first_imgIn a bid to check the spree of illegal encroachments on the hill slopes of the district’s eco-sensitive Pavana dam area, the Western Bench of the National Green Tribunal has issued notices to the State Environment Department, and 53 other people, including many celebrities.A Bench comprising Justices S.P. Wangdi and Dr. Nagin Nanda was acting on an environment interest litigation (EIL) filed by Sanjay Vishwanath ‘Bala’ Bhegade, a Bharatiya Janata Party legislator from Maval, around 18 km from the city.“The area [in Maval Taluk] under the water catchments of the Pavana Dam, surrounded by hills, has been declared as an ‘eco-sensitive zone’ by the committee formed by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in 2000 under the Chairmanship of Dr. Pronab Sen,” reads Mr. Bhegade’s petition.However, recently, a number of diamond merchants, cricketers, industrialists and Bollywood personalities have built luxurious villas and farm-houses on the hills, said advocate Asim Sarode, counsel for the petitioner.“The illicit constructions are shearing away the natural contours on the hilltops and hill-slopes, and the rampant felling of trees was causing permanent damage to the environment,” said Mr. Bhegade.Mr. Bhegade also alleged that the constructions had already disrupted water channels, forcing streams and rivers to alter their natural flowing path, posing a serious risk of landslides. “Earlier, some villagers had approached government authorities to apprise them of the situation. But other than sending notices to the owners of the illegal constructions, no action was taken. Hence, I have filed this EIL,” Mr. Bhegade said. Despite the ecological damage and a significant reduction of forest and green cover area, the taluk still retains its importance as a forest area rich in biodiversity, as is noted by the Madhav Gadgil and Kasturirangan panels on the ecological preservation of the Western Ghats, Mr. Sarode said.The tribunal also reprimanded the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) and the Maharashtra State Biodiversity Board for the rise in encroachments in the area. The next hearing is set for August 6.last_img read more

first_imgBrace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC “Have been very, very tough conditions yesterday and today,” said the top-ranked Nadal, who played at night on Friday after the temperatures had dropped. “It’s not nice to see players suffering that much on court.”The tournament’s extreme heat policy calls for the roofs to be closed on the main show courts and play to be suspended on outer courts when the temperature reaches 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) and the wet-bulb globe temperature (WBGT), which takes into account humidity and wind speed, reaches 32.5 Celsius (90.5 Fahrenheit).FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThe high temperature Friday marginally topped 40 Celsius, but the WBGT remained below the threshold, so play was not halted.Cornet said she began feeling dizzy at the beginning of the second set against Belgium’s Elise Mertens and, at one point, fell to her back on the court in obvious distress. She received a medical timeout so a trainer could check her pulse and blood pressure and wrap her in an ice vest before she returned to the court. Cornet was able to finish the match, losing 7-5, 6-4. But she later said it was “dangerous” to play in that kind of heat.“The (official) limit of not playing the match is really high. I think this limit should be a little bit lower because playing in this condition is not nice for anyone,” she said. “I would never give up because of (the heat), that’s for sure. But you push your body so hard, you almost feel like you’re on the edge.”Tournament director Craig Tiley defended the response of officials to the extreme heat on both Thursday and Friday, saying “we start the event with this set of rules and policies in place, and in the interest of fairness, can’t change them halfway through.”“Protecting our players and the fairness of the competition is paramount in these conditions, which we acknowledge can be challenging,” he said, adding the extreme heat policy would be reviewed after the tournament to see if adjustments need to be made.Petra Martic, who won a two-hour, third-round match against Luksika Kumkhum during the hottest part of the day on Friday, said she got blisters on her feet from the sizzling court and had to take painkillers after the second set.ADVERTISEMENT France’s Alize Cornet is attended to by a trainer and tournament staff after suffering from the heat during her third round match against Belgium’s Elise Mertens at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, Jan. 