Sunday, December 30, 2012

"Daughters are neither Safe Inside the Womb nor Outside"

A poster that was widely circulated on Face book saying "A nation where daughters are neither safe inside the womb nor outside" very aptly highlights how badly women are treated in "Shining", "Incredible", and "Developing" India.   


Right to Equality: The Constitution of India prohibits discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth. But even after more than 60 years, the Gender Equality & Empowerment of Women continues to remain in Millennium Goals of Govt. of India. The disparity is evident from the fact that percentage of Women in Parliament is hardly 10%, while the employed women in non-agriculture sector (2005) is around 18%.

If the political leaders shedding the crocodile tears and making right noises over the reprehensible crime in New Delhi on 16 th December, are serious and sincere about empowerment of women, they should immediately pass the 'Women's Reservation Bill" so that at least 180 Female MPs can be present in the next Lok Sabha.

The 23 year old brave daughter of India, as one research scholar has rightly put it, did not die of multiorgan failure, but it was the multiorgan failure of this Society and the State which killed her.

What is the accountability of Senior Politicians and Officials presiding over malfunctioning of the State Administration? It is not as if  there are  no laws dealing with rape and sexual assault, but it is the monumental apathy and failure of the insensitive and unresponsive  Police, Judiciary and Neta/Babu Nexus, made them ineffective and non functional.

As a society and individual, we are equally responsible and accountable, because of our apathy, lack of compassion and not raising our voices against incidents of this nature happening around us. Every one of us can make a difference by our attitudinal and behavioral change, to raise our voice and make it heard in the right quarters against atrocities of this nature.                             

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Bulk Drug Industry Corporate Commitment to Community

Blanket of Corruption between Politics, Administration & Bulk Drug Industry seems to have been too tightly woven!

The AP Pollution Control Board (APPCB) Task Force meeting scheduled to be held today, Thursday, 13 th December is understood to have been postponed, because of the absence of Member Secretary on health grounds. It is reliably learnt that Member Secretary chosen to keep away from the meeting to avoid decision making under duress from the powers that matter.

As a result, the defaulting 12 major Bulk Drug Units, indulging in the production of un-consented products and/or producing more than the permitted capacities, under the disguise of Zero Liquid Discharges ( ZLD) got out of the net for the time being.

In the meantime, there is every possibility of the state government acting on the recommendation of APPCB, in its meeting held on 4 th December and accept the recommendation of High Level Expert Committee namely- permitting expansion of existing industries having ZLD facility, on case to case to basis in relaxation of Ban Order, based on legal advice.


What more does the Bulk Drug Industry want? The Bulk Drug Industry is willing to take risk to the bitter end, in their greed for profit paved with the lives of the people. The state is not prepared to take action against these irreprehensible environmental crimes, which often damage the community more seriously than the criminal offences of the conventional kind.



National Investment Board

 The high power Cabinet Committee on Investments (National Investment Board), under the chairmanship of Prime Minister to accord expeditious approval to projects of over Rs 1,000 Crore, is only meant for the benefit of large firms and investors and  to bypass the required green clearances for mega projects, while having no provision for redressing the concerns of the people affected by these projects.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Dishonesty of Pharmaceutical Industry?

 "If the whole pharmacopeia were to be sunk to the bottom of seas, that will be that much good for people and that much worse for the fishes"

                                                                                                                                                                 - Oliver Wendell Holmes

 "There is no pill for every ill but there is definitely an ill following every pill"

                                                                                                                                 - Professor H.M.Hegde


"The pharmaceutical industry is the most lucrative, the most cynical and the least ethical of all the industries.  It is like an Octopus with tentacles that has infiltrated all the decision-making bodies, world health organizations, governments, parliaments, high administrations in health and hospitals and the medical profession."

