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50% home buyers prefer proximity to workplace, reveals study

When Sameer Dhingra, vice-president in a multinational company decided to buy a house, the only factor to influence his decision was the proximity of his new abode with his workplace. He was firm, he shares, to not travel for hours shuttling between his office and home. Dhingra and many others like him depict a growing breed of people in metros who are promoting ‘Walk To Work’ culture.A latest study by an international research firm, Kantar TNS, highlights that 50 per cent home buyers in Delhi-NCR prefer to purchase a property in proximity to their workplace, a trend emerging among the millennial homebuyers in the Capital. Conducted over a period of six months, the study involved qualitative and quantitative research with a sample size of over 200 male corporate employees in the age group of 30-55 years, having an annual income of more than Rs 8 lakhs, and who are regular internet users.The research was designed to accomplish the following objectives i.e., understanding the current experience/usage behaviour of property buyers, understanding of buyers–expectations from property sites and uncovering category needs/need gaps.Furthermore, according to the data collated by Kantar, which also took into account the user behaviour on online classified forums, including OLX, 48 per cent of the respondents saw buying a home as a long-term investment that came with additional financial security. Meanwhile, better amenities like gymnasium, swimming pool, etc too influenced the decision of 45 per cent buyers. Other factors such as a gated society for better security, more space, proximity to school for kids and shopping places too are desired by Delhiites while planning to buy a home.Apart from closeness to the office, demand for ready-to-move apartments is the highest, with one-third of the property seekers searching for the same. This is followed by 25 per cent browsing online classifieds for independent houses; 17 per cent seeking builder floors; and only 15 per cent interested in land/open plots.The study further reveals that mid-size 2-3 BHK apartments are most popular among the prospective buyers. Smaller units, as opposed to 4 BHK, are preferred by nuclear families, independent working professionals, and students.Among the locations, Dwarka in Delhi remained the most searched for being close to corporate hub Gurugram. The satellite town itself is not far behind in being popular among millennial working population looking for ready-to-move-in accommodation as Sohna Road is the most searched location on OLX followed by Sector 49 and 57, known for its prime residential gated community with direct connectivity to metro and shopping malls.Talking to DNA, Sachin Hajela, associate vice-president, Kantar TNS said,”The study explores preferences of home buyers in key cities across the country, and highlights the increasing adoption of online platforms in the property purchase journey of consumers. We found that the benefits of online in handholding a property-seeker in the initial journey of shortlisting a property, contacting a seller/ broker has resulted in online medium becoming the starting point for 80% of property seekers. Replete with property choices, the online medium also proves to be the most preferred search avenue amongst digitally evolved property seekers of Delhi-NCR.”

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Rs 15.88 lakh charged for 21 days: Father of deceased seven-month-old files complaint against Medanta

After a serious of medical negligence and overcharging cases in NCR hospitals, a new case on Saturday emerged of a Gurugram hospital inflicting huge amount of bill for treatment.A month after the death of a seven-year-old boy due to dengue, his father has filed a case against Medanta Hospital in Gurugram for overcharging during treatment. He alleged that the Gurugram hospital charged him around Rs 15. 88 lakh for his son’s treatment.”My child was there in the hospital for 21 days, the hospital gave us a bill of Rs 15.88 lakh. We had to request people for money, the hospital has looted us in the name of treatment,” father of the deceased told ANI.However, after staying there for weeks and as the minor’s condition deteriorated, the Medanta Hospital authorities asked the patient’s family to shift him to a government hospital where the seven-year-old passed away.”When the doctors at Medanta felt that the child’s condition is such that he can no longer be kept there, then they pushed us to shift him to a Govt hospital, so we shifted him there,” the father said.The FIR was registered at the Gurgaon’s Sadar police station against the hospital authorities. “Complaint received at Police Station Sadar yesterday, complainant has leveled allegation on Medanta Hospital (Gurugram), their child suffering from dengue was admitted in the hospital, huge bill penalty was imposed on them. Investigation is underway,” said Gurugram Police.In another incident of overcharging, parents of a seven-year old girl, who died on November 21 of Dengue Shock Syndrome (DSS), had accused the Fortis hospital in Gurugram of charging Rs 16 lakh for the 15-day treatment.

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Relief from pollution as rain lashes Capital, NCR

After rain lashed the city at 21.7 degrees Celsius, Delhiites finally felt the winter chill for the first time on Tuesday. It was the first coldest day in December with the maximum temperature going down, said officials of the India Meteorological Department (IMD).The rain that continued through Monday night also brought down temperatures in Delhi-NCR.The Capital could breathe better on Tuesday, as Monday’s rainfall brought the air quality index (AQI) down considerably from 366 units (very poor) to 219 (poor). According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the air quality is set to improve further with the cold north-westerly winds in the coming days.The AQI also came down significantly in NCR towns of Ghaziabad and Noida, which had continuously remained in the ‘severe’ category with the AQI shooting past 400. While Gurgaon which was in ‘very poor’ category improved to ‘moderate’ at 192 units.The AQI units are measured against PM 2.5 — – the most prominent pollutant in Delhi -NCR (measured in microgram per cubic meters).The AQI recorded at Ghaziabad improved from ‘severe’ to ‘poor’ at 290 units while Noida too came down to ‘poor’ at 224 units.”The rain is likely to continue on Tuesday and will help washing down of pollutants hanging in the air. The cold wave from the northern region is to set in from 15-16 December, which will bring in clean air and help improve air quality further,” said a MET department official.After brief respite on December 6 and 7 which was tagged as ‘good air days’ in the month, pollution levels had spiked again on Friday with the AQI shooting up to 390 units.The permissible standards for PM 2.5 — most prominent pollutant in the city — are 60 units (measured in microgram per cubic meters). Last week, the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) had asked the Lieutenant Governor in a meeting to tell Delhi government to start patrolling of small industrial units using cheap fuels leading to pollution.AIR QUALITY Delhi: 219 (poor) Ghaziabad: 290 (poor) Noida: 224 (poor) Gurgaon: 192 (moderate) Faridabad: 229 (poor)

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After brief respite, Delhi air quality very poor again

After a brief respite, the air quality index (AQI) in Delhi-NCR again entered the’very poor’ category at 377 units, with the most polluted sites being industrial towns of Ghaziabad and areas near the Delhi Technological University (DTU) in Rohini. The air quality may further deteriorate with a drop in temperature and low wind speed, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) officials said.Low wind speed and humidity brought in by a drop in temperature have spiked the pollution levels, officials said. The AQI at Delhi’s pollution hotspot Anand Vihar was recorded at 393 units, while DTU stood in the ‘severe’ level at 595. The NCR towns of Ghaziabad and Noida, too, reeled under the’severe’ levels at 448 and 415 units, respectively.”The wind pattern is still fluctuating with south-westerly winds bringing in moisture, leading to trapping of pollutants. The wind speed is low, below 10 kmph, which does not help in disbursal of pollutants,” a senior CPCB scientist said.Earlier this week, the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) had asked the Lieutenant-Governor (L-G) in a meeting to tell the Delhi government to start patrolling of small industrial units using cheap fuels leading to pollution.The DTU, surrounded by Narela, Bawana, and Badli in outer Delhi, has been witnessing massive pollution levels. It was discussed in a review meeting with L-G Anil Baijal on Thursday.Anand Vihar is surrounded by two industrial areas — Sahibabad and Patparganj. These areas use non-approved fuels to run their industries and burn the industrial waste thereafter. Similarly, DTU where over 2,000 students are enrolled, is located near Badli and Bawana, which have a number of unauthorised small factories and industries. The poor quality fuels used by them go unchecked. There are around 10,000 rubber units in operation and need to be checked.Besides, the Sanjay Gandhi Transport Nagar is in a bad condition, as there are no pavements or road carpeting in the area, the official said.The L-G had advised the city’s environment department, Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), and other agencies to devise a mechanism for door-to-door checking and patrolling in these areas for better enforcement of non-usage of non-permitted fuels.AQI READINGSDelhi: 377 (very poor)Ghaziabad: 448 (severe)Noida: 415 (severe)Gurugram: 332 (very poor)Faridabad: 312 (very poor)

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Air quality improves to ‘poor’, relief temporary

The Capital breathed better with the air quality improving from ‘very poor’ to ‘poor’ category on Wednesday.The air quality index (AQI) improved to 282 units from 378 units yesterday. The sun showing up and winds picking up speed were attributed as factors behind the relief by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).Delhi-NCR is likely to receive rainfall on Thursday, which officials of the CPCB said, is expected to wash down the pollutants hanging in the air.The relief, however, is going to be temporary, as fog is set to return after this period with a sharp drop in temperatures.”The AQI improved because of sunlight and movement in the air. The air is going to get even better if the expected rainfall occurs on Thursday. We are expecting a complete washdown. The AQI is likely to remain better over the weekend.However, a further drop in temperatures is expected thereafter, which will bring more moisture resulting in fog and trapping of pollutants,” said Dipankar Saha, air lab chief, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).Delhi witnessed much hue and cry over bad air quality, as Sri Lankan cricketers wore anti-pollution masks during the Test match at Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium. A player even threw up on the field during the match on Tuesday. ‘Very poor’ AQI comes with the warning that people may develop respiratory illness on prolonged exposure to air which affects healthy people and seriously impacts those with existing respiratory or cardiovascular diseases. The PM 2.5 — most prominent pollutant in Delhi NCR — has remained high in the NCR towns including Ghaziabad, Faridabad and Noida, which until Tuesday had’severe’levels of pollution.However, the wind speed helped clear the air with the AQI recorded as ‘very poor’ in these two towns with Noida (303), Faridabad (310) and Ghaziabad (347) units, respectively. While Gurugram was better off in ‘poor’ category — at 294 units. The units for pollution concentrations are measured in microgramms per cubic meters.
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FIR filed in robbery that went viral

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three days after an ice-cream parlour owner was robbed at gunpoint by four bike-borne assailants, the Delhi Police finally managed to register a case, after persuading the victim as he feared the consequences post the case being registered. No arrests have been made so far.The CCTV footage of the incident, which took place in Central Delhi’s Rajendra Nagar went viral on social media prompting the police to approach the victim. The victim was initially hesitant to open up regarding the robbery and did not want to lodge a case as he was afraid of being identified. The entire incident was captured in the cameras installed at the location.According to the CCTV footage, the victim is seen on the road just outside his shop with a small carry bag in one hand while smoking a cigarette. After some time, two persons get off a motorcycle while the other two remain seated on the same motorcycle with the ignition on. One of the assailants had his face uncovered but on spotting the camera he puts on the helmet, which was initially just covering half of his head. The other attacker removes the victim’s gold chain and brandishes a gun to scare him. A passerby who is seen trying to intervene is shown the pistol by the attackers and asked to leave.The duo then scans the pockets of the victim and takes away the cash that he had in his wallet while returning the empty wallet to him. The attackers then casually sit on their motorcycle and leave the spot. Investigators revealed that they are probing the case and the involvement of gangs in Delhi-NCR with same modus operandi is also being investigated.RELUCTANTThe victim was initially hesitant to open up regarding the robbery and did not want to lodge a case as he was afraid of being identified

Air clean, NGT lifts ban on construction

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Friday lifted its prohibition on construction activity in Delhi and National Capital Region (NCR) in light of improved air quality. In an order passed last week, the NGT had put a restriction on all construction activity in Delhi-NCR and transportation of construction material as dust is one of the biggest sources of air pollution in the city.The Tribunal though, directed Delhi and neighbouring states to prepare an action plan within two weeks to control air pollution and prepare for times when the pollution levels rise above very poor levels.A three-member bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar was hearing the plea on air pollution filed by advocate Vardhaman Kaushik.”While preparing the action plan, all the prior judgments, directions, existing action plans must be taken into consideration and the action plan should be directly relatable to the pollution standards and will automatically come into play the moment the prescribed parameter is touched,” the bench said.It added that failure to file the action plan will attract exemplary costs that would be recovered from the senior most concerned officers. “All the state governments, pollution control boards, Central Pollution Control Board and NCT Delhi should have complete preparedness for the coming challenge when the parameter of ambient air quality is severe or hazardous,” the bench added.The Tribunal also clarified that since the Delhi administration had lifted restrictions on entry of diesel-fuelled trucks into Delhi, it will not interfere in it but ordered strict regulations. Further, it said that all other directions in relation to emissions from industries, burning of wastes, burning of crop residue and emissions from vehicles shall however continue to be in force on the basis of precautionary principle.

