Orissa | Centre for Science and Environment

Orissa


Green rupee in a mess

The rupee has crashed, growth is down and there is panic that the India story may be over or, at least, seriously dented. For most commentators, the underlying reason for the decline is green regulations. They think environmentalists are squarely to blame.

"FAO recognition of traditional farming should keep GM away"

The traditional agricultural system of Koraput (Odisha) has been recognized by the FAO as a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Site (GIAHS) at the recently concluded 99th Science Congress. This recognition is for outstanding contribution to promoting food security, biodiversity, indigenous knowledge and cultural diversity for sustainable and equitable development. Living Farms is a non profit working in the Koraput region of Odisha with the tribal communities practicing the traditional form of agriculture.

A monsoon warning

As I write this my city Delhi is drowning. It started raining early this morning and within a few hours the city has come to a standstill. The television is showing scenes of traffic snarled up for hours, roads waterlogged and people and vehicles sunk deep in water and muck. The meteorological department records that some 60 mm of rain has fallen in just about 6 hours; 90 mm in 24 hours; and with this the city has made up for its deficit of rainfall this season. In other words, in just about 24 hours Delhi and its surrounding areas got half as much rain as they would in the entire month of September. Delhi, like all growing cities of India, is mindless about drainage. Storm water drains are either clogged or do not exist. Our lakes and ponds have been eaten away by real estate. Land is what the city values, not water. So when it rains more than it should the city drowns.

Land is more than just that

My article last fortnight about people’s fight against POSCO has brought me interesting responses. They call for clarifications and further discussion. The question is about the value of current livelihoods of the people of coastal Odisha. Is earning from betel nut farming being exaggerated to reinforce the romantic and misinformed view that people are fighting projects because they are better off today? The equally valid question, then, is: why are the people so apparently poor if they are earning Rs 10-17 lakh per hectare (ha) each year as I had said?

CSE dialogue on sponge iron in Odisha

The dialogue on sponge iron industry organised in Rourkela, Odisha on Januray 22, 2011 by Centre for Science and Evnironment saw participation from affected people, NGOs, media, industry and the Odisha State Pollution Control Board.

Sponge iron’s dirty growth

In the years to come, India's expanding steel production will be largely driven by sponge iron. Sponge iron, also known as direct reduced iron(DRI), is produced from direct reduction of iron ore (in the form of lumps, pellets or fines) by a reducing gas produced from natural gas or coal. Sponge iron gives a cheaper way of producing steel which has a high demand in the market. 

Greenspeak

POSCO’s port halt

By: Sugandh Juneja

South Korean company’s steel plant and port may impact coast, says expert panel The POSCO steel plant and port planned in Odisha’s Jagatsinghpur district have run into fresh trouble. An expert appraisal committee (EAC) of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests deferred its decision on clearing the port project, saying the South Korean steel giant did not furnish sufficient details.

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.

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