Uttarakhand: 6,000 Mw of hydropower to be hit
Dehradun, May 18, 2013: The report of the inter-ministerial group
(IMG) headed by Planning Commission member B K Chaturvedi would affect the hydropower sector in
the Ganga river basin of Uttarakhand. Generation of nearly 6,000 Mw of hydropower would be affected if the
report was accepted, experts said. It was recently given to the Union ministry of environment and forests.
Declaring the Bhagirarthi valley between Gomukh and Uttarkashi as an
ecosensitive zone had already impacted 1,743 Mw of planned generation.
A total of 69 hydropower projects with a capacity of 9,000 Mw were under
review by the IMG, set up following an agitation by environmentalists
and religious leaders against the hydel projects on the Bhagirathi, considered a holy river.In its recommendation, the committee said no new projects should be
taken up. On the 69 projects, the committee has recommendedt certain
limitations and stopped the construction of projects worth 6,000 Mw.
The committee also proposed that small tributaries of the Ganga -
Nayar, Bal Ganga, Rihsi Ganga, Assi Ganga, Dhauli Ganga, Birahi Ganga and
Bhyunder Ganga - be kept in pristine condition, without developing any
hydel projects. In the IMG's assessment, this would mean a loss of 400 Mw of power to Uttarakhand.
Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna said he would urge the National Ganga
River Basin Authority to allow the construction of the projects in question, keeping in view the huge shortage of power in the state. "In
the next meeting of the Authority, we will urge it to allow Uttarakhand
to develop the hydel projects to tap its power potential," he said. Source: Business Standard
May 15, 2013: The IITians for Holy Ganga, a forum constituted to preserve heritage and
Halting of relocation of Dhari Devi Temple in Uttrakhand
ecology of the river Ganga by Alumni of All IIT's across the country
have welcomed the halting of uplifting and relocation of historical Dhari Devi Shrine on the banks of the Alaknanda river near Srinagar
(Gharwal) in Uttrakhand by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF).
MoEF in a letter dated May 10, 2013 to Alaknanda Hydropower company Limited
(AHPCL) has restricted the company not to undertake any work of dislocation of the diety and had stopped all civil works associated with
the Dhari Devi temple. Environmentalists and religious bodies had been
fighting against submerging of the temple due to coming up Shrinagar Hydro project being constructed by AHPCL.
"We welcome the MoEF move to protect and preserve the religious sanctity
and character of this temple. We suggest setting up of an expert committee consisting of IItians , representatives from Engineers India
Limited, Religious bodies and other related organisations to develop
modified plan to save the historical temple being submerged in the reservoir of the Srinagar project. "said Mr Yatinder Pal Singh
Suri, President, IItians for Holy Ganga and President, IIT Alumni Association, Kharagpur, North India Chapter.
"IItians consider both the holy rivers Ganga and Yamuna as life source
of region and also a powerful symbol of cultural and spiritual renewal. The minimum ecological flows of the rivers ensuring water quality and
environmentally sustainable development should be maintained "said Yatinder Pal Suri, President ,IITIANS FOR Holy Ganga Forum and
President, IIT Kharagpur Alumni Association.
"Both river Ganga and Yamuna are deeply associated with the faith and
civilization of the country should be saved at any cost. We appeal to
the government at centre and the concerned states to save "the sacred
rivers. Various schemes started by centre and States in last few years have left both the rivers more polluted. "said Mr Suri.
"We suggest to maintain regular flow in the river and remove blockages
on its streams. Surprisingly, all the politicians of ruling and opposition parties, saints and seers, social activists, scientists and
individuals speak about uninterrupted and clean flow of the Ganga, and
Yamuna but the rivers is getting thinner and more polluted with each
passing day. The question is "why is the holy rivers ailing when everybody is eager to see them healthy?" However, this question remains
unanswered." Added Mr Suri. -:Equity Bulls
Ganga Action Plan Phase-II
New Delhi,May 8,2013: Ganga Action Plan (GAP) Phase-I was launched in 1985 to improve the
water quality of river Ganga. Later, GAP Phase-II was initiated in 1993.
Various pollution abatement schemes including interception & diversion
of sewage and setting up of sewage treatment plants were taken up under
the Plan. This was stated by Shrimati Jayanthi Natarajan Minister of
State (Independent Charge) for Environment and Forests, in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha 0n May 7, 2013.
The Minister further stated that As reported by Central Pollution
Control Board, nearly 2723 million litres per day (mld) of sewage is
generated from Class I cities and Class II towns along river Ganga. Under the GAP, a sewage treatment
capacity of 1092 mld (GAP-I: 869 mld, GAP-II: 223 mld) has been created. The total expenditure incurred so
far, on conservation of river Ganga is Rs.950.32 crore.
The Minister further stated that A National Ganga River Basin Authority
(NGRBA) was constituted in February 2009, as an empowered, planning,
financing, monitoring and coordinating authority with the objective to
ensure effective abatement of pollution and conservation of the river
Ganga by adopting a holistic river basin approach. The river
conservation strategy was reviewed in the first meeting of the NGRBA
held on 5th October 2009 which resolved that under ‘Mission Clean
Ganga’, no untreated municipal sewage and industrial effluent may flow
into Ganga by the year 2020. Under NGRBA, 53 projects amounting to nearly Rs.2600 crore have been sanctioned for pollution
abatement schemes in the States of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West
Bengal. An expenditure of Rs.583.28 crore has been incurred till March
2013, and 8 projects have been completed so far. Besides Central funds,
a World Bank assistance of Rs.7000 crore has been approved for a period
of 8 years for conservation of river Ganga, the Minister added. Source: Ministry of Environment and Forests
Gayatri Pariwar takes up clean Ganga crusade across country
VARANASI, May 5, 2013: Now, Haridwar-based religious group Gayatri Pariwar has also initiated a
programme for cleaning and conservation of the holy river. Under its
clean Ganga campaign, the volunteers of Gayatri Pariwar across the country are conducting survey in the cities and towns situated on the
banks of the river to gather information related to the pollution of the river.
