• Don’t change the Karnataka Preservation of Trees Act
    Chopping down of trees to make way for development can have devastating environmental and ecological consequences. Bengaluru has already been reeling under increasing air pollution and any further loss of green cover is bound to drive up the sulphur dioxide and particulate matter levels. This can give rise to asthma and other serious respiratory illnesses. Some of the species in the new amendment to the KPTA include Gulmohar, Indian Coral, Dodda Bevu, Umbrella Tree and conifers like fir and pine. Among many of these are trees that line Karnataka’s beautiful roads. If this amendment goes through, it would give KJ George, Bangalore's Development Minister, the power to fell nearly 852 trees to build a steel flyover in the city. Jhatkaa.org members like you have been among the thousands of citizens who have come together in the past to protect our city’s trees from being axed for poorly planned infrastructure projects. This amendment, if approved, will leave very little room for us to rally for our trees, as the government will not be obliged to ask for public consultation before chopping these trees. We have only till February 28 to raise our voices and stop this very convenient change in the KPTA law. If enough of us stand with Karnataka’s trees, we can convince KJ George and CM Siddaramaiah to withdraw this dangerous amendment. We’ve done it before. We can do it again. Sources: http://bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com/bangalore/cover-story/chopping-these-beauties-set-to-become-very-easy/articleshow/62891163.cms http://bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com/bangalore/cover-story/choppers-stop-attempt-to-amend-karnataka-tree-preservation-act-has-bengaluru-seething/articleshow/62906346.cms http://bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com/bangalore/others/Scofflaw-BBMP-twisted-law-over-several-years-to-make-tree-cutting-spree-easy/articleshow/54633610.cms
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  • Make India a global leader in Electric Vehicles
    Minister for Road Transport Nitin Gadkari inaugurated electric vehicle charging stations in New Delhi a few days ago. Last month, he assured us that India’s new EV Policy was awaiting union cabinet approval. These promising steps towards sustainable energy use seem to have taken a u-turn with his surprising announcement that India does not need an EV-policy. Governments of Maharashtra and Karnataka are already in the process of approving and implementing EV policies in their respective states. The Ministry of Road Transport, together with NITI Aayog, must go one step further and introduce a nation-wide road map for boosting electric vehicles in India. If India is to achieve 100% electric vehicle mobility by 2030, then all efforts must be made to manufacture, promote and boost electric vehicles powered by renewable energy. The key is getting EV manufacturers to commit to renewable-energy powered vehicles -- whether they are buses, taxis, autos or other means of public transport. Minister Gadkari has a unique opportunity to make India a global leader in electric vehicles. If enough citizens sign this petition to let him know we want an EV-policy for India, we can convince him to get back on track towards rolling out an electric vehicle plan for our country. Sources: Govt drops the idea of an India EV policy: http://www.livemint.com/Industry/mmhL6JOC61yIfeiIQKlLZN/Govt-drops-the-idea-of-an-India-EV-policy.html All electric cars by 2030? Nitin Gadkari inaugurates EV charging points at Niti Aayog: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/all-electric-cars-by-2030-nitin-gadkari-inaugurates-ev-charging-points-at-niti-aayog-5065099/ Karnataka Cabinet clears Electric Vehicle & Energy Storage Policy: https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/national/karnataka-cabinet-clears-electric-vehicle-amp-energy-storage-policy/article9857949.ece Maharashtra Cabinet approves electric vehicle policy to manufacture 500,000 EVs: https://mercomindia.com/maharashtra-cabinet-electric-vehicle-policy-evs/
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  • How can one go ahead with Kolkata Police SD Save Life Half Marathon 2018 with so much pollution?
