DRP News Bulletin

DRP NB 29 Nov 2021: Pathetic State of Sabarmati River Front in Ahmedabad

This photo from the Gujarat Samachar newspaper of Ahmadabad on Nov 25, 2021 depicts the reality of Sabarmati River Front Development. It shows that the growth of weed water hyacinth spread all over the stagnant, polluted river channel that is no longer a river. It says the boat service (running into losses) and AC Cruise services have stopped. There is no place for sea planes to land due to the growth of the water hyacinth, but the government has asked for permission to run two sea planes! There is the big issue of pollutants from industries and Ahmedabad flowing into the river that the Gujarat High Court is dealing with (see below).

Similar photos also appeared on the same date in two more Ahmedabad based two newspaper: Dainik Bhaskar and Nav Gujarat Samay, reinforcing the pathetic state of Sabarmati River Front.

Is there any doubt that all River Front Development projects are likely to face similar or worse fate than this? The situation could worsen in near future as both Sardar Sarovar Dam on Narmada and Dharoi dam on Sabarmati in the upstream of Ahmedabad have insufficient storage. In a related development, Rajasthan is threatening to stop flow of 45 TMC water to Mahi Dam, it is pertinent to note that Sabarmati also flows from Rajasthan to Gujarat.

The River Front Company is in any case surviving on the budgetary support. https://navgujaratsamay.com/water-relese-from-narmada-canal-to-sabarmati-is-likely-to-be-reduced-soon/211327.html  (22 Nov. 2021)

Rajasthan-Gujarat  Mahi River Water Sharing dispute Rajasthan Minister says 40 TMC Mahi water going to Gujarat from Rajasthan will now be stopped as per the January 1966 agreement.

http://www.uniindia.com/minister-announces-to-stop-mahi-water-to-gujarat/north/news/2572334.html  (23 Nov. 2021)

Sabarmati; Ahmedabad  Firm moves Gujarat HC; bench says GPCB made a mess On a day Arvind Limited approached the Gujarat High Court against the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation’s (AMC) move to disconnect the firm’s effluent connection to the sewage treatment plant (STP) that discharges into the Sabarmati river, a division bench the Gujarat High Court Friday came down heavily on the state’s pollution control board for the river pollution fiasco.

– Senior advocate Mihir Thakore, on behalf of Arvind Limited, pointed out that GPCB, under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, had granted the unit the permission to discharge their industrial water in AMC’s STP following treatment in the industrial unit’s own Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP).

– “Every industry says ‘I’ve my own treatment plant (CETP)’… If you’re going to show us the permissions, they are per se illegal connections… What business does GPCB have to grant permission to an industry (to discharge industrial water, whether treated or untreated)? Show us the power  (under which GPCB granted permission). GPCB has made a mess, an absolute mess,” remarked Justice Pardiwala. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/ahmedabad/amc-sabarmati-pollution-gujarat-hc-gpcb-made-mess-7643699/  (27 Nov. 2021)

HYDRO POWER PROJECTS

Himachal Pradesh Govt is in the process of redrafting its hydropower policy of 2006. It aims to add 10000 MW of additional capacity by 2030. Its current capacity is 10948 MW. https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/renewable/15-years-on-hp-moves-towards-new-hydro-power-policy/87860018  (23 Nov. 2021)

Arunachal Pradesh Dave Petley on muddy Kemang river incident:- A very provisional analysis is that some sort of slide appears to have developed in this area, which is about 600 m long and 700 m wide.  This appears to have descended as near vertical slope onto the head of the glacier in the valley below.  The vertical distance from the top of the peak to the top of the glacier is about 1,700 m.  The images indicate massive fragmentation at this point, and the formation of a rock and ice avalanche that swept down the glacier, entraining material en route before transitioning into the flow that was observed down valley. Provisionally this is broadly similar to the 7 February 2021 Chamoli event, although the mechanism of the initial failure is not clear at present. https://blogs.agu.org/landslideblog/2021/11/19/the-29-october-2021-kameng-river-rock-and-ice-avalanche-in-india/  (19 Nov. 2021)

DAMS

Mullaperiyar Dam SC to hear case on Dec. 10 The Bench said the Registry would put up the Mullaperiyar case even earlier than December 10 if the two part-heard matters were concluded sooner than expected. Justice Khanwilkar stated that the diverse petitions filed on the various aspects of safety, maintenance of the dam and security of the people living near it should be heard comprehensively. The court assured the parties it would go into the details of every aspect put forth before it in the various petitions.  https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/sc-to-hear-mullaperiyar-dam-case-on-dec-10/article37622414.ece  (22 Nov. 2021)

Kaleshwaram Project HC stays land acquisition for withdrawal of additional water The Telangana High Court on Friday stayed the land acquisition notification issued on September 27, 2021 by the authorities concerned to draw 1.1 tmc of additional water under the Kaleshwaram Project II Package IV at Achampally in Gangadhara mandal of Karimnagar district for undertaking line modification, cross drainage (CD) and cross masonry (CM) works.

While dealing with a petition filed by Chindam Srihari and four others from  Karimnagar, challenging the acquisition of lands by the government by notifying it under Section 11(1) of the Act, 2013, without initiating the mandatory Social Impact Assessment in accordance with the Act, the bench of Justice T Vinod Kumar also directed the authorities to file their counters by December 17. https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/telangana/2021/nov/27/telangana-hc-stays-land-acquisition-for-drawal-of-additional-water-2388756.html  (27 Nov. 2021)

Uttarakhand बाढ़ नियंत्रण और भारतनेपाल की समृद्धि के लिए लाभकारी है पंचेश्वर बांध:सुबेदी  भारत में नेपाल के राजदूत रामप्रसाद सुबेदी का कहना है कि दोनों देशों की सीमा पर निर्माणाधीन पंचेश्वर बांध भारत-नेपाल के लिए लाभकारी होगा। यह दोनों देशों को जोड़ने का काम करेगा। पानी बेकार करने से अच्छा है कि पंचेश्वर बांध का निर्माण जल्द हो। बांध निर्माण से सिंचाई के लिए पानी मिलेगा। बाढ़ नियंत्रण के साथ ही बिजली उत्पादन भी होगा।

एनएचपीसी के अतिथिगृह में हुई वार्ता में नेपाली राजदूत ने कहा कि पंचेश्वर बांध निर्माण के लिए डीपीआर तैयार है। कुछ मुद्दों का निपटारा होना है। उन्होंने कहा कि नदियों के पानी का समुचित उपयोग जरूरी है। उन्होंने टनकपुर पावर स्टेशन की सराहना की। कहा कि ऐसी ही परियोजनाएं दोनों देशों के लिए लाभकारी हैं। : https://www.amarujala.com/uttarakhand/champawat/pancheshwar-dam-in-indo-nepal-border-tanakpur-news-hld4452594115   (21 Nov. 2021)

INTERSTATE WATER DISPUTES

Krishna Water Dispute No prior green nod for T Dindi plan, AP tells NGT In a counter-affidavit filed in National Green Tribunal (NGT), Andhra Pradesh government has opposed Telangana’s move to construct Dindi lift irrigation scheme (LIS) as there was no prior Env Clearance for the project, nor any water allocatoni. Andhra Pradesh said Telangana was constructing a common pump house for Palamuru-Rangareddy and Dindi at Yelluru village, proposing to lift two TMC (thousand million cubic) feet per day for 60 days and utilise 1.5 thousand million cubic for Palumuru-Rangareddy lift irrigation scheme and 0.5 TMC for Dindi lift irrigation scheme by diverting water from Anjanagiri reservoir. “Without any allocation for the project, it has a catastrophic impact on the age-old irrigation systems KDS, KC Canal, Nagarjunsagar, SRBC and Chennai drinking water supply and other drinking water requirements,” Andhra Pradesh water resources department secretary J Syamala Rao added. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/no-prior-green-nod-for-tdindi-plan-ap-tells-ngt/articleshow/87897994.cms  (25 Nov. 2021)

URBAN RIVERS

Gomti; Lucknow Hindi report on how Asia’s biggest 345 MLD capacity STP failing miserably to clean Gomti river pollution in Lucknow. https://www.amarujala.com/lucknow/polluted-water-drawn-into-the-river-from-stp-lucknow-news-lko606108847  (26 Nov. 2021) गोमती को प्रदूषित करने के लिए खुद लखनऊ जिम्मेदार है। स्थिति इतनी खराब हो चुकी है कि शहर के अंदर नदी का पानी ट्रीटमेंट के बाद भी पीने लायक नहीं बच रहा है। https://www.amarujala.com/lucknow/untreated-water-is-main-reason-behind-gomti-river-pollution   (26 March 2021)

Documentary Story of Adyar – River Pollution & Floods The Story of Adyar is documenting the difficulties faced by the local communities of fishermen living next to the river. They are being encroached by building sites and skyscrapers while the bad sewage management threatens their livelihood by destroying the ecosystem of the river. In the same locations, where they used to catch a variety of fish in the past, they are now struggling to survive in between plastic bottles and waste.

Several interviews with the community, experts, and environmentalists draw a picture of the causes for the depletion of the river Adyar. Badly planned city development has not only left the river a public health risk but also increased the occurrence of floods that affect the whole urban area of Chennai. The documentary includes footage from the calamity that struck the capital of Tamil Nadu in 2015 – the Chennai floods. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbcdFQ7iypQ&t=56s  (24 Nov. 2021)

यूपी-बिहार और उत्तराखंड के 30 नगरों में नदी-शहर गठबंधन का आगाज, नदी संवेदी विकास के लिए नदी शहर गठबंधन की शुरुआत https://www.livehindustan.com/national/story-river-city-alliance-launched-in-30-cities-of-up-bihar-and-uttarakhand-river-sensitive-development-5175657.html  (26 Nov. 2021)

RIVERS

SANDRP Blog Making Yamuna Flow Again by Manoj Misra It is no secret that the master key to Yamuna rejuvenation or for that matter any other perennial river is to make it flow as close to its natural flow pattern as possible. How to go about it is no rocket science but is no easy task either for we humans have burdened them with so many of our selfish stakes. https://sandrp.in/2021/11/26/making-yamuna-flow-again/  (26 Nov. 2021)

SANDRP के समन्वयक हिमांशु ठक्कर कहते हैं यमुना में प्रदूषण का मुद्दा तो पूरे साल का रहता है लेकिन त्योहार के मौसम में यह मुद्दा उछल जाता है. वह कहते हैं कि मानसून के समय ही नदी में पानी ज्यादा होने से प्रदूषण कम हो जाता है. https://www.dw.com/hi/yamuna-river-pollution/a-59896590 

The ecological flow not being maintained in the Yamuna is a political issue which state governments need to resolve with Haryana and Uttarakhand, says Mishra. According to environmentalist Vikrant Tongad, the poor implementation and wrong estimation of the growing population has been a reason behind the failed attempts to clean the Yamuna. https://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/delhi/2021/nov/29/yamuna-cleaning-cell-delhi-government-takes-another-measure-to-treat-polluted-river-2389401.html  (29 Nov. 2021)

Report Origin and journey of plastic Most plastic originates on land, but is often dumped into wetlands, lakes, and rivers contaminating the shores, banks and beds. These waterways serve as conduits for plastic to travel further out past the estuaries, into seas where it settles on continental shelves or is carried across the open ocean. Within each waterbody, different organisms interact with plastics in different ways; some inhabit these new, long-lasting surfaces; a few others eat it and break it down for energy; but most ingest it, get entangled in it or are poisoned by the toxins with dangerous, often fatal results. The impact of plastics is overwhelmingly negative, and humans are just beginning to realise the scale of the problem. Sometimes, the scales can be minuscule, as with microplastics, yet can have cascading effects on ecosystems. https://india.mongabay.com/2021/11/explainer-what-is-the-effect-of-plastic-on-ecosystems/  (23 Nov. 2021)

Study Climate change, tectonic movement changing course of Himalayan glaciers With climate change aggravating the melting of glaciers across the world, scientists have for the first time spotted a rare event in the Himalayan glaciers. It has abruptly changed its main course and scientists are attributing it to climate change and tectonic movements.

