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Friday, December 03, 2021

Delhi News Highlights: Schools, colleges to reopen in Delhi from Monday, AQI back to ‘very poor’ category

The ban on entry of diesel and petrol trucks carrying non essential items will continue till December 3.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: November 25, 2021 9:05:07 am
delhi aqi, delhi pollutionAn aerial view of the smog in the skies above the Delhi airport. (Express Photo by Praveen Khanna)

The Delhi government Wednesday said that schools, colleges and educational institutions in the national capital will reopen from Monday, November 29. “Schools, colleges and educational institutions will be allowed to reopen in the city. Work from home in government offices will end on November 29, but we request people to use public transport. CNG and electric trucks carrying non essential items will be allowed in Delhi from November 27. The ban on entry of diesel and petrol trucks carrying non essential items will continue till December 3,” Delhi Environment minister Gopal Rai said.

The air quality in Delhi is likely to be in the ‘very poor’ category on Wednesday, according to the Air Quality Early Warning System for Delhi. The Air Quality Index of Delhi is currently at 280, according to the SAFAR forecasting system. In a slight improvement, the AQI of the national capital on Tuesday moved from the ‘very poor’ to the ‘poor’ category on Tuesday with the 24-hour average index recorded at 290.

Delhi BJP MP Gautam Gambhir has filed a police complaint with the Central district police, saying he has received a threatening mail from ‘ISIS Kashmir’. The cyber cell of the district along with the special cell has started an investigation. Meanwhile, security outside Gambhir’s residence in Rajendra Nagar has been beefed up.

Delhi on Wednesday reported 27 new Covid-19 cases and zero deaths with a positivity rate of 0.05 percent, according to data shared by the Delhi government. So far in November, the city has recorded 4 deaths. The cumulative number of cases has now reached 14,40,719.

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Highlights: Delhi schools to reopen from Monday; ban on entry of trucks carrying non-essential items to continue till Dec 3; 27 fresh Covid-19 cases recorded, zero deaths; Covid positivity rate at 0.05 percent.

22:28 (IST)24 Nov 2021
Delhi govt fixes fees for issuing speed limit device certificates at Rs 500

In a move that will benefit owners of lakhs of commercial vehicles in the national capital, the Delhi Transport Department has fixed the fees for issuing speed limit device certificates at Rs 500.

Commercial vehicles require the certificate to show they are equipped with a functional speed limit device (also called speed governors) at the time of their fitness test. Currently, Rs 2,500 to Rs 3,000 is charged for issuing speed limit device certificates.

In an order issued on Tuesday, the Transport Department pointed out that various speed governor manufacturers, authorised dealers and vendors are charging an "exorbitant amount" for issuing speed limit device certificates and said that they will not charge more than Rs 500 for issuing these certificates. (PTI)

22:26 (IST)24 Nov 2021
Merger of PCR with police stations has brought down average response time: Delhi Police chief

Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana on Wednesday said that the merger of PCR with police stations has brought down the average response time from around eight minutes to over three minutes.

He also stated that in pursuance of the directives of the government of India, there should be 33 per cent women in police force and the strength of women in the Delhi Police is rising in successive recruitments.

"We are working on that and hopefully by 2025, it will be 25 per cent which is 13 per cent right now," Asthana said during an interaction with around 50 journalists at Indian Women's Press Corps (IWPC).

The merger of PCR with police stations has not only bolstered the strength of police stations with augmentation of around 6,500 PCR personnel, but also considerably enhanced police visibility with more vehicles patrolling the local beats. The merger has brought down the average response time from seven to eight minutes to 3.7 minutes, he said. (PTI)

22:07 (IST)24 Nov 2021
Will provide public all facilities ministers get from government, says Kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday expressed his resolve to provide the public all the facilities available to ministers and lashed out at opposition parties for terming his government's schemes "freebies".

Governments do not lack funds, they just "fool" people, he claimed.

The Aam Aadmi Party is working towards expanding its electoral footprint in different states with its national convener Kejriwal, his ministers and party leaders making frequent trips to Punjab, Uttarkhand and Goa where Assembly polls are due next year.

At a programme organised by the AAP's Legal Cell here, Kejriwal said, "Every minister gets 4,000 units of electricity for free and that's not a 'freebie'. But when I give 200 units of electricity to the people of Delhi for free it is called 'freebie'."

He claimed that as soon as one becomes MLA, their bank balance shoots up immediately, they start owning two to three bungalows, open accounts in the Swiss banks and "lives of their next seven generations get sorted". (PTI)

21:42 (IST)24 Nov 2021
DDA to launch new housing scheme, offer nearly 15,000 flats

The DDA will offer nearly 15,000 flats in its new housing scheme, officials said on Wednesday. The flats of different categories located at Dwarka, Narela, Rohini and Jasola, among other places will be offered under this scheme and are those which remained "unsold in previous housing schemes" of the urban body, the DDA said in a statement.

