Wednesday, January 20, 2016

[Editorial # 45] Poor Ganga : The Indian Express

[Following editorial has been published in The Indian Express on 20th January 2016. Read through it and try to answer the questions that follow. Please do not copy and paste answers. The objective of this exercise is to get you in the groove of answer -writing. Try to write in your own words. Don't hesitate to write in a bulleted-format, if you are uncomfortable in writing in paragraph form.]

If there is a phrase that captures why cleaning or managing the Ganga has remained an intractable problem since the start of the formal attempts to do so in the mid-1980s, it is “bureaucratic quagmire”. Essentially, from start to finish, any proposal regarding the Ganga has had to satisfy, and has required the active cooperation of no less than seven to nine departments, both at the Central and state levels. As a result, despite thousands of crores being spent towards improving the Ganga’s condition, little ever gets done and no one is ever held responsible. Something similar is being repeated in the current NDA rule with the ministry of water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation, headed by Uma Bharti, engaged in a very public confrontation with the ministry of environment and forests, headed by Prakash Javadekar, in a matter pending before the Supreme Court.

The current controversy, about the fate of six hydel projects in the Upper Ganga, started when the Supreme Court, in the aftermath of the Uttarakhand floods, prohibited the setting up of any new HEPs in the state. In February 2015, a committee of the environment ministry argued against them. But in October, another expert body set up by the environment ministry, which included the Central Water Commission, that falls under the water resources ministry, overturned the first committee’s recommendation. Later, in December 2015, yet another committee — this time led by the secretary of the water resources ministry — reverted to the earlier decision against setting up the HEPs. Now, yet again, the environment ministry, against the clearly stated position of the water resources ministry and Bharti, has gone ahead and given its nod to five of the six projects in question, according to an affidavit it submitted in the apex court. Evidently, this tussle is far from over and this will not only impede the government’s plans of rejuvenating the Ganga but also smudge the policy clarity that businesses have been demanding in India.


In his first Independence Day speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had sharply criticised the chronic “disunity and conflict” among different government departments during UPA rule: “It appeared that everyone has its own fiefdom. One department is taking on the other department… to the extent that two departments of the same government are fighting against each other by approaching Supreme Court”. Modi had said that he had “started making efforts for razing those walls”. Clearly, he has a long way to go.

Questions:

1. Trace the river Ganga on a map of India? Where does Ganga originate? Where does it end? Which famous cities are situated on the banks of river Ganga?

2. What is the historical, cultural and economic significance of the river Ganga? Why is it revered as Goddess in India?

3. What is a Hydel Power Project? Mention a few such projects in India? How is it different from a Thermal Power Project?

4. What are the environmental implications of a Hydel Power Project? 

5. What is the total Hydel Power Potential in India (both in absolute and percentage to total terms) ?

6. On a map of India plot all the major HEPs existing in India.

7. What is Central Water Commission? What is its role?

8. What are various issues associated with the river Ganga?

9. What is Namami Gange Program? What actions have been taken by the government to rejuvenate the river Ganga in the past?

10. The "disunity and conflict" between different departments of the same government do not bode well for the objective of an effective governance. Comment (200 words) 

26 comments:

  1. 1. Trace the river Ganga on a map of India? Where does Ganga originate? Where does it end? Which famous cities are situated on the banks of river Ganga?
    A. R.Ganga oringinates in Gangotri Glacier in uttarakhand. It ends in Bay of Bengal.Allahabad, Bhagalpur, Haridwar, Farakkabad, varanasi, kanpur,kannuaj,Hajipur etc are famous cities.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Also talk about Sunderban Delta...

      Delete
  2. 2. What is the historical, cultural and economic significance of the river Ganga? Why is it revered as Goddess in India?
    A. HISTORICAL AND CULTURAL SINGNIFICANCE:-
    According to hindu mythology the river ganga ,daughter of HIMAVAN ,has the ability to purify anything that touched her. Several festivals in NOrth india are associated with the river like kumbhmela, chatt(bihar). It is also believed that if the ashes of the people are washed with the ganga water then the soul will achieve liberation. The holy city of varanasi thus beacame the chief place of worship as well as cremation.
    ECONOMIC SIGNIFICANCE:-
    The 2500km long ganga drains almost 1/4 of the india in the norther plains.Hence this promoted irrigation through canal systems and had been served as the cradle of successive civilizations since maurya age to the mughals.
    The inland waterways helps to promote trade and trasportation of raw forest materials to the factories. This reduces the usage of fuel which reduces the consumption of GHG gases.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Since she has the ability to cure all illness and a torch bearer for salvation she is considered as goddess.

