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Abstract for JELPD Volume – 5
1. Socio-Political and Environmental Impact of Fracking.
Prof.(Dr.) Armin Rosencranz and Shubham Janghu
The article states that shale gas has been recently developed and poses as an attractive tool both for political and economic purposes. In the U.S., the prices of oil and gas have dropped substantially thereby causing a reduction in the cost of production of steel, fertilizers, plastic and other petrochemical products. It is critically analysed that the same has arrayed the fear of exhaustion of traditional oil and natural gas in the foreseeable future. Shale gas and oil extraction have faced severe criticism from environmental groups and the Environmental risks posed by fracking (the process of extracting shale gas and oil), especially groundwater contamination, have been recognized in the environmental impact assessments conducted in the European Union and the U.K., which is emphatically discussed in the research article. Due to such concerns, France and Luxembourg and other sub-national governments have declared a moratorium on fracking. Following the footsteps of the U.S. and in the hope of reaping similar benefits, the Indian Government, in 2013, notified its shale gas and oil policy that accords the right of exploration and exploitation of shale deposits to the National Oil Companies. The authors discuss potential socio-political and environmental impacts of fracking in India and the various legal hurdles that it might encounter in international forums and Indian courts. With respect to the former, India is bound by the procedural and substantive obligations under the precautionary principle and the duty not to cause transboundary harm to the aquifers. Under Indian law, there might be a threat to the fundamental right of the local people to clean and safe water, environmental law principles like the public trust doctrine and the precautionary principle, and the ground-water laws of the states.
2. Public Liability Insurance: Its Relevance, Application, Shortcomings And the Way Forward
Dr. T.R. Subramanya & Aaditya Dighe
Public Liability Insurance has over twenty-six years of long jurisprudential existence. While the Act was enacted by the Parliament, in light of the onslaught caused by Bhopal Gas Disaster and Oleum Gas Leak incident, it sought to comprehensively consolidate the law in relation to an enterprise’s liability while handling any hazardous substance. However, in face of the ever increasing economic development, it is criticised that the provisions of this law are archaic in nature. This has been stated due to the fact that there seems to be a lag in the delivery of the law’s objective of protecting members of the economically weaker sections of the society, who cannot afford prolonged litigation in a court of law. The maximum eligible compensation under the Act is a paltry sum of Rupees 25,000, in the case of an occurrence of a fatal accident. There are such other lacunae wherein all workmen and the accidents arising out of radioactivity are excluded from getting any compensatory relief under the Act. Furthermore, the Act has an ambiguous Relief Redressal Mechanism, under which there exists a confusion regarding the scope of District Collector’s discretionary power to award compensation, over and above the provisions on mandatory compensation. As a result of several such loopholes, only a few claims have been filed under the Act in the past twenty six years. To that end, the authors through their paper advocate for bringing in several structural reforms to the Act through the recognition of dual compensation schemes, increasing the compensatory relief and bringing government corporations within the purview of the Act.
3. The Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2017: A Critique.
India is home to about 201,503 wetlands, which are under a serious threat due to reckless exploitation by citizens and the government. In the prevailing conditions, the Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2017 have brought about several much-needed changes in the existing regime, such as a complete prohibition on encroachment, poaching and constructions of permanent nature in the notified areas. However, the Act it is not free from loopholes and unfortunately allows room for many destructive activities that can occur in wetlands. The author critically analyses the Rules, discussing various changes brought about by them; their probable impact and the areas which inexpediently permit destruction, such as the ‘wise-use’ concept.
4. Extended Producer’s Responsibility in India: An Analysis of the Legislative Framework in the Background of Key Challenges.
Praneeta Ragji examines the legislative framework to support the concept of Extended Producer’s responsibility in India. Rapid growth coupled with rapid product obsolescence has contributed to discarded electronics becoming the fastest growing waste stream in the industrialized world, with India estimated to be generating over 2.7 million tonnes of e-waste every year. A holistic picture of the legislative provisions governing Extended Product Responsibility (EPR), which essentially places the burden upon the manufacturer to retrieve the electronic product sold after its shelf life and dispose it off in an environment-friendly manner, is attempted by the Author. Thereafter, the lacunae in the provisions with regard to their implementation are analysed, keeping in mind factors such as compliance, awareness and the informal sector. An endeavour is made to address the shortcomings in the legislative provisions by means of various suggestions put forth by the author.
5. Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules, 2016: A Comment.
Sudhanshu Pathania in his article evaluates the Bio-Medical Waste management Rules 2016. The author states that with the growth of medical technology and country’s aim to provide affordable healthcare to everyone, hospitals and healthcare businesses are growing rapidly. With the tremendous growth of these health care units, there has been a surge in the amount of bio-medical waste that is been generated. To handle bio-medical waste, Bio-Medical waste (Management and Handling) Rules, were notified first in the year 1999, then in 2011 which now has been replaced by Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules, 2016. The author seeks to identify the shortcoming of the 2011 rules and analyse how the new rules try to overcome these shortcomings
6. Towards an Effective E-Waste Policy: Controlling Electronic Waste Pollution in India.
Utkarsh Agrawal highlights the Electronic waste management policy in India. E-waste is currently a serious concern, since over the past few decades the generation of e-waste has grown exponentially and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. Instead of acknowledging the growing problems of e-waste and working towards a solution, industrialised nations have chosen to export such waste to developing nations, who use it as a source of raw material. Without effective policy and infrastructure, these developing nations are often burdened with heavy metals and associated health risks. As India moves on towards development, keen to earn an industrialised nation tag, it can no longer afford to be a third-world dumping ground for e-waste. Instead, India must use this opportunity to upgrade its e-waste management and create a safe and affordable source of raw material. The first step towards this, as suggested by the author is the need for a robust e-waste policy that can spur investment and infrastructural developments in this sector.