Read more...

Coal-Water conflict

The unfair system of water allocations in Maharashtra needs to change. The government must stop allocating water to thermal power plants and industry. The water needs of farmers and their families must be met first.

Maharashtra's drought and water policy

Maharashtra's agricultural hinterland – especially Marathwada and Vidarbha – have been facing severe water crisis year after year. Issues of debts, crop failure, bad monsoon etc, have historically wreaked havoc on the farmers' livelihoods and driven them to suicide. This year, the state which is in the middle of what is being called the worst drought since 1972, is further under pressure.

However, despite this perpetual water crisis, the government has allowed water intensive industries to mushroom in these regions, and has also sold off the farmers' rightful water to them. 65 percent of these industries are thermal power plants running on coal, and require large quantities of water.

Scams and more

Maharashtra has also seen a massive scam in building dams where it has been reported that more than Rs.70,000 Crore was spent over ten years to only to have a marginal increase in irrigated area because of the cost of dams were escalated continuously and this has exposed the politicians-industries nexus in Maharashtra.

But the state’s grabbing and selling (allocating) of waters from dams- some of them yet to be commissioned seems to be a larger scandal hiding in the closet. The farmers are being deprived of their right to livelihood.

Last year our studies in Vidarbha’s Wardha and Wainganga rivers, done by IIT Delhi, showed that a cluster of 71 Thermal Power Plants and about 55000 MW coming up in Vidarbha will take away 40% water from Wardha and 17% water from Wainganga. This is water meant for agriculture.  Across the state more than 80,000 MW is being proposed.

Water for farmers

Without any doubt, the government is doing its best to provide relief measures to this disaster. But the real question is it learning to prevent a man-made drought of the future?

The government must realize that building more coal plants is not the solution to water scarcity or to the gap in electricity production.  It should first conduct an assessment of water availability in the rivers and all allocations should be suspended till this is complete. It  should actively promote renewable energy technologies which also have a potential to save water for irrigation and other needs, otherwise wasted by thermal power plants.

Help farmers get back the water allocated to coal power plants and industries across Maharashtra. Sign this petition to show your support.

The latest updates

 

Why the world's biggest coal company has backed down

Blog entry by Deng Ping and Harri Lammi | April 8, 2014

Last year, Greenpeace decided to do something we had never done before during our 13 years of work in China: target and confront a state owned coal company. And not just any company. The biggest and boldest, a Chinese government...

Annual Report 2012

Publication | November 21, 2013 at 14:38

Greenpeace is a global organisation that uses non-violent direct action to tackle the most crucial threats to our planet's biodiversity and environment.

Failed corps and parched lands are the remnants of Maharasthra's drought

Blog entry by Neelima Vallangi | June 14, 2013

In Maharashtra, fields have dried up, so have the rivers and lakes, leaving people with temporary solutions to what could potentially turn into a permanent problem if not handled properly. Where is the greenery? Women in Sholapur...

The struggle for water continues in Maharashtra

Blog entry by Neelima Vallangi | June 13, 2013

A half constructed catchment pond. Considering the severity of the drought situation in Maharashtra, one would think farmers and people living without water would be given top priority. But in a strange turn of events, water has...

Vellade – living with the ashes

Blog entry by Neelima Vallangi | June 11, 2013

A lake in Velladi where ash from power plants is released. Through the small window in the Gram Panchayat room, I could see dust particles coming in. Shocked, I asked if it was the ash that the villagers were talking about. They...

Surviving the drought with stale rotis

Blog entry by Neelima Vallangi | June 9, 2013

Pointing at an overhead storage tank, the villagers told me the tank was constructed 10 years ago, yet has been empty till date and never supplied a drop of water to the people. We were in Talwade village in Yeola tehsil, Nasik...

In Maharashtra, drought is causing migration to cities in large scale

Blog entry by Neelima Vallangi | June 7, 2013

A child plays in front of a locked house whose residents have migrated. An old man was sitting on his front porch in the afternoon. The fields were barren and empty and so was the village. We were in a small village of Chandrod...

In the worst-hit district, death is the only fate for animals?

Blog entry by Neelima Vallangi | June 5, 2013

When I first reached Nasik, even during the hot summer, I could feel the pleasant morning breeze. Nasik, I am told has a nicer weather. Temperatures weren't as harsh as the other places I had visited during my time in the drought-hit...

Cattle camps: the last resort

Blog entry by Neelima Vallangi | June 3, 2013

Cattle are the last means to earn a living for the drought-affected farmers of Maharashtra. Due to failed crops, there isn't much fodder left for the animals. Even though people own acres of fertile land, it is as good as barren land...

Water woes in drought-hit Maharashtra

Blog entry by Neelima Vallangi | May 31, 2013

Many districts of Maharashtra have been facing continuous water scarcity for the past 2-3 years and this has manifested in the form of severe drought this year affecting millions of people across the state. Water for irrigation aside,...

1 - 10 of 85 results.

Categories