Bahar Dutt (for Info only, not official)

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Bahar Dutt

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    ...Our environmental indices may be at an all-time low, but the stories of victory in the year gone by create hope for the coming year. 1. Victory for Standing Rock For several months, Native American tribes and their allies, led by the Standing Rock Sioux, have been protesting against the Dakota Access pipeline, a project that would transport oil from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota and Montana across the plains to Illinois. The protesters had argued that the pipeline would desecrate ancestral lands, threaten the water supply, and unfairly burden the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, which is unlikely to benefit from any economic development that accompanies the project. The tribe won a major victory when the Department of the Army announced that it would not allow the pipeline to be drilled under a dammed section of the Missouri river. ...

    Live Mint on Dec. 23, 2016, 1:36 a.m.

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    ...However, even those measures now are in danger of not serving their purpose because of glaring mistakes on behalf of the chief scientific body, the Wildlife Institute of India (WII). The Kanha Pench Corridor is one of the best tiger corridors in the country and vital for the long-term viability of tiger populations in the central Indian landscape. ...

    Live Mint on Dec. 9, 2016, 4:16 a.m.

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    ...Another (still alive) has taken refuge in an eco-restoration project at the Yamuna Biodiversity Park in Wazirabad on the edge of Delhi. While the two incidents were unrelated, our dear policymakers didn’t want to take a chance and so learning from the Gurgaon incident, the chief wildlife warden of Delhi has ordered a trap to be set at the Biodiversity Park so that the leopard could be caught and removed. A news item that was a source of joy will now spell doom for this poor hapless animal that has quite literally walked into a trap. That his order is in blatant violation of the law cannot be ignored. The law forbids capture of a wild animal without establishing any reason that it is a threat to human life. But the law is often ignored or dispensed with when it comes to wild animals; human lives are more important at any cost. At least that’s the message that has come out from the office of the chief wildlife warden when such random orders are issued. ...

    Live Mint on Nov. 29, 2016, 12:43 p.m.

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    ...Jha with the environment secretaries of five states—Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Rajasthan. Reporters gathered outside the environment ministry that day were told at the end of the meeting that “strong action” had to be taken to combat the air apocalypse that had gripped the National Capital Region centred on Delhi. A slew of measures were announced—ranging from shutting down brick kilns, regulating the use of diesel gensets and ordering Delhi police to conduct a drive against polluting vehicles. The press went home, the public was satisfied at last something was happening on air pollution. What we didn’t know was these were just advisories. Apart from suggestions, no further action was taken. ...

    Live Mint on Nov. 18, 2016, 1:04 a.m.

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    ...Are crackers really the cause of pollution? Or is it vehicular pollution fuelled by a gift culture around the festive season that leads to a spike in noxious gases that hang as a deathly cloud over Delhi? Data shows that an alarmingly high increase in pollution levels does take place due to the bursting of crackers. According to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research of the Union ministry of earth sciences, the levels of PM10 and PM2.5 in Delhi for this year post Diwali were recorded at severe levels of 785 micrograms per cubic metre and 491 micrograms per cubic metre, respectively. The safe limit of PM10 is 100 micrograms per cubic metre and PM2.5 is 60 micrograms per cubic metre, which means that the national capital witnessed nearly eight times the level of PM10 and PM2.5. ...

    Live Mint on Nov. 4, 2016, 1:10 a.m.

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    ...Considered to be the longest flyover at 6.72km, from the neighbourhood of Basaveshwara circle to the neighbourhood of Hebbal in Bengaluru, the proposed steel flyover is estimated to cost Rs1,791 crore and has sharply divided opinion in the city. The project will be executed by Larsen and Toubro Ltd (L&T) and Nagarjuna Ltd, with the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) overseeing it. While thousands protested, the Karnataka chief minister came out in favour of the construction. The National Green Tribunal has since granted interim injunction and asked the state to file a detailed environmental impact assessment before going ahead with the project, The Times of India reported on its website on Friday. ...

    Live Mint on Oct. 28, 2016, 8:15 p.m.

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    ...The same students felt that their coursework should focus more on studying species than how to conduct social surveys or work with communities. The Student Conference on Conservation is an annual event that brings together over 500 students from Africa and Asia to present the latest research. SCCS says it “helps young conservation scientists gain experience, learn new ideas and make contacts that will be valuable for their future careers.” It’s also a platform for young minds to learn from each other and some of the best minds in the field of wildlife biology. You could brush away the complaints of the students at the SCCS as just the rant of some students against a system. But the rant actually is symptomatic of a larger issue—of the existing tension within the discipline of conservation biology and how it should be taught. ...

    Live Mint on Oct. 7, 2016, 1:43 a.m.

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    ...While the media remain focused on the violence in Bengaluru, what got missed out was the cause and possible solutions.This writer reached out to different water experts to find out what could be the way forward to end the Cauvery crisis.But first, one must understand why this crisis erupted in the first place.The Cauvery river, which flows through southern Karnataka and then into Tamil Nadu, has been a point of conflict for decades.Its water was originally divided according to nearly century-old agreements.Over the years, both states have blamed each other over how much water is used for irrigation and asked for a judicial review.The latest trigger was an order by the Supreme Court asking Karnataka to release 12,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu, following which the violence broke out in Bengaluru.In their article titled “A river on fire”, authors K.J. ...

    Live Mint on Sept. 23, 2016, 12:04 a.m.