The distribution of electricity should be decreased for rich people and increased for poors. so that the consumption of electricity will decrease and therefore the requirement to construct new dams will also decrease.
Dams are cause of migration of peoples.Service Secor is best for providing emplyment instead of Hydro-Power Projects
India shoud also adopt the Artificial Ground Water Recharge system to conserve our Rivers for our future.
Excessive use of water for irrigation (Photo by: Jeff Vanuga, wikicommon)
Ganga is dying due to excessive extraction of her waters. A large quantity of water is used in irrigation. Ganga can live if we can reduce consumption in irrigation and reduce extraction from Ganga.
“His Holinesses welcomes the declaration of Government of India to name Holy Ganga as the National River” – By Jagadguru Sri Nischalanandji, Shankaracharya of Goverdhan Mutt,Puri
Ganga Rejuvenation Minister Nitin Gadkari has launched 150 new projects for cleaning Ganga. 90 projects have already been approved. Mr Gadkari believes that these projects will clean the Ganga. (we can see full speech here) But Mr Gadkari simultaneously wants to run big ships over Ganga. The Ganga will be polluted by the chemicals and lubricants which is left by these ships. In the given picture below, we can see that, the paint of ship having copper is absorbed by the water. This is harmful for aquatic lives like turtles and fishes which clean the Ganga, thus ship will pollute the Ganga. (report is available here –Para 1).
The movement of large ships increases the sound pollution, due to which the fames Ganga Dolphin is unable to catch its prey. Dolphins do not have eyes. They track and catch their prey by sound of the movements.
In his speech, Shri Gadkari has not discussed any of the negative impacts of these waterways on environment and Ganga. The Ganga Rejuvenation Minister, therefore, is actually only concerned about commercial exploitation of the Ganga.
The Gujarat elections are being seen as a test of the Gujarat Model of development established by the Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modi. One of the achievements of the Gujarat Model is the development of the Sabarmati river banks. There is no doubt that large numbers of people of Ahmedabad are now enjoying walking on the Sabarmati banks.
A major achievement of the BJP Government is said to be bringing water into the Sabarmati River. Sabarmati was a perennial river previously. Then the Dharoi Dam was built on the Sabarmati upstream and that led to the Sabarmati becoming dry for nine months in a year. Water of the Sabarmati was wholly diverted for irrigation of the surrounding areas. Whatever water was left seeped into the ground because of over-abstraction of groundwater in the surrounding areas. Farmers have sunk large numbers of tube wells in the area. As a result, the level of ground water has receded. The earth below the riverbed has moisture earlier. Now it has become dry. The remaining water of the Sabarmati quickly seeps into the ground because the earth below the river is dry. The role of these manmade factors leading to the drying of Sabarmati is well acknowledged. A Report says:
The dry phase and deterioration in water quality of the river is due to natural reasons like climate, temperature, rain and texture of the soils and also may be due to manmade reasons like excess withdrawal of ground water and deforestation. (report is avilable here)
One factor leading to over-abstraction of ground water is the cultivation of water-guzzling crops like cotton, onions and bananas. Farmers have to irrigate these crops many times in one season. This large use of ground water is leading to the decline of the ground water table, less moisture in the earth, seeping of the river waters and drying of the Sabarmati.
Thus we first killed the Sabarmati by excess withdrawal of her waters. Now the people of Ahmedabad were unhappy that Sabarmati had become dry. So the government brought the water of the Narmada River and put it into the Sabarmati River. In the process the Sabarmati does have some water, but it is not the Sabarmati water, it is the Narmada water. Also we destroyed the Narmada. So, reviving the Sabarmati at the cost of the Narmada is not a good achievement of the Government.
The Government is first drying up the Sabarmati then reviving it with Narmada water. It is like first taking the blood of a healthy person, making him sick, and then reviving him with blood infusion.
The true development of a River is to recognise and honour her integrity. Every river is a habitat for a particular type of the fish, and it is home to particular types of plants and trees that flourish in its own natural circumstances. The integrity of Sabarmati has been destroyed.
Instead of first making the Sabarmati dry and then feeding it with the artificial water of the Narmada; we should revive traditional water harvesting methods in agriculture. We should stop excessive abstraction of Sabarmati water. WE should ban the cultivation of water-guzzling crops in the area. Instead of reviving the Sabarmati with Narmada water, we must supply Narmada water for irrigation and let the Sabarmati carry her own natural and original water. We must remove the Dharoi Dam and let the Sabarmati flow.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) has issued a report in which the environmental status of 180 countries has been assessed (Report of World Economic Forum here) WEF has placed India at 177th place. We are celebrating our exalted position among the lowest five countries along with Nepal and Bangladesh.
The main reason for low rank of India is air pollution. The air pollution in turn is attributed to the burning of paddy straw and burning of coal for thermal power plants. The main cause of paddy straw burning is that the Government does not have a scheme to buy the paddy starw at profitable rates from the farmers. For more details please see our full post here.
We would here like to deal with the subject of carbon emissions due to coal burning in power generation. Generally, it is believed that the thermal power causes more pollution, whereas hydropower is comparably clean. But the ground situation is exacty opposite. The carbon emissions generated by hydropower is approximately the same or possibly more than thermal plant.
