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Andhra’s Plea Challenging NGT’s Avulapalli Reservoir Clearance to be Heard by SC

The Supreme Court has granted permission to the Andhra Pradesh government to present its case against the National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) decision to dismiss the Environmental Clearance (EC) granted for the Avulapalli reservoir.



Judgment Reserved by Supreme Court in Electoral Bonds Case
(Representational Image)

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has granted permission to the Andhra Pradesh government to present its case against the National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) decision to dismiss the Environmental Clearance (EC) granted for the Avulapalli reservoir. The plea, filed by the state government, will be listed for hearing on May 17. The government has also contested the imposition of a hefty Rs 100 crore penalty by the NGT, which is to be paid to the Krishna River Water Management Board (KRMB). The NGT’s ruling included directives to halt the project and form an expert committee to assess the environmental damage caused and determine compensation.

Details: The Andhra Pradesh government’s challenge against the NGT’s dismissal of the Environmental Clearance for the Avulapalli reservoir was presented before a bench consisting of Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud, Justices PS Narasimha, and JB Pardiwala on Monday. Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi represented the state government in court. Rohatgi emphasized the significance of the case, citing the cancellation of the Environmental Clearance for a reservoir project worth Rs 3000 crore and urged the bench to consider the plea.

Recognizing the public nature of the project, CJI DY Chandrachud agreed to list the plea for hearing on Wednesday. The Supreme Court’s decision to hear the case reflects its recognition of the importance of resolving disputes related to environmental clearances for public projects.

In addition to challenging the dismissal of the Environmental Clearance, the Andhra Pradesh government has contested the imposition of a penalty of Rs 100 crore on the State’s Water Resource Department/Project Proponent, to be paid to the Krishna River Water Management Board (KRMB). The NGT’s ruling also called for an immediate halt to the project due to allegations of non-compliance with mandatory environmental impact studies and public hearings.

To assess the environmental damage caused by the project and determine the appropriate compensation, the NGT ordered the formation of an expert committee. The committee comprises a senior scientist from the Integrated Regional Office of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) in Vijayawada, a senior engineer from the Central Pollution Control Board, and a senior engineer from KRMB. The NGT also recommended the formation of a panel of engineers from the Central Water Commission and KRMB, appointed by the Secretary of the Ministry of Jal Shakti, to study the scheme sanctioned by the Andhra Pradesh government. Furthermore, an inquiry was ordered to investigate the matter.

Conclusion: The Supreme Court’s decision to list the Andhra Pradesh government’s plea challenging the NGT’s dismissal of the Avulapalli reservoir Environmental Clearance reflects the court’s recognition of the significance of the case. The court will now hear the plea, considering its public nature. The plea also challenges the penalty imposed on the State’s Water Resource Department/Project Proponent and calls for an assessment of environmental damage caused by the project. The NGT’s directives, including the formation of expert committees and inquiries, highlight the need to address concerns related to environmental impact and compliance with regulations in large-scale public projects.


Karnataka Deputy CM alleges BJP plotting Governor’s rule.

Shivakumar vehemently refuted the BJP’s claims, asserting that Karnataka boasts one of the most robust law and order mechanisms in the country.



Karnataka Deputy CM alleges BJP plotting Governor’s rule.
Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar | PTI Photo

In a recent statement, Karnataka‘s Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar has raised concerns over the BJP’s alleged secretive agenda to impose Governor’s rule in the state amidst heightened tensions regarding the law and order situation.

The backdrop to this accusation stems from the BJP’s criticism of the deteriorating law and order scenario in Karnataka following the tragic murder of Neha Hiremath, the daughter of a city civic body councillor, on the premises of her college in Hubballi. The incident has triggered widespread outrage and protests across the state.

Shivakumar vehemently refuted the BJP’s claims, asserting that Karnataka boasts one of the most robust law and order mechanisms in the country. He accused BJP leader R Ashoka of clandestinely plotting to enforce Governor’s rule as part of a political strategy to undermine the current administration.

The tragic incident involved the stabbing death of Neha Hiremath, a 23-year-old Master of Computer Applications (MCA) student and the daughter of Congress Councillor Niranjan Hiremath. The alleged perpetrator, Fayaz Khondunaik, was apprehended by the police following his escape from the crime scene.

The incident has escalated into a political showdown between the ruling Congress and the opposition BJP. While the Congress attempts to portray the incident as a personal tragedy, the BJP has framed it within the context of ‘love jihad,’ further exacerbating the political tensions.

Protests, led by BJP’s student wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and other Hindutva-aligned organizations, have erupted across the state, demanding justice and stringent punishment for the accused. This has added fuel to the political fire, with both parties capitalizing on the tragedy to further their respective agendas.

