Sabyasachi Patra

IndiaWilds Newsletter Vol. 8 Issue X

IndiaWilds Newsletter Vol. 8 Issue X

Download the full 44 page Newsletter PDF by clicking the below button –
Newsletter-October-2016 (7.4 MB, 265 downloads)

Say No to Bengaluru Steel Bridge

Journal -Oct 16The Government of Karnataka, has proposed a massive 6.72 Kms long steel bridge in Bangalore that is touted to make travel to airport faster. This muddleheaded project will burn a Rs. 1800 crore hole in the public exchequer and will ensure that more than 800 hard growth old trees will be felled.

This steel bridge is to be done between Basaveshwara circle and Hebbal in
Bangalore. The Steel bridge is anti-environment as it will result in more than 800 trees being cut off and will also result in destruction of old heritage buildings.

The Government is determined to push this project at any cost. KJ George, who was recently reinstated as minister for Bengaluru Development and State Town Planning, says that all the concerns of the Citizens have been taken into account before giving a go-ahead to this project.

Traffic & Solution:

According to the BDA document (http://www.bdabangalore.org/Steel%20flyover.pdftom-tomming the benefit of the flyover, the present day vehicle population is 60 lakhs and the traffic is high with 45% being taxis or personal vehicles.

 

Junction Daily Traffic Peak hour traffic
Basaveshwara circle 235769 19675
Miller road junction 78650 6286
Highgrounds junction 183941 17857
Kumarakrupa road junction 229378 18038
Cauvery theatre junction 207947 15080
Mekhri circle junction 294639 22898
Sanjaynagar road junction 219424 19261
CBI junction 187250 13153
Hebbal flyover & junction 343505 23799

 

The Government of Karnataka should have been pondering over the issue of high traffic and the means to reduce the same rather than trying to create a piecemeal solution of increasing the efficiency of the existing road infrastructure. Since 45% of the most of the traffic is taxis or personal cars, it is a big inefficient mode of transport which causes a lot of pollution. This can be reduced with better urban planning.

The Bangalore city is grappling with unnecessary traffic ever since the airport was shifted to a distance of 65 kms. No developed country shifts an airport to such a far off place without properly planning for a suitable mode of conveyance. Unfortunately, in India we revel in creating problems and then coming out with solutions to ensure our own personal benefits while the general populace suffers.

The Government came out with the Banglaore Metro rail, however, it is not connected with the Airport, nor is there any plans to do so. Instead, a few make money by plying taxis to the airport. This segment is completely against the idea of creating a metro rail linkage to the airport.

In developed countries, one can directly come to the metro rail and then check-in with their luggage at the individual airport counters at the local metro stations. There is seamless connectivity of the metro with the airport and the crowding of airline counters in the airports are also reduced. The travel time reduces drastically. The amount of pollution is also slashed massively.

Unfortunately, the Government doesn’t believe in greater level of planning for the entire metropolitan area. There has been no evaluation of the number of passengers arriving and departing from the Bengaluru airport and their commuting to Bangalore. This analysis would have clearly shown how inadequate the present and planned road communication to the airport.

The Steel Bridge decision is an arbitrarily taken decision, which is not linked with the greater Bengaluru metropolitan area planning and no alternate routes have been evaluated or planned. The way the Bengaluru city and its outskirts are growing without any planning, there will be massive pressures even on the proposed Steel bridge and it would not even succeed in reducing the travel time by even 10 minutes. The Congress Government ruling Karnataka, doesn’t appear to be bothered.

Environmentally Destructive:

Bangalore city is being progressively robbed off its greenery. An estimate suggests that about 10,000 old trees have been cut-off on some pretext or other. This and the concretization due to rampant construction of apartments has led to change in the climate of the city.

The Bangalore city used to be known for its salubrious climate. Even two decades ago, it used to be cold and hardly needed fans in the summer. However, in the summer of 2016, the city was so hot that people scrambled to purchase air conditioners (ACs). The temperature had consistently remained above 40 degrees centigrade. The mad rush resulted in a huge waiting list in installing the ACs in individual homes. In most of the houses the mechanics could only visit a week after being booked due to their workloads.

Trees play a big role in carbon sequestration. They also help reduce the urban pollution and due to releasing moisture play a role in rains. The rapid urbanization, cutting down of trees, reclaiming the lakes and other wetlands by filling them with mud and construction debris has resulted in a very hot city. The urban pollution level has also increased. In this scenario, any move to cut off old trees is extremely foolish.

