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

Delhi govt to set up monkeypox info desks

The Delhi government will set up monkeypox information desks across the city and play pre-recorded messages on district helplines, in a move to ease concerns about the viral infection that has spread to 19 countries so far, said health department officials aware of the matter
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HT Image
Published on May 25, 2022 11:31 PM IST
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By, New Delhi

Levying service charge not unfair trade practice: NRAI

NRAI’s statement came a day after the government’s department of consumer affairs said it was calling a meeting with restaurant owners to discuss why some consumers were being forced to pay service charge despite the government making it optional in 2017.
The body argued in response that once restaurants display the inclusion of service charge in their premises and on menus, it is at the discretion of the customers if they want to avail of the services. It added that service charge — or fee charged for the services provided — was a matter of “individual policy” and in no way illegal. (Representative image/AFP/Getty)
The body argued in response that once restaurants display the inclusion of service charge in their premises and on menus, it is at the discretion of the customers if they want to avail of the services. It added that service charge — or fee charged for the services provided — was a matter of “individual policy” and in no way illegal. (Representative image/AFP/Getty)
Updated on May 25, 2022 03:20 AM IST
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Delhi govt to install external defibrillators in public places

A senior official of the Delhi government’s health department said that the idea is to ensure basic cardiac life support to a patient in the case of a medical emergency before they are hospitalised.
Delhi govt to install external defibrillators in public places (Pic for representation)
Delhi govt to install external defibrillators in public places (Pic for representation)
Updated on May 24, 2022 03:18 AM IST
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Mercury drops as rain makes a return in Delhi

IMD readings showed that in most parts of the Capital, wind blew with speeds up to 40kmph on Saturday.
Near DU North Campus, on Saturday. (Sanchit Khanna/HT)
Near DU North Campus, on Saturday. (Sanchit Khanna/HT)
Updated on May 22, 2022 12:25 AM IST
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Telangana CM applauds Delhi education model

During his visit, Rao also interacted with students from the school, and said that he was “impressed by the mindset of leadership that students have developed”. Rao is currently in Delhi for a week to attend political meetings and social programmes.
(From left) Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, Telangana CM K Chandrashekar Rao and his Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal at a government school in South Moti Bagh. ANI
(From left) Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, Telangana CM K Chandrashekar Rao and his Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal at a government school in South Moti Bagh. ANI
Updated on May 22, 2022 12:48 AM IST
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Delhi: Rain, dust storm bring city solace from oppressive heat

IMD recordings showed that heatwave conditions continued in the Capital on Friday, with the maximum temperature at the Safdarjung weather station settling at 44.4°C — five degrees above the season’s normal.
However, during the day, there was little relief to be had, with the heat unrelenting till the evening’s showers.(Burhaan/HT Photo)
However, during the day, there was little relief to be had, with the heat unrelenting till the evening’s showers.(Burhaan/HT Photo)
Updated on May 21, 2022 12:39 AM IST
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By, New Delhi

Granular monitoring gives Delhi sharper picture of local weather

IMD data from the past week shows that 80-90% of the 11 stations in Delhi recorded temperatures higher than the official maximum
On Sunday, nine weather stations recorded maximum temperatures higher than Safdarjung. (Arvind Yadav/HT)
On Sunday, nine weather stations recorded maximum temperatures higher than Safdarjung. (Arvind Yadav/HT)
Updated on May 17, 2022 03:49 AM IST
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Delhi hospitals see spike in heat-related ailments

As the national capital copes with a severe heatwave -- temperatures went above 49 degrees Celsius in parts of Delhi on Sunday -- hospitals have reported a noticeable spike in the number of heat-related ailments
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HT Image
Published on May 16, 2022 11:52 PM IST
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By, New Delhi

