big-story/footloose-in-the-dhauladhar-111636107927507.html  (06 Nov. 2021)

DAMS

Book Review Saga of diplaced villagers A two-part novel in Hindi which has captured very vividly the various aspects of displacement should be more widely known. This award winning novel has been written by Virendra Jain, an extremely sincere and talented writer. The first and longer part of the novel titled ‘Doob’ (Submergence) deals with the main village Larai, set in Bundelkhand region. The second part titled Paar (The Other Side) deals with a rather distant hamlet of this village inhabited by a tribal community, parhaps a primitive tribe. (Reviewed by Bharat Dogra)

– This is a story of many people trying to lead simple lives and trying to find happiness in very simple things, yet being overwhelmed time and again, increasingly so, by forces beyond their control and pushed towards even more uncertainty, marginalized even more. The reader becomes deeply involved in their journey through more and more uncertain times, which even in these remote villages are increasingly linked to wider events. https://countercurrents.org/2021/11/hindi-literatures-saga-of-villagers-who-face-displacement/  (07 Nov. 2021)

Madhya Pradesh Silt deposited in the dams to be removed soon: Patel Union Minister of State for Jal Shakti, Prahlad Patel on Saturday (Sept. 4), said that silt deposited in the dams of Madhya Pradesh would be removed soon. The proceedings for it have been at final stage with a foreign firm, he added. Patel said that many problems were being faced to remove the silt deposited in the dams because of which the dams built on the Narmada and other rivers could not be cleaned for many years.

“But now this impasse has been removed. The silt deposited in the dams will be removed through the world’s modern technology. A group from Dubai has presented the process of desilting of dams through a presentation. On the basis of which the desilting of Bargi dam will be done soon.” Patel said. It would first be started from Bargi Dam in Jabalpur, built on the Narmada River. https://www.freepressjournal.in/bhopal/madhya-pradesh-silt-deposited-in-the-dams-to-be-removed-soon-says-union-minister-patel  (04 Sept. 2021)

INTERSTATE WATER DISPUTES

Godavari River Disputes TS wants GRMB not to share project DPRs with AP  In a letter written to the GRMB chairman, the Telangana irrigation engineer-in-chief C. Muralidhar said, “The six DPRs submitted by the Telangana government, namely, Choutpally Hanmanth Reddy lift irrigation scheme (CHRLIS), Chanaka-Korata, Chinna Kaleshwaram (Mukteswar) LIS, Tupakulagudem, Sitarama LIS and Modikuntavagu are all not new projects attracting the provisions of the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014. All these projects are ongoing projects since 2010 and were grounded by the then government in the erstwhile AP. In order to overcome the defective planning in such ongoing projects, the Telangana government has undertaken re-engineering of certain existing and ongoing projects so as to ensure the optimum utilisation of the Godavari water under these projects.”

Pointing out that these six projects of the Telangana government had been wrongly shown as unapproved projects in the recent Centre’s gazette notification, Telangana irrigation engineer-in-chief C. Muralidhar said the Telangana government submitted DPRs of these unapproved projects to the CWC for technical clearance within the period of six months as mandated in the gazette. “Since these projects are taken up prior to formation of Telangana state in June 2014, the GRMB is not mandated to look into aspects such as irrigation planning, cost, cost economics, designs etc, which are to be looked at by the CWC as per the existing procedure for earlier projects,” he added. https://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/031121/ts-wants-grmb-not-to-share-project-dprs-with-ap.html  (03 Nov. 2021)

URBAN RIVERS

Webinar on ‘Re-imagining Rivers’ on 17 Nov at 6pm IST. Registration link:- https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJ0ucOquqD0oHNHyYWBwdcJZ7ULaqkSJU1v3

Gomti; Lucknow Current Google Earth imagery shows thick frothing along 1km stretch of Gomti river downstream Lucknow probably due to untreated effluents from 346 MLD Bharwara STP existing there since 2011. The historical imageries reveal situation to be more or less same. As per reports Lucknow generates about 600 MLD of sewage while has 2 STPs with treatment capacity of about 401 MLD (346 MLD Bharwara and 56 MLD Daulatganj STP. The sewage generation is estimated to increase to about 1000 MLD in a decade. The Jal Nigam has been proposing 120 MLD STP to treat city’s biggest drain Ghiyasuddin Haidar canal. The STP would cost about 400 crore and lacking funds, the state government had asked for Central aid. 

Budda nala; Ludhiana No respite from pollution “In Ludhiana we use underground water. We have plenty of it with the Himalayas giving us a lot of mineral water. We are using our underground aquifers. We are creating polluted water out of that and we are throwing it into the river and that water we’re sending across to our brothers and sisters in other cities for them to drink. We are a bunch of fools, actually,” says Jaskirat Singh, a software engineer who has played a key role in raising objections, in exasperation. It is residents of Ludhiana themselves who have raised the issue of pollution. They have also been joined by people in Faridkot, Muktsar and Fazilka where NGOs have raised the issue.

– He adds: “We told them the biggest problem is that industry waste and domestic waste is getting mixed up. And that is mixing up the accountability of the Ludhiana municipality and the pollution control board with neither wanting to be held accountable. That cannot continue because that has been the root of the problem. But they have again created a big STP, which will cost about Rs. 250 crore.”

– The Budda Nala is actually fine till it enters Ludhiana. In fact, its flow is lean for 14 km before entering the city since it serves canals along the way. The problem begins in Ludhiana where the flow swells, but with sewage and chemicals. Interestingly, Ludhiana does not depend on the Budda Nala. It draws its drinking water from underground. https://civilsocietyonline.com/environment/ludhianas-cursed-budda-nala/  (29 Oct. 2021)

Hindon, Noida While NMCG is busy celebrating Ganga Utsav, Momnathal villagers complain of black-oily effluents dumped in Hindon on Oct 30, which will surely reach Yamuna river affecting water quality, villagers, cattle health.

RIVERS

List of some good books on Rivers shared on facebook by Rama Shanker Singh (26 Sept. 2021) भारत की नदियों पर कुछ अच्छी किताबें। पढ़ेंगे तो फायदा मिलेगा।

अन फेल्डहॉउस. नदी आणि स्त्रीत्व, अनुवाद विजया देव. पुणे: पद्मगंधा प्रकाशन, 2014.

अनिल अग्रवाल. द फर्स्ट सिटीजन रिपोर्ट. नई दिल्ली: सेंटर फॉर साइंस एण्ड एनवायरेनमेंट, 1982.

अनुपम मिश्र. अच्छे विचारों का अकाल. नई दिल्ली: भारतीय ज्ञानपीठ, 2016.

-.पर्यावरण के पाठ: साक्षात्कार. नई दिल्ली: राजकमल प्रकाशन, 2019.

अमर्त्य सेन. होम इन द वर्ल्ड: अ मेम्वायर. भारत: एलेन लेन, 2021.

अमिता बाविस्कर. इन द बेली ऑफ़ द रिवर: ट्राइबल कॉन्फ्लिक्ट ओवर डेवलेपमेंट इन द नर्मदा वैली. नई दिल्ली: ऑक्सफोर्ड युनिवर्सिटी प्रेस, 2004.

अरूपज्योति सैकिया. अनक्वाइट रिवर: अ बायोग्राफी ऑफ़ द ब्रह्मपुत्र. नई दिल्ली: ऑक्सफ़ोर्ड युनिवर्सिटी प्रेस, 2019.

अस्सा डोरोन आदि. एन एंथोलोजी ऑफ़ द राइटिंग्स आन द गंगा: गॉडेस एण्ड रिवर इन हिस्ट्री, कल्चर एण्ड सोसाइटी. नई दिल्ली: ऑक्सफ़ोर्ड युनिवर्सिटी प्रेस, 2015.

अस्सा डोरोन. लाइफ़ ऑन द गंगा: बोटमैन एण्ड द रिचुअल इकोनोमी ऑफ़ बनारस. नई दिल्ली: कैम्ब्रिज युनिवर्सिटी प्रेस, 2013.

एंथोनी एशियावत्ती. गंगेज वाटर मशीन: डिजाइनिंग न्यु इण्डिया’ज एंशियंट रिवर. सैन फ्रांसिस्को: एप्लाइड रिसर्च एण्ड डिजाइन, 2015.

एरिक न्यूबी. स्लोली डाउन्स द गैंगेज़. लंदन: पिकाडोर, 1983.

कुंतल लाहिरी-दत्ता और राबर्ट जे. वाटसन. वाटर फर्स्ट: इश्यूज एण्ड चैलेंजेज फॉर नेशंस एण्डकम्युनिटीज इन साउथ एशिया. नई दिल्ली: सेज, 2008.

कुबेरनाथ राय. निषाद बाँसुरी. कोलकाता: प्रतिश्रुति प्रकाशन, 2019.

केकी दारूवाला. क्रासिंग द रिवर्स. दिल्ली: ऑक्सफ़ोर्ड युनिवर्सिटी प्रेस, 1976.

क्रिस्टेन हास्ट्रप और फ्रीडा हास्ट्रप. वाटरवर्ल्ड्स: एंथ्रोपोलोजी इन फ्ल्यूइड इनवायरेनमेंट. न्यू यार्क: बर्गान बुक्स, 2015.

गंगा लहरी- पद्माकर कृत. काशी: नागरी प्रचारिणी सभा, दि.न.

गंगा-अंक: कल्याण. गोरखपुर: गीता प्रेस, 2016.

गंगालहरी- पंडित जगन्नाथ कृत. इंडिका बुक्स: वाराणसी, 2007.

डेविड एल हेबरमन. रिवर ऑफ़ लव इन एन एज ऑफ़ पॉल्यूशन: द यमुना रिवर ऑफ़ नॉर्दर्न इण्डिया. बर्कले: युनिवर्सिटी ऑफ़ कैलीफोर्निया प्रेस, 2006.

दयाशंकर दुबे. पुराणों में गंगा. इलाहाबाद: हिन्दी साहित्य सम्मलेन, 2017.

पी. वी. काणे. धर्मशास्त्र का इतिहास, पाँच भागों में, अनुवाद अर्जुन चौबे काश्यप लखनऊ: उत्तर प्रदेश हिन्दी संस्थान, 1992-2019.

मक्खन लाल. सेटलमेंट हिस्ट्री एण्ड राइज ऑफ़ सिविलाइजेशन इन गंगा-यमुना दोआब फ्रॉम 1500 बीसी टू 300 एडी. दिल्ली: बी. आर. पब्लिशिंग कारपोरेशन, 1984.

महेंद्र प्रताप सिंह. वाल्मीकि की पर्यावरण चेतना: पर्वत एवं नदियाँ. नई दिल्ली: वाणी प्रकाशन, 2016.

माणिक बंद्योपाध्याय. द बोटमैन ऑफ़ पद्मा, अनुवाद रतन के चट्टोपाध्याय. नई दिल्ली: ओरियंट ब्लैकस्वान, 2012.

मोतीचन्द्र. काशी का इतिहास: वैदिक काल से अर्वाचीन युग का राजनैतिक-सांस्कृतिक सर्वेक्षण. वाराणसी: विश्वविद्यालय प्रकाशन, 2010.

रघुबीर सिंह. द गंगेज. लंदन: थेम्स एण्ड हडसन लिमिटेड, 1992.

रमाशंकर सिंह. निषाद और उनकी नदी: हक़दारी के सवाल. नई दिल्ली: वाणी प्रकाशन एवं सीएसडीएस, 2017.

वासुदेव शरण अग्रवाल. मार्कण्डेय पुराण: एक सांस्कृतिक अध्ययन. इलाहाबाद: हिन्दुस्तानी अकादमी, 2010.

– भारत सावित्री. नई दिल्ली: सस्ता सहित्य मण्डल, 2001.

विक्टर मेलेट. रिवर ऑफ़ लाइफ, रिवर ऑफ़ डेथः द गंगेज एण्ड इण्डिया‘ज फ्यूचर. नई दिल्ली: ऑक्सफ़ोर्ड युनिवर्सिटी प्रेस, 2017.

सफदर इमाम कादरी और योगेंद्र. गंगा को अविरल बहने दो. भागलपुर: गंगा मुक्ति आंदोलन, 1990.

सादिक़. मिर्ज़ा गालिब: चिराग़-ए-दैर. नई दिल्ली: राजकमल प्रकाशन, 2018.

सायंतोनी दत्ता. दामुदा: सैक्रेड वाटर – नैरेटिव्स ऑफ़ एनवायरमेंटल लॉस एण्ड कान्फ्लिक्ट इन द अपर एण्ड मिडिल दामोदर रिवर बेसिन. शिमला: इण्डियन इंस्टीट्यूट ऑफ एडवांस्ड स्टडी, 2017.

सुदीप्त सेन. गंगा: द मेनी पास्ट्स ऑफ़ अ रिवर. गुड़गाँव: पेंगुइन रैंडम हाउस, 2019.

सुधाकर पाण्डेय. पद्माकर कृत गंगा लहरी. काशी: नागरी प्रचारिणी सभा, 1983.

सुनील अमृत. अनरुली वाटर: हाउ माउंटेन्स, रिवर्स एण्ड मानसून शेप्ड साउथ एशिया’ज हिस्ट्री. भारत: पेंगुइन रेंडम हाउस, 2018.

स्टीवन जी. डेरियन. द गंगेज इन मिथ एण्ड हिस्ट्री. दिल्ली: मोतीलाल बनारसीदास, 2010.

हवलदार त्रिपाठी. बिहार की नदियाँ. दो खंडों में, पटना: बिहार हिंदी ग्रन्थ अकादमी, –

हेनरिक वॉन स्टीनकार्न. गंगा एण्ड यमुना: रिवर गॉडेसेस एण्ड देयर सिम्बालिज़्म इन इंडियन टेम्पेल्स. रानीखेत: परमानेंट ब्लैक, 2010.

BRAHMAPUTRA Assam 3 more bridges over river to be completed in next 5 years: CM  “In the next five years of this present government, besides the existing Saraighat bridge, there will be three more bridges connecting Narengi-Kuruwa, the under-construction Guwahati- North Guwahati bridge and Palashbari-Sualkuchi bridge to address the connectivity bottleneck of the people living along the south and north bank of the river Brahmaputra,” Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Nov. 4

Speaking at the event, Himanta Biswa Sarma said, “The DPR for the project is underway and the work will be taken up under Bharat Mala Project. The under-construction Guwahati- North Guwahati bridge over the Brahmaputra river will be inaugurated by December 2023.”

“Moreover, the drinking water project of Guwahati is nearing completion. The government is also working sincerely for the Brahmaputra river front beautification project besides creating new gardens in Hengrabari, Fancy Bazar and Maligaon areas. An integrated sports complex will be built at the now defunct Chandrapur Thermal Power project area in line with Sarusajai Sports Complex,” Himanta Biswa Sarma said. https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/three-more-bridges-brahmaputra-river-to-be-constructed-five-years-assam-cm-himanta-biswa-sarma-1873226-2021-11-04  (04 Nov. 2021)

GANGA Review Rivers as Narratives: A review of “Moving Upstream Ganga” by Rahul Ranjan As the documentary progresses, the difference in the lifeworld of riparian communities and rising water infrastructure (Dams) complicates the narration. What was seen as extinction imaginaries, shifting fluvial landscapes (chaurs), takes forms of enormous infrastructural violence that manifest in the dam. While for decades, the documentation of dam stories has mainstreamed pressing concerns, the documentary captures the impact on their lives and their worldview. Spread across the road was a herd of sheep looked over by three elderly women – who sat down and recounted the stories of villages uprooted for dams, leaving away the traces of memory, joy, and harvest songs and belonging. These women point out almost helplessly towards the mountains – showing disappeared archives of their social world. In this passage of telling tales of lived lives, the storyline pierces into the heart of the viewer – mounting anger and transient pain is felt through their voices. https://doingsociology.org/2021/11/06/river-as-narratives-a-review-of-moving-upstream-ganga-rahul-ranjan/  (06 Nov. 2021)

Uttarakhand All Weather Road Condition of Pithoragarh-Tanakpur All Weather road project after October third weeks rain in Sarda river basin. This happens when environmental processes including EIA are grossly bypassed. One hope MoRTH India would first restore the damages, learn from mistakes before marching ahead. Images: Neeraj Mahar, Nov. 2. https://twitter.com/Indian_Rivers/status/1456143517982490626?s=20 

Between Devprayag-Rishikesh stretch of All Weather Road Project, muck is unoffcially dumped at countless sites almost at most of inner/outer curve of hills along Alaknanda, Ganga river; there are now multiple active landslide zones, road muck is also being dumped in rivers without any protective measures and tributary streams are buried under debris creating a recipe for disaster. (Images: 08 Oct. 2021)  https://twitter.com/Indian_Rivers/status/1456998709858734084?s=20

Dave Petley on Pithoragarh- Tanakpur All Weather Road “Google Earth demonstrates this road is a horror story. The left image is from March 2018, the right from February 2021.  This pattern is repeated along much of the length of the highway.  It is a case study of poor mountain road design and construction.” https://twitter.com/davepetley/status/1456176446595022848?s=20 

Dec 2020 report hs some info on Pithoragarh Tanakpur All Weather road. Length 150km, budget ₹1074cr, work started in 2017. Developed several new danger zones in 2 yrs, was closed 182 times in 2020 due to landslides. https://www.livehindustan.com/uttarakhand/story-union-government-prime-minister-narendra-modi-dream-project-all-weather-road-constructed-with-1000-crore-closed-for-182-times-pithoragarh-tanakpur-champawat-highway-danger-zone-highway-3688611.html   (17 Dec. 2020)

कुल 889 किमी रोड में 673 किमी का काम आवार्ड किया जा चुका है. इसमें से 550 किमी की रोड बनकर तैयार हो चुकी है. इस तरह 60 फीसदी से अधिक काम पूरा हो चुका है. https://hindi.news18.com/news/nation/chardham-all-weather-road-work-will-be-completed-soon-delsp-3796803.html  (14 Oct. 2021)

दरारों से दूर रहना, हिमालयी निर्माण की पहली शर्त है। जल निकासी मार्गों की सही व्यवस्था को दूसरी शर्त मानना चाहिए। हमें चाहिए कि मिट्टी-पत्थर की संरचना कोे समझकर निर्माण स्थल का चयन करें, जल निकासी के मार्ग में निर्माण न करें। नदियों को रोकें नही, बहने दें। https://legendnews.in/uttarakhands-all-weather-road-an-ambition-playing-with-the-environment/  (04 Sept. 2021)

