UPDATE

ON DAMS, OPTIONS & RELATED ISSUES

SANDRP                                                                                                                           NOVEMBER 2001

INDEX

ABOUT THE UPDATE
MEETING ON WCD REPORT IN BANGALORE

DAMS IN INDIA

High Court Stay on Athirappilly HEP

Villages oppose Tehri Power-lines through forests

German credit for Tehri Dam

Diversion of funds in Maheshwar

Demand for implementing Daud committee report

Why they call Oct. 18 a Black Day

Contempt case against Arundhati Roy

Large Dams, Terror and Wars

Baba Amte to resume stir against Inchampalli Dam

Kerala concern about Mekkara Dam in TN

NEPAL: 300 MW Upper Karnali HEP

WATER MANAGEMENT

20 years, Rs 1 Billion and no water

WB project to destroy wetlands in UP

WB demands for increasing water tariffs

Gujarat facing acute water scarcity

Maharashtra villagers taxed for water

AP Drought Farmers’ suicides in Karnataka

Soil Productivity in Punjab

Cauvery Dispute

PAKISTAN: Seawater intrusion

CHINA: Water sources for Yellow River dry up

RURAL DRINKING WATER

Provide potable water to all by 2004

W Bengal: Rural Drinking Water Supply

Rajasthan getting polluted canal water

Water crisis forces migration

Funds for UP under RGDWM

URBAN DRINKING WATER

Tap water is better than Bottled water

Parallel channel for Yamuna water

Groundwater Depletion, Fluoride In Faridabad

HUDCO to fund Krishna water scheme

WATER PRIVATISATION

States planning to hand over water sector to MNCs

Privatised water supply project for Tirupur

WATER ALTERNATIVES

Tank desiltation in Karnataka

Rainwater Harvesting in Delhi

Wasteland Development Projects

ADB WATER PROJECT IN MP

FOOD MANAGEMENT

Scarcity amid plenty

Centre asks States to Identify all BPL families

Apex Court wants census of the poor

SC on Starvation

Launch of Sampoorna Gramina Rojgar Yajna

  'Food for Work' programme

Benefit of PSS is taken by intermediaries

Procurements of foodgrains

Antodaya Anna Yajana

Starvation stalks Kashipur

Starving Orissa family sells children

Per capita consumption of cereals gone down

Wheat Scam Probe

Community food banks scheme being launched

34 countries facing food emergencies

'Food for Work' programme

Benefit of PSS is taken by intermediaries

FORESTS VIA FOOD FOR WORK

SC Bans tree felling in Andaman Islands

SUGAR MANAGEMENT

Large stocks of unsold sugar

Govt. move on sugar export subsidy

FLOODS

Flood plain management Vs embankments

Annual Flood Damage

Floods in East UP

Flood in Andhra Pradesh

Plan to divert Sutlej flood waters to Pak

Bihar floods affect 7 million

NEPAL: Glacial Lake Outburst Floods

CHINA: Flood-Control Project on Yangtze River 

NIGERIA: Hundreds died in floods

POWER ISSUES

Rs 200 billion Annual loss due to power theft

The capacity and the demand of the power

10 000 MW from nuclear sources in next 10 years?

Measures for UP power sector

RENEWABLE POWER OPTIONS

Power from Renewables in AP

Nepal Micro-hydro

ENRON UPDATE

RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT IN DELHI

ADIVASI ISSUES

INLAND WATERWAYS: Centre keen on Pvt. funds

WORLD BANK PROJECTS IN SOUTH ASIA

QUOTES

PUBLICATIONS AVAILABLE WITH SANDRP


MEETING ON WCD REPORT IN BANGALORE

'The recommendations made in the Executive Summary included in the report of the World Commission on Dams have considerable significance on new works to be taken. They are also worth considering in adapting on existing ones to the extent possible. The recommendations have been made after elaborate interaction, survey of 125 existing dams, 17 thematic review papers as well as the results of public consultations and more than 900 submissions made to the commission. They have prepared five key decision points and prepared checklists. I am sure findings and the recommendations of the WCD will be discussed at the present seminare and sustainable conclusions reached.' Inaugurating the well attended two day workshop Dams and Development: Evolving Frameworks for Decision Making at National Law School of India University campus in Bangalore on September 3, 2001, the Karnataka Water Resources Minister Shri H K Patil added, 'I on behalf of Govt. of Karnataka assure this gathering that the recommendations of this workshop will be considered by the State Government'. The workshop was organised by Centre for Environmental Law, Education, Research and Advocacy, NLSIU and South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People, New Delhi.

The Workshop ended on Sept. 4, 2001 with a series of conclusions and recommendations, which included setting up of a group to take up follow up actions. Highlighting some of the conclusions, NLSIU Director, Dr Mohan Gopal said that the affected people in any project should have truly opertionalised consensus oriented informed consent without which projects should not go ahead. Stressing another conclusion of the workshop, Mr N R Krishnan, former secretary, Ministry of Env. and Forests, Govt. of India, said that the completed and ongoing projected should be reviewed and monitored on regular basis for taking proper decisions regarding the projects. (The Times of India, The Hindu, The Indian Express, 4/9/01 and 5/9/01)


DAMS IN INDIA

High Court Stay on Athirappilly HEP In a historic judgement on Oct. 17, the Kerala HC has stayed the finalisation of contract and construction of the proposed 163 MW Athirappilly HEP across Chalakudy River. The HC has directed the Kerala SEB to comply with the requirements of EIA Notification, 1994 as amended by the notification of 1997 in so far as it relates to public hearing. The Central Govt. has been directed to reconsider the question of grant of environmental clearance on the basis of all the materials including the report of the public hearing. The Board has been directed to take all the necessary steps to repair and restore to full capacity all the existing HEPs, to minimize transmission losses and prevent theft of energy. The judgement was delivered on behalf of the two Public Interest Litigations filed by Chalakudy Puzha Samrakshana Samithi and Nilanilpu.  (Chalakudy Puzha Samrakshana Samithi)

Tehri Power-lines through Chipko forests opposed Villagers who participated in Chipko movement of the seventies from Advani Village in Tehri district protested against the felling of trees and stalled work on the power transmission lines from Tehri Dam. The Power Grid Corp. has to cut out two corridors, each of 95 meters wide, for the construction of the high-tension lines. For this purpose thousands of pine and Sal trees from a forest more than a 100 years old will be cut. (INDIAN EXPRESS-D 4/9/01)

German credit for Tehri Dam Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has given his approval for Germany’s export credit agency to cover the supply of equipment for the controversial Tehri dam project. Schroeder ordered the Economy Ministry to reverse its rejection of credit application filed by Siemens. This application was to provide export credit guarantee of $32 million. The Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Overseas Development had vehemently objected to the project because the planned 260-metre-high rock and earth-fill dam would destroy fragile ecosystems and cause the displacement of over 100 000 people. (INDIAN EXPRESS-D 29/10/01, http://www.janmanch.org/environment/environment.asp)

Diversion of funds in Maheshwar The NBA has said 'large scale diversion of funds has been done by S Kumars to its group of companies, which was earmarked for the Maheshwar project,' and called for judicial probe. The NBA said that out of about Rs 3 billion to Rs 4 billion disbursed by the FIs to the S Kumars for building the Maheshwar dam, 'A significantly large sum of Rs 1.06 billion has been siphoned off by that company to its group of companies and other agencies that have not been awarded any contracts.' (THE HINDU-D, RASHTRIYA SAHARA 18/10/01)