Scale up public transport: EPCA

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The war of words between the Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) and the Delhi government intensified on Friday as EPCA chief Bhure Lal, retorting to Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot charges on Thursday, said that the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government “has done too little to improve public transport in the city.”In a letter to Gahlot on Friday, the EPCA chief wrote, “Delhi is in dire need of improved public transport, namely buses and last mile connectivity, but little action has been taken on this front,” said Lal. He further said, it is imperative that the government takes urgent and decisive steps to augment the bus fleet and improve itsfunctioning.”The EPCA’s response came after Gahlot’s charge that they “kept quiet over obligations of the National Capital Region (NCR) states to combat pollution. Gahlot had written to the EPCA chief on Thursday urging him to implement the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) in neighbouring states as well in order to bring down pollution levels.On the issue of public transport, the AAP government had said that they are unable to move on bus procurement because of the unavailability of land for bus parking. However, Lal countered this saying that despite getting the required land to park 2,000 buses from the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), the government has still failed to procure these buses.”The lack of public transport also meant that the implementation of GRAP has been weakened. We have had to remove the parking charge hike, because of lack of public transport alternatives as well as for the lack of enforcement against illegal and unauthourised parking,” he wrote.Also, on the government’s insistence to make neighbouring states also implement Odd-Even road rationing scheme to improve air quality, Lal said, “Odd-Even is only an ’emergency’ and short-term measure while if the government takes the long-term measures, it may not need to take emergency action at all.”WHAT IS THE GRAP?The GRAP prepared by the EPCA — a Supreme Court mandated body — has the Odd-Even road rationing scheme listed as a measure to be taken during ‘emergency’ levels of air pollution. The first implementation of GRAP, he said, has resulted in up to 15-20 per cent of reduction in pollution.AQI IN DELHI-NCR ON FRIDAYDelhi 310 (very poor) Ghaziabad 378 (very poor) Gurgaon 307 (very poor) Noida 286 (poor)Faridabad 291(poor)

Delhi Pollution: NGT permits trucks to enter Capital, lifts ban on construction activities

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Friday permitted trucks to enter Delhi and directed neighbouring states to submit an action plan on steps to curb pollution within two weeks.The Green Court said that it won’t interfere in administrative order on the entry of trucks, but hence the entry will continue into Delhi with strict regulations by the authorities concerned.However, the green court has refused to lift a ban on industrial activities causing pollution in Delhi-NCR region.On Thursday, some of the lawyers, appearing for builders and industries, had requested the tribunal to lift its ban on the ground that air quality in the NCR had improved.On November 14, the NGT had expressed concern over the high pollution level, terming it as an “environmental and health emergency”. The city should “not gift infected lungs to its children”, it had observed.It had also refused to exempt women and two-wheelers from the Delhi government’s odd-even vehicle rationing scheme and directed it to ensure that over 10-year-old diesel vehicles be taken off the roads without delay.It had also asked the city government to identify the most polluted areas and sprinkle water, while allowing the non-polluting industries and those manufacturing essential goods to operate in Delhi-NCR.The NGT had on November 11 stated that it would not exempt women and two-wheelers from the odd-even vehicle rationing plan to tackle pollution.

Kailash Gahlot urges EPCA to implement Odd-Even in neighbouring states

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot on Thursday urged the Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) to implement the Odd-Even road rationing scheme in the neighbouring states as well to bring down the overall pollution levels in Delhi-NCR.The environment minister wrote to EPCA chairman Bhure Lal in this regard, as the Odd-Even scheme was to be implemented as an “emergency” measure under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), which has been prepared by the authority to tackle various levels of air pollution.”The Delhi government immediately announced the implementation of the third phase ofOdd-Even, as air pollution reached emergency levels, in order to comply with the GRAP. However, due to the NGT orders bringing two-wheelers and women drivers in the non-exemption category for which the government again had to approach the green court to allow the exemption, we could not implement the scheme. However, unfortunately, the impression that is getting generated is that only Delhi needs to implement the scheme as mandated by the GRAP,” wrote Gahlot.The government has not been able to implement the same because of the NGT order, hence it must not be seen as a flip-flop on part of the AAP government, said Gahlot.The minister, further, requested the EPCA chief to advise neighbouring towns to implement the odd-even scheme as well, because it is only then that pollution levels could come down.Meanwhile, despite repeated attempts, Bhure Lal was not available for comments.Also, the EPCA in view of improving air quality on Thursday lifted the ban it had imposed on the entry of trucks in city limits, all construction activity in Delhi-NCR and the four-fold hike in parking charges.While the air quality has improved from the past week, it was still in the ‘very poor’ category.

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.

Supreme Court seeks response from Centre, states on plea to curb pollution in Delhi-NCR

Updated: Nov 13, 2017, 06:26 PM IST, PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today 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).A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said that there won’t be any stay on matters pertaining to pollution which are going on before any other court. The apex court issued notice to the Centre and the state governments concerned on the plea which also sought a direction to promote solar energy and electric vehicles to check pollution.The plea filed by lawyer R K Kapoor has claimed that rise in dust particles on roads, stubble burning in Delhi’s neighbouring states like Haryana and Punjab have led to an alarming rise in pollution levels in the NCR and its adjoining areas. The fresh plea has sought directions to the Centre and the states concerned to take measures on curbing road dust and stubble burning. It has also sought effective implementation of the odd- even car rationing scheme.

Delhi pollution: SC issues notices to Centre, UP, Punjab, Haryana and Delhi govts over stubble burning

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Monday issued notices to the Centre, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Delhi Government on petition on stubble burning and dust pollution. The Supreme Court had earlier in the day agreed to hear today itself a fresh plea seeking to curb rising pollution in Delhi and the national capital region (NCR).A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud considered the submission of lawyer R K Kapoor that rise in dust particles on roads, stubble burning in Delhi’s neighbouring states like Haryana and Punjab have led to an alarming rise in pollution levels in the NCR and its adjoining areas..Delhi Government on Monday had filed an appeal in the National Green Tribunal (NGT) seeking certain changes in NGT’s previous directions regarding the odd-even scheme. The NGT is likely to hear the plea on Tuesday.Earlier in the day, also questioned the government on Odd-Even scheme. The green court asked whether the Delhi government was only informing the media about a review petition on the Odd-Even scheme since no review petition had been filed as yet.The NGT had approved the Delhi government’s suggestion of implementing the odd-even scheme to curb the smog that has plagued the national capial since last Wednesday. However, the NGT made it clear that nobody would be exempted. This was contrary to the Delhi government’s proposal that women drivers and two-wheelers would not fall under the purview of the scheme. The Delhi government then called off implementing the scheme.

Delhi pollution: SC to hear plea seeking measures to curb pollution levels in NCR

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court agrees to hear a plea seeking immediate measures to curb rising pollution in Delhi-NCR. The CJI bench will hear the matter at the end of the board on Monday.The plea sought immediate actions against stubble burning and construction dust. Earlier, smog continued to plague the national capital on Monday, with Air Quality Index figures in several parts of the city falling in the ‘hazardous category’, it was reported.According to latest AQI figures, Delhi’s Mandir Marg recorded 523, Anand Vihar recorded 510, while Punjabi Bagh at 743, Shadipur at 420.Despite this, schools reopened after they were shut since last Thursday. Both students and teachers were seen donning masks. Some teachers maintained that closing schools was not an option, and a collective effort was necessary.Railway services, too, were hampered with 69 trains getting delayed and 22 getting rescheduled. Eight trains were cancelled due to the intense smog conditions.Air quality in Delhi-NCR has been at the season’s worst since last Wendesday as a combined effect of smoke from stubble burning and moisture turned the region into a ‘gas chamber’ leaving people gasping.Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday blamed stubble burning for smog in the national capital and said that a solution can be found if everyone comes together. The Delhi government had even proposed an odd-even scheme, with exemptions to two-wheelers and women drivers, which was approved by the National Green Tribunal on condition that nobody was exempted. This prompted the government to call of the scheme.

NGT slams Delhi govt on Odd-Even, verdict today

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal called the Delhi government’s Odd-Even traffic restrictions to clean up the city’s toxic air a “farce” on Friday, and said it will not be rolled out without the NGT’s go ahead.”We will not allow it until you prove that it’s not counter-productive,” the NGT said. India’s top environment court will take a call on the issue on Saturday.The government has announced to run during Monday-Friday the controversial measure which says odd- and even-numbered private vehicles ply on alternate days as air quality has remained severally polluted over four days. The NGT said that a hundred measures have been suggested to curb pollution, but the government always opts for Odd-Even. After the resounding criticism, the government plan hangs in the balance.The scheme is being rolled out under a Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) given by the Supreme Court-mandated Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA). But EPCA chairman Bhure Lal told DNA that Odd-Even will be ineffective. “The announcement was made without consulting EPCA… it will create panic… Two-wheeler exemption and lack of buses will make Odd-Even infective,” he said. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar asked Delhi government to provide details of the benefits during the earlier implementation of the scheme.The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has said there is no data to suggest that the road rationing scheme reduced vehicular pollution in Delhi-NCR.The NGT also questioned the exemption given to two-wheelers, saying these are a major pollution contributor in Delhi where schools are shut for the week. The situation has not improved despite a slew of government measures — ordering a halt to construction, restricting car use and raising parking charges fourfold.Following a plea by the AAP government, the green panel however allowed the industries engaged in essential services to operate in Delhi-NCR on the condition that they would not pollute and cause emissions.Illegal crop stubble burning, vehicle exhaust and construction dust have been causing Delhi’s pollution crisis every winter. A US embassy measure of tiny particulate matter called PM 2.5 showed a reading of 523 at 9 am onFriday. The safe limit of “good” air is 50. Commercial trucks are now banned from Delhi unless they are transporting essential commodities

How to make air poisonous!

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Tuesday when the Air Quality Index (AQI) in Delhi clocked 468 in the most severe category — anything above 100 is considered unhealthy — a state of public health emergency was declared by the Indian Medical Association (IMA). With a steady rise in Delhi’s pollution levels over the years, the contributing factors making the air dangerous have also increased. Vehicular and industrial emissions remain at the core of this dire situation.Rapid urbanisation has fuelled the spreading of dust and burning of waste, releasing particulate matters — fine particles — which cause heart attacks, strokes, lung cancer, and respiratory illnesses.However, before the Supreme Court (SC) and the National Green Tribunal (NGT) took cognizance of the new sources of pollution, the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) had raised an alarm about the slide in the gains from the switch to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fuel for commercial vehicles.Beginning April 2003, the EPCA submitted reports to the SC and the state governments. The top court-appointed body documented and emphasised that while the SC’s orders “stabilised run away pollution”, pollution levels were rising, and that “there cannot be a let-up in the city’s effort”.The second-generation reforms, as elaborated by the EPCA, comprised a multi-pronged approach that included new mass-emission standards, in-use standards for two-wheelers and cars, tighter pollution under control (PUC) norms, bringing parity between diesel and petrol prices, by-passing of goods traffic, integrated public transport system to reduce vehicular congestion, gas-based fuel in power plants and prohibition on pet coke and furnace oils.With the exception of leapfrogging to the Bharat Stage-VI emissions technology, ban on the polluting pet coke and furnace oils and an environment compensation charge on trucks, a large part of the second-generation of reforms remain stuck on the ground. The EPCA member and Centre for Science and Environment director general Sunita Narain said that while the SC has given significant orders on discontinuing registration of Bharat Stage-III vehicles, three or four big objectives are yet to be achieved. “We have been asking for restraints on vehicles through public transport and parking policy… but nobody is moving on it and Delhi has fewer buses than before,” said Narain.The EPCA is also doing a fresh survey of commercial traffic at Delhi checkposts to improve the enforcement of turning away traffic from entering the city. Narain added that the management of dust, garbage, and waste burning are governance issues that require boots on the ground. “The EPCA cannot do it, the government needs to do it, there is a need for political will.”In 2014, in its report on ‘priority measures to reduce air pollution and protect public health’, the EPCA once again detailed before the SC the continuing slide in the fight against the crisis.It highlighted that particulate matter (PM) 10 levels had reduced by 16 per cent between 2002 and 2007, a period when the CNG transition kicked in and plateaued. Then, particulate levels increased “dramatically” by 75 per cent.’Between 2002 and 2012, vehicle numbers shot up by 97 per cent, contributing enormously to the pollution load, the report said.To put things into perspective, between 1998 and 2017, Delhi’s motor vehicle population rose from 32.10 lakh in 1998 to 1.05 crore in May 2017. In Delhi alone, the urban cover rose from 62.35 per cent in 2001 to 75.09 per cent in 2011, according to official data.With the SC order that green cess be levied on diesel cars, its sale has shown a dip to some extent, as per industry data. But now, stubble burning has become one of the biggest external factors contributing to Delhi’s toxic air.Across Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, over 20 million tonnes of paddy straw is burnt between October and mid-November, releasing plumes of smoke that travel over to Delhi-NCR with winds. While the NCR states had banned stubble burning through notifications, the NGT too passed a judgment in 2015, detailing measures to prevent the practice.The implementation, though, has failed to a great extent. Nearly two years since its order, the NGT pulled up Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh on Thursday for having failed to curb the practice of crop stubble burning, and sought detailed reports from the states. The Punjab government, though, has submitted to the green court that compared to 2016, there have been 29,000 fewer instances of stubble burning.According to senior advocate MC Mehta, “The government had no clear policy to battle pollution, neither in the past nor now. It is the SC that has played a major role in the public interest and come to our rescue. Not just metros, but towns are also suffering and that is the next big challenge.”Contributing factorsDelhi’s motor vehicle population rose from 32.10 lakh in 1998 to 1.05 crore in May 2017.Vehicular pollution contributes to over 20 per cent of the overall air pollution. Across Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, over 20 million tonnes of paddy straw is burnt between October and mid-November, releasing plumes of smoke that travel over to Delhi-NCR with winds.

