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Supreme Court rejects plea on cracker ban

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New Delhi, Oct 13: Reiterating the previous verdict of banning firecrackers in Delhi and NCR,  the Supreme Court refused to modify its earlier order on the sale of firecrackers.

The ban on crackers sale will continue till further hearing in the case.

‘We will ascertain after Diwali if there has been a difference in pollution levels’, said Supreme Court.

Traders with temporary licenses approached the Supreme Court demanding a relaxation of the ban on the sale of firecrackers.

The Supreme Court of India on Monday banned the sale of firecrackers in the Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR) ahead of Diwali citing air pollution as the reason.

Meanwhile, Punjab and Haryana High Court ordered to conduct draw for giving licenses to sell firecrackers.

The move has widely received collective responses with a majority of hailing the decisions as last year, the capital was covered with a thick layer of smoke raising breathing problems among elders and children as well.

This time, keeping the view of rising air pollution level in Delhi, the apex court pronounced the banning of firecrackers.

While the firecrackers sellers are not happy with the move as the traders who have already purchased the crackers are facing major loss. Expressing dissatisfaction over the move, traders said that after demonetisation and GST they are not able to face the crisis over the firecrackers’ ban.

They also said that they had paid 28% GST on firecrackers, but after Supreme Court’s order , hey had to shut their shop.

Wefornews Bureau

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Delhi tree-felling: NGT to hear case on July 27

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New Delhi, July 19: Continuing the hearing in an NGO’s plea that environmental clearance had been granted for felling of trees to re-develop seven residential colonies of Delhi without taking into account possible adverse effect on the ecology, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday, has given more time to the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest and several other bodies, like CPWD, traffic police, CPWD, DPCC, NDMC, DJB, SDMC, AIIMS, DDA, to file their replies.

Meanwhile, the NGT has ordered that status quo be maintained on tree-felling. The next date of hearing has been fixed as July 27.

NGT had issued notices to Municipality of Delhi, Central Pollution Control Board, Delhi Pollution Control Committee, COF, Delhi Police, New Delhi Municipal Corporation, Delhi Development Authority, South Delhi Municipal Corporation, Central Public Works Department and NBCC (India) Limited in the case.

But, none of the respondents in the case except NBCC, CPC, and Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) have replied in the case.

Today, the court has granted one week’s time for other parties to file their replies and fixed the next date of hearing for July 27.

Earlier this month, the Delhi High Court, in its interim order, had banned felling of trees in the city till further orders. The Court said, “East Kidwai Nagar will be demolished if need be, as it seems to be haphazard and doesn’t consider density and impact on neighbouring hospitals too.”

The petitions have been filed by NGOs Chetna and Green Circle against cutting of 16,500 trees which are likely to get chopped if the construction goes through.

WeForNews

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Odisha to witness heavy rainfall in next 24 hours

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Bhubaneswar, July 19: Heavy rainfall in several coastal districts of Odisha in the next 24 hours is likely due to a low-pressure area formed over the north Bay of Bengal, an official said on Thursday.

Regional Meteorological Centre Director H.R. Biswas said that Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Cuttack, Khurda, Ganjam and Bhadrak districts will witness a downpour.

Due to the low pressure, rainfall is also likely to increase from July 20 in coastal and interior Odisha.

Meanwhile, an average of 3.4 mm rainfall was recorded in the last 24 hours in Odisha.

IANS

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Bihar: People killing thousands of frogs to appease rain gods

Farmers in drought-prone Magadh region comprising five districts — Gaya, Jehanabad, Aurangabad, Nawada and Arwal — in southern Bihar, are killing thousands of frogs to appease the rain Gods.

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Patna, July 19: Blind faith and superstition have taken over parts of Bihar as people sacrifice thousands of frogs to appease rain Gods in the state that has seen a 42 per cent deficit in rainfall this monsoon.

Farmers in drought-prone Magadh region comprising five districts — Gaya, Jehanabad, Aurangabad, Nawada and Arwal — in southern Bihar, are killing thousands of frogs to appease the rain Gods.

A group of farmers in Chiriyawan village under Atari block in Gaya crushed to death dozens of frogs to follow a ritual called “Beng Kutni”(crushing frogs). Similar rituals were also taking place at other villages.

With the Met predicting the dry spell to continue, farmers are worried and frustrated. They have turned to Gods. Most of them are praying, some have even giving in to old blind faith and superstition.

Baliram Singh, a villager of Chiriyawan said as per an age-old ritual, a group of women are supposed to dig a makeshift water body and fill it up with water brought from all the wells in the village. Then they are to catch dozens of live frogs from nearby bush and wetland and put them in the freshly dug water body and then hit them with bomboo sticks.

Taking the ritual further, they then prepare a garland of dead frogs and put it on a man from the village. The man in his turn has to hurl abuse. More the abuse more chances of rain.

This practice is also prevalent in East and West Champaran districts bordering Nepal. The farmers in Mithilanchal region comprising Darbhanga, Madhubani and Sitamarhi districts are also praying and performing different rituals for rains.

Mahender Yadav, who has been working with small and marginal farmers in the flood prone Koshi region of Saharsa, Supaul, Madhepura districts, said farmers even wed the frogs.

Of Bihar’s 37 districts, 22 have received 60 per cent less rainfall. Only six districts recorded normal rainfall. There are high deficits of 87 per cent in Vaishali, 82 per cent in Bhojpur and 72 per cent in Arwal.

Contrary to the India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecast of near normal monsoon rains in 2018 in Bihar, the state has so far recorded a deficit of nearly 42 per cent in rainfall.

It has received 203.2 mm of rainfall as against the normal average of 353.2 mm between June 1 to July 16, said Met official Sandip Kumar.

There is widespread fear of drought-like situation among millions of farmers who have faced similar situation thrice in the last seven years.

Poor monsoon has affected paddy farming which is in its peak season. Cultivation of paddy crop is water intensive.

Monsoon normally hits the state between June 12 and 14. But it was delayed by 12 to 14 days in 2018.

IANS

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