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Global People’s Climate March: Kerala marches towards forest conservation

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source: newindianexpress.com

Thrissur: Kerala conducted a public rally from Vazhachal to Athirappilly on Sunday, which called for the conservation of the remaining tropical forests to reduce climate change threat. The rally was held as a part of the Global People’s Climate March— a prelude to the Paris Climate Summit which started off today.

Sankar Sharma, a climate policy analyst from Karnataka, flagged off the march at Vazhachal, while Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel member VS Vijayan presided over the event.

“The main objective of the Global Climate March is to pressure the governments to start adopting renewable and non-polluting sources of energy. In September 2014, almost 7 Lakh people from across the world had participated in the march. This year, the main march was held at London,” said a statement released by the organising committee, Chalakkudi River Protection Forum, according to the New Indian Express.

The forum includes environmentalist C R Neelakantan, prominent scientist Dr V S Vijayan, and Dr A Latha of the River Research Centre.

“Around 1,500 people representing around 70 organisations took part in the first ever such march to save the tropical forests of the Western Ghats,” The Hindu quoted Dr Latha as saying.

“Until recently, 2015 had marked the highest temperature of all times. Even though several countries have started adopting measures to minimise the climate changes, we will have to wait a long time for the schemes to reach fruition. For this very reason, the entire world is looking eagerly to the climate summit at Paris,” said the organisers.

“India has also put forth several schemes to minimise the impact of the climate fluctuations. Massive afforestation and resultant carbon sequestration is one of the eight schemes put forth by India in its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC),” the organisers added.

Large scale forest exhaustion in the name of development was also condemned by the march.

The government is planning to destroy around 140 hectares of ecosystem, including evergreen riparian forests, for the proposed Athirappilly hydel scheme. For the last 25 years, the public outcry and the intervention of the judiciary had resulted in the project remaining in limbo. However, the Ministry of Environment & Forests flagged the project once again in July. This will again result in a large-scale depletion of tropical forests,” noted environmentalists.

 

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Kerala Government Decides to Revise The List of Women Who Prayed at Sabarimala

The list of 51 women is not part of an affidavit but only referred to by the state government counsel in his arguments. Soon the list was highlighted in the media

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Image Source: Wikipedia Commons

Stung by widespread criticism over the numerous errors in the list of women who prayed at the Sabrimala temple, the Kerala government has decided to re-prepare the list.

A counsel of state government had presented the list in the Supreme Court on Friday, which reportedly had discrepancies in the age and names of women. The list was taken from the records of the online system, through which pilgrims register for having “darshan”.

The row erupted over flaws in the actual age of some of the 51 women, whom the counsel had referred to in the list as “banned” — on account of they being of menstruating age group of 10 to 50 years — who prayed at the temple this season.

State police chief Loknath Behera on Saturday asked senior officials to revise the list, which included even the name of men, besides several of the women above 50.

State Devasom (temples) Minister Kadakampally Surendran told the media that his department has no role in the preparation of the list, while the president of the Travancore Devasom Board – custodian of the temple, A. Padmakumar said they are not responsible for this as they do not prepare statistics of the pilgrims in the temple.

Kanam Rajendran, state secretary of the Communist Party of India – the second biggest ally of the ruling Pinarayi Vijayan government, said the entire responsibility of what has happened lies with the state government.

Sabarimala
Kerala to revise list of women who prayed at Sabarimala.

But the Industries Minister E.P. Jayarajan, the closest aide of Vijayan, defended him by saying that it is not just 51 women, but so many women have had “darshan” at the temple.

Kanaka Durga and Bindu Ammini, both in the “banned” age group of 10 to 50 years, prayed at the Sabarimala temple.

It was after they approached the apex court seeking security for having safe “darshan” that a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice Dinesh Maheshwari directed the state government to arrange adequate protection for them.

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The list of 51 women is not part of an affidavit but only referred to by the state government counsel in his arguments. Soon the list was highlighted in the media.

“This goof-up reveals the abject failure of the way Vijayan is running the state,” said state BJP president P.S. Sreedharan Pillai.  (IANS)