OPINIONS

CENTRAL MINISTRY
Ministry of Corporate Environment?
Thus far, MoEF has only been negligent in safeguarding the environment, but now it proposes to do away with even the need to do so. The new draft notification from the ministry has obligingly confined itself to facilitating new investments, and ignored all other stakeholder voices, writes Kanchi Kohli.
Environment Regulation
August 2006

SCIENCE/ENVIRONMENT
From plants to plastics
Plastics have become synonymous with modern life, but are difficult to dispose of and have become a significant source of environmental pollution. Biodegradable plastics are now a possibility, and a shift in India's agricultural biotechnology thrust may help put them to good use, says Vaijayanti Gupta.
Waste | Guest columns
June 2006

ACCESS TO WATER
Confusing water rights with quotas
A senior advisor with the World Bank is quick to hail the establishment of water entitlements in India, but is it too quick? Merely promising quotas of water on paper, or setting up 'rights' that cannot be enforced, is hardly the same as actually providing water to meet citizens' needs, observes Videh Upadhyay.
Videh Upadhyay | Water
October 2005

PRIVATISATION OF WATER
The bank and the big bang
The World Bank continues to push its agenda on water privatisation even though its much-heralded examples from recent years turned out to be such dismal failures. The result will destroy countless small farmers and hand over agriculture to the rich and corporations, says P Sainath.
P Sainath | Maharashtra | Laws | Water
May 2005

BUDGETARY SUPPORT FOR WATER HARVESTING
Reviving rural water bodies top-down
In his 2004-5 budget speech, the finance minister P Chidambaram announced subsidy support for a hundred thousand water harvesting units. But governments continue to miss the point that decentralisation must allow citizens choice over institutions too, not merely access to new schemes and loans, says Sudhirendar Sharma.
Water
February 2005

POLICY-MAKING
Citizen voices, policy choices
It is clear that people across the country are driven by strong environment values. Therefore, without having a policy process that channelises their perceptions and crystallises them in policy statements, it is not possible to sequence and prioritise our environmental problems, says Videh Upadhyay.
Videh Upadhyay
February 2005

REGULATION
Give the environment its due
The Ministry of Environment and Forests is not running its regulatory processes on the basis of even the minimal standards of environmental stewardship needed in modern times, asserted a group of fifty citizens in a recent open letter to the government. Ashish Kothari and Kanchi Kohli were two of the signatories.
Environment opinions
September 2004

POLITICS AND ENVIRONMENT
Entering the environment
The Greening of the Left parties has probably been good for them, exposing them to aspects of social deprivation that they had previously ignored. Ramachandra Guha notes the infusion of environmental thought into socialist politics, as the material aspirations of the people have risen.
Ramachandra Guha
September 2004

REGULATION
Weakening the enviro-clearance process
While trends in Europe are towards strengthening public participation in environmental decision making, in India, recent simplifications to the clearance process may endup pushing peoplesí participation and transparency to the fringes, says Sunita Dubey.
August 2004

INTER-BASIN DISPUTES
Enough of inter-basin politics
The Punjab government's unilateral decision on its water-sharng agreement with neighbouring states has brought a dormant question to the fore. The Supreme Court keeps issuing orders on water disputes, but these rarely prevail. Videh Upadhyay urges the Court to seize the opportunity to change that, permanently.
Videh Upadhyay | Water | Punjab
July 2004

NEW GOVERNMENT - CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES
Environment and the new Government
June 5 is the United Nations World Environment Day. Ashish Kothari reflects on the challenges and opportunities for the new government and civil society amidst conflicting demands from coalition partners, community groups, and international lending agencies.
Government | Guest columns
June 2004

Beyond the cola wars
At the heart of the current scandal over pesticide-laced soft drinks are haphazard legislation, and a management approach that ignores the people, says Videh Upadhyay.
Videh Upadhyay
September 2003

Judicial recipes not enough
Reviewing recent High Court and Supreme Court rulings, Videh Upadhyay comments on judicial recipes for protecting urban water bodies.
Videh Upadhyay
January 2003

Shifting Environmental Risks
Environmental interventions must not merely serve to transfer risk from one social group to another, writes Ravi Agarwal.
July 2002