• Let's make Nashik cycling friendly
    With the steady rise of competitive cycling over last decade and sudden surge in bicycling in the city during lockdown, Nashik has seen a huge spike in bicycle users. While groups like Nashik Cyclists are arranging cycling events on the outskirts of the city, cycling infrastructure within the city is either missing or being misused for other purposes like parking of vehicles. Out of the 8-km cycling track from Ashok Stambh to Papaya Nursery, the first 1.5 kilometer track was completed 2 years ago. However no cyclists have been able to make use of it because it is instead being used as a parking space by vehicle-owning citizens. In fact, Jhatkaa.org visited the site and asked citizens about this, and shockingly many of them replied that they don’t even know that the lane is a cycling track. Cyclists and especially students have to either use the busy road or the footpath while cycling. It can be avoided easily by Making the existing cycling track (Ashok Stambh to Pinnacle Mall) continuous. Adding the signboards on the cycling track to avoid parking on the track. While the Smart City team wants to promote cycling within the city, there is no infrastructural work done justifying those intentions. If Smart City wants to see the cyclists using these lanes either for commute or for recreational activities, there is a need to Add Bicycle stands along the cycling track to promote cycling to commute within the city. Start the Pinnacle Mall to Papaya Nursery cycle track work on priority. While citizens and organizations are putting a lot of effort into making sure that this city remains smoke free from vehicular pollution, we expect Smart City and other administrative bodies to ensure these efforts are multiplied with a robust infrastructure. ..........................End of Petition.......................... Jhatkaa.org is working towards the dream of creating livable cities in Maharashtra. Working towards developing cycling infrastructure and documenting the cycling cultures of different cities of Maharashtra is core of our strategies. Support our work by donating for our campaigns on this link - https://jhatkaa.org/donate/?event=cycling-friendly-maharashtra
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  • Make Mumbai the cycling capital of India
    Mumbai has the makings of a great cycling city - but it needs to set the wheels in motion. Cycle Chala City Bacha envisions making CYCLING the preferred mode for commute and a way of life across all the 24 wards of Mumbai. Our Vision is to make Mumbai the Cycling Capital of India by 2030. Though lacking in infrastructure, Mumbai shares many characteristics that are at the heart of cycling-friendly Dutch cities. What’s one of the biggest worries that plagues commuters in Mumbai, year after year? It’s traffic jams and the unease of using public transport that’s densely populated. But in the past few months due to the pandemic, we’ve seen the city’s avid cyclists hit the streets, taking advantage of the minimal cars on the road. Which brings us to an important point -- why not look at cycles as more than just as a form of recreation/ exercise? The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) wants its citizens to use bicycles as a part of its green initiative. It’s also in the process of introducing an app-based Public Bicycle Sharing (PBS) system. To create an impact both - increase in ridership and basic infrastructure there are a few challenges, especially around uniting citizens to the cause and convincing to encourage fence sitters to adopt cycling. Cyclists of Mumbai have a unanimous voice when it comes to bare minimum necessities in terms of sharing the roads with motorised transportation and to ensure road safety for everyone. As part of making Mumbai truly cycle friendly, we demand - Pothole-free roads, minus paver blocks which are a huge hindrance for cyclists and discourage young kids and teenagers from adopting cycling due to the fear of injury. - Provide bicycle parking stands i)in/ near every school which will help students to use them. ii)near shopping hubs/markets which will encourage people to go to market on bicycle iii)in business complexes which will encourage corporate employees to use bicycles as a way to commute to work. iv)Malls and theatres - Initiate a A Non Motorised Transport cell with a yearly budget of 300 crore earmarked towards cycling infrastructure.
