(Feature image: Delta Land Loss Mechanisms. Source Wikimedia Commons)
A new study this week has reminded us what has been known for long. Dams not only store water but also trap the sediment flowing in the river. Whatever smaller quantity of water flow from dams to downstream areas, has much lower or no silt. A lot of that silt was supposed to reach the coast, helping fight against the erosion of the coast due to sea tides and waves. With drastically lower sediment reaching the coasts, higher coastal erosion is the result. While climate change is definitely contributing to the increased coast erosion due to more frequent and higher intensity storms from the sea, the role of dams tend to work as force multiplier in increasing the coastal erosion due to less sediment reaching the coasts from river.
While a new study by a Pune University has highlighted this phenomena in case of Godavari river, peninsular India’s biggest river, this is also happening at most other rivers and where they meet the coasts. As in case of Farakka, closer the terminal dam is to the coast, greater is its effectiveness to trap the river sediment and higher is its contribution likely to be to the increase in coastal erosion.
Unfortunately our Central Water Commission, Water Resources Ministry at Centre and states, environmental expert bodies like the expert appraisal committee, the environmental experts, environmental regulators like the environment ministries at the center and states, the environmental judicial bodies etc., are yet to wake up to this reality and take it into consideration while taking decisions about dams and their decommissioning.
Study Godavari dams reduce sediment load, study warns of spike in coastal erosion Godavari, the most important river in peninsular India, has seen a dramatic decline in its sediment load over the past five decades, aggravating coastal erosion along the Bay of Bengal where it empties, a Savitribai Phule Pune University study published in the international journal Science of the Total Environment shows. A river carries sediment load in a dissolved form, in suspension or as bed load. In the case of Godavari river, this load dropped at an average annual rate of 2 million tonnes per year reducing the sediment transport to the Bay of Bengal, thus causing extensive delta erosion by sea waves.
Lead researcher Sumit Das said coastal erosion and loss of land in the Godavari delta may further intensify into an irreversible destruction phase as more reservoirs are built under a warming and wetter climate with the increasing intensity of tropical cyclones and sea-level rise. In the Godavari basin, a significant reduction in sediment load after 1995 was closely associated with the construction of dams and, as a result, entrapment of sediments in their reservoirs, he added. Since 1970, as many as 650 dams have been constructed in the Godavari basin, the highest in peninsular India.
The current environmental deterioration of the Godavari basin due to deforestation and land-use changes, increased agricultural activities, extreme rainfall events in central India may heighten human-induced sediment erosion at certain places, he added. Das said many Asian rivers have experienced such decline primarily due to sediment accumulation within dams in recent times. These rivers include Krishna, Cauvery and Narmada. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/maharashtra-godavari-dams-reduce-sediment-load-study-warns-of-spike-in-coastal-erosion/articleshow/93243317.cms (31 July 2022)
HYDRO POWER PROJECTS
Himachal Pradesh Kinnaur youth club protest against 217 MW Hydro projects on Ropa Khad.
Uttarakhand THDC निर्मित 13.4 KM लम्बी सुरंग का मलबा डंप करने के लिए चमोली जिला प्रशासन ने सरपंच के साथ मिलकर रची हेलंग के गौचर में खेल मैदान बनाने की कहानी ! https://janjwar.com/janjwar-special/thdc-reality-in-chamoli-helang-village-play-ground-for-dumping-gauchar-ko-khel-ka-maidan-banane-ke-peechhe-ka-kya-hai-sach-828456 (29 July 2022)
Union Power Ministry has issued renewable Purchase Obligation and Energy Storage Obligation till 2029-30. It includes Hydro Purchase Obligation that will be 0.35%, climbing to 2.82% by 2029-30, purchasing power from hydropower proejcts commissioned after March 8 2019 and includes pump storage projects. https://mercomindia.com/power-ministry-notifies-wind-hydro-and-energy-storage-purchase-obligation/ (25 July 2022)
MoEF Relevant decisions of the FAC meeting held on July 15, 2022 Diversion of 426.763 ha of forest land for Water Resources Dept for Majhagaon Medium Irrigation Project in Panna district in Madhya Pradesh: Some conditions of Stage I FC changed. http://forestsclearance.nic.in/writereaddata/FAC_Minutes/711261219122011642_1658840556190.pdf
Mekedatu Dam Karnataka can’t claim rights over surplus water in Cauvery basin: Tamil Nadu The Tamil Nadu government has told the Supreme Court that any surplus water generated in the Karnataka side of Cauvery basin should be stored in reservoirs located in Karnataka and be carried forward to the next year. In an affidavit countering Karnataka’s petition seeking approval of the Mekedatu hydro-reservoir project, Tamil Nadu said Karnataka should not construct any projects, including Mekedatu, to utilise surplus water on its side of Cauvery basin. https://www.deccanherald.com/national/south/karnataka-can-t-claim-rights-over-surplus-water-in-cauvery-basin-tamil-nadu-1130748.html (27 July 2022)
Polavaram Project CWC team inspects upper coffer dam The members of the Central Water Commission visited the Polavaram project in Andhra Pradesh on Sunday (July 30) first time after the Godavari floods. A three-member team led by Khayyam Mohammed inspected the downstream areas of the upper coffer dam spillway of the Polavaram project.
The recent flood in the project has flooded villages and caused damage to crops and property. On the other hand, Telangana ENC wrote a letter to the Polavaram project authority yesterday seeking a study on backwater. It suggested that a study be done by an independent organisation on the impact of backwater. He clarified that there will be a threat of back water to Bhadrachalam if the project is completed. The Telangana ENC has asked the Polavaram Project Authority to prevent flooding caused by backwater and take necessary steps to mitigate the damage. https://www.thehansindia.com/andhra-pradesh/andhra-pradesh-cwc-team-visits-polavaram-project-inspects-upper-coffer-dam-755855 (31 July 2022)
“When Polavaram water is stored at FRL, it is certain that the flood level at Bhadrachalam will be further compounded. IIT Roorke has also estimated the probable maximum flood (PMF) as 58 lakh cusecs and the backwater levels at upstream of Konta on Sabari river as 218 feet with 58 lakh cusecs against 180 feet with 36 lakh cusescs as computed by the Central Water Commission. Even AP studies only 36 lakh cusecs flood does not contain the floods and inundate Bhadrachalam, Manuguru heavy water plant and even coal mines in the region,” Telangana engineer-in-chief (irrigation) C Muralidhar said.
He said increase in backwaters levels on main Godavari river would result in extensive submersion of temple town of Bhadrachalam, habitations, forest tracts, etc., and cause irreparable damage. The heavy water plant at Manuguru, located one km adjacent to Dummugudem anicut on Godavari river, is also bound to face the impact of flooding.
Muralidhar said due to recent floods, 99 villages in Ashwapuram, Bhadrachalam, Burgampahad, Charla, Dummugudem and Pinapaka mandals got submerged and as many as 12,594 villages out of a total 27,364 were impacted. “PPA being the nodal agency for Polavaram project should initiate measures for safeguarding the territory of Telangana and its habitations,” the irrigation chief said.
Meanwhile, the Telangana government, in another letter, has urged the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) to furnish data for formulation of rule curves for Srisailam and Nagarjuna Sagar reservoirs. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/get-study-on-polavaram-backwaters-t-tells-ppa/articleshow/93244834.cms (31 July 2022)
Maharashtra Koradi power plant knowingly violated env norms: MPCB The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) has finally issued a prosecution notice to chief engineer of Koradi Thermal Power Station for “knowingly and wilfully” violating environmental norms, which led to the massive breach at Khasala.On July 16, the Khasala flyash bund breached, leading to the flooding of three villages with toxic flyash slurry and enormous damage to agriculture fields. In its notice, MPCB regional officer AM Kare said the power plant authorities failed to carry out pre and post monsoon survey of all ash bunds and ensure safety, which led to the breakdown of Khasala ash bund. “The toxic ash which flowed out to low lying areas, agricultural fields, natural nullahs, and into drinking water sources is causing harm to environment on large scale,” the board’s chief wrote.
In another shocking revelation, the board highlighted that the power plant officials raised the height of the bund wall without obtaining the mandatory environmental clearance. Locals also alleged that the constructed wall was of very poor quality. “Moreover, the work was not completed on time. Before the incident, we had warned officials that ash had started overflowing but they ignored us,” said locals. Calling the plant a “habitual defaulter”, the board also said that it has been receiving frequent complaints regarding air and water pollution from it. A team of MPCB officials had also carried out a spot inspection on July 16 and 17, during which they observed several non-compliances and discharge of large quantum of ash into the environment.
As per the prosecution notice, the board has asked the chief engineer why prosecution under section 15 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, should not be taken against Koradi plant and the officials held responsible for day to day affairs of the plant. The board has given the chief engineer seven days to reply to the notice. In case he fails to do so, a criminal complaint will be filed against the unit as well as concerned officials, without giving any further notice or warning.
The board had earlier issued directions to the plant and also forfeited its bank guarantee of Rs12 lakh. It directed the chief engineer to submit additional bank guarantee of Rs24 lakh. Apart from this, MPCB is also assessing the environmental damage that occurred due to the mishap, as per the formula suggested by the NGT. The findings will be sent to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) for approval of environmental compensation. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nagpur/koradi-power-plant-knowingly-violated-env-norms-mpcb/articleshow/93120877.cms (26 July 2022)
Breaking of the ash bund has brought a windfall for locals and also people living a little further, who are rushing to the site for an easy catch. The incident also revealed that the people of lower income segment living in the vicinity have been eating flyash ridden fish since years.
The Khasala ash bund of Koradi thermal power plant that broke in last week’s rains is barely a few meters away. When it broke, shoals of fish also flowed out along with the water, and are now in low-lying plots nearby. As locals have a field day, they are also finding flyash particles inside the fish. However, they admit to eating flyash ridden fish since years, catching them in ponds nearby and even water inside the ash bund. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nagpur/bund-breach-reveals-locals-catching-eating-fish-from-flyash-pond-since-years/articleshow/93096228.cms (25 July 2022)
Tripura Gumti dam lost 24% capacity to siltation in 36 years The original gross and live storage capacity of Gumti reservoir in 1984 were reported as 328.48 MCM & 312.90 MCM respectively. In 2003 a Satellite Remote Sensing Survey was conducted using optical imageries that indicated a live storage capacity of 249.070 MCM.
In the present study, it is found that live capacity of the Gumti reservoir in 2020 is 235.672 MCM witnessing a live storage loss of 77.228 MCM (i.e. 24.681 %) in a period of 36 years during 1984 to 2020. This accounts for live capacity loss of 0.685% per annum since 1984. http://cwc.gov.in/sites/default/files/sedimentation-assessment-gumti-reservoir-through-srsmar21.pdf
Karnataka Proposal to build gardens at 2 dams gathers dust The DPR prepared by Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Limited (CNNL) and the tourism department to develop botanical gardens on 32 acres and 16 acres of land available in front of Suvarnavathi and Chikkahole twin reservoirs in Chamarajanagar district is gathering dust. The proposal includes plans to set up a children’s amusement park, an open-air theatre, a hotel and also boating services.
As the reservoirs were filled to fullest capacity following heavy rains in the catchment areas of Talawadi after a gap of 13 years, the visitors to the twin reservoirs have increased this year.Speaking to TOI, Chamarajanagar assistant director of tourism incharge Raghavendra said that his department has received a proposal in this regard from CNNL through district administration last year. The department has initiated measures to develop the twin reservoirs as a tourism spot under Private Public Partnership (PPP) model and is awaiting government approval after submitting the DPR of the project estimated at Rs 6.7 crore, he said. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mysuru/proposal-to-build-gardens-at-two-dams-in-chnagar-gathers-dust/articleshow/93260045.cms (01 Aug. 2022)
INTERLINKING OF RIVERS
Ken Betwa Project faces Massive Criticism Recently, in July the Steering Committee of Ken-Betwa Link Project (SC-KBLP) held their second meeting where the timeline, land acquisition, rehabilitation of displaced villages and other project related issues were discussed. And in a subsequent meeting it was decided that a central steering committee will set up a body to implement landscape and environment management plans. https://www.thequint.com/climate-change/ken-betwa-interlinking-project-rs-1400-crore-2-rivers-and-massive-criticism (27 July 2022)
INTERSTATE WATER DISPUTES
Rajasthan presents united front in water dispute with M.P. Congress-ruled Rajasthan, miffed with the Centre’s recent missive to halt work on the proposed Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project (ERCP) until issues with BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh are resolved, has not only rejected the neighbouring State’s objections but also hit out at New Delhi over not adhering to the spirit of federalism. An all-party meeting on ERCP, convened here on Sunday (July 24, 2022), reiterated the project’s significance for the State and offered to send a team of experts to the Centre for holding talks on its technical aspects. Rajasthan has maintained that it was utilising its share of water within its own borders and the “lack of consent” by other States was irrelevant.
– Though the Ashok Gehlot government has been demanding national project status for quite some time for the ambitious project that is set to benefit 13 districts with over 3.5 crore population through the interlinking of the Parvati, Kali Sindh and Chambal rivers, for quite some time, the Union Jal Shakti Ministry Secretary recently wrote to the State’s Chief Secretary directing a pause on work to take Madhya Pradesh’s concerns on board.
– The Inter-State Water Control Board had decided in an agreement signed in 2005 that any of the two States could use water from its own catchment area as well as 10% of the water received from the catchment areas of the other for any project. Madhya Pradesh has got its own projects cleared as per the decision taken in the inter-State meeting.
– A significant aspect of Madhya Pradesh’s objection is related to the water dependability. According to the agreement between the two States, a project for water supply can be formulated only on 75% water dependability, whereas the detailed project report (DPR) of ERCP is based on 50% water dependability. This will result in the breach of agreement, according to the neighbouring State.
– Rajasthan claims to have prepared the DPR on ERCP in accordance with the Inter-State Water Control Board’s decision and in compliance with the 2010 guidelines of the Central Water Commission (CWC). Mr. Gehlot said an average of 19,000 million cubic metres (MCM) of Chambal river waters flowed into the sea every year, as per the CWC’s data of 36 years, while the ERCP sought to utilise only 3,500 MCM water. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/rajasthan-presents-united-front-in-water-dispute-with-mp/article65683199.ece (25 July 2022)
Andhra Pradesh Water released from project at 1,000 cusecs for Kharif crops Water was released from Water left canal to various sub canals through Buggavagu at 1,000 cusecs on Sunday (July 31). Minister for Irrigation Ambati Rambabu said the government was releasing water for Kharif crops in advance to avoid crop loss due to cyclones in November or December.“Necessary action is being taken to generate 60 megawatts of power through two generators at the Nagarjuna Sagar project.” As the Pulichintala project is receiving heavy inflows, water is being released from a single gate to ensure the safety of the project. https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/andhra-pradesh/2022/aug/01/water-released-from-project-at-1000-cusecs-for-kharif-crops-2482817.html (01 Aug. 2022)
Musi; Hyderabad Hussainsagar poses risk to groundwater The downstream areas of the once-picturesque Hussainsagar lake, built some 450 years ago, face a serious risk of contamination due to seepage and hazardous effluents that pharmaceutical companies discharge into the lake.
Experts claim that some pharmaceutical companies are dumping hazardous waste that entered the lake as a result of heavy rainfall. They believe that heavy metals, chemicals, some of which are known as “forever chemicals”, and antibiotics from pharmaceutical companies are likely to contaminate the groundwater in the downstream areas, even before it joins the Musi at Golnaka. https://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/260722/contaminants-from-hussainsagar-will-pollute-ground-waters-in-downstrea.html (26 July 2022)
Minister Talasani Srinivas Yadav on Friday (July 29) announced that two new bridges will be constructed across Musi river at Moosarambagh and Chaderghat in nine months. After visiting the Charderghat bridge which faced inundation owing to heavy rains and the Musi receiving massive inflows, the minister said the bridges have already been sanctioned by the government. He said the works will be taken soon. Officials said that 52 crore for the new Moosarambagh bridge and 42 crore for the new Chaderghat bridge had been allocated. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/hyderabad-2-new-bridges-over-musi-river-in-nine-months-says-minister-talasani-srinivas-yadav/articleshow/93223982.cms (30 July 2022)
Mutha; Pune Increasing water pollution in river creates problems for residents Water pollution in Mutha river in Pune continues to make life miserable for local residents as increase in water hyacinth and deposition of sludge provides a breeding ground for mosquitoes. This can lead to several diseases and affect the health of the locals. This calls for an immediate action to remove hyacinth and clean up the banks of the river. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/videos/toi-original/pune-increasing-water-pollution-in-mutha-river-creates-problems-for-residents/videoshow/93238021.cms (30 July 2022)
Mumbai IIT-Bombay will help treat sewage with new tech To prevent sludge and sewage from 25 storm water drains between Bandra and Dahisar from flowing into the sea, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has planned in-situ treatment of sewage from the drains. This will be done with the help of IIT-Bombay’s N-Treat Technology, civic officials said on Thursday (July 21). https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-iit-bombay-to-help-treat-mumbais-sewage-with-new-tech/ (26 July 2022)
Ahmedabad GPCB, AMC on opposite sides over alleged effluent dumping in Shedhi canal The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) and Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) are at loggerheads over the illegal dumping of chemical waste in the Shedhi Narmada canal. AMC engineers at the Raska water treatment plant detected a dark brown liquid entering the plant from the Shedhi canal and immediately closed it down on Tuesday, fearing harm to the 30% of the city’s residents who are supplied water from there.
– The Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) and district police have formed teams to patrol the 66km canal, and took water samples for testing. GPCB on Friday said their final test report showed that there was no industrial chemical residue in the water of the Shedhi canal and it was safe to resume operations at the Raska water treatment plant.
– However, the AMC, which carried out tests at its own laboratory, maintains that the water samples had high chemical oxygen demand (COD). COD is a measure of water quality and is used to monitor water treatment plant efficiency. The test is based on the fact that a strong oxidant, in acidic conditions, can fully oxidize almost any organic compound to carbon dioxide. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/gujarat-pollution-control-board-amc-on-opposite-sides-over-alleged-effluent-dumping-in-shedhi-canal/articleshow/93222687.cms (30 July 2022)
Madhya Pradesh जंगल और नदी कैसे बचाते हैं भारिया भारिया आदिवासियों का जंगल व नदी बचाने का अपना तरीका है, वे जंगल की कटाई-छंटाई और नदी की साफ करते हैं, बल्कि उन्होंने पीढ़ियों से देसी पौष्टिक अनाज भी बचाए हैं“जंगल हमारा माई-बाप है, उसे हम बचाकर रखते आए हैं और आगे भी रखेंगे। यह हमारे आजा-पुरखा की पहचान है, विरासत है। अगर जंगल रहेगा तो पेड़-पौधे रहेंगे व शुद्ध खाना, शुद्ध पानी और शुद्ध हवा मिलेगी। आदिवासी को काम की तलाश में बाहर भटकना नहीं पड़ेगा। जंगल और नदियों को गांव के लोग सामूहिक रूप से बचाते आए हैं, इनमें हमारे देवी-देवता हैं, यह जीवन का आधार हैं।” – पातालकोट के गैलडुब्बा गांव के भगलू चलथिया उत्साह से यह बाते बताते हैं। https://vikalpsangam.org/article/jungle-aur-nadi-kaise-bachate-hai-bhariya-in-hindi/ (18 July 2022)
इंडस्ट्रीज के छोड़े गए केमिकल से प्रदूषित होती अजनार नदी लगभग 50 औद्योगिक इकाइयों के साथ एक विशेष आर्थिक क्षेत्र, पीथमपुर के पास मध्य प्रदेश का मानपुर शहर, जल प्रदूषण का सामना कर रहा है।
स्थानीय लोगों का कहना है कि पीथमपुर का रासायनिक मलबा खुले मैदानों में फेंका जाता है, जो गांव के पास अजनार नदी में जहर घोलने का काम कर रहा है। इससे भूजल और कुओं का पानी संक्रमित हो रहा है। https://hindi.mongabay.com/2022/07/27/industries-dump-chemicals-into-fields-pollute-ajnar-river-in-madhya-pradesh/ (27 July 2022)
Punjab Protest over distillery ‘polluting’ groundwater Alleging contamination of water, the activists of farmer organisation BKU (Krantikari) have been holding a protest outside a distillery at Mansoorwal village in Ferozepur district for the past four days. Activists said waste from the liquor factory, owned by Malbros International, was mixing in groundwater and this was posing a serious health risk to locals. They said water drawn even 500 feet from the factory was not fit for drinking. They said it was also unfit for cattle, as animals had died due to contaminated water some days ago.
BKU (Krantikari) state president Surjit Singh Phool said they had asked the factory’s management to take corrective measures to stop polluting the water. He said the factory was drawing large quantitues of groundwater to prepare alcohol and polluting it in the process. Malbros International chief administrative officer Pawan Bansal said the plant was equipped with technology where no waste water was discharged. “We treat the water and reuse it. We have three tube wells which draw water from 600 feet under ground and pay for it to the government. Few days ago, some samples had been collected. Their report’s awaited. We had helped out farmers whose cattle had died on humanitarian grounds,” he added. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chandigarh/protest-over-distillery-polluting-groundwater/articleshow/93175366.cms (28 July 2022)
BKU Ugrahan demands groundwater testing by independent laboratory Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta-Ugrahan) on Friday intensified its ‘Save water, save farming’ campaign outside the Trident Group’s unit located at Dhaula village in Barnala, with a large number of women and union president Joginder Singh Ugrahan also camping outside the premises. On the second day of the stir, union leaders accused the Trident Group of contaminating groundwater in nearby areas and sought testing by an independent laboratory. Punjab government had recently appointed the Group’s chairperson, Rajinder Gupta as the vice-chairperson of the Economic Policy and Planning Board.
BKU (Ekta-Ugrahan) senior vice-president Jhanda Singh Jethuke alleged, “The wastewater discharged by the unit is reaching in homes in nearby areas. A solid chemical substance is accumulating in water tanks of people living in adjoining villages. The tubewells are also spewing wastewater discharged by the unit. Testing of ground water of the area should be carried out by a private laboratory.” Union president Joginder Singh Ugrahan said, “Corporate houses in connivance with the World Bank have executed a conspiracy in the state. First, they contaminated it, then they treated it, then decided to sell it and fixed rates and that too on their own. Punjab’s water belongs to its people. Government should scrap World Bank policies and start its own projects to provide treated water and increase the supply of canal water for irrigation purposes,” said Ugrahan. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/chandigarh-news/save-water-save-farming-campaign-bku-ugrahan-demands-groundwater-testing-by-independent-laboratory-101658524586436.html (23 July 2022)
Report Highway Projects Near Borders Don’t Need EC All highway projects within 100 km of India’s “Line of Control (LoC) or border” will now be exempt from environmental clearances. This is in view of their importance for defence and national security, as per a notification issued on July 14 by the MoEFCC.
The notification is unclear about whether ‘borders’ refer to both land and coastal borders, mapping experts and ecologists pointed out. If it applies to both, highway projects in around 35% of India’s land area – which includes all four of India’s biodiversity hotspots – would be exempt from environmental clearances.
Even if we consider only land borders, this amounts to more than 7,00,000 sq km of India’s land area because ~60% of India’s international borders are terrestrial ones, Madhusudan said. Northeast India will bear the brunt here: entire states, including Sikkim, Tripura and Meghalaya would be exempt from clearances for such projects. Incidentally, the northeast is home to a large part of India’s remaining forest cover. Around 64% of India’s northeast – 1,69,521 sq km – is forest, as per India’s latest State of Forest Report.
Most of these areas are also high seismic risk zones. “Such risks exist and must not be sidelined,” said Upadhyay. “Climate change, especially with many instances of extreme rainfall events being experienced in the state, is a pertinent risk too.” The notification is therefore a “setback” for everyone living in environmentally sensitive regions like the Himalayas, said Upadhyay. https://thewire.in/government/now-highway-projects-near-borders-dont-need-environmental-clearance (26 July 2022)
Mizoram Greens slam NHIDCL for violating environmental laws Environmental activists in Mizoram have slammed the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation (NHIDCL) for not following environmental laws while undertaking road projects in the State.
A pro-conservation organisation by the name of Save Mizoram Rivers said the NHIDCL has been expanding the existing single-lane roads in the State to double-lane. But unlike in other States, the corporation has been turning a blind eye to environmental laws and pushing excavated soil downhill wherever the workers engaged find convenient, it said. “Such activities destroy trees and bamboo groves, affect the biodiversity and dry up the perennial rivers. The impact of road construction under NHIDCL and the improper disposal of excavated soil on Mizoram’s environment is difficult to comprehend at this point,” Vanneihthanga Vanchhawng, the organisation’s founder-member, said in a statement.
“Good roads are a necessity for Mizoram — a heavily forested and hilly State. The Centre’s initiative to improve connectivity through expensive projects is appreciated. But there is no noticeable progress in the NHIDCL projects, and the indifference of the contractors to environmental norms is hard to ignore,” he said.
The organisation has also criticised the Mizoram State Biodiversity Board for lacking in functionality, as a result of which 893 Biodiversity Management Committees across the State have virtually been defunct. These committees are empowered to fine violators of environment laws up to ₹10 lakh. “It is also depressing that the Mizoram government remains ignorant about the need to make NHIDCL, or the contractors engaged by it, to make spoil banks for depositing excavated earth, and not shove it downhill to kill the rivers and trees,” Mr. Vanchhawng said.
The NHIDCL, which falls under the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, claims it has been abiding by all Central and State rules and regulations while executing projects in Mizoram and elsewhere in the country. “The works are progressing according to the plans made and the contractors have been directed to finish protection measures along the spoil bank (dumping tract) — a concern of the general public — on a war footing,” an NHIDCL spokesperson said. “We are also in the process of making the people understand the complexities and requirements of the project and assure them that the flora, fauna and biodiversity of Mizoram would be maintained as we are ethically and morally responsible,” he said. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/mizoram-greens-slam-nhidcl-for-violating-environmental-laws/article65689203.ece (28 July 2022)
GANGA Uttarakhand 50m stretch of ‘all-weather’ Badrinath highway caves in A 50-metre stretch of the Badrinath NH-58, connecting Rishikesh with Srinagar, caved in near Pantgaon in Tehri Garhwal district following incessant rainfall on Tuesday (July 26). Big cracks emerged at the spot where the road crumpled. Fortunately, no vehicles were passing from the affected stretch at the time of the accident. Significantly, the affected road is being widened under the central government-funded all-weather Char Dham road project. Earlier, on July 13, another stretch on the Badrinath NH-58) near Pursadi in Chamoli was washed away following incessant rainfall. Significantly, the washed-away road was constructed by National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation (NHIDCL) just last year as part of the Karnaprayag-Chamoli road laid under the all-weather road project. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/50m-stretch-of-all-weather-badrinath-highway-caves-in/articleshow/93172794.cms (28 July 2022)
Monsoon continues to wreak havoc on road connectivity in the state. Over 100 state and village roads, including 30 in Chamoli and 25 in Pauri Garhwal, continue to remain blocked due to landslides and boulders falling on roads, as light to moderate showers continue to lash hills of Uttarakhand. Chamoli district has maximum 31 roads blocked, followed by Pauri Garhwal district where 25 roads are blocked, 15 in Dehradun, 14 in Uttarkashi and 12 in Pithoragarh district, including one border road, according to the state emergency operation centre. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/100-roads-blocked-in-uttarakhand-more-rain-likely/articleshow/93150221.cms (27 July 2022)
Reacting to the cabinet’s decision on Wednesday (July 27) to approve a PWD proposal for small underground tunnels in the hills to be used as parking lots, experts and activists expressed alarm at the plan and said that the project needs to be thought through properly before it is implemented.
SP Sati, a professor at Veer Chandra Garhwali Uttarakhand University of Horticulture & Forestry, said, “Tunnel puncturing for developing parking lots would damage aquifers in the hills. We witnessed this during the Tapovan hydel project tragedy. A huge amount of muck will be generated while carving out a tunnel in the mountains. Where will the muck be disposed of? We are already grappling with muck disposal due to ongoing construction of the Char Dham all-weather road. Besides, the huge amount of explosives that would be used for tunnelling can lead to the caving of the hill landscape.”
