Friday, August 31, 2007

i have posted the greenpeace alert on e-waste issue.

india's huge IT industry and emerging hardware industry has to do more to cleanup right from production process onto recycling process so that the children of india can breathe clean air free of dangerous toxics that make up computer hardware.

our mega multi crore hardware and software companies and its jet setting top management can surely do a better job of being more green and protect india's and world environment in a responsible manner and each one of your email action will count towards that.

for in having a clean, safe and toxics free environment lies true development.


HCL lies. People die.
With one click you can stop both.

Every minute of the day, in recycling yards across the country, thousands of poor people handle the end products of India 's great IT revolution. When they break open a computer, they are exposed to a lethal cocktail of highly-toxic substances... mercury, lead, cadmium, beryllium, PVC, brominated flame retardants, you name it. Many of these are young children, with no training, no protective gear, and no medical care.

As one of India 's leading IT companies, HCL is contributing a lion's share to this problem, yet refuses to remove toxics from its computers. Instead, it has lied repeatedly about what's in its products, and what it plans to do with them

Greenpeace believes that all this can change. By clicking here to sign a letter , you can send out a message that HCL hears loud and clear, forcing it to stop lying, and start making toxic-free products.

I thank you for joining Greenpeace in the clean-up of India 's IT industry.

G. Ananthapadmanabhan
Executive Director
Greenpeace India

PS:It takes thousands of clicks, one click at a time, to bring about a big change. Forward this mail to your friends and colleagues and invite them to sign as well.

we all love ice cream right. who does not. right from kids onto elder, onto students onto teenagers onto.....everybody loves ice creams.

and amongst the ice cream flavors, vanilla occupies a special place because of its smooth taste and rich aroma.

but do you know where this vanilla comes from. upto 99% of vanilla in our ice cream and food products comes from paper effluents, coal tar and petrochemical derivatives. the rest 1% comes from vanilla bean which is the natural vanilla grown in fields and processed to extract vanillin flavour.

oaaawaakhhhhh...oaaawakkhhh..you are right. i am throwing up. but what i tell is true. what seems to be happening is that our clever industry is so addicted to big time profits even basic information like this is not passed onto consumers.

the vanilla we eat is synthetic vanilla which comes from molecules out of black toxic paper effluents, coal tar and many other chemical discards. even if a small percentage of our ice cream industry tells that vanilla should be natural 100%, then it would be a huge boom especially for developing countries like india wherein vanilla farmers are under huge stress.

development means that taking care of the entire society in spite of what the market is being skewed up. if 1% is a big thing to be taken care of then little else can be said good about profit making industries which serve us mainly coal tar extracts and post paper effluent jellies.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

after our communist friend and minister of electricity in kerala mr.a.k.balan asked for industry 'support' (and i think after the support, the awards and the rewards) for the proposed destructive athirapally hydel dam project, he went a step ahead and told that he will bomb the dam in case the dam causes water level to come down in the chalakudy river. reproducing his exact words,
“I am ready to join anyone to bomb the proposed Athirappilly dam if the water level (in Athirappilly) comes down,” he said.

there is no need to bomb the dam. instead of bombing, there are simple things our beloved minister can do. simple things such as
- doing a honest environmental impact assessment report
- analyzing the carrying capacity of the already heavily dammed chalakudy river
- listening to local marginalized people who will get slammed due to loss of tourism revenue and hit due to agricultural impact
- listening to environmentalists and river experts on the destructive impact given meager electricity the dam can produce
- listening to hundreds of families of endemic kadar tribals who will again be displaced by this brutal dam

well, if our planners and policy makers listened to simple things so much environmental destruction will not have happened and continue to happen in india. there is no need to 'bomb' anything to 'solve' a monster issue. for that we need to stop creating monster issues in name of fake development.

there was an interesting article regarding export/import imbalance between india and china from pallavi aiyar the china specialist of the hindu newspaper.

i reproduce relevant sections below.
Indian exports to China continued to rise, seeing an almost 30 per cent year-on-year increase in the January-June period this year. However, this increase was outpaced by Indian imports from China which scaled up by close to 65 per cent to touch $10.24 billion. What is truly a matter of concern from the Indian point of view, however, is not the level of Indian exports to China but rather the composition of those exports. India’s exports to China are overwhelmingly dominated by low-value, primary products with an outsized reliance on iron ore. In 2006, ores, slag and ash comprised more than 50 per cent of India’s exports to the mainland, a trend that has remained unaltered over the last few years. Despite Indian trade officials repeatedly expressing concern over the lopsided nature of this export composition, in the first six months of this year iron ore continued to account for half of the total exports to China.

hidden in these alarming statistics is the alarming trend at ground level in india. our forests, villages, rivers etc are being mined for raw materials and a significant portion is being exported to china just as raw materials.

there is a huge impact of these mining and on top of that you put those raw materials onto ship onto china then it is a disaster. disaster because only middle men and hench men who mine illegally and unsustainably will benefit because raw materials always come cheap whereas processed materials and products comes expensive, which means that there is no environmental mitigation, no trickle down effect to local population who live near mines, no control on mining and finally no medium to long term planning on economics and environment.

this case illustrates vividly how skewed india's fake development is. development wherein our natural resources are looted with benefits being pocketed by a few middle men and of course which adds to our 'gdp' tally for our honorable finance minister to tell that india's poverty is plunging!!!(india's development means unsustainable, illegal and indiscriminate mining of our mining areas and lot of forest areas. above picture from bellary mine)
(no end to end mining policy/control/regulation means that most of iron ore mined goes to china with profits pocketed by henchmen and middlemen with even mining workers families and children living in abysmal conditions)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

everybody knows about SPIC group based in tamilnadu. one of the top industrial groups involved in pharma, chemicals, agri, etc products, it's one of the groups that has multi mega crores of investment and undoubtedly make multi million dollar profits every year.

they have units, factories, warehouses all across india, just like a mega company would. well why would then the sleeping tamilinadu pollution control authorities order to close down their pharma factor in cuddalore.

politics? previous enemity? lack of bribes? just for the heck of it? no. SPIC is one of the known offenders in the toxic hotspot of cuddalore wherein they are not only a bad example of how not to run a factory, they are also an influence in which other companies take shadow in.

the blog sipcotcuddalore chronicles the sad story of sipcot cuddalore in which prosperous and wealthy families running mega crore companies care a damn to our environment.

it is scary to think that these companies that do not care a tiny bit about people living near their factories and local environment are propelling india into 'development'. SPIC catch word should be 'spic-nourishing growth for our investors, disaster and pollution for local communities and environment'

(spic image in sipcot cuddalore website. pictures also dont tell stories about fake development. do they?)

it was FM day out for our PC. our finance minister PC, who by any standards, is a decent politician but of a different breed.

meaning you have politicians who are 'my way or highway' and you have politicians who are suave like 'my way or no way dear'.

