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Compliance with environmental laws has been a matter between the company and the government. It is changing with a group of people urging communities to participate in the process.

Hasdeo Arand illustrates all that is wrong with the coal mining industry today. This ancient and dense forest in Chattisgarh, inhabited by several tribes, was once famous for being an elephant corridor. Since 2013, the area has worn a different face.

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Changes have been proposed to existing environmental laws. We look at three such policy changes that could affect the ecosystem and local communities negatively.

Saileena Sarkar's introduction to the East Kolkata Wetlands began as soon as she moved to the city. She says, “The Kolkata wetlands have been a point of interest since I came to the city. This was where we went for our zoology tuition group picnic, and  the wetlands are something every zoology student in Kolkata visits to learn about.

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Nepal, like India, is just learning of environmental flow releases. Dr.Hari Shrestha speaks of the efforts being made to increase awareness about healthy rivers in the country

Dr Hari Kumar Shreshta is an engineer, teacher, and a passionate crusader for healthy rivers. On a recent visit to India, he spoke with India Water Portal about the efforts to introduce the concept of environmental flows in hydropower-focused Nepal.

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Parineeta Dandekar of SANDRP speaks to India Water Portal about how healthy rivers--and not dams--are the best employment guarantees around.

The theme for the 2016 UN World Water Day is 'Water and Jobs'. What is your opinion of the chosen theme?

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Listen to (and read the text of) Uma Bharti, the Minister of Water Resources, talk about her Ministry's plans for the Ganga including riverfront development.

Banaras has always been identified with Baba Vishwanath but Modiji said that he had been called here by the Ganga. Ganga was thus present in the election atmosphere. When he extended the cabinet, he established a ministry for the Ganga. Some unprecedented things have happened in these elections. This is the first time in the world that a Ministry has the name of a particular river in its title.

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Since the 1970s, the Ramganga has been governed by dam releases. Now an ambitious project seeks to restore environmental flows in the river.

We sat on a charpoy in Agwaanpur and talked of flood warning systems for the Ramganga. Of all the places I had visited, Agwaanpur, probably due to its urban nature, was the only one which boasted a rudimentary system. The police would inform the Maulvi that a flood release was expected, and he would repeat the warning using the  loudspeaker normally used to summon people to prayer.

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Development workers often do not have the tools to better integrate gender issues into water planning. Here are tips to help from two women who have created gender-inclusive water management systems.

"The men say that the well is perennial", I said. "Do you use it"? "No", replied the women. "It might be perennial, but the water is unclean. Our dals don't cook, and there are sometimes worms in the water".

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Four Gram Panchayats in Uttarakhand joined forces to oppose a cement plant. They won this battle, but will India's villagers win the war?

When Basanti Devi entered the village of Bachwadi in Uttarakhand's Takula block on one of her routine visits, she knew that something was wrong. Instead of the normal hustle, groups of men stood about talking quietly. She asked them what the matter was.

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Darbhanga's many ponds which are centuries-old, are disappearing thanks to land sharks. While local groups are working to protect them, they aren't getting the required help from the authorities.

The vast plain in Mithilanchal (now a part of Bihar) wore a festive look despite the early hour. People had been gathering since the wee hours of the morning. Children wore their festive best while women, flowers in their hair and anticipation in their eyes. The air was redolent with the fragrance of the ceremonial fire and the aroma of roasting gram and fried sweets. Nearby, a magnificent horse bedecked with flowers pawed the ground impatiently.

It was the middle of the 12th century and celebrations were in full swing as Raja Gang Singh Dev was sponsoring a talaab.

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Indwalgaon in Uttarakhand harnessed available government resources to move from a water-deficit to a water-adequate state, thanks to its Pradhan Madanlal.

 Visitors and the Uttarakhand Tourism Department liken the mountain to 'devbhoomi' or the heavens but it isn't often that a villager of the area echoes those sentiments. Most of them are weary of the unending struggle to live in harmony with those steep slopes that make all manner of infrastructure difficult.

That is why the villagers of Indwal Grampanchayat come as a welcome change. 'Yeh to Jannat hain' one of them told me. "This is heaven".

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