Demand for implementation of Daud committee’s report Ms. Medha Patkar has demanded the findings of a committee headed by Justice S. M. Daud be acted upon since the waters of Narmada behind Sardar Sarovar threaten the people who come under the sweep of the enlarging reservoir being built there. This demand has come up during the 11 day long Dharna and fast staged by the NBA in Mumbai. The Maharashtra Government has decided to convert 43 forest villages in to revenue villages to enable the persons displaced by the SSP to secure land titles but NBA wants that time bound action is assured. (THE HINDU-D 26/9/01)

Why they call Oct. 18 a Black Day About the Supreme Court Judgement dated Oct. 18, 2000 in the Sardar Sarovar Case, the Columnist Dilip D’Souza writes: 'I read the judgment very carefully, looking for a sign that the court had rejected the Morse Report for more tangible reasons. I found none. The government's mere dislike of the report appeared to have been good enough. So is it only reports that praise the project that are acceptable? …When the court has been asked to consider the pros and the cons of the project and make a decision, what does it mean to accept the evidence that praises, but to throw out the evidence that damns? …More bafflement, and shades of Orwell and 1984 as well: "completed ahead" has been taken to "imply that the work was done pari passu". The dam builders were required -- not urged or advised, but *required* -- to complete one thing before doing another, but they simply assume that this *itself* means they can do the two things side by side. …How did that happen? Worse, how did the justices of the Supreme Court let this pass? How was it treated as anything other than a violation of the clearance -- the conditional clearance -- given to the project? Believe me, the judgment is riddled with oddities like these two. …If a massive dam needs strange logic so it can be built, that is alarming indeed'. (http://www.rediff.com/news/2001/oct/19dilip.htm)

The Narmada Bachao Andolan has said that in one year after the Supreme Court judgement, it had been proved that all assumptions about the resettlement and rehabilitation of the affected and other aspects of the dam project were false. NBA demanded that the court must review its judgement to avoid future disasters, violation of people’s rights and constitutional values and to adhere to the principles of justice and equality. (THE HINDU-D 21/10/01)

Failure of Gujarat Govt? Gujarat Congress has launched a statewide agitation to highlight the State Government’s failure on Narmada Dam. According to former Gujarat Chief Minister, 'The Narmada Project had envisaged the total cost of Rs. 61.25 Bln and now it has swelled to Rs. 450 Bln. The people in Gujarat are paying Rs. 35 Mln as interest everyday because of the delay in the project'. (THE HINDU-D 21/10/01, Indian Express-Baroda 28/10/01)

Contempt case against Arundhati Roy The two-member SC bench rejected the plea by Ms Arundhati Roy’s counsel Shanti Bhushan for referring the issue to a five-judge constitution bench. The bench also rejected an application filed on behalf of the 14 eminent people to impleading them in this case. On September 5, the court had issued contempt notice to her after dropping contempt proceedings against Ms Medha Patkar and Adv. Prashant Bhushan, in a petition filled by some advocates which the court found to be baseless.

Arundhati Roy, in her affidavit to the Supreme Court said, among other things, 'I have said that by admitting a flawed petition against three people who had recently and publicly criticised the Supreme Court judgement in the Sardar Sarovar case, the Court creates this impression. Therefore, I said, by its own action, the Court is harming its credibility and reputation. In a democracy, it is a citizen's duty to point this out… It seemed perfectly appropriate to air my view that in this particular instance, the Court, by allowing certain citizens to grossly abuse its process in this way, creates the disturbing impression that there is an inclination on the part of the Court to silence criticism and muzzle dissent… For a working person, being asked to schedule one's entire life around enforced court appearances, as though one is a common criminal, is humiliating and damaging to one's professional life. It is therefore incumbent on the Court to see that a petition on the basis of which Notice is issued, passes at least a minimum credibility test… I do not believe that the criticism of the Court or its process by an individual, whoever that individual might be, can possibly lower the dignity of an institution as powerful and venerable as the Supreme Court of India… The dignity, the authority and the reputation of the Court depend entirely on the conduct of its judges and the quality of their judgements… In conclusion, may I take the liberty of saying that the process of this trial and all that it entails, is as much, if not more of a punishment than the sentence itself…' (TIMES OF INDIA-D 30/10/01, Affidavit of Ms Arundhati Roy.)

Gujarat embarks on Rs 80 billion water scheme The govt. has embarked on a gigantic programme of providing drinking water from the Narmada River to 8 325 villages and 135 urban pockets at an estimated cost of Rs 80 Bln. Rs 30 Bln has been spent under the project, said state’s water supply minister. The entire project is to be completed by March 2005. (THE TIMES OF INDIA 1/10/01)


Large Dams, Terror and Wars

THE HORROR of WTC's twin towers falling down on September 11 has changed the perspective of many countries in many fields. In the October 20 issue of The Hindu, it is reported that France has drawn up a list for special precautions being taken and that list includes large dams, large in the French context. Dams in India are larger. If France feels constrained to protect its large dams we should be even more so in the changed world scenario.

Earthy question When Khruschev came visiting in 1953 or thereabouts a sightseeing tour was arranged and Bhakra-Nangal was in that itinerary. Nehru wanted to impress him with Indian skills in achieving great things. But Khruschev was not impressed. He was a very earthy person having come up from the ranks to the topmost job in his country. And an earthy question he asked was why we built such a dam so close to the border. What would happen if the dam was bombed? The accurate answer should have been that a sizeable part of Punjab would then be under water. The officer showing Khruschev around tactfully replied that he was only an engineer and was not concerned with political problems. Many more dams have been built since then. Two are currently immersed in controversies, the Tehri and the SSP.

Dams have, even in the past become targets in an all-out war. During the Second World War British planes bombed out a dam in Germany and they did so at night so that the people below might be washed away in their sleep without being put to the trouble of finding a way out in the dark.

A case for reappraisal Irrespective of what has been decided in the past there is now a case for reappraisal of large dams under construction and of those envisaged for the future. Is it not possible to build instead a series of small dams along the course of the river whose total output may be nearly the same as that of one large dam. Perhaps it may not be possible to do so in every case but investigations may reveal alternatives in several cases and I am sure that our engineers are sufficiently innovative to make use of them. The risks and collateral damage may be lower.

(V. RAMANATHAN, General Manager (Retd.), Indian Railways, edited from The Hindu 30/01/01 http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/op/stories/2001103000040101.htm)

PS: US planes have already bombed Kajaki, the largest Afghan dam and many international organisations, including UN have expressed concerns about the consequences, which UN described, could lead to 'disaster of tremendous proportions'.