    ReplyDelete
  4. 3. What is a Hydel Power Project? Mention a few such projects in India? How is it different from a Thermal Power Project?
    A. Hydel power projects are Hydro-electric projects.
    INDIRA SAGAR PROJECT (MP)
    KOYNA MAHARASHATRA
    IDUKKI KERALA
    NAGARJUNA SAGAR TELANGANA
    UPPER SILERU
    LOWER SILERU AP
    BIHAR:- Obra, BIHAND
    UTTARAKHAND:- TEHRI DAM

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BHAKRA NANGAL, HIRAKUD ??? Mark them on a map

      Delete
    2. Difference between hydel power and thermal power projects :

      The thermal power is produced by burning coal, petroleum or natural gas in thermal generator. But Hydro-electricity or hydel power is derived from the force of running water by means of dynamo driven by hydro-turbine.

      The major points of differences between Thermal Power and Hydel power are discussed below.

      In terms of initial cost of ther­mal power generating plants are much cheaper, but their maintenance costs are high and need more labor. Thus it is costly. But in Hydel Power, the initial cost of generating hydro-electric power is more costly but their maintenance costs are low and need much less labor. Thus it is comparatively much cheaper.
      The generation of thermal power produces air pollution and dust pollution. Waste materials are detrimental to land and environment. But Hydro-electric power is a clean source of energy. It creates almost no pollution or waste materials which are detrimental to the environment.
      The sources of thermal power are non-renewable resources. So, they are completely exhausted after use and cannot be renewed. But Hydel power is a flow resource. It is not exhausted after uses.
      Nearly 80 per cent of the world’s total production of power comes from thermal electricity. But the world’s total power production, less than 20 per cent of our requirements come from hydro-electricity.
      The involvement of technical skill and knowledge are comparatively less in generating thermal power plant. The installations of hydel power plants require supreme technical skills and knowledge.

      Delete
  5. Thermal power plants use the coal as fuel to evaporate water which inturn run the turbines while the hydro power plants use the kinetic energy to run the turbine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Potential energy of water stored at a hight is converted into Kinetic energy which drives the turbine connected to an alternator which produces electricity

      Delete
    2. 150 GW is the all india potential of hydropower

      Delete
  6. 4. What are the environmental implications of a Hydel Power Project?
    A. Hydel power plants are more environment friendly when compared to thermal power plants.
    POSITIVE IMPLICATIONS:
    As there is no use of fossil fuels , the dependency on the fossil fuels reduces. This helps in the reduction of pollutants like so2,NO,NO2 which are responsible for the loss of agriculture,deterioration of hisotrical monuments like taj mahal due to acid rains. Hence this promotes the sustainable development.
    NEGATIVE IMPLICATIONS:
    As the rainfall is seasonal so will be the power supply. Hence purely depending on Hydel source is not feasble.
    The big reservoirs that are constructed to provide potential energy to run the turbines can send the tremors which may have the potential of generating earthquakes.
    There has to be vast devastation of forests and habitat fragmentation which can lead to ecological imbalance.

    ReplyDelete
  7. 5. What is the total Hydel Power Potential in India (both in absolute and percentage to total terms) ?
    A.The 2nd Annual Conference on Hydro Power in India conducted by Infraline Energy estimated the potential source of energy 1,45,320 MW. Of which just 27% is tapped till now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What is the official GoI estimate?? Try to find out it from the Annual Report of Ministry of Power

      Delete
    2. 150 GW is the all india potential of hydropowe

      Delete
    3. Ministry of power data :

      Overall potential : around 1,45,000 MW or 145 GW.

      Percentage potential exploited in India : 26

      Delete
  8. 7. What is Central Water Commission? What is its role?
    A The Commission is entrusted with the general responsibilities of initiating, coordinating and furthering in consultation of the State Governments concerned, schemes for control, conservation and utilization of water resources throughout the country, for purpose of Flood Control, Irrigation, Navigation, Drinking Water Supply and Water Power Development. It also undertakes the investigations, construction and execution of any such schemes as required.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Central Water Commission is a premier Technical Organization of India in the field of Water Resources and is presently functioning as an attached office of the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India. The Commission is entrusted with the general responsibilities of initiating, coordinating and furthering in consultation of the State Governments concerned, schemes for control, conservation and utilization of water resources throughout the country, for purpose of Flood Control, Irrigation, Navigation, Drinking Water Supply and Water Power Development. It also undertakes the investigations, construction and execution of any such schemes as required.