                                                                                                 - Professor Philippe Evans, Director of Necker Institute, France


"In all, 26 companies, including eight of the 10 top players in the global industry, have been found to be acting dishonestly"

                                                                                                                                                             -  The New England Journal of Medicine  


Acknowledgement: Extracts from the Article "Money is Mammon in pharmaceutical   world "by Prof.H.M.Hegde published

                                      in THE HINDU, December 09, 2012




Friday, November 23, 2012

Lifting of Ban on Bulk Drug Units

The AP Government is understood to be considering, to lift the ban imposed on Bulk Drug Units by G.O.62 dated 28-04-1999, in compliance with the Supreme Court Directive in interim orders dated.12.05.1998 in W.P.N0.1056/90.


The justification being put forward for lifting the ban appears to be that the ban order of a decade old, was based on the then prevailing obsolete technologies / processes being adopted / used by the Bulk Drug Industry. The industry can achieve zero discharges by adopting the State of Art Technologies / Processes now available.


Ground Realities


The Supreme Court in W.P.N0.1056 of 1990, as far back as 1998, directed the industries for segregation of waste streams containing non-degradable pollutants from the degradable ones, for treatment / disposal at the very source of their generation ie at the industry itself, instead of sending it to CETPs. But unfortunately, neither the industry implemented nor the regulating agencies enforced its implementation and the untreated / under-treated effluents, continue to be discharged into 18 KM Pipeline / Sewers / Drains /STPs / Musi River unchecked.


The enforcement of measures for the discharges from CETPs to comply with the Surface Water Standards, as stipulated in the Joint Action Plan of CPCB & APPCB of 2-7-2007 submitted to Supreme Court in W.P.No 476 / 2005, & W.P.No 441 / 2005, does not seem to be effective. If they conform to surface water standards, what is the need to transfer the so called treated effluents of PETL, at considerable cost and effort into Sewers by 18 KM Pipeline, ultimately finding their way, through STPs, into Musi River?


It is abundantly clear that pollution levels are on the increase, as Pattancheru- Bollaram was identified by CPCB in 2010, as one of the critically polluted industrial clusters in the country. It can also be judged by the fact that as late as  2012, the APPCB served closure notice  to 12 Bulk Drug Companies, whose manufacturing units located  around Hyderabad were indulging in manufacture of 'Unconsented' Products' and stepping up of quantity of production without mandatory prior Environmental Clearance and leading to increased pollution load. 




In accordance with sub-section 15 (1) of The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 , whoever fails to comply with or contravenes any of the provisions of this Act, or the Rules made or Orders or Directions issued there under shall, in respect of each such failure or contravention , be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years or with fine which may extend for one Lakh Rupees, or with both?


But, there does not seem to be a single instance, in which penal action was initiated against repeatedly defaulting units with impunity during the last two decades or so. Unless non-compliance of rules / regulations is made a High-Risk Business by strict implementation of the provisions of the Act by stringent Penal Action, the situation may not be very different even after switching over to so called State of Art Technology /  Process.




Why should the Bulk Drug Industry spend money on State of Art Technology / Process to minimize / avoid  pollution load, when it can be passed on To Others, To Elsewhere and To Future, with out of much of a Risk ?  


The Answer is  a) Non -Compliance is to be made A High Risk Business instead of being A High Profit Business as at present .

                             b) Proof of Burden should be on the Polluter  and

                             c) Polluter Pays Principal should be made applicable


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Kolleru Area Downsizing - Not only Pelicans, Even Eluru & Vijayawada may be at Risk

 The recent floods caused by "Cyclone Nilam" in the various drains– Budameru, Tammileru etc.- that empty into Kolleru Lake, have caused the water to rise up and cross the +8 feet contour. This has resulted in flooding of several colonies along the banks of Budameru in Vijayawada City, for several days.


Dr.Azeez Committee Report


 Dr. Aziz Committee clearly stated that every few years, the lake spreads over +7 feet contour and on an average once in eight years the lake fills to above +9 feet contour, holding up to 1222 million cubic meters of water in contrast to the storage of about mere 150 and 300 million cubic meters at +3 and +5 contours respectively.


