Dams, Rivers & People News Bulletin, July 13, 2015

HYDRO POWER

UTTARAKHAND: Vishnugad-Peepalkoti Hydroelectric Project affected protested against World Bank (09 July 2015) The affected people of Vishnugad-Peepalkoti Hydroelectric Project (VPHP) have surrounded the officers of World Bank with the slogan of “World Bank Go Back, Let Ganga free”. In even the bad weather and rain, almost 70-80 people have surrounded the hotel in which the team of World Bank was staying. Their officers were present there from 03rd July without the knowledge of villagers. After the incident, Ms.Sona Thakur of World Bank has came out and asked them to sit and talk inside the hotel. https://www.facebook.com/sandrp.in/posts/1083146828379656

Why Vishnuprayag and other Uttarakhand Hydro Projects continue to affect two years after the June 2013 disaster https://sandrp.wordpress.com/2015/07/09/why-vishnuprayag-and-other-uttarakhand-hydro-projects-continue-affect-two-years-after-the-june-2013-disaster/

Small Hydro: Kharadi in Yamuna Basin: when Small Hydro unleashes big destruction https://sandrp.wordpress.com/2015/07/10/kharadi-small-hydro-unleashing-big-destruction/

Jammu & Kashmir: NHPC’s Chutak power house submerged in Kargil: NHPC clueless two weeks after the disaster https://sandrp.wordpress.com/2015/07/11/nhpcs-chutak-power-house-submerged-in-kargil-nhpc-clueless-two-weeks-after-the-disaster/

DAMS

MHA to Monitor Landslide Dams to Avoid Any Disaster (10 July 2015) The threat of severe earthquakes in the Himalayan region close on the heels of the devastating one in Nepal, as indicated by several scientific studies, has prompted India to put hundreds of landslide dams or LSDs under constant monitoring so that they do not break with catastrophic consequences. The Centre has roped in the National Remote Sensing Centre, Central Water Commission and the Indian Air Force as part of the new SOPs to ensure continuous monitoring of the quantity of water flow of all major rivers in the upper reaches by visual, instrumental, aerial and satellite surveillance, and ascertaining the cause of a reduced water flow at the earliest. http://epaperbeta.timesofindia.com/Article.aspx?eid=31818&articlexml=MHA-to-Monitor-Landslide-Dams-to-Avoid-Any-10072015003067

NAPM Press Release: Frustrated over long delay in rehabilitation, Sardar Sarovar Project Affected Commits Suicide (10 July 2015) Yesterday, on 9th July 2015, in the village Chimalkhedy, barely 10 to 12 kms away from the Sardar Sarovar Dam, TembhryaKutarya consumed poison and committed suicide. This news reveals the actual dire reality underlying the false tall claims of rehabilitation by Maharashtra Government. While this press note is being drafted the dead body of the old man Tembhrya Kutarya is decaying on the banks of the river Narmada in the village Chimalkhedy and the Govt. is “still thinking” how to take MBBS doctor there to do postmortem. Dr. Anil Patil appointed on the riverine dispensary on the medical barge that is very irregular, in spite of being in Kevadia colony (the colony near SSP) since yesterday morning was apparently neither aware of nor was concerned about this incident. https://www.facebook.com/sandrp.in/posts/1083835098310829

Bhakra Dam oustees to get only 150 square metres land: CM Virbhadra Singh (08 July 2015) Bhakra and Pond dam oustees continue to struggle for rehabilitation: http://www.hindustantimes.com/himachalpradesh/bhakra-dam-oustees-to-get-only-150-square-metres-land-cm-virbhadra-singh/article1-1367253.aspx

Renuka Dam: SC notice to Centre on HP govt’s plea (10 July 2015) The Supreme Court today issued a notice to the Centre on the Himachal Pradesh government’s petition seeking Rs 1,981 crore to be paid to farmers, whose land was acquired for the Renuka Dam and for meeting the project cost. A Bench comprising Justices TS Thakur and R Banumathi asked the Centre to file its response within 10 days and posted the case for next hearing on July 20. Appearing for the state government, senior advocate JS Attri said the dam, which would be constructed on Yamuna river at a cost of Rs 6,000 crore, had been declared as a national project and as such the Centre would have to meet 90 per cent of the cost. http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/courts/renuka-dam-sc-notice-to-centre-on-hp-govt-s-plea/104561.html

