Dams · DRP News Bulletin

DRP News Bulletin 06 Feb. 2017 (MSPCB Directs Reduction in Water Supply to Polluting Industries)

Maharashtra SPCB cuts 40% water supply to Taloja industries After the pollution board identified that chemical effluents from common effluent treatment plant (CETP) at Taloja were polluting the Kasadi river, the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) have directed to Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) to cut 40 per cent of the water supply to industrial plants from February 1.

According to the letter issued to the industrial plants, earlier they were receiving 24-hour water supply but after MPCB’s directive, the plants would not receive water from 12am to 8am, effective from February 1.

Last year fishermen from the local Koli community had complained of decline in 90 per cent of fish catch from Kasadi river due to pollution. They had also alleged of inaction by authorities despite several complaints.

To highlight their plight, the fishermen then collected water samples in August 2016 from the Taloja CETP pipeline areas discharging treated waste and samples from the banks of the Kasadi river, and submitted them for a water quality test at Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation’s (NMMC) environmental laboratory.

The samples were found failing several crucial parameters and having high levels of chloride , which is toxic to aquatic life and impacts vegetation and wildlife. Several reports had also mentioned that the pumping of industrial waste into the river had raised pollution levels 13 times higher than the safe limit. 

Taking cognizance of the complaints, MPCB issued a notice to MIDC highlighting the pollution problem on Jan. 31 2017 and informing the MIDC that until the Taloja industrial area does not start online pollution monitoring, adequate water supply would not be provided to them. The plants have two months to comply or else further action would be taken.

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Dams

Yamuna River 2016: Unjustified Dams, Hydro Projects

The first part of 3-part blog series throws light on impact of dams and hydro projects in upper reaches of the River and the imminent dangers of climate change that have jeopardized the entire eco-system around the Yamuna rivers. 

The second part would bring forward the plight of severely polluted and threatened Yamuna tributaries in the mainland of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh (UP), Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh (MP). The third and concluding part would detail the status of ongoing and planned cleaning and rejuvenation projects launched in 2016.  

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Dams

शौचालयी स्वच्छता से संपूर्ण शुचिता की ओर-2 (जल-थल-मल पुस्तक सारांश)

आज गॉधी जंयती है और स्व्च्छ भारत अभियान को भी दो वर्ष पूरे हो गए हैं। दो दिन पूर्व, 30 सितम्बर को इंडोसैन समारोह का उद्घाटन करते हुए प्रधानमंत्री श्री नरेन्द्र मोदी जी ने देश को स्वच्छ बनाने के लिए स्वच्छाग्रह चलाने का मंत्र किया है। स्वच्छ भारत मिशन के तहत आयोजित इस समारोह में उन्होंने सीमित संदर्भ में ही सही दो ओर बड़ी अच्छी बातें कहीं, एक स्वच्छता को लेकर हमें अपने आचरण में बदलाव लाना चाहिए और दूसरा जैविक कूडे़ कचरे से खाद बनायी जा सकती है। दूसरी ओर शहरी विकास मंत्री वैंकया नायडू के अनुसार देश में 1 लाख से ज्यादा गॉव खुले में शौच से मुक्त हो गए हैं।

भारत के पहले प्रधानमंत्री श्री जवाहरलाल नेहरू ने भी एक बार कहा था कि जब तक भारत में सब लोगों के पास शौचालय सुविधा उपलब्ध नहीं होती, वो तब तक भारत को आज़ाद नहीं मानेगे। इसी प्रंसग में राष्ट्रपिता महात्मा गॉधी जी का भी जिक्र अनायास हो आता है जिंहोने सैनिटेशन को आजादी से भी बढ़कर बताया और मैला प्रथा के विरोध में सब मानवों को अपने मैले का निपटान खुद करने के लिए भी कहा।

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Dams · DRP News Bulletin

DRP News Bulletin 12 Sep 2016 (Hydro Projects Causing Mass Fish Extinction: HP Fisheries Dept.)

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.

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Dams · DRP News Bulletin

DRP News Bulletin 13 June 2016(Uma Bharati Threatens Stir Over Delay In Ken-Betwa Clearances)

Uma threatens stir over delay in Ken-Betwa interlinking Water Minister Uma Bharti on June 07 threatened an agitation if there were further delays to the wildlife clearances necessary for the storied Ken-Betwa river-interlinking project. This is TOO Much! Union Minister threatening to go on Fast, demanding environment clearance to Ken Betwa link! Calling it a national crime  to stop clearance to Ken Betwa link. Saying if the project is not cleared in next meeting, she will go on fast! Claiming that the link will help Marathwada!! It wont help even Bundelkhand, but the Union Minister seems to be setting completely wrong, precedent, which also ultra legal. On the other hand The Hindu has been consistently underplaying the impacts of the Ken Betwa project and over playing the official lines. Very strange to see this from THE HINDU. Before this in its June 02 meeting the expert appraisal committee (EAC) of environment ministry has deferred environment clearance for the ambitious Rs.10,000cr Ken-Betwa river linking project in its last meeting on June 2, and has sought more clarity on its wildlife & hydrological impact. The meeting could not come to a conclusion as the members of the EAC had several doubts regarding the project’s hydrological feasibility, its impact on hydrology and wildlife too and found that many serious issues related to the project are yet to resolved. In the last week of May 2016, SANDRP in a letter to EAC has written about Ken-Betwa project & why EAC should not clear this. Please help us spread the word and urgently write to EAC if you agree. Himanshu Thakkar coordinator SANDRP points out that the Ken-Betwa link, in essence, Ken-Betwa link will facilitate transfer of water from the Ken River Basin (Bundelkhand) to Upper Betwa Basin (outside Bundelkhand), so it is actually exporting water out of Bundelkhand. 

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Dams

Smart Urban Water options: Harvest rainwater, Protect water bodies

Municipal water supply systems in India are struggling to meet the demands of the burgeoning population in cities. Rapid urbanisation is increasing the freshwater demand for different purposes. Ground water being used to meet water shortages has fallen to dangerously low levels. The solution to the urban water crisis lies in harvesting rainwater and reviving local water bodies and wetlands which can store the water and help replenish ground water. It is also imperative that water is used judiciously and leakages in the distribution system are plugged.

Scarcity in water supply: Municipal agencies are struggling to supply water as water levels in reservoirs are plummeting because of the deficit rainfall in 2015. For instance, as of Jan 2016, the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has suspended accepting applications for new supply connections until the onset of monsoon. To tide over the water shortage, the NMMC has disconnected many illegal connections, many in slum areas. It is also taking measures to prevent theft and plug leakages to bring down distribution losses which are currently 19% of the water supplied.

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Rivers · Sand Mining

River Sand Mining in India in 2015

Unsustainable sand mining from riverbeds can have huge social, environmental, geomorphic and disastrous impacts for rivers. In this three part report, SANDRP is trying to provide a picture of what happened on this issue in 2015 in India.

This first part looks into 2015 putting together instances of illegal sand mining that occurred throughout the year in different Indian States. The successive blogs would make an attempt to cover all governmental measures and judicial interventions taken in 2015 to reign in uncontrolled extraction of this possibly most consumed natural resource after air and water.

Illegal mining of sand is profoundly linked to growth in construction industry that have accelerated in recent decades. Since then demand for this mineral is only going up. Today possibly there is not a single river in the country that is not ruined by sand mining. As a result, while the state of rivers has gone worse, the number of violent instances around illegal sand mining is on the increase.

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Dams · DRP News Bulletin

DRP News Bulletin 04 Jan. 2016 (Rivers are soul of India: PM Narendra Modi)

Rivers are soul of India: Prime Minister Narendra Modi  Excerpts From text of PM’s inaugural address at 103rd session of Indian Science Congress, Mysuru Rivers have played as important a role in human history as oceans. Civilisations have been nurtured by rivers. And, rivers will remain critical for our future. So, revival of rivers is an essential part of my commitment for a cleaner and healthier future for our society, economic opportunities for our people, and renewal of our heritage. We need regulations, policy, investments and management to achieve our objective. But, we will succeed only when we integrate technology, engineering and innovation into our efforts, not just to clean our rivers now but to keep them healthy in the future as well. For this, we also need scientific understanding of the impact of urbanisation, farming, industrialisation and groundwater use and contamination on the river eco-system. River is the soul of Nature. Their renewal must be an element of a larger effort to sustain Nature.

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GROUND WATER CRISIS DEEPENED IN INDIA IN 2015

Groundwater issues made news repeatedly in the year 2015. The year saw a 14 per cent deficit in southwest monsoon increasing the dependence on ground water for agricultural, industrial and domestic use. The falling water table and pollution of surface and ground water sources made the situation critical in various parts of the country. Competing demands on the ground water led to protests and litigation. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) tried to safeguard the ground water and pushed the State machinery into action through its orders in various matters. Towards the end of the year, the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) came up with revised guidelines for evaluation of proposals for ground water abstraction.

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