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Supreme Court to pronouce verdict on firecrackers tomorrow

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New Delhi, Oct 22: The Supreme Court will pronounce on Tuesday its verdict on the plea for a ban on the manufacture, sale and possession of firecrackers across the country.

A bench of Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan said although the matter was mentioned in Monday’s (today’s) list they would be pronouncing the judgment on October 23.

The top court had on August 28 reserved its order on the plea for a countrywide ban on firecrackers to curb the deteriorating air pollution.

The court had reserved its order after hearing the petitioners, firecrackers manufacturers, the Centre and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

The bench had earlier said that there was a need to strike a balance between the right to health and the right to carry on a trade or profession.

It had also said that there was a fundamental right to livelihood of firecrackers manufacturers as well as the fundamental right to health of 130 crore citizens of the country.

The firecracker manufacturers had told the apex court that crackers were not the sole cause of rising pollution during Diwali. It was one of the contributing factors and that an entire industry could not be shut down on this count.

The manufacturers had contended that pollution had reached very high levels not due to the bursting of the firecrackers alone but also on account of vehicular pollution, construction dust and stubble-burning.

“The question is whether an entire industry can be shut down citing air pollution while other industries are allowed to continue,” the five firecrackers manufacturers had contended.

During the hearing the court had expressed concern over the growing respiratory problems among children due to air pollution and said it would decide whether there has to be a complete ban or reasonable curbs on bursting of firecrackers.

The bench had cited a report that said 20-25 per cent children suffer from respiratory diseases.

One of the pleas filed by a child, Arjun Gopal, represented by lawyer Gopal Shankarnarayan, sought a ban on possession of firecrackers in the National Capital Region as it was contributing to an already alarming level of air pollution in the area.

In 2017, the apex court had prohibited the sale of firecrackers in NCR-Delhi during Diwali.

IANS

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Mumbai to get 150 more suburban train services from Monday

The selected 10 per cent staff will require QR ID codes from the government which along with a valid identity card to commute after buying tickets/passes, said an official.

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Mumbai, Sep 20 : Mumbai will get an additional 150 suburban services on the Western Railway (WR) which will ease the commuting travails for officegoers and those in essential services permitted by the Maharashtra government, officials said here on Sunday.

With this, the number of WR suburban services will shoot up from 350 to 500 daily, while the Central Railway is already running 355 services.

This works out to 855 services daily – or barely one-third of the regular 2,300-plus suburban services that was the norm before the lockdown in March-end.

AWith the increase in services, the government permitted 10 per cent of key employees of private and cooperative banks to commute by local trains, in addition to essential staff of public sector banks, various government departments, aircraft maintenance staffers and lawyers who have been allowed so far.

The selected 10 per cent staff will require QR ID codes from the government which along with a valid identity card to commute after buying tickets/passes, said an official.

To avoid overcrowding and maintain physical distance, the WR and CR will open additional ticket booking counters at major stations on the suburban section which spans across Mumbai, Thane, Palghar and Raigad.

Several railway passengers organisations and Bahujan Vikash Aghadi (BVA) legislator Kshitij from Nalasopara (Palghar) have urged Railway Minister Piyush Goyal to resume suburban services for all office-goers.

Presently, many office-goers, especially those from Thane, Palghar and Raigad who commute to their workplaces in Mumbai are forced to travel at least 6 hours daily owing to huge traffic snarls on main roads and the two highways serving the country’s commercial capital.

Moreover, despite the restricted categories allowed to commute by local trains, there is overcrowding during the morning-evening peak hours making a sham of the physical distancing norms.

Meanwhile, the Covid cases and fatalities in the Mumbai Region (comprising Mumbai, Thane, Palghar and Raigad) have been on an upswing since the past few weeks, even as the state case tally reached 12,08,642 besides 32,671 fatalities till date.

Of these, the lion’s share belongs to Mumbai circle with 435,201 cases so far besides 14,780 deaths, causing huge concern among health authorities.

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11-kg tumour extracted from Mumbai woman’s abdomen

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Mumbai, Sep 20 : Doctors in Mumbai have extracted a gigantic 11-kg tumour from the abdomen of a 55-year-old woman after a marathon nine-hour surgery.

A team of medicos headed by oncologist Dr Tanveer A. Majeed, urologist Dr Santosh Palkar and Dr Shilpa Deshmukh performed the complicated surgery at the Zen Multispeciality Hospital in Chembur.

The patient Sujata Sinha (name changed) is a housewife who noticed her abdomen growing daily accompanied by breathing difficulties.

At the height of lockdown in June, she consulted a local doctor who confirmed the presence of a tumour with ultrasound and CT scan.

However, owing to the lockdown she did not take any further steps or medicines, even as the tumour continued to grow rapidly, making her look obese.

Finally, she was referred to the ZMH and Dr Majeed checked her condition on September 8 to find she was weighing around 80 kgs, and suffered from diabetes and hypertension.

Further tests revealed the huge abdominal tumour encroaching the right half of the abdomen, pushing the right kidney to the left side, duodenum, liver, small intestine and colon to the left side, besides her major blood vessels supplying to the heart.

After further clinical diagnosis, the patient was advised surgery by Dr Majeed as it indicated a rare cancer of connective tissues that resemble fat cells under a microscope.

“After opening the abdomen, we found a huge tumour which had displaced all the other body organs to the left side. It weighed 11 kgs and had dimensions of 55 cm x 40 cm x 35 cm, and the patient lost around one litre of blood during the nine-hour operation,” said Dr Majeed.

The patient is recuperating well at the hospital now, has started an oral liquid diet, can breathe normally, and will be required for a follow-up after three months.

“We delayed treatment due to the pandemic lockdown. But I am fortunate to be operated at ZMH where the doctors saved my life. I feel much lighter now, can eat and breathe properly and resume normal life,” said the patient gratefully.

Prior to this, a team of doctors at the Global Hospital, Parel, had extracted a massive 12-kg tumour from a woman’s abdomen in December 2014.

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Uttar Pradesh man nabbed for importing drugs from United States

He used to order the drugs from the US through Instagram or Wickr and the payments were made through bitcoins.

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Lucknow, Sep 20: The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has arrested a person from here and seized 2.7 kg of bud (curated marijuana) concealed in an air compressor machine at Delhi.

The consignor is based in the US and a few earlier seizures made by NCB had the same origin which alerted the NCB team.

The payment for the consignment was made through bitcoins and came into contact through Instagram ID of the consignor.

According to the NCB press statement, the parcel was sent to India from the US on August 31.

A detailed investigation into the case with the help of digital analysis led NCB team to the consignee C. Gidwani, a Lucknow resident, who accepted his involvement in the case on September 18.

The necessary digital evidence was also seized. He admitted that he used to import such parcels on a regular basis for last one and a half years for himself and further distribution to his friends.

He used to order the drugs from the US through Instagram or Wickr and the payments were made through bitcoins.

The accused also revealed that he used to get ‘charas’ and ‘marijuana’ from Delhi and Bangalore-based suppliers. Further investigations into the backward and forward linkages were underway.

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