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Save Ganga Presentation By Mallika Bhanot


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Ganga Yamuna Panchayat - Presentation by Mallika Bhanot, Manushi Presentation

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Save Ganga Presentation By Mallika Bhanot

  1. 1. Ganga The national river – Now a disappearing river
  2. 2. A matter of concern <ul><li>One Ganga – a symbol of national pride </li></ul><ul><li>Meaning of Ganga – Free flow </li></ul><ul><li>Full natural flow </li></ul><ul><li>Last existing stretch of free flowing Ganga </li></ul><ul><li>Disastrous local impact – fragile Himalayan ecosystem </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental violations </li></ul><ul><li>Existing projects – overall feasibility </li></ul>
  3. 3. What are these dams? <ul><li>These are hydropower projects, beginning from Gangotri, designed in a series, one following the other one, lined up bumper-to-bumper. </li></ul>
  4. 4. There would be no river- once these proposed projects are complete. <ul><li>Dams on Ganga </li></ul>
  5. 5. Himalayan Environment under threat <ul><li>Earthquake prone zone – Seismic zone V. </li></ul><ul><li>Retreating Gangotri glacier – stored water in reservoirs, raising temperatures in vicinity </li></ul><ul><li>Himalayan snow trout - endangered – obstructed migration path </li></ul><ul><li>Golden mahasheer – endangered – due to decreased water in Ganga </li></ul><ul><li>Bear, goral, leopard, Himalayan Otter –being affected </li></ul><ul><li>Disrupted biodiversity </li></ul><ul><li>Disturbed river ecosystem </li></ul><ul><li>Home to many migratory birds </li></ul>
  6. 7. History of dams on Ganga – Ignored impacts –Maneri Bhali 1 <ul><li>Functioning since last 30 years </li></ul><ul><li>Loss of 6 to 7 water sources in village Sirod during construction </li></ul><ul><li>Complete loss of water close to cremation grounds </li></ul><ul><li>The irrigated & fertile fields that once grew many cash crops, are now dry </li></ul><ul><li>Maximum death & casualties were reported from village Jhamak , under which the tunnel for the Maneri Bhali runs. </li></ul><ul><li>The villages around have to submit an application for releasing water in the river, during the important functions </li></ul>
  7. 9. History of dams on Ganga – Ignored impacts –Maneri Bhali 2 <ul><li>Dried water sources: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>13 villages close to Maneri Bhali – 2 ( Dhanari Patti ) now left dry </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dhungi & Singuni: have PAID government water supply, which supplies untreated water causing various diseases </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There are hand-pumps installed at various places, where orange coloured rusted water is supplied. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Total drying up of Kairi Gad stream, that further impacted 10 other villages that were dependent on it for irrigation water. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Loads of cement was thrown into the fields, the fields are still incapable of growing anything. </li></ul><ul><li>Breeding of malarial mosquitoes is now rampant due to the stored water of reservoirs. </li></ul><ul><li>Dried water sources – Deoli </li></ul><ul><li>The fogging done to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes is leading to respiratory disorders. </li></ul>Cement deposited in the fields during the construction Maneri Bhali-2. *The pictures are stills from our documentary Tripathagamini
  8. 10. Dried water sourcees – after effects of Maneri Bhali 2 These are dried water sources in Deoli
  9. 11. History of dams on Ganga – Ignored impacts – Tehri <ul><li>Extensive land-slide situations have been cited because of the reservoir. </li></ul><ul><li>The water is so polluted, that the locals do not even step in it </li></ul><ul><li>Many cracks in houses (nakot) </li></ul><ul><li>Problems with rehabilitation </li></ul><ul><li>Increased case of health problems – stored water </li></ul><ul><li>Destruction of forest area </li></ul>One of the frequent land-slides in Tehri reservoir *The pictures are stills from our documentary Tripathagamini
  10. 12. Case of Visnugad power project - Joshimath
  11. 13. Chai gaon - Joshimath
  12. 14. Feasibility of these projects <ul><li>The existing Maneri-Bhali 1 hydro power project of just 90MW, is working at almost half its efficiency since the last ten years. The reasons stated in the RTI are: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased silt in the river during monsoons </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Decreased flow during winters. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The problem of silt is only going to increase in the near future owing to melting of the glaciers, how then can a upstream project of 600MW function when on the same river a 90MW is not running to its capacity. </li></ul><ul><li>Dropping water levels: Ganga was flowing at half her normal capacity last year. The global climate change has already seen this in cases of several other rivers. </li></ul>
  13. 15. Decreased production of electricity
