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Copper unit comes a cropper

Issue Date: May 15, 1994
THE people of Ratnagiri, a coastal district in southern Maharashtra, are a jubilant lot today. A recent report by an expert committee instituted by the state government has vindicated their opposition to a large copper smelting unit proposed in the district. The committee said firmly that such industries would endanger the region's fragile ecosystem.

Literacy on the move

Author(s): Anju Sharma
Issue Date: May 15, 1994

When the birds come home

Author(s): Prakesh Gole
Issue Date: May 15, 1994
A HANDFUL of people gathered together on a cold wintry evening in a remote Himalayan village in Arunachal Pradesh, seeking to conserve the only winter habitat of the blacknecked crane in India. They included two village elders, the headmaster and a teacher of a village school and the deputy director of a sheep breeding farm in the valley. I was present there as a coordinator and a student of the blacknecked cranes that visit the Sangti valley every winter.

A greenscape goes black

Author(s): Uma Shankar
Issue Date: May 15, 1994
MEGHALAYA faces a new threat: the wholesale degradation of its air, soil and water by coal mining. It is damaging the greenscape through indiscriminate felling, excavations, tunnelling and the dumping of debris. In blind pursuit of black gold, mine operators ignore the essential harmony of the environment and continue to accelerate the pace of mutilating terrain by quarrying wider and deeper into forests and cultivable land.

Spotlight on a scientist

Issue Date: May 15, 1994
PERHAPS the most interesting aspect of the speculation in the press about A P J Abdul Kalam Khan's continued association with India's missile development programme was the relatively high degree of public interest evoked by it. Other contemporary gossip about the country's scientific establishment had no such popular appeal.

Grounded contraband

Issue Date: May 15, 1994
A MAJOR bird-smuggling racket was literally uncovered on the tarmac of New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport. Just before four "abnormal" packages wrapped in gunny were loaded on to a Pakistan International Airlines flight for Dubai, curious customs officials pounced on them and found that they were packed with more than 1,300 live birds. The owner of the packages, Salim Ahmed Khan, 18, from Rampur in Uttar Pradesh, was tracked down and roped in for interrogation before he could board.

The call of the wild

Author(s): Rita Anand
Issue Date: May 15, 1994
The Maldhari community of Saurashtra, reputed to be among the oldest inhabitants of this region, were traditionally livestock breeders, pastoral nomads roaming the wilds in search of the elusive green. This profile of the community exposes the havoc that environmental myths can wreak upon the lives of ordinary people.

Patent prejudice

Author(s): Sevanti Ninan
Issue Date: May 15, 1994

Industrial shock

Issue Date: May 15, 1994
DESPERATE to conserve energy, the West Bengal government is planning to follow Kerala in making energy audits compulsory for industries. According to government estimates, by 1996-97, power supply during peak hours will fall short by 20 per cent and total energy by 10 per cent.

Working magic

Author(s): Sudeep Mukhia
Issue Date: Apr 15, 1994
IN HER short but bitingly relevant play, Mridula Garg places the exploitation of children in the carpet industry in an equally horrific context of deforestation, outmigration and rural poverty -- ground realities in India justified as modern, "Western" development. Jadoo ka Kaleen, the "magic carpet", is an emancipatory metaphor: the desire of the little ones to fly from bondage.
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