Soumya Pillai

Soumya Pillai

Soumya Pillai covers environment and traffic in Delhi. A journalist for three years, she has grown up in and with Delhi, which is often reflected in the stories she does about life in the city. She also enjoys writing on social innovations.

Articles by Soumya Pillai
Representational image. (AFP)
Representational image. (AFP)

Eight of 10 most polluted cities this winter were in NCR, UP: CSE study

PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 08:37 AM IST
While Ghaziabad, Bulandshahr and Greater Noida topped the list of most polluted cities in this region, Noida and Delhi were not far behind. Kanpur and Lucknow occupied sixth and ninth positions on the chart
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Eight of 10 most polluted cities this winter were in Delhi-NCR and UP, finds CSE study

By Soumya Pillai, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 11:43 PM IST
Eight of 10 most polluted cities in the country this winter were located in the Delhi-NCR and Uttar Pradesh region, an analysis by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) shows
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Representational image. (Arvind Yadav/HT PHOTO)
Representational image. (Arvind Yadav/HT PHOTO)

Rented cycle cheapest transport in Delhi but lack of infra a hurdle: WRI

UPDATED ON FEB 24, 2021 01:56 PM IST
The Delhi government and the city’s municipalities are working on plans to ensure that cycling tracks are marked along major arterial roads
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Delhi forest dept conducts workshop for road owning agencies

By Soumya Pillai, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 23, 2021 11:50 PM IST
The Delhi forest department on Tuesday conducted a workshop for the road owning and construction agencies of the city to educate them on ways to preserve the ecology of an area while undertaking digging and construction activities
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File photo: Supreme Court of India.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)
File photo: Supreme Court of India.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

SC panel to meet today to decide fate of trees that face axe in Metro expansion

By Soumya Pillai, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 24, 2021 03:27 AM IST
In a petition before the Delhi high court, it was submitted that for the construction of three of DMRC corridors —Janakpuri-RK Ashram, Maujpur-Majlis Park and Aerocity-Tughlakabad—the Metro had sought permission to cut 11,454 trees.
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River activists have warned that the project could push Delhi to water scarcity, depletion of groundwater levels and major flooding and loss in case of a disaster.(Sunil Ghosh/Hindustan Times)
River activists have warned that the project could push Delhi to water scarcity, depletion of groundwater levels and major flooding and loss in case of a disaster.(Sunil Ghosh/Hindustan Times)

First high dam on Yamuna may pose flood risk to city: Experts

By Jayashree Nandi, Soumya Pillai, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 22, 2021 02:07 PM IST
The move has reignited a three-decade old worry among environmentalists who have been flagging the project as a potential risk for the national capital.
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The forest department on February 19 sent a meeting notice to all road-owning, construction and development agencies in Delhi, asking them to attend the workshop, where they will be given a walk-through on ways in which construction and digging work can carried out while also preserving the ecology of the area. (Representative Image) (HT Photo)
The forest department on February 19 sent a meeting notice to all road-owning, construction and development agencies in Delhi, asking them to attend the workshop, where they will be given a walk-through on ways in which construction and digging work can carried out while also preserving the ecology of the area. (Representative Image) (HT Photo)

Delhi forest dept tells infra agencies how to preserve environment

By Soumya Pillai, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 22, 2021 04:44 AM IST
This workshop was scheduled after the Delhi high court in an order issued on February 10, asked the Delhi government to initiate measures to sensitise agencies to the importance of preserving trees while undertaking civil construction work.
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Though the police did not share data of last 30 years, statistics available on the Delhi police’s website shows that 1163 fatal accidents in 2020 was the lowest since 2000 at least. (Representative Image)(Shutterstock)
Though the police did not share data of last 30 years, statistics available on the Delhi police’s website shows that 1163 fatal accidents in 2020 was the lowest since 2000 at least. (Representative Image)(Shutterstock)