केंद्र के ड्रीम प्रोजेक्ट ऑलवेदर रोड ने चम्पावत जिले में लगातार 10 दिन बंद रहने का नया रिकॉर्ड बनाया है। इस अजब रिकॉर्ड से लोगों मुसीबतें बढ़ गई हैं। टनकपुर-पिथौरागढ़ ऑल वेदर रोड इससे पहले अधिकतम सात दिन बंद रही थी। सड़क कब तक खुलेगी अब भी अफसरों के पास इसका स्पष्ट जवाब नहीं है। चम्पावत और टनकपुर के बीच स्वाला में दस दिन पहले एक पहाड़ी दरक कर ऑल वेदर रोड पर आ गई थी। इससे करीब दो सौ मीटर ऑल वेदर रोड टूट गई है। 

रोड खोलने के लिए अब तक प्रशासन, एनएच खंड और कार्यदायी कंपनी की तरफ से की गई हर कोशिश फेल साबित हुई है। पहाड़ी रुक-रुक कर गिर रहे बोल्डरों ने नयी मुसीबत खड़ी की है।  टनकपुर-पिथौरागढ़ ऑल वेदर रोड का कार्य 2017 में शुरू हुआ था। करीब दो साल पहले भी स्वाला मंदिर के पास पहाड़ी दरकने से पूरी सड़क ही गायब हो गई थी। टनकपुर-पिथौरागढ़ नेशनल हाईवे पर मलबा गिरने की घटनाएं भी बढ़ीं हैं। https://www.livehindustan.com/uttarakhand/story-all-weather-road-traffic-closed-for-10-days-landslide-rainfall-uttarakhand-4493991.html  (02 Sept. 2021)

उत्तरकाशी के बड़ेथी में ऑल वेदर रोड का एक बड़ा हिस्सा धंस गया है, जिससे करीब आधा दर्जन मकानों को खतरा पैदा हो गया है। स्थानीय निवासियों ने सड़क निर्माण कार्य की गुणवत्ता पर भी सवाल उठाए हैं। वहीं विभागीय अधिकारियों का कहना है कि संबंधित कार्यदायी संस्था से इसे तुरंत ठीक करने के निर्देश दिए गए हैं।

ऑल वेदर रोड का निर्माण कार्य चुंगी बड़ेथी तक किया गया है। इससे आगे का क्षेत्र इको सेंसिटिव जोन होने के कारण ऑल वेदर रोड का कार्य रुका हुआ है। जिला मुख्यालय से करीब दो किमी दूर बड़ेथी में अभी कुछ माह पूर्व ही ऑल वेदर रोड का निर्माण कार्य पूरा हुआ है, लेकिन पहली बरसात में ही यहां ऑल वेदर रोड का करीब 200 मीटर से अधिक हिस्सा धंस गया है।

बारिश के कारण धरासू तराकोट जिब्या मोटर मार्ग भूस्खलन के कारण कई जगह अवरुद्ध हो गया है। भूस्खलन से एक आवासीय मकान भी खतरे की जद में आ गया है। सड़क के नीचे जमोला के जंगल और पनघट हौड़ा तोक को जाने वाला आम रास्ता भी अवरुद्ध हो गया है। https://www.amarujala.com/uttarakhand/uttarkashi/200-meters-of-the-all-weather-road-near-badethi-submerged-utter-kashi-news-drn3851758148  (22 July 2021)

New ‘all-weather’ road on Rishikesh-Gangotri National Highway caves in after first rain https://scroll.in/video/998558/watch-new-all-weather-road-on-rishikesh-gangotri-national-highway-caves-in-after-first-rain  (26 June 2021) 

टनकपुर से पिथौरागढ़ तक 150 किलोमीटर (चीन और नेपाल बॉर्डर को जोड़ने वाले NH 125) को केंद्र सरकार से मिली मदद से आलवेदर रोड में तब्दील किया गया है. लेकिन दावों के विपरीत ये अहम हाइवे आए दिन बंद हो रहा है. चंपावत और पिथौरागढ़ की लाइफ लाइन में अक्सर भारी लैंडस्लाइड के कारण बंद हो रही है, जिसके चलते लाखों की आबादी को आए दिन दिक्कतें उठानी पड़ रही है. असल में इस हाइवे में आलवेदर रोड की कटिंग के दौरान 15 से अधिक डेंजर जोन बन गए हैं, जिनका ट्रीटमेंट निहायती जरूरी हो गया है. एनएच के एई पीएल चौधरी का कहना है कि डेंजर जोन के ट्रीटमेंट का प्रस्ताव केन्द्र सरकार को भेजा गया है. प्रस्ताव को हरी झंडी मिलते ही काम शुरू किया जाएगा. चिपकोट, दिल्ली बैंड, भारतोली, स्वाला, घाट इस कदर खतरनाक हो गए हैं कि यहां आए दिन पहाड़ियां दरक रहीं हैं. https://hindi.news18.com/news/uttarakhand/pithoragarh-1100-crore-rupees-all-weather-road-was-considered-a-boon-but-became-curse-cgnt-3601595.html  (27 May 2021)

ऋषिकेश-गंगोत्री हाईवे के 110 किलोमीटर पर स्थित नकोट-खोली गांव ऑल वेदर रोड कटिंग से खतरे की जद में आ गया है। ग्रामीणों ने बताया कि सड़क निर्माण से गांव के नौ परिवारों के मकानों में दरारें पड़ गई हैं, जिससे उन्हें खतरों के साए में रहना पड़ रहा है। प्रभावित परिवारों ने भूगर्भीय सर्वे कराने और प्रभावित परिवारों को शिफ्ट करने की मांग को लेकर क्षेत्र में निर्माण कार्य ठप करा दिया है।

थौलधार ब्लाक में नकोट-खोली गांव के नौ परिवार हाईवे के ठीक ऊपर बसे हुए हैं। सड़क चौड़ीकरण के कारण मकानों में दरारें पड़ गई हैं, जिससे मकानों को खतरा पैदा हो गया है। ग्रामीणों ने बताया कि सड़क चौड़ीकरण कार्य करने से पहले ही बीआरओ से क्षेत्र का भूगर्भीय सर्वे कराने की मांग की गई थी, लेकिन जबरन सड़क की कटिंग करने से मकानों में दरारें पड़ गई हैं। https://www.amarujala.com/uttarakhand/tehri/nine-families-came-under-threat-due-to-all-weather-road-cutting-new-tehri-news-drn374867354  (26 March 2021)

प्रोजेक्ट साल 2017 में शुरू हुआ. इसको लेकर कई शिकायतें आईं. आरोप लगे कि पर्यावरण को नुकसान पहुंचाया जा रहा है. नियमों का पालन नहीं हो रहा. मनमानी से पेड़ कट रहे हैं. मलबा नदियों में गिराया जा रहा है. सुप्रीम कोर्ट ने 2018 में 25 सदस्यों की हाई पावर कमेटी बनाई. सड़क की चौड़ाई के मसले पर कमेटी दो गुटों में बंट गई. कमेटी के मुखिया रवि चोपड़ा और उनके तीन साथियों ने सड़क की 12 मीटर चौड़ाई पर सवाल उठाए. वहीं 21 लोगों ने इसे सही बताया. इस गुत्थम-गुत्थी में ही बात अब तक अटकी है और प्रोजेक्ट बदस्तूर जारी है. https://www.thelallantop.com/bherant/landslide-near-char-dham-all-weather-road-three-labourers-died-know-all-about-this-road/   (26 Aug. 2020)

Chardham all-weather road project is disappointing people amid monsoon. A number of landslides were reported on this route due to which the pilgrims had to suffer.  https://news.abplive.com/videos/news/india-uttarakhand-how-chardham-all-weather-road-project-is-disappointing-people-1298932  (30 July 2020)

Landslide impacts on Chardham routes a coffee table book by Geological Survey of India. https://employee.gsi.gov.in/cs/groups/public/documents/document/b3zp/oti5/~edisp/dcport1gsigovi929568.pdf

NMCG Jal Shakti Minister, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat launched the ‘Ganga Atlas: River of the Past’. Ganga Atlas (https://nmcg.nic.in/Newsletter/Ganga-of%20the%20Past/index.html) developed by Prof Rajiv Sinha, IIT Kanpur documents the changes in River Ganga over the past 5-6 decades in terms of channel morphology, land use & land cover, river dynamics and associated issues.

As part of this research project funded by NMCG, IIT Kanpur has also developed a workflow that allows users to process and analyze declassified imagery of riverine environments at minimal cost and using open source software.  https://pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetailm.aspx?PRID=1768623  (01 Nov. 2021) Continuous Learning and Activity Portal (CLAP) developed by the NMCG in association with Tree Craze Foundation was also launched at the occasion. https://www.daijiworld.com/news/newsDisplay?newsID=889368  (02 Nov. 2021)

Report In ‘Invisible Empire: The Natural History of Viruses’ biochemist Pranay Lal tells the story of viruses as major actors across human civilisation. https://theprint.in/pageturner/excerpt/a-british-scientists-quest-to-scientifically-explain-the-mythical-powers-of-the-ganges/760822/  (03 Nov. 2021)

Uttar Pradesh Curious case of 50MLD Ramna STP in Kashi Planned in 2015 to tap Nagwa, Assi river polluting Ganga; DPR GROSSLY UNDERESTIMATED pollution load ~40MLD & proposed 50MLD enough till 2030. Feb 2018 work began; completion target 1st set April then Dec 2020. On PPP mode with 15 yrs O&M, contract given to Essel Infra costing ~₹154cr.

Trapped in Yes Bank scam, it later became bankrupt but forced to finish work. In Nov 2020, fined ₹3cr for violation. Dec 2020 target replaced wth March 2021. Cost up by ~₹10cr. In June 2021 trial sewage load found 60MLD. Its Nov 2021 & the HAM Ramna STP still out of work. Interestingly in 2010 itself, SMF had found Nagwa pollution load ~64 MLD, estimates it ~80MLD now & admin agrees. In 2018, CPCB found its discharge ~198/138.93 MLD in pre/post-monsoon. https://twitter.com/Indian_Rivers/status/1457026723430555654?s=20

Experts raise doubt over efficacy of 50 MLD Ramna STP “The work on the Ramna STP is a total wastage of money and time, as it is not only overburdened but also incorrect from the point of view of engineering,” claimed Prof. Vishwambhar Nath Mishra, president of Sankat Mochan Foundation (SMF), an NGO acting as the watchdog of Ganga’s health since the inception of the Ganga Action Plan (GAP) in 1986. “For the first time, we had made an actual measurement of sewage discharge into the Ganga through Nagwa drain in 2010. At that time the sewage discharge was 64 MLD, which would have surely increased up to over 80 MLD in a decade,” Prof. Mishra told TOI.

“The basic problem is that the persons not knowing the basics of river anatomy, morphology and dynamics are great doctors of the river,” said noted river engineer and director of the Mahamana Malviya Institute of Technology for Ganga Management and former professor at IIT-BHU Prof. UK Chowdhary. “Isn’t there a difference between a doctor and a pathologist?,” he said suggesting, “Kindly be a river doctor then solve the problem of the river.” Prof. Chowdhary had also recently written to the CPCB chairman and pointed out the lapses in pollution management of the rivers.

3 STPs with a total capacity of 102 MLD for treatment of municipal sewage at Deenapur, Bhagwanpur and Banaras Locomotive Works (BLW) in the first phase of GAP. Two more sewage treatment plants have been established at Deenapur (140 MLD) and Goithaha (120 MLD) and now the sewage treatment capacity of the city is 362 MLD against generation of around 350 MLD sewage. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/varanasi/experts-raise-doubt-over-efficacy-of-50-mld-ramna-stp/articleshow/84278775.cms  (10 July 2021)

CM seeks report as 50 MLD Ramna STP found to be overloaded Contacted, general manager of Ganga Pollution Control unit of UP Jal Nigam Fanindra Rai, said, “During a recent meeting with Union government authorities, the CM had been made aware that actual sewage generation in Asi river is around 80 MLD but it had been constructed with the capacity of 50 MLD only. The underestimation of sewage load will defeat the purpose of putting a complete check of sewage disposal in the Ganga.” “Before the launch of Ramna STP project in 2015, the estimation of sewage flow in Asi had been done and its DPR was prepared. Perhaps, on finding around 40 MLD sewage flow, it was estimated that 50 MLD STP at Ramna will be sufficient for treating sewage load till 2030. However, as this estimation has proved insufficient, the role of those responsible for the estimation and preparation of DPR of the project will be probed,” added Rai.

According to Rai, serious problems had been faced with the company which had been awarded the contract for constructing Ramna STP as it later declared itself bankrupt. “But, this company was pressurised to complete the assigned work as per the conditions of the contract at any cost,” he said adding, “all four basins of STP are complete and testing of two had been started in June while testing of remaining two is going to be started in a week. Some minor work like staff quarters, drains and others are also in progress and they will be completed in a month. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/varanasi/cm-seeks-report-as-50-mld-ramna-stp-in-kashi-found-to-be-overloaded/articleshow/84184734.cms  (07 July 2021)

Inspection Report of Sewerage infrastructure and Kund Revitalisation Projects at Varanasi and Jaunpur:- However, at the time of inspection, there was heavy rain and the work was found withhold. The Nagawa MPS curtain wall was found damaged and the entire sewer at “Assi drain” was found flowing into the Ganga River without any treatment. The discharge of the Assi Drain is more than 50 mld in upstream of the city. The landscaping work, staff quarter, boundary wall and other finishing work at Ramna STP was found incomplete. Lab setup work is still remaining and need to be completed at earliest. https://jjmup.org/Visit%20Report_Varanasi_Jaunpur%20June%202021%20(1).pdf 

सीवेज सिस्टम के जानकार बताते हैं कि जो क्षेत्र दीनापुर में बने 140 एमएलडी क्षमता के एसटीपी से जुडऩा था, वह भी रमना एसटीपी से जुड़ गया है। मसलन, लहरतारा, फुलवरिया क्षेत्र का आंशिक हिस्सा, मंडुआडीह, शिवदासपुर आदि। चूंकि असि नदी का उद्गम स्थल कंदवा है। इसलिए प्राकृतिक ड्रेनेज सिस्टम सभी इसी नदी से जुड़ गए हैं। इसमें उन इलाकों के ड्रेनेज भी हैं जिसे दीनापुर एसटीपी से जोडऩा था। ऐसे में रमना एसटीपी के लिए हुआ आकलन गड़बड़ हो गया। https://www.jagran.com/uttar-pradesh/varanasi-city-ramna-stp-was-overloaded-when-asi-river-of-varanasi-was-understood-to-be-a-drain-a-three-member-committee-formed-to-investigate-21802437.html  (06 July 2021)

साल 2014 में गंगा कार्य योजना चरण- I के तहत शहर में रोजाना निकलने वाले लगभग 400 एमएलडी सीवेज के मुकाबले सिर्फ 100 एमएलडी (दीनापुर में 80 एमएलडी, भगवानपुर में 10 एमएलडी और बीएलडब्ल्यू में 10 एमएलडी) के तीन एसटीपी थे। प्रधानमंत्री के प्रयास से साल 2019 तक दीनापुर और गोइठहां में 140 एमएलडी और 120 एमएलडी की क्षमता वाले एसटीपी का काम त्वरित गति से पूरा किया गया। इस तरह से अब वाराणसी के एसटीपी की क्षमता 360 एमएलडी की हो गई है। रामनगर में 10 एमएलडी की क्षमता का एसटीपी निर्माणाधीन है। वहीं, रमना एसटीपी का निर्माण कार्य सवालों के घेरे में है। https://www.bhaskar.com/local/uttar-pradesh/varanasi/news/ramna-stp-built-without-assessing-sewage-in-varanasi-cm-yogi-angry-at-jal-nigam-officers-now-action-will-be-taken-128674978.html  (July 2021)

रमना एसटीपी के संचालन में लापरवाही बरतने वाली कंपनी पर नमामि गंगे विभाग के प्रमुख सचिव अनुराग श्रीवास्तव 3 करोड़ रुपये का जुर्माना लगाया है। प्रमुख सचिव के निर्देश पर चल रही जांच में पहली कार्रवाई रमना एसटीपी पर की गई। जांच में पाया गया कि तय मानक से सीवर का शोधन नहीं हो रहा है। सीवेज निस्तारण की गुणवत्ता मामले में रमना एसटीपी बेहतर नहीं पाई गई। प्रदेश में 104 एसटीपी चल रहे हैं। 44 एसटीपी नमामि गंगे विभाग के दायरे में हैं। https://www.amarujala.com/uttar-pradesh/varanasi/ramna-stp-fined-three-crore-sewer-treatment-not-found-standard-in-investigation?pageId=1   (09 Nov. 2020)

The Essel group’s Clean Ganga project in PM Modi’s constituency Varanasi is caught in a logjam owing to delays in construction. India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) says there is uncertainty over timely completion of the project due to the upcoming monsoon season. https://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/delays-in-construction-cast-a-shadow-over-essel-s-stp-project-in-varanasi-119041300788_1.html  (14 April 2019)

रमना में बनने वाला एसटीपी Yes Bank और प्राइवेट पार्टनर एस्सेल इंफ्रा प्रोजेक्ट लिमिटेड की वित्तीय संकट में फंस गया है। यही कारण है कि पिछले पांच माह से काम कच्छप गति से चलने के कारण इसकी मियाद दो बार बढ़ाई जा चुकी है। जनवरी में पूरा होने वाले प्लांट की मियाद पहले मार्च फिर मई तक बढ़ा दी गई है। इसकी गति को देखते हुए मई में पूरा होने के इसके आसार कम ही दिख रहे हैं। हालांकि शासन स्तर पर इसके जल्द पूरा करने का भी लगातार दबाव बनाया जा रहा है।

पीपीपी के तहत बनने वाले शुरू में इस परियोजना की लागत 151 करोड़ थी लेकिन अब जीएसटी और वस्तुओं की महंगाई दर को देखते हुए इसमें दस करोड़ रुपये की और वृद्धि हुई है। इसमें साठ फीसद प्राइवेट कंपनी और 40 फीसद सरकार को देनी है। इस परियोजना में सरकार अब तक 37 करोड़ रुपये खर्च कर चुकी है। नमामि गंगे के तहत बन रहे इस परियोजना के निर्माण कार्य के प्रभारी और अधिशासी अभियंता एसके रंजन ने बताया कि धन की कमी के कारण काम में दिक्कत आ रही है। जिससे लगातार समय बढ़ाना पड़ा है। https://www.jagran.com/uttar-pradesh/varanasi-city-ramna-sewage-treatment-plant-of-varanasi-trapped-in-yes-bank-financial-crisis-20122023.html  (19 March 2020)

