The Gujarat government is considering a proposal to carry out environmental audit in industries which manufacture or process hazardous chemicals and pose a threat to sur-rounding areas. The auditors will prepare quarterly reports on anti-pollution measures taken by such industries.

The Rajasthan government has procured a Rs 500 crore loan from Germany for a proposed 175 MW solar power project in Mathania. The Global Environmental Facility, an arm of the World Bank, has also agreed to provide a loan of Rs 150 crore for the plant.

A four-member committee of the Jammu and Kashmir Wildlife Advisory Board will examine and recommend amendments to the Jammu and Kashmir Wildlife Protection Act, 1978, to bring it at par with the Central Wildlife Protection Act, 1991.

The cash-strapped Kaziranga National Park in Assam has received a donation of US $42,000 collected by the London-based Environmental Investigation Agency. Kaziranga houses 70 tigers and 70 per cent of the world's one-horned rhino, both of which are listed as highly endangered species.

Offences regarding trade-related environmental laws will be monitored by an environment crimes cell, set up recently by the economic intelligence bureau of the Union ministry of finance. The cell would guard against illegal trans-border movement of substances banned under various environmental laws.

Cement factories in Himachal Pradesh will soon have to follow new emission control standards. The Himachal Pradesh Pollution Control Board is planning to lower the emission level of toxic gases from 150 mg per cu m of air to 100 mg per cu m. The state has two big and 20 mini cement plants.

Another killer virus, Hepatitis-G, has invaded India. A group of scientists from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, recently isolated the new virus from 79 patients for the first time in the country. The virus was identified by a German scientist George Hess in 1994.

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