Monday Feature: Green News and Media Roundup for Week 39, 2011

Weekly environmental news roundup from across different media networks for week 39 (starting September 26), 2011.

1. Damn the Renuka dam: Even parched Delhi cries

So far Delhiites have been concerned with the refusal of environment clearance to the Renuka dam as that means a serious water crisis for the city. Now anti-dam voices generating from the Nahan district in Himachal Pradesh, home to the project, have finally emerged in the capital, protesting against the massive displacement of people, loss of green cover and submergence of highly fertile agricultural land.

2. Puja pandals go green, ditch chemical colours

This year Durga Ma is going colourless to save another goddess — Yamuna. In a bid to go eco-friendly, several pandals in the city have used the less vibrant but nature-friendly colours such as haldi and mud ochre to paint idols and paper or clay jewellery to decorate them.

3. Why Delhi gets that sinking feeling…

Even as civic agencies are yet to repair potholed roads in the city, there might be many more just about to crumble. Despite nearly 60 roads witnessing cave-ins last year, the MCD and the NDMC are yet to come up with a solution.

4. Smoking ban goes up in smoke

It seems the ban on smoking in public places is not being followed in true letter and spirit. “Our concern is to raise awareness and not harass the public. We don’t necessarily charge the entire amount. In most cases, the fine is in the form of a token. We want to educate the offender on the ills of smoking,” said Dr Vashisht.

5. Blanket ban on plastic bags; violators to face 5-year jail

In a major environment-friendly move, the Delhi government will impose a blanket ban on usage and manufacturing of plastic bags in the next two months and those violating it could face imprisonment up to five years and fine of up to Rs 1 lakh or both.

6. Particulate matter three times higher in Delhi air

Air pollution is slowly killing your heart. Micro-particles in the air expedite the absorption of lipids in the arteries, making them narrower, slowing blood flow that eventually leads to heart attacks.

7. Python rescued from a mall

A seven-foot python was rescued after it surfaced on a mall’s façade located on the Nelson Mandela Marg in south Delhi on Saturday morning.

8. From today, CNG prices up by Rs. 2 per kg

A drive in your CNG -powered car just became costlier. The Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL) has increased prices for the fuel by Rs 2 per kilogram in the Capital.

9. Eight films from State for Vatavaran film festival

As many as eight films on environment and wildlife from the State will compete for the top honours at the sixth edition of the CMS Vatavaran film festival on environment and wildlife to be held at New Delhi from December 6 to 10.

10. Walled City: A disaster waiting to happen

There might be more buildings in Chandni Mahal waiting to collapse. The walled city and its surrounding areas are crammed with ‘dangerous’ buildings, which are more than a hundred year old. The building that collapsed is known as Katra Data Ram Ki Haveli. Five people have been killed, while 20 are reported injured.

11. Environmental clearance for Sesa Goa’s Pirna project cancelled

The government has cancelled environmental clearance granted to Vedanta-owned Sesa Goa for the Pirna iron ore mine, accusing it of suppressing information in its environment impact assessment study. The ministry’s decision to revoke the clearance is the outcome of an appeal by Pirna-Nadora Nagrik Kruti Samiti and Umesh Naik before the National Green Tribunal.

12. Increasing pollution levels choking India’s lakes

Increasing pollution levels are threatening fresh water bodies worldwide, but the problem is assuming the shape of an environmental crisis in a developing country like India.

13. Ludhiana is India’s most polluted: WHO

When it comes to pollution, there’s no city in India that does as bad as Ludhiana. The latest report released by World Health Organization establishes Ludhiana as the most polluted city in the country. The ‘distinction’ is as much the failure of Punjab Pollution Control Board as it is of the residents, who have given two hoots to environmental issues dogging Ludhiana.

14. Greens upset with MoEF’s silence

The silence of the MoEF on the Western Ghats Expert Ecology Panel report on the Western Ghats and mining-related issues has irked environmental activists, who fear it may lose relevance later.

15. Project Tiger on endangered list

India’s first wildlife protection programme Project Tiger, launched 38 years ago, may cease to be if the planning commission’s move to downsize centrally sponsored schemes is accepted. The project was started even before the environment ministry came into existence.

16. Mining Bill cleared; companies to share profits with locals

The Union Cabinet on Friday approved the Mines and Mineral Development Regulation Bill that seeks to attract investment by easing land acquisition by stipulating mining companies to pay more compensation to local communities in mineral-rich districts, that most firms felt would inflate costs.

17. Pollution from Europe drying up monsoon

India’s monsoon-the lifeblood of Asia’s third-largest economy-is drying up because of air pollution over European countries, according to a new study in the journal Science, findings which have been treated with caution by the Indian Met department.

Aastha Kukreti

Aastha Kukreti holds a Master’s degree in Environment Management and her areas of expertise range from waste management, pollution ecology, green audits, ecofeminism, environmental equity and social justice.

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