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Issue Date: Nov 30, 1998
JAISALMER Jaisalmer is one of the world's prettiest 4 desert forts. And it is one of the few in which people still live. But modern Jaisalmer is also bursting at the seams and using water in a way that may destroy the very Jaisalmer tourists throng to see. Unlike other towns in this study, Jaisalmer, named after Rao Jaisal who built the huge fort in 1156, has no surfeit of

Left Hanging

Issue Date: Nov 30, 1998
THE Delhi Transport Corporation's (DTC's) ambitious plan to replace its ancient, polluting and gas-guzzling fleet with new low-emission and commuter-friendly buses has gone haywire. Irked by the DTC's decision to buy the buses from European companies, two Indian bus manufacturers lobbied intensely against the deal. It was not long before the state government gave in, stalling the process till the forthcoming elections.

A peoples charter

Issue Date: Nov 30, 1998
THERE is no action plan of the Indian government to tackle air pollution in the short term, pointed out Anil Agarwal, director, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), at the second anniversary function of the release of its book Slow Murder. In his presentation at the World Wide Fund for Nature auditorium on November 1, Agarwal reiterated that the air pollution problem in India has become abysmally bad.

NGO's prepare for COP-4

Issue Date: Nov 30, 1998
THE Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) held a workshop and a seminar to discuss India's stance prior to the Fourth Conference of Parties on Climate Change (cop-4), which is currently being held in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Representatives of South Asian non-governmental organisations (NGOs) par- ticipated in the meet. Climate change is the biggest environmental threat to the


Issue Date: Nov 30, 1998
LUDHIANA Ludhiana's problem is that of plenty. This industrial town has a per capita income of Rs 30,000, almost 30 times more the per


Issue Date: Nov 30, 1998
ALIGARH Aligarh was among the six districts chosen for the Green Revolution along with Ludhiana in the 1980s. The Green Revolution happened and Aligarh, like many other towns, went on to bigger things like rapid and unplanned industrialisation. In the process, the


Kottayam in central Kerala is neither an industrial town nor yet an agricultural wonder. Apart from the occasional huge mansions that break the monotony of rubber plantations and palm groves, Kottayarn looks like a town that woke up a bit too late to cash in on the industrial and even agricultural boom happening elsewhere. Kottayam prides itself on its rubber plantations which makes the

Count Down?

All over the world sperm count in humans has declined by over 50 per cent in the last 30 years. In India, studies involving more than 1600 men, both fertile and infertile, over the past 15 years have shown a decrease by 43 per cent in sperm count . In the 1950s and 1960s, a sperm count of 60 million/ml was considered normal, whereas 20 million/ml is considered normal today, notes Kamala Gopalakrishnan of the Institute of Reproductive Research, Mumbai.

Problems intensified

Depletion of micronutrients such as copper and molybdenum from the soil leads to poor food quality and micronutrient deficiency in humans. The most common deficiency is that of zinc, copper and manganese. Manganese deficiency has reduced productivity in coarse-textured soil under the rice-wheat system in Punjab, points out J S Kanwar, deputy director general (emeritus), International Centre for Research in Semi-arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Hyderabad. Boron deficiency is most serious in the Kosi project area of Bihar and iron

Yellow lies

Participants at the session dealing with radiology at the conference, including A Gopalakrishnan, a former chairperson of Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), criticised the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) for not parting with vital information regarding nuclear safety. During the session on radiation and health, Xavier Dias, an NGO activist from Chaibasa in Bihar, described how radioactive waste was being dumped without any precaution at the tailings (waste dumps) of the Jaduguda uranium mines in South Bihar.
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