Our Announcements

Not Found

Sorry, but you are looking for something that isn't here.

Posts Tagged Polluted India

India Is Burning – Akash Kapur


ak feb16 p.jpg

A woman picks through garbage next to a graveyard in Hyperabad / AP

When I first moved back to India, in the winter of 2003, after more than a decade in America, I never thought I would live in the countryside. My wife and I had been living in New York; we liked the energy, the nightlife and variety, of a big city.

We quickly discovered, though, that Indian cities were unlivable–crowded and noisy and polluted, they were no place to raise a family. So we decided to stay, with our two boys, in the countryside outside the South Indian town of Pondicherry, the area where I had grown up.


Summers were dry and quiet, with a hot wind that emptied roads and public spaces. Winters were wet and then cool, monsoon downpours followed by a clear, clean light.

The familiarity, the predictability, were comforting. Everything else in India was moving so fast; in the countryside, seasons at least stayed constant.

Then one April the summer wind brought with it an unfamiliar guest: the smell of burning plastic. It started on a Sunday afternoon, a hint of bitterness, like something rotten in the air. I barely noticed. A couple days later my wife woke me in the middle of the night and said something was burning. This time the bitterness was unmistakable, a chemical taste in my mouth, a trail of roughness along my constricted throat.

My older son woke up, vomiting. We nursed him through the night. We told ourselves it was a stomach bug, something he’d eaten. But he’d eaten what we had all eaten, and as we stayed up with him, wiped his vomit and rubbed his stomach, comforted him, promised him it was nothing, it would pass, we couldn’t shake the terrible feeling that it was in fact something very real–that he’d been poisoned by the air.

•       •       •       •       •

The smell invaded our house throughout the following weeks and months. It came from a landfill south of my home, Pondicherry’s main garbage dump. Every day, almost 400 tons of garbage–plastic bags and shoes and rubber tires and batteries mixed with rotting fruit and meat–were carried there by tractors, and thrown in putrefying piles that emanated combustible methane gas.

The landfill was far from my house. It was almost two miles away. It had been there for over a decade, but I had never noticed it. Now, with Pondicherry growing, its residents getting richer, buying more, discarding more, the dump had swollen.

Over the years, hundreds of thousands of tons of garbage had built up. The dump was running out of space. The fires, some man-made, some the result of spontaneous combustion, were getting bigger. The smoke was getting thicker, and traveling farther.

To me and my wife, the situation was bewildering. For so long, we had told ourselves that we were happy with the bargain we had made by choosing to live in rural India. We had decided to raise our children in a place where the water was drinkable, and the skies clear at night. Now the world was crowding in. I was told that the dump was emitting furans and dioxins and other toxic chemicals. I was told that these poisons could lead to cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular and respiratory disease. And I was told, too, that children, with their undeveloped immune systems, were most susceptible.

What were responsible parents to do? We talked a lot about moving. “But to where?” my wife would ask. The landfills were everywhere, smoking heaps outside (and sometimes inside) cities, along highways, in fields and forests.

India produced some 100 million tons of municipal waste every year. According to the OECD, only 60% of this waste was even collected. A far smaller (almost nonexistent) amount was recycled. The garbage just piled up–and rotted, and smoldered, and polluted the air and water.

Sometimes, when I drove along highways lined with blazing garbage, when I passed through remote villages shrouded in smoke, it seemed like there wasn’t a safe corner in the country. India, I began to feel, was burning.

•       •       •       •       •

Cover Image - Akash Kapur INDIA BECOMING.JPGIndia was burning–and, in a similar way, it was eroding, melting, drying, silting up, suffocating. Across the country, rivers and lakes and glaciers were disappearing, underground aquifers being depleted, air quality declining, beaches being swept away.

The numbers were astounding. According to a government report I read, almost half of India’s land suffered from some kind of erosion. Seventy percent of its surface water was polluted. Earlier this year, a study conducted by Yale and Columbia universities concluded that India had the worst air quality in the world.

In the weeks and months after the garbage first started blowing into my living room, I came to see this terrible environmental toll as a form of collateral damage: it was the price the country was paying for its rapid growth, for a model of development that elevated prosperity above all else.

For years, India had been skeptical of environmentalists and their concerns. In 1972, Indira Gandhi, then the country’s  prime minister, attended the first United Nations Conference on the environment, in Stockholm, and announced that poverty was the worst form of pollution.

It was a formulation that stuck. People I know who were involved in India’s latent environmental movement during the 70s and 80s remember an uphill struggle. They were accused of elitism, and of being insensitive to the plight of the poor.

