DRP News Bulletin

DRP NB 110722: Govt failure on cloudburst monitoring, forecasting, managing

(Feature Image: On July 8, a flash flood triggered by a cloudburst hit a camp near the Amarnath cave shrine in J&K’s Ganderbal district. The Indian Express)

Just in first few weeks of this South West Monsoon in India and particularly in last two weeks there have been numerous cloudburst incidents leading to large number of deaths and destruction of human and natural infrastructure. Most of the time, the government just calls these disasters cloud burst and points finger at climate change, implying its helplessness, but happy that they have rescued the affected people. In reality, a lot can be done in terms of monitoring, forecasting and managing cloudbursts that is clearly not happening and is not part of government’s disaster management plans or actions.

Firstly there are some known places where the flash floods from cloud burst could lead to disaster, they need to be identified and habitations near and at risk at such locations need to be mapped and monitored to minimize the risks. The locations next to streams are clearly such hazardous locations and how can there be camps located right next to such streams as happened during the recent Amarnath caves?

Secondly during the Uttarakhand floods of June 2013, there was a lot of discussion about possibility of setting up Doppler Radars that can predict such cloud burst with lead time of at least a few hours. Such forecasts can be hugely useful to save lives if we had disaster management action plans in place with clearly defined Standard Operating Procedures and responsibilities for specific roles clearly defined. But unfortunately, we have almost no progress in setting up such radars at identified vulnerable locations, at least at a few places where our resources allow us to begin with. That shows a major failure of current Union and relevant state governments.

That takes us to the third step: need to have such disaster management mechanisms with clearly defined roles and SOPs. They are clearly not present on ground, nor visible in action, except NDRF and SDRF, which can only be useful in emergency rescue.

We also need to prepare reports of each such cloudburst related disasters and also review them to learn lessons for managing future such disasters. We are not even doing that.

It is clear a lot can be and should be done to reduce the deaths and damages due to cloudbursts related disaster, which are happening not only across the Himalayas from Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh, but also in rest of India, with increasing frequency, intensity and spread. The governments cannot feign helplessness by calling such diesters cloudburst related disasters.

Plz also see SANDRP reports on cloud bursts here.

Uttarakhand: Cloud Bursts in SW Monsoon 2021

Uttarakhand: Cloud bursts in May 2021

Monsoon 2021: Cloud bursts in Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh

Himachal Pradesh: Cloud Bursts in Monsoon 2021

Cloud Bursts in Indian Himalayan Region in Pre-monsoon & Monsoon 2020

Cloud Bursts in Himachal Pradesh in Monsoon 2019

Cloud Bursts 2019: Jammu Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim

Uttarakhand Cloud Bursts in Monsoon 2019: No Doppler Radars Six Years Since 2013 Disaster

Uttrakhand Cloudburst Incidents 2018

CLOUD BURSTS

Jammu & Kashmir 15 Dead, Many Feared Missing Due to Flash Floods At least 15 persons were killed when a cloudburst near the holy cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas triggered flash floods Friday evening that also damaged 25 tents and three community kitchens, police officials said. Three persons have been rescued, they said. The cloudburst struck around 5.30 pm amid heavy rainfall, they said. https://www.dailyexcelsior.com/cloud-burst-at-amarnath-shrine-cave-5-feared-dead-in-cloud-burst/  (08 July 2022)

TBP teams carry out rescue work following flash floods triggered by cloudburst, near the Amarnath cave shrine. PTI Picture/ The Telegraph.

Amarnath stream flooded last year too, yet tents set up at same spot. This was done to accommodate as many people as possible at a time. A langar was also permitted to operate from this dry river bed.

“It was well known that the water channel there is prone to flooding, but still the planning completely lacked any thoughtfulness, especially about the weather at this time of the year. The main effort was to show numbers,” said an official in the state familiar with the matter.  https://indianexpress.com/article/india/amarnath-stream-flooded-last-year-too-yet-tents-set-up-at-same-spot-8021382/  (11 July 2022)

The authorities put the death toll from the flash flood at 17 on Saturday (July 09), with 44 injured. Over three dozen pilgrims are still untraceable, officials said. Most of the tents that were washed away were located close to the stream or on its dry bed, eyewitnesses said. Sources said some concern had been raised regarding the location of the tents at one of the meetings of the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB). Officials were unavailable for comment on the matter. https://indianexpress.com/article/india/amarnath-cloudburst-rescue-operation-casualties-8018434/  (10 July 2022)

More than two years after the announcement, Doppler radar at Banihal is still not functional. It is a crucial missing link that could have helped avert the tragic deaths of over a dozen people at Amarnath Shrine. https://www.etvbharat.com/english/national/bharat/amarnath-tragedy-could-have-been-averted-if-doppler-radar-at-banihal-was-functional/na20220709153624050050334  (09 July 2022)

J&K DGP Dilbag Singh said 13 pilgrims were killed in the cloudburst that hit the area at around 5.30 pm. However, the IMD said that it was not a cloudburst. https://www.lokmattimes.com/national/amarnath-tragedy-not-cloudburst-but-highly-localised-heavy-rainfall-says-imd/  (08 July 2022)

Cloudbursts in Kishtwar upper reaches damage property, crops  Cloudbursts in the upper reaches of Kishtwar district on Wednesday (July 06) damaged wooden bridges, water flour mills and agricultural land although there was no report of loss of any life. “Cloudburst has been reported from the upper reaches of Saplota Cheer and Kibber Nallah in Dachhan in Kishtwar district,” Deputy Commissioner, Kishtwar, Ashok Kumar Sharma told Greater Kashmir. “No loss of life has been reported in the cloudburst. However, the water level in Kibber nallah, Tander and Cheerji had increased which gradually started receding,” Sharma said. “We have reports about the washing away of low lying wooden bridges and water flour mills along the nallahs,” Sharma said.

Meanwhile, DDC Chairperson, Kishtwar, Pooja Thakur told Greater Kashmir that at around 3 pm , a cloud burst took place in Kibber nallah in Dacchan area due to which properties were damaged. “However, there was no life lost. Due to the cloudburst, two wooden bridges and flour mills in Kibber nallah were damaged,” Thakur said. In Lahorana village, Thakur said that a recently constructed steel bridge and two water flour mills got damaged whereas a customer (woman) at one of the flour mills was rescued by the local police following a massive flash flood in the nallah.

She said Hunzar cloudburst in Dacchan (last year) consumed many lives and residential houses were damaged. “However, 10 to 15 families in Hunzar are still facing problems due to rising water levels in the nallah following heavy rainfalls and accordingly, the administration should speed up relief work,” Thakur added.

Besides, ex-sarpanch, Amar Singh from Gulab Garh areas, said that, “Cloud bursts happened in dhoks (grazing lands) on the snowbound mountains. Immediately after the cloudburst, Dasni and Massu nallahs were flooded with flash flood posing a serious threat to the low lying areas, agricultural lands and villages along the nallah.

Last year, a cloudburst occurred on July 28 at Hunzar hamlet in the Dachhan area of the Kishtwar district in which 26 lost their lives and 17 others wounded whereas 21 families had lost their residential houses. https://www.greaterkashmir.com/todays-paper/front-page/cloudbursts-in-kishtwar-upper-reaches-damage-property-crops  (07 July 2022) https://www.newsnationtv.com/states/jammu-kashmir/cloud-bursts-in-jks-kishtwar-and-paddar-289858.html  (06 July 2022)

किश्तवाड़ जिले के पाडर में भी बादल फटा, जिससे भोट नाले में उफान आ गया। गनीमत रही कि यहां नुकसान नहीं हुआ है। उधर, पानी का तेज बहाव देख रियासी जिला प्रशासन ने चिनाब दरिया में राफ्टिंग पर रोक लगा दी है। https://www.amarujala.com/jammu/jammu-kashmir-weather-clouds-burst-at-two-places-in-kishtwar-rafting-banned-in-reasi-river  (06 July 2022)

Flash flood hits Kullan village in Ganderbal Flash flood triggered by possible cloudburst in the upper reaches occurred in Kullan area of Kangan in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district on Tuesday (July 05) blocking the Srinagar-Leh highway for traffic. The flash flood in the nallah snaking through Shah Mohalla Kullan occurred due to a possible cloudburst early morning. Locals said that the floodwaters entered into a few nearby houses. However, there are no reports of any loss of life or damage to property.

Meanwhile, the families who are living nearby localities where flash floods occurred have urged the district administration to construct a bridge at the place besides construction of a concrete protection wall alongside the nallah prone to flash floods. At least five residential houses besides a huge area of agricultural field suffered damage due to the flash floods caused by a cloud burst triggered by heavy rains in Kulan area of Kangan in Ganderbal district two years back.

“We have been suffering from such damage for several years now. Whenever there are rains the nallah flowing alongside Shah Mohallah Kullan is flooded,” said Fayaz Ahmed, a local resident. He said that a culvert constructed in the vicinity gets blocked by the rocks and trees uprooted by flash floods and the water overflows and enters nearby houses causing massive damage to the property. Besides, there always remains a threat to life. Another local said that they have many times urged administration to excavate boulders from nallah so that its width and depth is increased and water carrying capacity is increased. He said that a bridge should be constructed in place of a culvert so that water flows through it easily.

Meanwhile, flash floods triggered by heavy rains and cloudbursts have caused massive damage to the property and agricultural land in several areas of Sankoo Sub Division of Kargil district in Ladakh Union Territory. However there has been no loss of life reported so far due to flash floods. https://www.greaterkashmir.com/todays-paper/front-page/flash-flood-hits-kullan-village-in-ganderbal  (06 July 2022) https://www.greaterkashmir.com/kashmir/srinagar-leh-highway-blocked-after-flash-floods-hit-kullan-ganderbal  (05 July 2022)

According to a report, several houses were inundated and caused partial damage. Work to clear the blocked Srinagar-Leh highway is underway. This happened while the Amarnath Yatra is going on in Jammu and Kashmir. https://www.thenorthlines.com/srinagar-leh-highway-blocked-after-flash-floods-hit-ganderbal/  (06 July 2022)

The Amarnath Yatra has temporarily been suspended due to bad weather, officials said. As per officials, so far over 65,000 pilgrims have visited the shrine. The officials informed the sixth batch of 6,351 pilgrims left for the shrine from the Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas in Jammu in a convoy of 239 vehicles. https://www.risingkashmir.com/-Amarnath-Yatra-suspended-due-to-bad-weather-110691  (06 July 2022)

Hunzar Cloudburst  Year on, bodies of 18 missing persons untraced While the rescue operation to find these 18 persons was called off after weeks of rescue operations, their bodies remained yet to be retrieved even after a year.

Talking to Greater Kashmir, the chairperson of District Development Council (DDC) Kishtwar, Pooja Thakur said that the authorities were yet to declare the 18 missing persons as “dead”. “Compensation was given to those who were declared dead. However, the victim’s family members have demanded enhancement in the compensation amount for damage to the houses and cattle shed which they said was very less,” Thakur said.

She said that she had written to the higher-ups to declare the missing persons dead but had not received any response so far. “Nothing has been done in this regard too,” she said.

Mohsin Mushtaq Waza, who is preparing for a competitive examination, was among the victim families. He said that nothing was done for the rehabilitation of the victim families post cloudburst. “The families are still waiting to be rehabilitated but nothing has been done,” he said. “The families of the missing persons are still waiting for their lost loved ones.” Waza said most of the affected families were constructing houses on their own and some had taken loans. “The banks should waive off these loans as people are unable to pay them back,” he said. Waza said that the compensation offered to the families for the loss to the farmers was very less. https://www.greaterkashmir.com/todays-paper/state/hunzar-cloudburst-year-on-bodies-of-18-missing-persons-untraced  (04 July 2022)

Cloudburst kills 65 livestock in Budgam forests  At least 52 sheep, eight horses and five cows died due to cloud burst in the upper forest areas in central Kashmir’s Budgam district on Wednesday (June 21), officials said. News agency KDC quoted District Sheep Officer Budgam, Dr Ashraf saying that as per initial reports from Dishkhall, Durian, Lathermand, Ayud, Koreg, and other upper reaches of Budgam district at least 52 sheep have died from last two days due to cloudburst and inclement weather. The death toll may increase with time as the areas have no mobile accessibility even as a massive rescue operation is underway in the areas, Dr Ashraf said. Sources said that eight horses and five cows have also died in the upper reaches of the district. However, the official confirmation was awaited. https://www.greaterkashmir.com/kashmir/cloudburst-kills-65-livestock-in-budgam-forests  (22 June 2022)

बडगाम जिले में सोमवार (May 09) को बादल फट जाने से तीन लोगो की मौके पर ही मौत हो गई। घटना की जानकारी देते हुए अधिकारियों ने बताया कि जब बादल फटा तब महिला और उसके दो बेटे बडगाम के चंदरा में एक ईंट भट्टे में मजदूरी का काम कर रहे थे। उन्होंने बताया कि प्रारंभिक रिपोर्ट से पता चला है कि वे उत्तर प्रदेश के बरेली के रहने वाले थे। https://navbharattimes.indiatimes.com/state/jammu-and-kashmir/srinagar/three-killed-in-cloudburst-in-jammu-and-kashmirs-budgam/articleshow/91452155.cms  (10 May 2022)

पुंछ जिले में रविवार (June 19) को बादल फटने से बाढ़ जैसी स्थिति पैदा हो गई। मंडी कस्बे में पानी के साथ आए मलबे से कई दुकानें ढह गईं और एक ट्रक भी दब गया। जिसमें एक ट्रक ड्राइवर की मौत हो गई। दुकानों में हादसे के वक्त कोई मौजूद नहीं था। वहीं पुंछ-मंडी सड़क पर मलबा आने से कई गाड़ियां फंस गईं जिन्हें बाद में मलबा हटाकर निकाला गया। तहसीलदार ने बताया कि दिन भर जारी बारिश के बीच शाम करीब साढ़े तीन बजे अचनाक मंडी कस्बे के बाहर बादल फटा, जिससे पहाड़ से बारी मात्रा में पानी, पत्थर, मिट्टी नीचे की तरफ आने से चार दुकानें और एक ट्रक मलबे में दब गया। https://www.indiatv.in/india/national/jammu-kashmir-weather-cloud-bursts-in-jammu-and-kashmir-s-poonch-driver-dies-after-truck-comes-under-debris-many-shops-collapsed-2022-06-20-858833  (20 June 2022)

Cloudburst causes damage to houses, crops in Rafiabad The sudden rainfall and an incident of cloudburst in a village in Rafiabad area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district on Thursday (June 16) afternoon caused damage to few houses besides causing damage to standing crops in the area. Locals said that in Bakhipora village of Rafiabad, soon after heavy rainfall started, a cloudburst hit simultaneously with the result some houses were inundated in water causing damages. Besides, it inflicted damage to standing crops in the area.

