Villages in Ajmer district agree to conserve grounds for Great Indian Bustard and Lesser Florican

Endangered birds, the Great Indian Bustard (GIB) and Lesser Florican, are back in their annual breeding lands in Rajasthan’s Shonkaliya region in Ajmer district. Though the population of GIB, Rajasthan’s State Bird, cannot be termed sizeable the Lesser Floricans are in greater numbers this time with the males among them displaying their plumes jumping up in the air to attract the females in the middle of the breeding season with copious rains in the area coming as an extra incentive.

Termed first of its kind in the country, it will make available Rs.50,000 in three instalments to the poor

Rajasthan has launched a special housing scheme for rehabilitation of both urban and rural poor affected by natural and manmade calamities. Termed first of its kind in the country the special housing scheme, named Rajasthan Vishesh Awas Yojna, comes in the wake of Congress president Sonia Gandhi suggesting permanent measures to rehabilitate the victims of recent spell of excess rains in Rajasthan during her visit the previous day.

Jaipur gets respite; adjoining districts of Dausa, Sikar and Sawai Madhopur continue to suffer

Rains continued to batter half a dozen Rajasthan districts in the eastern and northern parts for the second day on Thursday taking the toll of casualties to 26 in the past 48 hours. Though there was respite in heavy rains in Jaipur -- which had borne the brunt of rains the other day -- the adjoining districts of Dausa, Sikar, Sawai Madhopur and Karauli continued to reel under the impact of unprecedented outpour which the old timers put as heaviest in the past 30 years.

More tigers are being introduced in Sariska Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan’s Alwar district this monsoon under the recovery plan of the tiger habitat which lost all its big cats to alleged poaching some time in 2004-5. Most of the six tigers reintroduced in the past four years, starting with the first male tiger in June-July 2008, were released during this season.

And if Sariska needs more tigers, where would the Rajasthan authorities look for other than the Ranthambhore National Park, which at present has an actively breeding cat population? All the tigers in Sariska are from Ranthambhore though there is a proposal to get one or two from the forests of neighbouring Madhya Pradesh.

A strategic village, located in the core of the park, moved out

Men are finally making way for tigers in Rajasthan’s celebrated Ranthambhore National Park (RNP). With residents of yet another forest village located in the core moving out on Wednesday, the tigers proliferating in the park will now have more inviolate space, and surely more fun. The Ranthambhore watchers, and there are quite a few, vouchsafe that re-locating Mordoongri, situated in the strategic corridor between RNP and the Sawai Man Singh Sanctuary, should be considered a breakthrough.

Yet another leak has been reported within a month at the Rajasthan Atomic Power Station (RAPS) at Rawatbhata near Kota, exposing workers to tritium radiation, and causing concern among the country’s nuclear energy watchers. The senior management at Rawatbhata, a site getting ready for India’s second-biggest Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC) with a capacity of 500 tonnes a year, however, has dismissed the leak as a “routine’ matter.

Four maintenance workers were exposed to tritium radiation last Thursday (July 19), while repairing a faulty pipe in PHWR (pressurised heavy water reactor) Unit 4. The earlier incident, which took place on June 23, reportedly exposed more than 40 persons, working on a coolant at Unit 6, to tritium.

There appears to be considerable opposition from the local population to the Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC) proposed to be set up at Rawatbhata near Kota in Rajasthan. The complex, with an envisaged capacity of 500 tonnes fuel a year, is to cater to the four PHWR (Pressurized heavy water reactors) plants of 700 MWe capacity each coming up by 2016 in Rajasthan and Gujarat. In capacity, the Rawatbhata fuel complex is to be next to only Hyderabad NFC in the country which produces 850 tonnes fuel a year.

Differences galore over the commitments made at the Earth Summit

As the leaders met in a mountain-girdled Brazilian town for the crucial official round of discussions on the Rio+20 text, what was most noticeably missing was the kind of excitement that was witnessed two decades ago, when more than 172 governments, as many as 108 of them sending their heads of state, participated for the first-of-its-kind global awakening event. The developed nations are seen advising the developing nations to “look forward” and not to “look backwards,” to the promises made in 1992.

Agitating villagers promised a survey of land holdings

After a week-long closure, forced by an agitation by villagers living on the periphery, the Sariska Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan's Alwar district has now re-opened for visitors. The stir, led by Bharatiya Kisan Union, proved yet another blow to the reserve, struggling to regain its past glory in the wake of re-introduction of tigers.

After Panna's successful rewilding, Sariska is sanguine

First there was the Sariska debacle in which all the tigers were found missing in the reserve in Rajasthan's Alwar district sometime in 2004-05. Then there was similar misfortune in Madhya Pradesh's Panna Tiger Reserve in February 2009 — the wild cats became extinct there.