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Badrinath temple opens, first prayers held on Modi’s behalf

Special pujas of dieties — “Kuberaji”, “Uddhavji” and “Garudaji” were also held at the Yoga Dhyan Badri temple, Pandukeshwar.

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Badrinath temple

Chamoli (Uttarakhand), May 15 : The gates of the Badrinath temple in Uttarakhand were opened at 4.30 a.m. on Friday and the first prayers to Lord Badri Vishal were performed on behalf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

During this time, a very limited number of people, including the chief priest were present there in keeping with the social distancing norms. This is for the first time in history, that devotees were not present at the dham when the gates were opened.

First, the gates of the Sinhdawar were opened amid chanting of the Vedic mantras. The key to the door lock was opened by the Devasthanam board chief. After this, the gates of the sanctum sanctorum were opened and the few people present there worshiped Lord Badri Vishal and prayed to liberate the world from the coronavirus soon.

As soon as the gates of the sanctum sanctorum were opened, Rawal Ishwari Prasad Namboodri entered. He removed the woollen blanket that was offered to God during the winter season. After this, Rawal bathed the Lord with holy water and performed a grand puja. The Dharmadhikari and the Additional Dharmadhikari Ved Pathi continued to chant the mantras during the process.

Harish Gaur, media in-charge of Uttarakhand Chardham Devasthanam Board, said the government advisory, including social distancing was followed in view of the corona lockdown. Masks were worn and cleanliness was taken care of.

He said, “After the opening of the doors, the sound of Veda mantras made Badrishpuri resonant and the temple was shining with electric lights with flower decorations. The Char Dham Yatra could not begin in view of the corona epidemic this year. Only the doors have been opened. Devasthanam Board had completed the preparations for opening of the valve.

District Magistrate Swati S. Bhadauria said: “The social distance in the Dham campus will be completely followed. Everyone must wear a mask. Instructions have been issued that priests arriving in the Dham till the lockdown period will not be allowed to go elsewhere from the Badrinath area without the permission of the administration.”

On this oiccassion Rawal Ishwari Prasad Namboodri along with Devasthanam Board in-charge officer B.D. Singh, Naib Tehsildar Pradeep Negi, Dharmadhikari Bhuvan Chandra Uniyal, Additional Dharmadhikari Satyaprasad Chamola, Thana Satyendra Singh, Information Inspector Surya Prakash Shah, etc., were present during the puja. All of them wearing masks.

Special pujas of dieties — “Kuberaji”, “Uddhavji” and “Garudaji” were also held at the Yoga Dhyan Badri temple, Pandukeshwar.

The date of opening of the gates of the dham was fixed on April 30. But due to corona crisis, the date of opening of the doors was shifted to May 15.

The doors of Kedarnath Dham were opened on April 29 after rituals and worship. At the same time, the valleys of the world famous Gangotri and Yamunotri Dham were opened on Sunday on the occasion of the Akshaya Tritiya — the doors of the Gangotri Dham opened at 12.35 p.m. and Yamunotri at 12.41 p.m.

India

Virtual classes, empty rooms, Delhi’s coaching hub’s a ghost town now

In old Rajinder Nagar, there are more than 63 blocks which have more than 630 houses. There are approximately 7,560 rooms, where a large number of students used to stay.

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Delhi School Pollution Mask

New Delhi, July 4 : The national capital’s Rajinder Nagar is a buzzing locality of aspiring youngsters who come here to get coached for their future. They not only dot every length and breadth of the Delhi locality, but collectively drive the area”s economy. Today, with nearly 80 per cent of them gone, the area is not only wrapped in an eerie silence, but the areas economy too has dried up significantly.

Ask Rajat Sapra, who runs a dhaba in Old Rajinder Nagar that he fondly named ”Friend Restaurant”, and he will answer, “Previously, we used to have 100 to 150 students coming to eat everyday. Now, we are left with barely 20 per cent of the orders, including those that we get from online sales.”

He added, “Before the lockdown and particularly during Unlcok 1.0, most of them had gone back home. We have 50-60 dhabas in this locality. But we had more street vendors who would sell food here. None of them are here anymore.”

