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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
notes the infusion of environmental thought into socialist politics,
as the material aspirations of the people have risen.
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
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
urges the Court to seize the opportunity to change that, permanently.
NEW GOVERNMENT - CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES
Environment and the new Government
June 5 is the United Nations World Environment Day.
reflects on the challenges and opportunities for the new government and civil
amidst conflicting demands from coalition partners, community groups, and
international lending agencies.
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
Judicial recipes not enough
Reviewing recent High Court and Supreme Court rulings, Videh Upadhyay comments on judicial
recipes for protecting urban water bodies.
Shifting Environmental Risks
Environmental interventions must not merely serve to transfer risk from one
social group to another, writes