The decision was taken during an online meeting of the authority of the DDA, held on Wednesday under the chairmanship of Lt Governor of Delhi Anil Baijal, also the chairman of the DDA, officials said.

The authority has approved launching of a special housing scheme for approximately 15,000 flats, they said. The DDA said it will soon share further details of the scheme on its website and in leading newspapers and on social media. (PTI)

21:17 (IST)24 Nov 2021
Skill-mapping survey in East Delhi slum clusters finds 26 pc of respondents unemployed

A skill-mapping survey commissioned by the Delhi government in East Delhi slum clusters has found over 26 per cent of respondents are unemployed, with most of them attributing the lack of jobs to the pandemic.

The survey commissioned by the Directorate of Economics and Statistics was conducted by an NGO in August-September. It covered 20,414 respondents in 10 slum clusters.

"Out of total respondents, 12,104 persons or 59.29 per cent were in the most economically active age group. Unfortunately, 3,218 persons or 26.58 per cent of them were unemployed," the survey report read.

Nearly 48 per cent of the households in the slums were found to be living in very "deprived" conditions as their average monthly consumer expenditure was less than Rs 10,000. The household size was approximately five persons per household, it stated. (PTI)

21:15 (IST)24 Nov 2021
Delhi schools, parents' bodies divided over resumption of physical classes

The Delhi government's announcement on Wednesday on the reopening of educational institutions in the city drew mixed reactions from schools and parents' bodies with some saying it is necessary to make up for the learning loss and others terming it a "hasty decision".

The Delhi Parents Association said Delhi's air quality and the COVID-19 pandemic remain causes of concern and can severely affect children's lungs.

However, some schools said they have made the necessary arrangements for children's safety and will be able to manage things smoothly as only 50 per cent of students are allowed in a classroom at a time.

Earlier in the day, the Delhi government announced that physical classes in schools, colleges and other educational institutions will resume and government offices will reopen from November 29 in view of the "improvement" of the air quality in the city. (PTI)

21:14 (IST)24 Nov 2021
Soaring tomato prices: Delhi minister orders crackdown against hoarders

In order to rein in surging tomato prices in the national capital, Delhi Food and Civil Supplies Minister Imran Hussain on Wednesday ordered a crackdown against hoarders.

The minister directed officials of his department to gather information about instances of hoarding and black marketing of tomatoes, and initiate necessary action under the Essential Commodity Act, if needed.

The minister chaired a meeting to review the sudden and undue increase in the retail tomato prices in the markets. It was attended by the commissioner of Food and Civil Supplies and the joint commissioner and senior officers of the intelligence team of the department among others.

During the meeting, Hussain issued directions to carry out intense inspections of wholesale markets, including the Azadpur Mandi, Okhla Mandi, Ghazipur Mandi and the Keshopur Mandi, and retail markets across Delhi. (PTI)

21:13 (IST)24 Nov 2021
Courts do thankless job, earn ire of populist: HC

"What courts do is a thankless job, they only earn ire of the populist," the Delhi High Court Wednesday observed while hearing a batch of pleas relating to illegal squatting and vending activities in the national capital.

A bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh made the observation when the counsel representing New Delhi Traders Association was stressing that even the earlier judgements of the apex court stated that vendors do not have the absolute right and they have to be balanced with others' rights.        

The counsel was relying on various judicial decisions in support of his plea challenging the validity of the Street Vendors Act.

Reacting to the observation of the bench, senior advocate Sanjeev Ralli, appearing for the association, said "If the court is made to feel like that then where we are proceeding to.

"Be it any community from the smallest to the biggest, whenever anything happening is unfair, everyone comes before your lordship. If your lordship is not going to come up if this activity is not stopped, what kind of system we are going to have?" he submitted.

The court listed the matter for further hearing on December 8. (PTI)

20:13 (IST)24 Nov 2021
Delhi's air quality 'very poor' as mercury, windspeed dip

Delhi's air quality slipped into the "very poor" category on Wednesday as low temperatures and slow surface winds allowed the accumulation of pollutants. The city's 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) was 361.

According to India Meteorological Department, Delhi recorded a minimum temperature of 9.2 degrees Celsius, this season's lowest so far. The maximum temperature settled at 28.8 degrees Celsius. 

Strong winds on Sunday and Monday had led to an improvement in the air quality.

The 24-hour average AQI read 290 on Tuesday, the second-best AQI reading this month since November 1 when it was 281. Delhi has seen 'very poor' or 'severe' air quality on the rest of the days.

