Some Lost Cave Drawings.
Found inside the cave of Hemant Anant Jain. Dating from 2005-2011, in no particular order.
Remember the Himalayas? Jog your memory. The Himalayas. Yes, the guardian angels of India. The rainmakers. Where rivers are born. You may also remember a certain image from the Ramayana where Hanuman carries a holy mountain to save Laxman. Yes, those Himalayas. Or, the mountains where you spent the most amazing holidays of your life. Remember the Har ki Dun trek? Yes, those Himalayas. We got news for you. We destroyed them.
Selling bioreserves for tourism? Done. The first major ski resort in the Himalayas could be open by 2012 and attract up to two million people a year. The 190 million pound Himalayan Ski Village (HSV) in the Dhauladhar region will cover 6000 acres of mountainside with five miles of lifts and four hotels with 500 five-star rooms. The project requires 1200 KLD (Kilo Litre/day) water (equivalent to water consumed by approx. 8000 people in a day) and 22MW power; which is nearly 10 times the average use. Acrylic would be used to create artificial snow which is known to pollute water sources.
Hanuman View Apartments.
Building concrete jungles everywhere on the mountains? Done.
The mad scramble to loot water is on without care or concern for the environment. Dams have been constructed without environmental clearances; rivers are being diverted, rivulets redirected, debris from construction work is destroying forests, shrubs, creating water channels that were never there. All this is seriously eroding ecosystems.
A cement factory in a reserved forest in Himachal? Done.
Book now to get amazing rates! Letting environmental degradation destroy the flora and fauna? Done. Fruit production has gone downhill in Himachal Pradesh, by around 50 per cent in apples and pears, the top two fruit crops of the state.
Doing nothing about people who come and treat the mountains like a garbage bin? Done. Not banning plastic in most of the areas? Done.
Making dams in the most ecologically fragile places to ensure total destruction of flora, fauna and common sense? Done. Planning hundreds of more? Done. Current data reveals that 104 large hydroelectric projects of a cumulative capacity of 55, 556 MW have been proposed in Arunachal Pradesh. Several unique features of Arunachal fragile rock structure; location in a highly seismic zone; diversity of ethnic communities, a large percentage of which is dependent on traditional natural resource-based livelihoods; unique sociocultural and agro-ecological practices; and the area’s rich biodiversity, have been conveniently overlooked. Environmental clearance reports for these are a joke. One of the reports listed wildlife including red panda, snow leopard, Himalayan black bear, musk deer - all critically endangered species. The report went on to conclude: No major wildlife observed.
An almost complete wipeout of wildlife due to poaching? Another few years. There is too little of it left to demand such things as ‘wildlife reserves’. Bring on the hotels and property in the reserved forest areas.
As for saving Laxman, it would be impossible today, wouldn’t it? Unless of course Hanuman can find the magic herb at the Sanjeevni mall, made in the heart of the Himalayas. Now, that’s an idea. Any takers?
Based on ‘Are we destroying the Himalayas’ by Arun Shrivastava in www.peoplesvoice.org; Environment Clearance Report, Tehelka, Vol 6, issue 4, Jan 31, 2009; Tehelka, Vol 5, Issue 14, April 12, 2008
India has committed to reduce emissions intensity of its GDP to 20-25% below the 2005 level by 2020.
To reduce emissions in the already efficient Fertilizer sector we would need to convert to natural gas. Availability may, however, be a problem.
India also wants to maintain an economic growth rate of 8%.
Coal fired power generation in India is more efficient than the global average (30% vs 28.4%). But climatic conditions may impede further efficiency.
Most of the emissions come from 6 sectors of the Indian industry: Paper & Pulp, Cement, Aluminium, Steel and Fertilizer.
In most cases the low carbon scenario will stagnate after 2030. There’s a limit to how much emissions we can bring down.
Cement: Our cement industry is the most energy efficient in the world. Emissions can be further reduced by 35%. Emissions can be reduced by 17% in Steel and 40% in Aluminium. But for Al, 30% of the total energy has to come from renewables. Potential to save energy in Paper: 75%
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, 8% rbon
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a ow-c l a r Fo An 8% economic growth means a robust growth in all these six sectors. It means we will require more bauxite, more iron ore, more limestone, more freshwater and more land to fuel this growth. It also means Greenhouse Gas Emissions will triple. From 897 million MT in 2008-09 to 2668 million MT in 2030-31. The per capita emissions will increase from 0.8MT to 1.8 MT. Annually we can contain carbon emissions by 18% if we massively deploy renewable energy in the power sector.
Where are the minerals? Where is the land?
Where is the water?
Renewable energy plants require a lot of land.
These six sectors are already consuming water equivalent to the water need of the country. In 2008-09, they withdrew 41, 538 Million Cubic Mts of fresh water. Water enough to sustain the needs of 1.1 billion people. They consumed 5641 MCM of it and discharged 35, 897 MCM of it, polluting more freshwater.
