As I write this, around 1000 people are on a hunger strike in a small village on the banks of Narmada river in Badwani District, one of the most fertile and culturally rich part of Madhya Pradesh. The hunger strike which started with 5 women and leader of Narmada Bachao Andolan, Medha Patkar is now in its 6th day on Aug 31, 2019. Continue reading “Photoblog: Rivers for Life: Narmada Rally at Badvani, July 2019”
Well-known ecologist Madhav Gadgil, founder of the Centre for Ecological Sciences at the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, has described the devastating floods in Kerala as a man-made disaster and a reaction to the illegal excavations and stone quarrying done over a decade. https://www.hindustantimes.com/pune-news/illegal-forest-land-acquisition-major-reason-for-floods-in-kerala-says-ecologist-madhav-gadgil-calls-it-man-made-disaster/story-vMHPKUH623GEnjyQHI09NP.html (19 Aug. 2018)
Further speaking to various regional media, Madhav Gadgil has said that irresponsible environmental policy is to blame for the recent floods and landslides in Kerala. He also called it a “manmade calamity”. He said that the committee report had recommended to protect the resources with the cooperation of local self-govt and people, but those recommendations were rejected.
He also pointed out that quarrying is a major reason for the mudslides and landslides. Other environmentalists also point fingers at the extensive quarrying, mushrooming of high rises as part of tourism and illegal forest land acquisition by private parties as major reasons for the recent calamity. https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/power/kerala-floods-the-ghost-of-past-environment-policy-returns/65436707 (17 Aug. 2018)
Dams should never be filled before the end of the monsoons. Because then one doesn’t have any solution but to release the water in the surrounding areas: Himanshu Thakkar, SANDRP says as one of panellist discussing role of dams in aggravating Kerala floods.
Also see, NDTV discussion on Kerala flood crisis, it included SANDRP coordinator:
Here is NDTV Hindi discussion on Kerala flood crisis, included SANDRP coordinator:
Here is admission about sudden, excessive releases and not foreseeing the coming disaster. The Kerala crisis could have been contained had the state “gradually released” waters from at least 30 dams, officials said, adding that the local authorities failed to foresee the imminent danger with high rain prediction. “Such floods have probably recurred after 100 years, exposing the state’s unprofessionally run reservoir management system and unpreparedness on disaster mitigation and disaster resilience, an official pointed out. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kochi/gradual-dam-water-release-could-have-contained-crisis/articleshow/65436339.cms (17 Aug. 2018)
The various aspects of tragic Dam Disaster in Mekong Basin in Laos are still unfolding. But it is clear from many accounts that it was an avoidable, man-made disaster due to neglect of contractors, decision makers, consultants and supervising agencies. There is a lot we can learn from this if we want to avoid such disasters in India. We still do not have credible Dam Safety Law or institution, CWC is clearly not the right agency considering the conflict of interest with the various other roles of CWC. But for now let us look at the reports of Laos Dam Disaster.
Reminding the world of one of the worst dam disasters, the under construction dam Xepian Xe Nam Noy Hydro power project breached releasing 5 billion cubic metres of water in Southern Laos on July 23.
The gushing water current swept the surrounding leading to death of about 26 people and displacing about 6600 residents. As per report hundreds of people are still missing from neighbouring villages of Yai Thae, Hinlad, Mai, Thasengchan, Tha Hin, and Samong, which bore the brunt of flooding. The deluge has reportedly destroyed thousands of homes.
Govt and media typically report the status of water storage in India using the CWC’s Weekly Reservoir Storage Bulletin, which contain information about just 91 reservoirs in India. In this article we show that the state websites provide information about huge 3863 reservoirs, which even if not sufficient, is a huge improvement over just 91 reservoirs that CWC bulletin includes. We hope all concerned will try to improve the reservoir storage reporting.
It should be added here that this measures only surface water stored in some of the large reservoirs of India. This excludes large number of big reservoirs, lakhs of smaller reservoirs, groundwater aquifers and soil moisture storage. In spite of these limitations, this provides more accurate picture than just the 91 reservoirs of CWC that everyone in India, including media, govt monitoring and policy makers look at.
The April May 2016 issue of our magazine “Dams, Rivers & People” are now available online at following links:
DRP Apr May 2016: Image of the cover page, including index is given below.
The issue is focused on the unprecedented drought that about 400 million people are facing this year. The six articles in this issue with separate links to each are given below:
- Marathwada Drought
- Karnataka Drought
- Telangana Drought
- Andhra Pradesh Drought
- Odisha Drought
- Supreme Court order on failure of government in tackling drought
We are also publishing weekly DRP news bulletins, the latest issues can be seen at following links:
You can follow these and other posts by following the SANDRP Blog.