In Arvind Kejriwal vs Amarinder Singh over stubble burning, guess who just replied from Pakistan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid the tussle going on between the Delhi and Punjab government over the stubble burning issue, the Pakistan government has now a suggestion for Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to tackle the air pollution issue.Backing Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s stance on stubble burning as the major cause of air pollution, the Punjab Government of Pakistan said Singh should put a ban on the practice.”We have imposed a ban on stubble burning in Punjab (Pakistan) & hope Captain Amarinder Singh takes similar measures. Environmental hazards threaten our people and habitat. Let us act fast to counter it,” the tweet said.The Pakistan government’s tweet came in a reply to Kejriwal’s tweet where he urged Singh for an ’emergency’ interstate meet and blamed crop burning in Punjab for the major cause of smog in the national capital and to find a solution to the issue.Kejriwal on Thursday have blamed stubble burning for the main cause of smog in the Delhi-NCR region and said solution can be found if politics are kept aside and everyone join hands to solve the issue.”Until state governments don’t find economically viable solutions to crop burning it will not stop. If everyone…central government, UP, Punjab and Haryana government come together and put aside politics a solution can be found,” Kejriwal said.Meanwhile, Punjab CM has appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking compensation for farmers to check the dangerous trend of stubble burning.The pollution emergency in Delhi-NCR have forced the AAP government to bring back the car-rationing scheme odd-even.The third phase of the odd-even scheme will come into force from November 13 to November 17.In a bid to encourage the use of public transport at the mayhem of dangerous smog, the Delhi government have made the use of public services free of cost.”To encourage use of public transport during Odd- Even, Delhi govt to allow free travel for commuters in all DTC and Cluster buses from 13-17 November,” Delhi Transport Minister Ashok Gahlot said on Twitter.The air quality in Delhi continues to be in ‘severe’ condition under a blanket of thick haze, as pollution levels have breached permissible standards by multiple times.The Indian Medical Association (IMA) had already declared it a ‘public health emergency’ and have urged the government to ban outdoor activities.

Panic Button As Air Worsens

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal (NGT), the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the Delhi High Court tore into authorities of the Central government and the administrations in Delhi-NCR, ordering fresh measures to clean up the toxic air which continued to breach most severe levels for a third straight day on Thursday.An irked NGT banned all polluting constructions and industrial activities in Delhi-NCR till the next hearing on November 14. India’s top environmental court also banned entry of diesel trucks more than ten years old and petrol cars older than 15 years. No vehicle from outside or within Delhi will be permitted to transport any construction material.The tribunal slammed authorities for only holding meetings, writing letters and shifting responsibility in “such an environmental emergency”, as a fold-four hiked in car parking charges kicked in to force residents to use public transport.”You go to hospitals and see what people are facing. You kept playing with people’s life. Right to life has been infringed upon with impunity by authorities who have been mere spectators to such a crisis,” said the bench which also ordered sprinkling of water and a ban on waste burning to reduce pollution levels.It reminded Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan to ensure that there is no crop residue burning in any part of the states, as video images showed farmers illegally burning paddy stubble in Rohtak.The NHRC took a “serious view” of the “life-threatening” pollution and sent notices to the Central government, Delhi, Punjab and Haryana, saying the State cannot leave its citizens to die in toxic haze. The top rights panel slammed authorities for denying people their right to life and health.It also sought reports, within two weeks, from the governments on immediate steps to fight the crisis in Delhi where 20 million people are gasping for oxygen.”It is apparent that the authorities concerned have not taken proper steps throughout the year to tackle this hazard, which is amounting to violation of the right to life and health of the residents in the region,” the NHRC said.The Delhi High Court also called the situation an emergency one and ordered top officials of the Central government and the states to hold emergency meetings within three days, as a thick grey smog hung low across the region.The court also suggested cloud seeding to trigger artificial rain so that pollutants can settle down in Delhi where schools are shut for the week.”London has already faced this situation. It is a killer. Stubble burning is the visible villain in it, but there are other elephants in the room,” the bench said. The court also asked the traffic police to ensure there is no vehicular congestion on roads, and provide masks to personnel on duty.

Delhi-NCR pollution: No immediate relief as air quality likely to deteriorate further today

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Residents of Delhi-NCR may not get an immediate relief from the dangerous level of pollution in the air. On Thursday, the pollution levels spiked up to 599 as against 517 the previous day. This is almost 10 times the safe standards of 60. Ideally the air quality index (AQI) should remain between 51 and 100. The air quality constantly depreciating even after the key measures had been enforced under the ‘severe plus’ category of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP). For eg, from Thursday afternoon the parking rates will turn four times higher in the city with owners paying upto Rs 800 a day to discourage people from using a large number of personal vehicles.The AAP government is also considering imposing a third round of odd-even formula also.
ALSO READ Smog, closed runway make Delhi-Mumbai air travel expensive as ticket prices shoot up to Rs 29,000Experts said that the situation was worst on Thursday morning with a low visibility and warned that in the evening the pollution level will be beyond hazardous. “The pattern is likely to stay in Delhi-NCR, as the south westerly winds are bringing moisture while the north westerly winds are bringing dust particles. The forecast given to us by the Met department suggests the air quality could improve by Saturday with a little sunshine and if winds at ground level pick up pace,” said Vivek Chattopadhyaya, senior scientist, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).
ALSO READ As deadly smog continues in Delhi, foreign nationals in dilemma to ‘leave’ or ‘stay’All the eight air quality monitoring stations under the SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecast and Research) including Delhi University, IGI Airport (T3), Pusa and Noida, among others recorded air quality 500+. The values are measured against PM 2.5 —- the most prominent pollutant in Delhi. The figures are measured in micrograms per cubic meters.

Delhi air can kill many, warns top AIIMS doctor

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The air in the Capital became “unbreathable” on Wednesday, with the Air Quality Index (AQI) shooting up to a poisonous 517, crossing the ‘severe’ mark. Director of country’s top medical institute, AIIMS, Dr Randeep Guleria then warned that 25,000 to 30,000 people in in Delhi-NCR might lose their lives this year, due to diseases exacerbated by pollution.”Pollution is a silent killer,” he said, while comparing the situation to the 1952 killer Great Smog of London. On December 5, 1952, a thick yellow smog brought London to a standstill for four days, and is estimated to have killed more than 4,000 people.On Tuesday, the AQI in the Capital had clocked at 448. A dark blanket of haze enveloped Delhi-NCR on Wednesday, with citizens complaining of breathlessness and irritation in eyes. “It was worse on Wednesday. There was dust in my eyes, throat. Delhi has become unliveable,” said Mayank Sharma, a resident of Vasant Kunj.Hospitals across the Capital were swarmed with patients complaining about breathlessness, headache, throat infection, fever, cough etc. “The situation will lead to an increase in number of cases of breathlessness and deaths. There has been a rise of 20 per cent in the number of patients in OPD,” Dr Guleria said.Most monitoring stations in the city recorded pollution levels beyond 500, which was almost 10 times the permissible limit of 60. As the air quality plummeted further in the Capital, Lieutenant-Governor (L-G) Anil Baijal directed the Transport Department to stay prepared for the third round of Odd-Even scheme.All schools have been shut in Delhi till Sunday. “The air quality in Delhi is deteriorating. We cannot compromise with the health of children,” Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said. Also, schools upto Class VIII will remain shut on November 9 and 10 in Noida and Greater Noida as well.The wind speed required to disperse pollutants has remained stagnant at 0.3 m/s for days.The bad news is that the air quality is expected to deteriorate even further on Thursday.”The weather conditions are not expected to improve. It may even deteriorate further. The wind speed at the ground level is stagnant. The situation might look a bit better on Friday, with some sunshine predicted,” a senior scientist at the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) said.Meanwhile, the Supreme Court-mandated Environment Pollution Prevention and Control (EPCA) chairman Bhure Lal said that he will now be writing to the chief secretaries of Punjab and Haryana governments to immediately stop crop burning.”The visibility in Punjab is not even 50 yards. I will write to the state government to immediately put a stop to crop burning. It has affected Delhi-NCR badly,” he saidMeasures takenEntry of trucks (except those carrying essential commodities) to Delhi stopped.Civil construction activities in city stopped.DMRC increases frequency Metro services.Municipal Corporations and PWD intensify mechanical road sweepings and sprinkling of water.Parking fees increased by four times.Municipal Corporations stop use of fire wood and coal in hotels and eateries.Open burning prohibited.

EPCA tells states to impose fines, hike parking fees

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Tuesday, Delhi’s skies resembled a vast plume of dust as smoke emitted from farm fires across Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, and moisture-laden winds enveloped the city in a thick layer of smog. The air quality of the Capital breached the ‘severe’ category, making it hazardous and unhealthy for even those without any respiratory ailments.The situation saw the Supreme Court-empowered Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) go into a huddle. The members have now directed Delhi and other NCR states to immediately roll out measures from the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP). Apart from Delhi, authorities across Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Rajasthan were also issued these directions.Chief among the directions were an increase in public transport services, including Delhi Metro, addition of more coaches in Metro, and a reduction in fares during off-peak hours, as long as the air quality was in the ‘severe’ category.To control the rampant dust pollution, the EPCA has directed all state pollution control boards to immediately impose fines on all road construction agencies found wanting in dust control. While discussing the quantum of fines, officials from CPCB and EPCA chief Bhure Lal said that using provisions of the Construction and Demolition Rules, a penalty of up to Rs 5 lakh can be imposed.”The EPCA is directing for a fine of Rs,50,000 to be imposed as penalty, per day, for inadequate road dust control,” EPCA member Sunita Narain said during the meeting.Meteorological conditions played a significant role in worsening Delhi-NCR air-quality, Central Pollution Control Board Member Secretary A.Sudhakar informed EPCA on Tuesday.”It is in the severe category primarily due to weather conditions. The Western Disturbance-influenced winds are bringing pollutants from Punjab and winds from eastern side are bringing in moisture,” A Sudhakar 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

Air quality is so bad; children can’t breathe: NGT pulls up state governments over smog in NCR

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal on Tuesday directed the state governments of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Delhi-NCR to send in a report on the preventive steps they have taken to curb the worsening air quality in the national capital.An NGT bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar, the chairperson of the tribunal, pulled the state governments for their poor preparedness in tackling the situation.”The ambient air quality is so bad that the children are not able to breathe properly. Why did you not spray water using helicopters as per our directions,” Justice Swatanter Kumar asked.Earlier in the day, the pollution level in the national capital remained critical on Tuesday morning. Due to smog-like condition on Tuesday the visibility early in the morning remained low, causing problems in movement of traffic.According to reports, the visibility dropped to 200 metres at 8:30 am.The average air quality index (AQI) also hit 396 (very poor) at 8am, which further peaked by 9.30am to 403 indicating severe pollution level. AQI in East Delhi’s Dilshad Garden was 420, whereas it was 319 in Anand Vihar.The pollution was recorded highest in Punjabi Bagh with AQI 999 and 852 in R.K. Puram. The air quality in Dwarka and NCR also hovered between 400-420.AQI level from 0-50 is considered “good”, 51-100 is “satisfactory” 101-200 is “moderate”, 201-300 is “poor”, 301-400 is “very poor”, and 401 and above is “severe”.In August this year, the NGT had pulled up the governments of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan over continuous stubble burning, one of the main causes of smog during the winter in north India.However, farmers in October said that they would continue to burn stubble, as they find it the most economic way of getting rid of crop residue.According to estimates, over 20 million tonnes of paddy stubble is burnt across these states before sowing of the wheat crops. These fires emit carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide among other gases.

