(Feature Image: Women use an open source groundwater monitoring tool that enables collection of water level data of wells and its collation on a web platform for easy access by all. Source: FES/IWP)
The Groundwater (its closer to dug well monitoring than full GW monitoring) Monitoring Campaign using the Groundwater Monitoring Tool (an App) across the villages in India started two years ago by the Foundation for Ecological Security (FES) as reported by the India Water Portal seems like a much needed kind of campaign to monitor groundwater levels (& quality where that is also being monitored) across the villages in India. The presentation on the India Observatory (an initiative of FES) website lists some 40 very highly credible organisations from across India in 2020 when the GWM campaign started. This is certainly very welcome initiative that has huge potential to improve India’s groundwater management.
The article is silent on what happens to the data and, how it helps better management of groundwater in specific locations, what is the trend in data, how the data is getting used, how the picture that emerges from this data different from the one that emerges from CGWB data, etc. A Key question is what happens to the collected data. May be all these can be a subject of follow up article.
Groundwater monitoring campaign Starting May 15, 2022 Mamatha from Andhra Pradesh, and Rameshwar from Maharashtra, equipped with a mobile phone and a measuring tape, will be joining several others heading to their fields and neighbouring villages to measure wells. What they will be doing will contribute to the larger goal of measuring and managing India’s groundwater resources via the nation-wide Napo Jal Bachao Kal campaign.
– Their plan is simple: measure their wells and upload the data via the Groundwater Monitoring Tool (GWMT) to better understand the situation of the local groundwater table. The GWMT is an open-source android tool, which enables collection of well water level data and its collation on a web platform for easy access by all.
– Mamatha and Rameshwar will be one among 5,500+ individuals participating independently, or with 100+ NGOs across India in what is possibly the world’s largest crowdsourced groundwater monitoring project. Last year, 32,000+ wells were measured before and after the monsoons. The work of each of these individuals and organisations is crucial for the future of the world’s largest groundwater user– India.
– The number of participants and wells have been steadily growing over the past 2 years. “The aim of Napo Jal Bachao Kal,” according to Chiranjit Guha, the principal architect of the GWM Tool, “is to measure at least one well in each of the 6 lakh villages across India before and after the monsoons, year after year. This will give us a comprehensive insight into the status of groundwater at its lowest and highest levels. Having this information will help us better manage and govern our water resources. As an example, 430 wells have been measured in Kotri block of Rajasthan, providing a picture of the temporal changes of groundwater within the villages of the block.”
– “This year, we are planning to increase the reach of the campaign to more villages across India by strengthening our state-wise strategies. We will be running the campaign in six regional languages– Hindi, Gujarati, Telugu, Marathi, Kannada and Odia– in addition to English. Beyond social media engagement like in the previous years, new participants will see the campaign on innovative grassroot media like auto-rickshaws decked in colourful posters and loudspeakers,” said Kiran Singh, Lead, Communications, FES. https://www.indiawaterportal.org/articles/napo-jal-bachao-kal-campaign-pre-monsoon-groundwater-monitoring-2022-exercise-commences (12 May 2022)
HYDRO POWER PROJECTS
Himachal Pradesh Firms not keen, 26 hydel projects scrapped Government has cancelled 26 hydel projects after the respective companies showed no interest in executing these. The Cabinet, at its meeting yesterday, decided to give another chance to companies for completing formalities with regard to other 191 hydro power projects under the amnesty scheme. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/firms-not-keen-26-hydel-projects-scrapped-in-himachal-pradesh-393677 (11 May 2022)
Dam Authorities not Maintaining “Environment Flow” in Beas, Uhal rivers Taking note of non-release of 15-20 per cent water in the Uhal and Beas rivers in Mandi, High Court of Himachal Pradesh on Friday slapped notices on Chief Secretary, deputy commissioner Mandi and state pollution regulator and others to seek their reply on May 31. The Division Bench comprising the Chief Justice, Mohammad Rafiq and Justice Sandeep Sharma passed these orders in a petition taken up suo moto by the Court as Public Interest Litigation on a letter addressed to the Chief Justice by one Narender Saini, Chairman, Dev Bhumi Environment Savior Forum, Mandi. High Court has issued notice to Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary (Environment Science and Technology), Government of Himachal Pradesh, Chairman, H.P. State Pollution Board and Deputy Commissioner Mandi. The Court has sought reply as to why water from the Pandoh and Barot dams to the Beas and Uhal rivers as per orders of NGT is not being released. Since the Pandoh dam is manned by the Bhakra Beas Management Board and such the board is likely to be brought under the scanner of the court. https://himbumail.com/himachal-news/forests-rivers/dam-authorities-not-maintaining-environment-flow-in-beas-and-uhal-rivers,-hp-high-court-slaps-notices-to-cs,-dc-mandi-and-pollution-regulator (13 May 2022)
Arunachal Pradesh FAC to take call on Etalin Hydro project On May 12, 2022 MoEF’s Forest Advisory Com to consider the 3097 MW Etalin Hydropower project in Dibang valley requiring 1166 ha forest land, leading to cutting down of 2.8 lakh trees. On Tuesday (May 11), scientists from 16 research institutes wrote to the FAC stating that a fresh assessment of the region’s biodiversity must be conducted before the project is given approval. “We find it pertinent to remind the committee of the need to conduct fresh, unbiased scientific studies to fully understand the impact of the country’s largest proposed hydro-project on this region’s fragile ecology and people. We believe that such decisions of national importance should not be based on faulty and erroneous science,” the letter, signed by 29 researchers and scientists from Bombay Natural History Society, Nature Conservation Foundation, Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History, among others, read.
– On May 5, 2020, the same group of scientists had released a peer-review of Wildlife Institute of India’s (WII) report on the project which concluded that it was “biased” in its findings. The review stated that WII hadn’t revealed crucial information about the area, particularly the presence of tigers and the impact of the project on ecology and local residents. In their letter on Tuesday (May 10), the scientists wrote, “Importantly, in the past year, new evidence has emerged of multiple tigers inhabiting forests close to villages in Talõ Valley, one of the two limbs of the river Dibang where the project infrastructure will be located and where the WII had asserted there was no evidence of tigers in their Conservation Plan.” For Etalin hydro electric company, the process of cancelling the allocation of JPL has begun, SJVN has shown interest in taking over the project. FAC had asked the power ministry to comment whether the project in its current form is viable. It has also directed Arunachal Pradesh to submit a cost-benefit analysis of the project which has still not been submitted according to documents available on Parivesh website. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/forest-panel-to-take-call-on-nod-to-controversial-power-project-in-arunachal-101652297313374.html (12 May 2022)
Uttarakhand Vyasi HEP: homes, farms, memories drowned While monetary compensation is offered to the village residents, they are demanding land in return for land that has been taken for the project. The village residents primarily depend on farming and livestock rearing for their livelihood. The residents claim that while this electricity is supplied to cities, there is no concern for people who have lost their homes and livelihood in places where the dams are in fact built. https://india.mongabay.com/2022/05/as-lohari-village-is-submerged-for-a-dam-homes-farms-and-memories-are-drowned/ (10 May 2022)
Uttarakhand government has failed to resettle Lohari villagers despite their displacement for a hydropower project; 64 families were forcefully evicted from their houses on 11 April following a 48-hour notice. https://www.newsclick.in/uttarakhand-displaced-dam-lohari-residents-left-astray (15 May 2022)
व्यासी की दोनों टरबाइन को चलाने के लिए यमुना में 60 क्यूमेक्स पानी की जरूरत है। जबकि अभी नदी में 25-30 क्यूमेक्स पानी का प्रवाह है। व्यासी परियोजना के अधिशासी निदेशक हिमांशु अवस्थी डाउन टु अर्थ को बताते हैं “यमुना नदी में अभी पीछे से ही पानी कम आ रहा है। बरसात में जब नदी में पानी बढ़ेगा तो बिजली उत्पादन भी बढ़ जाएगा। बरसात में ही हमारी दोनों टरबाइन पूरी क्षमता से चल सकेंगी। बाकी समय पानी की उपलब्धता के आधार पर टर्बाइन चलाई जाएंगी”। https://www.downtoearth.org.in/hindistory/energy/hydropower/uttarakhand-why-is-electricity-not-being-generated-according-to-capacity-from-vyasi-project-82843 (14 May 2022)
PwC Institutions planning and forecasting power demand are failing Harnessing the potential of 145 GW of hydro power is key as we are exploiting on only 28%. Only 19% of total gas demand of the gas based power projects is met with average plant load factor of 13%. Clearly we are underutilsing the hydro and gas based stations that can provide peaking power. https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/power/institutions-entrusted-with-planning-and-forecasting-power-demand-profiles-are-failing-sambitosh-mohapatra-partner-pwc/91505150 (12 May 2022)
Medha Patkar on Narmada Project and World Bank: https://www.counterview.net/2022/05/world-bank-proved-right-narmada-is.html (10 May 2022)
Karnataka New barrage on Swarna in pipeline A barrage-cum-bridge will be constructed across the Swarna River at Uppoor in Udupi district, to prevent saltwater intrusion. The intrusion of saline water from the sea has been damaging agriculture crops, and creating drinking water scarcity in Uppoor, Parari and Havanje villages of Udupi taluk. The new barrage will prevent saltwater intrusion, provide drinking water to several villages, and it will also increase the groundwater table, said Udupi MLA K Raghupathi Bhat. Rs 165 Cr project will irrigate 1000 ha, has been approved by the cabinet.
– Officials of the minor irrigation department, and experts of the Varahi Lift Irrigation Project, were asked to prepare a detailed project report (DPR). DPR will include rejuvenation of nearby water resources including four lakes in Havanje and Mannapalla Lake of Manipal. The project will also include construction of retaining walls on either side of the Swarna River. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mangaluru/barrage-to-prevent-saltwater-intrusion/articleshow/91552080.cms (14 May 2022)
INTERLINKING OF RIVERS
केन बेतवा लिंक प्रभावित गांवों में वनवासी अधिकार यात्रा 10 मई से https://ashishsagarptb.com/madhya-pradesh/details/1341/———– (09 May 2022)
INTERSTATE WATER DISPUTES
Krishna Water Disputes KRMB forms 6-member panel to resolve water row In a significant move to iron out the continued differences between AP and Telangana over the sharing of waters from the Krishna basin projects, the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) has constituted a six-member panel. The decision to constitute the River Management Committee (RMC) has been taken following a resolution cleared at the recent board meeting. KRMB member Dr B Ravi Kumar Pillai would be the convenor of the committee. KRMB member (power) LB Muanthang, ENCs-C Muralidhar (TS), C Narayana Reddy (AP), Ch Venkata Rajam (director, TS Genco), M Sujay Kumar (chief engineer, AP Genco) will be the members of the committee.
