(Feature Image: Sardar Sarovar Dam on Narmada river. Source: Central Water Commission 30.08.2022)
As this article on corruption in large dams in India shows, it is open secret that large dams involve massive corruption, kickbacks and political funding. But the politicians from PM downwards across the party lines have understandably no interest in this issue.
But unfortunately, the large dams-corruption is not limited to politicians. The corruption in various forms plague even the media Mughals like Swaminathan Ankalesaria Aiyer and Shekhar Gupta, both known for their fundamentalist pro dam views. They too have no interest in corruption in large dams. In fact some of them have no qualms accepting sponsorships of dam contractors for their media awards! They are however, ever ready to criticize Narmada Bachao Andolan and Medha Patkar, though they have no clue about the issues they are talking about and keep using some flawed study whose reply (by Nandini Oza and Shripad Dharmadhikary) is already out in public domain. It is interesting that they have launched this fresh attack on dam critics just when Gujarat Chief Minister and country’s Home Minister have also launched attack on the NBA. Neither Gujarat CM, PM or HM is replying as to why Kutch, the main justification for Gujarat getting disproportionate share of Narmada waters, were the last to get their share of the water (even now not fully as the canal distribution system is still incomplete), almost two decades after the water rich Central Gujarat started getting Narmada waters. Nor are the pro dam media Mughals bothered about this.
In fact, if they have so much faith in their case, let them institute a truly independent, comprehensive post facto review of SSP, to understand available options, projected costs, benefits and impacts and real costs, benefits and impacts. The only independent review of the project so far, instituted by the World Bank and in which Gujarat and all the states and central government participated have gone against the project. But the media Mughals have a steep learning curve in front of them, that is if they are really interested.
Report India must focus on dam projects to fight corruption In his eighth Independence Day speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort on August 15, 2022, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi underlined the need to fight against corruption and nepotism. However, during the speech, the prime minister did not speak about one sphere that remains dogged by corruption and scams – dams and hydroelectricity projects. Karam dam disaster of MP is the latest example.
– But why was the Karam project given to ANS Construction, whose license was suspended and cancelled by the Madhya Pradesh government in 2016-17 because of indulging in corrupt means? The work on the dam was allotted to ANS at Rs 113 crore. The firm in turn hired Sarthi as a sub-contractor, at less than Rs 100 crore, to complete the work.
– In 2021, the state government informed the assembly that the dam was one of the projects under investigation by the Economic Offence Wing because of corruption charges in the e-tender process. A Congress party leader alleged that Sarthi construction is owned by a friend of a senior leader from the BJP. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Jaswinder Singh alleged that after a scam was identified in the tender process, the Enforcement Directorate accused the company of paying Rs 93 crore as bribe money. https://thewire.in/politics/if-india-is-to-fight-corruption-the-focus-must-be-on-dam-projects (By Amit Ranjan, 31 Aug. 2022)
Sardar Sarovar Dam Shekhar Gupta, like Swami, is a rabidly pro dam fundamentalist. If they have the guts, institute a truly independent, confidence inspiring review of the project including available options and if SSP was the least cost option. They won’t do it.
The Only independent review of the project, instituted by the World Bank, and in which Govt of India and Govt of Gujarat fully participated, had gone totally against the project. But Swami, Shekhar and company cannot digest it. The study that Swamy and Shekhar quote is flawed. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/blogs/Swaminomics/medha-patkar-was-wrong-on-narmada-project/ (04 Sept. 2022)
Bharat Dogra writes to educate Shekhar, Swamy and Company: https://countercurrents.org/2022/09/comprehensive-unbiased-evaluation-of-dam-impacts-can-help-to-avoid-serious-mistakes/ (04 Sept. 2022)
Shripad Dharmadhikary:- This piece in TOI today is a rehash of an old, flawed, study by Aiyar. Used in 2017, in TOI glorifying the project, on eve of Modi “inaugurating” it. 2019, he wrote in EPW. https://www.epw.in/journal/2019/12/special-articles/are-resettled-oustees-sardar-sarovar-dam-project-.html (22 March 2019) Nandini K Oza and I exposed the flaws in our responses. https://www.epw.in/journal/2019/44/discussion/resettled-oustees-narmada-valley.html (10 Nov. 2019) Now again he puts it out in 2022. Talk about recycling https://twitter.com/ShripadManthan/status/1566300270472368130?s=20&t=wD8naBusxCAAtQ-L7X07gQ (04 Sept. 2022)
Nandini Oza:- Swaminathan Aiyer and Shekhar Gupta listen to the priorities of adivasi women forcibly displaced by Narmada Dam. It is water, fuel, grazing lands, forests, closeness to community before motorcycles and tractors. https://oralhistorynarmada.in/impact-of-submergence-and-displacement/champaben-tadvi/; https://oralhistorynarmada.in/impact-of-submergence-and-displacement/ushaben-tadvi-short-clip/ ; https://twitter.com/OzaNandini/status/1566599843367501824?s=20&t=oeUCvhNu-RB3FbLzIMFpgw (05 Sept. 2022)
Col Pavan Nair:- The thread is a response to Swaminathan Aiyar’s piece below on the Narmada project. It is authored by Maj Gen SG Vombatkere, a gandhian who has lived and worked with Project Affected Families (PAFs) in the Narmada Valley. http://www.mainstreamweekly.net/article6663.html (09 Sept. 2016)
This article contains half-truths and distortions of fact, and is the view of a person who has not spent time with Project Affected Families (PAFs), and is ignorant or unmindful of the effects of social dislocation and individual trauma caused by forced displacement, including having to beg corrupt Govt officials to include their names in the list of PAFs. After a prolonged (and exhausting) legal fight by Narmada Bachao Andolan against successive Govts in Centre & the States, it was the Supreme Court which awarded 5-acres as land-for-land compensation, NOT ANY GOVERNMENT. Even this award was implemented fully only by the Maharastra govt, but *not* by the MP govt, and *not* by the Gujarat govt.
Again the struggle continued for 10 years more, to get the land, and finally, the Supreme Court directed compensation of Rs.60-lakh instead of 5-acres, when the MP and Gujarat State govts failed to allot land. BTW, compensation by law is entitled only to land-owners and owners of *pucca* buildings. The majority of PAFs either do not own such property or cannot produce title documents, and got zero compensation … but who cares about them? Surely not the writer, who is ignorant of this PAFs are receiving this cash compensation since the past two years, and many thousands are left out in the list of PAFs, due to a combination of corruption, inefficiency & apathy among State govt officials.
According to the writer himself, an amount of Rs 60-lakhs can purchase 2-acres, *not* the 5-acres that entitled PAFs were to receive by Supreme Court’s order. Further, as per the purpose of the dam, farmers in Kutch & Gujarat do not get the quantity of water for which the dam was planned & built, because Govt has diverted the lion’s share of water to corporates (and even to making Sabarmati river “to flow”), and the people of Kutch are yet to get the promised water. https://twitter.com/pavannair/status/1566441360676241413?s=20&t=oeUCvhNu-RB3FbLzIMFpgw (04 Sept. 2022)
Prof Lyla Mehta:- Narmada project revisionism by mainstream journalists. Maybe millions have benefitted, but how many millions have been left out? Couldn’t drinking water have reached Kutch & Saurashtra through other alternative means that were less socially & environmentally damaging?
Most irrigated water has benefitted the urban-industrial complex in Gujarat, incl. Ahmedabad. Based on research (my & other), clearly the project has not alleviated drought in Kutch as promised. And since when is the possession of cell phones & motorcycles a sign of development?
Check out Shripad and Nandini’s rejoinder to Aiyar were among the 1st to focus on the need to give voice to the marginalised & question the unequal spread of costs & benefits as well as top-down models of growth that only focus on monetary value. Given high inequalities in Gujarat, growing poverty & poor human development indicators, this kind of thinking is not a far left ‘block everything’ but more relevant than ever. https://twitter.com/Lylamehta/status/1566479723806527488?s=20&t=oeUCvhNu-RB3FbLzIMFpgw (04 Sept. 2022)
HYDRO POWER PROJECTS
Uttarakhand ASI Flags use of Village as Dumping Site of Power Project The World Bank has agreed to look into the grievances of people of Haat Village after an ASI report reinforced their claim that muck will destroy the Lakshmi Narayan Temple. https://www.newsclick.in/ASI-Flags-Uttarakhand-Village-Dumping-Site-Power-Project (31 Aig/ 2022)
Obituary:- Prominent social scientist S. Parasuraman passes away. https://frontline.thehindu.com/news/prominent-social-scientist-s-parasuraman-passes-away/article65840458.ece (02 Sept. 2022) Prof S Parasuraman expanded the nature, reach, and worldview of Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai. He headed TISS from 2004 to 2018. He died on September 2 at 70 after battling illness for about a year. He will be missed. Salutes and condolences. https://frontline.thehindu.com/news/prominent-social-scientist-s-parasuraman-passes-away/article65840458.ece (05 Sept. 2022)
Kaleshwaram Project Telangana paying interest up to 10.9% on loan for Kaleshwaram project: FM Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said here on Saturday (Sept. 03) that the Telangana government was servicing its debt on Kaleshwaram lift irrigation project by paying interest in the range of 8.25 to 10.9% per annum. Quoting an RTI reply on debt servicing for the multi-crore project, Ms. Sitharaman asked at a media conference whether such a high interest rate was sustainable. Even the cost of running the water pumps of the motors was not sustainable. The State government grounded the project without preparing the detailed project report. This escalated the project cost from ₹40,000 crore to ₹1.40 lakh crore, she said. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/telangana-paying-interest-up-to-109-on-loan-for-kaleshwaram-project-sitharaman/article65846094.ece (03 Sept. 2022)
Mullaperiyar Dam Rule Curve for Mullaperiyar Though Tamil Nadu Government delayed it (Rule Curve for Mullaperiyar dam) with various reasons, it prepared the draft Rule Curve for the reservoir in consultation with Hydrology Wing of the Central Water Commission. And it was first implemented in October 2021. The upper limit of the water level has been fixed for every block period of 10 days of each month based on 35 years of data on water inflow and irrigation pattern. It has been fixed between 136 feet starting June 10 to 142 feet in September 20. Then again, the upper limit is reduced from September 30 and then gradually raised to the maximum permissible level of 142 feet by November 30. As a result of implementation of the Rule Curve, Tamil Nadu will have to keep the water level below the permitted maximum level of 142 feet for 150 days in a year, the period when the dam gets heavy inflows. In contrast to general fact that the width of rivers widen as they progress towards the sea, the width of Vaigai river shrinks in Ramanathapuram district as it goes closer to the Bay of Bengal. [The article has not been clearly written and seems to have some errors like claiming this is the first dam of India to have rule curve etc.] https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/explained-rule-curve-for-mullaperiyar/article65836798.ece (01 Sept. 2022)
Madhya Pradesh Stop dam of Dudhiya creating problems for other villages The Narayani stop dam built to benefit the residents of Dudhiya village under the tenure of MLA Jitendra Gehlot is creating problems for the villagers residing in other villages around Dudhiya. Due to the dam, the stopped water has started accumulating in the agricultural fields and destroying crops. Farmers have to bear this economic loss and the roads of many villages are also blocked because of the water and farmers have to take a longer path to reach their destinations. Villagers have time and again contacted many ministers but nothing has changed. https://www.freepressjournal.in/indore/alot-stop-dam-of-dudhiya-creating-problems-for-other-villages (03 Sept. 2022)
INTERLINKING OF RIVERS
Ken-Betwa Linking According to this Hindi report, the tenders for the Ken Betwa dam could be floated by Oct end. Before that, the revenue compensatory land is to be converted to forest land, and before that survey and resettlement of the affected people is to happen. The Project does not have final forest clearance, its wildlife clearance is seriously flawed as per CEC report before the Supreme Court and Env Clearance is under challenge before NGT, but the media is no bothered about any of these. https://www.naidunia.com/madhya-pradesh/bhopal-tender-will-be-issued-soon-for-the-proposed-dam-construction-in-chhatarpur-district-7795514 (01 Sept. 2022)
INTERSTATE WATER DISPUTES
Amit Shah asks southern states to explore joint solution for water dispute Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday (Sept. 03) urged southern states to explore joint solution for river water sharing issues. In his address at the 30th southern zonal council meet and attended by CMs and LGs of southern states and union territories, he also asked Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to mutually resolve their pending issues, an official release here said. https://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/amit-shah-asks-southern-states-to-explore-joint-solution-for-water-dispute-122090300746_1.html (03 Sept. 2022)
Study Limited influence of irrigation on pre-monsoon heat stress in the Indo-Gangetic Plain Roshan Jha, Arpita Mondal, Anjana Devanand, M. K. Roxy & Subimal Ghosh Abstract:- This study highlights the need to consider actual irrigation data in testing model-driven hypotheses related to the land-atmosphere feedback driven by human water management. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-022-31962-5 (25 July 2022)
Tamil Nadu Govt negotiating with farmers over Azhiyar water project: KN Nehru Following opposition from farmers over the Azhiyar integrated drinking water project, the government is negotiating with them as well as conducting special studies on the feasibility of bringing Cauvery water permanently, said Municipal Administration Minister KN Nehru after a special review meeting held in Dindigul on Saturday (Sept. 03).