PC belongs to second category. although he is not in streets creating chaos or protests, he is making sure there is chaos in our ecosystems by lopsided economic policies that fail to recognise that IT, Auto and polluting factories alone are not our economy.

during PC's time we can confidently say, as this blog has chronicled, that our eco systems are under brutal assault coupled with brutal twist and abuse of our crucial environmental policies including EIA, environment policy, national bio diversity policies, etc.

worst, PC's economic policies have literally meant nothing to tens of thousands (perhaps hundreds of thousands) of farmers who are in deep distress both financially, technically and agriculturally.

let's see some of PC quotes in the article.
Mr. Chidambaram, who stressed that he was here on a private visit and not as Minister, said the biggest goal of his life was to wipe out abject poverty.
i guess he means biggest goal of his life his to wipe out poverty amongst poor businessmen of india who wants farm lands, wetlands and forests without EIA, without genuine compensation and without democratic means.

He described abject poverty as where people don’t have pucca roofs over their houses, have no clothes to change and don’t get two square meals a day.
does our honorable PC realise that these factors come into play in majority of india by means of environmental destruction wherein the rural people have no means of having a stake in protecing and nourishing their ecosystems including wetlands and rivers, which can provide drinking water, irrigation needs and livelihood sustenance. like anil agarwal quotes, our policy makers need to educated on things other than money also so that they can understand root cause of poverty.

Striking a note of optimism, he said that the last 16 years showed that it was achievable to create jobs and make a dent in poverty.
india's progress in IT, auto and few other sectors are impressive. but majority of this growth is concentrated on tiny segments of india's population with massive neglect of majority of the people and huge abuse of our environment.

In a democracy, there would be a clash of opinion but one must be confident of doing the right thing.
democracy!!!! i think this is the keyword for many nowadays. where is the democracy when hundreds of thousands of people are submerged in a disaster called narmada dam, where is the democracy when tribals of chattisgarh, jharkhand, orissa and other mineral rich states are being violently thrown out for the benefit of few multinational companies, where is the democracy when crucial environmental policies are being brutalised to benefit industries resulting in huge damage to our ecosystems.

democracy, i guess is a donkey. a donkey which will dance to fake 'development'.

Monday, August 27, 2007

after the big time hype and escalation of iraqi war by american media, i am nowadays skeptical of the stories churned out in the media.

although america is a great democracy, american media has lost its position and is increasingly in corporatist mode. the peak of it came during iraqi war wherein the american press failed to do its watchdog duty but instead became slave dog and bulldog in escalating the iraqi war.

but i sometimes give credence to select news stories coming out of the american media. one such was this weekend from newyork times titled "As China Roars, Pollution Reaches Deadly Extremes".

if you go to any store in america, upto 90% (or even more) products are made in china. (infact we can joke the product as from united states of china). nothing wrong with it. but if you look deeper, most of the products are on perennial bargain with already rock bottom prices. garments, toys, kitchen items, household items, bath items, construction materials, paints and what not - most of these are very low priced.

the reason for this low price is not china, but american consumers. consumers who don't care 'how come it is so cheap' are driving down prices by their cheap consumerism which in turn puts direct pressure on american manufacturer and chinese manufacturer to cut costs resulting in massive environmental and human damage to china.

on one angle, seldom do we realise that our low prices mean increased pollution in china. on the other angle, the 'development' in china is beyond control, so bad, that nearly 500 million people have no proper drinking water access, several tens of millions are hit directly by pollution in terms of breathing air and worse the official machinery in china has been virtually over run by these 'development' forces that nobody there has a clue on how to stop the environmental crisis.

adding fuel to fire, is the gas emissions from china wherein china is soon set to overtake america on greenhouse gas emissions.

we can step aside telling china's pollution is their internal problem. but we cannot step aside from the global warming crisis that china is fuelling due to our cheap consumerism.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

whoa....whoaaaaaaaa....whoaaaaa.....ohhhh....whooaaaaa...

no i am not shouting due to joy, but due to horror. horror in the fact that a prestigious university like carnegie mellon is planning to give 2007 alumus award to ex MoEF secy mr.pradipto ghosh. (see end of this post for the 'award'/'reward' details).

i shot of an email to the alumni house of the university. india's environment is in shambles and the major reason for that is the repeated stab that mr.ghosh perpetuated in environmental sphere of India via his wrong actions and blatant inactions when he was environment secy. he was major part of the 'no climate change impact on india; india wont reduce greenhouse gas emissions' brigade. india is ill equipped to handle climate change crisis and many other environmental disasters that is happening right in now india because of a very weakened and politicised MoEF, the result of actions of people like mr.pradipto ghosh.

the email i sent is below. very interesting... i did not know that reputed universities of america rewards looters, plunderers and environmental rapists. i would have recommended a couple of them to carnegie mellon so that they can rename the award as 'award and reward to environmental looters, rapists and plunderers - proudly presented by carnegie mellon'.

---------------
From:
Date: Aug 26, 2007 3:39 PM
Subject: Reconsider 2007 alumnus award to be given to Mr.Pradipto Ghosh
To: alumni-house+@andrew.cmu.edu

dear carnegie mellon,
my name is bala and i live in california.

i was shocked with horror to read that your esteemed institution is planning to give an alumnus award to ex environment secretary of india mr.pradipto ghosh.

india environment has been brutalised in past several years with laws like EIA (environment impact assessment), national environment policy, etc being abused at each and every turn. India's forests, rivers and air are under brutal assault in name of fake development and MoEF (ministry of environment and forests) was and is a silent spectator.

during mr.ghosh tenure, the abuse of india's environment and ecosystem was beyond control and his office did not move a thing to work to preserve and protect india's environment.

MoEF in india is dead right now and one of the major reasons that is dead is the policies and the lacklasidcal attitude of mr.ghosh during his tenure. i have blogged the fake development that is taking place in india at http://developedment.blogspot.com.

i would kindly request you to reconsider the award to mr.ghosh. if your university awards plunderers, looters and abusers please go ahead. if your university respects the world environment and india's environment then withdraw the award.

---------------
(mr.pradipto ghosh, ex secy of moef, india. his tenure was marred by brutal destruction of environment and tear down of crucial environmental policies of india. he was also an integral part of 'no greenhouse gas reduction by india, no climate change impact on india' brigade. an award to him by a reputed university will be a travesty)

Heinz School Alumnus Dr. Prodipto Ghosh to be Awarded Carnegie Mellon Alumni Association Achievement Award

Prodipto Ghosh, who received a Ph.D. from the Heinz School in 1991, is among the honorees for the Carnegie Mellon Alumni Association’s 2007 Alumni Awards Program. The 11 alumni selected this year, will be honored during the October 26 – 28 Carnegie Mellon Homecoming/Heinz School Alumni Reunion Weekend. Dr. Ghosh will be among the four Carnegie Mellon alumni receiving Achievement Awards. More information on the Awards and recipients is available at http://alumni.cmu.edu/each_other/awards/awards.html

Over the 16 years since his graduation, Dr. Ghosh has demonstrated his global vision and international cooperation. He is an exemplary alumnus in that his work parallels Carnegie Mellon University’s commitment to energy and the environment, especially to changing the way the world thinks and acts about the environment.

