Till now, India has followed a relatively simple approach to clean up the Ganga—or, for that matter, any of its rivers. It has acted on the assumption that preventing pollution is sufficient to restore the river. Accordingly, India has been setting up effluent and sewage treatment plants, which clean up waste water before releasing it, along rivers like the Ganga. The outcomes of the Rs 20,000 crore spent shows this approach has not worked.
this is a very quick and dirty story. it was done in less than a day. but even the secondary research shows the shambles environmental governance in india is in. for one, there is hardly correlation between the size of the problem and the env gov architecture’s response. it is almost as though the two are existing independently of each other. for that and more, see the story.
ps – till now, i have linked to the online version of my stories in the et website. this is the first time i am linking instead to the pdf. if you want a link to the onlive ver of the story, click here.
For weeks now, Congress and the BJP have been clubbing each other over land allotments.The attack started with the Congress alleging that the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, had given large tracts of land at dirt-cheap rates to infrastructure tycoon Gautam Adani, an industrialist Modi is widely perceived as close to. The BJP rubbished these allegations. Raking up, among other things, Robert Vadra’s land deals. As for Adani, he gave a series of interviews saying the value of the land went up due to the investments he made made.
However, both sides are being economical with the truth. Here is what neither is telling you.
Land is one of the biggest commons that is being handed out for what Harvard’s Michael Walton calls ‘Rent Sharing’. See this story for context. Given that both the Congress and the BJP are blasting each other for dubious land deals, this story takes a look at two states, the Congress-ruled Haryana and the BJP-ruled Gujarat, and finds that both have a lot of explain as land transactions go.
in the past few days, india’s central bureau of investigation (CBI), one of the country’s apex investigating bodies, has closed some of the FIRs it had registered while peering into the captive coalblock allocations. the reason it cited was ‘insufficient evidence’. more recently, unnamed CBI officials have been giving interviews saying that there is no corruption in coal, that it was merely an administrative lapse.
today’s story, which examines the CBI’s grounds for making such claims, makes two large points. first, it says, the CBI’s logic for wanting to close cases citing insufficient proof is based on the argument that misrepresentation is not always cheating — especially since the allocation framework was poorly defined. both of which, as defences go, are flawed. second, large parts of the process followed for coal block allocation have not been scrutinised by the CBI. like the ‘Inter Se’ — comparision sheets created by the coal ministry to judge relative merits of coalblock applicants — recommendations that were rarely followed.
for that and more, see today’s story, here. you might also want to see this composite link containing the stories by my colleagues john, avinash, supriya and me on coalgate.