Delhi better off than last year but pollution still breaches emergency levels: Monitoring agencies

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Pollution in Delhi breached emergency levels on the Diwali night and the air quality has since progressively deteriorated, but compared to last year, the city was relatively better off, the pollution monitoring agencies today concurred.The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) released data showing a significant fall in volume of particulates PM2.5, PM10 and gaseous pollutant SO2 (sulphur dioxide) recorded by its stations across the national capital on the Diwali night, as compared to last year.However, the volume of pollutants were almost identical, at places even higher, when placed against the figures of 2014 or 2015, making it difficult to attribute the marginal dip to any particular factor, such as the ban on the sale of firecrackers in the region by the Supreme Court on October 10.The CPCB’s Diwali day air quality index had a score of 426 last year, which falls in the ‘severe’ – or the most polluted – category. This year, it was 326, in the ‘very poor’ category, a shade better.However, the overall air quality index (AQI) of the city, as recorded by CPCB, was 403 today, which is in the severe category. CPCB’s monitoring network has also expanded over the the last one year with the addition of around 10 new stations.Dipankar Saha, head of CPCB’s air lab, said inspite of non-favourable meteorological conditions such as lesser distribution of pollutants and low wind speed leading to their stagnation, the air quality on Diwali has shown an improvement over 2016.The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) said the pollution levels worsened this morning due to calm wind and higher moisture in the air – as was predicted.”Since October 1, PM2.5 levels have largely hovered around ‘poor’ to ‘very poor’ categories. But this breached the emergency level on Diwali night,” Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director-research and advocacy, CSE, said.CSE’s analysis also established the fact that this year’s Diwali morning and evening were promising indeed, with little or no firecrackers being burst across localities.But as the revelry picked up, the air quality declined.”During the day (about 13 hour average 6 am to 7 pm) the levels in Delhi and NCR towns of Gurugram and Ghaziabad were in ‘very poor’ category (Delhi – 139 micrograms per cubic metre (ug/m3); Gurugram – 121 (ug/m3); and Ghaziabad – 142 (ug/m3).”However, during Diwali night (about 12 hour average – 7 pm last night to 7 am this morning) the levels in Delhi, Gurugram and Ghaziabad were in emergency level. (Delhi- 548 (ug/m3); Gurugram 382 (ug/m3); Gaziabad 501 (ug/m3)),” CSE said in a statement.The 24-hour safe limit of PM2.5 and PM10 are 60 and 100 respectively.The Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) also released data based on monitoring at 16 sites. According to its data, levels of PM2.5 and PM10 showed a marginal dip compared to last year. Burn injuries downThe ban on the sale of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR may not have had the desired impact on air quality, but major hospitals in the capital reported a lesser number of burn and eye injury cases this Diwali than last year.Centre-run Safdarjung Hospital and RML Hospital, both of which have big burn units, received 66 and 29 patients respectively.The Safdarjung Hospital, located in the heart of the city, had received 110 burn patients last Diwali, a senior doctor said.”Out of the 66 patients, who came between 6 PM yesterday to 6 AM today, 50 had suffered burn injuries during Diwali- related festivities. Five of them were admitted,” he said.At the RML Hospital, located in central Delhi, 29 people came to the casualty wards with burn injuries compared to the 79 patients last year.”Since last evening till 10 AM today, 29 patients — 23 males and five females — with burn injuries, mainly related to hands and eyes, were attended to in the casualty department. Only one man, who had suffered 27 per cent injury was admitted,” Medical Superintendent of the RML Hospital, Dr V K Tiwari, told PTI.Many doctors feel that the Supreme Court ban on sale of crackers in Delhi-NCR may have contributed to the less number of cases of burns, both of body parts and eyes, reported at hospitals.At AIIMS, 28 patients, who had sustained burns in eyes or other ocular injuries, were brought in between 10 AM yesterday to 10 AM today, said a senior doctor at the Dr R P Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences of the premier institution.”The eye injuries pertained to burns suffered from crackers or lodging of foreign objects or perforation.However, the cases reported last year was far higher, about 100,” he said, adding that the Supreme Court ban seems to have had a salutary effect.The Delhi government’s largest hospital, the LNJP Hospital, also received just 10 patients for bodily injuries from fire-related incidents.”Only four of them needed admission, the extent of burn ranged from 10 per cent in one patient to 60 per cent in another. None had eye injuries, but only facial and limb injuries,” Medical Superintendent of the LNJP Hospital J C Passey said.Authorities at the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital said that its casualty unit received 15 cases of burn injuries during the night, 10 of whom were adults and five children.Two patients with severe burn injuries have been operated, and the rest discharged. Four patients with breathing difficulty also came to the casualty ward, they said.The St Stephen’s Hospital did not report a single burn- related case on Diwali night. “We usually get 15-20 cases every year. But, this time the firecracker ban may have helped reduce the number,” a senior official said.However, night-long Diwali revelries, left Delhi polluted in the morning, as the air quality took a sharp plunge and entered the ‘severe’ zone today.

Diwali 2017: Vodafone goes the green way; to give soya, tulsi seeds to customers in Delhi stores

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Telecom operator Vodafone is gifting ‘eco-friendly’ crackers containing soya or tulsi plant seeds to customers visiting its stores in Delhi.”As a part of these ‘Super Celebrations’, we are happy to announce the Vodafone Green Diwali Campaign which aims to give our customers a great experience this Diwali.”Our specially designed eco-friendly crackers contain air purifying plant seeds that will bring about a change in the pollution levels of the city leading to a safer and healthier atmosphere for everyone,” Vodafone India Delhi and NCR Business head Alok Verma said in a statement.In the gift pack, the company is giving ‘super crackers’ which are eco-friendly water soluble papers in form of cracker that carry soya or tulsi plant seeds.”The eco-friendly crackers will be available at all our stores giving our customers the opportunity to celebrate Green Diwali and be a part of the great awareness campaign against air pollution,” Verma said.Also, customers visiting Vodafone stores will be able to design personalised GIF greetings that they can send to friends and family through social media.

FIFA match: Traffic Police issue advisory

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>To facilitate smooth movement of traffic in view of the FIFA match on Monday and Dhanteras on Tuesday, followed by Diwali, the Delhi Traffic Police issued an advisory on Sunday.The National Capital Region (NCR) has been grappling with massive traffic jams due to the festive rush since Friday.Roads around JLN – Lala Lajpat Rai Marg from Lodi flyover to Sarai Kale Khan, Lodi Road, Aurobindo Marg from AIIMS to Aurobindo Chowk will be affected from 3 pm to 10 pm on Monday. Traffic on Safdarjung Road, Tughlak Road towards Bhinder point, Shanti Path till Moti Bagh turn and till Rao Tula Ram Marg will also be hit. They may further get affected due to additional movement. The traffic police have advised taking alternate routes for these corridors between 2 to 8.30 pm.The traffic police have also deployed extra staff at all important points along with cranes for any eventuality. Additional motorcycle patrols have also been deployed to reach congested areas, if required.Traffic came to a halt on Friday in different parts of Delhi-NCR due to the festive rush. Vehicles moved at snail’s pace at different areas, including Andrews Ganj, Vasant Kunj, Ashram, and Lajpat Nagar. The DND flyover on way to Noida and on the opposite side was also choked with traffic.

NGT relaxes 10-year-old diesel vehicles ban in Delhi-NCR

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Friday gave a breather in its ban imposed on 10-year-old diesel vehicles in Delhi -NCR. NGT granted partial relief to commercial vehicles undertaking transport of essential goods on behalf of the government. These vehicles can continue to operate for another three years over the life period of ten years. Earlier, the NGT had banned 10-year-old diesel vehicles in Delhi-NCR. It has given a breather of three years to the owner to continue using the vehicle over the life period of ten years. The partial relief does not include private individual users.Earlier in September this year, the NGT had rejected the Centre’s request to modify its earlier order to ban diesel vehicles. The green tribunal said that emissions from diesel vehicles were carcinogenic. One diesel vehicle causes pollution equivalent to 24 petrol vehicles or 40 CNG vehicles. According to media reports, the NGT has also asked neighbouring Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to identify low-pollution zones, where banned vehicles will not be allowed to enter.This should help in ensuring that the pollution curbed from entering Delhi is not pushed into other cities.

SC refuses to relax ban on firecracker sale in Delhi-NCR; HC sets time limits in Punjab & Haryana

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Friday upheld the ban on the sale of firecrackers in the NCR region. The bench also expressed its pain that their order was given a communal tone.The apex court said that people can burst firecrackers purchased before its order banning the sale. It added that one can burst crackers only till 11 pm. SC also directed the Delhi Police to implement its order banning the sale of firecrackers.’We will ascertain after Diwali if there has been a difference in pollution levels’, the Supreme Court said.Meanwhile while there is no ban on firecrackers in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh, the Punjab & Haryana High Court has fixed timings (6:30 pm to 9:30 pm) on October 19 as the time allowed to burst firecrackers. PCR vans have been asked to keep a check on flouting of the order.The Supreme Court had on October 9 imposed a blanket ban on sale of firecrackers in the Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR) till November 1 in the run-up of Diwali.A three-judge bench of the apex court had restored its November 2016 order, banning sale of crackers in NCR and suspended its September 2017 order – which allowed limited sale but banned imports from other states.

Award wapsi gang may even file petition regarding cremation of Hindus: Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court ban on firecrackers on Diwali prompted Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy to take a swipe at the “candle and award-waapsi gang”, as he said that the fear of air pollution could well lead to a plea on the cremation of Hindus.The governor, who is a former BJP leader, tweeted in Hindi on the ban on the bursting of crackers on Diwali and the Janmashtami ritual of dahi handi, which had also come up in court. “Kabhi dahi handi, aaj patakha, kal ho sakta hai pradushan ka havala lekar mombatti aur award-waapsi gang Hinduon ki chita jalaney par bhi yachika dal dey (One day it is dahi handi, today it is firecrackers; tomorrow the issue of pollution may well lead to a plea by the candle holding and award-waapsi gang on cremating Hindus),” he tweeted.The apex court had on Monday said there would be no further sale of crackers in Delhi and the NCR. Earlier, the issue of putting a cap on the age of participants and the height of human pyramids formed on Janmashtami for dahi handi — the breaking of earthenware pots — had been discussed by the courts.

An asthmatic breathes a sigh of relief

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Swapnil Mathur, 31, has been suffering from asthma since he was a toddler, but in the last few years, his condition had severely deteriorated due to the bad air quality. His problems would get worse around Diwali, as this is the time when the weather changes as well. In fact, last year, he had to be hospitalisedjust after Diwali.The Supreme Court’s decision to completely ban the sale of of firecrackers in the city till November 1 has come as a boon to Mathur.”Any change in weather conditions i.e. temperature or wind, has been a problem for me since birth. Exposure to pollen, dust, or even strong smells lead to an asthma attack,” said Mathur, a technology reviewer. “Last year was the worst in my three decades of asthma. Despite starting the precautionary medicines two weeks ahead of Diwali, I still had to be hospitalised the next day,” he said.Mathur later had to get an industrial-grade mask, which is specifically designed to filter out fumes and particulate matter, and nebulise for several days, even at home. This year again, he has started taking the precautionary medicines and will leave the city for a week during Diwali. His doctor has strictly prescribed him to move out of the city for a few days and return only after the fumes have settled. Unfortunately, he will not be able to celebrate Diwali with his family.”I absolutely love the SC decision. But I would have loved it if it had barred the use of firecrackers as well. Right now, it is illegal only to sell them in Delhi-NCR, but those who want to burn crackers would still get them from Meerut, Sonipat, and other areas on the outskirts. It’s still good to know that they have taken a step like this,”he said.