 It is also stated that if Kolleru Lake is resized by reducing its effective functional area, inflow during rains would spread far wider and away into upstream areas, submerging bed and belt villages and at times the towns of Eluru, Gudivada and Vijayawada. The elevated water will remain for a longer period, as it is to be drained by only one outlet, the Upputeru, that is now ill equipped to carry all the waters.




 In the light of the position explained above and the urgency & importance of the matter, MOEF, GOI and AP State Govt are  requested for early implementation of the recommendations of Dr. Azeez Committee, which were accepted in Toto by the Standing Committee of NBWL, without any further delay.


Friday, November 9, 2012

Can Avoid Power Cuts by Cutting Down Losses!

 Historical data of AP Power System

As per the "White Paper" dated 31.3.1999, prepared by A.P. TRANSCO, the total of 36380 MU units were available for sale in the system during 1997-98. The Energy Audit of AP Power System conducted month-wise, showed only 34799.50 MU as the total energy input from April 1997 to March 1998. Presumably the unaccounted difference of 1580.50 MU, which works out to be 4.34% of total units available for sale, is accounted as Transmission Losses ( 33KV & above) of the system.

The findings of the Energy Audit also showed 23254.82 MU, as the total actual sales during the year under the following categories.

     *HT Consumers    7703.79 MU (22.14%)       Metered

     *LT Consumers     7260.91 MU (20.86%)       Metered

     *Agl.  Consumers   8290.12 MU (23.82%)       Unmetered and estimated

The balance of 11544.68 MU, which works out to be 33.17% of energy input, was shown as energy lost in the system, over and above 4.34% transmission losses accounted for earlier. These losses in Distribution Network, may be classified into technical losses & commercial losses because of theft. The technical losses were estimated to be of the order of 6960 MU, working out to be 20% and the balance 4584.68 MU i.e. 13.17% is being treated as commercial losses. The total energy lost in the T&D system-13125.18 MU- is equivalent to the installed capacity of 1875 MW, assuming 7MU per MW at 80% Plant Utilization.

No Change even after more than a Decade

 As per the data available in APERC Tariff Order of July 2010, a total of 77, 828.26 MU is approved for purchase by 4 DISCOMS, permitting Transmission Losses of 4.86 % and Distribution Losses of 13.84%, accounting for total loss of 12,790.76 MU,equivalent to installed capacity of  about 1825 MW .

As the LT Sales constitute substantial part of the total sales of the DISCOMS, the verifiable data regarding LT Consumption is of very serious concern. The total metered and billed LT sales, is hovering around 40% of the total LT input since mid 90 s and according to APERC the total LT metered sales of CPDCL, even during 2009-10, are less than 50% of the total LT input.

 The unmetered LT consumption is being appropriated under agricultural consumption and the losses by a process of estimation, with the possible intention of keeping the losses low, at the risk of jacking up agricultural consumption.

Way Out

Even after a decade, there does not seem to be much of improvement in the performance of some of the DISCOMS in implementing SSM measures to bring down the losses, wastages, pilferage etc. in the power system. Some of the issues, which need to be given special attention to achieve definite time bound targets, are;

*Reduction of Transmission Losses, which are around more than 4%  since 1990 s   need to be brought down below 3% at the earliest.

*The 100% Metered LT Sales in sectors other than Agricultural Services, is to be  targeted with out any further delay, to practically eliminate commercial losses (10-15%) and for working out the exact technical losses with a view to  improve the LT network  and above all to create accountability on  the part of the field staff of the utilities, 

* Reduction of Distribution Losses, which hover around 15% need to be brought down  to below 10% in a given time frame.

* Agricultural Consumption figures continue to be controversial and arbitrary for over the  last 10 years which are being projected between 25% to 40%, with out any verifiable  data which can stand any scrutiny.

