Published: Sunday 15 February 1998

Soyabean production in India can be doubled by the year 2002, according to Gian Singh, director of VMA Oilseeds Research and Development Institute (VORDI). The use of short-duration photo-sensitive varieties and bringing more fallow land under cultivation can help raise the output to 108 million tonnes by the terminal year of the Plan.

The Narmada Bachao Andolan Committee is expected to launch an indefinite agitation at the dam site to stop the ongoing construction of the Rs 15,000-crore Maheswar hydel project in Khargone district in western Madhya Pradesh from 11 January. The project is likely to submerge about 5,000 ha of land, including 1,000 ha of cultivable land.

Gas Authority of India Limited has started supplying natural gas to industrial units in Firozabad near Agra. This is a part of the 10-point programme announced by the government to save the Taj Mahal from industrial air pollution.

The Union environment ministry has denied environmental clearances to the proposed Sanghi jetty cement project at Kutch, Gujarat, on the basis of a sub-committee report. The clearance is important for the viability for the Rs 900-crore project.

India will get US $200 million as aid from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for meeting its ninth plan objectives on infrastructure, technology and employment. The issues under the package also include environment, population and AIDS.

The Assam government is implementing 41 schemes under the State Plan for development of agriculture and allied sectors in the state.

The Planning Commission has cleared the construction of Mewat canal, meant to provide uninterrupted irrigation to about 101,250 ha of arid land in 300-odd villages of the Mewat areas of Gurgaon and Faridabad districts of Haryana.

Nearly 1,200 sea turtles have died since November 1997 due to intensive fishing in the prohibited marine sanctuary, said president of Krushak Mahasangh and environmental activist Banka Behary Das.

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