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 Villagers in M.P. oppose removal of godman’s shrine

 

Paper: GS 1

Subject: Geography

Topic: Distribution of key natural resources across the world including South Asia and the Indian sub-continent

 

Villagers damaged an earth-mover and a jeep in the Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary in Raisen district after authorities removed a shrine of a local godman encroaching  upon the point of origin of the Betwa river on Friday morning, said the District Collector.

 

The Madhya Pradesh government has decided to declare the Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary a tiger reserve. The state received an approval for the same from the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) 11 years ago.

  • The sanctuary is spread over 890 sqkm in Bhopal-Raisen forest division of Madhya Pradesh.
  • The sanctuary has a population of about 40 tigers and the movement of 12 tigers has been reported in the forest area of Bhopal. The whole area will be combined as one to declare it as a tiger reserve.
  • The area of about 3,500 sq km of Raisen, Sehore and Bhopal districts has been reserved for the same. The 1,500 sq km will be designated as a core area while 2,000 sq km as a buffer zone.
  • The declaration of the sanctuary as a tiger reserve will help in better conservation of tigers in the area which is facing the problem of illegal mining and poaching.

 

The Betwa or Betravati is a river in Northern India, and a tributary of the Yamuna. Also known as the Vetravati, the Betwa rises in the Vindhya Range just north of Hoshangabad in Madhya Pradesh and flows north-east through Madhya Pradesh and Orchha to Uttar Pradesh. Nearly half of its course, which is not navigable, runs over the Malwa Plateau.

 

Its basin extends from longitude 77° to 81° E and latitude 23°8′ to 26°0′ N. The Betwa River originates at an elevation of 470m in the Bhopal District in Madhya Pradesh. After traversing a distance of 590 km, the river joins the Yamuna River near Hamirpur at an elevation of 106.68 m. The total catchment area of the Betwa River is 46,580 sq. km of which 31,971 sq. km (68.64%) lies in Madhya Pradesh and 14,609 sq. km (31.36%) lies in Uttar Pradesh. The basin is saucer shaped with sandstone hills around the perimeter. The river has 14 principal tributaries out of which 11 are completely in Madhya Pradesh and 3 lie partly in Madhya Pradesh and Partly in Uttar Pradesh. The Halali and Dhasan Rivers are the important tributaries of the Betwa River. The Halali is the largest tributary having a length of 180.32 km. In the entire basin the rainfall varies from 100 cm to 140 cm in upper reaches and from 80 cm to 100 cm in lower reaches. The average annual rainfall in the Betwa basin is 110 cm.

 

The Betwa River is being linked with the Ken River as a part of the river linking project in Madhya Pradesh. Another noteworthy project on the Betwa River is the construction of the Matatila Dam, an undertaking between the states of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. The region is important for migratory water birds.

 

                                   Mahadayi river dispute

 

Paper: GS 1

Subject: Governance

Topic:  Issues and Challenges pertaining to the federal structure

 

Background

  • The Mahadayiwater-sharing dispute has the states of Goa, Maharashtra and Karnataka vying for water from the Mahadayi River.
  • The project was proposed by Bommai committee
  • About 75% of work is in non-forest area has been completed.

 

River Mahadayi

 

  • Mahadayi, the west-flowing inter-state river in the Western Ghats, takes birth in Degaon village, belgaum  district.
  • The river travels 35 km in Karnataka; 82 km in Goa before joining the Arabian Sea.
  • The River Mahadayi is calledMandovi in Goa.

 

Dispute:

 

  • The sharing of waters of Mahadayi River was major cause of dispute between Karnataka and Goa.
  • Karnataka was proposing to divert excess water from Mahadayi river to Malaprabha river basin by constructing number of dams, canals and barrages to route Mahadayi river water as part of Kalasa-Banduri Nala project.
  • It had citied that, diversion of surplus water from Mahadayi which drains into Arabian sea (approximately 188 tmcft of water at 75% dependability flows into the Arabian Sea now without being used for anything) to meet requirements of water-scarce districts of Bagalkot, Gadag, Dharwad and Belagavi.
  • Goa had opposed Karnataka’s proposal, contending that its population is dependent on river’s natural path and its diversion will affect its fragile ecosystem.
  • It also claimed that ingress of saltwater in river, which is dependent on monsoons, will ultimately end up killing state’s mangroves and green belt, disturb relationship between its people and land as well as ecological balance.