– The committee will oversee the water releases from the Srisailam and Nagarjunasagar projects in future. “The committee should evolve a sound mechanism to operate the power houses of Srisailam and Nagarjunasagar projects for ensuring proper river management,” said KRMB chairman MP Singh. He asked the committee to come up with a report within 15 days.
– He has also asked the committee to examine the draft rule curves of Srisailam and Nagarjunasagar reservoirs prepared by the Central Water Commission (CWC) and finalise the rule curves by incorporating the needful modifications. He wanted a report on the issue within a month.
– Similarly, KRMB chairman asked the committee to evolve a methodology for demarcation of surplus water over and above 75 per cent dependable flows in Krishna basin under Telangana and AP. The committee was asked to prepare the modalities on surplus water management within a month. The recommendations of the committee would be discussed at the next meeting of full governing council of the KRMB. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/amaravati/krmb-forms-6-member-panel-to-resolve-water-row-between-andhra-pradesh-and-telangana/articleshow/91504387.cms (12 May 2022)
Telangana opposes CWC clearances to Karnataka projects The Telangana government has opposed clearances to irrigation projects being taken up by Karnataka state on Krishna. The Telangana irrigation department wrote a letter to Central Water Commission (CWC)’s clearances to Upper Tunga and Upper Bhadra projects in Karnataka. In a letter to the director of project appraisal (south), of CWC, irrigation engineer-in-chief C Muralidhar recently demanded that all the clearances should be kept in abeyance until Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal (KWDT)- II report is published and the needs of lower riparian states need to be considered before giving clearance.
– “There is a difference between allocation to all other sub-basins and Krishna-8 sub basin by KWDT-I. It has allocated water to Karnataka on enbloc basis with certain restrictions on utilisations in K-8 sub basin (Tungabhadra sub basin) in which Upper Bhadra and upper Tunga projects exist. Hence, the projects on Tungabhadra cannot be cleared by the CWC based on the reallocations and GOs issued by the government of Karnataka,” Muralidhar said. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/telangana-opposes-cwc-clearances-to-karnataka-projects/articleshow/91496709.cms (11 May 2022)
RIVERS AS NATIONAL WATER WAYS
साल 2015 में गंगा जलमार्ग परियोजना की पर्यावरणीय अनुमति को लेकर दायर मामले की सुनवाई अब तक 14 बार टल चुकी है By अवलि वर्मा https://indiaspendhindi.com/development/does-the-ganga-waterway-need-an-environmental-clearance-817471 (13 May 2022)
Rajasthan Parwan canal project delay due to pandemic, land acquisition The under-construction Parwan Canal Project (PCP) is facing delays due to geological, land acquisition and pandemic. The project is divided into three broad parts, dam, tunnel and irrigation facilities, meant to provide water to 2.41 lakh households and irrigation to 2.01 lakh hectares in Jhalawar, Bundi and Kota. So far, Rs 4,400 crore has been spent out of Rs 7, 355 crore budget for the programme. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/jaipur/parwan-canal-project-delay-due-to-pandemic-land-acquisition/articleshow/90767792.cms (11 April 2022)
Jammu & Kashmir In absence of irrigation canal orchardists suffer in Shopian village Large swathes of apple farms in highlands face irrigation problems as the government has not built canals or made any alternate arrangements for the farmers to irrigate their farms. https://www.greaterkashmir.com/todays-paper/kashmir-todays-paper/in-absence-of-irrigation-canal-orchardists-suffer-in-shopian-village (11 May 2022)
Bengaluru-Arkavathi & Her Sisters In this session Nirmala Gowda delve into the topic of the Arkavathi, in which she presents the Arkavathi river map, a first of its kind in India. Nirmala is the convenor of Paani.earth, an initiative to empower citizens with data, information and analysis that can save rivers. The presentation is followed by a discussion to explore the current state of the rivers, kaluves and lakes of Bengaluru, as well as their interlinkages. The panel discusses initiatives, non-starters and plans in the air along with the role of civic groups in finding a way forward for the future. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FseL9SL2xc (08 May 2022)
Bengaluru city makes up only 6% of the Arkavathy river basin area, but is a major contributor to the river’s pollution. Similar is the case with Vrushabhavathi river. Wastewater from industrial areas like Peenya, along with domestic sewage, is choking these rivers. https://bengaluru.citizenmatters.in/bengaluru-rivers-cauvery-arkavathy-vrushabhavathi-water-pollution-drying-80002 (10 May 2022)
Sabarmati-Ahmedabad AMC differs in submissions to HC, NGT The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has made different submissions to the NGT and Gujarat High Court with respect to its knowledge of stormwater drains flowing into Sabarmati river as well as its action plan to put a stop to untreated wastewater flowing into the river through these drains, records show.
While AMC submitted before the Gujarat HC on April 22 that it did not have the details of the number of stormwater drain outfalls for the entire stretch of the river, adding that it would find out the same and put it on the court’s records soon, the civic body informed the NGT-constituted joint committee that for a particular stretch of Naroda to Hansol in the city, there were three such outfalls in the specific stretch.
Also while AMC informed the Gujarat HC on April 22 that it will work out an action plan to put a stop to discharge of wastewater in the river through such storm water drain outfalls, the report submitted to the NGT-constituted joint committee’s on April 22, indicates that AMC already submitted an action plan with short and long-term measures with respect to the three specific stormwater drain outfalls , which includes construction of a 60 MLD sewage treatment plant at Kotarpur, expected to be commissioner by June 2023.
In further proof of ongoing pollution of Sabarmati river, an NGT-constituted joint committee has observed on the basis of field observations, information provided by AMC and sample analysis results, that the storm water drain in Naroda–Hansol area “carries untreated sewage and also intermittently industrial effluent is also discharged” in this storm water drain, which is ultimately discharged in Sabarmati river. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/ahmedabad/sabarmati-pollution-ahmedabad-civic-body-differs-in-submissions-to-hc-ngt-7895533/ (01 May 2022)
Saraswati-Kolkata NGT orders inquiry into the alleged filling up of river The eastern bench of the NGT on Thursday (April 07) directed that a high-power committee be formed to probe the allegation that the Saraswati river has been filled up: in several parts of Howrah. According to activist Subhas Datta, in his submission, alleged that the river has been filled with fly ash and soil to stop its flow. Illegal bridges are being constructed over the river and untreated wastewater and garbage are polluting the river. The river has also been encroached at several points in the name of road widening.
The NGT bench comprising Justice B. Amit Sthalekar and expert member Saibal Dasgupta directed that a committee be constituted with senior scientists from both the central and state pollution control boards, a senior official from state irrigation department and a retired official from state environment department to look into the matter and submit a report within a month. The NGT bench asked the state pollution control board to act as the nodal agency. Petitioner Datta will accompany the committee during its field visit. https://www.telegraphindia.com/my-kolkata/news/national-green-tribunal-orders-inquiry-into-the-alleged-filling-up-of-saraswati-river/cid/1859743 (08 April 2022)
The eastern bench of the NGT has formed a committee to investigate the allegations that several parts of the river Saraswati within greater Kolkata have been encroached upon. The committee, which has to file a report in a month, includes representatives of the central and state pollution control boards and officials from the state environment and irrigation departments. State pollution control board has been asked to act as a nodal agency. Petitioner Datta has been directed to accompany the committee on its field visits. https://www.telegraphindia.com/my-kolkata/news/national-green-tribunal-panel-to-probe-saraswati-river-encroachment/cid/1860422 (13 April 2022)
Vaigai-Madurai Plea in Madurai Bench to prevent river exploitation The Vaigai Nathi Makkal Iyakkam has filed a PIL before the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court seeking a direction to the State to take appropriate steps to prevent the exploitation of the river Vaigai. A Division Bench of Justices T. Raja and D. Bharatha Chakravarthy directed the State to file a status report on the petition.
The petitioner complained that construction debris and waste generated while laying roads as part of the Smart City Project were being dumped into the river Vaigai. He pointed out that the debris of the old Kuruvikaran Salai bridge was dumped into the river. The construction project under the Smart City Project was taken up for the beautification of the banks of the river Vaigai. However, the construction debris was dumped along the stretch, he said.
Further, he sought a direction to the authorities to take steps to operate the STP set up along the Panthalkudi channel and ensure the sewage water is recycled. Also, the mixing of sewage water into the river should be prevented. He said the Vaigai was the main source of water for Madurai and other nearby districts. However, the quality of water in the river was deteriorating and getting polluted.
The construction of check dams in the river by excavating sand will affect the groundwater level, he said and also complained about the extraction of sand from the river. Many trees uprooted along the stretch were not replanted, Mr. Nagarajan said. The case was adjourned for further hearing. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/madurai/article65389005.ece (06 May 2022)
Mithi-Mumbai River ‘polluted to heavily polluted’ for past 11 years: MPCB Maharashtra Pollution Control Board’s (MPCB) water quality status report revealed that the 17.8 km long Mithi river, which begins at Vihar Lake within the Borivali National Park borders, has remained ‘polluted to heavily polluted’ for the last 11 years. The year 2012-13 was the only time in the previous 11 years when the Mithi river’s water quality was classified as non-polluted.
The MPCB released a report on Maharashtra’s Water Quality Status for 2020-21 this week. Mithi river’s overall WQI for the year was 44, putting it in the polluted category. Despite years of desilting and cleaning efforts, the Mithi river remains a cause of worry. The standing committee of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) approved the building of tunnels to prevent the flow of raw sewage and wastewater into the Mithi river in early 2021. The project, however, is awaiting environmental approval. https://www.timesnownews.com/mirror-now/in-focus/mithi-river-has-remained-polluted-to-heavily-polluted-for-past-11-years-mpcb-water-quality-report-reveals-article-90755236 (10 April 2022)
सिंध यात्रा जिंदगी, आपदा और व्यवस्था से जद्दोजहद की अनसुनी कहानियां यह आलेख ऐशानी गोस्वामी और राहुल सिंह ने संयुक्त रूप से लिखा है, जो मूविंग अपस्ट्रीम : सिंध फेलोशिप प्रोग्राम के तहत उनके यात्रा अनुभव पर आधारित है। https://veditum.org/2022/05/13/sindh-yatra-introductory-article-hindi/ (13 May 2022)
Jharkhand Pollution scan on state rivers Several NGOs espousing the cause of river conservation, environment protection and biodiversity will join hands in assessing pollution levels of Subernarekha and Damodar, two important rivers of Jharkhand. The campaign has been planned under the patronage of Independent MLA and former cabinet minister Saryu Roy and would have NGOs such as Yugantar Bharati, Nature Foundation, Damodar Bachao Andolan (save Damodar movement), Subernarekha Kshetra Vikash Trust and Damodar Kshetra Vikash Trust beginning pollution assessment tour of Subernarekha from May 22 on the occasion of International Day for Biodiversity. https://www.telegraphindia.com/jharkhand/pollution-scan-on-jharkhand-rivers/cid/1863614 (05 May 2022)
GANGA Uttarakhand HC Stays Proposal To Cut 2,057 Trees To Widen Sahastradhara Road A Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Sanjaya Kumar Mishra and Justice R.C. Khulbe of Uttarakhand High Court has granted a stay on the proposed move to eliminate 2,057 trees for road-widening project in the Sahastradhara passage. The petitioner pointed out that the most out of these 2,057 trees are fully grown varieties of Peepal, Pilkhan, Amaltas, Mango, Eucalyptus and other exquisite varieties of trees, whose critical role in the ecology is to keep the entire area cooler in summer, retaining water by the roots to prevent lowering of the water level, regulating the air quality index to acceptable levels to release fresh oxygen. https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/uttarakhand-high-court-grants-stay-proposed-move-cut-2057-trees-widen-sahastradhara-road-199127 (14 May 2022)
Not feasible for govt to give land ownership to slum dwellers: Experts The government’s initiative to identify slum dwellings and provide them with land ownership rights is not a very feasible one, claim experts. The state has around 582 dwellings which house more than 7.7 lakh people, majority of which are on private land. As per a report from 2016, there are 128 such clusters in Dehradun district among which 70 were on private land. Experts, however, believe that most of these settlements are on forest land or river encroached land and thus cannot be legally sold. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/not-feasible-for-govt-to-give-land-ownership-to-slum-dwellers-experts/articleshow/91426371.cms (09 May 2022)
बिहार कोसी क्षेत्र के किसान क्यों कर रहे भू-सर्वेक्षण का विरोध? भू-सर्वेक्षण बिहार विशेष सर्वेक्षण बंदोबस्त नियमावली 2012 के नियमों के अनुसार किया जा रहा है। इसके मुताबिक, किसानों की जमीन से होकर नदी बह रही है, तो वह जमीन राज्य सरकार की होगी। 20 जिलों में सर्वेक्षण पूरा हो गया है और 18 जिलों में सर्वेक्षण साल 2023 तक पूरा हो जाएगा। किसानों का कहना है कि कोसी नदी की धाराएं तेजी से अपना रास्ता बदलती हैं और अभी वे धाराएं उनकी जमीन से होकर बह रही हैं। सर्वेक्षण में उनकी जमीन बिहार सरकार के खाते में चली जाएगी। किसानों की मांग है कि नदी की धाराओं वाली जमीन का मालिकाना उन्हें दिया जाना चाहिए। किसानों के विरोध को देखते हुए सरकार ने कोसी तटबंध के भीतर के हिस्से में भू सर्वेक्षण टाल दिया है। https://hindi.mongabay.com/2022/05/13/why-are-resident-of-kosi-region-protesting-against-government-land-survey/ (13 May 2022)
YAMUNA Delhi Shahdara drain revival takes off The city government’s project for rejuvenating the Shahdara link drain and converting it into a biodiversity zone has taken off and is likely to be completed by the year-end, said Delhi Jal Board officials. The Shahdara link drain, which otherwise was contributing to the pollution in the Yamuna by discharging solid waste, sludge and wastewater into the river will now disappear soon with the government’s plan to build a walking-cycling track and water recharge zone over the drain. The tenders were floated in January. https://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/delhi/2022/may/10/shahdara-drain-revival-takes-off-2451843.html (10 May 2022)
FISH, FISHERIES, FISHERFOLKS
Mangaluru Continued industrial effluent flow into Phalguni results in fish kill Hundreds of fish were found dead and floating in the Phalguni (Gurupura) downstream the Malavoor vented dam, following the flow of industrial and domestic effluent into the river even as the administration has remained mute to the annual happening. Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) State president Muneer Katipalla said the river water has turned black with industrial effluents starkly exposing the indifferent attitude of the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), the district administration, and the Mangaluru City Corporation. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Mangalore/continued-industrial-effluent-flow-into-phalguni-results-in-fish-kill/article65353871.ece (25 April 2022)
NGT constitutes panel to mitigate pollution Taking congnisance of news reports appearing in The Hindu about the pollution of the Phalguni (Gurupura) in Mangaluru, the principal Bench of the NGT has constituted a five-member committee to suggest measures to mitigate the pollution and restore the water quality. A full Bench of the tribunal, comprising chairperson Adarsh Kumar Goel, judicial member Sudhir Agarwal and expert member A. Senthil Vel, on April 29 took congnisance of media reports. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Mangalore/ngt-constitutes-committee-to-mitigate-pollution-woes-of-phalguni/article65375942.ece (03 May 2022)
Bengaluru Notice issued to BWSSB over sewage, fish kill in Horamavu-Agara lake The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) has issued a notice to the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) seeking an explanation on why sewage has been entering the Horamavu-Agara lake which has resulted in the death of fish. Residents of Horamavu noticed dead fish floating in the lake on Sunday (Feb. 27). Last year too, hundreds of dead fish were found floating in Muthanallur lake and Rachenahalli lake which, officials said, was caused by the flow of sewage into the lake. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/bangalore/bengaluru-notice-issued-bwssb-sewage-fish-kill-horamavu-agara-lake-7796250/ (01 March 2022)
Chennai Fish kill at Korattur lake, residents worried about rising pollution Several dead fish were washed ashore at Korattur Lake on Monday (May 09). A large number of carcasses of fish were found near Water Canal Road in the morning. Residents and activists raised concern on pollution in the lake and wanted improvement work to be carried out soon. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/fish-kill-at-korattur-lake-residents-worried-about-rising-pollution/article65398245.ece (09 May 2022)
Odisha Additional tehsildar, 3 RIs hurt in sand mafia attack An additional tehsildar and three revenue inspectors (RIs) sustained injuries after being attacked by the sand mafia near Malijagannathpur village in Ganjam district on Saturday (May 7) night. The injured were identified as additional tehsildar of Ganjam Suvendu Kumar Jena, RIs Bhaskar Sahoo, Sitaram Sahoo and Sushant Kumar Behera. They have been admitted to Chhatrapur hospital for treatment.
Sources said on getting information about illegal transportation of sand from Rushikulya river bed near Malijagannathpur, Suvendu along with the three RIs raided the place late in the night. However, four miscreants arrived there on motorcycles all of a sudden and attacked them. The miscreants also threatened the officials at gunpoint before decamping with their gold ornaments, cellphones and wallets. Police have detained three persons in this connection and further investigation is underway.
This not the first time government officials have been attacked by sand mafia in Ganjam. Similar incidents have been reported in Chikiti and Purusottampur in the past. Sources said with mushrooming of brick kilns and ongoing construction work of different projects, the demand for sand has increased substantially in the district. As the leased sand ghats are unable to cater to the demand, illegal mining has become rampant in Ganjam.
Besides, due to restriction on sand mining in Andhra Pradesh (AP), traders of the neighbouring State have engaged the local mafia to lift sand clandestinely from Bahuda river bed at Chikiti, Ghodahada in Digapahandi, Rushikulya in Purusottampur, Aska and other places. The mafia are reportedly supplying sand to different parts of the State and neighbouring AP in connivance with a few corrupt officials. Sand-laden trucks plying on road during the night is a common sight at these places. https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/odisha/2022/may/09/additional-tehsildar-three-revenue-inspectorshurt-in-sand-mafia-attack-in-odisha-2451482.html (09 May 2022)
Valuable stones, mineral loot continues unabated in Jajpur The illegal loot of granite, laterite stone, sand, murram and other minor minerals continue unabated in Jajpur district. Worse, with the rise in bombing and murders by mafia, local social activists and media persons feel unsafe to raise their voices against the illegal activities. The mafia is hand in gloves with some corrupt government officials who help them transport these valuable stones and minerals. Illegal quarrying is going on rampantly at Chanditala, Bantala, Khaera, Badachana, Paria and Bairi under Darpan tehsil. Tractor-load of minor minerals are being transported every day, thanks to negligent attitude of the administration.
Fatal incidents like bombing and murder over illegal quarrying of sand have become regular occurrences in the district. In a recent case, a few miscreants made a murderous attack on social activist Sarbeswar Behura in Binjharpur after he objected the illegal activities. Similarly, a reporter of an electronic media was attacked Saturday (April 23), when he had gone to Bada Pokhari sand quarry near Bandalo village under Barchana block for collecting news. Similarly, the brutal attack on a web news portal was debated and criticised all over the state, which took place a few days ago.Recently, two other reporters were attacked when they were videographing of the illegal activity. Their mobile phones were snatched by mafias. https://www.orissapost.com/valuable-stones-mineral-loot-continues-unabated-in-jajpur-mafia-threatening-activists-mediapersons/ (25 April 2022)
Tamil Nadu 2 killed, 9 injured by sand truck In an accident, two women were killed and nine others injured when a sand-laden truck crashed into a minivan near Thiruvanaikoil in Trichy in the wee hours of Sunday (May 08). The van, which had a group of villagers from Kumbakonam in Thanjavur district, was on its way to a temple near Viralimalai in Pudukottai district. All the 11 people in the minivan were heading toward Kovilpatti near Viralimalai with Kalaiyarasan behind the wheel.
