The Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) is reconsidering its clearance for the controversial Kalu Dam in Thane district.

Sloppy implementation of the Forest Rights Act (FRA) has resulted in large tracts of forests being cut down and claimed as cultivated land in Maharashtra, according to a study.

Pollution standards exist only for ambient air quality and not for individual power plants, says report

Emissions from coal-fired power plants is taking a heavy toll on human life across large parts of India. In 2011-2012, a first-of-its-kind study in the country estimates it resulted in a whopping 80,000 to 1,15,000 premature deaths and more than 20 million asthma cases from exposure to a total PM10 (particulate matter) pollution.

A proposed 12-km detour of the new Dedicated Freight Corridor passing through the ecologically fragile taluka of Dahanu in Thane district has raised protests from local farmers, including tribals,

Maharashtra power distribution utility submits petition

Wind power may not be all that it’s cracked up to be. Increased wind energy costs proposed in a draft renewable energy tariff for 2013-14 by the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has upset the State power distribution utility, which has submitted a petition challenging it at a recent public hearing where consumer groups and wind energy companies were not represented.

The Vidarbha region of Maharashtra which has gained notoriety for its farm suicides, is also reporting a high incidence of child deaths. Data compiled under the Right to Information (RTI) Act shows that in Yavatmal district alone 565 children below five died due to various causes between January and September 2011. In addition, the district reported 489 still births for the same period.

Yavatmal is second only to Amravati district which reported 910 child deaths between January and September 2011 and 516 still births. Bandu Sane, activist from the NGO KHOJ in Melghat, sought information on child deaths in Vidarbha under RTI.

Rising trends in malnutrition among children under six here and in other cities have prompted the Maharashtra government to introduce an Urban Malnutrition Mission from next month, official sources said. A quarter of children below six years in the city weighed at anganwadis are underweight, according to the latest monthly progress report (MPR) of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS). Non-governmental organisations point to a severe crisis of primary health services and lack of adequate number of anganwadis in slum areas.

For the first time, the State government filed cases of cheating and criminal breach of trust in 18 districts against Maharashtra Hybrid Seed Company (Mahyco) for failing to deliver the promised quota of a single variety of Bt cotton seeds in th0e 2011 kharif season.

Official sources said before sowing last year, Mahyco had accepted bookings from dealers and retailers for 16.76 lakh packets of MRC 7351 variety Bt cotton seeds but delivered only 9-10 per cent of what was assured.

Maharashtra says it could go against existing franchisee norms

“Decision keeping in mind lower production and falling prices”