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                      ON DAMS, OPTIONS & RELATED ISSUES
SANDRP                                                ISSUE FOUR                                                     JUNE 2002

NATIONAL WATER POLICY                                             Massive anti dam demonstrations in Spain
Jalbiradari opposes NWP2002                                       Turkey, Canada, Malaysia, China
Alternative Policies                                              Irrigation Options
PM‘s Speech: Extracts                                             IRRIGATION
A Comment on NWP                                                  WATER SECTOR
Some Expert voices on NWP2002                                     GROUND WATER
World Bank‘s WRSS: Delhi consultation                             Groundwater Polluted in Kanpur, Hapur, Delhi,
SANDRP Comment on WRSS                                            NOIDA…
SSP lobby decides Water Resource Secretary                        WATER SUPPLY OPTIONS
Siliguri meeting on Dams and Development                          LAKES, TANKS, WETLANDS, GLACIERS
DAMS                                                              RURAL WATER SUPPLY
Can Bhakra give water to nearby villages?                         PUBLICATIONS AVAILABLE WITH SANDRP
Kanhar Dam: Saga of injustice                                     Parliamentary Standing Com on Rural Drinking Water
News from the Narmada valley                                      URBAN WATER SUPPLY
IPT demands halt to Maan construction                             BOTTLED WATER BUSINESS
Indefinite Fast for Maan R&R                                      WATER PRIVATISATION
Financial Mismanagement in SSP                                    QUOTES
HYDRO PROJECTS                                                    FLOODS
MoP‘s Façade on R&R ‗Consultation‘                                POLLUTION
A letter to Suresh Prabhu                                         RIVERS RELATED ISSUES
SANDRP note on R&R in Power Projects                              FOODGRAINS MANAGEMENT
Does MoP Understand Environmental issues?                         AGRICULTURE
Teesta Hydel: Too many concerns                                   SUGAR
Maheshwar: Anti people decision                                   POWER OPTIONS
Athirapally Public Hearing throws many issues                     POWER
SOUTH ASIA                                                        POWER FINANCE NEWS
Pak: Tarbela, Thal, CRBCP, Ghazi Barotha                          ENVIRONMENT
Sri Lanka: Upper Kotmale                                          WE AWAIT YOUR RESPONSES
Nepal: Arun, Melamachy                                            SPECIAL REPORT:
AROUND THE WORLD                                                  KARNATAKA‟S BLUFF: THE MAHADAYI DAMS
                 ABOUT THE UPDATE
                                                                  The update will be available both in electronic (text and
Apologies for the delay in bringing out this fourth issue of      word versions) and printed versions. The Updates are also
the Update covering mostly the months of March and                available at
April. The Update on Dams, Options and Related Issues
is being brought out by SANDRP with a hope that it will           The suggested minimum annual contribution for the
become a medium of useful information dissemination,              Updates is Rs. 100/-, which would cover the cost of
information sharing & interaction. The update has been            printing and mailing. Please send your check/ DD in
produced mainly from media sources, both from internet            Favour of YUVA, payable at Mumbai and send it to our
and printed editions and also from official websites and          Delhi address. For checks from banks outside Mumbai,
networks. We would be happy to know your responses                please add Rs. 15/- for outstation check charges.
and suggestions about the update.

CONTACT INFORMATION: Himanshu Thakkar, Bipin Chandra, Ganesh Gaud, South Asia Network on Dams, River and People (A YUVA
Project), C/o 53B, AD Block, Shalimar Bagh, Delhi 110 088. India. Ph: 747 9916. Email: Web:


National Water Policy adopted The National Water                   policy says water is a national asset, we feel it is
Resources Council adopted the National Water Policy,               community‘s property. The people have been using
2002, which is a modified version of the policy of 1987.           traditional wisdom to harvest water at the grassroots level
The revised policy was stuck for the last two years                for years. The Govt. is trying to commercialise water.‖ He
because several states had mainly opposed two issues               said that instead of promoting water harvesting
related to the policy: the clause on setting up inter-state        techniques, the new policy has completely ignored it.
river basins, and on drawing up the national policy                People from 17 states gathered to express their views.
guidelines for water allocations among the states.                 Well known author and senior activist Anupam Mishra
Suggestions made by several States in the meeting were             said ―Earlier people used to take care of their needs
incorporated in the policy, which is a guideline for               through traditional structures. Now they are dependent
planned development and management of water resources              on the govt. for drinking water and we can see the result.
at the national level. The meeting cleared the river basin         Reviving the structures and giving technology a cultural
clause after toning down the Centre‘s role in the matter.          dimension can help solve our water problem.‖
But the issue of water allocation among states could not
be finalised. States will now have to formulate their own          Alternative    NWP People‘s Science Institute has
State Water Policy backed by an operational Action Plan            formulated an alternative water policy at a meeting at
within two Years. The State Policy will have to take into          Dehra Dun on Jan. 30-31 and plans to advocate that the
account community participation and evolve its own                 same be adopted. It also plans to take it across Himalayan
detailed resettlement and rehabilitation policies for people       communities as Himalayas is at the focus of this policy.
displaced by the dams.                                             The policy demands that the ownership of water should
 Punjab Chief Minister opposed the revised policy                 be with the people. The policy demands that small
saying ―it did not take into account the riparian principles       projects should be taken up for WRD and power
for allocation of water to the basin states‖. (NWP2002,            generation.
THE HINDUSTAN TIMES, THE HINDU 020402)                              Jal Biradari, at a meeting in Himmatsar in Bikaner on
                                                                   Jan. 26 and at a convention in Delhi on March 5-6 has
Jal Biradari opposes the NWP2002 The Jal Biradari has              adopted an alternative water policy, which stresses on
opposed the NWP2002. It has called for a countrywide               community ownership of water and denounces any move
movement to oppose privatisation and encourage                     to commercialise, centralize and nationalize water
community control. The NWP2002 does not fulfil the                 resources and its development and management. The
people‘s expectations. The policy emphasises on private            meeting in Delhi strongly criticized the NWP draft. The
control by declaring water as an asset questioning the             meeting said that in stead of National perspective, WRD
fundamental rights of the people. Supply of safe and               should be carried out keeping in mind the local peoples
adequate drinking water is the prime responsibility of the         priorities. About allocation priorities, the alternative draft
Govt. This anti-people policy has been declared despite            called for a distinction to be made between drinking water
the fact that an alternative water policy document was             and domestic water use. Also, among crops, foodgrains
debated and prepared by large number of NGOs and was               should get priority and among the industries, non
circulated to all the MPs, leaders of all parties including        polluting and environment conscious industries should
regional parties, media and academia. This shows how               get priority. Rejecting the notion of inter-basin transfer of
successfully the govt. has cheated and played with the             water as in NWP, the meeting said that first all local
future of common public. It negates the people‘s                   options must be exhausted before tampering with river
ownership rather strengthens the centralised control. It is        flows. On river basin organisations, the alternative draft
also shocking to see that water allocation priorities do not       has demanded that such organisations should be formed
specifically mention about the protection of the interest          watershed upwards. (RASHTRIYA SAHARA 020302, THE
of poor population, marginalized sections and                      HINDU 040302, 080302, THE TIMES OF INDIA-D 070302,
marginalized areas such as drought prone areas. It should          RASHTRIYA JAL BIRADARI PR 080402, others)
have been clearly mentioned that drinking water for
whom, gets priority. Similarly, irrigation for which crop          New water conservation law in AP The AP Water, Land
and region gets priority.                                          and Trees Act, 2002, claimed to be one of the most
                                                                   comprehensive pieces of legislation on water conservation
Earlier a Jal Sammelan organised by Rashtriya Jal Biradari         and green cover, would come into effect from June 1.
in New Delhi on March 5 & 6, demanded that let people              (THE HINDU 230402)
take care of their water resources the way they have been
for hundred years. Rajendra Singh of Tarun Bharat Sangh,
discussing Draft National Water Policy, said, ―While the
SANDRP                                                         2                                                       MAY 2002

                PM'S SPEECH                                       wherever necessary with appropriate group incentives, to
  AT THE FIFTH MEETING OF THE NATIONAL                            harvest rainwater in order to recharge groundwater
        WATER RESOURCES COUNCIL                                   resources.
                                                                  Let this meeting of the Council send out a powerful
Lakhs of villages in our country have become water-
                                                                  message that "harnessing of every drop of rainwater"
scarce or, worse still, no-source villages. Many towns and
                                                                  is a national priority. We should lay special emphasis
cities are facing acute shortage of drinking water and
                                                                  on localized, decentralized harnessing of water
water for industrial use. Depletion of ground water
                                                                  resources, which is most cost-effective and which
resources, on which millions of rural families depend for
                                                                  also lends itself to better community participation.
their drinking water needs as well as irrigation, continues
unabated. This is made worse by the growing pollution             Our catchword should be: "Catch the catchment".
and inefficient use of surface water. Our culture and             Wherever necessary, our farmers and rural communities
tradition enjoins upon us to treat our rivers as sacred.          should be encouraged to bund every field and bind every
Yet, over the past few decades, more rivers are                   rivulet. This will prevent soil erosion and silting of the
getting more polluted at more places than ever                    reservoirs. There is a suggestion that every village should
before. Scarcity of water is compounded by its unequal,           earmark five percent of its area for creation of community
irrational, and unjust distribution in both rural and urban       water bodies, much like the community grazing grounds
communities.                                                      that still exist in many villages. It is a powerful idea whose
                                                                  time has come.
Therefore, the situation is forcing us to recognize water
security as an overriding national objective — both as an         An issue that demands a critical look is the inefficient use
inseparable aspect of food security but also in its own           of water in our agriculture and industry. Technologies and
independent right. While we prepare for the challenge             methods are available today whereby the agriculture
ahead, we should critically re-examine the administrative         sector could cut its water needs by 10 –50 %, industries
framework and the policies we have actually implemented           by 40-90% and cities by 30 –35 % without any sacrifice of
during the last 55 years for the water resources                  economic output or quality of life.
                                                                  Another aspect that I would like to emphasize is
We are, therefore, left with no alternative but to think          transparency in the implementation of water projects.
radically, and come up with innovative and bold                   The government spends huge sums on these projects.
responses to the enormous challenge that our nation               However, the process of incurring expenditures, and its
and our citizens are facing. What we need is an                   relationship to intended benefits is often opaque. The
integrated, multi-disciplinary approach. An approach that         supposed beneficiaries often do not have an opportunity
covers not only technological aspects but also social,            to know the details of expenditure on these projects, or to
economic, legal, and environmental concerns.                      relate them to the benefits that are supposed to follow.
                                                                  Therefore, the National Water Policy should start a new
In particular, right to drinking water should be
                                                                  culture of public monitoring of expenditure and outcomes
accorded a priority over every other alternative use.
                                                                  of water projects.
The policy should also recognize that the community
                                                                  The draft National Water Policy has rightly laid down the
is the rightful custodian of water. Exclusive control by
                                                                  principle of "polluter pays" as the key to preventing
the government machinery, and the resultant mindset
                                                                  pollution of water sources. While this is welcome, we
among the people that water management is the exclusive
                                                                  should go a step further and make it clear that prevention
responsibility of the government, cannot help us to make
                                                                  of pollution and wastage of water is a National priority.‖
the paradigm shift that to participative, essentially local
                                                                  (PIB PR April 01, 2002, emphasis supplied)
management of water resources. Both the Centre and the
State governments should, therefore, actively seek the            COMMENT: What is noteworthy about the above
involvement of the community at all levels — from                 statements is that most of them are contradicting the
decision-making to monitoring the implementation of               contents of water policy that the meeting was to pass!
decisions.                                                        While some have passed it off as another of the April
                                                                  Fool‘s day, we see a clear pattern in the dichotomy
Nowhere is community control more needed than in the
                                                                  between what he says and what the water resources
augmentation, management, and equitable use of
                                                                  ministry does. Now some may pass it off as another
groundwater resources. I would like the State
                                                                  version of the famous mask, but isn‘t the issue too serious
Governments to actively encourage community action,
                                                                  for that?
SANDRP                                                        3                                                       MAY 2002

              A COMMENT ON NWP-2002                                 killed the cause of watershed approach, much of which is
                                                                    already diluted by its populist implementations.
The NWP 2002 document could not come out as a pro-
people, environment-sensitive, conservation oriented tool           The limitations of water resources have to be viewed
assuring equity, justice and ecological sustenance vis-à-vis        from the micro level and one has to live with the reality
water resources development and management.                         that water deficiency cannot be met with the application
                                                                    of technology that can flood a highland and convert the
There is little rationality in the document with regard to          deserts green.
conservation of water, its protection from pollutants and
violations, immediate linkages of the water resources with          There may be a policy shift that all future growth in
land, forest, flora, fauna, agriculture and ecology.                Industry and Urban development and changes in
                                                                    cropping patterns must adhere to limitations set out by
The document builds the context for a centralised                   the water resources. Emperor Akbar had created Fatepur
management of water resources. It is explicit in the                Sikri as his new capital that did not last, the newly built
statements that water – a natural resource can be ‗put to           palaces and forts were not razed by natural disasters or by
beneficial use‘ as ‗one and indivisible‘ and that ‗rivers and       enemy attacks, they simply had to be abandoned as there
aquifers cut across state boundaries‘. This attitude may            was not enough water around the place.
also be latent in all other macro management proposals of
that envisage inter basin transfer and regulation of inter-         Dilip Fouzdar (C-489, Sarita Vihar, NEW DELHI-110044,
state rivers (articles 3.2, 3.4, 4.2 & 21.1).                       (Comment prepared for the Update)

Most of the document is devoted to the engineering of               SOME EXPERT VOICES ON NWP2002
water. Here engineering should mean harnessing, controls
and manipulation. In fact the three factors mentioned can           It is a victory for the IMF, the World Bank and the
also be attributed to the root cause of major water crisis in       multinational corporations, which want to trade on water.
                                                                      Rajendra Singh, Tarun Bharat Sangh (THE HINDU 090402)
the country. The constructive ingredients – one may like
to call them dams or irrigation systems – have emerged as           Even after years of colossal financial failures of
the core theme. The attitude of the NWP-2002 in this                centralized water management, our policy makers seem to
respect is no different from the one formulated in 1987.            find it extremely difficult to accept that decentralised
Inter basin transfer presupposes that one water basin has           water management systems must be an inalienable part of
surplus water resources to feed another water basin. This           a national water policy… But then what do you expect
often is built on assumptions rather than proven data on            from the in-the-box-thinking of our water establishment?
specific cases and it (inter basin transfer) often emerges as       Particularly when the box has been sealed airtight for so
major source of exploitation. The so called water deficient         long that that it gets no oxygen and certainly everything
basin may also be a politically stronger area to demand             inside is long dead and rotten.
                                                                      Sunita Narain, Director, Centre for Science and Environment
more than its natural share of water than the other that              (THE TIMES OF INDIA 0504002, BUSINESS STANDARD 160402)
may be politically mute, ignorant or short-sighted.
                                                                    Little is done to discourage farmers from growing water
NWP2002 does not have corresponding supportive                      hungry crops like sugarcane in relatively arid areas of
policies for the views contained in Article 15. There are           Maharashtra.
options to link the aspects of water availability with agro-                            Edit (THE ECONOMIC TIMES 050402)
climatic regions. These are well recognised – by further
spelling out the limitations of certain perpetually dry (arid       The new policy was drafted in 1998 and the final
and semi-arid) geographical regions making choices of               document was to be the product of a detailed national
cultivating water intensive crops or creating urban or              consultative process. I was part of the consultation
industrial centres with water demand higher than its                initiated by CAPART... Others who were part of this
natural share.                                                      National Consultative Committee on Water included
                                                                    Anna Hazare, Achyut Das, Vandana Shiva and Rajendra
Watershed approach (Article 17.6) has been viewed as a              Singh. Senior officials of the Planning Commission and all
comprehensive soil-conservation, catchment area                     Ministries concerned attended meetings of this
treatment, forest protection measure and not as a                   Committee. It is a sad commentary on the state of Indian
balanced micro-level water management module. To a                  democracy that not one of the final written
greater degree, by presenting watershed approach as an              recommendations made by this Committee finds a place
appendix to flood control measure the NWP-2002 has                  in the new water policy.
                                                                                              Mihir Shah (THE HINDU 070602)

SANDRP                                                          4                                                      MAY 2002
The World Bank‟s Water Resources Sector Strategy and               large dams and the World Bank surely shares
Delhi Consultation On May 20, the World Bank held its              responsibility for these warped priorities, taking away the
Delhi consultation on its proposed Water Resources                 precious resources and development opportunities for the
Sector Strategy. SANDRP was invited at the meeting and             people in drought-prone and flood-affected areas. Any
some of the comments made by SANDRP at the meeting                 activity by the Bank that fails to correct this anomaly and
and subsequently submitted to the Bank, specifically               instead puts further resources into large projects would
about the India section in the WRSS are given below. The           not be helpful in poverty alleviation in India.
fact that the Bank expressed its inability to invite some of
the most well known people‘s movements and                         * Para 169: ―Efforts to promote reform, however, often
organisations for the consultation says a lot about the            had little result.‖ This last sentence of para 169 captures
―consultation‖.                                                    the essence of World Bank experience in India. Eight
                                                                   years ago Orissa was a model state for the World Bank
Comments on “What the new Sector Strategy might                    with India's first state water resources consolidation and
mean in India in general and the state of Andhra                   power sector restructuring projects being implemented
Pradesh in particular” (pp.55-60)                                  there. Today these World Bank projects are so disastrous
                                                                   that the name Orissa seems to have become
by South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People
                                                                   unmentionable. Nowhere in the WRSS is OWRCP
(These comments form part of a forthcoming critique of the
WRSS by SANDRP)                                                    mentioned. While the Bank has accepted the major
                                                                   challenge is in attention to the environment, managing
The India section does not give an accurate account of             scarce resources in an efficient and accountable manner
the successes and failures of what the World Bank has              etc, there is little reflection of this in the Bank's activities
been doing, and is at present doing in India. Because it           in India. At the same time the WRSS shows the Bank is
gives a false impression of the Bank's work in India, the          ready to support yet more large projects. The case of
contents of the section and its conclusions are by                 hydropower development illustrates this. In this para the
necessity quite misleading.                                        Bank says there is opportunity for development here, but
                                                                   it is well known that existing hydropower stations are not
* Para 167: While it is true that Water Resources                  performing most efficiently, and there is huge scope in
Development has linkages with poverty levels, this does            improving their performance and addressing the large
not mean that the large irrigation projects are best               unresolved social and environmental problems caused by
methods of reducing poverty. In fact, evidence shows that          these projects, many of them supported by the Bank.
local systems are far superior at reducing poverty: unlike         Moreover, the Bank's bias for large projects and its
large projects, local systems do not generate any poverty,         equation that development means large projects (one can
and they have much lower social, environmental,                    see attempt to see this correlation in WRSS) is once again
economic and opportunity costs. 70% of the population is           apparent. We do not find the Bank saying that there are
dependent on agriculture, most of them on rainfed                  many options for development for water resources and
agriculture. Any water resources-related activity that helps       energy, and that least-cost and appropriate options should
the maximum number of the poorest of rural people                  be adopted in a participatory way. In the entire WRSS,
would have the greatest impact on poverty and the cost             there is little mention of local water options, groundwater
of not doing local systems in terms of impact on                   recharging, demand side management and watershed
poverty is much larger than cost of not doing large                development as an option in water resources
systems. Today, India, produces about 210 MT of                    development, nor is there mention of drought-prone
foodgrains, but a very big proportion of poor people still         areas and flood-affected regions, both of which are large
do not have purchasing power to buy the food.                      in India.
Uneconomic and wasteful storage of over 60 MT of
foodgrains at the same time leads compelling loss-making           * Para 173: (Note the lack of any mention of Orissa,
and highly subsidised export of foodgrains. One activity           Haryana or Tamil Nadu, where the Bank has
that can surely change this picture is local water                 implemented Water Resources Consolidation projects
development and management systems.                                over the last 7-8 years). The claim that in Andhra Pradesh,
                                                                   ―This ambitious experiment has proved to be successful .
* Para 168: The World Bank became a key lender to                  . . water distribution and overall productivity improved . .
Indian water sector only after the early 1970s, leading to         .‖ are rather early and too self-congratulatory in the
the construction of many big dams, most of them                    absence of credible figures. Other feedback on the
unaccountable, uneconomic, destructive projects giving             Andhra Pradesh experience raises questions about the
unsustainable and inequitable benefits at best. Today,             sustainability of the institutional reform, and whether
about 80% of India's water resources budget goes for               there has been real benefits from the program so far.
SANDRP                                                         5                                                        MAY 2002

                                                                   Punjab, which is having only 6.16 % of its people under
* Para 174. The Bank forgot to mention here that it has a          the poverty line, utilises 98.34 % of its groundwater
Haryana Water Resources Consolidation Project. If                  resources. Similarly, in Haryana only 8.74 % of the people
Haryana farmers are so unhappy with their irrigation               are below poverty line and it utilises about 75.61 % of its
systems, does this not suggest that the Bank's Haryana             groundwater resources. On the other hand, in Orissa and
WRCP has been largely a failure?                                   Bihar where the proportion of people below the poverty
                                                                   line is more than 40 %, the utilisation of the groundwater
* Para 176: The mention of an ―integrated river basin
                                                                   is at about 15.22 % and 35.99 %. As per World Bank
approach‖ as central in India's National Water Policy only
                                                                   standards, 525 M people in India are below the poverty
shows how shallow and superficial the Bank's standards
                                                                   line. NWP2002 has not given adequate attention to the
are. It is well known to any objective observer that there
                                                                   linkages between safe drinking water, sanitation and
is little happening in terms of a river basin approach in
                                                                   health. (THE TIMES OF INDIA-D 160402)
India. The same is true for most states and their water
policies.                                                          SSP lobby decides nation‟s water resource secretary In a
                                                                   surprise U-turn and gross violation of the govt.‘s own
* Para 179: The World Bank's hope of supporting private
                                                                   policy on extension of service to officials, the Centre has
hydropower in India, particularly when the most well-
                                                                   decided to grant a year‘s extended tenure to Union water
known experience in this regard has been such a disaster
                                                                   resources secretary B N Navlawala. In a neat maneuver,
(the Maheshwar HEP), shows the Bank is essentially
                                                                   the Centre has decided to continue Navlawala‘s
interested in imposing what it considers good for the
                                                                   appointment on contract basis by creating the post of
private sector and neither consulting nor keeping the
                                                                   adviser. And what in official circles is being described as
interests of poor people in mind.
                                                                   unprecedented and extraordinary step, the adviser has
* Para 180: the discussion here only goes to show once             been given full additional charge of the secretary‘s post.
again that the option of going in for local water systems in       According to highly placed sources, Navlawala‘s unusual
Godavari basin or the drought-affected portions of                 continuation has come about thanks to his Gujarat
Krishna basin does not even figure in World Bank                   politicians led by Chief Minister. Hailing from Gujarat,
thinking. If the large projects option is exhausted,               Navlawala has been pitching for the controversial SSP.
immediate option looked at by the Bank is long distance,           Sources said he had even tried to schedule a meeting of
inter-basin transfer of water. Moreover, there is no               the NCA on April 29 to decide raising SSP dam height to
attempt to understand the experience of lift irrigation            100 m. (THE TIMES OF INDIA 300402)
systems either. Nor is there any effort to get people's
                                                                   SILIGURI MEETING ON DAMS AND DEVELOPMENT
views on available options.
                                                                   At a well-attended meeting On Dams and Development in
* Para 181: The Bank here does not even mention the
                                                                   North Bengal and North East on April 20-21 at Siliguri, a
basin-wide approaches. Thus if Krishna basin is the issue,
                                                                   unanimous resolution was passed supporting the
the people of the other states of the Krishna basin,
                                                                   implementation of the Report of the World Commission
namely Karnataka and Maharashtra, need to be involved,
                                                                   on Dams. The two-day meeting was jointly organised by
and it should be decided in a participatory way what kind
                                                                   NESPON and SANDRP. The resolution also raised
of development will thus come about when the river basin
                                                                   many questions on the proposed Teesta Low Dams Stage
approach is applied with the Dublin subsidiarity principle.
                                                                   III and IV to built on Teesta river near Siliguri and
Nor is there any mention of the need to assess the
                                                                   demanded that until the questions raised are answered to
appropriateness of existing cropping patterns.
                                                                   the satisfaction of all, particularly the local people, the
* Para 182: It is questionable whether the Bank should be          projects should not go ahead. Organisations and
talking about the appropriate incentive system for political       individuals from W Bengal, Bihar, Assam, Manipur,
leaders. Secondly, the strategy of picking up the lowest           Nagaland and Maharashtra attended the meeting.
hanging fruit first may not apply in irrigation sector. The
                                                                   Chief Engineer of NHPC in-charge of these projects also
jury is still out on whether the sequence of reforms
                                                                   attended the meeting and was unable to answer most of
selected by the Bank in AP is indeed the best available or
                                                                   the questions raised at the meeting. Many questions were
even an effective option.
                                                                   also raised about the Environment Impact Assessment
Access to clean water a basic human right According to             being undertaken for NHPC by the North Bengal
an ICSSR-IDPAD research project on groundwater                     University.
availability in India, the states having higher levels of
groundwater development show lower level of poverty.

