Odd-even rule back in Delhi from November 13: 10 things to know

Odd-even rule back in Delhi from November 13: 10 things to know

TIMESOFINDIA.COM | Updated: Nov 9, 2017, 19:09 IST

The odd-even car rationing scheme will be rolled out in Delhi for five days from November 13 as part of a graded response plan to tackle the alarming pollution situation in the city, the state government announced today. Here’s how the odd-even rule works:

(Image used for representation)

(Image used for representation)
1. In the wake of the poisonous smog choking the national capital+ , the Delhi government on Thursday decided to implement the odd-even car rationing scheme+ for the third time from November 13-17.

2. Under the policy, private vehicles are allowed to run based on the last number of their licence plates.

3. Odd-numbered cars are allowed to run on odd dates while even-numbered cars can only run on even dates.

4. Delhi transport minister Kailash Gahlot said the government has called a meeting of cabs and taxis tomorrow and will ensure that there is no surge pricing during the five-day period.

5. Two wheelers will be exempted from the scheme like the last two phases of the odd-even rationing scheme.

6. CNG-driven vehicles, battery or electric-operated vehicles and hybrid vehicles will not be under the ambit of this scheme.

7. Vehicles driven by women, with only women passengers or children below the age of 12 will also be exempt.

8. Vehicles of VVIPs, ambulances, fire brigades, hospital vehicles, hearse vans, Delhi Police cars, army vehicles, emergency services vehicles, and embassy vehicles will all also be allowed to ply on any day.

9. The Delhi government has directed DTC to hire 500 buses from private contractors to tackle the rush of commuters during the odd-even implementation week. Delhi Metro will also provide 100 small buses during the period.

10. The odd-even scheme was put in place twice for 14 days each in January and April respectively, to control the deteriorating air quality in Delhi-NCR

Toxic Smog Suffocates Delhi

Toxic smog suffocates Delhi; schools shut, construction halted

PTI | Updated: Nov 8, 2017, 21:32 IST

36 Comments

Highlights

  • Authorities scrambled to tackle the extraordinary situation as hospitals recorded a surge in the number of patients complaining of respiratory problems
  • Apart from Delhi, neighbouring Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Gurugram and Noida are also in the ‘severe’ category
  • The situation is reminiscent of the ‘1952 Great Smog of London’ in which about 4,000 people died prematurely

Toxic smog suffocates Delhi; schools shut, construction halted

NEW DELHI: Delhi breathed poison on Wednesday with pollutants touching calamitous levels, as a thick grey smog hung low across the region, prompting authorities to declare schools shut till Sunday, halt construction activities and ban entry of trucks in the city.

Lt Governor Anil Baijal approved the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority’s decision to enforce these measures enlisted under the ‘severe plus’ or emergency category of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) in a meeting attended by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

A decision on whether or not to implement the odd-even car-rationing scheme will be taken tomorrow, the EPCA said.

“The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) task force has advised EPCA that given the prevailing air pollution emergency in the city, there is a need to take actions which are listed in the severe plus category,” it said.

Authorities in the city scrambled to tackle the extraordinary situation as hospitals recorded a surge in the number of patients complaining of respiratory problems, reminiscent of the ‘1952 Great Smog of London’.

After Diwali last year, Delhi witnessed a similar episode of smog which lasted nearly a week, prompting authorities to declare such emergency measures for the first time in the city’s history.

The smog, which triggered near zero visibility at many places, pile-ups on highways and delay in flight operations, is a mixture of carbon monoxide, particulate matter such as PM2.5, PM10, ground level ozone and oxides of nitrogen and sulphur dioxide, the Delhi government said in a health advisory.

The government also announced that all schools in the national capital would remain closed till Sunday in view of the “unbearable” air pollution.

The metro and Delhi Transport Corporation announced decisions to augment services by pressing more trains and buses into service, in a bid to reduce dependence on private vehicles.

On Twitter, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said it was “an emergency” and that his office was “continuously trying” to fix a meeting with his counterparts in Punjab and Haryana on stubble burning, a practice which aggravates air pollution in Delhi.

However, EPCA member Sunita Narain cautioned against putting too much hope in temporary solutions such as closure of schools and deplored the “lack of political will” in executing tougher decisions.

Subsequently, the LG directed that agencies such as the municipal corporations and the Delhi Metro should strictly enforce the decisions taken by the EPCA, including hiking parking fares by four times.

