Citizens' Rights and Duties

  • India is a pioneer among developing countries in establishing a “green court” to deal with environment-related litigations. Established through an Act by the government of India, the National Green Tribunal (NGT), a quasi-judicial body has ensured speedy justice on several green cases. The NGT ...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 1 year 2 months agoread more
  • Districts with higher levels of urbanisation have a higher risk for the outbreak of cholera, a new nationwide study by the Indian and international experts has revealed.  This is because of uneven allocation of funds for water and sanitation infrastructure within districts with urban centres i...
    arathiposted 1 year 2 months agoread more
  • The problem of Bengaluru’s water is well known. The demand for water tankers skyrockets during the summer months, when municipal and borewell water supplies run dry, and many of the city’s lakes, actually man-made tanks, lie neglected and polluted. While legislation on rainwater harvesting ...
    priyadposted 1 year 2 months agoread more
  • In the afternoons these days, Basai wears a deserted look. Known as a bird’s delight and privileged by the protected status of a national park, the wetland is located just eight kilometres from Sultanpur bird sanctuary in Gurugram in Haryana. No birds can be spotted foraging the soil of the Basai ...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 1 year 2 months agoread more
  • Large swathes of cotton farms in the central India have been the epicentre of a debt crisis that has gripped the rural population. For years now, it has driven thousands of farmers to commit suicide. These suicides are not merely a loss of human lives; they are debilitating scars on a nation’s dev...
    arathiposted 1 year 3 months agoread more
  • Far in the distance, towards the edge of Noida and Greater Noida flows the Hindon river amidst clusters of modern highrise buildings. A few years ago, the landscape here was more countrified and quite distinct from the low rise neghbourhoods of Delhi dotted with its numerous parks and abundant insti...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 1 year 3 months agoread more
  • In our effort to make space for infrastructural developments, India's green cover is declining at an alarming rate. The overall mangrove cover in the country stands at 4,740 sq. km., which is 0.14 sq. km of India’s overall geographical area.  Mangroves provide the ideal space for breedi...
    makarandpurohitposted 1 year 3 months agoread more
  • Floods are generally considered destructive but in some cases, overflowing rivers have the potential to create wetlands. These wetlands can serve as agreeable landscapes that turn resourceful due to the multiple functions it can host. The Kanwar Lake in Bihar is a striking example of this shared, al...
    makarandpurohitposted 1 year 4 months agoread more
  • Decades of skating over environmental concerns have clearly cost us dear. The folly of pursuing better crop yields using chemical fertilisers in an indiscriminate manner has been surfacing lately. “Decades of agricultural abuse using fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides have taken its toll on us...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 1 year 4 months agoread more
  • Vasant Baburao Parkale, a 52-year-old farmer, has become a role model for many farmers in the drought-prone Marathwada region. His determination and the will to excel in life have helped him to transform his dreams into reality. In 1984, he was just another labourer working for Bhagwan Yashwantrao ...
    makarandpurohitposted 1 year 4 months agoread more
  • How often does one get to experience a terrain that is as dramatically transformative as The Little Rann of Kutch? With changing seasons, it adorns itself with different landscapes, thus, completely shifting shape, its functions and appeal.  The Little Rann of Kutch (LRK), a salt marsh in Guja...
    makarandpurohitposted 1 year 4 months agoread more
  • Supreme Court pulls Centre over preservation of wetlands The Supreme Court has reprimanded the Centre over noncompliance with international conventions regarding preservation of wetland sites across the country. In its earlier order, the apex court has identified over two lakh wetlands and asked fo...
    swatiposted 1 year 4 months agoread more
  • A dominant characteristic of a peri-urban site is its transition out of an agrarian economy due to industrialisation and urbanisation. This usually manifests in the form of agricultural land either left barren or sold for developmental activities and farmers and agricultural labourers looking for an...
    arathiposted 1 year 4 months agoread more
  • In a country as diverse as India where the mountain meets the ocean and deserts blend into forests, one hallmark of beauty that is often left out of the travel catalogues is the outstanding Loktak lake in Manipur.  Spread over 469 sq. km. in the northeastern state of Manipur, the Loktak wetlan...
    makarandpurohitposted 1 year 5 months agoread more
  • The devastating flood in 2015 in the Kashmir valley affected more than 2.5 lakh houses and displaced about 5.5 lakh people. The economic loss was massive.   Many researchers and experts believe that careful conservation and protection of the lakes, ponds and wetlands in the Kashmir valley coul...
    makarandpurohitposted 1 year 5 months agoread more
  • Spanning an area of 61 sq km, the Ashtamudi lake is considered the gateway to the backwaters of Kerala. While the lake on the outside radiates with natural beauty, there is a notable treasure nesting deep within its waters--the short-neck clams. The clams are biofilters and a healthy clam popu...
    makarandpurohitposted 1 year 5 months agoread more
  • The informal water market plays a crucial role in meeting the drinking and domestic water security of peri-urban communities. The increasing reliance on private informal water vendors in all our study villages speaks of their significance. Informal players like private RO companies, households or in...
    arathiposted 1 year 5 months agoread more
  • Bhanu is bracing herself for an income loss this year. The wheat she sowed after bajra in winter did not give her the productivity expected. Her soil health is declining, she says. To top it all, she is afraid there will be deficient rainfall this year in her village in Ferozepur Jhirka in Mewat in ...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 1 year 5 months agoread more
  • The people of the Marathwada region have been facing severe water crisis for more than three decades. Despite adverse circumstances, the Akoladev panchayat in the Jalna district has set an example for other panchayats by solving their water woes through community participation and effective water ha...
    makarandpurohitposted 1 year 5 months agoread more
  • Signs of mustard aphid, a key pest of the mustard crop appeared predictably in November last year in Dinesh’s farm. Drifting across the open green fields, it landed on the tender leaves of the mustard crop. “It sets in November during the flowering and pod bearing stage of the crop and lasts til...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 1 year 5 months agoread more