Baba Amte to resume stir against Inchampalli Dam Noted social worker Baba Amte will soon resume his agitation against Inchampalli dam being planned on Godavari river by Andhra Pradesh. Amte said he had thrown a challenge to the Madhya Pradesh CM Digvijay Singh, who flew to meet him, to show even one example of satisfactory rehabilitation of oustees of small dams, leave alone the issue of big dams. (Indian Express-D 5/9/01)

Kerala concern about Mekkara Dam in TN Kerala is apprehensive that the under construction 670 m long Mekkara Dam in Tirunelveli dist. in TN plans to divert water from Pampa and Achankovil rivers of Kerala as recommended by NWDA, depriving the Kerala downstream areas. Kerala has expressed strong objections against the project. (THE HINDU-D 27/10/01)

NEPAL: 300 MW Upper Karnali HEPNepal Electricity Authority signed the PPA for the 300-MW Upper Karnali HEP with the Singapore based Elysee Frontiere Humanitarian Trust. The trust will be investing $700 million of which, $500 million will be invested in the HEP. NEA would buy the power generated from the project at the rate of Rs. 2.90 per unit during the dry season. In the wet season, NEA would buy 50 percent of the power at Rs. 1.45 per unit and the remaining 50 percent at Rs. 2.90 per unit. (The Kathmandu Post- 19, 23 & 30/10/01)

WATER MANAGEMENT

20 years, Rs 1 Billion and no water The NWDA was set up in July 1982 to carry out studies for linking various rivers in the country. After two decades and pumping of Rs 1 Billion they are looking for another seven years and an additional Rs 800-900 Million to just complete just the feasibility studies. NWDA said, 'In the peninsular component, we had to conduct water balance studies of 137 basins and sub-basins and 49 diversion points, storage capacity studies of 58 reservoirs and pre-feasibility reports of 17 inter-linking canals. Similarly for the Himalayan component, water balance studies and pre-feasibility reports of 13 links had to be completed.' (THE TIMES OF INDIA-D 9/9/01)

WB project to destroy wetlands in UP The wetlands of Etawah and Mainpuri are home to some 1,500-3,000 Sarus cranes, the world’s tallest flying bird and an indicator species. The omnivorous birds feed and breed in the marshes and paddy fields supporting a wide range of biodiversity. The UP government has planned to convert 11 122 hectare of alkaline land to agriculture with the WB help of $121 million. The wetlands are also used as a common resource by the local human population and a change in land use would have a disruptive effect. This would severely narrow the biodiversity of that land and disrupt or destroy the breeding cycle of the Sarus cranes and Black necked storks. It is ironic, incidentally that the Government of India classifies wetlands as wastelands. (http://www.indianjungles.com)

WB demands increase in water tariffs Even as Orissa faced one of the most devastating floods, the World Bank has demanded an increase in the water tariffs. Rates for water for irrigation will be doubled or tripled, in a program forced through a divisive and angry state assembly session at the end of September. The people of Orissa, one of the poorest states in India, have reason to be concerned about their future capacity to buy food. (http://www.s-j-c.net/9Oct2001.htm)

Maharashtra villagers taxed for water The Government recently hiked the cost of irrigation water while around 7 262 villages are facing drought. (INDIAN EXPRESS-D 4/9/01)

AP Drought Andhra Pradesh is expected to incur a loss of Rs 40 Billion during the current kharif season on account of drought. Over 2 million hectares cultivable land was left fallow out of a normal sowing area of 8.32 million hectares in the state. (BUSINESS LINE-D 13/9/01)

Farmers’ suicides in Karnataka The Karnataka farmers are committing suicide because they are unable to clear mounting debts. This year 12 farmers have committed suicide in Dharwad and 60 in the state. The spurt of suicides has also been attributed to the crash in the prices of agricultural produce and failure of the monsoon. (THE HINDU-D 4/9/01)

During 1999-2001, 110 farmers committed suicide in Karnataka. In September 2001 alone, 30 farmers committed suicide. Most of the suicides have happened in areas where crop is Arhar (pigeon pea). These are areas of dry-land farming where the cost of cultivation is high. Imports in recent years have pushed prices down to Rs 12 per kg from Rs. 18-26 per kg earlier. A number of other produce (maize, pulses, oilseeds, coconut, arecanut) is imported under OGL and prices of all these have fallen, causing great hardship to rural households. In the current year the state witnessed an extreme drought situation, destroying whole range of crops, and likely to intensify peasant distress in a major way. In a state where only 25 per cent of the land is irrigated, the large majority of farmers are exposed to the risks of rain-fed agriculture. (THE HINDU-D 21/10/01)

Soil Productivity in Punjab Punjab farmers of the khetibadi te kisan vikas front have said that chemical agriculture was adversely affecting the soil productivity and the water table in most districts had fallen drastically. (THE HINDU-D 2/10/01)

Cauvery Dispute In the emergency meeting of Cauvery monitoring committee the Karnataka officials took the stand that water levels in the state’s reservoirs were the lowest in five years and hence it was not possible to release water 'as of today.' Karnataka also stressed that 45 of the 48 talukas in the Cauvery catchment area in the State had been declared drought hit. (INDIAN EXPRESS-D 7/9/01, THE HINDUSTAN TIMES 16/9/01)

* TN to move SC TN CM stated that the real solution lay only in the hands of the Apex Court as the Cauvery River Authority was a 'toothless wonder' incapable of enforcing its directives.  (INDIAN EXPRESS-D 12/9/01)

PAKISTAN: Seawater intrusionOver 1.2 million acres of agricultural land in Badin and Thatta districts has gone under the water of the Arabian Sea. The sea has been advancing into the Indus delta because of the river's rapidly diminished flow. A significant depletion in both Tarbela and Mangla dam’s storage capacity has only exacerbated the problem. The advancing waters of the Arabian Sea have jeopardized the very rich ecosystem that is found in the Indus delta. The mangrove forests that stretch from Karachi eastward all the way to the Indian border have been badly hit by the massive intrusion of seawater. Valuable fish species like pallah and shrimp found in the area have considerably diminished in quantities. (Daily Dawn-Pak 11/09/01)

CHINA: Water sources for Yellow River dry upMore than 2 000 lakes that nurture China's once ferocious Yellow River in the western province of Qinghai are disappearing and causing water shortages for the local people, state-run Xinhua said. China’s second-longest Yellow River waterway has been dying over the years, harmed by excessive water use and pollution. Over half of the ground rivers and lakes in Qinghai's Madoi county - formerly known as a "county of thousands of lakes" - has already disappeared, making 30 percent of the county's grassland vanish and harming grazing activities. Drought this summer has deprived local livestock of sufficient food and dried up more than 120 of the county's sources of drinking water. (Planetark 9/10/01)


QUOTES

'One major limitation with these (food distribution) schemes had been that they had killed the spirit of participation with the 'top-down approach'.

Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary P Shankar

Business Line-D 3/10/01

'Everything about the Mekkara dam looks suspicious. It is like rearing cows seeing the possibilities afforded by the grass growing in your neighbour’s backyard.'

Kerala Leader of Opposition V S Achuthanandan

The Hindu-D 27/10/01


RURAL DRINKING WATER

Provide potable water to all by 2004 According to Union Minister for Rural Development, the reform initiatives in Rural Drinking Water Supply were intended to transform the Government-oriented, centralised and supply driven rural drinking water programme into a community oriented, participatory, decentralised and demand-driven programme. The emphasis now was on community participation in planning, sanctioning, partial funding, implementing and managing rural water supply schemes to be chosen by the people. 63 districts in 26 states had been identified for implementing the reforms. The minister expressed concern towards total neglect of traditional water harvesting techniques, which were adversely impacting the sustainability of water sources. [The minister’s speech is full of quotable quotes.]