“The cloudburst triggered flash floods in our village,” said Haji Abdul Salam of Bakhipora Rafiabad. “The gushing water entered several houses causing them damage,” added Salam. The affected residential houses belongs to Muhammad Maqbool, Abdul Rashid Najar, Manzoor Ahmad and Abdul Rehman. Meanwhile, the Revenue Department has constituted a committee of officials to assess the damage. “Water entered a few houses causing some minor damage besides crops too suffered damage. We are assessing the situation,” said a Revenue official. https://www.greaterkashmir.com/kashmir/cloudburst-causes-damage-to-houses-crops-in-rafiabad  (17 June 2022)

Himachal Pradesh  कुल्लू की मणिकर्ण घाटी में बादल फटा, 4 लोग लापता कुल्लू जिले की मणिकर्ण घाटी के चोज गांव में आज सुबह (July 06) बादल फट गया नाले में बादल फटने के चलते कुछ घर भी इसकी चपेट में आ गए. 4 लोगों लापता बताए जा रहे है. बादल फटने के कारण नाले में तेज गति से पानी आने पर घरों को नुकसान हुआ है. गांव की ओर जाने वाला एकमात्र पुल भी इसकी चपेट में आ गया, जिससे अब रेस्क्यू करने में भी प्रशासन को काफी दिक्कतों का सामना करना पड़ेगा. https://www.etvbharat.com/hindi/himachal-pradesh/city/kullu/cloud-burst-in-manikarn-valley-of-kullu/hp20220706080047562562647  (06 July 2022)

कुल्‍लू जिला के मणिकर्ण में बादल फटने से तीन कैंपिंग साइट बह गई। इसके अलावा छह कैफे, एक होमस्‍टे व गेस्‍ट हाउस भी बाढ़ की चपेट में आ गए। इस हादसे में कई पर्यटकों के भी बहने की आशंका है। बताया जा रहा है मंडी का कैफे संचालक भी बाढ़ में बह गया है। प्रशासन ने रेस्‍रेक्‍यू आपरेशरेन शुरू कर दिया है। बादल फटने के बाद मणिकर्ण के चोझ नाले में बाढ़ आ गई, जिससे भारी नुकसान हुआ है। नाले पर बना पुल भी बाढ़ की चपेट में आकर बह गया है। https://www.jagran.com/himachal-pradesh/kangra-himachal-pradesh-news-cloud-burst-in-kullu-manikaran-camping-site-damage-in-flood-tourists-missing-22866787.html  (06 July 2022)

जिला कुल्लू की मणिकर्ण घाटी के मलाणा में बादल फटने के कारण आई बाढ़ से जहां स्थानीय लोगों के 8 से 10 करीब वाहन बाढ़ की चपेट में आ गए हैं। मलाणा एडिट दो प्रोजेक्ट के 25 कर्मचारी भी बाढ़ की चपेट में आने से बचे हैं। ये कर्मी प्रोजेक्‍ट के भवन में फंस गए थे, जिन्‍हें स्‍थानीय लोगों ने सुरक्षित निकाल लिया है। इस घटना के बाद स्‍थानीय लोग व प्रोजेक्‍टकर्मी सहमे हुए हैं। प्रोजेक्‍ट को भी कुछ नुकसान होने की सूचना है। वहीं करी ब छह घोड़े भी बह गए हैं। बाढ़ आने से सड़कों को भारी नुकसा न हुआ है। क्षेत्र में आवाजाही पूरी तरह से ठप हो गई है। https://www.jagran.com/himachal-pradesh/kangra-himachal-pradesh-news-cloudburst-in-malana-kullu-ten-vehicles-flows-in-flood-25-employees-rescue-22866903.html   (06 July 2022)

राज्य आपदा प्रबंधन की ओर से मिली जानकारी के अनुसार, कुल्लू में मणिकर्ण घाटी की मलाणा डैम साइट के सुबह साढ़े सात बजे (July 06) के करीब फ्लैश फ्लड आया है और प्रोजेक्ट की बिल्डिंग को नुकसान पहुंचा है. https://hindi.news18.com/news/himachal-pradesh/kullu-manikarn-cloud-burst-malana-dam-site-damaged-30-employees-stuck-in-flash-flood-rescued-hpvk-4371088.html  (06 July 2022)

मलाणा नाले में आई बाढ़ से जानमाल के साथ भारी नुकसान हुआ है। मलाणा दो पावर प्रोजेक्ट के 25 कर्मचारियों ने भागकर जान बचाई। प्रोजेक्ट कार्यालय में तैनात इन कर्मचारियों को बादल फटने की सूचना उनके सुरक्षा कर्मचारियों ने दी। इसके बाद कर्मचारी 300 मीटर ऊपर भागे और टनल के अंदर चले गए। टनल में सुरक्षित रहने के बाद कंपनी के अधिकारी व कर्मचारी मौके पर पहुंचे। बताया जा रहा है कि बाढ़ से मलाणा प्रोजेक्ट दो के कार्यालय के साथ उनके सिक्योरिटी गार्ड के लिए बनाए चार शेड भी बह गए हैं। https://divyalive.com/archives/29814  (07 July 2022)

मलाणा नाले में बादल फटने से करीब आधा दर्जन गाड़ियां इसकी चपेट में आ गई. जानकारी के मुताबिक टीन शेड में रखे हुए आधा दर्जन खच्चर भी पानी में बह गए. इसके अलावा निजी प्रोजेक्ट के कार्यालय में भी पानी घुस गया और वहां पर भवन में रह रहे कर्मचारियों ने भी भाग कर अपनी जान बचाई. https://jantaserishta.com/local/himachal-pradesh/many-vehicles-including-half-a-dozen-mules-got-lost-cloud-burst-in-malana-1355080  ; https://jantaserishta.com/local/himachal-pradesh/clouds-torn-many-vehicles-were-washed-away-a-womans-body-was-found-1356600  (06 July 2022)

The floodgates of Larje and Pandoh dams are being opened and the people living in downstream areas have been put on a high alert. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/himachal-rain-major-cloudburst-in-kullus-parvati-valley-landslide-in-shimla-1-dead-409975  (07 July 2022)

Some information on impact of twin cloud burst in Choj and Malana area of Kullu. https://www.amarujala.com/shimla/cloud-bursts-in-manikarn-of-kullu-nh-5-closed-due-to-landslide-in-kinnaur-all-update-in-himachal-rain-in-hindi  (06 July 2022)  

The search for the four missing persons feared washed away in a flash flood at Choj village of Parvati valley failed to yield any result as the river remained in spate. Teams of the NDRF, SDRF, police and Home Guards were engaged in the rescue operation. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/river-in-spate-no-trace-of-kullu-flash-flood-victims-410371  (08 July 2022)

शिमला जिला ढली में भूस्‍खलन से एक महि  की मौत हो गई है, जबकि दो लोग घायल हैं। https://www.jagran.com/himachal-pradesh/kangra-himachal-pradesh-news-landslide-in-shimla-dhali-one-cassualty-and-two-injured-22866835.html  (06 July 2022)

EWS sought in flood-prone Kullu, Mandi areas After a cloudburst wreaked havoc at Choj village in Kullu district in the wee hours yesterday, villagers today (July 08) demanded the installation of early warning systems in flood-prone areas of Kullu and Mandi districts.

The villagers said that the government must acquire the latest technology to provide pre-disaster alerts to p-eople living close to rivers and nullahs in these districts. The use of technology in Kullu district would play a crucial role in averting human tragedies. Ramesh Kumar, vice-pradhan of Choj gram panchayat, said that timely information received by the villagers about the cloudburst near Choj village averted a major tragedy. As soon as people received information about the cloudburst, they ran out of their houses to a safe location. Otherwise, more casualties could have taken place.

“In Lahaul and Spiti, the district administration has set up 8 Automated Weather Stations (AWS) to provide pre-disaster alerts to residents. There is urgent need to set up such weather stations in flood-prone areas of Kullu district to provide pre-disaster alerts. We urge the state government to do the needful,” he said. Rajesh Kumar, another resident, said, “Due to a flash flood in a nearby nullah at Choj village, muck has deposited in the water channel. The rise in the water level could divert this muck to the village any time. So, the muck must be removed to avert a disaster”. “Residential buildings should not be allowed to be built close to riverbanks whether on private or government land. Such buildings close to riverbanks are vulnerable to damage in case of flash floods,” he added. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/early-warning-system-sought-in-flood-prone-kullu-mandi-areas-410418  (08 July 2022)

कुल्लू की गड़सा घाटी में फटा बादल जिला कुल्लू की गड़सा घाटी की पाली पंचायत के शिलागढ़ में शनिवार (July 09) दोपहर बादल फटने से हुरला नाले में भयंकर बाढ़ आ गई। बाढ़ से करीब 25 किलोमीटर क्षेत्र में अफरातफरी मच गई। नाले किनारे बसे लोगों ने भागकर जान बचाई। बाढ़ से मनिहार गांव को जोड़ने वाला एक बैली ब्रिज और तीन पुलियों के अलावा 50 भेड़-बकरियां बह गई हैं। बादल फटने के बाद गड़सा खड्ड में आई बाढ़ से जगह-जगह नुकसान हुआ है। बाढ़ से वन विभाग की संपदा को सबसे अधिक नुकसान हुआ है।  https://www.amarujala.com/shimla/cloudburst-in-the-gadsa-valley-of-kullu-fields-destroyed-by-floods-in-the-nala  (09 July 2022)

Another flash flood at Chamba district’s Lunekh Chanju village in Churah tehsil on Saturday (July 09) at 4 pm, state disaster management officials stated. Again, no loss of life or kind was reported.  https://www.livemint.com/news/india/himachal-pradesh-flash-floods-due-to-cloudburst-in-2-districts-read-here-11657382495507.html  (09 July 2022)

लाहुल-स्पीति के मयाड़ घाटी में बादल फटने से नालों में बाढ़ आ गई है। बाढ़ आने से ग्रामीणों के खेतों में पानी घुस गया, साथ ही सडक़ को भी नुकसान पहुंचा है। जगह-जगह सडक़ अवरुद्ध हो गई है। बादल फटने की घटना से मयाड़ घाटी के ग्रामीण सहम उठे हैं। पिछले साल भी जुलाई में बादल फटने से ग्रामीणों को भारी नुकसान उठाना पड़ा था। अब फिर से बादल फटने से ग्रामीणों को नुकसान हुआ है। लाहुल-स्पीति डीडीएमए के अनुसार मयाड़ घाटी में बादल फटने से करपट घोट नाला, शकोली नाला और चांगुट के बिग्गी नाले में बाढ़ आ गई। बाढ़ से कोई जानी नुकसान नहीं हुआ है, लेकिन खेतों में बाढ़ का पानी घुस गया है और सडक़ को भी नुकसान पहुंचा है। लोक निर्माण विभाग के अनुसार घाटी में जगह जगह भूस्खलन भी हुआ है। खेतों में पानी घुसने से फसलों को भी नुकसान हुआ है। https://www.divyahimachal.com/2022/07/clouds-burst-in-mayad-valley-of-lahaul-spiti-roads-and-crops-destroyed-due-to-floods-in-rivers-and-streams/ ; https://jantaserishta.com/local/himachal-pradesh/cracked-clouds-damage-to-farmers-crops-roads-were-also-blocked-at-places-1345787 ; https://www.bhaskar.com/local/himachal/shimla/news/badra-rained-54-more-than-normal-in-2-days-bilaspur-received-the-highest-223-and-lahaul-spiti-rained-the-least-87-130007660.html  (02 July 2022)

किन्नौर के बटसेरी व में बादल फटने से नाले में बाढ़ आ गई। हालांकि,किसी तरह का कोई जानी नुकसान नहीं है,लेकिन इसे देखकर लगता है कि कितना भयावह मंजर रहा होगा। नाले में पानी के साथ बहता मलबा डराने लगता है। https://himachalabhiabhi.com/cloud-burst-in-sangla-batseri-of-kinnaur/  (02 July 2022)

कुल्लू में फटा बादल प्रदेश के कई क्षेत्रों में बुधवार (June 15) को प्री मानसून के बादल बरसे। कुल्लू की गड़सा घाटी में बादल फटने से कई घरों में पानी और मलबा चला गया। एक गाय बह गई और दो सड़कें बंद हो गईं। मंडी जिले के सराज, चौहारघाटी और कांगड़ा के बरोट में भारी ओलावृष्टि हुई, जिससे फसलों को नुकसान हुआ है। कुल्लू में सैंज के रैला गांव में बिजली गिरने से 20 भेड़-बकरियों की मौत हो गई।

भुंतर के साथ लगती गड़सा घाटी के खड़ीसेरी नाला में बादल फटने से बाढ़ आ गई। जिला कुल्लू की रोट पंचायत से लेकर हुरला व गड़सा पंचायतों के लोगों में अफरातफरी मच गई। बाढ़ से एक गाय भी बह गई है। जबकि खड़ीसेरी गांव में कई घरों में बाढ़ का मलबा घुस गया है। बाढ़ आने से भुंतर-गड़सा मार्ग करीब एक घंटे तक बंद रहा। जबकि अमर डवार से अप्पर खड़ीसेरी को निकाला गया संपर्क मार्ग अभी बंद है। सड़क का हिस्सा बाढ़ में बह गया है। बाढ़ का मलबा कई जगह खेतों में घुसा और बगीचों को भी नुकसान पहुंचा है।

स्थानीय पंचायत रोट के प्रधान राजेंद्र पाल शर्मा ने कहा कि बुधवार (June 15) शाम को बादल फटने से पूरी गड़सा घाटी के लोग सहम गए। उन्होंने कहा कि बादल शाड़ाढाल जंगल में फटा है और यहीं से मलबा खड़ीसेरी नाला में बहता हुआ आया। https://www.amarujala.com/shimla/himachal-weather-update-pre-monsoon-rainfall-recorded-in-state-cloudburst-in-kullu-damage-to-crops-due-to-hail  (15 June 2022)

कुल्लू:- भुंतर के साथ लगती गड़सा घाटी के शाड़ाढाल जंगल में बादल फटने से खड़ीसेरी नाला में बाढ़ आ गई। इससे रोट पंचायत से लेकर हुरला और गड़सा पंचायतों के लोगों में अफरा-तफरा मच गई। घटना बुधवार (June 15) शाम करीब पांच के आसपास की बताई जा रही है। बादल फटने से नाले में आई बाढ़ से एक गाय बह गई। खड़ीसेेरी गांव में कई घरों में बाढ़ का मलबा घुस गया है। बाढ़ आने से भुंतर-गड़सा मार्ग करीब एक घंटे तक बंद रहा। इसे बाद में जेसीबी से बहाल किया गया। अमर डवार से अपर खड़ीसेरी संपर्क मार्ग अभी बंद है। सड़क के हिस्सा बाढ़ में बह गया है। बाढ़ का मलबा कई जगह खेतों में जाकर घुसा। इससे खेतों और बगीचों को भी नुकसान पहुंचा है। सूखा पड़ा खड़ीसेरी नाले में एकाएक बाढ़ आने से लोग हैरान हो गए। https://www.amarujala.com/himachal-pradesh/kullu/flood-in-the-drain-due-to-cloudburst-debris-entered-the-houses-cow-shed-kullu-news-sml412238036  (15 June 2022)

चम्बा जिले के चुराह के ऊपरी क्षेत्रों ग्राम पंचायत टेपा व गुइला में बादल फटने की घटना हुई। पंचायत टेपा के हैल गांव के समीप बादल फटने से आसपास के खेतों में बाढ़ आ गई जिसके चलते मक्की की फसल खेतों में ही नष्ट हो गई। आधे से ज्यादा मक्की की फसल पानी के साथ बह गई। रही-सही कसर ओलावृष्टि ने भी पूरी कर दी। ओलावृष्टि से सेब की फसल को भी काफी नुक्सान हुआ है। टेपा के पंचायत प्रधान ध्यान सिंह ने बताया कि हैल गांव में बादल फटने से लोगों के खेतों में काफी जलभराव हो गया। तेज बहाव के कारण खेतों में बड़ी-बड़ी नालियां भी बन गई हैं। अधिकतर मक्की की फसल बह गई है। https://himachal.punjabkesari.in/himachal-pradesh/news/cloud-burst-in-churah-of-chamba-1619416  (15 June 2022)

Uttarakhand बागेश्वर में तीन पुल बहे अतिवृष्टि से सौंग, मुनार में तीन पैदल पुल बह गए हैं। दो घराट और एक हैंडपंप भी बह गया है। भराड़ी -सौग मोटर मार्ग लगभग सौ मीटर तक गायब हो गया है। 15 हजार से अधिक आबादी का सड़क संपर्क पूरी तरह कट गया है। जिसके कारण क्षेत्र में दहशत फैल गई है। बीती शुक्रवार (July 08) की रात से जिले में लगा र बारिश हो रही है।

Dainik Jagran image.

