A committee to exonerate industry?
The recommendations of the committee constituted to look into the claims of endosulfan victims in Kasargod appear to be largely sympathetic
towards the Plantation Corporation and endosulfan manufacturers.
P N Venugopal
MOBILE TELEPHONY HAZARDS
Mumbai fights the towers that trouble
As studies continue to highlight the potential health hazards posed by cell phones, Mumbai citizens are seen demanding stricter regulation and
removal of cell phone towers from sensitive areas, but authorities respond with half-baked measures.
Kudamkulam: Ready to produce?
Will the nuclear power plant finally become operational this month as assured by the PM?
takes an in-depth look at the delays and conflicts that has plagued the project.
The people's energy
When nuclear companies are unwilling to stake their financial health on the safety of a reactor, how can the Government ask local
residents to risk their lives?
Radiation looms over power plans
The National Green Tribunal orders a study of the threat of radiation near thermal power plants, potentially putting the brakes on
a spate of project approvals.
A burning issue at Okhla
The Supreme Court has ordered a go-slow on waste-to-incineration technology that may be potential harmful to public health, but the
MNRE is guided more by its focus on tackling urban waste.
The nuclear black swan
A nuclear disaster is such a complex event with wide consequences that it would be better to stop ourselves from going down a path
that might lead to a catastrophe, however unlikely it may be.
'We don't sell our mother'
Substantial resistance has built up against the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Park being set up
in Konkan region of Maharashtra. But political consensus for nuclear power has brushed
aside local concerns again.
Cost-effective technology stalled by Pune govt
Bureaucratic meddling and lack of vision are threatening a simple, cost-effective eco-technology to
treat heavily polluted water and turn messed-up water bodies into clean ones.
Blue river blues
The discolouring of the Lukha river has also meant a loss of livelihood to the families who live on its banks. They must now subsist
on meagre farming, and wage labour when it is available.
ALL THAT GLITTERS - I
Blinding lure, dirty lucre
Extracting gold needed to forge a wedding band leaves behind at least 20-30 tons of waste and
environmental devastation. Mahazareen Dastur writes about the costs
of gold mining in the first of a two-part series.
ALL THAT GLITTERS - II
Gold mining: The way forward
Gold mining wreaks havoc on the environment and humans alike, but there are ways to help minimise the damage.
Mahazareen Dastur concludes this two-part series.
COKE AND KERALA
End of Plachimada battle. Or is it?
A high-power Kerala government panel has put Coca Cola in the dock and ordered it to cough up
damages to victims. However, this may not be the end of the saga.
HAZARDS COMING UP
UN e-waste report spotlights India
Did you know that Titan Industries, the wristwatch major, does safe disposal of 600,000-700,000
of its old watches each year as part of e-waste management?
SPONGE IRON PLANTS
The iron is hot
Loha Garam Hai is a no-nonsense, no-holds-barred comment on lop-sided strategies of development.
It is focused more on information and education than on the aesthetics of cinema.
Panipat power plant pollutes with impunity
It has been happening for several years under the nose of the Haryana adminstration,
despite multiple indictments from the nation's top auditor.
Hot ash burns child to death
Illegal dumping of industrial waste around Raigarh takes the life of 7-year-old Twinkle Thakur, raising familiar troubling questions about the
trajectory of 'development' in India.
KERALA AND PEPSI
Inaction on panel findings against beverage major
A Pepsi bottling plant in Kerala is extracting excess groundwater and may be subjecting it to contamination risks,
a state government study had reported several months ago. Despite meeting five times, a state assembly committee has not acted.
A hazardous smokescreen of words
Last year, the Ministry of Environment and Forests attempted to dilute the hazardous waste management regulations. Earlier this year, the Supreme
Court intervened and the tacky attempt appears to have stalled.
Insufficient relief for Kerala's endosulfan victims
For seven-year-old Sandhya and her siblings who are totally dependant on their beedi-maker mother, the
state government's relief package, announced nearly 18 months ago, is simply not enough. Many more suffer the
P N Venugopal
Diesel threat in cities continues to rise
The sulphur content of diesel in India is 350 particles per million, twenty times that of
the United States. All told, diesel exhaust is far more hazardous than petrol exhaust. Yet, diesel
cars in Indian cities are rising with the association of automobile manufacturers pushing
hard for it.
Producers sneak into delegation, endorse DDT
How did two major operators in the POPs manufacturing-sector become part of India's official delegation to a conference which aims to eliminate their
production and use?
P N Venugopal
reports on the embarassing, but unabashed capture of officialdom by a manufacturer.
Ubiquitous, useful, and dangerous
Polyvinyl chloride or PVC is all around us. It is one of most versatile
of plastic materials and its global production is at 40 million tonnes
a year. Yet, PVC products are being phased around the world, and
India may need to follow.
Brown cloud, or brown man's cloud?
Extensive air pollution over Asia has drawn considerable attention from the global atmospheric science community. In India, as in other Asian
countries, the government as well as scientists are wary of motivated criticism, but still have much to do to put the environment in order, writes
India's black agenda in a climate change era
In January, the Ratan Tata-chaired Investment Commission green-lighted coal-to-liquids technology for India.
But beyond the pressing demands for energy security lies a starker reality.
Sorrow and distress, thy home is Jajjal
The elections in Punjab have unseated the Congress and ushered in the Akali-BJP. But will
this change the fortunes of hundreds of cancer-impacted families in the Malwa region?
Village after village is plagued by pesticide-linked cancer and rising
debt. Umendra Dutt writes about Jajjal, one of them.
Will the Blue Lady do a Le Clemenceau?
Despite the confirmed presence of toxic waste on-board the Blue Lady, currently beached at the Alang shipbreaking yard,
there appears to be a consensus among key officials in Gujarat and New Delhi to allow the ship's dismantling.
Grey skies looming over colourful roads
Despite the inconsistencies in pollution data as well as measurement approaches in different Asian cities, there is now sufficient knowledge about the health risks of rampant and unchecked levels of motorisation, particularly in India's cities. A workshop for journalists at Indonesia sounded the warning bells again, writes
NOXIOUS COAL MINING
In the line of fire
The Jharia mines in Jharkhand's Dhanbad district produce the best quality coking coal (used in blast furnaces) in India. However, the area, mostly inhabited by tribals, has been smouldering with underground mine fires for several decades now.
reports on the health impact.
India's pro-asbestos position sets back international treaty
Held in Geneva last month, the Rotterdam Convention was attended by 500 participants from 140 governments, UN organisations, and NGOs. India sided with Canada and few other nations to prevent the listing of chrysotile asbestos,
a known carcinogen.
Periyar discolouration: state board slammed
On 6 September, the water of the Periyar, Kerala's largest river, suddenly changed its colour into red. Eloor remains a glaring example of unchecked corporate crimes against neighbourhood communities. It also highlights the apathy of state's apex pollution watchdog, writes
COMPENSATION AT LAST
Endosulfan victims: Kerala owns up
The LDF government's recent payment of compensation to the victims is a great climb down, for this is the first time a Kerala government has conceded that endosulfan was the cause of the unusual and lethal health disorders that spread in Kasargode. Does this mean more for the victims to look forward to?
P N Venugopal
WASTE INCINERATION TO ENERGY
Burning biomass is not green
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi and the Timarpur Waste Management Company
Pvt. Ltd., have proposed a waste incineration plant to treat the city's
solid waste and generate 6 MW of electricity. TWMPCL has applied to a
United Nations body for tradable carbon credits.
finds much wrong in the proposal.
The Blue Lady anchors, quietly
Yet another ship with toxic waste has recently beached at Alang, Gujarat. The Blue Lady's owner admits that the ship contains asbestos. But the ship carries neither documents required as per international law, nor a complete inventory of its hazardous wastes, says
OPERATING BEYOND PERMITTED LEVELS
Illegal mining near Rajaji National Park
A group of farmers based near the Rajaji National Park in Uttaranchal have reported illegal stone and sand mining activities in the eco fragile zone to local and national authorities. They are farming in Banjarowala Grant village, Haridwar district near the border of Uttaranchal and U.P.
THERMAL PLANT DISCHARGE
Reliance power plant under scrutiny
On 4 April 2006 the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board conducted tests in the presence of local groups and community representatives to assess the temperature of the water discharged from Reliance's 500 MW thermal plant in Dahanu. Dahanu is a notified ecologically fragile area, 120 kms north of Mumbai.
ASBESTOS MINING BAN
White asbestos, a health time bomb
The Ministry of Mines and Minerals says it may lift the ban on asbestos mining. It is
ignoring the views of exposure victims, informed recommendations of public sector
medical experts, and mounting evidence of an asbestos disease epidemic emerging
in developed countries, writes
The scrapping of Riky
First, a ship with dubious credentials leaves the shores of Denmark.
Then a month later, India allows it to beach at Alang, Gujarat's
massive shipbreaking yard, for scrapping. In between, it gets a
new name and rules are flouted to let it in.
chronicles how in 2005, Riky, unlike Clemenceau, sailed through the law.