As they were approaching Panayapuram village on Kallanai-Trichy main road, a truck carrying m-sand from Karur and heading toward Thanjavur collided head-on with the minivan, killing the two women on the spot. In the impact, the sand-laden truck toppled and fell into an irrigation canal. No 1 Tollgate police rushed to the spot and sent the bodies to the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Government Hospital (MGMGH) and shifted the injured to the hospital. Police have registered a case and are investigating further. Meanwhile, some villagers of Panayapuram blocked roads demanding construction of speed breakers or setting up of barricades to avert accidents on the stretch. Police and revenue officials assured the villagers that steps would be taken to lay speed breakers. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/madurai/six-killed-in-two-accidents-14-injured/articleshow/91426119.cms (09 May 2022)
6 workers trapped in stone mine Six workers were trapped under a boulder after it rolled over following a landslide in a private stone quarry near Munnerpallam during midnight hours (May 15). Two persons have been rescued so far while the fire and rescue services personnel are working on rescuing the others. Police said that a giant boulder rolled over crushing three lorries and three cranes and six people were stuck under the rocks during midnight hours at the stone quarry located at Adaimithipankulam near Munneerpallam in Tirunelveli district. Since midnight hours, the Fire and Rescue Services personnel and rock climbers have been on the job to rescue the trapped workers.
The district collector V Vishnu told the media that in a private stone quarry near Tharuvai in Palayamkottai Taluk, Tirunelveli district, six men were stuck under a giant boulder that fell in the stone quarry following a landslide. The district administration has sought the help of the Indian Navy to provide a helicopter and also informed the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF). A 30-member NDRF team is expected to arrive soon from Arakkonam to assist the rescue operations, he said.
Regarding the quarry and current situation, the collector said: “The Geological stone formation now is unstable and continuous fall is occurring, which is a challenge. However, we still are working on rescuing. A medical team is stationed, and the necessary oxygen liquid fluid is given. However, the continuous landslide could be a danger to the rescue team. A long crane of 100m has also been kept ready, and the visuals of the location have been sent to the NDRF team. Regarding the rescue, experts are being consulted.”
The license holder of the quarry Sankara Narayanan has been detained and police are in search of the two owners of the quarry. This quarry has been functioning since 2018 and the lease ends in 2023, and the depth and mining plan will be investigated, he added. Six quarries have been closed in the past seven months, especially the quarries located near Western ghats. Action has also been taken regarding the overloading complaints reported and the border is also monitored, the collector further said. https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/tamil-nadu/2022/may/15/tamil-nadu-six-workers-trapped-beneath-a-boulder-following-landslide-in-tirunelveli-stone-quarry-2453843.html (15 May 2022) https://ndtv.in/india/4-workers-trapped-in-300-feet-deep-mine-in-tamil-nadu-chopper-reached-for-rescue-operation-2977225
Maharashtra Sand mafia attacks Bhandara SDO In an audacious act, a gang of sand smugglers attacked the vehicle of Revenue Department with stones and sticks and thrashed Bhandara Sub Divisional Officer (SDO) Ravindra Rathod, injuring him seriously.
The attack took place after the revenue team led by the SDO stopped three tippers that were carrying illegally excavated sand and initiated action. Police team also reached the spot. But to the shock of all as many as 25- 30 people in the tippers launched an attack on the private vehicle (MH-36/AG3557) of SDO Rathod. Armed with stones and sticks they smashed the glass of the four-wheeler and later bashed up Rathod as well. And all this happened in the presence of police. The daring attack on SDO Ravindra Rathod by sand mafia has led to unrest among Revenue staffers and they are demanding that an armed police team accompany them during raids on sand smugglers. https://www.nagpurtoday.in/sand-mafia-attacks-bhandara-sdo-with-stones-sticks-during-raid/04281147 (28 April 2022)
1 killed, dumper driver injured in road accident in Thane One person was killed and another severely injured when the dumper they were travelling in rammed into a vehicle on a flyover in Maharashtra’s Thane city in the early hours of Tuesday (April 05), an official said. The accident occurred around 5.45 am on the flyover at Teen Hath Naka on Nashik-Mumbai Road, he said.
A dumper rammed into an unidentified vehicle, which in turn hit a truck in front, said Avinash Sawant, the chief of the regional disaster management cell of the Thane Municipal Corporation said. Sameer Shaikh (22), the cleaner of the dumper, died of severe injuries, while the driver, Ahmed Hussain (25), suffered multiple fractures and was admitted at a civic hospital in Kalwa, the official said. The truck involved in the accident was carrying 20 tonnes of sand from Gujarat to Kolhapur, he said, adding that the Naupada police were probing the case. https://theprint.in/india/maha-one-killed-dumper-driver-injured-in-road-accident-in-thane/903222/ (05 April 2022)
Mumbai: Auto driver killed at JVLR after truck tips over In a road accident, an autorickshaw driver was killed on Saturday (Jan. 15) evening after a dumper truck carrying sand fell on the three-wheeler, crushing its driver. The incident occurred on the Jogeshwari Vikhroli Link Road (JVLR), wherein a few motorcycles were also damaged in the crash. Meanwhile, the MIDC Police in Andheri (E) has nabbed the truck driver and booked him under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and Motor Vehicle Act.
According to police sources, the incident occurred near Durga Nagar in JVLR, wherein the truck was driving at full speed. While driving rashly and was taking a turn, the driver lost control of the vehicle and the truck tipped over. The autorickshaw coming from the opposite direction was right next to the dumper truck carrying sand and was crushed under the heavy vehicle. https://www.freepressjournal.in/mumbai/mumbai-auto-driver-killed-at-jvlr-after-truck-tips-over (16 Jan. 2022)
Telangana 2 dead as sand tractor rams into auto trolley in Jagtial In a very tragic incident two persons died in a road accident. The incident took place near Veerapur of Raikal mandal on Tuesday (March 1) evening at around 9 PM. The deceased have been indentified as Erumalla Gangaram (42) of Ayodhya of Raikal mandal and Sriramula Bhumeshwar (43), Armoor. According to police, the deceased loaded centering material in their trolley auto at Allipur and were proceeding to unload the material. When they reached Veerapur, the sand tractor rammed into the auto trolley. https://english.sakshi.com/news/telangana/telangana-two-people-die-sand-tractor-rams-auto-trolley-jagtial-151700 (02 March 2022)
Andhra Pradesh Gudivada RI Attacked by Sand Mafia https://www.socialnews.xyz/2022/04/21/gudivada-ri-attacked-by-sand-mafia-moturu-r-i-video/ (21 April 2022)
Rajasthan Man mowed down for opposing sand transport A 35-year-old man was run over by a tractor on Monday (April 11) night after he had allegedly objected to tractors transporting sand through his locality near Sarna Doongar under Kardhani police station area. The victim was identified as Suresh Choudhary. His brother also sustained injuries in the incident, leading to locals protesting outside the police station for several hours before senior officials pacified them by assuring an impartial probe. As per the complaint, the family has blamed the sand mafia for Suresh’s death and assault on his brother Kanha Ram.
The family also alleged that the same tractor driver had quarrelled with Suresh about 15 days ago. The accused had allegedly also issued a threat to Suresh recently. The FIR states that the tractor’s driver and owner have a criminal background and they ply sand-laden trucks and tractors illegally. ACP ( Jhotwara) Pramod Swami said that police are also investigating the tractor, transportation of sand and whether it was legally plying or not. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/jaipur/man-opposes-sand-transport-through-his-locality-mowed-down-by-tractor/articleshow/90809129.cms (13 April 2022)
Madhya Pradesh Sand mining gang attacks forest dept team A group of people involved in illegal sand mining allegedly attacked a forest department team when it went to seize their tractor-trolleys in Chanderi area of Ashok Nagar district, in which three personnel were injured, police said on Saturday (April 30). During another incident, which occurred on Thursday (April 28), the illegal miners also snatched a range officer’s personal rifle before escaping from the spot with their tractor-trolley, they said. A purported video of the incident has gone viral on social media. https://www.theweek.in/wire-updates/national/2022/04/30/bom3-mp-mining-mafia-attack.html (30 April 2022)
Himachal Pradesh When sand mining alters a river, flooding farmlands in Spiti Illegal extraction of sand in the Spiti valley is affecting the course of the Spiti river and in turn, people’s lives. Over-extraction of sand can have dire impacts on river ecosystems. The Spiti river has changed course over the years due to illegal mining, inundating farmlands and leaving many people landless. This video story displays the transformation of the river through the years, while also narrating the plight of the residents affected, and their demand for a clarity in sand mining law, to save their lands. https://india.mongabay.com/2022/05/video-when-sand-mining-alters-a-river-flooding-farmlands-in-spiti/ (12 May 2022)
Mining official abducted in Paonta Sahib, freed An assistant inspector of the mining wing was abducted from the Yamuna riverbed at Manpur Devra in Paonta Sahib around 1.20 am today (May 12). The mining mafia also tried to snatch the pistol of a constable. The officer, however, returned after half an hour. The incident occurred when the mining staff, along with a police team, were checking vehicles coming from the crusher zone and going towards the riverbed.
