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Why only crackers, what about vehicles, asks Supreme Court

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After closing down the firecracker industry in the name of curbing pollution, the Supreme Court on Tuesday realised that its priority was misplaced as the real culprit behind the spike in pollution is the automobile industry.

Taking a relook into its order banning the existing firecrackers and introducing green crackers, a bench of Justices SA Bobde and S Abdul Nazeer asked the Centre whether it had done any comparative study by which it could be fairly stated that vehicles pollute more than firecrackers.

There was another reason too for the change of heart. So far, the matter was pending with a bench which had ordered the ban last October. On Tuesday, the case was listed before a new bench that considered the issue afresh.

The judges felt that its order had brought the entire firecracker industry to a grinding halt. This meant that scores of people lost jobs. The Court said that a ban on firecrackers cannot be indefinite as it affects the livelihood of those families living on it.

The Court’s views have given a ray of hope to the cracker manufacturers who have been at odds explaining to the Court that they are minor defaulters compared to the automobile industry. Moreover, the manufacturers claimed that firecrackers is used extensively during certain days of the year while the real contributors to pollution are vehicles, crop burning, dust from construction activity among other sources.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) ANS Nadkarni told the Court that he will take instructions on whether any comparative study exists on pollution caused by fireworks vis-a-vis vehicles. The bench said, “It seems you are running after firecrackers while the bigger contributor to pollution is perhaps vehicles.”

The bench said that the Court must be mindful of citizens’ right to life which includes right to employment, right to carry out trade as well. “We do not want to generate unemployment. This trade (firework manufacturing) is not illegal as it is a licensed business. How can it be stopped? At best, it can be regulated.”

Referring to its own orders, the SC bench said, “Nobody has tested this case in relation to Article 19(1)(g) giving citizens right to practise any profession, occupation, trade or business. We cannot leave people unemployed.”

Meanwhile, ASG Nadkarni informed the Court that the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) along with environment experts of NEERI are expected to meet this week to finalize the chemical formulation of ‘green crackers’ which are low on light and smoke emission. The product approval for improved firecrackers will be released by March 21.

The petitioners represented by advocate Gopal Shankarnaraynan told the Court that pollution caused by fireworks accounted for 2.5 per cent of Delhi’s pollution and the very idea of Court banning crackers was to replace production of polluting crackers with green and improved ones. The matter will now be heard next on April 3.

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Nisha Shiwani hails from the pink city of Jaipur and is a prolific writer. She loves to write on Real Estate/Property, Automobiles, Education, Finance and about the latest developments in the Technology space.



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NX 100’s Green Diesel project to reduce environmental pollution by 70%

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NX100 gurantees to reduce vehicular pollution by 70%
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A revolution is on the anvil in terms of reducing the vehicular pollution in the country to over 70% thus giving tremendous opportunities to businessmen  earn hefty profits by way of establishing green diesel pumps and depots at the pan India level.

According to the CEO K. C. S. Panda and director Sudhanshu Sharma a new over ambitious project under the brand name of  NX 100 has made great strides in the field of innovating green diesel  by coming out with a fantastic business model for all businessmen and younger generation of India.

Under this new environment friendly NX 100 project one can associate himself or herself with this novel endeavour and excel in the field of highly profitable business by opening green diesel pumping stations and depots all over the country thus earning lakhs and lakhs of Rupees .
This is a grand business model which opens doors for tremendous opportunities for the young and enterprising businessmen to earn handsomely in the near future says CEO Panda.
Talking to newsviewsnetwork Panda said that as per the Transport Fuel policy of the government, after the year 2030 only electric vehicles and vehicles consuming green diesals would ply on the country roads to protect and maintain our environment and ecology which is speedily deteriorating and making peoples’ lives hell.
In view of this this environmentally friendly  Green Diesel Project of NX 100 there comes a revolutionery boom for the small, medium and big businessmen of the country who would be earning handsomely in the near future through by setting green diesel pump stations and depots added CEO KCS Panda and director of NX 100 Sudhanshu Sharma.
According to the OSD of NX 100, Sanyukta Singh, the biggest advantage of green diesel is that its usage would not require any alteration/ modification  or change in the present engines of cars, commercial vehicles or generators .
In addition the usage of green diesel is extremely people friendly and good for the healthy environmental protection added Sanyukta Singh.
Explaining about the environment friendly aspect of the new project, OSD Sanyukta Singh said that this over ambitious green diesel project NX 100 would contribute immensely in reducing 70% pollution spread by vehicles at the pan India level which has made the peoples’ lives a hell creating deseases like Asthama, respiratory lung infectious deseases and heart problems.
She guaranteed that the usage of green diesel will  enhance the average consumption of fuel in cars, commercial vehicles and gen sets by 25% as well.
In addition there is no need to deposit any security money in thus business nor is there any complexities or confusion in it.   CEO Panda adds : NX 100 green diesal project would therefore be an asset for generating a formidable profit oriented business for one and all, especially for budding businessmen  who are aspiring for huge profits and desirable to contribute their efforts  in preserving and protecting our environment.
He said : There is no risk of slump in this business rather it guarantees increase in green diesel demand consumption and minimum economic input. There is no risk of losses either Panda added.
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Titbits of Tropical Cyclone

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A tropical cyclone is a rapidly rotating storm system characterized by a low-pressure center, a closed low-level atmospheric circulation, strong winds, and a spiral arrangement of thunderstorms that produce heavy rain. Depending on its location and strength, a tropical cyclone is referred to by different names, including hurricane typhoon tropical storm, cyclonic storm, tropical depression, and simply cyclone. A hurricane is a tropical cyclone that occurs in the Atlantic Ocean and the northeastern Pacific Ocean, and a typhoon occurs in the northwestern Pacific Ocean; in the south Pacific or the Indian Ocean, comparable storms are referred to simply as “tropical cyclones” or “severe cyclonic storms”.

“Tropical” refers to the geographical origin of these systems, which form almost exclusively over tropical seas. “Cyclone” refers to their winds moving in a circle, whirling around their central clear eye, with their winds blowing counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. The opposite direction of circulation is due to the Coriolis effect. Tropical cyclones typically form over large bodies of relatively warm water. They derive their energy through the evaporation of water from the ocean surface, which ultimately recondenses into clouds and rain when moist air rises and cools to saturation.

The strong rotating winds of a tropical cyclone are a result of the conservation of angular momentum imparted by the Earth’s rotation as air flows inward toward the axis of rotation. As a result, they rarely form within 5° of the equator.

Tropical cyclones are almost unknown in the South Atlantic due to consistently strong wind shear and a weak Intertropical Convergence Zone. Also, the African easterly jet and areas of atmospheric instability which give rise to cyclones in the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, along with the Asian monsoon and Western Pacific Warm Pool, are features of the Northern Hemisphere and Australia.

Why the east coast of India is more prone to cyclone rather than the west coast?

Causes:

The Indian subcontinent is one of the worst cyclone-affected areas in the world. Unfortunately, almost 80 percent of the cyclones hit the eastern coast only. The reasons for this difference in hit ratio can be the following:-

(a) Temperature:- BOB(Bay of Bengal) is hotter than the Arabian sea. Hot water temperature is the basic criteria for the development & intensification of cyclones.

(b) Salinity:- Arabian sea has higher salinity than BOB. Its easier to heat & simultaneously evaporate water having lower salinity.