Dr. Ghosh has been a leader in the area of economic and environmental policy -- from his Heinz School dissertation on greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, to his positions with various research and governmental positions in the Philippines and India. Dr. Ghosh has served in India’s governmental offices since 1969. Since 2003 he has been Secretary of India’s Ministry of the Environment and Forests, setting policies and programs to conserve biodiversity and national resources.

As Secretary, Dr. Ghosh oversees policies and programs to conserve India’s biodiversity and national resources. He is responsible for all aspects of environmental conservation and forest protection as well as multilateral environmental agreements and international cooperation.

From 1994 to 2003, Dr. Ghosh served as a senior environmental specialist with the Asian Development Bank. One of his major accomplishments there was leading 12 Asian nations, comprising more than half of the world’s population, in reducing greenhouse gas emissions under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Dr. Ghosh previously served as Additional Secretary in India’s Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance. He was also Additional Secretary to the Prime Minister, serving as economic advisor. From 1994 to 2003, he was a Senior Environment Specialist at the Asian Development Bank in Manila, Philippines and from 1991 to 1994 he was Senior Fellow at the Tata Energy Research Institute.

Dr. Ghosh was Member-Secretary of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory and Trade and Industry Advisory Councils as well as Co-Executive Secretary of the Indo-US Economic Dialogue and Member of the Independent South Asia Commission for Poverty Alleviation.

He is the author of over 40 publications, peer-reviewed research papers and several books.

things are on quite a boil, fuelled by politicians, pertaining to formation of salem division of railway's in tamilnadu. kerala is concerned that existing palakad division of railways might be divided into 2 and has been opposing this.

without going into the pros and cons of this issue, this is like many other issue that is on the boil between several states of india.

now issues like this can explode if politicians play fire with it. without going into politics too much, last week in tamilnadu bought out the worst in politics and politicians. the ruling party in tamilnadu saw it fit to declare rail roko in which the government itself which was formed to protect the people, stood in silence as the ruling party men went on a rail roko blocking trains passing onto kerala.

this being a busy week for keralites for onam festival threw several hundred, perhaps several thousands keralites off guard. if intra state things like this is handled in a goon way by politicians, the southern states especially kerala, tamilnadu and karnakata will on fire 24*7*365. the opposition party of tamilnadu was virtually absent in this sordid episode perhaps with the idea that keeping quiet will get brownie points rather than opposing a totally undemocratic event that was taking place.

maturity, patience, due diligence, talks, etc should be the path in which tamilnadu government should engage kerala on inter state issues. threats, disruption, violence will not benefit anybody especially in the progressive state of tamilnadu. leadership, statemanship, long term vision, neighbour state relations, etc are the need of the hour.

worst of all, the politicians of tamilnadu saw it fit to greet keralites on onam soon after the incident. talk about hypocrisy, the politicians of tamilnadu have this in plenty. when their own rivers dying a brutal death, their culture which originated in their river beds fast vanishing, one thing that has stayed on amongst tamilinadu politicians seems to be hypocrisy.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

this blog had previously opposed india america nuclear deal. the reason were plain and simple -

that nuclear power is expensive,
that american communities across country has not allowed any new nuclear plant for past 30 years,
that our iraqi war zero mr.bush wants to help his friends in nuclear industries,
that after chernobyl there is total aversion which still lingers,
that coastal communities and coastal ecosystem will be slammed across india potentially by hundreds of power plants targeting around 30,000 mw,
that this new deal will envision more nuclear minerals mining in india creating several jadugoda's, that nuclear power is very expensive,
that america can transfer clean coal technologies, wind power and solar technologies, the last 2 of which is hot right now in increasingly environment conscious america
that several tadadi's, cuddalore's, koodakamkulam, dahanu, udupi kind of protests will erupt from already bulldozed coastal communities.
how will india's grid which is already leaking 30 to 40% of electricity produced can take up nuclear power that will come at an enormous environmental and economic costs
that india's danger in face of potentially hundreds of nuclear plants leaving it exposed to anti national attacks endangering tens of lakhs of people in case of any unfortunate thing happening.

in last 2 weeks, the not-so-left left parties of india are opposing the deal in the context that this deal will compromise india's sovereignty to america. but what about ecological sovereignty, what about coastal communities sovereignty, what about communities rights over their fishing reserves which can get slammed due to nuclear power plants.

before left can talk anything concerning india, they have to talk honestly. for it seems they have no honesty left in their arguments although they claim to represent poor and working class of india. shameful, truly shameful considering that left is no different that the center and the right.

and adding to this mix is our dow chemicals champion ratan tata who is telling that setback to nuclear deal will affect foreign investment in india. vowwww...i did not know that. foreign investment into india comes because of india's high skilled workers, it comes because of cheaper cost, it comes because of india's new ability to innovate (at least in software).

even if we sign or do not sign the india america nuclear deal, foriegn investments will come. he escalates this further telling that if the deal fails only pakistan and china succeeds. whoaaa...from when did ratan tata become a foreign relations expert. after singur where thousands of people are facing displacement in face of adamant tata attitude, after kalinganagar in which unarmed tribals were shot dead in cold blood, after he became a champion of dow chemicals which refuses to clean up and come honest in the bhopal gas tragedy....

india's nuclear deal has nothing to do with pakistan or china. we have to stop covering ourselves with pakistan and china flags if we are to make a honest due diligence of india america nuclear deal. pakistan with its internal challenges and china with its leapfrogging economic growth (associated with catastrophic human, democratic and environmental disasters) have no angle in india america nulcear deal.

it is time for india's middle class to oppose this deal because this brutal deal is being placed just because that india needs development. development we truly need. but not at cost of our environment and environment dependent people. not at cost of fake deals that will siphon of hundreds of thousands of crores of rupee. money which can be spent heavily on renewables, solar, wind power, grid strength, r&d, etc.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

kaziranga is a well known forest area habitated by the majestic one horned indian rhino. kaziranga also is a hotspot for poachers and encroachments because of its amazing diversity.

among the kaziranga's success in one horned rhino conservation is the field level officers and foresters like dharnidhar boro who was profiled in ibnlive.

