Saturday, March 28, 2015

Sir, relocation of DTC bus depot away from river bed is not optional or reversible - it is your considered decision & High Court mandated

24 March 2015
YJA/CORES/3/2015

To,

Sri Najeeb Jung
Hon'ble Lt Governor of Delhi
DELHI

&

Sri Arvind Kejriwal,
Hon'ble Chief Minister of Delhi
DELHI

Sub: Sir, relocation of DTC bus depot away from river bed is not optional or reversible - it is your considered decision & High Court mandated

Sir/s,

Greetings from Yamuna Jiye Abhiyaan.

Media reports about a recent meeting of the Delhi Dialogue Commission (DDC), raising question on the need of the relocation of the so called Millennium Bus Depot of the DTC away from the river bed is not just unfortunate but a clear case of motivated mis-representation of the facts to the DDC in the matter.

Sir, it was one of your far reaching decisions made in January 2014 in favour of the gravelly threatened river to direct DTC to relocate the said bus depot away from the river bed and the DDA was requested to provide suitable land/s to the DTC for the needful.

Sir, the fact remains that the said decision was consequent to a HC of Delhi judgment and a contempt case filed against both the DTC and the DDA which was the context of the said welcome decision taken by your honour/s.

Accordingly the DTC and the DDA had in the said contempt case given an undertaking to the Court of Contempt to vacate the river bed latest by 31 October 2014. It is most unfortunate that while the DDA has reportedly already handed over requisite lands to the DTC, the latter has made no move whatsoever to shift the bus depot away from the river bed.

Sir, the fact also remains that the occupation of the said land in the river bed by the DTC was ab initio illegal, malafide and made in the garb of a temporary bus parking required just for a fortnight to park some 300 buses for the duration of the CWG 2010. The malafide of this occupation was highlighted both by the CAG as well as the Shunglu Committee that went into the wrong doings committed by the government of the day, in connection with the hosting of the CWG 2010 in Delhi. 

So, for the AAP government, which has come to power on an anti corruption plank, of which CWG 2010 was a key target, to now even think of considering any rethink on the said illegal and malafide bus depot in the river bed, on any grounds whatsoever, is (excuse us for using the term) preposterous. It is outright illegal as well, as the matter is already decided by the High Court of Delhi and DTC has reportedly received the land/s in lieu of it from the DDA.

We accordingly request your honour to please direct DTC for taking urgent actions to vacate the river bed in pursuance of your decision, and of it's (DTC) own commitment given to the Hon'ble High Court in a sub judice contempt case.

With warm regards,


Manoj Misra
Convener


CC:


Chief Secretary, Govt. of Delhi - For your kind information and necessary action please
Delhi Dialogue Commission, Delhi Secretariat - For your kind information and necessary action please

Secretary (Forest & Environment), Govt. of Delhi – For your kind information and necessary action please.

Sri Balvinder Kumar, Vice Chairman, Delhi Development Authority – For your kind information and necessary action please.

Chairman, Delhi Urban Arts Commission – For your kind information and necessary action please.


Chairman, Yamuna Standing Committee - For your kind information and necessary action please 

We’re treating soil like dirt. It’s a fatal mistake, as our lives depend on it (The Guardian, March 2015)