The change in the glacier’s movement further confirms the findings behind the February 7 disaster in the hilly terrain of Chamoli in which over 200 people were killed. Scientists have said that the tragedy began on top of the six km-high Ronti peak, where a large mass of ice and rock dislodged from the slopes, triggering a massive landslide that transformed into mud and debris flow, causing destruction along its path. The debris flow generated a powerful air blast that flattened nearly 20 hectares of forests.

Scientists reported that the 5 km long unnamed glacier, which covered 4 sqkm area in Kuthi Yankti valley (a tributary of Kali river) had abruptly changed its main course. The northeast moving glacier has been truncated and forced to move towards the southeast and ultimately merge with the adjacent glacier named Sumzurkchanki as a result of tectonic forcing. “The study will help in understanding the glacial-tectonic interaction and provides key information for future studies,” the paper said. https://www.indiatoday.in/science/story/climate-change-tectonic-movement-himalayan-glacier-changing-course-melting-1879919-2021-11-23  (23 Nov. 2021)

Nearly 20,000 years ago, a 5-km-long Himalayan glacier “abruptly” changed course and over time fused into an adjacent glacier in present day Pittoragarh, Uttarakhand. This is the first time, say scientists who have described the findings in a peer-reviewed journal this week, that such a turn in glacier’s course has been recorded in the Himalayas. Change in climate along with tectonic movement probably caused this to happen.

Based on remote sensing and an old survey map, the study, which appears in the Journal of Geosciences, assessed that the glacier had been affected by active fault and climate change.

The glacier, which does not have a name and lies in an extremely inaccessible region, was large enough that it formed its own “valley” and the accumulated debris that accompanies the formation of glaciers probably caused it to turn from a north-eastern direction to a south-eastern course, said Manish Mehta of the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (WIHG), a Department of Science and Technology institute, who is among the authors of the study. https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/himalayan-glacier-made-abrupt-turn-20000-years-ago-study/article37650679.ece  (23 Nov. 2021)

A recent study ‘Modified hydrologic regime of Upper Ganga basin induced by natural and anthropogenic stressors’ published in the journal Scientific Reports has assessed the role of changing climatic conditions and increasing human activities on stream flows in the Upper Ganga Basin. https://www.indiawaterportal.org/articles/increase-extreme-flooding-events-upper-ganga-basin-post-1995  (21 Nov. 2021)

Research Anthropogenic dominance on geogenic arsenic problem of groundwater in Ganga-Brahmaputra floodplain: A paradox of origin and mobilization Abstract:- The Ganga-Brahmaputra floodplains constitute a complex system that is vulnerable to arsenic recycling owing to its geomorphic sensitivity, aquifer profiles, high meandering scars and extreme sediment deposition, along with extreme monsoonal disturbances; and are subjected to significant alterations in arsenic recycling. We have put an effort to delineate the similarities and dissimilarities pertaining to the arsenic prevalence, origin and mobilization in the two hotspots, namely the Mid-Gangetic Floodplains (MGFP) and the Brahmaputra Floodplains (BFP). https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969721065396?dgcid=author

Himachal Pradesh Springs dying across state  Over two-thirds of traditional water sources in the Himalayan state of Himachal Pradesh are dead; experts blame climate change and human activities. https://www.thethirdpole.net/en/climate/springs-dying-across-himachal-pradesh/  (23 Nov. 2021)

फोरलेन निर्माण ने आफत में डाले लोग, ब्लास्टिंग से मकानों व जमीनों में आईं दरारें https://m.himachal.punjabkesari.in/himachal-pradesh/news/cracks-in-houses-and-land-due-to-blasting-1501031  (28 Nov. 2021)

Jammu & Kashmir NGT directs NHAI to budget for restoring the environment damaged  During expansion of the highway in between Udhampur and Banihal town in Jammu and Kashmir, the national highway authorities and contractors have been dumping the construction waste in Tawi and Chenab rivers.

A view of muck slipping into Tawi river in Udhampur district. Photo by Bivek Mathur. Monga Bay

This is disrupting the natural course of the rivers and threatening habitations downstream of the rivers. The NGT has directed the NHAI to set apart an amount of Rs. 1.29 billion for restoration of damage to the environment. https://india.mongabay.com/2021/11/ngt-directs-nhai-to-budget-for-restoring-the-environment-damage-on-the-udhampur-banihal-highway/  (24 Nov. 2021)

GANGA Uttarakhand Road to a Himalayan blunder C.P. Rajendran; Mallika Bhanot Any human-induced change beyond the Himalayas’ carrying capacity will have an impact on stream run-offs and erosional or depositional processes. Considering such vulnerabilities, we need to keep the scale of human-induced disturbances to the minimum level possible. The Char Dham project in its current form goes against all environmental safeguards.

If the government does not desist from widening the roads under this project, it will be a Himalayan blunder. It will significantly reinforce mass wasting processes and erosion rates given the steepness of the slopes, earthquake activity and erosivity of increased monsoonal precipitation. The Himalayas need to be preserved as a nature reserve for future generations. That is why they are known as the ‘abode of Gods’. So, why desecrate them? https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/the-road-to-a-himalayan-blunder/article37653222.ece  (24 Nov. 2021)

The foundation stone for the proposed 4.5-km-long Mussoorie tunnel is expected to be laid next month by Nitin Gadkari, Union minister of road transport and highways. The tunnel project has been touted as a critical one to reduce traffic congestion at Gandhi Chowk on the Mussoorie Mall Road. However, environmentalists have been opposing the project since its inception, saying Mussoorie is a seismically-active zone and the tunnel could pose grave risks for the town. They fear that the tunnel would adversely impact underground aquifers, which are among the primary sources of water for the town. “We are in a seismically active zone and the construction of tunnel could pose a risk to the town,” said Hugh Gantzer, a member of the Supreme Court panel constituted to monitor the environmental issues of the Doon Valley and Mussoorie.

Reenu Paul, a Dehradun-based environmentalist, added, “Just as the Char Dham road project has destroyed the Ganga valley, this tunnel would cause damage in the entire Yamuna valley. Also, more such projects are bound to follow and wreak havoc on the environment.” TOI had earlier reported that nine water sources of Mussoorie — that account for nearly 65% of the town’s water supply — are located in close proximity to this proposed tunnel. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/foundation-stone-for-mussoorie-tunnel-expected-to-be-laid-next-month-environmentalists-raise-concerns/articleshow/87953956.cms  (28 Nov. 2021)

पौड़ी जिले के श्रीनगर में रेल लाइन के लिये बनायीं जा रही सुरंग, फोटो- हिमांशु चौहान

उत्तराखंड राज्य के रुद्रप्रयाग में विकास के लिए किया जा रहा रेल लाइन निर्माण का कार्य मरोड़ा गांव के लोगो के लिए खौफ का कारण बन गया है। अभी सुरंग को बनाने का कार्य शुरू भी नहीं हुआ है और घरो में दरार पड़नी शुरू हो गयी है। इसके कारण गांव के लोगो को किसी बड़ी अनहोनी का डर सताने लगा है। https://hindi.newsclick.in/Uttarakhand-cracks-in-houses-due-to-construction-of-railway-line-in-villages-of-Rudraprayag-district  (28 Nov. 2021)

Allegations that road construction triggered landslides are based on misinformation, Union minister Nitin Gadkari said Wednesday (Nov. 24) while asserting that the government is sensitive about ecology and environment while carrying out development projects, media reports said. https://www.indiablooms.com/finance-details/14891/-govt-sensitive-about-environment-nitin-gadkari-on-concerns-over-char-dham-project.html  (25 Nov. 2021)

Tree felling for road project will devastate Indo-Gangetic plains: Activists  Following a pushback by activists and locals against state government’s decision to fell thousands of trees for Delhi-Dehradun expressway and a petition by ‘Citizen for Green Doon’, the Supreme Court had recently stayed the felling of 11,000 trees till November 26. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/shivaliks-are-natural-sponges-tree-felling-for-road-project-will-devastate-indo-gangetic-plains-activists/articleshow/87823062.cms  (21 Nov. 2021)

The Uttarakhand High Court has ordered the state chief secretary to submit the state’s environmental assessment report every three years. The Survey of India will prepare the report, which will assess the state of water and air quality and the measure of forest land in the state. The court has also directed the administrations of Dehradun and Nainital to submit a report on urbanization and how urban development can be achieved without harming the environment every two years. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/submit-environmental-assessment-report-after-every-three-years-hc/articleshow/87634252.cms  (11 Nov. 2021)

Uttar Pradesh Rs 730 cr on ghat construction, maintenance along Ganga: RTI reply The Centre has released a whopping Rs 10,000 crore plus funds to the NMCG, of which the NMCG has spent Rs 730 crore on building ghats and maintaining them since 2014. No money from the ‘Clean Ganga Fund’, however, has been spent on STPs a reply to a query under RTI from the NMCG has said. Of the Rs 10,942.02 funds released to the NMCG, it has expended Rs 10,649.40, the reply said.

Of this, the Clean Ganga Fund amount expended in situ bio-remediation (treatment of drainage) is Rs 161,91,909; Rs 731.31 crore has been spent by NMCG on ghat construction and maintenance and Rs 107.59 crore has been spent on media and public outreach since 2014 till September 2021.

