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Panel probing Jayalalithaa’s death seeks info from Sasikala, Apollo Hospital

An inquiry commission probing J Jayalalithaa’s death today issued summons to her confidant V K Sasikala and top Apollo Hospital executives seeking information about the hospitalisation and treatment given to the late chief minister till her demise.Justice A Arumughaswamy, who heads the one-man commission, directed Sasikala, presently serving a four-year jail term in a Bengaluru prison in a corruption case, to submit her response within 15 days.He also issued summons to the Apollo Hospital Chairman Dr Prathap Reddy and his daughter and hospital Executive Vice Chairperson Preetha Reddy to respond within 10 days.Also readDay before RK Nagar bypoll, TTV Dhinakaran faction releases J Jayalalithaa’s hospital videoJayalalithaa was admitted to the Apollo Hospital here on September 22 last year and passed away on December 5, 2016.The Arumughaswamy Commission of Inquiry, constituted by the Tamil Nadu government, commenced it’s hearing on November 22 last.Also readJayalalithaa was brought to Apollo Hospital in breathless state, says top officialSeveral persons, including IAS officials, doctors, Jayalalithaa’s niece J Deepa and nephew J Deepak and Madurai- based DMK functionary P Saravanan have deposed before it so far.The state government set up the probe panel in the backdrop of various views expressed by several persons regarding Jayalalithaa’s death.

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No grievance against anyone: NGT chief

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has been supportive and has cooperated with the National Green Tribunal (NGT), outgoing Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said on Tuesday. Justice Kumar was the chairperson of the Tribunal from December 2012, and passed landmark orders on cleaning of Ganga, Yamuna, Delhi’s air pollution, and coal mining in Meghalaya. He was appointed as a Supreme Court judge in December 2009, and he served as the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court before that.His last day in the Tribunal witnessed a full-bench reference that was followed by a small function, attended by lawyers of the NGT Bar Association, as well as the Tribunal’s staff and law students. Justice Kumar said that NGT, as an institution, has been able to leave international impact and that it became a star on the international map.”We have been able to give inexpensive and expeditious justice. We have been able to bring the disposal rate to 182 per cent and cases are disposed off within the same year or within two years. I feel very satisfied about these contributions,” Justice Kumar said.He added that the Tribunal has been able to create environmental consciousness and awareness among the public, which he said, was the one of its biggest contributions.Justice Kumar’s retirement comes at a time when the NGT is facing a sort of a manpower crisis. Out of its sanctioned strength of 20 members, the NGT currently has just seven members, of which five are judicial members and two are expert members. The shortfall in manpower has led to reduction in hearings, impacting its healthy record of disposal of cases.According to official data, out of the 23,720 cases filed before it, 20696 cases have been successfully disposed, leaving a pendency of 3024 cases. Justice Kumar played down the vacancies and said that it is only a matter of time before they are appointed.He added that the NGT has stepped in when development was done in violation of laws in force. “Laws have been framed by the legislators, notifications are issued by the government, so all we say is please adhere to them, don’t bypass them.Wherever they are bypassed we certainly come in the picture, but wherever they are doing development in consonance with laws, we definitely let the development happen.”Outgoing ChiefJustice Swatanter Kumar was appointed as the chairperson of the National Green Tribunal in December 2012.His retired from the post on Tuesday.

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Imran Khan confuses Jayalalithaa with Sasikala, later deletes tweet

In what seems as an embarrassing goof-up, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairperson Imran Khan on Tuesday mixed the name of late Indian actress turned politician J.Jayalalithaa with her close aide Sasikala, who is currently serving jail term. Imran, in his tweet, had wrongly stated that Indian politician Sasikala died recently, whereas she is still alive.”Shashikala, a famous South Indian actress turned politician in India’s Tamil Nadu died recently & below her house were discovered gold reserves, jewels & illegal stash of money! A msg to all corrupt Idrs: the hoarded bns stolen from our impoverished masses will be left behind,” Imran said in now deleted tweet. However, after this gaffe was caught by a Gulf News journalist Sadiq S Bhat, Imran promptly deleted his tweet.”Dear @ImranKhanPTI you got it completely wrong. Sasikala is in jail. Her friend Jayalalitha, ex-CM of Tamil Nadu, died late last year and those pictures are obviously fake. One expects better from a senior politician like you,” Bhat tweeted along with screenshot of Imran’s tweet.Also readImran Khan not out, close aide disqualified from parliament in foreign funding case by Pakistan SCThe pictures, which Imran had posted, were reportedly fake and had been taken from bank robberies in two different places in India. The Supreme Court of India found Sasikala and her co-accused ‘ Ilavarasi (her sister-in-law) and V. N. Sudhakaran (her nephew) guilty of conspiring, laundering and amassing illicit wealth worth about Rs. 66.44 crore in the 1990s in a criminal conspiracy with Jayalalithaa. The three have been sentenced to a four-year jail term by the apex court.Sasikala is currently serving her jail term. She was a close aide of J. Jayalalithaa, the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, who headed AIADMK from 1989 until her death in 2016. After Jayalalithaa’s death, the party’s general council unanimously appointed her as the interim secretary general of AIADMK. Sasikala was removed from the AIADMK after the factions led by Chief Minister Palanisamy and now Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, joined hands.

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Banning condom ads is not a solution, say AIDS activists

The Information and Broadcasting ministry in an advisory issued to all television channels on Monday said advertising for condoms will not be allowed between 6 am and 10 pm. The announcement has raised a concern in several health circles particularly organisations working on HIV-AIDS control programme.Speaking about the issue, Dr V Sam Prasad, country program director of AIDS Healthcare Foundation, said, “The ban will create a negative impact on society. After banning the ads, teenagers will actively use social media to look for information. If the right message is not conveyed to children, it will be a big problem for them. It should actually be a dinner-table topic to discuss with the family members.”The data revealed by Mumbai District AIDS Control Society (MDACS) states that HIV infection among youth aged 15 to 29 years is about 31 per cent of the total infections.Dr Shrikala Acharya, spokesperson and additional project director of MDACS, said, “It won’t have any negative impact since people are aware of the fact that condoms are used to have protected sex. The younger generation is active on social media sites like YouTube, WhatsApp where they can easily access data and videos. Banning it on TV will not have any negative impact on the AIDS control programme organised by the government.”Ashok Row Kavi, Chairperson, The Humsafar Trust, said, “This is a regressive decision.”

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AoL damaged Yamuna floodplains, rules NGT

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) Thursday held the Art of Living Foundation (AoL) responsible for damaging the Yamuna floodplains when it organised a three-day cultural festival in March last year.In its order, the NGT bench headed by Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said, “We hold and declare that AoL is responsible for causing damage and environmental degradation of the floodplain of river Yamuna limited to the area that was awarded to it by DDA and the State of UP, in terms of the report of the High Powered Committee.”The bench, however, did not impose any further fine, ordering that the amount of Rs 5 crore AoL had submitted earlier would be used to restore the floodplains.Responding to the NGT order, the Sri Sri Ravi Shankar-led foundation called the judgment “erroneous and untenable” and said it would move the Supreme Court against the verdict.The green tribunal ordered that the Yamuna riverbed should not be used to hold any such cultural activities in future, while directing the DDA to assess the damage caused on floodplains and calculate the cost of restoration as per the recommendations of the expert panel appointed by it. The expert panel had earlier told NGT that an estimated Rs 42.02 crore would be required to restore Yamuna floodplainsThe bench said “in the event, the expenditure for that purpose on the portion of the land forming part of Phase-II of the project of DDA is found to be in excess of Rs5 crore, DDA would be at liberty to recover the said amount and AoL shall be liable to pay the said amount on demand.””If finally, the expenditure to be incurred on that amount is less than Rs 5 crore, the remaining would be refunded by DDA to AoL,” it said. Pulling up the DDA for failing to maintain the natural features and ecology of the Yamuna floodplains, the bench said the it had failed to exercise its statutory duty in consonance with the environmental laws in force. The bench said that even the Delhi Pollution Control Committee had failed to exercise caution in granting permission to AoL.It should have considered the request for permission in accordance with environmental laws in force, it said.The AoL had held the World Culture Festival in March last year in which it had constructed a stage over an area of seven acres on the Yamuna floodplains. The cultural extravaganza attended by thousands from across the country including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and many other VIPs.The NGT was informed that Justice R S Rathore, who had earlier heard the matter, had recused from the bench.”We are not in agreement with the verdict. AoL is disappointed with the decision taken by the NGT for damaging Yamuna floodplains during its World Culture Festival,” the AoL stated, claiming that its submissions had not been dealt with/considered.”We will appeal to the Supreme Court. We are confident that we will get justice before the Supreme Court,” AoL said.The orderNo fine was imposed. The Rs 5 crore submitted by AOL earlier will be used to restore the floodplainsThe Yamuna riverbed should not be used to hold any such cultural activities in future
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Yogi Adityanath

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‘Son’rise imminent in Congress: Here’s why Rahul Gandhi is being elevated before Guj polls

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rahul Gandhi will be Congress President next month, irrespective of the outcome of Gujarat assembly polls, with the party’s top decision-making body Congress Working Committee on Monday finalizing its organisational election schedule. With no contestant in sight, Rahul taking over the party could be a finality as soon as December 5 after scrutiny of nomination papers, a day after the nomination filing exercise ends on December 4.The schedule for election that will end up with Rahul’s formal elevation was approved by the CWC on a day, when a split in Hardik Patel camp was evident on the issue of aligning with Congress and NCP, who also ruled out any truck with Rahul Gandhi’s party for Gujarat polls.
ALSO READ ‘Rahul as Congress president will help PM Modi in making India ‘Congress-Mukt’,’ says Anil Vij Responding to questions on Gujarat poll outcome vis a vis Rahul’s elevation, Congress Communication chief Randeep Surjewala ruled out any “worry” in Congress over it, insisting the election in Gujarat is between 6.5 crore people of the state and the BJP, between the “money muscle power of BJP’ and ‘people’s power with Congress’.There is a view in the Congress that the party will definitely perform better from the past in this Assembly election in Gujarat and possibly this is the best time carry out the long-pending elevation of Rahul Gandhi.
ALSO READ The lowdown on Congress’ plan to make Rahul Gandhi party president before Gujarat electionsThat the very election schedule of Congress runs through the poll dates in Gujarat is an indication that the party did not want to do it either much before the election in the state, or soon after election results to give critics an opportunity to target him.Rahul Gandhi has been spearheading this assembly election campaign in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home turf in Gujarat and his meetings have been drawing good crowds.At the CWC meeting which she chaired, Sonia Gandhi gave a farewell speech of sorts asking the party cadres to do their best to bring out positive results in Gujarat.“Rahul and many of you colleagues here and in Gujarat are working hard for a positive result in that State. Let us do our best to prove that people are not fooled and that they will make the right decision and defeat the present dispensation there,” Sonia Gandhi said. Replying to questions about the next role of Sonia Gandhi amid speculation that she could be continue as Chairperson of Congress Parliamentary Party or as the head of an Opposition grouping like UPA, Surjewala merely said, “Sonia Gandhi is our leader and mentor. She has always guided the Congress party. Her able leadership will always be available not only to Rahul Gandhi but entire Congress.”Sonia Gandhi had become Congress President on March 14, 1998. Gandhi had donned the mantle of UPA Chairperson on May 16, 2004.Rahul, a three-term Lok Sabha MP from family pocket borough Amethi in Uttar Pradesh, became AICC general secretary in September 2007, before he was elevated as Congress Vice President on January 19, 2013.Off late, the appointments in AICC were being not only decided but even announced with the signature of Rahul Gandhi. Last week, the appointment letter for Congress state chief for Jharkhand was also issued by Rahul Gandhi.While Gandhi will formally become party President only next month, the organizational structure in AICC already shows a generational change with a number of young leaders from Team Rahul taking over as Secretaries and General Secretaries.With the organizational polls next month, the party is now formally bracing for a generational change in leadership after a gap of nearly 20 years.