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)MELBOURNE, Australia — French player Alize Cornet has called for the extreme heat policy at the Australian Open to be re-evaluated after she said she nearly fainted in the broiling temperatures during her third-round match Friday at Melbourne Park.Other players echoed her concerns, with Rafael Nadal saying playing in such extreme heat can be “a little bit dangerous for the health.”ADVERTISEMENT Asian shares slide on weak Japan data; US markets closed 8th Top Leaders Forum assessed the progress of public-private efforts in building climate and disaster resilient communities Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding View comments DOST-Pagasa 11 A.M. weather update, November 22, 2019 PLAY LIST 05:08DOST-Pagasa 11 A.M. weather update, November 22, 201900:50Trending Articles04:04‘Quiel’ now a severe tropical storm – Pagasa01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Defense wins games for GlobalPort in streak Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa “It’s really tough on your feet to play in these conditions,” she said. “I was hoping they would close (the roof), but the temperature was not high enough. … So unfortunately it stayed this way.”French player Gael Monfils staggered through part of his second-round loss to Novak Djokovic on Thursday, saying he “had a small heat stroke for 40 minutes,” and likewise described the conditions as a risk to players.Roger Federer, who requested to play at night to avoid the blistering heat on Thursday, said he believed the officials were doing the best they could under the circumstances.“What do you do … stop all matches? The lucky guys on the big courts, they get to play under the roof. The other guys get postponed till the next day? Is that great?” he said. “Is everybody going to finish at 3 in the morning, like a rainy day in New York. I’ve had that, too. Is that better? I’m not sure, honestly.”Click here for more weather related news.” Read Next MOST READ Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH LATEST STORIES Do not bring these items in SEA Games venues BI on alert for illegally deployed OFWs to Iraqlast_img read more

first_imgUN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s spoke at a special meeting of the United Nations General Assembly dedicated to the life of Nelson Mandela in New York this week.“We join in this global assembly to honour our era’s greatest ambassador for human dignity,” he said. “Nelson Mandela was a human being with flaws and frailties like any of us. And yet, from his humanity came humility; from humility came strength; from strength came transformation; from utter goodness came epic greatness.“Isolated for years in a tiny cell, he emerged with a vision as big as all creation. Unable to see his own children grow up, he became a father to his country and an inspiration to us all.“Last week, I had the unforgettable privilege, together with the President of the General Assembly, to take part in the service in his memory in Johannesburg. There were kings and queens — presidents and prime ministers and foreign ministers — many thousands, tens of thousands, of people united in tribute.“The skies over Soweto opened up, as if in blessing. The rain came down all day long. It was a reminder that there can be no rainbow without rain — so, together, in Nelson Mandela’s rainbow nation, we mourned a tragic loss and celebrated a triumphant life.“I saw once again how much Nelson Mandela meant to the people of South Africa — and the people of South Africa shared with me how much the United Nations meant to them. Their struggle was our struggle. From its earliest days, the General Assembly took on the poison of racial discrimination in South Africa.“Through the years, the Assembly used every tool we had including sanctions, embargoes, and diplomatic isolation, to bring about change. A Special Committee against Apartheid, supported by the UN Centre against Apartheid and a trust fund, provided crucial support. We refused to relent.“In his first address to a United Nations audience upon his release, Nelson Mandela said: ‘Despite the thickness of the prison walls, all of us in Robben Island could hear your voices.’“Nelson Mandela came back to the United Nations again and again — as President, as global peacemaker, as transcendent moral voice.“Each year, we mark the International Day against Racial Discrimination on the anniversary of the Sharpeville massacre. And, of course, we celebrate Nelson Mandela International Day on his birthday, July eighteenth, as a way to build on his contributions and foster a culture of peace and public service.“Through his extraordinary life, Nelson Mandela showed that tyranny and oppression never have the last word. Justice triumphs in the end.“I can understand when some say we will never see his like again. But, I see it differently. Because whenever people stand up for human rights; wherever people speak out for freedom and reach out for reconciliation — there is Nelson Mandela.“That is the heritage of hope he bestowed on each and every one of us. That is our inheritance. Now it is our duty to build the better world that he showed is within our grasp.“Let us follow his rainbow. Today and every day, let us be inspired by his passion, his compassion, and his undying conviction in the human spirit and the global good.”last_img read more