(c) Location:- The typhoons originating in the Pacific ocean too influences the cyclones in BOB, not the case in the Arabian sea.

(d) Movement:- According to IMD cyclones originating in the Arabian sea are believed to move northwest. So they actually move away from the Indian mainland.

Other causes:

  • Tropical easterly jet stream shifts its position wrt ITCZ(from east to west) and the tropical cyclones that get embedded in it flow towards the west that is the east coast.
  • Warmer coromandel coast due to a comparatively high sea surface temperature of Bay of Bengal that provides an ideal factor of cyclone formation.
  • The Bay of Bengal offers a lower vertical wind speed or wind shear which is ideal for a tropical cyclone to be formed.
  • Typhoons of S.China sea provide the leftover moisture to Bay Of Bengal adding to favorable conditions.
  • East coast, unlike west coast, has no strong mountain range like the Western Ghats to block the cyclonic winds.

Why tropical cyclones hit Odisha frequently?

Because the geographical location of Odisha puts it in the prime path of the retreating Northern East monsoon during October, when the rainy season ends. The northern coasts of Andhra Pradesh, entire Odisha, Eastern Bihar, Southern part of West Bengal most of the times come in the red alert zone when retreating monsoon passes through them. That’s because the Bay of Bengal which is warmer than the Arabian Sea often experiences depression concentrated in Sea due to low pressure.

This is the cyclonic depressions of 2018.

That depression sometimes dissolves and causes heavy rain only. Otherwise, it turns into the severe cyclone and affects Odisha severely on a large scale.

See the path of these tropical cyclones over the years.

Pathway of Super cyclone 1999.

2013 cyclone Phailin pathway.

2014, Hudhud cyclone pathway.

2018, Pathway of the cyclone Titli.

One can easily notice that Odisha is most of the time the first land to be struck by the emerged cyclone. Until it passes to other areas the effects are a little bit dissolved that that of Odisha. So sadly Odisha becomes the most vulnerable state to get affected by the cyclone.

Why do paths of hurricanes, typhoons, and other tropical cyclones recurve? 

Generally, tropical cyclones, known variously as a hurricane, typhoons, etc., start out moving west then turn toward the pole of their hemisphere and finally end up moving east. This pattern is called curvature. Here is the worldwide pattern.

From the above display, it is clear that curvature has something to do with the rotation of the Earth. Local wind and temperature conditions and local topography can influence the path and produce erratic elements to the paths but the general pattern has to have a geophysical explanation.

That explanation is that a cyclone has two components of angular momenta. One is with respect to its own spin axis and the other is with respect to the spin axis of the Earth. When a body with angular momenta, such as a gyroscope, is subjected to a torque it processes; i.e., it angular momentum vector rotates. If a body with angular momentum is forced to process then it is subject to a torque. A cyclone rotates with the Earth and its angular momentum vector is kept pointing vertically because of the rising of warm air in its eye (center). The resulting torque forces the cyclone toward the pole in its hemisphere. But as the cyclone moves toward the pole it gets closer to the spin axis of the Earth. The preservation of angular momentum then results in the cyclone moving faster with respect to the pole and hence starts moving east. Its path has thus recurved.

History of cyclones in Odisha
SI.No.Date/YearCategory of CycloneLandfall and loss
1.7-12 October 1737Super CycloneCrossed West Bengal Coast over Sunderbans
2.31 October 1831Very Severe Cyclonic StormCrossed Odisha Coast near Balasore, Loss of life-50,000
3.2-5 October 1864Very Severe Cyclonic StormCrossed West Bengal Coast near Contai
4.1-2 November 1864Very Severe Cyclonic StormCrossed Andhra Pradesh near Machilipatnam
5.22 September 1885Super CycloneCrossed Odisha Coast at False Point, Loss of life- 5000
6.14-16 October 1942Very Severe Cyclonic StormCrossed West Bengal Coast near Contai
7.8-11 October 1967Very Severe Cyclonic StormCrossed Odisha Coast between Puri and Paradeep
8.26-30 October 1971Very Severe Cyclonic StormCrossed Odisha Coast near Paradeep, Loss of life- 10,000
9.14-20 November 1977Super CycloneCrossed Andhra Coast near Nizampatnam
10.4-11 May 1990Super CycloneCrossed Andhra Coast about 40 Km S-W of Machlipatnam
11.5-6 November 1996Very Severe Cyclonic StormCrossed Andhra Coast near Kakinada
12.25-31 October 1999Super CycloneCrossed Odisha Coast near Paradeep at noon of 29 October
13

 

 

4 October 2013 – 14 October 2013Extremely Severe Cyclone PhailinCrossed Odisha  Coast near Gopalpur at around 2130 IST of 13 October
148 October 2014 – 14 October 2014Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm HudhudCrossed Vizag coast, Andhra Pradesh at noon on 12 October
158 October 2018-11 October 2018Very Severe Cyclonic Storm, TitiliBetween 4:30 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. IST on October 11 (23:00–00:00 UTC on October 10–11), Titli made landfall near Palasa, Andhra Pradesh

 

What makes cyclone Fani special?

Timing and strength are two factors that make Cyclone Fani different from most other tropical cyclones in this time of the year. Cyclone Fani developed near the Equator and this allowed it to gather massive strength and moisture as it could travel a long distance over the sea.

Cyclone Fani, which has been classified as an extremely severe cyclone (ESC), is the 10th such cyclone to hit India in May in past 52 years. Data from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) show that the last time an extremely severe cyclone hit India in May was in 2004. The other years when such cyclones were witnessed in May are 1968, 1976, 1979, 1982, 1997, 1999 and 2001.

Generally, extremely severe cyclones hit India’s east coast in the post-monsoon season (October-December). IMD data on cyclones that hit India between 1965 and 2017 show that the country has weathered 39 extremely severe cyclones in these 52 years. Of these, nearly 60 percent (23) was between October and December.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) classifies cyclones on the basis of the maximum sustained surface wind speed (MSW) they generate.

The Cyclones are classified as severe (MSW of 48-63 knots), very severe (MSW of 64-89 knots), extremely severe (MSW of 90-119 knots) and super cyclonic storm (MSW of 120 knots or more). One knot is equal to 1.8 kmph.

Timing and strength are two factors that make Cyclone Fani, pronounced as Foni, different from most other tropical cyclones in this time of the year. Cyclone Fani started developing around April 25 and has made landfall this morning in Odisha on the east coast.

Traversing for nearly 10 days over the sea allowed Fani to gather such strength that it is now classified as an extremely severe cyclone. Generally, tropical cyclones over the Bay of Bengal have a lifespan of four-seven days. But Cyclone Fani is different.

What makes Cyclone Fani special is its trajectory. Fani started developing around the Equator and moved upwards. The long journey allowed it to gather a lot of moisture and momentum, resulting in strong winds.

It has been observed that cyclones/hurricanes/tornados that spend a long time traveling over the sea are generally more powerful than the ones that hit the landmass within a few days.

The reason is that the longer duration at sea allows storms to gather more water and momentum and thus generate stronger winds.

Another aspect that makes Cyclone Fani special is its trajectory. Fani started developing around the Equator and moved upwards (see image below). It thus has had a much longer journey from its starting point to the point where it made landfall than other cyclones that generate in the Bay of Bengal.