He added that special orders have been issued for a new integrated drinking water project from Azhiyar Dam at an outlay of Rs 930 crore to 502 rural settlements under Ottansathiram Municipality in Dindigul District, Keeranur and Neikkarapatti Municipalities, 502 rural settlements in Oddanchatram, Thoppampatti, Palani Unions, Udumalaipettai and Madathukulam Unions of Tirupur District. He also elaborated on various schemes which are currently underway in Dindigul and Theni districts for providing drinking water for the people. During the review meeting held in Madurai, K N Nehru stated that the CM has ordered various development projects worth Rs 358 crore for drinking water supply projects in the financial year 2022-23. https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/tamil-nadu/2022/sep/04/govt-negotiating-with-farmers-overazhiyar-water-projectkn-nehru-2494643.html (04 Sept. 2022)
Review Restless river promotes dialogue on rivers ‘The Restless River: Yarlung Tsangpo-Siang-Brahmaputra-Jamuna’ has a wealth of facts to support the need for constructive discussion, but few people will get past the numbers to the important recommendations. https://www.thethirdpole.net/en/regional-cooperation/review-data-centred-world-bank-report-promotes-dialogue-on-rivers/ (30 Aug. 2022)
Chhattisgarh FLY ASH को नदी–नाले में फेंक रहे हैं उद्योगपति प्रदेश के जिन इलाकों में बिजली के कारखाने संचालित हैं, वहां के लोग प्रदूषण की भारी मार झेल रहे हैं। आलम ये है कि उद्योगपति बिना राखड़ बांध (ASH DYKE) के बिजली कारखाना चला रहे हैं, और उनके यहां से निकलने वाली रख को कहीं भी फेंक रहे हैं। ऐसा ही नजारा इन दिनों रायगढ़ जिले में देखने को मिल रहा है जहां प्रदूषण के खिलाफ NGT में प्रकरण होने के बावजूद कारखानों की राख यहां-वहां फेंकी जा रही है, जिससे यहां की जीवनदायिनी केलो नदी भी प्रदूषित हो रही है।
रायगढ़ जिले में दर्जनों कोयला आधारित बिजली के कारखाने संचालित हैं। ये कारखाने उत्पादित बिजली या तो सरकार को देते हैं या अपने यहां संचालित दूसरे कारखानों के लिए बिजली पैदा करते हैं। जिले के तमनार विकासखंड के ग्राम कसडोल में घंटेश्वरी मन्दिर के किनारे बेतरतीब ढंग से डाला गया फ्लाई ऐश सीधे केलो नदी के पानी में बह कर जा रहा है। इलाके के 14 गांव एवं रायगढ़ शहर की 5 लाख जनता निस्तार के लिए केलो नदी पर निर्भर है और इसका जल एक बार फिर राख से प्रदूषित हो रहा है, वहीं दूसरी ओर पर्यावरण संरक्षण मंडल रायगढ़ नींद में सो रहा है और कार्यवाही के नाम पर केवल जुर्माना वसूल रहा है। https://theruralpress.in/2022/08/31/industrialists-are-throwing-fly-ash-from-power-factories-in-the-open/ (31 Aug. 2022)
साल 2013 में बिलासपुर नगर निगम ने चिल्हाटी में 17 एमएलडी क्षमता के सीवेज ट्रीटमेंट प्लांट की शुरुआत कर छत्तीसगढ़ में सर्वप्रथम एसटीपी लगाने का श्रेय भले ही हासिल कर लिया, पर गंदे पानी के फिर से उपयोग करने के मामले में रायपुर एक कदम आगे निकल गया है। रायपुर में नाले के पानी की सफाई कर उसे तालाब में भरने का काम दो जगहों पर चल रहा है। वहीं बिलासपुर में एक तालाब को भरने के लिए गंदे पानी का उपयोग किया जा रहा है। नेशनल ग्रीन ट्रिब्यूनल के आदेश पर केंद्रीय शहरी विकास मंत्रालय ने निकायों को गंदे पानी के दोबारा उपयोग को बढ़ावा देने कहा है। https://www.bhaskar.com/local/chhattisgarh/bilaspur/news/raipur-ahead-in-cleaning-and-reusing-dirty-water-bilaspur-second-mou-in-korba-129499726.html (March 2022)
GANGA Uttarakhand HC Directs Immediate Removal of Encroachments Over Riverbeds The High Court has expressed severe dismay over the continuous encroachments of river beds in Dehradun and tacit involvement and support of the authorities concerned.
A Division Bench of Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Ramesh Chandra Khulbe, while passing order for immediate removal of encroachments observed: “We are dismayed to see the current state of affairs prevailing in the State with regard to the encroachment on forest land, water ways and public land. It appears that it is a free for all, and anybody can encroach on any part of the land falling within the State – even on forest lands, and get away with it.” Hope the HC ensures implementation of the order in a time bound manner. https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/uttarakhand-high-court-river-beds-encroachment-dehradun-immediate-removal-208293 (03 Sept. 2022)
Allahabad HC on Ganga Pollution in UP and what has the NMCG and UP govt been doing. https://zeenews.india.com/hindi/india/up-uttarakhand/uttar-pradesh/allahabad-high-court-angry-over-river-ganga-pollution-even-after-spending-money-in-namami-gange-project-upns/1329464 (31 Aug. 2022)
Varanasi Who’s the M behind ghat flood?
Flooding of Varanasi ghats in 2022 SW MOnsoon, when the monsoon was not even very strong in Eastern UP. What will be the situation when monsoon is normal or above normal? https://www.telegraphindia.com/india/varanasi-whos-the-m-behind-ghat-flood/cid/1883558 (31 Aug. 2022)
Life Along the Ganges Harry Fisch Contrary to the myth that nothing interesting happens next to the water, Varanasi is one of the oldest living cities in the world. https://maptia.com/harryfisch/stories/varanasi
Haridwar No idol immersion to be allowed in Ganga during festival The district administration has directed municipal corporation to earmark and make temporary idol immersion points, artificial lakes, ponds, ramps in the civic periphery for Ganesh Utsav. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/others/ganesh-chaturthi-2022-no-idol-immersion-to-be-allowed-in-ganga-during-festival-101661342236942.html (24 Aug. 2022)
YAMUNA Delhi NGT questions officials’ failure to clean up River NGT has sought an explanation from the chief secretaries of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana on the worsening condition of the Yamuna flowing through the capital. Saying that despite its earlier order, there was “utter lack of adequate action and monitoring by higher authorities”, NGT asked Delhi’s chief secretary to explain “why coercive and penal measures should be not taken in fixing accountability for such blatant failure to protect the water quality” of Yamuna.
– “The present application depicts a grim situation calling for further intervention of this tribunal. The chief secretary of Delhi is required to ascertain the latest factual position and give his report by email within two months with explanation why coercive and penal measures be not taken in terms of fixing accountability for such blatant failure of the authorities in protecting the water quality of river Yamuna, which is tributary of Ganga, by preventing discharge of pollution,” the NGT bench said, adding, “It may also be necessary to seek similar reports from Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. The reports of the chief secretaries may be in a consolidated manner in the light of interdepartmental review and ground realities.” The bench added that the central monitoring committee constituted earlier by NGT and headed by the secretary of the Union Jal Shakti ministry, also including members of the National Mission for Clean Ganga and Central Pollution Control Board, should file an action taken report with its recommendations within one month. The matter has been relisted for hearing on November 4. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/muck-stops-where-ngt-questions-officials-failure-to-clean-up-river/articleshow/93936059.cms (02 Sept. 2022)
The bench, headed by NGT chairperson Adarsh Kumar Goel, in an order passed on August 31, 2022, said, “How the continuing loss to the environment and public health should be ignored is beyond anyone’s comprehension. It is shocking to note the data relating to the water quality of river Yamuna and the pollution load posted by DPCC on its website depicting that drains remain un-trapped even after a year of the last order. This shows an utter lack of adequate action and monitoring by higher authorities. https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/yamuna-pollution-utter-lack-of-action-says-green-court-ngt-seeks-reports-from-delhi-haryana-up-3304362 (02 Sept. 2022)
Yamuna dirtier despite better flow of water The pollution in the Yamuna’s water soared in August despite an increase in its volume and a better flow to clean the river, according to Delhi Pollution Control Committee’s quality assessment report. The report shows only a marginal improvement in the faecal coliform level, which was 270 times the maximum permissible limit by the time the river exited the city. The dissolved oxygen (DO) status of the river at the exit point was determined to be nil and the biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) 75 mg/l, which is 25 times the safe limit.
