Japan is likely to lift the ban on import of Indian mangoes after India successfully conducted vapour heat treatment to eliminate beetles present in the fruits, said S M Acharya, joint secretary in the ministry of commerce.

The Union ministry of environment and forests will launch a five-point programme for environment conservation. The programme, called the "Clean Environment', was announced by minister of environment and forests Suresh Prabhu in Delhi.

The Supreme Court has directed the Commission Management Board of the Uttar Pradesh government headed by its chief secretary to appear before it to explain why the court's order relating to the creation of a green belt around the Taj Mahal has not been implemented.

The forests of Mount Abu in Rajasthan have once again fallen prey to summer forest fires. According to divisional forest officer T C Verma, last year's insufficient rains have made the forest drier than usual, thus making it prone to forest fires.

Rajasthan government has formulated a water resource policy for better implementation of irrigation works in the coming 50 years, the state irrigation minister told the state legislative Assembly. The draft water policy was ready and expected to get clearance from the Centre soon.

The Congress Legislature Party in Andhra Pradesh has opposed Karnataka's offer for an inter-state mechanism to monitor inflow and outflow of water at the Almatti dam, saying it was "detrimental' to the state's interests.

With the spectre of drought looming large over the state, the Himachal Pradesh chief minister, Prem Kumar Dhumal, assured the state legislative Assembly that the government would take all possible steps to mitigate the misery of people and ensure regular supply of water in scarcity-hit areas.

The Gujarat government will launch a major World Bank-sponsored state environment action plan to assess problems related to industrial pollution, land degradation and desertification, among other things.

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