(Feature Image: Construction works going on at Polavaram Dam site. Source: The Hans Media, May 2021)
This well substantiated report from Yale School of Environment this week shows that the end of the big dam era is approaching. The well argued report from Jacques Leslie uses the reports from UN University, International Renewable Energy Agency, Oxford University, Inclusive Development International, China, among others to show how the pace of construction of dams and hydropower projects and also pace of financing such projects have hugely reduced in recent years and decades.
Even the International Hydropower Association, sensing the change, is now advocating pump storage hydro rather than conventional hydro and that too off stream version, to complement the power from solar and wind. Emerging economics with rising cost of hydropower projects and rising cost of power from such projects compared to solar, wind (onshore and offshore) are a major reason for the massively slowing pace of new hydropower projects.
Considering the increasing siltation of reservoirs and increasingly older stock of dams, there is a clear need to provide funds for existing dam projects. But even a rich country like the USA is unable to do that as it is clear from the failure of the spillway of North Form Dam in California in January 2023, in spite of warnings about it since 2017 Orville Dam episode. The changing rainfall patterns under global warming is making this even more urgent. The best investment under the circumstances, is to work towards decommissioning of old, unsafe and the dams that are no longer serving the purpose for which they were proposed.
This is even more true of a country like India with a huge stock of old dams, poor maintenance and even worse track record in terms of safe operation of large dams. But leave aside working to make existing dams safe, decommissioning old, unsafe and those dams not serving useful purpose, we seem to be still pushing the outdated technology, destroying not only the forests, biodiversity, environment, but also the meagre adaptation capacity that is against impacts of climate change.
The World is moving away from the big dams. When will we?
The end of the big dam era is approaching One study, conducted by scholars at the United Nations University’s Institute for Water, Environment and Health, found that construction of large dams globally fell from a late-1970s peak of about 1,500 a year to around 50 a year in 2020. “There will not be another ‘dam revolution’ to match the scale of the high-intensity dam construction experienced in the early to middle 20th century,” the 2021 study concluded.
– Data compiled by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), an intergovernmental organization that promotes renewable energy, including hydropower, show that in the 21st century, newly installed hydropower capacity peaked in 2013 at 45,000 megawatts a year and then dropped every year but one through 2021, when it reached only 18,900 megawatts. Similarly, investments in new hydropower dropped from a peak of $26 billion in 2017 to an estimated $8 billion in 2022, according to IRENA.
– A decline in dam building in the last few years in China, by far the world’s most prolific dam builder, “in and of itself could mean that ‘peak dams’ has arrived and we’re probably a few years into it,” Josh Klemm of International Rivers said. Throughout the 21st century, China has been the major force behind hydroelectric dam construction, both domestically and abroad. In fact, more than half of the world’s new hydropower capacity was installed within China during this period. But according to Eugene Simonov, coordinator of the Rivers Without Boundaries International Coalition and a researcher at the University of New South Wales, Canberra, dam building in China declined sharply around 2015 and has stagnated ever since.
– China appears to have lost enthusiasm for financing and building dams outside its borders, too, coincident with its decline in financing foreign development projects of all kinds — a response to the failure of many of its loans and negative publicity arising from controversial projects. Inclusive Development International, a nonprofit that tracks human rights violations and environmental damage caused by development projects, recently found that project financing by two of China’s policy banks, the China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China, declined from 151 projects worth $87 billion in 2016 to only eight projects worth $3.7 billion in 2021.
– Escalating construction costs, the rise of solar and wind power, and mounting public opposition have led to a precipitous decrease in massive new hydropower projects. Experts say the world has hit “peak dams,” which is good news for riverine ecosystems.
– A study drawing on a database of more than 2,000 megaprojects compiled by Oxford University economic geographer Bent Flyvbjerg found that, of 25 types of projects that cost at least $1 billion, hydroelectric dams rank among the highest in cost overruns, while solar and wind projects rank lowest and third lowest, respectively. Over the last decade, hydropower has suffered in comparison to solar and wind power both in terms of the cost of installation and the cost of electricity generated. A 2022 IRENA report found that the cost of hydropower installation rose 62 percent between 2010 and 2021, while over the same time period the cost of solar power installation dropped 82 percent; offshore wind dropped 41 percent; and onshore wind dropped 35 percent. In that decade, the costs of electricity from solar, offshore wind, and onshore wind declined by 88, 60, and 68 percent, respectively, while the cost of electricity from hydropower increased 24 percent.
– According to the report, by 2021 the cost of electricity derived from hydropower and utility-scale solar power had reached parity, at 4.8 cents per kilowatt-hour, while onshore wind was already lower, at 3.3 cents per kilowatt-hour. As a result, global solar power growth in 2022 outpaced hydropower growth by 14 times, and wind growth surpassed hydropower by more than five times, according to IRENA statistics. All these trends are expected to continue.
– Dams have stoppered nearly two-thirds of the globe’s major water systems, devastating their ecosystems. Dams and reservoirs have displaced millions of people, many of them members of Indigenous societies that were shattered by forced resettlement. And they have adversely affected the livelihoods of at least half a billion people who relied on plants and animals that no longer thrive.
– Climate change has made hydropower’s shortcomings even more glaring. As droughts have intensified, reservoir water levels have dropped, often to the point that grid operators ration or even curtail electricity consumption. Last year, Europe’s worst drought in at least 500 years caused steep declines in hydropower production, allowing solar power generation to surpass hydroelectric production for the first time. In Sichuan province, the combination last year of a heat wave and China’s worst drought in six decades forced factories to close for days at a time and shopping malls to reduce their hours. https://e360.yale.edu/features/hydropower-dams-energy-decline (20 April 2023)
HYDRO POWER PROJECTS
Centre Guidelines to promote pump storage projects san critical suggestions from civil society The Union Power Ministry has announced new guidelines to support the development of pump storage projects across India. The power ministry had invited suggestions and many including Prayas Energy Group, Manthan and SANDRP had sent critical comments, but all these seems to have been ignored, as feared. https://www.waterpowermagazine.com/news/newsindian-government-releases-guidelines-to-promote-development-of-pump-storage-projects-10748257 (11 April 2023)
Arunachal Pradesh What is driving hydropower construction However, Mickrow and other local communities question this form of development. “We don’t want to be refugees on our own lands.
The dams will cause permanent loss of land we use for grazing mithuns [a highly prized bovine species], as fishing grounds and for medicinal plants. Several villages will be cut off. Instead, we need support for livelihoods, hospitals and community development centres,” Mickrow said. https://www.thethirdpole.net/en/energy/what-is-driving-hydropower-construction-in-arunachal-pradesh/ (19 April 2023)
13 Gw MOUs in next week The state is likely to sign multiple MOU deals to set up 13 GW new hydropower projects at an investment of more than Rs 1.5 trillion next week. Power minister RK Singh is set to visit Itanagar next week to initiate steps to unlock the state’s hydropower potential, including signing of 13 MoUs for 13 GW hydropower projects, a senior government official said. Both 13 GW of new hydropower projects and the 10 GW Upper Siang project will be part of the discussions in the meeting next week between power minister Singh and Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu. https://www.financialexpress.com/industry/rs-1-5-trillion-investment-hydro-power-gets-a-leg-up-13-gw-mous-in-arunachal-next-week/3057756/ (22 April 2023)
Himachal Pradesh Hydro firms could take financial hit due to new levy Hydropower companies face the prospects of a dent to their financials due to the new water usage cess imposed by the Himachal Pradesh government in March. JSW, GMR, Statkraft and Greenko are among private sector players likely to be affected. A total of 172 projects in the state have to pay for the water that flows through their plants to generate electricity. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/renewables/hydro-power-firms-could-take-financial-hit-due-to-new-levy-by-himachal-pradesh/articleshow/99655937.cms (21 April 2023)
Power Secretary Alok Kumar has inaugurated the newly constructed Central Robotic hard coating facility and O&M workshop at SJVN’s Nathpa Jakhri Project. https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/power/power-secy-inaugurates-central-robotic-hard-coating-facility-at-nathpa-jhakri-hydro-power-station/99573069 (18 April 2023)
Uttarakhand Unplanned growth spelled doom for Joshimath: Study According to the study ‘Unstable slopes & threatened livelihood of the historical Joshimath town’, done by a team of geologists and scientists which has been peer reviewed and is in the pre-print stage to be published in ‘Current Science Journal’, Joshimath is in close proximity to the Main Central Thrust (MCT), one of the major seismic fault lines to pass through India, and falls within earthquake zone-V, “where buildings essentially require earthquake-resistant design”.
To make matters worse, the town faced “anthropogenic interventions” like road cutting and widening and tunnel excavation; Joshimath is the site of a major hydropower plant and part of the all-weather Char Dham road, construction for both of which have been halted since January.
The 2021 flash floods in Chamoli’s Raini village, around 20km from Joshimath, was a fresh trigger, when “multiple debris-laden stabilized slopes (old landslide deposits) were reactivated between Raini and Marwari”. Field observations highlighted the presence of potholes and fissures in Joshimath town, indicating unstable slope conditions due to washing down of sediments, which can be because of the existing problem of ground subsidence. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/unplanned-growth-spelled-doom-for-joshimath-study/articleshow/99625641.cms (20 April 2023)
Industry Tata Power Co. Ltd’s distribution arm has signed a 200-MW medium-term hydro power purchase agreement with NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Ltd (NVVNL) to meet the projected peak demand. NVVNL, the trading arm of power NTPC Ltd, will supply hydro power to the company for the next five years in May-September, beginning 2023. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/renewables/tata-power-discom-arm-signs-200-mw-hydro-power-pact-with-nvvn/articleshow/99562400.cms (17 April 2023)
Power consumption grew 9.5 per cent to 1,503.65 billion units year-on-year in 2022-23, mainly due to higher demand amid a rise in economic activities, showed government data. Power consumption was 1,374.02 billion units (BU) in 2021-22, according to power supply data from the Central Electricity Authority (CEA). Similarly, the peak power demand or highest supply in a day also rose to 207.23 GW in the last fiscal, higher than 200.53 GW in 2021-22. The experts stated that had there been no rains in March 2023, the power consumption growth would have been in double digits in 2022-23. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/energy/power-consumption-grows-9-5-pc-to-1503-billion-units-in-2022-23-govt-data/articleshow/99530203.cms (16 April 2023)
MoEF Relevant agenda of FAC meeting to be held on Apr 25, 2023:
– DIVERSION OF 1305.142 HA (INSTEAD OF 1248.821 HA) FOREST LAND FOR MAA RATANGARH MULTIPURPOSE PROJECT IN FAVOUR OF EXECUTIVE ENGINEER, DABRA UNDER DATIA AND GWALIOR DIST, MADHYA PRADESH
– DIVERSION OF 12.8042 HA OF FOREST LAND FOR CONSTRUCTION OF MARSHALL SMALL HYDRO POWER PROJECT in MP https://forestsclearance.nic.in/AgendaDetail.aspx
Narmada Bachao Andolan तीस साल पहले नर्मदा बचाओ आंदोलन के विरोध के चलते विश्व बैंक को अपनी परियोजनाओं के प्रभावों की जांच करने के लिए एक स्वतंत्र निरिक्षण पैनल की स्थापना करनी पड़ी थी। ये पैनल कितना कामयाब रहा? https://www.cenfa.org/wbinspectionpanelhphh/ (20 April 2023)
Madhya Pradesh Govt should stake claim for fishermen in NWDT: Patkar The state govt should stake its claim for rights of fishermen before the Narmada Water Dispute Tribunal (NWDT), said Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA)’s activist Medha Patkar here on Thursday (Apr 20 2023). The activist talking to media persons said that the NCA meeting will be convened on April 24 in Delhi for formation of a board of three states—Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat–for fishing rights in Sardar Sarovar water reservoir. She further said that Maharashtra has registered 21 cooperative societies in the state for fishermen but Madhya Pradesh is yet to register its 31 fishermen cooperative societies. If the board is constituted Gujarat will have its dominance on fishing and the Madhya Pradesh fishermen will be in great loss and so the state government should put its claim in the Tribunal meeting, said the activist. https://www.freepressjournal.in/bhopal/bhopal-mp-government-should-stake-claim-for-fishermen-in-narmada-water-dispute-tribunal-says-medha-patkar (20 April 2023)
Ranjit Sagar Dam Job to oustee a concession not vested right, says high court The Punjab and Haryana high court has ruled that a job offer to someone whose land has been acquired for a project is “a concession and not a vested right”. The court said the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, does not require the acquiring authority or project beneficiary to guarantee employment for those ousted from their homes or land. The ruling came in response to 107 petitions from people removed from their land to make way for the Ranjit Sagar dam project, which involved the acquisition of 11,250 acres in Punjab, 1,226 acres in Himachal Pradesh and 13,820 acres in erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/chandigarh-news/punjab-and-haryana-high-court-rules-job-offer-to-land-oustees-is-a-concession-not-a-vested-right-landacquisition-joboffer-ranjitsagardam-101682111859650.html (22 April 2023)
Polavaram Project Centre says 94,485 Polavaram families to be shifted Union Jal Shakti ministry has in its annual report disclosed that a total of 94,485 Polavaram project disturbed families living in areas of dam levels up to 41.15 metres and above will be shifted as part of the R&R programme. According to the report for 2022-23, the project is affecting eight mandals, 222 revenue villages and 373 habitations. The habitations shifted are 38 while 335 are yet to be shifted. Of the total 215 relief and rehabilitation (R&R) colonies, 26 have been completed and the remaining 187 are yet to be completed. The total project disturbed families (PDFs) are 1,06,006. Of them, 11,521 have been shifted and 94,485 are yet to be shifted.
– The report states that the second revised cost estimate of 55,548.87 crore at the 2017–18 price level has been examined by Central Water Commission. The same has been accepted by the Department of Water Resources advisory committee on February 11, 2019. The revised cost committee in its report submitted to the department on March 17, 2022, recommended the second revised cost estimate as 47,725.74 crore at the 2017–18 price level. Since the inception of the project works, an expenditure of 20,736.31 crores has been incurred on the execution of the project till November 2022, while 4,730.71 crores had been spent before Polavaram had been declared as a national project. As per the report, central assistance of 562.47 crore has been given to AP under the Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme till March 2014. Centre will provide 100 per cent of the remaining cost of the project’s irrigation component for the period starting from April 1, 2014, to the extent of the cost of the irrigation component on that date. An eligible amount of 13,226.04 crore has so far been released for the project’s execution by the Centre after declaring Polavaram as a national project. https://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/160423/centre-says-94485-polavaram-families-to-be-shifted.html (16 April 2023)
AP delaying survey Andhra Pradesh is now creating hurdles in taking up a joint survey of submergence areas in Telangana at Full Reservoir Level (FRL) of the Polavaram dam, which is to be conducted before the monsoon. Despite the Central Water Commission (CWC) and Polavaram Project Authority (PPA) directing Andhra Pradesh to coordinate with Telangana to complete the survey, the former has been delaying it intentionally on flimsy grounds.
– The CWC-mandated meeting between AP and Telangana to discuss the joint survey was originally scheduled for April 10, but was postponed to April 12. Subsequently, AP officials agreed to provide the data on Polavaram by April 14, but submitted it to the PPA on April 15, which was forwarded to Telangana on April 19. However, Telangana irrigation engineers, who examined the details, found it to be incomplete and wrote to AP to send the details in full.
– “The data given by AP has confirmed our claim that there is the submergence of over 900 acres in Telangana and also many streams are joining the Godavari at lower than Polavaram’s FRL, which causes drainage congestion in Telangana,” said Sridhar Rao Deshpande, Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to the Chief Minister for irrigation projects. “We will demand a discussion on the data sent by AP and work out a roadmap for the joint survey before the onset of the monsoon,” he added. https://telanganatoday.com/andhra-pradesh-delaying-polavaram-survey (22 April 2023)
The archaeological department in Andhra is awaiting a nod from Delhi for the excavation of megalithic burial sites at the Polavaram project area and two Buddhist sites at Jagathipadu in Srikakulam district and Gudavada in Vizianagaram district. Permission from the Archaeological Society of India is a pre-requisite to start the excavations. With no major threat of Coronavirus this year, the state authorities have sent proposals for excavations at an estimated cost of Rs 30 lakh at the Polavaram project site.