The RTI reply said, “No fund was released from the ‘Clean Ganga Fund’ on STP constructions and maintenance since 2014 till date.” However, a senior official from the Ministry said, “All the infrastructure development, especially big ticket spends such as STPs are being carried out under the Externally Aided Projects (EAP) head. The Clean Ganga Fund is being used for other purposes.” According to statistics from the Ministry, as on October 31, it has spent Rs 9,172.57 crore as against the sanctioned Rs 24,249.48 crore for ‘Sewarage Infrastructure’. There are 157 projects outlined, of which 70 are completed, the government data showed. https://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/rs-730-cr-on-ghat-construction-maintenance-along-ganga-rti-reply-121112100795_1.html  (21 Nov. 2021)

गंगा में गिर रहा 5 करोड़ लीटर सीवेज वाटर, काला पड़ गया पानी https://www.aajtak.in/india/uttar-pradesh/story/varanasi-ganges-turned-black-people-living-on-the-banks-are-also-in-danger-ganga-iit-bhu-essel-ntc-1362381-2021-11-24   (24 Nov. 2021)

Adani Enterprises, Ashoka Buildcon and IRB Infrastructure Developers are the 3 firms that have bid for developing the 594 km Ganga Expressway connecting Meerut and Prayagraj on the public-private partnership (PPP) mode under Design, Built, Finance, Operate and Transfer (DBFOT) basis. This six lane access-controlled expressway by Uttar Pradesh Expressways Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA) will have a 120m ROW (right of way) and is designed to be expandable to 8 lanes in the future. https://themetrorailguy.com/2021/11/23/3-bidders-for-ganga-expressways-construction-work/  (23 Nov. 2021)

Nov. 26 image of Assi Ganga river joined by Nagwa drain which in turn dumping huge amount of solid and liquid waste in national river Ganga in Varanasi.

Bihar “Arsenic has entered the food chain through irrigation water” Ashok Kumar Ghosh, chairperson, Bihar State Pollution Control Board, and professor and Head of Department, Mahavir Cancer Institute and Research Centre, Patna, who has worked extensively on the arsenic contamination in groundwater in the state, speaks to Gaon Connection on the shocking levels of arsenic found in the drinking water (groundwater) and its disease burden. https://en.gaonconnection.com/bihar-arsenic-in-water-groundwater-health-risks-patna-cancer-mental-health-disease-himalayas-pollution-control-nutrition/  (25 Nov. 2021)

RIVERS BIODIVERSITY

India Rivers Forum PR IRW 2021 concludes with a pledge to work for fish, fishers; healthy rivers India Rivers Week 2021 concluded today with a pledge to work towards protection of inland fisheries, fishers and rivers for their conservation and rejuvenation. The annual event, organised by the India Rivers Forum (IRF) since 2014, saw bureaucrats, activists, academicians and community leaders participating in five riveting virtual sessions.

The program started on November 8 with an inaugural event focused on impacts of river pollution on fisheries and fishers followed by subsequent sessions on fragmented rivers (dams, barrages and embankments), the need for better science, data and advocacy, the changing political economy of riverine fisheries and finally the national event on issues around governance.https://sandrp.in/2021/11/27/press-note-india-rivers-week-2021-concludes-with-a-pledge-to-work-for-fish-fishers-and-healthy-rivers/  (27 Nov. 2021)

News report in रेवांचल टाइम्स about Rajkumar Sinha getting the BPS award on Nov 27, 2021 from India Rivers Forum. https://www.revanchaltimes.com/2021/11/Narmada%20Protection-EnvironmentRaj%20Kumar%20Sinha-.html  (28 Nov. 2021) Same is covered here. https://www.spsmedia.in/dam-and-displacement/bhagirath-prayas-samman-to-ra-kumar-sinha-working-for-tribal-and-deprived-community/  (28 Nov. 2021) and here https://joshhosh.com/mp/rajkumar-sinha-received-bhagirath-prayas-award/  (28 Nov. 2021)

Video recording of fifth and final webinar of India Rivers Week 2021 with a focus on ‘Governance & Way forward’. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYLq5OOriUY  (28 Nov. 2021) Video recording of fourth webinar of India Rivers Week 2021 focusing on ‘Changing Political Economy’ took place on 20th November 2021. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YF8T29er2aE  (28 Nov. 2021)

“I have tried to highlight various issues related to rivers in Jammu and Kashmir. I did investigative stories and analytical pieces due to which I earned this award,” AMM 2021 awardee Athar Parvaiz said. “It feels immense pleasure to represent my homeland, Kashmir on this level,” Parvaiz said, adding, “It always feels good when your work gets appreciated at this level. It gives you the motivation to work with more enthusiasm and hard work”. https://freepresskashmir.news/2021/11/28/kashmiri-journalist-wins-anupum-mishra-memorial-medal-2021-award/ (28 Nov 2021)

In this episode Dr. Lata Pratibha Madhukar will speak with Rajkumar Sinha about his involvement in NBA, his work with the displaced people affected by Baragi Bandh, his constructive work among fish workers, organizing actions in the leadership of Adivasi and Bahujan women. His passion with live river, and to let her live.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgSVM6ycyXQ (28 Nov 2021)

Study Over 30 alien species found in Kerala water bodies Study findings, recently published in Aquatic Ecosystem Health & Management, states that Kerala’s waters are home to 28 alien fish species and four alien aquatic weeds or macrophytes. The fish surveys were conducted in 44 rivers and 53 reservoirs of the state. The most common invasive species recorded were Mozambique tilapia and common carp.

The maximum number of exotic fish species was recorded from Chalakudy river, which harboured 11 exotic fish species of which eight species were recorded after the flood, which includes the rare mega fish like Arapaima gigas. Another paper published by the team in April noted that: “high magnitude flooding events in August 2018 and 2019 resulted in the escape of at least ten alien fish species that were recorded for the first time, from the natural waters of the Western Ghats.”

One of the authors of the paper Rajeev Raghavan from the Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies explains that several illegal farming systems could have facilitated the escape of alien species. “With increasing extreme climate events, we may see the spread of more alien or non-native species in the state. There needs to be a check on illegal aquaculture in Kerala which is now functioning for aquarium purposes.” https://indianexpress.com/article/technology/science/30-alien-species-keralas-water-bodies-study-7635340/  (22 Nov. 2021)

Exotic brown trout threatening native Himalayan fish species “This is concerning, as the headwaters can at best, only provide sub-optimal habitats, not sufficient to support the entire life of native snow trout,” said Aashna Sharma, from Wildlife Institute of India (WII) in Uttarakhand, who co-authored the research paper. “This is majorly a disastrous outcome of our preferences for the invasive brown trout for sport leisure and delicacy choices we have,” she added. The brown trout is an exotic species, which is highly promoted due to its popularity for recreational angling and food delicacy, the researchers said. The fish was introduced under the British rule mostly for sport, they added.

The researchers also emphasised the need to leave the headwaters free from dams. “We have already tapped most of the hydropower from these fragile ecosystems,” said the corresponding author of the study K. Sivakumar from WII. “Damming the headwaters will dilute the opportunities of the natives to seek refuge, as snow trout move towards headwaters under invasion and these stream segments provide conditions not so favourable for the invasive species,” Sivakumar added.

The researchers, including those from Panjab University in Chandigarh, used intensive surveys and geostatistical network models for the study. Watersheds of Asiganga in Uttarakhand and Tirthan in Great Himalayan National Park, Himachal Pradesh were used as experimental sites to run these models. Study co-author J. A. Johnson from WII noted that the snow trout is an iconic species of high-altitude Himalayan rivers distributed all along the Himalaya from Jammu and Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh. Owing to dearth of information on other high-altitude natives, the snow trout is a potential keystone species for this study to facilitate conservation of all other threatened species in the Himalayan rivers, he added. https://indianexpress.com/article/technology/science/exotic-brown-trout-threatening-native-himalayan-fish-species-7533496/  (25 Sept. 2021)

FISH, FISHERIES, FISHERFOLKS

Madhya Pradesh Managing water commons through fishing cooperatives  The experience of the Foundation for Ecological Security in tribal Mandla. https://www.indiawaterportal.org/articles/managing-water-commons-through-fishing-cooperatives  (01 Sept. 2021)

Centre Proposal for allowing exploratory drilling for oil, natural gas in inter-tidal areas of CRZ  The Union government proposes to allow exploratory drilling for oil and natural gas in the intertidal areas of coastal regulation zones (CRZ) and let gas-based power plants function within similar protected areas in islands, floating these for public feedback as part of three draft notifications that experts say degrade fragile areas. CRZs are divided based on how far they are from the shore and high-tide areas, with varying levels of restrictions on the sort of activities that can be carried out.

Experts cautioned these tweaks could degrade fragile landscapes in coastal areas. “This framing of the draft notification relegates fisherfolk, traders, coastal farmers or small-scale tourism operators as mere respondents and not partners in coastal development,” said Kanchi Kohli, legal researcher, Centre for Policy Research. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/centre-proposes-allowing-exploratory-drilling-for-oil-natural-gas-in-inter-tidal-areas-of-crz-101637800353636.html  (25 Nov. 2021)

Research By-catch-associated demographics of 2 threatened seahorses from south-east coast of India Abstract: -Seahorses comprise a charismatic, high-value and high conservation-concern group of fishes, whose demographics, including the dynamics of populations, are poorly studied. In this paper, we fill this key knowledge gap by determining the population dynamics of two threatened species, Hippocampus kuda and H. trimaculatus, from the south-east coast of India using samples encountered in trawl by-catch. Hippocampus kuda showed a comparatively greater asymptotic length, whereas H. trimaculatus had a greater growth coefficient and growth performance index. Demographic parameters of the two threatened seahorses indicated that even as ‘incidental catch’, these species are vulnerable to overfishing, and species-specific conservation guidelines need to be developed and their on-ground implementation and enforcement ensured. https://www.publish.csiro.au/MF/MF21127 

Telangana State bags fisheries award Telangana bagged the best award in freshwater fish production. Fish production, which was 2.27 lakh tonnes during 2014-15, increased to 3.37 lakh tonnes. The fish production has increased by about 1.50 lakh tonnes during the last seven years. The govt launched 150 retail mobile fish outlets with an aim to make fresh fish available to consumers. Telangana also became the first State to geo-tag nearly 30,000 water resources. https://telanganatoday.com/telangana-bags-fisheries-award  (21 Nov. 2021)

SAND MINING

Odisha Restore riverbanks impacted by illegal extraction of soil, sand  NGT has directed the State government to initiate measures for restoration of banks of Mahanadi and Brahmani river banks adversely impacted by illegal extraction of minor minerals, earth and soil in Odisha’s Kendrapara district.

