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Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Delhi News highlights: Capital’s air quality enters red zone first time this season

The Gurgaon district administration on Tuesday cancelled permission to offer namaz at eight sites, which were among a list of 37 designated sites approved earlier where Friday prayers are offered under police protection in the city.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: November 3, 2021 9:34:53 am
Stubble burning accounted for six per cent of PM2.5 pollution in Delhi. (AP/File)

Air quality in the national capital entered the “very poor” category for the first time this season on Tuesday due to unfavourable conditions for dispersion of pollutants, authorities said. Stubble burning accounted for six per cent of PM2.5 pollution in Delhi. The rest of the pollution is due to local sources, said Gufran Beig, the founder project director of SAFAR, a government framework for air quality forecasts.

The Gurgaon district administration on Tuesday cancelled permission to offer namaz at eight sites, which were among a list of 37 designated sites approved earlier where Friday prayers are offered under police protection in the city. In a statement, the district administration said that the decision was taken after “objection from local residents and resident welfare associations”.

Meanwhile, Facebook India requested an extension of 14 days to appear before the Delhi Legislative Assembly’s Committee on Peace and Harmony to “ensure the availability of senior representatives with the requisite knowledge” who are “best placed to provide the Committee with the data required”, the government said Tuesday. The proceedings have now been rescheduled to 12.30 pm on November 18. The committee is examining the “unprecedented communal disharmony and violence in Delhi in February 2020”.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted a minimum temperature of around 15 degree Celsius and maximum of 30 degree Celsius for Delhi-NCR on Tuesday. Over the next six days, the minimum temperature could drop to around 13 degree Celsius, the IMD’s seven-day forecast suggests.

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Capital's air quality enters red zone first time this season; Permission for namaz withdrawn at 8 sites in Gurgaon; Delhi Police seize 4,000 kg firecrackers before Diwali, 26 held.

21:23 (IST)02 Nov 2021
JNUSU demands clearance of fellowships

The JNU Student Union (JNUSU) Tuesday demanded the institution clear all pending fellowships and return money to students from whom it 'illegall' recovered non-NET fellowship amount.

In a statement, the JNUSU alleged the university was “illegally” recovering money from students as non-NET fellowship amount.

The JNUSU had made similar allegations on October 29 also. However, the JNU in a statement on Monday has denied these allegations. The students' body warned that they will take political and legal measures if the issue was not solved. (PTI)

21:21 (IST)02 Nov 2021
Uphaar fire: AVUT seeks life imprisonment for Ansals in evidence tampering case

The Association of Victims of Uphaar Tragedy (AVUT) urged a Delhi court on Tuesday to award life imprisonment to real estate barons Sushil and Gopal Ansal and others for tampering with evidence in the 1997 cinema fire case that had claimed 59 lives.

The court had on October 8 convicted the Ansals, a former court staff Dinesh Chand Sharma and individuals P P Batra and Anoop Singh in the case.

Two other accused, Har Swaroop Panwar and Dharamvir Malhotra, died during the course of the trial.

The case was lodged on the direction of the Delhi High Court while hearing a petition by AVUT chairperson Neelam Krishnamoorthy.

The case is related to tampering with the evidence in the main fire tragedy case in which the Ansals were convicted and sentenced to 2-year jail term by the Supreme Court. (PTI)

20:17 (IST)02 Nov 2021
NEET topper from Delhi school: ‘Continued my hobbies so stress doesn’t increase’

Delhi schoolboy Tanmay Gupta (18), who hails from Jammu, has become the first from Jammu and Kashmir to become a NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test) topper. He shares the All India Rank (AIR) one with two others.

This was Gupta’s first attempt at NEET and he scored a perfect score of 720. “It is an honour for me to make my state proud and have more people from Jammu in premier medical institutes of the country,” he said.

Gupta wants to pursue MBBS and will easily qualify for a seat at the AIIMS. His parents, both dentists, are the reason behind his interest in the field. After scoring 100% in his Class 10 exams from Jammu, Gupta shifted to Delhi for further education. Read More

20:15 (IST)02 Nov 2021
East MCD to allot space for milk booths at 28 parks

The East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) has decided to allot space for setting up milk booths at twenty-eight parks under its jurisdiction. Additionally, companies setting up the milk booths will have to maintain the parks.