amazing will be the least word to describe commitments of foresters like boro. he has taken no leave, his job is 24*7 and no off periods, he patrols on the jungle on duty in conditions which you can assume is not going to be easy. he does all this to protect one horned indian rhino an amazing species and also to preserve the world's heritage and india's heritage.

amidst the gloom and doom of india's forests, cases like kaziranga gives hope. hope that one day india's environment ,inspite of its huge challenges, can be like kaziranga.

for when rivers run clean, forests are healthy, balance between people and forests are maintained nicely, industries are not allowed to destroy ecosystems in name of 'development' - we will get true freedom. freedom of clean air, clean drinking water and cleaner and much healthier life.

some good news again from green point of view from the IT behemoth wipro. the company has been under tremendous pressure to cleanup in terms of personal computers components and recycling program, seems to be doing something smart when it comes to managing natural resources in their campuses.

from water recycling, to waste recycling to electricity reduction, as per the article, there are very good positive signs.

way to go wipro. now you seems to apply thought amidst your code factories. we need more of this from you because as leaders like you really lead, the rest will follow.

infact you can even go more green. with your huge staff, buildings, daily travel of your employees, office cafeteria's, there are huge scope of going green and also becoming profitable by it.

lead us onto that path. when you fail to do something more greener and if it is pointed out, like a true leader accept the fault, clean up and change into green.

for you going greener means our ecosystems will be safer, global warming much slower and you also can be more profitable. win-win for all.
(wipro, applying thought. will they apply much more greener thought and be a leader in that specturm vis-a-vis their business verticals. or is applying thought just to make money without caring about environment, global warming and other crucial parameters which gets impacted because of their business actions.)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

communists of india, i think, are the most confused lot. one day they are for all equitable justice and next day there is police firing in singur. suddenly they are all for capitalist china's policies on economics (which in turn is leading to massive environmental destruction of china's natural resources) and the next day they are against public sector disinvestment.

suddenly they are all for land rights but when it came to narmada dam the protests from them were feeble to say the least. in kerala and west bengal they are fierce opponents to congress and at center they are comrades in arms.

in kerala, especially, the confusion turns more into 'fun-fusion'. it seems the electiricy minister wants the 'support' of industry ( i think in terms of destruction, displacement, brutalities, fake EIA's - of course in name of 'development') so that the 2 hydel dams (athirapally and pathrakadavu) can be bulldozed ahead.

of course this confusion has become total fun-fusion. or else how will somebody understand the minister statement below.
The Minister said the State Government was finding it difficult to go ahead with the Pathrakkadavu and Athirappally projects in the face of resistance from environmental groups, and called upon the industry to come to the defence of the Government. He felt that the industry had not done its bit to defend the Government in the wake of criticism from environmental groups.

so our kerala minister wants industry to 'defend' the government in wake of criticism for destruction that is being planned. if kerala government has been honest and effective when it comes to environment this funny (and sad) begging type of thing to industry would not have happened.

but again as i told you communists of india, are confused and fun-fused. they are communists one day, the next day they are china type neo communists and the third day they are capitalist. finally, i guess they don't know who they are, for if they have known, they would not have kept quiet so long when massive destruction of natural resources is happening in india.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

amidst the slew of bad (or shall we say 'developmental') news are occasional good news. good news that does good for local community for their protection, livelihood and safety. good news that is inclusive and not exclusive. good news that can be replicated likewise in other areas.

hindu article explains how after the tsunami villagers are working towards improving their mangrove bioshield thereby creating a protective nest for themselves apart from forming interesting systems for various sea creatures to nest and act as a food shield.

phew...glad there is no port being proposed in pichavaram by a big indian multinational aided and abetted by politicians and policy makers in name of 'development'.

(mangroves of pichavaram. crucial for the coastal areas and for the hundreds of thousands of people who live in coastal areas like pichavaram. instead of setting up more and more pichavaram's in other coastal areas or the policy makers keep on bulldozing people in name of fake ports like in dhamra and puducherry.)

there was an different kind of news with respect to wildlife. it was regarding setting up a toll free number to report poaching cases by 'wildlife lovers' (as hindu puts it; no pun intended although laughter allowed).

when it comes to preventing poaching incidents many things such as sharing information, passing intelligence, having a network of informers, all things are important including setting up of toll free numbers.

but what is more important and crucial is to make sure forest department are well staffed, they are proactively trained, educated and taken care, they are paid the highest salaries so that they can do their job with pride, they are held accountable for lapses in their areas, they are given modern equipments for forest and wildlife protection, etc.

in all these fronts, the present government (and past governments) have lagged miserably. forest department average age is pushing 50 (india's average age is in early 20's), they are not paid for months together, lot of field level staff are on temporary payroll thereby having no guarantee for their future, they are treated like waste when it comes to politicians or VIP's visit to forests, etc.

setting of toll free number is good. but what is the point when crucial parameters for forest and wildlife protection are not take into account.

clearly development, as i said, is not for forest staff who can protect our crucial forests.

Monday, August 20, 2007

yeah yei hai right choice baby...

nope this is not an endorsement of the color sugar cola, which costs a few pennies to manufacture, which gets the raw material - the water - free of cost, which is sold even in remote places in abundance wherein even proper drinking water is not available, which is under huge scanner after repeated pesticide exposure by CSE...

this is an endorsement of remo fernandez on his declining in accepting the goa government award 'rajya sanman'.

in an open letter to the Government on Friday, Mr. Remo said that he was declining the award as a mark of protest against the “loot of Goa” by its Ministers, Opposition leaders and politicians, and referred to the “large-scale attempted rape and sale of Goa through the infamous Regional Plan 2011”, either actively or through their inaction.

goa, a picturesque place endowed with beautiful coast, an amazing culture, a mesmerizing western ghats is facing a brutal assault on its environmental and cultural angles. cseindia recently pointed out vividly how scary the situation is. whether it is goa's mining issues or china's growth and impact on goa or the flawed regional plan 2011 which remo has protested.

yeah yei hai fake development baby - that's what we have been singing too....
(celebrities like remo can bring instant attention to an issue. it will be wonderful if they can bring continuous attention to the deteriorating situation in india's environmental and social angles via fake development policies of the government).

the sad saga of sipcot cuddalore area, where many fishermen, farmers and marginalised people live amidst 'development' of industries is well known.

but what is not well known is the fact that this pollution hotspot has been washed away as a goner for larger good by successive tamilnadu government.

there was a small change last week wherein a committee of tamilnadu government (perhaps for the first time) came to visit this area. and they literally threw up on the chemical stench that pervades here.

i reproduce the line from hindu report below:
"The stench was so overpowering that a couple of committee members started vomiting."

told ya. we have been telling all along that india's development in rural areas is fed by increasingly and wilful toxic companies that care a damn and which are ably supported by lobby groups such as confederation of indian industries (CII) and who 'take care' of all aspects with government so that they can destroy the surroundings putting tens of thousands of people in direct harm of pollution apart from huge livelihood impact.

well 'development' today has a new friend. the friend name is 'vomit'.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

an interesting article that tells the story of india at 60. published by hindu and written by ashish kothari of kalpavriskh. all copyrights belong to hindu and kalpavriksh.