– As the resettlement and rehabilitation works of the Polavaram project-affected people are still in progress, the authorities are unable to collect nearly 370 idols found in agency mandals. There is stiff resistance from the local villagers. Relocation of two ancient temples – the Koundinya Muktheswara Swamy shrine at Kukkunuru and Veereswara Swamy temple at VR Puram — are also pending for the same reason. Meanwhile, the AP High Court issued a stay order on the relocation of the two temples and also for securing the idols as local villagers moved court complaining about a resultant delay in the implementation of the R and R package. https://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/in-other-news/240423/archaeological-department-in-andhra-pradesh-is-awaiting-a-nod-from-del.html (24 April 2023)
Hirakud Dam Spillway stuck in approval delay Over two years have passed since the Odisha government planned an additional spillway to protect the dam as per the Central Water Commission’s (CWC) recommendation. But the project is yet to get the required administrative approval. Of the two spillways planned five years ago, one was taken up by a joint venture (JV) of Tata Projects Limited and Turkey-based AGE Group at an estimated Rs 369 crore under the World Bank (WB)-funded Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP). However, the project got stuck after the JV backed out citing delay in resolution of displacement issues. In 2020, the government cancelled the work contract and decided to construct the additional spillway with its own funding through Odisha Construction Corporation (OCC). But it is yet to be decided whether one or two spillways will be constructed.
– The estimated cost of the single spillway has now been revised to Rs 786 crore and as it is more than 15 per cent of the preliminary estimate, the Finance department had sought some clarifications, which the Water Resources department has already complied with.
– The CWC had reviewed the inflow design flood and pegged PMF at 24.5 lakh cusec in 1997. As the existing total discharge capacity stands at 15 lakh cusec through 98 gates, effective discharge is about 13 lakh cusec due to operational constraint of few gates. Once two spillways are built, the discharge capacity would increase to 18 lakh cusec.
– Meanwhile, a team of experts of the Central Soil and Materials Research Station, New Delhi studied the cracks in different structures of Hirakud reservoir. Though the team found no immediate threat to the dam, it has proposed a detailed assessment of downstream face for locating any cracks and underwater videography of upstream concrete spillway to check its condition as it could not be inspected visually. https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/odisha/2023/apr/17/hirakud-dam-spillway-stuck-in-approval-delay-in-odisha-2566699.html (17 April 2023)
Maharashtra MP Supriya Sule informed MoEF Minister Bhupinder Yadav that there was an urgent need to take necessary measures to stop the pollution in the Khadakwasla and Ujjani dams. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/ncp-mp-supriya-sule-concerns-pollution-in-dams-baramati-constituency-8498273/ (16 March 2023)
INTERSTATE WATER DISPUTES
Tamil Nadu govt will hold talks with Kerala govt for building a check dam on Siruvani river. 90% of the check dam construction work is completed by Kerala govt. For Coimbatore city, Siruvani river is a major source of drinking water. http://www.uniindia.com/tn-to-hold-talks-with-kerala-on-siruvani-river-check-dam-issue-duraimurugan/south/news/2957428.html (21 April 2023)
Centre PM-KUSUM is a story of misses on several accounts. And of all the failures, Component A is the most as the numbers reported under Component A have been dismally and consistently low. Many experts and professionals pointed out that this was the tip of the iceberg, as myriad reasons slowed down the overall progress of this specific scheme component. https://www.saurenergy.com/solar-energy-articles/waiting-to-take-off-the-pm-kusum-story (20 April 2023)
Punjab; Rajasthan Brackish canal water a cause of concern for residents Jaskirat Singh of NGOs – Naroa Punjab Manch and Public Action Committee (PAC) – said, “It’s high time that all STPs, CETPs, and ETPs are audited by a high-powered committee of independent experts without involvement of SPCB. We have seen in Zira how involvement of PPCB in any testing process gave skewed results. A team of experts and scientists from universities should do the audit and its recommendations should be strictly followed by the government.”
Hardeep Singh Mehandiratta, superintendent engineer (SE) canals at Harike headworks, he said, “Water was brackish in Sirhind feeder canal and Gang Canal a few days ago. But now it is okay, according to my knowledge. I need to check if polluted water is still flowing in Gang Canal.”
In Punjab there is 2211 MLD sewage discharge by 163 urban local bodies (ULBs) and 137 STPs have been installed by these ULBs which treat 2058 MLD of sewage waste. Setting up 64 more STPs are under planning stage. Ludhiana has 3 CETPs for treating industrial effluents and one in Jalandhar for treating effluents of canneries. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chandigarh/brackish-canal-water-flowing-through-punjab-rajasthan-a-cause-of-concern-for-residents-8567362/ (21 April 2023)
Sabarmati; Ahemdabad Dying river Despite spending Rs. 282.17 crore in last 3 years (upto July 2022), Sabarmati is the second-most polluted river in the country. Meanwhile, the Sabarmati Riverfront is seeing further expansion of another 11.5 kms in its second phase. However, the amicus curiae in the PIL had suggested to the court that given the pollution levels, the AMC and the state government ought to prioritise steps to prevent further pollution of the river and utilise taxpayers’ money to set up STPs and CETPs, instead of undertaking the phase-II extension. The amicus curiae also pointed out that the river has lost its ecological flow after the Sabarmati Riverfront and “carries only industrial effluent and sewage” 120 kms downstream.
According to environmentalist Rohit Prajapati, who is part of the court-appointed joint-task force (JTF) to look into the Sabarmati pollution, there are two major issues. “(First,) Flow continues in the Danilimda area where industries were closed down. Second, the discharge that comes from the industries through the Mega Pipeline and wastewater from unknown sources attached to the pipeline continue to discharge, despite the closure of non-adhering industries, which means there are still illegal connections,” says Prajapati who is part of the Vadodara-based NGO Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/ahmedabad/save-sabarmati-a-desperate-cry-8425984/ (06 Feb. 2023)
Rivers of resistance From 29 November to 2 December 2022, progressive social movements and organisations from across the world came together, in person and virtually, at the “Our Future is Public” conference in Santiago, Chile, to share, discuss and strengthen struggles for public services and the essential role they play in our societies and must play in our future. This report intends to capture the current state of play of the water movement. https://www.tni.org/en/publication/rivers-of-resistance (21 April 2023)
Fascinating. The write ups provide a lot of interesting insights. Two key aspects missing in these are: Science of Rivers and Governance of RIvers. The suggested solutions while many of them are pertinent, provide no road map how it can be achieved. In that sense they are bordering on wishful thinking. https://vagartha.bharatiyabhashaparishad.org/apr-paricharcha-2023/
Madhya Pradesh Finding gondra amid the floods by Poorva Goel Excellent report on impact of August 2021 excessive rainfall and dam induced floods on the livelihoods of Sahariya adivasis living along Sindh river. The Sahariya adivasis gather and treat a river sedge called ‘gondra’, the roots of which are used in manufacturing perfume, Aryurvedic medicine, essential oils and incense sticks. The Sahariyas rely on gondra for subsistence.
Both Silarpur and Suda were hit by the 2021 flash flood and this pushed the local communities further into poverty. Residents reported that in the dead of the night, Sindh swept away their homes, fields and livestock along its course. Many residents allege that it was the poor management of dams that had worsened the flood situation downstream of the dam. They state that the water from the dam was released suddenly without warning, leaving no time for people to respond.
The Sahariya adivasis experienced a huge change in their livelihoods post-flooding. The Sahariya adivasis are only able to dig out the roots of the sedge when the river is shallower. In the season following the floods, the water levels remained higher than usual. Due to this, fewer stretches of the river were shallow enough for them to harvest the sedge. Affected by the loss in income, some members of the community resorted to harvesting potatoes as daily wage workers. https://india.mongabay.com/2023/04/finding-gondra-amid-the-floods/ (18 April 2023)
GANGA NMCG Ganga mission clears projects worth ₹638 crore The Jal Shakti Ministry’s National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) cleared 8 projects worth ₹638 crore on Tuesday (April 18). The projects include the rejuvenation of river Hindon, a tributary of the Yamuna, stretches of which rank as among the most polluted in the country. This clean-up comprises four projects, worth ₹407.39 crore, approved for pollution abatement in Shamli district.
2 more STP projects were approved, one each in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh. In Bihar, a project to construct 3 STPs (7 MLD, 3.5 MLD and 6 MLD), among other works, was approved at an estimated cost of ₹77.39 crore. In Madhya Pradesh, one project to construct a 22 MLD STP, 2.38 MLD CETP and other works was approved at a cost of ₹92.78 crore.
A project for the development of 7 ghats in Prayagraj was also approved, as part of preparations for the Mahakumbh 2025. Another project for ghat development was approved for Haridwar, Uttarakhand where Akhand Param Dham ghat will be constructed at a total cost of ₹2.12 crore. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/ganga-mission-clears-projects-worth-638-crore/article66751848.ece (19 April 2023)
Uttarakhand Benital lake degrading: NGT report A joint committee of the NGT has presented a report to the green tribunal showing the privately-owned Benital lake, which was earlier spread across 2 hectares, has shrunk by 1,160 square metres in the last five years. Also, plastic bottles, wrappers and glass bottles were found strewn around the lake, which now covers only 1.89 hectares, the report said.
While the petitioners alleged that several trees had been cut down on the banks of the lake to drain out water and dry up land around the lake to make the ground commercially viable, the joint committee has no evidence of trees being cut over the last five years. However, a good number of stumps near the lake were found and an investigation to confirm deforestation is underway. “The revenue and the forest department are counting trees in the areas, and they will submit a supplementary report soon on the matter,” the committee said. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/benital-lake-owned-by-delhi-family-degrading-ngt-report/articleshow/99626278.cms (20 April 2023)
Just like it did last year, the Dhami government has decided to lift the daily cap on the number of devotees for the Chardham Yatra. https://indianexpress.com/article/political-pulse/chardham-yatra-again-protests-again-lifting-of-daily-pilgrim-cap-by-uttarakhand-govt-8571284/ (23 April 2023)
Uttar Pradesh The 12-day Pushkaralu festival of Telugu-speaking people commenced on April 22 in Varanasi, with the UP govt expecting more than one lakh Telugu-speaking people to visit Kashi in the next 10-odd days for the event, which will run from April 22 to May 3. The festival, in which pilgrims will worship their ancestors and the river Ganga, is being organised in Kashi this year after a gap of 12 years due to a special combination of planetary transits. It is the second event of the recent past to be organised in Varanasi, after the Kashi-Tamil Sangamam. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/ganga-pushkaralu-festival-begin-in-varanasi-after-12-years/article66767854.ece (22 April 2023)
YAMUNA Delhi Cultural event to celebrate river legacy The Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) has planned a cultural programme in Delhi, for September on the banks of the river to rekindle the connection of people with the ‘sacred’ river, through historical, cultural, and ecological insight. The event is being organized since 2018. The Yamuna in Delhi is in such a state that letting children do anything on its banks might harm their health,” says Vikrant Tongad, founder, Social Action for Forest and Environment (SAFE), who has worked extensively towards the conservation of the river. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/reviving-a-dead-river-cultural-event-to-celebrate-legacy-of-yamuna/article66767338.ece (22 April 2023)
Uttar Pradesh Insect again turning Taj Mahal marble green ASI Superintending Archaeologist Raj Kumar Patel told ThePrint that this is a “minor issue that can be easily resolved with some water and cotton”. But environmentalists have raised concerns about what they say is the root cause of the problem: the sewage-filled waters of the Yamuna — on whose banks the mausoleum is located — which is the insects’ breeding ground.
“The only solution to this problem is to increase the water flow in the Yamuna and reduce the pollution levels in the river water, which is giving these insects an ideal environment to breed behind the Taj Mahal,” he added. https://theprint.in/environment/insect-poop-is-turning-parts-of-taj-mahal-green-again-environmentalists-say-root-cause-is-dying-yamuna/1529745/ (20 April 2023)
FISH, FISHERIES, FISHERFOLKS
Kerala Clam Collectors Of Vembanad Lake Ria Sojan This is the first story in a series of articles written by the students of Azim Premji University as part of a field practice and writing workshop for their sustainability minor.
Clam collectors are stuck in a cycle of consumption and depletion because they, as individuals, cannot see the bigger picture. The dilemma is that unless they can trust every other person to adhere to the rules of sustainable collection, it is not profitable for just them to follow the rules. In such a complex ecosystem, the interconnectedness between sectors and systems has vital consequences. Without an external party to enforce these rules, clams may soon be harvested to extinction, and the collectors will be left hunting for other ways to survive. https://www.natureinfocus.in/environment/the-clam-collectors-of-vembanad-lake (20 March 2023)
Karnataka Sullia: Fishes die at Kukke Darpana Theertha Thousands of fishes and water creatures have died and are seen floating on the water at Darpana Theertha river of Valagadakeri near Subramanya in the taluk. It is said that sewage water from nearby residential buildings and drainage water getting flown into the river is the reason for this occurrence. Many have expressed anguish against the negligence of the administration. https://www.daijiworld.com/news/newsDisplay?newsID=1067616 (06 April 2023)
SANDRP Blog Ken River ravaged by Illegal Sand Miners in Banda Though, Ken is listed among one of cleanest rivers of India, the ongoing industrial scale illegal and mechanized sand mining operations in Banda and Panna have been ruining the river ecosystem and affecting the dependent people in worst possible manner. https://sandrp.in/2023/04/21/uttar-pradesh-ken-river-ravaged-by-illegal-sand-miners-in-banda/ (21 April 2023)
Meghalaya How two NH construction companies are killing 2 rivers Detailed ground report on how NSC & Niddhi construction companies engaged in building of Rs. 1000 cr Baghmara-Ranikor road continue massive scale illegal riverbed mining for past 2 years; ravaging Rongdi & Mahadev rivers in Balpakram National Park buffer zone area in South Garo Hills while concerned state and central govts departments have remained a silent spectator.
Interestingly no one, including the local representative, the various departments concerned or the NHIDCL have any concrete answers as to why the spectre of illegality has been allowed to continue for so long. “Imagine the CM holding a high level meeting to save the rivers of Shillong while the rivers of Garo Hills have been laid waste by greedy businessmen in cahoots with MLAs and the administration. The reactions cannot be more stark,” added Tengrak. The local representative and state education minister, Rakkam Sangma stated that he had no idea that this was taking place and would inquire into the matter with immediate effect.
Another resident felt that the recent floods that washed away the bridge at Rongara during the floods last year could have been due to the mining in the Rongdi river as it narrowed down the area through which the river could flow. “Earlier there was an even flow due to the river running its natural course but due to the mining on the bed, the river has very places through which it can flow and this led to things going out of hand,” said the resident on condition of anonymity. https://theshillongtimes.com/2023/04/17/how-two-nh-construction-companies-are-killing-two-rivers-in-south-garo-hills/ (18 April 2023)
The litany of complaints against two construction companies over destruction of two riverbeds of Rongdik and Rongreng seems to have had no effect on one of them, which continues to plunder the Rongdik River near Karukol-Emangre in South Garo Hills. It may be mentioned that following the complaints against NSC and Nidhi Constructions, the latter, after being show-caused by the Forest department, had pulled the plug on the digging activities in the Rongreng riverbed. However, the company, as per reports, is now exploiting the Rongdik River. https://theshillongtimes.com/2023/04/22/despite-plaints-construction-firm-continues-to-ravage-sgh-river/ (22 April 2023)
Road construction company behind illegal sand mining in Manda River Fingers are being pointed at a construction company based in Guwahati, Midas Constructions, which has a lot of projects in the state of Meghalaya, being behind the illegal gravel and sand mining in the Manda River near WageAsi in North Garo Hills (NGH) for a while now.
Conveniently the company set up camp on the NH 62 near 7th Mile before unleashing its arsenal of excavators into the Manda River from where it began destroying the river bed in an apparent bid to save money. As per forest officials no permission has been sought from any department by the company for extraction of sand or sand gravel from the sensitive river bed.
