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Agricultural lands of thousands of people have been destroyed in Odisha and the growing need for power is trumping over the environment. Better regulation can help but it needs to happen soon.

"The agricultural production in our region has deteriorated due to pollution. Haphazard mining has lead to serious drinking water problems in the area", says Indar Bilas Shah, a 56- year old resident of Obada village, Lakhanpur block in Jharsuguda, Odisha. He's not the only one. Thousands of villagers in Jharsuguda echo these sentiments. 

Who's to blame?

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The film 'Kaayal Kadhaigal' meaning 'stories from the lagoon', shows how Cheyyur's flourishing fishing and agricultural practices, could soon end due to an upcoming coal power plant.

Cheyyur, a town 100 km from Chennai in Kanchipuram, has been identified as the site for a 4000 MW Ultra Mega Power Plant (UMPP) by the Government of Tamil Nadu. Ultra Mega Power Projects are a series of ambitious power projects planned by the Government of India where each UMPP is said to have a capacity of 4000MW or above.

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Since the implementation of Phad irrigation, a low cost and eco-friendly system that works without electricity, agricultural production has increased improving the situation of farmers in Yavatmal.

Yavatmal, a district in Maharashtra, has gained popularity more for the number of farmer suicides than anything else in recent years. Since 2001, more than 2700 cases of suicide have been registered in this district alone. Poor water availability, low agriculture production and increasing debts are the major causes for suicide. 

To improve the condition of farmers in Vidarbha, Dilasa Sanstha, an NGO based in Yavatmal, has tried to implement the Phad irrigation system in their lands. 

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Villages of Nagaland that aren't connected to the electricity grid have been given hope by a new source of power.

It is a labour of love. For 10 years, the team at Nagaland Empowerment of People through Economic Development (NEPeD) held this experiment close to their hearts- a daunting task that is lighting up lives in far-off villages in the mountains of Nagaland today. The hydroger has made way for many to diversify their income through new activities and reduced women’s day-to-day drudgery.

What is a hydroger?

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Kikruma in Nagaland has its own system of water harvesting. Watch a farmer explain this unique method called Zabo, which helps manage water while nurturing the soil and optimizing agriculture.

Located at an altitude of 1270 metres , Kikruma, a quaint village nestled in a rainshadowed area of Phek district of Nagaland is a wonder. Centuries ago, the village evolved a self-organizing system to take care of its water, forest and farm management. ‘Zabo’, which means 'impounding water', is an ingenious method of catching rainwater from running off the mountains.

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Sukhomajri village, the model of watershed development, is today a witness to man's changing priorities which is separating him from his environment. The video tells the full story.

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The Hirakud dam in Odisha was supposed to control flooding and bring people water and power. Instead, it has taken away their livelihoods and only brought them hardship and misery.

The Hirakud Dam project is the oldest of its kind in India. The dam was built across the Mahanadi river about 15 kms upstream of Sambalpur in the state of Odisha. It is the first major multipurpose river valley project in post-independent India and also one of its longest.

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Rainwater harvesting is the easiest way to address the growing water scarcity that we are facing. Read on to find out what you can do at your home, office or apartment community.

Fresh water found on land has only two primary sources - melting of ice, and rain. Harvesting rain is crucial for sustaining both the surface and sub-soil water sources. That this has been well understood throughout rural India historically is evident from the numerous age-old water harvesting systems put in place several decades ago, which operate even today. 

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Nandlal Master has been waging a decade-long struggle against the many injustices carried out by the Coca Cola factory in Mehdiganj, Uttar Pradesh. Listen to his story.

1999 was an interesting real estate year for Mehdiganj village in Uttar Pradesh. Someone began buying up land adjoining a soft drink factory owned by the Parle Company. They also began buying land from the farmers except the farmers had no idea as to whom they were selling the land to. As the boundary wall rose up, problems arose too. It was only later that the villagers realised that Coca Cola (Hindustan Coca Cola Beverages, or HCCB) had acquired Parle in 1999 and had begun to expand the plant in Mehndiganj.

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In this video, Dr. Dinesh Mishra explains why Bihar is so vulnerable to flooding and more importantly, why structural measures (embankments) have caused more harm than good.

Born out of the sea, the Ganga basin is a playground of the rivers coming down from the Himalayas. Floods are not a new thing in Bihar, a state in the lap of these flood plains. For centuries, the people here have lived with these waters, with the floods washing away their lands once a year, slowly, leaving behind a blanket of rich and fertile silt. However, this changed around the tie of India's independence.

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