"We are gathering information that can help in saving the river from
pollution," said Umashankar Dubey, an elderly volunteer, who has been
assigned the job to collect the details of ghats, pollution sources and
status of pollution abatement programme in Varanasi. As a part of the
campaign, volunteers of the Gayatri Pariwar will also work for expanding
public awareness by reaching every home. The main aim of the programme
is to clean the whole 2500km stretch of the river right from Gomukh to
Gangasagar. The survey is being conducted to collects information about
social, religious, educational organizations in the different towns and
villages on the banks of the river, level of pollution, number of ghats
along the banks, industries and other y information related to Ganga.
"The compiled details would be sent to our Haridwar headquarters for further planning," Dubey said.
A report prepared by the Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi,
states that Ganga faces different challenges in different stretches. In
the upper reaches (Himalayan segment), numerous hydel projects (commissioned as well as planned) threaten the river ecosystem by
depriving it of the environmental flows. In the stretch beyond this
(till Patna), cities and industrial clusters have increased the pollution in the river. Loss of assimilative capacity has worsened the
pollution woes of the river. In the stretch beyond Patna, the river is
relatively clean, but growing cities and lack of assimilation is making
it dirtier. Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) states that of the
entire length of Ganga ,including its tributaries, 42% are moderately or
severely polluted with biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) greater than 3
mg/l and hence unfit for bathing and drinking. Major part of the river
remains contaminated and therefore unfit for human consumption. For the
river to be fit for bathing, the total coliform count shall not exceed
500 mpn/100ml. The hotspots are Kanpur D/s (65,000 mpn/100ml), Varanasi
(161,667 mpn/100 ml; 130 times higher) Uluberia (226,667 mpn/100ml; 450
times higher). Source:Times of India
World bank team sanctions funds for sewerage work
KANPUR, April 18, 2013: The world bank team, which
visited the city on Tuesday has sanctioned the sewerage work worth Rs
443 crores and gave consent to another project to improve the sewer system of the city.
In a meeting with divisional commissioner Shalini Prasad's, Ujjwala
Nigam of Ganga pollution control board's local unit presented the DPR
for the sewerage work of Sewerage district. The team after seeking explanations and clarifications on certain points sanctioned the
project. In another sewerage proposal for sewerage district II (south
drainage system leverage works Jajmau) the ten member world bank team led by Dr Jenevev Conors gave their consent.
Under this project existing sewerage treatment plant of 5 MLD and 130 MLD would be upgraded.
The team was participating in the meeting of National River Ganga Basin
Authority and discussed various projects to check the pollution in river
Ganga. Director, NGRBA environment ministry, Sanchita jindal was also present there. In the meeting officials of Jal Nigam, KDA vice-chairman
Jayshree Bhoj and Umakant Tripathi additional city commissioner and Onkar Dixit IIT were also present.
The team exhibited great interest in river front development prepared by
the IIT Kanpur and sought more information. Earlier world bank team visited Sisamau nullah (sewer drain) and
discussed with the officials how to check the menace of Sisamau Nullah. Source: The Times of India
Dams may dry up Ganga, warns ministerial group
NEW DELHI, April 14, 2013: Recognizing that the plethora of dams built and planned in
the Ganga basin could almost empty the river of its waters in the winter
season, an inter-ministerial group has recommended that the projects be
re-engineered to maintain 30-50% of water flow in the lean period of December-March.
The group headed by Planning Commission member B K Chaturvedi also
recommended that electricity production in the existing and upcoming dams on the river's tributaries in Uttarakhand be moderated marginally
to ensure that water flow is maintained at 25% between April to October
-- the period when the river has average or high water levels. While keeping the ecological flow in the river at these levels, the
government could permit the dams already working or in the pipeline to
continue after re- designing to ensure the recommended flow of water in
the river. The move would require adjusting the tariff and power production levels marginally. The committee has also recommended that 17
proposed projects adding up to 2,633 mw capacity be reviewed after the
Ganga basin study by the IIT consortium. Sixty-nine projects are proposed or running on Bhagirathi and Alaknanda
-- the two main tributaries of the Ganga river basin. These add up to a
capacity of 9,020.30 mw. Of these, 17 projects are operational at the moment and 26 are under construction.
Environmentalists have warned that with the multiple dams proposed on the tributaries
uphill, the river could go dry for large parts of the year. Non-government members on board the inter-ministerial group, however,
differed with the report. Sunita Narain, director general of Centre for
Science and Environment, has asked for a minimum of 50% flow in all projects in the winter season between December-March.
In an alternative view forming part of the report, she said the data used by the
committee to limit winter flows to 30% in some projects was faulty and unverified.
She contended that maintaining 50% flow in the river in winter would not lead to greater tariff for the projects or lower their power production
abilities significantly. Rajendra Singh, head of Tarun Bharat Sangh, also on board the committee,
disagreed with the report demanding 75% flow in the river in winter and 50% in the summer season. One of the key demands of protestors was met with the committee
recommending that the flow of the river must not be intermittent but continuous.
Save Ganga activists to launch yatra from Friday
DEHRADUN, April 4, 2013: Save Ganga activists in Uttarakhand have decided to launch a
three-day Ganga Yatra beginning on Friday from Haridwar to sensitize people about the need to conserve the Ganga and its tributaries.
Founder of Matrisadan Ashram Dayanand Sarswati and the convener of Ganga
Avahan Hemant Dhyani said that hundreds of Save Ganga activists will travel to villages and towns in Uttarakhand's Tehri, Pauri,
Uttarkashi, Haridwar, Chamoli, Pithoragarh and Bageshwar districts to interact with villagers and make joint efforts to save the Ganga and stress on the
uninterrupted flow of water from Gangotri (the origin of Ganga) to Haridwar during the yatra.
Sarswati and Dhyani said they will create awareness among people to help
prevent the Ganga and its tributaries from drying up due to frequent release of construction material into the rivers. Dhyani said that after
the completion of their yatra they will prepare a detailed report and submit it to the National Ganga River Basin Authority.
