DRP News Bulletin

DRP NB 170423:Forecast of Indian SW Monsoon & definition of normal monsoon

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has on April 11, 2023 forecast that rainfall at national level in four months of June-Sept 2023 Southwest Monsoon will be 96% of Long Period Average (LPA). IMD considers Indian Monsoon rainfall as normal based on just one parameter of total rainfall in these four months at national level is between 96% and 104% of LPA, with model error of +/- 5%. This raises large number of questions as media has rightly raised post the IMD announcement.

Firstly, in a strange turn of events, on April 12, an update jointly by US weather agencies under the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), contradicted a number of assumptions of IMD the previous day, including the period when El Nino will become active and probability of it being a strong event, both of which have a strong bearing on the Indian Monsoon in an adverse way. So the first question that arises is, did the IMD not have the benefit of the observations on April 11 based on which NOAA made the forecast very next day? Or was it an attempt at providing an unjustified feel good monsoon forecast? This question arises as in the past too questions have been raised about such attempts by IMD. This question also becomes important as only a day or two before IMD’s forecast, private forecaster had predicted that monsoon rainfall is likely to be deficient and not normal.

Second set of questions arise is about the basis of IMD’s definition of normal rainfall. This does not take into account either the spatial or temporal distribution of rainfall, nor about the impact of rainfall on agriculture. So even if for example, first half of the rainfall is hugely surplus and second half if hugely deficit, but average is within range of IMD’s normal rainfall, the rainfall will be called normal even if it is anything but normal for the agriculture.

IMD also needs to provide river basin wise rainfall forecasts and not state of sub division wise. IMD can also provide fortnightly updates from now onwards till the end of the monsoon season through similar high profile announcements. One hopes IMD is listening. After all, SW Monsoon is such an important event in the nation’s agriculture, economy and livelihood of such a large number of people.


Summary of the Forecast for the 2023 Southwest Monsoon Rainfall IMD forecast for 2023 SW Monsoon on April 11, 2023: India as a whole is likely to receive 96% of the long period average (LPA) rainfall in south west monsoon from June to September with a model error of +/- 5%. The LPA of the seasonal rainfall over the country as a whole based on data of 1971-2020 is 87 cm. The five category probability forecasts for the Seasonal (June to September) rainfall over the country as a whole are: 

– <90%: 22% (Forecast probability), 16% (climatological probability.

– 90-95%: 29%, 17%

– 96-104%: 35%, 33%

– 105-110%: 11%, 16%

– >110%: 3%, 17% https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1915676  (11 April 2023)

IMD predicts normal monsoon at 96% LPA According to India’s agriculture ministry, 51% of India’s farmed area, accounting for 40% of production, is rain-fed, making the monsoon critical. 47% of the country’s population is dependent on agriculture for their livelihood (according to this year’s Economic Survey).

– IMD’s forecat seeks to factor in three factors that could affect the monsoon. The first is El Nino, a condition likely to develop during the monsoon season around July. According to IMD there is a 48% probability of El Nino conditions during June, July, August and 55% probability of El Nino during July, August and September period. Based on data from 1951 to 2022 when there were 15 El Nino years. Out of total 15 El Nino years, there were six years with normal to above normal rainfall.

– The second is the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) , which is presently neutral over the Indian Ocean . The latest climate models indicate that positive IOD conditions are likely to develop during the monsoon. The third is the extent of snow-covered area over the northern hemisphere as well as Eurasia. This was below normal between December 2022 and March 2023. Lower snow cover is favourable for the subsequent monsoon rainfall over India, Mohapatra said.

– It will not be a great monsoon as it has been in the past three years. It may be a subdued monsoon,” explained M Rajeevan, climate scientist and former secretary, ministry of earth sciences.

– Skymet’s first monsoon forecasts (94% of LPA rains this year as per forecast on April 10, 2023) of monsoon rainfall for the past five years have differed from the actual rainfall by 4-16% of LPA. For instance, the forecaster said monsoon rainfall would be 98% of LPA in 2022 when the actual rainfall was 106%. IMD’s recent first forecasts of monsoon have roughly the same accuracy as Skymet’s, different from actual rain by 7-13% of LPA since 2018. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/imd-predicts-normal-monsoon-with-96-rainfall-of-lpa-for-2023-skymet-weather-forecasts-below-normal-rainfall-el-nino-iod-snow-cover-to-impact-monsoon-experts-101681238076552.html  (12 April 2023) 

What the debate over normal or below normal monsoon forgets An analysis of IMD data shows obsessing too much about the quantum of overall rainfall could miss the point about other features of the monsoon rainfall, especially its impact on agriculture which requires timely and proportionate rain throughout the season.

– If it does not rain at all in June and rains a lot in September, one can still have a normal monsoon in terms of total rainfall. While the temporal spread of the rain does not matter as far as recharging of groundwater and reservoirs is concerned, it is critical for various phases in the cropping season. For example, delayed rains can derail sowing of paddy saplings and seriously impact overall production . While wild monthly deviations within the monsoon season are rare, we have seen four of them since the 2000s when overall rainfall was more than 10% away from the 1961-2010 average for the first half of the season, but came within the 10% range by the end of the season.

– Monthly totals can be made up of extremely wet and extremely dry patches. For example, the departure for the cumulative rain in June and September last year took very sharp turns after a few days of surplus rain that wiped out the deficit from a preceding dry patch. Similarly, the distribution of individual days in June looked very different from the distribution in July, August, and September. This, when all the months were separated by about six percentage points in terms of departure from LPA: -1.5% in June, 5.2% in August, 11.4% in September, and 17.4% in July. As is obvious, such deviations are associated with a high risk of flooding. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/how-monsoon-forecasting-goes-beyond-overall-rainfall-skymet-predicts-below-normal-imd-normal-but-sub-national-rains-matter-more-monsoonforecast-indiaweather-agricultureimpact-101681325476521.html   (13 April 2023)

In last 10 years, IMD’s 1st forecasts were off by 6.9% In the last 10 years, IMD’s first long range forecasts (LRF-1, issued in April) of the monsoon have on average been off the mark by 6.9%, which is higher than the forecasts’ stated error margin of 5%. The departure of the forecasts from actual rainfall was nearly the same in the preceding 10-period (2003-2012) at 7%. The department’s LRF-2, issued in May-June, were slightly more accurate, with an average departure of 5.9% in the last 10 years against the forecast’s stated error margin of 4% for LRF-2.

– In the last 10 years, the April forecast has come very close to the actual rainfall on two occasions – 2017 and 2021, when the difference was just 1%. In all other years, the predictions have been off by more than the 5% error margin. The predictions have been way off course in three of these years – 2019 when the difference was 14%, and 2016 and 2020 (each 9%). https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/in-last-10-years-imds-1st-forecasts-were-off-by-6-9/articleshow/99418431.cms  (12 April 2023)

There is a nearly 70% probability of an El Nino developing this monsoon, the IMD has said, strengthening concerns that the weather phenomenon could threaten agriculture, consumption and an economy still reckoned to be the world’s fastest growing and better placed to weather global headwinds than most emerging markets. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/india-braces-for-potential-el-nino-impact-on-agriculture-and-economy-as-probability-of-weather-phenomenon-rises-to-70-101681495957753.html  (15 April 2023)

EDIT This Tribune EDIT makes and interesting suggestion. IMD should make public updated monsoon forecast from now to the end of May every fifteen days. Seems good suggestion. In fact this should be done till the end of monsoon considering the importance of this event for such a large number of people and such a huge part of India’s economy. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/editorials/monsoon-forecast-496778  (13 April 2023)

EDIT in The Hindustan Times rightly questions the definition of normal monsoon from IMD, raising the temporal and spatial differences, the increasing high intensity rainfall events, etc. https://www.hindustantimes.com/editorials/whats-normal-for-monsoon-101681216447639.html  (11 April 2023)

Monsoon forecasts need more detailing The spatial and temporal distribution of rainfall is much more important than its total quantity. The absence of rains at a time the farmer needs them and rainfall when it is not needed can only do damage. IMD has not been able to make accurate predictions of such distribution. It makes a more detailed prediction before the onset of the monsoon, but that does not meet the need for forecast for a specific area over a specific period. IMD has yet to develop the tools and expertise for that. The situation is compounded by the occurrence of extreme climate events, attributed to climate change. So, the Union and state governments will have to be prepared for both normal and below-normal rainfall and for extreme weather events, and be able to formulate steps to face any eventual situation. https://www.deccanherald.com/opinion/second-edit/monsoon-forecast-needs-more-detailing-1209494.html  (13 April 2023)

Close to 50% of the region covering Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand is likely to receive ‘below normal’ rainfall this monsoon. This, even as the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Tuesday (April 11) forecast ‘normal’ rainfall during the upcoming south-west monsoon season over the country. https://www.news9live.com/india/below-normal-monsoon-for-uttarakhand-himachal-pradesh-this-year-says-imd-au40-2103080  (13 April 2023)

Uncertainty over monsoon as US agency forecasts early El Nino The latest monthly update, issued jointly by US weather agencies under the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), gives a sharply increased probability, 62%, of El Nino forming as early as around June, the first month of the monsoon season in India. This is nearly two months earlier than the IMD used for forecasting SW monsoon in India two days back. IMD suggested that only the second half of the monsoon may be affected, but that seems no longer the case.

– NOAA’s ENSO update also raises the chances of the El Nino eventually developing into a strong event, as opposed to earlier expectations that it could be mild to moderate in strength. It says there’s a “4 in 10 chance” of a strong El Nino by the end of the year. All drought years in the country in the past several decades have occurred during El Nino events but not all El Ninos have resulted in deficient monsoon rains in the country.

– The last month’s forecast issued on March 9, 2023, had shown an over 60% chance of neutral conditions continuing during the period. For the following period of June-August too, the forecast favoured neutral conditions, with a 49% probability, over El Nino (48% chance). In that forecast, issued on March 9, the chance of El Nino became predominant only in July-September at 57%. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/uncertainty-over-monsoon-as-us-agency-forecasts-early-el-nino/articleshow/99475316.cms  (14 April 2023)

Atmospheric rivers that make landfall in India are associated with flooding Abstract Atmospheric rivers often cause extreme precipitation at landfall, leading to floods. However, the underlying physical mechanism of atmospheric rivers and their linkage with flooding in India remain unrecognized. Here we use reanalysis and observations to diagnose the drivers of atmospheric rivers and unravel their crucial role in extreme precipitation and floods during 1951–2020. Moisture transport has significantly increased during 1951–2020, which is associated with strengthening winds that transport water vapor from the oceans. However, while there is a suggestive corresponding increase in the frequency of atmospheric rivers, it is not statistically significant. The atmospheric river catalogue that we developed shows that about 65% of land falling atmospheric river were linked to floods during the 1985–2020 period. In addition, seven of India’s ten most severe floods in the summer monsoon season with substantial mortality were associated with atmospheric rivers. Better understanding and prediction of atmospheric rivers is crucial for flood mitigation. https://www.nature.com/articles/s43247-023-00775-9  (14 April 2023)


Himachal Pradesh Despite opposition, govt mulls 9 big hydro projects Though hydro power projects in tribal Lahaul-Spiti district is facing opposition of people the state govt is in the process of setting up of nine big hydro projects proposed on Chenab basin to harness 1405 MW of power, while 5.2 MW of power through 4 projects has already been harnessed: Sissu (0.1 MW), Biling (0.2 MW), Lingti (0.4 MW) and Thirot (4.5 MW) and 9 hydroelectric projects are under various stages of clearances and investigation.

– A report ‘Changing the Colours of Chenab’ on the ‘hydropower development’ in Lahaul valley, prepared by Himdhara, an Environment Research and Action Collective, had said that Chenab river basin is the last frontier of hydropower development in Himachal Pradesh, the only large river basin where hydro projects are still to come up. The report had stated that in the 130 kms stretch of the Chenab (falling in Lahaul and Chamba districts), 49 hydro-projects are under different stages of implementation, most of these being in the Lahaul Valley. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/shimla/despite-opposition-hp-mulls-9-big-hydro-projects-on-chenab-basin/articleshow/99368047.cms  (10 April 2023)

Uttarakhand Joshimath crisis: 100th day of protests by locals The ongoing protests by residents of subsidence-hit Joshimath town in Chamoli entered its 100th day on Thursday (April 13) even as hundreds of families were still living in temporary shelter homes with their future hanging in balance.

The Joshimath Bachao Sangharsh Samiti (JBSS), a citizens’ collective that has been leading the movement to press for demands of scrapping NTPC’s hydel project and Helang bypass project along with permanent rehabilitation and compensation to affected families, said that “it is not easy to stand directly against state machinery.” Following the meeting with the CM, the samiti has put its plan to block the Badrinath highway on April 27, the day yatra to the Himalayan shrine is to begin, on hold. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/joshimath-crisis-100th-day-of-protests-by-locals/articleshow/99477290.cms  (14 April 2023)

Manipur How one Indian village is lighting the way in green energy drive Tucked away in the Himalayan foothills of northeast India and frequently battered by strong winds and landslides, the isolated village of Hengbung is well-accustomed to prolonged power cuts. But the village’s challenging terrain – it is mountainous, hard to reach, and criss-crossed by streams – is now proving an opportunity to ensure reliable electricity for the community. A pumped-storage hydropower system fitted with solar-powered pumps started operating in the village last July – the first such project in India to integrate hydro with solar.

The project also fetches daily wage work to the villagers during landslides in the Hengbung village of Manipur. Credit: Foundation for Environment and Economic Development/Handout Via Thomson Reuters Foundation

– Built on a stream, the facility features two interconnected reservoirs (total capacity 1900 cubic meters) and essentially acts as a giant water battery, which stores renewable power for release later during grid outages or when demand is higher. At least 350 people in Hengbung – located in Manipur state – now have consistent lighting in their homes and streets as a result of the system, said the Foundation for Environment and Economic Development Services (FEEDS), a local NGO involved in the initiative. The project got central govt funding of Rs 2.9 cr.

– Review of more than 50 PSPs in different stages of development found that their average cost per kilowatt unit stored was about 3 rupees ($0.04). Capital investment required for PSP is Rs 5-6 Cr per MW. https://scroll.in/article/1047196/this-village-in-manipur-has-become-a-green-energy-model  (15 April 2023)

Opinion Hydro policy in a flux Somit Dasgupta The proposed sale of THDC and NEEPCO by NTPC, to NHPC reflects a lack of long term planning. The move has little to do with what the govt aims to achieve with it. https://www.financialexpress.com/opinion/hydro-policy-in-a-flux/3041530/  (11 April 2023)

DTE How have dams increased disasters in the Himalayas? https://www.downtoearth.org.in/video/urbanisation/how-have-dams-increased-disasters-in-the-himalayas–88632  (04 April 2023)

MoEF Key decisions in the meeting of FAC held on March 24, 2023 as per the minutes now available: – Diversion of additional 3.7904 ha of forest land for JSW Energy Ltd, Kuther HEP (240 MW) village Machhettar, P.O. Channouta, Tehsil Bharmour, Distt. Chamba, for evacuation of Power in village Machhettar, P.O. Channouta Dist Chamba, Himachal Pradesh: More info sought. https://forestsclearance.nic.in/writereaddata/FAC_Minutes/4111612171210124032023_230416_095735.pdf


Edit Monitoring Dam Safety Decommissioning vulnerable dams is now common practice to avert dam-related disasters in developed countries, notably in Europe and the US. India, too, should follow suit, paying heed to the parliamentary panel’s sane counsel in this regard. https://www.business-standard.com/opinion/editorial/monitoring-dam-safety-123040501217_1.html  (05 April 2023)

Madhya Pradesh Proposed Basania dam set to submerge cultivable lands and forests The loss of forest cover and fertile land, decreased water in the Narmada due to serial dam construction and the dwindling fish stock apart, the villagers are worried about the project’s social impact. To date, tribals have collectively worshipped bada dev, celebrated nava khai, hal sudum and janjatiya gaurav divas, and participated in shaila dance.

“All of us will not be settling in one place after displacement. Our social and cultural identities will be broken. Moreover, we will have to remain silent spectators as the forests that house our deity, saaj ((Indian Laurel) trees, drown. No amount of money can compensate for our losses,” laments Titra. As we take leave, Maravi signs off with a pertinent question: “Why do weak people always have to pay the price of development?” https://www.newsclick.in/why-do-weak-people-always-have-pay-price-development  (11 April 2023)

DTE Info Map

“Seven years ago, tribals heaved a sigh of relief on hearing the Basania dam will not be constructed. We are now shocked to hear that construction has begun again. Madhya Pradesh government has been deceitful,” Titra Marvi, sarpanch of Odhari. The government broke the promise it made in the assembly and now is preparing to make the tribal population in the region homeless, Marvi alleged. Basania dam is in Mandla district, neighbouring Jabalpur. Basania dam is one of the seven dams in the Narmada valley, which Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had announced in the Legislative Assembly as cancelled in March 2016, said Medha Patkar, politician, activist and national coordinator of the Narmada Bachao movement. https://www.downtoearth.org.in/hindistory/river/dam/Madhya-Pradesh-government-broke-the-promise-Basaniya-dam-will-be-built-88698 /https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/seven-years-in-madhya-pradesh-government-goes-back-on-its-word-to-not-build-basania-dam-88756 (13 April 2023)

MLA inspects site of dam to be built across Gangi River BJP state vice president and local MLA Bahadur Singh Chouhan on Saturday (April 15) undertook an inspection of the construction site of the new dam to be built across Gangi River at Ranipura Bilkeshwar in Mahidpur town. The primary purpose of constructing the dam is to store water and use it for irrigation. The dam would be built at cost of over Rs 250 crore. https://www.freepressjournal.in/indore/mp-mla-bahadur-singh-chouhan-inspects-site-of-dam-tobe-built-across-gangi-river  (16 April 2023)

Jharkhand Desilting work of Heru dam kicks off The de-siltation process of Heru Dam, considered as the lifeline of Chatra town for water supply, has begun after the government sanctioned ₹2.7 crore for the project. Every year in April, the dam dries up leading to water crisis in the town. To solve the problem of drinking water during the summer, the district administration had deepened the dam about six years ago with the help of NTPC. But, the problem persisted. This time, the authorities have planned to deepen the dam significantly so that the people can get drinking water throughout the year. Executive officer of Chatra Municipal Council Abhay Kumar Jha said, “An area of about four lakh square metres of Heru will be deepened. This work is funded from the 14 Finance Commission budget.”

Sources said Heru reservoir is the biggest water source in the city. It also irrigates the surrounding hundreds of acres of agricultural land. The reservoir was constructed between 1970 and 71. At that time its area was spread over about 18 km. On the other hand, population increased manifold and lack of regular cleaning of the dam affected water supply as garbage and silt kept reducing its catchment area. The dam was first cleaned in 2015 by NTPC. “But cleaning was not done properly due to sub-standard work,” claimed an official. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ranchi/desilting-work-of-heru-dam-kicks-off/articleshow/99421686.cms  (12 April 2023)


Krishna Water Disputes Centre turns down DPR for Telangana irrigation scheme  The Centre has turned down the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for Palamuru-Rangareddy Lift Irrigation Scheme (PRLIS) proposed by the Telangana government. Taking the objections raised by AP, the project appraisal directorate in Central Water Commission (CWC) made it clear that the DPR could not be taken up for examination until the KWDT-II gives its verdict on the issue. The project was proposed to take up with 45 tmc ft.

In a communication sent to the chief engineer of Telangana irrigation department, CWC project directorate senior official Nityananda Mukhejee said that Andhra Pradesh government had informed that the issue of Godavari water diversion to the Krishna is one of the issues before the ongoing proceedings of KWDT-II.

– “The issue of reallocation of 45 tmc ft available from the Godavari water diversion is specified under clause-7 annexure-I-Godavari under annexure-C under GWDT decision. It is to mention that after the bifurcation of erstwhile AP into two states, both the states can claim share in 45 tmc ft. Therefore, agreement on sharing of the said quantity 45 tmc ft of water between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh either exclusively or partly in favour of Telangana or AP is required,” said Mukherjee. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/amaravati/centre-turns-down-dpr-for-telangana-irrigation-scheme/articleshow/99509575.cms  (15 April 2023)

AP has told KRMB that Telangana has overused the water from Srisailam and Nagarjunsagar and remaining water in these dams should be left for AP’s use. https://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/140423/ap-seeks-curbs-on-ts-in-drawal-of-krishna-water.html  (15 April 2023)


Tamil Nadu Polluted water flows from Lower Bhavani Dam People using water from the Lower Bhavani Dam (LBD) alleged that the water released from the dam is highly polluted since the past few days. KR Sudhanthirarasu, president of the Tamil Nadu Small and Micro Farmers Association, said, “The water, being supplied to Kalingarayan canal through the LBD, is found to be black and dark blue in colour since the past three days. We depend on the LBD for irrigation. The pollution of the water from the river is a cause of concern for us, as the crops will be damaged if we use chemical water. The water is slowly becoming unfit for drinking. The main reason for this is the dye and laundry factories in the river basins and Mettupalayam in Coimbatore. A number of tanneries are also located along the Bhavani river. The main reason for this is that these plants discharge sewage into the river without treating it.”

“This is shocking for us as well. The dam receives water from Nilgiris through two ways. The water coming from the Moyar river is clean, but the water coming to the dam through Mettupalayam is polluted due to the factories on the bank of the river. We do not know when these chemical wastes were released into the river,” a WRD official said. Another official from the WRD said that this is the first time that the water released from the dam is found to be contaminated. https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/tamil-nadu/2023/apr/16/tamil-nadu-farmers-concerned-as-polluted-water-flows-from-lower-bhavani-dam-2566315.html  (16 April 2023)


How cities swallow rivers Venkatesh Dutta We need master plans that don’t merely have the purpose of making the river an amenity for humans to use; rather, the goal should be to protect the ecological integrity, improve the health of the ecosystem, enhance natural biodiversity and integrate the socio-cultural identity of the place. Smaller streams, rivulets and rivers can transform a city’s landscape and can be great natural assets. They can also improve the quality of life of people. But only when we decide to protect our water endowments. https://www.civilsocietyonline.com/column/living-rivers/how-cities-swallow-rivers/ 


Kerala Eloor’s residents try to save Periyar This highlights impact of industrial pollution on aquatic life and local people along lower stretches of Periyar in Eloor. Agitations and legal cases by concerned citizens to save the river. 

Smokestacks spew fumes from chemical industries located along the banks of the Periyar River in Eloor, Kerala state, India, Friday, March 3, 2023. Residents have risen up against the factories contaminating the river in the area. | Photo Credit: AP

Once it was an island of rich farmland on the Periyar River, 17 km (10.5 miles) from the Arabian sea, teeming with fish. Now, a stench of putrid flesh permeates the air. Most of the fish are gone. Locals say people living near the river are hardly even having children anymore. Some 300 chemical companies belch out dense fumes, almost warning people to stay away. The waters have taken on dark hues. Many of the petrochemical plants here are more than five decades old. They produce pesticides, rare earth elements, rubber processing chemicals, fertilizers, zinc-chrome products and leather treatments.

Residents say the industries take in large amounts of freshwater from the Periyar and discharge concentrated wastewater with almost no treatment. Residents have periodically risen up against the factories in the form of protests. Demonstrations began in 1970, when the village first witnessed thousands of fish dying. Both die-offs and protests happened again many times after that, said Shabeer Mooppan, a long-time resident who has often demonstrated. https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/eloors-residents-try-to-save-river-officials-deny-problems/article66723734.ece  (11 April 2023)

CAUVERY Tamil Nadu Delta drying up A study titled ‘Assessing the impact of groundwater abstractions on aquifer depletion in the Cauvery Delta, India’ published in Agricultural Water Management assesses the impacts of stresses such as groundwater pumping, changing cropping patterns, and saltwater intrusion on groundwater resources in the Cauvery Delta. https://www.indiawaterportal.org/articles/fast-drying-cauvery-delta-tipping-point (11 Apr 2023)

GODAVARI Andhra Pradesh NGT directs CPCB to inspect paper mill polluting river The NGT (Southern Zone – Chennai) on April 12 directed the CPCB to submit a report on the alleged release of contaminated chemical water into the Godavari River by Andhra Paper Mill Limited (APML) in Rajamahendravaram city.  Judicial Member Justice Pushpa Sathyanarayana and Expert Member Satyagopal Korlapati of the NGT on April 12 heard the case (OA No. 33/2023) online. The case was filed by the residents surrounding the paper mill.

In the order, the NGT has stated; “Since It is alleged that the 7 th Respondent (Andhra Paper Mill Ltd) is polluting the area by releasing the contaminated chemical water into the Godavari river and the unit continues to violate the environment clearance and consent conditions, the applicant has sought for closure of the paper mill. We direct the CPCB to inspect the premises and file a detailed report in relevance to the allegations made by the applicant.” The NGT has also directed the Mill to file a report on whether it had honoured its written commitment (2022) to the ‘compliance of all the conditions’ given to the second applicant, Marri Pushparaj.  The next hearing is scheduled to be held on May 22.

The NGT also stated that notice should also be issued to all the respondents including SPCB (4 th Respondent) and East Godavari District Collector (5 th Respondent). The local residents, who moved the NGT, alleged in the petition that the discharge of untreated chemical wastewater into the Godavari is polluting the river ecosystem, apart from causing various health hazards, including kidney ailments, breathing and lung complications, in the nearby areas. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/andhra-pradesh-ngt-directs-central-pollution-control-board-to-inspect-andhra-paper-mill-on-polluting-godavari-river-in-rajamahendravaram/article66729735.ece  (12 April 2023)

NARMADA River in 1983 A freewheeling conversation about a unique yatra (journey) in 1983 by university youth, up the Narmada river in Central India, to experience a relatively unpolluted and ‘undeveloped’ river and its basin, and understand the potential impacts of a massive damming project proposed by the government. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-xLb8v6wng  (11 April 2023)

Madhya Pradesh NGT directs personal appearance principal secretary The principal bench of NGT has directed the personal appearance of Principal Secretary, Vice Chairman of the Narmada Valley Development Authority, Bhopal and other top authorities of Madhya Pradesh in the Narmada River pollution case, considering it important to assist the tribunal in the just and proper adjudication of the questions involved in the matter. The Tribunal stated that as the State and its instrumentalities are not appearing before the Tribunal and responding to the notices served on them, it deems it necessary to inform the Chief Secretary and the Advocate General.

An application was filed through a letter petition raising concerns about serious damage to the environment of River Narmada in Dindori. The applicant claimed that funds worth crores of rupees have been sanctioned and released but the authorities have failed to prevent discharge of untreated sewage/drain water in Narmada. The matter will now be taken up on 9 August. https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/ngt-narmada-river-pollution-case-madhya-pradesh-government-discharge-of-untreated-sewage-drain-water-in-narmada-river-226328 (14 Apr 2023)

BRAHMAPUTRA Andhra Pradesh The union jal shakti ministry signed MoU with Apex Professional University (APU), based here in East Siang district, on 12 April in New Delhi to plan and execute joint research in the field of river rejuvenation, water conservation and environmental sciences. The agreement envisages programmes such as seminars, roundtable discussions, and conferences that can address the concepts to restore and preserve the precious water bodies of the Northeast.  https://arunachaltimes.in/index.php/2023/04/17/apu-jal-shakti-ministry-sign-mou-for-river-rejuvenation/  (17 April 2023)

SUTLEJ NGT directs SPCBs for joint study on increasing cancer patients Recently, the NGT has directed the State Pollution Control Boards (SPCB) of Punjab and Rajasthan to commission a joint study by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), New Delhi or the Indian Toxicological Research Institute (ITRI), Lucknow. The aim of the study is to identify the root causes of the increasing number of cancer patients in both states, as recommended in the report of the Joint Committee.

The principal bench heard the application for directing the State of Punjab to stop the pollution of drinking water in the Gang Canal flowing to Sri Ganganagar, Rajasthan. The application alleged that hundreds of people are getting sick every day by drinking the polluted water, and some senior officers of the Punjab administration are supporting factory owners in polluting the Gang Canal through their inaction. The applicant further averred that the Tribunal has issued several warnings in the past, but they have not had any impact.

The study will be conducted by either ICMR, New Delhi or ITRI, Lucknow. The NGT further directed that upon completion of the study, the Member Secretary of RSPCB should send copies of the study report to the Chief Secretaries of the Governments of Rajasthan and Punjab, respectively. The concerned authorities should take appropriate measures in accordance with the observations and recommendations provided in the study report within a time-bound manner. Additionally, the Member Secretary of RSPCB and PSPCB should ensure that a copy of the study report is uploaded on the websites of RSPCB and PSPCB. https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/ngt-study-on-increasing-cancer-patients-drinking-polluted-water-unauthorized-supply-of-canal-water-226048  (11 April 2023)

Himachal Pradesh HC bans dumping of waste in rivers, streams A Division Bench comprising Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan and Justice Virender Singh, while passing the order, observed, “It appears that not only citizens but also municipal bodies are dumping waste in rivers, streams and rivulets. This practice should be stopped forthwith.” The High Court states that people try to segregate household waste but it is collected and then stuffed in a single sack without segregating wet and dry waste. This practice needs to be stopped forthwith.

-The court directed all municipal authorities that henceforth solid and wet waste should be collected separately after segregation and thereafter transported separately by engaging specified vehicles or compartmentalised vehicles.

-The court clarified that the responsibility of implementing the order would be upon the Commissioner (s) of Municipal Corporations, Secretaries of Municipal Councils and Executive Officers and Secretaries of nagar panchayats. They will file their personal affidavit (s) regarding the implementation of the order by the next date of hearing.

-It directed the Pollution Control Board to ensure that all the aforesaid directions are implemented in letter and in spirit and the abovementioned officers file their personal affidavits. It listed the matter for compliance on May 11. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/himachal-pradesh-high-court-bans-dumping-of-waste-in-rivers-streams-496879  (13 April 2023)

The collapsed bridge over the Baner in Kangra. Tribune Photo

An under-construction bridge connecting 15 panchayats on the Daulatpur Kharati road in Kangra block collapsed on April 12. Some people who were crossing the bridge at that time had a narrow escape. The bridge on the Baner river had been under construction since 2017. Villagers blamed the incident on poor quality of construction. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/under-construction-for-6-years-bridge-collapses-in-kangra-cm-orders-probe-497194  (14 April 2023)

Punjab In Muktsar, all 3 STPs defunct  All 3 STPs in Muktsar town have been lying defunct for almost six years and contaminated water is being discharged into the Chandbhan drain, which is being used for irrigation by farmers. Two years ago, the NGT had directed the authorities concerned to stop the environmentally hazardous practice of discharging untreated municipal waste into drains. However, effluent is being discharged into the Chandbhan drain for over five years which eventually merges into the Sutlej and no one has been held accountable for this so far.

-The three STPs — with a capacity of treating 8.7 MLD, 5.7 MLD and 3.5 MLD of effluent — were commissioned by the Department of Water Supply and Sanitation at a cost of nearly Rs 15 crore. These were handed over to the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board (PWSSB) in June 2021. Sources in the PWSSB said these STPs were to be repaired under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) project and tenders for the purpose were floated 9 times. However, neither did any company apply for the work, nor could any firm fulfil the tender conditions. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/in-muktsar-all-3-sewage-treatment-plants-defunct-496477  (12 April 2023)

STPs ineffective, dirty water flows into Buddha Nullah Residents living along the Buddha Nullah are unhappy that the STPs are ineffective and are discharging polluted water. In 2021, the NGT twice imposed penalties, amounting to Rs 56 lakh and Rs 46 lakh, on the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation for failing to treat effluents. The red-category industry is spread over the city, away from designated clusters, and continues to discharge effluents into the Budhha Nullah.

-The MC had set up 3 STPs in 2007, with a capacity of 111 MLD, 48 MLD and 152 MLD. In 2022, 3 STPs with capacity of 50 MLD, 105 MLD and 225 MLD were set up at Bhattian, Balloke and Jamalpur, respectively. The SPCB pointed out that it was not satisfied with the effectiveness of the STPs and asked the authorities concerned to add new components. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/stps-ineffective-dirty-water-flows-into-buddha-nullah-496784  (13 April 2023)

Messy state of affairs This Tribune Edit of Apr 14, 2023, tells us that STPs are not functioning in Ludhiana, Muktsar and Chandigarh among other places. One would say what is new? This is the story of almost every city of India and still the biggest scandal of our times is that there is no example of doing anything effective to change state of affairs. This fact needs to be told repeatedly and those responsible held accountable. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/editorials/messy-state-of-affairs-497093  (14 April 2023)

GANGA DTE River remains polluted despite cleanliness drives Since 2014, the Centre had taken up 409 projects with a budget outlay of Rs 32,912.40 crore to clean up the river. Still, at least 71% of the river’s monitoring stations reported alarming levels of faecal coliform in January 2023. The actual share is most likely higher, as the CPCB tested samples from only 59 of the 97 stations, or just 61% of the river in January. CPCB shared data for 2021, 2022 and 2023 (January) under the RTI query. In its covering note, the agency identified the polluted stations for 2022. Many of these were not monitored in January 2023.

On July 22, 2022, the NGT, while hearing a cluster of cases around Ganga pollution dating back to 1985, observed that untreated waste continues to be discharged in 60% of Ganga. While the five major states through which the river flows generated 10,139.3 MLD of sewage, they had combined sewage treatment capacity of only 3,959.16 MLD or 40 per cent.  In December 2022, Uttar Pradesh submitted its report, in which it admitted that of the 1,340 drains that end up in the Ganga and its tributaries, 895 (66.8%) were operating without any treatment capacity. Reports from the remaining states are still awaited. https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/environment/sewage-overload-why-the-ganga-remains-polluted-despite-cleanliness-drives-88651  (16 April 2023)

West Bengal NGT order on Saraswati river pollution The eastern bench of the NGT has directed the chief secretary to take action to arrest pollution in the river Saraswati and remove encroachments impeding the flow. The four-member bench has also ruled that “an action taken report in the matter may be filed within four months (to) NGT”. Datta’s petition, filed in February 2022, alleged “failure of the authorities to prevent pollution and encroachment of Saraswati river”, which flows through Hooghly and Howrah districts.

The order also states that “…legality of construction of bridges over the river obstructing its flow needs to be looked into” and has asked the chief secretary to call a meeting with all departments concerned within a month. The committee identified “untreated sewage from Bansberia Municipality as the major concern” and also highlighted the dumping of plastic and solid waste into the water. The panel also mentioned that a railway bridge at Tribeni in Hooghly is obstructing the flow of the river. The report also said “major siltation and deposition of water hyacinth has happened because of existence of numerous bamboo makeshift bridges across the river at close distance from one another” https://www.telegraphindia.com/my-kolkata/news/national-green-tribunal-directs-west-bengal-chief-secretary-to-take-action-on-saraswati-river-pollution/cid/1929021  (12 April 2023)

Army concern over structures built for ‘aarti’ on Hooghly ghat The KMC has built a small enclosure for a deity at the southeastern corner of the ghat. KMC officials who were present at the meeting said the army officer raised concerns about this construction and said if new constructions were allowed along the riverbank, the entire bank would be dotted with structures. Sources in the civic body said that the KMC took permission from the army to organise the aarti on the riverbank, but no permission was taken for the construction of the enclosure. “Defence ministry is the custodian of a stretch of the riverbank, including the Baje Kadamtala Ghat,” said a KMC official. https://www.telegraphindia.com/my-kolkata/news/army-concern-over-structures-built-for-ganga-aarti-on-hooghly-ghat/cid/1928742  (11 April 2023)

Bihar Plan to develop river front in Bhojpur DM Raj Kumar has constituted a special Ganga committee to explore the potential of developing a stretch of 5.5km along the Ganga covering Mahuli, Maujampur and Sinha ghats in the Barhara block as a beautiful riverfront that may become a tourist and religious destination for people visiting the district. The riverfront development plan will cost about Rs150 crore. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/patna/plan-to-develop-ganga-riverfront-in-bhojpur/articleshow/99447680.cms  (13 April 2023)

Uttrakhand Bridge snaps, truck falls into river Colonel Ankur Mahajan, Commander of the Border Roads Organization posted at Joshimath in Chamoli said that at around 4.30 pm today (April 16), the Valley Bridge on the Dhauliganga River connecting Niti Valley in Burans near Malari suddenly snapped.

He said that a truck also fell down into the river due to the incident. However, there is no loss of life, he added. https://www.zee5.com/articles/bridge-in-uttarakhands-chamoli-snaps-truck-falls-into-river ; https://twitter.com/thehill_news/status/1647832386137370624?s=20  (17 April 2023)

YAMUNA Delhi Define e-flow to maintain river health: Parliamentary committee The Standing Committee on Water Resources, headed by the BJP’s Parbatbhai Savabhai Patel, said both the Centre and the Delhi government should work in close collaboration to clean Yamuna. “The Committee further note that the major impediments for cleaning of river Yamuna are less flow at Wazirabad during dry period, illegal discharge of sewage and industrial effluent, disposal of solid waste in drains, improper functioning of CETPs and insufficient sewage treatment capacity,” it said in the report presented in the Lok Sabha on Monday.