Mundka fire: For kin at morgue, bangles, bracelets set loved ones apart

To identify the dead, police are working with the forensic science experts. A team of FSL senior experts visited the site and collected forensic samples
Some relatives, unable to stomach the horrific shape in which the bodies were, and tragically the stench, had called other members or friends to help them check and make sure that they claimed the “right body or remains” (Raj K Raj/HT Photo)
Some relatives, unable to stomach the horrific shape in which the bodies were, and tragically the stench, had called other members or friends to help them check and make sure that they claimed the “right body or remains” (Raj K Raj/HT Photo)
Updated on May 15, 2022 08:23 PM IST
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ByHemani Bhandari and Soumya Pillai

‘There were no windows... We were choking’: Mundka fire survivors recount horror

When the fire spread, the people inside the building were on different floors. On the first floor the employees were working at the offices of the CCTV and Wifi router assembly unit. Most people were on the second floor attending the motivational speaker’s session.
Survivors said that there were no windows in the hall on the second floor. Glass panels that covered the building on all sides were bolted, leaving just one exit from the inferno — a lone staircase. But this route was also blocked by the blazes. (Raj K Raj/HT Photo)
Survivors said that there were no windows in the hall on the second floor. Glass panels that covered the building on all sides were bolted, leaving just one exit from the inferno — a lone staircase. But this route was also blocked by the blazes. (Raj K Raj/HT Photo)
Updated on May 15, 2022 07:11 AM IST
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Mundka fire: No factory licence, no building plan, no safety

The fire, which broke out at the illegal building near the Mundka Metro station on Friday evening, was likely caused by a short-circuit on the first floor, the police said.
Journalists, security personnel and civil defence officials at the site, as NDRF personnel carry out rescue and relief work after a massive fire at an office building near the Mundka Metro Station, in West Delhi.(PTI)
Journalists, security personnel and civil defence officials at the site, as NDRF personnel carry out rescue and relief work after a massive fire at an office building near the Mundka Metro Station, in West Delhi.(PTI)
Updated on May 15, 2022 01:26 AM IST
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Delhi plans survey to find reasons for low Covid booster shot turnout

Taking note of the low turnout for Covid-19 booster shots in the national capital, senior officials from Delhi health department said they will conduct a detailed survey to explore the reasons for the depleted numbers at vaccination centres for the third dose and undertake necessary remedial steps
 A health worker administers a dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. (AP)
 A health worker administers a dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. (AP)
Updated on May 11, 2022 12:14 AM IST
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By, New Delhi

43% of donors in paediatric liver transplants are mothers: Apollo Hospital

On the occasion of Mothers’ Day on May 8, doctors say mothers form the largest donor group in liver transplants
At least 43% of the donors in paediatric liver transplants in the national capital are the mothers of the patients, an assessment by the Indraprastha Apollo Hospital has shown. (Picture for representation only)
At least 43% of the donors in paediatric liver transplants in the national capital are the mothers of the patients, an assessment by the Indraprastha Apollo Hospital has shown. (Picture for representation only)
Published on May 08, 2022 12:37 PM IST
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Depression over Bay of Bengal may intensify today. IMD says 'monitoring closely'

The weather system had intensified into a depression, and at 11.30am on Saturday, lay 170km west of Car Nicobar Island and 300km south-southwest of Port Blair, it said in a special bulletin.
The storm will then likely to recurve north-northeastwards and move towards northwest Bay of Bengal off the Odisha coast, the bulletin said.(Representative image)
The storm will then likely to recurve north-northeastwards and move towards northwest Bay of Bengal off the Odisha coast, the bulletin said.(Representative image)
Updated on May 08, 2022 07:28 AM IST
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By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

NW, central India get hottest April in 122 years

As a whole, India has recorded the fourth hottest April ever.
Delhi saw 43.5°C on Saturday while Gurugram hit 46.5°C. (RAJ K RAJ/HT)
Delhi saw 43.5°C on Saturday while Gurugram hit 46.5°C. (RAJ K RAJ/HT)
Updated on Apr 30, 2022 11:39 PM IST
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Hottest April in 121 years over northwest and central India: IMD

