Sunday, 30 April 2017

Ganga Receives First Legal Notice After Getting Human Status

Ganga Receives First Legal Notice After Getting Human Status

PTI
April 29, 2017, 7:42 pm
April 29, 2017, 7:42 pm


 
After being accorded human status recently, river Ganga received its first legal notice from the Uttarakhand High Court today asking it to explain why its land was given for construction of a trenching ground.

The notice was issued by a division bench of the high court comprising Justice VK Bisht and Justice Alok Singh on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by a Rishikesh resident Swaroop Singh Pundir.

The PIL said a trenching ground is being constructed in village Khadri Khadag close to the banks of the holy river in gross violation of law.

Pundir claimed that the gram panchayat concerned allotted the land to the local civic body without consulting the villagers several years ago.

Issuing a notice to Ganga, the Union government, central pollution control board, state pollution control board and the Rishikesh municipality, the court directed the respondents to file a reply before May 8 when the matter is slated for next hearing.

Officials made custodians of the Ganga when it was granted human status by the high court, including the chief secretary, the advocate general and the director of Namami Gange project, will respond to the legal notice on behalf of the river.

The Uttarakhand High Court had earlier this year accorded the status of "living human entities" to the Ganga and Yamuna rivers to help in their "preservation and conservation".

Bestowing human status on the sacred but highly polluted rivers would, according to the court's order, amount to harming a human being.

Source:

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

CLIMATE SERVICE : ONLINE ACCESS : Elsevier

Recent Climate Services Articles

Recently published articles from Climate Services 
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Abdulla Sakalli | Alessandro Cescatti | Alessandro Dosio | Mehmet Ugur Gücel
Atmospheric CO2 has been dramatically increasing since beginning of the industrial time (i.e. 1860), being one of the main driver for climate change at regional and global level. The change in CO2 concentration...

Arthur T. DeGaetano | Christopher M. Castellano
A set of future extreme precipitation probabilities are developed for New York State based on different downscaling approaches and climate model projections. Based on nearly 50 downscaling method-climate...

Elizabeth Allen | Jennie Stephens | Georgine Yorgey | Chad Kruger | Sonya Ahamed | Jennifer Adam
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NEWS Update 17 AND 18 APRIL 2017

NEWS Update 17 AND 18 APRIL 2017
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*****

 

Monday, 17 April 2017

Labeling anti-mining adivasis in Niyamgiri as Maoists: shame!




[Clarification to the text I posted this morning, below; now having access to the Ministry of Home Affair's report on this, here is what it says: 

"The Maoists tried to strengthen coordination between its mass organizations and other like-minded organizations to undertake programmes against alleged state violence and for protection of democratic rights. In 2016, the issue of displacement of local communities remained the main plank of mobilization by the mass organisations. In Niyamgiri Hills area (Districts Rayagada and Kalahandi, Odisha), the outfit continued to guide the activities of the Niyamgiri Suraksha Samiti." 


The Hindu's report was somewhat misleading, since the Ministry does not say that NSS is itself Maoist. Nevertheless, in making such an allegation the Ministry is clearly linking NSS with Maoists, and thereby opening up the possibility of strong action against it ... the matter therefore remains serious]. 

According to the following news item, the central government has branded Niyamgiri Suraksha Samiti, NSS (and another Jharkhand movement group) as 'Maoist': 

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/centre-links-two-ngos-to-maoists/article18072465.ece


If correctly reported, this is utterly shameful, and a mockery of the duty of the government to uphold adivasi rights. The NSS has been at the forefront of the valiant struggle of the Dongria Kondh, a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (with special Constitutional and legal protection guarantees), against proposed mining in their hills by UK-based Vedanta corporation. Thus far they have been successful, having taken their fight all the way from their Odisha habitat to London, with the help of civil society, and gaining the mandate to say 'no' under a Supreme Court order that upheld their cultural and livelihood rights. Yet despite unanimous resolutions by gram sabhas against the mining, the state government has repeatedly tried to re-open the area for mining. Armed police have remained in the area, frequently terrorising the adivasis, illegally and without proper procedure detaining their youth and leaders.

It is a fact that the CPM's local unit has helped the movement, and it is also rumoured that so-called 'Maoists' are roaming in the area. Whatever the truth of the latter, it is a far cry from this to labelling the Dongria Kondh and their movement, led by the NSS, as Maoist (and thereby giving the impression that they are terrorists, anti-state, etc).

This government may as well change the constitution, to provide fundamental rights to corporations, replacing those that adivasis and other people of India are supposed to have.

For more on the struggle, pl. see:
The Niyamgiri Story: Challenging the idea of growth without limits (detailed case study)
Revisiting the Legend of Niyamgiri
The Niyamgiri Story: From resistance to hope for a better future 

Taken from blog:


THE HINDU

Centre links two NGOs to Maoists



Vijaita Singh
NEW DELHI APRIL 16, 2017 22:59 IST







Ministry report names groups opposed to mining and sale of tribal land

The Home Ministry has said in its annual report that at least two civil rights groups working for tribal people in Odisha and Jharkhand were allegedly acting as a front organisation for the Maoists and were using “displacement of local communities” as their main plank.
The Niyamgiri Suraksha Samiti (NSS) in Odisha and the Visthapan Virodhi Jan Vikas Andolan (VVJVA) in Jharkhand are the organisations.
The samiti has actively campaigned against mining activity by the Odisha Mining Corporation atop the Niyamgiri hills in south-western Odisha, which would have given U.K.-based Vedanta Group access to natural resources.
In 2013, as many as 12 gram sabhas of Dongaria Kondh and Kutia Kandha spread across Rayagada and Kalahandi districts voted against any mining activity in the area.
Last year, the Supreme Court quashed a petition by the corporation to hold fresh gram sabha consultations to allow bauxite mining on Nyamgiri hills.

Changes to tenancy law

Last year, the VVJVA vehemently opposed the Jharkhand government’s decision to amend two tenancy laws to allow use of agricultural land of tribal people for non-agricultural purposes. The Chotanagpur Tenancy Act of 1908 restricts the sale of tribal land to non-tribals in 16 districts of Jharkhand. The Santhal Pargana Tenancy Act of 1876 also prohibited sale of tribal land to non-tribals in the Santhal Pargana region.
“The Maoists tried to strengthen coordination between its mass organisations and other like-minded organisations to undertake programmes against alleged state violence and for protection of democratic rights. In 2016, the issue of displacement of local communities remained the main plank of mobilisation by the mass organisations,” the Home Ministry’s report said.
Referring to the samiti, the report said, “In Niyamgiri Hills area, the outfit [Maoists] continued to guide the activities of the NSS.”

Pro-tribal campaigns

“Similarly, in Jharkhand, the VVJVA, a front of CPI(Maoist) tried to rake up the pro-tribal issues and opposed amendments to the Chotanagpur and Santhal Pargana Tenancy Acts, modifications in Domicile policy, etc.” it said.
The report said Maoist affiliates also undertook protest programmes and resorted to anti-government propaganda over alleged atrocities by security forces. “They organised similar meetings over the issue of Kashmir and called for a plebiscite in the State,” the report said.
As per Home Ministry data, at least 323 incidents of violence related to left-wing extremism were reported in Jharkhand in 2016, second only to Chattisgarh, which recorded 395 incidents. Odisha recorded 86 incidents in 2016.
*****

LINK:
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/centre-links-two-ngos-to-maoists/article18072465.ece