Delhi News Highlights: Delhi reports 735 new Covid-19 infections, three deaths; positivity rate at 4.35% – The Indian Express

Delhi News Updates (12th June): Delhi on Sunday reported 735 new COVID-19 cases and three deaths due to the disease, while the positivity rate increased to 4.35 per cent, according to data shared by the city health department here. This is the third consecutive day that Delhi has recorded more than 600 cases and a positivity rate of more than three per cent.
A massive fire broke out at Gaffar Market in Central Delhi’s Karol Bagh area early on Sunday morning, said officials of the Delhi Fire Services (DFS). According to the officials, the fire was located in a shoe market in Gaffar Market.
A grenade was found on East Delhi’s Delhi–Noida Direct Flyway on Saturday evening. The National Security Guard (NSG), teams of Delhi Police Special Cell, and a bomb disposal squad rushed to the spot, after which the police beefed up security and barricaded the Mayur Vihar area.
After it came to the fore that at least 77,000 trees were either cut or transplanted in Delhi in the last three years, environment experts have started questioning the findings of India State of Forest Report (ISFR) that showed rising forest cover in the national capital. According to a government data submitted to the high court recently, Delhi forest department granted permission to cut or transplant at least 77,000 trees, or three trees every hour, for developmental work in the city in the last three years.
Whereas, an ISFR report released by the Union Environment Ministry on January 13, 2022, said Delhi’s green cover has increased from 21.88 per cent to 23.06 per cent of its geographical area in the last two years.
Speaking about the ‘contradicting’ statistics, green activist Bhavreen Kandhari told PTI that the purported green gains are largely coming from Forest Survey of India’s “problematic and contradictory redefinition of forest.” “The new definition of forest would lead to an increase in clear areas being counted as forest. However, what land cover types might it include on the ground, or how valid was their inclusion as forests, remained extremely hard even for experienced field researchers to assess,” she said. (PTI)
Delhi on Sunday reported 735 new COVID-19 cases and three deaths due to the disease, while the positivity rate increased to 4.35 per cent, according to data shared by the city health department here. This is the third consecutive day that Delhi has recorded more than 600 cases and a positivity rate of more than three per cent.

