Krishna River · Maharashtra · Rivers · Western Ghats

Bhima River in Maharashtra: A profile

Above: Pandhapur wari, the yearly pilgrimage on Bhima banks (Source: pandharpurwari.com)

Bhima River, the largest tributary of Krishna River holds a special significance for the state of Maharashtra. The river is closely woven with the spiritual fabric of the state. The river is also referred to as Chandrabhaga River, especially at Pandharpur- the famous pilgrimage city, as it resembles the shape of the Moon. Bhima basin occupies nearly 70% area of the Krishna Basin falling in Maharashtra. Though the river originates in Maharashtra, it merges with Krishna river in Karnataka state, thus can be viewed as an independent basin.

In recent years Bhima basin has been subjected to excessive pressure of anthropogenic activities such as religious festivals attracting millions of pilgrims through the year, growing pollution by urban centres, growing sugarcane cultivation and over extraction of the river water to feed the water guzzling crop. These activities are taking toll in the river’s health and its water availability. Maharashtra state’s haste of building more and more dams in Krishna basin is most prominently visible in Bhima basin.

In this sense this sub-basin of Krishna River Basin, is its perfect miniature.

We try to present a short profile of this basin. This article is in continuum with profile of Krishna River within Maharashtra published by SANDRP a few weeks back[1]. Continue reading “Bhima River in Maharashtra: A profile”

Dams · Krishna River · Maharashtra · Rivers

Krishna River in Maharashtra: A Profile

Above: Menawali Ghat at Wai, Satara Dist (Photo: Sanket Deshpande)

The mighty Krishna River bears the name of Lord Krishna; the beloved dark and dusky lord worshipped throughout the country. Originating but a few kilometers from Arabian Sea, the river has chosen to flow towards Bay of Bengal becoming a lifeline of four states viz. Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. In its journey of thousands of kilometers and thousands of years, the river witnesses an amazing diversity in language, lifestyle, food and culture.

Maharashtra is blessed to be an upper riparian state in the Krishna Basin. Sahyadri ranges of Western Ghats falling in Maharashtra are abode to early flows of Krishna River. In Maharashtra the river is perceived in a feminine form called ‘Krishna Mai’ meaning ‘Mother Krishna’. The River Krishna is one of the important rivers flowing through Maharashtra and has a tremendous religious and cultural significance. Agriculture and economy of districts like Satara, Sangli and Kolhapur thrive on Krishna mainstream.

Here we make an attempt to provide glimpse of Krishna River within Maharashtra. The article is based on Maharashtra specific river profiles that SANDRP has prepared for India Rivers Week 2016. Continue reading “Krishna River in Maharashtra: A Profile”

Agriculture · Dams · Groundwater · Interlinking of RIvers · Krishna River · Maharashtra

Maharashtra’s Water Sector in 2015: Did anything change with the government?

Above: A huge protest march against water release to Marathwada Photo: Zee 24 Taas

In 2015, with the change in the ruling party after 15 long years, Maharashtra had a massive opportunity to break free from the crisis-ridden and scam-ridden image of its water sector. Water and dams have been central behind the embarrassing loss of Congress-NCP government in the 2014 Loksabha elections. But could the ruling BJP government actually deliver such a “Paradigm Shift” as it likes to call it? Is there light at the end of the tunnel for the state that is facing not only management scams, but repeated droughts and extreme weather events?

We try to review happenings around water, dams and rivers in Maharashtra for the past year 2015 and to look for a possible direction where the sector is heading, trying to fathom what it holds for the rivers and the people of the state. Continue reading “Maharashtra’s Water Sector in 2015: Did anything change with the government?”

Dams · Krishna River · Maharashtra · Marathwada · Ministry of Environment and Forests

Krishna Marathwada Scheme receives Environmental Clearance WITHOUT Water Availability!

Why is the Maharashtra Govt and the MoEF misleading people of Marathwada?

Press Release 29.06.15

On the 24th June 2015, the Union Ministry for Forests, Environment and Climate Change (MoEF for short) granted Environmental Clearance[1] to Krishna Marathwada Lift Irrigation Scheme for diverting 23.66 TMC (Thousand Million Cubic Feet) water from Krishna 1 Sub basin to Krishna 3 Sub basin of Krishna River Basin. The media has reported the development as a “Respite for Marathwada”.

However, as SANDRP had written to the MoEF several times[2], this Environment clearance is based on non-existent water availability and a misleading EIA[3] by Science and Technology Park, University of Pune. Continue reading “Krishna Marathwada Scheme receives Environmental Clearance WITHOUT Water Availability!”

Godavari · Interlinking of RIvers · Krishna River · Telangana

Pranahita-Chevella Project: Gargantuan Project with Gargantuan Violations

Can you imagine a project-not any project, perhaps India’s largest irrigation project till date- going on for years without most statutory clearances? Can you imagine a project on which Rs 7000 Crores[1] have been spent already but its Dam height (FRL – Full Reservoir Level) is yet undecided? Can you imagine a project whose canal works are ongoing in full swing, without having any idea of the submergence? Can you imagine a Public Hearing where the Project Engineer says that the meeting is only about compensation not about environmental impacts or fundamental questions? Can you imagine a state which is set to lose thousands of hectares of rich forests, protected areas, villages for a project of a different state, but is happy to oblige? Can you imagine a Ministry which turns a stony Nelson’s Eye to a project continuing right under its nose without Environmental Clearance, Wildlife Clearance or Forest Clearance?

Continue reading “Pranahita-Chevella Project: Gargantuan Project with Gargantuan Violations”