According to the experts, while it takes a few days for the fresh flow to clean a river, the high pollution level in the river can be attributed to the additional pollutants flowing in from Haryana. “It takes some time for the river to clean up so when the excess water is released upstream. There is a lot of pollution left and the additional flow takes some time to clean the river entirely,” explained environmentalist Manoj Mishra. “However, it could also be the case that the water being released upstream from Haryana was polluted too because a large volume of effluent is discharged in that state.” https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/-no-cheer-on-river-front-yamuna-dirtier-despite-better-flow-of-water/articleshow/93889312.cms (31 Aug. 2022)
₹50K Penalty For Immersing Idols The Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) has asked district magistrates to ensure idols are not immersed in the Yamuna or any other water body in the national capital during this year’s Ganeshotva and Durga puja. Violations are punishable with a fine of ₹ 50,000 or a jail term of up to six years, it said in an order issued Monday. DPCC has also asked urban local bodies to create artificial ponds in the proximity of residential areas for idol immersion. The Delhi Police has been directed to check the entry of vehicles carrying plaster of paris (POP) idols into the city. Ganesh Chaturthi will be celebrated on August 31 and immersion is on September 9. Though the National Green Tribunal banned idol immersion in the Yamuna in 2015, the Delhi government issued directions in this regard for the first time in 2019. https://www.ndtv.com/delhi-news/rs-50-000-penalty-for-immersing-idols-in-yamuna-other-delhi-water-bodies-3300199 (30 Aug. 2022)
DPCC on Friday (Sept. 02) prohibited immersion of POP-based idols in water bodies for Ganesh Utsav, Durga Puja, and other upcoming festivals. It has also issued several guidelines for the citizens, idol makers and sellers, and the civic agencies regarding control of pollution during the festive season. https://www.daijiworld.com/news/newsDisplay?newsID=995946 (03 Sept. 2022)
Noida Another monsoon season is passing away without any flood spell in Hindon to flush out worsening pollution level but concerned agencies have not failed in knowingly allowing discharge of toxic industrial waste in the river which has become a routine affair over a decade adversely affecting aquatic life, villagers’ health and polluting Yamuna river, groundwater table in the area. Video 30.08.2022 by a Momnathal villager. https://twitter.com/Indian_Rivers/status/1564997862752014337?s=20&t=sjkMma6bgOVx4TgALk0yZA (31 Aug. 2022)
Punjab Indus dolphin added to list of endangered species The aquatic mammal has been included in Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. The Department of Forest and Wildlife Preservation had been pushing the case of Indus river dolphin, which was discovered in Harike and the lower Beas river system in 2007. Earlier, it was believed that Indus River Dolphin had become extinct in India, for it was not sighted for a long period.
Indus river dolphin (platanista gangetica minor) was thought to be a subspecies of Ganges dolphin (platanista gangetica gangetica). However, recent scientific studies have established that Indus river dolphin is a separate species with the name “platanista minor”. A comprehensive survey and population estimation carried out by the department in partnership with the WWF India put the number of Indus dolphins at seven to nine. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/indus-dolphin-added-to-list-of-endangered-species-426580 (30 Aug. 2022)
FISH, FISHERIES, FISHERFOLKS
Study Global warming will lead to a six-fold increase in the frequency of fish mortality events by 2100, according to a recent study. These die-offs may have detrimental effects on the functioning of our ecosystem, warned the study published in Limnology and Oceanography Letters August 26, 2022. It can also imperil the existing fish populations and food security thereof. The researchers compiled 526 documented fish die-offs acrosslakes in the American states of Minnesota and Wisconsin between 2003 and 2013. https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/climate-change/global-warming-is-real-research-predicts-6-fold-rise-in-fish-mass-die-offs-by-2100-84600 (29 Aug. 2022)
Himachal Pradesh 30 stranded after flash floods in Chakki rescued This attempt to change the course of Chakki river along HP-Punjab (Pathankot-Mandi) NH 154 to save the NH pillar from further erosion could pose fresh flood threats along the river. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/30-stranded-after-flash-floods-in-chakki-rescued-426604 (30 Aug. 2022)
There is risk of Ravi river changing course, poses a security risk in border areas, due to illegal sand mining. https://www.dainiktribuneonline.com/news/punjab/high-court-bans-mining-in-ravi-in-pathankot-and-gurdaspur-115661 (29 Aug. 2022)
High Court Stays mining along Ravi river in Pathankot and Gurdaspur districts of Punjab. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/hc-bans-mining-across-ravi-in-pathankot-gurdaspur-426632 (30 Aug. 2022) https://www.amarujala.com/chandigarh/high-court-stay-on-mining-near-international-border-in-gurdaspur-and-pathankot ; https://www.jagran.com/punjab/chandigarh-high-court-bans-mining-in-pathankot-and-gurdaspur-23023345.html (29 Aug. 2022)
In Himachal, SDMs are given more powers to control illegal mining. This is possibly following NGT directions, but will it help? Why local communities have no role? https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/deep-nexus-sdms-get-more-teeth-to-check-mining-in-himachal-pradesh-426931 (31 Aug. 2022)
Punjab Drive against illegal mining yields results in Pathankot The month-long concerted drive launched by the Pathankot police has yielded impressive results with the cops registering 14 FIRs against 41 offenders. The police have arrested 19 accused, while a hunt is on for others. Several trucks and mining equipment have also been seized during the drive. The drive started on July 27 following complaints that several groups of people enjoying political patronage were excavating sand and gravel from the Ravi river and two of its tributaries — Chakki and Ujh — at different sites.
The cops had come under sustained pressure from residents when the Chakki railway bridge collapsed on August 21. The drive was already underway then, but following the rail tragedy the police intensified its efforts and came down heavily on unauthorised excavation. Excavation, both daytime and night time, has been banned by the government from July 1 to September 30 due to the monsoon season. The SSP disclosed that on many earlier occasions the cops had the miners on the run, but in a majority of cases the accused would secure anticipatory bail and consequently would roam freely. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/amritsar/drive-against-illegal-mining-yields-results-in-pathankot-426411 (29 Aug. 2022)
2 nabbed for selling over 500 acres of shamlat land in Mohali The Vigilance Bureau (VB) arrested Parveen Kumar and Veer Singh of Kona village, Panchkula. They have been accused of tampering with revenue records of mutation (intkal) of approximately 558 acres (4,464 kanals) of village common land at Majrian village in SAS Nagar district. The duo had taken help from officials of the Revenue Department. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/two-nabbed-for-selling-over-500-acres-of-shamlat-land-in-mohali-427651 (02 Sept. 2022)
Odisha NGT slaps hefty fine for sand mining in Budhabalanga The NGT has cracked the whip on sand mining in the Budhabalanga river bed in Mayurbhanj district, imposing hefty fines totalling over ₹36 crore in three separate cases — among the highest penalties imposed on individuals in a case involving minor minerals, such as sand, in the State.. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/ngt-slaps-hefty-fine-for-sand-mining-in-odishas-budhabalanga-river-bed/article65836516.ece (01 Sept. 2022)
The OPCB, which inspected the sand mining, reported that the excessive mining changed the natural river flow of river water through random and mechanical sand mining. It said mining occurred beyond lease area, without maintaining the safety zone and distance from the river bridge.
Noted environmental activist Prafulla Samantra said the NGT order on illegal sand mining from the riverbeds of the state would undercut and collapse river banks and lead to upstream erosion as well as downstream erosion. “Excessive mining would lead to increased carrying capacity of the stream, resulting in the destruction of aquatic and riparian habitat through large changes in the river morphology. Continued extraction may also cause the entire streambed to degrade to the depth of excavation,” said Samantra. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/others/odisha-ngt-imposes-36-cr-penalty-on-two-persons-for-illegal-sand-mining-101662100242466.html (02 Sept. 2022)
NGT halts sand mining on Brahmani river bed The NGT on Friday (Aug. 26) ordered a halt to sand mining operations on the Brahmani river bed in Dharmasala block until a study report of the annual replenishment rate of sand is available with the Jajpur Collector. Alok Malik and three others of the locality had filed the petition in 2021 alleging the use of a mechanical excavator by a private lessee for carrying out sand mining even during monsoon on Brahmani river sand bed in Dharmasala block. https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/odisha/2022/aug/27/odisha-ngt-halts-sand-mining-on-brahmani-river-bed-2491933.html (27 Aug. 2022)
Edit Why sand mining in Chambal is not right While the area opened for sand mining is around half a per cent of NCWS’s total size, the decision could, environmentalists fear, effectively legalise illegal sand mining. In addition, various lobbies may use the NBWL order as a precedent to pressure central and state governments to open up other protected areas for extractive industries. The NBWL order also goes against the Gwalior bench of the MP high court ruling that banned sand mining in 2006 for safeguarding gharials, Indian skimmers, and other animal species that make the sanctuary their home. https://www.hindustantimes.com/editorials/why-sand-mining-in-chambal-is-not-right-101662044493712.html (01 Sept. 2022)
Madhya Pradesh Mining Plan Dropped After Outrage No mining will be allowed on the hill where Lord Ram is believed to have taken a pledge to kill demons, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has declared. A huge controversy began after the Satna district administration scheduled a public hearing for September 30 — mandatory under environment laws — for a nod to mining Siddha Pahad. While geologists expected to find bauxite and other minerals, ‘Aranya Kand’ of Hindu epic ‘Ramcharitmanas’ says hills in the region have skeletons of seers killed by demons; and this is where Lord Ram, during his exile of 14 years, resolved to kill all demons. https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/no-mining-on-madhya-pradesh-hill-linked-to-lord-rams-pledge-against-demons-government-after-outrage-3311390 (02 Sept. 2022)
WETLANDS, LAKES, WATER BODIES
West Bengal Environment dept to reclaim 22-acre water body in EKW Work has begun to reclaim a 22-acre water body in the East Kolkata Wetlands that had been filled over the past two years and on a part of which a playground had been built. The restoration of Bongheri bheri in the Dhapa mouza, when completed, will set a precedent and, sources in the government expressed the hope, act as a deterrent to those who fill water bodies inside the protected East Kolkata Wetlands. Conversion of land use is not allowed inside the wetlands following an order of the high court in 1992. The East Kolkata Wetlands has been classified into three parts — settlements, where human habitations are allowed; agricultural land; and water body. An official of the state environment department said a water body existed till 2019 at the site that is being dug up. https://www.telegraphindia.com/my-kolkata/news/environment-department-on-mission-to-reclaim-22-acre-water-body-in-east-kolkata-wetlands/cid/1883809 (01 Sept. 2022)
Delhi Najafgarh wetlands committee to monitor work on restoring jheel The Wetland Authority of Delhi has constituted a Najafgarh Wetlands Committee to be chaired by the District Magistrate, South West Delhi, to assess, monitor and guide the work that is to be done to rejuvenate and protect the Najafgarh jheel, a transboundary wetland that lies partly in Delhi and partly in Haryana.