SANDRP                                                         6                                                     MAY 2002

DAMS                                                              deciding raising of Mullaiperiyar dam from 136 ft to 142
                                                                  ft. (THE HINDU 090402)
Can Bhakra dam please give some drinking water to
nearby villages? Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister has              Panel on Tehri rehabilitation The Uttaranchal Chief
demanded water for drinking and irrigation needs of               Minister has asked the Centre to release a special financial
nearby villages from various completed dams such as               package of Rs 400 M for the rehabilitation of the people
Bhakra, Pong and the Beas - Sutlej link. (TRIBUNE                 displaced by the controversial 1000 MW Tehri-I HEP. He
020402)                                                           has also constituted a high-powered Coordination
                                                                  Committee headed by the Irrigation Minister, to expedite
Opposition to Pagladia dam The people of Bodoland
                                                                  the rehabilitation. He has asked the committee to ensure
have formed a committee to unite against construction of
                                                                  safety of the life and property of all those who will be
the Multi-purpose Pagaldia Project on the Pagladia river,
                                                                  affected by the increase in the reservoir waters during the
Bodoland MP S K Bwiswmuthiary said. The 23-km-long
                                                                  coming monsoons. The problems of the PAFs, including
and 26.20-m-high MPBP has already started bringing
                                                                  5 000 persons (1 100 families) still staying in Tehri town
misery to the people of the region. Thousands of people
                                                                  should be sorted out amicably and they be shifted to
from 33 adjoining villages will be uprooted from their
                                                                  suitable places immediately. The new congress govt. has
ancestral homes. Ironically, the MPBP will provide
                                                                  expressed dissatisfaction with the rehabilitation plans and
benefits to only 37 villages in the southern part of the NH
                                                                  wants to have a new package. (THE HINDU 120302,
31. The ‗Pagladia Bandh Prakalpar Khatigrasta Alekar              080402 & INDIAN EXPRESS 110402)
Sangram Sammittee‘ has submitted an alternative proposal           Safety of Tehri Dam still an open question The Tehri
to the Planning Commission. A memorandum has also                 Project has been challenged on geological, seismological,
been submitted to Prime Minister and Water Resources              technical, economic, environment and social grounds.
Minister requesting them to scrap this "inhuman and               Critics say, "The project is being implemented for
hostile" dam project. (SENTINEL 080402)                           providing water and power to Delhi and other areas. The
KANHAR DAM: Saga of Injustice Resumption of work                  development of the local population is not in the mind of
on 40 m high dam on river Kanhar, a tributary of river            the planners and govt." (DAILY EXCELSIOR 070402)
Son, has provoked opposition from the local people for            R & R in UKP is not complete The ongoing Upper
numerous social, environmental and economic reasons.              Krishna Project involves submergence of 201 villages,
After completion it will submerge an area of 3000 Ha. It          including part of Bagalkot town. According to the
is expected to irrigate 25 772 Ha of land in district             commissioner Rehabilitation and Land Acquisition all the
Sonbhadra and 8 000 Ha in adjoining districts of                  41 villages near Narayanapur dam and 65 in Almatti had
Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh. The dam is evicting                 been shifted. Another 35 villages would be shifted this
more than 7 500 families from 25 villages from their              year and the remaining as and when required. The R&R
ancestral land and homes to make way for a reservoir with         work of phase II of UKP first stage had come in for
a storage capacity of 0.262 M acre-feet. The project got          severe criticism by the WB in the early 90s. The WB,
approval in Sept. 1976 from CWC with an initial cost of           which approved a loan component for the programme in
Rs 277.5 M. It was technically approved in 1979 with a            1989, had stopped it midway. The WB funding concluded
revised estimate of Rs. 558 M. Inter-state dispute between        in 1997. (THE TIMES OF INDIA-Bangalore 250402)
M.P, Bihar and U.P on submergence land was overlooked
by CWC, finally sanctioning a revised estimated cost of Rs        Koyna dam: drinking water first priority The Maharashtra
694.7 M. Dept. of Environment of all three states were            Energy Minister said that the first priority in utilising
ignored completely and also no proper survey was made             water from the Koyna dam would be to meet drinking
which concealed and overlooked the real picture of the            water needs in the Satara and Sangli regions. Only then
miserable and pathetic condition of tribals. The project is       will the remaining water be used for irrigation, while
depriving basic rights of affected villagers and tribals.         ensuring that the Koyna hydro project is not adversely
Preliminary figures estimate 900,000 trees, 2500 kuccha           affected. (BUSINESS STANDARD 12/03/02)
and 200 pucca houses, 500 wells and about 30 govt.
schools along with some other buildings shall be doomed           NEWS FROM THE NARMADA VALLEY
under water. People have demanded Resettlement policies
on the lines of R&R in Sardar Sarovar Project. (From-             IPT demands Halt to the Maan Dam construction A three
Bhumi Haqdari Morcha Sonbhadra, UP, April 2002)                   member tribunal consisting of former judge of Bombay
                                                                  High Court G G Loney, Human Rights advocate Vinod
Fear of seismic impacts of Mullaiperiyar Kerala govt. has         Shetty and Delhi University Sociologist Dr Nandini
urged the Supreme Court that a detailed study should be           Sundar; was appointed by the Indian People‘s Tribunal on
conducted by credible team on the seismic impacts before          Environment and Human Rights to investigate the
SANDRP                                                        7                                                     MAY 2002

situation of the people affected due to the Maan irrigation         be provided to the oustees. It may be noted that although
project, in view of the impending submergence in June               submergence and filling of the reservoir is only two
2002. The Maan dam is located at Jeerabad, in Dhar                  months away, even rehabilitation sites for the majority of
district in MP on the river Maan (a tributary of the                the affected people are yet to be developed. The affected
Narmada River). The maximum height of the dam is 52.4               people insisted that the govt. must immediately take
M and according to official estimates, it will submerge 17          cognizance of these issues and include all people who are
villages. According to the govt. gazette notification of 29         adults at the time of submergence on 30 June 2002, as
December 2001, submergence will be complete by June                 was done in the Bargi dam. (NBA PR 160402)
2002. A public hearing was held at village Khedi Balwari
on 17th March, which was attended by about 600 people               LATEST: INDEFINITE FAST LAUNCHED                        BY
from all the affected villages. According to the findings           AFFECTED PEOPLE AND ACTIVISTS
the situation in the villages is in urgent need of redressal.       As we edit this issue, the indefinite fast by four activists
The families of 17 villages are under immediate threat of           have entered 27th day, demanding just R&R of the Maan
losing their livelihood unless alternative land for                 affected people as per Madhya Pradesh R&R policy. It is
cultivation and housing plots are urgently provided before          ironic that Maan is one of the smallest of large dams
submergence. Submergence should be postponed till the               being built in Narmada Valley and agitation is not against
oustees are properly resettled and rehabilitated. We find it        the project, but for rehabilitation of some 5000 tribal
shocking that the resettlement of oustees is not an integral        people, and yet the state govt. is unable to achieve
part of the construction of the dam and that even after 17          satisfactory R&R and people have had to resort to such
years of construction; their situation has been ignored. We         extreme measures. That too in a state where Digvijay
also find that the concerned govt. officers are not                 Singh is Chief Minister, proving more and more to be
addressing the genuine grievances of the people. We call            good CM only on paper as Arundhati Roy noted in her
upon the Govt. of MP to take immediate cognizance of                reply to the CM.
the genuine grievances of the affected families in all the
17 villages and adhere to the Rehabilitation policy of the          Financial Mismanagement in Sardar Sarovar According to
MP govt. for the oustees of Narmada projects. Since it is           a report of Comptroller and Auditor General of India, the
not possible for the Govt. to immediately complete the              Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd. had incurred
R&R before the monsoon of 2002, the dam construction                expenditure of Rs 109.786 B as of March 31, 2001, out of
should be halted urgently until such time as R&R is                 which, Rs 24.14 B, or 22 %, was towards interest charges
complete. (NBA PR 18/03/02, THE HINDU 26/03/02)                     and servicing debt liability. The CAG report said: "the
 Maan Affected Demand Just Resettlement The MP                     SSP was approved without outlining the sources of raising
Govt. has declared Rs 120 M new financial package for               of funds and cost element towards borrowings. The
Maan Dam oustees. The oustees marched in Dhar                       company borrowed in an ad-hoc manner and cash flow
demanding agricultural land rather than cash                        was not worked out accurately... There was no rationale
compensation for rehabilitation and said that the package           for forming a separate company to execute the project."
is inadequate. They demanded that the oustees must be               Due to huge outstanding of Rs 5.0237 B as on March 31,
rehabilitated as a community on large chunks of fertile             2001, from all the beneficiary states, SSNNL had to resort
and irrigated agricultural land and provided with all               to borrowings from other sources at 12 - 18 % interest.
community facilities. The rehabilitation policy for the             This has resulted in an avoidable loss of interest of Rs
oustees of the Narmada Projects that apply to the people            12.098 B as of FY01 end. There remained an aggregate
affected by the Maan Project stipulates that the oustee             amount of Rs 13.813 B as of FY01 end with Gujarat
must regain if not improve on his/her standard of living            Govt. Though this money was earmarked for SSNNL, the
in the new site. Section 3.2 of the policy states that all          state govt. did not permit SSNNL to use it. So, SSNNL
those losing more than 25 % of their lands will be entitled         had to borrow funds to the extent of balance in PLA and
to a minimum of 2 Ha of agricultural land and that the              had to pay a huge interest of Rs 2.208 B from 1988-89 to
responsibility of providing irrigation belongs to the state.        2000-01. Due to non-reservation of right to redeem the
This will have to be read along with section 5.4 of the             bonds through a call option, SSNNL would suffer an
Rehabilitation policy that a grant will be given to meet the        avoidable loss of Rs 30.335 B by way of interest on
difference between the compensation amount and the                  redemption of these bonds on their maturity. Against the
amount required for the purchase of equal land in a new             anticipated revenue from sale of water and power of Rs
place, and that for members of Scheduled Castes and                 220 M per annum from 1995-96, no revenue was
Tribes, this grant will equal the full difference. Section          generated till date. (THE TIMES OF INDIA-A 070402)
10.1 states those rehabilitation sites with minimum
facilities of electricity, drinking water, school, etc. would

SANDRP                                                          8                                                     MAY 2002

SSP affected on Dharna in Bhopal The people affected by            twice refused to take a decision and wanted the matter to
Sardar Sarovar Project sat on a dharna at the NVDA                 be taken up by the full cabinet. Even the full cabinet
headquarter in Bhopal. NBA issued an ultimatum to the              deferred the decision at least twice before finally giving a
NVDA authorities saying that they should call for all              clearance just in time to save Rs 4.6 B allocated to the
records. They alleged that the MP government had                   project from getting lapsed. The project is to cost Rs
produced fake records to push the SSP dam height from              43.55 B and expected to be completed by May 2005.
90 m to 95 m before the monsoon. NBA called off
dharna after meeting with Chief Minister of Madhya                 HYDRO PROJECTS
Pradesh and receiving an assurance that the demand                 Ministry Of Power‟s Façade of R&R „Consultation‟ On
would be taken up for consideration by the Cabinet sub-            May 14, 2002, Ministry of Power called a meeting on
committee. The NBA alleged massive irregularities in the           R&R in power sector that looked more like a meeting of
rehabilitation of villagers from the areas that would get          rehabilitation of power sector mandarins. SANDRP was
submerged by SSP at the height of 90 m. The NBA                    invited for the meeting, but had to walk out from the
wants that a task force on the lines of Maharashtra should         meeting. The following letter to the Union Power
be formed and entrusted with the job of checking the               Minister written the next day and the attached note that
actual status of the rehabilitation in the villages. (THE          was given to Power Ministry officials are self explanatory.
HINDU-D 230402, 290402, THE TRIBUNE 230402)
                                                                   Protests letters are understood to have been written by a
SSP Costs The cost estimate of SSP stood at Rs 260 B               number other organisations including Narmada Bachao
two years ago, of which Rs 120.98 B has been spent till            Andolan, Manthan Adhyayan Kendra and Matu.
Dec. 01. It has been the practice at SSNNL for some time
                                                                   To: Shri Suresh Prabhu
now to utilise the market borrowings for capital cost as a         Union Minister for Power
good portion of the budget allocation goes towards
repaying the market borrowings. Average annual                     Dear Sir,
budgetary allocation for SSNNL is around Rs 9 B. The
latest private placement (with public sector banks,                This is to explain to you the circumstances under which I
insurance companies, state coop banks and PSUs) has                walked out of the one meeting on ―R & R in Power
been underway and has so far collected Rs 3.5 B.                   Projects‖ in protest yesterday at the end of Technical
(BUSINESS LINE 170402)                                             Session One. I had informed Joint Secy Mr. Anil Razdan
                                                                   that I am walking out in protest and had requested him to
LATEST: SC ISSUES NOTICE ON DECISION TO                            circulate the attached note to the participants of the
RAISE SSP HEIGHT                                                   meeting including you. I am attaching that note with this
The Supreme Court of India has issued notices to affected          letter in case he has not given you a copy so far.
states, Narmada Control Authority and the Union Govt.              I had rather reluctantly agreed to come for the meeting.
to explain what steps they have taken to rehabilitate as per       The reluctance was due to the fact that none of the
NWDT award and Supreme Court orders the people to                  important people or organisations that have been doing
be affected in SSP submergence area due to raising of              some real work with and for the affected people since
height of the dam from 90 m to 95 m. This was in                   many years had not received invitation for the meeting till
response to a fresh petition filed in NBA. The bench               13th May 02 morning, till when I was in touch with them.
hearing the petition has referred the case to another              I have mentioned some of the names in the first point of
vacation bench as the first two judge bench could not              the attached note. I myself received the invitation very
arrive at common perception of the situation.                      belatedly, only on the 10th May, without any agenda,
                                                                   schedule, names of speakers or any material that would
Displaced Tribals get no benefits from Tawa Tawa dam               reflect the state of thinking in the ministry on the subject.
built on Narmada river in Hoshangabad district in MP has           After receiving opinions of a number of colleagues and
displaced tribals from 44 villages but no benefit of the           most importantly, thinking that may be the meeting would
project has gone to them. Many of them stay within 1-6             lead to some progress for the people affected by large
km of the Tawa Canals. Tribals have now demanded                   dams, some of the most condemned people of the
benefits from the scheme and said they would agitate if            country, I decided to go for the meeting. I also thought
this does not happen. (Sarvodaya Press Service 010302)             that may be the ministry should be given a benefit of
                                                                   doubt and may be they had invited some affected people
NSP gets Cabinet nod The cabinet on March 19 accorded
                                                                   or their organisations that I have not contacted or I do
clearance to the controversial Indira Sagar power project
                                                                   not know of. How wrong that thinking was!
in MP after almost two years of construction having
started. The project was earlier referred to CCEA, which
SANDRP                                                         9                                                      MAY 2002

On seeing you, minister of state for power, power                  Administration, involved in these issues for years and also
secretary, CEA chairman and joint secy on the pedestal in          associated with Union Environment Ministry and
the first session, on hearing these dignitaries, one was           Planning Commission for many years and whose book on
starkly disappointed. On seeing CMD NHPC, CMD                      social impacts of large dams have just been published,
THDC, principle secretary MP and senior Sardar Sarovar             Ashish Kothary of Kalpavriksha, Girish Sant of Prayas,
official from Gujarat as scheduled speakers in the first           Vimal Bhai involved with Tehri issues, Prashant Bhushan,
technical session on R&R for hydro projects chaired by             a Senior Supreme Court advocate, Ravi Hemadri working
CEA chairman (only other sessions in the meeting were              with Bisalpur affected people in Rajsathan, to name just a
for thermal and transmission projects), I started                  few of the important, well known people and
wondering if I have come to the right place or was the             organisations involved in these issues for a long time and
meeting about R&R of CMDs and power ministry                       known to power ministry through our earlier
mandarins? Not one affected person, not one affected               correspondence) and I was shocked to learn that possibly
people‘s organisations and not one non governmental                none of them were invited.
organisation or person among scores of people working
on these issues for decades, surely known to you and your          The amiability thus was quickly replaced by suspicion as
ministry (if not otherwise known, at least through our             to what can be the purpose of a meeting where the most
correspondence a few weeks earlier) and you have not               important groups were missing. The first point I would
bothered to assure participation of any of these? About            like to make is that no such consultation can be
the content of what was spoken at the meeting, less said           worthwhile if the affected people and the groups
the better.                                                        working with them are not part of the process.

This kind of meeting on R&R would be unacceptable to               2. The second aberration that caught my eye was that
any right thinking person. My continued participation may          invitation came at such a short notice and without any
provide some legitimacy to a meeting when none is due, I           background note or papers. Now this is not even mildly
thought. I then informed Mr Razdan about this decision             shocking because R&R is not a new subject we are
and walked away.                                                   confronted with. And unless we take stock of what we
                                                                   have achieved over the years, and try and learn lessons
In the twenty first century, when you all do not tire of           from there, there is little hope from such consultations.
talking about participatory governance and sustainable             Indian experience in displacing and NOT resettling its
development, this kind of event is difficult to imagine. If        people is possibly most notorious in the world. To date,
you were really interested in doing something worthwhile           though Govt of India has yet to come up with any study
on this issue, the attached note would provide some                or figures of people displaced by large dams, here is what
directions, I hope.                                                the Mid-Term Appraisal of India‘s Ninth Five Year Plan
                                                                   (Oct. 2000) said on the subject:
Thanking you for your attention and best wishes,
Himanshu Thakkar                                                   "Systematic irrigation development and construction of
                     Brief Note on                                 big dams in the country have caused land to be
          Resettlement and Rehabilitation                          submerged and led to large scale displacement of people
          in the context of Power Projects                         from their original habitat. Almost half of the displaced
 For a One Day Meeting in New Delhi on May 14, 2002                persons are tribals who have least resources, experience
              Called by Ministry of Power                          and temperament to negotiate their lives after
                                                                   displacement. Due to the submergence the project
1. Firstly, I must thank Union Power Minister for calling          affected persons (PAPs) face numerous problems…
me for this meeting. This was a pleasant surprise, at first        There are no reliable statistics with break-up of social and
glance, it seemed. Then I checked with the people and              economic classification of the people displaced by each of
organisations working on these issues with affected                large projects since independence. Many researchers place
people for very long time (e.g. Shri L C Jain, former              their estimates at between 10 million and 25 million. The
member of Planning Commission, Medha Patkar of                     implementation of R&R programmes for the Project
Narmada Bachao Andolan, Chittarupa Palit and Alok                  Affected Families (PAF) has thrown up the following
Agarwal, also of NBA, working with Maheshwar and                   important issues, which need consideration.
Mann affected people, Shripad Dharmadhikary a senior               i) Prior Consultation and information to Project
activist of NBA also involved in the process of World              Affected Persons
Commission on Dams, which has come out with the most               ii) Need for National Rehabilitation Policy
remarkable of report of displacement and rehabilitation,           iii) Provision for land from Command area to those who
Shekhar Singh of Indian Institute of Public                        bore land in the catchment area
SANDRP                                                        10                                                     MAY 2002

iv) Availability of basic infrastructural facilities like
health, education etc at relocation sites.                           To remind, this is a quote from Govt. of India‘s Planning
v) Policies to take into account specific problems of                Commission.
most vulnerable sections of the displaced including
                                                                     And it implies that BEFORE a decision is taken to go
                                                                     ahead with the project, people, including affected people,
―The Central Government is in the process of                         should get an opportunity to look at the project
formulating new national R&R policy. The draft NRR                   documents to not only look at social and environmental
1998 was prepared and widely debated by the                          aspects, but also the technical and economic viability
Government. The R&R policy will seek to minimise the                 aspects, so that people can make, to repeat part of the
trauma of displacement on account of compulsory                      quote,      ―concrete    suggestions    for    alternative,
acquisition of land, and establish statutory minimum                 cheaper/safer ways of achieving objectives which the
standards for packages and benefits to ensure that                   project is supposed to serve.‖
displaced persons are better off as a result of the project".
                                                                     Here a process related issue is that this process cannot be
A clear admission, thus that Govt., over 54 years after              entrusted with the project implementing authority or
independence and after pauperising millions have neither             ministry and there should be an independent authority
any record of displacement or rehabilitation nor any                 that would certify that the project has gone through this
policy on resettlement or rehabilitation.                            process. In case of power projects, we can either have an
                                                                     independent authority for this or the electricity regulatory
3. From generality to specifics Even today, the people               commissions can be entrusted with this task.
affected by Bhakra, Damodar and Hirakud projects are
yet to be fully resettled, even by the admission of local            5. Appraisal Problems One major issue we would like to
governments, not just independent reports. Not a month               flag is that of serious inadequacy in basic appraisal of
goes by without Himachal Pradesh CM making some                      social and environmental impacts of power projects. To
announcement about the pending resettlement of those                 give you a few examples, in Chamera I Project
affected by Bhakra and Pong dam oustees.                             implemented by NHPC, an organisation under Power
                                                                     Ministry, the people had to actually flee when reservoir
The point we would like to draw from this is that unless             was getting filled, as per a field study done by SANDRP.
we know what we have done in the past, there is little one           In case of Bargi Project in Narmada Valley in Madhya
can hope from such meetings.                                         Pradesh, which is essentially working as hydro project
                                                                     now, the projected submergence was for 101 villages, but
4. Decision making process Without prejudice to what                 when reservoir was filled up, it submerged 162 villages,
I have said thus far, let me come to the issue of R&R                including some of what the authorities chose to call
policy. The first important issue we would like to point             resettlement sites. In case of the proposed Teesta Low
out is that the issue of social impacts including                    Dams III and IV projects in North Bengal being
displacement, resettlement and rehabilitation should form            undertaken by NHPC, the affected people were not even
integral part of the planning and decision making, which             informed the purpose of the socio-economic survey being
unfortunately, is not the case. The Planning Commission              conducted for the project.
Document (Oct. 2000) mentioned above said on this
issue: ―The process of decision making on these projects             If the projects undertaken by Power Ministry are not to
also needs to be made more open so that the public at                become engines of pauperisation of most marginalized
large, and in particular, those directly affected can have           sections of population, then the projects must have full,
access to more information about the assumptions and                 proper, open, transparent and accountable appraisal. If an
calculations on which the project is judged by the                   engineer who says 101 villages will be affected and the
authorities to be technically and economically viable. This          project submerges 162 villages and yet the engineer,
will help the people satisfy themselves that sufficient              planner, bureaucrat, politician or any other decision maker
safeguards have been built into the project to take                  gets away without being answerable, then we cannot
reasonable care of those who are affected by the projects            continue to believe that we are living in a civilised society.
and also of the potential adverse ecological consequences
flowing from the construction of the project and its                 One major issue we would like to flag here is that all kinds
operation. The people will also get an opportunity to                of people who get affected by the project, whether in the
place their objections and concerns before the concerned             upstream, in the submergence zone, in the downstream,
authorities along with concrete suggestions for alternative,         or in the command or benefit areas, must be part of
cheaper/safer ways of achieving objectives which the                 project appraisal and definition of project affected.
project is supposed to serve‖.
SANDRP                                                          11                                                       MAY 2002

6. First Principle of R&R Policy Having seen that the                continue to raise even till date, showing utter lack of
story of displacement, resettlement and rehabilitation               minimum goodwill towards affected people. However, till
shows utter failure of authorities to achieve any                    date, the govt. has allocated over 16000 Ha of land to
semblance of resettlement, leave aside the question of               affected people. This is not to say that proper R&R is
rehabilitation, then the first principle of any R&R policy           happening in case of SSP. The point to note is that the
should be avoidance, minimisation, prior resettlement.               authorities that were saying there is no land have been
That is, first attempt must be to look for projects that             forced to find so much land for affected people.
avoids any displacement, and such options do exist, if we
were to go even by the statements of India‘s Power                   To give a more forceful argument, just four days back, on
Minister Shri Suresh Prabhu.                                         May 10, at a meeting on National Water Policy, Member
                                                                     Planning Commission (Water Resources) and former
When avoiding displacement is not possible, then the                 Minister for Water Resources and Agriculture, Shri Som
option chosen must have minimum social impacts. And it               Pal, nailing the bogey of no land available, said that as per
should be shown that indeed the option selected is a least           Planning Commission figures, 77 M Ha of land is
cost option, in a publicly demonstrable way.                         available that can be put to use either for agriculture or
Accompanied by such choice should be a demonstration,                for forestry. No excuse about no land availability can be
again in a public way that full arrangements for                     entertained after getting this from India‘s current
resettlement of the affected population is in place,                 Planning Commission.
including land availability. And this should be shown
before taking up the project. No investment or any other             8. Social Rehabilitation One major issue about the R&R
clearance should be given to the project before this is              measures we would like to draw here is that of social
shown to be the case.                                                rehabilitation. The affected villages must get a choice of
                                                                     getting resettled as a village unit. It is another matter if
The process of showing that this is indeed the case cannot           some members of the village choose not to exercise that
be left to the project-implementing agency. In the earlier           option. But the authorities must be obligated to give that
case I had suggested that possibly ERC can be involved,              choice to affected people.
but since ERC or CEA does not have capabilities in social
issues, we would probably need a new independent body                9. Institutional Issues Besides some of the institutional
to assure that this process is properly followed.                    issues flagged earlier, here I would like to briefly flag two
                                                                     issues. First is the issue of Monitoring. The project
7. Land for Land Policy About the actual measures of                 implementing authorities cannot be entrusted with the
R&R, the most important issue we would like to high                  task of certifying that R&R is actually happening as per
light is that every affected family must be given a choice           the policies, provisions and plans. There should be an
of getting minimum Two Ha of irrigated land with every               independent, credible agency appointed for each project
major daughter or son on the date of section 4 notice                to firstly monitor and periodically provide public reports
being considered separate family. If any affected family             about the state of R&R. Secondly, there should be a
chooses not to take land and go for any alternative R&R              committee which would certify about the progress of
measure, that option can be exercised by such failies at a           R&R and based on that, approve construction of the
later date, but the authorities in the first place must offer        project at each stage. That committee must have
land as mentioned above. No excuses in this respect                  representatives from affected people, NGOs and such
should be entertained.                                               other credible persons.
Even Govt. of India has agreed in affidavit after affidavit          10. Confidence Building Measures Indian policy
in the Supreme Court that Land based resettlement is the             makers‘ credibility, unfortunately, is very low as far as
only just and proper way of resettling affected people.              R&R is concerned. If the claim that proper R&R is
                                                                     possible is shown to have any credibility, the authorities
One major excuse put forward in this respect is that there           will first have to show that such is indeed the case. And
is no land available for resettlement. Past experience has           this can obviously not be at the expense of additional
shown that when there is political will, the authorities             displacement. Any confidence inspiring case must come
have been able to provide land. To give a famous                     from resettlement and rehabilitation of people affected by
example, in case of Sardar Sarovar Project, Govt. was not            projects in the past. Until it is seen and shown that people
interested in giving land for resettlement, but it was               displaced in the past are indeed properly resettled, there
forced under various circumstances, to agree to give 2 Ha            cannot be any case for fresh displacement and until then
of irrigated land to each affected family, including those           people will have no confidence in authorities‘ claims that
landless in the affected villages. There too, the authorities        R&R is possible.
had raised the bogey of availability of land, which they
SANDRP                                                          12                                                      MAY 2002

11. Just and Sustainable Development Dam builders,                  and goes to show how little the author understands
including govts and other authorities are in the habit of           environmental impacts. This second statement quoted
calling all those who raise some basic questions on social          here also contradicts another statement coming later on,
justifiability and viability of development projects as anti        ―The direct impact of run-of-the-river project on flora
developmental. We hope our Power Minister would not                 and fauna is limited to the vicinity of the project‖.
fall in that trap. For, causing displacement is not the only         From the second table of the feature, it is clear that
way of achieving development. Moreover, it is nobody‘s              project authorities are not treating full catchment area of
case that no development is necessary. However, as we               the project, required for its sustained existence. They not
move towards Johannesburg and Rio + 10, we can not                  even treating full free draining catchment areas, only a
loose consciousness that any project that in stead of               small portion of it. In case of Rangit project, about 16%
reducing poverty, generates more poor people, can                   of freely draining catchment is even claimed to be ―under
neither be called just, nor sustainable and never a                 treatment‖ when the project has been commissioned
developmental project.                                              years ago. No wonder the projects silt up so fast.
                                                                     On R&R, the feature makes most far-fetched and
12. Next Steps Full appraisal and addressing of past social         unbelievable claims, ―Rehabilitation of Project Affected
impacts, putting together a transparent options                     Persons receives the due importance in NHPC right from
assessment process, legally enforceable R&R policies,               the stage of planning… The displaced people are
institutional mechanisms mentioned above and holding all            resettled, much in advance of the project commissioning.‖
displacement related projects on hold till than are some of         Nothing can be farther from truth. In case of Chamera I
the basic next steps that one can think that the Power              project in Himachal Pradesh, people had to flee when the
Ministry can take up, in consultation with the people               reservoir was getting filled as per SANDRP survey.
mentioned in first point above and all such other people.
The God, in this case, is not in detail, as some would say,         Teesta Hydel project raises concerns The residents of
but possibly in compliance, the weakest point of our God            Kalijhora, Gielle, the Environmentalists of north Bengal
fearing society. The existence of yawning gap between our           and others are irked at the construction of the Teesta
words and deeds cannot inspire any confidence.                      ‗low‘ dam projects III and IV, to be built by the NHPC,
                                                                    across the glacier-fed Teesta river. Under the project, a
South Asia Network On Dams, Rivers and People
                                                                    total of 184 Ha of forest land including the famous picnic
May 2002
                                                                    spot of Kalijhora will get submerged. Besides, 2.5 km of
Does the Power Ministry understand Environmental                    NH 31A will have to be realigned. The Chief coordinator
issues? A half page response feature (THE TIMES OF                  of Kalijhora Janakalyan Manch said, ―The survey report
INDIA 180402) by Union Minister of State for Power                  prepared by the North Bengal University is not done
raises questions if the Power Ministry really understands           properly as the main residents of the area were not
social and environment issues associated with                       interviewed. The PWD and the NHPC are playing the
Hydropower projects. Here is a sample of some                       game to remove us from here.‖ According to the Indian
misleading and some patently wrong statements:                      Meteorological Department, the area falls under seismic
 Information for land required for the project is not              zone level IV. The continued accumulation of silt and
given, but only land under submergence is given. This               gravel will erode the hillsides flanking the Teesta. Due to
gives a misleading picture as in case of Uri project, while         underground water seepage and the rise in water level,
235 Ha of land was required, extent of submergence given            Kalijhora village might get submerged and their livelihood
is nil.                                                             and habitat destroyed. (THE TIMES OF INDIA-K 170402)
 There is column in the first table with heading ―Plants             Sub: Representation RE Teesta Low Dams III and IV
affected (number)‖. How the authorities could have                      Under Section 29 of Elec Supply Act Notification
counted the number of affected plants beats imagination.
 The feature claims, ―Hydroprojects do not cause any               A number of organisations including Himalay Paryavaran,
substantial soil erosion‖, which clearly shows that the             SEED, NESPON, Teesta Bachao Andolan and SANDRP
author does not understand what all activities are involved         sent representations to NHPC in response to notice of
in hydropower projects. Would be well advised to read               NHPC under section 29 of Electricity Supply Act (1948),
Large Dams in India: Environmental and social impacts by            objecting to the proposed Teesta Low Dam projects near
Shekhar Singh and Pranab Bannerji of Indian Institute of            Siliguri in northern W Bengal. Some of the important
Public Administration. The statement in the feature                 points in the representations include the following.
―Activities like construction/ widening of roads,
construction of project components etc. may further                 1. First point is procedural. NHPC is a project
aggravate deforestation‖ contradicts the first statement,           implementing agency and it has already shown to have

SANDRP                                                         13                                                    MAY 2002

vested interest in pushing the project. Thus it cannot be          would have serious downstream impacts. These will be of
entrusted with the task of responding to the                       many kinds. Geomorphologic impacts would be one of
representations like this one and an independent agency            them. Coronation Bridge, just 400 mts downstream of
should be asked to look into and respond in detail to the          stage IV dam, would be endangered, for example, besides
representations received objecting to the project.                 many other impacts in the fragile geology of the region.
Accordingly, we are copying this also to Chairman CEA
and Chairman CERC.                                                 9. There are many serious problems with the way
                                                                   environmental impact assessment of the project seems to
2. NHPC has been going ahead with some serious nature              be getting done. The local people of course have no role
of work at the project sites. This is happening, for               in this and they are not even informed about the project,
example at Kalijhora township and upstream of the                  leave aside taking their free prior and informed consent
Coronation bridge in case of Stage IV dam. The Chief               about the project. Even while taking up socio economic
Eng of the project accepted that a tunnel, 2.2 mts in              assessment, the local people were not informed about
diameter and 300 mts depth is being done, though he                what this is being done for. Any EIA done in this manner
called this to be testing work. Work of such scale cannot          and any project taken up in this way can have no place in
be called testing and would have irreversible and serious          any democratic society and the project in any case violates
geological and other impacts for the region. This only             fundamental rights of the local people.
goes to show NHPC has little respect for basic norms.
                                                                   10. The Teesta Stage IV project is to submerge the picnic
3. The work described in point 2 above is happening in             spot and eco tourism developed by the local people with
reserved forest area and also entails creation of roads,           their resources. Livelihood of almost all the people of
lighting and related work. This has already meant felling          Kalijhora township depends on this. And the project
off a number of trees for which NHPC has no                        authorities, even after repeated questioning, have no
permission.                                                        response as to how the local people will be compensated.
                                                                   On the contrary, as local people told us, there is constant
4. The project is going to submerge part of NH 31A and             attempt to threaten and otherwise take away their existing
the alternative path that have been marked out, we were            habitations in various ways. The socio economic impacts
told, goes through reserved forest possibly under                  of the projects would be serious and there is no attempt
Mahananda Sanctuary. As per the Supreme Court order,               to bring into project parameters. The project authorities
no authority has permission to divert any land under any           do not have any R&R policy or plan, least of all credible
sanctuary or national parks. Hence, the project would be           record or mechanism to make this possible.
violating the Supreme Court orders and unless there is
specific permission for this, the project cannot go ahead          11. The projects are supposed to provide peaking energy
and all related expenses would be a waste.                         as per the presentation made by the Chief Eng NHPC at
                                                                   a meeting in Siliguri on 210402. However the proposed
5. Teesta Valley has the highest incidence of landslides in        projects have no storage capacity and for a project to
the country. The project area is known to have high                provide peaking energy, off peak time water storage
density of known land slips. There is also the issue of one        facility is required. Alternatively the project authorities can
of the highest siltation rates in Teesta river. Under the          choose to shut off the stations during off peak hours, but
circumstances, geological and sediment related feasibility         in that case the project cannot achieve electricity
of the project is under doubt.                                     production equivalent to 52% Plant load factor as claimed
                                                                   in the notification of 150302. Hence the notification is
6. Moreover the projects of this nature would also have
                                                                   clearly giving wrong, misleading information.
serious impacts in upstream regions when large amount of
water is permanently stored. These impacts do not seem             12. Moreover, in the notification or otherwise, hydrology
to have been taken into account while taking up the                of the river at project site is not given or available to
project and unless this is done, the project would bring           people. As you know, feasibility of the project cannot be
unforeseen serious adverse impacts.                                ascertained without knowing the hydrology of the river at
                                                                   the dam site. Under the circumstances, people are asked
7. Teesta valley, like the rest of the Himalayan region, is
highly seismically active area and the project would not           to trust the project authorities as far as feasibility of the
                                                                   project is concerned. Past experience of NHPC shows
only pose a threat in case of an earthquake, it would also
                                                                   that such trust would be misplaced and in any case such
accelerate the occurrence of earthquakes.
                                                                   huge amount of public money cannot be invested under
8. The project and the intermittenent nature of flow of            trust in a few unaccountable engineers.
water in the downstream region that it would induce

SANDRP                                                        14                                                       MAY 2002

13. Hydrological feasibility of the project also comes into            AASU-NHPC controversy The kidnapping of an engineer
doubt as till recently, the installed capacity of stage IV             of NHPC Gerukamukh created a misunderstanding
project was said to be 168 MW, which has suddenly been                 between the All Assam Students' Union and the project
envisaged to be 200 MW now.                                            officials. AASU called one-day bundh after lodging of
                                                                       false complaint by NHPC and arrest of their Gerukamukh
14. The project cost (which has always proved to an                    branch president by the local police. Dramatically police
underestimate as per past experience of such projects) as              released AASU leader after release of the abducted
given in the Section 29 notification, at Rs. 2.98 per unit of          engineer by unknown kidnapper. The controversy started
electricity produced at bus bar is at Sept. 2001 prices, we            when the NHPC has launched 2000 MW Subasiri HEP
assume. When T&D losses prevailing as it does in W                     project. The AASU leaders expressed their resentment
Bengal at 40% are included, the cost would go up to Rs.                stating that the local people are deprived of employment
4.97 per unit. This does not include the investments                   in the Rs 100 B project. (SENTINEL 020402)
necessary for related T&D works. Under the
circumstances, this is very high priced power. As we all               Nathpa Jhakri Financial Bungling The CAG has taken a
know, the main problem with the ongoing controversy in                 serious note of the Himachal Pradesh Govt. retaining
Dabhol power project, where the station is ready to                    with itself loans of Rs 12.577 B raised during 1999-2001
produce power, is that the power cost is considered too                for payment of equity in the Nathpa Jhakri Power
high even at Rs. 3 per unit at present cost. It is difficult to        Corporation. The govt. raised loans of Rs 7.57 B through
imagine who would be able to pay for the power                         the HPRIDC during 1999-2001 by securitisation of the
produced by the proposed projects. In any case, this does              receipts of free power from NJPC for about five years
not seem to be least cost option.                                      from the date of commissioning of the project. The
                                                                       amount was deposited in the govt. account and no equity
15. Many dams have come up and more are under                          payment of these loans had been made to the NJPC up to
construction and planned on Teesta valley and its                      March 2001. The annual return of Rs 3.5 B from free
tributaries. There is no attempt to see the cumulative                 power sale from the NJPC had already been considered
impact of the project on the society, on ecology, geology,             sufficient by the govt. to liquidate SLR - borrowings of Rs
hydrology, downstream areas and in holistic way. Unless                8.99 B made by the state govt. earlier through the HPSEB
this is done, and projects are still proved to be useful, the          during 1994-2000. Securitisation of the same receipts of
proposed projects should not go ahead.                                 free power for raising loans through HPRIDC was thus,
                                                                       not justified.
Looking at all the above points, we clearly see that the
                                                                        Corruption Fresh cases of corruption has been
project should not ahead in the present form unless all the
                                                                       reported in this project. The Jai Prakash construction got
points raised above are addressed in a manner satisfactory
                                                                       an ad hoc payment of Rs 420 M as advance against the
to everyone concerned, local people most importantly.
                                                                       admissible claims of Rs 0.451 M. The vigilance dept. has
NHPC to exit from Koel Karo                                            pointed out irregularities in a payment of Rs 28 M to
                                                                       Continental Foundation. (THE TRIBUNE 290302, THE
                                                                       HINDU 140402)

                                                                       Srisailam Project unviable: CAG The Comptroller and
                                                                       Auditor General of India in its latest report has said that
                                                                       the Srisailam project has become unviable on account of a
                                                                       huge escalation in the cost of the project. The 6x150 MW
                                                                       Srisailam HEP was sanctioned in 1986 but the real work
                                                                       started from 1996 after the JBIC had approved direct
The NHPC has confirmed its desire to exit the project,                 payments to the equipment suppliers, and sanctioned the
―We have asked the Power Ministry to either help us get                required loan. As against Rs 11.666 B sanctioned by the
clearance from the state govt. and the Centre or give us               Planning Commission in 1991, the project cost has now
permission to wind up the project.‖ The project was                    escalated to Rs 34.32 B including IDC of Rs. 9.5 B. The
handed over to the NHPC in 1981. Today the estimated                   project cost has worked out to be Rs 38.1 M per MW.
cost per unit of power is expected to be between Rs 6 and              The 3rd unit of the project was commissioned on April 21.
Rs 7. NHPC‘s inability to resolve the issue of                         (BUSINESS LINE-D 220402, 240402)
rehabilitation of around 100 000 people to be displaced by
the project has been one of the main problems. (THE                    Excess Hydro Capacity in Karnataka Karnataka has
INDIAN EXPRESS-D 010402)                                               installed hydro power capacity of 3000 MW, whereas the
                                                                       thermal capacity is about 2000 MW, thus the state has

SANDRP                                                            15                                                    MAY 2002

adverse hydro-thermal mix. (Other states can use this to             like Water Resources, Rural Development and Inland
create better hydro thermal mix?)                                    Waterways,‖ he said. He also said that all efforts have
 Malfunctioning at Sheravathi Tail Race Project As the              been made to begin the works of 210-MW Tuivai Hydel
gate of the dam did not shut in time at the World Bank               project in the State. He dedicated to the nation the 75
funded 180 MW Gurusoppa HEP, water (which could                      MW Rs 8 B Doyang HEP built by Central sector
have yielded electricity worth Rs 1.7 M) leaked away.                NEEPCO in Nagaland‘s Wokha district.
(BUSINESS LINE 020302, THE HINDU 270402)                              CEA approves Mizoram HEP The CEA has accorded
                                                                     techno-economic clearance to the Bairabi HEP. Located
Japanese funding to Hydro projects in India Japan                    on the Bairabi River a 62 M high and 180 M long earth fill
continues to remain the largest among the bilateral donors           dam would be built to generate 210 MU of electricity
funding hydropower and dam projects in India. Among                  annually. The dam would, it is claimed, will provide a 180-
the projects currently funded by Japan‘s ODA include the             km waterway for transportation of goods from the capital
Paithan HEP in Maharashtra, Purulia Pump Storage                     Aizwal to Silchar. The project is likely to be developed in
Project in W Bengal, Umiam HEP in Meghalaya, Tuirial                 7 years and is estimated to cost Rs 5.226 B. The
HEP in Mizoram, Srisailam left Bank HEP in Andhra                    proposed reservoir would submerge 6 villages with a total
Pradesh and Tamil Nadu State Micro Hydro Power                       population of 6 500. (ASSAM TRIBUNE 030302, 040302
Stations Construction Project. In addition, Japan also               SENTINEL 030302 PIB PR 120302)
funds India Gandhi Canal Area (afforestation and Pasture
development), Rajghat Canal Irrigation Project in MP,                Kerala signs pact for rubber dams The Steel Industrials
Rengali irrigation project in Orissa in irrigation sector and        Ltd. of Kerala has signed an agreement with
several others (e.g. Kerala Water Supply Project,                    Hydroconstruct of Austria for construction of rubber
Bangalore Water Supply Project, Yamuna Action Plan) in               dams in the country. The SILK sources said that rubber
water sector. (THE HINDUSTAN TIMES 290402)                           dams as old as 25-30 years are in operation in many
                                                                     countries such as US, Canada, Japan, Australia, Austria,
Sutlej Upper Valley Power Corp. HP CM announced that                 Indonesia, China and the Philippines. They are ideal for
the Sutlej Upper Valley Power Corp. in the joint sector              total water resource management such as irrigation,
with NJPC and other central orgs will be set up. The 400             groundwater recharging, flood-control and hydropower
MW Rampur HEP, 225 MW Karchham-Shongton and                          generation. According to preliminary studies, rubber dams
400 MW Thpan-Pouwari HEPs could be executed by the                   would find wide application in rivers such as
Corp. (TRIBUNE 080302)                                               Bharathaouza, Periyar and Pampa in Kerala. The total
Larzi Coffer dam breached Sudden rise in the level of
                                                                     cost of rubber dams will be lower than that of
Beas river has led to breach in Larzi coffer dam.                    conventional concrete dams. The rubber dams can be
(TRIBUNE 270402)                                                     shifted around provided the site parameters are similar.
                                                                     They can also be used in catchment areas for generation
CEA Green Signal for Almatti Project The Central                     of power. (BUSINESS LINE-D 040302)
Electricity Authority has given its techno-economic
clearance for the 290 MW HEP in Karnataka. In line with              Conditional approval Rs 3.30 B bonds for Maheshwar The
the Supreme Court order, the CEA had approved the Rs                 Madhya Pradesh Cabinet has given its approval in
6.74 B project, to be developed by the KPCL, on the                  principle for giving a standby guarantee for Rs 3.30 B
condition that no physical capacity would be created to              convertible bonds being issued by the Maheshwar Hydel
store water above the 519.6 m level at Almatti Dam.                  Power Corporation. For securing the guarantee, the
Karnataka had proposed to raise the water reservoir level            company will have to ascertain all financial arrangements
to 524.2 m from 509 m for increasing power generation,               and complete necessary formalities within six months
which was opposed by Andhra Pradesh. The Supreme                     from the date of letter of intent. It will have to renegotiate
Court settled the issue in April 2000 by restricting the             with the loan providers about the rate of interest and
water reservoir level to 519.6 m and by imposing a cap on            make it at par with the current market rate. The company
total water utilization by Karnataka at 173 trillion cubic m         will have to devise measures to lower the project cost and
per annum. (BUSINESS STANDARD-D 06/03/02)                            maximum possible limit of interest during the period of
                                                                     construction. ―Though the govt. will make amendment in
NorthEast Projects Union Power Minister assured                      PPA, there is no written agreement on reducing the
Mizoram that the 80 MW Bairabi HEP would be taken up                 power tariff which is expected to touch Rs 5.06 per unit
in the coming Power Minister‘s conference and said that              on the completion of project in 2005-06,‖ Official said.
he would personally ensure that the project is                        The NBA has demanded that the project be scrapped,
implemented. ―The project would be made a                            all public money withdrawn, and punitive action taken
multipurpose project involving different union ministries            against all officials. The NBA questioned the State Govt.‘s
SANDRP                                                          16                                                       MAY 2002

stand saying that the decision to extend guarantee came at          conducted during rainy season only and round the year
a time when orders had been issued to confiscate                    study was not conducted. The project proponent did not
company‘s movable properties. The NBA demonstrated                  cover many aspects primarily required for EIA.
that while the power from the MHP is prohibitively                          The matters related to deforestation, socio-
expensive, over 60,000 people would stand to lose their             economic aspects and impact on downstream sites were
lands, homes and livelihoods because of the project                 not dealt with in the EIA in detail.
whose rehabilitation is well nigh impossible. The                           The ―Rapid EIA‖ done by the project proponent
departure of five US and German power utilities from this           is incomplete, inadequate and a comprehensive EIA is
Project and the refusal of the German and Portuguese                necessary for actual assessment of the environment
govts to stand guarantees have also demonstrated that the           impacts.
Project is socially, technically and financially unviable.                  The concept by the KSEB that ‗the downstream
(THE HINDU-D 30/03/02 & 07/04/02, BUSINESS                          area will get a constant flow due to power generation‘ is
STANDARD-D 2/04/02 & NBA PR 05/04/02)                               against facts and baseless. The quantity of the constant
Time and Cost over runs in J&K HEPs The Minister for
                                                                    flow throughout 24 hours is not specified in the EIA. The
Power said that an MoU has been signed between the                  water budgeting aspects with respect to irrigation, water
State Govt. and the Union Ministry of Power under                   supply and salinity intrusion is not considered. The
which 7 HEP have been handed over to the NHPC for                   aquatic organisms will be seriously affected and damaged
execution. The Minister said for completion of Upper                due to the significant changes in the flow pattern
Sindh Hydel Project-II, Sewa-III and Chenani-III loan               especially during night time.
assistance has been arranged from PFC while as REC is                       There is no adequate water for power generation.
providing loan for execution of Haftal, Sanjak,                     The present water scarcity in the downstream side of
Marpachoo, Pahalgam and Bhaderwah projects. He said                 Chalakudy River will be aggravated and the irrigation and
the Sawalkot Hydel Project has been contracted to NCC               water supply schemes will be affected adversely. There
led consortium of Norway. 450 MW Baglihar project will              will be salt-water intrusion.
be commissioned by 2004.                                                    The EIA is silent about the impact in the river
 Dulhasti According to the Standing Committee‘s                    system during summer season. The storage of water in
23rd report, the cost of Dulhasti, which has been delayed           pits and rock pools is not sufficient to maintain the life in
by four years, increased from Rs 12.629 B to Rs 35.598 B.           the river and the non-availability of water will completely
The report recommended that responsibility should be                damage most of the aquatic organisms.
fixed for huge time and cost over-runs. (DAILY                              The KSEB admitted that the costs due to social
EXCELSIOR 080302, 180302)                                           and environmental impacts were not accounted while
                                                                    fixing the cost of electricity.
Ranganadi HEP commissioned The NEEPCO with                                  The absence of Athirappilly waterfalls and
assistance from the NE Council has commissioned all the             Vazhachal rapids after 6 pm will affect the life in the river
3 units of 135 MW each of the 405 MW Ranganadi HEP                  stretch up to the Kannankuzhy and this is not acceptable
in Arunachal Pradesh, the largest HEP commissioned in               as the natural system of waterfalls is completely lost for 12
the North East. With this, NEEPCO has achieved its                  hours besides the ecological impact due to absence of
capacity addition target of 654 MW during the 9th plan              water that is essential for the existence of the aquatic life.
period and raised its installed capacity to 1105 MW. The                    The panel observed that the impact on the tribes
project comprises of a 68 m high concrete dam and a                 at Vazhachal (60 families) should have been considered
water conductor system of length 10.78 km passing                   and there should have been rehabilitation plans.
through a difficult geological terrain. The diversion dam is
located at Yazali on River Ranganadi and the powerhouse             145 representations were received in response to the
is located 29 kms away at Hoz on the bank of river                  public notice on the public hearing. During the public
Dikrong. Annual envisaged energy generation is 1876                 hearing 117 representations were received. The entire
Gwh (i.e. 52.8% PLF is on very high side). (PIB PR                  project affected people who attended the public hearing
280302)                                                             opposed the implementation of the project. (PR
                                                                    "Chalakudy River" 260302)
Public hearing on Athirappilly Some of the important                 Niagara-like project for Athirapally suggested In a
observations and recommendations of the Kerala State                questionable move, the environment impact study agency
Pollution Board Panel on the Public Hearing of the                  Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute of the
Proposed Athirappilly HEP conducted on Feb. 6, 2002:                controversial Athirapally HEP in central Kerala has
       The public contended that the EIA was not                   suggested a Niagara and Victoria model of project, which
conducted properly and entirely. Some of the studies were           combines power generation with tourism. At the famous

SANDRP                                                         17                                                       MAY 2002

falls on the US-Canada border, water is stopped during                Opposition to Thal Canal project in Pakistan The Chief
the night for power generation and allowed to cascade                 Executive Secretariat decided to review the controversial
down during the day. However, it is indeed very strange               Greater Thal Canal Project, increase water supply to
to see that an academic body, who was entrusted the task              Sindh to facilitate sowing of Kharif crops, and approach
of doing an EIA for the project, is now seen to be                    the Supreme Court over the interpretation of Clause 14-B
publicly advocating that very project, thus proving that              of the Water Accord, 1991. As a consequence of the
the body has abdicated the responsibility of a responsible            decisions, the construction of Thal Flood Canal, which
EIA agency, raising many questions on the EIA study.                  had been started by WAPDA even before ECNEC could
(THE TIMES OF INDIA 310302)                                           have accorded approval to it, would be stopped. The
                                                                      meeting agreed on preparing a fresh PC-1 of the Thal
Iruppu HEP in Karnataka rejected The forest dept has                  Flood Water Canal, and restored its earlier nomenclature
rejected the Environment study report of the proposed                 'Greater Thal Canal'. Under the 1991 Water Accord, no
Iruppu HEP in Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary of Kodagu                 irrigation project could be undertaken by the federal
district. The Deputy Conservator of Forests of Kodagu                 government or any provincial government without prior
has drawn attention to many mistakes and contradictions               certification of the Indus River System Authority (IRSA)
in the report done by Institute of Catchment studies and              about the availability of water.
Environment Management. As the project region comes                    Sindhi Activists from different part of UK gathered
within the limits of Wildlife sanctuary, it is not possible to        on 23 March in front of Pak High Commission in
give permission for the project; the Chief Wildlife Warden            London expressed their opposition to the construction of
has clarified. (KANNADA PRABHA-B 110302)                              Greater Thal Canal Project.
SOUTH ASIA                                                             PNRDP Resolution The participants of the political
                                                                      dialogue on "Greater Thal Flood Canal" scheme under
Pakistan:   Tarbela-affected     still   await   resettlement         the auspices of Pakistan Network Of Rivers, Dams and
According to a report, many of the people affected by                 People, unanimously rejected the decision of ECNEC &
Tarbela dam are still not resettled after 26 years. These             CDWP of approving the project. They also termed this
people allegedly refused to settle in Sindh when the govt.            decision as detrimental to the national interest as well as
was forced to offer them land there under a WB                        social, political and environmental interests of lower
condition for the release of $ 2.5 B for Ghazi Barotha                riparian. They demanded immediate release of water
Power Project. The Social Organisation for Mutaasirin-i-              from Mangla for the Kharif crops of Sindh. (Sindh Water
Tarbela claimed that in 1996, a WB team held meetings                 Committee PR 210302 DAWN 190302 PNDRP PR 160302)
with the affected people of Tarbela, collected copies of
the claims and found out that more than 3 000 claims had              Opposition to CRBCP in Pakistan The govt has allocated
not been entertained. An Independent Tarbela                          Rs 3.1 billion for Chashma Right Bank Canal project,
Commission was then constituted. ITC received 11 000                  which will now, to be completed in 2004. The Chashma
applications, out of which 5 000 claims were for                      irrigation was an ongoing project, which envisaged
residential plots and 6 000 for agriculture land. However,            construction of 170-mile long canal taking off from the
the applications were unilaterally processed and out of 6             Right Bank of Chashma Barrage at River Indus and 700-
000 of them, only 1 954 were declared genuine. The                    mile long distributaries and minors. The project was being
deputy secretary West Pakistan had issued orders for the              implemented in three stages. Besides other reasons the
allocation of 40 000 Ha of land in Sindh and Punjab for               project could not take off due to differences between
resettlement of the displaced people. So far, only 12 000             Punjab and the NWFP.
Ha has been allocated, which means that 70 % of the                    After ADB‘s inability to solve the problems due to
cases are still outstanding. (SUNGI Development                       CRBC, the affected people and Sungi Foundation has
Foundation-Pak 21/03/02)                                              sent a petition to the ADB inspection panel that the
                                                                      project violates fundamental policies of ADB. (Dawn
Pakistan to pay Impregilio for Ghazi Barotha Pakistan has             190402, PNDRP)
agreed to pay $ 45 M to the Impregilio lead consortium
constructing the $ 2.5 B Ghazi Barotha HEP. The                       Sri Lanka to commence Upper Kotmale HEP The Japan
payment is required by the consortium to resume                       funded 150 MW project to be completed in five years will
construction of the project. The contractor submitted                 cost $ 336 M. Power Minister assured the local residents
claims worth $ 70 M after the suspension of work                      affected by the project would be given housing and job
following the 11 Sept. attacks. The project is already                opportunities. (Xinhua News Agency 260402)
behind schedule by 2 years. (DAILY EXCELSIOR 040402)
                                                                      Nepal: Arun HEP The water resources and energy
                                                                      secretaries from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal,

SANDRP                                                           18                                                    MAY 2002

have agreed to develop the Arun Valley HEPs. According              AROUND THE WORLD
to the plan, Arun River cascading down the eastern hills
of the Nepal will have 1 100 MW capacity — with the                 Massive demonstrations against Big Dams in Spain On
Arun III to have 401 MW, Upper Arun 350 MW and                      March 10 some 300 000 people demonstrated in the
Lower Arun 355 MW— that would feed a sub-regional                   streets of Catalonian capital, protesting against Spain
grid interconnecting the national systems of the four               govt.‘s 15 year old proposal of Euro 4.2 B project that
neighbours. The ADB has agreed to analyse the detailed              include over 100 dams and vast network of canals to
financial, technical and implementation aspects of the              divert water from the river Ebro in the North to the
projects, and provide technical assistance for the studies.         southeast of the country. One of the demonstrators said,
However experts say that the project may not move ahead             ―What Medha Patkar and Arundhati Roy have done to
in the light of the country‘s worsening security situation.         increase awareness about the damage that such
The feasibility studies of Arun III had been finished in            megalomaniac projects can cause is phenomenal. Their
1993. But the then Govt. was forced to abort it after the           dedication has told us that intellectuals must also become
WB, which had supported it for 10 years, decided to pull            activists if humanity is to progress‖. (THE HINDU 140302)
out in 1995. There are experts who say, "Nepal will not             Canada scrapes costly dam proposal           Alberta and
have any problem so long as the development cost is at              Saskatchewan scrapped plans for a multibillion-dollar dam
par with the international price—that is less than $ 1,200 a        in the western Canadian provinces, saying the costs would
KW." (KATHMANDU POST 120302)                                        outweigh the benefits. A study into the Meridian Dam,
Reliance, Sahara interested in Nepal Hydro? Reliance and            commissioned by the two govts. last year, concluded the
Sahara Groups have separately shown interest in setting             cost could have been $ 2.3 B to $ 3.5 B. (IRN PR 130302)
up HEPs in Nepal. Reliance had earlier shown interest in            Demolition of Juru Dam in Malaysia The problem of flash
300 MW upper Karnali HEP. It was ultimately allotted to             floods faced by some 120 000 people living in housing
Elysee Frontiere, a Singapore based French company.                 estates and traditional villages in Malaysia will be resolved
That allocation now stands cancelled and the project is             to some extent when the Juru Dam built in 1950 is
available for allocation to any company. However, the               demolished. The dam was built for irrigation and to
Nepalese officials are hopeful that Reliance would take up          restrict the flow of seawater. (Bernama (Malaysian National
much more ambitious, 10 800 MW Karnali Chisapani                    News Agency), 220202)
project, in which the infamous Enron group had earlier
shown interest. (THE ECONOMIC TIMES 230302)                         Swiss bank quits Turkish dam Switzerland's largest bank,
                                                                    UBS, has pulled out of a controversial Ilisu dam project in
Expensive Melamchi water The $ 468 M Melamchi                       Turkey, saying it was concerned about its social and
Drinking Water Project in Nepal would supply water                  environmental impacts. Its future had already been
from 2007. The executive director of Environment and                thrown into doubt after the main contractors in the $ 1.5
Public Health Organisation said, "On completion of the              B project - British consortium firm Balfour Beatty and
Melamchi project, 10,000 litres of water will cost Rs. 440,         Impregilo of Italy - withdrew in Nov. 2001 for similar
which is available at Rs. 40 these days." Five NGOs,                reasons. Critics have argued that it would flood hundreds
including ENPHO, have formed a consortium to study                  of sq km of land, including the sites of ancient Ottoman
the availability, price and quality of drinking water in the        and Byzantine towns and villages. More than 30 000 local
Valley. According to their calculations, the water will cost        people, mostly ethnic Kurds, would be displaced.
Rs. 30 per 1,000 litres per month for first 6,000 litres and        Neighbouring Syria and Iraq have also objected to what
Rs. 65 up to 15,000 litres and Rs. 85 for over 15,000 litres        they say is a potential reduction of the water flow in the
of water. They alleged that the Govt. did not ask for any           River Tigris. (BBC News 270202)
suggestions from the locals before bringing in such an
extravagant scheme for less than a million people living in         AMEC pulls out of Yusufeli Dam in Turkey Just before
the Valley. The local govts. like municipalities were not           the launch of a major campaign against AMEC's
involved in the decision. According to the new provision,           participation in the controversial Yusufeli Dam in Turkey,
all the connections, including the public tap stands will           the company has announced its withdrawal. The company
have meters. Homes and business houses with deep tube               was seeking a £ 68 M export credit for the project from
wells will need to have a licence and make payments for             the UK Export Credits Guarantee Department. Export
the water they extract. (KATHMANDU POST 260302)                     credits are also being sought from COFACE, France's
                                                                    export credit agency, by the French company Spie
                                                                    Batignoles, in which AMEC has a 46 % share. The
                                                                    Executive Director of the Kurdish Human Rights Project
                                                                    said, "We are delighted that AMEC has withdrawn from
SANDRP                                                         19                                                      MAY 2002

this project. For minorities on the ground whose homes              under the aegis of the Surguja Gramin Vikas Sansthan.
livelihood and ways of life are threatened by this project          Bunding of arable fields, check dams and in situ water
this a huge victory." (IRN PR 130302)                               conservation has led to dramatic rise in water table by 20
                                                                    to 30 feet, as against 50-60 feet depth in the past. Five
China: Three Gorges a toxic bomb The Chinese                        years back only 0.2 % of the 4 998 Ha was under some
academics and govt. advisers say officials are rushing the          form of irrigation. Irrigation to 243 Ha of land is now
job, leaving a ―time bomb‖ of toxic waste in the form of            assured: a significant gain of 230 Ha in less than 5 years
3-G reservoir on the Yangtze river. That would create a             with well irrigation within reach of most of the 249
tragedy of astonishing proportions as the Yangtze basin is          households in the village. The total investment made was
home to 350 M people. The dam threatens a double blow               Rs 3.1 M with tribals contributing additional Rs 0.6 M by
to the Yangtze‘s water quality. Not only will pollutants on         way of labour. (Third World Network Features 220302)
the reservoir bed ooze into the water, but also some 155
B cubic feet of wastewater, which currently reaches the             Gujarat Water Conservation Gujarat govt. has decided to
sea, will concentrate behind the dam. That will stock a             implement the Sardar Patel Sahbhagi Jalsanchay Yojana all
cocktail of arsenic, mercury, lead, cyanide and other               over the state instead of Saurashtra alone where it has met
cancer-causing heavy metals in reservoir designed to water          with success. About 40 000 checkdams will be
some of China‘s most fertile farmland. It is also due to            constructed under the scheme for which the Govt. will
provide drinking water for millions. Beijing gave final             allocate over Rs 248.4 M. The minister said the govt. had
approval last year to the largest water diversion project in        in last four years increased the irrigation potential to 2.7
history, the South-to-North project, which will divert              M Ha as compared with 1.93 M Ha in 1998. (THE TIMES
fresh water from the Yangtze to the northern cities.                OF INDIA-A 230302)
Critics say the clean-up plan concentrates on removing
physical threats to navigation- such as buildings, trees and        WB loan for Tanks The WB has approved a $ 98.9 M
bridges – and largely ignores the domestic and industrial           credit for the Karnataka Community-Based Tank
pollution which encrusts the river‘s banks or lies buried in        Management Project that supports a local approach to
the earth. The dam will flood 137 cities and towns; 1300            managing water resources in rural communities by
factories; 1100 villages; 4000 hospitals and clinics; 40 000        returning the responsibility for tank development to
grave-sites and at least 178 rubbish dumps containing 2.8           village-level user groups. This project will revitalise about
million tonnes of garbage.                                          2 000 existing tank systems to benefit about 1.5 M rural
 China plans to resolve funding problems for its $ 22              households. (
B Three Gorges HEP by offering shares on the domestic               Kindi dam in Karnataka The Govt. is constructing Kindi
stock market and through a Hong Kong listing. It could              Dam to be built across the river North Pinakini, at a cost
also seek a listing in London. The 18 200 MW generating             of Rs 8.7 M to provide irrigation to over 700 Ha of land
capacity of the world's biggest dam will be injected into           and arrest depletion of the water table in and around
the listed company at a cost of about $ 12.2 B, making it           Gowribidanur taluk. (THE TIMES OF INDIA 280302)
potentially China's largest listed company. The project will
require the mandatory resettlement of more than 1 M                 IRRIGATION
people, and it may increase the risk of earthquakes. (IRN
PR 130302, THE HINDU-D 170302)                                      Canal irrigated area comes down In the period 1990-98,
                                                                    the net irrigated area has increased from 48.023 M Ha to
IRRIGATION OPTIONS                                                  54.563 M Ha, an increase of about 6.5 M Ha. As a
                                                                    percentage of net sown area, in this period, net irrigated
Local Water Development Project brings prosperity A                 area has gone up from 33.61% to 38.42%. Most of the
project under Kandi (Integrated Watershed) Development              increase has come from tubewells. The net irrigated area
Project has brought posperity to farmers of Pargana                 under tubewells has increased from 14.257 M Ha in 1990
village in Nurpur Subdivision. A 400 m long canal dug               to 18.432 M Ha in 1998.In the same period, the net sown
from Jabber rivulet made possible by contributions of the           area under canals has come down from 17.453 M Ha to
village and the project, has created a perennial irrigation         17.092 M Ha. Some of the agricultural states are allocating
source for the farmers. (TRIBUNE 040302)                            less to irrigation. e.g. in UP, the allocation for irrigation &
                                                                    flood control came down from the peak of Rs 14.341 B in
Rajkheta: Where every drops counts Rajkheta one of the
                                                                    1996-97 to Rs 9.07 B in 2001-02. (THE ECONOMIC
backward and drought prone villages in Chhattisgarh has
                                                                    TIMES 260302)
shown what people‘s participation in water conservation
can achieve. Catching water where it falls has been the             Move to privatise irrigation in East? Union Agricultural
driving dictum in the efforts by a small group of people            Secretary has said that it has been decided to allow private

