Published: Friday 28 February 1997

The Centre will transfer more authority to the West Bengal pollution board, announced the governor on January 24. The state government also plans to prepare an environmental status report and implement risk management plans for the Asansol Durgapur and Haldia industrial areas.

The ministry of environment and forests has demanded higher allocation for better pollution control activities in the Ninth Plan period. Dilip Biswas, chairman, Central pollution control board, stressed the need to strengthen capacities in industry, pollution boards and technical institutes and colleges.

The 'green judge', retired justice Kuldip Singh, returned an award of Rs five lakh conferred on him by the Anubhav group of companies on January 6. Justice Singh said that "the award never intended to honour any one", but wanted to "exploit the award and the awardee" for business prospects.

Final touches were given to a Rs 4,700-crore master plan to tackle the drinking water problem in Gujarat. Chief minister Shankarsinh Vaghela announced that the state government has allocated Rs 3,000 crore for drinking water projects in the Ninth Plan period against Rs 350 crore allocated in the Eighth Plan period.

The Tamil Nadu chief minister (CM) announced recently that 43,000 houses would be constructed in eight cyclone-hit districts. The plan's outlay of Rs 45 crore is to come from the CM's cyclone relief fund.

The construction of a hotel in the Agumbe forest area of Tirthahalli taluka in Shimoga district of Karnataka has been challenged. A writ petition filed by B Krishna Bhat, director, Vishwabharathi House Building Cooperative Society, questioned the validity of the permission granted to the party concerned.

Felling trees without the Delhi government's forest department's permission will entail a fine of upto Rs 10,000 under the Delhi Preservation of Trees Act, 1994. The act regards "severing trunk from the root, uprooting, bulldozing, cutting, girdling, lopping, pollarding, applying arboricides, burning or damaging" a tree as punishable.

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