Ganga in grip of encroachers
KANPUR, March 30, 2013: Despite the fact that much of the water for drinking and
irrigation in the city comes from Ganga, the district authorities had turned a blind eye towards rampant encroachment on the river-bed, which is turning
into agricultural land, where horticultural crops are grown by the locals.The width of the Ganga had shrunk and that
direction of the river had changed drastically because of encroachments.
Every year during the lean period from November to June, when the river becomes dry or partially dry, it attract local farmers, who convert the
fertile fields to produce horticultural crops. "A major portion of land on the banks of Ganga is being used for cultivation of vegetables like
bottle gourd, cucumber, pumpkin, tomato and watermelon during this period," said a scientist of Chandra Shekhar Azad University
of Agriculture and Technology. A few encroachers even cultivate paddy on the dry river-bed. They
pollute the river by spraying insecticides, pesticides and other harmful
chemicals to save the crop, use pumps to draw water from the river. All
this happens right under the nose of the district officials. The encroachment on the banks of the river is posing a serious threat to
"The riverbed is very fertile and every season, encroachers cash in on
the situation. The authorities never take a serious look into the issue," said Rakesh Kumar Jaiswal, president Eco-friends. He said that
proper demarcation of land was required to protect the riverbed from encroachments.
The farmers of the area claim that it is their traditional business and
they have been farming on the riverbed since generations. Many encroachers have shady background and they indulge in preparing
illicit liquor and other unlawful activities, said a social activist.
The holy river is fighting for survival.District magistrate MP Agarwal did not even bothered to pick up the
phone despite repeated attempts. Source: The Times of India
Eight drown in Ganga during Holi celebrations
Lucknow , March 28, 2013 (IANS): *Eight youths drowned in the Ganga river in two separate incidents in Kanpur
during Holi celebrations on Wednesday, police said. The victims, aged between 16 and 26, were washed away while bathing in
Bithoor and Ganga barrage in Kohna. Among those who died at Ganga barrage were two brothers -
Sohit, 16, and Mohit, 18 - and Rishabh Tripathi, 18, Vinay Mani, 20, and
Gaurav, 18, said Nishikant Rai, public relations officer to director general of police.
"The current in the river was strong and the youngsters, apparently under the influence of liquor, were washed away," he told
All five bodies were recovered by divers. The youth were from
Rawatpur, Naubasta and Barra areas of the city. In another incident, three youngsters bathing in the same river in
Bithoor too were washed away. They were identified as Anshu Gupta, 26 and Dinesh, 25 and Mohit Sharma,
24, police said. The bodies have been sent for autopsy and the families informed about
the tragedy, Inspector General (Law and Order) R.K. Vishwakarma said. Source: IANS
MPs Meet PM on the Ganga River Issue
New Delhi, March 24, 2013: A delegation of MPs led by Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma
Swaraj today met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to seek his intervention
in maintaining clean and unhindered flow of the Ganges contending livelihood and feelings of crores of people are attached to it.
Swaraj, accompanied by BJP MPs Shahnawaz Hussain and Rajendra Agarwal as
well as Reoti Raman Singh (SP) and Prabodh Panda (CPI), met the Prime Minister in Parliament House to discuss the issue.
Talking to reporters later, Hussain said the delegation discussed the
well-being of Ganga, a "national river". The leaders requested the Prime
Minister to implement the recommendations of the B K Chaturvedi Committee after careful consideration.
"We drew the Prime Minister's attention to the recommendations of the
Committee. Ganga is an important river and government should not just
speak about it but also take some action," Hussain said. Singh reportedly told the delegation that he had not yet received the
Chaturvedi Committee report. Swaraj then read out excerpts from the report, after which Singh assured the delegation that necessary action
will be taken.
"Crores of people live on the banks of the Ganga river," Hussain said,
adding a clean and unhindered flow of the river is crucial for their
welfare, livelihood and beliefs. Source: OUTLOOK India
Bid to get go-ahead for hydel projects on Ganga fails
New Delhi, March 20, 2013: The Central government's bid to stream-roll 70 hydel
projects on river Ganga in Uttarakhand received a setback on Tuesday with independent
experts not agreeing to a draft report seeking approval to most of these projects.
The twin pressure of former IIT professor GD Aggarwal sitting on dharna outside the Planning Commission, where an
inter-ministerial group (IMG) met, and agitated independent members forced the committee headed by plan panel member BK
Chaturvedi to revise its draft report."There was lot of opposition on suggested
environment flow for river Ganga and its tributaries and go ahead to 70 hydel projects in which
some sort of work has started," said one of the independent members, who
was not willing to be quoted. Rajender Singh, another independent member said, the draft IMG report
was not acceptable as it aims to ensure construction of dams on the river instead of ensuring sound environmental flow.
The IMG had suggested 25% environmental flow in Ganga and its
tributaries during October-November and April-May. During June to September, the draft report had
suggested 20% flow and during December to March 30% flow.
A certain level of environmental flow of water in the river is must to
sustain its ecology and marine life. Higher environmental flow is good
for ecology but bad for hydel projects, which need stored water, to generate electricity to its full capacity.
The report said an "appropriate" balanced approach needs to be taken to
ensure hydro power needs of the state and water flow to meet the societal requirements including for social, cultural and economic growth.
"It is important to see that the flows do not result in exorbitant cost
of power which the people of the region may not be able to afford. This
would make these power projects uneconomic and un-implementable," the
draft report said. There are 70 hydro projects with a capacity of 9,550 MW proposed in the
Bhagirathi and Alaknanda basins - two major tributaries of river
Ganga. Their implementation would lead to 81% of river Bhagirathi and 65% of
river Alaknanda getting affected. The committee suggested that while implementing these projects it should
be ensured that not more than 60% of the river length is affected and
distance between two projects is one to three kilometers. It would have
meant that about 80% of these projects getting clearance, which was not
accepted by non-official committee members. Source: Hindustan Times
The Ganga river has lost Veer Bhadra Mishra a favourite guardian
Varanasi, March 17, 2013: The noted environmentalist and "mahant" of the famous
Sankatmochan temple, Professor Veer Bhadra Mishra, died on Wednesday at the
Banaras Hindu University (BHU) hospital, where he was admitted on March 3 for a
lung infection. He was 74. He is survived by his wife, two sons and two daughters, and leaves
behind a legacy of exemplary commitment and devotion towards the well-being of the
Ganga. His last rites were performed on Thursday on the ghats of Varanasi.
