DRP News Bulletin

DRP NB 150523: Will the govt listen to caveats against Ken Betwa Project?

The following report raises three caveats regarding Ken Betwa River Link Project, among others. Firstly it urges that the substantial impact of climate change on the rivers needs to be taken into account, particularly the need for accurate hydrological assessment. It underlines that the project themselves are accelerating the climate change impact on monsoons as they are reducing freshwater flows to the oceans, which in turn has an impact on the ocean’s thermal and salinity gradients, both of which are drivers of monsoon.

Secondly, it rightly says that the impact of projects on adaptive capacity of areas like Bundelkhand needs to be taken into account. In Bundelkhand, climate adaptation can be harnessed using rain water harvesting, rejuvenation of traditional water systems, less water intensive crops and alternative agricultural practices. Thirdly, the water sharing issues that may worsen with both climate change and big projects, need to be kept in mind while taking up mega projects, particularly its impact on water and other security issues.

All three caveats are counter indicative for the Ken Betwa Link Project. It is interesting that this comes from an author from Vivekananda Foundation, which should make the acceptance of the suggestions easier for the government. Will the government listen, initiate the suggested assessments and in the meantime, put the Ken Betwa Project on hold and instead go for the suggested cheaper, faster to implement and less impactful alternatives?

Colorado river crisis has lesson for India There are three caveats to bear in mind regarding such projects (interlinking of rivers including Ken Betwa Project). First, given the recent ongoing experience of the Colorado river, the impact of climate change cannot be overlooked. For this, it becomes necessary to not only conduct accurate hydrological surveys of river water capacity, but also take account of scientific predictions about the potentially detrimental effects of some such projects on monsoon patterns, as river interlinking projects create alterations in river ecology and impact the flow of water to oceanic systems, thereby leading to potential effects on monsoonal patterns.

Second, in the context of such projects, the policy trade-offs between climate change adaptation and deployment of large irrigation projects also come to the fore. It is unclear whether river interlinking policies can be conceived to be adaptive measures or developmental ones, and raises larger questions about what qualifies as adaptive measures. In areas like Bundelkhand, the potential for climate adaptation should be harnessed by reviving traditional water-harvesting structures, cultivation of less water intensive crops and encouragement to alternate agricultural practices.

Third, in the Indian context, the aspect of the climate-security nexus becomes particularly significant. In India’s case, the sensitivity of water-sharing disputes, exacerbated by climate change, merits even greater attention; for, they are not simply confined to disputes between states. Such climate security issues related to water may exacerbate in some cases as India embarks on river-interlinking projects. Indeed, the country has kept many records of river-water capacity in northern basins classified due to their potential to evoke sensitive border disputes. Given some of these considerations, it is worth looking closely at the examples before us from around the world and undertaking the necessary steps to climate-proof sensitive projects. https://www.thestatesman.com/opinion/colorado-river-crisis-has-lesson-for-india-1503179777.html  (10 May 2023)


Report Climate change, earthquakes & hydropower in Himalayas With climate change impacting weather patterns, melting glaciers and destabilising mountain slopes, it is already adding to the dangers associated with earthquakes in the Himalayas. Meanwhile, new research suggests that climate change may even be having an effect on the frequency of earthquakes in the region.

– An analysis of seismic activity in the Himalayas from 1900-2010 found a sharp uptick in the number of earthquakes recorded, particularly after 2000. According to the analysis, the Himalayas experienced fewer than 100 earthquakes per year in the decade 1960-70, but between 2000 and 2010 this had increased to 500-600.

– The rapid ongoing change in glacial mass in the Himalayas could trigger more earthquakes thanks to a process called isostasy, according to Mudassir Bhat, an earth scientist at the University of Kashmir. Isostasy describes how the Earth’s crust rises and settles based on the weight it bears; the impacts of glaciers on this process is known as glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA). Since the Himalayan region is crossed by several major faults, Bhat believes that the movement in the earth’s crust caused by loss of glacial mass via GIA could trigger more earthquakes. This process has been demonstrated in other regions.

– Research by French and Nepalese scientists into seasonal patterns in 10,000 earthquakes in the Nepal Himalayas concluded that “the seismicity rate [number of earthquakes] in the winter is twice as high as in the summer at all magnitudes above the detection threshold.” They attributed this to pressure placed on the Gangetic basin by the huge weight of water present during the monsoon season suppressing seismicity.

– Rakesh Kayastha, a seismologist working at the Himalayan Cryosphere, Climate and Disaster Research Center at Kathmandu University, Nepal, tells The Third Pole that an earthquake in the Himalayas that measures above 5 on the Richter scale carries a heightened danger compared to an earthquake of similar magnitude elsewhere, because it may also trigger a GLOF. https://www.thethirdpole.net/en/climate/explained-climate-change-earthquakes-and-hydropower-in-the-himalayas/  (11 May 2023)

Uttarakhand Cracks now in Joshimath ‘safe zone’ homes Several houses across three wards in subsidence-hit Joshimath town, which were earlier under “green zone” and considered safe by experts, have now started developing cracks. In some places, existing cracks have widened, locals said on Monday (May 08). The recent spell of rain has added to the problem. Following the issue of “ground seepage” a few months ago, experts had cautioned that rains could trigger more subsidence in the town’s affected parts and hence regular monitoring was needed. Sati added: “Now, technical and scientific experts must find out whether the recent spell of rainfall is behind these fresh cracks.”

Chairman of municipal council, Shailendra Panwar, told TOI: “These cracks are still emerging in certain parts of the town. We’ve requested the government to conduct a fresh survey of the places which reported new cracks.” As per official records, till date 868 houses have reported “minor to major cracks”, while data provided by Chamoli district administration show “181 houses are under the danger zone” in Joshimath. Around 300 families were initially evacuated from their houses and shifted to government-run shelter homes — where the deadline to stay has been recently extended till May 31 after worried families said that they had returned to their crumbling houses. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/cracks-now-in-joshimath-safe-zone-homes/articleshow/100083553.cms  (09 May 2023)

The Joshimath Bachao Sangharsh Samiti (JBSS), an organisation of residents of Joshimath, that aims to protect the mountain town from land subsidence and other issues, took out a mashaal jaloos (torchlight procession) on May 11, Thursday. The JBSS has demanded better relief and rehabilitation package, and fulfillment of their charter of demands submitted to Uttarakhand chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami last month. The samiti took out the procession despite attempts by the police to stop it.

The Joshimath Bachao Sangharsh Samiti took out a torchlight procession on May 11, 2023. Photo: S.M.A. Kazmi/The Wire

The organisation had suspended its agitation for 20 days starting April 20 after an assurance from CM Pushkar Singh Dhami on April 8 that its demands would be met. But with the state government now focused on managing the Char Dham yatra – the annual pilgrimage by lakhs of people to four of Hinduism’s holy sites in the Himalayas – there has been no sign that the issues raised by the JBSS will be addressed, leaving the organisation with no option but to resume its stir. https://thewire.in/environment/joshimath-land-subsidence-victims-resume-agitation-after-govts-failure-to-address-issues   (11 May 2023)

The Samiti had last month withdrawn its 107-day-old sit-in protest after Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami assured them of concrete action on its 11-point charter of demands, Sati said. https://www.outlookindia.com/national/people-march-in-protest-in-subsidence-hit-joshimath-news-285611  (12 May 2023)

Pilgrims and drivers also expressed concerns on the condition of the Char Dham all-weather road in several parts of the state including in Rudraprayag and Chamoli districts, where the Kedarnath and Badrinath shrines are located. On both roads, there was construction debris or fallen rocks on the roads, creating traffic bottlenecks, allowing only one vehicle to pass at a time. Side railings and crash barriers, essential for driving safety in the hills, have been buried under debris, and in some stretches, like near Joshimath, a part of the road has caved in, effectively narrowing the width of the passage. https://epaper.hindustantimes.com/Home/ShareArticle?OrgId=1055072eb3e&imageview=0  (10 May 2023)

Himachal Pradesh 16 hydel power projects register for water cess 16 of 172 hydroelectric power projects in the state have registered themselves for the imposition of water cess. The Jal Shakti Department had issued notices to 172 hydroelectric power projects last month, directing them to register themselves with it within a month for the purpose of water cess. These 16 projects include some from HPSEB, some from Central PSU (e.g. Chamera) and some from private sector (e.g. on Baspa and Parbati rivers). On Apr 25, Union Power Ministry had written letters to HP, NHPC and others saying the cess was illegal and unconstitutional, citing some eight separate provisions including articles 287 and 288 of constitution. Two private power companies have filed petitions in HC against the cess. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/16-hydel-power-projects-register-for-water-cess-506089  (09 May 2023)

MoEF  Relevant decisions from the minutes of the FAC meeting held on April 25 2023: 1. 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 & Gwalior Dists of Madhya Pradesh: More info sought including impact on Chambal Wildlife Sanctuary

2. Diversion of 12.8042 ha (previous proposed area 13.1959 ha) of Protected Forest land in forest range, Sirmour in Rewa division for Hydro Power Project in favour of Manager, Marshal Small Hydro Power Pvt Ltd in Rewa Dist of Madhya Pradesh: “A patch of thick forest is existing between the water body and area proposed for diversion. The measures to safeguard the said forest patch while construction have not been submitted.” https://forestsclearance.nic.in/writereaddata/FAC_Minutes/511912712101FACMoMdated25042023.pdf 

CEA sees peak demand of 335GW by 2030 India’s Central Electricity Authority (CEA) sees domestic electricity demand peaking at 335GW in the April 2029-March 2030 fiscal year, 45pc higher than its 230GW estimate for 2022-23. It also sees domestic electricity demand reaching 2,279.6TWh in 2029-30 compared with the government’s estimate of 1650.6TWh in 2022-23. [Both projects seem inflated considering the past trends and track record of past wuch projections.]The CEA sees the growth in power demand mostly coming from the renewable segment, it said in a report released on 4 May. The government aims to achieve 500GW of installed renewable capacity by 2030.

– The CEA sees installed hydropower capacity increasing by 28pc to 53.9GW, and that of pumped storage plants rising to 19GW by 2030 from the existing capacity of 4.75GW. https://www.argusmedia.com/en/news/2447117-indias-power-agency-sees-peak-demand-of-335gw-by-2030  (09 May 2023)


Report RTI activists recommendations being heard by Govts! Mr Deepak Bache-Patil’s mission has been to find out the quality of security and maintenance of each and every dam not only in Maharashtra but across other states. He used to read in the newspapers about the RTI act and so decided to use it for his knowledge which has turned into his magnificent obsession. To date, he has filed over 3,000 RTI applications and has gathered around 12,500 documents, which include his grievances to various waterworks and irrigation departments, the Mantralaya in Mumbai, and CMs of various states.

– Mr Bache-Patil reveals some shocking details, culled out of the RTI replies which reveal that the security and maintenance of the dams, which are crucial to their efficacy and safety in terms of their structural stability, are compromised. Worse, his information reveals that no survey—barring a handful—of how much silt and debris have accumulated, has been done for most of the dams. Most of the dams would burst in the next 25-50 years if maintenance operations are not carried out well in time – which is now. He finds that the safety plan is not 100% adhered to and in many dams they don’t exist at all.  He says safety audits, which are mandatory, are taken casually by the authorities.  https://www.moneylife.in/article/recommendations-of-an-rti-user-who-filed-over-3000-applications-on-dams-are-being-heard-by-state-govts/70742.html  (12 May 2023)    

Polavaram Project Telangana moves CWC seeking direction to PPA, A.P. for joint survey of submergence areas Telangana government has raised serious concerns over the effect of Polavaram project backwaters on its territory by addressing a letter to the Central Water Commission (CWC) following the inaction of the Polavaram Project Authority (PPA) and the Andhra Pradesh government on the joint survey recommended by the Central agency. Joint survey on the effect of Polavaram backwaters on Telangana is being delayed inordinately in spite of the CWC recommendation and instructions issued to the PPA and A.P. government by the CWC, Engineer-in-Chief (General-Irrigation) of Telangana C. Muralidhar said in the letter addressed to CWC Chairman Kushvinder Vohra on May 8, 2023.

