Maharashtra | Centre for Science and Environment

Maharashtra


Six sins that make drought invincible

It’s drought time again. Nothing new in this announcement. Each year, first we have crippling droughts between December and June, and then devastating floods in the next few months. It’s a cycle of despair, which is more or less predictable. But this is not an inevitable cycle of nature we must live with. These droughts and floods are man-made, caused by deliberate neglect and designed failure of the way we manage water and land. What we must note with concern is that these “natural” disasters are growing in intensity and ferocity.

A week after the ban

Its been a week since the Supreme Court issued the order for the interim ban on endosulfan. There is no official confirmation on the joint committee yet, when they have to present the interim report within 8 weeks, from May 13, to the Supreme Court. It is after the interim report is submitted will the apex court take a final call on whether the pesticide should be allowed or banned.

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Let there be CFL

When the kerosene supply went down sharply in Nagpur four years ago, Bharat Parihar's business of renting out Petromax lamps to vegetable vendors began to look fragile.

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How government is subverting forest right act

By: Richard Mahapatra, Kumar Sambhav Shrivastava, Sumana Narayanan, Aparna Pallavi

Two tribal villages in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra—Mendha Lekha and Marda— savoured victory when they won community rights over their forest resources in August last year. The rights conferred under the Forest Rights Act of 2006 include the right to collect and sell minor forest produce (MFP). These include tendu leaves used in beedis, and bamboo that have high commercial value and were under the forest department’s control. Winning the right to manage these resources meant economic liberation to the two villages.

Is bamboo a tree or a grass?

The definition is contested as the answer has immense economic implications. If bamboo is a tree or timber, it belongs to the forest department and can be auctioned to the paper and pulp industry, often at throwaway rates. If it is a grass, then it would be classified as a minor forest produce and people would have the right to cut bamboo for sale or for value addition by making furniture or baskets.

24X7 water in the 1700's

People living in and around Aurangabad were getting round the clock water supply through underground pipelines at a time when most cities in medieval India relied directly on wells, ponds and rivers. These conduits dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries transported water over long distances through gravitational pull much like the aqueducts of ancient Rome that supplied water to cities, their public baths and fountains.

Foodwise

Dark brown seeds pointed at both ends resemble the kind of wild seeds growing just anywhere that children would collect to play with. Only, this seed is one of the rare and nutritious foods losing out to the rush for market food. To the Mahadeo Koli and Thakar tribals in the rain-shadow areas of Sahyadri hills, this millet is known as batu . The agriculture department of Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra has no records of this crop, and the local agriculture universities have not been able to put a scientific name to it.

Stars don’t foretell any more

Sahyadris have been documenting the changing climate for 40 years

by Aparna Pallavi

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