This week seems to have brought rather too many bad news for big dams in India, it seems. The Vyasi hydropower project on Yamuna river in Uttarakhand, inaugurated by the Prime Minister Shri Modi in Dec 2021, is facing plethora of problems even before its formal commissioning, including scarcity of water, mass fish death, displacement without rehabilitation of people, among others.
In Himachal Pradesh, the stage-1 forest clearance of the Renuka dam, whose foundation stone was laid by the Prime Minister Shri Modi on Dec 28, 2021, has lapsed, 12.5 years after it was given. Now the project need to restart the whole clearance process. There is also news of massive leakage of water and silt collapse in Parbati 2 project in HP.
In Betwa basin, an exasperated Jal Shakti Minister has ordered n inquiry into the Dam project. This, while the Ken Betwa project that the Union Govt has been desperate in pushing, still does not have crucial clearances.
A well researched article by Avli Verma shows that the Ganga waterways project does not have environment clearance, nor environment impact assessment even as the National Green Tribunal has adjourned the hearing demanding that for FOURTEEN times even as Union Environment Ministry quietly sits on the issue.
And finally, sound analysis by international experts lists ten reasons why hydropower is a false climate solution. It may be good idea to take a pause on these big dams, hydropower projects and other river affecting projects and rather take stoke of the way we are governing our rivers and these projects?
Himachal Pradesh FC expires again, Renuka Dam project in limbo The Forest clearance of the Renukaji Dam project in Sirmaur district of Himachal Pradesh expired on March 12, less than three months after its foundation stone was laid by PM Modi. The in-principle approval for forest clearance (FC), which was valid for 10 years, was accorded to this project on October 23, 2009. Its validity was extended for 2.5 years till March 12, 2022. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/forest-clearance-expires-again-renuka-dam-project-in-limbo-387467 (19 April 2022)
Uttar Pradesh Minister for probe in dam project Jal Shakti minister Swatantra Dev Singh on Saturday (April 23) called for a probe against irrigation department officials responsible for the Betwa canal-Barwar Bhasnesh dam project. He further directed chief engineer Maheshwari Prasad, superintending engineer Sanjeev Jha and executive engineer Umesh Kumar of the irrigation department to complete the pending project with best quality, said an official source. “In Betwa canal-Barwar Bhasnesh dam, the government has already invested Rs 48 crore and Rs 20 crore more will be pumped-in due to negligence of officials in the project, which kick-started in 2016,” said a statement shared by the Jal Shakti minister’s office. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/lucknow/jal-shakti-mantri-for-probe-in-dam-project/articleshow/91040724.cms (24 April 2022)
Does Ganga waterway need EC? The NGT and the MoEF have, for the past six years, been deliberating on whether the government’s World Bank-funded project–the Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) for National Waterway 1–requires environmental clearance. The project on the Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly river systems, announced in July 2014, is scheduled to be completed by December 2023. Meanwhile, the NGT has postponed the matter of its environmental clearance 14 times, documents analysed by Avli Verma show. https://www.indiaspend.com/development/case-on-whether-ganga-waterway-needs-environmental-clearance-delayed-14-times-814206 (25 April 2022)
Report 10 reasons why hydropower dams are a false climate solution Not only does hydroelectric power fail to prevent catastrophic climate change, but it also renders countries more vulnerable to climate change while emitting significant amounts of methane, one of the worst greenhouse gases. A river is a spectacular living corridor that feeds forests, fisheries, coastal ecosystems, and farmlands; transports life-sustaining organic matter and nutrients; provides drinking water; fosters cultural connection; and prevents carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. A river supports staggeringly rich biodiversity. One major way we negate rivers’ many benefits is by building dams. here are 10 key reasons why dams are a false solution to the climate crisis.
1. Climate Change Is Making Dams Unreliable and Risky
2. Dams Produce Significant Amounts of Methane
3. Hydropower Climate Calculation Doesn’t Add Up
4. Hydropower Dams Are Falsely Marketed as a ‘Sustainable’ Climate Solution
5. Dam Projects Often Violate Human Rights
6. New Hydropower Is Expensive and Ill-Suited to Deliver Energy Access
7. Free-Flowing Rivers Help Mitigate the Climate, Biodiversity and Water Crises—Dams Do Not
8. Alternatives Are More Affordable and Driving the Energy Revolution
9. Expanding Hydropower Is Incompatible With Efforts to Address the Looming Biodiversity Crisis
10. The Destruction of Nature Is at the Root Cause of Multiple Crises https://www.alternet.org/2022/04/hydropower-dams-false-climate-solution (06 Apirl 2022)
HYDRO POWER PROJECTS
Assam 3 NEEPCO employees killed in mishap at flooded dam site 3 employees of the North Eastern Electric Power Corporation died on Saturday (March 26) after an uprooted tree fell on them during a visit to a flooded dam area in Assam’s Dima Hasao district, The Times of India reported. The accident took place when the three of them were on their way to close the gate of a flooded tunnel, The Telegraph reported. The tunnel was flooded due to a breach in a protection wall at the Khandong hydro power station.
Singh added that officials were earlier supposed to close the gate at 12 pm on Saturday (Marhch 26), but the water level increased suddenly around 10.30 am. “Luckily those inside the tunnel managed to get out but we lost three other employees at a different location,” he said. Officials from the corporation said that the dam was flooded due to heavy rainfall in the upper reaches of Meghalaya, according to IANS.
The sudden inflow of water into the turbine caused significant damage. Though, the exact extent of the damage is not yet known, an official told the news agency. In October 2019, four NEEPCO personnel had died after a pipeline at the Kopili hydro power plant in the Dima Hasao district burst, according to The Telegraph. https://scroll.in/latest/1020462/assam-three-power-corporation-employees-killed-in-mishap-at-flooded-dam-site (27 March 2022)
Jammu & Kashmir CBI raid in connection to power project case The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is conducting search operations at 14 different locations in Jammu, Delhi, NOIDA, Mumbai, Srinagar, Trivendrum, Darbhanga in connection with the 9000 Cr Chanab Valley Hydro power project. The case is related to the Rs 2200 Cr civil works of the Kiru HEP given in 2019 to a private company flouting rules. https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/power/cbi-conducts-raids-at-14-places-in-connection-to-power-project-case/90981370 (21 April 2022)
Himachal Pradesh Parbati 2 Tunnel ingress with water and slush. Not clear if this is what happened two weeks ago or it has happened again. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/work-on-kullu-nhpc-tunnel-halts-after-slush-ingress-386963 (17 April 2022)
Refund Rs 280 cr to Adani Power paid for Kinnaur project: HC In October 2005, the state floated a global tender for the Jangi-Thopan-Powari power project of 980 MW. Brakel Corporation was found to be the highest bidder for the project. Brakel Corp deposited Rs 280.06 crore as the upfront premium with the state. However, later the state government decided to go for re-bidding of the project. Thereafter, Brakel Corp requested the state through a communication dated August 24, 2013, to refund Rs 280.06 crore to Adani Power Ltd, which is its consortium partner. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/refund-280-cr-to-adani-power-paid-for-kinnaur-project-hc-388411 (22 April 2022)
SJVN has achieved financial closure by signing of loan agreement amounting to 494.00 crore with Hirnachal Pradesh State Co-Operative Bank for 66 MW Rs 688 Cr Dhaulasidh HEP (Debt Eq ratio 80:20) in Hamirpur and Kangra District of Himachal Pradesh. The project has commenced its construction activities in May 2021. https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/power/sjvn-achieves-financial-closure-for-66-mw-hydro-power-project-in-himachal/90924924 (19 April 2022)
Polavaram Project Experts visit for repairing diaphragm wall The diaphragm wall of the Polavaram dam is already damaged, it got scoured at two places over an area of 200 meters x 200 meters each when Godavari River witnessed floods. https://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/in-other-news/230422/experts-inspect-polavaram-for-repairing-diaphragm-wall.html (23 April 2022)
Sardar Sarovar Project The Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal Award’s review deadline in 2024 pressurises Madhya Pradesh govt to push more big dams on the Narmada river.
Cruise tour from Barwani to SoU Tourists may soon enjoy a cruise tour from Barwani in Madhya Pradesh to the Statue of Unity in Gujarat covering about 135 km stretch, overlooking the sprawling Sardar Sarovar Dam on the Narmada River. Three investors have so far floated proposals with the Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board (MPTB) to operate the cruise facility on the stretch.
– MPTB has engaged a team of experts and consultants to create a cruise route connecting Barwani to Sardar Sarovar Dam – Statue of Unity in Gujarat. Sheo Shekhar Shukla, principal secretary, MPTB said, “A river cruise from the Statue of Unity to Barwani will unleash huge potential of waterways tourism in our state and will go a long way to promote religious, cultural and historical heritage of Madhya Pradesh. This would certainly boost up the economy of the region as well as bring a fresh and innovative tourism product to attract inbound tourists.” https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/indore/cruise-tour-from-barwani-to-statue-of-unity/articleshow/90945674.cms (20 April 2022)
Mullaperiyar Dam TN CM is yet to decide if to give the National Dam Safety Authority powers to Mullaperiyar supervisory committee. https://www.uniindia.com/story/Stalin-to-decide-on-accepting-Mullaiperiyar-dam-monitoring-panel–Minister (18 April 2022)
INTERLINKING OF RIVERS
Sharda-Yamuna Linking Centre gets feasibility reports completed The Centre has got the Feasibility Reports (FRs) regarding linking of the Sharda and Yamuna and the Yamuna and Sukri rivers completed under the ambitious Inter-linking of Rivers (ILR) project. Now, it has set in motion the speedy preparation of Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) with regard to the linking of these rivers. The linking up of the Sharda and Yamuna (Sharda-Yamuna link) and the Yamuna and Sukri (Yamuna-Rajasthan link) will cater to states of Haryana, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat.
