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Delhi’s air quality turns severe on Diwali: IMD

The city recorded an overall AQI of 414 on Saturday, which falls in the severe category. The 24-hour average AQI was 339 on Friday and 314 on Thursday.

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Delhi Pollution Air Quality

Delhi’s air quality turned severe on Diwali with stubble burning accounting for 32 per cent of the city’s PM2.5 pollution and calm winds worsening the situation as they allowed accumulation of pollutants, the weather officials said.

The city recorded an overall AQI of 414 on Saturday, which falls in the severe category. The 24-hour average AQI was 339 on Friday and 314 on Thursday.

Delhi recorded a 24-hour average AQI of 337 on Diwali last year (October 27), and 368 and 400 in the next two days. Thereafter, pollution levels remained in the “severe” category for three days on the trot.

This time, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has said that a fresh western disturbance is likely to increase the wind speed and improve the air quality in Delhi-NCR post the Diwali.

Light rain is likely on Sunday under the influence of a western disturbance. It is still to be seen if it is enough to wash away pollutants, Kuldeep Srivastava, the head of the IMD’s regional forecasting centre, said.

V K Soni, the head of the IMD’s environment research centre, said calm winds, smoke from farm fires and firecrackers emissions may push the air quality to the severe zone on Diwali night. The wind speed is expected to pick up thereafter and the wind direction will be east-southeasterly, he said.

There will be a significant improvement in air quality by November 16, he added.

The Air Quality Early Warning System for Delhi also said the situation is likely to improve significantly on Sunday. “Under the influence of a Western Disturbance, isolated rainfall over plains of northwest India and adjoining central India is likely on Sunday. The predominant surface wind is likely to be coming from East-Southeast direction of Delhi with wind speed up to 20 kmph,” it said.

“Generally cloudy sky, light rain, thundershowers accompanied with gusty winds (speed 30-40 kmph) is likely towards afternoon-evening on Sunday,” the central agency said.

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) had on Monday imposed a total ban on sale or use of all kinds of firecrackers in the National Capital Region (NCR) from November 9 midnight to November 30 midnight, saying “celebration by crackers is for happiness and not to celebrate deaths and diseases”.

A bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel clarified that the direction will apply to all cities and towns in the country where the average of ambient air quality during November 2019 was in “poor” and above categories. “At other places, restrictions are optional for the authorities but if there are more stringent measures under orders of the authorities, the same will prevail,” the NGT had said.

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) had on Wednesday ordered closure of hot mix plants and stone crushers in Delhi-NCR till November 17 in view of a likely increase in pollution levels during the festive season.

It also asked the governments of Punjab and Haryana to take immediate stringent actions to curb stubble burning and authorities in Delhi-NCR to strictly check biomass burning.

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Hooda, several other Haryana Cong leaders detained during march to Raj Bhawan

Talking to the media, Hooda said that they would force the BJP-led central government to repeal the farm laws.

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Bhupinder Sing Hooda

Several Haryana Congress leaders, including former Chief Minister Bhupinder Sing Hooda, marched towards the Raj Bhawan on Friday to protest against the Centre’s farm laws and hike in fuel prices, but were detained by the police.

Police put up barricades to stop the protesters from moving towards the Raj Bhawan.

When Hooda and other party leaders tried to march towards the Haryana Raj Bhawan, they were detained by the police and taken to the Sector-17 police station in a bus. Talking to the media, Hooda said that they would force the BJP-led central government to repeal the farm laws.

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UP Congress president Ajay Kumar Lallu detained in Lucknow

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AJay Kumar Lallu

Uttar Pradesh Congress president Ajay Kumar Lallu and party workers were detained while trying to march towards Raj Bhavan in Lucknow during a protest against the new farm laws.

Lallu said: “I want to say that I welcome the vaccine. I would like to thank the scientists who have developed it. It is the duty of the government to help people in times of a pandemic. When the pandemic struck, people contributed through money and other ways. Now that the vaccine is here, my primary demand is that it should be provided to people for free.

CM Yogi Adityanathji should get the vaccine first because that will help people get rid of all the misconceptions about the vaccine.”

Earlier, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav said he would not take the “BJP’s vaccine”. Following criticism, he had subsequently tweeted the same day that he had “full confidence” in the ability of scientists, but would not take the BJP’s “political vaccine”.

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Gurugram: BSF jawan attempts suicide

The BSF has ordered an inquiry into the matter. A case in this regard has been registered at Bhondsi police station.

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Man suicide

Gurugram, Jan 14 : A Border Security Force (BSF) jawan deployed at the BSF campus at Bhondsi in Gurugram attempted suicide by hanging himself from a ceiling fan, the police said on Thursday.

According to the police, Sonu Kumar (38) belongs to Bhiwani district in Haryana. He was first rushed to the campus hospital and after first-aid, he was admitted to a private hospital in Gurugram where he is undergoing treatment.

Sources said that the constable was a habitual drinker and he was recently posted in the battalion against his wishes as he wanted to join the BSF’s Delhi office and due to this he took the extreme step on Wednesday.

The BSF has ordered an inquiry into the matter. A case in this regard has been registered at Bhondsi police station.

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