And most of the minerals we need also lie buried in high population density areas (329ppl / sq. km). How many people will have to be displaced for this massive requirement of land? How many more Dantewadas, Singurs, Niyamgiris and Kalinganagars? And then, there is water.
Water based conflicts, both national and international, are becoming more frequent. Our groundwater reserves are drying up. Rivers are unhealthy. Where and how will we get the water for 8% economic growth? A low-carbon stagnation. Lack of resources to fuel the economic growth. Is it time then to redefine development, before we run out of time, land and people’s resilience?
Based on and excerpted from Center for Science and Environment’s report: Challenge of the New Balance.
The Anatomy of their greed. This poor planet has no future because a comprehensive climate agreement will never be signed. India says it will not agree on cutting carbon emissions, as it will hinder their growth. Of course, which allows us to repeat the same mistakes as the west and follow the path of greed in the name of development. Will that ‘eradicate’ poverty? It would have, if carbon was the only reason which was deciding how rich or how poor our country will be. The real reason why India will always be poor is corruption. You need proof? You got it.
The real emissions that need to be controlled.
When ordinary people pay bribes worth $5 billion a year for public services, capping carbon is not the issue, capping corruption is.
A peek into the darkness Farmer aid: 82000 crores Earmarked for farmers. Eaten by corrupt officials. And while the farmer suicides continue, GM Crops continue to be introduced unabated. More farmers are landing up in trouble. More aid is coming in. And more money is being swallowed by hungry officials.
A H O
Mayawati statues: 1000 crores Where did that money come from? Surely it was our hard earned money in taxes.
Rice scam: 2500 crores Guidelines were flouted and rules bypassed by state-owned trading companies to allow select private rice-exporting companies to export 10 lakh MT of rice despite a ban. They monopolised the market created for them by friends in the government and walked away with business worth Rs 2,500 crore while robbing the PDS of valuable rice in a country where 48 per cent of children below three years are malnourished. -Outlook, 27 July, 2009
Coal Import Contract: 6000 crores Ordinary bribes every year: 2500 crores The list is endless. If you spend just under a minute scanning the recent newspapers and magazines, these figures would come up. Spend a little more and you will come up with some astounding figures. Isn’t this the real reason for poverty? But of course, we need to blame it on something else. In comes carbon. While the debate rages on, let’s get our briefcases full. There is work to be done = bribes to be be paid.
We want 85% of our people to live in cities. That’s the vision of our dear home minister.
Based on Arundhati Roy’s various essays, Shoma Chaudhary’s articles in Tehelka.
The Anatomy of our greed. Ms Roy continues: Underlying this nightmare masquerading as ‘vision’ is the plan to free up vast tracts of land and all of India’s natural resources, leaving them ripe for corporate plunder. Already forests, mountains and water systems are being ravaged by marauding multinationals, backed by a State that has lost its moorings and is committing what can only be called ‘ecocide’.
And so we ignore the rich biodiversity of Niyamgiri and allow mining there.
“Realising this ‘vision’ would require social engineering on an unimaginable scale. It would mean inducing, or forcing, about five hundred million people to migrate from the countryside into cities. That process is well under way and is quickly turning India into a police state in which people who refuse to surrender their land are being made to do so at gunpoint.” Arundhati Roy
And we force the tribals out of their land to tackle Maoism. Which a minister alleges is being funded by mining companies.
And we take away the land from the farmers and give it to car companies.
And we let GM Crops in. More than 200,000 farmers commit suicide as they get caught in the debt trap.
Food, water, land, agriculure. The wheels of development gone wrong, grind on. And we are too blinded by consumerism to question it.
As a reward for our ignorance, we get the swanky malls. Now, 10 every square kilometre. With water and electricity running 24x7 while the country scorches and thirsts for the same.
But what happens if the ‘consumer’ starts questioning. What happens if we start saying, ‘hold on, we’d like our development to be sustainable.’ If we say that yes taking bauxite from the land is important, but perhaps preserving the biodiversity of the nation is even more important. What if we worry about fresh, clean air and not just a better air conditioner? What if we say we want better public transport, for, that solves what a bigger car doesn’t? What if we make the wheels of greed come to a halt? And begin.