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  • हर लाख पर 50 Bus - Unite to demand more buses
    As India recovers from the pandemic, we are faced with the challenge of reviving the economy and restoring the livelihoods of millions. India’s Union Minister for Housing & Urban Affairs (MOHUA) recently issued an advisory which says, “Public transport is the backbone in urban areas especially for the low/middle-income commuters for which these services are the mainstay of their daily transit needs. COVID-19 has given us the opportunity to visit different Public Transport options and come out with solutions, which are green, pollution-free, convenient, and sustainable. Such a strategy must give major focus on Non-Motorised Transport and Public Transport” Hon'ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi himself said at the Global MOVE summit that, “public transport must be the cornerstone of our mobility initiatives” and emphasized the need for mobility that is “safe, affordable and accessible for all sections of society which includes the elderly, the women and the specially-abled”. Indeed a vast number of people depend on public transport for their daily commutes in cities, be it college students, office staff, factory workers, domestic help, service staff, school children, housewives, caregivers . . . the list goes on. Dependent as they are, the priority for these people is affordability, and ease of access. During the nation-wide lockdown, it was city buses that were in operation, proving to be the lifeline for frontline relief workers. There are only 30,000 public transport buses plying in cities in India which mean less than 8 buses per lakh people. The service-level benchmarks of MoHUA itself set a desirable target of 60 buses per lakh population. Our cities continue to grow – from a current 377 million urban population to a projected 590 million by 2030 and a whopping 875 million by 2050, but the buses needed to cater to the needs of commuters continue to fall woefully short. The Indian government must realize that many among us cannot afford to own vehicles and depend on public buses to meet our commuting needs. Many cannot drive a personal vehicle, such as senior citizens, children, and persons with disabilities. Those who have no option but to use a personal vehicle end up paying a lot more for their commutes and are constantly staring at ever-increasing fuel prices. And many would gladly ditch their motorcycle or car and avoid the daily hassle of traffic jams and the stress it creates, whenever public transport becomes a comfortable option. Additionally, MOHUA ’s advisory asked cities to develop plans for bus fleet expansion to implement physical distancing norms realizing the significance of having public buses so that bus commuters can travel to work safely. A scheme to get 100,000 buses plying in urban areas would need an outlay of Rs 66,000 crores. This would be a much-needed stimulus for the economy, create jobs and get cities moving again. Investing in this small amount for the larger good is important now. Bus commuters demand that MOHUA backs this advisory with financial commitments to help all cities achieve a target of a minimum 50 buses per lakh people. We know it is doable but needs a political will in ensuring financial assistance and incentives through a clear centrally funded scheme, it will be impossible for cash-strapped states to implement the advisory. This is an urgent need and presents an opportunity to strengthen and transform our public transport system. We call upon Hardeep Singh Puri to rise to the challenge and respond to this crisis by investing in public bus systems that will help revive our economy by enabling people to travel safely, economically and provide ease of access. Join the movement demanding at least 50 buses per one lakh people in every city. Together we can and we will. श्री हरदीप सिंह पुरी जी, यह बहुत जरूरी है और सही समय है, सार्वजनिक बसों को बढ़ाएं, तत्काल प्रभाव से बसों में निवेश करके देश और देशवासियों को इस कोरोना तथा आर्थिक मंदी के संकट से बहार लाने में मदद करें और अपनी ज़िम्मेदारी निभाए! திரு. ஹர்தீப் சிங் பூரி, தற்போதய நெருக்கடிக்கு பதிலளிக்கும் வகையில், நமது பொருளாதாரத்தை புதுப்பிக்க, பொது பஸ் அமைப்புகளில் முதலீடு செய்து', மக்கள் எளிதில் அணுகி , பாதுகாப்பாக, மலிவான விலையில் பயணிக்க உதவ வேண்டிய சரியான தருணம் மற்றும் அவசர தேவை இது என்பதை தெரியப்படுத்துகிறோம்
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  • Respect Court order, halt tree cutting in Bengaluru
    Bengaluru trees are under threat! As the city is grappling with woes of lockdown and slowly trying to recover, Bengaluru’s civic body, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike(BBMP) quietly gave permission the chopping of 165 trees. On June 7, the BMRCL began cutting trees along Bannerghatta Road, even as the Karnataka High Court was yet to issue directions to the BBMP in this regard. On June 9, more trees were cut on this stretch, during the night. The cutting of trees continued until the High Court of Karnataka had put a stay on the issue on 10 June 2020. The Karnataka High Court expressed dissatisfaction over Tree committee’s approval for chopping of trees for the construction of the Pink Line metro rail project undertaken by the Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Limited. The High Court of Karnataka has emphasised on the need for tree census multiple times. BBMP has not followed the Court-prescribed process and a number of healthy trees that were marked