Rawalpindi Environmental Improvement Project (REIP) has failed to launch Rs 72 million project of laying water supply lines and installing new tube wells in nine union councils of Potohar Town. Sources told Daily Times on Thursday that last year the REIP had made a plan to launch this project but due to general elections in February 2008, the project could not be started in time.

City traffic wardens in collaboration with Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (Pak-EPA) launched a campaign against smoke-emitting public transport vehicles in Rawalpindi city on Wednesday.

The campaign started with testing of vehicles at GPO Chowk in Cantonment area.

The city district government has set up 54 centres in Rawalpindi district to supply flour to the residents at control rate of Rs 375 per 20 kg bag.

The district health department has said that Rawalpindi is so far safe from dengue as all possible measures have been taken to control the mosquito-borne infection in urban and suburban areas.

Executive District Officer (EDO) Health Dr Zafar Iqbal Gondal told Dawn that broad application of insecticides using portable and truck-mounted machines was being carried out in the district to prevent mosquito breeding.

He said mapping of areas in and around the city had been carried based on the experience of last year when six cases of dengue fever were reported to hospitals in Rawalpindi.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has forecast that wheat production in Pakistan this year will decline slightly because of dry conditions in some areas and a reduced use of inputs. However, the production may remain slightly above the average for the past five years, according to FAO's

International Day for Biological Diversity is being observed on Thursday to raise awareness of the importance of biodiversity at a time when over 60 per cent of ecosystem services were being degraded as a result of human activity. One of the most important challenges facing mankind today is to feed a growing population in an increasingly urbanised world confronted with the combined impacts of climate change and the unprecedented loss of biodiversity.

The Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) has alleged that an agreement between the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the Butantan Institute of Brazil on the import of cell culture rabies vaccine is a gross violation of World Health Organisation (WHO) rules because the Brazilian institute is not approved by the WHO. The PMA's Islamabad-Rawalpindi chapter, in a press release issued here on Saturday, said the vaccine to be imported was also not WHO certified.

The Capital Development Authority (CDA) and Midway Consortium decided to launch CNG buses on different routes of twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad. It would make the transport system more effective and would also reduce the commuters rush on the bus stops The commuters were facing difficulties after termination of Varan Tours. At that time Varan was providing comfortable travelling facility to the commuters of the twin cities but the service was terminated due to certain reasons.

Only 35 per cent of the city is covered by sewerage lines and the poor wastewater system has become a major source of health hazards, reveals an official report obtained by Dawn.

A large number of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) consumers are becoming prey to discount rate, wind-screen cleaning and full service of vehicles at the expense of sub-standard gas from some outlets offering incentives in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.