• We don’t want Bolsonaro for Republic Day
    The Indian Government announced that Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro will be the chief guest at India’s Republic Day parade next year. Each year, India invites the heads of other states as the chief guest for its Republic Day celebrations on 26 January. In the past, eminent personalities like Nelson Mandela, Queen Elizabeth, Barack Obama and Shinzo Abe have been among the chief guests. But Modi’s invitation to Bolsonaro is a cause for concern for many of us. (1) Bolsonaro’s politics — be his take on the Amazon fires, women’s rights or LGBTQ rights or democratic rights in general — are problematic. While the Amazon fires were raging in August, Reuters reported that in 2019, Brazil reported the highest number of forest fires since 2010, an 83% increase over the same period of 2018(2). After he took office, Bolsonaro ignored international worries about deforestation in the Amazon and said that he wanted to open up protected lands for development in order to spur economic growth. Recently, he has a new scapegoat for the fires in the Amazon: “cool guy” Leonardo DiCaprio.In a speech from the presidential palace he referred to social media posts alleging DiCaprio donated to an environmental organization that Bolsonaro accused of setting fires in the Amazon just to get good pictures of them Bolsonaro has been Internationally criticised for his actions against the protection of the environment and inviting him would put India in a bad light. We must ask Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reconsider the decision to have Jair Bolsonaro as chief guest for Republic Day. As a progressive nation that cares about the environment and people’s rights, India must invite leaders that stand for the same. Sign this petition now to register your protest against this move. We need lakhs of signatures before January 26. Sources: 1. https://www.huffingtonpost.in/entry/jair-bolsonaro-modi-republic-day_in_5dcd3b9fe4b0a794d1fb5745 2. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-brazil-environment-wildfires/amazon-burning-brazil-reports-record-forest-fires-idUSKCN1VA1UK
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  • BBMP, Hulimavu Lake is your responsibility
    A large number of houses were flooded in Hulimavu area in Bangalore as water from the lake seeped through on 24 November, after its bund was damaged. According to a news report, more than 1,000 families in half a dozen neighbourhoods were affected by the sudden flooding and 300 cars have been submerged(1). Though the reason for the unprecedented amount of water that entered people’s homes was reported to be a lake bund breach, the actual cause is a bit more severe and worrisome, experts say(2). This is one of the biggest man-made disasters Bengaluru has seen in recent times. The reason is appalling. According to news reports, a contractor had undertaken this work without proper permission from the BBMP, which has been the custodian of Hulimavu lake since 2016. The immediate relief steps are far from adequate and citizens are paying the price of lack of due diligence done by BBMP. Ask BBMP to start immediately start the investigation into the contractor for the breach of the lake bund and provide adequate compensation and relief to the families that are affected. In case of heavy rains in the future, the people living around Bengaluru’s many lakes could face similar flooding problems. We need to take action now before it’s too late! Sources: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/karnataka-hulimavu-lake-breach-hits-1000-families-sinks-300-cars/articleshow/72215744.cms https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/unplanned-urbanisation-hulimavu-lake-floodplains-worsened-bluru-floods-says-expert-112922 https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/bangalore/bengaluru-hulimavu-lake-breach-probe-on-to-identify-culprits-restoration-work-underway-bbmp-bwssb-police-lokayukta-6136535/
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  • We need a #CleanAirBoss
    Air pollution kills a child every 3 minutes in India. A new born smokes the equivalent of 26 cigarettes in case of toxic air. According to the Global Burden of Disease 2017, children are the biggest victims of toxic air, as their as their lungs are still developing. It also causes cognitive impairment (lower IQ as well!). A newborn smokes the equivalent of Over the past few years, air pollution has peaked to alarming levels in India, caused in great part due to vehicular and industry emissions, coal-fired power plants, construction dust, waste burning, poor land use patters and more. Sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter (PM) are the major pollutants -- PM enters the lungs and causes severe health impacts. Besides, no one develops immunity to micro pollutants especially PM2.5, (otherwise smokers would have the best immunity!) Air pollution can trigger cancers, heart disease diabetes, obesity, neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia, infertility and low birthweight. The exposure to PM levels is well above WHO's air quality standards. And while individual initiaves matter, they don't eliminate the need for a leadership role within our Central Government to address what is a public health emergency. We need a strong and decisive "Clean Air Boss" who is empowered, independent (reports directly to PM), accountable, fully-resourced, transparent and will put public health ahead of any other goal. S/He will implement a new Clean Air Act whose focus is public health. Sign this important campaign asking for a Clean Air Boss, who will be dedicated to the cause of bringing down air pollution by working towards sustainable and effective solutions.
