National The cost of cheap drugs The Bollaram-Patancheru region in Hyderabad, Telengana is famous for being one of the most polluted industrial areas in India. The periphery around the area has become so toxic one that 2001 article recommended that “most of the soils should be removed from agricultural production” in Patancheru. There is an increase in higher abortion rates to birth defects and stunted growth in children, as well as greater incidence of skin diseases in the region. In the district of Medak in the state of Telangana, Greenpeace in its several reports has identified that people, animals, crops and land have been afflicted by the pollution of industrial waste. Villagers report many serious health issues, including miscarriages, skin disorders, cancers and intestinal problems. The livestock suffer from the same problems. Most, not to say all, food grown in the village is unfit for human consumption. An inspection report published by CSE in November 2015 noted that most companies in Pattancheru-Bollaram were manufacturing pharmaceutical ingredients for which they did not have permission; using more water than the permitted limit and dumping more hazardous waste than allowed. Two of the units were operating without clearance from authorities.
In the case of the Ghaggar river in Punjab, all along its river course, one can witness foul smell, contamination of subsoil water, spread of water borne diseases and chances of damage of crop due to the presence of industrial chemical waste due to industrial waste from the industries in Punjab and Himachal. Media reports report similar occurrences around the Bhiwadi belt, where pharmaceutical companies discharge untreated effluents into drainages which then seep into the groundwater, making way into drinking water supply and agricultural land, resulting in environmental and health risks of unimaginable proportions.
In many low and middle income countries, weak laws and ineffective regulatory bodies have led to rising incidences of industrial waste flowing into ponds, lakes and rivers. If we examine the causes, the role of the pharmaceutical industry is similar to printing, chemical and paint industries. Pharma effluents contain hazardous chemicals which are leading to antimicrobial resistance or AMR where the human body is resistant to antibiotics, and thus, becomes susceptible to common infections. The very same ingredients used to manufacture antibiotics get mixed up with the bacteria during waste disposal, through our waters. Studies have shown that high levels of antibiotics are found in streams and lakes in the area close to many plant than in the body of human beings. The phenomenon is such that it is assuming the form of a serious public health issue in developing as well as developed countries. Over 700,000 people die every year because of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) all over the world. If this trend persists and resistance continues, McKinsey studies has shown that by 2050, around 10 million people globally will die because of AMR (Antimicrobial Resistance)
It is pertinent to note that New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase superbug (NDM-1), a bacteria, first found in New Delhi’s public water supply in 2008, is resistant to almost all known antibiotics and has spread to over 70 countries in the world.
On the other hand, scientists from multiple institutes having done a detailed study on river pollution concluded that arsenic in the study areas poses potential health risk to the residents and indicates that the “ingestion of water over a long time could magnify the probabilities of cancer. They collected and assessed concentrations of 27 trace elements in surface water samples from 48 sites of waterways (lakes, canals, and tributaries of major rivers) in four states: Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Telangana. Analysis revealed that elements such as chromium, selenium, arsenic, iron, and manganese are the major pollutants, as their concentrations exceeded the acceptable national and international water quality standards in several sites of Vrishabhavathi, Ennore, Adyar, Cooum and Periyar rivers. Further, statistical analysis revealed that the Cauvery, Ennore, Adyar, Cooum and Periyar river basins are affected by various anthropogenic activities, leading to moderate-to-high pollution by arsenic, chromium, manganese, iron, and selenium. According to the scientists, potential pollution sources are industrial waste, sewage intrusion, paint industry waste, and automobile runoff.
SANDRP Blog Rivers, Wetlands, Fresh Water Species Face the Greatest Threat Aquatic biodiversity, that is the freshwater biodiversity in rivers, wetlands and lakes have faced the biggest decline on earth since 1970, more than double the decline faced by terrestrial or marine biodiversity according to just released LIVING PLANET 2016 report. This blog highlights the key findings of the report related to freshwater biodiversity. Please share if you find it useful.
