DRP News Bulletin 07 August 2017 (MANIPUR GOVT DEMANDS DECOMMISSIONING OF LOKTAK DAM & HYDROPOWER PROJECT)

In an interesting development, Biren Singh the Chief Minister of Manipur on August 01, 2017, has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to have a review of the Loktak Dam (Ithai barrage) and Hydropower Project, leading to decommissioning to the dam.  https://thenortheasttoday.com/manipur-cm-biren-singh-apprises-pm-modi-of-worst-man-made-ecological-disasters-faced-by-state/  

Mentioning that Ithai barrage has become the main cause of frequent flood in the State, the CM has also demanded Prime Minister to figure out a permanent solution to the frequent floods in the state. Stating that Manipur is facing one of the worst man made ecological disasters and the floods have severely affected the socio-economic life of the people, the CM asserted that the Ithai barrage should be removed so that natural course of water could be maintained. . He mentioned that at present, the state is having sufficient power resources from other sources.  http://www.easternmirrornagaland.com/modi-urged-to-review-manipurs-loktak-project-ithai-barrage/

Before this, on July 27, in a very significant statement, M. Asnikumar, the vice chairman of Manipur Infrastructure Development Agency (MIDA) and also the state vice president of BJP Manipur has said that the Loktak Hydro Electric Project and Ithai dam have been disastrous projects and they must be decommissioned. The people of Manipur can live better without the Loktak Project. But we cannot develop without the Loktak. The statement Ithai dam has been the main reason for flash flood in an around the Loktak lake.  http://www.ifp.co.in/item/2247-time-to-decommission-loktak-hydro-electric-project

Since the commissioning of Ithai Barrage in 1983, there have been disastrous flash floods in and around the lake. These floods have severely affected the socio-economic life of the people of Manipur. Since the construction and commissioning of this dam, there have been drastic overnight changes in the hydrological path of Loktak that have in turn adversely affected the environment and socio-economic condition of the people of Manipur, Loktak dwellers being the most affected.

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The dam has blocked the course of Manipur river that drains Loktak Lake. This blockage has brought irreversible losses to the health of this rich fresh water lake in the Northeast, many flora and fauna have become scarce and on the verge of extinction. These are evident by the dwindling varieties of native endemic species, including fishes, edible plants like heikak yelli, heikak, Taothabee paddy, etc. Another major threat to the health of the lake is the uncontrolled use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides in the catchment areas of the lake. Within minutes of use, these toxic chemicals poison the water body and affect all who depend on it.

Moreover there has been excessive deforestation in the catchment areas of the lake, dumping of plastic and other non-degradable objects in the lake directly or through its tributaries. The distortion has caused excessive eutrophication causing unprecedented pollution of the lake. The fact that the lake is systematically being destroyed is proven beyond all reasonable doubts by now. In just 34 years, the destruction of the lake has brought untold sufferings to the people.

The citizens’ groups have demanded a review of the 105MW Loktak power project and decommissioning of the Ithai barrage constructed for the project, maintaining that the project does more harm than good for the state. The Loktak Project Affected Area Action Committee, Committee on Human Rights, Manipur (COHR), Centre for Research and Advocacy Manipur (CRAM) and Irabot Foundation Manipur (IFM) joined hands to campaign against the project. As per Jiten Yumnam, the secretary of research and advocacy the campaign against the project would continue. https://www.telegraphindia.com/1170807/jsp/northeast/story_165883.jsp

HYDRO POWER

Centre Govt continue to push unjustified Hydro projects As per energy minister statement in Rajya Sabha on July 31, 2017, NHPC is scheduled to generate 4458.69 Million Units additional power from Parbati-II HEP (800 MW) in Himachal, scheduled to be commissioned in October, 2018 and Kishanganga HEP (330 MW) in J&K scheduled to be commissioned in January, 2018. Presently 41 HEP. (above 25 MW), aggregating to 11792.5 MW, are under construction in the country. http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=169271

Arunachal Pradesh MoEF recommends 37 hydro projects for EIA MOEF has recommended 37 HEPs for EIA in Kameng, Tawang, Subansiri, and Dibang BASIN. This recommendation is based on ‘cumulative impact assessment and carrying capacity study’ of the river basin by WAPCOS. A TOTAL OF 44 HEPs, with cumulative installed capacity of 4,898.9 MW, were considered in this river basin study. Of the 44 HEPs, 37 HEPs, with a total capacity of 2,561.9 MW, HAVE BEEN RECOMMENDED FOR EIA and ONLY SEVEN ARE DROPPED comprising of 2,337 MW capacity in Kameng River.    http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-moef-recommends-dropping-7-hydel-projects-from-kameng-river-basin-2520474

FLOOD 2017

Assam Villagers doubtful of mega embankment projects As per villagers work that started on a smaller 9 km-long embankment project in Dibrugarh in 2011 still remains half done. Since 2014, several clearances of the second phase of work at Rohmoria is struck in limbo. The affected people blame that with the change in govt at the Centre and the process of clearance become cumbersome. They also allege that bureaucratic red tapism has also slowed down the process. http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/as-assam-plans-flood-blocking-mega-highway-villagers-voice-doubts-1731673

Uttarakhand Heavy rainfall Cloud burst incidents are reported in Kotdwar and Dehradun. Heavy rain has lashed out Almora and Pithoragarh. http://www.jagran.com/uttarakhand/dehradun-city-four-die-due-to-heavy-rain-at-uttarakhand-16489108.html As per regional weather agency 91 MM rain recorded in one hour in Dehradun.  http://www.jagran.com/uttarakhand/dehradun-city-cloudburst-in-dehradun-city-16484960.html?src=TP-UK-PAGE NASA satellite image also shows heavy rainfall on Aug. 03, 2017 in Himachal, Uttarakhand and Nepal. IMD predicts more rain in North, Northeastern and Central India http://www.imd.gov.in/pages/allindiawxwarningbulletin.php

DROUGHT 2017

Karnataka Drought shadow looms large on Cauvery basin State Water Minister indicating that it will not be releasing water to standing kharif crops in the Cauvery basin areas, due to poor inflow into the Cauvery river basin dams. The storage level in four major reservoirs in the Cauvery basin — Harangi, Kabini, Krishnaraja Sagar (KRS) and Hemavati  is 43 tmcft on July 31, 2017, and it was at the same level on the corresponding day last year. The total inflow since June was 57.83 tmcft. The kharif crops’ water requirement is 96 tmcft. The State has released just 7 tmcft of water to Tamil Nadu since June. As per the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal, Karnataka has to release 10 tmcft in June and 34 tmcf in July.  http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/no-water-for-crops-in-cauvery-basin/article19410286.ece

Meanwhile Almatti dam has become only major reservoir reaching the full storage capacity of 123.81 tmcft, this year too. Even last year, it was the lone dam to reach the maximum storage capacity, owing to heavy rain in the Krishna catchment area, particularly in Maharashtra. http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/almatti-dam-the-first-to-get-filled-this-year/article19410315.ece

Kerala Less rainfall making drought emmininent Monsoon rainfall recorded in Kerala in 2017 are lower than that of in 2016. State has registered a rainfall deficit of 30.26% during the first phase of the southwest monsoon till July end. The deficit shot up from 11% in June to 48% in July. In contrast, the rainfall deficit in 2016 was 8% in June and 39% in July. Last year, Kerala had struggled to cope with drought conditions following the failure of two consecutive monsoons. The scanty rainfall this year has impacted agricultural production, hydel power generation. http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/water-scene-looks-bleak/article19420238.ece

DAMS

Pancheshwar Dam People uniting against Pancheshwar dam Residents of the affected villages have formed a protest forum to give voice to their movement against the Pancheshwar dam. Fearing displacement, they have started protesting and have burnt copies of the Detailed Project Report (DPR) that was recently made public. As per villagers rehabilitating villagers is not the solution as the dam would affect their livelihood thus threatening their very survival. Villagers also reveal that the DPR is based on a survey that was conducted 30 years back and land rates were very less then. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/villagers-protest-construction-of-pancheshwar-dam/articleshow/59716912.cms

