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: https://www.facebook.com/sandrp.in. If you want to get it regularly, you can like the FB page.

Feedback on usefulness of this is welcome. 

HYDROPOWER

Three NHPC power stations shut in a blow to disinvestment plans (08 Jan. 15)

NHPC is going downhill in many sense of the term, including its power generation, finances, it will register loss this year compared to profit of Rs 2772 crores in 2011-12:

http://www.livemint.com/Companies/3OiQtNRgtLJXGoJq8GwIXJ/Three-NHPC-power-stations-shut-in-a-blow-to-disinvestment-pl.html

 

Athirappilly project renews biodiversity debate (21 Jan. 15)

The debate over the possible biodiversity impact of the Athirappilly hydroelectric project has resumed with the Environmental Appraisal Committee (EAC) of the Ministry of Environment all set to consider the project proposal mooted by the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB).

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/athirappilly-project-renews-biodiversity-debate/article6806941.ece

 

NORTH EAST:

Hydel project in Arunachal, Tourism objects to Environment (16 Jan. 15)

Very sad to see Environment Minister’s unapologetic stand about Demwe Lower which will have ecological, social, economic and cultural impacts. Especially on Parshuramkund region.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/hydel-project-in-arunachal-tourism-objects-to-environment/

 

Dam site to be realigned to save ‘holy’ rocks in Parashuram Kund (01 Jan. 15)

The government has no concern for people or environment, its concern is limited to only holy shrines:

http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2015-01-01/news/57581264_1_mw-demwe-lower-lohit-river-home-kiren-rijiju

 

Protest hurdle for mega dam on Lohit River (14 Jan 15)

“Parasuram Kund is a sacred place thronged by lakhs of devotees from across the country and abroad during Makar Sankranti in January every year. They come to take a holy dip in the river. The local Mishmi tribe considers the site sacred. We’re against the construction of the dam. Once it is built, the course of the river will be altered. The project will need blasting and tunneling in the mountains near the Parasuram Kund. The sanctity and serenity of the place will be disturbed. Large quantities of muck and debris will be dumped in the river and pile up in the holy site.said Surajit Moran,” the Tinsukia district AJYCP president.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/guwahati/Protest-hurdle-for-mega-dam-on-Lohit-river/articleshow/45876324.cms

 

Save Parasuram Kund, Say No to Lohit Dam (13 Jan. 15)

Parasuram Kund is an extremely important cultural heritage site in Arunachal Pradesh, considered sacred by lakhs of people across the country. The local Mishmi tribes have traditionally known this site by the name Tailung and have considered it very crucial from a cultural and spiritual perspective. People across the country come in large numbers for a pilgrimage to Parasuram kund in the month of January during Makar Sankranti.

But this cultural heritage site located on the Lohit river in Arunachal Pradesh is under threat from a 124.8 metre high mega dam proposed to come up in close proximity of it immediately upstream. The 1750 MW Demwe Lower mega hydroelectric project is proposed to come up on the Lohit river only 800 metres upstream of Parasuram kund. The powerhouse of the project is located 600 metres below the dam site, very close to Parasuram kund.

Massive blasting and tunneling for this mega hydroelectric project will take place in the mountains in close proximity of Parasuram kund, violating the sanctity and serenity of this sacred site. Large quantities of muck and debris will flow through the Lohit river at Parasuram kund downstream due to the massive construction operations upstream. Such impacts have already been observed during the construction stage of other large hydroelectric projects in the Northeast such as the 405 MW Ranganadi project and the 2000 MW Lower Subansiri hydroelectric project.

The dam will also massively alter natural flows in the river and trap important nutrients crucial to aquatic life in the river once construction is completed. Thus not only will the flow patterns be altered, but we will no more have a fully alive river flowing downstream. For example, upstream migration of fish in the Lohit river through the Parasuram kund area will stop after the dam comes up.

https://www.facebook.com/paragjyotisaikia/posts/841114889244365

 

NHPC dabbles in toilet diplomacy (04 Feb 15)

Its appear plain tactics on behalf of NHPC just to make their presence felt and modify its public image despite the fact that the project has been stalled way back in 2011 following massive protests over the safety of its dam.                 http://www.telegraphindia.com/1150204/jsp/northeast/story_11428.jsp#.VOF_qvmUeqI

