(Feature Image: Waster Chest nut cultivators removing weeds from Giri Taal of Kashipur. April 2023)
As we await the onset of South West Monsoon 2023, we would like to highlight the water options stories in lead story here, that includes examples from Ladakh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Chennai, among others. It is important to remember these as we need to be ready to welcome and nourish the coming annual bounty that monsoon brings.
It also reminds us the fascination our poets have for this season, particularly the wonderment that Gulzar keeps expressing. In this one of his non filmy poetry “Baarish” he warns:
“Mujhko ye fikr, ke is baar bhi sailab ka paani…
Kud ke utrega kohsahr se jab..
tod ke le jayega ye kachhe kinaare..”
Reminding us that we need to be prepared for the floods and possible flood disasters too. This becomes even more relevant with intensification of rainfall pattern during our monsoons. We can do so much more to prevent such disasters, and we are very poor at doing that.
Ladakh The communities of Zanskar are a close-knit agrarian kinship who have devised indigenous systems to maximise their resource use with community members managing their usages. The Zanskari people also have a grave spiritual and religious connection with nature and regard their water sources as sacred grounds and it is believed that every water stream, spring and hill has its own deity. For centuries the people here have relied on the snow melt from mountain tops and glaciers for irrigation and other domestic uses which sustains living in this harsh and remote landscape.
But today climate change poses a looming threat not only for the indigenous people but for the whole agro-pastoral culture of the region. Various studies have also pointed out that apart from climate change the shrinking of the region’s glaciers is being augmented by black carbon pollution which originates from various industrial facilities like fossil fuel combustion and heavy vehicle pollution. https://vikalpsangam.org/article/chhu-med-no-water-and-the-imaginary-of-hope-living-in-between-climate-change-and-adaptation-development-and-sustainability-apathy-and-hope/ (15 May 2023)
Rajasthan Positive water story from Karauli in Alwar district.
Gujarat Bhuj citizens seek restoration of Hamirsar and other water bodies. https://www.indiawaterportal.org/articles/bhuj-citizens-seek-restoration-hamirsar-and-other-water-bodies (17 May 2023)
Chennai Apartment’s self-sustaining STP a model to emulate An apartment in Chennai’s Sholinganallur – The Central Park South, has set up a 135 Kilo Liters per day (KLD) STP in a way that they do not have to rely on the tankers to remove the sludge. The sludge is also recycled in-house making the apartment complex self-sustaining when it comes to sewage management. Notably, the STP also functions in a way that it is free from foul odour. https://chennai.citizenmatters.in/stp-chennai-sholinganallur-apartment-building-rules-sewage-water-gcc-74297 (17 May 2023)
Madhya Pradesh छतरपुर में एक किसान ने कमाल कर दिखाया है. कूंड़ गांव के किसान ने सूखे से परेशान होकर आठ साल की कड़ी मेहनत से एक-एक पत्थर एकत्र कर धंसान नदी के ऊपर किसी भी शासकीय मदद के बिना ही बंधान बना दिया है. बता दें कि 2014 में उन्होंने धसान नदी पर बांध बनाना शुरू किया था. 8 साल से ज्यादा की मेहनत के बाद बांध बनाने में सफल हुए हैं. https://www.etvbharat.com/hindi/madhya-pradesh/state/chhatarpur/chhatarpur-farmer-unique-initiative-distressed-by-drought-dam-built-on-dhasan-river-in-8-years/
HYDRO POWER PROJECTS
Jammu & Kashmir CBI raids in graft case related to Kiru HEP The Central Bureau of Investigation on May 17 2023 searched 12 locations in Delhi and Rajasthan in connection with a case alleging corruption in the award of ₹2,200 crore civil works related to the Kiru hydro-electric power project.
– The investigation has been launched on a reference from the J&K government with respect to the charge that e-tendering guidelines were not followed despite the CVPPPL Board’s decision, and the contract was awarded to Patel Engineering in 2019. In the First Information Report registered on April 20 2022, among those named as accused are Navin Kumar Choudhary, an Indian Administrative Service official, as the then chairman of Chenab Valley Power Projects (P) Limited (CVPPPL); its then managing director M.S. Babu, directors M.K. Mittal and Arun Kumar Mishra and Patel Engineering.
– In July 2022, the agency had conducted searches in Delhi, Mumbai, Patna, Jammu and Srinagar, against the associates of the main accused persons, middlemen and others. The premises of one chartered accountant, Rakesh Gupta, Rupen Patel of Patel Engineering Limited (Mumbai), and its three employees were also searched. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/insurance-scam-case-cbi-searches-at-nine-locations-in-jammu-and-kashmir-delhi/article66860030.ece (17 May 2023)
Himachal Pradesh Cancel allotment where construction work yet to begin despite availing amnesty: CM Allotments of hydropower projects that have not started construction work despite taking one-time amnesty should be cancelled immediately and a fresh advertisement should be published, said CM Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu on May 16, 2023. Taking a serious note of central Public Sector undertakings (PSUs) for not signing pre-implementation and implementation agreements to set up hydropower projects, the energy department to issue notices to them, an official said.
– HP CM Sukhu said that 172 hydropower projects of 11,149.50 MW capacity have been commissioned in the state, while 58 projects of 2454 MW capacity were under construction.
– The government is contemplating framing a new Energy Policy, Sukhu said. Under the new policy, the provision of deferment of free power royalty will be completely abolished in future. There would be a provision to give 15 per cent share to the state government for the first 12 years, 20 per cent for the next 18 years and 30 per cent for the next 10 years, he said. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/shimla/hydropower-projects-shimla-sukhvinder-singh-sukhu-8613539/ (17 May 2023)
87 hydroelectric power projects have registered themselves for water cess. The state Jal Shakti Department had issued notices to 172 power projects for the imposition of water cess.
– “There is a provision in the Himachal Pradesh Water Cess on Hydropower Generation Act that if a power producer fails to register with the Jal Shakti Department within a month, its registration will be considered deemed,” says a senior official. However, he does not rule out the possibility of a reminder being issued to the remaining hydroelectric power projects for registration with the department for the purpose of working out water cess. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/87-of-172-power-projects-register-for-water-cess-509463 (20 May 2023)
Govt demanding 40% stake in major hydel projects A senior official in the state’s power department told ThePrint that the Sukhu government had first taken up the issue in February, before raising it once again with Union Power Secretary Alok Kumar when the latter visited the state on 15 April. The official said that the Sukhu government had asked for Himachal’s share to be increased in major hydropower projects overseen by Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) and the SJVN. The demand concerns projects that have repaid loans and recouped costs, ThePrint has learnt.
According to the official, the state government is also asking for a review of power projects with central public sector companies such as SJVN, especially in cases that have no stipulations on how long these firms will continue to control the project. Meanwhile, responding to the move, an official from SJVN who didn’t want to be named told ThePrint that the company will “cross the bridge when it comes”. “Nothing’s official so far. The state government has (only) written to the central government,” the official said. https://theprint.in/india/governance/debt-hit-himachals-latest-bid-for-revenue-demanding-40-stake-in-major-hydel-projects/1577023/ (17 May 2023)
Meghalaya Depleted Umiam lake aggravates power crisis “We are at now 3,165 feet, lower than the previous record of 3,170 feet. Another foot down and we will have to shut down the plant,” Power Minister AT Mondal said on Tuesday (May 16). The unit cannot be run if the water level falls below the permissible limit, he explained. But he hoped the situation would normalise when it starts raining more frequently, insisting that the existing power scenario in the state would continue for some time.
On the condition of the Umiam bridge, he said the state government has decided to get it inspected thoroughly by an IIT Guwahati team before going for retrofitting by a company chosen after bidding. Mondal said the formal inspection of the bridge by the IIT Guwahati team would be done soon. https://theshillongtimes.com/2023/05/17/depleted-umiam-lake-aggravates-power-crisis/ (17 May 2023)
Subansiri HEP Union Minister visit During the visit (May 18-19), the Krishan Pal Gurjar, Union Minister of State for Power and Heavy Industries along with Likabali MLA Kardo Nyigyor inaugurated the 400KV Pothead Yard, connected to Biswanath Chariali HVDC Sub-Station through 400 KV Transmission Lines for power evacuation. The minister also discussed in details about the other projects allocated to NHPC in Subansiri basin, viz- Subansiri Middle Hydroelectric Project at Kamle and Subansiri Upper Hydroelectric Project and directed NHPC to initiate immediate activities in those upcoming projects. https://www.sentinelassam.com/north-east-india-news/assam-news/union-minister-krishan-pal-gurjar-visits-subansiri-lower-hydroelectric-project-649303
Uttarakhand NDMA yet to make public study report on reasons behind Joshimath disaster. https://hindi.mongabay.com/2023/05/17/joshimath-crisis-people-return-to-houses-with-cracks-after-four-months/ (17 May 2023)
Industry NHPC Ltd is likely to submit a proposal next month to merge two other public sector hydro companies, THDC India Ltd and North Eastern Electric Power Corp. Ltd (NEEPCO) with itself, said Rajeev Kumar Vishnoi, chairman and managing director of NHPC. https://www.livemint.com/companies/news/hydropower-mega-merger-proposal-likely-next-month-11684688710408.html (22 May 2023)
The environment ministry has exempted all pumped storage hydropower (PSHP) projects from environment impact assessment regime, citing ‘lesser’ impact on the environment and their ‘critical’ role in ensuring India’s growing energy storage and infrastructure development needs. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/renewables/pumped-storage-hydro-projects-get-freedom-from-green-scrutiny/articleshow/100364594.cms (20 May 2023)
MoEF Relevant agenda of the FAC meeting to be held on May 18, 2023: – MODIFICATION IN CONDITION OF STAGEII APPROVAL: DIVERSION OF 397.8863 HA FOREST LAND for SJVN LTD FOR SUNNI DAM HYDROELECTRIC PROJECT (382 MW) IN SHIMLA, KOTGARH AND KARSOG FOREST DIVISIONS, DIST SHIMLA & MANDI, HIMACHAL PRADESH. https://forestsclearance.nic.in/AgendaDetail.aspx?id=286!dis1
Madhya Pradesh L&T fined ₹2.15cr for illegally mining ‘diamond’ gravel The government has fined Larsen & Toubro (L&T) Rs 2.15 crore for digging out gravel containing diamonds and boulders from Runj River, in the Panna district, where the company is constructing a dam. The Rs 270-crore 1,182 metre-long dam across Runj, a tributary of Bhaigan that ultimately joins the Yamuna, has been under construction in Ajaigarh tehsil since 2017-18.
It is not the first time that L&T has been fined for exploiting natural resources. On November 6, 2020, the state mining department fined the company Rs 50 lakh for stealing the royalty of 25,000 cubic metre roadstone used in the dam construction. Clubbing both cases, the department slapped a penalty of around Rs 2.15 crore—but L&T neither paid the fine nor replied to the show-cause notices, an official told News Click.
Besides not paying the penalty, the company has not allegedly paid compensation for the land acquired to construct the dam to hundreds of farmers—more than 90% tribals—in Bishramganj village, and small settlements such as Pande Purva, Banglan and Majhpurva in the tehsil. Last November, the farmers marched for 15 km from the dam site to Panna district headquarters to gherao district collector Sanjay Kumar Mishra’s office and handed over a memorandum of demands. They alleged that authorities have been prevaricating for the past five years. https://www.newsclick.in/lt-fined-rs215-cr-illegally-mining-diamond-gravel-mp (17 May 2023)
Uttar Pradesh Damned lies & red tape Full Page Feature on Kanhar Dam in The Hindustan Times. https://vindhyabachao.org/in-media/193-damned-lied-red-tape-kanhar-hindustan-times-18-may-2016 (17 May 2023)
Telangana Govt to start Nagarjuna Sagar Dam rehabilitation works According to Engineer in Chief (Operations and Maintenance) B Nagendra Rao, a massive rehabilitation programme was taken up on the dam at a cost of Rs.75 crore. https://telanganatoday.com/nagarjuna-sagar-dam-rehabilitation-works-gather-pace (17 May 2023)
INTERLINKING OF RIVERS
Ken Betwa Linking People from over a dozen villages in Chhatarpur who sat on protest in front of Collectorate office demanding rehabilitation and compensation against their lands acquired years ago for Ken Betwa interlinking project were lathi charge in the middle of night on May 17 resulting in injuries of 10 project affected people. (19 May 2023)
On 10th day of protest against Ken Betwa linking project, health of about 37 project affected farmers deteriorate. (22 May 2023)
INTERSTATE WATER DISPUTES
Mahadayi Water Dispute Goa BJP passes resolution against Kalasa-Banduri DPR nod resolution In an interesting twist to the Mahadayi plot, following BJP’s crushing defeat in Karnataka, the ruling BJP in Goa passed a political resolution on Thursday (May 18), to urge its government in Goa to ‘take all steps necessary’ to oppose the Karnataka government’s plans to construct the Kalasa-Banduri project. The political resolution was passed by the state executive committee of the BJP in Goa, the highest decision-making body in the state.
Interestingly, the DPR was passed by the Central Water Commission (CWC) last year, when the BJP was heading the government in Karnataka. Soon after the DPR was passed, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had said that the BJP governments at the Centre, Karnataka and Goa had worked together to successfully resolve the Mahadayi deadlock, even as an embarrassed Goa CM Pramod Sawant had challenged the nod given to the Kalasa-Banduri DPR in the Supreme Court. Sawant and other state BJP leaders had also lobbied against the CWC nod with Shah as well as BJP national president J P Nadda. https://www.deccanherald.com/national/west/kalasa-banduri-dpr-nod-threat-to-mahadayi-existence-goa-bjp-passes-resolution-1220000.html (19 May 2023)
On May 20, thousands of Goans will form a human chain along the river Mandovi/ Mhadei, for the river. The Mhadei Bachao Abhiyan, a two-decade-old movement led by the gritty Rajendra Kerkar, has been bolstered with the Save Goa Save Mhadei campaign that brings together environmentalists, professionals, writers, students and ordinary residents of the state, both Goan and non-Goan.