As the situation unfolds, the political landscape in Karnataka remains tense, with accusations and counter-accusations dominating the discourse. The fate of the state’s governance hangs in the balance amidst growing concerns over law and order and the specter of Governor’s rule looms large, intensifying the political turmoil.

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Bengaluru Firm: Rs 1,500 ‘Forest Bathing’ at Cubbon Park – Viral Post

Debate erupts as Trove Experiences offers Rs 1,500 forest bathing in Cubbon Park. Is commercializing Shinrin Yoku ethical? Explore the controversy.



Bengaluru Firm: Rs 1,500 'Forest Bathing' at Cubbon Park - Viral Post

In Bengaluru, Trove Experiences’ decision to monetize Shinrin Yoku, a revered Japanese practice, has stirred controversy. The offering of guided forest bathing experiences for Rs 1,500 has triggered outcry and ridicule, igniting a fierce debate over the commercialization of a sacred ritual.

Research highlights the benefits of communing with nature, emphasizing its capacity to alleviate anxiety, depression, and uplift mood and self-esteem. Shinrin Yoku, the Japanese art of forest bathing, has long served as an escape from urban chaos, offering a slow, deliberate stroll through wooded areas to soothe modern malaise and restore well-being.

However, criticism has mounted with the introduction of paid guided forest bathing experiences, a novelty in Bengaluru. Trove Experiences’ initiative has sparked a firestorm of debate with its Rs 1,500 forest bathing excursions, conducted not in a forest but at Cubbon Park, where strolling has always been free.

On Trove Experiences’ website, the description of their offering underscores the need for city dwellers to reconnect with nature amidst the stress of urban life. The immersive forest walk promises to leave participants feeling centered and revitalized.

Yet, screenshots of Trove Experiences’ pricing have circulated widely, provoking outrage and mockery. Social media users have derided the notion of paying for a forest bathing experience in a park where grass-touching remains free. The viral post on X has garnered significant attention, with thousands of likes and comments reflecting widespread skepticism and humor.

The controversy surrounding Trove Experiences’ commercialization of Shinrin Yoku underscores broader questions about the ethical boundaries of monetizing sacred practices and the commodification of nature’s healing benefits. As debates continue, the clash between commercial interests and cultural reverence remains unresolved, leaving many to ponder the true essence of Shinrin Yoku amidst the uproar.

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Tejasvi Surya Faces Backlash at Bengaluru Campaign Event

Tejasvi Surya faces criticism at Bengaluru campaign event as investors demand answers on Guru Raghavendra Co-operative Bank scam.



Tejasvi Surya Faces Backlash at Bengaluru Campaign Event
(Image: timesnownews)

Bengaluru South MP Tejasvi Surya encountered a turbulent situation during a recent election campaign event in the city. The event, held at the Laxmanrao Imandar auditorium, took an unexpected turn when investors who had suffered losses in the multi-crore scam involving the Guru Raghavendra Sahakara Bank Niyamitha demanded accountability from the parliamentarian.

The investors, visibly frustrated by the delay in compensation for their losses, sought answers from Surya and other leaders present, including Basavanagudi BJP legislator L A Ravi Subramanya. Despite attempts by the leaders to assuage their concerns, the investors remained dissatisfied with the responses provided.

Footage from the event circulated on social media platforms, capturing the moment when Surya was escorted out of the venue by his security personnel. During his exit, he engaged in heated exchanges with some of the investors who approached him with their grievances.

The incident drew attention from various political quarters, with Karnataka Congress seizing the opportunity to criticize Surya’s handling of the situation. The party took to Twitter to highlight the MP’s departure from the event, characterizing it as an escape through an “emergency exit door.”

In response, Surya’s office released a statement accusing Congress workers of disrupting the meeting and attempting to derail the BJP’s campaign efforts. The statement condemned the alleged tactics employed by Congress workers, including pushing and shoving attendees, and emphasized the BJP’s commitment to a positive and development-oriented campaign.

The controversy surrounding the campaign event underscores the ongoing fallout from the Guru Raghavendra Co-operative Bank scam, which came to light in 2020. Despite efforts by regulatory authorities and the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation to mitigate the impact on depositors, many individuals remain uncompensated for their losses.

The Enforcement Directorate’s investigation into the scam revealed instances of fund misappropriation and financial irregularities, leading to the attachment of the bank’s properties worth Rs 159 crore. With over 15,000 depositors yet to receive full compensation, the Karnataka government’s decision to hand over the probe to the CBI reflects the seriousness of the situation.

As the election campaign in Bengaluru South unfolds, the incident involving Tejasvi Surya serves as a reminder of the challenges faced by politicians in addressing the grievances of affected constituents amidst ongoing controversies and political scrutiny.

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