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FULL MOON IN TAURUS - April 20-26

This New Moon encourages professional initiatives. For those working on their own or in the communications sector, from Monday it will already be possible to make new contacts or small movements that will prove useful to your business. Peace of mind comes to love, where recent discussions have been silenced — each in their own way. For everyone — including singles — Saturday and Sunday are the most interesting days to love and fall in love.

TEMPO: vivace tranquillo


This week begins with an edge, thanks to the Moon in your sign. What wasn't clear before you can now see in 3D perspective. There is greater awareness in work and love objectives, despite the quadrature of Jupiter slowing down your progress and triggering discontent. Thursday and Friday are the best days to speak to those slowing your ascent.

TEMPO: allegretto deciso


Those who decide to get excited this week make no mistake: This sophisticated Venus in your sign moves the heart to more appetizing meetings. It must be said that free spirit will be favored over "love on a shoestring," given the climate of uncertainty that surrounds you. But nothing is ruled out. Those who are separated can experience some moments of tension with their ex. As for work, last week I told you to seek stability and focus on your goals, but I see that you are still hazy and in slow motion — come on!

TEMPO: marcia emozionato


From now it's possible to enlarge your network of contacts or discuss with a superior everything regarding your future work. Be on your best behavior though, because by the summer a contract renewal, a confirmation or a major change is coming. Friendship is important this week too, especially concerning someone who has betrayed your trust: Speaking clearly is always the best approach. Thursday is a good day when it comes to affairs of the heart: Choices will be made, and there's surprising news ahead.

TEMPO: allegro prestissimo


It can't be said that you're missing love. What is certain, however, is that something is not quite right. There are several reasons: work right now is worrying you and making you nervous; distance; family responsibilities; excessive expenses for your house or upcoming wedding — or, worst of all, unrequited love. Only one solution: Be patient and pragmatic and you'll find a way to stay afloat.

TEMPO: andantino a lavoro


The positive aspect of the New Moon and the Mars-Mercury conjunction make you smile again and give you an optimistic outlook. An important choice in your emotional life — a surprising gift from the stars — is coming for you between Monday and Thursday. Some anxiety will be felt, but you continue onwards with determination. Those in crisis may run into forbidden passions, while recent couples will tread carefully, without engaging too much. Work is tiring, but moves up a gear.

TEMPO: vivace con ansietta


The turnaround for your sign continues. Something in your professional ambition has been unlocked, or at least there are indications that things will change soon. Those who have felt like their life was stagnating for some time can now get going again. Days like Tuesday and Wednesday are very good for planning, while Saturday and Sunday will see good news or a confirmation. In love, Venus trines with special emotions to everyone, especially lonely hearts: Look around you.

TEMPO: presto brillante


The sky this week still shows signs of fatigue. Recently there have been discussions that have led you to reconsider your general attitude. Obviously, stable couples are not afraid — but those in crisis can be knocked down. Pay attention to clandestine affairs: Some skeletons in the closet may get out. Even at work there's a tense atmosphere for projects, while deals and agreements are slow to take off.

TEMPO: adagio irrequieto


This week you may have to deal with an argument with your boss or a co-worker. Your explaining skills are convincing, but be careful not to fake your reasons. Listen, contemplate and meditate. In general this is a week of fatigue, with nervousness around Tuesday. Love fades into the background and work absorbs a lot of attention. Only those in deep crisis will seriously question their relationships.

TEMPO: marcia risoluto


This is a sky for big events! New love is coming for you with the Sun and Moon both in good positions — no more excuses for saying you've been single for too long. Among other things, you now have a clear idea of who and what you are looking for. As for couples, what are they looking for? If your goal is a baby or a wedding, you now have all the credentials for it to happen. There's a moment of strength and renewal at work: A comeback is close.

TEMPO: allegrissimo col botto


You are on edge. By taking things personally, you risk triggering vitriolic arguments with people you love. Instead of yelling randomly, focus on why you are so tense. Undoubtedly, you've got something on your mind: a family member in need? A stagnating situation? An asphyxiating partner? If you are aware of it, then you must take charge of the situation and do something about it … Don't worry — there's always a solution!

TEMPO: adagietto consapevole


This week there is a voltage spike in affections between Tuesday and Wednesday. Your sign tends to remain silent and observe situations, rather than face them. I think that at this point — and I'm sure you do too — you must speak with clarity and firmness, without recrimination or whining. Around Friday, good news will come at work, which in some cases may relate to the beginning of a new job or project.

TEMPO: andante a singhiozzo

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Green

Ecological Angst In India, A Mining Dumpsite As Neighbor

Local villagers in western India have been forced to live with a mining waste site on the edge of town. What happens when you wake up one day and the giant mound of industrial waste has imploded?

The mining dumpsite is situated just outside of the Badi village in the coastal state of Gujarat

Sukanya Shantha

BADI — Last week, when the men and women from the Bharwad community in this small village in western India stepped out for their daily work to herd livestock, they were greeted with a strange sight.

The 20-meter-high small hill that had formed at the open-cast mining dumpsite had suddenly sunk. Unsure of the reason behind the sudden caving-in, they immediately informed other villagers. In no time, word had traveled far, even drawing the attention of environment specialists and activists from outside town.

