DRP News Bulletin

DRP NB 281122: Justice Lokur at IRW 2022: We need to be vocally more aggressive to make a difference

In his key note address at the final session of India Rivers Week 2022, Justice Madan Lokur, former judge of Supreme Court of India said, “Time has come we need to be a little more active and aggressive vocally to ensure that we are listened to about the problems we all are facing. Farmers struggle, the CAA amendment etc. are good examples. There is need for a political will to bring about any change. How do we generate such a political will is the issue.”

Among other messages Justice Lokur gave in his key note address at the final session of India Rivers Week 2022 on Nov 27, 2022 included: “Rivers belong to all, not a select few… We need to ensure that we are effective in our work, our messages.”

The two day, five session India Rivers Week 2022 function focused on use of rivers as waterways, organized in collaboration between India Rivers Forum (IRF is constituted by ten organizations now) and Manthan Adhyayan Kendra ended on Nov 27, 2022. The IRW 2022 sessions had a number of highlights, we will try to bring them to you in separate articles.

The full recordings of the five sessions of the IRW 2022 can be found at the following links:

Session 1 recording: https://www.facebook.com/520780756763306/videos/1133822707265622

Session 2 recording: https://www.facebook.com/IndiaRiversForum/videos/521435933372185

Session 3 recording: https://facebook.com/IndiaRiversForum/videos/3372375466318822/

Session 4 recording: https://www.facebook.com/IndiaRiversForum/videos/661960775472627

Session 5 Recording: https://fb.watch/h42MT-rlu1/

Vallabhacharya Pandey local residents Kaithi and RTI activist share first-hand experience with Ganga waterways project, practical problems and rampant corruption apart from adverse social and environmental impacts.  https://fb.watch/h1MRNiKaQ1/  (26 Nov. 2022)

Abhijit Prabhudasai on significance of khazan lands and rivers as common resource and how grass roots efforts in empowering and organizing local people have been effective in protecting these from destructive projects. https://fb.watch/h3VSZbVyEX/  (27 Nov. 2022)

Dr Bharat Jhunjhunwala on economic viability and practical problems with National Waterways 1 during day 2of India Rivers Week webinar. https://fb.watch/h3VTTs-66D/  (27 Nov. 2022)

HYDRO POWER PROJECTS

Arunachal Pradesh Researcher, lawyer visit Etalin HEP site Independent researcher Bhanu Tatak and human rights lawyer Ebo Mili recently visited Etalin in Dibang Valley district to assess the ground situation of the proposed 3,097 mw run-of-the-river Etalin hydroelectric project (HEP) on the Dri and the Taloh rivers. The duo said that “the majority of the public remain unaware of the notifications by the central government on the reservation of indigenous local forests to national parks or conservation/community reserves. “The locals are also unhappy with the compromised compensation rate,” they said.

– Further, it is believed that the construction of mega dams will threaten food security in the region. “Dri and Taloh river basin is very fertile and has bountiful produce of local/native vegetables and forest products. Mega dams threaten the food security of the area/inhabitants in the area of Etalin circle as a whole (possibly even downstream, as ecosystems are balanced and intertwined),” they noted during their visit. “Also, the local people are unwilling to part away with their ancestral land, even after the acquisition, on witnessing the case of the 2,880 mw DMPP compensation discrepancies,” the duo said. https://arunachaltimes.in/index.php/2022/11/26/researcher-lawyer-visit-etalin-hep-site/  (26 Nov. 2022)

DCM, Union power minister discuss harnessing hydropower potential The Union Power Minister RK Singh informed that the Centre will shortly approve an investment of Rs 32,000 crore for the 2,880 mw Dibang project. The Deputy CM Chowna Mein informed that “the state has reformed the land acquisition process and will ensure immediate disbursement of legitimate land compensation to the landowners.”

The two ministers also discussed taking over 29 projects with 32,000 mw capacity from the private sector by the central PSUs in a time-bound manner. A clear timeline was fixed to develop these projects.

The MoAs with CPSUs for five projects with 2,820 mw capacity will be “ready for signature” in a month’s time. In addition, six projects with 6,063 mw capacity will be ready for investment in the next one year. https://arunachaltimes.in/index.php/2022/11/23/mein-singh-discuss-harnessing-arunachals-hydropower-potential/  (23 Nov. 2022)

Uttarakhand Listening to unheard voices  The ancient temple of Laxmi Narayan is a piece of living history, founded as it was by the wandering Shankara.  Today this temple, the receptacle of a staggering ten centuries of worship, is being systematically buried under tonnes of debris by the Vishnugad-Pipalkoti hydro project. 

Image Source: ToI

It was acquired by THDCIL (Tehri Hydropower Development Corporation India Limited) as a muck dumping zone in 2009, this unforgivable act going unchallenged due to village illiteracy and general public ignorance.  The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) declared that nothing of ‘cultural significance’ was to be found in the project area, and on this falsehood, clearances were obtained. (Priyadarshini Patel) https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/blogs/voices/listening-to-unheard-voices/  (25 Nov. 2022)

SJVN Nand Lal Sharma, Chairman & Managing Director, SJVN informed that SJVN is now ISO 31000:2018 Company with successful implementation of Risk Management System. ISO 31000:2018 provides guidelines, framework & process for managing any type of risk in an organization. https://www.freepressjournal.in/corporate-gallery/sjvn-becomes-first-cpse-to-implement-iso-310002018-for-risk-management-system  (26 Nov. 2022)

MoEF Agenda for the EAC on River Valley Projects to be held on Nov 30, 2022: 1. Shongtong-Karcham (402 MW) Hydroelectric Power Project in District Kinnaur of Himachal Pradesh by Shongtong Karchham Hydro Electric Project, HPPCL – Amendment in Env Clearance

2. Cumulative Impact Assessment and Carrying Capacity Study of Teesta River Basin Study in W Bengal by W Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd – study report http://environmentclearance.nic.in/writereaddata/Form-1A/Agenda/_21112022Z8FOVFMD.pdf

DAMS

Sardar Sarovar Project Former head of Sardar Sarovar Nigam talking about decommissioning of dams:

In a reply directly addressed to well-known economist, journalist, and columnist Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar’s two articles in the Times of India, calling them defamatory. https://www.counterview.net/2022/11/economist-editors-allegations-on.html  (26 Nov. 2022)

It was in 1985 that Medha Patkar, then just 31, left her PhD midway to jump headlong into the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA). Mumbai-born Patkar, the daughter of freedom fighter and labour union leader Vasant Khanolkar, had done her Masters in Social Work from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences and from her early years got involved in several causes involving generally the “oppressed” and poor. https://indianexpress.com/article/political-pulse/medha-patkar-saga-narmada-anti-dam-movement-fighter-causes-8292896/  (28 Nov. 2022)

6 Villages Want Their Lands Back Resisting the displacement, residents of six villagers – Kevadia, Vaghadia, Limbdi, Navagam, Gora and Kothi –  say that they gave up their lands for the Sardar Sarovar Dam in the 1960s and not for tourism development around the statue as the government has planned.

A teacher by profession, Ashish was fired from his job at a nearby school allegedly for his involvement in the protests. “Our ancestors gave up their lands and homes for the SSN project so that not only Gujarat, but also the neighbouring states get water. But these lands that were not submerged, we want them back. The authorities claim that these lands have been acquired for the Sardar Sarovar Project in 1961. But they have actually started the acquisition now after 60 years,” Ashish said.

“Whenever we discuss disputes with SSNNL, they tell us to approach court. Our source of income is being taken away, how do we afford to move court?” Ashish asked. https://www.thequint.com/gujarat-elections/sacrificed-for-dam-not-statue-of-unity-why-6-tribal-villages-want-their-lands-back-government-sardar-sarovar-project-nigam-narmada  (24 Nov. 2022)

Graphic Source: Dainik Bhaskar

बड़वानी स्थित राजघाट से गुजरात के स्टैच्यू ऑफ यूनिटी तक प्रस्तावित क्रूज प्रोजेक्ट खटाई में पड़ सकता है, क्योंकि सरदार सरोवर नर्मदा निगम लिमिटेड (एसएसएनएनएल)ने बांध की सुरक्षा का हवाला देते हुए 12 किमी में क्रूज के प्रवेश की मंजूरी देने से इनकार कर दिया है। इस कारण सरदार सरोवर डेम से 12 किमी पीछे तक के नदी के हिस्से में जलमार्ग का हाइड्रो-ग्राफिक सर्वे भी नहीं हो सका है। हालांकि राजघाट से स्टेच्यू ऑफ यूनिटी तक क्रूज संचालन की फिजिबिलिटी रिपोर्ट तैयार हो गई है, जिसमें राजघाट से सरदार सरोवर तक 135 किमी हिस्से को हर मौसम में क्रूज संचालन के लिए मुफीद पाया है। लेकिन टूरिज्म बोर्ड 123 किमी में ही जलमार्ग के नेविगेशन के लिए हाइड्रो-ग्राफिक सर्वे कर पाया है। https://www.bhaskar.com/local/mp/bhopal/news/block-on-cruise-project-no-entry-allowed-in-12-km-from-sardar-sarovar-130616230.html  (28 Nov. 2022)

How a farmer sees Narmada project’s Kutch Branch Canal in Mandavi taluka: Patel slid down the canal slopes and stood on the canal bed. “Water flowed here for television cameras for a day,” he said. “I haven’t seen the water after that.” Above the canal gate, a long hoarding with Modi’s image still looked fresh. On October 19, more than 500 farmers staged a day-long protest in front of the deputy collector’s office in Bachhau, saying Narmada water was not reaching much of the Kutch region. https://www.theweek.in/theweek/cover/2022/11/25/votes-from-kutch-narmada-river-gujarat-assembly-elections.html  (25 Nov. 2022)

Madhya Pradesh Protest by affected people for lack of adequate compensation due to displacement for the Runz Dam project in Panna district. https://youtu.be/FGogOJQyZQg  (23 Nov. 2022)

Runj medium irrigation project in Panna district is in the eye of the storm as project affected villages, majority of them adivasis, complain that they have not been compensated even though 60% of the dam construction work is over. https://www.gaonconnection.com/lead-stories/runj-dam-madhya-pradesh-protest-compensation-panna-adivasi-development-land-acquisition-tribal-farmers-51444  (23 Nov. 2022)

Mekedatu Project Tamil Nadu on Nov 22 2022 told the Supreme Court in an affidavit that the Cauvery Waer Management Authority has no power to discuss or decide about the the proposed Mekedatu reservoir over the river in Karnataka. CWMA has sought the opinion of the Solicitor General if CWMA has the power in this regard and SG had said yes. Following this, CWMA had told the SC that it has the power as opined by the SG. https://www.deccanherald.com/national/north-and-central/cwma-got-no-power-to-decide-on-mekedatu-project-tamil-nadu-tells-sc-1164841.html  (22 Nov. 2022)

Mullaperiyar dam Tamil Nadu has approached the Supreme Court seeking permission to fell 15 trees as part of strengthening Mullaperiyar baby dam. Tamil Nadu has also requested the Supreme Court to direct Kerala to complete strengthening measures in a time bound manner. https://english.mathrubhumi.com/news/kerala/strengthening-of-mullaperiyar-dam-tn-approaches-sc-seeking-permission-for-tree-felling-1.8051982  (16 Nov. 2022)

Andhra Pradesh Tungabhadra gets record inflows but Anantapur can draw little The Tungabhadra Dam at Hospet in Karnataka, which serves the Irrigation needs of Kurnool and Anantapur districts, in addition to Karnataka and Telangana, received the second highest quantum of water (597.62 tmcft) in its history during the current water year. The highest-ever water yield in the dam was 677.30 tmcft in the 1961-62 water year. The bad condition of the HLC canal in AP allows the department to draw only 2,000 cusecs (against allowance of 3500 cusecs) from the Karnataka border, up to which the canal has been modernised. The entire stretch of the canal falling in Andhra Pradesh is yet to be modernised. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/tungabhadra-gets-record-inflows-but-anantapur-in-neighbouring-andhra-pradesh-can-draw-little-of-it/article66170559.ece  (21 Nov. 2022)

Karnataka About Vani Vilasa Dam:- After offering the bagina to Vani Vilasa Sagar here on Nov 22 2022, CM Bommai said it is a historic movement as they have got an opportunity to offer the bagina 75 years after the independence. The dam was constructed by the Maharajas of Mysore.

– A scheme has been evolved to link this to the Upper Bhadra project and provide drip irrigation facilities to the fields situated in low-lying areas. Once this is done, the Government of India in its Investment Board has approved the Upper Bhadra Scheme and Rs 16,000 crore grant is expected from the Union Government towards this project.

– Bommai said the Vani Vilasa Dam has filled to the brim after 88 years and this dam is like the Central Karnataka Water Storage grid. The impounded water could be used for irrigation purposes in Chitradurga, Tumkur and Davangere areas.

– With a view to providing water to the people of this region from the rain water from the Western Ghats, the family sold the jewellery to build this dam despite the financial crisis. The government is indebted to the Wadiyar family for such a noble gesture. https://www.thehansindia.com/news/cities/bengaluru/vani-vilasa-dam-is-like-the-central-karnataka-water-storage-grid-bommai-770286  (22 Nov. 2022)

Regular water flow will be ensured to the Vani Vilas Sagar water grid henceforth, promised CM Basavaraj Bommai after offering bagina to the waterbody at Hiriyur in Chitradurga district on Tuesday (Nov 21). He said Vani Vilas Sagar had filled to the brim after 88 years. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/bommai-offers-bagina-at-vani-vilas-sagar/article66170698.ece  (22 Nov. 2022)

INTERSTATE WATER DISPUTES

CWC States using only 65% Krishna basin water  The Central Water Commission (CWC) has found that only around 65 per cent of the total water available in the Krishna basin is utilized by different states. The CWC in its latest study found that more water is going into the ocean in the last few years due to the downpour in the river basin in a short duration. Although the CWC did not spell out anything about the impact of climate change, experts are of the view that it was the result of climate change.

– They noted that witnessing massive rains in short durations could be frequent instances in the future which might make it difficult to tap water by any state. “The quantum of water received has doubled in the recent past but scope is remote to tap and store it as there is unexpected level of floods in the basin,” said a senior irrigation official. According to latest CWC report, entire Krishna basin has around 3144.41 tmc ft water during a water year. The CWC estimated that states along Krishna basin can tap just around 2060 tmc ft which is just around 60-65% of the total available water in the basin. Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana, AP and to a small ectent Tamil Nadu depend on Krishna water. Interestingly, CWC study revealed the availability of water is 12 tmc ft less than the quantum estimated by Bachawat tribunal. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/amaravati/states-using-only-65-krishna-basin-water-finds-cwc/articleshow/95778427.cms  (26 Nov. 2022)

Bihar An underwater mosque resurfaces Story of how a mosque re-emerged from a reservoir when it dried up this year due to low rainfall in Nawada district in South Bihar, also reminding about the displacement of the people for the dam in 1985. https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2022/11/22/we-lived-there-once-an-underwater-mosque-resurfaces-in-india  (22 Nov. 2022)

RIVERS AS NATIONAL WATER WAYS

Uttar Pradesh Govt plans to start cruise services The government plans to start cruise services on the Yamuna river, a top official of UP Braj Tirth Vikas Parishad said on Friday (on Oct. 21). An order has been placed with Cochin Shipyard by the Union govt for two cruises. These cruises will be handed over to the Parishad, its chief executive officer Nagendra Pratap said. According to officials, the cruise service will commence from Jugal Ghat Vrindavan and terminate at ‘Vasudeo Vatika’ adjacent to Gokul barrage, with halts at various points. Under the scheme, more than half a dozen jetties would be developed for the 22 km journey from Vrindavan to Gokul, they added. The officials said the Union government is also developing similar river transport in Ayodhya and Varanasi. https://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2022/oct/22/government-plans-to-start-cruise-services-on-yamuna-river-2510632.html  (22 Oct. 2022)

West Bengal कोलकाता के व्यवसायी अमित अग्रवाल ने गंगा नदी में मालवाहक जहाज चलाने की मेगा योजना बनाई थी. जेल में बंद अमित अग्रवाल ने हाल ही में झारखंड के साहिबगंज और पश्चिम बंगाल के मायापुर बीच गंगा नदी में मालवाहक जहाज चलाने के लिए भारतीय अंतरदेशीय जलमार्ग प्राधिकरण (IWAI) से अनुमति प्राप्त की थी. अमित अग्रवाल जनहित याचिका मामले में प्रवर्तन निदेशालय (ईडी) के एक आरोपी हैं और एजेंसी ने शेल कंपनी से संबंधित जनहित याचिका को विफल करने के लिए झारखंड उच्च न्यायालय के वकील राजीव कुमार को रिश्वत देने के आरोप में उन्हें चार्जशीट किया था. वह इस समय रांची के बिरसा मुंडा केंद्रीय कारागार में बंद है. वह साहिबगंज में अवैध पत्थर खनन घोटाले में ईडी के संदिग्धों की सूची भी है. https://lagatar.in/kolkata-businessman-amit-agarwal-made-mega-plan-to-run-cargo-ship-in-river-ganga/  (22 Nov. 2022)

URBAN RIVERS

Hyderabad And quietly flows the Musi (Musa)… While the geographers, hydrographers and geologists who work on ecology have referred to the Easa and Musa originating in the Anantagiri hills and these tributaries finally joining the Musi clearly draw a distinction between the Rivers Musa and the Musi. Even some geo-technical maps that have been prepared to facilitate future planning and development in and around the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad, refer to Rivers Musi and Musa as separate rivers.

Image Source: Siasat.com

Published books dealing with urban geology of the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad, mineral exploration, records of the Geological Survey of India and the international journal of Advanced Remote Sensing and GIS give such details. “The Musi swerves towards north 2.6 kilometres SE of Gandipet and back to ESE 2.4 kilometres east of Gandipet. The Musa River flowing ENE follows a sinuous NE course from the locality 1 kilometre of Kismatpuram. It joins the Musi 1.6 kilometres WNW of Hyderabad.” https://www.siasat.com/and-quietly-follows-the-musi-musa-2462545/   (21 Nov. 2022)

RIVERS

India Rivers Forum During second day of India Rivers Week on Nov. 27, IRF is has awarded Bhagirath Prayas Samman (BPS) 2022 in organization category to Society for Creative Opportunities and Participatory Ecosystems (SCOPE), Kolkata for making commendable efforts in protection & conservation of East Kolkata Wetlands and the BPS 2022 in individual category to Prof Venkatesh Dutta for his years of dedicated and ongoing work to protect the people, river and environment in Gomti River basin. Similarly, the Anupam Mishra Medal 2022 for media work is awarded to Shri Dheeraj Mishra in individual category appreciating his dedicated investigative reporting which has brought the cause of rivers into the public eye.

Maharashtra Revival programme for 103 rivers In conjunction with a Nadi Samvad Yatra, Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Cultural Affairs have launched a programme to revive state’s rivers and spread awareness about them among the people. The programme known as ‘Chala Januya Nadila’ (Know our Rivers) envisages reviving a total of 103 rivers across the state, which are part of the river basins of Krishna, Godavari, Tapi and Narmada as well as 27 west-flowing rivers. The aim of the initiative is to map the condition of these rivers from their source till the end, study cultural interactions of communities with the rivers around them, take time-bound measures to mitigate river pollution, map encroachments and educate the communities interacting with the rivers. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/maharashtra-revival-programme-for-103-rivers-in-the-state-kicks-off-8224012/   (03 Nov. 2022)

BRAHMAPUTRA Assam Discussion puts spotlight on Majuli shrinking river island. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/discussion-puts-spotlight-on-majuli-assams-shrinking-river-island/article66158133.ece  (19 Nov. 2022)

GANGA Uttar Pradesh Study aims to put people at heart of revival plans IIT-Kanpur and Melbourne’s La Trobe University have tied up to understand the socioeconomic impact of pollution, and for this they meet all stakeholders – especially residents of the riverbanks – to understand their social customs, practices and traditional knowledge systems. People-first Program Prof Prem Kurup, a STEM academic from LaTrobe University, said, “We are following a 5P approach with the first P standing for people’s participation. ” The next four Ps are policies, procedure, process and practice. Here, process means public engagement based on norms, and ‘practice’ or implementation is a voluntary cooperative venture undertaken by all stakeholders to mitigate pollution in the Ganga.

People’s perception of water quality differs markedly from the scientific assessment done by CPCB’s monitoring stations. It could be because the people are not familiar with scientific measures of water quality, such as dissolved oxygen, biological oxygen demand and coliform count. Even though all polluting industries in Kanpur have been relocated, the problem of effluent discharge remains, said Prof Kurup. “Toxic and untreated effluents are released directly into the river late in the night and early morning. Similarly, at some places and ghats in Varanasi, untreated or partially treated sewage is released directly into the river. ” https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/new-study-aims-to-put-people-at-heart-of-ganga-revival-plans/articleshow/95796912.cms  (27 Nov. 2022)

YAMUNA Haryana Over a dozen factories under HSPCB scanner Over a dozen factories allegedly illegally operating in the city are being sealed as part of an ongoing exercise by the Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB), which says the units are violating anti-pollution norms and releasing untreated effluents into open areas. Officials on Thursday (Nov. 24) said a survey conducted by an HSPCB team found that most of these units are unnamed and operating without consent to operate. Last year, penalties amounting to a total of Rs 14 crore were imposed on around 72 such units, of which the board recovered Rs 8 crore. These units have no effluent treatment plants and fall under HSPCB’s ‘red’ category for environmental violations. Varun Gulati, a Delhi-based social activist, had filed a complaint with HSPCB against these units last year.

Gulati alleged that the units were discharging effluents directly into drains without treatment, which eventually flowed into the Yamuna. “These effluents discharged are a big cause of pollution in the Yamuna,” he said. Following his complaint, the HSPCB team conducted a survey and identified more than 200 illegal units operational in Gurgaon. Meanwhile, the pollution control board officials said they are taking action against such factories. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/gurgaon/over-a-dozen-factories-under-hspcb-scanner/articleshow/95750887.cms  (25 Nov. 2022)

Delhi Significant rise in river pollution since 2017: Govt report The pollution load in the Yamuna river has increased substantially over the last five years, according to a report by the environment department. The report shows that barring Palla, the annual average level of biological oxygen demand (BOD) increased at every location.

– The Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) collects river water samples at Palla, where the Yamuna enters Delhi; Wazirabad, ISBT bridge, ITO bridge, Nizamuddin bridge, Agra Canal at Okhla Barrage, Okhla Barrage and Asgarpur. The DPCC data showed while there has been no major change in the annual average BOD level at Palla over the last five years (from 2017 to 2022), it has increased from around 3 mg/l to around 9 mg/l at Wazirabad.

– The BOD level has risen from around 30 mg/l to 50 mg/l at the ISBT bridge and from 22 mg/l to 55 mg/l at the ITO bridge during the period. Similarly, the BOD level worsened from 23 mg/l to around 60 mg/l at Nizamuddin bridge, from 26 mg/l to 63 mg/l at Agra Canal at Okhla Barrage, from 26 mg/l to 69 mg/l at Okhla Barrage and from around 30 mg/l to 73 mg/l at Asgarpur, the data showed. The Yamuna river can be considered fit for bathing if BOD is less than 3 milligram per litre and dissolved oxygen (DO) is greater than 5 milligram per litre. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/delhi/significant-rise-in-yamuna-pollution-since-2017-says-delhi-govt-report-454029  (24 Nov. 2022)

Fishermen in Yamuna River amid rising pollution | Photo: Suresh K Pandey/Outlook

Photo report How India’s Sacred River Is Choking On Sewage, Broken Idols, Toxic Foam And More. https://www.outlookindia.com/national/how-india-s-sacred-river-is-choking-on-sewage-broken-idols-toxic-foam-and-more-photos-236202?photo-1  (11 Nov. 2022)

RIVERS BIODIVERSITY

NBWL to decide water level needed for Chambal river sanctuary What should be the minimum water level required in the 435-km-long Chambal River Sanctuary for the conservation of endangered species like gharials, turtles and particularly dolphins, whose numbers are dwindling fast in the region? Though the Union Environment Ministry’s top wildlife research body, Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun has already defined the limit, the Standing Committee of the National Board of Wildlife (SC-NBWL) under the Ministry seems to be now having second thoughts over it. It has set up a panel comprising member secretary, NBWL, Dr HS Singh, member, NBWL, representatives of Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun, Central Water Commission (CWC) and Irrigation Departments of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh that will define the minimum level required for sustaining the aquatic animal life in the Chambal river sanctuary that passes through Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

The move followed after Dr. H S Singh, one of the members of the SC-NBWL,  during a SC-NBWL meeting held on October 11, opposed Madhya Pradesh Government’s proposal entailing diversion of of 0.95 ha of forest land from the sanctuary for construction of intake well, approach bridge and water pipeline.

Dr Singh pointed out that the WII had earlier submitted a report that the flow in Chambal during late winters and summers reduces a lot which is not sufficient for survival of dolphins and therefore the Standing Committee had decided not to consider any such proposals in the past for taking water from the Chambal river.

As per wildlife experts, the number of dolphins in Chambal river has been reduced by 13% in 4 years. There are just 68 dolphins left in the Chambal river sanctuary.

As per the WII, the minimum flow required to sustain the ideal habitat for gharial in Chambal river is 151-165 m3/sec and for the dolphin  266.42 – 289.67 m3/sec. But in December 2017 when Dehradun-based agency again monitored the discharge of Chambal river, it found flow had receded to 67 m3 /sec.

In 2011, the SC-NBWL had said that no new projects would be considered for withdrawing water from Chambal river which is already witnessing receding water flow. A report prepared by a team led by Superintendent, National Chambal Sanctuary, Sheopur which inspected the site on July 4, 2019 too had red-flagged such projects.. https://www.dailypioneer.com/2022/india/nbwl-to-decide-water-level-needed-for-chambal-river-sanctuary.html  (23 Nov. 2022)

Punjab Beas river likely to be declared as largest natural heritage site For the first time in the country, the 185-kilometre-long Beas River of Punjab which was already declared as a conservation reserve four years ago is likely to be declared as the largest natural national heritage site. Sources said that the state wildlife department is in process of obtaining permission from the state government. It will be a step towards enhancing the status of this river globally, promoting its eco-tourism, which will have a positive impact on the locals.

“Beas is the only ecological living river of Punjab. It supports a viable population of endangered aquatic species and directly impacts the livelihood of riparian communities in four states of the country. It is being proposed to recognise this river as a natural national heritage as it will be an initial step under UNESCO’s World Heritage Convention,’’ said an officer on condition of anonymity. https://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2022/nov/21/beas-river-likely-to-bedeclared-as-largestnatural-heritage-site-2520492.html  (21 Nov. 2022)

Maharashtra Diatomist bags award Leading diatomist Karthick Balasubramanian has bagged this year’s T N Khoshoo Memorial Award for his work on the taxonomy and systematics of freshwater diatom flora.

Karthick Balasubramanian has been awarded the T N Khoshoo Memorial Award for his work on the taxonomy and systematics of freshwater diatom flora. (Express)

The award was given for his pioneering contributions to the study of diatoms or single-celled microscopic algae, which are found in rivers, wetlands, oceans and soil, and are a source of food for many organisms. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/bangalore/diatomist-karthick-balasubramanian-bags-t-n-khoshoo-memorial-award-8292476/  (27 Nov. 2022)

CoP 19 India’s conservation efforts for tortoises, fresh water turtles earn support at CITES During the 19th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP 19) at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), India reiterated its commitment on conserving tortoises and fresh water turtles in the country. India proposed for induction of fresh water turtle Batagur kachuga. CITES CoP19 is being held at Panama City from 14-25 November 2022.  https://www.livemint.com/news/india/indias-conservation-efforts-for-tortoises-fresh-water-turtles-earn-support-at-cites-cop19-11669273778746.html  (24 Nov. 2022)

Assam Gangetic Dolphin carcass found in Lakhimpur A carcass of an endangered Gangetic Dolphin was found off the river Dikrang in Lakhimpur’s Bihpuria on Sunday (Sept. 25). The body of the dead aquatic mammal was discovered in the shallow waters of Dikrong in Dongeebeel in Bihpuria. A deep cut mark was found on the back of the dead river dolphin believed to be attacked by fishermen. The local villagers informed the police and the forest department and the dead dolphin was taken out for post-mortem. https://nenow.in/north-east-news/assam/assam-gangetic-dolphin-carcass-found-in-lakhimpur.html  (26 Sept. 2022)

FISH, FISHERIES, FISHERFOLKS

SANDRP Blog WFD 2022: Protect Aquatic Biodiversity for Fish to prosper On the occasion of World Fisheries Day (WFD) 2022, this report by SANDRP tracks developments related to aquatic biodiversity in India over the last year. 

