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Hey hey hey. Finally found the time to do this, so here goes.

I am Prayag. I used to want to be a music/culture/film journalist, but now I write about the environment.

I am deeply interested in the ecology and political economy of the Aravalli mountain range in South Haryana (specific, I know).

I also write about air pollution, transportation and urban governance for Hindustan Times in Gurgaon.

Here's a thread of some of my recent work:

It also claimed that groundwater around the landfill was fit for drinking, despite multiple (independent & govt.) reports confirming bacteriological + heavy metal contamination in the region, in excess of India's drinking water standards.

The MCG also bypassed required clearance under the Forest Conservation Act (1980) by neglecting to mention to the MoEFCC's Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) that the project site is located on protected Aravalli land (more on this to come).

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The Municipal Corporation of Gurugram withheld important information from the Union environment ministry while seeking environment clearance for a contentious waste-to-energy (WTE) project in the Aravallis.

It withheld information about existing litigation in the National Green Tribunal, which earlier this year directed it follow an alternate, safer model to WTE in order to remediate a landfill in Bandhwari, 16kms away from urban Gurugram.

m.hindustantimes.com/gurugram/

In 2005, 1,22,113 hectares of land in Haryana's NCR districts were slotted for conservation (with construction limited to 0.5% of the area). The MoEFCC has now recommended excluding 57728 of them from the Natural Conservation Zone. The move threatens to open up huge tracts of Aravalli land to real estate interests, including about 450 hectares of 'gair mumkin pahar' in Faridabad's Kot village, which have been purchased by Patanjali.

CAG asks for 6 months to complete forensic audit of Rapid Metro; will only determine the quantum of 'debt' to be paid by Haryana, without investigating encumbrances/liabilities on the project and criminal acts. I report.

Haryana wants to divert 76 acres of PLPA-notified Aravalli forest in Faridabad's Badkal village, ostensibly for the purpose of reviving Badkal lake (via a purely cosmetic, possibly illegal, ecologically unsound process). I report.

#ElectoralBonds Investigations. 3 parts out.

We have yet more to tell. The govt didn't just stop at things you have read so far.

Tomorrow
@HuffPostIndia@twitter.com leading, in Eng
@newslaundry@twitter.com in Hindi
@azhimukham@twitter.com in Malayalam
@DharitriLive1@twitter.com starts in Odia &
@raiotzine@twitter.com soon in Khasi

RT @someshjha7@twitter.com

Another day, another hidden NSO (earlier known as NSSO) survey, another scoop.

Consumer spending fell for the first time in more than four decades in 2017-18.

Consumer spending had last declined during extraordinary events in India's history.

mybs.in/2XAfeWt

🐦🔗: twitter.com/someshjha7/status/

A rare sighting of two rufous-vented grass babblers has been recorded in Haryana’s Sirsa district, exactly 16 years after the species was reportedly first spotted in the area. This sighting marks the first time that the bird has been photographed in Haryana, confirming speculation of its residence in the state.

The Expert Appraisal Committee of the MoEFCC has recommended granting Environmental Clearance to a proposed waste-to-energy plant in the Aravallis, at Haryana's largest landfill in Bandhwari village, Gurgaon. This is despite the fact that the Gurugram Municipal Corp. has violated all manner of environmental laws at the site, contaminated the soil and poisoned the drinking water of at least 4 villages. Most of the prerequisite conditions for gaining EC have already been violated. I report.

Environmental lawyer Ritwick Dutta documents the way in which this NGT is being undermined by the appointment of non-experts in the experts tribunal, by leaving zonal benches vacant, and by the tawdry implementation of video conferencing. barandbench.com/new-appointmen

In which @Neha, along with reporters at The Indian Express, breaks down everything you need to know about the Ayodhya verdict. Possibly the most exciting episode of 3 Things in recent memory.

podcasts.google.com/?feed=aHR0

I don't want to say much about tomorrow's judgment, but I do want to make one point. The case being decided tomorrow is a land dispute that was instituted decades ago, and pre-dates 1992. Tomorrow's verdict is not and cannot be an endorsement of what happened in 1992, no matter how much some people want to portray it that way. It's a ruling on a land dispute.

I think we do ourselves an equal disservice if we follow this pattern of escalation and make it out to be about something that it's not.

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