Published: Monday 31 August 1998

Pesticides can harm unborn children, and an estimated Rs 24,000 crore is needed to fight pesticide-borne dis-eases, says Suresh Prabhu, Union minister for environment and forests.

Studies show promising signs of huge oil reserves in the Gulf of Kutch off the western coast of the Saurashtra region in Gujarat, says a spokesper-son of the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation. The reserves are located about 100 nautical miles off the Surashtra coast near the famous pil-grim town of Dwarka, Gujarat.

The Union ministry of environment and forests has charged the Karnataka government with wilfully flouting environmental guidelines while passing a tourist resort at the Nagarhole National Park. The min-istry said the diversion of forest land to build the resort "cannot be agreed to" and asked that action be taken against those officials who were responsible for clearing it as it violat-ed various provisions of the Forest (Conservation) Act 1980.

Though the poaching of tigers and leopards has gone up, successive gov-ernments have no information on legal action taken against poachers. Official reports show about 102 leop-ards and tigers have been killed between 1995 and 1997. Of these 87 were leopards and 15 tigers.

The Nanmangalam reserve forest in Tamil Nadu faces a serious threat as human activity is on the rise in and around the forest. While illegal sand quarrying, vegetation destruction and washing of lorries are reported from the eastern side the forest, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) reportedly has set up a jungle warfare training camp in the forest.

A sub-committee of the Gangotri Conservation Project (GCP) has been constituted to check the retreat of the Gangotri glacier. GCP director Sushil Kumar will be the chairperson of the sub-committee, which will work out an integrated master plan for the development and greening of the area between Gangotri and Tapovan.

The Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sangathan has sent a letter to Madhya Pradesh chief minsiter Digvijaya Singh giving details of several inci-dents of ground water pollution near the Union Carbide factory in Bhopal.

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