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  • Children's day gift us, Stop huge traffic passing through Residential areas from Manyta techpark
    This Children's day, please gift better environment to us to live. We are middle class people with no AC's but sleep with open windows. Huge traffic passing through residential areas (through Akashvani layout Dasarahalli) is creating heavy smoke difficult to breath. To avoid traffic they are passing through sub roads , kids have no place to play. We are around approximately 150 houses and 100 kids. Small eateries and bakeries selling cigarettes and otherwise creating huge crowds in turn leading to security issues like eve teasing, constant arguments. Kids and older children refuse to walk in the roads without anyone accompanying them. People have survived without this road from decades. Why In the name of progress allow life threatening diseases
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  • Stop Dumping waste in Bellahalli Quarry
    The 27-acre Bellahalli quarry pit in Bangalore is almost filled up & Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is planning to dump the mixed waste from the city. There was a report produced before the HC stated that the BBMP was not maintaining solid waste processing plants and dumping waste at the Bellahalli landfill which has become hell for the people residing near it. The recent heavy rains have turned the massive garbage pile in the Bellahalli landfill into a soggy pulp that could pose serious health risks to adjacent villages and garbage handlers. Rainwater failed to penetrate untreated mounds of solid waste that packs the landfill to the brim, reducing the top layer into a mush. The worsening condition has triggered panic of a possible epidemic, The leachate has badly affected the lives of people there and Now, the landfill containing untreated garbage dumped over the past three years can harm their health. The BBMP isn't able to provide the basic infrastructure for the villages, despite spending thousands of crores. The landfill's condition has worsened to such an extent after rains that entering the place would be harmful While the city households generate nearly 4,500 tonnes of mixed waste a day, the BBMP engages 600 trucks to dump 2,500 tonnes of waste at the Bellahalli landfill. Present Scenario: • You cant Breathe Fresh Air near the village • No Development works like roads, proper lighting and drinking water • Namesake Sanitization works which is not effectively fighting the mosquitoe or other menaces • Respiratory cases among kids reported We ask BBMP to completely stop the dumping and find alternative locations as this landfill is filled up to its capacity. 1. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/kspcb-palike-dumping-mixed-waste-in-bellahalli/articleshow/71589875.cms 2. https://www.deccanherald.com/city/bengaluru-infrastructure/rain-turns-bellahalli-landfill-a-healthrisk-for-people-771727.html 3.https://www.deccanherald.com/city/bengaluru-infrastructure/rain-turns-bellahalli-landfill-a-healthrisk-for-people-771727.html
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  • Bachon Ki Mann Ki Baat
    Dear Modi ji, My name is Ridhima Pandey. I’m a 12-year-old student and climate change activist from Dehradun. As someone whose health and future hinges on decisions made by leaders like you, I’m making an appeal to you on behalf of India’s 800 million children. Our capital became a talking point globally last week, as Delhi,NCR, Noida, Faridabad and Ghaziabad were englufed in smog and visbility became low. Air quality rose to 999 which is hazardous and calls for an emergency situation. Even Chennai's air quality hovered in the poor to very poor category last week. Many studies have pointed to severe health impacts PM (particulate matter) levels in the air can have on people. Children like me, with our developing immune systems, are more prone to this. It pains me to see my peers or those younger than me struggle with asthma, bronchitis, lung diseases and other illnessees, caused to a large extent due to toxic air. Two months ago, I joined Greta Thunberg and 14 other children at the United Nations Climate Action Summit, filing a complaint to protest the lack of government action on the climate crisis. In 2017, I had filed a petition in the NGT against this too. But the NGT dismissed my plea, saying that climate change was already covered under environment impact assessment. Modi ji, as the top leader of this country, I ask you whether you really think enough is being done to address the pressing problem of environment and air pollution in this country. We need immediate solutions to this crisis, and we must start by declaring air pollution as a public health emergency. Your show Mann Ki Baat is aired in far corners of the country, and will serve as an important platform to talk about this issue. This Children's Day, I urge you to break your silence on Mann Ki Baat, and help safeguard the future of 800 million children by urgently addressing the dangers of air pollution. #BachonKiMannKiBaat Thank you.