झूलाघाट के गुस्साए लोगों ने 21 July 2017 को एसबीआई चौक के पास केंद्र सरकार का पुतला फूंका और कहा कि सरकार सीमांत के लोगों पर बांध को थोपना ही चाह रही है तो क्षेत्र के सभी मामलों को दरकिनार न करे। लोगों ने यह भी कहा कि जब सरकार समस्या का समाधान कर पाने की स्थिति में ही नहीं है तो नदी घाटी क्षेत्र के सभी लोगों का देश निकाला कर दे। महाकाली की आवाज संगठन ने चेतावनी दी कि यदि डूब क्षेत्र में आने वाले लोगों के हितों के साथ खिलवाड़ किया गया तो गंभीर परिणाम होंगे। http://www.amarujala.com/uttarakhand/pithoragarh/blow-the-effigy-in-protest-against-the-pancheshwar-dam

ग्रामीणों ने चेतावनी दी कि 11 अगस्त को यदि सरकार ने सुनवाई स्थगित नहीं की तो गांव वालों को आंदोलन के लिए बाध्य होना पड़ेगा जिसकी जिम्मेदारी केन्द्र सरकार की होगी। ग्रामीणों ने केन्द्रीय वन एवं पर्यावरण मंत्रालय को एक ज्ञापन भी भेजा है। ज्ञापन में साफ-साफ कहा गया कि केन्द्र सरकार बांध के नाम पर जन सुनवाई कर ग्रामीणों के साथ धोखा कर रही है। ग्रामीणों की ओर से कहा गया कि सरकार को ग्रामीणों की कोई चिंता नहीं है। जिससे ग्रामीण बेहद आहत हैं। http://www.deshbandhu.co.in/news/the-villagers-have-tremendous-respect-for-the-pancheshwar-dam-48073-1#

उत्तराखंड परिवर्तन पार्टी ने भी पंचेश्वर बांध पर पुनर्विचार करने की मांग की है। ज्ञापन में कहा गया कि ऐसे समय में जब दुनिया में बड़े बांधों को नष्ट किया जा रहा है तब हिमालय जैसे अतिसंवेदनशील क्षेत्र में बांध के निर्माण से भारी उथल-पुथल होगी जो भविष्य के लिए खतरनाक है। उन्होंने पंचेश्वर बांध के निर्माण पर पुनर्विचार करने, विद्युत उत्पादन के लिए वैकल्पिक तरीकों पर जोर देने आदि की मांग की है। http://www.amarujala.com/uttarakhand/almora/reconsideration-demand-for-the-proposed-pancheshwar-dam

झूलाघाट में बांध से प्रभावित हो रहे लोगों ने काली पट्टी बांधकर प्रदर्शन किया। http://www.livehindustan.com/uttarakhand/pithoragarh/story-opposing-the-pancheshwar-dam-by-tying-black-band-in-jhulaghat-1200339.html पिथौरागढ़, चम्पावत और अल्मोड़ा जिले में बांध का विरोध http://hindi.news18.com/news/uttarakhand/biggest-hydro-project-of-india-face-opposition-before-taking-off-1063733.html रामगंगा नदी के किनारे स्थित उपरतोला गांव में भी ग्रामीणों ने बांध के विरोध में प्रदर्शन किया http://www.amarujala.com/uttarakhand/pithoragarh/exhibition-in-upstola-against-the-pancheshwar-dam

Centre Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project  Under Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP), Govt had first taken 225 dam projects in 7 states, namely Jharkhand (DVC), Karnataka,  Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, and Uttarakhand (UJVNL). The number of dams has been finally revised to 198.  So far, rehabilitation works for 18 DRIP dams have been completed and rehabilitation works for another 175 DRIP dams are at various stages of completion. The total project cost is Rs.2100 Crore. Rehabilitation works on five DRIP dams namely, Hattikuni and Maskinala Dams (Karnataka), Upper Bhawani, Pegumbahallah Forebay and Peechiparai dams of Tamil Nadu are at tendering stage.