Extraction of minor minerals and earth by the Rail Vikash Nigam Ltd. (RVNL) without the environmental clearance certificate for the construction of 81 km long Haridaspur-Paradip rail line had adversely affected the river banks. Four petitioners- Sasee Bhoosan Pattanayak, Ares Khatua, Alaya Samantaray and Pratap Chandra Mohanty- had sought NGT to intervene in the environmentally-damaging activity. https://www.thestatesman.com/cities/bhubaneshwar/ngt-orders-govt-restore-riverbanks-impacted-illegal-extraction-soil-sand-1503025856.html  (20 Nov. 2021)

Punjab Mining without EC: HC notice to Punjab, Centre  The Punjab and Haryana high court has sought response from Punjab government and the Centre on a plea alleging that a mining contract was awarded to a private person in Ropar without getting environmental clearance. The high court bench comprising justice MSR Rao and justice Jasjit Singh Bedi has sought a response by December 17. The plea demands that Centre directs Punjab government to initiate action against the department officials concerned for allowing mining through a contract awarded in 2019, even though no environmental clearance was given for the site in question. The plea further presses for an enquiry conducted by an Independent Agency in view of the state’s connivance with the private contractor. It also demands that the contract be declared illegal. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/chandigarh-news/mining-without-environmental-clearance-hc-notice-to-punjab-centre-on-plea-seeking-action-against-officials-101637874814301.html  (26 Nov. 2021)

Haryana यमुना नदी के गुमथला घाट पर एक बार फिर से एनजीटी व सिचाई विभाग के नियम टूटने लगे है। खनन एजेंसी ने यमुना नदी की प्राकृतिक धारा को मोड़कर खनन कार्य शुरू कर दिया है।

अभी तक किसी भी अधिकारी ने इस पर कोई कार्रवाई करने की पहल नहीं की है। सिचाई विभाग के अधिकारी तो आंखों पर पट्टी बांध कर बैठे हैं। क्योंकि ऐसा पहली बार नहीं हुआ है जब यमुना की धारा को मोड़ दिया गया हो। इससे पहले भी कई बार मामला सामने आ चुका है। परंतु सिचाई विभाग के अधिकारी कुछ नहीं करते। यदि मौके पर जाते भी हैं तो कार्रवाई करने की बजाय चेतावनी देकर लौट जाते हैं https://www.jagran.com/haryana/yamunanagar-mining-agency-diverted-the-flow-of-yamuna-river-irrigation-department-oblivious-22120970.html  (17 Oct. 2021)

Uttar Pradesh अवैध खनन का विरोध करने पर शांति भंग का नोटिस बालू ठेकेदारों की दबंगई और अवैध खनन के विरोध में विधानसभा के सामने आत्मदाह का प्रयास और पिछले हफ्ते महोबा में प्रधानमंत्री की जनसभा में विरोध प्रदर्शन करने वाली दो महिलाओं सहित चार लोगों से प्रशासन को शांतिभंग का खतरा प्रतीत हो रहा है। उन पर धारा 111 सीआरपीसी की कार्रवाई करते हुए नोटिस जारी किया है। एक वर्ष तक शांति व्यवस्था बनाए रखने की शर्त पर एक लाख रुपये का व्यक्तिगत बंध पत्र (बांड) और इतनी ही रकम की दो जमानतें दाखिल करने को कहा गया है। https://www.amarujala.com/uttar-pradesh/banda/notice-of-breach-of-peace-for-opposing-illegal-mining-banda-news-knp666613596  (29 Nov. 2021)

West Bengal 18 killed in road accident in Nadia At least 18 people were killed and 5 others injured in a road accident that took place in Phulbari area of Nadia district late on Saturday night (Nov. 27), police said. As per officials of the Hanskhali police station, people in a matador car were on its way to the Nabadeep crematorium to cremate a body from Bagda of North 24 Parganas. The matador was hit by a lorry loaded with stones which was parked on the side of the road and suddenly started at Phulbari area of Hanskhali police station area of Nadia. At least 18 people died on spot. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/kolkata-news/18-killed-in-road-accident-in-west-bengal-s-nadia-report-101638074808001.html  (28 Nov. 2021)

Jharkhand 4 charred to death as vehicles catch fire after head-on collision Four people were charred to death after two heavy vehicles they were travelling in caught fire following a head-on collision in Pakur district on Saturday (Nov. 27), police said. The incident took place near Kadwa village in Littipara police station area early in the morning, officer-in-charge Abhishek Rai said. The collision was so massive that both the vehicles caught fire under its impact, Rai said, adding that the deceased were suspected to have been drivers and helpers. Police suspect that the collision between the West Bengal-bound cement-laden truck and the stone chips-laden dumper going to Godda took place due to poor visibility because of dense fog in the morning. https://www.telegraphindia.com/jharkhand/jharkhand-four-charred-to-death-as-vehicles-catch-fire-after-head-on-collision/cid/1840840  (27 Nov. 2021)

A collision between two trucks on GT road near Barhi chowk, 40kms away from Hazaribagh, led to a fire accident where both the trucks, a car, a pickup van, 20-plastic drums and three pushcarts were gutted on Thursday (May 20) morning. Police officials said one truck was carrying coal and the other stone chips. After the collision, one of the truck’s fuel tanks cracked and the diesel leaked to nearby vehicles engulfing them in fire. The drivers of both the vehicles managed to jump out on time. https://www.telegraphindia.com/jharkhand/truck-collision-leads-to-major-fire/cid/1816189  (20 May 2021)

Jammu & Kashmir One dead as tipper plunges into deep gorge in Sumbal Gund In a tragic accident in the Sumbal area of central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district, a driver died on the spot. Reports say that a tipper bearing registration number JK02AF/5585 fell into a deep gorge at Sumbal Bala area of Gund tehsil, after the driver loss control over the vehicle and in the meantime, the tipper turned turtle, resulting in the on spot death of driver of the vehicle. https://thekashmiriyat.co.uk/one-dead-as-tipper-plunges-into-deep-gorge-in-sumbal-gund/  (28 Nov. 2021)

Rajasthan 11 burnt to death in bus-truck collision in Barmer Reports lack information if the truck was involved in transportation of minor minerals. 11 people were burnt to death and 22 others were injured in the fire triggered by a collision between a bus and a truck on Balotra (Barmer)-Jodhpur highway on Wednesday (Nov. 10), Rajasthan Police said. The accident took place under Pachpadra police station of Rajasthan’s Barmer district at around 11 am when a truck crashed into a bus coming from the opposite direction with at least 28 passengers from Jodhpur. Both the vehicles caught fire after the accident, killing 10 people on the spot, said Deepak Bhargav, Barmer’s superintendent of police (SP). https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/11-burnt-to-death-in-bus-truck-collision-in-rajasthan-s-barmer-22-injured-101636533319513.html  (10 Nov. 2021)

Uttarakhand House built using hemp fibre in Pauri  Experts said that the use of hempcrete would considerably reduce dependence on virgin construction materials like soil, sand etc. Avlokita Agrawal, associate professor, department of architecture at IIT Roorkee, said, “India is yet to arrange 60% of the building material that will be needed by 2050, which means there will be immense pressure on virgin minerals used in concrete construction. Materials like hempcrete will be of tremendous benefit in taking the load off these natural resources.” https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/in-a-first-in-country-house-built-using-hemp-fibre-in-ukhands-pauri/articleshow/87897260.cms  (25 Nov. 2021)

Report Sand & gravel: Rethinking aggregate consumption and distribution The way urbanization and transport infrastructure development have been operationalized in much of the global South over the last four decades has led to massive increases in the global extraction and consumption of mineral aggregates. Along with large scale ecological degradation at frontiers of sand extraction across the world, this growth is already leading to global and local sand scarcities.

On the other hand, the utilization of these increasing quantities of sand resources has been socially inequitable, with many uses resulting in exacerbating various forms of social inequities. As such there is an urgent need to rethink the social consumption of sand resources at various scales—globally, nationally, as well as locally. http://www.developmentresearch.eu/?p=1056&s=09  (13 Oct. 2021)

WETLANDS, LAKES, WATER BODIES

Tamil Nadu Ban on registering properties on waterbodies to be enforced To strictly enforce the existing ban on the registration of properties on waterbodies, waterways and water catchment areas, the Registration Department has warned Sub-Registrars of disciplinary action if they violate the norm.

The Madras High Court order in September this year arose out of a petition filed by Arappor Iyakkam, an anti-corruption movement that the tanks and their inflow-outflow channels were encroached upon and buildings constructed on them, in Chitlapakkam and Selaiyur areas. This was not only lowering the water table but also causing flooding, resulting in loss of life and property.

The latest order of the Registration Department will mean that there will be no more registration of any property built on any survey number, earmarked as waterbodies on revenue records, said a senior functionary of the Tamil Nadu Registration Department Officials’ Association. “Even if the unapproved buildings are regularised by the respective local bodies, the construction remains unlawful, and its value will be reduced to ‘zero’. There are a number of such houses, flats and other buildings constructed on waterbodies across the State…,” he said. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/ban-on-registering-properties-on-waterbodies-to-be-enforced/article37673590.ece  (25 Nov. 2021)

Rajasthan 70 crows found dead at Sambhar Lake There is concern that the large number of migratory birds that have arrived at the lake this year could get affected by the avian influenza. https://en.gaonconnection.com/bird-flu-outbreak-rajasthan-chicken-crows-poultry-farmers/  (26 Nov. 2021)

WATER OPTIONS

IWP Reviving traditional water harvesting structures A CSO-led holistic tank rehabilitation initiative launched in 2017 to restore the Chandela and Bundela tanks to their ancient glory.  https://www.indiawaterportal.org/articles/reviving-traditional-water-harvesting-structures  (24 Aug. 2021)

URBAN WATER

Darjeeling Poor access and mismanagement of the available water resources continue to plague Darjeeling. https://www.indiawaterportal.org/articles/will-darjeelings-thirst-be-quenched  (17 Nov. 2021)

WATER POLLUTION

Opinion Sanitation workers’ safety; welfare must be urgently addressed Aditya Bhol writes: As frontline workers during the pandemic, they faced great risks. The second phase of Swachh Bharat Mission must focus on their concerns

The demand for sanitation work, which had already been growing due to urbanisation, has witnessed a steep increase following the successful construction of toilets in the first phase of the Swachh Bharat Mission. The flagship programme has led to the construction of toilets with on-site sanitation systems such as septic tanks and pits in both urban, peri-urban and rural areas. There has been an emphasis on larger sanitation infrastructure such as sewerage networks, sewerage treatment plants and faecal sludge treatment plants through the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation.

