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  • Tenzing Lepcha, the lead activist of Affected Citizens of Teesta (ACT), is proud of his work in the last year. “All this was overgrown,” he says pointing at the orderly farm. “I created the fields myself.” He shows us the carefully dug out pond for water storage, the irrigation system, the c...
    chicuposted 1 month 4 weeks agoread more
  • As we sit sipping tea with him, Ugen Lepcha calmly spells out his stand. “Even if it means having to leave my (political) party, I will continue to be against dams,” he says. Ugen Lepcha, the president of Passingang gram panchayat in the Dzongu area of Sikkim, clearly has courage when it comes t...
    chicuposted 3 months 1 week agoread more
  • Hasdeo Arand illustrates all that is wrong with the coal mining industry today. This ancient and dense forest in Chattisgarh, inhabited by several tribes, was once famous for being an elephant corridor. Since 2013, the area has worn a different face. That year, mining began in the Parsa East-Kete B...
    chicuposted 1 year 7 months agoread more
  • Saileena Sarkar's introduction to the East Kolkata Wetlands began as soon as she moved to the city. She says, “The Kolkata wetlands have been a point of interest since I came to the city. This was where we went for our zoology tuition group picnic, and  the wetlands are something every zoolog...
    chicuposted 1 year 10 months agoread more
  • Dr Hari Kumar Shreshta is an engineer, teacher, and a passionate crusader for healthy rivers. On a recent visit to India, he spoke with India Water Portal about the efforts to introduce the concept of environmental flows in hydropower-focused Nepal. What is the situation around hydropower in Nepal?...
    chicuposted 2 years 2 months agoread more
  • The theme for the 2016 UN World Water Day is 'Water and Jobs'. What is your opinion of the chosen theme?We need to acknowledge that the linkage between water and livelihoods is broadbased. 'Job' denotes a paid employment and is given to someone, whereas livelihoods have evolved independently by thos...
    chicuposted 2 years 3 months agoread more
  • Banaras has always been identified with Baba Vishwanath but Modiji said that he had been called here by the Ganga. Ganga was thus present in the election atmosphere. When he extended the cabinet, he established a ministry for the Ganga. Some unprecedented things have happened in these elections...
    chicuposted 3 years 5 months agoread more
  • We sat on a charpoy in Agwaanpur and talked of flood warning systems for the Ramganga. Of all the places I had visited, Agwaanpur, probably due to its urban nature, was the only one which boasted a rudimentary system. The police would inform the Maulvi that a flood release was expected, and he would...
    chicuposted 3 years 6 months agoread more
  • "The men say that the well is perennial", I said. "Do you use it"? "No", replied the women. "It might be perennial, but the water is unclean. Our dals don't cook, and there are sometimes worms in the water". "The men have decided that one standpost tap for 20 households is enough. Do you agree...
    chicuposted 3 years 9 months agoread more
  • When Basanti Devi entered the village of Bachwadi in Uttarakhand's Takula block on one of her routine visits, she knew that something was wrong. Instead of the normal hustle, groups of men stood about talking quietly. She asked them what the matter was. Basanti and the Gram PanchayatBasanti Devi wa...
    chicuposted 3 years 10 months agoread more
  • The vast plain in Mithilanchal (now a part of Bihar) wore a festive look despite the early hour. People had been gathering since the wee hours of the morning. Children wore their festive best while women, flowers in their hair and anticipation in their eyes. The air was redolent with the fragrance o...
    chicuposted 3 years 10 months agoread more
  •  Visitors and the Uttarakhand Tourism Department liken the mountain to 'devbhoomi' or the heavens but it isn't often that a villager of the area echoes those sentiments. Most of them are weary of the unending struggle to live in harmony with those steep slopes that make all manner of infra...
    chicuposted 3 years 11 months agoread more
  • The fourteen women and three men were rapt as Pan-'da' explained the intricacies of Himalayan geology. Every now and then, a question would be asked. Pan-'da' would then create an impromptu geological model using a notebook or a whiteboard eraser to explain the concepts. This was essential because t...
    chicuposted 4 years 2 weeks agoread more
  • "We did everything ourselves", said the ebuillent Bhuvaneshwari Devi. "We took the cement up, carried the sand, everything! And we even told them where to place the tank"! She went on to narrate how the women's group of which she is a member, taught the men of the village that siting a tank in the s...
    chicuposted 4 years 2 weeks agoread more
  • I remember a farm pond that I once visited in Maharashtra. It shone like a square sapphire in that dry land, securely held by tall earth embankments. On the other side of one of those embankments was a parched and dying field. When I asked the farmer why it wasn't irrigated, he asked me to give him ...
    chicuposted 4 years 1 month agoread more
  • What exactly does a 'campaign' look like? What do people actually do when they 'protest' against something? And how do the protesters get hold of all the facts that they quote? These questions surfaced every time I read about a campaign or a protest on environmental or human rights issues but I neve...
    chicuposted 4 years 11 months agoread more
  • A section of the water sector practitioners and experts, have been engaged in the process, and a summary of the discussions so far, is available here.Work on the National Water Policy has been in progress for nearly two years, starting in 2010 when the announcement was first made. Consultative meeti...
    chicuposted 6 years 4 months agoread more
  • A western disturbance caused a cold wave to sweep across the northern part of the country, claiming several lives and disrupting normal conditions. Reports of water pipes freezing, roads becoming unmotorable have come in from several parts of the country. This might affect crops this winter. No...
    chicuposted 6 years 5 months agoread more
  • It has been dominated by reports of  a major cyclone Thane that lay centered on the the 29th December 2011 near latitude 12.30N and longitude 83.00E, about 300 km east-southeast of Chennai (Tamilnadu) and 480 km north-northeast of Trincomalee (Sri Lanka). Earlier reports related to the cyclone ...
    chicuposted 6 years 5 months agoread more
  • The news this fortnight has been dominated by the north-east monsoon in South India, mainly in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Periyar, Vagai, Krishnarajasagar, Mettur and Chemberampakkam reservoirs have either reached full capacity or are expected to in the next few days. Areas downstream of Vagai reservoir...
    chicuposted 6 years 7 months agoread more

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Along with protesting against dams, the ACT leaders are leading by example and showing people of Sikkim more constructive ways to live.

Tenzing Lepcha, the lead activist of Affected Citizens of Teesta (ACT), is proud of his work in the last year. “All this was overgrown,” he says pointing at the orderly farm. “I created the fields myself.” He shows us the carefully dug out pond for water storage, the irrigation system, the compost heaps, the neatly staked peas and rows of mustard. It is difficult to recognise him now, my earlier image of him being that of a listless young Tenzing, weak from fasting for months.

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In a rare show of solidarity, the panchayat leaders of Dzongu have formed a group, Save Dzongu, that cuts across political differences to save their river.

As we sit sipping tea with him, Ugen Lepcha calmly spells out his stand. “Even if it means having to leave my (political) party, I will continue to be against dams,” he says. Ugen Lepcha, the president of Passingang gram panchayat in the Dzongu area of Sikkim, clearly has courage when it comes to his political convictions.

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Compliance with environmental laws has been a matter between the company and the government. It is changing with a group of people urging communities to participate in the process.

Hasdeo Arand illustrates all that is wrong with the coal mining industry today. This ancient and dense forest in Chattisgarh, inhabited by several tribes, was once famous for being an elephant corridor. Since 2013, the area has worn a different face.

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Changes have been proposed to existing environmental laws. We look at three such policy changes that could affect the ecosystem and local communities negatively.

Saileena Sarkar's introduction to the East Kolkata Wetlands began as soon as she moved to the city. She says, “The Kolkata wetlands have been a point of interest since I came to the city. This was where we went for our zoology tuition group picnic, and  the wetlands are something every zoology student in Kolkata visits to learn about.

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Nepal, like India, is just learning of environmental flow releases. Dr.Hari Shrestha speaks of the efforts being made to increase awareness about healthy rivers in the country

Dr Hari Kumar Shreshta is an engineer, teacher, and a passionate crusader for healthy rivers. On a recent visit to India, he spoke with India Water Portal about the efforts to introduce the concept of environmental flows in hydropower-focused Nepal.

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Parineeta Dandekar of SANDRP speaks to India Water Portal about how healthy rivers--and not dams--are the best employment guarantees around.

The theme for the 2016 UN World Water Day is 'Water and Jobs'. What is your opinion of the chosen theme?

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Listen to (and read the text of) Uma Bharti, the Minister of Water Resources, talk about her Ministry's plans for the Ganga including riverfront development.

Banaras has always been identified with Baba Vishwanath but Modiji said that he had been called here by the Ganga. Ganga was thus present in the election atmosphere. When he extended the cabinet, he established a ministry for the Ganga. Some unprecedented things have happened in these elections. This is the first time in the world that a Ministry has the name of a particular river in its title.

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Since the 1970s, the Ramganga has been governed by dam releases. Now an ambitious project seeks to restore environmental flows in the river.

We sat on a charpoy in Agwaanpur and talked of flood warning systems for the Ramganga. Of all the places I had visited, Agwaanpur, probably due to its urban nature, was the only one which boasted a rudimentary system. The police would inform the Maulvi that a flood release was expected, and he would repeat the warning using the  loudspeaker normally used to summon people to prayer.

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Development workers often do not have the tools to better integrate gender issues into water planning. Here are tips to help from two women who have created gender-inclusive water management systems.

"The men say that the well is perennial", I said. "Do you use it"? "No", replied the women. "It might be perennial, but the water is unclean. Our dals don't cook, and there are sometimes worms in the water".

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Four Gram Panchayats in Uttarakhand joined forces to oppose a cement plant. They won this battle, but will India's villagers win the war?

When Basanti Devi entered the village of Bachwadi in Uttarakhand's Takula block on one of her routine visits, she knew that something was wrong. Instead of the normal hustle, groups of men stood about talking quietly. She asked them what the matter was.

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