India's environmental roller-coaster ride
By Ashish Kothari

Environmental news making newspaper headlines is no longer a rarity. On July 15, the Prime Minister's meeting on India's response to climate change was on the front page of many newspapers. Not so long before that, the shocking news of the decline in tiger numbers had displaced the usual sordid stories of political intrigue. Pesticides in cola bottles, mass protests against dams and Special Economic Zones, and other such stories have become regular features of our morning breakfast read.

In sharp contrast to its greater front page occupancy, however, the country's environment is in fact in a state of severe decline. While our natural resources take a beating, the institutions and agencies that are supposed to safeguard them, including the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), are on the run or themselves turning predators.

It was not always like this. The rapid decimation of forests and wildlife, and the spread of pollution in the first two decades after Independence, gave rise to serious concern. Amongst the first voices to make themselves heard were the Chipko women of Uttarakhand, organising themselves to stop the felling of the forests their lives and livelihoods depended on. In the 1970s and 1980s, several legal and policy measures (for example, for wildlife protection and pollution control) were brought in by the government, which set up a dedicated Ministry to deal with environment.

Mass movements

Many of today's prominent mass movements and civil society organisations were born during that period. Silent Valley, where the Kerala government proposed a hydel dam, become a rallying point for the struggle to save India's last rainforests. By the mid-1980s the proposed Narmada dams gave rise to one of the world's most prominent anti-dam movements, and brought the "environment vs development" debate into middle class living rooms. Environment education became a respectable subject. And so on... Those were heady days, and environmental groups could be forgiven for believing that the battle was being won.

It was, but not the war. While forest and wildlife destruction distinctly slowed down, the worst was yet to come. In 1991, a massive momentum was given to the forces of destruction. The new economic policies that ushered India into the era of globalisation, began to reverse the environmental gains made in the decade before that. A boost to the export of products such as fish and minerals, the welcoming of foreign capital into sectors like mining, the simplification of licensing procedures for industry, and the opening up of regions of India previously restricted owing to cultural or ecological sensitivity, were all condoned in the bid to leapfrog into the 21st century.

Of all the forest land diverted for non-forest purposes since 1980, over 50 per cent has occurred in the last six to seven years, a result of the rapidly increasing demand for such lands by industry and infrastructure. Of the 95,000 hectares of forest land given to mining since 1980, 63 per cent has been given in the period between 1997 and 2005. India's most biologically and culturally sensitive areas in Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Jharkhand, Meghalaya, and other States are being opened up, with catastrophic impacts on indigenous tribes and wildlife. A new wave of internal colonialism is sweeping the country.

And so here we are today, on one of the steepest descending curves of the environmental roller-coaster ride we have been on since Independence. Worse, many of the brakes put into place earlier are being dismantled. In the last three to four years the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) under its previous Minister and Secretary (both now replaced), has presided over the dilution of a number of crucial environmental regulations.

A 10-year old notification on Environmental Impact Assessment, designed to make development projects ecologically sensitive, has been "re-engineered" to make it easier for industry to get licences. The Coastal Regulation Zone notification, which has helped save many of the coastal ecosystems on which depend the lives of a third of our population, is being changed to provide commercial activities much easier access. Many institutions set up to involve citizens in ensuring sustainability in development, such as Ecologically Sensitive Area committees, are proposed to be dismantled.

Equally serious is how the MoEF has made a mockery of participatory processes. Expert committees set up to provide independent advice on development projects are stocked with yes-men (yes, mostly men). An analysis in 2004 revealed that there were only two wildlife experts and one non-governmental organisation amongst 64 members of six expert committees. Consultations for the formulation of the National Environment Policy and the remaking of the EIA notification were mostly held with government agencies and corporate houses, with a few token NGOs being called in as a greenwash. A nationwide participatory process to produce a national biodiversity action plan, earlier facilitated by the MoEF itself, was unceremoniously dumped. Of course, the MoEF itself was being sidelined by a government intent on catching up with a double-digit growth rate, no matter what. Whether the recent change of guard at the MoEF can help it perform its key function of safeguarding India's environment, remains to be seen.

As we head towards the second decade of the millennium, does India have reason to be proud of its environmental record? At first glance, not really. Decades after the subject was first mooted, we still do not have a basic land use plan for the country, which could help safeguard the regions that provide us water and food security. A decade after agreeing with the world that we needed to chart a course of sustainable development, we do not have any parameters or indicators in place, to tell us if we are headed anywhere in that direction.

Our global warming emissions show no sign of slowing down, and now we have our own multinational companies like the Tatas doing to other countries what the West's MNCs did to us — buying up land for mining or setting up destructive industrial plants despite proof that they will be socially and ecologically devastating. Back home, more than half of our population that depends directly on natural resources, is facing a serious crisis of survival as these resources get sucked up by the industrial and urban juggernaut.

Signs of hope
And yet, there are signs of hope. One of the brightest is the increasing resistance of people affected by destructive development: traditional fisherfolk against commercial fisheries and aquaculture, Sikkimese monks and NGOs against mega-dams threatening sacred landscapes, villages forcing Coca-Cola plants to shut down, farmers refusing to let their lands be taken up for the SEZ madness.

Another is the quiet but revolutionary work on alternatives: the spread of organic farming networks such as in Maharashtra, decentralised water harvesting providing succour in drought-prone areas such as Alwar in Rajasthan, self-initiated forest and wildlife conservation by thousands of villages in Orissa, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra, Nagaland, and other States. Even some corporate bodies are considering different ways of conducting business, though the much-touted Corporate Social Responsibility remains mostly a sham. The rude shock that climate change is giving us is itself a sign of hope, especially if the Prime Minister really means it when he says public transport and energy saving need a big push, and if India's financial capital realises that it may soon be under water unless drastic action is taken on a global scale.

