Opposition to Teesta Stage IV hydel project

News this week
The people of the northeast India protest against dams. (Source: SANDRP) The people of the northeast India protest against dams. (Source: SANDRP)

People of Sikkim stand against Teesta hydel project

The proposed 520 MW Teesta Stage IV hydropower project in Sikkim is being opposed by the indigenous Lepchas, a local community in the state that worships mountains and rivers. The project that has been proposed by the National Hydro Power Corporation has been facing challenges from the Lepchas since its clearance in 2012. According to the locals, the government has given green signal to the project while ignoring the Khangchendzonga national park which is also a UNESCO world heritage site. If the project gets cancelled, this will be the fifth victory of the community against hydopower projects. 

Baba Seechewal gets Padma Shri for rejuvenating Kali Bein rivulet

Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal, an environmentalist and a resident of the Seechewal village in Jalandhar district, has received the Padma Shri for his social services and for rejuvenating the 165-km-long Kali Bein rivulet. Since 2000, Baba Seechewal has been cleaning the rivulet which was reduced to a filthy drain along with his followers without any government help. Moreover, his rejuvenation efforts have also become a role model for the ongoing Ganga revival project. Baba Seechewal has also been preparing around one lakh plants to distribute them free of cost.

TN to ban beverage majors from March 1

Tamil Nadu traders’ associations have decided to ban the sale of soft drinks, Pepsi and Coca Cola, manufactured by the multinational companies from March 1. The decision is in favour of farmers who are left with no water as the beverage giants are extracting water from Thamirabharani river in Tirunelveli for the production of the soft drinks. However, the companies are working out a solution with the traders’ associations as the ban would lead to a sales loss of Rs 1,400 crore a year for the two cola majors.  

Bhavani river water unfit, NHRC notice to TN

The National Human Rights Commission has issued a notice to the Tamil Nadu government over the supply of contaminated water to 1.5 residents of Mettupalayam and sought a detailed report on the matter in six weeks. According to reports, the Bhavani river water supplied to residents was unfit for consumption due to the presence of faecal coliform and high levels of turbidity and iron. The Bhavani river which was flowing freely since 2000 got obstructed due to the setting up of two barrages in the river to generate electricity. 

Overexploitation of groundwater leads to sinkhole in Andhra’s Chitravati riverbed

Groundwater overexploitation and the lack of good rains in the last six years has led to a sinkhole, a geological event, in Chitravati riverbed in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh. This is the second such sinkhole in the riverbed, with the first one occurring in the last week of January 2015. The officials in the region have confirmed that groundwater withdrawal for agriculture is quite high in the vicinity of the river.

This is a roundup of important news from January 23 - 30, 2017. Also, read the policy matters this week. 

Lead image source: SANDRP

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