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A study by Action India provides insight into Delhi’s recycling nightmare and its unacknowledged waste pickers.

Eight-year-old Meera (name changed) got ill after eating filthy food remains from a dump at Mansarovar park in Delhi. Children like her work in filthy environments, rummaging through hazardous waste with bare hands and feet. They play in these dumping ground strewn with syringes, scrap iron, rotting waste, solid and liquid household waste.  

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Citizen Matters looks at what the city should do to manage its water better.

A recent BBC report projected that Bengaluru will run out of water soon.

Yes, it was a superficial list of cities that already have water problem. It just pronounced the harsh verdict without any in-depth analysis of the factors involved. That’s like taking a casual look at an emaciated man and saying, “he is going to die soon”.

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With the threat of urbanisation looming large, the sacred grove of Mangar Bani begs for attention.

According to the local legend, Mangar Bani, a green patch between Faridabad and Gurgaon, was home to a Baba (a holy man), Gudariya Das Maharaj around 500 years ago. Popular among the local Gujjar herdsmen, the dominant community of the area, the Baba asked them to treat this forest as a sacred grove, the forested abode of a local deity. They were asked to protect the Bani forest fiercely by not even removing a single leaf from it or grazing their animals inside it.

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FKAN’s work on preparing an action plan for the fluoride-affected Remuna block in Balasore shows how proactive policy work can help highlight the issue.

Rabindra Kumar Jena, the Member of Parliament (MP) from Balasore, Odisha knew that something was wrong with the health of people in a part of his constituency but he could not put his finger to it. By sheer chance, in 2015, he got to know that this seemed to be related to excessive fluoride in water, which caused a disease called skeletal fluorosis.

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There are various reasons why India’s small and marginal farmers are unhappy.

Small farmers are the key to ending poverty and hunger and promoting sustainable development. In India, small and marginal farmers—those who work on less than two hectares (five acres) of land—constitute 80 percent of all farm households, 50 percent of rural households and 36 percent of the total of all households. Sadly, the plight of these farmers is very distressing. Agricultural productivity levels have been stagnant for the past 10 to 15 years. An estimated 70 percent of the country’s arable land is prone to drought, 12 percent to floods, and 8 percent to cyclones.

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Here are two new groundtruthing studies by CPR- Namati environmental justice (EJ) program.

What happens after an environmental law is made or an environmental approval is granted to a project? Are all the safeguards complied with? Do the authorities in charge enforce the environmental regulations and laws proactively? What are the impacts that arise due to non-compliance with environmental regulations? How can affected communities pursue remedies? 

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In a rare show of solidarity, the panchayat leaders of Dzongu have formed a group, Save Dzongu, that cuts across political differences to save their river.

As we sit sipping tea with him, Ugen Lepcha calmly spells out his stand. “Even if it means having to leave my (political) party, I will continue to be against dams,” he says. Ugen Lepcha, the president of Passingang gram panchayat in the Dzongu area of Sikkim, clearly has courage when it comes to his political convictions.

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One of the many polluted Bengaluru lakes, Gottigere lake is being revived, thanks to the intervention of some responsible citizens.

Gottigere lake used to be a major source of water for south Bangalore. Its overflow fed several other lakes in the area. It was also the reason why so many people bought apartments nearby.

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One of the worst affected districts in Andhra Pradesh, Anantapur is seeing its farmers leave their villages for cities due to water scarcity.

Scanty rainfall, depleting groundwater levels, barren farmlands and mass migration of farmers to cities for better livelihood--this is the reality of most of rural India today. Many parts of India are witnessing this growing trend of farmers leaving their lands in search of jobs in cities. Andhra Pradesh is no different with several districts of the state seeing a rising rate in outmigration of farmers.

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Kaudikasa village’s two decades of struggle with arsenic contamination in drinking water ends with a new government scheme.

Kaudikasa is a small village with a population of just 350 people in the Ambagad Chowki block of the Rajnandgaon district in Chhattisgarh. Despite its small size, Kaudikasa village has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. Severe health problems have been reported from the village, thanks to acute arsenic contamination in its groundwater. In fact, of the 22 villages affected by arsenic contamination in Ambagad Chowki block, Kaudikasa village is said to be the worst affected.

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