The state government has announced that 180 parking lots will be built, out of which a dozen of them will be “tunnel parking”, reportedly made by tunnelling the mountains. Experts are also raising questions on whether the geological aspects of those 12 sites have been taken into consideration. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/uttarakhand-tunnels-in-hills-for-parking-lots-a-recipe-for-disaster/articleshow/93202963.cms (29 July 2022)
The fortnight-long kanwar yatra has left behind approximately 30,000 metric tonnes (MT) of garbage in Haridwar. From shoes and slippers to plastic mattresses and clothes, all kinds of items are scattered around the city, especially around the ghats. For comparison, this is the amount of waste Haridwar would have generated in five months. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/kanwar-yatra-leaves-behind-30000-mt-garbage-in-haridwar/articleshow/93174120.cms 28 July 2022)
The Uttarakhand high court has upheld a decision of the Uttarkashi zila panchayat prohibiting the sale of meat within 500 metres of the Ganga river. The panchayat had also directed meat shops located within that radius to shift. A single bench of Justice Sanjaya Kumar Mishra pronounced the order after hearing a petition filed by one Naved Qureshi, who was served a notice in 2016 to shift his meat shop — which he had been operating since 2006 — within seven days since it was located 105 metres from the Ganga bank. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/uttarakhand-hc-upholds-ban-on-meat-sale-along-ganga-banks/articleshow/93260728.cms (01 Aug. 2022)
Uttar Pradesh Allahabad High Court on Why there is no hope for Ganga cleaning with the current efforts of NMCG and UP PCB.
https://janjwar.com/national/corruption-in-namami-gange-project-allahabad-hc-big-decision-asked-whats-need-of-such-agreement-with-adani-company-why-not-shut-down-uppcb-up-breaking-news-latest-news-in-hindi-828385 (29 July 2022)
The HC asked, why the UP PCB, acting like a silent spectator, not be closed down. It also questioned why Adani company that has been given the contract for operation of STPs, is not able to ensure clean Ganga even after NMCG spending thousands of crores. https://www.amarujala.com/uttar-pradesh/allahabad/namami-gange-has-sought-from-the-project-director-regarding-ganga-pollution (27 July 2022)
इलाहाबाद हाईकोर्ट ने तीखी टिप्पणी करते हुए कहा कि गंगा सफाई से जुड़ी हुई रिपोर्ट सिर्फ आंखों में धूल झोंकने वाली है। कोर्ट ने कहा कि ट्रीटमेंट प्लांट किसी काम का नहीं हैं। आपने एसटीपी की जिम्मेदारी निजी हाथों में दे रखी है। https://www.navjivanindia.com/news/allahabad-hcs-comments-on-namami-gange-are-eye-opening-the-court-asked-why-not-abolish-the-pollution-control-board (28 July 2022)
प्रदेश में जीवनदायिनी गंगा नदी में अभी भी प्रदूषण कम नहीं हो पा रहा है। आज भी 61 प्रतिशत नालों का गंदा पानी सीधे गंगा में मिल रहा है। सच्चाई यह है कि गंगा में मिलने वाले केवल 39 प्रतिशत नाले ही टैप हैं। सरकारी कागजों में 27 प्रतिशत नालों का काम चल रहा है, जबकि 26 प्रतिशत नाले ऐसे हैं जिनकी डीपीआर ही अभी बनी नहीं बनी है। स्थिति इतनी खराब है कि हापुड़ व बदायूं को छोड़ दिया जाए तो बाकी प्रदेश के किसी भी जिले में गंगा का पानी नहाने लायक नहीं है। https://www.jagran.com/uttar-pradesh/lucknow-city-polluted-water-in-ganga-water-of-river-ganga-getting-polluted-day-by-day-ngt-and-high-court-noticed-many-times-22939512.html (30 July 2022)
वाराणसी में शिवाला घाट के सामने मृत मिली मछलियां https://www.newsnationtv.com/videos/uttar-pradesh/uttar-pradesh-news-dead-fish-found-in-front-of-shivala-ghat-in-varanasi-94217.html (24 July 2022)
YAMUNA Finally some respite for Yamuna river in upper segment. After moderate to heavy rains in upper catchment in past couple of days, river water level has seen half to one meter rise along flood monitoring sites in UP, Haryana u/s Delhi.
Maximum discharge from Hathini Kund Barrage is 40,000 cusec at 12:00 hours on 31.07.2022 which fell down to 13,000 cusec at 13:00 hours. Video by Balraj Bapoli showing Yamuna river flowing with increased water level at 17:00 hours on 30.07.2022 at Mawi level forecast site in Kairana, UP. (31 July 2022)
The green doctor who restored Delhi’s lungs When CR Babu was given the charge to make a biodiversity park on the banks of the Yamuna in Delhi in 2001, he was appalled that the 156 acres of land only had some salt-loving bushes and common weeds. Babu, then Delhi University pro-vice-chancellor and head of the Centre for Environment Management of Degraded Ecosystems (CMEDE) under the university, found the underground water to be highly saline even at the depth of 20 feet at Jagatpur village, where the park was supposed to be made.
– Today, looking at the Yamuna Biodiversity Park, it is hard to imagine that it is man-made and it came out of such barrenness. The park is the first of its kind globally. Babu took up the project as a challenge and an opportunity. It has paid off. The park is now home to thousands of forest communities, fruit-yielding species and medicinal herbs, biologically rich wetlands and hundreds of animals, birds, butterflies and insects.
– “The Union ministry of environment and forest and climate change has directed all chief ministers to create biodiversity parks in each state capital and all district head- quarters. Many states, including Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have started making the parks. Our staff in the biodiversity parks are providing guidance to officials of these states,” Babu said. “Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have also developed biodiversity parks,” he added. The idea of the biodiversity park was born in 2001 when at a conference organised by the Delhi environment department, Babu threw light on the acute loss of biodiversity. His speech on the extinction of local species attracted the attention of then Lieutenant Governor Vijai Kapoor. Faiyaz Khudsar, the scientist in charge of the Biodiversity Parks Programme at CMEDE, said maintaining biodiversity parks is an uphill task. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/times-special/the-green-doctor-who-restored-delhis-lungs/articleshow/93197940.cms (29 July 2022)
Industrial effluents behind Yamuna’s heavy metal woes The sources of toxic heavy metals in the Yamuna in Delhi region are primarily of anthropogenic origin, according to a new study conducted by TERI. The study, which is based on an analysis of Yamuna water samples collected during the first Covid-19 lockdown, says that as industries were closed during that period, the concentration of toxic heavy metals, such as chromium, nickel, copper, zinc, cadmium and lead, were seen to be below the detection limit.
However, several previous studies continuously found high levels of toxic metals in the river before the lockdown, suggesting that wastewater released from industries is the main source of heavy metals in the Yamuna. The study has recommended necessary policy action to control the heavy metal-laden industrial discharge into the river. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/industrial-effluents-behind-yamunas-heavy-metal-woes/articleshow/93259111.cms (01 Aug. 2022)
Govt plans studies on frothing in Yamuna The government will conduct studies to identify pollution hotspots responsible for frothing in the Yamuna and ascertain the concentration of microplastics in the river and groundwater in the national capital, officials said. It also plans to conduct a study to find out potential barriers to the elimination of Single-Use Plastic (SUP) items. https://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/delhi/2022/jul/27/govt-plans-studies-on-frothingin-yamuna-2481173.html (27 July 2022)
Noida DGC bans registry of farmhouses on floodplains The Gautam Budh Nagar District Ganga Committee, headed by district magistrate Suhas LY, has asked all government bodies to jointly prepare a revival plan for the Yamuna and Hindon rivers. The District Ganga Committee is a statutory body that works for the management, protection, conservation and rejuvenation of the Ganga and its tributaries and other water bodies in every region under the Clean Ganga Mission. The committee made the announcement four days after it banned the registry of farmhouses, or other buildings in the floodplains, and ordered for demolition of all illegal construction.
The Hindon originates from Pur Ka Tanda village in Saharanpur, and joins the Yamuna near Momnathal in Sector 151, Noida. Around 17km of the river passes through Noida and Greater Noida, and its floodplains are sold as residential plots by the land mafia. The mushrooming of unauthorised housing facilities is posing a threat to groundwater table, besides polluting the river, officials said. At least 5,000 hectares of the Yamuna floodplain located in Noida are facing threat from illegal construction. The Noida authority said that it is demolishing all illegal construction. “We have freed around two lakh square meters of land and demolished around 100 farmhouses recently. We are carrying out a weekly demolition drive to act against illegal farmhouses on flood plains,” said Prasoon Diwvedi, officer on special duty, Noida authority. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/noida-news/district-ganga-committee-orders-development-of-riverfront-on-yamuna-floodplains-101654282400470.html (04 June 2022)
FISH, FISHERIES, FISHERFOLKS
Chennai Hundreds of fish found dead at Ennore Creek; locals irked A large number of fish were found dead in Ennore Creek for the last two days after a thick oily substance was discharged from the industries in North Chennai. It was spotted that fishes were half dead when the effluent was let out and started floating. Fishermen complained that it has been a perennial issue and continues to affect their livelihood.
Locals complain that they are tired of protesting against the industries. Though the concerned government department will visit the spot, no action was taken to settle the issue till now. “Now with thousands of fish dead, it would take at least two-three months for fishermen to catch healthy ones. At times, whenever we see oil being discharged after 10 am, we return home. On the other hand, it is harmful to the people who consume these fish,” said S Kumaresan, another fisherman. https://www.dtnext.in/city/2022/07/25/hundreds-of-fish-found-dead-at-ennore-creek-locals-irked (25 July 2022)
Activists worried about frequency cases of fish kill in Ennore Creek. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/activists-worried-about-frequency-cases-of-fish-kill-in-ennore-creek/article65682061.ece (25 July 2022)
लखनऊ बटलर पैलेस कॉलोनी की झील में रविवार को अचानक सैकड़ों मछलियां मरी पाई गईं। लोगों की शिकायत पर जोनल अफसर और नगर आयुक्त भी मौके पर पहुंचे। झील में मरी मछलियां उतरा रही थीं और किनारे पर भी पड़ी थीं। दुर्गंध फैलने की आशंका पर नगर निगम ने तुरंत दस्ता बुलवाया। इसके बाद चार नाव और 20 कर्मचारी लगाकर झील से मरी मछलियां बाहर निकलवाई गईं। https://navbharattimes.indiatimes.com/metro/lucknow/other-news/hundreds-fish-died-in-the-butler-palace-colony-lake/articleshow/90347684.cms (21 March 2022)
NGT questions changes to EC rules In April and May 2022, the MoEF issued notifications to modify the environmental clearance process for Category B projects- which include “all minor mineral projects (irrespective of capacity), coal mining projects up to 500 Ha., and major mineral (non-coal) projects. It also includes expansion of airports and airstrips. Under the April 20 and May 9 notifications, the government has “decentralised” the environmental clearance process, allowing the state Environmental Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) to grant clearances for these projects. The notification also loosened the process of public hearing about objections to the projects, allowing the hearing to be conducted by an SDM level officer, and reducing the time allowed for rescheduled public hearings.
“The environmental regulation mechanism for conducting such an appraisal must be effective. The authority/agency conducting such an appraisal must have the requisite capacity. In its absence, such large-scale decentralization may defeat the object of sustainable development and appraisal may be farce,” observed the NGT in its 11 July order which was uploaded on Wednesday (July 13). The court also noted that “inadequacy of capacity of environmental regulators has been noted by this Tribunal” in judgments delivered in 2019, 2020, and 2021. The Green tribunal has now called for a response from the MOEF&CC on the concerns raised by the petition. The matter will now be heard on 13 September.
“Unless the Central Government is satisfied that the functioning of SEIAAs is upgraded to enable it to take the requisite load, decentralization may result in irreversible environmental degradation by unchecked violations,” the NGT order noted. Various benches of the Green tribunal and the Supreme Court had earlier raised concerns about the expertise of the State Environmental clearance authorities, the large number of vacancies in various state authorities and the need for a detailed performance audit of all state environment clearance agencies. A petition moved before the Green tribunal by NGO Social Action for Forest & Environment (SAFE) has challenged these notifications on grounds that they would make the environmental clearance (EC) process meaningless and violate the provisions of the Environment Protection Act, 1986. https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/green-court-backs-centre-s-authority-over-states-on-environmental-matters-1975246-2022-07-13 (14 July 2022)
Haryana Locals question role of police as mining mafia thrives in Nuh district Villagers claim nothing moves in Nuh district without the knowledge of cops. Mafia men pay Rs 15,000 a month per dumper to agents. Once the cut is paid, it’s cops’ responsibility to ensure safe passage to dumpers. Prior info of raids or new officer taking over is given. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/haryana/locals-question-role-of-police-as-mining-mafia-thrives-in-nuh-district-415359 (25 July 2022)
Mining dept’s pleas for deputing cops go in vain A total of 78 police personnel were sanctioned to join the Mines and Geology Department on deputation in 2021 for carrying out raids to stop illegal mining, but just 18 joined. Despite the department requesting the Haryana Police thrice to send the remaining 60 personnel, none has joined, not even after DSP Surender Bishnoi’s murder. Sources in the department said the letter was sent to the Haryana Police on July 22. The 18 personnel provided to the department comprise an inspector, four sub-inspectors, four head constables and nine constables. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/haryana/deep-nexus-haryana-mining-depts-pleas-for-deputing-cops-go-in-vain-416293 (28 July 2022)
Punjab 100 FIRs in 4 years, yet no probe into illegal mining in Ghaggar Despite more than 100 FIRs over illegal mining in the Ghaggar in nearly four years, no high-level probe has been ordered by the Government to expose key players involved in the illegal operations.There are allegations that while the mafia is thriving, FIRs in a majority of the cases were filed only against drivers and labourers. No record of buyers of mining material or track of financial dealings. Mining mafia thriving due to high demand of sand from builders in Mohali, other Punjab districts. Villagers allege illegal mining takes place every night, but no one dares to inform the police. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/deep-nexus-100-firs-in-4-years-yet-no-probe-into-illegal-mining-in-ghaggar-415640 (25 July 2022)
Govt to reduce retail prices of sand, gravel In the mining policy brought by the previous government, the price of sand at the quarrying site was reduced from Rs 900 per 100 cu ft to Rs 550 per 100 cu ft. However, the consumer continued to pay Rs 1,900-Rs 2,500 per 100 cu ft as the transporters and traders pocketed the benefit of reduced prices.
Official sources said the retail price of sand and gravel would be fixed at around Rs 2,000 per 100 cu ft. The money will be collected at the point of sale. The prices pre-fixed for all other stakeholders — contractor, transporter and trader — will be later distributed to them. These changes in the policy are to be okayed by the Council of Ministers, before they are implemented. “We are trying to get it approved in the Cabinet this month,” said an official source, adding that since some of the mining clusters were still under contract, these amendments were being made in the policy.
The new mining policy will be brought by the government later, after the lease on current contracts for mining expire. Interestingly, the government is also aiming to regulate the stone-crusher business. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/punjab-government-to-reduce-retail-prices-of-sand-gravel-415962 (27 July 2022)
Tamil Nadu PWD senior engineers association urges govt not to permit sand mining The Public Works Department Senior Engineers’ Association has urged the government to promote the usage of M-sand or imported sand from Indonesia and Malaysia rather than depleting the river sand. Speaking to the reporters on the sidelines of an awareness programme on development of water resources across the State in Tiruchi on Saturday (July 30), A. Veerappan, State secretary of the association, comprising retired engineers of Public Works Department, appealed to the government not to permit river sand mining.
According to Mr. Veerappan, Tamil Nadu is often considered a water-scarcity state, but this is not the case in reality. “The State can become self-sufficient if we implement better rainwater-harvesting methods and carry out various developmental projects. We can increase storage capacity substantially if the 39,000 lakes, ponds and kanmois were desilted and deepened,” he added. The association urged the government to remove encroachments from water bodies across the state as they would lead to severe water scarcity. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/pwd-senior-engineers-association-urges-govt-not-to-permit-sand-mining/article65674672.ece (23 July 2022)
Kerala Residents allege government letting sand mafia thrive Protests are brewing against ‘mining of sand’ from the Aadi-Pampa and Varattar channels. Local residents allege that the government is allowing the sand mafia to loot sand in the name of the Aadi-Pampa-Varattar rejuvenation project.
The second phase of rejuvenation of the 4.2-km Aadi-Pampa and 9.4-km Varattar, both tributaries of the Pampa river, began earlier this year. The rejuvenation of the two channels is aimed at ensuring effective flood management and smooth flow of water. The project is also expected to ensure the availability of water round the year, which will be a major boost to farming in the Chengannur, Aranmula and Thiruvalla Assembly constituencies in Alappuzha and Pathanamthitta districts.