“It’s as if the Land Acquisition Act (LAA), 1894, of the British wasn’t bad enough. The Government has come up with an amendment to this Act which it wants to push through as a new law, making it even more anti-people. The Government has used the LAA all over the place to displace people at will, sometimes using repressive measures, and with no or meagre compensation.” Here are some facts about the law: • The new Bill says companies must acquire 70 percent of the land at market rates, and the state can acquire 30 percent for them, leaving room for the government to use coercion if farmers are unwilling to sell. • There is no guarantee of alternative employment as part of Resettlement and Rehabilitation. Land-for-land compensation will be made available to an extent possible, but it’s not mandatory. • Overrides the Forest Rights Act, 2006, which allowed adivasis and local tribes a claim to the land they were living on and was hailed for “undoing an historical injustice”. It’s back to square one. The principle of Eminent Domain, the basis of the LAA, was introduced by the British. It said that the Queen owns all land in the country. The old Bill replaced “The Queen of Britian” with “The State of India”. The new Bill makes no change to this. Based and excerpted from the article in Tehelka, Vol 6, Issue 32, 15th Aug, 2009, by Sandeep Pandey, Magsaysay Award Winner.
• About 30 years ago, in Piparwar, Hazaribagh, around 20,000 people were displaced during the acquisition of 16,000 acres by Central Coalfields Ltd. The villagers were resettled in another area with 0.05 acres per household — although villagers allege about 30 percent of the displaced did not get even this — and jobs were provided to 950 of them. The CCL considered its duty done with this, while the people whose livelihood had centred on agro-forestry now became part of the “developed economy” as daily wagers living in slums. • Last year, an all-India fact-finding team comprising six democratic rights organisations cited the instance of those displaced by the Chandil dam. They visited Gangudih colony, a rehabilitation centre of the Chandil dam, one of 12 such centres for the 116 submerged villages. The project started in the 1970s. The resistance was brutally suppressed by police firing in 1978. Though the dam was completed in 1984, the canals are yet to be fully dug. The first rehabilitation promise was made in 1990 when the displaced families were offered Rs 20,000 for construction of house and Rs 50,000 for purchase of alternative land. In 2003, this was modified to Rs 50,000 for construction of a house and Rs 75,000 for purchase of alternative land. Till 2008, less than half the displaced families had received the rehabilitation package. • According to the Annual Report 2004- 2005 of the Union Ministry of Rural Development, Jharkhand topped the list of Adivasi land alienation in India with 86,291 cases involving a whopping 10,48,93 acres. • According to the Planning Commission, less than 50 per cent of the entire displaced population has been rehabilitated. Walter Fernandes, former Director of the Indian Social Institute, Delhi, says less than 20 per cent of them have been rehabilitated. Tribals, just 8 percent of population, comprise 40 percent of the six crore displaced persons in the country
By Rajesh Sinha. From Tehelka Magazine, Vol 7, Issue 25, Dated June 26, 2010
People vs tigers, or, experts vs tigers? Because people and tigers have co-existed for centuries.
There has been considerable debate about allowing tribal communities expanded land and building rights in wildlife reserves, which threatens to crowd tigers off their few remaining sanctuaries. ‘If they recognize the tribal-rights bill,’ says an expert, “the wildlife-protection act and the forestconservation act will just collapse.” “While we are not allowed to take a single blade of grass from anywhere near the park, conservationists make crores out of it. In addition, they have bought land next to the park and have constructed houses, and run hotels and guest houses.” A villager in Ranthambore
Based on Down to Earth cover story, December, 2005 and The Tribal’s Right by Michelle Chawla in infochangeindia.org
Among those who own houses and hotels near the park are some of the well-known conservationists and their relatives. These properties are within 500 metres of the forest boundary. GREED
People’s rights to their land and environment are not conflicting issues. Corporate greed and environment are. Shankar of Raytali village, Dahanu, retells the popular Warli folktale about the rat that takes away the grain from the fields. Called ‘The Rat's Right’, he explains that the rat was one of the earliest creatures to provide humans with the seeds to begin agriculture. Thus when they see the tops of their rice crop eaten up, the adivasis do not call the rat a thief, but say that it has taken its rightful share. The rat inevitably finds its role and space in the lives of the Warlis. Several other stories of wolves and ants, rabbits and tigers from around India reveal the rich cultural ecology and ethos of local communities. The tribals aren’t stupid people. Their knowledge and ways of co-existence with the environment is what we need to preserve our environment, and our country. From Michelle Chawla’s ‘The Tribal’s Right’ - infochangeindia.org
And while the debate continues, this is what is happening on a daily basis:
When the trap’s jagged metal teeth sink into its paw, the tiger howls - an alarm that can rouse a sleepy park ranger. So, a smart poacher will plunge a spear down the trapped animal’s throat and tear out its vocal chords; then, at his leisure, he can poison or electrocute the cat.
Mine or not to mine? There is a better question to ask: Should we destroy our rivers for mining? The answer will lead you to facts and perhaps asking more pointed questions, about the dumping of fly ash in rivers, to the friendly company who is mining bauxite and ‘happiness’.
