Stringing Progress cover

Vol no. 16 Issue No. 96

Expert Panel

Prithvish Nag

Vice Chancellor, MG Kashi Vidyapeeth, Varanasi

B Meenakumari

Chairman, National Biodiversity Authority, Chennai

Ajit Tyagi

Air Vice Marshal (Retd) Former DG, IMD, New Delhi

B Sengupta

Former Member Secretary, Central Pollution Control Board, New Delhi

Rasik Ravindra

Former Director, NCAOR, Goa

Saraswati Raju

Professor, CSRD, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

Sachidanand Sinha

Professor, CSRD, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

Dripto Mukhopadhaya

Director, Economic Research, Nielsen, New Delhi

Inside this issue


Forest Fires in Uttarakhand

By: Kapil Kumar Joshi

Forest fires in Uttarakhand are a result of warped policies since British times that wrested control of the forests from local communities, who in turn, set forests on fire to extract their revenge. Corrective measures to turn these communities from foes into friends can definitely help protect the unique Himalayan ecosystem.

Climate Change

Community Solutions for Environmental Governance

By: Jayalaxshmi Mistry and Andrea Berardi

Environmental governance is often led by governmental top down, expert-led solutions for local problems. Community owned solutions that can help communities plan governance and management of land and resource systems may be an effective alternative.

Soil Degradation and Soil Quality

By: Suresh Kumar

Soil erosion is a gradual process that depletes soil organic carbon, adversely affecting soil quality. It is the primary cause behind 78.6 per cent of the total degraded land in India. Enhancing soil organic carbon in soils may prove the most effective method to maintain soil quality.

Capture Methane

By: Naini Jayaseelan and Rina Mukherji

Methane, which is mostly generated out of solid waste, is one of the major greenhouse gases contributing to global warming. If methane from solid waste is utilised as a source of energy and fuel, it can become an effective alternative resource.


Consumer Behaviour and Macro Economy

By: Dripto Mukhopadhyay

The economic situation and policies of the states has a direct bearing on economic welfare, and hence has significant impact on consumption demand. Although hitherto neglected, it can easily explain the fluctuations in consumption pattern for consumer and other goods, and help in the planning of business strategy.

Non-compliance and Sarguja Plant

By: Krithika Dinesh and Sandeep Patel

Public hearing is an important step in the environmental clearance of any developmental project. For Sarguja Thermal Power Plant, attached to a coal mining block, the hearing was postponed despite community leaders pointing to non-compliance of several conditions of the environment impact assessment.

Resource Fact Sheet

By: Staff Reporter

Mining-Destruction over Development

By: Staff Reporter

Mining has affected the locals, especially the tribals whose lives are intrinsically linked to the ecosystem of the areas. A holistic approach is imperative to bring justice and inclusive egalitarian distribution of resources amongst all. Locals, concerned parties and the government have to work together to ensure and balance development with environment.


Stalagmites Reveal Past Drought Records

By: Shraddha Band, M G Yadava and R Ramesh

Studying stalagmites and their deposits can reveal the frequency and magnitude of dry and wet seasons in the past. Such studies can help predict climate uncertainties.

Precipitation in the Himalayas

By: Naresh Kumar, B P Yadav and Sanjay Bist

The western Himalayan region experienced an increasing trend of one-day heaviest precipitation, during both winter and monsoon through 1978 to 2007. While one day heaviest precipitation is on the rise in high-altitude stations during winter, the same is observed in low altitude stations during the monsoon.


Changing Climate and Traditional Crops

By: Ashutosh Tripathi, D K Tripathi, D K Chauhan and G S Singh

Changing climate has impacted several traditional crops in India which have ecological, nutritional and economic benefits. There is an urgent need for technological and financial initiatives to prevent the ultimate disappearance of these crops.

Population Urbanisation

Smarter Hyderabad

By: Navin Mittal

Hyderabad is a digitally advanced city and it has been in the forefront in using digitisation for managing its waste, traffic and revenue collection apart from overall infrastructural progress. However, the city is yet to overcome the constraints of geographical extent to become the next ‘smart city’.

Vanishing Urban Wetlands

By: Sumana Bandyopadhyay

Urban wetlands are perishing everywhere. Apart from the unplanned growth affecting these ecosystems, planned removal of wetlands has often been part of the government agenda, often for public benefit, with scant ecological concerns. Increased awareness of wetland benefits is the only way out if our wetlands are to be saved for posterity.

Water Quality and Fluorosis in India

By: Staff Reporter

India is one of the 25 fluorosis endemic countries worldwide. Consumption of water rich in fluoride, especially groundwater, and food with high fluoride content needs to be checked to curb fluorosis.

India Outdoors

Narara Marine National Park

By: Sumit Chakraborty

India’s only marine park recognised by International Union for Conservation of Nature, is inhabited by varieties of water species and is an enthralling experience. Unfortunately, industrial activities and oil spill have affected the ecosystem and initiatives are needed to stop further degradation.

In brief

Editor's Note

The culprit is man, on every count. The fires that even today rage through the green realms of the Himalaya have destroyed thousands of hectares of forest biodiversity—a devastation that will take a score or more decades to replenish. It may have been the dry winds precipitated by the El-nino that

Term Power

What is ...

A mixture of decayed or decaying organic matter used to fertilise soil. Compost is usually made by gathering plant material, such as leaves, grass clippings, and vegetable peels, into a pile or bin and letting it rot.

A dark-brown or black organic substance made up of decayed plant or animal matter. Humus provides nutrients for plants and increases the ability of soil to retain water. Partially decomposed plant matter in the soil is an example of humus.

Natural process by which water soluble substances (such as calcium, fertilisers, pesticides) are washed out from soil or wastes. These leached out chemicals (called leachites) causing pollution of surface and sub-surface water.

pH is a measure of how acidic/basic water is. The range goes from 0-14, with 7 being neutral. pHs of less than 7 indicate acidity, whereas a pH of greater than 7 indicates a base. pH is really a measure of the relative amount of free hydrogen and hydroxyl ions in the water.

Crop rotation is one of the oldest and most effective cultural control strategies. It means the planned order of specific crops planted on the same field. It also means that the succeeding crop belongs to a different family than the previous one. The planned rotation may vary from 2 or 3 years or for a longer period.

The definition of fallow is inactive. A piece of land that is normally used for farming but is left with no crops on it for a season in order to let it recover its fertility is an example of land that would be described as fallow.

Intercropping is a multiple cropping practice involving growing two or more crops in proximity. The most common goal of intercropping is to produce a greater yield on a given piece of land by making use of resources that would otherwise not be utilised by a single crop.

A crop planted primarily to manage soil erosion, soil fertility, soil quality, water, weeds, pests, diseases, biodiversity and wildlife may be termed as a cover crop. It is a plant that is used to slow erosion, improve soil health, enhance water availability, smother weeds, help control pests and diseases, increase biodiversity and bring a host of other benefits.

Relay cropping is the growing of two or more crops on the same field with the planting of the second crop after the first one has completed its development. The main utility of this model are continuous flow of vegetables to the market from the same piece of land.

A colony or colonies where bees are kept and bred. A stand, shed or boxes may be constructed for beehives or a bee house containing a number of beehives. They are usually mined for honey.