In Sivakasi, SC ban casts long shadow

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court’s ban on the sale of firecrackers within the National Capital Region threatens to affect the livelihood of lakhs of people in Tamil Nadu’s Sivakasi, the fireworks hub of India that is now staring at a loss of up to Rs 600 crore this Diwali season. Sivakasi generates about Rs 4,000 crore in sales annually.Already hit by demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax, fireworks manufacturers are worried the ban might spread to other cities if non-profits push take up the issue in those courts.Diwali is the main season for the crackers business, when 90 percent of all fireworks sale happen, said PC Asaithambi, President of Tamil Nadu Fireworks and Amorces Manufacturers Association (Tanfama), said. The NCR region, which includes Delhi, is a major market, accounting for 15-20 per cent of Diwali sales.Asaithambi said that by this time, orders from the NCR region have likely been dispatched after paying advance tax under GST regime.”The dealers purchase the crackers paying an advance or on credit from the manufacturers, and pay the dues after the Diwali sale. (The ban) will be a huge loss for dealers and manufacturers,” he told DNA.Under new GST rules, goods (crackers) dispatched to a particular person or company in one state cannot be diverted to another, he noted. However, he ruled out any move to appeal as Diwali is a mere 10 days away.

Dr Harsh Vardhan gets slammed on Twitter for supporting SC decision banning firecrackers on Diwali

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Monday, Union Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan who holds the portfolios of Ministry of Science & Technology (India), Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Ministry of Earth Sciences, faced flak on Twitter for backing the SC decision to ban sale of firecrackers during Diwali in the Delhi-NCR region.He wrote on Twitter: “Welcome decision by the SC on ban of firecrakers sales in NCR. Comes as a huge support for my #GreenDiwali initiative for our environmentHowever, his comments didn’t go down well with many attacking him on Twitter with many attacking him. On the other hand, another Delhi BJP spokesman Tajinder Singh Bagga ssaid he would distribute firecrackers among the children living in the slums in the Hari Nagar Assembly constituency on Diwali, which would be celebrated on October 19 this year.”I have a plan to buy firecrackers worth Rs 50,000 and give them to the children living in the slums of Hari Nagar, so that they can celebrate Diwali,” he said.”It will not be a violation or defamation of the Supreme Court order, because the court has only banned the sale of firecrackers. It has not put a ban on buying or bursting them,” Bagga added.News of the Supreme Court order decreeing a cracker-free Diwali this year spread like the proverbial wildfire through wholesale markets here today, uniting shopkeepers big and small in their anger and dismay.With losses running into crores, their Diwali was going up in smoke, said shopkeepers in Sadar Bazar and Jama Masjid, two of the biggest cracker markets in the city.The news travelled fast in the narrow bylanes of the two markets in the Old City with shops piled high with crackers of all kinds, ranging from sparklers selling for about Rs 20 a stick to powerful bombs going up to Rs 1,000 and more.The Supreme Court said its order of last November banning the sale of firecrackers in Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR) would continue till October 31 – Diwali falls on October 19 — in an effort to check pollution this festival of lights.”All dealers across NCR have been affected. The ban was imposed in 2016 last year and was lifted temporarily around 20 days back. Now, what will be do with the old stock? Crackers worth crores will go waste,” said Amit Jain, who sells firecrackers in Jama Masjid.Harjit Singh Chhabra, head, Sadar Nishkarm Welfare Association, estimated that losses could go up to hundreds of crores.According to him, 500 temporary licences have already been issued to sell firecrackers in Delhi-NCR. Of these, Sadar Bazar has 24. This does not include those who have a permanent licence.”Ban nuclear weapons, not crackers,” said one shopkeeper in Sadar Bazar. “The Supreme Court’s job is to regulate not ban,” added another who had set up shop close by. “They have banned Diwali in Delhi,” said a third.The posters came up equally rapidly.A banner saying “Patake hi Patake” was pulled down to make way for a new one declaring, “Nashe se mar rahe hai log, Patakon se nahi (People are dying because of drugs, not of crackers”.”We are selling crackers not nuclear weapons that you impose a ban. This is India, not Taliban that you can go on banning things like this,” Chhabra told PTI.Shopkeepers in Sadar Bazar have threatened to go on strike and insist they won’t follow the order.”We can’t sell in shops so we will sell on the pavement if nothing works out,” Chhabra said, addressing a crowd that had gathered near his shop.”This is not child’s play. They have revoked the old ban only to bring it again. What do we do with these crackers that we bought,” he added, showing his licence giving him permission to sell crackers till November 21.His story found wide echo in the area.Sandeep Mahajan, another shopkeeper from Sadar Bazaar, said he has over 600 kg of crackers worth about Rs 8 lakh.”My losses will be three times more. I had bought crackers worth Rs 25 lakh,” added Rajiv Saxena of RK Enterprises.Many of them said they were just getting over the blow of “28 per cent GST on crackers”.”We are clueless about what to do next! For us Diwali is finished. The last I knew, Supreme Court was authorised to regulate, not ban. This will only create new avenues for corruption. I can already see policemen taking rounds to harass us,” said Surinder Chawla.While environmentalists and others welcomed the apex court order, Chawla is amongst those hoping that the biggies of Sivakasi – firecracker manufacturing hub – manage to get a stay.”People running the industry in Sivakasi are big shots.They will get us out of this situation,” Chawla said.The “cracker lobby” also contests that a ban would help in reducing pollution.”Trucks are roaming throughout Delhi and there is no check. The big industries are polluting air 365 days and you don’t do anything. But come Diwali and you are all alert… do they actually think that one day can make this huge impact?” asked a permanent licence holder in Jama Masjid who did not want to be identified.Pawan Khosla, who had come to purchase crackers for the festive season, had no clue about the apex court order.”Thank god you told me,” he said, adding some more to his bulging gunny bags of the incendiary stuff.”Diwali is celebrated for around five days. In those five days, 10 lakh kilogrammes of firecrackers are used per day,” a Supreme Court bench had said in August this year.It was reportedly informed by a counsel that 50 lakh kg of fireworks were stocked in and around the National Capital Region. With inputs from PTI

Why only Hindu festivals, ban goat sacrifice also: Chetan Bhagat after SC ban on sale of firecrackers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today said its order of last November banning the sale of firecrackers in Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR) will continue till October 31. A bench headed by Justice A K Sikri said the apex court’s September 12 order temporarily lifting the stay and permitting sale of firecrackers would be effective from November 1. Diwali is on October 19 and the order effectively means that no firecrackers will be available for purchase before the festival. The top court said it has not changed the September 12 order but its November 11, 2016 order banning the sale of firecrackers “should be given a chance”.The top court, through the 2016 order, had suspended all licences which “permit sale of fireworks, wholesale and retail within the territory of NCR”. On September 12 this year, the apex court had temporarily lifted its earlier order and permitted sale of firecrackers. The apex court’s order came on a plea seeking restoration of the November 2016 order.While a lot of Twitterati vented on Twitter, popular author Chetan Bhagat slammed the SC wondering what was ‘Diwali without crackers’. He went on to rant: “Can I just ask on cracker ban. Why only guts to do this for Hindu festivals? Banning goat sacrifice and Muharram bloodshed soon too?” He further wrote: “It is one day of the year. Our biggest festival. Uber has saved pollution more than any ban would. Come up with innovations. Not bans. Diwali one day a year is causing disorders? Or unchecked polluters who pollute everyday? If you care turn off electricity in your house for a week and don’t use cars. On what basis are you imposing a ban on someone’s traditions?”Check out his tweets below: With inputs from PTI

Even Aurangzeb banned firecrackers: Twitter reacts to SC order banning sale of fireworks in Delhi-NCR

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A bench headed by Justice A K Sikri said the apex court’s September 12 order temporarily lifting the stay and permitting sale of firecrackers would be effective from November 1. Diwali is on October 19 and the order effectively means that no firecrackers will be available for purchase before the festival.The top court said it has not changed the September 12 order but its November 11, 2016 order banning the sale of firecrackers “should be given a chance”. The top court, through the 2016 order, had suspended all licences which “permit sale of fireworks, wholesale and retail within the territory of NCR”. On September 12 this year, the apex court had temporarily lifted its earlier order and permitted sale of firecrackers.The apex court’s order came on a plea seeking restoration of the November 2016 order. Here’s how Twitter reacted to the verdict:

Supreme Court restores ban on sale of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ahead of the festive season of Diwali, the Supreme Court on Monday restored a ban till November 1 on the sale of crackers in the Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR).The court gave the verdict on a plea seeking restoration of the apex court’s last year order.The top court, through its November 11 order last year, had suspended all licences which ‘permit a sale of fireworks, wholesale and retail within the territory of NCR’.The apex court had last month temporarily lifted its earlier order suspending licences for sale of firecrackers, saying a complete ban would be an ‘extreme step’ and a graded approach was needed to curb pollution caused by them.The court, however, had said its order lifting the ban on sale of firecrackers might require a ‘review’ after Diwali depending on the ambient air quality after the festival.

NCR to get its own ‘oxygen chamber’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Capital Region will soon get its first “oxygen chamber.”The chamber has been conceptualised by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) in association with a private company Nurturing Green, to help the NCR, a region which chokes on polluted air, breathe easy. The enclosed space is being set up at Huda City Centre Metro Station where people will be able to walk in and breathe in pure, unadulterated oxygen.Spread over an area of 13,000 square feet, the place has been constructed with mechanical air purifiers and plants that specifically have the purpose of clearing pollution from atmosphere. There are as many as 12 varieties of plants like the Areca palm, peace lily, sansivierra that will cleanse the air in the oxygen chamber.The project was completed in a record time of one month and has incurred a cost of around Rs 4 crore.Talking to DNA, Annu Grover of Nurture Greens that has been roped in by DMRC for the project, said, “I reside in Gurgaon and the air quality is terrible. The onset of winters and post Diwali smog makes survival unbearable, so much so that we head to the hills regularly to get in some fresh air.”It was this continuous battle with polluted air that prompted him to envisage an oxygen chamber.”In the most polluted area of the NCR, we have created a place where people can stop by on their way to offices to inhale fresh oxygen or children can come in to read their story books and improve their health conditions which worsened due to rising pollution. We have brought in equipment to set this up.”Asked about the cost of usage Grover said this facility could be used by anyone without charge.The tie-up with Delhi Metro Rail Corporation will help Nurturing Green to set-up more six facilties like these, including two at metro stations.The O2 facility at Huda City Center will be inaugurated tomorrow at 1.30 pm by Harayana Environment Minister Vipul Goel, in the presence of Mangu Singh, Managing Director of DMRC, Sharat Sharma Director Operations, Vinay Pratap SIngh, Deputy Commissioner, Gurugram.DMRC TIE-UPThe tie-up with Delhi Metro Rail Corporation will help Nurturing Green to set-up more six facilities like these, including two at metro stations.
The project was completed in a record time of one month and has incurred a cost of around Rs 4 crore.

