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This is what Lavasa looks like

Bandya Bhau Walhekar and Thumabai allege their land has been fraudulently grabed by Lavasa’s agents Read full story: Lavasa exposed Photograph by: Dhananjay Helwade    

This is what Lavasa looks like

The barren mined hills in Lavasa hardly form the backdrop of a hill station. Read full story: Lavasa exposed Photograph by: Dhananjay Helwade

Lavasa: Dream for one, nightmare for many

Issue Date: Apr 14, 2011
Sitting near her dilapidated hut in Mugaon village, 70 kilometres from Pune, Thumabai Walhekar (50) was furious. I had asked her a simple question—did she want township Lavasa? Mugaon is one of the 18 villages where Independent India’s first hill city is being developed.

Clearances fast-tracked

November 26, 1996 Special Hill Station Regulations enacted May 30, 2001

Apex court spanner in Nirma cement plant

Issue Date: Apr 15, 2011
The Supreme Court has ordered a new environmental study of the site where detergent company Nirma is setting up a cement plant. The site in Bhavnagar, Gujarat, is believed to be on wetlands.


Issue Date: Mar 15, 2011
What is so hilarious about it?

Nirma whitewash

Issue Date: Feb 28, 2011
About a decade ago, farmers of 15 villages in Mahuva block in coastal Saurashtra could barely grow one crop a year. This was because the groundwater they used for irrigation was saline. Their fortunes changed in 2000 when the Gujarat government created a reservoir—Samadhiyala bandhara— by building a dam at the mouth of the river Shensuri that flows through Mahuva. The dam prevented sea water from entering the river. The reservoir’s sweet water helped farmers grow up to three crops a year and set up agro-processing units. But the good times were not to last. In 2008, the state government allotted part of the reservoir and its catchment area, totalling 268 hectares (ha), to detergent company Nirma to set up a cement plant.


September 2008: People register protest against allotting water body for Nirma’s cement plant at the public hearing December 2008: Union environment ministry grants environmental clearance on the basis of rapid EIA report, which describes the project site as wasteland

Water v industry: where is the question?

Issue Date: Feb 15, 2011
Some hundred people, men and women, were gathered on the hill. Many more, I could see, were trudging up. Their faces were resolute. I asked why they were opposing the cement plant.

Power plant’s clearance challenged

Author(s): Moyna
Issue Date: Aug 15, 2010
FOUR months after the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) cleared a thermal power project in Vizianagaram district in north coastal Andhra Pradesh, two civil society group moved the National Environment Appellate Authority (NEAA) challenging the decision.
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