Category Archives: ARTICLES
Large-scale violation of environment and forest laws have taken place in Odisha since 1994-95
Press Trust of India
Top firms such as SAIL, Tata Steel, Aditya Birla group’s Essel Mining and Odisha Mining Corp are among 70 firms that have violated environment and forest laws, the Justice M B Shah Commission on illegal mining in Odisha has held.
Large scale violation of environment and forest laws have taken place in Odisha since 1994-95 and most of the mining lease holders violated them in some form or other, it said.
The Commission has estimated that iron ore worth over Rs 45,453 crore and manganese worth over Rs 3,089 crore have been extracted by miners “illegally and without lawful authority” by violating conditions of Environment Clearance (EC) alone.
It further said that the value of illegal production will increase considerably if other factors including consent to operate, production without mining plan/scheme are considered.
Out of the 192 mining leases of iron and manganese ores in the state, 94 do not have EC. Of the 94 mines, which do not have EC, 78 extracted iron and manganese ores between 1994-95 and 2011-12, worth several thousand crores.
Moreover, 96 leases obtained delayed EC approval and carried out mining during the period.
“Totally 130 lessees are/were noted of doing production without lawful authority of iron and manganese ores (which includes 109 leases running under deemed extension also) in violation of EIA notification, 1994 and 2006,” it said.
The Commission added: “All such production is to be considered as illegal and without lawful authority. The market value for iron and manganese ores is required to be recovered under the provisions of Section 21(5) of the MM(DR) Act, 1957.”
SAIL’s Bolani and Barsua iron ore mines; Tata Steel’s 7 mines – Joda East, Joda West, Manmora, Guruda-Tiring Pahar, Malda, Khandbandh and Bamebari; Jindal Steel and Power’s TRB mines and Adhunik Metaliks’ Kulum mine are among the list of 96 firms that obtained delayed EC while carried out production.
Essel Mining and Industries’ Unchabali mine is among the list of 94 mines which did not have EC but carried out iron ore extraction. Its 3 other mines – Kasia, Jilling-Longalota and Koira are in the list of obtaining delayed EC approval.
The Odisha government-owned Odisha Mining Corporation’s (OMC) 8 mines are also in the list of 94 mines, which did not have EC approval. Of this, 2 mines – Sakradihi and Balda- Palsa-Jajang carried out extraction without EC.
Moreover, OMC obtained delayed EC approval for 14 of its mines and most of them carried out mining during the period.
Orissa Mineral Development Corporation (now part of Rashtriya Ispat Nigam), Rungta Mines Group, BPMEL, Kalinga Mining Corporation, Sarda Mines, Tarini Minerals, B D Patnaik, Aryan Mining and Trading Corporation Pvt Ltd are also on the list of violating or not taking approvals.
Protein powders are highly processed and are often heated to the point that the protein is denatured, which makes it nearly impossible for the body to recognize and use. The result is higher levels of acidity and toxicity in the body, which can lead to plenty of unwanted illnesses and diseases.
So here we are again, consuming something we think is supposed to be healthy for us and make us look and feel our best, and yet, it could be making us sick. Ugh. Protein powders are often filled with preservatives, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), allergens like dairy (whey protein isolate) and soy, and other synthetic toxins like aspartame, saccharin, and artificial flavors.
Consumer Reports conducted an eye-opening study a few years ago, showing that several protein powders on the market contain dangerous levels of toxic heavy metals — specifically arsenic, cadmium and lead. Not good.
The long of the short here is that there are way too many scary risks, which far supersede the promised health claims of protein powders. The good news is you don’t have to rely on these supplements, because you can get all the protein you need from eating real whole foods!
Coal contributes 60 percent to India’s power mix today; solar is less than 1 percent. But what was a factor-of-seven difference between the cost of coal and solar two years ago shrank this summer to just a 1.8 x gap. Can solar catch up within the next ten years?
The answer to this lies in domestic solar power, both centralized and distributed, built relatively fast at any size and requiring less than 1 percent of the nation’s land. Four factors have to come into play, though, for solar to truly supplant coal in India in the next decade.
– Looking at longer-term costs: Getting solar costs down to INR 5/kWh in the next couple of years, and lower beyond that, will require improved materials, production, and efficiencies, but long-term solar costs are heading downward. Costs of non-replenishing fossil fuels including coal, meanwhile, will increasingly depend on foreign supply and demand markets.
– Costs of infrastructure and grid management: As an infirm power source, solar’s higher incorporation will require extra investments in a number of areas from storage to demand response. On the other hand, adding more coal plants and imports will mean more infrastructures in mining and a supply chain for imports. It’s still unclear how those all will compare.
