Glimpses of Recycling in Dharavi: Pinky Chandran and Marwan Abubaker

Glimpses of Recycling in Dharavi


Press Release: CIC directs MoEF and Karnataka Govt. regarding information on Military nuclear complex

Press Release : Bangalore : 28th October 2015

Central Information Commission directs MoEF& Karnataka Government to make public information on military-industrial-nuclear complex proposed at Challakere, Chitradurga Dt., Karnataka

Slams and fines Ministry for denying information and misleading public

Environment Support Group filed a Public Interest Litigation in the National Green Tribunal (Southern Zone, Chennai) questioning the decision to develop a massive nuclear-military-industrial complex in the ecologically sensitive Amrit Mahal Kaval grassland ecosystems of Challakere taluk, Chitradurga district, Karnataka arguing that the projects were proposed in comprehensive violation of land use, siting, environmental and wildlife protection laws and also in total secrecy. The Tribunal in its decision issued on 27th August 2014 directed the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) and Karnataka Government to allow the projects to move forward only if they were in accordance with law and on ensuring clearance conditions were “verifiable and measurable” and open to public review. The Tribunal also decided to restore cultural, economic and social rights of local pastoral, artisanal and agrarian communities that suffered following the illegal transfer of 10000 acres of the Kaval and specifically instructed project proponents not to build walls and obstruct in any manner Right to Life and Livelihoods and access to water of about 70 villages directly dependent on the Kavals. The Supreme Court of India affirmed the Tribunal’s decision on 31st July 2015.

Is a disaster waiting to happen with High risk Projects all grouped together?: 4,500 acres of Challakere Kavals has been diverted for testing and manufacture of weaponised drones by Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) and it has been stated in Court that the these unpiloted aerial vehicle (UAVs) will be used to contain internal dissent. Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) proposes to establish a Special Material (uranium) Enrichment facility to supply nuclear fuel to reactors and weapons production in over 1800 acres. Indian Institute of Science (IISc) has been provided 1500 acres to build a synchrotron, but the Institute has repeatedly said it simply does not have the resources to build the facility. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has been given 600 acres to build a space applications centre, though it is not clear what it proposes to do. Shockingly, Sagitaur, a private entity, has been provided 1200 acres of the Kavals to build a solar park for a pittance of a lease rent: Rs. 33 lakhs (USD 50,000/-); it is learnt that the company proposes to outsource this land as real estate for other industries. It is also noted by the Tribunal that Indian Army proposes to locate a Brigade here in over 10,000 acres of land that will be acquired. In addition, a range of industrial, urban and infrastructure projects are proposed in Challakere with investments from national and international corporations towards in building a massive military-industrial-nuclear complex. Neither local Panchayats nor local communities have been consulted in the process, and have been suffering the denial of a range of human rights. The Tribunal has recorded that the Kavals are an important habitat for the critically endangered Great Indian Bustard (only 200 individuals are estimated to survive in India and Pakistan), Lesser Florican (less than 2000 individuals survive), Black Buck, and range of endemic flora and fauna inhabit the grassland ecosystems.

Blocking and Denying Information: Over the past year, MoEF, Karnataka Government and project proponents were approached to provide information about compliance with the Tribunal’s directions. Various representations and petitions were made. There was absolutely no reply. Right to Information Applications filed were also ignored thus making appeals before the Central Information Commission inevitable. There were even attempts to misinterpret the Tribunal’s orders and divert attention from essential information about the project’s impacts.

Unprecedented and Historic decision of Central Information Commission: Prof. M. Sridhar Acharyalu (Madabhushi Sridhar), Information Commissioner of the Central Information Commission, issued an historic and unprecedented decision on 23rd October 2015 in which he has slammed the Ministry for its delay tactics, fined the officers involved in the cover up, and directed the Ministry, the Karnataka Government and project proponents to make public immediately information relating to compliance with the Tribunal’s directions. The Commissioner held that “it is absolutely irrelevant and nonapplicable the claim of the respondent authority that information sought is barred from disclosure under Section 8(1) (a) stating that it would impact the strategic security installations of the nation. They have not shown any evidence or convincing reason to show how disclosure of this information about implementation of NGT order affects security interests of the nation. It is ridiculous that MoEF did not understand the implication of their claim of this exemption. How can informing about implementation of environmental protection order of NGT affect the security of the country? The orders of NGT are so clear and specific that they pertain to various rights of the people. It is surprising that well educated CPIOs who are senior Scientists in Environmental sciences have taken this stand without applying their minds to the rights of the people and environmental degradation. The Commission records its displeasure.” (Emphasis supplied) Consequently, the Commission fined Ministry officials Ms. Rita Khanna and Mr. Y. P. Singh Rs. 10,000/- which they were directed to pay as compensation to appellant Mr. Davis George Thomas of ESG.

