model town: Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram, is likely to be the northeast region's first planned township. The move to prepare the city's master plan was actually triggered by fears about an impending earthquake and a rapidly expanding hill town that is already bursting at its seams. In stark contrast to the city's present dismal condition, the plan promises a safer and greener Aizawl by 2011.
on a drug diet: Here's some unpalatable news. About 70 per cent of all antibiotics produced in the us are used in the agriculture industry. These drugs are being administered in factory farms to thousands of healthy cows, pigs and fowl. They are given as a preventative measure against potential infections that are associated with overcrowded living conditions. The fallout: people are falling sick from eating meat contaminated with antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria.
banking on butterflies: Butterflies to help keep tabs on the environment. Amazing, but true. Scientists are now using these insects as indicators to monitor environmental changes in the lower western Himalayas. They say that butterflies have been chosen for the task, as they are sensitive to any change in their habitats, atmosphere, local weather and climate.
one extreme to another: One of the world's wettest places is suffering from a water shortage. The Khasi Hills, located in northeast India, used to experience torrential rains. But now villagers are having to carry water from the plains. A sharp rise in pollution and deforestation has been blamed for the change in the weather pattern.
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