The first, second, third and fourth parts of the WFD 2022 reports covered positive reports on rivers’ fish and fishermen; mass fish deaths in rivers and emerging threats; mass fish kills in lakes, ponds in the country and issues concerning rights & livelihoods of inland & coastal fishers reported during the past one year. https://sandrp.in/2022/11/22/wfd-2022-protect-aquatic-biodiversity-for-fish-to-prosper/  (22 Nov. 2022)

Chhattisgarh Cabinet approves amendments to fisheries policy A meeting of cabinet led by CM Bhupesh Baghel on Nov 24, 2022 approved amendments in the new fisheries policy. According to the revised new fisheries policy, ponds and irrigation reservoirs for fish farming will no longer be auctioned but will be given on lease for 10 years. The priority will be given to fishermen groups including Dhimar, Nishad, Kenvat, Kahar, Kahra, Mallah and fisheries cooperative society in general areas for allotment of ponds and reservoirs.

– The fishermen groups and fisheries cooperative society of the scheduled tribe category will be given priority in the scheduled tribe notified area. Similarly, in the case of the village pond, instead of a maximum of one hectare, half a hectare of water area will be allotted to the fishermen group and fishery cooperative society or fisherman person. In the case of the irrigation reservoir, instead of a four-hectare, a two-hectare water area will be allotted on the basis of per member or per person.

– Under the three-tier panchayat system, the gram panchayat will have the right to allot ponds and irrigation reservoirs of zero to 10 hectares of average water area on lease for 10 years. Likewise, Janpad Panchayat will have the authority to allot over 10 hectares to 100 hectares and District Panchayat over 100 hectares to 200 hectares average water area. The fisheries department will have the authority to lease over 200 hectares to 1000 hectares of average water area in reservoirs, barrage to fishermen groups and fishery co-operative societies. But the water area under the authority of urban bodies will be allotted by the urban body concerned on lease for 10 years.  https://theprint.in/india/chhattisgarh-cabinet-approves-amendments-to-fisheries-policy/1234413/  (25 Nov. 2022)

Mumbai Kolis building man-made ponds in Mithi Nestled across Mithi river banks, there once were flourishing Koliwadas, the pride of the Koli community.

The Koli fishing community has lived in Dharavi for centuries but their livelihood is at risk because of rapid industrialisation and overcrowding. (Express Photo)

As recent as 2006, one could fish in the waters of the Mithi, but today, it is dark, the fish are gone, and the Kolis are doing all they can to ensure that they don’t succumb to the same fate. https://indianexpress.com/article/research/we-have-nothing-but-fishing-why-kolis-of-mumbai-are-building-man-made-ponds-in-mithi-river-8288339/  (25 Nov. 2022)

Delhi Why fish weren’t released in Noida stretch On Wednesday (Oct. 12), the officials of the fisheries department were to release shoals of fish — 1.25 lakh in all in 2 phases — into the river near Noida (near Okhla bird sanctuary) under the River Ranching Programme, which is introduced as a special activity under Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY). However, the high pollution in the water body prevented them from doing so. As an alternative, they will now let go the fish — including rohu, nain and catla — in the Hapur stretch of Ganga. https://www.indiatoday.in/environment/story/river-ranching-programme-fish-not-released-in-yamuna-noida-2284867-2022-10-13  (13 Oct. 2022)

Tamil Nadu Govt reluctant to translate draft CZMP into Tamil Several fisher associations across state expressed dismay over the state government’s reluctance in translating the draft Coastal Zone Management Plans (CZMPs) and the land use plans into Tamil. As the date for a public hearing on the plans in all the coastal districts nears, fishers contend that the translation is necessary as it is related to their livelihood and rights. This comes after Advocate General R Shanmugasundaram recently made an oral submission before the Madras HC that it will be difficult for the state environment department to translate all documents of the draft CZMP prepared by the Centre’s National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM). The submission was made during the hearing of a plea filed by fisherpersons rights activist K Saravanan, who alleged that the lack of a Tamil version of draft CZMPs, and was creating difficulties for fishermen to understand the details. The next date of hearing is on November 30. https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/tamil-nadu/2022/nov/26/tamil-nadu-govt-reluctant-to-translate-draft-czmp-into-tamil-fishers-up-in-arms-2522230.html  (26 Nov. 2022)

Gujarat Coastal Fishing Community Questions Demolition Timing The Jakhau harbour, 120 km from Bhuj town in Kutch district, is part of the Abdasa Assembly constituency where polling will be held on December 1 in the first of the two-phase elections for the 182-member House. The issue of restoration of Jakhau Harbour, a major source of economic activity in the area, is an issue that the opposition has been harping on to target the BJP.

The water crisis in the region, especially getting water from Narmada, is also a major poll plank of various political parties in the arid Kutch region. A fish trader, who did not wish to be named, feels razing homes with bulldozers is more of a symbolic action than an administrative decision. The district administration and the ruling BJP refuted the bulldozer politics claims, and said the demolition of illegal structures was necessary for national security. https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/houses-demolished-this-coastal-gujarat-fishing-community-questions-timing-3555314  (26 Nov. 2022)

SAND MINING

Haryana NGT slaps Rs 18.7-cr fine for illegal mining in Yamunanagar NGT has imposed a penalty of Rs 18.7 crore on three mine leaseholders for illegal mining, diversion of river flow and failure to develop green belts, install CCTV cameras and GPS system on vehicles. All three mining sites are in Yamunanagar district.

Mubarikpur Royalty Company faces a fine of Rs 12 crore, while Delhi Royalty Company will pay a penalty of 4.2 crore. Development Strategies India Private Limited will have to shell out Rs 2.5 crore. The three leaseholders were allotted mining sites in 2015. Development Strategies India Private Limited was allotted 23.05 hectares at Pobari village in Yamunanagar’s Radaur block for the mining of boulders, gravel and sand for nine years.

The NGT-appointed monitoring committee led by Justice Pritam Pal (retd) found that the leaseholder diverted the Yamuna’s flow to extract more sand. The committee noticed that mining was carried out beside the river’s embankment. As per norms, the mining site should be 500 m from the embankment. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/haryana/criminal-nexus-national-green-tribunal-slaps-rs-18-7-crore-fine-for-illegal-mining-in-yamunanagar-453280  (22 Nov. 2022)

The compensation to be deposited by erring mining firms would be deposited with Haryana State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) and it would be utilised for restoration of the environment by preparing and executing an action plan in consultation with the district magistrate. The action plan needs to cover restoration of degraded areas, post-mining remedial measures, restoring natural flow of river and taking other restitution activities, as required. “The utilization may be ensured as far as possible within six months. If the mining firms fail to pay the amount, it will be open to the authorities to take coercive measures including blacklisting, recovery from their security, if any available with the State, or otherwise. The firms may not be allowed to undertake further mining in view of serious violations already committed”, said the NGT order.  https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chandigarh/illegal-mining-in-yamunanagar-three-mining-firms-fined-rs-18-7-crore-by-ngt/articleshow/95690162.cms   (22 Nov. 2022)

Nagaland Sand ban on Bokajan side to be lifted In the interest of general public, Sand Stockiest & Suppliers’ Union Dimapur (SSSUD), Sand Stockists’ & Sand Suppliers’ Union Chümoukedima (SSSSUC) and Assam Sand Supply & Truck Owners’ Association (ASSTOA) have decided to lift the ongoing sand ban on Bokajan side of Assam from Friday (Nov. 25). In a press release, presidents of SSSUD Viniho Shohe; SSSSUC Khriesavilie Yhoshu and ASSTOA Anito N Shohe said that the decision was made at an emergency meeting on Thursday (Nov 24), taking into consideration the hardship faced by the general public following the indefinite ban on sand imposed in the State due exorbitant rise in its price.