However, with the focus largely on 500 cities out of the 4,041 statutory towns in India and because of inadequate sewerage network and treatment plants, the safe treatment and disposal of waste lags behind toilet construction. Much of the demand for desludging and other sanitation services is met through private vacuum truck operators who are known to flout the ban on manual scavenging and violate safety standards. The Manual Scavenging Survey, conducted by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, counted 66,692 scavengers till October 2020. However, given the extent of informality in the sector, it is challenging to arrive at an accurate estimate of the number of manual scavengers and sanitation workers.

The latest National Sample Survey data, 2019, shows that more than 65 per cent households in the country have toilets with septic tanks and pits. The corresponding estimated figures for villages and cities with less than 1 million population were nearly 73 and 68 per cent respectively. These figures underscore the need to augment the sanitation value chain, particularly in terms of mechanised cleaning and treatment of waste. The extension of the Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin and Urban) and Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation to their second phases, entailing the prioritisation of safe treatment and disposal of waste, along with building sanitary toilets, is, therefore, salient. Such efforts should be complemented with welfare measures for sanitation workers. https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/sanitation-workers-safety-welfare-addressed-7636392/  (23 Nov. 2021)

JJM/ RURAL WATER SUPPLY

बुंदेलखंड पानी की तरह बहा पैसा, लेकिन लोगों की प्यास नहीं बुझी  लोकसभा में दिए गए एक जवाब के मुताबिक, बुंदेलखंड पैकेज के तहत उत्तर प्रदेश को साल 2009 से 2019 के बीच तीन चरणों में 3107.87 करोड़ रुपये दिए गए. इस पैसे का इस्तेमाल बुंदेलखंड के सात ज़िलों में अलग-अलग विकास योजनाएं शुरू करने, किसानों की हालत सुधारने और पीने के पानी समस्या को दूर करने में होना था. बुंदेलखंड में पानी की समस्या को लेकर नीति आयोग ने द एनर्जी एंड रिसोर्सेस इंस्टिट्यूट के सहयोग से एक रिपोर्ट तैयार की. रिपोर्ट के मुताबिक, उत्तर प्रदेश को बुंदेलखंड स्पेशल पैकेज के तहत जितना पैसा दिया गया उसका 66% यानी 1445.74 करोड़ रुपये का इस्तेमाल पानी का संकट मिटाने के लिए किया गया लेकिन ज़मीनी हकीक़त नहीं बदली.  

सरकार ने जून 2020 में ‘हर घर जल’ योजना के तहत बुंदेलखंड के हर घर तक पाइपलाइन के ज़रिए पानी पहुंचाने का वादा किया है. इस योजना की समय सीमा जून 2022 तक रखी गई है. इसके तहत साल 2024 तक हर घर तक पाइपलाइन से पीने का पानी पहुंचाने की योजना है. जल जीवन मिशन की वेबसाइट पर दिए गए आंकड़ों के मुताबिक, 25 नवंबर 2021 तक देशभर के कुल 19,22,41,339 ग्रामीण घरों में से 8,55,08,916 यानी करीब 44.48% ग्रामीण घरों में पाइपलाइन का कनेक्शन पहुंच गया है. हालांकि बुंदेलखंड में घोषणा होने के 16 महीने बीतने के बाद भी यह योजना हकीकत में तब्दील नहीं हो पाई. कई जगहों पर रेज़रवॉयर बनाए जा रहे हैं, पाइपलाइन बिछ रही हैं लेकिन फिलहाल पीने के पानी का संकट दूर होता नज़र नहीं आता. https://www.bbc.com/hindi/india-59423661   (26 Nov. 2021)

After PM’s recent visit to Bundelkhand, A number of BJP leaders shared image of a dam as gift to Bundelkhand from PM. Alt News found that the image was of SRISAILAM dam on Krishna River on Andhra Pradesh-Telangana border, built over four decades ago! https://www.altnews.in/bjp-leaders-share-photo-of-a-dam-from-south-india-as-a-gift-to-bundelkhand/  (22 Nov. 2021)

WATER

CWC As per reservoir storage bulletin dated 25.11.2021, live storage available in these reservoirs is 136.744 BCM, which is 79% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. However, last year the live storage available in these reservoirs for the corresponding period was 141.863 BCM and the average of last 10 years live storage was 121.078 BCM. Thus, the live storage available in 133 reservoirs as per 25.11.2021 Bulletin is 96% of the live storage of corresponding period of last year and 113% of storage of average of last ten years. http://cwc.gov.in/sites/default/files/25112021-bulletin.pdf 

AGRICULTURE

Andhra Pradesh Anantapur experiment went horribly wrong How en masse shifting from traditional crops to groundnut has led to desertification in Anantapur district in Rayalseema. With groundnut, the trees were felled as the crop needed lots of sunshine. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/how-anantpurs-experiment-with-crop-change-went-horribly-wrong/articleshow/87712877.cms  (27 Nov. 2021)

Karnataka Unseasonal rains drowns rural economy The arid districts of South Interior Karnataka have faced flood deluge in Nov 2021, including following districts: Kolar (13.5% crop damaged), Tumkuru (25%), Ramanagara (11.6%), Chikkaballapur (14.7%), Bangalore Rural. Hassan (11.5%) is another majorly affected district. Even in these known drought stricken districts, the minor irrigation structures are so badly maintained that large number of them got damaged, increasing the disaster area and at the same time losing the storage and recharge of the water rarely available. For Example the Agrahara Ajaneya lake near Nallojanahalli has breached 5 times in last 10 years. The last time it was repaired, several crores were spent, but it again breached. Crops over 40% of the 6.88 lakh ha may have been wiped out. Observers say it was highest rainfall in 45 years.

– Areas with average rainfall of 1000 mm are expected to have two high intensity rainfall events (rainfall 51-100 mm in a day) in a year, and those above 1000 mm can have 2-6 such events. https://www.deccanherald.com/specials/insight/unseasonal-rains-drown-karnatakas-rural-economy-1055276.html  (27 Nov. 2021)

Report Extreme weather events and agriculture Recent extreme weather events are destroying standing crops as well as causing other impacts such as climate-triggered pestilence. Such events are more likely to occur in future, and this can create problems for rain-fed agriculture because we won’t get the right amount of rain at the right time, say climate scientists. Farmers say they need more reliable forecasts as well as rescue, relief and rehabilitation measures – including crop insurance – to aid climate-resilient farming. https://india.mongabay.com/2021/11/extreme-weather-events-and-agriculture-what-are-the-impacts-and-whats-in-store/  (22 Nov. 2021)

Uttarakhand क्या सचमुच पहाड़ की महिलाओं के सिर का बोझ खत्म कर पाएगी घसियारी योजना उत्तरकाशी में पर्यावरणविद् सुरेश भाई कहते हैं “ये योजना ज़मीनी सोच नहीं दर्शाती। रुड़की में चारा पैदा करो और हर्षिल पहुंचाओ। जब आपके गांव के नज़दीक ही हरी मुलायम घास उपलब्ध है। तो कोई चारा क्यों खरीदेगा। आपको उसी घास को घर तक पहुंचाने का इंतज़ाम करना है। महिलाओं के सिर और पीठ का बोध कम करने वाली तकनीक पर कार्य करना चाहिए। या फिर आप महिलाओं को एक-एख घोड़ा ही दे देते, जिसे लेकर वो रोज़ जंगल जाती। वह कहते हैं कि गांव में पशुपालन तेजी से खत्म हो रहा है। रोजाना 200-300 रुपये का चारा खरीदना ग्रामीणों के लिए संभव नहीं है”। https://www.downtoearth.org.in/hindistory/development/rural-development/will-the-ghasiyari-yojna-will-work-in-uttarakhand-79973   (30 Oct. 2021)

NORTH EAST MONSOON 2021

Puducherry Exceeds all time heavy rainfall record of November Puducherry has surpassed all time heavy rainfall record for the month of November.  The standing record of  808mm rainfall, established in November 2008 has been overtaken this year by registering 834mm of rainfall, so far in this month. Very close to the earlier record of 2008, was also 2015, when the local observatory measured 807.6mm. Normal rainfall for the month of November stands at 402.8mm. Therefore, the coastal union territory has already clocked more than double the monthly rainfall.

There have been four spells of heavy rainfall in this month. Month had begun on a rainy note with 155mm rainfall in the 1st three days. Another 3 days spell between 08th and 10thNovember poured 258 mm of rainfall. To top the list, heaviest rainfall of 194mm in 24hr was recorded on 18thNovember. Another downpour followed on 21stNov, when the city recorded deluge of 97mm. Last 4 days have generally remained quiet with less than double digit rainfall. https://www.skymetweather.com/content/weather-news-and-analysis/puducherry-exceeds-all-time-heavy-rainfall-record-of-november-more-heavy-rains-likely/  (25 Nov. 2021)

Kerala Highest annual rainfall in 2021 since 1961. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/kerala-surpasses-2018-tally-records-heaviest-rainfall-in-6-decades-101637868091890.html  (26 Nov. 2021)

Karnataka Yellow rain reported in Udupi; experts yet to ascertain cause Residents at a few places in Beejadi near Koteshwara in Kundapur have said that they saw light yellow rain drops on their clothes and other articles on Wednesday (Nov. 17). In 2017, yellow rain was witnessed in Amasebail in Kundapur Taluk. Kerala too had witnessed yellow rain a few years ago. 

Professor Arun M Isloor, National Institute of Technology Karnataka (NITK) in Surathkal listed various reasons for why a place could receive “yellow rain”. It may occur because of fine dust particles that had accumulated in the air because of heavy construction work. It could also be due to the pollen grains of a particular plant. This could happen if a particular species of plant runs into thousands of acres. Fungus concentration could also be one of the reasons, he said.

Another possibility could be chemical industries. When coal with high sulphur content burns, it emits sulphur dioxide and when this meets the moisture in the air it becomes sulphur trioxide that is converted into sulfuric acid. This is also known as acid rain. This can be confirmed only after lab analysis, he said. “As there is no report from the public about skin burning complaints, I don’t think its acid rain,” he added. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mangaluru/yellow-rain-reported-in-udupi-experts-yet-to-ascertain-cause/articleshow/87787636.cms  (19 Nov. 2021)

Report Extreme sea-level events are on rise along Indian Ocean A very severe cyclone, Yaas, which crossed the northern Odisha coast on May 26 recorded extremely high sea levels compared to extremely severe cyclonic storm Tauktae which crossed the Gujarat coast on May 17 this year. This is mainly because of the tide, topography and the mean sea level which determine the possibility of extreme sea-level events said Swapna Panickal, a climate scientist at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology and co-author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report “The Physical Science Basis” released in August.

