In Short

Published: Wednesday 15 October 2003

hc cracks whip: Reprimanding the state-level committee over its inability to find zones for stone-crushers, the Himachal Pradesh High Court has ordered the closure of all such units. The owners of the state's stone-crushing units may, however, approach the court for a vacation or modification of the order. Announcing that it would constitute a new committee, the court chastised the existing panel for failing to take any steps to regulate the air and noise pollution caused by stone-crushers.

at loggerheads: A Rs 100-crore project for setting up an environmental monitoring system has become a sticking point between two ministries in Pakistan. Having received an assurance of aid from the Japan International Cooperation Agency, Pakistan's ministry of environment had approved the project. The ministry of science and technology (MS&T), however, has its objections. MS&T in-charge Atta-ur-Rehman has advised that the environment ministry come up with "solution-based projects" to control pollution instead.

deadly trade: The business of scrapping discarded ships continues to wreak havoc on the environment. Recently, a poisonous gas began leaking out of an oil tanker dumped at a port in Bangladesh. Apart from killing seabirds, it caused health problems to workers dismantling the vessel. Schools were shut and residents fled as the gas mixed with industrial smoke to form a poisonous cloud.

green issue paramount: The Canadian authorities have hit a roadblock in their attempts to settle a land dispute with the Haida Indians. The latter rejected a provincial government proposal offering them a part of Queen Charlottes -- an archipelago south of the Alaska Panhandle -- in return for the tribe suspending lawsuits that lay claim to the entire Haida Gwaii area. Significantly, the Haidas are averse to accepting the offer for environmental reasons. The government's intention is to open up the area for offshore drilling to extract oil and gas.

insect inside: Bottled water remains in the news for the wrong reasons. Following the receipt of a complaint about the presence of ants in a Bisleri bottle, the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) suspended production at a Bisleri India plant at Vile Parle, Mumbai. The FDA has asked the company to rectify "various lapses relating to safety and purification of water" before resuming production.

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