SANDRP                                                         20                                                       MAY 2002

sector in irrigation water management in Eastern India.              up for execution during the period 1972—84 were
Govt. will give soft loans to private companies for this.            incomplete as of April 2001. The revised estimated cost
Discussion is also on to allow private companies in                  of these projects has increased to 359 %. Funds over
foodgrains market. (RASHTRIYA SAHARA 050402)                         rupees 70 M have already been spent on these schemes in
                                                                     last over 25-30 years. Earlier the estimated cost had been
CAG: Financial bungling in Orissa irrigation projects The            assessed as Rs 7.6 M but now it has been shot up to Rs
latest CAG report submitted in the Orissa Assembly                   3.52 B. (DAILY EXCELSIOR 110402)
pointed that there was 26 % cost overrun in capital
projects in the state. The irregularities involved extra and         Heavy Leakage in canals in Karnataka A WRD survey has
unproductive spending to the tune of Rs 11.152 B, which              revealed leakage to the extent of 15 - 18 tmcft in 37 main
constituted nearly 36.24 % of the total expenditure of the           canals and distributaries of major and medium irrigation
WRD during the last five years. Despite increase in                  projects, assuming water release for 180 days in a year.
assured irrigation potential from 17 to 43 % during 1993-            The Water Resources Minister said the study was taken up
2000, foodgrain production sharply dropped by an                     after he was convinced of the truth of complaints of
alarming 28 % owing to the lack of maintenance of                    leakage during a visit to Malprabha Project due to poor
irrigation facilities. [Incidentally this is the same period         quality of work or lack of maintenance. The leakage in the
when WB funded Orissa Water Resources Consolidation                  Malprabha (leakage 500 cusecs), going on for years, was
Project was in operation.] There is a gap of nearly 47 %             to the extent of 20 %. (THE HINDU-D 140302)
between the creation and utilisation of irrigation potential.
(DAILY EXCELSIOR 240302)                                             Maharashtra Irrigation Corps default, Ratings down
                                                                     MKVDC, an undertaking of the govt. of Maharashtra,
No tangible benefits from Kerala Irrigation projects The             have defaulted on interest payment of around Rs 740 M.
Evaluation Division of the Planning Board, which                     The district central cooperative banks and the apex
evaluated nine irrigation projects in Kerala, has found that         cooperative banks have an exposure of Rs 10 B in the
after spending Rs 12.89 B, these projects have not                   bonds. The cooperative banks have to incur losses if they
brought any tangible benefits. As per revised estimates at           try to sell the bonds in the market. MKVDC owes
1999 rates, the total cost of these nine projects stood at           contractors around Rs 20 B. The corporation was forced
Rs 24.629 B, the actual cost likely to be much more. The             to raise new loans to service old loans and to pay off
increase in cost in the original estimate was as high as             contractors‘ dues.
3329 % for some projects. The Kallada Irrigation Project              CRISIL has placed the ratings assigned to
was the biggest irrigation scheme in the State, taken for            Maharashtra Krishna Valley Development Corporation
execution in 1961 at an estimated cost of Rs 132.8 M. The            (five bond programmes aggregating Rs 21.34 B), Konkan
revised estimate as per the 1999 rates stood at Rs 7.60 B.           Irrigation Development Crop (Rs 310 M), Tapi Irrigation
A huge amount of Rs 6.20 B had been spent on it. The                 Development Corp (Rs 910 M) and Vidarbha Irrigation
original estimate of the Idamalayar project was Rs 178.50            Development Corp (two issues – Rs 3.08 B) under ‗watch
M when commenced in 1981. The latest estimated cost is               with negative implications‘ following delay in interest
Rs 2.986 B. The project was schedule to be completed by              payment. Since the bond issuers were unlikely to generate
the end of Eighth Plan. The project is now proposed to               adequate revenues for debt servicing, the budgetary
be completed by 2007-08. (THE HINDU-D 290402)                        support by state govt. would support such obligations.
                                                                     These ratings, are thus reflective of the credit quality of
Rs 720 M drain on 12 J&K irrigation schemes According                GOM, says CRISIL. Projects like MKVDC have been
to the report of CAG, top officials and other concerned              adjudged by the rating agencies as economically unviable.
agencies in J&K are responsible for massive irregularities           (BUSINESS STANDARD 180402, INDIAN EXPRESS
and mis-appropriation of public funds worth millions and             200402, THE ECONOMIC TIMES 210402)
wasteful expenditure of over Rs 720 M on the works,
which lacked administrative approval and requisite                   Water thefts by „big‟ farmers in Haryana Farmers in the
technical sanctions. The officials of at least 17 Divisions          villages falling under the jurisdiction of the Rai Water
in the State have been held responsible for creating extra           Service Division and Samalkha subdivision have been
liability of Rs 170 M by executing un-approved works for             facing an acute shortage of canal water for irrigation for
which no funds were ever allotted. The department has                the past few months. They alleged that theft of irrigation
failed to provide any relief to the people despite the               water by influential farmers backed by political bosses of
expenditure of Rs 4.149 B during the period from 1997-               ruling party and some officials is rampant. (THE
2001. The loan of over Rs 300 M taken from NABARD                    TRIBUNE 200302)
and Central Government during 1996-2001 was
                                                                     Rs 1800 B required to complete ongoing projects Due to
inefficiently utilised. At least 12 irrigation schemes taken
                                                                     endemic and chronic time and cost overruns in major and
SANDRP                                                          21                                                    MAY 2002

medium irrigation projects, at least Rs 1800 B will be             of untreated industrial effluents. (THE TIMES OF INDIA
required during tenth and eleventh five year plans to              110402)
complete some 160 ongoing projects.
 Budget hikes allocation for irrigation The Union                 Groundwater pollution in Delhi In a test conducted by
Budget for 2002-03 has raised the allocation for                   Development Alternatives under its Clean – India 2000
Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Program to Rs 28 B from             project at 54 locations in Delhi, it was found that the
Rs 20 B. The allocation for RIDF, a substantial portion of         groundwater was contaminated with chemical pollutants
which goes for irrigation, has gone up from Rs 50 B to Rs          like Fluorides, Nitrates and Iron due to excessive
55 B. (THE ECONOMIC TIMES 250302, BUSINESS                         withdrawal and leakages from industrial effluents, solid
STANDARD 010302)                                                   waste and chemical fertilizers dumps. CGWB agreed that
                                                                   groundwater in Delhi has these and also excess salinity.
Balh irrigation project HP govt. has approved the Rs. 420          (THE HINDU 070402 THE TIMES OF INDIA 080402)
M Balh valley medium irrigation project to irrigate areas
on the left bank of the Suketi, a tributary of the Beas.           Toxics in Ghaziabad Groundwater The chromium (a
(THE TRIBUNE 020402)                                               known carcinogenic) content in Ghaziabad groundwater
                                                                   has been found to be almost five times the permissible
Canal system for Chhattisgarh A Rs 1.75 B canal system             limit. Since over three years, reports of untreated
for irrigating 68 000 Ha of land in Chhattisgarh will be in        industrial effluents being pumped into groundwater are
place by June 2003. The 834 km canal is the biggest                coming, but no action have been taken. The toxics
irrigation project in Chhattisgarh and will be completed in        traveling to Delhi groundwater is not ruled out, agrees
a period of 15 months. (THE HINDU-D 190302)                        UPPCB officials. Ghaziabad UPPCB chief says it is not
                                                                   practical to take action. (THE TIMES OF INDIA 010402)
                                                                   Groundwater pollution in Noida A joint survey by the
WB loans for Rajasthan Water Project The WB has                    Central and the UP Pollution Control Boards have
approved a $140 M IDA loan for the water sector                    described Noida‘s groundwater ―unfit even for
restructuring project in Rajasthan. ―The project is aimed          agriculture‖. Yet, 200 MLD water supply is from
at use of state‘s limited water resources by improving its         tubewells. (THE TIMES OF INDIA 010402)
management, particularly in irrigation sector,‖ a state
Govt. official said. According to 1996 data, the state‘s           Groundwater pollution in Nawanshahr As per a survey by
total availability of water was estimated at 50.6 BCM, of          Punjab Pollution Control Board, groundwater within two
which groundwater accounted for 28 %, internal surface             km radius of Toansa industrial belt has become highly
water 37 % and inter state surface diversion 35 %.                 polluted with very high content of fluorides, chlorides,
(BUSINESS STANDARD-D 060302)                                       BOD and COD and is unfit for human consumption.
                                                                   The pollution is attributed to mainly two units: Ranbaxy
Inter State Water Disputes Act amended The Parliament
                                                                   Laboratories and DSM Anti-Infectives Ltd and has been
has approved a series of amendments to Inter-State Water
                                                                   going on for years, without either the state govt. or the
Dispute Act of 1956. The changes empower the Union
                                                                   PPCB taking any action. (HINDUSTAN TIMES 200402)
Govt. to fix limits on the time taken by tribunals
constituted. (THE TIMES OF INDIA-D 120302)                         Groundwater pollution in Hapur According to CGWB the
 TN Objections TN govt. has objected to introduction              groundwater pollution levels in and around Hapur have
of a provision in the amended ISWDP 1956 which calls               been found to be very high including contaminants like
for verification of river water and reservoir data supplied        Carbonic Acid, Chromium and Fluorides. Industrial units
by the States and appointment of empowered persons to              are pumping industrial effluents into groundwater.
summon the records and information from the state                  (RASHTRIYA SAHARA 200402)
govts. concerned. (THE HINDU 020402)
                                                                   Groundwater pollution in Kanpur Groundwater in and
WB Credit for UP Water Sector The $ 149 M loan is meant            around Kanpur is found to be contaminated by nitrates
for UP water sector restructuring project. (THE                    and toxic agents discharged by tanneries and chrome
ECONOMIC TIMES-D 090302)                                           plating factories. (THE HINDUSTAN TIMES 090402)
GROUND WATER                                                       Groundwater quality monitoring project in Maharashtra
                                                                   Directorate of Groundwater Surveys & Development
Heavy    metals    in   Faridabad    Groundwater    High           Agency, Pune has invited bids to set up groundwater
concentrations beyond permissible limits of Iron, Copper,          quality monitoring facilities for 3370 Base Line stations,
fluoride and sulphates found by CGWB in groundwater in             1191 trend stations and 1734 trend-cum-surveillance
and around Faridabad has been attributed to the discharge
SANDRP                                                        22                                                   MAY 2002

stations, to be set up under the World Bank funded                  during the current year. Around 7 000 Ha falling in the
hydrology project. (INDIAN EXPRESS 130402)                          districts of Ambala, Panchkula and Yamunanagar had
                                                                    already been treated. (BUSINESS LINE-D 270302)
Grim Groundwater scenario in UP As per a survey done
for the World Bank funded Swajal Project, there are 44              President sets an example The groundwater level over the
over exploited, 171 critical and 54 semicritical blocks in          past two years has risen by 2 mts due to rainwater
the state which add up to 33% of blocks. Worst affected             harvesting in Rashtrapati Bhawan. The cost diversion of
is the western UP, where there are 37 overexploited, 77             drains into existing wells was Rs 1.6 M.
critical and 20 semicritical blocks. In western UP,                  Rainwater harvesting in Delhi AIIMS Housing
groundwater level has fallen by 4 mts or more in 19                 Society, Charak Sadan, has put in place rainwater
blocks over the last decade. Ten districts which need               harvesting capacity of 1195 cubic m in an area of 6330 sq
urgent attention are: Budaun, Baghpat, Ghazipur,                    m. (THE HINDUSTAN TIMES 050302 THE HINDU
Farukkhabad, Kanpur city, Lucknow, Sitapur, Sant                    080402 TRIBUNE 240402)
Kabirnagar, Shravasti and Pratapgarh. (THE TIMES OF
INDIA 150402)                                                       LAKES, TANKS, WETLANDS, GLACIERS…

CGWB‟s National Recharge Master Plan CGWB has                       Lakes and Tanks in Delhi Delhi High Court, in response
prepared a Rs 245.13 B master plan to recharge the                  to a PIL by NGO Tapas, has given a notice to Union Env
groundwater in the country. The plan for Punjab,                    Ministry and Archeological Survey of India regarding
Haryana, HP, J&K and Chandigarh is for Rs. 15.78 B. It              upkeep of 508 lakes and tanks of Delhi. The Court has
includes rooftop-harvesting structures; recharge shafts,            directed PWD to stop broadening of Aruna Asaf Ali
revival of ponds, trenches, check dams and gabian                   Road as it was leading to filling up of a tank. (INDIAN
                                                                    EXPRESS 090302 RASHTRIYA SAHARA 100302)
structures. (TRIBUNE 190402)
Privatisation and globalisation of pump markets in East?            Hope for Renuka Lake Renuka, one of HP‘s three
The International Water Management Institute claims that            national status wetlands – the others being Pong reservoir
the best way to promote groundwater irrigation in India‘s           and Chandratal – situated not far from Nahan in lower
groundwater rich eastern region would be to remove                  Himalayas was in the list of dying lakes till recently. Now
pump subsidies and open up the pump market to                       Ministry of Env. and Forests have started efforts to stop
international suppliers. ―Subsidies and import restrictions         silting and start desilting. (INDIAN EXPRESS 030302)
have kept pump prices in India artificially inflated by over        Deterioration of Ajmer Lake Ajmer‘s Annasagar lake has
35-45 % over those in neighbouring Pakistan and                     shrunk from 16.4 Ha to 10 Ha. Govt. has built colonies in
Bangladesh‖, it states. In east UP, local irrigation pump           the catchment area of the lake since 1971, which then
dealers are already acting as implementers of govt.‘s pump          disgorge their sewage into the lake. Just 2% of lake
subsidy programme. (BUSINESS STANDARD 230402)                       catchment is free from encroachment. (INDIAN
                                                                    EXPRESS 280402)
                                                                    Melting glaciers due to global warming At least 44 glacial
Khatris of Himachal Even as people of Hamirpur, Kangra
and Mandi districts face drought like water scarcity,               lakes in the Himalayas are filling so rapidly they could
                                                                    burst their banks in five years sending millions of gallons
people in a number of villages are using Khatri (pits dug
                                                                    of floodwaters swirling down valleys, putting at risk of
in rocks to collect rain water or seepage water) water to
                                                                    thousands of lives. The UNEP sources said, "Our
solve their water problems. This is a traditional water
                                                                    findings indicate that 20 glacial lakes in Nepal and 24 in
harvesting method in these areas. (TRIBUNE 230402)
                                                                    Bhutan have become potentially dangerous as a result of
CGWB Master plan for HP The Rs 4.655 B master plan                  climate change." The UNEP and ICIMOD survey has
involves revival of springs and ponds, construction of              identified 3 252 glaciers and 2 323 glacial lakes in Nepal
check dams, rooftop rainwater harvesting and sub-surface            and 677 glaciers and 2 674 glacial lakes in Bhutan. The
dykes. (THE TRIBUNE 140402)                                         data indicates that the glaciers in Bhutan are retreating at a
                                                                    rate of 30 to 40 m a year. The Tradkarding Glacier, which
Haryana plans for land treatment The govt. plans to                 feeds the Tsho Rolpa glacial lake in Nepal's Rolwaling
spend Rs 300 M in the next fiscal in treating about 10 000          Valley, retreated 100 m in some of the years within the
Ha of land to check soil erosion and restore the capability         last decade. In August 1985, a sudden outburst flood
of degraded land in the Shivalik foothills, under the               from the Dig Tsho glacial lake in Nepal destroyed 14
Integrated Watershed Development (Kandi) Project. The               bridges and $ 1.5 M worth of damage was caused to the
state Govt. has released over Rs 240 M to treat 8 000 Ha            nearly completed Namche Small Hydropower Plant. India

SANDRP                                                         23                                                       MAY 2002

has refused access to a major study that could stop                participation in planning, implementing, operating and
hundreds of Himalayan lakes from devastating collapse.             maintaining RWSS. (THE TIMES OF INDIA 140302)
 Studies conducted by Geological Survey of India has
shown that Gangotri, Pindari and Milam in Uttaranchal              Villagers boycott the ballot The villagers of Malegaon
have been retreating at the rate of 24.6, 23.4 and 12.5 m          Theka in Wardha district have boycotted the election
and Bara Shigri in HP at the rate of 31.2 m annually.              process in the recently concluded Jila Parishad and Arvi
These glaciers are the key modulating the climate and              Assembly by poll. Surrounded by five big or middle-sized
hydrology of the subcontinent. Yet, less than 30 out of            irrigation dams (Bor, Mahakali, Borkhedi, Panchadhara
5,000 glaciers have been studied and barely ten for 10             and Madan, all in the radius of 10 km, with the last one
years continuously. The govt. has decided to set up a              just 2 km away), they have no water for their farms as
National Centre for Field Operations in Himalayan                  village is at an elevated level. 15% people have migrated in
Glaciology under Dept. of S & T, to begin with, for                the past few years. (THE INDIAN EXPRESS 030302)
studies in the Indus, the Ganga and the Brahmaputra
                                                                   German aid for Rajasthan Rajasthan has so far received 95
basin. These rivers satisfy 80% of country‘s needs of
                                                                   M DM (about Rs 19 B) – DM 55 M grant & the rest loan
drinking water and irrigation. (ENS 180402 IANS 160402
                                                                   - from Germany for supplying drinking water from the
020302)                                                            Indira Gandhi Canal to 141 villages in Churu, Jhunjhunu
                                                                   and Hanumangarh districts. (THE HINDU 020302)
Demand for Chhatisgarh Tank Board Constitution of a
Chhatisgarh Tank Board has been demanded for the                   Water crisis grips Karnataka districts The villages in nearly
management and maintenance of huge water bodies like               40 % of the 175 taluks in Karnataka are to witness
the Telibandha and Buddha Talab. (THE HINDU 060402)                shortage of drinking water in the coming months, the
                                                                   drought-monitoring Cell has predicted. The monsoon
RURAL WATER SUPPLY                                                 shortfall witnessed last year is considered to be the worst
                                                                   in the last 30 years. (BUSINESS LINE 160302)
World Bank in Monitoring RWS The Water and Sanitation
Program-South Asia of the World Bank is providing                  WB Credit for Karnataka The 6-year $ 151.6 M Credit for
support to the govt. of India‘s Rajiv Gandhi National              rural water supply & sanitation project is supposed to
Drinking Water Mission to develop and implement a                  assist in increasing rural communities‘ access drinking
monitoring and evaluation system. The Mission is                   water & sanitation services; decentralisation to gram
implementing a Sector Reforms Project in Rural Water               panchayats and user groups. (ECONOMIC TIMES 090302)
Supply    aimed   at    institutionalizing community


1. Power Finance, Financial Institutions in India’s Hydropower Sector, By Peter Bosshard, Published in India by SANDRP, March
2002, pp 132, Rs. 100/-
2. Bade Bandh, Bharat ka Anubhav Hindi Translation of WCD India Country study, By R Rangachari, Nirmal Sengupta,
Ramaswamy Iyer, Pranab Banerji & Shekhar Singh, SANDRP, 2001, pp 268, Rs. 100/-.
3. The Drought, the State and the People: An Experience in Gujarat SANDRP Dossier on Gujarat Drought 2000, Edited by
Sanjay Sangvai, pp 90, Rs. 75/-.
4. Large Dams and Their Alternatives: South Asia Consultation Dossier on WCD South Asia Public Hearing, 1999, pp 166, Rs.
5. Report of the Daud Committee on Sardar Sarovar Displaced, Govt. of Maharashtra, SANDRP a co-publisher, pp 54, Rs. 30/-.
6. Dam Vs Drinking Water: Exploring the Supreme Court Narmada Judgement, by L C Jain, Parisar Publication, 2001, pp 131,
Price Rs. 75/-.
7. Proceedings of the Consultation on the Report of the World Commission on Dams, Ranchi 7-8 August, 2001, Edited by DK Mishra,
Barh Mukti Abhiyan, Oct. 2001, Rs. 40/-.
8. Testimonies from the Ground: A Report on Tehri Rehabilitation by Vimal Bhai and Preeti Sampat, SANDRP, Nov. 2001, pp
35, Rs. 20/-

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bank outside Mumbai. Add Rs. 20/- for postage and packing charges for all publications.

SANDRP                                                        24                                                      MAY 2002

Recommendations (Extracts)                                         Department has agreed for such a survey after a period of
                                                                   five years. They hope that such a survey will be started
 Parliamentary Standing committee on Urban and Rural               very soon. They would also like that position of slippage
                  Development (2002)                               of FCs category to NC and PC categories and PC to NC
            Ministry of Rural development
                                                                   category is also taken care of during the said survey.
        (Department of Drinking Water Supply)
            Demands for grants: 2002-2003                          2.23 It is really a matter of concern that after more than
                 Thirty Second Report
                                                                   five decades of independence and the plan development
2.16 The committee finds that there are certain disturbing         in the country, most of our school are yet to be provided
features with regard to the implementation of one of the           the facility of drinking water, which is the basic necessity
top most priority programmes of the Govt. i.e. to provide          of life. The Department‘s claim to cover all the
potable drinking water to the rural population. The                habitations by 2002-2003 by providing drinking water
shortcomings as noticed by the committee are as below.             seems unrealistic when the overall position of coverage of
(i) The availability of the funds is less than one third of        schools is analysed. Even if the Govt.‘s data is believed,
the estimated requirement in the comprehensive action              about 44% of the schools could only be provided
plan. In view of the inadequate allocation, the committee          drinking water so far. They also find that the data as given
expresses their doubt about the fulfillment of the set             by the Department may be only of Govt schools. When
targets in the National Agenda for Governance of                   the data regarding other schools i.e. private and public
coverage of all rural habitations by 2004.                         included, the situation may be further alarming, while the
(ii) Not only inadequate allocation to the Department,             school coverage was taken into consideration under
but what is provided at BE stage is reduced at RE stage.           ARWSP since 1999-2002, the performance is very dismal.
(iii) Whatever allocation is provided it is not being              The Committee strongly recommends that all the schools
meaningfully utilised. There is huge underspending as              should be provided drinking water within minimum
regards the release of funds by the Centre to State Govts.         possible time.
Besides, the position is alarming when the States‘ physical
                                                                   2.29 The Committee finds that the projection of 10th Plan
and financial progress is analysed.
                                                                   in respect of proposed targets under drinking water
(iv) There is huge underspending with the State Govts.
                                                                   supply programme are three times of what was allocated
2.17 The Committee feels that under-utlilisation of                during 9th Plan. The Committee has their doubts about
resource is the main reason for getting the lesser                 getting the adequate allocation from the Govt. The actual
allocation for Planning Commission/Ministry of Finance.            allocation during the first year of 10th Plan is an example
Besides the Members find that the Department is not                in this regard. The Govt has provided nearly one-third of
serious in the reasons for the dismal performance of such          what was projected during 2002-2003. If similar trend is
an important programme. Whenever asked about the                   followed, the Department would be getting more or less
reasons for slippage of targets, routine reply stating that        the same of what they got during 9th Plan. There is doubt
NC and PC habitations are located in the difficult terrain         in achieving the laudable targets set during 10th Plan. The
etc. is furnished. The committee has been receiving this           Committee, therefore, urges Govt to persuade the
type of reply for the last two three years. This shows the         Planning Commission/Ministry of Finance to accept the
casual approach of the Govt. Further, they are unhappy to          urgency of providing adequate outlay for this sector. As
note the reply of the Govt. that underspending is due to           stated by the Secretary during the course of oral evidence
surrendering of Rs 61.82 crore to non-lapsable pool of             some efforts are being made to get the funds from
resources for North-East. Besides, the Committee finds             various international agencies like World Bank.
that the targets set during each of the year are somehow
unrealistic. The Department has set the targets to cover           2.35 The various issues with regard to providing drinking
17,479 NC habitations, whereas they could cover 6,655              water to rural masses were discussed in the recent
and 1,627 habitations during 2000-2001 and 2001-2002               Conference of State Ministers in charge of rural drinking
respectively.                                                      water supply and various valuable recommendations were
                                                                   made in this regard. One of the recommendations was to
2.19 The committee finds that the actual ground reality in         revise the norms, which were fixed years back during
respect of coverage of habitations is something different.         1972-1973. While recommending for revision of the said
They have repeatedly been stressing on the Govt. to find           norms, the Committee would like the first priority is
out the ground reality by conducting survey by                     accorded to cover all rural habitations within the existing
independent agencies. Besides they have also been                  norms.
recommending to have some in built mechanism for such
survey after a fixed period of time. They find that the
SANDRP                                                        25                                                     MAY 2002

2.48 The Committee is concerned to note the dismal
performance of Sector Reform pilot projects as could be            2.85 the Committee is concerned to note that there is no
seen from data given by the Department. They fail to               research institute in nodal laboratory dealing exclusively
understand how the Department could be contended with              with water quality R&D. they also note that the
such slow progress of the pilot districts.                         Government have proposed to set-up a Centre for
                                                                   Excellence for arsenic in Kolkata.
2.49 The Committee finds that the Secretary during the
course of oral evidence has acknowledged that to make              2.86 The Committee finds that a major pollutant of
these pilot projects successful, there is a need to change         drinking water is fluoride. To tackle this problem
the mind set of the people.                                        adequate steps have not been taken by the Govt. They
                                                                   would like to recommend that the Govt. should set-up a
2.59 The Committee is disturbed to note the position of            fluorisis control cell at the Central level comprising of
availability of the drinking water in various schools in           officials of both Rural and Urban Ministry and other
North-East, as acknowledged by the Secretary, very few             concerned Ministries like Health, Water Resources.
schools could be provided with the drinking water facility.
                                                                   2.102 Regarding the system of monitoring of rural
2.77 The Committee observes that ensuring sustainability           drinking water supply programme, the Committee would
of drinking water sources is the major challenge that has          like to recommend that the Department should think of
to be faced by the country in the coming years. Due to             devising a mechanism of having periodic meetings of
uncontrolled extraction of Groundwater in various parts            concerned Union Ministers alongwith Central officials.
of the country, water table has reached a precarious               They should also think of inviting MPs/MLAs of the
situation. They also note that the various Centrally               State at the said meetings.
sponsored schemes depend totally on ground water. More
stress to be given to alternate sources of water like,             2.110 The Committee is also unhappy of the manner in
maintaining traditional sources of water and rainwater             which the Government instead of improving of existing
harvesting, etc. While noting that some of the states have         schemes and consolidating their gains, if any, go on
done excellent work in this regard, specifically Mizoram,          launching new schemes which again suffer for want of
the Committee urges the Govt. to make the other States             proper infrastructure are admitted by the Government in
aware of the success stories of these States.                      their written note.

