The India Rivers Week 2018, in fifth year, will be held at WWF, Delhi during Nov 24-26, 2018. The focus of the IRW this time is: “Can India Rejuvenate Ganga?“. Shri Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, Director General of the National Mission for Clean Ganga will address the inaugural session with Chief Guest Shri Jairam Ramesh, former Union Minister, in Chair. The meeting will see over 150 people from all over India participate to discuss state of India’s rivers at the only meeting in India focussing exclusively on rivers.
The Annual River Lecture will be given by Prof Rajiv Sinha of Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. The Bhagirath Prayas Samman award for the best work on River Conservation and the Anupam Mishra Medal for exemplary media work on River conservation will be given away by famous Chipco leader Shri Chandiprasad Bhatt.
Shri U P Singh, Secretary, Union Ministry of Water Resources has agreed to the chief guest at the concluding session on Nov 26, Monday. Started in 2014, the meeting is collectively organised by Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan, WWF-India, INTACH, Toxics Link, People’s Science Institute (Dehradun), Peace Institute and SANDRP.
For more information, please see: https://indiariversforum.org/2018/11/19/india-rivers-week-2018/. Follow IRW at: https://www.facebook.com/IndiaRiversWeek/ and https://twitter.com/IndiaRiversWeek
Continue reading “DRP News Bulletin 19 November 2018: India Rivers Week to focus on Ganga Rejuvenation during Nov 24-26, 2018”
As per Counter View report, a well-informed Gujarat government source has told it that a major reason why the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd (SSNNL) recently declared there would be “no water” from the multi-purpose irrigation scheme, Sardar Sarovar dam, to Gujarat farmers starting March 15, 2018, is Madhya Pradesh elections, scheduled for this year-end.
The source, refusing to be identified, said, “Already, massive preparations are on in Madhya Pradesh to provide as much Narmada water to the state’s farmers by storing as much water as possible. The idea is to appease the farmers with Narmada waters in the same way as it was done last year before the elections took place in Gujarat.”
This shows how dams in Narmada Valley are being used for achieving political ends, once again. Earlier they were used for Gujarat elections, now they are being used for Madhya Pradesh elections. https://www.counterview.net/2018/01/narmada-waters-in-gujarat-stopped-to.html (Counter View, 20 January 2018)
In another report, anonymous official admits water shortage apparent in Nov 2017 before Gujarat polls was not announced, another indicator of how Narmada dams are used to achieve political ends. https://www.counterview.net/2018/01/narmada-water-for-irrigation-state.html (Counter View, 21 January 2018)
However, this is not happening for the first time. This also happened before the Nov 2017 Gujarat elections and also before 2014 General elections and 2012 Punjab elections, as illustrated below.
Before 2014 general elections too the level of water in Narmada reservoirs was depleted to generate additional power keeping in mind the elections. https://sandrp.wordpress.com/2014/04/13/narmada-dams-levels-depleted-to-generate-more-electricity-threatening-water-security-for-gujarat-and-madhya-pradesh/
In case of Bhakra, the way the reservoir level was allowed to deplete in summer of 2012 had consequences in subsequent monsoon. https://sandrp.in/dams/PR_Why_precarious_water_situation_at_Bhakra_dams_was_avoidable_July_2012.pdf
Continue reading “DRP News Bulletin 22 January 2018 (Dams Again Being Used To Achieve Political Objectives) “
In a remarkable protest echoing urgent need for protection of rivers, fisherfolk of Kosasthalai River on 03 January 2018, launched a ‘Jal Satyagraha’ against Kamarajar Port project. The proposal would divert 1000 acres of creek area. It mainly comprises of river, wetlands, marshy areas on which fisher community depend for livelihood.
Raising their voices against the project with holding play cards that read “This is River, Not Land” they stood in waist-deep in waters to save Ennore Creek. Joining the protest, hundreds of residents also demanded the withdrawal of alleged fraudulent maps denying the existence of the Ennore Creek. The community has been fighting a lonely battle against the Tamil Nadu government accusing it of turning wetlands illegally into industrial real estate corridors.