Hareesh Kumar, coordinator, Varattar Janakeeya Samithi, says indiscriminate sand mining would spell doom for the channels. “The government is supposed to desilt the waterbodies to ensure smooth flow of water. Instead, it is removing only sand, especially from the Aadi-Pampa, using dredgers, while the waterbodies continue to remain silted,” Mr. Kumar says. A few years ago, an EIA carried out by an expert team constituted by the Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment warned against the deepening of Aadi-Pampa and Varattar.
Recently, the Chengannur municipality and the Edanad Janakeeya Samithi moved the Kerala High Court against sand mining. The court sought a report from the District Collector. It has been reported that the district administration submitted a report stating that no sand mining was taking place in Aadi-Pampa and Varattar. Following public protests, sand mining has been suspended for the time being. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/protests-brewing-against-sand-mining-at-aadi-pampa-varattar-channels/article65689806.ece (27 July 2022)
WETLANDS, LAKES, WATER BODIES
Manipur Joint Body Asks LDA To Withdraw Notice Apunba Loktak Ngami Sinmi Cooperative Society and Loktak Floating Homestay Association, Thanga (LOFHAT) came out strongly against Loktak Development Authority (LDA)’s 18 July 2022 notice threatening to remove/dismantle Athaphums, Houses (Home stays) and huts within 15 days on grounds of polluting the lake.
Stating that Loktak Lake cannot be saved without its people, the joint body urged the authorities to take back the “biased” notification by 30 July, 2022, failure which they threatened to embark on various forms of agitation, including debarring the LDA chairman and tourists from Loktak lake, to resist and fight for its right. They threatened to ban LDA and bar its chairman Asnikumar Moirangthem and tourists from Loktak lake if the notification is not withdrawn by 30 July, 2022. https://thefrontiermanipur.com/joint-body-fights-back-asks-loktak-development-authority-to-withdraw-notice-or-face-music/ (27 July 2022)
Report India adds five more Ramsar sites, ups tally to 54 These are the Karikili Bird Sanctuary, Pallikaranai Marsh Reserve Forest and Pichavaram Mangrove in Tamil Nadu, the Sakhya Sagar in Madhya Pradesh and Pala Wetland in Mizoram.
India’s Ramsar wetlands are spread over 11,000 sq km — around 10% of the total wetland area in the country — across 18 States. No other South Asian country has as many sites though this has much to do with India’s geographical breadth and tropical diversity. The United Kingdom (175) and Mexico (142) — smaller countries than India — have the maximum Ramsar sites whereas Bolivia spans the largest area with 148,000 sq km under the Convention protection.
Being designated a Ramsar site does not necessarily invite extra international funds but that States — and the Centre — must ensure that these tracts of land are conserved and spared from man-made encroachment. Acquiring this label also helps with a locale’s tourism potential and its international visibility. Until 1981, India had 41 Ramsar sites though the last decade has seen the sharpest rise —13 — in designating new sites.
To be Ramsar site, however, it must meet at least one of nine criteria as defined by the Ramsar Convention of 1961, such as supporting vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered species or threatened ecological communities or, if it regularly supports 20,000 or more waterbirds or, is an important source of food for fishes, spawning ground, nursery and/or migration path on which fish stocks are dependent upon.
The National Wetland Inventory and Assessment compiled by the Indian Space Research Organisation, estimates India’s wetlands to span around 1,52,600 square kilometres which is 4.63% of the total geographical area of the country. A little over two-fifths are inland natural wetlands and about a quarter are coastal wetlands. India has 19 types of wetlands whereas Gujarat has the maximum area followed by Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/five-more-indian-sites-recognised-in-ramsar-list-as-wetlands-of-international-importance/article65685095.ece (26 July 2022)
India’s tally of 54 designated wetlands is the largest network of Ramsar Sites in South Asia. Of the 54 sites, 10 are in UP, 6 in Punjab, 4 each in Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Jammu and Kashmir, 3 each in Himachal Pradesh and Kerala, 2 each in Haryana, Maharashtra, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Rajasthan and one each in Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Ladakh, Manipur, Tripura, Uttarakhand, among others. https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/ramsar-sites-significance-wetlands-conservation-explained-8054834/ (28 July 2022)
Madhya Pradesh “City of Bhopal is proud of being a city of lakes, but the facts are that more than 41 nullhas, passages and units are discharging untreated chemical sewage or polluted water into the lake, which is the largest source of water in the city.
Encroachments, illegal constructions of residential and commercial establishments are another problem in addition to throwing of garbage and/or dumping them near the open space of the lake.” This was the observation of NGT in February this year on a petition filed to protect the water bodies in Bhopal including upper lake. This is status of Bhopal’s Upper Lake being declared as the first Ramsar site of the state. https://www.freepressjournal.in/bhopal/bhopal-progress-on-1st-ramsar-site-in-20-years (29 July 2022)
Maharashtra Open gym on Kharghar wetlands removed by Panvel civic body The open gym that was disturbing the habitat of flamingoes in Kharghar wetlands has been finally removed by the Panvel City Municipal Corporation (PCMC) after continuous follow up by environmentalists and local residents. In June, an open gym was being constructed on the Kharghar wetlands where flamingoes visited in February after many years. Environmentalists had taken an objection to the destruction of these wetlands. Following the complaint, the PCMC has now removed the gym equipment from the wetlands.
“We realised that the open gym that was installed was on a wetland. The equipment was provided by the corporation itself. After we received complaints, we enquired into the matter. We were convinced that an open gym could not be set up on wetlands as per the norms and hence we removed the equipment. Now we are looking for a space wherein the equipment could be installed again and can be used by the people,” Kailash Gawade, deputy municipal commissioner, said. Seema Tank, an environmentalist from Kharghar who had been following up with the complaint since May, had to make multiple visits to the corporation and even Sena Bhavan. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/mumbai-news/open-gym-on-kharghar-wetlands-removed-by-panvel-civic-body-101659017918787.html (28 July 2022)
Lonar Lake to be developed as a tourist spot; govt approves INR 370 cr. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/travel/travel-news/lonar-lake-in-maharashtra-to-be-developed-as-a-tourist-spot-govt-approves-inr-370-cr/articleshow/93237358.cms (30 July 2022)
Commentary Latest mapping data underscores the need to step up conservation action Ritesh Kumar The 2022 Atlas concludes that the number and extent of wetlands having areas equal to or greater than 2.25 ha have increased during the 2006/7-2017/18 period. The assessment states that natural coastal wetlands are declining (from 3.69 million hectares to 3.62 million hectares in ten years). An increase in the area has been reported for mangroves (by 18,662 ha), creeks (26,929 ha), and coral reefs (2,784 ha); however, the inter-tidal mudflats have receded by 116,897 ha, and so have salt marshes (by 5,647 ha). Gujarat stands out as the state with the most extensive loss of mudflats.
The natural inland wetlands have remained mainly stable, marginally increasing (from 42,157 to 42,779 in terms of numbers and from 6.93 million ha to 7.02 million ha in terms of the area during 2006/7-2017/18). On the contrary, the human-made wetlands recorded a consistent increase. The area under saltpans increased by 93,139 ha, and aquaculture ponds increased by 15,692 ha. West Bengal and Odisha have seen the most significant increase in area under coastal aquaculture.
Similarly, all inland human-made wetlands increased during the two assessment cycles. Of the 0.52 million ha increase in the inland human-made wetlands, a majority was accounted for by reservoirs and barrages (0.31 million ha), tanks and ponds (0.15 million ha) and inland aquaculture ponds (0.06 million ha). Much of this increase has occurred in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The report also mentions that during 2006/7-2017/18, 308 natural wetlands (7,470 ha) were lost, whereas 811 new wetlands (22,673 ha) were recorded. In the human-made wetlands category, 1,034 wetlands (17,819 ha) were lost, whereas 14,012 new wetlands (388,995 ha) were recorded.. https://india.mongabay.com/2022/07/commentary-latest-wetland-mapping-data-underscores-the-need-to-step-up-conservation-action/ (11 July 2022)
Kerala The Political Ecology of Rural Community Ponds ABSTRACT: Institutional governance of small freshwater bodies, like ponds, is under tremendous stress and often cannot cope with increasing pressures from market forces and state interventions. Recently conceptualized as a “composite resource”, ponds are vital entities in the ecological, economic, and socio-political landscape. The central objective of this study is to understand the access and utilization patterns of rural community ponds in Kerala, India, by employing a survey method. I attempt to integrate the literature on commons and political ecology, review the institutional arrangements governing rural public ponds, assess their ecological health, and situate the empirical evidence in a theoretical framework of the commons. I find universal access to these water bodies, which cuts across social and economic groups, for domestic uses such as drinking, bathing, washing, and cleaning; this utilization has a class and gender dimension. A majority of the surveyed ponds showed signs of robust ecological health in terms of total dissolved solids and pH values, functional embankments, and the absence of any polluting economic activity in their vicinity. https://ecoinsee.org/journal/ojs/index.php/ees/article/view/545
Bengaluru Well revived A 200-year-old well, used to dump construction debris and plastic waste for over a decade, was salvaged from the brink of depletion. The water from the well now benefits over 500 villagers. The well is located in Doddaballapur in rural Bengaluru’s Myasandra village. It was not in use for years. Though the villagers there did not want to demolish the well and had kept it open, it was being used to dump waste materials. A volunteer from SayTrees had chanced upon the abandoned well and decided to rejuvenate it. After the volunteer spoke to his team mates, the organisation decided to restore the structure. While they got working, they realised how over 150 plus households with approximately 700 people could benefit from the well water. The village would get tap water only twice a week and that too for three hours only; many households were finding it difficult to make it through the week without sufficient quantities of potable water. https://bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com/bangalore/cover-story/well-done/articleshow/93145095.cms (27 July 2022)
Uttarakhand स्यूनराकोट नौले राष्ट्रीय महत्व का प्राचीन स्मारक घोषित अल्मोड़ा के मटेना गांव में 1522 में कत्यूरी शासनकाल में नौला बना था लेकिन देखरेख के अभाव में यह मलबे से पट गया था। वर्ष 1522 में नौला बनने का शिलापट लगा था। इसके बाद दो साल पहले 500 साल पुराने इस नौले के जीर्णोद्धार का काम पूरा किया गया था।
Nasik 22 industrial units likely to use Gangapur STP’s treated water The officials of Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC) said Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (NMC) has submitted a list of 22 industrial units that require more water in bulk for processing. MIDC has also sent a proposal to its headquarters in Mumbai, seeking permission to allow the use of treated water from Gangapur STP in these 22 big industries, said the officials. These 22 industrial units, which are located in two industrial estates of MIDC, need 4 MLD of water per day. Of these, 10 big units in Satpur require 3 MLD and 12 units in Ambad industrial estate require 1 MLD of water. NMC had asked MIDC to submit the list of those industries which require water in bulk.
The officials said as per the fresh guidelines by the Centre, reusing treated water has been made compulsory for the STPs, which are funded by the Union government scheme AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation). Accordingly, NMC has started chalking out plans to reuse treated water. NMC has also received Rs 20 crore from the Centre to create infrastructure so that the STP’s treated water can be used for industries, farming, gardening and construction activities. NMC has just constructed a new Gangapur STP and made it operational for the past five to six months. While the total project cost is Rs 50 crore including the land, the centre had provided Rs 29 crore for the construction of the STP. The Gangapur STP is processing 18 MLD of sewage water. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nashik/22-industrial-units-likely-to-use-gangapur-stps-treated-water/articleshow/93262670.cms (01 Aug. 2022)
Uttar Pradesh Villages join hands with groundwater dept to conserve rainwater Noted social worker and nominated member of district ground water management committee Samaj Shekhar said, “Villagers have joined hands with groundwater department and minor irrigation departments to conserve each and every drop of rainwater during monsoon.” “Apart from cleaning and maintaining of many old and ancient ponds, water resources points, we are seeking every individuals’ support and initiative in both rural and urban areas to conserve the rainwater through various modes, including rooftop rainwater harvesting systems and creation of ponds,” he added. He, however, said, “A campaign tiled-Jal, Jan Vikas Abhiyan- is all set to launch on Tuesday (July 5) in Pratapgarh district seeking active participation of masses to create awareness for water conservation.” Last year, more than two dozen big ponds in trans-Ganga and trans-Yamuna pockets of the Prayagraj and Pratapgarh districts were filled with rainwater. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/allahabad/villages-in-prayagraj-pratapgarh-join-hands-with-groundwater-dept-to-conserve-rainwater/articleshow/92665938.cms (05 July 2022)
Tamil Nadu ‘CGWA notice on groundwater extraction does not apply to T.N.’ The Tamil Nadu Water Resources Department on Wednesday (July 06) said the existing rules and regulations for groundwater management and extraction would continue, and the public notice issued recently by the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) did not apply to the State.
The Chief Engineer of the Water Resources Department, Tamil Nadu, issued a statement that “the Public Notice no.3/2022, dated.10.04.2022 issued by Chairman, Central Ground Water Authority, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Government of India, is not applicable to the State of Tamil Nadu. The existing Rules and Regulations for Ground Water Management and Extraction in this State will continue until further notice”. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/cgwa-notice-on-groundwater-extraction-does-not-apply-to-tn/article65608236.ece (06 July 2022)
Jammu and Kashmir Principal Secretary, Jal Shakti Department, Ashok Kumar Parmar on Tuesday (July 26) chaired a meeting of UT Level Committee constituted for reassessment of Ground Water Resources across the Union Territory. https://www.greaterkashmir.com/jammu/meet-on-reassessment-of-ground-water-resources-in-jk-held (27 July 2022)
Bengaluru Kithaganur lake hit by encroachment, apathy The hundred-year-old Kithaganur lake at KR Puram in Bengaluru, which was once a source of drinking water and a swimming spot for the local residents, has fallen on hard times.
Despite repeated requests to members of the gram panchayat and Mahadevapura MLA Aravind Limbavali, under whose constituency the lake falls, there has not been any attempt to revive the 25.7-acre waterbody, according to the residents. The Karnataka revenue department has not surveyed the lake to estimate the extent of encroachment on it. There is no fencing covering the entire lake. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/bangalore/swimming-spot-urinal-spot-bengalurus-kithaganur-lake-encroachment-8061152/ (31 July 2022)
Madurai Activists demand clarity on development projects around Kodaikanal lake The upcoming beautification projects of the Kodaikanal Municipality around the lake has created a stir among local residents and environmental activists. According to Municipal Commissioner D. Narayanan, the beautification project has been undertaken at a total cost of ₹24 crore sanctioned from the Capital Grant Fund. The projects are expected to be completed within six months to a year. There are also plans to install aerators to supplement oxygen in the lake water, bio blocks acting as silt chambers and ornamental lights along the pavement. Invasive weeds. will also be removed.
Retaining revenue is important, while the projects must also take into account the eight micro-watersheds within a 12 sq. km above the lake which are a few water sources for the lake, points out G. Bala, secretary, PHCC. The additional structure must not block the inflow of water into the lake and the municipality must take expert advice from the Watershed Management Committees. A team of environmental activists and concerned locals have called upon the District Level Wetlands Management Committee to actively filter the development projects in Kodaikanal. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/activists-demand-clarity-on-development-projects-around-kodaikanal-lake/article65707005.ece (31 July 2022)
Hyderbad Residents of Anandnagar Colony, located in the vicinity of the water board’s head office in Khairatabad, alleged that they fell ill due to consumption of polluted water. A resident of the colony, Sanjay Bora, told that he and his neighbours fell ill over the past few days. https://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/260722/hyderebad-residents-fall-ill-after-drinking-dirty-water.html (26 July 2022)
All the establishments, both residential and commercial, located within Outer Ring Road jurisdiction and equipped with a private STP, will have to pay Rs 5,000 user charge for their ‘performance and annual audit’. The amount should be paid to the staff of the Environmental Enforcement Cell (EEC)/National Institute of Urban Management, Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MA&UD) department, when they visit these establishments. https://telanganatoday.com/hyderabad-stp-user-charges-to-be-levied-within-orr-limits (31 July 2022)
Kochi Unauthorised water supply drained KCs resources: Auditors The high expenses incurred by way of “illegal supply” of drinking water have drained the Kochi Corporation of valuable resources, the State auditors have said.The audit report for the period 2020-2021 has found fault with the high cost incurred by the civic body over and above the ceiling fixed for the purpose. The State auditors were also critical of what they described as the unaccounted and illegal ways of water distribution.
Even after the expiry of the contract for the supply of drinking water on December 28, 2020, the civic body spent ₹2.32 crore for the programme till January 2, 2022, without inviting new bids for the supply of water or entering into a supplementary contract with the contractor. The Corporation could not explain the circumstances under which the contractor was allowed to continue with the project even after the expiry of the contract, it noted.
There was no effective system for monitoring the supply of drinking water in the city. Though it was specified that the vehicles involved in the supply of potable water should be tracked using GPS and logbooks should be maintained in the vehicles, which was a prerequisite for clearing the bills, no such system was in place, it was pointed out. The civic body should install water kiosks and make use of the drinking water projects envisioned under the Jal Jeevan Mission rather than permanently banking on the supply of water through lorries, the report has suggested. Though the illegality in the drinking water distribution programme was flagged in the audit report for the year 2018-19, it continued in the next fiscal, the report stated. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/unauthorised-water-supply-drained-kochi-corporations-resources-say-auditors/article65708044.ece (31 July 2022)
Pune Housing body wants clarity on one-time groundwater fee The state housing federation’s vice-president, Suhas Patwardhan, said there was confusion because the groundwater users should be registered with local authorities and many societies had unused borewells or those not giving enough water. He said the federation wanted clarity regarding the notification from the ministry of Jal Shakti that had initially given June 30 deadline to housing societies and other relevant bodies to pay Rs10,000 as a “one-time opportunity”. “Many societies are yet to register because of the confusion. CGWA (Central Ground Water Authority) should have had some dialogue with the housing societies before issuing the notice in newspaper. There has been no communication through the state or local authorities on it either,” Patwardhan told TOI.
“Why collect the registration fee, even if it is one-time, when societies pay water tax and have sought permission from local authorities while digging a borewell? There will be no point in registration if borewells dry up or are of no use. We are clueless to whom we have to communicate the same,” he said.
Ravindra Sinha, the secretary of Baner Pashan Link Road Welfare Trust, said equitable water supply was the constitutional duty of the local government body, for which citizens were paying water tax. “Residents resort to groundwater only when they do not get adequate water supply from the local body, for which they implement rainwater harvesting as per the state government rules,” he said. He said a majority of residential and commercial complexes of Pune bought poor quality water from unregulated private water tankers, crippling their financial situation. “The state has Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority (MWRRA). CGWA’s initiative to manage groundwater in Maharashtra is a matter in which the state government must intervene and resolve. Residents cannot be harassed for the incompetence of authorities,” he said. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/housing-body-wants-clarity-on-one-time-groundwater-fee/articleshow/92689749.cms (06 July 2022)
Shimla Power failure hits water supply The water supply schedule in the city can get affected over the next few days as there is no pumping of water from the Gumma scheme on Friday (July 29) due to power failure. “Power supply snapped due to some snag at the Giri Water Scheme in the morning. As a result, we have not been able to pump water from the scheme since morning,” said SJPNL General Manager Anil Mehta. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/power-failure-hits-water-supply-in-shimla-417286 (31 July 2022)
Ludhiana NGT directed the Municipal Corporation of Ludhiana to deposit Rs 100 crores with the District Magistrate related to an incident where seven persons were charred to death in a fire at a garbage dump site in Ludhiana in April earlier this year. The NGT said the Municipal Corporation Ludhiana may deposit a sum of Rs 100 crores with the District Magistrate, Ludhiana, towards interim compensation within one month, to be kept in a separate account, to be utilized for remedial measures in terms of the report which will be overseen by the Monitoring Committee. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/ludhiana/ngt-directs-municipal-corporation-to-deposit-100-crore-after-7-charred-to-death-in-ludhiana-fire-415906 (26 Jul 2022)
Maharashtra The rise and fall of the Pani Panchayat Water equity through participatory management brought succour to drought-stricken villages in the state, but its success saw beneficiaries abandon the very principles on which it was based, leading to subsequent failure.
Report Weak Monsoon According to IMD data, there is 8% excess rain over the country as on July 31 2022, with 16% deficiency over east and northeast India; 4% excess over northwest India; 21% excess over central India and 28% excess over south peninsula. In July, there was 21% excess rain till Thursday with 47.3% deficiency over east and northeast India; 54.2% over central India; 67.1% excess over peninsular India and 8.9% excess over northwest India.
However, as of Friday, most of the paddy belt in the Indo-Gangetic plains recorded over 40% rain deficiency. Gangetic West Bengal recorded deficiency of 47%; Jharkhand 50%; Bihar recorded 41% deficiency; eastern Uttar Pradesh 52%; western Uttar Pradesh 47% deficiency. Over Peninsular India, Kerala and Mahe recorded 25% rain deficiency. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/paddy-several-other-crops-likely-to-be-affected-due-to-weak-monsoon-conditions-101659099706188.html (29 July 2022)
Madhya Pradesh धराशायी हुआ भोपाल–होशंगाबाद हाईवे पर 529 करोड़ की लागत से बना पुल राजधानी भोपाल से बिल्कुल सटे रायसेन जिले के मंडीदीप में स्थित यह पुल कलियासोत नदी के तेज प्रवाह के आगे नहीं टिक पाया और रविवार-सोमवार (July 24-25) की दरमियानी रात इसका एक तरफ का हिस्सा गिर गया। ऐसे में अब इस रास्ते पर वाहनों का आवागमन प्रभावित हो रहा है। पुल का निर्माण पिछले दिनों ही हुआ था। https://www.livehindustan.com/madhya-pradesh/story-a-part-of-the-bridge-between-bhopal-narmadapuram-collapsed-due-to-heavy-rains-video-6840836.html (25 July 2022)
नर्मदापुरम जिले और आसपास हो रही भारी बारिश के कारण नर्मदापुरम – बैतूल के बीच सुखतवा गांव में बना नवनिर्मित पुल बह गया. इस वजह से भोपाल – नागपुर हाईवे बंद हो गया है. भारी बारिश के कारण तवा डैम भी लबालब हो गया. डैम के कैचमेंट एरिया में पानी जमा होने के कारण तवा डैम के सभी 13 गेट खोल दिए गए हैं. इनसे 2 लाख 4 हजार क्यूसिक पानी प्रति सेकेंड छोड़ा जा रहा है. नर्मदापुरम बैतूल हाईवे के बीच सुखतवा पर बना नया पुल भी बह गया. इसी रास्ते पर बना पुराना पुल पिछले दिनों टूट जाने से वहां वाहनों की आवाजाही बंद हो गयी थी. इसलिए आनन फानन में अस्थाई पुल बनाया गया थ. भारी बारिश के कारण वो पुल भी आज टूट गया.
भारी बारिश के कारण नर्मदापुरम जिले में स्थित तवा डैम के सभी 13 गेट खोल दिए गए हैं. इस बारिश में यह दूसरी बार है जब डेम के गेट खोलकर पानी छोड़ा जा रहा है. प्रशासन के मुताबिक तवा डैम से पानी छोड़े जाने के कारण नर्मदा के जल स्तर में तकरीबन 10 फीट की बढ़ोतरी होने के आसार हैं. https://hindi.news18.com/news/madhya-pradesh/hoshangabad-breaking-news-due-to-heavy-rain-narmadapuram-betul-bridge-broken-bhopal-nagpur-highway-closed-mpsg-4400556.html (18 July 2022)
Apart from Bhopal residents, the farmers across Madhya Pradesh are stressed due to erratic rainfall. While flat fields have turned slushy and crops like maize and soybean have suffered damage, seedlings in the hilly areas have been destroyed due to soil erosion. Bunds created for paddy cultivation are now broken. Since the beginning of July, Madhya Pradesh has received 362.4 mm rainfall —- a 44% excess compared to its average for the first 25 days of this month (251.7 mm). https://weather.com/en-IN/india/monsoon/news/2022-07-26-three-bridges-in-bhopal-collapse-due-to-downpours (26 July 2022)
Opinion बाढ़ और सूखा : जरूरत एक नई सोच की -योगेन्द्र यादव वर्षा के मौसम में ज्यादा बारिश, नदियों में जलभराव और उफान तथा पानी का तटबंध से बाहर निकलना प्रकृति का सामान्य नियम है, कोई अपवाद या दुर्घटना नहीं। नदियों को तटबंध में बांधने की कोशिश फिजूल ही नहीं, खतरनाक भी है। इससे पानी की निकासी के रास्ते बंद हो जाते हैं और 2-3 दिन की बाढ़ अब 2-3 महीनों की बाढ़ बन गई है। नदियों के किनारे रहने वाले लोग हमेशा पानी के साथ जीना जानते थे, हमें भी वही सीखना होगा। अगर हम पहाड़ों पर जंगल न काटें, नदी के इर्द-गिर्द खाली जगह (फ्लड प्लेंस) में बस्तियां न बसाएं, पानी के बहाव के रास्ते में सड़कें और बिल्डिंग्स खड़ी न करें, तो बाढ़ से होने वाला जान-माल का नुक्सान रोका जा सकता है। https://www.punjabkesari.in/blogs/news/flood-and-drought-need-for-a-new-thinking-1644189 (26 July 2022)
A standing parliamentary committee has rapped flood-prone states like Assam, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar for not taking any initiative to enact the model bill for flood plain zoning despite witnessing huge losses of human lives, cattle and properties during deluge. The standing committee on water resources, tabled in Lok Sabha, said only Manipur, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand and erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir had enacted legislation, though delineation and demarcation of flood plains are yet to be undertaken. https://theprint.in/india/parl-panel-hits-out-at-flood-prone-states-for-not-enacting-model-bill-for-flood-plain-zoning/1051238/ (22 July 2022)
Report Unplanned Development Cause Urban Flooding Experts say flooding in urban and peri-urban areas are happening due to unplanned waste dumping and continuous disregard for natural recharge structures like ponds, wetlands, and tanks. https://www.outlookindia.com/national/explained-how-unplanned-development-and-disregard-to-natural-water-bodies-cause-urban-flooding-news-213241 (01 Aug. 2022)
Chennai GCC to modify Mambalam Canal restoration project with focus on flood mitigation The Greater Chennai Corporation Council on Saturday (July 30) passed a resolution to revise the Mambalam Canal restoration project. The Council decided to drop several proposals such as development of a bicycle track, a shared pathway, a park, fixing of top slabs and so on. The focus of the project will shift from beautification to flood mitigation in T. Nagar and other areas.
According to the resolution, proposals on electrical work and landscaping from Vidyodaya Main Road to Thyagaraya Road for a length of 1.75 km at an estimated cost of ₹5.5 crore and improvement work along the 1.1 km stretch from Tank Bund Road to C.I.T. Nagar First Main Road in Ward 122 and 141 in Teynampet zone at an estimated cost of ₹14.3 crore have been dropped. Similarly, the proposal on improvement work along the canal from C.I.T. Nagar First Main Road to Gandhi Nagar Road in Ward 171 in Adyar zone has been dropped.
T. Nagar was severely affected by floods during the northeast monsoon in 2021 and the Advisory Committee appointed by the State government had recommended redesigning of the Mambalam canal from Valluvar Kottam to Adyar river near Nandanam. Accordingly, the improvement work carried out in Mambalam canal was stopped. The civic body will now prepare a revised hydraulic design and a revised detailed project report. A retaining wall will be constructed in the canal along the stretch from Valluvar Kottam to the Adyar in Nandanam. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/chennai-corporation-to-modify-mambalam-canal-restoration-project-with-focus-on-flood-mitigation/article65702697.ece (30 July 2022)
Hyderabad Musi floods a reminder to include locals in development plan Rising water levels in the Musi river is the result of flood waters being released from Hyderabad’s Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar reservoirs. At the peak of rains in Vikarabad and Rangareddy, over 20,000 cusecs of water was released. Submergence of several colonies along the river bank was a given at that point, as per officials.
Activists have been crying foul, stressing that when the changing weather and rainfall patterns are bound to cause massive downpours, one needs to look at the ground for solutions. “The city’s topography and contours are such that water from anywhere in the city will naturally flow into Musi. In the name of the city’s development and beautification of the river and its channels, a lot of damage has already been done to the river. As of a 2017 government report, there are over 5,400 encroachments on the river,” S Jeevan Kumar of Human Rights Forum lamented.
As authorities are drawing up new plans to rejuvenate the riverfront by building new roads, bridges, open gyms, and walking and cycling tracks, Varghese Theckanath, director of Montfort Social Institute (MSI reiterated the need to restore GO-111. “There is a need to protect the river and to protect the people. We need to accommodate people within a 2-3 km radius by integrating people and their livelihoods into the development plan.” https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/hyderabad/hyderabad-rains-musi-river-floods-8063481/ (01 Aug. 2022)
Activist questions release of water from twin reservoirs Well known activist and Founder of Save Our Urban Lakes (SOUL) Lubna Sarwat has opposed release of water from the twin reservoirs of Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar before they are filled up to the Full Tank Level. Through a public statement released on Tuesday (July 26), Ms. Sarwat said the release of water was “unauthorised, illegal, and immoral” and disputed the official claims of FTLs, 1,790 feet for Osman Sagar and 1,763.5 feet for Himayat Sagar.
The present FTL was a result of huge shrinkage in the area and storage capacity as there were encroachments within the reservoirs which was admitted by officials, she said. No action had been taken to remove the encroachments despite repeated representations, she lamented. Citing a fact-finding tour, she said there were constructions, compound walls, fencings and vast land stretches inside the FTL boundaries of the lakes. FTL pillars of HMWS&SB had been found uprooted, she said.
