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ENVIRONMENT - 2004 - Indian Social Institute

ENVIRONMENT - 2004 - Indian Social Institute

ENVIRONMENT - 2004 - Indian Social

ENVIRONMENT - 2004 Compiled & Edited By K. SAMU Human Rights Documentation, Indian Social Institute, Lodi Road, New Delhi, India New cremation system to reduce air pollution (9) NEW DELHI, Jan. 11. — It is a move that will go a long way in cleaning Delhi environment. The Municipal Corporation of Delhi has decided to install modern cremation system, Moksh Dah, in 10 of its crematoriums which will minimise air pollution caused by the burning of dead bodies, will be cost-effective as well as less time consuming. The MCD has roped in a voluntary organisation - Moksh Dah - to install these special cremation systems. The wooden pyre in the new system will require only 150 kg of wood to burn a single body as against 450-500 kg of wood needed in the existing system. Besides, in the Moksh Dah system it would take only two hours, almost three hours less than it takes in the conventional system," said the president of the organisation, Mr Vinod Kumar Aggarwal. He is the brain behind the new cremation system. The new cremation system will be operational by the year-end at 10 sites, including Nigambodh Ghat and crematoriums at Karol Bagh and Punjabi Bagh among others. "Once completed the NGO will be asked to operate and maintain it for a year. Thereafter, the MCD will take over," said Dr KN Tiwari, the MCD director, health services. (Statesman 12.1.04 Yamuna Park faces threat from villagers (9) NEW DELHI, JAN. 14. The Yamuna Bio-Diversity Park, being developed by Delhi Development Authority and the Centre for Environment Management of Degraded Eco System of University of Delhi near Wazirabad and Jharoda Majra villages in North Delhi, is now facing a threat from villagers around it as they have cut open its barbed wire fencing and often push in their cattle for grazing. The park, spread over 156 acres, is being developed jointly by DDA and a team of Delhi University officials and scholars headed by the Director of the Centre, C.R. Babu. Supposed to serve as a heritage site of bio-diversity that thrives on the Yamuna river basin stretching from the Shivaliks at the foothills of Himalayas to the Gangetic plains of Allahabad where the Yamuna merges into the Ganga, it already boasts of 4,000 trees and 150 varieties of fruit species. Besides, wetlands have been created therein with over 50 species of aquatic plants and 50,000 fish larvae have been introduced in the water bodies created in the area. The park now also has 1,000 bamboo saplings of eight different species, which were introduced recently. But all the hard work that has gone into the making of the park now faces a grave risk of being brought to a naught due to rampant intrusions by cattle and villagers themselves. The DDA officials fear this could have a serious impact on the growth and development of the park, which is to become home to over 5,000 ecosystems comprising around 35,000 plant and animal species. It would also seek to revive 50 threatened species of the Yamuna river basin and serve as an ideal alternative heritage for migratory and resident bird species. (Hindu 15.1.04) Supreme Court directive to courts on development activities (9) NEW DELHI, JAN. 22. The Supreme Court has asked the High Courts to ensure that the developmental activities in a State were not hampered in the guise of protecting the environment. Once a State Government takes all precautions to ensure that the impact on environment was transient and minimal, a court would not substitute its own assessment in place of the opinion of experts to scuttle an economic project. A Bench of the Court, comprising Justice Ruma Pal and Justice B.N. Srikrishna, said that a court could only oversee that experts were consulted and their recommendations were taken care off by the State Government. (The Hindu 23.1.04) Antony urged not to support Coca-Cola (9) KOCHI, JAN. 28. An international public health team that visited Plachimada in Palakkad district has appealed to the Chief Minister, A.K. Antony, not to extend support to Coca-Cola. The fourmember American People's Health Movement (PHM) team has found that Coca-Cola is

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