Yettinahole Row Govt should encourage harvesting instead of building the project Nagesh Hegde, columnist, said on Oct 27 that the Yettinahole project, also called the Netravati River Diversion Project, is an unscientific one that will bring little respite to the parched districts of south Karnataka. He was delivering a special lecture on ‘Water Crisis, Cauvery, Mahadayi etc: How do we resolve?’, organised by the Centre of Gandhian and Peace Studies, a constituent of Manipal University, and Adelphi, Berlin. Mr. Hegde said that huge pipes have been dumped on nearly 80 acres of paddy-growing fields for implementing the project, and every scientific study has shown that it will not provide much water to the parched districts of the southern parts of the State.
Karnataka Experts criticise pumping project to make Jog fall perennial The govt has given the go-ahead to a project that aims to make Jog Falls perennial by pumping water back upstream. But the move has met with resistance from environmentalists. According to Parineeta Dandekar, of SANDRP it is hugely ironical that Linganmakki dam was built to stop the flow of a perennial river for electricity generation and now they want to build something to make Jog Falls perennial.
Tamil Nadu Chennai citizens chalk out water walks With such diverse ecological heritage, it seemed essential to let the people of Chennai know about its heritage and Chennai’s City Water Walks seems to be a great way of doing it. It is time to act and thus, the Chennai City Walks will see initiatives where immediate transformation is perceivable. Several different heartwarming stories have come out of this City Walk. Each City Water Walk in the above formats cannot be a one time affair but must be done multiple times to make people realize what they are losing.
Garbage trap to come near airport to prevent flooding As part of pre-monsoon preparedness, Chennai corporation has decided to install a garbage trap a few metres away from the airport’s runway bridge on the Adyar river to prevent garbage and other materials from blocking the flow of water. As the bridge, over which second runway of the airport is built after raising the level of the river bed, and its pillars are built close to one another garbage and debris floating in the river blocked the flow of water during last year’s flood. The urban body has decided to install nets across the water near the bridge to remove garbage and debris that gets caught on it periodically so that there will be smooth flow of water. The decision was taken at a pre-monsoon preparedness meeting held on Wednesday. Similar traps were a success in the Cooum river. Doubt such measures will work unless the said bridge is redesigned allowing smooth passage of floodwater. The Airport authority should also remove its encroachment over Adyar floodplain.
Maharashtra Ganesh fest pollution data yet to be uploaded More than a month has passed since the 10-day Ganesh festival but the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board’s (MPCB) website has not yet uploaded the water testing reports during the immersion days. Officials said the agency which has been doing the work had some internet problems. Last year also, the findings were uploaded during Diwali time. Samples were collected from Someshwar, Nasardi, Tapovan, Chopada Lawns, Waldevi and other natural immersion spots.
Assam Refinery stares at huge water crisis If the siltation-induced water crisis of the Brahmaputra last winter was Guwahati Refinery’s worst since its inception, the situation this year is even more precarious with the water having reduced to below 1,000 cubic metres per hour at Soonsali ghat. Refinery sources say the water level of the Brahmaputra has gone down substantially since August. This shows that the siltation problem in Brahmputra is only getting bigger.
NARMADA NBA PR: नेशनल ग्रीन ट्रिब्यूनल ने आदेशों के उल्लघंन मुद्दे पर नोटिस जारी की नर्मदा घाटी में अवैध खनन के मामले में नेशनल ग्रीन ट्रिब्यूनल, केन्द्रीय बेंच भोपाल में याचिका पर सुनवाई 2015 से जारी है। जिसके तहत दिये गये विविध आदेशों का पालन ना होने पर एनजीटी कानून की धारा 26 के तहत, मेधा पाटकर (नर्मदा बचाओ आंदोलन) व अन्य ने मध्यप्रदेश शासन के विरुद्ध विशेष याचिका दायर की है और आदेशों के उल्लघंन के लिए आरोपित नर्मदा घाटी विकास प्राधिकरण, म.प्र. प्रदूषण नियंत्रण मण्डल एवम् सीया (SEIAA) जो कि केन्द्रीय पर्यावरण व वन मंत्रालय की राज्य स्तरीय संस्था है, इन तीनों को एनजीटी द्वारा नोटिस जारी हुआ है। एनजीटी ने उनसे जवाब मांगते हुए 28 नवंबर के दिन अगली सुनवाई रखी है।
GANGA NGT Ill-planning, unscientific approach cause for chaos The green panel expressed concern over the fact that there was lack of information on Ganga and it was not clear whether there were other industries and what manufacturing or other activities they were carrying on and the kind of trade effluent they discharged. It directed UP Pollution Control Board to inform it whether the industries located on segment B of Phase-I were registered with Directorate of Industries or not and whether they have been granted consent to operate. The tribunal had earlier rapped UP Govt for wasting crores of rupees of public money on Ganga rejuvenation and restrained it from spending on any major project except maintenance work on the stretch from Haridwar to Kanpur. The green panel had passed the order after CPCB and state authorities including UP Jal Nigam failed to state the total number of industrial units and the quantum of industrial waste discharged by them into Ganga.
