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Pollutant level at all-time high in Delhi during morning hours



pollution in delhi
Pollution in delhi (REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE)

New Delhi, Oct 12: The national capital on Thursday saw one of the worst surges in the pollutant concentration in air during morning hours, with PM2.5 crossing the 700 level in east Delhi’s Anand Vihar, while recorded as ‘severe’ and ‘very poor’ at several other places.

With stubble burning continuing in neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana, also revealed by the satellite images of NASA’s Fire Mapper, the north-westerly winds coming from those states are effecting Delhi’s air quality, even as the wind speed is comparatively low.

“Currently Delhi is receiving moderate winds coming from the direction of Punjab. The winds are not high now and are around 10 kmph. However, these winds will continue at least till October 16,” Mahesh Palawat, director private weather forecaster at Skymet, told IANS.

According to the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) data, the level of PM2.5 or the particles in air with diameter less than 2.5 mm, touched 772 after 5 a.m. at Anand Vihar area, while dropping to 350 in next hour, still way beyond the permissible range. The international permissible limit for PM2.5 is 25 micro grammes per cubic metre while for India, it is 60.

The PM2.5 level at Mandir Marg in central Delhi oscillated between 135 to 165 in the morning hours, 131 to 205 at Punjabi Bagh in west Delhi and 139 to 174 at R.K. Puram in south Delhi.

The average PM2.5 level in Delhi till 4.30 p.m. was 112, showed data recorded by System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR).

PM2.5 is one of the major and common pollutants with direct consequences on life expectancy. Any recorded value between 251-350 is considered “severe” for PM2.5, while value between 121 to 250 units is considered “very poor”.

The severe value of PM2.5 affects healthy people and seriously impacts those living with diseases.

According to SAFAR, Delhi, on Thursday till 4.30 p.m., four areas – Delhi University, Pitampura (both north Delhi), Lodhi Road (central Delhi) and Mathura Road (south Delhi) – had “very poor” air quality in terms of PM2.5.

In other places including Indira Gandhi International Airport, adjoining Gurugram (Haryana) and Noida (Uttar Pradesh), the air quality was placed under “poor” category.



Gold bars worth Rs 50 lakh seized in Bengal



Representative Image (PC- Getty Images)

Kolkata, Dec 12: The Border Security Force on Tuesday seized 17 gold bars worth nearly Rs 50 lakh from near India-Bangladesh border in West Bengal and detaind one smuggler, a BSF official said.

Acting on a tip-off, the BSF troopers of Petrapole border outpost conducted a special operation in North 24 Parganas district and apprehended the smuggler.

Feroz M. Khan, 44,, a Kolkata resident, was detained from near the International Check Post (ICP), Naveen Chouhan, Deputy Commandant in BSF’s south Bengal frontier zone, said in a press release.

The troopers seized 17 gold bars of 1.7 kg, worth Rs 49.32 lakh, from him, Chouhan added.

“The apprehended person as well as the seized gold have been handed over to Petrapole customs office for further investigation,” he added.

The BSF’s south Bengal frontier has seized 32.66 kg of gold worth approximately Rs 9.43 crore and apprehended 11 gold smugglers so far in 2017.


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Himachal Pradesh: Manali gets season’s first snowfall



Shimla, Dec 12: Snowfall continued to elude capital Himachal Pradesh on Tuesday, but another picturesque tourist spot Manali had mild snowfall overnight, marking as season’s first spell.

“Manali and the hills overlooking it experienced mild to moderate spells of snow and there are chances of more snow till Wednesday,” an official at the meteorological office here told news agency IANS.

The officer said picturesque Kalpa, around 250 km from Shimla, also witnessed snow.

“High-altitude areas of Lahaul and Spiti, Chamba, Mandi, Kullu, Kinnaur and Shimla districts have been experiencing snow since Monday,” the official further stated.

Heavy rainfall lashed lower areas of the state such as Dharamsala, Palampur, Solan, Nahan, Bilaspur, Una, Hamirpur and Mandi, dipping the mercury.

Tourist attractions near Shimla, such as honeymooners’ paradise Kufri and Narkanda witnessed mild snowfall, turning the hill stations even more beauteous.

As news of the snowfall flashed across the plains, people started arriving in Manali and the nearby hills like Solang and Gulaba o enjoy winters with loved ones.

“We are hopeful of getting good arrival of tourists in Manali and its nearby areas with this season’s first spell of snowfall,” Manali Hoteliers Association President Gajinder Thakur told IANS over the phone.

The meteorological aid the weather would remain dry after Wednesday.


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Srinagar gets season’s first snowfall



Ladakh srinagar kashmir
File Photo

Srinagar, Dec 12: Srinagar city received season’s first snowfall on Tuesday as higher reaches both in the Jammu region and the Kashmir Valley received moderate snowfall.

“Sonamarg, Gulmarg, Pahalgam also received moderate snowfall,” the Met said. Plains in the Jammu region have been receiving rainfall since Monday morning.

“The present weather conditions are likely to continue during Wednesday and Thursday after which the western disturbance active over Jammu and Kashmir will start weakening,” an official of the Met Department said.

Residents here were pleasantly surprised to see a thin blanket of snow covering the landscape in the morning.

“This is Kashmir. Without snow the landscape looks orphaned. If the government is able to provide basic amenities to the people, winter is undoubtedly the best season in Kashmir,” said Nisar Hussain, a retired chief engineer who lives in Gogjibagh.

Snowfall in Gulmarg has brightened the prospects of winter sports at its ski resort.

The weather office said the minimum temperature was minus 0.2 in Srinagar and 0.1 in Pahalgam. While Gulmarg at minus 6.5 was the coldest place in the state on Tuesday, the Met said.

The minimum temperature was minus 1.4 in Leh and minus three degrees in Kargil towns of the Ladakh region.

Jammu city recorded 12.5, Katra town 9.2, Batote 0.2, Bannihal minus 0.1, Bhaderwah 0.2 and Udhampur 10.2 as the minimum temperatures.


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