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Delhi News Highlights: Warm day in Delhi, air quality ‘poor’; Azad meets party president Sonia Gandhi – The Indian Express

Delhi News Highlights: Delhi’s maximum temperature settled at 35.7 degrees Celsius, five notches above the season’s average, on Friday. Meanwhile, the city also recorded this month’s highest minimum temperature of 21.7 degrees Celsius on Friday, the India Meteorological Department said. Delhi’s 24-hour air quality was recorded in the ‘poor’ category (293) at 4 pm, data from the Central Pollution Control Board showed.
G-23 leader Ghulam Nabi Azad Friday met party president Sonia Gandhi at her residence in New Delhi. The development comes in the backdrop of Sonia Gandhi reaching out to Azad with sources saying that a meeting between Sonia and some of the leaders was on the cards.
In other news, as the city celebrates Holi and Shabh-e-Barat festivals Friday, the Delhi Police has ramped up security across schools, localities and markets to prevent any anti-social activities or violence. In Northeast Delhi, where there are areas with a “mixed population”, police said all staff members will be deployed on the streets on festival days this weekend.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Friday congratulated Indian para high jumper and former world no. 1 Sharad Kumar following the latter’s tweet expressing happiness over receiving a job offer from the Directorate of Education, Government of Delhi.
Retweeting Kumar’s tweet, CM Kejriwal said: “I am certain that your talent and experience will create a bright future for the students of Delhi.”
Many congratulations Sharad.

I am certain that your talent and experience will create a bright future for the students of Delhi. https://t.co/YKsJm0GFtp


Delhi on Friday reported 140 fresh Covid-19 cases and zero death, while the positivity rate stood at 0.43 per cent, according to data shared by the city health department.
With this, the national capital’s case count increased to 18,63,633 while the death toll stood at 26,145, the latest health bulletin stated.
The number of Covid-19 tests conducted a day ago stood at 32,444, it said. Delhi on Thursday had logged 148 cases with a positivity rate of 0.47 per cent, and one death. (PTI)
Delhi reports 140 fresh #COVID19 cases, 148 recoveries, and zero deaths, in the last 24 hours.

Active cases 602
Daily positivity rate 0.43% pic.twitter.com/Vwtv22wPjm


Delhi’s maximum temperature settled at 35.7 degrees Celsius on Friday, while the minimum, recorded in the early hours of the day, was the highest this month so far, the India Meteorological Department. The relative humidity oscillated between 77 and 47 per cent, it said.
The maximum temperature settled at 35.7 degrees Celsius, five notches above the season’s average, while the city recorded this month’s highest minimum temperature of 21.7 degrees Celsius on Friday on the occasion of Holi, the IMD said. The weather office has predicted clear skies for Saturday.
The maximum and minimum temperature is likely to settle around 36 and 20 degrees Celsius, respectively, the Met department said. The city’s 24-hour air quality was recorded in the ‘poor’ category (293) at 4 pm, data from the Central Pollution Control Board showed. (PTI)
Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana on Friday visited several duty points in the capital and exchanged pleasantries with personnel deployed for security on Holi, an official statement said.
The police chief also visited integrated checking pickets of the traffic unit and the district police deployed to check revelries and unruly driving, it said.
Asthana said adequate security arrangements have been made to ensure peace and harmony during Holi and observance of Sahb-e-Barat, according to the statement. (PTI)
Chief Justice of India (CJI) N V Ramana on Friday visited a Gurudwara in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and paid obeisance.
The CJI was accompanied by his spouse Shivamala and Supreme Court judges Justices L Nageswara Rao and Hima Kohli during the visit to the Guru Nanak Darbar in the Gulf country.
On Thursday, the CJI visited the Union Supreme Court of the UAE in Abu Dhabi at the invitation of Mohammad Hamad Al Badi, the chief justice of the top court of the nation. (PTI)
G-23 leader Ghulam Nabi Azad met Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Friday and said he conveyed suggestions to strengthen the party, a day after members of the dissenting group held a flurry of meetings over measures to revamp the organisation.
Speaking to reporters after meeting Sonia Gandhi, Azad said it was a good meeting with the Congress president with the discussion centred on how to prepare and fight unitedly the forthcoming assembly polls to take on rival parties. Playing down the meeting, he told reporters that it “may be news for you but we keep meeting the Congress president at various intervals”.
“Mrs Gandhi keeps having discussions with leaders to strengthen the organisation… A few days ago the working committee had met and suggestions were asked as to how to strengthen the Congress party and what were the reasons for the defeat (in five assembly polls). I had also given my suggestions,” he said. (PTI)
Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad speaks to the media after his meeting with Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi, at her residence in New Delhi, Friday (PTI photo/Kamal Singh)
Working Committee was asked for suggestions on the reasons for defeat in 5 states. The discussion was held to fight unitedly in the forthcoming Assembly elections to defeat the opposition parties: Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad after meeting party president Sonia Gandhi pic.twitter.com/av6WysOsom


