Lake congestion worsened Kerala floods: CWC

News this week
Vembanad lake in Kerala (Source: ATREE via IWP Flickr photos)
Vembanad lake in Kerala (Source: ATREE via IWP Flickr photos)

Clean chit to dam management, CWC says congested Vembanad lake worsened floods in Kerala

In its assessment of the cause of the devastating floods in Kerala, the Central Water Commission (CWC) has said that it was the congestion in the carrying capacity of the Vembanad Lake, the largest lake in Kerala, that worsened the floods. According to the CWC, out of the 1.63 billion cubic metres (BCM) rainwater, the Vembanad lake was able to absorb only 0.6 BCM and inflated to nearly three times its size. Although the lake had a capacity to store two billion cubic metres, it has been shrunk due to encroachment in the area and rice cultivation around it, impacting the entire hydrodynamics of the rivers that drain into it. As per the CWC, dams neither attenuated the floods nor aggravated them and the flood moderation effect of the dams gets restrained during intense spells of rain like it occurred in Kerala. 

Government shelves water aerodrome project at Chilika lake

Following objections from the Odisha government, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has cancelled the water aerodrome project at the Chilika lake. The Chilika Development Authority (CDA) raised its apprehensions regarding the project with the state government which took up the matter with the AAI. According to the CDA, the water aerodrome would have seriously jeopardised the habitat of nearly one million avian visitors in Chilika and risked the livelihood of about two lakh fishermen dependent on the lake. The project would also have affected the breeding and navigation of the Irrawaddy dolphins.  

Centre’s Tuticorin groundwater report gets rejected by Tamil Nadu

Claiming the report to be absolutely vague and totally unwarranted, the Tamil Nadu government has rejected the Centre's report on groundwater contamination. As per the report, the Sterlite Copper Smelting plant is not the only cause of pollution in the area and therefore, its consent for operation should be renewed. The state government has rejected the report saying the smelting plant had gravely affected the health and safety of residents in the locality which resulted in its permanent closure. The state government has also demanded an immediate withdrawal of the entire report as it doubts its credibility.

Mithi river revival gets a jolt

Without any discussion, the standing committee of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has held back the phase one work of the Mithi river rejuvenation project proposal. The decision is a hurdle to the already delayed river rejuvenating programme which has been divided into four phases. Under phase one, the BMC had planned to spend around Rs 211 crore on laying new sewer lines, constructing sewage treatment plants and pumping stations.

Two irrigation facilities in Telangana get heritage tag

The International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) has accorded Heritage Irrigation Structure status to the Sadarmatt anicut across river Godavari in Nirmal district and Pedda Cheruvu in Kamareddy district in Telangana. Built in 1891-92, the Sadarmatt anicut has the potential to irrigate 13,100 acres of land in Khanapur and Kadem mandals. The Pedda Cheruvu was built in 1897 with a catchment area spread over 68.97 sq km. The tank provides water for irrigation to over 900 acres in Kamareddy, Sarampally, Narsampally and old Rajampet.

This is a roundup of important news published between September 5 - 11, 2018. Also, read policy matters this week.

 

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