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SOUTH ASIA

14/11/2006

Environmental court: Pakistan's Sindh High Court has recently directed the ministry of environment to establish environment tribunals, as required by the Pakistan Environment Protection Act, 1997, within two months so that environment issues can be decided expeditiously. The direction was in response to a petition filed by an NGO that challenged a decision of the Sindh Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) related to the construction and operation of a 94-MW natural gas-fired power plant and desalination plant in the Defence Housing Authority. Setting aside SEPA's decision, the court also directed the agency to come up with a final decision on the projects after carrying out detailed evaluation. As of now, the court allowed the construction to continue.

Bhutan lifts ban: Bhutan has lifted its eight-month-long ban on the import of poultry and its products from India. The move comes two months after India declared itself free of avian flu. However, authorities of Bhutan's ministry of agriculture say the import of poultry is subject to acceptance of certain conditions: live chickens cannot be brought into the country for slaughtering; the meat should be properly dressed and packed in food grade plastic bags with expiry dates written on it and certified by recognised government institutions. Before lifting the ban, officials from the departments of livestock and public health visited various places in India to check biosecurity aspects. The ban was imposed on February 12, 2006.

Fishing harbour: The Ceylon Fisheries Harbour Corporation has announced that it will construct Sri Lanka's largest fisheries harbour in Dikkovitiya. The project, which will be financially assisted by the Dutch government, is scheduled to start in 2007 and completed in two years. Equipped with modern facilities, the new harbour will provide a huge boost to the local fisheries industry. The corporation also plans to develop a marine and a special commercial purpose unit at the harbour.

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