Imagine a wonderful world, a planet on which there was no threat of climate breakdown, no loss of freshwater, no antibiotic resistance, no obesity crisis, no terrorism, no war. Surely, then, we would be out of major danger? Sorry. Even if everything else were miraculously fixed, we’re finished if we don’t address an issue considered so marginal and irrelevant that you can go for months without seeing it in a newspaper.
It’s literally and – it seems – metaphorically, beneath us. To judge by its absence from the media, most journalists consider it unworthy of consideration. But all human life depends on it. We knew this long ago, but somehow it has been forgotten. As a Sanskrit text written in about 1500BC noted: “Upon this handful of soil our survival depends. Husband it and it will grow our food, our fuel and our shelter and surround us with beauty. Abuse it and the soil will collapse and die, taking humanity with it.”
The issue hasn’t changed, but we have. Landowners around the world are now engaged in an orgy of soil destruction so intense that, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, the world on average has just 60 more years of growing crops. Even in Britain, which is spared the tropical downpours that so quickly strip exposed soil from the land, Farmers Weekly reports, we have “only 100 harvests left”.
Landowners around the world are now engaged in an orgy of soil destruction
To keep up with global food demand, the UN estimates, 6m hectares (14.8m acres) of new farmland will be needed every year. Instead, 12m hectares a year are lost through soil degradation. We wreck it, then move on, trashing rainforests and other precious habitats as we go. Soil is an almost magical substance, a living system that transforms the materials it encounters, making them available to plants. That handful the Vedic master showed his disciples contains more micro-organisms than all the people who have ever lived on Earth. Yet we treat it like, well, dirt.
The techniques that were supposed to feed the world threaten us with starvation.A paper just published in the journal Anthropocene analyses the undisturbed sediments in an 11th-century French lake. It reveals that the intensification of farming over the past century has increased the rate of soil erosion sixtyfold.
Another paper, by researchers in the UK, shows that soil in allotments – the small patches in towns and cities that people cultivate by hand – contains a third more organic carbon than agricultural soil and 25% more nitrogen. This is one of the reasons why allotment holders produce between four and 11 times more food per hectare than do farmers.
Whenever I mention this issue, people ask: “But surely farmers have an interest in looking after their soil?” They do, and there are many excellent cultivators who seek to keep their soil on the land. There are also some terrible farmers, often absentees, who allow contractors to rip their fields to shreds for the sake of a quick profit. Even the good ones are hampered by an economic and political system that could scarcely be better designed to frustrate them.
This is the International Year of Soils, but you wouldn’t know it. In January, the Westminster government published a new set of soil standards, marginally better than those they replaced, but wholly unmatched to the scale of the problem. There are no penalities for compromising our survival except a partial withholding of public subsidies. Yet even this pathetic guidance is considered intolerable by the National Farmers’ Union, which greeted them with bitter complaints. Sometimes the NFU seems to me to exist to champion bad practice and block any possibility of positive change.


Few sights are as gruesome as the glee with which the NFU celebrated the death last year of the European soil framework directive, the only measure with the potential to arrest our soil-erosion crisis. The NFU, supported by successive British governments, fought for eight years to destroy it, then crowed like a shedful of cockerels when it won. Looking back on this episode, we will see it as a parable of our times.
Soon after that, the business minister, Matthew Hancock, announced that he was putting “business in charge of driving reform”: trade associations would be able “to review enforcement of regulation in their sectors.” The NFU was one the first two bodies granted this privilege. Hancock explained that this “is all part of our unambiguously pro-business agenda to increase the financial security of the British people.” But it doesn’t increase our security, financial or otherwise. It undermines it.
The government’s deregulation bill, which has now almost completed its passage through parliament, will force regulators – including those charged with protecting the fabric of the land – to “have regard to the desirability of promoting economic growth”. But short-term growth at the expense of public protection compromises long-term survival. This “unambiguously pro-business agenda” is deregulating us to death.
There’s no longer even an appetite for studying the problem. Just one university – Aberdeen – now offers a degree in soil science. All the rest have been closed down.
This is what topples civilisations. War and pestilence might kill large numbers of people, but in most cases the population recovers. But lose the soil and everything goes with it.
Now, globalisation ensures that this disaster is reproduced everywhere. In its early stages, globalisation enhances resilience: people are no longer dependent on the vagaries of local production. But as it proceeds, spreading the same destructive processes to all corners of the Earth, it undermines resilience, as it threatens to bring down systems everywhere.
Short-term growth at the expense of public protection compromises long-term survival
Almost all other issues are superficial by comparison. What appear to be great crises are slight and evanescent when held up against the steady trickling away of our subsistence.
The avoidance of this issue is perhaps the greatest social silence of all. Our insulation from the forces of nature has encouraged a belief in the dematerialisation of our lives, as if we no longer subsist on food and water, but on bits and bytes. This is a belief that can be entertained only by people who have never experienced serious hardship, and who are therefore unaware of the contingency of existence.
It’s not as if we are short of solutions. While it now seems that ploughing of any kind is incompatible with the protection of the soil, there are plenty of means of farming without it. Independently, in several parts of the world, farmers have been experimenting with zero-tillage (also known as conservation agriculture), often with extraordinary results.
There are dozens of ways of doing it: we need never see bare soil again. But in the UK, as in most rich nations, we have scarcely begun to experiment with the technique, despite the best efforts of the magazine Practical Farm Ideas.
Even better are some of the methods that fall under the heading of permaculture– working with complex natural systems rather than seeking to simplify or replace them. Pioneers such as Sepp Holzer and Geoff Lawton have achieved remarkable yields of fruit and vegetables in places that seemed unfarmable: 1,100m above sea level in the Austrian alps, for example, or in the salt-shrivelled Jordanian desert.
But, though every year our government spends £450m on agricultural research and development – much of it on techniques that wreck our soils – there is no mention of permaculture either on the websites of the two main funding bodies (NERC and BBSRC) or in any other department.
The macho commitment to destructive short-termism appears to resist all evidence and all logic. Never mind life on Earth; we’ll plough on regardless.
(Source: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/mar/25/treating-soil-like-dirt-fatal-mistake-human-life)