Road accident fatalities hit 30-year low in 2020

By Soumya Pillai, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 20, 2021 03:09 AM IST
Police Data showed that in 2020, 1,163 fatal accidents were reported in the city, nearly 19% less than the fatal accidents reported in 2019.
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IMD categorises fog into four categories based on visibility-shallow (visibility up to 500 metres), moderate (up to 200m), dense (up to 50m) and very dense (zero visibility). (Representative Image) (HT photo/Raj K Raj)
IMD categorises fog into four categories based on visibility-shallow (visibility up to 500 metres), moderate (up to 200m), dense (up to 50m) and very dense (zero visibility). (Representative Image) (HT photo/Raj K Raj)

Dense February fog leaves weather experts surprised

UPDATED ON FEB 20, 2021 03:37 AM IST
In February, very dense fog has already been recorded for 3-4 hours. On Friday too, visibility at the Palam weather station fell below 50 metres. Other parts of the city also witnessed moderate fog.
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Permission requests have also shown that at least 695 trees in the Ridge area will be affected by the Metro construction work.(AP)
Permission requests have also shown that at least 695 trees in the Ridge area will be affected by the Metro construction work.(AP)

5.5km of Metro Phase-4 line may traverse Ridge, documents show

By Soumya Pillai, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 19, 2021 12:50 AM IST
Documents accessed by Hindustan Times show that the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has sought permission from the forest department to take up 50,875sqm of Ridge land for permanent and temporary use.
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Representational Image. (Sanchit Khanna/HT PHOTO)
Representational Image. (Sanchit Khanna/HT PHOTO)

Rail roko: Delhi Metro shuts entry, exit to four stations

PUBLISHED ON FEB 18, 2021 02:18 PM IST
In a tweet on Thursday, DMRC said that entry and exit to Tikri border, Pandit Shri Ram Sharma, Bahadurgarh and Brigadier Hoshiar Singh have been closed. Officials said this was done because of “security concerns” raised by Delhi Police
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The order stated that the PWD is restrained from “all kinds of construction work/dumping construction waste on the entire inner Ring Road with immediate effect”.((Representative image))
The order stated that the PWD is restrained from “all kinds of construction work/dumping construction waste on the entire inner Ring Road with immediate effect”.((Representative image))

PWD gets notice for demolition waste on forest department land

By Soumya Pillai, New Delhi, Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON FEB 18, 2021 07:48 AM IST
The order, issued by deputy conservator of forests (DCF- west zone) Navneet Srivastava on February 11, said the PWD was found “dumping construction waste/malba inside the green belt located near Brar Square railway crossing on the Ring Road”.
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IMD records show that the mean maximum temperature for February is 23.9°C, and the mean minimum is 10.4°C.(PTI)
IMD records show that the mean maximum temperature for February is 23.9°C, and the mean minimum is 10.4°C.(PTI)

Winter over, this February could be among the warmest: IMD

By Soumya Pillai, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 12, 2021 07:03 AM IST
According to IMD data the maximum temperature recorded on Wednesday at the Safdarjung weather station, considered to be the official marker of the city, was 30.4°C, seven above the season’s normal.
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A metro train passes Lotus Temple in the afternoon at Kalkaji in New Delhi.
A metro train passes Lotus Temple in the afternoon at Kalkaji in New Delhi.

Delhi’s fight against pollution set to get smarter

By Soumya Pillai, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 11, 2021 01:34 AM IST
Source apportionment is the practice of deriving information about pollution sources and the amount they contribute to ambient air pollution levels.
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China had the highest premature mortality with 3.91 million deaths and India accounted for 2.46 million deaths.(HT file photo)
China had the highest premature mortality with 3.91 million deaths and India accounted for 2.46 million deaths.(HT file photo)

Over 30% deaths in ’18 caused by fossil fuels: Study

By Soumya Pillai, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 10, 2021 03:11 AM IST
The study, which has been published in Environmental Research, a peer-reviewed journal, states that more than 8 million people are killed each year by air pollution from burning fossil fuels like coal and diesel.
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The researchers studied pedestrian infrastructure in Delhi, Noida, Gurugram and Ghaziabad between October 15 and December 31.(Reuters)
The researchers studied pedestrian infrastructure in Delhi, Noida, Gurugram and Ghaziabad between October 15 and December 31.(Reuters)