Action plan to curb pollution rolls out on Oct 15

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The much talked about Odd-Even road rationing system is all set to return to the Capital this winter, when the graded response action plan (GRAP) to curb air pollution rolls out on October 15. The plan also proposes hiking the parking fee at congested areas by three to four times.GRAP, which has an advisory for each category of air pollution — emergency, severe, very poor, moderate, poor — will be implemented in Delhi-NCR between October 15 and March 15. The Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) — a Supreme Court (SC) mandated body to monitor air pollution in the city, has prepared the GRAP.The plan suggests that “Odd-Even system to be implemented” during the “severe” and “emergency” categories of air quality.”There will be off-peak hours, when the parking rates will fall, while during congestion, the charges will be hiked by three to four times. We will have to stop people from using private modes of transport. Here, the Odd-Even system and car pooling will come as a great tool to reduce pollution. We have told the government departments, including the traffic police, to plan adequately for these measures and create public awareness in advance,” EPCA Chairman Bhure Lal said.The plan came into existence last November, after the national Capital witnessed layers of smog following Diwali, with air turning almost to poison. “We have already issued letters to NCR states, including Haryana and Punjab, against crop burning, which contributes heavily to city pollution. Besides, we have submitted the measures under GRAP to the Apex Court. We have asked the Delhi government departments to be ready for the measures to be taken under the plan. It is crucial that we don’t allow a repeat of last year’s lethal smog,” Lal said.Besides, the EPCA will organise a meeting with the three municipal corporations on Tuesday to chalk out a strategy against garbage burning, and controlling dust on roads and construction sites.According to the action plan , measures under the “severe” and “emergency” categories also includes stopping heavy goods vehicles (except for those with essentials) to enter the city limits. The Transport Department and the traffic police will be responsible for identifying alternative routes for these vehicles.Also, the corporations and the government agencies will be tasked to identify construction sites across the city. “All construction will be stopped in case air quality reaches severe levels. District-level committees will be formed to monitor construction sites,” he said.Besides, the Pollution Under Control (PUC) test centers will be monitored by the state transport authority and the government’s task force.

Supreme Court lifts ban on sale of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR with conditions

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Tuesday modified its November 2016 order and lifted a ban on the sale of firecrackers in Delhi with conditions.Lifting the suspension on the permanent licences already granted, the supreme court put these licensees on notice for Dussehra and Diwali in 2018.The court said that those granted licences will be permitted to possess and sell only 50% of the quantity permitted in 2017 and it will substantially reduce over the next couple of years.”Since there are enough fireworks available for sale in Delhi and the NCR, the transport of fireworks into Delhi and the NCR from outside the region is prohibited,” the apex court said.”Concerned law enforcement authorities will ensure that there is no further entry of fireworks into Delhi and the NCR till further orders,” the court added.In November 2016, the top court had banned the sale of fire crackers in Delhi and NCR region in wake of the alarming air pollution in the region. The environmentalists had sought courts intervention in passing orders for a ban on the sale of firecrackers due to a rising pollution.

Dengue on a rise, 110 cases reported in a week

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The municipal corporations of Delhi reported at least 110 fresh cases of dengue in the last week, till August 26, taking the total count of affected people in the National Capital Region (NCR) to 945 — 435 in Delhi and 510 in the neighbouring states.The total number of cases of malaria and chikungunya, reported till August 26, were 61 and 28 respectively, higher than last week.Doctors and authorities have expressed concern that the number of cases will rise in the months of September and October. In Delhi, the maximum number of dengue cases were reported from south Delhi — 31 cases in the last one week and 95 in the entire year. The north and east Delhi civic bodies reported 14 and 6 cases in the last week, respectively.”Dengue is on a rise. We are getting cases on a regular basis. We have been receiving an equal number of swine flu cases as well,” Dr S P Byotra, Head of Medicine at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital said.”September and October are the dreaded months, but even in August, we received 3-4 cases a day, making it at least 25 cases a week,” he added.

You have more firecrackers than Army, can burn whole country: SC to NCR fireworks manufacturers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> “You have more firecrackers than the Indian Army. This can burn the whole country,” the Supreme Court said today after it was informed that 50 lakh kgs of fireworks were stocked in and around the National Capital Region (NCR).A bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta also observed that “Diwali is celebrated for around five days. In those five days, 10 lakh kilogrammes of firecrackers are used per day.”The apex court was left wondering when it was informed by one of the counsel that around 50 lakh kgs of firecrackers were lying in stock of the suppliers and distributors in the NCR and around one lakh kgs was in stock in Delhi alone.The bench also wanted to know from the government what steps it has taken so far on banning Chinese firecrackers, when the counsel for the domestic manufacturers alleged that there was “no quality control” on these foreign items.The bench asked the government after the counsel for manufacturers claimed that the firecrackers imported from China were “much cheaper”, but a lot of banned materials were used in them and there was no quality control.”What have you (Centre) done about banning Chinese firecrackers,” the bench asked Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand who said she would take instructions on the issue and get back to the court.The apex court had in November last year directed the government to suspend all licences permitting wholesale and retail sale of fireworks within the NCR and said that suspension would be in force till further orders.It had also directed that no such licences shall be granted or renewed till further orders.During the arguments today, the manufacturers said that the rise in air pollution in the Delhi-NCR during the Diwali season was due to several reasons, including crop burning in neighbouring states, and not entirely due to the firecrackers.Delhi Police told the court that in 2016, they had given 968 temporary licences to sell firecrackers out of a total of 1,068 applications.It said last year, these licences were given for a period of 24 days during the festive seasons of Dussehra and Diwali.It, however, said the apex court could consider the issue of curtailing the period as well as limiting the number of temporary licences.The police also gave district-wise details of the number of temporary licences given last year including 101 licences given in the north-east, 49 in south and 75 in south-east districts here.”This court can rationalise it and if needed, reduce the number of number of licences. The time period can further be curtailed,” the counsel representing the police said.He also said that one can keep 600 kgs of firecrackers with a temporary licence, while in case of permanent licence, one can store the fireworks between 600 kgs and 1,500 kgs at a time.Meanwhile, the counsel appearing for the manufacturers told the court that there were 435 and 175 permanent licences in NCR and Delhi respectively.He said permanent licences are given by the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) which also have a strict process of inspection and a regulatory mechanism was in place.”Firecracker is one of the factor for pollution but it cannot be the sole factor. The increase in pollution during winters is also due to crop burning,” the counsel said.The bench was also told by one of the parties that the major concern was regarding enforcement of the directions, as crackers were being burst even even after 10 PM despite apex court order.”Sikkim has prohibited firecrackers. In China, the use of firecrackers is regulated. When the pollution level rises in China, government bans its use there,” the lawyer said.The Delhi government told the bench that they have asked the schools to educate students about the harmful effects and toxic materials emitted by the use of firecrackers.The apex court was hearing arguments in a matter related to pollution from firecrackers in the Delhi-NCR region.It had earlier expressed concern over air pollution in Delhi-NCR, especially from crackers during the festive season of Diwali and Dussehra, and said the authorities have to take steps to regulate firecracker industries.The apex court had earlier refused to modify its order banning the sale and stockpiling of firecrackers in Delhi and the NCR. It had refused to revoke the suspension of licences of traders dealing in such explosive material.It had also directed the Central Pollution Control Board to prepare an inventory of existing firecrackers with the traders and suggest measures for their disposal. PTI ABA MNL SJK RKS

’74 injured as train derails in Auraiya’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As many as 74 passengers were injured as nine bogies of the Kafiyat Express derailed in UP’s Auraiya district early today after dashing against a dumper carrying construction material for railway work, officials here said. However, the railways said 25 persons were injured in the incident and that the dumper did not belong to them. The train travelling from Azamgarh to Delhi collided with the dumper at around 2:50 am between Pata and Achhalda railway stations, a spokesperson for the North Central Railway (NCR) said. Principal Secretary (Home) Arvind Kumar said 74 people were injured of which four received serious injuries and have been rushed to Saifai and Etawah hospitals. Superintendent of Police, Auraiya, Sanjeev Tyagi also said that 74 passengers were injured in the incident. Kafiyat Express met with an accident at an unmanned railway crossing because of a loader carrying sand for track work for dedicated freight corridor, Secretary, Home, Bhagwan Swarup said. Rescue operations are over and passengers have been moved to Achalda railway station and rescue train in arriving to take them to Delhi. This is the second train accident in Uttar Pradesh in five days. On Saturday, a passenger train derailed in Muzaffaragar district leaving over 22 dead and 156 others injured. “An unauthorised dumper broke the railway fence and hit the engine of Kaifiyat Express causing derailment,” the Railway Ministry said in a statement. “There are no casualties but 25 persons have been injured,” the statement said. Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu tweeted, “A dumper hit the locomotive of the Kaifiyat Express, resulting in derailment. Some passengers have received injuries and have been shifted to nearby hospitals”. He said that he was personally monitoring the situation and had directed senior officials to reach the site immediately. Kaifiyat Express travels between Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi and the collision has impacted the train operations on the Delhi-Howrah route. Five trains including Howrah-New Delhi Rajdhani have been diverted and seven trains including Kanpur-New Delhi Shatabdi express have been cancelled. Since both UP and DOWN lines are blocked, around 40 local trains were also being diverted. On receiving information about the mishap, senior officials rushed to the accident site which comes under Acchalda police station, around 180 km from Lucknow. Additional forces and ambulance were rushed to the spot from Auraiya, Etawah and Kannauj, while NDRF team was dispatched from Lucknow to provide support to the victims. A medical train and a relief train have been dispatched from Allahabad to the accident site. A spokesman for NCR said rescue operations have been concluded and all injured were sent to hospitals nearby. Additional forces and ambulance were rushed to the spot from Auraiya, Etawah and Kannauj while NDRF team was dispatched from Lucknow to provide succour to the victims.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Train accident in Uttar Pradesh: Kaifiyat Express derails in Auraiya district, 50 injured

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nine coaches of the Delhi-bound Kaifiyat Express derailed in Auraiya district of Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday morning, resulting in injuries to at least 50 people, in the second rail accident in the state in four days.The train travelling from Azamgarh to Delhi collided with a dumper at around 2:50 am between Pata and Achalda railway stations, a spokesperson for the North Central Railway said.At least 50 passengers were injured and have been rushed to the hospital, said M C Chauhan, General Manager, NCR.NCR sources said that work for a dedicated freight corridor was going on at the site at the time of the accident.Officials have rushed to the spot to provide rescue and relief operations to the passengers.This is the second rail accident since last Saturday when Utkal Express had derailed in Muzaffarnagar distict of UP, killing 22 people and injuring 156.

Kaifiyat Express derails in Auraiya district of UP, 50 injured

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nine coaches of the Delhi-bound Kaifiyat Express derailed in Auraiya district of Uttar Pradesh this morning, resulting in injuries to at least 50 people, in the second rail accident in the state in four days. The train travelling from Azamgarh to Delhi collided with a dumper at around 2:50 am between Pata and Achalda railway stations, a spokesperson for the North Central Railway said. At least 50 passengers were injured and have been rushed to the hospital, said M C Chauhan, General Manager, NCR. NCR sources said that work for a dedicated freight corridor was going on at the site at the time of the accident. Officials have rushed to the spot to provide rescue and relief operations to the passengers. This is the second rail accident since last Saturday when Utkal Express had derailed in Muzaffarnagar distict of UP, killing 22 people and injuring 156.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Chandrababu Naidu’s unique initiative to reach out to Andhraites in Delhi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Office of the Resident Commissioner of Andhra Pradesh at the Andhra Bhawan in New Delhi has launched a unique intiative to reach out to the people of the state putting up in Delhi/NCR. A brainchild of Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, the initiative lays down the provision for the people to reach out to the Bhawan or call the authorities in case they have any issue back home, every Monday between 5 and 6 p.m. “There are around 4 lakh people from Andhra Pradesh, who are living in the NCR. They can have a number of issues – ranging from domicile certificates, transfer certificates to everything. So if any person has any issue, I can be their representative. I can talk to the DM of the district, a police personnel or any department and can sort the issue out on their behalf,” Praveen Prakash, Resident Commissioner of Andhra Pradesh at the Andhra Bhawan, told ANI. “The situation is similar to a person facing an issue, while living in the U.K. We have a High Commission there. And the person can contact the High Commissioner to sort the issue out. I am Andhra’s High Commissioner in Delhi/NCR,” he added. Prakash further said that with this first-of-its-kind grievance-resolution initiative, they just want to reach out to the 4 lakh people living here. “They can come in or call me between 5 and 6 p.m. every Monday. I will listen to them and be their representative,” he said. The programme is an extension of the much-larger and much-celebrated ‘Janmabhoomi-Maa Vooru’ programme in Andhra Pradesh. Chief Minister Naidu has always stressed on the need to make people partners in the governance of the state and hence, with the aforementioned programme, which was launched on January 2 last year, the focus is laid on better interaction of the residents of the state with the government. Along with the resolution of grievances, the JBMV is also aimed at getting feedback on the implementation of development and welfare programmes.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

