• MPCB: Penalise polluting industries in Nashik!
    Nashik has a natural green cover thanks to Sahyadri mountain range. This made Nashik famous for clean air and serene weather all year round. The national discourse around air pollution is usually focused on metro cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Pune. Nashik, however, is always portrayed as a clean alternative to these metro cities by newspapers.[1] But this picture has started to change in the last few years. Residents of areas surrounding Satpur have started facing heavy smog at night and early mornings during winters. Since November 2019 Nashik's Air Quality is worsening at an alarming rate. An air quality measurement by Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) found Nashik’s Air Quality Index to be above 150 for 12 consecutive days in November. [2] The overall rise of pollution as indicated by CPCB is just the tip of the iceberg. Parts of the city surrounding Industrial areas are experiencing air pollution problems on a daily basis. Satpur MIDC is one such area where Smog has become a daily problem. The pollution around Satpur MIDC in Sant Kabir Nagar, Ambad link road, Serene Meadows is visible to the naked eye! This is especially true for emissions at night making the smog problem worse in the winters. [3] The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) should take action to curb industrial emissions in Satpur MIDC and control the smog problem. MPCB has not updated Satpur MIDC Air Quality data since 29th October 2019.[4] This is unacceptable. This information must be made public NOW! Citizens have the right to know the Air Quality of their areas. MPCB should release this data on their website at earliest. We demand that the health of the people of Nashik be made a priority. The air quality of Nashik must not be neglected with increasing industrialization. नाशिकला सह्याद्रीच्या डोंगररांगांच्या मदतीने चांगला निसर्ग लाभला आहे. यामुळे नाशिक शहर हे वर्षभर मिळणाऱ्या स्वच्छ हवा आणि प्रसन्न वातावरणासाठी महाराष्ट्रात प्रसिद्ध आहे. वायुप्रदुषणाची चर्चा मुख्यत्वे दिल्ली, मुंबई, पुणे अशा मोठ्या शहरांच्या बाबतीतच केली जाते. त्यावेळी नाशिकला मात्र प्रदूषित शहरांतील राहणीमानाचा पर्याय म्हणून बघितले जाते.[1] पण मागील काही वर्षांपासून हे चित्र बदलायला सुरुवात झाली आहे. खासकरून २०१९ च्या नोव्हेंबर महिन्यापासुन नाशिकची हवा वेगाने प्रदूषित होण्यास सुरवात झाली आहे. केंद्रीय प्रदूषण नियंत्रण मंडळाच्या Air Quality Monitoring Station च्या आकड्यांनुसार नाशिकचा Air Quality Index नोव्हेंबर मध्ये सलग १२ दिवस १५० पेक्षा जास्त होता. [2] पण केंद्रीय प्रदूषण नियंत्रण मंडळाच्या station वरील प्रदूषणाचं हे चित्र म्हणजे फक्त एक सुरुवात आहे. नाशिकच्या सातपूर MIDC भागातील वाढत्या प्रदूषणामुळे आजूबाजूच्या भागात वायू प्रदूषणाचे प्रमाण वाढले आहे. सातपूरच्या आजूबाजूच्या संत कबीरनगर, अंबड लिंक रोड, Serene Medows ह्या परिसरांमधून हे प्रदूषण उघड्या डोळ्यांनी दिसू शकते. खासकरून वाढत्या थंडीसोबत रात्रीच्या वेळी होणाऱ्या प्रदूषणामुळे धुरक्याचा प्रश्न अधिक गंभीर होत चालला आहे. [3] MPCB ने सातपूर MIDC मध्ये रात्रीच्या वेळी मोठ्या प्रमाणात होणाऱ्या औद्योगिक वायू उत्सर्जनाला आळा घालावा जेणेकरून तर धुरक्याचे वाढते प्रमाण नियंत्रणात आणण्यास मदत होईल. सातपूर MIDC भागातील Station ची २९ ऑक्टोबर २०१९ नंतरची माहीती MPCB वेबसाईटवर उपलब्ध नाही. [4] त्यामुळे सातपूर मध्ये होणाऱ्या प्रदूषणाची खरी पातळी