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Complete waste processing plant in Ghazipur by June: NGT to Govt. (Hindustan Times 24 March 2014)

New Delhi  :-Voicing concern over the issue of disposal of municipal solid waste in the capital, the National Green Tribunal has directed the Delhi government to complete the waste-to-energy plant at Ghazipur by June this year.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar directed the Railways and Municipal Corporations to ensure that dustbins are placed at convenient places in slum clusters so that the residents do not have to walk long distance for dumping of waste.
The directions came after the Tribunal was informed that the waste processing plant at Okhla, which has a capacity of 2000 metric tonnes, was already at saturation level as nearly 1900 MT of MSW was already being processed at the plant everyday.
“We are informed that the MSW Plant of 1350 metric tonnes at Ghazipur is to become operational from March 31, 2015. However, it is further informed that it is only the refused derived fuel (RDF) section of the plant that would become fully operational by that date. The power generation would become operative by the June, 2015.
“We direct that the authorities shall take all steps within their power to complete this project as stipulated by June, 2015. This plant should become operative to deal with 1350 metric tonnes of MSW everyday,” the bench said while hearing a plea alleging that dumping plastic, municipal solid waste and discharging human waste on railway tracks was adversely affecting the ecosystem.
The Tribunal directed that the Secretary of Power and Energy Department, NCT Delhi and other concerned officers shall be personally responsible for the compliance of these directions.
“The Railway and the concerned Corporation shall tie-up with NCT, Delhi and start sanding their municipal solid waste to the Ghazipur site with effect from April 1, 2015,” the bench said

Clean-up plans fail in muddy Yamuna, NGT seeks action (Hindustan Times 24 March 2015)

A child showing polluted water flowing into the Yamuna river. (Raj K Raj/ HT Photo)