The Union Minister for Rural Development said that with an investment of more than Rs 340 billion on rural drinking water supply in the last 50 years, 87.47% of the 1.42 million rural habitations in the country are claimed to be fully covered, 11.19 % are partially covered and 1.35 % -19000 rural habitations- are not covered. The deadline for covering all habitations is 2004.

Even after installation of more than 3.5 million handpumps and over 116 000 piped-water supply schemes, in many parts of the country, water scarcity still persists.

Government has been enhancing budgetary support under the Accelerated Rural Water Supply programme. An allocation of Rs 18 billion was made in 1999-2000 and it was raised to Rs 19.60 billion the following year. In the current financial year, the allocation has further been stepped up to Rs 20.10 billion. (PIB 19/09/01, THE HINDU-D 13/10/01, 20/10/01)

217 000 villages were facing the problem of poor quality water with Arsenic, Fluoride and brackish water content. Rainwater harvesting would be taken up in all urban and rural areas to ensure reasonable supply of water through out the year, according to Union Minister for Rural Development. Currently, less than 18% of rainwater was being harvested. (Business Line-D 16/10/01)

Potable water for all Haryana villages in 2 years The Haryana CM said that his government is committed to providing 70 liters of potable water to each person in all villages in the state within a period of two years. (THE TRIBUNE 10/10/01)

W Bengal Ministry of Rural Development has released Rs 2.54 million under Accelerated Rural Water Supply Programme to West Bengal for 2001-02. (PIB 3/09/01)

Rajasthan getting polluted canal water In the absence of 'functional' sewage treatment plants in major industrial cities of Punjab situated along the Sutlej, the people of the Canal-fed areas of Rajasthan are forced to drink 'highly polluted water' and are battling with various water born diseases. Northern districts, particularly Sriganganagar and Hanumangarh, are totally dependent on the supply of water from Gang, Indira Gandhi and Bhakhra canals from Punjab for irrigation as well as drinking purpose. The water is tested by irrigation authorities and it has been found that increasing amount of sewage and saline water from waterlogged areas is being dumped into the canals thereby making it unfit for human consumption. (THE TRIBUNE 8/9/01)

Water crisis forces migration in Haryana Birds and human beings have started to migrate from some of the villages falling in Chhabisi Panchyat of Mahendragarh in Haryana due to nonavailability of water where underground water level has fallen 600-1000 feet. (THE TRIBUNE 29/9/01)

Funds for UP under RGDWMThe Ministry of Rural Development has approved Rs 13.881 million to UP Jal Nigam for implementation of Information Education and Communication Campaign on rural drinking water supply. (PIB 28/09/01)

URBAN DRINKING WATER

Tap water is better than Bottled water The WWF and public water utilities in various countries are urging people to drink tap water, which is often as good as bottled water, costs upto 1000 times less, and is better for the environment. Even where tap water may be contaminated, the study says "boiling or filtering local water renders it safe at a much lower cost for people on a low income". (Water and Sanitation Weekly Oct/01)

Parallel channel for Yamuna water The Delhi Water Board would develop a channel parallel with Yamuna River. On completion the loss of water through seepage would be less. (RASTRIYA SAHARA-D 3/9/01)

Potable Water in Delhi Delhi Jal Board has targeted to supply about 940 million gallon per day (MGPD) potable water in 9th plan (1997-2002) assuming water supply from Renuka (stalled due to environmental reasons), Kishau (no progress in implementation), Lakhtar-Vyasi and Tehri dams. Currently about 650 MGPD are being supplied by DJB. (RASHTRIYA SAHARA 23/10/01)

Groundwater Depletion, Fluoride in FaridabadAccording to Central Ground Water Board, level of Flouride in ground water drawn in Faridabad district has reached to almost seven times above normal. This level of flouride in drinking water could make the residents vulnerable to flourisis. Parts of Gurgaon, Rewari and Mahendergarh in South Haryana are already suffering such a situation. One of the main causes has been industries disposing off polluted water through boring wells.

The groundwater table in Faridabad had been receding at a rate of 1.442 miters every year, which is by any standard too high. The Central Ground Water Authority has extended the deadline for adopting rooftop rainwater harvesting systems for residential societies, institutions, schools, hotels and industrial units, to Dec. 31, 2001. Failing to abide could invite, under EPA 1986, sealing of the tubewells installed. (THE TRIBUNE 24/9/01, 27/10/01)

HUDCO to fund Krishna water scheme HUDCO has agreed in principle to fund the Rs 8 Billion scheme for supplying drinking water from the Krishna River to the twin cities. The Hyderabad Metro Water Supply and Sewerage Board is looking for institutional finance of Rs 6.2 Bln and Rs. 1.6 Bln as margin money from the State Government. (THE HINDU-D 26/9/01)

WATER PRIVATISATION

States planning to hand over water sector to MNCs At least 30 cities across the country are reportedly bidding their respective municipal water supply to handful of powerful multinationals. The states involved include Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan. The MNCs collaborating with the World Bank’s partnership to push water privatisation are Bechtel (infamous from Bolivia), Enron, the Anglican Water International of UK (in Karnataka, where DFID is also a key player) and Monsanto besides the French water giants like Vivendi (in Delhi) and Suez-Lyonnaise. The union ministry of Environment and Forests has estimated that $65 billion would be required in water and wastewater utilities sector during the next decade. The state governments have agreed to raise water tariffs every two years to become eligible for credit. (THE HINDU-D 4/10/01)


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, A Parisar Publication, 2001, pp 131, Price Rs. 75/-.

Please send your orders with check/ DD in favour of YUVA, payable at Mumbai, to SANDRP, c/o 53B, AD block, Shalimar Bagh, Delhi 110 052. Add Rs. 15/- for check realization charges if check is drawn on a bank outside Mumbai.


Privatised water supply project for Tirupur The country’s first private - public sector project for integrated water supply has taken off, it is claimed. Three years from now, the industrial town of Tirupur in Tamil Nadu is to draw 185 Mln liters per day under a BOOT system to service nearly 1,000 textile units and 1.6 Mln residents. This project involves an estimated investment of $287 Mln. The project company - Mahindra Infrastructure - will be capitalised at $50 Mln for 80 per cent equity and the IFC will invest $10 Mln in equity for a 20 % ownership. USAID has provided loan guarantee for $25 Mln. Water for the system will be lifted from Cauvery by building a 55 km long pipeline. The first phase of work is being undertaken by the UK based Bechtel. (THE HINDU-D 28/10/01)

WATER ALTERNATIVES

Tank desiltation in Karnataka The tank desiltation programme is being launched in Karnataka with an aid to the tune of nearly Rs 10 billion from the WB. It aims to desilt an estimated 36 000 tanks (2000 tanks in first phase of five years) in various stages of disuse across the state. Each multi-disciplinary team of NGO is to develop 40 tanks in a period of five years. The project attempts restoration of 2000 tanks in a phased way. In the case of tanks above 40 hectare command area per hectare cost is Rs 20 000 to 25 000. (THE HINDUSTAN TIMES-D 14/10/01)

Rainwater Harvesting in DelhiThe Central Ground Water Authority has directed all the Group Housing Societies in Delhi to adopt rooftop rainwater harvesting before December 31, or face action. The direction does not include those GHS, which are situated in the Yamuna flood planes area or where water level is less than eight meters below ground. (THE Hindustan Times-D 7/9/01)