Path of Cyclone Fani. It started as a depression very close to the Equator and moved northwards thereafter. (Photo: IMD)

The IMD had first predicted that Cyclone Fani would make a landfall in Tamil Nadu but the forecast was updated as the cyclone altered its course. Had Cyclone Fani made its landfall in Tamil Nadu, it was possible that its strength would have been lower than its present strength because a landfall in Tamil Nadu would have meant that Fani would have covered a shorter distance over the sea.

Most cyclones that generate exclusively in the Bay of Bengal become relatively weaker by the time they reach the Indian landmass. However, the case with Cyclone Fani is different since it developed almost close to the Equator.

The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), a United Nations body that monitors weather conditions, had said the extremely severe Cyclone Fani will make landfall in Odisha with wind speeds of more than 170 km/h.

However, even after making the landfall, the cyclone will move north-northeastwards and strike West Bengal as a severe cyclone and is expected to hit Bangladesh on May 4 as a cyclonic storm.

This means that besides having covered a long journey over the sea (during which Cyclone Fani collected a massive amount of moisture), the cyclone will also travel considerable distance over the land.

The timing of Cyclone Fani is important because the cyclone started developing in April, a month that has historically seen very few cyclones that were categorized as extremely severe.

Between 1965 and 2017, India was hit by 145 cyclonic storms that were classified as a severe, very severe, extremely severe and super cyclonic storm. Of these, only seven (5 percent) were in April and 27 (18 percent) in May.

Most of these cyclones (90 i.e. 62 percent) were generated between October and December.

Even after making the landfall, the cyclone will move north-northeastwards and strike West Bengal as a severe cyclone and is expected to hit Bangladesh on May 4 as a cyclonic storm.

Madhavan Rajeevan, secretary in the Ministry of Earth Sciences in a tweet said, “In the past (1891-2017) only 14 severe tropical cyclones were formed in April over the Bay of Bengal and only one storm crossed the Indian mainland. Cyclone Fani is the second storm forming in April and crossing the mainland. The last time it happened was Cyclone Nargis that devastated Myanmar in 2008.”

In the past (1891-2017) only 14 severe tropical cyclones formed in APRIL over Bay of Bengal Only one storm crossed the Indian main land. Cyclone FANI the second storm forming in April and crossing the main land. Last severe cyclone NARGIS in 2008 devastated Myanmar

According to the India Meteorological Department, “Out of 10 recorded cases of very heavy loss of life (ranging from about 40,000 to well over 2,00,000) in the world due to tropical cyclones, nine cases were in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea.”

Five of these were in Bangladesh, three in India and one in Myanmar.

World’s highest recorded storm tide measuring 45 feet occurred in 1876 during the Bakherganj cyclone near Meghna Estuary, Bangladesh.

In fact, IMD says that the world’s highest recorded storm tide measuring 45 feet occurred in this region. It was way back in 1876 during the Bakherganj cyclone near Meghna Estuary, Bangladesh.

The Indian subcontinent is considered to be one of the worst-affected regions by tropical cyclones. The region has witnessed some of the deadliest cyclones in world history.

According to the Nation Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project (NCRMP), the Indian subcontinent is exposed to “nearly 10 percent” of the world’s tropical cyclones. NCRMP’s data analysis shows that between 1980 and 2000, on an average annually 370 million (37,00,000) people were exposed to cyclones in India.

A 2014 report of the World Meteorological Organisation, a United Nations organization on weather monitoring, states that cyclonic storms have been the main cause of deaths due to natural disasters in Asia between 1970 and 2012. A majority of these cyclone-related deaths have occurred in India and Bangladesh.

When it comes to deaths, cyclonic storms were responsible for 76 percent of all deaths caused by natural disasters in Asia in this period. (The report estimates 9.15 lakh deaths were caused due to natural disasters in Asia and 6.95 of them were related to tropical cyclones.)

The top three deadliest disasters in this period were all tropical cyclones. Two of them hit Bangladesh (in 1970 and 1991) and one hit Myanmar (Cyclone Nargis in 2008). The total deaths caused by just these three cyclones was 5,77,232.

Source: World Meteorological Organisation

Of the 10 most severe natural disasters (in terms of deaths) that struck Asia between 1970 and 2012, eight were tropical storms that hit India, Bangladesh, and Myanmar.

In terms of economic loss, Asia suffered a loss of $789.8 billion in these 42 years and 30 percent of it was due to cyclonic storms.

Taking a global picture, the 10 deadliest disasters that hit the world between 1970 and 2012 included three cyclones in Bangladesh and one in Myanmar.

In fact, the 1970 cyclone in Bangladesh caused the greatest number of deaths (3 lakh) in any natural disaster in the world. The Bangladesh cyclone shared the top place with the 1983 drought in Ethiopia that killed the same number of people.

Source: World Meteorological Organisation

Besides this, analysis of the WMO data shows that between 1970 and 2012, 7,77,861 people were killed due to storms (cyclones/hurricanes/tornadoes). However, 89 percent of the deaths (6.95 lakh) were caused in Asia, and primarily in Bangladesh, Myanmar, and India.

How cyclones cause damage?

Cyclones are powerful storms that generate strong windspeeds and have the potential to trigger sudden and heavy rain in the affected areas. There are basically three aspects related to cyclones that have the potential to cause destruction-flooding due to the rising sea, the destruction caused by strong winds and damage due to heavy rains.

Between 1970 and 2012, 7.77 lakh people were killed due to storms cyclones/hurricanes/tornadoes) world over. But, 89% of these deaths (6.95 lakh) were caused in Asia, and primarily in Bangladesh, Myanmar, and India.

When a cyclone is formed over the sea, it generates strong winds along with it. These winds have the potential to generate storm surges. A storm surge is an abnormal rise in the sea level due to a storm (cyclone, hurricane, etc).

A storm surge becomes dangerous because it has the potential to flood low-lying areas along the coast. It can drown humans and animals, destroy infrastructure and damage the environment by eroding beaches, flooding vegetation, among others.

The second dame-causing aspect of cyclones is the strong winds that are generated by the storm. These strong winds that accompany cyclones can uproot trees, electricity poles, shatter houses, etc. This is a common phenomenon in the United States of America which regularly weathers strong hurricanes.

The third aspect with cyclones is their ability to cause sudden, heavy and prolonged rain in the affected areas. This causes floods in rivers, pollutes drinking water and if combined with storm surge, it becomes a double whammy.

The 1999 cyclone in Odisha (then Orissa) killed more than 9,000 people and was one of the worst disasters in recent Indian history.

Unfortunately, all three factors occur at the same time when a cyclone makes landfall. The IMD states that of three factors, it is a storm surge that is most catastrophic and causes widespread destruction. “Past history indicates that loss of life is significant when surge magnitude is three meters or more and catastrophic when five meters and above,” it says. A possible reason for this could be that not much can actually be done against rising sea waves, especially if they are more than 3 meters in height. Storm surge becomes more dangerous if their timing coincides with the timing of high tides.

East coast of India including Odisha is the more susceptible to tropical cyclones during the onset of monsoon in April and May and retreat of monsoon in the month of October and November respectively. As in each year, littoral states are encountering such natural disasters without any answers, it is for the center and state to get geared up with all sort of preparedness and prepare their financial budgets in advance to mitigate the natural calamity in near future.