 

HIMACHAL: Govt apathy fanning protests against hydro projects: Himachal experts panel (05 Feb. 15)

“…Opposition to Hydro-electric projects (HEP) is basically due to the failure of the establishment, who has shown indifference to the people’s problems and therefore failed to gain their confidence,” says the report by the Panel of Environmental and Social Experts (PESE) set up by the Department of Energy of the Himachal government.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/govt-apathy-fanning-protests-against-hydro-projects-himachal-experts-panel/#sthash.VDlULR5r.dpuf

 

No takers for 37 power projects, deadline for bids extended (07 Jan. 15)

There are virtually no takers for the 37 hydropower projects located in the “remote locations” in the five river basins of the Sutlej, Beas, Ravi, Chenab and Yamuna. The reasons: remote location, lack of data and location maps and unviable projects, claim Independent Power Producers (IPPs).
The government got just one bid for the 98-mw Stingri project in Lahaul, even as the first deadline for bids expired on December 15. The deadline has now been extended till March 31.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/no-takers-for-37-power-projects-deadline-for-bids-extended-till-march-31/26649.html

 

DAMS

Lakhwar-Vyasi dam on Yamuna raises flood fear in Delhi (09 Feb. 15)

Serious issues raised about proposed Lakhwar Vyasi Project upstream of Delhi on Yamuna.

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/lakhwar-vyasi-dam-yamuna-delhi-central-water-commission/1/417756.html

 

Deltas Sinking and Shrinking as Dams Curb Steady Flow of Fresh Water to the Coast (28 Jan. 15)

This agreement by National Centre for/ sustainable Coastal Management and its Director is good to see. We had talked about this issue with them some months back when we published Report on Shrinking and Sinking Deltas due to Dams. An acknowledgement would have been nice.

From our report: “National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management: It is unfortunate to see that MoEF’s National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management, supported by MoEF and World Bank does not allude to this issue or raise it through any publications. In conversation with SANDRP, Director R. Ramesh said that the center may look at these issues in the future. However, its publications on National Assessment of Shoreline Changes on Tamilnadu and Odisha do not mention upstream dams, although robust evidence exist that Cauvery delta and Mahanadi, Brahmani and Baitarni deltas are eroding due to sediment retention. Let us hope this institute will try to highlight the impact of dams on deltas with the seriousness it deserves”

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/Deltas-Sinking-and-Shrinking-as-Dams-Curb-Steady-Flow-of-Fresh-Water-to-the-Coast/2015/01/28/article2641083.ece

 

Water, not for existence but extinction (29 Jan. 15)

Polavaram back water impacts in Orissa: Water, not for existence but extinction
http://centralchronicle.in/view-reporters-news.php?ID=166#.VN3qpPmUeqK

 

Forest officials charge Yettinahole project contractors with violating norms (13 Jan. 15)

The on going illegalities from Karnataka Government about Yettinahole/ Netravathi Diversion project are pathetic and shameful. Small time project proponents breaking laws is one thing, but we do not expect such unlawful acts from state government, especially for a controversial project like Yettinahole!

From the report: Ramesh Babu, Assistant Conservator of Forests, told The Hindu on Monday that the officials had noticed the violation of norms and had warned the representatives of the contractors concerned. “As per the project proposal, 18.3 ha of reserve forest near Yettinahalla and Kadudaravalli villages should be diverted. That has not yet been done. The State government has just begun the process. It involves survey of the land and grant of alternative land. The process is still in the preliminary stages. The contractor has launched the ground clearance work outside the forest areas. However recently, he crossed the forest limits by about 30 ft. for which we have warned”

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/yettinahole-project-contractors-are-violating-norms-forest-dept/article6783426.ece

 

Manipur protests against dams (06 Feb. 15)

Over 1500 people participated in Mass rally cum Public Meeting on Climate Change and Dams was jointly organized with North East Dialogue Forum and other Civil Society Organizations in Manipur, protesting against Chakpi Dam

http://www.morungexpress.com/regional/127989.html

 

Lower Suktel oustees block road in Odisha’s Balangir (30 Jan 15)

Lower Suktel oustees block road in Odisha’s Balangir

http://odishasuntimes.com/111032/lower-suktel-oustees-block-road-odishas-balangir/

