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Delhi’s landfill burns for 3rd day, turns air quality severe

About 2,000 tonnes of mixed garbage is dumped at Bhalaswa everyday.

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Bhalaswa landfill

New Delhi, Oct 23 : The fire that started at the sprawling Bhalaswa landfill site here on Sunday is continuing for the third day on Tuesday, while a very poor quality air is choking Delhi.

The fire-services said that while four tenders are already trying to douse the fire, two more have been sent to the site. Municipal engineers said they have procured more debris to cover the exposed area to extinguish the fire.

The inferno on Delhi’s second largest un-engineered mountain of garbage started due to gaseous fumes. The 40 m tall oversaturated landfill that spreads over 50 acres is located amid one of the most populated regions of Delhi.

“The fire usually starts due to formation of methane gas within the layers of garbage,” Sanjay Jain, Engineer, Department of Environment Maintenance Services (DEMS) at North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), told IANS.

Meanwhile, harmful chemical vapours and gases from the landfill site started showing its effect as the nearest air monitoring station to the Burari Crossing area showed “severe-plus or emergency” air-quality.

The major pollutant PM2.5 or particle with diameter less than 2.5 mm in Burari Crossing was 333 units at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, while the national standard is 60 units and international standard is 25 units.

About 2,000 tonnes of mixed garbage is dumped at Bhalaswa everyday.

According to the 2016 solid-waste management rules, a landfill site must not exceed 20 m in height, must not be older than 22-25 years and must have a clay-lining at the bottom to save the land and ground water.

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Himachal Pradesh : Three houses gutted in fire in Mandi

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Maharashtra fire


Himachal Pradesh, Jan 23 : As many as three houses were gutted in a massive fire at Mandi district in Chhatri market area on Wednesday.

A major fire broke out in Chhatri market area of Mandi district. Fire tenders are present at the spot.

Fire fighting operation is underway. No injuries or casualties have been reported yet.

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Road links in Himachal hampered after snowfall; hundreds stranded

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Himachal Pradesh snowfall

Shimla, Jan 23: Road links in Himachal Pradesh on Wednesday were hampered a day after widespread snow and rain, blocking highways and link roads, while hundreds of commuters were stranded across the state, officials said here.

Snow hit vehicular movement beyond Shimla town, while traffic on the Pathankot-Chamba highway was also badly hit. The entire Kinnaur district is cut off. However, there was no loss of life.

After two consecutive days of snow, most of the roads in the state interiors remained closed to traffic, stranding travellers and commuters.

Road links to Kinnaur district and towns in Shimla district such as Narkanda, Jubbal, Kharapathar, Rohru and Chopal were cut off, a government official told IANS.

While picturesque tourist town Manali recorded 30 cm of snowfall, it was 39.6 cm in Kalpa and 30 cm in Manali. Dharamsala had 53 mm of rainfall.

“There is no movement of traffic towards Kinnaur district on the national highway five beyond Tapri. Work is on to restore electricity in Kinnaur. The Pangi valley in Chamba district is also cut off from the rest of the state,” an official said.

State capital Shimla saw 44.5 cm of snowfall and a low of zero degree.

The higher reaches of Kullu, Mandi, Kinnaur, Shimla, Sirmaur and Lahaul-Spiti districts have been experiencing snow.

Keylong town in Lahaul-Spiti district saw over three feet of snowfall.

Officials said bad weather has affected the road network in the higher reaches of Kinnaur, Shimla, Chamba, Kullu and Sirmaur districts and efforts were being made to reopen the roads.

There are chances of moderate snow in the state till Thursday, an India Meteorological Department (IMD) official told IANS.

The government has advised people not to venture to the high hills of Kullu, Shimla and Kinnaur districts owing to avalanche threat.

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Cloudy Delhi morning, 25 trains delayed

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cloudy morning delhi

New Delhi, Jan 23: It was a cold and cloudy morning in the national capital on Wednesday with the minimum temperature recorded at 8 degrees Celsius, the Met said. At least 25 Delhi-bound trains were delayed due to dense fog in several parts of northern India.

“The sky will remain partly cloudy throughout the day with chances of light rain or thundershowers,” an India Meteorological Department (IMD) official said.

A fog cover delayed 25 trains heading here by two to six hours.

The humidity at 8.30 a.m. was recorded at 100 per cent. Visibility in Safdarjung area at 8.30 a.m. was recorded at 100 metres while in the Palam area the visibility at 7.30 a.m. was recorded at 100 metres.

The city recorded 27.8 mm rain in last 24 hours.

According to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), the overall air quality here continued to be ‘moderate’ as on Tuesday, with the air quality index (AQI) being 99.

On Tuesday, the maximum temperature was recorded at 19.4 degrees Celsius, two notches below the season’s average, while the minimum was 12.5 around five notches above normal.

IANS

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