Lives of thousands in peril as Mapithel Dam submerge villages (07 July 2015) The Mapithel Dam, a component of the Thoubal Multipurpose Project in Manipur, was approved by the Planning Commission of India in 1980 and was conceived without the knowledge of the public, especially those who are going to suffer the brunt of its adverse impact. Originally slated to be completed in 1987, its construction started only in the 1990s despite widespread protests from the villagers affected by the dam. http://morungexpress.com/lives-of-thousands-in-peril-as-mapithel-dam-submerge-villages/

Lower Suktel project: NGT seeks report from Odisha, MoEF (06 July 2015) The National Green Tribunal (NGT) today directed the Odisha government and the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) of the Union government to submit a report within two weeks on the validity of environment clearance of Lower Suktel Irrigation project in Bolangir district. The directive came after the Tribunal admitted a petition in this regard today. It may be mentioned that in its order to the state government and MoEF onMay 22 this year, the Tribunal had asked them to file their reply within four weeks on why an injunction would not be granted in respect of the ongoing construction work of Lower Suktel Project. The Tribunal also rejected a time petition filed by the state government seeking three months’ time to reply to the counter. http://odishasuntimes.com/134334/lower-suktel-project-ngt-seeks-report-from-odisha-moef/

MONSOON

Cumulative Rainfall for the Period of 01 June 2015 to 13 July 2015

Cummulative Rainfall for the Period of 01 June 2015 to 13 July 2015

http://www.imd.gov.in/section/nhac/dynamic/Monsoon_frame.htm

North-west India gets 115% more rain on July 11 (12 July 2015) The continuous rain in most parts of north-west India, including national capital Delhi, since the last 24 hours has been almost 115 per cent more than normal, data from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) showed. North-west India comprising of states like UP, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, and Haryana has received around 15.9 millimeters of rainfall on July 11 as against a normal of 7.9 millimeters. In Delhi, Haryana and Chandigarh, the showers have been almost 200 per cent more than normal. The region has received 19.9 millimeters of rainfall on Saturday as against a normal of 6.7 millimeters. The relentless rains have also pushed up the total seasonal cumulative average for the region to over 18 per cent above normal, the data showed. http://smartinvestor.business-standard.com/market/Marketnews-323231-Marketnewsdet-North_west_India_gets_115_more_rain_on_July_11.htm

IMD concludes Monsoon rains 51% below normal last week (10 July 2015) After a month of adequate showers in June, monsoon rainfall in India was 51% less than normal last week, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD). While all regions of the country received less than normal rainfall, central and peninsular India suffered the most. Rainfall was excess or normal in 59% of the districts and deficient or scanty in the rest last week. Although the southwest monsoon was vigorous over northern parts of the country during some days of the week, most of the country experienced dry conditions in the first week of July. For the country as a whole, rainfall from 1 June to 8 July was 4% below the Long Period Average. http://www.livemint.com/Politics/FLbN2sSmOpFDlTBoFtlKDJ/Monsoon-rains-51-below-normal-last-week.html   

AGRICULTURE

Storage Status of 91 Important Reservoirs of the Country as on July 09, 2015 The Water storage available in 91 important reservoirs of the country as on July 09 2015 was 48.51 BCM which is 31% of total storage capacity of these reservoirs. This storage is 131% of the storage of corresponding period of last year and 119% of storage of average of last ten years. The present storage position during current year is better than the storage position of last year and is also better than the storage of average of last ten years. http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=123135

Reservoir Status (For the week ending on 02.07.2015)

All India Reservoir Trend upto 03 July 2015

All India Reservoir Trend upto 03 July 2015

http://agricoop.nic.in/ncfcweather/Minutes-03-July-2015.pdf

WATER 

URBAN WATER:  NGT fines hotels, malls, hospitals over rainwater harvesting (09 July 2015) A bench, headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar, also issued several bailable warrants against officials of the units whose representatives were not present in compliance with the notices issued to them. The tribunal pulled up the executive engineer of Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital for not complying with its order of installing rainwater harvesting system in its premises. http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-ngt-fines-hotels-malls-hospitals-over-rainwater-harvesting-2103175