CWC passes resolution to make Rahul Gandhi party President, announces poll schedule

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress Working Committee (CWC), the highest decision-making body of the party on Monday passed a resolution to make Rahul Gandhi the party chief.The CWC approved the poll schedule for President’s election and the process will start with issue of notification on December 1.The CWC meeting took place at Sonia Gandhi’s residence in the national capital.The notification for the poll will be issued on December 1 and nomination can be filed on December 4.Voting will be held on December 16 and the counting of votes is scheduled for December 19.In case there is no candidate apart from Rahul Gandhi, Congress will announce his candidature on the last date of scrutiny, reported ANI.The Election Commission has set the party a deadline of December 31 to complete its organisational elections.Last month, Sonia Gandhi had indicated that the elevation of Rahul Gandhi could be done ‘soon’ and it is most likely to happen before the Gujarat Assembly Elections.Rahul, a three-term Lok Sabha MP from family pocket borough Amethi in Uttar Pradesh, became AICC general secretary in September 2007. He was made party vice-president in January 2013 at the Jaipur Chintan Shivir. Sonia has been at the helm of the party since March 1998 and has created a record of sorts. There are speculations that she could continue to be Congress Parliamentary Party Chairman or UPA Chairperson, a post she earlier also held during the last two UPA alliances led by Congress.Earlier, the BJP had said any such development will only strengthen BJP’s resolve for a ‘Congress-mukt Bharat’.

Rahul Gandhi’s elevation: CWC’s crucial meet today at Sonia’s residence

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The much-awaited meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) will take place on Monday which is likely to approve the schedule of the party president’s election at Sonia Gandhi’s residence.The meeting of the CWC, the highest decision-making body of the Congress, is scheduled to take place at 10:30 AM at 10 Janpath.This would clear the decks for the elevation of party vice-president Rahul Gandhi to take over as the next chief.Rahul is likely to be the only candidate in the fray.Last month, Sonia Gandhi had indicated that the elevation of Rahul Gandhi could be done ‘soon’ and it is most likely to happen before the Gujarat Assembly Elections.Rahul, a three-term Lok Sabha MP from family pocket borough Amethi in Uttar Pradesh, became AICC general secretary in September 2007. He was made party vice-president in January 2013 at the Jaipur Chintan Shivir. Sonia has been at the helm of the party since March 1998 and has created a record of sorts. There are speculations that she could continue to be Congress Parliamentary Party Chairman or UPA Chairperson, a post she earlier also held during the last two UPA alliances led by Congress.Earlier, the BJP had said any such development will only strengthen BJP’s resolve for a ‘Congress-mukt Bharat’.

Five months on, 1,200 BMC students still wait for their tabs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Over five months after the new academic year has started, students of 1,200 Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) schools are still awaiting tabs as the corporation is yet to complete the seeing process with a new seller. Despite a budgetary allocation of over Rs 7 crore, the civic body’s biggest e-learning initiative is in a shambles.As per an Right to Information (RTI) application response furnished to activist Prithviraj Mhaske, in 2015, the BMC bought 22,799 tablets for students of Class 8 and spent an amount of Rs 1.42 crore for the same. In 2016-17, the corporation spent Rs 12.99 crore to purchase a fresh bunch of tablets. In 2017, with a budgetary provision of 7.83 crore, the corporation decided to bring in a new service provider scrapping the earlier agency — Techno Electronics. However, till date the corporation is not able to find a new agency as a result of which fresh purchase has been hauled.”The corporation is not serious about its e-learning initiative. What is the point of giving away the tablets after half the year has gone by?” asked Mhaske. With the change in the Class 9 syllabus, earlier tablets became redundant as they did not have the revised syllabusMahesh Palkar, Education Officer, BMC said that the tendering process for the new set of tablets is still on. “Some of the applicants have quoted a very high price and negotiations with respect to prices are on. We want to ensure that students get tabs that are of good quality and at the same time worth their cost. The process will be completed soon and students will get their tablets after that,” added Palkar.Shubhada Gudekar, Chairperson of the BMC Education Committee, said that the process of acquiring and distributing tabs will happen in phases. “There are 1,200 schools of the corporation. We are working our best to procure new tabs as early as possible and as soon as the process is over, students will get them phasewise,” said Gudekar.Principals, meanwhile, said that with most students not havimg tabs, the initiative seems to have fizzled out. “Most students in our school do not have tablets. Some were sent for repairs and never came back and others are waiting as the corporation is yet to give a fresh batch with the new portion of the syllabus,” said the principal of a civic school.BackgroundIn August 2015, students of BMC schools had to wait until January to get their tabs as the civic body took time to get all the approvals.After tabs were distributed for the first time in 2015, schools started complaining about not having enough plug points to charge them in classrooms. The civic body then floated tenders for additional plug points in 2016.In 2016, with the government’s mandate of getting a battery certification from the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), the company Techno Electronics have the tabs after a delay of over two months.THE LONG WAITIn the 2015 academic year, BMC school students had to wait until Jan to get their tabs as the civic body took time to get approvals. Also, schools didn’t have enough power outlets

Traffic police under stress, they need sensitisation training

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Maharashtra State Commission for Woman (MSCW) will be approaching the Maharashtra Director General of Police (DGP) for discussions on the sensitisation programmes to be conducted for policemen in the state.Against the backdrop of the recent incident in Malad, wherein a car was towed away by the traffic police while a woman was breastfeeding her 7-month-old child inside it, the MSCW is going to have discussions on the sensitisation and training programmes planned for the policemen in the meeting with DGP Satish Mathur.The Mumbai traffic police department is preparing to deal with the Malad incident-like situations in the future and brainstorming on what measures could be taken to ensure that traffic policemen on the road do not behave in a callous manner with citizens, especially women.After the incident in Malad, though instructions were given to all the traffic senior police officers to brief their staff on how to behave with citizens and how to deal with women and minors, the Commission believes that not only in Mumbai but the sensitisation programme is needed for all policemen across the state.”The police needs to be sensitised on a regular basis, in past meetings with DGP too we had discussed this issue. Now after this incident of Malad, we will be again requesting the Maharashtra DG to start the programme. The police should be sensitive while interacting with women and minors. To conduct the training and sensitisation programmes, the commission will extend its support. The policemen in the state are under tremendous pressure and stress, hence they are in need of such sessions,” said the Commission’s Chairperson Vijaya Rahatkar.A monthly board meeting is conducted by the Commission wherein several issues related to women and minors are discussed. Mathur is also a member of the commission.After the incident at Malad, the Commission had taken the cognisance and had sent a letter to traffic police asking to send them a report on what action has been taken against the policemen and what had triggered the argument.While the police said that if needed, experts would be roped in to impart training to traffic policemen. It would be a regular training session.’Personnel to be age, gender sensitised’Mumbai Police Commissioner Datta Padsalgikar talks about the sensitisation programmes planned for personnel from Mumbai’s traffic police department.What efforts are being taken for the sensitisation of traffic policemen?We were already conducting training programmes for all the policemen in the department. Continuing with that, we will gradually add more important aspects.What will the programme focus on?The policemen will be taught how to interact professionally with citizens and tackle difficult situations. They will also be given gender and age sensitisation training. A standard operating procedure will be set up to deal with conflict situations.Are any more efforts being made to reduce human intervention in traffic policing?Efforts are being taken to reduce human intervention. We have already taken many initiatives.

NGT slams Amarnath shrine board over lack of amenities

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Days after setting a cap of 50,000 devotees a day at Vaishno Devi for their safety and security, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) pulled up the Amarnath shrine board on Wednesday for lack of proper infrastructure and facilities for pilgrims. It also constituted an expert panel, headed by Additional Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), to visit the shrine and report back an action plan to improve the existing facilities.”You have allowed shops on path near the shrine. There are no proper facilities for toilets. Do you even know how humiliating this is for women? Why have you not provided proper infrastructural facilities for pilgrims? You are giving priority to commercial activities over pilgrims. This is unfair. The sanctity of the shrine has to be maintained,” said a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar. The bench was hearing a plea filed by environment activist Gauri Maulekhi.The bench directed the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board to submit a report by the first week of December on compliance of the Supreme Court’s directions, passed in 2012. Further, the bench directed that the expert panel’s report should address the issues of waste management, declaration of a silence zone near the shrine and establishment of eco-friendly toilets. Srinagar-based Centre for Research and Development Policy has said that over 2,500 metric tons of solid waste is generated annually along the Lidder river.The green court also expressed displeasure on the non-compliance of directions passed by the Supreme Court, which had passed similar orders on improving security of pilgrims visiting the holy site in light of casualties. In 2012, Justice Kumar was also part of the Supreme Court bench that passed directions on the issue and had constituted a high-level committee to suggest measures for improving amenities.The Amarnath shrine is one of the holiest sites for Hindus with a Shiva Linga inside a cave that is covered in snow except during summer months. Pilgrims undertake the annual 40-day Amarnath Yatra on foot, horses or are carried by porters to the cave that is located in a gorge at the end of Lidder Valley at a height of 3,888m, 46 km from Pahalgam and 14 km from Baltal. This year, 2.6 lakh pilgrims visited the shrine.

Delhi Pollution: Let’s meet, I am coming to Chandigarh: Kejriwal tweets to Amarinder Singh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As the air pollution in Delhi-NCR continues to be above the hazardous level, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday once again urged Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to spare some time to meet him.The development comes a day after the Supreme Court sought response from the Centre and Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab state governments on a plea seeking to curb rising pollution in Delhi and the national capital region (NCR).”Sir, I am coming to Chandigarh on Wed to meet Haryana CM. Would be grateful if u cud spare sometime to meet me. It is in collective interest,” Kejriwal tweeted tagging Punjab CM.Kejriwal last week had sought a meeting with counterparts from Haryana and Punjab to discuss ways to manage the worsening air pollution in Delhi and the neighbouring states.However, Amarinder Singh had said that it is not a matter for inter-state discussion and that won’t help and it requires central govt intervention, at the earliest.”Share your concern over stubble burning and pollution, Centre alone can solve the problem given its national implications. The situation is serious but Punjab helpless as problem is widespread & state has no money to compensate farmers for stubble management,” Amarinder Singh replied to Kejriwal in a series of Tweet.Meanwhile, the Delhi government has moved the National Green Tribunal seeking modification of its November 11 order refusing to exempt women and two-wheelers from the odd-even car rationing scheme to tackle pollution.The application, filed before a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar, sought exemption of women drivers from the scheme, saying it may affect the safety and security of womenThe NGT had on November 11 given a conditional nod to the AAP government’s decision to implement the odd-even scheme for five days from November 13, ordering that no exemption should be allowed to “any person or officer and two-wheelers”.The national capital region has been experiencing dense smog for about a week, forcing the authorities to enforce emergency measures such as banning construction activities and brick kilns.The practice of burning of crop residue by farmers of the two states have been blamed for the toxic smog enveloping the region during the winter season every year.

MISA edu conference focuses on kids’ safety

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Members of International School’s Association on Saturday organised their annual conference at Hotel Sea Princess to discuss the current problems plaguing the education system and to draw out solutions. The objective of the conference was to bring the heads of schools together to talk about the changes that need to be implemented.The conference was attended by approximately 130 principals and senior management members from different international schools in the city. The panel included Michael O’Sullivan, chief executive of Cambridge Assessment International Education, Ritesh Bhatia, cybercrime investigator (or EXPERT?), Dr Keith D’Souza, professor of S.P.Jain Institute of Management and Research among others.Some of the topics discussed at the conference were: the need to bring about a change in schools and education system, different ways to keep schools safe for children, to create awareness among children about cybercrime.Kavita Aggarwal, Chairperson of MISA, said, “MISA is a learning community. We bring all the international schools together. The speakers emphasised on being drivers of change. One of the speakers also spoke about security and safety of students in schools.”