* Agriculture Consumption, even if it is to be given free, should be metered and accounted for, so as to bring in clarity regarding the amount to be subsidized by Govt. and accountability for Losses on the part of DICOMS   












Sunday, November 4, 2012

Kovvada NPP of NPCIL - Land Acquisition?

Trauma of Land Acquisition 

 The land acquisition process for public use/other purposes invariably causes distress in affected families, because of displacement &the loss of the primary sources of livelihood of fishermen & tribal communities in particular, having traditional rights on Natural Resources of Sea & Forests.

No amount of compensation can offer solace and relief from distress caused by the loss of their age old habitations and livelihoods. In the case of land acquisition for Nuclear Power Plants, the threat from likely nuclear radiation, which became the public knowledge after Fukushima Dai-ichi NPP disaster, persists among the people in the surrounding areas.

Land Acquisition Bill No.77 of 2011


  With a view to minimize the  disturbance & trauma  to the owners of the land and other affected families, the  Govt of India introduced the Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill No.77 of 2011,  for ensuring  a Humane, Participatory, Informed Consultative & Transparent process for land acquisition for public purposes.

 As per the Bill, the Social Impact Assessment (SIA) Study of the families likely to be affected by the land acquisition is to be undertaken in consultation with Grama Sabhas at habitation level. The SIA Study report is to be published after having a Public Hearing in the affected areas. It stipulates the consent of at least 80% of affected families, before land acquisition is initiated. 

G.O.Ms.No 42 of 1 st November 2012 

But unfortunately AP Govt. ignored the basic principles of Land Acquisition, R&R Bill No.77 of 2011- Humane, Participatory, Informed Consultative & Transparent Process- and unilaterally declared and notified the "project-affected" villages based on R&R Policy of 2005 Accordingly G.O.Ms.No 42 dated 01-11-2012 was issued, authorizing District Collector, for acquisition of the land required for Kovvada NPP of NPCIL, in Ranasthalam Mandal of Srikakulam district.

Land Acquisition before Environmental Clearance (EC)?


 The Punjab and Haryana High Court, on Wednesday, 31 st October 2012, is reported to have not allowed the Punjab Government, the auction of a mining site without proper Environmental Clearance.


Therefore G.O.Ms.No 42 dated 01-11-2012 authorizing the District Collector to acquire the land required for Kovvada NPP of NPCIL, before the project is accorded Environmental Clearance by MOEF, is not only  irregular and objectionable and also amounts to be immoral and inhumane, making the entire process of Environmental Clearance, a ritual and a mockery.


People of Kovvada do not Count?


The five "project affected" villages & hamlets (Exclusive Zone) notified in the G.O, have 1983 house holds with population of 7,960 as per 2011 census. These people mostly depending on fishing for their livelihood will be uprooted and rehabilitated elsewhere.


Around 40 villages/hamlets are covered by the Sterilized Zone (1..5 Km to 5.0 Km) having about 6,000 households with population of 30,000. The private land in the zone is to the extent of 11,600 acres, predominantly with intensive agricultural activities.


These 6,000 households with the population of about 30,000, in the close vicinity of the proposed Nuclear Power Park, will be worse affected, as they are likely to be exposed to radioactive gases  routinely released by 6 Reactors, with a capacity 1000 MWe each, for the next 30 to 40 years of their operation. Their agricultural produce is likely to be contaminated by radiation and no new activity is permitted in this zone. 




In the light of the position explained above and taking into account the serious public opposition to the proposed NPP of NPCIL at Jaitapur in Maharashtra even after MOEF accorded Environmental Clearance,  the prolonged and stiff public opposition being faced by NPCIL NPP at Koodankulam in Tamilnadu, which is yet to be commissioned even after 20 years and having compassion for the fellow human beings of Kovvada, the proposed land acquisition should be kept in abeyance.


