ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Environmental Impact of DamsSubscribe to Environmental Impact of Dams

Construction of Calamities in the Uttarakhand Himalaya

Hydropower projects on the Uttarakhand rivers have proven to aggravate the severity of floods, making them calamitous. In addition, these projects have also increased the vulnerability of the mountain villagers towards disasters, while giving these an unsettling everydayness and a spiralling effect. Projects have evaded accountability and responsibility for such disasters by opportunistically deeming these as devi aapda , or natural calamities, even as the line between natural and human-made calamities has become more blurred than ever.

Floods in Indian Rivers: Are Dams and Embankments the Solution or the Problem?

While dams and embankments are often touted as interventions for better flood management, they have often been at the root of more severe flood disasters. */

Comparing Floods in Kerala and the Himalaya

There are important similarities and differences between the Kerala floods in 2018 and 2019 and the Himalayan floods of Uttarakhand and Kashmir in 2013 and 2014, respectively. Most importantly, floods in Kerala are likely to affect the local ecology in some parts of the Western Ghats, whereas floods in the Himalayan regions will affect North India as a whole. However, both the regions have a fragile ecology that is threatened by ecological destruction and industrial development. Thus, the Central Water Commission and other government agencies should take a holistic view towards addressing floods and dam management in these regions.

Rebirth of a River

Two almost simultaneous yet dissimilar decisions on the fate of rivers - Australia's decision to release waters to 'restore' the Snowy river and the Indian Supreme Court's judgment on the Sardar Sarovar Project - raises questions once more about notions of 'river planning' and 'harnessing of rivers'. Following environmental concerns about the Snowy's declining flow, a popular agitation that saw a broad-based participation of experts, politicians and even the layman, finally restored to the Snowy much of its previous flow. The judgment will hopefully set a precedent for similar cases, not merely for Australia, but across the world.
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