South Asia

Published: Friday 31 March 2006

smoke threat: Public health in Meherpur district of Bangladesh is at high risk from heavy vehicular emissions due to the use of adulterated fuel. Cases of respiratory and cardiac diseases have increased in recent years. It is alleged that kerosene is used to adulterated petrol. Consumers complain that their vehicles are consuming more mobil oil due to the un-burnt kerosene. The underground fuel reservoirs are also not cleaned regularly and supplying depots are not monitored. But petrol pump owners and dealers have denied the allegations of adulteration.

poultry ban lifted: Sri Lanka has decided not to ban imports of poultry feed from India, after the latter assured the feed would be fumigated prior to shipping, the All Island Poultry Association said earlier in March. The island nation had banned maize imports from India in February following a bird flu outbreak in Gujarat and Maharashtra. Sri Lanka imports 200,000 tonnes of maize annually. About 90 per cent of this comes from India. Maize accounts for 50 per cent of the total inputs into the poultry feed. Sri Lanka has no reported cases of bird flu till date, but it has kept a firm control over imports of poultry and related products since the first global case of bird flu. The poultry industry has asked the government to temporarily lift a 15 per cent value-added tax and a 20 per cent cess on maize imports as a concession to the ailing poultry industry.

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