Temporary relief as plan for Etalin hydel in Arunachal junkedWhat’s your title?

The contentious 3,097-megawatt Etalin Hydroelectric Project (EHEP) — was proposed to be developed as a joint venture between Jindal Power Ltd and the Hydropower Development Corporation of Arunachal Pradesh Ltd. Photo for representation: iStock

The hydroelectric project will require the diversion of 1,165.66 hectares of forest land and the felling of more than 280,000 trees in the area. 

The Union power ministry and impact assessment division of MoEF&CC gave the nod for the project, according to the minutes of a FAC meeting released May 28, 2022. 

FAC then formed committees and ordered bodies concerned to submit reports on the impact of forest land diversion required for the project in the northeastern state’s Dibang Valley. Based on these reports, it will consider approving the project. 

The committee, in its own deliberations dated February 28 2017, had highlighted that the land in which the project is proposed covers two pristine forests with riverine growth that, once cut, cannot be replaced, the experts wrote in their letter. 

The South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP) had written to the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) detailing geological and seismic risks and threats to biodiversity in 2015 — when appraisals to grant environmental clearance (EC) to the project were underway.

The project has not been scrapped entirely, pointed out Himanshu Thakkar, coordinator, SANDRP. “The FAC has said that project proponents have to resubmit the form. The current form was submitted in 2014. It is now almost nine years. So the proponents have to resubmit the application for forest clearance,” he said.


Fires and Floods

Floods have ravaged much of Eastern Australian this Autumn. From North of Brisbane to the depths of Western Sydney, waterways have burst, resulting in flash flooding in a community areas. 

While not new to flood disasters, Australia and specifically NSW, has seen some incredibly wild weather patters in the last 24 months. 
Summer of 2019 saw a fiery hell unleashed on NSW, as Mother Nature, fumed with bush fires incinerating much of far west and north NSW. 
Over a period of 4 months, almost 30 lives were lost, with over 2500 homes burnt to the ground. The impact of the fires on rural communities, families and local businesses was unprecedented. It was confirmed that this would be the worst ever bushfire season to have hit the Great Southern Land. 
2 years to the day and in a similar geographic region, the same communities face another disaster, as unstoppable flood waters consume their homes and land. Meteorologists predict that the La Nina event, which is causing torrential downpour on Australia’s eastern seaboard, is not due to stop any time soon. 
With over 10 lives already lost and damages north of millions, why is it that Australia seems to be experiencing the great extremes of mother natures will. 
Climate change is the obvious answer but one can’t help but feel that term eludes the everyday citizen. 
“How can I, me, being the person I am, living the normal life I live; have any control of these enormous, devastating fires?”
Environmental experts claim that we’ve surpassed the point of no return and that any responsive actions taken now will only do as good to limit the damage cause by our actions of the past. 
Is there a way the common Australian can have material say in preventing the occurrence, let alone the frequency of these natural disasters? 
That is the question we are asking ourselves. 
What if there was a circumstance where we could only choose a sea of floods or a field of fires? While it would almost signal an end-of-world type of scenario, at least it will allow us to better prepare for a disaster. 
By knowing that we’re only going to get floods, we can implement infrastructure and community planning that allows us to deal with a specific problem and not have to worry about other ordeals. 


Dubai to Host the Fifth Ashes Test

Hot off the press, Square Peg can confirm today that CA, the ECB and the BCCI (for some reason) have come to a unanimous agreement to award Dubai hosting rights of the final Test of the Australian cricket summer. 