Initiatives in wasteland development The plan allocation for Integrated Wastelands Development Programme, Drought Prone Areas Programme and Desert Development Programme was increased from Rs. 2.62 billion in 1999-2000 to Rs. 8 billion in 2001-02. New Watershed Development projects covering 6.2 million hectares were sanctioned during the two years as against the new projects covering 5.2 million hectares in previous 4 years. The coverage of area in NE States has been increased to 0.374 million hectares during the two years from 0.148 million hectares in previous four years. The cost norm for watershed development projects has been enhanced from Rs. 4,000/- to Rs. 6,000/- per hectares with effect from 1/4/2000. (PIB 9/10/01)

ADB WATER PROJECT IN MP The ADB is to administer a technical assistance project to help MP to draw up a comprehensive water resource management and action plan. The UK government would provide a $500,000 grant for the project, which would be the first technical assistance project. The ADB sources said that water availability in the State is critically constrained by the limited ability to store rainwater in reservoirs and as groundwater. (BUSINESS LINE-D 19/10/01)

FOOD MANAGEMENT

Scarcity in the midst of plenty At present 60 million tonnes (MT) foodgrains lie with FCI. Of the 2.4 MT of foodgrains offered by the Centre free for food for work programme, the states have lifted only 1.4 MT and distributed there from only 0.7 MT. This is disgraceful performance. The government has borrowed nearly Rs 600 billion to finance the foodgrains stock. Apart from the interest burden of this debt (nearly Rs 70 billion), the food-stocks are also open to deterioration, both of quality and quantity. (BUSINESS LINE-D 1/10/01)

* The ambitious wheat (value-added) product export policy of July 2001, earmarking 2 MT wheat, has remained a non-starter. (THE ECONOMIC TIMES-D 6/10/01)

Centre asks States to identify BPL families The Centre has issued a 'stringent' order asking states to identify all BPL families within three months and plug loopholes in the PDS. The order under the Essential Commodity Act made it mandatory for states to complete identification BPL families, licensing of fair price shops and check irregularities in the issuance of ration cards. The order has punitive provisions for violation of guidelines. (THE TRIBUNE 3/9/01)

Apex Court wants census of the poor The Supreme Court has directed 13 states and 2 Union territories to identify BPL families to ensure that they get their share of food through the PDS. The Court wants to know why only 25 kg of foodgrains a month was made available when provision was for 73 kg. The Court was hearing a petition from the PUCL, which said that an estimated 208 Mln people were faced with chronic hunger. The petition also raised a question whether the right to life under Article 21 included the right to food. (THE Hindustan Times-D 14/9/01)

SC on Starvation The Supreme Court has fixed a deadline of three weeks for 13 state governments to implement 'food for work' programme and provide food for the starving people. 'Over 36 Mln persons were languishing in poverty in Bihar', the SC said. Years after the Govt. launched the targeted public distribution system, which aims to channelise the food subsidies to the really poor, 11 states and four union territories including Delhi are yet to identify the poor. The Supreme Court called this a 'tragic comedy'. (THE ECONOMIC TIMES 5/9/01(edit), THE TIMES OF INDIA-D 18/9/01)

Sampoorna Gramina Rojgar YajnaThe Prime Minister has announced a composite centrally-sponsored Sampoorna Grameen Rozgar Yojana involving annual expenditure of about Rs. 100 Bln to ensure food security, employment generation and creation of durable community assets. The SGRY is proposed to be implemented from the current year with a corpus of Rs. 100 Bln including Rs. 50 Bln in the form of foodgrains and the balance as cash. It will be implemented on cost sharing basis between the centre and states in the ratio of 75:25. (PIB 5/09/01, THE ECONOMIC TIMES-D 19/9/01)

'Food for Work' programmeUnder "Food for Work" Programme during 2001-02, about 1.84 MT of foodgrains have been released to the drought/flood and natural calamity affected states of Chhatisgarh, Gujarat, HP, MP, Maharashtra, Orissa, Rajasthan, AP, Karnataka and Kerala. In addition, 100 000 tonnes of foodgrains are being recommended for release to the flood affected State of Bihar. (PIB 4 & 5/09/01)

Benefit of PSS is taken by intermediaries The Union Agriculture minister has said that the benefit of Price Support Scheme and Market Intervention Scheme is taken by intermediaries instead of farmers. About GM food, he said that though it is not permitted in the country but as on date we do not have laboratories to test the imported food/seeds for GM contents. (PIB 10/09/01)

Procurements of foodgrainsRajasthan has been permitted to procure bajra during the Kharif Season 2001-02. The production of bajra in Rajasthan is expected to be over 2.9 MT and the marketable surplus of bajra and other coarse grains may be about 0.7 MT. During 2000-01 Kharif Marketing Season, the procurement of coarse grains in the country was 636 000 tonnes. The procurement of wheat has gone up from 8.157 MT in 1996 to 20.614 MT in 2001. Similarly, the rice procurement increased from 12.222 MT in 1996-97 to 18.94 MT in 2000-01 Kharif Marketing Season. Rice procurement during 2001-02 is expected to be 19.5 MT. (PIB 13/09/01)

Antodaya Anna Yajana Following the starvation deaths in Orissa, the Central Government has launched the Antyodaya Anna Yojana, under which 5% of the poorest population of the country is expected to come. They would get food at 'further subsidised' rates. But relief measures fails to hold ground because poor families have no purchasing power. The joint secretary of food ministry accepted that a segment of the population in Orissa lacks the purchasing power. (INDIAN EXPRESS-D 19/9/01)

Starvation stalks Kashipur In Orissa 23 persons have died by starvation and 20 000 are in urgent need of food, while the Chief Minister of Orissa maintains that no starvation death has occurred. But the adivasis do not agree with the Government views. In Panasguda village 7 persons have died consuming Mango kernel paste. (THE TRIBUNE 10/9/01)

Starving Orissa family sells children In Orissa adivasis are selling their children due to starvation. A journalist bought two orphan tribal children from their uncle Dambaru, who said, ' We are unable to feed these two children as we do not have enough food for ourselves and our children.' For two children the journalist paid Rs 1,100 and 15-kg rice that would hold out the starving family for a few days more. (THE Hindustan Times-D 23/9/01)

2 million godowns for foodgrains Union Agriculture Ministry has prepared a Scheme for construction of 2 Mln godowns with a financial support of Rs 1.25 Bln from the Center during the current year. Food production target for 2001-02 was fixed at 218 MT out of which target for Rabi 2001-02 is 107.87 MT comprising 14 MT of rice, 78 MT of wheat, 6.85 MT of coarse cereals and 9 MT of pulses. A production target of about 11.5 MT for rabi oilseeds is also fixed. (PIB 27/09/01, THE HINDU-D 2/10/01)

Per capita consumption of cereals gone down The per capita availability of cereals in the country today is 8 per cent lower than in 1991-in fact, equal to what had been achieved in 1984. Consumption has gone down because of constant jacking up of PDS prices, reduction in food subsidy under World Bank and other pressures, increase in procurement prices. All these factors have priced food out of reach of the poor, and way above global price levels. The credit that goes to finance accumulation of grain finances a policy that starves people in the name of food security. (THE ECONOMIC TIMES-D 18/10/01)

Wheat Scam Probe CBI is in the process of investigation of the accused persons in Wheat import scam. In 1998 when the country’s godowns were overflowing, a decision was taken to import two MT wheat from Australia. The CBI sources said that there were indications of involvement of a politically 'well connected' person as a broker or middleman in rushing through the deal. A large part of the imported wheat had to be sold off in distress sale by the Food Corp. of India later on. 

