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

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Challenges in Shale Gas Production Cannot Be Resolved by Generic Environment Clearance Processes

India is venturing into shale gas fracking with a pursuit to cut down its natural gas export bill significantly. This process poses several challenges concerning “energy-water nexus,” such as mixing of shale fluid with the groundwater, rationing of water in a water-scarce country, and lack of technical know-how of waste-water treatment. These challenges may result in significant problems if not regulated at the exploration stage of the gas. This article highlights legal and policy gaps concerning shale gas exploration process and water usage.

How a Village in Maharashtra is Showing the Way to Fight Illegal Sand Mining

Residents of Panegoan village in the Nevasa taluka of Ahmednagar district in Maharashtra have been taking on the government and illegal sand miners without a formal organisation or leadership.

Technologies to Alleviate Pollution

Technologies are believed to be problem-solving. However, this may not always be true, especially in terms of their influence on the environment. The emphasis on purification technologies to solve issues arising due to environmental pollution raises the question as to whether short-term solutions, like air and water purifiers, can result in salvaging the health of people and the environment.

Goa’s Shifting Greens and Its Long History of Environmentalism

Moving the National Green Tribunal from Pune to New Delhi, for Goa, would have had severe implications for reshaping the reality of who could seek redressal over environmental concerns in Goa, at what cost, and how frequently.

Sports for Cleaner Rivers

Rivers of developing world are subjected to tremendous amounts of water pollutants, mainly due to economic reasons such as the race to produce cheaper goods, paucity of funds, toothless environmental regulations, and deep-rooted corruption. Using a river-based sport, if a multi-nation rowing league is created, the media, corporate and government attention could create an economic system that will help give an impetus to river cleaning and maintenance, where nothing significant has been achieved in spite of institutions like the World Bank pouring in billions of dollars.

When Gods’ Abode Dissented: Mantam Landslide in North Sikkim

When the people’s representatives failed to understand the implications of large projects in the highly seismic and fragile young Himalayan mountain ranges, and failed to act, people took the task upon themselves. The street became the metaphor and several anti-dam movements ensued. However, the resistance is waning in the political discourse of Sikkim.

Opaqueness of Environmental Information in India

The poor record of public and private sector industries across sectors to submit the mandatory environmental information on an annual basis reveals the shortcomings of the existing environmental regulatory process. This article attempts to evaluate the current status of firm level environmental information available with the regulators and suggests some measures to streamline, standardise, and strengthen the current regulatory system to enable better compliance by firms.

Sustainable Development as Environmental Justice

The principle of sustainable development has evolved to occupy centrality in environmental jurisprudence in India. The Supreme Court has reiterated its importance in the country's environmental legal regime. However, the jurisprudence has been criticised for framing it as a zero sum game where economic development has been repeatedly used as a justification to trump environmental violations, and therefore, rendering it as only declaratory and lacking in content and sufficient teeth to shape public action. But this has compelled policy and statutory recognition of the principle of sustainable development. The National Green Tribunal Act of 2010 recognises it too. This statutory recognition has paved the way for a robust jurisprudence spearheaded by the NGT that has actively sought to evolve a standard of review for public actions in effectuating the principle of sustainable development and in doing so has departed from the reductionist utilitarianism that had characterised the jurisprudence of Supreme Court.

Dirty Flows the Ganga

One of the first announcements of Prime Minister Narendra Modi pertained to cleaning the Ganga. But this is not the first time an attempt has been made to clean the river. River cleaning schemes initiated in 1974, 1985, 1993, 1996 and 2008-09 have been monumental failures. While the Prime Minister's announcement was followed by a lot of rhetoric and initial moves towards the goal were frantic, two years later, there has been little improvement in the state-of-affairs. This article looks at some of the problems that have dogged programmes designed to clean the river and suggests measures to address the pitfalls.

A Half-baked Attempt at Revamping Environmental Law

The Environment Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2015 is a major policy attempt to make structural changes in environmental governance. But the bill fails in bringing any change to the institutional mechanism for enforcement of the law. Moreover, the bill attempts to introduce a monetary penalty for environmental damages, which is not in consonance with the well-established polluter pays principle.

Living Environment and Health of Urban Poor

This paper presents and discusses primary data from a survey of 1,070 households in four poor settlements in Mumbai comprising slum-and pavement-dwellers and squatters on the living environment and health conditions. The study attempts to examine the consequences of socio-economic and environmental factors in terms of income, literacy, sanitation and hygiene for morbidity. The needs of the urban poor and their priorities are seen to be hierarchial. They need first assurance of being allowed to stay where they are and then provision of basic amenities of toilets, water supply, sewerage and drainage.

Karnataka: SEZs and the Environment

A recent workshop on coastal SEZs in the state sought to highlight the importance of such zones, provided an overview of the rules, regulations and incentives, the possible implications for the environment of the region, and the importance of ensuring transparency in conducting an environmental impact analysis.

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