In order to control the self-style fixation of sand price, the organisations resolved to fix the price of sand for all stockists and suppliers and decided to regulate the price. The meeting also resolved to continue the indefinite ban on sand on Manja side of Assam as the matter had not been resolved and urged all stockists and suppliers to take note and report to the three organisations if anyone was found violating the ban. https://nagalandpost.com/index.php/sand-ban-on-bokajan-side-to-be-lifted-from-today/  (25 Nov. 2022)

Maharashtra 4 Killed After Sand Dumper Overturns On Auto Four persons including three students were killed in a road accident after a dumper full of sand overturned on an auto-rickshaw they were travelling in Raigarh. Reportedly, the three students were returning home after giving their exam. They along with the auto driver were killed on spot. Their bodies have been sent for post-mortem. The accident took place at Chole village around 7.10 pm, when both the vehicles were going towards Poladpur, an official said. The speeding dumper lost control and toppled on the auto-rickshaw, which was moving ahead parallel to the dumper, he said. All the four persons travelling in the auto-rickshaw were killed in the accident, he said. https://www.india.com/maharashtra/raigarh-road-accident-4-killed-including-3-student-returning-from-exam-as-dumper-full-of-sand-overturns-on-auto-in-maharashtra-news-5729933/  (08 Nov. 2022)

Tamil Nadu 6 dead as sand truck rams into with Omni bus Six people died in a horrific road accident after a truck carrying m-sand collided with an Omni bus near Salem. On Saturday (Sept. 17) midnight, six people from Bethanayakanpalayam boarded an Omni bus to reach Chennai to attend a function. As the bus cleaner was helping them keep their luggage, a truck rammed into them from behind, killing five on the spot. Thirunavukkarasu, his son Ravikumar, his relative Senthilvelan and Subramani, the bus’ cleaner, Deepan, died on the spot. Meanwhile, Thirunavukkarasu’s wife Vijaya died while being transported to Salem government hospital. Ethapur Police have registered an investigation and are on the lookout for the truck driver who left the vehicle and absconded. https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/six-dead-truck-rams-into-with-omni-bus-near-tamil-nadu-salem-accused-absconding-2001634-2022-09-18  (18 Sept. 2022)

Bihar A sand-laden truck fell off a flyover in Patna and fell on a school bus standing under the flyover on Monday (Oct. 10) night.

Image Source: India Today

In the incident that took place on the Harding Road flyover, no casualities were reported. People claimed that the driver was in an inebriated state when the accident took place. At the time of the incident, he jumped from the truck and fled the spot. Further details are awaited. https://www.indiatoday.in/cities/patna/story/sand-laden-truck-falls-from-flyover-in-patna-driver-absconding-watch-here-2284075-2022-10-11  (11 Oct. 2022)

Uttar Pradesh Bus rams into truck on expressway in UP, 5 killed A bus and a truck collided on the Agra-Lucknow Expressway killing five persons including a minor girl and injuring 41 persons in Etawah district early Sunday (Oct. 23) morning. The bus was going to Ajmer in Rajasthan from Gorakhpur. Police said the injured passengers were admitted to hospital in Etawah and the doctors said the condition of two of the women passengers was critical. Police said that the bus and conductor were also killed in the accident.

Senior Superintendent of Police, Etawah, Jai Prakash Singh said on Sunday (Oct. 23) around 2.30 am the bus coming from Gorakhpur hit a truck loaded with coarse sand from behind, in Saifai area. “There were around 46 passengers travelling in the bus. It is suspected that the incident occurred when the bus driver fell asleep and lost control over the vehicle. On being alerted about the accident, a police team rushed to the spot and shifted the injured passengers to hospital,” he added. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/lucknow/bus-rams-into-truck-on-expressway-in-up-5-killed-8227208/  (24 Oct. 2022)

West Bengal Four Killed As Sand Truck Hits Cattle-Laden Vehicle Four persons were killed and three others injured on Wednesday (June 15) when a truck collided with a cattle-laden vehicle parked on a roadside in Bankura district, police said.  The accident occur around 3.30 am on the Bishnupur-Arambagh road near Raibaghini area after the sand-laden truck hit the vehicle loaded with bovines, a police officer said.  The driver and cleaners of the cattle-laden vehicle were replacing tyres when the accident took place, he said.  Several bovines were also killed in the accident.  Further investigation is underway, he added. https://www.outlookindia.com/national/four-killed-as-truck-hits-cattle-laden-vehicle-in-bengal-news-202651  (16 June 2022)

Odisha  A labourer was killed after a sand-laden dumper truck ran over them while they were sleeping in Bhandaripokhari area of Bhadrak. According to reports, the incident occurred after the driver of the truck lost control over the wheels and ran over a temporary camp set up for labourers engaged in road construction on NH-16. Following this, one labourer died on the spot while others managed to run to safety. https://pragativadi.com/sand-laden-dumper-truck-runs-over-temporary-camp-set-up-for-labourers-one-dies/  (13 Sept. 2022)

Women killed in accident involving sand mining truck. https://kalingatv.com/state/woman-killed-in-truck-tata-ace-collision-in-mayurbhanj/  (19 Nov. 2022)

WETLANDS, LAKES, WATER BODIES

SANDRP Blog Photo Blog: Giri Taal of Kashipur; A Glorious Waterbody Succumbing to Neglect The Giri Taal in Kashipur town of Udham Singh Nagar district, Uttarakhand is yet another text book example of how a rich water resource has gradually been succumbing to unplanned development and official neglect.

This short pictorial report after a brief visit to the Taal tries to highlight its socio-ecological values and the threats the water body is facing. As per National Wetland Atlas 2011 out of total 2,912 sqkm geographical area of the US Nagar district 6.90 percent (20,099 hectare) is under wetland which is highest in the state. https://sandrp.in/2022/11/25/photo-blog-giri-taal-of-kashipur-a-glorious-waterbody-succumbing-to-neglect/  (25 Nov. 2022)

Uttrakhand Nainital HC orders stop on all construction activities on Sukahatal lake bed The High Court of Nainital has asked that all encroachments be removed from Sukhatal- a seasonal lake that is the main source of recharge for Naini lake, the water body of one of north India’s most popular hill stations, Nainital.

Kartikey Hari Gupta, amicus curiae, told the court that hydrological studies had proved that the Sukhatal was a major source of water supply to Naini lake. Yet a report by IIT Roorkee had come up with a plan for beautification of the area. While the report itself was contradictory and could not be relied on, there was also no need for the beautification of an area that was already abundantly naturally beautiful. The court observed that had the encroachments on Sukhatal belonged to the poor, they would have been removed immediately. It ordered an immediate stoppage of all construction activities on Sukahatal while fixing December 20 as the next date of hearing.

On March 2, 2022 the court had directed the Additional Chief Standing Counsel to send a copy of the petition to all concerned the Secretaries and obtain their replies as early as possible. It had also said that as the matter was very urgent it would be listed on each date of listing of PILs as a fresh admission. In November 2022, concerned citizens had again raised their voice against the fact that despite the urgency of the matter not a single hearing had taken place. The matter was finally taken up on Tuesday (November 22) with a two judge bench of Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice R.C Khulbe issuing notices to the State Environmental Impact Assessment Authority and the State Wetlands Management Authority.

In the 21st century, the Naini lake has often seen a drastic decline in water—something that was never seen in its life cycle. Between 2002 and 2016 the lake reached zero level (the minimum level of water to be maintained) 10 times. A major reason for this is the encroachment of Sukhatal and the concretisation of its bed. It is the government’s version of beautification, which experts say comes at the expense of the health of the lake. The administration’s plans to make an artificial water body on the Sukhatal lakebed to boost tourism comes without any understanding of how water moves underground to recharge the Naini lake. If Sukhatal were to be developed as the administration envisages it, the hydrological balance will be upturned and the drying up of Naini lake hastened. Also, given the limited resources of Nainital, there is no reason to make efforts to increase tourist flow. A better approach would be to develop other tourist spots in the state. https://www.theweek.in/news/india/2022/11/23/nainital-hc-orders-stop-on-all-construction-activities-on-sukahatal-lake-bed.html  (23 Nov. 2022)

Andhra Pradesh Stage set for rejuvenating Pulicat lake Chennai-based Indomer Coastal Hydraulics (P) Ltd is also conducting a survey for dredging operations to open the sea mouth at the instance of the National Centre for Coastal Research. The survey by Indomer is nearing completion and the AP Fisheries department, which is coordinating with all the line departments, is gearing up to start the dredging works from January 2023, fisheries wing officials said.

State government had requested the National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR), Chennai to take up the Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) survey for opening the sea mouth into Pulicat Lake at Rayadaruvu and prepare the Detailed Project Report (DPR). NCCR prepared and submitted the DPR at an estimated cost of Rs 128.80 crore in April 2022 for opening the sea mouth at Rayadaruvu and dredging the channel length of 2800m towards the lake. Now, the government has submitted the DPR to the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, seeking 100% grant -funding under the Sagarmala Scheme. From July 2022, the state government also initiated studies for obtaining the Coastal Regulation Zone and other environmental clearances from the MoEF.

A detailed project report (DPR) was prepared by the National Institute of Ocean Technology after a study on bathymetry, topography, hydrodynamics (waves, tides & currents) and water quality(salinity & turbidity) in 2017. The Sálim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON) carried out a study in 2019 on the ecosystem and its impact on the flora and fauna and wildlife. Their report stresses that the exchange of water between sea and lake will stabilize the salinity levels, thereby increasing the diversity and abundance of planktons and fish availability in the lake. This can help in sustaining the larger wetland bird population in Pulicat Bird Sanctuary, which lies in the Central Asian Flyway Region. https://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/231122/stage-set-for-rejuvenating-pulicat-lake.html  (23 Nov. 2022)

Kerala Saving wetlands A Kerala town located on one of the world’s most polluted lakes is spearheading a drive to conserve the wetlands it relies on for survival – and that thousands of species call home. https://www.dw.com/en/backwater-beauty-saving-keralas-wetlands/video-63879022  (25 Nov. 2022)

WATER OPTIONS

Tamil Nadu Arittapatti village notified as first biodiversity heritage site According to a statement, the Arittapatti village is surrounded by a chain of seven barren granite hillocks that act as a watershed and support close to 72 lakes, 200 natural spring pools and three check dams. The Anaikondan lake built during the reign of the Pandiyas in the 16th century is one among them. According to an order issued by Supriya Sahu, Additional Chief Secretary, Environment, Climate Change and Forest, the notification will strengthen the biodiversity and conservation efforts with the participation of local communities. It was added that the initiatives will also help preserve the rich biological and historical repository of the area. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chennai/arittapatti-village-madurai-first-biodiversity-heritage-site-tamil-nadu-8283625/  (23 Nov. 2022)

Odisha Mahendragiri gets biodiversity heritage site tag Government on Friday (Nov. 25) accorded Mahendragiri the tag of ‘biodiversity heritage site’ making it the second such spot in the state after Mandasaru Gorge in Kandhamal. Issuing a notification to this effect, Forest and Environment department stated that an area of 4,250 hectare in the Mahendragiri hill eco-system, comprising two reserve forests — Idongiri and Mahendra RF — in Gajapati district has been declared as ‘biodiversity heritage site’ as per section 37 of Biodiversity Act and Odisha Biodiversity Rules 2012.

