State-of-the-art technology worth Rs 15 billion will be employed by the Mathura oil refinery to reduce emission of sulphur dioxide and lower the pollution level in the sensitive Taj Mahal area of Agra, said the general manager of the refinery J L Raina in Mathura recently.

The World Bank announced its approval in July of a sewage disposal project in Bombay which will remove domestic sewage and industrial wastes from the city's drains, shore- line and beaches.

Several women's organisations including Saheli, the National Federation of Indian Women, Ankur and the AIDS Bhedbhav Virodhi Andolan protested against the "hasty introduction of hazardous contraceptives in the country" on World Population Day (July 11) in New Delhi.

With the lion population crossing 50 in the Chhat Bir zoo in Chandigarh, 7 of the dominating animals under- went vasectomy as their increasing numbers had left the zoo with the problem of space shortage.

The Integrated Rural Energy Development Agency has been sanctioned a US $150 million loan by the Asian Development Bank to fund renewable energy projects in India. The Gujarat government has given the go-ahead for the controversial Rs 665 crore Sanghi cement project in the Narayan Sarovar sanctuary - which is home to the rare chinkara - in Kutch district.

According to Harry Dhaul, secretary- general of the Independent Power Producers Association of India, scrapping the Dabhol project could cost the Maharashtra State Electricity Board more than US $630 million (above Rs 1,890 crore).

The Kerala state electricity minister, G.Kartikeyan, said in Kochi recently that the government would build 30 mini hydel and thermal projects in the state to tide over the power crisis.

The Indian Antarctic station - Maitri - has been connected to the electronic mail network through the INMARSAT. This will help the team members stationed in Antarctica in on-line data transfers to different laboratories in India.

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