The UP Pollution Control Board on Oct 20 informed the Green Tribunal that a “flood” of multi-storeyed buildings have been constructed on the floodplains of Ganga and Yamuna over the years without devising any mechanism for waste disposal. It also told that floodplains have been encroached upon in Delhi, Noida and Greater Noida to build apartments and housing societies. Local authorities take money and grant them permission to discharge all the waste into the sewer lines. The court was also informed by advocates that there were almost lakh industries between Haridwar & Kanpur segment. However, according to CPCB there are only 1072 industries. The bench also asked it to file details about the existing STP and CETP and inform whether they were functional or not and also state whether they were capable of treating various pollutants, sewage and bacteria. On Oct 25, NGT has asked it expert committee, to collect information on drains joining Ganga between Haridwar and Unnao, submit its report by Nov 7. NGT also said the report should give details of drains joining Ganga from the stretch Haridwar to Unnao and the quantum and quality of waste being released into the river. The matter is listed for next hearing on Nov. 15.
YAMUNA Delhi Govt to unveil Rs 200 cr riverfront plan Announcing the project Water Minister Kapil Mishra said it entails no concrete structures and will be built using bamboo and wood. The project will be financed by the Delhi govt and executed by its department of tourism. CM will unveil the blueprint of the project during the annual Yamuna aarti, which will be held on the occasion of Bhai Dooj on November 1. The Riverfront Development Plan will be executed in three phases, the first of which is expected to be completed in six months. The Delhi govt has also partnered with the Centre for the 22-km Yamuna Turnaround Plan. According to another report on the pollution levels in the Yamuna before, during and after idol immersion during Durga Puja shows that pollution levels were highest during the time of immersion worsening the water quality of Yamuna. The dissolved oxygen (DO) levels in the river, which support aquatic life, plummeted to zero post Vijayadashami. In a 2015 report, CPCB had identified unabated discharges of wastewater, predominantly from domestic sources, into Yamuna responsible for its deteriorating water quality, especially in its stretch after Wazirabad barrage. But the study, commissioned to assess the water quality of Yamuna on the occasion of Dussehra, has found that BOD saw a steep rise of 38 mg/l at Kudesia ghat during immersions, where DO was zero.
Haryana Large scale mining impacting villagers & Yamuna A report filed by local commissioners appointed by NGT to check the extent of illegal quarrying around Yamuna Nagar have found evidence of large scale illegal mining and quarrying on Yamuna riverbed. The report has highlighted that massive illegal mining may have affected the course of the river too making the adjoining villages vulnerable to disasters. Independent experts also submitted that a large number of farmers opposed the mining or illegal quarrying of stones and boulders in the area because it affected their livelihood and farming practice.
SANDRP Blog State to build Human dam while existing projects in vicinity remain incomplete The project has been vehemently opposed by wildlife experts and environmentalists as the submergence of 1925.55 Ha. of forest land, includes submerging the only effective wildlife corridor connecting Chandrapur Division with Brahmapuri Division. Construction of the Left and Right Bank Canals will further prevent animal movement from the sanctuary to the forests of the Brahmapuri Division in the areas downstream of the dam. Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve will become an “island”. According to news report, the cash-strapped govt has put the 2059 crore project on the agenda of state board for wildlife (SBWL) meeting on Oct 26. The major dam will lead to felling of 150791 trees. Besides, it will convert Tadoba into a big open zoo by blocking free movement of tigers through corridor. According to sources, a section of SBWL members have decided to submit a memorandum to CM opposing the project. The centrally empowered committee had also raised concerns in 2008 with the Supreme Court about large-scale felling causing serious environmental repercussions.
Maharashtra Farmers oppose Pavana dam repairs The work, started in 2006, was abandoned midway when farmers demanded rehabilitation. Additional 1.06 TMC water can be stored once the wall is strengthened. There is leakage of water from the dam at the rate of 15 litre per second. The cost of the incomplete work then was around Rs 9 cr but now an estimated Rs20 to 22 cr will be needed for completing the work. The water released from Pavana dam caters to Talegaon and Dehu Road towns, various villages and Pimpri Chinchwad. PCMC draws 450 MLD water every day from Pavana river at the Ravet bund and supplies it to 20 lakh residents. According to Ravi Thakar, executive president of Pavana Dharanagrasta Kruti Samiti the rehabilitation of the remaining 863 farmers has been pending for 35 years. The state govt must provide 4 acres to each of them in Pune district.
UP After waiting for 25 years, farmers rebuild dam on their own After a dam built during the British period was damaged in 1990, farmers of over 25 villages in Baheri have been facing irrigation-related problems for over two decades. However, after waiting for the govt to do something about it, the farmers came together and collected Rs 70,000, while a few other villagers contributed in kind. They started constructing a ‘kutcha’ dam on Oct 24 with mud and sand bags, 98 feet long and 20 feet wide. Farmers of over a dozen villages have faced problems in irrigating their crops after the dam was damaged in 1990. Also see the video of farmers building the structure.
Haryana New dam in Aravalis to help curb waterlogging The forest department has started building a rainwater harvesting dam at Raisaina in the Aravalis, to recharge depleting groundwater level and tackle waterlogging. To be spread across 100 hectares, the dam will harvest around 10 crore litres a year. The dam’s foundation stone was laid on Oct 24. The first to be made of reinforced cement concrete, the dam will be 6 metre high. It is expected to collect run-off rainwater from the Aravalis in Raisaina during monsoon, preventing flash floods and waterlogging in the area. Similarly State Govt will also starting widening of Badshahpur drain which is probably the worst outcome of unplanned real estate boom on the foot hills of Aravalis.
Tamil Nadu Poor storage in Periyar dam threatens standing crop Poor storage in Periyar dam poses threat to farmers who have raised first crop in the double crop areas of Cumbum valley in Theni district. With water level slipping towards dead storage in Vaigai dam, Madurai city and southern districts face the prospects of an acute drinking water crisis. Despite caution from PWD engineers, farmers in the valley have completed transplantation with the earlier discharge from Periyar dam meant for improving storage in the Vaigai dam. With no rain in the catchments, water level has slipped to 109.1 feet in Periyar dam. All efforts taken by the PWD to improve the storage in Vaigai dam went in vein owing to rampant illegal tapping along Periyar River between Gudalur and Palanichettipatti.
Karnataka World Bank award for Almatti dam Almatti dam, one of the largest reservoirs in was chosen for the World Bank’s Award of Excellence for best utilisation of funds for renovation to enhance the strength of the dam. The World Bank had granted Rs.72 cr to the Krishna Bhagya Jal Nigam Limited to prevent seepage which could damage the dam. The project was taken up under the Dam Rehabilitation & Improvement Project for strengthening the reservoir which is over five decades old. While similar work was carried out in more than 250 dams across 10 States, Almatti was chosen for the award, officials said. The foundation stone of 123 tmc capacity dam was laid in 1964. However, the project was completed in 2000 and water storage began in 2002.
INTER-STATE WATER DISPUTES
Telangana Govt to stop Musi River flow into Andhra Irrigation minister T. Harish Rao on Oct 24 said that the TS govt will not let Musi water reach Pulichintala dam in AP but utilise the waters in Nalgonda and Suryapet districts by reviving the old khatwas (small anicuts and check dams) and canal systems under Musi Project near Kattangur. Accusing TPCC president N. Uttam Kumar Reddy of supporting the former CM YSR Reddy’s move to construct Pulichintala dam built, Mr Harish Rao held Mr Reddy responsible for the speedy construction of the dam, which he said was built without concern about submergence of Telangana lands and only developed ayacut in Krishna and Guntur districts. The minister said that by next June, water will for the first time reach Suryapet and Nalgonda districts from Sriramsagar Stage-II.
Cauvery Row Farmers, consumers caused the Cauvery crisis Questioning the basis of SC interim orders, Himanshu Thakkar of SANDRP says that water intensive farming in the basin area has never come under dispute. A sustainable solution has to come through participatory governance, not top-down orders. Water is essentially a local issue and that’s where it has to be managed first. He further adds that when dams are built, farmers shift from semi-arid crops to irrigation-heavy cash crops and the crisis today is not a result of one failed monsoon, but a consequence of decades of intensified agriculture with no real basin management in place. Similarly, an alternative vision & approach has been issued by several concerned citizens, consisting of practitioners, researchers, grassroots activists, representatives from academia and civil society movements, after a day long meeting and discussions on Oct 13, 2016. The meeting was organised by the Forum for Policy Dialogue on Water Conflicts & ATREE.
Report India Energy Outlook 2016 from IEA says about Hydro Water issues are very sensitive in India and lack of public acceptance of hydropower development has already been a major obstacle to projects moving ahead. The most difficult issue has been the resettlement of people affected by new projects, but public attitudes have also been adversely affected by the by floods in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand in 2013, which prompted a major debate over whether intensive hydropower development in the region was to blame for the severity of the flooding. This episode underlined the importance not only of evaluating individual projects in depth, but also of taking a broader view on the development of river basins, assessing the linkages between projects and the cumulative social and environment impacts. In our projections, we anticipate an increasing focus on run-of-river projects; these avoid expansive reservoirs and can thereby ease the need for resettlement and so help to secure public acceptance. The trouble is, in spite of this, it projects that India’s installed hydropower capacity (all sizes) will go up from 45GW in 2014 to 83 GW in 2030 and 108 GW in 2040 and also called hydro a renewable source!
Sikkim NHPC discusses Teesta-IV hydro project issue with govt NHPC Chairman amd Managing Director K M Singh on Oct 24 called on Sikkim CM Pawan Chamling to discuss various issues related to the project, NHPC said in a release. During the meeting, Sing apprised that the meetings of five Gram Sabhas out of 10 have been successfully completed last week for compliance under Forest Rights Act, 2006 and sought support of Sikkim Government for completing the remaining five Gram Sabhas at earliest possible, so that Forest clearance stage-II can be obtained, it said. The meetings shall further facilitate diversion of forest land and obtaining Government sanction for the Project, it said. Strange to see developer going about getting gram sabha consents for Forest Rights. How can this have any sanctity? Meanwhile on Oct 26, PM inaugurated 1200 Mw Teesta-III HEP in Sikkim. All 6 units of the project are expected to be ready for commissioning by the end of this year. Once completed, the project will be the second largest hydro project in the country and the largest hydro project constructed in India on PPP mode. Teesta was in Aug 2016 blocked by a landslide dam which caused extensive damage to the other project, Teesta 4 (Anupam Ckakravartty) SANDRP has reported the issue in its blog titled Landslide dam blocks Teesta tributary in North Sikkim: Major risk to Teesta river bank communities
Himachal Villagers may again have a say in hydro projects Prakash Bhandari and Sumit Mahar show why people of Himachal Pradesh are celebrating the NGT order on Kashang HEP, but the hopes that this will lead to greater democratisation or participatory decision making does not have sound foundation as of now. Great to see, however, as the authors show that hydropower is on the decline in the state that has maximum installed capacity of hydro projects in India.