पिंडारी मोटर मार्ग के सौंग, मुनार के समीप सड़क लगभग सौ मीटर स्थानीय गधेरे में बह गई है। जिसके कारण यातायात पूरी तरह बंद हो गया है। लोगों खेत-खलिहान भी मलबे में तब्दील हो गए हैं। https://www.jagran.com/uttarakhand/nainital-heavy-rain-in-bageshwar-caused-three-bridges-to-flow-in-bageshwar-22876279.html  (09 July 2022) https://www.jagran.com/uttarakhand/nainital-uttarakhand-weather-news-bridge-flowing-in-pithoragarh-stone-paved-road-in-almora-bageshwar-and-sunken-road-in-haldwani-22875903.html   (09 July 2022)

उत्तराखंड में बदरीनाथ, केदारनाथ, यमुनोत्री हाईवे सहित कई सड़कों पर मलबा आने से बाधित हो गई। 135 से ज्यादा सड़कें मलबे के कारण बंद हैं। मुख्य मार्गों को बार बार खोला जा रहा है। उत्तरकाशी में कई घरों में मलबा घुस गया। नौगांव के समीप गदेरा उफान पर आ गया। इससे सोली की निकट एक एक्विवा नगर पंचायत सौली का शौचालय, पेयजल लाइन आदि मलबे से दब गए। मलबे में एक पिकअप वाहन भी दब गया। टिहरी में डोबरा चांटी पुल के पास कई वाहन मलबे में दब गए। साथ ही कई स्थानों पर खेत भी तबाह हो गए। https://loksaakshya.com/2022/07/06/cloudburst-in-himachal-pradesh-due-to-rain-devastation-more-than-135-roads-closed-in-uttarakhand/  (06 July 2022)

केदारकांठा में फटा बादल https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0JSMmWeJQc  (06 July 2022) Excessive rainfall in Kedarkantha. https://www.the95news.com/?p=21970  (06 July 2022)

उत्तरकाशी जिला मुख्यालय के निकट मांडो गांव में पिछले साल बादल फटने से काफी नुकसान हुआ था । गांव को पेयजल आपूर्ति करने वाली पेयजल योजना भी ध्वस्त हुई। इस घटना को एक साल होने के बाद भी जल संस्थान ने मांडों गांव के आपदा प्रभावितों के लिए स्वच्छ पेयजल की व्यवस्था नहीं की है। वर्षा काल शुरू होते ही गांव में दूषित पेयजल आपूर्ति शुरू हो गई है। मांडों गांव के रामभजन भट्ट ने बताया कि मांडो गांव के आपदा प्रभावित परिवार इन दिनों दूषित पेयजल से परेशान हैं। दूषित पेयजल आपूर्ति होने के कारण ग्रामीणों को पानी छानकर और उबालकर पीना पड़ रहा है। कई बार जल संस्थान को दूषित पेयजल के बारे में अवगत करा दिया है। स्वच्छ पेयजल आपूर्ति सुचारू नहीं की गई  https://www.jagran.com/uttarakhand/uttarkashi-frogs-and-insects-coming-out-of-drinking-water-22863545.html  (05 July 2022)

चांगशील बुग्याल में अतिवृष्टि से मवेशियों की मौत मोरी विकास खण्ड के गोविंद वन्य जीव विहार राष्ट्रीय पार्क क्षेत्र के अन्तर्गत चांगशील बुग्याल में शुक्रवार (July 01) को आधी रात मूसलाधार बारिश के बीच वज्रपात हुआ। वज्रपात के कारण यहां करीब 50 से अधिक भेड़-बकरियों की मौत की सूचना है। हिमाचल प्रदेश से सटे चांगशील बुग्याल में मूसलाधार बारिश की सूचना मिलने पर राजस्व विभाग की टीम सुबह घटनास्थल के लिए रवाना हो गई। चांगशील बुग्याल मोरी ब्लॉक मुख्यालय से करीब 70 किमी दूर स्थित है।

शुक्रवार की रात उत्तरकाशी जिले में कुछ जगहों पर भारी बारिश हुई। चांगशील बुग्याल में मूसलाधार बारिश हुई। जिससे यहां चारा चुगान के लिए छोड़ी गईं स्थानीय ग्रामीणों की 50 से अधिक भेड़ बकिरयों की मौत हो गई। भीतरी गांव के भेड़पालक गुरुदेव सिंह कुंवर, जगदीश कुंवर, रणदेव सिंह कुंवर, राजीव आदि ने बताया कि इन दिनों मखमली बुग्यालों में ग्रामीणों की भेड़ बकरियां चार माह के प्रवास में चरान चुगान को जाती है। बीती आधी रात को चांगशील क्षेत्र में बादल फटने से चारा चुगान के लिए छोड़ी गईं 50 से अधिक भेड़ बकरियों की मौत हो गई। https://www.livehindustan.com/uttarakhand/uttarkashi/story-death-of-cattle-due-to-excessive-rain-in-changsheel-bugyal-6727076.html  (02 July 2022)

तीन घंटे की मूसलाधार बारिश ने कहर बरपाया शनिवार (May 07) को दोपहर बाद नैनीताल में मौसम के मिजाज बिगड़ गया। भीमताल में तीन घंटे थक हुई मूसलाधार बारिश और ओलावृष्टि से एक गोशाला ध्वस्त होने से गाय की मौत हो गई। दो मवेशी घायल हो गए। एक स्कूल के पास भारी मात्रा में मलबा आने से स्कूली बच्चे दो घंटे तक फंसे रहे। बाद में जेसीबी से मार्ग खोलकर बच्चों को सुरक्षित घर भेजा गया। भीमताल में दोपहर एक बजे से चार बजे तक मूसलाधार बारिश हुई और ओले गिरे। कुआंताल में विशन राम की गोशाला के ऊपर से भारी मात्रा में पहाड़ी से आया मलबा घुस गया। जिससे गोशाला में एक गाय मर गई और दो जानवर घायल हो गए। बोहराकून स्थित मल्लिकार्जुन स्कूल के पास भारी मात्रा में आया मलबा स्कूल परिसर और सड़क पर भर गया। इससे दो घंटे तक सड़क बंद होने से स्कूली बच्चे और स्थानीय लोग फंसे रहे।

बोहराकून प्रधान जया बोहरा ने बताया कि दोपहर दो बजे मल्लिकार्जुन स्कूल के पास बादल फटने जैसी घटना हुई। भारी मात्रा में आया मलबा स्कूल परिसर और सड़क पर फैल गया। जिस समय मलबा आया उस समय स्कूल में बच्चे थे लेकिन गनीमत रही की कोई हादसा नहीं हुआ। नगर पंचायत अध्यक्ष देवेंद्र सिंह चनौतिया ने आरोप लगाया कि भीमताल क्षेत्र की पहाड़ियों में बाहरी लोगों की ओर से मानकों के विपरीत जेसीबी से पहाड़ी का कटान किया जा रहा है और जिसका मलबा सड़क और नालों के ऊपर फेंका जा रहा है। बरसात में यह मलबा लोगों के घरों और गोशालाओं में घुसने से कहर बरपा रहा है। चनौतिया ने कहा कि वह पूर्व में भी प्रशासन से मलबा फेंकने वालों और बिना अनुमति के पहाड़ी का कटान करने वालों पर कार्रवाई की मांग करते आ रहे हैं। लेकिन प्रशासन की ओर से कोई कार्रवाई नहीं की जा रही है। https://www.amarujala.com/uttarakhand/nainital/three-hours-of-torrential-rain-wreaked-havoc-haldwani-news-hld4618318143  (07 May 2022) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9K312jErAeQ  (08 May 2022)

भीमताल में बादल फटा नैनीताल में अतिवृष्टि हल्द्वानी। मानसून के आने के ऐलान से पहले ही प्रदेश में बारिश ने अपना रौद्र रूप दिखाना शुरू कर दिया है। सोमवार (June 27) को भीमताल में बादल फटा तो नैनीताल और चंपावत में अतिवृष्टि हुई। हालांकि, इन घटनाओं में कोई जनहानि नहीं हुई। कर्णप्रयाग मुख्य बाजार व जयकंडी बगड़ गांव में कई घरों में मलबा घुस गया। https://www.livehindustan.com/weather/story-rain-from-mountain-to-plain-rivers-overflow-uttarakhand-weather-forecast-6705055.html  (28 June 2022)

How a cloudburst killed 6,000 people 9 years ago Tremendous cloudbursts were the prime reason for the Kedarnath Flood Tragedy. Due to its proximity to the surrounding Chorabari Glacier, the area around the Kedarnath Temple suffered enormous damage. https://www.freepressjournal.in/india/2013-kedarnath-flood-disaster-how-a-cloudburst-killed-6000-people-9-years-ago  (15 June 2022)

हिमाचल और उत्तराखंड में डेढ़ गुना बढ़ गईं बादल फटने की घटनाएं https://www.amarujala.com/shimla/cloudburst-incidents-increased-by-one-and-a-half-times-in-himachal-uttarakhand  (09 July 2022)

Haldwani Flash flood impacts in Haldwani after heavy rainfall. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5601UlAt24  (11 July 2022)

HYDRO POWER PROJECTS

Arunachal Pradesh FAC Faces Opposition to Proposed Etalin Dam at Public Meeting Members of a committee appointed by India’s Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) faced questions and opposition from citizens of Dibang valley during a public meeting held on June 9, 2022 to “examine the content of all the representations made against the proposed” Etalin Hydro Electric Project. During the four-hour-long meeting held in Roing, members of the Adi and Idu Mishmi communities highlighted issues regarding procedural, socio-cultural and ecological impacts if the project is cleared for construction. In a press note circulated by attending citizens, it was determined that about 75 per cent of the people who participated in the meeting expressed clear opposition to the Etalin HEP. The participants included representatives from various villages across both Dibang valley districts, despite the short notice for the meeting given by the FAC. https://sanctuarynaturefoundation.org/article/fac-faces-opposition-to-proposed-etalin-dam-at-public-meeting-in-dibang-valley  (06 July 2022)

Dams, art and protests After years of muted voices, concerns over hydropower projects in Arunachal Pradesh are once again beginning to be raised. Using art as a tool for recent protests has brought the issue to the forefront as the government push for building dams has increased. With the central government giving the go-ahead for two major dam projects on the Dibang River in Arunachal Pradesh and the state government seems intent to push hydropower with renewed gusto, the state’s Pakke Declaration on climate-resilient development, appears contradictory. https://india.mongabay.com/2022/07/dams-art-and-protest/  (04 July 2022)

हिमाचल प्रदेश  में मार्च और अप्रैल की भयंकर गर्मी के साइड इफेक्ट नजर आने लगे हैं। भीषण गर्मी से ग्लेशियरों के पिघलने और बारिश शुरू होने के बावजूद राज्य की विभिन्न नदियों पर बने बांध पूरी तरह नहीं भर पाए हैं। इसका असर आने वाले दिनों में राजस्थान, पंजाब, हरियाणा, दिल्ली की कृषि पर पड़ सकता है, क्योंकि इन राज्यों की खेतीबाड़ी नहरों के पानी पर निर्भर रहती है। प्रदेश में पावर जनरेशन भी जल स्तर गिरने से प्रभावित हुई है। आमतौर पर 15 जून के बाद विभिन्न नदियों पर बने बांध के जलाशय भर जाते हैं, क्योंकि जून में गर्मी पड़ने से ग्लेशियरों के पिघलने की रफ्तार तेज हो जाती है, लेकिन इस साल गर्मी पड़ने और ग्लेशियर पिघलने के बावजूद अधिकतर बांध के जलाशय में जल स्तर गिरा हुआ है। https://www.bhaskar.com/local/himachal/shimla/news/himachal-pradesh-dam-water-level-glacier-melting-crisis-on-neighboring-states-agriculture-low-water-level-in-dam-reservoir-bhakras-dam-130007029.html  (03 July 2022)

Bharat Dogra on how mining and HEPs are drying up water sources in Himachal Pradesh. https://www.counterview.net/2022/07/indiscriminate-mining-hydro-projects.html  (06 July 2022)

Jammu & Kashmir Multiple hydropower projects on the Chenab river ring alarm bells Chenab currently has over 12 hydropower projects either commissioned or under construction.

Local people in Drabshalla (Kishtwar) discussing issues faced by them due to the construction of the Rattle hydropower project. Photo by Anzer Ayoob.

Environmentalists and experts in the region also warn that the unchecked growth of such projects may lead to disasters such as earthquakes. Many of these dams are located either on or near fault lines. Water can percolate into the fissures, triggering earthquakes. https://india.mongabay.com/2022/07/multiple-hydropower-projects-on-the-chenab-river-ring-alarm-bells/  (07 July 2022)

Uttarakhand Govt wants to revive 20 HEPs and dump 24 others Twenty power projects, with a combined capacity of more than 2,100 MW, are being considered for revival by the Uttarakhand government as it looks to cut down electricity bills that run into nearly Rs 1,000 crore annually. These projects are part of the total 44 projects that were stopped by the Supreme Court soon after the catastrophic 2013 flash floods that majorly affected Rudrayaprayag, Chamoli and Uttarkashi districts.

Apart from the 10 undisputed projects taken up with the Supreme Court, the Uttarakhand government has also approached the Centre for their mandatory clearances. It will be also taking up another 10 projects that did not get adverse remarks from the second. “We are pursuing the revival of 20 hydropower projects… It will be done on a case-to-case basis as desired by the Union power ministry. The green signal for these projects was given by EB-II in 2014 and other agencies by not passing adverse comments,” Uttarakhand power secretary R Meenakshi Sundaram told ThePrint.

“Subsequently, the Centre listed the projects for implementation, subject to the Supreme Court lifting the ban,” he added. As of now, the power secretary said, the government is actively pursuing two undisputed projects with the Centre.

The important hydropower projects to be revived include 300 MW Bowala Nandprayag, 300 MW Alaknanda, 320MW Kotlibhel 1B, 190 MW Tamak Lata, 100 MW Nandprayag Langasu, 171 MW Lata Tapovan and 128 MW Jelam Tamak. All these HEPs will come up on Alaknanda and its tributaries. Other projects on the government’s radar are 252 MW Devsari on Pinder and 195 MW Kotlibhel 1A on Bhagirathi. There are 11 projects, including 24.3 MW Melkhet (on Pinder), 24.3 MW Bhyundar Ganga (on Bhyundar Ganga), 24 MW Bhilangana IIA and Bhilangana IIB (on Bhagirathi), which fall under the small category, i.e., those less than 25 MW each.

“As the second panel did not make any adverse remarks against 10 of the 24 projects banned earlier, we have pleaded with the Supreme Court to lift the ban on them. An affidavit has been filed for getting approval to these 10 projects which the power ministry wants to implement,” Singhal added.

The Centre is also willing to give clearance to these 10 projects as there is no adverse comment by any agency. “Those HEPs, in respect of which, there is no adverse recommendations of EB-II or have not been cancelled by National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA), or have not been banned by the SC or any other organisation, may be allowed for implementation subject to compliance with statutory clearances,” the power ministry wrote to the Uttarakhand government on 24 January.

On the other hand, the government will shelve the two dozen projects that the NGRBA banned after adverse observations from the Wildlife Institute of India. These projects were to come up in Bhagirathi Eco Sensitive Zone (BESZ) and certain protected areas of Alaknanda Valley.  “Twenty-four projects will be shelved as the sites fall either in BESZ or in the protected areas of Alaknanda Valley. There is no point in pursuing them,” stated Sundaram. https://theprint.in/india/why-uttarakhand-wants-to-revive-20-hydro-electric-projects-and-dump-24-others/1032939/  (11 July 2022)

Dainik Bhaskar, 04 July 2022 report on solid waste in huge amount generated during Char Dham Yatra choking Kund dam on Mandakani river following rainfall in Kedarnath Valley and affecting power production.

DAMS

Report Altering River Flow Does No One Any Good Flooding also depends on the quality of the catchment area, says Thakkar. If the catchment area includes good forest, watershed, wetlands, and maintains a lot of water bodies, then excessive rain will take much longer to convert into a river flow. But “due to mindless mining, construction, and deforestation, the catchment areas are getting destroyed,” informs Himanshu Thakkar of SANDRP. (The report extensively quotes HT.) https://www.outlookindia.com/national/dam-it-altering-river-flow-does-no-one-any-good-magazine-207271  (08 July 2022)

Karntaka Dam-break scenarios for KRS, Kabini, Chikkahole reservoirs analysed The exercise is part of dam safety measures. The KWRD said that preparation of the EAP entailed a slew of exercises, including a dam-break analysis, development of inundation maps for different failure scenarios, calculation of the time of arrival of flood wave, evacuation plans, and marking of shelter points.

The flood hazard mapping for KRS indicates that 2.37 lakh people in 139 villages spread across four districts will be affected in case of a breach in the KRS dam. People living in downstream villages within 13.5 km of the dam will be most vulnerable, as the time required for the water to reach these places is just about 35 minutes. The EAP has identified potential emergency conditions and prescribes the procedure to be followed to minimise damage to property besides specifying the actions that needs to be taken. Besides, a local evacuation plan has identified 80 shelters, and inundation maps have been assessed to study scenarios arising due to over-topping failure, piping failure and large controlled release from the dam.

