Published: Tuesday 31 December 1996

Several steps ahead

In 1764, Gangadhar Tatya, the commander of Malharrao's troops complained that there was no cash even to buy turmeric powder to apply to the wounds of the dying. Amazingly, in 1996, the us registered a patent for the medicinal properties of turmeric, something that was recorded in India, 232 years ago!

Bangalore - 560 078...

For a neater job

It was with great pleasure that I read the article 'Sprucing up...' (Down To Earth, Vol 5, No 9). But the writer Mukta Kuinra could have done well by talking to some experts in the field. I fail to understand the relationship between environmental impact assessments (EIAS) (,which are carried out before a project starts), and cleaner production (cp) (which is mostly related to existing production systems). An HA does not constitute a preliminary study for laying down a proper policy plan for the implementation of cp. I wonder where the different phases/steps of cp, mentioned by the writer, have been adopted from. Neither are they in line with standard methodology nor are they professionally correct. I hope your magazine would depute a correspondent to undertake a complete and accurate study of cp.

National Cleaner Production Centre
New Delhi - 110 003...

Could I have em

This is with reference to two news stories published in Down To Earth (Vol 5, No 5); 'World Bank (WB) at it again' and 'A look at the global sacrifice zone'. I wish to acquire copies of the reports mentioned in these articles - (i) the WB'S staff appraisal report of the Orissa Power Sector Restructuring Project of April 19, 1996; and (ii) the ips report - The wBs juggernaut. The Coal-Fired Industrial Colonization of India's State of Orissa. Could you please provide me with the addresses of the organisations to be contacted for the same?

Ganjam - 751012

Their addresses are:
For report no (i)
Hema Balasubramaniam
Library and information officer
World Bank
70, Lodi Estate, New Delhi - 110 003

For report no (ii)
Institute for Policy Studies
1601, Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington DC - 20009...

Some non-conventional help

Dengue fever has struck the Capital again. Many believe that till the '70s, it was something unheard of. It may be interesting to investigate the distribution, occurrence and abundance of the causative vector, Aedes aegypti, in and around Delhi, at 'that time. Such information would hold great relevance for future control measures.

In fact during the '70s, Science Today had published a feature on the biological control of the mosquito by releasing sterile male mosquitoes. Another study presented at the National Zoological Congress at Gwalior during the '80s had tried studying the distributional pattern and the vector's habitat, like niches below thatched roofs and wells. Such reports highlight the need to look into details too - rather than merely going by generalisations - for achieving effective control.

Also, the importance of studies on medical entomology for gaining an insight into the problem has been overlooked by teaching programmes in most of our universities. There is also the need to develop collaborative programmes. For instance, the Zoological Survey of India, with backing from its regional stations can provide useful information on insect vector surveys.

Indian Agricultural Research Institute
New Delhi - 110 012...

Wisdom for the wise one

We are sad to inform you about the deaths of two elephants within a period of 10 days due to electrocution. Our academy is situated about 10 km from the Karnataka state reserve forest. There are four or five small hamlets close to the reserve forest whose residents have encroached upon forest land and have been cutting bamboos and other trees for firewood and for preparing sarai (local alcohol brewed from arrack nut).

The forest department has dug an elephant trench all along the periphery of the reserve forest which has been filled up at places for easy passage of the villagers into the forest. The elephants too have entered the villagers' fields at night and destroyed their crops. As a result, high-voltage fences have been erected to ward them off. Two years ago, a 15-year-old tusker fell dead due to electrocution. The owner of the land was absconding for a few months and when he returned, he bribed the police into silence. Last month, a 10-year-old tusker and 10 days later another young elephant, were found dead on the fields. Can Down To Earth let us know what one could do to save the elephants?

Secretary, Nataraja Gurukula
Nature Awareness Adventure Academy
Bangalore south - 562 112...

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