Mangaluru, Sep 29: The Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) has bagged special mention from the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban affairs in the Indian Swachhata League competition held for cities and local bodies.

Mangaluru has been shortlisted for special felicitation in the category of cities with a population between 3 lakh and 10 lakh, MCC sources said.

The competition, held under Swachh Bharath Abhiyan campaign, saw more than 1,850 city and local bodies taking part in it. The award is given to cities striving to realise the idea of a waste-free environment.

Roopa Mishra, joint secretary to the Ministry, informed the MCC that the award would be conferred on September 30 at the Talkatora stadium in New Delhi.

In the League, cities got an opportunity to detail their novel activities at the national-level. Participation of the youth, novel ideas in implementing activities and the improvement in urban cleanliness as a result of the activity were the guidelines on the basis of which the national winners were decided, the sources said.

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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.