Despite our failures, India remains one of the countries from where the answers to our troubled planet will emerge. We still have many communities with age-old traditions of wisely living with the earth. We have some of the most innovative thinkers and doers of the modern era, creating truly revolutionary technologies and institutions. We have the ability to organise peaceful mass movements that can shake the strongest of oppressive forces. Our experiments with decentralised governance could still be made to work. In the next few decades taking us to the first centenary of our Independence, we will, hopefully, have the foresight to combine all these into an ecological and social revolution that will restore our harmony with nature.

there was an editorial on rainforests importance in the hindu. of all the national newspapers, i would say only the hindu has good coverage on the vital issue of development as it pertains to farming, environment, etc.

as athirapally hydel project is being pushed in a sleazy way by project proponents, i wish the hindu could run a campaign against the destructive project, apart from writing crucial editorials.

because when policy makers, politicians and a big section of media are doing war cry on a daily basis on fake development, it is upto the saner people to do co-ordinated campaigns illustrating the fallacy of destruction to the majority in name of development to the minority.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

one thing we can trust america, perhaps the greatest country in the world (probably the greatest inspite of the massive iraqi fiasco), is that inspite of all the 'green talk', it loves to live big.

and unfortunately that living big of america, is seen in countries like india as a great example putting the natural resources of a much smaller country like india under direct line of fire.

almost everything in america is big. big suv, big mac-d's, huge homes, massive freeways, etc - the words like big, huge, massive, gargantuan, etc has to be replaced with a single word. a single word called america.

among all the excessive consumption in america, is the use of water bottle. water bottle is a commodity that comes after huge environmental cost. in terms of manufacturing, fuelling, trucking, filling, thrashing, global warming. etc america seldom realises the huge enviornmental impact of water bottles.

sunita narain correctly points it out in her editorial. what is galling is that san franscisco bay area people (like other americans) rely on water bottles inspite of the fact that lot of their water comes directly from a national forest park (from the hetch hetchy reservoir). on top of this, it is filtered, cleaned and delivered directly to households who in turn use home filters to purify it further. well, even after this purification, bay area americans are not satisifed and gulp massive amounts of water from water bottle.

if only america can really show how to live green and in environmental friendly way, how glad will the marginalised people of india be.

well, if wishes were horses....
(the stunning hetch hetchy reservoir of yosemite national park, california. even piping water from the purest of places, is not enough to keep off americans from water bottles. john muir stunningly said "Dam Hetch Hetchy! As well dam for water-tanks the people's cathedrals and churches, for no holier temple has ever been consecrated by the heart of man." if john muir's statement cannot save hetch hetchy what are the chances it can keep the water bottle away?)

what would 90,000 trees in a hilly area like uttranchal mean to 'development' of india.

well, if each tree costs around 30,000 rupees, then it is 270 crores to the 'development' of india. development of timber mafia, local officials who turn a blind eye, politicians who might be involved and finally to the rich and the elite of india who use wood products made out of these timber.

but for environmentalist, mr. jai prakash dabral, this fake development meant nothing. using his activism he was able to reduce the number of trees that was about to be felled from 90,000 to 10,000.

in the process he has saved the hills of uttranchal where these mindless sense of tree hacking was about to be committed. and mr.dabral who was a corporate executive has shown another angle wherein if you allow your own senses to triumph against greed, then even corporate india can do genuine development and not the polluted, SEZ-eased, land grabbing, massive dam mania based fake development.

Monday, August 13, 2007

after 'development' of india's rivers, forests and pristine areas, the central govt and various state government's have turned their attention towards 'development' of our coastal areas.

the upcoming coastal zone management (czm) notification is an example of this. not to be left alone, various state governments, including the progressive state of kerala, has been coming up with their own idea of 'developing' their coastal areas.

the andhra state govt too has one such idea wherein they want to mine the vizag beach sand probably in many hundred acres and setup mining and processing units.

i think the andhra govt, caught in its own controversies, has forgotten that tens of thousands of people depend on these coastal areas for livelihood and they have further forgotten the fact that they have not done anything tangible and in coherent manner to improve the livelihood, safety and security of the fishermen but are plugging ahead in 'developing' the very resources that these fishermen are dependent upon.

'development' is indeed 'mine' as the above instance shows. all for the development of the rich self and destruction for other sections and natural resources.

a year back, hindu businessline put a riveting picture (also copied below) of a farmer (bheemrao manigempure) transforming himself onto a bullock and ploughing his fields.

as a followup they ran a story again on the present status. the story although small, lists the sorry state of the system. the system which increasingly is skewed towards urban elite and increasingly slams the rural farmers with adhoc schemes, zero followup/error corrections, high interest rate regimes for farmers, etc.

one more thing the story illustrates is that the fact that india's agriculture still is rainfed. if a rain falls in a season it will be a disaster for the farmers. this rainfed agriculture virtually exsists with no state support in terms of rain water harvseting, local water source maintenance, modern drip techniques, cropping inputs, etc.

as this blog has been pointing, it is easy to get a mercedes car with a 4% loan but it is not easy to get a loan for farming and the interest rates for farming will be in double digits.

and more farmers like bheemrao are not doing bullock carting, but they are either committing suicide or quitting farming altogether.

'development' surely is not for poor farmers of india.
(farmer as a bullock cart. one year back hindu ran this story. although there is no new picture, the situation on ground remains the same.)

Friday, August 10, 2007

***Please circulate widely amongst your office colleagues, friends and relatives***

ACTION ALERT
Call Chief Secretary to Sikkim CM and Principal Secretary in Sikkim CM office urge them to act ASAP by taking positive steps on demands of the fasting protesters and Affected Citizens of Teesta (ACT)

Friends, it's past 50 days and as you wind down for the weekend, please spare a few minutes to directly reach the CM office of Sikkim and express, to the highest officers, your concern on the fasting protesters and urge them to speak to the protesters and ACT. Day by day as the Government dilly dallies on the genuine demands of the protesters in face of unprecedented dam mania, it can have detrimental effect on the fasting protesters.

If you have not done so already, please take up your mobile and call Sikkim CM office and ask for below officers.

1. Mr.N.D.Chingapa, Chief Secretary to the Sikkim CM @ 91-3592-202315/204323(Office); 91-3592-202554
2. Mr.R.S.Basnet, Principal Secretary to CM office at 91-(0)9434022582(Mobile)

I did the same thing and it took me only couple of minutes to express concern and ask the Govt to work in a more responsible manner. More calls are needed to make the Govt of Sikkim act. Please scroll down and you can find the talking points. For your reference they are also below. Also you can refer to Affected Citizens Of Teesta website.

1. Ask the the Sikkim Govt to act ASAP and talk directly to the protesters. This has to be done ASAP consider the situation of the fasting protesters Dawa and Tenzing who are going through fasting that is unprecedented in entire India.
2. Constitute the high level review committee (consisting of experts, tribals and local people) that the protesters are demanding in order to go through the length and breadth of the unprecedented dam mania that is being proposed in Sikkim and rest of North east.
3. The Govt should stop construction, planning, road laying on all the dams that is being planned in Sikkim and do a comprehensive carrying capacity apart from open, honest and participatory environmental impact assessment (EIA).