Environmentalists like to say that their cause needn’t have a developmental cost, that environmentalism is a win-win proposition. That’s not always true: sometimes, tough choices are required. Tradeoffs have to be made. This is true everywhere in the world (think of the United States’ reluctance to impose a carbon tax for fear that it will stifle jobs), but perhaps especially in a poor country like India.

Increasingly, though, I’ve found myself thinking that after two decades of economic reforms, after a boom that has lifted millions from poverty, India has reached a stage in its growth where Indira Gandhi’s old formulation is breaking down.

Today, economic development and environmentalism are no longer mutually exclusive. Experts estimate that, if it were quantified, the cost of environmental damage in India would shave anywhere from 2.5 to 4 percent off GDP. The nation’s emerging environmental calamity threatens to overshadow–and undermine–its phenomenal growth.

•       •       •       •       •

On a cloudy day in November, I took a trip to the beach. It was a twenty-minute drive from my home, a sandy stretch of coconut trees and fishing villages that lined the South Indian coast. I had been going to that beach since I was a boy. I had gone swimming there with my friends, and I had gone fishing in catamarans with local fishermen.

Now, I wasn’t going for a swim, or to fish. I was going because I had heard that large stretches of the beach were being swept away, disappearing into the ocean. Some years ago, the town of Pondicherry, farther down the coast, had built a new harbor. This harbor was supposed to spur development in the area. There was some debate about whether it had done that, but the harbor had indisputably blocked replenishing sand flows carried by currents from the south. Now the beach was starved of nourishment–another victim of the nation’s single-minded quest for development.

I went to the fishing village of Chinnamudaliarchavadi. It was a village I knew well, but I was shocked by what I saw.  A stretch of sand that had once extended for at least a hundred meters was now reduced to a strip of no more than ten or fifteen meters. Trees were uprooted, and fences and compound walls were breached. At least one electricity pole had come down. Houses sat precariously above the waters; some, I was told, had already been swallowed.

Many villagers had moved away, left behind their thatch huts and gone inland, in search of higher ground. They weren’t only leaving their homes behind; they were abandoning their livelihoods (and the livelihoods, too, of their parents and grandparents).

In a hut at the edge of the village, perched above the ocean, I met a widowed mother of two boys. Her name was M. Valli. She told me that every night, at high tide, the waters seeped into the single room of her hut where she tried to sleep with her children. The sound of the waves, she said, was “like an earthquake.”

She showed me her hut. It was tiny, cramped, with only a bare minimum of possessions: a kerosene stove, a cardboard calendar on the wall, a couple pillows on the floor. She said the erosion was destroying her livelihood. She used to buy fish from fishermen and sell them in the local market; now, with the waters advancing, growing increasingly rougher and changing course every day, the catch was down, almost non-existent.

As I was leaving Valli’s hut, one of her friends beseeched me to write about their plight. “If this continues,” she said, “we’re all going to die.”

I walked farther up the coast. I sat on the sand, what was left of it, and I thought of just how little remained of the beach I had known as a boy.

So much was being swept away. So much was being destroyed. I knew it was part of the compact of modern India: In with the new, out with the old, all in the name of progress.

I welcomed the progress. But all the destruction seemed a heavy price to pay.

This post is adapted from Akash Kapur’s India Becoming: A Portrait of Life in Modern India (Riverhead Books).


Akash Kapur, the former Letter From India columnist for the International Herald Tribune, is the author of India Becoming: A Portrait of Life in Modern India. He has also written for The New Yorker, The Economist, The New York Times, and others.

, , , , ,

No Comments

WIKIPEDIA : CORRUPTIONS, SCAMS, SCANDALS IN “SHINING” INDIA:Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones

India’s image on tackling corruption has not improved with Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) placing it at 94th rank out of 176 nations this year.

Though India was ranked at 95th position last year, the international watchdog said it has started evaluating the positions through a different formula beginning this year and hence this cannot be compared to last year’s ranking.

However, the last year’s rank of 95 would be 96 if it is calculated using the new methodology which implies there was a “slight improvement” in the index.

This year, India has a score of 36 out of 100 on a scale from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean) which is a result of an average of 10 studies including World Bank’s Country Performance and Institutional Assessment and Global Insight Country Risk Ratings.

India was ranked 72 among 180 countries for the first time in 2007 and since then the country’s rankings have been showing a decline. While India was placed at 87 in 2010, the position was 95 in 2011.

This year, India is ranked below neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka and China, while Afghanistan, Iran, Nepal, and Bangladesh fared much worse than India when it came to corruption in public sector undertakings.