The CBI has alleged the three bureaucrats 'caused undue pecuniary benefits to themselves/others' in the Rs 12 Billion deal but the former Cabinet Secretary Subramanian claimed that he has been unfairly singled out. (INDIAN EXPRESS-D 20/9/01, THE HINDU-D 26/9/01)

CBI registers case in Assam wheat scam The CBI has registered a case relating to PDS wheat scam in Assam that took place during 1991 to 1998. It is alleged that a 31 000 tonnes of wheat, allotted from the central quota, meant for distribution through PDS, was sold in the open market by the officials in collusion with some traders. (THE HINDUSTAN TIMES-D 6/10/01)

Community food banks scheme being launched The WFP and M S Swaminathan Research Foundation are launching a programme for setting up community food banks in 120 villages of the country in the next year. The programme will initially concentrate on Gujarat, MP, Chhattisgarh and Orissa. At 522 million undernourished people in South Asia, the figure is more than the 290 million undernourished people in Sub-Saharan Africa. P Sainath said that in the last ten years, there has been a consistent loss of employment opportunities in the farm sector. While on an average an agricultural labourer got 183 man-days of labour a decade ago, now it is 90 man-days. (BUSINESS LINE-D 3/10/01)

Grain Banks to be launched in all tribal areas The centre has decided to launch the grain bank scheme in all tribal areas of the country to provide food security. The Ministry of Tribal Affairs will provide with an outlay of Rs. 10.66 Bln. Under the scheme, 1 MT of foodgrains valued at Rs.10 Bln (at economic cost) will be provided free of cost to the States/UT Governments as one time grant. The remaining funds of Rs. 660 Mln will be utilised towards a cash component comprising transportation cost, cost of providing weights and measures and storage facilities like bins etc. (PIB 31/10/01)

34 countries facing food emergencies According to a FAO report Food-crops and Shortages the situation in Afghanistan 'very grave with a large proportion of the population facing starvation'. 34 countries including 17 in Africa, 12 in Asia, 3 in Latin America and 2 in Europe face food emergencies. (BUSINESS LINE-D 1/10/01)

FORESTS VIA FOOD FOR WORK The government has proposed the greening India programme with food-for-work to enhance forest cover to 33 per cent by 2012. (THE ECONOMIC TIMES-D 2/10/01)

SC Bans tree felling in Andaman The Supreme Court slapped a complete ban on the A&N Island Administration from cutting any tree in the naturally grown forests. (The Pioneer 11/10/01)


SUGAR MANAGEMENT

Large stocks of unsold sugar The sugar industry is expected to carry high unsold stock of 12 MT (which is much higher than its storage capacity of 4 MT) valued at around Rs 170 Billion as on end of September 2001. And will soon start processing new season crop that is anticipated to produce a bumper 17.5 MT. Country will have a total supply of 30 MT as against domestic requirements of 16 MT, leaving a surplus of 14 MT. A leading co-operative miller (and a Govt. official) said, 'In spite of such a huge availability of sugar in the country, some of the influential millers pressurised the government not to release more free sale quota in the market to keep up the prices at higher levels and the ministry acceded to these pressures.'  The industry is facing this crisis since last two seasons. The ‘00-’01 season had opened with a carryover stock of 10 MT and country added 18.5 MT of production.

The sugar industry wants the centre to step in with a Rs 8 billion bailout package due to unsold stocks mounting and the current crushing season set to begin. Maharashtra with 120 sugar factories is expected to raise the issue with centre. Storage cost is Rs. 250 per bag per annum and interest cost Rs. 150 per bag. Currently exports fetch Rs. 10.25 to 10.75 per kg, whereas the rate in domestic market is Rs. 12 to 12.75. (THE ECONOMIC TIMES-D 3/9/01, 18/9/01, 6/10/01, 22/10/01)

Govt. move on sugar export subsidy Government will be linking export subsidies on sugar with international prices, and subsidies would be given irrespective of the distance of the port, it will not be available beyond a particular price. The package for sugar export subsidies is being prepared on the ground that due to low international prices ($ 215-265 per tonne) compared to production cost ($290 per tonne) they are not viable. If the global prices crossed a particular threshold the facility will be withdrawn. The subsidy is to be funded from Sugar Development Fund of Rs 12.5 billion. (BUSINESS LINE-D 21/10/01)


FLOODS

CHINA: Flood-Control Project on Yangtze River Drawn UpA multi-million dollar bid to reduce the risk of devastating floods on the Yangtze River, the world's third longest river, has been drawn up by scientists, the UNEP said. The ambitious scheme aims to restore thousands of lost lakes and natural drainage systems so that the river, whose basin is home to 400 Mln people, can cope better during times of heavy and prolonged rains. Experts believe such a project will increase the volume of water the Yangtze can hold. The proposed project on the 6 300 km-long river has been submitted to the GEF for approval. The full project, costing $ 10 Mln, is scheduled to begin in May 2003. (People's Daily 15/10/01)

Flood plain management Vs embankments The coordinator of Ganga Laboratory, BHU, Dr U K Choudhary said, "It is essential to focus on flood plain management rather than the construction of embankments to mitigate floods". The flood plain of river played vital role in collection of water and disposing it of at a faster rate. (THE TIMES OF INDIA 14/09/01)

Annual Flood Damage The average per year losses (APYL) from the floods in India in previous 50 years was Rs 10.13 bln and the maximum lose was in 1988 (Rs 46.30 bln). The APYL of public facilities was Rs. 3.95 bln and maximum in 1985 (Rs 20.50 Bln). The APYL in terms of houses was Rs 1.13 Mln. The APYL of crops was Rs 4.55 Bln and maximum in 1988 (Rs 10.12 Bln). People died per year were 1502 and maximum people lost in 1977 (113 116). Average people affected by floods every year are 32 million and maximum in 1978 (74.5 Mln). The average per year cattle deaths by floods was 93 728 and maximum in 1977 (618 248). (RASHTRIYA SAHARA-D 6/10/01)

Floods in East UP The death toll in Gorakhpur division in east UP mounted to 88. 1 794 villages have been affected and 892 marooned. (THE HINDUSTAN TIMES 11/09/01)

Flood in Andhra Pradesh Due to heavy rains in the southern coastal and Rayalseema districts, more than 56 people have died and about 26 000 families are homeless in Nellore and Cuddapah districts. About 40 persons were feared dead in Cuddapah in the flashfloods following the abrupt release of water from the Buggavanka dam, without notice to downstream areas. The Chief Minister, when questioned, agreed that intimation ought to have been given and ordered an enquiry. A group of 16 people in Kurnool district were washed away in a sudden flood caused by the breach in a nearby tank. (THE HINDU-D 18/10/01)

