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Special Report

A state in chaos

Issue Date: Dec 15, 1999
a month after the super cyclone, which left a trail of death and destruction in the Orissa coast, a nation watched in disbelief Orissa chief minister Giridhar Gamang saying: "We don't know what to do?" The same confusion grips the Central government machinery.

Park in trouble

Issue Date: Nov 30, 1999
a government move to allow oil and gas exploration activities in the Kirthar National Park has sparked a major controversy in Pakistan.

Strangers in their own land

Issue Date: Nov 15, 1999
following a Supreme Court order calling on state governments to finalise the pending notifications of national parks, the government of Himachal Pradesh finally 'notified' the Great Himalayan National Park ( ghnp ) on May 21, 1999. Consequently, pastoralists of the Gaddi tribe of the Himachal region, who migrate according to the season, have lost access to their traditional pastures.

Playing with facts

Issue Date: Nov 15, 1999
the Tata Engineering and Locomotive Company ( telco ) filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court in the case regarding air pollution in Delhi on October 4, 1999. It appeared to misrepresent the World Health Organisation's view that there are no safe levels of particulate pollution, and undermined the seriousness of air pollution and the death and disease that results from it in Indian cities, Delhi in particular.

Fighting the bug

Issue Date: Oct 31, 1999
the computer network in the Defence Research and Development Organi-sation's laboratories might lose data generated during the Pokhran nuclear tests; the stock exchanges' online share market may not be able to tell you the status of your shares; or the computerised notice board pasted in airports may say there is no service "today" -- that is, January 1, 2000.

A lot of smoke

Issue Date: Oct 15, 1999

Parched Punjab

Issue Date: Oct 15, 1999
as a twelve-year-old, Gurdev Singh Hira, now a senior soil physicist at the Punjab Agricultural University ( pau ) in Ludhiana, saw the water in his well rise so fast that he could touch it with his hands. But as he grew up the water level went down to such a level that his parents had to abandon the well. That was in the late 1960s when the Green Revolution had firmly taken root in Punjab.

Industrial blackmail!

Issue Date: Sep 30, 1999
grasim industries ltd ( gil ), an Aditya Birla group company, sought the permission of the Kerala government to close down its viscose plant located on the banks of the river Chaliyar at Mavoor, Kozhikode district. The company also posted copies of the notice to the trade unions on August 23, 1999. The closure threatens to render about 3,000 people jobless.

Rethinking diesel

Issue Date: Sep 30, 1999
For the Indian promoters of diesel, there are bad signals from Japan, the country that has been at the helm of the global automobile revolution in recent times. The Tokyo metropolitan government has launched an unprecedented campaign against diesel vehicles to combat the city's persistent problem of air pollution, points out a report published in the Financial Times of London. Led aggressively by its new governor Shintaro Ishihira, Tokyo city launched a campaign to "Say No! to Diesel vehicles" on August 30, 1999.

Diesel: no answer to global warming

Issue Date: Sep 30, 1999
Whenever the issue of urban smog due to diesel exhaust emissions is raised, auto companies vie that diesel is the answer to reducing emissions of carbon dioxide (CO 2 ), the main greenhouse gas. But the last bastion of the powerful diesel lobby collapsed with a new study saying that though it takes less diesel to run a vehicle per km, it still does not help save fuel and control carbon emissions. The study is from France, where almost every fourth car is diesel-fuelled.
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