In case of a breach in Kabini reservoir, 92 villages in Mysuru district and 14 villages in Chamarajanagar district are likely to be submerged, and 11,61,159 people could be displaced or affected. Besides, 6.37 lakh animals could die in the resulting floods, and 15 bridges could be submerged. A local evacuation plan is part of the EAP. An analysis of a breach in Chikkahole dam indicates that 42 villages downstream in Chamarajanagar district could face submergence, apart from 24 other human habitations, and the devastation could impact 44,639 people. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/dam-break-scenarios-for-krs-kabini-chikkahole-reservoirs-analysed-emergency-action-plan-prepared/article65615940.ece  (08 July 2022)

Maharashtra Temghar dam repairs await state funds According to a state irrigation department official, even as 40 per cent works related to leakage control is yet to be completed, the Temghar dam is able to hold water to its full storage capacity of 3.7 TMC (thousand million cubic feet). The Maharashtra government had sanctioned Rs95 crore for the dam repairs in 2017. “Apart from pending repairs related to leakage that needs funds from the state government, we have also submitted another plan on dam strengthening to the state government,” said an officer from the state irrigation department on condition of anonymity. “We are awaiting financial aid from the state government to complete repairs. The repair project of the dam had started in 2017 and we have covered 90% leakage,” he said. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/pune-news/temghar-dam-repairs-await-state-funds-101657305984800.html  (09 July 2022)

Regulatory body hikes rates for lifting water from dams With the Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority (MWRRA) increasing the rate at which it provides water from the dams to the stakeholders, the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) is also likely to increase the water tax for consumers in industrial areas of Nashik. On the other hand, the Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC) has said it will examine the need of increasing the water tax for residential consumers, but may increase it for the commercial consumers.

The water charges for the municipal corporations has been increased by 25 paise — from 30 paise per thousand litre to 55 paise per thousand litre. The charges for the MIDC has been increased from Rs 4.80 per thousand litre to Rs 11 per thousand litre. The new rates will come into effect from July 1 for the next three years. An NMC official said they are yet to receive any communication about the hike in water charges from the WRD. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nashik/regulatory-body-hikes-rates-for-lifting-water-from-dams/articleshow/92760534.cms  (09 July 2022)

FIR against social activist Medha Patkar The FIR alleges Medha Patkar and other trustees misled the people to donate to her trust for the welfare of the people of Narmada valley in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/bhopal-news/fir-against-social-activist-medha-patkar-in-madhya-pradesh-101657472253674.html   (10 July 2022)

INTERSTATE WATER DISPUTES

Centre’s directive to stop ERCP work Interesting that Centre has stopped work on ERCP in Rajasthan for lack of consent of other states. In that case, why is the work on Polavaram dam not stopped since neither Odisha nor Chhattisgarh have given consent for it? https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/eastern-rajasthan-canal-project-takes-political-twist-after-centres-directive-to-stop-work/article65600112.ece  (05 July 2022)

Krishna-Godavari Water Disputes Telangana, Andhra water brawl brews, year after gazette note After a year, there has been no change in the situation as both the states are at loggerheads over various issues — right from water sharing to construction of new irrigation projects to generation of hydel power. Though the gazette notification technically came into effect on October 15, 2021, its implementation was deferred initially to April 1, 2022, and later to July 15, 2022, to enable both the states submit detailed project reports (DPRs) and deposit Rs 200 crore seed money to the river boards. Since Telangana and AP did not release the amounts, board managements are looking for financial help from the Centre.

The states are reluctant to hand over the projects to the river boards, contending that they can take over only common projects and that the gazette notification needed to be revised. “The KRMB and GRMB cannot take over the projects on Krishna and Godavari rivers without addressing our concerns. The first demand of Telangana is reallocation of water share in the Krishna by referring the issue under section 3 of the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014, to the tribunal, which has not been addressed for the last few months. The government asked for an ad hoc allotment in Krishna river under 50:50 basis to both Telangana and AP. The KRMB shared the water at 66:34 ratio to AP and Telangana as it was done earlier,” a superintending engineer of irrigation said.

The hydel power generation issue is also linked to water sharing. Though a sub-committee was constituted, it is yet to resolve the problem, the official said. Official sources said both the states have submitted DPRs of some projects to the Centre. These projects are common and which are not complete. Telangana has been arguing that projects such as Srisailam and Nagarjuna Sagar on the Krishna are common projects to both AP and Telangana. Similarly, Peddavagu project on Godavari river is a common project. Telangana government has submitted DPRs of Kaleshwaram, Peddavagu, etc., while AP has submitted some DPRs which are under the consideration of the jal shakti ministry. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/t-ap-water-brawl-brews-year-after-gazette-note/articleshow/92760260.cms   (01 July 2022)

RIVERS AS NATIONAL WATER WAYS

Kerala Waterway projects to decongest highways remain on paper The delay in clearing bottlenecks in the 365-km Kollam-Kozhikode National Waterway-III (NW-III) and in the 610-km Kovalam-Bekal West Coast Canal (WCC), which will link the southern and northern districts, has led to the delay in commencement of boat services in the Kovalam-Mahe corridor. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/waterway-projects-to-decongest-keralas-highways-remain-on-paper/article65623911.ece  (10 July 2022)

IRRIGATION

Gujarat Kutch canal patch stops Narmada in its tracks Hours after successfully taking the waters of Narmada to Modh Kuva, the village at the tail-end of the Kutch Branch Canal (KBC), the authorities had to stop the flow after a patch in the path breached on Thursday (July 07). J P Gupta, chairman of Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd (SSNNL) said that preliminary investigation showed that the place where the pipeline was damaged had some issues in the joint area with some private pipelines running beneath. Whether it was a technical issue or some reason, we will find out after investigation, he said.

The work for more than 200 kms on Kutch Branch Canal was completed about four years ago, and the remaining stretch was stuck due to issues related to land acquisition, said people familiar with the development. The waters reached Modh Kuva around 1 am on Thursday (July 07), four hours before the breach was found at Bidada village, about 315 kms from the offtake point, said sources close to the development. “The patch that got damaged on Thursday was completed in 2016. The breach was 10 meters deep,” said an official in the know of the matter. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/kutch-canal-patch-stops-narmada-in-its-tracks-101657216935378.html  (08 July 2022)

Portion of Narmada Canal breaches wall just one day after inauguration in Kutch https://scroll.in/video/1027810/watch-portion-of-narmada-canal-breaches-wall-just-one-day-after-inauguration-in-kutch-gujarat  (07 July 2022)

Haryana WYC breached, no damages in nearby areas Around 100-feet wide breach was witnessed in the Western Yamuna Canal. However, no loss in the nearby areas was reported as the water was flowing into the supplementary canal. Officials of the Irrigation Department were at the Ghoghripur village site to fill the breach. As per the information, a small breach was observed by residents. They informed the department. A number of labourers were working there to fill it, but it turned wide, due to which water started flowing into the supplementary canal.. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/haryana/karnal-western-yamuna-canal-breached-no-damages-in-nearby-areas-410451  (08 July 2022)

Repair work in progress on Western Yamuna Canal on Friday. Sayeed Ahmed/ The Tribune

Efforts are under way to plug the breach on the second day in Western Yamuna Canal near Ghoghripur village, Karnal which turned wider to around 150-feet from 100-feet on Thursday evening (July 07). https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/haryana/efforts-on-to-repair-breach-in-western-yamuna-canal-410713  (09 July 2022)

Tamil Nadu HC dismisses petitions against check dams across Manjalar The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has dismissed a batch of petitions challenging the construction of check dams across Manjalar river at Kunnuvarankottai and Kanavaipatti in Nilakottai taluk in Dindigul district. A Division Bench of Justices P.N. Prakash and R. Hemalatha dismissed the batch of petitions taking into consideration that the government had taken a policy decision. The State submitted that the check dams would increase groundwater recharge. The petitioners said the construction of the check dams would affect agriculturalists. Some of the petitioners said the check dams would serve no purpose as they would be close to each other. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/madurai/article65561935.ece  (24 June 2022)

Telangana Details of Irrigation projects. https://telanganatoday.com/irrigation-projects-in-telangana  (10 July 2022)  Information on dams and rivers of the state. https://telanganatoday.com/know-telanganas-dams-and-rivers  (10 July 2022)

URBAN RIVERS

SANDRP Blog Top Ten Judicial Actions on Urban Rivers 2022: Executors Deliberately Delaying, Diluting, Defying orders During past one year, the judicial bodies including National Green Tribunal, Supreme Court, various High Courts have passed several orders and made critical observation while dealing with multiple issues afflicting Urban Rivers in India. This report highlights top ten such judicial interventions across India.

The stories underline that the responsible agencies particularly pollution control boards and district, state and union governments have been failing miserably in timely and efficient implementation of these judicial orders, some of which are quite remarkable. If the executive bodies do not show right spirit and seriousness in enforcing the existing rules and court orders the state of India’s urban river only go downhill.    https://sandrp.in/2022/07/08/top-ten-judicial-actions-on-urban-rivers-2022-executors-deliberately-delaying-diluting-defying-orders/  (08 July 2022)

You may also like to see:-

Urban Rivers 2022: Top 10 positive stories from India

Top 10 River Front Development Stories 2022: Destroying Rivers, Livelihoods  

India’s Urban Rivers in Crisis in 2022: Top 10 Cases

Urban Rivers 2022-Top 10 Govt Actions: pre-occupation with STPs without accountable governance

Tapi; Surat Appoint commissioner to probe ‘effluents discharge’ into Tapi: HC The case pertains to PIL moved by environmental scientist Roshni Patel after which the HC had, on February 14, issued notices to the central and state government authorities, pollution control boards, Surat authorities and Arcelor Mittal Nippon Steel Ltd. However, even after more than four months, the respondents are yet to file any responses on the contentions raised in the PIL, thus compelling the court to appoint a court commissioner to look into the issues being raised by the PIL. The PIL had pointed out that the effluent disposal by the company is in violation of the zero discharge conditions imposed by the MoEFCC and the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) while granting it environmental clearance in 2016 and 2010.

It was also alleged that AM/NS was illegally discharging industrial effluents containing acid, heavy metals, organic substances, high TDS and phenolic compounds, among others, from its Hazira plant in the Tapi estuary. A Consolidated Consent and Authorisation (CCA) order from 2020 had also stipulated that the final treated effluent should be reused at the plant for gardening and plantation purposes and the company should not discharge treated wastewater into the surrounding environment. According to the petitioner, the discharge harms fish-breeding and causes large-scale water pollution.

A September 2021 study by Ahmedabad Textile Industry’s Research Association (ATIRA) carried out at the request of villagers residing in the vicinity of the Hazira plant had found that the industrial effluent discharged into the water bodies did not adhere to the prescribed norms. It also pointed out that the regional office of MoEFCC had, in 2020, observed that AM/NS was not complying to the zero effluent discharge condition. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/ahmedabad/gujarat-high-court-tapi-effluents-discharge-probe-8009176/  (05 July 2022)

Vishwamitri; Vadodara Rejuvenation plan remains a hollow promise Despite promises by CM and Deputy CM during VMC polls, the state budget presented on Wednesday (March 03, 2021) had no mention of any project related to Vishwamitri river. Interestingly, it has been over 12 years since the project was conceived, but there has been no development so far. In the past too, the state government had included the Vishwamitri river project in its budget.

The 2015-16 budget had proposed Rs 50 crore for the riverfront as well as Rs 20 crore for diverting the river to prevent flooding and increasing the capacity of Ajwa reservoir. The 2016-17 budget had made provisions for the crocodile park. The Vishwamitri river’s banks are yet to see any development and the crocodile park had to be scrapped due to legal disputes.

Sources in VMC said that the delay in the Vishwamitri project has been due to financial constraints as well as environmental issues. Initially, it was planned that a riverfront would come up along Vishwamitri much like the Sabarmati riverfront. Activists approached the NGT in 2016 regarding the riverfront and the VMC had to redraw its plans. In 2018, the SPV to look into the project that was earlier called Vishwamitri Riverfront Development Corporation Ltd (VRDCL) was renamed as Vishwamitri River Revival Corporation Ltd.

Funding for the project has been a major concern. The project has also been included in the list of VMC’s Smart City projects. The VMC is hoping for aid from the state government as well as funds under the National River Conservation Programme (NRCP). While the initial estimate for the project was around Rs 800 crore, there is no clarity about the costs after the proposed changes in the project. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/vadodara/vishwamitri-rejuvenation-plan-remains-a-hollow-promise/articleshow/81316651.cms  (04 March 2021)

Illegal structures cause flood, create reptile scare Due to lack of urban planning and VMC negligence, a number of residential colonies that have come up along the riverbanks get flooded after heavy rains. So much so, that many a resident here has now preferred to migrate to other safer locations if it starts raining too heavily. More than waters, residents of Siddharth Bungalows are scared of what the floods bring with it — snakes and crocodiles — that often swim into their colony. A wall was built around Siddharth Bungalows to prevent the river water flowing into the colony but it too got washed away in 2019 floods.

The 26 km-stretch of the river that flows through the city is home to at least 270 crocodiles and it is densely populated with reptiles between Fatehgunj and Sayajigunj area. Environmentalists, who have been working to save the river, however, claim that most constructions near the riverbank are illegal. “Having concrete structures near the river damage the ecosystem and also cause flooding in other areas as they restrict the natural flow of the river. According to the rules, one has to keep nine metres distance from the river’s floodplain while constructing anything. But many concrete buildings have come up very close to the river. It’s an invited flood,” said Rohit Prajapati, environment activist who has approached the NGT for saving the river. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/vadodara/illegal-structures-cause-flood-create-reptile-scare/articleshow/85015438.cms  (04 Aug. 2021)

Reviving Vishwamitri isn’t impossible Champions of the ‘Vaho Vishwamitri Abhiyan’ for over a decade have been suggesting that the river can be revived through a scientifically planned and ecologically sustainable bio-shield. M S University too has converted a stretch of Bhukhi Nullah, a tributary of the river that passes from its campus into an ecological experimental zone. Instead of treating it as yet another riverfront project, the river can be revived as a bio-zone — right from its origin from Pavagadh to the sea. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/vadodara/reviving-vishwamitri-isnt-impossible/articleshow/85077866.cms  (06 Aug. 2021)

VMC proposes sewage-free Vishwamitri river project  VMC is looking to take up the project under the National River Conservation Plan (NRCP). In 2018, the state government had even sought an undertaking from the VMC that if the project was taken up under NRCP, the civic body will pay its share. Under NRCP, 60% of the project cost is provided by the centre, 10% by the state government while the remaining 30% has to be borne by the local body.