‘They are great nuisance, create noise,’ NGT raps DTC for poor maintainence of buses

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal (NGT) flayed the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) on Saturday for not maintaining its buses properly and running them without passengers for a major part of the day.”Your buses create so much noise on the road. They are a great nuisance. Most of parts of your buses are either hanging in air or broken. Why don’t you take proper steps for their maintenance. Either your buses run empty or they are over-loaded,” a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar observed.The tribunal rapped the DTC chairman-cum-managing director for not taking note of an NGT order on maintenance of buses and carrying out a rationalisation study so that the vehicles can be used more effectively.”Have you read our judgement? You have served 33 years in your department and we are shocked you have not got the time to go through our orders. How surprising,” the bench said.The green panel had earlier favoured small-size buses during lean traffic period and said, “You should change your buses when traffic is lean and ply buses which are smaller in size. We are not asking you to stop the bus service rather you should change the size of bus.”The tribunal’s observation came while examining the Delhi government’s decision to roll out odd-even car rationing scheme in the capital from the next week. The government later called off the odd-even scheme, which was to be implemented from Monday.The NGT passed a slew of directions and said that all corporations and authorities of the Delhi government should ensure that was no structural construction activity in the capital till November 14.”Corporations and Delhi Development Authority shall post special forces at land filling sites to ensure that there is no fire at those sites and if any such incident comes to the notice, the official concerned would be personally liable to pay the environmental compensation,” the bench said.​

Delhi pollution: Environment body EPCA suggests four steps to bring situation under control

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) has suggested four emergency steps to reduce the alarming pollution level in New Delhi. It has suggested that parking fees in Delhi-NCR should be hiked four-fold. It has asked Delhi Metro to lower fares during off-peak hours for at least 10 days, introduce more coaches. This step will encourage more people to take public transport, thereby cutting down on emission. It has suggested fine of Rs 50,000 to be imposed on road construction agencies violating dust pollution norms in Delhi-NCR. Delhi-NCR govts should start preparing for measures like odd-even and ban on construction if pollution aggravates,recommends EPCA. As the national capital reeled under heavy smog, the National Green Tribunal today took the the governments of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana to task and asked them to explain why preventive steps were not taken to control the ‘severe’ air quality in the region. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar lambasted the state governments for not being prepared in advance to tackle the emergency situation.The national capital woke up this morning to ‘severe’ air quality under a blanket of thick haze, as pollution levels breached the permissible standards by multiple times.The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) recorded ‘severe’ air quality, meaning that the intensity of pollution was extreme. “The ambient air quality is so bad that children are not able to breath properly. Why didn’t you not spray water using helicopters as per our direction? You take instructions and inform us day after tomorrow,” the bench said. It asked the state governments to explain why they had not taken preventive and precautionary measures as it was reported earlier that such a situation was likely to arise.The green panel also directed the CPCB to state what emergency directions it has issued in exercise of its powers to tackle the situation. The tribunal was hearing a plea for immediate action against the worsening air quality in Delhi-NCR stating that it was an ‘environmental emergency’ which was affecting children and senior citizens the most. The plea said that according to CPCB report, post Diwali the ambient air quality of Delhi on October 17, 18 and 19 was found to be “very poor”.The plea also said that despite such elaborate orders from the NGT last year, the authorities have slept over it. Highlighting the increasing number of cars in the city, the plea filed by environment activist Akash Vashishta said it was “imperative that the government should take a view” with regards to putting a cap on vehicles to reduce air pollution. The plea has also sought direction to Delhi and the neighbouring states to file a status report with regard to the steps taken to educate people regarding waste burning and the pollution caused by it.With PTI inputs

MahaRERA dismisses complaint for being made at 2 forums

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On October 30, the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority, dismissed a complaint of a home buyer, because the buyer had complained about the same in another forum. A week before that, MahaRERA had even fined a homebuyer Rs 10,000 for complaining against a builder, against whom he had already got an order in a civil court. Experts point out that home buyers need to understand that they cannot approach MahaRERA when they already have a case going on in another forum or court.In the recent case, where MahaRERA dismissed the complaint, the home buyer Mudhit Gupta had complained against Lavasa Corporation Ltd. He had alleged that he entered into an agreement with the developer in April 2010. The apartment was to be handed over to him by April 2012, which hasn’t happened till date. Moreover, the developer has put the revised date of completion on MahaRERA website as December 2020.However, during the hearing the advocate for the developer pointed out that the plaintiff has filed a complaint on the same issue with the State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission, Maharashtra, and an order has directed the parties to maintain status quo with regard to the said apartment.The MahaRERA order points out that in case a complaint is already pending in a commission, the complaint filed with MahaRERA will not be tenable and shall stand dismissed. The order was passed by Gautam Chaterjee, Chairperson, MahaRERA.MAHARERA ORDERMahaRERA order points out that in case a complaint is already pending in a commission, the one filed with MahaRERA will not be tenable and shall stand dismissed. The order was passed by Gautam Chaterjee, Chairperson, MahaRERA.

Delhi government to ensure no animal waste, blood seeps into Yamuna: NGT

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal on Tuesday asked the Delhi government and the civic bodies to ensure that no animal waste and blood seeps into the river Yamuna due to cattle slaughter.A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar asked the AAP government to file a complete status report on the issue before November 30.”You can’t permit animal waste and blood in river Yamuna. You have to regulate it somehow. You can’t leave it like this.File a complete status report,” the bench, also comprising expert member B S Sajwan, said.Advocate Pooja Kalra, appearing for North Delhi Municipal Corporation, told the green panel that slaughterhouses were being closely monitored and the violators challaned and fined.The observations came after a self-styled preacher, Swami Om, appearing on behalf of a religious outfit, sought immediate action in the matter saying the authorities have failed to ensure compliance of the NGT order.The directions came during the hearing of a plea of the religious grouping, Ojasvi party, which has approached the green panel against the pollution caused to the Yamuna river due to slaughter of cattle.Swami Om said the 4-day Chhath Puja has begun today and people will be forced to take a dip in the polluted Yamuna if urgent directions are not given for stopping the inflow of animal blood. The ceremony is observed mainly by the people from Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh.The national capital has a sizeable population of people hailing from the two states who observe it here on the banks of the Yamuna or at ponds, lakes and canals, in their neighbourhood.

NGT directs Centre to submit report on steps to clean Ganga

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal has directed the Centre and the Uttar Pradesh and the Uttarakhand governments to file affidavits stating what steps they have taken to comply with its directions to clean the Ganga in the stretch between Gomukh and Unnao.The green panel, in a detailed judgement, had passed a slew of directions to rejuvenate Ganga, declaring as ‘No Development Zone’ an area of 100 metres from the edge of the river between Haridwar and Unnao and prohibiting dumping of waste within 500 metres from the river.A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar also asked all the stakeholders to state what course of action they propose to take in relation to Phase-2 from Kanpur to the UP border.”We make it clear that in the event now the compliance is not made, to the directions of the tribunal, we will be compelled to pass coercive orders. Let copy of this order be provided to the chief secretaries of UP and Uttarakhand.”All the counsels appearing for their respective clients will inform these directions to them. Copy of this order, also, be sent to DG of National Mission for Clean Ganga; Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources and Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change for compliance,” the bench said.The matter is listed for next hearing on October 24.The tribunal had earlier, in a detailed judgement, said the government has spent over Rs 7,000 crore in two years to clean the Ganga which still remains a “serious environmental issue”.The order, running into 543 pages, said “till the demarcation of floodplains and identification of permissible and non-permissible activities by the state government of this judgement, we direct that 100 metres from the edge of the river would be treated as no development/construction zone between Haridwar to Unnao in UP.”‘No-development zones’ are areas where no construction including commercial or residential buildings can come up.It also imposed a complete prohibition on disposal of municipal solid waste, e-waste or bio-medical waste on the floodplains or into the river and its tributaries.The tribunal reiterated its earlier order of ban on mechanical mining in Ganga and said “no in-stream mechanical mining is permitted and even the mining on the flood plain should be semi-mechanical and preferably more manual.”

BHU molestation case: Vice Chancellor GC Tripathi responsible for incident, violence that followed, says NCW in report

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Commission for Women has held the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) Vice-Chancellor Prof G.C. Tripathi responsible for the sexual molestation of a female student and, subsequently, violence and police lathi charge on campus.The NCW Chairperson Rekha Sharma, who was camping in the BHU for the past two days, on Friday said, “If the Vice-Chancellor had acted in time and met the agitating female students, the violence and police lathi charge could have been averted.”Female students who sat on dharna on September 22 had only one demand that V-C should come and meet and give them assurance to initiate action against the erring male students who were behind molestation. But instead of meeting them, Prof Tripathi had publicly stated that “it was below his dignity to go at dharna sthal and meet students.”“Agitating girls wanted to hold peaceful talks with the Vice-Chancellor. But he had made it a prestige issue and did not go there. It flared up passion resulting in violence. Citing security reasons for not meeting girls is childish on part of the Vice-Chancellor who had adequate security cover at the time of the protest,” pointed SharmaIronically, the V-C Prof G.C. Tripathi did not appear before the commission for his statement despite repeated calls by the Chairperson and the BHU authorities. “We will issue him summons and direct him to appear before the commission I Delhi,” said Sharma. Prof Tripathi has gone on indefinite ‘forced’ leave citing personal reasons.The NCW Chairperson recorded statements of several female students, BHU Faculty members, Prcotorial Board, Regsitrar and guards.The NCW Chairperson also took a dig at the police administration for unprovoked lathi charge on peacefully demonstrating girls and also not deploying adequate women constables when they entered BHU campus on September 23 night.NCW Chairperson pointed presence of anti-social elements and student leaders from other universities during their agitation. “Female students admitted that their agitation was highjacked by student leaders of other universities and outsiders,” said she.The NCW Chairperson has also identified about 50 male students living in different hostels illegally. She suggested for launching a bus service for the security of girls from hostel to different faculties and opening of library for 24 hours.

Protests at Jantar Mantar violate environmental laws: NGT

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal on Thursday directed the Delhi government to immediately stop all protests and assembly of people at the Jantar Mantar area in the heart of the capital city.A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice R S Rathore also directed the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) to remove all make-shift and temporary structures, loud speakers and public address systems from the stretch of the road situated near Connaught Place.”The respondents Government of Delhi, New Delhi Municipal Corporation and Police Commissioner, Delhi to immediately stop all the activities of dharna, protest, agitations, assembling of people, public speeches, using of loud speakers, etc. at Jantar Mantar road,” the bench said.The tribunal directed the authorities to shift the protesters, agitators and the people holding dharna (sit-in) to alternative site at the Ramleela Grounds in Ajmeri Gate, “forthwith”.The green panel said the continuance of the use of the area by protestors was in violation of environmental laws including Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.It said the residents of the nearby and surrounding area have a right to live peacefully and comfortably and in an atmosphere free from pollution at their residences.The NGT was hearing a plea filed by Varun Seth and others alleging that processions and agitations held by social groups, political parties, NGOs at the Jantar Mantar Road were a major source of noise pollution in the area.The plea had said regular protests “violate their right to live in a peaceful and healthy environment, right to silence, right to sleep and right to life with dignity.”

NGT tells govt to list steps taken to clean Yamuna

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Following the immersion of Ganesha and Durga idols in Yamuna, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Delhi government to give a detailed affidavit, enumerating the steps taken by the government to clean the river.The NGT also directed the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government to submit a status report on the river’s condition after the immersion and on the compliance of directions given by it to execute the cleaning of Yamuna under Phase I. Phase I entails controlling and preventing pollution at Najafgarh and Delhi Gate drains.”The counsel appearing for the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi submits that steps are being taken to clean the river and the flood plains of Yamuna after the festive season and the immersion of idols. Let him also file a status report,” a Bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said.The green tribunal was hearing a plea filed by environment activist Akash Vashishta, who has sought directions for steps to clean the banks of the river which, he claimed, were completely choked with dumped waste. Thousands of idols of Ganesha, made of plaster of Paris and painted with hazardous chemicals such as mercury, cadmium, lead, and carbon, were immersed in the Yamuna to mark the festival of Ganesha Chaturthi in late August.The petition brought on record the news reports that said that the river had turned into a drain, with people immersing idols and other puja material in the water body. It further claimed that the bio-oxygen demand of the river, a measure of organic pollution, reached “dangerously high levels” during Ganesha Chaturthi.The petition also stressed upon how Yamuna was choking and dying gradually due to immersions, which continued unchecked. Seeking a blanket ban on immersing idols and other religious ritual materials, the petition also noted that the water body has turned into a waste ground, which was threatening its existence.The petition also urged the NGT to direct the government to devise an action plan on immersing idols. In 2015, the tribunal had banned immersion of all idols, except those made of bio-degradable material. “Idol immersion should be allowed only of the ones that are made from bio-degradable material and not plastic or Plaster of Paris. Only those colours should be used on the idols that are environment-friendly,” the Bench had then said.BAD STATEThe green tribunal was hearing a plea filed by environment activist Akash Vashishta, who has sought directions for steps to clean the banks of the river which, he claimed, were completely choked with dumped waste.

Cabinet reshuffle: Here’s all you need to know about nine new ministers sworn-in

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Four junior ministers — Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Dharmendra Pradhan, Nirmala Sitharaman and Piyush Goyal were elavated to the cabinet rank and nine fresh faces inducted as Ministers of State in a major rejig of his team by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.The new ministers of state sworn in by President Ram Nath Kovind at a ceremony in the Rashtrapati Bhavan include Virendra Kumar, Anant Kumar Hegde and Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, former IAS officers Alphons Kannanthanam and R K Singh, former diplomat Hardeep Puri and ex-Mumbai police chief Satyapal Singh.Nine of the ministers, who are to join the cabinet include Shiv Pratap Shukla from UP, Ashwini Choubey and RK Singh from Bihar, Virendra Kumar from Madhya Pradesh, Ananthkumar Hegde from Karnataka, former IFS officer Hardeep Singh Puri, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat from Rajasthan, Satya Pal Singh, who was the former commissioner of the Mumbai police, and Kerala’s Alphons Kallnanthanan.Here’s a little bit about each of themShiv Pratap Shukla: Shukla is a Rajya Sabha MP from Uttar Pradesh. He is a Member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Rural Development. Elected as a Member of the UP Legislative Assembly for four consecutive terms, he served as a Cabinet Minister in the Uttar Pradesh government for 8 years, and is known for his work in Rural Development, Education and Prison reform during his tenure.Ashwini Kumar Choubey: Choubey is a Lok Sabha MP from Bihar’s Buxar. Currently, he is a member of the Parliamentary Committee on Estimates and Standing Committee on Energy. Choubey has been elected for 5 consecutive terms to the Bihar Legislative Assembly. He has helped construct 11,000 toilets for Mahadalit families in the region.Dr Virendra Kumar: A Lok Sabha MP from Madhya Pradesh’s Tikamgah, Kumar is six-time member of the lower house. He is the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour, and has been Chairman of the Joint Committee on Office of Profit and a Member of National Social Security Board.Anantkumar Hegde: Hegde is a Lok Sabha MP from Uttara Kannada, Karnataka. He is a Member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs and Human Resource Development. Having been elected as an MP for the first time at the young age of 28 years, Anantkumar Hedge is now a 5th term Lok Sabha MP. During his multiple stints in Parliament, he has been a member of multiple Parliamentary Standing Committees including the likes of Finance, Home Affairs, Human Resource Development, Commerce, Agriculture and External Affairs.Raj Kumar Singh: Singh is a Lok Sabha MP from Arrah, Bihar. He is a Member of the Parliamentary Standing Committees on Health and Family Welfare, Personnel, Pensions and Public Grievances and Law & Justice. A well-read man, Raj Kumar Singh studied English Literature at St. Stephens College, New Delhi, and got a Bachelors Degree in Law thereafter. He also went on to study at the RVB Delft University in Netherlands.Hardeep Singh Puri: A former IFS officer, Puri is the President and Chairman of Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) think tank, and was the Vice President of International Peace Institute, New York.Gajendra Singh Shekhawat: A Lok Sabha MP from Jodhpur, Shekhawat is a Member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance and Chairperson of the Fellowship Committee. Known for his simple life style, he is one of the most followed political leaders on Quora globally.Satya Pal Singh: A Lok Sabha MP from Baghpat, UP, former Mumbai police commissioner Satya Pal Singh is a Member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs and Chairperson of the Joint Committee on Offices of Profit.Alphons Kannanthanam: An IAS officer from Kerala cadre, Kannanthanam is a practicing advocate. He was also commissioner of Delhi Development Authority where cleared DDA areas of encroachment removing around 15,000 illegal buildings. This got him listed in Time Magazine’s list of 100 Young Global Leaders in 1994.

Cabinet reshuffle: All you need to know about ministers likely to be inducted

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nine of the ministers, who are to join the cabinet, as part of Prime Minister Naerendra Modi’s cabinet reshuffle, were named on Saturday night. These include Shiv Pratap Shukla from UP, Ashwini Choubey and RK Singh from Bihar, Virendra Kumar from Madhya Pradesh, Ananthkumar Hegde from Karnataka, former IFS officer Hardeep Singh Puri, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat from Rajasthan, Satya Pal Singh, who was the former commissioner of the Mumbai police, and Kerala’s Alphons KallnanthananHere’s a little bit about each of the named leadersShiv Pratap Shukla: Shukla is a Rajya Sabha MP from Uttar Pradesh. He is a Member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Rural Development. Elected as a Member of the UP Legislative Assembly for four consecutive terms, he served as a Cabinet Minister in the Uttar Pradesh government for 8 years, and is known for his work in Rural Development, Education and Prison reform during his tenure.Ashwini Kumar Choubey: Choubey is a Lok Sabha MP from Bihar’s Buxar. Currently, he is a member of the Parliamentary Committee on Estimates and Standing Committee on Energy. Choubey has been elected for 5 consecutive terms to the Bihar Legislative Assembly. He has helped construct 11,000 toilets for Mahadalit families in the region.Dr Virendra Kumar: A Lok Sabha MP from Madhya Pradesh’s Tikamgah, Kumar is six-time member of the lower house. He is the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour, and has been Chairman of the Joint Committee on Office of Profit and a Member of National Social Security Board.Anantkumar Hegde: Hegde is a Lok Sabha MP from Uttara Kannada, Karnataka. He is a Member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs and Human Resource Development. Having been elected as an MP for the first time at the young age of 28 years, Anantkumar Hedge is now a 5th term Lok Sabha MP. During his multiple stints in Parliament, he has been a member of multiple Parliamentary Standing Committees including the likes of Finance, Home Affairs, Human Resource Development, Commerce, Agriculture and External Affairs.Raj Kumar Singh: Singh is a Lok Sabha MP from Arrah, Bihar. He is a Member of the Parliamentary Standing Committees on Health and Family Welfare, Personnel, Pensions and Public Grievances and Law & Justice. A well-read man, Raj Kumar Singh studied English Literature at St. Stephens College, New Delhi, and got a Bachelors Degree in Law thereafter. He also went on to study at the RVB Delft University in Netherlands.Hardeep Singh Puri: A former IFS officer, Puri is the President and Chairman of Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) think tank, and was the Vice President of International Peace Institute, New York.Gajendra Singh Shekhawat: A Lok Sabha MP from Jodhpur, Shekhawat is a Member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance and Chairperson of the Fellowship Committee. Known for his simple life style, he is one of the most followed political leaders on Quora globally.Satya Pal Singh: A Lok Sabha MP from Baghpat, UP, former Mumbai police commissioner Satya Pal Singh is a Member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs and Chairperson of the Joint Committee on Offices of Profit.Alphons Kannanthanam: An IAS officer from Kerala cadre, Kannanthanam is a practicing advocate. He was also commissioner of Delhi Development Authority where cleared DDA areas of encroachment removing around 15,000 illegal buildings. This got him listed in Time Magazine’s list of 100 Young Global Leaders in 1994.

DNA will be closer to the ‘Heart of Rajasthan’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>People of Rajasthan now have a news platform that brings to them content from across the globe and nation with a focus on local content and flavour as DNA’s Jaipur edition was ‘reborn’ on Wednesday. One of the fastest growing English news daily, the DNA with its Jaipur edition assures its readers of ‘credibility’ and ‘analysis’ of news.The assurance was reinstated at the re-launch ceremony presided by state Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, Essel Group Chairman Dr Subhash Chandra and Editor of DNA Jaipur Jagdeesh Chandra and was attended by respected dignitaries of the state.”It’s the credibility of news that has helped us (Zee News) become the leading news channel of the country,” said Dr Chandra. “I will call this a re-birth of DNA Jaipur and we will try to provide real analysis of news,” he added.On the occasion, Dr Chandra also stressed on the need of media to be a ‘link between the governor and governed’.So what’s new?Readers of DNA, including the CM herself had a question: “What’s new?” “It will now be closer to your heart,” replied the Editor of Jaipur DNA. He informed the Chief Minister and the august gathering at the ceremony that the newspaper will be fair and independent and be like “a breath of fresh air, which will rejuvenate the readers each morning”.Raje also congratulated the DNA team and wished them success. “I congratulate you as the paper is being reborn,” said Raje.”I am confident that DNA, as a very youthful publication, will live up to the expectations and I wish the young team gathered here a huge success” she said.As Raje marked the ceremony of a local edition of the newspaper, she also commended the international achievement of the parent group. “I have come to learn that the international channel of the group in a very short period has reached the second position in terms of global reach,” she said. “In a few years, it shall hopefully be at the number one position.”The dignitaries attending the relaunch function were high court justice KS Jhaweri, Justice KC Sharma, Retd Justice Mahesh Chand Sharma, Leader of Opposition Rameshwar Dudi, BJP state president Ashok Parnami, Jaipur Mayor Ashok Lahoti, Health Minister Kalicharan Saraf, Panchayati Raj Minister Rajendra Rathore, Labour Minister Jaswant Yadav, Chairperson of Madrasa Board Mehrunisa Tak, Chairperson of State Women Commission Suman Sharma, MoS Health Banshidhar Khandela, MoS Water Resources Dr Rampratap, Jaipur Collector Siddharth Mahajan, Jaipur Development Commissioner Vaibhav Galariya, Director of local bodies Pawan Arora, DG Police Rajasthan Ajit Singh, DG Navdeep Singh, DG Anti Corruption Bureau Alok Tripathi, MD Rajasthan Cooperative Dairy Federation Rajesh Yadav, IG SOG Dinesh MN, among others.

Sushil Modi congratulates PM Modi for raising OBC creamy layer bar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi congratulated the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led Central Government for raising the creamy layer ceiling for the Other Backward Classes (OBC) for central government jobs and also for setting up of Commission to examine sub-categorisation of OBCs. ?I want to congratulate PM Modi ji first of all. Today he gave rights and opportunities to backward societies and communities. When we were in government in 2005 that time we gave power to backward sides. In that similar direction today Modi ji government gave 27 percent reservation to them. Prime Minister Modi is more concerned for below backward communities,? he told ANI. The Union Cabinet on Wednesday increased the creamy layer ceiling for the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category to eight lakh rupees per annum from the existing six lakh for central government jobs. The cabinet also announced setting up of a commission to examine sub-categorisation within Other Backward Classes (OBCs) for a “more equitable distribution of reservation benefits”. The Commission will take up the exercise of identifying the respective castes, sub-castes, communities and synonyms in the Central list of OBCs and classifying them into their respective sub-categories. The Commission will submit its report within 12 weeks from the date of appointment of Chairperson. Briefing media in New Delhi today, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, the decision is based on the recommendation of National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC). The ?creamy layer’ is a ceiling which bars members of the Other Backward Classes from availing reservations in employment. Presently, if an OBC family?s income is up to Rs 6 lakh then it is entitled for 27 per cent reservation in government jobs and seats in educational institutes. There had been three revisions of the creamy layer bar which was fixed at Rs one lakh in 1993 and hiked to Rs 2.5 lakh in 2004 and Rs 4.5 lakh in 2008. The present ceiling of Rs six lakh came into being in 2013.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Yamuna cleaning: NGT slaps Rs 50,000 fine on Centre and Delhi govt for not submitting status report

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal has slapped a fine of Rs 50,000 each on the Environment Ministry (MoEF) and the Delhi government for not submitting a status report on rejuvenation and restoration of the Yamuna river.A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar passed the order after counsels of the MoEF and the Delhi government failed to appear before it and no report was placed on record. “Nobody is present on behalf of NCT Delhi and Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and no status report has been filed by them. Our order dated August 8, 2017 was peremptory. Let both these pay Rs 50,000 as cost. List this matter for compliance within one week,” the bench said.The matter will be heard next on August 29. The tribunal had earlier asked Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and the Central Pollution Control Board to submit a detailed report on rejuvenation and restoration of the Yamuna in three weeks, saying pollution in the river was of serious concern as it was highly contaminated by industrial effluents and sewage. It had also directed the pollution control boards of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh to jointly conduct a study on water quality and flow of the Yamuna at the point where it enters Haryana, and submit a list of industries located in the catchment area of the river.The tribunal had earlier banned open defecation and dumping of waste on the floodplains of the Yamuna and announced an environment compensation or penalty of Rs 5,000 for those who violated the order. It had also constituted a committee headed by the Delhi Jal Board CEO to oversee the execution of work pertaining to the cleaning of the river and asked it to submit reports at regular intervals. The green panel had said almost 67 per cent of the pollution reaching the Yamuna would be treated by two sewage treatment plants (STP) located at Delhi Gate and Najafgarh in the first phase of the ‘Maili se Nirmal Yamuna Revitalisation Project 2017’. The NGT was hearing a plea on the monitoring of implementation of the project.

