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Illegal constructions can’t be stalled, only be inspected – Supreme Court on Polavaram ఏప్రిల్ 12, 2011

Posted by M Bharath Bhushan in Andhra, Andhrapreneurship, conflict resolution, Culture, displacement, Godavari, heritage, Khammam, Koya, Polavaram, politics, regionalism, Settler, ST, Telangana.
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SC rejects Orissa plea seeking stay on Polavaram dam construction

Indu Bhan, The Financial Express, Apr 12, 2011

New Delhi: In a setback to the Orissa government, the Supreme Court (SC) on Monday rejected its plea to stay construction of the controversial multi-purpose Polavaram irrigation project on river Godavari by Andhra Pradesh.

A bench headed by Justice Mukundakam Sharma directed former Central Water Commission (CWC) member M Gopalakrishnan to inspect the project along with the present CWC members and submit a separate reports to it by July 19, which is the next date of hearing.

The Bench, however, refused to entertain the plea of the Orissa government’s senior counsel Raju Ramachandran to stop the work by saying that “it will be difficult for us to stay the construction at this stage”.

It further observed that the project can be demolished later if it was found to be built in violation of environmental norms. (మరింత…)

Now Environment Minister Ramesh requests Polavaram Dam height reduced మార్చి 6, 2011

Posted by M Bharath Bhushan in Andhra, Andhrapreneurship, Bhadrachalam, Congress, corruption, Godavari, heritage, Kakatiya, Khammam, Koya, livelihoods, Polavaram, politics, ST, TDP, Telangana, TRS, Vishakapatnam.
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Ramesh wants Polavaram Dam height reduced
Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times, New Delhi, March 05, 2011

Four months after issuing a notice to Andhra Pradesh government on south India’s biggest dam project, Polavaram, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh wants to reduce the dam’s height to end confrontation between Andhra and its two neighbouring states – Orissa and Chhattisgarh. The state Government has decided to retain the 150-ft height for the dam of the Polavaram project, which many believe can lead to submergence of villages in naxal struck Malkangiri in Orissa and Dantewada in Chhattisgarh and provide ammunition to naxals.

The decision taken on recommendation of a nine-member committee by Preetam Singh, former Chairman of the Central Water Commission (CWC), has irked the two state governments, who alleged they were not consulted before deciding to increase the height by about 60 meters.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh in a letter to Ramesh had complained that increasing the height would lead to huge submergence of land area in Dantewada as compared to environment clearance condition that only four villages will be affected. (మరింత…)

Man – made floods : Experts can’t be trusted అక్టోబర్ 13, 2009

Posted by Telangana Utsav in Economy, Godavari, livelihoods, Polavaram, politics.
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Lessons from a deluge

The big rise in global temperature probably won’t take place until the second half of this century, but the tragedy is that, thanks to our dams and reservoirs, there will still be plenty of non-climate-change-induced damage

Sudhirendar Sharma

Let’s begin with a disclaimer that no individual weather event, such as the one that submerged parts of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka this month, could be attributed to global warming. The big rise in global temperature probably won’t take place until the second half of this century, but the tragedy is that, thanks to our dams and reservoirs, there will still be plenty of non-climate-change-induced damage.

The likes of the 600% higher rain that caused the deadly floods in south India have reportedly become 10% more frequent in the last decade. But preparedness for such events has remained inadequate, notwithstanding similar floods in Gujarat (2005) and Bihar (2008). As fresh disasters charter unfamiliar territories at a fiery pace, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has failed to get its act together.

That traditionally water-deficit regions in the Deccan plains registered a water surplus in one fortnight can be partly attributed to the story of low-pressure areas across the Bay of Bengal. The significant other part relates to the bickering for decades over rights to the Krishna river, resulting in Andhra Pradesh and upstream Maharashtra and Karnataka furiously building dams and diversions to hold a larger share of the river water. While the Koyna dam exists on the Krishna in Maharashtra, Karnataka has the Almatti and Narayanpur storage structures across the river. The overflowing Srisailam dam during the recent floods and the tallest Nagarjuna Sagar dam, too, exist on it in Andhra Pradesh. Even the Tungabhadra tributary of the Krishna has not been allowed to flow freely—the dam on it is a joint initiative of Karnataka and Maharashtra.
Built with the twin objective of producing hydropower and irrigating farmlands, each of the large dams in the country has failed to provide flood protection to downstream populations. It was no different during the recent floods: Excess inflow from the Almatti reservoir caused the Srisailam dam to overflow, inundating as many as 50 downstream villages, for no fault of theirs. Far from providing protection, structural flood-control measures have enhanced vulnerability. (మరింత…)

Union Minister realises river-linking is disastrous – Future of Polavaram project? అక్టోబర్ 8, 2009

Posted by Telangana Utsav in Bhadrachalam, Congress, Godavari, Koya, Polavaram, politics, TDP, Telangana, TRS.
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Interlinking of rivers buried, Jairam says idea a disaster
New Delhi, October 6, 2009 Express News Service

Less than a month after Rahul Gandhi warned against “playing with nature”, Union Minister for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh said the idea of interlinking India’s rivers was a “disaster”, putting a question mark on the future of the ambitious project.

“The interlinking of rivers will be a human-ecological-economic disaster. It is easy to do interlinking on paper. Interlinking of rivers has limited basin value, but largescale interlinking would be a disaster,” Ramesh said at a press briefing today.

In Chennai last month, Rahul had expressed concern over the environmental fallout of interlinking. “We should not play with nature on such a massive scale,” he was quoted as saying.

The remark drew flak from UPA ally DMK, which reminded Rahul that it was Indira Gandhi who set up the National Water Development Agency in 1982 to study the possibility of water transfers from surplus basins to deficit areas. DMK chief M Karunanidhi pointed out that UPA-I’s 2004 National Common Minimum Programme had promised “a comprehensive assessment of the feasibility of linking of rivers… starting with south-bound rivers”.

Asked about the party’s stand on the issue, the Congress remained non-committal. “It is a larger issue. It is not a magic wand. There is an awesome scale of interlinking. It is a super long term solution, and not a medium or short-term solution,” spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi said.

“I don’t think anybody is rejecting or accepting it. After 25 years of considerable expenditure, you may still have the same problem. Unless you are sure, you can’t embark on it. It is a project with extremely multifarious aspects and the jury is out,” Singhvi said.

The Interlinking of Rivers programme has had a peninsular focus, and five links have been identified as priority. A group headed by the Central Water Commission chairman has had seven meetings in the past five years: one for the Ken-Betwa link, three for the Parbati-Kalisindh-Chambal link, one for the Godavari (Polavaram)-Krishna (Vijayawada) link, and two for the Par-Tapi-Narmada and Damanganga-Pinjal links taken together.

Source: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/interlinking-of-rivers-buried-jairam-says-idea-a-disaster/525654/1

Jairam’s statement on ‘hazards’ of linking rivers draws flak


Express India, Oct 07, 2009

Gandhinagar: Union Minister for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh’s statement that “the interlinking of India’s rivers will be a human-ecological-economic disaster” has drawn flak from the Gujarat government.

“I agree with the Union Minister that it is not that easy to implement river-linking projects, as it involves huge costs. But, I would not agree that such projects would prove disastrous”, said Gujarat Water Resources Minister Nitin Patel. (మరింత…)

Man- made Floods devastate AP & Karnataka అక్టోబర్ 6, 2009

Posted by Telangana Utsav in Gadwal, Mahabubnagar, politics.
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Were the southern flash floods avoidable?
Max Martin and A. Srinivasa Rao
Bijapur and Hyderabad, October 6, 2009 India Today

The death toll from the floods crept up to 227 in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka amid blame games between the states. But what underscores the extent of the disaster is the fact that it cannot be relegated to the realm of natural calamities and forgotten.

Experts have unanimously called it manmade and have blamed the floods on the poor coordination among Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

Experts said irrigation engineers, who control the release of water from dams, have little understanding of what goes on upstream, midstream or downstream.

Leo Saldanha, Bangalore-based environmentalist and director of Environment Support Group (ESG), said it was “criminal” to keep dams full and release water during heavy rains.

Initially, both Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka blamed each other for “irresponsible” flood management. Officials in the Andhra Pradesh irrigation department said Karnataka should have alerted them about the flow in Almatti and Narayanpur dams in upstream Krishna.

They said the neighbouring state should not have released water from the two dams. On the other hand, Karnataka officials said the Andhra officials did not release water from the Srisailam dam in Kurnool district till the eleventh hour. This, they claimed, flooded Kurnool and areas in the reservoir’s backwaters. (మరింత…)