समजू शकणे कठीण झाले आहे. आपल्या भागातील हवेच्या गुणवत्तेची पातळी समजणे हा तेथील रहिवाशांचा हक्क आहे. MPCB ने लवकरात लवकर ही माहीती उपलब्ध करून द्यावी. नाशिकच्या नागरिकांचे आरोग्य जपण्याला प्राधान्य असावे. वाढत्या औद्योगिकीरकणात लोकांच्या आरोग्याकडे आणि हवेच्या गुणवत्तेकडे दुर्लक्ष होऊ नये ही आमची मागणी आहे. Sources: 1.http://www.peninsula.co.in/blog/nashik-one-fastest-emerging-cities-maharashtra/ 2. https://www.airvisual.com/india/maharashtra/nashik 3.https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nashik/Nashik-air-quality-dips-with-mercury/articleshow/55303995.cms 4. http://www.mpcb.gov.in/air-quality/Nashik/0000000066
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  • Prevent Deforestation at Benniganahalli Lake
    The Benniganahalli Lake is a sight that most of the residents in and around Pai Layout are accustomed to. The tall trees and various birds that can be spotted there during a morning or evening walk has become a part of our daily routine. However, a few years a ago, the lake was in bad shape. It was extremely polluted and filled with sewage and weeds. A terrible stink hung in the air and no birds or fish could be seen. In 2016, the BDA handed over the lake to the BBMP, who spent Rs. 3 crore for the restoration of the lake. The cleaning of weeds and silt began in March 2018. BBMP authorities stated that there was no need to plant saplings as there were already well grown trees on the lake bund. The same trees are now being marked and numbered for chopping down. These trees have been present around the lake for many years. They bloom in every season and provide habitat for various species of birds. The beautiful pink and yellow blossoms that one can enjoy while taking a walk around the lake or driving over the flyover is simply otherworldly. The ducks and herons that thrive on the island and circumference of the lake also add to the aesthetic. The tall grass and bushes are home to species of harmless, non-venomous snakes that usually emerge during the monsoons. If the trees that surround the lake are cut down, the habitat of the various fauna would be lost. The beauty and tranquility of Benniganahalli Lake would be lost. Any resident who is accustomed to taking a morning or evening stroll around the lake would support the notion that the chopping of the trees would be a major loss to the society. The lake ecosystem is unique and the greenery is much needed in the concrete jungle that we currently live in. The birds and animals which have made the lake their home play an important role in maintaining the integrity of the area. I visited the lake on and saw workers numbering the trees. On being asked what they were doing, they informed me that the trees were being marked to be cut down so they can make way for a road that needs to be constructed alongside the metro. The beauty and greenery that surrounds the Benniganahalli Lake is soon to be lost and the birds and animals that have returned to the lake only a couple of years ago are soon to rendered homeless again. The need for action is immediate and I request you to kindly sign this petition and help request the BMRCL to keep the deforestation to a minimum.
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  • Save 63,799 trees from getting axed in Lucknow!
