REGULATIONS, LAW, & POLICY
PEOPLE AND THE JUDICIARY
India has been witnessing a rising trend of judicial intervention and directives in cases involving a face-off between large institutional
projects and the people they affect.
looks at two recent judgments as she tries to explore the real impact of such court rulings on the struggles at the grassroots.
MINING IN SENSITIVE REGIONS
Different reef, same barrier
As the Mundra project of the Adani group moves ahead in Gujarat, a new front opens up in the
company's troubles with environmental regulations.
POSCO ruling sets new terms
The National Green Tribunal's judgement in the POSCO case has implications for many other industrial development projects in the
Mera Bharat aur Mahan
The CAG recently suggested that there may be huge losses to the government from improper
allocations of coal bocks to companies. All eyes are now on the next set of allocations to be made.
Do verdicts matter?
Despite the number of times a court, tribunal or the Ministry has acted to stop construction of OPG's power plant in Bhadreswar, the project goes on
NGT: The first seven months
The first set of hearings winds its way through the newly established environment tribunal, as the government pushes
to speed up industrialisation in forest areas.
DUE PROCESS OF LAW
Third time around the law
Construction of a project that requires environmental, coastal zone and forest permissions cannot begin until all of these are secured.
Or can it?
Radiation looms over power plans
The National Green Tribunal orders a study of the threat of radiation near thermal power plants, potentially putting the brakes on
a spate of project approvals.
The cost of the coast
The people of Mundra coast face a constant struggle to protect their commons, rights and the very socio ecological character of
the region from the massive land use changes around them.
Why comply with regulations if a committee can decide that it didn't matter much that the law was bypassed?
MoEF finds itself on the backfoot, after its experts look away from the law.
RESOURCES / MINING
Anguish in Angul
The proposed natural resource extraction in Angul district and other nearby places in Orissa will devastate the land and its
already-suffering people even further.
Lights, camera, destruction!
A filming crew's damage to the Kambalakonda wildlife sanctuary is brought before the courts. But how did it get this far in the first
Bullet holes in the regulations
The government ignored many chances to protect people's lvelihoods in an ecologically sensitive area.
But a hail of police firing on protestors forces a rethink.
At Bhadreshwar, the clock is ticking
The OPG group's plans to build a massive thermal power plant on the ecologically sensitive coast have been dealt a setback.. But a
final decision is still to be made.
Nuking dissent over Jaitapur
NPCIL and the political establishment are burying their heads in the sand over the controversial nuclear plants on the Konkan coast,
which will affect the lives of people in the entire region.
Exigent, not principled
The new coastal zone regulation reads as a compendium of the myriad exceptions to the few rules - a move away from managing the coastal
natural resources based on principles to one based on discretion.
Setting the clock back on clearances
What happens if you decide to expand your industrial project without getting fresh environment clearances?
In Jindal Steel's case, it appears, you get to go on scot free.
Already destroyed? Ok, then.
The National Environment Appellate Authority finds everything that ECPEL did in the Naupada swamp is ecologically harmful, but the
project must go ahead anyway.
A crevasse in the regulatory environment
With the formation of the Green Tribunal, its predecessor, the NEAA has ceased to exist. But the NGT is not fully ready
to hear cases, and this has put the regulatory environment off-course.
A RIVER'S COURSE
Where does the Yamuna flow?
It is one thing to decide in a court of law that the floodplain of the Yamuna does not extend to the site of the Commonwealth Games
village. It is quite another thing to keep the river out.
DRAFT MINING REGULATION
Mining vs. Communities
The Sustainable Development Framework has captured the feedback about mining-related damages,
but the draft regulations for mining don't reflect this understanding.
RTI and EIA collide at NIO
The National Institute of Oceanography has repeatedly attested that the Adani group's projects in Kutch
would not negatively impact the region's ecology, but admits this only reluctantly.
MINING IN NIYAMGIRI
Round and round the sacred hills
Despite many violations, protests, and committee recommendations against mining in the
Niyamgiri hills, the region's fate lies in the corridors of power.
Appointment without perspective
The Chair of the EAC should necessarily have an overarching environmental perspective, as
s/he is supposed to ensure the environmental sustainability of projects that come to the committee.
STEEL PLANT AND PORT
Holding their ground against POSCO
The steel plant and port proposed by the South Korean mining giant in
Orissa has remained on paper, as local opposition has successfully fought off the
DAMS AND ECOLOGY
Damming and damning the Teesta
In North Sikkim, a familiar tale of subverting environment regulation is playing out, as plans to dam the Teesta river push past local opposition and
Green talk alone doesn't suffice
Can Jairam Ramesh suffer a change of heart suddenly and come down heavily on non-compliance by those
power projects he once presided over, asks Himanshu Upadhyaya.
Narmada authorities proceed with impunity
Even as the CAG audit found that SSNNL had diverted the central funds from canal
construction to unintended purposes, permission has been granted to raise the
Narmada dam height.
Cleared, denied, cleared, ...
The environment clearance process continues to make a mockery of the law. As the Athena case shows, when a project is pulled up, the Ministry simply
finds another channel by which to continue it.