Hindu girls’ hostel fee: DCW seeks UGC response

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) has sought a reply from the University Grants Commission (UGC) as to why the fee for girls’ hostel is higher than that for the boys’ hostel at Hindu College. The move comes after the panel repeatedly wrote to the UGC regarding various issues, including “discriminatory” hostel fee, but failed to get any response.The commission also complained that a lot of colleges did not have hostels for girls and grants for many other colleges were stuck with the UGC. In a letter written to the body on February 8, the commission had urged it to take action on all pending proposals of educational institutions, so that more hostels for girls could be constructed and girls could get education in a safe and secure environment.The DCW alleged that it was discrimination on part of the UGC to provide more hostels for boys and not for girls. It also claimed that a lot of colleges have boarding facility for boy but not girls, leaving girls with no other choice but to find private accommodation.Meanwhile, DCW Chairperson Swati Jaihind met with Executive Chairperson of UGC on August 9, to discuss the issue of hostel fee. But, the UGC is yet to give an action taken report. The women’s body has summoned UGC Secretary and sought answers for the delay in replying and non-receipt of the action taken report.

Waste at Ghazipur: NGT directs NHAI, EDMC to invite tenders

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal today directed the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) to invite tenders for segregation and management of waste at the Ghazipur landfill site here. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said urgent steps were needed to reduce the pressure on the site on which waste in increasing by tonnes on daily basis. The green panel directed the stakeholders to choose an independent agency which would be responsible for segregation and reduction in height of dumped waste at the site. “Solid waste from Ghazipur landfill site in east Delhi would be used in the construction of road especially NH-24 and embankment of other roads where NHAI has commenced work,” the bench said. It also clarified that NHAI would be responsible for collection of construction and debris waste, plastic and other inert material from the landfill site and bear its cost for transportation. The tribunal sought a compliance report within 45 days and warned that in case of default, strict action would be taken against erring officials including imprisonment. It also directed the EDMC not to levy any environment compensation on the trucks which will be used for transportation of waste. Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand, appearing for NHAI, told the bench that assistance of specialised bodies like Central Road Research Institute can be used for the purpose. The direction came after EDMC lawyer Balendu Shekhar told the tribunal that it was not in a position to segregate waste at the site. The matter was listed for next hearing on October 10. Commissioned in 1984, Ghazipur landfill site is spread over nearly 30 hectares and about 2,500 tonne of garbage a day is dumped there. A total of 130 lakh tonne of garbage is currently dumped at the site and the average height of the dump stood at 50 metres.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Submit report on rain water harvesting in govt buildings: NGT

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal has directed the Delhi government and other agencies to submit status report on whether government buildings, bridges and flyovers have installed rain water harvesting systems and if these are functional. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar asked the counsel for Delhi government, Delhi Development Authority and other authorities to submit the report before August 29. “The counsel appearing for NCT Delhi and all public authorities shall file a status report with regard to the construction/installation of rain water harvesting system in that area, particularly in buildings belonging to government, public sectors and even private sectors which have high water consumptions,” the bench said. The tribunal had earlier directed the Centre and other public authorities to ensure that rain water harvesting systems are installed in every project, including flyovers, bridges or any other construction activity carried out by the government. It had asked the Centre, Delhi government and all public authorities to ensure that no project is approved without a specific stipulation in the tender documents that they would have to construct adequate capacity rain water harvesting systems as part of their project. The directions came during the hearing of a petition filed by Mehrauli resident Vinod Kumar Jain who wanted orders to make it compulsory for all government building of 100 sq m and above to have rainwater harvesting through storage of rain water.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

NDMC to launch drive against plastic use

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a major crackdown on plastic use, the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), on Saturday, announced that it would launch a drive against the use of plastic bags that are less than 50 microns, in its jurisdiction.The move has come following the order of the National Green Tribunal (NGT). The NGT had imposed an interim ban on the use of non-biodegradable plastic bags less than 50 microns in the Capital on Thursday.“In compliance with NGT directions dated August 10, 2017 North Delhi Municipal Corporation is going to launch an intensive drive in its jurisdiction against use and stock of plastic less than 50 microns and is non-compostable,” the NDMC said in a communication to all the stockholders.As per NGT’s directions, anyone found in possession of or using such plastic, shall be liable to a Rs 5,000 fine per default as environmental compensation. All stock of such plastic is directed to be seized in a week’s time, after which no plastic shall be used. “Therefore, NDMC advises all shop owners, vendors, stockists or otherwise to comply with NGT directions to safeguard against such action,” the corporation said.NDMC is the first corporation out of Delhi’s three MCDs to implement the NGT guidelines.Earlier on Thursday, the Bench, headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar had also asked the AAP-led Delhi government and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee to file an affidavit by a senior most officer and inform it how directions with regard to waste management in the city were being implemented, particularly in respect to plastic.

HC directs govt to give Rs 15 cr to victims’ fund

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court on Friday directed the Aam Aadmi Party-led government to disburse Rs 15 crore to the Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA) by August 17 for the victim compensation fund.A bench of Justices S Ravindra Bhat and S P Garg also directed the principal secretary, finance, to be present before it on August 17 – the next date of hearing – if the money was not disbursed.The victim compensation fund was created in the aftermath of the gruesome December 16, 2012 gangrape case in the national capital.The court had, on May 4, directed the Delhi government to disburse Rs 10 crore within a week for granting interim compensation to victims of sexual offences.However, advocate Sumer Sethi, appearing for the DSLSA, informed the court that no amount had been released by the government. He added that the DLSA requires the funds to grant interim compensation had gone up to Rs 15 crore as it had processed over 500 applications of the victims.The Delhi government told the court that meetings were held and the proposal to replenish the victim compensation fund had been processed, but the finance department was yet to take a decision on it. In addition, it said that the decision to disburse Rs 10 crore for the victim compensation fund, as was ordered by the court on May 4, would be taken on Friday.During the hearing, amicus curiae, Meera Bhatia, and Delhi Commission for Women’s Chairperson, Swati Maliwal, told the court that there was no money for giving compensation to the victims of crimes against women, including rape.Where are the fundsDuring the hearing, amicus curiae, Meera Bhatia, and Delhi Commission for Women’s Chairperson, Swati Maliwal, told the court that there was no money for giving compensation to the victims of crimes against womenThe victim compensation fund was created in the aftermath of the gruesome December 2012 gang-rape case in the Capital

Rs 5,000 EC for possessing banned plastic in Delhi: NGT

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal (NGT) today imposed an interim ban on use of non-biodegradable plastic bags which are less than 50 microns in the entire national capital. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar also announced an environment compensation of Rs 5,000 on anyone found in possession of such banned plastic. The tribunal has also directed the Delhi government to seize the entire stock of plastic within one week from today. The bench asked the AAP-ruled city government and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee to file an affidavit by a senior most officer and inform it how directions with regard to waste management in the city were being implemented particularly in respect to plastics. The green panel had last year banned the use of disposable plastic in Delhi and NCR with effect from January 1, 2017 and directed the city government to take steps to reduce dumped waste. The Tribunal had on July 31, slammed the Delhi government over indiscriminate and rampant use of plastic in the national capital despite its prohibition. The bench had directed the city government to strictly enforce its ban order in the city and sought a status report on the issue. The NGT had prohibited the use of disposable plastic in the entire city, especially at hotels, restaurants and for public and private functions, while asking the Delhi government to take appropriate steps against “storage, sale and use” of such material from January 1 this year. It had also said that an environment compensation of Rs 10,000 would be imposed on vegetable vendors and slaughter houses for throwing garbage in public places.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

NGT asks oil companies about 10-year-old diesel trucks

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal has directed three public sector oil companies to submit complete information regarding 10-year-old diesel trucks they use to transport fuel and asked them to produce scrapping certificate to prove that they have dismantled their old vehicles.A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar also directed the senior-most officers from each company to be present before it on August 8.”The counsel appearing for the petroleum companies, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum, shall ensure that senior-most officers from each company to be present before the next date of hearing.”They will provide complete detail with regard to vehicles, scrapping certificate should be placed before the tribunal. This would apply not only to the company, but to the contractors working with these companies,” the bench said.The green panel also directed the counsel appearing for the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas to take instructions as to when CNG would be made available in cities near the national capital.The direction came during the hearing a batch of petitions filed by various contractors seeking registration of new BS-IV compliant diesel vehicles purchased for transport of petrol from company depots to identified petrol pumps in the National Capital Region.The contractors had moved NGT after it had last year passed an order banning the registration of new diesel vehicles as well as their re-registration after 10 years.

70% of women sexually harassed at workplace do not file a complaint: National Commission for Women

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>About 70 per cent of women who perceive sexual harassment at workplace do not complain, National Commission for Women (NCW) member-secretary Satbir Bedi said here today.Bedi was speaking at a one-day consultation organised by the Telangana State Commission for Women, in collaboration with National Commission for Women, on ‘Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013’.”Seventy per cent, rather 69 per cent of women who perceive sexual harassment at work never complain,” she said.While some do not complain, there are also many who try to take advantage of laws to blackmail the system, she said.Observing that laws are in place to deal with exploitation and sexual harassment of women, Bedi said awareness on them needs to be promoted.”There is a huge plethora of Acts and schemes to prevent women… from exploitation…The fault does not lie in the laws, it does not lie in the schemes,” she said.Laws are in place and what matters is the choice one makes on using them, she said.Justice G Yathirajulu, a former High Court judge, stressed on the need for women employees to collectively fight against sexual harassment.Telangana State Commission for Women Chairperson T Venkataratnam said the consultation has been organised to send recommendations to the Centre to add more teeth to the law.She said some institutions have not acted the way they should on matters of sexual harassment of women at workplace

Don’t turn Purana Quila lake into waste-dumping yard: NGT

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal has rapped the Delhi government over the poor condition of the iconic Purana Quila lake here and directed it to ensure that it does not become a waste-dumping yard. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar took exception to non-compliance of its May 19 order to expeditiously restore all water bodies in the city. The green panel asked the AAP government to explain why silt, sand and other debris has not been removed from the lake despite its specific direction. “The counsel appearing for NCT Delhi shall take clear instructions from the department as to why the status of Purana Quila lake is so hampered that it has been converted into a play ground with so much of mud, silting and other material. “He shall also submit as to why removal of silt, sand and other debris has not been carried out, particularly in present season where the rainfall has been excessive to the normal and why the order of the tribunal has not been complied with,” the bench said. The tribunal had earlier directed the city government to rejuvenate water bodies and asked it maintain and clean them so that they become a source of natural beauty for the residents of the nearby area. The green panel had also approved a proposal put forward by the Delhi Jal Board to revive Rajokari water body in south-west Delhi and develop it an aesthetic manner. However, it had made it clear that there should be no use of any “concrete, cement or brick” and it should not change the natural geomorphology of the area. “We make it clear that needs of the water body will require protection of its catchment area and prevent siltation due to erosion and dumping of waste which alone will ensure a healthy water body rich in aquatic life and biodiversity,” it said. The NGT had said that similar approach should be adopted by all public authorities including the Delhi Development Authority and municipal corporations to restore the water bodies existing within their jurisdictions in various parts of the city and ensure that they are not used for open defecation. The tribunal had recently banned open defecation and dumping of waste on the floodplains of Yamuna and announced a fine of Rs 5,000 for those who violated the order.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Govt panel mulls whether to make mothers natural guardians