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  • BBMP, we need a public consultation before passing Solid Waste Management bylaws
    BBMP published the Draft Solid Waste Management by-laws, on September 26 2019, for public objections and suggestions, with the last date for receiving feedback on or before October 31, 2019(1). A review of this draft by-law by the Solid Waste Management Round Table reveals that if these SWM by-laws were to be implemented it will completely undermine the decade-long effort by the High Court of Karnataka and the BBMP itself, to streamline the solid waste management practices. The by-law in its present form is an attempt to bring back the contractor monopoly creating a big setback to the efforts made thus far by local organisations. By-laws should be specific, pragmatic, and in a form that enables regulating authority to perform their duty without any ambiguity. However, the SWM by-laws drafted by BBMP are far from that. Some of the observations included in the current draft point the issues of - No Intention to Implement Zero Waste - Lopsided Economics and Unfair Protection - Back to the old monopoly contract system - No focus on in-situ or ward level processing of waste and justification for dilution of the duties of the Bulk Generators to carry out in situ - No Public Disclosure and Lack of Consultative Process In this regard, we demand a public consultation before passing of these SWM by-laws so the public can take note and respond appropriately to the BBMP, and work together for a better, environmentally sustainable and economically feasible plan for the city. Sources: https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/solid-waste-management-bylaws-to-be-notified/article28763853.ece
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  • Dear Dada, Delhi is Choking. Please Shift the T20 Match Venue
    To, The President of the BCCI, Sourav Ganguly India is scheduled to play Bangladesh in a T20 cricket match on November 3rd in the pollution capital of the country, New Delhi. Going by official data, collated by AirVisual, AQI in Delhi, the ppm levels peaked within 24 hours - from 163 to 1,005.These are the worst levels recorded since February this year. It is a well established fact that pollution levels peak during this time of the year thanks to Diwali, the onset of the winter smog, the Thermal Power Plants spewing pollutants around the Delhi NCR region among other things. This is the annual state of affairs and this year is frankly no different. Current air quality (AQ) levels are hovering between "severe" and "unhealthy" and are only likely to get worse! Air pollution kills millions every year, and Delhi is known for the highest levels of pollution in the country. This has been recognised by the medical fraternity and the Indian Medical Association has even called this a medical emergency. Health specialists have been warning the public to safeguard themselves and the most vulnerable sections of society - children, pregnant women and the elderly especially of the hazards air pollution faces. And our finest boys in blue are no exception to this hazard. Thousands of innocent spectators at the venue will be putting themselves at risk in order to watch the match. In a similar situation in December 2017 when India played Sri Lanka, in a test match at Feroz Shah Kotla, a number of players had breathing issues while others got really sick as a result of the extreme pollution. This became international news. We hope under your leadership, the only news that becomes international is India’s game on the field. And not of the boys in blue wearing air pollution masks! While this is last minute to change venue or reschedule, we urge you to treat this as an emergency. Because it is an emergency. And while cricket runs in every Indian’s blood, it’s not worth damaging our lungs. Not the team’s nor that of the spectators. We hope you take leadership in this regard and do what is right. Sources: https://fit.thequint.com/health-news/open-letter-to-sourav-ganguly-to-shift-match-venue-from-delhi-air-pollution https://www.news18.com/news/india/from-163-to-1005-on-air-quality-index-how-delhi-turned-into-a-gas-chamber-on-diwali-in-just-6-hours-2365485.html
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  • Save Doddanekkundi lake
    While all the focus has been on the highly polluted Bellandur and Varthur lakes, little attention is being paid to what is happening upstream of these lakes that make up for the chain of water bodies leading to Bellandur lake. With untreated sewage flowing unabatedly into Kaggadasapura lake, and eventually into Doddanekundi lake, the likelihood of Varthur and Bellandur lakes getting a chance at rejuvenation is not looking bright. In 2015, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) undertook a ₹10-crore project for rejuvenation of Doddanekundi lake, which included dredging, building bunds, and fencing the lake area to prevent encroachment. Now, the lake has a large open drain flowing into it, and garbage-filled storm-water drains around it, which end up contributing nothing but the waste into the lake[1] [2]. Doddanekkundi lake was once a much bigger ecosystem with huge catchment area, it supported a lot of flora and fauna, rare migratory and residential birds visited and lived in the lake. Various government