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A mix of pulverized coal and toxic gases – known as fly ash – are polluting the air and water near power plants in southeast India. Villagers have decided to fight back. Karthikeyan Hemalatha reports from Chennai. Five long, rusty pipes run parallel to the mud road to Seppakkam, a village of 60 families some 30 kilometers (18 miles) north of Chennai on India's southeast coast. The pipes carry a sludge of fly ash and water. And they're leaking. The sludge's brown hue adds to Seppakkam's dystopian appearance. The ground is coated in fine ash and dilapidated houses stand empty. Even the hardiest shrubs wilt and there's no sight or sound of birdlife. "During the rains, the dyke overflows and ... Full story

16 February