2.79 The Committee finds that the problem sustainability           3.16 Though the Committee has repeatedly been
of water resources is being tackled by different Central           recommending that the Central Rural Sanitation
Ministries like rural Development, Agriculture, Water              Programme be given more importance and adequate
Resources. They recommended that the Department of                 outlay should be provided for the purpose, the following
Drinking Water should coordinate with these Ministries.            facts speak otherwise:
                                                                   (i)      the targets fixed during 10th Plan to cover 50% of
2.82 As regards the quality of drinking water, the                 the population in the rural areas were reduced to 25%;
Committee finds that sufficient attention is not being paid        (ii)     The outlay provided during 2002-03, the first year
in this regard. They are constrained to find the huge              of 10th Plan is nearly 1/5th of the proposed outlay;
number of water treatment plants going defunct. They               (iii)    From 2000 onwards the number of toilets
also recommend that further emphasis should be given               constructed is showing a downward trend
for having a mobile water-testing laboratory in each               (iv)     Only around 9% of the schools could provided
district in the country.                                           with lavatory facilities and out of that only one half of the
                                                                   schools could be provided separate toilets for girls;
2.83 While going through the data furnished by the
Department with regard to the expenditure made during              School sanitation is a hygienic aspect of the national
8th and 9th Plan on sub-mission programmes to tackle               health of the younger generation. However, the attention
quality problem, the Committee concludes that much                 given to it has not been to the optimum level. It is
emphasis is not being given in this regard. They also find         disheartening to note that the Govt. is playing with
that 10th plan Working Group has recommended for Rs                statistics only, whereas on the ground, very negligible
10 000 crore exclusively to deal with quality problem in           work has been done. A school without a toilet and
drinking water.                                                    washing facilities is unthinkable and below any civilised
                                                                   norms of the society.
2.84 The Committee notes that in Rajasthan, to tackle the
quality problem on a temporary basis, domestic water
filters have been provided under ARWSP.

SANDRP                                                        26                                                      MAY 2002

Thousands of Gujarat villages to go thirsty The worst                budgetary resources. "As against the investment
affected districts include Rajkot, Bhavnagar, Amreli and             requirement of Rs 220 B annually as per India
Jamnagar in Saurashtra region and Banaskantha, Patan                 Infrastructure Report, the budgetary support from govt.
and Mehsana in north Gujarat. In Amreli, 400 of 613                  sources are available only to the tune of Rs 50 B per
villages are dependent on tanker water. In Rajkot, by mid            annum thereby leaving a gap of nearly Rs 170 B per
May, 700 of 976 villages will be facing scarcity. In                 annum." The statement seems to have been made to push
Porbandar district, 65 of 155 villages are already                   for privatisation. (PIB PR 100402)
dependent on tankers. Across Saurashtra, some 3200
villages are already dependent on tankers. The govt has so           BOTTLED WATER BUSINESS
far spent more than Rs 30 B on laying two major                      BIS Certificate is a must As per the Prevention of Food
pipelines for Saurashtra, which is yet to bring any benefits.        Adulteration Rules (6th amendment), 2000 no person can
State Water Supply Minister claims it would solve                    manufacture, sell or exhibit for sale, packaged drinking
drinking water problem of over 3500 villages. He said Rs             water or mineral water without the certification mark
85 B will be spent on these projects in the next 2-3 years.          from the Bureau of Indian Standards. (THE TIMES OF
 Narmada waters for Ahmedabad, none for Saurashtra                  INDIA 220402)
villages The Saurashtra villages continue to face drinking
water scarcity even as Narmada waters are available to big           Bottled Water Business Railways plan to provide Rail Neer
towns like Ahmedabad. This when the Narmada project                  in trains and at platforms, bottled at its own plants, for
was pushed and justified in the name of Saurashtra and               which tenders have been invited.
Kutch and there was supposed to be NO                                 Parle‘s Bisleri claims over 40% share in the organised
ALLOCATION for towns like Ahmedabad from                             market, though it is now declining, while Kinley (launched
drinking water share of SSP. (THE TIMES OF INDIA-A                   in Aug. 2000) with 28% market share is ahead of
170402, INDIAN EXPRESS 270402)                                       Aquafina, which is third with 10% share. Last summer,
                                                                     the Bottled water category grew by 24%. Nestle (selling in
                                                                     India at Rs 70 per litre) is finding it tough in water
Double water tax in Rajkot The residents will now have to            business. Nestle‘s Perrier brand was disallowed in India as
pay Rs 480, as against the present charge of Rs 240. (THE            it does not confirm to Indian standards of acidity and
TIMES OF INDIA 080302 & 090302)                                      calcium content. Total market for bottled water in India is
                                                                     estimated to be over Rs 8 B. Pepsi plans to set up at least
Water shortage in Delhi A study by TERI claims that the              three more plants in addition to its existing five plants,
water table in most parts of Delhi is falling rapidly and in         investing Rs 100 M in each plant. Coca-Cola plans to set
many places in South Delhi it is almost bone dry. The                up another 10-15 plants by the end of 2002, in addition to
scarce rainwater runs off without being tapped. Delhi                its existing 15 plants.
receives approximately 1150 MCM surface water from                    Hello water claims to sell 10000 Bottles of 20 L each
Yamuna, Ganga and Bhakra and of this, 60 % is from                   and Parle claims to sell 12000 bottles of 20 L each daily in
Yamuna. (THE TRIBUNE 150402)                                         Delhi, the business is growing at 25% per annum.
                                                                      According to a study, after the bottled water giants
Untreated water supply for drinking The latest report of
                                                                     entered England, water rates increased 450%, company
CAG of India has revealed that the drinking water
                                                                     profits zoomed 692% and the salaries of the CEOs of the
supplied by some projects, started by the Ministry of                these companies have gone up 708%, and finally, the
Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation is not made                dysentery has gone up 600%.
suitable for human consumption. The main aim of the
                                                                      Groupe Danone, a mineral water MNC known for
projects started in 1994, was to supply sufficient potable
                                                                     premium water brand Evian (the world‘s biggest global
water to 2 151 towns below the population of 20 000. The
                                                                     mineral water brand in terms of volumes, though Nestle is
Ministry has prepared Rs 20 B action plan. But up to
                                                                     first in value terms), has been given permission to set up a
March 2001, only 575 towns could be included and Rs
                                                                     office in India. It is negotiating to acquire Himalayan, a
4.79 B has been released. According to report, water has
                                                                     natural water brand.
not been tested in UP, Karnataka, Orissa, Manipur,
Himachal Pradesh and Maharashtra before supplying as                 Mineral water plant leaves villages dry A Kinley mineral
drinking water. Report also discloses large-scale fund               water plant at Sattupalli in Khammam district in AP is
diversion from the schemes. (JANSATTA-D 050402)                      drawing 0.225 M litres of groundwater daily, drying up the
                                                                     water sources of the villagers. There are two Kinley
Budgetary resources not enough? The Union Minister of
                                                                     bottling plants in AP, the third one is coming up.
State for Urban Development has stated that the water                (BUSINESS STANDARD 040302, 130302, 010402, BUSINEE
supply and sanitation problem cannot be addressed from               LINE 130302, 030402, THE TIMES OF INDIA 180302,
SANDRP                                                          27                                                     MAY 2002
INDIAN EXPRESS 260302, THE ECONOMIC TIMES                            trillion, the global water industry has assured itself of
110402, 120402)                                                      profits at least for the next 25 years, during which time
                                                                     the number of people without access to potable water will
No check on quality of water sold in jars According to the
                                                                     move closer to 3 B mark. Water privatization is one of the
Prevention of Food Adulteration Dept, there are over 50
                                                                     many conditions that determine the extent of loans under
brands of water being sold in jars and most of them are
                                                                     the WB‘s Country Assistance Strategy. Paraguay is the
non-ISI. The PFA dept is the only agency to check the
                                                                     latest victim of this strategy as the Bank suspended a $ 46
quality of packaged mineral water. It lifts samples of only
                                                                     M loan for not complying with the stipulated conditions
1,2 and 5 litre water bottles. In the last three months, 9 of
                                                                     attached to the loan. For accepting its pre-condition to
the 68 samples lifted by the dept were found adulterated.
                                                                     raise water tariff by 95 % the WB had approved a similar
According to PFA dept, samples of water being sold in
                                                                     loan of $ 110 M for Ghana in July 2001. If the recent
over five litre unsealed jars are not tested. (HINDUSTAN
                                                                     violent protests in Bolivia and the emerging opposition in
TIMES-D 300402)
                                                                     Ghana are any indication, privatisation of water is being
WATER PRIVITISATION                                                  resented by the civil society. Yet, there is no let down as
                                                                     govts in developing countries succumb to donor pressure
Trashing water is good business for water companies In               for facilitating privatisation of their water utilities.
Chennai, two sister companies, French multinationals                  In India, already some 30 cities in Maharashtra,
Onyx and Vivendi, are working at cross-purposes. While               Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan are bidding
Vivendi is in partnership with civic authorities to convert          their respective municipal water supply to handful of
scarce fresh water from a public service to a commercial             powerful multinational corporations specialising in water.
product, Onyx collects the city's garbage from three key             Tirupur town in Tamil Nadu and Hubli-Dharwad in
areas and dumps it in one of the most important                      Karnataka has moved closer to privatisation of their water
freshwater ecosystems in the city. The experts maintain              utilities. Delhi‘s water supply will soon be in the hands of
that if what remains of the city‘s vast network of tanks             infamous Vivendi. The govt. has estimated that $ 65 B
and natural lakes is taken care of, the city can be self-            would be required in water and wastewater sector over
sufficient in water and even meet future needs. At a cost            the next decade and has urged the state govts to raise
of Rs. 650 000, CES Onyx collects and disposes at least              water tariffs to become eligible for credit. Interestingly,
1000 tonnes of garbage everyday in and around the                    crucial decisions about water privatisation and cost
freshwater wetlands of Pallikaranai towards south of the             recovery between donors and key govt. leaders are made
city. Onyx is the garbage management arm of the French               behind closed doors and without the knowledge and
MNC Vivendi, which is also the largest water company in              consent of citizens. (DECCAN HERALD 100402)
the world. Vivendi has a special consultancy with
Metrowater to help improve the management of water                   Delhi Jal Board to go into private hands The Finance
supply to Chennai. Municipal waste dumping in                        Minister of Delhi has announced that the Delhi Jal Board
Pallikarani can have a deadly effect on water bodies. The            would be privatised in due coarse of time. Following
Onyx‘s source says that that the decision to dump in                 advise of the WB private consultants Price Waterhouse
Perungudi/Pallikaranai was the Municipal Corporation's.              Coopers, Netherlands based DHV and Tata Consulting
In fact, Onyx is merely continuing the decade-long                   Engrs were appointed in 2001 to carry out a study and
tradition of dumping on wetlands. Metrowater, which                  suggest steps to re-structure DJB. Consultants will submit
manages the city's sewage, discharges "treated" sewage               the report by Oct. 2002. The Bank also proposed that if it
water directly into the wetlands. Chennai Municipal                  improves the position of DJB then Bank could give Rs
Corporation is now considering handing over the city's               16.25 B for investment in water sector. WB has given the
water supply and distribution to private companies.                  grant of Rs 75 M to the Delhi govt for consultancy. Some
( 250302)                                      pilot projects have been started for privatisation. DJB will
                                                                     hike the water tariff before privatising the sector and a
WB push for privatisation in Chhatisgarh The WB has                  regulatory body is being suggested for fixing tariff. The
agreed to provide financial assistance to the Chhattisgarh           cost of supplying 1 KL of water is Rs 0.4, whereas water
for water supply in the new capital being planned                    rate for the same quantity is Rs. 0.035. The WB had
provided the management is given to private parties.                 recently dubbed the board as worse than any public utility in
(THE HINDU-D 180402, BUSINESS STANDARD 190402)                       sub-Saharan Africa. (RASHTRIYA SAHARA 270302 & THE
                                                                     TIMES OF INDIA-D 250402)
The water privatisation push The fact that 1.1 B people,
mostly in the developing countries, lack access to                   WB push for privatisation criticized A National Water
adequate clean water is reason enough for the growing                Parliament, called in Delhi on March 22, criticized the role
water industry to rejoice. Estimated to be worth $ 7                 played by the World Bank in using its loan conditionalities
SANDRP                                                          28                                                      MAY 2002

(e.g. in Delhi, UP, Orissa) to promote privatisation of                       increases of $ 20 per month and more. Peasants now had
water resources, violating people‘s constitutional and                        to buy permits to collect rainwater from their own wells
natural water rights. (THE HINDU 230302)                                      and roof tanks. All autonomous water systems had to be
                                                                              handed over without compensation. People revolted
War against privatisation in Bolivia In a defining struggle                   against all this. The Coordination for the defense of water
against globalisation, the people of Cochabamba, Bolivia                      and life organised the first protest in Dec. 1999 and
took back their water from the hands of a corporate                           numbers of protest later on. For two months no one paid
conglomerate. The WB had pressurised the Bolivian                             water bills. Police fired on the crowd: hundreds of people
Govt. into privatising water companies in 1990. It refused                    were injured and two youths were blinded. President
credit to the public company which ran the water services,                    Banzer declared martial law on 8th April 2000. The water
recommended to pull out public subsidies, and insisted on                     privatising company made an exit from the country. La
giving a monopoly to Aguas del Tunari, part of the British                    Coordinadora talked with a Govt. delegation and they
company International Water Ltd., in turn owned by the                        agreed that the water contract should be broken. The
US engineering giant Bechtel. The new owners, who had                         Cochabamba water revolt became an inspiring and
been granted a 40-year concession, announced price hikes                      powerful international symbol in the struggle for global
before they even began operations; in a region where the                      economic justice. (Kashmir Times180302)
minimum wage is under $ 100 per month, people faced


The trend of globalisation is that surplus capital is moving from the periphery countries to the centre, which is Unites States.
                                                                  George Soros, International Financier (THE TIMES OF INDIA 220302)

Liberalisation and privatisation have been pursued as ends in themselves rather than as a means to attain more basic
objectives of faster and equitable growth, or greater economic stability. Worse, these have been pursued even when the
consequences have worked against the basic objectives.
                                                               N A Mujumdar, former principle adviser to RBI (BUSINESS LINE 060402)

It is strange that at a time when the govt. cannot find money for food-for-work programmes, it can spend crores on storage facilities.
                                                                     Prof. Jean Dreze of Delhi School of Economics (OUTLOOK 040302)

The concept of self-sufficiency in foodgrains production is obsolete…
                                                              Yashwant Sinha, Union Finance Minister (BUSINESS STANDARD 250302)

94 % of the rice procurement is from Punjab, Haryana and AP while 81% of wheat is procured from Punjab, Haryana
and UP. The rest of the 10 crore farmers in the country have to resort to distress sales… The pulses and oilseeds import
bills have touched Rs 100 B.
                                                                         Shanta Kumar, Union Food Minister (INDIAN EXPRESS 250302)

Considering that part of the food subsidy goes towards subsidizing the wheat exports to be used as cattle feed in sundry
parts of the world, this scam has gone on for too long.
                                                                                     Editorial comment (THE ECONOMIC TIMES 040402)

Private monopolies (as planned in Delhi power distribution reforms) are patently unconstitutional; they abrogate
fundamental rights and are anathema to democratic philosophy… All this will Dabholise the DVB… The manner in
which huge guaranteed returns have been assured after shortlisting of bidders vitiates the entire exercise… the consumer
will end up paying over 27% by way of annual return on equity during the next five years. There is hardly any competition
as only three bidders are in fray for three circles… Two of the bidders have a track record of defaulting on payment to
state owned entities by almost Rs 10 B each. Besides, if the Discoms reduce thefts beyond the agreed level, they can keep
half the gains… Can a civilized society allow a policeman to retain 50% of the value of stolen goods recovered? This
could tempt the policeman to declare an honest person a thief… this will lead to Orissa like fiasco…
                   Gajendra Haldea, head of the Centre for Infrastructure and Regulation, NCAER (THE TIMES OF INDIA 070302)

Inter-basin transfer of water was the only permanent solution to tackle drought and floods. [Will the minister reply if full
potential of local water system has been realized in even one river basin in the country?]
                                                              Arjun Charan Sethi, Union Water Resources Minister (THE HINDU 170802)

SANDRP                                                                   29                                                              MAY 2002
FLOODS                                                              and Forests said that the impact of the scheme under the
                                                                    National River Conservation Plan in 152 towns in 16
Plan panel for new Flood Commission The working group               states would visible after the work, which is to be
on flood control for the 10th five-year plan has suggested          completed by 2005. (THE HINDU-D 160402)
that the govt. should set up an integral flood management
commission to review the progress of the flood                      Yamuna Pollution       in Delhi While the Yamuna river
management programme and implementation of the                      traverse the 22 Km Delhi stretch of its 1,367 km long
National Flood Commission recommendations. It has                   journey for Yamunotri to Allahabad, where it merges with
recommended a combined central and state outlay of Rs               the Ganga, it gets 80 % of its pollutants. About 1 800 M
106.32 B to protect about 2.8 M Ha in the 10th plan.                litres of untreated domestic waste and another 300 M
(BUSINESS STANDARD-D 030402)                                        litres of industrial waste ends up in the river daily. (THE
                                                                    TIMES OF INDIA 230402)
Sudden Releases from Tajewala creates flooding Sudden
release of water into Yamuna River from the Tajewala                Environment Atlas CPCB and National Atlas & Thematic
headworks on the Haryana UP borders without prior                   Mapping Org has brought out an Environmental Atlas of
information to the villages along the river badly affects at        India. (THE TIMES OF INDIA 250302)
least 50 villages every year, destroying crops and fertile
land. This year the release also affected thousands of              ISSUES ABOUT RIVERS
people staying in slums along the river in Delhi as the
water level in Yamuna river suddenly rose without prior             Supreme Court admits petition on Bheema waters The
information. (RASHTIRYA SAHARA 060302, 070302                       Supreme Court had admitted a public interest litigation,
TRIBUNE 080302)                                                     which has sought to ensure supply of water in the river
                                                                    for people to have access to their drinking water
Villagers oppose another bundh Residents of more than               throughout the year. The court has issued notices to
dozen villages of the Mand area of Kapurthala in Punjab             Karnataka, the Union Govt. and the Central Water
have said the construction of another proposed advance              Commission. The petitioner, the Bheema Nadi Neeru
bundh to be built adjoining the Dhussi bundh by the                 Rakshana Raithavarga Samithi contended that the Bheema
drainage department should be stopped to save their land            river remained dry between Nov. and May every year
from floods. The Deputy Commissioner directed resurvey              since 1998. This caused hardship to 0.3 M people living in
of the proposed bundh to be constructed from Darewal                134 villages on the banks of the Bheema in Karnataka, as
Bharona village in order to save more than 1 300 Ha of              they did not have access to water. This also caused
land from floods. (THE TRIBUNE 040402)                              adverse impact on the flora and fauna in the region and
                                                                    caused ecological imbalances in the river system. The
400 Ha destroyed due to TPS effluent About 400 Ha of                petition alleged that the depletion of water was caused by
agricultural land in Panipat district in Haryana have been          Maharashtra as it was storing and utilising more than the
flooded and destroyed as drain no 3 passing nearby have             quota allotted by Bachawat Tribunal. Farmers were very
been silted up by the effluent from the Tau Devi Lal                happy with what they called the first victory in their
Thermal Power Station since last seven years. The drain             agitation. (THE HINDU 090402)
has not been desilted for many years. (TRIBUNE 180402)
                                                                    Indus Water Treaty review demand The J&K Assembly
                                                                    has called for a review of the Indus Water Treaty between
SC okays GAP Phase-II The Supreme Court gave the                    the India and Pakistan so as to reduce the alleged losses
green signal for the resumption of the Rs 2.5 B Ganga               being suffered by J and K since 1960, when the treaty was
Action Plan Phase II, which was held up for some time by            signed. According to discussion, when the treaty was
stay orders from courts. The Project includes five effluent         signed the interests of J and K had not been kept in view.
treatment plants, designed to meet the requirements of               Demand unjustified The govt. should pay no heed to
Varanasi for the next 30 years. The National River                  such demands. The proposition is dangerous, as it would
Conservation Directorate pointed out to the Court that of           legitimize counter calls for the bombing or sabotage of
the 240 M litres a day of sewage, only 80 M litres was              Bhakra-Pong and other Indian dams. The treaty permits
being treated and the rest flowed untreated in to the               India to formulate schemes for rural and urban water
Ganga. (BUSINESS STANDARD 230402)                                   supply in J&K as far the three western rivers of Indus
                                                                    basin are concerned. Other non-consumptive uses are
Project to reduce river pollution launched Rs 33.29 B               also permitted. The treaty allows India to build storages
action plan for pollution reduction along stretches of 27           aggregating 3.60 M acre ft on the three western rivers in
rivers, including the Ganga, the Yamuna and the Cauvery,            the J&K: 1.60 MAF for hydropower, 0.75 MAF for flood
has been launched. The Union Minister for Environment               moderation and 1.25 MAF for general storage for non-
SANDRP                                                         30                                                    MAY 2002

consumptive uses, including power generation. The                   order referred to the report of the CPCB, which
western rivers collectively have an assessed hydropower             enumerated activities of Span Motels which "constituted
potential of 8825 MW at 60 % load factor. At the turn of            callous interference with the natural flow of the river
the century, however, under 1400 MW has been                        Beas, resulting in the degradation of the environment and
harnessed, only 4 MW of this on the Indus itself. India is          which have interfered with the natural flow of the river.‖
entitled to irrigate 0.54 M Ha from the three western               The court had found in 1996 that Span Motels Private
rivers against which only about 0.324 M Ha are currently            Limited owned a resort near the Beas and had encroached
irrigated. One negative byproduct of the Indus Treaty was           upon 30 000 square mts of protected forestland. The
the callous disregard of R&R of the large numbers                   court has also held HP govt. guilty of ―patent breach of
displaced by Mangla Dam on Jhelum in Pakistan occupied              public trust‖. (IANS 150302, INDIAN EXPRESS 180302)
Kashmir. This caused thousands of Mirpuris to migrate to
the UK in the 1960s. Pakistan now contemplates raising              UNESCO and Green Cross International Join forces to
the height of the Mangla Dam, which needs watching. On              avert Water Conflicts Mikhail Gorbachev, President of
the whole, the demand comes from megalomaniac                       Green Cross International, and UNESCO Director-
politicians. (THE TRIBUNE 040402, 290402)                           General Koïchiro Matsuura signed a two-year agreement
                                                                    aimed at joining forces to help avert potential conflicts
Ganga is changing its course The river Ganga, which used            over the world's water resources, particularly the 261 river
to flow along the Kanpur ghats about 50 years ago,                  basins which extend over more than one country. The
started to change its course in 1960s and gradually drifted         joint UNESCO/GCI initiative will contribute to the
away toward Unnao and the main stream now flows                     World Water Assessment Programme's first World Water
about 9 km from the Bhairon ghat intake point in                    Development Report, due to come out in time for the
Kanpur. Efforts are being made by the Centre, the Uttar             Third World Water Forum in Kyoto, in March 2003.
Pradesh govt. and various NGOs to bring back the                    (
Bhagirathi to the city banks and make it pollution free. An
ambitious Rs 3 B Ganga Barrage project and movement                 The state of Indus River Keti Bander in Pakistan, once a
for cleaning the river form part of these efforts. Recently,        bustling city and important seaport, is now reduced to a
the State govt. had sought an assistance of Rs 3 B from             tiny village of a few hundred inhabitants, who are
the Japanese govt. for strengthening facilities of sewage           deprived of all basic facilities. Drinking water is
and effluent treatment plants and for diversion of sewage           transported from distance of 75 kms. Local residents and
drains. However, the mining of sand in the riverbed poses           experts attribute the problems of this region with the
a major threat. (BUSINESS LINE-D 020402)                            continuous decrease in the flow of fresh water in Indus.
                                                                    Not a single drop of fresh water has flown in the delta
China to give Hydrological Data to India According to a             downstream of Kotri barrage for last several years. About
recently signed India-China agreement, the three                    two-thirds of the population of this area is fisherfolk,
hydrological stations, all located along the Yarlung                depending on fishing for their livelihood. Now the fish
Zangbo (Brahmaputra) River, will offer hydrological data            resources are also depleting making earning of livelihood
to India from June 1 to Oct 15. The forecasts will help             hard for these fishermen. After the construction of
cut losses caused by floods. (People's Daily 250402)                Sukkur Barrage and Indus Water Treaty in 1940 and 1960,
                                                                    respectively, Indus water was diverted to agriculture land,
Bihar sanctions 1 B for GAP The Bihar Cabinet has
                                                                    storage for reservoirs and for hydropower generation. On
approved a Rs 1 B proposal for work under the Ganga                 the one hand, flow of fresh water into the delta is stopped
Action Plan of the Bihar State Water Board to be used for           while on the other hand, agriculture; industrial as well as
repair of sewerage plant and other works relating to GAP.           urban effluent of the entire country is being dumped into
(THE HINDU-D 070302)
                                                                    the Indus Delta. Presently, more than 2 500 cusses of Left
Hotel owned by politician‟s family fined Rs 1 M The                 Bank Out Fall Drain effluent comprising poisonous
Supreme Court found a hotel owned by the family of a                pesticides residues are thrown in the delta daily. (SUNGI
senior political leader guilty of environment degradation           Development Foundation-Pak 260302)
and asked it to pay a fine of Rs 1 M as damages. Noted              FOODGRAINS MANAGEMENT
lawyer M.C. Mehta, had filed a suit against building a
motel in Kullu on the banks of the Beas River in                    Private Sector Foodgrains Storage proposal: Another
Himachal Pradesh. Following damages due to floods on                Enron? The new private sector participation policy in
Sept. 5, 1995, the hotel management attempted to divert             foodgrains storage announced by the centre has all the
the flow of Beas upstream from the hotel with total                 trappings of another Enron. The private sector, invited to
disregard of its impact on people or environment. The               construct foodgrains storages of 2.1 MT on BOO basis, is

