Category Archives: Ecology and Environment

Paying The price for someone else’s Displacement

Rough estimates point to 60 million displaced persons and project-affected persons in India. That’s four times the estimated 15 million refugees exchanged between India and the two wings of Pakistan at the time of Partition. The majority of the development-displaced are tribals and landless dalits who live on or off common property resources. And scarcely […]

Protection For The Rich; Free Play Of Market Forces For The Poor

The most striking aspect of the farming crisis in India is that its severity is directly proportionate to the degree of integration with international trade and global markets.

Five Years After SEZs: Chronicle Of Revenues Forgone

SEZs, touted as the silver bullet for India’s economic ambitions, appear to have lost their sheen as the Direct Tax Code threatens to withdraw the exemptions offered them. We have only just begun to realise how many thousands of crores of revenue have been forgone due to tax holidays granted to SEZs, says Manshi Asher, who […]

Transferring 26% Of Mining Profits To Local Populations

The Indian government is thinking about giving local people a stake in the resources mined from their area by offering them 26% equity or payout of profits. But will government implement profit-sharing any more effectively than it implements the rehabilitation of the displaced?

The Salt Demon’s Legacy

Once in a way, nature and chance converse briefly to produce a wonder. About 60,000 years ago, the deccan plateau had a visitor from outer space. A decently sized rock, seduced by the earth’s gravity and not completely eaten away by the angry friction from our planet’s atmosphere, came crashing down in the Buldana district […]

Tales of Greed, Destruction And State’s Myopia

There have been gross violations of the rights of the poor, particularly tribal rights, which have reached unprecedented levels since the implementation of new economic policies of the 90s. The 5th Schedule Rights of the tribals, in particular the Panchayat Extension to Scheduled Areas (PESA) Act and the Forest Rights Act, have been grossly violated. […]

Courting Nuclear Trouble In Jaitapur

Jaitapur will become the world’s largest nuclear power station, generating 9,900 MW, or more than double India’s current nuclear capacity (4,780 MW). It will also wreck 40,000 people’s livelihoods and generate electricity that’s three to five times costlier than power from other sources, thus magnifying the economic disaster called Enron, also located in Ratnagiri.

Reviving Wetlands

The notification of the Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2010 has provided a legal framework for protecting an ecosystem that has come under serious threat from unregulated development activity. Wetlands provide a range of ecosystem services, not the least of which is water security to vast regions housing millions of people. If cities depend on […]

Economic Model An Environmental Threat: UN Chief

“We need a revolution,” the secretary-general of the U.N. told a panel at the World Economic Forum on how best to make the global economy sustainable. “Climate change is also showing us that the old model is more than obsolete.”

The Forest Rights Act Is Floundering

One of the flagship programmes of the UPA government, the Forest Rights Act, is floundering. An eight-month investigation across 17 states by a committee set up jointly by the Ministry of Environment and Forests and the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, has pointed out gaping holes in implementation. It has strongly recommended independent oversight of the […]