– Though Goa sought interim relief from the Supreme Court on the Karnataka plans to divert Mhadei river water to Malprabha basin, the latter said that Karnataka has to obtain environmental and wildlife clearances first and the same has been listed for a final hearing in July 2023. This comes even as the Mhadei Water Disputes Tribunal (MWDT) Award 2018 on the allocation of water between three states (including Maharashtra) has been questioned in the Supreme Court by all the parties. The issue has brought together ordinary people, civil society and the political class, across party lines. The Goa legislative assembly recently passed a resolution demanding the withdrawal of approval to DPR and the constitution of the Mhadei Water Management Authority.
– The Mhadei Water Dispute tribunal itself noted with concern that all three states have failed to provide adequate scientific data to support their arguments. The tribunal should have invoked its mandate and put the final judgment on hold pending the states providing more reliable data. Moreover, the undue haste shown by the CWC in granting the recent approval for the DPR to Karnataka, even as the matter is pending in the Supreme Court is inexplicable. It is almost a déjà-vu moment for Goa, which had successfully contested an in-principle clearance given by the Ministry of Water to Karnataka to divert 7.56 TMC of water in 2002.
– The Karnataka politicians have chosen to ignore the fact that pockets within Karnataka, lying in the catchment area of Mhadei, are opposed to diversion as their concerns are similar to that of Goa. (Rahul Tripathi, a Political Science teacher at Goa University) https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/a-river-runs-through-it-8611095/ (16 May 2023)
Krishna Water Dispute Andhra moves SC challenging NGT order quashing EC granted to Avulapalli Reservoir The bench of Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud and Justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala by Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi agreed to list the matter on May 17, Wednesday. The NGT at Chennai had, on May 11, quashed the EC granted to Avulapalli Reservoir by State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA). It had also imposed a penalty of ₹100 crores on the State’s Water Resource Department.
A bench of Justice Pushpa Sathyanarayana and expert member Dr Satyagopal Korlapati had observed that it was disturbing to note that a government department can implement an irrigation project by resorting to falsehood, misrepresentation and cheating the SEIAA in gross violation of environmental norms. The NGT was disposing of an appeal filed by farmers, represented by advocate Sravan Kumar, questioning the validity of the EC of the project.
The appeal was primarily based on the argument that the EC was obtained solely for the Avulapalli balancing reservoir with a capacity of 2.50 TMCFT, whereas the relevant Government Orders (GOs) proposed the construction of three reservoirs to connect the Galeru Nagari Sujala Sravanthi to the Handri Neeva Sujala Sravanthi. https://www.barandbench.com/news/andhra-pradesh-moves-supreme-court-challenging-ngt-order-quashing-environmental-clearance-avulapalli-reservoir (15 May 2023)
Stalemate set to continue further With no resolution in sight over the Krishna River water share of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh after the bifurcation of the combined AP, the stalemate in the matter is set to continue for the next water year too, commencing from June 1.
-After Telangana made it clear to KRMB that it would not be a party to the orders issued by the board, if any, without its consent for continuation of the existing arrangement of 34:66 ratio, the Board Chairman has placed it on record that the matter would now be referred to the Ministry of Jal Shakti (MoJS) for its intervention. Telangana authorities stated that they would not agree for anything less than 50:50 share till finalisation of shares.
-Stating that the Centre (MoJS) is simply sitting over the issue even after its assurance given at the second meeting of the Apex Council held in October 2020, a senior functionary in the government, who is considered close to the Chief Minister, said the Centre had failed to refer the matter of water shares to a Tribunal, new or existing, for over two years now, although Telangana had withdrawn its petition in the Supreme Court, as suggested by the Centre. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/stalemate-over-krishna-water-share-of-ap-ts-set-to-continue-further/article66877297.ece (22 May 2023)
IWP Does micro irrigation really save water? This article explains that adopting micro irrigation does not automatically lead to water saving unless other required conditions are fulfilled. Otherwise, micro irrigation can accelerate the depletion of aquifers, drying of rivers, and disappearance of lakes and wetlands.
Thus, though micro irrigation improves water use efficiency at the farm scale, reduces energy requirement, and reduces the application of fertiliser and labour costs; it does not automatically lead to water saving. Improving water use efficiency by adopting micro irrigation at the farm scale does not inform anything about water saving at river basin, region, or national scale. For achieving real water saving through micro irrigation, a mechanism for water regulation and allocation is essential to avoid the reallocation of water in the basin or aquifer. https://www.indiawaterportal.org/articles/does-micro-irrigation-really-save-water (16 May 2023)
Punjab Sub-canals breached after rain in Abohar After heavy rainfall and thunderstorm on May 17, 2023 night, breaches occurred in three canals in Abohar, inundating hundreds of acres of land and damaging crops. Due to the storm, trees fell into the Kandhwala-Kikkarkhera and Malukpura sub-canals, raising the water level and causing breaches. About a 30-foot wide breach occurred in the Kandhwala-Kikkarkhera sub-canal, washing away cotton crop.
Farmers said over a month ago, the canal was inaugurated after repairs, but again a breach occurred into it on Wednesday (May 17) night. Due to a 25-foot breach in the Malukpura sub-canal near Dhani Naiyan Wali, several farms were submerged, affecting the cotton crop and vegetables sown a few days back. The sub-canal passing near Tajapatti village, started flowing near the danger mark after trees fell into it due to the thunderstorm. At Dodewala village, crops and orchards of many farmers have been badly damaged. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/sub-canals-breached-after-rain-in-abohar-509074 (19 May 2023)
Mula-Mutha; Pune Talk by Sarang Yadwadkar, on the technical aspects of the Pune River Front project: facts and misinformation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgeLQG5HkJk (17 March 2023)
PMC under fire for allowing construction in prohibited area After coming under fire for chopping down trees in city for infrastructure projects, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has now come under the scanner for allowing construction within the Blue Flood Line zone of the Mutha river.
In a letter dated May 8, the Khadakwasla Irrigation division wrote a letter to PMC saying that within the jurisdiction of PMC, “on both banks of Mutha River from NH-4 bypass to Rajaram Bridge, illegal structures are built on massive dumping inside Blue Flood Line on prohibitive zone. The water resources department has communicated many times to PMC to remove such structures.”
Around 25 people have taken up the issue with the PMC saying that they have found that “a real estate project has been built inside Blue Flood Line on Prohibitive Zone.” They demanded that the PMC should immediately revoke the building permit issued to the structure as it is illegal. The civic body should immediately constitute a committee to investigate if any such permission was given anywhere else within the PMC jurisdiction inside Blue Flood Line in the prohibitive zone, they said.
The residents said that a building constructed on massive dumping inside the Blue Flood Line zone of the Mutha river also endangers the surrounding buildings that are constructed beyond Blue Flood Line. They pointed out that the Development Plan road which provides access to this building has been directed to be removed by the NGT, an order which was subsequently confirmed by the Supreme Court. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/pmc-allowing-construction-prohibited-area-mutha-river-8619825/ (20 May 2023)
Chambal; Kota Riverfront a blot on environment: Experts No place for traditional plants and trees, nor any sustainable measures to check pollution and maintain greenery, were concerns noted by a group of environmentalists who visited the construction site of Chambal Riverfront, a Rs 1200-crore project that is nearly complete, on Wednesday (April 12). The group of 10 environmentalists associated with Chambal Parliament and People’s World Commission for Flood and Drought (PWCFD) alleged that multiple pollutants plagued the Chambal river which was lying in “ICU” (Intensive Care Unit) while the state government was spending crores of rupees only on cosmetic surgery.
The delegation noted that while there is a treatment plant almost ready for 18 nullahs flowing into the river, no such plant exists for the upstream nullahs at Shivpura, Godawridham and Sajidhera which carry polluted water from a large population in the city and fall into the river yearlong, said Brijesh Vijayvergiya, convener of the Chambal Parliament. The Chambal River, members of the delegation said, could be personified as a patient lying in ICU in critical condition. Huge stone and metal structures were being erected that looked like a velvet curtain being rolled over mud and dirt, they said. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/jaipur/chambal-river-in-icu-riverfront-a-blot-on-environment-experts/articleshow/99507021.cms (15 April 2023)
Ayad; Udaipur आयड़ नदी में चल रहे कामों पर शुक्रवार (May 19)को भोपाल स्थित एनजीटी कोर्ट में सुनवाई होगी। इस बीच, भास्कर के हाथ वह रिपोर्ट लगी है, जो कलेक्टर ताराचंद मीणा की अध्यक्षता वाली एक्सपर्ट कमेटी ने तैयार की है। इस रिपोर्ट में स्मार्ट सिटी की ओर से नदी में सीमेंट-कंक्रीट-फर्शियां बिछाने की कारगुजारी को पिचिंग लिखकर छिपाने की कोशिश की गई है। स्मार्ट सिटी कंपनी की ओर से 75 करोड़ की लागत से इस नदी में पर्यावरणीय पुनर्वास (इकॉलोजिकल रीहेबिलिटेशन) के नाम पर यह काम किया जा रहा है।
-स्मार्ट सिटी कंपनी की परियोजना रिपोर्ट में पेश किए गए विजन के मुताबिक नदी को पर्यावरण की दृष्टि से बचाना था। योजना में स्पष्ट उल्लेख है कि आयड़ नदी शहर की ड्रेनेज बॉडी है, जो सीवेज और गार्बेज से अटी पड़ी है। पूरा नदी क्षेत्र प्रदूषण का शिकार है। योजना में 139 मल-जल के नालों को रोकना है, लेकिन इस दिशा में कोई कदम नहीं उठाए गए हैं। इसके उलट नदी तल के बड़े हिस्से में कंक्रीट-फर्शियां बिछाने, कृत्रिम लॉन, पैदल मार्ग और सर्विस रोड बनाने से मानवजनित प्रदूषण भी बढ़ेगा। इससे नदी की प्राकृतिक व्यवस्था नष्ट होगी। https://www.bhaskar.com/amp/local/rajasthan/udaipur/news/report-in-ngt-only-pitching-work-is-being-done-in-the-river-reality-cement-concrete-is-being-laid-in-the-stomach-131296375.html (18 May 2023)
Gomti; Lucknow RFD stretch expanded The government set to beautify around 1500-meter stretch between the Director General of Police’s (DGP) residence and Golf Club along Gomti River in Lucknow on the lines of the River Front Project. Initially, a budget of around Rs 25 crore has been approved by the government to kick-start the makeover project. https://www.news18.com/india/up-govt-to-develop-gomti-river-front-like-project-with-lakhnawi-touch-ultra-modern-amenities-7857205.html (19 May 2023)
Srinagar LG inaugurated the Jhelum Rajbagh Riverfront and dedicated the project to the public. https://www.dailyexcelsior.com/lg-sinha-dedicates-jhelum-riverfront-to-public-says-g20-events-will-showcase-kashmirs-hospitality/ (20 May 2023)
SANDRP Blog Yamuna Basin Storm Water Drain No 8 now Effluents Disposal Drain Overall, it shows that the SPCB and Irrigation Department have no intention to take effective action required to stop abuse of DN 6 and pollution in DN 8 which has been contaminating Yamuna River and in turn frequently affecting Delhi’s potable water supply. On the other hand, we have been witnessing degradation of another SWD namely DN 8 into industrial and domestic waste carrier nullah as has happened with the Dhanaura Escape in Karnal and DN 2 in Panipat. Given increasing pollution load in DN 6 and lack of will in Haryana government to stop abuse of DN 6 & 8, Yamuna river would be at the receiving end of more pollution and contamination of Delhi’s potable water supply would remain a perennial problem. https://sandrp.in/2023/05/16/yamuna-basin-storm-water-drain-no-8-now-effluents-disposal-drain/ (16 May 2023)
Does Governance care for Rivers? Himanshu Thakkar has been active for the last four decades for the protection of the rivers, and environment. He talked about the relationship between water, society and government in a recent interview given to DEVEL0PMENT FILES. How our relationship with the river was broken, how much are we responsible for it and where did the government go wrong– His frank opinion on all these issues is very important.
How did the rivers get ruined? Himanshu Thakkar is concerned about the effect of destruction of rivers and its consequences. While assessing the time to come, he said that if we do not take lessons from past incidents, then understand that nothing will be left. His opinion is a red alert of future events. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMXDCPmhb90 (21 May 2023)
Meghalaya Saving The Rivers By H H Mohrmen It is sad that, to date, the state has not been able to even come up with a People’s Aquatic Biodiversity Register of the aquatic animals that are found in the rivers in the state. Without a doubt, aquatic life in the rivers in the coal mines has been gone forever, but the administration is completely ignorant about the existence of aquatic life in the other rivers in the state.
Despite the fact that in most of the rivers one can see the golden masher “kha-lad” (Tor putuitora) and chocolate mahseer “kha-saw” (Neolissocheilus hexagonolepis) swimming, not much is known about these fish species. Even though the IUCN has listed the golden mahseer (Tor putitora) as “endangered” and its population is declining at an alarming rate, the government has done nothing to protect this aquatic species.
