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HC slams Delhi govt on pollution; to hear case every 2 weeks

The court said the matter would now be heard every two weeks in order to ensure that steps are taken to curb the menace of pollution in the city.

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Delhi Pollution

New Delhi, Nov 14 : The Delhi High Court on Thursday came down heavily on the Delhi government and other concerned authorities over the deteriorating Air Quality Index (AQI) and increasing air pollution in the national capital, saying “there is complete lack of will to implement” ideas to tackle the problem.

A division bench of Justices G.S. Sistani and Anup Jairam Bambani remarked that if its previous orders had been followed, pollution in Delhi would not be where it is today.

The court said the matter would now be heard every two weeks in order to ensure that steps are taken to curb the menace of pollution in the city.

The matter would be heard next on December 2. The court was hearing a suo moto petition over air pollution in Delhi.

“The problem lies in implementation and not lack of ideas. There is complete lack of will to implement the same,” it said.

The court stated that all the stakeholders, including citizens, have to take a proactive role “in case we have to make Delhi pollution free”.

The petition was heard for the first time in early 2015. Since then, the court has been passing several orders to contain air pollution in the city.

Referring to a CAG report for the time period of 2014-2017, senior advocate Kailash Vasudev, who is amicus curiae in the case, informed the court that the Forest Department has failed to meet its afforestation targets.

The court directed the Chief Conservator of Forests, Delhi government to appear before it on the next date of hearing and apprise the court of the extent of plantation carried out.

The Forest Department is also expected to spell out its plan to increase forest cover and reduce encroachment in Delhi.

To further address concerns of rising pollution level due to dust, the court suggested that from October to January, no fresh demolition of infrastructure should be permitted.

To tackle concerns of streamlining traffic, the court has asked the New Delhi Municipal Corporation and other Municipal Corporations in the city as well the other authorities concerned to take necessary steps to deal with encroachment on the roads.

This exercise has to be done in a routine and regular manner and not on days before the court hearing, it said.

It also directed that senior officers should not only issue circulars for implementation of the orders but also undertake inspection to ensure the same.

Cities

‘Man-eater’ leopard shot dead in Gujarat

Amreli district collector Aayush Oak said the leopard was spotted in a camera trap. “It was a seven-year-old male leopard,” he said.

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Man eater leopard amreli

Amreli (Gujarat), Dec 11 : A suspected ‘man-eater’ leopard was shot dead on Wednesday evening by forest department personnel near Bagasara village in Amreli district of Gujarat, officials said.

A senior official claimed the big cat had killed at least ten people in the nearby areas and 14 to 15 people in the entire region.

The big cat was lurking behind eucalyptus plantation near a cow shed when it was shot dead by a member of the team of forest guards, they said.

The Amreli region had seen a sharp rise in attacks by leopards in the last few months.

“We shot dead the leopard near Bagasara village at 7 pm on Wednesday. We were hunting for it as it had turned into a man-eater. We are sure that it was the same leopard we were looking for. Other leopards were rescued and shifted out of the area,” said Conservator of Forest (Rajkot), Ashwin Parmar.

Amreli district collector Aayush Oak said the leopard was spotted in a camera trap. “It was a seven-year-old male leopard,” he said.

Oak said the Forest department first tried to capture the big cat, but it attacked the personnel, following which it was shot dead.

“Forest department will analyse the pug marks to ascertain involvement of the killed leopard in recent human deaths. But it is certainly suspected to have killed human beings. If required, the forest department will continue its operation,” he said when asked whether the forest personnel killed the same leopard they were looking for.

Meanwhile, Parmar said a huge team of forest personnel was deployed to either trap or kill the leopard in view of deaths of many people in feline attacks in the region.

“We scanned CCTV footage videos as well as pug marks to ensure that we shoot down the man-eater. We will also get an independent analysis done to find remains of human beings, if any, from the intestine and stomach of the dead leopard,” he said.

Parmar said the leopard had killed at least 10 people in nearby areas. “In all, it might have killed 14-15 people in the entire region,” he added.

In its bid to identify the “man-eater leopard”, the Forest department had formed a team of 150 trained personnel and set up 30 cages at different locations to trap and rescue other leopards from the area.

At least 40 leopards have already been caged in Amreli and neighbouring Junagadh districts.

The state government had told the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday that the total 14 people were killed while 71 others were injured in as many as 80 attacks by leopards in Junagadh and Amreli districts during the last two years, a significant rise than the previous year.

Recently, two persons were killed in a leopard attack on October 25 and December 5 in Munjiyasar village in Bagasara taluka of Amreli district.

A child was mauled to death by the big cat in Rafala village on November 17 while a 60-year-old man was killed in Visavadar taluka in the same district in September.

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Priyanka Gandhi writes to Yogi, demands better price for sugarcane

The State government has fixed the sugarcane prices at Rs 315 per quintal and it has remain unchanged from the last year.

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sugarcane

New Delhi, Dec 11 : Amid protests from sugarcane farmers in western parts of Uttar Pradesh, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday wrote to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and demanded better price for the sugarcane.

Priyanka Gandhi wrote: “UP government has not raised the sugarcane price this year. I am surprised that in the last crushing season also, the prices were not raised. While your Government has raised the rates of electricity, fertilizers, but the sugarcane price has not been raised, even though the cost of labour has also increased”.

“The farmers are not getting back their input cost and I request you to raise the price of the sugarcane in view of the distress in the community”, she said.

The State government has fixed the sugarcane prices at Rs 315 per quintal and it has remain unchanged from the last year.

The farmers’ Unions in the state are up in arms against this. They have blocked many arterial roads in Meerut, which is the highest sugarcane producing region in the state. The protesters blocked the main highway leading to the Meerut-Karnal road and the arterial road adjacent to Muzaffarnagar.

On Saturday the state government announced that the rates will not be changed this year also, to the disappointment of the farmers. The farmers are also worried that their dues of the previous year have also not been paid.

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Facebook Portal will now work with just WhatsApp login

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San Francisco: Facebook’s video calling device Portal will now work with just a WhatsApp account, allowing users to make video calls to friends and family and access features like “Story Time” even if they don’t have a Facebook account.

“Story Time” lets you bring children’s stories to life with Augmented Reality (AR) effects that change your appearance to match the characters.

“We’re adding new renditions of classic stories, ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ and ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’, plus new tales from Llama Llama, Pete the Cat and Otto,” Facebook said in a statement late Tuesday.

With Workplace on Portal, you can collaborate more effectively, building strong relationships with your co-workers, regardless of distance.

Portal TV brings the Portal experience to the biggest screen in people’s homes.

“Today’s update includes a number of new features for Portal TV. First up is Mic Drop, which lets you sing along with popular song clips and perform them on an AR stage during a call,” said Facebook.

Photo Booth is coming to Portal TV, so you can snap selfies and take videos, add effects and then share with people on Messenger from your TV.

“You can also send a video message if someone misses your call so you can share what’s on your mind in the moment, even when close friends and family aren’t available.

“You can even share photos from your Superframe feed through Messenger, so friends can see what you see and join the fun,” said Facebook.

Facebook said it is also adding access to thousands of shows and movies through new streaming partners on Portal TV, including Amazon Prime Video in the US, UK, Canada and France along with FandangoNOW and Sling TV, which were recently added in the US.

People can also livestream from Portal directly to their Facebook profile via Facebook Live.

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