 

BBMB, Rupnagar admn lock horns on release of water into Sutlej (02 Jan.15)

SUDDEN release of water from Bhakra dam to Sutlej river and damage to downstream (under construction bridge) again raises the questions about the downstream impacts and responsible, transparent and accountable operation of dams: http://www.hindustantimes.com/chandigarh/bbmb-rupnagar-admn-lock-horns-on-release-of-extra-water-into-sutlej/article1-1302519.aspx

 

9-foot crocodile caught in Chidambaram (20 Jan 15)

What a sad tale… “It is believed that crocodiles that were displaced from the Mettur dam in Salem moved into Veeranam and Kollidam rivers and the Vadakkurajan reservoir during the floods in 1989”

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/puducherry/9-foot-crocodile-caught-in-Chidambaram/articleshow/45951122.cms

 

MAHARASHTRA: Citing irregularities Maharashtra govt scraps 128 irrigation cleared by Cong-NCP projects (05 Feb. 15)

Good News for Maharashtra. 128 Tenders for work worth 624 Crores scrapped for irregularities. This includes whopping 21 tenders for Gosikhurd Project, 5 for Krishna Koyana Lift Irrigation Project, etc., on which we have been writing. http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-citing-irregularities-maharashtra-govt-scraps-128-irrigation-projects-cleared-by-cong-ncp-2058495

 

Economic survey will adopt new model for irrigation growth (11 Jan. 15)

This is welcome, but is going to be difficult to implement considering the attitude of Union and state water resources establishment: ““The construction of dams and water stored cannot be incorporated as growth in irrigation potential.” It should be based on water taken from dam to the end users farmers (fields)… Don’t declare irrigation potential based on accumulation of water in dams.”

At the same time, Chitale Committee report needs to be assessed on overall utility and fulfillment of the TOR given to it. http://indianexpress.com/article/india/maharashtra/economic-survey-will-adopt-new-model-for-irrigation-growth/99/

 

NARMADA: Narmada dam oustees “marginalised, pauperised”; gram sabhas “not consulted” before acquiring their land (03 Jan. 15)

“A high level panel of the Government of India, set up to take a stock of the socio-economic status of the tribals in the country, has strongly taken exception to “pauperisation” of oustees affected by the Narmada dam. Pointing out that there was complete failure to provide oustees “alternative land and sustainable livelihood”, leading to their “pauperisation”, the panel, which submitted its report in mid-2014, talks of “examples of tardy implementation, unfulfilled promises and violation of laws and rules by the very machinery expected to protect the interest of marginalised displaced tribals.”

http://www.counterview.net/2015/01/narmada-dam-oustees-marginalised.html

 

Rs 1,000 crore scam in payment to Narmada dam oustees: Commission asked  to scrutinise into all cases (07 Jan. 15)

True to some extent “Ramant corruption resulted from the Madhya Pradesh government policy of handing over cash instead of land as compensation to the Narmada dam oustees.”

http://www.counterview.net/2015/01/rs-1000-crore-scam-in-payment-to.html

 

Protest letter to Ban Ki-moon visiting Gujarat: Intellectuals, activists seek justice for Narmada dam oustees (10 Jan. 15)

The letter said, “It is unfortunate that you have chosen to inaugurate a solar power project on the canal of the SSP. While solar energy is a necessary and worth-while endeavour, uprooting lives, livelihoods, homes and cultures of some of the poorest people on this planet is not. It is also paradoxical that solar power as alternative and renewable source of energy is being tried and publicised on the canals of the very same project which is in fact a giant hydro power project, neither clean nor sustainable.”

http://www.counterview.net/2015/01/protest-letter-to-ban-ki-moon-visiting.html

 

‘The Statue of Unity Is A Flawed Idea’ (26 Jan 2015)

‘No authority would grant clearance for a str­uc­t­ure of this magnitude to be drilled in the middle of a river, in such close proximity to a huge dam.’

http://www.outlookindia.com/article/The-Statue-Of-Unity-Is-A-Flawed-Idea/293124

 

Narmada: Sounds of silence along its banks (12 Nov. 14)

