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Bridging the dead end

At least 33 people were killed on Saturday when a bus crashed through the railings of the bridge and fell into the Banas river in Rajasthan’s Sawai Madhopur. What was more shocking and can be termed a major infrastructure failure was that the bridge on which the tragedy took over, didn’t have warning boards and the railings were not fortified which reflects the poor state of the bridge and ‘low-class’ engineering. According to the Central ministry of road, transport and highway, there are 8 major bridges in the state which can collapse at any point of time.Bridge inventory and condition survey were carried out by the Central ministry recently. The survey was basically based on visual inspection, according to which 8 major bridges of Rajasthan were found under distress condition which means bridge could collapse anytime. According to this survey, there are 5 major bridges under Udaipur region namely Panarwa, Subedra, Gogla, Nayarahat and Looniyara which are under the threat of collapse. One bridge under Ajmer region in Nagra is also on the list. One bridge at Mohabbatpura under Dausa region and one bridge at Belapur under Jaipur region is facing severe condition.Warning from the past: Deaths due to the collapse of structures: Data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) indicates that a total of 38,363 people lost their lives due to the collapse of various structures between 2001 and 2015. Most people lost their lives due to the collapse of residential houses. In Rajasthan, 2,066 people lost their lives due to structural collapse. The NCRB categorizes the data on the collapse of structures into 5 different categories. Between 2001 and 2015, the collapse of bridges recorded the death of 1,217 people.Kota bridge collapse30 people were killed on December 2009, 2015 due to a collapse of an under-construction bridge over Chambal river in Rajasthan. After 10 months, a high-level probe identified non-compliance of construction sequence prepared by the project designer as one of the main reasons behind the accident.

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Six tigers electrocuted in Maharashtra in 1 year

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>There is a new danger lurking for Maharashtra’s tigers—that of death by electrocution. Between November 2016 to November 2017, the state lost six tigers due to poaching by electrocution.This includes Srinivas, who was electrocuted to death in Nagbhid range in April. In 2017, Maharashtra lost 15 tigers to various causes, of which five deaths are due to electrocution.”Patches around farms are electrified to kill herbivores, but it leads to the deaths of carnivores like tigers and also human beings,” said a senior forest department official. Sometimes, tigers are killed along with the herbivores when the two are electrocuted during the chase.He added that many put on electrified wires deliberately for poaching. “If these agriculturists want to protect their crops, they can use solar fencing as it has been done in the villages in a 2,500 hectare area around the Tadoba Andhari tiger reserve,” the official said.”The major problem is 11KV lines, which are illegally hooked. The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MahaVitaran) should launch underground cabling and insulation of networks in these areas and also shift these poles to the main roads to prevent them from being tapped,” he noted.Dr Anish Andheria, President, Wildlife Conservation Trust (WCT) said that it was a grave situation as electrocution was killing more animals than organised poaching. “We got to know about tigers as two of them were even radio collared think about the numbers of leopards, wolves and other mammals killed due to electrocution and never reported,” he said.History speaksIn 2016, India lost 98 tigers — the highest since 2010. Of these Maharashtra accounted for 15 mortalities.In 2015, the deaths stood at 12, up from seven in 2014 and 10 in 2013.

