Mining firms set up shop in Orissa - July 15, 2007

At its summit, the northeastern ridge of the Niyamgiri hill range has a bald patch, typical of hilltops with bauxite deposits. A dense tree cover that provides a welcome shade to climbers struggling some 8 km up the steep forest path gives way to a vast stretch of open grassland.    A full-grown leopard silently pads across the open expanse. Up here, all is at peace. For now.  

Reservoir of dams - May 15, 2008

Arunachal Pradesh is awarding hydroelectric projects to private companies at the breakneck speed of one every nine days without proper scrutiny. The government says hydroelectricity is the key to the state’s development. But ARNAB PRATIM DUTTA finds out that the people exposed to risks will not gain much from the projects.   Read full story...

Deep waters May 15, 2007

As far as public protests go, Puducherry, formerly Pondicherry, has generally been a backwater. But the government’s resolve to fast-track a deep-water port, upgrading the existing fair-weather port, has provoked a chorus of protests from citizens across the board—NGO members, fisherfolk, lawyers, politicians and farmers.  

Discontent, September 15, 2005

This is a story about the environmental clearance mechanism in India. Arguably legally strong, it fails in implementation. The project proponent looks upon the mechanism as a hurdle; for the administrator, it is mere routine. For affected communities, there is only one hope: the public hearing process. But it always fails them, in the end. So where does this mechanism go wrong? What changes are needed? KUSHAL PAL SINGH YADAV looks for answers.

Short circuit May 15, 2005

On the face of it, the ambitious Sethusamudram project to bridge the east coast with the west coast of the country seems a great idea. The prospect of not having to circumnavigate Sri Lanka and cutting short travel periods by 30 hours sounds as interesting as it did 150 years ago when a draft plan for the canal was first mooted (see box: Taking shape). A Tamilian dream is now beginning to take shape.  

Ganga and the environmental flow

While going up the meandering road from Tehri to the holy town Gangotri during the thick of monsoon, the Bhagirathi appeared to get uneasily quieter with each hairpin bend; until Chinyali Sor village near Dharasu, 45 km from new Tehri town.

Roadblocks to growth

India is poised for a rapid economic growth - an 8 per cent GDP growth rate annually over the next two decades is now considered a settled matter. But there are major resource constraints to this growth story that economists talk about but have hardly taken into account in their growth projections.