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Iran’s Zabol most polluted: WHO

On 12 May 2016 The World Health Organisation (WHO) in a survey announced that New Delhi is no longer the worst polluted city in the world in terms of air quality. However, India is home to four of the five cities in the world with the worst air pollution.
•    The dirtiest air was recorded at Zabol in Iran, which suffers from months of dust storms in the summer. Zabol clocked PM2.5 measure of 217.
•    The next four cities in the list were Gwalior, Allahabad, Patna and Raipur.
•    New Delhi was the survey's 11th worst city, measured by the amount of particulate matter under 2.5 micrograms found in every cubic metre of air. Delhi had an annual average PM2.5 measurement of 122.
•    Populations in low-income cities are the most impacted.
•    98% of cities in low- and middle income countries with more than 100000 inhabitants do not meet WHO air quality guidelines. 

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Maharashtra declares drought in 29000 villages

On 12 May 2016 Maharashtra government declared drought in over 29000 villages of the state, most of them in parched Marathwada and Vidarbha regions.
•    The state is implementing various schemes and taking measures to mitigate the water scarcity in drought-hit areas, and more particularly in Marathwada and Vidarbha regions.
•    The villages that have now been declared as affected by drought were already receiving benefits from the government and that the Drought Manual provided only for the word drought-like.
•    On 7 May 2016, the Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and requested 10000 crore rupees as relief for the parched state. 
•    7500 crore rupee was to be spent on completing irrigation projects in Marathwada and Vidarbha over the next three years.
•    Maharashtra is a state in the western region of India and is India's third-largest state by area and is also the world's second-most populous sub-national entity. 
•    It has over 110 million inhabitants and its capital, Mumbai, has a population of approximately 18 million. 
•    Nagpur is Maharashtra's second capital as well as winter capital

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Telangana govt to set up Monkey rescue and rehabilitation centre

Telangana government on 10th may issued orders for setting up a 'Monkey Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre' in Adilabad district.
•    It will be made with an investment of Rs 2.21 crore.
•    There was serious man-animal conflict in both rural and urban areas due to increased pressure on forest habitats, coupled with increased population of monkeys.
•    The religious beliefs and value attached to monkeys also resist villagers either from killing or from other measures.
•    All these factors have contributed to the increasing conflict between the monkeys and the human beings.
•    After careful examination of the proposal of Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (HoFF), Telangana State government ordered establishment of Monkey Rescue & Rehabilitation Centre at Chincholi near Nirmal in Adilabad district, as pilot project.
•    Telangana is one of the 29 states in India, in the South of the country. It was formed on 2 June 2014 with the city of Hyderabadas its capital. 
•    Telangana is bordered by the states ofMaharashtra to the north and North west,Chhattisgarh to the North, Odisha to the north east (adjoining khammam district), Karnataka to the west, and Andhra Pradesh to the east and south.
•    Telangana has an area of 114,840 square kilometres (44,340 sq mi), and a population of 35,193,978 (2011 census).  

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China bug Chan's Megastick declared world's longest insect

On 5 May 2016 The Insect Museum of West China said that a stick insect measuring 62.4 centimeters has broken the record for length among the world’s 807625 known insects.
•    The insect, named Phobaeticus chani was discovered two years ago in the southern province of Guangxi, China.
•    The previous record-holder was a Malaysian 56.7-centimeter-long stick insect discovered in 2008. 
•    Phobaeticus chani is species of stick insects.
•    The bug is named after Malaysian naturalist, Datuk Chan Chew Lun.
•    Very little is known about its biology. 
•    It may live in the canopy of the rainforest, making it hard to find.
•    International Institute for Species Exploration at Arizona State University and an international committee of taxonomists. selected it as one of The Top 10 New Species described in 2008 
•    The species was also listed as one of the top 10 discoveries of the decade in the BBC television documentary Decade.

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Indian Railways to plant trees alongside Railway Track

On 2 May 2016 Indian Railways signed a MoU with forest departments of Haryana and Punjab to plant trees alongside Railway Track on Railway Land Boundary.
The MoU was signed by Pankaj Saxena, Chief Engineer /P&D, Northern Railway on behalf of Railways whereas it was by Dr Amrinder Kaur, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF) from forest departments.
•    Railway can contribute substantially towards the Green India Mission.
•    Forest department is involved in the plantation as well as maintenance and disposal of trees, thus bringing in the much needed expertise in afforestation.
•    Plantation along the railway track on railway land boundary by Forest department 
•    It will be done without declaring such land as protected forest with the provision for resumption of such land at any time by railways .
•    It will thus ensure no hindrance to railway works / developmental projects.
•    Railway land will be protected from encroachment.
•    All Zonal railways have been asked to execute similar agreement between their zones and concerned State Forest departments as early as possible.

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