75% pedestrian facilities unsafe, in violation of norms: Study

By Soumya Pillai, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 09, 2021 05:57 AM IST
The survey found that at least 12 traffic refuge islands in central Delhi were beautified with saplings, statues or other installations, leaving little space for pedestrians to wait while the traffic signal was green for the vehicles.
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HT Image

75% pedestrian facilities unsafe, in violation of norms: Study

PUBLISHED ON FEB 08, 2021 11:46 PM IST
New Delhi:At least 75% of Delhi’s pedestrian facilities do not follow international standards of road safety, according to a survey by independent researchers which found that spaces meant for pedestrians were either encroached by people to feed birds or by the authorities to plant trees and place other obstructive installations
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DMRC said it was prepared to shut down more metro stations if required(AP)
DMRC said it was prepared to shut down more metro stations if required(AP)

Several Delhi metro station gates shut in view of farmers’ ‘chakka jam’ call

By Soumya Pillai, Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 06, 2021 12:03 PM IST
  • The metro stations were closed on the orders of the local police to prevent any unruly elements from reaching central Delhi, said DMRC officials.
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Police personnel set up barricades at Ghazipur border, ahead of farmers' proposed 'Chakka Jam' against the Centre's three agri laws, in New Delhi, Friday, Feb. 5, 2021.(PTI)
Police personnel set up barricades at Ghazipur border, ahead of farmers' proposed 'Chakka Jam' against the Centre's three agri laws, in New Delhi, Friday, Feb. 5, 2021.(PTI)

Delhi not to be impacted by ‘chakka jam’, say farmer leaders

By shiv sunny, Anvit Srivastava, Soumya Pillai, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 06, 2021 02:11 AM IST
The chakka jam will be a part of a series of events scheduled by the farmers’ groups to press their demand for the repeal of the three contentious laws passed by the Parliament in September to deregulate agricultural trade.
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HT Image

Delhi not to be impacted by ‘chakka jam’, say farmer leaders

By Shiv Sunny, Anvit Srivastava and Soumya Pillai
PUBLISHED ON FEB 05, 2021 11:50 PM IST
New Delhi: The three-hour ’chakka jam’ on Saturday afternoon to protest against the three farm laws will not impact Delhi and the national capital region (NCR), Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of farmers unions which is spearheading the agitation, said on Friday
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A woman out on a foggy winter morning at Kirti Nagar in New Delhi on January 12. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)
A woman out on a foggy winter morning at Kirti Nagar in New Delhi on January 12. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

How commuters are exposed to pollution

By Soumya Pillai, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 05, 2021 01:48 AM IST
The study revealed that people who travelled in the open air - those who took autorickshaws and pedestrians - were the most exposed to pollution.
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Heavy barricading by police near the protest sites at Ghazipur, Singhu and Tikri is inconveniencing the local residents, who are now taking detours to cross the intercity borders.(Reuters)
Heavy barricading by police near the protest sites at Ghazipur, Singhu and Tikri is inconveniencing the local residents, who are now taking detours to cross the intercity borders.(Reuters)

Protest, blockades: Locals have to take long way home

PUBLISHED ON FEB 04, 2021 03:42 AM IST
The dirt track, which widens to up to five-foot as one moves closer to the Singhu border protest site, is one of the two routes that locals have been using for the past one week to cross the protest site.
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The renewed show of support was tinged with tension as news began to spread of Delhi Police making arrests in connection with the January 26 clashes.(PTI)
The renewed show of support was tinged with tension as news began to spread of Delhi Police making arrests in connection with the January 26 clashes.(PTI)

Fresh fervour at Tikri, even as protesters keep watch for trouble

By Soumya Pillai, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 01, 2021 04:07 AM IST
Hundreds walked several kilometres to reach the protest site, singing folk songs, waving the tricolour and raising slogans to encourage the movement.
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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi waves as he interacts with the farmers at a convention at Vangal Marigoundan Palayam, in Karur on Monday. (ANI Photo)
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi waves as he interacts with the farmers at a convention at Vangal Marigoundan Palayam, in Karur on Monday. (ANI Photo)

