River sand quarrying resumes

After a brief lull, quarrying of river sand commenced in five places on Monday, taking the total number of re-opened sand quarries to 12.

On Wednesday last, seven quarries resumed operations. Of the 12 functioning quarries, five are on the Coleroon river (two each in Thanjavur and Nagapattinam districts and one in Ariyalur); five on the Cauvery (four in Karur and one in Tiruchi) and two on the Gundar (both in Virudhunagar), according to officials of the Public Works Department (PWD).

Call for rethink on hydro-power plants

Four non-government organisations (NGOs) have called on the National Assembly for tighter controls on hydro-power plants to prevent loss of lives and widespread damage during storms.

The recommendation was made by the Viet Nam River Network (VRN), People and Nature Reconciliation (PanNature), Centre for Sustainable Development of Water Resources and Adaptation to Climate Change (CEWAREC), and the Centre for Promotion of Integrated Water Resources Management (CIWAREM).

Hydro-power plants have negative impacts

LAM DONG — Hydro-power projects located in areas of ecological varieties have affected the ecological system and caused losses of water-head protective forests.

The assessment was heard at a conference on the protection of Dong Nai River Basin held in Da Lat last Friday.

Hydro-power projects located on the upper sections of the regional rivers have negative impacts to the water environment and cause floods in the lower section, said Nguyen Van Thanh from the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Laos' trial and error approach threatens the Mekong

On Monday, officials and journalists visited the site of the proposed Don Sahong Dam in southern Laos, at the invitation of the Lao Ministry of Energy and Mines and the Lao National Mekong Committee. The visit was an attempt to sell the project to neighbouring countries despite the absence of a regional agreement or proven measures to mitigate environmental or social impacts of the project. International Rivers is concerned that the Don Sahong Dam poses significant risks to the future of the Mekong River and to regional cooperation.

VNA rumbles polluting paper firm

A paper production company in the northern mountainous province of Bac Kan has continued to discharge untreated waste water into the Cau River despite having been fined in late August, causing concerns for local residents.

Under observation of a Vietnam News Agency correspondent on Thursday, Bac Kan Forestry Products Joint Stock Company continues to discharge black-coloured waste water directly into the Cau River in Duc Xuan Commune, Bac Kan Township.

The frothy water had a terrible odour and is polluting a large section of the river.

Panel to study impact of hydel projects on Uttarakhand's ecology

Acting on a Supreme Court order, the ministry of environment and forests has constituted an expert committee to make a detailed study whether the environmental degradation caused by hydroelectric power projects (existing ones and those under construction) in the river basins of Alaknanda, Bhagirathi and their tributaries had led to the disaster in Uttarakhand in June.

MoIT asked to rethink hydro-power plants

The Prime Minister has asked the Ministry of Industry and Trade to re-consider the development plans of hydro-power projects No 6 and 6A and others along the Dong Nai River.

The request is part of a document giving the PM's response to a petition by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) on the negative impacts these projects would have on the Dong Nai River Basin.

Campaign to rid Bishnumati of solid waste launched

Around 500 people, including 200 staffers from the metropolis, gathered on the banks of the Bishnumati River today to take part in the river cleaning campaign today.

Kathmandu Metropolitan City Office initiated the campaign today to clean the Bishnumati River by removing solid waste and urging all not to throw such garbage into the river. They gathered at 10 different locations along the river and took part in the cleaning campaign.

Thailand: PCD needs time to restore affected villages

PCD's measures to rehabilitate the cadmium-affected villages would cost Bt438 million.

Its appeal to the Supreme Administrative Court follows a decision by the Phitsanulok Administra-tive Court last month ordering the National Environmental Board (NEB) and PCD to declare the Mae Tao River Basin as an environmentally protected area within 90 days.

PCD director-general, Wichien Jungrungruang, said his department could not work within this period to designate the cadmium-affected villages as environmentally protected zones because many procedures were required for the zone designation.