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SC to centre: Grant citizenship rights to Chakmas, Hajongs in Arunachal

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By NewsGram Staff-Writer

New Delhi: The Union government and the Arunachal Pradesh government were directed by the Supreme Court on Thursday to confer citizenship rights on the “eligible” Chakmas and Hajong people. The SC also directed the governments to take proper measures for protecting the lives and liberty of those people and guard them against any kind of discrimination.

A Chakma refugee camp in North Tripura. Photo Credit: www.telegraphindia.com
A Chakma refugee camp in North Tripura. Photo Credit: www.telegraphindia.com

Allowing the petition by the Committee for Citizenship Rights of the Chakmas (CCRC) of Arunachal Pradesh, a bench of Justice Anil R. Dave and Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel in their judgment said: “We direct the government of India and the state of Arunachal Pradesh to finalize the conferment of citizenship rights on eligible Chakmas and Hajongs.”

The court said that the exercise for the grant of citizenship to Chakmas and Hajongs people may be “completed at the earliest preferably within three months from today”.

Stating that it found merit in the contention of the petitioner CCRC, Justice Goel, pronouncing the judgment, said: “It stands acknowledged by this court on the basis of the stand of the government of India that the Chakmas have a right to be granted citizenship subject to the procedure being followed.”

“It also stands recognized by judicial decisions that they cannot be required to obtain any Inner Line permit as they are settled in the state of Arunachal Pradesh”, the court said.

Referring to history to drive the point that Arunachal Pradesh has been an integral part of India since ancient times, the court said that was “well known that the Chakmas and Hajongs were displaced from the area which became part of East Pakistan (now in Bangladesh) on construction of Kaptai Dam and were allowed to be rehabilitated under the decision of the government of India.”

“They need to be protected and their claims of citizenship need to be considered as per applicable procedure”, said the judgment, while referring to the earlier decisions of the apex court, Delhi High Court, and Gauhati High Court.

The judgement further added: “they could not be discriminated against in any manner pending formal conferment of rights of citizenship. Their status also stands duly a acknowledged in the guidelines of the Election Commission of India.”

(With inputs from IANS)

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Diesel Exhaust Converted Into Ink by Indian Innovators To Battle Air Pollution

Supervised by young engineers, workers at the start-up company Chakr Innovation in New Delhi cut and weld sheets of metal to make devices that will capture black plumes of smoke from diesel generators and convert it into ink.

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representational image. VOA

Supervised by young engineers, workers at the start-up company Chakr Innovation in New Delhi cut and weld sheets of metal to make devices that will capture black plumes of smoke from diesel generators and convert it into ink.

In a cabin, young engineers pore over drawings and hunch over computers as they explore more applications of the technology that they hope will aid progress in cleaning up the Indian capital’s toxic air – among the world’s dirtiest.

While the millions of cars that ply Delhi’s streets are usually blamed for the city’s deadly air pollution, another big culprit is the massive diesel generators used by industries and buildings to light up homes and offices during outages when power from the grid switches off – a frequent occurrence in summer. Installed in backyards and basements, they stay away from the public eye.

“Although vehicular emissions are the show stoppers, they are the ones which get the media attention, the silent polluters are the diesel generators,” says Arpit Dhupar, one of the three engineers who co-founded the start up.

The idea that this polluting smoke needs attention struck Dhupar three years ago as he sipped a glass of sugarcane juice at a roadside vendor and saw a wall blackened with the fumes of a diesel generator he was using.

It jolted him into joining with two others who co-founded the start-up to find a solution. Dhupar had experienced first hand the deadly impact of this pollution as he developed respiratory problems growing up in Delhi.

An Indian girls holds a banner during a protest against air pollution in New Delhi, India, Nov. 6, 2016.
An Indian girls holds a banner during a protest against air pollution in New Delhi, India, Nov. 6, 2016.

A new business

As the city’s dirty air becomes a serious health hazard for many citizens, it has turned into both a calling and a business opportunity for entrepreneurs looking at ways to improve air quality.

According to estimates, vehicles contribute 22 percent of the deadly PM 2.5 emissions in Delhi, while the share of diesel generators is about 15 percent. These emissions settle deep into the lungs, causing a host of respiratory problems.

After over two years of research and development, Chakr has begun selling devices to tap the diesel exhaust. They have been installed in 50 places, include public sector and private companies.

The technology involves cooling the exhaust in a “heat exchanger” where the tiny soot particles come together. These are then funneled into another chamber that captures 70 to 90 percent of the particulate matter. The carbon is isolated and converted into ink.

Among their first clients was one of the city’s top law firms, Jyoti Sagar Associates, which is housed in a building in Delhi’s business hub Gurgaon.

Making a contribution to minimizing the carbon footprint is a subject that is close to Sagar’s heart – his 32-year-old daughter has long suffered from the harmful effects of Delhi’s toxic air.

Motorists drive surrounded by smog, in New Delhi, India, Nov. 8, 2017.
Motorists drive surrounded by smog, in New Delhi, India, Nov. 8, 2017.

“This appealed to us straightaway, the technology is very impactful but is beautifully simple,” says Sagar. Since it could be retrofitted, it did not disrupt the day-to-day activities at the buzzing office. “Let’s be responsible. Let’s at least not leave behind a larger footprint of carbon. And if we can afford to control it, why not, it’s good for all,” he says.

At Chakr Innovation, cups, diaries and paper bags printed with the ink made from the exhaust serve as constant reminders of the amount of carbon emissions that would have escaped into the atmosphere.

There has been a lot of focus on improving Delhi’s air by reducing vehicular pollution and making more stringent norms for manufacturers, but the same has not happened for diesel generators. Although there are efforts to penalize businesses that dirty the atmosphere, this often prompts them to find ways to get around the norms.

Also Read: Exposure to Traffic-Related Pollution Poses Threat of Asthma in Kids

Tushar Mathur who joined the start up after working for ten years in the corporate sector feels converting smoke into ink is a viable solution. “Here is a technology which is completely sustainable, a win-win between businesses and environment,” says Mathur. (VOA)