Tribute to India’s Iconic Tigress

19th January 2022

India is home to more than 70% of the world's tigers. As per latest estimates, tiger population in India stood at 2,967. Madhya Pradesh is house to maximum 526 tigers, followed by Karnataka’s 524. Tiger is our national and culture heritage and therefore revered by many Nationals as its National Animal.

Looking at the mortality rate of tigers, the number also stands maximum 202 in Madhya Pradesh between 2012 and 2020. Pench Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh had lost 17 during the same period. But the loss of a tigress, last weekend, was enormous when one of the most famous tigers of our country, Collarwali, breathed her last in Pench Reserve. She had featured in BBC Wildlife documentary “Spy in the Jungle”.

On her demise, thousands of messages expressing profound grief surfaced in social media, including those from the Union Minister Bhupender Yadav, Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, and Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Shivraj Singh Chouhan. BBC describes her as India's "Super Mom" tigress was no ordinary big cat. Legendary Tigress leaves a set incredible records. 2005 born Collarwali, in her 16+ years, played pivotal role in changing the fortunes of the Pench Tiger Reserve in the central state of Madhya Pradesh. The same forests that are believed to have inspired Rudyard Kipling's classic - The Jungle Book. Collarwali is acclaimed for her contribution towards Tiger population in India. In May 2008, she delivered three cubs, her first litter. But none survived. Reportedly due to pneumonia. In 2010, Collarwali surprised everyone by delivering five cubs in a litter. She instantly gained popularity for this incredible record.

She gave birth to 29 cubs in 8 litters, out of which 25 survived, which is also reckoned as a world record. This glorifies Collarwali, also named as T-15, with her exceptional motherhood and caring.

Collarwali was born to T-1, also known as Charger, and T-7 alias Badi Mata, another famous tigress of Pench. She was the first-born of four cubs, and all of them were featured, along with the mother. According to some, Collarwali name came after she being first to be tied with a radio collar in 2008. It’s also said that her radio collar was replaced in 2010 after which she was known by the name Collarwali. Whatever be it, after establishing her own territory, Collarwali in the prime area of her mother's range, she rarely stepped out of it, and reigned there until her death. Survival and killing skills are highly important for any mother Tigress to raise her cubs properly, which T-15 had inherited from her mother. Many times she was spotted preying on Sambhar deer, Spotted Deer, Wild Boar and heavy herbivorous like Indian Gaur. The tigress was also famous for her Two-kills-a-day. Such master skills must have helped her to raise such a good number of cubs.

Apart of being a good killer, Collarwali was also a great mentor. She was reportedly seen teaching her cubs on making-a-kill techniques like sharpening of claws, patience, position to attack, when to attach and how to attack.

Collarwali was also popular for her boldness. It is said that before she was born, tiger sightings were rare at Pench. Wildlife Experts orates her to be so bold that she rarely disappointed Pench tourists and visitors. Every year, thousands of tourists head to the 51 tiger reserves dotted across India, hoping to catch a glimpse of the majestic animal. And Queen Collarwali never hesitated to walk out on the kaccha road when she heard jeeps coming, as if she wanted to be seen. Hence, she was also called her a tourist lover. Even on the day of her demise, more than 40 safaris were in Pench Reserve.

Colossal Tigress - in size, in fame, fondness and even fear, Collarwali was cremated with honour on Sunday in an open ground in Karamjhiri range of Indira Gandhi Priyadarshini Pench National Park at the hands of Shanta Bai, a local tribal leader. Forest staff, naturalists and local villagers offered flowers and prayers. Important to note, most of the tiger deaths reported during 2012 – 2020 happened in December and January.

Though Collarwali passed away, she will continue to live in many hearts. As Mirae Assets mentions in their condolence message, “Her roars will always resonate in the forests of India. May her Tiger tribe continue to grow and flourish.”

