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SAARC must refuse poisons

Here's one opportunity to ensure that environmental concerns and safety become a regional agenda. Remember, poisons and pollution don't work according to boundaries.

tech reviews Updated: Feb 16, 2004 02:02 IST

The SAARC summit is around the corner. To most of us, it may seem irrelevant, but wait… Here's one opportunity to ensure that environmental concerns and safety become a regional agenda. Remember, poisons and pollution don't work according to boundaries.

For one, environmental groups in the region are demanding that South Asia should not become a dumping ground for unsafe technologies like incineration and gasification. Ever since these were discovered to be unsafe, local communities have begun protesting in the West, resulting in the shutting down of these devices. Their manufacturers are now looking Eastwards.

The Saarc countries need to follow common sense and prevent pollution instead of allowing a public health crisis. Similarly, waste dumping should also be viewed not as a national problem, but a regional one. After all, no matter which port old ships go to for ship breaking, the fact remains that we are all being impacted by the pollution. Accepting this is a non-negotiable no-no.

Leave our water alone

As you know, the Kerala High Court has asked Coke to stop pulling out ground water by January 16, 2004. The land may be yours, it suggests, but not the water. This HC order protects citizens and gives strength to the wise argument that our lifelines like water remain in the public domain and are not privatised. At this point, water in particular is becoming private property and leading to severe social and environmental problems.

More on crackers

New year is increasingly being celebrated with crackers. We know, of course, that it's polluting and smoky. But their noise is also a disaster for the young, particularly unborn babies. Tests show that the unborn are scared and often go into a state of shock when there is a noise or sound that you and me consider only moderately loud. This is obviously detrimental to their development. There is also the problem of heavy metals in crackers: Lead, cadmium and magnesium have all been found in fair amounts. Lead impacts the brain of the child, cadmium the kidneys. ‘

More reason to celebrate the New Year without these awful products.

(Write toEarthwatch1@rediffmail.com)

First Published: Dec 25, 2003 17:35 IST