"Outbreak of dengue, malaria in eastern India" - Roundup of the week's news (6 - 12 August 2012)

The news this week informs of epidemic outbreaks in Eastern India, end to field trials of GM crops, the revised land acquisition bill, unused funds for disaster relief, fall in fish breeding in rivers

Indifferent rain causes outbreak of dengue, malaria and other vector-borne diseases in eastern India, and particularly Kolkata.

Maharashtra suspends Mahyco’s licence for Bt cotton seeds, on grounds of market malpractice in fraudulently hiking seed prices.

Parliamentary panel calls for an end to all field trials of GM crops in India, until the government strengthens its regulatory and surveillance mechanisms to improve the safety and impact assessment of these crops.

The renamed Central Land Acquisition Bill will be taken up in the coming week in Parliament: The revised bill has been renamed as The Right to Fair Compensation, Resettlement, Rehabilitation and Transparency in Land Acquisition Bill, 2012. To woo industry, the bill will not be implemented with retrospective effect. Major revisions to the original draft include relaxation of the requirements of consent from landowners and tightening of the definition of market value.

Funds for Sikkim, Gujarat, Tsunami and Cyclone disaster relief lie unused. Parliamentary panel finds that money diverted by members of Parliament for disaster relief to earthquake-affected areas of Sikkim and Gujarat, tsunami-affected southern states, cyclone–affected Bengal, continue to lie unused with state governments, years after the respective calamities.

Fish breeding in Hooghly and Narmada estuaries affected: Fall in availability of fresh water in Hooghly and Narmada estuaries due to poor rainfall, industrial pollution and absence of flood pulse (annual seasonal flooding of low-lying areas around major rivers) affects fish breeding and leads to rising hilsa prices, according to Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute.



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