    Lucknow is one of the most polluted cities in India. At a time when the city must protect and grow it’s green cover, Lucknow Development Authority (LDA) has ordered for almost 64,000 trees to be cut down! In February 2020, the city will host a defence expo where the defence forces’ latest arms and weaponry will be displayed to guests from several countries. For this 2-day expo, trees that have grown over 2 decades will be mercilessly cut down. As a response, the LDA has said they will plant the same number of trees in different locations. But for the next few decades, until the trees grow, the people of Lucknow will continue to suffer from rapidly rising air pollution levels. LDA has requested for nearly 60 lakhs to replant the trees. Not only are they felling 64,000 trees and worsening the air of the city, they are further using taxpayers’ money in a poor compensation for their avoidable act. January 15, 2020 is the deadline for the trees to be felled and land to be handed over for the expo. In the recent past, citizens have mobilised for our forests on various occasions. 64,000 trees are in need of our help. Join the campaign to save them. Sources: UP Govt to Hack Almost 64,000 Trees for Defence Exhibition in Lucknow - The Wire Bad Air Day: UP Govt to cut nearly 64,000 trees in Lucknow for Defence Expo - Sabrang
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  • We don’t want Bolsonaro for Republic Day
    The Indian Government announced that Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro will be the chief guest at India’s Republic Day parade next year. Each year, India invites the heads of other states as the chief guest for its Republic Day celebrations on 26 January. In the past, eminent personalities like Nelson Mandela, Queen Elizabeth, Barack Obama and Shinzo Abe have been among the chief guests. But Modi’s invitation to Bolsonaro is a cause for concern for many of us. (1) Bolsonaro’s politics — be his take on the Amazon fires, women’s rights or LGBTQ rights or democratic rights in general — are problematic. While the Amazon fires were raging in August, Reuters reported that in 2019, Brazil reported the highest number of forest fires since 2010, an 83% increase over the same period of 2018(2). After he took office, Bolsonaro ignored international worries about deforestation in the Amazon and said that he wanted to open up protected lands for development in order to spur economic growth. Recently, he has a new scapegoat for the fires in the Amazon: “cool guy” Leonardo DiCaprio.In a speech from the presidential palace he referred to social media posts alleging DiCaprio donated to an environmental organization that Bolsonaro accused of setting fires in the Amazon just to get good pictures of them Bolsonaro has been Internationally criticised for his actions against the protection of the environment and inviting him would put India in a bad light. We must ask Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reconsider the decision to have Jair Bolsonaro as chief guest for Republic Day. As a progressive nation that cares about the environment and people’s rights, India must invite leaders that stand for the same. Sign this petition now to register your protest against this move. We need lakhs of signatures before January 26. Sources: 1. https://www.huffingtonpost.in/entry/jair-bolsonaro-modi-republic-day_in_5dcd3b9fe4b0a794d1fb5745 2. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-brazil-environment-wildfires/amazon-burning-brazil-reports-record-forest-fires-idUSKCN1VA1UK
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  • BBMP, Hulimavu Lake is your responsibility
    A large number of houses were flooded in Hulimavu area in Bangalore as water from the lake seeped through on 24 November, after its bund was damaged. According to a news report, more than 1,000 families in half a dozen neighbourhoods were affected by the sudden flooding and 300 cars have been submerged(1). Though the reason for the unprecedented amount of water that entered people’s homes was reported to be a lake bund breach, the actual cause is a bit more severe and worrisome, experts say(2). This is one of the biggest man-made disasters Bengaluru has seen in recent times. The reason is appalling. According to news reports, a contractor had undertaken this work without proper permission from the BBMP, which has been the custodian of Hulimavu lake since 2016. The immediate relief steps are far from adequate and citizens are paying the price of lack of due diligence done by BBMP. Ask BBMP to start immediately start the investigation into the contractor for the breach of the lake bund and provide adequate compensation and relief to the families that are affected. In case of heavy rains in the future, the people living around Bengaluru’s many lakes could face similar flooding problems. We need to take action now before it’s too late! Sources: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/karnataka-hulimavu-lake-breach-hits-1000-families-sinks-300-cars/articleshow/72215744.cms https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/unplanned-urbanisation-hulimavu-lake-floodplains-worsened-bluru-floods-says-expert-112922 https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/bangalore/bengaluru-hulimavu-lake-breach-probe-on-to-identify-culprits-restoration-work-underway-bbmp-bwssb-police-lokayukta-6136535/
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  • We need a #CleanAirAuthority
    Air pollution kills a child every 3 minutes in India. A new born smokes the equivalent of 26 cigarettes in case of toxic air. According to the Global Burden of Disease 2017, children are the biggest victims of toxic air, as their as their lungs are still developing. It also causes cognitive impairment (lower IQ as well!). A newborn smokes the equivalent of Over the past few years, air pollution has peaked to alarming levels in India, caused in great part due to vehicular and industry emissions, coal-fired power plants, construction dust, waste burning, poor land use patters and more. Sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter (PM) are the major pollutants -- PM enters the lungs and causes severe health impacts. Besides, no one develops immunity to micro pollutants especially PM2.5, (otherwise smokers would have the best immunity!) Air pollution can trigger cancers, heart disease diabetes, obesity, neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia, infertility and low birthweight. The exposure to PM levels is well above WHO's air quality standards. And while individual initiaves matter, they don't eliminate the need for a leadership role within our Central Government to address what is a public health emergency. We need a strong and decisive "Clean Air Authority" who is empowered, independent (reports directly to PM), accountable, fully-resourced, transparent and will put public health ahead of any other goal. S/He will implement a new Clean Air Act whose focus is public health. Sign this important campaign asking for a Clean Air Authority, who will be dedicated to the cause of bringing down air pollution by working towards sustainable and effective solutions.
