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Delhiites force cancellation of public hearing for waste-to-energy plant in a densely-populated area

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In what is being described as a victory in a big war against pollution in Delhi, people of the south-western district of Delhi have forced a scheduled public hearing for expanding a "waste-to-energy" power plant from 16 MW to 40 MW. The Delhi Pollution Control Board (DPCB) and the District Magistrate faced such a situation for the first time, says a civil society statement following the cancellation.
The major reason for people from different societies, including Sukhdev Vihar, Jasola Vihar, Abul Fazal, Haji Colony, Gaffar Manzil, Shahin Bagh and other places was that it was being held in violation of the Environment Assessment Notification dated September 15, 2006, according to which it should have been held near the project site, but it was kept at quite a distance.
Being implemented in an area where more than a million people live and there are several major educational institutions and hospitals, the project would cause pollution in the region, the civil society group…

Quash FIR against Dalit academic Anand Teltumbde: Petition to Modi

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Karthik Navayan Battula, a human rights activist, has started a petition to be sent to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking him to quash the “false” FIR and not to arrest Prof (Dr) Anand Teltumbde, a well-known academic. An alumnus of IIM-A alumnus, IIT Professor, and associated with several top public sector and private undertakings, he is facing imminent threat of arrest as an ‘Urban Maoist’.
The appeal for quashing the false FIR against Dr Anand, filed by the Pune Police was rejected on January 14 by the Supreme Court and gave four weeks to seek pre-arrest bail from the competent court. The petition says, “The arrest under the UAPA can mean years of incarceration.”
“The arrest for him is not simply the hardship of prison life, it is keeping away from laptop which has been integral with his body, from his library which has been part of his life, half-written manuscripts of books committed to various publishers, his research papers which are in various stages of completion, his st…

Jharkhand govt decision to reduce eggs in midday meal to children "shocking"

The Right to Food (RtF), Jharkhand, has said, it is “shocking” that the Jharkhand government has decided to reduce the number of weekly eggs in school midday meals from three to two. Earlier, the government allotted Rs 4 per egg. With increase in price of eggs, it has revised the allotment to Rs 6 per egg.
“But instead of increasing the total budget commensurately with the inflation in cost of eggs, the government has decided to serve one less egg per child per week”, RtF said, adding, “Introduction of eggs in schools, and later in Anganwadis, is one of the few noteworthy steps taken by Jharkhand Government to improve child nutrition in the state.”
Jharkhand’s children are amongst the most malnourished in the country. According to the National Family Health Survey 4 conducted in 2015-16, 35.8 per cent children were underweight across the country. In Jharkhand, the corresponding ratio was as high as 47.8 per cent.
Currently, eggs are served across 12 states of the country. Andhra Prad…

Dalit rights body to oppose 10% reservation to dominant castes in Supreme Court

Dr VA Ramesh Nathan, General Secretary, National Dalit Movement For Justice (NDMJ) referring to the recent Constitutional Amendment Bill-2019 (124th Constitutional Amendment), passed in both the houses to provide 10% reservation for the economically weaker sections (EWS) of the general category, has said that the NDMJ is “strongly opposed this action of BJP-led government”.
In a statement, he says, it dilutes “the social justice concept of reservation to Dalits, Adivasis, and OBCs on the basis of caste injustice, being done to these communities by adding the words Economically Weaker Sections in Article 15 and ‘Backward class citizens’ in Article 16 of the Constitution.”
Pointing out that political parties who have supported this move want to “please the forward caste sections of the society, who are already advanced socially and educationally in society, before the general elections”, Dr says, “We also finding out the possibilities of intervening in the Supreme Court against this…

Koshi flood affected people "not being compensated": NAPM writes to Bihar CM

Led by the Koshi Nav Nirman Manch (KNNM), people displaced by the the Koshi embankment area of Bihar have been on an indefinite dharna at the Supaul district headquarters since January 10, 2019, seeking government assistance, as they have had to leave their place of residence following the disaster that has struck them because of frequent floods leading to soil erosion.
"They have not being given compensation in accordance with fixed standards and standard operating procedure (SOP)", says a representation by the National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM), which supports KNNM, to the Bihar chief minister. Signed by tens of social activists led by Medha Patkar, it adds, "Women, elderly, hundreds of people along with small children are on dharna braving cold weather, but there is no response from the state administration."
NAPM says, "Before they were forced to sit on dharna, the district administration was communicated about their plight, and on August 3…

Countries in Vibrant Gujarat summit should stage a boycott as minority rights "not respected" in state

Gujarat-based civil rights organization, Minority Coordination Committee (MCC), declaring its opposition to the Vibrant Gujarat Summit, has said that though India is a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Declaration of the Rights of Persons Related to Minorities, and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the Gujarat government is “violating these agreements”.
Claiming that the state government has “no right to invite international guests for the summit”, MCC said, it has been trying to talk to the state government for the rights of the minority communities in Gujarat for the last two years, yet state’s chief minister has “no time to meet”, yet, it has time to do “gimmicks like summit.”
MCC, it said, will therefore be appealing to the embassies of all the countries that have decided to participate in the Vibrant Gujarat summit, starting next week, asking them to appeal to the state government obey the international treaties and rights to the minorit…

Poor AMC allocation: Basic amenities, gutter lines lacking, forcing slumdwellers to defecate in open, Ahmedabad authorities told

Even as Ahmedabad has been declared “open defecation free plus” (ODF+) by the Narendra Modi government, which means the city has hygienic and usable public toilets, a grassroots community survey suggests that this is far from true in a large number of areas of the city.
Results of the survey are part of a memorandum addressed to Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) commissioner Vijay Nehra, who claimed that “a third-party inspection was carried out” to prove how the city has become more hygienic to live in.
The survey shows that in 100 societies of 26 different areas of Ahmedabad, people lack basic amenities. If some societies such as in Ambedkar Nagar and Indira Nagar in Nikol area, or in Boot Bhawani and Suryanagar in Vejalpur area, or the Bombay Hotel area, there are no household toilets or gutter lines, forcing people defecate in the open, in other places the gutter lines are either choked or are profusely leaking.
Released to media by community leaders from different parts of …