The State-wise breakup of the dams identified for rehabilitation along with fund allocated to Project Implementing Agencies under DRIP is given as under:-

State No of DRIP dams Total Project Cost(Rs. Crore)
Kerala (WRD & EB) 28 279.98
Orissa (WRD) 26 147.74
Madhya Pradesh (WRD) 25 314.54
Tamil Nadu (WRD & EB) 89 745.49
Karnataka (WRD) 22 276.75
Jharkhand (DVC) 3 139.40
Uttarakhand (UJVNL) 5 64.10
CWC   132.00
Total 198 * 2100.00

   http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=169539

INTERLINKING OF RIVERS

Bihar Talks on Falgu-Ganga link doing rounds With Gaya MLA Prem Kumar becoming a minister, people hope that he will start work on Falgu-Ganga link to solve the perennial water crisis in the town. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/patna/falgu-ganga-linking-all-eyes-on-prem-now/articleshow/59920234.cms

INTERSTATE WATER DISPUTES

Mahanadi Row Tribunals failing to resolve water disputes As per an official, the govt has decided to set up a tribunal to resolve issues relating to the sharing of the Mahanadi river water between Odisha and Chhattisgarh. Odisha has been demanding formation of a tribunal for a long time accusing Chhattisgarh of constructing dams and weirs upstream, affecting the flow of the Mahanadi river. It is worth to mention that only 3 out of the 8 existing tribunals have given awards accepted by the states concerned. Tribunals like those on the Cauvery and Ravi-Beas rivers have been in existence for over 25 years without any award. http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/centre-to-form-tribunal-on-mahanadi-water-dispute-official-117080600163_1.html

RIVERS

Maharashtra PIL in HC seeks steps to tackle sea water pollution A PIL has been filed in the Bombay High Court highlighting the dismal condition of sea water, which is extremely polluted along the Mumbai coastline at Marine Drive, Nariman Point, Girgaum and Juhu Chowpatty areas. http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report-pil-in-hc-seeks-steps-to-tackle-sea-water-pollution-2520457

Goa Abandoned barges poison Zuari river, marine life The scenic Zuari riverfront from Chicalim to Rasaim it turning into a graveyard of idle barges, but authorities are yet to wake up to the danger of heavy metallic pollution. Scores of these barges along the banks of the Zuari river and huge piles of corroded metal and other wastes in the shipyards close to the river indicate how the estuarine environment is exposed to the dangers of unchecked pollution. The mining ban and a halt in prospecting activity had triggered the docking of barges since Sept 2012. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/goa/abandoned-barges-poison-zuari-river-and-its-marine-life/articleshow/59935872.cms

medha-patkar-during-her-indefinite-fast_89b3799e-793e-11e7-930d-20ef51ded0a4

NARMADA Sardar Sarovar Dam Row Noam Chomsky backs NBA Renowned American historian and philosopher Noam Chomsky has endorsed the online petition (https://goo.gl/4JHV33) seeking PM Modi’s intervention in ensuring justice for those “threatened” by submergence due to the Sardar Sarovar Dam in MP. HOPE, Intellectuals, Academicians, Social Scientists, Experts, Environmentalists, Activists, Politicians & Celebrities with conscience, Religious bodies, Civil societies, All concerned in India will COME OUT IN SUPPORT OF NARMADA DAM DISPLACES PEOPLE in large numbers.  http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/noam-chomsky-backs-movement-against-sardar-sarovar-dam-1732100

You are also request to come forward for protecting the life and livelihoods of over 40,000 families in Narmada Valley Please,  ENDORSE THE PETITION, SHARE AND SEND YOUR ENDORSEMENTS TO NBA.BADWANI@GMAIL.COM  http://www.narmadaandolan.org/ ,

Also see, a revealing report showing track record of MP’s govt failure in rehabilitation of Dam oustees. It’s very shocking to know that even 27 years of displacement, Bargi dam oustees have not got what they were promised. The dam has also failed to achieve its objective of irrigating  4.37 lakh hectares of land and production of 105 megawatt of hydropower. Truly, Bargi dam has become testimony of bureaucratic apathy and government callousness. https://scroll.in/article/845911/damned-if-you-do-as-history-repeats-itself-on-narmada-those-displaced-27-years-ago-issue-a-warning

Since July 27, 2017, twelve people, including 62-year-old Medha Patkar have been sitting on fast at Nimar in Barwani district. Activists are also concerned that the health of Medha Patkar is deteriorating. Govt till August 03, has taken no step to convince the protester end the fast.  http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhopal/narmada-dam-40000-families-wait-to-be-resettled/articleshow/59907413.cms

