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CSE

The audit panel

Issue Date: Jul 31, 1999
A competent technical panel is vital for the Green Rating Project. Keeping this in mind, cse selected three leading technologists in the pulp and paper sector to form the Technical Consultants Panel ( tcp ) to help in the rating the industry. The tcp members are: N J Rao , professor, Institute of Paper Technology, Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh;

Thriving in monopoly

Till the 1960s, the pulp and paper market was dominated by family-owned big industrial houses such as the Birlas and Thapars. They availed of all the sops given to the industry and built their empires on the foundation of a paper or pulp ind ustry. Then entered public sector underdertakings (PSUs), which managed to disturb the monopoly of the family-owned enterprises. In course of time, PSUs have turned the tables in their favour, particularly in raw material sourcing.

Run of the mills

The difficulties some of the green inspectors had to face while assessing the industries aside, most of them seem to have enjoyed conducting the exercise. "It was challenging and at the same time it gave me first-hand knowledge of double standards," says P Udaya Chandra, who rated West Coast Paper Mills Ltd and Mysore Paper Mills Ltd (MPML) in Karnataka.

Taken for granted

Whether state pollution control boards (SPCBs) are doing their work is anybody's guess. One of the loopholes discovered by CSEwas when it came to SPCBs granting yearly consent to companies to operate their plants. The PCB is supposed to check whether the company is adhering to the pollution limits set for water and air every year. According to Section 25-7 of the 1974 Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, the PCB is supposed to deny or give consent to the company concerned within 4 months of applying.

Network: reaching out

Issue Date: Jul 31, 1999
In May/June 1997, cse 's grp team released advertisements in Down To Earth inviting professionals, students, non-governmental organisations and other sections of the civil society to become a part of the "Green Rating Network". They would be responsible for collecting data on Indian industries. The rationale behind the setting up of this network was to quell apprehensions raised during the function marking grp 's launch.

Land marks

Fibre requirements of the pulp and paper sector are met by bamboo, hard wood, agrowaste and wastepaper. The amount of land required by a mill to meet its raw material needs equals the ecological burden that the mills' fibre sourcing has on the environment.

Needed: Answers

The questionnaire sent by CSE's Right To Clean Air Campaign to senior executives of transnational carmakers selling diesel cars in India: • We presume that you know that suspended particulate matter levels are very high in a city like Delhi; that respirable particulate matter is extremely carcinogenic; and that diesel engines can produce extremely high levels of particulate matter compared to petrol engines. Yet you are planning to sell diesel cars in India. May we know the reason for your investment decision?

Toyota: letting India down

On May 18, 1999, the United Nations Environment Programme announced that it had elected Toyota Motor Corporation of Japan to the prestigious ranks of its Global 500 Roll of Honour for the company's "outstanding contributions to the protection of the environment". It is well known that Toyota has been at the forefront of research and development of clean alternative vehicle technologies like fuel cells, hybrid vehicles and electric vehicles.

Off the diesel track

Why has Daewoo not gone in for diesel cars when other car manufacturers are flooding the market with diesel models? It is true that some car manufacturers have introduced diesel models, luring customers with the initial price advantage and lower cost of running. But six months down the line, people will realise that maintenance costs are much higher. Diesel engines would cause considerable wear and tear, which would push up the cost of maintaining the vehicle.

Liberalising pollution

Issue Date: Jul 15, 1999
Air pollution is one of the direct results of economic growth. With the introduction of economic reforms in 1991 in India, there has been a substantial degree of liberalisation in the car industry. Industrial growth in the country seems somewhat expensive when the tremendous costs to public health due to air pollution in urban India are calculated.
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