According to the report, “The Committee observe that storage as stipulated by the 1994 MoU among the States for maintaining minimum flow in the river Yamuna throughout the year has not been built so far. The Committee, therefore, recommend the Department to make all out efforts in cooperation with the concerned States to build the storage capacity.”. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/centre-delhi-govt-collaborate-clean-yamuna-parliamentary-committee-8510069/  (24 March 2023)

Nearly ₹6,856.91 crore was spent over five years, from 2017-21, to clean the Delhi stretch of river Yamuna, the Environment Department said in response (dated March 22) to a question raised in the Assembly. However, as per reports of the DPCC, most of this stretch remains polluted for nearly the entire year and is not even fit for bathing. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/over-6800-crore-spent-in-5-years-on-cleaning-yamuna/article66692782.ece  (03 April 2023)

Instead of removing the concrete structures and restore floodplain illegally occupied by Millennium bus depot, DDA now plans to use the facilities for river front development project. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/a-sabarmati-like-riverfront-in-delhi-at-a-contentious-location-8499832/  (16 March 2023)

Delhi government prepares 5-point action plan to clean Yamuna by 2025. https://www.indiatoday.in/india/delhi/story/delhi-government-5-point-action-plan-to-clean-yamuna-by-2025-2357222-2023-04-07  (07 April 2023) LG VK Saxena has reviewed the desilting of trunk sewer lines and trapping of sub-drains linked to the Najafgarh drain, one of the major sources of pollution in the Yamuna, officials said. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/clean-yamuna-delhi-lg-vk-saxena-checks-work-of-drain-revamp/articleshow/99528425.cms  (16 April 2023) Priests of temples in the city especially those located along the Yamuna on Monday (April 10) underwent a training programme on the use of eco-friendly materials in packaging of prasad and biodegradable materials in the making of idols. https://www.outlookindia.com/national/priests-of-temples-in-delhi-undergo-training-on-best-practices-to-help-prevent-pollution-in-yamuna-news-277529  (11 April 2023)

Algae in canal hits water supply The problem occurs at a time when after some relief from heat, the mercury has started rising, indicating that the summer is finally in, and water requirement is going up. A few weeks ago, DJB faced the problem of high ammonia in the Yamuna water that came from Haryana and the water production capacity at WTPs got affected. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/algae-in-yamuna-canal-hits-supply-in-parts-of-capital/articleshow/99388651.cms  (11 April 2023) In a written petition to the High Court, the DJB said that the Yamuna water coming from Haryana is ‘undrinkable’ and cannot be supplied to the city dwellers the it contains high level of ammonia. https://www.timesnownews.com/delhi/delhis-water-crisis-to-worsen-as-supply-from-haryana-contains-high-level-of-ammonia-jal-board-tells-delhi-hc-article-99462560  (13 April 2023) The Delhi High Court on Tuesday (April 11) sought the Haryana government’s stand in a plea by the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) to ensure an unhindered supply of Yamuna water to the national capital as per a 2019 order of the court. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/high-court-asks-haryana-govt-to-respond-to-djbs-plea-on-water-supply-to-delhi-8551562/  (12 April 2023). HT had reported in January last year, that according to data from the Wazirabad water quality monitoring laboratory, the city witnessed 22 ammonia spike episodes over 134 days in 2021, during which ammonia levels were recorded over 1ppm level. To be sure, the problem is witnessed throughout the year, but the concentration of ammonia recorded in winters (between December and March) is relatively higher. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/delhi-news/delhi-jal-board-takes-steps-to-restore-water-treatment-plants-as-ammonia-levels-rise-in-yamuna-river-affecting-supply-to-north-and-west-delhi-101680634919193.html  (05 April 2023)

The Delhi government on Tuesday (April 11) approached the Delhi high court and claimed that several illegal sand blockades have come up on the Yamuna and are blocking the flow of its water from Haryana. The court asked the Haryana government to respond to the latest plea by Delhi Jal Board, which has raised doubts over the quality and flow of the river water from Haryana to Delhi and has sought a fresh assessment. The plea has also sought adequate and unhindered supply of clean water. Further hearing on May 10 in a two judge bench headed by CJ of Delhi HC. During the hearing, the bench, however, wondered if the matter should be heard by the Supreme Court since it is a dispute between two states, a remark approved by the counsel for Haryana who sought early hearing on its 2015 plea challenging the jurisdiction of the high court to pass directions on the matter, where it has appointed senior advocate Rakesh Khanna as an amicus. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/delhi-jal-board-in-hc-seeks-clean-water-from-haryana/articleshow/99419816.cms  (12 April 2023)

Haryana chief secretary Sanjeev Kaushal chaired a meeting to discuss pollution in Yamuna river catchment on Monday (April 10) and directed the pollution control board to prepare a detailed report regarding the nature of effluents or industrial discharge at various industrial units in order to treat waste as per the nature of effluent discharge. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/chandigarh-news/haryana-chief-secretary-sanjeev-kaushal-chairs-meeting-to-discuss-yamuna-river-pollution-control-directs-detailed-report-on-industrial-discharge-haryana-yamunapollution-industrialdischarge-pollutioncontrol-101681157366729.html  (11 April 2023)

After 8 years, bridge road work incomplete The approach road which will connect the Kheri pul in the city with the bridge at Manjhawali village is the part of the Rs 315 crore project. Though its foundation was laid in August 2014, the work on the ground took off in 2018, with the deadline of December 2019. The project has missed as many as six deadlines, before the bridge was made ready in December 2022. Though the bridge has come up after about eight long years of time, the pending work of roads on both sides makes it of no use, says an official on condition of anonymity, who adds the given pace the bridge is not likely to be functional this year also as the connectivity work on both sides (Faridabad and Noida) has either been pending or had been very slow. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/haryana/no-funds-work-on-approach-road-to-faridabad-noida-bridge-comes-to-halt-497452  (15 April 2023)

Uttar Pradesh NGT seeks report on river pollution in Mathura, Agra Ordering the filing of action taken reports within four months, the tribunal listed the matter for further proceedings on August 23.

The applications alleged discharge of untreated sewage in Yamuna in Mathura and pollution of the river in Agra by local authorities and private businesses or commercial establishments. It said that according to the report, there were 3 untapped or partially tapped drains in Mathura, while out of a total of 13 drains in Vrindavan, 2 were still untapped, and there was no time schedule for the interception of such drains. For the pollution in Mathura, the meeting had to consider within two months the interception of untapped drains and their diversion to the STPs, the tribunal said. In Agra, the tribunal asked the meeting to consider that the existing nine STPs are fully utilised and treated effluents are used for secondary purposes.

Regarding the sewage management in Agra, the bench noted that out of the 286 MLD of sewage flowing into the drains, only 58.25 MLD was tapped and no information was provided about the wastewater in the sewage network. Though the installed capacity of 9 STPs was 220.75 MLD, its utilisation capacity remained 175 MLD, it noted. Treated sewage is still being discharged into Yamuna instead of its utilisation. There appears to be no urgency for providing STPs, the bench said. The green panel directed the state’s chief secretary to ensure remedial action in the 2 cities by convening a meeting with the officers concerned within a month. https://www.business-standard.com/india-news/yamuna-pollution-ngt-directs-up-chief-secretary-to-ensure-remedial-action-123041200935_1.html  (12 April 2023)

The bench opined that it is clear from the report that there are huge gaps and deficiencies in sewage management in “such an important city as Agra”. It noted several deficiencies, such as the apparent lack of any sewage treatment plant set up since 2014, and the continued discharge of treated sewage into the Yamuna instead of proper utilization. The Tribunal recommended that a special meeting of concerned officers be convened, preferably within one month, to consider several actions, including ensuring all existing 9 STPs are fully utilized and compliant with standards. NGT has also ordered that an action taken report be filed within 4 months. https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/yamuna-river-pollution-in-agra-ngt-uttar-pradesh-government-sewage-management-solid-liquid-waste-226287  (13 April 2023)

Noida authority to remove farmhouses in floodplains  According to the authority, there are at least 2,000 farmhouses built on floodplains flouting norms. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/noida-news/noida-authority-to-demolish-illegal-farmhouses-on-yamuna-floodplains-after-legal-formalities-completed-allahabad-hc-directives-followed-noidaauthority-yamunafloodplains-illegalfarmhouses-allahabadhc-demolitiondrive-101681496072837.html  (14 April 2023)


West Bengal Malda: Fishermen cry foul at ‘water tax’ Fishermen based in Manikchak block of Malda district have alleged that they are being compelled to pay “water tax” to a local cooperative society for fishing in the Ganga. Hareram Choudhury, one of the 3,000-odd fishermen who catch fish along a 10km stretch of the Ganga that flows through the block, said that the members of the Rajkumartola Dhibar Samabay Samiti gather daily on the riverbank soon after the former return from fishing. There, as fishermen sell their catch to wholesale merchants, the samiti members collect 20 per cent of the sale proceeds from each fisherman in the name of “water tax.”

Fishermen protest against the ‘water tax’ collection by a local cooperative society on the banks of the Ganga in Manikchak block of Malda district last week. The Telegraph

Representatives of the cooperative society, however, claimed they had the right to collect such a tax for fishing in the Ganga.  Anil Mondal, a member of the samiti, said that in 2020, the society had taken a stretch of the Ganga and some other local water bodies on lease from Malda Zilla Parishad. “We pay an annual levy of Rs 11.55 lakh to the zilla parishad and have the right to collect the tax from fishermen. Whatever we are doing is legal. If we are barred from collecting the tax, we will challenge the order in a court of law,” said Mondal. According to him, the cooperative society had 405 members. https://www.telegraphindia.com/west-bengal/malda-fishermen-cry-foul-at-water-tax/cid/1929057  (12 April 2023)


CAG audits of all DMFs The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) will conduct a comprehensive audit of district mineral foundations (DMFs) across the country. This follows allegations of discrepancies in utilisation of their funds, which are meant to be spent on development and welfare programmes in mining-affected areas, officials privy to the development said. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/indl-goods/svs/metals-mining/comprehensive-cag-audit-for-all-district-mineral-foundations/articleshow/99474276.cms  (14 April 2023)

Uttar Pradesh NGT directs action against illegal mining in Yamuna The Principal Bench of the NGT has directed the District Magistrates of Prayagraj and Kaushambi districts in Uttar Pradesh to take action against the alleged illegal mining in the riverbed of Yamuna. The bench of Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel (Chairperson), Justice Sudhir Agarwal (Judicial Member), Dr. A. Senthil Vel (Expert Member) said, “In absence of individual violators being party, we are of the opinion that appropriate course will be to direct the District Magistrates, Prayagraj and Kaushambi to look into the matter and take action as per law in the light of earlier directions of the Tribunal.”

The Tribunal was hearing the application filed raising grievances against illegal sand mining in the riverbed and within the stream of Yamuna at Prayagraj and Kaushambi districts of Uttar Pradesh. The application stated that mining is being done with the help of heavy machines and using more than 1,000 boats at various locations, including Pahuwa, Pratappur, Nevadiya, Amiliya, Masiyari, Fulwa, Bisona, Asrawal, Manpur, Bhampur, Mishrpur, Nagawar, Gadispur, Bhikhana, Bebar, Palpur, Vidyapeeth, Majhiyari, Baswar, Bhilor, Nanda Ka Purva, Saidpur, and others. 400-500 overloaded trucks per day are going day and night though approval is only for 125 trucks, submit the applicant.

The applicant alleges that, in spite of the orders of the Tribunal, the violations are continuing. The NGT, considering the matter, opined that in the absence of individual violators, the appropriate course of action would be to direct the District Magistrates of Prayagraj and Kaushambi to look into the matter and take action as per law in the light of earlier directions of the Tribunal. Consequently,the application was disposed of. https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/illegal-sand-mining-in-yamuna-ngt-directs-district-magistrates-of-prayagraj-and-kaushambi-to-take-action-225892  (10 April 2023)

At U shaped meander in Chatkan, Banda, Ken river had formed a unique ~2.5 sqkm long sand bar supporting river hydrology, riparian fauna and hundreds of floodplain farmers but half of the sand parcel has been ruined by excessive, illegal sand mining between Dec 2020 & April 2023. https://fb.watch/jYBJZPc7nj/  (14 April 2023)

-मुख्यालय के समीप हमीरपुर जनपद की सीमा में पड़ने वाली अछराैंड बालू खदान इन दिनों वैध-अवैध खनन का अड्डा बन चुकी है। प्रशासन के तमाम प्रयासों के बावजूद यहां अवैध खनन और ओवरलोडिंग का खेल खुलेआम खेला जा रहा है और सरकारी राजस्व के साथ जलीय जीव जंतुओं को भारी नुकसान पहुंचाया जा रहा है। https://dainikbhaskarup.com/banda-illegal-mining-in-achraund-mine-revenue-is-losing-lakhs-news-in-hindi/  (11 April 2023)

Himachal Pradesh HC impleads govt groundwater authority as party The high court has impleaded the state’s groundwater authority as a party in the case about illegal mining at Garni Khud in Una district’s Amb tehsil, because a 2017 petition suggests that over extraction of sand and gravel has dried up old fresh-water wells along with the government-dug ponds.