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An expert committee on NRI marriages constituted by the Ministry of External Affairs has received a suggestion to make mothers, instead of fathers, the natural guardians of a child. As per the Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956, a father is the natural guardian of a Hindu minor, which also adds that the custody of a child under the age of five shall normally be with the mother. The suggestion is part of several ideas that the ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) has received from various stakeholders and shared with the committee as part of an inter-ministerial consultation on the issue of NRI marriages. “The Expert Committee will take into account all such suggestions and make its recommendations to the government. “The recommendations will be examined by the government in consultation with a larger group of stakeholders to decide on the future course of action,” according an official statement issued by the MWCD today. The expert committee, headed by former Chairperson of NRI Commission of Punjab, was constituted last year to look into grievances arising out of breakdown of NRI marriages. The group has been appointed to suggest amendments in existing laws and policies to address these complaints. The Hindu law on guardianship also lays down that in case of an illegitimate child a mother will be the natural guardian and after her it will be the father. The legal guardian of a married Hindu woman is her husband, according to this law.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

NGT directs U’khand, HP to submit guidelines on forest fire

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal (NGT) today directed the Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh governments to submit the national forest fire prevention and control guidelines. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar also asked both the state governments to inform it about the total number of forest fires till date starting from 2016. “We want both the states to inform us how many forest fires have been reported in 2017 as compared to 2016. You also place on record the national guidelines on forest fires,” the bench said. The tribunal, which has already reserved its verdict in the matter, has fixed the case for hearing on July 24. In Himachal Pradesh during 2016-17, there were 1,545 forest fires which affected 13,069 hectare causing loss of Rs 1.53 crore, whereas, in 2015-16, there were 672 fire incidents which caused harm in 5,749.95 hectare area causing loss of Rs 1.34 crore. The tribunal had earlier directed the states to submit crisis management plan for prevention and control of forest fires to the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF). It had taken exception to the fact that that the issue of management plan was pending since 2010 and directed the MoEF to file the details of states which have not submitted the management plan on forest fires. Voicing concern over forest fires raging in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, the tribunal had said it was shocked that everybody was taking the issue “so casually” and issued show cause notices to both the states. Massive forest fires had engulfed a large part of areas in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh in May last year.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Give us total no of taxis in Kullu-Manali: NGT to HP govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal today directed the Himachal Pradesh government to file an affidavit and apprise it about the total number of members registered with the taxi association in Kullu and Manali. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar asked the state government to file a detailed reply after proper verification within three days. The direction came on a plea filed by a taxi association against the June 19 order of the NGT which had put a cap on the number of permits to these vehicles. While the taxi association claimed that there were 2,100 taxis, the Himachal government said that there were 2,517 taxis registered. The green panel also sought status report on the ropeway project on the Manali-Rohtang road and directed senior most official of the state government to be present before it on July 26. It also directed ‘sarpanch’ of the Palchan panchayat, which had opposed the 9 km long Palchan-Rohtang ropeway, to appear before it on the next hearing. On June 19, the tribunal had allowed 100 more tourist vehicles to pass through the eco-sensitive Rohtang pass area. The panel, which had earlier permitted 800 petrol and 400 diesel vehicles to go beyond Manali on Rohtang Pass road, had allowed more vehicles to the picturesque location to ensure that more tourists are accommodated. “75 per cent of such applications would be granted permit under outside tourist category i.e. the tourist driving their own vehicles from outside Himachal Pradesh. The remaining 25 per cent would be the tourist from other districts of State of Himachal Pradesh… “The other cars will be issued permits for strictly complying with the directions contained in the permit. No taxi or vehicle should re-ply or take a return trip without crossing the borders and not more than twice a week,” the circuit bench had said. On the issue of issuing permits, the bench had held that online registration for permits to Rohtang should be opened at 10 am every morning and then again at 4 pm on the same day instead of 12 noon as done earlier. The tribunal had earlier asked the state government to submit a comprehensive report on various aspects including the ropeway, operationalisation of CNG and electric buses, status with regard to afforestation and establishment of eco-friendly market at Marhi.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

NGT notice to Delhi govt, DDA on Millennium Bus Depot

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal today sought responses from the AAP government and the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) on a plea filed by an environment activist seeking shifting of Millennium Bus Depot as it is located on Yamuna flood plains. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar issued notices to the city government, DDA and Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) seeking their replies before July 24, the next date of hearing. Advocate Kush Sharma accepted the notice on behalf of the DDA after plea by activist Anand Arya came before the green panel. The matter was transferred to the green panel by the Supreme Court in April on the grounds that there cannot be “parallel proceedings” on the same issue. The 50-acre depot was built on the river bank initially as a temporary depot during the 2010 Commonwealth Games, with a parking space for around 1,000 buses along with various facilities, including five workshop-cum-scanning centres, a logistics centre and two CNG-filling stations. The apex court had last year said that ordering the demolition of the bus depot would not be appropriate and had granted one year to the Delhi government and DTC to get the 2021 Master Plan amended, failing which it would have to shift the bus shelter from the Yamuna river banks. The apex court had said an opportunity was given by the Delhi High Court to the Delhi government and DTC in October 2015 to have the Master Plan of Delhi (MPD) 2021 amended, if it was permissible in law, within six months. The high court had refused to extend the time to the authorities to shift the bus depot, situated next to Nizamuddin Bridge and behind IP Power Station. The apex court had noted that a chance was given by the high court keeping in view the submission of the Delhi government and DTC that the “bus depot was constructed to serve greater public purpose; the area in question was, as a matter of fact, was not falling on the river bed; and there was no threat to environment or ecology in having the bus depot at the given site”. The DTC and the Delhi government had challenged the high court decision dismissing the transporter’s plea for grant of six months to approach the DDA to change the land use of the Millennium Bus Depot site. The DDA had told the court that change in land use was not possible as NGT had prohibited construction in areas demarcated as zone ‘O’ (river and water-body area) and the site fell in such a zone. The high court had on October 20, 2015 shot down the DTC’s plea on the issue, saying it was an abuse of the court process to seek extension of time after undertaking to shift it. The high court had also said that it had in 2012 given six months to either shift the depot or change land use of the site and there was “no justifiable reason” now for further extension.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

NGT orders drain inspection, appoints local commissioners

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal today appointed four local commissioners to inspect drains, falling under different civic bodies, which join river Yamuna and apprise it whether they were unclogged as claimed by the authorities. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar appointed advocates Meera Gopal, Sharad Sharma, Arjun Nanda and Vinayak Gupta as local commissioners and directed them to inspect the drains at Gulabi Bagh, Chirag Delhi, Kalyanpuri and trunk drain no 1 at Seelampur today itself. A trunk drain is a large-capacity drainage or stormwater channel which clears local street drainage systems. “They shall also visit trunk drain no 1 and report to the tribunal as to whether these drains are clean from any silt, municipal solid waste and other wastes or non-acceptable substances in the drains. “They shall also observe and state as to whether these drains are carrying sewage and as a result thereof there is odour in the environment,” the bench said. During the hearing, the counsel appearing for North Delhi Municipal Corporation told the bench that it has 195 drains which are more than 4 feet. While the South Delhi Municipal Corporation has 18,459 drains in total, 221 drains fall under the jurisdiction of the East Delhi Municipal Corporations, the NGT was told. The tribunal had earlier taken note of a drain clogged with garbage and municipal solid waste near a residential colony in North East Delhi and sought a reply from the Delhi government on the issue. It had asked the authorities to show cause as to why appropriate action should not be taken against them for violating the orders of the NGT. The order had come after the NGT took suo motu cognisance of a media report and picture showing a drain clogged with municipal solid waste near a residential area in Seelampur here. The green panel had said that all authorities are under “statutory” obligation to ensure that waste is “collected, transported and disposed” of in accordance with Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 so that it does not cause public health hazards.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

NDMC to probe staffers’ role in Le Meridien irregularities case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has finally decided to launch an internal inquiry in to the alleged irregularities by civic body officials in recovering Rs 518 crore in dues from the five-star Le Meridien hotel.In a meeting held on June 20, the Council, presided over by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, decided to set up a committee to probe the issue all over again.Reportedly, the NDMC officials dealing with the case have accused the civic body’s former Chairperson, Jalaj Srivastava, of letting the hotel authorities get away without paying any dues. In a letter sent to Kejriwal on March 3 this year, Srivastava, however, stated that the Council officials misled the CM on the issue.”Since allegations have been made against the NDMC officials, it is recommended that a Committee of Council members be constituted, before which the department will place all the facts on the issues raised by Srivastava in the letter,” the minutes of the meeting read.After taking in to consideration all the facts and presentations made by the department, the Committee will give its findings to the Council for taking an appropriate decision in the matter. According to senior officials, the Committee will comprise elected representatives of the Central government, Delhi government, and nominated members from the Council.In March, the NDMC had cancelled the license of the five-star hotel and the property is due for auction now.The NDMC officials have alleged that the Council, then headed by Srivastava, allowed the luxury hotel to settle dues by accepting a one-time fee of over Rs 180 crore, resulting in a loss of Rs 400 crore to the exchequer.Srivastava, who is now serving as the Additional Secretary in the Agriculture Ministry, in the letter to the CM, had written that he was being falsely implicated by the Council members.Last year, the Central government had constituted the K K Pathak Committee to look into the alleged “irregularities” in paying of dues by four luxury hotels under the NDMC, including Le-Meridien.

Justice (retd) Vikramjit Sen appointed as new chairman of BCCC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Supreme Court judge, Justice Vikramajit Sen has been appointed as the new chairman of Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC), a self- regulatory for general entertainment channels. A statement from the TV ombudsman stated that a delegation of the Indian Broadcasting Foundation Board, led by its president, Punit Goenka invited Sen to chair the BCCC for the next three years. Sen succeeds former Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice, Justice Mukul Mudgal whose three-year term as BCCC Chairperson has come to an end. I am looking forward to this exciting assignment. Independence of the media is extremely important and equally important is the responsibility that comes along with it, he said in the statement.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

NGT notice to MoEF, Delhi on traffic congestion in East Delhi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Massive encroachments and traffic congestion on the streets of East Delhi has caught the attention of the National Green Tribunal, which today sought the responses from the Environment Ministry and Delhi government on the issue. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar issued notices to the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Delhi government, East Delhi Municipal Corporation Delhi Pollution Control Committee and others while seeking their responses within two weeks and listed the matter for hearing on August 1. The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by lawyer R R Ojha seeking urgent directions to remove encroachments in Madhu Vihar Market in Patparganj and submit a compliance report. “It is submitted that Madhu Vihar Market in Patparganj, IP Extension was an unauthorised colony which is now being regularised. The traffic congestion in this market is at an alarming situation. “The vehicles are being parked on both the sides of the metalled road in total violation of the orders of this tribunal. It is difficult even to move on foot as the footpaths are being encroached upon,” the plea, filed through advocates Sanjay Upadhyay and Upma Bhattacharjee, said. A metalled road is surfaced with small broken stones, providing strong and long-lasting route for traffic. The plea has referred to NGT’s 2015 order prohibiting parking of cars on tarred roads and directing the corporations to impose a fine of Rs 1,000 on violators as “compensation for degradation of environment”. It has also sought directions to the Central Pollution Control Board to take ambient air quality samples in the area, recommend steps to ease the flow of traffic in the locality and formulate a long term action plan for regulating the encroachments. The tribunal had also directed the traffic police to remove encroachments in congested markets like Lajpat Nagar and Karol Bagh to ease the flow of vehicles in these areas.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

NGT imposes complete ban on nylon and synthetic manja

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal today imposed a complete ban on ‘manja’, the string used to fly kites, made of nylon or any synthetic material which is non-biodegradable, saying it posed a threat to the lives of birds, animals and humans. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar directed all state governments to prohibit the “manufacture, sale, storage, purchase and use” of synthetic manja or nylon threads and all other synthetic threads used for flying kites. The green panel clarified that the ban order would apply on nylon, Chinese and cotton manja coated with glass. “There shall be a total ban on the manja or thread for kite flying which is made of nylon or any other synthetic material and or is coated with synthetic substance and is non-biodegradable… “All chief secretaries of states and Union Territories are directed to enforce prohibition on manufacture and use of synthetic manja/nylon thread for flying kites throughout the country,” the bench said. The judgement came on the plea filed by animal rights body People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Khalid Ashraf and others which had contended that ‘manja’ posed a grave threat to humans and animals as every year a number of deaths are caused by it. “Due to ‘manja’ being coated with glass, metals and other sharp material, these strings act as good conductors of electricity, increasing the probability of detached manja strings stuck in power lines, electrocuting kite flyers and passers-by coming into contact with these strings,” the petition had said. PETA had averred that minor children were engaged by the cottage industry for the manufacture of ‘manja’ which caused respiratory problems as they inhaled harmful substances which were extremely detrimental to their health.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Sex worker rescued from GB Road

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A sex worker was rescued from GB Road’s red-light area in Delhi after her lover filed a complaint of her captivity.Swati (name changed), 27, had been at a brothel at GB Road for the last five years when she came from Nepal. She was looking for work in the national capital but ended up working as a sex worker.Two years back, Pradeep (name changed) got in touch with Swati and fell in love with her, while she continued to work at the brothel. They had regular meetings and he then decided to marry her.In order to get her out from the place, Pradeep contacted the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) for help.A team of DCW members, Shaktivahini NGO members, and some local policemen visited the brothel to rescue the woman. The girl has been freed and is currently living with her lover. “There is a huge nexus of traffickers operating in GB road who take advantage of girls in distress. I have serious concerns and demand that it should be closed down,” said Swati Maliwal, DCW Chairperson.There are over 5,000 sex workers in almost 90 brothels living in GB Road, making it one of the most notorious areas in the city. Most of these girls come from different parts of the city, and from neighbouring countries looking for better jobs, when they are lured here.

