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From Covid-19 lockdown extension to exit, what chief ministers told PM Modi



Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a virtual meeting of chief ministers on Saturday to decide on the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown that ends on April 14. PM Modi didn’t elaborate on the mechanics of the plan that he had in mind but spent most of the meeting listening the chief ministers. A statement by the Prime Minister’s Office later said chief ministers of most states were in the favour of extending the lockdown.?Some also spoke about allowing the resumption of economic activities in a manner that is not counter-productive to the united fight against the coronavirus disease. The prime minister has also indicated that the government’s motto had changed in the last two weeks from ‘Jaan hai to Jahaan hai’ (life is above all) to ‘Jaan bhi, jahaan bhi” (lives and livelihoods, both matter).

Several chief ministers spoke their mind on the Covid-19 pandemic and how their state intended to move forward.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said that PM had decided to extend the lockdown and added that it was the right decision to make.

“PM has taken the correct decision to extend lockdown. Today, India’s position is better than many developed countries because we started lockdown early. If it is stopped now, all gains would be lost. To consolidate, it is imp to extend it,” he twitted.

Karnataka’s BS Yediyurappa said PM Modi “told us that we must not compromise on lockdown and we are receiving suggestions for extending it for next 15 days”. According to news agency ?ANI, Yediyurappa said the prime minister had told them that the central government will announce guidelines for next 15 days in a day or two.

Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said that while PM had spoken about extending the lockdown, “it could be relaxed in some places and made more stringent in some others”. She added that her government was on the “same page” as the prime minister.

“We are also on the same page with PM, want lockdown extended till April 30,” she said, according to PTI.

Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, who heads the state with the most number of coronavirus cases in the country, said he had informed PM Modi that his state will extend the lockdown till April 30.

Puducherry CM Narayanasamy said that while PM Modi agreed with the majority view to extend the lockdown, he also spoke of a graded resumption in commercial activity in some sectors of the economy.

“PM felt farm activity should continue and said guidelines would be issued by Centre on the construction industry in a graded manner,” Narayanasamy said.

Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel suggested that the restriction on the interstate road, rail and air travel should continue. However, he sought resumption of economic activity within the borders of the state.

Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy is reported to be one among the very few heads of states to have demanded that the lockdown be confined only to the ‘red zones’ that have reported a large number of Covid-19 positive cases.

“While I support the steps being taken by the Centre to contain the Covid-19 situation, I also feel that the wheel of the economy should continue to run, if not with full speed, but to the extent of providing basic necessities to people,” Jagan said.

Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao was not in favour of any relaxations and sought an extension to the nationwide lockdown for two more weeks.

“The lockdown has helped contain the spread of the virus to a large extent and there is no other way but to extend it for another two weeks to flatten the curve,” KCR said.

Similarly, Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh asked the PM to extend the national lockdown. Punjab has already decided to extend the restrictions for another fortnight.



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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Raahgiri Day is Back: Take Back CP Streets and Reclaim Your Sunday Morning!



Representative Image | Source : Wikimedia

The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has decided to re-launch the ‘Raahgiri Days’ programme in Connaught Place from Sunday, with a focus on sustainable mobility, under the G20 theme. This theme is an invitation for action to make sustainable and secure cities, and the Raahgiri Day completely synchronizes with this goal, said a NDMC official.

Raahgiri Day is an idea that started in 2013 and is an auto-free citizens’ effort that promotes safe, open and comprehensive public streets where individuals can walk to close by markets and kids can walk to close by schools securely.

This will be the initial installment of a progression of Raahgiri Days to be facilitated at Connaught Place post the Covid-19 pandemic. It will be held as a part of Delhi Police Week (February 16-22) under the topic of street security, including center on walkability and ladies’ security. During these occasions, the Connaught Place market zone will be changed into a vehicle free zone, permitting inhabitants to partake in an assortment of exercises, including yoga classes, Zumba, games zones, music, move and even instructive programmes on different points like street security.

Officials from the NDMC (New Delhi Municipal Council) asserted that the Raahgiri Day is an initiative to make people aware of the fact that roads and streets are not just meant for vehicles. It is a means to reclaim public spaces and use them for leisure activities as a community. On February 19, the Raahgiri Day will be relaunched at Connaught Place and all Delhi citizens are encouraged to be a part of it. A senior official expressed that this is a chance to make a positive impact on our society and relish the roads in a different way while also encouraging the formation of a safer, more sustainable and walkable city. This event is being organised in collaboration with Delhi Police and other organisations.

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Delhi Police rescue girl who jumped off Signature Bridge into Yamuna



Image Source: ANI

The Delhi Police, led by Assistant Sub Inspector (ASI) Parvinder, took immediate action as soon as they were informed that a 17-year-old girl had jumped into the Yamuna river from the Signature Bridge in the national capital on Tuesday night, reportedly due to a quarrel with her father.

The Station House Officer (SHO) Tribhuvan Singh Negi of Timarpur police station, along with a team of more than half a dozen police personnel, began the rescue operation with the help of divers and managed to save the schoolgirl, who is a resident of Wazirabad, within 45-50 minutes. The girl was later handed over to her family.

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