Neighbouring Faridabad (367), Ghaziabad (366), Greater Noida (312), Gurgaon (305) and Noida (325) also saw a dip in air quality on Wednesday. (PTI)

20:12 (IST)24 Nov 2021
Court orders FIR against Sambit Patra for posting Kejriwal's doctored video

A Delhi court has directed the police to register an FIR against BJP leader Sambit Patra for allegedly posting a doctored video of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal supporting the farm laws, saying it may have resulted in rioting like situation across the nation.

Metropolitan Magistrate Rishabh Kapoor directed the Delhi Police to register the FIR under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and conduct a thorough investigation against the BJP Spokesperson while allowing the application of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Atishi.

Atishi had moved the court seeking registration of FIR against Patra claiming that the video contained statements that were diametrically opposite to the stand taken by the Delhi CM and the Aam Aadmi Party concerning the farm laws and caused discontent and dissatisfaction in the minds of farmers. (PTI)

20:11 (IST)24 Nov 2021
Uphaar cinema fire: Suspending Ansals' 7-year jail term will trigger mental trauma, agony of victims, police tells court

Delhi Police Wednesday told a court here that suspending the 7-year jail terms awarded to real estate barons Sushil and Gopal Ansal for tampering with evidence in the 1997 case of Uphaar cinema fire will trigger the mental trauma and agony of the victims.

It told Additional Sessions Judge Anil Antil that the punishment provided a solace to the victims of the tragedy and reinforced their faith in the justice delivery system, that too after 24 years.

If the 7-year sentence awarded to the convicts is suspended just after 15 days of incrimination it will further erode the faith of common citizens of this country in our criminal justice system, additional public prosecutor A T Ansari told the court. (PTI)

17:56 (IST)24 Nov 2021
HC seeks Delhi govt reply on plea to restrain authorities from interfering in sale of herbal hookah

The Delhi High Court Wednesday sought response of the Delhi Government on a plea by a lounge and bar owner seeking to restrain the authorities from interfering with its business of serving herbal hookah, as permitted by the court recently.

The petitioner, Delhi Lounge and Bar Private Limited, gave an undertaking before Justice Yashwant Varma that they will follow the norms and will ensure that herbal hookahs will not contain tobacco or nicotine.

The plea contended that the authorities were not allowing it to serve herbal hookah that was permitted by its November 16 order.

On November 16, the high court had passed an interim order on a batch of pleas, allowing for the time being the use of herbal hookah in restaurants and pubs in the national capital and said that COVID-19 restrictions cannot be permitted to continue at the cost of livelihood. (PTI)

17:07 (IST)24 Nov 2021
The ‘oldest’ member of Delhi’s Nehru Park: Ullu ka ped, or the owl tree

A sprawling, giant maharukh tree is the local celebrity at Nehru Park. Staff at the park, who know it as “ullu ka ped” or simply “ullu” (owl), say that it has been photographed several times.

“It’s possibly the oldest tree here. It was planted before any of us started working here. It cannot be younger than 50 years,” said Kishori Lal, the senior most gardener at Nehru Park, who has been working there since 1982. People have come to take pictures of it, and an event has been held beneath it, Kishori Lal said. Read more

16:30 (IST)24 Nov 2021
HC directs Centre to continue security for police officer who investigated Nitish Katara murder case

The Delhi High Court Wednesday directed the Centre to continue providing security to a senior UP police officer who was the investigating officer (IO) in Nitish Katara murder case and is retiring soon, as he apprehends threat to his life.

Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar said the authorities shall continue providing security to Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Anil Samaniya till the next date of hearing on December 10.

The high court issued notice and sought response of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Delhi government, Delhi Police, UP government and Director General of UP Police on the petition by the officer who is retiring on November 30 and fears for his life. (PTI)

16:29 (IST)24 Nov 2021
HC seeks Centre, Delhi govt stand on PIL to fill up vacancies in govt hospitals

The Delhi High Court Wednesday asked the Centre and Delhi government to start the recruitment process for the appointment of doctors and paramedical staff in government-run hospitals here. The court was hearing a petition which claimed that there is an acute shortage of doctors and paramedical staff in government-run hospitals in the city.

“You (authorities) start the recruitment process and appoint them. Show some speed. This is required,” said the bench comprising Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh. “It is not necessary that all vacancies should be filled (if) you are not getting suitable candidates. Start the process. You can't say that you will never start the process,” the bench said while hearing a petition seeking immediate filling up of vacancies in government-run hospitals on an urgent basis.