On, August 04, CM Shivraj Singh tweeted requesting NBA people to culminate the protest but Patkar referred to MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s tweets as “surface-scratching”. Reacting to the tweets, she said that they did not want any dialogue on Facebook or Twitter and instead wanted to have in-depth talks.” She accused govt of taking no step to ameliorate the situation of dam oustees. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhopal/medha-patkar-health-worsens-shivraj-singh-chouhan-asks-her-to-end-fast/articleshow/59924412.cms

Meanwhile, the Narmada Control Authority (NCA) has granted permission to fill up the Narmada dam. Approval to fill water till 127.40 meters has been given by August 10 and 130.59 meters by the end of August. Water till the height of 127.40 meters shall be stored in the first phase and it is expected that the dam will be filled by October 20, 2017. This is unjustified, illegal, inhuman decision, let see if the apex court stands by the people and rule of law. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/narmada-control-authority-permits-filling-of-dam-narmada-to-be-full-by-october-20/articleshow/59920092.cms

A delegation, led by a senior official of the MP govt, on August 5th failed to convince NBA leader Medha Patkar. But she refused to entertain the delegation since it did not have a letter of authority from the government. http://www.firstpost.com/india/sardar-sarovar-dam-madhya-pradesh-govt-delegation-couldnt-convince-medha-patkar-to-call-off-fast-3899305.html

As per Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, unjust displacement without proper rehabilitation in developmental projects is an important social determinant of ill health in many parts of in India. The Sardar Sarovar project is a classic example. Currently thousands of people in the Narmada Valley face an assault on their health and well-being, and even on their lives, due to this closure of the gates. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/health-of-thousands-at-risk-as-narmada-dam-gates-shut/articleshow/59933931.cms

GNAGA Centre More money alloted for sewage infrastrcture NMCG Executive Committee has approved SEVEN projects worth Rs 425 crore in the sector of sewage infrastructure, Ghat development and research. 3 sewage projects in UP and 3 Sewage projects in Bihar have been approved cost 238.64 crore and 175 crore respectively. seageP and Bihar gets 3 projects. NEERI will conduct a research study to understand the non-putrefying properties of river Ganga in both water and sediment at an estimated cost of Rs 4.96 crore. http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=169270

The govt has already spent close to R 4000 crore on rejuvenating the river in the last four years. http://www.hindustantimes.com/environment/more-funds-to-prove-river-ganga-is-special/story-Mh9WQ91gZbjPIdjfv4lP5N.html

As per Union Water Ministry’s written statement in Lok Sabha, 3078 MLD of sewage is generated by the towns situated on the main stem of river Ganga and present sewage treatment capacity is 1315 Mld. NMCG has approved projects for creation of additional 1075 Mld and these projects are at various stages of implementation.

The year-wise quantum of amount allocated and spent for NMCG from Financial year 2014-15 to 2017-18 till 30th June, 2017 is tabulated below: 

FY 2014-15 to 2017-18 till 30.06.2017(Rs. in Crores) 

Financial Year Funds Allocated Actual Spent/ Expenditure
2014-15 326.00 170.99
2015-16 1,632.00 602.60
2016-17 1,675.00 1,062.81
2017-18   105.46
Total 3,633.00 1,941.86

 As per the ministry, considering the projects completed so far, a total of 1315 mld of waste water treatment capacity has been created. On completion of ongoing projects, significant improvement in water quality will be achieved. http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=169541

Total no of 163 projects have been sanctioned under NMCG at a cost of Rs. 12892.33 crore for various activities. So far 41 projects have been completed for various activities such as sewage infrastructure, river front development, ghat and crematoria, ghat cleaning, rural sanitation etc.

JICA has sanctioned two loans for Japanese Yen 11.184 billion for Varanasi Project under GAP-II and Japanese Yen 32.571 billion for Sewage Projects in Delhi under YAP-III.

