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Friday
August 2020
11:23 AM IST
News Headlines
Sports Minister Rijiju to launch Fit India Freedom Run on Friday        Hoping to get the speed gun up, Starc works on muscular body during COVID lockdown        SpiceJet offers automated customer service and check-in facility on WhatsApp        Sebi issues procedure for exchanges to handle investor complaints against listed cos        Experts warn Spain is losing the 2nd round in virus fight        Bhutan imposes 1st nationwide virus lockdown        Pilot meets Gehlot, handshake signals his return        Over 3 Cr N95 masks, 1.28 Cr PPEs, 10 Cr HCQ tablets given to states, UTs by Centre for free        Bengal govt encourages organ donation: Mamata        PM unveils new tax reforms - faceless tax assessment, taxpayers' charter        Virus outbreak threatens New Zealand's fan-filled stadiums        Lahiri back in action after 5 months, joins Atwal at Wyndham        HAL s Light Combat Helicopters deployed for operations at Leh        Sensex falls over 200 pts in early trade; Nifty below 11,300        Black women, Democrats celebrate Indian-origin Senator Harris' nomination as VP        Joe Biden names Indian-American Senator Kamala Harris as running mate        Biden 'nailed this decision' in picking Harris to be his running mate: Obama        Terrorist gunned down, soldier killed in encounter in J-K's Pulwama        Mulayam Singh Yadav's condition under control: Hospital        COVID-19: 60,963 fresh cases take India's tally to 23,29,638        
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National News
Delhi records poorest air quality in 3 years
 
New Delhi: Pollution levels in Delhi peaked to a three-year high on Sunday as hundreds of distraught people took to social media to say they wanted to leave the city due to poor air quality. According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the national capital''s 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) stood at 494 at 4 pm on Sunday, the highest since November 6, 2016 when it was 497. Twenty-one of the 37 air quality monitoring stations recorded the AQI between 490 and 500 with air quality sensors at Aya Nagar, Ashok Vihar, Anand Vihar and Aurobindo Marg peaked out at 7 pm.

In the National Capital Region (NCR), Faridabad with AQI 493, Noida (494), Ghaziabad (499) and Greater Noida (488), Gurugram (479), also breathed extremely polluted air. The Ministry of Earth Sciences'' air quality monitor, SAFAR, said the city''s overall AQI reached as high as 708 around 5 pm, which is 14 times the safe level of 0-50. An AQI between 0-50 is considered ''good'', 51-100 ''satisfactory'', 101-200 ''moderate'', 201-300 ''poor'', 301-400 ''very poor'' and 401-500 ''severe''. An AQI above 500 falls in the ''severe plus'' category. The apocalyptic haze stiffened its choke on Delhi and satellite towns as scattered rains on Saturday increased humidity, leading to smog and a cloud cover preventing sun rays from warming the ground.

Low visibility due to smog at the Delhi airport led to diversion of 37 flights to other airports. The spurt in pollution levels also prompted the administrations in Ghaziabad, Noida, Greater Noida, Gurgaon and Faridabad to shut all government and private schools till November 5. The Delhi government on Friday directed closure of schools till November 5. "Wind speed increased significantly on Sunday. But the smog, due to high humidity after scattered rains, and a cloud cover didn''t let sun rays reach the ground. As a result, the air near the ground remained cold and heavy," Mahesh Palawat, a senior scientist at Skymet Weather, a private forecaster, explained.

NASA satellite imagery showed vast swathes of the northern plains, covering Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and parts of Jharkhand and West Bengal, blanketed under a smoky haze. Weather experts said any significant improvement in the situation is highly unlikely unless there a rainfall, which may on November 7 and 8 under the influence of Cyclone Maha and a western disturbance, washes away the pollutants. On Twitter, hashtags ''DelhiBacho'' and ''DelhiAirEmergency'' trended for a major part of the day as hundreds of people expressed their willingness to leave the NCR till the situation ameliorates.