SANDRP                                                         31                                                     MAY 2002

guaranteed 100% capacity utilisation for a decade and              godowns of 2000 T capacity and has asked the ministry of
75% for another decade. Even if this means that the FCI            food to pursue with the state govts. (THE HINDU 260402)
godowns remain empty. In addition, a tax holiday for five
years and a partial holiday for another five years. Not to         Court Stay on FCI Tenders FCI had brought out a tender
mention heavy incentives for financial institutions putting        on April 16 for selling ―low quality‖ rice and wheat, to be
money into the project. Not surprisingly, 65 companies             closed on April 18! This when time required to fullfil the
including big names like Cargill, Reliance, Mitsubishi,            conditions require two days at the least. Smelling
L&T, etc have shown interest. Currently, says secretary            corruption, the Mumbai High Court gave a stay on the
food and civil supplies, around Rs. 3.5 B worth of                 tender and have directed FCI to give minimum of 15 days
foodgrains is lost annually in transit and storage. But the        time in the tenders. (RASHTRIYA SAHARA 270402)
excess payouts to private sector would amount to Rs. 3.57
                                                                   Foodgrains related restrictions removed Effective from
B per year for two decades! The FCI‘s current annual
                                                                   170302, the central govt. has removed restrictions
carrying cost is Rs 2300 per tonne and the private sector
                                                                   regarding buying, selling, storage, transportation, etc of
will get Rs. 4000 per tonne, meaning thereby, Rs 8.4 B
                                                                   wheat, rice/paddy, coarse grains, sugar, edible oilseeds
windfall for the private sector, exclusive of the tax
                                                                   and oils. The govt. adv. claimed: ―This decision will
benefits. Food ministry officials admit that the investment
                                                                   facilitate farmers to get better prices for these items and
required would be Rs 30 B, roughly Rs 15 000 per tonne.
                                                                   the poor in all parts of the country to get foodgrains at
The critics of the scheme rubbish it on two counts: first
                                                                   reasonable prices‖. (THE TIMES OF INDIA 230302)
that it will create a mini Enron situation and second that
the solution lies in feeding malnourished millions in stead        Storage Costs are 42% of food subsidy The buffer subsidy
of storing more and more. The food subsidy bill has gone           as a percentage of food subsidy, a mere 12.5% in 1997-98
up essentially because storage costs have gone up to Rs.           (Rs 9.37 B out of a total of Rs 75 B) had reached 35.2%
50 B per annum as the offtake of wheat from FCI has                (Rs 42.33 B of a total subsidy bill of Rs 120.10 B) in 2000-
actually fallen since the introduction of targeted PDS in          01 and then to 41.6% (Rs. 56.8 B out of Rs 136.7 B).
June 1997. (OUTLOOK 040302)                                        Thus, while the food subsidy rose by 82.27% from 1997-8
                                                                   to 2001-02. The actual distribution subsidy, however grew
Leave it to Panchayats Many farmers feel the govt. should
                                                                   only by 21.74% in the period as the buffer subsidy rose by
leave the business of storing grain to the village
                                                                   an unbelievable 519%. The proposals lying before the
panchayats rather than opting for desperate measures like
                                                                   finance ministry to reduce APL and BPL issue prices and
privatisation. This will lead to building of permanent
                                                                   raise quantum allocated to both groups was not approved.
assets in the villages. Farmers from Bhiwani (Haryana),
                                                                    The food subsidy was Rs 28.5 B in 1991-2. According
Kalahandi (Orissa), Darbhanga (Bihar) and Banda (UP)
                                                                   to estimates, over 30% of the grains allotted for BPL
believe this will be the best option. This will save
                                                                   families find their way to the open market. Even through
transportation costs, and reduce losses, as farmers know
                                                                   TPDS was started in 1997, some 11 states and four UTs
how to store without losses.
                                                                   are yet to identify families below the poverty line.
 Community Food Banks M S Swaminathan has
                                                                    The food subsidy presently includes purchase levies
suggested that a grid of community food banks should be
                                                                   taxed by states on procurement. The amount involved is
set up. Green Revolution‘s strategy of food security
                                                                   close to Rs 30 B annually. The centre now plans to make
through increased production alone has clearly reached a
                                                                   this amount part of MSP so that the states can levy
dead end. (THE ECONOMIC TIMES 270402 (Edit),
                                                                   purchase tax only at the expense of farmers and food
                                                                   subsidy comes down to that extent. (THE ECONOMIC
Parliamentary committee criticizes foodgrains situation            TIMES 080302 & 230402, BUSINESS LINE 300302)
The Parliamentary Committee on Food, Civil Supplies
                                                                   India holds 33 % of the world wheat stocks, 25 % of rice
and Public Distribution has said that lack of uniform
                                                                   The Global stocks of wheat are pegged at 152 MT, while
procurement policy has led to distress sales in States such
                                                                   the rice stocks are estimated to be 125.9 MT at the
as Bihar, Gujarat, MP, UP and Orissa. It said NAFED
                                                                   beginning of the new marketing year 2002-03. Wheat
should be asked to procure coarse grains. It is estimated
                                                                   stocks held by the FCI are likely to be around 27 MT by
that the transit and storage losses during 2000-01 were Rs
                                                                   March 31 2002 (expected to be 47 MT by May end). Rice
1.72 B and Rs 2.27 B respectively in addition to loss of Rs
                                                                   stock is expected to reach 30 MT by Oct.
2 M as thefts. About 0.2 MT of non-issuable foodgrains
                                                                    The food subsidy for 2002-03 is billed at Rs. 212.00
stagnating in godowns should be disposed off quickly.
                                                                   B, up from Rs. 136.75 B budgeted for 2001-02 and Rs.
The committee has strongly opposed the Planning
                                                                   176.12 B as per revised estimates. Removal of restrictions
Commission move to discontinue construction of small
                                                                   on new mills processing capacity has also been proposed

SANDRP                                                        32                                                     MAY 2002

in the budget. (BUSINESS LINE 01/03/02, THE                          been raised from 25 kg to 35 kg per house per month.
ECONOMIC TIMES-D 06/03/02)                                           PDS price for the non-poor consumers have now been
                                                                     reduced twice since July 2001. This two-stage reduction of
Foodgrains export Just a day after India became the                  cereal prices for the non-poor is final acknowledgement that the
seventh largest wheat exporter (5.025 MT exported                    decision taken in March 2000 to sharply increase these rates was a
between Nov.00 and March 02, the bulk quantity sold for              colossal mistake. That decision, meant to reduce the food subsidy,
animal feed abroad, though Union govt. advertisements in             actually ended up increasing the financial burden on the govt.
newspapers on 110402 claimed that India is now                       (TRIBUNE 240302, 290302)
removing hunger from the world) in the world, the govt.
has removed quantitative restrictions on the export of               Food insecure population in south Asia on the Rise
wheat, pulses and coarse grains to boost exports. The                According to FAO, the number of food insecure people
Economic Survey 2001-02 had noted that area under                    in South Asia today is 300 M, up from 288 M in 1991.
pulses and coarse cereals has fallen in comparison to                (BUSINESS STANDARD 290402)
1980s. 4.2 MT wheat shipped out till date this year has
                                                                     States oppose Central Plan Punjab, Haryana, Kerala and
almost all gone to Cargill as the main trader (Toepfer,
                                                                     AP have expressed strong opposition to the proposed
also an MNC, being another), through STC, MMTC,
                                                                     decentralised procurement system on grounds of
Markfed, others. (THE HINDU 080302, BUSINESS
STANDARD 050302, BUSINESS LINE 060302, THE                           bottlenecks in implementation. These states feel that
ECONOMIC TIMES060302 & 290302)                                       preset system of centralised procurement would work well
 Scam in Rice Exports? Traders are buying high quality              with some modifications and a proper network of roads
(5% broken) rice from FCI at low price of Rs 5.65 per kg,            and market places should precede a decendralised system.
sell it in open market at high rates and prepare bogus               Otherwise farmers would continue to resort to distress
export deals. (THE ECONOMIC TIMES 090402)                            sales and only traders would benefit. The procurement of
                                                                     rice from AP by FCI has gone up from 1.081 MT in 1971
Export Subsidy While the support price for wheat is Rs               to 7.1 MT in 2001-02. Decentralised procurement of
6100 per tonne, after adding transportation, storage and             foodgrains is now implemented in UP, MP and West
administrative costs, it becomes Rs 9000 per tonne. The              Bengal. UP has threatened to withdraw from the scheme
exporters buy wheat from the govt. at Rs 4250 per tonne,             due to the problems encountered in its implementation.
which is 53% below the cost price. Exporters get white               (THE TRIBUNE 240302, THE HINDU 100302)
rice at Rs 5650 per tonne, almost 50% below the cost.
 Transport subsidy for exports The Union Commerce
Minister has announced transport subsidy on foodgrains               NO to Corporate Farming: Agriculture Minister Union
moved from FCI godowns to the nearest port for export.               Agriculture Minister has ruled out introduction of
 The new exim policy will further widen the gulf                    corporate farming. ―We cannot allow corporate farming
between the rich and the poor farmers. Only the                      because it will lead to displacement of millions of farmers
recession-hit businesses and industries will be enthused to          in the country,‖ he said. He said subsidies given to other
exploit the subsidies. The policy of the govt. is rendering          sector far exceed those given to the agriculture sector.
the agrarian sector vulnerable to cheaper and highly                 (BUSINESS LINE 210402)
subsidised foodgrain imports. Instead of squandering
public money on a section of the exporters, the emphasis             Foodgrains Production The Agriculture ministry has put
must be on benefiting the small and marginal farmers.                the likely foodgrains production at 211.17 MT in 2001-02
(THE ECONOMIC TIMES 130302 BUSINESS LINE                             compared to 195.92 MT in 2000-01. Sugarcane
010402, 220402)                                                      production is likely to be 289.4 MT in 2001-02 compared
                                                                     to 299.2 MT in 2000-01. (BUSINESS STANDARD 060402)
Foodgrains rot According to the Ministry of Food & Civil
Supplies, over 250 000 tonnes of foodgrains have been                Cut in farm sector outlay The Parliamentary Standing
damaged in FCI godowns due to inefficient procurement                Committee on Agriculture has recommended that the
last year. The govt. has taken action against 82 officials of        budgetary allocation for the farm sector not be cut. In the
FCI in this regard. (RASHTRIYA SAHARA 020402)                        30th report, the committee has observed that,
                                                                     ―continuously for years together, less than 50 % of the
PDS Price for APL cut again The Union cabinet                        required amount is being allocated by the Planning
announced reduction in the issue price for foodgrains for            Commission.‖ The committee said the Dept of
APL families by Rs 1 per kg for three months to reduce               Agriculture had sought an outlay of Rs 182.538 B for the
the foodgrains stock. Wheat would now be available at                9th five year plan, but was provided Rs 78.137 B, only 43
Rs. 5.1 per kg and rice at Rs 7.3 per kg. The scale of issue         % of the demand. Dring the 10th plan, as against a
for the APL, the BPL and the Antyodaya households has
SANDRP                                                          33                                                          MAY 2002

demand of Rs 250 B, the sector was given Rs 130 B, 52.8          demand & low prices in international market, sugar
% of the demand. Against the projected demand of Rs              industry is facing a challenge. (BUSINESS LINE 010302)
51.64 B for 2002-03, the department was given Rs 21.67
B, only 41.96 % of the demand. (THE HINDU-D 280402)              India to stay in global sugar club The Union Cabinet
                                                                 decided that India should continue to be a member of the
Loan recovery in agriculture high According to National          International Sugar Agreement 1992, which has been
Institute of Bank Management, the loan recovery in               extended till 2003. Being the world‘s largest producer and
agriculture is 66.8%, much higher than about 50% in              consumer of sugar, India intends to increase its share in
other sectors. (BUSINESS STANDARD 230402)                        the global trade. India has been a member of ISA since its
                                                                 inception in 1937, first as importer till 1942 & as exporter
New scheme for East India The centre has launched a              since 1958. (BUSINESS STANDARD 030402)
new scheme "On-Farm Water Management for increasing
crop production in East India" in all the districts of           Maharashtra sugar coops to set new trend Some 30 Sugar
Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh,                   Cooperatives (20% of total units) in Maharashtra are now
Jharkhand, Manipur, Mizoram and Orissa besides 35                moving towards reducing the proportion of sugar they
districts of East Uttar Pradesh and nine districts of W          produce and instead, opting for conversion into ethanol
Bengal. An amount of Rs 150 M has been released during           to a substantial extent. Ethanol is currently being touted
2001-02 to NABARD as the share of the govt.‘s                    as the best means to reduce import bill of petroleum
assistance under the scheme. An allocation of Rs 115 M           products. (THE HINDU-D 230402)
has been proposed during 2002-03. (PIB PR 120402)
                                                                 India, Brazil in Technology sharing pact for Ethanol India
MSP for Rabi crops The Central Cabinet hiked the                 signed an MoU with Brazil for sharing the know-how to
minimum support price for wheat by Rs 10 per quintal to          blend ethanol with petrol or diesel. According to the
Rs 620. The Cabinet also hiked MSP for rapeseed and              Union Minister for Petroleum, India has started 5 %
mustard, safflower, gram and masur by Rs 100 per quintal         blending of ethanol in petrol in phases, beginning with
each. The Commission for Agricultural Cost and Price             eight sugarcane growing states in the first phase. In the
had recommended a freeze on MSP for wheat in order to            second phase, blended petrol would be made available
encourage farmers to go for corp diversification. (THE           throughout the country. In the third phase, ethanol
INDIAN EXPRESS-D 030402)                                         content in petrol would be increased to 10 %. (THE
                                                                 HINDUSTAN TIMES-D 090402)
Chhatisgarh attempt at crop diversification To promote
crop diversification, the state govt. has announced that         POWER OPTIONS
free irrigation water given to any farmer willing to grow
crop other than paddy and no water would be given to             The great power robbery According to a study done by
farmers growing paddy this summer and if paddy is found          Prayas Energy Group large scale power theft is rampant
to be grown using canal irrigation, such farmers would be        among industrial consumers who avail of high tension
charged double water rates. (THE HINDU 040402)                   and extra high tension supply. The study suggests that the
                                                                 ambitious objective of 100 % metering should be deferred
SUGAR                                                            in favour of more pragmatic, cost effective and
                                                                 manageable solution, namely metering HT/EHT
Sugar Exports (= water exports) In 2001-02, by Oct. 2001         consumers immediately. Yet policy makers tutored by
India has exported 1.042 MT of sugar valured at Rs 12.36         their reform consultants, would have us believe that theft
B compared to export of 0.331 MT in the previous year            occurs only in rural areas and among urban slum dwellers.
valued at Rs 4.28 B. (TRIBUNE 110402)                            In order to target thefts, they have been zealously advising
                                                                 the SEB/utilities to undertake ―Total Energy Audit‖ and
Bihar Sugar Industry In 1942-3, Bihar had 32 sugar units
                                                                 install 100 % metering – a virtual impossibility in such a
out of a total of 140 units across the country. Now Bihar
                                                                 vast country with several million connections. The study
has 10 units out of country‘s total of 495 units. Then
                                                                 based on data submitted by the utilities to their respective
Bihar contributed 40% of national sugar production,
compared to 2% now. Some of the reasons for the                  regulatory commission, shows that the industries using
                                                                 HT and EHT lines are involved in large-scale thefts. Even
decline include water logging; poor transport, poor
                                                                 a small percentage of losses in HT/EHT supply can mean
irrigation & poor power supply. (BUSINESS LINE 150402)
                                                                 a substantial loss of revenue to the utilities, owing to the
Sugar Decontrol The Sugar industry has welcomed the              large quantum of power consumed by industry. Prayas
Union Finance Minister‘s move cutting the levy obligation        studied states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana
of the sugar industry as a step towards total decontrol.         and Karnataka. (Prayas study; FRONTLINE 290302)
With mounting sugar stocks, supply being higher than
SANDRP                                                      34                                                     MAY 2002

    Out of Rs 1127 B worth of electricity produced in the          CFL Potential in Kerala A study done by the Agency for
country, only 55% that is electricity worth Rs 620 B is             Non-conventional Energy and Rural Technology reveals
billed and only 41% that is Rs 460 B is collected, says             that Compact Fluorescent Lamps can be an important
Union Power Minister. (THE ECONOMIC TIMES 260402)                   component of load side management to substantially
                                                                    bring down peak hour power requirement. If half a
Posh colonies at the top in power theft The DVB data                million (out of total of 4.5 M) households in Kerala
shows that the volume of power theft is much more in                replace 5 bulbs of 100 W by CFLs of 18 W each, then the
posh colonies than in the lower and middle class colonies.          annual saving in energy would be 292 MU and would be
DVB‘s Enforcement Wing says the power theft in one                  equivalent to a generating capacity of 73 MW. The
posh house in south Delhi equals that in 500 houses in              recently approved state renewable energy policy has made
resettlement colonies. In March this year, out of 546               the use of CFLs mandatory in new hospitals, hotels, govt.
detected cases of power theft, 109 were from the posh               offices and offices of PSUs. (BUSINESS LINE 010402)
colonies where the percentage of total power theft came
to around 53 %. In Sept 2001, residents of posh colonies            Policy on renewables The Minister of state for non-
were involved in 75 % of the total power theft caught.              conventional sources of energy announced that a draft
(THE HINDUSTAN TIMES-D 270302, 200402)                              national renewable energy policy is at the final stage of
                                                                    formulation and will be announced shortly. He also
Incentive for efficiency In the new conditions under                stressed the need for incorporating a provision on the
Memorandum of Agreement that Union Power Minister                   electricity regulation act for making it compulsory to
wants to sign with the reforming states, if the SEB is able         produce minimum 10% of the total generation capacity
to improve its revenue generation without adding to                 from renewable energy sources. He has urged the finance
capacity or tariff hikes, it will be eligible for a matching        minister to retain 100% depreciation enjoyed by the
grant from the Centre. (THE ECONOMIC TIMES 110302)                  renewable energy sector and not bring it down to 60% as
Bhakra Power Capacity Up Renovation has led to increase             proposed in the budget. (BUSINESS LINE 230302)
in capacity of Bhakhra Right Bank Power House from                  Gharat potential Some half a million multi purpose gharat
660 MW to 785 MW. The original plant with 600 (120 X                (micro hydro) are on the verge of destruction for lack of
6) MW was upgraded to 660 MW in 1980 through the                    govt. attention. These can be used to produce some 2500
help of the original Russian firm. The cost of the                  MW of power at the rate of 5 KW per gharat. The govt.
renovation was Rs 9.2 B, i.e. Rs 7 M per mw. The work               seems to have no definite policy about sustaining and
on upgradation of the five units of Left Bank Power                 upgrading the gharats. By proper repair and upgradation,
House, remaining one unit of Ganguwal and Kotla Power               the gharats can also add about 20% to the irrigated area in
Houses and two units at Pong Dam, would be taken up                 Uttaranchal. (RASHTRIYA SAHARA 190302)
during the 10th five year plan to add 108 MW capacity.               Call to keep watermills running Dr Anil Joshi of
 R&M Potential of 20 000 MW According to Union                     Jalandolan has expressed shock over the Uttaranchal
Power Minister, through R&M of existing power projects,             govt.‘s move to demolish some watermills and cover the
an additional capacity of 20 000 MW can be added at a               canals in a bid to widen the roads in Dehradun. There
cost of Rs 100-120 B. MD of Powerplant Performance                  were about 70 000 watermills in the state out of which
Improvement Ltd, a 50:50 joint venture promoted by                  only half are functional and there is need to systematically
BHEL and Siemens AG says, ―There is 20 000 MW of                    rejuvenate, repair and modernize to turn the watermills
installed capacity out there locked up in aged and                  into micro hydel stations. (THE HINDU 270402)
rundown plans which are delivering anywhere from zero
to 50% of their nameplate capacity. Much of this capacity           Cogeneration    potential As per the draft Sugar
can be brought back to a PLF of 75% or above through a              Development Fund (amendment) bill 2002 placed in
process of rehabilitation. There are many advantages of             Loksabha, an estimated 3500 MW power can be
such renewal. Execution would be quicker. Investment                generated by the sugar factories with Bagasse as the
needed was just Rs 10 to 15 M per MW as compared to                 feedstock. Till now only around 212 MW generation
Rs 40-60 M for new plants, and social and environmental             capacity has been installed and 245 MW capacity is under
costs would be lower. That this is possible is shown in the         implementation. (BUSINESS LINE 22/03/02)
renewal results of Durgapur and Kothangundem plant.
(TRIBUNE 170302, THE HINDU 250402)                                  Energy saving potential India‘s energy saving potential is
                                                                    estimated at around 30 000 MW of which 15 000 MW is
Kerala Plan Panel for Small Hydro The State Planning                in the industrial sector alone. (BUSINESS LINE 230402)
Board has called for a special priority for tapping the
state‘s small hydel sources. (BUSINESS LINE 080302)                 Bhoruka plans Bhoruka Power Corp, a leading small
                                                                    hydro developer plans to invest Rs 3 B in the next 30
SANDRP                                                         35                                                     MAY 2002

