Sowmiya Ashok

Sowmiya Ashok is an Assistant Editor at The Indian Express. She reports on politics and the environment. She tweets @sowmiyashok

Articles By Sowmiya Ashok

We’re talking of habitation on moon, Mars…we have to know how to adapt: ISRO chief K Sivan

ISRO chief Dr K Sivan talks on why the human space flight programme is important for science. He says humanoids cannot do the entire job because in some places the decision-making process can be carried out by humans alone.

Kerala flaunts list of 51 women who entered Sabarimala temple, with many a slip

According to top government sources, the list was only meant to be filed in court. “It was not meant to be publicised. We do not know how it got leaked,” the sources said.

India warming: what trends show

2018 was the sixth warmest year on record, a result of the global warming trend. A look at temperature and rainfall last year, and a series of extreme weather events that have triggered concern about the future

Clean Air Programme: how Centre plans to wage a ‘war against pollution’

It proposes a “tentative national target” of 20%-30% reduction in PM2.5 and PM10 concentrations by 2024, with 2017 as the base year for comparison.

NGT stays Lakhwar project, asks panel to appraise it afresh

The 204-m concrete dam was slated to come up in the upper Yamuna basin near Lohari village in Uttarakhand and is aimed at providing water for domestic and industrial use in the six basin states.

‘66 of 97 towns along Ganga have at least one drain flowing into river’

The report points out that only 19 towns across the Ganga basin had a municipal solid waste plant within the town, and in 33 towns, assessors found solid waste floating on at least one of the ghats of the town.

Fact Check | Dinosaurs and India: a very old story, first told in 1828

India was a hotspot for dinosaur evolution and breeding before extinction. A dinosaur named Rajasaurus had originated in India.”

Interstellar craft’s navigator looks at New Horizons — and even beyond

Dr Bhaskaran leads an independent navigation team at JPL that supported the Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) of Johns Hopkins University on the New Horizons Mission.

Cleaner air, Ganga, dam safety, Rules: What will matter in 2019, and why

Climate change-driven events like Kerala floods underline need for greater focus on environment.

Letter to Vardhan seeking stricter environmental clearances for Inland waterways

The letter comes ahead of the January 31, 2019 deadline set by the National Green Tribunal for MoEF to submit its opinion on whether environmental clearance (EC) with respect to Inland Waterways is required or not. The letter spells out specific reasons as to why such an EC is essential.

Cold wave conditions likely to continue in the beginning of 2019: IMD

While the IMD had prior to the winter season said temperatures are likely to be “slightly above normal”, a senior official at the Ministry of Earth Sciences clarified that the IMD had predicted an average for the entire season and the prevailing cold wave was a normal occurrence during the winter months.

Cabinet clears coastal regulation zone notification

When the draft rules were made public in April, environmentalists had alleged that the notification will open up fragile intertidal areas to real estate agents and was framed with the intent to favour large-scale industry at the cost of fishing communities.

In God’s path

Varanasi old city is seeing its first big infra project, a corridor from the Ganga to Kashi Vishwanath temple. Watching with trepidation are families losing ancestral homes, residents losing a way of life.

WHO estimates on pollution deaths based on ‘models and extrapolations’

There is no conclusive data available in the country to establish direct correlation of death/disease exclusively due to air pollution,” he said. “Health effects of air pollution are synergistic manifestation of factors...,” Union Minister Mahesh Sharma said.

Karnataka MPs unite against Tamil Nadu counterparts in Lok Sabha over Mekedatu

Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan adjourned the House after the legislators were joined by TDP MPs seeking special assistance for Andhra Pradesh’s new capital and Congress lawmakers raising slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Rafale deal.

Two tributaries increasing Ganga pollution load: Report

The report summarises water quality of the river during four rounds of biological testing in the Uttarakhand stretch, and reveals that at the Haridwar barrage biological water quality improves from slight pollution to clean.

NGT sets aside Tamil Nadu govt order to close Sterlite plant

In May this year, 13 people were killed in police firing on hundreds who marched to the Tuticorin collectorate demanding closure of the Sterlite Copper plant over pollution fears.

Notification on Ganga e-flows drew from study by govt bodies, IIT-D: RTI

The report, which heavily influenced the government notification, was put together by the Central Water Commission, the National Mission for Clean Ganga, the National Institute of Hydrology in Roorkee, and IIT-Delhi

Health and environment effects to be criteria for clearance to thermal plants

The criteria will apply not only to coal- and lignite-based thermal power plants, but also to waste-to-energy plants that also pose a significant health burden on local population and communities.

Law ministry view helped Ganga port evade green scrutiny

The documents, which were accessed by NGO Manthan Adhyayan Kendra, shows a clear difference of opinion between MoEF and Ministry of Shipping (MoS) over whether the project required prior environmental clearance under the EIA notification, 2006.