Update on dams, options & related issues sandrp issue four june 2002

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WB loans for Rajasthan Water Project The WB has approved a $140 M IDA loan for the water sector restructuring project in Rajasthan. “The project is aimed at use of state’s limited water resources by improving its management, particularly in irrigation sector,” a state Govt. official said. According to 1996 data, the state’s total availability of water was estimated at 50.6 BCM, of which groundwater accounted for 28 %, internal surface water 37 % and inter state surface diversion 35 %. (BUSINESS STANDARD-D 060302)
Inter State Water Disputes Act amended The Parliament has approved a series of amendments to Inter-State Water Dispute Act of 1956. The changes empower the Union Govt. to fix limits on the time taken by tribunals constituted. (THE TIMES OF INDIA-D 120302)

  • TN Objections TN govt. has objected to introduction of a provision in the amended ISWDP 1956 which calls for verification of river water and reservoir data supplied by the States and appointment of empowered persons to summon the records and information from the state govts. concerned. (THE HINDU 020402)

WB Credit for UP Water Sector The $ 149 M loan is meant for UP water sector restructuring project. (THE ECONOMIC TIMES-D 090302)


Heavy metals in Faridabad Groundwater High concentrations beyond permissible limits of Iron, Copper, fluoride and sulphates found by CGWB in groundwater in and around Faridabad has been attributed to the discharge of untreated industrial effluents. (THE TIMES OF INDIA 110402)

Groundwater pollution in Delhi In a test conducted by Development Alternatives under its Clean – India 2000 project at 54 locations in Delhi, it was found that the groundwater was contaminated with chemical pollutants like Fluorides, Nitrates and Iron due to excessive withdrawal and leakages from industrial effluents, solid waste and chemical fertilizers dumps. CGWB agreed that groundwater in Delhi has these and also excess salinity. (THE HINDU 070402 THE TIMES OF INDIA 080402)

Toxics in Ghaziabad Groundwater The chromium (a known carcinogenic) content in Ghaziabad groundwater has been found to be almost five times the permissible limit. Since over three years, reports of untreated industrial effluents being pumped into groundwater are coming, but no action have been taken. The toxics traveling to Delhi groundwater is not ruled out, agrees UPPCB officials. Ghaziabad UPPCB chief says it is not practical to take action. (THE TIMES OF INDIA 010402)
Groundwater pollution in Noida A joint survey by the Central and the UP Pollution Control Boards have described Noida’s groundwater “unfit even for agriculture”. Yet, 200 MLD water supply is from tubewells. (THE TIMES OF INDIA 010402)
Groundwater pollution in Nawanshahr As per a survey by Punjab Pollution Control Board, groundwater within two km radius of Toansa industrial belt has become highly polluted with very high content of fluorides, chlorides, BOD and COD and is unfit for human consumption. The pollution is attributed to mainly two units: Ranbaxy Laboratories and DSM Anti-Infectives Ltd and has been going on for years, without either the state govt. or the PPCB taking any action. (HINDUSTAN TIMES 200402)
Groundwater pollution in Hapur According to CGWB the groundwater pollution levels in and around Hapur have been found to be very high including contaminants like Carbonic Acid, Chromium and Fluorides. Industrial units are pumping industrial effluents into groundwater. (RASHTRIYA SAHARA 200402)

Groundwater pollution in Kanpur Groundwater in and around Kanpur is found to be contaminated by nitrates and toxic agents discharged by tanneries and chrome plating factories. (THE HINDUSTAN TIMES 090402)

Groundwater quality monitoring project in Maharashtra Directorate of Groundwater Surveys & Development Agency, Pune has invited bids to set up groundwater quality monitoring facilities for 3370 Base Line stations, 1191 trend stations and 1734 trend-cum-surveillance stations, to be set up under the World Bank funded hydrology project. (INDIAN EXPRESS 130402)
Grim Groundwater scenario in UP As per a survey done for the World Bank funded Swajal Project, there are 44 over exploited, 171 critical and 54 semicritical blocks in the state which add up to 33% of blocks. Worst affected is the western UP, where there are 37 overexploited, 77 critical and 20 semicritical blocks. In western UP, groundwater level has fallen by 4 mts or more in 19 blocks over the last decade. Ten districts which need urgent attention are: Budaun, Baghpat, Ghazipur, Farukkhabad, Kanpur city, Lucknow, Sitapur, Sant Kabirnagar, Shravasti and Pratapgarh. (THE TIMES OF INDIA 150402)
CGWB’s National Recharge Master Plan CGWB has prepared a Rs 245.13 B master plan to recharge the groundwater in the country. The plan for Punjab, Haryana, HP, J&K and Chandigarh is for Rs. 15.78 B. It includes rooftop-harvesting structures; recharge shafts, revival of ponds, trenches, check dams and gabian structures. (TRIBUNE 190402)