India as a whole recorded the fourth hottest April month, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said adding that higher than normal maximum and minimum temperatures are expected to continue in northwest and central India in May.
North, northwest and central India recorded above normal temperatures in April because of the lack of a proper weather system that brought good rains or cloudy skies. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
North, northwest and central India recorded above normal temperatures in April because of the lack of a proper weather system that brought good rains or cloudy skies. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Published on Apr 30, 2022 03:45 PM IST
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AIIMS nurses call off strike after Delhi HC order

  • Advocate Satya Ranjan Swain, appearing for AIIMS, told the court that Kajla instigated, threatened and created an atmosphere of fear among nurses and other staff.
Members of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Nursing Union raise slogans as a part of an indefinite strike against the AIIMS administration. (ANI )
Members of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Nursing Union raise slogans as a part of an indefinite strike against the AIIMS administration. (ANI )
Updated on Apr 27, 2022 05:32 AM IST
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By, , New Delhi

Nursing officer suspended at AIIMS Delhi over staff shortage strike

  • In an order issued by the AIIMS administration on Monday, nursing officer Harish Kumar Kajla was suspended with “immediate effect” for heading the protests and misbehaving with the duty officer on Saturday.
AIIMS Delhi.
AIIMS Delhi.
Published on Apr 26, 2022 05:11 AM IST
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By, New Delhi

Amid case spike, Delhi ups Covid testing

  • Delhi on Monday recorded 1,011 new Covid cases and one death from the disease, according to the Delhi government’s daily health bulletin.
A health worker collects swab sample of a woman for Covid-19 testing. (Vipin Kumar/HT PHOTO)
A health worker collects swab sample of a woman for Covid-19 testing. (Vipin Kumar/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Apr 26, 2022 04:58 AM IST
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By, New Delhi

Few Covid patients in Delhi need critical care, oxygen: Doctors

  • Delhi government data shows that on Saturday, of 3,705 active cases in the city, only 101 Covid-19 patients were admitted to hospitals. This means that nearly 99% of Delhi’s 9,489 hospital beds are vacant.
Health experts also said there is no cause for panic as long as hospital admissions are low. They, however, pointed out that following Covid appropriate behaviour was essential to ensure senior citizens and vulnerable sections are protected. (PTI)
Health experts also said there is no cause for panic as long as hospital admissions are low. They, however, pointed out that following Covid appropriate behaviour was essential to ensure senior citizens and vulnerable sections are protected. (PTI)
Published on Apr 24, 2022 03:57 AM IST
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By, New Delhi

Delhi: Doctors allay fears, say kids below 12 at low Covid risk

  • Data from Delhi’s government hospitals show that of the 91 patients currently admitted in hospitals, only eight are children who have been advised institutional care because of pre-existing co-morbid conditions.
Private hospitals in Delhi have also noted a spike in the number of Covid infections among children, but the majority of the cases coming in do not result in admissions.(Reuters)
Private hospitals in Delhi have also noted a spike in the number of Covid infections among children, but the majority of the cases coming in do not result in admissions.(Reuters)
Published on Apr 21, 2022 03:25 AM IST
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By, New Delhi

Delhi’s mask mandate should not have been lifted, say experts

While experts stood divided over the reintroduction of fines for violating the mask norms, a majority of doctors believed that mandatory masking could help control the rise in Covid infections.
Taking cognisance of the increasing number of Covid infections in the Capital, DDMA on Wednesday decided to reintroduce fines of <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>500 for not wearing masks in public places. (Arvind Yadav/HT Photo)
Taking cognisance of the increasing number of Covid infections in the Capital, DDMA on Wednesday decided to reintroduce fines of 500 for not wearing masks in public places. (Arvind Yadav/HT Photo)
Updated on Apr 21, 2022 03:18 AM IST
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By, New Delhi

Delhi adds 501 Covid cases; 99% hospital beds still vacant

  • Due to the targeted testing, the test positivity rate – a bellwether figure for outbreak trends – has shot up.
A healthworker collects swab samples of residents for Covid-19 testing, in Gurugram.(PTI)
A healthworker collects swab samples of residents for Covid-19 testing, in Gurugram.(PTI)
Published on Apr 19, 2022 04:40 AM IST
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Delhi may bring back masks amid case uptick

