Dams · DRP News Bulletin

DRP News Bulletin 03 Oct 2016 ( Role of Uttarakhand Hydro Projects in Kedarnath Disaster 2013)

Book Review:  Rage of the Rivers: Role of Uttarakhand hydro projects in Kedarnath disaster 2013 by Hridayesh Joshi Rage of the River reads not unlike a gripping thriller. Thing is, it is not fiction. It is a true ‘story’ of a cataclysmic event, exacerbated by greed, and twisted notions of development manifested in blasting fragile hills, tunneling rivers, denuding forests, and encouraging illegal encroachments and mindless construction and tourism infrastructure. This is an important chronicle of one of the worst disasters of our times. Joshi has thoroughly analysed the role of endless, ill-planned hydel projects, but inexplicably fails to take into account the wreckage wrought by unrestrained tourism. Joshi points a finger at the unethical practices of construction companies, contractors and operators of hydel dam projects, even in the face of this monumental disaster. The officials of the Vishnuprayag project refused to listen to the pleas of the villagers to open the dam gates and allow the excess water to flow safely from under the barrage. The advice was ignored, either in ignorance of the gravity of the situation, or with an eye on the opportunity to generate more power. The rising waters broke the barrage flooding the valley and its villages.  

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Dams · DRP News Bulletin

DRP News Bulletin 04 July 2016 (In Proposed Hydro Policy, Govt Unjustifiably Pushing Hydro Through Subsidies)

New Hydro Policy: Govt unjustifiably pushing hydro through subsidies A comprehensive policy to promote hydropower generation is set to be announced by September—with viability gap funding for projects, compulsory hydropower purchase obligations for distribution companies and a set of good practices that states have to follow. The idea is to address factors that currently drive hydropower costs up way above those of other sources of power and give policy support in its market development, according to a government official, who asked not to be named. The policy being prepared by the power ministry will have provisions for viability gap funding, which will help in meeting the shortfall in project costs and reducing hydroelectricity tariffs for consumers. Hydropower is expensive and in some cases more than double the cost of power from coal-based thermal plants, which is available at Rs.3-5 per unit.The ministry will also expand the scope of power distribution companies’ renewable power purchase obligations to include hydropower from projects with a capacity greater than 25 Mw. At the moment only power from those with less than 25MW is considered renewable power. According to officials, compulsory hydropower purchase from large projects will either be made part of the existing renewable power purchase obligation of distribution companies or a separate requirement, so that its inclusion does not affect the market for other renewable sources of energy like wind, solar or biomass. Govt unjustifiably pushing hydro through subsidies in proposed new hydro policy can be lead story. It is not going to help push hydro.   Continue reading “DRP News Bulletin 04 July 2016 (In Proposed Hydro Policy, Govt Unjustifiably Pushing Hydro Through Subsidies)”

Dams · DRP News Bulletin

DRP News Bulletin 06 June 2016 (India to be power surplus for next 3 yrs, then why govt continue to pursue hydro projects)

India will not have power deficit situation in FY17 India won’t need any new power plants for the next three years as it is flush with generation capacity, according to a government assessment. The country can manage for the next three years with existing plants that are currently under-utilised, and those that are under construction and upcoming renewable energy projects, assessment made by the power ministry for reviewing  the National Electricity Policy shows. Govt declares for the first time in history that India is POWER SURPLUS in 2016-17 with 3.1% power surplus in peak hours and 1.1% power surplus in off peak hours, both figures in 2015-16 were -3.2% during peak hours and -2.1% in peak hours. The western and Southern regions will be power surplus, but Northern, Eastern and Northeastern regions will have deficits. At the same time Power Minister Piyush Goyal says that Big hydro power units may come under renewable energy According to Minister the Centre has begun studies to decide whether to include big hydro power plants under the ambit of renewable energy. When India will be energy surplus for next three years why then Govt. of India is continue to pursue disastrous hydro projects on ground.  Where ASSOCHAM is asking Arunachal govt.  to do away with adverse tax policies on Hydro power to boost construction of hydro projects in the State. NHPC has also   raised relief amount for Kishanganga HEP around Rs 60 lakh and Rs 70 lakh to each family for the land acquired. And despite Delhi Govt. openly rejecting water from Renuka dam NGT panel has visited the area to look into the rehabilitation issue. 

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Dams · DRP News Bulletin

DRP News Bulletin 28 March 2016(Is India facing its worst-ever water crisis?)

