Published: Wednesday 30 April 1997

The Thar desert is fast witnessing a steady decline in its groundwater level. In a recent symposium on "Recent Advances in the Management of Arid Eco-systems" held in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, scientists suggested artificial recharging as a corrective measure.

The first ultraviolet radiation technology-based sewage disinfection treatment plant has recently been developed by Bharat Heavy Electrical Ltd (BHEL). The BHEL has already set up a pilot plan under the Ganga Action Plan at Jagtitpur, near Hardwar.

Admitting a public interest petition urging to protect the Ooty lake from pollution, the Chennai High Court ordered an inspection into the lake's status. The Ooty lake, which covered an area of about 26 ha when it was formed in 1824, has now shrunk to 12 ha and receives only sewage water.

Over Rs 68-crore worth of sandalwood recently got destroyed in a major fire at the biggest sandalwood godown in Asia - at Tirupathur in north Arcot Ambedkar district, Tamil Nadu. Of the 1,375 tonne of sandalwood that was destroyed, 350 tonne had been seized from smugglers.

A hospital waste incinerator has been developed by the School of Energy, Environment and Natural Resources of Madurai Kamaraj University. A P Muthusamy, chairperson, state pollution control board, who handed over the incinerator to the Indian Society for Environment and Health, pointed out that it was necessary to get environmental clearance for hospitals.

Speaking on "Environment Protection in Delhi", the state transport minister recently warned that very soon Delhi would become unlivable due to air pollution. In Delhi, as many as 7,500 deaths occurred due to pollution in 1996, he stated.

The Alangulam cement plant in the Tirunelveli-Kattabomman district was recently directed by the Chennai High Court to carry out pollution control measures as stipulated by the state pollution control board (PCB). The plant is required to approach the PCB for inspecting whether cement dust particles were still being released in the environment.

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