Professor Mishra, who inherited the position of
"mahant" at the age of 14 after the death of his father, was the founding president of Sankat
Mochan Foundation, a non-profit, non-political organisation working for
the cause of Ganga in Varanasi since 1982. A former professor of hydraulic engineering, he had retired as the head
of the civil engineering department at his alma mater, the Institute of Technology,
Though he was better known as a religious person, he joined his training
with his spirituality, juggling the political, environmental and the
holy into a practical crusade to free the river of pollution. The Swacha Ganga (Clean
Ganga) campaign was synonymous with Mahantji, as
he was popularly known.
As an expert member of the National Ganga River Basin Authority
(NGRBA), he worked toward arresting the Ganga’s fast deteriorating condition,
promoting education and health-care programmes for the underprivileged,
and maintaining and encouraging age-old cultural traditions of Varanasi in tune with present day environmental needs.
His multifaceted and innovative measures won him recognition from the
United Nations Environment Programme, which put him on its Global 500
Roll of Honour in 1992. "Time magazine" declared him the magazine’s
“Hero of the Planet” (1999) for bringing the plight of the Ganga to the world’s attention and inspiring other river activists.
For his commitment to the river, he rightly won the epithet “Ganga Putra
(Son of the Ganga”). Varanasi will also remember him for his “Ganga-ethics” and his personal
relationship with the river, which motivated him to say: “I am part of Ganga and Ganga is part of me.” Source: The Hindu
Ganges – sacred but polluted - WB Group President Jim Yong
Pradesh, March 15, 2013: "Cleaning up a major river is always difficult, but the challenge on the
Ganges is even greater because of the deep poverty, growing populations,
and rapid industrialization along its banks," says World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim.
Over several hours, Kim visited the village of Tilsari Khurd to see a
child care center and village health center; traveled to a neighborhood
in Kanpur, where he walked around an urban settlement; and then went to
the banks of the Ganges (Ganga) River, where he saw a drainage system
that pours human waste into the sacred waterway. Moving on, Kim visited the banks of the Ganges, where the drain that
runs through Gwaltoli, now swollen with waste from other neighborhoods,
flows into the river’s waters, held sacred by millions of India’s
people. Cities like Kanpur discharge enormous amounts of untreated sewage and industrial waste into the river’s critical middle stretches.
. “We stand ready to help India, especially Uttar Pradesh, with the knowledge and investments to
reduce pollution in this great river.” Efforts are already under way to
resolve Gwaltoli’s water and sewerage problems. The state government is setting up a water treatment plant on
the barrage upstream, and plans are in place to treat the drain’s waters before they meet the sacred river.
After his trip, Kim said he learned much from the experience. “It was exhilarating,” he said. “Being in Uttar Pradesh gave me such a
strong sense of the scale of the development challenges. In our global
effort to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity, you can’t be
successful if you are not successful in Uttar Pradesh specifically and
India generally.” Source: www.worldbank.org
Ganga Action Plan
New Delhi, March 12, 2013: As per the studies conducted by the Central Pollution Control Board
(CPCB) on water quality of river Ganga, and based on the designated best
use criteria the river stretches at downstream of Haridwar, Kannauj to
Kanpur, downstream of Varanasi, and downstream of Dakshineshwar have
been identified as polluted. This was stated by Shrimati Jayanthi Natarajan Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Environment and
Forests, in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha on March 11, 2013.
She stated that the Ganga Action Plan (GAP) Phase-I, was taken up during
1985 -2000 as a centrally sponsored project for abatement of pollution
of the river through schemes such as interception and diversion of sewage, sewage treatment plants, low cost sanitation works, electric
and/or improved wood crematoria, river front development works etc. Under this Plan, 260 pollution abatement schemes in 25 towns in the
states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal were undertaken at an
expenditure of Rs.452 crore. She further stated that since during implementation of GAP Phase-I all
pollution load in the river Ganga could not be tackled, GAP Phase-II was
initiated and projects amounting to Rs.591.05 crore were sanctioned, out
of which Rs.517.15 crore has been released to the Implementing Agencies.
Under these plans, a total sewage treatment capacity of 1091 million
litres per day (mld) has been created. Further, the Central Government
has set up the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) to ensure
effective abatement of pollution and conservation of river Ganga by adopting a holistic approach with river basin as the unit of planning,
the Minister added. Source: Ministry of Environment and Forests
Maha Kumbh concludes; 50 lakh to take dip on Mahashivaratri
Allahabad, March 10, 2013
(ANI): Marking the last day of 55-day-long Maha Kumbh mela, about 50 lakh devotees are expected to take the holy dip on the occasion of Mahashivaratri on Sunday.
Thousands of ash smeared mystics and ascetics besides an equal number of
pilgrims took the plunge into the waters of the River Ganges to mark the
last holy dip of the Kumbh Mela. The Maha Kumbh mela is held every 12 years in Allahabad covering an area
larger than Athens, spread over a wide sandy river bank at the point
where the Ganges and Yamuna rivers meet the Saraswati, a mythical river.
The festival grows in size every time it is held and is considered the world's largest gathering of people.The festival has its roots in a Hindu tradition that says the god Vishnu
wrested a golden pot from demons containing the nectar of immortality.
In a 12-day fight for possession, four drops fell to earth, in the cities of Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nasik. Every three years a
Kumbh Mela is held at one of these spots, with the festival at Allahabad the holiest of them all.
