Published: Tuesday 15 June 1999

The Union minister of state for social justice and empowerment, Maneka Gandhi, has been selected for the Prani Mitra award for her services to the cause of animals.

Many NGOs in Assam have expressed apprehension that with the authorities planning to withdraw the last police platoon from Manas National Park, a world heritage site, terrorists will regain full control of the reserve.

Gujarat chief minister Keshubhai Patel has commissioned the Pariaj-Kanewal water supply scheme as part of the Rs 409 crore pipeline project under which drinking water will be supplied to the semi-arid areas of Bhal region and 154 villages in Bhavnagar and Amreli districts.

The World Bank will provide assistance amounting to Rs 15,000 crore to Uttar Pradesh for development of energy, education, medical, road and irrigation sectors.

Booker Prize-winning writer Arundhati Roy and her filmmaker husband Pradeep Krishen have been issued a showcause notice by the Special Area Development Authority of Pachmarhi, Madhya Pradesh, for violation of building laws and illegal construction in a notified, ecosensitive area.

A rise in the price of timber at auctions organised by separate forest divisions in West Bengal and the state Forest Development Corporation seems to have come as a boost to unauthorised timber traders whose supplies come from the illegal felling of trees in the reserved forest areas.

Sharply critical of the role of the environment ministry and state governments in implementing the Ganga Action Plan, a special panel appointed by Union environment minister, Suresh Prabhu, has recommended more powers for local bodies and the formation of a standing committee to monitor progress.

For the first time, a group of mountaineers will carry out a pollution check drive when they embark on an expedition to Mt Everest in March, next year. The aim of the expedition is to spread awareness about the effects of pollution and also commemorate 150 years of the discovery of Mt Everest.

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