– He pointed out that it was agreed up for the joint survey at three technical meetings held by CWC on October 7, 2022, January 1, 2023 and April 3, 2023 as also at the coordination committee meeting held on April 12. It was decided at the meetings for exchange of data by A.P. and Telangana for facilitating a ground-truthing joint survey headed by PPA to study the impact of Polavaram backwaters on Telangana. Although the PPA had facilitated exchange of data, there was no headway on the joint survey needed keeping in view the forthcoming monsoon season. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/telangana-moves-cwc-seeking-direction-to-ppa-ap-for-joint-survey-of-polavaram-submergence-areas/article66827972.ece  (08 May 2023)

Tamil Nadu Govt allocates Rs 35 cr to renovate 17 old dams The govt has allocated Rs 34.72 crore for the renovation of 17 dams that have been in operation for over 50 years. The works will begin as soon as the GO is issued. A senior official of Water Resources Department told TNIE that a team of officials has already inspected the 17 dams, which include those located in the middle Cauvery basin in Tiruchy, the Parambikulam Aliyar Basin in Pollachi, the special project in Palani, the Palar Basin in Chennai, and the Periyar Vaigai Basin in Madurai. “After the Parambikulam incident where one of the three shutters was washed away we inspected all the old dams,” the official said. “In Parambikulam dam in Palghat district, we decided to spruce up the chain in spillway shutters 1 and 3 at a cost of Rs 2.3 crore. In other dams, we will renovate spillway shutters, operating platforms and sluice shutters.”

Poondi reservoir at Tiruvallur. (Photo: P Jawahar, EPS)

Another official said that in the Chennai region, the shutters of Poondi reservoir will be replaced, and the department also plans to strengthen the bunds. The department has already taken 37 dams under the Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Programme (DRIP-2), which is being funded by the Union government with the support of the World Bank. Seven dams, including Satthanur and Krishnagiri, have already been renovated under the programme. “We have submitted a few proposals to the centre in the second phase. These works will also commence soon,” he said. https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/tamil-nadu/2023/apr/04/tamil-nadu-govt-allocates-rs-35-crore-to-renovate-17-old-dams-2562473.html  (04 April 2023)


Mahanadi Water Dispute Mathematically quantifying water needs: MWDT Going beyond the general information on water flow in Mahanadi and its availability in Odisha and Chhattisgarh, the tribunal has taken on challenging task of mathematically quantifying water needs.  The layers of information sought to be prepared in a specific format could run into thousands of pages covering all aspects of life. “It will be a humongous task to come up with tabulation of temperature and rainfall data of each day spanning over 100 years pertaining to thousands of places falling in the jurisdiction of Mahanadi basin,” said a senior officer in Odisha’s Water Resource department. As the issue is sub-judice, authorities are not ready to be quoted.

To arrive at the volume of water available in the Mahanadi River Basin, the tribunal would also examine data on sunshine, rainfall precipitation, water flow in canals, groundwater and open wells that are in use in villages. A geographic information system (GIS) map is being prepared to ascertain the availability of water in pre and post monsoon periods. The number of buildings constructed and proposed to be built in the basin area will be part of an exercise to determine land use patterns in which water use is an integral element. As of now, water usage of riparian communities, water needs in farming, the construction sector, industry and even by a roadside eatery are being meticulously calculated. Their justification is being defined by comparing water consumption with water cess imposed on consumers over past several decades.

Information on soil temperature, soil moisture and soil infiltration are being collected. The tribunal has even asked for decadal information on evapotranspiration, a combination of evaporation and transpiration, which is measured in order to understand crop water requirements and irrigation scheduling. To understand the water spread area during floods, the Revenue and Disaster Management Department is asked to provide information on submergence. The Mahanadi water flowing down to the sea is unlikely to be treated as wastage. The excess water could cater to the needs of specific plant species, animal species or even ants.

What may sound strange is that the Culture Department is compiling mythological accounts associated with Mahanadi River water. Besides, information temples built on the Bank of Mahanadi over decades could play a part in the exercise. “Any shortage of water in Mahanadi could impact temple rituals and hence, religious tradition may have to be compromised in future,” he said.

The Forest and Environment are important stakeholders in the massive deciphering of data. All the States have been asked to give minute details on flora and fauna dependent on Mahanadi River Water. Information on the general population, especially scheduled caste and scheduled caste, households, literacy rate, district-wise industry, their contribution to Odisha’s Gross Domestic Product and poverty level have been sought. The scale of data being sought for quantifying water needs is humongous. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/mathematically-quantifying-water-needs-of-odisha-chhattisgarh-in-mahanadi-river-water-dispute/article66829342.ece  (09 May 2023)

Krishna Water Distpute Need-based sharing between Telangana, AP: KRMB The Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) on Wednesday (May 10) favoured need-based sharing of water between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh by making an interim arrangement to replace the ad hoc sharing system. The interim pattern proposed by it will be in place for the initial months of the new water year beginning from June 1.

In the meeting that was held on Wednesday, the board decided to seek the intervention of the Jal Shakti Ministry to chalk out a final agreement on water sharing acceptable for both states. “A three-member committee comprising the Board’s Member Secretary and engineers-in-chief of the two states will monitor water sharing based on the water availability,” said the board officials. https://www.siasat.com/need-based-sharing-of-krishna-water-between-telangana-ap-krmb-2586643/  (11 May 2023)


Bihar हाजीपुर को राघोपुर से जोड़ने वाला पीपा पुल दो टुकड़ो में अलग होकर नदी में तैरता दिखा, प्रशासन की लापरवाही के कारण बीच नदी में फंस गए सैकड़ों लोग। पोत परिवहन और जलमार्ग मंत्रालय के बड़े जहाज को गंगा नदी से गुज़रना था जिसके लिए बीच में बने पीपा पुल को अलग कर जहाज के लिए रास्ता दिया गया जिसके लिए तय समय पर पुल को खोलकर दो हिस्सों में अलग कर दिया और जहाज नदी से आगे निकल गया, लेकिन पुल को खोलने से पहले सुरक्षा उपाय को नज़रअंदाज करते हुए और बिना बंद किए उसे दो हिस्सों में अलग कर दिया गया। इस बीच 4 घंटे तक कई लोग और गाड़ियाँ इस फ्लोटिंग पुल पर फंसे रहे। https://twitter.com/BiharTakChannel/status/1657015311407669252?s=20  (12 May 2023)


Tamil Nadu CM must announce water release date: Farmers With the water storage level in Mettur reservoir remaining at more than 100 feet for months, farmers are hopeful that the govt will release water for irrigation of the delta region in the last week of May as it did last year. They expect the announcement to be made by the CM before he leaves on his foreign trip so that farmers can begin preparatory works to take up kuruvai cultivation in advance.

Due to the early release of water last year, on May 24 instead of the customary date of June 12, kuruvai cultivation was taken up on 5.36 lakh acres in the delta region against about 4 lakh acres in previous years. This was claimed by the government as a historical achievement in the last 47 years. Farmers said commencing kuruvai cultivation well in advance could help them complete harvest before the onset of northeast monsoon during October – December. Since the period of kuruvai crop is 120 to 130 days, harvest can be completed before Sept end, Vimalnathan said. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/trichy/cm-must-announce-water-release-date-before-foreign-trip-farmers/articleshow/100173560.cms (12 May 2023)

During the British era, several irrigation engineers had executed long-lasting projects in India. Only a handful of them are remembered — and deified. Colonel J. Pennycuick (1841-1911), the architect of the Mullaperiyar dam, is one of them. He is credited with having transformed the Cumbum Valley into a fertile belt, dotted with paddy fields, vegetables, flower gardens, coconut plantations, and vineyards. To this day, his dam meets the needs of the water-deficit districts of Theni, Dindigul, Madurai, Ramanathapuram and Sivaganga. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/a-british-engineer-who-brought-water-and-prosperity-to-a-valley-in-tamil-nadu/article66839079.ece  (11 May 2023)

Punjab Irrigation scam: ED attaches Rs 70.15-cr properties of accused It was alleged that detailed notice inviting tenders (DITs) for various irrigation project works in Punjab were tailor-made keeping in view the eligibility conditions of Grinder Singh contractor. Besides, various irregularities were also seen in relation to allotment and execution of such project works to favour Grinder, which resulted in a huge loss to the government exchequer. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chandigarh/multi-crore-irrigation-scam-ed-8592535/lite/  (05 May 2023)


Bengaluru Rivers, Lakes and Watersheds of Anekal Taluk The Rivers, Lakes & Watershed of Anekal Taluk map-data visualization shows, as the name says, Rivers – Chinnar, Suvarnamukhi & Dakshina Pinakini, 285 lakes and their cascading connectivity and five watersheds spread over ~533 sq. kms of Anekal Taluk of Bengaluru.

The lake area, capacity, and custodian are given. Stressors such as Industrial Areas, Quarries, Industrial Common Effluent Treatment Plants, Industrial & Municipal Sewage Treatment Plants & Transport Infrastructure like roads & railways are marked. https://paani.earth/regions/bengaluru_homepage/waterbodies-of-anekal-taluk/rivers-and-lakes-of-anekal/  (12 May 2023)

Pune RFD project to cause irreversible damage: Greens City environmentalists on Sunday (May 14) speaking at a panel discussion on the city rivers and their future echoed that the Riverfront Development (RFD) project “is going to cause irreversible damages to the rivers in Pune.” One of the panellists, Sarang Yadwadkar said, “The embankments proposed under RFD are going reduce the width of the river. This will further increase the chances of flooding.” According to Yadwadkar the environmental clearance received for the project is flawed. The civic administration is planning to monetise the lands near the river, he said. Sathya Natarajan, another panellist, said that citizen participation has been good and it is now time that the authorities declare the Mula-Mutha river as a heritage river. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/riverfront-devpt-proj-to-cause-irreversible-damage-greens/articleshow/100238490.cms  (15 May 2023)

PMC gets forest land in Kharadi for JICA project The Pune Municipal Corp (PMC) has finally got land in Kharadi from the state forest department for the much-delayed, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)-funded river rejuvenation project. With this, the PMC has managed to acquire land for 10 out of the proposed 11 STPs that are part of the project.

The final nod for the forest land in Kharadi came from the state government on Thursday (May 11). The state revenue and forest department issued a circular saying that the state government has diverted 1.06 hectares of forest land to the PMC for construction of the STP in Kharadi village, Pune district. A senior official of the PMC said, “Besides the Rs58 lakhs, the PMC has given Tulapur village land to the forest department which is about 40 km north east of Pune, near Alandi. It was allocated by the state government to the PMC for construction of a garbage processing plant.”

While the Centre had sanctioned the Rs990 crores’ worth river rejuvenation project in January 2016, allocating 85% funding with the remaining to be provided by the PMC. JICA provided a subsidy loan to the central government to implement the project. According to PMC officials, the project will create an additional STP capacity of 396 MLD over and above the existing capacity of 477 MLD through the laying of 55km of sewer lines and renovation of the four existing intermediate pumping stations. Once the project is completed by 2025, the total STP capacity available in Pune will be 988.50 MLD. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/pune-news/pmc-finally-gets-forest-land-for-jica-funded-river-rejuvenation-project-in-kharadi-pune-district-101683915461517.html  (12 May 2023)

Ludhiana August 2023 fixed set as fresh deadline for river cleaning project  Divulging the progress report, Dr Aggarwal said of the two new STPs being constructed, a 225-MLD capacity STP at Jamalpur, which was the biggest such facility in the state, had already been established while 60 per cent work to set up a 60-MLD capacity STP at Balloke had been completed so far with the target to make it functional within next couple of months.

