Poor dam management behind Bihar flood

News this week
Farakka Barrage by Sudip Burman via Google Maps, Feb 2012 Farakka Barrage by Sudip Burman via Google Maps, Feb 2012

Farakka behind Bihar flood: CM

This year, Bihar witnessed one of its worst floods in four decades and has already claimed 156 lives and affected nearly five lakh people across 12 districts in the state. Chief minister Nitish Kumar has held Farakka dam responsible for the floods as it has caused heavy siltation of the Ganga river. He says this causes slow discharge of water that leads to spread of floodwaters to other areas. He has also appealed to the Centre to come up with a policy on silt management and re-evaluate the need of the barrage.

Polavaram project might hit roadblock

A team of experts from the water ministry has released a report on the way the Polavaram multi-purpose irrigation project is being executed by the Andhra government. As per the report, the execution of the project, declared as the national project, is not sound and safe under any parameters. The execution of the project shall be done by the Centre according to the AP Reorganization Act, 2014. The state government, however, is not handing over the project to the Centre and has been going ahead with its execution for the last two years.

Rainfall reduced in Ganga basin and northeast India due to deforestation: IIT Bombay 

Deforestation in the northeast and the north-central India has resulted in 100-200mm reduction in summer rainfall in these regions, concludes the study conducted by IIT Bombay researchers. Going by the study, large-scale conversion of forest land to crop land has led to 20 percent reduction in green cover in the core monsoon zone. However, the effect on monsoon in the peninsular India is not visible as the recycled precipitation component is less compared with oceanic contribution, in contrast to the Ganga basin and north east India where the recycled precipitation component is too high.

Gujarat government to launch the SAUNI scheme

To bring an end to the water crisis of the parched Saurashtra, the state government has planned to fill 115 dams of the region with excess water from the Sardar Sarovar dam under the Saurashtra Narmada Avtaran Irrigation Yojna (SAUNI). The four-phased project, worth Rs 1200 crore, will be launched on August 30. During monsoon, nearly three million acre feet (MAFt) water overflows from the Sardar Sarovar dam and flows into sea, but with the SAUNI scheme coming up, the government plans to transfer one MAFt excess water to the dams of Saurashtra.

Over 12,000 water sources dried up in Uttarakhand in last decade: Study

According to the recent study conducted in Nainital and Mussorrie hills, more than 12,000 natural water sources have dried up in the state in the last decade. Lack of required forestation and increased urbanisation is to be blamed for this. The report has mentioned that the Nainital lake received low volume of water due to encroachment in the Sukhtal catchment region and the lake catering to the residential needs. In the Mussoorie hills, the small water sources have dried.

This is a roundup of important news updates from August 22 - 28, 2016. Also read last week's policy matters update.

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