– Measuring externalities: Beyond simple end market pricing, coal has several arguable cost-adders that should be factored in, most notably pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, water usage, soil degradation, etc. Factoring in all costs will increasingly be important.
India’s government has unveiled plans to build an “ultra mega” 4 GW solar power plant in the northwestern state of Rajasthan.
According to the government, the plant will be built on a 23,000-acre (9308 ha) site close to Sambhar Lake, about 75 km from Jaipur, the state capitol.
“Being the first project of this scale anywhere in the world this project is expected to set a trend for large scale solar power development in the world,” the government said in a statement. The plant’s proposed capacity is around three times India’s current total solar power production.
The project, called the Sambhar Ultra Mega Green Solar Power Project, is the brainchild of the Ministry of Heavy Industry, which said it expects to complete the 1-GW first phase – 10 times larger than the largest operational Indian solar power plant – by the end of 2016.
“The first phase of the project is expected to be implemented through a joint venture company to be formed with equity from BHEL, Solar Energy Corporation of India, Power Grid Corporation, Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam and Rajasthan Electronics and Instruments Ltd,” the ministry said. The five companies are state-owned.
“Based on the experience gained during implementation of the first phase of project, the remaining capacity would be implemented through a variety of models,” the ministry continued.
The majority of solar projects in India, developed under the auspices of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, are located in Rajasthan. The state is India’s largest, with high insolation, a strong grid and state-owned land banks for grid-connected solar projects.
India aims to install around 20 GW of grid-connected solar power by 2022. According to reports, theMinistry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has outlined a plan to produce large amounts of solar power in the desert regions of Rajasthan and Gujarat in the next 10 years.
The Prime Minister’s office has reportedly authorised an investigation into areas of desert “wasteland” suitable for building 1-GW solar projects. According to MNRE, India’s entire electricity demand for 2012 could be met if “mega” solar projects were built on just 5 percent of the nation’s unused desert land.
India is expected to add 2.8 GW of solar capacity in 2014, the result of solar power auctions in 2012 and early 2013. Rajasthan has auctioned 75 MW of PV capacity this year, with projects to be commissioned by 2015.
The nation currently has a total of 1761 MW of grid-connected solar capacity.
Feel Proud to be an INDIAN..!!
1. Your health gets better.
Becoming a non-drinker reduces your chances of developing a plethora of alcohol-related illnesses, from various cancers to liver and heart disease.
2. Your looks improve.
Alcohol is responsible for puffiness in the face, sunken eyes, premature aging of the skin, and a dull complexion. Becoming a non-drinker will result in healthier looking skin and brighter eyes.
3. It’s easier to maintain the weight you want.
One bottle of wine has as many as 700 calories, more than a Big Mac! Plus, when you give up wine, you’re more likely to exercise if your weekends aren’t taken over by hangovers.
4. You have more time to get stuff done.
If you regularly crack open a bottle of wine after dinner and have a few glasses during the course of the evening, you’ll be down approximately 30 hours every week on time to GET STUFF DONE! That’s time to blast the housework, or time to read, study or develop a hobby or skill. A boozy lifestyle equals non-productive evenings.
5. You have more patience.
You be more patient and calm while decision taking or making.
6. You find out who you really are.
Alcohol has such a powerful effect on the body and mind that it’s impossible to find out who you are when you’re regularly getting sloshed. It’s only with living alcohol-free that true self-discovery becomes a possibility. By learning to know yourself better, you have a fighting chance of finding out what you want from life, as well as all that you’re capable of achieving.
7. You feel good about your life.
When you’re permanently sober, your choices are always your own; alcohol-free living means never waking up again crippled with regret and shame. And that is priceless.
Up until recently, the village of Ramdegi was a bustling farming community in central India’s Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve. Today, the village’s human population stands at exactly zero, though its streets and fields are now teeming with a different kind of life.
As part of an ongoing effort to reduce human conflict with wildlife, the Indian government has been encouraging communities living in and around nature reserves to relocate for the sake of peaceful coexistence — and last month, everyone in Ramdegi did just that. Around 200 families agreed to accept incentive packages to move beyond the reserve’s borders, freeing the land to be reclaimed by the surrounding biodiversity.
It didn’t take long before the village, now completely void of people, to be filled anew. A little over four weeks after the last human departed, Ramdegi is now home to herds of bisons, deer, antelope, and boars — grazing on the budding meadows that were once cropland and cattle farms.
Predators too, once reviled by villagers for killing their livestock, are returning to Ramdegi. According to the Times of India, even a tiger has been spotted prowling the grounds of the empty village, free from dangerous and often deadly conflicts with humans that have driven the species to ‘endangered’ status.