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Environment

Doyen of environmental protection globally famous, Padma Vibhushan Bahuguna turns 92 today

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world famous Chipko leader Sunder Lal Bahuguna
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Today is the 92nd Birthday of eminent environmentalist of world fame Sunderlal Bahuguna. While wishing the living legend all the very best n good luck for his long life , I m re publishing here the interview taken by me at his Dehradun residence about three years ago. It was indeed a great privilege to have got an opportunity to interview him. Hope you will go through n assess the interaction for yourself:

Interview of Sunder lal Bahuguna,
by SUNIL NEGI

Having completed 88 years of his struggleful life, a living legend and an institution in himself, Sunderlal Bahuguna is widely known as a Chipko leader of international fame. Recipient of many coveted honours for environment, ecological conservation n for preserving the forests of Uttarakhand Himalayas viz. Padmavibhushan, Padmashree, Jamunalal bajaj and prestigious international Right Livelyhood Awards, Sunderlal Bahuguna undertook 74 days of incessant hunger strike against Tehri dam during the eighties. Sunil Negi, a freelance journalist visited him at Dehradun and interviewed him in detail. Here are some excerpts of the interview.

Question: Sir, you‘ve just completed the protracted 88 challenging years of your life last month. You’ve almost given more than 7 decades of your pivotal life to environment conservation, against rampant deforestation and social service as a Gandhi an. How does u feel now?

As you know, having been on the 89th year of my life I am not keeping a good health. I am bed ridden most of the time. I am really grateful and rather thankful to my better half Vimlaji for looking after me entirely and taking care of my health very minutely. This is how I am able to push my immortality further ahead. However my son in law is also a senior doctor under whose able and experienced medical supervision and monitoring I am alive. I have been given to understand by the cardiologists that two of my heart’s arteries are blocked but due to being too old, surgery can’t be conducted. I am therefore moving ahead quite cautiously. Never mind, one has to leave this materialistic world one day. But till one is alive one should always try hard to live for the society, environment, ecology and peoples’ welfare. Even today I am deeply bothered and concerned about the environmental health of the Himalayas, Uttarakhand and its people. I regret to say that even after Uttarakhand gaining its separate existence 15 years’ ago , has not lived up truly, to the peoples’ expectations. The very concept for which Uttrakhand has been formed has been badly defeated despite 46 movement activists sacrificing their precious lives. The successive governments, I think eight in numbers, during the last 15 years , have proved to be completely futile as during this period more than 30 lakh people have migrated to cities, towns and metropolis of the country for want of better job and health avenues. What a tragedy? Had the governments of the state been genuinely concerned about people’s problems related to the social, economical, industrial, cultural, health and educational aspects, the exodus of the youth and the local populace would not have been so tremendous. Isn’t is shocking that in merely one and a half decade just more than a double digit figure( of people ) have migrated outside Uttarakhand as compared to the total influx during the last 5 decades prior to granting of separate Uttrakhand status.

Question: But the government of Uttarakhand had always been boasting of extraordinary growth rate and sufficient per capita income as compared to other states. What’s your take on this?

This is absurd and ridiculous. I have always been saying for years together and it has finally been substantiated by this mass scale exodus of youths to plains from UK and i.e. the youth and the water of Uttarakhand Himalayas has never been of any use for Uttarakhand.(Pahadon ki jawani aur paani kabhi bhi pahadon ke kaam nahi aaya).The way the water of the Ganges and its tributaries emanating(starting) from Uttarkhand Himalayas has been exploited by the outsiders either for power and irrigation through large scale dams or for other purposes, similarly the youths of Uttarakhand after migrating to cities and metropolis are of no use to the hills. This is something very unfortunate. You will be astonished and shocked to learn that during the 1960s when Dr. Longanathan had conducted the interstate and inter district economic survey in India, Tehri Garhwal was accounted for as the one of the most poorest districts’ with its per capita income the lowest in whole of India whereas the district of Kumaon division, Almora was the second most poorest in the country. And unfortunately even today, despite of the government’s tall claims of revolutionary change in terms of development and per capita income and growth, in my personal opinion the hills of Uttarakhand are still backward and poor as far as the question of unemployment, poor health services and industrialisation is concerned. It’s only because of the lack of total absence of decentralised socio-economic and industrial development and the anti people policies of the current and the successive state governments that Uttarakhand is still a number one state in India in terms of massive exodus of youths to the cities with villages becoming empty day by day and the agricultural fields not prone to KHETI or crop cultivation. During the ancient days the main source of income of the hill people was through spiritual tourism. Now, since roads have been constructed this very source of income of the local hill populace has also been finished. It sounds extremely surprising that in Uttarakhand the land use per human is comparatively much more but poverty is still prevalent in the interior villages, as usual. Our economic sources have been killed. The state’s economic status is in doldrums despite the government’s tall claims of economic prosperity. The hill of Uttarakhand had been merely dependent on the money order economy since ages and the same trend is still continuing as majority of the youths of the state have migrated to cities for jobs. This a very disturbing trend. If the government of the day would not reform itself and work on decentralised economic development right up to the village level I am afraid in the near future the villages will be totally bereft of people and the very purpose for which the Uttrakhand state came into very existence would be actually defeated.

Question: Being a seasoned environmentalist and a Gandhian what is the actual remedy to this very problem?

I personally think that the spate of huge exodus (migration) to the plains is extremely dangerous form the social, economic, cultural and security points of view of Uttarakhand. And I keep the security aspect on the top. It’s a universal fact that expansionist China considers India as its enemy number one, though number of mutual visits by the respective heads of the states of both the countries is being undertaken for normalisation of the relations. Everybody know how China backstabbed us in 1962 after giving the slogan of Hindi Cheeni Bhai Bhai. Today China is actively constructing its Army bases in neighbouring Nepal. It has even laid down its hi tech railway lines and roads in close proximity to our borders with Nepal playing a major role in helping them. Even the Nepalese population is widespread in various blocks, districts and cities of Uttarakhand. China is absolutely readying itself to capture, militarily our border areas and villages by bringing the local Nepalese people into confidence. Moreover, in view of our border villages being emptied day by day by the local populace in view of dearth of employment and other opportunities our already fragile borders are in grave danger. It’s only because of this major lacunae I had always been appealing to the central government to formulate a concrete Hiamalayan policy for all the Himalayan states of the country so as to enable not only the solid conservation of the environment of the Himalayas but also to safeguard the borders of the Himalayan states from the possible Chinese armed intrusion inside our already porous borders. Apart from this, we will also have to change the land use of the hills including the phased wise clearance of the pine trees from the higher altitudes of the hilly terrains which are direct threat to our agricultural and mountainous lands(slopes) making them totally barren and not prone to cultivation any further. The pine trees make the soil fully acetic and therefore impotent in terms of crops cultivation. All these measures would have to be inculcated in the Himalayan Policy structure of the government if we actually y want our hills, Himalayan states and Himalayas to be protected from future onslaughts of the nature and our neighbouring China. In addition to this the government is hell bent upon constructing bigger dams in the Himalayan states which are completely anti environment, anti rivers, anti people and anti development. In nutshell I would say that formulation of a concrete Himalayan policy with the above cited points and change of land use of Uttarakhand hills compounded with small and run of the river hydropower projects n repatriation of people from cities to hills is the only effective alternative that can save Uttarakhand from further destruction and deaths.

Question: Recently, the government of Uttarakhand had in principle agreed to your proposal that the pine trees situated at high altitudes of the mountains will be abruptly cut in a phased manner, under a special policy to rid the hills of this dangerous species, which is entirely harmful . Does it not amount to fulfilling of one of your major long pending demands? Are u satisfied now?