Incidentally this is not the first time that Midas Construction has been involved in trying to take such short cuts, with literally no regard for the laws or the environment. The company was earlier caught near Rongsak under East Garo Hills where they extracted stones from the Simsang River to crush in their camp, despite not having quarrying permission. https://theshillongtimes.com/2023/04/12/road-construction-company-behind-illegal-sand-mining-in-manda-river/ (12 April 2023)
Maharashtra State must take punitive action against illegal sand mining: Bombay HC “Remedial steps are also required to be undertaken to prevent illegal sand mining, such as installation of barricades near bridges, to prevent erosion of banks of Julie Island,” said the bench of acting Chief Justice S V Gangapurwala and Justice S V Marne in the order on March 23. “Illegal sand mining is certainly a serious issue,” said the HC, underscoring the importance of adopting strict measures against the sand mafia. The court observed that the state’s efforts are not yielding much result and officials need to strictly initiate deterrent as well as punitive action under Section 48 of the Maharashtra Land Revenue Code. Under the Section, all that is mined would vest with the government.
The order came in an application filed by NGO Julie Kharbhumi Labharthi Sahkari Sanstha Maryadit, located in Virar’s Naringi village, in its 2014 PIL against illegal sand mining in Vaitarna creek. The other illegal sand mining is near Julie Island, close to Vaitarna creek, and it was going on in “broad daylight” regularly, said senior counsel Gayatri Singh with advocate Kranti L C for the NGO. On March 23, the HC adjourned the matter to June 8, and directed that it expects the state to take positive steps by then. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/state-must-take-punitive-action-against-illegal-sand-mining-bombay-hc/articleshow/99680889.cms (22 April 2023)
बालू से लदा ट्रक पलटा, महिला की मौत पालघर जिले में शुक्रवार (April 14) को बालू से लदे एक ट्रक के पलट जाने से एक महिला की मौत हो गयी जबकि दो अन्य व्यक्तियों के उसके नीचे दबे होने की आशंका है। वसई-विरार नगर निगम के मुख्य अग्निशमन अधिकारी रूपेश पाटिल ने बताया कि विरार में नारंगी रोड पर पूर्वाह्न करीब साढ़े दस बजे बजे ट्रक चालक ने एक अन्य वाहन को आगे निकल जाने का इशारा किया और इसी क्रम में वह कीचड़ में पलट गया। एक अधिकारी ने बताया कि ट्रक जिस तरफ गिरा उसी तरफ समझा जा रहा है कि एक या दो मोटरसाइकिल जा रही थीं। उन्होंने बताया कि दमकल कर्मियों ने ट्रक से चालक एवं अन्य कर्मी को सुरक्षित बाहर निकाला जबकि कीचड़ से एक महिला का शव निकाला गया। उन्होंने बताया कि दो और व्यक्तियों को बचाने का प्रयास किया जा रहा है जिनके बारे में समझा जा रहा है कि वे ट्रक के नीचे दबे हो सकते हैं। उन्होंने कहा कि वैसे यह अभी पता नहीं है कि जब ट्रक पलटा तब कितने लोग उसकी चपेट में आये। https://hindi.dynamitenews.com/story/road-accident-horrific-road-accident-truck-loaded-with-sand-overturned-woman-died-on-the-spot (14 April 2023)
190 illegal mining spots identified in Pune district The district administration has identified 190 illegal mining spots across the district since the formation of a special squad for the purpose in July last year, collecting Rs 112.38 lakh in fine from those indulging in unauthorized excavation of sand and minerals at these locations.
The move followed complaints and raids in the Mutha riverbed in Shivne last June. Of the 190 spots identified in the district, illegal sand mining was being carried out at 18, while stone and minor minerals were being illegally excavated at 172, officials said.
A senior member from the mining department said illegal sand mining was happening in the state due to the lack of availability of the commodity on account of curbs on its auction and approval. A total of 342 vehicles have been seized for illegal ferrying of sand and minerals, while 10 FIRs have been registered, the official said. The state is to soon come out with a sand mining policy, ahead of which revenue minister Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil has directed district collectors to crack down on those indulging in illegal sand mining. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/190-illegal-mining-spots-identified-in-pune-district/articleshow/97508610.cms (01 Feb. 2023)
Punjab CM dedicates 20 more public mines in five districts Speaking at Sanghera village in Moga, he said under the third phase of public mining sites, 20 new sites, including in Ludhiana, Ferozepur, Moga, Hoshiarpur and SBS Nagar districts, have been made operational on Friday, increasing the total number of operational sites to 55 across the state.
The state government will permit manual excavation of sand in these public mining sites and will prohibit mechanical excavation. According to the chief minister, sand from public mining sites will only be sold for use in construction of non-commercial projects. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/punjab-cm-dedicates-20-more-public-mines-in-five-districts-499652 (21 April 2023)
Haryana Sonepat killing was over control of illegal mining The district police have arrested nine persons in connection with a murder that took place allegedly over a tussle between two groups to control an illegal mining business spread across several villages on the banks of the Yamuna river in Sonepat. Nikhil of Mehandipur village was shot dead in broad daylight near a grain market in Murthal on April 10. A rival group allegedly hired four shooters, who came on two motorcycles and pumped 13 bullets into Nikhil’s body and fled, the police said.
The illegal business is learnt to be spread across Asadpur, Nandnaur, Bakhtawarpur, Mimarpur, Bega, Chandoli, Gyaspur and others villages. A villager claimed that the groups comprised members with criminal background and even the official mining companies didn’t dare to speak up against them. Anil Kumar, District Mining Officer, said action would be taken against the illegal activity if they received any complaint from mining companies. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/haryana/sonepat-killing-was-over-control-of-illegal-mining-498354 (18 April 2023) डीसीपी ने बताया कि यमुना क्षेत्र में अवैध रेत खनन पर वर्चस्व स्थापित करने की रंजिश में निखिल की हत्या की गई। इसके साथ ही रेत खनन करने वालों से वसूली भी की जाती थी। इससे लाखों रुपये महीने की आमदनी होती थी। इसको लेकर दोनों पक्षों में गैंगवार चल रही थी।आरोपित विपिन व निखिल गुट ने अपने गैंग बना लिए थे। इसके साथ ही धीरज बख्तावरपुर की हत्या के बाद से विपिन व निखिल गुट में टकराव बढ़ गया था। दोनों अपना वर्चस्व चाहते थे। इसके चलते ही निखिल ने विपिन की हत्या करा दी थी। https://www.jagran.com/haryana/sonipat-ncr-sonipat-history-sheeter-nikhil-killed-in-sand-mining-gang-war-three-sharp-shooters-were-called-from-up-23388422.html (17 April 2023) एसीपी ने बताया कि निखिल के साथ विपिन, दौलतराम ,अंकित की पुरानी रंजिश चल रही थी। इन्होंने ही उसे मारने के लिए शूटर्स बुलाए थे। धीरज, विपिन, दौलतराम और अंकित का ग्रुप रेत खनन का काम करता है। मृतक निखिल भी रेत खनन के धंधे में था। रेत खनन को लेकर इनमें रंजिश चल रही थी। https://www.bhaskar.com/local/haryana/sonipat/news/sonepat-mehandipur-village-history-sheeter-nikhil-murder-case-sand-illegal-mining-enmity-4-special-shooters-sonipat-police-131175264.html (17 April 2023)
Despite ban, riverbed sand mining unabated in Mahendragarh As many as six cases of illegal mining have been reported in the Nangal Choudhary area of the district in a week, in which the sand was being transported in the tractor-trailers to other places either late at night or in wee hours. Interestingly, the involvement of people belonging to Rajasthan have been found in three of the six cases, while tractor-trailer drivers managed to flee the spot by taking the advantage of darkness in two incidents, sources said.
An official of the Mines Department, preferring anonymity, said his office was grappling with the shortage of staff hence round-the-clock surveillance could not be conducted on the riverbeds, which were spread in the district. The mining mafia was also aware of the fact, he added. “The focus is on sensitive areas. Surprise visits are paid there at regular intervals to check illegal mining, but the mafia becomes active in other places of the riverbeds to evade action,” the official added. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/haryana/despite-ban-riverbed-sand-mining-unabated-in-mahendragarh-499040 (20 April 2023)
Illegal Sand Mining: The Haryana Police have informed the NGT that it received 582 complaints regarding illegal mining in Faridabad, Nuh and Gurugram from January 1, 2017, to January 31, 2023, of which 507 were converted into FIRs. As per an affidavit dated April 12, filed by IGP (Law and Order) Sanjay Kumar, on behalf of the DGP, 354 complaints of illegal mining in the Aravallis were received from the Mines and Geology Department and the remaining 228 from the Forest Department and public in the last six years. The police submitted the details as the NGT, in its previous hearing, had noted substantial gap in the number of complaints received and FIRs registered. There were 259 complaints of stone mining in the Aravallis, 20 of illegally mined stock and 303 of transportation of minerals. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/haryana/in-6-years-507-firs-in-3-districts-1-conviction-497759 (16 April 2023)
Stone crushers, riverbed mining and minor minerals transportation activities have been causing air pollution and in turn impacting health of local people in Yamuna Nagar. https://101reporters.com/article/health/An_air_of_unease_as_mining_stone_crusher_units_up_pollution_in_rural_Yamunanagar (06 April 2023)
उत्तराखंड चमोली जिले थराली तहसील के जबरकोट गांव में स्टोन क्रशर 11 महीने पहले लगाना शुरू हुआ था और इसी के साथ गांव की महिलाएं क्रशर के विरोध में उतर आई थीं। जब भी यहां जेसीबी मशीन क्रशर लगाने के लिए खुदाई का काम शुरू करती है, महिलाएं मशीन के आगे बैठ जाती हैं और काम रूकवा देती हैं। महिलाओं का कहना है कि स्टोन क्रशर लगाने से गांव का पर्यावरण दूषित होगा, लोगों का स्वास्थ्य खराब होगा और भारी भरकम मशीनें चलने से गांव के धंसने का खतरा भी पैदा हो जाएगा। https://janchowk.com/pahlapanna/women-of-jabarkot-are-not-backing-down-from-the-struggle-to-save-the-earth/ (20 April 2023)
Uttar Pradesh कानपुर देहात के सिकंदरा कोतवाली क्षेत्र में बीहड़ पट्टी के विछावली गांव में यमुना घाट पर रविवार (April 202) को ट्रक में बालू भरते समय पोकलेन मशीन की बकेट की चपेट में आने से वहां खड़े परिचालक की मौत हो गई। पुलिस ने पोकलेन मशीन को कब्जे में लेकर चालक की तलाश शुरू कर दी है। राजस्थान प्रांत के भरतपुर जिले के वैर निवासी ट्रक चालक सुरेश कुमार ने बताया कि वह यमुना घाट पर ट्रक लेकर बालू लोड करने आया था। उसके साथ परिचालक वैर गांव का ही मुफतलाल उर्फ मुफ्ती (45) भी आया था। सुरेश के मुताबिक बीहड़ पट्टी के विछावली गांव में यमुना घाट पर उसने ट्रक खड़ा किया था। यहां पोकलेन मशीन से ट्रक पर बालू लोड की जा रही थी। इसी दौरान मशीन के आगे लगी बकेट की चपेट में मुफतलाल आ गया। https://www.amarujala.com/uttar-pradesh/kanpur/khalasi-died-after-being-hit-by-poklen-in-kanpur-dehat-accident-occurred-while-filling-sand-2023-04-02?pageId=1 (02 April 2023)
प्रयागराज के फाफामऊ पुल पर शुक्रवार (March 31) सुबह 5 बजे के करीब दो ट्रकों के बीच आमने-सामने की भिड़ंत हो गई। इसके बाद रेलिंग तोड़ता हुआ एक ट्रक नीचे जा गिरा तो दूसरा नदी पर लटकनेलगा। इस हादसे में दो सगे भाइयों समेत तीन की मौत हो गई। मरने वालों में ट्रक का ड्राइवर भी शामिल है। बताया जा रहा है फाफामऊ पुल पर भोर में गिट्टी लदा एक ट्रक जा रहा था। इसी दौरान सामने से आ रहे ट्रक से उसकी आमने-सामने की टक्कर हो गई। टक्कर के बाद एक ट्रक रेलिंग तोड़ता हुआ नीचे जा गिरा। इससे ट्रक ड्राइवर और दो अन्य लोगों की दर्दनाक मौत हो गई। टक्कर के बाद दूसरा ट्रक भी अनियंत्रित हो गया। रेलिंग टूट गई और यह ट्रक गंगा नदी के ऊपर लटकने लगा। ट्रक में गिट्टी लदी हुई है।
जिन तीन लोगों की मौत हुई है उनमें से दो सगे भाई थे जिनमें से एक ड्राइवर था। दोनों भाई लखनऊ के नगराम थाना क्षेत्र के अमवा के रहने वाले थे। तीसरा व्यक्ति एमएनएनआईटी मेंगार्ड था। वह अपनी बाइक सेसुबह ड्यूटी के लिए जा रहा था। तभी इस हादसेका शिकार हो गया। उसकी बाइक भी पुल से नीचे गिर गई। मौके पर ही उसकी मौत हो गई। गार्ड का नाम बजरंग बहादुर सिंह और उम्र 48 वर्षथी। वह नवाबगंज के पचदेवरा के निवासी थे। https://www.amarujala.com/uttar-pradesh/allahabad/three-killed-three-injured-as-truck-collides-with-truck-at-phaphamau-ganga-bridge-2023-03-31; https://www.livehindustan.com/uttar-pradesh/story-truck-accident-fafamau-bridge-after-collision-one-truck-fell-down-other-started-hanging-3-dead-7970993.html (31 March 2023)
Chitrakoot A youth from Gadoli village under Rajapur tehsil in Chitrakoot district died after drowning in illegal sand mine pit in Baghen river. Unknown persons set the poclain machine on fire. Administration accepted illegal mining and case filed against the contractor. https://www.abplive.com/states/up-uk/chitrakoot-illegal-sand-mining-took-life-of-young-man-died-after-getting-stuck-in-pit-ann-2362335 (19 March 2023)
सरधुआ थाना क्षेत्र के अर्की मोड़ पर शनिवार (31 Dec. 2022) को सुबह साइकिल से स्कूल जा रही छात्रा को तेज रफ्तार गिट्टी से लदे ओवरलोड ट्रक ने बुरी तरह रौंद डाला। जिससे छात्रा की मौके पर ही मौत हो गई। हादसे के बाद चालक ट्रक छोड़कर मौके से भाग निकला। पुलिस ने ट्रक के खलासी को पकड़ लिया है। कुछ ही देर में ग्रामीणों की एकत्र भीड़ ने हंगामा काटना शुरू कर दिया। ग्रामीणों ने थाने का घेराव भी किया है। बवाल को बढ़ता देखते हुए कई थानों का फोर्स मौके पर बुलाया गया है। ट्रक गिट्टी लेकर कमासिन की तरफ से राजापुर की ओर जा रहा था। हादसे में छात्रा की साइकिल भी टूट गई। ग्रामीणों का कहना है कि पुलिस की मिलीभगत से रातदिन ओवरलोड बालू व गिट्टी से लदे ट्रक दौड़ रहे हैं। लेकिन इन पर कोई शिकंजा नहीं कसा जा रहा है। इसी लापरवाही के चलते छात्रा की हादसे में जान गई है। https://newstrack.com/uttar-pradesh/chitrakoot-overload-truck-laden-with-ballast-trampled-girl-353613 (31 Dec. 2022)
बांदा जिले के औगासी गांव में बालू से भरा ओवरलोड ट्रक पलट गया। बच्चे समेत पांच लोग इसके नीचे दब गए। सूचना पर पहुंची पुलिस उन्हें निकाला और सीएचसी भेजा। डॉक्टर ने बच्चे को मृत घोषित कर दिया। घायलों का प्राथमिक उपचार कर जिला अस्पताल रेफर कर दिया। ट्रक चालक मौके से भाग निकला। https://www.amarujala.com/uttar-pradesh/banda/banda-overloaded-truck-full-of-sand-overturns-innocent-killed-four-injured-banda-news-knp7283004197 (14 Nov. 2022)
देवरिया पुलिस की लापरवाही से मंगलवार (04 Oct. 2022) देर रात दशहरा मेला के दौरान देवरिया शहर में दर्दनाक हादसा हुआ। नो एंट्री के बावजूद मेला की भीड़ में घुसे बेकाबू ट्रक ने दो बच्चियों रौंद दिया, जिससे उनकी मौके पर ही मौत हो गई और कई लोग गंभीर रूप से घायल हो गए। कोतवाली से चंद कदमों की दूरी पर हुए इस हादसे के बाद भी काफी देर तक पुलिस का कहीं पता नहीं था। गुस्साए लोगों ने ट्रक में आग लगाने की कोशिश की। मौके पर पहुंचे एसपी संकल्प शर्मा समेत अन्य अधिकारियों ने भीड़ को शांत किया। हादसे के बाद ट्रक चालक फरार हो गया। https://navbharattimes.indiatimes.com/state/uttar-pradesh/deoria/uncontrollable-truck-loaded-with-sand-rams-into-dussehra-fair-in-deoria-two-girls-killed-many-injured/articleshow/94655267.cms (05 Oct. 2022)
रायबरेली में देर रात एक रेत से भरा ट्रक एक कार के ऊपर पलट गया. इस हादसे में दो बच्चों समेत पांच लोगों की मौके पर ही मौत हो गई. कार में कुल 6 लोग सवार थे यह भीषण हादसा रायबरेली के भदोखर थाने के कुचरिया भांव के पास हुआ है. बताया जा रहा है कि क्षेत्र के समाजसेवी महेंद्र अग्रवाल के बेटे राकेश अग्रवाल अपने परिवार के साथ बर्थडे पार्टी मनाकर लौट रहे थे. वह अपनी पत्नी और बेटों के साथ इलाके के बाबा ढाबे पर डिनर करने गए थे. सभी लोग ढाबे पर डिनर करने के बाद अपनी इको स्पोर्ट्स कार से वापस लौट रहे थे कि तभी मुंशीगंज के पास रेत से लदा हुआ एक डंपर उनकी कार पर पलट गया. https://www.tv9hindi.com/state/uttar-pradesh/five-including-two-children-died-in-road-accident-in-raebareli-au472-1352817.html (20 July 2022)
बलिया में राष्ट्रीय राजमार्ग-31 पर दुबहड़ ढाले के पास शुक्रवार (27 May 2022) की रात लाल बालू लादकर गुजर तेज रफ्तार ट्रक ने सड़क किनारे खड़े 2 युवकों को रौंद दिया। हादसे में घायल एक युवक की मौत हो गई, जबकि दूसरे की हालत गंभीर बनी हुई है। आसपास मौजूद लोगों ने ट्रक समेत चालक को पकड़ लिया। प्रत्यक्षदर्शियों की मानें तो दोनों युवक ट्रक के टॉयरों में फंस गए। हादसे के बाद फरार हो रहे ट्रक और चालक को भीड़ ने पकड़ लिया।
शहर में बड़े वाहनों का प्रवेश सुबह नौ बजे से रात के नौ बजे तक प्रतिबंधित है। एनएच-31 के बलिया-बैरिया मार्ग पर दुबहड़ थाने के पास नो एंट्री के वक्त बड़े वाहनों को रोका जाता है। रात करीब नौ बजे जैसे ही नो एंट्री खुली खड़े दर्जनों ट्रकों में आगे निकलने की होड़ मच गई। वह एक-दूसरे को ओवरटेक करने लगे। इसी दौरान अन्य वाहनों से आगे निकलने के प्रयास में अनियंत्रित हुए लाल बालू लदे ट्रक ने गांधी व मनीष को रौंद दिया। https://www.bhaskar.com/local/uttar-pradesh/ballia/news/two-youths-trampled-by-a-sand-laden-truck-one-dead-both-were-talking-standing-on-the-side-of-the-road-129862926.html (28 May 2022)
Varanasi रोहनिया:-मोहनसराय बाइपास के निकट हाइवे पर बालूलदे ट्रक का पहिया फट गया और अनियंत्रित हो गया। हाइवे पर चल रहे एक अन्य ट्रक में टकरा गया। हादसे में खलासी बलिया के पलटा गांव निवासी 23 वर्षीय राकेश यादव की मौत हो गई। चालक संजय यादव को हल्की चोटें आई हैं। सुबह करीब छह बजे बालू लादकर ट्रक चालक वाराणसी की तरफ आ रहा था। https://www.livehindustan.com/uttar-pradesh/varanasi/story-tire-of-sand-laden-truck-burst-khalasi-dies-in-accident-6141874.html (30 March 2022)
Bihar Officials beaten by illegal sand miners on April 17 2023, On camera https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/on-camera-3-officials-thrashed-by-mob-during-illegal-sand-mining-check-3956551 (17 April 2023) The woman officer was claimed to be from state’s mining department and people who attacked her by dragging and hurling abuses were allegedly involved in illegal sand mining activity in Patna’s Bihta town. The woman officer could be seen running to save her life. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/patna-news/woman-officer-in-bihar-abused-dragged-by-crowd-44-arrested-report-101681741858395.html (17 April 2023) 3 mining department personnel including a woman officer were injured in a stone pelting incident on Monday (April 17) when a team had gone for inspection and searches as part of its drive to check illegal mining in Bihta block of Patna district with Ara district in the neighbourhood also on Sone river, affected. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/patna/three-mining-officers-hurt-in-attack-by-illegal-sand-miners-in-bihar-44-arrested-8561923/ (18 April 2023)
सीतामढ़ी में एक हाइवा ट्रक की टक्कर से बाइक सवार की दर्दनाक मौत हो गई। घटना जिले के रीगा थाना क्षेत्र के रामनगरा गांव के पास एनएच 77 पर हुई। जहां बुधवार (April 18) देर रात अपने घर के लिए लौट रहे बाइक सवार को अनियंत्रित हाइवा ट्रक ने कुचल दिया। इससे उसकी घटनास्थल पर ही मौत हो गई। मृतक की पहचान जिले के रुन्नीसैदपुर थाना क्षेत्र के खोपी गांव निवासी अशोक प्रसाद (46) के रूप में की गई है। जानकारी के अनुसार, जान गंवाने वाला शख्स अशोक प्रसाद एक निजी कंपनी में सेल्स मैन का काम करता था। काम के बाद वह सोनबरसा से अपने घर के लिए रुन्नीसैदपुर की तरफ लौट रहा था। इसी बीच एनएच 77 पर रामनगरा के पास एक अनियंत्रित हाइवा ट्रक से बाइक टकरा गई https://www.amarujala.com/bihar/uncontrolled-hyva-truck-crushed-bike-rider-in-sitamarhi-death-on-the-spot-2023-04-20 (19 April 2023)
जमुई में शनिवार (15 April 2023) की रात एक अनियंत्रित ट्रक ने बाइक सवार तीन युवकों को रौंद दिया। यह दर्दनाक घटना जिले के कोहबरवा-झाझा मार्ग पर हुई। हादसे में बाइक सवार एक युवक की मौके पर ही मौत हो गई, जबकि दो गंभीर रूप से घायल हो गए। देर रात तीन युवक पाड़ों गांव में आयोजित यज्ञ देखकर बाइक से अपने घर लौट रहा था। इसी दौरान 12.30 बजे काला चौक के समीप झाझा की तरफ से आ रही अनियंत्रित बालू लोड ट्रक ने बाइक सवार तीनों को कुचल दिया। हादसे में एक की मौके पर ही मौत हो गई और दो युवक जख्मी हो गए। मृतक की पहचान दुफेड़ी गांव निवासी अरुण यादव के पुत्र रूपेश कुमार के रूप में हुई है। वहीं, जख्मी युवकों में इसी गांव के मुकेश यादव के पुत्र विकास कुमार और जोगी यादव के पुत्र वरुण मोदी शामिल हैं। घटना के बाद चालक ट्रक लेकर फरार बताया जाता है। https://www.jagran.com/bihar/jamui-sand-laden-truck-ran-over-three-youths-riding-a-bike-one-dead-two-serious-23386909.html (16 April 2023)
पश्चिम चंपारण:- बेतिया के चनपटिया थाना क्षेत्र अंतर्गत टिकुलिया-घोघा मुख्यमार्ग पर पकड़िहार मोड़ के समीप गुरुवार (March 23) के दोपहर बालू लोड ट्रैक्टर ने साइकिल सवार छात्र को कुचल दिया। इससे घटनास्थल पर ही छात्र की मौत हो गई। घटना के बाद ट्रैक्टर चालक ट्रैक्टर छोड़ कर फरार हो गए। लोगों ने बताया कि नगर के पकड़ीहार वार्ड 14 निवासी राजेश नट का बेटा नीरू नट साइकिल लेकर मुख्तार देवान के दरवाजे पर खड़ा था। तभी टिकुलिया की ओर से आ रहे ट्रैक्टर ने पीछे से कुचल दिया नीरू नट (12) की मौत हो गई। नीरू गांव के ही प्राथमिक विद्यालय में वर्ग 4 का छात्र था। https://www.amarujala.com/bihar/bihar-p-accident-in-champaran-2-killed-tractor-crushes-student-in-bettiah-youth-enters-trolley-in-bagaha-2023-03-23 (23 March 2023)
भोजपुर:- अवैध खनन वालों की करतूत से 4 की मौत March 15, 2023, Hindi report mentions death of 4 children of Nurpur village under Ajimabad police station in Bhojpur district after falling in deep sand mine pits in Sone river at Ahiman Chak sand mine site.आरा में बुधवार (March 15) को सोन नदी में डूबने से एक किशोरी और तीन बच्चों की मौत हो गई, जिससे इलाके में दहशत का माहौल है. इस दर्दनाक हादसे की मुख्य वजह बालू के लिए अवैध खनन में खोदे गए गड्डे में गिरना माना जा रहा है. बता दें कि ये घटना अजीमाबाद थाना क्षेत्र के अहिमन चक बालू घाट की है. मृतकों में जय चौधरी का 6 वर्षीय पुत्र शुभम कुमार, वीरेंद्र चौधरी का 12 वर्षीय पुत्र, बजरंगी चौधरी का 12 वर्षीय पुत्र रोहित कुमार और रामराय का 9 वर्षीय पुत्र रोहित कुमार शामिल हैं. ये सब अजीमाबाद थाना क्षेत्र के नूरपुर गांव के निवासी हैं. शिक्षक लव कुमार ने बताया कि सुबह चारों एक साथ खेत में गए थे और इसके बाद सभी अहिमन सोन नदी के किनारे चक बालू घाट पर गए, जहां पैर फिसलने से चारों सोन नदी में डूब गए, जिसके बाद वहां मौजूद लोगों ने शोर मचाना शुरू कर दिया.
एंबुलेंस में चारों को आरा सदर अस्पताल लाया गया, जहां डॉक्टर ने चारों को मृत घोषित कर दिया. वहीं शिक्षक लव कुमार ने कहा कि सोन नदी के किनारे बालू माफियाओं द्वारा अवैध बालू खनन के कारण 40 फीट के कई गड्ढे खोद दिए गए हैं. माफियाओं द्वारा गड्ढा खोदे जाने के कारण इन बच्चों की डूबने से मौत हो गई और इस घटना के बाद उन्होंने अवैध रेत खनन बालू माफियाओं पर रोक लगाने की भी मांग की है. https://www.newsnationtv.com/states/bihar/bihar-news-4-killed-3-children-also-involved-due-to-illegal-mining-353165.html (15 March 2023)
जमुई के झाझा थाना क्षेत्र में बुधवार (March 15) सुबह बालू से लदे हाइवा ट्रक ने एक बुजुर्ग को कुचल दिया। इस हादसे में बुजुर्ग की मौके पर ही मौत हो गई। यह हादसा कोहवरवा झाझा मुख्य मार्ग स्थित धमना मोड़ के पास हुआ। मृतक बुजुर्ग की पहचान झाझा थाना क्षेत्र के धमना गांव निवासी जितेंद्र तुरी के रूप में की गई है। मृतक बुजुर्ग मजदूरी करता था। वह किसी काम को लेकर कोहवरवा झाझा मुख्य मार्ग स्थित धमना मोड़ गया था। इसी दौरान बालू से लदे हाइवा ट्रक ने ओवरटेक करते समय उसे कुचल दिया, जिससे उसकी मौके पर ही मौत हो गई। ट्रक चालक ट्रक लेकर मौके से फरार हो गया। घटना के बाद आक्रोशित लोगों ने सड़क को जाम कर दिया। वे ट्रक चालक की गिरफ्तारी और मुआवजे की मांग करने लगे। वहीं, जाम के कारण सड़क के दोनों तरफ वाहनों की लंबी कतार लग गई। इस वजह से यात्री काफी देर तक जाम में फंसे रहे। https://www.amarujala.com/bihar/sand-laden-hiva-truck-crushed-elderly-person-in-jamui-he-died-on-the-spot-angry-people-blocked-the-road-2023-03-15 (15 March 2023)
जमुई में ऑटो व ट्रक की टक्कर में चालक और एक बच्ची की दर्दनाक मौत हो गई। घटना लखीसराय मुख्य मार्ग के अंबा गांव के पास की है। परिजनों का कहना है कि दोनों मृतक और सभी घायल एक ही परिवार के हैं। परिजनों के अनुसार ऑटो में लगभग 11लोग सवार थे जो गंगा स्नान के लिए हाथीदह जा रहे थे। जैसे ही ऑटो जमुई लखीसराय मुख्य मार्ग स्थित अंबा गांव के पास पहुंची तभी बालू घाट की ओर से आ रहे तेज रफ्तार ट्रक अनियंत्रित होकर जोरदार टक्कर मार दिया। ठोकर मारते हुए ट्रक तीव्र गति से वहां से फरार हो गया। इस घटना में ऑटो पर सवार 11 लोगों में दो की घटनास्थल पर ही मौत हो गई जबकि अन्य लोग घायल हैं। https://www.amarujala.com/bihar/bihar-a-sand-laden-truck-collided-with-an-auto-going-for-ganga-bath-two-killed-and-9-injured-2023-03-12 (12 March 2023)
जमुई के लक्ष्मीपुर में स्थानीय थाना क्षेत्र अंतर्गत जमुई-खड़कपुर राष्ट्रीय राज मार्ग पर केनुहट चौक के समीप गुरुवार (March 02) को बालू लदे ट्रक ने अनियंत्रित होकर स्कूटी चालक अधेड़ को कुचल दिया। परिणाम स्वरूप घटनास्थल पर ही अधेड़ की मौत हो गई। जानकारी के अनुसार, अधेड़ एक शादी समारोह में शिरकत करने के लिए घर से निकले थे। मृतक अधेड़ की पहचान नजारी गांव निवासी खेमन दास के पुत्र दशरथ दास के रूप में हुई है। वह अपने रिश्तेदार के यहां शादी समारोह में शामिल होने बरहट थाना क्षेत्र के भंदरा गांव जा रहे थे। स्थानीय लोगों के सहयोग से ट्रक चालक को पकड़ लिया गया। हालांकि, ट्रक चालक बाद में भीड़ का फायदा उठाते हुए चकमा देकर भागने में सफल रहा। https://www.jagran.com/bihar/jamui-jamui-accident-sand-laden-truck-crushed-scooty-rider-who-was-going-to-attend-wedding-ceremony-died-on-spot-23345521.html (02 March 2023)
पटना:- बिंदौल गांव में बालू घाट के पास एक तेजरफ्तार अज्ञात अनियंत्रित ट्रक ने बालू मजदूर को कुचल दिया. इस हदासे में मजूदर की मौके पर ही मौत हो गई. घटना की जानकारी मिलने के बाद आक्रोशित लोगों ने शव रखकर सड़क को जाम कर दिया. कई घंटों तक हंगामा चलता रहा और अन्य वाहन जाम में फंसे रहे. मृतक मजदूर की पहचान बिंदौल गांव निवासी जितेंद्र कुमार उर्फ गार्ड साहब के रूप में बताई जा रही है. मृतक मजदूर जितेंद्र कुमार प्रतिदिन की तरह घर से बालू घाट पर मजदूरी करने जाता था. इसी दौरान मंगलवार (Feb. 14) की सुबह मजदूरी करने के लिए बालू घाट पर जा रहा था तभी सामने सारी तेजरफ्तार अज्ञात बालू लदा ट्रक ने उसे कुचलते हुए मौके से फरार हो गया.बिहटा पुलिस प्रशासन की टीम मौके पहुंची और आक्रोशित लोगों को समझाने में जुटी हुई है. हालांकि मृतक के परिजनों की मांग है कि ट्रक को जो भाग गया उसे पकड़ा जाए. https://zeenews.india.com/hindi/india/bihar-jharkhand/patna/road-accident-in-bindol-village-a-laborer-was-crushed-to-death-by-a-truck/1572122 (14 Feb. 2023)