 The following need to be complied with, before Land Acquisition for Kovvada NPP can be initiated:


a)    Social Impact Assessment (SIA) Study of the families likely to be affected by the land acquisition, be undertaken in consultation with Grama Sabhas at habitation level and the consent of at least 80% of affected families be obtained, before land acquisition is initiated as stipulated in the Bill No.77 of 2011.

b)    NPCIL be asked to comply with preparation of Site Evaluation Report (SER), Safety Analysis Report (SER) and Emergency Preparedness Plan ( EPP), Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report Environmental Public Hearing (EPH) etc. for the project site.

c)    Environmental Clearance by MOEF based on the findings of EPH and other environmental considerations such as Sustainability, Precautionary Principle etc.  


Friday, October 19, 2012

Energy Efficiency /Conservation Measures

  Thamaso Ma Jyothirgamaya  !
 In spite of achieving  impressive increase  of  installed power generation capacity from 1,362 MW in 1947 to the current level of 190,593 MW (as of Feb 2012), the country is facing serious power shortages and more than 40% Rural Households do not have access to power supply. 


Energy Wastage & Our Role ?

 More than 25% of the  Electrical Energy generated is being wasted by inefficient use and misuse by the Consumers. Each one of us, as  the Consumer have a Responsibility and Role to prevent the wastage and make a difference. All that we need is the change in our Attitudes, Lifestyles and Habits to minimize/prevent the wastage. 


How to Bring down Consumption / Wastage ?

* Avoid switching on Lights during daytime or use sparingly, by making use of natural light to the extent possible

*Last person leaving the room should switch off all Lights , Fans etc 

*Avoid Using Incandescent Bulbs which generate more Heat than the Light

*Opt for LED Lighting Systems when ever  existing lighting devices need Replacement

* Try to avoid using Air Conditioners during the Winter months 

*Switch off TV, CD Players, DVDs, Music Systems etc from the Mains instead of by Remote  

*Avoid opening the Refrigerator door frequently .

* Set the Thermostat/ Temperature Control of Refrigerator and Air Conditioner correctly as per the season

*Whenever replacing the existing old Fans, Refrigerators, Air conditioners etc opt for "Star Rated" replacements with 1 to 5 Stars. More the Stars, Higher the Efficiency & the Energy Savings.


Benefits of Energy Savings       

* Saving of one Unit a day means  30 units per month and Saving of Rs 150 or more a month

* Saving of one unit at our end means, 2 units saving at the Generating Station and lessor no  Power Cuts


               Switch off A  Little. Save A Lot

               Energy is Life. Conserve It.

               You Have The Power To Save Power

               Act Straight Away  & Make A Difference !


Imagine, What Happens with Fast Tracking?

 It is reported that a five-screen Multiplex, at the busiest Kacheguda cross roads in Hyderabad, was given the go-ahead for screening the films by the AP State Government , even though it does not have the statutory NOC / Permission from Hyderabad Police Commissioner. The Police Commissioner is reported to have requested the State Govt. for clarification on action to be taken or penalty to be imposed for violating the Govt orders/rules, against the management of Multiplex – M/s Gayatri Hotels and Theaters Pvt. Ltd.- in which the family of influential Congress MP is known to have interests


The same Congress MP's family was involved in M/S Gayatri Hytech Hotels Ltd. which started construction of  Park Hyatt Hotel in Plot No 8-2-120 164 etc, Road No. 2, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad, even before obtaining the statutory prior clearance of MOEF, in utter disregard and violation of the provisions of EIA Notification of 2006. When this was brought to the notice of the Prime Minister by letter dated 03-11-2007, the project proponent was rewarded with Environmental Clearance in March 2008, instead of initiating stipulated penal action for violation of the provisions of EIA Notification.

The other instance is about the proposed 1980 MW coal based Thermal Power Plant in about 1500 acres of land allotted by APIIC to M/s Thermal Powertech (India) Ltd,  in Polatithippa Village, Machilipatnam Mandal, Krishna District  having adverse impacts  on the Mangroves / Mud flats / barren lands in the Coastal areas of Polatithippa Village .After the AP High Court intervention by its order dated 12-09-2008 in W.P 177704 of 2008, the Power Plant was shifted to Nellore District near Krishnapatnam . Again, the same Congress MPs Family / Associates,  is understood to have been interested in M/s Thermal Powertech (India) Ltd.