Compilation of essays on Narmada from the Gandhi Peace Foundation

http://www.indiawaterportal.org/articles/narmada-sounds-silence-along-its-banks

 

Narmada: How Media Frames Environmental News (05 Jan 15)

A very interesting take on how media engagement, understanding and presentation of issues related to environmental and sustainability has been changing down the years, affecting public opinion to a significant extent. “Even while the environmental and rehabilitation issues related to the Sardar Sarovar project remain the same, the media framing of the Narmada discourse changed over the two decades. Possibly reflecting the current national development discourse framed by the urban middle class, the media gives a lesser priority to environment and sustainability today.” http://www.thehindu.com/books/books-reviews/book-review-framing-news-on-environment/article6757587.ece

 

INTER LINKING OF RIVERS

Why linking rivers will not solve India’s water crisis (25 Jan. 15)

From the report: “Even existing water conflicts have been brought about the mismanagement of consecutive water resources ministries, said Parineeta Dandekar of the South Asia Network of Dams, Rivers and People, an informal network of organisations. “Most of these water conflicts are fuelled by what the ministry is doing, like building large water infrastructure,” she said.” http://scroll.in/article/701899/Why-linking-rivers-will-not-solve-India’s-water-crisis

 

Baghon Ke Thikane Ujadane Ki Taiyari (23 Jan 15)

An excellent article (in Hindi) by Dr faiyaz Khudsar on the threats to Panna National Park and tiger futures:

http://epaper.bhaskar.com/detail/?id=713547&boxid=12333259393&ch=mpcg&map=map&currentTab=tabs-1&pagedate=01%2F23%2F2015&editioncode=120&pageno=10&view=image

 

River Inter-linking to be taken up, come what may: GOI (14 Jan 15)

‘Iron’y is not lost. Interlinking: “There will be voices in democracy, let there be. We have to take up river linking on a priority basis come what may,” Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said at a function to mark ‘India Water Week’ here. http://deshgujarat.com/2015/01/14/river-inter-linking-to-be-taken-up-come-what-may-goi/

 

Govt panel nod to link Damanganga, Wagh and Pinjal (12 Jan. 15)

From the report: “This project…will displace around 10,000 tribals. We demand the project should not be allowed to go ahead without a proper environmental impact assessment (EIA) study and public hearings. The proper EIA will make our policymakers realize the environmental cost of this project,” said Parinita Dandekar, associate coordinator with South Asia Network on Dams, River and People.

http://www.livemint.com/Politics/7iLmMJ6hOoGokNUoGUvbIO/Govt-panel-nod-to-link-Damanganga-Wagh-and-Pinjal.html?utm_source=copy

 

Citizens’ charter votes against linking rivers (07 Jan. 15)

Good to see coverage of Delhi Declaration of Rivers from the India Rivers Week: “Interlinking of rivers is a wholly misconceived project based on completely fallacious ideas. It will not merely fail to produce the expected benefits but will also cause immense harm to rivers, ecological systems and people,” the charter says.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/Citizens-charter-votes-against-linking-rivers/articleshow/45784519.cms

 

AGRICULTURE

Maharashtra: Drought hits 90 lakhs farmers in Maharashtra (03 Feb 15)

Just as Maharashtra is estimated to crush a record quantity of 935 lakh tonnes of sugarcane grown on nearly 11 lakh hectares of land (100% irrigated), 90 lakh farmers are hit badly by drought. Not a general contradiction, but intimately linked issues.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/Drought-hits-90-lakhs-farmers-in-Maharashtra/articleshow/46100600.cms

 

Lack of management or vagaries of climate change? (18 Dec. 14)

“Geography is a factor that we know about for a long time. Climate change has worsened the situation over the last few years, but what is more worrying is the lack of planning, short sightedness and pure disregard shown for the situation at the policy level. The vulnerable situation of the area is already known, but we still depend on dams for water…” http://www.indiawaterportal.org/articles/droughts-maharashtra-lack-management-or-vagaries-climate-change

 

System of Rice Intensification (SRI): A new hope for farmers (08 Feb 15)

Film by Makarand Purohit on System of Rice Intensification (SRI) which not only saves water significantly, but improves production dramatically https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMNkewlfcrg

 

WATER OPTIONS

Digging their destinies (15 Jan. 15)