On November 22 last year, the high court directed the central ground water board office in the north Himalayan region to inspect the Garni and file a report. On Wednesday (April 12), the division bench of justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan and justice Virender Singh referred to the board’s short reply that the state’s groundwater authority will be in a better position to explain. The replying respondent is ready to comply with the court’s directions, so the court deemed it appropriate to implead the state’s groundwater authority as a party as respondent number 14.

Based on a petition for taking suo-motu cognizance, the court had served a notice to the state on August 30, 2017. A decline in the Garni’s water level due to the deployment of stone crushers and the extraction of minerals has destroyed the agricultural ecosystem that was keeping all biological life in good health. Earlier, the high court had observed that perhaps an official collusion or inaction was behind illegal mining that had caused sufferings in Up-Mahal Dhandri, Up-Mahal Shiv Nagar, and Takarla villages of Una’s Amb tehsil. The affected villagers are from the backward caste, who have no voice or say in the system. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/shimla/illegal-mining-in-una-hc-impleads-hp-groundwater-authority-as-party/articleshow/99480483.cms  (14 April 2023)

Rajasthan HC upholds GST demand on royalty paid to mining depart The High Court has upheld the GST demand on royalty paid to the Mining Department towards mining lease. The Bench of Justice Vijay Bishnoi and Justice Praveer Bhatnagar has relied on the decision of the Rajasthan High Court, Jaipur Bench in the case of Sudershan Lal Gupta & Ors. versus Union of India & Ors. in which a batch of writ petitions were dismissed challenging the levy of GST on reverse charge basis on royalty of mining extraction. https://www.livelaw.in/tax-cases/rajasthan-high-court-ruling-on-gst-demand-for-royalty-paid-to-mining-department-mining-lease-226439   (16 April 2023)

Maharashtra New Policy: Govt caps price at ₹600 per brass for a year The cabinet on Wednesday (April 05) cleared a policy under which the government would have the sole right to get sand mined and sell it off from its depots. “There will be depots in all districts for storage and sale of sand. A technical committee at tehsil level would monitor the riverbed for excavation while a committee headed by collector would oversee the tendering and sale,” a statement issued by the government said.

In the first year, a brass (around 4,615 kg) of sand would cost ₹600, the statement said. The government has also waived royalty for this period. The cost, however, does not include transportation and other charges, which means a buyer is likely to pay ₹1,000 a brass. A year later, it will be sold for ₹1,500 (excluding other expenses) per brass, an official said. Nitin Kareer, additional chief secretary, revenue department, said, “The price of sand is market-driven. It can be anything from ₹2,000 to ₹5,000 or more per brass. The decision will help significantly reduce the sand prices and lower the cost of raw materials for the construction industry.” https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/mumbai-news/maharashtra-govt-to-sell-sand-from-its-depots-prices-expected-to-come-down-drastically-illegal-sand-mining-to-be-curbed-101680721475979.html  (06 April 2023)

Illegal mining threatens rail bridge safety in Palghar The illegal dredging of sand from the Vaitarna river is threatening the safety of the rail bridge between Vaitarna and Saphale stations in Palghar district, police said on Wednesday (April 05). A criminal offence was registered against two persons recently at Mandvi police station under section 151 of the Railways Act (Damage to or destruction of certain railway properties), various sections of the Indian Penal Code, and the Environment Protection Act for illegal sand mining. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/maharashtra-illegal-sand-mining-vaitarna-river-rail-bridge-safety-palghar-8526243/  (05 April 2023). “During the inspection of the bridge on Monday (March 27), police found a suction pump was pulling out sand from the Vaitarna river. The pump was found mounted on a boat in the vicinity. The sand was being collected and heaped at the site,” he said. Police destroyed the suction pump and the boat. “The act of illegal dredging of sand has made the railway bridge over the Vaitarna river unsafe and also disturbed the environment,” the FIR stated. https://www.news18.com/india/illegal-sand-mining-in-vaitarna-river-threatens-rail-bridge-safety-in-palghar-district-2-booked-7411555.html  (29 March 2023)

Karnataka Seer raises voice against illegal mining in Papanashini The seer of Udupi Admar Mutt Ishapriya Tirtha said on Saturday (March 18), that illegal and unabated sand extraction on the Papanashini river at Udyavara, near Udupi, may pose a threat to the safety of the railway bridge of the Konkan Railway in the area at any time. He said that sand is being extracted illegally at more than five places beneath the railway bridge. At least 150 units of sand are extracted illegally from the river daily. If the local residents, organizations launch a protest against the same, the seer said he would support it. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Mangalore/admar-mutt-seer-raises-voice-against-illegal-sand-extraction-on-papanashini-river-at-udyavara/article66636145.ece  (18 March 2023)

Andhra Pradesh Row over Illegal sand mining triggers tension Tension prevailed in the spiritual town of Amaravathi in Palnadu district on Sunday (April 09) when the opposition TDP and the ruling YSRC leaders made a vain bid to hold a debate on illegal sand mining in Pedakurapadu Assembly constituency. Former TDP MLA Kommalapati Sridhar alleged that Pedakurapadu YSRC MLA Namburu Sankara Rao had committed several irregularities in sand mining and executing development works in the temple town. The MLA refuted the charge and alleged that it was Sridhar who indulged in large-scale corruption during his tenure. They both challenged each other to take an oath in Amareswara Swamy temple on their cleanliness and a debate on the corruption allegations. Following this, police beefed up security in the temple town from Saturday (April 08) night to prevent any untoward incident. https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/andhra-pradesh/2023/apr/10/andhra-pradesh-row-over-illegal-sand-mining-triggers-tension-2564408.html  (10 April 2023)

West Bengal Miscreants attack cops, burn their vehicle during raid on sand mafia A police team was allegedly attacked by miscreants during a special operation against sand smugglers along the bank of Chenga River in the Phansidewa area in Siliguri block of the Darjeeling district. A police vehicle had also been burnt by the miscreants at the spot. A large police force led by SDPO Achintya Gupta of Darjeeling District Police reached the spot and brought the situation under control. According to sources, several villagers were also injured in the attack by the miscreants. https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/miscreants-attack-cops-burn-their-vehicle-during-raid-on-sand-mafia-in-bengals-siliguri-2350911-2023-03-24  (24 March 2023)


SANDRP Blog Uttarakhand 2023: Drona Sagar another Neglected Lake of Kashipur A visit to the Drona Sagar and available media reports only suggest the future of the lake is uncertain.

The government plans appear concerned more about development of tourist facilities and lack holistic approach to protect and revive the ancient lake. https://sandrp.in/2023/04/11/uttarakhand-2023-drona-sagar-another-neglected-lake-of-kashipur/  (11 April 2023)    

Tamil Nadu HC refuses draining of lake to protect encroachments The Madras High court has refused to order the opening of the sluices of a 126-acre lake in Namakkal district, to protect residential houses that have been constructed illegally on plots of land prone to submerging when the water level in the lake remains high. It has said, the precious water required for the ayacutdars (farmers entitled to irrigation rights from a water body) until the next monsoon could not be wasted now for the benefit of the lawbreakers. “It is only the man-made mischief which has to be undone and not the natural stagnation of water which has to be prevented,” wrote Acting Chief Justice T. Raja and Justice D. Bharatha Chakravarthy while dismissing the case filed by the Chandrasekarapuram panchayat president who had sought a direction to open the sluices of the sprawling lake situated in the adjacent Anaipalayam village at Rasipuram Taluk in Nammakal district.

Authoring the verdict, Justice Chakravarthy wrote that storage of water in a lake comes handy not only for future use but also helps in recharging the ground water level besides serving as a medium to sustain biodiversity. “If the residents are put to inconvenience on account of building homes on the land which is prone to submersion during rainy seasons, it is the individuals themselves who have to be blamed,” he said. “It also shows the callous attitude and recklessness on the part of the State authorities in granting facilities such as water connection, electricity connection, laying of roads, etc., inside such submersible land in contravention of their own order dated June 19, 1971. The argument to open the sluices to release millions of gallons of water so that the tiny borewell is functional again shows our ignorance and how far we have dissociated ourselves from life aligned with nature,” he observed.

The judge quoted acclaimed organic scientist G. Nammalvar to have said, that we must look up to the sky and not under the ground for our water needs. Stating that the Tamil Nadu Change of Land Use (From Agriculture to Non Agriculture Purposes in Non-planning Areas) Rules of 2017 prohibits the conversion of lands that are fit for continuing cultivation, into residential plots, the Bench ordered implementation of those statutory rules in letter and spirit. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/madras-high-court-refuses-to-order-draining-of-water-from-lake-in-namakkal-to-protect-illegally-constructed-houses/article66736280.ece  (14 April 2023)

Meghalaya No construction near water bodies: Govt to HC The state government has assured the High Court that no construction will be allowed to commence or continue near any of the water bodies, particularly the Umiam Lake. During the hearing of a PIL, the state submitted before the court that model guidelines for maintaining the sanctity of the water bodies are being drafted together with guidelines pertaining to license or permission being granted to construct near such water bodies. The state also informed the court that aquatic experts have also been inducted into the expert committee for preservation of water bodies. Later, the court fixed the next hearing on the matter after six weeks. https://theshillongtimes.com/2023/04/12/no-construction-near-water-bodies-govt-assures-hc/  (12 April 2023)

West Bengal NGT orders mapping of shrinking Malda wetland NGT on Sunday (March 26) ordered detailed mapping of Chatra Beel by an expert committee to assess its state and recommend remedial measures for its restoration. “The Committee shall visit the Chatra Beel and inspect the site and submit its report with regard to the encroachments alleged to have been made upon the said waterbody and it shall suggest remedial measures for restoration of the said waterbody to its original pristine form as well as remedial measures to ensure that there is no further encroachment into the waterbody,” said the order. “In the meantime, we direct the District Magistrate, Malda to ensure that no further encroachment is permitted in the Chatra Beel during the pendency of the present proceedings.” All the respondents, including the SPCB, English Bazar Municipality, the department of municipal affairs and the MoEF, shall file their counter-affidavits within four weeks.

One of the biggest wetlands in north Bengal, Chatra Beel plays a crucial role for Malda city by replenishing its ground water, minimising flooding, ensuring an ecological, hydrological and biological balance in the region and acting as its carbon sink. Green activist Subhas Datta, who filed the case, in his affidavit said the area of the waterbody had shrunk to 196 hectares in 2020 from 407 hectares in 2005 due to massive urban expansion. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/ngt-orders-mapping-of-shrinking-malda-wetland/articleshow/99021573.cms ; https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/national-green-tribunal-chatra-beel-natural-wetland-encroachment-225093  (27 March 2023)

Goa Locals oppose notification of Durga bund as wetland Chinchinim village development committee (VDC) has strongly opposed the state government’s decision to notify Durga bund in Chinchinim as a wetland. The committee has resolved to call on the Wetland Authority of Goa and also go to the court seeking de-notification of Durga bund as wetland. Chinchinim sarpanch Valentino Barretto said the notification declaring Durga bund as wetland was issued without taking the stakeholders into confidence. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/goa/locals-oppose-notification-of-durga-bund-as-wetland/articleshow/99416224.cms  (12 April 2023)

Opinion Urban wetlands are not waste lands Vikrom Mathur Unfortunately, whatever tiny conservation efforts for Indian wetlands exist, they are centred primarily on the 75 Ramsar sites but there are many unrecognised wetlands, especially in cities, which are woefully ignored making them open to encroachments and pollution. According to the National Wetlands Atlas 2021 by MoEFCC, there are over 750,000 wetlands in India which are spread over 1,52,60,000 hectares of land out of which Ramsar sites constitute only around 9% of the wetlands. The focus must shift towards urban wetlands setting a precedent for conservation within city premises. https://science.thewire.in/environment/urban-wetlands-wastelands-climate-resilience/ (3 Feb 2023)


Puducherry A vow to save waterbodies Under the aegis of the Alliance for Good Governance (AGG), a battery of 12 civil society organisations, including PondyCAN, joined forces to revive waterbodies. Of the string of over 600 ponds that quenched the thirst during the reign of the Cholas, a thousand years ago, only 420 or so remain in Puducherry. Today, most of the waterbodies in Puducherry are getting restored, thanks to AGG’s efforts.

