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Local factors main reason for Delhi’s air pollution woes, what has AAP govt done: BJP

The AAP government in Delhi has often blamed stubble burning in states like Punjab and Haryana for air pollution in the nation capital during this time of the year.

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Delhi Pollution

New Delhi, Oct 18 : The BJP on Saturday said local factors are the main reason behind air pollution in Delhi and accused the city government of trying to shift the blame to the Centre with its suggestion that stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana is the leading factor.

BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma said at a briefing that the air quality index in the national capital had improved on Friday despite the contribution of stubble burning to PM 2.5, increasing from Thursday’s six per cent to 18 per cent.

This conforms with the finding of a 2015 IIT Kanpur study which stated that the main factors contributing to the air pollution in Delhi are road dust (38 per cent) vehicular pollution (20 per cent) and domestic sources (12 per cent).

“This means 70 per cent of Delhi’s air pollution woes are due to local factors. Why does the Delhi government then always look towards Punjab and Haryana to shift the blame of pollution management on the central government,” Sharma asked.

While the Delhi government allocated a meagre Rs 52 crore for environment out of its budget of 65,000 crore, the central government earmarked Rs 1,600 crore this year to tackle air pollution in the Delhi-NCR and stubble burning, she said.

“The burning question in the issue of burning of stubble is what has the Punjab government done to deal with the problem? And more importantly what has the chief of the always alleging party (AAP) and the government of Delhi done to control the environment pollution troubling all of Delhi during coronavirus times,” Sharma asked.

The central government has also constructed eastern and western peripheral expressway, closed Badarpur and Panipat thermal power plants, switched from BS4 to BS6 fuel, backed innovation of Pusa decomposer for crop residue and subsidised electric vehicles to deal with the issue.

The Delhi government has done little except making empty allegations and claims, she said.

“When Delhi government allocates a meagre Rs 52 crore in its a 65,000 crore budget for environment, spends nil from the Rs 787 crore from the environment cess it received in 2017, has only three hired road vacuum cleaning machines, but spends upwards of Rs 73 crore on advertisements and self promotion within the months of July and August only, it is clear where CM Arvind Kejriwal’s priorities lie,” she said.

Claiming that the maximum incidents of stubble burning in 2019 came from Sangrur, she said it is the Lok Sabha constituency of AAP MP Bhagwant Mann and five out of its nine assembly seats have AAP MLAs.

“What have they done,” she asked.

The AAP government in Delhi has often blamed stubble burning in states like Punjab and Haryana for air pollution in the nation capital during this time of the year.

Cities

Delhi Police organise job fair under YUVA scheme

Delhi Police have tied up with the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) for imparting job-linked skill training to the selected youth.

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Delhi Police Logo

New Delhi: To ensure that the youth earn their livelihood by good means and refrain from wrongdoings, approximately 125 job aspirants were interviewed by 19 employers in a job fair organised under the YUVA scheme by the Delhi Police at the Surajmal Institute in Janakpuri.

“YUVA is an initiate of Delhi Police to rehabilitate the youth and to bring them on good path,” West Delhi DCP Deepak Purohit said.

The initiative by Delhi Police aims to connect with the youth by upgrading their skills as per their competencies. It will help them get gainful employment under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna of the Ministry of Skill Development.

Delhi Police have tied up with the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) for imparting job-linked skill training to the selected youth.

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Cities

Karnataka Legislative Council polls: EC defers counting from Nov 3 to 10

There are 2.35 lakh voters in these four constituencies who exercised their franchise in as many 549 polling stations set up across these constituencies.

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BJP and Congress Flag Poster

Bengaluru: The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Saturday announced that it had decided to postpone the counting of votes for four Legislative Council seats in Karnataka from November 2 to 10.

The decision was taken following a memorandum submitted by the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee on Saturday, appealing that any outcome of Legislative Council polls will have a direct impact on Assembly by-polls to Rajarajeshwari Nagara constituency in Bengaluru and Sira in Tumkuru district which are going to polls on November 3.

The biennial polls to four Legislative council (two graduates and two teachers) seats were held on October 28 amid pandemic fears. Wherein of the total 2.35 lakh voters, nearly 70 per cent electorates had turned up defying pandemic fears.

Conceding to the Congress party’s demand, EC said in its statement that the counting of Council polls can be held after any day after November 3 but it has now decided to hold counting of these Council seats along with counting of two Assembly seats – Sira and RR Nagar – on November 10.

It may be worth noting here that the Council polls took place as these constituencies fell vacant due to the retirement of R. Chowda Reddy Thoopalli of JD(S), S. V. Sankanur of BJP, Sharanappa Mattur of Congress and Puttanna of JD(S) respectively. Of these four recontesting candidates, Puttanna has crossed over to BJP and is contesting on this party ticket.

Despite pandemic, voters’ response was overwhelming in 2020 when compared with 2014 elections held in these seats. Voting percentage rose anywhere between 13.5 per cent to 24 per cent in the constituencies.

As many as 40 candidates’ fates are sealed in ballot units who are in fray from these constituencies. Among them are the four whose retirement on June 30 warranted the elections.

There are 2.35 lakh voters in these four constituencies who exercised their franchise in as many 549 polling stations set up across these constituencies.

In the council with strength of 75 members Congress has 28 members, BJP has 27 members, Janata Dal (Secular) has 14 members, one independent, one chairman and four vacant seats.

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Disaster

Delhi again records over 5,000 new Covid-19 cases, 34,186 cases added in last 7 days

There are 3,274 containment zones in the Capital and over 20,000 people are under home isolation at present.

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Coronavirus India

Delhi recorded 5,062 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, which is a slight dip from the number of new cases being reported from Wednesday, but the higher positivity rate in the city indicates that the Capital is experiencing a new wave of Covid-19 infections.

On Friday, Delhi reported 5,891 new cases — the highest single-day number of all time. The government health bulletin revealed that 41 deaths have been reported in the last 24 hours. Over 44,000 people have been tested in the same period of time.

There are 3,274 containment zones in the Capital and over 20,000 people are under home isolation at present.

The sudden spike in the number of daily cases after a period when Delhi was believed to have tackled Covid-19 effectively has become a cause of worry. The Centre has called for a meeting on Monday to discuss the issue.

The spike began on Wednesday when Delhi crossed the 5,000-mark for the first time with 5,673 new cases in a span of 24 hours. On Thursday, Delhi recoded 5,739 cases and on Friday, the number stood at 5,891. On Tuesday, Delhi had logged 4,853 cases, which was its highest single-day tally since 4,473 on September 16. Though Saturday’s number is lower than the previous three days, the positivity rate is high — at least 11 per cent of all tests in the past 24 hours returned positive results.

The number of total cases in the Capital stands at 3,86,706. Out of this, 34,185 cases have been added in last one week.

Here is a date-wise data of new cases reported in Delhi during the past one week

October 25: 4,136

October 26: 2,832

October 27: 4,853

October 28: 5,673

October 29: 5,739

October 30: 5,891

October 31: 5,062

Why cases are rising in Delhi

Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain has blamed pollution, the onset of winter and the rising pollution for the sudden rise in the number of cases. “It’s a combined effect of the festive season, decrease in temperature and increased pollution. Experts had also suggested that at this time Covid-19 cases could rise,” Jain said on Saturday.

Third Covid-19 wave in Delhi?

Jain had earlier said that it can be concluded whether Delhi has entered the third wave of Covid-19 cases after examining the numbers of a week. But he had hinted that the possibility could not be overruled. The peak of the second wave in Delhi was during mid-September when it reported 4,174 average cases every day. The current trajectory is far above that.

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