The people added that the messaging from the removal of the 500 fine for not wearing masks appeared to have led to a lowering of the guard, and consultations are now underway on bringing back the mandate.
The recommendations will be considered by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) when it takes a call on the pandemic-related rules in a meeting on April 20.(AP)
The recommendations will be considered by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) when it takes a call on the pandemic-related rules in a meeting on April 20.(AP)
Updated on Apr 16, 2022 05:50 AM IST
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By, New Delhi:

As Delhi adds 299 cases, govt says may sequence all fresh infections

At the same time, however, the state health department is likely conduct genome checks on samples from all fresh Covid-19 cases, in a bid to ascertain if there is any pattern to the rise in cases, and if the XE variant of the coronavirus has made its way to Delhi.
A motorist passes by a mural of frontline workers against coronavirus at RK Puram in New Delhi. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)
A motorist passes by a mural of frontline workers against coronavirus at RK Puram in New Delhi. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)
Published on Apr 14, 2022 03:50 AM IST
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By, New Delhi

Booster must be same as first two jabs, extra fee of 150 allowed

Private vaccination centres will be allowed to charge a maximum of 150 per dose as service charge in addition to the cost of the vaccines, the ministry said. The price of Covishield and Covaxin has been reduced to 225 at private facilities.
Image for representation(AP)
Image for representation(AP)
Updated on Apr 10, 2022 03:38 AM IST
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By, New Delhi

Delhi rolls up sleeves for booster drive: Stocks in place, say centres

The decision to open the third dose for all comes at a time when China is seeing a fresh surge in infections, though India’s pandemic situation is under control
Data from the government’s Co-WIN dashboard shows that as of Friday, Delhi had 411 Covid vaccination centres, of which 320 were government centres and 91 were run by private players. (Representational image/Reuters File)
Data from the government’s Co-WIN dashboard shows that as of Friday, Delhi had 411 Covid vaccination centres, of which 320 were government centres and 91 were run by private players. (Representational image/Reuters File)
Updated on Apr 09, 2022 06:52 AM IST
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Positivity rate uptick largely due to focused testing: Experts allay fears

Delhi added 126 cases of Covid-19 on Wednesday, with 1.12% of the tested samples returning positive samples. The test positivity rate was 1.05% on Tuesday and 1.34% on Monday, when it breached the 1% mark for the first time in 38 days
Delhi’s positivity rate was above 1% on February 24 this year, as fresh cases began to wind down at the end of the Omicron-driven fifth wave of Covid-19. (PTI)
Delhi’s positivity rate was above 1% on February 24 this year, as fresh cases began to wind down at the end of the Omicron-driven fifth wave of Covid-19. (PTI)
Updated on Apr 07, 2022 05:13 AM IST
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By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Largely vacant, Delhi winds down its Covid-19 care centres

A senior health department official said the Covid care centres and health centres will be closed in a phased manner by mid-April, noting that there have been no admissions in these centres since March 12.
Delhi added 82 Covid-19 cases and one death on Monday.(ANI file photo. Representative image)
Delhi added 82 Covid-19 cases and one death on Monday.(ANI file photo. Representative image)
Published on Apr 05, 2022 07:03 AM IST
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By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Delhi closes 1,000 jab centres, terminates services of vaccinators and nurses

According to health department officials, the number of vaccination centres was reduced as the Delhi government had decided to do away with centres being run from government schools due to reopening of schools in the Capital.
A healthcare worker administers a dose of the Covid-19 vaccine to a student in the age group of 12-14 years. (PTI)
A healthcare worker administers a dose of the Covid-19 vaccine to a student in the age group of 12-14 years. (PTI)
Published on Apr 02, 2022 03:23 AM IST
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By, New Delhi
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Thursday, May 26, 2022