On the expenditure front, a sum of Rs 460.97 crore had been spent so far, which accounted for 88.82 per cent of the total capital work cost of Rs 519 crore. Besides, Rs 26.79 crore had been earmarked as O&M cost for construction period while Rs 294 crore would be spent on O&M cost for another 10 years after completion of the construction. While the project amount, as per DPR, was Rs 650 crore, the work was awarded at Rs 839.79 crore.

The work, which was awarded to a Mumbai-based joint venture group at the capital cost of Rs 519 cr, besides the O&M cost of Rs 321 cr, was initially scheduled to be completed by Dec 1, 2022, which was missed and later, the extended deadlines of March 2023, May 2023 & June 30, 2023, had also not been met. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/ludhiana/soon-highly-polluted-buddha-nullah-to-turn-clean-water-river-506990  (12 May 2023)


Gujarat High Court on Monday (May 01) rapped the Talala municipality for its inadequacies in not treating sewage water and releasing it directly in the Hiran river polluting it and thereby affecting the wildlife in the Gir Sanctuary. The HC was hearing a PIL complaining about the pollution in the river due to the release of untreated wastewater by the municipality and for not having a STP. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/hiran-river-pollution-high-court-raps-talala-municipality/articleshow/99921042.cms  (02 May 2023)

SUTLEJ Himachal Pradesh Kullu City council fined 15.30 lakhs for polluting Beas The SPCB has imposed a fine of Rs 15.30 lakh on the city council for polluting the holy water of Beas river. The board has also directed the city council to make concrete arrangements to save the river from getting polluted. Solid waste and polluted water were getting mixed in the Beas from the garbage dump near Rangdi. The executive officer of the City Council, BR Negi, assured a proper solution within 15 days. The council is making pits to lift the contaminated water with the help of pipes and treat it in the treatment plant.

A garbage plant center was set up years ago near Rangdi. Garbage started arriving in large quantities at the garbage plant. The garbage of Kullu has also started being disposed in Manali. Garbage trucks are also reaching Manali from Lahaul Valley. Gradually the dumping site of the waste turned into a mountain of garbage. Now it has started leaking and the dirty water of the garbage is getting directly into the Beas river. Efforts have been made to stop it by making a pit under the site, but still the poisonous water is getting into the Beas river. https://himachaltonite.com/himachal/kullu-city-council-fined-15-30-lakhs-for-polluting-beas-river/  (14 May 2023) https://www.amarujala.com/shimla/himachal-state-pollution-control-board-impose-penalty-15-30-lakh-on-municipal-council-manali-2023-05-13  (13 May 2023)

GANGA In the shifting embrace of the Ganga by Arati Kumar-Rao During monsoon season, Arati Kumar-Rao returns to visit the ancient, deified Ganga—and the communities who live along her shifting banks.

Local authorities sandbag crumbling cliffs on the river’s banks in a futile attempt to stem the erosion. Emergence Magazine

Feeling the life that pulses through the delta, Arati bears witness to both the life-giving benevolence and devastating waywardness of the river. https://emergencemagazine.org/essay/in-the-shifting-embrace-of-the-ganga/  (11 May 2023)

NMCG First study on Indian sludge finds ‘high potential’ for use as fertilizer -A first of its kind analysis of the sludge found in Indian STP, set up to treat polluted water from the Ganga, found that most of it had “high potential” for use as fertilizer, but required treatment before it could be used unrestricted in farms, or as a potential biofuel.

-Currently, those awarded contracts for developing and maintaining STPs under the Namami Ganga Mission are also apportioned land for disposing off sludge. However, this is rarely treated, and during rains, such sludge — with its accompanying chemical and metallic constituents — often makes its way back into rivers and local water sources. Before standards were made, it was necessary to understand the characteristics of the sludge from these STPs before ways could be devised to incentivise private players to treat and dispose sludge. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/first-study-on-indian-sludge-finds-high-potential-for-use-as-fertilizer/article66831657.ece/amp/  (10 May 2023)

13 फरवरी, 2023 को जल शक्ति मंत्रालय के राज्य मंत्री विश्वेश्वर टुडू ने संसद में बताया कि नमामि गंगे कार्यक्रम के बलबूते गंगा में प्रदूषण का भार कम हुआ है। उन्होंने कहा कि गंगा नदी को साफ करने के लिए 2014 से अब तक केंद्र ने 32,912 करोड़ रूपए की 409 परियोजनाएं बनाई हैं। संसद में दिए गए इस बयान के उलट यदि जनवरी, 2023 में गंगा नदी के जल नमूनों की जांच आंकड़ों का विश्लेषण करें तो अब भी 71 फीसदी निगरानी स्टेशन पर फीकल कोलीफॉर्म की स्थिति चिंताजनक है। फीकल कोलीफॉर्म जीवाणुओं का एक समूह है जो कि समतापी प्राणियों (वार्म ब्लडेड एनिमल्स) के आंतों और मल में पाया जाता है। https://www.downtoearth.org.in/hindistory/river/ganga/Down-to-Earth-special-Ganga-is-still-dirty-who-is-responsible-89108  (13 May 2023)

Uttarakhand नेशनल ग्रीन ट्रिब्यूनल ने उत्तराखंड को 200 करोड़ रुपए के पर्यावरणीय मुआवजे का भुगतान करने का निर्देश दिया है। कोर्ट ने यह जुर्माना सीवेज के उत्पादन और उपचार में 60 एमएलडी के अंतर के साथ ठोस कचरे के निपटान में 252.65 टीपीडी के अंतर के लिए लगाया है। इसके साथ ही राज्य में अभी भी 15.75 लाख मीट्रिक टन कचरा वर्षों से जमा है, इसे भी ध्यान में रखा है। यह आदेश 11 मई, 2023 को दिया गया है।

नेशनल ग्रीन ट्रिब्यूनल ने 10 मई, 2023 को दिए अपने आदेश में कहा है कि टिहरी गढ़वाल और देहरादून में अवैध डंपिंग स्थलों को तुरंत बंद कर दिया जाना चाहिए। मामला उत्तराखंड में इथरना से कुखाई तक 12 किलोमीटर लंगी सड़क के निर्माण के दौरान गैरकानूनी तरीके से बने अनधिकृत मलबा डंपिंग क्षेत्रों से जुड़ा है। साथ ही कोर्ट ने इन स्थानों पर पेड़ लगाने की बात भी कही है। साथ ही यह सुनिश्चित करने के लिए कहा है कि इस बात का ध्यान रखा जाए कि भविष्य में इस प्रकार की गैरकानूनी तरीके से डंपिंग न की जाए। इस बात पर भी जोर दिया गया है कि वन भूमि के डायवर्जन और अन्य पर्यावरणीय मानदंडों के लिए शर्तों का अनुपालन सुनिश्चित करने की जरूरत है।

जानकारी मिली है कि सड़क निर्माण के दौरान जाखन नदी,में भी कचरे को अवैज्ञानिक तरीके से डंप किया गया है। गौरतलब है कि जाखन गंगा की एक सहायक नदी है। इसकी वजह से शंभूवाला गांव के पास एक अस्थाई झील बन गई है। इस मामले में उत्तराखंड प्रदूषण नियंत्रण बोर्ड, प्रभागीय वन अधिकारी (डीएफओ), और देहरादून के जिला मजिस्ट्रेट की एक संयुक्त समिति ने 18 मार्च, 2023 को रिपोर्ट सबमिट की थी। इस रिपोर्ट में नियमों के उल्लंघनों की बात स्वीकार की गई थी। साथ ही यह माना था कि कचरे के ढेर के कारण झील का निर्माण हुआ है। इसके साथ ही यह भी जानकारी मिली है कि मलबा डालने से 27 पेड़ क्षतिग्रस्त हो गए थे जिसके लिए 50 हजार के जुर्माने की वसूली भी की गई थी। रिपोर्ट के मुताबिक वहां चार अनधिकृत डंपिंग जोन स्थापित किए गए हैं, जिसके चलते क्षेत्र में पेड़ों को नुकसान पहुंचा है। कोर्ट का कहना है कि रिपोर्टों में पर्यावरण उल्लंघन की बात कही गई है, ऐसे में इसके सुधार के लिए कार्रवाई की जानी चाहिए। https://www.downtoearth.org.in/hindistory/sanitation/waste-management/environment-in-court-12-may-2023-89307  (12 May 2023)

NGT accepted the request of the govt to allow it to deposit Rs 200 crore in a separate ring-fenced account for sewage and solid waste management. The bench noted the chief secretary has given an undertaking that Rs 200 crore, which was readily available with the state, will be ring-fenced and utilised exclusively for sewage and solid waste management. https://www.business-standard.com/india-news/improper-waste-management-by-u-khand-ngt-refrains-from-imposing-fine-123051200737_1.html  (12 May 2023)

Kolkata After NGT direction, Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has given nod to a Rs 289.02 crore project of constructing a 65 MLD STP in Garden Reach area while augmenting the eight existing drainage pumping stations. An official said that the project will be executed under Hybrid Annuity Model (HAM) mode where KMC as the executing agency under NMCG will be working in association with West Bengal State Programme Management Group (WBSPMG). https://www.millenniumpost.in/bengal/kmc-gives-nod-to-project-worth-rs-289-cr-to-curb-river-pollution-517362  (04 May 2023)

YAMUNA Help revive Sahibi river, NGT tells Haryana, Rajasthan, Delhi NGT has stated that Rajasthan, Haryana and Delhi must coordinate and cooperate for the rejuvenation of the inter-state Sahibi river so that the catchment area is harnessed and minimum e-flow is maintained to restore its ecology and aquatic life.

– The NGT made this observation while hearing a petition filed by a local resident, Prakash Yadav, who claimed that sewage from various sewage treatments plants (STPs) in Rewari district was being discharged in hundreds of acres of vacant land of the dried-up river, leading to the contamination of groundwater and damage to trees and other vegetation there.

– The tribunal has also impleaded the State of Rajasthan and the NCT of Delhi through their Chief Secretaries, the Ministry of Jal Shakti and the Central Water Commission as respondents in the case and asked them to file replies in this respect within the next two months. It has fixed September 20 as the next date of hearing. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/haryana/help-revive-sahibi-river-ngt-tells-haryana-rajasthan-delhi-506369  (10 May 2023)

Haryana Despite Govt repoortedly spending Rs. 23.70 crore to upgrade 04 MLD CETP at Kundli into 10 MLD, HSIIDC continues to dicharge partially treated effluents into drain number 6 which runs parralel to drain number 8 in Sonipat. May 13, 2023 Video. https://fb.watch/kwt13a1geT/  (14 May 2023) Its been over a decade still no solution to stop industrial effluents in Drain No. 6 from over spilling into Drain No. 8 near Akbarpur Barota village in Sonipat, Haryana which in turn has been polluting Yamuna river and affecting Delhi’s potable water supply. (May 13, 2023 Video) https://fb.watch/kwt4b50MMe/

Ensuring free flow of Yamuna water: Govt to HC Haryana government told Delhi High Court on Wednesday (May 10) it has been ensuring free flow of Yamuna water to the national capital and there are no illegal bundhs or other structures blocking the supply. In its reply filed in response to applications by Delhi Jal Board (DJB) seeking unhindered supply of clean Yamuna water, Haryana also said the issues of quality of water and its distribution between the two states are in the nature of “interstate river water dispute” and cannot be decided by the high court. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/ensuring-free-flow-of-yamuna-water-to-delhi-haryana-govt-tells-hc/articleshow/100151861.cms  (11 May 2023)

The Haryana govt has told the Delhi high court that courts cannot take a decision on the water dispute between Delhi and Haryana over the supply from Yamuna and said the Delhi government should approach the Centre or the river boards concerned to resolve the matter. Haryana was opposing a plea filed by the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) for an unhindered supply of clean water to Delhi and the removal of sand mining blockades from the river, in the wake of the summer season. The matter will now be heard on May 10.