लखीसराय के रामगढ़ चौक थाना क्षेत्र के चमघाड़ा गांव के समीप सोमवार (13 Feb.) की दोपहर बाइक और बालू लदे ट्रैक्टर की टक्कर हो गई। हादसे में बाइक सवार दो लोगों की मौत हो गई, जबकि एक अन्य गंभीर रूप से घायल हो गया है। जानकारी के अनुसार लखीसराय सेराजेश कुमार का पुत्र रवि कुमार और पुत्री नंदनी कुमारी दोनों किसी सामान की खरीददारी कर अपनेघर कामता नगर जा रहे थे। दोनों को बाइक से घर पहुंचाने के लिए उसके मामा का दोस्त गुलशन कुमार बाइक से जा रहा था। चमघरा मोड़ के पास पहुंचते ही एक अनियंत्रित बालूलदे ट्रैक्टर ने बाइक सवारों को जबर्दस्त ठोकर मार दी। घटना के बाद परिजनों के साथ मिलकर स्थानीय लोगों ने मुआवजा की मांग को लेकर करीब ढाई घंटे तक शेखपुरा-लखीसराय मुख्य सड़क को चमघाड़ा के समीप जाम कर रखा गया। इस दौरान स्थानीय पुलिस-प्रशासन के खिलाफ जमकर नारेबाजी भी करते दिखे। https://www.livehindustan.com/bihar/story-lakhisarai-high-speed-sand-laden-truck-crushed-the-bike-two-died-on-the-spot-blocked-the-road-for-two-and-a-half-hours-7764390.html (13 Feb. 2023)
सीवान में ट्रक की चपेट में आने से एक मैट्रिक परीक्षार्थी की घटनास्थल पर ही मौत हो गई। घटना महादेवा ओपी थाना क्षेत्र के ओरमा हाईवे पर की है। आक्रोशित लोगों ने ट्रक में आग लगा दिया। घटना की सूचना मिलते ही पुलिस घटनास्थल पर पहुंची लेकिन पुलिस के वहां पहुंचते ही लोगों ने पुलिस को वहां से भाग दिया। इस बीच घटनास्थल पर पुलिस और पब्लिक के बीच नोक-झोंक भी हुई। लोगों का आरोप है कि सूचना देने के बहुत देर बाद पुलिस पहुंची है। फिलहाल उग्र हुए स्थानीय लोगों को पुलिस समझाने में लगी हुई है। घटनास्थल पर मौजूद मुफ्फसिल थांनाध्यक्ष विनोद कुमार सिंह ने बताया कि ट्रक चालक को हिरासत में ले लिया गया है। https://www.amarujala.com/bihar/bihar-a-matriculation-student-who-was-going-to-study-coaching-in-siwan-was-crushed-by-a-truck-torched-on-the-2023-02-05 (05 Feb. 2023) सड़क दुर्घटना के बाद आक्रोशित ग्रामीणों ने ट्रक से अवैध वसूली का पुलिस पर आरोप लगाकर गश्ती दल की टीम पर हमला बोल दिया। गश्ती दल में मौजूद एएसआई सुरेंद्र कुमार बैठा, चालक लालबाबू, सिपाही कृष्णा प्रसाद, प्रदीप ओझा, राजन को मारपीट कर घायल कर दिया। वहीं, कुछ लोगों का कहना है कि ग्रामीणों ने पुलिस की हथियार भी छीनी थी, लेकिन स्थानीय लोगों के समझाने-बुझाने के बाद हथियार को पुनः वापस कर दिया। https://www.jagran.com/bihar/siwan-truck-crushed-class-10-student-going-to-coaching-died-on-orma-highway-angry-people-chased-away-the-police-23319853.html (05 Feb. 2023)
पूर्णिया के मरंगा थाना क्षेत्र अंतर्गत हरदा पुल के पास गुरुवार (Feb. 01) को अपने पिता के साथ बाइक से इंटर की परीक्षा देने जा रही छात्रा को पीछे से एक तेज रफ्तार ट्रक ने टक्कर मार दिया। जिससे छात्रा बाइक से निचे जमीन पर गिर गई और ट्रक ने उसे बुरी तरह कुचल दिया। लोग जब तक पहुंचते तब तक ड्राइवर ट्रक लेकर पूर्णिया के तरफ भाग गए। घटना के बाद गुस्साए लोग और परिजनों ने पुलिस प्रशासन पर लापरवाही का आरोप लगाते हुए करीब 3 घंटे तक सडक जाम कर विरोध प्रदर्शन करते रहे, जिससे पूर्णिया से भागलपुर जाने वाले NH 31 सडक पर भीषण जाम लग गया। लोगों ने बताया कि पुलिस के पास आए दिन सडक हादसा होती है, लेकिन प्रशासन के अधिकारी सुरक्षा का कोई उपाय नहीं करते है।
मृतका की पहचान केनगर थाना क्षेत्र अंतर्गत गंगेली नया टोला के रहने वाले मनोज कुमार सिंह की बेटी साक्षी कुमारी (18 वर्ष) के रूप में हुई है। पुलिस ने शव को पोस्टमार्टम के लिए मेडिकल कॉलेज भेज दिया। मृतका के परिजनों ने बताया कि साक्षी पूर्णिया में रहकर इंटर की पढ़ाई कर रही थी। उसका इंटर का परीक्षा चल रहा था। साक्षी अपने पिता मनोज कुमार के साथ बाइक से परीक्षा देने उर्सलेन कंवेंट गर्ल्स स्कूल जा रही थी। हरदा पुल पर पहुंचते ही पीछे से एक तेज रफ्तार ट्रक ने टक्कर मारकर कुचलकर भाग गए, जिससे साक्षी की मौत हो गई। पुलिस ट्रक और ड्राइवर की तलाश कर रही है। https://www.bhaskar.com/local/bihar/purnia/news/truck-crushed-girl-riding-a-bike-villagers-blocked-the-road-130873312.html (02 Feb. 2023)
Gaya:- शेरघाटी थाना क्षेत्र के जीटी रोड स्थित गोपालपुर नहर के समीप सोमवार को अज्ञात ट्रक ने बाइक सवार को जोरदार टक्कर मार दी, जिसमें बाइक सवार की घटनास्थल पर ही मौत हो गई। वहीं, बाइक पर पीछे बैठी महिला गंभीर रूप से जख्मी हो गई। घटनास्थल पर आक्रोशित ग्रामीणों ने जीटी रोड को लगभग आधे घंटे तक जाम रखा। https://www.jagran.com/bihar/gaya-gaya-road-accident-truck-driver-hit-bike-in-sherghati-one-youth-died-injured-woman-referred-to-gaya-23314798.html (31 Jan. 2023)
दरभंगा:- कुशेश्वरस्थान सहोरबा पुल टूट गया है. जानकारी मिल रही है कि ये पुल कमला नदी पर बना हुआ था. घटना 11 बजे के आय-पास की बताई जा रही है. लोहे का ये पुल बीच से ही टूट गया है. आपको बता दें कि ये पुल पांच जिलों समस्तीपुर, बेगूसराय, खगड़िया, सहरसा और दरभंगा को आपस में जोड़ता था. बालू से लदा एक ट्रक इस पुल को पार कर रहा था. ट्रक का वजन काफी ज्यादा था. पुल ट्रक के वजन को नहीं झेल पाया, जैसे ही ट्रक बीच में पहुंचा तो पुल दो हिस्सों में टूट गया और ट्रक पुल पर लटक गया. हालांकि इस हादसे में ट्रक चालक के घायल होने की खबर मिल रही है. हादसा में दो बाइक सवार भी जख्मी हो गए हैं. https://www.newsnationtv.com/states/bihar/big-accident-in-darbhanga-kusheshwarsthan-sahorba-bridge-collapses-336716.html (16 Jan. 2023)
लखीसराय के हलसी थाना क्षेत्र अंतर्गत सिकंदरा-लखीसराय मुख्य मार्ग स्थित घोंघसा गांव के समीप सिकंदरा की ओर से आ रही बालूलदी ट्रक ने स्कूटी पर सवार दो लोगों को रौंद दिया. जिससे मौके पर ही एक की मौत हो गयी तथा दूसरे को गंभीर हालत में इलाज के लिए पीएचसी में भर्ती कराया गया. जहां से उसे जमुई रेफर कर दिया गया. बताया जा रहा है कि ट्रक स्कूटी सवार को धक्का मारने के बाद उसे लगभग दो सौ मीटर तक घसीटा. जिससे घटना स्थल पर ही एक की मौत हो गयी, जबकि दूसरे की हालत गंभीर बतायी जा रही है. घटना शुक्रवार (13 Jan. 2023) देर शाम की बतायी जा रही है. स्थानीय लोगों ने बड़ी मुश्किल से ट्रक को पकड़ा, लेकिन चालक फरार होने में कामयाब रहा. जिसके बाद मौके पर पहुंची पुलिस ने ट्रक को अपने कब्जे में ले लिया है. स्कूटी सवार की पहचान जमुई जिले के कोड़ासी लछुआड़ निवासी दिनेश्वर कोड़ा तथा उनके बेटे सदैव भारती के रूप में हुई है. घटना में बेटे सदैव भारती की मौत हो गई है और पिता दिनेश्वर कोड़ा की हालत गंभीर बतायी जा रही है. घटना के बाद हलसी थानाध्यक्ष राजेंद्र साह ने बताया कि ट्रक के नंबर से मालिक और ट्रक के चालक के बारे में जानकारी प्राप्त की जा रही है. https://www.prabhatkhabar.com/state/bihar/lakhisarai-sand-laden-truck-ran-over-father-and-son-riding-a-scooty-mdn (13 Jan. 2023)
Jharkhand चंपुआ थाना अंतर्गत टुनटुना गांव के पास पुल के ऊपर से एक बालू लदा हाइवा नीचे गिर गया। जिससे ट्रक के हेल्पर की मौत घटना स्थल पर ही हो गई। वहीं हाइवा का ड्राइवर लापता है। घटना शुक्रवार देर रात की है। प्राप्त जानकारी के अनुसार हाइवा ट्रक संख्या ओडी 14 सी 3379 जोतीपुर बालू घाट से बालू लोड करके तेज रफ्तार से जोड़ा की ओर जा रहा था। इसी क्रम में संतुलन बिगड़ने से टुनटुना गांव के पास अरडई नदी के पुल से लगभग 20 फीट नीचे गिर गया। https://www.bhaskar.com/local/jharkhand/chaibasa/news/sand-laden-fell-under-the-hiva-bridge-helper-died-on-the-spot-driver-missing-131003068.html ( 02 Months ago, compiled on 23 April 2023)
West Bengal ओवरलोड बालू डंपर घर पर पलटा, एक की मौत, दो घायल पूर्वी बर्दवान जिले के खंडघोष थाना अंतर्गत कमालपुर बटतला इलाके में शनिवार (Feb. 25) आधी रात पुलिस की जबरन वसूली के भय सेओवरलोड बालूलेकर भाग रहा डंपर अनियंत्रित होकर एक घर के ऊपर पलट गया. इस हादसे में घर में सो रहे एक व्यक्ति की दर्दनाक मौत हो गई जबकि दो लोग गंभीर रूप सेघायल हो गए. घटना के बाद इलाके के लोगों में काफी रोष है. ग्रामीण मौके वारदात पर पहुंची पुलिस को देख स्थानीय ग्रामीण भड़क गए. अक्रोशित ग्रामीणों ने पुलिस वाहन में तोड़फोड़ कर दी. ग्रामीणों के आक्रोश को देख पुलिस मौके वारदात से रात में भाग गई.
ग्रामीणों ने बताया कि दामोदर नदी के किनारे से गुजर रही पालमपुर से कमालपुर तक करीब 11 किलोमीटर सड़क की हालत वर्षों से खराब है. ऊपर से इस सड़क से रोजाना सैकड़ों की संख्या में बालू के ट्रक और डंपर के गुजरने से इस सड़क की हालत और जर्जर हो गई है. राजनीतिक नेताओं से लेकर प्रशासन तक के अधिकारियों ने इस समस्या को लेकर केवल स्थानीय लोगों को आश्वासन ही दिया है. लेकिन अब तक इस सड़क की हालत नहीं सुधारी गई है. वहीं पुलिस की जबरन वसूली के कारण बालू वाहन चोरी छिपे तेज गति से उक्त सड़क मार्ग से होकर रात के अंधेरे में भागते हैं. कुछ माह पहले ग्रामीणों ने सड़क जाम कर विरोध भी जताया था. इस सड़क की मरम्मत नहीं होने पर रहवासियों ने मतदान बहिष्कार की धमकी भी दी है. https://www.prabhatkhabar.com/state/west-bengal/big-accident-in-east-burdwan-overloaded-sand-dumper-turned-over-the-house-one-dead-two-injured-srj (26 Feb. 2023)
Kerala Man drowns after rescuing three who got trapped in pit in the riverbed A 42-year-old man drowned in the Pazhoor River after rescuing 3 people who had fallen into the water. The incident happened near the Pazhoor Manalpuram (beach) around 10.30am on Thursday (April 13). The deceased is Eroor native K M Manesh, son of Mani and Shantha. A group of 20 people had gone to Pazhoor to perform the ‘bali tharpanam’ ritual — homage to departed soul — to Manesh’s maternal uncle. Amal, Sajin and Suryadev who were standing by the river bank, slipped and fell into a pit in the river. Several pits have been formed in the river due to the sand mining that had been carried out earlier in the area. Manesh, who knew swimming, rescued all three and brought them to the safety of the shore; but then he drowned. https://www.onmanorama.com/news/kerala/2023/04/14/42-year-old-meets-watery-grave-after-rescuing-three-from-drowning-in-piravom.html (14 April 2023)
Andhra Pradesh APMDC told to ‘go back’ by Nimmalapadu tribals at public hearing “This was the first-ever hearing in three villages / mine sites. All the people have demanded that APMDC should go back after rehabilitation of the mine pits and overburden and their lease has to be cancelled. Mining should be through the local community or cooperative,” said Rebbapragada, who was also present during the events on April 19.
The tribal community members do not have faith in APMDC and it has a bad reputation due to its track record of the last 18 years, Rebbapragada added. “I hope the government responds to our (community) proposal positively after 25 years of the Samata judgment,” he said.
Even though the villages won the legal battle against the Aditya Birla Group in 1997, almost two and a half decades later, the residents near the Andhra Pradesh-Odisha border are fighting the state over their calcite reserves. https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/mining/andhra-mining-agency-told-to-go-back-by-nimmalapadu-tribal-villagers-at-public-hearing-88903 (21 April 2023)
Director of Mines and Geology VG Venkata Reddy on April 21 said the mining revenue increased to a whopping Rs 4,756 crore in 2022-23 from Rs 1,950 crore in 2018-19. “The government is effectively controlling the illegal mining activities in the State by constituting 13 vigilance squads and setting up a toll free number 1800 5994599,” he asserted. While 424 cases related to illegal mining were filed from 2014 to 19, a total of 786 cases were registered in the last four years. In Chittoor district alone, 96 cases were registered from 2019 to 23.A total of Rs 12.62 crore revenue was generated from temporary permissions given to gravel mining from 2014 to 19. The revenue increased to Rs 65.24 crore in the past four years, Venkata Reddy explained. https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/andhra-pradesh/2023/apr/22/andhra-pradesh-mining-revenue-rises-to-rs-4756-crore-in-2022-23-2568312.html (22 April 2023)
WETLANDS, LAKES, WATER BODIES
MoJS Findings of first water bodies census The Ministry of Jal Shakti has conducted the first-ever census of water bodies across the nation. The census provides an inventory of India’s water resources, including natural and man-made water bodies like ponds, tanks, lakes, and more, and to collect data on the encroachment of water bodies. The Census also highlighted disparities between rural and urban areas and varying levels of encroachment and revealed crucial insights into the country’s water resources. The census was launched under the centrally sponsored scheme, “Irrigation Census” in convergence with the 6th Minor Irrigation Census in order to have a comprehensive national database of all water bodies. The information on all important aspects of the water bodies including their type, condition, status of encroachments, use, storage capacity, status of filling up of storage, etc was collected. It covered all the water bodies located in rural as well as urban areas that are in-use or not in-use. The census also took into account all type of uses of water bodies like irrigation, industry, pisciculture, domestic/ drinking, recreation, religious, ground water recharge etc. The All India and State-wise reports have been published.