The body of a 19-year-old boy was fished out of a pond in Palra village in Gurgaon Friday morning. The police have booked at least eight men, who were known to the victim, on charges of murder after his father alleged that the accused had drowned his son and killed him.
The police said the deceased has been identified as Rahul, 19, a resident of Shikohpur village in Kherki Daula. He had been idle after completing Class XII, said the police.
According to the police, the incident was reported around 11 am when the victim had gone to a percolation pond in Palra for a bath with a group of friends. Read more
G-23 leader Ghulam Nabi Azad met Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Friday, a day after members of the dissenting group held a flurry of meetings over measures to revamp the party.
After the Group of 23 pitched for an “inclusive and collective leadership” in the Congress, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, one of its members, met Rahul Gandhi on Thursday and the two leaders were learnt to have discussed a revamp of the party organisation, a key demand of the dissenters.
The meetings are being seen as an attempt by the Gandhi family to reach out to the G-23, which has shown signs of increasing aggression on the leadership issue after Congress’ abject loss in the assembly elections in five states. Earlier on Friday, Azad also met veteran Congress leader Karan Singh and said he come to greet Singh on Holi. (PTI)
Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad reaches 10, Janpath to meet party president Sonia Gandhi. pic.twitter.com/rtW7EyTekN

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia celebrated Holi with his friends and family members at his residence in New Delhi on Friday.
The Minister also shared a video of him singing a song with senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh and others during the celebrations.
(PTI photos)




होली का त्योहार हो और @msisodia का साथ हो।
गीत-संगीत-ख़ुशी और उत्साह।#HappyHoli2022 pic.twitter.com/wZmgV3NEKD
The plantation undertaken in Delhi under the city government’s “Greening Delhi Mission” since 2016 has ameliorated degraded sites and the Yamuna bank which were left fallow, the Forest Research Institute, Dehradun, has said in a report.
The FRI, which conducted an audit of sapling plantation undertaken from 2016 to 2019, said the plants will act as bio-remedial agents which will be helpful in controlling water pollution at the Yamuna bank.
“Under ‘Greening Delhi Mission’, the government of NCT of Delhi has taken up plantations on available vacant lands in three forest divisions. The plantation started in 2016-17. It is encouraging that this plantation programme has proved the importance of the potent capacities of different species in ameliorating degraded sites and Yamuna bank which were hitherto left fallow,” the audit report read. (PTI)
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu Friday celebrated Holi with schoolchildren in New Delhi.
(PTI photos)


Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday attended the inauguration of Malayalam newspaper Mathrubhumi’s year-long celebrations of the centenary year, through a video conference, in New Delhi
Delighted to take part in centenary celebrations of @mathrubhumi. https://t.co/JRBeRyPzwO

Making his first public appearance after over two years since the outbreak of Covid, the Dalai Lama on Friday said that he was scheduled to go to Delhi for a regular medical checkup but he did not go because “he is in good health and can even play boxing with the doctor”.
While addressing a gathering, he also gave a short teaching from the Jataka Tales. This was followed by a ceremony for generating the bodhichitta (semkye) at the main Tibetan temple Tsuglakhang. (PTI)
The BJP leadership in Delhi wants the civic body polls to be delayed by around six months so that the results of unification can be observed on ground, senior leaders in the party have said. “If things go as per plan, then the unification process along with other reforms would take around a month. After that, it would take a few months for its result to be visible on ground,” said a senior BJP leader.