Empty streets, economy dried up and the buzz gone, Rajinder Nagar, which was known for the youth who stayed here, resembles a ghost town now.

Praveen, who preferred only to give his first name, coordinates the KSG Institute. Ask him the reason and pat he will answer, “From June 19, we started online classes. There used to be around 600 students who used to come for coaching. But now, all have shifted to online classes.”

The KSG Institute is not alone. There are approximately 50 coaching centres around the area that trains thousands of students for competitive exams like the Indian Administrative Service (IAS).

While the students going back haven”t hurt the coaching centres, but they have hurt the rest, including the real estate agents who broker rent deals for them.

Sahil Bachani, who owns one such outlet at Sad Guru Kirpa Properties, told IANS, “If you ask me, there”s not even 1,000 students left out of 5,000 students in the radius of 3.5 km.”

Another broker, Ashok Agarwal, said that students who left in a hurry before the lockdown returned during Unlock 1.0, only to take back their belongings and return home.

In old Rajinder Nagar, there are more than 63 blocks which have more than 630 houses. There are approximately 7,560 rooms, where a large number of students used to stay.

One broker claims, the collective loss in brokerage in the area comes to the tune of Rs 4 crore.

With libraries shut, vendors vanishing, classrooms which shifted to the online mode and minimal eateries opening, Rajinder Nagar is not just braving the loss of income, but is adjusting to a more silent, empty neighborhood that it hasn”t seen in decades.

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Business

Corona impact: CAIT demands de-sealing of Delhi shops

According to CAIT National Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal, estimates show that about 6,000 shops have been sealed in Delhi.

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DELHI LOCKDOWN

New Delhi, July 4 : The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) on Saturday demanded that shops in Delhi be de-sealed immediately without further delay.

Accordingly, in a letter to the Union Urban Development Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, CAIT demanded that “Delhi sealed shops should now be de -sealed immediately without further delay”.

Besides, the traders’ body also called for the finalisation of Delhi Rent Act, “ending a long running dispute between the land lords and tenants in Delhi”.

Furthermore, CAIT demanded that traders should be allowed to participate in the consultation process of Master Plan 2041 which is being prepared for Delhi.

According to CAIT National Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal, estimates show that about 6,000 shops have been sealed in Delhi.

“Corona started since the beginning of the year 2020 and the traders of Delhi are faced with a big crisis of livelihood and in such a situation, it has become imperative that shops are immediately de-sealed,” he was quoted as saying in a statement.

“Keeping this in view, the Central government should take an initiative in this matter and pass an ordinance in which all sealed shops should be opened and all other problems related to sealing should be postponed for the time being thereby giving all traders a fair chance to do business.”

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Cities

Out to catch dogs, NGO staff thrashed by locals

The police said that when the people from the NGO tried to flee from the spot in their car, 3 local residents were hit by their car, inflicting some minor injuries.

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Stray dogs

New Delhi, July 5 : The volunteers of an NGO, ”Neighbourhood Woof”, were thrashed by locals in Rani Bagh of outer Delhi.

The NGO workers, including a woman, were out in the area to catch dogs when the locals confronted them. In view of late night hours, local residents enquired about their identities on which heated argument started and a scuffle broke out between them. Later, the Delhi police registered a case against the residents on the complaint of the NGO worker.

On the night of July 3 at around 10.30 p.m., 3 PCR calls were received in Rani Bagh police station regarding a quarrel between two parties, i.e., one belonging to an NGO named “Neighbourhood Woof” and the local residents of Rishi Nagar, Rani Bagh. Immediately, the police reached the spot and it revealed that some persons from an NGO named “Neighbourhood Woof” had come to catch stray dogs in Rishi Nagar, said a senior police officer.

However, the locals grew suspicious and raised questions on the operation of the NGO staff which also had a woman with them. An argument started between the NGO workers and the local residents which soon turned ugly. The NGO workers alleged that they were brutally assaulted by the locals.

The police said that when the people from the NGO tried to flee from the spot in their car, 3 local residents were hit by their car, inflicting some minor injuries.

“On the complaint of the NGO worker Ayesha Christina, a case u/s 323/341/506/427/34 IPC has been registered against residents. Further investigation is under progress,” the police said.

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