Rusting of a ‘migrant’ magnet: The severe ecological consequences of population influx on Delhi-NCR

By Shaunak Kishor Tapaskar, National Rail & Transportation Institute, Vadodara.

Migration is considered as a prime feature of today’s globalized world. People migrate from their places of origin to aspire for a safe and better future. In India, especially in its National Capital Region (NCR), we come across a similar phenomenon. NCR is the world’s largest urban agglomeration (UA) with a population of about 46 million. This region comprises of prominent cities like Delhi, Gurugram, Noida, and Ghaziabad. Among them, Delhi is the most populous with 18.6 million people and is also known as the National Capital Territory (NCT). Delhi’s booming services economy and its hegemony as the city with the highest per capita income in India makes it the migrant magnet. According to the 2011 census, nearly 40% of Delhi’s population comprised of outside individuals, which is the largest share among Indian cities, making it the ‘migrant capital’ of India. It also has the second largest population for inter-state migration, trailing only behind the state of Maharashtra. In Delhi, more than 75% of the total migrants are from the two states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Among the Indian states, the share of migrants from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, and Uttarakhand towards Delhi and its surrounding NCR consistently increased between 1991 and 2011. (more…)

The Rivers of My Home: A take on the MoU Signing of Bangladesh and India, and what it may mean for the future of the two nations

By Twinkle Jaspal, Amity Institute of Anthropology, NOIDA.

(Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina and Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi)

On October 5, 2019, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the countries of Bangladesh and India which was a revision and sanctioning of the water ties between the two, including the most attention-drawing decision to release 1.82 cusecs (cubic feet per second) of water from the Feni river to India for a drinking water supply scheme for Sabroom town in Tripura. As part of the memorandum, India is also now allowed to monitor the ports of Bangladesh. (more…)

Water Law Reform: A Necessity?

By Shashank Shekhar Shukla, Banaras Hindu University, Uttar Pradesh.

Water is the most critical resource issue of our lifetime and our children’s lifetime. The health of our waters is the principal measure of how we live on the land.”

Our Constitution contains several provisions regarding water. Water is a State subject covered under the seventh schedule of our Constitution. Article 51A(g) provides that it will be a fundamental duty of every Indian citizen to protect and improve the natural environment including lakes and rivers. Article 39(b) of the Constitution casts a duty on the State to direct its policy towards ensuring that the “ownership and control of the material resources of the community are so distributed as best to subserve the common good”. Article 47 provides that improvement in public health will be the duty of the State. Our Supreme Court has declared the right to access to clean water as part of the fundamental rights under Article 21. (more…)

Need for new Environmental Laws in India LQF

Need for a new Environment Protection Legislation?

By Sarthak Kanoria, Christ Church College, Kanpur.

Gandhi’s saying, “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed” is highly relevant today, in comparison to the time when he said it. The progress made by India in the economic sphere is overshadowed by the deterioration in the quality of its environment. The health emergency recently declared in Delhi aptly signifies the seriousness of the problem we as a nation are facing because of pollution. (more…)

The City of Imbalance: The Burden of Population and Ecological Crisis in Mumbai

Mumbai’s urban population is fast growing and problems of water availability, waste management and congestion are going to get more complex in future. Real estate development, Airport development project, Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project, to name a few, are all meant to elevate the standard of life for an average citizen, however, their individual and collective consequences for the city’s air quality, water reserves and potential for sustainable land use draw a dismal picture. (more…)

coastal zone LQF

Coastal Regulation Zones and Economic Development: Is Ecological Dilution the Cost of Progress?

By Debarati Choudhury, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Hyderabad.

Story So Far:

The Coastal Regulation Zone Notification of 2019 has cleared the way for commercialisation and development projects in Mumbai, while racing towards a more vulnerable ecology. The proposal of lifting restrictions from over 6,070 kilometres of the coastline for commercial activities has rung alarms with many. According to the Government, “The proposed CRZ notification 2018 will lead to enhanced activities in the coastal regions thereby promoting economic growth while also respecting the conservation principles of coastal regions.” While this might seem like a win-win situation, environmentalists are wary that this will selectively benefit only a small section, and adversely affect all coastal communities through predictable yet inevitable weather changes and a steep rise in  sea level. (more…)

Megaprojects in India LQF

Development and Environment : Trends and Transformations

By Debokarsho Dutta, Jadavpur University, Kolkata.

The question of development is now widely understood to be multidimensional as opposed to unidimensional as it was for much of history. The contemporary challenges of poverty, disease, terrorism et. al. are intricately linked with themes of development and indices such as the Human Development Index (HDI) represent this nuanced modern view of development as opposed to the previous use of over-simplistic and somewhat misleading indicators such as per capita income or overall GDP rates. (more…)

Migration and Environment in Mumbai

Crumbling under the weight of dreams: Mumbai’s ecology and its migrants

By Priya Singh, Christ University, Bengaluru.

Believed to have been inhabited since the Stone Age, the city of Mumbai houses approximately 12 million people. Mumbai is India’s most populous city and one of the most populous cities in the world. The reason for this is manifold but employment plays a major role in attracting people to this cultural conglomerate of a city. It is also the commercial powerhouse of India. Thousands flock to Mumbai every year to get a taste of the glamorous lifestyle that the city promises. The reality, however, is far from the image that many associate with the city. The city now crumbles under the burdening weight of thousands who come to the city, adding a huge pressure on the infrastructure of the city which is being used at maximum capacity. (more…)