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Missing the woods and the trees

Ever since the report of the Subramanian Committee, set up to review and amend key environmental legislation, was leaked, several questions have been raised regarding its real implications for the environment. Darryl D’Monte explains some of the most critical concerns.                                  

Forests Wild Life Opinions Environmental Law and Regulation

How much do you know about the air you are breathing?
Red, yellow and green are not just about traffic lights any more. Colour coding the air quality in cities is a critical step towards dissemination of pollution data among citizens. But does India’s air quality index satisfy all the necessary conditions for optimal use? Sarath Guttikunda has more.
Environmental Hazards Urban Government

The tiny creature that has made the Assam zoo famous!
On 15 November, the Assam State Zoo opened its doors to three pygmy hogs, becoming the only zoo in the world to house this critically endangered species. Ratna Bharali Talukdar reports on an ongoing project that’s trying to save the animal and its habitats in the face of all odds.
Bio Diversity Wild Life

A continuous struggle between ‘power’ and the people
In yet another contested environmental approval decision, a 300-MW power plant in Gujarat has been granted changes in technology, relaxing certain original conditions, without any public consultation. Kanchi Kohli reports on the grievances of the local people.
Energy Water Environmental Law and Regulation

Defining, celebrating and protecting our rivers
India Rivers Week held in November 2014 was a first-of-its-kind gathering in New Delhi, which celebrated rivers and those trying to protect them, while charting out a road map to mitigate the threats they confront. Shripad Dharmadhikary reports on the proceedings.
Environmental Hazards Water Government

Finding the right reasons for reform
The High Level Committee constituted to review key environmental laws has apparently focussed on a wide range of issues and mechanisms; however, as long as the focus in on speed, and not environmental outcomes, the reform process may be futile, writes Manju Menon and Kanchi Kohli.
Environment opinions Government Environmental Law and Regulation

A time to take up the reins
The official Indian response to the recent US-China climate deal is characterised by its historical stance on differentiated responsibility and over-reliance on coal energy. Sunita Dubey calls for an urgent re-assessment of its position and stresses the need for stronger commitment.
Climate Government Opinions

Hydropower in the land of Gross National Happiness
The immense untapped potential of hydropower generation in Bhutan has led to several major projects in the offing, with varying degrees of Indian involvement. However, Shripad Dharmadhikary finds a steady rise in voices questioning their impact on the Himalayan environment.
Energy Trade Water

Food security, courtesy Odisha's tribal women
In 25 villages across Rayagada district of Odisha, tribal village women have reclaimed the denuded commons and achieved a remarkable turnaround in food security and livelihoods through eco-friendly alternatives to shifting cultivation. Abhijit Mohanty highlights a few successes of the project.
Food Security Organic Agriculture

If the Ganga is so hot, can the Yamuna be far behind?
With the thrust on rejuvenation of the Ganga by the Narendra Modi-led government, rivers in India have become the focus of attention from several international players. Manoj Misra points out how this may explain some recent statements from the government's partner in Yamuna restoration, the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
Water Government Opinions

The fate of Sikkim's sacred river hangs in balance
Having drastically curtailed the width of eco-sensitive zones in Sikkim, the MoEF seems intent on ignoring local sentiment as well as environmental norms in order to push forward the Tashiding HEP on the sacred Rathong Chu river. Soumik Dutta reports on the latest in the case.
Environmental Law and Regulation Culture

A new course for iron ore mining in Odisha
Rejection of regularisation of mines operating beyond lease areas and compensation for other violations being used for tribal welfare are among the recommendations of a recent report on mining in the state. Kanchi Kohli places the key points in context.
Mining Environmental Law and Regulation ORISSA

Preparing the framework for a new Ganga vision
A Consortium of 7 IITs is working on a plan that will form the basis for the long-term vision for the government’s much-talked about Ganga rejuvenation programme. Shripad Dharmadhikary reviews an initial summary released by the Consortium as the framework within which the final plan will be drawn up.
Water Government

A season of change
Do we really need Gujarat’s Sabarmati model?
It ain’t so difficult to green your home!
An uncertain future for our fauna
Will selective plans for the Ganga work?
Should India tone down its moralistic stance in Paris climate talks?
Reviving the Ganga, at the cost of its ecology!
Clearance revoked, but you can still have the forest land!
Breaking the myth behind Coastal Thermal Power Plants
When companies flout norms and regulators look away
'E' is for efficiency, but what about empathy?
Decoding the red alert on green NGOs
Why large dams aren't a water solution for the future
Ignoring the ‘public’ at a public hearing
What the Modi juggernaut entails
A battle that hasn’t been won in nine years
What they say about the things that really matter
Ash everywhere; in your food and water, too?
Who will spare a thought for the environment?
Could Modi be a development disaster?
Planning for a climate-resilient city
Steeling into Rowghat’s future
Our streets are meant for walking: Gil Penalosa
What bankers don’t tell you about their bad loans
Mundra SEZ: Deemed, but not approved
Moulding the young as change agents
When will Indian politics wake up to climate change?
Old approvals from a new regulator?
Travelling afar for solutions nearby
At Kandla, no room for marine ecosystem
Ministries turn a blind eye to impact of small hydel projects
Powerful forces get water for power
Can new technologies tackle urban waste?
Can illegal mining be stopped?
Women lead the way in eco-conservation
Farmers take the long-term view, with long stalk rice
Is CCI a bypass lane for the laws?
Have you overstepped the Sustainable Consumption Line?
Hydropower: Will new committee break new ground?
Biosafety: Who is liable for damages?
Policy indifference threatens to make the Great Indian Bustard extinct
Greening the finance sector
Why poaching still thrives in India
Can accreditation ensure accountability?
Can rural India get the 'power' to choose?
Alang shipyard: Pushing more than ships to their graves
A committee to exonerate industry?
Villages devoured by rising waters
MP town seeks to reclaim its right to water
Mumbai fights the towers that trouble
Life in uneasy forest terrain
'Maha' problems over minor irrigation
River basin management: Missing the boat
When growth is another word for violence
Pune civic ward sets an example
In Uttarakhand, yet another chance to learn
All those kinds of gaze
Seaplane grounded!
New report on POSCO - who's listening?
Is conservation possible without protection of animal rights?
Why women in this village can't cook dal
The weapons of destruction we ignore
Old trick, new attack
Kerala loses its precious Kenis
Niyamgiri gets some time to breathe
Bhama Askhed Dam: Just another pawn
Diversion of forest land denounced
The Sparrow: Concerns and conservation
Kudamkulam: Ready to produce power?
In support of a paradigm shift in water
The strange case of India's missing dams
A lost emperor's cry for sovereignty
White Paper, or whitewash?
One state, but divergent demands
Shallow understanding of deep risks
Different reef, same barrier
The saffronisation of green
Better, but needs more work
Going awry with the flow
Partly our responsibility too
POSCO ruling sets new terms
Re-imagining public spaces
Nothing secret about Panel reports
Mera Bharat aur Mahan
Are Himalayan glaciers not melting?
Do verdicts matter?
Tunnels in the hills
Pushing to privatise
Rights Act, not working right
NGT: The first seven months
The people's energy
Third time around the law
Radiation looms over power plans
My fossil fuels, your land
The cost of the coast
Back-pedaling the market mantra
Niyamgiri again
Singrauli singed by coal and power
Montreal Protocol: The unfinished agenda
Here a plant, there a plant
Lessons from Chile's Water Code
Is the Forest Rights Act working?
A burning issue at Okhla
Areca leaf chappals seek market lift
Anguish in Angul
Lights, camera, destruction!
Bullet holes in the regulations
At Bhadreshwar, the clock is ticking
Keeping the roots in place
Grand plans for the Ganga
Inviolate space for conservation is not negotiable
Exigent, not principled
Nuking dissent over Jaitapur
Setting the clock back on clearances
Mine-ing the Brahmaputra waters
Warding off the water woes
'We don't sell our mother'
Already destroyed? Ok, then.
Capitulation at Cancun
Greening the smaller towns
A crevasse in the regulatory environment
Grappling with change
How culture counts
Where does the Yamuna flow?
The vilification of Pachauri
Electricity for All
RTI and EIA collide at NIO
Sickness at altitude
Blue river blues
How Dilawar's box is bringing sparrows back
Energy efficiency is inevitable
Grid-free, on the horizon
Appointment without perspective
Round and round the sacred hills
The bills we pay, and the ones we don't
Holding their ground against POSCO
Green talk alone doesn’t suffice
Going upstream on the Energy Road
Damming and damning the Teesta
Was this tigress a man-eater or threatened?
Blinding lure, dirty lucre
Gold mining: The way forward
Linking conservation to livelihoods
Cost-effective technology stalled by Pune government
Expand the moral commons
Cleared, denied, cleared, ...
Building green and thinking green
Adding the fourth R
End of Plachimada battle. Or is it?
Construction, at any cost
Embankments that doom the people
Swamping environmental regulations
UN e-waste report spotlights India
Environment clearance: A sham again
Kerala going greener
Narmada dams continue to roll over the rules
Reasons for the Bt Brinjal moratorium
Climate sceptics get it wrong
How they pulled their farm back from the brink
First in RWH, but not self-reliant yet
Lokayukta slams mining in Karnataka's forests
India's missteps at Copenhagen
Coal waste darkens the Kelo
Criticism rising on Karnataka's Gundia project
Delhi HC overturns environmental mockery
India's tiger reserves are maternity wards
Blundering into a Himalayan mistake
Kerala mangrove island under threat, cabinet divided
Running wild with the BD Act
Where Suvarna Jala fails, schools leap ahead
In Palakkad, ‘rain pond’ to the rescue
Need to strengthen climate diplomacy
A miner's shortcut to green clearance goes awry
The 'power' to protect rivers
Study the impacts first!
Emissions of the rich and famous
Indian forests can support 20,000 tigers: experts
Exempt, but not exempt
The wrecking sand dunes of upper Assam
Red flags over green tribunal
Environment Report, 2009
AP coastal crisis leaves fishermen marooned
The right to water: long road ahead
Drowning Himachalis, pampering Delhi
Expert panel giving conflicted IPR approvals
Awarded in haste, withheld
River basin studies: A half-hearted attempt
By the skin of their teeth
Lion poacher nabbed, awaits trial
The empire flows again
Hot ash burns child to death
Stagnant waters: Party manifestos offer little
Panipat power plant pollutes with impunity
Know-how at whose cost?
Kokkarni, saviour of paddy
Tiger census: four healthy landscapes possible
World Water Forums: Time to end them
NBSAP to NBAP: The downward spiral
No to noise
Coal mining threatens tigers in Maharashtra reserve

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From Aug 2013, published with support from Oorvani Foundation, a champion of public-funded media for the new India.

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