You have done a good investigation about the usage of Sal seed's in chocolate. The benefits of the Sal seed might have forced Jhinki to use it and I hope it does not do harm to anybody. People like her from the rural areas struggle hard to meet their daily needs and what if they use something to increase the daily earnings.
Does this Government want to create more and more graveyards in the hills, even after the experience of the Kedarnath havoc ?
Do the committee members have experience of facing the landslides due to clearance of the forests on Himalayas ? They should be made to live there under the sky where the forests are cleared and face the landslides occurring every now and then in Himalayas. Then they will think of the agony of the people living on hills.
Environmental protection and economic growth can co-exist but for that projects can't be stalled indefinitely..either say yes to them or say no to them and do that on scientific grounds...
“….we need to learn to plant trees, and also to cut and then replant.”
The Forest departments have been doing this ever since they were set up and the people have been doing this for millennia. In the last 4 decades or so the forest departments have been planting trees on a mind-boggling scale. For the country, the figure could be anywhere around several hundred thousand square kilometres. Apart from this, crores and crores of saplings are distributed every year in rural India to whoever shows any interest in planting trees. If a very conservative 20% of all this planting survived, India would have been GREEN quite long ago. Not included in the above is the ‘natural regeneration’ of forests which is presumed to be a forte of the ‘scientific’ forester with any number of ‘silvicultural systems’ crafted to induce natural re-growth of forests! So, obviously the problem lies elsewhere.
While the issue of survival of plantations, within or outside forests, remains unaddressed (deliberately?), some basic questions about accountability and professional competence need to be asked first. If survival of plantations has been consistently poor (and declining) over the last fifty years, how has the problem been analysed, understood and strategy changed? One is likely to draw a blank for an answer. Have plantation techniques and management changed over the years to remedy the very low survival of trees? Another blank!
It would appear that unless these and many related questions are asked in the first place, there is little hope to arrive at a workable answer. No amount of planting and re-planting, ‘with’ the people or ‘without’ them is likely to arrest leave alone halt the deforestation of India.
Of course, as in any other Development/ Conservation discourse, economies of scale also apply to corruption. While factoring the economic value of forests into the economy may lead to increased investment (it has not happened so far in states like Himachal where economic valuation of forests has been done twice in the last 14 years), the outcomes could still be very disappointing with BAU.
Oh my bad. The government has indeed planned to set up UMSPPs of 4000 MW each, and Rajasthan is just one of them.
1.2 lakh crore can electrify 40-50 million rural houses. This is tremendous. The Govt. of India must be stopped from the madness of the mega project. Job creation in the rural areas would also be hit. Somebody please stop the GOI and get them to use the same resource for rural solar electrification by mini grids. I can't believe that the policy makers could be so stupid!!
The Ultra Mega Solar Power Plants to be set up by the government will be of 500 MW each, not 4000 MW. The 4000 MW power plant is to be set up in Rajasthan in collabaration with 6 PSUs.
Private sector is doing a great job in the promotion of health in the villages and small cities where health facilities are not up to date.The solutions of health problems of lower and middle class demand money,therefore some measures should be taken and this problem should be taken under consideration along with this good effort.
Although no doubt well intentioned, I am afraid that this article might send out a confusing message.
The main reason for this is that it appears to assume that trees specifically planted and grown in order to produce timber can be included as a part of India's natural forests.
In turn this might lead the reader to believe that mono-culture tree plantations can provide the same social and ecological services and economic value as real forests.
However this is anything but the case, and it is as a result of how timber plantations (fake forests) have been confused (often deliberately) with real forests that are ecologically, hydrologically and culturally invaluable, that such forests have been / are being over-exploited or destroyed in return for short-term monetary gain.
If fully accounted for, the costs of the negative ecological and social impacts of a typical industrial timber plantation will far exceed the financial return that selling its wood might generate.
