Seven decades after Independence, many in Odisha’s villages still drink contaminated water from pits

First Post || Manish Kumar || Mar 27, 2019

A large section of the rural populace of Keonjhar district in Odisha is struggling for access to a basic survival need.

A network of 60 reporters set off across India to test the idea of development as it is experienced on the ground. Their brief: Use your mobile phone to record the impact of 120 key policy decisions on everyday justify; what works, what doesn’t and why; what can be done better and what should be done differently. Their findings — straight and raw from the ground — will be combined in this series, Elections on the Go, over a course of 100 days.

Keonjhar: Seven decades of Independence and other progress notwithstanding, a large section of the rural populace of Keonjhar district in Odisha is struggling for access to a basic survival need — safe drinking water. To make matters worse, this Lok Sabha constituency, which has the maximum operational mines in the state, is also being ravaged by miners, who are minting money at the cost of natural resources. Read more

Why we desperately need the Aravallis if we want to survive

Dailyio || Neha Sinha || March 27, 2019

The Aravallis are much more than an aesthetic setting to the National Capital Region. It is the natural entity that protects us from desertification, holds crucial water reserves and protects us from global warming.

Pretty things across the world are replaceable.

Irreplaceability, on the other hand, comes only if something is valued, seen as a unique entity, its own thing, an identity which has sovereignty, a place of dignity. North India’s Aravalli hills are not remarkably pretty. They do not have the sumptuous, plump orchids of the East Himalayas growing from bowers of trees. Nor the flaming red rhododendrons of the West Himalayas. They do not have biodiversity in numbers like that of the Western Ghats. To the untrained eye, the hills could look replaceable, even dry and barren. Read more

Mining dependents in Karnataka protest job losses

Business Standard || Bengaluru || March 26, 2019

Around 6,000 mining dependents from Bellary and Chitradurga districts, as well as surrounding mining belts, protested here on Tuesday against the bad condition of the mining industry in Karnataka and appealed to the government to save their livelihoods.

The mining ban in the state has resulted in large-scale job losses, said members of Karnataka Gani Avalambithara Vedike (KGAV) who gathered at the Freedom Park here. Read more

Contempt petition in SC over illegal mining in Aravalli hills

Tribune News Service || Faridabad, March 25, 2019

The mining mafia is active in the fragile Aravalli region in the district despite a ban on such activities. A local lawyer has filed a contempt petition in the Supreme Court alleging unabated mining and construction activities in the Aravalli hills in the Surajkund area.

“Mining of stones on hundreds of acres of forestland covered under the Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA) for use in construction works has been going on unchecked. The authorities concerned have failed to check illegal mining, posing a threat to Aravalli hills and the green cover,” claims LN Parashar, a senior lawyer. “The ban imposed by the Supreme Court several years ago was being flouted openly, as large-scale mining is noticeable,” he said. Boards stating stones and construction material available for sale could also be seen. Read more

Protect ocean ecosystem, tap blue economy, says Venkaiah

The Hindu || Prakash Kamat || March 24, 2019

‘Initiate programmes to harness ocean reserves sustainably’

Vice President of India M.Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday cautioned against the further degradation of oceans and their ecosystem. He was visiting Goa.

“India should fully tap the enormous potential of the blue economy to achieve higher growth and initiate appropriate programmes for sustainable harnessing of ocean reserves,” Mr. Naidu told students and officials at the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) here. Read more

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