World Bank has sanctioned a loan of US $ 1 billion for funding Institutional Development and for construction of priority infrastructure projects for municipal waste water treatment and solid waste treatment on the main stem of Ganga in the five Ganga basin states of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal. Govt of India has withdrawn a cumulative amount of Rs. 550.48 crore under this loan till date. http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=169538

In these completed projects 223.13 Mld of sewage capacity have been created alongwith 1338.99 Km of sewer network. An amount of Rs. 1,941.86 crore has been spent against the allocated amount of Rs. 3,633.00 crore from 2014-15 to 2017-18 (till 30.06.2017). http://www.business-standard.com/article/government-press-release/expenditure-on-ganga-river-cleaning-117080301226_1.html

The funds released by NMCG to the States/CPSUs/other agencies under NMCG so far from Financial year 2014-15 to 2017-18 till 30thJune,2017 is tabulated below.

FY 2014-15 to 2017-18 till 30.06.2017 (Rs. in crores)

States 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18
Bihar   120.23 82.03 0.20
Jharkhand 0.97 27.83 46.18 2.47
Uttar Pradesh 74.58 147.58 587.17 38.22
Uttarakhand 4.26 30.26 30.66 16.26
West Bengal 73.85 185.79 114.25 0.11
Haryana   30.00 52.73  
Delhi   4.96 2.17 2.66
Madhya Pradesh   3.39 6.50  
Rajasthan   0.00  20.00  
Total 153.66 550.04 941.69 59.52

As per CBCB data of 2016-17, 10705 MLD of flow (which includes sewer as well as non-sewer/natural flow) was estimated from 211 drains outfalling in river Ganga and its tributaries namely Ramganga, Kali (East) and Pandu. CPCB has also identified  1109 Grossly Polluting Industries (GPIs) on the main stem of River Ganga and major Tributaries. http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=169536

On the issue of dredging, experts have recommended, constitution of a committee to look into various aspects of floods and siltation in the State of Bihar. The opinion of State Govt of Bihar has also been obtained in respect of constitution of the Committee including its Terms of Reference. http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=169535

Meanwhile, the river has crossed the danger mark of 293 meter at Haridwar, first time in this season http://www.hindustantimes.com/dehradun/heavy-rains-five-die-ganga-crosses-danger-mark-in-haridwar/story-alj7g7bV2tn4QcwS9zQLyM.html

Madhya Pradesh Second phase of Mendakani river cleaning launched 28.87 crore related to second phase of Chitrakoot Sewage Project under the Mandakini River Conservation approved by MP Govt. An amount of Rs 180 crore has already been sanctioned in the first phase. http://www.dailypioneer.com/state-editions/bhopal/mandakini-river-set-to-be-pollution-free-cm.html

YAMUNA AOL ROW Ambiguity on so called 2nd panel report cleared  The second so called ‘panel’ of DDA and Irrigation Dept. was set up by the NGT a week ago to provide an action plan on the recommendations made by the earlier seven-member expert committee. Providing Alternative Findings wasn’t their job. They had no authority to use this opportunity to give themselves a clean chit. Prima facie it is blatant abuse of use of court by DDA and the other concerned authorities. https://www.thequint.com/environment/2017/08/01/sri-ravi-shankar-art-of-living-yamuna-floodplains-panel-clean-chit

The NGT has also rebuked the DDA and irrigation department for preparing the observation report instead of preparing action plan for the restoration of damaged floodplain. The petitioner, Manoj Misra, has asked that an “independent expert agency” be set up so that the directions of the tribunal are complied with and the floodplains are restored. http://indianexpress.com/article/india/ngt-hearing-on-yamuna-floodplains-petitioner-suggests-dda-acted-in-a-biased-manner-4783129/

SAND MINING

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Telangana 2 deaths, 18 injuries in a month due to illegal sand mining Residents of several villages in Sircilla, a newly created district in Telangana, are up in arms against police and district administration over sand mining in the area after sand-laden trucks were involved in several accidents in the past one month. Two persons have been killed and at least 18 injured in separate accidents in the area. http://indianexpress.com/article/india/telangana-sircilla-villages-up-in-arms-against-sand-mining-as-trucks-crush-two-4784343/

Illegal sand mining at Pedda Wagu in Polepally village of Jadcherla Mandal has gone unchecked for some time causing loss to the government exchequer. According to villagers, despite many complaints the revenue officials have turned a blind eye, taking advantage of which the sand mafia had been doing its business unabated.  http://www.thehansindia.com/posts/index/Telangana/2017-08-06/Illegal-sand-mining-goes-unchecked-/317069  