In light of Western Australian Premier, Mark McGowan, making a formal recommendation to the relevant governing bodies that the Perth test should be held virtually (with the teams competing via the board game ‘Test Match”), Cricket Australia wasted no time in doing what every other cricketing nation has done during the Pandemic and move the game to the desert. 
Geoff Allardice, interim CEO of the ICC, based in the UAE, pounced at the opportunity when he heard that the most traditional manifestation of the game was considering heading to a country that will never have a Test team. 
“Yeh look, we’re really excited about bringing the fern(sic) to Dubai”
“This is a key event on the cricket calendar. I’m sure the crowds will turn up in droves…” 
Mr. Allardice added, “…of course, on the days that the Dubai T10 isn’t played.”
Cricket purists are in for a real treat with the annual Dubai T10 being played concurrently in the neighbouring city of Abu Dhabi. Spoilt for choice and by popular viewer demand, broadcasters have decided to share Ashes telecasting with the best T10 competition in the Middle East. 
“You know, it just seems like we’ve been keeping the boat afloat for the past couple of years during the Pandemic. We’ve hosted the IPL, PSL, the Associate’s World Cup tournament, the T20 World Cup and we’ve been Pakistan’s pseudo home for years now. But it’s finally nice to have some real, quality, cricket on display in the Emirates – and that’s why the Dubai T10 is so important to us.” 
Mr. Allardice went on to confirm that the ICC and Emirati Cricket Board will do everything in their power to resemble Perth like conditions for the Test, including boosting South African representation in the stands by offering heavily discounted tickets to any locals who can speak Afrikaans….or Dutch. 


How to be productive when working from home

Having worked from the Atlas Mountains of Morocco to the Pacific shoreline of Mexico and now in remote farm country in the far south of New Zealand, the digital nomad life has been nothing short of rewarding. But it’s certainly not for everyone. Whether you’ve decided to embrace the gig-economy, become a digital nomad or are involuntarily forced to work from home, here’s a sound checklist to make sure you can be as productive as possible in your new office environment.

Before you begin your remote life

What’s your plan? Write it down.

Being self-motivated during this tenure will be your strongest skill. Can you fulfil the requirements of your job in your new environment? How will you continue to collaborate with peers? Do you have access to the tools and resources you need to manage and complete tasks? If not, what actions can you take to make it happen?

Having a written plan is an underrated phenomenon.

While on the surface it may seem menial, a strategy will keep you honest and help you answer questions about how genuinely productive you can be working from home.

Here are some additional questions to ask yourself before you begin working from home:

  • What are the challenges I may have working from home?
  • What impact do these challenges have on my daily productivity?
  • How can I overcome these limitations/challenges?
  • Do I have access to data and resources to complete my tasks, as I would if I were in the office?
  • What do I love most about working from home?
  • What does working from home enable me to do that otherwise, I would not be able to do?

Already at home?

  1. Establish an office-like space.

2. In your first week of working from home, make a list of the tasks you would like to achieve daily and weekly, just as you would typically do in the office. After one week, measure your success rate.

3.Write down your wins.

4. Note what times you feel most productive. Conversely, note periods of lull and distraction. Review this after week one. Follow this schedule in week two to see if it holds true.

5. As unusual as it may sound, with no imposed breaks or obvious distractions, it might be easier to burn yourself out working from home. Make sure you allocate time for break periods. It does not have to be conventional lunch or coffee breaks. You’re at home now, so choose your time-off when you actually feel like clearing your head or need some fresh air.

6. Exercise during the day. Remember, it doesn’t have to be before, during lunch or after work anymore. Fresh air at 3:30pm with a coffee is great, but fresh air during a workout at 11:00am without a coffee, is unbeatable and a great way of revitalising your mood.

7. Do the things you’ve always wanted to do, but couldn’t get across to doing because you had to commute to work! Working from home/being remote must be something you enjoy and not because you just want to get away from the office. So make sure you’re doing the things that make you happy.

Red Flags:

  1. Cheating yourself! This is a big one. Ultimately, if this is the lifestyle you want, you need to be honest with your employers, but more importantly, you must be honest with yourself. Refer to the ‘Ask yourself’ section.
  2. Wearing your pyjamas while you’re working. It sounds great but you’re sending the wrong message to yourself. Just like they say if you can’t sleep, don’t lie in your bed, otherwise your body will habituate to being awake in that bed. Your body is used to comfort and lethargy in your pyjamas, so don’t wear them to work.
  3. It’s not a holiday. You’re at work. Type it. Print it. Stick it.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the world is currently experiencing unprecedented and uncertain times.

Conventions are being tested through unorthodox workplace policies, like employees being asked to work from home. Working from home can be unsettling, especially while tasks continue to build up as you acclimatise to your new environment.

These suggestions and tips will most certainly get you back on the horse and on track to meet your productivity goals in no time.

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