Rivers, Dams, E-flows

This theme involves monitoring, research and analysis of happenings in river basin development, dams, hydropower and irrigation projects and the impacts of these on people’s lives, livelihoods and ecology.

The work on this theme has involved case studies of major projects like the Bhakra-Nangal project, on-going monitoring of large interventions like Inter Linking of Rivers (ILR) and hydropower projects in the Himalayas, monitoring of changes in laws and policies, and using the environment-flows framework to look at river basin management, water allocations and river conservation and restoration.

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Reports and Articles in this Theme


India’s national waterways: what are the impacts on rivers, ecology and livelihoods?

“The government has made a strong push for inland waterways but confusion over environmental assessments and clearance processes cloud development.” Shripad Dharmadhikary raises some fundamental questions in this article.

Article, published 9 Nov 2017.

Read the full article here.

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राष्‍ट्रीय अंतर्देशीय जलमार्ग स्थिति रिपोर्ट

भारत सरकार ने हाल ही में राष्ट्रीय अंतर्देशीय जलमार्गो की एक महत्वकांक्षी परियोजना को हाथ में लिया है। इस परियोजना के तहत भारत की 111 नदियों में बड़े और व्यावसायिक अंतर्देशीय जलमार्ग बनाने हैं। बड़े बॉंधों के बाद शायद अंतर्देशीय जलमार्ग नदियों के विनाश के सबसे बड़े कारण के रूप में उभर रहा है।

मंथन और श्रुति की यह नई रपट अंतर्देशीय जलमार्गों से संबंधित मुद्दों की विस्‍तृत विवेचना प्रस्‍तुत करती है। जिसमें जलमार्गो से जुड़े तथ्य, क़ानूनी प्रावधान और उसकी पर्याप्तता, जलमार्ग बनाने और उनके रखरखाव के लिए हस्तक्षेप, इन हस्तक्षेपों का सामाजिक, पर्यावरणीय और आर्थिक परिणाम शामिल हैं। साथ ही, यह रिपोर्ट इन जलमार्गों की व्यवहार्यता सहित कुछ बुनयादी मुद्दों को उठाती है और कुछ महत्वपूर्ण सुझाव भी देती है। रिपोर्ट पर आपकी टिप्पणियों और सुझावों का स्वागत है।

लेखक: श्रीपाद धर्माधिकारी और जिंदा सांडभोर, हिंदी अनुवाद: योगेन्द्र दत्त, प्रकाशन: मंथन अध्ययन केंद्र और SRUTI, नई दिल्ली.

रपट प्रकाशन : 30 मार्च 2017

इस रिपोर्ट का पीडीएफ वर्जन यहॉं से डाउनलोड किया जा सकता है।

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Throwing good money after bad

This article critically examines the proposed push for hydro power projects in the recently released Draft National Energy Policy for public comments by NITI Aayog. Shripad Dharmadhikary reports in India Together.

Article, published 12 Aug 2017.

Read full article here.

 

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National Inland Waterways in India: A Strategic Status Report

The Government of India has recently launched the ambitious National Inland Waterways program that plans to convert 111 rivers or river stretches into large commercial waterways. These waterways represent possibly the largest intervention in and  disruption of our rivers, second only to large dams.

This new report examines the scope and extent of the waterways program, its rationale, the legal regime and its adequacy, interventions needed to create and maintain waterways, impacts of these interventions – social, environmental and financial, questions  about the  viability and  desirability of waterways, and raises several key issues and presents suggestions for the way forward.

Authored by Shripad Dharmadhikary  and Jinda Sandbhor, Published by Manthan Adhyayan Kendra and SRUTI, New Delhi. Comments and feedback are welcome.

Report, published 30 March 2017.

Read the full report here.

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Expert Appraisal Committee of Environment Ministry Applies its Expertise to Determine Civil Action Groups are Anti-Development

This is a blog post by Shripad Dharmadhikary on the recent decision of the Expert Appraisal Committee ( River Valley and Hydroelectric projects) of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change of Government of India, not to take any cognizance of representations received from civil action groups during final appraisal, as the EAC terms them as “anti-development”.

Blog, posted on 15 Jan 2015.

Read full blog post here.

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Turning a full circleMaheswar_project_homepic

The situation that Maheshwar Project is in, brings sharply into focus the issue of accountability of those responsible for the decisions that impact millions of people, involve thousands of crores of rupees and vast natural resources. The Maheshwar would also offer a chance to demonstrate how those liable for the mess can be held accountable.

Article, published 31 Dec 2015.

Read full article here.

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Losing our rivers to grand plans

As per the National Waterways Bill recently introduced in the Parliament, 101 stretches of rivers in the country will be declared as National Waterways. There are many advantages of waterways but these advantages will be realised only when certain conditions are met, and only under certain circumstances.

Article, published 21 Sept 2015.

Read full article here.

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Keep our rivers flowing!A_Near_Stagnant_Ranganadi_River_in_Arunachal_With_Flow_Highly_Impacted_due_to_Upstream_Ranganadi_Hydropower_Dam_DSC02060

A report from the water resources ministry underlines, for the first time, the importance of ‘e-flows’ in river basin planning, so that our rivers are able to carry out all the functions needed to sustain entire riparian systems. Shripad Dharmadhikary reports in India Together.

