ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

K AravindakshanSubscribe to K Aravindakshan

Ammonia Storage Tank to be Decommissioned

to be Decommissioned K Aravindakshan THE recent epoch-making judgment of Kerala High Court which barred appeal to the apex court on the public interest litigation case tiled by a few environmental activists and Sarvodaya workers, directing the management of the Fertilisers and Chemicals Travancore (FACT), Udyogamandal, near Alwaye, Erankulam district, to decommission its ammonia storage tank located in Wellington Island, Cochin within three months has, presumably, evoked mixed reaction. While the environmentalists and social workers as well as the general public, besides a number of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) like Desiya Shastra Vcdi have whole-heartedly welcomed the high court directive, almost all the political parties and trade unions in the state including those of the Left, have, predictably, come out with a barrage of criticism against the well-intentioned judgment.

The Phenol Tragedy

A road accident involving a tanker carrying phenol resulted in the pollution of water sources supplying an entire town because authorities concerned did not take prompt and comprehensive action.

KERALA- Puyankutty Hydro-Electric Project-Reed Workers Affected

January 24, 1987 any case removing the DC from the locus of all power and control can be seen an important step in dismantling the stifling bureaucratic structure in districts, an inheritance of our colonial period, despite the alarm it appears to have caused in administrative circles, which have maintained a distrust of the newly elected bodies1 ability to be "impartial", "just", or "efficient" Although the actual test of the abilities of these institutions to transform the countryside will come long after the electoral battle cries die down, several aspects of the act allow cause for unease. One wonders at the wisdom of diluting the importance of the elected members of the ZPs with the nominated members and the MPs and MLAs of the district concerned. The latter were obviously included as a concession to their fears that their very power bases would be cut into by the zilla parishads, since the dispensing of projects et al would now come into the ambit of the ZPs power Secondly, for all the attempts that have been made to decentralise, a vertical line of control still runs through the various tiers of elected bodies. Section 271 of the Act makes provision for the state government's power to disolve zilla parishad, and the ZP in turn has the power to dissolve the mandal pan- chayats if the body "exceeds or abuses its powers or is not competant and makes persistant default in the performance of the duties imposed on it." This is clearly an attempt to safegaurd disciplinary powers at various layers of government in order to ensure effective implementation of plans and development programmes, but it does not rule out the possibility of purely political considerations playing a role, as with the situation which currently exists with the centre and states. Ironically, Hegde has been the most vociferous in demanding the greater tolerance of opposition parties in power at the state level.
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