CSE hails SC order on no insurance without PUC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hailing the Supreme Court’s order that vehicle insurance should be renewed unless the owner provides pollution under control (PUC) certificate, a green body said “it is an important step forward”. “In Delhi, only 23 per cent of vehicles come for the PUC checks. With mandatory linking of annual vehicle insurance with valid PUC certificate, the compliance level can improve significantly–especially as the Supreme Court has directed its enforcement nation-wide,” DG of Centre for Science and Environment Sunita Narain said. In a bid to curb pollution, the Supreme Court today issued a slew of directions including that insurance companies will not renew insurance of a vehicle unless the owner provides pollution under control (PUC) certificate. A bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur also asked the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to ensure that all fuel refilling centres in the National Capital Region (NCR) have PUC centres. The CSE said that this recommendation was made by the the EPCA in its Report No 73 (on assessment of Pollution Under Control (PUC) Programme in Delhi and NCR), which submitted in the court in April this year. “The PUC system is critical to keep emissions of on-road vehicles under check. Overall improvement in compliance will lead to lesser emissions on road,” said Anumita Roychowdhury, CSE s executive director-research and advocacy.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

4 persons arrested for murder, robbery

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The police today claimed to have arrested four persons, including a sharp shooter, for allegedly killing a Gurgaon-based property dealer and committing over 50 robberies in the National Capital Region (NCR). The accused have been identified as Deepak, Bijender, Ashok and Harinder. They were arrested on Wednesday from Ghata village here following a tip-off. They were coming in a car carrying illegal arms, police said. “A semi automatic rifle, shotgun, two country-made pistols and 56 cartridges were seized from their possession,” Gurgaon Police Commissioner Sandeep Khairwar said. During interrogation, Deepak, a sharp shooter, confessed that on July 25, he along with other gang members shot dead a property dealer in Medhawas village over old enmity, police added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

No renewal of insurance for vehicles without PUC, says SC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a bid to curb pollution, the Supreme Court today issued a slew of directions including that insurance companies will not renew insurance of a vehicle unless the owner provides pollution under control (PUC) certificate. A bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur also asked the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to ensure that all fuel refilling centres in the National Capital Region (NCR) have PUC centres. The apex court granted four weeks time to the Centre to ensure that there are functional PUC centres in NCR to ensure that vehicles plying have PUC certificate. The court considered the suggestions given by Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA). The bench was hearing a PIL filed by environmentalist M C Mehta way back in 1985 dealing with various aspects of pollution.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Python found at Tughlaqabad air force station

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A seven-foot-long python was rescued from Tughlaqabad Air Force Station in south Delhi creating panic among the officials deployed at the station on Wednesday. According to Wildlife SOS, an NGO that rescued the python, with the monsoon, a large number of reptiles are struggling to find shelter in the urban jungle.The rescued reptile has been identified as an Indian Rock Python. The large constrictor was spotted outside the mess building by Air Force officials who immediately reported the sighting to Wildlife SOS on their 24 hour helpline.”A rescue team comprising of two expert snake rescuers from the NGO promptly arrived at the location and successfully carried out the rescue operation. The python is currently being kept under observation and will be released back into the wild, once deemed fit,” said an official.According to experts, growing habitat destruction and encroachment is rapidly blurring the lines between cities and forests. Consequently, the wildlife, living in proximity to such expanding areas, will have no choice but to forage or seek shelter in urban habitats.”Most snakes are burrowing reptiles and they spend most of their time underground but during monsoons their homes get destroyed due to flooding and are forced to venture into human habitations, in search of rodents and lizards,” said, Geeta Seshamani, co-founder of the organisation.Moreover, she added, monsoons mark the mating season for frogs and being a common prey base for snakes, a rise in their population attracts various snakes in the city that depend on them for survival.”We get maximum calls for reptile rescues in the monsoon season. In the past month we have responded to nearly 100 distress calls pertaining to snakes and monitor lizards in Delhi NCR,” she added.

Scorned lover held for kidnapping kids to make mother marry him

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two years ago, when Maira (name changed) got a missed call from an unknown number, she had no idea how it would affect her life. A brief spell of missed calls turned into hour-long chats and then into a full-fledged affair between Maira, a mother of two, and Zakir.The affair, however, turned ugly. Zakir did his best to persuade Maira to marry him, but she refused. The scorned lover then made a plan to pressurise her, and in the process kidnapped her two children.The kidnappings first came to light on Tuesday when the children’s father made a PCR call reporting that his kids aged eight and 10 had gone missing. He said that he suspected the involvement of a man known to his wife.Though the accused kept his mobile phone off the entire time, police were able to track down Zakir due to his addiction to social media. He was traced and following a raid the children were rescued from Loni in Ghaziabad.DCP northeast, Ajit Singla said, during the investigation it was found that all the addresses and hideouts that the accused had mentioned to the mother, turned out to be fake. Technical surveillance also revealed that the SIM cards being used by Zakir had been obtained through the use of fake IDs.”A number of raids were conducted in Bhajanpura and nearby areas. Hideouts in NCR in Prem Nagar, Balram Nagar in Loni, Ghaziabad were also raided. On Thursday, it was found that the suspect had contacted the mother and was mounting pressure on her to leave her husband and marry him,” the DCP said.Singla added that though the suspect had kept his phone off, he could not avoid using internet and social media on his phone at short intervals. A police team raided the identified location and found the children. The accused managed to flee.But interactions with the children led police to the suspect’s hideout — a residence in Prem Nagar, Ghaziabad. The residence was raided following which the accused, 22-year-old Zakir alias Raja, was arrested, the DCP said.

Rains play hide-and-seek in Capital

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi experienced heavy off-season showers from mid June till the beginning of July and kept playing hide and seek with the locals. Even before the Southwest monsoon could hit, Delhi NCR was enjoying pre-monsoon showers. But soon after the monsoon’s arrival in Delhi NCR, the rain has been holding itself back. The hot and humid weather has taken over.The last time Delhiites enjoyed a drizzle was on July 6, after which the weather went on to become dry and the forecast predicted that it is most likely to remain dry.The showers that had settled the heat and had held the temperature at 31°C, rose to 35°C.As per Skymet, for the next two days, the weather is going to remain unpredictable. The westerly winds will prevail over Delhi NCR. In consideration of the same, dry weather is going to prevail over Delhi and the neighbouring areas of Noida, Ghaziabad, Faridabad and Gurugram.Due to the dry weather, it is predicted that the temperature may rise and settle around 37°C-38°C. However, a trough has been seen extending from Uttarakhand to Northeast Bay of Bengal across Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. Hence, there is a chance of localised rainfall activity, that might bring relief to the national capital.The monthly average rainfall for Delhi as per Safdarjung Observatory stands at 187.3 mm. Till date, although Delhi has recorded 59 mm of rainfall, the forecasters explain that it is yet a wait and watch situation. We will have to wait to see if Delhi manages to transcend its monthly average.Meanwhile, Delhiites await the rains with impatience, hoping it would prove to be a relief for them from the scorching heat. There might be a spin in the weather, where the rain would help in reducing the temperature.Rising heatShowers in the city that had settled the heat and had held the temperature at 31°C, rose to 35°C.As per Skymet, for the next two days, the weather will remain unpredictable

Tracing the crimes on the track

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 22-year-old woman is thrown off a running Express train when she challenged a robber trying to flee with her luggage. A Muslim teen is lynched in a local by a mob that called him “beef-eater” and “anti-national”. A man’s body is found in a pool of blood inside a coach, while another got shot inside a train. These are some of the horrors that train passengers in Delhi-NCR witnessed in the past one month alone. There have also been cases of rape and molestation. Statistics show that the period between 2013 (760) and 2015 (3,356) saw a massive spike of 341 per cent in crime cases. In many cases, the culprits got away. Railway and police officials blame heavy encroachments on railway land for most of these crimes. Criminals carrying weapons easily board and get off slow-moving trains at these stretches to target vulnerable passengers and avoid detection by railway security at stations. Over 50,000 illegal jhuggis on railway land have been identified till now across Delhi-NCR, of which 23,000 fall in the safety zone — tracks only 15 metres away or less. These encroachments also result in littering and put train operations at risk and cause delays. Poor visibility means reduced speed and risk-fraught travel with piles of garbage seen dangerously close to tracks. Some of the worst-hit areas are: Mayapuri, Sukhdev Nagar, Rakhi Market, Old Seelampur, Lal Bagh, Shriram Nagar, Shahdara, Tughlakabad, Shakurbasti, and Dayabasti.Somna Vij is a computer operator at a government office in Nizamuddin. A resident of Sarojini Nagar, she has been using Delhi’s suburban rail service — a 53.36-km network connecting 21 stations — for 20 years. For her, a lot has changed in the past decade. “Now, whenever I get late, my husband or son comes to pick me up. They do not allow me to take a train after sundown. Safety has become a concern. This was not the case earlier,” she says.She has watched in horror young boys boarding moving trains and threatening, teasing, and even molesting girls and women in local trains. “Two months ago, some men snatched a woman’s bag and jumped off the moving train near Shivaji Bridge. There is no fear, no security,” Vij says.The lynching of Junaid Khan (16) on June 22, which made national headlines, also took place in a moving Delhi-Mathura local. As DNA exclusively reported, the mob may have boarded the train between Okhla and Tughlakabad stations in Delhi. Police are still combing slum clusters on both sides of the tracks to nab the main accused, who was allegedly carrying a “one-foot-long knife-like thing” in the crime. Krishna Jha often travels between Haryana’s Palwal and Delhi’s Kirti Nagar. “I do not let my wife travel on local trains even in the afternoon. It is not safe. I have heard that women travelling alone are often targeted,” he says. Security on trains and railway premises is the responsibility of the central government’s Railway Protection Force (RPF), while crime cases are handled by the state’s Government Railway Police(GRP). Officials say the biggest challenge is manpower shortage. “Both RPF and GRP are short staffed, unable to handle crowds. Keeping an eye on every train is just not possible,” says an RPF officer. The daily footfall at the stations in the Capital is 15 lakh. The stations together see around 1,000 trains every day.Another menace The railway’s Rs 100-crore plan to build walls along its 100-km network in Delhi remains pending because of lack of funds, resulting in hundreds of pedestrians being run over by trains every year.While all 10 railroad crossings in the city are manned, tracks cut through densely populated areas, mostly slums, where authorities have failed to put up barricades or build foot-bridges.Illegal settlements on both sides of the tracks are the biggest hurdle in the construction of walls. Authorities first planned six-foot-high walls — which would also check encroachment and make railway premises secure — after the November 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai. India’s biggest public transporter has been under fire from the National Green Tribunal (NGT) for its failure to relocate jhuggis and ensure sanitation on its premises.“We have requested the Delhi government again for expeditious removal of encroachments from railway land. We paid Rs 11.25 crore for this in 2003-04. Nothing much has happened,” said RN Singh, Divisional Railway Manager, Delhi.Recent horrors June 29: A woman thrown off the moving Shan-E- Punjab train by a robber who tried to snatch her belongingsJune 22: Junaid Khan lynched by a mob on a moving Delhi-Mathura local Sept 2016: More than a dozen passengers of Gorakhdham Express robbed by a gun-wielding gangSept 2016: Rail staff on strike demanding safety after a robber attacked a goods train driver

Govt launches fresh bid to increase buses in Capital

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A year after the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government ran into trouble over the app-based ‘Premium Bus Services’ scheme, the Delhi government’s transport department is now preparing a fresh proposal to integrate private buses with the existing public transport including the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) and the Delhi Metro.The department is in the process of formulating a draft for the policy to be put up to Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot. The move has come in a bid to boost public transport, in particular last mile connectivity, given the thin DTC bus fleet in the Capital.Once the draft is finalised, it will be sent to the Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal for approval.In June, last year, the bus scheme proposed by the former transport minister Gopal Rai was rejected by the then LG Najeeb Jung allegedly for “favouring one company.” The scheme could not be rolled out after which Rai submitted his resignation.The government is still to procure 1,000 new DTC buses as well as cluster (Orange) buses, which are run by the Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System (DIMTS), which it had promised in 2015.According to officials, once the policy is approved, private app-based aggregators will be allowed to engage buses through web-based applications to ply in the city.”We are drafting a fresh proposal to allow app-based companies to ply their buses to provide last mile connectivity. The buses can ply from one metro station to another and surrounding localities. It is crucial at present, given the fact there is a lack of availability of buses in Delhi-NCR,” said a senior government officer.App-based aggregators such as Shuttl and Red Bus which ply in the NCR were considered for the scheme by the former transport minister. Under the new policy, these companies will have to get a license from the department. While at present, some of these buses plying across the city without valid permits.Making legalUnder the new policy, app-based aggregators such as Shuttl and Red Bus will have to get a license from the department. While at present, some of these buses plying across the city without valid permits, have been impounded by the department’s enforcement teams.

