In Short

Published: Thursday 30 September 2004

legal backing: The Delhi High Court has asked the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) and other civic agencies to permit water harvesting in as many public sector buildings as possible. In an order issued on August 25, 2004, it also directed authorities concerned to allow the activity on flyovers that have their designs approved for the purpose. The order was issued in response to a petition filed by V K Jain of Tapas, a non-governmental organisation. The Central Ground Water Authority was asked to submit data on groundwater.

wave power: A prototype of a commercial-scale floating Wave Energy Converter (WEC) fed its first electricity into the grid in the United Kingdom (UK) on August 23, 2004. The WEC, named Pelamis, has been developed by the Edinburgh-based company Ocean Power Delivery and installed at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) at Orkney. One Pelamis has a power output of 750 watts. Many such machines in 'wave farms' can generate electricity on a big scale.

river linking on: The Centre told the Supreme Court on August 30, 2004 that it would not in principle abandon the Rs 500,000-crore river inter-linking project the previous government had mooted. But the Union cabinet would review the matter in September 2004. The court had asked about the present status of the project. Work on the scheme had halted following the resignation of Suresh Prabhu, ex-chairperson of the apex court's task force on the project (see: 'Mixed Tidings', Down To Earth, April 30, 2004).

double trouble: England and Wales would not be able to meet the new EU regulations on water quality, conservationists have warned. Achieving EU Water Framework Directive targets would cost them billions. Non-compliance would also mean considerable costs in the form of fines. The order aims to improve waterways and wetlands, reduce water pollution, ensure sustainable use of water and reduce the impact of droughts and floods. It would come into force from 2015.

mending ways: Following the outbreak of SARS in 2003, China has revised its law on infectious diseases to increase the role of its officials in fighting these diseases. The new law would ensure that victims of diseases like SARS and AIDS have access to treatment and are not discriminated against. It also marks a shift in the country's national AIDS policy.

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