– The Yamuna-Rajasthan link proposal is an extension of the proposed Sharda-Yamuna Link trans the Yamuna, to provide irrigation to the drought-prone areas of Haryana and Rajasthan which are facing problems of acute surface water shortage and fast depletion of underground water. It envisages diversion of 8,657 million cubic metres of water from the Sharda basin at Purnagiri in Uttarakhand. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/centre-gets-feasibility-reports-regarding-linking-of-rivers-sharda-and-yamuna-and-yamuna-and-sukri-completed-388236 (21 April 2022)
INTERSTATE WATER DISPUTES
Ravi-Beas Water Disputes Telangana HC judge in river water panel The Centre has appointed Justice Vineet Saran of the Supreme Court and Justice Ponugoti Naveen Rao of the Telangana high court a s chairman and member respectively of the Ravi and Beas Water Tribunal. A gazette notification to this effect was issued by the Union jal shakti ministry on Apr 22 2022. Ravi and Beas Water Tribunal was constituted in 1986 for verification of the quantum of usage of water claimed by Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan regarding their share in the remaining water. The tribunal’s functioning and adjudication are crucial for resolving issues surrounding Sutlej-Yamuna Link Canal. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/telangana-hc-judge-in-river-water-panel/articleshow/91044522.cms (24 April 2022) https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/justice-vineet-saran-appointed-chairman-of-ravi-beas-water-tribunal-388823 (23 April 2022)
Krishna Water Dispute Centre turns down TS’s new tribunal plea The law department, which has been asked to advise on the issue by the Union ministry of jal shakti (MoJS), is believed to have given its counsel to MoJS recently contending that it is not advisable to revise the TOR of KWDT-II (Brajesh Kumar Tribunal) at this juncture, sources in CMO told TOI. Telangana government is trying to get a copy of the legal advice to proceed further on the issue, the sources said. If the present allocation continues, Telangana will continue to get only 299 tmcft of water of total 811 tmcft in Krishna river and the rest 512 tmcft of water will go to neighbouring Andhra Pradesh. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/krishna-row-centre-turns-down-ts-new-tribunal-plea/articleshow/91039857.cms (24 April 2022)
Siruvani Water Dispute T.N. officials to meet Kerala counterparts It was decided a few days ago in Chennai to send a delegation to meet senior Kerala Irrigation Department officials to discuss release of Siruvani water to Coimbatore city. The delegation would discuss release of more water from the Siruvani Reservoir to help the Corporation tide over the water shortage this summer and restoration of water level to the full reservoir level.
The sources said increased drawing of water was the city’s immediate need, for the Kerala Government had restricted the supply of water by not fully opening the last in-take point. The long-term demand was for restoring the level till the full reservoir level – 49.50 feet. For more than three years, the Kerala Government allowed the water level to not surpass the 44.50 feet mark as it had reduced level by 1.50 m or five feet citing the dam safety. The reduction of five feet led to loss of water that was crucial for the city, especially during summer. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/tn-officials-to-meet-kerala-counterparts-for-siruvani-water/article65350720.ece (24 April 2022)
Tamil Nadu Farmers opposing concrete lining of LBP canal Stating that concrete lining of Lower Bhavani Project (LBP) canal would stop water seepage from the canal affecting groundwater recharges in the ayacut areas, Lower Bhavani Irrigation Protection Movement has urged the State government to drop the canal modernisation project and instead widen the canal to allow it to carry more water to reach the tail-end area. Work is under way to renovate and modernise the LBP main canal at ₹709.60 crore to help irrigate 2.07 lakh acres in the districts of Erode, Tiruppur and Karur.
Farmers’ associations were divided over concrete-lining of the canal as some said that it would affect recharge of groundwater, while others were of the opinion water seepages would be controlled and water would be used judiciously. As many as 12 farmers’ associations in the three districts have formed the movement opposing the project. They have decided to conduct a conference on April 24 at Perundurai to urge the government to drop the project. On Monday (April 18), the members met District Collector H. Krishnanunni and submitted an interim report on “Impact on the groundwater resources due to the lining of Lower Bhavani Canal”. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/farmers-opposing-concrete-lining-of-lbp-canal-to-hold-conference-on-april-24/article65331438.ece (18 April 2022)
Work to build 47 dams in TN to start in May The Water Resource Department (WRD) will build 47 check dams at a cost of Rs 190.73 crore in 24 districts including Chengalpattu and Kancheepuram. Government Orders were issued in January and February, and WRD is waiting for loan from National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD). “Construction work may start in second week of May,” an official said. “In financial year 2021-22, CM M K Stalin announced that 1,000 check dams would be constructed across the State over the next 10 years to conserve water and recharge groundwater. A few projects are already completed in delta districts,” the official said.
Another senior official told TNIE that the new dams were planned as farmers in tail-end areas of Karur, Dindigul and other delta districts have not been getting water. Nearly 1.5 lakh acres of agricultural land in 24 districts would benefit through these 47 dams. Nine of these dams will come up in Tiruchy region, another official said, adding work has already started in some places. The dams will also help reduce soil erosion in rivers, he said. Apart from these new dams, 10 check dams are already under construction in Coimbatore, Karur, Salem, Tenkasi, Theni, Tirupathur, Tiruvallur, Tiruppur and Virudhunagar districts and 85% work is already over. The projects, expected to be completed by June-end, will benefit 22,000 acres. https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/tamil-nadu/2022/apr/20/work-to-build-47-dams-in-tn-to-start-in-may-2444102.html (22 April 2022)
Mula-Mutha; Pune Activists raise issues of land use change & monetisation Sarang Yadwadkar, an activist involved in this issue since the beginning said, “The DPR states that the development rights of about 182 acre of the land owned by the government along the 44 km stretch of river can be given to private players. Even if this is an option, it can be disastrous given that the civic body has not considered the excess water flow from the free catchment areas and the estimated drastic rise in rainfall. But the reduction in rainy days which means more cloudburst and these upcoming settlements will be the first ones to be affected in case of floods.” https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/pune-news/riverfront-development-project-activists-raise-issues-of-monetisation-of-excess-land-change-in-land-use-101650308058217.html (19 April 2022)
Adi Ganga; Kolkata Enmeshed Water Heritage Debika Banerji and Shreyashi Bhattacharya The Adi Ganga presently struggles under urban development and pollution, the case of most South Asian rivers at present.
This narrative showcases the river’s evolution and transformation and the various socio-ecological assemblages on her banks, stating the need for the river’s rejuvenation. https://www.livingwatersmuseum.org/adi-ganga-enmeshed-water-heritage-of-kolkata
SANDRP Blog My Top Ten River Songs from USA Guest Article by: Lori Udall Loneliness, heartache, longing, travel, prayer, hardship, wonder, love, death, beauty… it’s all there in songs about rivers. Humans and rivers are intrinsically and eternally interlinked as is embedded in these songs, old and new. Our relationships with rivers span the ages and underscores the timelessness of rivers, and the livelihoods that depend on them. This article provides a collection of my top ten of the best-known river songs from USA (and one from Jamaica). I hope the songs have an appeal to river lovers across the globe. https://sandrp.in/2022/04/23/my-top-ten-river-songs-from-usa/ (23 April 2022)
Veditum India Interesting account of Moving upstream along Sind river in Shivpuri dist of MP in 2021, published on March 14 2022. https://veditum.org/2022/03/14/finding-the-overstory-river-sindh/ (14 March 2022)
Meghalaya Riverbed coal mining on Simsang river fuels life in Bangladesh But standing in the shallow waters of Simsang river spanning across the Indo-Bangla border, hundreds of poor people mine coal also illegally from beneath the water mainly in the summer season. Simsang flows through the heart of the Garo Hills, dividing the area into two parts and changes its name to Someshwari as it transcends the borders and gushes down into Bangladesh. Every year, the heavy monsoon and flash flood carries huge amounts of silica and silt mixed in with coal, washed down from the Meghalaya coal fields, and deposits it in the riverbed of Someshwari. The coal is left buried in layers of silts.
The coal, though drenched in water, is highly flammable. Given the availability of the fossil fuel, brick kiln owners around Mymensingh division often source coal from Durgapur in Bangladesh. Nobody knows exactly where the “black gold” is hidden. One can find coal either one foot or five feet beneath the riverbed. Soon after identifying the coal, one of the workers will set the bamboo-framed strainer against the strong river current while others will dig the riverbed. No one knows where exactly the coal lies since coal is deposited and scattered along layers of silt. But by adopting crude method, diggers push a GI wire under the water. If it feels very hard, it must be stone and it feels sticky, it is wet coal. https://theshillongtimes.com/2022/04/18/riverbed-coal-mining-on-simsang-river-fuels-life-in-bangladesh/ (18 April 2022)
Punjab Decks have been cleared for the Centre to start work on implementation of an ambitious project to rejuvenate the country’s 13 major rivers, including the five rivers of Punjab. The five rivers of Punjab are the Ravi, Beas, Sutlej, Chenab and Jhelum.
Sources said the Centre had given final touches on ways to implement the work after giving approval to the Detailed Project Reports (DPRs). DPRs for the rejuvenation of all these rivers have got clearance from the Centre and the operationalisation of the works will be according to the roadmap provided in them. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/decks-cleared-for-centre-to-start-works-for-rejuvenation-of-13-major-rivers-including-all-5-rivers-of-punjab-387361 (18 April 2022)
Haryana Another Saraswati paleochannel found The Centre for Excellence for Research on Saraswati River (CERSR) at Kurukshetra University claims to have found another paleochannel of the disappeared river at Baholi village near Pipli. The institute has identified nearly all the paleochannels of the Saraswati in Haryana and Rajasthan up to the Pakistan border in Anupgarh. The research findings are in a 2021 edition of peer-reviewed Journal of Archaeological Prospection published in the United Kingdom.