Kerala State declared drought-hit The govt has decided to declare all the districts as drought-hit in a bid to alert the public. The state has received only a fraction of the expected rainfall during the monsoon season. With the state decleared drought-hit, a moratorium will come into effect on the agricultural loan. The Centre will be apprized of the development to seek central aid. The southwest monsoon recorded 34% deficit which contributes close to almost 70% of its annual rainfall. The northeast monsoon too seems to be failing, as it has still not started raining even though Oct has almost ended. If the northeast monsoon proves to be weak, the coming summer could prove tricky for the state’s power sector. As on Oct 27, storage levels in the hydel reservoirs stood at 2,156 million units, which is lowest in the last four years.
The effects of extreme weather conditions seem to be unraveling already which will reveal themselves fully in next year’s summer, starting with an acute water scarcity. In Wayanad, back-to-back monsoon failures have hit farmers. The district panchayat wants the govt to declare the region as drought-hit, The Hindu reported last week. In Kozhikode water shortage is an everyday occurrence. Instances of shrinking river beds and human-animal conflict appear in the local media almost daily. The situation was worse during summer. State govt data also shows the state has been getting less rainfall over the years. Between 1981 and 2016, Kerala had normal monsoon only in four years, as per govt estimates. In 2015, Kerala received an excess rain of 22% during the pre-monsoon period. It received 464.7mm, compared to the normal rainfall of 379.9mm. The pre-monsoon rain deficit for 2016 is minimal at 4%. But, there are large deficits in Wayanad (-47%), Thrissur (-22%), Palakkad (-37%), Malappuram (-50%) and Kasaragod (-49%).
Gujarat Congress for probe into Dharoi irrigation scheme tenders Good to se opposition in Gujarat raising this issue, the very cancellation shows that something was amiss and must be probed. Moreover, it is indeed strange that the Statue of Unity, the statue of Sardar Patel, is to be built by a Chinese company.
Himachal Mining officer’s absence costs Solan dear The state govt’s move to revamp the mining wing of the Industries Department by transferring nine mining officers (MOs) in one-go has left Solan district without any MO. The officer has been shifted to Shimla and the new one is yet to join. The district administration had tightened its noose around officials from other departments to check illegal mining. The absence of an MO will also create problems in clearing nine pending cases of mining lease as the MO was a crucial member of the district-level Environment Impact Assessment Authority.
Telangana Illegal sand mining on the rise again The illegal transport of sand is on the rise again in the Godavari belt of Chennur to Mancherial and Jaipur in Macherial district and also in Nirmal, Kumram Bheem (Asifabad) and Adilabad districts. The govt is losing crores of revenue. Sources said more than 450 tractors were transporting sand every day from the river in Mancherial district. The tractor owners formed a union, and police, revenue and mining officials are helping them in exchange for bribes. Sources accused TRS leaders of supporting the sand mafia. If any officer wants to seize the tractors or lorries in illegal reaches, the politicians ask them to leave the vehicles and threaten them with transfer. Many blame the construction boom after the formation of new districts for a spike in sand mining.
Jharkhand 10 held for illegal sand mining In an operation against rampant illegal mining in Giridih, Dumri circle officer Ravindra Pandey on Oct 26 seized at least 10 tractors carrying illegal sand from different river beds falling under Nimiyaghat and Dumri police station areas of the district. Over ten illegal miners, including villagers, were also held for investigation.
Karnataka Man drowns while escaping sand mining crackdown Tension prevailed at Mullaru Patna, in Bantwal rural police station limits, after a person involved in illegal sand mining case drowned accidentally while trying to flee from police on Oct 26. Angry villagers who claimed that police was responsible for the death of Sharif, 26, a resident of Mullaru Patna, attacked the men in khaki and damaged two vehicles including a vehicle belonging to the police department.
WETLANDS & WATER BODIES
J&K Gun owners ordered to deposit arms at police stations In order to safeguard the abodes of migratory birds and eradicate the menace of poaching Additional District Magistrate Srinagar has directed all the persons holding Arms Licenses and living within the five kilometers of Shalla-bugh, Hokersar wetlands and Dal Lake to deposit their guns in their concerned police stations till May 01, 2017 against a proper receipt thereon.