Plan to divert Sutlej flood waters to Pak After alleged backtracking by Pakistan from agreements signed with India regarding the disposal of water in the Sutlej River, the Punjab Govt. has virtually been compelled to spend an additional sum of Rs 390 Mln to divert the flow of flood water to Pakistan. Following construction of the Disth drain which will empty out into Sutlej in Indian territory, about 85 000 acres of fertile land in Ferozpur and Muktsar dist. shall be saved from the reoccurring seepage and floods. (THE TRIBUNE 3/9/01)

Bihar floods affect 7 millionBihar flood toll has mounted to 171 lives. Nearly seven million people in more than 4 400 villages spread over 1 375 panchyats of 21 districts were affected. Floods have so far destroyed standing corps, houses and other property worth over Rs. 5.5 Billion. (THE HINDU 4/9/01, THE HINDU-D 27/9/01)

NEPAL: Glacial Lake Outburst Floods in the Himalayas Due to Climate Change

According to scientists Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs) can cause catastrophic flooding downstream, with serious damage to life, property, forest, farms and infrastructure. In recent years, several incidents of GLOF have been reported in Nepal and satellite imagery reveals evidence of GLOFs happening through out the Himalayas. Five GLOFs are known to have occurred in Nepal between 1977 and 1998. In August 1985 a GLOF from the Dig Tsho (langmoche) glacial lake destroyed 14 bridges and caused about $1.5 million worth of damage. There are 3252 glacier and 2674 glacial lakes in Nepal. Among them 20 glacial lakes are potentially dangerous. (Communication from Dr. Pradeep Mool, ICIMOD and Dr. Usha Sharma, IUCN Nepal)

NIGERIA: Releases from Dams kill Hundreds More than 116 people reported died and hundreds of missing after floods ripped due to water released by overflowing Tiga and Challawa dams swelled the Wudil River. Farmlands and houses in several villages and towns were swept away. 22,000 people were displaced in Kano and 40,000 in Jigawa. (IRISH TIMES 3/09/01))

POWER ISSUES

Rs 200 billion Annual loss due to power theft Every year Rs 200 billion are lost in the power sector through theft, said Power Minister. If power thefts could be reduced or stopped over the next 20 years, that would save Rs.4000 billion, which is the cost of adding 100 000 MW generation capacity. (PIB 10/10/01)

The capacity and the demand of power The installed capacity of power increased from 1 362 MW to over 100 000 MW since Independence and electrification of more than 500000 villages is claimed to have been achieved. The annual per capita consumption of power is 3 units per day. The total energy shortage during 2000-01 was 7.8 per cent and the peak shortage was 13 per cent of peak demand. Over 100 000 MW of additional generation capacity needs to be added by 2012 to bridge the gap between demand and supply of power, it is claimed. It is also claimed that for building this additional power capacity, nearly Rs. 8000 billion of investments would be needed over the next decade. (PIB 25/10/01)

10 000 MW from nuclear sources in next 10 years? The Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission has said that since India’s thorium reserves are five to six times larger than our uranium reserves, thorium utilisation for large-scale energy production is an important long-term goal of govt. nuclear power programme. In 2000 installed capacity of 880 MW was added. Nuclear power reactors are maintaining capacity factors of around 82%, it is claimed. Present nuclear power capacity is 2720 MW with 14 units under operation. In the next ten years it is envisaged that a total nuclear power capacity of about 10 000 MW would be realised. (PIB 20/09/01)

Measures for UP power sectorAn MoU has signed between PGCIL and UPPCL to create evacuation capacity within the next six months for flow of power from the Eastern Region. NTPC is in a position to offer 500 MW from its existing surplus generating capacity in the Eastern Region. NTPC also offered 500 MW from the proposed new generating stations of Kahalgaon, North Karanpura and Barh in the Eastern Region. REC has offered a loan of Rs.5 billion for rural electrification. It was agreed to have a programme of electrification of 10 new villages per day. (PIB 28/09/01)

CEA approves Barh project in Bihar CEA has accorded techno-economic clearance for setting up a 3x660 MW Barh Super Thermal Power Station at Barh near Patna at an estimated completed cost of Rs. 90.93 billion. (PIB 3/10/01)

RENEWABLE POWER OPTIONSAccording to the Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Limited, as on June 30, 2001 47 wind power projects for 848 MW have been allotted while 10 of them with 40 MW have been commissioned. From small hydropower, 113 projects for 651 MW allotted with 24 for 119 MW have been commissioned. From Co-generation, 29 projects allotted for 495 MW of which 7 for 116 MW have been commissioned. From Biomass, 12 projects for 79.7 MW of which 1 project has been commissioned. Present installed renewable energy capacity in Karnataka is 284.32 MW, including 122.02 MW from small hydro, 40 MW from wind, 116.8 MW from co-generation and 5.5 MW from biomass. 6% of state energy generation is from non-conventional sources.

During ‘00-’01 wind installed capacity addition in India was 173 MW to make a total of 1339.8 MW. Global installed capacity in the beginning of June 2001 is over 18 710 MW. This is expected to go upto 58 000 MW in next five years and to 145 000 MW in next ten years.

Quality control in wind industry is being carried out by Centre for Wind Energy Technology.

Wind power potential in India is 45 000 MW. India’s wind power producers are united under Windpower Producers’ Association.

Suzlon Energy (56% share in wind energy addition in India in 2000) is in the process of commissioning Asia’s biggest wind park of 250 MW in Satara (Mah.). (INDIAN EXPRESS-D Special supplement Oct/01)

Power from Renewables in APAP has a total potential of 625 MW biomass energy capacity. 60 projects to generate 350 MW of power had been sanctioned and of them 14 had started producing 68.25 MW and 20 projects with capacity to generate 135 MW were under execution. Power generation from industrial waste was found feasible in distilleries producing biogas, starch and in poultry units. 17 projects for generating 62 MW from small hydro has been commissioned and projects of 30 MW were under execution. Projects of 102 MW has been sanctioned and projects for generating 160 MW were awaiting clearances. Total potential was 480 MW in AP. Power potential from wind stands at 750 MW. Clearance has been given for sugar unit cogeneration to the tune of 225 MW, of which 45 MW has been commissioned. (BUSINESS LINE-D 8/9/01)

Nepal Micro-hydro More than 1300 micro-hydro stations have been established in remote and hilly parts. (Nepal Samacharpatra 8/10/01)

ENRON UPDATE

Tata Power approaches for takeover of DPC Tata Power has formally approached the power ministry for takeover of controversy-ridden 2184 MW DPC but has laid down certain conditions including guaranteed off take of 80 per cent power from phase-II. (INDIAN EXPRESS-D 19/9/01)

DPC invokes counter guarantee The DPC has invoked the Center’s Counter Guarantee amounting to Rs 378 crore for a second time towards non payment of dues by MSEB for April, May and June. (INDIAN EXPRESS-D 19/9/01)

Enron rejects settlement offer Enron rejected the $ 400 Mln offer towards equity settlement as 'unacceptable' as the amount was not even one-third of the cost incurred on the DPC, claimed Enron chief. He said, the liability of MSEB, Maharashtra Govt. and the Central Government should work out to approximately $ 5 Bln.