Maharashtra: Excellent report on innovative water harvesting measure in Vidarbha by Aparna Pallavi

http://www.downtoearth.org.in/content/digging-their-destinies

 

And the good news at Ice Stupa is…(24 Jan. 15)

Erecting Ice Stupas..an amazing way to store water high up in Ladakh https://www.facebook.com/icestupa

 

Real pride of ancient Indian science (31 Jan. 15)

Ancient Indians also understood the art of water governance. Kautilya’s Arthasastra, written around 300 BC, has details of how tanks and canals are to be built and managed. The key was to clarify the enabling role of the state—the king—and the management role of local communities.

http://www.downtoearth.org.in/content/real-pride-ancient-indian-science

 

Rain Water Harvesting In Myanmar (20 Jan. 15)

“Interesting to learn that in Nay Pyi Taw of the first capital city of Myanmar , the Nay Pyi Taw Development Committee (NDC) is completely responsible for the provision of domestic water and in commercial complexes. The water is provided from the water sources of tube wells, the Mingalar lake and reservoirs and the Ngalite dam and this water is distributed to all consumers.”

http://www.countercurrents.org/nazareth200115.htm

 

WATER PRIVATIZATION

Water privatisation: a worldwide failure? (30 Jan 15)

Last paragraph says it all “Research shows that the tide of water privatisation has now turned. Many cities that rushed to sign 20-year or longer concessions with water companies in expectation of clean water at a socially acceptable cost have chosen to terminate agreements and return urban water provision to public control.”

http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2015/jan/30/water-privatisation-worldwide-failure-lagos-world-bank

 

MP high court stays water supply privatisation in Khandwa (05 Jan. 15)

Good to see this: “Hearing a public interest litigation of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Narmada Jal Sangharsh Samiti, the court said the petitioner has raised an issue of great public importance, in particular, likelihood of infringement of fundamental rights guaranteed to the residents of Khandwa, on account of threat of disconnection of existing water supply mechanism.”

http://www.hindustantimes.com/madhyapradesh/mp-high-court-stays-water-supply-privatisation-in-khandwa/article1-1303478.aspx

 

WATER GOVERNANCE

Maharashtra Water Resources Department Website (02 Jan. 15)

Website of Maharashtra Water Resources Department which was www.mahawrd.org is now https://wrd.maharashtra.gov.in/ At a quick glance, the site looks informative.

 

Here’s looking at you again, Mumbai: Devedra Fadnavis (03 Jan. 15)

Maharashtra Chief Minister himself writes about Mumbai and Urban Development in Maharashtra. Water appears just once in the article that talks about Smart Urban Development:

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/heres-looking-at-you-again-mumbai/

 

RIVERS

Maharashtra scraps river policy, says was hindrance for industry (20 Jan 15)

Pathetic stance by BJP-led Maharashtra Govt of scrapping the River Zoning Policy.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai/state-scraps-river-policy-says-was-hindrance-for-industry/article1-1308630.aspx

 

Minister vows to clean up Mithi river, make it tourist hotspot in 2 years (20 Jan 15)

Rivers need complete revival not just cleaning. Half baked solution.

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/minister-vows-to-clean-up-mithi-river-make-it-tourist-hotspot-in-2-years/

 

Sold down the river (19 Jan. 15)

Another report on reality of Sabaramati success story: http://www.manoramaonline.com/cgi-bin/MMOnline.dll/portal/ep/theWeekContent.do?programId=10350679&contentId=18266035

 

Centre invites studies for river basin (31 Dec. 14)

Good initiative by Govt. http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/centre-invites-studies-of-river-basins/article6739716.ece

 

A father and son chronicle the threatened life of Mahakali river – from a kayak     (19 Jan 15)

From the report, “During their voyage, little did the father and son expect that even some lower portions of the river, that are supposed to be tumid, would be un-navigable but for a completely different reason – water control.”

http://scroll.in/article/700687/a-father-and-son-chronicle-a-threatened-rivers-life-from-a-kayak

 

Govt plans to convert 101 rivers into waterways: Gadkari (18 Jan. 15)

“We have identified 101 rivers across the nation to be converted into waterways.”

