UPDATE

ON DAMS, OPTIONS & RELATED ISSUES

SANDRP                                                         ISSUE TWO                                                                    JANUARY 2002

INDEX

DAMS

Bhakra-Sutlej Project Impacts, Affected yet to be resettled

Ranjit Sagar dam oustees not resettled

Gujarat approves irrigation project :Vyas calls impractical

V Shiva on Arundhati Roy; Shabana Azmi on Medha Patkar

TEHRI

SANDRP REPORT: No R&R master plan in Tehri project

SARDAR SAROVAR PROJECT: Rising costs

SSP REHABILITATION

Massive fund misuse by Gujarat Govt. alleged

DAM AND DROUGHT AFFECTED JOIN HANDS

Maan dam affected tribals on the roads again

Strange case of Maddualasa dam

GOI on WCD

HYDRO PROJECTS

Clearance to Lower Subansiri HEP Revoked

NHPC pulls out of Koel-Karo project

Almatti most expensive HEP

Failure in NHPC’s Chamera II CAT

New Hydro power policy soon?

Rankings study of Hydropower

Daulasidh project

CAG Report confirms S.Kumars financial malpractices

Loktak Dam Impacts

NATHPA JHAKRI: A FIRST RATE SCANDAL

Malana Project Fined for Environmental Violations

IRRIGATION: Water Ministry wants power subsidy to go

Karnataka Water policy gets cabinet nod

Kanyakumari Irrigation in trouble

SOUTH ASIA: Mighty Indus on Deathbed in Sindh?

Pancheshwar DPR delayed

Melamchi Project attains financial closure

Norway aid for HEP in Nepal

US JETS HIT AFGHAN DAM; UN fears 'disaster'

AROUND THE WORLD: Capacity shrinks as dams silt up

QUOTES

Pak Mun Gates to remain open for one year: Victory of struggle

WB’s dishonesty

WB Approves Bujagali Dam Despite Major Risks

Ilusu Dam in Turkey: Balfour Beatty withdraws

LESOTHO: Huge Protest Over Large Dams

World’s lakes threatened

NGO Statement at the Freshwater Conference

WATER OPTIONS: Productive use of wetlands

More Water for whom?

CGWA directs for rainwater harvesting

WATER SUPPLY: Regulatory Commission in AP

Lokayukta indicts Delhi Jal Board for corruption  

WTO & WATER

WATER POLLUTION: CAG warns on water pollution

Sutlej turns toxic; HC bans Fishing in Sutlej

Yamuna Pollution

FISHERIES: Inland Fish production can go up 10 times?

Fishing rights of Adivasis

AGRICULTURE: Pest-related crop damage

Board for organic farming mooted

Farmers’ suicide in Karnataka

FOODGRAINS PROCUREMENT

FOOD SECURITY

High price and low purchasing power

No food security in the country

Supply of foodgrains to drought-affected areas

ABOUT THE UPDATE

2 B lack food security

FLOODS, LANDSLIDES, DISASTERS

Kerala landslide

National Disaster Mitigation Summit

Damage in AP

POWER FINANCE

Govt. plans $1 B power fund

WB loan for Power Grid

PFC to refinance IFCI guarantees

POWER ‘REFORMS’

West Bengal proposes law to check power theft

Spectrum Shareholders to move CLB, Cong to CBI

MP power reforms face opposition

NTPC notice to UP, MP, Orissa

Proposal to set up 400 power circle profit centres

Power Grid notice to Delhi, Bihar, UP

T&D loss reduction figures ‘incorrect’

NTPC rules out gas-based plant in Bengal in 10th plan

WE AWAIT YOUR RESPONSES

Ethanol with petrol

Tata Power bags first private transmission project

Scan America proposes to set up three projects in Gujarat

POWER OPTIONS

92 paise loss on every unit sold by SEBs

PUBLICATIONS AVAILABLE WITH SANDRP

Gujarat yet to tap wind energy potential

ENRON SAGA

HUMAN DEVELOPMENT ISSUES

Central Minister advocates private sector for rural development

MDBS

BIG QUAKES MAY HIT DELHI

NEW BOOKS, REPORTS

Hydropower Schemes of Uttaranchal

CONTACT INFORMATION: Himanshu Thakkar, Bipin Chandra, South Asia Network on Dams, River and People,

C/o 53B, AD Block, Shalimar Bagh, Delhi 110 088. India. Ph: 747 9916. Email: cwaterp@vsnl.com



DAMS

Bhakra-Sutlej Project Impacts The ejection of the silt from an open hydel channel and reservoir of the Bhakra-Sutlej Link projects has ravaged the fertile Balh valley of Mandi district (HP) since the completion of the project in 1977. The problem of the disposal of the huge quantity of silt had not been conceived while designing the project and the BBMB have been evading a permanent solution for the menace since the past 24 years, as a result of which a large area of the valley have turned in to desert. (THE TRIBUNE 29/12/01)

Bhakra Affected yet to be resettled “Many of those displaced for the Bhakra and Pong dams have still not been resettled”, said HP Revenue Minister in the assembly. Once the land was acquired, nobody bothered and promises of jobs were not honoured. Over 500 families displaced by Pong dam are yet to be resettled. Over 700 of the Bhakra dam oustees were still awaiting rehabilitation. The HP Govt. has promised to formulate an R&R policy. (THE HINDU, THE TRIBUNE 20/12/01)

Ranjit Sagar dam oustees not resettled Ranjit Sagar Dam oustees of Dalhousie tehsil have resolved to stage a protest in front of the office of the Punjab Chief Minister in Chandigarh if members of the 218 (out of total 537) affected families are not provided with jobs at the project. The families have written to the Punjab and Himachal Pradesh Governments many times about their grievances but to no avail. (THE TRIBUNE 05/12/01)

Gujarat approves irrigation project that Vyas calls impractical, election balloon The Gujarat govt. has approved a major irrigation project based on Narmada waters to be released through a pipeline network in North Gujarat's Mehsana, Sabarkantha, Banaskantha, Patan and Gandhinagar districts. Narmada waters would be pumped from two places and released in eight reservoirs like Dharoi, Hathmati, Meshwo, Dantiwada, Sipu, Guhai and Chimnabai. The water would result in an additional agricultural production of over Rs 12 B per annum. The govt. would also save a sizeable amount of around 25 % on subsidy given to farmers on power consumption. However, the former Narmada minister, Jaynarayan Vyas, has said "it would be a cruel joke on the people of north Gujarat to show them another impractical dream with just one and a half years left for the elections". Vyas says the project would be expensive and impractical and would need 1,200 MW of electricity for lifting waters to the dams, considerably more than what the alternative link canal would need. He insists, "No such alternative plans should be taken up without concrete study and discussions with experts and representatives from north Gujarat." Vyas says the Survey of India has already completed a study pointing towards the feasibility of the alternative link canal that would help irrigate 10,000 sq km area out of a total of 20,000 sq km in north Gujarat. Vyas has shot off a letter to state finance minister who has stated that a sum of Rs 1.75 B would be set aside from this year's budget for the Rs 30 B project. (THE TIMES OF INDIA-A 28/11/01, 3/12/01)

Govt apathy may delay Kalpasar projectThe Gujarat government's Rs 250 B Kalpasar project, which plans to convert the Gulf of Khambhat into a fresh water lake would kick-start only after 2011. The govt. has so far spent Rs 180 M on the pre-feasibility study. The govt. proposes to pump in another Rs 1.5 B to Rs 2 B on the feasibility report. As per the pre-feasibility study, even if the Narmada dam height is raised to 138 metres, 90 % of Saurashtra and 95 % of Kutch would not get water. (THE TIMES OF INDIA-A 18/12/01)


Power that comes from fearlessness: Vandana Shiva on Arundhati Roy At a time when the courts are systematically ruling against the poor and the marginalised and in favour of the powerful and elite interests, against the public good and in favour of private gain, Arundhati had the courage to speak for justice. The rights of people displaced by large dams have been trampled upon in the Narmada case. Now the ancient town of Tehri is to be buried under the watery grave of the Tehri Dam. At a time when few thinkers and writers could find words to respond to the condemnation of the polarised non-option of  “you are either with us or you are a terrorist”, Arundhati did use powerful words. Power that comes from fearlessness. (THE TIMES OF INDIA-D 30/12/01)

Dis-empowered get further victimized: Shabana Azmi on Medha PatkarThis is a woman possessed, a woman uninterrupted, a woman who has vowed not to rest till the highest echelons of power in the country are forced to reflect and to answer the simple question she asks "whose progress is this and at whose cost"? It can't be the progress of a few at the cost of many. If we ask people to vacate their ancestral lands in the name of "development", surely they have a right to expect to be the first beneficiaries of that "development"? Instead we see again and again that the poor and the disempowered get further victimised because they are kept out of the decision-making process. How would the people of Malabar Hill in Mumbai react if they were asked to leave their homes for the "greater common good"? (THE TIMES OF INDIA-D 30/12/01)



TEHRI

Chipko leader’s plea on Tehri Mr. Sunder Lal Bahuguna has urged Members of Parliament to persuade the Govt. to postpone the eviction of residents of Old Tehri town and adjoining areas which would be submerged by the Tehri Dam. Although the Dam may withstand earthquakes, the surrounding fragile hills that make up the sides of the reservoir may collapse due to the earthquake and spell havoc to the regions downstream, he said. (THE HINDU-D 29/11/01)

PM to decide on closing key tunnels of Tehri dam The final decision to shut down two diversion tunnels of Tehri dam would be taken by the Prime Minister, official sources said. Earlier, the project authorities had tentatively decided to close the two tunnels in October-November 2001. The only hindrance in the work is coming from the local people, living around the dam, who want adequate compensation. According to the District Magistrate of Tehri, over one lakh people from 109 villages, which will be submerged in the waters of the reservoir once the two tunnels are closed, are to be rehabilitated in Pashulok and Pathri areas of Dehra Dun and Hardwar districts respectively. (THE DECCAN HERALD 14/11/01)

Closing down of Tehri dam tunnels The Central govt. has given clearance for shutting down two diversion tunnels (T-3 and T-4) of the Tehri dam and the gates were closed on 30 November 2001. For the first time in history, river Bhagirathi stopped flowing. The flow of the river have been diverted through the T-1 and T-2 tunnels. The other two tunnels are to be closed by March 2003 and it will take another two years to fill the reservoir of the highest dam in India. After shutting down of the tunnels the submergence process of the two-century-old Tehri town has begun. (NAVBHARAT TIMES 01/12/01 & 07/12/01 and HINDUSTAN TIMES-D 07/12/01)

Water enters Tehri town The second phase of construction of Tehri Dam project has started. The water of the reservoir also entered in to the Bahuguna’s Kutiya. Mr. Bahuguna, who has been opposing the dam for over 20 years now, wished that the authorities had waited for a decision in the two cases pending before the Supreme Court before flooding the town. The issue is one of “gross violation of human rights” and a case is pending before the NHRC, he said. (THE HINDU-D 08/12/01)

