Global Warming and Hydro-electric Projects
Yadav is simply quoting what Geological Survey of India (GSI) position is with regard to climate change and not articulating the position of Ministry of Water Resources but by doing so it has cleverly indulged in selective reporting of facts to suit its ongoing and proposed hydro-electric projects. There is hardly any credible scientist who has not underlined that global warming is no more a debatable issue, it is a reality staring mankind in the face.
India is a signatory to Kyoto Protocol. Will Gauri Chatterjee, Secretary, Water Resources, Government of India explain as to whether India ratified the Protocol even as it continued to believe that global warming is "debatable"?. Did she brief Yadav properly about climate change? It is her responsibility to brief the Minister about global warming and how land use changes such as through hydro-electric projects contributes to climate change?
At a recent Panel Discussion on Lok Sabha TV, when the Rayapati Sambasiva Rao, chairman, parliamentary standing committee on water resources was asked as to how can Water Resources Ministry and the committee feign ignorance about government's own wisdom about climate change. He responded by saying that u intend to terrify me by citing global warming.Yadav is not alone in committing mistakes.
Did the Water Resources Ministry forgot that there is Prime Minister's Council on Climate Change which is coordinating National action plans for assessment, adaptation and mitigation of climate and facilitate inter-ministerial coordination and guide policy in relevant areas?. This mistake seems to have emerged also from the failure of the Council to do its job properly.
According to Namo Narayana Meena, Minister of State in the Ministry of Environment and Forests, "The Government has set up the “Expert Committee on Impacts of Climate Change” on 7th May 2007 under the chairmanship of Dr. R. Chidambaram, Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India".
Here is what the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh himself said in a written reply on 22 August, 2007 in the parliament:
A coordination committee chaired by Prime Minister called Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change has been recently constituted to coordinate national action for assessment, adaptation and mitigation of climate change. The focus of the Committee is to:
i. Evolve a coordinated response to issues relating to climate change at the national level;
ii. Provide oversight for formulation of action plans in the area of assessment, adaptation and mitigation of climate change;
iii. Periodically monitor key policy decisions.
The Government has also set up an “Expert Committee on Impacts of Climate Change”. The Terms of Reference of the Committee are as under:
i. To study the impacts of anthropogenic climate change on India.
ii. To identify the measures that we may have to take in the future in relation to addressing vulnerability to anthropogenic climate change impacts.
iii. Any other matter relevant to (i) and (ii) above.This information was given by the Prime Minister in a written reply to question by J.M.Aaron Rashid and Dr. Arun Kumar Sarma in the Lok Sabha.
Does the Water Resources Ministry still feel that climate change is "debatable"?
From: Himanshu Thakkar <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Aug 22, 2007 11:38 AM
Subject: Ministry of Water Resources misleading everyone on global warming?
Ministry of Water Resources
GLOBAL WARMING AND HYDRO-ELECTRIC PROJECTS
Various reports indicate that the average temperature values of the earth has in last decade shown increasing trend. As reported by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the seasonal snow cover has been melting in the last few years, the same way it was in the past and it seems that effect is more pronounced on Glaciers. Geological Survey of India (GSI) have reported that most of the glaciers of Himalayas as well as in the other parts of the world are receding and the recession of the glaciers may result due to subnormal snowfall, higher temperature during summer, less severe winter or a combination of all of them. The GSI has further reported that it may also be due to global warming a topic which is still debatable.
As per GSI, if the present scenario of receding glaciers is accelerated, there may be some reduction in the river discharge. However, it may be noted that the major part of the river discharge is contributed by snow fall and precipitation which is likely to go up with global warming. More melting of glaciers will generate more water initially. Hence there is no likelihood of northern rivers drying up in the near future.
This information was given by the Minister of State in the Ministry of Water Resources Shri Jai Prakash Narayan Yadav in a written reply to question by Smt. Maya Singh :in the Rajya Sabha today.
South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers & People