Tuesday November 19, 2019
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Salaries of AAP’s ‘Khas’ MLAs, ministers up four times

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New Delhi: Aam Admi Party’s Delhi government led by Arvind Kejriwal that claims to represent the interest of the common man has approved four times increase in the salaries of AAP lawmakers and ministers in the national capital.

According to reports, the pay of Delhi MLAs has been increased from Rs 12,000 per month to Rs 50,000 while the ministers will now draw Rs 80,000 instead of Rs 20,000 per month. However, the overall income of a Delhi legislator could shoot up from Rs 88,000 to about Rs 2.1 lakh now.

This comes at a time when debt-ridden farmers are putting an end to their precious lives.

AAP leader Sanjay Singh had opposed the hike sought by his party’s lawmakers citing the plight of the farmers.

“Jab desh mein itne farmers suicide kar rahe hai, aise samay par hum apni salary badhaye ye sahi nahi hai (At a time when farmers are committing suicide in our country, it is not right to increase salaries),” Singh had said.

An independent three-member panel had suggested the hike on October 6 this year which has been approved by the Delhi government. The Aam Aadmi Party government had set up the panel to look into the revision of salary after a dozen of its legislators complained that it was not enough.

“Keeping in view the cost of living in Delhi and given the fact that there is no provision being made for housing allowance or for reimbursement of bills for amenities such as electricity and water, the Committee recommends that the salary be raised from the present level of Rs 12,000 per month to Rs 50,000 per month,” said the panel in its 21-page report.

The committee, chaired by former Lok Sabha secretary general P D T Achary, had submitted the report to Delhi assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel.

Besides, the hiked proposed for constituency allowance was Rs 50,000 from Rs 18,000 while conveyance allowances, the panel said, should be increased to Rs 30,000 from Rs 6,000 per month.

The panel suggested that lawmakers should get a reimbursement of Rs 70,000 as an allowance under Secretarial, Research and Office Assistance. Presently, the amount is Rs 30,000.

To meet office-related expenses, the panel said MLAs should get Rs 25,000. For communication, the allowance should be Rs 10,000. The committee also recommended that daily allowance in the assembly which is Rs 1,000 be raised to Rs 2,000.

However, the BJP and the Congress had slammed the ruling party in Delhi over the proposed hike.

“They want their salaries to be hiked from Rs 88,000 to Rs 2,10,000. They want posh residences. Is this the Aam Aadmi Party government,” BJP Delhi unit chief Satish Upadhyay had asked.

Youth Congress workers had staged a protest outside Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence over the recommended hike in the salaries of legislators.

The protesters, carrying banners and placards with messages such as ‘Aam aadmi hua khaas, janata ka uth gaya inse vishwas’ (Common man has become special, he has lost public faith), had raised slogans against the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government.

(With inputs from agencies)

  • Rakesh Manchanda

    Wah ! what a way to accomplish Swaraj when millions lose their work each day

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Experts Advocate Airshed Management To Tackle Pollution

Experts have advocated airshed management to tackle pollution as air pollution is severe

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Air pollution
Airshed management will be helping in tackling air pollution. Pixabay

Amid pollution turning into a serious national issue and the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) largely staying limited to Delhi, experts here on Monday advocated airshed management to tackle pollution.

These experts and pollution control boards officials were participating in a panel discussion, organised by Climate Trends, a Delhi-based climate communications initiative, to map the pathway for regional cooperation and coordination to tackle the crisis.

Sagnik Dey, Associate Professor at IIT-Delhi and Coordinator for the Centre for Excellence for Research for Clean Air (CERCA), said, “We live in the age of data, yet there is no air pollution data for the entire rural India.”

To address the problem of air pollution comprehensively, Dey said, “We need to delineate airsheds based on wind flows and their pollutant reach. The city action plans should be integrated with the larger airshed management strategy to to deal with the problem.”

Haryana, despite not being included in the NCAP, is the only state that has made an action plan for Gurugram that will include 300 km of the surrounding area as shared airshed where pollution transfer happens.

The entire NCAP rested on the Central Pollution Control Board and the state pollution control boards but their resource and capacity must be evaluated and enhanced, Dey said. “Monitoring and compliance are key to success. Unless the central, state and municipal bodies work in tandem, we will return to these pollution spikes each year,” Dey said.

Delhi, air Polltuion
To address the problem of air pollution comprehensively, airsheds based on wind flows and their pollutant reach need to be delineated. Pixabay

Analysis of November 1-15 data from urban sciences across 26 cities in the Indo-Gangetic Plain showed that nine cities were in severe air quality category, including satellite towns like Ghaziabad and Noida, with Delhi ranked fifth behind Ghaziabad, Noida and Greater Noida.

A 2012 study by IIT-Delhi mapped the aerosol transfer across the Indo-Gangetic region, making it the world’s most polluted hotspot — stretching from Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, UP, Bihar and all the way to West Bengal.

Haryana with five of the 10 most polluted cities in this study, has no city listed amongst the 102+20 NCAP cities.

The analysis further highlighted how Gurugram, spread across 732 sq km, has two monitoring stations against 35 in Delhi, which has double the area of its neighbour.

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Ronak Sutaria, CEO, Urban Sciences, said, “It’s going to be a challenge to scale up monitoring to 1,000 monitors in the country as per the NCAP due to cost. But that too is not enough as all studies say 4,000-6,000 monitors are needed for adequate coverage.”

The Indo-Gangetic plain has a complex set of topographical and meteorological conditions that produce a land-locked valley effect. These conditions are monitored for forecast, though the lack of adequate set of monitoring devices and suitable presentation for ease of understanding have limited the ability of the responsible agencies to act proactively. (IANS)