Generally, it is claimed that new saplings are planted in lieu of trees being cut for road widening or for any infrastructure project. However, all the saplings are planted far away from the city, if at all they are planted. The carbon sequestration potential of old hard-growth trees are much more than saplings.

The BDA proposes that it will plant 60,000 ornamental plants in lieu of the 812 old tress that will be cut off for the proposed steel bridge. This is sheer lunacy. Ornamental plants don’t have long life, nor do they have the ability to fix carbon like the old hard-growth trees. The BDA move will result in further reduction of green area and a further polluted city. This shows

The Environment Protection Act 1986 as well as the EIA notification of 2006 (dated 12.09.2006) says that any project that has 20,000 square meters built-up area requires environment clearance. Unfortunately, the BJP Government in Gujarat violated this for the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Statue in Sadhu-bet island in Gujarat and now the Congress Government led by Mr. Siddaramaiah is violating it as well. Because of this violation, they are able to propose ridiculous moves like planting ornamental plants in-lieu of old trees.

Non-transparent consultation:

The Steel bridge project has been done in an opaque manner. The Government says “The Bangalore Development Authority has issued Press release on 27.06.2016 inviting suggestions on this project from experts and interested persons either by contacting or through email. Accordingly, 299 suggestions have been received through emails. Out of which 73% have opined in favour of implementing flyover project. The remaining persons have requested to identify alternative route, conventional concrete method and to exhibit detail project. All the requests have been examined. Salient features of DPR are also being shared.”

The press release issued by the BDA (Bangalore Development Authority) was not widely disseminated. Public hearings were not conducted. We don’t even know who were the persons who had responded to BDA and what is their locus standii in this issue. A project of such a magnitude receiving only 299 suggestions shows how few people knew about this process.

In view of the seriousness of the issue, the Government of Karnataka should setup a proper consultation process and before that it should share the entire DPR (Detailed Project Report), which can be examined in detail before responding to the Government.

In the famous Gettysbury address, Abraham Lincoln had used the phrase “Government of the people, by the people, for the people”. If the Congress Government ruling Karnataka wants to be seen as adhering to this dictum then it should immediately call for a fresh round of fair and robust consultation process to decide on the Steel bridge. Else, many people will believe the opposition BJP that the Congress Government is raising funds for the next assembly elections.

Unfortunately, the Chief Minister of Karnataka has defended allegations about non-transparent nature of this Steel Bridge construction decision by saying that the details were put up in the BDA website. The consultation process is a part of Governance and put a notice in only the BDA website and not giving wider publicity shows that Governance is certainly not reaching the people and the Government is fine about it. As a democracy it is a worrying signal indeed. Even more worrying is the resolve not to revisit a decision taken in haste.

Take Action:

India is a country, which can plan with pinpoint accuracy in sending a satellite to millions of kilometers away to Mars, is failing to plan approach roads to an airport. Politicians of this country in recent years, as a rule, have never felt any shame in lack of planning. However, the millions of people of this country certainly feel ashamed.

People of Bangalore raised their voice by taking part in huge numbers in a silent protest forming a long human chain on 16th October at Basaveshwara Circle and Hebbal.

All of you concerned citizens may raise their voice against this steel bridge by writing to the following authorities:

To,

Shri Rahul Gandhi,

VP, Indian National Congress

Email: Office@rahulgandhi.in 

Twitter: @OfficeOfRG

To,

Mr. Siddaramaiah

Hon’ble Chief Minister of Karnataka:

Phone +91-080-22253414,22253424 Fax +91-080-22253115

Email: cm.kar@nic.in

To,

Mr. KJ George,

Minister for Bengaluru Development & Town Planning,

Twitter: @thekjgeorge

 

Conservation News

Environment Minister Emphasises Relevance of Indian Lifestyle and its low Carbon Footprint at Negotiations for Phasing down of HFCs 

India’s Environment minister, Shri Anil Madhav Dave, has emphasized the relevance of Indian lifestyle and its low carbon footprint while speaking in a breakfast meeting in Kigali, in the negotiations for amending the Montreal Protocol for phasing down of HFCs. Various Developed and developing countries are keenly negotiating their positions to amend the Montreal Protocol regarding the refrigerants and want to use it to the advantage of its own industry. It has already been proved that HFCs are harmful for the environment and needs to be phased down. So these negotiations are to decide various aspects of phasing down and incentivizing etc.

