Published: Wednesday 31 January 2001

A freshwater crocodile, found usually in Chambal, Ganga and Mahanadi rivers, has been spotted in the Chilka lake in Orissa. Extensive fishing in these rivers may have forced crocodiles to migrate to other water systems, feel experts.

The Planning Commission has approved three water resources projects for Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Assam. A total of Rs 220.52 crore will be spent on all the projects.

The Union health ministry will constitute 'core teams' that will operate in the AIDS-infected states such as Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Manipur. Each core team will investigate the spread of the disease in a particular state and then formulate region-specific programmes.

At least 800 turtles have been seized from a gang in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. Four persons, who were trying to smuggle the turtles to Southeast Asia, have been nabbed by police officials.

The Delhi government has banned the sale of tobacco-based products to minors starting from January 1, 2001. The ban prohibits the sale, storage and distribution of cigarettes, bidis and other tobacco-based products in and around schools, colleges and other educational institutions.

A proposal to delicense 19 of the 22 hazardous chemicals that are included in the compulsory-licensing list under the Industries (Development and Regulation) Act of 1951 is being considered by the Union ministry of commerce and industry.

India has rejected a demand from the British government for samples of Basmati rice for deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) testing to prevent the propagation of the seeds. However, it has agreed to provide the grain in powdered form.

The discharge of toxic tannery waste has contaminated the soil and groundwater of Jajmau area of Uttar Pradesh, says the Lucknow-based National Botanical Research Institute.

The world's longest liquefied petroleum gas pipeline -- from Jamnagar in Gujarat to Loni in Delhi -- has begun operating.

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