The vegetable garden of Odisha is going to be submerged and more than 50 villages displaced; and the name of the game is ‘Development at Gunpoint’ – meaning ‘peaceful industrialization’ as the chief minister claims!
Thousands of farmers of the Lower Suktel plateau in Balangir are protesting against this upcoming dam for more than a decade now. After many a round of brutal repression and forceful land acquisition, the State has now declared the ‘final war’ against its own people.
On 29 April 2013, more than 2000 people were holding ground in opposition to the dam project. Early in the morning, 10 platoons of police force cracked down on the peaceful protesters. They started beating people mercilessly, without any provocation. They dragged women, clamped their feet with heavy boots, and tried to lynch Amitabh Patra, a filmmaker, who was filming the excesses first hand. The policemen, who appeared to be drunk, behaved like hired goons of some mafia outfit.
The police arrested 16 people, including Amitabh Patra and Lenin Kumar, editor of *Nisan*. Amitabh is still struggling for life with severe head injuries.
A genetically modified strain of maize created by the notorious American company Monsanto has been temporarily banned in France “to protect the environment.” This comes at a time of protests against the biotech giant in its homeland.
Source – http://rt.com/news/monsanto-maize-france-genetically-793/
Shell’s plans for drilling in the ecologically sensitive areas in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas are one step closer to becoming reality.
As The Hill reports:
Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell is a step closer to drilling in fragile waters off Alaska’s northern coast following an EPA appeals board’s Thursday denial of green group challengesto a pair of air pollution permits.
The agency’s independent Environmental Appeals Board denied review of Clean Air Act permits that EPA granted Shell for its controversial plans to drill in the ecologically fragile Beaufort and Chukchi Seas this summer.
The Houston Chronicle reports:
Shell received conditional federal approval last month to drill six exploratory wells in the Arctic offshore region but still must secure permits for individual wells.
Environmental groups are planning their next steps. The Associated Press reports:
Earthjustice attorney Colin O’Brien, who represented groups that filed one of four air permit appeals, said it an email response to questions that the decision could be appealed in federal court, but that it was too early to speculate about potential next steps.
He said EPA took shortcuts when it issued the permits and failed to fully protect Arctic air quality as required by the Clean Air Act.
“These permits pave the way for Shell to emit thousands of tons of harmful air pollution into the pristine Arctic environment, at levels that may be harmful to nearby communities and the environment for years to come,” he said. “We are disappointed that the Environmental Appeals Board decided against us and allowed EPA’s permit decisions to stand.
In October green groups appealed the EPA’s decision to grant Shell Clean Air Act permits to shell.
“These permits mark the start of full-scale industrial oil exploitation of the extremely sensitive Arctic. Oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean comes with unacceptable risks of spills that could have catastrophic impacts on Arctic wildlife and the communities that rely on the Arctic environment,” said Center for Biological Diversity attorney Vera Pardee. “We witnessed devastating damage from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill; the turbulent, icy, dark and remote conditions of the Arctic would make cleanup there even harder — next to impossible. Drilling in Arctic waters is an extremely bad idea.”