To crown it all, the same Congress MP (Raja Sabha Member) was appointed as Chairman of Parliament Standing Committee (Rajya Sabha) on Science & Technology, Environment & Forests, in spite of vehement opposition voiced by NGOs and the concerned citizens against the appointment. It clearly establishes that violation of Law & Rules is a Rewarding and High Profit Business, instead of being subjected to any Penal Action and Risks.

 Environmental crimes often damage the community more seriously than the criminal offences of the conventional kind. Yet the Environmental Criminals get away with murder, because of their proximity to the Policy and Decision makers.

If this is the state of affairs now, can we imagine the extent environmental massacre, once the fast tracking of environmental clearances is brought into force by overruling the Environmental Acts, Rules etc. ?



Thursday, October 11, 2012

Supremacy of Economic Growth over Environment?


The proposed constitution of the National Investment Board (NIB), as an empowered Standing Committee of the Cabinet, under the Chairmanship of the Prime Minister to facilitate "Fast Tracking" of big projects, is a clear indication of utter contempt and disregard to the obligations of the Government and is Unconstitutional. 

It encourages the economic system which results in the concentration of wealth and means of production to the common detriment and goes against the obligation of protecting and improving the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife.

Fast Tracking Derails Stakeholder Interests

The concern of the government to fast track the project clearance, serves the interests of the corporate bodies at the cost of environment and the interests of the stake holders who are aggrieved by the adverse impacts of the project. They are not even given a patient listening and are targeted by Water Cannons, Teargas Shells, Cane Charges, Rubber / Live Bullets etc,

Fast tracking of the projects does not work by ignoring the interests of the citizens , stake holders etc and the rule of  environmental law. On the contrary it works by only fast tracking the implementation of the laws.

 Accountability for Socio-Economic impacts of Environmental Problems?

The economic development with environmental problems is being fast tracked, but the socio-economic impacts of environmental problems, which are significant, are being passed to others, to elsewhere and to the future.

The infrastructure projects like Mining, Thermal Power, Highways etc coming up in the Forest land will have to comply with the provisions of the Forest Rights Act ( FRA) and the ones coming up in Fifth Schedule Area (Tribal Area) will have to comply with the provisions of the Panchayat ( Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act ( PESA). 

Any fast tracking of a project ignoring FRA and PESA by NIB will prove to be more of an Impediment than  a Stimulant to the Projects /Investments !






Saturday, September 29, 2012

Reprocessing of Spent Fuel from NPPs?

 Spent Fuel Rods from NPP

Each regular 1000 MW Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) is estimated to generate 30 tons of extremely potent radioactive waste annually, in the form of spent fuel rods. These fuel rods are normally confined in huge cooling pools at reactor sites or in dry storage casks beside the reactor. As these rods emit very lethal dose of radiation and are also extremely thermally hot, they must be stored for 30 to 60 years in a heavily shielded building and continually cooled by air or water.

Finally after an adequate cooling period, the fuel rods must eventually be packed into a container by remote control, for transportation to safe waste storage facility. The spent fuel packaging and its safe storage for periods of time, almost beyond our comprehension, are completely new and relatively untested, for which there does not seem to be any operational data.

The problem of permanent and safe disposal of highly radioactive nuclear material is everywhere, currently practically unresolved.

Reprocessing of Spent Fuel?

Addressing the apprehensions about storage and safe disposal of spent fuel rods from Nuclear Power Plants, the NPCIL is reported to have said that the entire spent fuel is not treated as waste. The storage capacity of spent fuel rods generated for more than seven years of full operation of reactors will be available at the NPP Site. After this time, the spent fuel    can be transported to a national facility for reprocessing to recover useful nuclear fuel.

