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Congress suggests statutory panel on pollution

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Manish Tiwari

New Delhi, Nov 19 : Congress leader Manish Tewari on Tuesday suggested creating a statutory committee of Parliament to look into issues related to air pollution and climate change, saying its work should be placed before the two Houses every session.

Initiating the debate, hailed by several political leaders as the first-ever such discussion on pollution and climate change in the Lok Sabha, Tewari said the government has started National Clean Air Programme (NCAP), but allocation of Rs 300 crore in this fiscal was inadequate.

The Congress leader said stubble burning was blamed for pollution in Delhi, but it was only a contributing factor and has economic dimensions related to small farmers.

“The government needs to work on this and provide incentives to stop stubble burning,” he said.

The Congress leader said Delhi faces pollution every year, but the actions of the government were not effective and asked: “Why do people need to knock the doors of the Supreme Court every year over it?”

It is a matter of grave concern, Tewari said.

He said several Indian cities were facing the problem of pollution and referred to the work done by China in its major cities.

“It is important that today this House gives a message that it is sensitive and serious about this issue. It is not only about air pollution; our rivers are also polluted today,” Tewari said.

Citing the example of Estimates Committee, Tewari said there should be “statutory committee that looks at pollution and climate change-related issues”.

Biju Janata Dal member Pinaki Misra said pollution has costs, and can force economic output down by two per cent.

He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should lead the campaign against pollution the way he is leading a campaign against single use plastic and for cleanliness.

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NRC will not be implemented in Bihar: Nitish

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Nitish Kumar

Patna, Feb 23: Chief Minister Nitish Kumar reiterated on Sunday that the National Register for Citizens would not be implemented in Bihar and only the National Population Register would be updated the way it was done in 2010.

The Janata Dal (United) president had in December already made its stand clear that the NRC would not be implemented in the state, though the party supported the Centre’s Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

“NRC is not going to be implemented here (in Bihar) and only NPR will be carried out the way it was done in the year 2010. It will be done on the basis of that only,” Kumar said in an official release.

He said this while addressing a function at the Maulana Azad National Urdu University at Chandanpatti in Hayaghat block of Darbhanga district, where he laid foundation stones for several schemes worth Rs 80 crore pertaining to minority welfare department.

Kumar laid stones for a 100-bed hostel at Biraul in Darbhanga, 100-bed hostel each for girl and boy for the university students, G plus three multi-storeyed building at waqf land and 560-capacity intake minority residential school, the release said.

Kumar had asked the Centre to drop new columns in NPR forms like parents’ places of birth and Aadhaar, saying they were “not necessary” and might lead to apprehensions.

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Anti-CAA protest turns violent in Aligarh, Internet blocked

The police lathicharged the protesters and also used tear gas shells to disperse the crowd.

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Aligharh Protest

Aligarh, Feb 23 : The protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) turned violent on Sunday evening after the women sitting on protest were asked to move from there.

Many shops, two-wheelers and police barricades were set ablaze and stone pelting was reported from Babri Mandi, Ghas-ki-Mandi and Upperkot.

The police lathicharged the protesters and also used tear gas shells to disperse the crowd.

The administration has also blocked Internet services in the area from 6 p.m. to 12 midnight.

A huge crowd has gathered to protest against the CAA and the NRC at Shahjamal Idgah here. Women protesters have been removed from Upperkot Kotwali area. The crowd has been chanting anti-government slogans.

Several Bhim Army workers were also present among the protesters at Delhi Gate and Upperkot area.

The police said the women started throwing stones at police vehicles. The police said they have identified several students of Aligarh Muslim University who are involved in the stone pelting incident.

Heavy police force has been deployed at Delhi Gate and Upperkot.

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Entry and exit gates of Jaffrabad metro station closed by DMRC due to ongoing protest against CAA, NRC

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Jaffrabad metro station

NEW DELHI: The ongoing protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register for Citizens (NRC) at Jaffrabad has forced DMRC to close the entry and exit gates of the metro station in the area. Trains will not be halting at the station.

The protest which began on Friday continued on Sunday.

Over 1,000 women gathered in front of the metro station and began a sit-in on the road which connects Seelampur to Maujpur and Yamuna Vihar.

Protesters plan to take a foot march from Jaffrabad road to Rajghat on Sunday. However, Delhi Police have denied permission for the march.

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