GENRE: In Focus

Ten lakes, two streams, 3,500 acres of agricultural land, 1,005 families and hundreds of plant and animal species — these are all under threat because of one development project. There has been a considerable buzz regarding the Chennai Greenfield Airport set to come up in Parandur on the outskirts of the city. But, not all the noise is positive. Villagers in Parandur have been protesting for almost 700 days and some have even boycotted the Lok Sabha 2024 elections, asking the government to withdraw the project.   Yet, work is steadily progressing on the greenfield airport and the government is…

Read more

The devastation that hit the coastal parts of Tamil Nadu and Chennai during the December 2023 floods still haunts the people affected here. Just five months later, the city is already staring at a potential water shortage. Reservoirs serve as the main source of water supply to Chennai residents. However, Veeranam Lake reached dead storage on February 28th due to a lack of inflow from the Mettur dam. As of the lake storage report of the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB) on May 27th, the reservoirs currently hold only 42.28% of their total capacity. The CMWSSB proposes…

Read more

As Priya* woke up at 5:30 am, she took the final sip of her coffee and was about to begin her morning prayers when she received a call from an unknown number. A few years ago, she wouldn't have bothered to answer. But now, as a community worker in a resettlement site, calls from unfamiliar numbers have become a routine part of her daily life. A woman could be heard crying at the other end. Priya asked her to calm down and speak clearly. The woman informed her that her husband was beating her up and had locked her inside…

Read more

Mumbai South Central is a constituency that includes areas in Mumbai such as Chembur, Anushakti Nagar, Dharavi (SC), Sion Koliwada, Wadala, and Mahim assembly constituencies. This is a diverse constituency, with a high population density. Dharavi, one of Asia's largest informal settlements is home to an estimated one million people and is a known hub for recycling, leather, and pottery mirco-industries. Chembur, which used to be mostly industrial land with the presence of BARC and RCF, is rapidly transforming into a prime location for real-estate developers, building middle income and luxurious high rises in the area. Anushakti Nagar, a self-contained, planned…

Read more

Murshidabad was once the capital of Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa and was known as the abode of Nawabs. But the present reality is different — one of the minority-dominated districts of West Bengal, it is now labelled ‘backward.’ The district does not even have a full-fledged university.  The district lags in socio-economic terms due to the lack of employment opportunities. One part of Murshidabad relies on agriculture, while the other depends on migrant labour. Consequently, many workers in the district are forced to migrate to other States for sustenance. Murshidabad has the highest percentage of workers from Bengal, who are…

Read more

The river Yamuna enters Delhi from a village called Palla and travels for about 48 km. There is a part of the river, approximately 22 km long, between Wazirabad and Okhla, which is severely polluted, but for the remaining 26 km of its course, the river is still fairly clean. The surroundings serve as a habitat for a large number of trees, flowers, farms, birds, and people who have been living here for as long as they can remember. They are the urban farmers of Delhi-NCR, and they provide grains and vegetables for people living in the city. Although farming…

Read more

Chennai is among the first few cities to get selected under the Smart City Mission programme in 2016. As many as 48 projects under different categories were taken up under the scheme. With only a couple of projects left to be completed, isn't Chennai supposed to look 'smart' now? The much-hyped Central government scheme, launched in 2014, was envisioned to build core infrastructure and evolve 'smart' solutions that would make cities more livable and sustainable. But, a decade since, the reality on the ground may be a little different. While some of the facilities provided under these projects are under-utilised,…

Read more

The Delhi Forest Department has officially notified the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) about reported tree cutting activities at Sanjay Van. The forest department's south division has verified the claim, citing an infringement of the Delhi Preservation of Trees Act (DPTA) 1994, due to the unauthorised felling of trees in Sanjay Van, Mehrauli, New Delhi. According to officials, the alleged incident came to light through the vigilance of environmental activists. The accusations stemmed from a volunteer organisation called "There is No Earth B," which conducts regular cleanup campaigns at Sanjay Van. With a volunteer base exceeding 1,500 individuals, the group engages…

Read more

In 2021, some street vendors informed Mohit Valecha, Delhi in-charge of the National Hawker Federation (NHF), that officers of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) were giving out loan application forms to shopkeepers at Saraswati camp, RK Puram, under the PM SVANidhi scheme. “By the time we reached there, the officers had distributed applications to around 12 of the 20 shopkeepers there. These were junior officers. When we questioned them, they said they did so to meet their targets, and left soon,” says Mohit, who is also All India Youth President of NHF. “I don’t know if the shopkeepers eventually…

Read more

Have you been to the Surajpur wetland, near Surajpur village in Gautam Budh Nagar district? Located in the midst of an expansive industrial city under the administrative purview of the Greater Noida Development Authority, it reveals itself as a mosaic of a sprawling lake, towering trees and thousands of birds, many flying in from distant lands. As you enter the wetland, the guards tell you not to go beyond the second viewpoint. It is untamed territory, the domain of many wild animals, they warn.  However, all has not been well in this sanctuary of nature. In January 2024, the Uttar…

Read more