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‘Of Rs 787cr green cess collected in 2017, Delhi has spent nil’

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Ajay-Maken-Arvind-Kejriwal

New Delhi, Nov 15 : Amidst the city’s fight against pollution, an RTI revelation on Wednesday put the Delhi government “in a spot” after it failed to specify its utilisation of the Rs 787 crore green cess collected during 2017.

The Delhi government — in the RTI reply to Sanjeev Jain, a Right To Information activist — said it received Rs 50 crore in 2015, Rs 387 crore in 2016 and Rs 787 crore as environment cess from January 1 to September 30 in 2017.

The Arvind Kejriwal government said it has spent Rs 93 lakh of the environment cess in 2016, but there was “no mention of any expenditure” in 2017.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government came under attack from the opposition parties following this RTI response.

The Congress said the city government was not utilising funds for strengthening the public transport system, and instead was involved in “blame game”.

“It is complete negligence on the part of (Chief Minister) Kejriwal’s government. It has not been able to utilise Rs 787 crore which is lying idle,” Delhi Congress Chief Ajay Maken told IANS.

“The public transport system in Delhi is in shambles,” Maken said.

The Congress leader slammed the AAP government and said they could have bought new buses with this money, and also augmented total parking capacity of the bus depots.

Lashing out at Kejriwal, Maken said: “Instead of using the money which is lying idle, he is busy aiming at the other state governments and the Centre instead of doing his bit.”

Maken said Kejriwal could have purchased road vacuum cleaners, as the dust “is the single biggest contributory factor for air pollution” in Delhi.

“In Delhi, if we look at all the factors contributing to air pollution, then about 80 per cent of it is due to road dust, vehicular movement, industrial pollution and domestic pollution. And the Delhi government itself should deal with it,” he said.

“He (Kejriwal) is passing the buck and trying to get attention. He could have utilised Rs 787 crore… they could have bought more than 1,500 Delhi Transport Corporation buses,” he said.

He accused the Delhi government for deterioration in the DTC fleet over the last few years.

“When we were in power, the strength of the DTC was 5,445 buses, which has now gone down to 3,951 buses. There has been a shortfall of 1,500 buses in three years,” he said.

The Congress leader also said that the passenger ferrying capacity has also gone down from 46 lakh per day to 26 lakh per day.

“People have been forced to use their two-wheelers in the absence of a robust public transport system,” Maken added.

IANS

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Women fatally shot in head during robbery in Patna

“An FIR has been registered against unidentified persons and effort are on to arrest them,” Patna SSP Upendra Sharma said.

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Patna Firing

Patna, Nov 29: A woman was fatally shot in her head by robbers after she resisted their move to loot passengers of an aut-rickshaw in state capital Patna, police said on Sunday.

Saiqa Parveen was travelling with her husband Imran Alam in the auto-rickshaw when she was shot dead late Saturday night.

Police said that when the auto-rickshaw reached Chiraiyatadh flyover near Patna railway station, two men riding it asked the driver to stop. Two more persons riding two motorcycles reached the spot and looted all the passengers at gunpoint.

While Alam handed over his belongings, Parveen resisted the robbers. One of them shot her in the head, killing her on the spot.

Alam, a private bank employee in Siwan, was on way to his native Dehri-on-Sone town in Bihar along with his wife. As they had reached Patna at night, they were on way to the railway station for overnight stay in a nearby hotel, he told the police.

“An FIR has been registered against unidentified persons and effort are on to arrest them,” Patna SSP Upendra Sharma said.

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CRPF’s CoBRA Officer Killed in IED Blast Triggered by Maoists in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma

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Indian Army CRPF Jammu And Kashmir encounter

An Assistant Commandant of the CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action) unit, Nitin P Balerao, succumbed to his injuries from an IED blast triggered by naxals near Tadmetla area in Sukma district on Saturday night.

Ten personnel of the CRPF’s CoBRA unit were injured in an IED blast triggered by naxals in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district on late Saturday evening. The Improvised Explosive Device went off in the forest near Tadmetla village when a team of security forces was out on an anti-naxal operation, Inspector General of Police (Bastar range) Sundarraj P said.

From among the injured, 8 personnel were lifted from a helicopter to Raipur during the midnight for further treatment. Two injured personnel are getting treatment at the CRPF Hospital in Chintalnar.

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We’ve resources to undertake coronavirus vaccination within 3-4 weeks: Delhi govt

Health and Family Welfare Minister Satyendar Jain made this announcement in at a press conference called to update Delhi’s daily health bulletin.

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Vaccine Covid

The Delhi government on Saturday said it has infrastructure to undertake coronavirus vaccination among all city residents within three-four weeks, adding that it was only waiting for the vaccine to be made available.

Health and Family Welfare Minister Satyendar Jain made this announcement in at a press conference called to update Delhi’s daily health bulletin. He gave the updates on Covid-19, decreasing positivity rate, availability of beds, and preparations for vaccination.

He said that the government had enough resources like Mohalla Clinics, polyclinics, dispensaries and hospitals to administer coronavirus vaccine across Delhi. Jain asserted that there will be no issues about the optimal storage of the vaccine as well.

“We are only waiting for the vaccine to be made available. Delhi has the infrastructure to roll it out and make it accessible to all city residents within 3-4 weeks. Delhi is equipped with the latest infrastructure to facilitate the rollout of the vaccine to Delhi’s population.

“For application, there are Mohalla Clinics, hospitals etc. It depends on how soon we get it from the central government. As far as storage is concerned, all amenities have been taken care of,” Jain said.

The Delhi government’s response comes amid Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Saturday visit to Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Pune where vaccine development process is going on.

Modi had recently held discussions with states and union territories on vaccine distribution once it is formulated.

Pointing out that there were 5,482 new cases in Delhi on Friday, the Minister said that the positivity rate had however come down to 8.51 per cent from 15.26 per cent. It has become less than half since November 7, 2020.

The Minister said that more than 50 per cent beds for coronavirus patients are available in Delhi hospitals at present. “Total bed available is more than 9,500. The occupancy rate is therefore steadily decreasing. In terms of ICU beds, more than 1,200 are available.”

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