The Saraswati river channel at Pipli is more than 3-kilometre wide and the site at Baholi shows similar sedimentological characteristics as Mugalwali in Yamunanagar district, examined in the initial phase of the Saraswati rejuvenation programme started by late Darshan Lal Jain of the Saraswati Nadi Shodh Sansthan, Haryana. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chandigarh/haryana-another-saraswati-paleochannel-found/articleshow/91043432.cms (24 April 2022)
GANGA Uttarakhand Dehradun E-way: SC Reconstitutes Oversight Committee Supreme Court on Tuesday (April 19) reconstituted the expert committee formed by the NGT to oversee the compensatory afforestation for the Delhi-Dehradun Expressway project by including additional members. The Court directed that the Chairperson of the Committee will be Mr. CP Goyal, DG of Forests, MoEF. As per the NGT order, the Chief Secretary of the Uttarakhand was the Committee Chairman. The apex court clarified that the replacement of the Chairperson should not be seen as an expression of lack of confidence on the Uttarakhand Chief Secretary. The Court added that it is recasting the Committee to “ensure that a broad understanding is facilitated in carrying out the work of implementation”. The Court also included Dr.Anil Prakash Joshi, founder of HESCO and environmentalist Vijay Dhasmana as additional members in the Oversight Committee. https://www.livelaw.in/top-stories/delhi-dehradun-expressway-project-supreme-court-reconstitutes-oversight-committee-196925 (19 April 2022)
FISH, FISHERIES, FISHERFOLKS
Karnataka Beating heat with fish hunting In March-May, events like KERE BETE (hunting in a pond) or matsya bete (fish hunt) are commonly seen in parts of Uttar Kannada, Shivamogga and Havery districts in Karnataka. It is mainly organised in half dry ponds in malnad and Semi Malnad areas of Sirsi, Mundgod, Siddapur, Sorab and Hangal taluks. The practice has been there for several decades, its origin is not known.
– The village fish hunt committee takes charge of a lake in an auction conducted by the gram panchayat and they then release fishlings in the ponds and allow it to grow for a year or two. Once the lake has sufficient fish, the function is organised in which entry fee is collected. At appointed day and time with blowing of the whistle, participants including men, women and children rush into the lake with traditional fishing gear KUNI (for men) and mankari (women) made of bamboo. They catch fish and put it in their basket. Whoever catches maximum fish is declared a hero. Typically 300-350 participants are there for each pond. It lasts for 3-4 hours. People who catch a lot of fish typically share some with those who could not catch any. https://www.deccanherald.com/spectrum/spectrum-top-stories/beating-the-heat-with-fish-hunting-1103134.html (23 April 2022)
Andhra Pradesh 1 lakh fisherfolk families to get ₹ 10,000 each Over one lakh fisherfolk families will get a financial incentive of ₹ 10,000 each under the YSR Matsyakara Bharosa in May. This money is to help families tide over the situation for 61 days when, as per centre’s orders, they are banned from fishing in the sea from April 15 to June 14 along the entire east coast from West Bengal to Tamil Nadu. This is the breeding season for fish when eggs laid by them hatch and the offspring grow. A grown fish eventually means good income for families that depend on fishing.
AP has nearly 1.24 lakh fishing families living all along its coast. Fisheries authorities, with support from Sagara Mitra, will list out whether or not members of these families have ventured into the sea during the period of ban.
No mechanised or motorised boat is permitted to go fishing into the sea during the ban period. Traditional crafts can, however, be taken out by individual fishermen during the period. https://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/200422/one-lakh-fisherfolk-families-in-ap-to-get-10000-each.html (20 April 2022)
Report Scientists discover new eel species A group of Indian scientists have discovered a new species of eel from among specimens collected from the Kalamukku and Digha Mohana fishing harbours in Kerala and West Bengal respectively. Their study was published in the Journal of Fish Biology March 30, 2022. The newly discovered eel belongs to the Congrid eels group and has been named Ariosoma indicum. The term Indicum means that it was found in India, Anil Mohapatra, senior scientist with the Zoological Survey of India’s Gopalpur-on-Sea centre and co-author of the paper told this reporter. https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/wildlife-biodiversity/scientists-discover-new-eel-species-from-kerala-bengal-82475 (20 April 2022)
SANDRP Blog India Sand Mining: Violence & Accidents Killed 418 People in 16 Months In addition to destruction of rivers eco-system and disruption of environmental services to riparian communities, the illegal and unsustainable sand mining practices in India have also been causing avoidable violence and accidents resulting in scores of human deaths and injuries on annual basis. However, there is no comprehensive picture emerging on this man made disaster. To fill the gap, SANDRP has been trying to compile available information on human toll from river bed mining activities across the country since last few years. https://sandrp.in/2022/04/24/india-sand-mining-violence-accidents-killed-418-people-in-16-months/ (24 April 2022)
Karnataka SC notice to govt on plea against sand mining near Malaprabha The Supreme Court has issued notice to the government on a plea to quash the licences for sand mining granted around fertile lands, close to Malaprabha river, which had witnessed a devastating flood in 2019. A bench of Justices Indira Banerjee and A S Bopanna sought a response from the state government and others within six weeks on a petition filed by Arun Hadli and another person. The petitioners led by advocate Sanjay M Nuli questioned the validity of the Karnataka High Court’s August 31, 2021 order, declining to entertain a PIL in this matter.
The petitioners, claiming to be farmers of Badami Taluka in Bagalkot district, contended that the state authorities granted licence for sand mining to one D Shivaji Hurali, which was in contravention of the procedure laid down in the Karnataka Minor Mineral Concession Rules, 1994 – particularly Rule 31-ZA (2). “The illegal licence will directly affect the fundamental rights of the petitioners herein and other neighbouring farmers as the lands in the area are highly fertile lands very close to Malaprabha River, Bagalkot and the area is prone to frequent floods. In the event of floods, the fertile soil on the lands will sink and flourish into the huge ditches, being created by using heavy machinery,” their plea said. https://www.deccanherald.com/state/karnataka-districts/sc-notice-to-karnataka-government-on-plea-against-sand-mining-near-malaprabha-river-1102373.html (20 April 2022)
Tamil Nadu HC dismisses plea to restrain sand mining The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court was hearing a petition filed by C. Panthanam of Kariapatti, Virudhunagar district. She had sought a direction to the authorities to restrain R. Chitirai Velu from carrying out sand mining activities from the land in Kariapatti. She complained that rampant mining on the land had affected the nearby waterbody and also resulted in reduced groundwater level. She also sought a direction to the authorities to cancel the licence granted to Chithirai Velu for mining purposes. A Division Bench of Justices Paresh Upadhyay and R. Vijayakumar dismissed the petition. It was submitted that there was a dispute between the parties. The court observed the petition was styled as a public interest litigation petition and therefore needed to be dismissed. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/hc-dismisses-plea-to-restrain-sand-mining/article65297079.ece (24 April 2022)
Meghalaya HC steers clear of illegal sand mining case Observing that the NGT has taken cognizance of the illegal sand mining activities in the state and issued directions in this regard, the High Court of Meghalaya on Tuesday (April 19) decided to steer clear of the issue. https://theshillongtimes.com/2022/04/20/hc-steers-clear-of-illegal-sand-mining-case/ (20 April 2022)