  14. 16. Loharinag – Pala dam <ul><li>Location: 45kms from Gangotri </li></ul><ul><li>Present status: Temporarily stopped with orders from NGRBA. Proposed to start by the govt. </li></ul><ul><li>Installed capacity: 600MW </li></ul>Construction of tunnel Muck deposited at the bank of the river
  15. 17. Clearances given to NTPC <ul><li>The clearance given to the NTPC for the construction of Loharinag-Pala was given on grounds such as: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Water sustainability study </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Earthquake prone area so construction should be in consideration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To maintain the ecological balance during construction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Monitor the muck dumping etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It is also stated that the MoEF has the power to revoke the clearance if clearance conditions are not complied with. (Environment Protection Act – 1986) </li></ul></ul>
  16. 18. Violations – EIA Report <ul><li>During the public hearing, the details of the project were asked in Hindi by the locals </li></ul><ul><li>No cumulative effect of dam study has been done for these projects. </li></ul><ul><li>The Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) clearly states that “No monument of national importance are being impacted through these projects”. </li></ul>
  17. 19. Violations –EIA Report <ul><li>The Akwekon guidelines , officially accepted by the Government of India, wherein the EIA must consist the social impact of a proposed project, were completely ignored. </li></ul><ul><li>No water-sustainability study has been carried out in any of the EIA’s. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Through the RTI: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The water sustainability study was withdrawn later by MoEF </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The NTPC had agreed to be in the process of conducting the study </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Finally stated that the study had been withdrawn </li></ul></ul>
  18. 20. The RTI’s enquiring the Glacier study In 2006 – the study was given to NIH In 2007 – it was not completed/ submitted by NIH In 2009 – it was declared that the need for the study has been withdrawn long back
  19. 21. Violations – Local Impacts <ul><li>Cracks in houses </li></ul><ul><li>Drying up of drinking water supplies </li></ul><ul><li>The routes to the villages have collapsed/ sunken </li></ul><ul><li>Loss of crops in fields due to the pollution with the ongoing construction </li></ul><ul><li>Loss of grazing grounds </li></ul><ul><li>Increased case of health problems </li></ul>
  20. 22. Excessive blasting – cracks – Therang – site for LHP Power house
  21. 24. Dried water sources – Loharinag-Pala HURI Completely dried sources: Pangraya khal Nargad There were 7 water mills that used to run in the village, now only 1 SALANG Out of many sources of water, only 1-2 are left
  22. 25. Dried water sources – Loharinag Pala <ul><li>Bhukki Village </li></ul><ul><li>All water sources have dried up in the village, only 1 is left with meagre supply of water </li></ul><ul><li>All crops have diminished. Only potatoes can be grown </li></ul>
  23. 26. Dried water sources – Loharinag-Pala <ul><li>Pala is one of the most affected places </li></ul><ul><li>All water sources have dried </li></ul><ul><li>People are paying 200-250/-mth for govt. water supplies </li></ul>Dried water sources – - Kuryadi tok, -Ganala tok, -Dharmapani tok, -Uroronami tok, -Chauryanami tok, - Gangninami tok
  24. 27. Gangotri Rajmarg <ul><li>There have been several problems of frequent landslides on Gangotri rajmarg due to the blasting being carried out </li></ul><ul><li>Due to the illegal dumping grounds, a lot of muck is deposited along the highway, thereby rendering the area extremely dangerous for travel </li></ul>
  25. 29. Violations –Environmental impact <ul><li>Decreased water flow in Ganga </li></ul><ul><li>Dried water sources – due to tunneling, spring water sources have dried up </li></ul><ul><li>Muck dumping </li></ul><ul><li>The self-sufficient upstream villages have become dependent on external sources </li></ul><ul><li>Destruction of forest </li></ul><ul><li>Cement spray on mountains to prevent the landslides </li></ul>
  26. 30. Muck dumping in Ganga
  27. 34. Uncontrolled Blasting at Loharinag Pala & cracks in villages in vicinity
  28. 35. A case study of Kujjan <ul><li>Total private land acquired by the NTPC: </li></ul><ul><li>2.385 hectare +0.79 hectare (annexed NTPC office data) </li></ul><ul><li>Total: 3.175 hectares </li></ul><ul><li>Remaining land: 200 naalis * 0.020 = 4 hectares </li></ul><ul><li>Total loss of crops due to land loss: Rs.10,400/ naali * </li></ul><ul><li>Total production of crops during the construction phase: Rs.4,750/ naali. Loss per naali = 10,400 – 4,750 = Rs.5,650 </li></ul><ul><li>It has been mentioned in the EIA, that during the construction phase of he project, the environment shall be polluted & there’ll be dust etc due to which the overall cultivation might be affected. </li></ul>
  29. 36. Based on the study it is pretty clear that the loss incurred by the entire village outweighs the projected gain by the NTPC. For the remaining many years the land that is lost to the project will bear the pain & the damage is irreparable & incomparable.