WATER GOVERNANCE: 71% people drink impure water in Bhiwani village, Haryana (10 July 2015) More than 71 per cent households in Kharar village are forced to consume unfit water, while 20 per cent purchase it from water tankers and only 2 per cent get supply water at their doorstep. It is the native village of BJP Bawani Khera MLA Bishember Balmiki. A Need Assessment Survey on promotion of health and hygiene supervised by Deepika Malhotra was conducted by the Department of Social Work, Chaudhary Bansi Lal University (CBLU). http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/haryana/community/71-people-drink-impure-water-in-mla-s-village-survey/104634.html

WATER OPTIONS:   DJB to recycle raw sewage into drinking water (08 July 2015) Delhi Jal Board along with an NGO is going to start a pilot project ‘Sujala Dhara’ to recycle raw sewage into safe and portable drinking water. The project which is set up at Keshopur Sewage Treatment Plant in Vikaspuri will be inaugurated by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tomorrow.  DJB has partnered with charitable trust SANA to install a plant to convert raw sewage waste into safe and potable drinking water. http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/cities/delhi/djb-to-recycle-raw-sewage-into-drinking-water/104402.html

RIVERS 

ENVIRONMENTAL FLOW: With no release from Raikwadi and Vinshupuri Dams Maharashtra, Telangana Govt. digging bore wells in bone dry Godavari Riverbed to bathe Pushkaralu pilgrims (11 July 2015) While Kumbh Mela will go on without much concern for the actual river in Nashik, Pushkaralu Festival on the same river in Telangana has the government digging borewells in the riverbed and installing showers for the “pilgrims” to take a bath in as there is no water in the Godavari!  http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/Pushkaralu-No-dip-only-a-shower/articleshow/48026752.cms

POLLUTION: Thane Civic bodies, industries fined by NGT for polluting Ulhas and Waldhuni rivers (07 July 2015) From the report “In a major victory for environmentalists and residents of Thane district, the National Green Tribunal has directed the state and local industries to take concrete steps to prevent the pollution of the Ulhas and Waldhuni rivers. In fact, no new industrial units will be allowed, neither will expansion of existing units, until measures are taken to protect the rivers that provide drinking water to thousands in the district.” http://www.mid-day.com/articles/civic-bodies-industries-to-pay-heavily-for-polluting-thane-rivers/16349196

Polluted Kali river can’t sustain life anymore, says UPPCB report (12 June 2015) A report on the state of the Kali River in Meerut (UP). Kali River is a tributary of Hindon, which is a tributary of Yamuna: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/varanasi/Polluted-Kali-river-cant-sustain-life-anymore-says-UPPCB-report/articleshow/47641867.cms

Recent NGT Judgment on Ulahas and Waldhuni river pollution in Marathi newspaper (13 July 2015) : fining and issuing strict orders against Common Effluent Treatment Plants, MIDC, Maharashtra Pollution Control Board and Municipal Corporations and Councils of Ulhasnagar, Kalyan-Dombivali, Kulgao-Badlapur and Ambernath (all MMRDA) for polluting Ulhas and Waldhuni Rivers. The fine for restoration activities amounts to nearly 100 Crores, one of the biggest fines so far. http://divyamarathi.bhaskar.com/news/EDT-editorial-columns-on-water-pollution-5050482-NOR.html

FLOOD: The latest information on impact of monsoon 2015 induced flood over land, lives and livelihood can be seen on the below mentioned web site of National Disaster Management. As per the report overall a population of 1,84,370 has been hit and 146 people have died in flood affected 33 districts. The floods have taken its toll on livestock also as 53096 cattle including poultry have died due to floods.  http://www.ndmindia.nic.in/flood-2015/floodsJuly-2015.htm 