– The key features/findings of the Census are as follows:
* 24,24,540 water bodies have been enumerated in the country, out of which 97.1% (23,55,055) are in rural areas and only 2.9% (69,485) are in urban areas.
* Top 05 States in terms of number of water bodies are West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Assam which constitute around 63% of the total water bodies in the country.
– Top 05 States in terms of number of water bodies in urban areas are West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh and Tripura, whereas in rural areas, top 05 States are West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Assam.
– 59.5% of water bodies are ponds, followed by tanks (15.7%), reservoirs (12.1%), Water conservation schemes/percolation tanks/check dams (9.3%), lakes (0.9%) and others (2.5%).
* 55.2% of water bodies are owned by private entities whereas 44.8% of water bodies are in the domain of public ownership.
* Out of all public owned water bodies, maximum water bodies are owned by Panchayats, followed by State Irrigation/State WRD.
* Out of all private owned water bodies, maximum water bodies are in hands of Individual owner/farmer followed by group of individuals and other private bodies.
* Top 05 States which lead in the private owned water bodies are West Bengal, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Jharkhand.
* Out of all ‘in use’ water bodies, major water bodies are reported to be used in pisciculture followed by Irrigation.
* Top 05 States wherein major use of water bodies is in pisciculture are West Bengal, Assam, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh;
* Top 05 States wherein major use of water bodies is in irrigation are Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, West Bengal and Gujarat.
* 78% water bodies are man-made water bodies whereas 22% are natural water bodies. 1.6% (38,496) water bodies out of all the enumerated water bodies are reported to be encroached out of which 95.4% are in rural areas and remaining 4.6% in urban areas.
* The information on water spread area was reported in respect of 23,37,638 water bodies. Out of these water bodies, 72.4% have water spread area less than 0.5 hectare, 13.4% have water spread area between 0.5-1 hectare, 11.1% have water spread area between 1-5 hectares and remaining 3.1% of water bodies have water spread area more than 5 hectares. https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1918970 ; Link to Download All India Report: https://jalshakti-dowr.gov.in/document/all-india-report-of-first-census-of-water-bodies-volume-1/ ; State Wise Report: https://jalshakti-dowr.gov.in/document/state-wise-report-of-first-census-of-water-bodies-volume-2/ (23 April 2023)
EDIT At a time when stressed aquifers pose difficult ecological, economic and policy challenges — including for the government’s flagship scheme of providing drinking water to every household — the significance of this database cannot be overstated. With details on the size, encroachment status and storage capacity of the water bodies, the report could help policymakers arrive at informed decisions on matters as diverse as urban planning and rural employment generation schemes. https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/editorials/express-view-on-water-body-census-it-is-a-welcome-initiative-8572151/ (24 Dec. 2023)
Over 38,000 water bodies encroached Nivedita Khandekar The 1st Census of Water Bodies, released in March 2023, for the first time, collected information on encroachment of water bodies. A total of 1.6% water bodies out of all the enumerated water bodies are encroached. As many as 95.4% of them are in rural areas and the remaining number in cities. “11.8% of encroached water bodies have more than 75% area under encroachment while 62.8% water bodies have less than 25% area under encroachment,” the Census said, and added: “As many as 16.3% (3,94,500) water bodies are not in use owing to drying up, construction, siltation, destroyed beyond repair, salinity and other reasons.” https://www.news9live.com/india/india-has-over-2400000-water-bodies-reveals-first-ever-water-bodies-census-au1779-2110640 (19 April 2023)
A total 26,994 water bodies have been enumerated in Karnataka, out of which 97.1 per cent (26,205) are in rural areas and the remaining 2.9 per cent (789) are in urban areas, said the report released by the Jal Shakti Ministry here. https://www.deccanherald.com/national/over-24-lakh-water-bodies-across-india-26994-in-karnataka-1212291.html (23 April 2023)
Telangana among the top five states with regard to use of water bodies in irrigation. https://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/230423/telangana-among-top-five-states-in-water-body-use-for-irrigation-cens.html (24 April 2023)
Uttar Pradesh Water sports pose fresh threat to Haiderpur Wetland The Bijnor district administration organised a trial of canoeing, kayaking and rowing events, upstream from the wetland, on Sunday (April 16), as it explored the possibilities of organising water sports in the area in the future as a way to attract tourists. The forest department has however raised objections to an activity in the wetland’s core area. “The district administration needs to seek permission from departments concerned before starting such activities because it could have an adverse impact on birds and the wetland,” said Kanhaiya Patel, divisional forest officer (DFO), Muzaffarnagar, whose views were seconded by his Bijnor counterpart, Arun Kumar. Patel said that such activities could be planned during the period when migratory birds go back to their breeding grounds. “But it can be done only after seeking permissions from NGT, and the forest and other departments.”
Ashish Loya, an environment enthusiast said both upstream and downstream areas of the barrage are ecologically sensitive areas and should not be disturbed at all by any kind of activity. Loya also said that Haiderpur is already facing tremendous challenges from illegal fishing and farming . https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/haiderpur-wetland-faces-threat-from-water-sports-as-district-administration-explores-possibilities-to-attract-tourists-raises-concern-among-forest-department-101681843711716.html (19 April 2023)
Jammu & Kashmir Vanishing Wetlands Due to unabated encroachments, siltation and pollution, most of the wetlands in J&K are battling for survival.
Despite being a Ramsar site, no tangible measure has been taken to restore Wullar and its associated wetlands in north Kashmir which comprise an important habitat for migratory water birds within Central Asian Flyway. Hygam, also a Ramsar site, has also been encroached upon and converted into land for paddy cultivation over the last two decades.Condition of another Ramsar site, Hokersar wetland is worst with unabated encroachments and siltation.
The total area of the major wetlands in the Jhelum basin with an area greater than 25 hectares have decreased from 288.96 sq km in 1972 to 266.45 sq km. 20 wetlands have been lost to urban colonies during last five decades, particularly in the south of Srinagar.
There are 1230 wetlands in J&K and comprehensive policy is needed for their protection. J&K Wetland Authority along with the Department of Wildlife Protection must develop inter-departmental coordination for expediting conservation measures. https://www.greaterkashmir.com/todays-paper/editorial-page/vanishing-wetlands-of-jk (17 April 2023)
Kerala Mangrove-planting is helping this man save his flooded home Known locally as Mangrove Man, Murukesan has turned to planting the trees along the shores of Vypin Island in Kochi. Murukesan says he has planted over 100,000 mangroves. He plants saplings on alternate days and does most of the work himself. The mangroves he planted in and around the area in 2014 have grown into a dense thicket and are helping reduce the intensity of tidal flooding, he says.
“The floods are occurring more frequently and lasting longer,” says T P Murukesan, who lives on the low-lying island of India’s western coast. Murukesan grew up surrounded by abundant mangroves that separated islands from the sea. “They protected our houses against floods, sea erosion and storms, used to be an inseparable part of our life, our ecosystem,” he says.
Murukesan knows the sea is rising, but it’s the backwaters that make him more anxious. In the state of Kerala, these networks of canals, lagoons and lakes parallel to coastal areas are unique ecosystems that help provide a buffer to rising sea levels.
But these backwaters have become shallow due to the silt deposited by heavy floods. During heavy rain, the water inundates the island. “We are caught between the sea and the backwaters. They are likely to swallow the island in some years. “Many families have left… but I am not going anywhere,” he says. “I was born here, and I will die here.”
Mangrove cover in Kerala has reduced from 700 sqkms to just 24 sqkm since 1975, according to the Kerala Forest department. Ernakulam district, which includes Kochi, has lost nearly 42% of its mangrove ecosystems, according to a study released last year by the Indian Space Research Organization and the Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies. This includes major decreases in the southern Puthuvypeen area in Vypin.
“The construction of coastal roads and highways has severely damaged mangrove ecosystems in [Kerala],” says K K Ramachandran, former member secretary of the Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority, a government body mandated to protect the coastal environment.
In Vypin “coastal flooding is a common occurrence now,” says Abhilash S, director of the Advanced Centre for Atmospheric Radar Research at the Cochin University of Science and Technology. “The sea level has risen and has damaged freshwater supplies. Sea erosion and spring tides have worsened,” he explains. https://www.euronews.com/green/2023/04/18/i-was-born-here-and-i-will-die-here-mangrove-planting-is-helping-this-man-save-his-flooded (18 April 2023)
Mangaluru Shree Padre suggests building rain water storage tanks in urban areas to address scarcity Rain water harvesting crusader and Executive Editor of Adike Pathrike, a Kannada farm monthly, Shree Padre suggested that water scarcity in urban areas in the coastal belt can be solved in two years by harvesting rain water on a mission mode by adopting site specific methods.
The senior journalist reiterated the need to open ‘rain centres’ in each district to enlighten people on rain water harvesting and display success stories. They should include demonstration units. The centres should be able to guide people on rain water harvesting. They can be set up in public-private partnership. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Mangalore/shree-padre-suggests-building-rain-water-storage-tanks-in-urban-areas-to-address-scarcity/article66746928.ece (17 April 20223)
Report FES helping communities revive degraded ecosystems An excerpt from ‘Ideas that Are Changing the World: Leading Social Entrepreneurs’.
Jagdeesh Rao Puppala is working to end the spiraling modern tragedy of these villagers’ forests and other commons and move instead to “the promise of the commons.” His organisation – The Foundation for Ecological Security (FES) – helps secure rights to the land and assists the local communities in strengthening and building local institutions, restoring degraded ecosystems, and cultivating local volunteers to take on the stewardship and preservation of the forest and water resources around them. These common property resources provide a single platform that anyone can leverage to address issues of social justice, ecological restoration, and poverty alleviation. https://scroll.in/article/1047170/how-one-social-entrepreneur-and-his-organisation-are-helping-communities-revive-degraded-ecosystems (18 April 2023)
Madhya Pradesh Story of a village in Betul district.
MoJS Plans network of groundwater sensors to monitor quality, contamination levels The Jal Shakti Ministry is working on an ambitious plan to deploy a vast network of groundwater sensors that will continuously relay information on groundwater levels as well as the degree of contamination down to the taluk level. Currently, such information is only measured a handful of times a year and communicated via reports of the Central Groundwater Board.
Establishing a network that will continuously measure groundwater quality, feed it into a centralised network such as that of the National Water Informatics Centre (NWIC) and available for monitoring would make groundwater visible much the same way as air quality, meteorological variables –air pressure, moisture, precipitation – is now, Subodh Yadav, Joint Secretary, Department of Water Resources told The Hindu.
A centralised network would help “provide groundwater forecasts to farmers that would be useful for sowing, and updated advisories can influence groundwater extraction policies”, says a Department of Water Resources official. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/jal-shakti-ministry-plans-network-of-groundwater-sensors-to-monitor-quality-contamination-levels/article66769580.ece (23 April 2023)
Jharkhand Groundwater depletion The study report, titled Groundwater Depletion highlighted that groundwater depletion is leading to reduced water availability in regions that rely on underground reserves as their primary source of freshwater. This is leading to an increase in competition for scarce resources and worsening water scarcity in already dry regions. The study pointed out that since the introduction of tube wells, the groundwater levels in the state have declined over the last two decades. It also stated that in the districts of Bokaro, Giridih, Godda, Gumla, Palamu and Ranchi, the fluoride concentration in groundwater was beyond permissible limit citing CGWB findings.
Jharkhand has several freshwater resources in the form of ponds and streams apart from having rivers such as Damodar, Mayurakshi, Barakar, Koyal, Sankh, Son, Auranga, More, Karo, Bansloi, South Koel, Kharkai, Swarna Rekha, Ganga, Gumani, and Batane. “Unfortunately, most of them have now fully or partially dried up,” the report stated. “Overall, the study emphasises the urgent need for better management and conservation of groundwater resources. “The report recommends implementing policies to regulate the use of underground water extraction, adopting technology and practices for water conservation and water use efficiency, promotion of water-resistant crops like millets and other indigenous rice varieties, and shifting from high-water consumption crops,” said Vinay Jaju, managing director of the NGO. https://www.telegraphindia.com/jharkhand/groundwater-depletion-worry-for-jharkhand/cid/1930156 (17 April 2023)
Pune Buildings block aquifers, city loses 3 billion litre of groundwater: Report Himanshu Kulkarni, former executive director and currently scientist (Emeritus) of the centre, told TOI that the report released this year was based on data collected during four years till 2022. He said, “This loss is based on conservative estimates of buildings in the city and their foundations. The report selected five major aquifers for the city to illustrate the variety of land-cover and land-use elements on their respective recharge areas. The findings revealed that nearly half of the recharge area (46%) is covered by housing societies, like apartment blocks that are typically multi-storied and often with more than one building.”
If collected, three million cubic metre, or one TMC, of groundwater could fill up nearly half of the Khadakwasla dam that has the capacity to store 1.97 TMC of water. Kulkarni said, “The study revealed that 13% of the recharge areas is overlain by government facilities, while 11% is covered by commercial establishments and institutions each. Private bungalows have come up over 6% of these recharge areas. Besides, an additional volume of groundwater is pumped out into wastewater or stormwater drains from the basements of some constructions.”
High-water tables in different seasons or spring discharge imply discharge from aquifers into foundations and basement parking lots. The research team stressed the need to consider the prevention of cutting through productive aquifers during any infrastructure building activity and to take care for avoiding dewatering of such aquifers at the intersection with engineered structures. He said other factors, such as disturbing the areas near river channels, would affect the groundwater recharge and discharge interactions between the river and the aquifers. To manage Pune’s groundwater more efficiently, we need to understand this issue more closely.” https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/buildings-block-aquifers-pune-loses-3-billion-litre-of-groundwater-report/articleshow/99699896.cms (23 April 2023)
Mumbai About a disaster called Gargai Dam Project. https://www.businessworld.in/article/Gargai-Dam-Project-Mumbai-s-Water-Solution-Or-Environmental-Dilemma-/18-04-2023-473179/ (18 April 2023)
BMC confiscates booster pumps sucking Kalina homes dry Two high-rise buildings in Mumbai’s Kalina village have been issued notices and had booster pumps confiscated after illegally sucking water from municipal lines. The pumps had left many houses dry in the area, which has a population of 300,000. Notices were sent to two five-storey buildings, while the BMC confiscated the pumps and warned that action would be taken on their water connection. Water supply will be restored from Sunday. The civic officials were ordered to restore the water supply after chaabiwallahs allegedly colluded with the officials to divert water to newly redeveloped buildings. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/mumbai-news/bmc-confiscates-booster-pumps-from-illegal-water-connection-in-mumbai-s-kalina-village-warns-action-on-water-connection-mumbaiwatercrisis-illegalwaterconnection-boosterpumps-bmcnotice-101682104366726.html (22 April 2023)
Pimpri-Chinchwad Even though the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation had advised residents earlier this month to use water judiciously, the PCMC has seen a sudden jump in complaints related to water shortage from different areas of the industrial city. In the past one-and-a-half months, the civic administration has received nearly 600 complaints. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/over-600-complaints-of-water-crisis-in-48-days-pimpri-chinchwad-scrambles-to-cope-8569548/ (22 April 2023)
Mira Bhayandar After plugging the five MLD water deficit in December-2022, the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) has once again reduced the water supply to the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) since March, thus aggravating the water woes of the twin-city. As against the requirement of over 225 MLD, the twin-city has an allotted supply of 221 MLD provided jointly by the MIDC (135 MLD) and Shahad Temghar (STEM) water authority (86 MLD) water supply authority. However, the actual supply continues to hover below 200 MLD due to a shortfall of around 25 MLD supplied by the MIDC. https://www.freepressjournal.in/mumbai/mira-bhayandar-water-woes-worsens-as-midc-cut-shorts-supply-to-mbmc (19 April 2023)
Surat Within 10 days of having approached the Ukai dam authorities to release water from the dam to the weir-cum-causeway, the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) has made another such request. The quantity and quality of water in the weir-cum-causeway has gone down badly. Officials of SMC’s water supply department claimed that such a situation arises every summer and they are not sure if a similar situation will not arise in another 15 days. “But release of water from Ukai dam multiple times indicates challenging times ahead,” they said. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/surat/this-summer-city-stares-at-severe-water-supply-crisis/articleshow/99681575.cms (22 April 2023)
Bengaluru Closure notices to 14 industries for polluting Chandapura lake 14 industries located in the catchment area of Chandapura lake in Anekal have been served with closure notices for polluting the lake, according to official papers submitted to the NGT by the SPCB. The NGT took suo moto cognizance of The Indian Express report ‘Lakes of Bengaluru: Industrial effluents, raw sewage; stinky tale of Chandapura lake’ that was published on November 21, 2021.
Following this, the tribunal constituted a seven-member joint Committee of the CPCB, SPCB, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA), National Wetland Authority, State Wetland Authority, and the DM, Bengaluru to ascertain the facts with regards to the violation of buffer zone, solid waste management guidelines at Chandapura lake in Anekal taluk. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/bangalore/kspcb-closure-notices-14-industries-polluting-chandapura-lake-8544605/ (07 April 2023)
The city’s crumbling infrastructure, including dug-up roads, overflowing storm water drains, encroached rivers, and congested roads, continue to dog Brand Bengaluru but come elections, the issues do not seem to be the priority. https://www.news18.com/elections/inundated-roads-overflowing-drains-sink-brand-bengaluru-but-will-voters-make-netas-pay-the-price-in-polls-7601503.html (21 April 2023)
Mangaluru Bantwal: Decrease in water-level in Netravati river leave Sarapady residents concerned People are longing for rain as the level of water at Netravati river is low and Sarapady river has gone dry. As water used to be stored at AMR dam every year, there used to be a moderate amount of water in the river at Sarapady Ajilamogaru area. However, the water from AMR dam was made to flow to Thumbe this year causing water scarcity in the villages in Sarapady. The scarcity is felt at nine villages nearby.
Though the Bahugrama drinking water project is implemented at Sarapady, Netravati river has gone dry at Sarapady. The ground water levels have decreased and bore wells have also gone dry. Perla and Beeyapade area that gets submerged due to the water released from the dam in the monsoon are dry. People have installed pumps for the river and are getting water to a distance of about one and half kilometres through pipes. The Mangaluru City Corporation has opened all the gates from the AMR dam to maintain a level of 6 metres of water at Thumbe dam. https://www.daijiworld.com/news/newsDisplay?newsID=1072829 (22 April 2023)
Drainage work on Vas Lane incomplete even after a year – Residents face inconvenience. https://www.daijiworld.com/news/newsDisplay?newsID=1072798 (22 April 2023)
Jamshedpur The scorching summer heat in the city has intensified the ongoing water crisis as the demand for water soars, leading to severe water scarcity in many areas of the city. With temperatures reaching record highs and limited water availability, residents are facing increasing challenges in meeting their basic water needs. The rising temperatures during the summer season have resulted in higher evaporation rates, reduced water levels in rivers, lakes, and reservoirs, and increased water consumption for various purposes, including drinking, cooking, bathing, and irrigation. As a result, many parts of the city are grappling with inadequate water supply, disrupted water distribution systems, and prolonged water shortages. https://avenuemail.in/summer-heat-intensifies-water-crisis-in-jamshedpur-mango-worst-hit/ (17 April 2023)
Guwahati ‘Groundwater contamination leading to Hepatitis outbreak’ Massive contamination of drinking water sources with sewage has led to the recent outbreak of Hepatitis A, health authorities said after a thorough inspection of Amingaon area in north Guwahati, where four deaths occurred in the last two weeks. Health department officials said many of the affected families in Amingaon don’t have concrete walls in the underground chambers linked to their toilets to prevent sewage from contaminating underground water from seeping into drinking water sources. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/guwahati/groundwater-contamination-leading-to-hepatitis-outbreak/articleshow/99655332.cms (21 April 2023)
Gurugram Revisit closure order to society: NGT to SPCB In March, SPCB had issued a closure notice against the developer of the Sector 47 residential colony for not obtaining necessary environmental clearances and other permissions. The colony, spread over 225 acres and home to 2,500 families, was found to be releasing sewage into a drain without treating it first. HSPCB slapped a closure notice in December 2022 and later imposed a penalty on the developer. Though the residents were not affected, the board’s order barred any new property sale and said no new possession or occupancy will be allowed in the project. The discom was also asked not to release any new electricity connections, and all ongoing construction was halted.
The NGT, in its March 28 order that was released on Thursday (April 20), said SPCB should revisit its closure notice and clearly specify which parts of the project needed environmental clearance. It should also specify the scope of closure order, the bench of judicial magistrate Arun Kumar Tyagi and expert member Dr Afroz Ahmad said. The SPCB is also directed to ascertain third-party rights (homebuyers) and take appropriate action for their protection. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/gurgaon/revisit-closure-order-to-society-cant-make-homebuyers-suffer-ngt-to-pollution-body/articleshow/99654084.cms (21 April 2023)
Failed to process legacy waste, 4 companies fined MCG has imposed a penalty of Rs 1.6 crore on four companies that were given the contract to process legacy waste at the Bandhwari landfill, its officials said on Monday (April 17). A penalty of Rs 40.59 lakh was imposed on each firm. Officials said that three of the four companies were penalised for a delay in starting the process to treat waste and their poor performance. The fourth firm was penalised for not installing machinery to treat waste at the site.
Action by the corporation comes at a time the NGT last year directed Gurgaon and Faridabad authorities to clear the landfill site and formed a panel to supervise the lengthy process. MCG, in its report submitted to NGT on April 13, said that a company tasked with processing 10,000 tonnes of legacy waste could treat just over half of it (5,500 tonnes) since February. With the same target, the second company could process just 4,000 tonnes of it, and the third, even lower, at 500 tonnes. The fourth firm never started work. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/gurgaon/failed-to-process-bandhwari-legacy-waste-4-cos-fined/articleshow/99572030.cms (18 April 2023)
Prayagraj PMC budget jumps 1K times in 159 years, but problems still abound More than 159 years later, the Prayagraj Municipal Corporation (PMC), as it is known today, has a budget of over ₹800 crore, making it one of the most thriving civic bodies in the state. However, while the budget of the civic body has increased 1000 times in 159 years, residents of this emerging Smart City gearing up to host the Mahakumbh-2025, continue to struggle for many basic amenities.
“The PMC budget has risen many times since its inception and area under it has also grown significantly. However, residents of the city, especially those in old localities, are still struggling for clean potable water, a reliable sewage system and freedom from the problems of water logging during monsoon,” says Kamlesh Singh, 66, a third term serving corporator of PMC from Alopibagh (ward number 48) and a Sangam city resident for the past over 65 years. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/lucknow-news/prayagraj-municipal-corporation-s-budget-grows-1000x-in-159-years-but-residents-still-struggle-for-basic-amenities-like-clean-water-and-waste-disposal-101682278141416.html (24 April 2023)
Greator Noida 3 months on, no end to water woes in Sector P3 The sector has 1500 plots with about 4,000 families currently in residence. Residents maintain different excuses are offered for no supply to low pressure, including faulty water pump, water pipeline bursts, power failure leading to the sector’s water tank not being filled, the water pump not being started by the operator. Residents say it appears as though the authority has no control over the contractor. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/noida/3-months-on-no-end-to-water-woes-in-greater-noidas-sector-p3/articleshow/99679937.cms (22 April 2023)
Delhi Jal Board (DJB) on Monday (April 17) informed that due to the presence of algae in raw water sourced from the Upper Ganga Canal since last 25 days, water supply will be affected in several areas of the national capital. A DJB official said the production and pumping of clear water from the Sonia Vihar water treatment plant has been affected due to the persistent presence of algae and floating material in the canal’s water. https://www.timesnownews.com/delhi/delhi-algae-in-water-supply-leads-to-crisis-these-areas-affected-article-99570987 (18 April 2023)
Residents of all hostels in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) have been facing a water crisis over the past month following which a protest was called at the office of the Dean of Students (DOS) by all hostel presidents Thursday (April 20). The students held a meeting with the vice-chancellor and rector of JNU, along with authorities from engineering and other concerned departments, to address the issue but said no major steps have been taken yet. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/no-compromise-basic-facilities-residents-jnu-hostels-water-crisis-8570030/ (22 April 2023)
Kerala Drinking water sources face contamination threat According to Kerala Water Authority (KWA) officials, Kerala with 44 rivers, thousands of streams, lakes, and lagoons, is facing a serious water crisis. More than 80 per cent of the open wells for which the majority of people depend for drinking water, and more than 90 per cent of rivers are contaminated with Escherichia coli (E. Coli) bacteria, they said. Officials cite rapid urbanisation and pressure on land due to density of population as reasons for such a situation.
Officials said when water from wells is unsafe for direct drinking, open rivers pose a greater risk. Last month, there were 11 cholera cases reported in Malappuram, where people drank water from a river. It was later found that sewage from commercial establishments was released into the same river upstream, they pointed out.
The high cost involved in the treatment of contaminated water and a highly subsidised supply will soon make it unviable for KWA to ensure an uninterrupted water supply in Kerala. For treating 1,000 litres of water, the organisation is spending Rs 22.50 and this is supplied through a pipeline for just over Rs 14 per 1,000 litres to the public, they said.
Though, KWA is taking utmost care and spending several crores on the treatment of the contaminated river water before supplying it, weathered pipelines with porous or broken surfaces often contaminate the water in transit. https://english.mathrubhumi.com/news/kerala/kerala-s-drinking-water-sources-face-contamination-threat-1.8490974 (19 April 2023)
Report Japan’s Ricoh has designed a micro hydropower system for sewage plants that could potentially be used in combination with ground-mounted solar or floating PV. The system features a sustainable water turbine that the company designed with micro-hydroelectricity specialist Seabell Incorporated and the Kanazawa Institute of Technology. https://www.pv-magazine.com/2023/04/20/micro-hydroelectric-power-generator-for-sewage-treatment-plants/ (20 April 2023) An Austrian-based company is producing green hydrogen from plastic waste and sewage sludge. The groundbreaking idea is both economical and environmentally friendly. So far they have a pilot plant and are looking for investors. https://www.dw.com/en/from-poop-to-power-energy-from-waste/video-65359617 (20 April 2023)
JJM/ RURAL WATER SUPPLY
Sikkim Landscape crisscrossed with pipes that run dry Researchers working in the small state in northeast India have found that marginalised groups are resorting to privately installing and maintaining water supply systems. This highlights how access to water is determined not just by the availability of natural sources and physical infrastructure, but by formal and informal governance structures. The households that fall into the blind spot of the water supply network are those without socio-economic means.
According to JJM, as of 12 April 2022 about 82% of rural households in Sikkim have tapped water connections. In pockets of the state, this infrastructural development alone does not guarantee access to water. A crucial factor is the inclusion of local community members in decision-making processes. This can be achieved through their involvement in surveys and attendance in gram sabhas (village council meetings). Improved transparency and participatory mechanisms for water management will pave the way for better access.
Given many of the factors affecting access to water in Sikkim are similar to other parts of India and indeed globally, where access to water is highly contested and distribution is far from equitable, these lessons can be applied much further afield. https://www.thethirdpole.net/en/livelihoods/opinion-why-sikkim-is-crisscrossed-with-pipes-that-run-dry/ (18 April 2023)
Odisha Pipeline laying work slow, villagers face water crisis The delay in laying pipelines has worsened the drinking water crisis in Chhoti, Oldhi, Chatara, Chakoda, Chata, Gunapur, Netua and several other villages under Derabish block. The project to supply drinking water through pipelines was started two years back. However, the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation (RWSS) authorities are yet to complete the work.
The villagers claimed that they have repeatedly approached the administration to solve the water crisis but to no avail. Assistant engineer of RWSS, Derabish Debashis Dhal said, “We had engaged a contractor for laying new pipelines and repairing the old ones. However, some villagers demanded replacement of all the old pipelines due to which the work is moving slowly. “Currently, we are supplying drinking water to villagers through tankers.” https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/odisha/2023/apr/22/pipeline-laying-work-slow-villagers-in-odisha-face-water-crisis-2568327.html (22 April 2023)
Niti Aayog Panel likely to propose incentives for efficient use of water A steering committee, led by Niti Aayog member Ramesh Chand, is likely to recommend a clear methodology to define and assess water neutrality and water positivity required across sectors to ensure sustainable use of water and propose incentives based on the assessment, a senior government official said. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/niti-panel-likely-to-propose-incentives-for-efficient-use-of-water/articleshow/99444101.cms (12 April 2023)
Kerala First state in India to prepare water budget: CM Kerala has become the first state in the country to prepare a water budget based on local self-government bodies by calculating water availability and consumption, said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. He was releasing the public water budget and inaugurating the rehabilitation project of the Western Ghats drainage networks as part of the third phase of the campaign ‘Ini Njan Ozhukatte’ (Let me flow now) in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday (April 17 2023).
– The water budget is formulated by a committee comprising representatives of the state water resources department and experts from information technology field, with the help of the Centre for Water Resource Development Management. In the first phase, 15 block panchayats and 94 grama panchayats prepared the water budget. It is expected to be finished in other panchayats in a time-bound manner, Pinarayi said. The involvement of the local self-government institutions should be ensured in such a way that the water obtained through the summer rains can be used for agriculture and irrigation. “Ini Njan Ozhikatte is a project conceived for the restoration of streams and rivers. The project was prepared in the context of the damage caused by the flood,” he said. “Since this government came to power, 15,119km of watercourses have been revived,” he said. https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/kerala/2023/apr/18/kerala-first-in-country-to-preparewater-budget-cm-pinarayi-2566905.html (18 April 2023)
Significance of first water budget The Kerala government has rolled out a plan to use satellites to map the water resources of nine of the state’s 14 districts that abut the Western Ghats.
– Kerala has decentralised governance, where clearly earmarked administrative, technical and financial powers, responsibilities and resources vest with local bodies. It has 87 municipal bodies with elected mayors and council chairmen. Areas outside the municipal zones in all 14 districts are governed by district panchayats. The state has 941 village panchayats, which are huge in comparison with the rest of India’s 650,000-odd panchayats. Between the district panchayat and the village panchayat, there are 152 block panchayats. https://www.livemint.com/opinion/online-views/the-real-significance-of-kerala-s-and-india-s-first-water-budget-11681991793673.html (20 April 2023)
State water budget can help tackle shortage issues: Experts Kerala became the first state to adopt a water budget on April 17, 2023 as a solution to water scarcity during summer months to ensure equitable water distribution. The budget looks into the availability and consumption of water, which can help the state manage the resource effectively, according to experts.
The budget was prepared by the Centre for Water Resources Development and Management institute, along with the state water department. The government will also ensure the participation of local self-governing institutions through the budget so that rainwater can be distributed equitably for agriculture and irrigation. https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/water/kerala-s-water-budget-can-help-tackle-shortage-issues-experts-88885 (21 April 2023)
Report Heat last year, untimely rains this year hitting wheat production Even as the central government is reviewing the extent of damage caused to the wheat crop, it has already ruled out resuming the wheat export, banned last year, due to domestic supply concerns. https://thewire.in/agriculture/india-wheat-crop-hit-untimely-rain (17 April 2023)
Report Possibility of a sub-normal monsoon A clearer picture will emerge only by end-May. The time between now and the start of the season should be used for contingency planning that factors in different scenarios — from the monsoon’s delayed onset to its failure in the second half. https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/editorials/express-view-on-el-nino-for-india-the-possibility-of-a-sub-normal-monsoon-8559958/ (17 April 2023)
Private weather service Skymet has predicted below normal monsoon in the June-September season. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/india/el-nino-effect-raises-concerns-over-monsoon-divergent-forecasts-by-imd-and-private-forecaster/articleshow/99594115.cms (18 April 2023)
The Weather Company’s met team has released its own detailed forecast for the 2023 southwest monsoon season, which expects a near-normal to slightly below-normal monsoon across India this year. https://weather.com/en-IN/india/monsoon/news/2023-04-18-twc-predicts-below-average-monsoon-for-india-this-year (18 April 2023)
“El Nino will form in the second half of the monsoon. crop pattern will not be impacted, it will not be a worry. The rural economy will not be impacted in the first two months of the monsoon. No change in crop sowing pattern will be needed as monsoon is expected to be normal,” M Ravichandran, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, told Moneycontrol. https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/trends/weather/el-nino-impact-in-second-half-of-monsoon-kharif-crop-pattern-to-be-unaffected-govt-10396281.html (11 April 2023)
Bengaluru The systemic failure in preventing encroachments of storm water drains has come to the fore again after activists struggled for eight months and even went to NGT to draw attention to one such violation in Bengaluru East taluk. https://www.deccanherald.com/city/top-bengaluru-stories/bengaluru-after-8-months-of-plaints-and-ngt-case-officials-wake-up-to-swd-encroachment-in-kr-puram-1210852.html (18 April 2023)
Himachal Pradesh New glacial lakes pose threats As per the recent study carried out by the State Centre on Climate Change of the HP Council for Science Technology and Environment (HIMCOSTE) in the Himachal Himalayas, based on the satellite data, the number of glacier lakes (large and small) were 995 in 2022 in comparison to 880 that were mapped in 2021 in the Satluj catchment area.
