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‘Better urban planning needed to control pollution’

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New Delhi, Nov 10: Reducing transport activities, improving technologies and relocating traffic sources from crowded areas are some of the measures for better urban planning that can help Delhi combat rising air pollution, a leading health and medical research institute said on Friday.

As residents in Delhi and its suburbs continue to suffer from worsening air quality, The George Institute for Global Health in a statement said air pollution has become “one of the major public health problems in India, especially in the northern regions”.

It said “sustainable public health solutions” were needed, describing pollution as the “largest risk factor for death”.

“In fact, pollution kills more people than HIV-AIDS, TB and malaria put together. In economic terms, the global cost of pollution in terms of hours not worked, premature deaths, health spending and eroded quality of life has been estimated at Rs 26,760 crore a year,” said the statement by The George Institute India Executive Director Professor Vivekanand Jha.

The institute warned that pollution affects all stages of life and reduces the number of years lived in full health by aggravating asthma attacks, eye and skin disorders, and increasing the risk of development of high blood pressure, obesity, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, psychiatric disorders and frailty.

“We need better urban planning starting with proper land-use assessment, reducing major transport activity close to communities, relocating traffic sources (roads, airports) from crowded areas, avoiding the mixing of industrial and residential areas, making better roads, reducing uncovered areas in cities by planting more grass and plants, improving transport technologies, and increasing awareness of the societal burden imposed by air pollution,” the institute suggested.

It also suggested cutting down the usage of private and government vehicles, shutting industries that cause emission and heavy watering of the dust-paths alongside roads as a few simple steps to fight the “current public health emergency situation in Delhi.

IANS

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Sudden rains bring brief respite to Kolkata

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Kolkata, June 20: A sudden spell of afternoon rains brought relief in boiling Kolkata and parts of south Bengal region on Wednesday but the monsoon will only progress in the next two to three days, a Met official said here.

“This was a local thunderstorm resulting from the scorching heat and the moisture present, very similar to pre-monsoon rains. This has no relation with monsoon… We feel it is likely that monsoon progress will re-start after Friday,” said A.K. Sen, a scientist of the Regional Meteorological Centre, Kolkata.

He also said Wednesday’s rainfall occurred in isolated places of Kolkata, North 24 Parganas and South 24 Parganas and also in Midnapore district.

“Overall prediction of monsoon looks promising as India will get almost 97 per cent rainfall and the eastern region may get 95 per cent in a four-month period of monsoon,” added Sen.

The temperature shot up to 40 degrees Celsius, inconveniencing those on the roads and even those who preferred to remain indoors due to the high humidity over the past few days. The heat wave has claimed at least four lives in the state.

The rain brought temporary relief and would also bring down the temperature gradually.

According to the Met department, the maximum recorded temperature has reached around 39.6 degrees Celsius which is almost 7 degrees above normal. The minimum temperature was around 29.6 degrees, 4 degrees above normal.

The relative humidity recorded in the last 24 hours was 64 per cent in the morning and 73 per cent on Tuesday evening, causing immense problems.

Heavy rains (7-11 cm) with lightning are likely at one or two places over Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, Coochbehar, Kalimpong, Alipurduar, Malda, North and South Dinajpur districts of Sub Himalayan West Bengal on Friday, the weatherman said.

IANS

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Police files FIR in Charbagh Hotel fire

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Lucknow, June 20: An FIR has been filed against the owners and workers of SSJ International and Virat Hotels, in connection with the hotel fire accident in Lucknow’s busy Charbagh area, which killed six people.

Uttar Pradesh Police has lodged the case under Sections 285,337,338 and 304 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), ANI reported.

According to police, the investigation is underway.

More than 50 people were rescued from the hotel and injured admitted to the hospital.

“Four people have died and more than 50 people were rescued from the building. Cause of fire still to be ascertained,” Lucknow Inspector General (I.G.) of Police, S Pandey told media on Tuesday.

WeForNews 

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Food poisoning kills 4, at least 70 hospitalised in Maharashtra

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After the dinner, many people complained of stomach aches, suddenly started vomiting incessantly and were rushed to nearby private clinics and hospitals. (Representative Photo)

Raigad (Maharashtra), June 19: At least four people were killed due to suspected food-poisoning after a house-warming dinner here, news agency IANS quoted police official as saying on Tuesday.

The incident occurred at the new home of Subhash Mane, who had organised a vaastu-shanti pooja in Mahad village, followed by the celebratory dinner on Monday night, a Raigad Police spokesman said.

After the dinner, many people complained of stomach aches, suddenly started vomiting incessantly and were rushed to nearby private clinics and hospitals, the report said.

Mahad village in Khalapur is around 75 kms from Mumbai.

Of the 70 others still admitted to the hospital, the condition of at least five is described as critical, IANS quoted the spokesperson as saying.

Meanwhile, the  case has been registered as further investigations are underway.

IANS

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