Angela Merkel talks to Narendra Modi during her ceremonial reception in New Delhi on Friday. Adnan Abidi/ Reuters
German Chancellor Angela Merkel got a toxic welcome to India on Friday as Prime Minister Narendra Modi treated her to a military parade in New Delhi in severely polluted air.
Ignoring medical advice issued to the choking megacity's 20 million inhabitants to wear pollution masks, Merkel and Modi reviewed a guard of honour at the presidential palace breathing in the air without protection.
Merkel sat for the national anthems because of her own health problems.
The Indian government monitoring agency rated on Friday the air in the Indian capital, a noxious cocktail of industrial and vehicle emissions and agricultural smoke, as “severe.”
Levels of particulates smaller than 2.5 microns, so tiny they can enter the bloodstream, were 19 times the World Health Organization safe maximum, according to the US embassy website.
India is home to 14 of the 15 most polluted cities in the world, according to the United Nations. According to one study, smog kills a million Indians prematurely every year.
Merkel arrived late on Thursday for a fifth round of inter-governmental talks focused on digitalisation, economy and trade, as well as development and sustainability.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday her country will spend one billion euros ($1.12 billion) in the next five years on green urban mobility projects conceived under the new German-Indian partnership.
Modi also asked citizens to stay indoors, not spread panic about the virus and form local groups to ensure adherence to COVID-19 protocols. He said the central government is working with states and private companies to ramp up the supply of oxygen, as well as production and distribution of vaccines.
At present out of 70 asembly seats the ruling Aam Aadmi Party holds 67 seats in the Assembly and the Bharatiya Janata Party has three.
The Abu Dhabi Police called on drivers to abide by safe driving rules and turn on the vehicle’s lights while driving at night between sunset to sunrise. They also called on them to use the vehicle lights when necessary to alert others and avoid possible accidents and injuries.
The Abu Dhabi Court of Cassation upheld a judgment that obligated a yacht’s owner to pay compensation of Dhs2.058 million to the insurance company, which compensated a number of yachts damaged by a fire caused by the first yacht.
“In my view, overseas Pakistanis should not only get the voting rights but should be allowed to be members of Parliament and Senate as well. No one can understand the problems of expats better than the overseas Pakistanis themselves. Their contribution towards uplifting the country’s economy is immense. Their services should be recognised,” Hans said.
The UAE is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and there are people from different expatriate communities who saw this ‘Golden’ journey through their eyes. Munawar Hussain, a Pakistani expatriate, who has been residing in the country since 1970 is one of them.
Hailing from Sialkot, Hussain’s journey to reach Dubai was not easy or smooth.