TPCC president N. Uttam Kumar Reddy alleges that the State police machinery is supporting illegal sand mafia as it is owned by the close relatives of Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao. http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/kcrs-relatives-involved-in-illegal-sand-mining-business/article19400394.ece

Madhya Pradesh Nexus between police, sand mining mafia The mining mafia in is so deep rooted that even an attack on a deputy ranger of the forest department fails to make the MP Police act against the accused. Raman Singh Bhadoria part of the sand mining mafia and wanted absconder for attacking deputy forest ranger Sukhdev Arora on March 19, 2017, was seen chatting with SHO, Ater Police Station in Bhind district on July 15, 2017. http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/madhya-pradesh-sand-mining-mafia-police-cctv-footage/1/1016923.html

GROUND WATER

Centre Govt tries to dilute existing guidelines The Central Ground Water Authority has drafted new guidelines to regulate the use of groundwater across the country. If these get approved, water-guzzling industries such as packaged drinking water and paper manufacturers could be allowed to drill for water even in areas identified as facing a groundwater crisis. The draft does away with the special attention that is paid to the water-guzzling industries in the existing regulations and treats them like all other industries. This seems like exposure of a attempt to dilute the existing weak guidelines on groundwater regulation.  https://scroll.in/article/845668/ground-water-authority-might-expand-areas-where-water-guzzling-industries-can-operate

As per another report, so far, 15 States/UTs have adopted and implemented the ground water legislation on the lines of Model bill by circulated by Central govt. http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=169543

Also, the Ministry of Drinking water and Sanitation is also organizing Swachhathon 1.0- the Swachh Bharat Hackathon, to crowd source solutions for the pressing issues pertaining to Sanitation. The event will be held on 8th September and the portal for submission of entries has been online since 2 Aug, 2017 at (http://innovate.mygov.in/swachhathon-1.0/) http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=169547

Punjab Govt to have groundwater mgt directorate Govt will soon set up a new body ‘directorate of ground water management’ under the irrigation wing of the department of irrigation and power. The existing water resources administration of the irrigation department will be subsumed into the new directorate. Due to limited allocation to the state in the river waters, about 73% of irrigation requirements are met by groundwater, which is depleting rapidly. In another initiative aimed at tackling the problem of stubble burning across the state, the council of ministers gave its nod to the creation of a ‘Climate Challenge Fund’. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chandigarh/punjab-to-have-groundwater-mgt-directorate-climate-challenge-fund/articleshow/59922312.cms

Haryana Gurugram admin refuse to share Bandhwari groundwater test report  Citizens voices must be heard on the issues concerning to their lives, health and environment. It is so sad that Gurugram administration instead of redressing residents’ grievances terms their concerns as vested interest. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/gurgaon/share-bandhwari-groundwater-test-reports-residents-to-mcg-chief/articleshow/59906615.cms

Continued dumping of industrial and domestic waste at the Bandhwari landfill site had led a stream of “dirty, black water” or leachate into the Aravalli forest, polluting the aquifers around both Delhi and Gurgaon. Also, the NGT has asked CPCB to test the groundwater of the area and submit a report. http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/ngt-asks-cpcb-to-test-groundwater-sample-near-bandhwari-plant/1/1016240.html

WATER

Report Lessons from India’s thirst economy This NEW INTERNATIONALIST reports quotes SANDRP: “Whatever name you give the profiteers – ‘water lobby’, ‘tanker mafia’, ‘sugar politics’ – there are many powerful players whose businesses will be on the line if the ‘thirst economy’ is threatened. Thakkar fears the effects of long-term water scarcity could become catastrophic if water management does not change in India. ‘I think it can be improved and it needs to, urgently. Without political will and wisdom from the government it’s difficult to see how the lobby will allow any shift,’ he says. ‘We might have to face a more serious disaster first. I don’t want that to happen. But my hunch is that things are going to get worse before we change course.’ https://newint.org/features/2017/07/01/indias-thirst-economy

Maharashtra Packaged drinking water has high levels of cancer-causing chemical After a Mumbai doctor reported this to the National Human Rights Commission on July 7, his complaint has finally been acknowledged. The doctor based his complaint on the findings of a 2015 study by Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC). The BARC study had shown that 27% of the 18 packaged drinking water samples tested contained 10.7 micrograms per litre of bromate. This is higher than the World Health Organisation’s stipulated limit — 10 micrograms per litre. http://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai-news/beware-the-packaged-drinking-water-you-buy-in-mumbai-has-high-levels-of-cancer-causing-chemical/story-y7WyGYAwSUjd6P972o4GYK.html

DELHI WATER

NGT Don’t turn Purana Quila lake into waste-dumping yard NGT has rapped the Delhi govt over the poor condition of the iconic Purana Quila lake here and directed it to ensure that it does not become a waste-dumping yard. The green court took exception to non-compliance of its May 19 order to expeditiously restore all water bodies in the city. http://zeenews.india.com/environment/dont-turn-purana-quila-lake-into-waste-dumping-yard-ngt-to-delhi-govt-2028218.html

On the other hand, there are efforts to revive Hauz Khas Lake, a water body in the middle of south Delhi with the use of constructed or floating wetlands for treating sewage in the drain. The water in the lake comes through STP in Mehrauli. It gets polluted in between due to leakages and sewer water entering into the channel. http://www.hindustantimes.com/delhi-news/dying-hauz-khas-lake-to-get-a-new-lease-of-life/story-8eBpyAruzNFVl6zbF0sjHI.html

SOUTH ASIA

Pakistan Achro a unique desert wetlands under threat The desert wetlands of Achro Thar – or the White Desert – in the east of Pakistan’s Sindh province are struggling against the twin threats of climate change and the mismanagement of water by government authorities.  https://www.thethirdpole.net/2017/08/02/pakistans-unique-desert-wetlands-under-threat/

IWT Pakistan India conclude water talks India and Pakistan hold two day talks on Indus treaty issues at World Bank, Washington, on July 31-Aug 1, 2017, though no details here what was agreed: https://www.dawn.com/news/1349072/pakistan-india-conclude-water-talks-in-washington  

CLIMATE CHANGE

Report Spiti valley runs dry as global warming hits the Himalayas VERY INTERESTING AND INFORMATIVE ACCOUNT OF SPITI VALLEY, Himachal, apart from climate change, proposed, ongoing hydro power projects have also become a threat to the region. Changing weather pattern, less snowfall, shorter winter, longer summer, receding glaciers as clear sign of climate change have started impacting water resources in Spiti valley. Water scarcity created by drying springs, streams and water channels in is making farming and cattle rearing very difficult. Despite this, experts feel that govt and media focus is largely on the plains and Himalaya region which also need urgent help and attention remain neglected so far.

3582

Study Suicides of nearly 60K farmers linked to climate change New study shows how climate change directly contributed to increasing numbers of farmer suicides in India: Climate change may have contributed to the suicides of nearly 60,000 Indian farmers and farm workers over the past three decades, according to new research that examines the toll rising temperatures are already taking on vulnerable societies.

Illustrating the extreme sensitivity of the Indian agricultural industry to spikes in temperature, the study from the University of California, Berkeley, found an increase of just 1C on an average day during the growing season was associated with 67 more suicides.

An increase of 5C on any one day was associated with an additional 335 deaths, the study published in the journal PNAS on Monday found. In total, it estimates that 59,300 agricultural sector suicides over the past 30 years could be attributed to warming.” https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jul/31/suicides-of-nearly-60000-indian-farmers-linked-to-climate-change-study-claims

You may also like to see, DRP News Bulletin 31 July 2017 & DRP News Bulletin 24 July 2017

3 Comments on “DRP News Bulletin 07 August 2017 (MANIPUR GOVT DEMANDS DECOMMISSIONING OF LOKTAK DAM & HYDROPOWER PROJECT)

  1. Sadly no one is talking about the evil of burning garbage with plastic in thousands and thousands of places in the country which heats and pollutes the atmosphere over Indian landmass. One of the reasons for the decline of rainfall.

    Like

  2. Yes. Sustainability of our life is at stake due to such callous programs in the name of development. We all should be vigilant to avoid catastrophe.

    Like

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