DRP News Bulletin

DRP NB 220822: Salutes to Vimalbhai

(Feature Image:- Vimal Bhai with a group of villagers in Uttarakhand. Photo: Matu Jansangathan/ The Wire)

It’s very sad occasion. Vimalbhai, who has been tirelessly active on issues related to dams, rivers and environment in Uttarakhand in particular and India in general, left us on Aug 15, 2022 for his journey beyond this world. He was a remarkably dedicated, committed and yet always smiling, simple man with simple needs. His loss is already being felt. May his soul rest in peace and may his friends and family get the strength to bear the loss.

Tributes Vimal bhai Lives on -15th Aug, 2022, New Delhi: It breaks our heart to share the most devastating news of Vimal bhai, well-known social and environmental activist, and one of the key leaders of NAPM, succumbing today at the AIIMS, New Delhi.

-Be it with the Ganga or Narmada, his passion for rivers to remain free and flowing, remains the hallmark of his activism, that spans over 4 decades. He worked relentlessly to oppose mindless damming of rivers, pollution and supported people’s rights to be involved in the ‘developmental processes’, especially in the Tehri-Garhwal region of Uttarakhand, as part of Matu Jan Sangathan. https://napmindia.wordpress.com/2022/08/15/vimal-bhai-lives-on-in-our-hearts-in-our-andolans-for-azadi-and-justice/  (15 Aug. 2022)

By Debadityo Sinha The environmentalist was best known for his unique style of activism. He was one of the strongest voices for the people of Uttarakhand people gravely affected by big dams. He was involved in most of the cases challenging environmental and forest clearances of large dams like Vishnuprayag, Vishnugad Pipalkoti, Srinagar dam, to name a few.

Bhai mobilised villagers to organise and fight the legal battle for compensation from dam companies after the devastating floods of Uttarakhand in 2013. In one such case by Srinagar Bandh Apda Sangharsh Samiti, NGT directed for grant of compensation to the flood victims who suffered damage due to mismanagement of muck by the dam company. https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/environment/remembering-vimal-bhai-the-environmental-activist-social-justice-warrior-and-an-inspiration-84379  (18 Aug. 2022) https://thewire.in/environment/remembering-vimal-bhai-a-true-gandhian-who-gave-direction-to-indias-environment-struggle (19 Aug. 2022)

Man of many parts, Vimal Bhai immensely contributed to ecological, https://www.counterview.net/2022/08/man-of-many-parts-vimal-bhai-immensely.html  (20 Aug. 2022) social movements. https://www.counterview.net/2022/08/how-vimal-bhai-organised-educated.html   (20 Aug. 2022)


SANDRP Blog August 2022: Flash flood debris block Chenab flow in Himachal  The area is disaster prone and has been facing landslide, flash flood, cloudburst destruction in the recent past. On August 13, 2021 a landslide lake had formed on the river just about two and half km upstream from the present location.

The government has planned series of hydro power projects on Chenab and key tributaries in this disaster prone valley. On the other hand the ground realities and repeated disasters have been warning and warranting a serious relook on these unviable proposed projects. https://sandrp.in/2022/08/21/august-2022-flash-flood-debris-block-chenab-flow-in-lahual-himachal-pradesh/  (21 Aug. 2022)

बाढ़ से चिनाब पर बना जसरथ गांव को जोड़ने वाला पैदल पुल क्षतिग्रस्त हो गया है। इसके एक छोर का डंगा पानी के तेज बहाव के कारण ढह गया है। पिल्लर में दरारें आ गई हैं। इससे पुल ढहने की कगार पर आ गया है।  https://www.amarujala.com/himachal-pradesh/kullu/footbridge-on-chenab-river-damaged-due-to-flood-kullu-news-sml418855068  (19 Aug. 2022)

MoEF Key decisions from the minutes of the meeting of EAC on River Valley Projects held on July 29 2022:

1. 1878 MW Oju Hydroelectric Project at Village Reddi, Tehsil Limeking Circle, Dist Upper Subansiri, Arunachal Pradesh by Oju Subansiri Hydro Power Corp Pvt Ltd: Terms of Reference: OK

2. Greenko TS02 Off-Stream Closed Loop Pumped Storage project at Village Gopalpet, Tehsil Neeradigonda & Sarangapur, Dist Adilabad, Telangana by W Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd: Terms of Reference-WITHDREW APPLICATION

3. Rana Pratap Sagar Off-Stream Closed Loop Pumped Storage Project (1200 MW) at Village Semaliya, Tehsil Rawatbhata, Dist Chittorgarh (Rajasthan) by Semaliya Energy Pvt Ltd: Amendment in Terms of Reference: OK

4. Renukaji Dam Project (40 MW) with CCA 32372 Ha in 49800 ha. at Village Dadahu, Tehsil – Dadahu (S.T) District. Sirmaur, Himachal Pradesh by HP Power Corp Ltd: Terms of Reference: APPLICATION WITHDRAWN

5. 2720 MW Veeraballi Pumped Storage Project at Village Veeraballi, Dist Kadapa (Andhra Pradesh) by Astha Green Energy Ventures India Pvt. Ltd. – Amendment in Terms of Reference: OK

6. Saundatti HEP (1200 MW) Integrated Renewable Energy with Pumped Storage Project at village Karlakatti, Tehsil – Saundatti, District – Belgaum, Karnataka by M/s Greenko Solar Energy Pvt. Ltd. – Reconsideration of Environmental Clearance: OK

7. Cumulative Impact Assessment and Carrying Capacity Study (CIA & CCS) of Tirap Basin. Inclusion of Chinglum HEP in Subansiri Basin – Recommendation of the Study: More Info Sought

8. Teesta Low Dam -I & II (Combined) Hydro-Electric Project 71 MW (2×30+1x11MW) by W Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd in Triveni town, Tehsil Rangli Rangliot, Dist Darjeeling, W Bengal – Site Visit Report: Project NOT recommended for TOR

9. Kurha Vadhoda Islampur Lift Irrigation Scheme UPSA Sinchan Yojna with CCA 32372 Ha at Village Rigaon, Tehsil Muktainagar Dist Jalgaon by Tapi Irrigation Development Corp, Jalgaon, Maharashtra – Site Visit Report: OK for TOR http://environmentclearance.nic.in/writereaddata/Form-1A/Minutes/1708202274493316Revised_Draft_Minutes_31_EAC_river_valley_29_July_22_v2.pdf 

Agenda for meeting of EAC on River Valley Projects to be held on Aug 29 2022:

1. Dugar HEP of NHPC in Pangi Tehsil of Chamba dist in Himachal Pradesh for Env Clearance.

2. 2100 MW Patgaon Pump Storage Project of Adani Green Energy Pvt Ltd in Tehsil: Bhudargad District: Kolhapur State: Maharashtra for TOR

3. Sirkari Byol Rupsiabagar HEP on UJVNL in Tehsil: Munsiyari District: Pithoragarh State: Uttarakhand for Env Clearance http://environmentclearance.nic.in/writereaddata/Form-1A/Agenda/_18082022P5IPGXNW.pdf 


Madhya Pradesh Seepage from another dam reported in Dhar Amid the ongoing controversy over the Karam dam breach, seepage from another dam in Tirla development block of Dhar district has become a new headache for the administration here. Though administrative officials are saying that the seepage in Khedi Dam is not that serious and can be repaired. The dam construction started in 2017 and completed in 2019. It currently irrigated 900 ha. It currently has storage of 5 MCM. https://www.freepressjournal.in/indore/seepage-from-another-dam-reported-in-dhar-district  (19 Aug. 2022)

यह बांध करीब 6 साल से बन रहा है. तिरला विकासखंड की कुंआ पंचायत के खेड़ी डैम के निर्माण की शुरूआत 2016-17 में हुई थी। अब तक इसका निर्माण कार्य पूरा नहीं हो पाया है। बांध के कुछ हिस्से में बड़ी-बड़ी दरारें आ चुकी हैं। इससे डैम के फूटने का खतरा मंडरा रहा है। डैम की स्थिति को लेकर कई कलेक्टरों तक को शिकायत की जा चुकी है। इसके बाद भी सुधार कार्य नहीं करवाया गया है.  https://www.patrika.com/bhopal-news/the-danger-of-bursting-khedi-dam-increases-7718329/  (18 Aug. 2022)

खेड़ी डैम में बड़ी-बड़ी दरारें आ गई हैं। इस कारण हजारों लीटर पानी व्यर्थ बह रहा है। दरअसल, निर्माण के एक साल बाद ही डैम में दरारें पड़ने लगी थीं। इसे लेकर ग्रामीणों ने कई बार शिकायत की, जिसे अनदेखा कर दिया गया। यही वजह रही कि अब दरारें बढ़ने लगी हैं।

शासन ने वर्ष 2017 में ग्राम पंचायत खेड़ी में तालाब निर्माण के लिए 29.50 करोड़ की राशि स्वीकृत की गई थी जबकि 2018 में 11.50 करोड़ की लागत से डैम का निर्माण किया गया। https://www.naidunia.com/madhya-pradesh/dhar-huge-cracks-in-khedi-dam-thousands-of-liters-of-wasted-water-7042919  (19 Sept. 2021)

Karam dam disaster Dept and construction agency both failed in planning & execution, say experts Ex-chief engineer, MPWRD, NN Gandhi said, “There are well-laid technical parameters as to how to construct such a dam. It appears there was failure on not only the planning part but its execution too.” He said there were several steps which were required to be taken to construct the dam like testing of the soil, its moisture, soil compaction, layers of soil etc. Also, there was a role of monitoring too. If the department saw any flaw in the execution of the planning it should have asked the construction agency to stop the work but apparently it was not done.

