Review of new book titled ‘Environment Impact Assessment – Law, Practice & Procedure in India 2016’, edited by Dr R.K Singh and Ritwick Dutta, LIFE, New Delhi, Oct 2016, p 374 + xvi
About the Book This book is a comprehensive compilation of the Environment Impact Assessment Notification (EIA), 2006, along with the amendments. It also has all Office Memorandums and Circulars issued by MoEF&CC for implementation of the EIA Notification, 2006 up to March, 2016. Environment Resource Center (ERC) plans to publish the book annually with incorporation of new updates, amendments, Circulars and OMs. It provides subject wise classification various Office Memorandums (OMs) and Circulars. The book also contains the text of all the official orders and amendments, classified according to subjects like: Prior/ Scoping clearances, public hearings, appraisal, violations, etc.
This is a much needed document and ERC team has done a commendable job by compiling all the relevant amendments and notifications in a single book in useful format and organized way. The document will be of great value for all including Legal Experts, Academicians, Researchers, EIA professionals, Government Officers, Journalists, concerned NGOs, Civil Society activists, local community as well.
Above: (A) An image showing the Gangetic dolphin in its wild habitat (photo credit: Kadambari Deshpande), (B) a dead Gangetic dolphin calf (notice the pinhole like eyes), and (C) the calf is 1 m long, and adults measure to 2.6 m (photo credits for B & C: Sushant Dey).
Guest blog by Nachiket Kelkar
In 2015, The Times of India reported on the Ganges River Dolphin census exercise conducted in Uttar Pradesh, with the picture of a water buffalo to pass off as a dolphin. If you do not believe this, check out the image below[i]. Generally, most news reports on the river dolphin, some even by reputed news outlets (e.g. http://alert-conservation.org/issues-research-highlights/2016/5/30/rivers-of-destruction-the-implications-of-indias-national-waterways-bill-for-biodiversity), show the wrong species of dolphins, mostly marine species jumping acrobatically in aquariums. A forest department officer told us during their preparations for the Wildlife Week that, “if we put a beautiful dolphin’s picture, people will get more attracted to conserving the Gangetic dolphin, which is quite ugly, and the poor thing is also blind – toh achcha nahin lagta hai (it does not look good).” It does not stop here. A senior ecologist expressed concern recently in a public lecture, about the river dolphin becoming blind due to pollution. Against this background it is clear how little we know the Ganges Dolphin (our National Aquatic Animal, mind it) even today. Read More
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, today (18 October 2016) has dedicated to nation 3 big hydro power projects in Himachal Pradesh. The projects, namely the 800 Mw Kol Dam HEP on Sutlej River, 520 Mw Parbati HEP on Sainj River (Beas basin) and 412 Rampur HEP on Sutlej River have been involved in several controversies right from the day of inception. These projects were given clearances in questionable manner and even have not gone through proper Environmental Impact Assessment (EIAs). The resultant impact on environment, Rivers, and local communities has been catastrophic. The projects have been facing long and unending protests by dependent communities and others and these controversial projects continue to threaten the environment and local people, as can be seen from some details given here.
SANDRP Blog IMD’s River Basin Rainfall Maps Useful But Needs Improvement We have noticed during just concluded South West monsoon season that IMD has started a new and welcome feature in rainfall data reporting. The Data is available in maps, on daily, weekly and seasonal basis. We are not sure when this practice started, we noticed it only during 2016 monsoon season. This is most welcome development, since getting rainfall data at basin level is most appropriate and useful, since basin is the hydrological unit that will experience the impact of rainfall or lack of rainfall in the basin, in form of floods or droughts. There a number of limitations as of now. We hope IMD will take necessary steps to remove these limitations and improve the availability and access of basin wise rainfall maps and data in coming years.
14-40-4/1 Gokhale Road
Shri Ashok Lavasa
Ministry of Finance
Govt of india
Shri Shashi Shekhar
Ministry of Water Resources (MOWR)
Govt of India
Shri G S Jha
Central Water Commission (CWC)
Govt of India
Dr Shyam S Agarwal
Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MOTA)
Govt of India
Dear S/Shri Lavasa/ Shashi Shekhar/ Jha and Dr Agarwal,
Subject: Financial improprieties and illegalities in the execution of Indirasagar (Polavaram) Project & Pattiseema Lift Irrigation Project in AP- Central government agencies conniving with the State public functionaries in committing serious irregularities- Demand an independent investigation
I refer to my previous letters dated 20-12-2015 & 7-10-2016 addressed to you on the subject.
In my correspondence with you, I had pointed out to you the injustice meted out by the Centre and the State to lakhs of adivasis whose lands are getting submerged under the Polavaram project. There have been serious statutory violations in terms of an outright infringement of both PESA and FRA, as well as bypassing of the requirements of the Environment (Protection) Act. In addition, the State has violated its assurance that each adivasi family displaced in Polavaram should be given an equivalent extent of ayacut land as a precondition to the clearance of the project. Read More
Above: Google Map showing relevant locations (Map by Bhim Singh Rawat of SANDRP)
Several media reports have alleged that sudden water releases from Kurichu Dam in Bhutan has led to floods in Beki and Manas rivers in Assam on Oct 13, 2016 (Thursday), affecting thousands of people in Barpeta district & also reportedly Baksa district. This is not the first time that Kurichu water releases have led to this kind of situation, it has happened in the past including in 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009 (150 villages affected[i]), among other instances. The Indo Bhutan joint mechanism, established in 2004-05, following the July 2004 floods, has clearly failed to effectively address this issue. Read More
We have noticed during just concluded South West monsoon season that IMD (India Meteorological Department) has started a new and welcome feature in rainfall data reporting[i]. The Data is available in maps, on daily, weekly and seasonal basis. We are not sure when this practice started, we noticed it only during 2016 monsoon season.
This is most welcome development, since getting rainfall data at basin level is most appropriate and useful, since basin is the hydrological unit that will experience the impact of rainfall or lack of rainfall in the basin, in form of floods or droughts. It can also be very useful for flood forecasting and preparedness, among many other uses. We hope IMD will develop and refine this further.
In each map, the actual rainfall for the given period is given for each basin, as also the normal rainfall & % departure from normal. Usual colour code is used to show the basin as blue if rainfall is more than 120% of normal rainfall, green if rainfall is 81-119 %, brown if rainfall is 60-80% of normal and yellow if rainfall is below 60% of normal rainfall.
Water sharing disputes across the country (and even beyond) are only going to escalate with increasing demands, and also with increasing pollution & losses reducing the available water. Climate change is likely to worsen the situation as monsoon patterns change, water demands going up with increasing temperatures, glaciers melt and sea levels rise. The government’s agenda of interlinking of rivers would further complicate the matters.
The ongoing Cauvery Water Dispute [iv] has once again brought the focus on interstate river water sharing disputes in India and what has been our experience so far. There is no solution of Cauvery water dispute in sight and the engineer-dominated Cauvery Management Board that the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal Award has recommended is unlikely to help matters. Read More