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

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Tamil Nadu Revives Kudimaramathu

Finally realising the economic and environmental benefits of small waterbodies, the Tamil Nadu government has revived kudimaramathu, the centuries-old practice of building and maintaining ponds and tanks with community involvement. This article recounts the history of the practice, its marginalisation in colonial times, and the politics that drives its revival today. The scheme will be successful and sustainable only if local farmers and stakeholders are empowered to select, maintain and repair these waterbodies.

Court Restrains Water Sale from Tamirabarani in Tamil Nadu

The Tamirabarani river is a part of the ecological and cultural landscape, and traditions of the people of Tamil Nadu. Unfortunately, public resources like the river water are sold at throwaway prices to corporations, who in turn resell the water either in the form of packaged drinking water or as aerated beverages. The political economy of the river and the state’s industrial plans, require radical rethinking.

Drought Mitigation in Tamil Nadu

Sustained and focused efforts have to be made by the Tamil Nadu state government to provide relief and rehabilitation to the drought affected people of the state.

Amma Unavagams of Tamil Nadu

The Tamil Nadu state government has started 283 subsidised restaurants - amma unavagams - in nine urban centres. This initiative has been a hit with a wide spectrum of urban consumers. However, the majority of the patrons seem to be the working urban poor. These initiatives have been accused of being "populist" but this model of providing affordable cooked food in urban areas promises to not only ensure food security but also keep food prices in check.

Illegal Mining, Impatient Mafi a and Ill-treated Administrators

As the construction sector grows, illegal sand and granite mining can only be expected to increase. From what can be seen until now, honest offi cers who have taken action against the sand mafi a in their respective districts in different states have either been transferred or suspended. The politician-sand mafi a nexus must be broken in order to protect the environment and prevent huge revenue loss.

Karnataka: Minibus for Villages

The introduction of a minibus service, locally termed grameena saarige will go a long way in providing reliable transportation to far-flung villages off the main trunk routes. Operated by the state road transport organisation, the service is to be extended gradually to cover more than 27000 villages in the state.

Karnataka: Coconut Economy and Neera Tapping

Coconut farming is an important economic activity in the state, which is one of the three major regions producing the crop. The government needs to tailor its policy on neera tapping carefully keeping in mind the nature of the crop, the constant threat that farmers face from diseases and the existing wide market for neera.

Pesticide Spraying in Kerala

The aerial spraying of pesticides on cashew plantations in Kerala has now been documented to have taken a heavy toll on human health and environmental well-being. Ironically, the anticipated economic gains from it now stand questioned as industrial countries are increasingly rejecting cashew kernel imports contaminated by chemical spraying.

Drought in Karnataka

Karnataka is reeling under its worst drought in 10 years in the wake of the failure of the south-west monsoon. The symptoms were visible two months ago, but the state machinery is only now gearing up to tackle the situation, even as incidents of crop loss, cattle deaths, and mass migration of labour come to the fore. The state has sought financial assistance from the centre, but the question is how efficiently the money is spent and whether it reaches the needy. Ultimately, however, only long-term measures, such as rejuvenating the natural resource base, will help to tackle the scourge of drought.

Tamil Nadu : Curtains for Farmers' Markets?

The state government has been making public noises about closing down the 'uzhavar shandhaies' (farmers' markets) set up by the DMK government, to enable farmers to get their produce to consumers directly without middlemen and commission agents siphoning off the profits. The proposal has sparked widespread concern among farmers, consumers and even some allies of the AIADMK.

Karnataka : Changing Shape of Caste Conflict

The recent incidence of caste violence in Karnataka forces the dalit movement there to face the issue of internal conflicts and contradictions, especially subcaste politics of identity formation.
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