– Ex-engineer-in-chief AK Sojatia said this dam was quite a different dam- half made of soil and half concrete. Such a dam was required to be built within a year. “Exceeding the time limit appears to be the only reason behind the dam breach”, he added.

– Ex-chief engineer, MPWRD SP Singh said, “Whenever a dam is completed a spillway is constructed before its use. In the case of Karam dam the spillway was missing, hence a channel had to be created later when there was the breach to drain out the water.” Such dam should be filled only to one third level in first year. https://www.freepressjournal.in/bhopal/karam-dam-breach-department-and-construction-agency-both-failed-in-planning-and-execution-say-experts  (19 Aug. 2022)

Govt sets up 4 member govt committee to give report in 5 days, but this is unlikely to help. What is required is an independent committee.

Karam Dam that faced disaster after first filling was part of a larger scam, this report says.  https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/near-catastrophe-at-madhya-pradeshs-karam-dam-brings-scam-shadow-in-focus-again-3262804  (18 Aug. 2022)

The ₹ 113-crore dam is one part of the larger irrigation plan — total worth ₹ 304 crore — which includes canals. The blacklisting now, at the very least, means these two firms — Delhi’s ANS Construction and Gwalior’s Sarthi Construction — aren’t eligible for any more government contracts. There are allegations, however, that these firms had been blacklisted earlier too, only to then get projects again. The government has not responded to that.

Work for the dam was allotted to ANS in 2018 at ₹ 113 crore. This firm immediately hired Gwalior firm Sarthi for it, at less than ₹ 100 crore. This sub-contract to Sarthi had the government’s necessary approval. Cracks in the part-built dam showed on August 11, incidentally two days after its extended deadline had passed too. Work that began in 2018 was supposed to be finished by August last year. Extension was given till August 9 this year. A probe is now on to fix the responsibility for the dam giving way to pressure in its reservoir after heavy rains. https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/after-near-disaster-companies-building-madhya-pradesh-dam-blacklisted-scam-shadow-remains-3264487  (18 Aug. 2022)

Uttarakhand Farmers demand shifting of Kishau dam location to save hundreds of bighas of fertile land from submergence.  (Dainik Jagran, 19 Aug. 2022)


Study Irrigation & drought protection in colonial India and the present The irrigation at all costs mindset and narrow policies for drought protection during the colonial rule ignored rainfed agriculture and local practices that sustained agriculture in the Bombay Deccan. This continues even today.

This paper titled ‘Colonising the rains: Disentangling more-than-human technopolitics of drought protection in the archive’ published in the journal Geoforum informs that this has to do with the policies for drought management that were framed during the colonial times. The paper discusses the case of the Bombay Deccan after the establishment of the British Raj, and describes how the idea of drought protection came into being following the colonial control of India. https://www.indiawaterportal.org/articles/taming-water-irrigation-and-drought-protection-colonial-india-and-present  (10 Aug. 2022)


Mithi, Mumbai Exploring a 17 km long trained river The photo essay is a description of a walk along the Mithi river, illustrating the condition of riverbanks and challenges in maintaining the river as a flood mitigation measure. Mumbai’s perennial struggle with routine waterlogging and catastrophic floods is the result of several limitations in the city’s storm water drainage system. This includes its reliance on its riverine ecosystems of which the Mithi River is a key component.

Satellite images tracing the altered course of the Mithi River. Images consolidated by Sahil Kanekar/WRI India

The Mithi is an urban river whose course has been trained and altered over the years, for almost its entire 17 km stretch. Channelizing the Mithi river for effective flood-risk mitigation has altered its capacity in several places, the impact of which is borne by those who live and work on the riverfront. https://www.wricitiesindia.org/content/walking-along-mithi-river-exploring-17-km-long-trained-river-and-its-riverine-ecosystem  (17 Aug. 2022)


SANDRP Blog August 2022: Yamuna flood reclaims encroached floodplains in Delhi  This event has once again aptly exposed the abuse and encroachment of Yamuna floodplains near CWG Village and Noida More by the government agencies including DDA. On the one hand the government projects have been destroying the naturally existing water bodies and on the other creating artificial water bodies while the entire floodplain can function as spongy wetland and does not necessarily need creation of ornamental water bodies and destructive riverfront development projects.

Proposed Amrut Biodiversity Park site submerged in flood water, CWG Village an be seen in background. Image credit Vikrant Tongad/SAFE, 13 Aug. 2022

The short duration flood spell has not only revived the river but also reclaimed parts of abused and encroached floodplains in Delhi. It now depends on the government agencies whether they seek a course correction or continue to degrade the river and its floodplains. https://sandrp.in/2022/08/21/august-2022-yamuna-flood-reclaims-encroached-floodplains-in-delhi/  (21 Aug. 2022)

Delhi Amrut Biodiversity Park on floodplain Environment activists, however, said that the Yamuna floodplain is not meant for “ornamental landscape work”. “The ornamental landscape work is easy to make, but difficult to maintain. But the big question is: why do we need this on the Yamuna floodplains? The floodplains require the natural biodiversity of Yamuna,” said Manoj Misra, convener of Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan. “After the Yamuna monitoring committee was disbanded, there is no independent mechanism in place to check development activities on the floodplain.”

“There is enough space available in the rest of the city where these plant sculptures can be developed,” said Diwan Singh, an environmental activist. “The DDA should focus on restoring the ecology of the floodplain rather than such development.” https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/delhi-news/amrut-biodiversity-park-on-banks-of-yamuna-to-trace-freedom-struggle-101652122355526.html ; https://www.news9live.com/knowledge/park-on-yamuna-river-to-trace-indian-freedom-struggle-facilities-proposed-cost-and-other-details-169496  (10 May 2022) http://cybersensetech.com/dda/projects/#projectModules

Haryana It seems from this report that Haryana govt plans to build a dam at Hathnikund? https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/haryana/report-on-hathnikund-dam-sent-to-water-commission-423114  (19 Aug. 2022) https://theprint.in/india/haryana-government-to-build-dam-at-yamunanagars-hathni-kund/1088623/  (18 Aug. 2022)

साहबी बैराज में दूषित पानी छोड़ने को लेकर 7 ट्रीटमेंट प्लांट पर अभियोग चलाने की मंजूरी साहबी बैराज मसानी में रेवाड़ी जिले के 7 सीवेज ट्रीटमेंट प्लांट द्वारा ट्रीटमेंट के नाम पर छोड़े जा रहे प्रदूषित पानी से फैलने वाले प्रदूषण को लेकर गाज गिर सकती है। मुख्य सचिव और प्रदूषण नियंत्रण विभाग के उच्च अधिकारियों के निर्देश पर धारूहेड़ा क्षेत्रीय अधिकारी दिनेश यादव द्वारा कार्रवाई करते हुए इन सीवरेज ट्रीटमेंट प्लांटों पर जुर्माना किए जाने को लेकर मुख्यालय से अनुमति मांगी है।

इसी के साथ प्रदूषित पानी को साहबी में छोड़े जाने को लेकर विभाग द्वारा अभियोग चलाए जाने की अनुमति भी गुरुवार को मुख्यालय से मिल गई। अब जल्द ही इन सभी प्रदूषित पानी को साहबी मे छोड़ने वाले सिवरेज ट्रीटमेंट प्लांटो पर केस चलाया जाएगा। इनमें ज़िम्मेदार अधिकारियों के नाम सहित सभी रिपोर्ट के साथ तैयारी पूरी की जा चुकी है। सूची में सातों ट्रीटमेंट प्लांट का नाम है। इनमें 16 एमएलडी नसियाजी रोड रेवाड़ी, 8 एमएलडी नसियाजी रोड रेवाड़ी, 6.5 एमएलडी कालूवास, 9.5 एमएलडी खरखड़ा, 3 एमएलडी कोसली, 5 एमएलडी धारूहेड़ा व 3 एमएलडी बावल शामिल हैं। https://www.bhaskar.com/local/haryana/rewari/news/approval-to-prosecute-7-treatment-plants-for-leaving-contaminated-water-in-saabi-barrage-130203739.html ; https://www.jagran.com/haryana/rewari-seven-stps-for-leaving-contaminated-water-in-sahibi-will-be-fined-case-will-also-be-filed-22990520.html  (19 Aug. 2022)

GANGA Uttarakhand This says several forest fed rivers including Kosi, Nayyar have been witnessing decline in flows both in Garhwal and Kumaun regions.

https://www.livehindustan.com/uttarakhand/story-global-warming-effect-existence-crisis-on-353-rivers-of-uttarakhand-many-will-dry-in-20-years-6956593.html  (19 Aug. 2022)

Abstract:- This paper delineates the groundwater potential zones (GWPZ) within the Tadri River Basin in the Western Ghats of India, using analytical hierarchical process (AHP) and geoinformatics-based techniques. Eight discrete parameters (slope, rainfall, drainage density, lineament density, lithological units, geomorphological units, soil types and land use, and land cover classes) were selected and weighted according to their influence on groundwater availability and combined in a hierarchical manner to obtain the resulting GWPZ map. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12665-022-10543-1  (16 Aug. 2022)


Karnataka New crab species found near Yellapur A new species of crab, ‘Dwivarna’, has been discovered in Uttara Kannada district and it is endemic to Yellapur. Coincidentally, the scientific acceptance of Dwivarna, the 75th crab species in the country, came on August 15, the day the country celebrated 75 years of Independence. https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/karnataka/2022/aug/17/new-crab-species-found-near-karnatakas-yellapur-is-indias-75th-2488280.html  (17 Aug. 2022)

Ghatiana dwivarna, a new crab species discovered and photographed by Gopal Krishna Hegde and  Parashuram Bhajantri

“In India, there are about 125 species of crabs and 13 have been recorded so far under Ghatiana genus. Ghatiana dvivarna is the 14th freshwater crab to have been discovered,” he revealed. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/karnataka-new-freshwater-crab-species-spotted-in-western-ghats/articleshow/93669550.cms  (20 Aug. 2022)

Western Ghats 2 musicians recorded the sounds of ghats.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sb-HHiHrExU  (21 Aug. 2022)


Maharashtra Four nets and one stellar idea Excellent story by Yusra Husain in Sunday Mid-Day, how fisherfolks in Versova creek in Mumbai are using fishing nets to remove plastic and other garbage. https://www.mid-day.com/sunday-mid-day/article/four-nets-and-one-stellar-idea-23241948  (21 Aug. 2022) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-9bHM40GA8&feature=emb_title

West Bengal Tourism affecting fisherfolks’ livelihoods In New Digha, growing tourism and climate change are forcing residents to find new methods of sustenance. https://scroll.in/article/1029858/tourism-takes-a-toll-on-fishing-livelihoods-in-coastal-town-in-west-bengal  (20 Aug. 2022)


Andhra Pradesh Sand Mafia Kills Innocent An innocent youngster was brutally killed at Ellapalle Village, Gangadhar Nellore mandal in Chittoor district. The victim was identified as A. Kishan, aged 33 of the same village, whose dead body was found at a sand mining area at the village. According to the locals, when Kishan tried to prevent the illegal sand mining and stop their activities at the agricultural lands, he was killed by the sand mafia. https://www.telugu360.com/sand-mafia-kills-innocent-for-questioning-illegal-mining-in-chittoor-of-ap-2/   (19 Aug. 2022)  

Karnataka Govt mulls policy change to boost M sand Govt plans to change sand policy and give more licenses to stone crushing units to increase M sand Production. The sand demand is 45 lakh tons, and there is gap of 5 lakh tons between demand and supply. https://www.deccanherald.com/state/top-karnataka-stories/karnataka-govt-mulls-policy-change-to-boost-m-sand-1136690.html  (16 Aug. 2022)

Bihar Illegal sand mining devastates rivers Dinesh Kumar Mishra, a river expert in Bihar and convener of NGO Barh Mukti Abhiyan, tells The Third Pole that mindless sand mining, largely the illegal activities of the sand mafia, is destroying the Sone and other rivers in the state. “It is scientifically established that a riverbed is like a sponge and contains water even during the dry summer. If you remove sand from the river, you are digging your own grave.”

Sand mined illegally on a large scale at night is loaded onto boats during the day in Pahleja Ghat (Image: Mohd Imran Khan)

Ranjeev, a river activist who uses only one name, says unsustainable sand mining has already pushed some rivers to the verge of drying up forever. “Mechanised digging of riverbeds in the Sone, Ganga and other rivers has created ditches and big pits. It is affecting the rivers’ natural flow and threatening aquatic habitats.” https://www.thethirdpole.net/en/nature/bihar-illegal-sand-mining-devastates-rivers/  (18 Aug. 2022)

Jammu & Kashmir NGT stays mining by Gurgaon-based company in Budgam stream, terms allotment illegal. https://freepresskashmir.news/2022/08/16/ngt-stays-mining-by-gurgaon-based-company-in-budgam-stream-terms-allotment-illegal/  (16 Aug. 2022)

Punjab Editorial in Tribune on illegal sand mining also mentions the role of Central Govt. In fact, Central Govt has a big role including in environment governance of sand mining, where central govt as totally failed. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/editorials/tackling-mining-mafia-421417  (13 Aug. 2022)

Interview Lawyer Reenu Paul spoke to NewsClick about the Aravalli Range, stretching across 700 km in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana and Delhi, threatened by illegal mining and unplanned construction. She says state governments are ‘unimaginative’ in seeking revenue streams other than excise duty and mining royalties but take refuge in claims of pursuing development at the cost of the ecology and peoples’ health. https://www.newsclick.in/why-politicians-and-policymakers-dont-want-stop-illegal-mining  (18 Aug. 2022)


Manipur Loktak lake is losing its signature fishing rings Ramsar Tag provides no protection to conservation of the wetlands. The warning could not be starker. Wenn du mich siehst, dann weine (“If you see me, then weep”), reads the grim inscription on a rock in the Elbe River near the northern Czech town of Děčín, close to the German border.

As Europe’s rivers run dry in a devastating drought that scientists say could prove the worst in 500 years, their receding waters are revealing long-hidden artefacts, from Roman camps to ghost villages and second world war shipwrecks.

The so-called “hunger stone” at Děčín is one of dozens in central European rivers engraved to mark their levels during historic droughts – and warn future generations of the famine and hardship likely to follow each time they became visible. https://scroll.in/article/1030366/manipurs-loktak-lake-is-losing-its-signature-fishing-rings-that-may-not-help-conserve-it  (13 Aug. 2022)

Report Are recommendations benefitting Himalayan wetlands? Athar Parvaiz:- There is no lack of expert opinion on how to conserve wetlands in Kashmir, or other parts of India, but recommendations are rarely followed and often flouted. https://www.thethirdpole.net/en/nature/recommendations-galore-but-are-they-benefitting-himalayan-wetlands/  (16 Aug. 2022)

How coastal ecosystem norms been violated? The audit pointed out various categories of violations. For one, the Environment Ministry hadn’t notified NCZMA as a permanent body and it was being reconstituted every few years. In the absence of defined membership, it was functioning as an ad-hoc body. There were instances of the Expert Appraisal Committees — a committee of scientific experts and senior bureaucrats who evaluate the feasibility of an infrastructure project and its environmental consequences — not being present during project deliberations. There were also instances of the members of the EAC being fewer than half of the total strength during the deliberations. https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/explained-have-coastal-ecosystem-norms-been-violated/article65764799.ece  (14 Aug. 2022)

Oil, Natural Gas Companies Fail to Learn From Baghjan Disaster Ayaskant Das While the victims of the Assam oil well accident still await a normal life, a string of recent court cases shows that no lessons have been learnt from the disaster. https://www.newsclick.in/oil-natural-gas-companies-fail-learn-baghjan-disaster  (16 Aug. 2022)

No. of Ramsar wetlands reaches 75 India’s 11 more wetlands on Saturday got a tag of international importance under Ramsar Convention bringing the total number of such sites in the country to 75. The new addition has put India at the top in terms of having the highest number of Ramsar sites among Asian countries, surpassing China’s list of 64.

The new 11 sites, covering an area of 76,316 hectares, include four in Tamil Nadu (Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary, Suchindram Theroor Wetland Complex, Vaduvur Bird Sanctuary and Kanjirankulam Bird Sanctuary); three in Odisha (Hirakud Reservoir, Tampara Lake and Ansupa Lake); two in Jammu & Kashmir (Shallbugh Wetland and Hygam Wetland; and one each in Madhya Pradesh (Yashwant Sagar) and Maharashtra (Thane Creek). Hirakud Reservoir with 65,400 hectares is the biggest in the list of 11. Among states, Tamil Nadu has the maximum number of Ramsar sites (14) followed by Uttar Pradesh (10) in the list of 75. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india-at-75/news/india-at-75-no-of-wetlands-with-international-tag-reaches-75-highest-in-asia/articleshow/93551116.cms  (15 Aug. 2022)



Bengaluru TG Halli project to miss 3rd deadline BWSSB has been given the task of rejuvenation of the TG Halli Project, but the board has missed the deadline for it at least three times already. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/bengaluru-tg-halli-project-will-miss-3rd-deadline-may-be-ready-by-2023/articleshow/93648800.cms  (19 Aug. 2022)

BBMP lakes department’s lack of supervision of rejuvenation work depleting Vibhuthipura Lake, allege residents. https://bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com/bangalore/civic/lakes-sake/articleshow/93683660.cms  (21 Aug. 2022)