Metro-1 grapples with technical faults

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Mumbai Metro One Private Limited (MMOPL) claims to have been consistently maintaining punctuality of 98-99 per cent on the Versova -Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro-1 corridor. But, in the meanwhile, it has been grapling with several other issues like increasing technical failures in the Chinese rolling stock (coaches). In the first six months of this year alone, these technical failures have almost doubled when compared to the corresponding period in 2016.While a total of 24 failures in rolling stock were reported in 2016, the figure touched 22 in just the first six months of this year.According to data from the monthly reports prepared by the Independent Engineer (IE) of Metro-1, a joint venture between Sener and ACPL, there were around 13 failures in the Chinese Rolling Stock in the first six months of 2016 between January and June. In the second half of 2016, the number of failures in Chinese rolling stock went down to around 11 failures.However, the number of failures doubled in the first six months of 2017, between January and June, to around 22 failures.The failures were many — sudden incidents of automatic doors of the Metro failing to open or close, non-operational headlights, the emergency mode setting off on its own, leaking battery cells etc.In one such incident, both headlights of a Metro car were found to be not working. In one of its monthly reports, the IE recorded that one trip was delayed as the pilot on February 19, 2017 reported that both headlights were not working.”Even after resetting, the fault persisted. Hence, walkway lights were switched on and train was moved with restricted speed in available visibility condition,” the Monthly Report for February 2017 reads.The highest number of Rolling Stock failures between the period of January 2016 and June 2017 was in the month of June 2017. Around six technical failures were witnessed in Rolling Stock of Metro-1. Doors failing to open and train brakes not releasing, trains not getting traction above 5-kmph were few of the reasons for the highest number of failures.A total of 10 trips were delayed, and two trips were cancelled in June 2017 owing to approximately six failures related to Rolling Stock. The lowest number of Rolling Stock failures was one in February 2016, March 2016, July 2016, August 2016 and October 2016.The Rolling Stocks for Metro-1 were procured from M/s CSR, Nanjing China. The configuration of each Rolling Stock is of four coach rakes, extendable up to six coaches in future, and the fleet size is 16. The air-conditioned Rolling Stock of Metro-1 is designed with a speed limit of 80-kmph and the operating speed to 50-kmph.Punctuality maintained at 98-99 per cent despite problemsDespite the technical glitches or failures in its rolling stock, signalling and telecommunications the operations of Metro-1 have not been affected. The Metro-1 has maintained a punctuality average of 98-99 per cent in terms of running actual services when compared with planned services.Between January 2016 and March 2016 around 31,019 services were planned to be operated, and MMOPL ran one surplus service in the same period, that is 31,020 services.Further between April 2016 and June 2016, MMOPL ran 31,311 services against the planned 31,320 services which means a deficit of running nine less services.Between July 2016 and September 2016, MMOPL ran a total of 31,548 services whereas the same number of services were planned to be run between the above mentioned period. Between October 2016 and December 2016, MMOPL ran a total of 31,558 services .
Signalling failures double but escalator troubles dip this yrNot only failures of the rolling stock, the Metro-1 corridor has also been hit by technical failures that are crucial for the operation of the Metro corridor. These include signalling failures, telecommunication failures, faults in the escalators and lifts on the Metro station, along with failures of the Automatic Fare Collection (AFC) gates.According to the data accessed exclusively by DNA, there were around 45 failures relating to the signalling of Metro-1 between the period of January 2016 and June 2016. These failures doubled in the second half, with 103 signalling failures between the period of July 2016 and December 2016.In the first half of 2017, there were around 93 signalling failures reported between the period of January 2017 and June 2017. This takes the total number of signalling failures between January 2016 and June 2017 to around 241.The highest number of signalling failures were reported in the months of October 2016 and June 2017, with the total failures being around 35 and 28 respectively. The lowest number of signalling failures reported were around three in May 2016.Further, there were around 675 telecommunication failures reported between January 2016 and June 2017. Between the same period, around 74 failures were reported in the radio of Metro pilot that is part of telecommunication failures. The radio is used by the Metro pilot for contacting and coordinating between the Metro stations and Metro control room.The highest number of 10 failures in the radio system were reported in September 2016, and the lowest of two failures in March-April and May 2017. Around 448 failures were reported in the CCTV cameras that are installed at Metro stations and depot.Topping the list of failures are the automatic fare collection (AFC) gates, which is where the commutes swipe their tokens or smart cards for accessing the way towards the Metro.Birds snapping overhead wire a major issueThe services of Metro-have been affected several times due to birds snapping the overhead wires that supply power to the rolling stock.According to the data given by IE for Metro-1, 86 failures due to bird snapping were reported between January 2016 and October 2016. The highest number of 23 failures were reported in April 2016.In one such case, on February 23, 2017, 38 Metro services were cancelled and two were delayed after a breakdown of overhead wire was reported near Azad Nagar Metro station. “The overhead wire breakdown was due to the bird fault between the return conductor and anti-creep wire, which resulted in parting of both conductors,” reads the monthly report prepared by IE in March 2017.”Anti-bird devices/ methods maybe developed and implemented on experimental basis,” reads one of the suggestions given to MMOPL by the IE.’Our process ensures that faults don’t become failures’While the IE’s monthly reports term them technical ‘failures’, MMOPL maintains that these are ‘faults’, all of which are recorded irrespective of magnitude, so that they can be rectified immediately.When contacted, A Mumbai Metro One Private Limited (MMOPL), spokesperson said, “The number of faults depends on the traffic, and MMOPL is taking corrective action for the same. If the number of faults has gone up over last year, it is solely on account of the heavier footfall and the increased number of trips the Metro is undertaking. These faults have not turned into service-affecting failures except in the odd case just because of our stringent processes that ensure that faults don’t graduate to failure. Even if one were to take the number of faults reported over the systems usage, it is clear that their occurrences range from 2-5 faults per million operations.”The spokesperson, added, “A case in point is AFC failure. A total of 1,249 AFC failures/faults were reported between January ’16 and June ’17, as per the report. The total number of passengers who travelled during this period is 13.22 crore. Each passenger uses the AFC twice (one Entry & one Exit). On that basis, the fault rate comes to 4.7 per million operations, which is in fact a performance any metro system would like to boast of.The spokesperson further added, “We accord uncompromising priority to commuter safety and performance standards. Our robust and pro-active reporting regime is geared towards identifying each minor fault and undertaking immediate remedial action so that these do not graduate to service-disrupting failures. This is how MMOPL manages to maintain its performance of 99.9 per cent punctuality and 100 per cent availability on continuous basis.MMOPL has achieved 100 per cent punctuality continuously for all days of a particular month several times in last 39 months of its operation.”