अस्सी से लेकर नगवां के बीच गंगा में गिरने वाले 90 एमएलडी से अधिक सीवरेज के निस्तारण के लिए 154 करोड़ से 50 एमएलडी क्षमता वाले एसटीपी का निर्माण नमामि गंगे प्रोजेक्ट के तहत होना है। जल निगम की गंगा प्रदूषण नियंत्रण इकाई ने अक्तूबर में टेंडर के माध्यम से एसटीपी निर्माण की जिम्मेदारी एस्सेल इंफ्रा लिमिटेड कम्पनी को दी। रमना में नगर निगम के तीन हेक्टेयर जमीन में एसटीपी बनेगा। गंगा प्रदूषण नियंत्रण इकाई के परियोजना प्रबंधक एसके बर्मन ने बताया कि कंपनी ने निर्माण के लिए सर्वे शुरू कर दिया है। दिसंबर में निर्माण शुरू होगा।  निर्माण के बाद 15 साल तक कंपनी रखरखाव एवं संचालन भी करेगी। https://www.livehindustan.com/uttar-pradesh/varanasi/story-ramna-stp-to-be-started-from-december-15-1660058.html  (23 Nov. 2017)

वाराणसी: गंगा पार 1195 लाख से बनाई गई रेत की नहर समा रही पानी में  वाराणसी में गंगा पार रेती में लाखों रुपये की लागत से बनी नहर गंगा के पानी में समा रही है। शुक्रवार (July 30) को नहर का अधिकांश हिस्सा धीरे-धीरे समाहित हो गया। गंगा के जलस्तर में बढ़ाव जारी रहा तो 1195 लाख रुपये की लागत वाली नहर पूरी तरह समाहित हो जाएगी। काशी के नदी विज्ञानियों ने नहर निर्माण से पहले ही ऐसी आशंका जताई थी।

गंगा पार विशाल रेत के मैदान के बीचों-बीच करीब साढ़े पांच किलोमीटर लंबी रेत की नहर बनाई गई थी। इसका निर्माण प्रोजेक्ट कारपोरेशन की देखरेख में कराया गया  था। परियोजना के प्रबंधक पंकज वर्मा के मुताबिक 1195 लाख लागत से करीब 5.3 किमी लंबी और 45 मीटर चौड़ी नहर बनाई गई है। गंगा पार रेती पर बालू की नहर के पूर्वी छोर पर रेत के ढूहे खड़े किए गए। रामनगर स्थित पुल के पास से बालू में निकाली गई नहर का आखिरी सिरा राजघाट पुल के करीब गंगा में मिलाया गया है। https://www.amarujala.com/photo-gallery/uttar-pradesh/varanasi/sand-canal-built-in-ganga-is-submerged-water-in-varanasi?pageId=2  (31 July 2021)

As the water level in the Ganga breached the danger mark in Varanasi, the dream pier development project of PM Modi, at Khidkiya ghat, has been swamped. All the 80 ghats of Varanasi are under water. Even the ghats where the cremations take place are flooded. So, final rites have been moved to the lanes adjoining the ghats.

At the Khidkiya ghat, two helipads, a CNG station and two platforms have been submerged. The under-construction spur and a seven-kilometre-long canal, over which experts had raised questions, have also been swept away. All the above are adjuncts to a larger project, stretching from Haldia to Varanasi – the National Waterway 1, which is purported to provide an alternative mode of environment friendly and cost-effective transport. It’s total cost is Rs 5,369 crore and the project is to be completed by March 2023. https://www.theweek.in/news/india/2021/08/11/ganga-above-danger-mark-in-varanasi-threatens-waterway-project.html  (11 Aug. 2021)

वाराणसी में गंगा घाटों के समानांतर एक महीने पहले ही बनी नहर मौत का कुआं बनती जा रही है। गंगा के उल्टे प्रवाह के कारण यहां प्राण घातक भंवर साफ दिखाई दे रहे हैं। नदी विज्ञानी आईआईटी बीएचयू के प्रोफेसर और संकटमोचन के महंत विश्वंभर नाथ मिश्र ने इसका वीडियो शेयर किया है। https://www.livehindustan.com/uttar-pradesh/story-deadly-vortex-being-created-due-to-overturned-flow-in-ganga-canal-of-kashi-iit-bhu-professor-sankatmochan-mahant-shared-video-and-told-the-well-of-death-4284920.html  (02 Aug. 2021)

District magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma on Monday (June 14) said that the water route bypass channel – parallel to the Ganga river from Ramnagar to Rajghat – will have no effect on shape of the ancient river in Kashi.  “This hollowness is causing erosion at the ghats, and experts had suggested that this (erosion) could be prevented by developing a bypass channel to balancing the flow of the Ganga. This was done after testing by the technical experts of the irrigation department,” he said.

The bypass channel is 45 meter wide and 6 meter deep. It has been designed in such a way that 25 percent water of the river water in over five-kilometer-long stretch will flow through it. “This will ease pressure on the ghats and will stop the erosion. The work on the project started in March and is likely to be completed in next couple of days,” Sharma said. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/others/bypass-channel-won-t-affect-the-shape-of-the-river-kashi-dm-101623695925143.html  (15 June 2021)

आईआईटी बीएचयू के पूर्व आचार्य प्रो. यूके. चौधरी ने स्पष्ट शब्दों में चेतावनी दी है कि यदि गंगा पार रेत में नहर को आकार दिया गया तो यह काशी में अनादि काल से अर्द्धचंद्राकार स्वरूप में प्रवाहित हो रही गंगा के लिए काल बन जाएगी। कछुआ सैंक्चुरी हटाए जाने के बाद रेत उत्खनन की आड़ में गंगा के समानांतर नहर का आकार देना विशुद्ध रूप से अवैज्ञानिक है। https://www.livehindustan.com/uttar-pradesh/varanasi/story-canal-will-become-the-time-for-the-crescent-shaped-ganga-in-kashi-4073042.html  (29 May 2021)

YAMUNA Uttarakhand This says lower parts of three glacier streams which feeds Yamuna after originating from Sapta Rishikund are covered with rubble and boulders and posing as a significant disaster threat to Yamnotri shrine. Locals have raised the issue but the administration has been inactive. https://www.amarujala.com/dehradun/uttarakhand-news-now-danger-of-disaster-over-yamunotri-dham

Delhi How STPs work According to Government estimates, 14% of all sewage generated in the city is not being treated at present due to lack of facilities and the authorities are building more STPs to address this problem.  Stormwater drains are supposed to carry rainwater to a waterbody, which in case of Delhi is the Yamuna. Apart from this, there is supposed to be a separate sewage network, which is not connected to the stormwater drains, and the sewage from it is to be treated at the STPs.

In Delhi, however, the sewage flows into the stormwater drains at many points, polluting the water. So, in most cases, the STPs take water directly from the drains, clean it, and use it for other purposes (not drinking) or release it back to the drains from where the water flows into the Yamuna. According to the Delhi Pollution Control Committee, 22 out of the 33 STPs in the city do not comply with their standards. “At some STPs, the BOD of water after the process is more than 10 mg/l. But to reduce the BOD further, we need more tanks for various processes and many STPs do not have space for more construction,” a Delhi Jal Board official said. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/steps-for-a-cleaner-yamuna/article37349473.ece  (06 Nov. 2021)

Govt.’s technical panel ‘rejects’ drainage master plan A technical expert committee (TEC) has told the Delhi Government not to accept the Drainage Master Plan, which was commissioned 10 years ago by the Government, according to documents seen by The Hindu. Despite this, on August 24, CM Arvind Kejriwal reviewed the progress of the master plan and said that “Delhi will soon get freedom from waterlogging” as work was being “expedited on Delhi’s Drainage Master Plan”.

“The TEC feels that the final report submitted by the consultant (IIT Delhi) is not worth considerable for recommendation and the mentioned report may not be accepted. The State Govt. or Nodal Department may take a call in this matter accordingly [sic],” a Central Water Commission (CWC) document dated August 9 read. The TEC raised multiple problems, including “discrepancies in data” used for the master plan, which was given to IIT Delhi by the Government departments.

The master plan prepared by IIT-D was seen as a solution to waterlogging issues, which the Capital faces every year, as the city’s current drainage master plan was made in 1976. The Delhi Government has not yet made public the TEC telling the Government to not accept the report. When contacted, a spokesperson said, “The Government has suggested changes and issued directions to resolve issues with the master plan. A committee headed by the PWD is working on it.” But when asked whether the Government has rejected the master plan, the spokesperson did not comment.

The master plan submitted in 2018 had also warned of such a possible irregularity of data. “It is possible that many of the data elements that have not been independently validated by the respective departments may be different on ground than the digital reality captured and used in the model,” the master plan read. The TEC headed by member (river water) of the CWC with members from different departments of the Delhi Government was formed by the Chief Secretary in December 2011 to coordinate with IIT Delhi “on a regular basis” to decide design parameters among other functions related to the master plan. But the TEC held its first meeting in almost eight years in May 2019, months after IIT Delhi submitted its final report.

During this meeting, the chairman of the TEC had expressed displeasure that the data provided by various departments to IIT Delhi was not verified, as per documents. The TEC also decided that 10%-20% of the data given by the departments to IIT Delhi to make the master plan should be verified by the departments within 15 days. But it took almost two years for this to be done and a decision taken on it.  IIT-D was selected on “nomination basis” without an open tender and the contract for the master plan was signed in September 2011 for about ₹80 lakh. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/delhi-govts-technical-panel-rejects-drainage-master-plan/article37182454.ece  (27 Oct. 2021)

NDMC cannot shift responsibility to other authority: NGT The tribunal has dismissed a plea filed by North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NrDMC) to summon the violators who have refused to pay Rs 5,000 fine for throwing waste or other items in the Yamuna river saying it cannot shift its own responsibility and obligation to any other body or authority. A bench of Justices Sudhir Agarwal and Brijesh Sethi refused to entertain the plea by the corporation which had also sought directions to the Revenue Authorities (District Magistrates and SDMs) of the Delhi government to enforce recovery of the environmental compensation of Rs 5,000 on each incident as per NGT’s 2015 order.

“We have seen the order dated May 8, 2015 and it is very clear. We do not find that it requires any modification. Moreover, the application in question is not maintainable under any provision of National Green Tribunal Act, 2010. “We are also of the view that there is enough power vested with the applicant establishment, which is a statutory local body, to take appropriate action, as directed by this Tribunal. It cannot shift its own responsibility and obligation upon any other body or authority,” the bench, also comprising expert member Nagin Nanda, said in its November 1 order. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/yamuna-pollution-ndmc-cannot-shift-responsibility-to-other-authority-says-ngt-on-summoning-violators/article37320577.ece  (03 Nov. 2021)

Toxic foam floats on Yamuna Toxic foam was found floating on the Yamuna river near Kalindi Kunj in Delhi on Sunday (Nov. 7) as citizens in the national capital region (NCR) woke up to a smoggy morning for the third straight day. The capital’s water supply has remained affected since Saturday (Nov. 6) evening due to rise in ammonia levels in the Yamuna.  Delhi’s overall air quality continued to remain in the ‘severe’ category with the air quality index (AQI) standing at 436 at 6.15 am on Sunday (Nov. 7). https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/toxic-foam-floats-on-yamuna-as-delhi-gasps-to-breathe-clean-air-101636266906932.html  (07 Nov. 2021)

Water supply hit in several parts after ammonia levels rise Due to the increase in ammonia level pollution in the Yamuna water supply in parts of Delhi has been disrupted on Sunday, according to the Delhi Jal Board (DJB). Treatment and pumping of water treatment plants in the city have been affected, resulting in a massive disruption of supply. These are the Sonia Vihar, Bhagirathi, Wazirabad, Chandrawal and Okhla water treatment plants.

A press note from the Delhi Jal Board state that supply would be affected in the evening on Saturday (Nov. 6) and in the morning and evening on Sunday (Nov. 7). Areas that will be affected include East Delhi, Northeast Delhi, South Delhi, parts of the New Delhi Municipal Council area, and parts of Burari, Model Town, Jahangirpuri, Kamla Nagar, Karol Bagh, Civil Lines, Sarita Vihar, Vasant Kunj, Moolchand and Greater Kailash. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/water-supply-hit-in-several-parts-of-delhi-after-ammonia-levels-rise-in-yamuna/articleshow/87567048.cms  (07 Nov. 2021)

Uttar Pradesh यमुना में नालों का गिरना बदस्तूर जारी https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbEAcM8PUYE  (02 Nov. 2021) नगर-निगम ने घाटों की सिल्ट यमुना में ही डाली, सुप्रीम कोर्ट के आदेशों की उड़ाई धज्जियां https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KtLBACrvY2I  (02 Nov. 2021)

तीन दिवसीय गंगा उत्सव मनाया। गंगा की सहायक नदियों और नहरों के किनारे दीपोत्सव हुआ। आरती उतारी और गंगा उत्सव के गीत गाए। मानों सब कुछ चकाचक है, लेकिन शहर के बीच से बहने वाली दोनों नदियों की दुर्दशा पर किसी का ध्यान नहीं है। पांवधोई और ढमोला नदी कचरे से अटी हैं। इनकी सफाई तक नहीं हो पा रही है, जबकि यह हिंडन नदी को भी प्रदूषित करती हैं। यदि जिम्मेदार अधिकारी प्रयास करें और जन सहभागिता लेकर इन नदियों को स्वच्छ बनाने की दिशा में काम करें तो, परिणाम सकारात्मक हो सकते हैं।

वर्ष 2019 में पांवधोई नदी को स्वच्छ बनाने के लिए बड़े स्तर पर कवायद हुई थी। नदी की सफाई कराने के साथ ही इसमें नहर का पानी भी छुड़वाया गया था। साथ ही विभिन्न संतों को बुलाकर यहां जलोत्सव मनाया गया था। तब स्थिति यह थी कि लोगों ने पांवधोई नदी में स्नान तक किया था, लेकिन आज नदी के पास तक खड़ा होना मुश्किल है।  https://www.amarujala.com/uttar-pradesh/saharanpur/just-look-at-the-condition-of-the-feet-saharanpur-news-mrt5634538134  (03 Nov. 2021)

स्मार्ट सिटी बोर्ड के चेयरमैन व कमिश्नर संजय कुमार ने अधिकारियों को निर्देश दिये हैं कि पांवधोई व ढमोला नदियों पर किये गए अतिक्रमण को हटाया जाए। इसके लिए निगम के अलावा पुलिस-प्रशासन सिचाई विभाग के अधिकारी एक टीम बनाकर संयुक्त रुप से कार्य किया जाए। शहर के तीनों पुलों चतरा पुल सब्जी मंडी व दालमंडी पुल के चौड़ीकरण का कार्य भी तुरंत शुरु करने के निर्देश दिए। कमिश्नर ने बोर्ड बैठक में स्मार्ट हेल्थ सेंटर स्मार्ट रोड प्रभुजी की रसोई सीवरेज सोलिड वेस्ट मैनेजमेंट जुबली पार्क मल्टीलेवल पार्किंग वर्टिकल गार्डन पेंट माई सिटी अभियान अंबेडकर स्टेडियम मंडी समिति रोड के विकास संबंधी परियोजनाओं के बारे में भी जानकारी ली। https://www.jagran.com/uttar-pradesh/saharanpur-illegal-construction-will-be-removed-from-dhamola-river-20878741.html  (14 Oct. 2020)

स्मार्ट सिटी प्रोजेक्ट के अंतर्गत महानगर में बहुआयामी योजनाओं को फलीभूत करने की तैयारी शुरू हो चुकी है। ढमोला और पांवधोई के संगम स्थल का सौंदर्यीकरण करने के अलावा जेल चुंगी ब्रिज से देहरादून रोड को जोड़ते हुए नदी के किनारे सड़क बनाई जायेगी। ये सड़क मिनी बाइपास का काम करेगी। परियोजना पर 22 करोड़ से अधिक की राशि खर्च होगी। https://www.jagran.com/uttar-pradesh/saharanpur-will-made-river-front-20585568.html  (03 Aug. 2020)

RIVERS BIODIVERSITY

Book Story of how trout came to call Indian rivers its home This delightful account of an unknown slice of India’s colonial past combines incredible research involving antique books, rare documents and letters of wistful longing for the trout with the minutiae of fishing and skilful planning. Spanning the Kashmir valley, Kullu, Uttarkashi, the Nilgiris, erstwhile Travancore and Ceylon, this unique and incredible tale is about magnificent passions, countless failures and ultimate triumph. https://www.amazon.in/dp/9391028705/ref=redir_mobile_desktop 

NMCG Ministry releases guide for safe rescue, release of GRDs The Jal Shakti Ministry on Monday (Nov. 1) released a guide for the safe rescue and release of stranded Ganges River Dolphins (GRD). The document has been prepared by the Turtle Survival Alliance, India Program and Environment, Forest and Climate Change Department (EFCCD), Uttar Pradesh. The guide has been drawn from years of experience of the organisation while rescuing 25 Ganges River Dolphins (GRDs) stranded in irrigation canals. https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/ministry-releases-guide-for-safe-rescue-release-of-ganges-river-dolphins/article37292366.ece  (01 Nov. 2021)

Uttar Pradesh सीतापुर: जाल में फंसी डॉल्फिन को मार डाला, एक आरोपी गिरफ्तार  सीतापुर में शारदा सहायक नहर में डॉल्फिन मिली तो ग्रामीणों ने उसे मारकर खा लिया। राज कुछ घण्टों बाद उस समय खुला जब गांव के ही एक युवक ने डॉल्फिन पकड़े जाने का वीडियो वायरल कर दिया। आनन फानन में वीडियो साक्ष्य के आधार पर एक आरोपी को गिरफ्तार किया गया। अन्य की तलाश में कई स्थानों पर दबिशे दी गई हैं। हरगांव एसओ का कहना है कि डॉल्फिन खीरी जनपद से नहर के सहारे आ गई थी, ग्रामीणों ने जाल डालकर उसे पकड़ लिया और बाद में लोग उसे काटकर खा गए। एक आरोपी को गिरफ्तार कर लिया गया है। अन्य की तलाश हो रही है।

