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    2010: Top 10 green controversies

    The Vedanta mining project

    The environment ministry blocked UK-based Vedanta's plans to mine bauxite in Orissa. The forests the mining project would have destroyed are intertwined with the lives and livelihoods of the local Dongria Kondh tribe.

    The POSCO project
    A steel plant project planned by the world's third-largest steelmaker POSCO has been mired in controversy for more than three years over protests by local residents who stand to be affected by it, concerns over environmental impact and legal issues over land acquisition and a mining concession. The environment ministry had ordered a halt to all work on the project, including land acquisition, while a 4-member panel probed if the forest rights act that seeks to protect forest land and settlers had been violated.

    Endangering the Sariska tigers
    The Rajasthan Government granted 40 new mining leases in the Aravali hills near the Sariska Tiger Reserve, a move seen as a serious threat to the eco-sensitive zone of the sanctuary. The leases are in defiance of a Supreme Court order that had asked for all mining leases to be considered as fresh applications and not renewed. The decision is seen as a setback to efforts to rehabilitate tigers in the Sariska as mining could damage the ecology of the region and jeopardise the survival of the big cats.

    Goa's black beaches
    An oil spill off the Goa coast turned all big beaches in Goa black prompting evacuation of people. A huge amount of tarball or solidified pieces of oil surfaced at the beaches.

    The Glaciergate scandal
    The Rajendra Pachauri-led Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report that claimed that most of the Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035 owing to climate change and global warning was made without any scientific basis. Pachauri was forced to admit that the IPCC, a United Nations body, made a series of scientific blunders in its prediction.

    A starry wedding in tiger park
    A petition was filed by the Ranthambore Park Bachao Samiti alleging violation of wildlife, environment and civic laws during the wedding of celebrity couple Russell Brand and Katy Perry held at Ranthambore. The Samiti alleged that the forest and district administration officials overlooked violations of noise and air pollution by the couple and their guests during their stay at the tiger reserve.

    Mumbai oil spill
    Nearly 800 tonnes of oil leaked out into the Arabian Sea from sinking cargo vessel MSC Chitra after it collided with vessel Khalijia off the Mumbai coast. There were eight main fuel tanks on board the ship and two of these tanks leaked tonnes of oil into the sea. MSC Chitra was also carrying 1219 containers out of which 31 had hazardous chemicals like pesticides.

    Sardar Sarovar project
    The Sardar Sarovar Dam sparked controversy again this year after Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asking him to withdraw the environmental committee set up for the project. The Environment Ministry had ordered the setting up of a committee to review the steps taken under Sardar Sarovar project. Modi said it was to imperative to take the dam's height to the level of full reservoir to extract the maximum benefit from it.

    Navi Mumbai Airport
    The $ 220 million Navi Mumbai international airport project received clearance from the environment ministry this year. The approval was necessary for construction to begin on the project in Navi Mumbai, seen as vital to the city%u2019s status as an international commercial centre. Under the terms of the agreement for the Navi Mumbai airport, the river Gadhi will not be diverted and 678 hectares of mangrove plantation will be developed around the new site to replace 161 hectares that will be destroyed during construction.

    Lavasa township
    Pune's Lavasa township it battling to clear its name from environmental violations after villagers from Lavasa led by activist Medha Patkar staged protests in Nagpur alleging lack of adequate compensation. The Environment Ministry issued a show cause notice to Lavasa Corporation alleging that many of its structures were above the height of 1000 meters. Planned over 18,000 acres, construction work has stopped on the first phase of the project after the Environment Ministry said the project had not received requisite clearances. The water from the Dasve Lake flowing into the incomplete city too is under scrutiny.
    ...being a human...



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