Study finds faecal bacteria in packaged water
THE HINDUSTAN TIMES [30 MAY, 2003]
AFTER PESTICIDES in pack-aged mineral water, it’s now faecal coliform the bacteria found in faeces.
The environment department and the Department of Consumer Affairs, along with Jadavpur University’s environment department, have squared up four prominent manufacturers of packaged water for containing an alarming rate of the bacteria.
The companies have now been asked to withdraw those samples that bear the same batch date as the contaminated ones. A random survey con-ducted by these departments on 53 bbttles from six companies has revealed at least four companies contain faecal coliform in their water.
The principal secretary of the department of environment, Hirak Ghosh, told Hindustan Times that four brands -Bisleri, Prime, Amust and Crystalline-have been detected with an alarming presence of aerobic microbial count which the scientists stressed could lead to long storm diseases like cholera, chronic intestinal infections. diarrhoea and amoebiosis. The companies have sever-al bottlers, and these samples relate to particular bottlers. The same harmful bacteria may not be present in the water bottled by other bottlers of the same firms.
When Bisleri’s representative in the city, Anurag Verma, was contacted on Thursday evening by Hindustan Times he asked us to call him at 9.30 p.m. for a company response to the government findings. But when we called up at 9.30 p.m., his mobile phone was switched off.
"We have sent warnings to all the companies and have asked them to improve their quality or else face legal action for which we will take the support of the department of consumer affairs," Sadhan Ghosh, the Coordinator of the Centre for Quality Management System of Jadavpur University said.
Scientists had collected 53 samples of six different brands from Jadavpur, New Alipore, Park Circus, Bhowanipur and Taratolla.
They were tested for pesticide content and microbial content.
Award for wildlife conservation
THE HINDU [30 MAY, 2003]
NEW DELHI, MAY 29. The first Amrita Devi Bishnoi National Award for Wildlife Conservation was today conferred posthumosuly on Ganga Ram Bishnoi of Chirai village in Jodhpur by the Union Environment and Forests Minister, T.R. Baalu.
On August 12, 2000 Ganga Ram chased some hunters who had killed a ‘chinkara’ (deer) and was shot dead.
The award comprising Rs. 1 lakh, a medal and a citation, has been instituted after Arnrita De-vi Bishnoi who had sacrificed her life along with 363 others for the protection of ‘khejri’ tree in Khejrali village near Jodhpur in Rajasthan 273 years ago. Conservation of forest and wildlife is a religious tenet for the Bishnoi community and the award is in recognition of their commitment towards conservation.
The award presentation ceremony coincided with the inauguration of a national workshop on non-wood forest products, organised jointly by the Madhya Pradesh Minor Forest Produce Cooperative Federation and the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests.
The workshop will strive to formulate a national policy framework for management of non-wood forest products.
Addressing the gathering, Mr. Baalu lamented that the non-wood forest products sector was not receiving the required level of investment and an authentic inventory of these products was yet to be compiled. He asked the States to develop a database of such products to avoid under utilisation and over exploitation of resources.