      The work of the Commission is divided among 3 wings namely, Designs and Research (D&R) Wing, River Management (RM) Wing and Water Planning and Projects (WP&P) Wing.

      Delete
  9. it is a technical org of india in the field of water resource, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation,

    ReplyDelete
  10. 8. What are various issues associated with the river Ganga?
    A. WATER POLLUTION:
    due to the increase of industries acrosss the rivers and the flow of wastes into the rivers lead to the contamination of rivers which leads to the rise of diseases.
    pesticides from the farms are making the way into the rivers due to runoff.
    the sewage from the urban centers are not being treated before discharging into the river
    The cremation of dead bodies and their disposal into the rivers further muddled the water.
    along the length of ganga the upper ganga till haridwar is holding too many water reservoirs for the power generation. However, lying in the seismic zone it is high prone to earthquakes. Any earthquake of high intensity will flood the lowlying areas.
    Hence the CPCB and the MoEFCC are making best efforts to tackle the problem of water pollution.

    ReplyDelete
  11. 9. What is Namami Gange Program? What actions have been taken by the government to rejuvenate the river Ganga in the past?
    A. NGP is an attempt by the govt to rejuviate the river by controlling the effluents into the rivers covering 8 states, 12 rivers and 47 towns.
    2000cr has been allocated for the project under mission mode till 2022
    under the agies of national mission on clean ganga and state programme mgt groups states, urban bodies and PRIs are involved
    river centric urban planning is being done to make the river navigable
    ministry of water resource was made the nodal agency which coordinates with other ministries of environment, urban dev, shipping, tourism etc
    intoduction of ppp mode for pollution control

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Introduction of coal cess(rs 50 to 100 per tonne) to raise funds for Ganga cleaning

      Delete
    2. action taken by the government to rejuvenate the river Ganga in the past has not been answered by you.
      Ganga Action plan was launched in India in 1985.
      National Ganga River Basin Authority was established by the Central Government of India, on 20 February 2009 under Section 3 of the Environment Protection Act, 1986. It declared the Ganga as the "National River" of India.The chair includes the Prime Minister of India and chief ministers of states through which the Ganga flows.

      Delete
  12. 10. The "disunity and conflict" between different departments of the same government do not bode well for the objective of an effective governance. Comment (200 words)
    A. Technological revolution is a way to promote governance in india. Administrative system in india has been in silos due to which the governance had not improved. For instance the lack of communication between the departments lead to the duplication of efforts and wastage of resources and time. Had there been a cooperation between the intelligence agencies of UK and india the incidents of 26/11 attacks could have stopped. Had there been a good efforts of police and the intelligence agencies in TN, AP and kerela, the veerappan's story would not have been dragged for years . Hence there should be a crystal clear demarcation of the duties of personnel with a clear hierarchy of chain of communication is needed. This will avoid the ambiguous of their duty and highlights the expected output from each one.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Trace the river Ganga on a map of India? Where does Ganga originate? Where does it end? Which famous cities are situated on the banks of river Ganga?

    The 2,525 km (1,569 mi) river rises in the western Himalayas in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, and flows south and east through the Gangetic Plain of North India into Bangladesh, where it empties into the Bay of Bengal. It is the third largest river by discharge. The Ganga is the most sacred river to Hindus. It is also a lifeline to millions of Indians who live along its course and depend on it for their daily needs. It is worshipped as the goddess Ganga in Hinduism. It has also been important historically, with many former provincial or imperial capitals.
    The Ganga was ranked as the fifth most polluted river of the world in 2007. Pollution threatens not only humans, but also more than 140 fish species, 90 amphibian species and the endangered Ganga river dolphin.[The Ganga Action Plan, an environmental initiative to clean up the river, has been a major failure thus far due to corruption, lack of technical expertise, poor environmental planning,[9] and lack of support from religious authorities.

    Cities: Varanasi, Haridwar, Allahabad, Kolkata, Patna, Kanpur, Ghazipur
    Countries: India, Bangladesh

    ReplyDelete