Time bomb called Tehri dam The 260.5 metre high dam is located in an active seismic zone in the fragile and young Himalayan ecology. Between 1816 and 1991, 17 quake have hit the region. Eminent seismologist Mr. Vinod Gaur has reportedly appealed that the dam could lead to dangerous consequences. The ICOLD has declared the site “extremely hazardous”. If a quake of magnitude 8 on the Ritcher scale or more hits the dam, Rishikesh could drown in 63 minutes flat, followed by Hardwar. In February 1980, the Central Environmental Appraisal Committee went on record: “Taking on consideration the geological and social impacts accompanying the project… the Tehri project should not be taken up as it does not merit environmental clearance,” the clock, it seems, won’t be turned back. But for the people, it could be time bomb that goes on ticking. (Editorial in HINDUSTAN TIMES-D 11/12/01)

Apathy drives Tehri people to go on fast Residents of the Tehri town began a fast in protest against the government’s “indifference” to their rehabilitation in the event of their displacement by the Tehri project. They were also demanding extension of civic amenities till completion of the rehabilitation process. (THE TIMES OF INDIA-D 12/12/01)

SANDRP REPORT: No R&R master plan in Tehri project A report on Tehri rehabilitation, conducted by South Asia Network on Dams, River and People, charges that “…no accurate data on the number of people affected is available.” The report notes that the Environmental Impact Assessment for the project estimated the number of affected persons to be 97,000 in 1999 but data available with the THDC puts the number at a mere 67,500. Report also says, “large number of affected people are not even included in the R&R package.” The report states “twenty six year after project construction began, there is still no R&R master plan.” The report shows that nearly 70 per cent of the rural families affected by the project and 90 per cent of those in the partially affected category have not received their resettlement benefit. Besides, over 93 per cent of ex-gratia has not been paid yet. At last the report said that, all construction on the Tehri dam must cease until a just resettlement plan is implemented. (RASHTRIYA SAHARA 26/11/01, HINDUSTAN-D 10/12/01 THE TIMES OF INDIA-D 14/12/01, TRIBUNE 31/12/01)

The full SANDRP report Testimonies from the Ground: A Report on Tehri Rehabilitation was released on Nov. 23, 2001. The report is available with SANDRP (wee box on publications) and also on internet (www.janmanch.org/newsletters).


SARDAR SAROVAR PROJECT

Rising costs The cost of the SSP, Rs 64.06 B in 1986-87, was revised to Rs. 130 B by 1996-97. Over the last couple of years the cost moved from Rs 180 B to Rs 240 B to now at Rs 300 B. SSNNL’s opinion is that the realistic project cost will be over Rs 400 B. All this financial jugglery is bound to hurt Gujarat. Not surprisingly, the Gujarat Govt. has not been too forthcoming with the nitty-gritty on the cash to be generated if the project were to achieve financial closure in the next couple of years. The amount spent so far is Rs 118.2 B. (BUSINESS LINE-D 05/12/01)

SSP REHABILITATION

Gujarat, MP Govts want to give cash compensation The Gujarat govt. is determined to go ahead with the idea of giving cash compensation to MP oustee families to be submerged because of SSP. "If necessary, we will amend Clause 11 of the NWDA, which specifically refers to the oustees resettlement issues by introducing cash compensation as an option, proposed by MP at the last NCA meeting", said a senior bureaucrat. Officials are of the view that there is "no legal hurdle" in amending the award. (THE TIMES OF INDIA-A 11/01)

*          The MP CM has started making moves to have the NWDT award to be re-opened to allow for cash compensation instead of land to the people who will be displaced by the SSP. MP CM had an informal meeting with the Gujarat CM to build a consensus on the issue, where Gujarat CM agreed to pay Rs. 2.39 B to MP for providing cash compensation. MP will have to rehabilitate the maximum number of oustee families estimated at over 33,000. The four concerned States and R&R sub Group of NCA, headed by secretary, Union Ministry of Welfare have to be in agreement to open the award. NBA has called the move illegal and in violation of NWDT and also in violation of the Supreme Court orders. Prominent persons and various organisations in Maharashtra have condemned the move. They demanded that, if the state governments cannot provide land for the PAFs, they should suspend the work on the dam, think of alternatives to the project. (The Hindu-D, Rashtriya Sahara 14/11/01, NBA Press Note)

Brutal lathi charge on peaceful protesters The MP Government continued its spree of police repression in the Narmada valley as it brutally lathi charged peaceful protestors in the village Chotta Badada (Dist. Badwani, M.P) badly injuring more than 15 people who have been under arrest and admitted in the hospital at Badwani. MP Government has been trying to carry out surveys in the villages affected by SSP. However, the people of the valley have been opposing these surveys as they are saying that the Government has shown no sincerity to resettle the people, the arrangements for resettlement are not in place and there is no land available for the same, resettlement Master Plan is available. These surveys are being carried out only to make a show that some work is being done on resettlement. (NBA 25/11/01)

* Narmada Villagers Warn Against State Terrorism in Madhya PradeshHundreds of men and women from the villages in the Narmada Valley were out on the roads in Badwani on Dec. 3, to protest and warn the MP government against the doublespeak, continuous repression and the inhuman policy of displacing the people by threat and force. The wayward and heinous method followed by MP government in the villages of Nimad, in the name of surveying the villages, for past two months was condemned by the people and they resolved to fight against this state-terror and unjust policy. The MP govt. has been intimidating villagers affected by the SSP, to displace, that too with the cash compensation in violation of the NWDT provisions. (NBA PR 04/12/01)

No progress in SSP height 1,597 project affected families - 1,217 in Madhya Pradesh, 363 in Gujarat and 17 in Maharashtra - would need to be resettled in case the Gujarat govt. agrees to take the SSP dam to 95 metres at the next official meeting of the NCA. The dam height is stationary at 90 metres for the last more than one year. The total number of PAFs at 95 metres dam submergence level is 9,864 belonging to 110 villages. Out of these, 5,397 belong to 70 MP villages, 1,700 belong to 26 Maharashtra villages, and 2,767 belong to 14 Gujarat villages. Of these, 5,847 are claimed to have been resettled in Gujarat, 1,021 in Maharashtra and 1,399 in MP. (THE TIMES OF INDIA-A 07/12/01)

Massive fund misuse by Gujarat Govt. alleged The CAG has said that Gujarat Govt. is guilty of financial irregularities of up to Rs 29.71 B as on March 2000. The former CM Chhabildas Mehta said that amount was closer to Rs 40 B one year hence. The allegation of massive fraud being perpetrated by the Govt. on Planning Commission and the State Assembly points at irregularities concerning 1,268 Public Ledger Accounts. Gujarat financial health is highly suspect as unpaid bills are piling up in departments for which the funds were originally released in to the PLAs. The SSP is understood be leading the list in unpaid bills to contractors. (BUSINESS LINE-D 19/12/01)



DAM AND DROUGHT AFFECTED JOIN HANDS IN MAHARASHTRA

The purpose of this is to keep you informed of this movement and also elicit your support. Some path-breaking and innovative aspects of the movement are as follows:

Innovative demands and achievements: Equitable water distribution The movements demands that around 2500 to 3000 m3 of water has to be provided to each household from an assured source as a basic service to meet livelihood needs. As a result of the struggles, the Maharashtra Krishna Valley Development Corporation (MKVDC) had to agree to take up a `pilot project' in Atpadi taluka of Sangli district and also has agreed to work out a plan to restructure the Tembu lift irrigation scheme which is to provide water to Atpadi and other adjoining talukas. The movement forced the MKVDC to have regular joint meetings and now the MKVDC has submitted the alternative proposal to the Government for approval. The struggles would go on till the scheme is restructured in more equitable lines.

Monthly water stipend (Pani Bhatta) Another innovative demand has been in the case of dam affected persons. Under the latest rehabilitation package of the government, the oustees are supposed to get alternative land in the command areas of the projects meaning that the government is supposed to provide irrigation to them. So, two years back, the movement demanded that the government should pay the difference in production between irrigated and unirrigated agriculture to the oustees till they get irrigation water. After prolonged and intense struggles, finally the government agreed to pay Rs. 600 per household per month to the oustees as Pani Bhatta. Even to get this they had to organise agitations and as a result many of the oustees from dam sites in Satara, Sangli and Kolhapur districts got the Pani Bhatta for the initial 3 to 4 months. However, there is a backlog, as the government has not paid the Bhatta for the last many months.

'First rehabilitation, then dam construction' The movement because of consistent struggles could force the government agree to certain well-defined procedures. In the case of Urmodi Dam in Satara district, a couple of years ago even Bal Thakarey had to go back without laying the foundation stone, though the programme was announced well in advance, because of the opposition from the organisation. They allowed the laying of the foundation stone only after they got written orders for a time bound rehabilitation programme including the 13 civic amenities and also water guarantee for the alternative land. In fact this has come to be known as the 'Urmodi pattern'.

'First water distribution from old dams, then construction of new dams' The struggle raised the demand that before any new dams are constructed in the region, the water available from existing dams and sources should be released and distributed equitably.

The new demand of 'First provide water to the command areas of existing dams; only then will we allow construction of new dams'. This pertains to providing water in this Rabi season to people in Patan and Karad talukas, by completing the necessary work on Urmodi, Tembu, Uttarmand and Wang dams. In the meanwhile, water from Koyna and Kanher dams should immediately be made available to these talukas. If some funds remain available after completing work on all these existing dams, then alone should new dam construction be allowed. Adequate finances should immediately be made available for the effective functioning of the Kanher lift irrigation scheme.

Creative organisational strategies A highly innovative and effective strategy adopted by the movement has been to unite dam-affected people and the beneficiaries of the dam under a common banner.

Another important strategy has been to demand comprehensive information and propose concrete alternatives to Govt. dam projects. An important example of this approach has been in case of the Uchangi dam in Ajara taluka of Kolhapur distt. where the movement, with inputs from experts, obtained critical information from the irrigation dept., proposed to reduce the height of the proposed dam and build another two smaller structures so that the water availability is not compromised and destructive submergence is also reduced. As a result of the struggles and negotiations the government agreed to reduce the height by a couple of meters so that no house in the village 'gaothan' gets submerged. The government also agreed to construct another small dam as suggested by the movement.

