Rivers

International Day of Actions For Rivers 2019: Positive River Actions From India

For last 22 years, 14 March is celebrated globally as International Day of Action for Rivers.

As per India Rivers Week Assessment 70 per cent of our rivers are facing existential threats. Over 60 per cent of sewage generated in India is dumped untreated in rivers and water bodies. As per latest official assessment the number of polluted river stretches in country has increased to 352 from 302 two years ago. Similarly the number of critically polluted stretches has gone up to 45 from 34 in two years. Our rivers are facing lack flow, pollution, encroachments, unsustainable mining and destruction of habitat. In mountains, streams are running dry for most of the time, while in urban areas they are over loaded with pollution.

Amid this gloomy scenario, many small initiatives are being taken to reverse the plight of our rivers. This compilation shows few of such recent and inspiring initiatives.

Continue reading “International Day of Actions For Rivers 2019: Positive River Actions From India”

Dams · DRP News Bulletin

DRP News Bulletin 3 Sept 2018: CHINA HAS STARTED DECOMMISSIONING DAMS

In a mountain village in southwest China’s Sichuan province, authorities have demolished seven small dam projects this year along a river to clear illegal developments in a new nature reserve. The demolition is part of a nationwide programme to close hundreds of tiny and often ramshackle dams and turbines and bring order to China’s massive hydropower sector after years of unconstrained construction.

The dams sat on an unnamed tributary of the fierce and flood-prone Dadu river, which feeds into the Yangtze, Asia’s largest and longest river, where the government says the “irregular development” of thousands of small hydropower projects has wrecked the ecology. But green groups say the campaign will not necessarily save the environment because it will not affect big state hydropower stations, which they say have caused the most damage.

On the 48 km Zhougong, authorities have already demolished small projects built in nature reserves or encroaching upon new “ecological red lines” drawn up to shield a quarter of China’s territory from development.

The government says small dams have disrupted the habitats and breeding patterns of many rare species of fish, although green groups argue the damage wrought by bigger dams is more severe, with entire towns and ecosystems submerged in water, which they say increases the risk of earthquakes, landslides and even climate change.

Continue reading “DRP News Bulletin 3 Sept 2018: CHINA HAS STARTED DECOMMISSIONING DAMS”

Maharashtra · Rivers · Urban Water Sector

Pune Dialogue on Urban Rivers of Maharashtra on April 20-21, 2018

The health and future of our country is critically dependent on the health of our rivers. To compromise upon our rivers’ health is to endanger our own existence and future. Most of the urban rivers[1] in Maharashtra are in poor state affected by problems like pollution, with little or no biodiversity, little or no flow during most of the year, encroachment, dumping of waste, concretization and sometimes even mining. Water pollution from Urban Industrial effluents is a serious problem for the river, floodplain as well as ground water. With unplanned development, as the floodplains and riverbeds are being encroached, we are experiencing increased intensity and frequency of floods and flash floods. This can lead to an increasing possibility of water scarcity, depletion of groundwater levels and drought in spite of rains. Continue reading “Pune Dialogue on Urban Rivers of Maharashtra on April 20-21, 2018”

Dams

Hindon River Gazetteer: An Introduction

Guest Blog by Manu Bhatnagar, INTACH

During India Rivers Day on Nov 25, 2017, a Gazetteer on Hindon River, part of Yamuna River basin in North India, was released by Shri Shashi Shekhar, former secretary, Union Ministry of Water Resources, Govt of India. It is first in a series of River Gazetteer that India Rivers Week hopes to bring out. Each Gazetteer is expected to provide a overview of various aspects of the concerned river basin. The Hindon River Gazetteer, titled “Reviving Hindon River: A Basin Approach” has been brought out by INTACH. This is the first attempt at building a basin level picture of a medium river. The document, we hope, would serve as a first template subsequent gazetteers on other rivers. We invite feedback from all concerned.

This article provides an overview of the contents of the Hindon River Gazetteer. For hard copy of the Gazetteerr, please contact: Manu Bhatnagar manucentaur@hotmail.com. It’s a 248 + xi page report in addition to additional maps provided for pull out viewing. The report is divided into five chapters has five annexures, 158 images, 75 maps (pullout maps are additional) and 77 tables. One of the short comings of the quickly brought out publication is that it does not contain list of acronyms used in the report. 

Continue reading “Hindon River Gazetteer: An Introduction”

Dams · India Rivers Week

भारतीय नदी दिवस 2017 – नदियों के संरक्षण का अभिनव प्रयास

देश की नदियों की दुर्दशा किसी से छिपी नहीं है। एक ओर नदियों का जलप्रवाह लगातार घट रहा है, दूसरी ओर उनमें प्रदूषण की मात्रा चिंताजनक स्तर पर पहुॅच गई है। बढ़ती बॉध, पनबिजली, सिंचाई परियोजनाओं, भूजल दोहन, वनविनाश, बाढ़ भूमि अतिक्रमण और अवैध खनन से हमारी नदियों की जैवविविधता पर विपरीत प्रभाव सामने आ रहे हैं। साथ में नदियों पर गुजर बसर करने वाले मछवारों, मल्लाहों, किसानों की आजीविका पर गंभीर खतरा मंडरा रहा है।

इन सबके बीच, नदियों को बचाने के सरकारी प्रयास नाकेवल नाकाफी और निष्फल साबित हो रहे है, अपितु अब यह स्पष्ट है कि नदी विरोधी सरकारी योजनाओं के चलते ही छोटी बडी जलधाराएॅ सूख रही है, मैला हो रही है और बाढ़ के समय आपदा का कारण भी बन रही है। वास्तव में नदी संरक्षण संबंधी नियम कानूनों और व्यापक जनभागीदारी के अभाव के चलते आज हमारी जीवनदायनी नदियॉ, खुद के स्वछंद बहते जल को तरस रही है। 

इन्हीं सब महत्वपूर्ण मुद्दों को उजागर करने के लिए 25 नवम्बर 2017 को दिल्ली भारतीय नदी दिवस[1] समारोह आयोजित किया गया। इस बार के एक दिवसीय आयोजन में शहरी नदियों को केंद्र में रखकर मनाया गया। कार्यक्रम में भारत के विभिन्न क्षेत्रों से अस्सी से अधिक सरकारी विभागों -गैरसरकारी संस्थाओं से जुडे़ नदीप्रेमियों, चितंको और विचारकों ने भाग किया। यह कार्यक्रम वर्ष 2014 से निरंतर मनाया जा रहा है। हर साल की तरह, इस बार भी देश में नदियों को बचाने में संघर्षरत व्यक्तियों और नदी संगठनों को ‘भगीरथ प्रयास सम्मान’[2]  से नवाजा गया। प्रभावी नदी लेखन, छायांकन और चित्रण के माध्यम से नदियों की आवाज उठाने वाले मीडियाकर्मी के लिए, इस साल से अनुपम मिश्र[3] मैमोरियल मैडल का शुभांरभ  किया गया।  

Continue reading “भारतीय नदी दिवस 2017 – नदियों के संरक्षण का अभिनव प्रयास”

Dams · DRP News Bulletin

DRP News Bulletin 27 November 2017 (India Rivers Day 2017: There Is Hope For Restoring Urban Rivers)

From left Arti Kumar Rao, winner of first ever Anupam Misra Memorial Award, Mahavir Singh Sukarlai, of Prayavaran Kisan Sanghrash Samiti, Pali; Winner of BPS 2017 in individual category and S. Ramachandran and Eby Emmaunuel of Meenachil Nadee Samrakshana Samithi, Kerala; Winner of BPS 2017 in organization category. 

The eventful India Rivers Day (IRD) has just concluded. It was held on 25 November 2017 at INTACH Delhi office. The theme for this year was ‘Rivers in the Urban Context’. An exhibition on the issue is open till December 01, 2017. https://sandrp.wordpress.com/2017/11/26/exhibition-on-indias-urban-rivers-at-india-rivers-day-2017/

The program started with the welcome address by Manoj Misra. It was followed by an introductory speech on the theme by Himanshu Thakkar of SANDRP in which he described the deteriorating relationships between urban rivers and citizens and how urban areas are treating their rivers as parasite.

In the key note address by Dr. Ravi Chopra of PSI threw light on the lost, ignored and abused rivers in Delhi, Mumbai, Dehradun and Chennai.

Continue reading “DRP News Bulletin 27 November 2017 (India Rivers Day 2017: There Is Hope For Restoring Urban Rivers)”

Dams · India Rivers Week

EXHIBITION ON INDIA’S URBAN RIVERS AT INDIA RIVERS DAY 2017

The theme for India Rivers Day 2017 (IRD 2017), held on 25th November, 2017 at the INTACH Delhi premises, was Rivers in the Urban Context. Various formats of engagement were deployed for discussion among the participants from across India present for the event. India Rivers Day was organised by a group of organisations that have come together under the name India Rivers Week, these include: INTACH, Yamuna Jiye Abhiyaan, WWF India, Toxics Link, Peace Institute Charitable Trust, People’s Science Institute and SANDRP.

As part of the IRD 2017 celebrations, an exhibition based on the event theme has also been set up. It displays photos related to various issues related to urban rivers. The exhibition was inaugurated during the IRD 2017 event by our eminent Chief Guest Shri Shashi Shekhar, former secretary of the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Govt of India.

Continue reading “EXHIBITION ON INDIA’S URBAN RIVERS AT INDIA RIVERS DAY 2017”

Dams · India Rivers Week

Nominations for BPS-2017 & Shri Anupam Mishra Memorial Medal-2017 Invited

Dear All,

Greetings from the India Rivers Week (IRW) Organising Committee!

This is to request for nominations for Bhagirath Prayaas Samman (BPS) 2017.

As you will recall BPS is an attempt to acknowledge and celebrate outstanding, inspirational, unsung initiatives in river conservation.

This year we are also initiating Shri Anupam Mishra Memorial Medal to celebrate media professionals who have established an exceptional body of credible work on various aspects of rivers leading to changes in behaviour, public discourse, law and policy. Self nominations will also be considered.

Please find attached the announcement and the nomination forms.

PLEASE SEND AN EMAIL TO SURESH BABU TO GET THE ATTACHMENT MENTIONED HERE suresh@wwfindia.netBPS Call for nominations 2017.

Last date for nominations: September 25, 2017. A jury will take decision about the final awardees based on set of criteria.

Continue reading “Nominations for BPS-2017 & Shri Anupam Mishra Memorial Medal-2017 Invited”

Ganga

INTACH pilot project reduces Assi River Pollution in Varanasi by 70% in two months, at least cost, without any structures

Above: Map showing interventions in Assi River in Varanasi (INTACH)

REPORT TO DIVISIONAL COMMISSIONER, VARANASI

On INTACH’s Pilot Project on Assi Nadi [24th Jan/17 – 26th Feb/17]

Guest Blog by Manu Bhatnagar, INTACH

  1. INTACH is a national non-profit organization, a registered society under Society’s Act since 1984, having the Secretaries of the GoI Ministries of Environment, Forest & Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Urban Development, Ministry of Culture, DG [ASI] and DG [NM] on its Governing Council with its accounts duly audited by the Office of CAG.
  2. High pollution load in holy River Ganga at Varanasi is due to domestic wastewater flowing into the river through 33 nallahs and rivulets. Sewerage systems and treatment plants are going to take several years to be in place and effective. In the meantime the river will continue to remain polluted. Based on its experience in Delhi and Agra INTACH has initiated a one month pilot project for cleaning wastewater flow in Assi Nadi using the process of bacterial bioremediation.

Continue reading “INTACH pilot project reduces Assi River Pollution in Varanasi by 70% in two months, at least cost, without any structures”

Dams · Yamuna River

Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan: A Decade in the Service of River Yamuna

At least since 1994, ever increasing pollution of River Yamuna had ballooned into a national concern, with Supreme Court of India taking up the case of Mailee Yamuna. The authorities lacked a holistic view of a river system. Essential issues like unhindered flow and intact floodplain were seldom discussed and debated. Thus, cleaning of pollution through infrastructure and technologies had become the central theme of saving Yamuna River. As a result, the cleaning efforts got no success and Yamuna River health kept worsening.

Amid this scenario, a group of Delhi citizens in 2006 woke up to impact of a 10 days shopping event to be organized on annual basis in the floodplain of Yamuna River at Delhi- Noida, Uttar Pradesh border. The event faced criticism and was resultantly called off.

But the incident just proved a tip of iceberg for the concerned group who after sometimes came across a list of permanent and commercial structures, being proposed within ecologically valuable and sensitive floodplains of River Yamuna in Delhi as a part of Common Wealth Games 2010.

The prevailing ignorance towards importance of floodplains of River Yamuna in Delhi and blatant encroachment of it, led to formalization of the group into Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan (YJA) on 07 February 2007.

Continue reading “Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan: A Decade in the Service of River Yamuna”