The State Election Commission last week had postponed the announcement of dates for the MCD polls, following a communication from the Centre regarding the unification of the civic bodies. The Centre is likely to take up unification in the ongoing budget session of Parliament, a senior BJP leader had said earlier. Read more
The Directorate of Education has instructed schools to take charge of registering, informing and getting their students in the 12-14 age bracket vaccinated.

Stating that “all heads of schools have an important role to play in ensuring proper coverage of this vaccination drive”, the department has stated that class teachers must ensure that parents are informed to inoculate their children at the nearest earmarked site. They also have to upload the vaccination status of all the eligible students and inform the directorate about this every day. Read more
With vaccination reaching a saturation point in Delhi and the number of shots each day continuing its downward slide, the government is soon likely to take a decision on shutting down a few centres, especially those that were opened at schools. 

Delhi administered 3,907 doses of Corbevax to children of the 12 to 14 age group Thursday, slightly lower than the number of shots administered on the first day of the drive for this category. There were 3,937 shots administered Wednesday despite the government portal CoWIN not showing slots for it till afternoon.

“Currently, children are on vacation and many are out of the city as well. So, the vaccination count is lower. Hopefully, the numbers will increase once the drives begin at schools. We have already reached out to the department of education to check with schools and give us a schedule on when the camps can be organised,” said a Delhi government official. Read more

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Friday visited the residence of another party leader Karan Singh. He told news agency ANI, “I came here to wish him a Happy Holi.”

Several dissident G23 leaders earlier this week met at Azad’s residence and have pressed for “inclusive” leadership in the Congress, following the party’s defeat in the Assembly elections.
Delhi | Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad arrives at the residence of party leader Karan Singh. pic.twitter.com/yuxkVeZxI0



Express Photos by Praveen Khanna
Three Indian passengers attempting to travel to Paris on “fake” visas were apprehended by CISF personnel at the Delhi airport, officials said. The incident took place on March 16 at Terminal-III of the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport.

After the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel found the passengers to be suspicious, their visas were cross-checked with the German Embassy located in the national capital, the officials said. The embassy confirmed that the visas affixed on the passports were counterfeit, they said.

The passengers were handed over to the Delhi Police, which booked them under charges of cheating and forgery. (PTI)
Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Friday celebrated Holi at his residence in Delhi. 



Express Photos by Prem Nath Pandey
Lok Nayak Hospital (Express File Photo)
It’s the first hospital in Delhi to be fully converted to a Covid facility. It’s also Delhi’s largest Covid care facility. But on Thursday, for the first time since the first Covid case was reported in the national capital in March 2020, the Covid wards at Lok Nayak Hospital were empty.
While everyone at the hospital has their fingers crossed on the dashboard for tomorrow and beyond, for today at least, “zero” was a reason for quiet celebration.
“The last patients with Covid were discharged yesterday. Now, we have nil Covid patients in the ward or the ICUs,” said Dr Suresh Kumar, medical director of Lok Nayak Hospital.
Amidst the AAP and BJP’s campaign for the municipal corporation elections, the Delhi State Anganwadi Workers and Helpers Union have taken to the streets to hold demonstrations against both parties.
The protests are dominated by women from among the 991 workers and helpers whose services have been terminated.
Calling it the ‘Naak mein dam kar abhiyaan’, the union has been taking out rallies in different localities and protesting outside local offices, sloganeering against both parties, and distributing pamphlets explaining their protests.

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