The civic bodies were dilly-dallying in executing the EPCA’s orders. However, it was decided that metro will not have to slash commuting fares temporarily as it already has a differential pricing system for peak and off-peak hours in place.

In its health advisory, the government said people should stay indoors as much as possible as the “smog is poisonous” and may create many health hazards like asthma attacks and other breathing complications.

The day-long average air quality index of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) had a score of 478 on a scale of 500, indicating ‘severe’ levels of pollution, while many individual stations recorded AQI as high as 487.

If the score touches 500 and persists there for at least 48 hours, measures like odd-even and a ban on construction and demolition activities will come into force across the Delhi- NCR under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP).

Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot told PTI that the government was ready to implement the odd-even car-rationing scheme and arrangements were underway to press more buses into service.

“We will enforce odd-even in Delhi if air quality turns severe plus. I have also directed DTC to procure 500 buses on short-term basis to augment public transport till March. Metro has also been asked to hire around 300 buses for 15-20 days if odd-even is implemented,” Gahlot said, adding that two- wheelers will be exempted from the scheme as and when it is rolled out.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Limited (DMRC) said it would run an additional 186 train trips from tomorrow.

“Cities and administrations need to implement solutions and take bold decisions to reduce emissions. The range of actions recommended and directed by the EPCA is targeted at doing just that, and it is now up to the political leadership of Delhi and NCR to take their implementation forward,” Narain, who is also the chief of the Centre For Science and Environment (CSE), said.

The EPCA had made it clear yesterday that its orders were legally binding and had to be enforced once the chief secretaries of the respective states issue them.

It was the Environment Ministry which, in January, had empowered the EPCA through a gazette notification to enforce the GRAP to combat air pollution in the Delhi-NCR region.

Meanwhile, in incidents of pile-ups at multiple locations on the busy Yamuna Expressway over 20 vehicles collided and around 22 people suffered minor injuries during the morning hours when visibility was a measly 10 metres.

For the second day in a row, operations at the Delhi airport were hampered and there were delays of up to two hours. Airport sources said that there were times when only one runway was operable as visibility dropped in the afternoon.

According to the forecast of the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences’ System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), the 24-hour-average concentrations of PM2.5 and PM10 will be around 420 and 678 micrograms per cubic metre.

The corresponding safe standards of these ultra-fine particulates, up to 30 times finer than the width of a human hair, are 60 and 100, respectively.

The secretary of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Madhavan Rajeevan, said the smog in Delhi is not localised, but spread across the entire region. He said the conditions would persist for another two-three days.

The SAFAR suggested that the “sudden” intrusion of pollutant-laden smoke from neighbouring Punjab and Haryana from the night of November 6 led to the spike as the high quantity of moisture in the city’s air trapped the particulates.

“There is absolutely no wind movement. Moreover, temperature is also not coming down substantially which could have resulted in the conversion of the fog into water and subsequent dispersion of the suspended particulates,” CPCB scientist Dipankar Saha explained.

Apart from Delhi, neighbouring Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Gurugram and Noida were also in the ‘severe’ category.

MP Sakshi Maharaj vows death sentences for Hindus converting to Islam or Christianity

India: MP Sakshi Maharaj vows death sentences for Hindus converting to Islam or Christianity

Umberto Bacchi
By Umberto Bacchi
January 7, 2015 11:42 GMT

bjp-mp-sakshi-maharaj-indian-prime-minister-narendra-modi-islam-conversion

BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj Indian prime minister Narendra Modi Islam Conversion

An Indian lawmaker with the ruling Hindu conservative party has claimed death sentences should be introduced for people who convert to other religions, in the last episode to fuel communal tensions since the election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year.

Controversial MP Sakshi Maharaj, an outspoken member of Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), also told a religious gathering in Uttar Pradesh that each Hindu woman should mother four children in order to protect the predominance of India’s largest religious group.

“Wait for some time,” local media quoted him as saying. “A law will be passed in Parliament in which anyone indulging in cow slaughter and conversion will be punished with the death sentence.”

Maharaj specified that Indians of Muslim, Christian and other religious faiths who convert to Hinduism will not be subjected to the same punishment. The differentiation been based on the assumption that members of India’s religious minorities were once Hindus who have been converted.

