In Short

Published: Saturday 31 July 2004

mad cow victim: Florida-based Charlene Singh, 25, suffering the only known instance of the human form of mad cow disease in the US, died recently. She was ill since 2001. She suffered from the variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a brain-wasting illness caused by eating processed food made from cattle with bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease. A spokesperson of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said a team of experts would go to Florida to discuss the matter with local health officials.

escape clause?: Much to the relief of industrialists, a provision in the next Delhi Master Plan, MP-2021, is likely to make the Supreme Court's (SC) May 2004 order on closure of industrial units in the capital's residential areas null and void. J R Jindal, president of Delhi Factory Owners Federation, said industries will be divided into two categories in the new plan -- negative and household. At present they are classified into four types. The SC had given the Delhi government five months to close all industrial units in residential areas, except those in the household category that have come up on or after August 1, 1990 (see: 'Delhi factories' fate sealed', Down To Earth, June 15, 2004). Since the SC order is based on four categories, it will not work in the new plan, claims Jindal. That is why industrialists want MP-2021 implemented soon, he says.

lending spree: The World Bank (WB) has decided to double its loan sanctions to India. It said that as the pro-poor schemes of the new Union government's common minimum programme had widened the scope for funding, it would increase its annual support to India to about US $3 billion during 2005-2008. Michael Carter, WB country director, said the Bank would focus on poorer states like Bihar, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand. The states would require US $500-900 million a year. Another major chunk would go to infrastructure and social sector projects, according to the WB's estimates.

crackdown: Three dyeing units in Panipat have been sealed by the Haryana Pollution Control Board (HPCB) to prevent them from releasing water contaminated with chemicals. The action was taken after an HPCB team found the water polluting agricultural lands. There are about 500 dyeing units in the city and media reports have highlighted the large-scale pollution being caused by them.

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