SAND-MINING: Riverbed mining continues unabated in the country despite directions of the courts and repeated assurances from State governments ( July 2015) Riverbed mining in India is carried out for a variety of purposes—for boulders, fine sand, clay and minor minerals like silica, and so on. While the extraction of sand and gravel from riverbeds has been carried out for generations, truckloads of materials have been extracted with the upscaling of the construction and real estate sector in the country. Sand is an important ingredient in the making of concrete, which is the mainstay of the construction industry. The scale at which these operations are carried out reveals that riverbed mining is no longer only for floodplain management or use of materials for household purposes. Such extraction is not devoid of its environmental impacts. It is known to cause erosion of the riverbeds and often leaves river-plains increasingly vulnerable to flooding, with the loose landmass being swept away, especially during the monsoons. It is also stated to have salinity intrusion into rivers, damaging the riverine ecosystem. http://www.frontline.in/cover-story/legal-imprints/article7391613.ece

NARMADA: नर्मदा नदी और उसके आसपास की सभी रेत खदानों पर पुलिस बल तैनात करो: एनजीटी (05 July 2015) नेशनल ग्रीन ट्रिब्यूनल (एनजीटी) की भोपाल बेंच ने नरसिंहपुर में नर्मदा नदी और उसके आसपास की सभी रेत खदानों पर पुलिस बल तैनात करने के निर्देश दिए। पिछली सुनवाई के दौरान एनजीटी ने अवैध रेत उत्खनन की मौके पर जांच करने के निर्देश दिए थे। केंद्रीय प्रदूषण नियंत्रण मंडल ने अपनी जांच रिपोर्ट में अनेक स्थानों पर अवैध खनन की बात स्वीकारी है। रिपोर्ट में बताया गया कि ज्यादातर खदानों पर बिना अनुमति खनन किया जा रहा है। http://epaper.bhaskar.com/detail/?id=588645&boxid=751293703&view=text&editioncode=194&pagedate=07/05/2015&pageno=4&map=map&ch=cph

GANGA: Gaps galore in Ganga pollution data: Watchdog’s figures ignore huge tracts of dirty river (08 July 2015) Very SHOCKING, if India’s apex technical and regulatory body, CPCB gets even Ganga river length of polluted stretch wrong by 15 %! http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-3153992/Gaps-galore-Ganga-data-Pollution-watchdog-underestimates-dirtiness-holy-river.html

YAMUNA: Call for master agency to look after city drains (Hindustan Times, 11 July 2015)  To tackle the problem of urban flooding and waterlogging, which have gripped various parts of the city this time too, Manoj Misra of the Yamuna Jiye Abhiyaan has suggested bringing the storm water drains and surface drainage system under a single, fully enabled and empowered agency so that it is easy to manage the affairs and to make the said agency accountable in the event of any mismanagement or frequent urban flooding.

WETLANDS:

Government declares Jal Mahal, Man Sagar lake protected (03 July 2015) The state government has declared the city’s Jal Mahal and the Man Sagar lake as a protected area and placed it under the Rajasthan Lake Development Authority to restrict “activities” in and around the water body. The move could once again hit the Jal Mahal Tourism Project that has already gone through a decade long legal battle, which was settled by the Supreme Court in April 2013. A private firm owned by a city jeweller has been executing the project that was conceived in 1999. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/jaipur/Government-declares-Jal-Mahal-Man-Sagar-lake-protected/articleshow/47918051.cms

SOUTH ASIA

India loses and China gains water through food trade (10 July 2015) Indeed, India is exporting water to China and other countries: Food exports are running India dry, while China is conserving its water supply by importing water intensive crops such as soya, a new analysis of the two countries water footprint reveals. http://www.eco-business.com/news/india-loses-and-china-gains-water-through-food-trade/

CHINA

China climate targets prompt fears over surge in dam construction (06 July 2015) From the report ” Extensive dam-building in China over the past two decades has already exhausted the capacity of some rivers, including the Yellow river and its tributaries, which are now a “staircase” of adjacent reservoirs. Millions of people have been displaced to make way for the reservoirs, amid mass extinctions of fish and river dolphins. The number of dams already built, however, limits the scope for future dam-building projects on most of China’s rivers.” http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/62e7573c-2395-11e5-9c4e-a775d2b173ca.html#axzz3fB0JiAIs

Benchmarking Report Stage One: the Environmental and Social Policies and Practices of Chinese Overseas Hydropower Companies (23 June 2015) International Rivers’ Releases a Scorecard for the Chinese Overseas Hydropower Industry International Rivers’ has released a major report on the policy and performance records on all major players of the Chinese overseas hydropower industry (http://www.internationalrivers.org/node/9064). The report is a product of two years of company engagement, field work and consultation with CSR, NGO and community stakeholders. With over 90% company participation, International Rivers has found that China’s more experienced hydropower construction companies are leading the way when it comes to environmental and social policies and project performance, while others are making empty policy promises.  http://www.internationalrivers.org/node/9064

WORLD

Why the water bond shouldn’t fund dams (12 July 2015) A very interesting report from a state that is facing one of its wrost droughts. Despite the drought, proposals for new dams are being opposed by most. From the report “Dams are a relic of the Industrial Age, a brute-force solution to water scarcity that sets off a cascade of environmental collapses, from the upstream tip of the reservoir to the river’s mouth and beyond. They’re particularly ill-suited to the era of extremes — heat waves, floods and droughts — that climate change has brought on. High temperatures intensify evaporation from reservoirs. Massive floods threaten dams with overtopping and breaching. Droughts defy the very reason for dams’ existence: They drop reservoir levels, wasting the “capacity” that goes unused, and cause hydroelectric output to dwindle” http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-leslie-dams-wont-fix-california-water-20150712-story.html#page=1

Drought takes a toll on Iran’s hydropower (09 July 2015) Iran’s hydroelectricity generation is flickering out amid a protracted drought which has drained dams across the country to their lowest ebb ever. Hydropower normally makes up 14% of Iran’s overall electricity mix, but this share has declined to less than five percent, deputy head of Tavanir, Iran’s power generation and transmission company, Gholamreza Khosh-Kholq said. According to the official, power generation in most of the country’s nearly 50 hydroelectric plants has either stopped or sharply diminished. http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/07/09/419481/iran-power-generation-drought-dams

What next after Jakarta ends water privatisation? (07 July 2015) After having been run by private corporations for almost two decades, water services in Jakarta are starting a new era. In February, Indonesia’s Constitutional Court ruled that water privatisation was unconstitutional. The court revoked the 2004 water resources law that legally justified water privatisation in the country. Not long after, the Central Jakarta District Court ordered the Jakarta government to revert its control over water resources. This abolished 25 years of water contracts between the administration and two private water companies. http://theconversation.com/what-next-after-jakarta-ends-water-privatisation-40157

CLIMATE CHANGE  

Benefits far outweigh costs of tackling climate change, says LSE study (13 July 2015) The economic benefits for a country from tackling climate change easily outweigh the costs, according to a study that seeks to highlight the incentives for individual nations to take urgent action to cut emissions. Countries stand to gain more than they would lose in economic terms from almost all of the actions needed to meet an agreed global warming limit of no more than 2C above pre-industrial levels, according to the paper published by two research institutes at the London School of Economics. http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/jul/13/benefits-far-outweigh-costs-tackling-climate-change-lse-study

ENVIRONMENT

National Green Tribunal quashes MoEF’s green signal to 10 projects (09 July 2015) Green groups have welcomed the judgment for upholding the sanctity of Environment (Protection) Act 1986 and EIA Notification (2006). Among them Parineeta Dandekar of the South Asia Network of Dams Rivers & People (SANDRP) who told dna, “SANDRP had written to the MoEF and EAC in the past, considering clearance for such projects was in violation of the EPA 1986 and EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) Notification of Sept 14, 2006 which did not have any provisions to “regularize” violations like this.” http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-national-green-tribunal-quashes-moef-s-green-signal-to-10-projects-2102921

Renewable Energy Target of 1,75,000 MW Should be Taken as Mission for Energy Security of Country: Shri Piyush Goyal (07 July 2015) A review of Government of India’s Solar Energy rogrammes and sessions on other renewable energy technologies and programmes, including Small Hydro Power, Biomass Power, Bagasse Cogeneration, SADP, Wind Power, RPOs/RECs, Improved Cook Stoves, HRD, Biogas and Biofuels was also undertaken by the Ministry. http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=123039

What bees can teach us about the real value of protecting nature (06 July 2015) Recently, in a fascinating paper published in Nature Communications, a team of scientists discovered that only a small fraction of bee species do most of the pollinating that’s so crucial to our food supply. http://www.vox.com/2015/7/6/8900605/bees-pollination-ecosystem-services

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