A proposal put up before the standing committee of the VMC has revealed that the state government had last month asked VMC to prepare a proposal for NRCP. The proposal will have to be routed through the state urban development department. The present proposal will cover the stretch from Vadodara to Asoj and ensure that sewage does not enter the river. This itself will cost around Rs 551crore. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/vadodara/vmc-proposes-sewage-free-vishwamitri-river-project/articleshow/88460791.cms  (24 Dec. 2021)

Varuna, Varanasi Professor Toffee @ProfessorToffee नदी में पार्क है या पार्क में नदी। वरुणा नदी, वाराणसी की दयनीय स्थिति।  https://twitter.com/ProfessorToffee/status/1543456509006270464?s=20  

RIVERS

Rivers need groundwater Venkatesh Dutta: Cities and municipalities must safeguard their water sources and watersheds. All we have to do now is make sure we don’t infringe on the blue landscapes. The Ganga basin’s geo-hydrological boundaries are formed by aquifers, and not by administrative boundaries. Subsidies are fuelling groundwater exploitation. Night-time irrigation is triggered by off-peak power dumping. Farmers resort to flood irrigation with free power and free groundwater. The pricing signals do not accurately represent the societal and ecological value of groundwater. Due to the huge energy footprint of agricultural production, including irrigation, we need to come down to ‘crop per watt’ instead of ‘crop per drop’. In the face of climate change, we must also concentrate on adaptive governance where we can recharge in the event of flash floods and utilize the water that has been stored in the event of water scarcity.https://www.civilsocietyonline.com/column/living-rivers/rivers-need-groundwater/ 

BRAHMAPUTRA Shifting Sands And Stressed Lives Floods. Landslides. Environmental degradation. Pollution. It all adds up to a story of disappearing land, displaced lives and destroyed livelihoods along the Brahmaputra BySanjoy Hazarika https://www.indiaspend.com/river-reflections/shifting-sands-and-stressed-lives-825312   (09 July 2022)

SUTLEJ Punjab Activists to protest against proposed textiles park at Mattewara on July 10 Aiming to raise voice against the setting up of a proposed Textiles Park in 1000 acres near KoomKalan in district Ludhiana, not far-away from Mattewara forest and river Satluj, a number of social activists, environmentalists have given a call to reach at Mattewara on July 10. The activists claim that the textile park, if set up, will ensure devastation of forest area and floodplain of Satluj. They say it will cause immense loss to ecology and biodiversity of the area. The activists opine that even though the state chief minister has assured that no chemical industry will be allowed in the park which pollutes the river waters but the dying industry, which is activists claim is proposed, will play havoc with river waters. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/amritsar/punjab-activists-to-protest-against-proposed-textiles-park-at-mattewara-on-july-10/articleshow/92721935.cms  (07 July 2022)

How textile industry has depleted Satluj https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0pHGXX-u_Q  (09 July 2022)

Mattewara forest project raises hackles. https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/water/mattewara-forest-project-raises-hackles-in-punjab-83634  (10 July 2022)

Members of civil society, politicians, farmers’ unions, student leaders and NGOs were among hundreds assembled to “save” the planned project site. https://thewire.in/politics/punjab-protest-against-aap-govts-plan-for-textile-park-near-mattewara-forest  (10 July 2022)

It was the unanimous view of almost all speakers at the protest organised at Mattewara along the Sutlej by the PAC and its supporting organisations that nearly one-fourth of the state’s essential wildlife reservoir, the Mattewara forest would be destroyed if the proposed textile park was set up in the land adjoining the forest. The industrial park would damage the state irreparably as Punjab was already ridden by the incessant flow of untreated chemical waste in the rivers. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/ludhiana-save-mattewara-forest-campaign-picks-up-pace-411203  (11 July 2022)

GANGA Dehradun How irresponsible dumping of muck in Jakhan river has affected farming practices in Sebuwala village. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ao-cuPvDtP4   (11 July 2022)

YAMUNA NCR यमुना हिंडन नदी के डूब क्षेत्र में अवैध निर्माण की बाढ़ नोएडा जिले में हरनंदी व यमुना नदी के डूब क्षेत्र में धड़ल्ले से अवैध निर्माण हो रहा है। डूब क्षेत्र में कालोनी काटनेवाले नदी के तट तक पहुंच गए हैं। साथ ही बहुत से लोगों ने दबंगई से नदी के किनारे तक कब्जा कर अवैध गतिविधियों का संचालन कर रहे हैं। स्थिति यह हो गई है दोनों नदियां सिमटती जा रही हैं और अवैध निर्माण बढ़ते जा रहे हैं। गर्दन फंसती देख सिचाई विभाग अपने आप को बचाने में जुट गया है। एडवाइजरी जारी कर लोगों से अपील कर रहा है कि बाढ़ आने से पहले अपने-अपने निर्माण हटा लें। बाढ़ आने पर निर्माण के क्षतिग्रस्त होने से भारी जन-धन की हानि हो सकती है। बाढ़ के समय सिचाई विभाग, जिला प्रशासन एवं शासन द्वारा सुरक्षा प्रदान किया जाना संभव नही होगा। बाढ़ से नुकसान होने पर पीड़ित लोगों को शासन से भी कोई क्षतिपूर्ति नहीं मिलेगी। https://www.jagran.com/uttar-pradesh/noida-the-responsible-first-closed-his-eyes-now-raised-his-hands-22862374.html  (04 July 2022)

सिचाई विभाग के अधिशासी अभियंता संजय कुमार ने बताया कि हिंडन नदी में वर्ष 1978 में बाढ़ आई थी। उस दौरान नदी का पानी कई किलोमीटर तक आवासीय क्षेत्र में प्रवेश कर गया था। उसके बाद से हिंडन नदी पर तटवर्ती बंध बनाए गए। नदी के बाढ़ की एक सीमा तय की गई। जिसे डूब क्षेत्र कहा गया। इस डूब क्षेत्र में अतिक्रमण या फिर पक्का निर्माण मान्य नहीं है। नदी के डूब क्षेत्र में अतिक्रमण होता चला गया। बरसात के दिनों में नदी का जल स्तर बढ़ा भी और डूब क्षेत्र तय फैला।इस बार सामान्य से अधिक वर्षा होने की संभावना है। बाढ़ की तीव्रता अत्यधिक होने की आशंका जाहिर की जा रही है। https://www.livehindustan.com/ncr/ghaziabad/story-warning-after-44-years-there-is-a-danger-of-flood-in-30-villages-of-two-districts-6565750.html  (30 May 2022)

सिंचाई निर्माण खंड के अधिशासी अभियंता ने कहा है कि इन 56 गांवों के किनारे वाली जमीन हिंडन या यमुना नदी किनारे पड़ती है। इन जमीनों पर लोगों ने स्कूल, फार्म हाउस, क्रेशर प्लांट, हॉट मिक्स प्लांट, कंक्रीट, रेहड़ी मिक्स प्लांट, बदरपुर सैंड, धुलाई हौंदियां आदि अवैध निर्माण बना लिए हैं। इस साल बारिश अधिक होने से बाढ़ की तीव्रता अधिक होने की आशंका है। बाढ़ में इन निमार्णों को नुकसान पहुंच सकता है। अवैध निर्माण क्षेत्र होने की वजह से उस वक्त सिंचाई विभाग और जिला प्रशासन कोई सुरक्षा प्रदान नहीं कर पाएगा। इसलिए ऐलान किया जा रहा है कि लोग अपने अवैध निर्माण हटा लें या तोड़कर दूसरे स्थानों पर चले जाएं। https://www.bhaskar.com/local/uttar-pradesh/ghaziabad/news/illegal-constructions-are-there-in-56-villages-of-khadar-region-irrigation-department-said-people-should-break-them-129858687.html  ( June 2022)

Harayana Industrialists to get training to cut ammonia in Yamuna The Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) will give special training to industrialists about chemical usage in districts on the Yamuna banks — Panipat, Sonepat, Yamunanagar, Karnal, Faridabad and Gurugram — to reduce the level of ammonical nitrogen concentration in the Yamuna. The HSPCB will also make a special plan to curb pollution in the Yamuna river.

As per the recent report of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), there has been no significant improvement in the ammonical nitrogen concentration in the Yamuna. In May, the CPCB specially held a survey of grossly polluting industries (GPIs) in the state and also directed the HSPCB to initiate action against these GPIs at the earliest. The CPCB in its letter said that inspections were conducted by technical institutions’ teams from December 10 last year to April 13 this year. A total of 924 GPIs were detected in the state and detailed reports of 815 GPIs have been made available to the HSPCB. But HSPCB has initiated action against only 464 GPIs so far. Action against 351 GPIs is pending.

As per sources, many of these GPIs are dyeing units, tanneries and other industries which have reportedly been discharging untreated effluent in the drains connected to the Yamuna. As per reports, the maximum GPIs are in Yamunanagar, Karnal, Panipat and Sonepat. The survey reports also indicated that the main source of pollution in the Yamuna included discharge of untreated or partially treated sewage from Yamunanagar, Jagadhari, Karnal, Panipat and Sonepat. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/haryana/industrialists-to-get-training-to-cut-ammonia-in-yamuna-409321  (04 July 2022)

Delhi Govt proposes to construct new drain The Delhi government on Saturday (July 09) proposed to construct a new drain similar to the Najafgarh drain for the treatment of polluted water from neighboring states, according to a statement. Union Home Minister Amit Shah has issued directions to set up a committee under the chairmanship of Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla to check the feasibility of the proposal, it said.

Sisodia also demanded that the construction of Renukaji Dam be expedited and the central government decide the quantum of water to be given to Delhi. Renukaji Dam is being constructed on the river Giri in Sirmour District of Himachal Pradesh.

The Union home minister said that a committee will be constituted to decide the amount of water to be given to Delhi. Delhi has given Rs 214.84 crore to Himachal Pradesh for Renukaji Dam and has agreed to bear 90 per cent of the cost of power component in this project. The government is also pursuing early and time-bound implementation of Lakhwar Dam and Kishau Dam in Dehradun. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/india/delhi-government-proposes-to-construct-new-drain-to-treat-polluted-water-from-neighboring-states/articleshow/92777581.cms  (10 July 2022)

FISH, FISHERIES, FISHERFOLKS

Delhi Mysterious mass fish deaths reported in Najafgarh drain: Officials A huge number of fish have mysteriously died in the upstream stretch of the Najafgarh drain along the Delhi-Haryana border in the last few days, prompting the Delhi government to rush teams to the area to probe the incident. Residents in the nearby Jhuljhuli village say fish in a pond in their village, around 150 meters from the drain, have also died. The incident came to light on Saturday (July 02) when a team of the forest and wildlife department was conducting a survey for tree plantation in the area.

Dead fishes in the Najafgarh drain along the Delhi-Haryana border, in New Delhi. PTI picture/ The Telegraph.

The number of dead fish could be in lakhs. It could be due to the release of an excessive amount of pollutants in the drain,” a forest department official said on condition of anonymity. The fish have died only in a five-kilometre upstream stretch of the drain between Rawta village and Dhansa dam in Haryana. The banks of the drain are littered with dead, rotten fish and the stench has filled the area, a spot inspection by PTI revealed. No such incident has been reported at Najafgarh Jheel, the second largest water body in Delhi-NCR after the Yamuna. Praveen Kumar, a resident of Jhuljhuli, said they have never seen something of this sort in the past. https://www.telegraphindia.com/india/mysterious-mass-fish-deaths-reported-in-delhis-najafgarh-drain-officials/cid/1873100  (04 July 2022)

Experts felt that excess pollutants caused the fish deaths. Manu Bhatnagar of Indian National Trust for Art & Cultural Heritage said, “It appears that after good rainfall untreated effluent from Bahadurgarh Industrial Area in Haryana and untreated sewage from Gurgaon entered Najafgarh drain. This might have led to a rise in the ammonia levels of water, leading to the mass deaths. This is evident from the fact that the deaths were recorded downstream of Dhansa and Najafgarh Jheel, where Badshahpur drain discharges.” https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/dead-fish-in-najafgarh-drain-delhi-pollution-could-be-to-blame/articleshow/92663269.cms  (05 July 2022)

दिल्ली सरकार ने नजफगढ़ नाले में बड़ी संख्या में मछलियों की मौत की घटना की जांच के लिए 11 सदस्यीय समिति का गठन किया है. जांच में इस पर भी गौर किया जाएगा कि क्या घटना के पीछे उर्वरक प्रदूषण एक कारण है. अधिकारियों ने शुक्रवार को यह जानकारी दी. https://ndtv.in/india/mass-fish-death-in-delhi-could-be-due-to-fertiliser-pollution-probe-panel-members-3141066  (08 July 2022)

Bengaluru Why pre-monsoon showers lead to fish kill cases in Lakes Why do fish deaths spike in the summer and coincide with pre-monsoon showers? As explained in the beginning, temperature plays a central role in influencing DO levels. The transition from winter to summer season causes an approximately 10 degrees rise in ambient temperature. These higher temperatures increase the rate at which oxygen is depleted from the water body which in turn promotes algal growth.

Moreover, the first rains bring additional pollutants from non-point sources (i.e. more widespread run-off and not effluents from sewage lines alone), providing even more organic matter for microorganisms to break down by consuming the oxygen dissolved in water. In addition, low wind speed during the summer and pre-monsoon weeks significantly reduces the rate at which oxygen is added to the lake, thereby leading to large-scale fish kills. https://bengaluru.citizenmatters.in/pre-monsoon-showers-lead-to-fish-kill-events-in-bengaluru-lakes-84298  (05 July 2022)

SAND MINING

Rajasthan खुदाई के दौरा गिरा पहाड़, कई मजदूर दबे, 2 शव बरामद सीकर जिले के पाटन थाना इलाके के रेला गांव में शनिवार (July 02) देर रात खदानों में ब्लास्ट के दौरान पहाड़ गिरने से उसके नीचे  कई मजदूर दब गए. प्रशासन ने जेसीबी और क्रेन मंगाकर दबे हुए मजदूरों को निकालने के लिए काम शुरू किया तो दो लोगों के शव बाहर निकाले गए. मृतकों में से एक ही पहचान दलपतपुरा निवासी सुभाष गर्ग के रूप में हुई है, जबकि दूसरा शव पूरी तरह क्षत-विक्षत हो गया है, जिसकी वजह से फिलहाल उसकी पहचान नहीं हो पाई है. बाकी मजदूरों को बचाने के लिए अभियान लगातार जारी है. https://www.abplive.com/states/rajasthan/rajasthan-the-mountain-fell-during-the-excavation-of-the-mine-in-sikar-many-laborers-buried-2-bodies-recovered-ann-2159900  (03 July 2022)

Bihar कैमूर की कातिल सड़कें:2021 में 158 लाेगाें की दुर्घटना में माैत, ताे इस वर्ष अबतक 33 काल के गाल में समाये There are several road accidents in the district caused by illegal sand mining vehicles but the report does not mention this. https://www.bhaskar.com/local/bihar/patna/bhabhua/news/in-2021-158-people-will-die-in-an-accident-so-this-year-so-far-33-have-been-in-the-cheeks-129507622.html  (March 2022)

Tamil Nadu Govt allots 1144 ha to IREL for beach sand mining  Just over two months after the Union government gave its approval for mining beach sand minerals over an extent of 1,144.06 hectares at eight villages in Kanniyakumari district, the State government has issued a letter of intent (LOI) to the Indian Rare Earths Limited (IREL) for mining in the region. The mineral industry has expressed its gratitude to Chief Minister MK Stalin for processing the applications swiftly.

In an order dated April 22, the Ministry of Mines (MoM) issued its ‘previous’ approval for granting a mining lease to IREL (India) Limited acting on the latter’s application for mining beach sand minerals. The IREL has proposed to mine beach sand minerals such as ilmenite, rutile, leucoxene, zircon, monazite, garnet and sillimanite from land parcels in Keezhmidalam A, Midalam B, Enayamputhenthurai, Ezhudesam A, Ezhudesam B, Ezhudesam C, Kollencode A and Kollencode B villages of Killiyoor taluk in Kanniyakumari district. https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/tamil-nadu/2022/jul/03/tn-govt-allots-1144-hectares-to-indian-rare-earths-limited-for-beach-sand-mining-2472505.html  (03 July 2022)

WETLANDS, LAKES, WATER BODIES

Gujarat NGT panel disallows discharge of treated sewage to protected wetland A committee constituted by the NGT after The Indian Express reported that a proposed STP of the Kalol municipality in Gandhinagar district had been allowed to discharge treated sewage to the Ramsar-protected Thol lake has disallowed the discharge into the lake and its eco-sensitive zone. The joint committee was formed in March following an order by the NGT principal bench, which on July 8 will likely take up the report submitted on June 1 by the five-member panel, headed by State Wetland Authority member secretary S J Pandit.

While taking suo motu cognisance of the March 19 news report, the NGT had directed the panel to file a factual and action-taken report and sought to know if “treated sewage can be utilised for secondary purposes, instead of being discharged into the wetland”. The Indian Express reported that the Gujarat Urban Development Company Limited, a government undertaking, had floated tenders for setting up a STP with a capacity to treat 33.10 million litres per day in the Kalol municipality and parts of the Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority’s jurisdictional areas.

In a communication of September 2021, Shyamal Tikadar, principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife) and the chief wildlife warden of the state, granted permission for the proposed sewage plant to discharge treated wastewater in the Thol lake, which was designated as a Ramsar wetland site in April 2021.

The NGT committee began its work on April 28 and completed the consultation process by May 12. Following a site visit, consultation with stakeholders, and deliberations on facts and records available and submissions of a subcommittee comprising subdivisional magistrates of Kalol and Kadi and Gandhinagar RO of the GPCB, several recommendations were outlined, the most important of which being that the “treated wastewater of the proposed STP of the Kalol Nagarpalika should not be allowed to be discharged directly or indirectly into the Thol lake and its eco-sensitive zone in any case”, according to the report.

It has also been recommended that “the options of providing dedicated irrigation canals bypassing the Thol lake and without affecting the whole bird sanctuary, eco-sensitive zone of the Thol lake and reuse of treated sewage in the nearby industries should be explored”. Furthermore, “a guard pond-cum-distribution pond with an online continuous effluent monitoring system and regular manual monitoring should be provided for treated sewage from the proposed STP (sewage treatment plant), and treated sewage may be utilised based on requirements for irrigation and industrial purposes”.

