Urban Environment

With more than 7000 kilometers of coastline, India ranks 20 in the world among the countries with the longest coastline. Preserving this coastline from excessive construction is crucial for maintaining the ecological balance and safeguarding the fragile coastal environment.  Uncontrolled development along the coastline can lead to habitat destruction, erosion, and disruption of natural processes that are vital for the well-being of marine ecosystems. In order to protect coastal ecology and conserve the coastal environment, the Government of India issued the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) in 1991. This plays a pivotal role in mitigating the adverse impacts of construction on…

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“The authorities told us to let them begin the construction work, and if we resist, they will do it by force,” says Dinesh Habale, a social worker and a tribal resident of Habal Pada, a village of over 65 families, near Film City in Aarey. The recent news of the approval for tunnel construction, with a final bid of Rs 6,301 crore for the Goregaon Mulund Link Road (GMLR) project, has left the tribal villagers of Habal Pada deeply uneasy. They dread the prospect of their ancestral homes being sacrificed for the construction of the upcoming tunnel project. As different…

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People of North Chennai have been vocal about the adverse effects of pollution that taints the air, land and water in their area. They are often seen staging protests against projects that may have a negative bearing on the lives and livelihoods of the people and the environment. Several studies have reiterated that major industries operating in the Ennore-Manali region, including the state-owned thermal power plant, contribute to the rising pollution in North Chennai. It is the residents who bear the brunt of this toxic onslaught — as they breathe poisonous air every day and use water that is highly…

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Chennai's lakes, once the lifeblood of the city, have been disappearing because of decades of neglect, encroachment and pollution. Worried about the state of these shrinking water bodies, many dedicated citizens and organisations have made efforts to revive them. From restoration projects to community-led initiatives, Chennai's journey in lake revival is ongoing, with some successful efforts and some riddled with challenges.  Chennai's lake restoration initiatives In response to the 2015 floods, the city initiated many lake restoration projects to mitigate urban flooding and enhance the holding capacity of the city's large lakes.   The Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) and…

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When discussing solar panels and the energy they produce, often the question whether it's genuinely environmentally friendly pops up. Many discussions revolve around what happens to solar panels when they're no longer in use. How will they be disposed of? Will they be recycled? Do we have the resources to recycle them? If not, does this energy source remain as green as we thought? Due to the lifespan of solar panels (25 to 30 years) and the failure to design for re-use or recycling at initial stage, India will begin to see large volumes of solar panels reaching the disposal…

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India is working hard to find cleaner ways to produce energy. In response to the escalating daily surge in carbon emissions and the shift from conventional thermal energy generation to environmentally sustainable and green energy sources, various renewable energy projects, including wind energy, solar energy, tidal power, hydroelectricity, and more are in the works. One notable addition to this green energy portfolio is the concept of green hydrogen. This technology is poised to attract substantial investments worth millions of rupees, all over the country in the not-so-distant future. It holds the potential to assume an important role in meeting the…

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As the 10-day Ganpati festival got over with much fanfare, we delve into its environmental impact and explore some of our stories related to the festival - city's preparations for the festival, the push for eco-friendly Ganpati celebrations, and snapshots from this year's festival, capturing the emotional farewells by devotees. According to civic officials from Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), over 39,000 idols of Lord Ganesh were immersed in various water bodies on the last day, and more than 2,05,722 idols were immersed across Mumbai over ten days. The Ganpati festival is commonly linked to significant environmental consequences. The idols are…

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Sudden, heavy downpours after hot and humid days have been a frequent occurrence over the past two months in Chennai. Such rainfall during the lesser southwest monsoon season is a deviation from the norm for the city. The northeast monsoon season is the most critical period for rainfall in Chennai, as it provides more than 50% of the city's annual rainfall. The southwest monsoon season, on the other hand, provides only around 20% of the city's annual rainfall. However, this year, the city experienced an early and abundant southwest monsoon this year. What do these high numbers mean for the…

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"I have a vivid memory from my childhood when I was about 8 years old. My grandfather took me to the Hanging Gardens, and I was absolutely thrilled. The trees, the open spaces to run, the panoramic views from the top – it all convinced me that no other garden could possibly be as beautiful as this one. This was in the 1980s, and my grandfather passed away not long after that. But the dearest memories I have with him are of those moments in this garden, playing around while he watched from a distance." "I hadn't thought about that…

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As the curtains fall on this year's monsoon season, let's take a moment to examine Mumbai's rainfall performance this year. Due to worries of El Nino, a climate pattern indicating abnormal Pacific Ocean warming, officials anticipated rain deficit. However, contrary to expectations, the weather systems aligned in such a way that Mumbai not only received substantial rainfall but also surpassed its average expectations, experiencing an abundance of rain during the past four months. Mumbai has received a remarkable 2956.4 mm of rainfall so far, with July marking an all-time high at 1,770 mm. However, the month of August was mostly…

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