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has asked the Centre and states to hold consultations and submit by March 27 an action plan to ensure there is fresh water flow in the Yamuna.
A total of Rs 1,500 crore has been spent to clean up the river under Yamuna Action Plans started in 1994, but in the absence of natural water the MONEY has gone down the drain, literally.
http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2015/3/yamuna2.jpg 
Saving Yamuna is critical because even the near-dead river meets Delhi’s 70% water needs.
After NGT’s March 2 order, Union water resources minister Uma Bharti on Friday held a meeting with Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, besides ministers and officials of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand to find a solution. Bharti has asked the states to submit their inputs before an inter-ministerial panel gives its interim report to the tribunal within a week.
The Supreme Court in 1999 ordered that a minimum of 360 cusecs (cubic feet per second) be maintained throughout the river. But the flow in the river downstream of Haryana’s Hathnikund barrage has been limited to mere 160 cusecs.
“Barely 30 km downstream of the barrage the river starts drying up. What we see in Delhi is domestic sewage and industrial waste. For a healthy river, 70% of its water should be inside the river,” said Manoj Misra of Yamuna Jiye Abhiyaan, an NGO.
The non-monsoon average flow at Hathnikund, 230 km upstream of Delhi, is 5,000 cusecs. Even during the leanest month, January, the flow is 3,666 cusecs.
http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2015/3/yamuna1.jpg
The receding water level of the Yamuna has led to the discovery of this Ganesha idol and other items. (Raj K Raj/ HT Photo)
The tightening water squeeze around the ‘chicken neck’ of the river at the Hathnikund barrage has for long for been a contentious issue. Haryana cites reasonable demands and diverts water from this barrage to fields, households and industries in its jurisdiction. 
The government is now mulling to bring the Yamuna under the Environment Protection Act within two months to ensure a “free flow”.  “Statutory provisions may make the natural water flow a reality,” said Misra.
What one sees in Delhi’s Yamuna stretch is mostly untreated waste. Of the 3,800 MLD (million litres per day) of sewage generated in Delhi every day, 2200 MLD flows into Yamuna through storm drains.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Can Modi Rejuvenate Ganga?

MAINSTREAM, VOL LIII, NO 13, MARCH 21, 2015


Sunday 22 March 2015
by Manoj Misra
can Modi rejuvenate Ganga?
—No and Yes.
—No, if business as usual (BAU) remains the norm. BAU involves high rhetoric, photo ops, poor understanding, emphasis on engineering solutions, little accountability, public suffering and apathy.
—Yes, shall obviously require a negation of all that defines a BAU approach and more.
It is not that the governments preceding the current one did nothing. Ganga and Yamuna Action Plans (GAP and YAP) were put into operation as externally-aided projects in 1986 and 1993 respectively. Significant amounts of funds totalling several thousand crore rupees were spent and pollution abatement infrastructure like STPs, ETPs, electric crematorium etc. were created. Still a CPCB assessment of river Yamuna following a Supreme Court direction in 2012 found that the gravelly polluted stretch of the river had actually increased by a whopping 100 km since the YAP came into operation.
Clearly GAP and YAP, with focus largely on pollution abatement, was not the ‘right’ strategy. In other words, the planner’s and executive’s obsession with merely ‘cleaning’ of the river Ganga and Yamuna was an exercise in futility.
So, now when the Modi Government begins its task with a goal to ‘rejuvenate’ the river Ganga, hope becomes a worthwhile emotion to possess.
Let us see what and how can there be a rejuvenated Ganga?
First, rejuvenation implies return to a pre-defined state of its health. This in relation to a river would imply a state of health which by popular and scientific knowledge is desired and known. Achieving that state of health as an avowed target of the concerned shall be thus an integral part of an informed planning and follow-up action.
Secondly and far more important would be a thorough understanding of what actually ails the river in the first place that deserves curing?
Regrettably on both the above two counts, there is little in the public domain to satisfy the nation that the state is moving in the right direction. On the contrary some disturbing trends, which might further compromise the river Ganga, are becoming visible.
Here it may be worthwhile to first see what has the state in recent years done for the river Ganga?
River Ganga was on November 4, 2008 declared a national river and a PM-chaired National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) was set up in February 2009 with a large membership including a number of well-known NGO representatives. All this happened on the eve of the fifteenth general elections in early 2009. It is another matter that once the then UPA had retained power, the NGRBA could meet only three times in four years (2009-2012) and achieved little in terms of its objectives of abatement of pollution and river basin approach to planning and implementation.
One tangible act though of the NGRBA was the setting up on July 6, 2010 of a research and planning team consisting of a consortium of seven IITs (Bombay, Delhi, Guwahati, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Madras and Roorkee), since popularly known as IITC. The IITC was given a well-defined mandate by the Ministry of Environment and Forests to prepare an Environment Management Plan for the Ganga River Basin (GRB EMP). To their credit they produced four reports by December 2010 and continued on their refinement till Modi rode, amongst many other waves, the Ganga wave to the 7, Race Course Road address of the Prime Minister of India. Sushri Uma Bharti, a well-known Ganga bhakta, was given the charge of the Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation. It seemed that acche din (good days) for river Ganga were truly in the offing?
A National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) had been established in 2011 as a registered society to act as the executive arm of the NGRBA. The stated objectives of the NMCG are pollution abatement and maintenance of ecological flows in the river. The new government in its very first national Budget allocated Rs 2037 crores to a programme, called the Namami Gange, to be implemented by the NMCG. Now while there is frequent mention of aviral Ganga (flowing Ganga) and nirmal Ganga (clean Ganga), the fact that aviralta (uninterrupted flow) contains nirmalta (cleanliness) in it, is still to get mainstreamed into our planning and action. This fact is proved by a perusal of the NMCG website, where in terms of actions it is yet again the old and failed strategy of GAP and YAP that reigns supreme, with not even a lip-service to the need of ensuringaviralta in Ganga! Maybe the authorities are still awaiting the final report from the IITC to begin the planning and actions for aviralta or the actions to ensureaviralta are presumed too politically sensitive to put into place, because it is ‘structures’ on a river that breaks its aviralta.
Taking the bull by its horn, the fact is that the Ganga has been reduced to its current pitiable state by the ill-advised construction in last few decades of structures like the dam at Tehri (Uttara-khand) and the barrage at Farakka (West Bengal) which have interrupted and diverted the river to its peril. The barrages on it at Haridwar (Uttara-khand), Bijnor, Narora and Kanpur (UP) have enabled large scale diversion of its waters and led to the resulting drying of the river over long stretches during the non-monsoon months. And if all this was not enough, then at least 600 more dams are either under construction, planned or on the anvil, on a number of key tributaries of the Ganga. It is feared that if all these dams were to materialise then around 60 per cent of Ganga tributaries like Bhagirathi and Alaknanda would dry up. Further, the grand design of a barrage after every 100 km of Ganga from Allahabad to Haldia and to dredge it to turn the river commercially navigable, completes the threat picture of the river.
So, can PM Modi still rejuvenate Maa Ganga in the face of these imminent threats begs one asking with answers that should convince?
In our understanding, no river can be rejuvenated unless its various narratives are taken into account.
A river must flow unmolested to the seas; it must flood freely over its flood plain; it must host with ease all its biodiversity; it must fulfil its ecological role of annually quenching the thirst of its associated aquifers feeding countless wells, ponds and lakes; its natural path howsoever winding must be respected and not changed; it must not be fouled. And all these must be true as much of its tributaries, big and small, that lie within its basin.
Now, of the various narratives of a healthy river mentioned above, what are being truly addressed in reference to Maa Ganga shall make the difference between the success and failure of the rejuvenational aspirations for the river Ganga of the current regime? Unfortunately prima facie it is just one, namely, the ‘fouling’ of the river, which is not going to be enough if there are any strong lessons to be drawn from the failures of both the GAP and the YAP.
Many might hold that shuck! Here is a loony out to demolish the icons of economic development in the country!
To them our response is twofold. First is that then please do not promise or aspire for a rejuvenated Ganga, and second is that please carry out a fair, independent and thorough analysis of the benefits that have been gained by a powerful minority (largely urban) from the structures raised on the river (including its tributaries) and the costs (social, economic and ecological) both upstream and downstream of the structures that have been borne and continue to be borne by a voiceless majority (largely rural) from the demise of the river.
We would also like to remind the votaries of the environmentally destructive development that the natural systems like rivers have been placed at the disposal of the state by that voiceless majority in an implicit public trust, which the former under the ‘doctrine of public trust’ cannot and should not abdicate specially when rivers in the country enjoy no legal protection.
Interestingly, there is a move afoot to seek from the state through legal means a perpetual monetary compensation for the voiceless victims of the loss of their river that has resulted from various structures created on it. No matter how this legal challenge plays itself out and whatever its outcome, there is a strong likelihood that this legal challenge might impress upon the concerned of the urgency of a rejuvenated Maa Ganga as well as bring attention to the plight of all those millions who continue to suffer for no fault of theirs.
Clearly the rejuvenation of Maa Ganga is not just an emotional or religious or political imperative. It is actually a question of life and death for not just the river but for millions (humans and non-humans both) dependent on it for their life, livelihoods and ensured wellness.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Sir, growth and development can also be without huge environmental & people's costs - Himalayan fragility, HEPs and the 2013 tragedy in Uttarakhand