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  • Children's day gift us, Stop huge traffic passing through Residential areas from Manyta techpark
    This Children's day, please gift better environment to us to live. We are middle class people with no AC's but sleep with open windows. Huge traffic passing through residential areas (through Akashvani layout Dasarahalli) is creating heavy smoke difficult to breath. To avoid traffic they are passing through sub roads , kids have no place to play. We are around approximately 150 houses and 100 kids. Small eateries and bakeries selling cigarettes and otherwise creating huge crowds in turn leading to security issues like eve teasing, constant arguments. Kids and older children refuse to walk in the roads without anyone accompanying them. People have survived without this road from decades. Why In the name of progress allow life threatening diseases
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  • Stop Dumping waste in Bellahalli Quarry
    The 27-acre Bellahalli quarry pit in Bangalore is almost filled up & Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is planning to dump the mixed waste from the city. There was a report produced before the HC stated that the BBMP was not maintaining solid waste processing plants and dumping waste at the Bellahalli landfill which has become hell for the people residing near it. The recent heavy rains have turned the massive garbage pile in the Bellahalli landfill into a soggy pulp that could pose serious health risks to adjacent villages and garbage handlers. Rainwater failed to penetrate untreated mounds of solid waste that packs the landfill to the brim, reducing the top layer into a mush. The worsening condition has triggered panic of a possible epidemic, The leachate has badly affected the lives of people there and Now, the landfill containing untreated garbage dumped over the past three years can harm their health. The BBMP isn't able to provide the basic infrastructure for the villages, despite spending thousands of crores. The landfill's condition has worsened to such an extent after rains that entering the place would be harmful While the city households generate nearly 4,500 tonnes of mixed waste a day, the BBMP engages 600 trucks to dump 2,500 tonnes of waste at the Bellahalli landfill. Present Scenario: • You cant Breathe Fresh Air near the village • No Development works like roads, proper lighting and drinking water • Namesake Sanitization works which is not effectively fighting the mosquitoe or other menaces • Respiratory cases among kids reported We ask BBMP to completely stop the dumping and find alternative locations as this landfill is filled up to its capacity. 1. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/kspcb-palike-dumping-mixed-waste-in-bellahalli/articleshow/71589875.cms 2. https://www.deccanherald.com/city/bengaluru-infrastructure/rain-turns-bellahalli-landfill-a-healthrisk-for-people-771727.html 3.https://www.deccanherald.com/city/bengaluru-infrastructure/rain-turns-bellahalli-landfill-a-healthrisk-for-people-771727.html
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  • Bachon Ki Mann Ki Baat
    Dear Modi ji, My name is Ridhima Pandey. I’m a 12-year-old student and climate change activist from Dehradun. As someone whose health and future hinges on decisions made by leaders like you, I’m making an appeal to you on behalf of India’s 800 million children. Our capital became a talking point globally last week, as Delhi,NCR, Noida, Faridabad and Ghaziabad were englufed in smog and visbility became low. Air quality rose to 999 which is hazardous and calls for an emergency situation. Even Chennai's air quality hovered in the poor to very poor category last week. Many studies have pointed to severe health impacts PM (particulate matter) levels in the air can have on people. Children like me, with our developing immune systems, are more prone to this. It pains me to see my peers or those younger than me struggle with asthma, bronchitis, lung diseases and other illnessees, caused to a large extent due to toxic air. Two months ago, I joined Greta Thunberg and 14 other children at the United Nations Climate Action Summit, filing a complaint to protest the lack of government action on the climate crisis. In 2017, I had filed a petition in the NGT against this too. But the NGT dismissed my plea, saying that climate change was already covered under environment impact assessment. Modi ji, as the top leader of this country, I ask you whether you really think enough is being done to address the pressing problem of environment and air pollution in this country. We need immediate solutions to this crisis, and we must start by declaring air pollution as a public health emergency. Your show Mann Ki Baat is aired in far corners of the country, and will serve as an important platform to talk about this issue. This Children's Day, I urge you to break your silence on Mann Ki Baat, and help safeguard the future of 800 million children by urgently addressing the dangers of air pollution. #BachonKiMannKiBaat Thank you.
