Tag Archives: Paris

Fire engulfs Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral

Jamsheed Rizwani

Paris: People across the world are shocked by the towering inferno that has devastated and destroyed the roof and spire of the Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral – a great legacy and a historical monument with immense sacred value.

The roof of the Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral was currently getting a relift, in fact its roof was covered with scaffoldings when the fire broke out for a still unknown reason.

Only last week, the statues of the twelve apostles sculpted by Viollet le Duc were taken down for overhaul and repairs which were to last for more than a year.

The towering inferno and spectacular blaze that could be seen from afar has now been extinguished but the cathédral is under surveillance by firemen lest the fire takes off again from the embers.

The towers have been saved, but not the spire and the famous stained glass vitraux……..A national tragedy for France, a tragedy for the world which has lost one of it’s iconic cultural symbols.


A part of everyone in France, including my wife Shireen and myself, destroyed partially by fire.

Notre Dame de Paris represents each of us….it is much more than a mere religious symbol. It must be rebuilt. It is a symbol of freedom, a symbol of the construction of the French identity – from royalty to a secular Républic, a symbol of resistance to oppression during the Nazi occupation of World War II. It cannot and should not be lost and forgotten.

For people not familiar with the séparation of the Catholic Church and the French State, it belongs to the State and is used by the Catholic Church by virtue of a convention signed with the State. In other words, it belongs to every citizen in France. Every citizen in France is attached to this symbol of the greatness of France, of it’s capacity to unite the nation beyond the frontiers of faith, of race and of any other factor of differentiation.


The Seine flood and its impact on Paris

Newsroom24x7 Staff

The Seine floodParis: The River Seine in Paris has burst its banks at many places and the floodwaters in Paris are expected to rise further with the River Seine flowing 6m (20ft) above the normal level on Friday.

The swollen Seine is expected to recede from Monday, June 6

The world-famous Louvre and Orsay museums have been shut so staff can move priceless artworks to safety.

The flood forecasting service here had announced Seine vigilance “Orange” in Paris on Thursday, June 2 implying that there is a flood risk generating and large spills could have a significant impact on community life and the safety of property and people.

As the cellars of nearby districts of the Seine are likely to be flooded, people have been advised to remove valuables to safer places.

The Municipal authorities in Paris have told people to avoid going near the Seine and not to take unnecessary risks. The flood of the Seine, which affects Paris since Monday, May 30, has two characteristics: first it comes at a time of year when this type of phenomenon is rare, on the other hand the waters rose quickly -2 meters in 72 hours.

Earlier on Tuesday, the City of Paris had coordinated with the Police Department and all the operators concerned to put in place preventive measures to limit the impact on the daily lives of Parisians and the economic activities.

On Wednesday, the river banks were closed to traffic and Waterways of France suspended river traffic.

The City of Paris has decided to cancel midnight openings of Parks and Gardens this weekend, as the parks are waterlogged.
The lanes closed to traffic

The Pompidou path Mazas underground Tuileries
The section from the Garigliano bridge Bir Hakeim,
The pedestrian lane Pont-Royal Pont de l’Alma route Valhubert avoidance, under the bridge of Austerlitz (left bank)
The area under the National Bridge
The Quai de Bercy in the direction Voie Georges Pompidou / A4. The tunnel was flooded, it is closed to traffic.
The underground leading to access to the A4 (from the Interior Ring Road)

Supply of drinking water

Heavy rains in recent days and their consequences do not affect the drinking water supply of the capital, both in terms of quantity and quality. However water distributed in Paris has been reduced to half from underground sources – protected by the natural barrier of the ground – and river water (Seine and Marne). The raw water is treated in plants where water purification treatment systems are designed to cope with degraded quality of raw water, as is currently the case in thunderstorms.

It has been officially statwed that the water treatment and production capacity is fully operational and can fully meet the drinking water needs of Paris. The Eau de Paris teams have been mobilized to ensure that delivery of water in Paris is safe and sufficient!
Places closed the Parisians and Tourists

The Musée d’Orsay , the e Louvre Museum was closed to the public on Friday, June 3 to evacuate the works in reserve.

