Published: Sunday 15 October 2006

green gdp: According to the China Green National Accounting Study Report 2004, the country suffered economic losses to the tune of US $64 billion -- about 3.05 per cent of its GDP -- that year. By deducting the environmental cost from total GDP, the study came up with a Green National Accounting or Green GDP. However the 3 per cent figure is still lower than a previous estimate, which put environmental costs at roughly 10 per cent of GDP. It has quantified and accounted for environmental pollution, imputed treatment cost and environmental degradation cost for 42 industries across three regions. The report estimated that economic losses in 2004 from water contamination were about US $35.8 billion, from air pollution at about US $27.5 billion and from solid waste pollution and pollution accidents at about US $710 million.

relocation: Jharia's raging fires have finally caught the Union government's attention. It has decided to relocate this Jharkhand town, Union coal minister Shibu Soren recently declared. The relocation will be done in five phases. The Centre has already cleared Rs 14 crore for the first phase. It believes that the total cost could go up to Rs 20,000 crore.

toxic pregnancy: Studies of 668 samples from the placentas of pregnant women showed the "average presence of eight organochlorine contaminants" according to research at the University of Grenada in Spain. DDE, a breakdown product of DDT, lindane, and endosulfan were found to be the most common pesticides in the samples. All three chemicals bioaccumulate in humans and the environment and have been linked to neurological problems and other health issues, and they have shown up as well in studies in many countries, including those by the US Centers for Disease Control.

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