Remember, each and every call counts. If you have not called, please call asap. Each and every call is super important and will let know the officials that they should be 100% more responsible than what they are right now.

sainath, the latest magsaysay winner from india, writes correctly on 'development', when he summarises the sorry state in his first para.
Rural India is a funny place. In 60 years we haven’t managed — except in three States — to push through any serious land reforms or tenancy reforms. But we can clear a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in six months. In the sixth decade of our independence, structural and other inequalities deepen, and rural India is in big trouble.

not only india's policy makers and elite wants SEZ to come all over the place, throwing all caution, working mechanisms, previous examples, etc apart from displacement and brutalities for the rural people, they want the coastal areas also to be playgrounds for the businessmen and their industries and for the rich and their fancies. coastal zone management with zero participation from coastal communities will strive to achieve perfectly that.

protests are brewing across coastal communities with cuddalore and mangalore being latest examples. i have never seen of a good scheme that can nurture and preserve our coastal areas for our fisheries and fishermen, but i have seen a lot of schemes that can benefit rich so that they can setup aqua farms, coastal resorts, seaport done on top of fake eia reports, etc.

indeed destructive is development, the fake development that is happening in india to our coastal regions and to those marginalised sections who depend on the coastal wealth.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

***Please circulate widely amongst your office colleagues, friends and relatives***

ACTION ALERT
Call Sikkim CM and Prime Minister Office on the precarious situation of the fasting protesters in Sikkim and urge them to act ASAP

Folks, it's now 50 days of fasting for Dawa and Tenzing. Needless to say their health is going down and any more delay will prove dangerous for their well being. To fast for a unprecedented strech like this putting life and internal organs of the body at grave stake takes lots of commitment and Dawa and Tenzing needs all the support you can give.

If you have not done so already, please take up your mobile and call Sikkim CM office (and PMO ) directly and express your grave concern at the callous attitude of the government in face of the highest human sacrifice. Govt of Sikkim needs to act fast and each one of your call can act as a small pressure point to goad the govt into action.

I did the same thing and it took me only couple of minutes to put the points across. More calls are needed to make the Govt of Sikkim act. Please scroll down and you can find the talking points. For your reference they are also below. Also you can refer to Affected Citizens Of Teesta website.

1. Ask the the Sikkim Govt to act ASAP and talk directly to the protesters. This has to be done ASAP consider the precarious situation of the fasting protesters Dawa and Tenzing.
2. Constitute the high level review committee (consisting of experts, tribals and local people) that the protesters are demanding in order to go through the length and breadth of the unprecedented dam mania that is being proposed in Sikkim and rest of North east.
3. The Govt should stop construction, planning, road laying on all the dams that is being planned in Sikkim and do a comprehensive carrying capacity apart from open, honest and participatory environmental impact assessment (EIA).

PMO number: +91-11-23012312 / 23018939
Sikkim CM Office: Phone: 91-3592-202536, 202304, 221122(Residence) / 91-3592-202575(office)

Remember, each and every call counts. If you have not called, please call asap. Each and every call is super important and will let know the officials that you are concerned and aghast at how the Sikkim Govt is behaving in the face of unprecedented human sacrifice.

-b

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

some quotable quotes

  • The purpose of development should not be to develop things, but to develop Man.

    — from the Cocoyoc Declaration, adopted at the UNEP/UNCTAD symposium on “Patterns of Resource Use, Environment and Development Strategies”; Cocoyoc, Mexico, October 1974.

***Please circulate widely amongst your office colleagues, friends and relatives***

ACTION ALERT
Call Prime Minister Office and President's office on the precarious situation of the fasting protesters in Sikkim and urge them to act ASAP

Friends, for past 48 days, the 2 protesters Dawa and Tenzing are on fast. Already the health situation is going down and any more delay will prove dangerous for their well being. Even Mahatma Gandhi had never fasted more than 21 days. This is the longest fast in entire Sikkim's history for a just cause that is of huge concern to each and every person in Sikkim and in India.

Please take up your mobile and call PM office and President's office politely telling that you are calling regarding the Sikkim protesters who are protesting against indiscriminate dam building in Sikkim.

Sikkim Govt is bulldozing ahead with Teesta V dam and other dam projects, all of which can ruin Kanchanjungha national park, Teesta river, Teesta river basin and the tribals and people who depend on the river and its ecosystem,. Worst of all there are huge issues with the projects itself from environmental, people sustainability angles, all of which has been brushed under the carpet in the name of 'development'.

Urge the PMO and President's office on the following things:
1. Ask the PMO to intervene and make sure the Sikkim Govt talks directly to the protesters. This has to be done ASAP consider the precarious situation of the fasting protesters Dawa and Tenzing.
2. Constitute the high level review committee (consisting of experts, tribals and local people) that the protesters are demanding in order to go through the length and breadth of the unprecedented dam mania that is being proposed in Sikkim and rest of North east.
3. The Govt should stop construction, planning, road laying on all the dams that is being planned in Sikkim and do a comprehensive carrying capacity apart from open, honest and participatory environmental impact assessment (EIA).

Numbers to call are below:
PMO number: +91-11-23012312 / 23018939
President's office number: +91-11-23013172 / 23015321

Friends, it will take only a couple of minutes to make the call. Each and every call counts. Just like only drops of water can make a big ocean, your call drops will create a big concerned voice. Please do spare a few minutes of your time.

cnn-ibn's bahar dutt's blogs are different kind of blogs. apart from the usual stuff, it also brings in reports that the rest of india is not aware or probably does not care to be aware.

her short story on proposed meghalaya uranium mining is touching to the core. her last 2 para's is worth repeating and postering all over india just like cinema posters are being done. what talk is development, when all it does is to trample upon our environment and people who depend on the environment.

in a few lines she brings out the fact how local villagers have been given wrong impression that mining of uranium wont do anything bad. jadugoda's experience shows how mining for uranium will screw up the entire place.

if you ask mainstream media or elite urban people who gorge on electricity that nuclear plants are a MUST. for seldom do they realise the brutal impact the entire nuclear chain can create just like it is happening in jadugoda and koodankulam.

I am left wondering - if as a mediaperson I am feeling intimidated then how must an ordinary person feel? Is democracy functioning at its best in Meghalaya? Or is there a reign of terror?