“The hill eco-system acts as a transitional zone between flora and fauna of Western Ghats and the Himalayan biogeographic zones making the region an ecological estuary of genetic diversities. It plays a pivotal role in maintaining the ecological balance and control of climate of the entire south Odisha and Srikakulam district in Andhra Pradesh. The fragile ecosystem is also being treated as a critical habitat of Saora (Saura) and Kondh tribe,” stated the Forest department in its notification. https://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/bhubaneswar/2022/nov/26/mahendragiri-gets-biodiversity-heritage-site-tag-second-in-odisha-2522340.html  (26 Nov. 2022)

Delhi Rajokri Lake: From wasteland into model lake in just a year Rajokri Lake, located near the Delhi-Gurugram border till 2017 was a dying water body that had suffered years of toxic abuse. Domestic wastewater and sewerage from the adjoining semi-urban settlements of Rajokri village were channelled through open drains into the lake, which became a breeding ground for communicable diseases.

The rejuvenated Rajokri lake area today is 9,446 square metres of redeveloped public space, with a water body of 2,000 square metres, fed with treated effluents. Pic Sri Krishna

The transformation was the result of four years of effort of two individuals, Ankit Srivastava, a graduate of IIT Bombay in Environmental Engineering and Advisor to Delhi Jal Board, and architect Mriganka Saxena, who saw a potential for change under all the filth. Teaming up with the Delhi Jal Board, along with the Irrigation and Flood Control Department (IFCD) the two transformed the Rajokri water body into Delhi’s first-ever decentralised sewage system.

The lake area today is 9,446 square metres of redeveloped public space, with a water body of 2,000 square metres which is now fed with treated effluents, which earlier were its primary pollutants. Gravel-based walking pathways around the lake double up as rainwater harvesting channels. https://citizenmatters.in/rajokri-lake-wasteland-to-model-lake-in-a-year-32146  (24 Nov. 2022)

Bengaluru Byrasandra lake rejuvenation completed The much-needed and delayed rejuvenation of Byrasandra Lake is almost complete. The waterbody is to be opened to the public in a few days after being rejuvenated at an estimated cost of Rs 4.90 crore. While the state government’s grant was Rs 4 crore under the Nava Nagarothana Yojana from the MLA’s local area development fund, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) contributed Rs 90 lakh for the rejuvenation of Byrasandra Lake, also known as Kelagina Byrasandra Lake, spread over 12 acres and 21 guntas.

Once, the lake was full of silt, weeds and dirty water. Now, the waterbody is brimming with rainwater which is clean and free from all types of pollution. “Around 1,000 truckloads of silt were removed from the lake. All entry points of dirty water are plugged. Measures were taken to divert sewage,’’ said CV Raman Nagar MLA S Raghu.  https://bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com/bangalore/cover-story/press-the-lake-button/articleshow/95748483.cms  (25 Nov. 2022)

Bihar Digging ponds to breed fish as a livelihood brings multiple benefits to Patna farmers – fish pond water for irrigation, reduced use of chemicals and reverse migration to name a few. https://www.villagesquare.in/bihar-farmers-get-bumper-harvests-by-irrigating-with-fish-pond-water/  (22 Nov. 2022)

GROUNDWATER

Report Decoding India’s groundwater data The 2022 Dynamic Groundwater Resources of India report, which says that the country’s annual groundwater recharge and extractable groundwater levels have improved since 2020, has drawn criticism from experts. They believe the assessment isn’t accurate. Himanshu Thakkar of South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People says, “The findings on recharge and extraction both seem counter-intuitive. What is happening on the ground doesn’t seem to reflect what has been reported.” He also said that given aquifers—except the alluvial formations—are very localised, the assessment units are too large to reflect the condition accurately. Also, whether the additional recharge is happening in water-logged areas or saline areas—accrual in the latter would mean the recharge can’t be used—needs to be seen. “Communities need to be made aware and empowered to collectively conserve groundwater,” Thakkar says. https://www.financialexpress.com/lifestyle/science/explainer-decoding-indias-groundwater-data/2889792/  (24 Nov. 2022)

Punjab Amid protests, WRD officials inspect Faridkot canals In the wake of residents’ protest against concrete lining of the Indira Gandhi and Sirhind Feeder canals in the district, officials from the Water Resources Department inspected the canals today. Officials also held a meeting with Faridkot MLA Gurdit Singh Sekhon and Jal Jeevan Bachao Morcha members.

Officials talk to locals. The Tribune

Hardeep Singh Mehndiratta, Superintending Engineer, Water Resources Department, said, “Following the protest of residents over concrete lining of canals in this area, my team reached Faridkot. We are doing physical inspection of the canals to know about problems which residents will face in getting potable water.” MLA Sekhon said, “As groundwater here is unfit for human consumption, seepage of water from these canals is a major source of potable water.”

With concrete lining of these canals, residents fear it would stop seepage of water, leaving them without drinking water. Locals have installed handpumps along the banks of these canals to get regular drinking water. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/amid-protests-water-resources-dept-officials-inspect-faridkot-canals-454782  (26 Nov. 2022)

URBAN WATER

Bengaluru BWSSB, WB join hands to make treated water commercially viable Though the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) treats close to 1,200 MLD of sewage with a total output of at least 800-900 MLD of treated water, the board has not been able to sell the water to industries or other avenues, losing out on possible revenue. The BWSSB is now working with the World Bank for better management and reuse of wastewater. An action plan will soon be drawn up to make wastewater commercially viable. At present, of the 800-900 MLD treated water, 350 MLD is pumped out to Kolar, 150 MLD flows to Chikkaballapur and another 50 MLD is supplied to Anekal.

BWSSB will be working with the World Bank to make the 800-900 MLD of treated water generated in Bangalore commercially viable to sell to industries and others. Now most of it is getting reused for irrigation, including 350 MLD to Kolar, 150 MLD to Chikkaballapur and 50 MLD to Anekal. Only a small quantity is sold to KPCL to earn some revenue. https://www.deccanherald.com/city/bwssb-world-bank-join-hands-to-make-treated-water-commercially-viable-1165496.html  (25 Nov. 2022)

History and present status of city lakes We have over 200 lakes in Bengaluru today. Some are amazing ecosystems, some are toxic wastelands filled with trash, and most are somewhere in the middle. Depending on who you are and where you stay, you may or may not have a relationship with your local lake. There is a lot going on though in each of our lakes, and there is a lot more that can happen with them in the future. Get to know about the history of Bengaluru’s lakes and how they are connected:  https://bengaluru.citizenmatters.in/the-secret-life-of-bengalurus-lakes-94457  (25 Nov. 2022)

Jakkur Lake seen from the sky, 2022. Pic: Pravar Chaudhary, Bengawalk/Citizen Matters

In the second part, the author looks at the future of lakes and how protecting lakes could improve our transit experience. https://bengaluru.citizenmatters.in/the-secret-life-of-bengalurus-lakes-future-community-involvement-95575  (28 Nov. 2022)

Bhopal 40% city faced water scarcity Almost 40% of the population of capital city Bhopal faced the problem of water scarcity on Thursday (Nov. 24)  caused due to disruption of power supply which ultimately led to non-operational pumps following which Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) assured to normalise the situation by the evening. https://www.freepressjournal.in/bhopal/mp-40-bhopalis-face-water-scarcity-due-to-power-line-disruption-bmc-assures-normalcy-by-evening  (24 Nov. 2022)

JJM/ RURAL WATER SUPPLY

Bihar CM to dedicate Ganga water supply scheme to people on Nov 27 Nitish Kumar will dedicate the ambitious Ganga Jal Apoorti Yojana or the Ganga water supply scheme (GWSS) to the people at Rajgir on Nov 27 and at Gaya and Bodh Gaya on Nov 28, said Water Resources Department and IPRD minister Sanjay Kumar Jha. This will be the second major water project in the region. In September, Kumar had inaugurated longest rubber dam on the Falgu river built at an estimated cost of ₹324 crore.

The estimated cost of the project is ₹4,500 crore. The project, earlier known as Ganga water lift project, was approved in December 2019 and the state Cabinet had sanctioned a budget of ₹2,692 crore. Officials said that the work on the second phase covering Nawada is expected to be completed by June 2023.

The surplus Ganga water is lifted and transported through pipeline to an intake well-cum-pump house near Hathidah ghat in Mokama area of Patna and then taken to the arid towns through pipeline where storage points have been developed.