    The intake of air increases considerably when we exercise, because we take deeper and more frequent breaths. An athlete running at 70 percent of VO2 max (roughly equivalent to easy running pace) for about three hours inhales the same volume of air as a sedentary person would over the course of two days. Heavy metals and carcinogens, however, cannot be metabolized by the liver and do remain in the body. Athletes who train in cities accumulate higher levels of lead in their blood than those who train in rural areas. The respiratory effects of particulate matter—matter suspended in the atmosphere—can be chronic. Increased particulate concentration leads to more frequent severe respiratory symptoms for asthmatics and non asthmatics alike. “Individuals with pre-existing respiratory and/or cardiac disorders are at a risk of acute effects from exposure to particles. The effects can range from changes in lung function through increased symptoms and days of restricted activity to hospital admission and premature mortality.”
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  • Save Aarey Forest - Mumbai’s Green Lungs
    For the past three years, environmentalists from Vanshakti, along with a few activists and students, have been putting up a tough fight to protect Aarey forest and safeguard our future. However, now these green crusaders have been barred from entering the location where the work for the metro car shed has already begun. A recent air quality measurement by System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) found Mumbai’s Air Quality Index to be at 244 (‘poor’) -- higher even than Delhi which fell from 204 to 183 (‘moderate’). In fact, PM2.5 levels in Mumbai, recorded at 109, were almost twice the safe limit. It is a well known fact that green cover in cities can help tackle rising air pollution -- The Nature Conservancy’s study reports how urban trees can remove up to a quarter of PM pollution within a few meters, and can even function as a barrier for local residents, filtering bad air. When government officials and citizens all over the world are investing in tree plantation drives to tackle air pollution and climate change, the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) is determined to fell 3,500 for a metro car shed. The Aarey forest is a part of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, and supports an entire ecosystem of its own, with a rich biodiversity. An ecosystem like this takes hundreds of years to build up, and cannot be re-planted over night. We are not against the expansion of the metro in Mumbai, but an ecologically sensitive area like Aarey forest, which functions are the largest natural air purifier for the city, cannot be cleared for the metro car shed. There are plenty of non-residential, and industrial locations for the metro car shed to be constructed -- but, not at the cost of Mumbai’s lungs. The MMRC has gone ahead with the project without waiting for the National Green Tribunal to pass its verdict on declaring Aarey as a forest. We need your support to let CM Fadnavis know that breathing clean air is our right. If enough people lend their voice to our fight for clean air, we can put pressure on the CM to relocate the metro car shed. People power has worked before, and we know it will work again! Sources: India Times https://www.indiatimes.com/news/india/increasing-tree-cover-in-mega-indian-cities-can-help-reduce-particulate-matter-and-temperatures-264763.html Hindustan Times - http://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai-news/mumbai-s-air-quality-on-sunday-was-the-worst-for-this-winter/story-nL9Y67W9Bq1OBjTZlGDcZL.html The Hindu - http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/residents-move-hc-over-metro-shed-at-aarey/article19848519.ece
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  • End illegal garbage burning in my ward (Ward 78)
    We can no longer brag about the ‘natural air-conditioning’ in the city. The summers are getting hotter and garbage burning is adding to the heat. Open burning of garbage is a common practice around the city. It is so normal that most of us don’t even know that it is against the law. Particulate matter on our busy roads is 6 times the limit prescribed by the World Health Organisation. Garbage burning greatly contributes to the existing urban air pollution which is known to reduce the lives of Indians by over 3 years. The cocktail of toxins that are released while burning garbage is extremely harmful to humans, causing growth defects and cancer in children. Here is the problem: The burning of garbage represents a whole systems failure. It’s what happens when there’s overconsumption, littering, not enough waste segregation, too few sorting facilities, and not enough landfills. But the good news is that there is no shortage of solutions. If the BBMP makes this a priority, and invests/enforces accordingly, we can not only end garbage burning in our beautiful city, but it will also be major step forward in addressing the problem of waste management itself. We already have 4 Indian cities on the list of 10 most polluted cities in the world. Let’s not add Bengaluru to that list. Let’s help Bengaluru be recrowned as the ‘garden city’ of India. Join us in telling the BBMP that garbage burning is illegal and the ban on open garbage burning must be enforced immediately!
