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Delhi-NCR air worsens to ‘severe’, set to deteriorate

Both PM2.5 and 10 get into the lungs and cause cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, but PM2.5 is more dangerous because it mixes with blood stream.

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New Delhi, Oct 30 : The air quality of Delhi and neighbouring areas deteriorated on Tuesday, turning “severe”, with a rise in particle pollutants overnight, mostly due to the local sources of pollution.

A Supreme Court-appointed committee has already ordered the pollution control panels of Delhi and neighbouring states to stop all the dust generating construction activities from November 1 to 10, when the pollution is suppose to peak.

At 4 p.m., the Air Quality Index (AQI) of Delhi, which includes 36 regions, was 401 considered “severe”. The AQI was 451 at Ghaziabad, 426 at Gurugram, 408 at Noida and 413 on Faridabad, all considered “severe”. Greater Noida was the least polluted with near severe AQI at 394, on a scale of 0 to 500.

According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the “severe” levels affect healthy people and seriously impact those with existing diseases.

The city was covered in a smoky haze due to a high volume of trapped pollutants that affect visibility and hurt eyes of commuters. Experts warned that episodes of smog will begin in a couple of days.

“It is haze since ozone is at a good level. We cannot call it smog,” K.J. Ramesh, head of India Meteorological Department (IMD) told IANS. Haze is the reflection of sunlight from particulate matter (PM). Smog, which is far more dense, is a mixture of moisture and PM, and allows for limited visibility.

According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the air quality is set to deteriorate further from November 1, and the Diwali this year is likely to be more polluted.

“Currently Delhi has trapped pollutants because dispersion is negligible. There is hardly any wind, so the pollutants are from local sources and dust,” Mahesh Palawat, director Private Weather forecasting agency Skymet told IANS.

According to Met officials, the local pollutants are largely a combination of meteorological reasons and dust generating from vehicles and renovations of buildings due to festival season.

On Tuesday, almost all places in the NCR saw a sharp rise in the major pollutants — PM2.5 and PM10 — particles in the air with diameters less than 2.5mm and 10mm, respectively.

Across 35 active pollution monitored area in Delhi, the average concentration of PM2.5 and PM10 was 263 microgrammes per cubic meters and 472 units by 7 p.m. The same PM2.5 and PM10 concentration across 48 monitored area of National Capital Region (NCR) was 257 units and 457 units.

Air quality is considered “severe” when either AQI is between 401 and 500 or PM2.5 is between 250 and 300 or the PM10 levels are between 430 and 500, according to CPCB.

The safe limit for PM2.5 is 60 units as per national standards and 25 units according to the international standards. For PM10, up to 100 units is safe from national standards and 50 units international standards.

“Both PM2.5 and 10 get into the lungs and cause cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, but PM2.5 is more dangerous because it mixes with blood stream,” Shambhavi Shukla, researcher with the CSE, told IANS.

She said some international studies have noted that particle pollutants have a direct effect on life expectancy.

Anand Vihar in east Delhi was the most polluted region with AQI of 457. While Dwarka, Rohini, Jahangirpuri, Wazirpur, Delhi University North Campus, Mundaka were among other most polluted regions.

IANS

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Kangana bungalow demolition smacks of malice, says Bombay High Court

Ranaut had sought Rs 2 crore in damages from the BMC and urged the court to declare BMC’s action illegal

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Kangana Ranaut

Mumbai, November 27: The Bombay High Court on Friday has said the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) action of demolishing part of Kangana Ranaut’s bungalow here smacks of malafide and was done to cause substantial loss to the actor, and quashed the demolition order.

The court also said it did not approve of authorities using “muscle power” against any citizen.

A division bench of Justices SJ Kathawalla and RI Chagla noted that the action undertaken by the civic body left hardly “any manner of doubt” that it was unauthorised.

The bench was hearing Ranaut’s petition challenging the demolition carried out by the BMC at her Pali Hill bungalow in suburban Bandra on September 9.

“The civic body has proceeded to act wrongfully and illegally against the rights of a citizen,” the bench said.

Ranaut had sought Rs 2 crore in damages from the BMC and urged the court to declare BMC’s action illegal.

On the issue of compensation, the bench said it was appointing a valuer who would hear the petitioner and the BMC on monetary damages caused to her due to the demolition.