Commissioner of the EDMC Vikas Anand said that a tender has also been issued for this. He said, “The milk company will have to clean the park, maintain and prune the trees and the East MCD will get it inspected from time to time.” Commissioner said that there is a live tender on the official website of the East Delhi Municipal Corporation ‘mcdonline.nic.in’ and https:/etenders.gov.in/procure/app. The tender will open on November 11.

A senior official of the East MCD said that the milk companies will be given 10*10 square feet of space in the park, but the company will be barred from making any concrete structure at this place. Read More

20:12 (IST)02 Nov 2021
Delhi: Man held for threatening to blow up a mobile store at Connaught Place

The Delhi Police arrested a man for allegedly threatening to blow up a mobile store at Connaught Place with a bomb. The incident took place Tuesday afternoon when the man entered a One Plus mobile store and told the staffers that he would blow up the place with a bomb.

A video of the incident shows a group of policemen entering and dragging the man out of the store while people are seen gathering near the place.

Deepak Yadav, DCP (New Delhi) said, “We received information around 4.15 pm from the One Plus store at Rajiv Chowk about the unidentified man who was giving threats. Local staff immediately came to the store and detained him. We also took the necessary steps to tackle the situation.” Read More

19:23 (IST)02 Nov 2021
Umar Khalid tells Delhi court: Investigating officer a scriptwriter with fertile imagination

Former JNU student Umar Khalid, one of the accused in the Delhi Police case alleging larger conspiracy behind the Northeast Delhi riots, Tuesday told a Delhi court that allegations against him are products of the “fertile imagination” of the investigating officer (IO) and the material to arrest him was prepared merely a month before he was taken into custody last year.

The submissions on Khalid’s behalf were made by senior advocate Trideep Pais before Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat during the hearing of his bail plea in the UAPA case. The arguments will continue on November 8.

“This is called fertile imagination. This person is not an IO. He is a scriptwriter. Literally, this is a novella the person has written,” submitted Pais, while reading the chargesheet that alleges Khalid to be behind the ‘Jamia Coordination Committee’ group. Read More

19:22 (IST)02 Nov 2021
Stubble burning share in Delhi's air pollution may go up to 38% after Diwali: SAFAR

The share of stubble burning in Delhi's PM2.5 pollution is predicted to increase to 38 per cent by November 6 – two days after Diwali, according to the Ministry of Earth Sciences' air quality forecast agency SAFAR.

The contribution of farm fires in Delhi's air pollution has remained low this season so far due to the record-breaking rainfall in October and favourable wind direction.

However, it is likely to increase up to 38 per cent by November 6 as the wind direction is expected to change to northwesterly after Diwali, said Gufran Beig, the founder project director of SAFAR.

Northwesterly winds carry smoke from farm fires in Punjab and Haryana towards the national capital. (PTI)

19:19 (IST)02 Nov 2021
Air quality set to plummet in Delhi after clean spell

Intermittent rain and winds led to a rare drop in pollution in India’s capital last month, with residents breathing the cleanest air in at least four years, but authorities warn that air quality is set to drop sharply in November.

A delayed end to the monsoon and a sharp pick-up in wind speeds ensured that the concentration of hazardous, small airborne particles known as PM2.5 in a cubic metre of air averaged 72 in October when air quality typically takes a turn for the worse.

That was sharply down from an average concentration of 126 recorded in October 2020 – 25 times over the World Health Organization’s safe limit – according to data gathered by the state-run Central Pollution Control Board. Read More

19:18 (IST)02 Nov 2021
Threat messages against Virat Kohli’s family, DCW asks Delhi Police to act

The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) has sent a notice to the Delhi Police, asking them to take action against obscene messages targetting Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli’s family.

Officials at the DCW said they have taken suo motu cognizance of media reports published about such messages, which also targeted Kohli’s nine-month-old daughter.

The DCW has sent the notice to the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Cyber). Read More

19:09 (IST)02 Nov 2021
15K students enrolled under Delhi govt scheme to promote talent: Minister

About 15,000 students have enrolled themselves under the Jai Bhim Chief Minister Pratibha Vikas Yojana, and classes for them at government-empanelled coaching institutes will begin soon, Delhi Social Welfare Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam said on Tuesday.

At a press conference, he also reiterated that the scheme, which had been halted due to the Covid-19 pandemic, has been made open for students of all categories, and not just to those belonging to SC, ST or OBC categories as envisioned earlier.