Some of the options identified by the joint committee and the subcommittee include utilisation of the treated wastewater in the garden area of the municipality, for use by the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation-Kalol, which houses 180 industries; utilisation by other industries such as Arvind Limited at Santej and Bharat Vijay Mill at Kalol; and utilisation by the Kalol unit of the Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative Limited, if feasible.

On reutilising the treated wastewater, the NGT committee has also said that the municipality should advertise seeking expressions of interest for the utilisation of treated wastewater from the proposed plant. The panel also suggested that the state pollution control board take into account its recommendations while considering the Kalol sewage treatment plant’s application for consent. Following the distribution of the treated wastewater to industrial units and for other purposes, the remaining treated wastewater can be drained into a canal of Sujalam Sufalam Circle-1 for irrigation purposes, the panel said, adding that “technical modification in the existing pipeline” may be undertaken to ensure that treated wastewater does not get mixed with drinking water. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/ahmedabad/express-impact-ngt-panel-discharge-treated-sewage-protected-wetland-gujarat-8008330/  (04 July 2022)

A joint-committee constituted by the NGT held its first meeting on April 28 as it commenced work on a report sought by the tribunal last month on a new STP proposed to be set up at Kalol in Mehsana district. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/ahmedabad/ngt-panel-meets-begins-work-on-report-on-new-stp-7895537/  (01 May 2022)

A principal bench of the NGT has sought for a factual and action-taken report by a joint committee on a new STP proposed to be set up in Kalol that has been permitted to discharge treated wastewater into Thol lake in Mehsana district. The bench, which initiated proceedings based on a report in The Indian Express, specifically sought to know if “treated sewage can be utilised for secondary purposes, instead of being discharged into the wetland”. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/ahmedabad/stp-allowed-to-discharge-waste-into-thol-lake-ngt-seeks-report-7845294/  (30 March 2022)

Gujarat Urban Development Company Limited (GUDC), a state government undertaking for executing urban infrastructure projects, had floated tenders for this STP having capacity to treat 33.10 million litres per day (MLD). Five firms have submitted tenders as of March 9 when the tender was closed for the project, and the project is estimated to cost Rs 46.64 crore.

The forest department gave the green light to the project on the condition that discharge of treated wastewater from the STP shall not disturb routine birdlife in Thol and that periodic water quality testing reports shall be submitted to the forest department. For now, the proposed STP will treat 15 MLD of wastewater generated by Kalol and around two MLD generated by thousands of residents of Kalol-Ola-Borisana and Kalol-Saij-Borisana areas of AUDA but capacity utilisation will go up as population increase in future.

The forest department gave the green light to the project on the condition that discharge of treated wastewater from the STP shall not disturb routine birdlife in Thol and that periodic water quality testing reports shall be submitted to the forest department. TIE

Environmentalists and wildlife enthusiasts, however, are concerned at the prospect of sewage water reaching Thol. “Releasing waste water into a wetland without treatment or even with insufficient treatment can prove hazardous for the wetland. If the wastewater is in the form of untreated domestic sewage, it may lead to accelerated eutrophication (nutrient enrichment) owing to the excessive concentration of nutrients like phosphates and nitrates. It may further lead to algal blooming which may further cause aesthetic deterioration, dissolved oxygen depletion and fish kill,” says Ketan Tatu, an Ahmedabad-based wetland researcher. He adds that it is not a wise step given that Thol was listed as a Ramsar site less than a year ago.

Incidentally, the Gujarat High Court is suo motu hearing a case of pollution in the Sabarmati river by STPs and Effluent Treatment Plants (ETPs) not meeting specified norms. The HC-constituted joint task force (JTF) has found how STPs of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation were discharging untreated wastewater directly in the Sabarmati river. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/ahmedabad/thol-lake-ramsar-site-stp-7833968/  (24 March 2022)

Maharashtra Centre upset over govt’s silence on MMR wetland burial Upset with the lack of action from the atate authorities, the MoEF&CC has set a fresh 15-day deadline to the Maharashtra Environment department to act on the series of complaints from green groups against destruction of wetlands in Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). Taking a serious note lack of response from the state environment department and the wetland authority despite five e-mails from the Centre, Dr E. Arockia Lenin, Director and Scientist-C, from the MOEFCC has sent a fresh missive to State Environment Principal Secretary Manisha Patankar Mhaiskar called for a time bound action and sending an Action Taken Report.

NatConnect Foundation director B N Kumar, who has been periodically complaining, received a copy of the letter to the state officials along with a 40-page annexure of the complaints and forward mails. Significantly, Dr Lenin’s letter has the approval of the Competent Authority at MOEFCC. In a press statement, Kumar has repeatedly pointed out to the MOEFCC that the Navi Mumbai International Airport Limited (NMIAL) has obtained Environmental Clearance based on a false claim that CIDCO was taking adequate steps to protect the wetlands as suggested by the BNHS. Far from ensuring protecting the wetlands, CIDCO has been ensuring that the water bodies are buried by ignoring even the High Court appointed committee’s directives, he said.

BNHS has repeatedly said in its studies that the wetlands at Belpada, Bhendkhal, Panje, NRI, TS Chanakya and DPS Lake must be protected as thousands of migratory birds land here. The EIA submitted by NMIAL to MOEFCC states: “Maintaining the current state of this landscape especially wetlands and Protected Areas is essential for the air safety of the upcoming Navi Mumbai International Airport (NMIA). Any changes in the current state of these areas will result in more erratic movement of the birds in the landscape between feeding and roosting sites, which may jeopardise the air safety of NMIA.” No authority seems to be serious about the bird hit threats to flight at the NMIAL despite our complaints. What is more, the ongoing BNHS study is commissioned by CIDCO itself. https://www.deccanherald.com/national/west/centre-upset-over-maharashtras-silence-on-mmr-wetland-burial-1124558.html  (07 July 2022)

Tamil Nadu NGT orders govt to notify Chennai’s Ennore under wetland mission In its final order in a case filed by Ennore fishers Ravimaran (late) and RL Srinivasan, and fisher activist K Saravanan seeking remediation of ash-choked wetlands, the NGT bench comprising judicial member Justice K Ramakrishnan and expert member K Satyagopal directed the Department of Environment to ensure that a DPR is readied in 9 months as per the comprehensive Terms of Reference (ToR) issued by the Joint Experts Committee in March 2022. “If remediation is done as per the ToRs issued by the expert panel, we are certain that the river will return to life. This will help lift local fishers from poverty, and protect north Chennai from flooding,” said K Saravanan of Save Ennore Creek campaign.

The order directed the Additional Chief Secretary, Environment, Forests and Climate Change to study the “unutilized” Ennore wetlands on the basis of the 1996 Coastal Zone Management Plan and protect that area against further development, declare it as Ennore wetlands under the government’s wetland mission and develop a plan for restoration of the fragile Ennore creek ecosystem and Ennore wetland complex. The tribunal has also directed the Chief Secretary to constitute a committee headed by district collector with officials from Greater Chennai Corporation, Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) and Tangedco as members to hold quarterly meetings to hear and address public grievances regarding the State power utility’s functioning in the area. It has tasked the TNPCB to prosecute and penalise Tangedco for its unlicensed operation.

Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Wetland Authority has already asked the Tiruvallur district collector to list all the wetland areas and submit a report.     In its 466 page report, the nine-member expert committee headed by former IAS officer Santha Sheela Nair, who also served as vice-chairperson of Tamil Nadu State Planning Commission, has made scathing remarks on how fly ash pollution was causing havoc to the lives of local population and damaging the environment.

In the study area of 905 hectares, the report said the area under natural wetlands has gone down by 68%. Land use changes between 1996 and 2022 were considered for the study. Using time series maps as well as delineated fly ash map using satellite and UAV data specially obtained for this study, it was observed that in 1996, salt pans and water bodies covered a major part of the site with no visible fly ash deposition.    https://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/chennai/2022/jul/08/ngt-orderstamil-nadu-government-to-notify-chennais-ennore-underwetland-mission-2474086.html  (08 July 2022)

West Bengal Kolkata: ‘Raze illegal structures to restore wetlands’ The East Kolkata Wetlands Management Authority (EKWMA) has urged the environment and heritage department of Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) and Anandapur police to complete the demolition of encroachments in daag numbers 1,147; 1,148 and 1,149 in Ward 108 under Dhapa mouza. In the 359 FIRs that the EKWMA has filed till date, this is only the seventh instance of a structure being pulled down. Of the several water bodies that have been drained or encroached, EKWMA has been able to restore only one in Ward 58 of Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation.

“In over three decades of involvement with EKW, we have never witnessed government agencies acting on their own to protect the wetland. Also, never has remedial action happened in so short a time. It just goes to show what government agencies are capable of if they display intent. Till now, it is NGOs that have been taking the lead role. We are really happy the government has taken charge now. But citizens have to assist the government by maintaining vigil and alerting the agencies about encroachments,” said green activist Bonani Kakkar.

Wetland researcher Dhruba Das Gupta hailed the initiative by EKWMA. “It is heartening to note the department take active steps to send a strong message to the violators. Let’s hope there will be more chances to send stronger messages so that such activities are discouraged,” she said. The EKW spread across 125 sq km on the eastern fringes of the city has 254 sewage fed fisheries. The city’s sewerage is naturally treated in the wetlands using solar purification followed by natural oxidation. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/raze-illegal-structures-to-restore-wetlands/articleshow/92760316.cms  (09 July 2022)

WATER OPTIONS

Karnataka Villagers in Gadag on cleaning mission for wells’ wellness The Futagao Badni Gram Panchayat recently launched a campaign to inspire villagers to restore old wells. Before long, youth in Lakshmeshwar and surrounding rural pockets too started cleaning defunct wells and rejuvenating them for the monsoon. Lakshmeshwar was once replete with wells and the entire town depended on them for water. But when water started reaching their homes from other sources, residents stopped using wells and turned them into garbage dumps. To inspire the youth to be part of the campaign, gram panchayat members decided to clean a well and put up photos on social media sites as part of the campaign, impacting the youth who took up cleaning of wells in the town too.

The Futagao Badni project began in the second week of June, and works to clean more than 10 wells were taken up in the next 15 days. The movement gained traction with historians and professors in Gadag also deciding to list main kalyanis in the district and cleaning and preserving them for future generations. Urban and rural populations, who were hit by successive droughts, were enthused to save wells in their respective areas. Futagao Badni Gram Panchayat president Ashok Lamani said, “As residents struggle to get water during summer, all the gram panchayat members decided to clean an unused well in the village. ”Youth from Lakshmeshwar too said that they were inspired to mitigate the water crisis during summers. “Now we have started cleaning an old well near Hirebana area,” they added. Gadag has many historic wells called kalyanis or pushkaranis. Lakkundi had 101 wells. Only  a few are left now. https://www.newindianexpress.com/good-news/2022/jul/03/villagers-in-gadag-on-cleaning-missionfor-wells-wellness-2472322.html  (03 July 2022)

Centre 50,000 ‘Amrit Sarovars’ to help store rainwater, supply soil for infra projects The government is targeting to address two concerns – catching the run-off rainwater and meeting the scarcity of soil for infrastructure projects – by fast-tracking the construction of over 50,000 Amrit Sarovars (ponds), each with a size of over one acre. Each such pond will be of at least one acre with a water holding capacity of 10,000 cubic metres.

According to the minutes of the last Pragati meeting chaired by PM Narendra Modi, he has asked all agencies working in the infrastructure sector, such as roads and railways, to map their projects with the water bodies being developed under the Amrit Sarovar scheme, to meet their requirement. “This would be a win-win situation as the material dug out for the Amrit Sarovar can be utilised for civil works by the agencies,” the minutes said.

A senior official in an infrastructure ministry said the availability of soil dug up from the identified sites for the ponds will address a key issue. “Now, different state authorities charge royalty for soil that’s excavated for carrying out road and other infrastructure projects. Once we have the states identify the spots for the ponds, we can get the soil without any problem. This will fast-track project implementation,” he added.

Shortage of soil has been one of the concerns for infrastructure projects across several states, and more so when there are orders from different benches of the green tribunal and local authorities. As per government data, So far 65,536 spots have been identified for Amrit Sarovar and work has started at 27,324 sites. Till now works have been completed at 857 sites. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/50000-amrit-sarovars-to-help-store-rainwater-supply-soil-for-infra-projects/articleshow/92625330.cms  (03 July 2022)

Rajasthan बोरवेल पर प्रतिबंध लगाकर इस गांव ने खत्म किया जल संकट  भीलवाड़ा जिले के मांडलगढ़ ब्लॉक में स्थित अमरतिया गांव ने पिछले 20 वर्षों से कोई बोरवेल नहीं होने दिया है। यह काम सरजू बाई मीणा की अगुवाई में हुआ। 65 वर्षीय सरजू बाई कभी स्कूल नहीं गईं, लेकिन पर्यावरण संरक्षण की चलती-फिरती पाठशाला हैं। उन्होंने 23 वर्ष पहले अपने गांव को जल संकट और चारे की कमी से उबारने का बीड़ा उठाया था। उनकी इस काम में भरपूर मदद और मार्गदर्शन किया गैर लाभकारी संगठन फाउंडेशन ऑफ ईकोलॉजिकल सिक्युरिटी (एफईएस) ने। सरजू बाई के नेतृत्व में बनी देवनारायण जल ग्रहण विकास समिति ने पानी को संरक्षित करने के कुछ ऐसे कदम उठाए जिससे पूरा गांव जल स्वावलंबी बन गया। सामूहिक प्रयासों और ग्रामीणों के श्रमदान से गांव में चार एनिकट बनाए गए जिससे जानवरों को पानी मिला ही, साथ ही भूजल स्तर में वृद्धि होने से लगभग मृत हो चुके कुएं भी जिंदा हो गए।

इस समय तक ग्रामीणों को लगने लगा था कि बोरवेल जल संकट की असली वजह है, इसलिए उन्होंने लगभग 20 साल पहले नए बोरवेल पर ही प्रतिबंध लगा दिया। महिलाओं ने उस समय गांव के मुखिया तक को बोरवेल नहीं करने दिया था। जब बोर करने वाली मशीन आई तो 30-35 महिलाएं उसके सामने लेट गईं और उसे वापस भेजकर ही दम लिया। इन महिलाओं का नारा था, “मरो या मारो लेकिन गांव में बोरिंग किसी भी कीमत पर मत होने दो।”मौजूदा समय में गांव में 4-5 बोरवेल ही हैं जो प्रतिबंध से पहले हैं। समिति ने बोरवेल से खेतों की सिंचाई पर भी रोक लगा रखी है। गांव के लोग पीने का पानी कुएं से ही लेते हैं। सरजू बाई की अगुवाई में शुरू हुए इन प्रयासों की बदौलत गांव में 20 फीट पर पानी उपलब्ध है।

वहीं दूसरी तरफ पड़ोसी गांव बदलखा और धाकरखेड़ी में जहां जल संरक्षण के ऐसे प्रयास नहीं हुए और बोरवेल से पानी निकालने का सिलसिला बदस्तूर जारी है, वहां 200-250 फीट की गहराई पर भूजल पहुंच गया है। साथ ही इन गांवों में कुएं भी विफल हो चुके हैं। सरजू बाई गर्व के साथ कहती हैं, “अपने गांव में हमने अकाल का नामोनिशान मिटा दिया है।” वह प्रकृति बचाओ, शामलात बचाओ, पानी बचाओ, जीवन बचाओ, समय बचाओ के मंत्र के साथ आगे बढ़ रही हैं। https://www.downtoearth.org.in/hindistory/water/water-conservation/by-banning-borewells-this-village-of-rajasthan-found-a-solution-to-the-water-crisis-83537  (05 July 2022)

Madhya Pradesh Women’s groups have been able to collect the pending water tax in panchayats in Betul district. https://www.bhaskar.com/local/jharkhand/ranchi/news/if-given-command-to-women-then-64-lakh-rupees-in-6-months-burn-recovery-130013829.html  (04 July 2022)

GROUNDWATER

Punjab Pathankot lauded for arresting groundwater depletion A two-member team of the NITI Aayog has lauded the efforts of the Pathankot administration to arrest the depleting groundwater table level across the district. Agriculture experts opined that the “stable water table” was primarily due to sowing of paddy by the direct seeding method. The groundwater table in all six blocks — Narot Jaimal Singh, Bamial, Dhar Kalan, Pathankot, Gharota and Sujanpur — was taken into cognisance by the team. The consensus that emerged after two-day visit to rural areas, meetings and deliberations was that the local administration “was doing everything possible to ensure the water table doesn’t get depleted any further”. The scientific inputs were based on readings of piezometers installed across all six blocks by the hydrology section of the agriculture department.

