In Short

Published: Sunday 15 February 2004

mounting joblessness: Unemployment will keep soaring in India even if the country manages to sustain an annual economic growth of 8 per cent up to 2026, according to a study conducted by the London School of Economics. The study, India Project, focuses on the high growth rate of India's population. It draws attention to flaws in the content and implementation of the country's policies pertaining to reproductive health and family welfare, population, agriculture and the environment.

bicycles banned: China's biggest city, Shanghai, has banned bicycles on its principal avenues -- a step that highlights the phenomenal change in the mode of transport used by the residents. Bicycles, one of the cleanest transport vehicles, carried more than 70 per cent of travellers in the city till 1990. But now the figure is a paltry 15 to 17 per cent. Studies also reveal that the Chinese are not very keen on adopting fuel-saving mechanisms like car-pools.

additional safeguards: The proposed ban on using less than 20-micron-thick polythene in Madhya Pradesh has been deferred. The state government has decided to first seek legal advice from the Union government and the state law department to ensure that polythene manufacturers are not able to take advantage of any legal loophole. The regulation was to come into effect from January 1.

face-off: Resentment is brewing in Haryana's Rs 1,500-crore-handloom sector over the state government's decision to shift more than 500 dyeing units from residential localities of Panipat to its industrial zone. The move was prompted by a Supreme Court directive. While the government wants to start the shifting process as soon as the plots are allotted, the dyers have resolved to stay put till they are provided basic facilities such as water and effluent treatment plants.

polluters sued: Florida's department of environmental protection has filed a US $12 million lawsuit against the American International Petroleum Corporation, St Marks Refinery Incorporated and Seminole Refining Corporation, holding them responsible for pollution caused by the now-defunct St Marks refinery. Asphalt, pentachlorophenol and petroleum products stored at the site for 50 years are said to have severely contaminated the soil, a nearby river and wetlands.

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