In South Asia

Published: Friday 15 April 1994

Disappearing herbs SOME of Sri Lanka's natural wonders could be destroyed in the frantic race for industrialisation, says an article by Wijitha Nakkavita. A case in point is the beautiful Roomassala Hill, once the repository of over 500 rare herbal plants. Today, they have dwindled to about 150 rare species. The biggest threat to Roomassala is a stone quarry operated by local businessmen.

Women usher in change THE Karachi Administration Women's Welfare Society (KAWWS) is that rare success story that becomes apocryphal. Fed up of living conditions in the Karachi Administration Employees Housing Society, the women decided to take on apathetic municipal officials.

Now the changes are apparent: a lush green park where there was once an open, mosquito-infested drain with the backdrop of a successful legal battle for cleaner and greener environs and against contaminated water.

Inspired by their success, women from neighbouring areas have formed similar pressure groups, reports The Telegraph. KAWWS was also listed as one of the 200 happy stories of community development for a United Nations Environment Programme conference in Miami, USA.

Dangerous siting INSUFFICIENT governmental attention to the environmental impact of industries has taken a toll of Bangladesh's cities, reports Jamal Anwar. Dhaka's Tejgao area, for instance, has food processing industries located near chemical and heavy metal processing industries. In Tongi, a pharmaceutical unit functions close to a pesticide factory. And the tanneries of Hazaribagh are bang in the midst of a densely-populated residential area. Chittagong and Khulna are similarly threatened.

Economical but pug ugly
PAKISTAN'S first solar automobile was displayed at a recent industrial exhibition in Lahore, reports Panos Features. The car, designed by Zia Chaudhry, is very economical because it uses only solar power, which sunny Pakistan has no dearth of. All the car's parts can be purchased or replicated locally very cheaply and maintenance costs are minimal. The major drawback of the autorickshaw-sized two-seater lies in its grumpy looks. So far, there haven't been any takers to mass produce it.

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