About 600 displaced Afghans return home in Badakhshan

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Kabul, Oct 4 | About 600 displaced Afghans, who were displaced by intense fighting in the months prior to the Taliban takeover, have returned to their homes in northern Badakhshan province from an Afghanistan-Tajikistan border area, provincial Governor Maulvi Amanuddin Mansoor said on Monday.

The returnees were displaced during clashes prior to the Taliban’s takeover of capital Kabul ion August 15, Xinhua news agency quoted Mansoor as saying to reporters.

“They were living in a dire situation on an open ground. They returned after provincial officials ensured their security,” he said.

Efforts are underway to help all displaced people return to their villages at an early date in the mountainous region as winter is approaching, according to the Governor.

The province fell to the Taliban on August 10.

Late last month, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that more than 6,35,000 people in Afghanistan were routed from their homes this year due to escalated violence, with over 12,000 displaced to Kabul.

Source: IANS

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60K trucks carrying non-essentials inspected, 31 impounded: Delhi govt

60K trucks carrying non-essentials inspected, 31 impounded: Delhi govt

New Delhi, Dec 7 | A total of 63,727 trucks carrying non-essential commodities have been inspected and 31 impounded since the implementation of the CAQM’s guideline to bar entry of non-CNG and non-electric trucks in the national capital to prevent further deterioration of air quality.

This data was shared in a compiled Action Taken Report (ATR) with regard to directions taken by the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) on December 17 under section 5 of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 “in public interest to curb high air pollution in Delhi”.

As per the initial guidelines, the entry of trucks in Delhi except those carrying essential commodities, till November 21 (subject to further review for extension) was stopped.

On November 24, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai, following the commission’s order, announced the further extension of the ban till December 3. “We have decided that starting November 27, CNG and electric trucks will be allowed to enter. Other trucks will remain banned till December 3. From November 27, CNG and electric trucks, as well as essential service vehicles, will be allowed to enter and the others will remain banned till December 3,” he had told media in a conference.

The order was further extended till December 7 to reduce vehicular emission in the city.

Meanwhile, to control the dust pollution, up until December 5, a total of 576 sites have been visited by the Commission’s Flying Squads and based on serious violations and non-compliances observed in such sites across different sectors namely, industries, industrial areas, construction & demolition (C&D) sites, DG sets in commercial, residential setups and other miscellaneous sectors, etc., a total of 111 units sites have been identified for immediate closure, which include 28 Industrial sites, 42 Construction & Demolition (C&D) sites and 41 Diesel Generator (DG) sets.

In terms of geographical jurisdiction, 30 of these sites are in Delhi, 23 in Haryana (NCR), 43 in Uttar Pradesh (NCR) and 15 in NCR of Rajasthan.

There is a blanket ban on all the construction and demolition (C&D) activities in the city until further orders.

While stubble burning in the neighbouring states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab is reported to be a major source of pollution in the capital, dust from the construction and demolition activities, vehicular emission and pollution from open burning contribute as the city’s own source of pollution.

Delhi’s air quality started deteriorating in the first week of November due to change in the wind direction, increase in stubble burning in its neighbouring states and bursting of firecrackers during Diwali. Its AQI continued to settle in the ‘hazardous’ category for about a week. Post which the Supreme Court took notice of the matter, directing the Delhi government to come up with scientific measures to bring the pollution level down.

It is only after a complete month that Delhi’s AQI began to settle in the lower end of the very poor category. On Tuesday morning, its AQI stood at 314 with the level of PM 2.5 and PM 10 pollutants at very poor and moderate categories, respectively.

Source: IANS

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RS adjourned for the day amid Oppn ruckus

RS adjourned for the day amid Oppn ruckus

New Delhi, Dec 7 | RS adjourned for the day amid Oppn ruckus. Amid Opposition ruckus in the Rajya Sabha, no business could be conducted on Tuesday as the House was adjourned for the day.

After the proceedings began at 11 a.m., the House was first adjourned till 2 p.m. and then till 3 p.m. It was finally adjourned for the day as the discussion on the surrogacy bill started.

Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge raised the issue of the suspension of 12 MPs from the House and RJD MP Manoj Jha too raised a point of order, but was rejected by the Chair.

Environment Minister Bhupinder Yadav also raised a point of order that Congress leader Jairam Ramesh was speaking from other seat, and following sloganeering the deputy chairman adjourned the House for the day.

The faceoff continued with the Treasury Bench demanding an apology from the suspended protesting MPs which is bring denied as the opposition insist that they are not at fault.

“The suspension of the MPs is against Constitution as the incident is of previous session as the house was adjourned its wrong to suspend them in Winter session,” Kharge said.

Earlier, the opposition leaders, including Sharad Pawar, joined the protesting MPs and Kharge said that the opposition will join the MPs and observe fast for a day.

Kharge, floor leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and other Opposition MPs protested in support of the suspended MPs in front of the Gandhi statue in Parliament House.

The suspended MPs are Syed Naseer Hussain, Akhilesh Prasad Singh, Phulo Devi Netam, Chhaya Verma, Ripun Bora and Rajmani Patel of the Congress; Priyanka Chaturvedi, Anil Desai of the Shiv Sena; Elamaram Kareem of the CPI-M, Binoy Viswam of the CPI; and Dola Sen and Shanta Chhetri of the Trinamool Congress.

Source: IANS

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