The court issued notice on the public interest litigation by Dr. Nand Kishore Garg, a social activist and former Delhi MLA and sought response from the All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), Safdarjung Hospital, and Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital. (PTI)

14:49 (IST)24 Nov 2021
Will pass directions to ensure safety and security in courts: Delhi HC

The Delhi High Court Wednesday said it will pass directions to ensure safety and security in courts which will remain in force till April 18.

A bench headed by Chief Justice D N Patel, which was hearing its suo motu case concerning the September 24 shootout which killed three people in a courtroom at Rohini Court, stated that it would incorporate as directions its earlier suggestions on strictly regulating ingress in judicial complexes by deploying an appropriate number of personnel and devices based on a security audit.

The bench, also comprising Justice Jyoti Singh, said it will take up the matter in April again to review the directions and asked the Bar to cooperate in the meantime. Read more

14:48 (IST)24 Nov 2021
Mahant Giri was under ‘grave mental trauma’ from accused, ended life to avoid defamation: CBI

Mahant Narendra Giri, the deceased president of Akhil Bhartiya Akhara Parishad, was under such “grave mental trauma” from his estranged disciple Anand Giri, priest Adhya Prasad Tiwari and his son Sandeep Tiwari that he ended his life to “avoid defamation and insult” in the eyes of society, the CBI has said in its charge sheet.

The CBI recovered a video of the Mahant, recorded before he killed himself, in which he alleged that Anand Giri was going to release an “edited video” showing him in an objectionable position with a woman, it said. Read more

14:30 (IST)24 Nov 2021
Look at signal we are sending to world: SC pulls up Centre for air pollution crisis

Hearing a petition pertaining to the air pollution crisis in Delhi NCR on Wednesday, a special bench of the Supreme Court expressed concern that the air quality could deteriorate further.

Reprimanding the Centre for implementing pollution-control measures only after the weather becomes severe, a bench comprising Chief Justice of India NV Ramana and Justices DY Chandrachud and Surya Kant said that steps should instead be taken anticipating a rise in air pollution. The plea was filed by 17-year-old Delhi student Aditya Dubey. Read more

14:24 (IST)24 Nov 2021
Delhi: Autorickshaw rams into truck as ‘driver falls asleep’; Woman, daughter dead

A 35-year-old woman and her three-year-old daughter died after an autorickshaw they were travelling in rammed into a truck as the driver allegedly dozed off at a traffic signal in outer Delhi’s Paschim Vihar on Tuesday. The accident happened between 7 pm and 8 pm in the Jawalapuri area, said the police.

The deceased have been identified as Suman and Anu. Suman’s husband Ratan Singh and her sister Shikha were also in the autorickshaw.  Read more 

14:13 (IST)24 Nov 2021
Delhi schools to reopen from November 29

"Schools, colleges and educational institutions will be allowed to reopen in the city, starting Monday, November 29. Work from home in government offices will end on November 29, but we request people to use public transport. CNG and electric trucks carrying nonessential items will be allowed in Delhi from November 27. The ban on entry of diesel and petrol trucks carrying nonessential items will continue till December 3," Gopal Rai said today. 

Construction of IKEA shopping centre in Gurgaon begins in 2022

Representative Image

Ingka Centres, part of the Ingka Group that includes IKEA Retail and Ingka Investments, Tuesday said that IKEA’s first mixed-use development (shopping centre) project in India would come up in Gurgaon.

In a statement, Ingka Centres said, “Reflecting the local community’s need for more than shopping, the new meeting place will set the standard for the next generation of sustainable mixed-use destinations, acting as a lively gathering place for leisure, entertainment and retail in one of the world’s fastest-growing markets. The development will complement the company’s plans announced for Noida earlier this year.”

‘Tactical urbanism’ trials to improve road safety in Delhi

Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot Tuesday inaugurated the Tactical Urbanism (TU) trials at Rajghat to improve road safety in Delhi.

“Tactical Urbanism (TU) trials are temporary, quick and relatively low-cost interventions, which test out urban design, transportation planning and infrastructural changes for improving road safety for all road users, especially the most vulnerable, like pedestrians, cyclists and other non-motorised transport users,” the government said in a statement.

Cyber criminals used Google to dupe people, Delhi court asks police to investigate tech giant

Observing that citizens have been rendered vulnerable by "insouciant indifference of the Google authorities", a Delhi judge has ordered police to investigate Google authorities for criminal conspiracy in a cyber-fraud case, after the police argued that Google was a "partner in crime" for allegedly receiving Rs 30 lakh from cybercriminals to feature their fake website on its top searches.

Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana ordered DCP Cyber Cell to investigate the role of Google authorities for conspiracy and abetment. The judge gave the order while rejecting bail applications of two men accused of being part of a cyber fraud racket that made fake websites to target people who were trying to register cyber fraud complaints.

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