agencies such as the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) and Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) have spent crores of rupees on the beautification and rejuvenation of various lakes across the city. However, owing to lack of planning and standard procedure and confusion over ownership and maintenance responsibilities, rejuvenated lakes are either getting encroached or polluted again. The inflow of sewage directly or through storm-water drains (SWD) continues in many of the rejuvenated lakes, and most of them do not have sewage treatment plants (STP). In addition, rejuvenated lakes continue to remain dry because of poor monsoon. Sewage enters doddanekkundi lake (a 130 odd acre lake) every year after the government spent crores in 2014-15 and worked on its "revival", drain inlets are open every rainy season, forcing the continuous flow of sewage into the lake for 2-3 months of the year. This is due to the outdated design of the Rajukaluves connected to the lake, the drains flood the surrounding areas which cause people to breach the inlets into the lake, we can't blame anybody here, but it is a practical problem and a very much solvable problem if the authorities put enough effort into considering all possible scenarios and honestly execute a well-studied model. Our demands: 1)Zero volume of sewage discharge into the lake and remodelling of the Rajukaluves, we don't want our lake to be a large breeding ground for mosquitoes and other pathogens. 2) On long term demand include wetland treatment or development of sewage treatment plants (STP) to be funded and executed. To avoid situations where sewage inevitably has to enter lake during rains, we want to make sure that the sewage entering is treated, so as to protect most of the lake from sewage contamination. 3) We want BBMP to prevent garbage dumping and encroachment around and in the lake, deploy permanent security/cleaning staff for maintenance and protection of the lake if need be. Benefits of executing our demands: 1) A clean and safe environment means all citizens feel good and healthy. 2) Zero sewage discharge would ensure shallow and clean waters when it rains and flocks of birds would once again visit and maybe even breed like in 2014-15 when no sewage entered[3]. 3) The water table in the Doddanekkundi, Kagdaspura, Vignannagar, Vibuthipura, Gururaja layout, Basvanagar, Virla layout and other areas around the lake would improve. 4) Would set a model to improve the condition of other lakes in Bangalore. Sources: [1] https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/little-focus-on-waterbodies-that-are-upstream-of-bellandur-varthur-lakes/article21269589.ece [2] https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/no-water-flows-in-rejuvenated-doddanekundi-lake/article28453760.ece [3] https://ebird.org/hotspot/L4546742?yr=all&m=&rank=mrec
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  • Save Jayamahal Trees
    Earlier this year, hundreds and thousands of Bangaloreans came together to tell the government that they don’t want the elevated corridor. The project tender was cancelled in September. Now, Chief Minister B. S. Yediyurappa, office has again announced widening of the Jayamahal Road and Bellari Road for the elevated corridor. The road widening project would cut more than 100 trees. In a news report, an official mentioned that “the BS Yediyurappa-led government had cancelled a tender for the elevated corridor but not the project itself(1)”. Moreover, Deputy Conservator of Forests, BBMP, M K Cholarajappa said they have received the proposal for the project. "We are yet to conduct a tree survey following which the exact number of trees will be known,". The issue of the elevated corridor is not a new one for Bengalureans. Some of the trees on Jayamahal- Bellary junction are more than 100 years old and have been acting as carbon sinks for decades.air pollution is an issue that needs urgent addressing -- and chopping off hundreds of trees that essentially purify the air, for 're-development' projects is only going to make it more difficult to tackle. In fact, in 2016 more than 8000 people formed a human chain to protect the future of these trees(2). Time and again citizens of Bengaluru have told the government that elevated corridor cutting through the city’s green heritage is not the solution to the traffic woes. Instead, the government should focus on developing a holistic public transport system. We cannot lose our trees and clean air for a corridor that will only increase private vehicle congestion in the city! We have saved thousands of trees in Bangalore before. We can do it again. Sign this petition NOW. Sources 1. https://www.deccanherald.com/city/bengaluru-infrastructure/jayamahal-road-widening-to-claim-100-trees-770701.html 2. https://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/bengaluru-citizens-form-human-chain-to-protest-flyover-116101600285_1.html
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  • Penalise polluting power plants for not sticking to the December 2019 Deadline
