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Govt. open for panel on environment and sustainable development to tackle global warming: Uttam

Mr. Uttam Kumar, Irrigation Minister, speaking at the media workshop on “Clean Energy Transition in India: Focus on Telangana”, jointly organised by the Press Club Hyderabad, Citizen Consumer and Civic Action Group (CAG), Chennai, and People’s Monitoring Group on Electricity Regulation (PMGER) assured people that the government was open for a panel on environment and sustainable development to tackle global warming.

Should doctors be kept out of the Consumer Protection Act?

Should doctors remain under the purview of the Consumer Protection Act? In this podcast, Saroja.S, Executive Director, CAG, makes a strong case that they should. Without this, consumers (which patients are, as medical provisions are services offered at a cost) would have limited recourse to justice. Civil court proceedings which might be the other redressal avenue are lengthy and convoluted, unlike provisions offered by consumer fora.

Greater Chennai Corporation identifies 25 hotspots where construction debris gets dumped regularly

Construction debris dumping becomes a marked problem across the city, even though SWM by-laws state that construction and debris waste generators must plan disposal measures before commencing a project. Vamsi Shankar Kapilavai, senior researcher at CAG, talks about the need for better enforcement which in turn needs adequate budgetary allocation.

Survey of T.N. students on climate literacy highlights need for enhancing curriculum in schools and colleges

A baseline study on climate literacy in Tamil Nadu was conducted as part of the Tamil Nadu Climate Change Mission by CAG for the Department of Environment and Climate Change, Government of Tamil Nadu. The findings of the study emphasise the need for enhancing the climate literacy in schools and colleges. 

DMK Govt’s free bus travel scheme for women | Where does this bus go?

Quoting CAG's study on the impact of the free bus travel scheme for women, this article explains that the scheme has been a lifeline to the transport corporations  which were facing losses and fund shortages. Sowmya.K, researcher, CAG, says that even free schemes need to heed the voices of its beneficiaries. Crowding remains a significant concern for women using these buses; this would ease if the scheme was extended to all bus types similar to other concession schemes available. 

Consumers and activists want masoor dal to be supplied through PDS outlets in T.N.

S. Saroja, executive director, CAG, commenting on a request by sections of the public to supply masoor dal via PDS says that this is certainly a produce that could be introduced on a pilot basis across select outlets. The demand to supply masoor dal is purportedly because this is the cheaper and more nutritious alternative to toor dal.

Speed breakers come under lens after death of two-wheeler rider

Speed breakers are one of several tools to reduce traffic speed. Speed breakers are not appropriate for all locations and when used, they must be built as per IRC Guidelines which specifies the height, width, etc of the speed breaker as well as markings and signages required to warn motorists in time.  Very few speed breakers in Chennai meet the criteria, making them ineffective as a road safety tool, says Sumana Narayanan, senior researcher, CAG.

NGO opens discussion with TNPCB, Chennai police on correlation between air quality and violent crimes

CAG's soon to be released study findings on the correlation between air pollution and violent crime, was preceded by a discussion bringing together TNPCB officials and the Chennai police. As part of the discussion, officials considered the reasons for weak implementation of the various environmental protection laws.

Scores of non-toxic medicinal cooling packs lying near Greater Chennai Corporation’s dump site in Perungudi

Vamsi Kapilavai, Senior Researcher at CAG, commenting on the large quantities of supposedly 'non-toxic' coolant packages and discarded close to the Pallikaranai marshland, asks how these can be treated as non-toxic materials. Even just the plastic packaging is well established as having toxic properties. They are known to leach several toxins into the soil, air and water when exposed to even ambient conditions. 

MTC is the latest to join the list of government line agencies that are harnessing the reach of social media platforms

Are civic agencies doing enough to engage with the public, via social media? Sumana, researcher at CAG, comments that grievance redressal is important content to the public, and one that should be prioritized by civic authorities.