20 April 2014

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What they say about the things that really matter

Responsible governance, economic security for the maximum numbers and ecological sustainability are the three key challenges facing the country today. Ashish Kothari deconstructs the Congress, BJP and AAP manifestos to see what these parties promise on these fronts.

Elections Government opinions Economy Government

Ash everywhere; in your food and water, too?
Fly ash, the residue from coal used in thermal power plants, is not only a headache for plant operators; its use in agriculture and other sectors violates environmental sanctity and poses a serious risk to human health. Shripad Dharmadhikary studies a new CEA report to bring us more.
Agriculture Energy

Who will spare a thought for the environment?
With the manifestos of all major national parties finally released, Himanshu Thakkar presents a comparative reading with a lens on environment and natural resource management.
Elections Environmental Law and Regulation Adivasis

Could Modi be a development disaster?
If the cost of ecological damage and social deprivation are accounted for, Narendra Modi will only be half as tall as he is made out to be, says Ashish Kothari, issuing a grave warning.
Elections Government GUJARAT Human Rights

Planning for a climate-resilient city
Indian cities have been identified as among the most vulnerable to climate change impacts. Shrimoyee Bhattacharya and Sujaya Rathi explore how the envisioned plan for Bangalore can build in increased resilience to climatic variations and impact.
Urban Cities

Steeling into Rowghat’s future
Iron ore from the proposed Rowghat mines in Chhattisgarh is crucial for the sustenance of the Bhilai steel plants. This, however, not only poses a grave threat to the forest ecology of the area, but is also itself vulnerable. Kanchi Kohli details the complexities.
Mining Displacement

Our streets are meant for walking: Gil Penalosa
Gil Penalosa is an indefatigable evangelist for public transport, constantly traversing innumerable cities in the developed and developing world. In the first of a two-part report, Darryl D’Monte details his observations at a Mumbai presentation on streets as public space and the need to make them pedestrian-friendly.
Transport Urban Cities

What bankers don’t tell you about their bad loans
Non-performing assets in public sector banks have shot up by more than 400 per cent in the last five years, hitting Rs 164000 crore! Shripad Dharmadhikary summarises findings of a research report that unearths the real reasons underlying these bad loans.
Public Funds Economy

Mundra SEZ: Deemed, but not approved
The recent verdict of the Gujarat High Court regarding the operation of multipurpose industries on land leased out by the MPSEZ could have critical implications for environmental clearance of SEZs in general and the clause of “deemed approval” in particular. Kanchi Kohli reports.
Economy Environmental Law and Regulation GUJARAT

Moulding the young as change agents
While formal education on climate change is largely structured around doctrines and laws targeted at mature minds, some have realised the importance of building awareness and inspiring action among the younger brigade. Angelica Pereira reports from Mumbai.
Climate Environmental Education MAHARASHTRA

When will Indian politics wake up to climate change?
Initiatives that do not factor in climate resilience and related gender concerns cannot address development challenges, but the manner in which state-level climate action plans are being implemented shows these are yet to become electoral planks. Aditi Kapoor reports.
Climate Women

Old approvals from a new regulator?
The SC orders the government to constitute an independent environmental regulatory authority. While the flaws in the current arrangement are plain, it is not clear if independence of the regulator alone can address these, writes Kanchi Kohli.
Opinions Environmental Law and Regulation

Travelling afar for solutions nearby
The plan to erect 12 dams in order to meet the water requirements of cities in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region is not only objectionable from an environmental perspective, but also undermines the priorities laid out by the 12th Five Year Plan. Shripad Dharmadhikary reports.

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
Public risk, private profit
Lakshadweep's Muslim women conquer the Earth
River dolphin numbers rise
Revisiting the arrest of Sansar Chand
High Court pulls up the NEAA
The unique water tunnel of Sheni
Leopards face sustained threat
A boost to transparency in environment regulation
Water privatisation: Start again
A notorious coexistence gone wrong
Put in the water, take out the guarantee
Legalising coastal destruction
Water sector reforms: Time for a new model
Winning the battle against poaching
Lessons up the hill
Softening hard water with rain
Consent under duress
Tribals, forest interdependence, and integration
The gift from the sky
Doors open for familiar nuclear worries
Another anti-environment ruling at the NEAA
Repairing Kosi’s breaches not a longterm solution
Hug and save the trees
Dam forays in other countries
Relocation of settlements is healing Sariska
Blessed by water
Kerala's unconvincing shot at the environment ministry
Tiger terror in Chandrapur
Institutionalising compensation for lost forests

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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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