  30. 37. An overall trend with Hydro projects in Himalayas <ul><li>Several issues with Tehri – health hazards, landslides, cracks in houses, effect over villages even far from the reservoirs </li></ul><ul><li>Problems after Maneri Bhali – 1 – the earthquake & casualities in Jhamak </li></ul><ul><li>Problems after Maneri Bhali – 2 – Cement in their fields, complete loss of drinking water, diseases </li></ul><ul><li>Vishnugad Tapovan – where 23-24 cusecs of water moved into the tunnel during construction </li></ul><ul><li>Chai gaaon – where the houses are destroyed & the earth has sunken at many places </li></ul>
  31. 38. Similar trend in Loharinag-Pala – observed so far <ul><li>We are already seeing the dried water sources in the villages in vicinity </li></ul><ul><li>We are already seeing cracks in the houses </li></ul><ul><li>The production has been severely affected </li></ul><ul><li>The cases of health problems have increased </li></ul><ul><li>There is cement deposited in the clean stretch of Ganga </li></ul><ul><li>Mountains have become more fragile - Cement being sprayed to keep the mountains intact </li></ul>
  32. 39. SUSTAINABILITY of LOHARI NAAG PALA <ul><li>Flawed cost benefit analysis – underrate cost & ignore many factors </li></ul><ul><li>No valuation of the loss of natural habitat </li></ul><ul><li>Sustainability in light of ecological flow – cases of fraud flow in Maneri Bhali every-time a committee came over for a visit </li></ul><ul><li>Should we throw good money after bad money? </li></ul>
  33. 40. Environmental flow <ul><li>Constant bargain for an environmental flow </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental flow for A class rivers such as Ganga is actually her natural flow. On such rivers, no projects or construction should be proposed or executed, in order to maintain the special water quality of the river. </li></ul><ul><li>Decreased water flow (since most it will be tunneled) means increased temperatures, loss of aquatic life & velocity. </li></ul><ul><li>As has been seen in the case of Maneri-Bhali, under the banner of hydro power prjects, Ganga gets reduced into a mere rivulet. </li></ul>
  34. 42. Trickle of water Just After Maneri Bhali(I)
  35. 43. Stagnant Ganga Water and dry river bed up to 14 km. downstream of Maneri bhali(I)
  36. 44. After Maneri Bhali(II)
  37. 45. Downstream of Maneri Bhali(II) up to 30 km. joins Tehri Dam.
  38. 46. Conclusion <ul><li>We vehemently oppose all dams on Ganga </li></ul><ul><li>All the projects (proposed & under construction) should be completely scrapped – loharinag-pala, pala maneri, bhairon-ghati </li></ul><ul><li>A monitoring committee involving the locals & officials, to monitor atleast 50% of ecological flow from the already exisiting dams on Ganga & then in near future aim at their de-commissioning. </li></ul><ul><li>A different view for himalayas. </li></ul><ul><li>The Gangotri valley should be developed as an ecologically sensitive zone locals are given an incentive to protect the forests, the Ganga & the environment. </li></ul><ul><li>Learn from the previous HEP’s & stop construction completely </li></ul><ul><li>If the flow of the river is not free then all efforts to keep it clean are futile </li></ul>