… Rivers to be “converted” into waterways?! One of the reasons why the National Waterway 1 is contested with its several barrages and dredging plans… Waterways should not mean destroying a river!

http://zeenews.india.com/news/india/govt-plans-to-convert-101-rivers-into-waterways-gadkari_1532227.html

GANGA:

‘Will You Clean Up Ganga In This Term or The Next?’ Supreme Court Asks Centre     (14 Jan. 15)

The Supreme Court AGAIN rebukes Centre on Ganga:

http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/will-you-clean-up-ganga-in-this-term-or-the-next-supreme-court-asks-centre-727190

 

After 21 years of SC monitoring, Yamuna still stinks like a sewer (09 Jan. 15)

This indeed signifies BIG failure of the judiciary:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/environment/pollution/After-21-years-of-SC-monitoring-Yamuna-still-stinks-like-a-sewer/articleshow/45816354.cms

 

Centre to reconsider ESZ notification (14 Jan 15)

Comment:- This is shocking. The Center is reported to have agreed to reconsider the tiny eco-sensitive zone protection that the Bhagirathi has, for initial 100 kms. The justification offered by UKD Chief Secy about existence of Bhagirathi River Valley Development Authority is only a joke as the Authority, formed after Tehri Dam has been virtually non existent till now.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/centre-to-reconsider-ecosensitive-zone-notification/article6789341.ece

 

Along Fouled Ganga, Fresh Resolve to Make India’s Mother River Clean Again (14 Jan. 15)

“We regret to say that the intervention and sustained efforts made by us over the past 30 years notwithstanding, no fruitful result has been achieved so far except the shutting down of some of the polluting units,” wrote three justices of the Supreme Court in the October 29, 2014 order transferring the Ganga case to the National Green Tribunal.

http://www.circleofblue.org/waternews/2015/world/along-fouled-ganga-fresh-resolve-make-indias-mother-river-clean/

 

WETLANDS

About 400 wetlands in Jammu region under threat: Experts (19 Jan. 15)

About 400 wetlands in Jammu region are under threat of becoming extinct if measures are not taken for their preservation, a panel of experts warned today.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/about-400-wetlands-in-jammu-region-under-threat-experts-115011901042_1.html

 

Assam: Bird warriors of Satajan (07 Jan. 15)

Great to see the article on efforts of village people, including a 78 year old, to protect the 270 bigha Satajan wetland in Lakhimpur district in Assam, next to Ranganadi river. Assam government and Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, an MP from the district, has not shown interest, but people are protecting it:

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/the-bird-warriors-of-satajan/

 

SOUTH ASIA DAMS

Pakistan’s Coastal Villagers Retreat as Seas Gobble Land (11 Jan. 15)

Continuing links between upstream dams, starved deltas and sea level rise. This time from the starved Indus Delta:

http://chimalaya.org/2015/01/11/pakistans-coastal-villagers-retreat-as-seas-gobble-land/

 

NEPAL: Petition against Upper Karnali PDA (12 Feb 15)

PDA with Upper Karnali HEP in Nepal has been challenged in the Supreme Court:

http://myrepublica.com/portal/index.php?action=news_details&news_id=91948

 

Hydro Power in Bhutan; Time to Rethink (08 Jan.15)

Shripad Dharmadhikary writes about Hydropower in Bhutan, its Indian connection and why there is a need to rethink the hydroflood.

http://www.internationalrivers.org/blogs/328-5

 

We are happy in Bhutan, but it isn’t Shangri-La (18 Jan. 15)

Fascinating interview of Bhutan Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay, did not know he comes from such a humble background: “Our environment is cause for hope. Our biodiversity is growing, it’s not under threat…. Bhutan is new in that we have democracy. Our progress, our growth has been carefully choreographed down to the last detail so that nothing happens to our society and culture. We continue to enjoy that. But in a democracy, people’s expectations are enhanced, sometimes fuelled beyond reason by politicians. We have to guard against that. We have our institutions, our culture, but we have to keep looking behind our shoulders.”