The Wetland Authority informed the NGT in a recent status report that the Najafgarh Wetlands Committee will comprise representatives from stakeholder departments, including the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, Development Department, PWD, Irrigation and Flood Control Department, Forest Department, Delhi Pollution Control Committee, Power Department and Delhi Jal Board. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/delhi-najafgarh-wetlands-committee-jheel-8126389/ (01 Sept. 2022)
Odisha Mangalajodi wetland, youth strive to build a healthier ecosystem Over the years, the Mangalajodi wetland, an important bird area, has been exposed to changing environmental conditions, impacting the livelihood opportunities of the local people. The dearth of livelihood options has forced youth from the region to migrate to other cities for work, especially during the summer months when the tourist inflow is low. Strengthening the wetland ecosystem and providing income opportunities to the local communities are emerging avenues to address the challenges. https://india.mongabay.com/2022/08/in-odishas-mangalajodi-wetland-youth-strive-to-build-a-healthier-ecosystem-and-generate-livelihoods/ (26 Aug. 2022)
Assam Untreated legacy waste is polluting Deepor Beel For the past 15 years, municipal solid waste of Guwahati has been unscientifically dumped next to the Deepor Beel, a prominent wetland. It is Assam’s only Ramsar site. Research shows substantial contamination of the water bodies, including Deepor Beel from the untreated legacy waste. The waste is a health hazard for people, livestock and wildlife. https://india.mongabay.com/2022/08/untreated-legacy-waste-is-polluting-the-sensitive-wetland-ecosystem-of-deepor-beel/ (24 Aug. 2022)
Jammu & Kashmir Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, PK Pole said that the government is going to construct a non-motorable walkway around the Asia’s famed Wular lake in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district. https://www.greaterkashmir.com/kashmir/wular-lake-to-have-non-motorable-walkway-govt (31 Aug. 2022)
Karnataka Amazing story of Tulsi Gowind Gowda from Honnali, Uttar Kannada about her knowledge, skills and work – barefooted- to generate forests using local seeds and stems. She says she does not understand climate change, but has great faith in nature, though warns that reversal will take a lot of time. https://www.deccanherald.com/national/magic-in-her-hands-meet-the-woman-bringing-india-s-forests-back-to-life-1141668.html (02 Sept. 2022)
Uttar Pradesh Arsenic Poisoning of Water. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvsbS4zzosw (14 Aug. 2015)
Bengaluru The Supreme Court has ordered status quo on against commissioning of the Karnataka Power Corp Ltd’s 370 MW Gas based plant in Yelahanka, Bangalore for violations of environment norms, including encroachment on Puttenahalli lake. SC gave its order in appeal by Yelahanka Puttenahalli Lake and Bird conservation Trust. No Public hearing was conducted, the EIA and appraisal were flawed, the appeal argued. NGT had earlier rejected their appeal a month back. https://bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com/bangalore/others/environment-first-says-supreme-court/articleshow/93935293.cms (02 Sept. 2022)
Mangaluru Experts object to desalination plant Even as PM Modi laid the foundation stone for a desalination plant in Mangaluru and dedicated it to the nation on Friday (Sept. 02), water experts and environmentalists questioned the need to spend Rs 677 crore on the project that will desalinate only 30 million litres of water per day. For the entire year, the plant will desalinate only 1 tmcft of water, while 2,000 tmcft of fresh water from the Sharavati river flows into the sea. Also, 44 other rivers pass through Dakshina Kannada district, discharging humongous amounts of water into the sea. When the district has such an abundance of water, what is the necessity of this plant, they asked. https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/karnataka/2022/sep/03/water-waste-why-desalination-plant-in-dk-district-ask-experts-2494338.html (03 Sept. 2022)
Mumbai 9077 idols immerse at the 156 ponds under NMMC As per the data provided by the NMMC, a total of 6566 idols were immersed at 22 natural immersion sites, of which 6555 idols were domestic and 11 idols were public mandals. https://www.freepressjournal.in/mumbai/navi-mumbai-9077-idols-immerse-at-the-156-ponds-under-nmmc (02 Sept. 2022)
Hyderabad Mobile immersion pond inaugurate. https://telanganatoday.com/ganesh-festival-mobile-immersion-pond-inaugurated-in-hyderabad (02 Sept. 2022)
मध्य प्रदेश के आदिवासी बहुल भट्टन टोला गाँव में 11 से 23 अगस्त के बीच पांच लोगों की मौत हो गई। मरने वालों में तीन बच्चे हैं। 1500 लोगों की इस बस्ती में पीने के पानी के लिए सिर्फ एक कुआं है। यहां लगे तीनों हैंडपंप सूखे पड़े हैं। https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFwYzuMgvOo (30 Aug. 2022)
Punjab Zira Morcha urges govt to look into water pollution Zira Sanjha Morcha, formed to oppose the continuation of a distillery in district Ferozepur, has urged the Punjab government to look into the immense water and air contamination in the state. The Sanjha Morcha coordination committee on Sunday stated that Punjab is facing a tough challenge of water contamination & environmental pollution. The various industries including a distillery near Zira town, are injecting back untreated water into the ground through tube wells which is harmful for human beings and bovine. The protest out the distillery Malbros international private limited are going on for well over a month and the protesters have gone for Zira and Talwandi Bhai towns observing bandh in the past. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chandigarh/zira-morcha-urges-punjab-govt-to-look-into-water-air-contamination/articleshow/93986143.cms (04 Sept. 2022)
West Bengal NGT slaps Rs 3,500cr fine on govt for waste management failure The Bengal government has the option to seek a review by the tribunal or move the Supreme Court. Although the bench used the word “compensation”, the money will be spent entirely on waste management in Bengal. On Saturday evening, state urban development minister Firhad Hakim told The Telegraph: “We have to check the order in detail before taking a decision. But as I understand, this is actually not a fine — the amount has to be kept separately for use in solid waste management alone.” https://www.telegraphindia.com/west-bengal/ngt-slaps-rs-3500-cr-fine-on-bengal-govt-for-waste-management-failure/cid/1884463 (04 Sept. 2022)
JJM/ RURAL WATER SUPPLY
Meghalaya CM Conrad K Sangma laid the foundation stone for the construction of a water supply project in Williamnagar in the East Garo Hills district. The Williamnagar Urban Water Supply Project Phase-I was sanctioned at an estimated cost of Rs 121 crore under AMRUT 2.0 by the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and it will cater to the water demand of the town till 2050, officials said. The CM also said that water supply projects worth Rs 2,000 crore are currently being implemented in the state. Proposals for water supply projects worth Rs 3,000 crore are under the advanced stage of consideration by the Centre, he added. https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/economy-2/foundation-stone-laid-for-rs-121-crore-water-supply-project-in-east-garo-hills-9121111.html (02 Sept. 2022)
Jammu & Kashmir The residents of several villages of Mawer area in north Kashmir’s Handwara Monday (Jan. 29) expressed strong resentment against the authorities for failing to restore the drinking water supply in the area for the last 10 days, putting them in a lot of hardships. Assistant Executive Engineer (AEE) Jal Shakti Division Handwara, Adnan Ahmad told Greater Kashmir that the problem had arisen due to a blockage in the service line. https://www.greaterkashmir.com/todays-paper/front-page/no-water-to-drink-since-last-10-days-handwaras-meewar-still-waiting-for-restoration-of-drinking-water-supply (30 Aug. 2022)
SANDRP Blog June Aug 2022: District wise rainfall in India’s SW Monsoon In the just concluded month of Aug 2022, the third month of India’s South West 2022 monsoon, India received 263.8 mm rainfall, 3.5% above the normal Aug rainfall of 254.9 mm as per India Meteorological department (IMD).
In Aug 2021, the rainfall was 195.9 mm, about 24.13% below normal and in Aug 2020, the rainfall was 327 mm, or about 26.6% above normal. However, the distribution of rainfall has been far from normal in July 2022. June 2022 had ended with 8% deficit in rainfall while July 2022 had ended with 16.8% surplus rainfall. June 2022 also had very large number of high rainfall days. https://sandrp.in/2022/09/01/june-aug-2022-district-wise-rainfall-in-in-indias-sw-monsoon/ (01 Sept. 2022)
Article Liquid Assets: Priceless and Undervalued About adopting to rainfall variability by Esha Zaveri It is often said that if climate change is the shark, water is its teeth. Climate change is felt most deeply through water, with higher temperatures leading to droughts, floods, and increasing rainfall variability. Every increase in the degree of global warming is likely to intensify water-related risks. As concerns about what a hotter climate will bring grow, this important issue of too much water and too little water continues to occupy center stage in policy discussions. And even as uncertainties about the future fate of the monsoons remain and science evolves with new generations of climate models, scientists agree that changes in monsoon variability are underway and will continue. https://casi.sas.upenn.edu/iit/eshazaveri2022; https://scroll.in/article/1031483/how-water-shapes-india-and-why-we-need-a-paradigm-shift-in-managing-our-priceless-liquid-assets (29 Aug. 2022)
IMD Presentation on “Southwest Monsoon Rainfall Forecast for the Month of September 2022” by Dr. M. Mohapatra, DG Meteorology, IMD. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDqXIQkUUqw (01 Sept. 2022) IMD forecasts above average rainfall in September. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/imd-forecast-predicts-above-average-rainfall-in-september/article65842413.ece (02 Sept. 2022) Total rainfall during the southwest monsoon is likely to be normal this year, according to the India Meteorological Department, although there is a meteorological drought over parts of Gangetic West Bengal, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and the northeastern states. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/monsoon-heads-to-normal-but-with-patches-of-drought-imd-101662314665660-amp.html (05 Sept. 2022)
Report Some states rain-deficient despite a normal monsoon Explaining the variability and the intense rain patterns, Roxy Mathew Koll, climate scientist at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune, said rising global temperatures have led to an overall increase in moisture levels. “This is because warmer air holds more moisture and for a longer time. Hence, it does not rain for a long time, but when it rains, it dumps all the moisture within a few hours or days,” Koll said. Monsoon patterns have shifted in recent decades, Koll added. The most significant change is that instead of moderate rain throughout the season, we have long dry periods and short spells of heavy rains. “This causes floods and droughts in the same season, and occasionally in the same region, or in different parts of the country,” Koll said. In UP, Bihar, and Jharkhand the total rainfall has declined over the decades. This is associated with weakening monsoon winds and circulation, which are not penetrating to the northern-most inland states as earlier, Koll said.
According to Raghu Murtugudde, a professor at the department of atmospheric and oceanic science, University of Maryland, rain distribution is erratic because of a northward shift in the low-level jet, or the south-westerly winds, over the Arabian Sea. This has produced a deficit over Kerala but excess over northern Maharashtra and Gujarat into Pakistan. “This shift also explains the deficits elsewhere. But monsoon extremes continue because of global warming. The northeast is getting most of its moisture from the Bay of Bengal,” he said. Multiple influences on the onset and evolution of the monsoon shapes its behaviour, Murtugudde said, adding that it is not done yet because more weirdness is on its way. “Because the Arctic is warmer and La Niña is active, withdrawal (of the monsoon) may be delayed and we may get more extremes in September,” he warned. https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/india/rain-deficient-despite-a-normal-monsoon-9094271.html (27 Aug. 2022)
Delhi Driest August in 16 years The month of August ended with 41.6mm of rainfall for Delhi, translating to a deficit of 83% from the normal of 247.7mm for the month, making it the Capital’s driest August in 16 years, data from India Meteorological Department (IMD) showed on Wednesday (Aug. 31). According to a separate analysis of IMD’s gridded data by HT, which has a slight variation from the numbers the department releases, Delhi’s rain deficit for August was 81% and the Capital recorded the ninth lowest volume of precipitation in August since 1901. As per this data, the amount of rain received this month was the lowest since 2006. This meant citizens spent most of the month in hot and humid conditions.
During the month, it rained on 16 days in Delhi but none of these were in the moderate or heavy category – the most was 8.8mm recorded between August 5 and 6. Normally, the city is meant to record 247.7 mm of rain in August, its rainiest monsoon month. But this year, the quantity of precipitation made it seem like it was not a monsoon month at all. In the 1961-2010 period, the lowest average for any of the four months of the monsoon (June-September) was 60.3 mm for June, which is higher than August 2022’s. In Delhi, monsoon onset typically happens at the end of June. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/capital-gets-driest-august-in-16-years-101661967570254.html (01 Sept. 2022)
Uttar Pradesh Driest June-to-August period in 122 years Since June 1, the state has received 332.6mm rainfall – 44 per cent below normal this year. This year, UP’s July rainfall stood at 148.1mm against a normal of 238.6mm. The rainfall recorded in August over the state was 139.7mm as compared to 219mm, which is considered normal. August rainfall this year was the sixth lowest recorded since 1901, monthly rainfall data for UP maintained by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) stated.
In fact, five of the driest June-to-August period for UP were recorded only in the last four decades. These included 1987 (349.3mm), 2009 (365mm), 1996 (392mm) and 2014 (394.3mm). Uttar Pradesh records an average seasonal rainfall of about 696mm. Of the monsoon season’s total rainfall, July accounts for 34 per cent followed by August – about 31 per cent. The monsoon this year has been particularly poor over Delhi, Bihar, Jharkhand, Manipur, Tripura and Gangetic West Bengal as well.
Jharkhand, which has recorded 585.6mm rainfall so far, saw its second driest June-to-August rainfall in 122 years. The driest June-to-August months for the state were in 2010, when it received 439mm rainfall. At the end of three months of the ongoing summer monsoon, Manipur emerged as the most rain-deficient state. Since June 1, Manipur has received 461mm rainfall — a deficit by 45 per cent. Delhi and Tripura ended with 31 per cent and 29 per cent rainfall deficit, respectively, as on August 31.
It is also important to note that since 2019, August rainfall over UP, Jharkhand and Manipur have ended below normal. In Bihar, rainfall in August stood at 19 per cent and 17 per cent in excess during 2020 and 2021, respectively. The monsoon variability this year is stark as 30 out of the 36 states/ Union Territories have received either normal or above rainfall, as on August 31. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/uttar-pradesh-sees-driest-june-to-august-period-in-122-years-8123837/ (01 Sept. 2022)
Karnataka Bengaluru’s skies puzzle even weathermen IMD officials from across India are keen to assess and study Bengaluru’s climate, the temperature variations, the rainfall pattern, the changes and the topography. This is because while one part of Bengaluru records 15 cm rainfall, another part of the city, like the CBD records zero rainfall. The official pointed out that similar patterns are also being observed in Kodagu, where in if Bagamanadala records 21 cm rainfall, in Virajpet it is 3 cm. Such drastic difference is being reported in Bengaluru too, but not in Pune or other places similar to Bengaluru otherwise. Immediate and drastic weather patterns are being closely recorded for tabulation by the IMD and Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority (KSNDMC) observatories. https://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/bengaluru/2022/aug/31/bengalurus-skies-puzzle-even-weathermen-2493270.html (31 Aug. 2022)
Tamil Nadu is enjoying uncharacteristic bountiful rainfall during the southwest monsoon. While this has had a positive effect on the storage in the State’s major reservoirs that are fast filling up, concerns about crop damage must be factored in, say farmers. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/the-southwest-monsoon-tamil-nadus-other-monsoon-is-on-fire-this-year/article65844846.ece (04 Sept. 2022)
SANDRP Blog Monsoon 2022: CWC Changing HFLs in Ad-hock Manner There are plenty of concerns plaguing CWC’s flood forecast and monitoring work across country for years. In this 2022 SW monsoon season, the agency has exhibited one more problematic tendency which exhibits not only its careless approach vis-a-vis keeping accurate information of HFL breach events, but it also seems strange that it realises it has giving wrong HFL level and date information mostly only after crossing the HFL now.
To illustrate, the present case is of eight flood monitoring stations of which four are in Uttar Pradesh, one in Madhya Pradesh and three in Karnataka. https://sandrp.in/2022/08/31/monsoon-2022-cwc-changing-hfls-in-ad-hock-manner/ (31 Aug. 2022)
India’s typical reservoir operation procedure: Fill up the reservoir as soon as water is available, and then let out everything that comes in. Here is an example of Mettur dam on Cauvery River in Tamil Nadu as on Aug 29-31, 2022, from CWC hydrograph. No questions asked, no rule curve followed. This is bound to create avoidable flood disaster in downstream area.
This while a Flood alert has been sounded in twelve districts of TN, parts of upstream Cauvery basin in Karnataka already facing floods. The dams will contribute to floods, a month before the end of SW Monsoon and remember this area also gets rains in NE monsoon soon after SW Monsoon. https://www.dtnext.in/tamilnadu/2022/08/30/flood-alert-in-12-tn-dists-as-mettur-discharge-clocks-175l-cusecs (30 Aug. 2022)
With the discharge from the Stanley Reservoir in Mettur stepped up to 1.50 lakh cusecs and could be increased further, the district administration has sounded flood alert to people living in low-lying areas in Bhavani and Kodumudi as more houses are likely to be flooded here on Tuesday (Aug. 30). https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/more-houses-likely-to-be-flooded-in-erode-as-discharge-in-river-cauvery-stepped-up/article65829406.ece (30 Aug. 2022)
In case of Harangi dam also upstream of KRS and in Cauvery basin, the water level is about 76 cm below FRL, but outflow is higher than inflow.
In case of Hemavathy reservoir upstream of KRS in Karnataka in the same Cauvery river basin, the water level on Aug 31 just six cm below FRL, outflow is higher than inflow.
The case of Bhavani Sagar dam also in Cauvery basin is interesting. Here the water level is above FRL and now outflow is higher than inflow as we can see from this CWC hydrograph showing the situation during Aug 29-Aug 31 and forecast for Sept 1.
Same situation prevails at Kabini reservoir in the same Cauvery river basin, FRL already achieved on Aug 29, and now water being released to flooded river to reduce the FRL, increasing outflow.
In Upstream Krishnarajsagar dam on same river Cauvery in Karnataka, the water level already at FRL on Aug 29 is now being sought to be reduced below FRL while the river is in floods!
Dam Flood Maharashtra Tribal families living on highway MEDIGADDA DAM on Godavari in Telangana and how it is flooding the tribal population in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli, both upstream and downstream of the dam, that is part of Telangana’s Kaleshwaram project.
“Every dam is a potential source of disaster. That’s the reality and one needs to be aware of it,” says Himanshu Thakkar, an environmental activist and water expert, who is also the coordinator of SANDRP. “It’s not just that the dam could break, but also if it is not operated properly, it could lead to floods.”
On 8 August, India’s ministry of water resources had acknowledged that “faulty operations of reservoirs may sometimes result in flooding of downstream regions.”
Mr Thakkar explained how this could happen: “India has concentrated rainfall in three-four months of monsoon. So if a dam is filled right at the beginning of the season and it rains further, authorities end up releasing water from the dam while the area downstream is already flooded, worsening the situation.”
One of the things to ensure proper operation of dams is a “rule curve” or a graph that shows when and how a dam is to be filled gradually through the season. This graph, Mr Thakkar explained, must be designed considering the siltation and carrying capacity of the downstream river, or the tide timings, if the dam is close to the coast. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-62711069 (30 Aug. 2022)
Odisha BJP slams govt over flood handling The opposition dubbed the recent floods as ‘manmade’ and stated it could have been avoided had the State administration taken timely action in coordination with its Chhattisgarh counterpart. Odisha being in the lower basin of the Mahanadi river cannot afford to snap communication with Chhattisgarh over water sharing. Lack of coordination with the neighbouring State proved costly to Odisha as the manager of Hirakud dam failed to maintain the water level in the reservoir as per the rule curve, they alleged.
– They said the chief engineer of Hirakud dam had openly admitted that the mandatory meeting between officials concerned of Odisha and Chhattisgarh governments before and after the monsoon has not been held for the last three years. https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/odisha/2022/sep/02/bjp-slams-odishagovt-over-flood-handling-2494060.html (02 Sept. 2022)
Madhya Pradesh Garethia dam develops cracks Garethia dam in Dungaria village of Berasia block in Bhopal district, has developed cracks. People fear their villages may be flooded. Cracks developed due to soil erosion as was the condition of Karam dam before its wall collapsed. Bhopal district administration with engineers have swung into action and filled the cracks with black cotton soil.
– Sarpanch of Dungaria village panchayat Gangaram Prajapati said he informed water resources department engineers about it but when the latter did not take it seriously, he complained to SDO of the department. As a result, department’s senior officials reached the spot immediately and found cracks in Garethia reservoir, which were about 15 to 20 feet deep. Though villagers filled it with soil, they said that the cracks were so big and deep that a major accident could happen anytime. https://www.freepressjournal.in/bhopal/now-garethia-dam-develops-cracks-soil-used-to-fill-cracks-says-sdm (28 Aug. 2022)
Kerala This provides details of how dams are cause of floods in Wayanad region. The two dams mentioned are in Kabini (Cauvery) basin. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/reduce-water-storage-capacity-of-earthen-dams-in-wayanad-greens/article65836986.ece (01 Sept. 2022)
Tamil Nadu Shutter of Pambar Dam Snaps Open The Pambar dam was half drained out on Thursday (Sept. 01) after a shutter snapped open following an electrical glitch. The reservoir has a total capacity of 19.69 ft with 245 mc ft of water but was left with around 100 mc ft due to the snapping of its fourth shutter. The dam had reached the total capacity of 19.80 ft, and during heavy rains, 5,250 cusecs of water were released from the Pambar reservoir last week.
The district administration issued a flood alert along the banks of the Thenpennai river. The dam’s watershed spans over 2,501 acres in 12 villages in Uthangarai in the Krishnagiri district, while 1,499 acres in neighbouring Dharmapuri village will also be affected. Aqua farmers have been affected most due to the water drained out as the reservoir was auctioned out to them, but the fish have now been drained out into the river.
