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The city of Delhi has seen it all; from sultanate rule, to dynasties, and to colonial rule. From monarchy to democracy, Delhi has gone through its phases. But, in order to know and explore the nuances of Delhi, you must read these beautiful books.
1. City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi by William Dalrymple
This book was written while Dalrymple was still flirting with his love for the Medieval India. The author writes, "Moreover the city- so I soon discovered- possessed a bottomless seam of stories: tales receding far beyond history, deep into the cavernous chambers of myth and legend," and just like this, Dalrymple takes you in a tour to discover Discover Delhi.
2. Delhi by Heart: Impressions of a Pakistani Traveller by Raza Rumi
This book explores how the author explores his identity as a South Asian Muslim and how his city of Lahore is a mirror image of Delhi. Rumi, in this book, tries to co-relate the past with the present by comparing its festivals, streets, and markets.
3. Delirious Delhi: Inside India's Incredible Capital by DavePrager
This book is quite interesting. The story of this book revolves around the lives of Dave and Jenny who have recently moved to Delhi when their firm began to go down. The city of Delhi in this book is shown through their eyes as they try to make their way in the city that holds together a very large population.
4. The Heart has its Reasons by Krishna Sobti, Translated by Reema Anand, Meenakshi Swami
The original title of this book is "Dil - o - Danish". This book tells the reader about the streets of Old Delhi and almost transport the reader back in the past. This book is basically set in the 1920's, and tells the tale of a man's extramarital affair, his children out of wedlock, black magic, and Chandni Chowk's rich culture of sweets and the perils of being a widow. Interestingly, many have compared the author of this book to Jane Austen.
5. Delhi: A Novel by Khushwant Singh
Who would talk about Delhi and not remember Khushwant Singh? This amazing book is just like a narrative of the author's fulfilled love affair with the city and with a eunuch. The narrator in this book is an aging man who is trying to discover the city. This book is truly a masterpiece, where it takes the readers on the history of Delhi glimpsing at what makes the city what it is– simply beautiful.
The same clean air policies that can reduce fossil fuel emissions and help reign in climate change can also add up to five years onto people's lives in the most polluted regions while globally adding more than two years onto lives on average. Over the last year, Covid-19 lockdowns brought blue skies to the most polluted regions of the globe, while wildfires exacerbated by a drier and hotter climate sent smoke to the normally clean skies of cities thousands of miles away. The conflicting events offer two visions of the future. The difference between those futures lies in policies to reduce fossil fuels.
New data from the Air Quality Life Index (AQLI) on Wednesday underscored the health threat of a world without policy action. Unless global particulate air pollution is reduced to meet the World Health Organisation's (WHO) guideline, the average person is set to lose 2.2 years off their lives. Residents of the most polluted areas of the world could see their lives cut short by five years or more. Working unseen inside the human body, particulate pollution has a more devastating impact on life expectancy than communicable diseases like tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, behavioural killers like cigarette smoking, and even war.
"During a truly unprecedented year where some people accustomed to breathing dirty air experienced clean air, and others accustomed to clean air saw their air dirty, it became acutely apparent the important role policy has played and could play in reducing fossil fuels that contribute both to local air pollution and climate change," says Michael Greenstone, the Milton Friedman Distinguished Service Professor in Economics and creator of the AQLI along with colleagues at the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC). "The AQLI demonstrates the benefits these policies could bring to improve our health and lengthen our lives."
Alarmingly, India's high levels of air pollution have expanded geographically over time. Photo by Maxim Tolchinskiy on Unsplash
According to AQLI's new report, South Asia is home to the most polluted countries on the earth, with Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan accounting for nearly a quarter of the global population and consistently ranking among the top five most polluted countries in the world. According to AQLI, the estimated impacts are even greater across northern India, the region that experiences the most extreme levels of air pollution in the world. The residents of this region, which includes the megacities of Delhi and Kolkata, are on track to lose more than nine years of life expectancy if 2019 concentrations persist.
Alarmingly, India's high levels of air pollution have expanded geographically over time. Compared to a couple of decades ago, particulate pollution is no longer a feature of the Indo-Gangetic plains alone. Pollution has increased so much in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. For example, the average person in those states is now losing an additional 2.5 to 2.9 years of life expectancy, relative to early 2000.
China is an important model showing that policy can produce sharp reductions in pollution in short order. Since the country began its "war against pollution" in 2013, China has reduced its particulate pollution by 29 per cent, making up three-quarters of the reductions in air pollution across the world. China's success demonstrates that progress is possible, even in the world's most polluted countries. In South Asia, the AQLI data reveal that the average person would live more than five years longer if pollution were reduced to meet the WHO guideline.
The benefits of clean air policies are even greater in the region's pollution hotspots, like northern India, where 480 million people breathe pollution levels that are 10 times worse than those found anywhere else in the world. "The bad news is that the greatest impacts of air pollution remain concentrated in South Asia. The good news is that governments in this region are recognizing the severity of the problem and are now beginning to respond," says Ken Lee, the director of the AQLI. "The government of India's National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) is an important step towards cleaner air and longer lives, as is the establishment of the new Commission for Air Quality Management in the NCR."
(Article originally published at IANSlife) (IANS/SS)
Keywords: india, delhi, air pollution, ncap, air quality index
A man was allegedly shot in the head near Delhi's Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport, while he was going in his car along with his friends early on Wednesday.
The victim, who was identified as Sandeep Bhati, was in his Hyundai Verna along with three friends when the incident took place around 5 a.m., according to the police. He is learnt to be critical and undergoing treatment in a private hospital in Noida.
The police said the accused fired two bullets at Bhati's car. The first one hit the rear glass of the vehicle while the second hit Bhati on his head.
"We received information through PCR call and when we reached the spot, we were informed by one of his (Bhati) friends that they were on their way back from a temple in Bhiwadi when an unknown person started following them from the airport," said Ingit Pratap Singh, DCP Southwest district.
The accused has been identified as Nitin Singh Raghuvanshi and a case has been registered under IPC sections for rash driving, attempted murder and the Arms Act on the complaint of Bhati's friends, the DCP told IANS.
He informed that during the investigation, police scanned CCTV footage from the Delhi-Gurugram border to Kalkaji and identified the Swift car that was driven by the accused.
"After the firing incident, accused Nitin Raghuvanshi went to Kalkaji and sent his car to a repair shop in Okhla from where our team has seized it. His mother, Archana, is a Delhi Police officer. The family lives in a police colony in Kalkaji," Singh added.
Keywords: Gun violence, Delhi, Police, firing
Ayodhya, which is all set to be catapulted on to the world tourist map, will soon have a high-speed train between Delhi and Ayodhya. The superfast train will cut the travel time to just three hours between Delhi and the holy city.
Anoop Kumar Agarwal, executive director of National High Speed Rail Corporation, visited Ayodhya last week to finalise the site for the railway station.
He said that there is a "plan to directly connect the city of Lord Ram with the national capital". An aerial survey has been done and the plan has also been approved by the Centre.
A 130km railway track will be laid connecting Ayodhya to Lucknow, which will be part of the 941.5km high-speed railway corridor linking Delhi to Varanasi via Agra-Lucknow-Allahabad. A portion of high-speed train railway corridor may go underground in Lucknow and Agra, the official said.
"National High Speed Rail Corporation will begin work as soon as we receive a no-objection certificate from the AAI. It will take seven years for completion of the project," he added.
Keyword: Railway, Ayodhya, Delhi, High-speed train