Aviation Carbon Footprint

Aviation is one of the fastest-growing sources of the greenhouse gas emissions driving global climate change. In 2019, 4.5 billion passengers were carried by the world's airlines. However, due to the Corona Pandemic, the sector was badly hit. According to statista.com, 2.3 billion passengers travelled through airlines in 2021. Considering 2019 data, worldwide, flights produced 915 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2). The global aviation industry produces around 2% of all human-induced CO2 emissions, while aviation is responsible for 12% of CO2 emissions from all transports sources, compared to 74% from road transport.

As the Government of India has come up with UDAN scheme (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) to connect small cities with the metros and also offers affordable flights to the people of the country, air transport has to see tremendous growth in near future.

In India, the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) calculates carbon footprint of the Indian aviation sector. The data compilation started in 2012. Akin to the global trend, India also saw a steep fall in air travel during pre and post-pandemic time. DGCA has calculated the total CO2 emission due to air travels by Indians, both to and from, domestic and international destinations, as 18,900,000 tons in 2019. Out of this 11,843,000 tons of CO2 was generated due passenger travel in domestic segment, and 7,057,000 tons of CO2 from Indian passenger travel to and from international destinations.

In 2020, the figures came down heavily. 6,023,000 tons of CO2 was generated due passenger travel in domestic segment, and 3,194,000 tons of CO2 from Indian passenger travel to and from international destinations. But this can go up again, once the pandemic inflicted disturbances are stabilized and overcome.

Though, it’s difficult to go deeper, we need to account the footprint of the meal we eat on the plane, with its disposable plastic or aluminium packaging. How long in terms of distance and time a passenger travel from back end before taking flight and after landing? It all adds up to a number that is far greater than just the fuel burn.

The carbon footprints could be reduced by airlines as well as by the airports. To cut carbon footprint, the airlines may curtail unwanted weight of aircrafts, avoid moisture and dirt accumulation in the aircrafts, and ensure an appropriate speed and flap management. On the other hand, the airports could rationalize operating times and also procedures, use renewable energy wherever promising, and use alternative fuels in ground handling vehicles and equipment.

Sewage Treatment Scenario in India

5th January 2022

Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 6.3 aims to improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, reducing the proportion of untreated wastewater by half and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally, by 2030. Sewage treatment is essential to prevent and control water pollution. Discharge of wastewater to environment is regulated in India. Under the Water Act, India Subscribe to read more

Adani’s Kawai Thermal Power Plant & its Ambiguous Data

29th December 2021

Why groundwater sample shows 15.8 NTU Turbidity?

In contemporary years, Thermal Power Plants are always perceived as the major polluters. Not only in India. It is proven globally. One of most growing brands – Adani has established 1320 MW (2 x 660 MW) Coal based Supercritical Thermal Power Plant at Kawai in Baran District of Rajasthan. The TPP was granted Environmental Clearance (EC) on 4th May 2011 by the Ministry of Environment & Forests, which is now Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. The EC was amended by the Ministry on 13th March 2014 for use of Domestic Coal in place of imported Coal. As reported in November 2021, ash content in domestic coal used by Adani Power, varied from 29.83 to 34.72%. However, the original EC also specified requirement of coal with maximum ash contents 34%, and Sulphur content subject to maximum 0.6%. The data reported by the company does not seem to be verified by any third party premier testing laboratory.

The company has annexed Environmental Statement (for the Financial Year 2020-21) to its November 2021 EC compliance report.

Another interesting aspect is that the EC condition reads “No groundwater shall be extracted for use in operation of the power plant even in lean season.” to which the company has vaguely reported “No groundwater extracted during setting up of power plant.”

Most importantly, there is no reasoning for 15.8 NTU Turbidity in groundwater near Labour Colony. Though MoEF&CC has proposed shifting of monitoring responsibility to the State Pollution Control Boards, it is still the responsibilities of the Ministry’s Officials at Integrated Regional Offices. Whether any one has inspected or reviewed the reports to substantiate data with documents and reasons? The same question goes to the Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board Read complete article