Had it been so easy and convenient, I think the previous governments would have conveniently made the Uttarakhand hills bereft of these pine trees. Making hills bereft of pine trees is one thing but planning multiple species of productive and environmentally friendly tree in large numbers alternatively to substantiate for the losses of pine is another important aspect of the problem. You see, you can’t make the forests bald at a single go without arranging for planting of huge number of good species on the high altitude terrains. If the mountainous terrains are made completely bereft of pine trees in a single go or even in phased manner the hills will become completely bald and there will be imminent danger of earthquakes, floods, landslides, natural catastrophes and other sort of calamities. The roots of the trees not only keep the soil together but also stop the floods and avoids huge landslides are the order of the day in the Uttarakhand Hills. Not only this but the ­ incessant and massive cutting of pine trees will apart from creating environmental and ecological havoc also create a new breed of timber mafia who under the guise of making huge profits will also cut other useful species of productive and environment friendly trees. Uttarakhand is unfortunately already in the grip of such mafias who are amassing huge wealth in collaboration with politicians by way of illegal mining in various parts of the state as a result of which the already fragile environment of Uttarakhand is at stake and giving birth to natural calamities of gigantic proportions.

Question: You had always been concerned for the environmental conservation and deforestation of the Hills and had been on 74 days hunger strike against Tehri dam. How do u look at the catastrophic disaster of Kedar Valley that happened in June 2013. Can we avert such calamities in the near future?

Nobody can ever control the catastrophic disasters nor can we predict it on definite basis as to when exactly the calamity arrives. Yes we do can counter it to a great extent. Today unfortunately, under the guise of revolutionary scientific developments and the blind uncontrolled race of technological advancements, the whole world is under the grip of global warming created by huge green house emissions. A vast population of India and other countries of the world are suffering from various respiratory disorders and diseases like asthma, of heart and lungs including contagious abnormalities. This dangerous trend of global warming has not only increased the mortality rate world over but has also resulting in speedy melting of the Himalayan glaciers which are highly dangerous to the global civilization’s existence. The gigantic Himalayan catastrophe of 2013 which I consider purely a manmade one is merely an indication of future disasters in the offing measuring as just a tip of an iceberg. Whenever the humanity has played with the nature under the guise of anti environmental scientific developments or advancements, the nature has slapped humanity and governments with massive ecological disasters like that of Kedar valley one that happened in June 2013.Uttarakhand Himalaya is considered to be an abode of Gods where spiritual and cultural tourism would have been majorly encouraged but unfortunately the unholy nexus of the capitalists, builders, contractor, politicians and corrupt bureaucracy has by way of building huge dams, buildings, luxury hotels, buildings for commercial gains and huge structures alongside the rivers have literally played havoc with our already fragile environment, hills, rivers and the local populace thus inviting such huge calamities taking the toll of thousands and leading to colossal loss to public exchequer. We shouldn’t forget that huge dams not only control the smooth flow of rivers, but also lead to massive landslides and therefore in return to flash floods. The explosions at dam sites lead to landslides and make our hills hollow and vibratory from inside. Lots of deforestation takes place. Mountains become bereft of plants, trees and green vegetation. And when earthquake occur the hollow and weak hills in the form of huge landslides including building come down like the pack of cards. The tons of silt coming out of the tunnels of dams fall straightaway in the rivers making them narrow and hugely prone to flash floods. There are umpteen other reasons that make our hills and its environment prone to such disasters and fatal consequences.

Question: lst query. How do u rate the internationally famous CHIPKO MOVEMENT of which you were a very significant part. Do u think that it was a successful movement or a failure, not able to come to peoples’ expectation?

In my personal opinion and also in the opinion of environmentalists’ world over Chipko Movement was a trendsetter which mobilised a vast population of the globe towards environment conservation and against deforestation. It make people mobilised and worked as a major and most effective tool that not only made people environmentally friendly, conscious but also led to many struggles felling of trees and construction of big dams world over. I can say it did have a very strong international presence but not that much effective in India. I salute Gaura Devi who was the chief architect of this movement for her perseverance, grit , determination and dedication to this noble cause. Any movement which has with it the continuity is considered as success but in the context of this movement it definitely lacked the sequel. Had the governments strictly followed the tips of Chipko movement on toto I am sure the hills of Uttarakhand Himalayas , its environment, ecology and the conditions of its people would have improved manifold by now. My two main slogans to preserve the ecology of the hills and improve the lot of the people were” Dhaar Einch Paani meaning bring the water through the hydraulic system or other means on the hill tops” ar Dhaal par taal meaning plant productive trees and fruit plants on the slopes of these hills in huge numbers leading to all round prosperity, progress and economic viability of the hills, its environment and the people. That’s it.

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Smog and dust continues to blanket national capital, air quality plunges to ‘severe’ category

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Smog and dust continued to blanket the national capital on Wednesday, as air quality in a number of areas fell to the ‘severe’ category.

In its advisory, the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) instructed people to avoid morning walks and any other outdoor activities.

“Stop any activity level if you experience any unusual coughing, chest discomfort, wheezing, breathing difficulty or fatigue and consult a doctor. If the room has windows, close them. Avoid burning anything such as wood, candles or even incense. Masks known as N-95 or P-100 respirators may only help if you go out. Do not rely on dust masks for protection,” read the statement.

The region’s overall Air Quality Index (AQI) was recorded at 442. Experts have predicted that for the next three days, the air quality will remain in the ‘severe’ category.

An AQI between 0-50 is considered good, 51-100 is satisfactory, 101-200 moderate, 201-300 poor, 301-400 very poor and 401-500 is marked as severe/hazardous.

At Lodhi road, the AQI was 312 at 9:15 am, while in Wazirpur area it dipped to severe category at 403. Furthermore, AQI near Mathura road stood at 425.

Experts have further predicted that the national capital will witness hazy sunshine and patchy clouds with the maximum and minimum temperatures hovering at 32 degrees and 18 degree Celsius, respectively.

Speaking to ANI, Sandeep Kumar, a cyclist, said that he is suffering from breathlessness and the air pollution is posing as an obstruction to his activities. “Each day it is becoming difficult for me to breathe as the air pollution is increasing. We first have to change our habits, only then we can bring changes in the environment,” he added.

Another resident of Delhi, Satwendar Singh, was of the view that each year similar issues crop up in Delhi, but no solution has been found to tackle it. “Though the government takes several steps to reduce air pollution, no solution has been found to improve the air quality. It is getting worse year by year,” he noted.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), around 3 million deaths a year are linked to exposure to outdoor air pollution. Indoor air pollution, on the other hand, can be just as deadly. In 2012, an estimated 6.5 million deaths (11.6% of all global deaths) were associated with indoor and outdoor air pollution together.

Nearly 90% of air-pollution-related deaths occur in low and middle-income countries.

“Air pollution continues to take a toll on the health of the most vulnerable populations – women, children, and older adults. For people to be healthy, they must breathe clean air from their first breath to their last,” said Dr. Flavia Bustreo, Assistant Director General at the WHO.

Major sources of air pollution include inefficient modes of transport, household fuel and waste burning, coal-fired power plants, and industrial activities.

However, not all air pollution originates from human activity. For example, air quality can also be influenced by dust storms, particularly in regions close to deserts.

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India produces a collosal 15000 tons of plastic waste, a greatest health hazard! Let’s give up plastics

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The metropolitan cities of the country are becoming excessively overcrowded and so are other towns and cities of various states of the country.