The sewer museum , the Josephine Baker swimming pool (13th) and gyms in the Square Tino Rossi (5th) are also closed to the public.

COP21 – Climate summit moves towards its final format

Newsroom24x7 Desk

cop21Paris : Delegates participating in the COP21 Climate summit put in the best of their efforts and reached to the penultimate round of shaping up of the agreement in Paris, a work which lasted most part of the night and brought forth a near-final version of the agreement at Le Bourget climate centre. Negotiators at the Paris climate summit have been working meticulously in the post sunset hours trying to reach a global agreement, with talks in their final day. It is hoped that the deal would be inked anytime today. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who is chairing the summit, told negotiators about the optimism with which the deal was getting inked, and assured them with promising words like – I think we will make it.

A new global agreement that would stake out a long-term strategy for dealing with climate change, would take the shape of a final inked deal which will be signed here in Paris and would come into being in 2020. The good news is that a draft document finalized on Wednesday, running to just 29 pages in total, was considerably smaller than previous versions. And the better news is — the latest version, delivered after consultations throughout Thursday, was 27 pages. Fabius, who led the delegates in discussion through the night, told the negotiators – we are into the final lap which separates us from a universal, legally binding, ambitious, fair and lasting agreement which the world is waiting for.

The draft has salient attributes. Some of them are — it has cut the options on the long-term goal of the proposed treaty. It states that temperature rises must be kept well below 2C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5C. Detailing part of it reveals that the number of square brackets, indicating significant disagreement, had been reduced to around 50, a major improvement on early format when they ran to more than 900.

However, some campaigners were not happy with Thursday’s draft, saying it denied ‘climate justice’. They expressed opinions in the likes of — rich countries have a responsibility to ensure a fair global deal for everyone, not just themselves, and as we move into these final hours of negotiations poorer countries must not settle for anything less. Other agreeing voice showed optimism in the likes of — the draft has affirmed the need to set quantified funding goals for both climate change mitigation and adaptation for the years after 2020. Some added — this is a very encouraging development and we strongly urge negotiators to keep this in the final agreement.

India has put up its bet on solar energy and is committed to contributing positively towards climate restructure and saving the planet from depleting resources, in the best way it can.

Obama and Modi committed to secure climate change agreement : White House

Newsroom24x7 Desk

Modi-ObamaWashington, DC : US President Barack Obama and Prime Minster Narendra Modi spoke over telephone yesterday and shared their personal commitment towards climate change. During their telephonic conversation, as read out from the textual transcript of the discussion by White House, both leaders emphasized their ‘personal commitment’ to secure a strong climate change pact this week.

Obama called upon Modi in the backdrop of climate summit to discuss the ongoing Conference of Parties (COP21) at Paris. PM Modi took the opportunity to personal convey his condolences for the loss of lives in California shooting last week. Moving ahead in their talks, when focus returned to the objective of the tinkle talk, as stated by White House — Both leaders emphasised their personal commitment to secure a strong climate change agreement this week and their interest in both countries’ working together to achieve a successful outcome. .

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters that US President was closely following the developments in Paris where more than 180 countries were trying to hammer out a deal on climate change. A day earlier, Obama had spoken with his Brazilian counterpart. Yesterday, came India’s turn. Earnest shared with media — I can tell you that earlier today, the (US) President placed a telephone call to Prime Minister Modi of India to discuss the ongoing negotiations. I would anticipate that over the course of this week as the negotiations continue, the President would be in touch with other world leaders. The Press Secretary also mentioned that Obama was getting regular updates from his team in Paris about the status of the negotiations. He added the US President was optimistic about the success of the Paris summit, and, America looked up to the international community towards taking extra steps in mobilizing and moving forward in the lines of making significant commitments to cut carbon pollution.

Earlier, last week, in Paris, Obama had met Modi on the sidelines of the climate change summit. He had also met his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.