Many also severely criticised the Board of Control for Cricket in India''s (BCCI) decision to go ahead with the first India-Bangladesh T20 match at the Firoz Shah Kotla Grounds, disregarding concerns about the health of players and thousands of spectators. "Delhi ppl should leave at least for 1-2 weeks.. It is painful to live," a Delhi resident tweeted. "I think it''s time to leave Delhi. Went out for groceries and came back with eyes burning," another said. According to a survey released on Sunday, over 40 per cent residents of Delhi and NCR want to move to another city because of bad air quality while 16 per cent want to travel during the period. The survey involved 17,000 respondents from Delhi and NCR.

A group of environmentalists wrote a letter to Prime Minister Modi requesting him to save "the children, the elderly and our most-vulnerable who suffer the worst effects of pollution". Union Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba will monitor the alarming pollution situation in Delhi and neighbouring states on a daily basis, it was decided at a high-level meeting chaired by the principal secretary to the prime minister on Sunday. P K Mishra, the principal secretary to the prime minister, reviewed the situation arising out of severe air pollution in the National Capital Region, and other parts of north India.

Senior officials from the states of Punjab, Haryana and Delhi joined the meeting through video-conferencing, according to a statement. Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal questioned the pace at which the Centre was distributing machines among farmers for in-situ management of straw to prevent stubble burning. "Till now 63,000 machines have been made available to farmers in Punjab and Haryana. There are 27 lakh farmers in these states. How long would it take to distribute machines to all these farmers. For how long do we have to bear this pollution," he asked.


Pilot meets Gehlot, handshake signals his return
Over 3 Cr N95 masks, 1.28 Cr PPEs, 10 Cr HCQ tablets given to states, UTs by Centre for free
Bengal govt encourages organ donation: Mamata
Terrorist gunned down, soldier killed in encounter in J-K's Pulwama
Mulayam Singh Yadav's condition under control: Hospital
COVID-19: 60,963 fresh cases take India's tally to 23,29,638
TN logs 5,834 fresh COVID infections, govt says treatment for non-virus cases unaffected
Former Prez Pranab Mukherjee tests positive for COVID-19
EIA draft must be withdrawn to stop 'environmental destruction': Rahul
62,064 new COVID cases; 1,007 deaths
Def Minister Rajnath Singh announces restrictions on import of 101 defence items
PM to launch financing facility under Agriculture Infrastructure Fund
Border row: India, China hold Major General-level talks on disengagement process
Abhishek Bachchan tests negative COVID-19
Trust for building mosque on five-acre land in Ayodhya in process of setting up office
Pak shells forward areas in Poonch
Centre releases Rs 890 cr as 2nd tranche of package for COVID-19 health system preparedness
Eight COVID-19 patients killed in fire at Ahmedabad hospital
Chemical stored in Chennai safe, to be e-auctioned: Customs
India hits out at China for attempting to raise Kashmir issue at UNSC
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
My whole life has been a miracle: Rajinikanth
 Mumbai: From starting out as a bus conductor to becoming one of the biggest stars of the: country,  
'Game of Thrones' star Indira Varma tests positive for coronavirus
Coronavirus: Release of Ranveer Singh-starrer '83' put on hold
'Joker' earns Joaquin Phoenix his maiden Oscar
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Experts warn Spain is losing the 2nd round in virus fight
 Barcelona: Not two months after battling back the coronavirus, Spain's hospitals are beginning to se
Bhutan imposes 1st nationwide virus lockdown
Black women, Democrats celebrate Indian-origin Senator Harris' nomination as VP
Joe Biden names Indian-American Senator Kamala Harris as running mate
KERALA NEWS
Toll in Idukki landslide rises to 52 as three more bodies recovered
 Idukki (Ker): The toll in the landslip in Pettimudi in the high range Idukki district rose to 52 wit
1,417 Covid cases in Kerala; 36 health workers also infected
SIT formed by Kerala police to probe air crash
Kerala logs 1,211 fresh coronavirus cases; aggregate reaches 34,331
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