The Minister for Environment & Climate Change also highlighted the significance of ratifying the Paris Agreement on 2nd October, which is celebrated as the Gandhi Jayanti in memory of Mahatma Gandhi. The minister said that Gandhian thoughts on management of natural resources to meet everybody’s need rather than the excessive exploitation by a greedy few is most important and relevant in today’s context.

The MoEF&CC Minister Shri Dave, clearly put forward India’s stand that India needs to take measures which are required for preserving and accelerating the growth of Indian economy for improving the lives of millions of people. He acknowledged the vulnerability of India to Climate Change issues as a majority of its population is dependent on agriculture and a long coastline. India needs to also take steps to invest on infrastructure for providing people with basic amenities as well as meet their aspirations and provide a better quality of life. India has exhibited flexibility by advancing the baseline years by four years from the original amendment proposal filed in April 2015, however, the principles of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities requires reciprocating actions on the part of the developed countries.

The Environment Minister mentioned that this is the time for India and every Indian to realize their full potential with judicious use of resources. He also talked about the important programmes of the Government of India, like Doubling the Farmer’s Income by 2022, 100 Smart Cities, and Make in India and highlighted that all these programmes have some dependence on the refrigeration and air-conditioning technologies, and India at this juncture has to balance the environmental and economic needs in the most judicious manner.

India’s MoEF&CC Secretary, Shri A. N. Jha has put forth India’s views that securing a CO2 equivalent space of around 100 to 120 million tons in baseline of India only means that from the current level of 42 million tons, CO2 equivalent in next 10 years the usage of HFC will grow by additional 80 million tons CO2 equivalent. Though it means an increase of 200 % in ten years or 20% a year, but it is based on the past experience in growth of HFCs between 2010 and 2015. By not having a freeze and first reduction in 2032, the industry and different sectors can grow till 2030, using the current refrigerants, without causing any additional economic burden on account of the higher cost of the refrigerants. He emphasized that India would like to retain its global position as exporter of refrigerants, even with the new generation of refrigerants.

India’s delegation also had representatives from Indian industry which is keenly following these discussions.

 

Environment Ministry Orders Incineration of High GWP HFC -23

India has decided to take a stand on incineration of the HFC-23 gas, which is created as a byproduct in the manufacture of HCFC-22 gas. The HFC-23 gas is a very potent greenhouse gas and increases the global warming. The HFC-23 gas has a global warming potential of 14800 if it is allowed to escape into our environment, which is often the case. Even the HCFC-22 producers in the developed world don’t handle the HFC-23 gas in a professional manner and release it into the environment.

India has thus taken a lead in steering the negotiations on amendment in Montreal Protocol for amendment for phase down of HFCs at Kigali, Rwanda. The Minister for MoEF&CC ( Environment, Forest and Climate Change), Shri Anil Madhav Dave, has given the go-ahead for releasing the order for incinerating the HFC–23 by producers of HCFC–22 gas. Shri Dave clarified that companies have to internalize the cost of this environmental externality and create sufficient storage facility to take care of down time and run the incinerators to ensure and not release of HFC–23 in the atmosphere. This is a major break away from the concept of financial assistance for every action on environment

Even with the complete phase-out of HCFCs for usage as refrigerants under the Montreal Protocol, its production will continue for feedstock purposes. This production for feedstock purpose will reach 1 million tonnes at its peak, ensuring the incineration of HFC – 23 being produced as by-product will ensure an avoidance of more than 444 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent globally.
It is said that during the discussions on amendment to the Montreal Protocol, other countries will be made aware about India’s order on HFC-23 gas and hopefully other Governments and producers of HCFC- 22 in both, developed and developing countries will be motivated to emulate this practice.

It is now hard for the teams from the countries which are producers of HCFC–22 to negotiate for funding from the Multilateral Fund (MLF), for creating a facility for incineration or financial support for incinerating the gas.

 

Eviction Drive in Assam around Kaziranga

The Assam Government has carried out an eviction drive around Kaziranga National Park to remove illegal settlers. This eviction drive on 20th September was met with stiff resistance by the settlers, who resorted to violence. This resulted in two people losing their lives.

This eviction drive was carried out to comply with the Assam High Court judgment. It is said that the previous Government didn’t act on the issue as the elections were approaching. The BJP Government had earlier made the eviction of illegal settlers from various Vasihnavite shrines their poll promise.