Seepage from lakes worries site allottees of Kempegowda Layout Several site allottees at Nadaprabhu Kempegowda Layout (NPKL) are facing a fresh problem: Seepage from Kallahalli and Doddakere lakes is inundating block 1 L sector, block 2 (A and B) and 2H areas where there are 850 plots. The flooding will cause further delay in building basic infrastructure like underground drainage, stormwater drains and roads in the layout. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/bengaluru-seepage-from-lakes-worries-site-allottees-of-kempegowda-layout/articleshow/93625768.cms  (18 Aug. 2022)

Nightmare sewage plant chokes nearby residents Residents of Chikkanagamangala, Doddanagamangala, and other villages within a four-km-radius of a Municipal Solid Waste processing plant protested against the irreversible pollution being caused by the plant. People from these localities have been complaining about the plant for two years now, but their pleas have gone unheard. They reported that the waste generated from the plant, which is being dumped in front of it, is leading to a foul stench. Apart from this, leachate water from the plant is going to the Chikkanagamangala plant which is hurting lakes. https://bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com/bangalore/civic/nightmare-sewage-plant-chokes-nearby-residents/articleshow/93623565.cms  (18 Aug. 2022)

Mumbai BMC to build 162 ponds for Ganesh idol immersions. https://www.freepressjournal.in/mumbai/mumbai-bmc-to-build-162-ponds-for-ganesh-idol-immersions  (21 Aug. 2022)

Hyderabad GHMC to set up portable ponds for idol immersion. https://telanganatoday.com/ghmc-to-set-up-portable-ponds-for-idol-immersion  (20 Aug. 2022)

Delhi Residents staying close to WtE plant rue proposed expansion Residents of Sukhdev Vihar and Haji Colony, located close to the Okhla waste-to-energy (WTE) plant, had requested the lieutenant governor’s intervention in the long demanded closure of the facility, but ahead of the public hearing on the draft environmental impact assessment (EIA), the residents learnt that the LG visited the plant in June and asked that it use an additional 1,200 tonne of municipal solid waste daily to generate power.

Since 2012, the plant has been producing around 20MW and now aims to generate 40MW by installing new boilers. The local residents and activists have claimed that the WTE plant already violates several norms, located as it is so near residential areas and a hospital and not at the landfill site itself. They also point out that the draft EIA submitted to Delhi Pollution Control Committee in July, prepared by a third party consultant for the plant, misses out on key information. The residents said that the draft EIA has failed to quantify the highly toxic dioxins and furans being emitted by the plant, for which DPCC had fined the plant Rs 5 lakh in 2021. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/delhi-breathing-kills-residents-staying-close-to-waste-to-energy-plant-rue-proposed-expansion/articleshow/93578600.cms  (16 Aug. 2022)


Study Rainwater globally is too contaminated for human consumption The fact that oceans, rivers and other bodies have been terribly polluted by human activities is old news. But new research suggests that even rainwater across the world could be polluted by “per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances,” (PFAs) leaving them unfit for human consumption. PFAs are hazardous man-made chemicals that spread globally in the atmosphere. They are used to make fluoropolymer coatings that can resist heat, oil, stains, grease and water. Products that use PFAs include clothing, furniture, adhesives, food packaging, non-stick cooking surfaces and electrical wire insulation.

While the research doesn’t include studies that took samples of rainwater in India, Ian Cousins, the lead author of a study told indianexpress.com that a similar conclusion can be drawn about the rainwater in the country. “As we see rainwater levels worldwide are similar. I think the study can be extrapolated to India. PFAs are globally used and spread,” said Cousins, in an email interaction. https://indianexpress.com/article/technology/science/rainwater-pollution-pfa-polyfluoroalkyl-perfluoroalkyl-chemicals-8099604/  (19 Aug. 2022)


Jammu & Kashmir Exen Jal Shakti Dept arrested while accepting bribe: ACB Anti Corruption Bureau on Thursday (Aug. 18) arrested Executive Engineer Ground Water Division, Kashmir in the Jal Shakti Department for demanding and accepting bribe. As per an ACB spokesman, the accused allegedly demanded Rs 1,36,000 as bribe for issuance of allotment orders in favour of the complainants. The complainants, the ACB said, have already paid a bribe of Rs 30,000 a few days back while the second installment of Rs 25,000 was supposed to be paid today. However, before paying the bribe amount to the accused person, the complainants approached Anti-Corruption Bureau for taking legal action against the accused public servant under law. https://www.greaterkashmir.com/kashmir/exen-jal-shakti-dept-arrested-while-accepting-bribe-acb  (18 Aug. 2022)


Opinion No silver-bullet solutions for water supply worries Veena Srinivasan Many of our policies are great on paper, but they face bottlenecks in planning and implementation https://www.deccanherald.com/science-and-environment/independence-day-india-at-75-no-silver-bullet-solutions-for-water-supply-worries-1135452.html  (15 Aug. 2022)

Karnataka Govt proposes Penalty for Unnecessary Use of Water The State Water policy promises measures to tackle the challenges ahead by proposing measures such as penalties for unwise use of water, restricting groundwater extraction, among others, as it aims to provide directions for strengthening water resources management and to optimise the use of the state’s limited water resources, officials from the Water Resources Department said. According to the policy cleared recently by the state cabinet, ”The climate change studies of Karnataka have indicated that there is a long-term warming trend and negative trend in rainfall for Karnataka and the area affected by drought will increase.” ”In the Kharif season, most northern districts are projected to have an increase in drought incidences by 10-80 per cent with some districts projected to have almost a doubling of drought frequency. Floods are becoming common every year due to heavy rainfall which is higher than the long-term average in some days and sometimes 10 to 20 times above the normal,” it said. https://www.news18.com/news/india/water-stressed-karnataka-proposes-penalty-for-unnecessary-use-of-water-restricting-groundwater-extraction-5793223.html  (21 Aug. 2022)

FLOOD 2022

Dam Flood Chhattisgarh & Odisha Flood in village after breach in dam gates A village in Dhamtari district was flooded with water after the gates of a dam broke on Thursday (Aug 18 2022). According to the state Water Resources department, the breach in the dam gates at Bakori village took place. https://www.devdiscourse.com/article/headlines/2148816-flood-in-chhattisgarh-village-after-breach-in-dam-gates  (19 Aug. 20222)

How can we have safe operation of dams if neighbours do not even share water release data. This seems to be the case of Mahanadi Basin where Odisha has alleged that Chhattisgarh, the upstream state, is not sharing water release data.

Flood management at Hirakud dam in question. https://odishatv.in/news/miscellaneous/flood-management-at-hirakud-dam-in-question-was-mahanadi-flood-avoidable–183355  (17 Aug. 2022)

Opposition parties in Odisha allege that the recent Mahanadi floods were due to gross mismanagement of Hirakud reservoir. Violation of rule curve is also alleged. It is also alleged that the rule curve has not been changed in 1988, and it needs to change urgently in view of changing rainfall pattern. https://theprint.in/india/oppn-dubs-mahanadi-flood-as-man-made-alleges-state-govts-failure/1093187/  (21 Aug. 2022)

Some useful information, but insufficient clarity or data about the Mahanadi floods and management of Hirakud reservoir. https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/natural-disasters/how-lack-of-coordination-between-odisha-and-chhattisgarh-led-to-floods-84402  (18 Aug. 2022)

This mentions the CAG report of 2017 criticising Hirakud dam operation in 2011. There is also a role for CWC and its FF, where there seems to be a major failure. https://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/bhubaneswar/2022/aug/19/could-better-coordination-have-avoided-flood-fury-in-odisha-2489112.html  (19 Aug. 2022)

The formation of three consecutive low pressure areas in the Bay of Bengal has resulted in heavy downpour in the coastal state. The floods have not only disrupted transport and connectivity across the Mahanadi river basin but also posed serious worries for the farmers who are staring at losses.  https://www.gaonconnection.com/lead-stories/odisha-flood-rainfall-villagers-flood-crop-damage-paddy-imd-weather-update-news-climate-change-51149  (18 Aug. 2022)

A boat with around 80 passengers was reportedly washed away in the Mahanadi River in  Kendrapara district on Aug. 20 evening. According to Mahakalpada BDO, the boat was ferrying around 30 passengers from Paradeep to Bahakuda in Mahakalpada area this evening. However, the boat was washed away due to the strong current of water in the Mahanadi River. https://kalingatv.com/state/boat-washed-away-in-mahanadi-river-in-odisha/  (20 Aug. 2022)

Punjab Ravi in spate, Gurdaspur villagers told to evacuate The gushing waters of the Ravi created havoc in Dera Baba Nanak tehsil following which the district administration ordered the evacuation of scores of villagers and livestock from several villages. An observation post of the BSF was damaged even as nearly a hundred jawans worked for nearly 18 hours to ensure some order was restored. A 10-metre-long breach occurred on the road leading to Dera Baba Nanak.

A 10-metre breach that occurred on the road leading to Dera Baba Nanak. Tribune photo

This road assumes significance as the BSF moves its jawans, vehicles and heavy equipment to strategic places near the international border on this stretch from its command headquarters in Gurdaspur. An official claimed while there had been no loss of life, the damage to property was being assessed. Meanwhile, Ranjit Sagar Dam Chief Engineer Sher Singh said the water in the dam was at manageable level. “If the need arises and the water level in the dam rises following heavy rainfall, we will release the excess water.” https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/ravi-in-spate-gurdaspur-villagers-told-to-evacuate-422717  (18 Aug. 2022)

The Gurdaspur administration in Punjab on Sunday (July 31) asked people living in low-lying areas near the Ravi river to move to safer places as the water level rose following incessant rains. Gurdaspur additional deputy commissioner Nidhi Kumud Bamba visited Makora Patan and nearby villages to take stock of the situation, officials said. The district administration evacuated people and their livestock from areas near the Ravi river. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/ravi-in-spate-people-asked-to-move-to-safer-places-in-gurdaspur-417506  (31 July 2022)

Tamil Nadu Concrete floor on Kodiveri Dam washed away A 100-metre concrete structure on Kodiveri Dam was washed away due to heavy rainfall in Erode district of Tamil Nadu. The concrete structure was built at a cost of Rs 2.65 crore during the previous AIADMK government. The Kodiveri dam is located on the Bhavani river near Sathyamangalam. The concrete floor was built at the deep end of the river to prevent untoward incidents while tourists and locals took a dip in the river.

The catchment area of Bhavanisagar dam reached its full capacity a few days ago due to heavy rains triggered by the southwest monsoon. As a result, 25,000 cubic feet of excess water was released into the Bhavani river. However, the water flowed out of the Kodiveri dam and the heavy rocks carried by the flood fell, breaking the sluice gate in the central part. With the concrete structure washed away, blocks of concrete debris were found in the region, which are being removed using JCB vehicles. https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/erode-news-tamil-nadu-kodiveri-dam-concreate-floor-washed-heavy-rainfall-1990379-2022-08-20  (20 Aug. 2022)

Explainer Why do floods occur? A more recent publication in 2020, which extends the investigation from the 2019 publication, states that some of the most devastating floods in the last two decades – the Kerala flood of August 2018, Chennai flood in December 2015, Uttarakhand flood of June 2013, Leh flood of June 2010, and the Mumbai flood of 2005 – all have one common factor. All these events occurred when multiple low pressure systems occurred together spatially and temporally to create an organised deep convention system that led to large-scale heavy rainfall. In addition to these factors, studies have shown that the size of cyclones and the timing of their landfall are crucial factors in determining flood intensity.

Apart from climate change caused due to emissions, many land-use changes have been identified as major causes of flooding. In major cities such as Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru, the loss of green spaces (such as wetlands, swamps, and mangrove forests), co-opting of lakes and ponds into urban housing/office space, and improper desilting and maintenance of drains have been identified as key causes of flooding. In Goa, badly designed highways and infrastructure projects have disrupted the local hydrology and worsened the impacts of floods. All these changes have resulted in an expansion of surfaces that are impervious to water within cities; this overloads drainage and sewer systems and ultimately leads to local flooding. Poorly designed urban expansion and housing encroachments in low lying areas prone to water collection further add to the woes of urban flooding.. https://india.mongabay.com/2022/08/explainer-why-do-floods-occur/  (17 Aug. 2022)


Odisha 1. River Mahanadi at Tarpur level monitoring site in Jagatsinghapur district has crossed old HFL 11.62 m dated 08.08.2014.

2. River Kusavadra in Mahanadi basin at Bhingarpur level monitoring site in Khordha district has breached previous HFL 15.71 m dated 07.08.2014.

3. River Mahanadi at Boudh level monitoring site has crossed old HFL 88.6 m dated 14.08.2019 and set new HFL 89.35 m at 04:00 hour on 16.08.2022 which is 0.75 m higher than old HFL. The flood level remained over old HFL for 31 hours.

4. River Bhargavi in Mahanadi basin at Balanga level monitoring site in Puri district has crossed old HFL 11.9 m dated 30.08.2020.

5. River Daya in Mahanadi Basin at Daya road bridge level monitoring site in Khordha district has breached previous HFL 16.37 m attained on 07.08.2014.

6. River Daya in Mahanadi basin at Kanas level monitoring site has been flowing parallel to old HFL 5.57 m dated 02.09.2020.

7. River Bhargavi in Mahanadi basin at Balakati level monitoring site in Khordha district has crossed old HFL 16.51 m dated 07.08.2014.

8. River Kathajori in Mahanadi basin at Kathajori road bridge level monitoring site in Cuttack district has breached previous HFL 22.16 m dated 07.08.2014. Current flood level is 22.14 m at 22:00 hour on 16.08.2022 with rising trend. 

Chhattisgarh River Pairi in Mahanadi basin at Malgaon level monitoring site continues to be in extreme flood situation and has set new HFL 327.86 m at 05:00 hour on 16.08.2022.

River Pairi in Mahanadi basin at Malgaon level monitoring site has crossed previous HFL 326.71 m dated 14.07.2022. Current flood level is 327.8 m at 20:00 hours on 15.08.2022 with rising trend. It is worth to mention that this is second time within a week that river has crossed the old HFL at the site. Before this the rive had breached the HFL at the site and set up 327.28 m as new HFL at 09:00 hours on 10.08.2022.

Madhya Pradesh River Dudhi in Narmada basin at Dudhi at Panagar level monitoring site has breached previous HFL 331.3 m dated 22.07.2022 setting up new HFL 332 m at 16:00 hours on 15.08.2022.

River Tenduni in Narmada basin at Tenduni at Maheshwar level monitoring site has crossed old HFL 315.05 m dated 09.08.2019. The new HFL for the site is 315.4 m attained at 15:00 hour on 16.08.2022 which is 0.35 m higher than the old HFL. The flood level stayed over old HFL for 06 hours.

River Tons in Ganga basin at Naurhia level monitoring site in Sidhi district has crossed old HFL 300.7 m dated 13.08.2019.

River Tons in Ganga basin at Vijay Raghavgarh level monitoring site has crossed previous HFL 342.36 m dated 29.08.2020. The river has probably set up new HFL 346.45 m at 03:00 hour on 22.08.2022 which is about 4.09 m higher than the old HFL.

River Sone in Ganga basin at Chansura level monitoring site in Umaria district has crossed old HFL 344.8 m dated 17.09.2021.

River Narmada at Silgi Kotrai level forecasting site in Dindori district has crossed old HFL 513.65 m dated 08.08.2019.

Maharashtra River Chulband in Godavari Basin at Sakoli Bridge level monitoring site has crossed old HFL 242.13 m dated 15.07.1994.

Rajasthan River Chandralohi in Ganga basin at Borkhandi level forecast site has crossed old HFL 244.15 m dated 16.08.2019. Present flood level is 244.95 m at 13:00 hour on 22.08.2022. The Warning level (244.5 m) and Danger level (246 m) are higher than old HFL (244.15 m) at this site.  

Uttarakhand River Amlav in Yamuna basin at Kalsi level monitoring site in Dehradun has crossed old HFL 512.4 m attained on 11.07.2021.

River Song in Ganga basin at Sataynarayan level forecast site has crossed old HFL 338.49 m dated 28.06.2019.


Uttar Pradesh Farmers battling a drought to save their rice crop In 5 east UP districts, where rice is primary rain-fed crop, the overwhelming sentiment is despair. For most, planting has been delayed by over a month, which means a drop in yield. https://theprint.in/economy/cracked-earth-nasty-weeds-how-up-farmers-are-battling-a-drought-to-save-their-rice-crop/1083332/  (16 Aug. 2022)

As on (July 30) 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; east Uttar Pradesh 52%; west Uttar Pradesh 47% deficiency. Over Peninsular India, Kerala and Mahe recorded 25% rain deficiency. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/delay-in-rain-over-indo-gangetic-plains-likely-to-hit-paddy-sowing-101659119866279-amp.html  (30 July 2022)


Uttarakhand भूस्खलन के चलते एक घंटे तक बाधित रहा कालसीचकराता मोटरमार्ग बारिश के चलते अचानक जजरेड पहाड़ी से कालसी-चकराता मोटरमार्ग बाधित हो गया. मौके पर पहुंची लोनिवि की टाम ने मशीनों की मदद से सड़क पर गिरे मलबे और पत्थर को हटाना शुरू किया. करीब एक घंटे की कड़ी मशक्कत के बाद इस मार्ग पर दोबारा यातायात सुचारू हो गया. https://www.etvbharat.com/hindi/uttarakhand/state/dehradun/kalsi-chakrata-motorway-was-blocked-for-an-hour-due-to-landslide-at-vikasnagar/uttarakhand20220730172937313313236  (30 July 2022)

जौनसार-बावर की लाइफ लाइन कही जाने वाली कालसी-चकराता मोटर मार्ग पर जजरेड पहाड़ी से भूस्खलन एक बड़ी समस्या बनी हुई है. मॉनसून की दस्तक के साथ ही ये समस्या और विराल हो जाती है, लेकिन अभीतक संबंधित विभाग इस भूस्खलन का कोई स्थायी समाधन नहीं ढूढ पाया है. लोक निर्माण विभाग साहिया के अधिशासी अभियंता प्रत्यूष कुमार ने बताया कि जजरेड पर 297 मीटर का पुल स्वीकृत है, इसके संबंध मे मिट्टी का परीक्षण भी किया है. डिजाइन की प्रक्रिया गतिमान है, टेक्निकल पहलू पर परीक्षण कन्सल्टेंट द्वारा किया जा रहा है. जल्द से जल्द डिजाइन गठित कर उच्चाधिकारियों को प्रेषित करेंगे. https://www.etvbharat.com/hindi/uttarakhand/state/dehradun/no-permanent-solution-found-for-landslide-from-jajred-hill-on-kalsi-chakrata-motorway/uttarakhand20220617153714766766982  (17 June 2022)

बागेश्वर में पहाड़ दरकने से एनएच समेत 19 मार्ग बंद, बिजली-पानी को लेकर 30 हजार लोग प्रभावित https://www.jagran.com/uttarakhand/nainital-landslide-in-bageshwar-19-roads-including-nh-closed-due-to-mountain-cracking-in-bageshwar-22995099.html  (20 Aug. 2022)


Himachal Pradesh; Uttarakhand Floods, landslides leave 40 dead in northern India At least 40 people have died and others are missing in flash floods triggered by intense monsoon rains in northern India over the past three days, officials said Sunday (Aug. 21). The rains inundated hundreds of villages, swept away mud houses, flooded roads and destroyed bridges in some parts of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand states.

An official government release Sunday (Aug. 21) said landslides and flooding in the Himalayan state of Himachal Pradesh over the last three days killed at least 36 people. Hundreds were taking shelter in relief camps after being displaced from their flooded homes. In the neighboring state of Uttarakhand, a series of cloudbursts Saturday (Aug. 20) left four dead and 13 went missing as rivers breached banks and washed away some houses. Scientists say they are becoming more frequent as global warming contributes to the melting of glaciers there. Last year, flash floods killed nearly 200 people and washed away houses in Uttarakhand. https://apnews.com/article/floods-india-monsoons-climate-and-environment-3a9782d62401c3485bd13c88b30cef49  (21 Aug. 2022)

Himachal Pradesh 22 dead in separate incidents of flash flood, landslide Twenty-two people, including eight members of a family, were killed and six feared dead in incidents of landslide and flash flood triggered by heavy rainfall in Himachal Pradesh since Friday (Aug. 19), officials said. Ten people were injured, state Disaster Management Department Director Sudesh Kumar Mokhta said on Saturday (Aug. 20). The maximum damage has been reported from Mandi, Kangra and Chamba districts, he said.

According to officials, trains between Jogindernagar-Pathankot route have been suspended after the Chakki bridge in Kangra district collapsed in the morning due to heavy rains. The railway authorities had declared the bridge unsafe.

According to officials, three people were killed after their house collapsed following a landslide triggered by rains in Chamba district. The Chamba district emergency operation centre (DEOC) said the landslide occurred at Banet village in Chowari tehsil around 4.30 am following which a house collapsed, killing three people.

In Mandi, a girl was killed and 13 others were feared dead in a landslide and flash flood triggered by heavy rains, officials said. The body of a girl was recovered about half-a-km away from her house in Baghi Nullah on Mandi-Katola-Prashar road on Friday (Aug. 19) night, while five members of her family were washed away, state disaster management department officials said. Several families also left their houses located between Baghi to Old Katola areas after a cloud burst and took shelter at safe places, the department added.  https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/india/6-killed-13-feared-dead-in-separate-incidents-of-flash-flood-landslide-in-hp/articleshow/93675410.cms  (20 Aug. 2022)

Twenty-two persons were killed while six others were missing in incidents of landslide and flash floods triggered by heavy rain in Mandi, Chamba, Kangra, Shimla, Kullu and Una districts of Himachal Pradesh since Friday (Aug. 19) night, officials said. As many as 743 roads, including the Kalka-Shimla National Highway-5 (at Shoghi), have been blocked for traffic due to landslides. Principal Secretary (Revenue) Onkar Chand Sharma said 2,000 transformers and 172 water supply schemes disrupted. Dharamsala received highest ever rain of 333 mm over past 24 hours. The town had last recorded 316 mm of rain on August 6, 1958, said Meteorological Department (Shimla) Director Surender Paul.

In Mandi district alone, 13 persons were killed, the officials said. The bodies of eight members of a family were retrieved from the debris of their house after a four-hour-long search operation by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the police at Kashan village in Gohar block. The bodies of two of the five members of a family washed away in flash floods at Sandoa village in the Darang area were recovered. Another body was found at Bagi village.

Three members of a family were buried alive under the debris of a house, which collapsed at Chudana village in the Banet area of Bhattiyat tehsil in Chamba district due to the downpour. A 10-year-old child and a migrant labourer were killed as the ‘kuccha’ houses they were living in collapsed in Kangra district. Two tourists from UP were killed as their vehicle was hit by a boulder in Theog, Shimla. One person each died in rain-related incidents in Una and Kullu. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/landslips-flash-floods-kill-22-in-hp-423688  (21 Aug. 2022)

Uttarakhand Monsoon havoc leaves four dead, 3 missing Rain spells since Friday (Aug. 19) evening have caused heavy damage in several parts of Uttarakhand. At least two people died while five others were injured after a house collapsed in the Dhanaulti area of Tehri district. In another incident, a woman died due to a wall collapse in Yamkeshwar, Pauri district, while another woman was killed in Kirtinagar, Tehri district.

At least 20 buildings were damaged in Tehri alone. In Dehradun, too, rain washed away a part of the bridge over Song river along the Raipur-Thano Road. While three people are believed to be missing, SDRF and police rescued over a dozen people on the key route. Water entered several homes in Sarkhet village and about 40 people from the area had to be evacuated and taken to safer locations. Also, a major landslide was seen in Bageshwar and several state roads of Uttarakhand were blocked following landslides elsewhere.

The maximum impact of the overnight rain was visible in the districts of Pauri, Tehri and Dehradun. A report by Uttarakhand State Emergency Operation Centre said 235 roads across the state are closed due to landslides. Of these, 45 were shut in Chamoli, followed by 35 each in Pauri and Tehri districts.

Environmentalists, meanwhile, believe that the heavy rainfall alone cannot be blamed for the extensive damage in and around Dehradun. “Such damage was possible because river bed land has been encroached and illegal construction is rampant. They are calling it a cloudburst, but the rainfall did not reach those levels. We can’t blame nature for taking back what belongs to it,” said Reenu Paul, a city-based environmentalist. Experts also said that unauthorised sand mining in the area compounded the damage. “It has weakened the bed and water is running out because of it,” added Paul. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/monsoon-havoc-in-uttarakhand-leaves-four-dead-3-missing/articleshow/93686050.cms  (21 Aug. 2022)

देहरादून में फटा बादल, टिहरीपौड़ी में भी तबाही देहरादून शहर के पास रायपुर क्षेत्र में बादल फटने से एक पुल बह गया है। दो बाइक सवार युवक भी बह गये। राज्य आपदा प्रतिक्रिया बल (एसडीआरएफ) ने एक को बचा लिया, जबकि दूसरे का पता नहीं है। धनोल्टी में मकान ढहने से 7 लोग दबने की सूचना है, जिसमें से दो शव निकाले जा चुके हैं। अब तक राज्य में 4 लोगों की मौत की पुष्टि हो चुकी है। जबकि 13 लोग लापता हैं और 12 लोग घायल हुए हैं।

उत्तराखंड आपदा न्यूनीकरण एवं प्रबंधन केंद्र ने बादल फटने की पुष्टि की है। उधर, राज्य के पौड़ी जिले के यमकेश्वर क्षेत्र में एक मकान ढह जाने से एक महिला की मलबे में दबकर मौत हुई हैं। टिहरी जिले के कीर्तिनगर और बडियारगड में भी भारी नुकसान हुआ है। लोगों के खेत बह गये हैं। राज्य के चारों धामों को जाने वाली सभी सड़कें बंद हो गई हैं। ऑलवेदर रोड नाम वाली ये सड़कें फिलहाल एक सौ से ज्यादा जगहों पर बंद हो गई हैं।

देहरादून और आसपास के इलाकों में फिलहाल सबसे ज्यादा तबाही की खबरें आ रही हैं। रायपुर क्षेत्र में बादल फटने से सौंग नदी पर बना पुल बह गया है। पुल से होकर गुजर रहा एक बाइक सवार युवक बह गया। एसडीआरएफ के अनुसार कुछ दूर बहने के बाद युवक एक जगह फंस गया था, उसे राफ्ट की मदद से निकाल लिया गया है। मालदेवता क्षेत्र में भी एक स्कूटी सवार युवक के बहने की सूचना है।

सौन्ग नदी का पुल बह जाने के कारण थानों होकर जौलीग्रांट एयरपोर्ट जाने का रास्ता बंद हो गया है। जाखन नदी पर रानीपोखरी के पास पिछले वर्ष बहे पुल के पास वैकल्पिक मार्ग बह जाने से एक बार फिर देहरादून से डोईवाला होकर ऋषिकेश जाने का रास्ता भी बंद हो गया है। जौलीग्रांट एयरपोर्ट के पास जाखन नदी के इस पुल को लेकर पिछले वर्ष काफी चर्चा हुई थी। आरोप लगाया गया था, पुल के पीलरों के आसपास अवैध रूप से खनन किये जाने से पुल टूटा है। हालांकि इसकी जांच नहीं हुई। दावा किया गया था इस वर्ष मॉनसून आने से पहले ही यहां पुल बना दिया जाएगा। लेकिन, पुल का निर्माण अब भी नहीं हो सका है। फिलहाल जो वैकल्पिक मार्ग बनाया गया था, रात को वह भी बह गया है। https://www.downtoearth.org.in/hindistory/weather/monsoon/uttarakhand-cloud-bursts-in-dehradun-destruction-in-tehri-pauri-84431  (20 Aug. 2022)

Cloudburst in Dehradun, swollen rivers wash away bridges A cloudburst hit a village here in the early hours of Saturday (Aug. 20), causing rivers to breach their banks and wash away bridges, officials said. Water also entered the caves of Tapkeshwar, a famous Shiva temple on the banks of the Tons river, which was in spate, they said. The cloudburst occurred around 2.15 am in Sarkhet village in the Raipur area, the officials said. A bridge over the Song river near Thano was washed away. The Kempty Falls, a popular tourist spot near Mussoorie, was also flowing dangerously, they said.

