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Delhi traffic restrictions: Even and odd numbered vehicles to be allowed on alternate days

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The decision was taken in view of the rising air pollution in Delhi. The city has been blanketed in grey smog, and while there is no reliable data on respiratory diseases, most doctors in the capital report a sharp spike in pollution-related illness during the winter months.

The Delhi government decided on Friday that odd and even number vehicles will ply on alternate days in the city from January 1, imposing Beijing-like restrictions in the national capital to curb rising pollution.

The decision, taken at a meeting presided over by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, will not apply to CNG-driven buses, taxis and auto-rickshaws. It will cover vehicles entering Delhi from other states.

The Delhi government will also increase public transport in the city, said chief secretary KK Sharma.

The sweeping move – like the one taken in the Chinese capital in 2013 – will apply to a large bulk of the some 90 lakh vehicles registered in Delhi, where about 1,500 new vehicles are added every day.

Delhi’s vehicular population – which causes choking jams on all weekdays — includes some 27 lakh cars.

The city also plans to shut down one of its oldest and least efficient thermal power plants. The Badarpur plant, commissioned in the early 1970s, uses outdated equipment and often breaks down.

The government will also launch a web-based app which people can use to report about polluting vehicles in the capital.

The decisions came a day after the Delhi high court said that the national capital was like a gas chamber, and sought immediate action from the central and Delhi governments.

The court proposed a check on construction sites, implementation of a ban on waste burning and providing air masks to traffic personnel. It also directed the Centre and the Delhi governments to submit an action plan to deal with the problem in Delhi-NCR.

On Thursday, non-profit Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) had said that there has been a “sevenfold increase” in Delhi’s air pollution since October.

According to the Central Pollution Control Board, the air quality of Delhi is said to be “very poor” with an air quality index of 331.

When air quality index ranges between 301 and 400, the air is said to cause respiratory illness on prolonged exposure.

Earlier measures apparently have not dented the increasing air pollution in Delhi, leading to major health issues.

In October, the National Green Tribunal announced an “Environment Tax” or “Green Tax” on commercial vehicles entering the city.

The Delhi high court later ordered all private radio taxis to switch over to compressed natural gas (CNG) before March 1, 2016 if they desired to operate in the capital.

NGO Greenpeace warned recently that the indoor air in Delhi was five times more polluted than it should be according to Indian standards.

The WHO, however, says this is 11 times more than their prescribed level.

Several Chinese cities have slapped limits on car numbers because of congestion and pollution. But unlike Beijing, which also suffers from hazardous haze levels, New Delhi does not issue public health warnings.

The city has been blanketed in grey smog, and while there is no reliable data on respiratory diseases, most doctors in the capital report a sharp spike in pollution-related illness during the winter months.

Sunita Narain, director of The Center for Science and Environment, a Delhi-based research and advocacy group, said the government had responded “to a public health emergency.”

“I would like to thank the Delhi government,” she told reporters.

Misc News/Press Release

HIPA launches Online registration portal for trainees and to map digital literacy of officials handling online services

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HIPA Online Registration Portal for trainees

Shimla: On the 12th Civil Services Day, Himachal Pradesh Institute of Public Administration (HIPA) today launched an online registration portal for registration and nomination of trainees.

The NIC has developed this portal for the Department of Training as the technical agency for facilitating the trainees.

HIPA has also developed an online registration platform for trainees to map digital literacy of the officials, who are handling the online services notified by the Department of Administration Reforms.

Other than this, an e-Newsletter named ‘Fairlawn Updates’ and the new issue of HIPA Journal were also released along with the compendium on RTI Act, 2005, and H.P. Public Services Guarantee Act – an initiative taken by the Department of Administration Reforms.

The digital services are expected to help departments to reduce footfall and deliver better services with transparency.

The Chief Minister, who was present on the occasion, appreciated the initiatives and also released the report on District Governance Indices, Department of Administrative Reforms.

jairam thakur releases hp district index

The report on H.P. District Governance Index 2017 has examined ten broad themes of governance, 26 focus subjects, and 82 specific variables to arrive at the findings, informed the Secretary, Administrative Reforms, Dr Purnima Chauhan.  

It will help in assessing the quality of governance in the districts through examination of the available data in about 50 aspects of governance and will be aggregated into a single scoring and ranking instrument, she further added.

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Himachal needs ropeways, sky buses, monorails as State has insufficient land: Govind Singh

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monorail in Himachal Pradesh

Shimla: Transport Minister Govind Singh Thakur today participated in the meeting of Group of Ministers (Transport) held in Guwahati.

He presented the case of Himachal Pradesh on issues like taking preventive measures to check road accidents in hilly states, road safety, unification of taxes, provision of national permits for buses and uniformity in vehicle registration and driving license.

He said that despite tough topographical conditions, the state has been improving citizen services by use of modern technologies and special steps are being taken to minimize the road accidents.

 He said that considering the special conditions and insufficiency of land, there is need to develop alternative modes of transport like ropeways, sky buses etc. in Himachal.

 A Sub-Group was constituted under the chairmanship of Transport Minister of Assam Chander Mohan Patwari.

The Sub-Group would give its recommendations to the Group of Ministers in a stipulated time, which is not mentioned.

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Kangra: Miraculous escape for a family of 4 including 2 children

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Weird accident in Himachal PRadesh

Kangra: A storm yesterday hit some parts of Himachal Pradesh. However, in Kangra district’s Jwali constituency, it led to a horrid encounter which could have given a family of four including two children a gruesome death.

A couple with their two children was travelling in their Santro car when strong winds felled a Eucalyptus tree on the Jwali-Jasur road and fell on the moving car. As the car was in motion, the tree broke through the windshield to pierce through the car.  

car accident in Kangra

Pic: Punjab Kesari

The bewildering picture above describes the intensity of the impact.

However, in what can be said a miraculous event, only the husband, who was driving the car, sustained non-lethal injuries on the head while his wife and children were completely safe.

The injured was relieved from the Civil Hospital, Jwali, after receiving minor treatment.

The picture makes everyone wonder how it happened, and how all passengers survived it.

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