Though some experts are apprehensive about the viability of the project in the long run and its impact on the Mokama tal area, which is the pulse producing region, besides the river ecology, Jha said the project was started only after extensive study and would have only positives. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/patna-news/bihar-cm-nitish-kumar-to-dedicate-ganga-water-supply-scheme-to-people-on-nov-27-101669018001351.html  (21 Nov. 2022) Bihar to bring Ganga to parched towns — by tapping its flood water.  https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/patna/bihar-to-bring-ganga-to-parched-towns-by-tapping-its-flood-water-8288461/  (25 Nov. 2022)

CM Nitish Kumar on Sunday (Nov. 27) inaugurated a scheme in Nalanda district, under which, flood waters will be treated for supply to households in the southern part of the state. Similar scheme is being planned for Patna. The state’s water resources minister, Sanjay Kumar Jha, said that floodwaters will be lifted through pumps at Hathidah and transported through a 151-kilometre pipeline to three enormous reservoirs in Rajgir, Tetar, and Gaya. From there the water will travel to two Water Treatment Plants (WTP), where it is treated and transported to the cities. The Navada phase of the scheme is likely to be completed by June. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/nitish-inaugurates-ganga-water-supply-project-for-southern-bihar-101669574660985.html  (28 Nov. 2022)

This reports problems and gaps tap household water supply in a number of villages visited by the reported in Bihar. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/how-bihar-is-closing-the-gap-with-rich-states-in-rural-water-supply/articleshow/95683461.cms  (22 Nov. 2022)

MoJS India’s investment in the water sector will be at $210 billion by 2024, the highest in the world, Union Jal Shakti minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat has said, adding managing water was “our collective responsibility”. The minister was speaking at the 11th Isha Leadership Academy flagship programme “Isha Insight: The DNA of Success” in Coimbatore on November 26. https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/india/indias-investment-in-water-sector-to-be-210-billion-by-2024-says-union-minister-shekhawat-9607641.html  (27 Nov. 2022)

AGRICULTURE

Study Soil structure and microbiome functions in agroecosystems Abstract:- In this Review, we summarize the key functions of soil microbiomes in agroecosystems, highlight the dependence of these functions on the structural integrity of the soil, and discuss how agricultural practices influence the link between soil structure and microbiome functioning. System-level agricultural management practices can induce structural alterations to the soil, thereby changing the microbial processes occurring at the microscale. These changes have large-scale consequences, such as soil erosion, reduced soil fertility and increased greenhouse gas emissions.

Sustainable approaches such as integrated soil fertility management and integrated pest management seek to improve soil structure and enhance microbial biodiversity, but we lack a mechanistic understanding of how multifaceted decisions at the farm level shape these context-dependent small-scale processes in the long term. Future research needs to bridge the microscale and field scale to inform agricultural management decisions for building climate-smart, resource-efficient and stress-resilient agroecosystems, and to harness the soil microbiome as a nature-based solution for sustainable agriculture. https://www.nature.com/articles/s43017-022-00366-w  (22 Nov. 2022)

MONSOON 2022

Karnataka 2022 breaks 2021 record of ‘wettest year’ since 2000 The year 2021 was south-interior Karnataka’s wettest since 2000, according to data from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). However, 2022 has overtaken it by reporting more rainfall till November 21. South-interior Karnataka comprises Bengaluru Urban and Rural, Chickaballapur, Chikkamagaluru, Davanagere, Hassan, Kodagu, Ramanagara, Shivamogga, and Tumakuru districts. According to RBI data, the region received 1,403mm of rainfall in 2021. For 2022, the total rainfall received up to November 21 was 1,590mm.  https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/karnataka-one-month-to-go-2022-breaks-2021-record-of-wettest-year-since-2000/articleshow/95698121.cms  (23 Nov. 2022)

Two Karkala villages edge out Agumbe in rain record For two successive years, villages from coastal Udupi district’s Karkala taluk have upstaged Agumbe in Shivamogga district recording the highest rainfall in Karnataka for the June 1 to September 30 period during the southwest monsoon. For decades, tiny town Agumbe has been celebrated as the Cherrapunji of Karnataka as it invariably receives the highest amount of rainfall during the southwest monsoon.

– For 2022, Nadpalu gram panchayat in Karkala taluk of Udupi district received 6391.8 mm of rainfall and comfortably edging ahead of Agumbe that recorded 6251.5mm in the second spot.

– In 2021, Mudradi village in Karkala taluk received 5947.1 mm to top the state table. Agumbe slipped to the 23rd place in Karnataka with a sub-par rainfall of 4,722 mm, according to Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre director Manoj Rajan. Experts said installation of rain-gauge stations in more areas has helped the met department to glean granular data, offering a better picture of the spread of rainfall.

– According to G Srinivasa Reddy of Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority, rain-gauge stations have been set up at panchayat levels in the past 4-5 years. “Rainfall is being measured in Agumbe for many years, and other towns receiving copious rain were not part of this grid. Now, we are getting more localized data though the rainfall trend in Agumbe has remained more or less the same,” he added. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mysuru/two-karkala-villages-edge-out-agumbe-in-rain-record/articleshow/95701144.cms  (23 Nov. 2022)

Naveen Reddy: Karnataka SNDMC, Please maintain some authenticity at least for stations like Agumbe and Bhagamandala. How can you simply confirm giant like Agumbe merely got 4722 mm in peak season. In fact it received 7677 mm for the year, 6270 mm till Sep end from June 1st. https://twitter.com/navin_ankampali/status/1595403219903328258?s=20&t=ojSQLUJDVQt83MTeEry0ow

URBAN FLOODS

Dense city, dense flooding Venkatesh Dutta Each community or colony can help prevent flooding by directing all stormwater into a nearby water body or natural drain. Natural drainage must be protected and restored. In places like parking lots, pathways, walking and jogging tracks, permeable ground should be developed instead of solid concrete. If we do not correct ourselves, future floods will remind us — even harder. https://civilsocietyonline.com/column/living-rivers/dense-city-dense-flooding/ 

DISASTERS

Uttarakhand कहां बसेंगे उजड़े लोग एसपी सती कहते हैं कि राज्य के गठन के बाद विकास के नाम पर जहां बांधों की संख्या में तेजी आई, वहीं सड़कों के अंधाधुंध निर्माण ने एक बड़ी समस्या खड़ी कर दी। वर्ष 2000 में राज्य के गठन से पहले उत्तराखंड में सिर्फ 8,000 किलोमीटर सड़कें थी, लेकिन अब सड़कों की यह लंबाई 40 हजार किलोमीटर से अधिक हो चुकी है। सती के मुताबिक पहाड़ों में एक किलोमीटर सड़क बनाने में 20 से 60 हजार घन मीटर मलबा पैदा होता है तो इस तरह केवल सड़क निर्माण से राज्य में लगभग दो अरब घन मीटर मलबा पहाड़ी ढलानों पर डाला जा चुका है, जिससे पहाड़ों की वनस्पतियों को भारी नुकसान पहुंचा है। नदियों में भी मलबे की मात्रा में कई गुणा वृद्धि हो चुकी है, जिस वजह से जब नदियों में सैलाब आता है तो यह मलबा बड़े नुकसान की वजह बनता है।

DTE Infographic

रैणी की तरह राज्य में अब 484 उगांवों को राज्य सरकार ने संवदेनशील मानते हुए पुनर्वास करने के लिए चिन्हित किया है। इसके लिए बाकायदा उत्तराखंड सरकार के आपदा एवं पुनर्वास विभाग ने 19 अगस्त 2011 को पुनर्वास नीति घोषित की है। राज्य आपदा प्रबंधन प्राधिकरण व पुनर्वास विभाग के आंकड़े बताते हैं कि 2016 से लेकर 31 सितंबर 2022 तक चमोली जिले में 61 गांवों को संवेदनशील घोषित किया गया, जिसमें आठ गांवों का पुनर्वास कर दिया गया है। इसी तरह उत्तरकाशी में 64 में से सात, पिथौरागढ़ में 129 में से आठ, टिहरी में 33 में चार, रुद्रप्रयाग में 14 में से छह, बागेश्वर में 42 में चार, अल्मोड़ा में 12 में से एक, चम्पावत में 13 में से एक गांव का पुनर्वास किया गया है। जबकि पौड़ी में 28, देहरादून में तीन, ऊधम सिंह नगर में एक, नैनीताल में छह गांवों को संवेदनशील घोषित किया जा चुका है, परंतु इन जिलों में एक भी गांव का पुनर्वास नहीं किया गया है। https://www.downtoearth.org.in/hindistory/climate-change/climate-crisis/who-is-responsible-for-the-disasters-in-Uttarakhand-85885   (25 Nov. 2022) संभलो इससे पहले कि देर हो जाए https://www.nainitalsamachar.org/sambhalo-isse-pahle-ki-der-ho-jaye/  (25 Nov. 2022)

36 bridges found unsafe in safety audit: Report The safety audit was conducted by the Public Works Department (PWD) on CM’s directives issued on November 3, in the wake of the Morbi suspension bridge collapse. In July, an under-construction bridge had collapsed in Narkota area on the Rishikesh-Badrinath highway during heavy rains, leaving over half a dozen labourers severely injured. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/dehradun-news/in-uttarakhand-36-bridges-found-unsafe-in-safety-audit-report-101669103658493.html  (22 Nov. 2022)

ENVIRONMENT GOVERNANCE

CPR Report Staff crunch ailing SPCBs A recent report published by the Centre for Policy Research has revealed that the State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) in India lack expertise and function with a human resource crunch. The report highlighted that nine states (Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, and West Bengal) and the State Pollution Control Committee of the Union Territory of Delhi are in a dismal state particularly, as there is staff shortage, especially the technical staff, the dominance of government officials, politicians and the like on these boards, less space for air quality management experts. Moreover, most of these state pollution control boards lack representation of civil society, academia, and public health experts. https://india.mongabay.com/2022/11/staff-crunch-ailing-state-pollution-control-boards-in-india-finds-think-tank-analysis/  (04 Nov. 2022)

Haryana 62% posts vacant in SPCB In a reply, the HSPCB said there were 481 sanctioned posts — including 448 regular, 33 outsourced and three diminishing, in the board. But, against these sanctioned posts, 303 (62 per cent) are lying vacant. Besides, eight officials have a long stay at the same station, five are on deputation while nine have additional charge in the board.