Uttarakhand 2 cops booked for ‘shielding’ sand mining mafias 2 police outposts in-charges were booked by the US Nagar police under the Prevention of Corruption Act and other sections of the IPC after they were found ‘protecting’ illegal sand mining mafia within their jurisdiction. SSP Barinderjit Singh said that Sultanpur Patti outpost in-charge Deepak Kaushik and Doraha police outpost in-charge Ashok Kandpal have been booked under IPC sections 379 (commit theft), 411 (dishonestly receiving stolen property), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) and 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating). Police have booked several unknown illegal miners, too. “We found that despite repeated warnings to police officers to curb illegal sand mining in Bazpur, excavation of sand continues from various rivers here,” SSP Singh added. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/uttarakhand-two-cops-booked-for-shielding-sand-mining-mafias-in-us-nagar/articleshow/89893328.cms (28 Feb. 2022)
Punjab Nangal mining officer suspended Day after mining officer Vipin Kamboj sealed six stone crusher plants allegedly involved in illegal mining in the hills of Khera Kalmot village near Nangal, he was placed under suspension for “dereliction of duty” by Principal Secretary, Water Resources and Mining and Geology, Krishan Kumar late last evening (April 22). Kamboj had sealed six stone crushers after the unit owners failed to present relevant documents relating to storage of a large quantity of extracted material with them. According to the suspension letter, Kamboj had been suspended with immediate effect and a charge-sheet would follow. According to sources, action over dereliction of duty had been taken for not following the directions of the NGT. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/day-after-crackdown-on-crushers-mining-officer-suspended-388615 (23 April 2022)
Punjab government has placed the mining officer of Mohali and Rupnagar districts, Vipan Kumar, under suspension for laxity towards checking illegal sand and gravel mining. Acting on the directions of state mining minister Harjot Singh Bains, department secretary Krishan Kumar placed Vipan under suspension with immediate effect. He would be chargesheeted for illegal mining in the Rupnagar and Mohali clusters, where contractors have done massive mining without paying any fee to the government. The department has already suspended mining operations of these two clusters as the mining contractor, Rakesh Choudhary, failed to deposit ₹28 crore as fee for mining, according to the contract. The suspension came a day after the state mining minister ordered strict action against illegal mining. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/chandigarh-news/punjab-govt-suspends-mining-officer-of-mohali-rupnagar-for-laxity-101650610497274.html (22 April 2022)
Madhya Pradesh अवैध रेत के उत्खनन से सूख गई बेलकुंड नदी ढीमरखेड़ा क्षेत्र की जीवन रेखा बेलकुंड अविरत बहने वाली धारा रुक गई है। रेत के अवैध उत्खनन का शिकार यह नदी हो गई है। जिले में रेत के अवैध उत्खनन से बड़ी नदियों की हालत खतरे में हैं। जिले में विष्ठा सेल्स प्रायवेट लिमटेड द्वारा रेत का खनन किया जा रहा है। रसूख के आगे प्रशासन नतमस्तक है। खुले आम नदियों में अवैध खनन किया जाता रहा लेकिन इसे किसी नहीं रोका। इसी तरह महानदी में अवैध खनन की शिकायत ग्रामीण करते रहे। धरने दिए गए। शिकायतें की गईं लेकिन नदियों का अवैध खनन नहीं रुका। नतीजा जिले के कई ग्रामीण क्षेत्रों में पेयजल संकट गहरा रहा है। इस भीषण गर्मी में मवेशी और वन्य जीव तड़प-तड़प कर अपनी जान दे रहे हैं।
बेलकुंड नदीं मे हुए रेत के अवैध कारोबार के कारण नदी जो कभी नहीं सूखती थी वह भी सूख रही है। ग्रामीणों ने बताया है कि रेत के अवैध उत्खनन ने नदियों के स्वरूप को ही बदल दिया है। क्षेत्र में दतला नदी का जल स्तर भी अभी ठीक नहीं है। इससे ग्रामीणों में चिंता है। हिनन, सौंठी, मौरी, बेलकुंड में भी अभी नदियों में पानी की स्थिति अच्छी नहीं है। ढीमरखेड़ा के तहसील के आठ गांवों से होते हुए लभेर नदी निकलती है। यह गांवों में सिंचाई के साथ मवेशियों को पानी भी देती है। लेकिन इसकी हालत इस वर्ष बहुत खराब हो गई है। यह पूरी तरह सूख चुकी है जबिक पहले ऐसा नहीं होता था। https://www.naidunia.com/madhya-pradesh/katni-belkund-river-dried-up-due-to-illegal-sand-mining-7463623 (17 April 2022)
Uttar Pradesh अनियंत्रित बालू लदा ट्रक पलटा खजनी /सिकरीगंज। थाना क्षेत्र के डड़िहथ गांव के समीप सिकरीगंज बेलघाट रोड पर आज सोमवार की रात 4बजे भोर में बालू लदा एक ट्रक अनियंत्रित होकर पलट गया। इस हादसे में ड्राईवर एवं खलासी बाल बाल बच गए ट्रक पर लदा बालू पूरी तरह से खेत में पसर गया। मिली जानकारी के मुताबिक कुआनो नदी से बालू लेकर आ रहा ट्रक UP53 ET 1510 गोबिंदपुर गांव से आगे बढ़ा और डड़िहथ के समीप पहुंचा ट्रक अनियंत्रित होने के बाद रोड के किनारे पलट गया। हादसे में किसी के हताहत होने की सूचना नहीं है। ओवर लोड बालू लदे ट्रक के पलटने की वजह ट्रक छमता से अधिक बालू लोड बताया जा रहा है।
ज्ञात हो कि इस समय कुआनों नदी से अवैध रूप से बालू खनन जोर शोर से जारी है। 3 बजे रात से ही ओवर लोड बालू लदे ड्रक का संचालन शुरू हो जाता हैं। बकायदे त्रिपाल से ढक कर ले जाते है। जिससे ये मालूम न हो कि बालू लादा है ,ओवर लोड के कारण सड़क भी छतिग्रत हो रही है। खास कर बालू की गाड़ियां ट्रैफिक नियमों की धज्जियां उड़ा रही है। पकड़े जाने की डर से अधिकतर बालू की गाड़ियां भोर में चलती है। खास बात ये है कि ट्रकों पर क्षमता से तीन – चार गुना अधिक बालू ढ़ोया जा रहा है। जो परिचालन नियम के विरूद्ध है लेकिन वाहन चालकों में पुलिस प्रशासन और कानून का कोई डर नहीं है। https://swatantraprabhat.com/news/incriminor/Uncontrolled-sand-laden-truck-overturned-driver-narrowly/cid7015079.htm (29 March 2022)
बलिया। दुबहर थाना क्षेत्र के दुबहर चट्टी पर बुधवार की सुबह लाल बालू लदा ट्रक पलटने से एक गुमटी एवं उसमें रखे हजारों रुपये का सामान क्षतिग्रस्त हो गया। बताया जाता है कि लाल बालू लदा एक ओवरलोड ट्रक थाना क्षेत्र के किसी गांव में बालू गिराने जा रहा था। घटना में कोई हताहत नहीं हुआ। ट्रक के पलटने से पास ही स्थित विद्युत खंभा भी क्षतिग्रस्त हो गया जिससे भरसर गांव की विद्युत आपूर्ति बाधित हो गई। https://www.amarujala.com/uttar-pradesh/ballia/sand-laden-truck-overturns-on-kiosk-damaged-ballia-news-vns570240195 (20 Jan. 2021)
Bihar घर पर पलटा ट्रक, वृद्धा की मौत, परिवार के 6 लोग घायल मधेपुरा के उदाकिशुनगंज अनुमंडल अंतर्गत पुरैनी थाना क्षेत्र में एक भीषण सड़क हादसा हुआ है. एक बालू लदा ट्रक घर पर पलट (Truck overturned at home in Madhepura) गया. इसमें एक वृद्धा की मौत (One killed in road accident in Madhepura) हो गयी जबकि परिवार के अन्य 6 सदस्य घायल हो गये. घायलों का पुरैनी पीएचसी में इलाज चल रहा है. वहीं, इस घटना के विरोध में स्थानीय लोगों ने SH-58 को जाम कर दिया.
ग्रामीण राहुल यादव ने बताया कि सड़क अच्छी बनने के कारण काफी तेज गति से वाहन चल रहे हैं. यह हादसा करीब 4:00 बजे हुआ. ग्रामीणों का आरोप है कि गांव और बस्ती इलाके में भी चालक वाहनों की रफ्तार कम नहीं करते हैं. इसके चलते आये दिन सड़क हादसे होते रहते हैं. https://www.etvbharat.com/hindi/bihar/state/madhepura/one-killed-in-road-accident-in-madhepura/bh20220329112808733; https://biharnewslive.com/madhepura-one-killed-four-injured-as-sand-laden-truck-overturns-at-home/ (29 March 2022)
बिहटा में STF और बालू माफिया के बीच मुठभेड़ पटना पुलिस ने अवैध बालू खनन करने वाले माफियाओं के खिलाफ बड़ी कार्रवाई की है. खनन विभाग, पुलिस और STF ने बिहटा के सोन दियारा इलाके में एकसाथ छापेमारी की और 32 अपराधियों को दबोचा. वहीं बालू का अवैध खनन करने के लिए इस्तेमाल में लिये जाने वाले 10 से अधिक जेसीबी को जब्त किया है. अपराधियों के पास से आधा दर्जन से अधिक बाइक और दो दर्जन से अधिक मोबाइल फोन भी जब्त किये गये हैं.
माफियाओं के गढ़ में जब एसटीएफ कार्रवाई के लिए पहुंची तो पुलिस पर गोलियां बरसनी शुरू हो गयी. जिसके बाद पुलिस ने भी जवाबी कार्रवाई शुरू कर दी. दोनों तरफ से गोलियों की तड़तड़ाहट से इलाका थर्रा गया. कार्रवाई के दौरान माफियाओं ने कुछ हथियार सोन नदी में फेंक दिये, ऐसी सूचना सामने आयी है. घटना की पुष्टि थानाध्यक्ष ऋतुराज सिंह ने की है. वहीं इस कार्रवाई के दौरान कुछ पुलिसकर्मियों के घायल होने की भी सूचना है. https://www.prabhatkhabar.com/state/bihar/patna/encounter-in-bihta-between-patna-stf-and-balu-mafia-bihar-sand-mining-news-skt; https://zeenews.india.com/hindi/india/bihar-jharkhand/bihar/big-action-on-illegal-sand-mining-mafia-in-bihta-32-criminals-arrested/1152724 ; https://kashishnews.com/news/bihat-me-balu-mafiyaon-aur-stf-ke-beech-bhedant-304404 ; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oR0_YlznQqo (14 April 2022)
मनेर थाना क्षेत्र के सोनम मडवा घाट एवं 84 घाट पर रंगदारी को लेकर दो बालू माफिया के बीच जमकर गोलीबारी हुई। ग्रामीणों ने बताया कि 2 घंटे तक हुई इस गोलीबारी में 100 राउंड से अधिक गोलियां चलने की सूचना है। ग्रामीणों का यह मानना है कि सरकार के बालू बंदी निर्देश के बावजूद इन घाटों पर प्रतिदिन लाखों रुपए की बालू की चोरी होती रही है। शनिवार को बालू माफिया के बीच रंगदारी को लेकर बात इतनी बढ़ गई थी कि फायरिंग शुरू हो गई। ग्रामीणों ने बताया कि गोलीबारी की इस घटना में चंपारण के एक मजदूर के पेट में गोली लगी। स्थानीय लोग उसे रामपुर दियारा स्थित एक चिकित्सक के पास ले गए। चिकित्सक ने अधिक खून बह जाने के कारण इलाज करने से इनकार कर दिया। बेहतर इलाज के लिए पटना ले जाने को कहा। https://www.bhaskar.com/local/bihar/news/firing-between-two-groups-of-sand-mafia-in-maner-of-patna-bihar-crime-latest-news-128961711.html (Oct. 2021)
