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14 kg heroin worth Rs.70 crore seized by BSF in Punjab sector

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Chandigarh: According to a Border Security Force’s (BSF) spokesman, BSF troops seized 14 kg heroin along the India-Pakistan border in the Ferozepur sector, Punjab, on Sunday.

The heroin which is worth approximately Rs.70 crore in the international market, was found near the border outpost KK Barrier in Ferozepur sector, over 300 km from here. It was concealed in four packets.

There was a tip-off about heroin smuggling from Pakistan side, after which this contraband was immediately seized.

A BSF spokesman revealed, “BSF troops observed suspicious movement of Pakistani smugglers on the other side of the border security fence near the International Border. As the smugglers inserted a pipe through the border fence to drop the packets on this side of the border, BSF troops asked them to stop. However, the smugglers continued with their aggressive posture. Sensing danger to their lives and to check further misadventure of the smugglers, the BSF troopers opened fire in self-defence. However, the smugglers managed to escape under the cover of darkness and high growth of paddy crop.”

Later, the BSF troops seized the 14 packets along with a 12-feet PVC pipe from the spot after a thorough search.

MF-Farooqui-Ajay-Tomar-BSF-BOP-Bharopal-Seized-Heroin-Amr
www.yespunjab.com

So far in this year, the BSF has seized over 164 kg heroin in Punjab, including the latest seizure. At least 75 kg of this was seized from Ferozepur sector solely.

In 2014, the seizure of heroin in the Punjab sector amounted to 361 kg, the highest for any year.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Despite Being Epicentre of Stubble Burning, Punjab Sees Low Pollution Levels

These cities are in the vicinity of stubble burning but are showing relatively good AQI counts possibly because the smoke plume is getting a ballast

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Stubble Burning, Punjab, Pollution
The joint capital, Chandigarh is at 86 in the satisfactory category of AQI. Flickr

For a region that is the epicentre of crop fire burning, Punjab is exhibiting fairly comfortable levels of air quality index (AQI) while many parts of Delhi NCR, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh are showing elevated air pollution levels.

As par data collated from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) for November 7, cities in Punjab except Jalandhar are all in the satisfactory to moderate category – Amritsar (154), Bathinda (102), Khanna (89), Ludhiana (142), Mandi Gobindgarh (119) and Patiala (66).

Only Jalandhar is in the poor category with AQI count of 217. The joint capital, Chandigarh is at 86 in the satisfactory category of AQI.

These cities are in the vicinity of stubble burning but are showing relatively good AQI counts possibly because the smoke plume is getting a ballast with the wind conditions being northwestern at many times.

Stubble Burning, Punjab, Pollution
As par data collated from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) for November 7, cities in Punjab except Jalandhar are all in the satisfactory to moderate category – Amritsar (154), Bathinda (102), Khanna (89). Flickr

Punjab has seen the highest incidence of stubble burning incidents. According to Agriculture Ministry data, there have been 25,366 incidents in the current year, down 8.7 per cent from last year’s number of 27,584. Compared to Punjab, such incidents in Haryana are much less, 4,414 in the current year, down from 5,000 last year. In Uttar Pradesh, stubble burning incidents have reduced drastically by 48.2 per cent from 3,133 to 1,622 in the current year.

Vivek Chattopadhyaya, Programme Manager, Air Pollution Control Unit, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) said: “Due to direction of the wind towards Delhi and stagnation of lower atmosphere, the Indo-Gangetic plane acts as a sink and it coincides with local air pollution and ‘parali’ burning during winter, therefore air pollution levels rapidly build up. It takes lot of time to clean as atmosphere’s capacity to clean itself reduces, as this region is also land locked by Himalaya, Aravali and Vindhya mountain range.”

Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia said in a recent tweet: “Satellite images suggest that all of Gangetic plains, residing almost half of the population of our country, is locked in a poisonous gas chamber.”

Aam Aadmi Party leader Atishi, also in a recent tweet said: “Anyone who thinks smog is a Delhi problem, pls see NASA maps, which show how the smog is spreading in Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, UP, West Bengal and MP. If this is not a national issue, then what is? Is it not time for the Central Govt to solve this yearly national crisis?”

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Apart from Delhi, several cities are currently seeing very high air pollution levels. Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh tops the list at AQI of 435 followed by Talcher in Odisha at 413, both falling in the severe air quality zone.

There are many cities falling under the very poor AQI including Patna (338), Sonipat (301), Palwal (310), Muzaffarpur (341), Manesar (328), Lucknow (366), Kanpur (366), Baghpat (352), Panipat (321), Faridabad (312), Ghaziabad (325), Greater Noida (318), and Noida (328). Delhi is also in the same category of AQI.

Pollution may not be just limited to a big city like Delhi with its issues of large population of vehicles and use of diesel generators. There are at least 14 much smaller cities with much higher air pollution than Delhi.

Agriculture burning sources and older vehicles can cause high air pollution in smaller cities.

Stubble Burning, Punjab, Pollution
Only Jalandhar is in the poor category with AQI count of 217. Flickr

Sumit Sharma, Director, Earth Science and Climate Change, TERI, said: “There are several reasons which can lead to higher PM2.5 concentrations in smaller cities as well. Proximity to agricultural burning sources, presence of higher share of older vehicles, absence of CNG for automotive, residential, industrial use, burning of waste, and limitations in enforcement and congestion may lead to higher concentration levels in smaller cities.

“Other than these factors, local meteorological factors also influence air pollution levels.”

Chattopadhyay of CSE said that cities in north India get affected at the same time.

“Often smaller cities have higher PM levels in air compared to bigger cities, although their respective emission load varies a lot depending upon local sources, although much lower than a city like Delhi,” he said.

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“Since air pollution is a regional problem all cities in the northern India get affected during the same time. Recently apart from the local sources, crop residue/biomass burning in Punjab, Haryana and UP affects the entire region. For instance in Delhi, biomass burning contribution varies from 2 to about 40 percent but overall much less than 25 percent during the entire winter,” he added. (IANS)