The Daily Fix

The Daily Fix: Tribunal’s new order on Ganga shows how Centre has failed to clean up the river

Everything you need to know for the day (and a little more).

The Big Story: Saving the Ganga

The National Green Tribunal passed a second judgement on Thursday that seeks to clean up the Ganga. The tribunal promised that this judgement, if fully implemented along with the one it had passed in January, would reduce the pollution load on the river by 27% over current levels.

This judgement pertains to the stretch between Haridwar in Uttarakhand to Unnao in Uttar Pradesh – the first stretch of the river flowing out of the Himalayas. The earlier decision in January dealt with mountainous stretches of the river basin and had put restrictions on development in those areas.

On Thursday the tribunal ordered that until the government completes floodplain zoning for the Haridwar-Unnao stretch, 100 meters from the edge of the river on either side would be designated as no development zone.

The floodplain zoning will eventually demarcate the final no development/construction zone, regulatory zone and the activities that can (or cannot) be carried out in the regulatory zone of the floodplain. There are a host of other directives, mostly technological and some administrative and managerial that the NGT has set out in its 543-page judgement.

The green tribunal has lambasted the Centre (which is to say, both the current government led by the Bharatiya Janata Party and the previous one headed by the Congress) and the states for failing to save the river. The tribunal said the river quality has deteriorated over 30 years of government inaction, despite repeated interventions by the Supreme Court.

The judgement comes after 18 months of almost daily hearings by the National Green Tribunal. But, the tribunal’s eye for detail and doggedness may not go a long way in eradicating even the 27% of pollution load it has tried to deal with through the two judgements.

There are three reasons for a potential repeat of history. The tribunal was not mandated by the Supreme Court to look at how much water flows in the river basin at different points. The quality of river is dependent on three basic factors: how much clean water flows through different stretches of the river, how much waste merges in it and how dirty that waste is. The Supreme Court is yet to decide on how many dams should be built upstream in the Himalayas. The dams will impound and choke water and will consequently decide how much water flows through the plains. If the river water levels go down, quite logically, the density of pollutants go up in the river.

The tribunal has recorded in its judgments that Supreme Court orders to clean up the river have been flouted with impunity for over 30 years. Given that the apex court had not been very successful earlier, it is difficult to imagine the judicial fiat this time getting the executive to revamp the entire political economy of the river basin in one of India’s most densely populated areas. It will take nothing less to secure a clean-up. The only hope lies in that the tribunal has kept the case alive to monitor implementation and has given timelines to complete some directives.

Third, the tribunal has failed to project the impact of future developments in the river basin. For example, what happens when the Centre connects millions of toilets to centralised sewage systems that bring the partly treated sewage into the river?

But here is a consequence of the order that is hard to miss. The tribunal concluded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s much-flaunted Namami Ganga mission too has failed to achieve any success over the past three years. For all practical purposes, the National Green Tribunal is now going to drive it.

The Big Scroll

  • Under the Modi government, parliamentarians have asked a stream of questions on Ganga river. 
  • Why declaring the Ganga and Yamuna as legal entities will cause problems.

Punditry

  1. Despite the fact that a Dalit is set to be President, India’s larger political and social context has made Dalits less hopful, writes Christophe Jaffrelot in the Indian Express. 
  2. In The Hindu, Stanly Johny argues that with its territorial spread declining with the fall of Mosul, the Islamic State is finding other ways to strengthen its grip, similar to how the al-Qaeda functioned. 
  3. In this editorial, the Mint argues that the spread of large retail chains could help boost agriculture, given the infrastructure addition this would bring. 

Giggles

Don’t miss

After they attacked a residential society in Noida, domestic workers are now in fear as they are being branded as Bangladeshis.

“By the end of Thursday, at least 13 people had been arrested in connection with the violence at the complex, and an unknown number detained. Police officials who did not wish to be identified said that four cases have been registered in connection with the matter. They said that all the arrested persons are residents of the slums. There has been no police action against Zohra Bibi’s employers – a merchant navy engineer and his wife – against whom a First Information Report was filed on Wednesday.”

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Top picks, best deals and all that you need to know for the Amazon Great Indian Festival

We’ve done the hard work so you can get right to what you want amongst the 40,000+ offers across 4 days.

