Community Based Monitoring in India: A Tale of Two Rivers
Community Based Monitoring in India: A Tale of Two Rivers Presentation by Nadia B. Ahmad, Esq. Community Expectations for Sustainable Development in Natural Resources Projects (Fall 2011) University of Denver Sturm College of Law October 29, 2011
Community Based Monitoring:A Tale of Two Rivers Kaveri River Energy – Hydroelectric Power Sand Mining Flooding Eco-tourism Sarsi River – (tributary of Sutlej) Irrigation Pollution Grassroots activism Meaningful Public Participation Barriers to Entry for Community Based Monitoring
Kaveri Rivero Located in south Indiao Unique ecosystemo Source for vast irrigation systemo Provider of hydropowero Krishna Raja Sagara dam near Mysoreo Sand miningo Flooding concernso Brindavan Gardens
Damo 3,000 meters in lengtho 40 meters in widtho Sheet of waters in the reservoir created by the dam spreads over 130 sq. kilometerso Constructed from 1911 to 1931.o Simsha Hydroelectric Power Project at Shivanasamudramo Suited for pleasure boating Krishna Raja Sagara Dam
Simsha Hydroelectric Power Projecto Installed capacity of 17,200 kilowatts.o First hydroelectric project in Asia.o Kolar Gold Fields was supplied with the electricity generated in 1902.o In 1905, Bangalore got electricity.
Sand Mining Issue Sand found on the river bed of the Shimsha river is mined and used for construction activities, sometimes illegally. Due to the environmental issues caused by sand mining, this activity is currently banned. Discharge of waste from towns and cities on the way are major contributors to pollution in the Shimsha. The Government is trying to clean up the river and has released funds to do so.
Flooding Concernso Overflow water from Karnataka damso Release of water into neighboring areas has led to severe floodingo Unauthorized developmentso Choked drains in residential areaso Traffic resulting from flooding stranded thousands of office-goers on Bangalore’s waterlogged roads.o Schools in the city closed and several apartment complexes flooded.o Water entered office-buildings, including one of the offices of Indias third largest software exporter, Wipro.o Bangalore accounts for one-third of Indias annual export revenue of $17.2 billion in software and back-office outsourcing.
Sustainable Development ofWater Resources Current technologies Large scale dams Canals Turbines Alternatives Rainwater harvesting Water conservation Hydrokinetic Energy Solar Energy Ecotourism Community Based Monitoring
Sirsa River Valleyo The ground water level = shallowo Water level varies on an average from 5.5 to 6.3 meters near the riverbed and increases towards the hills.o Dry except during monsoon seasono Ground water is the only water source for domestic, agricultural and industrial use.
Sirsa RiverRegionMonthly averagerainfall and referenceevapotranspiration(Hargreaves method)1960-90 in the SirsaIrrigation Circle.
Pollution Control The state Pollution Control Board stepped up its drive to check the units violating pollution control norms with its environmental surveillance squads conducting extensive raids in the Baddi-Barotiwala- Nalagarh (BBN) industrial hub. The Board discovered that toxic sludge had not been disposed of properly through the Hazardous Waste Management Plant, but was openly dumped. Increased probability of toxic chemicals ending up in the soil.
The Pollutors o Dr. Reddy’s Lab o Brooks Lab o HRI Cosmetics o Hindustan Unilever Limited o Vaishnavi Kosmeticos Industries o Torrent Pharmaceutical
Community Monitoring Campaign While the Sirsa river is choked with effluents, dust and bad odor due to chemical leaks have become serious nuisance across the industrial area. Since there is little awareness about the actual extent of industrial pollution in this area and the impacts on the local environment, Community Environmental Monitoring Campaign is educating and training community members to address the industrial pollution through environmental monitoring campaigns.
Campaign Coordination GCM’s regional partner, Shweta Narayan has been coordinating a campaign with Him Parivesh, a local environment action group based in Nalagarh, under the banner of Community Environmental Monitoring Campaign. Communities affected by pollution can monitor and document pollution levels: Air Dust Water
“People living next to pollutedfacilities are much more awareabout pollution and do not needany educational degrees toidentify when pollution levelsare excessive. Documentingtheir common senseexperiences in a scientificmanner can provide the bestevidence of pollution whichcannot be refuted by PollutionControl Board and otheragencies” - Shweta Narayan
Stressed Water Resources Intense industrialization in the Baddi, Barotiwala and Nalagarh (BBN) has stressed the water resources in region for the recently released state environment report has held that water quality was a lowly D grade because of low levels of oxygen due to organic pollution. Speaking about the BBN industrial belt, Nagin Nanda, member secretary state pollution control board said, “being a water stressed region and increasing effluents adding to the pollutants, we have raised the bar for those intending to set up new units in Baddi, Barotiwala or Nalagarh. We insist that any upcoming new unit incorporate a reverse osmosis affluent treatment plant in its proposal in order to contain water pollution in the belt.”
Training Program for CBM “The objective of the training is not only to build community capacities and knowledge on pollution check and monitoring but also to build a body of local evidence to pressurize bodies like the Pollution Control Board into action. It is truly appalling that in such a scenario, where peoples health, livelihoods and environment are at stake, the state government is demanding extension of the industrial subsidy package instead of making Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh free of polluting units.” Balkrishna Sharma, a founding member of Him Parivesho Tour of the industrial area to identify the areas most affected by pollutiono Community training in Kaduana, Baddi and Jhidiwala, Nalagarh with almost 50 participants including members of Him Parivesh.
Meaningful Public Participation Integration of meaningful public participation into environmental management is not only important, but critical for sustainable development and perhaps even one of the most significant developments in resource management since the environmental movement itself. Stewardship-driven environmental monitoring initiatives improve community environmental and civic capacity, while adding substantial social capacity that can have measurable beneficial impacts. Public participation in environmental monitoring has emerged in an effort to work towards informing society’s decisions. In order for this to occur, there is a need for new approaches to environmental policy and ecosystem management.
Dilemma of Indian River Communities Although the merit of public participation in environmental monitoring and management has been recognized, the need to move from simple participation to that which is meaningful and linked to relevant decision-makers remains.
Barriers to Entry The lack of integration and use of information collected by community-based groups in decision-making can be traced to social and organizational barriers, as opposed to technical barriers, meaning that investments in ecological research and its supporting information technology alone will not provide a solution. When information and data gathered via community- based monitoring initiatives fail to be integrated into mainstream decision-making processes, the reason is that they are often developed apart from the management and policy making processes; rather than emerging from within.
Transparency +Accountability Program TAPs mission is to increase the capacity of civil society organizations to reduce corruption and better hold government accountable for efficiency in social sector public spending.
Increasing Effectiveness of CBM 1) Process should be gradual. 2) Strong ethic of learning by doing. 3) Careful and adequate attention paid to the training and development of a core cadre of facilitators. 4) A commitment on the part of the country to a cultural change in the institutional environment which has to become more participatory, responsive, transparent and with downward accountability.
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