It is now obvious that it is not only the Wah Umkhrah that needs the government’s attention; all the rivers in the state are under stress and need protection. The court and tribunal’s intervention should be taken as an alarm bell by the government and the people of the state. The government, along with the Autonomous District Council, should wake up and take immediate action to protect and preserve our rivers before it is too late. https://theshillongtimes.com/2023/05/15/saving-the-rivers-of-meghalaya/ (15 May 2023)
Jammu & Kashmir -As Jammu and Kashmir authorities prepare to mine lithium in Reasi, locals fear negative environmental and social impacts, given the history of large infrastructure projects in the hilly district. https://www.thethirdpole.net/en/pollution/residents-reeling-from-construction-projects-in-jammu-kashmir-fear-lithium-mining/ (19 May 2023)
Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on 10 Apr 2023 announced the widening of the 110 km national highway section, between Khanabal and Panchtarni in Jammu & Kashmir. https://swarajyamag.com/infrastructure/srinagar-110-km-highway-section-between-khanabal-and-panchtarni-to-be-widened-to-reduce-travel-time-to-amarnath-shrine (11 Apr 2023)
Maharashtra Udai bridge incomplete for 15 years Bhil tribal residents along the Udai river in Nandurbar district have no access to healthcare, education, livelihood, administration and communication. All because the promised bridge over the river Udai has been under construction for the past 15 years and still remains incomplete. https://www.gaonconnection.com/lead-stories/nandurbar-maharashtra-udai-river-bridge-construction-government-bhil-tribe-education-healthcare-52104 (19 May 2023)
Madhya Pradesh Water hyacinth taking over Kunda river in Khargon. https://www.ibc24.in/web-stories/the-citys-lifeline-kunda-river-covered-with-hyacinths-and-filth
Himachal Pradesh Snow cover in river basins falls 10% As per the mapping of the seasonal snow cover undertaken by the State Centre for Climate Change in the HP Council for Science, Technology and Environment, the snow cover in the river basins of the Chenab, Beas, Ravi and the Sutlej in the Himalayan region has declined by 10 per cent this year. This has led to the fear of an impending water shortage during the summer and a decline in power generation. There has been 0.39 per cent decline in the snow cover in the Chenab basin, 6.9 per cent in the Beas basin, 22.42 per cent in the Ravi basin and 14.61 per cent in the Sutlej river basin. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/snow-cover-in-river-basins-falls-10-himachal-pradesh-stares-at-water-crisis-510102 (22 May 22023)
Manali MC fined Rs 15.30 lakh for Beas pollution The State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) has imposed a fine of Rs 15.30 lakh on the Manali Municipal Council (MC) for polluting the Beas. An SPCB team visited the spot and found that dirt was getting mixed in the Beas from the garbage heap near Rangri. The HPSPCB imposed the fine after preparing a complete report and also directed the city council to make concrete arrangements to prevent the river from getting polluted.
The Manali garbage plant had started receiving waste in large quantities but it could not be treated properly. The garbage of Kullu and the Lahaul valley is also reaching Manali. Gradually, the dumping site turned into a mountain of garbage. The dirty water of the garbage is going directly into the Beas. Efforts have been made to prevent it by making a pit under the site, but to no avail. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/manali-mc-fined-15-30-lakh-for-beas-pollution-507904 (15 May 2023)
GANGA SC refuses to entertain plea on cleaning of Ganga, Yamuna. A bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justices P S Narasimha and J B Pardiwala asked the petitioner to approach the NGT with his grievances. “Why don’t you move the NGT? There is a specialised tribunal for this. We are not inclined to entertain this,” the bench said. The top court was hearing a plea filed by Swami Gurcharan Mishra seeking directions to clean the rivers and also monitor the action plan for their rejuvenation. https://indianexpress.com/article/india/sc-refuses-plea-cleaning-rivers-ganga-yamuna-8610281/ (15 May 2023)
Arati Kumar Rao peels back the centuries of meanders around Ganga close to Farakka to take a look at what we have done to the river in modern times. https://emergencemagazine.org/essay/in-the-shifting-embrace-of-the-ganga/ (11 May 2023)
Bihar Koshi: The river of life The Koshi river in northern India is a transboundary river that flows through Tibet, Nepal and India. It is the lifeline of communities that live along its banks. But the river landscape is changing rapidly due to climate change and other human activities.
In this series, Rahul Yaduka finds out about the challenges unique to the Koshi River in India, the government’s water management strategies and citizens’ responsibilities and adaption measures. https://www.next.blue/koshi-the-river-of-life/ (16 May 2023)
Uttarakhand Centre approves Rs 318 cr for Tanakpur-Pithoragarh all-weather road NHAI Executive Engineer Sunil Kumar said the approval has been given for the construction of the road on NH-9 which will be done in four phases. “We will first repair 49 landslide-prone spots on the strategically important road so that landslides can be prevented from happening and the road can stay open even during the monsoon,” NHAI Executive Engineer Sunil Kumar said. He said the proposal has been finalised on the basis of a report prepared by expert agency THDL, which has been appointed the supervisor for the project by the ministry.
The central government had in 2016 approved the Tanakpur-Pithoragarh stretch, which is part of the bigger road project traversing the ‘Char Dham’ pilgrim spots being built at the cost of Rs 12,000 crore. https://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/centre-approves-rs-318-cr-for-tanakpur-pithoragarh-all-weather-road-123032401431_1.html (24 March 2023)
चीन सीमा से लगे सीमांत क्षेत्र को एक और सौगात मिल रही है। जौलजीबी से तवाघाट तक 33 किमी मार्ग आलवेदर बनने जा रहा है। जिसके लिए बीआरओ आगामी आठ मार्च को टेंडर लगाने जा रहा है। भविष्य में लिपुलेख तक आलवेदर सड़क का निर्माण होना है। यह जानकारी भाजपा के प्रदेश प्रवक्ता सुरेश जोशी ने राष्ट्रीय राजमार्ग मंत्री नितिन गडकरी से मिलने के बाद पत्रकारों से बात करते हुए दी है। उन्होंने बताया कि आठ मार्च को जौलजीबी से तवाघाट पुल तक तैंतीस किमी मार्ग के प्रथम फेज के लिए 482 करोड़ के टेंंडर लगने जा रहे हैं। https://www.jagran.com/uttarakhand/nainital-all-weather-road-will-be-built-from-jauljibi-to-tawaghat-in-pithoragarh-adjacent-to-china-border-21382439.html (18 Feb. 2021)
पिथौरागढ़-घाट बारहमासी सड़क में कई स्थानों पर मलबा आने से घाट पंपिंग योजना भी बाधित हो गई है। हाल ही में सुधारी गई इस पेयजल योजना से वर्तमान में दो एमएलडी पानी मिलता है। जल संस्थान के एई सुरेश चंद्र जोशी ने बताया कि घाट सड़क पर मलबा आने से कुछ स्थानों पर पेयजल योजना क्षतिग्रस्त हुई है। मलबा हटाने के बाद योजना के पाइप दुरुस्त की जाएगी। उन्होंने बताया कि इस पेयजल योजना के बाधित होने से नगर के हनुमान मंदिर क्षेत्र की जलापूर्ति आंशिक रूप से प्रभावित रहेगी। https://www.amarujala.com/uttarakhand/pithoragarh/debris-again-came-near-gurna-and-chupkot-band-in-pithoragarh-ghat-all-weather-road-pithoragarh-news-hld4287664178 (24 Jun 20221)
MMCG Drains along Ganga to be geo-tagged to prevent pollution All drains carrying discharge from villages located on the banks of the Ganga river will be geo-tagged to prevent solid waste flowing into the river, according to an official document. The information on the geo-tagged drains will then be shared with urban local bodies, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and rural Swachh Bharat Mission (G) for initiating immediate action.
In a meeting held last month, a senior NMCG official informed that due to the construction of a tunnel at Uttarkashi in Uttarakhand, debris was being dumped along the banks of the Ganga, which was causing an increase in the level of solid waste pollution in the river water. He also pointed out that at many locations along the banks of the Ganga, solid waste is being dumped, which is making its way into the river water.
“This is creating problems in treatment of the waste water at STPs (sewage treatment plants). In this regard, the secretary, Ministry of Jal Shakti, stated that funds under AMRUT 2.0 could be used to install screens and stop solid waste from making its way into the river water. He also sought cooperation from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in this regard,” the document stated. https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/drains-along-ganga-to-be-geo-tagged-to-prevent-river-pollution-4053522 (21 May 2023)
Over 4,000 volunteers under the Namami Gange initiative have been keeping a check on littering and poaching in the river to make sure that its flora, fauna are intact; in return, the Wildlife Institute of India has helped them with livelihood training. https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/the-guardians-of-the-ganga/article66877758.ece (22 May 2023)
YAMUNA Haryana Today’s (16.05.2023) morning (~06:30 am) video showing tankers dumping untreated toxic industrial effluents in Drain No. 6 at Nathupur in Sonepat. This also contaminates water in Drain No 8 subsequently Yamuna river and chokes functioning of Delhi’s Wazirabad water treatment plant. This is common practiced followed by many water polluting industries there as several tankers can routinely be seen disposing untreated industrial effluents in this manner. https://fb.watch/kGHUouqsSF/
Delhi NGT’s nod to lighthouse on floodplains The project, however, will still require a clearance by the NMCG, a bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said during a hearing held on Friday (May 19), the order of which was released on Saturday (May 20). Bhim Singh Rawat the South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP), said a tab on encroachments can be kept by deploying security guards and using CCTV cameras, stating there was no need to construct such a structure. “The sanctity of the floodplains should be preserved. If we want to use the lighthouse for a better view of the river, we first need to clean the river and focus should be on trapping sewage and connecting it with sewage treatment plants,” he said. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/delhi-news/ngt-approves-delhi-s-lighthouse-project-for-floodplain-surveillance-and-security-subject-to-clearance-from-nmcg-101684605714895.html; https://www.business-standard.com/india-news/no-objection-to-installation-of-lighthouse-by-dda-in-yamuna-floodplain-ngt-123052000884_1.html (20 May 2023) https://www.livelaw.in/environment/national-green-tribunal-approval-dda-lighthouse-yamuna-floodplain-229188 (21 May 2023)
PWD appoints agency for Najafgarh drainage plan The PWD appointed a consultant earlier this week to make a drainage master plan for Delhi’s Najafgarh basin, officials in the know of the matter said on Thursday (May 18). Authorities floated tenders for bidding in May last year and, after selecting the consultant, have given him a year to complete the project, they said. Authorities also floated tenders last month to appoint consultants for master plans of the other two basins—Trans-Yamuna and Barapullah. Officials said the consultants for the other two basins are also likely to be finalised within the next few months.
A new drainage master plan has been long overdue as the Capital’s drainage master plan was last prepared in 1976. A comprehensive drainage master plan for the entire city was first proposed in 2009. IIT Delhi was initially tasked with making the draft in 2012, which was finally submitted to the authorities in 2018. However, it was not approved by the Delhi government as the solutions proposed were too “generic”. Experts say that the master plan is not a zonal plan and can only suggest broad measures like the IIT report did. However, the consultant needs to delve deeper. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/delhi-news/delhis-pwd-appoints-consultant-to-create-drainage-master-plan-for-najafgarh-basin-to-handle-monsoon-rain-and-population-growth-101684434072821.html (19 May 2023)
LG Vinai Kumar Saxena visited the Najafgarh lake Saturday to inspect and review ongoing works. Saxena, who is also the chairman of the High-Level Committee (HLC) set up by the NGT to revive the Yamuna river to which the lake is connected, visited the region along with a team of senior officers from Delhi and Haryana governments. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/delhi-l-g-saxena-inspects-najafgarh-lake-to-review-redevelopment-works-8620762/ (21 May 2023)
‘I love Yamuna campaign’ launched As part of the campaign, work will be done to increase the green cover on the banks of the Yamuna through a tree plantation drive and Delhiites will be encouraged to actively participate in cleaning activities of the river, he said. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/delhi-govt-launches-i-love-yamuna-campaign-to-rejuvenate-river/articleshow/100310571.cms (18 May 2023)
Group of concerned citizens plans to form 22-km-long human chain on June 4 to highlight Yamuna’s plight. https://www.telegraphindia.com/india/group-of-concerned-citizens-plans-to-form-22-km-long-human-chain-on-june-4-to-highlight-yamunas-plight/cid/1936658 (13 May 2023)
SUTLEJ 3 decades on, gharial spotted in Pakistan waters Mustafa, also a member of IUCN SSC Crocodile Specialist Group, told The Tribune that a possibility was that it swam all the way from the Harike wetland, around 50 km ahead of the India-Pakistan border, through the Sutlej river.
Mustafa, in his tweet thread, wrote that gharials were mentioned to be extinct in most of Pakistan’s rivers in 1978, according to the Pakistan Wildlife Conservation Strategy Report. “The reason being the construction of barrages, illegal killing for skin trade and the use of gill net for their capture. Then again in a report in 1980s they were mentioned to be only in marginal numbers in the upper reaches of the Ravi, Sutlej and Indus rives, but in Pakistan they were thought to be in Nara Canal but it was not a habitat for them as they are an open water species,” he added.
The Harike wetland is where the Beas and the Sutlej converge. From 2017 to 2021, the WWF in collaboration with the Punjab Forest and Wildlife Preservation Department had reintroduced and breed around 94 of these critically endangered species of crocodile in Punjab streams in different phases. These were mostly brought here from Morena in Madhya Pradesh. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/amritsar/3-decades-on-gharial-spotted-in-pakistans-punjab-waters-508569 (17 May 2023)
mp20230515120629939939781 (15 May 2023)
IWP Seeing the ‘unseen’: a spotlight on lesser known inhabitants of freshwater ecosystems A number of large and small – and very interesting animals inhabit freshwater ecosystems, depend on them for their survival and play an important role in maintaining the health of freshwater ecosystems. A number of them are vanishing and being threatened as urbanisation and human induced activities are taking a toll on the natural environment. Making efforts to save them and restoring the health of ecosystems is the need of the hour to save the environment – and people depending on it. Freshwater biologists Dr Sameer Padhye and Dr Avinash Vanjare speak about the interesting animals that inhabit freshwater ecosystems. https://www.indiawaterportal.org/articles/seeing-unseen-spotlight-lesser-known-inhabitants-freshwater-ecosystems (20 May 2023)
India’s fantastic freshwater fauna and where to find them India is one of the most mega-diverse countries when it comes to freshwater biodiversity. Approximately, 9.7 percent of the total fauna (animal species) are associated with freshwater ecosystems, several of which are endemic and unique to India. For instance, the Ganga-Brahmaputra system exhibits among the highest richness of large-bodied freshwater species (freshwater mega-fauna) in the world and supports unique and threatened species.
– Gollum snakehead: In 2019, when a group of scientists discovered this fish in the Western Ghats, South India, they were baffled. With odd features such as a uniform, cinnamon brown and long eel-like body, scales and delicate veil-like fins, the Gollum snakehead harbours an unexpectedly large number of primitive characteristics. The scientists ultimately went on to classify the fish as a new species, under a new genus (Aenigmachanna). Considered a “living fossil”, the Gollum snakehead is a fish species found in the groundwater and aquifer ecosystems of the southern Western Ghats. Unlike many groundwater species – which usually have reduced coloring and have poor or no vision – the gollum snakehead has well-developed pigmentation and normal-sized eyes.
