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MANIK SARKAR FACES CHALLENGE YET HARD TO BE UNSEATED

By Biswendu Bhattacharjee

Un i n t e r r u p t e d fourth term rule of Manik Sarkar in 5th consecutive government of left front in Tripura has faced a multiple challenge barely 10 months ahead of assembly poll scheduled in February next year. Besides, sustained pressure from Modi led government at the centre, Sarkar and his team have been accused of patronising Non Banking Financial Company (NBFC) like Rose Valley,

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Dalai Lama visits Arunachal Pradesh China Irks

By Bilaseng Namchoom

The country of Red Dragon is fumed over the recent visit of Apostle of Peace HH Dalai Lama to the Land of Rising Sun-Arunachal Pradesh overriding Beijing’s objection to the visit. In retaliation, China changed the name of atleast six places in Arunachal Pradesh describing it as “legitimate” action in line with Chinese law which supports Beijing’s territorial claim. China might even pull out old maps and records to show that these names existed for hundreds of years to support its claim besides the fact that the 6th Dalai Lama was born in Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh and Tawang Monastery was linked to monasteries in China in the past. India has objected strongly to the move saying it changes nothing on the ground.

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Umkhrah : what has thou to tell? 

Dondor Giri Nongkhlaw
Geomorphologist

 Lately Umkhrah river has been a burning topic of discussion because of its dreadful conditions, it really is a topic of grave concern, environmentally in terms of pollution, culturally and spatially in terms of unplanned proliferation of settlements on its banks. It is a river that people have praised, that poetry have been composed and songs sung and as people have come so people have gone its name would be etched forever in the geographical landscape of the Shillong Plateau as long as it flows whether clean or dirty. 

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National green tribunal

steps over vague policies

Sumar Sing Sawian

The Lukha River in Jaintia Hills, near the border with Bangladesh, runs Gatorade blue due to sulphate pollution from Meghalaya’s coal mines.The state government is now in a quandary, as how to wriggle out, over the total ban of haphazard and wanton mining of coal in the state, which was imposed by the National Green Tribunal since April 17 in the year 2014. Because of the indifferent and callous attitude of the government, which had allowed for so long the primitive method of coal mining, the government has to now to bite the dust. Since the inception of Meghalaya, forty years ago, the state is now facing an annual revenue loss of rupees six hundred crores. The government had allowed the coal barons to rule the roost, at the cost of environmental degradation, which can never be recuperated overnight.

The financial wizards of the state, are now in a fix and have to possibly satisfy themselves in a shoe-string budget. It is indeed a lesson to be learnt in a hard way by the government, in taking for granted of the coal resource and also other minerals such as limestone, which cannot be taken for a ride. In fact the state government had prepared a policy on mining of minerals since the year 2012, but strangely enough, this policy had been kept in cold storage, less it offend the coal barons, who have been given a free hand in the exploitation of the miners, without any reserves.

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Polluted Kopili's Dark Shadows Over Cachar Paper 

The only PSU of Barrack Valley that is dependent on the mines of Jaintia Hills which had been directly responsible for the death of many rivers in the region.A first-hand account of the direct co-relation of the ensuring Ban by National Green tribunal and the Cachar Paper Mill.Impending coal crisis looms large over Cachar Paper Mill located at Panchgram in Barak Valley

It may sound incredible, but is true. Pollution of the far away Kopili river has cast particulearly dark shadows over Cachar Paper Mill at Panchgram in Barak Valley. The only public sector undertaking in the south Assam established in 1988, has an annual capacity of producing 1 lakh metric ton of writing and printing paper, providing direct and indirect employment to hundreds of people and contributing towards the economy of the region.

Ironically the Kopili river originating in the Meghalaya plateau and flowing through the Karbi Anglong, Dima Hasao, Kamrup and Nagaon districts has been severely affected by unscientific coal mining in its upper reaches in Meghalaya leading to acidification of the river which has, in turn, left a part of the river’s course biologically dead, making the water unfit for human consumption and leading to frequent outages at the Kopili Hydro Electric Project dams. Besides, several other streams and rivers have also been polluted. Significantly, the river is the source of drinking water in the lower reaches of Dima Hasao and other districts.

According to the state,it is 3.4 million m.t while the owners of mines claim it to be 9 million m.t

In view of the seriousness of the problem, All Dimasa Students’ Union filed a petition before the National Green Tribunal(NGT) against the evil effects of rat-hole mining. NGT headed by Swatanter Kumar and Ranjan Chatterjee, consequently issued an order dated May 19, 2014, that directed the state of Meghalaya to ensure that the unscientific and illegal mining is stopped forthwith throughout the state and any illegal transportation of coal suspended until further notice. After thorough examination and on the spot verification, the Tribunal found serious air, water and environmental pollution due to unregulated and indiscriminate mining. Streams and underground water have been severely contaminated, jeopardizing environment and human health.

From Jyoti Lal Chowdhury

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