शारदा सहायक नहर खीरी जनपद से होकर रायबरेली जाती है। हरगांव थाना क्षेत्र के दजियारा निवासी कई ग्रामीणों ने रविवार (May 16) दोपहर बाद शारदा सहायक नहर में जाल डाल दिया। बताते हैं कि कई घण्टों के बाद उस जाल में डॉल्फिन फंस गई। गांव के लोगों ने जाल से उसे बाहर निकाला और फिर मार डाला, इस दौरान एक युवक ने वीडियो बनाकर उसे वायरल कर दिया। मामला देर रात पुलिस और प्रशासनिक अधिकारियों के संज्ञान में आया। एसपी आरपी सिंह ने बताया कि वीडियो साक्ष्य के आधार पर रात में ही आरोपियों की तलाश शुरू की गई और वन विभाग के अधिकारियों को सूचना दी गई। कई घण्टों की चली तलाश के बाद डॉल्फिन को मार डालने के मुख्य आरोपी दजियारा निवासी पृथ्वी को गिरफ्तार कर लिया गया है। https://www.livehindustan.com/uttar-pradesh/story-sitapur-dolphin-caught-in-trap-killed-one-accused-arrested-4039499.html  (18 May 2021)

हिंडन बेसिन से विलुप्त हो रही इवनिंग ब्राउन प्रजाति की तितली हिंडन बेसिन में तितलियों के सर्वे में चौंकाने वाली रिपोर्ट सामने आई है। सात दिन तक चले सर्वे में हिंडन बेसिन में 65 प्रजातियों की तितलियों इठलाती मिली हैं। हालांकि, इवनिंग ब्राउन प्रजाति की तितली की संख्या चिंता का कारण बन गई है। सात दिन में सात जिलों में हुए सर्वे में इवनिंग ब्राउन प्रजाति की मात्र चार ही तितली मिली हैं। सर्वे टीम ने यमुना बायोडाइवर्सिटी पार्क को रिपोर्ट भेजी गई है। जिसके बाद तितलियों के संरक्षण को लेकर अभियान की शुरूआत की जाएगी। https://www.livehindustan.com/uttar-pradesh/saharanpur/story-hindustan-khas-evening-brown-species-of-butterfly-becoming-extinct-from-hindon-basin-4980406.html  (01 Nov. 2021) 

शिवालिक के जंगल से सटे सहंसरा नदी के उद्गम स्थल पर तालाब में लाल यूग्लीना का भंडार है। यूग्लीना एक सूक्ष्म जीवी है, जो पादप और जंतु के बीच की कड़ी माना जाता है। नगर निगम के पर्यावरण प्लानर सीवेज ट्रीटमेंट को लेकर नई तकनीक विकसित कराने का प्रयास कर रहे हैं। हालांकि इससे सीवेज ट्रीटमेंट हो पाएगा, यह कहना अभी मुश्किल है। https://www.amarujala.com/uttar-pradesh/saharanpur/euglena-stock-found-at-the-origin-of-river-sahansara-saharanpur-news-mrt563767533  (08 Nov. 2021)

Punjab Govt bats for conservation of Indus dolphin Till now the enumeration of freshwater dolphins was being done in different areas of the country with different methodologies. Now, the WII has created a standardised methodology for the counting. Based on this methodology, the counting of dolphins across the country, including Punjab, would be done.

After this we will have a nationwide count — this is one of the key steps towards conservation. “The enumeration process for dolphins is not an easy task, especially in rivers, as they are visible for few split seconds. Several training workshops have been held and a few are in process to adequately train the people involved on getting a reliable count of dolphins. We are all set to begin with counting in the next few days,” Gitanjali Kanwar, coordinator — rivers, wetlands and water policy, WWF-India said. https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/punjab-bats-for-conservation-of-indus-river-dolphin/article37275721.ece  (01 Nov. 2021)

FISH, FISHERIES, FISHERFOLKS

Andhra Pradesh Climate change pushes fishermen to take up shell mining jobs. https://scroll.in/video/1009855/eco-india-episode-127-climate-change-pushes-andhra-pradesh-fishermen-to-take-up-shell-mining-jobs  (06 Nov. 2021)

Govt constitutes inquiry committee on encroachment of MSN charities land in Kakinada  The State government has constituted a three-member high-level committee to inquire into the alleged encroachment of land and financial affairs of the Malladi Satyalingam Naicker (MSN) Charities in Kakinada. The committee is headed by Endowments Department Regional Joint Commissioner (Rajamahendravaram) M.V. Suresh Babu and comprises of Deputy Commissioner (Kakinada) M. Vijaya Babu and Assistant Commissioner Ramesh Babu.

In 1971, a whopping 1686 acres of land, educational institutions, and three temples of the MSN Charities were brought under the purview of the Endowments Department, according to MSN Charities Pariraskshana Samithi (MSNCPS). In 1912, MSN established the MSN Charities to offer free education to the needy. Born by the Coringa river, he breathed his last in Rangoon. Belonging to the fisherfolk community, he was a ship merchant. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/andhra-pradesh-constitutes-inquiry-committee-on-encroachment-of-msn-charities-land-in-kakinada/article37351407.ece  (06 Nov. 2021)

Jammu & Kashmir  मछली पकड़ने के उत्सव से जुड़ा एक झरने का अस्तित्व दक्षिण कश्मीर के अनंतनाग जिले में पंजथ नाग से ट्राउट फिश हैचरी के पानी की आपूर्ति होती है। नीचे के कई गांवों में पीने और सिंचाई के काम भी इस झरने का बड़ा योगदान है। स्थानीय त्योहार रोहन पोश पर अपनी परंपरा के तहत गांवों के सैकड़ों पुरुष और बच्चे साल में एक बार झरने पर मछली पकड़ने जाते हैं। इस सामूहिक पर्व की वजह से झरने की साफ-सफाई भी होती है। झरने के संरक्षण में इस पर्व का बड़ा योगदान है। झरने पर सदियों से चली आ रही यह परंपरा आज भी प्रासंगिक है औऱ प्राचीन समय से ही इस अवसर पर यहां साफ-सफाई का काम होता आ रहा है। https://hindi.mongabay.com/2021/11/08/fishing-beyond-festivity-how-a-spring-in-kashmir-is-saved-by-locals-for-an-incentive-2/  (08 Now. 2021)

SAND MINING

Uttarakhand Govt to have new mining policy soon, say state officials  A few state officials, on Saturday (Oct. 2), said Uttarakhand is likely to formulate a new mining policy soon. State Chief Secretary SS Sandhu said, “for the first time, suggestions have been invited from the stakeholders to formulate ‘User Friendly’ policy for mining”. He further added that the new policy is likely to increase the revenue of Rs 500-1000 crore. Meanwhile, environmentalists, activists have objected to this suggestion alleging indiscriminate mining already being practiced in the hill state.

Dushyant Mainali, a practising advocate who has been pursuing multiple petitions including public interest litigations said, “the negative impact of illegal sand mining far outweighs the economic benefits. The perception that sand and boulders are useless and rivers have a lot of sand is incorrect, because they are crucial for the sustained existence of the river and perform many functions. It remains to be seen what this policy holds for the state.”

Uttarakhand has lost about 50,000 hectares of its forests to ‘developmental activities’ in the past 20 years, revealed data by the state forest department last year. According to the data, the highest amount of forest cover has been lost to mining (8760 ha) followed by road construction (7539 ha), power distribution lines (2332 ha) and hydropower plant projects (2295 ha). https://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2021/oct/02/uttarakhand-to-have-new-mining-policy-soon-saystate-officials-2366816.html  (02 Oct. 2021)

अब स्टोन क्रशर व स्क्रीनिंग प्लांट नदी तट से 50 मीटर की दूरी पर भी स्थापित हो सकेंगे। यह सीमा बरसाती नदी व नालों के लिए रखी गई है। वहीं हरिद्वार में गंगा नदी के किनारे यह दूरी 1.5 किमी से घटाकर एक किमी और अन्य मैदानी नदियों के लिए यह दूरी घटाते हुए एक किमी से 500 मीटर कर दी गई है। पर्वतीय इलाकों में इन मानकों को 50 प्रतिशत रखा गया है। खनिज भंडारण के नियमों में भी शिथिलता प्रदान की गई है।

इसके साथ ही रिवर ट्रेनिंग नीति का नाम बदल कर रिवर ड्रेजिंग नीति रखा गया है। इसमें नदी तल से तीन मीटर तक मलबा, खनिज उठाने का कार्य किया जा सकेगा। इसमें नदी में जमा मलबे को हटाने के लिए खुली बोली का प्रविधान किया गया है। इसके साथ तीन मीटर गहराई तक मलबा हटाने की व्यवस्था की गई है। खनिज भंडारण के नियमों में बदलाव करते हुए अब भंडारण का स्थान मैदानी क्षेत्र की नदी तट से 500 मीटर किया गया है। पहले यह 1500 मीटर था। बरसाती नदी में यह दूरी मात्र 50 मीटर रखी गई है। पर्वतीय क्षेत्र की नदियों में यह दूरी 50 मीटर व बरसाती नदियों में 25 मीटर रखी गई है। https://www.jagran.com/uttarakhand/dehradun-city-uttarakhand-news-stone-crushers-and-screening-plants-will-be-set-up-at-a-distance-of-50-meters-from-river-22160523.html  (29 Oct. 2021)

औद्योगिक विकास (खनन) ने नई नीति का प्रस्ताव तैयार करने के लिए खनन कारोबार से जुड़े विभिन्न हितधारकों से सुझाव मांगे थे। करीब 92 हितधारकों ने अपने सुझाव दिए। कुछ सुझावों को नीति में शामिल भी किया गया है।  सरकार का मानना है कि नई खनन नीति यदि प्रभावी ढंग से लागू हुई तो राजस्व में करीब 500 से 1000 करोड़ की वृद्धि हो सकती है। वर्तमान में जितने क्षेत्रफल पर सरकार खनन के पट्टे आवंटित करती है, उस अनुपात में सरकार को राजस्व प्राप्त नहीं हो रहा है। सरकार के लिए अवैध खनन सबसे बड़ा सिरदर्द है। इस पर अंकुश लगाने के लिए सरकार सीसीटीवी कैमरे, ड्रोन मूवी और सेटेलाइट तस्वीरों की मदद से निगरानी करेगी। https://www.amarujala.com/dehradun/uttarakhand-news-new-mining-policy-will-come-soon-and-proposal-will-be-placed-in-cabinet-meeting  (02 Oct. 2021)

खनन से प्रदेश को हर साल 400 से 500 करोड़ रुपये का राजस्व प्राप्त होता है। वर्ष 2020-21 में जहां सरकार को खनन से 506 करोड़ रुपये का राजस्व प्राप्त हुआ था, वहीं 2021-22 में विभाग फिलहाल इस लक्ष्य से कोसों दूर है। वित्तीय वर्ष 2021-22 के आंकड़ों पर नजर डालें तो सरकार ने खनन के लिए 750 करोड़ रुपये का लक्ष्य तय किया हुआ है। वहीं, इसके सापेक्ष सरकार को जुलाई तक कुल 105 करोड़ रुपये ही राजस्व के रूप में प्राप्त हुए हैं। अब वित्तीय वर्ष समाप्त होने में कुल छह माह का समय शेष है और राजस्व वसूली निर्धारित राजस्व का मात्र 14 प्रतिशत है। https://m.jagran.com/uttarakhand/dehradun-city-uttarakhand-government-will-do-amendment-in-mining-policy-22129211.html  (19 Oct. 2021)

नदी में पानी और सरकारी महकमों की अधूरी तैयारी की वजह से गौला में खनन सत्र अभी शुरू नहीं हो सका, लेकिन वर्चस्व का खेल धड़ल्ले से जारी है। नदी बंद होने के बावजूद ठेकेदार इलाका घेरने में जुटे हैं। मजदूरों की मदद से रेत छनवाने के बाद जगह-जगह ढेर भी लगा दिए गए हैं। वन विभाग भले अभी सीमांकन का काम पूरा नहीं करवा सका, लेकिन घेरेबंदी में लगे लोगों ने डंडे व पत्थरों की मदद से अपना क्षेत्र तय कर लिया है। नदी का विधिवत शुभारंभ होते ही यह इलाका इनका हो जाएगा। पूरे मामले में वन विभाग और उसके ठेकेदार की भूमिका निभाने वाला वन निगम मौन है।

गौला के रेंजर आरपी जोशी ने कहा कि गौला नदी दस साल के लिए वन निगम के पास है। हमारी टीम लगातार गश्त करती है। मगर वन निगम सहयोग नहीं कर रहा है। गेटों पर तैनात उसके कर्मचारियों को निगरानी करनी चाहिए। इस बावत डीएलएम को पत्र लिख चूका हूं। डीएलएम गौला वाइके श्रीवास्तव का कहना है कि इन दिनों सभी गेटों पर पंजीकरण को रिन्यूवल करने का काम चल रहा है। वन निगम के कर्मचारी भी इस काम में जुटे रहते हैं। अगर किसी ने उपखनिज का ढेर लगाया है तो हटाया जाएगा। https://www.jagran.com/uttarakhand/nainital-game-of-supremacy-going-on-among-the-mining-contractors-in-gaula-river-22109024.html  (13 Oct. 2021)

वर्ष 2001 की खनन नीति में संशोधन किए जाने को लेकर दायर जनहित याचिका पर सुनवाई के दौरान सरकार ने बुधवार (Fab. 24) को हाईकोर्ट में शपथपत्र पेश किया। हाईकोर्ट ने संशोधित खनन नीति पर पूर्व में रोक लगा दी थी। शपथपत्र में सरकार ने कहा कि उत्तराखंड में आपदा के दौरान अधिकतर जमींदारों की भूमि भूस्खलन में बह जाती है। इसके कारण उनके पास भूमि नहीं रह जाती है। इसलिए सरकार को 2001 की खनन नीति में संशोधन करना पड़ रहा रहा है। 

याचिकाकर्ता के अधिवक्ता ने मामले में आपत्ति दर्ज कराने के लिए कोर्ट से दो सप्ताह का समय मांगा। इस पर हाईकोर्ट ने अगली सुनवाई के लिए 17 मार्च की तिथि नियत की है। मुख्य न्यायाधीश राघवेंद्र चौहान एवं न्यायमूर्ति आलोक कुमार वर्मा की खंडपीठ के समक्ष बाजपुर निवासी रमेश लाल की जनहित याचिका पर सुनवाई हुई। याचिकाकर्ता का कहना था कि राज्य सरकार ने 2001 की खनन नीति को 5 मई 2020 को संशोधित करते हुए नदी तटों से लगी भूमि पर खनन की अनुमति निजी लोगों को दे दी थी। इन नीति पर कोर्ट ने रोक लगाते हुए कहा था कि नदी के किनारों की भूमि न तो किसी व्यक्ति की संपति हो सकती है और ना ही सरकार नदी का दायरा बदल सकती है। इसी मामले में बुधवार को सरकार ने शपथपत्र पेश किया। https://www.amarujala.com/dehradun/uttarakhand-government-submits-affidavit-in-high-court-for-amendment-of-mining-policy   (24 Feb. 2021)

Bihar हाजीपुर में सोनपुर थाना की पुलिस को ट्रक चालकों ने बनाया बंधक  नगर थाना क्षेत्र के अंजानपीर चौक के निकट बुधवार (Oct. 27) की सुबह सोनपुर पुलिस की अजीबोगरीब कार्यशैली पर स्थानीय लोग उग्र हो गए तथा पुलिस जीप पर सवार सभी पुलिस कर्मी को घेर लिया। काफी देर तक पुलिस टीम को बंधक बनाए रखा। घटना की सूचना सोनपुर थाना की पुलिस ने हाजीपुर नगर थाना की पुलिस को दी। सूचना पर पहुंची नगर थाना की पुलिस ने गुस्साई भीड़ के बीच घंटों से घिरी पुलिस टीम को काफी मशक्कत के बाद उग्र लोगों की चंगुल से निकाल कर वापस सोनपुर भेजा।

जानकारी के अनुसार हाजीपुर-छपरा एनएच 19 पर वैध तथा अवैध रूप से बालू लदे ट्रकों का आना-जाना होता है। एनएच पर बालू कारोबारियों के विरुद्ध हमेशा पुलिस अभियान चलाती रहती है तथा बराबर बालू लोड ट्रक एवं चालकों को पकड़ा भी जाता है। वहीं समय-समय पर पुलिस द्वारा अवैध वसूली का भी आरोप लगते रहता है। इसी क्रम में बुधवार की सुबह हाजीपुर में अंजानपीर चौक के निकट लोगों ने एक बिना नंबर प्लेट की पुलिस लिखी वाहन पर सवार पुलिस कर्मियों को बालू लदे ट्रकों की जांच करते देखा। https://www.jagran.com/bihar/vaishali-in-hajipur-the-police-of-sonpur-police-station-were-held-hostage-by-the-truck-drivers-22156400.html  (27 Oct. 2021)

Uttar Pradesh Some reports describing impact of stone mining on environment including mining accidents killing workers in Chitrakoot  चित्रकूट जिले के भरतकूप थाना क्षेत्र के गोंडा गांव स्थित ग्रेनाइट खदान में ब्लास्टिंग के लिए बोर कर लौट रही बोरिंग मशीन के 11 हजार हाई हाईटेंशन लाइन की चपेट में आने से दो मजदूरों की जल कर मौत हो गई। जबकि मशीन का ड्राइवर जुलस गया। जिसे इलाज के लिए जिला अस्पताल में भर्ती कराया गया है। मिली जानकारी के मुताबिक जिले के भरतकूप थाना क्षेत्र के गोड़ा गांव के समीप स्थित पंकज महेश्वरी की ग्रेनाइट खदान में सोमवार की दोपहर मध्य प्रदेश के सतना जिले के मझगंवा की शर्मा बोरिंग कम्पनी की मशीन बोर करने गई थी।शाम को काम खत्म करके वापस आते समय गोडा -भरतकूप मार्ग में महेश यादव के घर के पास बोरिंग मशीन 11 हजार हाई टेंशन लाइन की चपेट में आ गई। जिससे बोरिंग मशीन में आग लग गई और मशीन में बैठे संजय और रामकुशल निवासी कटनी (मध्य प्रदेश ) दो कर्मचारी बुरी तरह जल कर झुलस गए। https://saffronfactor.com/news/uttarpradesh/in-chitrakoot-2-laborers-were-burnt-to-death-due-to-the-high-tension-line-of-the-boring-machine-54531  (02 Nov. 2021) सिघंनपुर बघारी में अवैध खनन का खेल  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aW9MI1qPfZg  (02 Nov. 2021) Driver died after pokland machine engaged in mining work in Gonda hilla of Bharatkup turtle turned. https://www.sandhyakarmabhoomi.com/?p=27723  (15 May 2021)

चित्रकूट जिले में भरतकूप थानाक्षेत्र के गोंडा पहाड़ पर पत्थर तोड़ रहे मजदूर की गिरने से मौत हो गई। कई अन्य मजदूर मामूली रूप से चुटहिल हो गए। मौके पर मौजूद मजदूरों के बीच कोहराम मच गया। मृतक के परिजनों ने पहाड़ पर मजदूरों की सुरक्षा के उपाय न होने का आरोप लगाकर पट्टाधारक के खिलाफ रिपोर्ट दर्ज कराने की मांग की। पट्टाधारक से मुआवजा दिलाने को लेकर मजदूरों ने हंगामा भी किया। https://www.amarujala.com/uttar-pradesh/kanpur/worker-death-in-chitrakoot   (05 Jan. 2021) Mining worker killed in Gonga hills Bharatkup. https://public.app/video/sp_kocqu4l80vvvq  (14 Oct. 2019)

कबरई के मोचीपुरा और विशाल नगर के पास पहाड़ों को 250-300 फीट की गहराई तक खोद िदया गया है। इतनी गहराई तक हुए खनन के कारण जमीन से पानी निकलने लगा है। मोचीपुरा में तो खनन बंद है लेकिन विशाल नगर में बस्ती के पास खदान में खनन लगातार जारी है। स्थानीय भाषा में इतनी गहरी खुदाई को पातालफोड़ खुदाई कहते हैं। इस तरह की खुदाई खान अधिनियम 1952 का खुला उल्लंघन है। साथ ही मजदूरों को काम के निश्चित घंटे, चेहरे को ढंकने के लिए मास्क, चिकित्सा सुविधा, समान मजदूरी और सामाजिक सुरक्षा प्रदान करने को कहा गया है। https://www.downtoearth.org.in/hindistory/mining/%E0%A4%95%E0%A4%AC%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%97%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%B9-%E0%A4%95%E0%A4%AC%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%88-65842  (06 Sept. 2019)

भरतकूप चौकी क्षेत्र के गोंडा पहाड़ में संचालित पत्थर खदान मेंं ब्लास्टिंग के दौरान भारी-भरकम बोल्डर गिरने से एक मजदूर की मौके पर ही कुचलकर दर्दनाक मौत हो गई। जबकि कई लोगों को मामूली चोटें आई। जिनको झोलाछाप के यहां इलाज कराकर घर भेजवा दिया गया। मौत की खबर सुनकर परिजनों में कोहराम मच गया। पुलिस ने शव का पोस्टमार्टम कराया है।

भरतकूप इलाके के पहाड़ों में करीब तीन दर्जन से अधिक पत्थर खदानें संचालित है। जिनमें काम करने वाले मजदूरों को हर समय मौत का खतरा बना रहता है। इन मजदूरों की जान को बचाने के लिए किसी भी मानक को पूरा नहीं किया जा रहा है। यही वजह है कि अक्सर यहां पर मजदूरों की मौतें हो रही है। जिनमें ज्यादातर मामलों को प्रशासन व खदान मालिक मिलकर पीड़ित परिवार को कुछ आर्थिक सहायता देकर रफा-दफा कर देते है। अभी एक माह पहले ही खदान में पत्थर गिरने से ही एक मजदूर की जान गई थी। जिसे बाद में ट्रैक्टर से कुचलकर मौत होने की बात कहकर मामले को निपटा दिया गया था। https://www.livehindustan.com/uttar-pradesh/chitrakoot/story-drop-boulder-worker-s-death-during-blasting-in-stone-mines-2491921.html  (16 April 2019) चित्रकूट जिले के भरतकूप की कहानी, क्रेशर चालू तो मरीज बने, बंद हो तो बेरोजगार बने https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xqm0R7flgMY  (15 June 2017)

चित्रकूट के भरतकूप में पत्थर की खदान धसकने से दो मजदूरों की मौत हो गयी और तीन गंभीर रूप से घायल हो गए। हादसे के बाद भड़के गांववालों ने हाइवे जाम कर दिया। सूचना पाकर मौके पर पहुंची पुलिस ने खदान मालिक के खिलाफ सुरक्षा मानक पूरे न करने पर कार्रवाई का आश्वासन दिया साथ ही मुआवजे का भरोसा दिलाते हुए जाम खुलवा लिया। https://www.amarujala.com/video/india-news/two-laborers-die-in-chitrakoot-stone-mine   (18 May 2017) भरतकूप सेलौटते वक्त ट्रक की टक्कर सेबीती रात युवक की मौत हो गई। घटना भरतकूप पुलिस चौकी अंतर्गत भरथौल गांव के पास हुई  https://www.patrika.com/chitrakoot-news/man-died-in-road-accident-in-chitrakoot-1344154/ 

राज्य सरकार बालू खनन को लेकर काफी सख्त है। बिहार के वरीय प्रशासनिक अधिकारियों पर बड़ी कार्रवाई हो चुकी हैं, पर फतेहपुर में अवैध खनन धडडले से हो रहा है। थाना के आस पास बालू तस्कर बड़े आराम से बालू गिरा रहे हैं। तस्करों के द्वारा आधी रात  से लेकर सुबह तक बड़ी आसानी से ढाढर नदी से बालू का उठाव किया जा रहा है। वहीं सड़कों के किनारे कई जगहों पर बालू का ढेर देखा जा सकता है। पर स्थानीय प्रशासन इस मामले में मूक दर्शक बनी हुई है। जिसके कारण बालू तस्करों की पौ बारह है। https://www.jagran.com/bihar/gaya-watch-the-sand-game-in-fatehpur-the-lifting-and-storage-of-sand-is-happening-unabated-the-administration-is-not-even-aware-21875092.html  (29 July 2021)

Kerala Illegal sand mining rampant in Chaliyar Noticing the rising market price of river sand and its demand in the construction industry, illegal sand miners are again back to their unlawful business in the Chaliyar river near Mavoor. Unlike in the past, the labourers employed for the illegal sand extraction process hoodwink the revenue department and the police squads and cart off the quarried stock from the isolated areas.

Customised country boats made of solid metal are reportedly used for the purpose at night. Some of the local residents and youngsters at Mavoor, Peruvayal, Feroke, and Beypore are also suspected of working hand in hand with the sand mining labourers to monitor the movement of checking squads and get easy money as commission. In support of the police and the revenue squads, some of the local administrators have formed their own vigilance committees with the participation of local volunteers. According to them, the unlicensed trade is causing a huge revenue loss to the local bodies apart from endangering the river basin.

Many such local bodies and the local environmental organisations have called upon the district administration to form a stronger patrol squad that can intercept the illegal boats and sand-laden trucks. What they want is the arrest of the illegal players, who escape from the spot using their capabilities in swimming. Fishermen and migrant labourers are also suspected to be a part of such illegal mining gangs for raking in quick bucks. According to some of the private building contractors in the city, many of the illegal sand miners in the Chaliyar are also experts in mixing the river sand with the impure sea sand for high revenue. There are small scale and large scale purchasers, who fall prey to such trickeries which can cause huge damage to constructions, they said. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/illegal-sand-mining-rampant-in-chaliyar/article37360437.ece  (06 Nov. 2021)

Goa Hoping ‘Positive Support’ from SC for Resumption of Mining: Gadkari For this (resumption of iron ore mining) Manohar Parrikar (late CM), Shripad Naik (Union minister and North Goa MP) and CM Pramod Sawant have made many attempts, he said. The iron ore industry in Goa came to a standstill after the top court quashed 88 mining leases in February, 2018. Gadkari said he was also involved in the attempts for resumption of the mining industry. Goa’s economy is related to the iron ore export and that is why our government has been working sympathetically to resolve this issue.

After presenting the (iron ore mining) case to the top court by the Goa government and the Central government, we are expecting positive support from the Supreme Court. We can take any decision (on resumption of the mining activity) only after that and help them (people dependent on mining), he said. The resumption of iron ore mining has become a key plank for upcoming Assembly elections in Goa, due in February next year. https://www.news18.com/news/politics/centre-hoping-positive-support-from-supreme-court-for-resumption-of-mining-says-gadkari-4395044.html  (02 Nov. 2021)

“I am the biggest environmentalist. I do not write books. I have an NGO which works in water conservation. It has also won an award. Ecology and the environment have to be protected. I brought alternative fuel to India. Ethanol, methanol, biodiesel, bio CNG, electric and now green hydrogen. We all should do better to obtain international benchmarks, but the economy is also important so that people can get jobs and poverty is alleviated. There has to be a balance between both, hand in hand,” Gadkari told reporters at a Press conference.

Union minister Nitin Gadkari’s remarks were a reference to opposition to infrastructure projects in Goa including the railway line double-tracking, widening the Goa-Hubli (Karnataka) highway to four lanes and a new power line. The three are proposed to pass through the Western Ghats. Goa has seen massive protests against the projects, particularly the railway project fearing that with a double line, more coal and coal dust will be moved across the railway spewing dust in the port town as well as in the villages that lie along the route. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/i-am-the-biggest-environmentalist-but-nitin-gadkari-defends-goa-infra-projects-101635851854510.html  (02 Nov. 2021)

Litigation by environmentalists is a major hurdle in the development of Goa, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said on Monday (Nov. 2).

Speaking after the inauguration of the National Highway link between Loutolim and an industrial estate at Verna in south Goa, the minister said: “Here, a lot of people go to court in the name of environment, stall work. That stops development in Goa. Ecology, environment and development should go hand in hand. And I am a staunch supporter of ecology and environment… I use an electric car in Nagpur and in a month, I will be using a car that runs on green hydrogen in Delhi. We want to switch to green fuel made by our farmers.” https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/goa/gadkari-in-goa-litigation-in-name-of-environment-stalls-development-7603385/  (02 Nov. 2021)

Centre Govt keen to open beach sand minerals mining The proposal in the PM’s action plan to open two restricted sectors — beach sand minerals and offshore mining — for exploration by the private sector seeks to reverse a series of measures taken by the Centre over the last five years to restrict the involvement of private players in the sector with the stated objective of curbing illegal mining, a review of multiple notifications and guidelines issued earlier reveal.

The proposal to set up a panel to reopen the sector to private participation could have strategic implications, given that monazite and other minerals such as garnet, ilmenite and zircon — commonly known as beach sand minerals as they are found along the coastal regions of peninsular India — are refined and used in stages of the country’s nuclear power programme and hi-tech defence electronics applications. A note issued by the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) as recently as July 2021 on measures for “restricting illegal mining” specifically flags that the mining of beach sand minerals by private parties has “been terminated” as part of the efforts to curb unlawful mining. https://indianexpress.com/article/india/sand-minerals-mining-modi-govt-private-sector-7585816/  (23 Oct. 2021)

WETLANDS, LAKES, WATER BODIES

Jammu & Kashmir Wular’s troubled fisherfolk reckon with a dying lake Fisherman at Wolar lake in Kashmir: “The fish mostly hide in springs underwater during the day and come out for a stroll at night,” Mohammad Akbar, a 60-year-old fisherman, told me. “During my childhood, we would catch around twenty kilograms of fish between 7 pm and 6 am, but now we get hardly four kilos in the summer and one to two kilos in the winter—and sometimes we return empty-handed.” https://caravanmagazine.in/environment/wular-fisherfolk-reckon-dying-lake  (31 Oct. 2021)

Admin sets Nov 30 deadlines to remove encroachments As per the minutes of the meeting chaired by Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, P K Pole, the Wular Management and Conservation Authority (WUCMA) and DC Baramulla have been directed to remove encroachment on Wular Lake by or before 30 November 2021. The directions have been passed to remove encroachment on 380 kanalland of the Wular Lake.

“It was informed that the encroachment at 380 kanal and 11 marlas of land in respect of the Wular Lake needs to be removed. It was directed that encroachment should be removed by or before November 30. Besides, WUCMA should prepare a comprehensive action plan about the Wular Lake and submit it before the committee constituted by the government for the purpose so that it can be incorporated for submission before the NGT,” reads the minutes of the meeting.

Earlier, Jammu and Kashmir government had come up with an Integrated Management Action Plan for conservation of wetlands in Kashmir with a proposed budgetary outlay of Rs 46.70 crore. “An overall budget of Rs 46.70 crore is proposed for implementation of the Integrated Management Action Plan for all the Wetland Conservation Reserves of Kashmir region over a period of 5 years (2022-27),” a copy of the Action Plan reads. https://www.greaterkashmir.com/kashmir/admin-sets-deadlines-to-remove-encroachments-from-water-bodies  (03 Nov. 2021)

The J&K government on Wednesday renamed Lakes and Waterways Development Authority as Jammu and Kashmir Lake Conservation and Management Authority (LCMA).

“In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 3 of the Jammu and Kashmir Development Act, 1970 (Act XIX of 1970), the Government hereby re-name Lakes and Waterways Development Authority constituted vide notification SRO 109 of 1997 dated 27.03.1997 as Jammu and Kashmir Lake Conservation and Management Authority (LCMA) for all purposes of the said Act,” news agency GNS quoted an order in this regard as saying. https://www.greaterkashmir.com/kashmir/jk-govt-renames-lawda-as-lcma  (03 Nov. 2021)

West Bengal NGT order on wetland border “We … direct East Kolkata Wetlands Authority … to demarcate the entire area of the East Kolkata wetlands after proper survey and thereafter proceed to demarcate the boundary of the said wetlands on the ground level by setting up pillars,” stated the order issued on last Wednesday (Nov. 3) by the two-member bench consisting of Justice B. Amit Sthalekar and expert member Saibal Dasgupta. The order was in response to a petition filed by environmentalist Subhas Datta. The bench also said “EKWA may take the help of latest satellite map and carry out intensive ground truthing for boundary demarcation of East Kolkata wetlands” and asked it “to complete this exercise and file status report … within six months”.

The tribunal has also asked the counsel for the MoEF to submit within four weeks the status of its financial contribution to execute the integrated management plan of East Calcutta wetlands and the final approval of the plan as well so that the same can be put in operation at the earliest. The bench, based on Datta’s submission, asked the Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation to expedite the biomining of old solid waste from the Mollar bheri falling within the wetland area and also complete the fencing around the water body within two months.

The bench has also asked the Calcutta Municipal Corporation to file a fresh affidavit within four weeks bringing on record the current status of disposal of old waste in Dhapa. Its latest affidavit has not stated clearly that how much of old dumped garbage, called legacy waste, has been removed so far, the bench stated. It has also asked for the status reports about the actions taken regarding the number of alleged water body fills and illegal constructions within the area. Environmentalists have been demanding for a long time a well-demarcated boundary of the wetlands as innumerable violations, particularly constructions and encroachments, have allegedly been taking place; particularly on the fringe area of the wetland, in absence of a clear-cut demarcation of its boundary. https://www.telegraphindia.com/my-kolkata/news/ngt-order-on-wetland-border/cid/1837670  (07 Nov. 2021)

WATER OPTIONS

Well & good  V. Pasupathi on disappearance of  well culture. https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/well-and-good/article37351508.ece  (7 Nov. 2021)

GROUNDWATER

Tamil Nadu Recharging groundwater only way to slake thirst The ground and surface water resources wing of the public works department, in a study conducted last year, an order for which was passed last week, found groundwater is overexploited (with more than 100% extraction) in 435 revenue firkas (sub-divisions within taluks) in the state. At least 26 firkas in Chennai district are over-exploited, including all those in Egmore-Nungambakkam, Fort-Tondiarpet, Mambalam-Guindy, Mylapore-Triplicane, Purasawalkam-Perambur, Ambattur, Maduravoyal and Tiruvottiyur regions. Only Alandur, Sholinganallur, and Pallikaranai are safe.

ToI Infograph

Thanjavur, the core delta region, and Salem top the districts that are over-exploited. The only solace is that the number of over-exploited and critical firkas have reduced from 462 and 79 respectively in 2017. The study shows 99 firkas have improved since the last assessment. Sustained efforts such as strengthening bunds and recharge wells, restoration of water bodies and check dams by government agencies in recent years may have helped, but the state’s condition is precarious.

Water experts say TN is the third worst state in terms of groundwater exploitation after Punjab and Haryana. “First the state has to harvest rainwater and use it judiciously. Most of our basins are ‘closed’, meaning demand cannot be met anymore. Demand keeps growing with increased population and urbanisation, while the amount of rainfall remains the same. Climate change has led to intense rainfall in a shorter period,” said B V Mudgal, Anna University Centre for Water Resources director, calling for measures to store as much rainwater as possible. In terms of groundwater table, Tirupur, Namakkal, Tuticorin and Dharmapuri districts have recorded a sharp decline.

At present, Chennai Metropolitan Area Ground Water (Regulation) Act regulates groundwater extraction in Chennai and 304 villages in Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur. “The government is working on a draft groundwater bill, which will soon be introduced in the assembly. There is no mechanism to check extraction for irrigation, which accounts for 70% of the total extraction. There is a plan to put a cap on the power of motors used for irrigation or restrict the hours of extraction,” said a senior government official. The new law is likely to form a water regulatory authority with statutory powers, headed by the chief secretary and comprising representatives of government agencies like TWAD Board and Metrowater. It will impose penalties for violations and lay down restrictions on the use of groundwater. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/recharging-groundwater-only-way-to-slake-tamil-nadus-thirst/articleshow/87499036.cms  (03 Nov. 2021)

URBAN WATER

Bengaluru Missing water consumption data Bangalore with population of over 10 million gets piped water supply (~60%) from the Cauvery river and this is supplemented with local groundwater (~40%) to meet overall water demand.

– A recent report by the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment estimated CII (Commercial, Industrial, Institutional) water use to be ~380 million litres per day for 2015, about a quarter of Bangalore’s domestic water use. Of this, ~71% is from local groundwater – either through bore wells or supplied from tankers. Much of this is in the newly growing suburbs of Bangalore, where groundwater levels are declining. Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) supplies piped water to CII establishments and this is metered and estimated to be ~110 million litres per day in 2015. But groundwater consumption by such establishments remains largely unmetered.

– CII establishments are required to report their groundwater and total water use to the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) as a part of compliance requirements through the consent to establish/operate and the annual environment statements. For most establishments, the water use reported to KSPCB is based on estimates and not actual metered readings. Although metering was mandated under the erstwhile Water Cess Act (which was repealed in 2017), and many large IT campuses do submit detailed consumption reports, many small and medium enterprises do not track their water use or extraction from borewells. Companies need to disclose water use by source at each location to get better picture.