The team stopped a truck. While the team members were talking to the driver, a white Scorpio (UK-16-4502) came from the Uttarakhand side and seven persons got down from it. They entered into an argument with the team, giving the truck driver an opportunity to flee. They had a scuffle with the team and dragged assistant mining inspector Sanjeev Kumar into the vehicle. They also attempted to snatch the pistol of constable Vikramjeet, who sustained injuries in the scuffle. Mining inspector Neeraj Sharma has identified one of the miscreants as Marhu Chawdhary, a resident of Dhalpur in Uttarakhand. He lodged a complaint with the police. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/mining-official-abducted-freed-394362 (12 May 2022)
Paonta Sahib police has arrested two accused in the assistant mining inspector abduction case from Uttarakhand. DSP Paonta Sahib Bir Bahadur informed that out of the seven accused in the case two persons Momin and Javed were arrested from Dhalipur in Uttarakhand this morning (May 13). A Scorpio car used in the incident has also been seized and efforts are afoot to nab others involved in the case. A team led by SHO Purruwala Vijay Raghuvanshi, head constable Satyaprakash and others is raiding various places at Dhalipur, Herbertpur, Selaqui, Sehaspur, Doiwala and Dehradun to nab other accused involved in the case. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/two-arrested-in-mining-inspector-abduction-case-394689 (14 May 2022)
Haryana अवैध खनन कर खोदे गए गड्ढे में डूबे थे दोनों दोस्त कलानौर के पास यमुना नदी में डूबे गांव मंडौली निवासी 16 साल के जाहिद का शव शव शुक्रवार (May 13) देर रात मिल गया। वह अपने दाेस्त 20 साल के अभिषेक के साथ डूब गया था। अभिषेक का शव शुक्रवार (May 13) शाम मिल गया था। दोनों की मौत के बाद गांव में मातम का माहौल है। जहां दोनों युवक डूबे थे, वहां गहरा गड्ढा था। माना जा रहा है कि वहां काफी गहराई तक अवैध खनन किया गया था। जब गांव के छह युवक नदी में नहाने के लिए अंदर गए तो अभिषेक गड्ढे में डूब गया। उसे बचाने के लिए जाहिद आगे गया। वह भी डूब गया। दोनों ने एक-दूसरे को बचाने का प्रयास किया, लेकिन दोनों डूब गए। जहां शव मिले हैं, वहां 25 से 30 फीट तक पानी था। https://www.bhaskar.com/local/haryana/yamunanagar/news/both-friends-were-immersed-in-a-pit-dug-by-illegal-mining-129807654.html (15 May 2022)
Uttar Pradesh 1 killed as truck-trailer hits e-rickshaw in Kanpur One person was killed and six others injured, when a truck-trailer, after hitting an e-rickshaw, trampled the passers-by on the National Highway in Chakeri’s Jajmau area on Tuesday (March 01) evening. The incident took place when a sand laden trailer-truck, heading towards Lucknow from Kanpur, rammed into an e-rickshaw.
Later, in a bid to escape, the speeding trailer trampled the passers-by. The incident came close on the heels of the Tat Mill e-bus accident in which six people were killed and about a dozen others injured on January 30. Locals told TOI that one person’s leg was severed in the accident. “The driver of the trailer truck was over-speeding that led to the mishap, “’ they said. Inspector Chakeri police station Madhur Mishra said, “We have detained the trailer-truck driver. He has been sent for medical examination to ascertain the presence of alcohol content in his blood. Further investigation is underway”, he said. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kanpur/one-killed-as-truck-trailer-hits-e-rickshaw-tramples-passer-by/articleshow/89933649.cms (02 March 2022)
बाँदा में देख तमाशा नदियों का….. बुंदेलखंड के बाँदा थाना मटौंध क्षेत्र का ग्राम मरौली। मरौली-चटगन होते हुए नदी पर बोल्डर व लोहे की प्लेट डालकर अवैध अस्थाई पुल बनाया है।
बाँदा के मरौली मौरम खदान खंड 2 के वीडियो भी देख लीजिए। जलधारा पर अवैध परिवहन निकासी को पुल निर्मित हुआ है। एक-एक वीडियो को क्लिक करके देखें खदान संचालक के कारनामें।।इस खंड में मौरम नहीं है तो दूसरे रकबे में अवैध खनन प्रतिबंधित पोकलैंड मशीनों से कर रहे हैं। खदान संचालक महोबा का है इनके साथ स्थानीय सपा नेता व बाहरी दबंग पिछले दो खनन सीजन से खंड 2 में पोकलैंड से खनन करते आ रहे हैं। गांव मरौली में अन्यत्र बालू खदानों पर यही खेल केन नदी के साथ चल रहा है। ज़िम्मेदार स्थानीय ग्रामीण भी कमतर नहीं है। सनद रहे इस मसले पर बाँदा जनपद से एक भी जलप्रहरी / नीति आयोग का सदस्य / जलयोद्धा / पानी चौपाल के स्टंटबाज मुखर नहीं होते है। क्योंकि कुछ उनकी बिरादरी के हैं, कुछ परिचित के तो कुछ कारण उनमें डर भी व्याप्त है लेकिन संघठित होकर प्रतिरोध करें तो बहुत कुछ बदलाव कर सकतें है। जो अकेले बोलता है वो सिस्टम को झेलता है…। यह वीडियो गांव की महिला प्रधान के रिश्तेदार ने दिए हैं। यह मीडिया माफिया विधायक मंत्री सरकार प्रशासन की गुड गवर्नेस हैं। https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php ; https://www.ashishsagarptb.com/banda/details/1355/—————-
Bihar 10 cops injured in attacks by sand mafia At least 10 policemen, including a subdivisional police officer (SDPO), were injured in two separate attacks by alleged sand mafia in Banka and Vaishali districts on Monday (Jan. 31), police said.
According to police, six policemen were injured in Banka when a police team led by SDPO Dinesh Chandra Srivastava came under attack in Kolhattha village under Barahat police station limits around 5 am. Srivastava and his bodyguard, who received head injuries, have been admitted to Barahat referral hospital. Four other policemen were also injured in stone pelting and they were released from the hospital after treatment. Banka superintendent of police (SP) Arvind Kumar Gupta said the police team was attacked by people involved in illegal sand mining, who allegedly fired in air and hurled bricks on policemen.
In Vaishali, station house officer of Town police station, Subodh Kumar, had a miraculous escape when miscreants involved in illegal sand mining attempted to crush him under the wheels of a sand-laden tractor. Four policemen were seriously injured when the miscreants resorted to heavy stone pelting at them. Two persons, identified as Pramod Rai and Jay Mangal Rai, have been arrested, police said.https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/patna-news/10-cops-injured-in-attacks-by-sand-mafia-in-banka-and-vaishali-101643647111350.html (31 Jan. 2022)
Karnataka Constable tracked down convict after 11 yrs When KP Manju, head constable with Vijayanagar traffic police station, was last year tasked with finding a convict elusive for 11 years, the first step he took was to meet old friends of the man on the lam. In May 2011, a local court had sentenced truck driver A Gopala Krishna to one-year simple imprisonment, after holding him guilty of mowing down a 30-year-old homemaker to death on November 30, 2007. Gopala Krishna, who is from Palakkad in Kerala, lived in Chamrajpet then.
Krishna had run a sand-laden truck over Manisha, mother of two minor children when she was walking near the BMTC bus stand in Manjunathanagar, Vijayanagar. Cops had arrested Gopala Krishna under IPC sections 279 (rash and negligent driving) and 304 A (causing death due to negligence) the same day. He walked out on bail by evening. In May 2011, the court convicted him to one-year simple imprisonment and he went elusive after that. “Before becoming a driver for sand trucks, Gopala Krishna was a BMTC driver between 1981 and 2001. Owing to irregularities in reporting to duty, he was suspended and then he resigned. The address given in his driving licence was of a travel agency in Cottonpet, which had shut doors long ago,” Manju told TOI. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/how-a-constable-tracked-down-convict-after-11-yrs/articleshow/89759242.cms (23 Feb. 2022)
WETLANDS, LAKES, WATERBODIES
Madhya Pradesh Paat system of irrigation Tribals in Paati block of Barwani district sustain through the traditional Paat System of irrigation. https://www.freepressjournal.in/indore/barwani-tribal-farmers-of-state-struggle-to-keep-centuries-old-traditional-irrigation-system-alive (13 May 2022)
Podcast Neha Bhave hydrogeologist working in the area of groundwater research and management for past seven years shares her experiences in this podcast. https://open.spotify.com/episode/5u3AddLyHdMHKE2jU1Kdb3
Nashik NMC to use its treated water from STPs Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC) is planning to use treated water from its STP for gardens and traffic islands to reduce the use of water from the dams. NMC has also sent a letter to the Nashik regional office of Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation to use the treated water from Gangapur STP, which is below the 5 BOD level for industrial use. City Gardens use 1.5 MLD water. As per the fresh guidelines issued by the Centre, the reuse of the treated water has been made compulsory for the STPs which are funded by the Union government scheme, AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation). https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nashik/nmc-to-use-its-treated-water-from-stps/articleshow/91503190.cms (12 May 2022)
Pune RWH falls into disuse, tankers fill in After a flutter of enthusiasm among hundreds of societies across the city to save and reuse rainwater in the last two decades, the initiative has nosedived as members are unaware of how to use the installed systems. The Pune Municipal Corporation made rainwater harvesting mandatory for new buildings for building permissions and developers have showcased these provisions in all their upcoming projects. There is also a 10% property tax rebate for a society which has a rainwater harvesting system. But, there has been no strict monitoring of the utilisation. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/pune-rainwater-harvesting-falls-into-disuse-tankers-fill-in/articleshow/91584258.cms (16 May 2022)
Hyderabad ‘Sunkishala’ to end water woes The Sunkishala Project, which aims to address the drinking water needs of people living in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation limits and Hyderabad urban agglomeration area, is likely to be completed by next summer with the project being built keeping in mind the water needs for the next 50 years, Municipal Administration & Urban Development Minister KT Rama Rao said after laying the foundation stone on May 14.
HMWSSB Managing Director M Dana Kishore said that out of 650 meters running tunnel with eight-diameter pipe, works of 320 meters tunnel was completed. At the intake well, 12 pump sets would be kept running and six pump sets would be kept stand-by. The intake well would spread in 125 acres. https://telanganatoday.com/sunkishala-to-end-hyderabad-water-woes (14 May 2022)
Bengaluru Case filed against lake activist for social media comments BBMP has filed a police case at White Field Police Station against lake activist Sandeep Anirudhan for saying on social media that the road BBMP is encroaching on Pattandur Agrahara lake buffer zone. In fact Sandeep has filed a case in the High Court in the matter. Leo Saldhana of ESG has opposed the BBMP move and asked them to show mature governance.
https://www.deccanherald.com/city/case-filed-against-lake-activist-for-social-media-comments-1108223.html (11 May 2022)
Hubballi Don’t hand over water distribution to L&T: AAP Aam Aadmi Party members urged Hubballi-Dharwad Municipal Corporation (HDMC) to cancel the idea of handing over water distribution system to L&T. On Monday (May 09), AAP activists staged a protest and submitted a memorandum to the HDMC commissioner and demanded that the decision be withdrawn. The protesters said that in the process of privatising all government services, it has now decided to give water distribution to L&T, a private company. It will trouble the common people, they said. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hubballi/dont-hand-over-water-distribution-to-lt-aap/articleshow/91454012.cms (10 May 2022)
Mysuru Water from none of the 8 lakes fit for consumption Environmentalists’ concerns over the increasing contamination of lakes in Mysuru have been vindicated by the regional laboratory of the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB). Water samples collected every month from eight lakes were tested in the laboratory and the results have shown that the water from none of the lakes was fit for consumption. For water from any of the lakes to be drunk, it needs to be treated and disinfected, the tests confirmed.