The need for survival and non availability of job avenues compell them to throng these cities, towns and metropolises in uncontrollable numbers leading to overcrowded plains and hence excessive pollution.

The fastly depleting underground water table due to excessively enhanced water consumption and irregular rains due to global warming including massive withdrawal of underground water through electronic pumps by one and all have added to the problem multiply with no or negligible efforts or initiatives for warer conservation.

But despite all this, the uninterrupted and rampant use of plastic all over the country has assumed gigantic proportions and infinitely added to the already existing pollution woes.

India today is the highest consumer of the plastics amongst the countries of the globe despite Delhi and 17 other states having already banned the use of plastics.

The massive use of plastics through pakaging of food stuff, oils, garments, eatables, water and in other forms like plastic plates, spoons, cups and even water packets n thermocol etc in marriages and other homely functions nationally have become the hugest nuisance for the society and its population.

It’s usually said that a bottle of plastic takes over three hundred protracted years to vanish or perish and its hard plastic lids about 500 years and by the time if the use of these plastics would not be strongly countered and checked by the alternative use of soluble or perishable paper bags or jute bags compounded with the use of bamboo items etc our rivers and open drains including oceans may get converted into huge mounds or mountains of plastics.

What is more disturbing about this increasing menace is the fact that plastic production is a multi billion dollar industry worldwide with multinational companies and indigenous corporates in collaboration, earning extremely handsomely at the cost of the peoples’ health.

Lot is being said and talked about the emissions of green house gases destroying the ozone layer at the international forums but literally nothing is being talked about the rampant and uncontrollable use of plastic globally and there producers are none other but all those very countries who talk so much about lessening the green house emissions including our own politicians sitting at the helm of affairs.

Just implementing laws to ban plastic would in no way resolve this vexed issue playing with the environmental health of all the developed and developing countries of the globe but what we exactly needed is a global campaign against this dreaded menace to mobilise, awaken and enthuse populations to themselves desist from using plastics in their daily life and routine thinking considering it as the worst kind of cancer that is perrcolating expeditiously into our daily lives and the system that needs to be checked and countered extremely fast and with a duty oriented perception.

Let’ s talk of Maharashtra in this context. It has banned the use of plastic just yesterday through a legislation and Delhi did more than five years ago under the leadership of the then chief minister Shiela Dikshit imposing a heavy fine of Rs. 5000 on anybody using plastic.

But shockingly there is not an inkling of the terror of law on this count and even today the capital city of India is one of the hugest consumers of plastic as is Maharashtra, its economic capital Mumbai and several other states of the country, even those states which had banned the use of plastic quite before.

According to an editorial in HT quoting the report of the Central Pollution Control Board the Maharashtra government has enough reason to ban plastic : the state generates 1, 200 tonnes of plastic waste every day and Mumbai alone generates a collosal 500 metric tonnes which accounts for merely 10% of its total waste.

In contrast the Indian cities generate 15000 tons of plastic waste everyday of which 9000 tons is collected and processed/ recycled while the remaining 6000 tons go into the drains, blocking their incessant n seamless flow thus badly polluting the rivers into which these drains finally flow their highly toxic waste including in open streets, dumps and landfills.

So finally what’s the alternative to get rid of this huge menace that’s playing with the peoples’ health and environment. The answer is: our scientists should invent and innovate the credible alternatives to the use of plastics that are cheap and perishable and educating people creating in them the credible awareness to themselves, give up plastic though phasewise are some of the best alternatives.

The government should also stop the plastic production used in consumer durables phase wise, thus simultaneously producing the alternative materials to compensate for the shortage of plastics but with eco friendly alternatives, ofcourse. What’s your take friends?

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CHIPKO REPEATED, WOMEN, YOUTH HUGGED TREE TRUNKS, SAY AXE THEM FIRST, THEN THE TREES

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Taking the cue and inspiration from the internationally famed CHIPKO MOVEMENT of 1974 that started against the arbitrary mass felling of trees by veteran illeterate environmentalist GAURA DEVI and her several volunteers, all women, hailing from a distant RAINY village in Chamoli Garhwal in Uttarakhand Himalaya’s, hundreds of environmentally friendly volunteers in South Delhi’s Sarojini Nagar, Nauroji Nagar, Kasturba Nagar and Netaji Nagar have gathered together to hug the trees likely to be felled by the authorities concerned in order to put an end to the arbitary felling of about 16500 trees on acount of the redevelopment of the aforesaid government colonies where multi storeyed flats are coming up but at the expense of these vast number of green trees existing in these vicinities for the last several decades, some even since the British era.

There were government colonies in all these four areas viz. Sarojini Nagar, Netaji Nagar, Kasturba Nagar and Nauroji Nagar having double stories with one, two, three and four type accomodations.

In view of the shortage of accomodation for the government servants having a long que for allotments, the previous UPA government under the then union Urban Development minister Jaipal Reddy and state minister Ajay Maken had mooted a plan to redevelop and modernised these old government colonies through the PPP model and construct multi storey buildings, hi tech bazaars, market complex, swimming pools and other kinds of recreational facilities including marriage halls and health centres etc.

The basic object of this infrastructural redevelopment was to accomodate more and more people of all grades in a limited area which can’t be extended any further in view of space contraints.

The colonies of Nauroji Nagar and Kidwai Nagar have already been demolished about three years ago and the multistory structures had already come up in these vicinities. However, the work of redevelopment is on full swing in Nauroji Nagar to be followed in Sarojini Nagar, Netaji Nagar and Kasturba Nagar.

All these colonies fall in the NDMC area under the jurisdiction of the union government and the project is being handled by the NATIONAL BUILDING CONTRUCTION COMPANY ( NBCC) the autonomous government body.

About 16500 trees are to be cut/ felled during these contruction activities. However, lakhs of trees had already been allegedly felled with the due permission of the environment ministry during the construction of the various metro rail projects.

After news of the tree felling reached the ear and eye of the Delhi government led by AAP there had been objections against these arbitrary tree fellings and number of environmental friendly organisations thereafter came into the picture. The message spread like a wild fire.

One Mr Khanna an advocate had urgently filed a writ petition in the court of law to turn down the decision. On 24th and 25th June about fifteen hundred enlightened residents of the nearby areas collected at Sarojini Nagar and furiously objected to the illegal felling of these trees threatening the authorities to first axe them, then the trees.

It’s a repetition of late Gaura Devi’s Chipko movement of the seventies when several women volunteers of RAINY GAON in CHAMOLI GARHWAL clung to the heavy trunks of the trees likely to be cut by the then timber mafia finally compelling the then government of UTTAR PRADESH and the centre to acede to their request and officialy ban cutting of trees in UTTARAKHAND HIMALAYAS.

The protesting volunteers holding Play Cards displaying ,”trees are our lungs, don’t axe them,” and shouting slogans most annoyingly, these furious women volunteers have challenged the authorities to come forward and axe them first before citting these old green trees.

Today, about two dozen volunteers, majority of them being women are stationed in Sarojini Nagar to ensure that not a single tree is cut by the authorities concerned.

They are ready to go behind bars and sacrifice themselves but woud not allow the killings of the trees, our lungs for survival say these activists.

It may be recalled that Delhi and the NCR have become the concretes of cemented infrastructural development where trees have been cut on rampant scale.

The suspended particulate matter level has also enhanced to over 500 percent resulting in excessive pollution and green house gases emissions resulting in the badly deteriotating health condition of the DELHITES.

The power demand in the capital has increased manifold and the consumption pattern has increased to more than two hundred percent with the Delhi power demand reaching at 7000 megawats which was merely 2800 megawats in 2005.

It may be recalled that ecological imbalance and increasing pollution is no more confined to and city, town or metropolises but the rural areas and forest dominated states too are now inflicted with this menace. The problem has now assumed global significance with all the countries of the world deliberating on reducing green house emissions and making the world free of ecological catastrophes in the offing due to the increasing global warming.

The capital of India, Delhi and its surroundings are rapidly converting themselves into cities of concrete with lessening trees and increasing number of skyscrapers. Except the Delhi’s Lutyen Zone and the forests of the Aravalies’ there had been incessant felling of trees under guise of infrastructural development thus resulting in excessive pollution of dust, emission of CO2 and other form of poisionous gases emnating from millions of Air conditioners and vehicles which are around 80 lakhs in numbers.

If you happen to go in the NCR in Gurgaon or Noida or Ghaziabad extentions, you’ll find lakhs of upcoming builder flats with literally no green trees but hundred of thousands of airconditioners spreading CO2 in the atmosphere including hot emissions vitiating the entire environment.

Had there been a special impetus by the environment ministries of the centre and state to plant more and more trees and to maintain them respectively, the environment of Delhi would have been full of fresh oxygen and fresh air.

But today what we experience is 40 to 47 degree celcius temperatures and dearth of drinking water compelling Delhites to lead a hell of the life in the capital. Even the Ganga and Yamuna are badly polluted giving toxic water posing a grave challenge to peoples’ lives.

The Himalayan glaciers are expeditiously melting and the hisorical river like Ganga, Yamuna and its tributaries turning into huge drains of heavily polluted contents of factories, tanneries, plastics, rubbish and toxic chemical wastes.

In such a critical situation planting excessive trees and safeguarding the present trees including conserving rain water on massive scale is the only solution to this impending menace. What’s your take friends? Meanwhile, there is a good news that the Delhi high court has issued directives to the union government to stop the arbitrary felling of about 16500 trees in South Delhi.

In a press release issue by the Delhi Citizen lnitiative to SaveTrees the organisation welcomed the decision of Hon’ble HC to stay any further felling of trees in Central Govt’s VIP housing project at Delhi. It was a day light mass murder to fell 16500 trees.

The media cordinator Chavi Mehta thanked the citizens of Delhi for standing up along with them and turning out in large numbers to save the trees.

While welcoming the decision the organisation appealed to the government to roll back this decision to cut 16500 trees.

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Several organisations unite to discuss on clean environment. Ecological dialogue of GFI was a grand success.

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Several organisations of Uttarakhand and enlightened individuals gathered together enthusiastically and discussed about the increasing pollution and subsequent danger to the human lives at Chandigarh on 17th afternoon for three hours incessantly and came to a conclusion that such significant interactive sessions should be continued in future as well to consistently awaken the people at large about out deteriorating ecology and ways and means to get out of the increasing environmental pollution that has made our lives literally hell in almost every, city, town and the metropolices of our country now extending its ugly influence in villages and rural areas of the contry too, which once used to be our lungs giving us fresh Oxygen in abundance and making our lives healthy, strong and sturdy.

But today, we have been surrounded by polluted environment having several hundred percent increase in SPM in the air and rivers slowly and steadily converting into drains full of pollutants, plastics, chemicals and poision of factories and tanneries. Polluted Ganges and its entire tributaries like Yamuna and several other rivers are the best examples exhibiting these disturbing trends, where, despite the government and World bank’s wasting hundreds of thousands of crores since several years the situation is still to square one.

The mountains are burning. Our flora and fauna are on the extinction and huge hydropower projects still displacing people and taking their tolls compounded with destroying and disturbing the ecology of the Himalayan regions and the rural villages compelling the wild life to attack the human beings and making them, their regular preys.

The increasing use of plastics, globally, has vitiated the environment badly and if the use of plastic is continued unabatedly the time is not far when our oceans wull assume the shape of plastic mountains. A single plastic bottle and its lid takes 300 and 500 years respectively, to perish. Such is the ugly ill affect of the use of plastics which should be given up using other alternatives that are soluble in water and easily perishable like paper bags etc.

The climate change have also changed the pattern and cycle of monsoon, summer, springs and winter seasons thus throwing hazardous influence on the peoples’ health and the flora and fauna of the country.

Under the guise of revolutionery development our metropolises, cities and towns are converting into the jungles of concretes with millions n millions of cemented hi tech flats coming up but completely devoid of trees and greeneries.

The emissions of gases from the billions of air conditioners, fuels, cars, trucks and dust pollution from the construction activites have added to the already deepening environmental crisis in the offing.

The himalayan glaciers are melting with a rapid speed and have already shifted 48 klms backwards due to increasing global warming as a result of rampant green house emisions worldwide with the developed countries imposing their muscular and money oriented dominance on the developing countries, not to speak against them.

The discussion titled ” ECOLOGICAL DIALOGUE ” was quite successful as journalists, social activists, Retired Army Officers, academicians and theatre activists expressed their views and opinions in details and urged for more such healthy interactive debates on environment. Prominent amongst those who spoke on the ocassion were sr Journalists Suresh Nautiyal, Sunil Negi, Ishwar Chand Dhyani and Mr. Gulati of The Tribune, Chr, Dr. Vinod Nautiyal, Intl green activist, Colonel Parmar, Major Onkar Uttarakhandi, Bhagwan Chand, Mr. Aswal, Sundliji and others.

Prior to the event 5 Neem saplings were planted at the Tribune park in Chandigarh. The host was Green Forum India.
Sunil Negi, President, Uttarakhand Journalists Forum

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UK environment and forest minister sanctions Rs 3 lakhs for LOSA. Urges people to give up the use of plastics to save environment.

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The Minister of environment and forest of Uttarakhand Dr. Harak Singh said that the government of Uttarakhand is committed to wipe out plastic from the Himalayan state as its one of the worst enemies of our environment having most hazardous implications.

A single bottle of plastic takes three hundred years while its lid take 500 years to perish completely. If the incessant use of plastic bottles and polythene is not curbed forthwith the time will come when our oceans will become the mountains of hazardous plastic materials thus posing suicidal for the present generation added Dr. Rawat.

Addressing the well attended gathering at Lansedowne main Bazaar in an annual function of Lansedowne Old Students Association on 10th June Dr Harak Singh said that improving the ecology and environment of the hill state of Uttarakhand is our primary and prime duty and we can do so by way of becoming self aware through conpletely giving up the use of plastics and polythenes to replace them with paper bags and other alternative eco friendly materials.

This should be the primary civic responsibility of the citizens and the tourists who throng the Uttarakhand hills for enjoyment during summer vacations alongwith their childrens in large numbers. However, the responsibility of the local populace is more important to keep their town plastic free and neat n clean.

Dr. Rawat said Uttarakhand is blessed with extremely pleasent environment, scenic beauty, fresh oxygen and mesmerising surroundings and therefore its our moral civic responsibility to maintain its dignity and environmental parameters.

Therefore use of plastics should be given up forthwith and the flagship initiative of the prime minister Narendra Modi, the Swach Bharat Abhiyan should also be given full impetus to keep our surroundings neat and clean.

