Some mud houses built on the outskirts of Bangalore have developed cracks, raising doubts about the viability of mud as a building material. What went gone wrong?

Efforts to make mud suitable for constructing houses have been going on for years and there have been significant breakthroughs.

ARCHITECTS hoped to establish mud as a viable building medium when they set out to build the country's first major environmentally-sound building. The mud headquarters in Delhi of Development

Mughal builders are known the world over for the Taj Mahal. But their water engineers built a supply system in 1615 that still provides water to a Madhya Pradesh town at no cost.

Farm forestry was promoted in India in the late 1970s to produce fuelwood for rural consumption. The program was immensly successful in the green revolution region in the early 1980s, but farmers produced wood for markets, and not to meet local needs. This market orientation of farmers was recognized in the new National Forest Policy of 1988. Lately, two serious problems have been noted. First, the program remained confined only to the commercialized and monetized regions, and elsewhere made little impact.

The gharat, a water wheel used for centuries by the Himalayan people, has now been modified so that it can empower several machines simultaneously. Unfortunately, the government is not making the effort to popularise it.

SOMEWHERE in the Ayodhya hills of Bengal's Purulia district, a scorpion stung the wits out of me. My adivasi companion, Sukhchand, still in his teens, rubbed a poultice made up of some leaves on

Decline in supplies has badly affected many traditional crafts. Woodcarving in Saharanpur is one of them. Despite a revitalised export market, the craft that had begun as a sustainable proffession is dying a slow death

"EARTHQUAKES don't kill, buildings do," says John Beynon, principal architect at UNESCO's regional office in Bangkok. Today, people are shifting to "killer buildings" as they give up their

JUST 55 seconds in duration, it left 1,000 people dead. The earthquake, measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale, which devastated the hills of Uttarkashi, Tehri Garhwal and Chamoli districts in UP last October, also left 20 per cent of the houses in the region totally destroyed or severely damaged.