Questioning why the FTL boundary map of the reservoirs had not been kept in public domain, Ms. Sarwat furnished pictures of a sports village encroaching on to the lake bed of Osman Sagar. Expressing doubts about the “disproportionate” release of water, Ms. Sarwat demanded that the release be stopped, and FTL boundary maps along with the information about outflow and inflow be placed on the website. She demanded immediate eviction of all the identified encroachments and dredging of all the landfills inside the FTL boundaries. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/activist-questions-release-of-water-from-twin-reservoirs/article65686592.ece (27 July 2022)
NRSC map of low-lying areas The map shows the contours of land and the areas that are likely to be flooded in the eventuality of heavy downpour. “The map if it can be juxtaposed with the 13 watersheds of the River Musi and Doppler radar information it will give a lead of three hours for planners and citizens,” says Marri Shashidhar Reddy former vice-chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority. Earlier in 2017, the Disaster Management Cell of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation had released information about 116 water stagnation points in the city. It also identified the number of families that need to shifted to higher grounds in the event of flooding.
Hyderabad has seen frequent scattered urban flood events from August 24, 2000 flooding that impacted Begumpet after a deluge of 241.5 mm was recorded. In 2016 it was Allwyn Colony and Bandari Layout, in 2017 it was East Anandbagh Colony, in 2020 it was Falaknuma and Nadeem Colony and in 2022 it was Narsingi and Manchirevula.
While Hyderabad had very few rain gauges in 2000 it now has a mine of weather data. The Telangana State Development Planning Society hosts data from a network of over 1,044 automated weather stations throughout the State and nearly 132 in Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation limits which gets updated every hour 24 X7. While the Indian Meteorological Department’s Doppler radar goes offline often, the TSDPS data gets automatically updated. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/nrsc-map-of-low-lying-areas-of-hyderabad/article65694748.ece (29 July 2022)
Mumbai BMC to spend additional Rs 15 cr on Hindmata underground water tank The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will spend an additional Rs 15 crore on the city’s first underground water tank to prevent flooding in central Mumbai’s Hindmata area. The funds will be spent on the construction of four more pumps for a water tank below St Xavier’s Ground, officials said. At present, there are only two pumps, which are inadequate during heavy rainfall, civic officials said. BMC has spent Rs 110 crore for flood mitigation including the construction of underwater tanks and a pumping station to pump out water from the storage tanks into the open drains. Last year, the corporation started constructing two underground tanks at Pramod Mahajan Park in Dadar and St Xavier’s Ground in Parel. Along with this, a pumping station was constructed in the space below the Hindmata flyover. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/bmc-to-spend-additional-rs-15-crore-on-underground-water-tank-mumbai-maharashtra-hindmata-8062896/ (01 Aug. 2022)
झांसी शहर को स्मार्ट सिटी का दर्जा प्राप्त है, मगर इसी स्मार्ट सिटी का एक हिस्सा इन दिनों टापू बन गया है और लोग घरों में कैद हो गए हैं झांसी का राजपूत नगर क्षेत्र पिछले 20 दिनों से पानी में डूबा हुआ है. हर तरफ जलभराव है. पूरा इलाका पानी में डूब गया है. जरूरी सामान और राशन के लिए भी लोग घर से बाहर नहीं निकल पा रहे हैं. इलाके के लोगों की कहीं सुनवाई नहीं हो रही थी. https://hindi.news18.com/news/uttar-pradesh/jhansi-smart-city-jhansi-news-rajput-nagar-area-became-an-island-people-forced-to-remain-imprisoned-in-their-homes-4421691.html (27 July 2022)
स्मार्ट सिटी कानपुर कुछ देर की बरसात में हुए जलभराव में जूही पुल में डूबी कार, सिर्फ कागजों में बना रहे स्मार्ट सिटी.. https://twitter.com/riteshsainilive/status/1551990401917014016?s=20 (26 July 2022)
बारिश हो ये अच्छा है लेकिन जल निकासी भी होनी चाहिए। आज एक घंटे की बारिश में Varanasi Smart City शहर का ये हाल। https://twitter.com/MahantMochan/status/1551537594655453186?s=20 (25 July 2022)
Not sure about flying cars, but in 2022 we have floating cars. Scenes from Lucknow today. Areeb Uddin https://twitter.com/Areebuddin14/status/1553772790225854465?s=20&t=o2xtkRuRpORc4IHrfF9JVQ (31 July 2022)
झारखंड मंडराया सूखे का संकट झारखंड में इस साल अच्छी बरसात नहीं हुई है जिससे राज्य पर सूखे का संकट मंडरा रहा है। सभी जलाशयों में जल का स्तर लगातार घट रहा है। किसानों को सिंचाई के लिए सीमित मात्रा में पानी मिल रहा है।
जल संसाधन विभाग के मुख्य अभियंता (मॉनिटरिंग) मोती लाल सिंह के मुताबिक अब तक अच्छी बारिश नहीं होने के कारण राज्य के 56 जलाशयों में से 52 जलाशयों का जल स्तर डेड स्टोरेज लेवल (डीएसएल) से थोड़ा ही ऊपर रह गया है। इनसे सीमित मात्रा में सिंचाई के लिये पानी उपलब्ध कराया जा रहा है। मुख्यालय के निर्देशानुसार किसानों को सिंचाई के लिये पानी उपलब्ध कराया जा रहा है।
रांची के अनगड़ा प्रखंड स्थित गेतलसूद डैम का जलस्तर कम होने से सिकिदिरी हाइड्रल पावर प्लांट विगत एक सप्ताह से बंद है। जल संसाधन विभाग और झारखंड ऊर्जा संचरण निगम लिमिटेड के समझौते के तहत यदि डैम में पर्याप्त जल संग्रह मौजूद नहीं हो, तो हाइड्रल पावर प्लांट के लिए पानी नहीं छोड़ा जाता है। पावर प्लांट बंद होने से दो यूनिट से बिजली उत्पादन ठप है।
जल संसाधन विभाग के अभियंता प्रमुख (प्रथम) नागेश मिश्र ने कहा, ‘मानसून में राज्य के 56 जलाशयों में पानी का स्टोरेज 50 तक हो जाना चाहिए था। बारिश कम होने से जलस्तर डेड स्टोरेज लेवल से थोड़ा ही ऊपर है। मुख्यालय से निर्देश जारी कर अभियंताओं को कहा गया है कि वह किसानों को जरूरत के मुताबिक सिंचाई के लिये पानी उपलब्ध करायें।’ जल संसाधन विभाग की नवीनतम रिपोर्ट के मुताबिक रांची का बुछवपा, लोहरदगा का नंदनी, गुमला का पारस, कटारी, ऊपरी शंख, धनसिंगटोली, तपकारा, मसरिया, सिमडेगा का चिंडू, लरवा, कंसजोर और रामरेखा, पश्चिम सिंहभूम के सोनुआ, नकटी, जैनसराय, टोरलो जलाशय में पानी डीएसएल स्तर से थोड़ा अधिक है। https://www.livehindustan.com/jharkhand/story-drought-like-crisis-in-jharkhand-farmers-not-getting-water-for-irrigation-empty-reservoirs-6845218.html (26 July 2022)
बिहार सूखे का संकट गहराया बिहार में इस मॉनसूनी सीजन कम बारिश होने से राज्य में सूखे का संकट गहराता जा रहा है। सूबे में अगर 10 दिन और अच्छी बारिश नहीं हुई तो, धान की फसल बर्बाद हो जाएगी। किसानों को 81 अरब 26 करोड़ रुपये का नुकसान होगा। बिहार में अभी 35 लाख 12 हजार हेक्टयेर के क्षेत्र में धान की रोपनी का लक्ष्य निर्धारित है। इसमें से 11 लाख 31 हजार हेक्टेयर में ही रोपनी हो सकी है। इस प्रकार, अभी 24 लाख हेक्टेयर में रोपनी नहीं हो पाई है। यह कुल लक्ष्य का 68 फीसदी है। यानी कि अभी तक महज 31.4 फीसदी ही रोपनी हुई है। पिछले साल से तुलना करें तो करीब पांच लाख हेक्टेयर में कम रोपनी हुई है। 2021 में जुलाई अंत तक 16 लाख हेक्टेयर में रोपनी की जा चुकी थी। https://www.livehindustan.com/bihar/story-drought-in-bihar-farmers-will-loss-81-arab-rupees-if-no-good-rain-in-next-10-days-6845242.html (26 July 2022)
बिहार में इस मॉनसूनी सीजन सामान्य से बहुत कम बारिश होने से सूखे के हालात हैं। पानी नहीं आने से कई जिलों की नहरें सूख गई हैं। इससे किसानों को धान फसल की सिंचाई के लिए पर्याप्त पानी नहीं मिल पा रहा है। https://www.livehindustan.com/bihar/story-bihar-weather-drought-condition-in-state-due-to-less-rain-no-water-in-canals-of-many-districts-6816379.html (20 July 2022)
Trapped in the vicious cycle of floods, soil erosion and droughts, people in the state perennially lose homes and livelihoods due to the Kosi river’s shifting course. https://101reporters.com/article/environment/Trouble_comes_in_threes_for_residents_of_Kosis_riverbanks_in_Bihar (23 July 2022)
Uttar Pradesh 1 जून से लेकर 25 जुलाई तक यूपी के 75 जिलों में से केवल 5 जिलों में सामान्य बारिश हुई है। यह जिले हैं, वाराणसी, एटा, हापुड़, आगरा और फिरोजाबाद। बाकी के 70 जिलों में कम और बहुत कम बारिश रिकॉर्ड की गई। यूपी में 25 जुलाई तक सामान्य से 54% कम बारिश रिकॉर्ड की गई है। 25 जुलाई तक 304.1 मिलीमीटर बारिश होनी चाहिए, इसके सापेक्ष केवल 139.1 मिलीमीटर बारिश हुई है। https://indiaspendhindi.com/uttar-pradesh/uttar-pradesh-lags-behind-in-paddy-sowing-due-to-delayed-monsoon-828100 (27 July 2022)
Half of the southwest monsoon season is almost over, and several districts in the Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh are still waiting for good rainfall. Paddy and pulses farmers are staring at a wilting crop. They fear a drought year ahead. https://www.gaonconnection.com/lead-stories/bundelkhand-drought-farmers-paddy-pulses-irrigation-rainfall-deficit-food-production-agriculture-51073?infinitescroll=1 (26 July 2022)
First wheat, now rice — hit by bad weather After a severe heat wave in April-May singed India’s wheat crop, leading to a ban on exports, planting of rice, the main rain-fed crop in the ongoing kharif season, has been hit due to patchy rains in several states. Major rice-growing states such as Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, and Bihar have seen deficit rains so far during the ongoing monsoon season, while Assam has been affected by massive floods.
“Going by a conservative estimate and feedback from trade sources, about 15 million tonnes of rice production could be at risk,” said S. Chandrasekaran, a Delhi-based agriculture trade analyst. “Due to deficit rains in eastern Indian states, farmers will likely opt for short-duration varieties where yields are lower, or shift to crops like moong (a variety of summer-grown pulses),” he added. He further said that in Gujarat there has been a shift in acreage from paddy to cotton while excess rains in Telangana have damaged existing stock.
A hit to India’s rice output could lead to a major policy overhaul as it arrives on the back of a lower wheat harvest. While the government estimated the wheat output at 106 million tonnes in 2022 — just about 3 per cent lower than last year — traders are pegging the harvest much lower, between 95 million tonnes and 100 million tonnes. https://theprint.in/india/first-wheat-now-rice-hit-by-bad-weather-output-could-fall-by-10-mn-tonnes-this-season/1056198/ (27 July 2022)
Kerala Maximum landslides in 7 years: Centre Kerala recorded the highest number of major landslides in the country in the past seven years, the ministry of earth sciences informed Lok Sabha on Wednesday (July 26).
Of the 3,782 landslides between 2015 and 2022 so far, 2,239 alone were reported in the southern state. This was followed by West Bengal that recorded 376 landslides, Jitendra Singh, minister for earth science and science and technology, informed the House. Post disaster investigations revealed that the landslides were mostly triggered by unprecedented high rainfall in the affected areas. Besides this, terrain character, slope forming material, geomorphology, land use and land-cover in different terrains were reasons behind the disaster. Anthropogenic causes such as unprotected slope cuts and blocking of drainage were also among the causes, the minister said.
The highest number of field validated landslides, analysed as part of national landslide susceptibility mapping (NLSM) by Geological Survey of India, was recorded in Himachal Pradesh (6,420), followed by Uttarakhand (4 927) and Kerala (3,016 ). “Field validated landslides are nothing but landslides that may have occurred earlier but have been validated by us. This does show that some hilly states are most vulnerable but we have to understand that we may not have validated landslides that occurred in say remote regions of Arunachal Pradesh. Yes, the number of landslides taking place are increasing but it is also true that reporting such incidents are also on the rise,” a senior GSI official said on condition of anonymity.
Kerala witnessed devastating floods in 2018, 2019 and 2021 that together left at least 600 people dead, besides wiping out thousands of habitations. According to a response by the home ministry in Lok Sabha on July 26, 422 people were killed between 2019-20 and 2022 in Kerala due to hydrometeorological disasters. The overall toll in the country stood at 7,102 for the same period. For the past 30 years, June and July rainfall in the state has been witnessing a decreasing trend and August and September rainfall an increasing trend, according to India Meteorological Department (IMD). https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/kerala-saw-maximum-landslides-in-7-yearscentre-101658947954989.html (28 July 2022)
They were once dense, green, lush hills, breathtaking in their expanse and beauty. But for the past many months, the landscape was also dotted with construction workers, engaged in an ambitious ₹14,000 crore railway project, a flagship programme of the state and union government. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/landslide-sparks-ecological-debate-as-manipur-counts-the-cost-101658769246865.html (26 July 2022)
Uttarakhand नैनीताल से महज 20 किलोमीटर दूर स्थित चोपड़ा गांव इन दिनों सोशल मीडिया पर सुर्खियों में है. दरअसल यहां की बचनढूंगा पहाड़ी से चट्टानें टूट रही हैं और बड़े-बड़े पत्थर नीचे गांव की ओर दरक रहे हैं. पिछले साल आई आपदा की वजह से वहां की चट्टान टूटने लगी थी और कुछ पत्थर नीचे गांव की ओर आए थे.
