Network: reaching out

Civil society members become a part of GRP

Published: Saturday 31 July 1999

Network: reaching out

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. Participants had doubted cse 's ability to track down, by itself, industries located in every nook and corner of the country. Hence, cse created a countrywide network comprising members of the civil society.

In January 1998, after finishing the conceptual framework for rating the industries, the grp team began its study on the pulp and paper industry to test the feasibility of the green rating methodology. To collect data on 31 paper plants, about 30 green inspectors ( grn volunteers) -- out of 200 applicants -- were shortlisted on the basis of qualifications and proximity to the plants.

Letters were sent to these volunteers and 12 of them agreed to undertake the survey and collect data on the mills. Considering the secrecy adopted by Indian industries and government institutions at the stage of the project, it took a tremendous effort on the part of the grn volunteers to collect the data.

Most of the green inspectors made an exemplary effort. They sent back voluminous details about the plant, including extremely damaging pictures, spent hours and days at pollution control board offices, faced, in many cases, hostile plant managers, and spoke to local non-governmental organisations and local communities, throwing up in many cases contradictions between their perceptions and those of the pollution control board officials.

cse's green inspectors

Anand Bishey, mediaperson with experience and expertise in industrial and economic journalism, Nagpur

P N Udaya Chandra, reader, environment and ecology, S D M College, Karnataka

Ravinder Dhami, sub-divisional officer, Punjab Electricity Board

Vandana Gupta, former cse volunteer

Priya Shah, mediaperson with expertise in scientific journalism, Maharashtra

N P Mahammad, coordinator, Centre for Voluntary Actions and Rural Development, Kerala

Ranjit Prakash, M Phil student, environment and ecology, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Rachna Yadav, environmental activist and eco-journalist, Assam

Dileep Chandan, editor, Assam Bani , Assam

J V Dash, environmental activist and journalist, Orissa

R V Singh, Ph D, biodiversity, New Delhi

Paramjeet Singh, environmental planner, Gujarat

B D Gowda, urban and regional planner and president, Centre for Rural Development, Karnataka.

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