The announcement comes ahead of the Delhi civic bodies elections due next year. (PTI)

16:52 (IST)02 Nov 2021
Delhi riots: Facebook granted extension to appear before Assembly panel

Facebook India requested an extension of 14 days to appear before the Delhi Legislative Assembly’s Committee on Peace and Harmony to “ensure the availability of senior representatives with the requisite knowledge” who are “best placed to provide the Committee with the data required”, the government said Tuesday.

The proceedings have now been rescheduled to 12.30 pm on November 18. The committee is examining the “unprecedented communal disharmony and violence in Delhi in February 2020”.

“Considering the request and reasons stated therein, the Chairman and MLA Sh. Raghav Chadha has decided to grant the extension to Facebook India to make available the suitable senior representatives,” the government said. Read More

16:51 (IST)02 Nov 2021
Delhi: JNU VC made appointments ‘without authority’, HC restrains chairpersons from taking major decisions

Observing that the vice-chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) is not vested with the power to appoint chairpersons of centres, the Delhi High Court has restrained the nine chairpersons appointed by Prof M Jagadesh Kumar from taking any major decisions, including those relating to the convening of selection committees or carrying out selections concerning the centres or special centres.

The division bench of Justice Rajiv Shakdher and Justice Talwant Singh said that the power to appoint chairpersons is expressly conferred upon the executive council and not the VC.

“Therefore, prima facie, respondent no.2 could not have exercised the power to appoint Chairpersons of Centres/Special Centres,” said the court, adding that the appointments made by the VC prima facie are without authority. Read More

16:50 (IST)02 Nov 2021
Air quality likely to be ‘very poor’ to ‘poor’ today, minimum temperature at 15°C today

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted a minimum temperature of around 15 degree Celsius and maximum of 30 degree Celsius for Delhi-NCR on Tuesday.

Over the next six days, the minimum temperature could drop to around 13 degree Celsius, the IMD’s seven-day forecast suggests. The maximum temperature over the next six days could range from 28 to 30 degree Celsius. A minimum temperature of 14.5 degree Celsius was recorded over the past 24 hours.

Meanwhile, the Air Quality Early Warning System for Delhi indicates that the air quality could be in the lower end of ‘very poor’ to ‘poor’ category on Tuesday and Wednesday. After Diwali, on November 5 and 6, the air quality is likely to deteriorate but will remain in the ‘very poor’ category, the forecast indicates. Read More

16:48 (IST)02 Nov 2021
Delhi Police seize 4,000 kg firecrackers before Diwali; 26 arrested

The Delhi Police has arrested at least 26 persons and seized 4,000 kg firecrackers this month before Diwali, officials said on Monday. Despite the strict ban on all types of firecrackers in the city, the police said, some vendors and sellers have been caught with hundreds of units or packets of illegal firecrackers.

While most of the manufacturing and storage units in Delhi have been shut, the violators bought firecrackers in huge quantities from Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, said the police.

Earlier this month, the police issued an order stating that they would not give temporary licenses and will cancel permanent licenses of vendors who sell or store firecrackers in the capital. Read More

16:40 (IST)02 Nov 2021
Gurgaon: Months after Nuh horror, man held for killing wife

Seven months after a woman’s burnt body was found in bushes on Kundli-Manesar-Palwal expressway in Tauru, police on Monday claimed to have cracked the murder case with the arrest of the woman’s husband. Police said the probe had found that the man murdered his wife as he suspected her of infidelity.

Police said on March 24, 2021, an unidentified body of a 25-year-old woman was found on Naurangpur road near Dingerheri village in Tauru. The body had 90 per cent burns and only a hand and a foot were unburnt. Initial probe had suggested that the woman was murdered and her body burnt to destroy the evidence. Police had set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to crack the case. Read More

16:39 (IST)02 Nov 2021
Delhi: 2,800 firefighters, 30 additional fire stations for Diwali

The Delhi Fire Services (DFS) will deploy more than 2,800 firefighters across the city during Diwali this year, said officials on Tuesday.

The fire services have also planned to set up 30 new fire stations near hospitals, residential areas and markets during Diwali to tackle stress calls. The department already has 64 fire stations across the city.