Environment activist Varun Gulati who sought information on October 20 this year said the NGT in its order dated February 5, 2021, in a case of Aryavrat foundation v/s Ms Vapi Green Enviro Limited and others, said the work of regulators should be full time for the incumbents appointed applies to all key positions, including chairman, member secretary and regional officers, engineers and scientists of the board. Such incumbents may not be given any other additional charge, he added.

But, nine officials in the HSPCB were working with additional charges, which was a direct violation of the NGT orders, Gulati alleged. “Pollution is on rise in the state but the HSPCB is not able to initiate immediate action against the violators due to the staff crunch,” the activist added. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/haryana/62-posts-vacant-in-hspcb-452070  (18 Nov. 2022)

Report Trees to be planted in Aravallis to make for forest loss in Nicobar The loss of forests in Great Nicobar Island on the Bay of Bengal will be compensated by afforestation in Haryana’s Aravallis, officials of the environment ministry have said. The Aravallis is over 2,400 kmaway in a different ecological zonefrom Great Nicobar, but rules allow for such remote compensatory afforestation. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/trees-to-be-planted-in-haryana-s-aravallis-to-make-for-forest-loss-in-nicobar-due-to-infra-projects-101669573756590.html  (28 Nov. 2022)

CLIMATE CHANGE

Tamil Nadu Forerunner among all states in acting on climate change By announcing three major missions namely Climate Change; Biodiversity Conservation and Greening; and Wetlands, the state has become a forerunner in climate action. For its Biodiversity Conservation and Greening Project (TBGP) which aims at climate change response, Tamil Nadu has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Japan International Cooperation Agency. The major objective of the project will be mitigating climate change through improvement of ecosystems, combined with socio-economic development. Taking a multi-pronged approach to implement the project, the state is setting up district climate change missions in all 38 districts to develop climate change mitigation strategies. https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/climate-change/tamil-nadu-now-a-forerunner-among-all-states-in-acting-on-climate-change-85968  (14 Nov. 2022)

SOANAS First tertiary-level interdisciplinary water resource studies: A reflection With climate change impacts cascading through the water cycle, the challenges are of recrafting of the approaches to water development and management including water education that is well informed of climate change risks. https://soanas.org/nepals-first-tertiary-level-interdisciplinary-water-resource-studies-a-reflection/  (04 Nov. 2022)

SOUTH ASIA

Nepal Why are EIAs so ineffective? This is also more or less the story of EIAs in India. The author explores why, despite environmental impact assessments (EIAs) being an established part of decision-making under Nepali law, they are rarely effective in reducing environmental harm caused by projects such as roads, dams and airports. Officials and developers speak frankly on how the process has become a box-ticking exercise. https://www.thethirdpole.net/en/nature/why-are-eias-so-ineffective-nepal/  (15 Nov. 2022)

Pakistan Experts welcome ‘futuristic’ initiative to restore Indus The Living Indus Initiative, a series of projects that aim to increase flood resilience in the Indus basin in Pakistan, while restoring it to good ecological health. As Sherry Rehman, Pakistan’s climate change minister, showcased the initiative to investors at COP27, this article quotes water experts to find out where the programme holds up, and where it might fail to avoid future floods on the scale seen this year. https://www.thethirdpole.net/en/climate/experts-welcome-futuristic-initiative-to-restore-indus-river-in-pakistan/  (11 Nov. 2022)

Neelum Jhelum HEP: Tunnel collapse causes total damage of Rs22.5bn The 969 MW Neelum-Jehlum hydropower project, which is non-operational since July 6, 2022 in the wake of blockage that appeared in the 3.5 kms Tail Race Tunnel (TRT), has seen an estimated damage of Rs22.50 billion (Rs2.50 bn construction cost and Rs20 billion as business loss). “The project will now come on stream by the end of February 2023. Till February 2023, the project would brave a business loss of Rs20 billion,” a senior official of the Neelum-Jehlum Hydropower Company Limited (NJHPCL) said. When asked as to who will bear the loss, either the government or NICL (National Insurance Company Limited), the official said that both the heads, TRT and business loss, are covered under the insurance agreement, so Wapda will not bear the loss. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/1012157-non-operational-neelum-jhelum-hydropower-project-tunnel-collapse-causes-total-damage-of-rs22-5bn  (21 Nov. 2022)

A file picture of the Neelum-Jhelum hydropower project.—Dawn

The tunnel of Neelum–Jhelum hydroelectricity project might collapse at any time and the consequences could be disastrous, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra)’s chief warned on Nov 22 2022. In reply to queries by senators at a meeting of the upper house’s Standing Committee on power, Tauseef Farooqui said the biggest worry was “what will happen if the rest of the tunnel collapses”. He said while restoration work has started, there is no guarantee that the tunnel wont collapsed during the work.

– Meanwhile, the project’s CEO said he was hopeful that restoration work at the tunnel would be completed by June next year. He informed the committee that a team of international experts had submitted two preliminary reports after inspecting the tunnel. They have identified eight causes of the tunnel collapse, but no conclusions could be drawn before submission of the final report, Muhammad Irfan said in statement to the Senate committee. Mr Irfan said the root cause behind the damage was the pressure exerted by the mountain on the underground tunnel. https://www.dawn.com/news/1722567/neelum-jhelum-projects-tunnel-could-collapse-warns-nepra-chief  (23 Nov. 2022)

Islamabad’s recharge wells offer way forward for gw Artificial groundwater recharge wells have shown early promise in Pakistan’s capital. Experts think they could help to replenish the city’s overstretched groundwater while managing urban flooding. 50 artificial groundwater recharge wells have been dug, recharging the capital city’s aquifer by a reported 1.9 million gallons of water. https://www.thethirdpole.net/en/climate/islamabads-recharge-wells-offer-way-forward-for-pakistans-groundwater/  (17 Nov. 2022)

Bangladesh Fishermen worry as mighty Padma dries up fast Ilish numbers in the Padma have decreased drastically, local fishermen say. Fishermen’s families in Goalanda Upazila of Rajbari have been in dire straits for the past few weeks with the Padma River water receding and creating shoals, making it unfavourable for an availability of fishes. https://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/2022/11/22/fishermen-worry-as-mighty-padma-dries-up-fast  (22 Nov. 2022)

EUROPE

France French Police Guard Water as Seasonal Drought Intensifies Fascinating struggle by environmentalists in France, they are opposing creation of reservoirs (seems like off river reservoirs, though the article does not mention anything about the rivers or dams). The environmentalists are openly trying to sabotage the plan, calling in civil disobedience, but the French govt is not calling them terrorists or urban naxals. They are opposing for a number of reasons including privatisation of public resources using govt funds, for water intensive cropping pattern using chemicals, impact on nearby wetlands and groundwater, among other reasons. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/11/27/world/europe/france-climate-change-water-wars.html  (27 Nov. 2022)

Spain prepares for winter drought The parched Mediterranean nation has experienced the longest-running drought since records began in 1961, according to AEMET, the Spanish meteorological agency. Catalonia’s reservoirs are down to 34% of capacity, according to Spain’s ministry for ecological transition. The long arid spell has even spawned a new phenomenon: drought tourism.

A view of Ter river running dry toward a reservoir near Vilanova de Sau, Catalonia, Spain, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022.    Copyright  AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti

At the Sau reservoir 100 kilometres north of Barcelona, the water has fallen to 18% of capacity. It means the 10th-century San Pau church which was submerged in 1962 on the orders of the Spanish dictator, General Francisco Franco, has emerged from the depths to become a big draw. https://www.euronews.com/my-europe/2022/11/25/spaniards-prepare-to-stop-watering-gardens-filling-pools-and-washing-cars-amid-drought  (25 Nov. 2022)

THE REST OF THE WORLD

USA Drought Reveals Rare American Lion Fossil in Dried Up Mississippi River -The river basin really needs rain, but meteorologists are predicting another dry winter with warmer-than-normal temperatures in southern and eastern regions, as the country enters a third straight year of La Niña. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/drought-reveals-rare-american-lion-fossil-in-dried-up-mississippi-river-180981166/  (21 Nov. 2022)

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

Also see: DRP News Bulletin 21 Nov 2022 & DRP News Bulletin 14 Nov 2022  

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

One thought on “DRP NB 281122: Justice Lokur at IRW 2022: We need to be vocally more aggressive to make a difference

  1. Our planet, as a living being has its own rhythm and natural
    mechanism to maintain its temperature both inside and outside. The rivers and oceans play a
    pivotal role in this. One of the major causes of global warming is the disruption of natural flow
    of rivers that in turn also causes the rise of seawater. Earth as we know is 71% water. It is
    present both inside and outside which are interrelated and a continual network. Any disruption
    to this network causes variable shifts in the earth’s temperature.

    Like

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