Various non-profit organisations have joined together under the AGG (right) to rejuvenate and protect Pondy’s waterbodies. sriram r

The system of ‘Kudimaramathu’ – in vogue during the Chola era – helped local communities preserve waterbodies through revenue generated from the rearing of fish and the like. They devised a range of strategies, including long-term planning, desilting works, strengthening bunds, and planting trees to maintain the water bodies. Later, the French government entered the scene and institutionalised the ‘Kudimaramathu,’ renaming it to ‘Syndicate Agricole’ and ‘Caise Commune.’ Budgets, every year, were prepared for the maintenance of ponds and big tanks. Over the years, however, the system failed, as the officials recruited were relatively inexperienced or the work was contracted out. Fund shortage worsened the plight, rues Probir Banerjee of PondyCAN.

Between 1999 and 2008, as many as 83 tanks were restored through the Tank Rehabilitation Project of Pondicherry, which was aided by the European Union. An association of tank users formed in the times bygone has become non-functional, and the tanks fell into a state of neglect. The non-profit organisations under AGG have revived 47 ponds and cleaned up another seven this year. They have created a new tank at Mullodai. Akin to PondyCAN, Kulangal Kappom and ‘Waters of Pondicherry’, too, set out to save the ponds. https://www.newindianexpress.com/good-news/2023/apr/16/better-lake-than-never-a-vow-to-save-pondy-waterbodies-2566374.html  (16 April 2023)

Maharashtra Water warriors A few years ago, a group of friends got together to start movement on water conservation. Their mission was creating 500-crore litre water storage in small hamlets of drought-prone North Maharashtra. Under this mission, 450-crore litre of water reservoir has been creaed in 80 villages in nine districts. The mission has now won recognition at United Nations. ‘Mission 500-crore Litre Water Storage’ was started by Ujjwa Kumar Chavan, an IRS officer of 2010 batch, in 70 villages in Chalisgaon tehsil of Jalgaon district.

The movement was started in Dhamangaon, a small hamlet, in Maharashtra in 2017. The mission works on the principle of ‘Put the Diesel and Use the Machine’ for constructing small check dams and water bodies. Through people’s participation and planning in the Gram Sabha, deepening and widening of river is done to construct dams and ponds in village areas. “So far, under this Mission, 450 crore liters of water reservoir has been created in 80 villages of nine districts. Besides, the 30 km of farm roads have been repaired and 45000 trees have been planted,” said Shrikant Paygavhane, one of the Pach Patils.

The ‘Mission 500-crore litre Water Storage’ created water reservoirs in villages in a decentralised manner at very low cost. It is a model of ‘Community-based Decentralised Water Management System’ in which people are empowered to construct water bodies in their village, conserve it, maintain it and raise the ground water level,” Paygavhane said. https://www.newindianexpress.com/good-news/2023/apr/16/water-warriors-of-maharashtra-2566277.html  (16 April 2023)


Study Global gaps in the protection of nature reserves How much are nature reserves shaped by influences beyond their boundaries? An international research team with the participation of Prof. Andreas Hartmann from TU Dresden has investigated the significance of groundwater catchment areas for the protection of biodiversity and the preservation of ecosystem services.

Overview of groundwatersheds and our application of groundwatersheds in this study. Credit: Nature Sustainability (2023). DOI: 10.1038/s41893-023-01086-9

– Now published in Nature Sustainability, their study shows that protection of groundwater catchment areas of nature reserves is often inadequate and human activities in neighboring areas can have a devastating impact on the protection of ecosystems. The researchers mapped the groundwater catchment areas of nature reserves worldwide and found that 85% of protected areas with groundwater-dependent ecosystems are not adequately protected. As a result, part of the catchment area is located outside the protected area. Half of all protected areas have a groundwater catchment area whose spatial extent is 50% or more outside the protected area boundaries. https://phys.org/news/2023-04-groundwater-biodiversity-reveals-global-gaps.html  (13 April 2023)

Parliamentary Committee Dip in groundwater levels in 20 cities Groundwater levels in Delhi, Ghaziabad, Faridabad, and 20 other cities dipped by more than 20 metres from 2017 to 2020, according to a report tabled by a Parliamentary Standing Committee Monday (March 20). While Haryana’s Faridabad has become 100 per cent dependent on groundwater use, cities including Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh are “on the verge of becoming totally dependent on it”, the report says. Delhi, Jaipur and Hyderabad are among the major cities severely affected by the issue of water contamination.

The report quotes the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) as saying that increasing population, urbanisation and concretisation are some of the reasons behind the groundwater depletion in these cities. The main reason for such over-exploitation of groundwater in agriculture was due to the cultivation of paddy and sugarcane crops, which are heavily incentivised by way of highly subsidised water, power and fertilisers, the report argued.

The committee was of the view that to stop unrestricted use of groundwater for commercial uses, strict enforcement of the regulations, stringent vigil and appropriate penalties were needed.   The parliamentary panel has also recommended manual monitoring of groundwater level four times a year and collecting water quality samples once a year to obtain background information of quality change regionally. The committee also recommended that the government give the National Water Mission (NWM) the financial powers and autonomy needed to fulfill their objectives as it is “still not well-equipped with adequate funds and autonomy” and needs expertise in the form of consultants and advisors, who are yet to be appointed. https://theprint.in/india/parliament-panel-report-flags-dip-in-groundwater-levels-in-delhi-ghaziabad-faridabad-20-other-cities/1458577/  (20 March 2023)

Himachal Pradesh Assembly passes groundwater amendment Bill State assembly on Thursday (April 06) passed the HP Groundwater (Regulation and Control of Development and Management) Amendment Bill, 2023, with a voice vote amid the opposition BJP resisting the move to “dilute” the Act by abolishing the provision of punishment. The Bill was introduced in the assembly on Wednesday (April 05) by deputy CM Mukesh Agnihotri. The amendment in Section 21 of the Himachal Pradesh Groundwater (Regulation and Control of Development and Management) Act, 2005, provides that in place of imprisonment of five years, the offender will be penalised with a fine of ₹10 lakh. Presenting the Bill, the deputy CM said that hand pumps, irrigation and drinking water are out of the purview of this Act. Whosoever applies for the connection, if the department does not give permission within 60 days, then it will be considered as deemed permission. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/chandigarh-news/himachal-pradesh-assembly-passes-groundwater-amendment-bill-with-fine-up-to-rs-10-lakh-for-violators-bjp-opposes-move-groundwaterbill-himachalpradesh-watermanagement-101680802546770.html  (06 April 2023)

Bihar Govt tough on commercial use of groundwater Public health and engineering department (PHED) minister Lalit Kumar Yadav said in the state assembly on Thursday (March 23) that a high-level committee headed by chief secretary has been constituted to give recommendations on the ways of regulating the mechanised drawing of underground water for its commercial sale for drinking purposes in the state. Yadav said the committee headed by the chief secretary and involving officials from other departments has been constituted because the final framing of the regulation policy will require the perspectives of various departments involved on the matter.

The minister said the Centre has given licence to 61 firms to operate their plants and conduct commercial activities. Singh said over and above them, there are several unregistered operations going on in every district. Its combined effect is the depletion of underground reserve of water, he added. The minister said the department has also constituted a committee of its own officials, which will visit other states to look into the matter, including with regard to the regulation of unauthorised drawal of underground water. “The assessment of the two committees will lead to the framing of the regulation policy,” Yadav said. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/patna/govt-tough-on-commercial-use-of-groundwater/articleshow/98956762.cms  (24 March 2023)

Groundwater in 30,000 wards polluted: PHED A latest report of the public health and engineering department (PHED) has found groundwater polluted in 30,207 village wards across the state. However, the government has installed water purification equipment in those areas and is now supplying purified water to the villagers to save them from health complications. According to the report, there are 21,709 wards across the state where the iron content in groundwater is more than the permissible limits. Similarly, arsenic and fluoride contents in groundwater are more than the permissible limits in 4,709 and 3,789 wards, respectively. Health experts say the overload of iron, fluorosis and arsenic in water may cause severe health problems such as cancer, cirrhosis of liver, heart problems, weakening of bones, deformities, and skin lesions. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/patna/groundwater-in-30000-wards-polluted-in-bihar-phed-report/articleshow/98347509.cms  (02 March 2023)

Madhya Pradesh Neemuch: Collector bans tube-wells Neemuch collector declared the district ‘water deficient’ on Wednesday (April 12). Citing continuous decline in groundwater levels, he further banned digging of tube-wells and irrigation without prior permission. Notably, in a recent study by National Aquifer Mapping and Management (NAQUIM), it was revealed that the stage of groundwater extraction is very high in the districts of Indore, Mandsaur, Neemuch, Ratlam, Shajapur and Ujjain. Agar-Malwa district has a stage of ground water extraction between 90-100pc. https://www.freepressjournal.in/indore/mp-neemuch-declared-water-scarce-district-as-groundwater-level-continues-to-decline-collector-bans-tube-wells  (12 April 2023)


Study Urban water crises driven by elites’ unsustainable consumption ABSTRACT: Over the past two decades, more than 80 metropolitan cities across the world have faced severe water shortages due to droughts and unsustainable water use. Future projections are even more alarming, since urban water crises are expected to escalate and most heavily affect those who are socially, economically and politically disadvantaged. This paper shows how social inequalities across different groups or individuals play a major role in the production and manifestation of such crises.

The locations of some of the direst urban water crises over the past two decades, as reported from several media outlets70,71,72,73,74,75,76,77,78,79,80,81,82,83,84,85,86,87,88,89 (see also Supplementary Table 1 for additional details). Figure created with Matlab R2022b (ref. 90).

Specifically, due to stark socioeconomic inequalities, urban elites are able to over consume water while excluding less-privileged populations from basic access. Through an interdisciplinary approach, we model the uneven domestic water use across urban spaces and estimate water consumption trends for different social groups. The highly unequal metropolitan area of Cape Town serves as a case in point to illustrate how unsustainable water use by the elite can exacerbate urban water crises at least as much as climate change or population growth. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41893-023-01100-0  (10 April 2023)

Rich elites are fueling water crises by using huge amounts of limited water resources on things like their private swimming pools, irrigating their gardens and washing their cars, a new study says, adding that their use of water could affect urban areas “at least as much as climate change or population growth.” In the South African coastal city of Cape Town the two wealthiest groups of residents with population of about 15% were responsible for more than half of the city’s water consumption. https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2023/04/11/water-crisis-swimming-pool-cape-town/  (11 April 2023)

Pune Hundreds of Puneites turn up to protest road link project  In spite of persistent showers, the rally to protest against construction on Vetal Tekdi hillock in Pune Saturday (April 15) saw massive support. The main organisation behind the rally was Vetal Tekdi Bachav Kruti Samiti – an apolitical umbrella organisation of multiple citizen groups and initiatives. “The rally today (Saturday) is against three projects that the Pune Municipal Corporation has undertaken – Balbharti Paud Phata Road, two tunnels (Sutardhara, Gokhale Nagar and Panchavati exits), and the High Capacity Mass Transit Route Project (HCMTRP). Our demand is to declare the tekdi as a no-construction zone and a no-development zone,” said Prajakta Divekar from the Samiti.

“The PMC wishes to cut 1,500 trees for a 2 km of the Balbharti-Paud Road stretch. Not only that, PMC’s environmental assessment record shows that this will contaminate the groundwater as there are shallow aquifers under the proposed road. They want to level 50m of the hillock slope which will leave a massive environmental impact,” Divekar further said. “Different traffic reports show that only 10-12 per cent of traffic congestion shall be reduced after the Balbharti-Paud Road is built. This road, which is costing around Rs 300 crore for a 2km stretch and harming the environment, should immediately be stopped…” Medha Kulkarni said. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/dont-need-roads-need-vetal-tekdi-hundreds-puneites-protest-road-link-project-8558357/  (15 April 2023)

Mumbai BMC set to revive Gargai dam project The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is set to rekindle the Gargai Dam project. The ambitious project — conceived in 2015 — was backed by Devendra Fadnavis when he was the chief minister. The Mumbai civic body plans to build a network of four dams with two dams each in the Gargai-Pinjal and Damanganga-Pinjal river links in the Palghar district.

