Environmental tax for heavy vehicles entering Delhi
Major developments from around the country.
Delhi: Green panel cracks down after pollution complaints
Heavy vehicles entering Delhi will need to pay environmental compensation in addition to the standard toll, the National Green Tribunal ruled on Wednesday. It added that commercial vehicles that do not have New Delhi as their final destination cannot pass through the city, and must take the national highways around it instead. The Delhi traffic police had reported to the tribunal that commercial vehicles heading elsewhere ply through the city to pay cheaper tolls, causing massive spikes in pollution. The tribunal ordered that two-axle vehicles should pay Rs 700 for, three-axle vehicles Rs 1,000 and vehicles with four or more axles should pay Rs 5,000.
Bihar: Rahul mocks Modi’s suit in rehashed speech
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday used the same barb he had the last time he was in Bihar to mock Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his Rs 15-lakh suits, while campaigning for party candidate Ramdev Rai. He asked the crowd whether they had ever seen Modi with labourers, farmers or the unemployed, saying he was flanked instead by those in “suit-boot”. Criticising Modi for not listening to what people said to him, Gandhi said the prime minister had not kept his word on the issues of jobs, irrigation and prices.
Punjab: 15 cotton farmers commit suicide
An infestation of whitefly has destroyed Punjab’s cotton crop this year, affecting nearly two-thirds of it and leading at least 15 farmers to kill themselves, reports stated. Farmers have blocked railway routes demanding compensation, even as the director of Punjab’s agriculture department and several pesticide dealers have been arrested for selling spurious products. The state’s Akali Dal-led National Democratic Alliance government has announced a compensation package of Rs 640 crore, but the farmers have dismissed this as being inadequate.
Delhi: Two killed in Tihar jail clash
Two inmates who had been long-standing rivals died as a violent fight broke out on Wednesday between their gangs in Tihar, the country’s biggest jail. Ishwar alias Sippy was attacked by Anil Choudhary and two of his aides, who used a sharp metallic object and bricks to beat him up. Three of Ishwar’s men then turned to Choudhary and kicked him to the ground. The two gangs went at each other for several minutes before jail authorities could seek reinforcement and stop the skirmish. Both Ishwar and Choudhary died of their injuries, while a jail official and several other prisoners were hurt.
Maharashtra: CBI to question Indrani on will
The Central Bureau of Investigation plans to question Indrani Mukerjea, prime accused in the Sheena Bora murder case, about her joint will with her husband Peter Mukerjea, officials said on Wednesday. The will supposedly states that if either of them dies, all their properties will be transferred to the surviving spouse. A senior CBI official said they wanted to know if there was any hidden motive in structuring the will in such a way. The will was prepared the year after Bora was killed, and the CBI is interested to know why Indrani Mukerjea was prompted to draft it only then.