Dear Friends, We welcome you to support the cause of a dying river in the Western ghats As you are aware, an indefinite Satyagraha led by Chalakudy River Protection Forum has been going on at Athirappilly near the project site since 25th February 2008. A series of programs have been organized in connection with the first anniversary of the Satyagraha to remind the conscience of the society what is in store if we tamper too much with our rivers, the people's longstanding time tested resistance to an environmentally, socially and economically unjust and unviable hydro electric project planned in one of the most beautiful rivers in the Western Ghats, the only basis of survival of millions of people and what has to be the real solution to the energy crisis in Kerala.
Himanshu Thakkar has attached herewith a letter just sent to the members of the MEF's Expert Appraisal Committee on the river valley projcets regarding the application of Andhra Pradesh to the MEF for "backdoor" clearance of the embankments to be constructed in Orissa and Chhattisgarh to "protect" the areas of these states from going under submergence due to the Polavaram project. The letter is self explanatory.
To: Mr. P. Abraham, Chairman,& All the members,Expert Appraisal Committee on River Valley & Hydroelectric projects, c/o Dr Bhowmik,Impact Assessment Division, Ministry of Environment and Forests, CGO Complex, Lodhi Road, New Delhi 110 003
Sub: Objections to EC for Polavaram Multi Purpose Project
Dear Chairman and members of the EAC on River Valley and Hydroelectric Projects, We have come to know from the agenda notes of the 23rd meeting of MoEF's Expert Appraisal Committee for River Valley and Hydroelectric Projects to be held on Feb 16-17, 2009 that the committee will be considering Polavaram Multipurpose Project in Andhra Pradesh by Government of Andhra Pradesh (No. J-12011/74/2005-IA.I) for the proposal for the construction of the embankments to protect the lands in Orissa and Chhattisgarh from going under submergence due to the proposed Polavaram project.
A two day National Workshop on need for policy and legal norms for allowing freshwater flows in Rivers in India on January 3-4, 2009 at Bangalore ended with a unanimous demand that governments must allow continuous, sustained freshwater flows in all perennial rivers of India, whenever, a dam, diversion or hydropower project is planned, constructed or operated. Inaugurating the workshop on the morning of January 3, 2009, Shri L C Jain, former member, planning commission of India (and many other important posts), expressed his pain and anguish on the state of India's Rivers, "It is very disturbing that the acts of commissions and omissions of the authorities have ruthlessly, blindly, heartlessly lead todestruction of almost every major rivers of India. The hearts of the officials and ministers should throb for the millions depending for their needs and livelihoods on the rivers, but it seems that the stones of the South and North block buildings have entered their hearts." Quoting Gandhiji's agenda for the economic independence of India from what he wrote in the Young India on November 29, 1929, Jain said, Land, Water and Air cannot be subject of commerce, but the planners lock up the pain, hunger, malnutrition in the paragraphs of their five year plan documents and do not ensure their inclusion in their actual plans and programmes. He expressed his deep anguish that even the recommendations of the official policies and committees on ensuring freshwater flows in the rivers remain unimplemented.
Several threats have emerged in recent years to the pristine Himalayan rivers of Uttarakhand. These include: (i) the proposed construction of 220 dams (ii) the drying up of rain fed rivers due to deforestation and deforestation of their catchments (iii) release of untreated sewage from river side towns and habitations and (iv) illegal sand mining of river beds.
The latest issue of SANDRP's newsletter contains the following: Solar Power Boom Bihar Floods 2007: Some lessons for everyone Power Options: New Look Required 11th Five Year Plan: Why it may not a
Due to the heat from the Sun the water in the rivers, lakes and Oceans becomes water vapour. As this hot moist air rises into the sky the temperature gets reduced at 7oC per km height in the sky.