The Enron chief, in his letter to PM has said that protracted litigation would result in severe damage to Indian attempts to solicit foreign investments or capital. (THE HINDU-D 19/9/01, THE Hindustan Times-D 25/9/01)

JBIC Ultimatum to Indian lendersJapanese Bank for International Corporation has told Indian lenders to takeover the guarantee exposure of IFCI failing which they will encash the cover. JBIC was categorical that given the liquidity problems faced by IFCI, the latter would not be in position to honour the guarantee if the cover is invoked. IFCI exposure towards JBIC is Rs. 1.4 Billion. (THE ECONOMIC TIMES-D 22/9/01)

DPC defaults on interest payments The DPC has defaulted on interest payments to its foreign lenders for phase-II. This is the first known default by the company, which has been facing a funds crunch after the MSEB stopped power purchases in May’01. (BUSINESS LINE-D 23/9/01)

MSEB rejects proposal on DPC The MSEB has rejected domestic FIs’ proposal asking the board to give up one distribution circle to the private player who buys equity in the 2,184 MW DPC. (BUSINESS LINE-D 7/10/01)

Deal to sell DPC to FIs at 30 % discount Enron is in advance stages of negotiations to dispose off DPC at a 30 % discount to the FIs at a price tag of $700 - 800 Mln. Enron and the FIs, led by the IDBI, are said to be close to finalising a broad agreement to this effect in the next few days. (THE ECONOMIC TIMES-D 30/10/01)

RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT IN DELHIThe Delhi cabinet approved the framing of rules for the Right to Information Act. 2001, which came into effect from October 2 2001. Now the competent authority would be bound to give reply normally within 15 days and latest within 30 days. (THE HINDU-D 6/10/01)

ADIVASI ISSUES:

Land Rights in Kerala After the acceptance of demands including the five-acre of land allotment to the Adivasis of Kerala, Adivasis announced the withdrawal of the 48-days old agitation, which was for land and livelihood. Announcing the outcome of the talks, the CM said the government would strive to get 10,000 acres of land in Wayanand where the number of land-less Adivasis were the highest besides the 42,000 acres of land already identified for this purpose in different parts of the state. (THE HINDU-D 17/10/01)

MNCs exploit the Adivasi areas of Orissa Kashipur is one of the blocks of Raigada district and Raigada district was a part of undivided Koraput district in Orissa. Mostly Adivasis people live here. Three MNCs 'Hydro' of Norway, Ahlcon of Canada and Hindalco, working in this area, have exploited the mines and natural resources. At the time of establishment of factory, a large number of Adivasis were displaced from their original villages. The fertility of soils has been lost in this area due to the waste product of the Aluminum manufacturing process. Currently 45 per cent people here are living below the poverty line. (From an interview with former speaker Rabi Ray, RASHTRIYA SAHARA 6/10/01)

People demand land reform in Bihar Ekta Parishad, a voluntary organisation has launched the Bhu Adhikar Satyagraha padyatra. (BUSINESS LINE-D 10/9/01)

INLAND WATERWAYS: Centre keen on Pvt. funds The Union Shipping Minister has said that the Centre is keen to attract private participation in developing inland waterways. India has 14 500 km of navigable rivers. However, there was hardly any traffic on these waterways. (BUSINESS LINE-D 29/9/01)


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WORLD BANK PROJECTS IN PIPELINE IN SOUTH ASIA: (Only selected details given below.)

Sector

#

Project Description

Agriculture

40712

BANGLADESH: Water Management Improvement To improve monsoon season water management and services in flood- and cyclone-prone areas. Board presentation scheduled for November 2002. Env. Category B.

Environment

55290

(R) Gorai River Restoration To prevent environmental degradation and promote sustainable environmental flow allocation in the southwest region. Appraisal in mid-2002. Env. Category A.

Power

73134

Power Sector Technical Assistance To support the preparation and implementation of a comprehensive power sector reform program Env. Category C. US$ 10.0 (IDA).

Power

74040

Renewable Energy Development GEF-supported project. To accelerate market development of off-grid uses of renewable energy technologies. To include mini-hydro and wind energy projects. Another appraisal in November 2001. Env. Category C. US$ 7.5 (IDA).

Power

71794

Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Development Remote area power supply systems (mini-grids) by private sector; mini-hydro. Another appraisal in November 2001. Env. Category B. US$ 142.0/11.0 (IDA/GEF).

Agriculture

50647

INDIA: Uttar Pradesh Water Sector Restructuring Institutional and policy frameworks for water sector reform. A river-basin approach starting with the Ghagra-Gomti Basin. Right-sizing & capacity building of irrigation & drainage institutions. Piloting replicable management options for sustained irrigation and drainage operations by both public and private sector entities in about 300 000 ha. Negotiations in Sept.-Oct. 2001. Env. Category A. US$ 150.0 (IDA).

Agriculture

40610

Rajasthan Water Sector Restructuring A comprehensive program of reforms of the state's water resources management in general, and irrigation drainage and groundwater management in particular. Community-based groundwater management pilot subprojects. Piloting of distributory systems transfer to the private sector. Negotiations in September 2001. Env. Category A. US$ 140.0 (IDA).

Power

37292

Andhra Pradesh Power Sector Restructuring Phase2 of this adaptable program loan. Continuation of the rehab. and expansion of the transmission and distribution system and technical assistance to the new entities in the power sector. Project preparation under way. Env. Category to be determined. US$ 100.0 (IBRD). DFID, CIDA.

Power

43021

Solar Thermal Power Construction of a solar thermal/fossil fuel hybrid plant of 140 MW, including a solar thermal field of 35 to 40 MW. Cofinancing by KfW. Env. Category A. US$ 49.0 (GEF).

Water Supply

71033

Karnataka Community-Based Tank Management Community-based approaches to managing selected tank systems. Preparation under way. Env. Category B. US$ 30.0 (IDA).

Water Supply

67216

Karnataka Watershed Development (Cr. 3528-IN) Sustainable poverty alleviation in predominantly rainfed areas. The credit signed on 26 July 2001. Env. Category B. US$ 100.4 (IDA).

Water Supply

50653

Second Karnataka Rural Water Supply and Environmental Sanitation To improve the quality of service delivery to achieve sustainability of investments. Capacity building of the private sector. Project appraisal completed. Env. Category B. US$ 150.0 (Lender to be determined).

Water Supply

67502

Karnataka Water and Urban Management To improve water supply and sanitation services in participating urban local bodies through the introduction of the private sector. Project preparation under way. Env. Category B. Amount to be determined. (IBRD).

Power

43311

NEPAL: Power Development (a) Develop Nepal's hydropower potential so as to meet domestic electricity demand and to export power to India (b) promote private participation in the power sector. Small micro-hydro schemes. Project preparation under way. Env. Category A. US$ 80.0 (IDA).

Water Supply

67602

Kathmandu Water Supply and Sanitation To enable the Kathmandu Valley water utility to become self-sustaining. Contracting out the operations of Kathmandu Valley Towns to a private operator through a ten-year contract. Project preparation under way. Env. Category B. US$ 15.0 (IDA).

Agriculture

71095

PAKISTAN: Sindh On-Farm Water Management Fourth On-Farm Water Management Project. Board presentation in second quarter of FY03. Env. Category B. US$ 27.0 (IDA).

Water Supply

58067

SRI LANKA: Community Water II Access to better water and sanitation facilities. Reforms for further private sector participation. Project preparation under way. Env. Category B. US$ 25.0 (IDA).

(World Bank Monthly Operational Summary, Sept. 2001)

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