to be transplanted have also been chopped off. As the entire world battles the COVID-19 pandemic, the future of our trees hangs in the balance. Bengaluru’s civic agencies should not use this crisis( by fast-tracking development projects without due process )to create worse one for the city of Bengaluru. Sign the petition now to urge Bangalore civic authorities to respect the decision of Karnataka High Court. The court’s decision is for all to follow, Government bodies should not be an exception. Sign the petition now to save trees of Bengaluru Sources https://bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com/bangalore/others/court-halts-the-chopping-party/articleshow/76308998.cms https://www.deccanherald.com/city/top-bengaluru-stories/bmrcl-cuts-trees-under-shadow-of-night-before-high-court-hearing-on-matter-847833.html https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/despite-court-directive-bbmp-allows-trees-be-chopped-metro-construction-126259
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  • India needs a Healthy and Green Recovery
    COVID-19 brought India to a complete standstill. During this period, the country has also been hit by cyclone ‘Amphan’ on the east coast, cyclone ‘Nisarga’ on the west coast, and an attack by swarms of locusts that destroyed over one lakh acres of cropland in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. The entire situation has resulted in numerous lives lost, mass unemployment and the economy plummeting, and the millions of the most vulnerable continue to battle unimaginable suffering. Though all these incidents need to be understood as manifestations of a disruption in the ecological balance, and accompanying climate change. They cannot be viewed in isolation. This is why it's more important now than ever to ensure that as lockdown norms ease, and India plans its economic recovery, it does not again come at the cost of the environment. The lockdown imposed due to the pandemic resulted in a sharp decline in overall pollution levels. Citizens experienced the cleanest air in over two decades. We need to re-imagine a post-lockdown world where we nurture the environment while moving on development. Policy decisions and investments on critical relief and essential recovery measures must not come at the cost of the environment. They should focus on clean, renewable sources of energy, protecting our rivers and skies, and prioritising pedestrians, cyclists and public transport. Join us in the demand of a #HealthyRecovery, a Green recovery.
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  • Bangalore needs Bannerghatta, not a statue!
    Bangalore is undergoing the onslaught of COVID19 with 141 new cases discovered today, on the 1st of June. Yet on the 30th of May, inspired by the Statue of Unity in Gujarat, the Minister of Housing in Karnataka announced plans to build a similar statue. A 120-feet statue of Swami Vivekananda at Muthyalaya Maduvi waterfall near Bannerghatta National Park (BNP). This statue is set to occupy 3 acres of land a mere 10 kms from BNP. At a time when Karnataka is struggling with COVID19, a migrant labourer crisis, and a daily increase in cases - this statue will cost funds that could be better used elsewhere. Environmentalists are opposing the government’s decision not only for the damage it will cause and the trees it will fell but also as severely compromises Bannerghatta National Park. Making this area a high-density tourist spot will put an increased burden on the already thinning eco-sensitive zone of Bannerghatta National park. This eco-sensitive zone that was cropped by almost half, earlier this year and this decision is currently in courts. While promoting tourism in the state is important, it is equally important to ensure that it is not at the cost of severe environmental damage. The unsustainable and potentially damages blasting required for the statue construction needs careful geological investigations. Additionally, environmental impact assessment and social impact assessment need to be conducted and so far the reports of these assessments have not been considered, let alone made public. Thankfully the plans for this statue have only just been voiced. A formal proposal is yet to be made. Which means we must act now! If enough people lend their voice to the fight we can put an end to this foolhardy plan. Let’s make sure it’s clear to the Chief Minister of Karnataka that Bangaloreans do not stand with this plan. We will not let them move forward with the construction of the Swami Vivekananda Statue. Bannerghatta National Park is Bangalore’s treasure trove of greenery, it will not be lost to a statue we do not need. Sources: https://www.theweek.in/news/india/2020/06/01/karnataka-to-erect-120-feet-statue-of-swami-vivekananda.html
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  • Let's make Bangalore India's first cycling friendly city
    There is a global consensus that this pandemic is a wake-up call in how we set the new normal. Slipping back to old ways will be read as a sign of incompetence and wilful apathy in not willing to see the obvious. Societies that don’t learn to adapt, as history tells us, will be left behind losing all opportunities to grow and prosper. Bengaluru is not one of them. We have always led by taking risks, making dynamic changes and coming together as one family. This is one more such opportunity for us to adapt and make that change when no one else is. Consequent of the lockdown, Bengaluru’s air pollution rate has dropped by over 40% just with vehicles off the road. We know its impractical to continue this way, but with over 40 of the world’s major cities planning to go cycle and pedestrian-friendly, its time our city show the same intelligence and pro-environment action. We must not miss this window of opportunity to rethink our roads which will be difficult if things go back to old normal. Why? We have made tremendous gains in air quality these last few months and must find ways to sustain this for the long-term. If NY, London, Berlin, Paris and others can, we can too. It is widely accepted by experts that this virus is not going to abate anytime soon and the only way to mitigate spread is by social distancing and personal hygiene. Public transport and Metro systems worldwide has seen an 80% decline in usage due to high transmission risks in them. Going back to personal motor vehicles, experts agree, will not just congest the roads but most importantly will again pollute the city air which will worsen our respiratory system’s ability to fight a virus that attacks it. This is one major reason why cities around the world are prioritising cycle-friendly roads. Cycling/walking is a proven way to ensure public health and general well-being. Collective voice forces political action and it is important for us as a progressive city of the world, to enable and encourage non-motorised transport (NMT) on our roads as our commitment to doing our bit for the environment. Here’s what we ask our CM together: 1. Provide temporary pop-up bicycle tracks connecting industrial areas to efficiently restart the economy in a safe, environment-friendly and congestion-free mode. 2. Opening busy shopping streets as ONLY cycling and walking zones across the city and closed for motor vehicles to enable social distancing and safer retail activities. (for e.g., Church street after widening its footpath, reducing the carriage-way width and adding cycle-parking facilities has considerably spiked foot-falls into its businesses while reducing vehicular congestion). 3. Approve an NMT policy for the city and empower DULT to prepare a Comprehensive NMT plan for the city as well as an action plan to implement this. 4. Create an NMT cell headed by a technocrat - NMT Special Commissioner within BBMP. 5. Earmark a budget of 500 crores every year to BBMP NMT cell to ensure all streets in Bangalore have a useable footpath and are made cycle-friendly as per the Comprehensive NMT Plan & Action plan by DULT. Through this show of public opinion, the good citizens of Bengaluru want its elected leadership to show favourable political will in achieving what no other major city in India has done. Political will is directly proportional to the groundswell of public support. Help this petition reach every Bangalorean so we can proudly put our city on the map of global cities that not just beat the pandemic but shine its light to others in making brave new changes. Sign the petition NOW!
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  • Tribal communities need Economic Relief urgently
    Like the migrant workers, the tribals and forest dwellers are another marginalized community that have been neglected by the Indian government during the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown. The Finance Minister has announced an economic relief package which-as per experts and activists-has utterly failed to address the economic distress caused to the tribal communities by the COVID 19 outbreak and the sudden imposition of a complete lockdown. But on the contrary Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) funds of 6000 crores have been approved for the states in the pretext of creating tribal employment. The tribals and forest dwellers have persistently and relentlessly demanded the CAMPA funds to be handed over to the Gram sabhas. Instead with the Compensatory Afforestation Fund (CAF) in place, all the money is unjustly and illegally transferred to forest departments encouraging misuse of the funds for large scale monoculture plantations that have affected land and forest rights of tribals and have caused the destruction of biodiversity. . Earlier in May a few civil society organizations, researchers and activists submitted a report to the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, highlighting the concerns of the Adivasi community: 1. Crippling lack of public healthcare that severely limits the capacities to curb the spread of the disease. 2. Tens of thousands of tribal migrants stranded in cities. 3. Lack of institutional mechanisms and access for procurement and distribution of minor forest produce (MFP). 4. Rampant deforestation in the name of forest land diversion without the consent of the communities. 5. Violations and non-implementation of progressive legislations like the Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006, and The Provisions of the Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act (PESA), 1996. Sign this petition asking the Ministry of Forest and Environment to support demands for an economic package for tribal communities and direct transfer of CAMPA funds to the gram sabhas of the tribal communities and not the forest department. Sources: 1. https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/business/economy/atma-nirbhar-bharat-campa-funds-of-rs-6000-crore-for-tribal-employment-in-forestry-jobs-says-fm-5266891.html 2. https://www.fra.org.in/document/COVID-19%20Assessment%20Report.pdf