Engineers at the dam noted that the fourth shutter was snapped open on morning at a horizontal angle, draining half of the water in the reservoir. A state Water Resources Department official told IANS that the opening of the fourth shutter was due to an electrical glitch caused due to tripping. Engineers attending to the problem said that the panel was found burnt, leading to a tripping failure and a shutter control breakdown.
Department officials must bring down the water level to 39 mc ft to commence the repair. Engineers told IANS that bringing the shutters back to the earlier position would require 15 days. https://weather.com/en-IN/india/news/news/2022-09-02-tamil-nadus-pamba-dam-shutter-snaps-open-due-to-electrical-glitch (01 Sept. 2022)
Record quantum of Cauvery water in August The month of August saw Tamil Nadu realising much more than its annual quota of 177.25 tmc ft (thousand million cubic feet) of Cauvery water. The realisation created a new record, with the quantity for the month crossing the 200 tmcft-mark for the first time in almost 50 years.
According to the data available with the Central Water Commission (CWC), which is responsible for measuring the quantity realised at Billigundulu on the border of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, around 200 tmc ft was received till August 29, as against the State’s share of around 43 tmc ft for the period from August 1 to 29. This exceeded the previous high of 176.5 tmc ft recorded in 2018-19. It was only in seven years since 1974-75 that the realisation in August crossed the 100 tmc ft-mark. After 1981-82, when the figure was around 152 tmc ft, the realisation did not touch the mark nearly for 35 years.
In August this year, the daily realisation hovered between 11 tmc ft and 15 tmc ft for eight days — from August 3 to 11. It dropped to around 7 tmc ft initially for a couple of days and eventually to about one tmc ft from August 17 to 24. Later, it went up gradually. On August 28, it was 10.5 tmc ft, and the next day, around 9.5 tmc ft. The cumulative realisation between June 1, when the water year began, and August 29 was about 324 tmc ft, which was around 241 tmc ft higher than the State’s due for the period concerned. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/tamil-nadu-gets-a-record-quantum-of-cauvery-water-in-august/article65836974.ece (02 Sept. 2022)
Banks along Cauvery and Kollidam rivers on high alert as most reservoirs attain maximum capacity due to heavy rainfall. https://weather.com/en-IN/india/news/news/2022-09-02-banks-along-cauvery-and-kollidam-rivers (01 Sept. 2022)
Huge inflows to reservoirs, tanks overflowing after 2 decades The heavy rains here and upstream parts of Krishna and Pennar basins resulted in huge inflows to the reservoirs. The dependent irrigation tanks were overflowing after two decades, officials said. River Papagni was flowing heavily after water was released from the Velugodu project in YSR district on Tuesday. Three gates of the project were lifted and the approach road to Papagni river was in a dangerous condition.
The Kodipalli reservoir in Agali mandal in Satya Sai district developed a breach after heavy floods from upstream Karnataka. The Srisailam reservoir continued with heavy inflows from downstream areas of Krishna basin from Karnataka areas with inflows of 2.08 lakh cusecs and outflows of 1.58 lakh cusecs. The dam maintained its level at 20.51tmc-ft as against the full capacity of 215.81tmc-ft. The heavy outflow from Srisailam reached Nagarjuna Sagar with 3.14 lakh cusecs of inflows and 3.66 lakh in outflows.
The water in Tungabhadra dam was at full reservoir level following constant inflows and outflows. Almatti dam authorities discharged 2.25 lakh cusecs of water following inflows of 1.95 lakh cusecs and the connecting reservoirs in AP, towards Srisailam with discharging heavy outflows. The Jurala project recorded 2.60 lakh cusecs of inflows and 2.52 lakh cusecs of outflows Tuesday (Aug. 30). https://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/in-other-news/300822/huge-inflows-to-reservoirs-tanks-overflowing-after-two-decades.html (31 Aug. 2022)
Report Himachal, Uttarakhand need to step up flood management An HT analysis of various data sets shows that multiple factors, including growth in habitations, need to be taken into account to understand the growing risks of floods in these regions and that mechanical interpretation of rainfall data can be misleading. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/why-himachal-pradesh-and-uttarakhand-need-to-step-up-flood-management-101661947469018.html (31 Aug. 2022)
On the need of ensemble flood forecast in India Author Nanditha J.S. Vimal Mishra Abstract:- Precipitation forecast is available at various spatial and temporal resolutions, which provides a skilful prediction of extreme precipitation at short (1–3 day) and longer (15–20 day) lead times. However, the spatial and temporal resolutions and lead time need to be improved for precipitation forecast in smaller catchments and urban areas, which are prone to flash flooding. There is a need to translate the ensemble weather and climate forecast to hydrologic ensemble prediction (HEP) system through the integration of improved meteorological forecast, hydrologic and hydraulic modelling, data assimilation, and post-processing. We also highlight the role of improved inflow forecast at the appropriate lead for reservoir operations as the decisions related to reservoir operations can be critical for flood management. We, finally, discuss the need for an integrated approach at various levels to enhance the operational flood forecast in India, which is essential for the development of an effective flood early warning system. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2468312421000031
CWC -As per flood forecasting network of CWC, during the last 3 years, in addition to flood prone States of Assam, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, extreme floods were witnessed in the States of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Telangana due to excess rainfall in these States combined with extremely heavy rainfall in short duration. https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1848467 (04 Aug. 2022)
HFL BREACH 2022
Karnataka 1. River Suvarnavathi in Cauvery basin at Bendrahalli level forecast site in Chamarajanagar district has breached old HFL 636.33 m (dated 06.08.2022) at 23:00 hour on 29.08.2022. The river is still in extreme flood situation and probably set 638.01 m as new HFL at 11:00 hour on 30.08.2022. Present flood level is 637.87 m at 17:00 hour on 30.08.2022 with declining trend.
River Suvarnavathi at Bendrahalli level forecast site in Chamarajanagar district continues to flow in severe flood situation for past 7 days. Present flood level is 636.04 m at 13:00 hour on 05.09.2022.
2. River Arkavathi in Cauvery basin at T. Bekkupe level forecast site in Mandya district which CWC had earlier listed under Bangalore Rural district has again breached HFL 608.95 m (dated 29.08.2022) at 04:00 hour on 30.08.022. The river has set 610.52 m as new HFL at 07:00 hour on 30.08.2022. Present flood level is 608.2 m at 16:00 hour on 30.08.2022. The new HFL is 1.57 m higher than the old HFL. The river stayed in extreme flood situation for about 07 hours. Present flood level is 608.2 m at 16:00 hour on 30.08.2022.
3. River Arkavathi at Kokkedoddy level forecast site in Mandya district (which was earlier listed under Bangalore Rural district) has crossed old HFL 373.06 m dated 09.10.2017. The river at this site has set up new HFL 374.25 m at 10:00 hour on 30.08.2022. The new HFL is 1.19 m higher than the old HFL. The river remained in extreme flood situation for about 07 hours. Present flood level is 370.94 m at 18:00 hour on 30.08.2022.
Tamil Nadu:- River Ponnaiyar at Singasadanapalli level forecast site in Krishnagiri district has breached old HFL 845.73 m dated 20.11.2021. Present flood level is 845.85 m at 17:00 hour on 30.08.2022 with rising trend.
River Ponnaiyar at Singasadanapalli level forecast site in Krishnagiri district has again breached old HFL 845.73 m dated 20.11.2021. Present flood level is 846.18 m at 13:00 hour on 05.09.2022.
Bengaluru When Bengaluru became Venice Harini Nagendra For a brief while this week, Bengaluru became Venice. Roads, apartments and layouts were flooded with water, and boats were sent into parts of the city to supply emergency services to stranded citizens. This August was the second wettest month that Bengaluru has seen in its recorded history. But under climate change, such unusual weather conditions will become more frequent, perhaps even more intense in the future.
We know the causes. The lakes need to be desilted – they are too shallow to hold the volumes of water that they once used to. The waterways and underground pipes that have been laid across the city are too narrow, unable to drain the water from flooded areas. Wetlands, which act like sponges, soaking up the excess rainwater and holding it in place for the thirsty soil to suck it in, no longer exist in Bengaluru. Even when we restore lakes, we clear out the wetlands, converting them into tree parks and playgrounds, oblivious to their ecological function and its importance in our daily lives. https://www.deccanherald.com/opinion/when-bengaluru-became-venice-1141960.html (04 Sept. 2022)
Edit The deluge that exposed governance deficit Ramu Patil The miserable situation that plays out year after year exposes the absence of long-term planning and the governance deficit. A lack of political will to take tough measures, absence of proper coordination among various government agencies, politicians-officials-realtors nexus and corruption resulted in the horrendous situation that the city faces. Citizens feel betrayed by the system.
There is a dire need for protecting lakes, increasing their water holding capacity, having zero tolerance for constructions in buffer zones and keeping storm water drains free of encroachments. Better coordination between various agencies is the basic requirement. However, it has been missing in most of the projects, including the Bengaluru-Mysuru highway, that was flooded last week.
Proper coordination and better planning seem to be too much of an ask as many infrastructure projects are criticised over basic engineering issues. Every time it rains, water gets stagnated on roads and many under-passes look like pools with no provision for a smooth water flow. Also, over the years the officials and their political bosses have turned a blind eye to the encroachment of lakes and storm water drains that has resulted in flooding. https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/karnataka/2022/sep/05/the-deluge-that-exposed-governance-deficit-2494947.html (05 Sept. 2022)
BBMP’s silence over SWD encroachment shocking, says NGT NGT has expressed concerns over the BBMP’s silence on the encroachment of a stormwater drain (SWD) in Kumbena Agrahara in East Bengaluru by a builder. Following a complaint by V Paramesh, the NGT’s southern zone bench has taken up a case against SV Elegant, an apartment in survey number 2/1 and 2/7 of Kumbena Agrahara in Bidarahalli hobli. Even prior to the hearing, the deputy environmental officer of the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) had inspected the site on April 27 and submitted a report.
The NGT noted that the KSPCB report “categorically concluded” that the builder has violated the master plan and zonal violations by constructing a swimming pool, water closet and bathrooms within the SWD buffer zone. The tribunal added that it sought a response from the BBMP last month. “It is surprising that despite the matter being brought before the NGT, the authorities are still keeping quiet in taking any action against the (builder). Surprisingly, even the project proponent himself is not ready with any defence,” the NGT stated. SV Elegant is the second SWD encroachment case taken up by the NGT in Bengaluru East. The Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) submitted a report last month with regard to the encroachment of drains also in Kumbena Agrahara. https://www.deccanherald.com/city/top-bengaluru-stories/bbmp-s-silence-over-swd-encroachment-shocking-says-ngt-1140800.html (30 Aug. 2022)
3 lakes overflow, IT corridor turns into a river Overnight torrential rain reduced one of Bengaluru’s marquee tech corridors – Marathahalli-Sarjapur Outer Ring Road – and Bellandur into a complete mess, causing inconvenience to tens of thousands of people in a stinging commentary on the civic apathy of the state government and the local municipal administration. The story repeated itself in many other parts of the city left battered by heavy rain from Monday night to the early hours of Tuesday (Aug. 30).
