Apples, Fireworks and a G-Govt
Source: Toxics Alert, Date: July , 2009
There is a hullabaloo in the environmental orchard.
Himachal Pradesh may see apple basket halved,
recent newspaper reports reveal. There may not be enough apples this year as
the production of the fruit is likely to go down by 50 % in Himachal Pradesh.
Known as India’s fruit bowl, the state contributes around 30 % to the country’s
total apple produce. According to HP horticulture department’s survey the apple
yield is likely to be 1.2 crores boxes this year, which is half of the state’s
contribution last year. According to the experts little snow and long droughts
have led to moisture stress in apple crop resulting in less production. Farmers
in the lower reaches have suffered more than the ones in the upper reaches
where moisture level is better.
Meanwhile, a team of scientists is working on a new
generation eco friendly pyrotechnics that produce less smoke and use fewer
toxic materials. According to a report in ABC Science, researchers at the Los
Almos National laboratory in New Mexico have been developing a new type of
pyrotechnic that would prove to be “greener” alternatives. Usually the current
sets of fireworks contains high levels of percholates, which are oxygen-rich
molecules that allow the fuel in fireworks to burn. Percholates appear in
nuclear missiles, flares and rocket fuel. Percholates are related to thyroid
problems, according to animal studies. The greener fireworks would burn on
nitrogen based fuels instead of percholates. More researches are still on.
Back home, Delhi, it seems, is
just months away from becoming G-Government (short for geo-government)
of the country. For those of us who complain that there is not enough emphasis
on urban environment in the country here is news. Not only will there be
complete mapping of Delhi overground and underground (through utility maps) but
also real time monitoring of the ground situation throughout the city with the
help of internet protocol cameras. This might lead to more than you imagine. To
start with, henceforth there would be real-time pictorial evidence of whether
PWD has actually repaired a road for which money was given or how messy BRT
In these testing times one surely
needs such boosters to live on hope….