By washington post (see here)
The carbon emissions from hydropower take place as follows. A big reservoir is built Behind the large dams. The rivers bring Organic material like dead animals, plants, etc. into this reservoir along with the water. These organic materials settle down at the bottom of the reservoir and they start fermenting there. Initially, it absorbs the oxygen available in surrounding the water. The carbon in the organic matter combines with the oxygen in the surrounding water to make carbon dioxide (CO2) which is emitted from the reservoir. After some time the oxygen in the surrounding water becomes merely zero, but the organic matter continues to ferment. Now the carbon presents in organic matter gets combined with hydrogen in the surroundng water and forms Methane Gas(CH4) as shown in the picture below.
This methane gas is nearly 25 times more harmful than carbon dioxide for the environment as detailed in the report below:
In environmental terms, CH4 is a greenhouse gas. It has a Global Warming Potential (GWP) of 25, i.e. 25 times the GWP of CO2, the reference greenhouse gas (the GWP of CO2 = 1) (GWP values from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)'s fourth assessment report published in 2007). Among the greenhouse gases covered by the Kyoto Protocol, CH4 is the second largest contributor to global warming after carbon dioxide (CO2). (for detail study see report here).
A study conducted by International Rivers has found that 2154 grams of carbon dioxide is emitted from large hydropower projects in Brazil in the generation of one unit (kWh) electricity. This is equal to about 900 grams of carbon emissions. In comparison. about 800 grams of carbon is meitted per unit of electricity in the generation of electricity from coal (see report here). Therefore, the more or almost equal carbon is emitted from hydroelectric projects in warm areas like Brazil than thermal electricity. Indeed, International Rivers also says that carbon dioxide emission from major hydro projects in a cold country like Canada was ony 36 gram per kWh. Therefore, the similarity of carbon emissions from hydropower and thermal planst is applicable to hot areas only.
Many hydropower projects in India are being built in Himalayan regions. A study conducted by the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, Nagpur (NEERI) found that 2.5 grams of carbon dioxide per square meter per day and 24 mg of methane per square meter per day is being emitted from Tehri lake. (See detailed report of NEERI here).
This works out to approximately 1200 tonnes per day [2.5 gram * 450 sq.km area], which is quite large. It follows that that the hydropower projects in the Himalayas are similar to Brazil and not to Canada.
The low rank of India in the Environment Performance Index, therefore, is not only due to the burning of coal but also due to large hyropower projects. It is unfortunate that the World Economic Forum has remained silent on this.
The World Economic Forum has given importance to air pollution because 16 lakh people are being killed every year in India due to this, mainly due to respiratory diseases. Hydropower projects create another adverse effect on public health. Mosquitos breed in the reservoirs behind and small ponds in the downstream river. These spread infectious diseases such as malaria.
We have received information from Uttarakhand's Health Department that the incidence of malaria in all districts of Uttarakhand except Tehri is declining, which established adverse impact of large dams on health.
The Prime Minister has asked the world's investors to invest in India with great enthusiasm in the World Economic Forum. We hope he will give equal importance to the air pollution. Unfortunately, the Prime Minister is promoting major hydropower projects like Lakhwar Vyasi and Pancheshwar which will only worsen India’s rank in Environment Performance Index.
We must make a basic re-evaluation of hydro-electric projects which have adverse effects on air pollution and public health.
please write to Prime Minister Shree Narendra Modi for this issue.
Less use of plastic is often considered good for environment.
We generally see that plastic waste is littered on the roads, railway lines, etc. In order to get rid of this problem, the Government has imposed certain restrictions over plastic packets on special items such as gutkha and pan masala. It is believed that the plastic is harmful to the environment as it does not degrade quickly. It takes four hundred to one thousand years to disintegrate completely.
But shopkeepers are now using cloth or paper bags. The question is whether these are friendly to the environment?
A comparative study of plastic bags and paper bags done by the Northern Ireland Government. The study shows that paper is more harmful than plastic for environment on 7 of the 8 parameters.(See report here)
The main points are:
The key reason for global warming is emission of ozone gas. Compared to plastic bags, ozone emissions are 30 percent higher in the production of paper bags.
Paper waste consumes more than four times the amount of oxygen contained in the water when disposed in water bodies like ponds or rivers in comparison to plastic. The lack of oxygen in water becomes a threat to the fishes and other aquatic life. In comparison, the plastic does not absorb the oxygen of the ponds or rivers.
On above points, paper bags are more harmful than plastic. The only advantage of paper is that it disintegrates quickly. The only problem with plastic is its non-degradability. This problem can be avoided by recycling it. Therefore, we should focus on using plastic bags and recycling them as shown in the picture 7 below.
Lakhs of rag pickers pick up plastic bags thrown on the roads and railway lines. We should respect them and make proper arrangements for them.
The main reason for the people throwing plastic bags on the roads is that there is no arrangement of dustbins. Thus they are forced to throw plastic in the open. Therefore, we should make proper arrangements for the waste. The Central Government has passed the order to the municipalities for such a system but due to non-availability of funds, it is difficult for municipalities to do this work. Therefore we should impose tax on plastic bags and use that revenue to recycle it. We should recycle plastic instead of boycotting it in order to save the environment.