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SC says despite odd-even scheme, pollution in Delhi became severe

“According to the authorities, stubble burning has reduced to somewhere near five per cent now…we are concerned about Delhi’s local air pollution. What is the government doing?”

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Delhi Smog Pollution

New Delhi, Nov 15 : The Supreme Court on Friday said in spite of Odd-Even vehicle rationing scheme, pollution has reached a severe level, and again called the Chief Secretaries of Delhi, Punjab, Harayana and Uttar Pradesh, to report on measures taken to curb air pollution particularly related to stubble burning.

A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said, “Do not give exemption to two-wheelers, and it will work.”

During the hearing, the judges scrutinized the Odd-Even scheme of the Delhi government in respect of air quality index data gathered in the past two years. The judges queried the Delhi government counsel, senior advocate Mukul Rohtagi, what purpose the scheme served by keeping out cars which contribute mere three per cent of the total pollution.

The court observed that Delhi’s local pollution is a major problem, if stubble burning which contributes 40 per cent is kept out.

“According to the authorities, stubble burning has reduced to somewhere near five per cent now…we are concerned about Delhi’s local air pollution. What is the government doing?”

The court observed the data presented by the authorities suggest the Odd-Eeven scheme had hardly any effect on improving air quality. “Question is what are you gaining by this scheme?” observed the court.

Further commenting on the social aspect of the Odd-Even scheme, the court said “Odd-Even will only affect the lower middle class but not the affluent ones since they have multiple cars… Odd-Even isn’t a solution, but public transport could be. But nothing has been done about that”, said the court.

The hearing on the matter will continue on November 25.

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Now Mumbai gets it own ‘Shaheen Bagh’

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Shaheen Bagh Jamia Nagar Protest Site Picture.

Mumbai, Jan 27 : Inspired by the Shaheen Bagh protests in New Delhi, a large group of women have launched a similar style of protests from January 26-27 midnight in south Mumbai early on Monday.

Terming it a ‘Mumbai Bagh’, they are silently protesting against the CAA-NRC-NPR and by morning the crowds swelled even as Mumbai Police rushed to make tight security arrangements at the site at Morland Road-Thandi Sadak.

The protesters are mainly Muslim women from minority-dominated areas of Madanpur, Byculla, Agripada, Jhoola Maidan and surroundings who are staging a sit-in agitation, off the Arabia Hotel, near Mumbai Central station.

Senior Police Inspector Shalini Sharma told mediapersons that the protesters were asked to take prior permission but they refused to move from the site and continued to occupy the road.

Initially, surrounding the protesters around 3 a.m., by dawn the police stepped aside and the peaceful protests continued with raising of slogans against the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA government, placards and posters opposing CAA-NRC-NPR, reading of the Preamble of the Constitution, singing patriotic songs and poems, and waving of the tricolour.

The protesters also sent messages to people providing regular updates and asking them to join them from their Twitter handle ‘Mumbai Against CAB’.

Besides, activists in Kalyan town in adjoining Thane district have announced a five-day Shaheen Bagh-type agitation at the Babasaheb Ambedkar Garden starting February 1.

Some of the messages today read: “URGENT. More people are needed at #MumbaiBagh right now. #IndiaAgainstCAA_NPR_NRC is for everyone and we all share equal responsibility towards sustaining this fight. The unjust & discriminatory forces unleashed by this govt must be defeated! Please join and spread the word.”

Similarly, Twitter handle ‘CAA/NRC Protest Info’, posted: “Need people to come to #MumbaiBagh or we will be detained … Please do come ASAP. Location: Mumbai Central, Next to Arabia Hotel, Opposite City Centre.”

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2G restoration brings little relief in Kashmir

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Srinagar: The restoration of mobile internet, 2G, in Kashmir after nearly six months of no internet has proved to be of little help due to extremely slow speed.

Even permissible sites listed as ‘white listed sites’ by the government are not accessible at times.

“We are not able to upload photos, let alone mail them,” Amir, a photo journalist said. “The speed is extremely slow and the websites just don’t open.”

For broadband restoration the businessmen are signing bonds committing not to allow IP address for accessing social media.

The bond also bars use of ‘VPNs’, WiFi, encrypted files, videos and uploading of photos. All USB ports of the computer will have to be disabled also.

The business units or the company will be responsible for the breach or misuse of the internet.

The business house will provide complete access to all its content and infrastructure as and when required by security agencies.

MAC (minimum access control) will ensure restriction to the use of internet access to registered devices through single PC.

That the restoration of 2G has proved ineffective is also evident from the fact that reporters continue to throng the Media Centre, an internet facility that J&K government has set up for them in the Information Department at Residency Road.

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Anti-CAA: Bengal CM wants every student to visit 1K households

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Kolkata, Jan 27 : West Bengal Chief Minister and state’s ruling Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee on Monday asked every member of the party’s student wing to visit 1,000 houses to convince the people about the party’s stand against the Citizenship Amendment) Act.

“I will urge every student to visit 1,000 houses to convince them on the party’s stand against the CAA,” Banerjee said at a workshop of the Trinamool Congress Chhattra Parishad.

Banerjee asked the students to immerse themselves in the campaign against the CAA, National Population Register (NPR) and National Register of Citizens (NRC).

“Students have to campaign from house to house, raise the issue while chatting at tea stalls, at stationery shops, restaurants,” she said during her speech at the Netaji Indoor Stadium.

At the same time, Banerjee took a dig at state BJP president Dilip Ghosh’s “chai pe charcha” (mass contact programmes at tea stalls).

“Why are they going to tea stalls to campaign in favour of the CAA? Why will one have to go to tea stalls solely for propaganda purpose?” she asked, demanding the BJP led NDA Central government scrap the law.

Accusing the BJP of misleading the people, she said: “They should know we are not bonded labourers, but citizens of the country”.

Banerjee also told the students that she was coming out with a handbook on the state’s performance in various sectors. “You collect this handbook so that you are better equipped to take the message of the government and the party to the people”.

She slammed BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya for linking those consuming flattened rice (poha) to Bangladeshi infiltrators.

“The country is not made of only one colour. It is a multi-colour nation with diverse religions, linguistic groups. We have to take everybody along. Our soil forbids us from dividing the people,” she said.

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