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Mask sales surge as smog shrouds Delhi

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New Delhi, Nov 6 : With Delhi witnessing poorest air quality of the season, the sale of air mask has increased over 70 per cent in the last two-three days with many chemist outlets in the city reporting that stocks have ben sold out.

Chemist outlet owners across the city on Sunday said that unlike in the past, N-99 masks were most in demand though they are priced around Rs 2,000 apiece.

“We have never ever recorded such high sale of masks. Situation is such that after Diwali, every day we are compelled to place orders for more masks from suppliers to meet customer’s need,” Ajit Rai, a worker with south Delhi-based Religare Wellness Pharmacies, told.

“Keeping in mind the air quality, people are mostly seeking the N-99 mask which assures the best protection in comparison to other ones such as N-95 and routine ones,” he said.

Explaining the types of mask, Rai said that the difference between an N-95 and N-99 masks is the efficiency level of the filter.

“The N-95 mask ispriced at Rs 150-200 and has three layers of filter, while N-99 has more than that and priced Rs 2,000-2,200. There are routine masks as well which are the most simple one and available at Rs 5-10,” he added.

Ranjeet Kumar of Baxico, a chemist outlet in South Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar, told that his customers were mostly opting for the N-95 and N-99 masks.

“We sold around 100 N-99 masks today (Sunday) in comparison to none before Diwali. Observing the rising demand for the last couple of days, we have decided to increase the stock,” Kumar told.

Delhi on Saturday saw the worst air pollution of the season. The smog that hung low over the city kept pollution levels extremely high breaching the safe limit by over 17 times at several places.

The National Cancer Registry has revealed that incidents of lung cancers Delhi have increased by over 33.3 per cent since the middle of last decade in Delhi.

The survey conducted by Centre for Science and Environment in June 2016 also stated that particulate matter, nitrogen oxides and ozone were high and increasing in Delhi’s air.

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Bihar: 2 Bombs found in Bodh Gaya, security beefed up

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Patna, Jan 20: At least two bombs were found at one of the emergency gates of the Maha Bodhi temple in Bihar’s Bodh Gaya on Friday late night. 

Additional forces of Central Reserve Police and Bihar Military Police have been deployed at the pilgrimage centre.

The news comes amid tight security measures in view of Tibetan religious guru Dalai Lama’s stay.

Gaya Senior Superintendent of Police Garima Mallick told News18 that bombs were safely removed from Kalchakra Maidan, where Dalia Lama takes spiritual lessons during the day and taken away near river Falgu where Bomb disposal squad will defuse it.

Lama is on his visit to the city since January 2.

Significantly, the Mahabodhi temple complex had been the target of serial bomb blasts in July 2013, injuring five people, including two monks.

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West Bengal: 7 killed as bus slipped of road in Beldanga

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Kolkata , Jan 20: At least seven people dead, 20 injured after a bus slipped of the road in Beldanga on Saturday. Kolkata , Jan 20: At least seven people dead, 20 injured after a bus slipped of the road in Beldanga on Saturday. 

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EC recommends disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs

An angry AAP said the Election Commission had never “touched this low”, and insinuated that the prime minister was behind the action.

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In a blow to Delhi’s ruling Aam Admi Party, the Election Commission on Friday recommended to the President the disqualification of 20 of its MLAs for holding office of profit, setting the stage for their ouster from the Assembly

In its opinion sent to President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday morning, the Election Commission said the MLAs, by occupying the post of parliamentary secretaries between March 13, 2015 and September 8, 2016, held office of profit, and were liable to be disqualified as legislators, highly-placed sources said

The President is bound to go by the recommendation of the Commission. Under the rules, petitions to the President seeking disqualification of lawmakers are referred to the EC

The poll panel takes a decision and sends its recommendation to the Rashtrapati Bhavan which is accepted

In the present case, the petition was made to disqualify 21 MLAs, but one resigned a few months back

Once the President accepts the opinion, by-elections will have to be held for the 20 Assembly seats

The AAP has a massive majority in the 70-member Delhi assembly with 65 seats, and the impending disqualification will not endanger the Arvind Kejriwal government though the number of party MLAs will come down to 45

An angry AAP said the Election Commission had never “touched this low”, and insinuated that the prime minister was behind the action

“The EC should not be the letter box of the PMO. But that is the reality today,” AAP leader Ashutosh tweeted

The Congress, which ruled the state for a long time, welcomed the EC decision, with its Delhi unit chief Ajay Maken saying Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has lost the right to be in power after the EC decision

Regretting that the Election Commission allowed “undue” adjournments to AAP MLAs that cost the people of Delhi dearly, the BJP’s Delhi chief Manoj Tiwari said the party stands prepared for elections “any moment”

“We welcome the EC decision disqualifying 20 AAP MLAs

Arvind Kejriwal should take responsibility for moral defeat and resign,” he said

There, however, was no official word from the Commission

When contacted, Chief Election Commissioner A K Joti said since the matter is sub-judice, he would not offer any comment on the issue

The 20 MLAs set to be disqualified include, Adarsh Shastri (Dwarka), Alka Lamba (Chandni Chowk), Anil Bajpai (Gandhi Nagar), Avtar Singh (Kalkaji), Kailash Gahlot (Najafgarh) — who is also a minister — Madan Lal (Kasturba Nagar), Manoj Kumar (Kondli), Naresh Yadav (Mehrauli), Nitin Tyagi (Laxmi Nagar), Praveen Kumar (Jangpura)

Others are: Rajesh Gupta (Wazirpur), Rajesh Rishi ( Janakpuri), Sanjeev Jha (Burari), Sarita Singh (Rohtas Nagar), Som Dutt (Sadar Bazar), Sharad Kumar (Narela), Shiv Charan Goel (Moti Nagar), Sukhbir Singh (Mundka), Vijendar Garg (Rajinder Nagar) and Jarnail Singh (Tilak Nagar).

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