Guest Blog by: Seema Ravandale
Abstract: The hill women share the special intricate and culturally nurtured connection to forest and water, which makes them better steward or owner of their resources. This demands their participation beyond the right-based “beneficiary” approach, recognizing their accumulated knowledge and resilient and adaptive capacities in recently contested discourse of Springshed development and governance in Indian Himalayan Region (IHR).
Continue reading “Celebrating hill women and their role in Springshed development and governance”
रुचिश्री, असिस्टेंट प्रोफेसर, भागलपुर विवि
साल 2006 की बात है। मैं छत्तीसगढ़ की शिवनाथ नदी के 22.6 किलोमीटर हिस्से के निजीकरण की खबर पर रिसर्च कर रही थी। एक सवाल सहज ही मेरे मन में कौंधा कि आखिर नदियां क्या हैं? महज पानी का स्रोत या जीवित इकाई? वे राज्य की संपत्ति हैं या किसी की निजी बपौती? या कहीं वे उस पर आश्रित लोगों की साझा संपत्ति व सांस्कृतिक धरोहर तो नहीं?
Continue reading “नदियां हमसे कुछ कहना चाह रही हैं, बशर्ते हम गौर से सुनें”
Large scale Sewage Treatment Plants (STP) are being promoted as must have infrastructure to control Urban sewage pollution in rivers across the country. However, most of the Large Scale STPs are mired in controversies from planning to construction and during operational phase, often failing to achieve the basic objective for which they are built, investing crores of rupees. A case in point is Ramna STP of Kashi, Uttar Pradesh. Interestingly, this is a story from Varanasi, many also call it Banaras, the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.
Continue reading “Uttar Pradesh: Curious Case of Ramna STP in Kashi”
Open Letter to the Prime Minister, Minister of Environment and media on 09/09/2021:
Restarting seven under-construction hydro projects in Ganga Himalaya unjustified
Recently the MoEF&CC has recommended restarting the construction of seven under-construction HEPs in Uttarakhand namely Tehri II (1000 MW), Tapovan Vishnugad (520 MW), Vishnugad Pipalkoti (444 MW), Singoli Bhatwari (99 MW), Phata Byung (76 MW), Madhmaheshwar (15 MW), and Kaliganga II (4.5 MW). The news came as a shock to citizens, devotees and environmentalists who have been struggling since over a decade to preserve our national river Ganga and the Himalaya. The deeply felt concern over the fate of these two pivotal ecological systems and defining symbols of Indian culture, compel us to write this letter. Not the least, as a citizen, it is also our constitutional duty ‘to protect and improve India’s natural environment’.
Continue reading “Open Letter to PM on Uttarakhand Hydro in Sept 2021”
Guest Blog by Dr. Ruchi Shree (TMBU, Bhagalpur-Bihar)
On the banks of river Ganga in north India, Bhagalpur is a district of South-east Bihar. This district is famous for production of silk and thus Bhagalpur is also called ‘silk city’. Due to its proximity to Ganga, it is a flood prone region of Bihar and the usual trend of flood is in alternate year with varying intensity. The wider impact of flood ranges from agricultural loss to disturbances in transportation (water on railway track to vanished roads and bridges) and health hazards to environmental impacts to name a few[i]. This essay has three objectives: first, to narrate the challenges and lessons from my first close encounter of flood, specifically Bhagalpur floods, second, to probe into major reasons of flood and third, to depict the post-flood scenario. To have seen myself in three roles namely flood observer, flood victim and flood survivor is what made me sense the everydayness of flood.
Continue reading “The Everydayness of Flood: Experiences from Bhagalpur-Bihar”
As India prepares to celebrate 75th Independence day on August 15, 2021, large parts of Bihar along the Ganga river, including Patna (flood water entered colonies near Ganga in Patna) and Bhagalpur are preparing to face unprecedented floods. In fact, Central Water Commission’s (CWC) flood monitoring site at Hathidah in Patna district crossed the HIGHEST FLOOD LEVEL (HFL) of 43.17 m at 0300 hours in early morning on Aug 13, 2021. The water level is already at 43.33 m at 1300 hrs on Aug 14. It is forecast to reach 43.45 m by 0800 on independence day still with rising trend. This is apparent from the CWC hydrograph of this site shown above.
Continue reading “Why are Patna & Bhagalpur facing unprecedented floods on India’s 75th independence day?”
Guest Article by Nirmala Gowda
This is time of immense grief and loss for me. Unable to face the harsh reality of my mother gasping for each breath in the ICU, I was drowning myself in work. Co-incidentally or so I think, I was working on a report analysing asphyxiation of Vrishabhavathi, Arkavathi and Cauvery rivers and suffocation of aquatic lifeforms the rivers supported. As the dissolved oxygen graph took shape, I realized : The million times I had held the dissolved oxygen meter under water to measure oxygen saturation levels across rivers was no different from the million times we plugged the oximeter to my mother’s forefinger to check for oxygen saturation levels. The realization that the very element my mother was gasping for, is the very element the rivers have long been gasping for – Oxygen and this pushed me deeper into a state of despair.
Continue reading “My mother is the river. The river is my mother.”
Guest Blog by Dr. Ruchi Shree (TMBU, Bhagalpur-Bihar)
Last year, I wrote three stories on dying Champa river in Bhagalpur and challenges/ prospects of its rejuvenation[i]. That exercise helped me in exploring the city through a river which used be an important waterbody in this region but now at the verge of extinction. Situated at the banks of river Ganga, the Bhagalpur city faces three to four major problems related to water and sanitation, namely, arsenic contaminated groundwater, falling water level, recurrent floods, open drainage, etc. This year, I pedaled (cycling) in the local vicinity to make sense of ‘piped water’ and its limitations in the city. One more concern was to document the growing ecological crisis in the university area as captured and reflected in this blog. This photo essay is based on my observations over a period of last three months in Nathnagar block of Bhagalpur (south-west part of the city). Bhagalpur, a “smart city” of south Bihar is close to Jharkhand. I visited the ward no. 13 and ward no.17 of the Nathnagar block to write this story. Two pictures (near Ganga) towards the end of the blog were taken in a different part of the city i.e. in Adampur area of Bhagalpur.
Continue reading “Water on Wheels to Dying Fishes in Ganga River Basin in Bhagalpur”
Dave Petley has on March 29, 2021[i] reported that a massive landslide has occurred along Yarlung Tsangpo river in Tibet, just upstream of Great Bend. (coordinates: 29.815, 94.932, the centre of the landslide source.)
Continue reading “Massive Landslide on Yarlung Tsangpo on March 22, 2021”
Guest Article by Manoj Misra
Note: This article is dedicated to the memory of Prof. Brij Gopal who introduced me to the concept of stream standards as different from effluent standards and often lamented former’s absence from our current water pollution control mechanisms. Prof. Gopal passed away suddenly in Delhi on 4 January 2021.
Public Health demands use of ‘Stream’ standards alongside ‘Effluent’ standards – Law provides for it but the authorities have failed to implement.
Is the city of Delhi condemned to suffer high ammonia content each winter in its drinking water supplies from River Yamuna?
Continue reading “HOW CAN DELHI TACKLE HIGH AMMONIA CONTENT IN ITS DRINKING WATER?”