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Feb 29, 2004 | From the print edition

rescue mission: European countries have resolved to make a united effort to arrest the decline in biodiversity by 2010 and protect hundreds of species from extinction. The decision was taken at a conference on biodiversity in Madrid, Spain. Participants at the meet hoped the step will send a strong message to the international biodiversity convention, to be held in Malaysia in February.

cola case: The Kerala High Court has directed Coca-Cola company to cover with boxes the water meters installed on the borewells and open wells of its Plachimada plant in Kerala. According to the order, the keys of these boxes would be in the possession of the Perumatty Grama Panchayat and a representative of the expert committee that has been appointed by the court to investigate into the allegations of excessive groundwater use by the company.

bending the rules: In a clear violation of the Supreme Court's directive and the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, 76 per cent of industrial units in Delhi's approved industrial areas are operating without the mandatory no-objection certificate for air and water pollution. Besides, polluting units continue to function in non-approved areas, too, according to a report of the National Council for Applied Economic Research. The document also notes that the quality of Yamuna river's water has not improved.

taken to task: The Madhya Pradesh (MP) High Court has granted a stay on de-reserving 33 villages of the Panchmarhi reserved forest area. The order was passed on a public interest litigation petition against the Hoshangabad collector's directive to de-reserve the villages. The court further observed that the MP government was not sensitive to deforestation activities in the reserved areas.

hyderabad blues: A high content of radioactive contaminants has been found in the Nagarjunsagar reservoir, which is to supply 170 million litres of water to Hyderabad and Secunderabad under the Krishna river project of Andhra Pradesh. This was revealed by a technical committee analysing the proposal of uranium mining in areas near the reservoir. The water has been found to contain contaminants up to 3 microgrammes per litre (/l), as against the permissible limit of 2 /l set by the World Health Organization.

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