Published: Thursday 15 August 1996

For ensuring the safety of six major dams -- Nagarjunasagar, Srisailam, Sriramsagar, Lower Manair, Kinnersani and Kadem in Andhra Pradesh, the World Bank agreed on July 12 to provide an aid worth Rs 22.6 million. The safety project would include repair works to plug leakages, fill cracks, stop erosion at the foot of the spill-way and strengthen escape walls.

India launched a fresh attack against new and re-emerging diseases by recently setting up a biotechnology lab at the National Institute of Communicable Diseases in New Delhi. The laboratory will help provide techniques for a rapid diagnosis of pathogens causing such diseases.

The sub-divisional magistrate of Limbdi, Gujarat, recently ordered the closure of all the 17 plants of Maradia Chemical Factory near Sitapur village in Surendranagar for polluting the drinking water in the surrounding areas.

Now, residents in and around Delhi will have reliable information about the risks posed by seismic activities in their areas. The Roorkee-based Central Building Research Institute has established a network of 16 underground accelerographs to study the amplification of ground acceleration in tall buildings.

A breeding centre for otters has been set up in the Kukrail forests near Lucknow by the Uttar Pradesh forest department to save the fast dwindling population of otters. Until a few decades ago, these mammals could be found in abundant numbers in rivers, lakes and ponds.

Now, fewer children under the age of five are dying in the country, according to the latest report of the United Nations Children's Fund. The under-five mortality rate has dropped from 236 per 1,000 live births in 1960 to 177 in 1980 and 109 in 1993. Nearly 2.7 million children born in India every year die before completing five years.

The Delhi government announced on July 12 its decision to allot gram sabha land in rural Delhi to non-governmental organisations for starting developmental and welfare projects for the benefit of rural citizens.

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