– Blind Mahseer: Described as the “world’s largest subterranean fish”, this unique fish is nearly five times the average length (8.5 cm) for all known subterranean fish to date. It was recently discovered (in 2019) in the damp, dark, deep caves of Meghalaya, a northeastern state of India – a biodiversity hotspot. https://www.indiawaterportal.org/articles/indias-fantastic-freshwater-fauna-and-where-find-them (10 May 2022)
FISH, FISHERIES, FISHERFOLKS
Kerala Warming water, pollution amplify fish mortality -The SANDRP on World Fisheries Day 2022 put together the known mass fish death incidents that took place in rivers and wetlands in different parts of India in the years 2021 and 2022. Most of the fish kills in the country happened in February, April, May, July and November and the trigger was not heat but pollution.
“Increasing green cover is very important, but we need a combination of strategies to prevent fish kills. The dams in the state should release enough water into the rivers in summer to allow at least a minimum flow. An oxygen diffuser should be used in fish farms and ponds,” said Raghavan. https://india.mongabay.com/2023/05/warming-water-and-pollution-amplify-fish-mortality-in-kerala-during-summer/ (15 May 2023)
Andhra Pradesh Interesting to see 23458 fisherfolks gets compensation of over Rs 107 Cr for loss of fisheries work due to ONGS laying a pipeline through the Gowthami river mouth. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/23458-fisherfolk-affected-by-ongc-pipeline-project-get-10790-crore-compensation-in-kakinada-and-konaseema-districts/article66857551.ece (16 May 2023)
FAO’s Draft Guidelines for Sustainable Aquaculture is available at: https://www.icsf.net/resources/draft-guidelines-for-sustainable-aquaculture-twelfth-session-sub-committee-on-aquaculture-hermosillo-mexico-16-19-may-2023/ (May 2023)
Haryana यमुना में मीमार पुर घाट पर शुक्रवार (May 19) को अपने चार भाई बहनों को बचाते हुए 10वीं की छात्रा के डूबने के बाद यहां कि सुरक्षा व्यवस्था और कंपनियों द्वारा किए अवैध खनन पर फिर से सवाल उठे हैं। यहां ऐसा कोई पहला हादसा नहीं हैं। हर साल यहां मौत की डूबकी लग रही हैं। लेकिन यहां सुरक्षा के लिए केवल दावे हुए और खनन कंपनियों द्वारा खुदाई करके घाटों में बना जा रहे गहरे गड्ढे पर कोई रोक नहीं लग रही है। यहां कि पड़ताल करें तो खनन कंपनियों ने 25-30 फीट तक कुंड बना रखे हैं। श्रद्धालु नदी में नहाने के लिए उतरते हैं तो उन्हें गहराई का अंदाजा नहीं लगता। उनका पैर कुंड में गिर जाता है। जब तक वे संभालते, गहरे पानी में समां जाते हैं।
धारा 144 केवल नाम की, पुलिस चौकी तक बंद कर दिया: सुरक्षा की बात करें तो यहां की मीमारपुर पुलिस चौकी को बंद कर दिया गया है। घोड़ा गश्त यहां पिछले आठ साल से बंद है। बाइक से रेतीली जमीन में पुलिस गश्त नहीं कर सकती। प्रशासन भी यहां बार-बार धारा 144 लगाने का दावा तो करता है, लेकिन आजतक यहां किसी का चालान तक नहीं हुआ है। https://www.bhaskar.com/local/haryana/sonipat/gohana/news/excavation-of-25-30-feet-of-sand-in-the-river-devotees-drowning-in-the-pool-administration-silent-131303761.html (20 May 2023)
करनाल गांव लालूपुरा में यमुना के पास पीर बाबा पर मन्नत मांगने आए एक युवक की यमुना में डूबने से मौत हो गई। युवक की पहचान उत्तर प्रदेश के सहारनपुर के रुड़की निवासी हर्षित के रूप में हुई है। ग्रामीणों ने युवक को कड़ी मशक्कत के बाद यमुना से बाहर निकाला और सूचना डायल 112 को दी। सूचना मिलते ही पुलिस मौके पर पहुंच गई और युवक को घरौंडा के अस्पताल में लेकर आई। जहां डाक्टरों ने उसे मृत घोषित कर दिया। पुलिस मामले की जांच में जुट गई है। https://www.jagran.com/haryana/karnal-young-man-who-came-to-pray-at-the-tomb-died-due-to-drowning-in-the-yamuna-river-brother-of-the-deceased-narrowly-survived-23416340.html (18 May 2023)
गांव नबीयाबाद गुरुद्वारा घाट के पास यमुना में नहाने के लिए गए दो किशोरों की डूबने से मौत हो गई। रोहन पुत्र शालीन जोगी वासी गांव बीबीपुर ब्राह्मण और अरमान खान पुत्र सालिम वासी बदरपुर यमुना नदी में डूब गए। किशोरों के डूबने की सूचना पर पुलिस और ग्रामीण यमुना पर पहुंचे। मौके पर चौकी इंचार्ज बयाना सहायक उपनिरीक्षक ने लोगों के सहयोग से तुरंत बच्चों को ढूंढना शुरू किया। काफी देर ढूंढने के बाद भी बच्चों के शव नहीं मिले। इसके बाद गोताखोरों की टीम को मौका इसके बाद गोताखोरों की टीम को मौके पर बुलाया गया। दोनों बच्चों को निकालने के लिए प्रकट सिंह की टीम नै कड़ी मशक्कत की। करीब 2 घंटे चलाए सर्च अभियान के दौरान दोनों किशोरों के शव मिल गए। https://www.bhaskar.com/local/haryana/karnal/indri/news/two-teenagers-died-due-to-drowning-in-the-ghat-of-yamuna-dead-bodies-were-removed-late-at-night-131295481.html (18 May 2023) https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/chandigarh-news/tragic-drowning-of-two-teenage-boys-in-yamuna-river-sends-shockwaves-through-karnal-district-101684435512307.html (19 May 2023)
करनाल: इंद्री में यूपी बॉर्डर के पास यमुना नदी में नहाने गए 2 बच्चों की डूबने से मौत हो गई। नबियाबाद गुरुद्वारे के पास यमुना नदी के घाट पर 5 किशोर 12वीं में पास होने की खुशी में नहाने आए थे। नदी में नहाने के दौरान पांचों बच्चे डूबने लगे। जिनमें 3 को बचा लिया गया है और 2 बच्चों की डूबने से मौत हो गई है। मृतकों की शिनाख्त अरमान और रोहन के रूप में हुई है। https://haryana.punjabkesari.in/haryana/news/2-children-who-went-to-bathe-in-yamuna-river-died-due-to-drowning-1825513 (18 May 2023)
Delhi यमुना नदी में रेत खनन रोकने के सारे प्रयास विफल साबित हो रहे हैं। एनजीटी, सरकार, पुलिस को ठेंगा दिखाते हुए खनन माफिया रात में नदी का सीना चीरकर रेत खनन कर रहे हैं। उत्तरी जिले के वजीराबाद, बुराड़ी, तिमारपुर थाना क्षेत्र और उत्तरी बाहरी जिले के यमुना नदी के किनारे सटे इलाके में रेत माफिया व्यावसायिक लाभ के लिए प्राकृतिक संसाधन का दोहन कर रहे हैं, लेकिन नाक के नीचे धड़ल्ले से चल रहे इस खेल को पुलिस-प्रशासन रोक नहीं पा रहा है। इससे रेत माफिया मालामाल हो रहे हैं।
रेत खनन में लगे लोग हथियारबंद होते हैं। ऐसे में रात में अधिकारी भी वहां जाकर उन्हें रोकने का जोखिम लेने से डरते हैं। सूत्रों के मुताबिक हर रात लगभग तीन सौ ट्राली रेत निकाली जाती है। इसके बाद प्रति ट्राली 5-7000 Rs की दर से बेचा जाता है। यहां से रेत निकालकर उसे दिल्ली-एनसीआर के अन्य शहरों में पहुंचाया जाता है। रेत ढोने में जिन वाहनों का इस्तेमाल किया जाता, उनमें अधिकतर हरियाणा और उत्तर प्रदेश के नंबर प्लेट लगे होते हैं। https://www.jagran.com/delhi/new-delhi-city-ncr-delhi-illegal-sand-mining-in-yamuna-mafia-police-administration-failed-responsible-became-mute-23409974.html (12 May 2023)
Uttar Pradesh Short video clip shows giant poclians machines digging flowing course of Ken river bed in night hours of May 08, 2023 in Luktara village near Bhulsi in Banda district. https://fb.watch/kGHW_hVcTt/
No further sand mining will be allowed on Son: NGT No further mining for sand will be allowed on the riverbed of the Son River, a gharial habitat, in Sonbhadra district, till mining leases that have already been granted are revisited, the NGT has said in a recent order. The two mining companies are required to pay environmental compensation of Rs. 8.16 crore and Rs. 7.08 crore respectively, to the UPPCB in instalments. In addition to the extraction of groundwater without permission, the NGT committee had also pointed out that the companies have raised temporary bridges across the river to transport minerals from one side to the other. The Tribunal’s order said that such structures were not permitted, since interrupting the flow pattern of the river is prohibited as per the conditions of the environment clearance granted for mining.
The Tribunal’s Principal Bench was hearing a case against two companies mining sand in violation of conditions of their environment clearance in Sonbhadra, and causing damage to aquatic ecology, flora, and fauna. Material submitted to the court by the petitioners pointed to a decline in the population of gharial and tortoise in the river due to illegal mining.
Noting that the river course of the Son is common from Madhya Pradesh to Bihar, and that aquatic animals like “alligators, gharial, tortoise etc. can travel very long distances” and travelling of these aquatic animals from MP to UP, and Bihar cannot be ruled out, the NGT has directed that the MoEF and the Environment and Forest ministries of UP and Bihar will consider the matter of declaring part of the Son river running through UP and Bihar as a wildlife sanctuary and eco-sensitive zone for the protection of gharials, and take action within three months.
The Tribunal’s order said that part of the River Son in Madhya Pradesh has been declared the Son Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary and “certain area has been further declared as ‘ESZ’ (eco-sensitive zone)”.
The NGT order stated: “If indiscrete, uncontrolled and unmonitored mining in the river stream is allowed in States of UP and Bihar, it is bound to damage these aquatic animals. When a substantial part of River Son in the State of MP has been declared as Son Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary and ESZ, we do not find as to why the entire course of River Son to the extent these gharials etc. can travel the runoff of River Son, should not be declared as a Protected Area/ESZ…”.
The Tribunal has also noted that inaction on the part of the authorities for the protection of aquatic animals “amounts to a failure in discharge of statutory functions and is seriously condemnable.” The NGT has noted in its order: “This is a serious violation which has serious consequences, degrading and damaging effect on the river ecology.” https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/sand-mining-son-river-ngt-8622363/ (22 May 2023)
Madhya Pradesh केन नदी पर यूपी मे ब्लैकलिस्ट फर्म का मध्यप्रदेश के बुंदेलखंड मे नदी पर लिफ्टर और पोकलैंड से मौरम का अवैध खनन। यूफोरिया माइंस एंड मिनरल्स भोपाल की इस फर्म को छतरपुर के गौरिहार तहसील की सभी खदानें और इसी ग्रुप की कंपनी पुष्पा इंटरप्राइजेज को चन्दला मे सभी खंड आवंटित है।
– यूफोरिया माइंस एंड मिनरल्स ही मध्यप्रदेश के पन्ना ज़िले में केन नदी पर उत्खनन कर रही है। यह तस्वीर पन्ना से है। कभी यही फर्म बाँदा के लड़ाका पुरवा मे तत्कालीन डीएम अमित सिंह बंसल की कार्यवाही पर ब्लैकलिस्ट हुई थी। बाँदा के एक पूर्व विधायक व लखनऊ के मिश्रा बंधु तब इसका संचालन करते थे। सूत्रधार बतलाते है कि होशंगाबाद पिपरिया क्षेत्र से चर्चित मल्होत्रा की यह फर्म मध्यप्रदेश सरकार के कद्दावर मंत्रियों / सीएम कार्यालय तक पकड़ रखती है। इस फर्म के लिए खनिज कानून के कोई मायने ज़मीन पर अमल नहीं होते। अलबत्ता खनिज डीड मे दी शर्ते नक्कारखाने का ढोल है। https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=pfbid02L7R9zPfQH1KdbxkLzYbFc743ZUdX9BKtT3oBD33hW77RRbhoBX9qpvKiSPTR8quJl&id=100063929087068&mibextid=Nif5oz (20 May 2021) https://dashanan.in/crime/illegal-mining-in-panna-chhatarpur-do-a-minister-khanan-mafia-story-live-6615/ (21 May 2023)
Chhattisgarh रेत खनन की वजह से मैनी नदी में हुए गड्ढे में डूबने से बगीचा थाना क्षेत्र के ग्राम पसिया की दो बच्चियों की मौत हो गई। गर्मी की छुट्टियों में दोनों बच्चियां नहाने के लिए मैनी नदी गईं थीं। जानकारी के अनुसार घटना बगीचा थाना क्षेत्र के ग्राम पंयायत पसिया के आश्रित ग्राम लौहबुटरी में दो दिन पहले गुरुवार को घटित हुई है। लौहघुटरी (May 11) निवासी आसमानी नागवंशी 11 वर्ष पिता असमू नागवंशी और रीना नागवंशी 13 वर्ष पिता रतिया राम आपस में पक्की सहेली थी। दोनों बच्चियां गांव के सरकारी स्कूल में छठवीं और आठवीं में पढ़ती थीं। करीब 15 फीट की गहराई से दोनों बच्चियों की लाश निकाली गईं। घटना में यह तथ्य भी सामने आया है कि जिस स्थान पर दोनों बच्चियां डूबी हैं, उस स्थान से कुछ दिन पहले रेत निकाला गया था, जिससे निश्चित स्थान पर नदी की गहराई ज्यादा थी।
जशपुर जिले में रेत के अवैध उत्खनन पर कोई रोकटोक नहीं है। रेत कारोबारी अपनी सुविधानुसार किसी भी स्थान से रेत निकाल रहे हैं। जशपुर जिले की प्रमुख नदी ईब में कई अवैध रेतघाट संचालित हैं, जहां से दिनरात रेत निकालने का काम चल रहा है। जशपुर शहर की जीवनदायिनी लावा नदी में ग्राम कुजरी व पैकू के पास रेत का अवैध खनन दिनरात चल रहा है। झारखंड बार्डर पर शंख नदी और बगीचा की डोड़की नदी से भी रेत का अवैध खनन जोरों पर चल रहा है। रेत विक्रेता मुफ्त में रेत निकाल रहे हैं। पर इससे रेत के दाम कम नहीं है। खनिज विभाग के रिकार्ड में वर्तमान में जिले में एक भी रेत खदानें सक्रिय नहीं हैं। खनिज अधिकारी एलआर राजपूत ने बताया कि नई रेत खदानों के आवंटन की प्रक्रिया चल रही है। https://www.bhaskar.com/local/chhattisgarh/jashpur/news/pits-formed-in-the-river-due-to-mining-two-girls-who-went-to-bathe-died-due-to-drowning-131280480.html (13 May 2023)
Some of the stop dams, check dams, anicuts, etc are dry in Chhattisgarh as the sand miners have released the water to mine sand or the gates have been stolen.
