India | Centre for Science and Environment

India


Green buildings: it’s common sense

Frenzied growth in real estate and changing lifestyle in Indian cities are inciting resource guzzling. Architects have innovative ideas to build green homes

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Fact Sheets

Are environment and forest clearances a hindrance to development in the country?

No, says our study. The study analyses the environment and forest clearances granted during the 11th Five Year Plan, from April 2007 till August 2011.

The pace of such clearances during this period has been unprecedented. 

Click on the below links to find more on the study

 

Public private prank

Growth is back on the agenda, says the government. It is hoping that with pushy announcements foreign and Indian investment will miraculously start pouring in and infrastructure will be the name of the game once again. But this assumption ignores one crucial detail: currently, public-private partnerships (PPPs) in infrastructure are on the cusp of disaster. The country needs a different strategy to build public services infrastructure.

Temporary solution, permanent jam

I write this stuck in traffic. Nothing unusual. But my location makes me realise, once again, how our highway route to progress is going nowhere. The road I am using is newly commissioned and expensive. It is the 28-km Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway, which was built just a few years ago to take care of the explosion of traffic between the two cities. It is access-controlled, with a 32-lane toll plaza, and was to provide easy access and a fun ride. The concessionaire—built as it is under the famous public private partnership model—took all steps to keep it prized for cars.

Going off-grid to power solution

Supply issues comprise one part of the energy conundrum, as we discussed last fortnight. The cost of energy and our ability to pay for it is the other. The matter gets vexed because the rise in price of raw material of all energy sources is accompanied by huge inefficiency in distribution and accounting. But importantly, we remain a poor country where cost of energy is a factor in its availability and accessibility for all.

Weather dice is loaded

During my weekly conversation with my sister I told her about the unusual searing heat this June, the problems of power cuts and how we are coping in India. She, in turn, told me that in Washington DC, where she lives, there was a terrible storm that damaged her roof and uprooted trees in her garden. They were fortunate that they still had electricity, because most houses in the city were in the dark. She also said it was unbearably hot because the region was in the grip of an unprecedented heat wave.

Bhopal to Germany

Twenty-eight years after the lethal gas leak at Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, the 350 tonnes of toxic waste lying at the defunct factory is likely to be airlifted to Germany for safe disposal. The disposal process, however, will start only after India’s Hazardous Waste (Management, Handling and Transboundary Movement) Rules of 2008, which forbid export and import of hazardous waste, are amended.
Read more
 

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Rio: not plus or minus, just 20

The Rio+20 UN conference on sustainable development is over. The conference declaration, titled “The Future We Want”, is a weak and meaningless document. It aims at the lowest common denominator consensus to say it all, but to say nothing consequential about how the world will move ahead to deal with the interlinked crises of economy and ecology. Is this the future we want or the future we dread?

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