11 peacocks found dead in Jaipur


JAIPUR: Eleven peacocks have been found dead in a residential colony here, police said on Sunday. Though nothing suspicious has been found on the spot police has not ruled out death by pesticides poisoning.

"Nothing suspicious has so far been found on the spot where the dead peacocks were found," superintendent of police (south) Dinesh Sharma said, adding death by consuming food containing pesticides cannot be ruled out.

The bodies of the peacock have been sent for post-mortem.

The birds were found by a resident of state electricity board colony, near Heerapuragri sub station, on Jaipur Ajmer road, in the outskirts of the city last evening, police said.

Several cases of peacock deaths have been reported from several parts of the state recently and the forest department is trying to ascertain the cause behind it. (PTI)


Centre rapped for CNG, Yamuna bungles

Times of India News Service

NEW DELHI: It's a definite rap on the knuckles. Parliament's standing committee on environment says the Union government should have stepped in when the controversy on CNG use in public transport erupted and helped reach a ``harmonious'' solution.

In its latest report, the committee says the environment ministry has statutory powers to enforce a more stringent regime of standards to control pollution. It could, therefore, have helped arrive at a solution which would do both - control pollution and not cause hardship to any section of people.

In its views on vehicular pollution control measures, the committee says the national emission standards introduced by the government are nothing more than the minimum requirement. The government needs to go further - as the committee says, ``In the interest of a clean environment, there is perhaps a need for more rigid standards.''

Highlighting the potential complexities of the issue, the committee adds there is a need to consider whether any one fuel or gas - say, CNG - alone would result in a better environment. Or, not? Would it be safe to use this? As the committee members put it, ``A decision has to be taken, keeping in view the infrastructure available and without causing hardships to commuters and throwing the entire economy out of gear.''

If the reference to CNG pointed directly to Delhi, there is more in the report on issues which concern the city. The state of the Yamuna, for one - something the Supreme Court has been hearing about for a long time and given the Delhi government some more time on.

About 1.3 billion litres of sewage is discharged into the river in Delhi every day. Sixteen sewage treatment plants were to be set up on the banks of the Yamuna here - these, too, on Supreme Court orders way back in 1995.

Six years later, are they all in place? By no means. The committee was told a mere eight had been completed and just five were operating. Given this state of affairs, there were obviously problems elsewhere as well. So, of 22 drains discharging effluents into the Yamuna, the committee was told 20 have not met the water quality standard.

Not surprising then, river water quality has just gotten worse. Dissolved oxygen in the river water is nil whereas there should be a minimum amount; the biological oxygen demand (BOD) load is much higher than the prescribed limit.

It is time, says the ministry, that the Union ministry coordinates with the states of UP, Haryana and Delhi and chalks out a strategy not just to augment water resources in the upper stretches of the Yamuna but to conserve water in domestic as well as irrigation use.