Water in none of the eight lakes – Varuna, Hebbal, Kukkarahalli, Dalvai, Yennehole, Lingambudhi, Shetty and Karanji – was rated as either A or B. BM Prakash, the Senior environmental officer at the KSPCB’s regional centre, said reports of the tests conducted on samples from lakes were submitted to the CPCB each month. “These reports are also sent to the offices of the respective deputy commissioners in the region. In Mysuru, although measures have been taken to check the flow of sewage into lakes, contaminated water continues to enter. In fact, two of the lakes are completely polluted,” he said. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mysuru/water-from-none-of-the-eight-lakes-in-mysuru-city-fit-for-consumption/articleshow/91387049.cms (07 May 2022)
JJM/ RURAL WATER SUPPLY
Arunachal Pradesh Committee recommends upgrading WTPs The three-member fact finding committee constituted by the state government to examine the issues raised by social activist Sol Dodum, has made several recommendations, including upgrading the designs of the water treatment plants (WTPs) to improve drinking water supply in Seppa in East Kameng district.
The committee, which submitted its findings to the government on Wednesday (May 11), observed that the water supply system was satisfactory in the olden days as there was clean and uncontaminated water at the sources. “However, with increasing population and more settlements coming up, turbidity and contamination increased due to landslides, settlements etc. on upstream side of water sources,” the committee observed. Dodum has been demanding clean drinking water supply in Seppa township and restoration of the road damaged during laying of water supply pipes.
The committee observed that the allegations about ‘impure’ water are due to uncontrolled development and unplanned settlements in the catchment areas and around the water sources. Besides discouraging settlements in catchment areas, the committee suggested notifying water sheds and catchment areas of all drinking water sources in the state.
“It is seen that there are major issues of non-notification and protection of catchment areas, leading to developmental activities, mostly unauthorized, like leveling of ground and dumping of garbage in newly expanding settlements,” the committee observed. Meanwhile, the government has decided to constitute a core group of officers at the state level under the chairmanship of the PHED&WS minister to oversee the implementation of the projects taken up in Seppa as well as to explore latest, cost effective and viable technologies and designs for water supply projects. https://arunachaltimes.in/index.php/2022/05/12/committee-recommends-upgrading-wtps-to-improve-drinking-water-supply-in-seppa/ (12 May 2022)
बुंदेलखंड पाइपलाइन बिछ गई, नल लग गए, पर कहां है जल? बुंदेलखंड में हर साल भीषण गर्मी पड़ती है और हर साल इलाके की महिलाओं को पानी की तलाश में दूर तक जाना पड़ता हैं। हालांकि केंद्र सरकार की जल जीवन मिशन की हर घर जल योजना के तहत, उत्तर प्रदेश के इस सूखाग्रस्त क्षेत्र के गाँवों के घरों को पानी की पाइपलाइन और नल से जोड़ा गया है, लेकिन उनमें पानी नहीं है। अपनी ‘पानी यात्रा सीरीज’ में गाँव कनेक्शन इसके पीछे के कारणों की पड़ताल कर रहा है। https://www.gaonconnection.com/desh/bundelkhand-summer-water-crisis-har-ghar-jal-yojana-jhansi-uttar-pradesh-tap-water-connection-womens-rural-india-paani-yatra-50760 (09 May 2022)
नीति आयोग के सहयोग से इस इलाके के छतरपुर जिले के वीरान पड़े तालाबों की तस्वीर बदलने की कवायद शुरू की है. अगर यह सफल होती है तो वह देश के लिए नजीर बन सकती है. नीति आयोग ने मध्य प्रदेश के दो जिलों राजगढ़ और छतरपुर का चयन किया है जो आकांक्षी जिले हैंऔरअभावग्रस्त जिलों में शामिल है. यहां के 168 तालाबों का जीर्णोद्धार किया जाना है और यह काम जून माह में पूरा होना है. https://www.hindi.awazthevoice.in/lifestyle-news/on-the-initiative-of-niti-aayog-efforts-to-fill-the-dry-bundelkhand-ponds-17041.html (15 May 2022)
Status of India’s waste water generation and fresh water consumption India treats 26869 MLD, or just a third of the 72,368 MLD of sewage generated in its urban areas every day. To bridge the gap between wastewater generation and treatment capacity, the Centre plans to create a treatment capacity of 36,668 MLD, which would hopefully lead to circularity in the water sector in the next few years. The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) alone has sanctioned 159 projects to create a treatment capacity of 4,929 MLD.
– 89% water used is in agriculture sector.
– GW situation has improved between 2017 and 2020, it is claimed. It is exaggerated projection that water demand will be 150% of supply by 2050. In 2017 India used 699 BCM water including 450 BCM surface water and 249 BCM GW.
– The government has proposed to set up a National Bureau of Water Use Efficiency (NBWUE) – like the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) in the energy sector – to improve efficient use of water across irrigation, domestic water supply and other sectors. It will also promote water-efficient equipment and appliances nationwide.
– On the conservation front, the ministry has taken up the “Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain” campaign with the theme “Catch the Rain – Where it Falls, When it Falls” to cover all the blocks of all districts (rural as well as urban areas) across the country during the pre-monsoon and monsoon months (till November 30).
– The CGWB has prepared ‘Master Plan for Artificial Recharge to Groundwater – 2020’. It envisages construction of about 1.4 crore rainwater harvesting and artificial recharge structures in the country to harness 185 billion cubic metres (BCM) of water. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/how-india-aims-to-use-every-drop-of-water/articleshow/91553904.cms (14 May 2022)
CWC Reservoir storage bulletin 12 May 2022 As per reservoir storage bulletin dated 12.05.2022, live storage available in these reservoirs is 58.759 BCM, which is 33% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. However, last year the live storage available in these reservoirs for the corresponding period was 55.205 BCM and the average of last 10 years live storage was 45.89 BCM. Thus, the live storage available in 140 reservoirs as per 12.05.2022 Bulletin is 106% of the live storage of corresponding period of last year and 128% of storage of average of last ten years. http://cwc.gov.in/sites/default/files/12052022-fb_1.pdf
Karnataka 100 Ft Water In KRS For First Time In 10 Years During May The Krishna Raja Sagar (KRS) Dam in Srirangapatna taluk of Mandya district has written a record of sorts by storing 100 ft water in May, the peak summer season. This is for the first time in 10 years that the water level has stood at 100 ft during May. Above normal rainfall in the catchment areas of Kodagu in March-April has resulted in steady flow of water to the Dam and the level is maintained despite regular water release to the lower riparian States.
Taking into account the 10-year data from 2012, the water level had dipped to the lowest in May 2013 when it stood at 64.12 ft, unleashing a drinking water crisis where water was supplied in tankers to thousands households in Mysuru. The second time when the water level dipped to the low level was in 2017 May when the level stood at 70.03 ft. In 2018, the level was 70.13 ft. The dead storage level of the KRS Dam is 74.76 ft or 4.4 tmcft (thousand million cubic feet).
Even the Kabini Dam has maintained a healthy water level, enabling the residents of areas formed by Mysuru Urban Development Authority (MUDA) to heave a sigh of relief. The farmers are also happy as in the coming days, water will be released from both the KRS and the Kabini to help irrigate the standing crops in the tail-end regions. https://starofmysore.com/100-ft-water-in-krs-for-first-time-in-10-years-during-may/ (15 May 2022)
Opinion Silence over land degradation The issue of land degradation needs far more attention than it has received so far. Otherwise, we are hurtling towards a hungrier, more unstable world. https://www.thethirdpole.net/en/food/opinion-silence-on-land-degradation-when-alarms-should-be-sounding/ (12 May 2022)
SOIL ECOSYSTEM: Under one square metre of undisturbed ground in the Earth’s mid-latitudes there might live several hundred thousand small animals. Roughly 90% of the species to which they belong have yet to be named. One gram of this soil – less than a teaspoonful – contains around a kilometre of fungal filaments.
– Plants release into the soil between 11% and 40% of all the sugars they make through photosynthesis. They don’t leak them accidentally. They deliberately pump them into the ground. Stranger still, before releasing them, they turn some of these sugars into compounds of tremendous complexity. They are released to create and manage its relationships. They are so complex because the plant seeks not to alert bacteria in general, but the particular bacteria that promote its growth. Plants use a sophisticated chemical language that only the microbes to whom they wish to speak can understand.
– It triggers an explosion of activity. The bacteria responding to its call consume the sugars the plant feeds them and proliferate to form some of the densest microbial communities on Earth. There can be a billion bacteria in a single gram of the rhizosphere; they unlock the nutrients on which the plant depends and produce growth hormones and other chemicals that help it grow. The plant’s vocabulary changes from place to place and time to time, depending on what it needs. If it’s starved of certain nutrients, or the soil is too dry or salty, it calls out to the bacteria species that can help.
– There is no global treaty on soil. The notion that this complex and scarcely understood system can withstand all we throw at it and continue to support us could be the most dangerous of all our beliefs. In some countries, mostly in Central America, tropical Africa and south-east Asia, more than 70% of the arable land is now suffering severe erosion, gravely threatening future production. Climate breakdown, which will cause more intense droughts and storms, exacerbates the threat.
– The author introduces Tolly’s system of farming. The Land Institute has been scouring the world for perennial species that could replace the annuals we grow.