Hydro-Electric Projects on river Ganga are under construction
New Delhi, March 9, 2013: At present, eight Hydro Electric Projects (HEPs) with an installed
capacity of 2351 MW are under construction on the river Ganga and its
tributaries. To assess the cumulative impact of HEPs including impact on flow of
water, riverine eco-system and land & aquatic bio-diversity, the Ministry of Environment & Forests has got two studies conducted through
Wild-Life Institute of India, Dehradun and IIT, Roorkee. The Ministry of Environment & Forests accords environment & forest
clearances to HEPs as per defined procedures, laid-down through various Notifications, issued by them from time to time. Those clearances are
based on Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) studies / Environment Management Plan (EMP) including specific studies mentioned above wherein
issues concerning environment Impact, impact on bio-diversity, environmental flow, rehabilitation & resettlement are adequately addressed.
The eight projects on river ganga are:
1. TehriPSP (THDC) in Uttarakhand costs Rs. 1000.00 cr
2 TapovanVishnugad (NTPC) in Uttarakhand Rs.520.00 cr
3 Latatapovan (NTPC) in Uttarakhand Rs. 171.00 cr
4. SwaraKuddu (HPPCL) in H.P.Rs.111.00 cr
5 TanguRomai- I (TRPGL) in H.P. Rs.44.00 cr
6. Shrinagar(GVK) in Uttarakhand Rs.330.00 cr
7 PhataByung (LANCO) in Uttarakhand Rs.76.00 cr
8 SingoliBhatwari (L&T) in Uttarakhand Rs. 99.00 cr
The Total:is Rs.2351.00 cr . This information was given by MoS (I/C) Power
Sh. Jyotiraditya M.Scindia in Lok Sabha on March 8, 2013.
Bacterial contamination level in the Ganga exceeds max limit
New Delhi, March 6, 2013 (PTI): Bacterial contamination level in the Ganga has exceeded the maximum
permissible limit at many locations and the water quality of the Yamuna
too has not shown any desired improvement, the Rajya Sabha was told today.
Minister of State for Environment and Forest Jayanthi Natarajan said in
a written reply that detailed guideline has been prepared by the Ministry for comprehensive pollution abatement projects for rivers and
"The levels of bacterial contamination in terms of fecal coliform are
reported to be exceeding the maximum permissible limit at a number of
locations...water quality of river Yamuna has not shown the desired improvement owing to large gap in demand and availability of sewage
treatment capacity and lack of fresh water in the river," she said. The Minister was asked whether the government is aware of the failure of
the Ganga Action Plan (GAP) and Yamuna Action Plan (YAP).
GAP is being implemented since 1985 for undertaking pollution abatement
works at identified stretches of river Ganga through implementation of
works like interception and diversion of sewage, setting up of treatment
plants, low cost sanitation works and cremations. Natarajan said total sewage treatment capacity of 1091 million litres
per day (mld) have been created under the GAP. She said the water quality in terms of bio-chemical oxygen demand is
reported to have improved in the river as compared to pre-GAP period at major locations.
In reply to a separate question, Natarajan said, " A National River
Conservation Plan is also under implementation in the Ministry which is
undertaking works in 190 towns along polluted stretches of 39 rivers
spread over 20 states." To a query on the outcome of Doha Climate Change
Conference 2012, she said India defended the nature of its
voluntary domestic goal of reducing emission intensity of its GDP by 20-25% by 2020.
Bio-digester toilets as part of clean Ganga campaign.
New Delhi, February 27, 2013: (IANS) Actor Vivek Oberoi, who is actively involved in
philanthropy, has pledged to build bio-digester toilets as part of clean
Ganga campaign. The actor is the brand ambassador of Ganga Action Plan, which aims to clean the river.
"I am so glad to be part of such an important initiative, which not only
helps to keep Ganga clean but which also is a seva (service) for all of
our mothers and sisters - of every age - who don't have access to toilets and must brave the jungles and rapists in the dark of night.
Giving our women the dignity they deserve is our duty," Vivek said in a
statement. The campaign has been initiated by Swami Chidanand Saraswati, founder of Ganga Action Parivar.
Vivek was in Allahabad with family for the Mahakumbh performed a ceremonial bhoomi puja for
bricks to be used in the eco-friendly bio-digester toilet complexes. Toilet complexes are being made across Uttarakhand, and plans are underway for
constructing these in Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh. The two toilet complexes sponsored by Vivek will be located in Allahabad
and Badrinath.They are being built in partnership with Ganga Action
Parivar, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry
Swami Chidanada also showed a film that revealed how lack of proper
toilet facilities is not only a major factor contributing to pollution
of the Ganga, the Yamuna and other rivers, but is also a source of violence against women, and fear and illnesses in
them.According to Chidanand, the programe is an answer to problems faced by
the Ganga, the Yamuna and the young girls and women living on their banks.
Army troops plug Ganga breach in
Kumbh, averting disaster
Allahabad, February 22, 2013 (PTI): A breach in an embankment along the Ganga
caused by recent heavy rainfall which threatened to inundate a large area and affect Maha
Kumbh pilgrims in Allahabad, was on Tuesday plugged by a 60- member team
of Army’s Red Eagle Division who worked through the night averting a disaster.Sector 10 of Kumbh Mela area was threatened by floods late last night
when a water stream from river Ganga broke the embankment near a railway bridge and flooded the area following heavy rainfall over the last three
days, Defence PRO Wing Commander B B Pande said. This gave rise to the possibility of inundation of a very large area which
would have necessitated eviction of thousands of pilgrims from the area, he said.
“A request for assistance was made by the Divisional Commissioner of
Allahabad, Devesh Chaturvedi to the Army subsequently,” the PRO said. He said the 9 Engineers Regiment of the Army’s Red Eagle Division swung
into action as soon as it received the information about the “grim situation at 0130 hours” and a task force “comprising 60 engineer troops
and heavy earth-moving equipment, led by Lt Col N Sundaresan, was mobilised within 20 minutes and were on site by 0200 hours”.
“The soldiers worked throughout the night to plug the breach in embankment with sandbags and soil.
