Bay of Bengal

  • “Our village is also called the swimmers’ village because almost all of us including small children know how to swim. To learn swimming is not a luxury but a necessity for us. A person who doesn’t know swimming cannot survive here because boats are scarce and not always available,” says Kanh...
    arathiposted 4 days 20 hours agoread more
  • Gopal Nishad, a fisherman in his early 40s, is frustrated that there is hardly any fish left in the Mahanadi’s basin at Pitaibandh due to the lack of water in the basin. This basin is located near Rajim-Nawapara in Chhattisgarh, the proposed site for the fourth anicut on the Mahanadi. He reminisce...
    makarandpurohitposted 3 weeks 5 days agoread more
  • 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 4 weeks 1 day 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 2 months 1 week agoread more
  • Around 25 lakh pilgrims across the country took a holy dip in the Mahanadi during the Rajim kumbh festival held in Rajim from January 31-February 13, 2018. For this annual religious extravaganza at the confluence of the Mahanadi, Sondur and Pairi rivers in Chhattisgarh, the state government organise...
    makarandpurohitposted 2 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • The Manjara river rejuvenation work was implemented in Latur, Maharashtra under the leadership of Art of Living and RSS Jankalyan Samiti in the summer of 2016. The article (PDF attached) evaluates the validity of the approach--of widening and deepening of Manjara river to quench the thirst of Latur...
    Sach Tposted 3 months 6 days agoread more
  • SC refuses to lift ban on sand mining in Rajasthan  The Supreme Court has rejected the Rajasthan government's plea to lift the ban on sand mining in the state. The court has also ordered the environment ministry to explain why sand or bajri is required for construction activities and to submit...
    swatiposted 4 months 6 days agoread more
  • Assam prepares river atlas to tackle floods, erosion, deforestation The Assam government is preparing a river atlas with the aid of the North Eastern Space Application Centre (NESAC) that would serve as a comprehensive database of all major and minor rivers of the state. Besides serving as a databa...
    swatiposted 4 months 1 week agoread more
  • Rivers hold a special place in Indian civilisation and culture. They are treated divine and temples are located along the course of rivers. Rivers, with a variety of mesohabitats in it, support rich and diverse native fauna and act as natural reserve of fish germplasm. In spite of the ecological and...
    arathiposted 4 months 1 week agoread more
  • Ashok Kumar Dolai can hardly control his tears whenever he sees the river flowing near his house and a narrow red earth road snaking beside it.  The 26-year-old lost his pregnant wife in the first week of December after he failed to shift her to the nearest hospital in time because the road wa...
    arathiposted 4 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • Arunachal achieves the open defecation free status Following Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh becomes the second state in the Northeast to be declared open defecation free. The state has achieved the open defecation free target one year and 10 months ahead of the national target, which is October 2, 2019....
    swatiposted 4 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • Government data shows decreasing suicide trend among farmers for the second consecutive year According to government statistics, after peaking in 2015, farmer suicides have shown a decreasing trend for the second year in succession in 2017 in the six suicide-prone districts--Vidarbha’s Buldhana, ...
    swatiposted 5 months 3 days agoread more
  • Art of Living responsible for destroying the Yamuna floodplains: NGT The National Green Tribunal has held the Art of Living responsible for damaging the Yamuna floodplains in Delhi by holding the World Culture Festival at the site in 2016. However, no additional penalty has been levied on the organ...
    swatiposted 5 months 1 week agoread more
  • Carbon content in India's soil decreases According to a recent report by a consortium of agriculture institutes, out of 350 million hectares of soil in India, 120 million hectares has already turned problematic, that is, either the soil has turned acidic, saline, or alkaline. The carbon content in ...
    swatiposted 5 months 1 week agoread more
  • Cyclone Ockhi makes landfall, affects Lakshadweep islands, Kerala and Tamil Nadu Cyclone Ockhi intensified into a severe cyclonic storm and made landfall in the Lakshadweep islands last Friday. It further moved to coastal areas of Kerala and Tamil Nadu causing heavy rains in the two states. The dea...
    swatiposted 5 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • Green nod to Inland waterway terminal at Haldia Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) clearance has been granted to the proposed inland waterways terminal at Haldia, West Bengal. The clearance, however, is subject to specific conditions regarding protection of Gangetic dolphins and marine biodiversity. The...
    swatiposted 5 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • India has the highest number of people without access to toilets: Report According to a report by WaterAid, the number of people having no access to a toilet in India is around 732 million which include 355 million women and girls. Despite the ongoing Swachh Bharat Mission that was launched in...
    swatiposted 6 months 3 days agoread more
  • Pearl farmer Sanjay Gandate (33) was waiting for my arrival at his house in Pardi Kupi in the Naxal-affected Gadchiroli district in Maharashtra. I had missed my early morning bus to Pardi Kupi and took an autorickshaw instead to reach the village. Sanjay greeted me and took me to Wain...
    makarandpurohitposted 6 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • Norms relaxed to allow thermal power plants to use more water The environment ministry has allowed thermal power plants to use up to three cubic metres of water per megawatt-hour as against the earlier cap of 2.5 cubic metres per megawatt-hour. The new rule will allow the thermal power plants to co...
    swatiposted 6 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • NGT raps authorities for Yamuna cleanup in Delhi  The National Green Tribunal has rapped both the Delhi government and the Delhi Jal Board for delaying compliance with orders on the Yamuna cleaning project. It has also sought show cause from authorities for why contempt proceedings should not ...
    swatiposted 6 months 4 weeks agoread more