– “In case of Inter-State river water disputes neither this court nor the Supreme Court had the jurisdiction to entertain any such water dispute, which is specifically barred by Section 11 of the Inter-State water disputes Act, 1956 read with Article 262 of the Constitution of India,” the Haryana government said in an affidavit. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/delhi-news/haryana-tells-delhi-high-court-to-approach-centre-or-river-boards-over-water-dispute-from-yamuna-amid-sand-mining-blockades-101683714554643.html  (10 May 2023) 

Work on 3 STPs in Karnal The city generates about 60 MLD sewage. At present, we have 3 STPs with an overall capacity of 68 MLD, functioning at a capacity of 50 MLD in Sector 4, 10 MLD at Ghogripur and 8 MLD at RK Puram. After the completion of the 3 new STPs, the combined capacity would increase to 104 MLD said Abhishek Meena, MC Commissioner. The project started on October 25, 2020, and was to be completed by September 30, 2022. The deadline was then extended to May 18, 2023.

A new agency was assigned the construction work of a 20 MLD STP at Phoosgarh, an 8 MLD STP at Shiv Colony, a 12 MLD IPS at Saidpura, and a 3.81 MLD IPS at Sugar Mill on risk and cost basis. The agency hired for the project has initiated work and the deadline has been fixed as June 6, 2024, the Commissioner added.

SK Arora, Regional Officer, HSPCB, said at present 9 STPs are functional in the district. Work on an STP in Kachwa village is underway, while another would be constructed in Barsat village. The previous agencies had missed several deadlines for the project, which started on November 15, 2017. The first deadline was October 2019, which was extended to March 31, 2020, and further to December 31, 2020, and then to June 30, 2021. It was then extended to February 28, 2022. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/haryana/work-on-three-stps-in-karnal-on-war-footing-506945  (12 May 2023)

Delhi LG Vinai Kumar Saxena on Sunday (April 30) reviewed the work done under Phase 1 of the Yamuna rejuvenation project and said that about 1,200 metric tonnes of garbage had been removed from the river since the launch of the project on February 12. Speaking to reporters during the inspection visit of an 11-km stretch of the Yamuna between the Signature Bridge and the ITO barrage, Mr. Saxena said that Phase 2 of the project will begin from Monday (May 01) on the next 11-km stretch. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/1200-mt-garbage-removed-from-yamuna-phase-2-of-rejuvenation-project-to-begin/article66797613.ece  (01 May 2023)

The Indian Railways is finally set to replace Old Yamuna Bridge, also known as, the Purana Lohe Ka Pul with a new bridge — whose plan was sanctioned over 25 years ago- adjacent to it by the end of this year. The new bridge was planned back much before 1997-98 when the work was sanctioned. Till date, all its 15 foundations have been completed and superstructure work is in full pace. There are a total 14 spans and open web girders have been launched at 6 numbers of spans. The construction department of Northern Railways which is carrying out the project is hopeful that it would be completed by September 2023, officials say. https://www.news18.com/india/delhi-new-bridge-to-replace-historic-purana-lohe-ka-pul-over-yamuna-25-years-after-first-sanction-7788019.html  (11 May 2023)

Uttar Pradesh The Allahabad High Court sought responses from the NMCG and the NOIDA within two weeks on a petition filed challenging the demolition notices served to the owners of the farmhouses allegedly built over the Yamuna active floodplain area in Sector-135 of Noida. The bench of Chief Justice Pritinker Diwaker and Justice Saumitra Dayal Singh has also granted Status Quo with respect to the property of a farm land owner against any coercive action taken by the NOIDA Authority. The hearing of the petition will be held in the second week of July. https://www.livelaw.in/high-court/allahabad-high-court/allahabad-high-court-orders-status-quo-proposed-demolition-farm-houses-river-yamuna-active-flood-plain-reply-noida-nmcg-228225  (08 May 2023)

Hindon revival: Civic body draws up ₹1,904 cr plan to tap 9 drains According to Ghaziabad municipal corporation officials, the river receives about 351.04 MLD discharge, including 336MLD of sewage. According to the recently chalked out Hindon rejuvenation plan, the Ghaziabad district has 8 untapped and one partially tapped drain emptying into the river. These include 5 drains that carry mixed (industrial and residential discharge) and 3 that carry domestic discharge besides 1 exclusively carrying industrial discharge.

In Ghaziabad, the river spans a distance of 55km covers an area of 60.766 hectares. The nine drains that are to be tapped runt through Arthala, Karhera, Dasna, Meerut Road, Sahibabad, Jawli, Indirapuram, Pratap Vihar and Hindon Vihar before emptying into the river.

The ₹1,904 crore project involves six major components – ₹440.68 crore for interception and diversion of seven drains, ₹648 crore scheme for 100% sewerage coverage of the municipal corporation area, ₹58.91 crore for upgrade of existing 56MLD STP in Indirapuram, ₹73.64 crore for upgrade of 70MLD STP at Dundahera, ₹550.13 crore for a sewerage scheme in Sahibabad and ₹133.11 crore for construction of 20MLD tertiary STP at Dundahera. Officials said the long-term plan to tap drains may take two or three years to complete once funding is approved. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/noida-news/hindon-revival-civic-body-draws-up-1-900-crore-plan-to-tap-seven-drains-101677609999598.html  (01 March 2023)


Bihar Survey finds record gharials in Gandak A survey was conducted along the 284-km stretch of the Gandak river, between the Gandak barrage and Rewa ghat, from February 21 to February 28. During the survey, 217 gharials of all sizes were sighted, Chief Wildlife Warden PK Gupta told PTI. “With this, the Gandak river became the second successful breeding site for gharials in India after the Chambal sanctuary. A total of 37 adult gharials, 50 sub-adults, 49 juveniles and 81 yearlings were observed during the survey,” said Gupta.

Conservation efforts by the Bihar government in the Gandak river have started showing results with 217 gharials being sighted in a recent survey. Photo Credit: Varma R Niranjan

WTI’s Head of Conservation Samir Kumar Sinha said that before the conservation project was launched in Gandak, the river was not known for gharials. The Gandak river should be declared as a conservation reserve for gharials, he said, adding that it is a critically endangered species. https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/conservation-efforts-bear-fruit-as-survey-finds-record-gharials-in-bihars-gandak-river/article66826192.ece  (08 May 2023)

Pakistan Gharial seen after 3 decades A gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) has been seen in Pakistan’s Punjab province for the first time after three decades and could have been from a population reintroduced on this side of the Radcliffe Line in 2017, an expert has told Down To Earth. “A possibility is it has come from India during floods last year according to locals and stayed there in the Satluj river. They said there are almost 10 individuals but the location has not still (been) confirmed. India has reintroduced the gharial in the Harike wetland which is 50 km from the border,” Mustafa added.

The Harike wetland is where the Beas and the Satluj, two of the three eastern rivers of the Indus river system and whose waters are allotted to India according to the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty, meet. Between 2017 and 2021, some 94 gharials were released into the Beas river in the Amritsar, Tarn Taran Sahib and Hoshiarpur districts under three phases of the Punjab (India) government’s programme to bring back the species to its rivers. The animals were brought mostly from the Chambal basin in Madhya Pradesh. https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/wildlife-biodiversity/gharial-seen-in-pakistan-s-punjab-after-3-decades-it-likely-crossed-over-from-india-89320  (14 May 2023)


Meghalaya Rampant poisoning of fishes causes concern The killing of fishes in rivers and streams by using chemicals and other poisons has been a recurring issue, and the latest incident has caused concern among environmentalists and law enforcement agencies. The incident, which occurred at Khri River in Patharkhmah, has caught the attention of the authorities, following the viral video on social media showing a man posing with an enormous catfish weighing around 80 kgs.

As per sources, people from several villages in Patharkhmah have been enjoying fishing at Khri River, which was being poisoned using a locally available root tree called “Kharu.” On May 10, Patharkhmah Police seized Kharu from individuals who were attempting to poison aquatic life at Khri River and warned them not to do so. https://theshillongtimes.com/2023/05/12/rampant-poisoning-of-fishes-in-ri-bhoi-district-rivers-causes-concern/  (12 May 2023)

Ri Bhi district administration has directed the fisheries department to conduct a thorough inquiry into the mass killing of hundreds of fishes and aquatic life in the Wah Khri river in Western Ri-Bhoi area. According to reports, the incident took place on Friday (May 12) and those involved are from western Ri Bhoi and Eastern West Khasi Hills district. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/others/mass-killing-of-fishes-in-meghalaya-s-wah-khri-river-prompts-thorough-inquiry-by-district-administration-101683970910017.html  (13 April 2023)

Jammu & Kashmir Predator alligator fish found in Dal Lake Discovery of alligator gar, a non-native predator fish mostly found in North America, in Srinagar’s Dal Lake on Thursday (May 11) not only surprised experts in Kashmir, but also triggered a flurry of humorous reactions owing to the alligator-like head and pointed teeth of the fearsome fish. People blamed some ‘crazy’ tourist or an aquarium owner for throwing it in the lake. The fish tumbled on a weed removing machine of the Lakes Conservation Management Authority (LCMA).

Alligator gars are indigenous to North America. These creature usually don’t attack humans, but they can grow up to eight feet and become a danger to indigenous fish species. News 18

Joint director, fisheries department, Abdul Majid Tak said they were compiling a report over the discovery. He said they were trying to figure out the source and if there were any more such fish in the lake. Alligator gars are indigenous to North America and feed on other fish, but have been found in other areas after their accidental introduction in waterbodies. Usually, they don’t attack humans, but they can grow up to eight feet and can be dangerous to indigenous fish species. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/chandigarh-news/alligator-gar-non-native-predator-fish-found-in-srinagar-s-dal-lake-ahead-of-g20-summit-sparks-humorous-reactions-101683934602775.html  (13 May 2023)

Kerala Warming water, pollution amplify fish mortality Warming water and pollution from industries, chemicals and pesticide run offs, lead to fish kill during summer months in Kerala. Some endangered and critically endangered species and active brooders become a part of this mass mortality. Scientists say that the impact of mass fish deaths on the faunal and trophic structures and ecological functioning of the system needs to be investigated further. The Kerala State Biodiversity Board (KSBB) and the forest department are working to mitigate the habitat loss of fishes by cleaning the ponds, increasing the green cover to maintain water temperature and establishing water quality monitoring centres. https://india.mongabay.com/2023/05/warming-water-and-pollution-amplify-fish-mortality-in-kerala-during-summer/  (15 May 2023)


Bihar बालू खनन से बने गड्ढे में डूबने से तीन बच्चों की मौत गया शहर के मानपुर इलाके में फल्गु नदी के कुकरा घाट के समीप बालू उठाव के बाद बने गड्ढे में नहाने के दौरान तीन बच्चों की डूबने से मौत हो गयी. इसमें दो सहोदर भाई व एक पड़ोसी है. सभी मृतकों की उम्र 12 से लेकर 16 वर्ष के बीच है. इधर घटना के बाद आक्रोशित लोगों ने फल्गु नदी से मृतक तीनों बच्चों का शव उठा कर अलीपुर कुकरा तीन मुहानी के समीप रख कर रोड को जाम कर दिया. जानकारी अनुसार, रविवार (May 07) की शाम लगभग चार बजे हेड मानपुर मस्जिद मुहल्ले के रहने वाले लगभग सात से आठ बच्चे (सभी की उम्र 12 सेलेकर 16 साल के बीच) फल्गु नदी में बालूउठाव से बने गड्ढे में नहाने चले गये. इस दौरान तीन बच्चे डूब गये. 

नगर निगम वाटर बोर्ड के पूर्वचेयरमैन सह किसान नेता इंद्रदेव विद्रोही, जिला परिषद सदस्य कुंदन कुमार उर्फ भोला चौधरी, पार्षद प्रतिनिधि छोटू कुशवाहा ने फल्गु नदी में बड़ी मशीन से हो रहेखनन पर रोक लगाने के साथ जिला प्रशासन से मृतक परिवार को उचित मुआवजा देने की मांग रखी. देर शाम पुलिस तीनों बच्चों के शव पोस्टमार्टम के लिए ले गयी. मृतक अंकुश के पिता पंकज ठाकुर ने बालूखनन कार्य में लगे संवेदक के कर्मचारियों पर आरोप लगाया कि वे जेसीबी या पोकलेन मशीन से डूबते बच्चों को बचा सकते थे पर संवेदक के कर्मियों ने अनदेखी कर दी।  https://www.prabhatkhabar.com/state/bihar/gaya/children-died-due-to-drowning-while-bath-in-a-pit-made-of-sand-mining-rjs  (08 May 2023)

फल्गु नदी में बालू निकालने से बने 30 फीट के गड्ढे में डूबने से तीन बच्चों की मौत हो गई। घटना के बाद आक्रोशित स्थानीय लोगों नेगया-खिजरसराय रोड को जाम कर दिया। लोगों ने कहा कि प्रतिदिन 100 सेअधिक बालूसेलदा ट्रैक्टर पार होता है, लेकिन पुलिस मूकदर्शक बनी रहती है। अंकुश के पिता ने बताया कि बालू के लिए 30 फीट तक गड्ढा खोद दिया गया है, लेकिन प्रशासन नेअपनी आंखें बंद कर रखी है।

Image source: Hindustan Hindi

निखिल के बड़ा भाई राजन नेबताया कि घर सेनिखिल दोपहर बाद बाल कटानेजा रहा हैयह कहकर निकला था। चार बजेउसकी डुबनेकी खबर आयी। सभी लोग घाट पर दौड़ वहां गडढे मेंडुबेलोगोेंको निकालनेलगेकृष का शव मिल गया पर निखिल का नही मिल रहा था। तो मां खुद पानी मेंउसेढुंढनेके लिए उतर गयी उसी बीच लोगों ने उसे भी ढुंढ लिया और बाहर निकाला।

पंकज शर्मा के बेटा आयुष ने बताया कि उसका भाई अंकुश डुबते हुये एक बच्चा को बाहर निकाल दिया था। दुसरे को निकालने के लिए गया तो डुबने लगा वहां जेसीबी लगा हुआ था। उससे चिल्ला कर मदद मांगे कि जेसीबी से उसे निकाल दे पर वह खैनी बनाते रह गया पर मदद करने नही आया। और मेरा भाई डुब गया। तब पापा को फोन किया और पापा दौड़े हुये आये और उसेगडढे से निकाला।

डीएसपी के सामने अक्रोशित लोगों ने बालू उठाव बंद कराने की मांग की डीएसपी नेकहा कि आप लोगों ने कभी इसकी शिकायत नही की। इस पर लोगों ने कहा कि आप अपने बुनियादगंज थाना पर अलीपुर बाजार में लगे सीसीटीवी कैमरे को देखे जिसमें आपको दिखेगें कि किस तरह तेज रफ्तार से बालू लदा टै्रक्टर दिन में गुजरते रहता है। https://www.livehindustan.com/bihar/story-tragic-accident-in-gaya-3-children-drowned-while-extracting-sand-from-falgu-river-8136765.html  (07 May 2023) ; https://www.livehindustan.com/bihar/gaya/story-three-children-died-by-drowning-in-a-pit-made-of-sand-mining-in-falgu-river-8138136.html  (07 May 2023)

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. https://www.newsnationtv.com/states/bihar/bihar-news-4-killed-3-children-also-involved-due-to-illegal-mining-353165.html  (15 March 2023) आरा बालू के अवैध खनन के कारण सोन नद जगह-जगह मौत का कुआं बन चुका है। बालू के अवैध खनन के साथ ही वैध रूप से आवंटित घाटों पर भी नद के स्वरूप से छेड़छाड़ हो रही है। इन कारणों से नद में गहरे गड्ढे बन गए हैं और इसमें स्नान करना बहुत असुरक्षित हो गया है। जिले के संदेश और अजीमाबाद थाना क्षेत्र के सीमावर्ती नुरपुर के समीप बुधवार (March 15) को सोन नद में डूबकर चार बच्चों की मौत हो गई। इसके पीछे भी अवैध खनन को माना जा रहा है। पिछले साल सितंबर में भी स्कूल से लौटने के दौरान नहाने गए चार बच्चों में से दो की डूबने से मौत हो गई थी। तब यह घटना कोईलवर के राजापुर घाट पर हुई थी। https://www.jagran.com/news/state-bihar-news-son-river-became-a-well-of-death-due-to-illegal-mining-sand-is-being-extracted-by-digging-30-feet-deep-companies-do-not-follow-the-rules-23357879.html  (16 March 2023)

Highest-ever revenue through sand mining in FY’23 The govt has earned an all-time high revenue of Rs 1384.46 crore from sand mining during 2022-23, an increase of nearly 54 per cent compared to the previous fiscal, a top official said on Thursday (May 11). The revenue collection from sand mining in 2021-22 was Rs. 745.44 crore, Harjot Kaur Bamhrah, Additional Chief Secretary-cum-Mines Commissioner, said. “The revenue collection from sand mining has increased from Rs 836.57 crore in 2018-19 to Rs 1384.46 crore in the last fiscal”.

The official noted that improved revenue collection from sand mining has spurred overall revenue from mines and minerals of the state. The Mines and Geology department of the govt also imposed hefty fines for illegal mining and collected Rs 299 crore in 2022-23 on that account, whereas the total revenue collected from fines was Rs 165 crore in 2021-22.

The official said the department has decided to create its own “dedicated police force” to curb illegal sand mining, exploitation and transportation of minerals in the state. The dedicated force will be called “mining police”, she said. “We need to have our own assistant sub-inspectors (25) and constables (250), who will be part of the ‘mining police’, besides other senior officials to lead them. This force will be fully armed”, she said. A proposal in this regard has already been sent to the competent authority for approval, the official said. https://www.deccanherald.com/national/north-and-central/bihar-earns-highest-ever-revenue-of-rs-138446-cr-through-sand-mining-in-fy-23-1217758.html  (11 May 2023)

The National Commission for Women (NCW) has condemned the attack by illegal sand miners on three Bihar mining department officials, including two women, while they were conducting raids in Patna. NCW chairperson Rekha Sharma asked the Bihar DGP to personally monitor the case and ensure that an investigation is held in a fair and time-bound manner. https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/ncw-attack-sand-mafia-bihar-mining-officers-women-2361529-2023-04-18  (18 April 2023)

Jharkhand ED attaches property of Yadav bros in Sahibganj illegal mining The brothers are the alleged accomplices in the infamous 1000 crore mining scam and close aides of its kingpin Pankaj Mishra, the MLA representative of the chief minister Hemant Soren. The Yadav brothers were declared absconders by the special PMLA court of Prabhat Kumar Sharma in Ranchi in December last year.

-On October 29, 2022, the same court had issued an arrest warrant against the two in connection with the crackdown of the central agency on illegal mining activities in Sahibganj district. Dahu Yadav had last appeared before the PMLA court on July 18, 2022 and has been on the run ever since along with Sunil Yadav who, however, has not ever appeared before the special court.

-Dahu Yadav came in the limelight after at least five people drowned in Ganga when a freight vessel worth 30 crore and allegedly owned by him tilted midway while carrying trucks loaded with illegally mined stone chips on the intervening night of March 25-26 from Samda ferry Ghat in Sahibganj to Manihari Ghaat in neighbouring Bihar. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ranchi/ed-attaches-property-of-yadav-bros-in-sahibganj-illegal-mining-case/articleshow/100060457.cms  (08 May 2023)

Haryana बहुत से स्टोन क्रशर और स्क्रीनिंग प्लांट संचालक अपने प्लांट के आसपास अवैध माइनिंग कर खनन सामग्री जुटा लेते हैं और ई-रवाना पोर्टल पर दिखा देते हैं कि उन्होंने दूसरे जिलों से खनन सामग्री की खरीद की है। जब खनन विभाग जांच करता है तो पाता है कि जिस जिले से खनन सामग्री की खरीद दिखाई है, वहां खनन होता नहीं। कई मामलों में तो यह सामने आ चुका है कि गोवा तक से खरीद दिखा दी गई। इतनी दूर से खनन सामग्री की सप्लाई नहीं होती।

– फर्जी ई-रवाना पर करोड़ों रुपए की खनन सामग्री की फर्जी खरीद-फरोख्त स्टोन क्रशर संचालक खनन माफिया के साथ मिलकर करते हैं। इस तरह के अब तक 14 केस दर्ज हो चुके हैं। इन केसों की जांच के लिए पुलिस की एसआईटी बनी है। आधा दर्जन लोग गिरफ्तार हो चुके हैं और कई दर्जन की गिरफ्तारी बाकी है। पुलिस की टीम हर तथ्य पर गहराई से जांच कर रही है https://www.bhaskar.com/amp/local/haryana/yamunanagar/news/seeing-the-dsp-the-dumper-driver-escaped-by-dropping-stones-on-the-road-narrowly-saved-the-deputy-reader-131248676.html  (05 May 2023) 

Noting that no steps have been taken for the reclamation or rehabilitation of land where illegal mining has been done in the Aravallis in Haryana, the NGT has directed the SPCB to submit an action plan to utilise the environmental compensation or fines collected for illegal mining to reclaim or rehabilitate the land. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/illegal-sand-mining-aravalli-ngt-haryana-pollution-body-8605310/  (12 May 2023)

Sikkim Sand carrying tipper truck accident claim 3 life At around 4:30 PM on Thursday (April 20) a Tipper truck with sand freight tumbled down into 300-400 feet deep gorge at village Bering under Pakyong District in which three succumbed and 2 injured.  Three were declared dead at Pakyong Hospital, whereas 2 injured are being referred to STNM Sochyagang Hospital , Gangtok. https://voiceofsikkim.com/sand-carrying-tipper-truck-accident-claim-3-life-2-sustained-injury-in-pakyong/  (21 April 2023)

Assam Head-on collision between trucks kills 1 A fatal road accident occurred on the Rangia-Bhutan International Highway in Tamulpur during the early hours of Sunday (April 01). The incident took place at Nine Mile when a dump truck carrying rock and sand collided head-on with a truck loaded with coal. According to sources, the driver of the truck carrying coal died on spot.

Eyewitness said that the truck loaded with coal was travelling words Rangia, while the dump truck was coming from the opposite direction heading towards Bhutan. Due to reckless driving, the dump truck suddenly swerved to the wrong lane and crashed into the trucktruck carrying coal, causing a massive collision. The accident caused a huge traffic jam on the highway. Such accidents on the highway have become a common occurrence due to reckless driving, overloading of vehicles, and poor road conditions. https://www.pratidintime.com/latest-assam-news-breaking-news-assam/assam-head-on-collision-between-trucks-kills-1-in-tamulpur  (02 April 2023)


Goa Locals deliberate on proposal to notify 5 lakes as wetlands As the Goa State Wetland Authority (GSWA) proposed to notify five lakes as wetlands in the coastal village of Benaulim, gram sabha members on Wednesday (May 10) deliberated on the proposal, with suggestions made to protect the interests of the locals whose houses are located in the vicinity and ensure traditional fishing activity in the water bodies. While the draft proposal to notify the five lakes has found favour with the special gram sabha, members, however, sounded a caution that houses located in the buffer zone or proposed for construction in the no development buffer zone should be exempted from the provision.