जमुई: एनएच 333 स्थित गंगटा जंगल के भमरवा पुल के पास बालू लदे ट्रक के दुर्घटनाग्रस्त हो जाने से जाम की स्थिति बन गई। लगभग तीन घंटे तक इस मार्ग पर वाहनों का आवागमन बाधित रहा। आवागमन बाधित होने से दोनों तरफ वाहनों की लंबी कतार लग गई। इस दौरान दो पहिया वाहनों के भी आवागमन में मुश्किल हो रहा था।
एनएच 333 पर आए दिन लगातार जाम की समस्या से लोग परेशान हैं। जाम लगने के पीछे का मुख्य कारण एक तो जमुई सीमा के अंत के बाद एनएच का सिगल होना और अंधाधुंध बालू लदे ट्रकों के परिचालन के साथ जिओ का केवल ले जाने के लिए सकरा मार्ग के समीप ही गड्ढा खोदना बना है। सड़क किनारे दल-दल हो जाने के कारण अधिकांश वाहन इसमें फंस रहे हैं और जाम लगने की समस्या उत्पन्न हो रही है। भारी वाहनों का आवागमन इतना ज्यादा है फिर भी एनएच के अधिकारी इस समस्या को देख अनजान बने हैं। जिससे स्थानीय लोगों में आक्रोश पैदा हो रहा है। https://www.jagran.com/bihar/jamui-facing-jam-22469479.html (15 Feb. 2022)
नवादा: वित्तीय वर्ष 2021-22 में विभागीय टीम द्वारा नौ माह में बालू का अवैध खनन रोकने के लिए लगातार कार्रवाई की गई। बालू माफिया की धर-पकड़ के लिए अभियान चलाया गया। नौ माह में अवैध बालू खनन व परिवहन मामले में 86 लोगों को गिरफ्तार किया गया। इसके अलावा जिलेभर में संचालित बालू घाटों से अवैध बालू खनन व परिवहन मामले में 320 वाहनों को जब्त किया गया। कार्रवाई में कुल मिलाकर 1 लाख 43 हजार 314 सीएफटी बालू जब्त किया गया है। जो बालू घाटों से अवैध खनन ले जाया जा रहा था। बावजूद जिले में बालू का अवैध खनन व परिवहन निरंतर जारी है।
बता दें कि 19 दिसंबर को बिहार सरकार की ओर से नये सिरे से बालू खनन का टेंडर कराया गया था। सबसे ऊंची बोली बोलने वाले एकल्व्य स्टोन प्राइवेट लिमिटेड के नाम निविदा हुई थी। लेकिन पर्यावरणीय स्वीकृति नहीं मिलने के कारण अबतक बालू खनन शुरू नहीं हो सका है। 1 जनवरी से जिले में बालू खनन बंद है। जिला खनन कार्यालय के अनुसार नवादा जिले के विभिन्न नदियों में 59 सरकारी बालू घाट का संचालन हो रहा है। निविदा दाता के माध्यम से नियमानुसार बालू खनन व उठाव का कार्य होता है। लेकिन पर्यावरणीय स्वीकृति नहीं मिलने से बालू खनन व उठाव कार्य ठप पड़ा है। सभी बालू घाट को सील कर दिया गया है। https://www.jagran.com/bihar/gaya-nawada-86-people-arrested-in-illegal-sand-mining-in-nine-months-sand-theft-continues-even-after-action-22425044.html (30 Jan. 2022)
भोजपुर जिले के बड़हरा व कोईलवर थाना की सीमा से सटे बिंदगांवा घाट पर रविवार को अवैध बालू खनन को छापेमारी करने पहुंची पुलिस पर धंधेबाजों और उनके सहयोगियों ने ईंट-पत्थर से हमला कर दिया। पुलिस की छह गाड़ियों का शीशा टूट गया। इसमें एक गाड़ी खनन विभाग की भी है। गाड़ी पर मौजूद चालकों व जवानों ने किसी तरह भागकर अपनी जान बचाई। बालू तस्करों के हमले में तीन-चार पुलिसकर्मियों को भी चोटें आई हैं। एक महिला सिपाही भी घायल है। घटना शाम करीब चार बजे की है।
जिला पुलिस व खनन विभाग की टीम बिंदगांवा गांव के मंदिर के समीप गाडिय़ों को खड़ी करने के बाद बालू घाट पर पहुंची थी। सुबह 11 बजे से ही अभियान चल रहा था। स्थानीय लोगों ने बताया कि पुलिस ने अभियान के दौरान तीन बालू लदी नावों को नदी में डुबो दिया। यहां तक कि नाव में छेद कर दिया गया। चौथी खाली नाव को जब पुलिस नदी में डुबोने के लिए चली तो बालू धंधेबाजों व सहयोगियों ने गांव के मंदिर के समीप खड़ी गाड़ियों को ईंट-पत्थर से हमला बोल क्षतिग्रस्त कर दिया। अचानक हमले के बाद जवान भाग खड़े हुए। पथराव में तीन-चार पुलिसकर्मियों को चोटें भी आई हैं। https://www.jagran.com/bihar/patna-city-sand-mafia-attacked-on-police-during-raid-in-bindgavan-village-of-bhojpur-district-21909741.html (09 Aug. 2021)
जमुई। एसडीपीओ झाझा द्वारा पकड़े गए अवैध बालू लदे चार ट्रकों में दो ट्रक पुलिस अभिरक्षा से लापता हो गए। सोहजाना स्थित एसटीएफ कैंप में रखे गए इन चार ट्रकों में दो ट्रक गायब कर दी गई। इसकी भनक न तो पुलिस-प्रशासन को लग सकी और न ही एसटीएफ को। https://www.jagran.com/bihar/jamui-police-lodged-fir-20367002.html (08 June 2020)
Jharkhand 2 bodies fished out from Ganga Nearly 24 hours after the cargo vessel, which was ferrying stone chips-laden trucks, tilted and led to the drowning of five people and several vehicles falling into the Ganga, bodies of two victims were fished out from the river on Saturday (March 26). The incident happened early on Friday (March 25) and Sahibganj district authorities had said the mishap spot lies in Bihar’s jurisdiction of the Ganga. The vessel started sailing from the Samda ferry ghat of Sahibganj on Thursday (March 24) around 5.30 pm for Manihari in Katihar district of Bihar.
The vessel was stranded on the river for a long time after it developed technical snags midway and could not complete its one-hour-long journey. When the snags were fixed and the vessel resumed its journey, it was well past midnight and suffered the mishap just 15 minutes short of its destination. The two victims, whose bodies were fished out, were identified as Juber (35) and Vikky Mahaldar (30), who was reportedly from Manihari. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/jamshedpur/two-bodies-fished-out-from-ganga/articleshow/90467441.cms (27 March 2022)
सिल्ली रांगामाटी सड़क पर पिलीद के पास ईचागढ़ पुलिस और टास्क फोर्स ने अवैध रूप से लदे बालू से भरे दो हाईवा को जब्त कर लिया है। जानकारी के मुताबिक सोमवार को अहले सुबह पुलिस और टास्क फोर्स ने संयुक्त रूप से कार्रवाई करते हुए दो हाईवा को जब्त कर लिया। दरअसल, पुलिस पिछले कुछ दिनों से अवैध बालू खनन करने वालों के खिलाफ अभियान चला रही है। दरअसल, रांची जिले के सोनाहातु थाना क्षेत्र से बालू से भरे दो हाईवा जा रहे थे, जिसे देखकर पुलिस और टास्क फोर्स ने जांच की, पुलिस ने ड्राइवर से कागजात मांगे, लेकिन ड्राइवर कागज नहीं दिखा पाया, और मौके पर हाईवा छोड़कर फरार हो गया। जिसके बाद पुलिस ने हाईवा को जब्त कर लिया। सूत्रों से मिली जानकारी के अनुसार सोनाहातु थाना के कांची नदी घाट से अवैध बालु लेकर जमशेदपुर जा रही थी, जहां पुलिस द्वारा जप्त कर ईचागढ़ थाना में रखा गया है व खनन विभाग को सुचित किया गया है। https://www.jagran.com/jharkhand/jamshedpur-illegal-mining-big-meeting-of-district-mining-task-force-in-garhwa-this-plan-was-made-to-crack-down-on-illegal-sand-traders-22638155.html (18 April 2022)
Jammu & Kashmir Utilise local manpower for sand mining: G A Mir Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) President Ghulam Ahmad Mir Monday (March 07) urged the government to utilise local manpower for mining and excavation of sand, bajri, and other construction material from various streams in J&K. A statement of Congress issued here said that during his three-day tour of Dooru Verinag, Mir said that the use of machinery for mining and excavation of streams would be detrimental to irrigation in J&K and was bound to cause immense damages to agriculture and other farming lands, which had to be addressed before it would be too late to control the situation. https://www.greaterkashmir.com/kashmir/utilise-local-manpower-for-sand-mining-g-a-mir (08 March 2022)
Haryana 2 men killed at Dadam mining zone mishaps 2 persons were killed in the last 24 hours at Dadam mining zone of Bhiwani district, officials said on Sunday (April 24). A truck driver, Bhim Singh of Dulheri village in Bhiwani’s Tosham, died late on Saturday (April 23) after a rock fell on him near pit number 22 and another worker, Sonu of Dadam village, died while performing the drill work around 11am on Sunday (April 24).
In his complaint to Tosham police, Jaipal said his fields are adjacent to the mining site at Dadam. “Due to illegal mining work, two persons died at the site in the last 24 hours. Both the incidents took place in the areas banned for mining. Mining and other district officials have closed these areas and this site has become a death trap for workers. An FIR should be registered against Govardhan Mines and Mineral for not providing safety equipment to the workers and forcing them to work in the risk zone,” he added.
On January 1, five workers had died and two injured after a landslide occurred at this site. An NGT panel had recommended a fine of ₹7.5 crore on Dadam mining lease holder, Govardhan Mines and Mineral, for “grossly” violating the “approved mining plan” and the conditions of environmental clearance and consent to operation. The report from the Director General Mine Safety, Ghaziabad, also submitted that the mining area was not “adequately benched, sloped and secured as to prevent danger from fall of sides”. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/chandigarh-news/two-men-killed-at-haryana-s-dadam-mining-zone-mishaps-101650828337554.html (25 April 2022)
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WETLANDS, LAKES, WATER BODIES
Assam Will Son Beel get a facelift? Karimganj Deputy Commissioner Mridul Yadav has written to the State government of Assam, Transformation and Development department, submitting a proposal amounting to 60 crores for the “Development of Sonbeel as a Tourist Destination”. Son Beel, a freshwater lake surrounded by hills and home to several hundred fish species, and birds, is the largest wetland in the northeast and the second-largest seasonal wetland in Asia. About 40% of the Beel’s peripheral area consists of evergreen forests, and it also hosts the migrant Siberian birds for three months every year.
