Times Chennai E-PaperMarch 23, 2009Page 3
News You Can Use
Varanasi, March 23:
In aneffort to raise awarenessabout rising pollution inriver Ganga, hundreds ofstudents on Sundayformed a seven-kilometrelong human chain throughthe ghats here on theoccasion of World WaterDay."The Ganges ishighly polluted and we aremaking full efforts tocreate awareness aboutit," said SardarFakruddin, one of theparticipants in the event.A number of citizens,students and members ofvarious institutionsparticipated in the eventorganised for the fourthconsecutive time by anNGO Sankat MochanFoundation, working forthe conservation of riverGanga.A rally was alsoorganised on theoccasion where SP MLAAjay Rai, BJP MLAShyam Dev RoyChowdhary and socialactivists took a pledge tosave Ganga
Human chain to save Ganga
Washington, March 23:
Discovery astronautsprepared for a third andfinal spacewalk onMonday, with a busy to-dolist that may includeunsticking a jammedrestraint pin used to clampa toolbox to the outside ofthe International SpaceStation.Astronauts SteveSwenson and JosephAcaba inadvertentlyinserted the pin upside-down during a spacewalk on Saturday,causing a jam thatprevents the toolcontainer from swingingaway from the spacestation, NASA said."The engineersare trying to troubleshootit," hoping to figure out away to free the pin, NASAspokesman Bill Jeffs saidon Sunday.The astronauts"possibly are going backand looking at ittomorrow," he said,adding that engineerswere drawing up aschedule for Monday'sspacewalk, the third andfinal one of the 13-daymission.As the missionpassed its halfway mark,astronauts Acaba andRichard Arnold were tospend the night in thespace station's airlock inanticipation of Monday'swalk in space, NASAsaid.Earlier onSunday, Discoverybegan to manoeuvre theshuttle and space stationto increase drag, a movedesigned to alter thevessels' trajectory and soavoid a piece of debristhat is also floating inspace. "The debris isestimated to be aboutfour inches in diameter,part of a spent Chinesesatellite upper stage,"NASA's website said.
Discovery readies for 3rd spacewalk
London, March 23:
Long-term daily drinking,rather than weekly bingedrinking, is by far thebiggest risk factor inserious liver disease,according to a new reportfrom the University ofSouthampton.The study,published in Addiction journal this week,concludes that increasesin UK liver deaths are aresult of daily or near dailyheavy drinking, notepisodic or binge drinking,and this regular drinkingpattern is often discernableat an early age.It alsoreccommends that severalalcohol-free days a week isa healthier drinkingpattern, says a pressrelease by EurekAlert.In the study ofdrinking patterns,dependency and lifetimedrinking history in 234subjects with liver disease,106 had ALD (Alcohol-related Liver Disease) – 80of whom had evidence ofcirrhosis or progressivefibrosis – the team foundthat 71 per cent of ALDpatients drank on a dailybasis.In contrast tothe patients with alcohol-related cirrhosis orfibrosis, patients withother forms of liverdisease tended to drinksparingly with only 10subjects (8 per cent)drinking moderately onfour or more days eachweek.The study alsoexplored lifetime drinkinghistories of 105 subjectsand found that ALDpatients started drinkingat a significantly youngerage (on average at 15years old) than othersubjects and hadsignificantly moredrinking days and unitsthan non-ALD patientsfrom the age of 20onwards.Lead author ofthe study Dr Nick Sheron,consultant hepatologistand senior lecturer at theUniversity ofSouthampton,comments: "If we are toturn the tide of liverdeaths, then along withan overall reduction inalcohol consumption – which means tacklingcheap booze andunregulated marketing – we need to find a way toidentify those people whoare most likely to developalcohol-related illnessesat a much earlier stage,and perhaps we need topay as much attention tothe frequency of drinkingoccasions as we do tobinge drinking."The transitionfrom a late teenage andearly 20's binge drinkingpattern to a more frequentpattern of increasedintake may prove to be auseful point ofintervention in the future,and the importance ofthree alcohol-free dayseach week shouldreceive moreprominence."