DFS chief Atul Garg said, “we are expecting hundreds of calls on Diwali and need to step up arrangements. The fire units will be deployed on November 3 and 4. We have cancelled the leaves of all our staff during the weekend. We have already informed division and regional heads to look into the deployment.” Read More

16:38 (IST)02 Nov 2021
EDMC releases area-wise deployment list of sanitation workers, route plan of waste collection vehicles

The East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) has released an area-wise deployment list of Paryavaran Sahayakas (sanitation workers) and supervisory staff along with their mobile numbers.

Along with this, a route plan of municipality auto tippers (waste collection vehicles) has also been issued for the convenience of the citizens. These lists can be seen on the official website of East Delhi Municipal Corporation.

The list of area-wise deployment of Paryavaran Sahayakas and route plan of auto tippers has also been shared with RWAs and Market Associations, said a senior official of EDMC.

Citizens can use the helpline number 155303 or 311 to register their complaints and suggestion. Alternatively, they can use the EDMC mobile app and their social media platforms to reach out to them. Grievances are redressed on priority basis by East Delhi Municipal Corporation, the official said. (ENS)

16:37 (IST)02 Nov 2021
Noida: 3 ex-Armymen among 10 held for exam fraud

The Noida Police arrested 10 persons, including three former army personnel, for allegedly carrying out large-scale fraud in government exams. Police said the gang illegally provided question papers and placed imposter candidates in various examinations across states. Police also recovered 28 admit cards of different exams from the accused.

The accused have been identified as retired Armymen Sunil, Lakhan Singh, and Satnam Singh along with Jeetendra Yadav, Mahipal Yadav, Vikas Sharma, Virendra Yadav, Layak, Umesh Kumar and Abhinav Kumar. Most of the accused hail from Haryana, police said.

According to police, the accused had sent a different person in place of the actual candidate for the Haryana Constable examination on Monday. Read More

22:30 (IST)01 Nov 2021
Delhi govt's 'Mukhya Mantri Teertha Yatra' likely to resume from Nov 15

he Delhi government is likely to resume its ‘Mukhya Mantri Teertha Yatra Yojana' from November 15 with the birthplace of Lord Ram, Ayodhya, as one of its routes, government officials said on Monday.

The development comes a week after Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal included Ayodhya in the list of pilgrimage sites in the scheme. The scheme was halted for the last one-and-a-half years due to COVID-19. It was given cabinet nod in January 2018.

According to officials, the Revenue Department of the Delhi government will be the nodal agency to execute the scheme, while travel and lodging arrangements of pilgrims will be made by the Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation (DTTDC).

A senior government official, privy to the development, said on the condition of anonymity that a meeting to resume free pilgrimage scheme was convened last week where “impetus was put to restart the scheme this month”. (PTI)

22:29 (IST)01 Nov 2021
52-yr-old businessman shot dead in Delhi

A 52-year-old businessman was shot dead near his hotel allegedly over monetary dispute in southwest Delhi's Mahipalpur area, police said on Monday. Krishan Pal Sehrawat, a resident of Haryana's Gurgaon sustained a gunshot injury near his left temple, they said. The police said Sehrawat has a hotel in Mahipalpur which he had given on lease to Roshan Mishra around 10 months ago. The victim had a dispute with Mishra over non-payment of lease amount and pending electricity bills.

The two parties have known each other for sometime, they said. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Southwest) Gaurav Sharma said Mishra and his associates are the prime suspects in the case and efforts are on to trace them. According to Sharma, the Vasant Kunj North Police Station received the call about Sehrawat being shot at on Sunday at around 11 pm. (PTI)

People shop at the Kamla Nagar market in New Delhi ahead of Diwali. (Photo: PTI)

Delhi’s air quality this October is cleanest in four years

This October, Delhi’s air has been the cleanest for the month at least since 2018. The average air quality index for October this year is 173, while the figure for October 2020 was 265. The corresponding figure for 2019 was 233, while in 2018, October recorded an average AQI of 268.

Experts have attributed this to record rainfall seen this monsoon. The delayed withdrawal of the monsoon this year, along with the presence of a western disturbance, brought rainfall to Delhi this October. Bulletins of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) also indicate that Delhi recorded no ‘very poor’ or ‘severe’ AQI day in October this year. This is in contrast to nine ‘very poor’ air days in 2020, five such days in 2019, and nine such days in 2018. In 2019, October recorded two ‘severe’ AQI days, while one such day was registered in 2018.

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