– The project was temporarily halted after the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha-Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government came into power in 2019. The project was said to be opposed over felling of a large number of trees. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/bmc-set-to-revive-ambitious-gargai-dam-project-with-an-aim-to-boost-water-supply-to-city-8557048/  (16 April 2023) The BMC moved a proposal last month to extend the contract of 10 officials from the state government’s collectorate department who have been entrusted with carrying out formalities for acquisition of land adjoining Gargai-Damanganga River links. The proposal states that the contract needs to be extended by one more year. This could also be an indication that with the change in government, the BMC may be considering to revive its ambitious Gargai-Pinjal project which had the backing of deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. The state government and the BMC had planned two dams, Gargagai and Pinjal, besides a river-linking project, Damanganga-Pinjal. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/bmc-plans-to-extend-contract-of-10-officials/articleshow/99506611.cms  (15 April 2023)

The 2.5 metre diameter water pipeline was damaged twice. Mid Day

Even after the main water supply line for Mumbai was damaged twice in the same month at the same stretch, leading to major disruptions in the city’s water supply, the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) is yet to issue a notice to the contractor concerned. This is despite 15 days having passed after the second rupture at the pipeline. https://www.mid-day.com/mumbai/mumbai-news/article/mumbai-contractor-yet-to-be-issued-notice-for-citys-water-woes-23281173  (16 April 2023)

Around three lakh residents of Kalina Village and Kolivery Village –both in Santacruz – have been living without water in their homes for the last 15 days. Paucity of supply in the neighbourhoods is not new but the situation has aggravated now. While the 15% water cut imposed by the BMC this month has led to a severe crisis in various pockets of the city and suburbs, old residents of these neighbourhoods blame the setback additionally on the shiny highrises mushrooming around their areas. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/mumbai-news/water-crisis-hits-mumbai-s-kalina-and-kolivery-villages-blame-new-highrises-mumbai-watercrisis-highrises-101681498230632.html  (15 April 2023)

The Mumbai civic body had announced a 15% water cut in many areas getting water supply from the Bhandup water filtration plant. However, residents in many areas stated they are facing a supply disruption to even 50 per cent, especially in areas far away from the plant. https://www.timesnownews.com/mumbai/not-partial-its-a-major-water-cut-in-mumbai-bandra-andheri-worst-affected-angry-residents-seek-immediate-solution-article-99392038  (11 April 2023) Gallons Of Water Gets Wasted While City Faces Severe Crisis. https://www.timesnownews.com/mumbai/mumbai-gallons-of-water-gets-wasted-while-city-faces-severe-crisis-no-end-to-civic-apathy-watch-article-99513232  (15 April 2023)

Bengaluru Right way to bring a lake back to life Ramprasad V A major problem is prioritising cosmetic beautification and civil aspects over water which should have been the pivotal aspect of lake rejuvenation. Currently, these lakes are even more crucial and important in maintaining water security and sustainability in the city. However, publicly they are seen only as recreational zones. Many lakes are being rejuvenated without any approved DPR. They miss out on the basic standards of lake rejuvenation. Sometimes in the name of rejuvenation, lakes are filled with concrete and steel structures, and manicured gardens where no biodiversity can thrive.

Careful planning Lake rejuvenation planning should be city-wide, constituency or ward-wise, and not stand-alone. Ridge-to-valley lake rejuvenation approach is required as Bengaluru lakes are interconnected and rejuvenating a lower lake without addressing the upper lake has proved to be futile.

We all suffer from a cognitive bias called “recency bias”, in which we favour recent events over older events and long-term experiences. To ensure real steady progress, the government must introduce a metric called “project velocity”, which shows the actual progress of any project against time. It focuses on the outcome, not on the money spent. This makes it impossible for any politician to put up a last-minute show to falsely impress her/his voters. https://www.deccanherald.com/specials/point-blank/right-way-to-bring-a-lake-back-to-life-1209955.html  (15 April 2023)

A manifesto for Bengaluru’s lakes https://www.deccanherald.com/specials/point-blank/a-manifesto-for-bengaluru-s-lakes-1209957.html  (15 April 2023)

Rs 6.2 cr going down the lakes According to a recent tender document by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), Rs 6.2 crore has been kept aside for maintenance work of 40 lakes in various parts of the city. A recent detailed report on the status of the water body reveals that maintenance work is hardly being carried out. While untreated sewage continues to enter the lake, the lake inlets are choked with all kinds of garbage. https://bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com/bangalore/civic/rs-6-2-cr-going-down-the-lakes/articleshow/99415831.cms  (12 April 2023)

BBMP to restore and develop 69 lakes in 2023-24 The BBMP has sought Rs 67 crore from the government to carry out annual maintenance, minor repairs, and for the development and rejuvenation of 69 lakes under its jurisdiction, according to documents accessed by The Indian Express. It has claimed to have restored 63 lakes under its jurisdiction at a cost of Rs 345.85 crore between 2019 and 2022.

The BBMP has 201 lakes under its ambit and of these, it plans to restore and carry out developmental activities at 69 lakes in 2023-24. It has already initiated development work at 25 lakes and will float tender for the development and rejuvenation of 13 other lakes. Apart from these, the civic body will restore 31 lakes this financial year. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/bangalore/bbmp-restore-develop-lakes-2023-24-8551022/  (12 April 2023)

Udupi Newly built UGD pollutes well in Karamballi The underground drainage issues in the Udupi city municipality area seem never-ending. In a recent development in Venkatarama layout of Karamballi ward, residents are struggling with polluted well water and non-availability of municipality water supply.

About two years ago, residents noticed a change in the taste of their well water and discovered that drainage water had contaminated it. As the drainage system was 14-16 years old, residents asked the ward councilor for repairs. After two years, the repairs began, but the Udupi CMC also started laying a new drainage system, which worsened the situation. Within a few weeks of the new drainage system’s operation, all the local well water became contaminated and unfit for drinking or other activities. Despite several well cleaning attempts, the water remains contaminated with chemicals and medical waste from a nearby hospital that adds to the residents’ misery.

Most residents bring packaged drinking water for drinking purposes, but the available well water is not even fit for other activities. Venkataramana layout residents have put up banners boycotting election campaigns in their area and have decided not to vote in the elections. https://www.daijiworld.com/news/newsDisplay?newsID=1069428  (11 April 2023)

Mangaluru Kavoor pond goes dry Kavoor pond, which was developed at a cost of Rs 8.5 crore under the Smart City project, has gone completely dry. Fish, frogs and tortoises have all died. This is the first time in many years that the pond has gone dry in the month of April itself. During the Smart City project work, drainage water which used to flow into the pond from nearby apartment buildings and houses has stopped. In earlier years as the sewage water used to flow into the pond, it used to look full. Locals are unhappy as the pond has not been developed properly during the Smart City project work. Even if five feet of silt was removed from the pond, there would have been sufficient water to supply to the whole village of Kavoor. https://www.daijiworld.com/news/newsDisplay?newsID=1070981  (16 April 2023)

Hosur Locals blame industries for polluting groundwater Residents of Ward 18 in the Hosur Municipal Corporation (HMC) alleged that the groundwater in the area is polluted due to the release of untreated effluent by some industrial units functioning in the area. They added that many people in the ward are suffering from skin allergies.

The reason behind the skin allergy is yet to be identified and proper water sample testing may detect water contamination. (Photo: Express)

G Sridharan (38), secretary of Nethaji Nagar Residential Welfare Association, told TNIE, “There are about 200 houses at Nethaji Nagar in ward 18 of HMC. Due to the release of effluent from factories in the surrounding area, groundwater has turned green. Many people in the area are affected by skin allergies. We are unable to use the water for any purpose for the past six months. We faced the issue a decade ago, following which a factory was closed.”

“In our area, there are two borewells sunk by HMC. Last year, one borewell was closed because of water pollution. So, the authorities should sink another borewell and solve the water crisis,” he added. L Hari, another resident of Nethaji Nagar, said, “I sunk a borewell last November at the cost of around `1. 60 lakh. Initially, we got clean water from it, but soon the water turned into a light green colour. I spent around `1, 500 for the treatment of a skin allergy allegedly caused by the contaminated water. https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/tamil-nadu/2023/apr/07/tamil-nadu-nethaji-nagar-locals-say-ground-water-polluted-blame-industrial-units-2563440.html  (07 April 2023)

Chennai Illegal extraction and poor rainwater harvesting affect groundwater. https://chennai.citizenmatters.in/chennai-water-supply-groundwater-cmwssb-monitoring-extraction-rainwater-harvesting-71133  (17 April 2023)

Kochi NGT has asked the SPCB to quantify the burnt and unburnt waste lying at the dump site of the Kochi Corporation at Brahmapuram following the massive fire on March 2. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/ngt-tells-pcb-to-remove-ash-beneath-burnt-plastic-waste-at-brahmapuram-before-may-end/article66737500.ece  (14 April 2023) In the past two months, the LSGs, with the help of the Haritha Karma Sena (HKS) volunteers, collected and handed over a whopping 8,699 tonnes of non-biodegradable waste to the Clean Kerala Company Limited (CKCL). https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/kerala/2023/apr/14/kerala-removes-over-8600-tonnes-of-non-biodegradable-waste-in-two-months-2565787.html  (14 April 2023) With mercury levels continuing to rise and the risk of fire high, the district administration is planning to extend till monsoon the deployment of firefighters and fire watchers at the Brahmapuram waste yard. https://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/kochi/2023/apr/13/fire-units-in-keralas-brahmapuram-waste-yard-to-stay-till-monsoon-2565337.html  (13 April 2023)

Hyderabad A foolproof plan to rejuvenate and take up comprehensive development of 50 city lakes is being prepared by the officials of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) and Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA). As a part of the exercise, the maps of various govt departments will also be superimposed to make sure there is no scope for encroachment. Presently among the 50 lakes that have been handed over to builders/developers, as part of the ‘Lake Development Programme’, there are some water bodies whose boundaries are different in the maps of Revenue and Irrigation departments. https://telanganatoday.com/foolproof-plan-to-rejuvenate-lakes-in-hyderabad  (11 April 2023)

The HMDA on Wednesday (April 12) demolished six under-construction villas near Ibrahim Cheruvu. These structures were being built in the buffer zone of Ibrahim Cheruvu in survey numbers 53 and 54, said HMDA in a press release. The HMDA along with officials of Manikonda Municipality, Narsingi Police and Irrigation Department demolished the illegal constructions. https://telanganatoday.com/illegal-constructions-hmda-demolishes-six-under-construction-villas-near-ibrahim-cheruvu  (12 April 2023)

A 2000 KLD capacity, Leachate Treatment Plant was inaugurated by Urban Development minister KT Rama Rao at Jawaharnagar dump yard on Saturday (April 15). https://www.siasat.com/hyderabad-ktr-launches-leachate-treatment-plant-at-jawaharnagar-2569162/  (15 April 2023)

Faridabad The Municipal Corp has served notices on 32 units, including private companies and residential societies, for unauthorised extraction of groundwater. The civic agency has imposed a fine of Rs 10 lakh each against these offenders, officials of the MC said.

