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Policy Matters this week: Moily takes controversial decisions on the Western Ghats, UP declares eco-sensitive zone around sanctuaries and the UN appreciates Odisha's disaster management efforts.

New Environment Minister brings in new polices

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News this week: Bihar villagers oppose asbestos plant, J&K government restricts civilian movement near Kishanganga dam site and dams for Mumbai result in tribal displacement.

10,000 Bihar villagers file petition against asbestos plant

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150 river stretches in India cannot support aquatic life

CPCB findings show 150 river stretches across the country highly polluted with discharge of untreated water.

Bangladesh against Meghalaya's hydel projects

With grazing lands being utilised for development projects, more and more livestock-dependent communities are being impacted and the huge diversity of grazing practices is disappearing.

Pastoralist communities are those that depend primarily on livestock (domesticated animals in an agricultural setting) for their living. India has the world’s highest livestock population with 440 million livestock heads distributed over 100 million households (1) but in recent years, pastoralists have been facing threats to their way of life. At no other time in the past have these communities been fenced off and evicted to this extent from lands that legally and traditionally belonged to them.

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Once water-deficient, Didakhedi in Madhya Pradesh is now a village with year-round water supply and a sense of community and belonging.

The 200 odd residents of Didakhedi, a sleepy village just 13 kms from Sehore town in Madhya Pradesh, never had adequate water. Two decades ago, most of the farming in the village was done during the monsoons. The village had no electricity and a lone diesel pump operated the shallow dug wells to irrigate some lands during the winter. These shallow wells, their only source of water, would turn dry during the scorching summer months, leaving the people distressed.

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Policy matters this week: Environment ministry withdraws amendments to waste rules, Odisha sanctions 12 crores for water in slums and the NGT halts dam construction in Manipur.

Environment Ministry withdraws amendment to waste rules

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There is no balance between the resources we demand and their available supply. Can we do something to halt and reverse this suicidal trend?

Riverside apartments are in great demand these days. This has led to a surge in the number of apartments built along rivers that flow through urban areas. These same 'premium' apartments are encroaching on the river's channel and are therefore most vulnerable to the floods that they help create by constricting the river. This harm extends beyond the apartments in question.

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Tajganj once bore the stamp of Mughal architecture. It is now a sewage-filled, crowded slum. Revival efforts are on to restore its water systems and the quality of life that the residents once had.

 The Tajganj boasts a heritage walk taking sightseers back in time to the excellence of the Mughal era. History-loving eyes examine this threshold to the mausoleum for its remains from the urban landscape of the Mughal lay. What meets the tourist, and rather tragically, is the stench from the natural drain (now open sewage), narrow crowded lanes with houses encroaching upon any available inch of a space and broken roads with loose hanging electrical wires threaten the lives on the walkway everyday.

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This girls' school in Punjab has much more than a regular curriculum. It educates its students on life skills and lets them live and learn for themselves.

Constant giggles, playful pulling of plaits and teasing is common in girls' schools. Though the Baba Aya Singh Riarki College in Gurdaspur is different in many ways, it is filled with similar scenes. This school is an exceptional experiment in education for rural girls of Gurdaspur and Amritsar. It dates back to 1934 when a social worker called Baba Aya Singh established a small ‘putri pathshala’ (girls’ school). He also set up the SKD High School in 1939. Since then it has pioneered women education and empowerment in the state.

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India two ranks up in global hunger index

Scores 63 in global hunger index, 2013, and falls under the alarming zone of hunger. High prevalence of malnourished children under five still remains a huge challenge for the country.

After super cyclone, floods hit Odisha

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