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  • Timer on, engines off -- at all signals
    People, including traffic police, inhale a lot more vehicular emissions while waiting at the signal. If they know how long they will be waiting for, they can take a decision to turn off their engines to make a difference to the quality of air they are breathing.
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  • Pune needs CNG buses: Reconsider your decision of buying 400 diesel buses
    Diesel buses are one of the major contributors of outdoor air pollution. Emissions due to such vehicles have major health impacts -- right from causing irritation in the eyes, noses and throat to causing lung cancer. Particulate matter emissions from diesel exhaust, which contain high levels of black carbon, have been found to be four to nine times more deadly than other types of particulate matter. Moreover, according to a recent report published by the CPCB, Pune has the highest levels of sulphur dioxide in the country. Punekars need better and sustainable alternatives like CNG, which has lower fuel consumption and lower emissions than diesel vehicles. Doing away with all diesel vehicles is one of the many ambitious plans by countries like France and Germany. India too is following suit, with its zealous plan of running only electric vehicles by 2030. So at a time when the entire country, as well as the world, is trying to aggressively move away from diesel- and petrol-run vehicles, Pune should also take strides in the same direction and not take the city into a decade-long battle with air pollution. We sincerely hope that you reconsider your decision and join us in this battle against air pollution. The decision you take now will have long-lasting effects on our children. We’ve been on this issue for months now. Our friends at Parisar have filed an RTI asking pointed questions to the transport department on how the committee reached this decision. While we wait for the RTI replies, Mr Mundhe needs to know how ordinary citizens like you and me are seriously affected by this deadly problem of air pollution. If we can somehow convince them to reconsider their decision, it will be a huge victory for Punekars -- we won’t be breathing deadly pollutants emitted by these new buses for the next decade! To make this happen, we need your help. If hundreds of us can fill up Mr Mundhe’s inbox, then he will be forced to answer us. We’ve already drafted the email and included all the points that are needed, but if you need to add more, maybe personal experiences, then please free to do so. If we don’t act now, our historic city of Pune might become the next Delhi. Let’s stop that from happening!
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  • Regulate PUC centres in my city: Renuka Kumar
    Picture this. You’re stuck at a signal in an autorickshaw with your daughter. An old, highly polluting car pulls over next to you. At that moment, you quickly cover your daughter’s nose. And under your breath, you curse the driver and wonder why the car is still running. And then you think out loud, “How did this car clear the pollution test?” Yes, let’s talk about a problem that we see quite often in our cities: shoddy pollution under check (PUC) centres. I’m sure most of you -- vehicle owners -- like me have visited such a centre at least once. Our vehicles have been certified to be non-polluting or minimal polluting without following a proper process. Sometimes turning a blind eye is easier. Yes, most of us are sometimes guilty for not speaking out. “Fake certificate? It’s fine. My vehicle isn’t polluting anyway!” But this is where the problem lies. We need to ensure that due process is followed, even if we are clean. And hence we now need to take responsibility. Whenever we come across a fraudulent PUC centre, ask them to follow due diligence. At the same time, let’s ask our state pollution control board to strictly regulate these centres. Our hope is to ensure that highly polluting vehicles do not run on our street and endanger our children’s lives. But this is possible only when you take that first step. http://indianexpress.com/article/india/epca-report-on-capitals-pucs-data-from-puc-system-is-virtually-unusable-4654668/ http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/hyderabad/2017/may/07/did-you-know-your-vehicles-puc-certificate-is-bogus-1602049.html https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/gurgaon/3-mobile-puc-centres-issue-fake-clearances/articleshow/57009955.cms http://www.hindustantimes.com/delhi-news/vehicular-pollution-check-continues-to-be-sham-even-as-delhi-chokes-on-foul-air/story-usQ505pNJsmo40cLYEFNLP.html https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chandigarh/ppcb-teams-find-100-vehicular-pollution-check-centres-violating-norms/articleshow/60008030.cms