Hindi report on illegal sand mining in Mahanadi river in Kanker. https://www.etvbharat.com/amp/hindi/chhattisgarh/state/kanker/illegal-mining-in-mahanadi-in-kanker-collector-assured-to-take-action-on-sand-mafia-ngt/ct20230517103411836836341 (17 May 2023)
Jharkhand ग्रामीण अब अवैध बालू की तस्करी की शिकायत प्रधानमंत्री, मुख्यमंत्री, प्रतिपक्ष के नेता, आयकर विभाग, सीबीआई, खनन विभाग, उपायुक्त से लेकर तमाम संबंधित विभागों से करने वालें हैं. इसके लिये वह मामले से संबंधित आवेदन की ड्राफ्टिंग करा हस्ताक्षर अभियान चला रहे हैं. इसमें ग्रामीण बालू की अवैध कारोबार में शामिल लोगों के नामों व उनके सहयोगियों व संरक्षण दाताओं का उल्लेख करते हुए उनके अब तक की वैद्य व अवैध संपत्ति, फोन व व्हाट्सएप चैटिंग की निष्पक्ष जांच करने की मांग की जाएगी.
-कुछ ग्रामीणों ने नाम नहीं छापने के शर्त पर बताया कि उक्त घाटों से बालू का निरंतर अवैध खनन होने से आसपास गांवों के जल स्तर में भारी गिरावट आ गई है. इससे गर्मी के मौसम में प्राकृतिक जल स्रोत सुखने लगे हैं. इससे उनका कृषि कार्य प्रभावित हुआ है. इसके अलावे दिन-रात बालू की तस्करी में शामिल वाहनों का परिचालन से उनका निंद प्रभावित होने के साथ-साथ आम जन-जीवन में खलल उत्पन्न होते रहा है. https://lagatar.in/kiriburu-villagers-in-jaitgarh-preparing-to-fight-one-on-one-with-sand-mafia/ (20 May 2023)
Bihar बालू के अवैध खनन के कारण मोहाने नदी जगह-जगह मौत का कुआं बन चुका है। बालू के अवैध खनन के साथ ही वैध रुप से आवंटित घाटों पर भी नदी के स्वरुप से छेड़छाड़ हो रही है। इन कारणों से नदी में गहरे गड्ढे बन गए हैं। इन गड्ढों में बच्चें नहाने पहुंच रहे हैं। कई जगह बालू निकालने से बने गड्ढों में डूबने से बच्चों की मौत भी हो चुकी है। बावजूद प्रशासन सिर्फ कार्रवाई का दिखावा ही कर रही है। कई वैध घाटों में बालू निकाल रही पोकलेन व जेसीबी मशीन का सिर्फ पंजा ही मात्र दिखाई दे रहा है। https://www.bhaskar.com/local/bihar/gaya/news/mohane-river-located-near-dharmaranya-vedi-has-become-a-well-of-death-due-to-illegal-mining-131276505.html (13 May 2023)
आरा शहर में सोन नदी के गहरे पानी में डूबने से एक ही गांव के चार बच्चों की मौत हो गई। घटना अजीमाबाद थाना क्षेत्र के अहिमनचक सोन बालू घाट की बताई जा रही है। मृतकों के परिजन इस घटना का जिम्मेदार सोन नदी में अवैध खनन करने वाले बालू माफियाओं को बता रहे हैं। परिजनों का कहना है कि सोन नदी में अवैध बालू खनन करने वाले माफियाओं ने बड़े-बड़े गड्ढे खोद कर पुल बना दिया है। जहां आज बच्चों के खेलने के दौरान पैर फिसला और वे लबालब पानी भरे उन गड्ढों में गिर गए। इस वजह से उनकी डूबने से मौत हो गई। https://www.amarujala.com/bihar/four-children-of-noorpur-village-drowned-in-sone-river-in-arrah-villagers-block-road-for-compensation-2023-03-15 ; https://www.palpalindia.com/2023/03/15/bihar-Four-died-due-to-drowning-in-river-accident-of-falling-pit-dug-in-illegal-mining-news-in-hindi.html (15 March 2023)
Woman Dies Due To Drowning In Mining Pit In River https://www.bhaskar.com/local/bihar/jehanabad/news/woman-dies-due-to-drowning-in-mining-pit-in-river-130354210.html (Oct. 2022)
Telangana No sand mining in Manair for commercial purpose: HC The Telangana High Court permitted the State government to mine sand and undertake de-silting activity at the southern end of Manair river in Karimnagar district. However, this should be for the purpose of only executing government projects like housing for the poor. A bench of Justices Abhinand Kumar Shavili and Sambasivarao Naidu passed this interim direction, after hearing a writ petition filed by State Mineral Development Corporation (TSMDC) challenging an order passed by the NGT’s southern bench in Chennai instructing government to stop sand mining in Manair river.
Two persons Gadeela Raghuveer Reddy and A. Karnakar Reddy filed a petition before the NGT stating that government permitted private persons to carry out sand-mining at the villages of Vanilla, Utter, Challur, Mallareddypally, Kondapaka, Korekal and Pothireddypalli without securing the mandatory environmental clearances. The petitioners contended that the TSMDC invited bids for de-siltation of Manair river reaches at the above villages. With the government’s permission, contractors started digging, extracting, removing and transporting huge amounts of sand in the name of de-siltation without requisite environmental and pollution clearances, they said. The NGT passed an expartee adinterim order on April 28 directing the government to stop sand mining at Manair river reaches. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/no-manair-sand-mining-for-commercial-purpose-hc-interim-direction/article66871341.ece (20 May 2023)
Himachal Pradesh Despite crackdown, illegal sand mining continues unabated Regardless of the change at the helm, police crackdown and heavy penalty, illegal sand mining goes on unabated in Himachal Pradesh. The riverbeds of the Sutlej, Yamuna, Beas, Ravi, Chakki and Swan are hotbeds of illegal mining. From dusk to dawn, dozens of tippers and tractor-trolleys laden with sand and gravel head out, while earth-movers wreak havoc, plundering the riverbed even as mechanised mining is banned. The situation in the border areas of Kangra district and Sirmaur district is graver as jurisdiction conflicts are common due to un-demarcated boundaries. There have been instances of the mining mafia attacking government officers on inspection to check illegal activities. Villagers who raise a voice against the mafia also become easy targets.
A senior police officer, who has earlier served as the superintendent of Kangra, said on condition of anonymity that sometimes the police of neighbouring states help the mining mafia. “It has happened in the past when Himachal Pradesh Police took action, the police of the neighbouring states stopped it, citing jurisdiction violation,” he said. Apart from the mining department, the state government has delegated power to nearly two dozen departments, including police, public works, jal shakti and forest, to act against illegal mining in their jurisdiction. However, it is the police department that is seen in action most of the times.
According to the data presented in the Vidhan Sabha during the recent budget session, in the past three years, the mining department executed 207 mining leases in the state and earned revenue of more than ₹23.19 crore. From 2020-22, the police detected 21,326 cases of illegal mining. As many as 18,874 cases were registered and fine amounting to ₹18.1 crore was realised. Of the 2,452 cases, which reached the court, were decided by the court and fine amounting more than ₹1.09 crore was realised. A total of 489 cases are still pending in court. This year till April 14, the police issued 1,998 challans under the Mining Act of which 1,603 were compounded and collected fine worth ₹1.18 crore.
In May 2022, the state government created four mining zones in the state to effectively enforce mining laws and monitor illegal mining after re-structuring of the geological wing of the industries department. The move was aimed at de-centralisation of works earlier entrusted to the state geologist. State industries director Rakesh Kumar Prajapati said that to increase its visibility in the field, the department has started the process to recruit 28 mining guards. Recruitment of mining inspectors and assistant mining inspectors is also underway. “Illegal mining takes place on government land mostly. The department has decided to auction all such sites for which cases of Forest Conservation Act (FCA) and Forests Rights Act (FRA) clearances are being expedited,” he said. https://bit.ly/3MiHYWY (07 May 2023)
Punjab Following reports of delay in submitting challans against people caught for illegal sand mining, deputy commissioner Aashika Jain has warned SHOs of action if there is any delay in submission of challans by their teams. As many as 23 FIRs have been registered, under which 11 tippers, four tractor-trolleys, four Poclain machines and one JCB machine have been impounded by different police stations in the past one month. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/chandigarh-news/deputy-commissioner-warns-action-against-delay-in-illegal-sand-mining-challans-submission-by-shos-as-23-firs-registered-101684458616909-amp.html (19 May 2023)
राजस्थान खान एवं पेट्रोलियम विभाग ने ये पेनल्टी को लगाने में 3 साल की देरी कर दी। फरवरी 2020 में एनजीटी ने पेनल्टी का स्लैब निर्धारित किया था उसी आदेशों को आज विभाग ने लागू किया है। https://www.bhaskar.com/amp/local/rajasthan/jaipur/news/illegal-sand-mining-penalties-in-rajasthan-131297273.html (18 May 2023)
Jammu & Kashmir Residents reeling from construction projects fear lithium mining As Jammu and Kashmir authorities prepare to mine lithium in Reasi, locals fear negative environmental and social impacts, given the history of large infrastructure projects in the hilly district. https://www.thethirdpole.net/en/pollution/residents-reeling-from-construction-projects-in-jammu-kashmir-fear-lithium-mining/ (19 May 2023)
Uttarakhand कांडा में कालिका मंदिर के समीप खड़िया खनन से हुए मंदिर को नुकसान की उच्चस्तरीय भू वैज्ञानिक जांच करने की मांग को लेकर मंदिर समिति के सदस्यों व ग्रामीणों ने कलक्ट्रेट में प्रदर्शन किया। क्षेत्रवासियों ने डीएम को ज्ञापन देकर मंदिर के समीप खनन बंद करने का लिखित आदेश जारी करने की मांग की। https://khabaruttarakhandlive.in/the-villagers-of-kanda-protested-against-the-cracks-in-the-kali-temple-due-to-chalk-mining-and-demanded-to-stop-the-mining/
WETLANDS, LAKES, WATER BODIES
Mongabay India Documenting water bodies good start but their condition is concerning However, while determining whether water bodies were functioning or not, the census did not recognise the ecosystem services provided by these water bodies, pointed out environmental activist and water expert Himanshu Thakkar. Thakkar, who is the coordinator of SANDRP, told Mongabay-India that the water bodies, whether big or small, are important for biodiversity, water harvesting and groundwater recharge. But the census did not analyse the possible impact of water bodies on the ecosystem’s overall health. Thakkar added that doing this would have helped policymakers regulate water bodies in terms of their eco-functioning.
– Thakkar pointed out inconsistencies in data collection of the study. For example, he notes, in Karnataka state, the census report has found about 27,000 water bodies, out of which about 21,000 are not in use. But this is in contrast to the findings of a joint survey conducted by the Tank Conservation and Development Authority and Karnataka Public Land Corporation in 2021, which recorded 40,483 water bodies in the state. “How can so many water bodies be wiped out in a matter of a year or so,” he asked, saying that an independent assessment is needed to properly review the data published in the census report. https://india.mongabay.com/2023/05/documenting-indias-water-bodies-a-good-start-but-the-state-of-many-of-them-is-concerning-say-experts/ (19 May 2023)
Manipur Wildlife panel set to scrutinise Loktak lake resort proposals NBWL will hold a meeting to discuss diversion of 82.54 ha of forest land to build a golf course (42.14 ha) and a resort (40.40 ha) within the eco-sensitive zone of the Keibul Lamjao National Park and Khongjaingamba Ching Sanctuary for the proposed Loktak Lake eco-tourism project of the state government. During a NBWL meeting held on April 25, minutes of which were published this week on the Parivesh website, the standing committee decided to discuss the proposal with officials of the state forest department, LDA and other stakeholders.
Manipur organized an online meeting on “Wise Use Plan of Loktak Wetland and construction of Golf Course & Resort” on October 6, 2022, under the chairmanship of the additional forest chief secretary, when it was decided that LDA would pursue the matter with the Centre to obtain approval for the project. The union environment ministry will examine the plan submitted by LDA for approval at an early date.