Facts behind Reprocessing ? 

The spent fuel from NPPs is reported to consist of 96% non-disintegrated Uranium and 1% Plutonium. The rest of the contents are known to be non-recyclable fission products such as Ruthenium, Rhodium and Palladium. In the reprocessing plant, these fuel elements are fractionalized into pieces, the radioactive contents separated through solution process and the individual components isolated. Plutonium, Uranium and other fission products are now almost completely isolated and available. The isolated Plutonium is processed into so-called "mixed oxide fuel".( MOX), in order to be able to generate electricity. The reprocessing of uranium is not currently viable due to its impurity.

Reducing  Waste by 1% at what Cost ?

The amount of waste will be reduced by only 1%, since only the Plutonium content of the waste product is re-used. The term "Recycling" is therefore misleading because 99% of the original waste material remains in the form of non-usable, high-level waste solution.  


Friday, September 28, 2012

Rule of Law - Impediment for Economic Growth?

 An Impediment?

Dr.Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister, inaugurating international conference on "Economic Growth and Changes in Corporate Environment in Asia" is reported to have made certain observations regarding Supreme Court Judgments and their impact on economic growth.

"As recent judgments have shown, the adjudication of rights and claims between parties, including between state actors and non-state parties, has wide implications for the economy and can no longer be viewed in isolation.—Therefore, Judges of the 21 st century have to be social scientists, economists, political thinkers and philosophers"

A Stimulant?

Around the same time, Justice S.H.Kapadia, Chief Justice of India, is reported to have rejected the notion that the "Rule of Law" was an impediment to economic growth, terming it instead the 'single largest" stimulant factor. Further, a "minimum standard of fairness" was being ensured only through the "Rule of Law" 

Justice Kapadia is also reported to have said, with apparent reference to "Coal Gate", the basic fact is that Loss is a matter of Fact, where as Profit or Gain is a matter of Opinion" 

In the absence of economic literacy, coupled with legal literacy, "government institutions will suffer---in terms of democracy and the economy will be in peril."  He said, The Constitution had mandated that the Government to"-strive for economic democracy" and without it "political democracy will be in peril.

Ground Realities:

The present Government Policies, which tend to circumvent the "Rule of Law" particularly the Environmental Law, in the name of rapid economic development, are resulting in the concentration of wealth and means of production to the common detriment, going against economic democracy , social order and welfare of the people, in utter disregard to the constitutional obligations. 


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Kolleru -Pelicans may loose their Paradise Again

With Dr. Azeez Committee not acceding to the proposal of AP Legislative Assembly for reduction of boundary of Kolleru Wild Life Sanctuary(KWLS)  from +5 to +3 contours, the political vested interests seem to have  shifted their pressure on to District Collector, Krishna district . As per the press reports, the District Collector asked Kolleru Wildlife Division Officials to demarcate the so called disputed area of 2576.79 hectors, within the limits of 3 villages of Kaikaluru Mandal, as they were omitted in the Notification for KWLS ( G.O.120 of October 1999), even though they are within +5 contours.


Pelicans may loose their regained Paradise at Atapaka


 The Grey Pelicans, which once populated Kolleru Lake, disappeared from there, with large scale encroachment of the Ramsar Site for aquaculture. The birds returned to the lake to nest after a considerable gap, only after fishponds were dismantled during "Operation Restoration of Kolleru" in 2005. The Environmental Education Centre (EEC) established by Wildlife Division in an area of 260 acres of dismantled fish ponds, at Atapaka village near Kaikaluru, had become a "Paradise for Pelicans" once again. Watching the vast water spread, dotted with bunds providing habitats and  nesting facilities for sizable number of migratory birds is like a dream coming true and KWLS has again become live for migratory  birds.


Once the so called disputed area to an extent of about 7,600 acres is demarcated as claimed by the vested interests, the EEC at Atapaka, the Paradise of Pelicans, left with only 2 acres of land will be doomed without nesting place. 