– The ATREE report used two different approaches to estimate CII water use for Bengaluru city. The analysis indicated that the CII sector is severely underestimating its water use. Groundwater data remains the critical missing gap.

– Study by Veena Srinivasan and Apoorva R (CSEI at ATREE, Bengaluru https://www.hindustantimes.com/ht-insight/public-health/missing-data-who-s-using-bengaluru-s-water-101635848584784.html  (03 Nov. 2021)

Over 300 infected by contaminated water About 340 children and adults have become seriously ill and the numbers are climbing as residents of a 979-unit apartment complex in southeastern Bengaluru find themselves at the ground zero of a crisis. Residents of Prestige Kew Gardens, located in Yemalur, told DH that the issue began on October 23 when heavy rains flooded a basement containing the complex’s freshwater sump and sewage treatment plant. The apartment was completed in mid-2019, and about 750 units have been occupied.

According to the residents’ committee, about 30% of the nearly 340 infected people are children, many of them babies. At least one resident said he had moved out after he, his two-year-old child and his 60-year-old mother became ill despite drinking only water from their filtration system. Testing of the water showed a coliform bacteria count of over 1,800, while the permissible limit is 10. https://www.deccanherald.com/city/top-bengaluru-stories/over-300-infected-by-contaminated-water-at-bengaluru-apartment-building-1047474.html  (05 Nov. 2021)

Contaminated borewell water leaves 400 Chikkalasandra residents sick in 2 weeks Hundred of them had to get treated for food poisoning and dehydration. They suspect groundwater contamination due to seepage of water from drains. Ten apartments with 1,000 flats are affected. Six hundred of the flats are in one apartment complex alone. The residents are getting water ferried by tankers from outside.

“The water is black and has many particles. We got the water sample from a 1,100-ft borewell checked with local geologists and found there was contamination at 85-ft depth and another at 600 feet. BWSSB officers visited our place to check. We suspect seepage of drain water caused contamination,” NP Srinivas of Yashoda Tranclave Apartment, said. “Every apartment has its own borewells and all of them appear to have got contaminated with sewage water. We get Cauvery water, but it is not sufficient and hence, we depend on borewells,” said Sunil, a resident of Athena Apartment.

“According to officials, if there is leakage of sewage water, it should have entered through water lines. It looks like more than 100 feet of groundwater is contaminated. I have instructed officials to check the cause. They will start work tomorrow,” Bengaluru South MLA Krishnappa. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/contaminated-borewell-water-leaves-400-sick/articleshow/86150048.cms  (13 Sept. 2021)

Hennagara Lake turns into garbage dumping ground Residents around Hennagara Lake buffer zone, which has now turned into a garbage dumping ground, say although the panchayat members and authorities were apprised about the violations around the lake, the menace is yet to stop. The lake is polluted with construction debris, garbage and industrial effluents.

Hennagara Lake is polluted with construction debris, garbage and industrial effluents. (Express Photo)

Now, local resident Tushar Chandra along with two others — Jagadeesh Krishna Reddy and Hari Yogendra Tripathi — have registered an NGO named VrikshaMitra Foundation to address the civic issues in the area.

Last year, the Hennagara Lake Collective and SayTrees Environmental Trust created a Miyawaki Forest near the lake. Chandra informed that the area where the forest was created has also been turned into a garbage dumping spot. “Now, the garbage is being dumped closer to the lake,” Chandra said. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/bangalore/bangalore-hennagara-lake-garbage-residents-7607370/  (04 Nov. 2021)   

Forest officer slapped with legal notice over ‘illegal’ nod to fell 5,113 trees The Bengaluru Urban deputy conservator of forests has been served a legal notice and threatened with a contempt of court petition for letting 5,113 trees to be axed by the KRDCL. The tree-axing has been allowed for a road-widening project on the outskirts of Bengaluru and includes an area falling under the proposed Hesaraghatta Conservation Reserve.

In the legal notice, the advocate representing NGO Jhatkaa.org and other petitioners who have moved the High Court of Karnataka against the Karnataka Road Development Corporation Limited (KRDCL) accused the DCF of “deliberate concealment” of a court order. As the tree officer for the district, the DCF had issued an order on October 5, 2021, allowing the KRDCL to cut down 5,113 trees for the widening of six different stretches of the road around the city. The proposed Hesaraghatta Conservation Reserve in northern Bengaluru. The DCF cited a part of the high court order in a petition filed by Dattatraya Devare and said the KRDCL has been permitted to “proceed ahead” with the project. https://www.deccanherald.com/city/top-bengaluru-stories/forest-officer-slapped-with-legal-notice-over-illegal-nod-to-fell-5113-trees-1046878.html  (03 Nov. 2021)

Chennai CAG faults sewage disposal in Metropolitan Area A general and social sector audit report for 2018-19 by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) says the prospect of achieving the goal, set in National Urban Sanitation Policy and Tamil Nadu Vision 2023, of 100% safe disposal of sewage in the Chennai Metropolitan Area (CMA) is bleak. Poor planning and coordination, delay in tender approval and issues in contract management caused abnormal delays in completion of projects, the report said.

The report said an estimated 242.73 million litres of raw sewage illegally entered storm water drains daily and drained into water bodies including rivers Adyar and Cooum and the Buckingham Canal. Projects sanctioned to address this issue had limited success. As of March 31, 2019, only 52% of the sewage generated in CMA was collected by the existing sewerage system. And, only 88% of the collected sewage was treated before being let out.

The report said the achievement in recycling and reusing treated water was only 6.5% of the sewage generated against the prescribed benchmark of 20%. Five STPs without biogas power generation plant and three others with non-functional plants released an estimated 5.7 million cubic metres of environmentally dangerous methane gas per annum. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/cag-faults-sewage-disposal-in-chennai-metropolitan-area/articleshow/86183877.cms  (14 Sept. 2021)

Residents organise ‘Umbrella Rally’ against climate change An ‘Umbrella rally’ about environment and climate change was organised by Chennai residents. The rally called for protection of wetlands, beaches and forests. Chennai residents organised the rally to make government aware of environmental degradation and climate change. They painted their messages on umbrella and joined the rally. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/videos/toi-original/chennai-residents-organise-umbrella-rally-against-climate-change/videoshow/87559569.cms  (06 Nov. 2021)

Water contamination makes residents ill  For nearly a week now, many residents of Sriram Nagar in Alwarpet have been suffering because of water contamination that has resulted in quite a few persons ill with diarrhoea and vomiting. L. Hariharan, a 30-year-old resident of Sriram Nagar said, three people in his residence were sick with diarrhoea and vomiting owing to the water contamination. “Last week, we noticed the water colour turned dark, and a foul smell emanated from it. Soon after this, my wife, cousin and his wife fell ill. We subsequently closed the inlet valves and have been managing with borewell water now,” he said.

Before Sriram Nagar, neighbouring streets were already facing this problem and many residents need not have fallen ill if they had been informed to close the water valves in advance, till the issue was resolved, he said. “Also, the sewer water got mixed with stormwater drains and this needs to be attended to as well,” he said. J. Narayan, a 72-year-old resident of the area said he and his wife too had diarrhoea and vomiting last week. “We had to clean the sump and get a water tanker in last week for our water needs,” he said. Officials of Chennai Metrowater said the issue occurred because the sewer pipeline had been damaged in one location which caused a leakage and it entered the drinking water pipeline. The officials said that they had already begun the rectification process which was nearing completion. “We will resume the supply on Saturday morning,” an official said. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/water-contamination-makes-residents-of-chennai-neighbourhood-ill/article37123474.ece  (22 Oct. 2021)

Residents asked not to let out sewage into storm water drains Greater Chennai Corporation commissioner Gagandeep Singh Bedi on Monday issued a warning to residents of apartment complexes and individual houses who illegally let out sewage into storm water drains. The need to keep the drains free from sewage is very important as northeast monsoon has started. He inspected the drains in Ambattur and Mogappair East . He also inspected the Anna Nagar area. Residents demanded that officials first provide sewage connections before drains are constructed in an area for better management. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/chennai-residents-asked-not-to-let-out-sewage-into-the-storm-water-drains/articleshow/87461116.cms  (01 Nov. 2021)

Hyderabad NGT Panel finds Ameenpur nalas encroached The joint committee, appointed by the NGT, has confirmed encroachments at Ameenpur nalas leading to flooding of nearby colonies during the rains. The joint committee has also recommended immediate cancellation of construction permission granted to Lalitha Constructions and others. The joint committee of Sangareddy district collector, senior irrigation officials and lake protection committee representatives said: “Encroachments and constructions are observed in the floodwater stream and its buffer area duly diverting the surplus course by dumping the soils and also reducing the width of the surplus course. It led to partial blocking of the flow of water.”

ToI Infograph

The committee also said construction of houses was taken up on surplus stream and buffer zone. “It is observed that Lalita Constructions has built a club house in the alignment of surplus channel and buffer zone. An individual, Vemulawada Kumara Swamy, has constructed three individual residential buildings which are partly affecting the surplus channel and buffer zone,” it pointed out. During the rains, nearby colonies were inundated due to obstructions created in the natural water path because of dumping of soil and construction activity, the committee explained.

The NGT appointed the joint committee on August 27 this year to inspect the nala and file a report after Human Rights and Consumer Protection Cell Trust and Krishna Brundavan Association filed a plea against Lalitha Constructions in the NGT southern zone. They challenged the technical approval given to Lalitha Constructions for construction of five towers and blocks allegedly on floodwater canals on the outlet nala of Kothacheruvu tank and inlet nala of Bandam Kommu tank of Ameenpur. The petitioners alleged that the builder damaged the natural flood canals and made deep excavations for constructing the towers, which led to flooding of adjacent colonies and caused damage to other private properties. The petitioners demanded cancellation of HMDA’s technical approval given to Lalitha Constructions and restore all floodwater nalas and to demolish the illegal constructions in the FTL and buffer zone. “The respondent has got the building permission from Ameenpur gram panchayat. We have informed the district panchayat officer to take action for cancellation of the permissions,” said the joint committee. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/hyderabad-ngt-panel-finds-ameenpur-nalas-encroached/articleshow/87562345.cms  (07 Nov. 2021)

Man booked for illegal water connection The Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWS&SB) vigilance wing has lodged a complaint with the police against a person for taking water connection from pipelines fraudulently. A case was registered on Friday at the Jagathgirigutta Police Station against that person. The HMWS&SB said in a press release said that persons coming across illegal water connections should inform the vigilance wing over 9989998100 or 9989992268. https://telanganatoday.com/hyderabad-man-booked-for-illegal-water-connection  (06 Nov. 2021)

Dehradun Slum dwellers grappling with poor sanitation The situation in many slum settlements in the state capital has worsened in the last few years with more and more people coming in due to rapid urbanisation and migration from labour-intensive states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. In fact, in some of the slums, the population density has shot up to about a lakh people per kilometre. As a consequence, there is immense stress on available resources, and waste management in these areas has gone completely off track.

“In most of the slums along Rispana and Bindal, contaminated water is the major source of pollution, with people dumping garbage in it. Slum dwellers grapple with 24×7 stench, mosquitoes and insect menace, and the threat of water-borne diseases,” said Lalit Kumar, a Dehradun-based social worker. Rajesh, a migrant worker from Sitapur (Uttar Pradesh) who lives in Dehradun’s Valmiki Basti (along Rispana), told TOI, “In absence of sanitation facilities and a proper waste management system, the hygiene conditions are getting worse here with each passing day. I fear for the well-being of my children but I can’t afford a place anywhere else.” He added, “The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns has not only left us without any income source but also aggravated health concerns of the people here.” https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/choked-drains-open-garbage-dumping-mosquito-menace-slum-dwellers-in-dehradun-grappling-with-poor-sanitation/articleshow/87559292.cms  (07 Nov. 2021)

Rajpura Illegal water connections behind diarrhoea outbreak: Health Dept  Leakage from illegal connections and “mixing” of sewage with water in the main supply line has led to the diarrhoea outbreak at Dheha Basti in Rajpura town of the district that killed four children. A majority of the households in Dheha Basti have illegal water connections and use hydraulic ram water pumps. As many as 10 fresh diarrhoea cases were detected in the area on Saturday (Nov. 6). With this, the total number of affected people has now reached 35. It has been learned that two children, who were under treatment at the Civil Hospital, Rajpura, have been referred to the Govt Rajindra Hospital.

A visit to the affected area on Saturday (Nov. 6) revealed that the leakage in plastic pipes appeared to have contaminated the supply in the main line. Locals admitted that they had taken illegal water connections from the main water supply line. Though the state government has regularised the area under the Basera scheme, the locals are yet to get water connections. Dr Gagan Grover, state nodal officer, said the use of hydraulic ram water pumps, when there was no supply of water in the mainline, led to sucking of sewer into the drinking water line and contaminated the supply. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/illegal-water-connections-behind-rajpura-diarrhoea-outbreak-health-department-334907  (07 Nov. 2021)

Chandigarh MC to install flowmeters on groundwater connections The MC has decided to install flowmeters on all the connections it has given in the municipal limit to extract groundwater. The step comes after the department of water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation issued guidelines for regulation and control of the groundwater extraction and also asked the states and the union territories to act on them.

The Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee had asked the MC to submit compliance of the guidelines issued by the ministry of jal shakti. As per a guideline of the Central government, “Installation of digital water flowmeter having telemetry system shall be mandatory for all users seeking no-objection certificate .” https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chandigarh/mc-to-install-flowmeters-on-groundwater-connections/articleshow/86476121.cms  (24 Sept. 2021)

Mumbai Netas fume as lakes full but parts of city ‘dry’ Ahead of BMC elections next year, there was a hue and cry at the civic standing committee meeting on Tuesday (Nov. 2) over water shortage. Corporators said lakes were full but no one knows where the water is going. Opposition party corporators alleged that water supply in some areas was being tampered with to ruin the image of the corporator in that ward. He was supported by corporators across party lines.

Water shortage is a sensitive issue and local corporators are generally the first to face the brunt. With civic polls around the corner, corporators are edgy and do not want to upset supporters. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/mumbai-netas-fume-as-lakes-full-but-parts-of-city-dry/articleshow/87495678.cms  (03 Nov. 2021)

WATER POLLUTION

Gujarat 5 labourers die while cleaning waste water tank At least five labourers died after inhaling toxic gas while cleaning an underground tank at a pharmaceutical unit in Gandhinagar district on Saturday (Nov. 6), an official from the fire department said. The incident took place at an effluent treatment plant of the pharmaceutical unit Khatraj village in Gandhinagar’s Kalol.

One of the workers fainted inside the tank, following which four others entered one after another to rescue him and eventually died because of the toxic fumes, he said. The factory owners had not provided any safety equipment or masks to the workers, the official said. The deceased are identified as Vinay, Shahi, Devendra Kumar, Ashish Kumar and Ranjan Kumar, all in the age group of 30 to 35, he said. https://www.indiatvnews.com/news/india/gujarat-labourers-died-while-cleaning-waste-water-tank-in-gandhinagar-743878  (06 Nov. 2021)

Karnataka Health dept will chalk out plan to tackle water contamination 11 people have died after consuming contaminated water in North Karnataka over the last few weeks, and the state government is finding it challenging to provide clean drinking water in these villages. It has now directed the Health Department to come up with a comprehensive plan to take appropriate measures.

Seven people died at Makarabbi village in Vijayanagar district earlier this month and prior to that Kalaburagi reported two deaths. On Sunday, two more died in Vijayapura district. Chief Secretary P Ravi Kumar admitted that drinking water pipelines in many villages are old and some may even have leakages leading to contamination.

After the deaths at Makarabbi village, the government took action against a panchayat official and two engineers and also ordered senior IAS officer Munish Moudgil to prepare a report on reasons for the contamination and those responsible for it. Moudgil presented the report after visiting the village. Based on the findings of the report, the government will soon take action, Ravi Kumar said.

Sources said negligence of officials at the local level was one of the reasons for the contamination and situation getting aggravated. Sewage got mixed with drinking water during the water supply work, but authorities failed to act in time after one person died due to contaminated drinking water.

An expert said better coordination at the village level is key to preventing water contamination. “Officials concerned at the field level should be kept informed about water supply works, so that they can monitor water quality. In some villages, water pipelines are in the middle of the drains that were built later. A small leakage in the pipeline will lead to contamination.  Sensitising officials at the village level and timely cleaning of overhead tanks should be made mandatory at all villages,” he added. https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/karnataka/2021/oct/26/health-dept-will-chalk-out-plan-to-tacklewater-contamination-innorth-karnataka-2375725.html  (26 Oct. 2021)

6 die after drinking contaminated water in newly-created district An officer in the administration said it might have occurred during the installation of new pipelines for a borewell when probably the sewage water line got damaged and the water got mixed up with the drinking water. The deaths were reported in Makarabbi village of Hoovinahadagali taluk in the district which houses a population of 2,000. According to sources, it all started from September 23 when two persons died of diarrhoea while another person died on October 1. (Representational)

Six persons of a village died since September 23 in the newly-created Vijayanagar district of Karnataka after they consumed contaminated water, prompting Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai to order a probe. Meanwhile, more than 100 persons have been admitted to various hospitals for treatment. The deaths were reported in Makarabbi village of Hoovinahadagali taluk in the district which houses a population of 2,000. According to sources, it all started from September 23 when two persons died of diarrhoea while another person died on October 1.

