Delhi Metro: Janakpuri-Kalkaji part of Magenta Line to open soon; 10 points

Magenta Line of Delhi Metro

Delhi Metro’s Magenta Line is set to become fully operational on May 29, a day after the inauguration of its 25.6-km stretch connecting Janakpuri West and Kalkaji Mandir metro stations.

The launch of the new segement will drastically reduce travel time between West Delhi and South Delhi, Gurugram, Faridabad and Noida, while also de-congesting the Blue Line.

Here is all that you need to know about the latest segment of the Delhi Metro:

1. Passenger services on the new segment will begin on May 29 at 6 am from the Kalkaji Mandir and Janakpuri West stations simultaneously.

2. The opening up of the new segment of Magenta Line would reduce the travel time between Hauz Khas and Janakpuri West by up to 25 minutes.

3. For Noida to Gurugram commuters, the travel time will come down to around 50 minutes from the present time of around 90 minutes.

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Kejriwal sorry to Gadkari, Sibal: BJP says AAP exposed; top 10 developments

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal

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If there was any doubt before, it is clear now that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has given up his brand of combative politics. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo Kejriwal launched into what could be the beginning of an apology spree and apologised to Congress leader Kapil Sibal’s son Amit Sibal and Union minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Nitin Gadkari for making unverified allegations of corruption against them. The development came days after Kejriwal apologised to former Punjab minister Bikram Singh Majithia.

After he tendered his apology, Kejriwal was acquitted in two separate defamation cases lodged against him by Amit Sibal, a senior advocate and son of former Union minister Kapil Sibal, and Gadkari. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, a co-accused with Kejriwal in the defamation case lodged by Sibal, was also acquitted after he, too, tendered an apology to the lawyer. Kejriwal intends to bring an end to the 33 defamation cases against him by means of similar out-of-court settlements and individual “understandings”, say sources. According to AAP leaders, the various cases have drained the party’s resources and money.

The Congress and the BJP, however, hauled Kejriwal over the coals. The Opposition party advised that the Delhi chief minister should change his name to Arvind ‘Sorry’ Kejriwal, while the ruling party at the Centre lashed out at the AAP chief’s brand of politics.

The AAP chief has been dragged to courts in multiple defamation cases lodged by various political leaders, including Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit. Kejriwal still has to contend with Jaitley’s case, and sources in the AAP had told news agencies last week that the senior BJP leader could also soon receive an apology from the Delhi chief minister.

Last week, Kejriwal wrote to Akali Dal leader Bikram Majithia, apologising for accusing him of being involved in drug trade without any proof to back the allegations. The apology, however, did not go down to well with everyone and triggered what amounted to a virtual rebellion in the AAP Punjab unit. Subsequently, Bhagwant Mann resigned as AAP’s Punjab unit chief. However, things seem to have improved since Kejriwal’s meeting with AAP members of the Punjab legislative Assembly, with most saying they understand the decision of the party’s national convenor.

Amit Sibal had filed a defamation suit against Kejriwal and Sisodia for alleging that Kapil Sibal had a conflict in seeking to revise a tax demand on telecom major Vodafone. In 2014, Gadkari had filed a defamation suit against Kejriwal after the AAP chief named him in a list of “corrupt politicians”. In the defamation case filed by Gadkari, it was alleged that Kejriwal had called him “India’s most corrupt”.

Here are the top 10 developments in Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s apology spree that has so far covered Majithia, Sibal and Gadkari:

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Kejriwal’s ‘meek surrender’ to Majithia: Apology to Jaitley next? 10 points

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. (Photo: PTI)

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Facing a political turmoil at home, Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo Arvind Kejriwal appears to have decided to take a step back from hi s past brand of combative politics and settle the attendant defamation cases — in particular, the one initiated by former Punjab minister and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Bikram Singh Majithia. After Kejriwal tendered a writtem apology to Majithia for alleging the latter was involved in drug trade in Punjab, the SAD leader said he would withdraw his defamation suit against the chief minister. However, Kejriwal still has to contend with a defamation suit filed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, among other cases.

Kejriwal withdrew his allegations and an application regarding this was filed in a trial court in Amritsar, where the defamation case filed by Majithia against the AAP supremo on May 20, 2016, is being heard. “In the recent past, I made certain statements and allegations against you regarding your alleged involvement in drug trade. These statements became a political issue. Now, I’ve learnt that the allegations are unfounded,” Kejriwal said, adding: “Hence, there should be no politics on such issues. I hereby withdraw all my statements and allegations made against you and apologise for the same.”

Responding to this development, Majithia said that he had accepted the apology. “I thank Kejriwal for showing greatness in seeking apology for his remarks made against me. I have told my lawyers that from our side, this case ends as Kejriwal has sought apology…,” he said.

However, not everybody in Kejriwal’s party was in sync with the chief minister’s decision. He drew flak from leaders in the AAP Punjab unit for his move. Meanwhile, Delhi AAP leaders hinted that a similar apology might be issued in a bid to end the defamation case filed by Arun Jaitley, too.

Here are the top 10 developments around Arvind Kejriwal’s apology to Bikram Singh Majithia:

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From smog cutters to diet tips: Vadra, Kohli and other celebs on Delhi smog

 

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Ordinary mortals are not the only people concerned about Delhi’s abysmal air quality and its blanket of Delhi smog. celebrities and well-known individuals are voicing their concerns, and possible solutions, too.

 

In a bipartisan appeal on Facebook for tackling the menace, Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra says,”Poisoned air doesn’t care which caste or religion you belong to. It is an undiscriminating killer. The time to lay down a road-map is now. The road to a solution starts with us.”

 

Calling on the Centre and the Delhi state government to set aside their “political slug fest” and focus on “the safety and well being of Delhi’s citizens”, Vadra points at China’s success at “drastically” reducing its smog levels by “employing such techniques as massive windmill style fans (to dissipate smog cover)”.

 

Calling for long-term sustainable solutions, Vadra goes on to list out some himself: “The previous Government imposed energy efficiency standards on air conditioners, fridges and other electronic appliances. This in turn led to a drastic cut in electricity consumption. We need more electric cars and buses. We need better solutions for our farmers. It is a one time cost for the Government to purchase the machines which can turn husk into safe and non-toxic refuse.”

 

He also highlighted that in the wake of reports that the Delhi government was sitting on a Rs 787-cr green fund, it was time to deploy “imaginative solutions”.

 

As reported earlier, while the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Wednesday blamed the Centre for blocking projects, an RTI query revealed that the Arvind Kejriwal-led government did not spend even a paisa out of the Rs 787 crore it collected as environment cess since January 1 this year.

 

As the capital city grappled with dangerously high pollution levels, the Right to Information (RTI) query on Wednesday found the Delhi government was unable to specify its utilisation of the Rs 787 crore green cess collected during 2017. The government said it spent Rs 93 lakh of the cess in 2016, but there was “no mention of any expenditure” in 2017.

 

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Delhi Odd-Even Round-3: 1.3 mn cars to go off roads, & top 10 developments

Odd-even scheme

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It’s time for round three of the Odd-Even road-space rationing scheme first brought in last year by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) -led Delhi government, as Delhiites choke on toxic air.

 

The Odd-Even plan will be in place for five days starting Monday, November 13.

 

According to Safar (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research), Delhi‘s air quality is forecast to be “severe” today, with PM10 at 895 microgrammes per cubic metre and PM2.5 at 546 microgrammes per cubic metre — these are ultrafine particulates that have the ability to enter the respiratory system and subsequently the bloodstream of humans and animals, causing harm.

 

Tomorrow’s air quality forecast is also “severe”, as is the forecast after three days from now.

 

The announcement of the third phase of the Odd-Even plan from November 13 to 17 was made by Delhi’s Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot at a press conference on Thursday. He said the modalities of the scheme, under which private four-wheeled vehicles with odd and even registration numbers were allowed to run on alternate days from 8 am to 8 pm, would be the same as the previous phases.

 

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