Implications of the Information Commissioner’s decision: As a result, MoEF and Karnataka Govt. will now have to demonstrate what efforts they have taken to save the Great Indian Bustard from extinction and what efforts are underway in protecting the ecologically sensitive Amrit Mahal Kaval grasslands for posterity. Both BARC and ISRO are directed to provide copies of their applications for environmental clearances and release copies of the environmental clearances, if obtained, with the onus on MoEF to clarify accuracy of their statements. MoEF and Karnataka State Pollution Control Board are directed to demonstrate how the clearances accorded have “verifiable and measurable conditions” as directed by the Tribunal. In regard to Sagitaur, MoEF has been directed to demonstrate compliance with the Tribunal’s decision to revisit the exemption from environmental clearance accorded to Sagitaur and such other mega-solar parks. IISc and Karnataka State Small Scale Industries Development Corporation have been directed to prove their compliance with the Tribunal’s order that right to water and cultural and livelihood access to Kavals has been restored. BARC has been directed to open up its fences to allow access to villagers and to also demonstrate along with IISc it they have developed a joint action plan to enable free movement for villagers through their allotted premises. The Commission has also directed ISRO to allow Appellants access to verify whether water sources are accessible to villagers, and to report back to the Commission.

Appalling stand taken MoEF official that he was unaware of NGT order: In a related order, exclusively about Sagitaur solar park, the Commissioner was appalled by the stand taken by the MoEF official Mr. Y. P. Singh, Scientist-D, that he was not aware of the Tribunal’s order. About this Information Commissioner Mr. Acharyulu observed: “It is not possible to agree that he does not know the stand of the public authority he is representing. Once NGT gave direction to Ministry, being a party, it is presumed that entire public authority including CPIO knew it. The Commission presumes that the Ministry of Environment and his CPIO knew the order of NGT, its implications and finds that they deliberately not implemented that order, and also denied the information to the appellant.” He thus directed MoEF “to provide necessary training to CPIOs to understand their duties under Environment Protection Act, Right to Information Act, duties as the CPIO representing the entire public authority. (Emphasis supplied)

CIC Restores hope in Rule of Law: These decisions by the Central Information Commissioner restore hope that even agencies like DRDO, IISc, ISRO, BARC, etc. are not exempt from the Rule of Law merely because they claim “national interest” and “security” as reasons not to. The communities are energised by the Information Commissioner’s decision to restore access to their Amrit Mahal Kavals and will assert and reclaim their Right to Livelihoods, Water, Culture and Economic sustainability that had been secretively and illegally stolen by government agencies and project proponents.

Doddaullarti Karianna


Leo F. Saldanha

Bhargavi S. Rao

Vinay Sreenivasa

Amrit Mahal Kaval Hitarakshana Horata Samithi

Doddaullarthi, Challakere Taluk, Chitradurga District, Karnataka. Tel: Doddaullarthi

Karianna: +91-9900954664,
Hanumantharaya: +91-9901084588.

Environment Support Group

1572, 36th Cross, Ring Road

Banashankari II Stage

Bangalore 560070. INDIA

Tel: 91-80-26713559-61

Voice/Fax: 91-80-26713316

122/4 Infantry Road, Next to Balaji Art Gallery, Bangalore 560001

Tel: +91 80 2286 8757


1) Amrit Mahal Kaval Hitarakshana Horata Samithi has produced a docufilm on the ongoing struggle to protect Challakere’s Amrit Mahal Kaval. Entitled “Beerappa’s Angst” (English; 39 mins) and “Beerappana Tallana” (Kannada; 32 mins), the film may be viewed online. Details at:

2) Comprehensive information on the legal and campaign efforts to protect Challakere’s Amrit Mahal Kavals, including documentation provided in the National Green Tribunal, are accessible at:

