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

Amidst a dismal Maharashtra drought, Seeds of change in Solapur

Solapur, a chronically drought-hit district in Maharashtra was serviced with more than 200 tankers in 2013-14, even when the monsoon was good. In this drought, there are only 16 tankers plying in Solapur. Drinking water sources have been secured. The district leads the way in Jal Yukta Shivar Program in the state, new avenues of Agricultural credit are opening, options to sugarcane are being developed, errant sugar factories are being fined for polluting drinking water sources…

All this sounds too good to be true in a state where it seems lessons are not being learnt from 3 droughts in past 4 years. But it is happening. These positive stories deserve to be told at a time when overall situation appears dismal.. Continue reading “Amidst a dismal Maharashtra drought, Seeds of change in Solapur”

Dams

Open letter to Tata Sustainability Group to stop westward diversion of Bhima basin water by Tata Hydro projects

From: Parineeta Dandekar (Pune) & Himanshu Thakkar (Delhi)

South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers & People (SANDRP)

parineeta.dandekar@gmail.com, ht.sandrp@gmail.com

August 20, 2015

TO:

Tata Sustainability Group

Army & Navy Building, 2nd Floor

Mahatma Gandhi Road,

Mumbai 400001, tsg@tata.com

  1. Shankar Venkateswaran

Chief – Tata Sustainability Group: svenkateswaran@tata.com

  1. Dr. Avinash Patkar

Head – Environment Services: apatkar@tata.com

  1. Sudhakar Gudipati

General Manager – Community Services: sgudipati@tata.com

  1. Alka Upadhyay

General Manager – Environment Services: aupadhyay@tata.com

  1. Ajit Chaudhuri

General Manager – Community Services: achaudhuri@tata.com

  1. Sourav Roy

Program Leader – Tata Uttarakhand Program: aroy@tata.com

  1. Abhishek Goyal

Senior Manager – Environment Services: agoyal@tata.com

  1. Zarir DeVitre

Manager – Environment Services: zdevitre@tata.com

  1. Manjula Sriram

Manager – Community Services: msriram@tata.com

  1. Lucas Saldhana

Assistant Manager – Tata Sustainability Group: lsaldhana@tata.com

Dear members of Tata Sustainability Group,

We are encouraged to write to you on this subject, thinking that considering the name, objective of the TSG and also the various statements on the TSG website, you will take prompt and necessary action on this subject.

We are writing to you in the context of Bhima basin in Maharashtra and Krishna river basin in general facing the worst monsoon deficit, crop loss and water scarcity. Millions of farmers are facing crop loss, livelihood loss and worst. Ujani dam on Bhima River is below its live storage level now and in the downstream Telangana, Nagarjunsagar is at zero live storage level and Srisailam has just 9% water in its live storage. Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have said they have no water to save farmers’ crops; they are reserving the available water for drinking water. Continue reading “Open letter to Tata Sustainability Group to stop westward diversion of Bhima basin water by Tata Hydro projects”

Dams

Open Letter to Chief Minister of Maharashtra: Stop Westwards diversion of water from Krishna basin

OPEN LETTER TO HON. CHIEF MINISTER OF MAHARASHTRA:

Water Diversion from Krishna basin by Koyna and Tata Dams:

Maharashtra is violating Human Rights, National & State Water Policy

August 18, 2015

Dear Shri Devendra Fadnavis,

As we all know, large parts of Maharashtra, including Marathawada and Western Maharashtra (part of IMD division called Madhya Maharashtra) are in the grip of biggest monsoon deficit in the country with deficits of 48% and 33% respectively at the end of August 17, 2015 as per IMD[1]. Even beyond the state border, North Interior Karnataka has monsoon deficit of 45%, Rayalseema 36% and Telangana 23%.

Farmers in all these regions are in distress, rainfed Kharif crop, the only crop for most of them, may have been jeopardised for almost all of them. Most of the reservoirs have paltry storages, the biggest in the Krishna basin, Ujani in Maharashtra and Nagarjunsagar in Telangana (also catering to parts of Andhra Pradesh) have zero % in live storage, Srisailam has paltry 9%[2]. Millions of farmers and people are facing the prospects of livelihood loss and severe water scarcity.

While the situation is this serious in Krishna River Basin and adjoining basins, in Maharashtra, huge amounts of water is being diverted from the Krishna basin to the water surplus Konkan region which has seen close to 1600 mm rainfall already. This westward diversion of water from the east flowing Krishna-Bhima basin ultimately takes the water to Arabian Sea, while the Krishna basin, which should have the first right over this water, remains plunged in massive water scarcity. Krishna basin is thus being deprived of its water. Continue reading “Open Letter to Chief Minister of Maharashtra: Stop Westwards diversion of water from Krishna basin”