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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 Environment

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 Environment Government

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.
Environment 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 Environment ORISSA

A season of change
It has not been easy to keep track of the frequent announcements of modifications in environmental law and regulation, both major and minor, since the new government assumed power at the Centre. Kanchi Kohli presents a round-up of these proposed and implemented amendments.
Energy Forests Environment Government

An uncertain future for our fauna
As India’s Wildlife Protection Act completes 42 years, conservationists are worried by the recent moves of the government. which appear to undermine the law in a bid to project an industry-friendly regime. T R Shankar Raman analyses the apparent direction in which the Act, and environmental laws in general, seem to be headed.
Forests Environment opinions Wild Life Environment Government

When companies flout norms and regulators look away
A recent report from environmental research group Toxics Link exposes how multinationals are flagrantly violating the MoEF-notified rules on e-waste, even as the authorities empowered to enforce implementation remain passive. Richa Malhotra details the key findings.
Consumers Waste Environment

'E' is for efficiency, but what about empathy?
The MoEF’s recent move introducing e-filing of applications for approval of forest land diversion may facilitate procedural agility and efficiency, but precludes the interpretation of environmental and human complexities critical to a fair process. Kanchi Kohli elaborates.
Livelihood Forests Environment Government

Ignoring the ‘public’ at a public hearing
At a recent public hearing for the Parsa Coal Block in Chhattisgarh, citizens likely to be affected by mining there raised several concerns. However, much of it has been completely ignored in the official record of minutes, reports Kanchi Kohli.

A battle that hasn’t been won in nine years
With numerous court cases, regulatory rulings and pending environmental clearances behind it, the South Korean steel major POSCO still persists with its plans in India. Kanchi Kohli looks at the latest in the case and wonders why.
Mining Environment ORISSA

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 Environment Adivasis

Rampant diversion, tardy reforestation in Himachal
A recent report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India reveals blatant procedural and legal non-compliance in respect of compensatory afforestation work in Himachal Pradesh. Himanshu Upadhyaya summarises the findings.
Forests Government HIMACHAL

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 Environment GUJARAT

Old approvals from a new regulator?
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 illegal mining be stopped?
Is CCI a bypass lane for the laws?
Hydropower: Will new committee break new ground?
Biosafety: Who is liable for damages?
Why poaching still thrives in India
Can accreditation ensure accountability?
'Courting' controversy
In Uttarakhand, yet another chance to learn
National Water Law needed, but not this!
New report on POSCO - who's listening?
Uttarakhand tragedy: How we ignored the writing on the wall
GM Crops: Can India follow the Philippines example?
Different reef, same barrier
POSCO ruling sets new terms
Mera Bharat aur Mahan
Do verdicts matter?
NGT: The first seven months
Third time around the law
Radiation looms over power plans
The cost of the coast
Niyamgiri again
Anguish in Angul
Lights, camera, destruction!
Bullet holes in the regulations
At Bhadreshwar, the clock is ticking
Exigent, not principled
Nuking dissent over Jaitapur
Setting the clock back on clearances
Already destroyed? Ok, then.
A crevasse in the regulatory environment
Where does the Yamuna flow?
Mining vs. Communities
RTI and EIA collide at NIO
Appointment without perspective
Round and round the sacred hills
Holding their ground against POSCO
Green talk alone doesn’t suffice
Damming and damning the Teesta
Cleared, denied, cleared, ...
Narmada authorities allowed to proceed with impunity
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
Lokayukta slams mining in Karnataka's forests
Delhi HC overturns environmental mockery
Kerala mangrove island under threat, cabinet divided
The 'power' to protect rivers
Study the impacts first!
Exempt, but not exempt
Red flags over green tribunal
AP coastal crisis leaves fishermen marooned
Awarded in haste, withheld
River basin studies: A half-hearted attempt
High Court pulls up the NEAA
A boost to transparency in environment regulation
Legalising coastal destruction
Lessons up the hill
Another anti-environment ruling at the NEAA
Kerala's unconvincing shot at the environment ministry
Tiger terror in Chandrapur
Institutionalising compensation for lost forests
From biodiversity to biotech
Karnataka defers decision on Chamalapura power
Still advising the Forest Committee?
Vedanta - the suspense continues
A hazardous smokescreen of words
Old conflict resurfaces at Athirappilly falls
Fail, fail, fail .... and pass!
Divide and conquer, with plant and port
Mine today, gone tomorrow
Setting a precedent for trafficking hazardous waste
Uneasy quiet on the POSCO front
All legislation and no conservation
Whittling away at NPV costs
Kerala re-assessing the environment
A faint new wind at NEAA
Will the Blue Lady do a Le Clemenceau?
Whose expert is an expert?
Mine? What mine? Ah, yes, the mine.
Railways violating forest conservation law
India's pro-asbestos position sets back international treaty
An undemocratic environment
Periyar discolouration: state board slammed
Defining temporary permissions
Kali river dam proposal resurfaces dubiously
Ministry of Corporate Environment?
Persisting on two left feet
States unhappy with centralised clearances
The Blue Lady anchors, quietly
Understanding the Bt Cotton maze
Rewarding violators with room for expansion
Kerala: rain-blessed and short of water
The scrapping of Riky
No public, no hearing
EIA: The foundations of failure
Coca Cola moving out of Plachimada?
Dissent at home, as abroad, for Colas
MoEF fails to act once again
Malls trampling Delhi's green belt
Expanding steel maker skirting enviro-law?
NEAA rejecting clearance appeals coldly
Centre's no to Bt cotton in AP
Expert committees under the lens
The half-life of justice and common sense
North East: Apex court rules the forests
High 'court' of appeals, 2004: no cases
Sethusamudram: Court opinion amiss?
India's legal backing for conservation
Civil, but criminal
When 'good practices' turn ugly
A road through the laws
Pushing an environmental policy

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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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