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South Delhi neighbourhood gets 24X7 Potable water through taps

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drinking water, Wikimedia

New Delhi March 5, 2017: A south Delhi neighbourhood on Sunday began getting round-the-clock potable water through taps in a major project that a minister said will be implemented across the national capital.

A first in Delhi, the pilot project was started at Navjeevan Vihar, a part of the larger and thickly populated Malviya Nagar area.

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Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Water Minister Kapil Mishra inaugurated the project.

Mishra pointed out that not getting potable water in taps was one area which divided Indian cities from the rest of the developed world.

“It may be a small step but what we have done today bridges the gap between Delhi and other major cities of the world,” he said to applause from residents gathered in large numbers.

“Getting running and potable water through taps is an indicator that Delhi is on the path of becoming a world-class city,” Mishra added.

This scheme would soon be implemented all over Delhi, he said.

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The minister said Delhi had been divided into 1,010 units. Each unit would be isolated and fixed in order to provide every household with round-the-clock drinking water.

Mishra pointed out how Indians, after returning from cities like London or Singapore, would never fail to mention that they could drink straight from the taps there — unlike in India.

It was Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s dream that Delhi should also embrace this idea, Mishra said.

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Sisodia said maintaining the project would be a challenge unless the project was spread across the city.

Delhi Jal Board supplies drinking water to most residential and commercial areas through taps but for only select hours.

In other parts of Delhi where there is no water network, water tanks supply water.

Mishra said the Delhi government was determined to bring into its water network the entire city – be it slums, unauthorized colonies or the middle and posh areas. (IANS)

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Mahalaya: Beginning of “Devipaksha” in Bengali Celebration of ‘Durga Puja’

“Mahalaya” is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha” and heralds the celebration of Durga Puja

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Mahalaya morning in Kolkata. Flickr
  • Mahalaya 2017 Date: 19th september.
  • On Mahalaya, people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers; which is called ‘Torpon’
  • Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted in All India Radio
  • The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent

Sept 19, 2017: Autumn is the season of the year that sees the Hindus, all geared up to celebrate some of the biggest festivals of India. The festive spirit in the Bengalis all enthused to prepare for the greatest of the festivals, the ‘Durga Puja’.

About Mahalaya:

Mahalaya is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha,” and this year it is celebrated on September 19.

Observed exactly a week before the ‘Durga Puja’, Mahalaya is the harbinger of the arrival of Goddess Durga. It is celebrated to invoke the goddess possessing supreme power! The goddess is invited to descend on earth and she is welcomed with devotional songs and holy chants of mantras. On this day, the eye is drawn in the idols of the Goddess by the artisans marking the initiation of “Devipaksha”. Mahalaya arrives and the countdown to the Durga Puja begins!

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The day of Mahalaya bears supreme significance to the Bengalis. The day is immensely important because on this day people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers. Clad in white dhotis, people offer prayers and take dips in the river while praying for their demised dear ones. The ritual is popular as “Torpon”.

Mahalaya
An idol-maker in progress of drawing the eye in the idol of the Goddess. Wikipedia

As per Hindu myth, on “Devipaksha”, the Gods and the Goddesses began their preparations to celebrate “Mahamaya” or Goddess Durga, who was brought upon by the trinity- Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwara; to annihilate the fierce demon king named Mahishasura. The captivating story of the Goddess defeating the demon got popularized with the goddess being revered as “Durgatinashini” or the one who banishes all the evils and miseries of the world. The victory of the Goddess is celebrated as ‘Durga Puja’.

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Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted at dawn in All India Radio in the form of a marvelous audio montage enthralling the souls of the Bengalis. Presented with wonderful devotional music, acoustic drama, and classical songs- the program is also translated to Hindi and played for the whole pan-Indian listeners.

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Mahalaya
Birendra Krishna Bhadra (1905-1991). Wikipedia

The program is inseparable from Mahalaya and has been going on for over six decades till date. The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent! He has been a legend and the dawn of Mahalaya turns insipid without the reverberating and enchanting voice of the legendary man.