The joint secretary in charge of the wetland division of the union environment ministry informed that a meeting was held on April 5 in the presence of environment minister Bhupender Yadav, when it was decided that the LDA will submit its comments on an appraisal report (AR) submitted by IIT Roorkee on the golf course and resort proposal along with its recommendations. This report was not available on the ministry’s Parivesh website on Tuesday (May 16) The LDA will submit a revised impact assessment for consideration of the ministry under the National Plan for Conservation of Aquatic Ecosystems (NPCA). https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/controversy-looms-over-building-a-golf-course-and-resort-on-forest-land-in-eco-sensitive-zone-of-keibul-lamjao-national-park-101684261098191.html (17 May 2023)
Maharashtra Mangrove Cell stops work on Palm Beach service road Acting on complaints lodged by nature lovers and the Navi Mumbai Mangrove Cell of the Forest Department came down heavily on the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) and halted ongoing construction work of a over 600 metre long service road off Palm Beach Road. The road was to run between TS Chanakya Signal and Sector 58 in Nerul. However, the civic body did not get permission from Bombay High Court which is necessary to go ahead with any construction activity within the 50 meter mangrove buffer zone. Moreover, the mangrove cell also asked the civic officials to produce all required permissions at the earliest.
The civic body had started work on the service road after obtaining a conditional nod from the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) which instructed it to obtain permission from other authorities including the High Court. But the High Court during its April 24 hearing adjourned the matter to July 4. However, NMMC started the road work with excavation activity within the 50 meter buffer area of mangrove, violating the environment norms, said greens. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/navi-mumbai/mangrove-cell-stops-work-on-palm-beach-service-rd-as-no-nod-from-hc/articleshow/100290379.cms (17 May 2023)
Environmentalists in Navi Mumbai have expressed their concern about the accumulation of garbage in the holding pond at Sector 24, Nerul, also known as ‘The Jewel of Navi Mumbai’. They have also highlighted the neglect of trees in the park, which are drying up, and the theft of iron rods from the boundary wall. https://newsband.in/?p=40950 (16 May 2023)
NGT principal bench, Delhi, has directed the restoration of mangroves along Eastern Freeway and sought a report before June 30. The order was issued to the state environment secretary, BMC, city collector and salt commissioner in an appeal filed by advocate Madhura Tawde in 2021, for remedial action on salt pan land near the coastal road at Wadala to Mahul close to Chembur to CST freeway. In her petition, Tawde had pointed to the dumping of construction debris on salt pan to make an island and encroach upon it. The NGT had then appointed a six-member joint committee to ascertain the facts. The committee had reported serious violations of the CRZ notification, 2019. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/ngt-to-state-bmc-restore-mangroves-along-freeway/articleshow/100368501.cms (20 May 2023)
Residents object to ‘artificial beautification’ Panvel lake Residents and environmentalists are upset over the beautification of 400-year-old Vadale lake taken up by the Panvel Municipal Corporation (PMC). They said the civic body was destroying natural flora and fauna at the Peshwa-era lake, also known as Ballaleshwar lake, under the guise of beautification.
Mukund Gondhalekar, a social worker, said, “The civic body has installed artificial deer and ducks etc at the lake. This is stupidity. We do not understand who came up with this brilliant idea. Such artificial objects and concrete work will only increase the temperature of the area,” he added. Demanding that these artificial structures should be removed, Gondhalekar added that “the expenses incurred in their installation should be recovered from the person who took the decision to install them.”
Environmentalists, too, had twice complained to CM Eknath Shinde. Exasperated, the environmentalists have dashed off a third email to the CM drawing his attention to the fact that the PMC was going ahead with the work of illuminating the lake’s surroundings with LED lights, building artificial platforms and installing statues of birds and deer at the cost of the natural beauty. Grass and weeds, which are home to several exotic birds such as painted-snipe, are endangered, NatConnect Foundation wrote in its fresh missive to the CM. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/mumbai-news/residents-and-environmentalists-upset-over-pmc-s-destruction-of-natural-flora-and-fauna-in-the-beautification-of-vadale-lake-101683312625891.html (06 May 2023)
In a hat-trick of sorts, a 3.6 km free flowing creeklet in Uran has been buried under the guise of providing compensatory lands for the JNPA project-affected people thus spelling doom for several villages, green groups have complained to the Centre and the State Government. JNPA and other agencies have dismissed the allegations claiming there are no wetlands in the area and all actions are being taken as per stipulated norms.
JNPA, which allegedly started the landfill five years ago at Dastan Phata in Jasai village amid protests from environmentalists and the fishing community, has not only completed the burial of the wetland but raised the landfill to at least five feet above the NH348, activists alleged. In their joint letter to the Union Ministry of MoEF&CC as well as the State Chief Minister, the activists claimed that two other wetlands – Bhendkhal and Savarkhar have already been wiped out.
The Dastan landfill is totally illegal as permissions for neither the excavation nor landfill have been obtained, Nandakumar Pawar of Sagar Shakti, the marine division of NGO Vanashakti, said. The hundreds of trucks carrying earth dug from the nearby hills did not have the royalty permits which was clearly shown during an official inspection done at the instance of Sagarshakti and NatConnect Foundation, Pawar said.
NatConnect director B N Kumar recalled that the landfill was stopped for about a week when he complained to the High Court appointed wetland committee. The dumping was resumed after JNPA “shockingly” claimed that the longish creeklet area is not a wetland. Going by the MOEFCC definition, wetland is a waterbody which is static or flowing, man-made or natural, temporary or permanent, Kumar claimed. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/mumbai-news/uran-wetlands-buried-for-compensatory-lands-allege-green-groups-in-letter-to-centre-and-state-jnpa-denies-allegations-environment-wetlands-uran-101682419159387.html (25 April 2023)
‘Fleas’ flee the Pashan lake in Pune! Restoration efforts focusing on desilting and re-contouring of Pashan lake have added to the deterioration of the lake habitat, threatening survival of organisms such as water fleas, warn freshwater biologists Mihir Kulkarni and Sameer Padhye. https://www.indiawaterportal.org/articles/fleas-flee-pashan-lake-pune (24 Jan. 2022)
Kolkata Experts concerned over dipping water level of Rabindra Sarobar The water level of Rabindra Sarobar in south Kolkata’s Dhakuria area has gone down drastically in the past several months raising concern among enviornmentalists and regular visitors. A KMDA official said visitors and staff have reported that ‘char’ (surface land) has come up in two parts of the lake near its boundary, and water level has come down to some extent in the middle of the lake. “This is unprecedented in the lake’s history in recent years. We are aware of the development and an emergency meeting has been called to take stock of the situation.”
Geo Scientist Sujib Kar said “Previously Rabindra Sarobar was linked with river Ganga. But after a devastating storm in 1737, the lake was detached from the river and the flow from the Adi-Ganga was choked.” The lake is still linked with Adi-Ganga through a sub-surface water-bearing strata, extending from 16 mt. to 46 mt, as a result of which the discharge of water in the form of sub-surface flow towards Adi-Ganga canal is causing a drop in the water level of the lake, he explained.
Rampant withdrawal of ground water in various parts of Kolkata and restricted recharge of ground water due to dwindling number of water bodies is causing strain on Rabindra Sarobar which acts as the feeder of ground water of a vast area and this is triggering seasonal fluctuations of water level in the lake, Kar said. Claiming that no mapping of the water body had taken place in the last five decades, Ghosh said this should have been carried out every five years. https://www.theweek.in/wire-updates/national/2023/05/22/ces2-wb-lake-water-level.html (22 May 2023)
Tamil Nadu MoEF informed NGT that it has called for a report from its regional office in Chennai, to ascertain whether Sun Pharmaceuticals Industries Limited violated any conditions imposed on it when it was granted environmental clearance for its plant close to Vedanthangal bird sanctuary. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/centre-calls-for-compliance-report-from-pharma-company-near-vedanthangal-bird-sanctuary/article66856398.ece/amp/ (16 May 2023)
भोपाल के बड़े तालाब के पास हो रहा आवासीय परिसर के निर्माण के मामले में एनजीटी ने दो मई 2023 को दिए आदेश में संयुक्त समिति से रिपोर्ट तलब की है। मामला मध्यप्रदेश के भोपाल में अपर लेक के 50 मीटर के दायरे में कोर्टयार्ड हाइट्स के नाम से हो रहे एक आवासीय परिसर के निर्माण से जुड़ा है। इस मामले में शिकायतकर्ता फराज आजम का कहना है कि नो कंस्ट्रक्शन जोन के भीतर होता निर्माण और विकास पानी की गुणवत्ता पर प्रतिकूल प्रभाव डालता है। ऐसे में अगर इसे रोका नहीं जाता तो यह अवसादन, शहरी तूफानी जल अपवाह, जल प्रणालियों में प्रदूषण और जलीय पर्यावरण को नुकसान पहुंचा सकता है साथ ही इस तरह के अन्य मुद्दों को भी जन्म देता है। https://www.downtoearth.org.in/hindistory/development/urbanisation/in-depth-study-of-earthquakes-landslides-and-floods-necessary-for-development-in-uttarakhand-89448 (03 May 2023)
Centre 30 closed coal mines to be developed as forests, waterbodies “The de-coaled lands are being put to environment friendly usage by filling them up with flyash, creating forest cover, agriculture lands, solar plants and water bodies. Of the expected more than 2 lakh hectare of de-coaled lands, around 20000 hectare has been identified and 500 hectares per year of it will be made available for various environmental usages over the next few years” Amrit Lal Meena, union secretary for coal, said on Monday (May 15) while speaking to mediapersons on the sidelines of the three-day 3rd energy transition working group meeting, part of G20 summit, going on in Mumbai. said. Coal mines last for average 25 to 30 years.
-Pointing out that 75% of the power produced is still thermal, Meena said the present quantum of 892 million tonnes of coal used in financial year 2023 will go up to 1.1 billion by 2024, 1.5 billion by 2030 and sizeably big by 2040. Out of the present 892 million tonnes, around 220 million tonnes of coal is imported. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/india-to-close-around-30-coal-mines-in-next-few-years-to-pave-way-for-forests-water-bodies/articleshow/100255117.cms (15 May 2023)
Study World’s largest lakes are shrinking dramatically More than half of the world’s largest lakes and reservoirs have lost significant amounts of water over the last three decades, according to a new study, which pins the blame largely on climate change and excessive water use. Roughly one-quarter of the world’s population lives in the basin of a drying lake, according to the study by a team of international scientists, published on May 18 2023 in the journal Science. While lakes cover only around 3% of the planet, they hold nearly 90% of its liquid surface freshwater and provide drinking water, irrigation and power, and they provide vital habitats for animals and plants.
– The researchers used satellite measurements of nearly 2,000 of the world’s largest lakes and reservoirs, which together represent 95% of Earth’s total lake water storage. They examined more than 250,000 satellite images spanning from 1992 to 2020, along with climate models, to reconstruct the history of the lakes going back decades. They found that 53% of the lakes and reservoirs had lost significant amounts of water, with a net decline of around 22 billion cubic meters a year. More than half of the net loss of water volume in natural lakes can be attributed to human activities and climate change, the report found.
– For reservoirs, the report found that the biggest factor in their decline is sedimentation, where sediment flows into the water, clogging it up and reducing space. It’s a “creeping disaster,” Yao said, happening over the course of years and decades. Sedimentation can also be affected by climate change via forest fires and changing rainfall patterns.
– Around a third of lake declines were offset by increases elsewhere, the report found. Some lakes have been growing, with 24% seeing significant increases in water storage. These tended to be lakes in less populated regions, the report found, including areas in the Northern Great Plains of North America and the inner Tibetan Plateau. https://edition.cnn.com/2023/05/18/world/disappearing-lakes-reservoirs-water-climate-intl/index.html (18 May 2023)
Record-low water levels in some of the world’s largest lakes have been well-documented in recent years, but the authors say previous studies have been limited by looking at only a small number of lakes or by gaps in lake water data. That resulted in an underestimation of the global drying trend and poor understanding of what’s driving it.
– “Our findings suggest that drying trends worldwide are more extensive than previously thought, certainly with respect to lake volume and storage,” Fangfang Yao, the lead author of the study, said in an email. Differentiating between the human and natural contribution “helps us understand human alteration of the water cycle and also helps identify management solutions.”
– Yao said that while previous studies suggested a “dry-get-drier and wet-get-wetter” pattern, he and his colleagues found that even in humid regions, “an intensified water cycle in a warming climate may not result in increased water storage” due in part to increased evaporation and potentially longer drought recovery times.
– Climate warming and human water consumption accounted for 47 percent to 65 percent of natural lake volume decline, the study found. In a further breakdown, about 36 percent of the decline is attributed to climate warming, which increases the amount of water evaporated into the atmosphere, while about 20 percent is attributed to human water consumption. https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2023/05/18/lake-level-decline-climate-change/ (18 May 2023)
More than 30 large lakes in India have recorded a drying trend from 1992 to 2020, a new analysis published in journal Science revealed. Of them,16 are the major lakes of southern India. Some of these include Mettur, Krishnarajasagar, Nagarjuna Sagar and Idamalayar. Recent droughts may have contributed to reservoir storage declines in southern India, noted the research published on May 18, 2023.
“Except for few lakes, most of the peninsular India lakes are declining in lake levels and storage,” Balaji Rajagopalan, professor of engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder and co-author of the study, told Down To Earth. The climate is linked to factors contributing to the decline of lakes, such as temperature and potential evapotranspiration (combined loss of water through the plant’s process of transpiration and evaporation of water from the Earth’s surface), precipitation and runoff, and human consumption. https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/water/drying-trends-recorded-in-more-than-30-indian-lakes-study-89441 (19 May 2023)
One surprising aspect was that lakes in both wet and dry regions of the world are losing volume, suggesting the “dry gets drier, wet gets wetter” paradigm that is frequently used to summarize how climate change affects regions, doesn’t always hold. https://www.hindustantimes.com/environment/over-half-the-worlds-largest-lakes-and-reservoirs-drying-up-study-101684450613496.html (19 May 2023)
MoJS Digital assessment of groundwater 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. “Starting this year, we are going to bring out the Assessment Report every year. We are also increasing the number of monitoring wells for better data gathering,” Pankaj Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of Jal Shakti said.