months to increase its installed capacity from present 33           power ambitions and which could create conflict of
MW and 22 MW under implementation to 100 MW. It                     interests. Everybody knows that BSES is part of Reliance
plans to access debt fund to the tune of Rs 2.1 B from              Group‖, says an economist. Today, BSES is a fully
IREDA, IDBI and IDFC. (INDIAN EXPRESS 110302)                       integrated power juggernaut involved in the generation,
                                                                    transmission and distribution of electricity. What‘s more,
Small power projects 201 sites for small HEPs with                  it is at the forefront of any bid, which spells power.
combined installed capacity of 1207.27 MW have been                 (BUSINESS STANDARD 130402)
identified in J&K. As per the Ministry of Non-
Conventional Energy Sources, about 4096 sites have been             Tenth Plan Targets According to a piece penned by
identified so far across the country for generating 10171           Union Power Minister Suresh Prabhu, 46 939 MW
MW. The broad estimates of potential available from SHP             capacity is to be added during the Tenth Five year plan
up to 25 MW has been assessed at 15 000 MW. In 1989,                (2002-07) and 61 000 MW in the eleventh plan. In the
when the subject of small hydro up to 3 MW capacity was             tenth plan, 28 000 MW would be in thermal sector (12
transferred to MNES, the total installed capacity from              000 MW of this in central sector, out of which NTPC
SHP projects was 63 MW which has now risen to 219                   share to be 9 000 MW), 1330 MW from Nuclear plants
MW. The MNES has set goal of 2000 MW capacity                       and the rest from hydropower. In Prabhu‘s scheme of
addition from SHP by 2012. (DAILY EXCELSIOR 200302)                 things, unfortunately, energy conservation efforts,
                                                                    demand side management and setting up a National grid
Wind-diesel project in Bengal The World‘s third and                 figure much lower than huge capacity addition programs.
Asia‘s first wind-diesel hybrid project has been                    Contrary to Power Minister‘s earlier statements that T&D
inaugurated in Sagar Islands in the Sundarnabs of W                 sector should get at least same (it should be higher if we
Bengal. The Rs 60 M project is being implemented by the             consider the backlog of investment requirement in T&D
W Bengal Renewable Energy Development Agency in                     sector even for existing generation capacity) fund
two phases with assistance from the Canadian govt.,                 allocation as generation sector, the envisaged allocation
which has given around Rs 15 M of the Rs 20 M cost of               for T&D is much lower. The tenth plan working group
the first phase. The remaining funding is coming from the           has estimated that the overall fund requirement for power
MNES and the State govt. The project has an initial                 sector would be Rs 5.66 T, out of which Rs 3.5 T would
capacity of 175x2 kWh using the diesel mode and 110                 be for capacity addition, Rs 1.5 T for T&D, Rs 0.43 T for
kWh of wind power capacity. (BUSINESS LINE 040402)                  rural electrification and Rs 0.12 T for renovation and
Plan to add 6 000 MW wind power India plans to add 6
                                                                     Power Secretary R V Shahi says, ―In fact, in the last 3
000 MW to its wind power capacity over the next decade.
                                                                    years, the MoP has acknowledged that reforms on the
With the present level of wind power installed capacity of
                                                                    distribution side would have been more fruitful than
over 1 500 MW, India is among the top five countries in
                                                                    laying over emphasis on the generation side‖. But where
the world. The Minister of State said that already over 3
                                                                    is the reflection of this admission in financial allocation?
400 MW installed capacity is based on renewable energy
                                                                     Huge short falls in Ninth Plan targets While 16422.6
sources and India has plans for capacity addition of 10
                                                                    MW (53.77% of target of 30 538 MW) capacity addition
000 MW from renewables by the year 2012. India ranks
                                                                    was achieved in eighth plan, 20 525 MW (51% of target of
first in biomass gasification. In the field of solar
                                                                    40 245.2 MW) was achieved in just concluded ninth plan.
photovoltaic, India ranks fifth and in biogas application
                                                                    While state sector has achieved 84% of the target and
India ranks second in the world. (PIB PR 020402)
                                                                    added 9064 MW, central sector has achieved 40% of
REC, IDBI to fund small power projects REC and the                  target and private sector 29%. MoP claims that the better
IDBI are putting together a scheme to finance small                 performance in the state sector was largely on account of
power projects. The plan envisages funding power plants             the accelerated generation and supply programme, under
of about 25 MW, each of which would cost about Rs 1B                which 5144 MW (out of total of 5219 MW in all sectors,
to 1.2 B for completion. IDBI has alone cancelled                   the remaining 75 MW being in the central sector) was
sanctions to about 15 large power projects for failure to           added in the state sector during the ninth plan. (INDIAN
achieve financial closure. (BUSINESS LINE-D 160302)                 EXPRESS 110402, THE ECONOMIC TIMES 230402,
                                                                    280402, BUSINESS LINE 290402)
                                                                    Draft Power Tariff policy The tariff policy drafted by the
Many questions as BSES chief becomes Union Power                    MoP and to be finalised in a month, says mobilisation of
Secretary ―The issue is not one of bringing a public or             resources for fresh investments should be a factor guiding
private sector man at the helm. It is a question of having a        the tariff setting process. The draft policy has noted that
power secretary coming from a group which has serious               regulators need to determine operational norms and
SANDRP                                                         36                                                     MAY 2002

permissible costs while setting tariffs and these should be           agreed to extend the cut-off date for tabulation of dues to
uniform for the same category of projects. Central utilities          Sept 30, 2001 and waive 60% of interest amount of Rs
like NTPC could derive mileage from the clause because                157.46 B. The scheme, which envisages the issue of tax-
the main argument against the CERC ABT tariff was that                free bonds through RBI at an interest rate of 8.5 %, will
their capacity addition programme would be affected if                mean that SEBs will have to function on commercial
the CERC order were implemented. NTPC has also been                   lines. So far ten states have come forward for
objecting to differential treatment to its plants under the           implementing the scheme. Where fresh defaults in
ABT order. Other stipulations in the draft policy will help           payment exceed 90 days from the date of billing, the
CERC in encouraging efficiency. The draft says the                    Centre would recover those dues by adjusting them
principles of the common minimum tariff to cover 50 %                 against transfers due to the states from the Centre.
of the cost of supply in three years need to be                       (BUSINESS STANDARD-D 250302, 220402 THE
implemented at the earliest. Tariff based bidding should              HINDUSTAN TIMES-D & ECONOMIC TIMES 250302)
be the route for the development of new power projects
                                                                      Inadequate grid causes power crisis in Delhi The Power
in the private sector. A higher rate of return in the initial
                                                                      Grid Corporation in its recent report has said that the city
transition period for private distribution companies to
                                                                      was having more than 1 000 MW of additional power
encourage tackling of distribution losses is justified.
                                                                      available, but the DVB‘s existing capacity was unable to
Where tariffs are not determined through a competitive
                                                                      take it. At times the DVB resorts to power cuts even
process, these will have to be determined by regulatory
                                                                      when it has enough power, because of the poor
commissions as provided for in the ERC act 1998.
(BUSINESS STANDARD-D 160402)                                          infrastructure. On April 25, on the one hand, DVB had to
                                                                      ask its Badarpur TPS to reduce production from 650 MW
Fixing power tariff is policy matter The Supreme Court                to 507 MW (and similarly for other power plants) as
has ruled, ―Fixing electricity tariff (by the regulatory              Board was unable to distribute the available power and
commission) and providing for cross subsidy is essentially            frequency had shot upto 51.07. (THE HINDU-D 01/04/02,
a matter of policy and normally a court would refrain                 RASHTRIYA SAHARA 260402)
from interfering with a policy decision unless the power
                                                                      DVC dues The DVC‘s dues amounted to Rs 38.36 B, with
exercised is arbitrary or ex facie bad in law.‖ The Bench
                                                                      the Jharkhand SEB being the biggest defaulter with
upheld the decision of the AP ERC in fixing electricity
                                                                      unpaid bills of Rs 12.54 B. The total amount receivable
tariff for the year 2000-01. (THE HINDU 130302)
                                                                      from the PSUs was Rs 1.75 B. CESC with an outstanding
Captive Generation to be Taxed in AP Andhra Pradesh                   of Rs 790 M was the largest defaulter in the private sector.
CM hinted at a move to levy duty and wheeling charges                 Now the DVC is hopeful of getting Rs 30.83 B of its dues
on captive generation plants in AP (1800 MW) as a move                recovered through the securitisation scheme of the SEBs.
to lure them back to grid. As a direct result, five of the six         DVC plans Damodar Valley Corporation is planning
ferro alloy units in the state are facing closure as they find        to convert its power stations in to separate profit centres
the new duty unbearable. The policy goes against the                  and bring power generation and distribution under two
MoP‘s Captive Power Policy circulated in July 2001.                   strategic business units. It has undertaken an ambitious
 At least six states (Delhi, Karnataka, Punjab, Tamil                plan to add 6210 MW thermal capacity at an investment
Nadu, Kerala and Bihar) have responded favorably to                   of Rs 260 B during the 10th plan. The ten outdated
centre‘s proposal to liberalise captive power capacities.             generating units out of a total of 17 will be renovated and
Captive power installed capacity has been rising at 8% per            mordenised at an estimated cost of Rs 13.64 B adding
annum over the last two years. MP and Maharashtra are                 1092 MW to the DVC‘s present generation of 1100-1200
most reluctant to liberalise captive power plants.                    MW. (THE HINDU-D 190402 BUSINESS LINE-D 110402)
EXPRESS & BUSINESS STANDARD 110402)                                   Delhi Cabinet rejects bids for DVB discoms The Delhi
                                                                      Cabinet rejected the bids submitted for the DVB‘s
BOT projects in power generation in Kerala The KSEB                   distribution companies by Tata Power and BSES. The
has approved in principle BOT policy mainly for small                 govt. has said that the bids cannot be accepted in its
hydel projects and captive power plants under power                   present form as the targets for T&D loss reduction are
purchase agreement. (PTI 300302)                                      too low and bids have riders and conditionalities, which
                                                                      should not have been there. The govt. has authorised the
CCEA clears one time settlement of power dues The                     core committee of officers to ―explore all other options‖.
Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has cleared the                 The Chief Minister accused the companies of forming a
MoP‘s proposal on one time settlement scheme of the Rs                cartel in the bidding process. Delhi Power Minister
435 B outstanding of SEBs to Central PSUs as per the                  slammed the ―black mailing tactics‖ of the two bidding
recommendations of the Ahluwalia committee. It also
SANDRP                                                           37                                                     MAY 2002

companies. One of the conditions imposed by the bidders
was they should get guaranteed 16 % return for the next             Orissa to supply 250 MW to Karnataka Gridco is to enter
30 years. Delhiites are likely to pay 8-10% higher power            into agreement with KPTCL for supply of 250 MW of
tariffs once DVB is privatised.                                     power at the rate of Rs. 2.35 at Jaipur (Orissa) busbar.
 A petition has been filed by an IAS officer in Delhi              The existing power transmission facility has capacity to
High Court challenging the DVB privatisation move.                  wheel only about 150 MW from eastern grid to southern
 At a latter date, the privatisation move was through              grid. (BUSINESS LINE 160402)
after some fresh negotiations. How this could be possible             Orissa stops power supply to AP Orissa had been
after the serious charges leveled as mentioned above is a            supplying 150 MW of power to AP since seven years. It
mystery. (THE TIMES OF INDIA 110302 INDIAN                           has now been stopped as the agreement has been
EXPRESS 060402 THE HINDU & THE ECONOMIC                              terminated. NTPC has reduced power supply to Orissa
TIMES 120402)                                                        due to mounting dues. (RASHTRIYA SAHARA 170402)

No tax on inter-state sale of power The Supreme Court               Orissa Reforms fails? Power sector reform that began
has held that power produced in one state and distributed           under the World Bank loan six years ago with much
to other states could not be taxed by the state where it            publicity has not helped greater recovery of bills. Billing
was generated. (BUSINESS STANDARD-D 240402)                         remains at 54% and collection 77% of the amount billed.
                                                                     BSES units in mess The financial institutes including
MoP sets up IT thrust group The MoP has created an IT               UTI, GIC, LIC and IDBI, which together hold 36%
technology group to look at the possibilities of using IT in        equity in BSES, are worried that the three BSES
boosting efficiency in the power sector. The potential of           distribution units in Orissa are in mess and are not
IT in the power sector is estimated at $ 40 B over the next         preparing balance sheets. An IDFC study in Dec. 2001
ten years. (BUSINESS STANDARD 220402)                               says that the blame squarely lies with BSES as due
                                                                    diligence was not done. (THE ECONOMIC TIMES 200402,
Loss due to low quality of coal According to a report by            THE HINDUSTAN TIMES 290402)
CAG, due to supply of poor quality of coal, Orissa Power
Generation Corp has suffered loss of Rs 478.2 M. The                No reduction in losses in Rajasthan Since the RSEB was
quality test has not been done by the OPGC before using             unbundled in July 2000, the companies have not been
of coal. (RASHTRIYA SAHARA 210402)                                  able to reduce their losses significantly, despite the steep
                                                                    hike in power tariff in April 2001. (THE ECONOMIC
Court orders CAG investigation in equipment purchase                TIMES 190402)
The Delhi High Court has ordered CAG to investigate
the purchase of equipment for the controversial Timarpur            POWER FINANCE NEWS
Power Plant, which was to produce electricity from the
municipal waste. The equipment has been purchased                   Stalled IPPs Of the 40 IPPs that were expected to come
from Denmark based company at the cost of Rs 200 M in               up, 31 projects with a cumulative capacity of 18 715 MW
1987. Till date the electricity generation could not been           are stuck with no likelihood of achieving financial closure
started, while Rs 20 M has been spent in the name of                according to Crisis Management Group of MoP. The rest
maintenance. India lost a case against the Danish                   of 9 projects (6 of them from AP) with capacity of 4 287
company in the World Court. (RASHTRIYA SAHARA                       MW have reasonable chance of achieving financial closure
260402)                                                             over the next year. (BUSINESS STANDARD 150302)

Exporters to get Power Subsidy The new Exim policy                  Union Budget impacts The allocation under APDP in the
allows exporters to set up captive power plants and in the          Union budget proposed for 2002-03 has been increased
process claim rebate on fuel costs so that energy input             from Rs 15 B in 2001-02 to Rs 35 B and the scheme has
cost of exported items is comparable to international               been renamed as Accelerated Power Development and
levels. (BUSINESS STANDARD 010402)                                  Reform Programme. The following day, the shares of
                                                                    electrical equipment manufacturing companies like
N Power too expensive Electricity Boards are finding the            Crompton Greaves, Siemens, BHEL and ABB surged
power from the nuclear power stations too expensive and             ahead in Mumbai Stock Exchange. Two Mumbai based
are not keen on purchasing power from NPC. CMD of                   power utilities BSES and Tata Power are expected to gain
NPC agreed there was a problem. (THE HINDU 040402)                  significantly from the Budget 2002. ―We will definitely
                                                                    benefit from this,‖ said R V Shahi, CMD of BSES. (Shahi,
UP Power Crisis The power blackout faced by UP in the               incidentally, became Union Power Secretary a few days
first week of April is not due to non-availability of power,        later. Reliance Industries hold 37% (reached that level just
but due to financial sickness of SEB. (THE HINDU                    a week before Shahi took over as Power Secretary) stake
SANDRP                                                         38                                                     MAY 2002

in BSES and maintains that BSES spearheads all its                  total cost of the unit has been estimated at Rs 20 B. The
interest in power sector.)                                          ADB is likely to provide Rs 920 M aid to the MPSEB
 APDP disbursement only 28% Disbursement under                     during 2002-05. (BUSINESS LINE 060302 BUSINESS
APDP, touted as major reform initiated under power                  STANDARD 220302)
ministry, for 2001-02 has been just Rs 4.25 B from the
provision of Rs 15 B in the budget estimates. (THE                  Projects in North East Union Power Minister has
ECONOMIC TIMES 020302, BUSINESS STANDARD                            launched APDP in Mizoram and Nagaland. He said that
020302, 060302, 180402)                                             three circles viz., Guwahati, Jorhat and Dibrugarh have
                                                                    been brought under the APDP. He laid the foundation
FIs target Spectrum IPP Financial Institutions led by               stone of the Rs 17.9 B gas-based power project at
IDBI are moving in to change the management of                      Monarchak in West Tripura District. (ASSAM TRIBUNE
Spectrum Power Generation in AP, India‘s first fast track           030302, 040302 & SENTINEL 030302)
IPP to go on stream, as empowered by a Supreme Court
judgement. (THE ECONOMIC TIMES 220302)                              ENVIRONMENT

ADB loans for Gujarat The MoP said that the govt. has               Law Commission to study Environment Laws Following
received two loans from the ADB for its power sector                the Supreme Court request in Dec. 2000, the Law
reforms programme in Gujarat. The policy programme                  Commission will be reviewing the whole range of
loan for reforms and restructuring in the power sector              environmental legislation in the country with a view to
totalling $ 150 M will be released by this year-end, while          consolidate and codify. (THE TIMES OF INDIA 220302)
the project loan totalling $ 200 M will be come by mid-             AP govt. to relax Environment laws In an attempt to
2005. (DAILY EXCELSIOR 250402)                                      improve the investment climate, PwC has suggested
ADB loan for Kerala The ADB is to provide a loan of $               major changes in the EPA 1986. While the Act provides
500 M in two installments. The first installment of the 300         for multiple and surprise inspections, the govt. plans to
M for fiscal reforms would be disbursed this year. The              introduce a system of common inspections under all
disbursement of $ 200 M for power sector reforms was                pollution laws only once a year and surprise inspections in
slated for the next year. (THE HINDU 300402)                        exceptional cases. (BUSINESS STANDARD 220302)

Power projects in MP The MPSEB will spend about Rs 31               HP assembly for change in forest act The Himachal
B on strengthening the T&D system during the 10th five-             Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution urging the
year plan. The board will get financial assistance from             centre to amend the Indian Forest Conservation Act to
ADB and the NABARD. The PFC has sanctioned Rs 14                    empower the state govt. to grant permission to use forest
B loan for the 500 MW 5th unit of the proposed Sanjay               land for development activities. (TRIBUNE 010302)
Gandhi Thermal Power House in Sahdol district. The

I liked the piece on Uchangi Dam (Update 3). It is important to highlight such experiences as examples of positive
approaches to resolving conflicts arising from water projects. Good luck.
                                                        Prof. A Vaidyanathan, Madras Institute for Development Studies, Chennai

Thank you very much for sending us issues on Update on Dams, Options and Related issues. We are finding this
informative and we wish to continue to receive for the benefits of our students and faculty.
                                                           Prof Arun Kumar, Head, Alternate Hydro Energy Centre, IIT, Roorkee

Update is an excellent publication fully packed with information required in our conservation movement. I wish you all
the success.
                                              VS Vijayan, Director, Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History, Mumbai

The UPDATE is quite appropriate, and it comes with a ‗perspective‘, which I feel is very important. Once you go over
each issue, definitely one would feel that one is learning the 'actuals' since at one place and at one go, it gives information
from a broad spectrum of sources. Importantly, we get a national picture, which is missing, in most of the publications.
However, I feel the layout, the colour, and other aspects need to be made more attractive. The Update has to lie on the
top of the pile. You can also add your viewpoint or other viewpoint on current issues. We need a short essay or comment
on water sector in India. I liked the last pages in both the issues, about the World Bank projects and data on projects.
                                              D Narasimha Reddy, Executive Director, Centre for Resource Education, Hyderabad

SANDRP                                                         39                                                     MAY 2002

                                    KARNATAKA‟S BLUFF: THE MAHADAYI DAMS

On Fool‘s Day, the National Water Resources Council chaired by the Prime Minister adopted the NWP 2002. As far as
Karnataka is concerned, the PM‘s speech could not be more perfectly timed! For years, the State‘s decision makers have
fooled around with its natural resources, particularly its rivers. This time it‘s a game not everyone wants to play.
Pursued with increasing intensity since 1998, Karnataka‘s latest obsession is the resurrection of a project dreamt up in the
early eighties - the Mahadayi Diversion Project, in Belgaum district of North Karnataka. However neighbouring Goa has
opposed the plan and with good reason. Originating in a profusion of over 30 streams in the jungles of the Western
Ghats at Degaon village of Belgaum, the Mahadayi runs a total length of over 80 kms with a catchment of 2008 sq kms of
which 445 sq kms is within Karnataka. It crosses rainforests and the Sahyadri crestline to enter Goa as the celebrated
Mandovi – Goa‘s lifeline and main inland waterway, and finally meets the Arabian Sea at Panjim.
Three Goa-Karnataka meetings with the Central Water Commission to facilitate a decision on the project have ended in a
stalemate each time. The latest meeting with the CWC held on the 27 March 2002 resulted in an adjournment till June.
The rationale for the Mahadayi Diversion Scheme is to salvage from blunder Karnataka‘s the Malaprabha Dam at
Naveelteerth (there are more dams down stream!) on the Malaprabha River – an east flowing tributary of the River
Krishna. This dam was designed to meet 90% drinking water needs and 10% irrigation needs. Now, this proportion has
been reversed with the dam catering largely to water guzzling sugarcane instead. The fact that the Malaprabha Dam‘s
capacity was an over estimation by a whooping 36%, has been exposed. It has a capacity of 47 TMC but receives only 30
TMC and has filled to capacity only 3 times in the last 25 years! The absurdity is compounded by the fact that it looses 7.8
TMC (26%) of water from leakages for close to a decade now as the Minister himself revealed to the press!
The Minister‘s fantasy project on the Mahadayi involves the construction of six diversion dams with a total length of 1.6
km, 6.4 kms of tunnels through forested ridges and 3.5 km of open channels. Consolidated figures of areas lost to
submergence for the entire project: 1720 Ha of forestland, with an additional 400 Ha of agricultural land. Aside from
destroying the entire Mahadayi and the ecological wealth around it, just what this ‗Malaprabha Cover-up Scheme‘ foretells
for Goa‘s Mandovi is anybody‘s guess.
Ironically this project has been sited in the finest stretch of the Western Ghats. There exists a plethora of communication
between the Ministry of Environment and Forests at the Centre and the Karnataka State Govt. on the need to protect
exactly this region. The final outcome of this exchange and dialogue was a clear directive from the Centre, followed by a
decision of top Forest and Wildlife officials of the State to declare the region as the Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary.
The Mahadayi Valley is the habitat of the Wroughton‘s Freetailed Bat recorded nowhere else in the world but in the
Barapedi cave of Talewadi a totally evolved grassland ecosystem. This species is listed in the IUCN Red List of Critically
Endangered Species. The Theobald‘s Tomb Bat is another species found 2 kms away at Krishnapur, which is its third
only home in India. Such close proximity of species‘ sites is an indication of the rich biodiversity of Mahadayi valley. The
Mahadayi Dams will be definite violations of the highest environmental and wildlife laws of the country. Specifically,
neither Forest Clearance nor environmental clearances have been obtained. The affected Panchayats have recorded their
opposition to this project. Information on the project is well - concealed. Mandatory Public hearings have not been
conducted, and NEERI‘s Environment Impact Assessment Report is nowhere to be found. Lamentably the Karnataka
Irrigation Minister continues to his claim of having ‗obtained‘ all the required environmental clearances.
Leading environmental organisations including the WWF, IUCN, BNHS, etc have strongly advocated legal protection for
this region. In Sept. 2000, a Committee appointed by the MoEF identified an extensive list of criterion to declare regions
‗Ecologically Sensitive Areas‘ as per provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act. The contiguous forests of this
region fulfill at least ten of the thirteen criteria when it takes fulfillment of just one criterion to merit such declaration!
Meanwhile the NWP2002 is being criticized extensively. What about the longstanding protests rising from the forests and
villages like Nerse, Ashoknagar, the latter being victims of double displacement – first being oustees of the Hidkal Dam.
The message to the Centre is that as far as the serious action for safeguarding the country‘s life giving ecological
resources is concerned, every day is Fool‘s Day for the merry State of Karnataka.
About the Authors: Nyla Coelho and Aarthi Sridhar are members of the Sahyadri Ecologically Sensitive Area (SESA) Group

SANDRP                                                        40                                                     MAY 2002

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