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NGT turns down Delhi government plea on odd-even exemptions

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New Delhi, Nov 14: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday turned down the Delhi government’s plea to exempt women drivers and two-wheelers from the odd-even vehicle rationing scheme, saying there was “no logic” to the proposal.

The top green tribunal also asked the Delhi government to choose a spot in the city by 4 p.m. on Tuesday and sprinkle water from helicopter on the area to know the efficacy of the step in reducing air pollution.

Rapping the Delhi government for its plea, the tribunal asked why should exemption be given to two-wheelers when they are a major cause of pollution.

“On what basis are you asking exemption for two-wheelers,” NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said.

On Delhi government counsel Tarunvir Singh Khehar raising the issue of women’s security, the tribunal said: “Why don’t you run Women’s Special buses?”

The tribunal also rapped the Delhi government over “delay” in the procurement of 4,000 additional buses and noted that sprinkling of water on pollution hotspots was not being done properly.

“Why don’t you act upon those who are responsible for pollution. How many people have you penalised or challaned so far,” Justice Kumar asked.

Following the tribunal’s order, the Delhi government withdrew its petition.

The tribunal said the Delhi government could move a fresh petition before it on the traffic rationing scheme.

It said Delhi government could use helicopters, if necessary, to sprinkle water at a pollution hotspot in the city to know its efficacy.

“Choose one place in Delhi by 4 p.m. and sprinkle water and thereafter calculate the particle pollution to know how much difference does it make,” the tribunal said.

The tribunal also allowed the National Highways Authority of India to go ahead with construction of the Delhi-Meerut Highway at the eastern periphery of the city but said there should be no dust pollution.

The Delhi government had on Saturday decided to halt the odd-even traffic restriction scheme, which was scheduled to be implemented from November 13 to 17. It moved the NGT on Monday with a review petition seeking exemptions for two-wheelers and women.

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UP To Test Every Traveller From Delhi For Coronavirus

It seems the second Covid-19 has hit the national capital, he said, pointing to a spurt in cases there.

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COVID-19 antibody testing

The Uttar Pradesh government will test all travellers from Delhi for coronavirus, an official said on Sunday.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary R K Tiwari said the state government is also considering restrictions on the number of people at weddings and other social programmes.

Tiwari said infection cases have increased in UP districts bordering Delhi.

It seems the second Covid-19 has hit the national capital, he said, pointing to a spurt in cases there.

So, we are testing everyone coming from Delhi, be it by air, train or bus, he said.

When asked about the kind of curbs that may be imposed at social gatherings, Tiwari said the decision will be taken on the prevailing situation.

“Districts in western UP like Gautam Buddh Nagar and Ghaziabad have restricted social gatherings to 100. Necessary steps will be taken as per the prevailing situation in various places to stop the spread of the infection,” he said.

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Rajasthan govt hikes penalty on gathering of more than 100 people at marriages

A total of 603 cases were reported in Jaipur while 414 in Jodhpur, 210 in Ajmer, 271 in Alwar, 131 in Bhilwara, 240 in Kota, 100 in Pali and 184 in Udaipur.

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Ashok Gehlot

Jaipur: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Sunday announced to increase the penalty on gathering of more than 100 people at marriages from Rs 10,000 to Rs 25,000.

Chairing a meeting to review the steps taken to contain COVID spread in the state, he said administration and police personnel should take rounds in the market to ensure all due protocols are being followed with due care in reference to night curfew announced on Saturday as well as to ensure that set number of people’s limit is not crossed.

The wedding organisers should also be updated in this context that more than 100 people are not permitted in the wedding function, he added.

District collectors, superintendents of police and other senior officials have been given responsibility to ensure night curfew norms are maintained in eight districts as announced and not more than 100 people are gathered in the crowd. Every person should wear masks and social distancing norms should also be followed, the Chief Minister said.

Notably, the state government announced night curfew in Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Kota, Alwar, Udaipur, Alwar and Ajmer.

Also the penalty for those not wearing masks was increased to Rs 500 from Rs 200 on Saturday.

The Chief Minister on Sunday said that the state government’s major objective is to save lives of people.

On Sunday, a total of 3,260 new COVID cases and 17 deaths were reported.

A total of 603 cases were reported in Jaipur while 414 in Jodhpur, 210 in Ajmer, 271 in Alwar, 131 in Bhilwara, 240 in Kota, 100 in Pali and 184 in Udaipur.

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CBI arrests ex-Karnataka Congress minister Roshan Baig in ponzi scam

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had also booked Khan under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for allegedly transferring funds to overseas banks through the hawala route.

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MLA Roshan Baig, Roshan Baig Karnataka, Karnataka Congress, Congress, Karnataka Govt, Politics,

Bengaluru: In a swift development after a day-long questioning, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested former Karnataka Congress minister Roshan Baig for his alleged involvement in the multi-crore IMA ponzi scam in the southern state, an official said on Sunday.

“Baig was arrested after questioning him in the ongoing ponzi chit fund scam investigation and a competent court sent him to judicial custody for further interrogation,” CBI spokesman R.K. Gaur told IANS.

Baig (67) is a former 8-time legislator from the Shivajinagar assembly segment in the city centre and was a minister in the Congress and Janata Dal governments.

“Baig was summoned for interrogation to our office earlier in the day and taken into custody on the evidence collected against him in the scam that rocked the state in 2018-19,” a CBI source said earlier.

Sleuths of the premier investigation agency also conducted a search and seizure operation in Baig’s house in the city earlier in the day.

The I-Monetary Advisory (IMA) Jewellery kingpin Mohammed Mansoor Khan alleged that he had given Rs 400 crore to Baig ahead of the state assembly elections in April-May 2018.

Baig, however, denied the charge and said Khan had falsely implicated him.

The Rs 4,000-crore ponzi chit fund scam came to light in June 2019 after hundreds of investors complained to city police that the chit fund firm stopped returning their deposits, including gold jewellery, cash and interest.

In an audio clip to then Bengaluru Police Commissioner Ajay Kumar Singh, Khan alleged that Baig was harassing him for more money and he fled to Dubai in June second week as his life was under threat.

Though the former Janata Dal-Secular-Congress government had set up a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the scam, the ruling BJP government transferred the case to the CBI in August after it came to power in July 2019.

Khan was flown to Bengaluru on July 20, 2019 via New Delhi from Duabai and has been in the central jail on the city’s outskirts along with about 30 accused, including seven directors of the company.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had also booked Khan under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for allegedly transferring funds to overseas banks through the hawala route.

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