Image: FPJ

“After receiving the draft notification, we had an inspection of the five lakes before urging the sarpanch to call for the special gram sabha. The people can submit their suggestions and objections to the draft by May 23. The panchayat members in whose jurisdiction the five lakes are located have been given the survey numbers of the owners to call on them and explain the draft wetland proposal,” said chairman of the village bio-diversity management committee Charles D’Silva. “We will meet again on May 25 after which a final decision will be taken before submit the panchayat decision to the wetland authority before May 28,” he added.

Saying the people have not objected to the proposal to declare the five lakes as wetlands, Charles, however, said the people have the right to take their call on the matter. “It should not happen that the proposal is seen as being dumped on the people. People of Benaulm had a bad experience with the western bypass without taking the people into confidence,” he said. https://www.freepressjournal.in/goa/goa-benaulim-locals-deliberate-on-proposal-to-notify-five-lakes-as-wetlands-at-special-gram-sabha  (11 May 2023)

Delhi Agencies seek to delist 232 out of 1,045 waterbodies The Wetland Authority of Delhi (WAD) has received requests to delete 232 waterbodies, i.e. 22.2% of the total 1,045, from its records, according to data accessed by The Hindu. The requests have been made by some of the 16 agencies that own waterbodies in the city. Around the same time last year, the WAD had received requests to delete 214 waterbodies.

“An agency makes such a request on various grounds, including waterbodies being encroached upon or drying up,” an official source said, adding that the WAD is yet to act on the requests. The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has sought the deletion of 223 of the 822 waterbodies it owns. According to the source, data from earlier surveys were used to arrive at 1,045 as the total number of waterbodies. The WAD has prepared ‘brief documents’ for 710 of them, while the rest are either encroached upon or their owners are yet to be identified or determined, according to official data. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/delhi-agencies-seek-to-delist-232-out-of-1045-waterbodies/article66847072.ece  (14 May 2023)

DJB has informed the NGT that it has commissioned water treatment plants at 33 waterbodies for revival. It said that of these, three will be revived by the end of December. The DJB, however, added that it was unable to revive one waterbody in Bijwasan following public resistance. Another was dropped from its list of 1,040 waterbodies as its revival was not feasible. The Jal Board said that it would revive 25 waterbodies under Amrut 2.0 or the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation. It added that the majority of 155 water bodies under it have been handed over to the DDA or the revenue department. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/djb-to-ngt-treatment-plants-commissioned-at-33-waterbodies/articleshow/100082529.cms  (09 May 2023)

Maharashtra Man drives away flamingoes, residents upset Talawe wetlands have been brimming with the presence of Pink lesser and greater flamingos. On Wednesday (May 10), bird watchers’ joy turned into concern after residents from buildings near the wetlands saw a man wading into the deeper end of the lake with the intention to drive the birds away. Talawe wetlands for the past three days have been brimming with the presence of Pink lesser and greater flamingos. On Wednesday bird watchers’ joy turned into concern after residents from buildings surrounding the wetlands saw a man wading into the deeper end of the lake with the intention to drive the birds away.

Range forest officer Sudhir Manjre said regular patrolling of the area will be carried out. According to the officer, the action is more likely to be caused by fishermen trying to prevent the Flamingos from feeding on fishes that are farmed on the lake. “No sooner was I informed about the incident, I deputed a forest guard to catch the culprit, but by the time, we could reach the person had left. I have asked for more rounds to be done so that these birds are not disturbed in their habitat,” he said. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/mumbai-news/concerns-raised-as-man-attempts-to-drive-away-pink-flamingos-from-talawe-wetlands-for-proposed-commercial-project-101683751758883.html  (11 May 2023)

Wetland loss threatens migratory birds, say Environmentalists. https://newsband.in/?p=40885  (13 May 2023)

Himachal Pradesh State Wetlands Authority (HPSWA) in collaboration with the Forest Department organised a one-day state-level multi-stakeholder meeting on Integrated Management Plans (IMPs) for two Ramsar sites Renukaji and Pong Dam wetlands on May 11. In a press release issued, the HPSWA said the IMPs follow a cross-sectoral approach considering the full-range of ecosystem services and values of wetlands by integrating objectives of multiple departments into an integrated management plan. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/integrated-mgmt-plans-for-2-ramsar-sites-discussed-507074  (12 May 2023)

Kerala  Steps will be taken to protect the Kottuli wetlands spread over 200 acres in Kozhikode city, E.K. Vijayan, MLA, Chairman of the Legislature Panel on Environment, has said. He was addressing a sitting of the panel at the district collectorate on Thursday (May 11). Mr. Vijayan said mangroves within the wetlands would be conserved, and filling of land, including those belonging to private individuals, would not be allowed. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/legislature-panel-promises-steps-to-protect-kottuli-wetlands-in-kozhikode/article66839350.ece  (11 May 2023)

Assam In a bid to rejuvenate a wetland located in Guwahati to mitigate floods in the city, the Assam government announced on Saturday that it will acquire 179 bighas of land from 17 institutions in the area. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/guwahati/to-revive-wetland-in-guwahati-assam-govt-to-recover-land-from-17-institutions-8492905/  (13 May 2023)


Gujarat Bhuj residents seek restoration of 78 lakes, ponds for town’s water security Prominent residents of Bhuj, on May 9, 2023 wrote to the state and Union governments as well as the Bhuj municipality, urging that encroachment from lakes, feeder canals and natural water channels be removed and the town’s water harvesting and storage system be restored to ensure water security. The group, which include former Bhuj municipality president Arun Vacchrajani; architect and environmentalist Sandeep Virmani; local journalists and Aseem Mishra, director of NGO Homes in the City; wrote to the secretary of the Ministry of Jal Shakti, the chief secretary of Gujarat and the president of Bhuj municipality.

The letter stated that the lakes were being encroached upon and filled with construction and demolition waste in violation of the orders of the Supreme Court, the National Green Tribunal and the Gujarat High Court. (Express Photo)

– The letter stated that there used to be 72 lakes, ponds, channels and canals in and around Bhuj town after it was founded around 400 years ago. These lakes and ponds, including the historic Hamirsar lake in the heart of Bhuj town make surface water available and also replenish the aquifers. “At present, only 38 water reservoirs are visible in the city. Of these, 13 are registered as a lake on the 7/12 records, whereas the rest are shown as ‘Shree Sharkar’ (government land),” it said. “…especially after the devastating 2001 earthquake, when the city was expanded to decongest the walled city and four relocation sites were developed, various institutions such as Kutch University were built… the water channels were disturbed and many (fully/partially) filled with debris, and people started residing over these water channels. The Police Parade Ground is one such example developed by filling the historic Pragsar lake,” the letter added. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/ahmedabad/bhuj-residents-seek-restoration-of-78-lakes-ponds-for-towns-water-security-8600848/  (10 May 2023)

Rohit Prajapati said that there was a crisis with regard to the existence of the water bodies in Bhuj. The report by the environment activists stated that historical Pragsar lake was encroached by none other than government agencies. A police parade ground has been developed there, by filling up the lake, the report alleged. “After concerned citizens wrote to us regarding the condition of lakes and water bodies in Bhuj, a site visit was planned last month with the officials of the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) and Bhuj municipality,” said Prajapati addressing the media in Bhuj.

– “After the visit, GPCB directed the local civic authorities to take concrete action to improve the condition of water bodies,” said Prajapati. According to Prajapati, lakes and water bodies have to be notified in government records accordingly to protect them from encroachment. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/rajkot/27-water-bodies-in-bhuj-notified-as-wasteland-in-govt-records-activists/articleshow/100117486.cms  (10 May 2023)

Tamil Nadu A report from Kodai’s beloved lake Through community partnership, Kodaikanal’s residents are working with the municipality to find real solutions for the evolving needs of its central water body. https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/environment/the-ripple-effect-a-report-from-kodai-s-beloved-lake-89316  (14 May 2023)

Hyderabad Stepwells in Kamareddy, Gadwal to get facelift Kalpana Ramesh, known for her efforts in restoring the stepwell at Bansilalpet, has taken up the initiative to restore the stepwells in the town. As part of it, three stepwells in Gadwal are all set to be given a facelift by removing garbage, vegetation, desilting, structural restoration and beautification. . The founder of Rain Water Projects, signed a MoU for the first phase of restoration of three stepwells in Gadwal with the district collector Kranthi Valluru on May 9. Bangalore-based NGO Say Trees has extended its support for the rejuvenation, she said. https://telanganatoday.com/telangana-stepwells-in-kamareddy-gadwal-to-get-facelift  (15 May 2023)


Report Groundwater exploitation is silently sinking the ground This explains how over extraction of groundwater has been causing land subsidence in various parts of country and resulting in damages to structures at some places while raising safety concerns for structures at other places as well.

Farmers survey a dry well, once a major irrigation source, in Fatehpur village of Patiala district in Punjab. File | Photo Credit: The Hindu

“The link between excessive groundwater extraction and land subsidence only started to become clear thanks to data from the GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) satellites that could measure minute changes in gravity on different parts of the earth’s surface,” V.K. Gahlaut, chief scientist, National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI), Hyderabad, said.

“Unlike land movement from landslips or earthquakes, subsidence from groundwater extraction was gradual and barely visible annually. So, it is harder to correlate with structural damage,” he added. However, a wealth of studies in recent years, all of them obtained from satellite-based analysis of ground movement, from institutions and researchers that specialise in satellite-data analysis have correlated building deformities with groundwater withdrawals.  https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/groundwater-exploitation-is-silently-sinking-the-ground-beneath-indias-feet/article66847379.ece  (14 May 2023)

MoJS Groundwater assessment goes digital Starting 2023, the groundwater assessment report would now be released on an annual basis. Earlier, the Ministry brought out several of its assessment reports with irregular gaps. For instance, the ‘National Compilation of Dynamic Groundwater Resources in India’ released in 2022, and the previous edition in 2017. Currently, the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) has piezometer and open wells at nearly 26,000 locations for monitoring both quantity and quality of groundwater. Till now, the process was manual, with readings taken four times a year for level monitoring and once a year for quality.

“With our 26,000-plus monitoring wells, clubbed with those from different state governments, we were getting data from 67,000 locations for our assessment reports. We plan to expand our own network to 40,000 locations. So are several states, too. We are expecting this total number to increase to about one lakh,” said Subodh Yadav, Joint Secretary in the Jal Shakti Ministry.

Under the National Hydrology Project, all new additions are that of DWLR – the digital water level recorder – which not only records water level but also the water quality. Each such geo-tagged DWLR is linked to the telemetry system that enables real-time remote data collection and will also boost data collection from four times a year to four times a day. This will reportedly enable a better assessment and can be used for research and other scientific purposes.

Acknowledging the fact that the earlier cycle was erratic, Yadav said, “Now, we would be following the June to May cycle. So, by September this year, we shall be bringing out the assessment for June 2022 to May 2023.

At a recent workshop about rainwater harvesting organised by the Ministry of Jal Shakti, Amit Kataria, Mission Director, Amrit Sarovar, had said, “The Jaldoot app is recording pre-monsoon and post-monsoon readings from 6.5 lakh villages across India. We have already obtained data for post-monsoon in 2022. This year, we would be obtaining data for both pre-monsoon and post-monsoon.” He also said that the Mission would be happy to share this database with other line departments for helping in policy decisions.