“The valuer shall by March 2021 pass appropriate orders on compensation,” the court said.

The civic body had opposed the plea and said the actor had brazenly and unlawfully carried out extensive alterations and additions to the bungalow in breach of its approved plan.

Ranaut had filed the petition on September 9 when the demolition process was initiated by the BMC. The court had in an interim order on September 9 stayed the demolition work. PTI

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Gujarat: Five Covid-19 patients killed as fire breaks out at Rajkot hospital

Thirty other coronavirus patients undergoing treatment at the hospital were rescued, an official said.

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Rajkot, Gujarat: Five patients were killed after a fire broke out in the ICU of a designated Covid-19 hospital in Gujarat’s Rajkot in the early hours of Friday. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has ordered a probe into the incident.

Thirty other coronavirus patients undergoing treatment at the hospital were rescued, an official said. The fire is under control, however, the cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained.

The fire broke out in the ICU of Uday Shivanand Hospital in Mavdi area, where 33 patients were admitted. Seven of the patients were admitted to the ICU, fire brigade official J B Theva said. “We rushed to the spot and rescued 30 patients after a call informing about the fire was received. Three patients died inside the ICU,” he said.

The rescued patients have been shifted to other COVID-19 hospitals, he added.

In August, eight coronavirus patients had died in a huge fire that broke out in the intensive care ward of Shrey Hospital in Ahmedabad’s Navrangpura area.

PM Modi had condoled the deaths in his home state. “Saddened by the tragic hospital fire in Ahmedabad. Condolences to the bereaved families. May the injured recover soon. Spoke to CM @vijayrupanibjp Ji and Mayor @ibijalpatel Ji regarding the situation. Administration is providing all possible assistance to the affected (sic),” he had tweeted.

The Prime Minister’s office had also announced that an ex-gratia of ₹ 2 lakh each from PMNRF for the next of kin of those who have lost their lives due to the hospital fire in Ahmedabad. ₹ 50,000 each for those injured due to the hospital fire.

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Delhi records over 2,300 COVID-19 deaths in less than a month: Official data

The city reported 98 deaths on November 19, 118 on November 20, 111 on November 21, 121 each on November 22 and 23, and 109 fatalities on November 24, according to official data.

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Cremation ground Graveyards

New Delhi, Nov 26: The national capital has witnessed 2,364 deaths due to coronavirus since October 28, when the daily rise in infections breached the mark of 5,000 cases for the first time, according to official data.

Amid a surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths, 99 more fatalities on Wednesday pushed the city”s total death toll due to the disease to 8,720. It was after five days that Delhi recorded single-day deaths below 100.

The city reported 98 deaths on November 19, 118 on November 20, 111 on November 21, 121 each on November 22 and 23, and 109 fatalities on November 24, according to official data.

While 131 COVID-related deaths were recorded on November 18, the highest till date, Delhi registered its highest single-day spike of 8,593 cases on November 11.

On Thursday, Delhi had recorded 7,546 cases, followed by 6,608 on Friday, 5,879 on Saturday, 6,746 on Sunday, 4,454 on Monday, 6,224 on Tuesday and 5,246 on Wednesday, according to the government data.

The total number of coronavirus cases in Delhi climbed to 5,45,787 on Wednesday, of which 4,98,780 have recovered from the virus, the data shows.

Late hospital admissions leading to COVID-19 cases turning critical, shortage of ICU beds, unfavourable weather and rising pollution are among the factors experts attribute to the spike in COVID-19 deaths in Delhi, health experts have said.

Going by the epidemiological trend, the severity of the disease is more in this phase of the pandemic compared to the last one and several factors, including weather and pollution, are contributing to it, a health ministry official said on Wednesday.

Amid a spurt in the infection tally in the city, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had Wednesday requested experts to audit COVID-19 death cases and suggest measures to reduce fatalities in the national capital.

Health Minister Satyender Jain on Wednesday claimed the national capital reported the “least fatality per million” population amongst all four metro cities in the country.

The National Centre for Disease Control in a report drafted recently had warned that Delhi needs to be prepared for about 15,000 fresh cases of COVID-19 per day taking into account the upcoming winter season-related respiratory problems, large influx of patients from outside and festive gatherings.

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