इस साल बीती 20 जुलाई को रेड अलर्ट के दिन जब यहां बारिश हुई, तो एक बार फिर से यह चट्टान टूटने लगी है और धीरे-धीरे गांव की ओर दरक रही है. चट्टानों के टूटने से गांव को काफी ज्यादा खतरा है. इस गांव में 50 से 60 परिवार रहते हैं. पिछले साल आई आपदा के बाद यहां के ग्रामीण डीएम, विधायक, सांसद, प्रदेश मंत्री तक से गुहार लगाकर थक गए, लेकिन कोई इनकी सुध लेने वाला ही नहीं है. https://hindi.news18.com/news/uttarakhand/nainital-chopra-villagers-in-fear-of-boulder-jeolikote-nainital-localuk-nodark-4416885.html (25 July 2022) https://amritvichar.com/nainital-the-beautiful-chopra-village-of-jeolikot-living-under-the-shadow-of-fear-when-will-the-government-wake-up/ (24 July 2022)
पिथौरागढ़:- तवाघाट- लिपुलेख राष्ट्रीय राजमार्ग पर लामारी पेलसीती झरने के पास पहाड़ी दरकने से एक मजदूर की मौत हो गई और एक घायल हो गया। हादसे में सेना के दो जवान बाल-बाल बच गए। दोनों ने किसी तरह भाग कर अपनी जान बचाई। हालांकि बोल्डर की चपेट में आने से जिप्सी और पोकलैंड मशीन क्षतिग्रस्त हो गई।
गर्ग एंड गर्ग कंपनी के जेई महेंद्र धामी ने बताया कि मंगलवार (July 26) को एनएच पर ब्लास्टिंग के लिए मजदूर होल बनाने का कार्य कर रहे थे। शाम चार बजे अचानक पहाड़ी दरकने से बोल्डर गिरे और एनएच पर काम कर रहे नेपाल निवासी नर बहादुर रोका (45) की मौके पर मौत हो गई जबकि पदम सिंह कुंवर (38) पुत्र वीर सिंह दार्चुला नेपाल निवासी घायल हो गए। https://www.amarujala.com/uttarakhand/pithoragarh/laborer-dies-due-to-hill-cracking-army-soldiers-left-pithoragarh-news-hld470382062 (26 July 2022)
Major landslide in Nainital, 30-metre section of Bhawali road destroyed In a major landslide in Nainital, a 30-metre section of the Nainital-Bhawali road was completely destroyed. As large boulders fell on the road, the road caved in and the affected section collapsed down the hillside. The landslide occurred after rain lashed the area. The monsoon season generally sees an increase in landslides in the hills as water permeates down the cracks in hills and weakens the holding of the soil. Landslides have also increased due to the increase in construction activities in the hills. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/videos/news/uttarakhand-major-landslide-in-nainital-30-metre-section-of-bhawali-road-destroyed/videoshow/93219694.cms (29 July 2022) https://www.amarujala.com/photo-gallery/dehradun/uttarakhand-weather-today-nainital-bhowali-road-50-meter-area-collapsed-after-heavy-landslide-photos (29 July 2022)
Jammu-Kashmir Heavy downpour triggers flash flood in Pir Panchal rivers Continuous heavy rainfall for the past twenty-four hours badly affected normal life in Rajouri along with the neighbouring district where most of the water bodies were flooded on Thursday (July 28). Flash floods in most of the water bodies in the twin districts forced the administration to issue an alert while nineteen persons were so far rescued in Poonch district during two separate operations.
Yet another major rescue operation was going on to rescue twenty-seven people stuck in a flooded river. Many roads in Rajouri district remained closed for hours on Thursday due to landslides. Officials further informed that almost all water bodies in twin districts were flooded with a sharp increase in water level. “All the main rivers in twin districts including Darhali, Suktoh and Khandli near Rajouri town, Munawar Tawi and Beri Pattan in Nowshera and Sunderbani areas of Rajouri district, Suran and others in Poonch are heavily flooded and water level is not declining as it has been raining continuously,” they said. https://www.greaterkashmir.com/todays-paper/front-page/heavy-downpour-triggers-flash-flood-in-pir-panchal-rivers (29 July 2022)
Cloudburst ‘rumours’ at Amarnath negated by authorities Anantnag: At least two people were injured as torrential rains caused widespread damage in many parts of Kashmir valley, including Srinagar city, on Wednesday (July 27) afternoon. Waterlogging was reported from many parts of the city as well, inundating some vital roads.
There were also reports of a cloudburst near Amarnath Shrine, but the reports were rubbished by the authorities later. The news was first reported by a local agency, anonymously quoting an official. A later brief by the news agency said that the official has tendered an “unconditional apology” and has said that he was misled by an old video circulating over social media. “There has been no cloudburst at the holy cave today,” the official was quoted as saying. By then, however, the news had been carried by almost all national media outlets.
Meanwhile, the torrential rains caused flooding of some vital roads in Srinagar, including the Residency Road in the Lal Chowk area of the city, and some low-lying areas including Bemina. Rains have also caused some damage to apple orchards in South Kashmir and some other standing crops, apart from property. “The quantum of damage can only be measured after a detailed assessment, which will only be possible in the coming days,” a senior official in the UT administration said. https://kashmirreader.com/2022/07/28/2-injured-as-torrential-rains-pound-kashmir/ (28 July 2022)
Scare in twin Gurez villages after cloud burst in woods A cloudburst at the upper reaches of Tulail on Wednesday (July 26) caused scare among people of at least two villages in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district. As per the local DDC, Aijaz Raja, the cloudburst occurred at the upper reaches of Chakwali, a far flung village of the district. “Soon after the cloud burst occurred there was a sudden increase in the discharge of muddy waters in the Kishanganga river,” Raja said. He said the increase in discharge scared people of Chakwali and Gujjran villages adding, however, the water levels declined gradually and locals heaved a sigh of relief.
Officials said that they were analysing the situation and said that there was no loss of life or property damage reported as yet except to a small wooden bridge over the river near Abdullan village. “No damage as yet except one wooden bridge,” SDM Gurez, Mudasir Ahamd told Greater Kashmir. https://www.greaterkashmir.com/kashmir/scare-in-twin-gurez-villages-after-cloud-burst-in-woods (27 July 2022)
बांदीपोरा जिले में बादल फटने से नदी में उफान आ गया। बाढ़ में एक पुल क्षतिग्रस्त हो गया जबकि पानी के बहाव में डीजल से भरा टैंकर पलट गया। हालांकि बड़े नुकसान की सूचना नहीं है। बारिश से रामबन जिले के मेहाड़ और कैफेटेरिया मोड़ पर भूस्खलन से जम्मू-श्रीनगर राष्ट्रीय राजमार्ग बुधवार दस घंटे बंद रहा। https://www.amarujala.com/jammu/cloud-burst-in-bandipora-damage-to-bridge-highway-closed-for-ten-hours-due-to-landslide-in-ramban (27 July 2022)
Teenage girl dies due to cloud burst in Budgam A 19-year-old girl died in a cloud burst incident in central Kashmir’s Budgam district on Wednesday (July 27), officials said here. An official told Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that the girl identified as Rubeena daughter of Alam-Ud-Din was injured when cloudburst occurred at Khariyan Khansahib. He said that she was rushed to SDH Khansahib, where doctors declared her dead on arrival. https://thekashmirimages.com/2022/07/27/teenage-girl-dies-due-to-cloud-burst-in-budgam/ (27 July 2022)
किश्तवाड़ा में भारी बारिश से तबाही https://www.newsnationtv.com/videos/news/devastation-due-to-heavy-rain-in-jammu-kashmirs-kishtwara-94269.html (25 July 2022)
MeT installs `Doppler Weather Radar’ on Kashmir highway Meteorology Department has installed a state-of-the-art Doppler Weather Radar at Banihal in a bid to manage natural disasters by means of early warning systems in Jammu and Kashmir. In the backdrop of the September 2014 floods, a Doppler Weather Radar was installed at the MET department, Barzulla in Srinagar. The radar system was put in place to give an accurate forecast and provide advance forecasts about heavy rains, cloud bursts, snowfalls, and avalanches. However, the lone radar has not been able to provide an accurate weather forecast for the entire UT. Following this, the department identified three more places in J&K including Jammu, Banihal Top, and Leh for the setting up of the radar.
Deputy Director MET, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmad told The Kashmir Monitor that the radar at Banihal has been installed and made operational. He said it is installed at an altitude of 3000 meters and covers areas like National Highway J&K, Chenab Valley, and major parts of the valley including the Amarnath Yatra route,” Dr. Mukhtar said.
Moreover, the frequency of extreme weather conditions like cloudbursts and flash floods has shown an increase in Jammu and Kashmir. Official figures accessed by The Kashmir Monitor reveal that Jammu and Kashmir have recorded nine adverse events including flash floods and cloudbursts in May, June, and July this year. https://www.thekashmirmonitor.net/cloudburst-flash-flood-windstorm-met-commissions-doppler-weather-radar-on-kashmir-highway-to-prevent-natural-disasters/ (22 July 2022)
Huge loss as cloudburst, flash floods hit parts of Doda’s Thathri, Bhalessa Huge rain fell on the interviewing nights of July 19th and 20th, causing flash floods in the upper reaches of Kahara in Thathri sub division of Doda district. As per reports available with The Chenab Times, floods hit Charwah village in Kahara and it suffered a huge loss of property and land, including 7 residential houses, 3 shops, 2 gharats, one TRC, 1 bridge, and a private school building, which have been buried under the debris due to heavy rains and cloudburst. However, no loss of human life has been reported so far.
Talking with CT, Asif Iqbal Butt, a social activist from Kahara, said, “People have suffered huge losses of property, livestock, and most importantly, a school building, along with ground completely washed away and many houses and shops were damaged.” Butt further said that a private school, Allama Iqbal Memorial Educational Institutions, floor mills and many buildings were completely damaged and left no print on the ground due to the floods. He further requested administration to active the concerned departments and clear the debris, so that Kalnai river get its right way to flow.
Another resident, Aabid Malik, told The Chenab Times that many link roads, including Kahara-Tanta, Kahara-Jai, and Kahara-Bhatoli, have suffered damage due to floods. The cloudburst destroyed crops, fruit trees, and roads, as well as water and electricity systems, on a large scale. In the Chilly area of Bhalessa, cloudburst and heavy floods caused a huge loss to public property as it washed away the live stock. Besides this, there is a huge loss reported from many other villages in the Kahara and Bhalessa areas. https://thechenabtimes.com/2022/07/20/huge-loss-as-cloudburst-flash-floods-hit-parts-of-dodas-thathri-bhalessa/ (20 July 2022)
Thirteen structures, including a school building, were washed away and at least 20 others got partially damaged in flash floods triggered due to cloudburst in Jammu and Kashmir’s Doda district on Wednesday (July 20), officials said. Allama Iqbal Memorial Educational Institution, a house, eight ‘gharats’ (small mills) and three shops got washed away in the flashfloods due to the cloudburst in Tanta area of Kahara tehsil, SDM Zargar said. A portion of the Kahara tourism reception centre, Bhadarwah Development Authority, was badly damaged. More than 20 structures were partially damaged, but no loss of life or serious injury was reported, he added. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/india/cloudburst-13-structures-washed-away-20-damaged-in-flashfloods-in-jks-doda/articleshow/93007267.cms (20 July 2022)
Cloudburst triggers flash floods in Doda A cloudburst triggered flash floods in Doda district on Saturday (July 09), causing minor damage to some vehicles, officials said. The cloudburst occurred around 4 am in Gunti forest area in Thathri belt, resulting in heavy flash floods, they said. No casualty has been reported in the incident, an officer said. Some vehicles were stuck in mudslides and the highway was blocked for some time, but it has now been restored for traffic movement, the officials said. https://www.greaterkashmir.com/chenab-valley/cloudburst-triggers-flash-floods-in-j-ks-doda (09 July 2022)
Cloudburst in Doda, J&K at 4 AM today. No casualties have been reported. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/india/jk-cloudburst-in-dodas-thathri-no-casualties-reported/videoshow/92761395.cms (09 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.
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.
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. As the threat to their lives increased, he said that the administration asked the people (around 70 families) to move to safer places from Massu (panchayat) – located alongside the flooded nallah. “Locals helped the trapped people with wooden logs to escape the flooded areas,” he said. He added that, “the water level had increased in the afternoon following a cloudburst, but it started receding gradually by evening. However, we are still away from our houses due to the threat of flash floods.”
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)
Ladakh Cloudburst triggers flash floods in Kargil A cloudburst triggered flash floods in Ladakh’s Kargil district on Thursday (July 28), causing damages to vehicles and agricultural fields. Several houses were submerged and properties worth crores were damaged as a result of floods triggered by a cloudburst. The recent cloudburst incidents in many villages in Kargil and its adjoining areas has exposed the region’s vulnerability to climate change and receding glaciers.
Though there are “very limited” studies on cloudbursts and flash floods in Ladakh, experts believe the global warming and receding glaciers are major reasons for recurring, now almost annual, disasters in the region that always leave a trail of damaged houses, ravaged fields, and uprooted orchards. “There is no doubt that Ladakh has become more prone to cloudbursts due to unusual climate change. It is turning hotter due to global warming. The snow cover of glaciers is receding. This has contributed to Ladakh’s vulnerability to flooding and cloudbursts,” said Sonam Lotus, director of the meteorological department, Srinagar. https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/cloudburst-triggers-flash-floods-in-kargil-1981160-2022-07-28 (28 July 2022) https://www.aajtak.in/india/jammu-kashmir/story/ladakh-cloud-burst-floods-in-kargil-damages-vehicles-agriculture-fields-ntc-1508200-2022-07-28 (28 July 2022)
Arunachal Pradesh Cloudburst leave trail of devastation in Tirap Flash floods triggered by cloudburst and heavy rainfall on Saturday (July 23) left a trail of devastation in Deomali and Namsang in Tirap district. The flashfloods inundated many low-lying areas, including the KVK, the government upper primary school in Deomali, and Noksan and Batey areas. The floods also submerged many tea gardens and over-flooded several fish ponds, causing heavy losses for the farmers. However, there was no report of any loss of life. Locals said that the floods might have been triggered by a cloudburst, adding that they had never witnessed such flooding in their lifetime in the area. https://arunachaltimes.in/index.php/2022/07/25/floods-triggered-by-cloudburst-leave-trail-of-devastation-in-tirap/ (25 July 2022)
Himachal Pradesh 6 People Injured, Houses Damaged Due To Cloudburst 6 people were injured following a cloudburst in Kullu district on Thursday (July 28), officials said, adding that at least 10 houses were damaged in the incident.