Dr Amrik Singh, Agriculture Officer, claimed that almost 458 acres had come under the direct seeding method this year in Pathankot district. “On a conservative estimate, 62 lakh litres of water is used to sow paddy on an acre of land. This means, this year we saved 54.42 crore litres of groundwater. The very existence of the Upper Bari Doab Canal canal, which originates at Madhopur and runs till Amritsar after crossing Pathankot district, also helps in maintaining stable groundwater levels. On an estimate, water can be found 5 to 17 m deep in this district which is good enough as compared to other districts of the state,” the officer said. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/amritsar/pathankot-lauded-for-arresting-groundwater-depletion-410822  (09 July 2022)

Farmers in Sangrur dist in Punjab that took up Direct Sowing of Rice last year, promoted by the govt for groundwater preservation, have opted out and sown through traditional way due to too weeds and now easier availability of labout compared to last year. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/in-cms-district-farmers-not-interested-in-water-saving-dsr-409500  (05 July 2022)

IWP Poisoned waters, threatened lives Studies reveal that children are the most vulnerable to the health risks associated with groundwater contamination due to nitrate and fluoride, highlighting the need for urgent remedial measures. https://www.indiawaterportal.org/articles/poisoned-waters-threatened-lives  (05 July 2022)

URBAN WATER

Delhi Harmful chemical in tap water poses threat: Study A recent study has found presence of harmful chemical nonylphenol (NP) in the tap water samples collected from 12 locations in the country, of which two were in Delhi. The chemical was found in high concentration from the samples collected at Indraprastha in New Delhi and Balbeer Vihar in northwest Delhi. According to the study, released by Delhi-based research organisation Toxics Link, nonylphenol is a toxic chemical and well-known endocrine disruptor associated with several adverse effects on human health. United Nations Environment Programme has also declared it as a chemical of global concern.

Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has set standards for phenolic compounds in drinking water at 1ppb, and in surface water, at 5ppm (parts per million or milligram per litre). However, no standard has been set specifically for NP. According to the study, NP is commonly used in the production of nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs), which are used in consumer products like detergents, wetting agents and dispersants, apart from in industrial procedures like plastic manufacturing.

A similar study in 2019 confirmed the presence of NP in detergents sold in the Indian market, with the highest concentration at 11.9%. Its presence was also detected in notably high quantity in many rivers and lakes. According to Satish Sinha, associate director of Toxics Link, the presence of NP in drinking water is of serious concern to human health and calls for a thorough investigation and creation of suitable standards for nonylphenol in it. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/harmful-chemical-in-tap-water-poses-threat/articleshow/92733267.cms  (08 July 2022)

Ludhiana 21L MT legacy waste dumped at landfill site Around 11,00,000 kg, or 1,100 tonnes per day (TPD) — that’s the quantity of garbage or solid waste that the city of Ludhiana produces in a single day, the highest among 13 Municipal Corporations (MCs) in Punjab. Nearly 3,074 tonnes of waste is collected in Punjab every day by 13 MCs. The problem with Ludhiana’s solid waste management, the only city from Punjab that had made it to the first list of 20 “Smart Cities” way back in 2016 even before UT Chandigarh, however, is much more deeper and serious, and is turning huge with each passing day, literally.

An investigation by The Indian Express revealed that for more than a year now, Ludhiana Municipal Corporation (LMC) has not processed a single kg of waste produced in the city with a population of over 16 lakh. Ludhiana is now staring at mountains of legacy waste (old waste waiting for processing), weighing over a whopping 21 lakh Metric Tonnes (MT), lying dumped at its Jamalpur landfill site on Tajpur road spread across 50 acres. According to a senior MC official, the accumulated legacy waste could be nearly twice at 40 lakh MT, as a fresh survey at the site is yet to be conducted. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/ludhiana/an-express-investigation-part-1-processing-plant-lying-shut-21l-mt-legacy-waste-dumped-at-landfill-site-8007179/  (04 July 2022)

WATER POLLUTION

Karnataka Clean water still a murky dream Karnataka is among the top five states reporting a high number of diarrhoeal incidents, according to the Central Bureau of Health Intelligence. https://www.deccanherald.com/specials/insight/clean-water-still-a-murky-dream-for-karnataka-1125297.html  (09 July 2022)

Lokayukta has taken a suo moto cognizance in connection with a case wherein eight persons died after drinking contaminated water in the state’s Raichur district. Lokayukta Justice BS Patil also began a probe into the incident on Thursday (July 07). https://bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com/bangalore/crime/killer-water-suo-motu-probe-by-lokayukta/articleshow/92732745.cms  (06 July 2022)

MONSOON 2022

Reports Parts of India parched, others badly flooded India’s monsoon season has been slow to start this year, but now rains have covered the entire country. Some areas in the northeast have been flooded, while others are still hoping the downpour will bring relief after severe droughts. Climate change is said to be affecting rainfall patterns. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZkpuglrHy0  (04 July 2022)

Monsoon season was 0.58 degree C warmer this decade than long-term average The June to September monsoon season has been 0.3-0.4 degrees Celsius hotter than pre-monsoon seasons in the decade from 2012 to 2022, according to a new Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) analysis based on India Meteorological Department (IMD)’s long-term data.

The decadal average temperature for the pre-monsoon or summer period was 0.49 degrees Celsius hotter than long-term normal (1951-80 baseline). This is a significant increase but not as much as that for the other three seasons. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/monsoon-season-was-0-3-0-4-hotter-than-pre-monsoon-seasons-over-last-decade-101657193354421.html  (07 July 2022)

Stalled monsoon behind devastating floods in northeast India & Bangladesh A lack of easterly winds and other unusual weather patterns have also meant low rainfall in north and central India https://www.thethirdpole.net/en/climate/stalled-monsoon-behind-devastating-floods-northeast-india-bangladesh/  (06 July 2022)

Nagaland Dust In The Wind, Mud On The Ground It is this same dust that found its way to Nini Lungalang, an extraordinary Naga poet who wrote Dust, a poem that delicately and powerfully invokes in 40 sparse lines, the historical and sociological contours of the Naga world.

It’s my turn at the water point:

The trickle is slower today

Each day, slower,

One day, it may stop;

And my field has withered,

Rusted-dry in the staring sun,

The crevices filling with dust.

Tin buckets clash behind me

And a loud voice roughly bawls

“Don’t fill that bucket full!

Fool – don’t you know you’ll slop?” —Nini Lungalang

https://www.outlookindia.com/national/monsoon-in-nagaland-dust-in-the-wind-mud-on-the-ground-magazine-207250  (08 July 2022)

Delhi Monsoon’s vanishing act leaves city high and dry https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/monsoons-vanishing-act-leaves-delhi-high-and-dry/articleshow/92789552.cms  (11 July 2022)

Report 57 फीसदी जिलों में सामान्य से कम बारिश बारिश न होना चिंता की बात है. पिछले साल इस समय तक 36.02 लाख हेक्टेयर में धान की बुवाई हो चुकी थी, जो इस बार केवल 19.59 लाख हेक्टेयर ही हो पाई है. https://hindi.newslaundry.com/2022/07/11/monsoon-weather-rainfall-heavy-impact-on-crops  (11 July 2022)

FLOOD 2022

Telangana Villages on banks of Godavari warned of flash floods Residents of villages located on the banks of Godavari and Pranahita rivers and low-lying areas in the vicinity were alerted to the possibility of flash floods due to flooding of upstream Adilabad and the release of water into the Godavari from Maharashtra’s Babli project. The Kumuram Bheem, Satnala, and Yellampalli irrigation projects also received a heavy water flow. One gate of the Kadam project has also been opened. Meanwhile, heavy rains inundated the agricultural fields of Adilabad. Village roads and connecting roads were heavily flooded, affecting connectivity to other regions. Animals have washed away in multiple instances, while people were also caught in the floodwaters as officials released water from a few irrigation projects without prior warnings. https://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/070722/villages-on-banks-of-godavari-warned-of-flash-floods.html  (07 July 2022)

Karnataka As dams get full, many villages face flood threat Many villages in Yadgir, Raichur, Bagalkot, Haveri, and Vijayanagar districts are put on high alert following heavy rain in the catchment areas of Almatti, Tungabhadra and Narayanpur dams. Due to heavy rain in Maharashtra and parts of North Karnataka, water level in Almatti dam in Vijayapura district is fast increasing. Water level has now reached to 515.77 metres against the FRL of 519.6 metres. The inflow has increased, and water level is expected to reach the maximum level in the next two days. If water level increases in Almatti dam, excess water will be released to Narayanpur dam of Yadgir district. Water level has already reached the maximum level in Narayanpur dam.

– Prakash Mudugal, assistant executive engineer, who is in-charge of Narayanpur dam, said the dam is now full. “If excess water is released from Almatti dam, then, water from this dam will be released by opening all crest gates and it likely to create a flood like situation in more than 80 villages of Shahpur, Shorapur, Hunasagi and Wadagera in Yadgir district and some villages of Lingasugur and Raichur taluks. People have been put on high alert and told to shift to safer places,” he said. “Today, there inflow at Almatti is 78,390 cusecs and it is increasing rapidly due to heavy rains in its catchment area. If there is an inflow of 4 lakh cusecs, then we must release excess water from our dam. In the next couple of days, we are likely to release water,” he added. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hubballi/as-dams-get-full-many-north-karnataka-villages-face-flood-threat/articleshow/92776147.cms  (10 July 2022)

Kaveri catchment area given flood warning as KRS dam almost full Heavy rains in the Kaveri catchment areas have caused the inflow into the Krishnaraja Sagar (KRS) to increase; as a result, the dam is expected to reach its full reservoir level soon. According to the flood alert issued by the Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Limited, the surplus water (above the full reservoir level) would be discharged into the river at any time. https://www.deccanherald.com/state/karnataka-districts/kaveri-catchment-area-given-flood-warning-as-krs-dam-reservoir-almost-full-1124472.html  (07 July 2022)

Tungabhadra dam witnesses highest water level in 2 decades The Tungabhadra Dam, which is an inter-state water project near Hospet in Karnataka, has received a record quantum of inflows. As of July 8, it stored 64.73 TMC feet of water. Such storage has never been seen in the previous two decades. In previous years, the dam typically stored 19 to 20 TMC feet of water. People and farmers are expecting that the dam will fill by the second week of July, and it will release sufficient water for drinking and irrigation. According to the Tungabhadra Board, the dam has 133 TMC feet capacity of water, but it has reduced up to 105.78 TMC feet due to occupied silt.

The dam received a good inflow in May because, the dam watershed has witnessed good rainfall, but it has reduced in June. Now, the dam’s watershed, especially in the Malnad area, is receiving good rainfall for the last one week, it has impacted that the dam is receiving 80,000-plus cusecs inflow in 24 hours. “If the same quantum of inflow continues for the next four-five days, the reservoir will fill up to its full capacity,” said an official. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hubballi/karnatakas-tungabhadra-dam-witnesses-highest-water-level-in-2-decades/articleshow/92747795.cms  (08 July 2022)

Madhya Pradesh River Narmada at Machak Barangi Level Monitoring site in Harda district has breached previous HFL 272.72 m attained on 25.08.2019 by 0.78 m thus setting up new HFL 273.5 m at 09:00 hrs on 10.07.2022. The flood level stayed over old HFL for 2 hours.

Assam Four arrested following FIR on May 23 about breach of embankment along Barak in Silchar town in Assam.  https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/cid-probes-dyke-sabotage-that-flooded-silchar-4-held/articleshow/92687570.cms  (06 July 2022)

Joydeep Biswas writes: There was fear and horror as the worst floods in nearly a century hit Silchar, Assam. Even as the flood waters recede, another spectre looms. https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/assam-floods-8021124/  (11 July 2022)

गांव के निवासियों का कहना है कि तीन बांधों- उमरंगशु, कार्बी लोंगपी और खेंडोंग से पानी छोड़े जाने के कारण उनके घर जलमग्न हो गए थे। बाढ़ के बाद न सिर्फ गांव के निवासी बल्कि कई सरकारी अधिकारी भी घर नहीं लौट पा रहे हैं। https://hindi.mongabay.com/2022/07/11/unprecedented-flood-cripples-assam-massive-loss-of-life-and-property-reported/  (11 July 2022)

 अपनी पूरी जिंदगी ऐसी बाढ़ कभी नहीं देखी   By Arvind Shukla  सबसे ज्यादा प्रभावित जिलों में एक दरांग भी था। ननोई नदी ब्रह्मपुत्र की सहायक नदी है, जो भूटान का पानी लेकर आती हैं। बोरगांव के पास नदी बहुत छोटी सी है, उसके किनारे बंधा भी बंधा हैं लेकिन पिछले 4 से 5 दिनों से हो रही भीषण बारिश और भूटान से आने वाले पानी के चलते नदी के तटबंध कई जगह टूट गए थे और नेशनल हाइवे 15 पर कई किलोमीटर तक पानी चला था। जैसा कि बोरगांव के पास हुआ था।

बदले मौसम को लेकर दरांग के पड़ोसी जिले उदालगुड़ी के किसान बिनोई डैमारी (50 वर्ष) कहते हैं, “मौसम में कुछ ऊपर नीचे हुआ है।  पानी (बाढ़) तो अक्सर कई बार सीजन में आती थी लेकिन ऐसा नहीं होता था।” वह दिखाते हैं कि कैसे भूटान के पहाड़ों से आए रेत वाले पानी के चलते खेतों में कई फुट मिट्टी जम गई हैं इसलिए अब खरीफ की फसल होना मुश्किल है।

उदालगुड़ी जिले की सीमा भूटान से मिलती हैं। जबकि एक सीमा पड़ोसी राज्य अरुणाचल  प्रदेश से भी मिलती है। भूटान और अरुणाचल से निकल कर दो नदियां जहां मिलती हैं वहां और धनश्री सिंचाई प्रोजेक्ट के लिए बांध हैं। स्थानीय लोगों के मुताबिक निचले असम में इन्हीं नदियों के पानी ने नुकसान पहुंचाया है। बाढ़ प्रभावित एक और गांव में पिछले 15 दिनों से मायूसी पसरी है। पानी खत्म हो गया है, लेकिन गोलंडी नदी के साथ आई रेत घरों में भर गई है। ग्रामीण अपने घरों से गाद और कचरा साफ करने की कोशिश कर रहे हैं। https://hindi.carboncopy.info/floods-assam-northeast-india-2022/  (05 July 2022)

एक महीने से पानी में डूबे गाँव की कहानी https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytDtmB23jOI  (02 July 2022)

Opinion Steps To Mitigate The Twin Disasters Of Flood And Erosion Partha Jyoti Das The need of the hour is to adopt an integrated flood and erosion management policy and develop a long-term action plan specifically for the state of Assam to mitigate the twin disaster of flood and erosion. We need a comprehensive action plan that brings in the best of innovative science and technology applicable to our region and suggests short-term, mid-term and long-term measures for addressing the problem, accounting for the ecological fragility, climate change impact and social vulnerability of the people. A task force may be constituted incorporating international, national, and local experts for developing the action plan. The Central and State Governments must show a willingness to invest the required financial resources for providing a durable solution to the problem. https://www.outlookindia.com/national/steps-to-mitigate-the-twin-disasters-of-flood-and-erosion-in-assam-news-206816/amp  (05 July 2022)

Bihar The Rain Speaks To Us, But Are We Listening? Stories become more believable though, when told in writing by one of the greatest Hindi writers Bihar has ever produced. Phanishwar Nath Renu documents the flood of 1967 and other stories of water in his remarkable nonfiction ‘Rinjal Dhanjal’. https://www.outlookindia.com/national/floods-in-bihar-the-rain-speaks-to-us-but-are-we-listening–magazine-207310  (08 July 2022)

Schools in Purnia, Katihar, Araria, Kishanganj in Seemanchal area facing submergence.