Article, published 9th June 2015.

Read full article here.

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Pursuing development: The perils of the beaten trackDSC08738

The report of a high level committee led by Vijay Kelkar to promote balanced development in Maharashtra has several important recommendations. But will it all come to nought because of its failure to avoid a few conventional pitfalls? Shripad Dharmadhikary reports in India Together.

Article, published 27th Jan 2015.

Read full article here.

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Hydropower in Bhutan – Time for a Rethink?img_3828

The first international visit undertaken by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who came to power in May 2014 with a landslide electoral victory and a personal mandate for development and governance, was to India’s tiny neighbour to the north east, the landlocked Himalayan state of Bhutan. Shripad Dharmadhikary reports in International Rivers.

Article, published 8 Jan 2015.

Read full article here.

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Comments on Lohit Basin Study

Letter sent to Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC), MoEF on Lohit Basin Study for EAC meeting of 11-12 Dec 2014. Includes comments on e-flows for Lohit basin.

Submission, sent on 10 Dec 2014.

Read full letter here. For reading previous letter click here.

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Defining, celebrating and protecting our riversIRW_-_1

India Rivers Week held in November 2014 was a first-of-its-kind gathering in New Delhi, which celebrated rivers and those trying to protect them, while charting out a road map to mitigate the threats they confront. Shripad Dharmadhikary reports in India Together.

Article, published 3 Dec 2014.

Read full article here.

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Why large dams aren’t a water solution for the future

The uncertainty of the nature and extent of climate change impact on the water sector calls for adaptive and flexible measures to effectively combat and address the issues likely to arise in the future. Shripad Dharmadhikary quotes from a recent report of an IPCC Working Group to establish the fact. Shripad Dharmadhikary reports in India Together.

Article, published 5 Dec 2014.

Read full article here.

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Hydropower in the land of Gross National HappinessMuck_Dumped_on_the_banks_of_Punatsangchhu_River

The immense untapped potential of hydropower generation in Bhutan has led to several major projects in the offing, with varying degrees of Indian involvement. However, there seems to be a steady rise in voices questioning their impact on the Himalayan environment. Shripad Dharmadhikary reports in India Together.

Article, published 13 Nov 2014.

Read full article here.

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Preparing the framework for a new Ganga vision

A Consortium of 7 IITs is working on a plan that will form the basis for the long-term vision for the government’s much-talked about Ganga rejuvenation programme. Shripad Dharmadhikary reviews an initial summary released by the Consortium as the framework within which the final plan will be drawn up. Shripad Dharmadhikary reports in India Together.

Article, published 9 Oct 2014.

Read full article here.

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Will selective plans for the Ganga work?

Rejuvenation of the Ganga has purportedly grabbed a big share of the new government’s focus, but would plans ignoring the upper Ganga basin really be effective? Shripad Dharmadhikary discusses the findings of an expert body that could be crucial to the agenda. Shripad Dharmadhikary reports in India Together.

Article, published 9 Sept 2014.

Read full article here.

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Presentation5148938660 on Interlinking of Rivers.

This presentation was made at meeting of the India Water Portal at Bangalore on 17th July 2014

Presentation, made on 17 July 2014.

Access presentation here.

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Lessons from the “other” Indo-Pak conflict

The award by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the dispute between India and Pakistan over the Kishenganga hydroelectric project has several dimensions that could hold important lessons for settling water disputes within the country. Shripad Dharmadhikary reports in India Together.

Article published 6 Feb 2014.

Read full article here.

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Comments on Lohit basin study

Letter sent to Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC), MoEF on Lohit Basin Study for EAC meeting of 20-21 Jan 2014. Includes comments on e-flows for Lohit basin.

Submission, sent on 17 Jan 2014.

Read full letter here. For reading follow up letter click here.

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Travelling afar for solutions nearbyNira Deoghar Dam 3_1

The plan to erect 12 dams in order to meet the water requirements of cities in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region is not only objectionable from an environmental perspective, but also undermines the priorities laid out by the 12th Five Year Plan. Shripad Dharmadhikary reports in India Together.

Article, published 5 Jan 2014.

Read full article here.

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 Powerful forces get water for powerenv-barrage

The construction of barrages to meet the water needs of thermal power plants in western Chattisgarh shows that irregularities involved in the allocation of this resource may be as large as the ones in coal allocation itself. Shripad Dharmadhikary reports in India Together.

Article, published 5 Des 2013.

Read full article here.

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Hydropower: Will new committee break new ground?

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An expert committee set up by the MoEF to study the impact of hydropower projects in the Alaknanda-Bhagirathi basin raises hope, but can it break the mould of the past to bring about the measures so critically needed? Shripad Dharmadhikary reports in India Together.

Article, published 29 Oct 2013.

Read full article here.

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River basin management: Missing the boat

GEDC0292

The draft River Basin Management Bill 2012 has been crafted with good intentions but threatens to be counter-productive unless the critical need for decentralisation of power is addressed. Shripad Dharmadhikary reports in India Together.

Article, published 2 August 2013.

Read full article here.

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