Delhi had reported 899 coronavirus cases and four deaths on May 13, when the positivity rate was at 3.34 per cent, according to official figures. The capital had on Saturday reported 795 COVID-19 cases with a positivity rate of 4.11 per cent and zero daily deaths. The COVID-19 positivity rate has gone past the four per cent-mark again after nearly a month. (PTI)
All but one of the weather stations in the national capital recorded maximum temperatures above 44 degrees Celsius on Sunday, as hot and dry westerlies swept across northwest India. The Safdarjung Observatory, Delhi’s base station, recorded a maximum temperature of 43.9 degrees Celsius, four notches above normal.
The maximum temperature settled at 46.7 degrees Celsius at the Sports Complex automatic weather station near the Akshardham temple, making it the hottest place in the city. Najafgarh, Mungeshpur, Pitampura, and Ridge stations recorded a high of 46.4 degrees Celsius, 46.2 degrees Celsius, 45.8 degrees Celsius and 45.8 degrees Celsius, respectively.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a yellow alert, warning of a heatwave in parts of Delhi on Monday. The IMD uses four colour codes for weather warnings — green (no action needed), yellow (watch and stay updated), orange (be prepared) and red (take action). (PTI)
Delhi Lt Governor V K Saxena, along with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy CM Manish Sisodia, on Sunday visited the Asola-Bhatti Mines forest area and directed officials to prepare a master plan for developing the area into a world class eco-tourism destination, said an official statement.
Saxena directed the officials to prepare within 30 days a master plan for developing the large abundant pits into reservoirs for collecting rain, flood and storm water, recharging groundwater and enhancing the area into a world class eco-tourism destination, the statement added. The move comes after the LG’s earlier visit on May 31.
The master plan will be prepared by a committee of officers of the concerned departments in consultation with experts and institutions. The eco-tourism component of the master plan will include provisions of creating butterfly trails, wildlife trails, cycle tracks, walking tracks, bird-watching spots and ropeways, amongst others. (PTI)
Traders with shops at Rani Jhansi market, which saw many shops gutting in an early Sunday morning fire, claim that the blaze could have been controlled much faster if it had broken out during the day. Dharampal Arora, the president of Rani Jhansi market, claimed that all shopkeepers in the area stock fire extinguishing equipment, but the fire broke out in the early morning when it was close, and that made all the difference.
A massive fire broke out in the Rani Jhansi shoe market in central Delhi’s Karol Bagh area, which took five hours to be put out, a senior fire service official said. The fire was first spotted by a security guard at the market, who informed the traders’ association president about the incident.
“Our guard, Kamal Dev, saw the fire first and informed us about it around 4.15 am. We called the fire department and the police and immediately reached the market at 4.30 am,” Arora said. “The fire had spread wide when we reached here, but the fire officials brought it under control. I also have a footwear shop here and, luckily, it is safe,” he said. (PTI)
Russia deeply cherishes the equal and respectful relations with India and the multidimensional cooperation between the two strategic partners is one of the world’s “most elaborate” ones, Russian Ambassador Denis Alipov has said. The envoy has also said that the positions of the two countries on “core issues remain similar or coinciding”.
Alipov made the comments in the Russia Digest magazine on the occasion of the 75th year of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. He also said the delivery of S-400 air defence missile systems to India is proceeding well in accordance with the schedule.
“Russia deeply cherishes equal and respectful relations with India. Our cooperation plays the role of a defining factor for global peace, stability and sustainable development,” Alipov said. (PTI)
Congress president Sonia Gandhi, 75, was Sunday rushed to the emergency department of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi “owing to Covid related issues”, the party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said. She is in a stable condition, according to sources at the hospital.
“Congress President, Smt. Sonia Gandhi was admitted to Ganga Ram Hospital today owing to Covid related issues. She is stable and will be kept at the hospital for observation. We thank all the Congress men & women as also all well wishers for their concern and good wishes,” tweeted Surjewala. (Read more)
Congress President, Smt. Sonia Gandhi was admitted to Ganga Ram Hospital today owing to Covid related issues. She is stable and will be kept at the hospital for observation.

We thank all the Congress men & women as also all well wishers for their concern and good wishes.

The Delhi government’s Transport Department has issued the maximum number of international driving permits for the US and Canada so far this year, official data showed. With the easing of restrictions on international travel, the demand for international driving permits has picked up this year, according to officials.
Owing to travel restrictions imposed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for international driving permits was low in 2020 and 2021. A total of 4,286 international driving permits were issued between February and June 7 this year.
Between February and June 7 this year, 986 international driving permits were issued for Canada while the number of such permits issued for the United States stood at 1,150, according to official data. (PTI)
The Noida Authority Saturday carried out another anti-encroachment drive along the Yamuna floodplain zone in Sector 135, near Nangli Nangla and Nangli Bazidpur villages, where 27 farmhouses/structures covering an area of 1,50,000 sqm were demolished.

This is the second such drive this week. Officials from Work Circle-9, along with irrigation department officials, oversaw the drive accompanied by 150 junior officials and police personnel. Five JCB machines and three dumper trucks were used in the demolition process, officials said, adding that the land on which the illegal colonies/farmhouses are built is worth approximately Rs 60 crore. Read more.
In pursuance of the Digital India initiative, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has decided to discontinue the practice of manual correspondence or delivery of certificates related to changing of names, the civic body said on Saturday. The practise has been discontinued with effect from June 6, the MCD said in a statement.
With this, the MCD aims to bring more transparency and accountability in the process, said a senior official of the civic body. The certificate can be downloaded by the general public on the MCD website (mcdonline.nic.in) which is a QR code-enabled computer-generated certificate requiring no signature. Read more. 
A massive fire broke out at Gaffar Market in Central Delhi’s Karol Bagh area early on Sunday morning, said officials of the Delhi Fire Services (DFS). According to the officials, the fire was located in a shoe market in Gaffar Market.

