Nitin Gadkari needs more than a silver bullet to meet the deadline of cleaning up the Ganga which remains one of Modi’s showpiece schemes.
A back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests that it will cost Rs 12.5 crore per city per year for 10 years to report air pollution and its severity in real time.
The plea claimed that directions were issued under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 by the CPCB chairman on July 21, 2015 to 318 thermal power plants.
Despite all the talk around river pollution, very little is being done to tackle or even monitor the poor quality of water in our rivers and the effluents flowing into them.
The NGT’s views in the Okhla case also underscore a trend towards technocratic decision-making that sees technology as a panacea to all policy challenges.
Forty-three million tonnes of solid waste are collected annually, out of which 11.9 million are treated and 31 million are dumped at landfill sites.
When pollution is bad, we have to be more informed about the problem in advance and promote programs that avoid, improve, shift – just the way fuel is burnt in the city.
If after 20 years of dialogue we are exactly at the same (if not worse) place as we started at, how are we going to get better?
In 2013-2014, the CPCB spent a mere Rs 8.14 crore on air-quality monitoring for the entire country and this amount was further reduced to Rs 5.45 crore in 2014-2015.
In a December 2015 order, the National Green Tribunal had called for a curb on straw burning, and had recommended that satellite-based monitoring mechanisms be adopted and local government officers engaged to take action against stubble burning.
The findings should shake Agra out of its complacency, especially if it prides itself as being home to an iconic monument that draws millions every year.
According to activist Himanshu Thakkar, merely transferring powers within the government won’t be enough – power must be given to the people whose lives depend on the river.
The river is toxic in West Bengal, where it collects almost half its total waste from towns and factories along its banks.
Brick kilns in India, a big source of greenhouse gases and other pollutants, need to use cost-effective technologies to reduce emissions.
Toxics Watch Alliance has demanded that the Central Pollution Control Board bring to the National Green Tribunal’s notice the use of “experimental Chinese technology” at the Okhla waste-to-energy power plant.
The rest is randomly dumped in rivers, seas, lakes and wells, polluting three-fourths of the country’s water bodies, according to an analysis of various data sources.
In this excerpt from his new book, T.N. Ninan looks at how the tension between these two goals is playing out in Indian today