Anant Phadke, K. J. Joy, Seema Kulkarni, Nagmani Rao, Sandhya Phadke, Abhay Shukla, R. P. Nene, Prashant Kunte, Raju Adagale, Shailesh Dikhale, Ulhas Gore, Amulya Nidhi, Amita Pitre, Malavika

(Abridged from a message on DNRM Listserve on December 25, 2001)



Maan dam affected tribals on the roads again Nearly 500 Adivasis affected by the Maan dam under construction in Dhar district in MP marched through the streets ending at the Collector’s office. The affected Adivasis are demanding that they be given land as per the rehabilitation policy and as is their legal entitlement and that without this their lands may not be submerged. If the government refuses to give them this land, the people refuse to leave the lands of their forefathers. The affected people also demanded immediate stoppage of the dam work. They pointed out that the NVDD had in its own report of October 2001 stated that most of the families of even the initial villages were yet to be rehabilitated. (NBA PR 25/12/01)

Strange case of Maddualasa dam The construction of a dam across the river Suvarnamukhi in Vangara mandal of Srikakulam dist of AP started in 1976 at an estimated cost Rs 70 M. The total expenditure on the NABARD funded project so far has been 1.12 B and it is likely to be completed by next June, to irrigate about 24,700 acres of land. 25000 people (roughly 5000 families) are going to be displaced by next June along with 13,500 acres including 8,500 acres of double crop-irrigated land. So far 3000 acres are submerged and the rest of 10500 acres is to be submerged along with 10 villages once they erect gates. This issue has been kept in dark by the state authorities. The Govt. has given relief for 2000 acres at the rate of Rs.6000/- per acre for some and Rs. 30,000 for some others in different phases of the project. They have provided housing for 750 families of a village and the rest of the 4250 families expected to fend for themselves. (E-mail from ANDHRA PRADESH VYAVASAYA VRUTHIDARULA UNION, 20/12/01)

GOI on WCD According to information given in the Parliament, the WCD report has stated that the impact due to large dams are more negative than positive and have led to the impoverishment and suffering of millions. The number of big dams under construction in India is 695 (as per National Register of Large Dams published by CWC, 1994). There is no proposal to review the policy of construction of big dams in the country as a result of the WCD report. India proposes to continue with its programme of dam construction to create another 200 B cubic meters of storage in the next 25 years. (PIB 27/11/01)

What is amazing about the above piece is that the members of Parliament are given unbelievable seven year old (and mostly unfounded) figure about such gross aspect like number of dams under construction. Does it show anything about the state of information with our water resources establishment?

Diversification of west flowing water The average annual surface water availability in the west flowing rivers from Tapi to Kanyakumari including the west flowing rivers of Karnataka and inter-state rivers have been assessed as 200.9 B Cubic Meters by Central Water Commission. As per CWC drought prone areas in Karnataka has been assessed as 57,645.54 sq. km.  Ministry of Water Resources have formulated a National Perspective Plan for Water Resources Development which envisages inter linkages among the various Peninsular rivers and Himalayan rivers for transfer of water from presently assessed surplus basins to water deficit basins for the optimum utilisation of water resources. The prefeasibility reports of the above links have been completed by NWDA. As per the pre-feasibility reports, the irrigation benefits to Karnataka State from Bedti-Varda and Netravati-Hemavati links are 60,000 Ha and 34,000 Ha respectively. (PIB 27/11/01)

HYDRO PROJECTS

Clearance to Lower Subansiri HEP Revoked According to a letter from Union Ministry of Environment and Forests dated Nov. 2, 2001, the site clearance given by the ministry for the proposed 2000 MW Lower Subansiri HEP in Arunachal Pradesh has been revoked as 42 Ha of Talle Wildlife Sanctuary would come under the project and “As dereservation of sanctuary area is prohibited by the Supreme Court of India vide its order dated 13.11.2000 against write petition No. 337/95”. (SANDRP)

NHPC pulls out of Koel-Karo project NHPC has 'decided' to wind up the 25-year-old 710-MW Koel-Karo project, said NHPC Chairman. He said the project remains grounded despite the assurance of Jharkhand CM. "We are losing patience," he said. He has given the State Government three months, till March 2002, to take a 'decision' or allow the project to wind up. (THE HINDUSTAN TIMES-D 25/12/010)

Almatti most expensive HEP The Karnataka Power Corporation is likely to derate the capacity of the Almatti HEP. The capacity is currently pegged at 297 MW. A derating to about 165 MW would be necessary to bring down the tariffs to under Rs 3 a unit. The current estimate of project tariff is in the region of Rs 4.73 a unit in the first year. This tariff makes Almatti the most expensive HEP in the country. (BUSINESS LINE-D 31/12/01)

Failure in NHPC’s Chamera II CAT The HP Govt. has failed to implement the Catchment Area Treatment Plan for the ongoing 300 MW Chamera II HEP in Chamba district. The main reason for this reportedly the half-hearted approach of the govt. besides resource mismanagement. (THE TRIBUNE 05/12/01)

New Hydro power policy soon? “In two months time, the govt. will come out with guidelines through National Hydro power Policy, detailing the ecological and societal issues to be addressed while coming up with HEPs” and also set up a Power Fund for power generation by tapping the foreign and domestic debt markets, Minister of Power said. (THE DECCAN HERALD 05/11/01)

Rankings study of HydropowerThe Brahmaputra River System with 168 HEP sites has received the highest marks in the Preliminary Ranking Study by CEA of the potential of hydro sites for all river basins in the country. India has a potential of 150 000 MW of hydroelectric power and 24.6 % of this potential has been exploited so far. The CEA has taken 10 major aspects into account while giving marks. These are Reform & Restructuring aspects, International aspects, Inter-state aspects, Potential of the scheme, Type of scheme, Height of dam, Length of tunnel/channel, Accessibility to site, Status of the Project and Status of upstream or downstream hydro development. The study of about 400 hydro schemes with an aggregate installed capacity of about 107 000 MW which are yet to be developed gives weightage ranging from a minimum of 6 marks to a maximum of 15 marks. Depending on the marks allotted, the schemes have been categorized into Grade A (80 marks and above), Grade B (60 to 79 marks), Grade C (40-59 marks), Grade D (20-39 marks) and Grade E (upto 19 marks). 98 schemes of 15 650 MW are in category ‘A’, 247 schemes of 69 830 MW in category ‘B’ and 54 schemes of 21 420 MW in category ‘C’. Hydroelectric projects of 16 291 MW and 22 364 MW have already been identified tentatively for benefits in the X and XI Plan respectively. (PIB 09/11/01, 05/12/01)

Campaign for HydropowerThe Govt. is to launch a campaign for hydropower. Almost all the hydropower potential is concentrated in northern and northeastern states. Govt. had initiated a process of three-stage clearance of power projects to avoid any cost and time over-runs. Union Power Minister ruled out single-window clearance for HEPs, saying various agencies and State Govts. were involved and clearance from them would be required. (DAILY EXCELSIOR-J&K 06/12/01)

NHPC plans NHPC has plans to invest Rs 400 B during the 10th plan for which it has sought a budgetary support of Rs 200 B. In the 11th plan NHPC plans to invest Rs 570 B including 90 B budgetary support for adding 11 500 MW. NHPC plans to add 13 500 MW during 12th plan at an investment Rs 980 B. The corporation would invest over Rs 100 B in MP for 1 000 MW Indirasagar and 520 MW Omkareshwar projects and another Rs 8 B for a 900 MW joint venture project in W Bengal. (THE INDIAN EXPRESS-D, THE TRIBUNE 25/12/01)

*          The Power Ministry is planning to link the Centre’s participation in MP’s 1000 MW Indira Sagar HEP to the settlement of SEB’s dues to the Central power Sector Undertakings. MP has so far spent around Rs 11.50 B on the project. As per the cabinet proposal, MP’s contribution will be treated as equity in the proposed joint venture. (BUSINESS LINE-D 08/11/01)

Daulasidh projectThe HP CM has announced that the work on the 80 MW Daulasidh power project in Hamirpur district will start soon. The Kangra central Co-operative Bank has offered Rs 1 B loan to the state govt. for the project. (THE TRIBUNE 04/12/01)

CAG Report confirms S.Kumars financial malpractices The CAG report for the year ended 31 March 2000 (Govt. of Madhya Pradesh, No.2 of 2000, Commercial) has pointed out that the S.Kumars have not even paid the MPSEB, the money that is owed to them, since the Maheshwar Project was privatised and transferred to the SMHPCL. In the words of the CAG Report "Maheshwar HEPS and Pench TPS were sold to private parties in November 1992 and July 1994 respectively for a value of Rs. 861.10 M. Till date amount has not been realised." The report also pointed out that the MPSIDC gave a loan to the S.Kumars company - the Induj Enertech Ltd. "in contravention of the powers of the Board as it exceeded Rs 30 M" and which was "without prior approval from the state government." Moreover, the Madhya Pradesh State Industrial Development Corporation had issued a public notice in the Economic Times of 13/9/01 that states "Induj Enertech Limited Mumbai (Formerly S.Kumars Power Corporation Ltd.) & M/s Modak Rubber Textile Industry Pvt. Ltd. Mumbai companies of the S.Kumars group are willful defaulter in repayment of overdue principal and interest more than Rs. 11.08 crores towards financial assistance given by us on promise of prompt and timely payment”. (THE HINDU-D 19/11/01)

Loktak Dam ImpactsWith the Govt. disengaging from taking up measures to save the Loktak Lake citing financial constraints, the overall eco-system of the lake has degraded to a dangerous level. Apprehensions have been sounded that the Lake may go the way of Lamphelpat and Keishampat. The shallowing of the lake that contributes substantially to fish production, water chestnut, Thangjing for the around 24 lakh people of the State besides supplying power, is one of the biggest worries of the environmentalists. Another matter that needs special attention is the dumping of garbage into the lake by the Nambul river. (www.e-pao.net http://www.e-pao.net/)



WB FUNDED NATHPA JHAKRI: A FIRST RATE SCANDAL

The Nathpa Jhakri Power Corporation is extending the deadline for the completion of 1 500 MW Nathapa Jhakri Project for the third time, the cost of the project has more than doubled during the execution period. According to NJPC’s latest estimate, the project will now be completed at a cost of Rs 91.69 B. With the latest revision, the cost of the project will be more than Rs 61 M per MW, the highest in HP for any HEP so far. The project was handed over the NJPC in 1991 and by that time its cost had increased to Rs 43.38 B and the generation cost worked out to Rs 1.37 per unit, while it currently estimated at Rs 3.02 per unit. The WB has suspended disbursal of further loans to the project. Out of its total commitment of about $ 440 M, the WB is yet to disburse about $ 100 M. PFC has agreed to give Rs 9 B for the project.

Work on the NJP was stopped again (for the second time in this year alone) from Nov. 30 for “serious and continuous violations of both the Forest Conservation Act and the Environment Act”. The work has reportedly been stopped as special permission to continue it was not renewed beyond Nov. 30. The Ministry had earlier extended special permission for a second term of three months after Chief Conservator of the Ministry visited the project site and order suspension of all work in April this year. The rehabilitation and catchment area treatment plans submitted by the NJPC had not yet been approved. The corporation had not sought any permission for depositing debris of the 27 km long tunnel along the bank of the Sutlej river which was being done at a steep angle. Further, no permission was sought for quarrying and mining in the forest area, which was in violation of the Supreme Court order in writ petition no. 202. NJPC official admit that the Forests and Environment Department has objected to the dumping of debris, which was partially responsible for the floods in the Rampur area this year. The Ministry gave yet another extention of six months to the project to continue work on Dec. 18, after imposing “penal afforestation” on the corporation, to the extent of 89 Ha and reclaim the dumping sites at its own cost. A formal order of relaxation is to be issued after NJPC submitted a compliance report.

The chairman of the NJPC (& NHPC) has accused the CEA and CWC of being responsible for delay in the completion of the project, which has resultantly pushed up its cost by 546% to Rs 91.69 B. He pointed out that the project had suffered time overrun of more than 5 years as certain designs were not completed by CEA and CWC (engaged by NJPC as principal consultants) according to the schedule. Work on the Project was suffering because of improper and unsuitable designs and an investigation by the Power Ministry standing committee should fix the responsibility, NJPC wrote in his letter to the ministry. The original estimated cost of the project was Rs 16.78 B in 1989, which was revised to Rs 43.37 B in 1993, to Rs. 76.66 B in 1997. The project has suffered massive landslides of about 1.3 M cubic metres at the dam site even before the first blast.