– The wetland is spread over more than 3,000 hectares and is fed mostly by the Singla river. One of the most unique aspects of the Beel is that it becomes farmland for rice cultivation during winter till March and then turns into a lake in the second half of the year. The lake’s shallowness makes it overflow during the rainy season, and the water meets the Kushiara River through the Kakra River and flows to Bangladesh. Researchers Moharana Choudhury and Deepak Kumar of the United Nations Development Programme estimated the monetary value of Son Beel from a minimum of $88 (6,530 rupees approximately) per hectare per year to a maximum of $29,716 (22,04,537 rupees approximately) per hectare per year in their study Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Benefits of Son Beel Wetland in Assam, India 2020, published by University of Hamburg, Germany. ccording to state government estimates, there are more than 35,000 families directly dependent on the Beel for the traditional fishing system. https://www.eastmojo.com/news/2022/04/23/will-son-beel-asias-second-largest-seasonal-wetland-get-a-facelift/ (23 April 2022)
Kerala Corporation’s proposal to reclaim wetlands shot down The State-Level Monitoring Committee (SLMC) on Kerala Wetlands Act, 2008, which met online on Saturday (April 23), rejected the proposal of the civic body to reclaim 32 hectares for setting up a waste-to-energy plant. In his presentation seeking permission for the reclamation, the Corporation Secretary had identified five sites covering 32 hectares. However, the members of the panel pointed out that the civic body had in its possession around 15 acres of solid land reclaimed earlier, where the plant could be set up.
The meeting pointed out that the civic body could not prepare a master plan for waste management. The panel asked the Corporation to come up with a detailed plan after which the proposal for reclamation shall be considered, said sources. The State government had earlier cleared 20 acres of wetland at Brahmapuram for reclamation by notifying it as a public project. An amendment introduced to the Wetland Acts had empowered the government to exempt any reclamation proposal from the ambit of the Act if it was for public purposes. Incidentally, the amendments helped the government secure the wetland for conversion though the SLMC had declined the permission for land conversion. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/kochi-corporations-proposal-to-reclaim-wetlands-at-brahmapuram-shot-down/article65351485.ece (24 April 2022)
Maharashtra Apple grant to help protect Raigad mangroves A 2,400-hectare mangrove ecosystem in Maharashtra’s Raigad district will be among Apple’s focus areas as it works to support communities around the world worst impacted by climate change. With a grant from the tech giant, Applied Environmental Research Foundation (AERF) will work with the local community to protect the mangrove forest, which provides an important buffer against climate change. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/apple-raigad-mangrove-forest-climate-change-7881268/ (22 April 2022)
Delhi SWA makes last ditch attempt to save ‘extinct’ water bodies The Wetland Authority of Delhi, constituted in 2019, is now making rapid strides to notify at least 20 of them under Wetland (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2017, by January next year, according to officials. These include Sanjay Lake, Hauz Khas Lake, Bhalswa Lake, Tikri Khurd Lake, Welcome Jheel, Daryapur Kalan, and Sardar Sarovar Lake.
In March, the Wetland Authority of Delhi had received a request from land-owning agencies to delete 258 “extinct” water bodies from the official list of 1043 wetlands in the capital as public and private utilities have come up in their place. At a meeting held on March 28, the panel proposed to conduct a survey to ascertain the “level of degradation” of these water bodies and prepare a ‘Red Document’ — which will include those that cannot be saved — and a ‘Green Document’ listing the ones which can be reclaimed and restored. The water bodies that cannot be revived will be deleted from the list. https://www.financialexpress.com/lifestyle/science/delhi-makes-last-ditch-attempt-to-save-extinct-water-bodies/2501735/ (24 April 2022)
Jammu and Kashmir Hokersar being developed as eco-tourism destination Ifshan Dewan, Kashmir’s wildlife warden wetlands said this year they will be completing the beautification of the Hokersar wetland after it was delayed due to the Covid last year. “We are going for the landscaping of its camping area and laying a garden. We are also developing facilities like eateries, toilets and walkways,” she said.
Jalal Jeelani, an environmental filmmaker, welcomed the move but cautioned that unregulated footfall can put undue stress on the wetland. The Wildlife Warden Wetlands, Dewan said that they will make sure that the flow of people is in a regulated manner. “We are launching a website for giving online permission to those who intend to visit,” she said. In a recent visit to Hokersar, irrigation and flood control chief engineer Naresh Kumar said the department is going to construct two gates at the entry and exit of the wetland.
Kashmir has some 400 water bodies of which the officials and avian watchers observe the birds in some 25 big and notified water bodies. Presently, the Valley has eight wetlands with Shalbough, majorly located in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district, as the biggest wetland spread over 16 sq km. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/chandigarh-news/kashmirs-bird-paradise-hokersar-wetland-being-developed-as-eco-tourism-destination-101650748238840.html (24 April 2022)
Punjab Pollution impacts fish at Harike, Nangal wetlands: Study Nutritional value of fish, an important source of food, found at the Harike wetland, also known as Harike Pattan, and Nangal wetland in the state, is directly affected due to rising pollution levels caused by discharge of industrial effluents into the water bodies says a latest study on the Harike and Nangal wetlands carried out by an assistant professor and a research scholar of Zoology and Environmental Sciences at Punjabi University, Patiala.
The study points out that pollution level at Harike wetland is high in comparison to Nangal wetlands. The WQI of Harike wetland is poor at 56.68, while that of Nangal wetland is good (39.54) and safe for the ecosystem, it says. The Harike wetland also has a heavy load of heavy metal pollution index (HPI) and high metal index (MI) (concentration of metal). https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/pollution-impacts-fish-at-harike-nangal-wetlands-study-387775 (20 April 2022)
No migratory bird census at Harike wetland for first time in 11 years For the first time in 11 years, the annual census of migratory birds descending upon the Harike wetland was not conducted. Reason:The raging third wave of the pandemic. “This year’s census could not be conducted due to the third wave of Covid pandemic,” said Ferozepur divisional forest officer, wildlife, Nalin Yadav.“Every year, we start the census in the third week of January. The wetland is divided into 12 to 14 parts and as many teams are dispatched for the survey. But this year, the situation was not conducive. Some participants had even tested positive for the virus. This is for the first time since 2011 that the census could not be conducted,” said Gitanjali Kanwar, coordinator, aquatic biodiversity, WWF India.
Yadav, however, said the department managed to conduct the species count survey. “As per the latest survey, around 80 species of migratory birds visited the wetland this year,” Yadav added. Last year, 90 species were recorded, including three unidentified. In 2020, only 74,869 migratory birds had arrived at the wetland, which was the lowest in over six years. Officials attributed the dip to “some undescribed” issues in low temperature regions. In 2019, the count of migratory birds was 1,23,000; 94,771 in 2018; 93,385 in 2017; 1,05890 in 2016. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/chandigarh-news/covid-impact-no-migratory-bird-census-at-harike-wetland-for-first-time-in-11-years-101646162996244.html (02 March 2022)
Every lake has a story Lakes are in distress in urban India. With the demand for real estate skyrocketing and the groundwater table touching new lows, many good samaritans are fighting to give a new lease of life to these fast disappearing water bodies. https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/business/conserving-indias-dying-lakes-water-crisis-8397451.html (24 April 2022)
Bengaluru Re-imagining the Shallow Aquifer. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ln5ZwJofmNE&t=4s (20 April 2022)
Rajasthan Communities need to become custodians of ponds In 2006, the community of Marwar Mundwa village (in Nagaur) got to work. It was time to optimise the precious resource of Lakholav Pond, which lay at its feet. Over the next 10 years, the pond was deepened and de-silted five times, increasing the cumulative storage capacity to 15.76 million litres. A 412-metre long canal was constructed to increase the runoff water flow into the pond from nearby catchment areas—further increasing storage capacity to 221 million litres. This was enough water to meet the needs of the community for two years, even in times of drought. https://www.forbesindia.com/blog/environment-and-sustainability/indias-water-crisis-communities-need-to-become-custodians-of-ponds/ (22 April 2022)
Tamil Nadu Chinnapatti village gets national award for water conservation Chinnapatti village in Madurai district has bagged the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Award for best village panchayat for attaining sustainability on indicators of sanitation and water conservation. During the ‘Panchayat Raj Day’ grama sabha meeting on Sunday, Collector S Aneesh Sekhar handed over the official award announcement letter to panchayat president P Sakthi Mayil.
Chinnapatti is a quaint little village consisting of six wards and as many as 1,886 residents. Just over a year ago, the rural body elections were held and independent candidate and first-time contender P Sakthi Mayil entered the fray. “Rainwater harvesting, reusing borewells, renovation of traditional and other water bodies, intensive afforestation under Jal Shakti Abhiyan were the steps we took towards enhancing our conservation of water resources,” she said. Out of total 522 houses in the panchayat, 344 received individual pipeline connections, and the remaining households are expected to get it within a month. https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/tamil-nadu/2022/apr/25/national-award-for-water-conservation-makes-it-to-tamil-nadus-chinnapatti-village-2446061.html (25 April 2022)
Report 5 states extract almost 50% of groundwater, shows Govt data 5 states — Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and Kerala — account for 49 per cent of the overall extraction of groundwater in the entire country while the rest of the country accounts for 50 per cent, government data between 2004-2020 has shown. “These top five states withdraw about 24.37 billion cubic metres (BCM),” the data from the Ministry of Jal Shakti showed adding, between year 2004 and 2020, groundwater drawl has increased from 18.09 BCM to 27.31 BCM implying an average annual increase of 576 million cubic metres.
However, these are not the highest groundwater withdrawing states in terms of absolute volume. The stage of ground water extraction is very high in Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan, where it is more than 100 per cent, which implies that in these states, the annual ground water consumption is more than annual extractable ground water resources. In the states of Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and UTs of Chandigarh and Puducherry, the stage of ground water Extraction is between 70-100 per cent. In the rest of the states / UTs, the stage of ground water development is below 70 per cent.
As per the 2017 assessment of Dynamic Ground water resources, the total annual ground water recharge for the entire country has been assessed as 432 BCM and total natural discharges worked out to be 39 BCM, making the annual extractable ground water resources for the entire country to be at 393 BCM. The total annual ground water extraction of the entire country for the year 2017 has been estimated as 248.69 BCM with the agriculture sector being the predominant consumer of groundwater resources. About 89 per cent of total annual ground water extraction i.e. 221.46 BCM is for irrigation use. Only 27.24 BCM is for domestic & industrial usage, which is about 11 per cent of the total extraction.