This is not the first time an entire village has moved out so nature could move in. Across India, nearly a hundred communities have already voluntarily relocated to widen tiger reserves, and dozens more are expected to follow suit in the years to come.
Human ingenuity may be unmatched in its ability to tame wild landscapes for our own ends — but as Earth’s other inhabitants struggle in the resulting wake, human capacity for compassion in making room for nature just might prove to be the greatest quality of all. Source: Treehugger
Let this wastewater treatment plant show you how to live.
This may sound crazy, but it is exactly why the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies in Rhinebeck, New York constructed their Omega Center for Sustainable Living(OCSL), also known as the Eco Machine. We can learn some valuable lessons from this building.
The Omega Center for Sustainable Living may be the most beautiful wastewater treatment plant in the world. It is powered by solar and geothermal power, so it requires no additional power to operate. Unlike other wastewater treatment plants, the OCSL does not use chemicals to treat the water, but rather mimics the processes of the nature world, such as using a combination of microorganisms, algae, plants and gravel and sand filtration to clean sewage water and return clean drinkable water back to the aquifer.
In addition to doing all of this, the OCSL also functions as a classroom, to help educate and inspire people about the power of nature to provide solutions.
As the CEO of the Omega Institute, Skip Backus says, the OCSL purifies, beautifies and educates, all at the same time.
Currently, there are only four Living Building Challenge Certified buildings in the world and the OCSL is the first building in the United States to gain both LEED Platinum and Living Building Challenge certification.
How does it Work ?
To start, all of the water from toilets, sinks and showers on the Omega campus feeds into storage tanks that collect the human waste and the “gray water” from showering or sinks. Then this water is sent to the Eco Machine building, where it is fed to “microscopic algae, fungi, bacteria, plants, and snails.”
First Stage: Is two 5,000 gallon Anoxic tanks located underground, where inside naturally occurring microbial organisms use the wastewater as food. They digest “ammonia, phosphorus, nitrogen, potassium, and many other substances in the water.”
Second Stage: The water flows to the four man-made wetlands behind the OCSL building.
Third Stage: After the water had flowed through the four wetlands, it is already remarkably clean. According to Omega, there is “a 75 percent increase in the water’s clarity and a 90 percent reduction in the water’s odor” just from having passed through the anoxic tanks and wetlands.
Fourth Stage: After the wetlands, the water is pumped inside to two aerated lagoons.
Fifth Stage: After the lagoons, the water moves back outdoors to a sand filter.
Final Stage: After the sand filtering, the water is returned to nature via two dispersal fields under Omega’s parking lot. In the dispersal fields, the reclaimed water is released back into the groundwater table, located below the surface. The reclaimed water is further purified by nature as it trickles down to the aquifer that sits 250-300 feet beneath campus.
With this final step in the Eco Machine process at the Omega Center for Sustainable Living, Omega completes a closed hydrological loop in our water use. We draw water from deep wells that tap the aquifer; use the water in sinks, toilets, and showers; naturally reclaim the used water with the Eco Machine at OCSL; and release the purified water back to the aquifer, where the process can begin again.
- Energy savings: shade trees planted on the east and west side of a typical home can reduce heating and cooling costs by 25%. Reduced energy use results in lower utility bills, less consumption of non-renewable resources, and fewer emissions released into the atmosphere. Shade trees can make buildings up to 20 degrees cooler in the summer.
- Air quality: trees absorb, filter, and remove air pollutants and sequester carbon dioxide while they grow. The amount of oxygen produced by an acre of trees per year equals the amount consumed by 18 people annually. One tree produces nearly 260 pounds of oxygen each year.
- Water quality: Trees absorb and filter rainwater reducing flooding and prevent pollutants from entering our water systems. 100 mature trees capture 241,000 gallons of rainwater per year reducing storm water runoff and treatment costs. Trees also reduce demand for outdoor watering by reducing evaporation and replacing thirsty turf areas.
- Property values: a mature landscape tree can add 10% or more to the value of a home. Neighborhoods with large trees are more stable, have reduced rates of domestic violence, and higher school test scores.
- Business success: in tree-lined shopping districts customers pay 12% more for goods and linger longer in stores. The pavement in shaded parking lots can last 50% longer than in unshaded areas.
- Educational success: trees and a green environment have been shown to improve self-esteem, self-discipline in girls, and reduce the affects of ADD in young children, all of which help kids succeed in school and grow up health.
- Crime reduction: urban areas with trees and a green growing environment have dramatically lower rates of crime including domestic violence. People come together under the shade of trees, which increases community connection and reduces opportunities for crime.