An 80-year-old woman was trapped in the debris that entered a house in the Kirtinagar area of Tehri district. Mud entered homes in over a dozen villages following the cloudburst, prompting the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) to shift the affected people to safe locations. The affected villages include Maldevta, Bhutsi, Tauliyakatal, Thatyud, Lavarkha, Ringalgadh, Dhuttu, Ragad Gaon and Sarkhet, according to the officials. The affected residents have been shifted to schools and panchayat buildings, said Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Dhanolti, Lakshmi Raj Chauhan.

The Raipur-Kumalda motor road has been blocked due to debris at a number of places, he said. The Rishikesh-Badrinath highway is blocked at Totaghati, the Rishikesh-Gangotri highway is blocked at Nagni, and the Narendranagar-Ranipokhri motor road is blocked at several points, Chauhan said. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/cloudburst-in-dehradun-swollen-rivers-wash-away-bridges-8101756/  (20 Aug. 2022)

Bandal Valley After Cloudburst https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwkzcq0hzVA  (21 Aug. 2022) Cloud burst in Dehradun https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3u-cSaKUeE  (20 Aug. 2022)

The cloudburst occurred around 2:15 am in Sarkhet village in the Raipur area, the officials said. A bridge over the Song river near Thano was washed away. The Kempty Falls, a popular tourist spot near Mussoorie, was also flowing dangerously, they said.

An 80-year-old woman was trapped in the debris that entered a house in the Kirtinagar area of Tehri district. Mud entered homes in over a dozen villages following the cloudburst, prompting the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) to shift the affected people to safe locations. The affected villages include Maldevta, Bhutsi, Tauliyakatal, Thatyud, Lavarkha, Ringalgadh, Dhuttu, Ragad Gaon and Sarkhet, according to the officials. https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/dehradun-cloudburst-cloudburst-in-uttarakhands-dehradun-disaster-response-team-rushes-in-3270119  (20 Aug. 2022)  

डोईवाला-तेज बारिश के कारण फिर बहा रानीपोखरी वैकल्पिक मार्ग https://uttarakhandsamachar.com/doiwala-ranipokhari-alternate-route-again-due-to-heavy-rain/  (20 Aug. 2022) 

देहरादून-बादल फटने के बाद मालदेवता क्षेत्र में तबाही का मंजर। https://www.facebook.com/PahadTV/videos/638538064149156/?extid=WA-UNK-UNK-UNK-AN_GK0T-GK1C&ref=sharing  (20
Aug. 2022)

Himachal Pradesh 800-metre-long railway bridge on Chakki river The 800-metre-long railway bridge over the Chakki river on the border of Punjab and Himachal in Kangra district collapsed on Saturday (Aug. 20)  morning. Sources said a flash flood in the Chakki washed away the weakened pillar of the bridge.

The 90-year-old railway bridge was weakened following illegal mining in the riverbed. The railway authorities had repeatedly complained regarding the damage being caused to the bridge due to illegal mining. Last month, a pillar of the bridge had developed cracks after which the train services were suspended. Now the pillar has been washed away.

Meanwhile, with most of the rivers in spate in Kangra district, many roads have been blocked and damage caused to public and private infrastructure. Deputy Commissioner Nipun Jindal said water had entered the building of Rajiv Gandhi Engineering College in Nagorta Bagwan area after flash flood in the local rivulet. The building has been vacated. The students living in hostels have shifted to safer places, he said. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/railway-bridge-over-chakki-river-washed-away-train-services-to-kangra-to-remain-suspended-423558 ; https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/rly-bridge-on-chakki-rivulet-washed-away-423684  (21 Aug. 2022)

DC, Kangra, Nipun Jindal ordered a magisterial inquiry into the collapse of the Chakki railway bridge on the Pathankot-Jogindernagar narrow gauge track at Kandwal in Nurpur. The Railways had spent lakhs of rupees on the repair of the damaged pillars and the protection wall several times but failed to chalk out any plan to re-construct the over 90-year-old bridge. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/adm-to-probe-railway-bridge-collapse-423951  (22 Aug. 2022)

DC, Kangra, Nipun Jindal ordered a magisterial inquiry into the collapse of the Chakki railway bridge on the Pathankot-Jogindernagar narrow gauge track at Kandwal in Nurpur. The Tribune

The collapse of the 800-metre-long archaic railway bridge over Chakki rivulet is proving to be a blessing in disguise for city residents. The reason is that the six railway crossings falling on the 3.6-km stretch of narrow gauge track falling in the Municipal Corporation (MC) limits will no longer shut down consequently solving the decades old traffic problem in one stroke. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/chakki-rail-bridge-collapse-a-blessing-in-disguise-for-locals-423955  (22 Aug. 2022)

Illegal mining in Himachal: Deep digging in Chakki river threatens rail bridge https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/deep-digging-in-chakki-river-threatens-rail-bridge-415704  (26 July 2022)

Just 13 hours after the collapse of the Chakki railway bridge at Kandwal in Nurpur yesterday, the local administration has suspended traffic on the bridge on Pathankot-Mandi National Highway-154 late last night. The authorities concerned of Kangra and Pathankot, after reviewing the flash flood situation, decided to suspend traffic on this bridge too.

As per information, around five metres of two pillars of the bridge on the Punjab side had been exposed from the Chakki riverbed due to flash flood. Apart from this, a 15-metre high waterfall has formed after the railway bridge collapse and water, with pressure, is lashing the eroded pillars of the NH bridge. This bridge was opened on January 10, 2011, and, in a short span of just over 11 years, it has started facing the threat to its existence, thanks to the unabated illegal mining on the riverbed. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/chakki-bridge-on-national-highway-shut-to-traffic-423950  (22 Aug. 2022)

A cloudburst occurred in the China border and flooded Shalkar village in tribal Kinnaur district, but no loss of life was reported. A cloudburst occurred on Sunday (Aug. 15) evening that damaged apple orchards agricultural fields, said deputy commissioner Kinnaur Abid Hussain Sadiq. Three vehicles were also damaged, he said. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/himachal-pradesh-2-die-in-rain-related-incidents-cloudburst-near-china-border-101660548556583.html  (15 Aug. 2022)

Jammu & Kashmir 2 dead in cloudburst Two died due to a cloudburst in Ramban district. The national highway has been closed for vehicular traffic due to shooting stones and landslides at Ramban. As per the reports, Jammu-Srinagar NHW (NH-44) was blocked at Mehad, Cafeteria, and Ramban due to a mudslide. https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/two-dead-due-to-cloud-burst-national-highway-blocked-after-landslides-1986797-2022-08-11  (11 Aug. 2022) https://www.timesnownews.com/videos/times-now/india/cloudburst-triggers-flash-floods-in-ramban-weather-fury-in-jammu-and-kashmir-english-news-video-93498324

“Jammu-Srinagar (NH-44) was blocked at Cafeteria, Mehar, Ramban due to mudslides and shooting stones. Also, SSG road was blocked at Drass due to a cloud burst. However, Mughal road is through for vehicular movement,” Jammu and Kashmir Traffic police said. https://www.indiatoday.in/cities/srinagar/story/highway-blocked-vehicular-traffic-closed-due-to-landslides-in-jammu-srinagar-1988076-2022-08-15  (15 Aug. 2022)

Heavy rain since Thursday (July 28) morning threw normal life out of gear across the Jammu division where vehicular traffic along the Jammu-Srinagar national highway was suspended following landslides and authorities ordered closure of schools for the day in at least two districts.

Dozens of structures, including residential, were damaged across Jammu division while roads in various parts were inundated. A wooden bridge over the Marusuddar river connecting Choudraman village with Aafti – a tehsil headquarters in Warwan area of Kishtwar district, washed away in the flash floods caused by a cloud burst. However, no loss of life was reported in the incident. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/jammu/heavy-rain-affects-life-jammu-schools-remain-shut-2-districts-8057646/  (28 July 2022)

Flash flood triggered by possible cloudburst in the upper reaches occurred in Kullan area of Kangan in central Ganderbal district blocking the Srinagar-Leh highway for traffic. The flash flood in the nallah snaking through Shah Mohalla Kullan occurred early morning. Locals said that the floodwaters entered into a few nearby houses. However, there are no reports of any loss of life or damage to property. The flash floods also resulted in the closure of Srinagar-Leh highway near Kullan, due to which traffic remains suspended on both sides of the highway.