As far as mega HEPs are concerned, words like “tomorrow” are just not applicable. One has to think in terms of eternity. That is what happened in the case of the NJP. Irked by the long delays and escalating costs, the World Bank, which had provided a loan of $437 M for the ambitious project, has considered it prudent to cry off. The international lending agency is not new to the Indian pace of work. The tempo shown by this particular project, coupled with indecision and irregularities, must have been exceptional for it to suspend the loan. That indeed is the case. It was given full 12 years ago and is the oldest in the WB portfolio of active loans. It was even extended four and half years from its earlier closing date of Dec. 1997. The delay did not make anyone mend his ways. So what if the cost of the project escalated from Rs 1,678 crore in 1989 to Rs 9,500 crore now! Add to that the loss suffered because of no generation of power for all these years and you have a first-rate scandal at hand. However, since such "minor troubles" are encountered at almost every project, no heads ever turn, let alone roll.

Ironically, there is no trace of repentance in the response of those responsible for the timely execution of the project. On the contrary, they are saying rather nonchalantly that they would now tie up with the Power Finance Corporation to fund

the shortfall, as if the World Bank action is no humiliation. Another bold claim that is being made is that there will be no delay in the commissioning of the project scheduled for early 2004. That is a tall order as the World Bank withdrawal is very much likely to set back the project by months, if not years. After all, 2002 is not the last year of the calendar. Years come and go. Projects must go on! (Edit in THE TRIBUNE 21/12/01)

The World Bank will also have to answer a lot of questions on its continued involved in this project for over a decade. John Briscoe, Advisor to World Bank president described NJP at a meeting in Delhi in May 2000 as an ideal kind HEP of India. The question is, if such is the case of ideal HEP, what will the situation of others? WB’s continued involvement in the project is also questionable from the fact that the Quality Assurance Group of the Bank in 1999/2000 after a review of the NJ loan rated it as "unsatisfactory at entry". (THE TRIBUNE 30/11/01, 17/12/01, 14/12/01 & 20/12/01; INDIAN EXPRESS 19/12/01; THE HINDU-D 20/12/01, SANDRP)



Malana Project Fined for Environmental Violations Fearing criminal action for felling 1400 green trees in Kullu district, the Malana Power Company today deposited Rs 6.3 M with HP Forest Department as the price for the trees. The company had felled the trees spread over 61 Ha at Jari village while setting up the 86 MW Malana HEP. The total cost recoverable from the company is Rs 12.3 M. The company was forced to deposit the amount following the state Govt.’s decision to register an FIR, besides possibilities of withdrawal of the forest clearance by the MEF. Taking suo motu cognizance of the report in Indian Express, the HP High Court has issued notices to the state govt. and Malana Power Company. (INDIAN EXPRESS 22/11/01, 28/11/01)

IRRIGATION

Water Ministry wants power subsidy to go According to the ‘Vision document of the water sector in the 21st century’ prepared by the Union Ministry for Water resources, the subsidy on power must be reoriented toward waterlogged areas to encourage conjunctive use of the surface and ground water. The document calls for a review of the subsidy on power for agriculture in areas where groundwater level had gone down considerably. (THE HINDU-D 14/12//01)

Punjab to continue free power to farm sector A day after the High Court has directed the PSEB to ensure 3 % rate of return as per section 59 of the electricity supply act, the Punjab Govt. has clarified that it will continue providing free power to the agriculture sector. The target of 3 % rate of return will be achieved by checking power theft, reducing T&D losses and, if necessary, by increasing the tariff which was “the lowest in the region after HP”. (THE TRIBUNE 09/12/01)

Karnataka Water policy gets cabinet nod The Karnataka cabinet has approved the state water policy with a firm commitment to complete all ongoing and committed projects. Karnataka is only the fifth state in the country to have a water policy of its own, said Water Resources Minister. He said, “our priority is drinking water followed by irrigation, hydro-electricity, aqua-culture, agro-industries, non-agricultural activities, navigation and other uses. That will be followed by participatory irrigation management, operational maintenance and repair and modernisation”. (THE TIMES OF INDIA-BANGALORE 14/12/01)

Kanyakumari Irrigation in troubleThe Koondakulam Nuclear Power Project authorities are going ahead to take water for their project from the Pechiparai dam in Kanyakumari district and more importantly, they consider the Godayar reservoir as the back-up.  These two moves will strike a deadly blow to irrigation activities in Kanyakumari district that depends completely on agriculture for sustenance and development. Squandering these water resources will have disastrous effects on the ecology and social fabric of this district. (The Green Party of India, Kanyakumari)

SOUTH ASIA

Mighty Indus on Deathbed in Sindh? The water of the Indus, which used to flow freely into the Arabian Sea, has now receded. Since 1995, the lower Indus Basin has been undergoing severe drought conditions. According to one estimate, over 50 % of the fishermen, who had lived along the Indus for generations have migrated to look for alternative sources of income. According to the Sindh Irrigation Department, seawater intrusion has resulted in a tidal infringement of over 12,20,360 acres of land in the Indus Delta – 33 % of the total land in the two districts of Badin and Thatta in southern Sindh. It was deplored that Sindh had always been deprived of its national, economic and basic rights compared to other provinces. Director of IUCN said that the ecology of Indus delta had been destroyed due to non-availability of water downstream Kotri for the last many years. (Women’s Feature Service 11/11/01, The Dawn 12/11/01)

Water Environmental Priority State of the Environment Reports for Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Sri Lanka have identified water as one of the five environmental priorities in each country. The UNEP with support from the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation launched the reports at the end of Sep 2001. The water-related priorities for each country are: Bangladesh - water pollution and scarcity; Bhutan - pressure on and pollution of water resources; India - freshwater resource management; and Sri Lanka - pollution of inland waters.

(http://www.roap.unep.org/html/nr/inf01-04.htm)

Pancheshwar DPR delayed The India-Nepal joint group of experts on the Pancheshwar project has decided to recommend an extension of six months for the completion of the DPR being done jointly by the two countries. It was to be completed by Dec. 2001. Both sides agreed that the power potential studies and reservoir operation studies of the Pancheshwar reservoir and the re-regulating structure would be done in a manner that would not prejudice the existing consumptive uses of the two countries. It was also agreed that priority would be accorded to these studies for finalisation of technical parameters for the various unit sizes of the power segment. The Joint Group reiterated that officials should proceed with investigations at both Rupaligad and Purnagiri by March, 2002 so that the report could be completed by June 2002. (PIB 27/11/01, THE HINDU-D 28/11/01)

Agreement with Nepal for power production from eastern UP rivers? India and Nepal have signed an agreement on 6-7 Oct. for flood control in Rapti, Budhi Rapti and Budhi Gandak rivers in east UP. HEPs would be set up on these rivers and 10 % of electricity from these would be given free of cost to Nepal. (Rashtriya Sahara 25/11/01)

Mahakali Irrigation to be completed in 20 years According to the feasibility report the third phase of Mahakali Irrigation Project will take almost 20 years to complete at total estimated cost of Rs 11.160 B." About 34,000 Ha of land in Kanchanpur and Kailali districts would get irrigation facilities from the project.   According to the Integrated Mahakali Treaty reached in 1996 between Nepal and India, Nepal would receive 1,000 cusecs of water from Tanakpur barrage, 350 cusecs from the Indian-built Sarada Canal   and an additional 1,000 cusecs of water from the Sarada barrage of the Mahakali River. (KATHMANDU POST-N 21/11/01)

Melamchi Project attains financial closure The Melamchi Water Supply Project has attained financial closure after the Swedish government agreed to provide US$ 25 M of which 50 % is grant. The government of Nepal would contribute around US$ 116 M. Donor agencies providing loan for Melamchi Project include ADB (US$ 120 M), JBIC (US$ 52 M), OPEC (US$ 13.7 M) and SIDA (US$ 12.5 M). The government of Japan has agreed to provide with a grant of US$ 15 M. Norwegian Development Agency have agreed to provide a grant of US$ 28 M. (KATHMANDU POST-NEPAL 24/11/01)

Norway aid for HEP in Nepal Norway has given Nepal a grant of Rs 48.96 M to develop “environmentally and socially sustainable hydropower projects” from 2001-03. (KATHMANDU POST-NEPAL 14/12/01)

US JETS HIT AFGHAN DAM US bombs severely damaged Afghanistan’s biggest Kajaki HEP in Helmand province, cutting electricity to two major cities, but the giant dam is “safe”. "Water has not started to gush out yet, but if it starts to flow thousands of people will face the threat of death". The dam contained 2700 MCM of water and produced 150 MW of electricity. It irrigated land farmed by 75,000 families with more than 50,000 cattle in desert area, where water is precious commodity. (THE TRIBUNE, TIMES OF INDIA-D 02/11/01)

*             UN fears 'disaster' over strikes on dam The UN is warning of a "disaster of tremendous proportions" after US planes bombed a HEP in southern Afghanistan. "If the dam collapses the whole Helmand valley would be flooded, risking the life of tens of thousands of people in addition to destroying the lands benefiting around half a million people (and feeding around a million people) ... It is crucial to have the situation at the Kajaki dam/power plant assessed." The 48-year-old dam is 300ft high, 900ft long and has a 32-mile long reservoir. (THE INDEPENDENT, LONDON, 08/11/01)

AROUND THE WORLD

World water storage capacity shrinking dams silt up Many of the world's reservoirs are suffering significant reductions in storage capacity as a result of sedimentation, the head of the UNEP told the Bonn International Conference on Freshwater. Studies indicate that, on average, one percent of the water-storing capacity of the globe's reservoirs is being lost annually because of a build up of silt. The current storage capacity of reservoirs worldwide is estimated at just less than 7,000 cubic kilometers. The levels of erosion from hillsides, planted with crops, are 150 times higher than from the same land covered with trees, studies show. UNEP has launched a new Dams and Development Project, to address serious issues of dam development. Based in South Africa, the DDP Unit is a follow up to the work of the World Commission on Dams. (BBC, 04/12/01, Earth Vision Environmental News 05/12/01) (http://www.ens-news.com/)


QUOTES

The National Agricultural policy aims at promoting technically sound, economically viable, environmentally non-degrading and socially acceptable use of the country’s natural resources to ensure sustainable development.

Union Agriculture Minister Mr. Ajit Singh, The Tribune 22/11/01

Import of cheap food into the country means import of unemployment… The mischief of the developed nations on the issue of farm subsidies needs to be exposed at WTO…

The Federation of AP Chambers of Commerce and Industry, The Hindu 08/11/01

The opinion is unanimous that large-scale infrastructure projects (such as roads and hydroelectric projects) have not been beneficial to the mountain communities due to their goal being to provide power to the State or powerful stakeholders. Not only have such technologies been environmentally insensitive, the approach and methodology of implementation has had little regard to peoples’ concerns and ecological systems.

