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Fluid rivers but concrete mindsets
The twin sisters:  Bihar is a land of fertile farms bearing sugarcane, wheat, rice, gram and pulses. Interspersed between the fields are venerable mango groves. Of Bihar's children, perhaps none is as universally loved as Sita. The village that she was born in -Sitamarhi- welcomed another daughter along with Sita.
chicu  posted 5 years 4 months ago
Articles

Big dams create big conflict
Northeast India has been in turmoil over the last two decades or so because of unbridled hydropower development in the region. This article is an effort to understand the extent of hydropower development in the region, the multi-faceted and multi layered conflicts unleashed by this development and also explore ways of engaging with them. It is organised around three broad sections:
chicu  posted 5 years 5 months ago
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A new vision for Himalayan streams
Watershed management, which is an integrated set of soil and water conservation techniques that retain runoff and so increase water availability, can provide an environment for fisheries development for food or trade.
chicu  posted 5 years 6 months ago
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The primary caretakers of water?
Gender influences access to water to a high degree throughout the world, a fact recognised in the Dublin Principles but how does topography influence this access? This study detailed in this post aims to find the answer to this question.
chicu  posted 5 years 6 months ago
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Pooling borewells and opportunities
Gamalibai is a farmer in Malkaipeta Thanda, a small tribal hamlet of the Lambadi community in Ibrahimpur village, Ranga Reddy district in Andhra Pradesh. She does not have much in common with the image of the hearty, prosperous farmer that beams at us from posters selling agricultural machinery.
chicu  posted 5 years 6 months ago
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Can the effects of mining be undone?
Meghalaya is rich in minerals, especially coal. This has led to rampant mining in the state. Large scale denudation of forest cover, scarcity of water, destruction of water sources, pollution of air, water and soil, and degradation of agricultural lands are some of the conspicuous environmental implications of coal mining.
chicu  posted 5 years 6 months ago
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The profitable toilet
When Panchamlal Mahto was a toddler, he would frequently squat and poop as the urge took him irrespective of where he was. His mother would take a handful of ash and sprinkle it over the 'gift'. The ash would absorb the liquid, enabling the whole mess to be easily swept away. Back then, Vinita was still not born.
chicu  posted 5 years 6 months ago
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Which way will the water flow?
In the 60-odd years since we began managing our own resources, we have managed to throttle and poison all our rivers, suck our groundwater resources nearly dry and shave our forests bald. This is despite a great deal of effort, time, thought and resources that have gone into this 'management'.
chicu  posted 5 years 7 months ago
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Sikkim's citizens say NO! to dams
Hydropower is considered as 'green' power and the Sikkim Government's policy has been to synchronize development imperatives with conscious efforts on environment sustainability. This paper presents the results of a survey carried out among communities living along a 54-km long project affected stretch of the Teesta river.
chicu  posted 5 years 7 months ago
Articles

Separated by a spring
Numerous small villages dot the Himalayas. These villages obtain water from springs that are in their turn supplied by small aquifers. Due to the complex folded nature of the rocks that make up the mountains, the area from which these aquifers receive their water may be at some distance away from the actual spring.
chicu  posted 5 years 7 months ago
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Yamuna Nama: a book review
The Yamuna Manifesto -or Yamuna Nama- is a bilingual book with passages in both Hindi and English, published as part of the Yamuna Elbe project. In five deceptively short sections, the book takes us from the birth to the river to its future.
chicu  posted 5 years 7 months ago
Articles

Stellar, yet inadequate
Manipal University has a well-thought out, multi-pronged approach towards reducing its environmental footprint. This includes a comprehensive waste management policy and a programme to reduce energy consumption.
chicu  posted 5 years 8 months ago
Articles

Think like a forest
Himalayan forests span a two-and-a-half thousand kilometer stretch and have a wide range of climates; they are beset by problems that need innovative solutions. Rajesh Thadani discussed these problems and possible solutions at  the Sustainable Mountain Development Summit organised in Kohima, September 2013.  Forest cover is declining
chicu  posted 5 years 8 months ago
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Floods need not equate disasters
 Every year, we have about 76 disasters in the Himalayas, some 36,000 people are killed and over a million affected by disasters. The loss of life and damage does not need to occur. How people manage the situation can relieve the situation much better. About a third of these disasters are from floods. In the Himalaya, there are two broad kinds of flooding:
chicu  posted 5 years 8 months ago
Articles

Can we build an alternative society?
Riverside apartments are in great demand these days. This has led to a surge in the number of apartments built along rivers that flow through urban areas. These same 'premium' apartments are encroaching on the river's channel and are therefore most vulnerable to the floods that they help create by constricting the river. This harm extends beyond the apartments in question.
chicu  posted 5 years 9 months ago
Articles

The inhospitable Indus
Flowing through Tibet, northern India and Pakistan, the Indus is the western-most major river of the Indus-Ganga-Brahmaputra basin. This basin extends over most  of South Asia from the Himalayas to the Vindhyas, excluding Peninsular India, and carries the rain that falls in this region to the Indian Ocean.
chicu  posted 5 years 9 months ago
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A tale of two STPs
The venerable Imperial Gazetteer says, 'Viewed from a distance Lucknow presents a picture of unusual magnificence and architectural splendour, which fades on nearer view ...' (Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 16, p. 196).
chicu  posted 5 years 11 months ago
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A special yet unequal relationship
Images of women balancing pots of water on their heads and walking for miles are commonplace in rural areas. In urban slums, the image is slightly different - women can be seen queuing up before public stand-posts or tankers. In both situations, one thing is clear - women have little or no access to water.
chicu  posted 5 years 11 months ago
Articles

Resurrecting the dying 'gharats' of Uttarkashi
Gharats are water-powered grinding mills found in Himalayan villages. Though these are owned and managed by individuals, they are considered to be the common property of the entire village.
chicu  posted 5 years 11 months ago
Articles

Tug of war on the Gomti
As temple tanks go, this one is quite beautiful. It is a rectangular masonry-lined tank, about the size of a badminton court. Brick steps lead down to the water. On one of its longer sides is a lovely old temple, shaded by mango trees. Groups of men and women sit and gossip in the coolness. Facing them is an avenue of large trees, below which sit contemplative buffaloes.
chicu  posted 5 years 11 months ago

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