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Day after IAF pilot’s return, PM Narendra Modi says ‘Abhinandan’ will acquire new meaning



Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday made a veiled reference to what has been viewed as a diplomatic victory of India at a public function in New Delhi to state that the world watches every move of the country closely. PM Modi said the Sanskrit word ‘Abhinandan’ would acquire a new meaning due to what has transpired over past couple of days.

Indicating that the international community takes the country seriously, PM Modi said, “Whatever India does, world watches it closely….It is the power of this nation that it changes the meaning of words. Abhinandan used to mean congratulation, now Abhinandan will have a new meaning.”

The prime minister’s remark has come a day after IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthaman was released by Pakistan. Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was in Pakistan Army’s custody since Wednesday morning after his aircraft crash-landed in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir following an aerial dogfight with the jets of Pakistan Air Force.

Wing Commander Abhinandan was handed over to Indian authorities on Friday night at Attari-Wagah border in Punjab by Pakistan, which reportedly changed the time of his release twice during the day. A PTI report said that the delay in his release happened due to a video statement of the IAF pilot that the Pakistan Army wanted to record before his release.

The video was released by the Pakistani side on social media just before the IAF pilot was handed over to Indian authorities. The video clip, which has several cuts and jumps, shows Wing Commander Abhinandan saying that he was treated well by the Pakistan Army, which saved him from a mob. He is also heard saying that Indian media blows up matters out of proportion while reporting on India-Pakistan relations.

The IAF pilot was part of the Indian Air Force team that foiled Pakistan Air Force’s attempt to target military installations of India on Wednesday morning. Flying a MiG 21 Bison, the IAF pilot shot down F 16 PAF fighter jet before his aircraft was hit by one of the missiles.

Pakistan had breached Indian airspace drawing immediate response from India. In the aerial dogfight that ensued, Wing Commander Abhinandan had to eject his aircraft. His parachute drifted towards Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, where he was arrested by the Pakistan Army.

Soon, a video was released from Pakistani handles on Twitter showing Wing Commander in blindfold with blood on his face and hands tied behind his back. He was being questioned by a Pakistani official.

After verifying the video clip, India demanded release of the IAF pilot by Pakistan, which initially said that it was ready to hand Wing Commander Abhinandan if it meant de-escalation of prevailing tension between the two countries. India rejected the “deal offer” issuing a strongly worded demarche reiterating its demand.

In what appeared as a surprise move on Thursday, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan announced that Wing Commander Abhinandan would be released as a “peace gesture” the next day. The IAF welcomed the decision calling it a gesture in consonance with the Geneva Convention that provides for a prisoner of war to be treated well and repatriated without being harmed.

Wing Commander Abhinandan returned to India slowly walking through Attari-Wagah border, where common people, mediapersons, security personnel and some of the high ranking military officers waited anxiously braving rains for his safe homecoming.

Many in the ruling BJP including the party president Amit Shah described Wing Commander Abhinandan’s return as “diplomatic victory” of the Narendra Modi government. In his address at the inaugural function of the ‘Construction Technology India 2019’ in New Delhi, PM Modi said, “We have to move forward as a parakrami (mighty) nation.”



Do you want electric buses to operate in your neighborhood too? Send your suggestions here.



Image Source: PTI

A survey is being conducted in Delhi to initiate small-sized electric neighborhood buses on congested roads. The Delhi Transport Department has commenced an extensive ground survey to determine suitable routes for neighborhood bus services in different areas of Delhi. This survey will run from June 1st to June 15th, with 23 technical teams deployed in various locations across Delhi for study purposes.

Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot stated that the Delhi government has never purchased more than 2000 feeder buses before this initiative. The 9-meter buses will operate on routes where 12-meter buses are unable to reach. Delhi residents can also share their feedback and suggestions regarding the neighborhood buses at mohallabusfeedback [at]

To ensure the inclusion of public suggestions, teams have been formed by the Transport Department to gather insights from the people of Delhi. This will guarantee that all significant routes are covered by these neighborhood buses.

