NHPC EERS: An Assam-based NGO, River Basin's Friends, has filed a petition in the Supreme Court against the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC). The petition claims that while implementing the Subansiri Lower Hydroelectric Project in Arunachal Pradesh, NHPC violated an earlier order. It also claimed NHPC was dumping debris in the Subansiri river and carrying on blasting operations for road construction. It was also transporting illegally cut timber on speedboats and occupied 113 hectares of forestland without the approval of the central government. The NHPC had also failed to comply with the directive of the Union ministry of environment and forests for conducting detailed biodiversity studies.
SATELLITE COMMUNICATES: India has successfully put in orbit Insat-4A -- the heaviest Indian satellite weighing more than 3,000 kg. The communication satellite was launched on December 22, 2005, from Kourou spaceport in French Guyana. The Indian Space Research Organisation, which spent nearly Rs 530 crore in building and launching the satellite, has more than covered the cost with leasing out the transponders -- a total of 24 -- aboard. Its 12 Ku-band transponders have been leased by Tata-Sky, a joint venture of Tata and Murdoch-owned Star, to offer a bouquet of 150 direct-to-home television channels. Twelve C-band transponders are also leased among a number of users.
HERBAL RETHINK: Four Indian traditional herbal medicines being sold in Singapore have been found contaminated with heavy metals -- lead and mercury. The Singapore Health Sciences Authority on December 14, 2005, found excessive amounts of these metals in the products of four Indian companies -- Annai Aravindh Herbals, the Himalaya Drug Company, Laurel Herbal Products and Goodcare Pharma Private Ltd.
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