    According to a recent Right To Information (RTI) application, 33 highly polluting, coal-based Thermal Power Plants (TPPs) will continue to severely pollute the NCR region all through December this year. The NCR is the most polluted part of the country and is surrounded by a number of TPPs. These plants were supposed to have been retrofitted by December 2019 to help bring down pollution levels considerably, but these plants will miss the deadline and continue to pollute for at least a few more months to a years! The particulate matter levels across the country are seriously high, causing serious lung-related ailments among other chronic ailments, particularly among the most vulnerable sections of society. The NCR already is grappling with the highest levels of pollution. One of the biggest polluters when it comes to air pollution is coal-based TPPs, which are concentrated in the region. While other attempts are being made to bring down pollution levels such as the use of green firecrackers or compliance with the odd-even scheme, the bigger polluters seem to be getting away scot-free! This is the second time that the deadline to retrofit the plants and adhere to the diluted but stricter norms have been missed. The MOEFCC had notified emission standards for both nitrogen and sulphur oxides in December 2015. It had also made particulate matter emission norms stricter. The first time around, the Ministry of Power lobbied the MOEFCC and pushed the deadline to December 2017. This time again, the RTI reveals that the majority of the plants have not even gone as far as signing the tender to have the plants retrofitted with the new Flue Gas Desulphurisation systems, which would help filter out harmful SO2 gas which is one of the main contributor to PM2.5 levels in Delhi. If this is done, the pollution levels from the plants can come down from as much as 40-48 percent. This is shocking and unacceptable. While individuals are made to toe the line and make changes in their everyday life, the Ministry of Power has been given over four years to take action on the TPPs in the NCR region. Clean air is a fundamental right, which is being violated by the Ministry of Power. As citizens of India we urge you to ensure that the tenders of all the 33 plants in the NCR region are signed by December 2019, and the power plants are penalised for not sticking to the current deadline. Additionally, non-complying power plants should not be allowed to operate during times when air quality exceeds the ambient standards. And the MoEFCC should ensure that all other plants across the country are on track with respect to retrofitting the plants. References: https://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/ncr-s-thermal-units-to-miss-deadline-for-curbing-pollution-this-winter-rti-119101600742_1.html https://act.airalert.in/petitions/300-thermal-power-plants-allowed-to-flout-emission-standards-for-the-next-2-5-years
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  • Leave Aarey forest alone
    UPDATE - Nov 30, 2019 On his first day of office, Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray put a stay on the construction of the Metro car shed in Aarey colony. This indicates that he cares about Mumbai's last green lung and we must now get him to declare it into a Forest, and commit to preserving its biodiversity. CONTEXT Step 1: Cut trees for Mumbai Metro car shed ✅ Step 2: Cut trees for Zoo Step 3: Cut trees for Metro Bhavan This is going to be Aarey Forest's fate, if we don't act soon. It was never just about 2,700 trees for the Mumbai Metro car shed. Many more will go under the axe for an upcoming zoo, and the 32-storey Metro Bhavan in Aarey. 190 acres of land in Aarey has been allocated for the zoo, which is poised to have a jungle safari and captive breeding programme (THE HORROR) as its 'attractions'. Construction of the Metro Bhavan has already begun and at least 70 trees will be felled according to news reports. Let's be clear about one thing -- Aarey is a 'Forest'. What else do you call an expansive green area that's home to 77 species of birds, 86 kinds of butterflies, 13 species of amphibians and even nine leopards. In fact, Aarey is an eco-sensitive zone and also serves as a floodplain. More importantly, it's a catchment area for Mithi river and multiple reports have highlighted how encroachments in Aarey will lead to flooding in the city. At a time when climate change has become one of the most defining crises of our times, we not only need to bring in more environment-friendly policies, but also work towards safeguarding our existing resources. Trees not only filter the air we breathe, but also play a larger role in regulating temperatures and water tables. While we have lost a significant portion of Aarey Forest's trees for the Mumbai Metro car shed, we have not lost the battle. The idea is to now ensure that Aarey is protected from all encroachments and development projects, and this can only happen if the area is declared as a Reserve Forest. The next hearing on the Supreme Court is on October 21, and we must continue to keep up the public pressure to ensure Aarey is left alone. Let's put in our collective efforts, and voices, behind this movement -- Leave Aarey forest alone! Sign and share this campaign. References https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/maharashtra-govt-gives-financial-nod-for-international-standard-zoo-6067658/ https://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai-news/metro-bhavan-work-begins-at-aarey-greens-fume/story-nzWx0m5u9ZQnN5eGODOE4I.html
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