The technical teams involved in the survey will visit metro stations, bus terminals, bus stops, and different areas of Delhi. The survey will focus on the following four aspects:

  1. Assessment of travel demand: The survey teams will examine last-mile connectivity in each area and study the transportation needs of the general public for such connectivity.
  2. Road network: The survey teams will assess road width, encroachments, and obstacles encountered during bus operations.
  3. Public transport connectivity: All teams will determine the distance travelers need to cover to reach public transport. A Pakistani team will also investigate the availability of other public transport options in the area.
  4. Para-transit connectivity: The availability of options such as e-rickshaws, auto-rickshaws, and other para-transit services in specific areas will also be surveyed.

According to the information received from the Transport Department, the data collected during this survey will be digitized. It will be used to determine the origin and destination of proposed neighborhood bus services in each area. Additionally, the survey aims to identify potential routes that will benefit the maximum number of passengers through neighborhood buses.

It should be noted that Kailash Gahlot, Delhi’s Finance Minister, who also serves as the Transport Minister, announced the Neighborhood Bus Plan in the budget speech. The objective of this plan is to deploy 9-meter-long electric buses to provide local or feeder bus services. The Kejriwal government has planned to operate a total of 2,180 such buses by 2025. The neighborhood buses will be specifically operated in those areas of Delhi where road width is limited or regular operation of 12-meter buses is difficult due to congestion.

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Delhi’s Coolest May in 36 Years: Record-Breaking Temperatures and Abundant Rainfall



Image: PTI

Delhi has recently witnessed a remarkable drop in temperatures during the month of May, marking it as the coolest May in the past 36 years. This significant shift can be attributed to the abundant rainfall that showered the city over the course of two weeks.

Surprisingly, Delhi encountered an unusual 11 days of rainfall, which is quite uncommon for this hot summer month. Data provided by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) reveals that the average maximum temperature recorded in May this year was 36.8 degrees Celsius, the lowest since 1987. It is worth mentioning that in May 1987, the Safdarjung weather station recorded an even lower average maximum temperature of 36 degrees Celsius, according to IMD scientist Kuldeep Srivastava.

To put things into perspective, the average maximum temperature in May last year was a scorching 40.1 degrees Celsius. The stark contrast in temperatures this year can be attributed to the five active western disturbances that affected the northwest plains of India. Srivastava highlighted that while the region usually experiences two to three western disturbances during this period, this year marked the fifth one.

Delhi received a staggering 111 mm of rainfall in May, which was 262 percent above the normal average of 30.7 mm for the month. The city has also witnessed above-normal rainfall in March, April, and May, accumulating a total of 184.3 mm during the pre-monsoon season. This figure represents an excess of 186 percent compared to the average of 64.4 mm.

Furthermore, the Safdarjung weather station did not record any instances of a heatwave throughout May, although other weather stations in the vicinity reported heatwave conditions. The copious rainfall and gusty winds not only provided relief from the scorching heat but also improved Delhi’s air quality. On Wednesday, the Air Quality Index (AQI) was recorded at 85, falling under the ‘satisfactory’ category. In contrast, on May 23, when there was no rainfall, the AQI soared to 198, according to data from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

Remarkably, data from the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) shows that the average PM10 and PM2.5 levels from January to May this year have been the second lowest since 2016. The lowest levels were observed in 2020 due to the summer lockdown.

In conclusion, Delhi’s unusual weather patterns in May, marked by the lowest temperatures in over three decades and abundant rainfall, have brought relief from the scorching heat and improved air quality in the city.

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Delhi Government Introduces Small Electric ‘Mohalla Buses’ for Improved Public Transport.



Image: PTI

The Delhi government is taking a big step towards improving the city’s public transportation system by introducing small-sized electric “Mohalla Buses” on the streets. To make sure they identify the areas where these buses are needed and determine the best routes for them, the Transport Department has launched a comprehensive 15-day evaluation campaign. Starting from Thursday, teams of experts will be deployed in different areas until June 15 to conduct the study.

This means that soon we’ll have these convenient and eco-friendly buses operating throughout Delhi! Isn’t that exciting?

But that’s not all! The government has also come up with a plan to purchase over 2,000 feeder buses. These buses will serve routes where the regular 12-meter buses can’t go. So, it will make traveling much more convenient for all the bus commuters out there!

To ensure that they cover all the important areas and connect the major attractions in the city, They are forming teams across Delhi to gather feedback from the people. Their input will help them determine the most suitable routes for these Mohalla Buses. After all, They want to make sure that everyone benefits from this new and improved public transport system!

So get ready, Delhiites! Exciting changes are on the horizon, making your daily commute more comfortable and sustainable.

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