Encroachment is a big problem in Assam, as people from neighbouring Bangladesh are settling in many places and this has resulted in the change in demographics in Assam. About 3555 square kilometer out of 27,673 Square Kms of forest land is said to be under encroachment. Some of these encroachers also have patta lands in other places. They have illegally set up huts and staying in places as they hope to convert these lands to their name by bribing officials.

The Chief Minister of Assam, Shri Sarbananda Sonowal promised that all the encroachers removed from Kaziranga will be rehabilitated using a transparent policy.

 

Goa Intends to Convert Sanctuaries to Tiger Reserves

The Goa State Board for Wildlife has cleared a proposal to convert their wildlife sanctuaries to Tiger Reserves and the proposal to this effect will soon be forwarded to the NTCA (National Tiger Conservation Authority). The forest minister Shri Rajendra Arlekar said that no additional areas will be included in the proposed tiger reserves.

Illegal mining is rampant in Goa and the State Government earlier had taken an anti-wildlife approach. The villagers who had complained about illegal mining had also been threatened in many cases. After many such complaints, the Government is trying an image make over, in view of the impending Goa elections, and hence is said to have sent proposal to simply redesignate the Sanctuaries into Tiger Reserves. However, the forest minister said that “Since it is proved that tigers exist in the state’s wildlife sanctuaries, the board has decided to send the proposal”.

 

Equipment Discussions

DJI Mavic Pro

DJI has launched a small quadcopter which has lot of automated features.

According to DJI there are “24 high-performance computing cores” (whatever that means) and an all new transmission system which can have a range of upto 7kms (when there is no obstruction), 5 vision sensors and a 4K camera on a 3 axis gimbal.

For further details click on the below link:

DJI Mavic Pro

 

DJI Mavic Pro Vs Go Pro Karma drone

The DJI launched the Mavic Pro a few days after Go Pro launched the Karma drone. So which one to buy?

DJI Mavic Pro Vs Go Pro Karma drone

To read the full review download the PDF : 

Newsletter-October-2016 (7.4 MB, 265 downloads)

 

Sony A6500 Mirrorless Camera

Sony has launched the A6500 mirrorless camera. Earlier this year the A6300 was launched and the A6500 Camera is an improvement upto it.

Sony A6500 mirorless camera

Sony A6500 mirorless camera

Salient Features:

Sensor Size: APS-C, CMOS

Resolution: 24.2 MP stills, 4K video

Image Processor: Bionz X

ISO: 100 to 51200

Autofocus: The Sony a6500 has a trademarked “4D Focus” system which uses 425 phase detection auto-focus points. According to Sony this AF system can instantly lock focus on the subject in 0.05 seconds.

Still burst speed: The Sony A6500 can shoot full resolution stills at 11 fps and in live-view mode this speed drops down to 8 fps.

To read the full review click below link –

http://www.indiawilds.com/forums/showthread.php?17837-Sony-A6500-Mirrorless-Camera

Download the PDF : 

Newsletter-October-2016 (7.4 MB, 265 downloads)

 

Sandisk unveils 1TB SDXC card

Sandisk, a part of Western Digital, has unveiled a massive 1TB SDXC card. This card is in the prototype stage and when launched can come in handy for the high resolution video captures. At the moment the 4K videos eat up cards fast and when one shoots slow motion in 4K, the file size gets a big jump. Moving to 8K in the near future will further push the demands for higher capacity capture cards. This 1TB SDXC card promises to solve those problems.

Sandisk 1TB SDXC card

Sandisk 1TB SDXC card

To read the full review download the PDF : 

Newsletter-October-2016 (7.4 MB, 265 downloads)

http://www.indiawilds.com/forums/showthread.php?17838-Sandisk-unveils-1TB-SDXC-card

 

Nikon Launches KeyMission 360 action camera

Nikon has launched a series of Action cameras and has energized this segment. The KeyMission 360 is a 360° camera to capture immersive photos and videos. It has two lenses in the front and back each capturing 180°. The internal software will stitch the two to create one seamless video. These 360° videos can be viewed in youtube as well as VR goggles.

This camera has got two ½.3 inch CMOS sensors with 21.4 Megapixels. ISO sensitivity ranges from ISO 100 to ISO 1600.

Nikon Launches KeyMission 360 action camera

Nikon Launches KeyMission 360 action camera

The Nikon KeyMission 360° is a small camera and is 2.6 inch wide, 2.5 inch tall and 2.4 inch in breadth and weighs 198 grams.