Daily drinking is biggest riskfactor in serious liver disease
Jammu, March 23
Taking a cue fromKarnataka, Jammu andKashmir is set to promoteeco-tourism which willgive tourists myriadexperiences of thecountryside while helpinglocals living in remoteareas.Under theeco-tourism project,the state wouldpromote adventuretourism, trekking,water rafting, birdwatching, fishing,night camps, forestcamps, wetland visitsand wildlife education.Theobjective ofdeveloping eco-tourism facility inJammu and Kashmiris also to uplift peopleliving in rural andremote areas."We havedecided to launch eco-tourism in J&K on thelines of Karanataka tooffer wildlife, forest andadventure tourism todomestic and foreigntourists in the state as aunique and naturalexperience," chief wildlifewarden, J&K, A. K.Srivastava told PTI.In this direction,a pilot project has beenprepared by Karnatakagovernment ownedcompany Jungle Lodgesand Resorts Ltd (JLRL),which is successfullyrunning eco-tourismsector in the southernstate for the past 29years."The projecthas been submitted tothe Union Ministry ofTourism and has beenapproved by it," he said,adding the action plan fortourism has beenentrusted to JLRL inconsultation with Wildlifedepartment and Tourismdepartment in J&K.The virgin anduntouched areas of thestate makes it perfect foreco-tourists, JLRL said,adding the majorecotourism zones in thefirst phase have beenconsidered as wetlandsand protected areas.JLRL alsosuggested providingtechnical assistance tothe local community bycapacity buildinginitiative for providing aninsightful, mindful andparticipatory travelexperience to natural andcultural environments.Under thisproject, J&K governmentshall setup a eco-tourismboard – as an apex bodyto coordinate ecotourismactivities in the state.The board willdevelop infrastructurefacilities and willoutsource themanagement of the sitesto interested partiesunder revenue sharingmodel with minimumguaranteed money, hesaid.The nodalofficer of the project hasbeen appointed and it willexplore eco-tourismpotential, development,eco-infrastructurebuilding up, eco-lodgemanagement, marketingof eco-tourist sites andstrong customernetworks anddevelopment oforganizational setup, Mr.Srivastava said."The potentialecotourism activities willattract different type ofvisitors and tourists inforest in J&K for travellingin dense woods, trekking,long excursions, jeepsafaris, jungle tours,camping, wildlifeeducation and viewing,bird watching andwetland visits,"Ecotourism Project head, AKhanna said.Viewing of riverborders, springs, lakes,water wildlife species,rafting, canoeing, fishingand boating besidesdances, cultural items andfolk music will be part of theeco-tourism package.In the first phase,the action plan has beenformulated for smallersanctuaries and wetlandsincluding Ramnagar,Jasrota, Nandni,sanctuaries, Gharana,wetland, Surinsar andMansar lake forested areasin Jammu region,Dachigam, Haigamsanctuaries and Hokarsarwetland in Kashmir andHemis High altitudenational park, Tso-Moriri,Tso-Kar wetlands andPongang lake in Ladakh."But all theseactivities would be outsidethe protected areas andwould be undertakenspecifically under guidanceand supervision of wildlifedepartment," he said.In the beginningpackage tours would beorganized in thesedestinations for night forestcamp, tentedaccommodations, bird-watching, fishing, filmshows, star gazing, campfire and natural forest trails,he said, adding that everypackage tour would bemeant for five to tenpersons only.A Memorandumof Understanding (MoU)has been signed betweenthe department of WildlifePreservation, J&K andJLRL to develop an eco-tourism action plan forJammu and Kashmir, Mr.Srivastava said.Ecotourism is a joint venture projectbetween Tourism andWildlife departments ofJammu and Kashmir andfunding would be done bythe Union Ministry ofTourism through stateTourism department, hesaid.
Tourists to get a taste of eco-tourism in Kashmir