This mining dumpsite situated less than 500 meters outside of the Badi village in the coastal state of Gujarat has been a matter of serious concern ever since the Gujarat Power Corporation Limited began lignite mining work here in early 2017. The power plant is run by the Power Gujarat State Electricity Corporation Limited, which was previously known as the Bhavnagar Energy Company Ltd.

Vasudev Gohil, a 43-year-old resident of Badi village says that though the dumping site is technically situated outside the village, locals must pass the area on a daily basis.


"We are constantly on tenterhooks and looking for danger signs," he says. Indeed, their state of alert is how the sudden change in the shape of the dumpsite was noticed in the first place.

Can you trust environmental officials?

For someone visiting the place for the first time, the changes may not stand out. "But we have lived all our lives here, we know every little detail of this village. And when a 150-meter-long stretch cave-in by over 25-30 feet, the change can't be overlooked," Gohil adds.

This is not the first time that the dumpsite has worried local residents. Last November, a large part of the flattened part of the dumpsite had developed deep cracks and several flat areas had suddenly got elevated. While the officials had attributed this significant elevation to the high pressure of water in the upper strata of soil in the region, environment experts had pointed to seismic activities. The change is evident even today, nearly a year since it happened.

It could have sunk because of the rain.

After the recent incident, when the villagers raised an alarm and sent a written complaint to the regional Gujarat Pollution Control Board, an official visit to the site was arranged, along with the district administration and the mining department.

The regional pollution board officer Bhavnagar, A.G. Oza, insists the changes "aren't worrisome" and attributes it to the weather.

"The area received heavy rain this time. It is possible that the soil could have sunk in because of the rain," he tells The Wire. The Board, he says, along with the mining department, is now trying to assess if the caving-in had any impact on the ground surface.

"We visited the site as soon as a complaint was made. Samples have already been sent to the laboratory and we will have a clear idea only once the reports are made available," Oza adds.

Women from the Surkha village have to travel several kilometers to find potable water

Sukanya Shantha/The Wire

A questionable claim

That the dumpsite had sunk in was noticeable for at least three days between October 1 and 3, but Rohit Prajapati of an environmental watchdog group Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti, noted that it was not the first time.

"This is the third time in four years that something so strange is happening. It is a disaster in the making and the authorities ought to examine the root cause of the problem," Prajapati says, adding that the department has repeatedly failed to properly address the issue.

He also contests the GPCB's claim that excess rain could lead to something so drastic. "Then why was similar impact not seen on other dumping sites in the region? One cannot arrive at conclusions for geological changes without a deeper study of them," he says. "It can have deadly implications."

Living in pollution

The villagers have also accused the GPCB of overlooking their complaint of water pollution which has rendered a large part of the land, most importantly, the gauchar or grazing land, useless.

"In the absence of a wall or a barrier, the pollutant has freely mixed with the water bodies here and has slowly started polluting both our soil and water," complains 23- year-old Nikul Kantharia.

He says ever since the mining project took off in the region, he, like most other villagers has been forced to take his livestock farther away to graze. "Nothing grows on the grazing land anymore and the grass closer to the dumpsite makes our cattle ill," Kantharia claims.

The mining work should have been stopped long ago

Prajapati and Bharat Jambucha, a well-known environmental activist and proponent of organic farming from the region, both point to blatant violations of environmental laws in the execution of mining work, with at least 12 violations cited by local officials. "But nothing happened after that. Mining work has continued without any hassles," Jambucha says. Among some glaring violations include the absence of a boundary wall around the dumping site and proper disposal of mining effluents.

The mining work has also continued without a most basic requirement – effluent treatment plant and sewage treatment plant at the mining site, Prajapati points out. "The mining work should have been stopped long ago. And the company should have been levied a heavy fine. But no such thing happened," he adds.

In some villages, the groundwater level has depleted over the past few years and villagers attribute it to the mining project. Women from Surkha village travel several kilometers outside for potable water. "This is new. Until five years ago, we had some water in the village and did not have to lug water every day," says Shilaben Kantharia.

The mine has affected the landscape around the villages

Sukanya Shantha/The Wire

Resisting lignite mining

The lignite mining project has a long history of resistance. Agricultural land, along with grazing land were acquired from the cluster of 12 adjoining villages in the coastal Ghogha taluka between 1994 and 1997. The locals estimate that villagers here lost anything between 40-100% of their land to the project. "We were paid a standard Rs 40,000 per bigha," Narendra, a local photographer, says.

The money, Narendra says, felt decent in 1994 but for those who had been dependent on this land, the years to come proved very challenging. "Several villagers have now taken a small patch of land in the neighboring villages on lease and are cultivating cotton and groundnut there," Narendra says.

They were dependent on others' land for work.

Bharat Jambucha says things get further complicated for the communities which were historically landless. "Most families belonging to the Dalit or other marginalized populations in the region never owned any land. They were dependent on others' land for work. Once villagers lost their land to the project, the landless were pushed out of the village," he adds. His organization, Prakrutik Kheti Juth, has been at the forefront, fighting for the rights of the villages affected in the lignite mining project.

In 2017, when the mining project finally took off, villagers from across 12 villages protested. The demonstration was disrupted after police used force and beat many protesters. More than 350 of them were booked for rioting.

The villagers, however, did not give up. Protests and hunger strikes have continued from time to time. A few villagers even sent a letter to the President of India threatening that they would commit suicide if the government did not return their land.

"We let them have our land for over 20 years," says Gohil.

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