– “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. https://www.news9live.com/india/jal-shakti-ministrys-groundwater-assessment-goes-digital-report-to-be-out-every-year-2137053 (12 May 2023)
Tripura Govt mulls legislation to regulate groundwater According to top officials, Agartala has witnessed rapid urbanisation and a rise in apartment construction over the last five years. Sources said groundwater is now the only source of water for the city. As per reports, city dwellers install water pumps to frequently extract groundwater instead of staying dependent on the state government’s regulated water supply. An official is concerned that this practice has affected the groundwater tables. He further said that the state’s Water Resource Department was quick to detect and flag the problems of water management and that before it is too late, legislation will be brought about to regulate the use of privately owned water pumps. https://www.eastmojo.com/tripura/2023/05/16/tripura-mulls-govt-policy-to-regulate-underground-water/ (16 May 2023)
Punjab Govt U-turn shocking, but won’t yield: Zira Morcha The Zira Morcha, waiting for the formal notification on the shutting down of the distillery, was caught unawares with the latest move by the state government in response to a fresh petition filed by the Malbros International’s management. The Morcha activists on Tuesday (May 16) said they would soon organise a meeting with other organisations and decide on a future course of action. The Zira Morcha has been protesting against the distillery since July 24, 2022.
Challenging the withdrawal of consent to operate to Malbros International Private Limited by the SPCB, the distillery management on May 11 had filed a fresh petition saying that the consent to operate had been withdrawn without hearing it. The distillery also stated that it had got all the documents to get the consent to operate. Taking up the petition on Monday (May 17), the high court bench directed the state government to take a decision in two weeks after hearing the distillery management. In the meanwhile, the state government stated that it would take back the withdrawal of consent to operate. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chandigarh/govt-u-turn-shocking-but-wont-yield-zira-morcha/articleshow/100291434.cms (17 May 2023)
Water samples drawn from 29 borewells near an ethanol plant in the district were found unfit for drinking and had an unpleasant odour, a report by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has said. An inspection team also found that 10 borewells and six piezometers were installed on the plant premises allegedly without obtaining permission from the CGWB (central ground water board) or the PWRDA (Punjab Water Regulation and Development Authority). The CPCB report said two of these borewells were installed at a distance of a few metres, in violation of guidelines.
The CPCB team has recommended an investigation to establish the contaminated zone and take remedial action. It has also directed the Punjab Pollution Control Board to consider the alleged violations and take necessary remedial measures for the decontamination of the affected sites. The CPCB has told the PPCB to undertake a detailed environmental site assessment by engaging a professional agency having expertise in the assessment and remediation of contaminated groundwater and soil. The PPCB was further told to ensure that the plant administration submits a detailed project report for the remediation of groundwater in contaminated areas. Moreover, CPCB has asked the PPCB to impose environmental compensation (EC) or initiate legal action for causing injury to the surrounding environment and contamination of groundwater. https://www.deccanherald.com/national/north-and-central/water-samples-near-ethanol-plant-in-ferozepur-found-unfit-for-drinking-cpcb-report-1220645.html (21 May 2023)
DTE We can stop our cities sinking The issue of subsidence is becoming more serious and widespread, affecting the lives of millions of people around the world. However, there are solutions, as demonstrated by the efforts of residents and the government in the Dwarka region of Delhi. Rainwater harvesting, reviving old reservoirs and using treated sewage and surface water can help to reduce reliance on groundwater and reverse land subsidence. But what’s more important is to address this issue through proper tracking and monitoring and long-term programs involving farmers, industries and local communities. https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/urbanisation/if-we-re-smart-about-water-we-can-stop-our-cities-sinking-89417 (18 May 2023)
Subduction in parts of Haryana, Punjab and Delhi is as high as 7-12 cm a year, but a reversal is possible if aquifers are left to charge. “Over time, when the underlying aquifers (deep water channels that are stores of percolated water) aren’t recharged, they run dry and the layers of soil and rock above them start to sink,” Prof. Dheeraj Kumar Jain of the Indian Institute of Technology (Indian School of Mines), Dhanbad, said.
– “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.
– “We have also observed that Dwarka in Delhi, which saw subsidence, actually saw a reversal when aquifer levels were charged following rainwater harvesting practices that were implemented,” Mr. Malik said. Instances of structural damage were noted in Dera Bassi, Landran, Singhpura in Punjab, and Ambala in Haryana, according to a study published in 2021 by scientists at the Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, Dehradun, who reported land subsidence of nearly 7-12 cm per year and groundwater extraction rates of 46 cm to 236 cm annually.
– Over exploited groundwater blocks and land subsidence has been reported in Kolkata and parts of eastern India too. “There needs to be greater recognition that groundwater exploitation has consequences other than water scarcity,” Mr. Gahlaut added. https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/groundwater-exploitation-is-silently-sinking-the-ground-beneath-indias-feet/article66847379.ece (14 May 2023)
Pune Tribal leader threatens officials if they release water from Manikdoh dam A video has emerged showing Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and former chairperson of Pune Zilla Parishad Devram Lande threatening to assault officials who are likely to arrive to release water from the district’s Manikdoh dam for use in Ahmednagar district which lies downstream.
-Currently, the water reserve in Manikdoh is 21 per cent, leading to demands from local residents that the water should not be released downstream as it will create a shortage for their household and agricultural needs.
-In the video shot for a local web portal, Lande, who is a popular leader from the tribal belt of Junnar, is seen speaking to the camera in favour of securing the water in Manikdoh for the needs of the villages in the immediate neighbourhood whose people lost their lands when the dam was built.
-“There’s a provision for reserved quota for those who lost their land to the project. It is important that this water is reserved for use by the tribal villages,” says Lande in the video. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/ncp-tribal-leader-seen-in-video-threatening-to-harm-officials-if-they-release-water-from-punes-manikdoh-dam-8612234/lite/ (16 May 2023)
Chennai 2 die while cleaning septic tank near Puzhal 2 people engaged to clean a septic tank at a house near Puzhal allegedly asphyxiated to death after inhaling toxic fumes on Monday (May 15). One more person, who did not enter the tank, is safe. They were not wearing any safety gear, police said. All three of them were employed by Nirmala of Gurushanthi Nagar. A case has been registered and the house owner was arrested. https://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/chennai/2023/may/16/two-die-while-cleaning-septic-tank-near-puzhal-in-tamil-nadu-2575708.html (16 May 2023)
A team of officials has sealed six packaged drinking water units in Chennai for selling without licence and poor manufacturing practices. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/six-packaged-drinking-water-units-sealed-in-chennai/article66870670.ece (19 May 2023)
Odisha Jambhira project to be operational by August end While the project was initially scheduled to be completed in six months, various factors like land acquisition, rehabilitation of project-affected families and irregular allocation of funds delayed its completion by 10 years. Though the cost of the project was initially Rs 53 crore, it later escalated to Rs 84 crore due to the delay in its inception. According to information, water for this mega project will be sourced from the multipurpose Subarnarekha Irrigation Project (SIP).
While the wards needed 18.22 MLD of water, around 14.8 MLD was supplied to them during 2013-2016. “Later with an increase in population, the Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) supplied 25 MLD water through pipelines after setting up bore wells in the town. Now under the Water Corporation of Odisha (WATCO) drinking water is provided to around 27,000 consumers,” said the general manager of WATCO, Baripada, KC Rout.
Sources said the project was supposed to draw water from the Jambhira river and distribute it throughout the township thereby catering to the water needs of around 1.2 lakh people residing in those 28 wards. While the project will begin supplying water to the residents by last week of August, electric supply to the project is under progress. “Since Jambhira River is currently running dry, at least 1-2 per cent water from the SIP is needed so that the project begins supplying water to the consumers at the earliest,” he informed. https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/odisha/2023/may/22/jambhira-drinking-water-project-in-odisha-to-be-operational-by-august-end-2577493.html (22 May 2023)
Chandigarh Admin seeks clarification on slashing sewerage cess on water Two months after the municipal corporation (MC) house approved slashing the sewerage cess on water from 30% to 10%, the local bodies department has sought clarification from the civic body behind the cut. In the clarification, the department has asked MC to send the comparison rates of sewerage cess on the water with neighbouring states.
The decision was taken during the General House meeting of the civic body on March 6. The sewerage cess depends on a consumer’s water bill. City mayor Anup Gupta expressed displeasure on how the department has delayed the approval. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/chandigarh-news/department-seeks-clarification-from-mc-over-20-sewerage-cess-cut-comparison-with-neighbouring-states-rates-requested-101684693985559.html (22 May 2023)
Overhead tanks will be phased out from January 2024 as taps will provide drinking water in Chandigarh. Since average per person consumption in Chandigarh – 245 litre per day – is way higher than the national standard norm of 135 litre per day, the union territory (UT) aims to bring the usage down to 150 litre per day.
The move is part of the 24×7 water supply project in Chandigarh, which also aims to fix the leakage issues. Chandigarh loses up to 35 per cent drinking water in the leakages and other issues, and to resolve this problem, district metering areas (DMAs) would be formed so as to ensure there is no leakage. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chandigarh/whats-uts-24×7-water-supply-project-no-overhead-tanks-in-2024-leakages-to-be-fixed-8621779/ (22 May 2023)
Faridabad Residents oppose waste plant The move of the Municipal Corporation (MC) to set up waste segregation and processing centres at the local level has irked people. With residents of Riwazpur village resolved not to let the authorities set up a dumping site near the village, the latter have appealed for cooperation.
-This is the third such protest in the district in the last one year. The MC had announced that it would set up a dumping station in each of the six Assembly segments for processing of waste in the wake of a ban on dumping of garbage at the existing site of Bandhwari village by the NGT.
-Earlier, the MCF had to drop the plan to set up a similar facility in Sector 74 and at Sotai village. A similar protest had surfaced at Pali village recently. The MC’s assurance that the dumping site project was being set up on a temporary basis for 15 months has failed to mollify the villagers. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/haryana/faridabad-mc-to-set-up-waste-treatment-plant-residents-fume-507827 (15 May 2023)
Gurugram Wildlife dept writes to MCG over leachate spill in Aravallis The district wildlife department on Tuesday (May 09) wrote to the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) after the leachate from the Bandhwari landfill reached the water bodies of Aravalli forests, polluting the waters and posing a serious threat to animal life. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/gurugram-news/bandhwari-landfill-leachate-pollutes-aravalli-forests-risking-animal-life-wildlife-department-demands-action-from-mcg-101683657907549.html (10 May 2023)
Maharashtra The struggle for access to water Residents of Vihigaon village in Shahapur Taluka, located in Thane District have been forced to gather around a dry well to obtain water delivered by tankers. Despite being surrounded by major dams such as Bhatsa, Tansa, and Vaitarna, Mumbai has been receiving a daily supply of millions litres of water from the Vaitarna, Tansa dams and Bhatsa dam. Unfortunately, many villages in Shahapur taluka continue to experience water shortages, with women and young children contributing to the effort of filling water to ensure daily survival. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/videos/toi-original/maharashtra-water-crisis-the-struggle-for-access-to-water-in-thanes-vihigaon/videoshow/100415458.cms (22 May 2023)
Though Vaitarna dam is situated about 50 km away, wells in Telamvandi village located about 150 km from Mumbai are being filled with tankers water. (Dainik Bhaskar, May 19, 2023)
Women, children trek miles in summer heat to get water near Mumbai. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/women-children-trek-miles-in-summer-heat-to-get-water-near-mumbai/article66865929.ece (18 May 2023)
Water levels in the dams across the state has reduced to 32.93% by the middle of May and considering the prediction that El Nino could affect the coming monsoon, the state government has asked the local bodies to assess the water availability and supply situation and prepare plans to save water. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/mumbai-news/water-crisis-looms-over-mumbai-as-dams-hit-record-low-levels-due-to-el-nino-and-poor-monsoon-101684437015628.html (19 May 2023)
Karnataka Notwithstanding the plummeting water levels in major reservoirs in the Cauvery basin in the State, the current storage is sufficient to meet the drinking water requirements through June, according to sources in the Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Ltd (CNNL). https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/sufficient-water-to-last-through-june-in-cauvery-basin-dams/article66877309.ece (21 May 2023)
Tamil Nadu Govt to emulate Japanese water management techniques The Tamil Nadu water works department is in the process of preparing a comprehensive report on water management in the line of Japanese water management techniques. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is supporting the efforts of the Tamil Nadu water works department. JICA is compiling a report on flood mitigation in Tamil Nadu while the water works department is in the process of bringing out a permanent flood mitigation programme. Officials of the water works department were in Tokyo and other parts of Japan to have a direct input on the flood mitigation techniques employed in that country.
The Japanese usage of proper legal frameworks in handling water supply will also be incorporated by the water resources department, officials said.In Japan, both the government and private players are selling water to a minimum price for industrial purposes, including to farmers who are into high-end commercial farming. Sources in the Tamil Nadu water works department told IANS that the state government would be having a detailed discussion on the water taxing process as well as charging a minimal amount for water supplied to industries. However, sources said that this could be discussed at several levels before bringing it into the public for a discussion as this could have a backlash. https://www.business-standard.com/india-news/tamil-nadu-govt-to-emulate-japanese-water-management-techniques-report-123052100299_1.html (21 May 2023)
Pune Helping farmers reap healthy profits from soil Driven by a passion to explore the fertility of soil, Prafulla Gadge, through his company Biome Technologies, developed a device called the “Soilometer” that can assess soil health within three hours and at a cost of only ₹310. Soilometer is revolutionising soil analysis by eliminating the need for farmers to rely on expensive and time-consuming laboratory tests, empowering them with real-time data and insights to make informed decisions about crop management. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/pune-news/pune-man-develops-low-cost-soil-health-assessment-device-to-empower-farmers-revolutionising-soil-analysis-with-real-time-data-and-insights-101684521644963.html (20 May 2023)
IMD Monsoon onset over Kerala may be delayed by 3-6 days The onset of monsoon over Kerala will be delayed by three days and is expected to happen on June 4, the IMD said in its forecast on Tuesday (May 16), adding that its error margin was +/- 4 days. The normal date for monsoon onset over Kerala is June 1. While IMD did not say anythingabout the progression of the monsoon across India, Skymet said it will advance sluggishly over peninsular India. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/monsoon-onset-over-kerala-delayed-by-3-days-expected-on-june-4-imd-skymet-predicts-june-7-with-a-sluggish-progression-101684263376746.html (17 May 2023)
The IMD on Tuesday (May 16) predicted a slightly delayed monsoon, with rains set to lash the Telugu states by June 8-10 after reaching Kerala on June 4, delaying relief from heatwaves currently throttling Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. https://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/160523/monsoon-delayed-heatwaves-to-persist-in-telangana-andhra-pradesh.html (17 May 2023)
At least 78 per cent of total districts across India were facing arid conditions, according to the aridity anomaly outlook index for May 11-17 issued IMD. Only 116 of about 691 districts mapped on the index were non-arid, while 539 were facing different degrees of aridity — mild, moderate and severe. The data for the remaining 36 districts was not available. https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/agriculture/arid-conditions-in-78-of-india-may-affect-summer-crops-89380 (17 May 2023)
The record breaking humid heat wave that hit east and north India; Bangladesh; Laos and Thailand in April were made at least 30 times more likely by climate change, a rapid attribution analysis said on Wednesday (May 17). The analysis by an international team of scientists with the World Weather Attribution group said a highly vulnerable population was subjected to a deadly combination of high heat and humidity which amplified the impacts in early summer this year. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/climate-change-made-april-s-deadly-heat-wave-in-india-bangladesh-laos-and-thailand-at-least-30-times-more-likely-says-analysis-101684344535010.html (17 May 2023)
Madhya Pradesh 15 tourists trapped on rocks rescued from Narmada At least 15 tourists were rescued from a rock they were on after water was released from a dam on Narmada river in Khandwa district on Sunday (April 09), an official said. The incident occurred at Nagar Ghat of Omkareshwar when water was released from the dam, SDM Chandar Singh Solanki said. Water is routinely released from the dam by the Narmada Hydroelectric Development Corporation Limited during power generation.