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    Created by Samrah Hashmi
  • Regulate PUC centres in my city: Arvind Agarwal
    Picture this. You’re stuck at a signal in an autorickshaw with your daughter. An old, highly polluting car pulls over next to you. At that moment, you quickly cover your daughter’s nose. And under your breath, you curse the driver and wonder why the car is still running. And then you think out loud, “How did this car clear the pollution test?” Yes, let’s talk about a problem that we see quite often in our cities: shoddy pollution under check (PUC) centres. I’m sure most of you -- vehicle owners -- like me have visited such a centre at least once. Our vehicles have been certified to be non-polluting or minimal polluting without following a proper process. Sometimes turning a blind eye is easier. Yes, most of us are sometimes guilty for not speaking out. “Fake certificate? It’s fine. My vehicle isn’t polluting anyway!” But this is where the problem lies. We need to ensure that due process is followed, even if we are clean. And hence we now need to take responsibility. Whenever we come across a fraudulent PUC centre, ask them to follow due diligence. At the same time, let’s ask our state pollution control board to strictly regulate these centres. Our hope is to ensure that highly polluting vehicles do not run on our street and endanger our children’s lives. But this is possible only when you take that first step. http://indianexpress.com/article/india/epca-report-on-capitals-pucs-data-from-puc-system-is-virtually-unusable-4654668/ http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/hyderabad/2017/may/07/did-you-know-your-vehicles-puc-certificate-is-bogus-1602049.html https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/gurgaon/3-mobile-puc-centres-issue-fake-clearances/articleshow/57009955.cms http://www.hindustantimes.com/delhi-news/vehicular-pollution-check-continues-to-be-sham-even-as-delhi-chokes-on-foul-air/story-usQ505pNJsmo40cLYEFNLP.html https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chandigarh/ppcb-teams-find-100-vehicular-pollution-check-centres-violating-norms/articleshow/60008030.cms
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    Created by Sagar Dave
  • Regulate PUC centres in my city: Aparna Arora
    Picture this. You’re stuck at a signal in an autorickshaw with your daughter. An old, highly polluting car pulls over next to you. At that moment, you quickly cover your daughter’s nose. And under your breath, you curse the driver and wonder why the car is still running. And then you think out loud, “How did this car clear the pollution test?” Yes, let’s talk about a problem that we see quite often in our cities: shoddy pollution under check (PUC) centres. I’m sure most of you -- vehicle owners -- like me have visited such a centre at least once. Our vehicles have been certified to be non-polluting or minimal polluting without following a proper process. Sometimes turning a blind eye is easier. Yes, most of us are sometimes guilty for not speaking out. “Fake certificate? It’s fine. My vehicle isn’t polluting anyway!” But this is where the problem lies. We need to ensure that due process is followed, even if we are clean. And hence we now need to take responsibility. Whenever we come across a fraudulent PUC centre, ask them to follow due diligence. At the same time, let’s ask our state pollution control board to strictly regulate these centres. Our hope is to ensure that highly polluting vehicles do not run on our street and endanger our children’s lives. But this is possible only when you take that first step. http://indianexpress.com/article/india/epca-report-on-capitals-pucs-data-from-puc-system-is-virtually-unusable-4654668/ http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/hyderabad/2017/may/07/did-you-know-your-vehicles-puc-certificate-is-bogus-1602049.html https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/gurgaon/3-mobile-puc-centres-issue-fake-clearances/articleshow/57009955.cms http://www.hindustantimes.com/delhi-news/vehicular-pollution-check-continues-to-be-sham-even-as-delhi-chokes-on-foul-air/story-usQ505pNJsmo40cLYEFNLP.html https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chandigarh/ppcb-teams-find-100-vehicular-pollution-check-centres-violating-norms/articleshow/60008030.cms
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    Created by Prem Purswani
  • Regulate PUC centres in my city: Sh. Kahan Singh Pannu
    Picture this. You’re stuck at a signal in an autorickshaw with your daughter. An old, highly polluting car pulls over next to you. At that moment, you quickly cover your daughter’s nose. And under your breath, you curse the driver and wonder why the car is still running. And then you think out loud, “How did this car clear the pollution test?” Yes, let’s talk about a problem that we see quite often in our cities: shoddy pollution under check (PUC) centres. I’m sure most of you -- vehicle owners -- like me have visited such a centre at least once. Our vehicles have been certified to be non-polluting or minimal polluting without following a proper process. Sometimes turning a blind eye is easier. Yes, most of us are sometimes guilty for not speaking out. “Fake certificate? It’s fine. My vehicle isn’t polluting anyway!” But this is where the problem lies. We need to ensure that due process is followed, even if we are clean. And hence we now need to take responsibility. Whenever we come across a fraudulent PUC centre, ask them to follow due diligence. At the same time, let’s ask our state pollution control board to strictly regulate these centres. Our hope is to ensure that highly polluting vehicles do not run on our street and endanger our children’s lives. But this is possible only when you take that first step. http://indianexpress.com/article/india/epca-report-on-capitals-pucs-data-from-puc-system-is-virtually-unusable-4654668/ http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/hyderabad/2017/may/07/did-you-know-your-vehicles-puc-certificate-is-bogus-1602049.html https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/gurgaon/3-mobile-puc-centres-issue-fake-clearances/articleshow/57009955.cms http://www.hindustantimes.com/delhi-news/vehicular-pollution-check-continues-to-be-sham-even-as-delhi-chokes-on-foul-air/story-usQ505pNJsmo40cLYEFNLP.html https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chandigarh/ppcb-teams-find-100-vehicular-pollution-check-centres-violating-norms/articleshow/60008030.cms
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  • Regulate PUC centres in my city: Mr Satish Gavai
    Picture this. You’re stuck at a signal in an autorickshaw with your daughter. An old, highly polluting car pulls over next to you. At that moment, you quickly cover your daughter’s nose. And under your breath, you curse the driver and wonder why the car is still running. And then you think out loud, “How did this car clear the pollution test?” Yes, let’s talk about a problem that we see quite often in our cities: shoddy pollution under check (PUC) centres. I’m sure most of you -- vehicle owners -- like me have visited such a centre at least once. Our vehicles have been certified to be non-polluting or minimal polluting without following a proper process. Sometimes turning a blind eye is easier. Yes, most of us are sometimes guilty for not speaking out. “Fake certificate? It’s fine. My vehicle isn’t polluting anyway!” But this is where the problem lies. We need to ensure that due process is followed, even if we are clean. And hence we now need to take responsibility. Whenever we come across a fraudulent PUC centre, ask them to follow due diligence. At the same time, let’s ask our state pollution control board to strictly regulate these centres. Our hope is to ensure that highly polluting vehicles do not run on our street and endanger our children’s lives. But this is possible only when you take that first step. http://indianexpress.com/article/india/epca-report-on-capitals-pucs-data-from-puc-system-is-virtually-unusable-4654668/ http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/hyderabad/2017/may/07/did-you-know-your-vehicles-puc-certificate-is-bogus-1602049.html https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/gurgaon/3-mobile-puc-centres-issue-fake-clearances/articleshow/57009955.cms http://www.hindustantimes.com/delhi-news/vehicular-pollution-check-continues-to-be-sham-even-as-delhi-chokes-on-foul-air/story-usQ505pNJsmo40cLYEFNLP.html https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chandigarh/ppcb-teams-find-100-vehicular-pollution-check-centres-violating-norms/articleshow/60008030.cms
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    Created by Ashish Mantri Picture