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Livelihood and education affected, villagers of a marooned land look for solutions.

“Our village is also called the swimmers’ village because almost all of us including small children know how to swim. To learn swimming is not a luxury but a necessity for us.

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While the three anicuts on the Mahanadi are hampering its free flow, another one is being planned by the government.

Gopal Nishad, a fisherman in his early 40s, is frustrated that there is hardly any fish left in the Mahanadi’s basin at Pitaibandh due to the lack of water in the basin. This basin is located near Rajim-Nawapara in Chhattisgarh, the proposed site for the fourth anicut on the Mahanadi. He reminisces the good old days when he, along with his brother, used to catch plenty of fish from the Mahanadi. 

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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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Rajim kumbh mela has left the Mahanadi river crying for attention.

Around 25 lakh pilgrims across the country took a holy dip in the Mahanadi during the Rajim kumbh festival held in Rajim from January 31-February 13, 2018. For this annual religious extravaganza at the confluence of the Mahanadi, Sondur and Pairi rivers in Chhattisgarh, the state government organised various religious events.

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The widening and deepening of Manjara river to rejuvenate it has not served its purpose of quenching the thirst of Latur city.

The Manjara river rejuvenation work was implemented in Latur, Maharashtra under the leadership of Art of Living and RSS Jankalyan Samiti in the summer of 2016.

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Policy matters this week

SC refuses to lift ban on sand mining in Rajasthan 

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News this week

Assam prepares river atlas to tackle floods, erosion, deforestation

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Temple sanctuaries of India play an important part in conserving fish diversity in rivers. River Mahanadi is an example.

Rivers hold a special place in Indian civilisation and culture. They are treated divine and temples are located along the course of rivers. Rivers, with a variety of mesohabitats in it, support rich and diverse native fauna and act as natural reserve of fish germplasm. In spite of the ecological and cultural relevance of rivers, they are mistreated in the country due to urbanisation and developmental activities causing the decline of riverine biodiversity.

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A river threatens a village by eroding the mud, inching closer to the houses and hampering the villagers’ lives and livelihoods.

Ashok Kumar Dolai can hardly control his tears whenever he sees the river flowing near his house and a narrow red earth road snaking beside it. 

The 26-year-old lost his pregnant wife in the first week of December after he failed to shift her to the nearest hospital in time because the road was too narrow for a four-wheeler. Doctors declared her brought dead when he reached the hospital carrying her on a rickety boat. He curses the river for the tragedy.

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