Telangana Groundwater levels rise in many drought-prone districts A survey done by the state ground water department showed a steep rise in the groundwater levels of the perennially drought-prone districts. The average rise in the water table was by 8.42 metres with Medak recording the highest of 15.17 metres rise and Mahbubnagar the lowest of 1.81 metres, the study said. Good to see groundwater levels rising in Telangana districts, and credit being given to Mission Kakatiya on tanks in the region.
Rajasthan One man converted dry hometown into a green oasis Chain Singh has spent the last 22 years of his life planting and nurturing plants in his hometown of Delwara, Rajasthan. His efforts have helped change the landscape of the village from a dust-ridden environment prone to acute droughts, to a green oasis.
Telangana ‘Jawaharnagar landfill responsible for water contamination’ Affirming the plight of residents around the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation’s Jawarhanagar landfill, a new study states groundwater available there is unfit for consumption due to contamination from the site. The study induces urgency in the plans of the municipal administration to supply water to the area. The findings of the study ring true with claims of locals who continue to oppose the location of the dump yard in their area since 2002. Besides foulness of air, residents have raised the issue of non-availability of water resources and contamination from the landfill as hurdles to healthy living in the area.
Industry India’s green push needs wind At nearly 27 GW of installed capacity, India is already the world’s fourth biggest producer of wind-based electricity, after China, the United States and Germany. India would have close to 45 GW of installed wind energy by the year 2020 even in the most modest of growth scenarios. If pushed aggressively, it can go up to 67 GW by 2020. That means, India’s target of generating about 60 GW of electricity through wind energy can be realised two years in advance. India has currently utilised just about 8% of its wind energy potential. It can easily grow at a fast rate, possibly even outpacing the growth in the solar energy sector. India’s wind capacity has grown from nearly 12 GW in 2009-10 to more than 27 GW now. Almost 10 GW of this capacity addition has come in the last 4 years during which most of the policy focus was on solar energy.
Centre Govt plans Rs 21000 cr boost for solar factories The govt is planning a Rs.21000 crore package of state aid for India’s solar panel manufacturing industry. Govt wants to raise renewable capacity to 175 Gw by 2022 from 45 Gw at present. India has become one of the biggest clients of Chinese photovoltaic manufacturers and in the absence of its own domestic capacity that reliance could potentially grow. In the first six months of 2016, India imported 18% of China’s production worth $1.1 billion. The govt could offer about Rs.90 lakh a Mw for manufacturing tenders and Rs.50 lakh a Mw for local deployment.
Pakistan ADB declines to fund Diamer-Bhasha dam project Big lenders, including earlier World Bank & USAID and now ADB have refused to fund Diamer-Bhasha dam project. Mostly political & diplomatic rather environmental reasons were at play. On the other hand, Pakistan expects World Bank to respond in 15 days to its petition on Ratle and Kishanganga for appointing independent court of arbitration for resolving the differences. The construction of Ratle hydropower project has not yet started after the contrac contractor left the job due to international litigation initiated by Pakistan.
Sri Lanka Mini-hydro projects present a threat to forest eco-systems The construction of mini-hydro power plants pose threats to Sri Lanka’s forest eco-systems, two environmental scientists told an international research symposium, calling for changes to regulations to ensure more safeguards. The scientists have recommended that mini hydro power plants must not be established within forest reserves and that no diversions be allowed from immediate upstream of waterfalls. Again, stringent action called for against Sri Lanka’s Mini Hydel Projects inside Forests.
Nepal PR on the 4th meeting of Joint Commission held on Oct 27, 2016 is more informative, following are key points on water resources projects.
* Both sides agreed to complete the examination of the draft DPR of the Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project to start further action.
* On construction of the remaining irrigation facility on Nepal side as per the Gandak Agreement, it was agreed to take required action after the Government of Nepal provides the DPR. It was also agreed that a joint team of expert would inspect and submit a report to address the problems of siltation, design and operation of Gandak irrigation facility.
* Nepali side stressed the need for early completion of the link canal and head regulator at Tanakpur barrage for the discharge of water to Nepal as per the provision of Mahakali Treaty. The Indian side conveyed that project report would be finalized soon.