The DFS officials also said that they received a call around 4:16 am regarding a fire near a sweet shop in Karol Bagh’s Gaffar Market. They added that as many as 39 fire tenders were dispatched to control the fire. Flames were seen rising to the second floor in visuals from the spot. Read more. 
A 64-year-old patient admitted to the ICU at a private hospital in Rohini died after a short circuit led to a massive fire on the third floor around 4.05 am on Saturday. All other patients were safely moved out of Braham Shakti hospital’s main building.
The deceased, Holi Verma, was undergoing treatment for kidney disease at the hospital for 1.5 years. He was admitted 15 days ago when his condition worsened. Although Verma was on ventilator as per the hospital, the family said otherwise. “He was off ventilator. I was there last night. I had my dinner with him, he was very happy because his condition was improving and we thought he might be discharged soon,” said his wife Munni Devi.
Munni Devi said that her husband was to undergo a surgery to remove his colostomy bag (a bag that collects body waste through a surgical opening in the stomach) on Monday. Read More
Gurgaon deputy commissioner (DC) Nishant Kumar Yadav on Saturday inspected the newly constructed underpass on the Sarhaul border and Narsinghpur stretch on the national highway and took stock of the arrangements being made to resolve waterlogging ahead of the monsoon season at the two points.
The DC was accompanied by officials of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and the Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA).
At the u-turn underpass on the Sarhaul border, the deputy commissioner said that since the border of Delhi starts beyond the Sarhaul border, the NHAI management is working towards constructing a temporary pond/water retaining structure on the government land adjoining Ambience Mall to drain out the water on Gurgaon side. He added that officials had been directed to prepare a road map for the drainage at the stretch in the future. Read More
A day after a brief protest was held at Jama Masjid after Friday prayers, against remarks about the Prophet, Delhi Police have identified five persons and seized CCTV cameras installed on the premises.
DCP (Central) Shweta Chauhan said, “We have registered a case under IPC section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) for holding the protest without permission against unknown persons, and will add more sections keeping in view the provocation as witnessed by our police force and in the contents of CCTV footage that have been procured.”
Police, in their initial investigation, found that people were mobilised through WhatsApp messages. “The central district police has got vital details about these WhatsApp groups and is gathering more details,” a senior police officer said. Read More
Civic authorities on Saturday launched a fortnight-long cleanliness drive and an action plan has been prepared to execute the work properly, officials said.
Special sanitation drives were kicked off on Saturday in all zones of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and nodal officers have been appointed to execute the work, officials said.
The ‘Swachhta Pakhwada’ has been started on the direction of Delhi Lt Governor V K Saxena, the MCD said in a statement. “Under the drive, an action plan has been prepared to execute the work properly and by cleaning garbage material, scrap, debris, unusable items lying on roads, streets and their sides, central verge and other public places,” it said. (PTI)
The Delhi High Court has directed the Centre to expeditiously take steps for filling up vacant posts, including that of Member (Administration), Member (Law) and Member (Finance or Accountancy) in the Adjudicating Authority under the PMLA within four months.
Justice Prathiba M Singh said steps shall also be taken to fill the posts of Administrative Officer and Registrar on an expeditious basis.
“It is directed that steps shall be taken for filling up all the vacant posts, especially, Member (Administration), Member (Law) and Member (Finance or Accountancy) on an expeditious basis and in any case within a period of four months from today,” the high court said. (PTI)
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has decided to deploy drones to map the elevation of landfills and also monitor the reduction in its height along with other parameters, officials said on Saturday.
The national capital has three landfill sites – Ghazipur, Bhalaswa and Okhla – that have turned into huge garbage mountains.
