From ashes to abundance

01 Jun 2000 |
Ms Anuradha Vashisht
| The Indian Express

Fly Ash is an environmental hazard in Delhi which has somehow escaped the attention of the environmentalists. The media too has focused rather inadequately on it. Fly ash, which consists of silica, alumina and oxides of iron, calcium and magnesium, is the waste generated by thermal power plants. It is the most undesirable part of coal, which causes erosion, corrosion and creates environmental pollution.

The drought dilemma: planning for the rainless day

17 May 2000 |
Dr R K Pachauri
| The Times of India

The current drought in several parts of the country could affect over a 100 million people and their livelihood. The increasing water scarcity will drive perhaps over a million people away from their homes in search of areas where there is water and, therefore, the hope of life. This problem of environmental refugees is likely to become acute in the coming years, with increased population pressure and growing scarcity of water in several parts of the country.

Benefits of high oil prices

16 May 2000 |
Mr Ardhendu Sen
| The Economic Times

Do high oil prices benefit only oil producers? Or can we, if we look hard enough, find some benefits to consumers also? The year 2000 began well for the producers; the WTI (West Texas Intermediate), the US marker crude oil, crossed $30/barrel in February and Brent followed suit in April.

Global oil industry and the environment

16 May 2000 |
Dr R K Pachauri
| TERI Newswire VI(10)

Petronas of Malaysia was host to the Fifth Asian Oil and Gas Conference. This conference, which was opened by Malaysia's Prime Minister Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad, attracted a total of over 700 participants including the chairmen of Shell, UNOCAL, and several other companies. The global representation of organizations at this conference was a clear indicator of the interest in Asia and the hydrocarbon development taking place in the region.

Poor communities and the reforms process: partners not victims

02 May 2000 |
Dr R K Pachauri
| TERI Newswire VI(9)

Most multilateral and bilateral development organizations have recently shifted their focus to alleviation of poverty. Yet this remains an area in which several misconceptions persist. The removal of poverty is a complex challenge, which cannot be met only by directing large sums of money through government channels for standard poverty removal programmes. In its widest sense, the removal of poverty goes beyond meeting basic minimum needs to the provision of opportunities that every citizen in a society is enabled to pursue on par with those who are born to situations of privilege. Education, health care, sanitation, and provision of safe drinking water are clearly important inputs for creating a large span of opportunities such that the poor have an equal right to these similar to those in richer sections of society.

Quality improvement: a regulatory challenge?

29 Apr 2000 |
Mr S Sundar
| The Economic Times

Until recently, monopolistic provision of infrastructure services by public agencies and lack of their effective regulation invariably led, among other things, to lack of concern for quality of services. The relevant legislations did not cast any obligation on the service providers to ensure quality.

Eco-friendly growth

23 Apr 2000 |
| The Economic Times

Over 20 million Americans filled the streets and parks on 22 April 1970 celebrating the first Earth Day. This movement gained momentum and soon was instrumental in the passing of the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act by the US Congress. A study conducted by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that Americans gained $45 for every dollar spent in controlling air pollution.

Water resource management: new approach vital

17 Apr 2000 |
Dr R K Pachauri
| TERI Newswire VI(8)

Several parts of India are currently in the grip of a severe drought, with widespread misery for several millions of people in the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, and Orissa. The country has also been experiencing record temperatures, hardly ever experienced in the month of April. President Clinton during his visit to India made it a point to remind us that the six hottest years in recorded history throughout the world occurred during the 1990s.

Against the tide: do not foreclose big dam options

11 Apr 2000 |
Dr R K Pachauri
| The Times of India

The World Water Forum held in the Hague last month attracted participants from all over the world, including government officials, international bureaucrats, water resource specialists, NGOs and corporate executives. The Indian presence was very visible on the occasion - and noticeably vocal - with activists like Medha Patkar and her recently acquired compatriot, Arundhati Roy. It is reported that much heated debate took place between a minister from Gujarat on the one hand and Medha Patkar and Arundhati Roy on the other.

Why waste the wastes?

06 Apr 2000 |
Dr R K Pachauri
| The Indian Express

With every nook and corner of the city laced, with garbage, muck and waste, there's no denying the fact that Delhi has failed miserably in managing waste disposal in an economically-viable way. Little wonder then that 8,000 metric tonnes of solid wastes, contributed by the callousness of the citizens and the authorities alike, continue to lie untreated in the city. What really makes the situation worse is that concerned agencies, namely Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), have the capacity to treat only 5,000 metric tonnes of waste. This still leaves us grappling with a grim reality of 3,000 metric tonnes of untreated wastes per day.