The undermining of water. Most of India’s iron reserves are found along the watersheds and courses of rivers such as the Indravati in Chattisgarh, the Mahanadi and Baitarani in Orissa, the Tungabhadra in Karnataka and the Mandovi in Goa. Over 80% of the coal in Jharkhand and a substantial portion of the Raniganj coalfields in West Bengal are found along the banks of the river Damodar. Mica is distributed, in Rajasthan, between and around the rivers Sambhar, Luni and Chambal; in Orissa, around the Mahanadi. Limestone is found along the river Chambal. Chromite is found around the tributaries of the river Cauvery, and along the Tungabhadra, Baitarani and Brahmani rivers in Orissa.
Bauxite deposits exist near the rivers Chenab and Mahi, the tributaries of the Krishna and Cauvery, the rivers Tungabhadra and Mahanadi and near the river Sind in Madhya Pradesh.
Minerals are found in hard rocks, precisely where terrain streams originate from. What happens when ore is preferred to water? 1 Run-off from deforested slopes makes rivers heavy with silt and more prone to floods. 2. Mine tailings (what’s left after ores are processed) are often toxic; they greviously pollute rivers. 3. Mining for sand and gravel from riverbeds. 4. Breaching the groundwater table. 5. Heavy metal pollution: occurs when some metals - arsenic, cadmium, cobalt, copper, lead, silver, zinc - found in excavated rock - are exposed in an underground mine and come in contact with water. 8. Pollution from processing chemicals: when they leak or leach from the mine site into the nearby water-bodies. Based on and excerpted from ‘Mine no more’ and ‘Rich Land, Poor People’ - Center for Science and Environment’s publications on mining.
Scarcity of drinking water, devastation of agriculture, stagnation of industries and major international water wars are some of the problems which are already surfacing above the trickle that is left of our water resources. Although many analysts believe that demand will outstrip supply of water by 2020, there is still hope for India. Water scarcity in India is predominantly a man-made problem; therefore if India makes significant changes in the way it thinks about water and manages its resources soon, if people take action immediately: start conserving water, begin to harvest rainwater, treat human, agricultural, and industrial waste effectively, and regulate how much water can be drawn out of the ground, India could ward off, or at least mollify, the impending crisis. From: Imminent Water Crisis in India: Nina Brooks, August 2007; www.arlingtoninstitute.org
The Red Dot â€œOn a map of India, mark the districts in terms of forest wealth - where the rich and dense tree cover is found. Then overlay the water wealth - the sources of streams and rivers. On this, plot the mineral wealth - iron ore, coal, bauxite and all things shiny that make economies rich. Then, mark on this wealth of India, another indicator districts where the poorest people of our country live. These are also the tribal districts of the country. You will find a complete match. The richest lands are where the poorest live. Now complete this cartography of the country with the colour red. These are the same districts where Naxalites roam, where the government admits it is fighting a battle with its own people, who use the gun to terrorize and kill. Clearly, here is a lesson we need to learn about bad development.â€? - Sunita Narain, June 04, 2010 in The Times of India.
Here’s a little idea. And why it will never work in our country. Let’s say we started a text message campaign to light up the poorest regions of India. Each text message will cost 10 rupees. If 10 lakh of us did it, it would generate 1 crore rupees. So how many wind turbines would that money install?
It’s a simple enough question. We just want to find out how many wind turbines we can install in a crore. Right? Welcome to the heart of darkness. Or, the real story of wind energy in India. The capacity of wind energy generation in India has steadily increased while it’s actual generation has decreased. Wind plants have been functioning at 18-19% efficiency. The government on the other hand offers great subsidies and tax benefits for people who invest in wind energy.
According to a report in Down to Earth: As it emerges, companies have merrily installed plants, not to generate power, but to gain from tax and depreciation benefits. The business seems a closed loop - the turbine-maker makes deals with investor companies to set up plants and while some companies sell their 1.5 mw WTG for over Rs 9 crore, nobody quite knows the cost of a windmill. The turbine-maker gains; the investor profits from tax benefits and depreciation.
Let’s say our idea indeed took shape. What would happen next? A local politician will stand up and proclaim that the windmill is blowing away the monsoon clouds. Instead of checking his IQ, the government will set up an expensive committee to investigate the issue. If you do not believe that this is possible, here is a report from The Times of India (1st May, 2004): Why does money not grow on money plants? The state government may well appoint an expert committee to investigate into this matter. Because, on Wednesday, it announced that the decision to appoint a committee to investigate if the windmills erected for power generation in Satara district were driving away rain-bearing clouds from western Maharashtra.
I-T authorities believe windmill owners make false depreciation claims to evade taxes; to the tune of Rs 700-1,000 crore.
No wonder, then, that wind energy is not the business of energy companies, but rich people wanting tax cuts. Is this why hotel companies, spinning mills, temple trusts, even film stars, are into wind energy? The Great Indian Clearance Sale is on. And we are taking the wind out of our country. GREED
Found inside the cave of Hemant Anant Jain. Dating from 2005 - 2011, in no particular order.