– “Fishing economy has been hit massively. Shrinking of water body means less space for fish. Shrinking has happened in terms of surface spread as well as depth thanks to the dumping of dredged sand from the sea, silting the waterbody. The larger concern is fly ash and heavy metals from the industries polluting the environment causing health hazards,” said Nityanand Jayaraman, Environmental activist and researcher who was part of the protest. https://www.oneindia.com/india/chennai-fisherfolk-stage-jal-satyagraha-to-save-ennore-creek-2613088.html (One India, 04 January 2018)
Continue reading “DRP News Bulletin 08 January 2018 (“THIS IS RIVER, NOT LAND” Chennai Fisherfolks Fight To Save Ennore river)”
As per NGT’s October 16, order, the Ministry of Environment & Forest (MoEF) was asked to set up a “neutral” panel to objectively consider conflicting recommendations that have stalled the 2,000-MW Subansiri Lower Hydroelectric Project (HEP) on the Arunachal Pradesh-Assam border and come up with an “independent opinion” in three months.
The NGT said this was the only way to break the six-year logjam that has stalled a project vital to the “national interest.”
Contrary to this, MoEF on November 16, 2017 has set up a three-member panel with experts -who or their organisations- have all backed NHPC’s positions on the project in the past: Prabhas Pande, I D Gupta and P M Scott.
Continue reading “DRP News Bulletin 01 January 2018 (NGT Ordered Com on Subansiri: MoEF Again Fails To Understand Conflict of Interest)”
Centre Getting forest clearance is not a problem now: NHPC Chairman In an interview, taking a dig at its private peers, NHPC chairman KM Singh said that NHPC is the only company in the county that has the capability to execute hydro projects. He also said that in the NDA regime green clearances come easy, while local agitation by NGOs is the biggest threat. He further stated that there has been no negative impact of building a dam, not just in India, but anywhere in the world.
Continue reading “DRP News Bulletin 24 April 2017 ( NHPC CMD tells us Dams have no adverse impacts anywhere in the world! Admits that Hydro is no longer viable for private sector)”
Hydro power projects impact riverine fisheries The bleak future of fisheries is reflected in the “Vision and Perspective Plan” released by the Department of Fisheries earlier this week. The department is keeping its fingers crossed to even maintain the production of 5,393 tonnes in 2014-15 as it feels that with the commissioning of 294 hydro power projects in the recent years, the downward trend will be difficult to arrest.
It says that the expansion of the hydro power sector has resulted in the shrinking of rivers and streams and high silt levels. Rampant sand mining and indiscriminate use of pesticides have further aggravated the problem.
The fish production from the rivers and streams is falling drastically each year and the multi-pronged environmental assault is proving to be too damaging for the fisheries promotion. The state has some precious mahseer reserves. Though the power policy stipulates a minimum discharge of 15% ecological flow of rivers, the failure of the regulatory authority to check this has converted riverbeds into sandy deserts. That’s how the department perceives the threat from hydro power generation. As a further blow to the riverine fisheries, under the revised hydro-power policy, there is no requirement for micro hydel project developers to prepare environmental and social impact reports.
The vision document reflects that the coming up of hundreds of micro-hydel projects has drastically affected the streams environmental flow in Kangra, Kullu and Chamba. The picture is so grim that the project commissioned on the Sujan Nullah is virtually threatening the hatchery of the prestigious Indo-Norwegian trout project which is the lifeline of the entire trout farming programme of the state.Perceived as one of the major threats, the commissioning of 92 power projects, in the last few years has altered the river hydrology and blocked migratory routes exterminating spawning and feeding grounds of fish.Adding to the already bad situation is the array of pesticides and insecticides being used by farmers and fruit growers.
Continue reading “DRP News Bulletin 12 Sep 2016 (Hydro Projects Causing Mass Fish Extinction: HP Fisheries Dept.)”