Talking with this newspaper, Lalit Jain Director (Environment) and Member Secretary of State Centre on Climate Change of the Himachal Pradesh Council for Science Technology and Environment (HIMCOSTE), said that based on the above analysis carried out for 2022 it is said that there is a considerable increase in the number of moraine dammed lakes (GLOFs) in each basin which reflects that formation of such lakes in the Higher Himalayan region. https://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2023/apr/17/new-glacial-lakes-pose-threat-to-himalayas-2566691.html (17 April 2023)
Report CBI books lawyer Ritwick Dutta for alleged FCRA violations
Dutta has been litigating environmental issues across the country, from his first case against Vedanta that helped the Dongria Kondh tribals obtain a ban on bauxite mining in the Niyamgiri hills of Odisha, to violations of coastal zone regulations (such as this one near Chennai, Tamil Nadu, in February this year). Dutta has also co-authored a book on forest conservation with the Union environment minister, Bhupender Yadav. https://thewire.in/government/cbi-books-environmental-lawyer-ritwick-dutta-for-stalling-coal-projects-using-foreign-funds (22 April 2023)
MoEF Govt stops portal to track green impact of projects The environment ministry’s Parivesh website that used to provide details on the environmental impact of projects stopped showing these — including specifics on environment, forest, wildlife and coastal regulation zone clearances — last September after the ministry took a decision that such information would be provided only when sought under the Right To Information (RTI) Act. The clause will apply to all infrastructure/ project proposals received after September 5, 2022 which are being streamlined and considered under Parivesh 2.0. The clause will apply to all infrastructure/ project proposals received after September 5, 2022 which are being streamlined and considered under Parivesh 2.0 (the expanded version of Parviesh which was launched last year).
– An environment ministry official who asked not to be named said the rationale behind this decision was to protect the interests of project developers, and cited the sensitivity and confidentiality of some of the information. Activists and environmentalists who have long used Parivesh to gather information on how projects are impacting the environment claimed the rationale appears to be to make the system opaque.
– The change came to light when HT asked the environment ministry why the website had not been updated since September. The decision to not disclose the information in the public domain was not known until now. Information associated with environment, forest and wildlife clearances have been aligned with the Right To Information Act , environment ministry officials said. Information related to project proposals before September 5, 2022 are still available on the website.
– “If this is correct, using Section 8 (1)(e) and (j) concealing information which is mandated by law to be provided to an authority is legally wrong and unacceptable. The documents submitted as part of environment/forest clearances to MoEFCC as an authority cannot be claimed to be exempted from public disclosure under the pretext of ‘fiduciary relationship’ or ‘personal’ relationship. The mandate of MoEFCC is to execute the constitutional mandate (48A) to protect and improve the environment and safeguard forests and wildlife of the country. The documents related to environment and forest clearance including minutes of meetings which are mandated under their respective legislation are public documents which are required to be displayed on the MoEFCC website, as directed by the Central Information Commission in 2012,” said Debadityo Sinha, lead, Climate & Ecosystems, Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy.
– “If such documents are not made available, how would people know the environmental and social impact of any industrial activity? This will also jeopardise one’s fundamental rights under Article 21 under the Constitution and statutory rights to appeal against any such environmental clearances and forest clearances in appropriate forums. MoEFCC or any other authorities cannot compromise transparency mechanism to escape their accountability towards the citizens of the country..,” he added. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/indias-environment-ministry-stops-providing-project-impact-details-on-parivesh-website-citing-confidentiality-and-sensitivity-and-will-only-disclose-information-under-rti-act-101682024303352.html (21 April 2023)
The new Parivesh portal of the environment ministry will be compliant with India’s transparency law and put in the public domain details of project proposals, and environment and forest clearances after it undergoes a revamp, the ministry has clarified without providing a timeline. The website will provide the minutes of meetings of expert appraisal and forest advisory committees, information on environment and forest clearances, coastal regulation zone proposal details and clearances, and minutes of the regional empowered committee, the ministry said in response to an HT report on April 21. It, however, did not say whether information related to projects such as draft and final environment impact assessments (EIAs), terms of reference (ToRs), pre-feasibility reports and public hearing documents will be made public, as has been the norm till now. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/indias-environment-ministry-to-provide-project-proposal-details-on-revamped-parivesh-portal-in-compliance-with-transparency-law-101682277192652.html (24 April 2023)
Maharashtra MoEF data shows that the SPCB is understaffed by 42 per cent. MPCB has 353 vacant posts out of the 839 sanctioned posts. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/42-per-cent-posts-in-mpcb-vacant-ministry-data-8570870/ (23 April 2023)
Study 90% of India in ‘danger zone’ of heatwave impacts Heatwaves in India are becoming more frequent and severe due to climate change, with over 90 percent of the country in the “extremely cautious” or “danger zone” of their impacts, according to a new study. The study, conducted by Ramit Debnath and colleagues at the University of Cambridge, suggested that heatwaves have impeded India’s progress towards achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) more significantly than previously thought, and that the current assessment metrics may not fully capture the impacts of heatwaves linked to climate change on the country. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/90-percent-of-india-entire-delhi-in-danger-zone-of-heatwave-impacts-study-101681941890231.html (20 April 2023)
Odisha Left with just 11 inhabitants, the Podampeta village is caught between climate change and sea. Over 500 families has deserted the Podampeta village due to sea erosion since 2007. The village was once home to over 1,500 fisherfolk but is currently inhabited by just 11 persons belonging to the two remaining families. https://indianexpress.com/article/india/odisha-villages-caught-between-climate-change-and-deep-blue-sea-8561918/ (19 April 2023)
Opinion How caste comes into play when climate changes Ajmal Khan Dalit and Adivasi communities have fewer adaptation resources to combat the damage from events related to climate change since they continue to be deprived of socio-economic and political rights and face systemic discrimination. https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/caste-climate-change-8558611/ (16 April 2023)
Rajat Chaudhary The psychological impact of the climate crisis is being studied using increasingly sophisticated tools and analyses, and the emerging picture is cause for serious concern. https://scroll.in/article/1047822/rethinking-literature-the-wicked-problem-of-climate-change-and-our-entanglement-with-it (23 April 2023)
UN reports ‘off the charts’ melting of glaciers “Antarctic sea ice fell to its lowest extent on record and the melting of some European glaciers was, literally, off the charts,” the WMO said as UN’s WMO launched its annual climate overview on Apr 22, 2023. The global mean temperature in 2022 was 1.15C above the 1850-1900 average, the WMO report said.
– Sea levels are also at a record high, having risen by an average of 4.62 millimetres per year between 2013 and 2022 — double the annual rate between 1993 and 2002. Record high temperatures were also recorded in the oceans — where around 90 percent of the heat trapped on Earth by greenhouse gases ends up.
– The concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) reached 415.7 parts per million globally, or 149 percent of the pre-industrial (1750) level, while methane reached 262 percent and nitrous oxide hit 124 percent in 2021. Data indicate they continued to increase in 2022.
– WMO chief Petteri Taalas told a press conference that extreme weather caused by greenhouse gas emissions “may continue until the 2060s, independent of our success in in climate mitigation”. “We have already lost the melting of the glaciers game, because we already have such a high concentration of CO2,” Taalas told AFP. In the Swiss Alps, “last summer we lost 6.2 percent of the glacier mass, which is the highest amount since records started”. The planet is now on track for 2.5-3 C warming, he said. Taalas said 32 countries had reduced their emissions and their economies still grew. “There is no more automatic link between economic growth and emissions growth,” he said. https://news.yahoo.com/un-reports-off-charts-melting-152910573.html (21 April 2023)
Study Losing more ice from Greenland The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are now losing more than three times as much ice a year as they were 30 years ago, according to a new comprehensive international study. Using 50 different satellite estimates, researchers found that Greenland’s melt has gone into hyperdrive in the last few years. Greenland’s average annual melt from 2017 to 2020 was 20 per cent more a year than at the beginning of the decade and more than seven times higher than its annual shrinkage in the early 1990s. The new figures “are pretty disastrous really,” said study co-author Ruth Mottram, a climate scientist at the Danish Meteorological Institute. https://www.hindustantimes.com/environment/were-losing-more-and-more-ice-from-greenland-reveals-study-101681987208464.html (20 April 2023)
IWT The India-Pakistan Track 2 dialogues of the decade of 2010 identified more than a dozen areas of cooperation. These include joint studies on the impacts of climate change in collaboration with friendly third countries; cooperation in managing climate change- induced extreme weather events; joint monitoring of the HKH glaciers in collaboration with the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD); studies on river water pollution from industrial and agricultural runoff upstream of the western rivers; and timely exchange of relevant data for flood management.
– More areas of cooperation include promoting micro-irrigation methods and technologies for conservation and optimum utilization of water; promotion of water-use efficiency by non-agricultural users; joint study on the cumulative environmental effects of cascades of multiple hydroelectric projects on a single river; exchange of knowledge on monsoon variability trends; study on the imperative of environmental flows in the eastern rivers; and creation of a web-based data bank that would serve as a repository of all data links and resources that could be useful for analysis and research. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/1063198-energizing-the-indus-waters-treaty (22 April 2023)
A top government panel on Monday (Apr 17 2023) took stock of the ongoing modification process of the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT). On January 25, India issued a notice to Pakistan seeking a review and modification of the treaty. Earlier this month, India said it has received Pakistan’s response to its notice. According to Pakistani media, Islamabad had conveyed in its letter that it was ready to listen to New Delhi’s concerns about the treaty.
– In a statement, the Ministry of External Affairs said the sixth meeting of the Steering Committee on matters related to IWT of 1960 took place on April 17 and it was chaired by the Secretary in the Department of Water Resources, the Ministry of Jal Shakti, and was attended by Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra among other senior officials. It said the meeting “took stock of the ongoing modification process of the Indus Waters Treaty.” “Matters related to the ongoing Neutral Expert proceedings pertaining to the Kishenganga and Ratle Hydroelectric Projects were also discussed,” it said. It is understood that the meeting deliberated on Pakistan’s response to India’s notice. https://theprint.in/india/top-govt-panel-takes-stock-of-modification-process-of-indus-waters-treaty/1524296/ (17 April 2023)
The World Bank has announced concurrently appointment of a neutral expert and a Chair of the Court of Arbitration in the ongoing matter related to the Kishenganga and Ratle projects. This notice was issued with the intent to provide Pakistan an opportunity to enter into government to government negotiations to rectify ongoing material breach of the treaty. As mandated by the treaty, on October 17, 2022, the World Bank appointed Michel Lino as neutral expert and Prof Sean Murphy as Chairman of the Court of Arbitration. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/india-pak-hold-talks-on-jk-hydel-projects-498394 (18 April 2023)
India-Nepal The Independent Power Producers Association of Nepal said that deals were initiated for selling 2,200 MW of electricity to India during the two-day power summit that concluded on Wednesday (Apr 19 2023) in Kathmandu. India’s Manikaran Power Limited on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to purchase around 200MW of electricity directly from the hydropower projects. During the closing ceremony of the event, IPPAN Vice-President Ashish Garg said that Vedanta India had initiated the process of signing a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) to buy 2,000MW of electricity from Nepal. https://kathmandupost.com/national/2023/04/20/indian-firms-to-buy-2-200mw-of-electricity-from-nepal (20 April 2023)
Nepal Short history of Upper Karnali HEP With the argument that GMR Energy would sell 500 MW power to Bangladesh, a two year license extension has been given. Upper Karnali is in West Nepal and to transfer this 500 MW through India’s Northern then Eastern Grids into Bangladesh is quite a troublesome ‘wheeling task’. https://www.spotlightnepal.com/2023/04/18/short-history-300900-mw-upper-karnali-hydroelectric-project/ (18 April 2023)
Pakistan Sindh struggling flood aftermath More than half a year after the catastrophic 2022 floods in Pakistan, floodwaters have not receded in some areas and drainage infrastructure has not been repaired, obstructing efforts to rebuild. https://www.thethirdpole.net/en/climate/sindh-still-struggling-with-aftermath-floods-seven-months-after-disaster/ (20 April 2023)
Spain’s drought a ‘national concern,’ PM says Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez has warned about the consequences of minimal rainfall and intense heat that officially put Spain into long-term drought last month. https://www.dw.com/en/spains-drought-a-national-concern-pm-says/a-65377063 (19 Dec. 2023)
THE REST OF THE WORLD
USA North Fork Dam Spillway failure in California in Jan 2023 The January 5, 2023 spillway failure of the North Fork Dam on Pacheco Creek is an unfortunate sign that California has much work to do to ensure dam safety. The North Fork Dam has been a focus of the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) Division of Safety of Dams (DSOD) since at least 2017. According to April 2017 DSOD correspondence, “[t]he instability of the left spillway wall panels is a long-standing dam safety issue that dates back to the 1940s, and multiple repairs and failures have occurred.” In fact, DSOD repeatedly advised the Pacheco Pass Water District between 2017 and 2021 that spillway repairs were required. Given funding shortages, the earliest date on which a new spillway was anticipated was December 31, 2032.
– DSOD must address key issues highlighted in 2018 by a Technical Advisory Panel (comprised of national dam safety experts), especially considering the American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2019 infrastructure report card gave California dams a C-, mainly based on age and hazard status. They highlighted the lack of funding as a key hurdle to strengthening the program.
– To prevent disastrous dam failures in the future, American Rivers recommends the following three priorities: 1. Strengthen and create a climate of compliance. 2. Incorporate and adopt recommended dam safety program improvements. 3. Increase funding for dam removal and water infrastructure. Unless dams are well-maintained, their condition only gets worse every year. The most cost-effective and permanent way to deal with obsolete, unsafe dams is to remove them. https://www.americanrivers.org/2023/04/dollars-and-dams-building-safety-into-californias-future/ (20 April 2023)
Launch of World water map On March 20 2023, the National Geographic Society launched the World Water Map as part of its five-year World Freshwater Initiative to better understand developing freshwater shortages around the world and inspire sustainable action. The Map was created by the National Geographic Society in cooperation with Utrecht University and Esri to identify water availability hotspots, visualize global freshwater supply and demand, and tell the story of how people use water. The Map is based on one of the most advanced open-source models to track water availability in every part of the world.
– The Map, which builds on hydrological models made by Utrecht University, consists of over 40 years of historical data and will be updated periodically to monitor changes in water availability and demand. https://blog.nationalgeographic.org/2023/03/20/world-water-map-launch/ (20 March 2023)
Africa Small-scale irrigation can change the game Unlike large-acreage government irrigation schemes, small-scale irrigation is typically farmer led. Farmers decide what technologies to use to extract water, be it manual lifting or solar water pumps. They also choose the mode of irrigation, whether by buckets or drip kits. Farmers purchase, run and maintain the operation themselves on their own farms or as part of small groups of farmers. Small-scale irrigation can help smallholder farmers to increase agricultural productivity and incomes. It can be scaled quickly and without large public investments. For these reasons, it can contribute more rapidly to the achievement of national agricultural and development goals, compared to large irrigation schemes. https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/africa/feeding-africa-how-small-scale-irrigation-can-help-farmers-to-change-the-game-88834 (19 April 2023)
Compiled by SANDRP (email@example.com)
Also see: DRP News Bulletin 17 April 2023 & DRP News Bulletin 10 April 2023
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