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  • BBMP, we need a public consultation before passing Solid Waste Management bylaws
    BBMP published the Draft Solid Waste Management by-laws, on September 26 2019, for public objections and suggestions, with the last date for receiving feedback on or before October 31, 2019(1). A review of this draft by-law by the Solid Waste Management Round Table reveals that if these SWM by-laws were to be implemented it will completely undermine the decade-long effort by the High Court of Karnataka and the BBMP itself, to streamline the solid waste management practices. The by-law in its present form is an attempt to bring back the contractor monopoly creating a big setback to the efforts made thus far by local organisations. By-laws should be specific, pragmatic, and in a form that enables regulating authority to perform their duty without any ambiguity. However, the SWM by-laws drafted by BBMP are far from that. Some of the observations included in the current draft point the issues of - No Intention to Implement Zero Waste - Lopsided Economics and Unfair Protection - Back to the old monopoly contract system - No focus on in-situ or ward level processing of waste and justification for dilution of the duties of the Bulk Generators to carry out in situ - No Public Disclosure and Lack of Consultative Process In this regard, we demand a public consultation before passing of these SWM by-laws so the public can take note and respond appropriately to the BBMP, and work together for a better, environmentally sustainable and economically feasible plan for the city. Sources: https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/solid-waste-management-bylaws-to-be-notified/article28763853.ece
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  • Dear Dada, Delhi is Choking. Please Shift the T20 Match Venue
    To, The President of the BCCI, Sourav Ganguly India is scheduled to play Bangladesh in a T20 cricket match on November 3rd in the pollution capital of the country, New Delhi. Going by official data, collated by AirVisual, AQI in Delhi, the ppm levels peaked within 24 hours - from 163 to 1,005.These are the worst levels recorded since February this year. It is a well established fact that pollution levels peak during this time of the year thanks to Diwali, the onset of the winter smog, the Thermal Power Plants spewing pollutants around the Delhi NCR region among other things. This is the annual state of affairs and this year is frankly no different. Current air quality (AQ) levels are hovering between "severe" and "unhealthy" and are only likely to get worse! Air pollution kills millions every year, and Delhi is known for the highest levels of pollution in the country. This has been recognised by the medical fraternity and the Indian Medical Association has even called this a medical emergency. Health specialists have been warning the public to safeguard themselves and the most vulnerable sections of society - children, pregnant women and the elderly especially of the hazards air pollution faces. And our finest boys in blue are no exception to this hazard. Thousands of innocent spectators at the venue will be putting themselves at risk in order to watch the match. In a similar situation in December 2017 when India played Sri Lanka, in a test match at Feroz Shah Kotla, a number of players had breathing issues while others got really sick as a result of the extreme pollution. This became international news. We hope under your leadership, the only news that becomes international is India’s game on the field. And not of the boys in blue wearing air pollution masks! While this is last minute to change venue or reschedule, we urge you to treat this as an emergency. Because it is an emergency. And while cricket runs in every Indian’s blood, it’s not worth damaging our lungs. Not the team’s nor that of the spectators. We hope you take leadership in this regard and do what is right. Sources: https://fit.thequint.com/health-news/open-letter-to-sourav-ganguly-to-shift-match-venue-from-delhi-air-pollution https://www.news18.com/news/india/from-163-to-1005-on-air-quality-index-how-delhi-turned-into-a-gas-chamber-on-diwali-in-just-6-hours-2365485.html
