In a number of ways the Supreme Court order this week that the municipal commissioners and chief officers can be prosecuted for releasing untreated pollutants from the cities to the rivers and other water bodies is path breaking. Can it help fix accountability of release of such untreated sewage? Can it help ensure that cities stop doing this and cities not only have adequate sewage treatment facilities, but also that cities have to ensure that the STPs function to ensure that no untreated sewage ends up the rivers and other water bodies?
Interrogating Cauvery Calling N Ram questions Jaggi Vasudev’s Cauvery Calling, asks why it shifts goal posts Speaking at Interrogating Cauvery Calling seminar in Chennai, N Ram said that various state governments and the central government that endorses the project should also be questioned.
“Now a very serious issue that must cause concern is the raising of public interest and public money for this project. Truly mega, in terms of money involved – 242 crore trees, 11,000 crore rupees. That is the kind of money involved. Only 0.5% collected. There is still time to put checks on this and prevent this from going further,” he said. “What is the management of this money? Who oversees it? There is no transparency, no verifiable document, no clear management structure for huge amount targeted. It is a matter of great concern.”
– N Ram also said that various state governments and the central government that endorses the project should also be questioned. “As a political journalist, this is the question that occurs to me. Who gave the Isha Foundation the right, the jurisdiction to transgress on what should be the commons. And why are governments being subservient to this idea? Apart from the risks, probable negative outcomes and over simplification of solutions for Cauvery, this is what is worrying,” he concluded. https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/n-ram-questions-jaggi-vasudevs-cauvery-calling-asks-why-it-shifts-goal-posts-112838 (24 Nov. 2019)
As about 500 global financiers meet in London on March 5-7, 2019, one of the items on agenda pushed by Big Hydro lobby is criteria to include Big Hydro as climate solution. As following Comment in Nature shows, this is completely based on lobbying efforts and not based on merit of the case. If the merits of large hydro were to looked at objectively, there is absolutely no case of inclusion of Large Hydro as climate solution. In fact, the article does not attempt to list the severe, widespread and long lasting adverse social and environmental impacts of large hydro. Today when there is BIG question mark over even economic viability of large hydro, such attempts are clearly uncalled for. Hope the global financiers will see through this lobbying effort.
The World Hydropower Congress will meet in Paris during May 14-16, 2019. Their program says:
Following over two years of discussions with industry, academia, governments and international NGOs, the Climate Bonds Initiative, an investor-focused not-for-profit is due to launch a consultation later this year on proposed green bond criteria for hydropower. This criteria is seen as key to fully unlocking the market to the hydropower sector, as to date it has been held back a lack of clarity over appropriate standards. https://congress.hydropower.org/2019-paris/programme/green-bonds-for-hydropower/
This shows that the Congress, essentially a Hydropower Lobby meeting, is also interconnected with the Climate Bond Initiative on Hydropower.
As this report narrates, a great volunteer effort is underway in Mumbai to clean up Mithi river. What they have achieved is just about 350 m of clean river, after labouring over weekends for several months. But this is such a daunting task to even venture to start. They have not only started, but made visible progress. Let us hope it will achieve all its objectives.
On the evening of November 29, 2017, a shutter of Krishnagiri Reservoir Project[I] (KRP) dam in Krishnagiri district, Tamil Nadu has breached sounding flash flood alarm in downstream areas. The Collector C. Kathiravan has also put five districts of Krishnagiri, Tiruvannamalai, Dharmapuri, Vellore, and Villupuram on high alert following the sudden breach. The disaster management and rescue department have been called in to assess the situation. Leading a high level expert team Murugu Subramaniam Chief Engineer (CE) Public Works Department (PWD) responsible for operation and maintenance of the dam has also inspected the site which was followed by M Thambidurai. Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha.
Krishnagiri KRP Dam First Door Damage Viral Video
Interestingly KRP dam project is listed in the Central Water Commission’s national registry of large dams. It is also covered under Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) and there was an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) workshop at the dam site only in 2016. Surprisingly, the incident has occurred just a year after all the 8 shutters were repaired at a cost of ₹1.10 crore reports The Hindu.[II]
The flash flood would impact the downstream villagers particularly riverbed farmers. As the dam was storing water for rabi crops, the breach is also bound to affect dependent farmers. Worsening the situation further, India Meteorological Department (IMD) has warned of heavy rains in the state due to ongoing cyclone Ockhi.
In fact, the KRP dam breach has raised many questions and issues which need to be answered and addressed immediately.