Chicu Lokgariwar

Farakka faces a barrage of criticism
The Farakka barrage is an ageing symbol of our need to control rivers and our inability to do so. Can we do away with it? chicu posted 4 years 11 months ago

The chief minister of Bihar, Nitish Kumar, called for the decommissioning of the Farakka barrage recently.

The lower Ganga, just upstream of Farakka, displays bank-cutting and erosion.
Knowing Kamla’s sorrow could control Bihar floods
The floodplains of Bihar have an excellent natural flood control and irrigation system in place. Why is the government ignoring it at the cost of lives and livelihoods? chicu posted 5 years 1 month ago

“When I was a boy, a family and their livestock could feed on just one crop for three years,” says Jugal Mandal of Sakhwar village in Darbhanga district. “For the last five years though, the village fields have been fallow because we have not had water,” he adds.

A young girl leads her buffaloes in search of water
Sailing the ocean to save marine life
Our oceans are facing a bleak future. Captain Siddharth Chakravarty speaks about his work in controlling poaching, pollution and other criminal activities at sea chicu posted 5 years 1 month ago

He is called Mobi Dick's Avenger.

Captain Siddharth Chakravarty with the illegal driftnets confiscated by Sea Shepherd during Operation Driftnet (Photo source: Sea Shepherd)
Collateral damage: Buffalo herders and privatisation of water
Livestock herders are the unreported victims of unpredictable rainfall, denied access to existing sources of water, and xenophobia. India Water Portal speaks to one such set of refugees. chicu posted 5 years 2 months ago

Kishan Yadav has a lot in common with the popular flute-playing god whose namesake he is. They share a name, a caste, a profession, and the land they live on.

Buffaloes huddle  in the meagre shade offered by roadside trees in their search for water
"SWM-ing" against the tide
While solid waste management is largely ignored by Panchayats and citizens, Goa manages to go against this trend. How does it do this? chicu posted 5 years 2 months ago

The road to hell, they say, is paved with good intentions. A visit to almost any village or small town in India today will serve to confirm that statement. In an undoubtedly laudable attempt to keep the village clean, gram panchayats tend to dump waste in a convenient patch of land on the outskirts.

A roadside wetland remains a biodiversity haven instead of being clogged with trash in Vernem,Goa
One river, two names and a 14-year-long dispute
Goa and Karnataka have been fighting over the Mhadei since 2002. How does this affect the extensive cooperation expected from the states for the interlinking plan? chicu posted 5 years 4 months ago

The Mandovi river is picture perfect. She is the wide, placid river fringed by the coconut palms and dotted by the boats that we think of when we think of Goa.

The serene Mandovi is the focus of a bitter dispute between Karnataka and Goa
Unnatural world: National parks and climate change
Poachers, citizens and sometimes animals themselves are threats to the parks but the biggest new threat is climate change. Do our national parks stand a chance of surviving it? chicu posted 5 years 5 months ago

Forest guards in India have fought many things over time in the course of their daily work--poachers, irate citizens, even animals at times! But they are now facing a threat that may well be beyond their capacity to overcome. A threat that is not just responsible for the death of individual animals, but for the destruction of entire groups of species--climate change.

A herd of elephants cross the Ramganga river at Corbett National Park
The Last Builder of Naulas in Chatola, Nainital
Constructing naulas, the small structures that house springs in Uttarakhand, requires an intimate knowledge of many sciences. One of the last practitioners of this dying craft tells his story. chicu posted 5 years 6 months ago

No temple is as venerated in Uttarakhand as the little unassuming naulas. These small hut-like structures dot the mountains and hold within them a great treasure--water. Usually made of stone masonry with pyramid-like slate roofs, every naula respresents within it a residing spirit which can range from a simple stone piece to an ornately carved statue.

Ratan Singh Bisht is one of the few people today who constructs naulas
Springs are more than just a source of water for humans
Springs exist in the most biodiverse regions of the country and anchor entire ecosystems. That fact must be respected while undertaking springs conservation work. chicu posted 5 years 7 months ago

"If you do good work on the ground, policy will happen", says Himanshu Kulkarni of ACWADAM. This has proven to be in true at least in the case of springs.

Springs not only provide humans with water but anchor entire ecosystems.
Sunny balconies and hanging gardens in Goa
Terrace kitchen gardens are slowly making their mark in the tourist hotspot. A couple helps those interested in organic farming either find good farmers or become one themselves! chicu posted 5 years 8 months ago

It was a sultry Sunday afternoon in Goa, the time traditionally reserved for heavy lunches followed by long siestas but the small crowd gathered at Arjuntree One in Margao defied the stereotype.

Karan and Yogita at a workshop on organic container kitchen gardening