Three lakes – Bellandur, Varthur and Nallurahalli – overflowed, around 400 cars parked in basements of multiple apartments around Nallurahalli lake were submerged, and the traffic on ORR was agonizingly slow as it took at least three hours for vehicles to cover a 7km distance from Silk board and Bellandur. The rain left many key roads unmotorable. As per the IMD report on Tuesday (Aug. 30), Bengaluru recorded its highest single-day rainfall in August in 24 hours – 162.1mm – since August 27, 1890. The department has issued a yellow (heavy rainfall) alert in Bengaluru Urban district for Wednesday and Thursday too. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/3-bengaluru-lakes-overflow-it-corridor-turns-into-a-river/articleshow/93890508.cms (31 Aug. 2022)
Another reason is that there are no culverts along the stretch. “There are quite a few engineering flaws in the development of the road. Most importantly the lack of culverts. The road acts like a dam to the flowing water and with the lack of culverts, the rainwater and sewage water have no other way to flow but to be accumulated, leading to waterlogging,” pointed out Nagesh.
Ramprasad, convenor of Friends of Lakes, a citizens’ group, blamed the road consultants, engineers, and committees that approved these projects. He said, “There are flaws in the engineering designs. No protocol has been followed by the concerned officials.” Most people, he said, are quick to call it a natural calamity so they can wash their hands off any responsibility. Ramprasad said, “This is totally man-made and due to the greed of the BBMP employees.” https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/bengaluru-s-outer-ring-road-s-broken-infrastructure-why-it-floods-167493 (03 Sept. 2022)
Roads turn into rivers as rain piles misery on Bengaluru https://www.deccanherald.com/city/bengaluru-infrastructure/roads-turn-into-rivers-as-rain-piles-misery-on-bengaluru-1140866.html (31 Aug. 2022)
A day after many areas here were inundated due to heavy rain and breached lake bunds, the government on Wednesday (Aug. 31) decided to “mercilessly” remove properties blocking rainwater flow. “Our Municipal Corporation officers have identified 10 bottlenecks. In a day or two, the demolition drive will start. We have told the officers to be merciless while implementing the drive without attending to any phone calls,” Revenue Minister R Ashoka told reporters after a high level meeting, chaired by CM Basavaraj Bommai, on the flood situation.
He said the Disaster Management Act permits “merciless removal” of blocks causing water stagnation. CM Bommai said there was waterlogging in many residential layouts because the developers did not build a proper drain. He added that all such blocks would be removed. https://www.deccanherald.com/state/top-karnataka-stories/karnataka-govt-says-it-will-take-merciless-action-against-properties-blocking-flow-of-rainwater-1141060.html (31 Aug. 2022)
The capital city of Karnataka has seen water logging at several parts of the city and its extended quarters owing to the heavy rains that has lashed the southern peninsula of India. The city roads turned into rivers and visuals emerged of rescuers using boats to evacuate stranded citizens. A Twitter user has shared a picture of civic volunteers holding on to their ‘fresh catch’ from the middle of a water logged city road. It shows a volunteer holding a fish that resembles a river catfish (locally known as Singhara), while another one is clicking its photo on the mobile phone. Some users also discussed the location, and said it appears to be near Ecospace, in the Bellandur area.
Since June 1, Karnataka has received 820 mm of rainfall, affecting 27 districts and 187 villages, impacting a population of 29,967. News agency PTI said in a report on Tuesday that nine mm rainfall has been recorded in a 24-hour span affecting 20 villages in Ramanagara, Chamarajanagara and Mandya districts and impacting lives of 3,000 people. The state government said that it will be sending a proposal to the Centre seeking a relief of ₹ 1,012.5 crore as per National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) norms. The government will also ask the Centre to depute an inter-ministerial team to assess damages caused by rain, floods and landslides in the state, Karnataka’s Revenue Minister R Ashoka was quoted as saying by PTI. https://www.livemint.com/news/india/bengaluru-roads-have-become-river-can-the-fishes-be-far-behind-see-twitter-post-that-left-netizens-amazed-11661940992452.html (31 Aug. 2022)
Buildings blocking stormwater flow to be removed on war footing https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/bengaluru-rains-buildings-blocking-stormwater-flow-be-removed-war-footing-167409 (01 Sept. 2022)
Rain havoc in Ramanagara: Highway out of bounds Flash floods brought about by torrential rains caused widespread destruction in Ramanagara district on Monday (Aug. 29), killing at least two people, rendering thousands homeless and effectively shutting the expansive national highway that links Bengaluru and Mysuru. The district that had seen drought for 11 successive years was brought to its knees as it received nearly 150 mm of rainfall in just 24 hours.
The rain havoc was triggered by more than 30 overflowing lakes, including three waterbodies that were breached (Bhakshikere and Kodappana lakes in Ramanagara and Anchikuppe Kere near Magadi). The rainwater entered residential localities, farmlands and roads. Ramanagara Superintendent of Police K Santosh Babu said most of the damage was reported from areas that lacked proper stormwater drains. “Since Ramanagara is prone to drought, many ponds and lakes have been encroached upon. In many of the flood-affected areas, houses were built for the poor under the government’s Ashraya scheme,” he told DH. Around 3,800 houses have been damaged, he added.
The rain fury was most evident on the 10-lane Bengaluru-Mysuru national highway, parts of which were only recently opened to traffic. Many private buses got stuck in flooded underpasses, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded. The SP said private bus operators had disregarded the advisory against plying on the highway. https://www.deccanherald.com/state/karnataka-districts/rain-havoc-in-ramanagara-highway-out-of-bounds-1140559.html (30 Aug. 2022)
Residents of Ramanagara city braved flood waters to save each other’s lives. https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/residents-ramanagara-city-braved-flood-waters-save-each-other-s-lives-167407 (31 Aug. 2022)
Mysuru Road: BBMP shows no intent to fix flooding issues Though the highway has been flooded for the third time in as many years, no extensive planning has been done to solvethe issue. https://www.deccanherald.com/city/bengaluru-infrastructure/mysuru-road-bbmp-shows-no-intent-to-fix-flooding-issues-1140562.html (30 Aug. 2022)
Odisha Repeated Floods, Cyclones Force Farmers To Migrate For Work Nearly one-fifth of Odisha’s geographical area is flood-prone, which makes the livelihood of 85% of its population, dependent on agriculture, precarious. https://www.indiaspend.com/climate-change/repeated-floods-cyclones-force-odisha-farmers-to-migrate-for-work-833104 (01 Sept. 2022)
Podcast Roxy Mathew Koll, climate scientist at the IITM Pune on how the IMD is studying cloud burst phenomenon? Why are these incidents increasing over a period of time, and what can be done to minimize the damages cloudbursts cause, both to life and property? https://www.sunoindia.in/science-and-us/why-are-cloudbursts-the-new-normal (31 Aug. 2022)
Uttarakhand भले ही इस साल उत्तराखंड में मॉनसून में बारिश औसत से कम हुई है। लेकिन बारिश और भूस्खलन से जान-माल का नुकसान जारी है। राज्य में 15 जून से 28 अगस्त तक बारिश और भूस्खलन के चलते कम से कम 39 लोगों की जान गई है। मौसम विभाग के अनुसार मॉनसून के दौरान औसत 954.6 मिमी बारिश होती है। लेकिन इस बार अब तक 817.8 मिमी बारिश ही दर्ज की गई है। लेकिन कमजोर मॉनसून के बाद भी राज्य में भूस्खलन की करीब दो दर्जन छोटी-बड़ी घटनाएं हुई हैं। https://hindi.mongabay.com/2022/08/30/departing-monsoon-creates-heavoc-in-uttarakhand/ (30 Aug. 2022)
टिहरी जिले के सुरकंडा में लगे नए डॉप्लर रडार ने काम करना शुरू कर दिया है, इससे गढ़वाल मंडल के कई क्षेत्रों में भारी बारिश, ओलावृष्टि या बर्फबारी के साथ ही अतिवृष्टि से संबंधित भविष्यवाणी को करने में मौसम विभाग को आसानी होगी. https://www.etvbharat.com/hindi/uttarakhand/state/dehradun/doppler-radar-installed-in-surkanda-will-give-accurate-weather-information/uttarakhand20220903102625910910252 (03 Sept. 2022)
मलबे में दफन हुआ हरड़िया में बना वैली ब्रिज बुधवार (Aug. 30) को नाचनी क्षेत्र में मूसलाधार बारिश होने से हरड़िया नाला उफान पर आ गया। नाले में भारी मात्रा में मलबा आने से बैली ब्रिज दब गया। इस पुल के दबने के बाद नवनिर्मित पुल से मुनस्यारी के लिए यातायात शुरू कर दिया है। थल-मुनस्यारी मोटर मार्ग पर 1990 तक हरड़िया नाले में बरसाती पानी की निकासी के लिए केवल कलवर्ट बनाया गया था। इसी कलवर्ट से पानी की निकासी हो जाती थी।
इसके बाद यहां पर भूस्खलन होने से दो मीटर चौड़े कलवर्ट के स्थान पर 30 मीटर चौड़ी खाई बन गई। यहां पर लगातार भूस्खलन होने से हरड़िया नाला हर साल बरसात में मुसीबत बनता गया। कुछ समय तक नदी के रास्ते ही वाहन संचालित हुए। वर्ष 2015 में इस नाले में बैली ब्रिज बनाया गया था। इसी पुल से अब तक वाहनों की आवाजाही हो रही थी। https://www.amarujala.com/uttarakhand/pithoragarh/baley-brodge-damage-in-nachani-pithoragarh-news-hld474209715 (31 Aug. 2022)
Rapid glacial melt puts India, Pakistan at high flash flood risk “Interestingly what brought extreme floods to Pakistan was actually a monsoon depression that travelled from central India. Normally, these monsoonal systems weaken over central India or Rajasthan. It’s very unusual that the depression travelled up to Pakistan. There is a lot of soil moisture over central India, just like a tropical cyclone moves over the ocean and gains intensity, this system travelled over land and the extreme wet conditions of the soil provided feedback because of which it did not weaken. So glacial melt may not be the primary reason for flooding in Pakistan,” said M Rajeevan, former secretary, ministry of earth sciences.