These events are also increasing over the Mumbai coast and show sea level data from 1870 onwards, Panickal said during her presentation at the ongoing International Symposium on Tropical Meteorology (INTROMET-2021) on Changing Climate: Consequences and Challenges (November 23 to 26), while cautioning that the coastal regions in India need to be better prepared for sea-level rise related concerns. Between 1870 and 2000, there was a 1.8 mm per year increase in global mean sea level which nearly doubled to 3.3 mm per year during the 1993 to 2017 period. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/india-should-be-prepared-for-extreme-sea-level-events-floods-and-droughts-meteorologists-101637678636193.html  (23 Nov. 2021)

Why is India facing bouts of extreme weather?  Even as the southwest monsoon began to retreat from the subcontinent, Kerala and Uttarakhand received record rainfall in October. Over the last few years, there have been variations in the pattern and intensity of rainfall in both these States and others. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/why-is-india-facing-bouts-of-extreme-weather/article37232005.ece  (29 Oct. 2021)

FLOOD 2021

Kerala Tree stump forces KSEB to close Cheruthoni shutter According to KSEB officials, the sudden closing of the shutter was to avoid a major disaster to the shutter operation of the reservoir which is at almost full storage. At around 9:30pm on Saturday (Nov. 20), police personnel noticed a dried-up log in water moving towards the shutter, which was opened up to 80cm, and alerted KSEB dam safety officials. “The only option was to immediately close the dam shutter to avoid the log getting stuck in the shutter. We then immediately sought permission from higher officials and the district collector and immediately closed the shutter at around 10pm,” said a KSEB dam safety official.

“It was a big teak tree with huge roots. Had it got stuck in the dam shutter, we would have to reduce the water level till 2,373ft and it would be a huge loss to KSEB and the state. But the timely intervention helped avoid the loss. Earlier, in Peringalkuthu reservoir, when trees blocked the shutter the reservoir had to be dried to remove them. But in Idukki reservoir, it is not possible. After closing the shutter, the tree was cleared on Sunday with the help of fire and rescue force personnel. Every year, KSEB officials remove five to six trees from the reservoir area. But when the shutter is open, presence of large trees poses great risk,” he added.

According to officials, the rule curve was changed in Idukki reservoir on Saturday (Nov. 20) night onwards and they decided not to open the shutters of the dam. Presently, the water level in the reservoir is at blue-alert level, said the official. The water level on Sunday at 7pm was 2,400.12ft. As per the rule curve fixed by CWC, the orange-alert level is 2,401ft, red-alert level is 2,402ft and upper-rule level is 2,403ft. Meanwhile, the water level in the Mullaperiyar dam was at 141.05ft at 4pm on Sunday (Nov 22). Tamil Nadu closed all the spillway shutters, except V3 which was reduced to 10cm at 9.30am. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kochi/tree-stump-forces-kseb-to-close-cheruthoni-shutter/articleshow/87836858.cms  (22 Nov. 2021)

Andhra Pradesh High alert in Nellore, River Penna in full spate As many as 30 villages spread over 12 mandals in SPSR Nellore district were completely inundated in floodwaters from river Penna, which is in full spate following heavy rains in the upper stream. Around 14,494 people from across the district were shifted to 61 relief camps, officials said.

According to the district administration, of the total 1,748 tanks in the district, around 1,078 are filled to the brim. Around 9,522 hectares of crops were submerged. Of them, 5,685 hectares of paddy crops have been submerged for the last two days. Huge inflows into the Somasila project resulted in damages to roads connecting hundreds of villages along the river Penna from other parts. According to officials, the Somasila project has been receiving 3.50 lakh cusecs of water and around 3.32 lakh cusecs are being released downstream by lifting 12 crest gates. The current storage of water in the reservoir is 69.219 tmc ft as against the full capacity of 77.988 tmc ft. https://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/in-other-news/211121/river-penna-in-full-spate.html  (21 Nov. 2021)

This describes how the tragedy struck the Madanapalle village in Kadappa district of Andhra Pradesh on Nov 19, 2021. https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/midnight-tragedy-33-killed-ap-dam-breach-they-thought-flood-won-t-reach-them-158024  (25 Nov. 2021)

This describes the flood situation in Tirupati and surrounding Anandpur/ Chittoor district areas during floods there last week, including the imminent breach of Rayala Cheruvu. https://www.ndtv.com/andhra-pradesh-news/gods-must-be-angry-to-climate-change-tirupati-looks-back-at-flood-fury-2625564  (26 Nov. 2021)

30 passengers travelling in RTC buses washed away, 12 dead At least 12 people lost their lives and 18 others went missing after three buses of Andhra Pradesh Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) were stuck in floods triggered by heavy rains in Kadapa district on Friday, November 19. The buses were stranded as the Cheyyeru stream overflowed, after receiving huge inflows from the Annamayya irrigation project where a bund was breached, causing flash floods and inundating many villages. In another incident, 10 people stranded in the Chitravathi river at Veldurthi village in Chennekothapalli mandal of Anantapur district were airlifted. https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/andhra-flash-floods-30-passengers-travelling-rtc-buses-washed-away-12-dead-157835  (19 Nov. 2021)

Tamil Nadu 103 water bodies in Salem filled to the brim Many lakes and ponds which had remained dry for years have received water following heavy rains in this month. Mettur dam which reached its full capacity of 120 ft helps irrigate farmlands through canals. In total, 103 waterbodies in the district attained their full capacity, 42 reached 75 per cent of capacity, 23 had 50 per cent, and 136 had less than 50 per cent. A total of 126 waterbodies still remained dry. A senior PWD official said most of the waterbodies that remained dry were either ponds or tanks as water inflow was disrupted by encroachments. “However, lakes which are the main source of water for farming in the district have sufficient water and all lakes are expected to brim in the coming days if the rains continue,” he said. https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/tamil-nadu/2021/nov/22/post-rains-103-waterbodies-in-tamil-nadussalem-filled-to-the-brim-2386455.html  (22 Nov. 2021)

After setting 62.02 m as new HFL at 10:00 hrs on 26.11.2021 which is 0.22 m higher than previous HFL of 61.8 m; river Marudaiyar part of Cauvery basin at Varanavasi level forecasting in Ariyalur district has declined below danger level. The flood level remained above old HFL for 6 hrs and the date of of previous HFL is not mentioned by CWC.

River Marudaiyar in Cauvery Basin at Varanavasi level monitoring site has breached previous HFL 61.08 by 0.22 m rise thus setting new HFL 62.02 m at 10:00 hrs on 26.11.2021. The flood level is still above old HFL. The date of old HFL is not mentioned by CWC.

River Periyaodai (part of East flowing rivers between Pennar and Kanyakumari) at Venganur level monitoring site in Cuddalore district has breached previous HFL 78.26 m attained on 04.12.2020. New HFL 78.79 m attained at 03:00 hrs on 26.11.2021 is 0.53 higher than the old HFL. Flood water remained above old HFL for 08 hrs.

River Ayyar in Cauvery basin at Thandalaiputhur level forecasting site in Tiruchirapalli district has breached previous HFL 98.5 m at 08:00 hrs on 26.11.2021. New HFL is 98.735 m attained at 10:00 hrs on 26.11.2021 which is 0.235 m higher than old HFL. Flood level remained above old HFL for 07 hrs. The date of previous HFL is not mentioned by CWC. Presently river flowing close to danger level.

After 10 days Kallar river (part of East flowing rivers between Pennar and Kanyakumari) at Poyyapakkam level monitoring site in Ranipet district has again breached old HFL 101.91 m attained on 19.11.2021 and set 102.38 m as new HFL at 04:00 hrs on 29.11.2021. The river is still flowing above old HFL. Before this, the river had on 19.11.2021 crossed 100.94 m HFL attained on 10.12.2020.

Karnataka All major reservoirs are up to brim The minor irrigation department said these breaches are isolated incidents and have only occurred in lakes which have never been filled for the past 20 years. “At present, we have had breaches in four major tanks in the state,” an official said. “The biggest was in Chikkaballapur in October. The other big breach was in Sidlaghatta. Wherever there is a threat of water overflowing, the department fortifies the banks with sandbags.” https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/karnataka-rains-all-major-reservoirs-are-up-to-the-brim/articleshow/87838805.cms    (22 Nov. 2021)

Due to WRONG DATA ENTRY by CWC, Doni river in Krishna basin at Talikot level monitoring site in Bijapur district is shown as crossing previous HFL.

Report Freely-available geospatial dataset to make flood research easier With the help of data from the India Meteorological Department from 1985 to 2016, a team of experts created India’s first flood inventory freely available in modern geospatial formats. Data for the flood inventory is derived 89 percent from India Meteorological Department’s Disastrous Weather Events, and the remainder from Emergency Events Database (EM-DAT) and Dartmouth Flood Observatory (DFO).

– The digital inventory will facilitate future data collection, scientific research on floods, disaster risk reduction, loss and damage estimations, as well as the development of financial products to reduce disaster risks. The inventory could also be useful to stakeholders building financial products and mechanisms, such as crop insurances and disaster risk insurances. https://india.mongabay.com/2021/11/freely-available-geospatial-dataset-to-make-flood-research-easier/  (16 Nov. 2021)

Uttarakhand गौरतलब है 28 जुलाई को मंडल-अनसूया मंदिर पैदल मार्ग बारिश के चलते अंधेरा गदेरा नामक तोक में गदेरे के बहाव में बह गया था। जिसके बाद से यहां पैदल मार्ग क्षतिग्रस्त पड़ा हुआ है। https://www.zerogroundnews.com/uttarakhand-news/arriving-at-anasuya-devi-fair-this-year-will-be-no-less-than-a-challenge-for-the-devotees/    (23 Nov. 2021)

URBAN FLOODS

Bengaluru Rivers from Nandi Hills range find their course again in arid lands It had been years since the rivers — Arkavathi, Chitravathi, Papagni, Uttara Pinakini, Dakshina Pinakini and Palar — have been in spate like this, said locals and environmentalists. Barring Arkavathi, the other rivers are flowing after many years. “I have never seen such a situation in at least 40 years,” said Mr. Reddy. “Kolar and Chickballapur districts are usually drought prone and farmers here practise rain-fed agriculture. I have only heard my grandfather recount stories of the six rivers and read about them in books,” he said.

According to Chowdappa, an environmentalist, the excess rains in the Nandi Hills range had also filled up almost all the 5,000-odd tanks and lakes in the two districts. Most of the large tanks — including Bethamangala, Kandavara, Amani Kere, Ramasamudra and Kolaramma tanks — are overflowing, inundating bridges and flooding agricultural fields. “The people, who initially celebrated the rains that filled up the dry tanks and water flowing in the rivers, have begun to despair at the damages that they have caused in the districts,” said Mr. Reddy.