A plan in this connection has been prepared and the project will soon be implemented, they said.
They said the report of the drone survey will also be sent to the Lieutenant Governor office on a regular basis.
The move comes around a fortnight after LG Vinai Kumar Saxena visited Ghazipur landfill site and had asked MCD officials to submit a status report on their plan to raze these dumping sites. (PTI)
India has shown exemplary resilience in recovering from the crisis due to Covid-19 pandemic, said Anantha Nageswaran, chief economic advisor to the government of India.
Nageswaran was speaking at the Haryana Institute of Public Administration in Gurgaon, where he delivered a lecture on ‘Indian Economy: Prospects, Challenges and Action Points’ on Saturday.
He said all major activities and parameters of the economy had crossed their pre-Covid levels and that the economy was now enjoying macroeconomic tailwinds. Simultaneously, quick and precise steps have been taken by the government at the policy level, ably supported by the timely interventions and backing of the Reserve Bank of India, he said. Read More
Police have registered a case in connection with Friday’s protest outside Jama Masjid to demand the arrest of suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma for her controversial remarks on Prophet Mohammad, officials said on Saturday.
After the Friday prayers, a large crowd of people had gathered on the steps of the famous mosque, carrying placards and shouting slogans against Sharma and Naveen Jindal, former head of the Delhi BJP’s media unit, for allegedly making derogatory remarks on the Prophet.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central) Shweta Chauhan said a case has been registered under section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code on Friday against the protesters and further investigation is underway.
On Friday, the DCP had said, “Around 1,500 people had gathered at the mosque for Friday prayers. When the prayers ended peacefully, some people came outside, started showing placards and shouted slogans. Some others also joined them later and the numbers went up to around 300.” “Police deployment always remains at Jama Masjid during Friday prayers. The protesters were dispersed within 10 to 15 minutes and the situation is peaceful. Legal action will be taken in connection with the incident. We have identified some of the miscreants and our teams are working to identify others,” Chauhan said. (PTI)
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia will hold a meeting with the representatives of wholesale market associations across the city on Monday to get inputs and suggestions on organising the Delhi Wholesale Shopping Festival to boost job avenues, officials said.
Chamber of Trade and Industry (CTI) Chairman Brijesh Goyal said representatives of over 20 wholesale markets of the national capital are likely to attend the meeting.
The Delhi government in its “Rozgar Budget” had proposed Delhi Shopping Festival and a Delhi Wholesale Shopping Festival to generate job opportunities. A total outlay of Rs 250 crore was proposed in the budget for the Delhi Shopping Festival and the Wholesale Shopping Festival.
“This meeting will be headed by Deputy CM Manish Sisodia at the Delhi Secretariat. Market associations of over 20 wholesale markets are likely to participate in the meeting where the government will have a dialogue with traders and know their suggestions and check the feasibility of selecting suitable markets to organise the wholesale shopping festival,” Goyal said. (PTI)
Protest erupted outside Jama Masjid here after the Friday prayers demanding the arrest of suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma over her controversial remarks on Prophet Mohammed, police said. Scores of people, carrying placards, shouted slogans against Sharma. A senior police officer said that while some of the demonstrators left the site after some time, others continued to protest.
A Delhi court order on JNU student Sharjeel Imam’s interim bail plea has been adjourned until July 7, news agency ANI reported.
Read | Appeal to Haryana for water on humanitarian grounds: CM Arvind Kejriwal
A Delhi University graduate has been arrested and eight women served notices for allegedly running a fake call centre at Rohini’s Sector-1 Avantika and duping men on the pretext of hiring them as gigolos, police said Friday. Police said a man had filed a complaint with the Outer North Cyber Crime Cell after he was defrauded of Rs 70,000 on the pretext of paying a registration fee for taking up the job of a gigolo or male escort.

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