The water was released after sounding the siren, as usual but some people did not come out of the water and got trapped on rocks, he said. Boatmen and home guards posted in the area rescued people, the official said, adding that more rescuers from home guard will be stationed in the area in future.
As the water level was low, some people ventured into the river up to 50-60 metres, but the water level went up once the dam water was released and they got trapped, Ranjeet Bhawaria, an eyewitness, said. Later, they were rescued by boatmen with the help of ropes, he said. Some videos of the incident have also surfaced on social media, in which boatmen are seen using their boats to rescue people trapped in the river and on rocks. https://www.latestly.com/agency-news/india-news-mp-15-tourists-trapped-on-rocks-rescued-from-narmada-river-in-khandwa-5046949.html (09 April 2023)
Report Natural disasters caused 2.5 ml internal displacements in India in 2022 South Asia witnessed 12.5 million internal displacements due to disasters in 2022 with 90 per cent of the movements in the region being triggered by floods as per a report by the Geneva based Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre. It further said that disaster reports in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan tend only to be produced for medium- to large-scale events, meaning small-scale disasters that together could lead to significantly higher displacement figures are not included.
The frequency of extreme weather events such as floods and heat waves are projected to rise manifolds in India in the future due to climate change, according to a report by researchers at the IIT, Gandhinagar, last year. This increase in the frequency of extreme weather events is posing a challenge to forecasters. Studies show that the ability to predict heavy rainfall is hampered due to climate change, they said. India recorded 2,227 human casualties due to extreme weather events in 2022, according to the Annual Statement on Climate of India – 2022 issued by the India Meteorological Department. The death toll stood at 1,750 in 2021 & 1,338 in 2020, the Met data showed. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/india/natural-disasters-caused-2-5-million-internal-displacements-in-india-in-2022-report-says/articleshow/100322316.cms (18 May 2023)
Bengaluru Techie died after car gets submerged in flooded underpass Bhanurekha, a 23-year-old techie lost her life after the car she was travelling in was submerged in water in an underpass at K.R. Circle in the heart of the City on May 21. The incident occurred a stone’s throw away from Vidhana Soudha a day after the new government led by Siddaramaiah was sworn in.
The water level was around eight feet which resulted in the car floating and water soon gushed into the car from all sides. While the driver and all the other passengers made it out safely, Bhanurekha, who was sitting in the rear seat of the car, did not make it. She was declared dead at St Martha’s hospital where she was taken after the fire and emergency personnel carried out a rescue operation.
The heavy rains and hailstorms in brought the city to a standstill on Sunday afternoon as trees were uprooted in many areas including RT Nagar, Malleshwaram, Kumara Krupa road and Windson Manor junction among other places. Homes in Mahalakshmi Layout, Malleswaram and some other parts of the city were also waterlogged following the rains. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/woman-dies-after-car-gets-submerged-in-flooded-underpass-in-bengalurus-kr-circle/article66877470.ece (21 May 2023)
Comments on Policy Paper on Indian Carbon Market and Draft Carbon Credit Trading Scheme The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) has been entrusted with the development of Indian Carbon Market. BEE held a stakeholder consultation workshop on 19th October, 2022 in New Delhi. This was followed by a draft policy paper on Indian Carbon Market with a proposed scope, market design and governance structure. BEE sought comments from the workshop participants in November 2022. More recently, BEE prepared a draft notification outlining the governance structure of the proposed Carbon Credit Trading Scheme and shared it with a limited set of stakeholders for comments on 27th March, 2023.
We appreciate that the BEE is seeking comments from some stakeholders. However, a carbon credit trading scheme has the potential to fundamentally affect all the sectors of the economy and can play a substantial role in India’s efforts to mitigate climate change. Hence, we (Prayas Energy Group) have suggested in our comments that both the policy documents should be made public so that all the stakeholders including citizens, civil society organizations, academic institutions, industry and others can effectively comment. This will facilitate a robust design of the scheme. We also provided comments on other aspects of the draft documents. https://energy.prayaspune.org/our-work/policy-regulatory-engagements/comments-on-policy-paper-on-indian-carbon-market-and-draft-carbon-credit-trading-scheme (21 April 2023)
Report CBI case against LIFE has no evidence to back allegations A case filed by the country’s premier investigating agency against one of India’s most prominent environmental lawyers alleging violations in foreign contribution regulations is rife with factual inaccuracies and lacks evidence to support the allegations made, experts say. The prosecution of Ritwick Dutta, whose law group won what is called an ‘alternative Nobel’ in 2021, will have a chilling effect on environmental litigation and follows a pattern of criminalising civil-society and human-rights activism. https://article-14.com/post/cbi-case-against-environmental-lawyer-has-no-evidence-to-back-allegations-made-but-will-deter-litigation-646442c0bc566 (17 May 2023)
NGT moots proposal to bring all SEIAA under MoEF&CC control “The bench said, in most cases, the SEIAAs tend to trust the misleading information provided by the project proponents (State government departments) on their face value and end up considering B1 category projects under the B2 category thereby dispensing with the requirement of undertaking environmental impact assessments and conducting public hearings before granting the environment clearance.
Similarly, instead of letting the MoEFCC take a call on ‘A’ category projects, such as those involving inter-State rivers, the SEIAAs end up considering them under the B1 category. “This tribunal considers that such a situation arises because the SEIAAs function under the direct supervision of the State Governments. Therefore, the MoEFCC may examine the possibility of bringing the SEIAAs under its direct administrative control,” the bench said.” https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/ngt-moots-proposal-to-bring-all-state-level-environment-impact-assessment-authorities-under-environment-ministrys-control/article66852582.ece (15 May 2023)
NGO opposes Forest Conservation Amendment Bill In their detailed objections sent to the Union Govt on May 16, United Conservation Movement, an NGO claimed that provisions of the Forest (Conservation) Amendment Bill 2023 are largely focused to support land grabbing, encroachment, and conversion of large tracts of forest lands, hillocks, plantations and resettled tribal lands for highly polluting industrial purposes, and commercial activities that are not suited for such landscapes, including the catchment areas of rivers originating in the Western Ghats. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/bangalore/targeted-destroy-ecosystems-ngo-opposes-forest-conservation-amendment-bill-8616803/ (19 May 2023)
Arunachal Pradesh NGT’s interim order regarding Siji HQ foundation to continue According to the petitioner, the NGT in its order issued on 6 January had “completely stayed all construction activities in the area which was notified by the state government for the establishment of the district headquarters in Siji till further orders, and has given three weeks to the government to file a counter affidavit.”
During the hearing on 3 May, the chief secretary and the principal chief conservator of forests “specifically informed the tribunal that till date no construction has been made with regard to the Siji district headquarters of Lower Siang district,” and that “the notification of the MoEF&CC with regard to the eco-sensitive zone of the Kane Wildlife Sanctuary’ in Lower Siang district, dated 08.04.2021, is not yet final,” it said.
The officers further stated that “till date no forest clearance has been granted by the MoEF&CC for the proposed construction of the Siji district headquarters, and directions have been given that no construction should be made in view of the order of the tribunal.” https://arunachaltimes.in/index.php/2023/05/17/ngts-interim-order-regarding-siji-hq-foundation-to-continue/ (17 May 2023)
Jammu & Kashmir In Kashmir’s Budgam, brick kilns choke the environment as a thousand almond trees are axed. https://theleaflet.in/in-kashmirs-budgam-brick-kilns-choke-the-environment-as-a-thousand-almond-trees-are-axed/ (14 May 2023)
CEEW Indian poets pen green verses The ‘Love in the Times of Climate Change’ campaign by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), a think tank, features videos of seven poets performing poems intended to make climate impacts easier to understand – and more relatable. https://www.context.news/climate-risks/love-in-the-time-of-climate-change-indian-poets-pen-green-verses (05 May 2023)
WMO Next five years to be hottest ever In its latest update, the WMO said that there is a 98 per cent likelihood that at least one of the next five years, and the five-year period as a whole, will be the warmest on record. Meanwhile, a study by World Weather Attribution too has emphasised that the region’s high vulnerability, known as a heatwave hotspot, exacerbated the impacts of the heatwave. https://www.dailypioneer.com/2023/pioneer-exclusive/next-five-years-to-be-hottest-ever–says-wmo.html (18 May 2023)
Study Tides eating into glaciers, triggering more melting A new satellite study of the Petermann Glacier in Greenland shows that its “grounding line” shifts significantly with tidal cycles. https://www.ndtv.com/science/tides-are-eating-into-glaciers-triggering-more-melting-study-finds-4033058 (14 May 2023)
Climate change to push species over abrupt tipping points Climate change is likely to abruptly push species over tipping points as their geographic ranges reach unforeseen temperatures, finds a new study led by UK’ public institution ‘University College London’ (UCL). The new Nature Ecology & Evolution study predicts when and where climate change is likely to expose species across the globe to potentially dangerous temperatures. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/environment/climate-change-to-push-species-over-abrupt-tipping-points/articleshow/100385853.cms (20 May 2023)
After accounting for non-fossil fuel sources of warming, future economic damages due to emissions are estimated at $69.6 trillion from 2025-2050. The study conservatively attributes one third of these climate costs to the global fossil fuel industry, and one third each to governments and consumers. The global fossil fuel industry is thus found to be responsible for $23.2 trillion in expected GDP loss from climate change impacts over 2025-2050, or $893 billion per year. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/environment/global-warming/who-should-pay-for-the-climate-damages-study-attributes-one-third-costs-to-fossil-fuel-industry/articleshow/100384956.cms (21 May 2023)
THE REST OF THE WORLD
USA Removal of Mohawk River dam With funding lined up, the removal this year or next of the Washburn Mill Dam on the Mohawk River is shaping up to be addition by subtraction for native brook trout, fishermen and the environment. Located off Diamond Pond Road, the dam once provided power for a lumber mill that is now long gone. Over time, the privately-owned dam has become a hindrance to brook trout from spawning areas above the dam and the Connecticut River watershed, into which the Mohawk empties. https://www.unionleader.com/news/environment/removal-of-mohawk-river-dam-seen-as-win-for-native-brook-trout-fishermen-and-environment/article_a7e3c6de-e004-511a-9c9d-6c83ee8cf61c.html (16 May 2023)
DWR Approves Sustainability Plans for 12 Groundwater Basins The Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced on Apr 27, 2023 the approval of groundwater sustainability plans for 12 non-critically over drafted groundwater basins located across California. The cornerstone of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) is local control of groundwater basins. The law calls for local agencies to create GSAs (Groundwater Sustainability Agencies) and work with groundwater users to develop and implement plans to achieve the sustainability goals of groundwater basins over a 20-year period. These plans are expected to present a roadmap for how local agencies will reliably provide groundwater to their communities over the long-term. https://water.ca.gov/News/News-Releases/2023/April-23/DWR-Approves-Sustainability-Plans-for-12-Groundwater-Basins (27 April 2023)
Scientists take flight to map California’s vast snowpack and measure flooding threats Flying thousands of feet above the Sierra Nevada in a plane equipped with specialized imaging devices, Elizabeth Carey has been scanning the mountains with lasers to precisely map the snow. By mapping the snowpack with laser pulses and spectrometers, Carey and her colleagues are able to provide a detailed picture of one of the biggest snow accumulations ever recorded in California. The flights are also collecting data to estimate when and how fast the snow will melt, helping California officials prepare for the runoff, manage water releases from dams, and assess which areas are most at risk of flooding. Their measurements, along with estimates by other researchers, show that when the snowpack reached its peak in April, it held approximately 40 million acre-feet of water. Across the Sierra Nevada, this year’s snowpack peaked at about 2.7 times the average, weighing an estimated 55 billion tons.
– The aerial snow surveys have become a “part of the state water infrastructure” and are vital for improving water management as climate change unleashes more intense swings between dry spells and extremely wet conditions. https://www.latimes.com/environment/story/2023-05-15/planes-track-california-historic-snowpack (15 May 2023)
Brazil Environment regulator has rejected the proposal of off shore oil exploration in the Mouth of Amazon river, citing inconsistencies in the proposal. https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/oil-project-near-amazon-river-mouth-blocked-by-brazils-environment-agency/100321278 (18 May 2023)
UK A new life for London’s lost rivers About some ongoing efforts to restore London’ “blue corridors” to their former glory. https://www.bbc.com/travel/article/20230514-a-new-life-for-londons-lost-rivers (15 May 2023)
Compiled by SANDRP (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Also see: DRP News Bulletin 15 May 2023 & DRP News Bulletin 08 May 2023
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