Heavy rainfall leading to flash floods in Himalayan rivers in July-end devastated three states — Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. It claimed 34 human lives and damaged property extensively. It also brought into focus the precarious condition of more than a dozen dams in the region.

Within just one week, starting August 1, these states received about half the rainfall they receive over an entire year—Uttarakhand received 44.6 per cent of its annual rainfall; Himachal 51.8 per cent and Jammu and Kashmir 55.6 per cent. Uttarkashi district in Uttarakhand’s Garhwal region was the worst hit. The Bhagirathi, flowing much above the danger mark, washed away houses, hotels, roads and bridges. Nineteen labourers working on the Assi Ganga hydropower project in Uttarkashi were swept away by the river which they were trying to harness.

GUWAHATI: In a writ petition to the Supreme Court filed recently, the Assam Public Works, a social organization, has opposed the construction of the 2000-MW Lower Subansiri Hydro-electric Project (LSHP) on the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border and argued that the LSHP would not only destroy the lives and properties of the people living in the downstream areas of the dam but also the ecology.

Based on the writ petition of APW, Justice S Kumar and Justice SJ Mukhopadhya of the country’s apex court have issued a notice to the NHPC Ltd and other concerned government departments to give a reply against the APW petition within two weeks.

The Supreme Court on Friday directed its Registry to digitise the final report of the Empowered Committee relating to the safety of the Mullaperiyar dam as well as the study and investigation reports relied on by this committee for reaching a conclusion.

A five-judge Constitution Bench comprising Justices D.K. Jain, R.M. Lodha, H.L. Dattu, C.K. Prasad and A.R. Dave gave this direction during the course of hearing of the Tamil Nadu’s suit challenging the law enacted by Kerala to restrict the water level in the dam to 136 ft.

The Supreme Court today directed digitisation of a voluminous Expert Committee’s Report on safety aspects of Mullaperiyar dam which would be the basis for determining validity of an Act passed by K

Floods hit power projects in Himalayan states; plans for more raise safety concerns. Heavy rainfall leading to flash floods in Himalayan rivers in July-end devastated three states—Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. It claimed 34 human lives and damaged property extensively. It also brought into focus the precarious condition of more than a dozen dams in the region.

For full text: http://www.downtoearth.org.in/content/reservoirs-losing-capacity

The Kerala Water Resources Department will review the safety aspects of all dams under it.

A conference convened by Minister for Water Resources P. J. Joseph took the decision in view of the overtopping of the Pazhassi Dam early this week. It decided to replace all the shutters of the dam urgently and entrust the work to public sector undertaking Kerala Electrical and Allied Engineering Company. Rs. 7 crore had been sanctioned for the work.

According to this comprehensive compilation of the large dams in India prepared by Central Water Commission, there are 4818 completed large dams and 375 large dams are under construction.

The Mullaperiyar Agitation Council, which is spearheading an agitation for a new dam in Mullaperiyar on Monday termed the Supreme Court order giving permission for conducting the maintenance work of the dam as only a “temporary solutution”, and said that it hoped the final judgement will allay the fears of the people living on the downstream of the age-old structure.

He said that by merely giving permission for conducting the maintenance work will not help in the long-run in consideration of the age-old structure. However, with the monsoon season already set in, a temporary solution was needed even as the downstream area is ill-equipped to deal a calamity-like situation.

Dam safe for increasing water level, says report

The Supreme Court will consider on Monday the report of the Empowered Committee — headed by the former Chief Justice of India, A.S. Anand — which has said the 116-year-old Mullaperiyar dam (MPD) “is hydrologically, structurally and seismically safe for raising the water level from 136 feet to 142 feet after carrying out certain repairs.” On May 4, a Constitution Bench of Justices D.K. Jain, R.M. Lodha, Deepak Verma, C.K. Prasad and Anil R. Dave asked the Registry to supply copies of the report to the Union government, Tamil Nadu and Kerala and directed the matter be listed for further hearing to July 23.

With the Supreme Court (SC) to take up the Mullaperiyar case for hearing on July 23, Kerala is gearing up to contest the findings of the SC-appointed Empowered Committee (EC) with special emphasis on the panel’s conclusion that the dam was safe.

Water Resources Minister P.J. Joseph on Monday left for New Delhi for a special session on Tuesday with Harish Salve, Kerala’s senior counsel on the issue. According to sources, the State, though relieved with the EC’s acceptance of the State’s proposal for a new dam, was still firm on opposing the other findings in its report, including the conclusion that the existing dam was hydrologically, technically, and structurally safe.

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