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Massive fire at Rohingya camp in Delhi

The Rohingya are an ethnic group, the majority of whom are Muslim, who have lived for centuries in the Buddhist-majority Myanmar. Myanmar has denied them citizenship since 1982, effectively rendering them stateless.

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Rohingya Camp Fire

New Delhi, Apr 15 : A massive fire at a camp of the Rohingya refugees in southeast Delhi’s Kalindi Kunj area today rendered at least 228 of them homeless, police said.

The fire broke out at around 3.30am due to a short circuit in the electrical wiring system in the camp and spread rapidly, police said. As many as 44 shanties were gutted in the blaze.

No casualties were reported.

A fire department official said 11 fire tenders were rushed to the camp and it took them three hours to douse the fire.

Police teams were sent to the camp to assist the fire-fighters in the rescue operation. All the Rohingya occupants of the camp have been moved safely to a temporary settlement, police said.

A forensic team and officials from power discom BSES visited the camp to ascertain the cause of the fire.

The Rohingya are an ethnic group, the majority of whom are Muslim, who have lived for centuries in the Buddhist-majority Myanmar. Myanmar has denied them citizenship since 1982, effectively rendering them stateless.

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Kisan Khet Mazdoor Congress holds protest

The “Jawab Do, Hisab Do” rally at Parliament Street saw participation of several Congress leaders including former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat, party’s Uttar Pradesh chief Raj Babbar, national spokesperson Randeep Surjewala.

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Kisan Khet Mazdoor

New Delhi, Oct 23 : Hundreds of workers affiliated to Kisan Khet Mazdoor Congress (KKMC) held a protest here against “anti-farmer” policies of the BJP government and said the agitations would continue.

The KKMC, farmers’ wing of Congress party, said the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has failed in fulfilling the promises he made before 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

The “Jawab Do, Hisab Do” rally at Parliament Street saw participation of several Congress leaders including former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat, party’s Uttar Pradesh chief Raj Babbar, national spokesperson Randeep Surjewala.

KKMC chairman and ex Member of Parliament Nana Patole called Modi “the biggest liar Prime Minister in the history of India” for failing to ensure remunerative crop prices, affordable diesel prices, and crop loan waiver.

“Has the Modi government kept its promises? It has not given the MSP (Minimum Support Price) as per Swaminathan Committee’s recommendations. It has even failed to keep diesel and petrol prices in check,” Patole told the gathering.

He also called Modi government “pro-corporate” as it waived loans worth Rs3.13 lakh crore taken by business companies.

“However, it has no money to waive farm loan. It proves that the government is anti-farmer and pro-corporate,” he said.

Among the protestors was Kaluram Sharma, a farmer from poll-bound Rajasthan, who said fall in prices of milk had forced him to come to the national capital.

“Milk prices have fallen drastically and the state government is doing nothing to address the problem. In addition, high diesel prices have added to our woes,” Sharma said.

He said there was huge farm distress in the state, which may translate into the defeat of the BJP in the Assembly elections to be held in December.

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Several people injured in stampede at Bengal railway foot overbridge

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Santragachhi Railway Bridge Stampede

Kolkata, Oct 23 : At least 14 people, including two children, sustained severe injuries on Tuesday in a stampede at a railway foot overbridge at Santragachhi station in Howrah, police said.

The stampede occurred around 6 p.m. when the commuters hurriedly tried to cross the foot overbridge between two platforms following an announcement of two trains coming simultaneously on two adjacent tracks.

“14 people have been injured and they are being treated in the hospital,” said a senior officer at the Santragachhi police station.

IANS

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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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