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EPCA declares public health emergency in Delhi-NCR

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delhi air pollution

New Delhi, Nov 1 : The Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority has declared a public health emergency in the Delhi-NCR region, banning construction till November 5 and bursting of firecrackers throughout the winter.

Construction activities in the Delhi-NCR region are already banned till November 2, as per CPCB and EPCA instructions. With Diwali having already passed, large scale bursting of crackers is unlikely.

The EPCA directive comes after Delhi’s AQI has been in the severe category for the fifth consecutive day. According to the US Embassy here, PM 2.5 levels at 1 p.m. on Friday was 450. The US Embassy does not have a reading from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., because probably the PM 2.5 went beyond 500, which they don’t measure. Values above 500 are considered Beyond the AQI.

While various directions are being given to curb air pollution, the weather conditions will matter more and a western disturbance around Sunday will cause dispersion of pollutants which have accumulated. The CPCB in a recent review had pulled up implementing agencies for “sub optimal” performance on addressing pollution complaints.

According to Safar India, the PM 10 count at 555 is in the severe category which was earlier in the very poor category. The PM 2.5 at 383 continues to be in the severe category.

According to Safar India, the calm surface wind condition that prevails in the last couple of days over Delhi has led to strong surface nocturnal inversion and accumulation of pollutants.

The effective stubble fire counts of Haryana and Punjab is showing an increasing trend and on its peak value of this year (3,178).

The stubble fire percentage contribution of Delhi’s air quality which has touched the season’s highest share of 44 per cent on Thursday is predicted to be 38 per cent on Friday.

According to the forecast, a slight improvement in AQI is expected by Saturday but in the same severe category. By November 3, significant improvement in air quality to the upper end of very poor to severe category is expected and by November 4, further improvement to the very poor category is expected.

“The western disturbance is likely to positively influence Delhi’s air quality by increasing surface and boundary layer winds speed (increasing ventilation) and thereby flushing out the accumulated pollutants,” the forecast said.

In a clampdown on polluting sources, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has shut down coal-based industries and construction activities till Saturday.

CPCB has asked all implementing agencies to remain vigilant, intensify actions for controlling burning of waste, construction dust, road dust, and strictly enforce the law. Road dust must be controlled with multiple applications of water sprinkling or along with dust suppressants.

It has asked Punjab and Haryana to take immediate stringent actions to curb stubble burning. Biomass burning in Delhi and other NCR towns must also be strictly checked, it said.

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Accused harassing victim’s family for one year: Priyanka

The victim’s father told Priyanka Gandhi that the family has been harassed for a year.

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Priyanka Gandhi at Unnao

Unnao, Dec 7 : After the death of the Unnao rape victim, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi met her family members here on Saturday. The family told Gandhi that the accused had been harassing and threatening them for the last one year.

“It is clear from the Maakhi incident and now the rape victim’s death that women are not safe in Unnao,” she said.

The victim’s father told Priyanka Gandhi that the family has been harassed for a year.

He said: “I have also heard that the culprits are linked to the Bharatiya Janata Party. There is no fear among criminals in the state.”

The Congress General Secretary said: “The incidents of female harassment are increasing under the BJP government in the state. The rape victim and her family were receiving threats, but the police did not take any action.”

“The Chief Minister should answer the question that what is the place of women in the state. The way Maakhi and another daughter died yesterday, has raised questions about the system.”

Hitting out at the BJP government in the state, the Congress General Secretary said: “Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath says that there is no place for criminals in the state, but I think there is no place for women here. The administration has to answer why it is happening? “

The sister-in-law of the Unnao victim informed: “Priyanka said that she will fight for justice with us. Our only demand is that the culprits should be hanged, only then the soul of our girl will get peace.”

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Priyanka meets family of Unnao rape victim, attacks Yogi govt

Priyanka Gandhi, who was on a two-day visit to the state left for Unnao to meet the family members of the victim.

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Priyanka Gandhi

Unnao, Dec 7 : Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra cancelled all her scheduled events in Lucknow and reached the home of the Unnao rape victim on Saturday afternoon, where she met the family members of the deceased.

She was accompanied by party state president Ajay Kumar Lallu. The Unnao rape victim died at Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi on Friday.

During the meeting with the victim’s family members, she assured them of all possible help and said that she was with them in their hour of grief.

Earlier, Priyanka Gandhi attacked the Yogi Adityanath government over the law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh after the death of the Unnao rape victim.

She tweeted: “It is a failure of all of us that we could not give her justice. Socially, we are all guilty, but it also shows the law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh.”

Priyanka questioned why atrocities on women were rampant in the state and given the rape incident in Unnao, why no protection was given to the victim.

“Keeping in mind the previous incident of Unnao, why did the government not give immediate protection to the victim? What action was taken against the officer who refused to register her FIR? Everyday there are cases of atrocities against the women in Uttar Pradesh, what action is the government taking on this?”, Priyanka Gandhi tweeted.

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Girl gang-raped by minors in Bulandshahr, 4 arrested

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Bulandshahr A 15-year-old girl was allegedly held hostage and gang-raped by three minors in Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr district, police said on Saturday.

According to the police, the incident happened four days ago and the accused were the victim’s relatives who also got the crime video uploaded on the social media.

According to the police, the 15-year-old girl had gone to the field to fetch some vegetables when the minors held her hostage and gang-raped her in the Pahasu area of the district.

Bulandshahr Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) S. K. Singh told IANS that the police have arrested three minors in this connection.

He said the fourth accused who had posted the video on the internet was also arrested.

The arrests were made within two hours after the uncle of the rape victim registered a case with the police on Friday evening, said the police.

The SSP said that the incident happened on December 3, but the girl kept silent for three days. She revealed the ordeal only after her video went viral on the social media.

The incident was reported hours after the Unnao rape case victim died in the Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi.

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