New Delhi, Aug 4: The country has more than 21 crore two-wheelers and over 7 crore four-wheelers and above category of vehicles registered, Parliament was informed on Thursday.

In a written reply to the Lok Sabha, Road Transport and Highways minister Nitin Gadkari said out of the total vehicles, 5,44,643 are electric two-wheelers while 54,252 are electric four-wheelers and above, as per the centralised data base -- VAHAN -- as on August 3, 2022.

Data further revealed that there were 2,95,245 two-wheelers and 18,47,539 four-wheeler and above category of vehicles with fuel types of CNG, ethanol, fuel cell hydrogen, LNG, LPG, solar, methanol etc.

Replying to a separate question, he said the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) is primarily responsible for development and maintenance of National Highways. National Highways are generally maintained in traffic-worthy condition.

During the rainy season, damages sometimes occur to National Highways in few places due to flooding, landslides, heavy downpour etc. But the restoration works are promptly carried out and traffic restored to normal, he added.

The minister noted that development and upgradation of National Highways is a continuous process.

He said MoRTH has been taking up projects such as the construction of expressways, capacity upgradation of existing National Highways, rehabilitation and reconstruction of existing pavements, rehabilitation and reconstruction of existing bridges and structures and construction of Road Over Bridges (RoBs) on existing National Highways depending upon traffic demand.

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Moscow, Dec 4: About 2,500 seals have been found dead on the Caspian Sea coast in southern Russia, officials said Sunday.

Authorities in the Russian province of Dagestan said it was unclear why the mass die-off happened but that it was likely due to natural causes.

Regional officials initially reported Saturday that 700 dead seals were found on the coast, but the Dagestan division of the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment later raised the figure to about 2,500.

Zaur Gapizov, head of the Caspian Environmental Protection Center, said in a statement that the seals likely died a couple of weeks ago. He added that there was no sign that they were killed or caught in fishing nets.

Experts of the Federal Fisheries Agency and prosecutors inspected the coastline and collected data for laboratory research, which didn't immediately spot any pollutants.

Several previous incidents of mass seal deaths were attributed to natural causes. Kazakhstan, which has a long Caspian coastline, reported at least three such incidents this year.

Data about the number of seals in the Caspian vary widely. The fisheries agency has said the overall number of Caspian seals is 270,000-300,000, while the Caspian Environmental Protection Center put the number at 70,000.