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  • Save Doddanekkundi lake
    While all the focus has been on the highly polluted Bellandur and Varthur lakes, little attention is being paid to what is happening upstream of these lakes that make up for the chain of water bodies leading to Bellandur lake. With untreated sewage flowing unabatedly into Kaggadasapura lake, and eventually into Doddanekundi lake, the likelihood of Varthur and Bellandur lakes getting a chance at rejuvenation is not looking bright. In 2015, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) undertook a ₹10-crore project for rejuvenation of Doddanekundi lake, which included dredging, building bunds, and fencing the lake area to prevent encroachment. Now, the lake has a large open drain flowing into it, and garbage-filled storm-water drains around it, which end up contributing nothing but the waste into the lake[1] [2]. Doddanekkundi lake was once a much bigger ecosystem with huge catchment area, it supported a lot of flora and fauna, rare migratory and residential birds visited and lived in the lake. Various government agencies such as the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) and Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) have spent crores of rupees on the beautification and rejuvenation of various lakes across the city. However, owing to lack of planning and standard procedure and confusion over ownership and maintenance responsibilities, rejuvenated lakes are either getting encroached or polluted again. The inflow of sewage directly or through storm-water drains (SWD) continues in many of the rejuvenated lakes, and most of them do not have sewage treatment plants (STP). In addition, rejuvenated lakes continue to remain dry because of poor monsoon. Sewage enters doddanekkundi lake (a 130 odd acre lake) every year after the government spent crores in 2014-15 and worked on its "revival", drain inlets are open every rainy season, forcing the continuous flow of sewage into the lake for 2-3 months of the year. This is due to the outdated design of the Rajukaluves connected to the lake, the drains flood the surrounding areas which cause people to breach the inlets into the lake, we can't blame anybody here, but it is a practical problem and a very much solvable problem if the authorities put enough effort into considering all possible scenarios and honestly execute a well-studied model. Our demands: 1)Zero volume of sewage discharge into the lake and remodelling of the Rajukaluves, we don't want our lake to be a large breeding ground for mosquitoes and other pathogens. 2) On long term demand include wetland treatment or development of sewage treatment plants (STP) to be funded and executed. To avoid situations where sewage inevitably has to enter lake during rains, we want to make sure that the sewage entering is treated, so as to protect most of the lake from sewage contamination. 3) We want BBMP to prevent garbage dumping and encroachment around and in the lake, deploy permanent security/cleaning staff for maintenance and protection of the lake if need be. Benefits of executing our demands: 1) A clean and safe environment means all citizens feel good and healthy. 2) Zero sewage discharge would ensure shallow and clean waters when it rains and flocks of birds would once again visit and maybe even breed like in 2014-15 when no sewage entered[3]. 3) The water table in the Doddanekkundi, Kagdaspura, Vignannagar, Vibuthipura, Gururaja layout, Basvanagar, Virla layout and other areas around the lake would improve. 4) Would set a model to improve the condition of other lakes in Bangalore. Sources: [1] https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/little-focus-on-waterbodies-that-are-upstream-of-bellandur-varthur-lakes/article21269589.ece [2] https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/no-water-flows-in-rejuvenated-doddanekundi-lake/article28453760.ece [3] https://ebird.org/hotspot/L4546742?yr=all&m=&rank=mrec
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