Feeling proud to have Uttarakhandies in several coveted positions at the centre as well as in states like NSA Ajit Doval, Army chief Vipin Rawat, UP CM Yogi Adityanath, UK CM Trivendra Rawat, Raw Chief Dhasman, DGMO Anil Bhatt, Dr. Rawat said the incoming and the current generations should feel inspired from their outstanding achivements and follow suit in the future to raise Uttarakhand’s head high nationally.

Portraying his achievements before the assembled people Dr. Harak Singh Rawat said he has come to Lansedown because he feels it his home and would leave no stone unturned to do everything possible for the development of this popular hill station and its people despite the fact that it’s not his political constituency.

Dr. Rawat had been minister in UK government as well as in the undivided Uttar Pradesh for several years and MLA for more than five terms. He’d changed several political outfits from being independent to Congress to BSP to Congress and finally BJP.

He is considered to be a dynamic leader of the hill state despite being in different parties and adhering to changing ideologies.

He was previously the minister in Harish Rawat government looking after Agriculture and other departments as well but had changed sides and joined BJP alongwith 10 other lawmakers having been rewarded the ministry yet again when the saffron party formed the government with a historic mandate in 2016/ 17.

He is the MLA from Kotdwar. The Lansedown Old Students Association had invited the minister as the chief guest on its seventh Annual meet in which the LOSA members from all over the country and even abroad join each other every year in the month of june and deliberate on various significant issues including exchanging pleasentaries and old memories.

Assuring the people of Lansedown and Kotdwar to convert these areas into the best tourist destinations of Uttarakhand in order to boost tourism he said while the door to Jim Corbett Park has been opened for Animal Safari from Dugadda/ Kotdwar Pauri Garhwal side, a proposal for opening a wild life sanctuary in Kotdwara for the treatment of wild life had also been approved by the centre thus making these areas as the best wild life viewing hub in the near future to encourage tourism, wild life safaries, employment generation and financial gains for the hotel industry as well as the petty shopkeepers.

Mrs. Akruti Gusain, the beauty peagent and the legendary folk singer Narendra Singh Negi also spoke on the ocassion.

The minister felicitated the veteran 98 year old losaite and the former principal of Central School Lansedown with a Shawl and citation and distributed scholarships to several poor and meritorious students.
Several interesting cultural folk dances and songs were also presented at the event.

Dr. Harak Singh Rawat assured the LOSA of a consolidated financial support of Rs. Three lakhs from his ministry.

The programme was compered by Narmada Gusain, mother of the beauty peagent Akruti Gusain who is also a Losaite having been born and brought up in LANSEDOWNE.

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Killing of elephants in elephant corridors in train accidents concerns wild life conservationists

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The number of wild elephants in Uttarakhand is decreasing day by day and the basic reason behind this lessoning of elephant numbers is their killing in the official elephant corridors by train accidents.

The forest department of Uttarakhand is once again under question after the rampant incidents of brutal human killings by maneaters and killings of elephants going side by side in official elephant corridors with no role of the department in avoiding these dreaded incidents. Just a day ago an elephant has been killed in a train accident in the elephant corridor in the Tanda Forest area about sixty kilometres away from Nainital .

Just about two months ago a male elephant has been killed in an accident in the same train corridor sending shock waves amongst the animal loving fraternity of the state. It may be recalled that the Tanda Forest area is directly connected with the Ram Nagar Corbett . The elephant’ groups (JHUND) prevalent in Jim Corbett area usually use the Tanda forest corridor and pass near by Bindukhaata jungle Areas to reach Gaulapaar areas in Kumaon Uttarakhand.

The elephant being the animal covering long distances inside forests sometimes come on railway lines and get cut/ killed in accidents of speeding trains and this is what has been taking place for the last several months. These elephants also cross jungles to eat the crops in agricultural fields.

The female elephant who was killed by train accident near Central Medicine Plants Institution near Haldwani was also intending to go to agricultural fields to eat crops but got cut in a speeding train accident.

What is highly shocking about this whole episode is that just in a years’ time about five elephants have been killed through train accidents. The forest department has no solution to these increasing incidents of train accidents killing elephants in prescribed elephant corridors and not a single erring train driver has been punished till date as well.

Meanwhile, the incidents of attacks of man eater leopards are still on the rise in various parts of Uttarakhand. Just yesterday in Pirumadaar, near Ram Nagar, Uttarakhand a mentally retarded man was brutalLy attacked by a leopard near the MAAJAAR OF A MUSLIM SAINT namely Nathapir who was later on addmitted to the local hospital with grievous injuries.

Just three days ago a 65 year old man was brutally killed by a man eater in Chowbattakhal area of Pauri Garhwal, killing him on the spot near a roadside bus shed with half of his dead body literally torned and mutilated profusely bleeding. The incidents of man eater attacks are rapidly increasing in Uttarakhand and the incessant killing of elephants in train accidents in elephant corridors is also a matter of immense concern for the wild life conservationists and the forest department of Uttarakhand.

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WILD LEOPARD AND BEAR ATTACKS HAVE CREATED HAVOC IN UTTARAKHAND. WILL THE GOVT DO SOMETHING CREDIBLE?

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The Himalayan state of Uttarakhand is under the incessant invasion of dangerous wild life and the government of the day and its forest department is conspicous by their absense in not doing anything concrete to counter the wild life’s terrorising menace. The situation has assumed so risky proportions that human life is today completely at mercy of the wild cats and the bears. Number of incidents of gruesome killings at the behest of the maneater leopards, tigers and wild bears have come to notice for the last two years with the number of casualties increasing day by day but of no avail on the part of the state government to set right the situation. A most tragic incident of wild bear attack was reported in a village in Yamkeshwar block where a local inhabitant of Umdaa village, 59 year old CHANDRA PRAKASH was badly injured as he litrally fought with the bear and suffered deadly injuries. The grievously injured is in the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh fighting for survival. The injured had gone to the nearby jungle to collect fodder for cows and buffaloes when he was attacked by the wild bear. It is usually said that the bear who remain in the high mountain altitudes come down during the winter season due to the excessive snow covers that creates green food shortages. In addition to this the increasing activities of construction and the so called development has disturbed the wild life particularly the leopards and bears who come near the human settlements i.e. the forests adjoining the villages. When the men and women enter jungles for green grass or animal fodder these wild animals become fearful and attack them in self defence as well as lack of food stuff. While in 2017 about 140 leopards were declared as man eaters there had also been 17 bear attacks in the Chamoli district’s Bhatwari village range grievously injuring several women and children who’d gone in the local jungle for pet animal fodder. In Almora, Rudraprayag and Pauri districts too these incidents of wild life attacks resulting in several casualties have created an alarming situation with the Uttarakhand Forest Department having no clue, whatsoever, to safeguard the precious lives of the states’ inhabitants. Uttarakhand is already suffering from mass scale migration with thousands of villages having become ghost villages. The monkeys, wild pigs had already destroyed the agricultural produce of the villagers and the increasing man eater leopard and bear attacks have also made the life of the villagers tremendously dangerous and unpredictable. In the last week two shocking incidents of leopard attacks were reported from Uttarakhand’s Almora district in which two precious lives of a 6th class student and a twenty five year old were claimed by the maneater tigers. While the dearth of animal preys is cited as one of the prime reason for wild cats coming nearer, towards human settlements to fulfil their hunger , another reason may be due the villages becoming vacant these wild animals find themselves convenient to come closer towards them ( the villages with little population) and kill human beings when confronted with.
SUNIL NEGI

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