Early Action Required


 An early action be initiated for speedy implementation of the recommendations of Dr.Azeez Committee, in a given time frame, because of the importance and urgency of the issue emphasized by the Committee.  Pending initiation of follow up action, the District Collector Krishna district and other concerned agencies be restrained from pursuing the demarcation of the so called disputed area of 2576.79 hectors in Kaikaluru Mandal-Nesting Place in EEC, Atapaka.   



             "Paradise for Pelicans"- Nesting Place in EEC at Atapaka



Friday, September 14, 2012

Kudankulam NPP- Validity of E.C Granted in 1989?

EIA Notification S.O.60 ( E ) dated 27-01-1994

According to Sub-section (2)(III) (C), the Environmental Clearance granted shall be valid for a period of 5 years for commencement of the construction or operation of the project.

EIA Notification S.O.1533 dated 14-09-2006

According to Section 9, the "Validity of Environmental Clearance" is meant the period from which a prior environmental clearance is granted by the regulatory authority, or may be presumed by the applicant   to have been granted under sub paragraph (iv) of paragraph 7 above, to the start of production operations by the project or activity, or completion of all construction operations in case of construction projects (item 8 of the Schedule), to which the application for prior environmental clearance refers. 

 MOEF, GOI Letter No.J.14011/1/88- IA.11 (M) dated 06-09-2001 addressed to Director (K K-LWR) , NPCIL

"Ministry has noted the chronology of events of appraisal of  the project , the progress made on implementation of the project, both in construction activities as well as the compliance to stipulations made in our environmental clearance letter of even number dated 9 th May 1989 The undersigned has also visited the site on 31 st August 2001 It was observed during the visit that the land acquisition has been completed and construction work on various components such as Township , Environmental and Health Research Centre , RO Plant etc. is in progress.------ In pursuance of the discussions at site, NPCIL has now submitted, vide its letter of 5 th September, 2001 details of expenditure and commitment made till August 2001 to the tune of Rs.37,727.26 Lakhs for Kudankulam Atomic Power Project"   

"Keeping in view the steps already taken to implement the project, the Environmental Clearance issued in May, 1989 stands valid and there is no need to conduct public hearing and seek fresh environmental clearance----"

Points to be addressed

1) The first Environmental Clearance (EC) for K K-1&2 units was granted on 9 th May 1989, 23 years back prior to issuing EIA Notification S.O.60 (E) dated 27-01-1994, which stipulates E C Validity for a period of 5 years for commencement of the construction or operation of the project. This is rather vague-what is meant by construction?

Even assuming 5 years for "Commencement of Construction", KKNPP should have started construction latest by May 1994, which does not seem to be the case, judging by MOEF appraisal in September 2001. The expenditure commitment made even till August 2001, was to the tune of Rs 37,727.26 Lakhs, seems to be meager, when compared to the massive expenditure for units 1&2 of KKNPP. The ground reality as on May 1994 remains a big question mark?  Therefore the validity of EC in 2001 and beyond is questionable?

2) According to EIA Notification S.O.1533 dated 14-09-2006, the validity of EC is for a period of 5 years from the date of granting prior environmental clearance till the start of production operations. Even assuming the base date as 14-09-2006, the date of issue of EIA Notification S.O.1533, at least one unit of KKNPP should have been commissioned by 14-09-2011 ? 

3) The stipulations made by MOEF, while granting EC more than two  decades back , particularly with regard to Radiation Hazards in the vicinity of NPP, the Risk / Disaster  Management Plans etc may prove to be grossly inadequate,  taking into account the Chernobyl and Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Disasters ? 

Therefore extending the validity of EC granted on 9 th May 1989, more than 23 years back, nearly half of the estimated useful life of a Nuclear Power Plant, needs to be examined / reviewed  whether it stands to Legal Scrutiny, Safety Standards, Aspirations of the Stakeholders in the Plant Vicinity  etc ?