As on May 12, the number of water bodies for which the work was completed was 50,794, out of 105,734 water identified across the country. The Mission aims at a water body with a minimum pondage area of 1 acre (0.4 hectare), minimum water holding capacity of 10,000 cubic metre, and most importantly, a site for flag hoisting every August 15 and January 26. https://www.news9live.com/india/jal-shakti-ministrys-groundwater-assessment-goes-digital-report-to-be-out-every-year-2137053  (12 May 2023)

NGT panel seeks penal action to save groundwater A joint committee of the Jal Shakti ministry has suggested in a report that Delhi should have a penal provision for contamination of groundwater due to faulty recharge. The committee was formed on the direction of the NGT to look into installed rainwater harvesting systems. The other suggestions made by the committee are that all rainwater harvesting sites should be geo-tagged for better visibility for monitoring and as water quality may not be strictly checked, the water stored in harvesting structures may be used for non-potable purposes.

Heeding the NGT order, the ministry formed the committee headed by the chairperson of the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB). It inspected random sites in five states, including Delhi. The committee said that in the other states it visited – Haryana, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu – rainwater harvesting in urban areas has been made mandatory under building rules or other state acts or rules. “However, penal provisions for ground water contamination due to faulty design or due to lack of proper and timely maintenance are missing. Overall, rainwater harvesting systems were found as per design under the norms of the central/ state agencies at all the visited sites,” the report said. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/ngt-panel-seeks-penal-action-to-save-groundwater/articleshow/100196454.cms  (13 May 2023)

Karnal Groundwater level dipped 11 feet in 10 years The district witnessed a fall of more than 11 feet (3.48 meter) in its water table over the last 10 years, according to the report of irrigation department’s groundwater cell. As per the data, the district’s water level was 16.98 meter in June 2012 which dipped to 20.43m in 2022. Experts believes that water extraction is several times more than recharge. Besides, Illegal ground water extraction and little action is another big reason behind it. Source said that the government has spent crore to set up rain water harvesting systems. But due to poor upkeep, around 70 percent of water harvesting systems are choked with mud, grass and garbage.

The report reveals that Assandh block record highest depletion as its table has dipped to 27.68 meter in 2022 from 18.66m in 2012. Meanwhile, Nissing block water table stood at 27.50m which was 20.27m in 2012. In Nilokheri bock, it was reached at 28.38m from 20.31m in the last 10 years. The water table has fallen from 15.98m to 19.68m in Munak, 22.12m to 23.34m in Gharaunda, 15.36 m to 16.19m in Karnal block. The level in Indri was reported less fall as it has reached at 12.49m from 12.16m. The Kunjpura block recorded a significant improvement in water table. The table reached 10.39m from 10.95m.

Yamuna river, which flows in these blocks, is stated to be the reason behind the improvement of ground water table in two blocks. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/gurgaon/karnals-groundwater-level-dipped-11-feet-in-10-years/articleshow/100162086.cms  (11 May 2023)


Mangaluru Drinking water issue worsens, level at Thumbe dam lowers further Water level at Thumbe vented dam is depleting at an alarming rate. Rationing of drinking water has begun in the city since some days. Accordingly, water supply will be there for south part of the city, while north part will not have the supply and vice versa every day. The water level in Thumbe dam was down to 4.03 meter on in the beginning of this week. If it does not rain in coming days, Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) is going to change the pattern of rationing also. According to the MCC officials, most areas of respective zones of the city are receiving water once in two days.

Thumbe dam (file photo) Daiji World

In the past years, during rationing of drinking water, supply was done through tankers by filling water from wells. However, this time around it is not possible to do the experiment also as water in most of the wells is contaminated. The water from underground drainage has seeped into well water and its colour and odour have changed. The water from ponds cannot be used for drinking purpose also. Though there is water in some lakes, the MCC administration has not thought of supplying it to the residents of the city. Without installing a purifying unit, it is not possible to supply water for drinking purpose. For the same reason, the MCC is not able to supply water from the ponds where there is enough water.

People of Mulky are concerned as the drinking water problem is worsening day-by-day. The water springs in well also have decreased considerably. Many hotels and residential complexes are suffering acute shortage of water. Many auspicious occasions are taking place in the district and people who are managing these are also having tough time. https://www.daijiworld.com/news/newsDisplay?newsID=1078550  (11 May 2023)

Madurai The Sundaram Climate Institute (SCI) releases its report, “Making India Water Resilient — Lessons from Madurai” based on five years of study covering over 2,118 households and about 100 waterbodies. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/rejuvenation-of-waterbodies-is-key-to-improve-water-resilience-says-study/article66839255.ece  (11 May 2023)

Noida Pipe leaks, Ganga water supply disrupted in many sectors Nearly a dozen sectors across Noida faced water shortages after a Gangajal pipeline leaked in Sector 63. Nearly 5,000 residents of Sector 26 have been affected for the past 3-4 days, while in Sectors 62, 63, 20, 27 and more, the water pressure has gone down drastically. The Noida Authority is supplying tube well water to compensate for the shortage as the water pipeline repair work is under way.

Residents in Sector 26 are now relying on private tankers. Residents said the water pressure is so low that the overhead water tanks are not being filled. Residents of sectors 19, 20, 22 to 27 and more under the Federation of Noida Residents Welfare Associations (FONRWA) also complained about water shortages. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/noida/pipe-leaks-ganga-water-supply-disrupted-in-many-noida-sectors/articleshow/100146678.cms  (11 May 2023)


Rajasthan Severe heat wave triggers drinking water crisis  In Fatehpur town of Churu district, women were seen standing in long queues to get a pot or two of water on Saturday (May 13). Women and teenage girls from villages near Sujjangarh in Churu have to cover distances varying between 4 km and 8 km to get a few pots of drinking water. The councillors of BJP in Sujjanpur have been protesting against no water supply for the past many days. The councillors said they had visited the office of junior engineer of PHED a few days ago and, upon finding him absent, left water pots in his chair and pasted their charter of demands on the office wall. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/jaipur/severe-heat-wave-triggers-drinking-water-crisis-in-rajasthan/articleshow/100219444.cms  (14 May 2023)

मध्यप्रदेश सिंगरौली: कई गांवों में नदीनाले अन्य जलस्रोत सूखे सिंगरौली के निवासियों के लिए भीषण गर्मी की तपिश से बचने के साथ ही पीने के पानी के लिए संघर्ष भी करना पड़ रहा है क्योंकि गर्मी के इस मौसम में यहां के नदी-नाले और अन्य जल स्रोत सूखने लगे हैं। भीषण गर्मी में नदी-नालों और अन्य जलस्रोतों का जलस्तर तेजी से नीचे जा रहा है। यहां के कई गांवों में हैंडपंपों व कुओं ने जवाब दे दिया है। जिले के चांचर गांव की नदी भी लगभग सूख गई है। ऐसे में इस गांव के लोग नदी क्षेत्र में गड्‌ढे बनाकर उनसे पानी भरकर प्यास बुझा रहे हैं। इन गड्‌ढों से पानी भरने के लिए भी लोगों को गांव से दो-दो किमी दूर जाना पड़ता है।

सरकार की महत्वाकांक्षी परियोजना नल-जल योजना अभी गांव में नहीं पहुंच पाई है। जल जीवन मिशन के तहत लगभग 10 प्रतिशत ही काम पूरा हो पाया है। जल निगम जल मिशन योजना के तहत तीन योजना बैढ़न वन योजना, बैढ़न टू और गोंड देवसर योजना पर कार्य कर रहा है। ​​​​​​​बैढ़न वन योजना के तहत इंटेक वेल रिहंद में और वाटर ट्रीटमेंट प्लांट उर्ती में बनाया जा रहा है। बैढ़न टू योजना में इंटेक वेल सोन नदी में और ट्रीटमेंट प्लांट चितरंगी में सोन नदी के ठटरा घाट में बनाया जा रहा है। इसी प्रकार गोंड देवसर योजना में इंटकवेल गोपद नदी और ट्रीटमेंट प्लांट चमारीडोल में बनाया जा रहा है।

बैढ़न वन योजना –637.27 करोड़ रुपये स्वीकृत किया गया बजट; बैढ़न टू योजना –261.53 करोड़ रुपये स्वीकृत किया गया बजट; गोंड देवसर योजना – 470.49 करोड़ रुपये स्वीकृत किया गया बजट https://www.deshgaon.com/mp-news/rewa/rivers-and-other-water-bodies-have-dried-up-in-many-villages-of-singrauli-water-has-to-be-brought-from-two-kilometers-away/  (13 May 2023)


Study The Indo Gangetic Plains (IGP) are experiencing monsoon extremes This study provides an overall assessment of the Indian Summer Monsoon Rainfall (ISMR) characteristics and associated extremes over the Indo Gangetic Plains (IGPs) in present as well as its possible future aspects under the high emission scenarios. https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2022EA002741  (10 Feb. 2023) https://www.indiawaterportal.org/articles/adaptation-and-mitigation-monsoon-extremes-indo-gangetic-plains  (08 May 2023)

Himachal Pradesh Coldest May after 36 years: IMD data The first nine days of May in the state were coldest and wettest after a gap of 36 years, the IMD data revealed. The state witnessed below normal minimum and maximum temperatures during these days and the last time mercury plunged this low in May was during 1987. While the higher reaches witnessed subzero temperatures, major towns like Shimla, Manali, Kalpa, Dharamshala, Una and Palampur have recorded lowest day and night temperatures. However, the frequent western disturbance, the weather phenomenon which brings rain in the northwest Himalayas during winters in April, led to the state recording 63% surplus rains. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/chandigarh-news/unseasonal-snowfall-and-rains-hit-himachal-pradesh-coldest-and-wettest-may-in-36-years-with-63-surplus-rains-101683711258454.html  (10 May 2023)

FLOOD 2023

SANDRP Blog Role of dams: 2021 Flood Management In MP’s Sindh River Guest Article by: Aishani Goswami and Rahul Singh In this article we try and put together available information to understand the role played by the Madhikheda system of dams in worsening the flood disaster in Sindh River basin in first week of August 2021.

It may be noted that whenever a dam proposed, one of the claimed benefits is that the dams can help moderate floods in the downstream area. This is indeed true, provided, the dam is operated with the objective. However, when the dam is not operated with that objective, then the dam can actually end up acting like a force multiplier for the flooded downstream areas. Let us see if Madhikheda dam played that role in August 2021. https://sandrp.in/2023/05/13/role-of-dams-2021-flood-management-in-mps-sindh-river/  (13 May 2023)

Tamil Nadu WRD to collect data for hydrogeological study for Parandur airport The farmers of the villages in and around Parandur and environmental activists had flagged many concerns about the issues that could emerge due to constructing the airport at this location. Following this, the State government had formed a high-level committee comprising experts from various departments and institutions, including Anna University, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, TIDCO and WRD. This seven-member team will be headed by the retired IAS officer. The hydrogeological study will be completed in about six months, but the expert committee will continue to provide assistance to TIDCO throughout the project period until construction is completed, another source said.

Parandur in Kancheepuram, where the State government intends to build a second airport for the city at a cost of ₹20,000 crore, is about 59 km southwest from the airport in Meenambakkam. Though 4,791 acres of land has been identified for the airport, sources said, the boundary had not been decided yet. Meanwhile, TIDCO will soon appoint a consultant to prepare the Techno Economic Feasibility Report for the project. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/wrd-to-collect-data-for-hydrogeological-study-for-parandur-airport/article66835319.ece  (10 May 2023)

Study Warming planet is leading to increase in ‘atmospheric river’-associated flooding In their paper published in the journal Communications Earth & Environment, the group describes how they analyzed data from multiple sources to track the number of atmospheric rivers affecting India and how it has led to increased flooding in that country. The research team sought to learn more about the impact of ARs on India—a country well accustomed to annual flooding during the monsoon season.