An official in the health department, however, said the problem started in early August when many people from the village started falling sick and water samples were collected which showed it is unfit to be used for drinking. Back then, the village was under Ballari district and became a part of Vijayanagar district on October 2. While the new district was being unveiled by the CM, there were villagers who had already died while some were suffering from vomiting and loose motion. An officer in the administration said it might have occurred during the installation of new pipelines for a borewell when probably the sewage water line got damaged and the water got mixed up with the drinking water. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/bangalore/karnataka-vijayanagar-district-contaminated-water-consumption-death-7554315/  (06 Oct. 2021)

AGRICULTURE

Punjab Crop damaged, it’s ‘black’ Diwali for us: Farmers The ongoing protest against the three farm laws and damaged cotton crops hint at a lacklustre Diwali in the agricultural heartland of the Malwa region this year. The delay in receiving compensation for the damaged crop has worsened farmers’ debt due to which financiers are unwilling to advance new loans to them, making any new purchase this Diwali difficult. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/crop-damaged-its-black-diwali-for-us-farmers-332093  (31 Oct. 2021)

NORTH EAST MONSOON 2021

N-E monsoon braces to ride twin rain engines this week The South Peninsula, especially Tamil Nadu, is looking to enter yet another racy week as far as the North-East monsoon is concerned, with weather systems getting active over both the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal with prospects of intensification as storms. A well-marked low-pressure area over the Arabian Sea will soon be joined by a fresh ‘low’ in the Bay of Bengal. The twin rain engines will thrive on each other’s strength, though the depression-in-the making in the Arabian Sea will move farther away from India’s West Coast. Weather bloggers in Chennai expect a curtain of heavy to very heavy rain to unroll initially over the North Coastal Tamil Nadu before the system in the Bay starts moving closer and intensifies into what some of them project will be a depression or even a deep depression. https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/n-e-monsoon-braces-to-ride-twin-rain-engines-this-week/article37364413.ece  (07 Nov. 2021)

Tamil Nadu Arctic Butterfly effect triggering Indian showers? A recent study published in Nature journal by Indian and Norwegian scientists establishes a strong correlation between rapid melting of ice in the Arctic, and extreme precipitation here.   The study titled “A possible relation between Arctic sea ice and late season Indian Summer Monsoon Rainfall extremes” was led by Sourav Chatterjee, a scientist specialising in Atmosphere-Ocean Interactions Studies at National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR).

“Our findings suggest that during the years when there is reduced summer sea ice in the Barents-Kara sea region in the Arctic, the Indian summer monsoon exhibits an increased number of extreme rainfall events at its later phase – in September and October. The changes in upper atmospheric circulation due to sea ice loss, propagate from the Arctic region towards Asia, and contribute to enhanced moisture convection. The warm temperatures in the Arabian sea further provides moisture required for extreme rainfall,” Sourav Chatterjee told The New Indian Express.

The researchers have based their findings on historical rainfall data obtained from Indian Meteorological Department and sea ice data from National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). Ministry of Earth Sciences secretary M Ravichandran, who is one of the co-authors in the study, has hinted that the higher number of extreme events during this September may be partially caused by anomalous sea ice loss in the Arctic.

“The anomalous melting of Arctic sea ice this summer may have helped in establishing a favourable condition for enhanced moisture convergence and extreme rainfall during September and October,” Ravichandran said and added monitoring of Arctic atmosphere and oceanic conditions may help in improved prediction of monsoon. Sourav said the Arctic responds to climate change more strongly than the rest of the globe. The researchers called for further studies to understand the extent of sea ice contribution in developing the large-scale upper-level circulation anomalies.  https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/tamil-nadu/2021/nov/03/arctic-butterfly-effect-triggering-indian-showers-2379048.html  (03 Nov. 2021)

Podcast Rethinking the Indian Monsoon, with Dr Sulochana Gadgil In this episode, Sandip speaks to one of the world’s foremost monsoon meteorologists, Dr Sulochana Gadgil about the myths and realities surrounding the monsoons. Dr Gadgil was with the Centre for Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at the Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru. https://indianexpress.com/audio/the-sandip-roy-show/rethinking-the-indian-monsoon-with-dr-sulochana-gadgil/7599878/  (31 Oct. 2021)

IMD 125 extremely heavy rainfall events this Sept, Oct—highest in 5 years The country recorded 89 extremely heavy rainfall events this September against 61 in the same month last year, 59 in 2019; 44 in 2018 and 29 in 2017. Also, 36 such events were witnessed in October this year compared to 10 in the corresponding period of 2020; 16 in 2019; 17 in 2018, and 12 in 2017, according to IMD data.

The meteorological department said the causes of disastrous weather episodes included the late withdrawal of the monsoon, a higher-than-normal number of low-pressure systems during the period, and the interaction of active western disturbances with low-pressure systems in October. Nine low-pressure systems, including two cyclones, one deep depression and six lows, affected the country during the period.

Unprecedented extremely heavy rain in Uttarakhand on October 18 and 19 claimed 79 lives. The Himalayan state received 203.2 mm rainfall against the normal of 35.3 mm in October. Heavy to extremely heavy rain during October 17-19 due to interaction of a low-pressure area and an intense western disturbance caused flash floods and landslides in Uttarakhand and riverine flooding in west Uttar Pradesh.

The southwest monsoon withdrew from the entire country on October 25 against the normal date of October 15, making it the seventh-most delayed retreat since 1975. The country received “normal” rainfall during the four-month southwest monsoon season from June to September—87 cm against the Long Period Average (LPA) of 88 cm of 1961-2010 (99 per cent of its LPA). This is the third consecutive year that the country recorded rainfall in the normal or above-normal category. Rainfall was above normal in 2019 and 2020. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/india-saw-125-extremely-heavy-rainfall-events-this-september-october%E2%80%94highest-in-5-years-imd-333361  (02 Nov. 2021)

Uttarakhand Pauri villagers demand installation of rainfall gauge and weather information centre in Chauthan. https://www.zerogroundnews.com/uttarakhand-news/villagers-of-chauthan-patti-raised-the-demand-for-setting-up-weather-information-rainfall-measurement-and-disaster-management-system-in-the-area/  (05 Nov. 2021)

FLOOD 2021

Kerala Abhay Mishra says Wrong implementation of Room for the river and Tie the sea in Kerala has worsened flood disaster. https://hindi.theprint.in/opinion/gods-own-country-kerala-is-dying-between-room-for-the-river-and-tie-the-sea/246216/  (22 Oct. 2021)

Mullaperiyar Dam TN violated rule curve, says Kerala minister Kerala Ministers, no less, after visit to the Mullaperiyar say that the Dam operators of TN are not following the rule curve. Will there be consequences?  https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kochi/tn-violated-rule-curve-says-kerala-minister/articleshow/87455073.cms  (01 Nov. 2021)

Kerala govt freezes order to fell trees A day after permitting Tamil Nadu to cut 15 trees downstream of the Mullaperiyar baby dam, the Kerala government made a U-turn on Sunday (Nov. 8). The Kerala government froze the principal chief forest conservator’s order and clarified that it was issued at the bureaucratic level without obtaining the consent of the ministers concerned or the chief minister and action would be taken against the officials responsible. Reacting to the development, Tamil Nadu minister for water resources, irrigation, minerals and mines S Duraimurugan questioned the Kerala government’s stand that its ministers and CM Pinarayi Vijayan were kept in the dark regarding the issue. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/kerala-govt-freezes-order-to-fell-trees-near-mullaperiyar-baby-dam/articleshow/87573762.cms  (08 Nov. 2021)

The Supreme Court has not given any direction to Kerala in the 2017 petition filed by Tamil Nadu to cut down trees to strengthen the Baby Dam in Mullaperiyar. However, the Mullaperiyar Oversight Committee had directed Kerala to permit cutting the trees. https://english.mathrubhumi.com/news/kerala/no-supreme-court-didn-t-ask-to-cut-trees-at-mullaperiyar-oversight-committee-did-kerala-tamil-nadu-tree-felling-baby-dam-1.6156474   (07 Nov. 2021)

The water level in the Mullaperiyar dam would be increased to 152 feet after strengthening the baby dam, Tamil Nadu’s minister for water resources, irrigation projects including small irrigation S Duraimurugan said on Friday (Nov. 5).

The minister said three trees were causing hindrance to the strengthening of the baby dam. “When we ask the Kerala government, they say we have to ask the forest department. The forest department in turn points fingers to the reserve forest. I will take action to remove the trees. The dam would be strengthened and the water storage would be increased to 152 feet after that, as per the Supreme Court ruling,’’ the minister said while speaking to reporters after inspecting the Mullaperiyar dam in Idukki district of Kerala. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/mullaperiyar-water-level-will-be-raised-to-152-feet-after-strengthening-baby-dam-tamil-nadu-minister/articleshow/87540891.cms  (05 Nov. 2021)

Vaigai dam water level rises; first flood warning issued The first flood warning was issued as water level in the Vaigai dam reached 66 feet on Saturday (Nov. 6) morning against the full reservoir capacity of 71 feet. The warning was issued at 10am. According to the assistant executive engineer of the water resources department (WRD) of Vaigai dam sub division, the dam had an average inflow of 4,025 cusecs on Saturday morning.

The discharge from the reservoir was 969 cusecs for drinking water and Periyar main channel ayacut. District disaster management officials said that the second flood warning would be issued when the water level climbs to 68.5 feet, and the third and final waring for a possible flood when the water level crosses 69 feet. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/vaigai-dam-water-level-rises-first-flood-warning-issued/articleshow/87557541.cms  (06 Nov. 2021)

Due to heavy rains at night, the water level in Mullaperiyar Dam rose again and as a result the five shutters of the dam were raised. At present, a total of six shutters of the dam are open. The shutters are raised to 60 cm and 3,005 cubic feet water is being released. The water level is at 138.95 feet. The five shutters of the dam, which were opened last week, were shut on Tuesday (Nov. 2) as the water level in the Mullaperiyar dam starting to drop.

Meanwhile, sub-supervisory committee of Mullaperiyar dam instituted by the SC inspected the dam on Tuesday (Nov. 2). Central Water Commission executive engineer Sharavana Kumar and Water Resource Department official NS Praseed and Hari Kumar represented Kerala. While Tamil Nadu PWD officials Sam Irvin and Kumar represented their state. https://english.mathrubhumi.com/news/kerala/water-level-rises-in-mullaperiyar-dam-again-5-shutters-raised-mullaperiyar-water-level-1.6145927  (03 Nov. 2021)

Tamil Nadu had closed five shutters of the dam on Tuesday (Nov. 2) evening as the water level came down to 138.10 feet on Tuesday evening. Only one shutter was opened to a height of 20 cm releasing 158 cusecs of water.

However, there was a steep increase in inflow on Tuesday (Nov. 2) night and the water level increased to 138.95 feet by 6 am on Wednesday. Following this, three shutters were opened at 7 am and three more shutters were opened at 8 am. As the water level continued to rise, two more shutters were opened at 12 noon. https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/kerala/2021/nov/03/tamil-nadu-opens-8-of-13-spillways-at-mullaperiyar-duraimurugan-to-visit-dam-on-friday-2379235.html  (03 Nov. 2021)

Uttarakhand How iconic Naini lake in Nainital got destroyed The lake of Nainital was nearly destroyed in 1880 by a massive landslide following torrential rains. After the tragedy that killed 151 people and destroyed nearly all the houses, the town was rebuilt between 1881-1895. A number of experts including engineers and geologists were consulted and a committee of engineers ruled that the badly impacted old government houses be dismantled. The architect who built the new Government House did a massive survey and concluded that regular water outlets were needed to save the town from future deluges. He constructed 6 miles of masonry drains and 3 miles of drains to help drain roads and the interior of hills.

This was when the sluice gates towards the eastern (open) side of the town were constructed which were opened manually whenever rains caused lake levels to rise to discharge excess water. These sluice gates were operational until the government changed it and created an automatic exit system working through pipes that would let out three inches of water. Well, the system failed the town miserably when the recent cloudburst happened. Crazed by dreams of luring more tourists and larger car/bus parks, the administration chose to replace them with pipes and cemented the area to extend the Bus Adda.

In Nainital, meanwhile, the Mall road area was overbuilt despite cautionary notes from experts. In 2012, a PIL was filed against encroachments over water drains, the arteries of the fragile town. In 2015, some encroachments were removed. But the drainage system had been compromised by then. Another ticking problem is at the catchment area for Naini lake, known as Sookhatal. This natural reservoir, made of dolomite and limestone, collects 40 per cent of the subsurface water and kept the lake replenished for centuries. Of late, that has been surrendered to builders who have cemented most of it to build hotels and resorts. As a result, the lake water in summer time keeps getting diminished alarmingly. So the lake, with arrested water replenishment in the west and a vastly narrowed water release system at the east end, was a tragedy waiting to happen. https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/india/how-iconic-naini-lake-in-nainital-got-destroyed  (21 Oct. 2021)

The Naini lake was scientifically measured for the first time in 1871 by one Dr Amesbury, who reported it be about two miles in circumference and 93 feet deep near what was called the Smugglers’ Rock. The bluish green water, he reported, had turned opaque and reddish brown due to the “agitation of the bed of the lake” by the earthquake that year.

It was believed that given the plentiful rainfall in Nainital, water shortage would never be a problem but water accumulation could pose a threat. So, an elaborate drainage system was designed with sluice gates opening downward at Tallital. The system is still functional. Until the 1960s, the flood markers the British had put up around the lake were a common sight. Perhaps none of them survive now.

Indiscriminate felling of trees, construction of precariously placed hotels and other buildings, concretisation of the catchment area and destruction of natural springs – only half of the 60 springs remain, according to local environmentalists – over the past decade have caused the water level in the Naini lake to recede drastically. https://scroll.in/article/839057/disaster-tourism-what-is-killing-nainitals-famous-naini-lake  (31 May 2017)

Nainital, a popular tourist destinations in the state, was the worst affected by the October rains. Five days after the disaster, Mongabay-India toured the Ramgarh and Ramnagar development zones, the most affected parts of Nainital district. Ramgarh witnessed the maximum deaths in the disaster. https://india.mongabay.com/2021/11/https-india-mongabay-com-2021-11-unseasonal-rains-take-79-lives-in-uttarakhand-some-experts-link-it-to-climate-change/  (02 Nov. 2021)

Forty per cent of total boats have suffered damages. Though not completely shattered, the damages have forced the boatmen to repair the boats to be prepared for tourist season post Diwali. https://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2021/nov/05/naini-lake-boatmen-left-high-anddry-after-heavy-rain-wrecks-havoc-2379797.html  (05 Nov. 2021)

Trekkers find going tough as incessant rains wreak havoc This includes death of several trekkers due to extreme weather in Oct month: –Towards late October, several trekkers, including at least 10 people from Bengal, lost their lives and many required rescue after adverse weather dumped rain and snow in Uttarakhand. The bulk of the dead were found at the Lamkhaga Pass (17,330 feet) connecting Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. By October 23, the casualty count in a snowstorm there had touched at least 12. A thorough understanding of what happened at Lamkhaga will take time.

The other place where trekkers got stuck was on the relatively easy route to the Pindari and Kafni glaciers in Bageshwar district. A media report said that on October 21, over 65 tourists were trapped in the higher reaches. They included 20 in Kafni, 34 in Dwali (the trail junction from where separate paths lead to Pindari and Kafni glaciers) and 10 in Sundardhunga.

It is an area, once the stuff of a modestly long trek, now rendered shorter and more frequented because a road reaches deep. By October 27, eight persons were confirmed dead in Sundardhunga. Like many places in the Himalaya, Pindari-Kafni-Sundardhunga in Kumaon has a history of being pounded by rain. In September 2009, the downpour was torrential, damaging the trail. In September 2010, extensive damage was reported because of rain, turbulent rivers and landslips in Uttarakhand. Kumaon bore its share. September seemed quite rainy.

Three years later, it was June. In June 2013 (the same time as the Kedarnath tragedy caused by cloudburst), major bridges on the Pindari trail were swept away, leaving people stranded in Dwali. Landslides first blocked the stream coming from Kafni and when the barrier broke, the suddenly released water reshaped Dwali. October normally marks the resumption of trekking after the monsoon. Yet in 2021, Lamkhaga Pass and the Pindari and Sundardhunga valleys showed a different face. https://www.telegraphindia.com/india/uttarakhand-tricky-slope-of-climate-change/cid/1837328  (05 Nov. 2021)

Unprepared, casual, cutting corners, unmindful of terrain & weather patterns — unregulated trekking is taking a heavy toll. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/features/when-a-trek-goes-wrong-335114  (07 Nov. 2021)

Video report with drone visuals showing impact of rains in Khairna, Garampani. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8C3J5hSpKjI   (27 Oct. 2021)

कपकोट में 120 एमएम बारिश ने मचाया कहर, कई स्थानों पर दरके पहाड़, चचई में दो पैदल पुल बहे https://www.amarujala.com/uttarakhand/bageshwar/aapada-disaster-in-bageshwar-bageshwar-news-hld4362762172  (30 Aug. 2021) बागेश्वर में भूस्खलन के चलते 15 ग्रामीण सड़कें बंद, 15 हजार लोग प्रभावित https://www.jagran.com/uttarakhand/nainital-15-rural-roads-closed-due-to-landslide-in-bageshwar-15-thousand-people-affected-21978709.html  (31 Aug. 2021) कपकोट तहसील आपदा की दृष्टि से बेहद संवेदनशील है। क्षेत्र के ग्रामीण इलाकों में बारिश, भूस्खलन और बाढ़ ने कई बार उथल-पुथल मचाई है। कर्मी गांव भी आपदा के इन प्रकोपों से बच नहीं सका है। ग्रामीणों को आज भी 38 साल पहले (23 July 1983) आई आपदा का डरावना मंजर याद है, जब भूस्खलन के बाद बहकर आई शिला ने गधेरे का प्रवाह रोक दिया था। इसके बाद गधेरे का पानी गांव के आठ घरों को बहा ले गया। उस हादसे में आठ परिवारों के 36 लोग और उनके मवेशी मारे गए। बहाव की चपेट में आए कई लोगों के शव भी नहीं मिल सके। https://www.amarujala.com/uttarakhand/bageshwar/aapada-in-bageshwar-bageshwar-news-hld4338200186  (08 Aug. 2021) About 2010 cloud burst killing 18 school children. https://www.bbc.com/hindi/india/2010/08/100818_landslide_kidstrap_as   (18 Aug. 2010)

Tamil Nadu Vellar river which is part of east flowing rivers basin between Pennar and kanyakumari at Venganur level forecast site reached 78.12 m at 07:00 hrs today which is 0.14 m short of 78.26 m HFL attained on 04.12.2020.

WINTER 2021

Report La Niña may trigger extreme cold, prolonged pollution spells As La Nina makes an appearance for the second time in a row and meteorologists expect an intense winter, North India can expect to see prolonged spells of pollution over the coming months.

