Wainganga River: Threatened lifeline of Vidarbha’s Forests

Above: Wainganga River, downstream of Gosikhurd reservoir (Photo by AJT Johnsingh on 09/03/17)

The valley of Wainganga River has served as a backdrop for Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle book. East Vidarbha region of Maharashtra hosts major part of this lush green landscape which is ecologically one of the most significant regions of India. More than 50% of forest of Maharashtra State falls in this region. Government of Maharashtra (GoM) however is doing little on its part to protect these. Perceiving them as ‘hurdles’ GoM is pushing more and more unfeasible dam projects in this region in the name of irrigation. Water for rivers, biodiversity, wildlife has taken a backseat in the growing claims on Wainganga waters. If these projects come up health of Wainganga basin will be further seriously jeopardized.

This is an attempt to put together Maharashtra specific profile of Wainganga River.

Salient features of the basin

Wainganga is one of the principle tributaries of Godavari River – the largest of the peninsular
rivers of India.[1] The Wainganga River originates in Mundhara village in Dist. Seoni of Madhya Pradesh, which lies at the foothills of Satpuda Mountains[2] and traverses a length of 635.40 km till its confluence with Wardha River at Shivni Village in Chandrapur District of Maharashtra to form River Pranahita which is one of the biggest tributaries of Godavari.[3] The total catchment area of Wainganga river upto it’s confluence with river Wardha is 51000 Sq. Km.[4] The basin spreads across over five districts of Maharashtra and three districts of Madhya Pradesh.[5] The principal tributaries of the river are Bagh, Bawanthari, Kanhan& Garvhi and Andhari.

After originating Wainganga flows in a wide half circle, meandering among the spurs of the hills from the west to the east of the Seoni District it is turns to the South.[6] After flowing for a total length of 274 km in Seoni and Balaghat districts of Madhya Pradesh, it forms the boundary between Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra for about 32 km.[7] It then continues to flow towards south in Maharashtra for another 303 km till it is joined by the Wardha.

Wainganga Sub-Basin location in Godavari Basin (Source: Godavari Basin prepared by MoWR)

Wainganga Basin in Maharashtra (Prepared by SANDRP based on Maharashtra Water and Irrigation Commission Map of Maharashtra River Basins

Climate

The average annual rainfall in Seoni, Balaghat, Gondia, Bhandara ranges between 1400 mm to 1600 mm. For the Nagpur, Chandrapur & Gadchiroli Districts the average annual rainfall ranges from 900 mm to 1200 mm. Maximum of the rainfall is received during the South-West monsoon from June to October. In the winter the minimum temperature is 7°C and maximum temperature is 13°C. In summer the maximum temperature ranges from 39°C to 47°. Month of May is the peak of summer & December January is the peak of winter.

Biodiversity of Wainganga

Wainganga River Basin or Wainganga Valley as nature lovers call it is home to two tiger reserves viz. Tadoba Andhari National Park in Maharashtra and Pench National Park in Madhya Pradesh[8] which harbor presence of flagship species such as Royal Bengal Tiger & elephant[9] along with several other wildlife parks with various species of endangered fauna. The valley is virtually a nexus for critically important tiger corridors of Kanha, Pench, Satpuda, Melghat, Navegaon-Nagzira, Bor and Tadoba tiger reserves. It provides for 16,000 sq km of undisturbed landscape connecting Kanha and Pench tiger reserves which according to National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and Wildlife Institute of India (WII) is one of the four most viable tiger habitats in the country.[10] This rich forest ecosystem of the valley has also stood a witness for life of some of the most primitive tribes of the country like Baiga, Bharia, Kolam, Maria Gond etc. which have been categorized as Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PTGs) by Government of India (GoI).[11] Recognizing the importance of Wainganga Valley in terms of its bio diversity & dependence of the tribal on the forests the Working Group of Planning Commission on Ecosystem Resilience, Biodiversity and Sustainable Livelihoods for the XII Five-Year Plan recommended for conducting pilot study of Wainganga basin to develop River Ecosystem model for Biodiversity Conservation.[12]

Tiger at Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (Photo by Saran Vaid http://www.flickr.com)

