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SC ban on crackers on Diwali in Delhi-NCR not very effective

The PM2.5 and PM10, or particles with diameter less than 2.5 and 10 micrometers, in Delhi NCR was 164 and 292 microgrammes per cubic meter.

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Green crackers
Representative Picture of Crackers

New Delhi, Nov 7 (IANS) Despite the Supreme Courts directives, people in Delhi-NCR on Wednesday continued to burst crackers on Diwali well past the 10 p.m. deadline though the air quality index (AQI) showed a slight improvement over last year.

The Supreme Court had limited the time for bursting crackers between 8-10 p.m. on Diwali, but people started bursting crackers soon after sunset around 6 p.m. and continued well after 10 p.m.

Also, the apex court had banned the sale of traditional crackers and allowed only “green crackers” in Delhi-NCR, but there was no clarity as to how many people could procure these, or the ones not containing the polluting barium salts.

Delhi Police spokesman Madhur Verma said data was not immediately available at how many places the police took action against those flouting the Supreme Court directive on Diwali day.

Ravi Sharma, a journalist residing in East Delhi said that he could not find crackers in Delhi for his child but his neighbours did.

“I could not buy even a phuljhadi (sparkler) or anar (fountain) for my child but some of my neighbours have arranged the crackers through some jugaad (improvisation) and they are bursting them now,” Sharma told IANS.

Similar stories came in from other parts of the city such as Mayur Vihar, Dwarka and New Friends Colony.

In Ghaziabad, an IANS correspondent who went around the town was witness to violations in the posh Raj Nagar and Kavi Nagar localities, where almost all district and police officers reside.

Though some firecrackers went off from 5 p.m., the frequency rapidly went up as the sun set.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a senior police officer admitted that it was very difficult to implement the Supreme Court order.

The air quality in the national capital and surrounding areas on Wednesday was recorded as “very poor”, a slight improvement from last year’s Diwali night.

The Supreme Court’s strict directive and a moderately high wind speed appeared to be the reason the Air Quality Index (AQI) did not reach the “severe” level.

The AQI at 9 p.m. was 291, according to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). Last Diwali, the AQI was recorded at 326.

The PM2.5 and PM10, or particles with diameter less than 2.5 and 10 micrometers, in Delhi NCR was 164 and 292 microgrammes per cubic meter.

The permissible limit for PM2.5 and PM10 is 60 and 80 units by national standards and 25 and 50 units by international standards.

The System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), weather forecasting body under Ministry of Earth Science, said the moisture in the air on Wednesday was normal, thus reducing the air holding capacity.

It warned that the air quality in the region could be bad on Thursday. On Wednesday night it said the key weather parameter was the good wind speed and if it reduces, the levels of PM 2.5 could increase.

The Delhi fire department received 209 calls till 10 p.m though no fatality was reported. The only major incident was that of a fire at a factory in Bawana where 18 fire tenders were pressed into service.
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Delhi govt to provide essential amenities to farmers at Nirankari Maidan

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farmers at Sindhu border

New Delhi: Farmers from Punjab have been allowed to demonstrate at the Nirankari grounds in Delhi’s Burari to protest against the Centre’s agricultural laws. At the same time, the Delhi government has decided to provide basic facilities to the farmers at Nirankari grounds, beginning with drinking water.

The Arvind Kejriwal government in Delhi has asked its MLA and Delhi Jal Board vice-chairman Raghav Chadha to take stock of the situation by reaching Burari.

The Delhi government said in a press briefing, “Raghav Chadha, Vice Chairman, Delhi Jal Board, will visit the Nirankari grounds, Burari on Friday evening. Proper arrangements for drinking water will be made for farmers who are protesting at the approved protest site. Water tankers are being deployed here. To oversee the preparations, DJB vice-president Raghav Chadha is going to the dharna site.”

Chadha told IANS, “Farmers have a right to speak and cannot be treated like criminals. Our farmer brothers and sisters are reaching Delhi from all corners of the country. They have come here to protest the black farm laws passed by the Modi government. Now they have got permission to come to the Nirankari grounds. Whatever they need here, whether it is water, food, toilets, the Arvind Kejriwal government will provide it. All the officers and MLAs are keeping an eye on the arrangements.”

The Delhi Police had sought permission to convert nine stadia in Delhi into temporary jails. However, the Kejriwal government has rejected the proposal. The Delhi government has issued an official statement supporting the farmers. The state government says the farmers demands are justified and they have the right to protest.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, “The Centre’s three farming laws are anti-farmer. Instead of withdrawing these laws, farmers are being prevented from protesting peacefully, water canons are being turned on them. This atrocity on farmers is completely wrong. Peaceful demonstrations are their constitutional right.”

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Farmers refuse to leave Sindhu border as agitation ‘could weaken’

The meeting of the farmers at the Sindhu border was still going on on Friday evening.

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farmers at Sindhu border

New Delhi, Nov 27 : Even as the Delhi Police on Friday allowed farmers from Punjab, Haryana and elsewhere to hold a peaceful protest against the controversial Agriculture Bills at the Sant Nirankari ground in the capital’s Burari area, the farmers refused to leave Delhi-Haryana Sindhu border fearing that their protest would be “weakened”.

Delhi Police made the announcement after using tear gas shells and water cannons on the protesting farmers, and undertaking a baton charge to disperse them as they tried to enter Delhi.

Gurpreet Singh, a farmer associated with Bhartiya Kisan Union Ekta in Punjab, told IANS, “We are holding talks with our representatives as of now to decide whether we will got to Burari ground or not.”

Singh said that most of the farmers don’t want to go at Burari ground and that is the reason why they are all are sitting here.

“Till the time the government does not accept our three demands, we will sit here,” he asserted.

Singh said that the farmers have been demanding the revocation of the three Agriculture Bills that were passed in Parliament in September this year, guarantee the minimum support price to farmers and roll back the fine on stubble burning.

Another farmer said that All India Kisan Khet Mazdur Sangthan’s leadership are also sitting on the Sindhu border here and they too don’t want to go to Burari for protests.

The meeting of the farmers at the Sindhu border was still going on on Friday evening.

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Kangana bungalow demolition smacks of malice, says Bombay High Court

Ranaut had sought Rs 2 crore in damages from the BMC and urged the court to declare BMC’s action illegal

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Kangana Ranaut

Mumbai, November 27: The Bombay High Court on Friday has said the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) action of demolishing part of Kangana Ranaut’s bungalow here smacks of malafide and was done to cause substantial loss to the actor, and quashed the demolition order.

The court also said it did not approve of authorities using “muscle power” against any citizen.

A division bench of Justices SJ Kathawalla and RI Chagla noted that the action undertaken by the civic body left hardly “any manner of doubt” that it was unauthorised.

The bench was hearing Ranaut’s petition challenging the demolition carried out by the BMC at her Pali Hill bungalow in suburban Bandra on September 9.

“The civic body has proceeded to act wrongfully and illegally against the rights of a citizen,” the bench said.

Ranaut had sought Rs 2 crore in damages from the BMC and urged the court to declare BMC’s action illegal.

On the issue of compensation, the bench said it was appointing a valuer who would hear the petitioner and the BMC on monetary damages caused to her due to the demolition.

“The valuer shall by March 2021 pass appropriate orders on compensation,” the court said.

The civic body had opposed the plea and said the actor had brazenly and unlawfully carried out extensive alterations and additions to the bungalow in breach of its approved plan.

Ranaut had filed the petition on September 9 when the demolition process was initiated by the BMC. The court had in an interim order on September 9 stayed the demolition work. PTI

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