Published: Monday 15 January 1996

An award called 'zile ki sabse hari panchayat' was announced on December 6 by the environment ministry, for the best afforestation result achieved by a panchayat in each district.

A major industrial waste management project in Hyderabad was announced on December 12. It will be financed with an aid worth Rs 15.7 crore provided by the Australian Agency for International Development.

Star gazing went hi-tech with the country's largest computerised planetarium at the B M Birla Science and Technology Centre, having been inaugurated at Jaipur on December 19.

A Pune-based non-governmental organisation, Safety and Environment Protection Forum, has launched a unique project to clean the Mutha river by collecting the flower offerings of various temples and using them in a vermiculture project.

INSAT-2C, India's third indigenous satellite was successfully launched by the French Ariane-4 rocket from Kourou in French Guyana on December7. The satellite is expected to be operational in less than five weeks. Meanwhile, the final preparations are underway for the launch of IRS-l C, the third Indian remote sensing satellite, to be launched on December 28 from the Baikonour cosmodrome in Russia.

According to Noel T ordo, an expert at the Pasteur Institute of Paris, the maximum number of rabies cases are reported in India. A 1992 WHO estimate says that more than 25,000 rabies victims, half the number of world's victims, were from India.

From the new year, no government vehicles, including public transport buses that do not conform to pollution control norms, will be allowed to ply on New Delhi's roads according to a environment ministry directive of December 6. The ministry has also decreed that after December 31, no polluting units around Taj Mahal in Agra would be allowed to operate.

A Rs 3.6 crore project, named (prosperity through diversification in the field of floriculture and off-season vegetables' will be launched in Shimla this month. It will be implemented by the district rural development agency within the next three years.

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