Citizens' Issues
Consider limiting odd-even formula to a week: HC
New Delhi : The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the Aam Aadmi Party government whether it can limit the restriction on the plying of even- and odd-numbered vehicles in the national capital on alternate days to "a week" instead of the planned 15 days.
 
A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath asked the government to submit the data on air pollution it has collected in a week during implementation of the odd-even scheme in the national capital.
 
"Is it really necessary to have it for two weeks (15 days)? Can't it be confined to eight days? Can you end it on Friday? People are facing inconvenience. Take instructions," the bench asked the government posting the matter for Friday.
 
"It was a pilot project. You must have data (air pollution) with you now. Show us how much the pollution has reduced. The people of Delhi supported you despite inconvenience. There is no adequate public transport," the bench said.
 
The court also asked why diesel cabs were still plying on roads despite a ban.
 
The court was hearing 12 PILs challenging the Delhi government's decision to only allow even- and odd-numbered vehicles to ply in Delhi on alternate dates from January 1 to 15.
 
Advocate Rahul Mehra, appearing for Delhi government, defended the decision of continuing the odd-even scheme for 15 days and said the data collected till now shows decrease in the level of air pollution.
 
In a status report submitted to the court, the AAP government defended its decision to exempt two-wheelers from the scheme. "In case of two-wheelers, pooling would have been a limited option and it was expected that around 60-70 percent of population would have to resort to public transport. The present available public transport infrastructure is not sufficient to cater to such a huge demand," the report said.
 
The status report said the reduction in number of four-wheelers helps decrease the congestion on roads "which has a positive effect on vehicular pollution control".
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Seoul vows to punish Pyongyang for H-bomb test
Seoul : South Korean vowed on Wednesday to forge a united stance with the international community to punish Pyongyang for going ahead with a fourth nuclear test.
 
Seoul will ensure that North Korea will pay the price for testing a hydrogen bomb, calling it a grave provocation and challenge to international peace and stability, President Park Geun-hye said. 
 
"Now, the government should closely cooperate with the international community to make sure that North Korea pays the corresponding price for the nuclear test," Park said in a National Security Council meeting.
 
Park said it was important to induce the international community to impose strong sanctions on North Korea.
 
The comments came about two hours after North Korea announced that it has successfully conducted a hydrogen bomb test.
 
The North's nuclear test could prompt the UN Security Council to tighten its sanctions against North Korea. The communist country has already been under UN sanctions for its previous nuclear tests in 2006, 2009 and 2013.
 
Last year, Park warned that there will certainly be consequences if North Korea goes ahead with provocative actions that violate the UN Security Council resolutions.
 
South Korea on Wednesday issued a statement condemning North Korea for testing a hydrogen bomb and pledging to take all necessary measures against North Korea.
 
Park called on the military to maintain readiness in cooperation with the US troops in South Korea as she warned of a stern retaliation if Pyongyang stages a provocation against Seoul.
 
The US government said it could not confirm that North Korea had conducted a hydrogen bomb test, while vowing to respond appropriately to any "provocation".
 
"While we cannot confirm these claims at this time, we condemn any violation of UNSC (United Nations Security Council) resolutions and again call on North Korea to abide by its international obligations and commitments," White House National Security Council's spokesman Ned Price said.
 
The statement was in response to North Korea's announcement that it had successfully carried out its first hydrogen bomb test.
 
Price added that the US would continue to protect and defend its allies in the region, and "respond appropriately to any and all North Korean provocations".
 
Meanwhile, Japan has also condemned the hydrogen bomb test conducted by North Korea, saying the test was a "significant threat".
 
"The hydrogen bomb test is a significant threat to Japan's national security and is unacceptable," Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said.
 
Japan will consider sanctions against North Korea as its nuclear test violates UN Security Council's relevant resolutions, Abe said.
 
Abe also said Japan will work with the US, South Korea, China and Russia to cope with the issue.
 
Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida will hold talks with the US Ambassador Caroline Kennedy over the nuclear test.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Combing operations continue in Pathankot; focus on NIA probe
Pathankot/Gurdaspur : Combing operations continued on Wednesday to sanitise the Pathankot Air Force base in Punjab even as the NIA formed various teams to probe the terrorist attack on the high-security defence facility.
 
Sources in the Indian Air Force (IAF) said that every inch of the Air Force Station (AFS) was being thoroughly scanned.
 
The focus on Wednesday was on the investigation by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) into the entire terrorist attack, including any lapses by the police and security agencies.
 
The combat operation ended on Tuesday with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar announcing that six terrorists were killed. Seven security personnel, including an officer of the National Security Guards (NSG), were killed in the attack.
 
Parrikar admitted to "gaps" which led to "security lapses" at the air base.
 
The role of the Punjab Police Superintendent of Police Salwinder Singh, who claimed he was abducted by the terrorists who attacked the Pathankot air base, was put under the scanner on Tuesday evening, as a team of NIA officials questioned him at his residence in Gurdaspur.
 
The SP will be questioned by NIA and Punjab Police officials on Wednesday also, along with his cook Madan Gopal and businessman friend Rajesh Verma.
 
All three alleged that they were abducted by the terrorists in his vehicle
 
The police superintendent, who was transferred from here last week only, had earlier claimed that he, along with Verma and the cook, were stopped and abducted by 4-5 heavily armed terrorists near Kolia village, 25 km from Pathankot, on the night of December 31.
 
Under fire and suspicion about the entire incident, Salwinder Singh told the media on Tuesday: "My information was 100 percent true. There is no doubt about it. I informed senior officers immediately. I don't know why the delay took place."
 
However, the investigators are looking at Salwinder's claims with suspicions due to inconsistencies in claims of the SP and his two companions who were abducted.
 
The police officer has said his car was stopped around 11.30 p.m. on Thursday (December 31), while the attack began early on Saturday (January 2).
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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