Press "Enter" to skip to content

Flat in 20 days

Authors: Soma Basu, Aparna Pallavi, Kundan Pandey, Jitendra     Raghveer Lal was 22 and full of life. Standing amid the fast ripening crops of peas, pigeon pea and black gram in village Ramgadha in Damoh district of Madhya Pradesh, he would often dream of a bumper harvest and a…

Out of the box

Mita Gupta of Delhi visits a retail shop, goes to the personal care section, looks for the familiar toothpaste, picks it up, brings it home, takes the tube out and throws the packet into a bin. She does not even glance at the elaborate information printed on the packet. And…

Insensitive to sensitive zone

Many houses illegally constructed near the river crumbled in Uttarkashi town (Photographs: Pushkar Rawat) Only a month ago, Vipin, a mule herder who ferried tourists and pilgrims from Gangotri to Gaumukh, was worried that a new “government rule” would rob him and his brethren of livelihood. “The rule will kick…

Heaven’s rage

SURVIVORS OF THE UTTARAKHAND FLASH FLOODS SHARE HAIR-RAISING TALES OF THEIR ORDEAL AND YET-TOBE-EXPLAINED FREAK WALLS OF WATER GUSHING DOWN HILL SLOPES. SOMA BASU REPORTS FROM GROUND ZERO HOW THE TRAGEDY UNFOLDED At 7.18 pm on June 16, Ram Singh heard the loudest crack in 45 years of his life.…

Kicking up a stink

Members of SWaCH at a press conference with bags of soiled sanitary napkins addressed to the manufacturers (Photographs Courtesy : SWACH) For two years, a waste pickers’ cooperative in Pune had been trying to draw the attention of sanitary napkin makers towards the woes of waste pickers, who segregate and…

Wasted e-waste

Electronic waste is a mine of precious metals, but poor regulations simplify its squandering away The old, dilapidated mobile phone you replaced with a snazzy, up-to-date version was disposed of properly at the company’s collection centre. You think it has been discarded in an environment friendly way. But often that…

Can faith heal?

Billed as the largest gathering of humanity in recorded history, Maha Kumbh has commenced in Allahabad. Over the next few weeks, pilgrims will jostle to take a dip at Sangam—the confluence of two polluted rivers of the country, the Ganga and the Yamuna. Soma Basu reports on its impacts on…

Salvation for seers, curse for farmers

Practice of jal samadhi makes life hellish for people downstream of Sangam No one in Rasulpur Maryadi, near Bamrauli in Allahabad, dares to visit the village’s melon fields alone. Decomposed bodies, covered in saffron coloured silk, dot the wide expanse of the river bed of Ganga that meanders through the…

Resident evil

Despite the pretence of its ‘prized’ location, Bhuda village in Purulia continues to be held hostage by a toxic stream and an administration that has thrown its hands up in despair, writes soma basu

Water report says little, hides a lot

Even when the coliform count in the Ganga is 500 times more than the permissible limit, a Central Water Commission (CWC) report calls the river clean, raising a clamour that the report says little and hides a lot.
The report ~ Water Quality Hot-spots in Rivers of India ~ by the CWC was released in New Delhi by the Union water resources minister, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, to provide the water quality scenario of our rivers.