At global level, groundwater sources provide almost half of all drinking water worldwide, about 40 per cent of water for irrigated agriculture and about 1/3 for the industry. The Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) statistics shows that the contribution of groundwater is nearly 62 per cent in irrigation, 85 per cent in rural water supply and 50 per cent in urban water supply, the officer said. https://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/five-states-extract-almost-50-of-groundwater-shows-govt-data-122042201422_1.html (23 April 2022)
Haryana WB to assess work done on groundwater in Kurukshetra As many as 189 villages of Pehowa, Ladwa and Shahabad blocks of Kurukshetra were identified as dark zone under the Atal Bhujal Yojana, a central scheme aided by the World Bank. Village-specific water security plans were to be prepared under the scheme. While plans of 116 villages have been prepared, the remaining will be prepared by June-end. The World Bank team will visit the villages to see the ongoing activities by various departments, community participation in preparation of water security plans, observation wells and IEC (information, education and communication) activities under the project. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/haryana/world-bank-to-assess-work-done-on-groundwater-in-kurukshetra-387319 (18 April 2022)
Two senior officials in Haryana explain how serious is the depleting water level problem in the state and how is it being checked. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chandigarh/haryana-groundwater-crisis-the-deep-state-and-baby-steps-towards-the-big-leap-7874386/ (18 April 2022)
Bengaluru Water Delay The deadline for Rs 291 Cr rejuvenation of TG Halli reservoir started in March 2019 has been extended to Sept 2022 for the second time as the last one expired on March 31, 2022. According to BWSSB, this is due to delay in arrival of imported machinery for STP and WTP. The silt has been removed. The reservoir was the mainstay of Bangalore water supply in 1970s. It turned dry in 2012 and rejuvenation will allow BWSSB to pump 110 MLD water to supply in Western Bengaluru. It will receive water from Yetinaholle project. https://bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com/bangalore/others/water-delay/articleshow/90577035.cms (01 April 2022)
The TG Halli reservoir, which was a major source of water for Bengaluru in the 1970s, had turned dry by 2012 and its rejuvenation will allow the BWSSB to pump 110 MLD of water to western Bengaluru. The rejuvenation work, which is taken up at Rs 291 crore, started in March 2019 and had an initial deadline of September 2021. https://www.deccanherald.com/city/top-bengaluru-stories/tg-halli-reservoir-rejuvenation-misses-second-deadline-1103384.html (24 April 2022)
Biggest encroacher of lake is… The Karnataka government is the biggest encroacher of the Yele Mallappa Shetty Lake in Bengaluru, as per a survey by revenue authorities who said they have issued notices to private parties but can’t do much over government violations done for “public purposes”.
Among the govt encroachments include the National HIghway 75 that splits the lake into two, an STP and a naval school. Main drains have disappeared and those remaining bring waste water and also polluted water from 25 lakes in the upstream. Storm Water drains needs to be restored. https://www.deccanherald.com/city/top-bengaluru-stories/biggest-encroacher-of-bengaluru-lake-is-1101616.html (18 April 2022)
BBMP contractors make 40% bribe claims State-level contractors’ body have threatened to go on strike if the government does not clear pending bills of Rs 3,500 crore that have piled up from Nov 2019 under the BBMP fund. The government allegedly owes the contractors another Rs 300 crore under the CM’s Amrut Nagarothana scheme. BBMP Contractors Association said they are still in talks with the government about payments. The association has 2,000 contractors executing BBMP works, of which 200-300 have taken up works worth over Rs 10,000 crore. If talks fail, they will go on strike. https://www.deccanherald.com/city/top-bengaluru-stories/now-bbmp-contractors-make-40-bribe-claims-1102217.html (20 April 2022)
Hyderabad All about GO 111 order The GO 111 order issued on March 8, 1996, prohibited the setting up of industries, residential colonies, hotels, etc in the catchment area of the Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar lakes up to a radius of 10 km. Environmentalists and activists are criticising the Telangana government for withdrawing an over 25-year-old government order protecting the historic Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar reservoirs in Hyderabad. The total catchment area covers around 1.30 lakh acres, spread over 84 villages. The aim of the restrictions was to protect the catchment area, and to keep the reservoirs pollution-free. The lakes had been supplying water to Hyderabad for nearly 70 years, and were the main source of drinking water for the city at the time.
– The proposal to build the dams came after a major flood during the reign of the sixth nizam Mahbub Ali Khan (1869-1911) in 1908, in which more than 15,000 people were killed. The lakes came into being during the reign of the last nizam Osman Ali Khan (1911-48). Osman Sagar was completed in 1921, and Himayat Sagar in 1927.
– The government has set up a committee headed by the chief secretary to frame rules and regulations of development around the two lakes. Several sewerage treatment plants are proposed in the area, and pipelines or canals will be dug to divert the treated water away from the lakes. https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/go-111-order-to-protect-hyderabad-osman-sagar-himayat-sagar-lifted-7882177/ (23 April 2022)
Death knell for groundwater in Hussainsagar watershed A joint research study by teams from the National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI), Hyderabad, and Telangana state groundwater department has revealed that a larger part of the groundwater table in the catchment of Hussainsagar is contaminated. The pollution levels go up in the summer but the contaminants get diluted during the monsoon. As part of the study, the researchers collected groundwater samples from 108 locations over a period of four years spread over eight different seasons.
The study revealed that higher load of pollution is confined to the downstream of the Kukatpally watershed and Dulapally watershed during the pre-monsoon. “However, in the post-monsoon high loadings are limited to the Kukatpally stream, indicating higher pollution loadings adding to the groundwater system from industrial effluents of the Kukatpally stream with a total variance of 34. 4%,” the researchers said. According to the study, the Kukatpally and Dulapally micro-watersheds have “undergone extensive industrial development during the last five decades due to the discharge of untreated or partially treated effluents into the streams. This phenomenon might have led to severe groundwater contamination along its flow paths and finally the Hussainsagar lake contamination. ” https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/hyderabad-death-knell-for-groundwater-in-hussainsagar-watershed/articleshow/91043553.cms (24 April 2022)
Delhi NTPC ties up with DJB to convert waste into energy NTPC has partnered with Delhi Jal Board to convert sludge produced in latter’s STPs into energy. In Delhi-NCR alone, STPs produce up to 800 MT of sludge per day. The disposal of the sludge is a major challenge as it contributes towards environmental pollution. https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/business/ntpc-ties-up-with-delhi-jal-board-to-convert-waste-into-energy-8389941.html (21 April 2022)
The ‘yuck factor’ with wastewater reuse must be addressed The theme of Earth Day this year is ‘Invest in our Planet’ with the message that ‘we need to act (boldly), innovate (broadly), and implement (equitably)’. This is a call that strongly resonates with the kind of approach needed to understand and establish proper wastewater treatment and reuse systems in our cities. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/blogs/voices/earth-day-the-yuck-factor-with-wastewater-reuse-must-be-addressed-to-save-freshwater-reduce-water-pollution/ (24 April 2022)
Katni नगर निगम की टीम ने किसानों को दी हिदायत कटनी में जलसंकट के मद्देनजर सार्वजनिक जलाशयों से पानी लेना प्रतिबंधित किया गया है। सार्वजनिक जलाशयों की निगरानी करने के लिए नगर निगम ने टीम भी गठित की है। जो सार्वजनिक जलाशयों के पास जाकर इस बात की जांच करती है कि कहीं से कोई पानी तो नहीं ले रहा है। इसी निगरानी के दौरान कटनी में नदी से पानी खींचने के लिए लगाए गए पांच मोटर पंपों को नगर निगम की टीम ने जब्त किया है। नगर निगम ने पेयजल परिरक्षण अधिनियम लागू कर नवीन नलकूप खनन, नदी, तालाबों, अन्य सार्वजनिक जलाशयों से पानी लेना प्रतिबंधित किया है। https://www.bhaskar.com/local/mp/katni/news/despite-the-ban-water-was-being-drawn-from-the-river-by-installing-a-motor-pump-the-municipal-team-gave-instructions-to-the-farmers-129685391.html (19 April 2022)
JJM/ RURAL WATER SUPPLY
Uttarakhand पौड़ी जिले में स्थित चौबट्टाखाल विधानसभा के जहां ग्राम सभा अमोठा ओर केशरपुरा में हर घर नल, हर घर जल योजना के तहत पेयजल लाइन खींची खीं गयी थी जिसमे टैंक के जरिये पानी एकत्र कर लोगों के घरों में पानी भेजा जाना था. यह काम किया भी गया लाखों रूपए इस योजना के एवज में ठेकेदार से लेकर विभागीय अधिकारियों द्वारा डकार भी लिए गए
मगर टैंक के घटिया निर्माण कार्य के चलते पहली बरसात में ही टैंक टूट गया जिससे गांव में पानी की सप्लाई बाधित हो गई है और ग्रामीण बूंद भर पानी के लिए भी मोहताज हो गए अब ग्रामीण ठेकेदार पर घटिया निर्माण कार्य का आरोप लगा रहे हैं. ग्रामीणों का कहना है जब भी ठेकदार से टैंक ठीक करने की बात की जाती है तो वो इस बात को टाल देता है. जिसके कारण गांव वाले पिछले 6 महीने से पानी के लिए तरस रहे हैं https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIckTIm3czs (22 April 2022)
Jammu & Kashmir Ramban panchayat faces water scarcity Residents of Seri panchayat in Ramban tehsil are facing acute water scarcity. Residents said that the problem has increased in the last few weeks and people are without water supply as the field staff of PHE (Jal Shakti) Sub Division Ramban has failed to fix the damaged lines of the water supply schemes. They said that the line which supplies water to the reservoir caters to over 400 people in the Seri panchayat of Ramban. The inhabitants complain that the supply line developed some breaches a few days back and the line is yet to be repaired. https://www.greaterkashmir.com/chenab-valley/ramban-panchayat-faces-water-scarcity-2 (24 April 2022)
WATER TRAIN TO PALI, RAJASTHAN: A train carrying 2 million litres of water reached Pali from Jodhpur. Everyday two such trains will reach Pali.
Kerala Water bill sent by SMS should have water consumption data: SHRC State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has asked the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) to include water consumption data in water bills issued via SMS. The consumers have a right to data regarding their water consumption. SMS bills generated by the KWA should carry both previous and current meter reading data, commission chairman Antony Dominic said in an order. If that was not possible, the bill should be issued to the consumer on the spot, the order said.
The commission’s direction came at a time when the KWA was forced to resume spot billing—where the meter reader hands over the paper bill after taking the reading—after the SMS system sparked complaints. Six months ago, KWA had stopped spot billing in favour of the SMS mode. But the system had given rise to numerous complaints prompting the Water Resources Department to direct the KWA to resume spot billing.
KWA issued orders on April 22 stating its intention to use both spot billing and the SMS system. The Human Rights Commission noted that the KWA had the responsibility to inform the consumer about consumption data. Denying this right was tantamount to a human rights violation. The commission’s order came on a complaint filed by human rights activist Ragam Rahim. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/water-bill-sent-by-sms-should-have-water-consumption-data-shrc/article65350973.ece (24 April 2022)
SANDRP Blog Normal Rains Forecast for India’s SW Monsoon 2022 India Meteorological Department (IMD) has in their first forecast for India’s crucial South West Monsoon (June-Sept) 2022 has forecast[i] that India will receive 99% of Long Period Average (LPA) rain with a model error of +/- 5%. This means that IMD has forecast on April 14, 2022 that India is likely to get normal rainfall (96% to 104% of LPA) rains for the fourth consecutive year. https://sandrp.in/2022/04/25/normal-rains-forecast-for-indias-sw-monsoon-2022/ (25 April 2022)
Karnataka 132 water level sensors provide alerts during rains Since 2018-19 at the start of the (Urban Flood Modelling project of the KSNDMC and Indian Institute of Science (IISc)) project, the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Management Centre (KSNDMC) has installed 132 water level sensors in many highly vulnerable and vulnerable areas prone to flooding in the Bangalore city. These sensors issue a warning in real-time when the water level in the storm-water drains reaches the danger mark. Of the 132 sensors, 105 were installed in November 2021 at a cost of ₹1.03 crore. 27 sensors were installed on a pilot basis earlier.
– Under the initiative, KSNDMC had also installed 100 telemetric rain gauges, 12 telemetric weather stations across the city for monitoring rainfall and weather parameters.
– “The data obtained from the sensors, rain gauges and stations is being used to generate the flood alerts for the BBMP area through a hydrological model developed under this project. Location-specific dynamic alert and early warning about the rainfall and resultant rising water levels in the storm-water drains is one of the critical information required for the civic authorities to take necessary measures to reduce the impact of floods in the city,” Manoj Rajan, KSNDMC director said.
– Alerts are generated and disseminated through reports, WhatsApp groups, social media platforms, apart from being uploaded on the http://www.bengaluruvarunamitra.info website and made available on the Bengaluru Megha Sandesh mobile application. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/132-water-level-sensors-provide-alerts-during-rains/article65345747.ece (23 April 2022)
Nagaland Central team to asses drought situation The authority further informed the team that agricultural crops over 1465.4 acre were affected by drought in 2020-2021 in Kohima district and 65 villages, mostly from northern areas, were affected. https://www.nagalandpost.com/index.php/central-team-in-nagaland-to-asses-drought-situation/ (23 April 2022)
Report Artificial Intelligence Takes On Earthquake Prediction After successfully predicting laboratory earthquakes, a team of geophysicists has applied a machine learning algorithm to quakes in the Pacific Northwest. For the past year and a half, these events have been the focus of a new effort at earthquake prediction by the geophysicist Paul Johnson. Johnson’s team is among a handful of groups that are using machine learning to try to demystify earthquake physics and tease out the warning signs of impending quakes. Two years ago, using pattern-finding algorithms similar to those behind recent advances in image and speech recognition and other forms of artificial intelligence, he and his collaborators successfully predicted temblors in a model laboratory system — a feat that has since been duplicated by researchers in Europe.
– Now, in a paper posted this week on the scientific preprint site arxiv.org, Johnson and his team report that they’ve tested their algorithm on slow slip quakes in the Pacific Northwest. Outside experts say the results are tantalizing. According to Johnson, they indicate that the algorithm can predict the start of a slow slip earthquake to “within a few days — and possibly better.” https://www.quantamagazine.org/artificial-intelligence-takes-on-earthquake-prediction-20190919/ (19 Sept. 2019)
This publication: https://www.irena.org/-/media/Files/IRENA/Agency/Publication/2022/Apr/IRENA_RE_Capacity_Statistics_2022.pdf presents renewable power generation capacity statistics for the past decade (2012-2021) in tables. https://www.irena.org/publications/2022/Apr/Renewable-Capacity-Statistics-2022
Biogas can be used as an effective solution to reduce emissions, fix carbon cycles, improve the quality of soil, and improve the quality of life on earth. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/blogs/voices/how-biogas-industry-can-contribute-in-countering-soil-degradation-issue/ (23 April 2022)
Parliamentary Committee Lawmakers suggest key changes in contentious wildlife bill The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science, Technology, Environment, Forests and Climate Change, said in its report released on April 21, 2022 that the MoEF suggested amendments in the Wildlife Protection Act will pack the standing committee of the State Board of Wild Life with officials, making it a rubber stamp body, and become a clearing house of govt proposed projects. In stead, the membership of the body needs to be more independent and participatory. The Panel headed by Shri Jairam Ramesh said that at least one third members of the panel should be from outside govt. In addition, there should be three members from bodies like ICFRE, NTCA. In addition, director of Wild Life Institute of India or his/ her nominee should be in the panel. https://www.deccanherald.com/national/lawmakers-suggest-key-changes-in-contentious-wildlife-bill-1102763.html (21 April 2022)
Tamil Nadu Govt forms agency to handle land acquisition The Tamil Nadu government has established a Land Acquisition Agency of Tamil Nadu (LAATAN) in an effort to expedite land acquisition works for all infrastructure projects in the State. The agency will effectively monitor the land acquisition (LA) activities such as periodical monitoring of LA status, coordination between departments, obtaining funds for LA, and monitoring cases. Currently, work is on to acquire 20,000 hectares of land for various schemes of the State and Union governments.
“Now all the works related to the land acquisition have been integrated under LAATAN and the works will be expedited in compliance with the statutory norms,” added the official. A high-level steering committee headed by the Secretary to the Revenue and Disaster Management department is being formed to supervise and regularise the activities of the agency. While CLA will act as convenor, Secretaries to the Industries, Water Resource, Highways and Minor Ports, and Finance departments will function as its members.
After minor rearrangements, the State has created 55 special units headed by DROs with a staff strength of 4,575. A few crucial projects of TN for which land acquisition is in progress — three river-linking projects, State highways’ projects, and the setting up of SIPCOT in six districts — are in different stages. Similarly, LA works for the railways doubling works, NHAI projects, ISRO’s Small satellite launching pad at Thoothukudi, CPCL work at Nagapattinam and NLC works at Cuddalore Neyveli Coal Mine also being taken up. https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/tamil-nadu/2022/apr/19/tn-forms-agency-to-handle-land-acquisition-2443596.html (19 April 2022)
Pakistan Climate-proofing the treaty The challenge is how to integrate information on future hydro-climatological conditions into the politically complex system of a transboundary (Indus) water agreement.
– The Indus treaty presently lacks important tools for dealing with the changing social, economic and climate conditions, but Article 7 of the treaty has provisions to deal with the issues that have emerged in recent years.
– The India-Pakistan Permanent Indus Commission meets twice a year, and then primarily to exchange Pakistani objections and Indian rebuttals on the proposed infrastructural projects. This zero-sum approach cannot keep the treaty alive. The Permanent Indus Commission needs to meet more frequently than the minimum required in the treaty; it should constitute ad hoc expert groups and sub-committees to table climate-smart options.
– (When the Indus Treaty was formulated and negotiated), There was no time, scientific knowledge or expertise available to discuss the importance of e-flows for sustainable ecosystems, watershed protection, or groundwater and aquifer management. We know now that cheaper solar and wind energy has diminished the need for India to construct a chain of dams to allow the free flow of the Indus.
– It has become a matter of common knowledge that where change exceeds the institutional capacity to absorb it, the situation is rife for conflict. https://www.dawn.com/news/1686544/climate-proofing-the-treaty (Ali Tauqeer Sheikh, Apr 24 2022)
Nepal China miffed with govt’s decision Two weeks ago, the government revoked the license issued to the Chinese state-owned China Gezhouba Group Corporation (CGGC) for the development of the Budhi Gandaki Hydropower Project. The government also decided to build the 1200 MW reservoir-based nation-pride project through national investment. China has expressed its dissatisfaction over the government’s recent decision to build the Budhi Gandaki Hydroelectric Project itself by scrapping the project awarded earlier to a Chinese contractor. https://myrepublica.nagariknetwork.com/news/china-miffed-with-deuba-govt-s-decision-to-deny-chinese-company-to-develop-budhi-gandaki-hydro-project/ (22 April 2022)
Report Governing the ‘Water Tower of Asia’: The Case for a System of Integrated Knowledge for the Hindu Kush Himalaya Monograph by Jayanta Bandyopadhyay and Sayanangshu Modak. https://www.orfonline.org/research/governing-the-water-tower-of-asia/ (25 March 2022)
Uzbekistan Massive Floods and Landslides due to Heavy Rain Kill Multiple People At least four people were killed as a result of the flash floods and rockfalls in the Samarkand and Jizzakh regions following a short yet intense torrential rain on Wednesday, 20 April 2022, according to the country’s Ministry of Emergency Situations (MES), as cited by the natural disaster monitoring site Floodlist.com. In two hours rain equivalent to a month fell. The country also faced massive floods in 2020 and 2021. https://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/50516/20220423/uzbekistan-massive-floods-landslides-due-heavy-rain-kill-multiple-people.htm (23 April 2022)
THE REST OF THE WORLD
S Africa Deadly rain storm and floods this month:
Compiled by SANDRP (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Also see: DRP News Bulletin 18 April 2022 & DRP News Bulletin 11 April 2022
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