– They found AR events impacted the country 596 times, 95% of which occurred during a monsoon season. They also found that 54% of the biggest AR events occurred over the past three decades, suggesting they are not only forming more often but are getting bigger as the planet grows warmer. The researchers note that warmer ocean surface temperatures over parts of the Indian Ocean have led to more evaporation, which in turn has led to more rain when ARs form. https://phys.org/news/2023-05-planet-atmospheric-river-associated-india.html  (11 May 2023)

Climate Change May Be Creating More ‘Sky Rivers’ that Cause Catastrophic Monsoon Rain and Floods in India.  https://weather.com/en-IN/india/climate-change/news/2023-05-13-climate-change-creating-more-catastrophic-sky-rivers-over  (13 May 2023)


Arunachal Pradesh Four construction workers were buried alive in a landslide in Bomdo, around 55 kms from here in Upper Siang district on 6 May. The landslide struck them while they were asleep. Two other workers suffered injuries. Landslides triggered by heavy and incessant rains also blocked the Tuting- Yingkiong road at several locations between Janbo and Bomdo cutting off road communication between Tuting sub-divisional headquarters and Yingkiong, the Tuting ADC informed.

The disruption in road communication has badly affected the daily commuters and people with medical emergencies, the ADC said. The Geku EAC in-charge has informed that heavy landslides also blocked the Geku-Yingkiong road, which is likely to take several days to restore. https://arunachaltimes.in/index.php/2023/05/09/four-workers-buried-alive-in-landslide-in-upper-siang/  (09 May 2023)


Report Google historical satellite imagery disappears for India Satellite historical imagery of India over the past two decades has disappeared from Google Earth. This has been noted by many scholars and researchers who rely on the service for tracking changes in topography, forest cover, urbanisation and history. Satellite imagery from 2020 is only available for locations in India. The difference is stark when satellite historical imagery of Amritsar has been scrubbed clean, while Lahore, Pakistan — which is about 50 km away — has historical imagery available over the past few decades. The disappearance of lakes, encroachments on water bodies and even civic projects like the Secretariat in Hyderabad or the changes in New Delhi due to new Parliament building can be seen in sharp relief in the historical data.

– It is unclear whether this disappearance of data is linked to policy norms or government of India diktat. https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/google-historical-satellite-imagery-disappears-for-india/article66834033.ece  (10 May 2023)

SBB funds not being used for conservation A new analysis on State Biodiversity Boards has revealed that funds provided to them by state governments and the Centre are hardly being used for their primary purpose of biodiversity conservation. It has also revealed that funds allocated to states remain meagre compared to what they may require to meet their goals as specified under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2002—conservation and management of biodiversity heritage sites, socio-economic development of areas from where biodiversity is accessed for commercial or other purposes.

The analysis by Legal Initiative for Forest and Environment (LIFE), to be released soon, found only 0.44% of the total assistance cumulatively given to 8 states (states that responded to LIFE’s RTI queries on how funds are used) in the past two years by National Biodiversity Authority has been allocated for establishing Biodiversity Heritage Sites. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/analysis-reveals-state-biodiversity-board-funds-not-being-used-for-conservation-in-new-delhi-raising-concerns-about-allocation-disparities-101683570661396.html  (09 May 2023)


Report India is heating up slower than the world average The annual mean temperature of the world is known to have increased by 1.1 degree Celsius from the average of the 1850-1900 period. But this increase, as can be expected, is not uniform. It varies in different regions and also at different times of the year. Over land, annual mean temperature has risen by 1.59 C, Oceans have warmed by about 0.88 C. Land areas are known to warm at a faster rate and larger temperatures. Oceans have higher capacity to keep them cool due to evaporation.

– India has experienced warming of 0.7 C as per Ministry of Earth Sciences 2020 report. The increase in temperature is known to be more prominent in the higher altitudes, near polar regions than near the equator. The arctic region has warmed by around 2 C, at least twice as high as the global average. Aerosol concentrations in Indian atmosphere are high, both due to natural and man made pollution reasons. They help reduce the temperature increase by about 0.1-0.2 C. The maximum temperatures have seen significant increase over India, but  minimum temperature have seen much less increase. https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-climate/climate-change-why-india-is-heating-up-slower-than-the-world-average-8602414/  (11 May 2023)

From Odisha to Kerala, a bus of climate migrants Rising sea levels drove them out of their homes. Then, scant economic opportunities led them thousands of kilometres across the country. https://scroll.in/article/1048724/from-odisha-to-kerala-a-bus-of-climate-migrants  (10 May 2023)

Climate adaptation to cost India Rs 85.6 lakh crore by 2030: RBI India’s green financing needs to plug the infrastructure gap caused by climate events could be at least 2.5 per cent of the annual GDP, RBI’s Report on Currency and Finance said. https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/climate-change/climate-adaptation-to-cost-india-rs-85-6-lakh-crore-by-2030-rbi-89199  (09 May 2023)

What impact could climate change be having on the jet stream? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=061zcnrCMp8  (12 May 2023)


IWT Pakistan to resume its legal battle for rivers with India Hearings related to Pakistan-India dispute on Indus Treaty would resume on May 11 2023 in the Court of Arbitration (CoA) in The Hague on the designs of the 330MW Kishenganga and 850MW Ratle Hydropower projects, a senior government official said. Pakistan’s delegation, headed by secretary Water Resources Ministry, Pakistan’s commissioner of Indus Waters, top officials of the Attorney General’s Office, and a team of international lawyers hired by the government would advocate the country’s case for justice on May 11-13. The CoA earlier held the first hearing on January 27-28 2023. New Delhi issued a notice to Pakistan on January 25, seeking modifications in the Treaty.

– Pakistan and India already also attended on February 27-28 the first hearing by Michel Lino, Neutral Expert appointed by the World Bank in The Hague, where the rules of procedures on how to advance the legal fight on the designs of both the projects being built on Pakistan’s rivers by India were finalised.

– Pakistan has raised three objections to the Kishenganga project’s design saying that the pondage of the project is 7.5 million cubic metres, which is excessive and it should be one million cubic meters. Pakistan also wants India to raise intake by up to 1-4 meters and also raise the spillways up to nine meters high.

– On the issue of the Ratle Hydropower plant, Islamabad raised four objections. Pakistan wants India to maintain the freeboard at one meter whereas India wants to keep it at two meters. In addition, India wants to keep the pondage of 24 million cubic meters but Pakistan wants it to be restricted to eight million cubic meters. Pakistan also wants the intake of the project should be raised by up to 8.8 meters and its spillways should be raised by up to 20 meters. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/1068851-hydropower-projects-pakistan-to-resume-its-legal-battle-for-rivers-with-india-at-the-hague  (10 May 2023)

Nepal-Bangladesh Govts to discuss investment modality for construction of Sunkoshi-3 HEP The Sunkoshi-3 HEP will be finalizing the investment modality for the Sunkoshi-3 Hydropower Project in the 2-day bilateral energy talks that will kick off on May 15, 2023 in Bangladesh. The joint-secretary level meeting will be followed by secretary-level talks.

– Nepal has already provided the feasibility study report and environmental impact assessment report to Bangladesh. The two countries are looking to establishing a joint company for the Sunkoshi-3. The meeting will also focus on finalizing a Memorandum of Understanding between Nepal Electricity Authority and Bangladesh Power Development Board to start electricity trade. The private sector of Bangladesh is willing to invest in hydroelectricity in Nepal, there will be discussions on that. https://myrepublica.nagariknetwork.com/news/nepal-and-bangladesh-to-discuss-investment-modality-for-construction-of-sunkoshi-3-hydropower-project/  (12 May 2023)

India-Nepal Court allows GMR to continue Upper Karnali financial closure works The Supreme Court’s constitutional bench has paved the way for India’s GMR energy to continue its work on the 900MW Upper Karnali Hydropower Project. The court on May 7 rolled back its interim order of Nov 2022 that had suspended the government’s decision of July 15, 2022 to extend the deadline for GMR Energy to complete the financial closure.

– Bangladesh has already issued a letter of intent to the GMR Group expressing its interest to enter into a contract to purchase 500 MW of electricity from the project. The power purchase agreement rate was also agreed upon between GMR Energy and the Bangladeshi authority at 7.712 cents per unit for a period of 25 years. https://kathmandupost.com/national/2023/05/09/supreme-court-opens-for-door-gmr-to-continue-works-towards-financial-closure-to-develop-upper-karnali-hydropower-project  (09 May 2023) 

Bangladesh Water crisis & problem of a ‘green’ solution To avoid the negative effects of a desalination plant and potentially unpopular water conservation policies, the local government opted to construct a “climate-proof” water supply system for which it managed to obtain foreign funding from the Asian Development Bank and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

A family collects drinking water from a water pump in Khulna on May 20, 2020 [File: Munir Uz Zaman/AFP]

The project’s environmental impacts statement, which was required by the government of Bangladesh and the foreign donors and which was completed in 2011, focused narrowly on the water site and accounted for construction as the only impact on Mollahat. According to representatives of the Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA) we interviewed, the scale of the assessment inaccurately accounted for the Madhumati River watershed as existing only in Bangladesh. The river is a tributary in the complex Ganges River system, with flows coming from the Ganges in neighbouring India.

The Madhumati River has been heavily affected by the upstream construction of the controversial Farakka Dam in India’s state of West Bengal, which diverts its waters. The dam has made the river watershed much more sensitive temporally and ecologically and thus, the additional burden of drawing water for the Khulna project has significantly strained the river resources and affected Mollahat and other communities along its basin. https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2023/5/7/bangladeshs-water-crisis-and-the-problem-of-a-green-solution  (07 May 2023)


Iraq Water crisis worsens Water levels in the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, which account for more than 90 per cent of Iraq’s freshwater reserves, have declined significantly over the years, partly as a result of the construction of dams and diversion of water upstream in Turkey and Iran. The Prime Minister warned that a shortage of water compounded by climate change would have a substantial impact on Iraq’s economic development and environment, with wider ramifications for regional stability. https://www.thenationalnews.com/mena/iraq/2023/05/06/iraq-appeals-for-urgent-international-help-as-water-crisis-worsens/  (06 May 2023)  


USA Lawsuit 3 years after Mid-Michigan dam failures seeks $11.7 million Families affected by the 2020 dam failures in Gladwin, Midland and Saginaw counties in Michigan state in USA filed another lawsuit seeking restitution nearly three years after the disaster. The Edenville Dam failed on May 19, 2020, and a torrent of floodwaters down the Tittabawassee River overwhelmed the Sanford Dam, causing record flooding through Midland and Saginaw counties. The floods destroyed homes and emptied most of Wixom and Sanford lakes, which remain mostly dry three years later. The lawsuit has been filed against the U.S. government — specifically the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission — claiming it didn’t do enough to make sure that Boyce Hydro and its owner, Lee Mueller, were properly maintaining the Edenville Dam.

– The lawsuit is asking for a total of more than $11.7 million combined for the 10 couples. “I think it’s time for everybody involved in this litigation to sit down, work out a deal and make sure not only the victims get compensated, but that it doesn’t happen again,” attorney Jim Rasor of the Rasor Law Firm said. https://www.abc12.com/news/dam-recovery/lawsuit-3-years-after-mid-michigan-dam-failures-seeks-11-7-million/article_5c8098a8-ef76-11ed-b532-672b8230ea5e.html  (10 May 2023)

With climate change, rivers across Canada are expected to flood more often. We look into how cities can address this issue and discover a silver liniIn wake of climate change impact, Room for rivers, Floodplain restoration are being applied in some cities to deal with the increasing and intense flooding problem in Canada. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VD-Ym3GofJ4  (08 May 2023)

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

Also see: DRP News Bulletin 08 May 2023 & DRP News Bulletin 01 May 2023  

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

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