According to India Meteorological Department (IMD), during the just concluded Post Monsoon Rainfall for 2021, that included rainfall during Oct-Dec months, India received 177.7 mm rainfall, 43.54% above normal rainfall of 123.8 mm. In the same period last year, India received 124.6 mm rainfall, 0.64% above the normal rainfall. As per IMD[i] definition, the rainfall was in surplus category.Continue reading “Post Monsoon 2021: District wise Rainfall in India”
Month: December 2021
DRP NB 27 Dec 2021: PM pushes unviable, destructive Hydro projects in HP
Feature Image: Renuka Dam Sangharsh Samiti members take out a protest march at Dadahu in Sirmaur district on Dec. 19, 2021. Tribune photo
What will be the realistic cost of power from hydropower projects being pushed by the Prime Minister during this visit today to Himachal Pradesh? One indication of that comes from the 111 MW Sawra Kuddu HEP that he inaugurates during his visit. The cost of this project is already over Rs 2080 Crores, likely to go up further. Which means per MW installed capacity, the cost is around Rs 20 Crores. At this cost, the cost of power from the project is likely to be over Rs 8 per unit even without factoring in the social, environmental and increased disaster vulnerability costs that such projects impose on the fragile Himalayan Mountains. As if to also remind the active seismic zone, on the eve of his visit, there were tremors, even if mild, in Mandi.
The Renuka dam that he lays the foundation for does not even have all the statutory clearances. Its EIA has been the most dishonest exercise, as came out in the NGT hearings. What signal is the government sending by laying foundation stone for such a project? Similar are the issues with Luhri I and Dhaulasidh HEPs. The government seems to be pushing such outdated, unviable, costly and destructive projects in fragile Himalayan regions, purely on political arithmetic assumptions, but possibly need to realise that these projects are not even popular and they are also most inappropriate in the climate change context. Or is it the lure of spending such huge sums of unaccountable public money that provide opportunities for getting election funds for the party that is driving such undemocratic decisions?Continue reading “DRP NB 27 Dec 2021: PM pushes unviable, destructive Hydro projects in HP”
Tamil Nadu: Thalavanur check dam collapsed twice within a year
Thalavanur check dam collapsed[i] in morning hours of November 9, 2021. This is the second time the check dam has faced significant damages within a year of its construction. Before this, the same check dam broke down in January, 2021. The first collapse took place 5 months after its inauguration on September 19, 2020. Its construction was started in April 2019.Continue reading “Tamil Nadu: Thalavanur check dam collapsed twice within a year”
Ken Betwa project will harm & not help Bundelkhand
People of Bundelkhand certainly need better water access and management as claimed in the Media Briefing Note on the occasion of Union Cabinet clearing the project on Dec 8, 2021. But the Ken Betwa Link Project (KBLP) is not for Bundelkhand, of Bundelkhand or by Bundelkhand. The project will bring unbelievably huge adverse impacts for the Bundelkhand and promises benefits that were promised decades ago, but never realised. In fact much better, cheaper, less impactful and faster options for Bundelkhand exist, if only the government had the will.Continue reading “Ken Betwa project will harm & not help Bundelkhand”
DRP News Bulletin 20 Dec 2021: Judiciary fails the environment AGAIN
By allowing the Char Dham Highway to go ahead, putting aside all the environment, safety, disaster vulnerability and even norms and affidavits of the Ministry of Highways and the Defence Ministry, as well as the report of the expert panel set up by the apex court, the Judiciary has again failed the Environment, among other things. This is contrary to the generally held belief that Judiciary stands up for the cause of the environment. That belief has no real basis, as can be seen again. This is also failure of the governance, experts and environmental groups, besides also the failure of the media too.Continue reading “DRP News Bulletin 20 Dec 2021: Judiciary fails the environment AGAIN”
High Rainfall days in India’s districts in SW Monsoon 2021
An analysis of the daily district wise rainfall data from India Meteorological Department (IMD) for India’s South West Monsoon 2021 shows that there were 2079 instances when a district rainfall of a day was above 50 mm. Such high rainfall instances included 1712 instances when rainfall was 50-100 mm, 288 instances when it was 100-150 mm, 53 times it was 150-200 mm and 26 times above 200 mm. Out of 694 districts of India, 527 districts or, about 76% of the districts experienced such high rainfall days during SW monsoon 2021.Continue reading “High Rainfall days in India’s districts in SW Monsoon 2021”
DRP NB 13 Dec. 2021: Gargai Dam Scrapped; Wise Move by BMC to Go for Alternatives
In a wise move, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has cancelled Gargai dam project. In its January 2014, submission to Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC), SANDRP had highlighted the adverse impacts of this project on tribal people and Tansa Sanctuary stressing on alternatives including recycling of sewage and rain water harvesting. Finally, now the BMC has scrapped the unjustified project which would have caused felling of 4.5 lakh trees which BMC chief Iqbal Chahal rightly finds pointless in the wake of increasing climate change threats.