“Ghar wapsi [reconversion] is no conversion but just a process to guide these people to the fair where they actually belong,” said the 59-year-old politician, who in December had to apologise after describing the killer of independence leader Mahatma Gandhi as a “patriot”.

Maharaj’s comments came as the historically turbulent relations between India’s different religious groups have been strained by reports of forced conversions.

Just before Christmas, the upper house parliament was forced to adjourn, as opposition MPs staged a protest against Hindu nationalist groups’ attempts to covert Muslims and Christians.

Opposition leaders have accused Modi of not doing enough to condemn and tackle the practice.

The prime minister is not new to religion-related controversies. In 2002, as he was chief minister of Gujarat State, he was accused of failing to halt religious violence that killed more than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims.

The parliamentary protest followed a remark by Praveen Togadia, the head of one of BJP’s fringe factions, who said the ruling party was to “take the percentage of Hindus to 100”.

Days earlier, more than 50 Muslim families in the town of Agra lamented they were cheated into converting to Hinduism, by unknowingly attending a mass conversion ceremony they were lured to with a promise of food ration cards.

In turn, Hindu nationalists accuse Muslims and Christian missionaries of targeting Dalits – previously known as untouchables – for conversion, promising them a better life outside the rigid Hindu caste system.

Some 80% of India’s 1.2 billion people are Hindus. Muslims make up almost 15% of the population with Christians, Buddhists and other minorities dividing the remaining share.

Tamil Nadu, 100 Hindu radicals attack a Christian community

11/18/2014
INDIA
Tamil Nadu, 100 Hindu radicals attack a Christian community
by Nirmala Carvalho
Four people, including the Reverend, are hospitalized in serious condition. The extremists also attempted to attack them in the hospital. Desecrated the altar, and a Bible, community’s vehicles destroyed. Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC): “The violence spreads a culture that holds religious conversions to be illegal “.

INDIA_-_1118_-_Mathoma_(F)

Mumbai (AsiaNews) – A crowd of more than 100 Hindu extremists have attacked and beaten a Pentecostal Christian community in Udumalpet, the southern state of Tamil Nadu. The attack took place on November 16 and was confirmed to AsiaNews, by the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC).

The Rev. K.A. Sathis, pastor of Konkal Marthoma Church, and four faithful are hospitalized in serious condition. Some attackers even followed the victims to the hospital, threatening them and attacking them a second time.

Before breaking into the church, where the community was holding a prayer service, the radical group destroyed more than 20 vehicles parked in Church yard. Once inside, the militants attacked those present, desecrated the altar, burned the Bibles and broke musical instruments.

Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) has already asked for protection for the Christian community of the state from the National Commission for Human Rights, the chief minister of Tamil Nadu and the Minister of Interior of the Central Government of India.

“We strongly condemn this anti-Christian violence – Sajan George told AsiaNews – It spreads a culture that holds religious conversions to be illegal, even if the article 25 of the Constitution guarantees freedom of worship”. According to the GCIC president, “the police silence in responding to this violence remains a pervasive problem for the tiny Christian minority in India.”

Flooding in North India

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/video/flooda-north-india-uttar-pradesh-bihar-river-rapti-ganga-bijnor/1/377454.html

 

Monsoon floods hit north India, 1,500 villages under water

Floods triggered by heavy rains in the Himalayas have inundated nearly 1,500 villages in northern India, killing at least 28 people and leaving thousands homeless, officials said on Sunday.

Thousands were marooned in villages across nine districts of Uttar Pradesh state, where the release of water from overflowing dams in neighbouring Nepal has added to the impact of the downpours.

A lack of rain earlier in the June-September monsoon season had led to fears of drought, but this month all that has changed.

The latest heavy rains have caused landslides and floods in many parts of India and Nepal, where at least 90 people have been killed since Thursday.

At least 12 people were swept away by torrents in Bahraich district of Uttar Pradesh, officials said. Another six perished when their boat capsized in the swollen Rapti river.

“The flood situation arose following heavy downpours in Nepal, which led to overflowing rivers which originate in the Himalayan region including Tibet and Nepal,” said Alok Ranjan, chief secretary of Uttar Pradesh.

More rain is forecast in Uttar Pradesh and neighbouring Uttarakhand in the Himalayas, resulting in new flood warnings.

Three army helicopters were deployed to drop food and water to the people marooned in shelters.

