Earth Hour 2010 aims to surpass last year's target: WWF

Last year, the organisation was able to encourage saving of around 1,200 megawatts of energy in India

As cities world over switch off lights for one hour tomorrow in an attempt to create more awareness about climate change, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) exuded optimism about the ‘Earth Hour 2010’ initiative in India saving more energy than last year.

“Of all sectors, the power sector solely contributes a whopping 50% to India's total carbon emission. Under the Earth Hour initiative, people are motivated to switch off their lights and electrical appliances from 8.30 pm to 9.30 pm on 27th March.

“This is a measure to create awareness about depleting climatic conditions on Earth,” said Aarti Khosla, campaign manager, WWF India.

Last year, the organisation was able to encourage saving of around 1,200 megawatts of energy in India, “but this year we definitely plan to surpass this,” said Ms Khosla.

Growing environmental threats—like the recent devastating earthquakes in Haiti and Chile—have highlighted the reasons for natural resource conservation at all levels.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called Earth Hour “both a warning and a beacon of hope.”

“Climate change is a concern for each of us. Solutions are within our grasp and are ready to be implemented by individuals, communities, businesses and governments around the globe,” Mr Ban said in a statement.

The UN will be joining the initiative along with many other landmarks around the world.

However, several other groups in India have also shown keen interest in the occasion for creating awareness in the masses regarding the dire need to preserve natural resources.

“Climate change is a discrepancy created by persistent human exploitation. Hence, its cure lies only in a consistent and united human initiative. Individual awareness and action is the key to combat climate change,” said Aditi Mehndiratta, head of Sanrakshan, a nature conservation initiative of an NGO.


At the British High Commission in India, environmental films will be screened a day prior to the Earth Hour. “A film screening and photo exhibition is being organised in order to sensitise our staff and their families about the depleting state of the environment. Apart from this, office lighting would be turned off from 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm,” says Dan Chugg, spokesperson for the Commission.
 

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Hearing on Satyam plea adjourned

The court also adjourned the hearing of other cases filed by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate against the fraud-hit software major

A special court today posted to 31st March the hearing of a petition filed by Satyam Computer Services (now Mahindra Satyam), seeking release of the company's records seized by the CBI.

The court also adjourned the hearing of other cases filed by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate against the fraud-hit software major to the same date.

Mahindra Satyam, in its petition filed on 15th February, requested the court to order the CBI to release documents and data -storage devices seized by the Central agency and the State CID (initial investigator of the case) during searches last year.

IT firm's counsel Shireen Sethna Baria argued that the company has to submit restated accounts to various agencies, including the New York Stock Exchange, where it was listed.

She said as per the direction given by the Company Law Board, the software major needs to submit its final accounts before 30th June.

“We will make all the documents available to CBI or any other investigation agency as and when they require,” Ms Baria assured the special court set up for the trial of the Satyam scam cases.

She said that the CBI has not objected to the company's plea. After hearing the argument, the court posted the matter to next Wednesday.

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India expects $5-billion investment in road sector

The country's road development programme will see a huge investment from Canada over the next three to four years

India expects a big investment of $5 billion (around Rs22,800 crore) from Canada in the country's road development programme over the next three to four years, road transport and highways minister Kamal Nath has told PTI.

"I am looking at Canada looking beyond NAFTA," Mr Nath said after meeting with top Canadian ministers and executives of financial institutions here yesterday.

"Canadian pension funds and financial institutions are actively considering participating in the National Highway Development Project (NHDP)," he added.

Mr Nath said that of the $40 billion needed from the private sector for the road programme, about $10 billion is likely to come from foreign funds. "We expect $5 billion from Canada. The Indian government will put as many as nine
mega-projects up for bidding in the next two months,” the minister said.

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