Meteorologists have been forecasting record low temperatures across IGP this year, with November and December expected to be colder than usual. GP Sharma, President, Meteorology and Climate Change, Skymet Weather, says that a second back-to-back La Nina is a large probability that may result in extreme cold from December 2021-February 2022. Although there is no rule book, with El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) getting colder than earlier estimates, the confidence in this forecast has grown off late. But it should be noted that the winter forecast is affected by many other factors from other parts of the globe, Sharma added. https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/science/la-nia-may-trigger-extreme-cold-prolonged-pollution-spells/article37335507.ece  (04 Nov. 2021)

LANDSLIDES

Uttarakhand Rock slides at Suki, joshimath damages vehicles. https://dabijubannews.com/state/uttarakhand/watch-video-heavy-boulders-coming-from-the-hill-buried-four-vehicles/  (05 Nov. 2021) https://www.zerogroundnews.com/uttarakhand-news/major-accident-averted-in-suki-bhalgaon-villagers-raised-demand-for-security/  (05 Nov. 2021) सीमान्त घाटी जनपद चंमोली के सीमान्त ब्लाक जोशीमठ से 30 किमी आगे भलागाव सूकी शिव धारा पुल के समीप  3/11/21की दीवाली रात्री को आल्टो कार , बलीनो, इस्कुटी आल्टो कार चट्टान टूटने से छति ग्रस्त हो चुके अधिक मात्रा में वाहनो की छति हुई है हता हत की कोई खबर नही सीमान्त पँग्रासु के समीप सीमा बोडर रोड भी चट्टान टूटने से टूटा आवा जाई ठप । https://www.facebook.com/101136168974928/posts/127034223051789/

This landslip seems happening on Oct. 20 near Aare-Darso village in Kapkot, Bageshwar. The muck was dumped in Saryu river. Media reports with more reports unavailable. https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=564198138210179

CLOUD BURSTS

SANDRP Blog Monsoon 2021: Cloud bursts in Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh According to media reports there have been 14 cloud burst incidents in J&K (12) and Ladakh (2) during south west monsoon season 2021. The maximum number (11) of cloud bursts (9 in J&K and 2 in Ladakh) happened in the month of July of which 10 occurred only in 3 days of July 27, 28 and 30. The months of June, August and September each have seen one such incident https://sandrp.in/2021/11/04/monsoon-2021-cloud-bursts-in-jammu-kashmir-and-ladakh/  (04 Nov. 2021)

ENVIRONMENT GOVERNANCE

Uttar Pradesh State not expected to acquire landwithout paying compensation: HC  Emphasizing that the state is not expected to take the land of people and not pay compensation, the Allahabad High Court on Tuesday (Nov. 2) sought the personal affidavits of the additional chief secretaries of the concerned departments of Uttar Pradesh. Hearing the petitions filed by Jeet Narayan Yadav and two others, a division bench comprising Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice Piyush Agrawal fixed December 3, 2021, as the next date of hearing.

All three petitioners had submitted that their land was taken but no compensation has been paid to them. The court took a serious note of the submission and observed that it regularly hears such matters where either the land is acquired and possession thereof has been taken but no compensation has been paid or cases where possession has been taken without acquisition of land and without payment of compensation. It was pointed out that land is mostly acquired by revenue department, public works department or irrigation department following which the court directed the additional chief secretaries of the three departments to get a list of such cases pending in this court prepared along with the issues raised therein.  https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/allahabad/state-not-expected-to-acquire-landwithout-paying-compensation-hc/articleshow/87515237.cms  (04 Nov. 2021)

Uttarakhand Corbett park admin starts demolishing unauthorised concrete structures The Corbett administration on Saturday (Nov. 6) started demolishing ‘illegal’ concrete structures built in the park a day after the announcement that senior forest officer Sanjiv Chaturvedi will probe the matter. On Friday (Nov. 5), head of forest force, Rajiv Bhartari, had said that Chaturvedi will submit his findings in a fortnight’s time. The demolition took place before Chaturvedi could give his formal consent to start the investigation and visit the site.

The demolition included over a half dozen double-storey concrete buildings, each having four rooms with attached toilets along with other semi-built structures being built in the Pakhro zone of Corbett Tiger Reserve (CTR), sources told TOI. Speaking about the demolition, director of CTR, Rahul (who goes by his first name only), said, “The action was initiated in accordance with the directions of the Uttarakhand high court, which has sought an ‘action-taken’ report on the matter by November 9.” He added that “prima facie, it seems no government funds were used in the construction of the structures” although he did not specify the source of funds. A retired forest official meanwhile said that it is likely that the funds may have been routed either through Corbett Foundation, a body under the forest department, or the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA). “It is important that the source of the funds for the illegal construction inside Corbett is probed thoroughly,” he said.. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/day-after-ifs-sanjiv-chaturvedi-asked-to-probe-illegal-construction-in-corbett-park-admin-starts-demolishing-unauthorised-concrete-structures/articleshow/87559833.cms  (07 Nov. 2021)

Tamil Nadu Don’t use slum eviction to further ‘Singara Chennai’ agenda On October 16th, close to 50 families residing on the pavements near the Egmore Railway Station were evacuated and shifted to a temporary shelter near Pattalam, by the Chennai Corporation and the city police. The pavement dwellers alleged that they were evicted without any prior notice and that they had been forcefully moved. The irony is that this incident took place exactly four days after the Government released the Draft Resettlement and Rehabilitation Policy, which states that people who are being resettled should be “treated fairly and humanely”.

Citizen Matters spoke to Antony Stephen, Assistant Professor, Department of Social Entrepreneurship, Madras School of Social Work (MSSW). Professor Stephen, a “migration specialist”, has been working on the issues relating to migration for the last 12 years and in this interview, he speaks about the draft resettlement policy of the TN government, its implications for the slum dwellers of Chennai, housing for the urban poor in general. Here are excerpts from the interview: https://chennai.citizenmatters.in/interview-with-antony-stephens-on-slum-eviction-and-resettlement-policy-tamil-nadu-35464  (05 Nov. 2021)

Delhi Spotted: Butterfly species never seen before A recent assessment of butterflies across the seven biodiversity parks in Delhi revealed the presence of the Beavan’s swift, a species that has previously not been spotted in the city. The six-day assessment, the first such systematic one for the biodiversity parks in Delhi, was carried out from October 25 to 30. Scientists at the seven biodiversity parks (Yamuna, Aravalli, Tilpath Valley, Northern Ridge, Tughlaqabad, Neela Hauz and Kalindi biodiversity parks), students from Hansraj College and Mata Sundri College, and volunteers, were part of the assessment that was stretched for two hours every morning. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/spotted-butterfly-species-never-seen-before-in-delhi-7603273/  (02 Nov. 2021)

Report Nature’s conservation at its best: The Great Himalayan National Park https://www.risingkashmir.com/-Nature-s-conservation-at-its-best—The-Great-Himalayan-National-Park-94603  (05 Nov. 2021)

CLIMATE CHANGE

Opinion Right time for India to have its own climate law The country’s existing laws are inadequate in dealing with climate change; India’s situation is also unique writes Neha Sinha:-

A climate law could consider two aspects. One, creating an institution that monitors action plans for climate change. A ‘Commission on Climate Change’ could be set up, with the power and the authority to issue directions, and oversee implementation of plans and programmes on climate. The Commission could have quasi-judicial powers with powers of a civil court to ensure that its directions are followed in letter and spirit. It should be assisted by a technical committee which can advise the commission in the discharge of its functions as well as guide various private and public agencies in meeting their climate-related obligations. As an example, the commission could look at agencies or institutions that have a disproportionate impact on climate or environment, and suggest lower energy pathways that are adhered to.

Second, we need a system of liability and accountability at short-, medium- and long-term levels as we face hazards. This also means having a legally enforceable National Climate Change Plan that goes beyond just policy guidelines. Are climate vagaries acts of god, or do certain actions exacerbate them? In an order of the National Green Tribunal in 2016, the court examined the damage caused when floods occurred in 2013 in Pauri, Uttarakhand. When Srinagar dam (Uttarakhand) opened its sluice gates, muck created 8-foot tall deposits, destroying property and fields.

While muck is not hazardous, the handling of the dam — especially in a mountainous area in the face of climate events — created serious damage. The court held the damage was not an ‘Act of God’ and invoked the Principle of No Fault liability. The Alaknanda Hydro Power Company was asked by the Tribunal to pay more than ₹9 crore in damages. But all this was after the disaster. A Climate Commission could ideally prevent such gross negligence in fragile areas and fix accountability if it arises. https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/the-right-time-for-india-to-have-its-own-climate-law/article37347796.ece  (06 Nov. 2021)

NREGA: A pathway to climate resilience Natural resource management activities under NREGA have the potential to help India increase carbon sequestration and combat climate change. The world’s largest anti-poverty programme may also help India achieve its target of creating an additional carbon sink of 2.5-3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent, through additional forest and tree cover, by

2030, in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change. The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) captured 102 million tonnes carbon dioxide (MtCO2) in 2017-18 through plantations and soil quality improvement, found a recent study by researchers at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru. The scheme’s capacity to sequester carbon dioxide may rise to 249 MtCO2 by 2030. https://idronline.org/article/environment/nrega-a-pathway-to-climate-resilience/  (03 Nov. 2021)

India chooses to stay away from forest declaration  India on Tuesday (Nov. 2) did not sign the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use – an ambitious declaration initiated by the United Kingdom to “halt deforestation” and land degradation by 2030, as it objected to “trade” being interlinked to climate change and forest issues in the agreement. The declaration has over 105 signatories including the UK, US, Russia and China. India, Argentina, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and South Africa are the only G20 countries that did not sign the declaration.

The declaration says, “Recognise that to meet our land use, climate, biodiversity and sustainable development goals, both globally and nationally, will require transformative further action in the interconnected areas of sustainable production and consumption; infrastructure development; trade; finance and investment; and support for smallholders, Indigenous Peoples, and local communities, who depend on forests for their livelihoods and have a key role in their stewardship.”

Referring to it, an Indian representative said, “The declaration interlinks trade to climate change and forest issues. Trade falls under the WTO and should not be brought under climate change declarations. We had asked the word “trade” to be removed, but they did not agree. So, we have not signed the declaration.” Twenty eight governments have also committed to remove deforestation from the global trade of food and other agricultural products such as palm oil, soya and cocoa. https://indianexpress.com/article/india/forests-declaration-india-reads-fine-print-chooses-to-stay-away-7605041/  (03 Nov. 2021)

‘India among 5 countries with most extreme heat exposure’ India is one of the five countries in the world whose vulnerable populations had the most exposure to extreme heat over the past five years, The Lancet Countdown report has said. And this exposure is increasing. Yet, like many countries, India is under-prepared to prevent, mitigate or treat the health effects of climate change. https://www.indiaspend.com/climate-change/india-among-5-countries-with-most-extreme-heat-exposure-782395  (21 Oct. 2021)

Interview ‘Net-Zero by 2070 Bogus Claim; Modi Govt Makes Global Vows But Destroys Green Laws’: Jairam Ramesh https://thewire.in/environment/watch-net-zero-2070-modi-jairam-ramesh-cop26  (05 Nov. 2021)

उत्तराखंड  में एक के बाद एक गाँव क्यों हो रहे हैं ख़ाली https://www.bbc.com/hindi/india-59078316  (30 Oct. 2021)

Disappearing glaciers of Himalayas Rising temperatures are melting glaciers and other frozen water across the Hindu Kush Himalayas. Urgent action to curb emissions is needed to secure water supplies, protect livelihoods and prevent disasters across the region. https://www.thethirdpole.net/en/climate/glaciers-himalayas-melting/  (29 July 2021)

NASA Study Global climate change impact on crops expected within 10 years Climate change may affect the production of maize (corn) and wheat as early as 2030 under a high greenhouse gas emissions scenario, according to a new NASA study published in the journal, Nature Food. Maize crop yields are projected to decline 24%, while wheat could potentially see growth of about 17%.

Using advanced climate and agricultural models, scientists found that the change in yields is due to projected increases in temperature, shifts in rainfall patterns, and elevated surface carbon dioxide concentrations from human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. These changes would make it more difficult to grow maize in the tropics, but could expand wheat’s growing range. https://www.nasa.gov/feature/esnt/2021/global-climate-change-impact-on-crops-expected-within-10-years-nasa-study-finds  (01 Nov. 2021)

Reports Melting glaciers Glaciers across the globe have lost over nine trillion tons of ice in half a century. How will glaciers look over the coming decades? “It all depends on what humans are doing now in terms of greenhouse gas emissions:” this is the message one scientist delivered during an ESA-led expedition to the Gorner Glacier in Switzerland—one of the biggest ice masses in the Alps. https://phys.org/news/2021-11-video-glaciers.html  (05 Nov. 2021)

Human history is melting away When the program started, the finds were mainly Iron Age and medieval, from 500 to 1,500 years ago. But as the melting widens, ever older periods of history are being exposed. https://indianexpress.com/article/technology/science/earth-warms-human-history-melting-7604656/  (02 Nov. 2021)

SOUTH ASIA

India-Nepal Nepal to sell surplus power to India India has given permission to Nepal to sell surplus power in its market, the Nepalese Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation said in a statement. The Central Electricity Authority on November 1 allowed Nepal to sell 39 MW of electricity produced by the 24 MW Trishuli Hydropower Project and the 15 MW Devighat Hydropower Project in the India Energy Exchange Limited. Both projects were developed with India’s help. It was on Wednesday (Nov 3, 2021) that Nepal’s request for membership of IEX was approved. Nepal was also exploring the options of selling electricity to India under a long-term power purchase agreement in the rainy season besides the current option of selling in India’s power exchange market. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/world/nepal-to-sell-surplus-power-to-india-334160  (04 Nov. 2021)

Bangladesh Creating hilsa-friendly reserves This year’s 22-day ban on catching and selling hilsa yielded more fruitful results compared to the previous years’. Beginning on October 4, the ban ended on October 25. Since its start in 2008-09, the countrywide ban on catching and marketing the national fish has been proving progressively effectual. In the beginning period 12 -13 years ago, the government ban enforced in a few hilsa producing districts was met with large-scale non-compliance. The fishermen, on instigation by a section of businesses and middlemen, vehemently protested the government directive.

During the initial bans of varying lengths, the hilsa became a centre of agitation and wild speculations, which later proved baseless. Thanks to the relentless stance taken by the authorities concerned the ban started taking hold finally. The prohibition on catching mother hilsas, which swim upstream from the Bay of Bengal, and the country’s southern rivers, resulted in the continued increase in the full-grown fish populations. It is true the Fisheries and Livestock Ministry couldn’t promptly provide the hilsa catchers with their promised emergency food and monetary reliefs; but they eventually became a part of the system. https://thefinancialexpress.com.bd/editorial/creating-hilsa-friendly-reserves-1635697247  (02 Nov 2021)

ASIA

Ukraine Haunted History Underground River After the discovery of a hideout dating from the Nazi occupation of Lviv, RFE/RL joined one of the urban explorers who are slowly uncovering the mysteries of Lviv’s subterranean Poltva River.

For the past 13 years, Lviv local Andriy Ryshtun has been exploring the Poltva River, which was walled up and hidden under the western Ukrainian city in the 19th century. The Poltva River once ran in the open through the center of Lviv, but as the city’s population grew, the narrow waterway became increasingly polluted. Beginning in 1839, the Austro-Hungarian authorities started channeling the Poltva into purpose-built underground tunnels that merged the river with Lviv’s sewage system. Today, most visitors to famous landmarks such as the Lviv Theater of Opera and Ballet have no idea they are walking above a hidden river with a haunting history. https://www.rferl.org/a/ukraine-lviv-subterranean-river-nazis-jews/31499264.html  (10 Oct. 2021)

France Drowning of Spain’s villages A handful of books are recreating the cruel and little known history of communities that were flooded to make reservoirs in 20th centuary. https://english.elpais.com/culture/2021-11-08/the-drowning-of-spains-villages.html  (08 Nov. 2021)

Book Review Cultivating the Nile: the everyday politics of water in Egypt ‘Cultivating the Nile’ provides a refreshing perspective on irrigation management that is relevant to regions beyond the book’s geographical focus of Egypt. The book uses several theoretical frameworks to illustrate how river management can ‘construct’ and ‘produce’ both scarcity and abundance within the same river basin. Through Barnes’ experiences across farmers’ fields, the Irrigation Ministry and international donors, the book demonstrates how everyday social and political interactions take place among multiple actors and institutions, making for a highly engaging read. https://watersciencepolicy.com/article/book-review-cultivating-the-nile-the-everyday-politics-of-water-in-egypt-ed3eb48f8c43  (01 Nov. 2021)

Iraq Intensifying water crisis Iraqis struggle to cope with depleted water resources, exacerbated by climate change and disputes with neighbours.

Seven million people in Iraq are at risk because of a lack of water and the crisis is only intensifying [File: Ammar Awad/Reuters]

Four years ago, the stream running through Iraq’s al-Hamra village dried up. Now, “all the trees have died”, said Abdullah Kamel who used to farm citrus fruit in the village in Saladin governorate north of Baghdad. The farmers subsequently tried digging wells but found the groundwater was too salty and not suitable for farming. “It killed the trees and all our crops,” said Kamel. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/11/5/all-the-trees-have-died-iraqis-face-persistent-water-crisis  (05 Nov. 2021)

THE REST OF THE WORLD

USA Toxic ‘forever chemicals’ contaminating tap water: report Millions of people living in the United States are at the risk of developing cancer and other problems such as liver disease due to the contaminated tap water they are consuming, a report by a leading environmental group has claimed. The Environmental Working Group, in its report claimed that toxic contaminants have been discovered in the tap water, which is consumed by Americans on a daily basis.

In the report, researchers discovered 56 new contaminants, including pesticides and radioactive materials, in tap water. The problem is mainly caused by the decaying infrastructure and the pollution from toxic “forever chemicals”, that can be found in water, air, food or even in shampoo or makeup, according to the report. The researchers studied nearly 50,000 water systems over the past two years from across the US to arrive at conclusion. https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/toxic-forever-chemicals-contaminating-us-tap-water-claims-report-101636009169423.html  (04 Nov. 2021)

CNA video report on potable water crisis across globe. https://www.channelnewsasia.com/watch/cna-correspondent/source-life-2280331  (30 Oct. 2021)

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

Also see: DRP News Bulletin 01 Nov 2021 & DRP News Bulletin 25 Oct. 2021  

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

One thought on “DRP News Bulletin 08 Nov 2021: Is heavy rain ALONE to be blamed for flooding in Chennai?

  1. https://www.aljazeera.com/gallery/2021/11/7/flash-floods-in-bosnia-prompt-evacuations-power-outages

    We are all in.
    When German city was flooded, scientists said, earlier flooding was a phenomenon of developing countries. That’s no more the case. Bosnia’s case is understandable.

    Another is a good one:

    https://www.dw.com/en/solar-technology-heralds-greener-future-in-chile/a-59683214

    Most Indian states get more sunshine than anywhere else. Why our policy makers don’t turn their heads away from our rivers and start trapping solar and wind energy faster?
    🙏

    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.