“The state is well equipped with both manpower and resources to meet the current crises and we will leave no stone unturned to ensure that the affected people receive prompt relief,” Ranjan said.

Sharat Pradhan and Ratnajyoti Dutta, REUTERS

Child Labor & Human Trafficking In India: A Relook

Posted by Sourya Banerjee

 

Human trafficking is a serious concern the world over, and its impact is particularly high in countries like Nepal and India. Women and children are some of the worst affected from this practice, with many ending up in the flesh trade. Every year, over one and a half lakh girls and women are trafficked from Nepal, a big percentage of who end up in brothels in Mumbai. To make matters worse, the average age of a sex worker has fallen from 14-16 years to 10-12 years in the past decade.
These women are in most cases deceived by loved ones and families and have had their dreams and aspirations shattered by their families’ greed for money.
Extreme poverty, lack of education and employment, and poor implementation of the government’s minimum wage system in rural India make girls more vulnerable to being trafficked. The 2013 Global Slavery Index, published by the Australia-based Walk Free Foundation, an organization that works to end modern slavery, found that almost half of the 30 million “modern slaves” in the world are from the India subcontinent(India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan etc).
In the western part of India’s capital city, New Delhi, more than 5,000 ‘domestic worker placement’ agencies operate out of a nondescript neighborhood called Shakurpur Basti. For years, the agencies have flourished by indulging in the business of trafficking minor girls and selling them as domestic slaves in the cities. Unfortunately even though the mainstream media and the Government is aware of it, yet no one seems to bother. A major cause behind is simply that in most cases these minor children are not reported missing, have no documents of their existence and in a majority of cases, are illegal immigrants. They are not voters or consumers. In the eyes of successive Governments, they don’t exist.
The agencies liaise with natives of remote villages, mostly from the eastern part of India, who, as “local agents,” carry out the first step in the trafficking process. The agents identify underage girls from extremely poor families and lure them to the city with the promise of a good job. Once the girls are in the city, the agents sell them for about US$120 each to a domestic worker placement agency. The agency then re-sells her to a family as domestic labor, charging between US$600 and US$700.
The girls are made to work 14 to 16 hours per day and do all of the household chores, from cooking and cleaning to baby-sitting. They are paid almost nothing. Often their monthly wage is paid to the agencies—not to them.
Most of the girls get trapped in this vicious cycle forever. Unaware and often illiterate, they have little knowledge of their rights and no clue of how to return home. The traffickers and agencies make the most of their vulnerability and, for years, move them from one household to another. Many are sexually exploited.
A 2013 report by the Geneva-based International Labour Organization found that the number of domestic workers in India ranges from 2.5 million to 90 million. And despite being the largest workforce in the country, the workers are unrecognized and unprotected by Indian law.
What is even worse in this case is that this heinous crime does not happen in the shadows, it happens all around us in the open. It is not a secret, a majority of the India population is aware of this, and even many educated families still have children working as domestic helps. In some cases these children are routinely tortured.
The Ministry of Labour and Employment had formulated a national policy, which is still awaiting cabinet approval. The policy draft, which includes recommendations by the National Advisory Council, an advisory body set up to advise the Prime Minister, entitles domestic workers to benefits of defined normal hours of work with weekly rest, paid annual and sick leave, maternity benefits, and, most important, entitlement of minimum wages under the Minimum Wages Act of 1948. Unfortunately even though some individual states have taken action to prevent these incidents, the Center has mostly stayed quite.

Hyderabad and Beyond

Hyderabad Andhra Pradesh

Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh

By Tressa Kanan

Everyday that I have woken up the past few weeks, I cannot believe that I am living in India. It really is surreal that God has entrusted me to go out to this nation and love his people. Looking back over the past few months God has been growing and changing my heart in so many ways and slowly calling my life to his mission here. I keep thinking of all of the relationships that I have made over the past 3 months and how difficult it is going to be leave on February 2nd. I especially realized this when I received the best surprise of my life when our US team visited. My parents secretly surprised me and flew to the other end of the world to visit me! Upon seeing them in the hotel I realized how much I missed them and how blessed I was to have them as parents. First I never thought I would see the day when my father came to India, my mom on the other hand, she was weakening by the moment in her efforts to stay away. But, most importantly, I never thought I would see God capture both their hearts here and humble them to leave saying, “Here I am Lord, send me!” It was so amazing to be able to share God’s calling on my heart with them, in a tangible way. To this day I am still in shock that they came!

reunion

Let’s just say there were tears of excitement!

