Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

Three Calcutta-based scientists have devised a scheme to tap the energy potential of solid tannery wastes. "The recovery of energy potential of the mixture of wastewater sludge, fleshing and untanned wastes of the tanneries through the production of methane-rich biogas, is about 76 per cent," claimed the researchers.

Nearly 700 star tortoises were recovered recently at Chennai's international airport from a passenger who was scheduled to take a flight to Singapore. In Singapore, star tortoises cost as much as Singapore $100 per animal. This brings the Indian value of the seized animals - considered endangered - up to Rs 17.5 lakh.

Research efforts for sustainable co-coon production in the country have been intensified following the development of improved mulberry varieties and silkworm breeds. At a recent seminar in Warangal, Andhra Pradesh, experts said that both chemical and bio-control measures were adopted to keep mulberry trees healthy.

Despite a surplus harvest (12.1 million tonnes of rice and 900,000 tonnes of wheat produced in 1996), West Bengal has been declared as "food-deficient". The government has blamed rampant grain smuggling to Bangladesh and mushrooming husking mills along the poorly guarded border for the situation.

Digha, the seaside resort in West Bengal, will have a science centre on a 1.62 ha plot along the coast this summer. The centre, which will be surrounded by a park and have five science galleries, is estimated to cost Rs 2 crore. The project, which is being given shape by the National Council of Science Museums, plans to spread ecological awareness among students.

The Ellenabad subdivision of Sirsa district in Bihar has come under the grip of hepatitis-B. The malady reportedly claimed 15 lives by early March. The affected villages include Dhottar, Sultanpuria, Rania, Odah, Nattar, Lakhrawali and Kharian.

As many as 80,000 villages in India are yet to be electrified, according to M A Azeez, technical director, Rural Electrification Corporation. Azeez said that most of these villages are located in hilly, desert, tribal, forest and other relatively backward areas.

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