The district emergency operations centre (DEOC) at Kullu stated, “An incident of cloudburst has occurred at Chanaighad in Nirmand Tehsil of Anni subdivision. “Around 12 houses have been damaged and six persons injured in the incident,” it said. https://www.outlookindia.com/national/6-people-injured-houses-damaged-due-to-cloudburst-in-himachal-news-212677 (29 July 2022) https://www.jagran.com/himachal-pradesh/kangra-himachal-pradesh-news-cloudburst-in-kullu-bagipul-chanaigad-26-people-rescued-22931249.html (28 July 2022)
स्पीति घाटी के ग्यु नाले में आई बाढ़ से सड़क बही स्पीति घाटी के ग्यु नाले में आई बाढ़ से पीडब्ल्यूडी विभाग को भारी नुकसा न हुआ है। बाढ़ आने से जगह जगह सड़क बह गई है और कई जगह ढंगे भी धंस गए हैं। 10 दिनों के भीतर दूसदू री बार आई बाढ़ ने बढ़ाई ग्रामीणों की दिक्कत बढ़ा दी है। गत मंगलवार को भी बादल फटने से इस नाले ने तबाही मचाई थी तथा जगह जगह भूस्खलन हो ने से ग्यु गांव की सड़क बंद हो गई थी । पीडब्ल्यूडी विभाग को सड़क बहाल करने में तीन दिन लगे थे। अब फिर से बाढ़ ने सड़क क्षति ग्रस्त कर दी है जिससे ग्रामीणों को दिक्कत बढ़ गई है। दूसरी ओर मयाड़ घाटी के ग्रामीणों की दिक्कत कम नहीं हो रही हैं। करपट नाले में आई बाढ़ से ग्रामीणों की पुलिया भी बह गई थी । बाढ़ का पानी कुछ घरों तक पहुंच रहा ह जिससे ग्रामीणों को घर छोड़कर जंगल मे टैंट लगा कर रहना पड़ रहा हैं। उधर, तोजिंग नाले में बंद सड़क को बहाल कर लिया है जिससे केलंग उदयपुर के बीच वाहनों की आवाजाही सुचारु हो गई है। उदयपुर से आगे डरेड नाले में आई बाढ़ से सड़क क्षतिग्रस्त हुई थी व मार्ग बंद हो गया था । बीआरओ ने सड़क ठीक कर ली है तथा नाले से मलबा हटाने का काम शुरू कर दिया है। https://www.jagran.com/himachal-pradesh/kangra-flood-came-in-gayun-ravine-at-sapiti-valley-road-flow-away-people-are-in-problem-22934539.html (29 July 2022)
भारी बारिश के बीच बुधवार (July 27) को लाहौल स्पीति जिले के तोजिंग (रांगवे) और दरेड़ नाले में दो जगह बादल फटने से भारी नुकसान हुआ है। वहीं, जिला कांगड़ा में खड्ड में बहने व बिजली गिरने से दो लोगों की मौत हो गई। मनाली-लेह मार्ग पर नेहरूकुंड के पास पहाड़ी से बड़ी-बड़ी चट्टानें गिरने से यातायात 15 घंटे बाधित रहा। बादल फटने से लाहौल के दरेड़ और तोजिंग नाले में आई बाढ़ से एक पुलिया, दो बाइक सहित 70 मीटर सड़क बह गई। तांदी-उदयपुर-संसारीनाला सड़क यातायात के लिए ठप हो गई। तोजिंग नाले को पार करते समय युवक की बाइक बह गई है। युवक ने बाइक को छोड़ भाग कर अपनी जान बचाई। बाढ़ आने से तोजिंग नाले के आरपार 30 वाहन फंस गए हैं।
रामबन में भूस्खलन से हाईवे दस घंटे बंद भारी बारिश की चेतावनी के बीच कश्मीर घाटी के बांदीपोरा जिले में बादल फटने से चकवाली तुलैल नाले में उफान आ गया। पानी के तेज बहाव की चपेट में आने से हाई स्पीड डीजल से भरा टैंकर पलट गया। बारिश से रामबन जिले के मेहाड़ और कैफेटेरिया मोड़ पर भूस्खलन से जम्मू-श्रीनगर राष्ट्रीय राजमार्ग बुधवार दस घंटे बंद रहा। मौसम विभाग ने भारी बारिश की चेतावनी जारी की है। https://jantaserishta.com/local/himachal-pradesh/warning-issued-in-jammu-cloud-burst-in-lahaul-1422317 (28 July 2022)
Cloudburst washes away bridge in Manali A wooden bridge connecting Solang to Manali was washed away in flash floods triggered due to a cloudburst in the city on Monday (July 25). The cloudburst occurred over Palchan Seri Nallah in Manali. According to reports, no loss of life has been reported due to the cloudburst but the administration has issued an alert. The authorities have asked people to stay away from the swollen river. The cloudburst has also led to an increase in the water level in the Beas river. Meanwhile, water entered into several houses that were located on the banks of the river Beas. https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/cloudburst-bridge-himachal-pradesh-manali-no-casualties-reported-1979535-2022-07-25 (25 July 2022)
अटल टनल रोहतांग के पास सोमवार रात करीब 3:00 बजे बादल फटा है। टनल के साउथ पोर्टल से सटे सेरी नाला में यह बादल फटा है। इससे ब्यास नदी में बाढ़ आ गई, जिससे पूरे इलाके में अफरातफरी मच गई। बाढ़ की चपेट में आने से दो पैदल पुल और एक सड़क का करीब 100 मीटर हिस्सा बह गया है। दो वाहनों, एक रेस्तरां और एक शेड (खोखे) को भी नुकसान पहुंचा है। वहीं, लाहौल के तेलिंग नाला में भारी बारिश से बाढ़ आ गई, जिस वजह से मनाली-लेह मार्ग करीब पांच घंटे तक बंद रहा। https://www.amarujala.com/shimla/cloudburst-in-seri-nala-in-manali-of-himachal-pradesh-water-level-increased-of-beas-river (25 July 2022)
25 houses, 2 bridges damaged after cloudburst in Kinnaur At least 25 houses, two bridges, and a few other properties were damaged in heavy rains and hailstorm in several villages in Kinnaur district here on Tuesday (July 19), authorities said. According to the Kinnaur District Emergency Operations Centre (DEOC), heavy rains, hailstorm, and cloud burst were reported from Pooh upstream such as Leo, Nako, Maling, Kaa, Chango, Yangthang, and Shalakhar.
Due to the cloud burst, water level in drains increased and created a situation of flood, closing down all connectivity roads, state disaster management director Sudesh Mokhta said. At least 20 houses, four public toilets, eight cowsheds, and four irrigation kuhals (small canals) in Shalkhar village were damaged, he said. In Chango village, two houses, four gharats, two cowsheds, three irrigation canals, one pedestrian bridge, and one PWD department bridge were damaged, Mokhta said. Three houses and two cowsheds were destroyed in Leo village, he said.
Preliminary estimates say properties worth Rs 1.5 crore were wasted consisting of a loss of public property worth at least Rs 90 lakh, and of private properties worth Rs 15 lakh, the official added. https://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/25-houses-2-bridges-damaged-after-cloudburst-in-himachal-s-kinnaur-122071901567_1.html (20 July 2022)
Shalkhar Kinnaur Cloud Burst visuals may scare you. https://news.abplive.com/videos/news/india-kinnaur-cloud-burst-visuals-may-scare-you-abp-news-1543253 (19 July 2022)
अमरनाथ और डोडा के बाद हिमाचल प्रदेश के कुल्लू में फटा बादल https://www.aajtak.in/india/himachal-pradesh/story/himachal-pradesh-kullu-cloud-bursts-after-amarnath-cave-ntc-1496451-2022-07-09 (09 July 2022)
Uttarakhand पिथौरागढ़: धारचूला के सोबला में बादल फटा, घाटी का पुल बहा धारचूला के सोबला में बादल फटने की घटना सामने आई है, जिससे घाटी का पुल बह गया. साथ ही धौलीगंगा नदी के एक हिस्से में मलबा जमा हो गया है. थल-मुनस्यारी मार्ग पर हरड़िया के पास पहाड़ का एक हिस्सा टूटकर सड़क पर आ गया, जिससे रोड बंद हो गई है.
बताया जा रहा है कि रोड पर मलबा आने के बाद प्रशासन उसको हटाने में जुटा है, लेकिन मलबा हटते ही पूरा पहाड़ टूट कर सड़क पर आ गिरा, जिसके चलते थल- मुनस्यारी मार्ग फिर से बंद हो गया है. गनीमत रही कि पहाड़ टूटने के दौरान सड़क पर कोई वाहन नहीं था, नहीं तो कोई बड़ा हादसा हो सकता था. घटना के दौरान कुछ लोग पैदल जा रहे थे, जिन्होंने भाग कर अपनी जान बचाई. https://www.etvbharat.com/hindi/uttarakhand/state/pithoragarh/cloud-burst-in-dharchula-of-pithoragarh/uttarakhand20220731094837161161659 (31 July 2022)
भारी बारिश से टूटी पहाड़ी मलबे में गौशाला ध्वस्त चार मवेशी जिन्दा दबे रुद्रप्रयाग – खबर जखोली विकास खण्ड के दूरस्थ छैत्र बुढ़ना की है यहां कल रात हुई भारी वारिस के कहर की मार गरीब कास्तकार आशा लाल को झेलनी पड़ी। आशा लाल की गौशाला पहाड़ी टूटने से मलबे मे तहस नहस हो गई व गौशाला में बंधी दो भैंस सहित चार मवेशी मलबे में जिन्दा दफन हो गई। https://abitfar.com/the-cowshed-collapsed-in-the-broken-mountain-debris-due-to-heavy-rain-four-cattle-buried-alive/ (28 July 2022)
चमोली जिले में फूलों की घाटी और हेमकुंड साहिब के मुख्य पड़ाव घाघरिया के समीप बादल फटने का वीडियो सामने आया है। बादल फटने की सूचना मिलने के बाद चमोली प्रशासन ने एहतियातन के तौर पर हेमकुंड साहिब की यात्रा रोक दी है। प्रत्यक्षदर्शी ने बताया कि पहले तो धीरे-धीरे पहाड़ से पत्थर गिरने की आवाज सुनाई दी उसके बाद अचानक ही पहाड़ का आधा हिस्सा टूटकर नीचे की तरफ आने लगा जिसके बाद वहां पर मौजूद लोगों ने उसकी तस्वीरें कैमरे में कैद कर ली। हालांकि पहाड़ टूटने से किसी को नुकसान नहीं पहुंचा। https://www.jansatta.com/rajya/uttarakhand-hemkund-sahib-yatra-stopped-after-cloud-bursts-in-ghagria/2284343/ (20 July 2022)
Heavy rainfall in Yamnotri valley blocking NH. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXgT9tF3GC4 (06 July 2022)
What are cloudbursts, and why they occur more in places like Amarnath https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/everyday-explainers/what-are-cloudbursts-and-why-they-occur-more-in-places-like-amarnath-8019367/ (11 July 2022)
Comments on the Proposed Decriminalisation of Four Key Environmental Legislation. https://vidhilegalpolicy.in/research/comments-on-the-proposed-decriminalisation-of-four-key-environmental-legislation/ (22 July 2022)
Report Western Ghats as ESA: MoEF committee to hold physical survey Central government has considered the objection of the stakeholders of the Western Ghats against implementation of the Dr Kasturirangan report, as a high-powered committee constituted by the MoEF&CC will conduct physical landscaping and submit a detailed report in a year’s time. The high-power committee will be requested to hear out grievances of the stakeholders, considering each village as a unit.
The ESA is spread over 46,832 sqkm across Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarat, and Karnataka alone has 20,688 sqkm. The Kasturirangan Committee report had proposed that 37 per cent of the total area of Western Ghats be declared ESA. When the MoEF&CC reissued a draft notification on July 6 for ESAs in the Western Ghats, the Bommai cabinet had decided to raise objections. The states also objected to the Madhav Gadgil report, which was followed by the Kasturirangan report, saying that both were unscientific, he said. https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/karnataka/2022/jul/26/declaring-western-ghats-as-esa-kasturirangan-report-on-ice-committee-to-hold-physical-survey-2480636.html (26 Jul 2022)
Experts raise concern over new rule over proposals to divert forest land for other uses A new rule that empowers provincial authorities to refer proposals to divert forest land for other uses even in protected wildlife habitats to the central government, which can then approve the diversion, has raised concerns that it would have an adverse impact on ecology and wildlife. State governments and union territories can now refer proposals for diversion of forest land to the Centre, even if the land is within a national park, tiger reserve, wildlife corridor, habitat of endangered species or an area within a severely eroded catchment, provided they can justify it and suggest appropriate mitigation measures, according to forest conservation rules of 2022 notified on June 28.
Under the new rules, the regional offices of the Union environment ministry can grant approval of the diversion of protected forests for other uses when the concerned area is between five to 40 hectares or the forest canopy is sparse. For all other proposals of land use change, the approvals have to come from the Centre once the provincial authorities have explored all options and have suggested mitigation measures. Environmental lawyers and researchers have raised several concerns with the new rule. The clause on considering proposals of land diversion within national parks, sanctuaries and critical wildlife habitats goes against the mandate of the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 on conserving wildlife & their habitats, they said.
“To lay down a procedure on how to consider such projects is absolutely wrong and concerning,” said Ritwick Dutta, an environmental lawyer. “The standing committee of the National Board for Wildlife could be clearing infrastructure projects, but the mandate of the wildlife protection law is to allow only those projects that benefit wildlife, so what the standing committee has been doing is also wrong in law.” https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/experts-raise-concern-over-new-rule-over-proposals-to-divert-forest-land-for-other-uses-101658773146588.html (25 July 2022)
Balochistan Two dams collapse amid relentless rain As per media reports Jara and Tabina dams collapsed in the Toba Achakzai offshoot in the Tasharbat, Zemel Shadizi, Mako Kech, Zemal, Ghabarg, Adozai, Farakhi and its suburban parts. After the dams’ collapse, the floodwater wiped out cattle, crops and farmlands in the affected areas. It is pertinent to mention here that land connectivity to Toba Achakzai was disconnected from other parts of the country for four days.
Addressing a press conference, Aqili said that heavy downpour in the province completely tore down 6,077 houses and partially damaged more than 10,000 homes — and these are just the official statistics, the News International reported. He further said that 16 dams sustained minor or major damages during the rains, while crops and gardens stretching over two acres of land were also harmed.
A National Highway Authority official mentioned that the Hub Bridge was built in 1962 & after the heavy rains filled the dam, it overflowed and in turn, damaged the bridge. https://theprint.in/world/two-dams-collapse-in-balochistan-amid-relentless-rain/1062397/ (2 Jul 2022)
Pakistan Chinese-built power plant shutdown triggers misery The 969 MW Neelam Jhelum HEP which was constructed by a Chinese firm on river Neelam has come to a grinding halt due to geological failure deep inside the tunnel which diverts water from the river to the power plant. The repairs of the Rs 508 B project commissioned in 2018 are likely to take over six months. https://theprint.in/world/chinese-built-power-plant-shutdown-triggers-misery-in-pakistan/1062998/ (31 July 2022)
River pollution: Combating cross-border externalities In order to improve the water quality of the downstream stretch of the Xin’an River, in 2011 China implemented the Ecological Compensation Initiative, a pioneering policy establishing side payments between upstream and downstream provinces. This column shows that the initiative mitigates cross-border externalities by sharply reducing water pollutant emissions by upstream firms and also induces firms to relocate to neighbouring cities. The findings highlight the potential for bilateral compensation for ecosystem services to reduce pollution. https://voxeu.org/article/river-pollution-combating-cross-border-externalities (28 July 2022)
THE REST OF THE WORLD
New model predicts landslides along wildfire burn scars A wildfire followed by an intense rainstorm is often a recipe for disaster. Without vegetation to cushion rainfall, water runoff can turn into a fast-moving, highly destructive landslide, called a “debris flow,” which often has the power to wipe out cars, homes and highways — sometimes resulting in casualties.
Now, Northwestern University researchers have expanded a physics-based numerical model to investigate and predict areas susceptible to debris flows. This model could eventually be used in an early warning system for people living in high-risk areas, enabling them to evacuate before it’s too late. Information from model simulations also could be used to design new infrastructure — such as diversion bars that deflect fast-moving water away from homes and roads — for high hazard zones. The research was published on July 27 in the European Geosciences Union journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences. https://www.egu.eu/news/920/new-model-predicts-landslides-along-wildfire-burn-scars-an-early-warning-system-for-high-risk-areas/ (27 July 2022)
Compiled by SANDRP (email@example.com)