In short

Published: Sunday 30 April 2006

a dam to protest: Opposing the ongoing preparations for the Polavaram dam project, tribal organisations of the state staged a day-long bandh in the state's Khammam district on March 24, 2006. The project would displace over 300,000 tribals from Khammam district and West and East Godavari districts in Andhra Pradesh (ap), say protestors. The project would also submerge eight villages in Malkangiri district of Orissa and displace 6,316 families. Meanwhile giving boost to the agitation, Orissa High Court has issued a show cause notice to the ap government on March 23, 2006, zz the AP government has to seek prior permission from the Orissa government before taking up any construction related activity in Orissa.

bt cotton: Despite the ongoing protest against and repeated failures of Bt cotton, the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (geac) gave the green signal to the commercial cultivation of two newly developed varieties of Bt cotton hybrids. These varieties, developed by jk Agri Seeds and Nath Seeds, will be cultivated in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and other northern states from 2006. It is claimed that these varieties are indigenous, unlike the other varieties reportedly developed in China. geac says the approval was meant to encourage healthy competition between the seed companies, but environmental groups have criticised it.

frost acidity: The silver frost on the trees of the Zao Mountains in Yamagata prefecture has become dangerously acidic, partly due to air pollution from the steel plants in China's Shanxi Province. Environment experts say the frost acidity may kill Aomori Todo pine and other trees like the silver frosted tree, that are found near mountain peaks. They are measuring the rising density of sulfuric acid.

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