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India

Exploring softer options

Issue Date: Apr 15, 1994
In the March 8 hearing of the Taj pollution case, the Supreme Court agreed to consider a more humane way of tackling the problem instead of relocating the hundreds of polluting industries in Agra and shutting down the Mathura refinery.

A city derailed

Issue Date: Apr 15, 1994
CALCUTTA is moving backwards. Blessed with a benign tramway system -- a century-old system that is now being seen as a radical solution to traffic snarls and smog -- that has stood the test of urban chaos, it ought by rights to have been expanded and fortified. Instead, the West Bengal government is busy derailing it.

Let the polluter pay

Issue Date: Apr 15, 1994
The iron ore industry in Goa may be asked to cough up the costs for cleaning up the environmental mess it has made. The Goan government is considering a proposal to impose an environment tax on the state's iron ore mining and ore export industry. The environment cess of upto 10 per cent of the industry's annual earnings is expected to be ploughed back by the state government for the ecological rehabilitation of the mutilitated mining areas.

Up in smoke

Author(s): P R J Pradeep
Issue Date: Apr 15, 1994
THE LAST patches of virgin rainforest in Kerala are up for grabs for anyone with an axe who can cut around bureaucracy. Although the state government maintains that the state's forest cover is 27.83 per cent, independent observers stress that it is actually less than 10 per cent. And they are supported by cartographic anomalies and government records like the one that shows settler towns like Kattappana as evergreen forests.

Bird lovers in the dock

Issue Date: Apr 15, 1994
The Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) has been charged with disturbing the flora and fauna in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Goregaon near the Film City for a proposed conservation education project conceived by the late ornithologist Salim Ali.

Family plot

Issue Date: Apr 15, 1994
TELANGWADI village in the Solapur district of western Maharashtra is located on undulating and rocky terrain and receives little rainfall. Farmers who are lucky enough to have irrigation cultivate inferior cereals like jowar, bajra and maize and fruits like pomegranates.

Prize catch

Issue Date: Apr 15, 1994
People's action in West Bengal have been commended in the form of the J Paul Getty conservation prize to the forest Protection Committees (PFCs) of the state by the World Wide Fund for Nature, "in recognition of their efforts to ensure community-based conservation through sustainable management".

The winter of content

Issue Date: Apr 15, 1994
FOR INDIA'S aged citizenry, some good news lies ahead. The country is expected to have 76 million 60-plus people by the turn of this century, but the government's response remains blinkered to pension schemes. Now, many voluntary groups have taken on the work of providing care and warmth to the elderly.

Caught in the crossfire

Issue Date: Apr 15, 1994
The people dependent for sustenance on Delhi's largest green belt, "the Ridge", are trapped in the power-grabbing crossfire between the Delhi Administration and various other agencies. The Delhi Administration's environment and forest department has decided to convert the Ridge into a reserved forest and has locked horns with the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) over the control of the Capital's forests.

Working magic

Author(s): Sudeep Mukhia
Issue Date: Apr 15, 1994
IN HER short but bitingly relevant play, Mridula Garg places the exploitation of children in the carpet industry in an equally horrific context of deforestation, outmigration and rural poverty -- ground realities in India justified as modern, "Western" development. Jadoo ka Kaleen, the "magic carpet", is an emancipatory metaphor: the desire of the little ones to fly from bondage.
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