Indian group offers new plan for Bhopal gas disaster

The international fight for justice by survivors of the 1984 Bhopal gas disaster in India has been a rollercoaster ride of delay, disappointment and few victories for families of the tens of thousands of people who died in one of the world's worst industrial disasters.
 
However, three recent major legal and environmental developments suggest that the fight following the catastrophe is far from over.
 

India grants environmental clearance for 11 more sand quarries

The State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) has granted environment clearance for 11 more sand quarries in the Cauvery-Coleroon river basin.

A few days ago, the SEIAA had granted clearance for 10 new sand quarries in Tiruchi, Karur, Ariyalur, Nagapattinam, Thanjavur and Namakkal districts.

In the second batch of clearance, 11 quarries have been approved, sources told The Hindu on Friday.

India: Vizhinjam project more important than a few resorts, says Minister

The State Government would not allow anyone to wreck the Vizhinjam port and transshipment container terminal project, says K. Babu, Minister for Ports.

A section of tourist resorts is trying to derail the project at a crucial time when the environmental impact assessment (EIA) study is over and public hearing is due, he said.

ALL-PARTY MEET

The Minister said this while speaking to newspersons after an all-party meeting here on Thursday to drum up support for the long-delayed project.

India: Citizens, groups seek probe into irrigation scam

Over 25 groups and individuals have demanded that an independent credible commission urgently probe the irrigation scam in the state and have sent a letter to chief minister Prithviraj Chavan and governor K Sankarnarayanan in this regard.

In the letter, the organisations have demanded an independent scrutiny of the water resource development projects in the state undertaken during the last 17 years, including major and medium dams, lift irrigation, hydropower, drinking water and industrial water supply projects.

India: Review order on sand mining, appeals State government

The State government has filed a revision petition in the Madras High Court seeking a review of the court’s order issued on August 3 pertaining to sand mining.

In that order, a division bench at Madurai had held that permission for fresh sand mining in Cauvery river area should be granted only after getting environmental clearance from the State-level Environment Impact Assessment Authority. The government wanted the court to modify the order to avoid shortage of sand for the public and for its own developmental works.

World Bank unit CAO assessing complaints against India's Vizhinjam port

The World Bank Group's independent unit Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) is assessing complaint that the proposed multi-purpose sea port at Vizhinjam in Kerala could adversely impact environment as well as many livelihoods, reports PTI.

The International Finance Corp (IFC), part of the World Bank Group, has been hired as the transaction advisor to assist Vizhinjam International Seaport Ltd (VISL) in structuring and implementing the project. IFC is also managing about $1.6 million in trust funds for the project.