The following week after their arrival was spent hosting a series of 3 woman’s conferences in the towns surrounding Hyderabad. Each day we drove to a new town, spent all day ministering to, praying over, and loving on the pastor’s wives of the district. It was so encouraging to see the changed hearts after each conference and to watch as our team stepped out in faith to be messengers of God’s word. I know I was challenged by each woman’s eagerness to hear and receive God’s hand on their lives and ministry! Also, I was pretty excited to receive the lyrics to some telugu worship songs. Now I can worship the Lord like a local

Woman's Conference

Day 1 of Woman’s Conference

Day 2 of Woman’s Conference

 

 

 

 

Speakers

Our Wonderful Speakers (my mom on the left!)

After the conferences we ventured back to Ongole in typical indian fashion on a sleeper train. Thankfully all of us interns were able to share a room together, staying up playing a game we have grown fond of called “Make it or break it”, but I saw that my parents mets some new friends visiting with the indian couple that bunked with them. Though I did not sleep much that night it was an unforgettable experience that I am glad I had!

My bunk on the sleeper train!

The following week I helped the team as we had a US dentist here performing evaluations, cleanings, and extractions for the 105 children in our Orphan Homes. Though the children were not always happy to visit the dentist, many for the first time, it was such a blessing to know they were healthier when he left! Thank you for helping our children Dr. John!

Dr. John with Monica.

I always love when our US teams are hear to visit and minister with us, but I am not going to lie it is nice to return to our normal schedule once they leave. Though this time, our return to normalcy was a bit delayed. As the Northeastern US battled the effects of hurricane Sandy, Southeastern India not so warmly welcomed cyclone Nilam. Our new friend brought much needed rain and a lot of it! The flooding was so high, up to our knees in some areas, that we were unable to make the block walk to our ministry office and remained home to work. Thinking about the effect of Sandy on the US, made me realize how even during natural disasters the US has an advantage over India. As we surveyed the damage of Nilam, we could see many homes and businesses flooded. This would have seized life in the US but instead with in a few days everything was up and running back to normal here!

 

View from our Balcony of the Flooding

Reflecting on these past few weeks, I am so thankful for my time here inIndia! Though this was not the original plan I had for my life, I know that God’s plan was much better. Currently I am praying through my next step and ask that you would join me in praying that God would give me discernment and wisdom these coming months. Also, I would like to thank you all for your support and prayers already these past 3 months! Know that you are involved in the HUGE things that God is doing in the hearts of the indian people! God bless you all!

END THE ENSLAVEMENT OF MILLIONS OF INDIAN CHILDREN

 

Every day, millions of children in India wake up with nothing to look forward to except hours of back-breaking labour working everywhere from stone quarries to carpet factories to rice mills. Children as young as 5 years-old are kept from school, forced to work 7 days a week for up to 18 hours a day and end up with crippling injuries, respiratory disorders and chronic pain.

Because these children are often left illiterate and plagued with health problems, they are – in a cruel twist of fate – less likely to find employment once they reach adulthood. This continued enslavement of children traps generations of Indians in a vicious cycle of slavery, illiteracy and poverty.

Thankfully, the Indian Parliament is considering legislation called the “Child and Adolescent Labour Abolition Bill,” which:

 

1. Prohibits the employment of children up until 14 years of age,

2. Outlines harsher sentences for violators of child labour laws and

3. Provides for monitoring of suspected instances of child slavery.

This legislation would put an end to the enslavement of children in India but it risks not passing without a demonstration of mass public support.

For every day that this bill is delayed, millions of children in India will continue to be at risk to be bought and sold to work in unimaginable conditions of sex slavery, bonded labour and domestic servitude.

Sadly, the Indian Parliament missed their opportunity to pass the Child and Adolescent Labour Abolition Bill in May of this year. They need to know that any further delay in the passage of this historic law ending the enslavement of children in their country is simply unacceptable. Child rights groups in India and the rest of the world are already calling on government of India to prioritise the Child and Adolescent Labour Abolition Bill but we need your help to build massive public pressure that leaders in India cannot ignore.

Call on the Indian Parliament to immediately pass the Child and Adolescent Labour Abolition Bill and end child slavery in India.