Significance of Wainganga Valley for Maharashtra

Vidarbha Region of Maharashtra through which Wainganga flows harbors unique geological landscape. This is the region where basalt, so typical of Maharashtra plateau, comes in contact with the older crystalline rocks giving rise to granite-gneissic relief.[13] Along with this several other rocks such as Deccan trap, laterite, granite, sandstone, shale, dolomite, mica, schist etc. contribute to the varied rock formation of the region.[14] This change in the geological configuration with a concurrent increase in rainfall up to more than 1500 mm on the rugged hilly land has changed the nature of soils and promoted a more luxuriant growth of vegetation in Vidarbha.[15] The five districts of Maharashtra state which form southern two third portion of the Wainganga Valley viz Nagpur, Bhandara, Gondia, parts of Chandrapur and Gadchiroli are the largest forested areas of the state accounting for more than half (55.5%) of the total state forest area.[16] Four out of total six tiger reserves of Maharashtra lie in these five districts. 30% of the total tribal population of the state stays in these five districts.[17] Vidarbha region has historically been considered economically backward region of Maharashtra. Regional tussle for development between different regions of Maharashtra viz. Vidarbha, Marathwada and Rest of Maharashtra has been going on since decades and the forest tracts of Vidarbha have been blamed for overall under development of the region.[18]

Increasing number of dams on Wainganga

Wainganga Valley is of critical importance for Maharashtra to preserve its forests, wildlife, and tribal population dependent on it. Protecting the valley however does not seem to be priority for the state. The very lifeline of the valley- Wainganga River is being subjected to growing pressure. Its flow has already been obstructed at several places with dams and barrages. By 2012 there were as many as 149 dams built in Wainganga basin.[19] Having complete disregard for the rich ecosystem of the region Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation (VIDC) which was established by state’s Water Resources Department (WRD) has been pushing unfeasible dam projects without assessing options for small scale water conservation which will cause lesser damage to the environment. A whopping 257 number of projects taken up by VIDC were ongoing in Vidarbha (Wainganga and Wardha sub basins of Godavari) as on March 2011.[20] Ironically these projects are laden with several procedural & financial irregularities like ad hoc planning & feasibility studies, poor execution of projects, displacement and rehabilitation of project-affected persons, financial irregularities, huge unjustified cost overruns, defective execution of projects, lack of distributaries, lack of requisite environmental and forests clearances etc.[21] 37 projects in Vidarbha region have been going on unhindered without obtaining forest clearance which is mandatory as per Forest Conservation Act 1980 for use of forest land for non-forest purpose.[22] Many of these projects have repeatedly violated this framework which has been formed to protect the fundamental rights of vulnerable groups and the environment. Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) in its 2011 report as well as reports of expert committees have time and again highlighted these irregularities.

Irai dam on the edge of Tadoba Sanctuary (Photo: Himanshu Thakkar, SANDRP)

Maharashtra State in particular has been on forefront of building big dams (36% of the total large dams in the country are built in Maharashtra alone![23]) and has recently witnessed perhaps what has been country’s largest dam scam. ‘Gosikhurd’ on Wainganga River which was touted as Bhakra Nangal of Vidarbha[24] is being built by Water Resources Department (WRD) of GoM and has been a highlight of this scam. The project has been a failure in terms of irrigation because of incomplete and inferior quality of canal networks even after 30 years of construction. The project has seen cost overrun upto 1,900% and is now being investigated by anti-corruption bureau.[25]

Gosikhurd Dam (Photo: Amol Hatwar)

Similar is the case for Bawanthadi Dam (Rajiv Sagar Interstate Irrigation Project) built on a tributary of Wainganga River which took 37 years to complete. The Mah-MP joint project of Bawanthadi was started in 1975, with an approved cost of Rs 23 crore. However, this rose to a whopping Rs 1,407 crore.[26] 2294 tribal families that were displaced are yet to be rehabilitated.[27] Itiadoh dam built on Gadvi River which is tributary of Wainganga is another example of dam failing to provide much promised water to the command area for more than a decade. Down To Earth reported in 2013 that the farmers have been staging protest, road blocks etc. for the last six years for release of water.[28]

Adverse impacts of these projects on forests and wildlife have now started to surface. Submergence caused by dams and the canals have fragmented the forest tracts and fiddled a great deal with the migratory corridors posing a severe threat to wildlife.

