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Sat30Jul2016

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Turning a blind eye to cell tower radiation risks

By Darryl D'Monte

The Maharashtra government has finally accepted that nearly half of Mumbai’s cell towers are illegal. However, the government is still not admitting the health risks posed by these towers

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Acting globally and locally

If internationally climate change is tackled with the fig-leaf of annual global conventions, India is doing its bit by setting up endless committees and sub-committees, writes Darryl D'Monte

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Softening the diesel blow

Those who protest the government’s long overdue moves to hike the price of ‘dirty diesel’ on grounds that it will turn the screws on the poor ought to remember that 600 million Indians do not buy any form of commercial energy whatsoever, and the subsidies mainly benefit the middle classes and rich, writes Darryl D'Monte

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From ‘Garibi Hatao’ to ‘Garib Hatao’

By Darryl D'Monte

What are the implications of the decision to allow the Cabinet Committee on Investment (CCI) to fast-track clearances for infrastructure projects worth more than Rs 1,000 crore?

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Deluge of delusion

By Darryl D'Monte

Despite a battering from Superstorm Sandy and subsequent economic losses of $33 billion, the US still prevaricates on the connection between a cataclysmic hurricane and climate change

 

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In defence of ‘green terrorists’

The India Today cover story ‘Green Terror’ indicates that mainstream media have now joined industry, bureaucracy and politicians in proclaiming environmental activism the major obstacle to 8% growth. Whatever happened to the basic journalistic principle of presenting both sides of the story, asks Darryl D'Monte

 

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Towering infernal radiation

By Darryl D'Monte

Mumbai is possibly the city worst-affected by radiation from cell phone towers, with roughly 80% of its 10,000 towers allegedly illegal and unsafe. An aggressive campaign by citizens has finally brought attention to the serious health risks and the transgressions of the law

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Biting the fuel subsidies bullet

A new set of studies make a convincing argument for reducing fossil fuel subsidies, writes Darryl D'Monte, and demolishes the claim that raising diesel prices will impact the poor most and send inflation spiralling

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How much do Indians consume?

By Darryl D'Monte

While India's per capita material consumption is still low, a new report reveals that in 50 years India’s consumption of fossil fuels increased 12 times, construction materials 9 times and industrial materials and ores 8.6 times. How will India support its growing economy sustainably?

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Prising open official reports

By Darryl D'Monte

In a decision with important implications, the CIC has forced the MoEF to upload the report of the Western Ghats Ecology Experts taskforce headed by Madhav Gadgil, ruling that information must be put in the public domain as decisions are being made, not after

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A price tag on nature

TEEB estimates that every year the world loses $2-4.5 trillion worth of natural capital. Does it make sense to put an economic value to our natural resources? Darryl D'Monte explores

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Gloom and doom unlimited?

Three recent reports underline once again the impending global ecological crisis. Will Rio+20 this June help us arrest the race to catastrophe, asks Darryl D'Monte

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Linking rivers: Tragedy of errors

The river-linking project needs to be given a decent burial, says Darryl D'Monte, but instead, the Supreme Court has exceeded its brief and asked the centre to implement it

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The high costs of poor sanitation

Despite the Total Sanitation Campaign launched since 1991, just 30,000 of 600,000 villages are free of open defecation today. The economic impact of poor sanitation in India is Rs 2.46 trillion or 6.5% of the GDP, writes Darryl D’Monte

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Exit endosulfan

By Darryl D'Monte

India manufactures 70% of the world’s endosulfan, which explains why there has been such a strong lobby against its ban, despite evidence of its health hazards. But India has finally dropped its opposition to a ban on endosulfan, thanks largely to the campaign against the pesticide by Kerala’s people and government

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Making sanitation as popular as cricket

By Darryl D'Monte

700 million Indians have cell phones, but 638 million still don’t have access to proper sanitation. At this year’s South Asian Conference on Sanitation, social solutions to the problem were discussed, including “naming and shaming” and the CLTS programme which gets villagers to map the open areas where they defecate

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Rethinking fossil fuel subsidies

The government has proposed direct cash transfers instead of subsidies on essential items including kerosene and diesel to the poor. The country certainly cannot permit the huge losses from subsidies any more, says Darryl D’Monte, but it remains to be seen whether cash transfers or a coupon system, or even a combination of such reforms, will work

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Small green hope in India's burgeoning construction industry

By Darryl D'Monte

Most of India’s construction industry mimics the energy-inefficient glass-and-steel buildings of the West. But with the introduction of two green rating systems for buildings, the revival of traditional architecture and 30 architecture/engineering colleges introducing green certification courses, the country is slowly building up capacity to construct green buildings

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Ecological illiteracy regarding Mumbai

By Darryl D'Monte

Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh recently increased the floor space index in Mumbai’s coastal belts. It’s a move doomed to fail; and will only add to the city’s cup of environmental woes, writes Darryl D’Monte

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Renewable energies as big business opportunities?

By Darryl D'Monte

Biomass and biogas are the cheap, decentralised renewable energies to choose for India. But the ministry of renewable energies -- and the technocrats and entrepreneurs surrounding it -- appear to favour hi-tech solutions such as grid solar power, with only a few exceptions such as the project to produce power from rice husk in 10,000 villages in eastern India

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