To correctly value bio-diverse forests will require a very different and far more complex process from that used to calculate the potential price of the amount of timber or charcoal that can be extracted from an alien tree species plantation.
Therefore those who earnestly seek to protect and to preserve India's remaining forests should be very clear that real forests should not be viewed as a commodity that can be used to support market-based trade in carbon credits, biodiversity offsets and ecosystem services; that will only benefit those nations and corporations already most responsible for global pollution, over-consumption, and climate change!
Whereever Mr. Veerappa Moily there, he serve the vested interests only. He has got bad reputation as CM also. Krishna River Tribunal serving his interests and oil minister serving RIL interest. See the following letter sent by me to Prime Minister of India on 25th February 2014 on the gas pricing issues:
Sub: Appeal to take stringent action against Mr. Veerappa Moily, the Hon’ble Minister of Oil & Gas Ministry, Reg.
Ref.: Media reports relating a letter written by Mr. Veerappa Moily, Hon’ble Minister, Oil & Gas Ministry to Hon’ble Prime Minister of India regarding price of gas & termination of RIL contract
Dear Dr. Manmohan Singhji,
With reference to AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal observations and a letter to Hon’ble Prime Minister on gas pricing, Hon’ble Minister of Oil & Gas, GoI, Mr. Veerappa Moily sent a letter defending the pricing – doubling the price from 1st April 2014 – to Hon’ble Prime Minister. In this connection, Respected Sir, the following are some of my submissions to counter his arguments. This is for appropriate action.
While the contract provides for termination in case of a default by a contractor, the oil ministry under Mr. S. Jaipal Reddy in May 2012 had slapped penalty of $1.005 billion on RIL for failing to produce natural gas in line with the pre-stated targets. Mr. Veerappa Moily in his letter to Hon’ble Prime Minister states that "In view of the contractual provision under the PSC, the government will not be able to terminate the contract on account of shortfall in production as the matter is pending before the arbitral tribunal".
This clearly indicates it is a fraudulent action by the minister as indicated by Mr. Kejriwal. The minister through this letter exposed himself that there is a nexus between him and RIL. Otherwise he would have waited for the tribunal decision before implementing the price raise to such company. The present minister is not worried on loss to nation & people but only interested to RIL getting profits.
It states that “The production sharing contract (PSC) does not have any explicit provision for penalties in case of default. A contract can only be terminated in case of a default”. Is it not under production a default? Then why, Hon’ble Minister instead of cancelling the contract of RIL – KG-D6 gas fields for the default helping RIL through doubling the price.
Hon’ble Minister with this letter was trying to defend his actions in doubling the price of the gas from $4.2 to $8.0, by saying that this is also beneficial to public sector firms. He quotes ONGC’s cost of production as $3.6 per M.B.T.U. Therefore, without raising natural gas prices from April 1, 2014 several gas fields of both private sector firm RIL and state-owned ONGC would be economically unviable to produce. Here we can ask the Hon’ble Minister, if all the parties would have been producing the gas at the contractual agreement level, the cost of production would have been far below $3.6 and thus they would have been earning the profits at $4.2 itself. Is it not so??? Hon’ble Minister hasn’t looked in to this aspect while the previous minister imposed fine for such action.
The Hon’ble Minister’s argument that "In choosing the basis for fixing the gas price, it is tempting to think that by choosing a lower price we are assuring consumers the same amount of gas supply at a lower price. The fact is that the price formula affects the investment that will be undertaken in exploration and production and therefore the total volume of gas likely to be produced", clearly reflect his vested interests. To raise the prices, international oil cartels followed lower production and this lead Middle East Oil wars. May be Mr. Verrappa Moily may not be aware of this fact.
Appeal: Respected Sir, in view of the above, we appreciate if your good offices take stringent action against the Hon’ble Minister of Oil & Gas, GoI, Mr. Veerappa Moily for the national interest. It will be dangerous to keep such people in the Cabinet.
Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy