Sunday, February 17Delhi Greens Blog: Greening the World, One Post at a Time!

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Featured articles and essays on global environmental issues.

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
The Day After Tomorrow?

The Day After Tomorrow?

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Historically megacities with the spread and population matching that of Delhi or Mumbai has been a very 20th Century phenomenon, mainly built by migrants. Until then the most stable human settlements have been agrarian villages, which were primary producers of agricultural products that took care of food, clothing, and locally produced tools and crafts. House or road contractions were community activities. Local trade in surplus or value added products were supported by trading centres that allowed for some exchange of goods and services. These were self sufficient administrative centres that served the neighbourhood villages. It is now predicted that by 2020, 60% of the world's population will be living in cities. In a situation like this ever thought if something like the ‘The Day
Water Footprint

Water Footprint

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We are all starving for attention and it is very encouraging to know that you are there reading and thinking about what you read. Your feedbacks are very encouraging and valuable and I greatly appreciate them. This has prompted a new idea…. By way of background here is how it all began. Together with six global partners including the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and UNESCO, the University of Twente (UT) in The Netherlands found the Water Footprint Network on October 16, 2008. The ‘water footprint’, developed by UT Professor Arjen Hoekstra, gives a detailed insight into the water consumption of individuals, companies and countries. The ‘water footprint’ measures the amount of water that a country, company or individual uses each year. This includes the water needed to produce good
Benefits of Commonwealth Games

Benefits of Commonwealth Games

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Last time we looked at the incredible paced up infrastructure development taking place in Delhi over the recent past in lieu of the Commonwealth Games. We have a new drinking water supply system--Sonia Vihar-- providing water to the eastern part of city. We have new sewage system put in place across the city by the authorities. We have an entirely new network of roads and flyovers connecting the city with Domestic and International Terminals. Gurgaon and Jaipur have come closer. We have the Delhi Metro Railway System in place connecting and criss-crossing the Delhi NCR region. We have renewed focus on solid waste management by local authorities though the Bhagidari scheme. We have put in place over the last few years, airport beautification and expansion, both for domestic and inter...
Sustainable Development: An Oxymoron??

Sustainable Development: An Oxymoron??

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ox•y•mo•ron n. A rhetorical figure in which incongruous or contradictory terms are combined. For example: deafening silence, mournful optimist, blank copy. Some “experts” would want to add the phrase sustainable development to the above list of examples. Such critics of the concept of sustainable development also suggest that it should instead be termed as “sustainable de-growth”, since they believe that environment and development (or growth) are antithetical to each other; that is, environment degradation is the price that needs to be paid if development is to be achieved. Deteriorating environment is often linked with increasing economic activity, requiring deforestation, energy consumption etc. “Development” is usually held responsible for environmental damage, while environmentali
Lodhi Gardens

Lodhi Gardens

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Delhi city is a home for 15 million people and yet it only provided adequate housing for less than 20% of this figure. The rest live in slums and in jhuggi-jhomparis. The clean drinking water demand of the city is 3,324 MGD but it gets only 2,034 MGD of water. Even when 80% of the total water consumed goes out as sewage, the city has a treatment capacity of only 512.4 MGD.  Delhi gets an average of 240 litres per capita per day of safe drinking water. Wells are drying up and you have to dig deeper to access them. The city produces 4000 tons of solid waste (garbage) that is currently managed by MCD centrally collected and disposed off in sanitary land fill sites. Of these , 32% is compost matter. Thus the story of Delhi is that of unclean streets, untreated water and accumulating garbage. 
Localized Carbon Emission Control

Localized Carbon Emission Control

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The 80’s was the decade of the ‘Bits and Bytes’ and 90’s was the decade of ‘Bugs and Plants’. 2000 can be seen as the decade of ‘Climate Change.’ While Climate Change is ‘authentic’ but the fear of climate change is ‘in-authentic’-which is stopping us from taking action. We do have limited actions. For example in India, we do have, HSBC working with small Machine Engineering industries promoting small scale industry to improve fuel efficiency through new investments. We do have some prominent NGOs like IRADE promoting awareness, TERI promoting environmental friendly technology initiatives through awards, and Development Alternatives and Centre for Science and Technology promoting environmental causes, located in Delhi but these are not enough. Right now Solar power is the best bet, but th