India must take up dam issues with China The report is on a river which carries the largest water flow in South Asia. It is very important in terms of water. It is least understood in terms of the ecosystem that produces this water and the potential use of this water, including in sustaining this ecosystem and the rather unfortunate sensationalisation of hydropower dams that are being built on the Yarlung Tsangpo,” Bandopadhyay said. There are a number of misleading statements in this news report, including those attributed to Alagh and Bandopadhyay, but this statement is noteworthy.
REST OF THE WORLD
Expert Speak It’s time to get real about conservation To protect endangered species from extinction, the ecological community must become more politically involved, argues Aaron M. Ellison. No amount of data alone is going to lead to right decisions, engaging with the decision makers by the scientists is so very important, wish Indian scientists are listening. Please share and help us take this to Indian Scientists. There so few of them who are ready to do anything to protect biodiversity and there are so many of them ready to do anything to get consultancies and be in good books of the decision makers.
Study Link between tropical storms, decline of river deltas The study is the first to show the significant role tropical storms play in delivering sediment to large river deltas. We show that although human impacts affect the amount of sediment in a river cyclonic activity is also a very important contributing factor. Very interesting, it seems 1/3 rd the sediment in the delta gets there due to tropical storms.
US Removal of Klamath dam will be largest in the history Four hydroelectric dams may soon be demolished along the Klamath, near the California-Oregon border. Hundreds of miles of the Klamath would run free to the Pacific Ocean — opening up the largest river restoration in U.S. history. What’s made this possible is compromise, forged over years of negotiation, among upriver and downriver interests, in California and Oregon, farmers and tribes and fishery advocates. Also see, Who’s responsible for Woodlake Dam failure? Moore County residents evacuated say Woodlake Dam problem for years, yet no one is doing anything about it. The dam has also been a problem for those who live downstream; a problem that nearly turned deadly after Hurricane Matthew. That’s when inspectors found holes in the dam’s cement and a cracked spillway.
Study What is causing the rise in Methane emissions? This paper reveals that concentration of methane in atmosphere has gone up by 157% from pre industrial level, compared to 40% for Carbon dioxide, the no 1 culprit for global warming. VERY STRANGELY, the paper does not even ONCE mention the contribution of reservoirs behind dams and their contribution to methane emission in spite of increasing evidence to that effect. Possibly the increase from microbial activity includes that, but reservoirs need separate mention. The paper could have also mentioned that SYSTEM OF RICE INTENSIFICATION can also help reduce methane emissions from paddy field, particularly when done in organic way, further reducing the carbon footprint.
Assam Farmers go green to battle climate change in Nalbari’s Moruwa Interesting glimpses of how farmers are adopting to climate change in Nalbari district in Assam, close to Pagladiya, a flood prone tributary of Brahmaputra.
Centre Text of PMs speech at Inauguration of National Tribal Carnival-2016 हमारे देश में कभी बड़े-बड़े लोगों को लगता है, बड़े-बड़े पर्यावरणविद् मिलते हैं तो कहते हैं जंगलों की रक्षा करनी है, वनों की रक्षा करनी है। मैं अनुभव के साथ कहता हूं अगर वनों को किसी ने बचाया है तो मेरे जनजातीय समुदायों ने बचाया है। वो सब दे देगा लेकिन जंगल को तबाह नहीं होने देगा। ये उसके संस्कार में होता है। अगर हमें जंगलों की रक्षा करनी है तो जनजातीय समुदायों से बड़ा हमारा कोई रक्षक नहीं हो सकता है। इस विचार को प्राथमिकता देना के लिए हमारा प्रयास है।
Andhra Fishermen stall seismic survey Tension prevailed in the Bay of Bengal near Karavaka in East Godavari district, when fishermen in large numbers prevented the seismic survey being conducted by ONGC to find out hydrocarbons and natural gas reserves in the deep sea. The fishermen, however, were upset as the survey hampered them from getting a reasonable catch and they were demanding compensation from the ONGC for the loss of livelihood. The absence of compensation irked the fisherfolks from the Karavaka and Gogannamatham areas, who surrounded the surveying vessel in about 100 fishing boats. According sources the survey would be resumed once the compensation had been finalized.