The fast-depleting forests of the Western Ghats will be the subject of a US $11 million-project which was recently endorsed by the United Nations Environment Programme. The project will involve the traditional wisdom and practices of indigenous people for conservation of the region's biodiversity.

The Delhi government decided on August 13 to impound all polluting automobiles. Vehicles which flout pollution norms repeatedly, will be impounded permanently. A vehicle will be impounded for two months after the second offence and for the third offence, it will be confiscated forever.

Goa will soon boast of India's first and Asia's largest oceanarium. Built with Australian technology, it will be part of a science park in Panaji. The oceanarium will cost around Rs 530 million and will sport acrylic tanks spread over a 1,000 sq m-area with local and rare marine life, coral reefs and a simulated ocean floor environment.

The department of rural development and water conservation, on the advice of the ministry of non-conventional energy , announced recently that it will be setting up 10,000 bio-gas plants in 1996-97 for use by families in Maharashtra.

According to the annual report of the departments of internal security, states and home, Pitti Island in Lakshadweep has recently been declared a protected bird sanctuary. It is the first natural bird sanctuary to be located in the middle of an ocean, which shelters exotic long-winged terns and other rare sea birds.

The ministry of environment and forests gave the nod to 180 projects in various fields and rejected the rest of the 414 projects submitted for clearance. Of the projects cleared by the ministry, 70 were in the mining sector, 55 in the industrial sector, 13 for river valley and hydroelectric sectors and 29 in infrastructure and miscellaneous sectors.

In a bid to arrest the misuse of wetlands, the government of West Bengal is going to amend the existing law in the next assembly session to declare the filling up of wetlands, "a cognisable and non-bailable offence'.