(Synthesis of an Electronic Conference of the Asia-Pacific Mountain Network (APMN)
by Sudhirendar Sharma, http://www.mtnforum.org/apmn/SynthesisReport1.htm)


Pak Mun Gates to remain open for one year: Victory of struggle The Thailand Cabinet agreed to the PM Office proposal that the Pak Mun Dam sluice gates will remain open for one year. The Cabinet in April ordered the Electricity Generation Authority to open all of the dam's gates for four months from May-Sept. However, villagers affected by the dam argued four months would not give the govt. long enough to study the changes in the river. (THE NATION-THAILAND 12/12/01)

WB’s dishonesty "The World Bank, as a key sponsor of the WCD, should be actively incorporating the Commission’s findings into its own policies and practices and encouraging others to do so. Yet the Bank has refused to adopt any of the WCD's recommendations into its binding policies and has made only vague commitments to follow some of the WCD's recommended approaches. The Bank is also misrepresenting or ignoring the Commission's findings on the Bank's role in promoting poorly performing and destructive dams." (The Development Group for Alternative Policies and International Rivers Network PR 09/11/01)

WB Approves Bujagali Dam Despite Major Risks The World Bank has approved Bujagali dam in Uganda that could prove to be a disaster for that nation's citizens, while enriching the US-based AES Corp., the largest independent power producer in the world. The $ 520 M Dam will destroy the culturally significant Bujagali Falls - a national treasure, which also supports a growing whitewater tourism industry - and possibly lead to the extinction of rare fish in the Nile. Thousands of people will lose land and access to river resources. The dam will also lead to significant increases in Ugandans' electricity bills. "The WB predicts that Bujagali will cause the price of electricity to rise to 10.5 cents per KWh, and go as high as 12.5 cents in the early years of operation. This is an extremely high rate where the average annual per capita income is approx. $ 300. It is not obvious how supplying electricity at these extraordinarily high rates in such a poor country will contribute to poverty reduction, or for that matter, even to economic growth." The WB's own Project Assessment Document indicates that if the Bank's very optimistic prediction for Ugandan GDP growth of 6.3% through 2010 does not pan out, Bujagali could prove to be an economic disaster. The Uganda govt.'s contract with AES commits Uganda to pay AES about $ 100 M in US$ annually for 30 years no matter how much power is actually produced. (IRN PR 18/12/01)

Ilusu Dam in Turkey: Balfour Beatty withdraws Balfour Beatty, the international engineering, construction and services group, announces that it has decided not to pursue its interest in the Ilisu Dam. The decision follows a thorough and extensive evaluation of the commercial, environmental and social issues inherent in the project. A comprehensive environmental impact report was carried out by a team of international experts to the best available international standards as defined by the US Ex-Im Bank and the OECD. Accordingly, in concert with its partner Impregilo of Italy, it has decided to withdraw from the project. Years of campaign has made this possible. (Independent, Guardian 14/11/01, www.foe.co.uk, www.irn.org 13/11/01)

LESOTHO: Huge Protest Over Large DamsOver 2000 demonstrators converged on three major dams in Lesotho on Nov. 19 during a massive protest. Police responded violently at Mohale Dam, injuring three elderly women. The demonstrators, all impacted by the Lesotho Highlands Water Project, were protesting the lack of fair compensation for property lost to the dams, and unfulfilled promises of development in affected communities. The WB funded LHWP is the biggest infrastructure project in sub-Saharan Africa. The $5 B project is designed to divert water from Lesotho to the urban and industrial Gauteng region in South Africa through a series of dams and tunnels blasted through the Maloti Mountains. The first three major dams in the six-dam scheme affected 27 000 people. Approx. 2000 of them were resettled. Crowds of about one thousand affected people gathered at both Katse and Mohale Dams, while about 300 more marched at Muela Dam. (Transformation Resource Centre (Lesotho) PR 26/11/01)

Lesotho, South Africa, WB clash over corruption The Lesotho and South African govt.s are headed for a clash with the World Bank after the Bank reneged on a promise to fund the legal costs in a crucial corruption case. The WB undertook in Nov. 1999 to help pay Lesotho's legal costs in a court case in which major Western multinationals (including from Canada and Germany) stand accused of bribing officials involved in the Lesotho Project. The project's former chief executive has been on trial since June 2001 for allegedly accepting 12 M rand in bribes. The trial in the internationally watched cases is due to start in 2002. (BBC 10/12/01)

World’s lakes threatened Holding nearly 90 % of all surface liquid fresh water, the world's five million lakes and reservoirs are being overdrawn by irrigation projects and contaminated by toxic chemicals and nutrients from industry, farms and sewage. Even though the amount of fresh water currently stored in lakes worldwide is about 35 times the amount found in rivers, govts. and conservationists generally have ignored lakes, according to Hideaki Oda, secretary general of the Third World Water Forum, scheduled for 2003 in Japan. "Natural lakes, especially large ones, are of great economic, ecological, and cultural importance, with at least one B people depending on them for their livelihood and for drinking water," he said. In China, 543 large and medium-sized lakes disappeared between 1850 and 1980 when water was diverted for irrigation. Since 1900, annual water withdrawals world-wide have increased to 3,800 cubic kilometres, from 578 cubic kilometres. The global fresh water consumption rose at more than twice the rate of population growth. Most of the world's lakes suffer from eutrophication, i.e. an over-abundance of nutrients from agriculture or industry causing a rapid growth of aquatic plants that choke off other organisms. 54 % of the lakes in Asia suffer from this, compared to 53 % in Europe, 28 % in N America and 41 % in S America. (The Dawn-Pak 14/11/01)

NGO Statement at the Freshwater Conference We welcome the initiative to invite NGOs and other Major Groups to participate in Multi-Stakeholder Dialogues and in Working Group and Plenary discussions. This procedure should be adopted in discussions on water management on all levels. We also welcome the statement by Minister Wieczorek-Zeul that the German government is prepared to support a multi-stakeholder review of private sector participation in the water sector. In particular we welcome the inclusion of a statement in the Recommendations that private sector participation in water supply should not be imposed on developing countries as conditionality for funding. Governments should ensure that everyone has a lifeline supply of 50 litres per day of safe water. We note that relevant UN Conventions, particularly regarding the Rights of the Child, refers to the right (of the child) to water. This principle should be applied throughout the UN system and to all humans. The character of water as a vital resource requires that it be managed as a common good carrying social, cultural, spiritual, as well as economic values. The problem of over consumption should be adequately addressed, and such non-sustainable patterns of water use strongly discouraged, by bodies discussing or making decisions on water management. Governments and international agencies should adopt and implement the recommendations of the World Commission on Dams. With all its associated values, water resources and water service delivery should be kept out of international agreements on trade. (www.irn.org 07/12/01)

WATER OPTIONS

Productive use of wetlandsWetlands in urban areas provide the ideal ground for integration of low-cost sanitation technology with sewage-fed aquaculture. According to a paper on wetlands presented at the 17th National Convention of Environmental Engineers held at Thiruvanthapuram wetlands that are essential life support systems could play a vital role in cleaning the environment and controlling water cycles. Dismissing the general perception of wetlands as wastelands, it said they would help to preserve the ecological balance of the environment by their capacity to generate oxygen, consume pollutants, preserve the topsoil and recharge groundwater besides serving as drainage accommodation basin. (The Hindu 29/11/01)

More Water for whom? In developing nations, up to 95 % of sewage and 70 % of the industrial waste is dumped in to surface water, adding to the burden of disease. In India, 60 % of the total deaths are caused by water-borne disease. The mid-term review of the 9th plan says, “During April-May 2000, when the Maharashtra govt. was supplying drinking water through tankers in about 3,000 villages, many rich farmers were irrigating sugarcane crop with groundwater.” As per World Population Report 2001, total annual cost of environmental degradation in India is Rs 1800 B, including Rs 360 B for soil erosion. (THE TIMES OF INDIA-D 08/11/01)

Rs 2 B fund for watershed project A Rs 2 B fund has been created for watershed development from which State Govt. can avails loans, said the Union Minister for Agriculture. The NABARD has contributed Rs 1 B and the Agriculture Ministry has given an equal amount. (THE TRIBUNE 22/11/01, 06/12/01)

Centre to rope in Rajendra Singh Magsaysay winner Rajendra Singh and Tarun Bharat Sangh provided water in 600 villages through 4,500 structures with just Rs 44.5 M. Rural Development Minister, who wants to get water for all by 2010 with his sector reforms programme (SRP) at Rs 10 B, has decided to set up a national advisory panel to guide his ministry. Singh expressed skepticism about minister’s SRP. (INDIAN EXPRESS 01/11/01)

CGWA directs for rainwater harvesting To arrest the declining ground water levels and deterioration of ground water quality, the CGWA by a Public Notice has directed all Group Housing Societies in the NCT Delhi (except those societies located in Yamuna flood plain area or where water levels are within 8 mtrs below ground water level) that are exploiting ground water, to adopt Roof Top Rain Water Harvesting System for ground water recharge in their premises. (PIB 29/11/01)

RWH Calculator? The Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage Board has taken to the Internet to break the barriers of   reluctance to rainwater harvesting, with a website exclusively on RWH (www.rainwaterharvest.org, www.about_rainwaterharvesting.com, www.aboutrainwater.com). The website has a rainwater harvesting calculator that is a simple device to help a prospective investor decide if RWH would be worth the money. (THE HINDU 27/11/01)

WATER SUPPLY

Regulatory Commission in AP The AP Govt. has decided to set up an independent water supply regulatory commission on the lines of Electricity Regulatory Commission. The proposed commission will have powers to review existing water charges and decide charges to be paid in each urban body on cost-effective basis and also maintain water supply quality. (BUSINESS LINE-D 09/11/01)

Lokayukta indicts Delhi Jal Board for corruption The Lokayukta has indicated DJB for irregularities in awarding contracts for laying sewer lines in Delhi. In his final fact-finding report he has shown CM’s sister and her officer on special duty as being involved in the corruption case. (THE TIMES OF INDIA-D 11/12/01)

Water desalination in nuclear power station? The Kalpakkam nuclear power complex is expected to  have the world’s largest sea water hybrid desalination plant to be coupled to a nuclear power station. It is to produce 6.3 M litres (ML) of potable water a day using a thermal method (4.5 ML) and a reverse osmosis system (1.8 ML). (FRONTLINE 21/12/01)

WB credit for Karnataka The World Bank has announced $ 151.6 M credit for taking up the 2nd Karnataka Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project, to be implemented in 11 districts of N Karnataka. (THE HINDU-D 20/12/01)

Asbestos pipes causing cancer in W Bengal? Scores of people in the districts of Midnapore and South 24 Pargana in W Bengal have contracted cancer due to the carcinogenic effects of asbestos pipes that supply drinking water to most villages, voluntary organisations say. In 1996, the WHO recommended that asbestos be replaced by safer substitutes. WHO says exposure to chrysotile asbestos poses increased risks for asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma. But the West Bengal govt. claims the pipes it uses are quality controlled and asbestos causes cancer only when inhaled. (IANS 22/12/01)

Hudco’s loan for Gujarat water projects The Housing and Urban Development Corp. has sanctioned Rs 7.22 B for five major projects on water supply and drainage in quake-affected Gujarat. The bulk water transmission pipeline projects in Kutch, Rajkot and Jamnagar districts is estimated to cost Rs 9.53 B of which Hudco will provide Rs 7.22 B. (THE TIMES OF INDIA-A 02/12/01)

WTO & WATER

The European Union, including the UK, is pushing for further liberalisation of trade in services including water services through the General Agreement on Trade in Services. The plan is being promoted despite the fact that water privatisation so far has often been bad news for vulnerable communities and the environment. In developing countries, water prices have often increased and level of service decreased when multinational companies have been given concessions.