SANDRP FB page: https://www.facebook.com/sandrp.in;
SANDRP Twitter handle: https://twitter.com/Indian_Rivers
Feedback is welcome.
NORTH-EAST:ASSAM: Experts warned Centre Govt against rushing through big dam projects (08 Aug. 2015) Even local BJP leaders are against Big dams in North EAST: “BJP leader and former bureaucrat Chandrakanta Das said that the power-starved Northeast should generate electricity through small and run-of-the-river dams instead of big dams. We need power for development, but that should not come at the cost of our pristine environment. We should explore power generation through small and run-of-the-river dams,” he said.
SIKKIM: Delay in completion of 500 MW Teesta Hydropower Project cost Lanco dearly as lenders prepare for Rs. 2400 crore debt-equity conversion (10 Aug. 2015) Lenders to Lanco Teesta Hydro Power will convert part of their Rs 2,400-crore outstanding loans to the company into 51% equity in the most significant such takeover since the Reserve Bank of India allowed lenders to do so when borrowers fall behind on repayments. A consortium of lenders, including some large private and public sector banks, agreed to convert part of their loans to Lanco Teesta into equity at a recent meeting. Senior executives at a large commercial bank said that close to Rs 780 crore will be converted into equity under the capital market regulator’s formula. This will be the second such instance of a bank exercising its right to acquire a majority stake in an ailing company.
NORTH-EAST: ARUNACHAL PRADESH: 4 hydroelectric projects including 2000 MW Subansiri denied environmental clearance (02 July 2015) ” The committee also noted that public hearings for the projects had not been conducted and asked the power developers to submit response to the various issues raised by the New Delhi-based NGO South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People.” http://www.telegraphindia.com/1150702/jsp/northeast/story_29019.jsp#.VZXfvqRdz5d Continue reading “Dams, Rivers & People News Bulletin, July 06, 2015”
Hydro power to be stressed due to deficit monsoon this year: Piyush Goyal (03 June 2015) The minister rightly mentions that failed monsoon on one hand will curtail power generation from hydro plants on the other it will increase energy demands significantly as farmers would require more energy to run their pumps. http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/hydro-power-to-be-stressed-due-to-deficit-monsoon-this-year-piyush-goyal-115060300994_1.html
NORTH-EAST: Broken Homes and Dry Springs (06 June 2015) International Rivers’ Bharat Lal Seth on impact of tunneling and blasting for hydropower projects in Sikkim: http://www.internationalrivers.org/blogs/328-17 Continue reading “Dams, Rivers & People News Bulletin, June 8, 2015”
The Nov Dec 2014 issue of magazine “Dams, Rivers & People” is available at:
https://sandrp.in/DRP_Nov_Dec2014.pdf. The front page image of the issue is given below. Continue reading “DAMS, RIVERS & PEOPLE Magazine: Nov – Dec 2014 issue”
The contents two issues are listed below.
Index Oct 2014 issue
|1||Why is the IIT Consortium acting like a hydropower lobby?||
|2||National Green Tribunal’s Fourth Foundation Day: Why such a pro hydro bias?||
|3||Dibang ‘Insensitivity’ Analysis||
|4||“Strengthen and not dilute Environment Laws”||
|5||MoEF&CC discourages Additional Studies during Environmental Clearance||
|6||Massive Impacts of Ramganga Project||
|7||Narmada Estuary needs protection||
|8||Local Initiatives for drought-proofing Maharashtra||
|9||Rupin HEP okayed despite problematic EIA||
|10||Appeal to revoke the unjustified decision to increase SSP Dam height||
Index – July Sept 2014
|1||Manipulating Environment & Forest Clearances for Dibang Project: A Deja vu of LSHP: Will it be a tragedy or a comedy?||
|2||Review of environment laws is necessary but the TSR Subramanian HLC lacks credibility||
|3||J and K Floods: How much of the disaster was man made||
|4||Yettinahole Diversion Project DPR: New Avtaar, Old Problems||
|5||Riverfront Development in India: Cosmetic make up on deeper wounds||
|6||Varanasi’s Ganga Wastewater Management: Why has it remained such an Intractable Problem?||
|7||A Photo Essay on the impacts of blasting & tunneling for hydropower projects in Chamba & Kinnaur districts in Himachal Pradesh||
Hope you enjoy reading.