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/sunday-times/all-that-matters/We-are-happy-in-Bhutan-but-it-isnt-Shangri-La/articleshow/45927315.cms

 

The Fishing Otter of Bangladesh

Fishing with otters in the Rivers of Bangladesh!

http://roadsandkingdoms.com/2015/the-fishing-otters-of-bangladesh/

 

Mamta to take up Hilsa ban with Shiekh Hasina (15 Jan. 15)

Hilsa Fish again in political limelight smile emoticon

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/Mamata-to-take-up-hilsa-ban-with-Sheikh-Hasina/articleshow/45891597.cms

 

Japanese technology to boost flood warnings in South Asia (25 Jan .15)

Floods are like heat stroke, cold waves are quite natural and benign phenomena and have been occurring on earth since ancient time without causing much distruction , its now, particularly for last century, we have turned it into a threat.

http://zeenews.india.com/news/sci-tech/japanese-technology-to-boost-flood-warnings-in-south-asia_1536029.html

 

CHINA

CHINA-INDIA WATER DISPUTES: TWO MAJOR MIS-PERCEPTIONS REVISITED – ANALYSIS (19 Jan. 15)

A VERY BRAVE attempt at defending China’s international image on water issues, but it does not seem convincing:

http://www.eurasiareview.com/19012015-china-india-water-disputes-two-major-misperceptions-revisited-analysis/

 

WORLD DAMS

Movement to Take Down Thousands of Dams Goes Mainstream (28 Jan. 15)

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/01/150127-white-clay-creek-dam-removal-river-water-environment/

 

Green House Gas emissions from Reservoirs: Nailing the claim that Dams are climate friendly: Frozen methane bubbles in Canadian lakes – in pictures (02 Feb. 15)

This is from Canadian lakes, but most tropical dam reservoirs are huge storehouses and emitters of methane (an extremely potent greenhouse gas) thus busting their “Clean-Green Energy” myth

http://www.theguardian.com/world/gallery/2015/feb/02/frozen-bubbles-in-canadian-lakes-in-pictures

 

Lifeline for Over 1 Million in Mali under Threat by World Bank Dam Plans (26 Jan. 15)

Lifeline for over 1 million in Mali under threat by World Bank dam plans by Josh Klemm, Policy Analyst at International Rivers

http://www.internationalrivers.org/blogs/352/lifeline-for-over-1-million-in-mali-under-threat-by-world-bank-dam-plans

 

Community Voices from Lake Turkana (07 Jan. 15)

Listen to how people of downstream Kenya are facing the consequences of upstream dams in Ethiopia:

http://www.internationalrivers.org/resources/8475

 

Rivers might constitute just 20 percent of continental water flowing into oceans        (02 Feb. 15)

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/02/150202160741.htm

 

Fatal accident at Ecuador’s flagship hydroelectric plant amplifies expert calls for transparency (19 Dec. 14)

Avoidable accident at Ecuador hydropower project being built by the Chinese kills 13: ““An adequate policy of transparency and access to information allows a deeper knowledge, not just of the project but of other actors involved”, she argues. “In this case, having access to information about the risks, responsibilities and behaviour of the construction company, contributes to raising awareness about its working conditions, health and safety, and the environmental effects of the project”.”

http://dialogochino.net/fatal-accident-at-ecuadors-flagship-hydroelectric-plant-amplifies-expert-calls-for-transparency/

 

The hanging “bombs” over the Mekong Delta: hydropower dam projects          (28 Jan 15)

The hanging “bombs” over the Mekong Delta: hydropower dam projects

http://english.vietnamnet.vn/fms/special-reports/121721/the-hanging–bombs–over-the-mekong-delta–hydropower-dam-projects.html

 

Mekong dams could rob millions of their primary protein source (27 Aug. 12)

What about Dams on Brahmaputra and the nutritional security of people in the downstream? Although fisheries has taken a hit in the Brahmaputra due to embankments, siltation and Climate Change impacts, still the mighty river supports millions of livelihoods and people through fisheries.

http://wwf.panda.org/?206033%2FMekong-dams-could-rob-millions-of-their-primary-protein-source

 

Small hydropower plants bring low profits, huge environmental damage           (09 Jan. 15)

Same story across Asia: Small hydropower plants bring low profits, huge environmental impacts. Would like to add a disclaimer here that not all small hydropower plants are ‘dirty’ and in order to highlight that, the proponents themselves need to undergo comprehensive third party Environment Impact Assessments & public consultations, Not exploiting loopholes in the Env. Governance of countries like India.

