The insightful River sand mining focused South Asia meeting titled “Blood on the sand: dangers of riverbed mining in South Asia” was held on Dec 11, 2020. It was one of the off shoots of the IRW 2020 held dialogues on River Sand mining in India. One of the underlining theme that reverberated through the presentations was again that people on ground must have a role in governance of sand mining, considering the failure of governance of river sand mining by all concerned departments and governments. While the discussions brought out a number of scientific insights, the role of scientific studies and assessment was another key point emphasised by all.Continue reading “Blood on Sand: River Sand Mining in South Asia”
Punjab government has been successful in getting three more wetlands declared as Ramsar sites of international importance. The state already has three wetlands with Ramsar tags namely Harike, Kanjli and Ropar wetlands. The government in October 2019 had proposed a total of five sites including Ranjit Sagar conservation reserve and Hussainiwala wetland for Ramsar tags. The new wetlands selected for the tag are Keshopur-Miani community reserve, the Beas conservation reserve and Nangal wildlife sanctuary. So now six wetlands in the state are covered under Ramsar convention.
The state forest department and WWF team were working in this direction over past couple of years. In the year 2019, the government has also taken some remarkable decisions regarding conservation of wetlands in the state. However, by the year end, there has not been any significant progress on the issue from the government.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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.
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.
Last date for nominations: September 25, 2017. A jury will take decision about the final awardees based on set of criteria.
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.
According to just released Living Planet Report 2016, the loss of habitat is prime reason behind declining of wildlife species found in and around wetlands, rivers and lakes due to increasing fragmentation, pollution and destruction of these ecosystems. Data in report also underlines that the global water crisis is real and water requirements worldwide will go up by 40 per cent by 2030.
The report emphasizes habitats based on rivers, wetlands and lakes command high economic, cultural, aesthetic, recreational and educational value. At the same time, these habitats are challenging to conserve because they are strongly affected by the modification of their river basins as well as by direct impacts from dams, pollution, invasive aquatic species and unsustainable water extractions.
Further, fresh water based habitats often are beyond administrative and political boundaries; warranting the extra effort for collaborative forms of protection. The report refers to several studies which have found that species living in freshwater habitats are faring worse than terrestrial species.
The report notes that Brazil, Russia, India, China and the United States (a different BRICS) account for nearly half of the planet’s total bio-capacity. These few countries function as global bio-capacity hubs as they are among the primary exporters of resources to the other countries. This results in great pressure on ecosystems in these countries, contributing to habitat loss.
This account summarizes the key findings of the report in context of threats and impacts over fresh water sources and species.
Centre’s new wetland protection rules reinforces the stereotype that govts see wetlands as wastelands The draft Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2016 which replace the existing Wetland (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2010, are up for public comments till June 6, 2016. While wetlands nationwide are threatened by encroachment, pollution, catchment degradation and mindless development, the Narendra Modi government’s draft rules show no indications of acknowledging this threat. The draft rules, environmentalists say, reinforces the stereotype that governments see wetlands as wastelands. The essence of the new rules is to decentralise wetlands management to states. The Centre will have a say only in ‘exceptional cases’ While the 2010 rules gave some role to states, the draft rules gives them all powers. But in the process, the whole conservation process has been weakened. The period for public comments on the draft notification ends by the month. Several organisations, including BHNS, WWF, LIFE, International Rivers, INTACH, YJA & SANDRP have sent, or are in the process of sending, representations to the environment ministry. Among the concerns is that the 2010 rules itself were barely getting implemented. No state has identified a wetland yet, and few have made state-level nodal agencies mandated by the 2010 rules. In an ongoing case before the NGT, it emerged that states had not notified wetlands under the 2010 regulations. This forced the tribunal to demand that states begin to do so in at least 5-10 districts in a time-bound fashion. The Union meanwhile has proposed to substantially change the existing regulations. The new regulations do away with the elaborate list of activities that are prohibited or restricted. It prohibits reclamation of wetlands, conversion to non-wetlands, diversion or impediment of inflows and outflows from the wetland and ‘any activity having or likely to have adverse impact on ecological character of the wetland’. The need for the environmental impact assessment before permitting such activities is to be done away with. The earlier regulations allowed appeals against the decisions of the central wetlands authority with the NGT. This, too, is to be done away with, though aggrieved entities could continue to file cases against violations of these rules. The concerns were also raised during a discussion organized in Jodhpur on May 23 by three NGOs EIA Resource and Response Centre, Libra India and Life on Draft Wetland Rules 2016 issued recently by the environment ministry seeking suggestions and comments.
भगीरथी पुरस्कार 2015 विजेता (बाॅए से) ऐमूअल थियोफिलिप्स, लोबसंग ग्यात्सो (प्रतिनिधि मोन बचाओ संघ) सच्चिदानंद भारती (दूधातोली लोक विकास संघ) कुॅज बिहारी जी (प्रतिनिधि संभव ट्रस्ट राजस्थान)
राजधानी दिल्ली, पुणे एवं देश के अनेक भागों में मनाया गया भारतीय नदी दिवस
नदी संरक्षण के सराहनीय प्रयासों के लिए दिया गया भगीरथी प्रयास सम्मान
‘दिल्ली को रेणुका बाॅध, शारदा-यमुना नदी जोड़ एवं किसी अन्य बाहरी स्रोत से पानी नहीं चाहिए’: कपिल मिश्रा जल मंत्री दिल्ली सरकार
मंत्री ने यमुना पर बच्चों से की चर्चा
रामास्वामी अय्यर स्मृति व्याख्यान में अनुपम मिश्र ने बताई नदियों को बचाने के लिए नजरिया बदलने की अहमियत
आज, 28 Nov. 2015 को INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art & Cultural Heritage) सभागार दिल्ली में भारतीय नदी दिवस-2015 का सफल आयोजन किया गया। कार्यक्रम में दिल्ली के जल मंत्री श्री कपिल मिश्रा ने दिल्ली में यमुना नदी के पानी को तीन साल के अंदर नहाने योग्य बनाने की अपनी प्रतिबद्धता को दोहराते हुए स्पष्ट किया की दिल्ली को रेणुका बाॅध अथवा शारदा-यमुना नदी जोड़ योजना से पानी की कतई आवश्यकता नहीं है। Continue reading “भारतीय नदी दिवस2015 -सारांश “दिल्ली को रेणुका बाॅध से पानी नहीं चाहिए”: कपिल मिश्रा दिल्ली जल मंत्री”