Special cell to be formed to enforce ban on burning of waste

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A special cell would be constituted in Haryana to enforce a ban on burning of waste, receive complaints regarding improper disposal of construction and demolition rubble, and to monitor pollution levels in the state. This was disclosed today at a meeting here for implementation of the Graded Response Action Plan to combat air pollution in the National Capital Region (NCR). During the meeting, Additional Chief Secretary in Environment Department, K K Khandelwal, said that the Transport Department was preparing software for auditing and assessing Pollution Under Control (PUC) Certification for vehicles. This would enable monitoring of all centres where PUC certificates are issued, an official release quoted Khandelwal as saying. A special cell equipped with tools for testing emission levels of vehicles would be constituted, and the Haryana State Pollution Control Board would provide the financial assistance for this purpose. Apart from this, 19 stations would be established in the state to monitor air pollution levels. Inter-sectoral public transport system would also be implemented in Gurugram under which electric buses would be introduced on an experimental basis along with CNG buses, he added. The work to set up a plant at village Basai in district Gurugram for the disposal of construction and demolition waste, also known as C and D waste, is underway. In view of the large quantity of C and D waste generated in Gurugram city, it was planned to establish four more such plants to deal with it. The officers of the Pollution Control Board informed that fines to the tune of about Rs 1.50 crore had so far been recovered from various construction sites in the NCR.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Rain, thunderstorms to hit Capital over this week

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The NCR woke up to a pleasant Monday morning with light showers and drizzle at isolated places. The city recorded a maximum temperature of 37 degrees Celsius and a minimum of 24 degrees.Meteorological department officials have predicted thunderstorms with rain for the next three days, till Thursday. They said that the mercury will further plummet on Tuesday, and is likely to settle two degrees less than Monday’s temperature, at 35 degrees Celsius with the minimum being 26 degrees Celsius. A sharp dip is also expected on Wednesday in the maximum temperature, which according to MeT forecast will be 31 degrees Celsius.The drop in temperature will remain till Thursday, after which it will rise again from Friday onwards and over the weekend. The maximum temperature on Friday will possibly be 33 degrees Celsius, after which the mercury will climb by a few notches from Saturday.The showers on Monday saw an increase in humidity level thus spoiling the weather. Many people, who had made plans of venturing out with their kids, had to shelve them after the sun came out again after 10 am.Shagun Kuhar, a resident of Dwarka said, “It was so pleasant in the morning and we had hoped that it would remain so throughout the day. We had decided to go for a picnic in some park or open space since it was pleasantly breezy but the weather took a complete U-turn and it became muggy and suffocating.”R Vishen, scientist-in-charge, Regional Meteorological Centre(India Meteorological Department) said that while the humidity levels will be high due to moisture conversion activity in the region, regular rainfall because of western disturbances throughout the week will cool the existing heat conditions.

Light rains likely to cool Delhi on Wednesday

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After three days of smouldering heat in the Capital, light rains are expected to hit the city on Wednesday, bringing much-needed respite.On Tuesday, the maximum temperature settled at 43 degrees Celsius, three notches above normal while the minimum temperature was recorded at 34.2 degrees Celsius, which was seven degrees above normal, said officials of the India Meteorological Department (IMD).”A Western Disturbance over Northern India will result in spells of rains and thunderstorms between June 7 and 8. The skies will remain overcast and thunder activity can be witnessed in parts of Delhi-NCR,” said R Vishen, scientist-in-charge, IMD’s regional weather forecasting centre.The showers are likely to bring down the maximum and minimum temperatures by at least three to four degrees, he said. The maximum and minimum temperatures are likely to hover around 37 and 30 degrees Celsius, respectively.The scattered spells of rain will be accompanied with squall and winds exceeding 55 kmph would occur over Delhi/NCR region.Meanwhile, humidity levels oscillated between 46 and 26 per cent.The national capital recorded June 4 and 5 as the hottest days of the season with the maximum and minimum temperatures recorded at 44.6 and 33.6 degrees Celsius, respectively, at the Safdarjung observatory.

Gurgaon to become living hell if growth pangs not tackled: CSE

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Millennium City may turn into a “living hell” if steps are not taken to make its growth model more sustainable, as “explosive urbanisation” is stretching the NCR town’s resources to the limit, the CSE has said. The observation is part of a report on challenges staring at Gurgaon and possible solutions prepared by the Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) and Gurgaon First under the aegis of the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram. “This kind of unprecedented growth has made enormous demands on resources including water, energy, land, mobility and biodiversity, and is generating mountains of waste. If not addressed at the early stages of growth, this can turn Gurugram into a living hell,” the report says. The document, titled ‘Gurugram: A framework for sustainable development’, notes that rapid urbanisation has led to a five-time increase in population of Gurgaon since 2001. In terms of water, the gap between demand and supply may jump from 34 per cent to 57 per cent in the years to come, it said, adding that due to unchecked use of groundwater, water table of the city is falling at a rate of 1-3 metres every year. The framework document bases much of its recommendations and action agenda on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which India has committed to meet, relating to improving health and education, making cities sustainable, combating climate change and protecting forests. It also expressed concern on the level of air pollution in the city, which is a part of the National Capital Region (NCR), and identified rising number of vehicles, high use of diesel vehicles and diesel generator sets as the key factors. “There is a growing dependence on personal vehicles. Between 2008 and 2015 car registration increased by 352 per cent. Bus registration is down by 300 per cent, while para- transit has declined by 39 per cent. “There are four times more cars per 1,000 people than in Delhi. Share of public transport, walk and cycles has dropped from 58 per cent to 40 per cent,” it says. The report identified National Highway 8, which connects Delhi to Jaipur via Gurgaon, as an accident hotspot, where “60 per cent” of road accidents occur. The draft document recommends that water demand should be reduced by at least 25 per cent from current levels through water efficiency and conservation measures, to ensure equitable access to clean water for all. “Promote zero landfill development minimise and reuse solid waste. Not more than 10 per cent of waste should go to landfill sites. Promote mandatory decentralised segregation and collection in all residential colonies and institutions, with composting sites at colony and ward levels,” it says.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Delhi HC stays order allowing S. P. Tyagi to go abroad

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Delhi High Court on Tuesday stayed the Patiala House Court?s order allowing former air chief S. P. Tyagi accused in the VVIP chopper scam case, to travel to Indonesia. Justice I. S. Mehta today clearly said that Tyagi is facing trial in the case and also getting special treatment, adding that he may tamper the ongoing probe. In December 2015, the former air force chief was granted bail in this case on Rs. two lakh security. Hearing the matter, the court directed the former air chief not to leave Delhi-NCR and not to tamper with evidence. The CBI counsel had earlier on December 23 last year requested the court not to disclose evidences to anyone while stating that if the evidence gathered will be disclosed then there would be implications on future investigation into the case. The Patiala House Court had on December 17 last year remanded the former air chief and two other accused to judicial custody till December 30 as their CBI custody ended. Earlier, the CBI had moved the court seeking a 10-day custody to interrogate Tyagi and the other accused in the case. Tyagi has been accused of influencing the deal in favour of Agusta Westland during his tenure as the IAF chief. He has, however, repeatedly denied the allegations.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Dhaula Kuan remains Delhi’s nightmare

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nitish Sharma has a harrowing time every day after leaving his home in Noida at 8 am to reach his Gurugram office. Sharma says that it takes him more than two hours to get to office from his home. And these four hours for the round trip to office can get even worse on bad days.”Irrespective of how early I leave, I spend an average of two hours to get to office. I spend an average of four hours in the commute every single day. And during peak hours the time increases,” he says.Sharma is just one of many Delhi commuters who spend a sizeable part of their day on the road. And one of the main problems is Dhaula Kuan. Home to a major intersection of roads which connect the Delhi NCR region and the road heading towards the airport, Dhaula Kuan remains a nightmare for people in the Capital. Despite a wide road, the traffic woes for people have not decreased. Shoddy planning and blockages ensure that delays continue to hold up commuters.The problem first begins at the traffic signal at the Dhaula Kuan metro station. As commuters descend from the flyover on the Sardar Patel Marg and travel towards the Delhi Cantonment/Gurugram side, the major problem that a commuter faces is the traffic signal at the Dhaula Kuan metro station. A bus stand and the small shops under the metro station ensure that the left side of the road is blocked with buses.The situation is made worse by cars that pick up passengers from the metro. They block the straight stretch making it impossible for commuters to move straight towards National Highway 48.This is not a new problem. In 2015, Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari was caught in a major traffic jam on this stretch. After the incident, he had demanded for a study that would suggest possible solutions to the problem.”I bang my head as I get stuck quite often at Dhaula Kuan in South-West Delhi for 40-45 minutes while coming from or going to the airport,” Gadkari was quoted as saying. However, despite the Transport Minister’s woes, little seems to have changed in reality.There are many issues that the authorities have to deal with. To begin with, the right turn towards Cariappa Marg is closed. The only option left for a commuter is to proceed towards National Highway 48 and then take a U-turn. This significantly increases the travel time. Then, there are huge cemented blocks which were put up to segregate people going right (Cariappa Marg) and left (Gurugram/Delhi Cantt) that result in more bottlenecks for the commuters. These issues have remained unresolved and Delhiites continue to suffer because of these.ReasonsDhaula Kuan is home to a major intersection of roads that connect Delhi NCR region and the road to the airport. Apart from metro station, bus stops and shops under the metro station add to the congestion.Cemented blocks dividing north and south-bound vehicles create more problems.

Delhi Police bust firearms trading racket; man held, 20

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With the arrest of a 25-year-old man and recovery of 20 pistols, police today claimed to have busted an illegal firearm trading racket. The accused, Taiyab, was arrested yesterday from near Harkesh Nagar Bus stand, Mathura Road and 20 semi-automatic sophisticated pistols of 7.65 mm were recovered, police said. The recovered weapons have ‘USA 32’ engraved on them. It is being probed whether illegal arms were being supplied had any link to the MCD polls. Police said that they came to know that arms manufacturers and suppliers from Madhya Pradesh and Bihar are supplying sophisticated firearms to NCR and adjoining areas of Uttar Pradesh. It was learnt that Taiyab was coming to deliver arms to someone near Harkesh Nagar bus stand, Mathura Road. On the basis of this tip-off, he was arrested. During interrogation, Taiyab revealed that these weapons were collected by him from a supplier who is a resident of Sendhwa, Distt. Badwani, Madhya Pradesh, said a senior police officer. These arms were to be supplied to someone residing in Harkesh Nagar here and three persons belonging to Mathura, he added. Taiyab has supplied arms in NCR, UP and Haryana on previous occasions too. He was also arrested in a case of Arms Act in Palwal, Haryana around a year back.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

UP govt seeks fresh tech evaluation for Jewar airport

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Uttar Pradesh government has sought a fresh “technical evaluation” for the proposed international airport at Jewar in the state. Against the backdrop of rising air passenger traffic, there have been discussions for setting up a second airport in the National Capital Region (NCR). The proposal for technical evaluation for Jewar airport has been made by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath-led government which came to power last month. “The current BJP government (in Uttar Pradesh) has requested us for a technical evaluation because the previous technical evaluation for Jewar airport was done many years ago. So we are doing that technical evaluation,” Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said at a press meet here. There is a Greenfield Airport Policy in place for setting up new airports. Last year, the Civil Aviation Ministry said it had received a proposal from the then state government for grant of site clearance for the proposed airport near Jewar. The Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) in the national capital handles around 1,100 flights every day and plans are afoot to increase the aerodrome’s capacity. “Within a few years, we will be using the capacity of Indira Gandhi International Airport… We (would) have to add the second airport for NCR relatively soon,” Sinha said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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