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Delhi’s air quality back in ‘very poor’ zone, days after Diwali may be worse



The air quality fell to “very poor” levels on Thursday and is likely to worsen over the next few days, weather officials said, warning of a deterioration in conditions in the coming days – particularly after Diwali.

The daily air quality index (AQI) – calculated as a 24-hour average till 4pm – was at 311 on Thursday, a level last seen on October 16 before a pick-up in wind speeds helped keep air pollution down.

According to a Delhi environment department official, easterly winds will cease from Sunday – the day of Diwali – and will be replaced by northwesterly winds, which could bring in pollutants from farm fires in the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana.

The change in wind direction will also cause a drop in temperature, and, along with residual moisture, could create fog.

“This could turn matters worse, as the calm winds, fog and dip in temperature could help trap the smoke from stubble burning, firecrackers and other local emissions,” this official added, asking not to be named.

The warning prompted the task-force headed by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to recommend a slew of pre-emptive measures such as banning construction activity between 6pm and 6am, and shutting down coal-powered industries (except power plants) from October 26 to October 30 in Delhi and neighbouring satellite towns.

A final call would be taken by the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority. “We will take the call as soon as we receive the recommendations,” said Sunita Narain, member of EPCA.

“The next few days will be challenging and in addition to intense action by agencies, additional preventive measures may be required to check the deteriorating air quality,” said Prashant Gargava, member secretary of CPCB, who headed the task-force meeting.

By 7pm on Thursday, the concentration of PM10 (the coarser dust particles) was already three times the permissible limit of 100ug/m3. The concentration of PM2.5 – ultra fine particles that can reach deep within lungs – was more than twice the safe limits of 60ug/m3.

The minimum temperature, which was hovering at 17.7°C on Thursday, is predicted to drop to around 15°C on Diwali and post-Diwali day. The maximum temperature on Thursday was 32.1 degrees Celsius.



Justice Served: UP Gangster Atiq Ahmed and 2 Others, Sentenced to Life Term for Kidnapping



Photo : PTI

In a recent development, a court in Prayagraj has sentenced Atiq Ahmed, a well-known gangster turned politician, along with two others, to rigorous life imprisonment. The verdict was pronounced after they were found guilty of the 2007 kidnapping case of Umesh Pal. Pal was an eyewitness in the murder case of BSP MLA Raju Pal. The court has also acquitted seven others, including Atiq’s brother Ashraf.

The sentencing of Atiq Ahmed and his accomplices comes after a long-drawn legal battle. They were found guilty of abducting Umesh Pal, who was a crucial witness in the murder case of Raju Pal. The court’s decision to award rigorous life imprisonment to the three accused has been welcomed by many, who see it as a step towards justice for the victim and his family.

In another development, earlier today, the Supreme Court refused to entertain Ahmed’s plea seeking protection in connection with the case. The apex court directed Ahmed’s lawyer to approach the High Court with his grievances instead. This decision has come as a setback for Ahmed, who was seeking protection from possible harm in jail.

The verdict in the case is being seen as a significant victory for the judiciary and the law enforcement agencies, who have been working tirelessly to bring the accused to justice. It sends a strong message to anyone who thinks they can get away with heinous crimes like kidnapping and murder. The case has also highlighted the need to protect witnesses in such cases, who play a crucial role in ensuring justice is served.

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Covid cases increasing in Delhi, more than 150 cases in 24 hours, infection rate also increased.



Representational Image | Photo by Firosnv. Photography on Unsplash

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Delhi has been on the rise again in recent days. The capital has seen a continuous surge in the number of cases, with 152 new infections reported in the last 24 hours alone. The infection rate has also risen to 6.66%. This represents a significant increase from the 117 cases reported on Thursday, indicating that the situation is worsening rapidly.

Experts have suggested that the rise in COVID-19 cases may be linked to the increasing number of cases of H3N2 flu in the city. As more people have been getting tested for H3N2, some have been found to be positive for COVID-19 as well. The trend is reflected in the figures from the past few days, with 84 cases reported on Wednesday and 83 on Tuesday, before the sudden spike on Friday.

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi has issued several recommendations to hospitals in the city to help tackle the situation. Hospitals have been advised to screen patients with fever and maintain an adequate supply of essential medicines. They have also been instructed to ensure that ventilators and other equipment are in good working order.

The Corporation has urged hospitals to promote the booster vaccine dose to their employees and patients and to follow all government guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. A nodal officer has been appointed to ensure that hospitals maintain cleanliness, prevent the spread of infection, and manage biomedical waste effectively.

The situation is not limited to Delhi, as cases of COVID-19 are rising rapidly in other parts of India as well. Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Karnataka are all areas of concern, and the central government has held a meeting to discuss the matter. The focus remains on testing, tracing, and treatment, as authorities work to contain the spread of the virus.

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Traffic chaos in Delhi as marshals struggle to control heavy vehicles on Ashram flyover



Representational Image | Image Courtesy : Paramjit Dhillon @Paramjitdhillon (Twitter)

Delhi, India – Chaos ensues as the Ashram Flyover becomes a traffic nightmare for commuters in the city. But fear not, as a group of marshals has been deployed to restore order and bring some sense to the madness.

The Ashram Flyover, a major artery in the bustling metropolis of Delhi, has been a headache for commuters for quite some time now. The flyover, which connects the city’s south and central areas, sees heavy traffic congestion during peak hours, causing long delays and frayed nerves.

But things have taken a spicy turn as marshals have been brought in to keep things under control. These marshals, donning bright green jackets, have been tasked with managing the traffic flow, ensuring that vehicles move smoothly and without incident.

The marshals have their work cut out for them, as the chaos on the flyover seems to have no end in sight. The heavy traffic, coupled with the city’s notorious lack of lane discipline, has resulted in a free-for-all on the flyover, with vehicles jostling for space and tempers flaring.

But the marshals are undeterred. Armed with whistles and hand signals, they are determined to bring some order to the chaos. And their efforts seem to be paying off, as traffic has started moving more smoothly, and the honking and shouting have reduced considerably.

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