Mr. Reddy, too, said it had been decades since the rivers flowed. Most parts of the catchment areas and canals have been encroached. “Now that they are in spate, the water is finding its old pathways, which have been encroached by fields and residential areas. This has naturally led to widespread crop damage and flooding — scenes we have not seen in our districts in this generation at least,” he said.

Irrigation expert Prof. N. Narasimhappa said because the lakes have not been desilted and the river basins not preserved, the districts will not be able to get the full benefit of these rains as the water retention capacity has reduced by a large measure. “However, the groundwater table in the two districts will be recharged. Though farmers have suffered widespread crop damage this season, they will reap benefits over the next three to four years. All the borewells in the two districts will be recharged and farmers need not worry about water for at least a couple of years,” he said. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/rivers-from-nandi-hills-range-find-their-course-again-in-arid-lands/article37617692.ece  (22 Nov. 2021)

Rather Drab, and positive sounding TOI report about this announcement that Deccan Herald reports with quotes that say it is deeply troubling. TOI Reports: In an attempt to give Bengalureans a semblance of assurance that the floods which ravaged the Silicon valley of India will not repeat itself next year, chief minister Basavaraj Bommai on Wednesday announced a Rs 900 crore special package to complete as much as 87km long primary and secondary storm water drains in north Bengaluru.

– “The BBMP officials have explained to me that there is a need of constructing 51km long primary SWD and another 36 km of secondary SWD in north Bengaluru, in specific the 110 villages which were added to the Palike jurisdiction to lower the chances of flooding of low lying areas. For this purpose, I have asked the BBMP chief commissioner to prepare the DPR for the purpose and send it to the government. The preliminary estimates suggest it may cost Rs 900 crore in total, which I will release immediately once the DPR is ready,” said Bommai. “The works have to be completed before the next rains and have also told the BBMP officials to desilt all SWDs, including the tertiary drains, immediately to ensure the free flow of water,” said the CM. BBMP has also been directed by the CM to clear the 714 illegal constructions on SWDs in the city at the earliest.

– “While I have told the BBMP to give the poor adequate time to relocate, with notices being served in advance, those real estate developers who have constructed structures need to be demolished immediately,” he said. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/rs-900-crore-package-for-bengaluru-swd-says-cm-basavaraj-bommai/articleshow/87889695.cms  (24 Nov. 2021)

Deccan Herald: BBMP’s flood control solution: Build cement walls around 88.53 km of drains. https://www.deccanherald.com/city/top-bengaluru-stories/bbmp-s-flood-control-solution-build-cement-walls-around-8853-km-of-drains-1054267.html  (25 Nov. 2021)

Manyata Tech Park turned into network of streams  “This is the second time that something like this has happened, but it’s the first time the water level is not reducing after we tried draining it out,” said a cleaning staffer who was the first to enter the premises at 6.30am. Another security staffer on night duty said: “Around 3.30am, water level on the road started to rise. Initially, the water was stagnant just like on terraces of houses, but later it just kept rising.”

Ram Prasad, founder of Friends of Lakes, said, “The park is built on the stormwater drain of Hebbal valley, and this is bound to happen. A planned outlet is needed, and there is no provision for the same.” “About a few years ago, BBMP had complained about Manyata Tech Park encroaching upon the open drain, diverting its natural flow, and building an illegal bridge over it. We should not be blamed, considering it’s an encroachment on the stormwater drain. This will happen every time it rains heavily,” a senior BBMP official said. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/rain-impact-manyata-tech-park-turns-into-network-of-streams/articleshow/87858212.cms  (23 Nov. 2021)

The intense rainfall over large parts of South India has left large parts of India’s IT capital in deep trouble, flooded with water that is receding slowly. We look at the problem of encroachments in Bengaluru and the poorly desilted drains. If it rains as heavily as it did, the infrastructure to drain away water just collapses. https://www.ndtv.com/video/news/left-right-centre/bengaluru-rainfall-bengaluru-it-hub-colonies-flooded-climate-change-or-man-made-disaster-610408?rdr=1  (23 Nov. 2021)

The intense rainfall over large parts of South India has left large parts of India’s IT capital in deep trouble, flooded with water that is receding slowly. We look at the problem of encroachments in Bengaluru and the poorly desilted drains. If it rains as heavily as it did, the infrastructure to drain away water just collapses. https://www.ndtv.com/video/news/left-right-centre/bengaluru-rainfall-bengaluru-it-hub-colonies-flooded-climate-change-or-man-made-disaster-610408  (23 Nov. 2021)

All major dams are nearing full capacity while 54 localities in the city are waterlogged throwing normal life out of gear as heavy rains continue to batter Bengaluru. Several apartments were inundated after Singapura Lake situated in 66 acres breached in the morning. Yelahanka locality in Bengaluru is the worst affected with 45 places being waterlogged. The lakes in various cities across Karnataka which have not been filled since decades are full and most of them breached. Authorities have initiated safety measures. https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/bengaluru-s-manyata-tech-park-flooded-employees-sent-back-home-157911  (22 Nov. 2021)

Half a dozen lakes and tanks in the city’s north zone — including Singapura lake, Amanikere lake, Allalasandra, and Yelahanka tank — overflowed, turning nearby roads into rivulets, reports said. “Water has gushed into low-lying areas near lakes and tanks. We are checking documents to see if these buildings were constructed in lake buffer zones, but for now the priority is to supply essentials and relocate those affected,” said Gupta. https://theprint.in/india/boats-are-out-in-bengaluru-to-rescue-people-after-unprecedented-rains-and-flooding/770103/  (22 Nov. 2021)

An inundated library, a cubicle filled with muddy flood water and a few people moving about in ankle-deep water trying to salvage what seem like record materials on shelves partially submerged in water were seen in visuals from a premier research institute in Bengaluru. The institute – Jawaharlal Nehru Centre For Advanced Scientific Research – got flooded on Monday morning due to incessant rain in parts of Karnataka.

Water also entered the institute’s research room. Several research materials and reports seem to have been damaged due to this flooding. The assessment process will start once the water is completely drained out. https://www.ndtv.com/bangalore-news/water-enters-bengaluru-high-security-research-centre-after-rain-2620923  (23 Nov. 2021)

A 55-member wedding party consisting of women, children and elderly returning home lived a nightmare as the BMTC bus they travelled in was caught in the heavy rains and could not move an inch for the whole of Sunday (Nov. 21) night. Passengers were on their way back from Devanahalli to Somashettyhalli near Chikkabanavara. Their bus was stranded in Yelahanka since the road was under four feet of water. https://www.deccanherald.com/city/top-bengaluru-stories/wedding-party-spends-night-in-bus-stuck-on-flooded-road-in-bengaluru-1053606.html  (23 Nov. 2021)

AAP organized the march in Mahadevpura in North Bangalore asking for the immediate removal of the encroachments on the storm water drains and also sought MLA Aravind Limabavali’s resignation, who, they alleged, has turned a blind eye to the issue. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/bangalore/bengaluru-aap-locals-protest-encroachments-storm-water-drains-7635080/  (22 Nov. 2021)

Chennai Curious case of missing drain A storm water drain connecting Raja Mannar Salai in KK Nagar to the MGR canal in Chennai has gone missing, government documents have revealed. A visit by TOI showed the area of the 120m long drain now has residential plots and a cement lane. On Friday, the road, which is a link to Valasavaravakkam, Vadapalani, Nesapakkam and surrounding areas, was under more than two feet of water. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/kk-nagar-curious-case-of-missing-storm-water-drain/articleshow/87942314.cms  (27 Nov. 2021)

Chennai experienced a record rainfall of 21 cm between November 6 and 7, flooding most of the city’s roads and bylanes. As of today, Chennai has only 2,071 km of stormwater drain network and the crucial factor that links the drain network was largely either absent or broken. Despite receiving the funds to the tune of more than Rs 5,000 crores spanning across the past few years, projects to build drains and links have not been completed.

– In addition, Chennai has flat terrain dotted with wetlands where excess water can drain into. However, according to a study, only 15 percent of the city’s wetlands are left and have been occupied as residential, commercial, and industrial projects. https://www.indiawaterportal.org/articles/first-digital-flood-inventory-ifi-geospatial-format-created-india  (22 Nov. 2021)

Resident Tries To Make Sense Of Deluge Chennai residents thought that hell and high water would not revisit them, but it happened again this November. No lessons learnt from 2015? https://www.outlookindia.com/magazine/story/india-news-diary-under-water-a-chennai-resident-tries-to-make-sense-of-the-deluge/305206 

The coastal city of Thoothukudi in southern Tamil Nadu has been flooded after it received 26 cm of rainfall in eight hours. The district has received 60% more showers this season – 51cm against the usual 32cm. Water has also entered houses in the city’s Krishnarajapuram neighbourhood.

The famous Thiruchendur temple has been inundated as 30 cm of torrential rain battered the temple town. Trains have been cancelled after tracks were completely submerged in several areas. https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/watch-knee-deep-water-on-roads-in-homes-as-rain-batters-tamil-nadus-thoothukudi-city-2626124  (26 Nov. 2021)

DROUGHT

Research What are flash droughts, will it affect India?  Flash droughts have been defined in two ways, either as a short-lived yet severe event where soil moisture completely depletes or a multi-week period of rapid intensification toward drought. It is sometimes also defined as a rapidly developing drought event. The team noted that flash drought hotspots exist over Brazil, the Sahel, the Great Rift Valley with local hotspots over the central United States, southwestern Russia, and northeastern China.