Sri Lanka, which is slowly limping back to normalcy after a three-decade civil war, is ranked at 79 while China is ranked at 80.

Denmark is placed at the top spot with a score of 90 while Finland and New Zealand follow very closely. Countries that occupy the bottom ranks in the index are Myanmar, Sudan Afghanistan, Somalia and North Korea.


We are fed with the constant of accusations of corruption in Pakistan. It is there and every one knows it. When, the President (like Asif Zardari is corrupt) of a country is corrupt, there is always a trickle down effect. But, Indians should not crow about it, the Indian Augean Stable is no less sparkling, here is what we mean:







This is to update you on all the scams taken place in India. Please note that the list size is increasing year by year.

You can click on any of the scandal below to go to the original story of the scandal.publisted/listed ..in wikipedia..the free Encyclopedia…




▪   President of India’s land grab scandal – President of India Pratibha Patil allegedly grabbed 2,61,000 sq ft of defense land in Khadki Cantonment, Pune and built a home on it [1] [2] [3] [4]

▪   Coal Mining Scam – Central government lost 1,070,000 crore (US$213.47 billion) by not Auctioning Coal Blocks says CAG’s 110 page draft report [5][6] [7]

▪   Karnataka Wakf Board Land Scam – 200,000 crore (US$39.9 billion)[8][9]

▪   Andhra Pradesh land scam – 100,000 crore (US$19.95 billion)[10]

▪   Service Tax and Central Excise Duty fraud – 19,159 crore (US$3.82 billion) crore)[11] [12]

▪   Gujarat PSU financial irregularities – 17,000 crore (US$3.39 billion)[13] [14]

▪   Maharashtra stamp duty scam – 640 crore (US$127.68 million)[15] [16]

▪   Highway scam – 70 crore (US$13.97 million) [17] [18] [19]

▪   Ministry of External Affairs gift scam[20] [21] [22]

▪   Himachal Pradesh pulse scam[23] [24]

▪   Flying Club fraud – 190 crore (US$37.91 million)[25]

▪   Andhra Pradesh liquor scam[26][27]

▪   Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association scam – Approximately 50 crore (US$9.98 million)[28][29]

▪   Jammu and Kashmir PHE scam[30]

▪   Jammu and Kashmir recruitment scam[31]

▪   Jammu and Kashmir examgate[32] [33]

▪   Jammu and Kashmir dental scam[34]

▪   Punjab paddy scam – 18 crore (US$3.59 million)[35] [36]

▪   NHPC cement scam[37]

▪   Girivan (Pune) land scam [38] (not to be confused with Pune land scam which came to light during 2011)


▪   Uttar Pradesh NRHM scam – 10,000 crore (US$2 billion)[39][40][41][42][43]

▪   ISRO’s S-band scam (also known as ISRO-Devas deal, the deal was later called off) – 200,000 crore (US$39.9 billion) [44] [45] [46][47]

▪   KG Basin Oil scam[48] [49] [50] [51] [52]

▪   Goa mining scam[53][54]

▪   Bellary mining scam

▪   Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike scam – 3,207 crore (US$639.8 million)[55] [56] [57] [58]

▪   Himachal Pradesh HIMUDA housing scam[59][60]

▪   Pune housing scam [61]

▪   Pune land scam [62] [63]

▪   Orissa pulse scam – 700 crore (US$139.65 million)[64][65] [66] [67]

▪   Kerala investment scam – 1,000 crore (US$199.5 million)[68]

▪   Maharashtra education scam – 1,000 crore (US$199.5 million)[69][70]

▪   Mumbai Sales Tax fraud – 1,000 crore (US$199.5 million)[71]

▪   Uttar Pradesh TET scam[72][73][74]

▪   Uttar Pradesh MGNREGA scam[75]

▪   Orissa MGNREGA scam[76][77] [78]

▪   Indian Air Force land scam[79] [80] [81]

▪   Tatra scam – 750 crore (US$149.63 million)[82]

▪   Bihar Solar lamp scam – 40 crore (US$7.98 million)[83] [84]

▪   BL Kashyap – EPFO scam – 169 crore (US$33.72 million)[85][86]

▪   Stamp Paper scam (not to be confused with Abdul Karim Telgi’s Stamp Paper scam) – 2.34 crore (US$466,830)[87]


▪   2G spectrum scam – In the audit report, CAG puts the loss at 176,000 crore (US$35.11 billion) [88] whereas CBI pegs the loss at 30,984 crore (US$6.18 billion) [89]

▪   Adarsh Housing Society scam

▪   Commonwealth Games scam

▪   Uttar Pradesh food grain scam

▪   LIC housing loan scam

▪   Belekeri port scam

▪   Andhra Pradesh Emmar scam – 2,500 crore (US$498.75 million)[90] [91][92] [93]

▪   Madhya Pradesh MGNREGA scam – 9 crore (US$1.8 million)[94]

▪   Jharkhand MGNREGA scam[95] [96] [97]

▪   Indian Premier League scandal[98][99]

▪   Karnataka housing board scam[100] [101] [102]



▪   Madhu Koda mining scam

▪   Goa Special Economic Zone (SEZ) scam[103] [104]

▪   Rice export scam – 2,500 crore (US$498.75 million)[105]

▪   Orissa mining scam – 7,000 crore (US$1.4 billion)[106]

▪   Orissa paddy scam[107] [108]

▪   Sukhna land scam – Darjeeling [109] [110] [111] [112]

▪   Vasundhara Raje land scam[113]

▪   Austral Coke scam – 1,000 crore (US$199.5 million)[114][115]

▪   Gujarat’s VDSGCU Sugarcane scam – 18.7 crore (US$3.73 million) [116] [117] [118]


▪   Cash for Vote Scandal

▪   Hasan Ali black money controversy[119][120][121]

▪   The Satyam scam [122]

▪   State Bank of Saurashtra scam – 95 crore (US$18.95 million)[123][124]

▪   Army ration pilferage scam – 5,000 crore (US$997.5 million)[125]

▪   Jharkhand medical equipment scam – 130 crore (US$25.94 million)[126] [127]

▪   Haryana Teachers’ recruitment scam[128] [129]


▪   Kerala ice cream parlour sex scandal

▪   Scorpene Deal scam[130][131][132]

▪   Punjab city centre project scam – 1,500 crore (US$299.25 million)[133]

▪   Uttar Pradesh ayurveda scam – 26 crore (US$5.19 million)[134] [135] [136] [137]

▪   Navy War Room Spy Scandal (related to Scorpene Deal Scam)


▪   IPO scam [138][139]

▪   Oil for food scam (Natwar Singh)

▪   Bihar flood relief scam – 17 crore (US$3.39 million)[140]


▪   Gegong Apang PDS scam


▪   Taj corridor scandal

▪   HUDCO scam[141]


▪   Stamp paper scam – 20,000 crore (US$3.99 billion)[142] [143] [144]

▪   Provident Fund (PF) scam [145][146]

▪   Kargil coffin scam[147]


▪   Ketan Parekh securities scam

▪   Barak Missile scandal

▪   Calcutta Stock Exchange scam[148]


▪   India-South Africa match fixing scandal[149]

▪   UTI scam – 32 crore (US$6.38 million)[150]



▪   Cobbler scam [151][152]

▪   Hawala scandal

▪   Bihar land scam – 400 crore (US$79.8 million)[153]

▪   SNC lavalin power project scam – 374 crore (US$74.61 million)[154]


▪   Bihar fodder scam – 950 crore (US$189.53 million)[155] [156] [157]

▪   Sukh Ram telecom equipment scandal

▪   C R Bhansali scam – 1,100 crore (US$219.45 million)[158][159]

▪   Fertiliser import scam – 133 crore (US$26.53 million)[160][161]



▪   Purulia arms drop case

▪   Meghalya forest scam – 300 crore (US$59.85 million)[162]

▪   Preferential allotment scam – 5,000 crore (US$997.5 million)[163]

▪   Yugoslav Dinar Scam – 400 crore (US$79.8 million)[164]


▪   Sugar import scam [165][166]


▪   Harshad Mehta securities scam – 5,000 crore (US$997.5 million)[167]

▪   Palmolein Oil Import Scam, Kerala

▪   Indian Bank scandal – 1,300 crore (US$259.35 million)[168]


▪   Airbus scandal[169]



▪   St Kitts forgery[170]


▪   Bofors Scandal[171]


▪   Cement Scam involving A R Antulay – 30 crore (US$5.99 million)[172]



▪   Kuo oil scandal – 2.2 crore (US$438,900)[173]


▪   Maruti scandal[174]


▪   Nagarwala scandal – 60 lakh (US$119,700)



▪   Kaling tubes scandal[175]


▪   Pratap Singh Kairon scam[176]


▪   Teja loan scandal – 22 crore (US$4.39 million)[177]



▪   The Mundhra scandal – 1.2 crore (US$239,400)[178]


▪   BHU funds misappropriation – 50 lakh (US$99,800)[179]


▪   Cycle import scam[180]



Jeep scandal – 80 lakh (US$159,600)[181]

, , ,

No Comments