Jaipur: The forest department has finally notified the buffer zones of Sariska Tiger Reserve and Ranthambhore National Park. The notification of buffer zones would help regulate commercialization of revenue land and create a better habitat for the big cat.

As per the notification issued under Wildlife (Protection) Act, a 298 sq km of buffer area has been added to the Ranthambore park which is spread over approximately 400 sq km. Similarly, 392 sq km buffer area has been added to the STR, which is spread over 800 sq km.

Jaipur: The draft report of Rajasthan State Action Plan on Climate Change has brought out some alarming facts about the water situation in the state. According to the report, the state has the highest probability of drought occurrence in the country. It also falls within areas having greatest climate sensitivity, maximum vulnerability and lowest adaptive capacity.

According to the report, “high dependency on groundwater has resulted in its overexploitation, with nearly 80% of groundwater witnessing depletion. The quality of groundwater has also progressively deteriorated. The stage of groundwater exploitation which was 35% in 1984 has reached a level of 138% in 2008

Jaipur: It’s time Rajasthan moves out of dependence on rain to solve the perennial water crisis. If the government honestly takes up water-harvesting and conservation, backed by technology innovations, people may not face the crisis every summer.

Recently, two teams from the state have made it to the finals of annual Microsoft Imagine Cup competition, a premier international student technology competition. The India finals for the same would be held at

Jaipur: With a view to increase the forest cover in the state, it has been proposed to confer the status of conservation reserves on eleven forests in the state. With that the total number of conservation reserves will go up to 24.

According to VS Singh, additional chief secretary, environment and forests, “The state wildlife board has given its approval and seven forest areas are to be notified, and is awaiting government approval in the cabinet

Neemrana: Barely 10 km from the RIICO industrial area in Neemrana, the countryside that once charmed people with its mustard fields, is now emerging as a stone-cutters’ paradise. The narrow potholed road to Mandan, a tiny hamlet, is lined with stone cutting machines that constantly feed a train of tractors and trucks that transport slates to Delhi, Bombay to be further shipped to Europe and the US.

Jaipur: The Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board (RSPCB) is now tightening the reins on mine owners to safeguard the environment and promote scientific disposal of mining waste. The board will now allow the establishment of marble sawing units only on the precondition that mine owners will effectively reuse marble slurry within a year of getting licence. This step has been taken as marble dust and slurry are hazardous for the environment.