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India

Pedalling to a new dawn

Issue Date: Jun 15, 1994
WHAT do you do when a rapidly exploding population starts an exodus to the cities and chokes up the roads, making commuting a nightmare even at high noon? Go in for more cars and better roads designed to take the load? Or do you promote an alternative mode of transport that does not vomit noxious fumes and suits the pockets of the majority? Enter the bicycle: handy, cheap, healthy and ecofriendly.

Deep disapproval

Issue Date: Jun 15, 1994
On May 12, women activists protesting the commercial launch of the controversial contraceptive, Depo Provera, stormed a press conference held in the Capital by Max Pharma, the company launching the contraceptive in India. Max Pharma -- licensed to market Depo Provera in the country in collaboration with the US-based company Upjohn -- has been permitted to market it by the Drugs Controller of India, subject to post-marketing surveillance.

The see-saw approach

Author(s): Anju Sharma
Issue Date: Jun 15, 1994
WOOD is out, and matt or glossy steel and plastics are in, as far as the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) is concerned. In line with the government of India's decision to promote wood substitution, the ministry of urban development has instructed CPWD to ban the use of wood in construction work and shift to substitutes, in view of "the depleting forest cover, resulting in ecological degradation".

Industrialists up in arms

Issue Date: May 31, 1994
HUNDREDS of industrialists in Agra recently held a demonstration in protest against a Supreme Court order that polluting units near the Taj Mahal be relocated and tried to gherao the monumernt. However, police barricades prevented the over 500 affected industry owners from Agra, Firozabad, Mathura and Bharatpur from laying siege to the monument.

A deep breath of fatal dust

Author(s): Anjani Khanna
Issue Date: May 31, 1994
SILICOSIS -- an incurable lung disease caused by the inhalation of silica, a component of dust -- has debilitated several workers in cement and brick factories and sandstone mines in the country, recent research reveals. In its later stages, the disease can lead to respiratory or cardiac failure.

Madras show the way

Issue Date: May 31, 1994
PAMPERED residents of metropolitan cities have so far paid only nominal charges for the water piped to their homes. However, this largesse is being partially corrected in Madras where the Madras Water Supply and Sewerage Board, commonly called Metrowater, has tripled the water charges with effect from April 1.

No news is bad news

Issue Date: May 31, 1994
APRIL has been the cruellest month for the much-hyped department of wasteland development, when it came under ruthless criticism for the perennial drought of information regarding its performance. Little is known about the department's performance, even 2 years after its inception. Its annual report, presented in the 3rd week of April, fails to mention its actual achievements in terms of plantations raised, employment generated and local needs met.

What price pollution?

Issue Date: May 31, 1994
COMPRESSED Natural Gas (CNG)-fuelled 4-wheelers may soon be commercially viable in Delhi following the equipping of a petrol station with facilities to supply the petrol substitute. The station is registering a select number of applicants to convert vehicles to run on petrol and CNG in dual fuel mode.

Delhi hits the dirty track

Issue Date: May 31, 1994
THE World Health Organization has identified New Delhi as one of the 10 most polluted cities in the world, a dubious distinction that Delhi now shares with other megacities like Mexico City, Seoul and Beijing.

Animals on the way out

Issue Date: May 31, 1994
SLOTH bears riding bicycles, leopards jumping through hoops of fire and elephants playing football in the circus ring will soon be a thing of the past. A staggered phase-out of these animals will be done in line with a Supreme Court suggestion in the dispute between the ministry of environment and forests and circus owners on the use of animals in circuses.
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