Ten stories you should have read in 2015

We pick out the most popular and important stories published on The Third Pole in past year

1. Bangladesh struggles to fund controversial Sundarbans coal project

Norwegian investor pulled out of controversial India-Bangladesh coal power plant over concerns about impact on world’s largest mangrove forest in the Bay of Bengal

rampal protest

2. Photo story: The nowhere people

How the Farakka Barrage obstructs the natural course of the Ganga, has become a dumping ground for the silt, and created a new tribe of people who are environmental refugees

The truly desperate take refuge on these chars. They “recognise” land lost in erosion in the chars, they parcel the sandbars mirroring the mainland, they give the chars names, and they till it and reap rewards till the river takes it all back, leaving them displaced, yet again.

3. Nepal earthquake highlights dangers of dam building in Tibet

Hydropower development in Tibet is fraught with huge risks because of the danger of major earthquakes. What’s more, the projects might not be needed, say experts


4. China helps Pakistan build world’s largest solar farm

Chinese companies are building a massive solar power station in the Punjab desert, but is the project the most effective way of solving Pakistan’s escalating energy crisis?

Once complete the 1,000 MW the Quaid-e-Azam solar park will be the world's largest (Photo courtesy of QASP)

5. Pakistan’s new plan to embrace floods

The Pakistan government is considering a new flood prevention plan that could transform the way the country deals with its devastating annual floods, by restoring wetlands, forests and floodplains

(Photo by Nadeem Khawer)

6. Drinking sewage in Varanasi

Leaky old pipes and a poisoned Ganga mean Varanasi residents fall prey to stomach ailments far too often; the eternal city is now pinning its faith on a central scheme

Woman covers her face protecting herself from vehicular traffic

7. Brahmaptura dams hold back silt, not water

China announced completion of the Zangmu hydropower project in Tibet and assured India that water flows on the Brahmaputra would not be affected; but it said nothing about the silt flow

Dams in the Himalayas hold back silt essential for agriculture downstream in Bangladesh
Dams in the Himalayas hold back silt essential for agriculture downstream in Bangladesh

8. Photo story – Blockade and protests push Nepal to another disaster

Nepalis struggle to continue normal life as protests and an ‘informal blockade’ limits the import of basic necessities into the land-locked country

Carpet factory worker women cook dinner out side the resident with the firewood that they collected from the green belt of Shahid Gangalal National Heart Centre in Kathmandu, Nepal. Due to the shortage of cooking gas in Kathmandu these women spent 8 hours of their morning time to collect one bundle of wood, which is enough for 3-4 days only firewood.

9. India’s solar dream: does the country have enough water?

Narendra Modi’s ambitious solar energy expansion may be scuppered by lack of water, particularly in arid regions where the biggest solar farms are planned

(Photo courtesy of DFID)

10. Weather fluctuations wreak havoc on Bhutan’s crops

Bhutanese farmers struggle as erratic rainfall and unprecedented weather patterns destroy their crops

Farming in Bhutan


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