The WB and the IMF are aggressively promoting water privatisation in developing countries, opening the door for huge transnational water corporations to profit from water delivery and wastewater treatment. 'Full cost-recovery' - the principle promoted by the IMF and World Bank that people should pay the full cost of water, or go without - would effectively be enshrined in law by GATS.  Sustainable water distribution practices could also be undermined as charges could be introduced, for example for the collection of rainwater. Under this new WTO provision, a domestic rule that protects water as a public service and a human right could be considered a "non-tariff barrier" to trade and eliminated, as could any rule that attempts to limit privatisation. Water is clearly a "good" in GATT. Article 11 already rules out any quantitative restrictions on the export of a good, but allows tariff measures, such as taxes or dual price systems. But the new text proposes to do away with such export controls, making it illegal to restrict the export of bulk water for commercial purposes. GATS could also undermine environmental protection as it contains only a very narrow environmental exception. Governments could find that laws and measures they have introduced for environmental protection and water conservation could be classified as barriers to trade and be overruled by the WTO. (“GATS 2000" 02/11/01, right-to-water@iatp.org 08/11/01)

WATER POLLUTION

CAG warns on water pollution The CAG has stated, in its final report on water pollution, that despite laws and schemes, rivers in the country are getting dirtier, polluting industries are functioning without much check, sewage is finding its way in to water bodies and the drinking water supplied to towns does not meet set parameters posing a health risk to residents. In Haryana, 611 of 2,87 polluting units identified were functioning without the mandatory permission. In HP only one of 58 municipal committees had permission from the state pollution control board. None of 122 government hospitals or public health centres had even bothered to apply for permission. In Karnataka, out of 6,891 industries, 2,169 were functioning without consent. The Maharashtra, Orissa, Rajasthan, Gujarat were also guilty of neglect. (THE TIMES OF INDIA-D 14/12/01)

Sutlej turns toxic In a major disaster, thousands of fish and now even birds have perished in and around the Sutlej near Nangal, allegedly due to the release of toxic waste in the river. The birds feeding on the dead fish floating on the river have started perishing. The two chemical plants in the nearby area belong to NFL and Punjab Alkalis and Chemicals. The Fish Farmers Association, Punjab has demanded that criminal cases should be registered against those responsible for the death of fish in the Sutlej.

*             HC bans Fishing in Sutlej On the direction of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the fishing and the sale of fish from the Sutlej River has been banned till further order. According to the interim report submitted by the Fisheries department, a team of fisheries experts has estimated that about 30 quintals of big fish and seed fish of the small fish have perished.

*             Fish death due to lower amt. of oxygen A lower amount of dissolved oxygen, allegedly caused due to the release of some industrial toxic affluent, caused the mass mortality of fish in the Sutlej. The normal value of dissolved oxygen in the water should be 8-10 mg per litre. (THE TRIBUNE 24/11/01, 28/11/01, 30/11/01, 7/12/01)

Yamuna Pollution Water in the river Yamuna contains coliform beyond the permissible level of 5,000 per ml, Parliament was informed. The dissolved oxygen level has been ‘Nil’ (min. desirable limit is four milligram per litre) at all the monitoring locations, the minister of Environment and forest said. (THE TRIBUNE 24/11/01)

FISHERIES

Inland Fish production can go up 10 times? The total area of India’s irrigation bodies, including man-made lakes and canal network is about 7 M Ha, which produces about 2.5 MT of fish annually. If certain strategies are adopted, the country’s fish production could be raised to 30 MT by properly utilising nearly 300 large irrigation projects, around 950 medium projects and over 40,000 minor irrigation projects. (THE ECONOMIC TIMES-D 03/11/01)

Fishing rights of Adivasis The MP government has promised that the interests of Adivasis displaced by Tawa and Bargi reservoirs would be fully protected while renewing the fishing rights in the reservoir. The societies formed by the Adivasis displaced by the Tawa reservoir were given fishing rights for five years and the deadline for this arrangement is soon to expire. About 450 families are earning Rs 1000 per month from the Tawa reservoir through fishing activity. (THE HINDU-D 13/12/01)

Two states clash for fishing rights The Uttar Pradesh and Uttarnchal have been finalising the fishing contract for the “same waters” of the Sharda Sagar Dam. The Sharda Sagar, fed by the Sharda river, is a gigantic man-made lake created along a 22.2 km long earthen dam constructed in the 1950s. Of this, 17-km fall in the Pilibhit district of UP and 5.2-km lies in the Udham Singh Nagar district of Uttaranchal. After the intervention of the Supreme Court, the UP fisheries department auctioned the fishing contract of the Sharda Sagar Dam for Rs 5.1 M. The Uttaranchal govt. has now fixed date to auction the fishing contract of the same dam. (THE TIMES OF INDIA-D 12/12/01)

AGRICULTURE

Pest-related crop damage One third of the global food production potential is lost due to pest infestation and other damages. The crop losses in India range from 10 to 30 % depending on the crop, region and severity of pest infestation, said Union Minister of state for agriculture. In monetary terms, the loss is estimated at more than Rs 500 B per year. (THE ECONOMIC TIMES-D 21/11/01)

Rs 75.03 B plan to boost farm sector The working group for agricultural infrastructure and marketing for the 10th plan (2002-07) has proposed outlay of Rs. 75.03 B in a bid to help farm sector realise its full potential. An expert group conceded that with the increased production of foodgrains likely at 230 MT by the end of 10th plan, increased capacity of warehouse/godowns ought to be created. The concept of “Rural Grain Bank” needs to be introduced as the total additional storage capacity required is 7.78 MT valued at about Rs 12.59 B, which entails allocation of Rs 3.15 B as subsidy. It is proposed to involve private sector for creating food storage facilities on BOO basis. (BUSINESS LINE-D 07/11/01)

Slowdown in agri-exports During April-September 2001, agriculture exports declined by 2 % as against the increase of 21.5 % during the corresponding period last fiscal. (BUSINESS LINE-D 17/11/01)

Board for organic farming mooted A task force on organic farming has recommended a national-level permanent board to oversee the promotion of Organic farming in the country and coordinate with various Union Ministers, state agencies, research institutes and universities. Organic farming is expected to get a token amount of Rs 1 B during the 10th Plan. (THE TIMES OF INDIA-D 01/12/01)

Farmers’ suicide in Karnataka Over 80 distressed farmers have ended their lives this year in Karnataka. Untimely or inadequate rains leading to crop failure and slump in prices of agriculture commodities due to overproduction force them to commit suicide. (THE HINDU-D 15/12/01)

Fertiliser scam in Bihar A scam has been detected in Bihar involving over Rs 10 B in which 23 companies got government subsidy without even selling the nutrients. The State Agriculture Ministry agreed to order a CBI probe into the matter. (THE HINDU-D 27/12/01)

Akali Dal to move SC on WTO The Shiromani Adali Dal of Punjab has reiterated to challenge in the Supreme Court the signing of the WTO agreement by the center without consulting the states. (THE TRIBUNE 17/11/01)

FOODGRAINS PROCUREMENT

Farmers forced to give ‘post-sale bribe’ The farmers of the Doaba region in Punjab are facing forcible deduction of “post-sale bribe” to the tune of Rs 250 per tonne from their dues by commission agents. The farmers who oppose the deduction are threatened with non-purchase of their crop next year. (THE TRIBUNE 08/11/01)

Fund diversion in Punjab The Punjab govt. has diverted funds released by the RBI for the procurement operations in Oct. and Nov. for payment of staff salaries and allowances and repayment of the loan interest. The state has exhausted the entire cash-credit limit extended by RBI, and asked for more funds from the bank to clear the farmers’ dues amounting to Rs 8 B and Rs 1.5 B owed to paddy millers. (THE TRIBUNE Edit 28/11/01)

Greater decentralisation of PDS mooted The working group on PDS and food security for the 10th plan has recommended greater decentralisation of PDS and said that the states should be given the responsibility of fixing the quantum of total food subsidy to be provided, fixing the price and the amount of foodgrains to be distributed per person. The Centre would continue to provide food subsidy. (THE INDIAN EXPRESS-D 26/12/01)

FOOD SECURITY

High price and low purchasing power The annual production of 200-210 MT of foodgrains production translates into an annual availability of 200-210 kg per capita per year. From mid 1960s to ‘99, per capita availability of coarse cereals has plummeted from 42.5 kg to 25.5 kg, while that of pulses has dropped sharply from 23.2 kg to 13.3 kg per year, which is just 36 grams per day! Each Indian’s consumption of cereals has declined from 173 to 154 kg per year in rural areas, and from 134 to 124 kg per year in urban areas. On the other hand the cereals price have jumped 30 % in real terms in the past decade. The poorer sections are going to be squeezed out of the market being forced to consume less then before. (THE ECONOMIC TIMES-D 09/11/01)

No food security in the country The Union Minister for Agriculture, Mr. Ajit Singh said that despite achieving self-sufficiency in foodgrain production, India has failed to provide food security, resulting in millions of people going hungry everyday. (THE TRIBUNE 29/11/01)

Supply of foodgrains to drought-affected areas Central Govt. has been allocating foodgrains (rice and wheat) to the drought-affected States free of cost for food for work programme. Foodgrains are also being allotted to the States for calamity relief such as drought, flood etc. at rates applicable to BPL families i.e. Rs. 5650 per tonne for rice and Rs. 4150 per tonne for wheat for distribution to the affected families. As compared to this, the export price of rice fixed by the Government is Rs. 5650/- per tonne for raw rice and Rs. 6000/- per tonne for parboiled rice. The current export price of wheat is Rs. 4200 per tonne and that of ‘lustre lost’ wheat of Punjab and Haryana Rs. 4150 per tonne. (PIB 29/11/01)


ABOUT THE UPDATE

This update from SANDRP is being brought out with a hope that it will become a medium of useful information dissemination, information sharing and interaction.

The update has been produced mainly from information from media sources, both from internet and printed editions and also from official websites and existing networks.

We intend to bring out such updates regularly. We would be happy to know your responses and suggestions about the update.