Kelkar committee perceives Wainganga Valley as ‘Hurdle’ in the development

Ironically the dense forests of Wainganga Valley which are last of the remaining dense forests of the state are being perceived as ‘hurdles’[29] in completion of the dams. Kelkar Committee- a high level committee set up in May 2011 by former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan to “suggest measures for removal of regional imbalance”[30] in its report submitted in Oct 2013[31]  has chosen to blame Environment & Forest Clearances for the delay in completion of the projects. It has further suggested that the ‘systemic hurdles’ such as environmental clearance and forest clearance are legally-required instruments, put in place for informed and prudent decision making and meant to protect our natural resources should be removed in order to implement irrigation projects in Vidarbha region.

Threatened Wildlife

The corridors between Kanha, Pench, Satpuda, Melghat, Navegaon-Nagzira, Bor and Tadoba tiger reserves which are important for genetic exchange and long-term survival of tigers and other carnivores are now “virtually under siege”.[32] Dams and canals have been playing an active role in fragmenting and thinning of the wildlife corridors. Wildlife habitats of the valley are getting severely affected by submergence and canals of projects like Bawanthadi dam, Ghodazari dam and Gosikhurd dam which have been sanctioned in and around tiger habitats and corridors. Canal network in particular has fragmented the continuity of wildlife especially tiger corridors.[33] Bawanthadi project for example which submerged total 4388 Ha of forest land (1940 ha in MP & 2448 Ha in Maharashtra)[34] has destroyed 2,350 hectares of tiger forest. Its 100km canal is causing further serious threats to wild animals in the tiger habitat. It has affected tiger movement as it falls in corridor connecting Pench reserve and Nagzira sanctuary.

Gosikhurd project which has already submerged total 2961 Ha of forest land for its dam and Right Bank Canal (RBC) is now claiming on additional 119 ha of forest for RBC construction.[35] 91km Gosikhurd canal network, most of which is in Brahmapuri which has 27 tigers, is currently the “biggest threat”[36] that Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) is facing. There have been several incidents of wild animals getting trapped in its canals as there are no or inadequate capacity passages constructed across canals for wildlife crossing. The threat to 625-sq km TATR has now further increased following clearance to 25-year-old Human river irrigation project proposed near Sirkada (Sindewahi)on one of the tributaries of the Wainganga passing through TATR-Brahmapuri corridor.[37] Ministry of environment, forests & climate change (MoEFCC) recommended the project in 2004. Wildlife conservationists and activists have questioned need to construct Human, as 20-22 major and minor irrigation projects like Gosikhurd, Ghodazari, Asolamendha and Nalleshwar have already come up in Chandrapur district in the last 30 years.

A four-member high-powered committee was set up by MoEFCC in September 2015 to study the impact of Human dam project on tiger corridor and provide suggestions to ensure integrity of corridor.[38] The report was submitted to the ministry about 1.5 year back.[39] Human dam reservoir will block the ‘bottleneck’ forest corridor from Sirkada-Shivni-Naleshwar while migrating towards Bramhapuri Division. This will further block migration of tigers.[40] According to the wildlife expert Kishor Rithe, who heads the Satpuda Foundation, the Human dam clearance has added to the worries of these 52 villages situated on the fringes of TATR with increased risk of humans and cattle.[41] The project is now being revived by the GoM. It was presented to the State Board for Wildlife in its meeting held in October 2016. In the meeting it was decided to constitute another committee to study the impacts of Human Dam. The committee headed by Principle Secretary of Wildlife Department includes members like Addl Principle Chief Conservator of Forest, Kishore Rithe, Bandu Dhotre and Sanjay Karkare from BNHS and field staff of forest department. The committee was supposed to submit its report in March 2017, but has not had a single meeting so far![42]