Read more details on the below link –

http://www.indiawilds.com/forums/showthread.php?17850-Nikon-Launches-KeyMission-360-action-camera

To read the full review download the PDF : 

Newsletter-October-2016 (7.4 MB, 265 downloads)

 

Nikon launches KeyMission 170 Ultra HD 4K Action Camera

Nikon has also launched a KeyMission 170 camera which is a 4K action camera. It captures 170° view in upto ultra HD (3840×2160) at 25/30 fps. Full HD can be captured in slow motion at 100/120 fps.

Nikon Keymission 170 Ultra HD 4K Action Camera

Nikon Keymission 170 Ultra HD 4K Action Camera

This camera is waterproof upto 33 feet like the Go Pro Hero 5 action cameras. Shockproof upto 6.6 feet as well as dustproof.

Read more details on the below link –

http://www.indiawilds.com/forums/showthread.php?17851-Nikon-launches-KeyMission-170-Ultra-HD-4K-Action-Camera&p=81476#post81476

To read the full review download the PDF : 

Newsletter-October-2016 (7.4 MB, 265 downloads)

 

Natural History

COUNTRY NOTEBOOK: M. Krishnan: ‘A MIDDAY CHORUS‘ By Saktipada Panigrahi

http://www.indiawilds.com/forums/showthread.php?8852-Country-notebook-m-krishnan&p=79612#post79612

Dust-bath-of-a-Bengal-Bushlark-(Mirafra-assamica) by Samrat Sarkar

http://www.indiawilds.com/forums/showthread.php?17788-Dust-bath-of-a-Bengal-Bushlark-(Mirafra-assamica)

Food-collecting-behavior-of-dung-beetles-(the-rollers) by Arun Acharjee

http://www.indiawilds.com/forums/showthread.php?17800-Food-collecting-behavior-of-dung-beetles-(the-rollers)

 

Wildlife Photography

Indian Treeshrew by Subhash Shrivastava

http://www.indiawilds.com/forums/showthread.php?17767-Gittu-(Id-help-please-!-)-TATR

Malabar Whistling Thrush by Shyamala Kumar

http://www.indiawilds.com/forums/showthread.php?17791-Malabar-Whistling-Thrush

Yellow footed green Pegion by Mangru Minz

http://www.indiawilds.com/forums/showthread.php?17762-Yellow-footed-green-pegion

White eyed Gull by Abhishek Jamalabad

http://www.indiawilds.com/forums/showthread.php?17754-White-eyed-Gull-(1st-record-within-India)

Eurasian Cuckoo by Sandipan Ghosh

http://www.indiawilds.com/forums/showthread.php?17777-Eurasian-Cuckoo

Central Stripe Frog by Prajwal Ullal

http://www.indiawilds.com/forums/showthread.php?17809-The-central-striped-one

Painted-Grasshopper and its Molt by Anil Kumar Verma

http://www.indiawilds.com/forums/showthread.php?17761-Emergence-Painted-Grasshopper-amp-its-Molt

Lobster moth Caterpillar by Prajwal Ullal

http://www.indiawilds.com/forums/showthread.php?17763-The-defensive-posture

 Spines by Arun Acharjee

http://www.indiawilds.com/forums/showthread.php?17776-The-Spines

Blister Beetle by Dheerendra Singh

http://www.indiawilds.com/forums/showthread.php?17785-Blister-beetle-(another-angle)

 

I look forward to your inputs and support in preserving the last tracts of wilderness and wildlife left in our beautiful country. For other interesting articles and images check –http://www.indiawilds.com/forums/

To post in the IndiaWilds forums, you can register free of cost using your Full Name as user id at

http://www.indiawilds.com/forums/register.php

If you are already a member of IndiaWilds and have forgotten your user id and/or password you can mail to
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If you want to contribute original articles, or for any image enquiries please send a mail to
administrator@indiawilds.com

 

Regards,

Sabyasachi Patra

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Newsletter-October-2016 (7.4 MB, 265 downloads)
Sabyasachi Patra
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Sabyasachi Patra

Sabyasachi is an award winning Cinematographer and shoots for international broadcasters, feature films and corporates to make a living. He is a passionate wildlife filmmaker and photographer and has won awards and accolades for his documentary 'A Call in the Rainforest'. He has been striving to make his films and photographs full of life and emotion and write articles to educate and evangelise the need for conserving the last tracts of vanishing wilderness and wildlife in our country. He hopes that his wildlife films, photographs and writings force people to pause, look, ponder and ultimately take action.
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