http://english.vietnamnet.vn/fms/environment/120145/small-hydropower-plants-bring-low-profits–huge-environmental-damage.html

 

Dams that changed the world (12 Jan. 15)

Twelve Dams that changed the World and the water discourse: By Peter Bosshard, International Rivers. Sardar Sarovar and Bhakra in the list of global 12

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/blog/2015/jan/12/12-dams-that-changed-the-world-hoover-sardar-sarovar-three-gorges

 

Can Desalination Help Save a Holy River? (02 Nov. 14)

Amazing River discourses from around the world. This one about the holy River Jordan. “Water presently costs Israelis about 60 cents per cubic meter. Producing 400 million cubic meters for the river would cost us about $240 million per year. But think about it: one B2 bomber costs two billion dollars. For the cost of one bomber every 8 years we could bring the river back to life.”

http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2014/11/02/can-desalination-help-save-a-holy-river/

 

ENVIRONMENT

Leaving people out of development (04 Feb.15)

There are also threats to dilute the Forest Rights Act (FRA). Last August, the MoEF decided to appoint a High-Level Committee (HLC) headed by a former Cabinet Secretary to review six environmental laws. As the committee’s report created disquiet, it is now being reviewed by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Environment which has already heard one round of criticism from leading environmentalists in the country.

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/comment-leaving-people-out-of-development/article6853384.ece?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication

 

TSR Subramanian committee report undermines democracy, renders projected-affected people voiceless, is blind to climate change (17 Jan 15)

http://counterview.org/2015/01/17/tsr-subramanian-committee-report-undermines-democracy-renders-projected-affected-people-voiceless-is-blind-to-climate-change/

 

Not just a coal block (05 Jan. 15)

A living, throbbing region, before it is converted into a coalmine or submerged by a dam. Striking captures.

http://www.ruralindiaonline.org/articles/not-just-a-coal-block-hasdeo-arand/

 

US-India bonhomie missing on climate change (28 Jan 15)

This provides some clues about what happened behind the scenes on US India discussions on climate change, though the full picture will take time to emerge:

http://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/us-india-bonhomie-missing-on-climate-change-115012800025_1.html

 

Concern over climate, compromise on nature (27 Jan. 15)

It says: “… nearly no value appears to be placed on keeping natural systems intact.” The only possible flaw here is that the word “nearly” is not required:

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/concern-over-climate-compromise-on-nature/article6824140.ece

 

India’s Economy Slows as Condition of Water, Land, and Cities Deteriorates           (24 Jan. 15)

The last para is the key, but way away from political reality: “The world’s economic and ecological conditions essentially mandate that Modi and his successors develop a much more rational energy-efficient, resource-conserving, technology-appropriate, and less expensive 21st century economy. If India can achieve those goals it will have done a service for itself and the world.”

http://www.circleofblue.org/waternews/2015/commentary/editorial-in-the-circle-fresh-focus/indias-economy-slows-condition-water-land-cities-deteriorates/

 

A memorandum FOR understanding (15 Jan. 15)

A refreshing story from a business paper, warning those afflicted by MOU virus about the series of possible missteps that can lead to “.. the long term consequences of its (Nation State’s) own ignorance, corruption and lack of accountability”. That mix already exists here:

http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/BnyLFT1Q0zu0FhNu7cp6yK/A-memorandum-for-understanding.html

 

Return Road to 1894 (04 Jan. 15)

Jairam Ramesh analyses the land acquisition ordinance:

http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/vqqkfYDhv6wJiGxKRHfthP/Return-road-to-1894.html

 

“Rural India Is Either Absent Or Very Poorly Represented”: In Conversation With P Sainath On PARI (03 Jan. 15)

As always, a nuanced and beautiful take by P Sainath: “Rural India has both the beautiful and the regressive; the brilliant and the barbaric. However, the nature of the transformation underway in rural India – and this is very largely policy driven – is such that it tends to strengthen the regressive and undermine what we need to cherish. So, some of the best schools and traditions and skills of weaving are in collapse – but the khaps of Haryana are doing quite well!”

http://www.youthkiawaaz.com/2015/01/peoples-archive-of-rural-india/

 Compiled by Bhim Rawat, SANDRP

One Comment on “DRP News Update from SANDRP: January 2015

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