– He concludes: some of the components of a new global food system – one that is more resilient, more distributed, more diverse and more sustainable – are falling into place. If it happens, it will be built on our new knowledge of the most neglected of major ecosystems: the soil. It could resolve the greatest of all dilemmas: how to feed ourselves without destroying the living systems on which we depend. The future is underground. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/may/07/secret-world-beneath-our-feet-mind-blowing-key-to-planets-future (07 May 2022)
2nd half may see rain turning erratic for India Conflicting atmospheric conditions in the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean could lead to a normal to above normal rainfall during the first half of the monsoon season and augur well for sowing. However, the second half of the season may get volatile rains affecting irrigation, said experts. “There could be a battle between La Nina and IOD (Indian Ocean Dipole), resulting in normal monsoon during the first two months but rainfalls could waver or become volatile during the second half of monsoon,” said GP Sharma, president-meteorology and climate change at Skymet, a private weather forecasting agency. According to the latest update from the Bureau of Meteorology, Australia’s national weather, climate and water agency, oceanic and atmospheric phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean La Nina, which is an indicator of the monsoon, remains active in the tropical Pacific Ocean. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/indicators/monsoon-2nd-half-may-see-rain-turning-erratic-for-india/articleshow/91528674.cms (13 May 2022)
Twin cyclones in Indian Ocean A pair of tropical cyclones, one on each side of the equator, is putting on a show for satellites passing over the Indian Ocean. On May 8, 2022, the NASA Radiometer image of the storms at 12:55 p.m. local time (07:55 Universal Time).
– The twin cyclones were spinning at roughly the same distance from the equator, but in opposite directions. A cyclone’s winds spin counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere but clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere due to the Coriolis effect—a force driven by Earth’s rotation that deflects prevailing winds in one direction in the Northern Hemisphere and the opposite direction in the Southern Hemisphere.
– In the northern Indian Ocean, Tropical Cyclone Asani advanced west-northwest on May 8 and had maximum sustained winds of 100-110 kilometers (60-70 miles) per hour as it moved across the Bay of Bengal. Forecasters for the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) expect Asani to weaken as it approaches southern India and curves northeast, keeping the storm offshore along the Andhra Pradesh-Odisha coast in the coming days.
– South of the equator, Tropical Cyclone Karim is roaming open seas west of Australia. With winds peaking at the equivalent of a category 1 hurricane, the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center expects Karim to weaken quickly as it encounters high levels of wind shear in the coming days. The storm does not pose a threat to major population center. https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/149812/twin-cyclones-in-the-indian-ocean (8 May 2022)
CWC State wise flood damage data from 1953 to 2020. http://cwc.gov.in/sites/default/files/flood-damage-data-merged.pdf
Assam 3 Dead In Landslides, 6 Districts Hit By Floods Around 25,000 people across six districts of Assam have been affected by the first wave of floods in the state this year. Three people including a woman died in landslide incidents in Haflong area in Dima Hasao district on Saturday (May 14).
Assam State Disaster Management Authority today (May 14) afternoon informed that “Till now, a total of 24,681 people of 94 villages in six districts – Cachar, Dhemaji, Hojai, Karbi Anglong West, Nagaon and Kamrup (Metro) have been affected due to floods.” Torrential rains washed away a portion of a road in the Haflong area in Dima Hasao district. “Three people including a woman died in landslide incidents at Haflong area in Dima Hasao district on Saturday,” informed Assam State Disaster Management Authority. Assam State Disaster Management Authority informed that landslides reported so far are from 12 villages in Dima Hasao district. “Around 80 houses are severely affected, 3 people dead in Haflong area,” official said. https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/3-dead-in-landslides-6-assam-districts-hit-by-floods-2978389 (15 May 2022)
River Kopili at Kampur level forecast site in Nagaon district has crossed previous HFL 61.79 m attained on 20.07.2004 by 0.15 m reaching new HFL 61.94 m at 14:00 hours on May 15, 2022. It was forecasted to reach 61.95 m at 18:00 hours. As CWC hydrograph for the site is not functioning the actual status of HFL breach is unavailable. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1FuBAjhBJJPvEvoo_UllQYHw31JyeGKpk/view
Meghalaya Heavy Rain, Landslides Hit state Heavy rains lashed the state on Friday, (May 13) causing landslides in different areas with most rivers flowing above the danger mark, officials said. No casualties have so far been reported. People were advised to stay away from vulnerable areas that are prone to landslides, officials said. Mawsynram town in East Khasi Hills district recorded 483.2 mm of rainfall in the last 24 hours. Sohra received 104 mm rainfall, while Shillong and Mawkyrwat received 111.5 mm and 184 mm rainfall, respectively. https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/meghalaya-heavy-rainfall-meghalaya-landslides-meghalaya-rain-news-heavy-rain-landslides-hit-meghalaya-rivers-flow-above-danger-mark-2973090#ndtv_related (13 May 2022)
UN Droughts reduced India GDP by 2-5% over 20 years The number and duration of droughts has risen 29% globally since 2000 and the effect of severe droughts is estimated to have reduced India’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 2-5% over the 20 years from 1998 to 2017, said a new report from the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) released on Wednesday (May 11). While calling for multiple actions, including land restoration to reduce the risk, the report released on the side lines of the ongoing 15th session of the UNCCD conference (COP15) at Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, also flagged that the droughts represent 15% of natural disasters globally but took the largest human toll — approximately 6,50,000 deaths in 50 years (1970-2019).
Globally, droughts caused economic losses of roughly $124 billion during that period. Though severe drought affected Africa more than any other continent with over 300 events recorded in the past 100 years, accounting for 44% of the global total, the highest total number of humans affected by drought were in Asia. “We are at a crossroads when it comes to managing drought. We need to steer toward the solutions rather than continuing with destructive actions, believing that marginal change can heal systemic failure,” said Ibrahim Thiaw, executive secretary of the UNCCD, while calling for making a full global commitment to drought preparedness and resilience in all regions a top priority. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/droughts-reduced-india-gdp-by-2-5-over-20-years-un/articleshow/91501079.cms (12 May 2022)
India saw a drought-related shrink of 5 percent to its gross domestic product between 1998 and 2017 and Australia’s agricultural productivity slumped 18 percent between 2002 and 2010 due to drought. The country can also expect more wildfires like those in late 2019 and early 2020 which were spurred by a lack of rainfall, the report warned. https://www.greaterkashmir.com/world/climate-change-to-make-droughts-longer-more-common-un (12 May 2022)
Himachal Pradesh What ails Shimla An expert committee of the NGT had estimated that in case of a severe earthquake, 39% buildings would suffer total collapse and causalities could be as high as 20,446 or more in Shimla. Most buildings can’t with – stand seismic disturbances. “The town may collapse like a house of cards,” says Yogendra Mohan Sengupta, an environmentalist and the petitioner in the land – mark NGT ruling that had banned all constructions in Shimla in 2017. “Most buildings in Shimla are unsafe and the damage can be even greater due to their cascading effect while collapsing,” says Sengupta.
After over 40 years of the Interim Development Plan, the Town and Country Planning department in February this year notified the draft Shimla Development Plan (SDP) 2041, proposing creation of satellite townships and a countermagnet town to transfer urbanisation load from the core. But citizen groups and environmentalists are not amused. “SDP 2041 is eye – wash. The government just wants to reopen Shimla’s doors to builders. With polls around the corner, this plan is just an – other populist move, but at what cost?” says Sengupta. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/shimla/what-ails-the-queen-of-hills/articleshow/91063257.cms (25 April 2022)
NGT restrains govt from proceeding with Draft Development Plan NGT has restrained the Himachal Pradesh government from going ahead with Draft Development Plan, 2041, which allows rampant construction in the hilly state. “We find the observations and pro posals in the plan of the state of HP to be patently illegal in view of submissions noted above,” NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said after hearing a plea filed by Yogendra Mohan Sengupta, a Shimla-based environmentalist. The plea was challenging the Draft Development plan on the ground that it is contrary to the sustainable development principle and destructive to the environment and public safety. The petitioner relied upon the Expert Committee reports based on NGT’s 2017 order which has already issued regulatory measures required to be adopted in terms of the number of floors, and restrictions on constructions in core green areas. In the order, the tribunal said, if the state proceeds in such a manner, not only it will damage rule of law, it may result in disastrous consequences for the environment and public safety. https://www.thehansindia.com/news/national/ngt-restrains-himachal-govt-from-proceeding-with-draft-development-plan-2041-742639 (13 May 2022)
Goa SC Revokes Approval For Doubling Castlerock to Kulem Railway Line The Supreme Court revoked the approval granted by the Standing Committee of National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) for doubling of existing railway line from Castlerock (Karnataka) to Kulem. The bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao, B R Gavai and Aniruddha Bose observed that the assessment of the impact which the project would have on the environment would have to be strictly undertaken before the project is considered by the NBWL.
The court upheld the recommendation made by Central Empowered Committee (‘CEC’) in this regard. The Goa Foundation had filed an application before the CEC on 26.06.2020 stating that the Standing Committee of NBWL had recommended granting wildlife clearances for doubling of 26 km stretch of the railway line in Western Ghats from Castlerock in Karnataka to Kulem in Goa in violation of the order passed by the Supreme Court on 05.10.2015. https://www.livelaw.in/top-stories/supreme-court-doubling-castlerock-to-kulem-railway-line-environment-198797 (11 May 2022)
“The Ministry of Railways or RVNL [Rail Vikas Nigam Limited] have failed to provide any substantial basis for the requirement of doubling the railway line…,” a bench of Justices L Nageshwara Rao, B R Gavai, and Aniruddha Bose said on Monday (May 09). The court asked the railways to “submit a fresh proposal to the Standing Committee of NBWL” after carrying out “a detailed analysis on the impact of the proposed project on the biodiversity and ecology of the protected areas”. It added this shall be considered in accordance with the law. The court called a detailed study and analysis of the impact of the proposed project on the biodiversity and ecological system of the protected areas necessary. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/sc-scraps-clearances-for-railway-line-via-western-ghats-101652263831695.html (11 May 2022)
Andhra Pradesh NGT orders to stop works at Rushikonda hills NGT on Wednesday (May 11) ordered the authorities concerned not to carry out any works at the Rushikonda hills in Visakhapatnam. The NGT bench further mentioned that a nodal agency AP Coastal Management Authority is conducting inquiry on the construction activities and the report would be submitted to the bench within a month. Until further orders, no works should be carried out on the hill, the Tribunal clarified. Based on a petition filed by MP Raghuramakrishna Raju, stating that the construction works on the Hill violate environmental norms, the NGT took the case for hearing on May 6 and pronounced the order on Wednesday, official source stated. https://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/110522/stop-works-at-rushikonda-hills-till-further-orders-ngt.html (11 May 2022)
Pakistan Glacial lake floods village Warm temperatures over the past month accelerated snow and ice melt near an ice-dammed lake by Shishpar glacier, near Mount Shishpar, increasing the lake’s volume and likely causing the breach and water to overflow across the top. While most glacial lakes typically form in May, rapid snowmelt caused the lake near Shishpar to form a month earlier in April. Over the past 20 days, the lake expanded by 40 percent.