But it is known that “glacial melt run-off will lead to floods”, he added. “Entire northwest India particularly Punjab, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh etc are vulnerable because the glacial melt is more severe in the western Himalayas. But we do not have good qualitative data to study these impacts and that is a huge challenge.” https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/rapid-glacial-melt-puts-india-pak-at-high-flash-flood-risk-101661792902926-amp.html (30 Aug. 2022)
Govt must assess impact, explore worst-case scenarios Prof NH Ravindranath, retd from IISc Bangalore, rightly says that since global warming is likely to result in 3 degree Celsius or worst, India and Karnataka (& other states) should undertake a dedicated national level assessment of climate change on various sectors, regions, production systems ecosystems, infrastructure and population categories in the short and long term. A long term institute needs to be set up for this to develop adaptation plans and strategies and plans at state and national levels. https://www.deccanherald.com/opinion/panorama/climate-emergency-govt-must-assess-impact-explore-worst-case-scenarios-1142187.html (04 Sept. 2022)
India-Bangladesh “India Should Show More Generosity”: Sheikh Hasina Bangladesh PM is clearly unhappy about lack of water sharing treaties about Teesta and other shared rivers except Ganga for which there is an India Bangladesh treaty. https://www.ndtv.com/world-news/over-a-million-rohingya-migrants-a-big-burden-on-bangladesh-sheikh-hasina-feels-india-can-play-major-role-3313903 (04 Sept. 2022)
Speaking to news agency ANI, Sheikh Hasina said: “We are downstream, water is coming from India. So, India should show more generosity. Both countries would be beneficiaries. Sometimes, our people suffer a lot because of this, especially the Teesta River. We found that PM [Narendra Modi] is very eager to solve this but the problem is in your country. We share only Ganges water but we have 54 other rivers. It’s a long-standing problem and should be resolved.” https://indianexpress.com/article/world/bangladesh-prime-minister-sheikh-hasina-india-pm-modi-8129788/ (04 Sept. 2022)
Pakistan Investigation into Neelum-Jhelum project’s ‘failure’ begins To investigate the “failure” of the 969 MW Neelum-Jhelum hydropower project, the Ministry of Water Resources will work with the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) and hire foreign investigators. The Ministry and Wapda have begun the investigation process.
– The ministry will identify the individuals accountable for the project’s “failure” following the investigation by international experts. The investigation would establish whether the “failure” was the result of poor design or shoddy construction.
– Wapda has been tasked with examining the harm that the recent catastrophic floods did to the Mohmand dam. The investigation was launched by Wapda, who also created a summary. https://dailytimes.com.pk/991445/investigation-into-neelum-jhelum-projects-failure-begins/ (02 Sept. 2022)
17 international firms have not responded to Request for Proposals (RFP), sources close to Secretary Ministry of Water Resources said. The joint teams of NJHPC, Project Consultants and M/S CGGC (the project’s original contractor) have reached a blockade in the tunnel. The teams approached the blockage point, both from the outlet side using the dewatered tunnel, and from the powerhouse side, by using boats. The location and extent of the blockade has been assessed as 251 m from the powerhouse (spanning 42 m), whereas the rubble from the collapsed area was found spread along the tunnel up to chainage 570 m.
– M/s China Ghezouba Group Company (CGGC) was contacted, and the Company has agreed to undertake these works as a separate contract, amounting to Rs 2.5 billion plus day-work. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed with M/s CGGC in this regard, on August 22, 2022, after which the contractor has begun mobilization. Contract agreement is expected to be signed, shortly.
– In July 2022, the powerhouse was shut down due to the following possible causes: (i) there is a high probability of failure of shotcrete lining leading to rock fall in the tailrace tunnel; and (ii) the high pressure noticed in the powerhouse may be attributed to such blockage created in tailrace tunnel due to possible rockfall. Tunnel dewatering started on July 10, 2022, after making necessary arrangements. As standby arrangement, spare mobile pumps were also arranged from Tarbela Dam which reached site on July 9, 2022. Truck mounted mobile dewatering pump is ready to be used in the main tunnel as clearing of mud in access tunnel has been completed on July 22, 2022. Over 15 m dewatering in the tunnel has been achieved against total 20 m. Long side tunnel and less water seepage from blockage has slowed down dewatering. https://www.brecorder.com/news/40195233/wapda-to-hire-experts-to-probe-failure-of-njhpp (02 Sept. 2022)
An overflowing Indus River has effectively created a long lake, tens of kilometres wide, according to satellite images. The blue to black colours in the image shared by ESA after mapping the data captured from space by Copernicus Sentinel-1 show where the land is submerged. [The left side of the Copernicus Sentinel-1 image shows a wide view of the area affected and the image on the right zooms into the area between Dera Murad Jamali and Larkana.(ESA)] https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/over-one-third-of-pakistan-underwater-overflowing-indus-creates-long-lake-101662163230841.html (03 Sept. 2022)
DAWN Edit If millions and billions can continue to be poured into wars that kill and destroy, the world can also find funds to restore and rebuild. The cost of the climate crisis must not be for the most vulnerable countries to bear alone. The developed nations must take responsibility to restore at least some of the damage their actions have caused. https://www.dawn.com/news/1707526/international-responsibility (30 Aug. 2022)
A climate scientist on the planet’s simultaneous disasters Additionally, extreme weather events can occur at the same time over different places, because of large-scale atmospheric waves called “Rossby waves”, which are a naturally occurring phenomenon, like La Niña and El Niño. Back in 2010, western Russia experienced severe heat and wildfires while Pakistan had some of their worst floods to date. These events were connected by a Rossby wave causing a high pressure pattern to get stuck over western Russia and low pressure to persist over Pakistan.
Rossby waves can also result in heatwaves occurring at the same time, thousands of kilometres apart. Earlier this Northern Hemisphere summer, we saw simultaneous heatwaves strike the western US, western Europe and China. Rossby waves may well have contributed to simultaneous disasters this summer, but it’s too soon to say for sure. https://theconversation.com/a-climate-scientist-on-the-planets-simultaneous-disasters-from-pakistans-horror-floods-to-europes-record-drought-189626 (31 Aug. 2022)
Nepal Community-Centred Flood Early Warning System Dinanath Bhandari In their design and implementation, all EWSs should aim to integrate the concerns of local people and be inclusive of gender, cultural, linguistic, and other social aspects. Disaster management officials should heed the nature and magnitude of hazards and the specific needs of the communities. Some in a community may need immediate help but others may not. In order to achieve the goal of minimising risks, an EWS is basic, but it is equally important to work with communities to save lives, properties, and livelihoods. While these challenges must be systematically addressed, the EWSs established in Nepal have helped reduce human casualties. https://soanas.org/community-centred-flood-early-warning-system-in-nepal/
Bangladesh Sand mining a boon for illegal industry at expense of environment Demand from Bangladesh’s construction industry for sand has led to a boom in unregulated and illegal mining from rivers, activists say. An estimated 60-70% of the mined sand in the country is assumed to be illegally mined, extracted from rivers nationwide without any environmental or hydrological considerations.
Excessive sand mining is destroying the ecology of river systems as well as their biodiversity, and increasing the risk of river erosion, a study says. A 2010 law meant to keep sand mining in check has instead allowed the illegal industry to thrive, critics say, thanks to weak punishment, lax enforcement, and the involvement of politically connected players in the business. https://news.mongabay.com/2022/08/sand-mining-a-boon-for-illegal-industry-at-expense-of-bangladeshs-environment/ (16 Aug. 2022)
Great drought and great deluge CHINA is in the grips of its worst drought on record, which has dried up parts of the Yangtze River and impacted swaths of the country’s industrial sector. In China, the droughts in some parts of the countries have been met by a deluge in others. The western province of Qinghai experienced such heavy rains that some rivers changed course; landslides and floods killed more than a dozen people earlier this month.
– Meanwhile, in the space of only five weeks, U.S. cities experienced five instances of 1,000-year rain events — that is, episodes of severe flooding that have just 0.1 percent probability of happening in any given year. On Aug 22, 2022, parts of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex awoke to torrential downpours that dropped totals of 10 to 16 inches, bringing calamitous impacts and prompting widespread water rescues. It joins the company of 1,000-year rain events that struck Kentucky (On July 27, rains began in eastern Kentucky and quickly turned fatal. Rainfall rates topping 2 inches per hour contributed to rapid rises on area rivers, including the North Fork of the Kentucky River at Whitesburg, which rose 11 feet in five hours. That was six feet above the previous record. The water probably kept rising, but the sensor was washed away. It was another 1,000-year rain event that killed 38 people.), St. Louis (On the morning of July 26, St. Louis awoke to historic flooding in the city. A staggering 7.87 inches of rain fell in six hours during the morning commute,), eastern Illinois (On the night of Aug. 1, training thunderstorms in eastern Illinois dumped 8 to 13 inches of rain in about 12 hours near the town of Effingham) and Death Valley, Calif. (On Aug. 5, heavy storms dumped 1.46 inches of rain on Death Valley, Calif. That doesn’t sound like much, but it’s just 0.01 inches shy of the all-time daily record. Given the rapidity with which it fell, it was classified as a 1,000-year rain event. ), since the end of July — all of which were experiencing abnormally dry conditions or in a severe drought beforehand.
– In a 2017 paper, Michael Mann, a climate scientist at Pennsylvania State University found the return period of a 7.4-foot storm surge flood in New York City had decreased from once every 500 years in preindustrial times to once every 25 years since. It could become a once-per-five-year event toward the middle of the century. Precipitation extremes follow a similar trend.
– In some cases, there is a direct link between drought and floods — soil actually absorbs water better when damp, while heavy rains slosh off parched landscapes into waterways. That explains why researchers in Central Texas are fearful of what may happen after a drought exposed 113-million-year-old dinosaur tracks in a dried-up riverbed. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/08/29/global-extreme-weather-events-climate-change/ (29 Aug. 2022)
Beijing to let green groups get involved While climate change is driving a record-breaking drought and heatwave, the country also needs to look at industrial pollution, dam building and water diversion schemes. Activism and debate on these sensitive issues has been shut down in the past decade, but the authorities need to ease controls and enlist support to tackle these challenges. https://www.scmp.com/news/china/politics/article/3190714/chinas-extreme-summer-now-time-beijing-let-green-groups-get (30 Aug. 2022)
10 eerie discoveries in dried up rivers As Europe experiences its worst drought in at least 500 years, new discoveries are surfacing. Landscapes across Europe and beyond are being altered as forest fires, melting glaciers and other disasters threaten to wipe out entire regions.
As these terrains change, river beds are drying up, exposing never seen archaeological treasures. https://www.euronews.com/green/2022/08/31/old-bones-and-hunger-stones-heres-whats-being-discovered-in-dried-up-rivers (31 Aug. 2022)
UK What is raw sewage doing to the rivers and seas? Available data shows that in 2021, water companies released untreated sewage into waterways for 2.7m hours – with many discharge pipe monitors not working or left uninstalled. Madeleine Finlay speaks to reporter Helena Horton about why this is happening, and the damage it is doing to the environment, our health, and the UK’s seafood industry. https://www.theguardian.com/science/audio/2022/aug/30/what-is-raw-sewage-doing-to-the-uks-rivers-and-seas-podcast (30 Aug. 2022)
THE REST OF THE WORLD
USA Cleaning Up Rivers Using Grasses and Oysters In the Delaware River and other waterways across the US, conservationists are restoring aquatic vegetation and beds of bivalves to fight pollution. https://www.wired.com/story/how-scientists-are-cleaning-up-rivers-with-grasses-and-oysters/ (27 Aug. 2022)
Compiled by SANDRP (firstname.lastname@example.org)