Wednesday, December 12Delhi Greens Blog: Greening the World, One Post at a Time!

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Featured articles and essays on global environmental issues.

Of Being Tactful, For the Sake of Human Dignity

Of Being Tactful, For the Sake of Human Dignity

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The Western Yamuna Canal Overlooking the Delhi Metro: If you thought the Indian Railways track was the world's longest public toilet, wait till you visit this. Cleaning the Yamuna needs a plan that ensures that waste water generated in the city does not reach back into the river untreated. The technology needed to operate these facilities is not very difficult, nor is the O and M costs very high, if there is a committed agency that wants it to happen for 40 percent of the JJ slum dwellers. Ever considered that the ultimate form of protest of the weak is to do what they are told not to do by people in authority, by doing so they have the satisfaction of being noticed and not ignored by authority. The ultimate weapon of the weak is instead of protesting vocally, they resisting domina...
Cleaning the Yamuna

Cleaning the Yamuna

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Yamuna River passing through the city of Delhi is polluted and every one is concerned. There is money spent on it. 1200 cr. worth of efforts were spent on Yamuna Action Plan Phase I and Yamuna Action Plan Phase II on creating the STP and physical infrastructure in treating the waste water that gets generated per day in the city. Setting up of Sewage Treatment plants along 42 towns and cities in the up steam of the river was part of the YAP I, while the Phase II is mainly focused on Delhi Metropolitan Region with Delhi Jal Board managing the project. Serious deficiencies and back log in sanitation and waste water services have resulted in the dwindling of water flow and is 80% of the source of ‘non point pollution’ in the river. The usual rhetoric is to blame the victims: Of the tota
Garbage

Garbage

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World Environment Day and the shades of ‘Green’ has been the talk of this blog over the last week. Ever considered the non green, ‘garbage’ part of environment? What is it that we know of this phenomenon? As much as garbage is a function and reality of man-made systems, it has always been a cultural fact and is, since the very beginning, part of the cultural history. Garbage is all pervasive in that each cultural system, or sub-system such as art, society, religion, including sociocultural and physical environment defines it, with its own logic, category and reality. Thus, garbage is defined and identified in quite different ways by different systems. This means that anything can be considered, or becomes garbage (or more appropriately 'waste') under certain systemic conditions.
Shades of Green: An Environment Day Cover Story!

Shades of Green: An Environment Day Cover Story!

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To celebrate World Environment Day and to keep the momentum going, Time Out Delhi's recent (June) edition has brought together the whole palette of green: hardliners, pragmatists, those who fight in the courts and those who make money off their green beliefs. The question it asks is, where do you fit in? Click here to Subscribe to Time Out Delhi The middle path That environmental degradation has a human cost is by now universally accepted. That the eco-movement may have one as well is something that those walking the middle path strive to keep in mind, says Avtar Singh. Practical environmentalism. Thank 24-year-old Govind Singh of Delhi Greens for, if not coining the term, then at least bringing it to this magazine’s attention. As far as Singh is concerned, that phrase encapsulates
Cultural Ecology of Trees in Delhi

Cultural Ecology of Trees in Delhi

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These days Amaltas or Laburnums are in full bloom. The lovely small yellow flowers hanging like a chandelier from the bare branches is a lovely site. Especially in the Chanakyapuri area where these are planted aesthetically along the main roads of the Panchasheel Marg. Delhi as a city is blessed with a collection of flowering trees. Each species blossoms at a different time in the year with different colours and size, big and small. They seem to cover the entire spectrum of the rainbow colours, Yes! even green. The Shirish or Rain-tree has two types of blossoms, pink and green.  The blossoms provide shade and beauty in almost all the seasons. There was always a reason to plant trees and the planting was determined by the cultural ecology of trees by respective civilizations. For a t
Sugar for Ants II

Sugar for Ants II

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Your responses are what keeps this blog going, thank you for sharing. Continuing on the governance issues for urban slums in Delhi on how to justify providing water sanitation etc to the existing Jhuggi Jhompdi (JJ) slums?   As you all have rightly pointed out the quality of life for a middle class in the city like Delhi is subsidized by people living in slums. They are ready to accept an inferior quality of life so that the middle class could have their service providing community, at a subsidized price.   Another argument is that JJ slum dwellers are not ‘paying’ any property tax or other municipal taxes. Let us look at this argument. Yes, but they are consumers and as such pay excise duty and sales tax on all the items they purchase and hence contribute to the economy directly.  
Sugar for Ants

Sugar for Ants

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The urban governance projects initiated in the infrastructure sectors in Indian cities like Delhi and Mumbai, over the past ten years are all based on the assumption that slum dwellers have basic unalienable human rights to clean drinking water, sanitation and environmental hygiene, especially in the slum community of the city. These rights are so basic and fundamental that, the elected representative and the government as right protector, is obligated to provide them. While the investment for capital assets like toilet blocks or stand posts and drainage lines are paid for by donor funding in Delhi NCR region over the decade. There is pressure on the city governments to meet the Operation and Maintenance (O and M) costs, of electricity used for pumping if any and minor repairs of ta...
Civil Services: Answers To Only A Very Few’s Prayers

Civil Services: Answers To Only A Very Few’s Prayers

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Tucked away in the Northern part of Delhi is a colony that attracts a determined set of youth from across India. The aim is to study and prepare, the target: to crack the prestigious Civil Services examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) in the middle of May each year. This very resourceful Dr. Mukherjee Nagar colony has it all for that--rooms and hostels to stay, well over 300 IAS coaching centers, food courts of all kinds, book stores and what not. The proximity of the University of Delhi has only helped in turning this place into a student hub and perhaps the reason why this locality got chosen to be the one point stop for civil services preparation. Such is the situation today that the economy of this colony would perhaps collapse if all the students
Elections Over, Let’s Touch Feel Smell Nature

Elections Over, Let’s Touch Feel Smell Nature

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We are now nearing the close of elections. With every passing day the new government will be getting formed. Parties will negotiate with each other to form the ruling coalition, as most likely there would be no clear majority. Let us be honest about who we are going to elect and take full responsibility for our choice. Our elected representatives seem to be a particular set of people. Either they are sons of past but successful politicians or they have a criminal background. For us democracy is a political system we have adopted since we became a nation state. This political system is only a subsystem, of the larger system and is relatively new. It is only 50 years old, for the whole that we call India. This democracy is a subsystem we consider to be working successfully especially wh...
Reconfirming World System Connectedness

Reconfirming World System Connectedness

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The exciting thing about these elections is the number of new voters who have just turned 18+ and have never voted so far. The most striking thing of these elections are the advertisements on mass media where celebrities are promoting the elections by encouraging the youth to come out and vote, but we could never be sure if they are serious or joking because they all are showing ‘the middle finger’. Is the symbolism of it to be interpreted as ‘cocking a snook’ at the elections or are we to assume they do not know the meaning of their actions. May be there is some deeper meaning and we don’t know. On a more serious note, we had earlier in the year seen the impact of world system connectedness and I appreciate all of you who took the time out to read it, think about it and particular
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