The Great Indian Festival (21st-24th September) by Amazon is back and it’s more tempting than ever. This edition will cater to everyone, with offers on a range of products from electronics, home appliances, apparel for men and women, personal care, toys, pet products, gourmet foods, gardening accessories and more. With such overwhelming choice of products and a dozen types of offers, it’s not the easiest to find the best deals in time to buy before your find gets sold out. You need a strategy to make sure you avail the best deals. Here’s your guide on how to make the most out of the Great Indian Festival:

Make use of the Amazon trio – Amazon Prime, Amazon Pay and Amazon app

Though the festival officially starts on 21st, Amazon Prime members will have early access starting at 12 noon on 20th September itself, enabling them to grab the best deals first. Sign up for an Amazon Prime account to not miss out on exclusive deals and products. Throughout the festival, Prime members will 30-minute early access to top deals before non-Prime members. At Rs 499/- a year, the Prime membership also brings unlimited Amazon Prime video streaming and quick delivery benefits.

Load your Amazon pay wallet; there’s assured 10% cashback (up to Rs 500). Amazon will also offer incremental cashbacks over and above bank cashbacks on select brands as a part of its Amazon Pay Offers. Shopping from the app would bring to you a whole world of benefits not available to non-app shoppers. App-only deals include flat Rs 1,250 off on hotels on shopping for more than Rs 500, and flat Rs 1,000 off on flights on a roundtrip booking of Rs 5,000 booking from Yatra. Ten lucky shoppers can also win one year of free travel worth Rs 1.5 lakhs.

Plan your shopping

The Great Indian Sale has a wide range of products, offers, flash sales and lightning deals. To make sure you don’t miss out on the best deals, or lose your mind, plan first. Make a list of things you really need or have been putting off buying. If you plan to buy electronics or appliances, do your research on the specs and shortlist the models or features you prefer. Even better, add them to your wishlist so you’re better able to track your preferred products.

Track the deals

There will be lightning deals and golden hour deals throughout the festival period. Keep track to avail the best of them. Golden-hour deals will be active on the Amazon app from 9.00pm-12.00am, while Prime users will have access to exclusive lightning deals. For example, Prime-only flash sales for Redmi 4 will start at 2.00pm and Redmi 4A at 6.00pm on 20th, while Nokia 6 will be available at Rs 1,000 off. There will be BOGO Offers (Buy One Get One free) and Bundle Offers (helping customers convert their TVs to Smart TVs at a fraction of the cost by using Fire TV Stick). Expect exclusive product launches from brands like Xiaomi (Mi Band 2 HRX 32 GB), HP (HP Sprocket Printer) and other launches from Samsung and Apple. The Half-Price Electronics Store (minimum 50% off) and stores offering minimum Rs 15,000 off will allow deal seekers to discover the top discounts.

Big discounts and top picks

The Great Indian Festival is especially a bonanza for those looking to buy electronics and home appliances. Consumers can enjoy a minimum of 25% off on washing machines, 20% off on refrigerators and 20% off on microwaves, besides deals on other appliances. Expect up to 40% off on TVs, along with No-Cost EMI and up to Rs 20,000 off on exchange.

Home Appliances

Our top picks for washing machines are Haier 5.8 Kg Fully Automatic Top Loading at 32% off, and Bosch Fully Automatic Front Loading 6 Kg and 7 Kg, both available at 27% discount. Morphy Richards 20 L Microwave Oven will be available at a discount of 38%.

Our favorite pick on refrigerators is the large-sized Samsung 545 L at 26% off so you can save Rs 22,710.

There are big savings to be made on UV water purifiers as well (up to 35% off), while several 5-star ACs from big brands will be available at greater than 30% discount. Our top pick is the Carrier 1.5 Ton 5-star split AC at 32% off.

Also those looking to upgrade their TV to a smart one can get Rs. 20,000 off by exchanging it for the Sony Bravia 108cm Android TV.

