Panic prevailed in north-eastern states as two earthquakes of moderate intensity rocked Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland, Meghalaya and Tripura on Sunday.

There was no report of any loss of life or damage from any part of the region. The India Meteorological Centre, Shillong, said that magnitude of the earthquake was 4.8 on the Richter Scale while its epicentre was located at 28.7 degrees north latitude and 96.2 degrees east longitude in the Arunachal Pradesh-Xizang border region. It was at a focal depth of about 10 km.

Chennai Five north-eastern states along with Himachal Pradesh have been rated as the most environmentally sustainable states in the country, according to the Environmental Sustainable Index 2011 released today by a city-based think tank here.

The report rates Manipur, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Sikkim and Himachal Pradesh in the top slots in its Environmental Sustainable Index 2011. It was released by Centre for Development Finance (CDF), affiliated to Institute for Financial Management and Research.

SHILLONG: In order to improve the power transmission and distribution infrastructure in the Northeastern region, the Centre has sought $1.5bn from the World Bank.

Is India’s thirst for fresh water causing ocean levels to rise? Experts warn that the backwaters of Kerala and the deltas of the Ganga, Krishna, Godavari, Cauvery and Mahanadi on the east coast are being threatened by rising ocean levels.

A recent Nasa study had confirmed that water tables in north India were declining at the rate of one foot per year across the northern states of India with even the ministry of water resources admitting that 109 cubic kilometres of water was lost from the aquifers along the Indus river alone.

In northern desert states, farmers are scrambling to harvest as much as they can of a bean with the power to lift them out of poverty. In the United States, the multi-billion dollar shale energy industry is banking on their success.

US companies drilling for oil and gas in shale formations have developed a voracious appetite for the powder-like gum made from seeds of guar, or cluster bean, and the boom in their business has created a bonanza for thousands of small-scale farmers in India who produce 80% of the world's beans.

NEW DELHI: Union Water Resources Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal on Monday said there was “nothing to suggest” that China was building dams to divert the waters of the Brahmaputra river towards its northern regions.

Replying to supplementary questions in the Rajya Sabha, Bansal said India has been assured by the Chinese government that all dams being built on rivers that flow into India are only for generating electricity, and will not store water.

Guwahati: Assam is set to undertake the second phase of power sector reforms, which is expected to see major initiatives to boost generation and greater efforts for privatisation.

“In 2005 we started the first phase of reforms which saw restructuring of the then power behemoth Assam State Electricity Board (ASEB).” “Now we are poised to undertake the second phase of the reforms where focus would on increasing generation and improving transmission and distribution,” Minister for Power, Commerce and Industries Pradyut Bordoloi said.

Experts recommend use of green technologies including cold mix to expedite road construction

Gangtok: Sikkim’s Green Mission Programme started in 2006 has catapulted the State as among the most clean and green in the country. This has been possible due to the various innovative environment-friendly initiatives taken by the Green Chief Minister Pawan Chamling. Along with the protection and conservation of its rich biodiversity, the adoption of green rural roads in the State can play a vital role in the development of the State as well as help achieve its Green Mission Programme, said experts at a media workshop on Tuesday.

Agartala: ONGC-Tripura Power Corporation (OTPC)’s 724-MW gas-based thermal power project at Palatana in South Tripura district would start generation by June, a top official of state-owned oil major ONGC said on Tuesday. The first phase of the project would be operational by June, ONGC Chairman and Managing Director Sudhir Basudeva, who reviewed the progress of work at the project with OTPC officials on Monday, told reporters here.

Agartala: Tripura will launch a disaster management programme in its schools to enhance the State’s preparedness in an event of a natural calamity striking it, an official said here on Monday.

“The government has launched an ambitious School Disaster Management Planning (SDMP) project from this academic session. Under it, teachers and students will be trained to deal with any natural disaster, including earthquake,” said State education department joint director Dilip Debbarma.