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  • Save Dehing Patkai
    Referred to as the "Amazon of the East", the pristine forestland of Saleki proposed reserve forest is under threat. On April 24, 2020, the National Board of Wild Life gave the green light for a 98.59 hectares coal mining project by North Eastern Coal Field (NECF) — a unit of Coal India Limited. This land is part of the Dehing Patkai Elephant Reserve, under the current ruling 57.02 hectares of forest land has already been in use by Coal India Limited. NBWL asked that the remaining 41.39 hectares of the unbroken area be used for this project. This area covers most of the Elephant Reserve, with opencast mining (a type of mining technique involving open trenches) being one of the most environmentally harmful techniques. Opencast mining operations involve huge quantities of soil removal, dumping, and backfilling in excavated areas. Leading to a sort of slope around the mining area, as it is dug into. This slope is not always stable and does often lead to dump failures resulting in the loss of human life. Not to mention the increase in the rate of accumulation of waste dumps. It is easy to overburden the Saleki biodiversity with this mechanical destruction of its land. Not only this but the “unbroken area” mentioned is on a steep hill slope that is part of the Dehing Patkai Elephant reserve. It is a prime location for a dump failure to potentially occur. Elephant biologist Mr M Ananda Kumar said “Elephant herds have strong fidelity to their range. They move around the same area for many years. Obviously such projects will affect their movement and demographics...conflict is bound to increase if there are human-dominated areas in the neighbourhood.”1 We urge the Chairman of the National Board to reconsider this project. We also urge the Chief Minister of Assam to stop any current and future coal mining project in Saleki and the whole of the Dehing Patkai Elephant reserve. The Dehing Patkai region is already threatened by high polluting industries, such as coal mines, oil refineries, gas drilling, which result in deforestation, loss of biodiversity, adverse climate change. Affecting agriculture as well as the health of people and animals around the area. Now is the time to ensure that we protect our wildlife fiercely if anything is becoming clear it is that the need of the hour to protect against climate change. Not give in to lobbying groups that will only worsen the living conditions for all living beings around the region. Articles: https://steelguru.com/coal/national-board-for-wildlife-permits-coal-mining-in-dehing-patkai-elephant-reserve-in-assam/558695 https://science.thewire.in/environment/dehing-patkai-elephant-reserve-nbwl-mining/
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  • More than 26,000 deaths! Recognize Heat waves as 'Natural Calamity'
    The Issue: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUUfjuDxkeE?showEmbed=true Heat waves are a phenomenon of abnormally high temperature conditions, which when goes beyond body’s adaptation capacity, can cause serious health complications and even death. Heat waves annually grip more than 15 states of the country for around two months. As per the Government figures, from 1992 to 2019, heat waves have caused more than 26,000 deaths across the country. Most of these deaths have been recorded in the states of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Odisha. In 2015, more than 2000 deaths were recorded. To put it in perspective, heat waves account for the third highest number of deaths due to natural events, second only to lightening and earthquakes. Heat waves can be predicted well in advance, and deaths can be avoided by implementing some simple adaptation measures. In absence of such measures, the outdoor workers like agricultural labourers, coastal community dwellers, and poor without adaptation capacities, face serious heat related health risks, which may even lead to deaths! Extreme heat may also cause fatal dehydration among livestock and birds. In March 2019, dehydrated birds fell out of sky when Bengaluru temperature hit 37 degrees Celsius. Every summer, parts of Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, Delhi, Telangana, and Maharashtra have been burning at 47-51 degrees Celsius. Research shows that heat waves will become harsher and deadlier due to climate change. In some regions like the Chota Nagpur Plateau, blazing summer temperatures may rise beyond the limits of survivability!! Despite such a high number of fatalities and their growing severity, heat waves are not recognized as a 'natural disaster' by the Government. This not only affects the family of deceased who should get compensation but also obstructs a much needed national coordination to manage this annual disaster, which is experienced by more than 65% population of the country. It also impedes a much needed coordination amongst the Health Department, IMD and Local Governments, that will help in ensuring better preparedness for achieving the goal of Zero Heat wave related Mortality. Heat waves are easily predictable and deaths are avoidable, but if timely steps are not taken, we will keep losing human and animal lives to this 'silent' killer! Solutions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbB_GRFOxFE?showEmbed=true
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  • लॉकडाऊनच्या काळात पालापाचोळा जाळण्याच्या घटनांना आळा घाला; Stop garbage burning in Maharashtra.