Mahalaya will keep spreading the magic and setting the vigor of the greatest festival of the Bengalis- the Durga Puja, to worship the supreme Goddess, eternally.

                 “Yaa Devi Sarbabhuteshu, Shakti Rupena Sanhsthita,

                     Namastaswai Namastaswai Namastaswai Namo Namaha.”

– by Antara Kumar of NewsGram. Twitter: @ElaanaC

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Environmental Working Group: Drinking Water in US is Contaminated with a Toxic Compound called PFC

Even small concentration of toxic chemical in drinking water is risky to general wellbeing

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Drinking Water
Drinking Water for 15 million Americas is contaminated with toxic chemicals. Pixabay
  • Potable water for 15 million Americans in 27 states is polluted with a toxic compound
  • The toxic chemicals are called PFCs and are connected to cancer, thyroid disease, and weak immune system

June 11, 2017: According to a report released by a non-profit Environmental Working Group on Thursday, 15 million Americans living in 27 states may be consuming unsafe drinking water tainted with a toxic compound.

The toxic chemical, Perfluorochemicals (PFCs) is so deadly that it may cause cancer, thyroid disease, and weak immune system. Even a small concentration of this toxic substance in drinking water is viewed as a risk to general wellbeing, as indicated by the report by EWG and Northeastern University.

EWG reported that PFCs have waterproof and nonstick properties. They were formerly utilized as a part of many purchase items, including cookware, outdoor clothing, food packaging and firefighting foam.

Bill Walker, managing director of EWG stated in a press release, “It’s remarkable that the richest country on Earth can’t guarantee its citizens that their drinking water is completely safe and has no long-term health implications.”

Also Read: Low-cost paper-based method to purify potable water

The EWG and Northeastern University made an interactive map consolidating information from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and publicly recorded cases of PFC contamination originating from assembling plants, military airbases, civilian airports and fire training sites.

It is clear that America is likely to have drinking water crises in future. In spite of the evident proofs of the health dangers of PFCs, there are no controls executed by the government against these chemicals.

The Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974 is one of the underpinning environmental laws, consisting of rules that regulate about 100 contaminants found in drinking water. It has been a long time since the EPA has included another drinking water contaminant to the outdated Safe Drinking Water Act.

– prepared by Naina Mishra of Newsgram. Twitter: @Nainamishr94

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Raja Chari: Indian American Astronaut chosen by NASA

Raja Chari, an American of Indian descent, has been chosen by NASA as one of the 12 astronauts for a new space mission.

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Raja Chari. Twitter.
  • Raja Chari is an American of Indian descent chosen by NASA for the new batch of astronauts
  • Currently, he is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force
  • Chari will have to go through two years of astronaut training which begins in August

June 06, 2017: NASA has chosen 12 astronauts out of a record-breaking 18,300 applications for upcoming space missions. An American of Indian descent, Raja Chari, has successfully earned his spot in the top 12.

The astronauts were selected on the basis of expertise, education, and physical tests. This batch of 12 astronauts is the largest group selected by NASA since two decades. The group consisting of 7 men and 5 women surpassed the minimum requirements of NASA.

Born in Waterloo, Iowa, Chari graduated from Air Force Academy in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in Astronautical Engineering and Engineering Science. He went on to complete his master’s in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The astronaut is also a graduate of US Naval Test Pilot School.

Currently, Raja Chari is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force. He is the commander of 461st Flight Test Squadron and director of the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

After Late Kalpana Chawla, Lt. Col. Raja Chari is the second Indian American astronaut chosen by NASA.

The 12 astronauts will have to go through two years of training. Upon completion, they will be assigned their missions ranging from research at the International Space Station, launching from American soil on spacecraft by private companies, to flying on deep space missions on NASA’s Orion Spacecraft.

The US Vice-President Mike Pence visited the Johnson Space Centre in Houston to announce and congratulate the new batch. Pence also said that President Trump is “fully committed” to NASA’s missions in space.

by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2393