Agriculture

Barmecide Feast – The Problems in Production and Sale of the Produce of Organic Agriculture

Guest Blog by: Subhadra Khaperde and Ananya Mukerji

Agriculture in India directly or indirectly provides livelihoods to 60 percent of the population and so the problems of this sector are most relevant for the overall development of the country and have to be effectively addressed. Especially in distress are the small and marginal farmers who have less than 2 hectares of land and constitute 85% of all farm households (Agricultural Census, 2016).

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DRP News Bulletin

DRP NB 16 August 2021: Landslides in Himachal worsened due to mindless “development” projects

The numerous landslides this monsoon in Kinnaur and other districts of Himachal Pradesh and other Himalayan states have been literally deadly, killing hundreds of people this monsoon. Mindless “development” projects including Hydropower projects, indiscriminate building of roads in mountains, blasting, tunnelling, mining, dumping of waste into the rivers and valleys, deforestation, building townships, all without any credible impact assessment, public consultations, appraisal, monitoring or compliance. While climate change (another anthropogenic factor) leading to more frequent events of high intensity rainfall is worsening the landslide potential of the area, what we are doing in the name of developments is multiplying the disaster potential several fold. The governments at centre and states and judiciary can continue to be blind to this realities, but local people cannot. The local communities in Kinnaur, Lahaul-Spiti have been opposing such projects strongly and such protests are bound to increase and spread. One hopes this pushes the governments and judiciary to act urgently.

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Landslide dam

Landslide DAM on Chenab River in Himachal Pradesh

A huge landslide[i] took place near Nalda village under Udaipur tehsil in Lauhl Spiti blocking the Chenab river flows in early hours of August 13, 2021. The exact location seems to be the left bank of Chanab River at Leh Baring site just upstream of Nalda Village Bridge and opposite Jundha village. The Tanda-Kishtwar NH 26 runs along right bank of the river.  

The incident occurred when huge portion of hill slipped into Chenab blocking the entire channel completely. Within hour, the formation of Landslide Lake started submerging huge part of areas upstream.

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CWC - Central Water Commission · Dam Induced Flood Disaster · Ganga

Why are Patna & Bhagalpur facing unprecedented floods on India’s 75th independence day?

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.

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Dam Disaster · Dam Induced Flood Disaster

Andhra Pradesh: Pulichintala Dam Gate disaster shows improper maintenance and operation

In another dam related disaster in Andhra Pradesh, a flood gate of K L Rao multi-purpose irrigation project also known as Pulichintala  Dam was washed away on August 5, 2021 raising flood alarm in downstream areas along Krishna river. As per latest information the gate has been fixed and officials have started filling up the reservoir again. However, there is no official statement regarding exact causes, financial losses, damages to dam structure and downstream flood impact caused by the apparently avoidable dam disaster. The rule curve seems to be violated in operation of every dam and the gates do not seem to have been properly maintained. An independent enquiry needs to be immediately set up to find out what lessons we can learn and how we can fix accountability for the disaster.

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Climate Change

IPCC’s AR6: Synergy between Climate Change & Development Impacts

The UN’s climate science panel unveiled (part 1of) its Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) on Climate Change on Aug 9, 2021, the first since AR5 in 2014. This 3949 page report is called “The Physical Basis”. A 150 page Technical Summary and a 39 page Summary for Policy Makers has also been published, among other volumes. The World and Science has changed a lot in the intervening seven years. It provides projections for temperature and sea-level rises less than three months before the climate summit -Conference of Parties COP26-  in Glasgow-Scotland. After two weeks of virtual negotiations, 195 nations (including India) approved the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) comprehensive assessment of past and future warming on Aug 6, 2021 in the form of a “Summary for Policy Makers” (SPM). The text, vetted and approved line by line, word by word, paints a grim picture of accelerating climate change and dire threats.[i]

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DRP News Bulletin

DRP NB 9 Aug 2021: Doubtful validity of GOI’s July 15 notification on AP-Telangana water disputes

(Feature image: Two Telugu states, one river — why Andhra & Telangana are fighting it out over the Krishna https://theprint.in/india/two-telugu-states-one-river-why-andhra-telangana-are-fighting-it-out-over-the-krishna/696801/)

The July 15 2021 Govt of India notification on Andhra Pradesh-Telangana water disputes is of doubtful legal validity and the Supreme Court urgently needs to examine this. The 2014 AP Regorganisation Act didn’t make provision for the Centre to take over water infrastructure of the two states, which is what effectively the centre has done through the July 15 notification. The Jul 15 notification effectively dismissing powers of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana without any consultations and there is no provision in constitution for this.

There is no doubt that the long lingering water sharing disputes between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and which was the major reason for the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, needs to be resolved. But the blame for not achieving any resolution of the disputes also lies with the Centre, the KRMB and GRMB are not even functioning with necessary urgency or effectiveness.

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Monsoon · Rainfall

July 2021: High Rainfall days in India’s districts

An analysis of the daily district wise rainfall data from India Meteorological Department (IMD) for the month of July 2021, the 2nd month of India’s South West Monsoon 2021 shows that there were 717 instances when district rainfall of a day was above 50 mm. [Considering that the normal monthly rainfall of India July is 285.3 mm, the average daily rainfall in this month is about 9.2 mm.] Such high rainfall instances included 595 instances when rainfall was 50-100 mm, 98 instances when it was 100-150 mm, 17 times it was 150-200 mm and 7 times above 200 mm. Interestingly, in June 2021[i] too there were seven instances when rainfall was above 200 mm, when the rainfall is supposed to be much below July rainfall. As noted in detailed article[ii], the July 2021 rainfall all over India was 6.7% below normal.

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River Front Development

PUNE RIVER FRONT DEVELOPMENT PROJECT

GUEST ARTICLE BY SARANG YADWADKAR

Pune, 
A city along the banks of five rivers,
A city with 7 dams on the upstream,
A city surrounded by pristine green hills,
Hence probably the only city to enjoy abundance of water even in drought like situation. 

Due to this abundant availability of water, the city of Pune grew very rapidly. But this situation has a darker side of frequent flooding as well, which the citizens have witnessed and experienced quite a few times. The most recent example, is the floods in 2019. In a few hours hundreds of houses were washed away; properties worth Crores of rupees were destroyed and 25 innocent people lost their lives. The flood water breached the flood levels to inundate innumerable houses and even a hospital. In 2020 too, Bhairoba Nala breached its limits.

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Cloud Burst

उत्तराखंड: चौथान में ‘बादल फटा’, आपदा तंत्र फिर नदारद

बुधवार-गुरुवार (28-29 जुलाई) की दरमियानी रात में हुई अत्यधिक बारिश ने पौड़ी जिले की थलीसैंण तहसील में स्थित चौथान पट्टी के कई गांवों को प्रभावित किया है। गनीमत है कि कोई हताहत नहीं हुआ है लेकिन गांव और सार्वजनिक सम्पति  के अलावा स्थानीय फसलों को भारी नुकसान हुआ है।

जहां जिले के अंतिम हिस्से में बेतहाशा बारिश हुई, वहीं डुमणीकोट के ग्रामीणों ने ‘बादल फटने’ की घटना से मची तबाही की सूचना दी। यह गांव पौड़ी-चमोली-अल्मोड़ा जिलों की सीमा पर स्थित है।

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