“What makes flash drought unique from conventional drought development is a lack of rainfall coupled with increased evapotranspiration. Evapotranspiration is the combination of evaporation from the land surface and transpiration from vegetation. Both of these processes act to transfer water from the land surface to the atmosphere,” explains Jordan I. Christian, Postdoctoral Research Associate at the School of Meteorology, University of Oklahoma, in an email to indianexpress.com. He is the corresponding author of the paper. “These processes are critical in flash drought development, as enhanced evapotranspiration with a lack of rainfall can quickly deplete soil moisture and lead to devastating impacts on agriculture and ecosystems,” notes Dr. Christian. https://indianexpress.com/article/technology/science/flash-droughts-affect-india-7639227/  (24 Nov. 2021)  https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-03009-0  (03 Nov. 2021) https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-021-26692-z 

DISASTERS

Webinar Disaster resilient spatial planning: Perspectives on local and regional governance and impact Over the past few years, we have witnessed a series of devastating climate disasters in various parts of the world that led to wide-scale destruction and loss of livelihoods. It is indisputable that changes in the global climate have amplified the risks of climate hazards and extreme weather disasters. These calamities have not only made us revisit our practices and work towards sustainable development but have also raised questions on our current disaster resilience plans. https://counterview.org/2021/11/23/disaster-resilient-spatial-planning-perspectives-on-local-and-regional-governance-and-impact/  (23 Nov. 2021)

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

LANDSLIDES

Maharashtra Tracking 100 landslides Over a 100 landslides took place in the 14-km stretch between Bhivghar and Pimpalwadi in Raigad district. Locals are waiting for relief measures to reach them.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wJON63ScMk  (15 Nov. 2021)

Himachal Pradesh Landslide near Kandaghat on the Solan-Shimla section of National Highway-5 caused temporary halting of traffic. Staff of private company engaged in its four-laning rushed to the site to clear the debris and restore vehicular traffic within half-an-hour. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/landslide-blocks-solan-shimla-section-of-nh-5-for-half-an-hour-342318  (24 Nov. 2021)

Uttarakhand पिथौरागढ़ जिले के दारमा घाटी के दर गांव के करीब हो रहे भूस्खलन से 35 मकान खतरे की जद में आ गए हैं। पानी का रिसाव भूमिगत हो जाने से भूस्खलन की समस्या खड़ी हुई है। प्रशासनिक अधिकारियों के साथ गांव पहुंची भू-वैज्ञानिकों की टीम ने खतरे में आए परिवारों को विस्थापित किए जाने की आवश्यकता बताई है। भूस्खलन से चीन सीमा को जोडऩे के लिए बनाई गई सड़क भी खतरे की जद में है। https://www.jagran.com/uttarakhand/nainital-houses-in-danger-due-to-landslide-in-darma-valley-also-threat-to-china-connecting-road-22238373.html   (25 Nov. 2021)

ENERGY OPTIONS

MNRE Solar is now the top renewable energy source in India, with 46.8 GW of installed capacity. Solar energy has overtaken large hydro, which had an installed capacity of 46.51 GW as of October 31, 2021, according to data from Mercom’s India Solar Project Tracker, Central Electricity Authority (CEA), and Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). https://mercomindia.com/solar-top-renewable-source-surpasses-hydro/  (25 Nov. 2021)

तय लक्ष्य नहीं हासिल कर सकी सोलर स्ट्रीट लाइट्स के लिए अटल ज्योति योजना  देश के ग्रामीण और अर्ध शहरी क्षेत्रों में बिजली व्यवस्था बेहतर बनाने के लिए नवीन और नवीकरणीय ऊर्जा मंत्रालय ने ऑफ ग्रिड सौर योजना के तहत वर्ष सितंबर-2016 से मार्च 2018 तक अटल ज्योति योजना (अजय) लागू किया। इसके तहत उत्तर प्रदेश, असम, बिहार, झारखंड और उड़ीसा के 96 लोकसभा क्षेत्रों में 7 वाट के सोलर स्ट्रीट लाइट्स लगाए गए। योजना खत्म होने की तारीख 31.3.2018 तक संसद सदस्य स्थानीय क्षेत्र विकास फंड (एमपीएलएडी फंड) से 1.45 लाख एसएसएल के लिए फंड स्वीकृत हुआ।

अजय योजना के सकारात्मक असर को देखते हुए 18 दिसंबर वर्ष 2018 को इसका दूसरा चरण लॉन्च किया गया। जिसका समय दो वित्त वर्ष 2018-19 और 2019-20 के लिए था। इस योजना के तहत देशभर में 12 वाट की क्षमता के 3,04,500 सोलर स्ट्रीट लाइट्स लगाना तय किया गया था। इस चरण में फेज़-1 के 5 राज्यों के साथ पर्वतीय राज्य उत्तराखंड, जम्मू-कश्मीर, हिमाचल प्रदेश, सिक्किम और अंडमान निकोबार द्वीप समूह और लक्षद्वीप भी शामिल किए गए।

इन राज्यों के 48 ज़िलों को कवर करने वाले लोकसभा क्षेत्रों को इस योजना में चुना गया। इसमें 75% लागत मंत्रालय को वहन करना था और 25 प्रतिशत संसद सदस्य स्थानीय क्षेत्र विकास फंड (Member of Parliament local area development fund) को वहन करना था। योजना के तहत 2018-19 में 2 लाख और 2019-20 में 1,04,500 एसएसएल लगाए जाने थे। योजना तय समय पर लक्ष्य हासिल नहीं कर सकी और इसका समय 31 मार्च 2021 तक के लिए बढ़ाया गया।

लेकिन वर्ष 2020 में कोरोना संक्रमण के बाद 23 अप्रैल 2020 को ये योजना बंद कर दी गई। वर्ष 2022 तक इसे संचालित न किये जाने का फ़ैसला लिया गया। सोलर स्ट्रीट लगाने का ज़िम्मा संभाल रही एनर्जी एफिशिएंट सर्विसेस लिमिटेड (ईईएसएल) की वेबसाइट के मुताबिक दोनों चरणों में देशभर में कुल 1.97 लाख सौर एलईडी स्ट्रीट लाइट्स लगाई गई हैं। जो कि तय लक्ष्य से बेहद कम है।

सौर ऊर्जा के मामले में उत्तराखंड 13 हिमालयी राज्यों की सूची में अव्वल है। राज्य में 551.64 मेगा वाट सोलर पावर उत्पादन हो रहा है। जबकि हिमाचल प्रदेश में 61.26 मेगा वाट। हिमाचल प्रदेश की कुल ऊर्जा उत्पादन क्षमता (1020.77 मेगा वाट, 31.09.2021 तक) है। जबकि उत्तराखंड 905.40 मेगावाट के साथ दूसरे स्थान पर आता है। केंद्र सरकार का लक्ष्य है कि वर्ष और 2030 तक 500 गीगावाट नवीकरणीय बिजली क्षमता हासिल की जा सके। दुर्गम भौगोलिक परिस्थितयों और प्राकृतिक आपदा से जूझते उत्तराखंड के ग्रामीण क्षेत्रों में सौर ऊर्जा बिजली व्यवस्था का एक भरोसेमंद ज़रिया साबित हो सकता है। ग्रामीण भविष्य में सोलर के ज़रिये आजीविका भी अर्जित कर सकते हैं। https://www.downtoearth.org.in/hindistory/energy/solar-energy/be-it-darkness-or-disaster-solar-energy-gives-hope-of-light-in-the-mountain-80300  (19 Nov. 2021)

ENVIRONMENT GOVERNANCE

EIA Draft MoEF tells Delhi HC that it has translated the EIA notification into 22 languages. https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/translated-draft-eia-in-22-vernacular-languages-centre-tells-delhi-high-court-186389  (26 Nov. 2021)

Odisha Protests against a mining lease to Hindalco in Koraput  Despite public resistance, the Koraput district administration in Odisha organised a public hearing on Monday (November 22) on environmental issues regarding the mining lease granted to Hindalco Industries Ltd. The hearing was held amid strict police force deployment, and after over 30 protesting activists and villages were taken into preventive custody. The event was held two months after a public hearing on the same was cancelled due to protests. The hearing was organised by the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB), on a report it submitted to the MoEF on mining bauxite in the Maliparbat hill. Villagers and environmentalists have called it a gross violation of their “fundamental rights”, and will challenge the SPCB report. https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/odisha-koraput-district-hindalco-mining-lease-protests-explained-7636774/  (23 Nov. 2021)

Chhattisgarh A minefield for environmental disaster, warns a WII report on Hasdeo-Arand coalfield The environmentally sensitive Chhattisgarh has been subject to incessant mining. A recently released report by Wildlife Institute of India substantiates the ‘No Go’ status for Hasdeo Arand Coal mines and has recommended to stop further mining in the area considering the irreplaceable, rich biodiversity, and socio cultural values.  https://en.gaonconnection.com/chhattisgarh-coal-hasdeo-arand-coal-mining-wildlife-institute-of-india-biodiversity-ministry-of-forest-climate-change/  (23 Nov. 2021)

CLIMATE CHANGE

PM’s climate change council has not met in almost 7 yrs The PM’s Climate Change council was re-constituted after Narendra Modi became PM in 2014. Modi held the first meeting of the council on January 19, 2015. The council has not met ever since, according to information publicly available. https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/climate-change/pm-s-climate-change-council-has-not-met-in-almost-7-years-80369  (25 Nov. 2021)

SOUTH ASIA

Countries plan SOS system for hydrological management of GBM basin A two-day meet on the Ganga-Brahmaputra-Meghna (GBM) river basins — jointly organised by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) and India Meteorological Department (IMD) — began in New Delhi on Monday. Hydrological experts from the Central Water Commission (CWC) and scientists from Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan and China are attending the meet.

Last October, the South Asian Flash Flood Warning system was launched by India. This system has been sending warnings six hours ahead of likely flash flooding. The IMD’s hydrometeorological division sends alerts and advisories for India, Nepal, Sri lanka, Bhutan and Bangladesh.

During the two-day meet, the international experts will prepare a concept plan for the proposed Hydromet SOS. “Different countries will work together and develop a system where information on the status of hydrological processes and outlook on extended range scale will be provided,” said Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, director general, IMD. https://indianexpress.com/article/india/south-asian-countries-sos-system-hydrological-mangement-ganga-brahmaputra-meghna-basin-7636361/  (22 Nov. 2021)

Nepal China’s project affected amid clashes between workers Reported between Nepalese and Chinese workers in the past, the Chinese projects in Nepal have been affected. In a recent case on NOv 20, 2021, there was a clash at Trishuli-1 HEP in Rasua district of Nepal.  https://www.aninews.in/news/world/asia/chinas-project-in-nepal-affected-amid-clashes-between-workers-report20211127220404/  (27 Nov. 2021)

Pakistan Karot HEP begins water storage The 720 MW, Karot Hydropower Project, the first hydroelectricity project under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), is close to completion as it began storing water in its reservoir. The $1.7 B hydropower project successfully closed the gates of diversion tunnels on Saturday (Nov 20, 2021). Around 95 per cent of the project has been completed. The four units of the station are expected to generate electricity in the first half of 2022. The Karot Hydropower Project is located on the Jhelum River in northeastern Pakistan, 65 km from the capital Islamabad. It is the fourth of five cascade hydropower stations planned for the Jhelum River. Karot Power Company will run and maintain the project for 30 years at a tariff of 7.57 cents per unit. It includes a 95.5-meter high dam, a surface powerhouse, four headrace tunnels, diversion tunnels, a spillway, reservoir storage of 164.50 million cubic metres. https://gulfnews.com/world/asia/pakistan/pakistans-first-hydropower-project-under-cpec-begins-water-storage-1.83860070  (21 Nov. 2021)

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

Also see: DRP News Bulletin 22 Nov 2021 & DRP News Bulletin 15 Nov 2021  

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

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.