Environment Support Group



What do human-elephant conflict, smart cities, thermal power plants on a sea coast, C-section births and the recent migrant labour debacle have in common?

Development. What exactly are we developing towards?

Ask an elephant shot at by an angry mob, a shopkeeper displaced by a smart city project, a fisherman whose livelihood is destroyed by a power plant, a mother whose stomach is cut open unnecessarily so she can give birth to her child or a migrant who has walked hundreds of kilometers home – what they think of development. Clearly, whatever development is, their experiences indicate they have paid the price for it.

The ‘Interdisciplinary Action Research: Conversations with Emerging Leaders’ emerged as a critique of the mainstream development paradigm and showcased the young leaders’ efforts to build humane, viable alternatives in the post covid world.

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Smart Cities Mission’ Is Anti-poor, Non-inclusive, And Against The Constitutional Mandate: Experts

ESG and CFA hosted a workshop on Interrogating Governance and Financial Implications of ‘Smart Cities’  as part of the Governance of Socio-Technical Transformations(GOST) project. The workshop brought together a diverse set of people who have been engaging with the conceptualisation, financing and implementation of ‘smart city’ projects across India, in the wider context of the urbanisation experiences in India.

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ESG in the News

A Victory Cast in Stone

Government is on the backfoot with determined farmers  protesting peacefully against the Farm Laws. Whatever the official obfuscations, this is a People’s agitation/ protest against laws which they well understand will do them harm.

In present times, barring ritual voting in elections, the will of We the People rarely receives recognition. A people’s victory is rarer still when central and state governments impose laws and projects according to a pattern of development that is being questioned.

It is good to recall a People’s victory won by peaceful means, commemorated on July 24, 2010, with a “Vijayagallu” (Victory Stone) near a village outside Mysore, Karnataka. The Environment Support Group rendered invaluable support to this movement.

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Bengaluru residents file petition against reopening of wet waste processing plants

Environment Support Group and others, has filed a petition in the Karnataka High Court, opposing the re-opening of the wet waste treatment plants.“The residents of downstream villages like Mavallipura have suffered grievous impacts—loss of livelihoods, lives and health issues—because of the negligence from the BBMP and continue to do so. They also have suffered property damage,” read the petition.

A survey conducted by Dr Kashinath Dixit, upon request of the Environment Support Group, found an alarming increase in the occurrences of cancer, especially among youth, in the localities where the waste processing units are located. Many youths were even diagnosed with renal failure.

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KSPCB risks losing way with its tightrope act

Long accused of inaction against offenders, the pollution watchdog is increasingly being pushed towards reform by the authorities

Leo Saldanha, Environment Support Group thinks that the only thing KSPCB has to do to improve its functioning is to implement the provisions of the Environment Protection Act, Air and Water Acts, nothing else.

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From Around the Web

Mollem: The battle to save a biodiversity hotspot in India’s Goa

Goa, a lush, popular tourist spot on India’s western coast, has seen weeks of protests against three infrastructure projects. Locals fear the works will damage the state’s biodiversity and turn it into a coal hub

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Ecosystem in an extraordinary year

The pandemic offers four big environmental lessons in an urbanising world. First, biodiversity conservation gains urgency due to zoonotic disease risks. Next, local disease outbreak can break out globally. Third, poor migrants are disproportionate bearers of risk burdens. Last, the pandemic’s risks are an unparalleled environmental reset opportunity. 

But more specific and related conservation and sustainability patterns and indicators emerged. From Baltimore to Barcelona to Bengaluru. Pollution and carbon emission decreased. Economic inactivity forced an urban de-population. Nature reportedly healed. Opportunistic environmental policy dilution occurred. Positive and negative, these offer learning opportunities for Karnataka and Bengaluru.

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Burnt homes, illnesses, damage to ecology: what Baghjan is left with months after OIL fire 

Life has become hard on Baghjan’s inhabitants after 27 May when the Oil India Ltd (OIL)’s oil well number 5 exploded with a deafening noise. On 9 June, the well caught fire. After burning bright for 170 days, the blowout — India’s longest oil well fire — was doused last month with experts from Canada employing a special ‘snubbing’ technique to cap the well. 

On 3 December, the PSU abandoned the well completely. While the incident is now in the past, the villagers, who were evacuated to relief camps promptly, now complain of anxiety, damage to their ears, and respiratory illnesses. Moreover, the rare Maguri-Motapung wetland and Dibru Saikhowa National Park, located next to the blowout site, have suffered long-lasting damage.

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