– Simon Gascoin: The lake was growing fast while the snow cover was melting very quickly too! Time series of Landsat and Sentinel-2 images from 26 Mar to 05 May. https://twitter.com/sgascoin/status/1523332704250605570
– The Gilgit-Baltistan Disaster Management Authority said the lake discharged around 10,000 cubic feet per second, enough to sweep away scaffolding on a portion of the Hassanabad bridge. “The entire lake has drained out. This generally doesn’t happen,” Haritashya said. “Basically all the water that was there in the lake is now drained out. And that’s probably why it caused the devastation downstream.”
– Researchers have studied the Shishpar lake because of its potential flooding risk. In 2017, the Shishpar glacier began surging, or rapidly moving forward. As it advanced, it blocked a river by the nearby Muchuhar glacier. The meltwater from the Muchuhar glacier began collecting in a pool until water levels rose to form an ice-dammed lake. The lake near Shishpar glacier appeared around November 2018. In 2019, the lake reached its maximum area and breached the dam, damaging part of the Karakoram Highway. https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2022/05/09/pakistan-heat-flood-glacier/ (09 May 2022)
Research Climate change making cyclones & cyclones induced floods worse Super cyclones, known as hurricanes or typhoons in different parts of the world, are among the most destructive weather events on our planet. Although wind speeds within these storms can reach 270 km/h, the largest loss of life comes from the flooding they cause – known as a “storm surge” – when sea water is pushed onto the coast. Climate change is predicted to worsen these floods, swelling cyclone clouds with more water and driving rising sea levels that allow storm surges to be blown further inland. https://theconversation.com/climate-change-isnt-just-making-cyclones-worse-its-making-the-floods-they-cause-worse-too-new-research-182789 (12 May 2022)
WMO 50% chance of global temperature overshooting 1.5 degree warming temporarily by 2026! Climate Crisis Above average rainfall likely over India in 2022 says WMO update. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/50-chance-1-5-c-warming-breach-will-occur-by-26-101652189445228.html (11 May 2022)
India-China India plans dam project as China seeks to divert river India plans to construct the country’s second-largest dam at Yingkiong in Arunachal Pradesh to counter China’s ambitious water diversion scheme of the river that feeds downstream into the Brahmaputra. The proposed dam in the upper reaches of Arunachal will be able to store around 10 BCM of water, Jal Shakti minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said in an interview. By storage, the Indira Sagar dam is the largest in India at 12.2 BCM. The proposed dam is expected to involve an investment of around ₹50,000 crore and is part of the proposed Upper Siang multi-purpose storage project that will also generate hydropower. https://www.livemint.com/news/india/india-plans-dam-project-as-china-seeks-to-divert-river-11652642524565.html (16 May 2022)
India-Nepal Nepal to ask India to develop West Seti project that has been idle for six decades Nepal has decided to hold talks with India for the development of the 750 MW West Seti Hydropower Project, which has remained in hibernation for six decades over investment concerns. This time, according to Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, the issue will be directly discussed with his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, who is visiting Lumbini on a day long visit on Buddha Jayanti, May 16. It is to be built on the Seti river in far-western Nepal.
– Lately, the government has remodelled the project as 1200 MW West Seti and Seti River, a joint storage project. https://kathmandupost.com/national/2022/05/11/nepal-to-ask-india-to-develop-west-seti-project-that-has-been-idle-for-six-decades (11 May 2022)
Pakistan WB resumes processes for Kishenganga and Ratle hydro plants The World Bank has announced its decision to resume the two separate processes requested by Pakistan and India in relation to the Kishenganga and Ratle hydroelectric power plants, in line with its responsibilities under the Indus Waters Treaty. The decision has been formally communicated in letters to India and Pakistan, a World Bank press release said. Pakistan had asked the World Bank to facilitate setting up a Court of Arbitration to consider its concerns about the designs of the two hydroelectric power projects, while India asked for the appointment of a Neutral Expert for the same purpose.
– In December 2016, the World Bank declared a pause in the two separate processes to allow the two countries to consider alternative ways to resolve their disagreements. Since then, the World Bank has encouraged and worked with both countries to seek an amicable resolution. Multiple high-level meetings have been convened and a variety of proposals have been discussed.
– The World Bank continues to share the concerns of the parties that carrying out the two appointments concurrently poses practical and legal risks. However, the lack of success in finding an acceptable solution over the past five years is also a risk to the treaty itself. https://www.dawn.com/news/1684275/wb-resumes-processes-for-kishenganga-and-ratle-hydro-plants (10 April 2022)
The Indus Treaty Fact Sheet on The WB website says: “On March 31, 2022, the World Bank, therefore, decided to resume the process of appointing a Neutral Expert and a Chairman for the Court of Arbitration.” https://www.worldbank.org/en/region/sar/brief/fact-sheet-the-indus-waters-treaty-1960-and-the-world-bank (11 June 2018) The World Bank PR of Apr 6, 2022: https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2022/04/06/world-bank-resumes-processes-under-indus-waters-treaty
Pakistan-Afghanistan Absence of functioning govt in upstream Afghanistan has hampered treaty efforts for the major Indus tributary. For decades, Pakistan has been seeking an agreement with Afghanistan on the Kabul River. But a treaty agreeing the management and allocation of water between the two countries remains a dim prospect.
– Ikramuddin Kamil, special assistant on water and energy at Afghanistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told The Third Pole: “In the current situation, Afghanistan is not in a position to sign a treaty with Pakistan as the international [convention] on transboundary rivers favours the early developers.” He was referring to the 1997 UN Convention on Non Navigation Use of water.
– Though projects by Afghanistan may not materialise in the foreseeable future, if they are completed Pakistan has the option to carry out the Kunar River diversion project, said Khan. This would affect all hydroelectric and irrigation systems on the Kabul River in Afghanistan, turn land barren and aquifers dry, have devastating environmental and humanitarian impacts, and possibly lead to mass migration, he added.
– Apart from the Kabul River, Afghanistan and Pakistan share eight other rivers. Independent experts in Pakistan have said in the past that the ideal would be for the two countries to reach agreement on sustainably developing all these river basins together. But they agree that such an ideal will not be possible unless the two countries can first reach an agreement on the Kabul River. https://www.thethirdpole.net/en/regional-cooperation/decades-on-pakistan-still-seeking-kabul-river-agreement%EF%BF%BC/ (05 May 2022)
Scant snowfall in Afghanistan in the past two winters has lowered water flow in the transboundary river, while wastewater from both countries flows into it untreated. 20 m people of two countries depend on this Kabul River, a tributary of Indus River. Analysis of hydrological data has found that the mean discharge of water in the Kabul river basin fell by 4.6% between 1950 and 2018. https://www.thethirdpole.net/en/pollution/dirty-depleted-kabul-river-risk-to-millions-afghanistan-pakistan/ (09 May 2022)
THE REST OF THE WORLD
Europe Record number of dams removed from rivers in 2021 At least 239 barriers, including dams and weirs, were removed across 17 countries in Europe in 2021, in a record-breaking year for dam removals across the continent. Spain led the way, with 108 structures taken out of the country’s rivers.
“Our efforts to expand dam removals across Europe are gathering speed,” said Pao Fernández Garrido, project manager for the World Fish Migration Foundation, who helped produce Dam Removal Europe’s annual report. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/may/16/record-number-of-dams-removed-from-europe-rivers-in-2021-aoe (16 May 2022)
USA America’s Most Endangered Rivers of 2022 American Rivers announced USA’s ten most endangered rivers of 2022. The report in 37th year of such announcement is subtitled: “Climate change, environmental injustice threaten rivers and communities nationwide; Report identifies solutions, calls for urgent action on ten endangered rivers.”
– American Rivers reviews nominations for America’s Most Endangered Rivers from local groups and individuals across the country, and selects rivers based on three criteria: 1) the river’s significance to people and wildlife, 2) the magnitude of the threat to the river and communities, especially in light of climate change and environmental justice, 3) a decision in the next 12 months that the public can influence.
– The ten top endangered rivers, the states they pass through and main reasons for this status are:
– 1 Colorado River. State: CO, UT, AZ, NV, CA, WY, NM, Mexico Threat: Climate change, outdated water management
– 2 Snake River. State: ID, WA, OR Threat: Four federal dams
– 3 Mobile River. State: AL Threat: Coal ash contamination
– 4 Maine’s Atlantic Salmon Rivers. State: ME Threat: Dams
– 5 Coosa River. State: TN, GA, AL Threat: Agricultural pollution
– 6 Mississippi River. State: MN, WI, IL, IA, MO, KY, TN, AR, MS, LA; Threat: Pollution, habitat loss
– 7 Lower Kern River. State: CA Threat: Excessive water withdrawals
– 8 San Pedro River. State: AZ Threat: Excessive water pumping; loss of Clean Water Act protections
– 9 Los Angeles River. State: CA Threat: Development, pollution
– 10 Tar Creek. State: OK Threat: Pollution https://www.americanrivers.org/conservation-resource/american-rivers-announces-americas-most-endangered-rivers-of-2022/
Appeal from Banks and Biodiversity Working Group: Friends of the Earth US, Bank Information Center, BankTrack, International Rivers, and Rivers Without Boundaries: Plz continue endorsing Banks and Biodiversity No Go Policy: https://banksandbiodiversity.org/endorse-the-banks-and-biodiversity-no-go-policy/
Compiled by SANDRP (firstname.lastname@example.org)