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2 B lack food securityAccording to the UNPF’s State of World Population Report (Footprints and Milestones: Population and Environment Change), by 2025, 3 B people will live in 48 water-stressed countries. About 800 M people in developing countries were chronically malnourished and 2 B people lack food security. The report suggests that there is a direct relationship between poverty, high fertility and environment degradation. (THE TRIBUNE 08/11/01)

FLOODS, LANDSLIDES, DISASTERS

Kerala landslide In a massive landslide 36 persons has died at Amboori in Neyyatinkara taluk. The calamity occurred when a portion of a 700 metre-high hillside strewn with boulders came tumbling down in a heavy rain. It swept away four houses that stood in its nearly one km downhill path. (THE HINDU-D 11/11/01)

National Disaster Mitigation Summit The Confederation of Indian Industries organized a two-day summit in Delhi on Nov. 23-24 on Disaster Mitigation. It was attended by a select group of people and addressed mostly by the Chief Executive Officers from the National organizations, among them: HUDCO, India Meteorological Department, General Insurance Corporation, Central Water Commission, Indian Institute of Public Administration, National Centre for Disaster Management, National Safety Council, Central Pollution Control Board. Among the information that was shared by all was that the Government of India has raised a Working group on Disaster Management under the Indian Institute of Public Administration. Senior Civil Servant (presently, Mr. Anil Sinha) who also holds the position of Head, National Centre for Disaster Management, heads it. CII also supports a Disaster Management Committee. The present Chairman of the Committee is V. Suresh, Chairman and Managing Director, HUDCO. Dam break was not discussed at the summit. (Abridged version of a SPECIAL REPORT SENT FOR THE SANDRP UPDATE BY DILIP FAUZDAR)

Damage in AP The 11-member central team that visited four southern districts in Andhra Pradesh to assess the damage caused by floods in Oct., has termed the devastation 'unprecedented'.  The state government put the total loss due to floods at Rs 11.85 B. While 167 persons died, 22 persons were reported missing in the wake of the floods. 26,910 houses were fully damaged, and 104,753 houses suffered partial damage.  In all, 61,681 people were evacuated to safer places during the floods in Nellore, Chittoor, Cuddapah and Kurnool districts.  Minor irrigation tanks and 602 rural water supply sources were damaged. (http://www.rediff.com/ 08/11/01)

Dam bursts flooding village in east Guyana A breech in a huge dam in Guyana's East Coast has resulted in the flooding of a village of some 8000 people. (BBC 03/11/01)

POWER FINANCE

Govt. plans $1 B power fund The govt. proposes to set up the India Power Fund to mobilise $1 B for meeting the investment requirements in the power sector. PFC is expected to contribute Rs 500 M towards the seed capital. PFC seeks to rope in FIs like IDBI, GIC, LIC, ADB, and the WB. A special purpose vehicle would be created which will pick up 49 % equity stake in a power project being planned by the concerned state. The state govt. will hold the remaining 51 % stake, which will not seek management control in spite of holding majority shares. The fund is also expected to have domestic debt fund and foreign debt fund. (THE ECONOMIC TIMES 02/11/01, THE HINDUSTAN TIMES-D 21/11/01)

WB loan for Power Grid PGCIL has received $450 M loan assistance from the WB to enable it to move a step towards establishment of a National Grid in the country. (THE HINDUSTAN TIMES-D 27/11/01)

PFC to refinance IFCI guarantees PFC has agreed to takeover guarantees of over Rs 5 B extended by IFCI Ito foreign lenders in three power projects in operation. Two of the projects involved are 360 MW Lanco Kondapalli in AP and 200 MW GMR Vasavi power project in Chennai. (THE ECONOMIC TIMES-D 02/11/01)

Russian credit for Kudankulam project Russia will extend soft credit worth Rs 64.16 B to India to part-finance the Kudankulam 2000 MW nuclear power project in Tamil Nadu. The project that has been hanging fire for over a decade is to be implemented with an overall investment of Rs 131.71 B. (THE HINDUSTAN TIMES-D 04/11/01)

POWER ‘REFORMS’

Funds for Haryana power centres The ministry of power has sanctioned Rs 3 B to the Haryana government for opening four centres for power supply distribution. The Karnal, Sonepat, Hissar and Faridabad districts in the state have been chosen as “model power centres”, among 60 other districts all over the country. Money sanctioned for these model power stations will be utilised for upgrading the transmission mechanism and thus reducing the losses incurred in T&D. (THE TRIBUNE 20/11/01)

West Bengal proposes law to check power theft The govt. is planning to introduce new legislation to check power theft. For this it has decided to follow similar legislations enacted by Karnataka, UP and Delhi. WBSEB has committed itself to reducing its T&D loss from around 50 per cent now to 39 per cent by 2005. (BUSINESS LINE-D 30/11/01)

Spectrum Shareholders to move CLB, Cong to CBI On issues such as non-payment of dividends, corruption, etc, the shareholders of the Spectrum Power have decided to approach the Company Law Board. AP Congress has demanded CBI investigation into the irregularities committed by IPPs like Spectrum and GVK, APTransco and central and Financial Agencies in executing power projects in AP. (THE ECONOMIC TIMES 03/11/101, 09/11/01)

Delhi for private power distribution AES, BSES, Reliance, CESCON, China Light and Power International & Tata Power have been short listed as the strategic partners of DVB for privatisation of power distribution. DVB is being split into one generation, one transmission and three distribution companies. (THE HINDU-D 24/11/01)

MP power reforms face opposition MP has embarked on a Rs 16.40 B power reforms plan including strengthening of the T&D system. Organisations like Jan Sangharsh Morcha, the AITUC, the MP Vidyut Karamchari Janta Union and Jailok Study Circle have opposed the privatisation and trifurcation of MPEB being thrust at the instance of the WB and the ADB. They have demanded that the govt. withdraw from disastrous Projects like Maheshwar. (BUSINESS LINE-D 17/12/01, NBA PR 25/11/01)

NTPC notice to UP, MP, Orissa UP, MP and Orissa which together owe NTPC about Rs 60 B in dues, have been served notice by NTPC to cut power supply if they failed to clear their outstanding and did not agree to sign a tripartite agreement to guard against future dues. NTPC’s total outstanding from the SEBs is Rs 208.77 B as on 30/11/01. (BUSINESS LINE-D 03/12/01)

Proposal to set up 400 power circle profitcentres The Power Ministry has drawn up a plan under which it proposes to set up 400 power circle ‘profit centres’ which will be given the task of managing the T&D activities at the grassroots level. Each power circle will be allocated funds of Rs 800 M, of which the WB under the EPDP programme will provide 50 %, and rest is proposed to be put in by FIs. (THE ECONOMIC TIMES-D 03/12.01)

Power Grid notice to Delhi, Bihar, UP The Power Grid Corporation has warned Delhi, UP and Bihar, which together have outstandings of Rs. 8.55 B, to pay up their dues by the month end or face a cut in supplies. (THE HINDUSTAN TIMES-D 07/12/01)

T&D loss reduction figures ‘incorrect’ Figures provided by the SEBs about reduction in T&D losses are “doctored and cooked up” as full metering is yet to be achieved, according to Mr. Hanumantha Rao, former member of the TNERC. According to projected figures, the T&D losses came down to 23 % in Orissa, to 14 % in TN and 18 % in AP. (THE HINDU-D 12/12/01)

Gujarat to allow third party sale of power by IPPsThe Gujarat Govt. has decided to allow the third party sale of electricity for IPPs. The dues to the IPPs from the Gujarat SEB now stands at Rs 8.80 B. The govt. is expected to face a similar demand from the Captive Power Producers. The CPPs have an installed capacity of over 2 500 MW as against 1 500 MW by the IPPs. (BUSINESS LINE-D 14/12/01)

NTPC rules out gas-based plant in Bengal in 10th plan The NTPC has ruled out the possibility of setting up any gas-based power plant in W Bengal during the 10th plan as its own 1 600 MW capacity thermal power plant at Farakka is running at 40 % plant load factor due to poor demand. (BUSINESS LINE-D 17/12/01)


WE AWAIT YOUR RESPONSES

UPDATE is so well edited and well made that it covers a large area in an unimaginably small space.

Joya Mitra, Asansol, West Bengal

I am glad to go through the UPDATE on Dams, options and related issues of November 2001 issue by SANDRP. Very relevant issues of Socio Techno Economic aspects are highlighted.

Prof. B S Thandaveswara, IIT Madras

UPDATE seems an excellent and comprehensive compendium of sources on water-related issues like dams, and is a good way to stay in touch with issues for people who perhaps don't have time to read each new development on exhaustively but want to know whats going on. I like that further links and sources for information are provided, that there is a good balance between scientific and human-angle information as pertains to issues like dams, that it explores alternatives and action, and the scope is larger than one country or project.

Ajay Gandhi, IDRC, Delhi


Ethanol with petrol The Union Minister for Petroleum announced that sale of petrol blended with ethanol at the rate of 5 % will be implemented in two phases. The Govt. has also decided to amend the Sugar Development Act, 1982, so that production of ethanol and cogeneration of power from Bagasse would receive financial assistance from Sugar Development Fund. The sugar industry has welcomed the move and demanded that such blending should be mandatory. (BUSINESS LINE-D 11/12/01)

Tata Power bags first private transmission project Tata Power has picked up 51 % stake in the first transmission project in the country that was thrown open for private participation by the govt. The 1500-km, 400 KV Tala Transmission Project, which will cross three regions – North East, East and North – is expected to cost around Rs 12 B and will have capacity to carry 3 000 MW. The lines would primarily evacuate power from 1020 MW Tala Project in Bhutan, expected to be operational by 2004-05 and will also carry surplus electricity from NE states to the power deficit northern belt. The lines could also be used to carry electricity from possible Nepal HEPs. (THE ECONOMIC TIMES-D 04/12/01)

Scan America proposes to set up three projects in Gujarat Scan America Energy has proposed to set up three power projects of a total capacity of around 1 150 MW in Gujarat. To be set up in three phases on BOOT basis, the power plants would be located in the region between Gulf of Kutch and Gulf of Cambay. The first phase of the plan includes a fast track 200-400 MW combined cycle gas turbine barge mounted power plant. The second phase would be of 225 MW vessel mounted power plant while the third phase would consist of 525 MW CCGT BMPP. (THE ECONOMIC TIMES-D 21/12/01)

POWER OPTIONS

92 paise loss on every unit sold by SEBs SEBs are losing 92 paise per unit on electricity sold, resulting total loss being Rs 260 B per year. Due to the T&D losses, only 55 % (Rs. 620 B) of electricity is billed and cost recoveries are only 41 % (Rs. 460 B). The average production cost of a unit of electricity has reached up to Rs 3.04, while income is only Rs 2.12. The Union Minister of state for Power also informed that the average rate of power supplied by the NTPC during 2000-2001 was Rs 1.57 per unit. (PIB 12/12/01, RASHTRIYA SAHARA 09/11/01)

T&D losses in India The overall T&D loss in India is worked out to be 25% and the actual figure could be even higher. Ironically, the States that underwent restructuring in their Electricity Boards show the figure of 35-50% of loss. The figure was hovering around 15% that was at par with developed countries till 1966. Equal amount of investment has to be devoted for power generation on the one hand and transmission, distribution and rural electrification on the other. But the reality is that for every rupee invested on generation, only 3 to 7 paise is earmarked for transmission, distribution and rural electrification. India has the capability to bring the losses below 15%, but commercial losses due to theft and pilferage accounts for the higher figure. (PIB 10/11/01)

*             Govt. TargetThe govt. has pegged an ambitious target to reduce T&D losses across the state below 15 % from current levels of around 50 %. According to CEA estimates, reduction of the technical T&D losses would mean augmentation of capacity by almost 10,000-12,000 MW. Another statistics put the commutative commercial losses of all SEB’s at staggering Rs 260.13 B in 2001-02. The government is also claimed to have initiated demand side management to save upto 30-40 % of power. (THE ECONOMIC TIMES-D 21/11/01)


PUBLICATIONS AVAILABLE WITH SANDRP

1. Bade Bandh, Bharat ka Anubhav Hindi Translation of WCD India Country study, By R Rangachari, Nirmal Sengupta, Ramaswamy Iyer, Pranab Banerji & Shekhar Singh, SANDRP, 2001, pp 268, Rs. 100/-.

2. The Drought, the State and the People: An Experience in Gujarat SANDRP Dossier on Gujarat Drought 2000, Edited by Sanjay Sangvai, pp 90, Rs. 75/-.

3. Large Dams and Their Alternatives: South Asia Consultation SANDRP Dossier on WCD South Asia Public Hearing, 1999, pp 166, Rs. 100/-.

4. Report of the Daud Committee, Govt. of Maharashtra, SANDRP a co-publisher, pp 54, Rs. 30/-.

5. Dam Vs Drinking Water: Exploring the Narmada Judgement, by L C Jain, Parisar Publication, 2001, pp 131, Price Rs. 75/-.

6. Proceedings of the Consultation on the Report of the World Commission on Dams, Ranchi 7-8 August, 2001, Edited by DK Mishra, Barh Mukti Abhiyan, Oct. 2001, Rs. 40/-.

7. Testimonies from the Ground: A Report on Tehri Rehabilitation by Vimal Bhai and Preeti Sampat, SANDRP, Nov. 2001, pp 35, Rs. 20/-

Please send your orders with check/ DD in favour of YUVA, payable at Mumbai, to SANDRP, c/o 53B, AD block, Shalimar Bagh, Delhi 110 088. Add Rs. 15/- for check realization charges if check is drawn on a bank outside Mumbai.


Power from garbage in Delhi? The Lt. Governor of Delhi has approved setting up of a garbage treatment plant, which will produce 25 MW of power, to be built at a cost of over Rs 2 B. The first such plant of Delhi had completely failed and not generated any power, in stead caused air pollution. A number of environmental groups have said that the plant will be economically unviable and environmentally unacceptable. (HINDUSTAN TIMES 27/11/01, TIMES OF INDIA, THE HINDU 1/12/01)

Rural electrification Plan The Govt. is planning total rural electrification in the country by 2012 and the estimated cost for this has been worked out to around Rs 100 B, comprising Rs 46 B in the first phase for 62 000 villages to be covered by 2007 and Rs 54 B in the second phase which will connect 18 000 remote villages by 2012. (THE HINDU-D 08/12/01)

Gujarat yet to tap wind energy potential Gujarat has virtually turned a blind eye to the potential of generating as much as 5 000 MW of power by wind. With the state's policy on tapping wind energy left untouched since 1993, Gujarat has been generating a meager 166 MW as compared to 800 MW generated by TN that tops the list among the states in generation of wind energy. (THE TIMES OF INDIA-A 12/01)

Germany commits fresh aidThe German govt. has committed a fresh aid of about Rs 14 B (DM 664 M) this year. The fund would be utilised for different projects including for the rehabilitation of HEPs, private sector investments in infrastructure and improving the efficiency of TPSs. (BUSINESS LINE-D 06/12/01)

ENRON SAGA: Proving many critics of the Dabhol projects right, the Enron Corporation has filed for what is history’s biggest case of bankruptcy in US courts on Dec. 2, 2001. With that the fate of Dabhol Power plant has gone further into limbo.

FIs open to fund acquisition of foreign equity in DPC FIs are open to the idea of funding the acquisition of the 85% foreign equity in DPC. BSES and Tata Power have expressed interest to purchase 85% shareholding of DPC held by Enron and its associates subject to certain conditions. (THE ECONOMIC TIMES-D 13/11/01)

FIs ask govt. to finalise incentive package for DPC FIs led by IDBI have urged the Centre to finalise the package of incentive along with allotment of a distribution area for about 1,000 MW to the Enron-promoted DPC. IDBI has identified these as two major prerequisites for smooth induction of a new sponsor in place of Enron in the 2,184 MW project. (THE INDIAN EXPRESS-D 27/12/01)

HUMAN DEVELOPMENT ISSUES

Plight of Adivasis in Orissa Data collected through a survey in Orissa during April-May 2000 by the CSDS, Delhi highlight that 23 % of adivasis are “non-workers” implying that they did not get any work. The survey confirms the govt. figure that nearly 48 % of people in Orissa live below the poverty line but for Adivasis this figure stands at nearly 72 %. Only 9 % of Adivasis have access to electricity. (THE HINDU-D 06/11/01)

Mother gives away her baby due to poverty Due to poverty, a newly born male child was handed over to a couple looking ‘for a son’ in Bolangir district (Orissa) hospital. (THE HINDUSTAN TIMES-D 21/11/01)

Police firing on adivasis in Orissa Police firing killed two adivasis and critically injured eleven on the 11th Nov. 2001 at a rally of around 8000 women in Nabrangpur district. The rally was organised to protest against the death and arrest of tribals in Raigarh around 2 weeks ago, i.e. on 30th Oct. 2001, when armed police had entered Rengabhati village in the Raigarh police station of Nabarangpur district and opened fire at a gathering of 400 adivasis. In the earlier firing, two were killed on the spot while the third succumbed to injury in a govt. hospital. Another 50 sustained serious bullet injuries. (E-mail by ncas@vsnl.com)

Child mortality in Maharashtra In a startling revelation, a combined study by a group drawn from 13 NGOs in Maharashtra has revealed that about 80 % of child deaths go unreported on Health Department records every year. According to the study, of the about 200 000 deaths known to have occurred in the last two years, only up to 40 000 deaths were reported. Highest child mortality rate of 126.9 was found to be in the adivasi area of Amravati district. (INDIAN EXPRESS-D 28/11/01)

Orissa Govt. fail to utilise plan allocationsThe rural development department of Orissa had spent only 18.46 % of the total allocation of Rs 1.86 B for 2001-02 till October end. The water resource department was able to spend 31.59 % of the annual plan allocation of Rs 6.215 B. Of the annual allocation of Rs 8.856 B, the energy department was able to spend only Rs 1.72 B. (THE HINDUSTAN TIMES-D 13/12/01)

Central Minister advocates private sector for rural development The Union Minister for Rural Development said the task of rural development in the country can not be carried out without participation from the private sector. (BUSINESS LINE-D 16/12/01)

MDBs The ADB is currently in the process of drafting its first Environmental Policy. (www.bicusa.com)

BIG QUAKES MAY HIT DELHI Parts of Delhi and many of the country's principal cities could be hit by high-intensity earthquakes in future, destroying life and property, a new Indo-US study has said.  A study on the Black Mango Fault, a seismic fault that passes through Haryana, has shown that the Indo-Gangetic plain may be hit by big quakes in future, as reported in Science.  (http://www.rediff.com 30/11/01)

NEW BOOKS, REPORTSOvercoming Water Scarcity and Quality constrains, IFPRI, Oct. 2001, Edited by Ruth S Meinzen-Dick and Mark W Rosegrant This 29 page report is part of IFPRI’s exercise towards 2020 vision for Food, Agriculture and Environment. The sentence in 2 page overview “However, water harvesting can be expensive per unit of water, and is unlikely to be able to meet rapidly growing water demands” possibly shows a bias of the report. While being critical of large dams and inter-basin transfer of water, the overview does not even mention the word equity.


___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Hydropower Schemes of Uttaranchal

Completed Projects

Project

Capacity (MW)

Agency

River

Completion Year

Info. Sources

Maneri Bhali St-I

90

UHPC

Bhagirathi

1984

TOI-D 23/12/01

Tanakpur

120 (40x3)

NHPC

Sharda

1992

NHPC Brochure

Khatima

41.4 (13.8x3)

State Sector

Sharda

1956

CPGP (Page 12)

Patheri

20.4 (6.8x3)

State Sector

Ganga Canal

1955

CPGP (Page 12)

Dhakrani Y St-I

33.75 (11.25x3)

State Sector

Yamuna

1965,66,70

CPGP (Page 13)

Dhalipur Y St-I

51 (17x3)

State Sector

Yamuna

1965,66,70

CPGP (Page 13)

Chibro Y St-II

240 (60x4)

State Sector

Yamuna

1975

CPGP (Page 13)

Kulhal Y St-IV

30 (10x3)

State Sector

Yamuna

1975

CPGP (Page 13)

Ramganga

198 (66x3)

State Sector

Ramganga

1975,76,77

CPGP (Page 13)

Chilla

144 (36x4)

State Sector

1980,81

CPGP (Page 13)

Khodri Y St-II

120 (30x4)

State Sector

Yamuna

1984

CPGP (Page 13)

Khara

72 (24x3)

State Sector

1992

CPGP (Page 13)

Total

1160.55

Projects Under Construction

Project

Capacity (MW)

Agency

River

Status

Info. Sources

Tehri Stage-I

1000

THDC

Bhagirathi

Completion by Aug. 03

CEA Annexure-IV

Tehri Pump Storage

1000

THDC

Bhagirathi

DPR being updated

TOI-D 23/12/01

Koteshwar

400

THDC

Bhagirathi

Work started

CEA Annexure-IV

Dhauli Ganga St-I

280

NHPC

--

Compln. By March 05

NHPC Brochure

Maneri Bhali St-II

304

UHPC

Bhagirathi

Work started (2003-05)

TOI-D 23/12/01

Total

2984

Projects Under Planning

New Projects

Capacity-MW

Agency

River

Status

Info. Source

Bharon Ghati-I

324

UHPC*

Bhagirathi

New Project

TOI-D 23/12/01

Bharon Ghati- II

240

UHPC*

Bhagirathi

New Project

TOI-D 23/12/01

Loharinagpala

620

THDC

Bhagirathi

New Project

TOI-D 23/12/01

Palamaneri

460

UPIPP

Bhagirathi

New Project

TOI-D 23/12/01

Lakhwar Vyasi

420

UPHC*

Yamuna

10th Plan

CEA Annexure-IV

Kishau Dam

600

UPHC*

Yamuna

Early Decision

TOI-D 23/12/01

Vishnu Prayag

400

Jaiprakash Group

Alaknanda

Prv. Sector (10th Plan)

CEA Annexure-IV

Srinagar

330

Duncans Group

Alaknanda

Prv. Sector (2005-06)

CEA Annexure-IV

Tapovan Vishnugad

360

--

Bids Invited

SANDRP Database

Tiuni Plasu

42

UPHC*

--

Proposed

POD PPS

Katapathar

19

NHPC

--

To be taken up (05-06)

CEA Annexure-IV

G Ganga

70

NHPC

(11th Plan)

POD PPS (Page 43)

Total

3885

CPGP: Compendium of Power Generating Plants, CEA, New Delhi, July-1997

POD PPS: Power on Demand by 2012, Perspective Plan Studies, CEA, July-1999