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Environment News March 2014

Written By Gopal Krishna on Monday, March 24, 2014 | 12:53 AM

illegal waste shipments: EU Environment Committee backs plan to step up checks

Draft EU rules that would require EU member states to clamp down on illegal waste shipments within the EU and to non-EU countries were backed by the Environment Committee. These rules, informally agreed with EU ministers, would close legal loopholes and entail more inspections. Member states would have to include in their inspection plans a minimum number of physical checks, and inspectors would be given more powers.
Source: Environment Expert, March ,19, 2014

Electric van rickshaws mooted to replace polluting ones
The climate adaptation wing of WWF-India is currently working on a pilot project to transform van rickshaws, a highly polluting and illegal commuter and goods carrier popularly used in semi-urban and rural Bengal, into an environment-friendly and legitimate mode of transport. "We are working towards a viable alternative to the mechanized van rickshaws that currently run on diesel and kerosene and are extremely polluting. Battery operated electric van rickshaws have already undergone road trials for a year. They are both versatile and viable.
Source: Times of India, New Delhi, Mar 20, 2014

Mobile tower radiation clips sparrows' wings
Radiation from mobile towers is not only taking a toll on human health but is also blamed for sparrows vanishing into thin air. An environmental science expert team - led by Sainudeen Pattazhy - attributes the disappearance of sparrows to the electromagnetic fields and radiation effects created by mobile towers and mobile phones. "Navigation skills of the birds and earth's magnetic system are correlated. Natural electromagnetic radiation (EMR) and the earth-oriented magnetic vibration are directly proportional, whereas technology-induced EMR is inversely proportional," Sainudeen Pattazhy, an environment scientist and associate professor at S N College, Kollam, told TOI.
Source: Times of India, New Delhi, Mar 20, 2014

Northern Railway fails to respond to NHRC on water contamination
The National Human Rights Commission on Thursday sent a reminder after the Northern Railway failed to meet the one-week deadline to respond to a notice following reports that drinking water supplied across its zone covering more than 700 stations was "highly contaminated". The NHRC had taken suo motu cognizance of media reports that quoted Indian Railway's internal enquiry confirming contamination of drinking water at Northern Railway stations.
Source: Times of India, New Delhi, Mar 21, 2014

Hospital responsible for infection acquired during hospitalization
A patient can develop hospital acquired infection (or nosocomial infection). This type of infection is more dangerous as the bacteria are usually more drug resistant. The National Commission has held the hospital liable for a patient who develops infection while hospitalized. Case Study: Dr Bommakanti Sai Krishna had fractured his hip. He was hospitalized at Apollo Emergency Hospital where the fracture was fixed with screws.
Source: The Times of India, New Delhi, Mar 24, 2014

Electric van rickshaws mooted to replace polluting ones
The climate adaptation wing of WWF-India is currently working on a pilot project to transform van rickshaws, a highly polluting and illegal commuter and goods carrier popularly used in semi-urban and rural Bengal, into an environment-friendly and legitimate mode of transport. "We are working towards a viable alternative to the mechanized van rickshaws that currently run on diesel and kerosene and are extremely polluting. Battery operated electric van rickshaws have already undergone road trials for a year. They are both versatile and viable.
Source: The Times of India, New Delhi, Mar 22, 2014

Mark the World Water Day by conserving every drop: Experts
While the globe of Earth is primarily covered with water with more than 70 per cent coverd with oceans, the potable freshwater is no more than 2.5 per cent. Out of the total freshwater, 70 per cent is frozen in both the polar caps, leaving a miniscule amount of water that we consume daily for all our needs. As the resources are limited and the demand is ever-increasing, the experts raise concern about water scarcity in the future on eve of World Water Day, to be observed on March 22.
Source: The Times of India, New Delhi, Mar 24, 2014

NGO Ward foundation declares 2014 as the 'year of the sparrow'
The common sparrow has not remained so common these days, with the bird attaining the fourth rank in the list of rare birds. This is what prompted NGO WARD (Wild life Conservation and Agro-Rural Development) Foundation to declare the current year as the 'year of the sparrow'. On World Sparrow Day on Wednesday, the NGO pledged to take efforts to conserve and protect sparrows along with increasing awareness about it. The NGO also made efforts to teach people the way of building nests and bird houses. By means of leaflets, they also gave away information about places where these bird houses would be available at a reasonable price. They also conducted a drawing competition for kids wherein children were to draw sparrows.
Source: The Times of India, New Delhi, Mar 22, 2014

Rajindra Hospital under scanner over waste disposal 
Government Rajindra Hospital is once again under the scanner for not making enough arrangements for the proper disposal of the bio-medical waste. The issue came to light during the cleanliness drive of the Paryavaran Welfare Society, which has voluntarily taken up the cause of cleaning up the hospital. It found an unused blood bag and many used injections, syringes, medical gloves and other waste dumped behind the Gynaecology Department. Members of the society found that instead of scientifically disposing of the bio-medical waste, it was thrown in the bushes and it could put the lives of patients and their members of family at risk.
Source: The Tribune, New Delhi, Mar 21, 2014

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