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US News India: controversy around a government site maintained in the crisis of Covid-19

12:10  10 may  2021
12:10  10 may  2021 Source:   rfi.fr

India: Why the number of deaths of COVID-19 is largely underestimated

 India: Why the number of deaths of COVID-19 is largely underestimated © AP - Altaf QADRI COVID-19 victims funeral bakers burn on a ground that has been converted to crematorium for mass cremation to New Delhi, Saturday, April 24, 2021. India has been facing a dazzling wave of CVIV-19 infections: more than 386,000 cases recorded in 24 hours for 3,500 deaths. It seems a lot in absolute terms, but little for a country of 1.3 billion people. The causes of deaths in India are very rarely reported in normal times and even less in a pandemic time.

India 's Covid crisis is being felt far beyond its borders. Nepal sees 1,200% rise in Covid - 19 cases as India 's crisis spills over borders. India 's catastrophe is threatening global vaccination drive. TV star makes comeback with hilarious music video promoting vaccines. "We start getting bodies in the morning and they keep coming in one after the other," said Suman Kumar Gupta, an official at Delhi's Nigambodh Ghat cremation site , on Wednesday. For workers and volunteers at the crematorium, handling hundreds of bodies daily and witnessing a constant outpouring of anguish takes a heavy toll.

On Monday, a senior official from India 's federal government told journalists that there was no shortage of oxygen in Delhi or anywhere else in the country. As he spoke, several small hospitals - only a few miles from where he stood in the capital - were sending out desperate messages about them running out of oxygen, putting patients' lives at risk. image captionA street in Delhi in early March, when, despite warnings, India ’s health minister said the country was in the “endgame” of Covid - 19 .

Un ouvrier sur le chantier de Central Vista. New Delhi, le 9 mai 2021. © AFP - Sajjad Hussain A worker on the site of Central Vista. New Delhi, May 9, 2021.

India has been undergoing a violent second wave of CVIV-19 contaminations that hit its capital, New Delhi in the first place. This city is stopped, but a continuing site: the one to replace the main public buildings in the center of the city. An extremely political project and the maintenance of this work is controversial.

of our correspondent in India,

The objective of this gigantic site is to completely redraw an area of ​​35 hectares in the heart of New Delhi, called Central Vista, and which welcomes the most important buildings of Indian power: the presidential palace, the presidential palace, the presidential palace, the presidential palace. Parliament, the ministries, etc. The government justifies this mega site by the fact that these structures are old, some are centennial, others would be too small, obsolete or inadequate to the air conditioning needs, for example.

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Photos: India 's Covid - 19 crisis . Ambulances carrying Covid - 19 patients line up outside a government hospital in Ahmedabad on April 22. Hide Caption. Photos: India 's Covid - 19 crisis . Police officers patrol a deserted street in New Delhi on April 20. The capital city has been on lockdown because of Covid - 19 .

The authorities in the Indian capital Delhi have called for help from the army as the city grapples with a brutal second wave of Covid - 19 cases. Hospitals in the city are in crisis , with intensive care beds full and an acute shortage of medical oxygen. Delhi's government wants the army to run Covid care facilities "Half of my hospital staff are on the road with cylinders to get them filled every day, going from one place to another." There are severe strains outside of the capital too. In the southern state of Karnataka, 24 people died in one hospital, but the government there has denied reports that all of

Dozens of buildings must therefore be built, including a new Parliament and a new residence for the Prime Minister, for a total cost of more than two billion euros over seven years. This flagship project will allow the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, to leave his historic footprint on the capital and so has done a priority project: he announced that everything must be ready before the end of his term in 2024.

"essential" site "essential

Today, nothing seems to stop this site, not even the ravages of the coronavirus. But it begins to do controversy: the contamination is dazzling in the capital, the patients do not find a bed or oxygen, the regional government declared a general confinement, has banned all the activities to curb the spread, but this site, He was declared as "essential" by the federal government. The latter ensures that the hundred workers sleep on the site, which would avoid contagion outside, but the workers interviewed by a local media say the opposite. They are well taken daily by bus from their home.

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The Indian state governments have responded to the COVID - 19 pandemic in India with various declarations of emergency, closure of institutions and public meeting places, and other restrictions intended to contain the spread of the virus.

As India fights a devastating second wave of Covid - 19 that is killing thousands each day, international efforts to help tackle the crisis are hastening, with both Britain and the United States pledging aid and much-needed medical supplies.

The Government's priority of Narendra Modi seems to be to finish quickly, at all costs. This shocks a lot, because the health of the workers is thus endangered. But more generally: how the construction of a new residence for the Prime Minister is a priority when people die in front of hospitals because the government can not provide them with oxygen? This offers a princely vanity and disconnection image, which is widely exploited by the opposition that requires the suspension of this work.

A request for suspension before the Court of Appeal

on the government side, it is answered first, that this project offers employment and income to these workers. Then the government allocated twice as much money for vaccination against CVIV-19, which will be spent for 7 years for this construction. "We know our priorities," retorts a minister. Two New Delhi residents still filed a request for suspension of the work before the Court of Appeal of the Capital, and the judges must decide on Monday, May 10.

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Union-India: the European Union and India will resume their trade negotiations © Reuters / Yves Herman the European Union and India will resume Their Trade Negotiations Brussels (Reuters) - The European Union and India have decided to resume their negotiations for a free trade agreement and cooperate more to combat climate change at a summit by videoconference held on Saturday.

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