A 2021-22 report of the Atal Bhujal Yojna (ABY) said against a total recharge capacity of 11,034.07 hectare-metre (HM) of water, around 22,151.60 HM was being extracted in the district. As a result, the water table has declined by more than 10 metres in the past 15 years. The water table in the majority of the spots have depleted by 10 to 12 metres since 2008, the report read. Moreover, the city is getting a supply of 330 million litre (of water) daily (MLD) against a demand of 450 MLD. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/haryana/32-faridabad-units-fined-rs-10-lakh-each-for-extraction-of-water-sans-permission-497451 (15 Apr 2023)

Delhi NGT asks remedial action on illegal gw extraction NGT has directed a panel to take remedial measures over alleged illegal extraction of groundwater by 536 hotels in the bustling Paharganj locality in the national capital. The bench, also comprising judicial member Justice Sudhir Agarwal and expert members A Senthil Vel and Afroz Ahmad, said it was going into the merits of the matter noting the serious allegations which, if true, showed a serious violation of norms and the judgement of the Supreme Court by individuals and authorities concerned. https://theprint.in/india/illegal-groundwater-extraction-by-536-paharganj-hotels-ngt-asks-panel-to-take-remedial-action-2/1518276/  (14 April 2023)

Floating wetlands to treat drains on anvil Water Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj on Friday (April 07) said the city government has decided to scale up a project to improve the water quality of major drains through in-situ treatment methods. As part of a pilot project, the Delhi government had installed weirs and aeration systems at some places in Najafgarh, Supplementary and Shahdara drains. https://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/delhi/2023/apr/08/floating-wetlands-to-treat-delhisdrains-on-anvil-2563907.html  (08 April 2023)

प्रतिबंध के बावजूद दिल्ली में मैनुअल स्कैवेंजिंग का काम जारी है. इस सफाई के दौरान कई नाबालिग भी नालों में दिखे. ये सभी सफाईकर्मी दलित हैं और यह डॉ आंबेडकर को जानने से इंकार करते हैं.

https://hindi.newslaundry.com/2023/04/14/manual-scavenging-in-delhi-hauz-khas-on-dr-br-ambekar-jayanti  (14 April 2023)


Tamil Nadu The Madras High Court on Wednesday (March 29) appointed a one-man commission headed by a retired judge of the court to probe into the shocking incident of contaminated drinking water with faecal matter at Vengaivayal village in Pudukottai district. https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/tamil-nadu/2023/mar/29/madras-hc-orders-one-man-commission-to-probe-vengaivayal-water-contamination-2560663.html ; https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/ngt-illegal-groundwater-extraction-paharganj-hotel-delhi-violation-of-environmental-norms-226431  (29 March 2023)


Himachal Pradesh 37 water supply schemes of Rs 317 cr in progress in Bilaspur Thirty-seven water supply schemes costing Rs 317 crore are in progress in the district here, Deputy Commissioner Abid Hussain Sadiq said Wednesday (April 12). The committee approved Rs 59.11 crore for groundwater augmentation in Bilaspur, Ghumarwin, and Jhandutta in the meeting. The DC also asked the officers to consider the possibilities of water supply through Koldam or Gobind Sagar Dam for the district and submit a detailed report to him. https://theprint.in/india/37-water-supply-schemes-costing-over-rs-300-cr-in-progress-in-hps-bilaspur/1513788/  (12 April 2023)


Tamil Nadu 4 districts face acute drinking water crisis as dams go dry With the storage level in the Papanasam dam dwindling fast, water level has fallen to 19 feet against its maximum storage level of 143 feet and the reservoir has only less than 10% of water. The Manimuthar dam, the district’s largest reservoir, has the storage level of 76 feet (38%) against its maximum level of 118 feet. So, the quantum of discharge of water from these two dams decides the health of the Tamirabharani. When the discharge becomes thin, the flow of water in the perennial river will also become poor.

The TWAD Board has sunk 236 active infiltration wells along the 122-km-long Tamirabharani watercourse from Papanasam to Punnaikayal to supply drinking water to Tirunelveli, Tenkasi, Thoothukudi and Virudhunagar districts. Since the situation will be really disturbing during this summer with the storage level dwindling in the dams, flow of water in the river will shrink rapidly in the days to come.  “We’ve planned to keep the areas around the infiltration wells wet by digging channels within the river to sustain the supply to the maximum possible extent when the flow of water becomes thin. We also have to ensure regular supply of water from the Tamirabharani to the industries in Tirunelveli and Thoothukudi districts which accounts for a huge quantity of water. So, we’re in the brink of really tough days,” said a TWAD Board official. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/four-districts-face-acute-drinking-water-crisis-as-dams-go-dry/article66725771.ece  (11 April 2023)

उत्तराखंड  सूख चुके जल स्रोत वाडिया हिमालय भूविज्ञान संस्थान देहरादून के पूर्व वैज्ञानिक डीपी डोभाल कहते हैं कि बर्फबारी के कम होने कारण तमाम जल स्रोत कम हुए हैं और इसका पेयजल संकट से सीधा नाता भी है. वैज्ञानिक डीपी डोभाल का कहना है कि उत्तराखंड में खासतौर पर प्राकृतिक जल स्रोतों की स्थिति बेहद गंभीर बनी हुई है. जल संस्थान के स्तर पर गर्मी शुरू होने से पहले किए गए अध्ययन में यह साफ हुआ है कि जल स्रोतों में मौजूद पानी कम हुआ है. यह सीधे पेयजल संकट को जाहिर करता है

उत्तराखंड में 4,624 प्राकृतिक जल स्रोत मौजूद हैं. इसके 10% यानी 461 जल स्रोतों में 76% से भी ज्यादा पानी सूख चुका है. वहीं, 1,290 यानी 28% जल स्रोत 51% से लेकर 75% तक सूख गए हैं. उधर, 2,873 यानी 62% जल स्रोतों में जीरो से 50% तक पानी में कमी आई है. देहरादून के विभिन्न क्षेत्रों में टैंकर के जरिए पानी पहुंचाया जा रहा है. देहरादून जिले में 142 जल स्रोत मौजूद हैं, जिनमें 46% ऐसे हैं, जिनका पानी 76% से ज्यादा सूख चुका है.  https://www.etvbharat.com/hindi/uttarakhand/state/dehradun/water-shortage-increased-due-to-drying-of-water-sources-in-uttarakhand/uttarakhand20230416160450964964997  (16 April 2023)


Report India must reform its agriculture policies to minimise the monsoon gamble. https://www.livemint.com/opinion/online-views/india-must-reform-its-agriculture-policies-to-minimise-the-monsoon-gamble-11681370072440.html  (13 April 2023)


Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC) identified 226 locations vulnerable to flooding during rain and recently submitted the list to Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). The identified locations will be flooded if they receive up to 7cm of rainfall a day, the centre said. The BBMP stormwater drain division, meanwhile, has started flood-prevention works at the 226 places. According to BBMP officials, 109 of these places will be affected due to water flowing from stormwater drains to low-lying areas, whereas the remaining 117 places will be hit due to water stagnating on roads, underpasses and at junctions.

– KSNDMC has also identified locations flooded if there is 10 mm or 100 mm rainfall in a day. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/7cm-of-rainfall-in-a-day-could-leave-226-locations-flooded/articleshow/99477169.cms  (14 April 2023)


Hyderabad Map of common inundation points. https://data.opencity.in/dataset/flooding-locations-in-hyderabad


Uttarakhand Garhwal-Kumaon at risk of big earthquake: Govt body The Garhwal-Kumaon region of the central Himalayas is at a risk of a “big earthquake” of magnitude 7.5 or 8 on the Richter Scale. The timing and the exact impact of such an earthquake cannot be predicted. The Global Positioning System-derived studies of “strain rate” patterns in the Garhwal-Kumaon region by the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, Dehradun, have revealed the existence of two corridors — Ramganga-Baijro and Nainital-Almora, which have the potential to generate a “big earthquake”. “The two corridors have not seen any strong earthquakes and surface ruptures for the past more than 100 years. These may be the locales for future big earthquakes,” Kalachand Sain, Director of the Dehradun institute, a body under the Ministry of Science and Technology said.

– Sain said, “The Garhwal-Kumaon region has not seen any earthquake of magnitude of more than 7.5 for nearly 125 years. The region is at a risk of a major earthquake. We cannot predict the percentage of the locked-up energy that would be released if the earthquake hits the region or its impact. What we know is that this region has massive accumulated energy. It has witnessed smaller earthquakes less than 6.7 on the Richter scale (Uttarkashi in 1991 and Chamoli in 1999) over a period of a century. A lot of energy is stored in this region, making it vulnerable to a major earthquake.” The top scientist said that with a dense network of sensors, real-time transmission of data, fast-computing machines, advanced modelling and use of artificial intelligence, it was possible to comprehend earthquake processes and develop alert systems against earthquakes. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/garhwal-kumaon-at-risk-of-big-earthquake-govt-body-496796   (13 April 2023)


A new US company that puts tiny turbines in flowing water to generate power. Costlier than solar currently. https://www.fastcompany.com/90879328/this-startup-places-tiny-turbines-in-canals-to-generate-power  (11 April 2023)


SC warns NGT of contempt proceedings for non-compliance The Supreme Court on Monday (April 10) warned the NGT Principal Bench of contempt proceedings for disobeying an order passed by the court in October last year which mandated that all matters pertaining to the NGT’s Western Zone, including matters arising out of the states of Maharashtra and Goa, would only be heard by the NGT’s Western Zonal Bench in Pune.

The court was hearing an application filed by the NGT Bar Association (Western Zone) alleging that the NGT’s Principal Bench had continued to list and hear matters arising from the states of Goa, Gujarat and Maharashtra, even though they fall within the exclusive territorial jurisdiction of the Western Zonal Bench of the NGT. According to the application, these were matters in which the NGT had exercised suo moto jurisdiction. https://theleaflet.in/supreme-court-warns-ngts-principal-bench-of-contempt-proceedings-for-non-compliance-of-its-order/  (10 April 2023)

Great Nicobar island is ecologically and sociologically unique. Its development will have a significant impact by Jayashree Nandi https://www.hindustantimes.com/environment/what-a-township-a-power-plant-and-an-airport-can-do-to-an-island-101681117378111.html  (10 April 2023)

Tamil Nadu MoEF to decide on final approval for Pen Monument The 2.11-acre structure falls in the CRZ IV(A), CRZ I(A) and CRZ II areas. The Expert Appraisal Committee will convene for its 325th meeting to discuss projects that are in need of Coastal Regulation Zone clearance. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/union-environment-ministry-to-decide-on-final-approval-for-kalaignar-pen-monument-on-april-17-2023/article66744693.ece  (16 April 2023)


Gujarat Coastline shrinks due to climate change Union Minister of State for MoEF&CC Ashwin Kumar Chauby stated in the Rajya Sabha on March 6 that the NCCR conducted a study of the country’s 6,632-km long coastline from 1990 to 2018, in which a total of 2,318.31, or 33.6 per cent, was vulnerable to erosion, 26.9 was under accretion (growing), and 39.6 was stable. Gujarat’s coast is eroding at a rate of 27.6 per cent.

According to the NCCR study, out of the 1,945.60-km long coastline in Gujarat, 537.5 km is undergoing erosion, 1,030.9 km is stable and 377.2 km has experienced accretion as of 2018. But the state’s coastline was eroding by 512.3 km, according to a 2016 report. Over the course of two years, the eroded land has grown by more than 25 kilometres. The erosion level is the highest in India. According to a response given on April 6, the well-known beaches of Gujarat are on the verge of disappearing or losing their names in the near future. https://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2023/apr/11/gujarat-coastline-shrinks-due-to-climate-change-2564745.html  (11 April 2023)


Nepal The article raises some pertinent questions about economics of hydropower projects, electricity prices for industries and in markets, power export and lack of PPAs after constituting Electricity Regulator when there is just buyer of Power: NEA. https://kathmandupost.com/columns/2023/04/10/hydropower-un-economics  (11 April 2023)


Poyang, the largest freshwater lake of China was once spread over 1400 sq miles, is now down to 285 sq miles.


Turkey Earthquakes have damaged dams The turkish authorities announced on March 30th that 140 dams had been inspected since two earthquakes hit southern Turkey and northern Syria in February. None, they insisted, was seriously damaged. Still, many in the Middle East remain fearful about the state of the more than 860 dams along the Euphrates and Tigris rivers and their tributaries. UN officials say that, since the earthquakes, fractures have appeared in 8 dams in the region including three in Syria. The Taloul dam in the Syrian province of Idlib, already devastated by war, was struck by an aftershock and burst on February 8th. The flood washed away this year’s harvest and filled the streets with debris. Cracks over a metre wide have been seen in the Sultansuyu dam 200km north of the Syrian border, prompting the Turkish authorities to discharge its waters as a “precautionary measure”. Engineers, however, say the dam is damaged beyond repair.

Many dams in the region are made at least partly of earth. In such barriers even small leaks can lead to a build-up of pressure that can wash them away, says Ceyhun Ozcelik, a professor of engineering from Gaziantep, a city near the recent earthquakes’ epicentre. Two decades ago, the Zeyzoun dam in northern Syria crumbled in hours, inundating nearby villages. The region’s high dams (those at high altitudes with high walls) are hundreds of times larger. And years of war mean many in Syria and Iraq are in disrepair.

The dams themselves can induce seismic activity when the water pressure builds near tectonic faults. About 140 quakes seem to have been caused in this way globally since the 1960s, in at least one case killing thousands. https://www.economist.com/middle-east-and-africa/2023/04/05/februarys-earthquakes-have-damaged-the-middle-easts-dams  (05 April 2023)

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

Also see: DRP News Bulletin 10 April 2023 & DRP News Bulletin 03 April 2023  

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

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