It is worth to mention that in February 2020 BMC was learnt reconsidering its Pinjal dam project and exploring other options including waste water recycling. Indeed the BMC is taking right steps. Dams are costly, destructive projects impacting rivers, forests and local people in multiple ways. The demand side management, efficient use of existing water supplies, rain water harvesting and recycling of waste water are among far better alternatives to meet urban water demands.Continue reading “DRP NB 13 Dec. 2021: Gargai Dam Scrapped; Wise Move by BMC to Go for Alternatives”
Rivers crossing HFLs in Oct-Nov 2021
Feature image probably shows flooded human habitation along Cheyyeru river after Annamayya project failure on Nov. 19. However, caption of image published in Deccan Herald report does not mention it.
India has been witnessing unusual monsoon rains in 2021. First the delay in South West Monsoon[i] withdrawal till third week of October 2021 brought heavy rainfalls in several states of North India in the first half of October 2021. Then the extreme rainfall spells during North East Monsoon[ii] have caused floods in several parts of south India in quick succession in November 2021.
In October 2021, the all India rainfall has been 33% above normal while November rainfall being record breaking 86% above normal. The formation and interactions between low depressions and western disturbances largely contributed in record breaking rainfall events during this period including the onset of La Nina phenomena.Continue reading “Rivers crossing HFLs in Oct-Nov 2021”
Heavy Rainfall in India in Oct-Nov 2021
India has seen rather heavy rainfall in October and November 2021, with October All India Rainfall being 33% above normal and November rainfall being record breaking 86% above normal. The combined Oct + Nov Rainfall was 48% above normal, and by Dec 7, as we write this, it is already 53% above normal for the period from Oct 1 to Dec 7, 2021.
While lingering South West Monsoon brought large part of the excess rainfall in first half of October, the unusually active North East Monsoon with continuous supply of moisture from Bay of Bengal has been the main reason for the high rainfall since late October. The onset of La Nina has also contributed to this and with La Nina forecast to remain in place till March 2022, we are in for continued wet spell in South India, it seems. IMD has already forecast above normal rainfall in South Karnataka during Dec 2021 to Feb 2022.Continue reading “Heavy Rainfall in India in Oct-Nov 2021”
DRP NB 6 Dec 2021: NGT demands accountability for Ganga Cleaning
The NGT demanding that there is need for greater transparency in the Ganga Cleaning efforts by NMCG and others, leading to accountability for the expected results is no doubt welcome if it were to become a reality. It has been required for long, since the Ganga Cleaning Efforts started in 1980s when Ganga Action Plan started, and it is even more required with the promises coming from the Prime Minister, no less today. Unfortunately, there is no real improvement in the state of the river, as the NGT has said. One only hopes that this latest initiative will lead to some real change, even through the track record of judiciary (including NGT) in this regard is far from inspiring.Continue reading “DRP NB 6 Dec 2021: NGT demands accountability for Ganga Cleaning”