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Adverse weather: Himachal Govt advises against travelling to higher reaches

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Himachal Pradesh snowfall

Shimla, May 8: The Himachal Pradesh government on Tuesday advised locals and tourists not to travel towards the higher reaches as moderate snowfall and rains continued across the state.

An advisory was issued to avoid travelling to the high hills of Kullu, Sirmaur, Chamba, Lahaul and Spiti and Kinnaur districts as chances of snow and rain are high over the next 24 hours, a government spokesperson told IANS here on Tuesday morning.

Kullu Deputy Commissioner Yunus Khan told IANS that tourists and locals bound for the Rohtang Pass, some 52 km from Manali, were not allowed to go beyond Marhi, due to continuous snowfall that has resulted in snapping of road links leading to the pass.

“Even the locals have been advised not to go close to the rivers and water channels and check weather conditions before travelling towards the Jalori Pass also,” he said, adding “schools were closed for a day (Tuesday)”.

Officials said state transport buses in Lahaul Valley in Lahaul-Spiti district have been temporarily suspended.

According to the Met Office in Shimla, heavy rainfall accompanied by thunderstorms and strong winds are likely at some places in the state till Thursday.

Kalpa in Kinnaur district received 27 mm rain till Tuesday morning, while Keylong in Lahaul-Spiti district saw 5 cm of snow.

However, Shimla experienced only 3.7 mm, while Manali, Dharamsala and Dalhousie towns received 18.6 mm, 8.2 mm and 13 mm of rain, respectively.

Shimla recorded a minimum of 9.8 degrees Celsius, while it was 2.4 degrees in Kalpa, 13.8 degrees in Dharamsala, 5.4 degrees in Manali and 7.8 degrees in Dalhousie.

IANS

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Mumbai bar dancers hail Supreme Court verdict

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Mumbai dance bars
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Mumbai, Jan 17: Bar dancers, who were abruptly rendered jobless after the Maharashtra government shut down dance bars on August 15, 2005, hailed the Supreme Court verdict permitting conditional re-opening of these joints, here on Thursday.

Read More: Supreme Court allows Mumbai dance bars to reopen with restrictions

Bharatiya Bar Girls’ Union (BBGU) President Varsha Kale said that the dancers have been fighting for it since nearly 15 years and finally now the dance bars have been allowed to resume operations.

“The closure in 2005 left many thousands suddenly unemployed, many fell ill and died. Their female children were forced into prostitution. But, now things should change,” Kale, a co-petitioner for re-starting dance bars, told IANS shortly after the verdict.

However, official sources said on Thursday that the government was still not in favour of re-starting dance bars and might consider going in for a review plea in the Supreme Court.

A former dancer in a prominent suburban bar, Kiran M., said that the verdict will provide jobs to lakhs of semi-literate girls who throng Mumbai from all across the country for employment opportunities but are rejected by different organisations.

“They don’t get proper jobs as they lack either qualifications or experience. Many end up doing low-paying menial jobs, or fall victim to social evils. Now, with the dance bars getting a green signal, we are hopeful of a better future,” she explained.

Kale said that the stakeholders would study the issue pertaining to the licensing norms of the Maharashtra government, which was challenged.

“We don’t expect dance bars to become functional immediately till the licensing authorities do the needful, though there is a huge demand from various quarters.”

The dance bars were shut down during the erstwhile Congress-Nationalist Congress Party rule by the then Home Minister, the late R. R. Patil.

During its heydays, there were an estimated five-six lakhs dancers working in 2,800 legal and many other unauthorised dance bars spread across Mumbai, Thane, Raigad, Pune, adjacent to state highways, supporting a few lakh others comprising support staffer, allied businesses and families.

IANS

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Supreme Court allows Mumbai dance bars to reopen with restrictions

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Mumbai dance bars
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Mumbai, Jan 17: The Supreme Court on Thursday allowed dance bars to reopen in Mumbai but imposed regulations such as barring CCTV surveillance.

It said there was no need for CCTV surveillance inside dance bars as it violates privacy.

The apex court said that the performers could be tipped, but showering of cash and coins will not be allowed inside the bars.

The court added that Maharashtra cannot ban dance bars by taking recourse to regulating them, noting that since 2005 no licence has been issued.

“Since 2005 till date, no licence has been issued. There may be regulation but that does not amount to total prohibition,” said a bench of Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan.

Pronouncing the judgment, Justice Sikri said that there could be no segregation of dance stage and that of drinking and eating space as it struck down the provision for “mandatory” installing of CCTV cameras in the dance bars holding that it violates privacy.

The court upheld the definition of obscenity given in the State law saying that it was not vague.

Holding that those visiting the dance bar could give tips, the court said no to the showering of money during dance performances.

The court held as “unreasonable” the provision that says that a dance bar should be one kilometre away from religious places, hospitals and educational institutions.

However, it left it to the state legislature to take a call on the issue.

Striking down the provision that said that the owner of the dance bar should have a “good character” and no “criminal antecedents”, the court said: “There is no precise definition of what amounts to good character and criminal antecedents.”

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Cold, foggy Thursday morning in Delhi

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Delhi cold morning fog
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New Delhi, Jan 17: Delhiites on Thursday woke up to a cold, foggy morning with the minimum temperature recorded at 4.2 degrees Celsius. N

“Shallow to moderate fog enveloped the city in the morning, with the visibility at 8.30 a.m. recorded at 400 metres at Safdarjung,” an India Meteorological Department (IMD) official told news agency IANS.

The sky will remain clear with haze thereafter, he said, adding that the humidity was recorded at 100 per cent in the morning.

According to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), the overall air quality of the national capital was recorded in ‘very poor’ category with the air quality index being at 346.

On Wednesday, the maximum temperature was recorded at 21.3 degrees Celsius, a notch above the season’s average.

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