Report Why India’s Early Warning Systems For Floods And Cyclones Fall Short Lack of impact-based forecasts, poor dissemination of information to those at risk, lack of data on the effectiveness of early warning systems and lack of localised action plans to follow the warnings plague India’s early warning systems ByTanvi Deshpande. https://www.indiaspend.com/explainers/why-indias-early-warning-systems-for-floods-and-cyclones-fall-short-825110  (08 July 2022)

URBAN FLOODS

Chennai Faulty design, implementation of storm water project The Greater Chennai Corporation is now implementing storm water drainage project in 559 roads, covering a distance of 1033 kilometres, which cost around Rs 4,070 crore. For this massive project, which is targeted to be completed between April and September this year, huge loan has been availed from World Bank, Asian Development Bank and others. Several technocrats have pointed out that the project has been designed with outdated technology and quality of the implementation is so poor that the residents have been put to great hardships. Experts have expressed shock that the storm water drain has been constructed in such a way that its top level is around one foot above the road level.

– if there would be rainfall, the rain water would get inside the house as the top portion of the drainage structure is above the floor level in the house. As a result, it appears that the residents have to spend around Rs 1 lakh to raise the floor level in the compound to the top level of the drainage structure. https://www.counterview.net/2022/07/chennai-residents-suffering-faulty.html  (04 July 2022)

DISASTERS

Study Identifying potential hotspots of land use/land cover change in the last 3 decades This is a Preprint and has not been peer reviewed Abstract Uttarakhand region in the NW Himalaya has experienced two extreme climatic-geomorphic events within last 10 years that killed more than 6000 people. Though these events, like many others in the Himalaya, have been attributed to climate-change and anthropogenic disturbances, identification of potential hotspots of land use/land cover change is rarely attempted to make future inferences for disaster risk reduction. An evaluation of spatio-temporal changes in land use/land cover can be used to identify such hotspots. Therefore, we analysed the spatio-temporal changes in a climatically sensitive and natural disaster-prone area (~28856 km2) of Uttarakhand (NW Himalaya), India, by comparing the satellite data of years 1991-2020 for ten land use/land cover elements to track the spatio-temporal changes over these years. Results revealed the formation of two hotspots exhibiting relatively more changes in land use/land cover pattern. Though the anthropogenic influence is observed in both hotspots, the influence of spatio-temporally changing climatic parametres is also noted. In view of frequent extreme climatic-geomorphic events, temporally increasing population and tourist pressure, and temporally changing climatic conditions, it is vital to identify hotspots having dominant changes in land use/l https://eartharxiv.org/repository/view/3439/

LANDSLIDES

Manipur Landslide toll rises to 47 The death toll in the landslide has climbed to 47 after 7 more bodies were retrieved from under the debris in last 24 hours, leaving the rescuers to continue with the search for the remaining 14 people, which include 2 soldiers of the Territorial Army. So far, 28 soldiers of the Territorial Army unit, including its commanding officer Lt Col Kapil Dev Pandey, have been found dead while 13 others have been rescued in injured condition.  https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/guwahati/manipur-landslide-toll-rises-to-47-search-on-for-remaining-14/articleshow/92663615.cms  (05 July 2022)

‘No public consultation’, razed forests: Manipur landslide raises questions on rail project. https://theprint.in/india/no-public-consultation-razed-forests-manipur-landslide-raises-questions-on-rail-project/1024521/  (05 July 2022)

Weak soil, incessant rain, anthropogenic pressure to blame, say experts. https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/natural-disasters/manipur-landslide-weak-soil-incessant-rain-anthropogenic-pressure-to-blame-say-experts-83543  (05 July 2022)

The hill community reported that before the disaster, two engineers had warned of the possibility of landslides after examining the soil condition. There are further predictions of impending landslides, putting many lives at risk. https://www.eastmojo.com/news/2022/07/05/putting-land-slide-into-perspective/  (05 July 2022)

Uttarakhand Blockade removed from lake formed near Pindari glacier The district administration in Bageshwar has partially removed the obstruction that was hindering natural flow of the V-shaped 1 km long-lake that formed near Kuwari village in Kapkot block. The water is gradually flowing down to Pindar river with no imminent danger of flash flood now, said Paritosh Verma, Kapkot SDM. Verma told TOI on Wednesday (July 05), “Two days ago, a team from the irrigation department had dug a 12 foot-wide and 1.5 foot-deep passage with the help of hand tools to discharge the water. After partial removal of the blockade, the water level in the lake has come down from 6,500 cusecs to 4,500 cusecs in just two days.”

About two weeks ago, scientists conducting ground survey work for a proposed river-linking project near Pindari glacier stumbled upon the km-long and 50-m wide lake. They observed that the 1,700m-altitude hill slope on which the Kuwari village is located was slowly sliding down and had led to the formation of the lake in the tributary of Pindar river originating from the Pindari glacier. Experts had then warned of a possible flash flood during monsoon. TOI had earlier reported that a lake was formed near the Pindari glacier due to landslides in the area between 2013 and 2019.  https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/blockade-removed-from-lake-formed-near-pindari-glacier/articleshow/92712524.cms  (07 July 2022)

नैनीताल के अस्तित्व पर खतरा https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inz6H8xopr4  (08 July 2022)

पिथौरागढ:- भूस्खलन रोकने के उद्देश्य से करोड़ों रुपये की लागत से थल-मुनस्यारी सड़क में हरड़िया नया बस्ती में किए गए कार्यों की पोल हल्की सी बारिश में खुलने लगी है। मानसून से पहले ही पहाड़ी के दरकने से करोड़ों की लागत से किए गए कार्यों की गुणवत्ता पर भी सवाल खड़े होने लगे हैं। साढ़े पांच करोड़ की लागत से जून 2021में नदी तल पर 120 मीटर लंबाई पर आरसीसी ब्लॉक, दीवारों और जियोमेट्रिकल संरक्षण कार्य शुरू किया गया था। कार्य पूरा होते ही सड़क के ऊपर पूर्वी भाग में बने ढांचे हल्की बारिश से दरकने लगे हैं। निर्माण स्थल से 200 मीटर दूरी पर रहने वाले भैसखाल गांव के उपप्रधान धन राम ने बताया कि इस स्थान पर सरकार ने धन की बर्बादी की है। जमीन दरकने से इस स्थान पर बरसात में और अधिक भूस्खलन होने का खतरा बढ़ गया है। https://www.amarujala.com/uttarakhand/pithoragarh/landslide-in-nachani-pithoragarh-news-hld466546430  (21 June 2022)

Shimla A four-storey commercial building housing two banks (UCO bank and land mortgage bank), a dhaba and a beer bar collapsed in the Chopal market. Cracks started developing in the foundation of the building first. However, no casualty was reported. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/4-storey-building-falls-in-chopal-410956  (08 July 2022)

Karnataka Landslip kills 3, schoolgirl untraced Search is on for the first standard schoolgirl, who was washed away in the floods while returning from school in Thogarihankal Gram Panchayat limits in Chikkamagalur district last week. Three labourers from Kerala were killed in a landslip in Dakshina Kannada as heavy rain pummeled most parts of Karnataka leaving behind a trail of destruction. Kodagu district has experienced repeated mild earth tremors in the recent past and people are also fearing major landslides. https://www.daijiworld.com/news/newsDisplay?newsID=976711  (07 July 2022)

Opinion Don’t blame only the monsoons for landslides https://www.hindustantimes.com/opinion/policies-and-people-don-t-blame-only-the-monsoons-for-landslides-101657275443433.html  (08 July 2022)

ENVIRONMENT GOVERNANCE

SC ‘very unhappy’ with ‘mechanical’ orders of NGT In what could discomfit the National Green Tribunal (NGT), the Supreme Court has put its scanner on many instances of NGT passing “mechanical and pre-drafted” orders and said it would soon take up this issue and pass corrective orders.

Hearing an appeal against NGT’s May 4 ruling imposing an allegedly arbitrary penalty of Rs 40 crore on a Ghaziabad-based builder for carrying out constructions purportedly without requisite environmental clearances, a bench of Justices Surya Kant and J B Pardiwala on Friday (July 01) ordered a stay on the recovery of the penalty and posted the matter for hearing on August 12. The Justice Kant-led bench said, “This is not the first instance. Mechanical and pre-drafted orders are being passed (by the NGT) almost every day. We are very unhappy with this and will soon take notice of such orders into consideration and pass appropriate orders”.

Present NGT chairperson Goel, when he was a judge of the SC, had in 2017-18 stoutly and repeatedly opposed the appointment of Kant, then a Punjab and Haryana HC judge, as chief justice of the Himachal Pradesh HC on certain unverified property related allegations. Goel’s reservations were overruled and Kant was appointed CJ. Later, when Kant’s name was being considered for appointment as a judge in the SC, activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan had written to then CJI Ranjan Gogoi opposing it. However, Gogoi overruled the objections and the collegium headed by him recommended Kant’s appointment as SC Judge, which he became on May 24, 2019. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/sc-very-unhappy-with-mechanical-orders-of-ngt/articleshow/92662605.cms  (05 July 2022)

https://www.business-standard.com/article/opinion/red-signals-for-green-laws-122070401325_1.html  (05 July 2022)

Report How Has Bhupender Yadav Fared in One Year? Bahar Dutt https://www.thequint.com/voices/opinion/indias-environment-laws-how-has-bhupender-yadav-fared-in-one-year  (07 July 2022)

Govt to approve cutting down of forests without consent from tribals New Forest Conservation Rules will compel states to obtain consent from tribal communities after the union government has already collected money from developers for forest clearance. By Mukta Joshi & Nitin Sethi https://www.newslaundry.com/2022/07/07/government-to-approve-cutting-down-of-forests-without-consent-from-tribals-and-forest-dwellers  (07 July 2022)

Manju Menon and Kanchi Kohli, legal researchers with the Centre for Policy Research, weigh in on the Union environment ministry’s latest consultation papers, which seek to increase penalties, but absolve violators of criminal liability. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/new-rules-offer-compensation-not-freedom-from-pollution-manju-m-and-kanchi-k-101657287924441.html  (08 July 2022)

New changes to forest conservation rules will destroy Tribals in India https://groundreport.in/new-changes-to-forest-conservation-rules-will-destroy-tribals-in-india/  (08 July 2022)

Assam Patanjali to Cultivate Palm Oil Despite Warnings Environmental experts have warned of adverse impacts of the national palm oil mission in the Northeast and A&N Islands. https://www.newsclick.in/assam-patanjali-cultivate-palm-oil-despite-warnings  (04 July 2022)

Gujarat Restoring Banni grasslands that battles invasive tree species https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/ahmedabad/restoring-banni-grasslands-gujarat-battles-invasive-tree-species-8011031/  (06 July 2022)

Western Ghats Another year’s wait for environment safeguards  The deadline to finalise the draft notification to officially earmark ecologically sensitive areas (ESA) of the Western Ghats in six states has been extended for another year, senior environment ministry officials said, thus allowing activities like rock quarrying, mining and establishment of new industries for now. The draft notification is now in its fourth iteration and was expected to be finalised by June 30, but differences persisted between the governments of Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Goa and Gujarat — through which the Western Ghats extends — forcing yet another delay.  https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/ecologicallysensitive-areas-in-western-ghats-not-be-notified-for-another-year-101656934673164.html  (05 July 2022)

India adds 540 species to its faunal database, 315 taxa to its flora in 2021 India added 540 species to its faunal database in 2021 taking the total number of animal species to 1,03,258. The country also added 315 taxa to the Indian flora during 2021, taking the number of floral taxa in the country to 55,048. Of the 540 faunal species, 406 are new discoveries and 134 new records to India. 13new genera were also discovered in 2021. According to the BSI, regions such as the Western Ghats and the northeastern regions have contributed 28% of the total discoveries. In State-wise analysis, the most number of discoveries were made from Kerala with 51 taxa followed by Maharashtra and Arunachal Pradesh. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/india-adds-540-species-to-its-faunal-database-315-taxa-to-its-flora-in-2021/article65592499.ece   (02 July 2022)

1 million animal and plant species face extinction threat: Study  Fifty thousand wild species of plants, animals, fungi and algae meet needs of billions of people globally with one in five people relying on wild species for income and food, and one in three (2.4 billion) depending on fuel wood for cooking, said a report by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), released on Friday (July 8). The report comes against the backdrop of the stark findings of the IPBES in May, 2019 that shows around 1 million animal and plant species are threatened with extinction, more than ever before in human history. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/environment/flora-fauna/1-million-animal-and-plant-species-face-extinction-threat-study/articleshow/92758610.cms  (09 July 2022)

Video Will India’s New Plastic Ban Work? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMP4yPMpRlE  (01 July 2022)  

CLIMATE CHANGE

Sunderbans left to fend for itself despite being on receiving end of climate change Climate litigation has seen an upward trend all over the world, but India is yet to pick up pace despite the presence of highly climate-vulnerable areas such as the Sunderbans, which bore the brunt of Cyclone Aila and more recently Amphan. https://www.telegraphindia.com/my-kolkata/news/sunderbans-left-to-fend-for-itself-despite-being-on-receiving-end-of-climate-change/cid/1873272  (06 July 2022)

SOUTH ASIA

Nepal Investment Board and NHPC discussing West Seti project this week. https://kathmandupost.com/national/2022/07/10/investment-board-and-indian-firm-discussing-west-seti-project-this-week  (10 July 2022)

Terrible impacts of low quality road construction The Nepali newspaper Nagarik News carried an article last week, in Nepali, about the impacts of low cost road construction on an isolated mountain community. 

The village of Naina in Khaptad, showing the destabilising effect of low cost road construction. Image collected by a local citizen, published in Nagarik News.

The hamlet in question in Nainam located in the area of Chhededaha village in Khaptad. https://blogs.agu.org/landslideblog/2022/07/11/naina-khaptad-1/  (11 July 2022)

Myanmar Dams as displacers: A heavy social cost to incur Hydropower in the Himalayan river system has traditionally been a contentious issue. This is more so because of the extensive knowledge gaps that exist in the context of its business economics, impacts of global warming and climate change on hydrological flow regimes, tectonic and seismic sciences, the critical ecosystems-livelihoods linkages, and most critically, the social costs associated with displacement, inadequate or lack of rehabilitation and livelihoods losses and eventually escalated conflicts. Hydropower development in Myanmar in the Salween river systems ticks all these boxes. https://www.orfonline.org/expert-speak/dams-as-displacers-a-heavy-social-cost-to-incur/  (04 July 2022)

EUROPE

Italy Emergency Declared to Manage Drought The Po river authority is working on a resilience plan that involves draining water from high altitude Alpine lakes. The Italian government is also working with the government of Israel to import water-generating technologies. A delegation 22 Italian water utility companies and engineering firms visited Israel in June to explore ways to tackle the drought.

There is a history of droughts in the region – but it has never been so bad. According to the climate change research news site, climatechangepost.com, northern Italy has witnessed heavy drought events in the years prior to 1971. The droughts lasted between six and eight weeks with up to five extreme drought between 1971 and 2000, often impacting almost half the region’s area.

But things have changed over the decades. Climatechangepost says that Northern Italy currently experiences some of the highest rates of annual water availability in Europe. “Approximately two-thirds of this, mainly surface water, is used for irrigation with stress from groundwater abstraction a problem in only a few areas.” https://owsa.in/emergency-declared-in-italy-to-manage-drought/  (05 July 2022)

THE REST OF THE WORLD

Study How the world’s rivers are changing The findings show that massive 20th century dam building in the global hydrologic north—North America, Europe/Eurasia and Asia—has reduced global in river suspended sediment delivery to the oceans by 49% relative to pre-dam conditions.

The Three Gorges Dam dramatically reduced the amount of sediment transported by the Yangtze River in China after its completion in 2003. The top image shows the dam site during construction in 1999, when sediment colors the free-flowing river brown. The bottom image shows the completed dam in 2010. Dark blue water flows through the dam without sediment, which is trapped upstream in the reservoir, one of an estimated 50,000 in the river basin. Credit: NASA Landsat/United States Geologic Survey; Figure: Evan Dethier.

This global reduction has occurred despite major increases in sediment delivery from the global hydrologic south—South America, Africa and Oceania. There, sediment transport has increased on 36% of its rivers in the region due to major land use change.  https://phys.org/news/2022-06-world-rivers.html  (29 June 2022)

Australia Sydney floods impact 50,000 Days of torrential rain have caused dams to overflow and waterways to break their banks, bringing a fourth flood emergency in 16 months to parts of Sydney. https://indianexpress.com/article/world/sydney-floods-australia-rains-8009243/  (05 July 2022)

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

Also see: DRP News Bulletin 04 July 2022 & DRP News Bulletin 27 June 2022  

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

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