Personal Electronics

There’s good news for Apple fans. The Apple MacBook Air 13.3-inch Laptop 2017 will be available at Rs 55,990, while the iPad will be available at 20% off. Laptops from Lenovo, Dell and HP will be available in the discount range of 20% to 26%. Top deals are Lenovo Tab3 and Yoga Tab at 41% to 38% off. Apple fans wishing to upgrade to the latest in wearable technology can enjoy Rs 8,000 off on the Apple Watch series 2 smartwatch.

If you’re looking for mobile phones, our top deal pick is the LG V20 at Rs 24,999, more than Rs 5000 off from its pre-sale price.

Power banks always come in handy. Check out the Lenovo 13000 mAh power bank at 30% off.

Home printers are a good investment for frequent flyers and those with kids at home. The discounted prices of home printers at the festival means you will never worry about boarding passes and ID documents again. The HP Deskjet basic printer will be available for Rs 1,579 at 40% off and multi-function (printer/ scanner/ Wi-Fi enabled) printers from HP Deskjet and Canon will also available at 33% off.

The sale is a great time to buy Amazon’s native products. Kindle E-readers and Fire TV Stick will be on sale with offers worth Rs 5,000 and Rs 1,000 respectively.

The Amazon Fire Stick
The Amazon Fire Stick

For those of you who have a bottomless collection of movies, music and photos, there is up to 60% off on hard drives and other storage devices. Our top picks are Rs 15,000 and Rs 12,000 off on Seagate Slim 5TB and 4TB hard drives respectively, available from 8.00am to 4.00pm on 21st September.

The sale will see great discounts of up to 60% off on headphones and speakers from the top brands. The 40% off on Bose QC 25 Headphones is our favourite. Top deals are on Logitech speakers with Logitech Z506 Surround Sound 5.1 multimedia Speakers at 60% off and the super compact JBL Go Portable Speaker at 56% off!

Other noteworthy deals

Cameras (up to 55% off) and camera accessories such as tripods, flash lights etc. are available at a good discount. Home surveillance cameras too will be cheaper. These include bullet cameras, dome cameras, simulated cameras, spy cameras and trail and game cameras.

For home medical supplies and equipment, keep an eye on the grooming and personal care section. Weighing scales, blood pressure monitors, glucometers, body fat monitors etc. will be available at a cheaper price.

The sale is also a good time to invest in home and kitchen supplies. Mixer-grinders and juicers could see lightning deals. Don’t ignore essentials like floor mops with wheels, rotating mop replacements, utensils, crockery etc. Tupperware sets, for example, will be more affordable. There are attractive discounts on bags, especially laptop bags, backpacks, diaper bags and luggage carriers.

Interesting finds

While Amazon is extremely convenient for need-based shopping and daily essentials, it is also full of hidden treasures. During the festival, you can find deals on telescopes, polaroid cameras, smoothie makers, gym equipment, gaming consoles and more. So you’ll be able to allow yourself some indulgences!

Small shopping

If you have children, the festival is good time to stock up on gifts for Diwali, Christmas, return gifts etc. On offer are gaming gadgets such as Xbox, dough sets, Touching Tom Cat, Barbies, classic board games such as Life and more. There are also some products that you don’t really need, but kind of do too, such as smartphone and tablet holders, magnetic car mounts for smartphones and mobile charging station wall stands. If you’re looking for enhanced functionality in daily life, do take a look at the Amazon Basics page. On it you’ll find USB cables, kitchen shears, HDMI cables, notebooks, travel cases and other useful things you don’t realise you need.

Check-out process and payment options

Amazon is also offering an entire ecosystem to make shopping more convenient and hassle-free. For the festival duration, Amazon is offering No-Cost EMIs (zero interest EMIs) on consumer durables, appliances and smartphones, plus exchange schemes and easy installation services in 65 cities. HDFC card holders can avail additional 10% cashback on HDFC credit and debit cards. Customers will also get to “Buy Now and Pay in 2018” with HDFC Credit Cards, as the bank offers a 3 Month EMI Holiday during the days of the sale. Use Amazon Pay balance for fast and easy checkouts, quicker refunds and a secured shopping experience.

Sales are fun and with The Great Indian Festival offering big deals on big brands, it definitely calls for at least window shopping. There’s so much more than the above categories, like minimum 50% off on American Tourister luggage! To start the treasure hunt, click here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Amazon.in and not by the Scroll editorial team.