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21 killed as heavy rains pound Maharashtra, more in store

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Pune, Sep 26 : At least 21 persons were killed and nine missing in various rain-related incidents in Maharashtra’s Pune, Jalgaon and Nashik since late Wednesday, officials said here on Thursday.

Of the total fatalities, 14 deaths took place in Pune district, six in Jalgaon and one in Nashik in the past 24 hours of rains, while the India Meteorological Department has forecast more heavy rains for Friday.

According to the state and district disaster management authorities, at least five persons were washed away in flood waters in the Khed-Shivapur area on Pune-Bengaluru Highway. Three bodies were recovered from a well in the downstream region early on Thursday and a hunt is on for the others.

A building compound wall crashed in Arnyshwar Complex, killing six more people, while some others were feared trapped under the debris. While two bodies have been recovered, search is on for the remaining persons.

Caught in a thunderstorm, six people were killed as they took refuge under a tree in Jalgaon, a Maharashtra Disaster Control Authority official told IANS.

Two persons were found dead in cars that were washed away in the flood waters in Kondwa and Saswad areas.

An auto-rickshaw driver was killed due to electrocution in a flooded area of a village on the outskirts of Nashik on Thursday, police said.

As flood waters rose, more than 15,000 people were evacuated from Baramati tehsil, and others from different areas like Sinhgad, Dhanakwadi, Balajinagar, Ambegaon, Sahakar Nagar, Parvati Nagar, Kolhewadi and Kirkatwadi. They have been housed in temporary camps set up in these areas.

In many areas, panicked residents took refuge on upper floors or terrace as flood waters gushed into ground floor residences.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that two National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams are deployed each in Baramati and Pune, while a fifth team was on its way to Baramati and that the flood situation is being closely monitored.

He also spoke with Baramati legislator and former Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and promised full help to the flood-affected.

State Congress President Balasaheb Thorat said a very grim situation has arisen due to Pune floods and resulted in loss of lives.

“I urge the state government to take immediate measures to bring relief to the people in this crisis,” Thorat told media persons.

Since last night, Pune city and district has been lashed by more than 16 cm of torrential downpour, with forecast of more rain in the next 24 hours.

Officials said this is a record rainfall hitting the district in the past 10 years, flooding many areas in a very short period.

Normal life has been crippled in the state’s cultural, academic and IT capital since Wednesday as most people preferred to remain indoors under heavily overcast skies and non-stop rain.

An estimated 200-plus big and small vehicles were washed away in the floods in the city and outskirts, besides tonnes of rubbish piling up in different areas.

Local officials said around 150 homes have been damaged, rendering hundreds of families homeless.

In view of rising water levels, flooding in many areas, Pune Collector Naval Kishore Ram has declared a holiday for all schools and colleges in Pune city and neighbouring areas of Purandar, Baramati, Bhor and Haveli.

Ram added that Pune has received 180 percent of its annual seasonal total rainfall, a record, and all the dams in the district are overflowing for the first time in 22 years.

Water discharge of at least 13,000 cusec is slated from the flooded Khadakwasla Dam near the city and the Pune Municipal Corporation has evacuated around 500 people. Similarly, the water discharge from Nazare Dam in Purandar was increased to 85,000 cusecs.

Traffic on the highways linking Pune with Mumbai, Nashik, Bengaluru was hit due to rain and at least two incidents of landslides on the Pune-Satara highway.

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Karnataka Police to induct 50 dogs at Rs 2.5 crore

According to the commissioner, the police department will hire the services of Amrut Hiranya, a renowned dog psychologist, popularly known as ‘dog guru’.

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Stray dogs

Bengaluru, May 26 : As many as 50 dogs will be inducted into the police dog squad in Karnataka at a cost of Rs 2.5 crore to strengthen the force, an official said on Tuesday.

“Fifty dogs will be adopted and inducted into the dog squad at a cost of Rs 2.5 crore to strengthen the state police force,” said Bengaluru Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao.

Inaugurating the newly upgraded Dog Activity Park at the CAR (South) in Adugodi near Kormangala in the city, Rao said the dog squad plays an important role in the detection of explosives, drugs and crimes scenes.

He said that best possible training will be imparted to the police dogs to strengthen the existing canine team.

At the Dog Activity Park, the dogs will be trained under the leadership of CAR South and ACP, Ninga Reddy Patil.

According to the commissioner, the police department will hire the services of Amrut Hiranya, a renowned dog psychologist, popularly known as ‘dog guru’.

Rao said the police department is also planning to appoint female constables as dog handlers in the future.

At the inauguration of the Dog Activity Park, the trained canines showcased their skills such as tackling vehicle hijacking, explosives and drugs detection and anti-terrorist and anti-Maoist warfare tactics.

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Parts of Delhi’s Pillanji Village added to containment zone

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covid lockdown delhi

New Delhi, May 26 : The South-East district administration on Tuesday sealed a part of the Pillanji Village in Kotla Mubarakpur here after Covid-19 cases were reported from the area.

In an order issued on Tuesday, the administration directed for containment of the area between house number 1942 and 1945 (Polygon A) and between house number 2027 and 2042, Chopal Wali Gali, (Polygon B) in Pillanji Village, Kotla Mubarakpur, after positive Covid-19 positive were reported from the area.

The South-East District Magistrate also directed all the concerned officials to ensure that basic facilities and necessities are available in the area, and if need arises, the same may be provided to every affected person.

“To restrict public movement within the contained area, sufficient numbers of pickets shall be set up,” the order said.

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Delhi govt orders 28 ventilators, 435 oxygen concentrators

Delhi has 19 COVID Care Centres (CCC) with 5,716-bed capacity. The state has 50,000 PPEs in stock.

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New Delhi, May 26 : Amid rising coronavirus cases, the Delhi Health Department has placed orders for 30,000 PPE kits, 3.5 lakh N-95 masks, 28 ventilators and 435 oxygen concentrators, according to a statement by the Raj Niwas, here on Tuesday.

The Secretary (Health) also presented the ‘situational analysis of Covid-19 in Delhi’ to Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal.

Up to May 25, there were 14,053 confirmed cases in Delhi. Of this, 6,771 patients recovered or migrated. The case fatality rate in Delhi is 1.96 per cent against the national average of 2.57 per cent.

As on May 25, the Lt Governor was informed, 34 labs were functional for Covid-19 tests. Till date, 1,74,469 cumulative tests had been conducted with the positivity rate as on May 25 being 8.06 per cent.

Adequate supply of medical essentials has been ensured and more ventilators are being procured. At present, 4,462 beds, 429 ICUs, 343 ventilators and 2,632 oxygen supported beds are available in the Covid hospitals.

Delhi has 19 COVID Care Centres (CCC) with 5,716-bed capacity. The state has 50,000 PPEs in stock.

The Secretary also informed Baijal about augmentation of the bed capacity by 25 per cent in private hospitals with 50 plus beds, earmarking of 20 per cent beds for Covid patients in these hospitals, daily health monitoring of the home isolated Covid patients and raising isolation beds in the CCCs.

The Lt. Governor asked the Health Department to review medical infrastructure capacity building and remove bottlenecks immediately. The trend of the past 10-15 days should be analysed for future management, Baijal said and advised monitoring of containment zones on a dynamic basis for focused action.

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