Delhi Congress passes resolution to appoint Rahul Gandhi as party chief again

By Soumya Pillai | Edited by Sparshita Saxena, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 31, 2021 07:34 PM IST
  • The resolution was passed on Sunday during a meeting of senior leaders convened by Delhi Congress president Anil Chaudhury.
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Kamal Preet, Delhi's chief wildlife warden, confirmed that the the leopard was first spotted on January 27 on a CCTV camera. (Representative Image)(HT PHOTO.)
Kamal Preet, Delhi's chief wildlife warden, confirmed that the the leopard was first spotted on January 27 on a CCTV camera. (Representative Image)(HT PHOTO.)

Leopard spotted in Delhi, alert issued

PUBLISHED ON JAN 30, 2021 01:45 PM IST
Deputy conservator forests (north division) Navneet Srivastava said that after being first spotted on January 27, the leopard was also spotted on January 28 and January 29 near the Najafgarh drain.
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The counter-protesters tried to cross the barricades and approach the farmers, but were pushed back by the police.(ANI Photo)
The counter-protesters tried to cross the barricades and approach the farmers, but were pushed back by the police.(ANI Photo)

Tikri simmers after ‘locals’ demand farmers’ eviction

By Ashish Mishra, Soumya Pillai, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 30, 2021 03:34 AM IST
  • Police did not let the counter-protesters to move towards the site where farmers are sitting.
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A senior PWD official said that steel and iron railings of nearly 200 metres were damaged at ITO, 100 metres of cement railings were pulled down at the Netaji Subhash Marg near Red Fort, and the iron railing on the central verge was broken on Vikas Marg.(Raj K Raj/HT Photo)
A senior PWD official said that steel and iron railings of nearly 200 metres were damaged at ITO, 100 metres of cement railings were pulled down at the Netaji Subhash Marg near Red Fort, and the iron railing on the central verge was broken on Vikas Marg.(Raj K Raj/HT Photo)

Property worth crores destroyed, still gauging damage, say officials

By Soumya Pillai, Ashish Mishra, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 28, 2021 05:19 AM IST
  • Public Works Department (PWD) officials said the damage estimation process began almost immediately, but estimates peg it at nearly 1 crore.
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Farmers break the police barricades at the Ghazipur border as move towards Akshardham during their tractor rally on Republic Day in New Delhi, Tuesday, January 26. (PTi)
Farmers break the police barricades at the Ghazipur border as move towards Akshardham during their tractor rally on Republic Day in New Delhi, Tuesday, January 26. (PTi)

Farmers’ tractor rally throws Delhi traffic out of gear

UPDATED ON JAN 26, 2021 01:37 PM IST
Roads around Meerut Expressway, Akshardham, Pragati Maidan, Vikas Marg, ITO, Mandi House, India Gate, Mukarba Chowk, Outer Ring Road, Delhi-Noida Link Road, Ghazipur border, Singhu border, and Chilla border had to be closed for general traffic
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Delhi’s air quality has rapidly worsened to “severe” on the air quality index (AQI) on Thursday morning(PTI photo | Representational image)
Delhi’s air quality has rapidly worsened to “severe” on the air quality index (AQI) on Thursday morning(PTI photo | Representational image)

Delhi had 7 of India’s 10 bad air hot spots last year: Report

PUBLISHED ON JAN 25, 2021 02:46 AM IST
The Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Standards (CAAQMS) dashboard also shows that on January 23, ITO in Central Delhi was the most polluted locality in the country by a significant distance.
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Officials from the Union environment ministry said they were keeping a close watch to ensure more bird flu cases are not reported from the Delhi zoo or any other part of the Capital.(AFP Photo. Representative image)
Officials from the Union environment ministry said they were keeping a close watch to ensure more bird flu cases are not reported from the Delhi zoo or any other part of the Capital.(AFP Photo. Representative image)

Delhi: Six samples from zoo test negative for avian flu

PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 01:03 AM IST
Ramesh Pandey, director, National Zoological Park in Delhi said that while the zoo has not reported any fresh case of the flu, safety protocols have not been relaxed.
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