 

What is Kalasa-Banduri Nala project?

 

  • The Kalasa-Banduri Nala is a project undertaken by the Government of Karnataka to improve drinking water supply to the Districts of Belagavi, Dharwad and Gadag.
  • It involves building across Kalasa and Banduri, two tributaries of the Mahadayi riverto divert 7.56 TMC of water to the Malaprabha river, which supplies the drinking water needs of the said 3 districts, i.e., Dharwad, Belagavi and Gadag.
  • It is canal project undertaken by Karnatakato divert water from the Mahadayi river to the Malaprabha

 

Dispute

 

  • Kalasa-Banduri project planned in 1989; Goa raised objection to it.
  • Goa filed a complaint seeking setting up of a tribunal in July 2002.
  • The Ministry of Water Resources kept the clearance given to Karnataka in abeyance in September 2002.
  • Goa moved the Supreme Court in 2006 seeking constitution of a tribunal, withdrawing approval for any work in the basin.
  • Mahadayi (Mandovi) is a water deficit basin and water diversion could impact the environment.
  • The Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal was set up on 22.11.2010.

 

Tribunal Order:

 

  • The tribunal has pegged Karnataka’s access to 13.4 tmc of Mahadayi River water for its consumptive use (5.4 tmc) and power generation (8.02 tmc).
  • Goa was allowed to use 24 tmc for state’s municipal water needs, irrigation water requirements and industrial water demands.
  • Maharashtra was awarded lowest share of 1.33 tmc for meeting its in-basin needs with respect to five projects.
  • It also directed Central Government to set up Mahadayi Water Management Authority to implement its report and final decision.

 

Analysis of tribunal order:

 

  • The tribunal was headed by J.N. Panchal
  • Rejected Karnataka’s plea for diversion of 7 tmcft of water from the river to the Malaprabha basin.
  • Considerations in the Tribunal’s order
    • The ecological damagethat the project may cause since the Mahadayi water is a key component in maintaining the ecological balance in a wildlife reserve on the Goa side
    • Karnataka hadn’t shown what would be the downstream effects at 3 km and 5 km of lifting the river and so “relief couldn’t be granted.”
    • Given the enormous amount of water being transferred, the tribunal reasoned, there would be huge submersible pumps and specialised equipment that would be required.
    • The tribunal said it “didn’t have confidence” that Karnataka would rely on temporary structures and equipment — as it has claimed — to effect this transfer of water into the Malaprabha basin
    • Karnataka government had also not obtained environmental and wildlife clearancesto execute the project.
    • Karnataka’s contention that 108.72 tmcft of water is available at 75 per cent dependability in the Mahadayi basin wasn’t cogent.
    • Karnataka has relied on the data from the Central Water Commission that is seriously contested by Goa.

 

                       Belum Caves Festival in A.P. postponed

 

Paper: GS 1

Subject: Geography

Topic: Geographical features and their location, changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and polar ice caps)

 

Andhra Pradesh Government will be hosting the Belum Caves festival in January 2020 to popularise the Belum caves.

 

 

  • The name ‘Kandanavolu Sambaralu’has been proposed for the festival. Kandanavolu was the ancient name of Kurnool

 

Key Points

 

  • Location:Belum Caves, also known as Belum Guhalu in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh is the second-longest cave in the Indian subcontinent open to the public.
    • The longest natural cavein the Indian subcontinent is Krem Liat Prah caves in Meghalaya.
  • Formation:The cave is more than a thousand year old, and was formed by the constant flow of underground water over a period of time.
  • Geographical Features:These caves are renowned for their speleothem structures (Speleothems are secondary mineral deposits formed in a cave), such as stalactite and stalagmite
  • Historical Background:The caves were occupied by Jain and Buddhist monks many centuries ago. The presence of 4500 years old vessels from the pre-Buddhism era ensures the same.

 

Stalactites and Stalagmites

 

  • Stalactiteshang as icicles of different diameters. Normally they are broad at their bases and taper towards the free ends showing up in a variety of forms.
  • Stalagmitesrise up from the floor of the caves. In fact, stalagmites form due to dripping water from the surface or through the thin pipe, of the stalactite, immediately below it.
  • The stalagmites and stalactites eventually fuse to give rise to columns and pillars of different diameters