Kerala 4 decades on, Siruvani dam displaced tribals wait for justice During 1970s, of Muthikulam triblas of Siruvani hills in Kerala were forced to relocate themselves to Chingampara forests area. This was how a settlement constituted 24 Muduga tribes families facilitated the construction of the Siruvani dam, a major source of drinking water for Coimbatore city and its surrounding areas in Tamil Nadu. Four decades later, the Muduga tribe has volumes to talk about the breach of official promises. Their houses are in ruins and the tribal people have to walk about 3km to fetch water from the reservoir as the decades-old water supply mechanism stopped functioning years ago. Most of the children in the Chingampara colony do not attend school as the nearest school is about 20 km away. The old school at Muthikulam got submerged in the dam waters. Now the colony has only an Anganwadi. Rajan, a differently-abled member of colony reported that the new reservoir came up in the area from where our families had been forced to move out. The dam was commissioned in 1984, but our settlement remains neglected. The tribals are still awaiting justice even after four decades. Except for the once-in-a-week visit of a junior public health nurse, there is no health care facility for the people. Biju another affected stated that in 1971 we were promised pucca housing with water and power connections and toilets, besides compensation of Rs.10,000 but nothing happened. He felt that their rehabilitation was a mockery and they deserve a decent rehabilitation as compensation.
Continue reading “DRP News Bulletin 29 Feb. 2016 (4 decades on, Siruvani dam displaced tribals wait for justice)”
Unprecedented water crisis in Delhi due to Jat stir Terming the water crisis in the national capital as “unprecedented”, Delhi minister Kapil Mishra has warned that the situation might worsen in the next few days if the supply from Haryana is not immediately restored. He said the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) had almost run out of water and advised people to use water judiciously. Delhi gets its bulk of water supply from Haryana and the stir has affected 65% of water supply in Delhi has been cut with the shutting down of seven water treatment plants— Wazirabad, Chandrawal, Dwarka, Okhla, Haiderpur, Nangloi and Bawana which provide around 500 million gallons per day (MGD). In all Delhi has nine water treatment plants which together produce 820 MGD of potable water. Of these, only two Sonia Vihar and Bhagirathi fed by water from Uttar Pradesh are operational. The current production is only 240 MGD. Among the areas affected were Dwarka, Janakpuri, Munirka, Palam, Rajouri Garden, Punjabi Bagh, Vasant Kunj, Saket, Green Park and Lodhi Colony, where residents complained of little or no water. In another news report DJB is reported to have made 140 water filling points functional to feed tankers which would be sent across the city, reeling under an unprecedented water crisis. Water Minister Kapil Mishra reviewed the contingency plan for water management in West, North, North-west, Outer and Central Delhi and said tankers will deliver water at 663 points to partially meet the shortage of 480 MGD. These points will keep rotating. Plan is to cover around 2,000 points by Monday evening. The DJB supplies around 900 MGD of water daily out of which around 600 MGD of raw water come from Munak Canal. Even if Haryana releases water immediately, it will take at least 24 hours to restore the supply. Meanwhile Supreme Court on 22 Feb.16 scolded Delhi government. for approaching the court instead of resolving the water crisis with Haryana. The Kejriwal government had approached the top court on in view of the severe water crisis in the national capital after Jat protesters blocked water supply through Munak canal in Sonipat. During the hearing on government’s plea, the court took strong objection to Water Minister Kapil Mishra’s presence inside the courtroom. On the other hand, the minister accuses Haryana & Central Government for providing no official information on the crisis He said the Delhi government was “repeatedly trying to communicate” with the two governments to find out when will the supply resume, but without much success. Also see Jat quota stir: Water supply cut, Delhi may go dry
Continue reading “DRP News Bulletin 22 Feb. 16 (Unprecedented water crisis in Delhi due to Jat quota stir)”
86 Villages rise in protest against dam on Ghaggar A dam is proposed to be constructed on the Ghaggar, near Banur, at a cost of Rs 75 crore. An agreement was signed between representatives of various villages located downstream and the Irrigation Department in 2006 promising 200 cusecsto irrigate fields in thesevillages. Villagers now fear that they will not get the promised 200 cusecs after the construction of the dam. Their claim is that the water flow in the river is much lower than 400 cusecs, as claimed by the irrigation department. The department, on the other hand, sticks to its stand that the water flow in the river is sufficient enough to feed the canal and the villages downstream. However, a perusal of the monthly average discharge data of the river for the past 10 years, defies the department’s claim. It revealed that the average yearly discharge barely crossed 400-cusec mark over the past 10 years, excluding the peak period (July to September). Interestingly NABARD and the State Irrigation department had separately conducted studies of the project well before giving it a green signal.
Continue reading “DRP News Bulletin 11 Jan. 2016 (Punjab Villagers oppose Dam on Ghaggar River)”