As I board my flight back to Delhi I have more questions in my head than answers. People of Meghalaya who are excited about uranium mining are expecting development and jobs and money. The question is: why should it take uranium mining for the government to invest in roads, hospitals and jobs in backward areas? Should development of infrastructure happen only when a company is setting up a multi-crore project. Or do all citizens across India deserve access to primary health care , roads and schools irrespective of how many corporates are setting up factories in their district. And national interest is valid- but how many people in Delhi would like to have their children growing up in a backyard that has radioactive waste?

there was a very interesting release by greenpeace india on how electricity savings (by switching to CFL) will be useful in improving the energy situation of india.

they took a case study of the famous mysore palace and if the legendary palace switches to cfl, it will save a whopping 41 lakhs per annum in electricity costs apart from reducing their electricity consumption to just 1/3rd.

i think the mysore palace case study by greenpeace brings into light the stark reality that our buildings (most modern buildings and other older monuments which is lavishly lighted up) need to go green for the sake of preventing building of dirty coal plants in our pristine coastal areas, unsustainable dams across our lifeline rivers and also to curb the increasing threat of global warming.

this is a wonderful chance for mysore palace and karnataka government to put in place a CFL based system in mysore palace apart from also declaring non-light days in which tourists can just enjoy the palace with moon light or even dim lights.

development means that we work with nature and not against it. development means we live with nature and not against it. mysore palace case is a wonderful opportunity for that. will we?
(the legendary mysore palace being washed with lights. are we inviting global warming, dirty coal plants and unsustainable dams by adopting un-natural lavishness and un-natural building/lifestyles just for the heck of it?)

Monday, August 06, 2007


ACTION
ALERT
Send Email to Sikkim CM and Sikkim Governor

Urging them to stop the ongoing Teesta V dam and to conduct a full, open and honest carrying capacity and EIA as it pertains to Sikkim and also ask the Govt to talk directly with fasting protestors in Sikkim ASAP.

Sikkim Govt is bulldozing ahead with Teesta V dam and other dam projects, all of which can ruin Kanchanjungha national park, Teesta river, Teesta river basin and the tribals and people who depend on the river. Worst of all there are huge issues with the projects itself from environmental, people sustainability angles, all of which has been brushed under the carpet in the name of 'development'.
Email to be sent (Please add/modify content to project your views)
************************************************************
Email Subject:
Please stop the ongoing Teesta V dam and talk to fasting protestors ASAP.
Email Body:
Dear Hon'ble CM of Sikkim Mr.Pawan Chamling, Hon'ble Governor of Sikkim Mr. V. Rama Rao,

My name is <> and I am based in <>.

I am writing to you with great concern with respect to the ongoing construction of Teesta V dam and other numerous projects that is planned in unscientific, ill planned manner in Sikkim. These projects will ruin the Teesta river, its river basin apart from tearing apart many tribal communities that depend on the river for their survival and livelihood.

I demand/urge/request you to do the following ASAP without dilly dallying.
1. The Government should stop the ongoing construction activities of the projects
2. Constitute a high powered review committee to look in to the concerns voiced by the protesters and the people of Sikkim on the issue of mega hydel projects in Sikkim.
3. It is very important for your government to talk directly with the fasting protesters and listen to their demands ASAP. The fast by protesters Dawa and Tenzing is inching to the 50 day mark and their health is rapidly deteriorating.

I request your immediate intervention to resolve this impasse while respecting the concerns voiced by the protesters and the people of Sikkim and the democratic manner in which these peace loving people have responded to the utter disregard shown by the State Government of Sikkim.

All talk of 'development' is bogus and useless if the local people/tribals/environment are put in jeopardy by unsustainable projects that is being rammed through based on fake environmental impact assessment reports, unscientific analysis and local tribals/people exclusive way just like it is happening in the state of Sikkim. As elected representative of people of Sikkim, I humbly urge you and strongly request you to act immediately without any further delay consider the precarious situation on the ground.
Thanks and Regards,
<>
***********************************************************

***Please circulate widely amongst your collegues, friends and relatives***
ACTION ALERT
Call Sikkim CM Pawan Chamling office and Sikkim Governor Rama Rao's office urging them to stop ASAP, the ongoing Teesta V hydel dam work and initiate direct talks with fasting protesters in sikkim

what this email for:
1. this email is to request you to spare a few minutes of your time and call the Chief Minister's office of Sikkim and the Governor's office of Sikkim and to register your protest against the callous and brutal way in which the government of sikkim is conducting itself with respect to building of hydel electric dam in teesta river in sikkim.
2. urge the CM office and Governors office to take immediate steps for direct talks with the fasting Dawa, the 33rd year old filmmaker and Tenzing Lepcha a 20 year old student who are on indefinite fast for past 45 days.

why dam should not be built. what are its negative consequences:
downtoearth article and its "no safe play" subsection gives you a good picture of the situation. like numerous proposed dams in india that tout 'development', this dam is also being bulldozed across the throats of the local people who live there apart from the flawed environment impact assessment(eia). as sandrp puts it, "There's fear of the entire river disappearing underground for large stretches affecting life and livelihood. This is because such projects require diverting the river through 6-12 km long tunnels dug through the mountainside and dropping it from a height to turn turbines. And the locations of some of these projects are barely a few kilometres apart"

only in india, can we kill a river and the people who depend on the river so blatantly, with the river and the local people licking the deadly wounds and the resulting 'development' being enjoyed by the elite who live in cities, hundreds or perhaps even thousands of kilometers away.

who should i call:
Governer's office of Sikkim.
Shri. N.D. Bhutia
Dy. Secretary (Household)
Raj Bhavan , Gangtok, Sikkim
Mobile: 91-9434011174
Phone: 91-3592-227156 (Residence) / 91-3592-202756(Office)

CM office of Sikkim
Mr. Pawan Chamling,
CM Sikkim,
Chief Minister's Secretariat,
Gangtok, Sikkim, India
Phone: 91-3592-202536, 202304, 221122(Residence) / 91-3592-202575(office) .

some talking points during your call:
some talking points to explain politely are below.
1. the government should initiate direct talks with the fasting protesters, Dawa and Tenzing and listening to their demands
2. the sikkim government should stop immediately the construction of the teesta V dam and the other numerous dams that is being planned on the crucial ecosystem of the teesta river basin.
3. the government should do a honest, open and fully participatory environmental impact assessment (eia) involving the local people, tribals and experts.
4. the sikkim government should stop destruction of sikkim rivers, forests and culture in name of fake and unsustainable development right away without any dilly dallying or evasive answering.

what links can i read to come to speed on this issue:
http://weepingsikkim.blogspot.com/ (continous update on the fast happening in sikkim)
http://www.downtoearth.org.in/full6.asp?foldername=20070731&filename=news&sid=4&page=1&sec_id=50#
http://www.ibnlive.com/news/teesta-river-project-heading-for-disaster/44319-3.html
http://www.hindu.com/2007/07/25/stories/2007072551211600.htm (hindu report)
http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=us&q=sikkim+teesta&ie=UTF-8&scoring=n (google news)
http://www.kalpavriksh.org/f1/f1.3/edteesta3/view?searchterm=teesta

as a finish line, we should remember the legendary John Muir's anguish while damming hetch hetchy in yosemite national park, california. he said and i quote "Dam Hetch Hetchy! As well dam for water-tanks the people's cathedrals and churches, for no holier temple has ever been consecrated by the heart of man".

thanks for your time and let John Muir's memorable words act as a motivation for your call.