Privatisation and globalisation of pump markets in East? The International Water Management Institute claims that the best way to promote groundwater irrigation in India’s groundwater rich eastern region would be to remove pump subsidies and open up the pump market to international suppliers. “Subsidies and import restrictions have kept pump prices in India artificially inflated by over 35-45 % over those in neighbouring Pakistan and Bangladesh”, it states. In east UP, local irrigation pump dealers are already acting as implementers of govt.’s pump subsidy programme. (BUSINESS STANDARD 230402)


Khatris of Himachal Even as people of Hamirpur, Kangra and Mandi districts face drought like water scarcity, people in a number of villages are using Khatri (pits dug in rocks to collect rain water or seepage water) water to solve their water problems. This is a traditional water harvesting method in these areas. (TRIBUNE 230402)
CGWB Master plan for HP The Rs 4.655 B master plan involves revival of springs and ponds, construction of check dams, rooftop rainwater harvesting and sub-surface dykes. (THE TRIBUNE 140402)
Haryana plans for land treatment The govt. plans to spend Rs 300 M in the next fiscal in treating about 10 000 Ha of land to check soil erosion and restore the capability of degraded land in the Shivalik foothills, under the Integrated Watershed Development (Kandi) Project. The state Govt. has released over Rs 240 M to treat 8 000 Ha during the current year. Around 7 000 Ha falling in the districts of Ambala, Panchkula and Yamunanagar had already been treated. (BUSINESS LINE-D 270302)
President sets an example The groundwater level over the past two years has risen by 2 mts due to rainwater harvesting in Rashtrapati Bhawan. The cost diversion of drains into existing wells was Rs 1.6 M.

  • Rainwater harvesting in Delhi AIIMS Housing Society, Charak Sadan, has put in place rainwater harvesting capacity of 1195 cubic m in an area of 6330 sq m. (THE HINDUSTAN TIMES 050302 THE HINDU 080402 TRIBUNE 240402)


Lakes and Tanks in Delhi Delhi High Court, in response to a PIL by NGO Tapas, has given a notice to Union Env Ministry and Archeological Survey of India regarding upkeep of 508 lakes and tanks of Delhi. The Court has directed PWD to stop broadening of Aruna Asaf Ali Road as it was leading to filling up of a tank. (INDIAN EXPRESS 090302 RASHTRIYA SAHARA 100302)
Hope for Renuka Lake Renuka, one of HP’s three national status wetlands – the others being Pong reservoir and Chandratal – situated not far from Nahan in lower Himalayas was in the list of dying lakes till recently. Now Ministry of Env. and Forests have started efforts to stop silting and start desilting. (INDIAN EXPRESS 030302)
Deterioration of Ajmer Lake Ajmer’s Annasagar lake has shrunk from 16.4 Ha to 10 Ha. Govt. has built colonies in the catchment area of the lake since 1971, which then disgorge their sewage into the lake. Just 2% of lake catchment is free from encroachment. (INDIAN EXPRESS 280402)

Melting glaciers due to global warming At least 44 glacial lakes in the Himalayas are filling so rapidly they could burst their banks in five years sending millions of gallons of floodwaters swirling down valleys, putting at risk of thousands of lives. The UNEP sources said, "Our findings indicate that 20 glacial lakes in Nepal and 24 in Bhutan have become potentially dangerous as a result of climate change." The UNEP and ICIMOD survey has identified 3 252 glaciers and 2 323 glacial lakes in Nepal and 677 glaciers and 2 674 glacial lakes in Bhutan. The data indicates that the glaciers in Bhutan are retreating at a rate of 30 to 40 m a year. The Tradkarding Glacier, which feeds the Tsho Rolpa glacial lake in Nepal's Rolwaling Valley, retreated 100 m in some of the years within the last decade. In August 1985, a sudden outburst flood from the Dig Tsho glacial lake in Nepal destroyed 14 bridges and $ 1.5 M worth of damage was caused to the nearly completed Namche Small Hydropower Plant. India has refused access to a major study that could stop hundreds of Himalayan lakes from devastating collapse.

  • Studies conducted by Geological Survey of India has shown that Gangotri, Pindari and Milam in Uttaranchal have been retreating at the rate of 24.6, 23.4 and 12.5 m and Bara Shigri in HP at the rate of 31.2 m annually. These glaciers are the key modulating the climate and hydrology of the subcontinent. Yet, less than 30 out of 5,000 glaciers have been studied and barely ten for 10 years continuously. The govt. has decided to set up a National Centre for Field Operations in Himalayan Glaciology under Dept. of S & T, to begin with, for studies in the Indus, the Ganga and the Brahmaputra basin. These rivers satisfy 80% of country’s needs of drinking water and irrigation. (ENS 180402 IANS 160402 THE INDIAN EXPRESS 280402 RASHTRIYA SAHARA 020302)

Demand for Chhatisgarh Tank Board Constitution of a Chhatisgarh Tank Board has been demanded for the management and maintenance of huge water bodies like the Telibandha and Buddha Talab. (THE HINDU 060402)

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