13 March 2015
YJA/CORRES/3/ 15
Sri Narendra Modi,
Hon'ble Prime Minister
Government of India
New Delhi

Sub: Sir, growth and development can also be without huge environmental & people's costs - Himalayan fragility, HEPs and the 2013 tragedy in Uttarakhand

Respected Sir,

Greetings from Yamuna Jiye Abhiyaan.

Sir, in another few months it would be two years since the unfortunate and widespread tragedy that struck Uttarakhand in the month of June 2013.

It is a matter of regret that the nation in absence of any official document relating to the tragedy remains as much in dark about what actually happened on those fateful days of 15-17 June and its aftermath when but for the timely intervention of the armed forces, the human tragedy would have been perhaps worst in the history of the nation. Sir, we fear that we as a nation are losing an opportunity to learn requisite lessons which would affect our levels of preparedness if another 'Kedarnath' were to come visit us in the future? This is when all climate change projections suggest enhanced climatic uncertainties and increased heavy precipitation events in the country. 

Sir, in the above context, your kind attention is drawn to two of our appeals, post the tragedy, first of which was sent to your predecessor on 24 April 2014 and then later to your good self on 12 June 2014 seeking preparation of an expert "white paper" on the events in Uttarakhand during and after the tragedy in June 2013. We wonder if such a document is in the works and if the nation could  expect such a white paper to be issued by the state in near future?   

Sir, but what we do know thanks to a suo moto cognizance of the tragedy by the Hon'ble Supreme Court in the month of Nov 2013 and the formation of an expert body on SC's directions by the Ministry of Environment & Forests, MoEF that the existing and under construction hydro-electric projects (HEPs) on the rivers in Uttarakhand had actually aggravated the enormity of the fury of the floods and the consequent tragedy in human terms. So, there is little justification whatsoever in now for the state of Uttarakhand or the GOI to push for taking up construction of HEPs in the state.

Sir, June 13 is a watershed in the history of Uttarakhand and is nothing short of a wake up call which we as a nation and the state of Uttarakhand in particular, can ill afford to ignore. The tragedy should have added to our knowledge about the increasing fragility and vulnerability of our Himalayan states, in particular, Uttarakhand and HP and led us to an urgent search for an alternate developmental model for these states, rather than once again push for the 'tried and failed' pursuit of a hydro-power led developmental model. A model that has devastated our rivers and drilled our hills no end and resulted in weakened hill sides, increased land slides and destabilised villages, homes and farmlands. 

Sir, June 13 has also sent a clear message that all statutory clearances given to any HEP prior to the tragedy is no longer valid and it must be revisited in the light of changed ground realities in all rivers of the state since there is hardly any river in Uttarakhand that has not seen material change from the events in June 2013 in its bed and the flood plain. So for the state of Uttarakhand to now claim validity of any such approvals, some of which date to even the 1980s is totally unacceptable, not in public interest and smacks of pressures building from the vested interests. In this connection an expert paper (2014) published by an eminent earth scientist namely Prof. KS Valdhiya titled "Damming Rivers in the tectonically resurgent Uttarakhand Himalaya" is enclosed which flags due caution in the light of the June 2013 tragedy. It may be mentioned that Prof. Valdhiya has recently been deservedly honoured with a Padm Bhushan award by your government.       

Sir, yes 'electric power' is a growth and developmental need. But have we as a nation first done a realistic estimate of the 'true' power needs (because most current estimates are reportedly over estimates) and explored and exhausted all non destructive means of power generation like reducing transmission losses to within international levels; increasing efficiencies of existing power utilities including proper management of our existing dams etc, which if achieved could reportedly help us double our current power output. In addition with solar and wind energy technologies seeing a quantum jump in advancement and economy there is little justification in us still pursuing hydro-power as a viable source of electric power. In this context it is a welcome news when the Hon'ble Union Minister of Power has projected attractive figures for achieving solar and wind energy targets. Why then our resort to additional hydro-power sources in the tectonically resurgent Himalayas?  

Sir, all the above should encourage us to look for environment friendly growth and developmental model for the state of Uttarakhand. A model that should build itself upon the scenic and spiritual strengths of the state while remaining alive to its topographical fragility and climatic vulnerabilities. A model where projects based on the "greening" and restoration of the hills and eco-spiritual tourism could usher in a massive and sustained community based livelihoods movement. A model where wind energy (rather hydro-power dams) units could be gainfully employed in river valleys and wind lashed hill ridges and the trans Himalayan belts. A model where the hills once again begin to act as "natural dams' in perpetuity by reviving and restoring all previous traditional water sources like waterfalls, springs and rivulets and reviving ultimately all the mighty rivers like Ganga and Yamuna systems, a dream which fortunately is very close to your own heart !




Sir, we hope that your honour and your government and the government of Uttarakhand would see merit in what we suggest. In particular we pray and hope that the government of Uttarakhand would embrace a people, culture and nature benign developmental model for the state and not pursue its current environment destructive growth path that might benefit few vested interests in the short term but could prove environmentally, socially and culturally devastating in the long run. AMEN. 

Warm regards,


Manoj Misra
Convener    


CC:

Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources - – For your information and necessary action please.

Dr. Ashok Lavasa, Secretary, Ministry of Environment & Forest – For your information and necessary action please.

Vice Chairman, Niti Aayog – For your information and necessary action please.

Hon’ble Chief Minister of Uttarakhand – For your kind information and necessary action please.

Sushri Uma Bharti, Hon'ble Union Minister for Water Resources and Ganga Rejuvenation 
Government of India – For your kind information and necessary action please.

Sri Prakash Javadekar, Hon'ble Union Minister of State (Environment & Forests and Climate Change) - For your kind information and necessary action please.


Sri Piyursh Goyal, Hon’ble Union Minister of Power - For your kind information and necessary action please.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Delhi grapples with its own waste (The Hindu 16 March 2015)

Supreme Court Judge Ranjan Gogoi.—Photo: V. Sudershan
Supreme Court Judge Ranjan Gogoi.—Photo: V. Sudershan

As Delhi grapples with its own waste and looks for efficient disposal, Supreme Court Judge Ranjan Gogoi on Sunday said by 2025, India would be generating 300 metric tonnes of waste. Rejecting landfills as an environmental hazard, he called for better waste management techniques.
Justice Gogoi said 85 million dollars would be required for disposal of municipal solid waste in developing nations.
He was speaking at a technical session on municipal solid waste management at the conference.
“Waste disposal is a 400 billion dollar industry. Let us look at waste from that point of view,” he said, while emphasising bringing more private players into waste treatment. “To some extent, we have succeeded in bringing private players like in case of waste treatment plant at Okhla in Delhi and another in Bangalore,” he said. “In developing countries, 64 per cent population lives in urban areas. We can very well visualise the problems that are going to come in the next 35 years. Problem lies not in the law, but in its implementation,” he said.
At the same session, Professor C. Visvanathan of the Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand, delved into various methods of waste disposal and highlighted how landfills were a bad idea not only for environment but also in terms of job generation in developing nations.
“Ten thousand tonnes of waste disposed in landfill gives job to six while the same amount of waste recycled involves 36 people,” he said.