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Government Actions this week

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Delhi High Court: Govt should compensate victims of its inaction

Taken to a logical end, assigning liability can change governance unlike anything else.
The Delhi High Court’s statement was just one of those toothless remarks, or it would have been challenged by the Government.  Should the government be liable for its inaction?  Damn right yes!  Whether the liability is monetary or of some other type, and who is punished or compensated is another matter. India needs to put in place a combination of moderate compensation for the sufferer combined with some non-monetary liability on the relevant functionary.



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National Mineral Policy: GreenMin wants ‘polluter pays’ principle included

Polluter should pay.
Now why do we need a policy for this, is it not obvious?  Polluter should pay for the damage caused.  It is amazing how some can make the obvious sound so grand and impressive.  I would have said that its such an Indian trait but for that Anglo-Saxon gentleman in the other hemisphere.  On a serious note, however, the polluter pays principle lies at the core of any pollution sensitive governance mechanism.



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Norms issued to tackle construction waste dust

Lazy journalism or PR play?
It is well known that few follow construction guidelines in India.  Why?  Because guidelines are merely that, guidelines, and do not carry any liability for not being followed.  But still, guidelines help inform everyone of what the government feels is desirable.  The government had notified construction related guidelines last year, but these are rarely enforced – simply because they would need to be enforced by local governments which are largely corrupt at best and defunct at worst.  



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India to float tenders to surpass 200 gigawatts of green capacity by 2022

On this one, I believe the government’s claim.
Many would think that this government is completely crazy, investing in a technology that would generate power that its monopoly power companies and boards will be unable to purchase, and which is also not in sync with peak load requirements.  But this is a determined government, despite huge NPAs and losses that would definitely worsen, the NDA-Modi government will meet its target of 200GB by 2022 and more.



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Government determined to not let Delhi smog-like situation recur

Empty vessels make much noise.
There is little that India’s environment secretary can do, so he publicly promised quick and decisive action.  Not satisfied with his own statement, he added that the government will be very strict against polluters.  It seems even this was not enough, and he asked the people to accept their share of the blame.  



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Can graded plan have more teeth, EPCA asks Centre

At times of emergency are emergency measures enough.
On a regular day, the Air Quality Index is very roughly 200 which is 2 times higher than what is just about acceptable.  At times of smog, it reaches five times as much.  The Environment Pollution Control Authority or EPCA wants to make laws more stringent.  The EPCA is aware that stringent laws cannot be implemented very effectively in India, especially those that impact the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people. 



Initiatives


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Mumbai’s Beach Clean-Up Suspended After Afroz Shah Alleges Abuse

Strange is that country where the state collects revenues and the citizens collect garbage!
Versova beach was beautiful many decades back, but then the plastics got to know of it.  Anything that the Mumbai-ites threw as a garbage either in their homes or on the road somehow reached the Versova beach, making the beach the designated holy place for plastics to spend their last few millennia.  



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Why Not All Livestock Rearing Practices Are Ecologically Unsound

Flatulence and the mother cow.
Some global studies show how horrible cattle are for the environment.  And India, having a large number of unproductive cows, would obviously then need to do something about it.  Many say that the Indian mother cow does not typically suffer from flatulence, and therefore causes lower methane production and in fact reduces pollution since it can eat up plastics.
This article is much better than my description of the ongoing debate. Read on for a long decently researched article.



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To tackle e-waste, residents of Yamunanagar go door-to-door

Residents collect e-waste; their municipality cobwebs.
A well-intentioned action does not necessarily create good outcomes.  The role of e-waste or any waste collection has been assigned to local governments as they can punish poor or non-cooperative behaviour.  Well-meaning and successful as these residents may be, they need to direct their energies to enable their municipality to start a systematic collection mechanism.  That is the only sustainable way.



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