Pollution hits dangerous levels as NGT bans sale, use of firecrackers - The Daily Guardian
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Pollution hits dangerous levels as NGT bans sale, use of firecrackers

With air quality in Delhi-NCR remaining ‘severe’ for the fifth consecutive day on
Monday, the Central Pollution Control Board advises people to stay indoors and not
venture outside as both Covid-19 and pollution affect the respiratory system.

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Pollution levels in the national capital continue to remain in the ‘severe’ category, with the situation being so bad that thick smog is affecting visibility even in the middle of the afternoon. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has indicated that they expect the trend to continue unless drastic measures are taken.

Meanwhile, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Monday imposed a complete ban on the sale and use of all kinds of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR, given the air pollution crisis in the region. The NGT in its order said, “There will be a total ban against sale or use of all kinds of firecrackers in the NCR from midnight of 9-10 November, to the midnight of 30 November-1 December.”

Highlighting the pollution crisis in Delhi-NCR, CPCB’s V.K. Shukla said: “Pollution is a major issue for Delhi and NCR every year. This year, due to the recovery from the lockdown, we aren’t expecting great measures but something still needs to be done considering the general public health. Drastic measures need to be taken as soon as possible. Any bit of rain would certainly go a long way in bringing the AQI to breathable levels. People should stay indoors and not venture outside as both the coronavirus and pollution affect the respiratory system.”

The city’s air quality index (AQI) stood at 469 at 9 am. Its 24-hour average AQI was 416 on Sunday, 427 on Saturday, 406 on Friday and 450 on Thursday, the highest since November 15 last year, when it was 458. An AQI between zero and 50 is considered ‘good’, 51 and 100 ‘satisfactory’, 101 and 200 ‘moderate’, 201 and 300 ‘poor’, 301 and 400 ‘very poor’, and 401 and 500 ‘severe’. 

While 40-45% of the issue can be attributed to stubble burning in the nearby states of Punjab and Haryana, industries on the outskirts of Delhi also cannot be ignored. Sources in the Delhi government have indicated that they are not interested in shutting down these industries as these sectors have already been hit by the coronavirus lockdown and a further shutdown would completely destroy them. 

The NGT’s ban order will also apply to all cities/towns in the country “where the average of ambient air quality during November (as per available data of last year) falls under ‘poor’ and ‘above category’.”

In the cities/towns where air quality is ‘moderate’ or below, only green crackers will be sold and the timings for using and bursting crackers will be restricted to two hours during festivals like Diwali, Chhath, Christmas and New Year, as may be specified by the concerned State, the NGT said

This direction is in the pattern of the direction of the Supreme Court, which is being applied in areas which are moderately polluted or have below-average air quality, due to the aggravated effect of Covid-19, as already noted, the NGT further said.

“If nothing is specified by the state, timing will be 8 to 10 pm on Diwali and Gurupurab, 6 am to 8 am on Chhath and 11.55 pm to 12.30 am during Christmas and New Year’s Eve (which have yet to come and do not fall in November but if ban continues) and not otherwise,” the NGT added.

The NGT also said that in other places, ban/restrictions are optional for authorities, but if there are more stringent measures under the orders of the authorities, the same will prevail. The NGT also suggested that all states/UTs/PCBs/PCCs may initiate special drives to contain air pollution from all sources in view of potential aggravation of Covid-19.

“The Chief Secretaries and DGPs of all the states/UTs may issue and circulate an appropriate order in above terms with appropriate enforcement guidelines to all the District Magistrates and Superintendents of Police, PCBs/PCCs,” the NGT added.

The NGT also directed that the CPCB and the state PCBs/PCCs may regularly monitor the air quality during this period which may be uploaded on their respective websites. 

The tribunal was hearing a plea by Indian Social Responsibility Network, filed through Santosh Gupta, seeking action against pollution due to the use of fire crackers in NCR during this time when air quality is unsatisfactory and carries the potential of making the Covid-19 pandemic more severe.

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Kashmiri Pandit shot dead, 2nd attack in two days

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A Kashmiri Pandit was shot dead in a terror assault in Shopian, Jammu and Kashmir, on Tuesday, and another person was hurt, according to a tweet from the J&K Police, who also noted that the injured person was receiving medical assistance at the nearby hospital. The dead have been identified as Sunil Kumar Bhat and his brother Pintu Kumar was hurt, according to the identification.

Police declared that the two were killed in an apple orchard.

“Terrorists fired upon civilians in an apple orchard in the Chotipora area of Shopian. One person died and one was injured. Both belong to the minority community. An injured person has been shifted to hospital. The area had been cordoned off.Further details shall follow,” the police said this afternoon.

Omar Abdullah, the leader of the National Conference and a former chief minister of J&K, strongly denounced the attack and expressed his sympathies. It was the most recent in a horrifying string of targeted killings that began in October of last year.

“Terribly sad news from South Kashmir today. An accident (referring to the death of at least six troops from the Indo-Tibetan Border Police who died after the bus they were in fell into a riverbed) and a militant attack have left a trail of death and suffering. I condemn the militant attack in Shopian unequivocally, in which Sunil Kumar was killed and Pinto Kumar injured. My condolences…”

Altaf Thakur, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s J&K spokesperson, declared that he “seriously condemns” the wicked act of terror.”

He said, “I strongly condemn this dastardly act of terror on innocent majority community members… in which one minority community member, Sunil Kumar, was killed and another injured. Terror has no religion. Killers should be punished.”

In less than 24 hours, Kashmir has experienced a second attack on Pandits who are not migrants.

Terrorists injured Karan Kumar Singh when they tossed a grenade at a home in Budgam on Monday, the day the nation celebrated its 75th Independence Day. Singh was taken to a hospital in Srinagar.

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Bus carrying 39 ITBP personnel falls into riverbed in Pahalgam, rescue teams rushed

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ITBP Bus accident

A major accident happened where an Indo-Tibetan-Border Police (ITBP) bus fell into a deep roadside river bed. Reportedly so far six soldiers have been martyred .

The bus carrying 37 ITBP personnel and two J-K Police was on its way from Chandanwari to Pahalgam. This information has been given by ITBP.

Meanwhile, the cause of the accident is said to be the brake failure of the bus. According to the police, six ITBP personnel have been martyred. The injured were rushed to Anantnag district hospital. The identity of the injured has not been disclosed yet.

“We are in touch with locals administration and teams and disaster management have been rushed to the site for the rescue operation,” the officials said.

Moreover, ITBP commandos have been sent to the spot so that the rescue operation can be done expeditiously. All the jawans going by bus were on duty for Amarnath Yatra and were coming back to Pahalgam. About 20 ambulances are engaged in rescue work on the spot.

Earlier on 29 June, the Amarnath Yatra began amid tight security arrangements made by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).

However, further details about the incident are awaited.

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The battle without the gun

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5th generation warfare

The 5th Generation Warfare is a covert attempt to paralyse a nation and a battle not on the ground but of strategies to discredit and stymie its growth.The well-described Sun Tzu Strategy is unquestionably proving to be a great approach to debilitate the growth of any country, which lists down five agendas, i.e.,win all without fighting; avoid strength, attack weakness; deception and foreknowledge; speed and preparation; shape your opponent; and character-based leadership.

Daniel Abbot defines the 5th Generation Warfare as the war of “information and perception”  which calls for tactics like social engineering, misinformation and cyber attacks, artificial intelligence and autonomous robots.

The tactic of psychological manipulation in order to decay the intellect, breach privacy, or fleece the people of a country is what can be called social engineering. In recent times, there have been instances where foreign powers have adopted certain methodologies, including baiting, scareware, pretexting, phishing, and spear phishing, to rob the nation.

Deliberately spreading deceptive and misleading information in order to  influence actions and the entire persona in long run is  a commendable tactic to vanquish the enemy nation. Be it fuelling political agenda or be it triggering extremism, misinformation has a vital role to play.

We need to outsmart the strives of the foreign nations to uproot the culture of our country with subtle poisoning of technology along with Cyber attacks and look beyond petty affairs to see the wider picture.

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PM Modi, President Murmu extend greetings on Parsi New Year

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Narendra Modi

On the occasion of Parsi New Year-Navroz Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended greetings to the people.

“Greetings on Parsi New Year. May the coming year be filled with joy, prosperity, and good health. Navroz Mubarak,” PM Modi said.

Earlier in the morning today, President Droupadi Murmu greeted the citizens and wished them to live together in harmony.

Taking to Twitter President Murmu said, “On the auspicious occasion of Parsi New Year, I extend my warm greetings and best wishes to all my fellow citizens, especially our Parsi brothers and sisters. The Parsi community has significantly contributed to the development of our nation through their hard work, dedication, and entrepreneurship. The inclusive culture of India inspires all the citizens to live together in harmony.”

Meanwhile, the Parsi New Year is also known as Navroz and its the beginning of the new Persian calendar. Followed by Zoroastrians Navroz is celebrated on the first day of the first month of the calendar. In the Persian language meaning of ‘Nav’ is new and ‘Roz’ means for the day, i.e. the ‘new day’.

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Former Bihar Minister Subhash Singh passes away; Deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav pays tribute

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Subhash Singh

Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav expressed condolences on the demise of former Bihar Minister Subhash Singh on Tuesday.

Taking to Twitter Yadav said, “Received the sad news of the demise of former minister cum BJP MLA Shri Subhash Singh Ji from Gopalganj Sadar. Praying to God to give his soul a place at his feet and strength to his family members to bear the loss. Om Shanti.”

Former Bihar minister and BJP leader Subhash Singh passed away on Tuesday morning at AIIMS, Delhi.

Former Bihar Minister Tarkishore Prasad confirmed the news and said, “Heartfelt tributes to the former minister of Bihar government and MLA from Gopalganj, Subhash Singh on his death. May God give peace to his soul and strength to his bereaved family members to bear this loss. His death is an irreparable loss to the politics of Bihar and the BJP. Om Shanti.”

However, in 2015 Subhash Singh was an elected member of the Bihar Legislative Assembly from Gopalganj.

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Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin to visit Delhi; likely to meet President Murmu, PM Modi

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MK Stalin

Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu MK Stalin will visit Delhi on Tuesday. Stalin will be on a two-day visit to the national capital.

Meanwhile, Stalin is scheduled to arrive in Delhi on Tuesday. According to the information, CM Stalin will call on President Droupadi Murmu. He is also scheduled to meet Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday.

Earlier on 15 August, Stalin unfurled the tricolor at Fort St George. While addressing people he said, “These are the urgent and necessary ideals for the nation today. We are administering the Dravidian model government which encompasses all such humanitarian ideals.”

“I am desirous of fulfilling the aspirations of every single individual of Tamil Nadu. I am involving myself every day in that initiative,” Stalin said.

Moreover, Chief Minister MK Stalin and PM Narendra Modi met at the opening ceremony of the 44th Chess Olympiad in Chennai.

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