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Contents page
Jun 15-30, 1999

Cover Story

When the wind energy sector was opened to private investors in 1993, there was a virtual boom. However, after the initial rush of activity, promoters and investors seem to be taking a breather now. The establishment of wind farms has fallen far short of the target. According to the International Energy Agency, India is among the five countries in the world accounting for more than 80 per cent of the global wind energy capacity. But, while wind energy development has been a major success in Western nations, particularly in Europe, it has been a dismal failure in India

Editor's page

Why have we become a nation of such cynics and grumblers? During the World Environment Day on June 5, I was asked repeatedly, will Delhi's air ever become cleaner? My simple answer, which I repeated ad nauseum to anyone who asked was, 'don't grumble', get organised, study and protest. Demand what is needed. And within a few years I can assure you the problem will get solved.

Summer in Delhi is the season of fires. With every passing summer, the incidence of fires has only increased. The growing list of victims and extent of damage wreaked has ensured that such outbreaks are now accorded front page coverage in most dailies -- sometimes even in the event of a minor blaze. This is not due to a lack of political news, but because fires in the capital are fast assuming the proportion of natural disasters in respect to the loss of human lives and magnitude of destruction.

Should cigarettes have a low or high tar certification? Should the court be approached to force cigarette companies to make safer cigarettes for the general public? There are reasons for asking these questions. The Supreme Court has given top priority to health while ordering car manufacturers to observe emission norms in Delhi. But nowhere in the world has any court forced tobacco companies to manufacture safer cigarettes, though smoking is a significant health risk.

News

The safety of genetically-engineered crops comes under a cloud after the deaths of the monarch butterflies in the US

Physicians, environmentalists and residents of Delhi share a platform to vent their anger over the city's polluted air

A new report claims that cigarette manufacturers had the know-how to make cigarette smoking safer, but did not introduce them

The Union government sets up a task force to protect India's medicinal plants

The virus that caused havoc in Malaysia may not have been JE after all

A fire forces the Delhi government to order re-location of godowns storing chemicals

Pakistan plans to take two-stroke engine autorickshaws off the roads

Four fisherfolks were killed in police firing in Chilka Lake when they were protesting against prawn farming in the lake on May 29

Interview

D K Chaddha , chairperson, Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA), New Delhi, talks to Jitendra Verma on the state of groundwater in India

Science & Technology

Urban areas are "living organisms" in themselves and create their own ecosystems

Getting obese? Blame it on burgers, pizzas and french fries

Whether you will survive an Ebola infection or not depends on the immune response of your body, not on the level of infection

Though light takes some time to reach the eye, there is a system by which animals anticipate the movement of a moving object. Now, scientists can explain it

Peach oil may replace some dangerous human-made compounds used for pest control

Car navigation systems can be dangerous for pedestrians in residential areas

Tracking criminals may no longer be difficult

A US company has fitted a parachute to a light aircraft

Special Report

Earlier it was deforestation, now it is mining that threatens the once stately Aravallis with total destruction

After more than 30 years of struggle, the Inuit people of Canada are given more autonomy and the right to self-determination

A deadly cyclone causes large-scale devastation in Pakistan and despite early warnings the toll on the Indian side is as high

Life & Nature

A story about the return of the orangutans from the concrete jungle to the wild woods to be what they were meant and named to be -- each a man of the woods

Feature

Economic growth and development are destroying Rajasthan's unique forest-based religious system

Khasis in Meghalaya help in environmental regeneration

A story about the return of the orangutans from the concrete jungle to the wild woods to be what they were meant and named to be -- each a man of the woods

Leader

Summer in Delhi is the season of fires. With every passing summer, the incidence of fires has only increased. The growing list of victims and extent of damage wreaked has ensured that such outbreaks are now accorded front page coverage in most dailies -- sometimes even in the event of a minor blaze. This is not due to a lack of political news, but because fires in the capital are fast assuming the proportion of natural disasters in respect to the loss of human lives and magnitude of destruction.

Should cigarettes have a low or high tar certification? Should the court be approached to force cigarette companies to make safer cigarettes for the general public? There are reasons for asking these questions. The Supreme Court has given top priority to health while ordering car manufacturers to observe emission norms in Delhi. But nowhere in the world has any court forced tobacco companies to manufacture safer cigarettes, though smoking is a significant health risk.

Crosscurrent

The pressure on land threatens the vivid and spectacular biodiversity of these hills

Better management systems hold the key to overcoming water scarcity

Review

THE GLOBAL POLITICS OF PESTICIDES: FORGING CONSENSUS FROM CONFLICTING INTERESTS· Peter Hough·Earthscan, London, 1998·£ 15.95

Book>> A village awaits doomsday • Jaideep Hardikar • Rs 299 • Penguin Books

Grassroots

Economic growth and development are destroying Rajasthan's unique forest-based religious system

Khasis in Meghalaya help in environmental regeneration

Letters

Pest management

The article on pest management 'Operation pest guard' ( Down To Earth, Vol 7, No 24; May 15) made good reading. However, I would like to draw your attention to some errors. Out of the three important Indian cash crops -- tobacco, chilly and cotton -- cotton is the most widely grown crop. Though there are instances of crop failure due to the outbreak of insect pests, cotton production has grown steadily over the years. The actual gross cultivated cotton area is 10-12 per cent, and not 35 per cent as written in the article.

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