“The restoration work diverted the water back into the main stream of
the Ganga, averting a major mishap,” Pande said, adding, “However, a
similar situation erupted upstream which was once again brought under
control by redirecting the stream into Ganga river by creating a channel
in the bund between the river and the stream". The Wing Commander said, “The situation was brought under control by
noon today thanks to the tireless and dedicated efforts by the task force from 9 Engineer Regiment
which continued through the night.” -PTI
Free Ganga from dams to save it
ALLAHABAD, February 16, 2013: Ganga is not just a river but it has acquired the status of a
goddess and regarded as the cradle of Indian civilisation, said vice-chancellor of Maharshi
Visvavidyalaya, West Indies, Swami Brahmaswaroopji Maharaj while visiting the Ganga gallery in the Mela
area on Thursday. The VC said the river is getting polluted day by day because of
industrial waste. Many industries are situated along the rivers across
the world but those rivers are not as polluted as the Ganga. "After visiting the exhibition I have understood the root cause of pollution in
the Ganga," said Swami Brahmaswaroopji. He said the exhibition throws light on the holy view of the Ganga and
its importance for common man with scientific temper. The exhibition provides information about various aspects of the Ganga like origin,
mythological and religious view, socio-economical importance, pollution
and its critical stretch along with its tributaries. Current water quality of the Ganga has well been
represented by scientific data and also emphasises how an individual can save this
pristine river, VC said.
Religious scientist from United Kingdom, Charls Dresem, lauded
exhibition convener Prof DN Shukla for organising the initiative. He said the exhibition apart from imparting information on conserving the
river water scientifically, also connects the same to spirituality. Prof
Shukla said the Ganga is not only a river but also the most abundant and
wonderful natural resource which is essential for survival of all living
organisms. The main objective of the exhibition is to build a consensus
on saving the Ganga from pollution and create awareness in keeping the river clean. He said declaring the Ganga as the National
River is not the only solution to make the river free from pollution,
but it is also necessary to maintain its flow and free it from all dams and barrages otherwise we will loss Ganga as river Saraswati, he
added. Source: Times of India
This Valentine's Day, seer spreads love for Ganga
LUCKNOW, February 15, 2015: At Mahakumbh this year, seers are turning social activists. And the Ganga is the biggest beneficiary
of their attention. Although the focus on the rivers is not new, this
time the initiatives are more inclusive, cutting across political forces and bringing into their fold the young and the old.
Parmarth Ashram's Swami Chidanand Saraswati the leading Ganga Action Parivar
initiative, has proposed this year a move that will have Valentine's Day being celebrated to nurture the nation's
love for the Ganga.The seer, accompanied by Sri Sri Ravishankar, will
host a special programme on measures to protect and preserve the river.
Chidanand said, "On February 14, Ganga Action Parivar will hold a
special Valentine's Day rally at the sacred Kumbh Mela. Pilgrims and
participants from India and the World will wear the colors of the Indian
flag. Orange will symbolize the power of the Sun and alternative energy.
White will represent simplicity, purity, and environmental-sustainable
living, and green will stand for the role that organic farming can play
in keeping our waterways toxic-free." Apart from seers, Chidanand has also roped in popular
Bollywood names—Preity Zinta, Emraan Hashmi and Anil Kapoor's wife Sunita to name
a few—to popularize the campaign to save Ganga. He has brought international focus on Ganga as well; pulling in researchers from the
Harvard University , among others to study Kumbh, the devotees who come to attend it and,
primarily, the pull of Sangam. As faith-keepers of Sanatan Dharma, there are others too that are
mobilizing the young and old into saving the Ganga. Shankaracharya Swaroopanand Saraswati of the Dwarika and Jyotir
peeth, for one, has been among the front-runners of the save Ganga movements in the country.
Ahead of the Mauni Amavasya snan on February 10, Swaroopanand sought a
promise for help from Union minister Sriprakash Jaiswal. Swaroopanand's
disciple Avimukteshwaranand said Swaroopanand has strongly pursued the Ganga's cause because it is the one issue that
unites people from different spectrums of social life. "Our history tells us that civilizations came up on the banks of prominent rivers;
now we are destroying one such river along which we have built our entire history and culture," Avimukteshwaranand said. source: The Times of India
30 million Hindus seek redemption with mass baths
February 11, 2013: Sunday, the 10th February 2013 was the most auspicious day of a two-month-long festival when,
according to Hindu teaching, a person who bathes at the confluence of
the Ganges and the Yumanu rivers – where they meet a third river, the
Sarswati, which exists only in legend – will be cleansed of all the sins
acquired in this life, and have a chance to break out of the karmic cycle of death and rebirth. The occasion comes once every 12 years. For
millions of people who made it to the rivers on Sunday, it was the most important moment of their lives.
The crowd, police say, was the largest ever in a single day at the Kumbh
Mela, and may, in the final count, exceed 30 million people. Authorities
had a plan in place to seal off the city and stop the pilgrims 50 kilometres outside the limits of
Allahabad, but it wasn’t necessary as the waves of people moved steadily down to the water.
Grim news came after nightfall of a stampede at the railway station that
left at least 36 people dead and injured many others. It was a tragic
postscript to an extraordinary day of co-existence and shared emotion.
The Kumbh Mela is a monument to faith and the esoteric, and simultaneously to
human industry and pragmatism. Some 100 million people will have descended on this normally sleepy Allahbad
city during its duration, between January 14 and March 10. And they will
be housed, fed and otherwise accommodated in a vast temporary city that
the government of Uttar Pradesh, Today the Kumbh Mela is best known for the National
Geographic-esque spectacle of the mass baths of the "sadhus," or Hindu ascetics. Members
of one sect, the "naga sadhus", spend their lives naked and coated in
ash; they run into the water with dreadlocks and marigold garlands flying. Other warrior sects dash down into the river brandishing spears
and riding elephants and horses. Source: theglobeandmail.com
Rainbow Love Camp. On the boundaries of the Kumbh Mela
ALLAHABAD, January 30, 2013:
Maha Kumbh is in news for being the largest conglomeration of pilgrims coming to take a dip in the
holy Ganga, the event has in fact emerged as a symbol of international
harmony bringing people together as a 'global family'. Residing in the tents at the thickly populated townships, and amidst the
campers at the different akaharas and the kalpwasis, there is a large
numbers of foreign nationals from different countries, staying as an
extended family in the Mela area under the banner of 'Rainbow Love Camp'.
