Ekti Nadir Naam: Ramblings through the etymology of River names in India


Above: Dry Chandrabhaga from Maharashtra. We have at least 5 Chandrabhagas in India! Photo: Parineeta Dandekar


“I’m going to buy vegetables from the banks of Ganga. Coming?” (“गंगेवर चालले आहे भाजी आणायला. येणार?”). This was my Grandmother’s Sunday morning ritual. I always jumped at the opportunity: it meant going to the local market skirting Ganga and staring at colorful heaps of vegetables, patting dewlaps of humongous cows settled in islands, stealing guilty glances at sadhus who sold fascinating stuff: owl claws, deer musk pods, Giant Entada seeds..but most of all, it meant observing the filthy and beautiful river from the Ghats. I lived in Nashik, on the banks of Godavari and Godavari was our Ganga. Read More

Thirsty sugarcane in dry Marathwada means a loss of 2 million farmer livelihoods


Above: Gangakhed sugar factory from Parbhani Marathwada which has crushed 7 Lakh Tonnes of cane till 21 Feb 2015. Parbhani has received a mere 346 mm rainfall this year, nearly equal to what it received during epic drought of 1972


Although Marathwada region in Maharashtra is no stranger to droughts, it’s facing a singularly acute crisis this year. Kharif crops had failed in all of the 8139 Kharif villages in the region with yields less than 50% of government standards (paisewari). Rabi is under cloud too with all 396 villages assessed for production showing less than 50% yield. And yet, area under and production of water guzzler crop like Sugarcane is going up. In 2013-14, Marathwada grew over 2 lakh hectares of sugarcane and is now crushing the cane in its 70 sugar factories using thousands of lakhs of litres water every day.

Does this make any social, economic or environmental sense? No

But do we have options? It seems so. Let us see how.  Read More

हिमालयी नदियों से खिलवाड़ और जून 2013 की उत्तराखण्ड़ त्रासदी

डाॅ. नवीन जूयाल, भूविज्ञानी

क्या है हिमालयी नदियों का मिजाज़ ? (एन.डी.टी.वी.- इंडिया, 20 फरवरी 2014,

रिपोर्टर:- सुशील बहुगुणा, कैमरामैनः- सुदीश कुमार राम, एडिटरः- कुलदीप कुमार, एन.डी.टी.वी.- इंडिया


रिपोर्टरः- जून 2013, उत्तराखण्ड में, नदियों के साथ आई तबाही की ये तस्वीरें। तस्वीरें जो हमें मजबूर करती हैं, ये समझने को, कि आखिर ये नदियाॅ इतनी रौद्र, इतनी विकराल क्यों हो रही हैं ? ये नदियाॅ हमारे घर-आॅगन क्यों उजाड़ रही हैं ? कहीं हम ही, इन नदियों के अहाते में तो नहीं घुस गए ? कहीं हमने नदियों की लहरों में बेहिसाब बेडि़याॅ तो नहीं डाल दी ? क्या हम नदियों का मिजाज़ अब तक समझ भी पाए हैं ?

Read More

Landslide dam threat in Zanskar Valley to continue for more weeks: Update 2

Leh Meeting on Feb 9, 2015 Source: ReachLadakh

In the most significant event so far on the issue of landslide blockage of Phutkal River in Zanskar Valley in Kargil District in Kashmir, the National Crisis Management Committee[1] (NCMC) chaired by the Union Cabinet Secretary Shri Ajit Seth met[2] on Feb 20, 2015 and approved the Action Plan whose implementation will begin within next 15 days and is to be completed by end of March. This decision is based on assumption that the snowmelt will cause landslide dam threatening situation only in April.

Tsarap Landslide location and floodpath: Map by SANDRP based on Kargil District Map from NATMO

Tsarap Landslide location and floodpath: Map by SANDRP based on Kargil District Map from NATMO

Read More

An Epic Voyage along the Ganga comes to close!


From Burton and Speke’s expedition to the origin of Nile to the age old Narmada Parikrama or the Chaar Dhaam Yatras (which are as much river journeys as pilgrimages), River journeys have always enthralled travelers and listeners alike. Read More

DRP News Update from SANDRP: January 2015

DRP News Update from SANDRP January 2015: The following news stories are about dams, rivers & people, mostly from India but also some from South Asia and rest of the world. This is for the period Jan 1 to Feb 12, 2015, we hope to publish this more frequently in future. These were put up on daily basis on SANDRP Face book page: If you want to get it regularly, you can like the FB page.

Feedback on usefulness of this is welcome.  Read More

Mission on Small Hydro Projects: Ignoring social and environmental impacts will not help


As Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the RE-Invest 2015, India’s first Renewable Energy Global Investors’ Meet and Expo in New Delhi on February 15, 2015, full-page advertisements in the National Capital declared the target of adding 5000 MW of small hydro capacity by 2022, in addition to other renewable energy targets. A part of this renewed focus on small hydro, a subset of India’s new push for Renewable Energy, involves a new Mission for Small Hydro Projects. Even as it has some welcome features, the new Mission will not help if the government continues to ignore significant social and environmental impacts of small hydro projects.  Read More


Yamuna ji maili hui delhi tere liye

Guest Blog by Manoj Misra (, Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan, Delhi

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) in a landmark judgment pronounced on 13 January 2015[1], has set an ambitious road map for a rejuvenated river Yamuna by 2017. Naming it as “Maily se Nirmal Yamuna rejuvenation project, 2017” the green court in the judgment spread over almost 100 pages has detailed steps necessary to achieve what all previous efforts have miserably failed. Read More

Landslide Dam blocks Phutkal River, threatens Zanskar Valley: Update

Ladakh students protest on Feb 4 in Jammu against government inaction on Zanskar River Blockade (Photo from Tribune)
NRSC latest (Feb 7 2015) image of the Phutkal landslide

NRSC latest (Feb 7 2015) image of the Phutkal landslide

Feb 13, 2015: The picturesque Zanskar Valley in Jammu and Kashmir State in Northern India continues to remain under threat as one of the tributaries of the Zanskar River has been blocked by a massive 200 ft high landslide dam (equal to height of a 20 storey building). The landslide dam between Shaday Sumdo and Mar Shun in the Zanskar subdivision of Kargil district has created about 14 km long lake, whose size is increasing with every passing day. Life and properties of around 4000 people are at risk due to the possible flashfloods when the landslide dam breaches. Read More

Maharashtra scraps River Regulation Zone : Pandering to industry at the cost of Rivers and People

Pollution from CETP in Kasardi River Source:

Above: Pollution from a River Kasardi which was denotified as it was affecting some big businesses

When Devendra Fadnavis of BJP became the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, one would have thought that the chronically polluted and encroached Nag Nadi from Nagpur, as also other rivers in the state may see better days. This was not just an optimistic hope. The Government at the Centre was making all the correct noises about being concerned about rivers, it had launched the Namami Gange Program for rejuvenation of Ganga River and had changed the name of Ministry of Water Resources to Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation. Read More


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