Meanwhile, the families who are living nearby localities where flash floods occurred have urged the district administration to construct a bridge at the place besides construction of a concrete protection wall alongside the nallah prone to flash floods. Atleast five residential houses besides a huge area of agricultural field suffered damage due to the flash floods caused by a cloud burst triggered by heavy rains in Kulan area of Kangan in Ganderbal district two years back. “We have been suffering from such damage for several years now. Whenever there are rains the nallah flowing alongside Shah Mohallah Kullan is flooded,” said Fayaz Ahmed, a local resident. https://www.greaterkashmir.com/todays-paper/front-page/flash-flood-hits-kullan-village-in-ganderbal  (05 July 2022)

A driver was killed after landslides triggered by cloudburst hit a truck and several shops in Mandi tehsil of Poonch district today. Report said about 200 meters away from main Bus Stand Mandi town, landslides after cloudburst damaged a truck and at least seven shops, leading to suspension of vehicular movement on Poonch- Mandi road for hours today. The truck was parked at a shop and was being unloaded when debris hit it and driver got stuck in the vehicle’s cabin. https://www.dailyexcelsior.com/driver-dies-truck-7-shops-damaged-in-cloudburst/   (20 June 2022)


Opinion Stepping back from an ecological abyss There is a need to balance India’s developmental needs with the sustenance of its ecological foundations Ashish Kothari, Kalpavriksh, Pune. https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/stepping-back-from-an-ecological-abyss/article65775800.ece  (17 Aug. 2022)


Bangladesh Illegally Removing Stones from Streams The illegal removal of stones from rivers in the Bandarban region of Bangladesh is resulting in water shortages for local indigenous communities who depend on the rivers for their livelihood. https://earthjournalism.net/stories/development-projects-are-illegally-removing-stones-from-streams-in-bandarban-bangladesh  (04 Aug. 2022)


Receding Yangtze reveals ancient Buddhist statues Plunging water levels of the Yangtze River have revealed a submerged island in China’s southwestern city of Chongqing and a trio of Buddhist statues on it that are believed to be 600 years old, state media Xinhua has reported. The three statues were found on the highest part of the island reef called Foyeliang, initially identified as built during the Ming and Qing dynasties. The Yangtze’s water levels have been falling rapidly due to a drought and a heatwave in China’s southwestern region.  https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/receding-water-levels-chinas-yangtze-reveal-ancient-buddhist-statues-2022-08-20/  (20 Aug. 2022)

A once submerged Buddhist statue sits on top of Foyeliang island reef in the Yangtze river, which appeared after water levels fell due to a regional drought in Chongqing, China, August 20, 2022. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

Factories in China’s southwest have shut down after reservoirs used to generate hydropower ran low in a worsening drought, adding to economic strains at a time when President Xi Jinping is trying to extend his position in power. China faced similar strains last year when the southeastern province of Guangdong, one of the world’s most important manufacturing centres, ordered factories to shut down after hydropower reservoirs ran low due to sparse rain. https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2022/8/17/chinese-factories-close-as-drought-hits-hydropower  (17 Aug. 2022)


Study projects dramatic losses of freshwater storage in parts of Asia The Tibetan Plateau, known as the “water tower” of Asia, supplies freshwater for nearly 2 billion people who live downstream. New research led by scientists at Penn State, Tsinghua University and the University of Texas at Austin projects that climate change, under a scenario of weak climate policy, will cause irreversible declines in freshwater storage in the region, constituting a serious threat to the water supply for central Asia, Afghanistan, Northern India, Kashmir and Pakistan by the middle of the century.

– Michael Mann, distinguished professor of atmospheric science at Penn State said, “In a ‘business as usual’ scenario, where we fail to meaningfully curtail fossil fuel burning in the decades ahead, we can expect a substantial — that is, nearly 100% loss — of water availability to downstream regions of the Tibetan Plateau. I was surprised at just how large the predicted decrease is even under a scenario of modest climate policy.” According to the researchers, despite its importance, the impacts of climate change on past and future terrestrial water storage (TWS) — which includes all the above- and below-ground water — in the Tibetan Plateau have largely been underexplored.

– The team used ‘top-down’ — or satellite-based — and ‘bottom-up’ — or ground-based — measurements of water mass in glaciers, lakes and below-ground sources, combined with machine-learning techniques to provide a benchmark of observed TWS changes over the past two decades (2002 to 2020) and projections over the next four decades (2021 to 2060).

– Among their results, which published in the journal Nature Climate Change, the team found that climate change in recent decades has led to severe depletion in TWS (-15.8 gigatons/year) in certain areas of the Tibetan Plateau and substantial increases in TWS (5.6 gigatons/year) in others, likely due to the competing effects of glacier retreat, degradation of seasonally frozen ground, and lake expansion. The team’s projections for future TWS under a moderate carbon emissions scenario — specifically, the mid-range SSP2-4.5 emissions scenario — suggest that the entire Tibetan Plateau could experience a net loss of about 230 gigatons by the mid-21st century (2031 to 2060) relative to an early 21st century (2002 to 2030) baseline. More specifically, excess water loss projections for the Amu Darya basin — which supplies water to central Asia and Afghanistan — and the Indus basin — which supplies water to Northern India, Kashmir and Pakistan — indicate a decline of 119% and 79% in water-supply capacity, respectively. https://www.ecodebate.com.br/2022/08/21/study-projects-dramatic-losses-of-freshwater-storage-in-parts-of-asia/ 

Climate change threatens terrestrial water storage over the Tibetan Plateau Abstract:- Terrestrial water storage (TWS) over the Tibetan Plateau, a major global water tower, is crucial in determining water transport and availability to a large downstream Asian population. Climate change impacts on historical and future TWS changes, however, are not well quantified. Here we used bottom-up and top-down approaches to quantify a significant TWS decrease (10.2 Gt yr–1) over the Tibetan Plateau in recent decades (2002–2017), reflecting competing effects of glacier retreat, lake expansion and subsurface water loss. Despite the weakened trends in projected TWS, it shows large declines under a mid-range carbon emissions scenario by the mid-twenty-first century. Excess water-loss projections for the Amu Darya and Indus basins present a critical water resource threat, indicating declines of 119% and 79% in water-supply capacity, respectively. Our study highlights these two hotspots as being at risk from climate change, informing adaptation strategies for these highly vulnerable regions. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-022-01443-0  (15 Aug. 2022)

Climate and water in the upper Indus basin: An urgent new research agenda (policy brief, July 2022) https://lib.icimod.org/record/35948 


EUROPEAN RIVERS SUMMIT 3rd European Rivers Summit in Brussels, Belgium from 29 September to 1 October.

The European Rivers Summit aims to inspire a movement of connected citizens in Europe to protect and restore European rivers, fight new dams and remove obsolete barriers. Healthy rivers are essential to delivering the European Green Deal and we aim to connect river champions around Europe to policy-makers in Brussels, with a two-day conference plus a third day to visit a river restoration site.

The event will inform attendees on the most important policy issues, big ideas and latest science around healthy rivers, and engage directly with Brussels as the home of the European Commission and Parliament in defending healthy rivers for people across Europe. We will also explore the power of communicating about rivers in film and art and see the transformative power of restoring urban rivers. https://riverssummit.org/ 

Rare golden algae may have caused fish deaths in Oder River, says minister Rare micro-organisms known as golden algae could be the cause of a mass die-off of fish in the Oder River that has puzzled scientists for days, Poland’s environment minister has suggested. “After further investigations, the Institute of Inland Fisheries in Olsztyn has found rare microorganisms, so-called golden algae, in water samples from the Oder River,” Anna Moskwa said on Thursday (Aug. 18). The algal bloom could cause the appearance of toxins that killed fish and clams but were not considered harmful to humans, she said.

German municipalities banned bathing and fishing in the Oder after masses of dead fish and molluscs were found floating on the water surface and washed up on the banks of the 520-mile (840km) river, which runs from the Czech Republic to the Baltic Sea along the border between Germany and Poland. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/aug/19/rare-golden-algae-may-have-caused-fish-deaths-in-oder-river-says-minister  (19 Aug. 2022)


Report The world’s rivers are drying up from extreme weather  A painful lack of rain and relentless heat waves are drying up rivers in the US, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Many are shrinking in length and breadth. Patches of riverbed poking out above the water are a common sight. Some rivers are so desiccated, they have become virtually impassable.

The human-caused climate crisis is fueling extreme weather across the globe, which isn’t just impacting rivers, but also the people who rely on them. Most people on the planet depend on rivers in some way, whether for drinking water, to irrigate food, for energy or to ship goods. https://edition.cnn.com/2022/08/20/world/rivers-lakes-drying-up-drought-climate-cmd-intl/index.html  (20 Aug. 2022)

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

Also see: DRP News Bulletin 15 Aug. 2022 & DRP News Bulletin 08 Aug 2022  

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

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