On the boundaries of the Mela area, a large numbers of nomad style pilgrims are
staying happily on the minimal that is needed to survive. They are from all over the
world, from Germany, US, France, England, Russia, Japan, Spain, South Africa,
Thailand, Israel, Italy, Mexico, etc and are camping far from the hustle and bustle of the
Mela to enjoy the tranquility of the vast catchment area of Ganga and
surviving with bare minimum. While some have their own trekking tents in which they feel happy to lie on the sands on the river
bank, others just lie around on hammocks. The foreigners have assembled
on the banks of Ganga along with Panama Baba at the rainbow camp, yet there is no system of a guru and followers
and only a few are known to each other.
"I had been tracking posts submitted by our friends on social networking
sites for the last six months and all of us have somehow managed to know
the exact spot, i.e. sector 7, of the Mela area where everyone has come
to attain the real pleasure of Indian culture, yoga and a religious event like Maha
Kumbh," said 20 years old Pablo who has been roaming from Germany to Australia and is now at Allahabad from where he would
move to Myanmar before finally getting back to Germany to continue his studies. At the rainbow camp, he sleeps on a hammock.
"Far from the maddening sounds, we all enjoy the peace and tranquility of
Ganga," he added. Source: The Times of India
Pilgrims from 54 countries participate in Paryavaran parade at Mahakumbh
LUCKNOW, January 26, 2013: Close to a thousand pilgrims - from across India and around the
world march together to celebrate Republic Day on the banks of the Ganga at the Kumbh Mela on Saturday, as part of an environmental
parade to call for India's independence from pollution and to pay homage
to the war heroes, who have faithfully served India's past. The initiative has been taken by Swami Chidanand
Saraswati, Founder of Ganga Action Parivar and President of Parmarth Niketan Ashram,
Rishikesh, who said that participants from of all castes, creeds and
cultures will come together to call for an Indian "Clean Revolution."
The parade goers, hailing from more than 54 countries, as well as
students from the northeast states of India, will wave their national
flags, colorful banners and slogan-signs calling for all to keep 'Mother India and Mother Ganga' pollution-free.
Talking to reporters he stated, "We are gathering to send a strong
message that together, we can clean up the Ganga, just as She cleanses
us. Today, we celebrate our freedom of sovereignty, but we are not truly
free until our country is liberated of pollution. We must continue to
work and to strive for the freedom to live in a country blessed with
clean air, water and land. Ganga's rights are our rights! We worked and
fought long and hard for our own independence. Now we must work for Ganga's rights!"
It may be noted that nearly 3 billion liters of sewage and chemical waste are poured into the Ganga. This dumping, combined with the
obstruction and diversion of its water has resulted in water shortages,
toxic drinking water, and the virtual disappearance of segments of the river.
The event will also pay respect to the war heroes, who have protected
the land, culture and people of India. In doing so, it will send a message of inspiration for all to serve in the footsteps of these
martyrs and veterans in order to preserve our environment. The procession will begin at 4pm on banks of the Ganga on the main Kumbh
Mela grounds, sector 2, police line, near the fort and will end at Sangam Nose, main snan
ghat, approximately 1.5 km from starting point. Source: The Times of India
Ganga's pollution forces change in tradition
Kumbhnagar (UP), Jan 22, 2013, DHNS :Adoption of land burial instead of the
traditional water burial from now *Rising pollution in the Ganga river has forced the Hindu sadhus to shun
the "Jal Samadhi" (burial in water), which has been an age old
tradition. Breaking away from the tradition, the various the "akharas"
(organizations of different sects of Hindu religion), which have gathered from across the country, have
decided that the saints and sadhus would henceforth be given land burial instead of the traditional
water burial in view of the rising pollution in the Ganga river.
The initiative taken by the "akharas" has found support from the
religious heads and others. General secretary of India's biggest akhara Juna Akhara Mahant Hari Giri
said that the decision had been taken to preserve the sanctity of the
holy river. "We have asked the state government to earmark land for the burial of
sadhus at the sangam (confluence of the Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Sarswati rivers) so that they could be given land
burial," he added. Mahant Hari Giri said that according to the state
government officials, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has promised to look into the demand and take necessary action.
He made it clear that there would be no need for creating any pucca
(made of concrete) structure at the Sangam. "The structure could be used
for another samadhi after a period of six years," he said. The saints feel that if the governments of respective states give land
for burial on the banks of the rivers like the Ganga, Yamuna,
Kshipra, Godavari, Sutlej, Narmada, Sarayu and others, the problem of pollution
could be resolved to some extent.
Save Ganga: Seers threaten to boycott next big "snan"
ALLAHABAD, January 19, 2013: Agitated over high levels of pollution and shallow
water in the holy Ganga, the Shankracharyas, seers and Dandi swamis, along with
all the akaharas, are all set to repeat the feat of 2010 Mahakumbh of
Hardwar- boycott the next 'Shahi Snan' on Mauni Amavasya scheduled for
February 10. These saints, on Friday, threatened that "if the situation
remained unchanged, they will not bathe in the next Shahi Snan".
The alarming condition of the holy river, besides instigating saints to
boycott the Shahi Snan, has become the poll plank for various political
parties in the forthcoming general elections of 2014. Led by monk cum activist of the Ganga Bachaao
Andolan, Harichaitanya Brahmachari of Shriparamhans Ashram in Tikar
Mafi, various Shankracharyas, seers and Dandi swamis at the Maha Kumbh 2013 have come
on a common platform and decided to vote in the 2014 general elections
only for the party that pledges to protect 'Ganga 'Maa' and the Hindu culture.