Updates on Coal, Energy, IFIs, land, Water and Forest: 28 October, 2015

A.Coal & Energy

  1. Singapore boosting efforts to develop clean energy:
  2. India asks rich nations to come out with a clear roadmap on climate finance:
  3. Masala bond’ to fuel India’s green energy ambitions:
  4. 220 MW Solar Power Project Planned In Myanmar:
  5. Jiminy Peak Resort and Nexamp launch largest community solar power project in northeast:
  6. Hindustan Power achieves boiler light-up for Anuppur thermal power project:
  7. Nashik-Pune highway blocked as NTPS employees demand starting of 660 MW power project:
  9. Arch Coal shares hammered as company gives up on debt swap:
  10. Pressure on PM over coal:
  11. Will more World Bank lending equal less poverty?:
  12. India Moves Up in World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business List:
  13. Australia Coal Mining: Prime Minister Turnbull Brushes Off Call For Ban:
  14. Call for use of Thar coal in power projects:
  15. New Thermal Project to Power-up Telangana:
  16. Debt continues to weigh down India’s top conglomerates:


  2. In A Kenyan Forest, A World Bank-Backed Project Threatens A Way Of Life:
  3. Japan offers to fund Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project:
  4. Greenway mooted for Mumbai-Nagpur E-way:
  5. Poorest Asian nations need development reboot, says ADB study:
  6. AIIB’s Jin visited Japan quietly in 2014, still hopes it will join bank:
  7. ADB signs $30m fund for transport projects:
  8. RBI allows up to 74 pc foreign investment in DEN Networks:
  9. World Bank, IMF should reflect rise of developing economies: India:
  10. World Bank wants to fund big development projects in Bangladesh:
  11. Regional energy project gets 2 million euro funding:
  12. Japan’s Marubeni to start construction on $2bn power project expansion in Indonesia:
  13. AIIB head vows to be clean, lean and green — and fast:

C.Land, Water & Forest

  1. Opinion: Forestry industry integral to economy, environment:
  2. District collector, Ahmedabad, assured Dholera farmers of updating land records; 22 months on there is no movement:
  3. Odisha to make fresh bid for Niyamgiri mining:
  4. China’s One Belt and One Road – Quo Vadis?:–quo-vadis.aspx?pageID=238&nid=90370


Updates on Coal, Energy, IFIs, Land, Water and Forest: 26 October, 2015

A.Coal & Energy

  1. India’s poor paying the price for economic progress:
  2. Captive coal mines production rises 34% to 53 million tonnes in FY15:
  3. Going Green is Good for Dell and the Environment:
  4. Climate negotiators end Bonn mission with expanded draft text, issue of finance remains unresolved:
  5. Two dozen states sue Obama over coal plant emissions rule:
  6. How the Minerals Council of Australia has govt’s ear on coal:
  7. Germany to start shift to coal power reserve in winter 2016:
  8. Coal company plans to sell shuttered mines:
  9. Navy’s Last Coal-Fired Power Plant Decommissioned:
  10. Prior to Africa forum meet, India polishes its UNSC pitch:
  11. India Eyeing S African Coal Mines:
  12. The True Cost Of Coal: The First Installment:


  1. China’s AIIB still open to US: president-designate:
  2. Currency slide hits Myanmar’s import businesses:
  3. Zim pins hopes on arrears plan:
  4. Suresh Prabhu Addresses as Key Speaker at World Bank – Singapore Infrastructure Finance Summit 2015:
  5. Payments banks to expand reach of banking in rural areas: World Bank:
  7. Trade procedures must be simplified to improve regional integration, Asia-Pacific forum concludes:
  8. Survey Work on Shiradi Ghat Bypass in 2 Days:
  9. Konkan Railway track doubling to start from November 8:
  10. EBRD, PPP Unit negotiate engagement of private sector in infrastructure projects: EBRD Director:
  11. AIIB Says Japan and US Participation not Needed:
  12. Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ gets ready for Myanmar’s new RTGS system:
  13. Japan, Andhra sign MoU to promote investments:
  14. Japan offers India soft loan of $15 billion:

C.Land, Water & Forest

  1. GFDO irked by Javadekar’s statement on Mopa EC:
  2. NITI Aayog panel raps business environment:
  3. Reliance Group to further invest Rs 46,000 cr in Madhya Pradesh:

Updates on Protests: 23 October, 2015

* Maggi comeback: Goa examining whether to lift ban on ‘2-minute’ noodles:

* Punjab calm, paramilitary forces conduct flag marches:

* तस्वीरें: विसर्जन के दौरान मूर्ति टूटने से मचा बवाल:

* कृषि फार्म के पास मिला युवक का शव, हत्या के विरोध में जाम :

* मंडी व्यापारियों ने कारोबार ठप किया:

* सुनपेड़ की घटना के विरोध में प्रदर्शन, जाम:

* रेलवे ने उठाई दीवार तो भीड़ ने रोक दी ट्रेन:

* अतिक्रमण के विरोध में मौन धरना आठवें दिन जारी:

* पक्के पल्लेदारों की हड़ताल पर आढ़तियों ने बढ़ाया मेहनताना:

* पुलिस टॉर्चर से नाबालिग की मौत, परिजनों ने शव सड़क पर रख लगाया जाम:

Updates on Coal, Energy, IFIs, Land, Water and Forest; 15 October, 2015

A.Coal & Energy

  1. Bids for mega power projects: industry worried over land acquisition provisions
  2. ‘AP’s capital city project yet to get environmental clearance’:
  3.  Sri Lanka- India power project at Sampur to get clearance soon:
  4. Inox Wind receives order from Tata Power Renewable Energy:
  5. Coal mining strike over, employees due back at work:
  6. Reliance Power appoints N Venugopala Rao as CEO:
  7. Alkesh Sharma appointed as CEO and MD of Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corp:
  8. Sampoor power project to get green nod soon:
  9. NHPC to set up 50 MW solar power project in Tamil Nadu:
  10. LHC grants stay order against coal power project:
  11. Locals reject consultation on Burma’s divisive Tasang Dam project:
  12. Australia approves India-backed Adani mine despite fears for reef:
  13. Australia clears way for Adani’s A$10b coal and rail project:
  14. Australia approves controversial India-backed Adani mine:
  15. This Power Plant Set Out to Prove Coal Can Be Clean. Did It Work?:
  17. Coal block auctions: A win or a winner’s curse?:


  1. World Bank Sees Vietnam As ‘Winner’ from TPP:
  2. 5 MDBs pledge $170 billion in climate financing:
  3. ADB to Bring Investors for TAPI:
  4. China aid to touch $2 billion, but will it get respect?:
  5. Federal, Sindh govts want JICA to execute KCR project: Ahsan:
  6. Tanzania: Massive 560 Billion/ – World Bank Funding for Dar:
  7. Japan Bullet Trains are riding to India to modernize in a super-fast way:
  8. Paris Climate Change Agreement: First draft ignores India’s demands:
  9. Welspun garners US$617 million in renewable project funding:
  10. EIB heads to Zim:

C.Land, Water and Forest

  1. Cabinet approves Rs.7,000 crore loan for fertiliser subsidy:
  2. Odisha announces package for drought-hit farmers:

Updates on Coal, Energy, IFIs, Land, Water and Forest: 12 October, 2015

A.Coal & Energy

  1. Coal mining feels the​ ​heat​:​
  2. Opponents to controversial Australian coal mine begin advertising blitz:
  3. Coal block auctions for captive use to resume after Diwali:
  4. Inox Wind bags 50 MW wind power project from TPREL in MP :
  5. Climate finance: issues still remain between rich, poor states:
  6. COP21 is about the money, not the environment!:
  7. State bans methane exploration in delta districts:
  8. Panel defers green nod to Essar firm’s expansion project:
  9. Work on 4,000 MW NTPC thermal project gains pace
  10. Thermal power generation capacity to increase by 62,142 mw during 2016-18:
  11. Siemens sets sights on govt’s mega power plant  project:
  12. Blockade against NHPC project:
  13. Power sector employees call for nationwide strike on December 8:
  14. India’s hydel power generation capacity to zoom in during 2016-18:


  1. IMF-World Bank appreciative of India’s policy steps: Finance Ministry:
  2. Arun Jaitley calls for reforms in World Bank at global meet:
  3. India Wants SDGs To Be Funded Through Unconventional Means:
  4. UN, World Bank announce new funds for Mideast refugee crisis:
  5. EIB sets new 35% target for climate lending in developing countries:
  6. IMF has Important Role in Global Economy: Jaitley:
  7. Japan to enable investment in Japan Industrial Township in Dhar district: MP CM Chouhan:
  8. New JICA head envisages ‘effective approach’ for ODA:
  9. India-Thailand highway to close Asian infrastructure gap
  10. ADB Welcomes First Asean Cross-Border Bond Under Asean+3 Bond Framework:
  11. ADB calls for strengthening public-private partnership to fight climate change:
  12. AIIB symbolises Chinas rise as financial superpower:
  13. Centre to Northeast Govts: Speed up ADB Aided Projects:
  14. Banks over-financed road projects, now crying foul: Vijay Chhibber, transport and highways secretary:
  15. India Renews Calls for Reforms in International Monetary Fund, World Bank:

C.Land, Water, And Forest

  1. PM Modi lays foundation stone of JNPT terminal:
  2. Project-hit protest rise in Sardar Sarovar dam height: