Cold wave in UP kills 70; temperatures in Delhi drop to 6 Degrees : Reports

As New Delhi witnessed temperature dips to six degrees, the cold wave also gripped its neighbours resulting in astounding consequences – 70 deaths were reported from Uttar Pradesh.

As many as 22 deaths were reported from Poorvanchal; three each in Brij and Bareilly; 11 in Allahabad and 28 in Bundelkhand.

Ram Kishore Rawat, 40, and Mahesh, 35, died in Barabanki district owing to harsh climatic conditions. One person was reported dead in Harchandpur in Faizabad, an infant in Ambedkarnagar, one in Rae Bareli’s Makhdoompur and one in Unchahaar.

A government official said that combat measures were immediately undertaken and adequate arrangements had been made for bonfires and night shelters.

Reports suggest that most bonfires has been utilized by “VVIPs” and were being lit outside the bungalows of ministers and political leaders.

Allegations by locals and social groups have forced Lucknow Mayor Sanyukta Bhatia to demand quick explanation from the city Commissioner on this bias in log wood distribution.

She also admitted to having received calls pertaining to biased distribution of wood otherwise meant for bonfires at public places to provide some respite for the public.

Sultanpur district stood the coldest in the past 24 hours with the mercury dipping to 2.8 degrees Celsius. Lucknow followed at three degrees Celsius. Friday incidentally served as the coldest day of the season too.

The weatherman has forecasted that the cold wave would intensely persist for the next few days while the temperatures were only likely to improve post January 10.

Low temperatures such as 3.4 degrees Celsius were recorded at Bahraich, 4.9 in Muzaffarnagar, 4.2 in Kanpur,3.4 in Barabanki , while Varanasi, Meerut and Lakhimpur Kheri all faced a temperature of five degrees Celsius.

Rajdhani Express coach derails at New Delhi Railway station

The guard coach (located at the end of the train) of Jammu Tawi-New Delhi Rajdhani Express got derailed at the New Delhi Railway station early on Thursday. According to the Hindustan Times, a Northern Railway spokesperson said that no major injuries were caused due to the accident.

As per The Indian Express, Neeraj Sharma, spokesperson, Northern Railways, told news agency IANS, “ The Last coach of Jammu Rajdhani Express which was entering at platform no. 15 of New Delhi railway station derailed around 6.20 a.m.

However, this is not the first rail accident in this month. The Indian Express reported, on September 7, seven coaches of Jabalpur-bound Shaktipunj Express jumped the tracks near the Obra Dam station in eastern Uttar Pradesh ‘s Sonbhadra district at around 6:25 am. As per the officials, since the train was running at a speed of 40 km per hour, no casualties were reported.

Hours after this incident, the engine and power car of the Ranchi- Delhi Rajdhani Express, had derailed at the Shivaji Bridge, New Delhi. According to the Times of India, one person had been injured but it did not cause any casualty as the train was running at a slow pace.

According to the Hindustan Times, two wagons of a goods train derailed in Khandala, Maharashtra on September 7.


The Indian Express, Hindustan Times, The Times of India

30 crore families have bank accounts under Jan-Dhan : Arun Jaitley

Addressing the Conclave on Financial Inclusions organised by the United Nations in India in Delhi on Wednesday, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley highlighted the three-year progress of the central government’s Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) programme.

Talking about the launch of the initiative three years ago, Jaitley emphasised that the programme came at a time, “when banking was just a prerogative of a small section of society, with almost 42 percent of India being excluded from it”.

Further, the FM went on to discuss the progress of the scheme. So far 30 crore new accounts have been opened under the PMJDY. Also, zero balance accounts have also decreased to about 20 percent from 77 percent in these three years.

Underlining the value of financial inclusion in the Central government’s policies, Jaitley also mentioned how the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) will help make formalisation “beneficial” for the country.

Discussing how another initiative Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana has aided the cause of financial inclusion, he explained that the scheme has helped in providing small loans and financing small businesses and the recipients have been women and vulnerable sections.

Sources – Deccan Chronicle , Firstpost

Image Source – Dalip Kumar


Kaifiyat Express derails in Uttar Pradesh, leaves over 70 injured

Kaifiyat Express, travelling from Azamgarh to New Delhi collided with a dumper on August 23,2017. The collision happened in Uttar Pradesh’s Auraiya district at around2:40 am.This incident took place between Pata and Achhalda railway stations. While eight coaches went off the tracks, one coach overturned because of the massive impact of the collision.

According to the Indian Express, more than 70 people were injured.The incident took place just days after the derailment of Utkal Express, travelling from Haridwar to Delhi. Over 20 passengers were killed as 14 coaches went off tracks.

Suresh Prabhu, railway minister tweeted, “A dumper hit the locomotive of the Kaifiyat Express, resulting in derailment of coaches.”

In a separate tweet, he said, “Some passengers have received Injuries and have been shifted to nearby hospitals.I am personally monitoring situation,rescue operations (are on).”

Sources said Yogi Adityanath, chief minister, Uttar Pradesh spoke to senior officials for details about the incident.

The Indian express reported that relief and rescue work began immediately after National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) reached the accident site.

G K Bansal, NCR Chief CPRO said, “A number of trains have been cancelled following derailment of Kaifiyat Express. These include the Kanpur-New Delhi Shatabdi Express, the Lucknow-Agra Cantt intercity express, the Lucknow-New Delhi Gomti Express and all passenger trains running on the Kanpur-Tundla section.”

According to the Times of India, five  trains including Howrah-New Delhi Rajdhani and around 40 local trains were also being diverted.

As per NCR sources, the dumper did not belong to the railways. In order to provide support to the victims, a medical train and a relief train were being dispatched from Allahabad. Additional forces and ambulance were rushed to the spot from Auraiya, Etawah and Kannauj.


Sources: Times of India, Indian Express, Hindustan Times

Heavy Fog Surrounds Delhi: 94 Trains Delayed, Two Cancelled

New Delhi: A thick layer of fog has covered Delhi on December 8, leading to the cancellation of two train services, and delay of 94 by several hours due to poor visibility.

Airport officials have however claimed that morning flight operations at the Indira Gandhi International Airport were not affected due to the fog, reports the Hindu. The visibility at 5.30 AM was recorded to be 400 meters, which dropped to 100 meters three hours later, said a MeT department official.

The minimum temperature was recorded at 8.7 degrees Celsius. Such temperature is considered as normal for the winter season, reported. In his statement, a railway official said that two train services were cancelled, while 94 others were running behind schedule by several hours due to the dense fog cover.

The forecast given by the MeT department says that Delhi will face dense fog on December 9 as well, with a minimum temperature of nine degrees Celsius. On December 7, the minimum and maximum temperatures were recorded at 11.2 and 24.3 degrees Celsius respectively.


Sources: The Hindu, India Live Today

Kolkata , A step ahead on tackling climate change

Among all the metropolitan in India, Kolkata bagged the award for being one of the best cities of 2016 in tackling climate change.

The Cities Climate Leadership Group(C40) is a group of megacities across the world that get together to fight greenhouse gas emissions at a local as well as a global level.

Kolkata was one among the 10 cities, globally, to be honoured with the award by the C40 due to its introduction and implementation of The Solid Waste Management Improvement Project.

Kolkata is the only city to receive this award from India. The award was received  at the C40 Mayors Summit, Mexico City.

“The project involved 100 per cent door to door collection of solid waste, segregation and recycling by way of compositing which is sold in the market,” Onkar Singh-Meena, Secretary Municipal Affairs and CEO of Kolkata Municipal Development Authority said.

The project has accomplished 60-80% of waste segregation at its source itself and the rest at the transfer station, as declared by a media release on the international summit of Mayors and millions plus cities. The member cities of India in this organisation are Kolkata, New Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai.

“Our motto is participation of the common people. Being chairman, I have visited 50,000 house and have made our people aware about the benefits of solid waste management,” the chairman of Uttarpara Municipality, Dilip Yadav, said, after receiving the prestigious award.

The other cities who have won the award are Addis Adaba, Copenhagen, Curitiba, Sydney and Malborne, Paris, Portland, Seoul Shenzhen, and Yokohama.

Source: TOI, NDTV

Image Source: DNA

Ankur Panwar sentenced to death in Preeti Rathi acid attack and murder case

The Mumbai sessions court on Thursday sentenced prime accused Ankur Panwar to death for the murder of Preeti Rathi in an acid attack case.
Reportedly, Panwar was convicted under Sections 302 (murder) and 326B (Voluntarily throwing acid) of the Indian Penal Code.
Preethi, a resident of Delhi, succumbed to the acid injuries and had died of multiple organ failure after Panwar, a hotel management graduate, threw acid on her in May 2013.
According to police officials, the attack was perpetrated because Panwar was jealous of Rathi’s career growth, besides the fact that she had secured a well paying nursing job with the Ministry of Defence at the INHS Asvini Hospital.
The incident took place at the Bandra Terminus, just as Preeti alighted the train.
Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam demanded a death penalty for Panwar before the special women’s court on Wednesday, asserting that the fatal attack on Rathi had a larger impact on society.
 “This is a fit case for death penalty where the manner in which the offence was committed and the exceptional cruel attitude of the accused are aggravating circumstances,” Nikam was quoted in the Indian Express.
Rathi’s parents, Amar Singh and Roshini Rathi were given a compensation of Rs 2 lakh by the Victim Compensation Committee headed by Sayaji Korhale.
Meanwhile,Panwar’s mother has demanded a CBI probe into the incident, claiming that her son had been framed and misunderstood in the case.