Agitated over Ganga's deteriorating condition, the saints met at Sangam
and chalked out a plan to to save Ganga and boycotting the next Shahi
Snan is a part of that programme. Jagat Guru Shankracharya, Swami Vasudevanand
Saraswati, Shankracharya, Swami Narendranand Sarawati, Shankracharya, Swami
Shardanand of Kandara Peeth, Swami Ghanshyamacharya, Swami Abahay Chaitanya Brahmchari and a large numbers of Dandi swamis attended the
meeting and lambasted the callous attitude of the government and demanded effective capping of effluent discharged into Ganga and
sufficient volume of water in the river throughout the Mela.
"The black and red water of the shallow Ganga is troubling us and we
want to warn the government to stop pollution of the river or be ready
to face dire consequences in the next general elections," said
Harichaitanya, talking to TOI. Now is the time to execute efforts instead of taking mere symbolic steps, he added.
"The government is cheating the Kalpwasis and saints alike as only on
the day of major baths, the water level is increased in Ganga and it
recedes within 24 hours whereas after January 27, kalpwasis would need
not only to bathe in the holy water twice a day, but also use the same
water for drinking and cooking. All they are getting is the polluted
water of Ganga river. This is cheating 'astha' (faith) of innocent pilgrims," said the seer. Source: The Times of India
More than 82 lakh pilgrims for the first bath in Sangam
SANGAM, January 15, 2013: More than 82 lakh pilgrims, led by ash-covered, trident and
sword yielding sadhus, streamed into the Sangam - the confluence of the
sacred rivers Ganga, Yamuna and the mythological Saraswati- on Monday
at the start of the world's biggest religious festival. Officials say up to 100 million devotees will gather over the next 55
days to take the ritual bath in the holy Sangam, believed to cleanse
sins and bestow blessings. Before daybreak on Monday, a day chosen by astrologers as auspicious,
hundreds of sadhus, mostly Nagas, some brandishing swords and tridents,
ran into the ganga waters for the first bath, signalling the start of the mega events.
The Maha Kumbh takes place every 12 years in Allahabad, with smaller but
similar events every three years in other locations around India. It has
its origins in Hindu mythology, which describes how a few drops of the
nectar of immortality fell on the four places that host the festival
- Allahabad, Nasik, Ujjain and Haridwar. IG Alok Sharma told TOI that "more than 82 lakh people took the holy dip
in the Sangam till 5 pm amidst heavy police bandobast." With 20 million
anticipated on February 15, the most auspicious day, ADG Arun Kumar said "the biggest concern was crowd control and the
12,000 officers on duty did their job well".
Organisers had set up 35,000 toilets, 14 medical
centres, 22,000 street lights, 150 kilometres of temporary roads, 18 bridges, and new sewage
facilities. Nearly 7,000 buses and hundreds of special trains are expected to ferry people to Allahabad where the heavily polluted Yamuna
river flows into the Ganges. Among the first to take the ho ly dip were Mahamandaleshwars, Mahants,
Sadhus and Nagas from Sanyasi Maha Nirvani Maya Atal in cold and misty
atmosphere. They were followed by Niranjani with Anand, Juna along with Awahan and
Panch Agni, V airagi-Nirvani, Digambar, Nirmohi, Udasin-Naya
Panchayati, Bada Panchayti and Nirmal Panchayati. Source: Times of India
Amanat's' ashes immersed in river Ganga
Ballia (Uttar Pradesh), January 3, 2013: The ashes of 23-year-old medical student who
was gang-raped and tortured in a moving bus in Delhi last month, were
immersed in the river Ganga at the Bharauli ghat in Ballia on Tuesday.
Hundreds of people, including women and children gathered there, most with tears in their eyes.
The ashes of the young woman, who fought for 13 days to survive before
dying of severe organ failure in a Singapore hospital last Saturday,
were brought to her ancestral village by her family late on Monday evening.
On Tuesday morning, the family left their residence for the ghat at 8 am, but the eight kilometres took them three hours to cover as hundreds
of people joined them. As they immersed her ashes in the Ganaga, the woman's father and brother broke down. The horrific assault on the girl shook the conscience of the entire
nation, with people from all walks of life taking to the streets across
the country in protest against the incident. The girl was a para-medical student, and was raped and brutally
assaulted by six men who also attacked her male friend and threw both of them out of a moving bus. Source: NDTV
Green issues to be discussed during Maha Kumbh
LUCKNOW, January 01, 2013: In a unique initiative, an environmental kumbh would be held
during the Maha Kumbh in Allahabad to discuss green issues related to the river
Ganga. "During Kumbh Mela, a special two day meeting will be held from January
18 in which detailed discussions will be held on purity of river Ganga
and environmental imbalance," head of Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh, Swami Chidanand Saraswati said.
After the deliberations, an environmental declaration would be issued
which would give a message to the world to check environmental imbalance.
"The meeting will be attended by chief ministers of five states from
where Ganga passes, including Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal," Swami Chidanand said.
Besides chairman of local bodies concerned, local administrative officers and environmentalist R K Pachauri would attend the meet. UP
Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav would lead the meeting, he said. "Media from all over the world will gather during Mahakumbh and Akhilesh
Yadav will not get a better opportunity than this," he said. Swami Chidanand appealed to the state government and Kumbh Mela
administration to make the event polythene-free.
"An effort should be made to give a message of green kumbh during the
largest gathering of people in the world," he said. He also said that a problem was being faced by saints and Sankaracharyas
in getting space at the mela site this time due to change in the course of
Ganga. "This has reduced the land available on riverside. Therefore, satisfying
everyone will not be easy for the government," he said. He, however, demanded that the government make lodging facilities at the
mela site for the saints at the earliest so that problem are not faced by anyone.
Regarding Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh's statement regarding fake Shankaracharyas, Swami Chidanand said leaders have no right to tag them as fake.
"The saints don't need a certificate from such people," he said. Digvijay had on Wednesday last alleged that the place reserved for
Shankaracharya in Maha Kumbh Mela in Allahabad has been given to a "fake" Shankaracharya supported by BJP and sought the intervention of the Chief
Minister in this regard. Swami Chidanand said Shankaracharyas of all four peeths
should sit together, form a consensus on the issue and inform the administration
about it to clear any misunderstanding. Source: The Economic Times