Saibaba Sansthan plans to rope in Big B or Tendulkar for event

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Shree Saibaba Sansthan Trust (SSST) is planning to rope in either Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan or master blaster Sachin Tendulkar as brand ambassador for the Saibaba samadhi centenary event. The event will be observed between October 1, 2017 and October 18, 2018. “We plan to have either Amitabh Bachchan or Sachin Tendulkar as brand ambassador for the Saibaba samadhi centenary event. We have written a letter to both of them and are awaiting their response,” Chairperson of the SSST Suresh Haware told reporters here today. The purpose behind appointing either Bachchan or Tendulkar is to widely publicise the centenary event, said Haware. On facilities that will be provided to devotees visiting the temple town, Haware said, the sansthan will be constructing a new air-conditioned ‘darshan mandap’ (queue building for devotees). At present 60,000 devotees from different parts of the country and abroad visit the Saibaba temple on a daily basis. The number further swells during festivals like Ram Navami, Guru Pournima, Vijaya Dashmi and on the New Year day. Yesterday, the Maharashtra cabinet also decided to promulgate an ordinance to amend the Shree Sai Baba Sansthan Trust Shirdi Act of 2004 in view of the centenary celebrations.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Strictly enforce plastic ban: NGT to Vrindavan authorities

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal today directed the authorities in the temple town of Vrindavan to strictly enforce the ban on the use of plastic bags, warning that two senior Uttar Pradesh officials in the area would be held liable in case of failure to implement it. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar noted that there was no proper place for disposal of the municipal waste in Vrindavan and the civic body had dumped the waste near helipad close to the Yamuna river. “It shall be responsibility of the district administration and the pollution control board to ensure complete prohibition on use of carry bags and other plastic waste in Vrindavan,” it said. “On failure to do so, the executive officer of the Nagar Palika Parishad and the Mathura district magistrate shall be held personally liable and appropriate proceedings in accordance with the law shall be ordered against them,” the bench said. The ban on plastic was imposed following a 2012 Allahabad High Court order and a 2011 notification issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forests which prohibited carry bags made of “polythene, plastic glasses, bowls, pouches and plates”. The green panel also sought a complete compliance report within six weeks on the dumping of the municipal solid waste in the city and directed the Nagar Palika Parishad to develop the site on Mart road for “segregation, storage, treatment and disposal” of the waste. The NGT ordered the secretary concerned of the UP government to hold a departmental enquiry and take disciplinary action against the erring officers and the staff who were responsible for indiscriminate dumping of the municipal solid waste and non-compliance of its order. “The secretary shall immediately submit a report with regard to the disciplinary action taken against the erring officers and the staff to the tribunal, if the departmental enquiry has already been held or on completion of the same,” it said. The NGT asked the UP pollution control board and other authorities to deposit the fines, imposed by it last year, within two weeks, if these have not been deposited so far. The directions came during the hearing of a plea by seer Madhumangal Shukla who had approached the NGT against “illegal” and “unregulated” disposal of the solid waste in the city. Shukla had alleged that the entire environment of Vrindavan was suffering due to the lack of implementation of Municipal Solid Wastes (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000 as garbage was being disposed of carelessly in drains and on the banks of the Yamuna, leading to clogging and stagnation. The plea had claimed that the only landfill site in the city has been sold to the Mathura Mandi Samiti for setting up a wholesale market, resulting in reckless accumulation of garbage on the streets.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

We are farmers but were treated like terrorists: Jagdish Mhatre

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After farmer protests against the construction of a boundary wall by Indian Navy in Kalyan turned violent on Thursday, police resorted to lathi charge and used pellet guns to disperse the dissenters. The angry villagers claimed that they were treated like terrorists and not as farmers clamouring for their rights.Jagdish Mhatre, 33, Chairperson, BT Gaikwad English Medium School, said, “We were not treated as farmers but as terrorists. The government will never be able to resolve the issue with this attitude.” Mhatre received six pellet injuries during the protest.Bhupesh Mhatre, 17, suffered 17 pellet injuries and was unable to walk when he was taken to a hospital. “We were protesting silently when the police approached us and even used force on the women. Only after this we resorted to stone pelting,” he said.The 1,600-acre defence land has been encroached upon by several commercial and residential illegal constructions. The state government seems to have turned a blind eye to these developments, and this has spiked the growth of such structures.Rahul Sinha, PRO, Defence, said, “The state government had been informed about the land long back. Now we are initiating a project on the land in question and have been given adequate protection from the police for the development of the boundary wall.”Though the police were able to quell the protests, the situation remained tense until late evening. Sources revealed that the villagers will be holding a meeting to decide on further action.

NGT relaxes restriction on tourist vehicles to Rohtang Pass

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In some good news for those planning to visit the Rohtang Pass in Himachal Pradesh to beat the summer heat, the National Green Tribunal has allowed 100 more tourist vehicles to pass through the eco-sensitive area. The panel, which had earlier permitted 800 petrol and 400 diesel vehicles to go beyond Manali on Rohtang Pass road, has allowed more vehicles to the picturesque location to ensure that more tourists are accommodated. “We hereby permit 100 more cars out of which 60 per cent would be petrol cars and 40 per cent diesel cars. The applicants under this category will be only the tourists driving their own vehicles from Himachal Pradesh and other parts of the country. “75 per cent of such applications would be granted permit under outside tourist category i.e. the tourist driving their own vehicles from outside Himachal Pradesh. The remaining 25 per cent would be the tourist from other districts of State of Himachal Pradesh,” the circuit bench headed by National Green Tribunal (NGT) Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said. The green panel announced that any vehicle, taxi or tourist, which is found to be violating any condition of the permit or directions of the NGT would be liable to pay Rs 5,000 as environmental compensation for such default. “This amount shall be payable to the administration through Police and other executing departments. In addition to fact that as and when the department of transport issues regular permits for running of vehicle shall not issue such a permit if the person is found to be defaulting more than three times, that permit for running vehicle shall stand cancelled and will not be renewed and computer programmed to reject the request,” the bench said. On the issue of issuing permits, the bench held that online registration for permits to Rohtang should be opened at 10 am every morning and then again at 4 pm on the same day instead of 12 noon as done earlier. “In variation to the practice presently being adopted by the administration all persons concerned would be allowed to login and submit their application online at least a week in advance. In other words the person desiring to have a permit could apply one week in advance to the proposed date of travel,” it said. It also directed installation of CCTV cameras on each check-post within a week for keeping a strict vigil in the area. “These cameras would be connected to the computer and due records would be maintained of the vehicles which cross the barriers and go upto Rohtang for tourism purposes or even otherwise,” the bench said. The tribunal had earlier asked the state government to submit a comprehensive report on various aspects including the ropeway, operationalisation of CNG and electric buses, status with regard to afforestation and establishment of eco-friendly market at Marhi.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Police force get 3 new mobile medical vans

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mumbai Police Commissioner, Dattatray Padsalgikar, and Divya Gehlaut, Chairperson of Indiabulls Foundation, launched three mobile medical vans exclusively for the Mumbai police force and their families.The mobile medical vans will provide primary healthcare service to the police stations and police lines of Zone 3. The vans are equipped with generic and branded medicines and will run from Monday to Saturday. A timely referral system is also set up in place in case of further treatment to patients.

Jewar case: NCM seeks reports from Gautam Buddha Nagar admin,

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Commission for Minorities (NCM) has sought reports relating to the Jewar robbery and alleged gangrape case from the Gautam Buddha Nagar district administration and local police. Eight people travelling to Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh were looted off Yamuna Expressway in Jewar area, while four women, part of the group, were allegedly raped and a man shot dead on May 25. In its first meeting held yesterday, the newly-formed panel expressed concern that the culprits concerned were yet to be ensnared and demanded a fortnightly report regarding the progress made in trapping the accused. It also directed increasing mobile patrolling during night along vulnerable stretches of the expressway, an official statement said. Noting that evidences relating to the incident have been sent to the forensic science laboratory (FSL), Lucknow to ascertain if the women were raped or molested, the commission insisted that report concerned too be shared with it. The panel has decided to address issues relating to minority communities in a “mission mode so as to instil a sense of confidence” among them. There are six notified minority communities in the country namely: Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Sikh, Parsi and Jain. The commission, the statement said, also decided to visit and hear minority communities to disseminate relevant information and take up their grievances with the central and state governments for quick resolution. NCM Chairperson Gairul Hasan Rizvi and its members George Kurian, Sunil Singhi, Sulekha Kumbhare and Kastur Khurshed Kaikobad Dastoor took part in the meeting. The members were appointed to the commission last month.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Why should Kaleshwaram project not be stayed, asks NGT

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Telangana government’s Kaleshwaram lift irrigation project, which aims to take water to the state’s drought-hit regions, suffered a setback as the National Green Tribunal sought answers from the Centre and two state governments about the scheme’s environmental and other clearances. Responding to a plea challenging the construction of the project, a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar issued notices to the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Telangana and Maharashtra governments, the Central Water Commission, the state pollution control boards of the two states and others. The green panel has sought a reply from all the parties within two weeks asking why construction activities for the Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme should not be stopped until the mandatory statutory clearances including Environment and Forest clearances were granted. The matter is fixed for a hearing on July 27. The tribunal was hearing a plea on May 31 filed by Telangana-based Mohammad Hayathuddin, who alleged that the construction of the scheme had begun without environmental and other statutory clearances. The plea, filed through advocates Sanjay Upadhyay and Salik Shafique, sought a ban on any non-forest activities — such as felling of trees and blasting and tunnelling activities in the forest areas which were in violation of the Forest Conservation Act. The project envisages the construction of a barrage across river Godavari near Medigadda village in the Karimnagar district of Telangana for diversion of 180,000 million cubic feet of water which could irrigate 7,38,851 hectares of land, covering the erstwhile Adilabad, Karimnagar, Nizamabad, Warangal, Medak, Nalgonda and Rangareddy districts of Telangana.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

MHA to hold inquiry into NDFB encounter

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Under pressure from the civil society in Bodoland, the Centre has decided to hold an independent inquiry into CRPF Inspector General Rajnish Rai’s report alleging that two terrorists of National Democratic Front-Songbjit faction (NDFB-S) were killed in a staged-managed encounter by the Army, Assam Police, SSB and his own Force.”An inquiry will be initiated soon under a retired DG level officer to find out veracity in Rai’s report. The decision to choose a retired DG has been taken keep the inquiry independent of any bias,” said a senior Home ministry source.Rai’s report, raising questions on the joint operation that reflects how systems and processes have weakened over a period of time, resulting in commission of such unlawful acts, had asked to entrust the investigation to an external independent agency for impartial and thorough investigation of the encounter.The situation report prepared by the forces involved had claimed that two NDFB-S militants Lucas Narzary and David Islary were killed in Siliguri in Chirang district of Assam on March 30 in a joint operation by the Army, Assam Police, CRPF and SSB.However, a few days later on April 17, Rai sent his probe report into the incident to Assam Chief Secretary V K Piperseina, the then acting CRPF DG Sudeep Lakhtakia, GOC of 4 Corps and Chairperson of Operational Group, Lt. Gen A S Bedi, Assam DG Mukesh Sahay, SSB DG Archana Ramasundaram; and CRPF ADG (NE Zone) Mohd Javed Akhtar.The discreetly prepared probe report, citing nine witnesses and nine documents, picked holes in the situation report and claimed that the two sleeping young men were picked up by a joint team of 156 Bn. of CRPF and State Police from D-Kalling village on March 29. They were later joined by personnel from Army and 210 CoBRA Bn and the young men were killed near Simlaguri at 4:30 a.m. on March 30.Rai’s report alleged that the FIR filed by Assam Police as well as the special situation report prepared by other special forces “present a fictitious account of the joint operation by the security forces to conceal pre-planned murders of two persons in custody and present it as some brave act of professional achievement.”

Nobody above the law: Subramanian Swamy defends CBI raiding NDTV founder’s home

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Monday defended the CBI raiding the home of NDTV founder Prannoy Roy, saying law is equal for all and everyone should develop a respect for it.“You cannot distinguish between media people, politicians, doctors, etc. If you have broken the law then you have broken the law. We have to develop respect for the law, and for that, we have to make it clear that nobody is above the law. Fear of the law is necessary and it will be applied no matter who you are,” Swamy told ANI.“When all these high-profile people are raided then the common man feels that if such people can be the subject to prosecution then what will happen to them. People will automatically become honest,” he added.
ALSO READ CBI raids residence of Prannoy Roy; NDTV says will fight tirelessly against ‘witch-hunt’Congress leader Oscar Fernandes said everybody knows what’s going on in the country, adding the media have to decide what should be done.The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today registered a case against Co-Founder and Executive Co-Chairperson of NDTV, Prannoy Roy, his wife Radhika Roy, a private company and others for causing an alleged loss to ICICI bank.Meanwhile, the caretakers at NDTV co-founder Prannoy Roy’s house in Dehradun said that around six to seven people from the CBI came in the morning and searched the house.CBI searches were being conducted at four places owned by Roy and NDTV, including Delhi and Dehradun.

NGT directs Delhi govt to file detailed action plan on MSW

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal has directed the Delhi government to file a detailed action plan to show how municipal solid waste (MSW) would be processed and disposed of in the city. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar asked the AAP government to hold a meeting chaired by the Chief Secretary, where all the corporations would be present, to prepare an action plan in terms of the directions issued by the tribunal in the case. The bench also noted that the landfill site at Bhalswa was a “depiction of mess” which has had an adverse impact on environment and the health of the people of Delhi and sought a detailed report about the site before May 31. “We are compelled to pass this direction as a number of dates have been given for this purpose but with no forward movement. It is unfortunate that one of the biggest dumping site is being ignored in this manner which is causing environmental pollution and adverse impact on public health. “This site is found to be burning every day, whatever be the reason, and the emission is the source of serious air pollution,” the bench said. During the hearing, advocate Balendu Shekhar, appearing for East Delhi Municipal Corporation, informed the bench that the drivers of auto tippers (waste carrying vehicles) have gone on strike and they were facing difficulty in cleaning the waste. The bench then asked the EDMC lawyer to put up the matter before the Chief Secretary. Earlier, the NGT had rapped states for not complying with its order to file detailed action plan on municipal solid waste. While directing every state and Union Territory to enforce and implement Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016, the green panel had also asked the Environment Ministry and all states to pass appropriate directions in relation to the ban on short-life Polyvinyl Chloride and chlorinated plastics within a period of six months. It had directed the states and Union territories to prepare an action plan in terms of the Rules of 2016 and as per its directions within four weeks from December 22, 2016. The action plan would relate to the management and disposal of waste in the entire state. The steps are required to be taken in a time-bound manner, it had said. It had said non-biodegradable waste and non-recyclable plastic should be segregated from the landfill sites and used for construction of roads and embankments in all road projects all over the country.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Finalise emission norms for diesel locomotives: NGT to MoEF

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal has directed the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to finalise the emission standards for diesel locomotives within two months. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar passed the order after the counsel for the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) refuted its own earlier submission that the emission norms, prepared by it, have been sent to the MoEF for approval. The lawyer appearing for CPCB told the tribunal that the statement made by him on May 22 was not correct and the facts were not brought to the notice of the tribunal. The CPCB counsel said the emission standards for diesel locomotives was still to be finalised and they would send to the MoEF within four weeks. The submission came in the wake of the green panel’s direction to set standards in this regard and ensure that the railway locomotive engines don’t cause pollution. “MoEF should finalise the same within four weeks thereafter. We make it clear that in the event of default we would be compelled to pass orders while imposing cost upon the defaulting departments,” the bench, also comprising Expert Member Bikram Singh Sajwan, said and fixed the matter for hearing on July 25. The CPCB’s interim report, titled “Exhaust Emission Benchmarks for Diesel Locomotives on Indian Railways”, aims to fix standards and protocols for the sector to achieve the targets submitted by India under the Paris climate change agreement. According to the report, the contribution of emissions from the transport sector on the whole has risen 3.5 times since 1990 to stand at 250 million tonne carbon dioxide, or 13.5 per cent of the total emissions in 2013. The Railways contributed 9.7 per cent of this figure (24.7 million tonne). Globally, however, only 3.5 per cent of the emissions from the transport sector are attributed to the rail sector, CPCB’s report said. “The changes in the energy sources allowed for a reduction of the share of rail transport carbon dioxide emissions from 24 per cent in 1990 to less than 10 per cent in 2013, while rail activity doubled in the same period,” the draft report by CPCB said. Earlier, the tribunal had directed MoEF to hold a meeting with the CPCB and Railways and submit a report on emission standards for diesel locomotive within six weeks. However, when the matter came up for hearing, the Environment Ministry sought more time, saying “the standards are yet to be fixed and one year’s time is required for completion”. The Railways had earlier submitted international standards for emissions from diesel locomotive railway engines and filed a data sheet indicating the emissions from 30 railway engines. According to the data sheet, the emission levels in the tested 30 railway engines were much above international standards. The directions came during the hearing a petition filed by Dwarka resident S K Goyal about harmful emissions from diesel locomotives.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Lead in PVC pipes affecting human health, NGT told

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Water passing through PVC pipes commonly used in most buildings may contain toxic materials like lead, which has a hazardous effect on human health. This was told to the National Green Tribunal (NGT), which today directed the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to lay down standards within four months for using lead in Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) pipes, in consultation with Bureau of Indian Standards. The green panel also directed the MoEF Secretary to draw up a programme for phasing out lead from PVC pipes which is used to stabilise thermal degradation. The directions came on a plea filed by NGO Jan Sahyog Manch seeking directions to take remedial and preventive steps regarding environment and ecological damage caused by the use of lead in manufacturing of PVC pipes and other products. “Use of lead contaminates water travelling through PVC pipes is silently leaving shocking effect on the life of humans. The public at large, in the absence of any printed or visual information, is continuously consuming water travelling through PVC pipes made by using lead stabilisers and which may lead to many effects on health,” the NGO claimed. Noting the harmful effects of lead, the NGT said “in view of the discussions, particularly on the potential adverse health effects due to presence of lead in water flowing through PVC pipes, we feel it necessary that the entire matter of usage of lead as stabiliser in PVC pipes and its desired standards needs to be examined expeditiously on scientific grounds by the MoEF, based on environmental considerations,” a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said. The NGO has also sought directions to the respondents for constituting an appropriate body to regulate and verify the manufacturing process of the plastic pipes. It called for directions for withdrawal of PVC pipes, containing lead-based heat stabiliser, out of the market and banning the use of such stabilisers.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Emission norms for diesel locomotives sent for approval: CPCB

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has submitted proposed emission standards for diesel locomotive to the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) for approval, the National Green Tribunal was informed today. The submission by CPCB came in the wake of the green panel’s direction to set standards in this regard and ensure that the railway locomotive engines don’t cause pollution. The lawyer appearing for the MoEF, however, told a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar that he would seek instructions on the issue and inform the tribunal on the next date of hearing. The CPCB’s interim report titled “Exhaust Emission Benchmarks for Diesel Locomotives on Indian Railways” aims to fix standards and protocols for the sector to achieve the targets submitted by India under the Paris climate change agreement. According to the report, the contribution of emissions from the transport sector on the whole has risen 3.5 times since 1990 to stand at 250 million tonne carbon dioxide, or 13.5 per cent of the total emissions in 2013. The Railways contributed 9.7 per cent of this figure (24.7 million tonne). Globally, however, only 3.5 per cent of the emissions from the transport sector are attributed to the rail sector, CPCB’s report said. “The changes in the energy sources allowed for a reduction of the share of rail transport CO2 emissions from 24 per cent in 1990 to less than 10 per cent in 2013, while rail activity doubled in the same period,” the draft report by CPCB said. Earlier, the tribunal had directed MoEF to hold a meeting with the CPCB and Railways and submit report on emission standards for diesel locomotive within six weeks. However, when the matter came up for hearing, the Environment Ministry sought more time saying, “the standards are yet to be fixed and one year time is required for completion”. The Railways had earlier submitted international standards for emissions from diesel locomotive railway engines and filed a data sheet indicating the emissions from 30 railway engines. According to the data sheet, the emission levels in the tested 30 railway engines were much above international standards. The directions came while hearing a petition filed by Dwarka resident S K Goyal about harmful emissions from diesel locomotives.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Frame national policy to protect indigenous cow breeds: NGT

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal today rapped the Centre for the delay in holding a meeting with all states and union territories to frame a national policy to prevent the “rapid decline” in population of indigenous breeds of cattle across the country. “We had asked you (Centre) to hold a meeting with all the parties. Why didn’t you do it? This is the problem with you people. First, you don’t follow our orders and when we say anything, then you cry that we pass harsh directions,” a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said. The observations came after the counsel appearing for the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) sought written orders from the bench to hold the meeting on the issue. The green panel directed the Environment Ministry and the Department of Animal Husbandry, which falls under Agriculture Ministry, to hold a meeting with all states and UTs and come out with a common policy on the issue. “We direct the counsel for the MoEF and the Ministry of Agriculture to seek clear instructions if they would be holding a proposed meeting of all the joint stakeholders to enable formulating a national policy for protection of indigenous cows as we are informed that in some of the states like Kerala have witnessed 79.9 per cent decline in the animal population,” the bench said. The matter was listed for hearing on May 30. The NGT had earlier noted that there was nearly 80 per cent decline in the animal population in Kerala from 2003 to 2012 and said that such a condition may lead to the extinction of the species in the state. The order came during the hearing of a plea filed by lawyer Ashwini Kumar who had moved the tribunal against the “looming threat of extinction of indigenous breeds of cattle” in the country. The tribunal had issued a notice to the Agriculture Ministry on the plea which had also sought a nationwide ban on slaughter of cattle belonging to the indigenous breeds. Kumar had claimed a steep decline in the indigenous cow population and said that Indian cattle were being replaced by exotic and cross-bred cows imported from Europe, Australia and the US. “Even developed countries are taking steps to preserve the diversity in livestock and taking substantial steps to preserve and conserve their domestic livestock species,” the plea had said. Kumar had accused the government of remaining a “silent spectator” to this “extinction”.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Restore and clean water bodies expeditiously: NGT to Delhi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal has directed the Delhi government and the civic bodies to restore expeditiously all water bodies in the city and ensure that these remain clean not become a waste-dumping yard. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said that the water bodies surrounding colonies should be maintained and kept clean so that they become source of natural beauty for the residents of the area. The green panel also approved a proposal put forward by Delhi Jal Board to revive Rajokari water body in south-west Delhi and develop it an aesthetic manner. However, it made it clear that there should be no use of any “concrete, cement or brick” and should not result in changing the natural geomorphology of the area. “We make it clear that needs of the water body, will require protection of its catchment area and prevent siltation due to erosion and dumping of waste which alone will ensure a healthy water body rich in aquatic life and biodiversity. “This project should commence forthwith. South Municipal Corporation is hereby directed to provide full cooperation to Delhi Jal Board and provide all assistance to it and the executing agency would ensure that no waste of any kind is thrown in the water body,” the bench said. The NGT said that similar approach should be adopted by all the public authorities including Delhi Development Authority, municipal corporations to restore the water bodies existing within their jurisdictions in various parts of the city and not used for open defecation. The tribunal had recently banned open defecation and dumping of waste on the floodplains of the Yamuna and announced an environment compensation of Rs 5,000 for those who violated the order.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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