Is India facing its worst-ever water crisis? On 11 March first time in 30 years history power generation at Farakka power plant in West Bengal was suspended for 10 days due to non-availability of water in Ganges. Nobody is sure why but the evidence about the declining water levels and waning health of the 2,500km long Ganges is mounting. Monsoon rains have been scanty for the second year in succession. The melting of snow in the Himalayas has been delayed. Water tables have also been declining in the Ganges basin due to the reckless extraction of groundwater. The 3-month-long summer is barely weeks away but water availability in India’s 91 reservoirs is at its lowest in a decade, with stocks at a paltry 29% of their total storage capacity, according to the Central Water Commission. Thousands of villagers in drought-hit region of Maharashtra depend on tankers for water & authorities in Latur district, fearing violence, have imposed prohibitory orders on gatherings of more than 5 people around storage tanks. Tens of thousands of farmers and livestock have moved to camps providing free fodder and water for animals in parched districts. The govt has asked local municipalities to stop supplying water to swimming pools. States like Punjab are squabbling over ownership of river waters. In water-scarce Orissa, farmers have reportedly breached embankments to save their crops. Realy the waning health of the sacred river underscores the rising crisis of water in India.

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Cumulative Impact Assessment · Environment Impact Assessment · Expert Appraisal Committee · Forest Advisory Committee · Hydropower · International Water Issues · Ministry of Environment and Forests · Western Ghats

Dams, Rivers and People Feb-March 2013 Edition

How is the 2012-13 drought worse than the one in 1972?

The present drought in Maharashtra is dubbed as being worse than the one in 1972. This article conclusively proves that these critical conditions are not due to the rainfall, but due to poor water management decisions. The rainfall in 2011-12 has been more than 1971-72 in most of the worst drought-affected districts.  Mismanagement of water in the dams, and irrational promotion of water-intensive sugarcane, unjustifiable west ward water diversions for hydro power generation have all led to the dearth of water to a much larger extent than the quantum of rainfall.

sugar farmers

Maharashtra’s sugar shackles

Maharashtra has 209 sugar factories, the highest in any state in India. most of them in worst drought-affected districts. Of its 30 cabinet Ministers, 13 either own sugar factories or have considerable shares in them. This article examines the impact of this hegemony on the state’s farmers and it’s water.

Free flow after dam removal

Decommission dams as an Environmental Priority!

Some of the oldest dams in the world exist in India with around 100 large dams are more than 100 years old. These are increasingly unsafe. MoEF needs to consider dam decommissioning as a viable option for restoring the ecology of rivers

Our missing dams

How much do we know of our dams and rivers?

This article analyses the National Register of Large Dams. It is a disturbing situation that the agencies that are responsible for our large dams do not even know for majority of our large dams the names of the rivers on which they are located!

Gharial on the river bank

Vertebrates of Chambal

National Chambal Santuary is one of the very few protected river sanctuaries in India.This article describes a project to provide a peer-reviewed and  open-access compilation of vertebrate fauna of the Chambal River basin, which highlights the regions ecological significance as also the threats it faces

Protesting against dams

Journey from Cooperation to Conflict

This article discusses the various conflicts developing in the Indian Sub-continent. International, inter-state, and inter-sectoral conflicts are discussed. The article also discusses the steps that need to be taken to achieve greater water cooperation across the world

Ujani Dam

Will water released from Ujani help Solapur?

The HC order to release water from upstream dams to  Ujani dam for mitigating drought in Solapur is examined. Unfortunately, the Maharashtra water resources department is unable to curb unathorised water use, let alone promote equitable usage of water from canals, dams and rivers

Related News: 

Impact of nearly 100 mini hydel projects on Bangalore’s Water Supply: SANDRP Report

No New Mini hydel Projects in Karnataka Western Ghats!       

Bhutan on a Hydropower Spree

Water Privatisation is not for India

Rivers changing course in Arunachal

One All verdict for India Pakistan in Kishenganga Arbitration

Bring back our Yamuna! 

Huge Anti Dam Protests in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh headed by monks   

Traditional Fisherfolk evicted from Loktak in blatant disregard to human rights as well as law

India Water Week 2013: MoWR again working as a big dam lobby?

Forest Advisory Committee reconsidering clearance for Kalu Dam again!

Hydropower at the cost of Drinking water?

Good News. HC stays a sugar factory that was coming up (again) in drought affected Solapur District 

Debatable Dam in the Western Ghats

How the World Bank undermines its own development goals