    कोरोनाचा प्रसार लवकरात लवकर रोखण्यासाठी आणि संसर्ग टाळण्यासाठी देशभरात लॉक डाऊनसुरु आहे. महाराष्ट्र राज्यात कोरोनाच्या सर्वाधिक केसेस असल्यामुळे 17 मे पर्यंत हा लॉकडाऊन सुरु राहील. प्रधानमंत्री कार्यालय आणि मुख्यमंत्री कार्यालयाकडून आलेल्या सूचनांमध्ये आपली रोग प्रतिकारशक्ती (immunity) जपणे आणि वाढवणे याला प्राधान्य दिले गेले आहे. परंतु, उघड्यावर कचरा जाळल्याने त्याचा दुष्परिणाम आपल्या आरोग्य क्षमतेवर पर्यायाने रोगप्रतिकारक क्षमतेवर होऊन आपले स्वास्थ्य निरोगी राहत नाही. आजघडीला शहरी भागात उघड्यावर कचरा जाळण्याचे चित्र मोठ्या प्रमाणात पाहायला भेटते आहे. आपल्याला माहित आहे कि उघड्यावर कचरा जाळल्याने श्वसनाच्या समस्यांमध्ये वाढ होते. कोरोना हा श्वसनप्रक्रियेशी निगडीत आजार आहे. हार्वर्ड युनिव्हर्सिटीने अमेरिकेतील कोरोनाची लागण झालेल्या आणि त्यामध्ये मृत झालेल्या व्यक्तींचा data घेऊन केलेल्या अभ्यासात PM २.५ म्हणजे धूर आणि धुळीचे अतिसूक्ष्म कण ज्या ठिकाणी जास्त होते त्या ठिकाणी मृत झालेल्या व्यक्तींचे प्रमाण अधिक आढळून आले.[1] असाच अभ्यास इटलीतील मिलान शहरातील कोरोना (covid 19) लागण आणि मृत पावलेल्या व्यक्तींवर करण्यात आला. त्यातही वारंवार वायू प्रदूषणाला सामोरे जाणाऱ्या व्यक्तींमध्ये (prolong exposure to Air Pollution) मृत्यूचे प्रमाण अधिक आढळून आले.[2] महाराष्ट्रात अनेक शहरांमध्ये कचरा आणि पालापाचोळा जाळण्याचे प्रमाण मोठ्या प्रमाणात आहे. झटका डॉट ऑर्गला मिळालेल्या तक्रारींनुसार पुणे, नाशिक, सोलापूर, नवी मुंबई अशा अनेक शहरांत एकाच ठिकाणी अनेक वर्ष कचरा जाळण्याचे प्रमाण मोठ्या प्रमाणात आहे. इतरही अनेक शहरात कचरा आणि पालापाचोळा जाळला जातो. केंद्रीय प्रदूषण नियंत्रण मंडळाने भारतात कुठेही कचरा किंवा पालापाचोळा जाळणे हा दंडात्मक गुन्हा असून त्यावर त्वरित कारवाई करावी असे आदेश दिले आहेत. पण अजूनही अनेक महानगरपालिका या मुद्याकडे सर्रास दुर्लक्ष करत आहेत. उघड्यावर कचरा जाळला जाऊ नये याची खबरदारी घेत पाला-पाचोळा/ कचरा जमा करण्यासाठी सगळ्या महानगरपालिकांना त्वरित स्वतंत्र घंटा-गाड्या सोडण्याचे आदेश देण्यात यावे. As India battles the Covid-19 pandemic, the national lockdown hopes to flatten the curve so normalcy ensues. However, as businesses and daily lives have erupted, civic issues are rearing their ugly head -- foremost of which is waste management. Several cities in Maharashtra mainly Solapur, Uran, Nashik, Pune have seen an upswing in garbage burning, which greatly jeopardizes the health of citizens. At a time when strong immunity and staying healthy is very important, the toxic fumes from burning garbage pose a great risk. Studies have linked Covid-19 deaths to compromised immunity (air pollution is a big factor) and we cannot be cautious enough.[1][2] Municipal corporations need to crack down on the issue urgently. [1] https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/07/climate/air-pollution-coronavirus-covid.html [2] https://www.ft.com/content/21f4ff6f-57ac-43cc-ae5b-602a127553de https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVCAB7Z5nT0
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  • Send your comments on EIA Draft notification 2020
    Earlier last month, the Ministry of Environment proposed a new set of recommendations around environmental clearances in India in the form of the draft Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) notification 2020. The primary and most obvious concern around these new recommendations is that they heavily favor industries and not the environment. It proposes to ease processes for business, does away with public hearings for many crucial development projects, and has eased rules for expansion of projects among other things. At a time when we’re grappling with the impact of climate change, a draft that prioritizes unsustainable development sets a dangerous precedent. In the environment clearance process, public consultation is an important component. The concerns of local affected persons and communities, who have a stake in the environmental impact of the project, must be taken into account while the project is being designed. This draft notification though has merely expanded the list of projects that don’t need a public consultation before getting environment clearances. Environmentalists believe the draft is completely contrary to the principles of environmental protection. By giving discretionary powers to authorities and legitimizing the illegalities committed by industries, The draft will unleash a great deal of harm on our environment. Send this email to the Ministry of Environment NOW and stop them from diluting the EIA notification 2006 further. In partnership with Citizen consumer and civic action group (CAG), we have created a template email that you can undersign and send to the Ministry of Environment before August 11.
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