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Farmers in Jaitapur, Maharashtra are standing firm in their resolve to protest against the nuclear power plant. The Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL), the promoter of the plant, has offered to pay farmers Rs 22.5 lakh per hectare of land, a drastic increase from the previous offer of one to four lakh per hectare. The farmers have refused this offer and want the project to be scrapped altogether.
They are troubled by the dangers of having a nuclear plant in their backyard. They are concerned for their health, biodiversity and marine ecology from the effects of radiations and fear for their lives in case there is a nuclear catastrophe.
According to reports, Jaitapur falls in an earthquake prone zone. The plant is expected to generate 300 tonnes of waste each year but there is no clear plan for its disposal. These are among the several other reasons the local people have been protesting against the plant it was first announced. They have refused to accept the compensation cheques for their land since 2009. In 2010 protests turned violent after 1,500 protesters were detained by police. In the last three years, farmers too have staged several agitations including one in which a local was killed in police firing. Instead of listening to them, the government continues to suppress these voices.
13 tigers dies in MP in 2012
Between January and October 2012 there have been 12 recorded tiger deaths in Madhya Pradesh alone. Jayanthi Natarajan, Minister for environment and forest, has shown her concern in a missive to MP Chief Minister, Shivraj Singh Chouhan. She observed that these numbers were higher than the average tiger mortality rates and urged the CM to take preventive measures.
While five deaths were reported in territorial areas, seven were reported from Kanha, Panna and Bandhavgarh tiger reserves. These are the same forest ranges that are threatened by coal mining. A report released by Greenpeace shows that coal mining threatens over 1.1 million hectares of forest in just 13 coalfields out of 40 in Central India.
Cities can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 70 % with effort, says study
Cities are responsible for over 70 % of the greenhouse gases being emitted. More than half the world's population lives in urban areas causing these high levels of pollution. City dwellers have a responsibility to do whatever's in their power to reduce these levels.
Surprising but technically doable is the verdict of the study in a Canadian Journal that claims that cities can reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 70 %. According to the study this is possible if cities adopt an aggressive approach and introduce a slew of policy changes.
The study mainly focussed on transportation, energy supply and buildings. Simple improvements in energy efficiency, using non-polluting modes of transport like cycles etc. can go a long way. Greenhouse gas emissions from cities affect distant regions and the entire Earth effectively. If they are reduced at the source a great burden will be lifted and the environment will be much safer.
Ignatius Thekaekara is Online Media Officer with Greenpeace India.