Maharashtra Government’s Plan to divert Wainganga Waters

Brushing aside the fact that the dams built on Wainganga failed to yield promised benefits and more importantly that they have come up at the huge costs of forest and wildlife besides social and financial costs, Maharashtra Government continues with the reckless planning in the basin. Oblivious of its future environmental and ecological implications Maharashtra Government is now pushing for further diverting water of Wainganga River through ‘intra-state river linking projects’.[43] Pre-feasibility report (PFR) of linking Wainganga (Gosikhurd) and Nalganga (Purna Tapi) has been completed by NWDA.[44] This proposed project envisages diversion of 2721 Mm3 of water to the Western Vidarbha from the Gosikhurd project[45] which has failed to provide any irrigation. One of the priorities is to cater to the future municipal and industrial water requirements in the command area and the city of Nagpur. Out of 2721 Mm3 quantum of 2207 Mm3 is earmarked for irrigation, 253 Mm3 is planned to be utilized for municipal & industrial purposes in the command areas and the remaining 261 Mm3 will be transmission losses.

Water experts have been warning about the fascination of river linking projects calling them “fundamentally flawed and potentially disastrous”![46] The river linking projects could come up at a huge cost of reduction in downstream flows and the permanent damage caused to the fisheries, wildlife and biodiversity.[47] In case of Wainganga Valley, they could come up at the cost of ecological integrity of the entire landscape. Scientific basis for these proposals along with need for river linking and its economic feasibility has been questioned time and again by experts and civil society groups, and have expressed grave doubts about soundness of the project in terms of the various benefits that are claimed.[48]

Inter-State projects proposed in Basin

In August 2016 Maharashtra & Telangana governments signed pact for three irrigation projects to be constructed on River Godavari. Under the agreement, the two states would take up Tummidihatti, Medigadda (Kaleswaram) and Chanaka–Korata projects.

Tummidihetti Project featured in the agreement is in fact an altered version of much controversial “Dr. B.R Ambedkar Pranahitha Chevella Sujala Sravanthi Project” popularly known as ‘Pranahita Chevella project’. The project has had a long history of gross irregularities and violations exposed by several agencies as well as media. This project originally planned to divert 160 TMC water from river Pranahita (a major tributary of Godavari River) by constructing a barrage at TummidiHetti village in Adilabad District of Telangana has already been under construction illegally for last more than two years.[49] Construction of the canals for Pranahita Chevella project was started hastily without obtaining EC (Env Clearance), forest clearance (FC), wildlife clearance (WC), without sorting out interstate aspects or without even finalizing the height of the dam or assessing any feasibility.

Cascade of Hydro Power Projects proposed in the basin

While the estimates of forest land to be diverted for linking of Wainganga and Nalganga are not known, there is another possibility of massive forest diversion in the name of 105 MW (5 x 21 MW)  Wainganga Hydro Electric Project (HEP) for which feasibility is being assessed. The proposed site located at a village Daungar Saungi- about 95 km from Chandrapur District in Maharashtra, has been identified by Central Electricity Authority (CEA) and the Preliminary Feasibility Study (PFR) for the project has been prepared by Water and Power Consultancy Services (India) Ltd. (WAPCOS).[50] According to the PFR the proposed project with live storage of 5155 M cum to be created by a 32 m high concrete power gravity dam for a dam-toe type of power house.[51] The project site is located in reserve forest area on river Wainganga. The submergence area is whopping 87500 ha, and about 80% of the land falls directly under the category of forest area.[52] It means that the project plans to submerge nearly 70,000 ha of forest in Wainganga Valley. Is it even possible to fathom the kind of consequences such massive diversion will imply? WAPCOS is known for conducting poor quality, shoddy and pro-developer Environmental Impact Assessment Studies (EIAs) with virtually no impact assessment.[53] It is highly unlikely that rigorous impact assessment of Wainganga HEP on the biodiversity and wildlife will be carried out by WAPCOS. 

