REPORT ON PAGE 7
PHOTO: GODWIN DAVID
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November 10, 2023
Firecrackers on sale at a Mum-
bai market ahead of Deepavali.
As the city grapples with
rising air pollution, the author-
ities are concerned that setting
off firecrackers will exacerbate
the issue and asked that mem-
bers of the public switch to
green or eco-friendly crackers.
Green crackers are made of
less-polluting raw materials,
and their non-harmful chem-
ical composition helps suppress
dust when they are burnt.
On Tuesday, the Supreme
Court reiterated that its direc-
tive concerning the use
of green crackers applies na-
tionwide, clarifying a mis-
conception that the court’s
instructions were meant only
for Delhi, where pollution is
India calls for switch to eco-friendly firecrackers
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(English/Malay/Tamil Media group)
Wong Wei Kong
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Elections kick off in two states
Chhattisgarh and Mizoram, two of five
states due to elect new legislatures this
month, began voting on Tuesday. More
than 160 million people are eligible to
vote in the regional polls being held in
four phases until Nov 30.
Votes in the five states – Rajasthan,
Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh,
Telangana and Mizoram – will be
counted on Dec 3 and results expected
the same day.
The elections are mainly a contest
between the Bharatiya Janata Party
Cop on election duty goes missing
A search is on to locate Assam Police
constable Sabin Nath who has been
missing since Sunday while doing
election duty in Mizoram’s Saitual
district, the police said on Wednesday.
A total of 92 Assam cops reached
Ngopa village last week for election
duty, and the contingent was divided
into different groups.
Ethics panel calls for Mahua to quit
Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra
should not be allowed to continue in
parliament and her membership should
be revoked, recommended the
parliamentary Ethics Committee
examining the cash-for-query
allegations against her.
It concluded that Ms Mahua had
shared her user ID with “unauthorised
persons” and took cash and amenities
from businessman Darshan
Hiranandani to raise issues in
Minister to meet Tesla chief as
carmaker looks to enter India
Indian Commerce Minister Piyush
Goyal will meet Tesla chief Elon Musk
in the United States next week as the
two sides look to advance the US
carmaker’s plan to enter the South
Asian market, Reuters reported.
Discussions between Mr Musk and
Mr Goyal will centre on Tesla’s plans to
set up an Indian factory, manufacturing
a US$24,000 ($33,000) electric car,
and sourcing components and
establishing charging infrastructure
across the nation.
97-year-old sets record as
Kerala lawyer P. Balasubramanian
Menon, 97, made it to the Guinness
Book of World Records as the
longest-serving lawyer, reported
The graduate of Madras Law College
started his litigation career in the
early-1950s and surpassed the record of
Gibraltar government lawyer Louis
Triay, who died in February this year at
the age of 94.
Six dead after drinking spurious
liquor in Haryana
Six people died on Tuesday after
consuming spurious liquor at
Mandebari and Panjeta Ka Majra
villages in Haryana’s Yamunanagar
district, the police said.
After consuming liquor, they
reportedly vomited. Five of them died
after some time. Three others were
rushed to private hospitals, but one
Accused at large after prison
Four accused men lodged at the
Sangamner Sub-District Jail in
Maharastra escaped in a car waiting
outside on Wednesday, officials said.
Rahul Kale, Roshan Dadhel,
Machhindra Jadhav and Anil Dhoke
managed to cut their cell’s iron window
grilles, climb out and reach the car.
The incident came to light at around
6.30am. The police were on the hunt
for the four.
November 10, 2023
Singapore company Equatorial Space
and Tamil Nadu’s Space Zone India on
Monday signed an agreement to launch
a hybrid rocket using a mobile launch
The signing was witnessed by Indian
space scientist Mylswamy Annadurai,
the former Indian Space Research Or-
ganisation (ISRO) director often re-
ferred to as “Moon Man of India”. He
will serve as mentor for the Mission
Rhumi 2024 project.
Large rockets need a fixed launch
pad but the Rhumi-1 hybrid rocket,
which will be launched at the Chennai
East Coast Road area on Aug 24 next
year, will introduce an economical and
“This is a great initiative in the space
industry where private companies are
also making strides,” said Mr Annadu-
rai, who was part of ISRO’s Chan-
drayaan-1 and Mangalyaan missions.
“Such initiatives will lay the founda-
tion for the youth to participate and
achieve in the space industry.”
Space Zone India founder and CEO
Anand Megalingam, 29, said the two
companies aim to demonstrate that
they can launch a hybrid rocket at a low
cost – just one-third – using a mobile
Rhumi 1’s propellant will be manu-
factured by Equatorial Space in Singa-
Established in 2017, the company
has already manufactured smaller rock-
ets, which were launched from Malay-
sia and Chennai .
“We are developing the Rhumi 1
rocket which will be much bigger. We
are planning to test it in Australia
soon,” said Mr Praveen Ganapathipe-
rumal, 31, co-founder and chief operat-
ing officer of Equatorial Space.
S’pore, India firms to launch
hybrid rocket next year
(From far left)
Space Zone India
New Delhi plans for the first time to make rain to im-
prove air quality in the city, which is the world’s most-
polluted capital and has been gripped by smog for a
The city has already shut all schools, stopped con-
struction activities, and said it would impose restric-
tions on vehicle use.
Depending on legal approval and weather condi-
tions, the local environment minister said the author-
ities would try to induce rain from Nov 20.
Air quality deteriorates every year ahead of winter,
when cold air traps pollutants from sources including
vehicles, industries, construction dust and agricultural
“There is a possibility that, if current weather con-
ditions persist, the pollution situation will remain the
same,” said Delhi’s Environment Minister Gopal Rai,
adding that a proposal drafted by experts on making
rain will be presented to the Supreme Court tomor-
“I believe that given the conditions we have and if
we get support from everyone, we can at least do the
Delhi’s environmental department said it planned
silver iodide to induce precipitation.
The air quality index for the city on Wednesday was
over 320 – a level categorised as “hazardous” by Swiss
group IQAir – before falling to 294 later.
The local government issued a notice earlier in the
day to close all government and private schools from
Thursday until Nov 18 on a winter break, which was
originally scheduled for January.
Primary schools in the city had already been shut,
as part of measures to protect children against smog
and growing air pollution.
The world’s most polluted city,with a population of
more than 20 million, has stopped construction activ-
ities, imposed restrictions on the use of vehicles from
next week, and wants neighbouring states to control
crop residue burning.
Farmers in Punjab and Haryana usually burn crop
stubble left behind after rice is harvested in late-Octo-
ber or early-November to quickly clear their fields be-
fore planting wheat crops.
The practice has been followed for years and the re-
sultant smoke has typically accounted for up to 40 per
cent of Delhi’s October-November pollution, accord-
ing to federal government’s air-quality monitoring
After air quality worsened last week, the Supreme
Court on Tuesday ordered states surrounding New
Delhi to stop farmers burning crop residue.
Delhi to induce rain for better air
A child with breathing difficulties being treated at a Delhi hospital on Nov 7.
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