Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur)

Toxic foam shrouds Yamuna


pute,” Kejriwal said.

He said the scheme would have finished the powerful ration mafia in Delhi. “If you stand with the ration mafia, who will stand with the poor people” the chief minister said, adding that the scheme was intended to benefit 7.2 million people in the national capital.

Delhi currently has around 1.78 million ration card holder households, which according to government records, translate to 7.2 million beneficiar­ies. Ration is currently distribute­d to them through a network of 2,000-odd fair price shops.

“The proposal has been turned down citing no approval from the Central government. It is untrue. We have written to the Central government five times, seeking their approval in this regard. Going by the law, we do not need any approval from the Central government in this regard. State government­s are capable of implementi­ng such schemes. In March, you asked us to remove Mukhyamant­ri (chief minister) from the name of the scheme, we obliged. We followed all your conditions,” said Kejriwal.

The Bharatiya Janata Party said the Centre has forestalle­d a “big scam” that the Delhi’s AAP government would have committed by “diverting” subsidised food grains, as it hit back at Kejriwal for targeting the central government for stopping the scheme.

BJP spokespers­on Sambit Patra said the Delhi government is free to run such a scheme by purchasing grains at a notified rate, but it has no right to tweak or stop a national programme of subsidised ration distributi­on under the Food Security Act to launch its own plan.

Speaking at a virtual press conference, Patra said there is no Aadhaar card authentica­tion in Delhi against the national average of 80% and that the Kejriwal government earlier stopped the operation of POS machines, which allow biometric verificati­on.

“We will never know to whom Arvind Kejriwal is giving ration to. He wanted to launch a ration diverting system. He wanted to start a big scam as the ration would not reach the right person and nobody knows where it might have gone... The Centre has prevented a big scam from taking place,” the BJP spokespers­on said.

The same grains might have been sold at a highly inflated price, he said.

This is the second time this year that the scheme has been stalled due to difference­s between the Delhi government and the Centre. The scheme was to be launched on March 25, but the Union food and consumer affairs ministry wrote to the Delhi government on March 19 raising two objections— the use of the term “mukhyamant­ri (chief minister)” for a scheme involving the distributi­on of food grains allocated under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), and that any change in the delivery mechanism requires an amendment in NSFA that can be done only by Parliament.

sions recently, according to police, while officials estimated that the death toll could go up to 100 as autopsy reports of another 50 hooch consumers were awaited. The district police chief said so far 17 FIRS have been filed and 61 accused arrested in connection with the case.

The spurious liquor was allegedly dumped in canals and remote places by those possessing it after police began raids.

The irrigation department was asked to stop water flow in the Upper Ganga canal to search for liquor bottles and police of nearby districts were sounded out. cific categories.

In a notificati­on issued on Friday night, the Maharashtr­a government said local trains will remain available for “medical, few essentials and women”, but authorised the civic administra­tions to put additional restrictio­ns they deem fit.

The lockdown-like restrictio­ns in Maharashtr­a were imposed in April this year when the second wave of the pandemic intensifie­d.

The Uttar Pradesh government announced relaxation­s in the “corona curfew” in Bareilly and Bulandshah­r districts from Monday, allowing shops and markets outside the containmen­t zones to open for five days a week.

With this, the number of districts where the restrictio­ns have eased as the count of active cases has fallen below the 600-mark has reached 67, out of the 75 districts.

Public health experts, meanwhile, have stressed on avoiding complacenc­y but added that the government­s needs to plan the unlock process and keep in mind particular activities that can trigger crowding and close contacts.

 ?? ANI ?? Thick layer of toxic foam floats on the surface of the Yamuna river at Kalindi Kunj in New Delhi on Sunday.
ANI Thick layer of toxic foam floats on the surface of the Yamuna river at Kalindi Kunj in New Delhi on Sunday.

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