The Wainganga H.E. Project is the second major project proposed on river Wainganga in the Maharashtra State, the first being 24MW Gosikhurd Project which is already under construction in the upper reaches of Wainganga.[54] The 228.79 crore project has been awarded to Hindustan Construction Company (HCC).[55]

According to the PFR prepared by WAPCOS, while Wainganga H.E. project has been proposed as a storage project there has been a string of Run-of-the River schemes proposed downstream to utilise the regulated discharges for generation of power at the Samda, Ghargaon and Kunghara H.E. projects in a cascade development for exploiting the hydro-potential of the Wainganga river.[56] Tender for another five Small Hydro Projects in Gondia and Bhandara Districts has been floated by WRD in April 2013.[57]

Cascades of hydro power projects in forests of Wainganga Valley can cause immense damage to the river valley and will take a serious toll on its wildlife. Submergence with the dams built for the HEPs can further accelerate the fragmentation and thinning of wildlife habitats by submerging more forests. They could also increase the risk of poaching of wild animals for consumption and trading through smugglers. ‘Edge’ habitats of river ecosystems which ensure the interaction between aquatic and terrestrial eco systems could be lost due to submergence of dams constructed for hydro power generation.[58] This is an irreversible loss and cannot be compensated for as these habitats exist only along the banks of the river. Cascade of HEPs converts a river into series of ponds connected by tunnels. Large fragments of the river could be left with minimal flow. This disrupts the river’s ecosystem which has developed in response to flowing water. Drying up of river bed for significant period destroys the fragile species that need to remain under water and are replaced by hardier species. This change in the species populations and diversity can affect the entire aquatic food chain of the Wainganga Valley.

Other Pressures on Wainganga Valley

Wainganga valley is under tremendous pressure and the wildlife is more threatened than ever before from various other developmental projects as well such as mining, thermal power plants, widening of national highways, railway lines etc. Government relaxing the regulations for linear projects seeking forest clearance like roads, canals, laying of pipelines/optical fibres and transmission lines etc. has paved a way for more and more damage to the valley.

The Maharashtra River Regulation Policy of 2000, modified in 2009,which classified the rivers into 4 zones from A1 to A4 with specific regulations for each zone regarding siting industries was recently scrapped by GoM.[59] This is a matter of serious concern as emerging thermal power industry is having increasing claims on the water of Wainganga and increasing share in pollution. A Greenpeace report published in 2011 revealed that by December 2010 there were 71 power plants, with a total installed capacity of nearly 55 gigawatts, in various stages of approval in the Vidarbha region. The study stated that if all the approved projects were to come up, water availability of Wainganga Basin would drop by 16% while that of Wardha Basin adjacent to Wainganga will drop by 40%.[60] Over 2,558 hectares of forest land has already been diverted for coal mining in Chandrapur district since 2000[61] to state mining venture Maharashtra State Mining Corporation Ltd. (MSMCL) as well as mining giants like Adani. Widening of NH-7 project which cuts through Kanha-Pench tiger corridor was recently granted with wildlife clearance by MoEF.[62] Wildlife experts like Debi Goenka of Conservation Action Trust, Mumbai or Kishor Rithe of Satpuda foundation have expressed serious concerns about increasing threat to the survival of national animal of our country. According to these experts instead of focusing on protecting and conserving these corridors, exactly opposite is being done by Government of Maharashtra.

Koradi Thermal Power Plant (Photo: http://www.nagpurtoday.in)

Water for sustenance of wildlife remains out of water allocation debate

While experts are criticizing the projects like Gosikhurd, Bawanthadi, Human dam for fragmenting the tiger corridors WRD of Maharashtra Government is expediting diversion of more and more water through dams & river linking projects for irrigation, power generation, industries and urban use. In Vidarbha the discourse of river water allocation revolves largely around irrigation & thermal power industry. Water for sustenance of wildlife habitats does not feature in the debate.

SANDRP has written to the Chief Minister of Maharashtra as well as State Wildlife Board about the undemocratic, uninformed, unaccountable decision making of these projects which will come up at the cost of heavy social and ecological damage.

Let us hope that better sense will prevail and in future wildlife of the landscape is able to receive its due place in decision making and rightful share of resources, including water.

Amruta Pradhan, SANDRP, amrutapradhan@gmail.com

END NOTES:

[1]MoWR (2014): “Godavari Basin”, March 2014, Ministry of Water Resources, p.1

http://www.india-wris.nrsc.gov.in/Publications/BasinReports/Godavari%20Basin.pdf, accessed on September 29, 2015

[2] ibid., p. 16

[3]Planning Commission (Undated): “Report of the Working Group on Ecosystem Resilience, Biodiversity and Sustainable Livelihoods for the XII Five-Year Plan”, Planning Commission – Environment & Forest Division Steering Committee – Environment, Forests & Wildlife and Animal Welfare, p.118

http://atree.org/sites/default/files/Ecosystem%20Resilience%20Biodiversity%20and%20Sustainable%20Livelihood%20Final%20Draft%20Version%200.pdf accessed on October 3, 2015

[4] http://india-wris.nrsc.gov.in/wrpinfo/index.php?title=Pranhita_Basin

[5] Planning Commission (Undated): “Report of the Working Group, op., cit., p.,31

[6] http://india-wris.nrsc.gov.in/wrpinfo/index.php?title=Pranhita_Basin

[7] http://14.139.60.114:8080/jspui/bitstream/123456789/678/17/Main%20Basins%20and%20River%20Systems%20in%20India.pdf`

[8]MoWR (2014) “Godavari Basin”, op., cit., p. 168

[9] Planning Commission (Undated): “Report of the Working Group, op., cit., p.118

[10] Jay Mazoomdaar (2010): “Surrendering the Last Frontier”, Open Magazine, Issue dated 23 January 2010

http://www.openthemagazine.com/article/nation/surrendering-the-last-frontier accessed on September 23, 2015

[11]MoTA (Undated): Website of Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Name Of The Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PTGS) (Earlier called as Primitive Tribal Groups) – State / UTwise

http://tribal.nic.in/Content/Particularly%20Vulnerable%20Tribal%20Group.aspx accessed on October 3, 2015

[12] Planning Commission (Undated): “Report of the Working Group, op., cit., p.117

[13]MoWR (2014) “Godavari Basin”, op., cit., p. 7

[14] IIT Delhi (2012): “Impact of Water Resources Projects – Case Study Of Wainganga”, (Study Sponsored by Greenpeace), April 2012, p. 1

http://www.greenpeace.org/india/Global/india/report/technical-report-Wainganga-1.pdf, accessed on September 21, 2015

[15]MoWR (2014) “Godavari Basin”, op., cit., p. 7

[16] Ibid.

[17]Calculated based on District Socio Economic Review of five basin districts published by Directorate of Economics and Statistics, Planning Department, Government of Maharashtra

https://mahades.maharashtra.gov.in/publication.do?pubCatId=DSA accessed on December 3, 2015

[18]Kelkar Committee- a high level committee was set up in May 2011 by former Chief Minister PrithvirajChavan to suggest measures for removal of regional imbalance. Their report is accessible at

https://www.maharashtra.gov.in/Site/upload/WhatsNew/KCR-23122014.pdf

[19]MoWR (2014) “Godavari Basin”, op., cit., p. 44

[20]CAG (2014): “Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India on Management of Irrigation Projects”, Government of Maharashtra, Report No.3 of 2014, tabled before State Legislature Assembly on June 14, 2014

http://agmaha.nic.in/Audit%20Reports/Pr_Aud_mum/2013-14/3of2014.pdf , accessed on October 06, 2015, p.44

[21] CAG (2011): “Report on the audit of expenditure incurred by the Government of Maharashtra” prepared by Comptroller and Auditor General of India

http://www.indiaenvironmentportal.org.in/files/file/maharashtra%20audit%20report.pdf , accessed on October 06, 2015

[22] ibid., p.64

[23] CWC (Undated): “National Register of Large Dams” for year 2014-15 compiled by Central Water Commission,

http://www.cwc.nic.in/main/downloads/new%20nrld.pdf , accessed on October 01, 2015

[24] TOI (2015): “Everything going wrong for Gosikhurd right bank canal”, ShishirArya, Times of India, June 15, 2015

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nagpur/Everything-going-wrong-for-Gosikhurd-right-bank-canal/articleshow/47669034.cms accessed on October 07, 2015

[25] TOI (2015): “Maharashtra government orders probe into cost overruns of Vidarbha dams”, ChittaranjanTembhekar, Times of India, April 01, 2015

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Maharashtra-government-orders-probe-into-cost-overruns-of-Vidarbha-dams/articleshow/46764457.cms , accessed on October 07, 2015

[26] Business Standard (2012): “It took 37 yrs for Bawanthadi project to get completed”, Sanjay Jog, October 19, 2012

http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/it-took-37-yrs-for-bawanthadi-project-to-get-completed-112101902019_1.html , accessed on October 7, 2015

[27] LARRDIS (2013): “Displacement and Rehabilitation of People Due to Developmental Projects”, a Reference Note prepared by Parliament Library And and, Research, Documentation and Information Service of Laksabha Secretariat, December 2013

http://164.100.47.134/intranet/DisplacementandRehabilitation.pdf , accessed on October 8, 2015

[28]AparnaPallavi (2013): “Maharashtra farmers allege large-scale corruption in World Bank-funded irrigation project”, Down to Earth, 17 November 2013

http://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/maharashtra-farmers-allege-largescale-corruption-in-world-bankfunded-irrigation-project-42726 , accessed on November 17, 2015

[29]GoM (2013): “Report of the High Level Committee on Balanced Regional Development Issues in Maharashtra”, Government of Maharashtra, Planning Department, October 2013

https://www.maharashtra.gov.in/Site/upload/WhatsNew/KCR-23122014.pdf accessed on October 06, 2015

[30](under the leadership of former Finance Commission chairman and noted economist Vijay Kelkar Maharashtra which consisted of water experts like DrMadhavChitale among other eminent members[30] from various spheres of work)

The Hindu (2014): “Kelkar panel recommends 100% free irrigation, power to farmers”, PawanDahat, The Hindu, December 23, 2014

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/kelkar-panel-recommends-100-free-irrigation-power-to-farmers/article6717616.eceaccessed on October 7, 2015

[31]ibid.

[32] TOI (2015): “Give tigers their space, value corridors”, Vijay Pinjarkar, Times of India, July 29 2015

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nagpur/Give-tigers-their-space-value-corridors/articleshow/48258871.cms , accessed on November 19, 2015

[33] TOI (2011): “Labyrinth of canals cuts into tiger path”, Vijay Pinjarkar, Times of India, November 05,  2011

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nagpur/Labyrinth-of-canals-cuts-into-tiger-path/articleshow/10612196.cms?referral=PMaccessed on November 19, 2015

[34]MoEF (2010): “Monitoring and Evaluation of Forest Area diversions for Non-Forest purpose including the

Status of Compliances of Approved Conditionalities and Impact of forest diversion cases on Forest and Wildlife”, Report by Richa Sing &SonalKhare, submitted to Forest Conservation Division of Ministry of Environment & Forest, June 2010

http://wrd.bih.nic.in/guidelines/awadhesh02e.pdf accessed on November 19, 2015

[35]MoEF (2014): Minutes of Forest Advisory Committee dates July 17 & 18, 2014, p.1

http://forestsclearance.nic.in/writereaddata/AdditionalInformation/AddInfoSought/2014_10_101114123812171RajAgenda1.pdf accessed on September 10, 2015

[36] TOI (2015): “Give tigers their space, value corridors”,Vijay Pinjarkar, op., cit.

[37] TOI (2014): “27 tigers in Tadoba-Nagzira corridor, says study”, Vijay Pinjarkar, Times of India, July 19,2014

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nagpur/27-tigers-in-Tadoba-Nagzira-corridor-says-study/articleshow/39189620.cmsaccessed on November 19, 2015

[38] TOI (2015): “Human dam report held back under pressure?”, Vijay Pinjarkar, Times of India, January 13, 2015

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nagpur/Human-dam-report-held-back-under-pressure/articleshow/45860320.cms accessed on November 19, 2015

[39] As confirmed by Kishore Rithe, member of State Board for Wildlife, Maharashtra

[40]TOI (2015): “Give tigers their space, value corridors”,Vijay Pinjarkar, op., cit

[41]Ibid.

[42] As confirmed by Kishore Rithe

[43] TOI (2015): “Plans afoot to link Wainganga, Nalganga under Centre’s river project”, RamuBhagwat, January 09 2015

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nagpur/Plans-afoot-to-link-Wainganga-Nalganga-under-Centres-river-project/articleshow/45815291.cms  accessed on November 17, 2015

[44]PIB (2010): “NWDA Receives 36 Proposals of Intra-State River Links from 7 States”, Press Release by Press Information Bureau, Ministry of Water Resources, Government of India September 10, 2010

[45]MoWR (2014): “Intra State Brief Details (As on 19.06.2014)”, National Water Development Agency, Ministry of Water Resources, June 19, 2014

http://www.nwda.gov.in/writereaddata/linkimages/1819941962.pdf accessed on November 19, 2015

[46] India Water Portal (2014): “To link or not to link: A debate” posted by AmitaBhaduri on India Water Portal, December 15, 2014

http://www.indiawaterportal.org/articles/link-or-not-link-debate accessed on November 20, 2015

[47] ibid.

[48] Ibid.

[49] As stated in documents obtained by SANDRP from Chandrapur Irrigation Division of Maharashtra

[50]MoP (Undated): “Chapter-I Executive Summary of PFR Studies of Wainganga H.E. Project”, prepared WAPCOS

http://powermin.nic.in/whats_new/PFR/Maharastra/Wainganga.pdf accessed on November 17, 2015

[51] ibid., p.3-1

[52] ibid., p.1-3

[53] Some of the critiques can be read at blog of South Asia Network on Dams Rivers & People at following url

https://sandrp.wordpress.com/?s=WAPCOS

[54] Ibid., p.3-1

[55]Business Standard (2009): “HCC Awarded Rs 229 crGosikhurd Power Project”, Corporate Announcement, August 4, 2009

http://www.business-standard.com/article/press-releases/hcc-awarded-rs-229-cr-gosikhurd-power-project-109080400117_1.htmlaccessed on November 17, 2015

[56]MoP (Undated): “Chapter-I Executive Summary” op., cit., p. 3-1

[57]GoM (Undated): “PRE-QUALIFICATION DOCUMENT NO. CE(E)/HP/SHP/CPP/IPP/78”, published by Water Resources Department, Government of Maharashtra

https://maharashtra.etenders.in/tpoimages/wrd/tender/Tender270.pdf accessed on November 17, 2015

[58]MoEF (2014): “Assessment of Environmental Degradation and Impact of Hydroelectric Projects during the June 2013 Disaster in Uttarakhand” prepared by Expert Body constituted on the directions issued by the Hon’ble Supreme Court (submitted to the court in April 2014)

http://www.indiaenvironmentportal.org.in/files/file/environmental%20degradation%20&%20hydroelectric%20projects.pdf

[59] TOI (2015): “MPCB free to give nod to industries in RRZ”, AnjayAnaparthi, Times of India, February 10, 2015

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nagpur/MPCB-free-to-give-nod-to-industries-in-RRZ/articleshow/46180083.cms accessed on November 23, 2015

[60] New York Times (2012): “Water Wars in Maharashtra”, NehaThirani, The new York Times, December 04, 2012

http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/04/lack-of-water-is-already-sparking-social-and-political-unrest-in-maharashtra-and-greenpeace-says-the-situation-will-get-worse/?_r=0 accessed on November 23, 2015

[61] Greenpeace (2011): “Coal mining destroying critical tiger habitat around Tadoba tiger reserve, says fact finding team”, Press Release, Greenpeace India, November 21, 2011

http://www.greenpeace.org/india/en/Press/Coal-mining-destroying-critical-tiger-habitat-around-Tadoba-tiger-reserve/ accessed on November 23, 2015

[62] DNA (2015): “After opposing it in NGT, MoEF grants wildlife clearance for NH7 widening”, Nikhil Ghanekar, DNA, August 19, 2015

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-after-opposing-it-in-ngt-moef-grants-wildlife-clearance-for-nh7-widening-2115925 accessed on November 23, 2015

One Comment on “Wainganga River: Threatened lifeline of Vidarbha’s Forests

  1. Pingback: Rivers, biodiversity and wildlife take backseat with growing claims on Wainganga waters – COUNTERVIEW.ORG

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