Published: Sunday 30 November 2008

Dow in trouble again: The Maharashtra government has ordered setting up of a committee to look into Dow Chemical's proposed research and development centre near Pune. It will examine the facility's impact on environment and the list of hazardous chemicals proposed to be used at the centre (see 'Pune protests Dow research facility', Down To Earth, March 31, 2008).

People of Shinde-Vasuli village, about 40 km from Pune, where the Rs 400-crore centre will come up, said the committee was set up to stop their agitation. "We have no faith in it. We will accept nothing less than closure of Dow's facility," said Shantaram Maruti Panmand, former sarpanch of the village. Dow Chemicals has bought Union Carbide responsible for the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy.

Another malnourished boy died: Another malnourished and mentally impaired boy died at the Government Medical College Hospital in Maharashtra's Aurangabad district on November 1. Manoj and four other boys were admitted to the hospital on October 16; one boy had died that day. All the boys belonged to Jalna-based Late Shankarlal Mundada Boy's Hostel and were severely malnourished (see 'Hunger kills boy', Down To Earth, November 1-15, 2008).

Doctors are now denying that Manoj died because of hunger. They claim the reason was fits. Manoj was picked up from footpath in Pune and kept at a hostel there for eight years before being shifted to Solapur and then to Jalna.

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