Amnesty: Families ‘not compensated after 2013 India riots’

The Hindu-Muslim clashes in Muzaffarnagar killed over 60 people and displaced more than 50,000 others.

Bike-borne men snatch Meghalaya woman’s purse at Lajpat Nagar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two bike-borne men allegedly snatched the purse of a woman, who was travelling in an autorickshaw, and fled the spot at south-east Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar, the police said today. The woman from Meghalaya also sustained injuries as she fell off the autorickshaw while trying to thwart the snatching attempt last night. Abazila (31) had boarded the autorickshaw from Malviya Nagar to go to Maharani Bagh. At around 11.30 pm, the bike- borne men snatched her purse at the Moolchand/Lajpat Nagar flyover, said a senior police officer, adding that there was an iPhone, Rs 400 and some documents in the wallet. The woman sustained injuries on her hands and elbows after she fell off the autorickshaw, said the officer. She was taken to a hospital by the police, from where she was discharged after receiving first-aid. As the miscreants were wearing helmets, the woman could not see their faces, said the officer, adding that as the road was empty at the time of the incident, nobody managed to note down the number of the motorcycle. The police were trying to get CCTV footage from the area. In another similar incident yesterday, two bike-borne men snatched the bangles of a 50-year-old woman passenger of an autorickshaw and fled the spot after firing in the air, a short distance from the police headquarters at the central Delhi’s ITO area. Between January and May this year, 3,717 cases of snatching were registered in the national capital, as opposed to 4,255 in the same period last year.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Mumbai: Heavy rainfall delays suburban services

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After a brief spell of drizzle in the last two days, heavy rains lashed the city and adjoining areas this morning affecting suburban rail services on both routes of the Central Railway.According to an official in BMC’s disaster management control room, despite incessant rains there have been no reports of any untoward incident in the metropolis in the last 24 hours.Though heavy rains resulted in water logging in few areas of Sion and Hindmata area in Dadar in the city, it did not affect vehicular traffic majorly, they said.However, local trains on Harbour and Central line of CR were running late this morning.Central Railway PRO A K Singh said, “Suburban services on Central Railway are running late by 10 minutes. But since locals are running on regular intervals, no major inconvenience was caused to commuters.”
ALSO READ Mumbai Rains: Pre-monsoon showers bring local trains to a screeching haltIn the last 24 hours, suburban Mumbai and adjoining areas received more rainfall than the island city.”Between 8.30 am on Friday to 8.30 am on Saturday, weather stations at Colaba and Santacruz observatory recorded 7 mm and 93.2 mm rainfall respectively,” officials said.
ALSO READ Mumbai rains: Continuous downpour cripples city, leaves many areas water-loggedAnother official from the civic body said the city has received average rainfall this month, easing water woes.He said that stock in seven reservoirs which supplies water to the city has touched their highest level this time as compared to the last three years.”It means that catchment areas have received decent rainfall over the last few days,” he said adding that the water stock in lakes were 4.5 lakh million litre on June 30 this year, while it was 1.09 lakh million litre in 2016 and 3.5 lakh ml in 2015 respectively.Meanwhile, few Mumbaikars enjoyed the weekend rain and took to social media to express their joy.While some of them posted pictures of greenery around them, some went ahead with pics of morning cup of hot tea and coffee in the lovely weather.Kavya Daga, a budding singer tweeted, “#Mumbai has its own way of making you fall in love with #monsoon #baarish #Rain.””Happieee day with Mom and Monsoon and the Marine drive .Enjoying the #MumbaiRains,” said another tweet.

Gurgaon to become living hell if growth pangs not tackled: CSE

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Millennium City may turn into a “living hell” if steps are not taken to make its growth model more sustainable, as “explosive urbanisation” is stretching the NCR town’s resources to the limit, the CSE has said. The observation is part of a report on challenges staring at Gurgaon and possible solutions prepared by the Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) and Gurgaon First under the aegis of the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram. “This kind of unprecedented growth has made enormous demands on resources including water, energy, land, mobility and biodiversity, and is generating mountains of waste. If not addressed at the early stages of growth, this can turn Gurugram into a living hell,” the report says. The document, titled ‘Gurugram: A framework for sustainable development’, notes that rapid urbanisation has led to a five-time increase in population of Gurgaon since 2001. In terms of water, the gap between demand and supply may jump from 34 per cent to 57 per cent in the years to come, it said, adding that due to unchecked use of groundwater, water table of the city is falling at a rate of 1-3 metres every year. The framework document bases much of its recommendations and action agenda on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which India has committed to meet, relating to improving health and education, making cities sustainable, combating climate change and protecting forests. It also expressed concern on the level of air pollution in the city, which is a part of the National Capital Region (NCR), and identified rising number of vehicles, high use of diesel vehicles and diesel generator sets as the key factors. “There is a growing dependence on personal vehicles. Between 2008 and 2015 car registration increased by 352 per cent. Bus registration is down by 300 per cent, while para- transit has declined by 39 per cent. “There are four times more cars per 1,000 people than in Delhi. Share of public transport, walk and cycles has dropped from 58 per cent to 40 per cent,” it says. The report identified National Highway 8, which connects Delhi to Jaipur via Gurgaon, as an accident hotspot, where “60 per cent” of road accidents occur. The draft document recommends that water demand should be reduced by at least 25 per cent from current levels through water efficiency and conservation measures, to ensure equitable access to clean water for all. “Promote zero landfill development minimise and reuse solid waste. Not more than 10 per cent of waste should go to landfill sites. Promote mandatory decentralised segregation and collection in all residential colonies and institutions, with composting sites at colony and ward levels,” it says.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

200 registrations in first 10 mins of opening of DU admissions

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The online registration for admission to undergraduate courses of Delhi University saw around 200 entries within 10 minutes after it was thrown open to the public today. “Between 6 pm and 6:10 pm, we saw around 200 online registrations. If the present momentum continues, we can expect around 10,000 applications on the first day,” said an official associated with admissions department. The online registrations for admissions to undergraduate programmes began today at 6 pm for its 60 UG courses in 62 colleges affiliated with the varsity with around 54,000 seats. “We are monitoring the developments,” said the official. However, aspirants were held up waiting to access the registration page – https://ug.du.ac.in/app/ – which was burdened due to the initial rush. The varsity is scheduled to announce its first cut-off list on June 20. As of now, six cut-off dates have been announced. However, further cut-off lists may be announced depending on vacant seats in colleges, an official statement said. Earlier in the day, the university’s 10-day counselling session or ‘Open Days’ began with around 600 students flocking the North Campus with a bag full of questions.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Bhupender Yadav holds meetings with Guj BJP leaders

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The newly-appointed in-charge of Gujarat BJP, Bhupender Yadav, today held meetings with the party leaders and its state-level office-bearers in Gandhinagar. Yadav, a Rajya Sabha MP, was appointed the in-charge of Gujarat BJP last month. “Yadav and party’s national general secretary (organisation) Ramlal today held two separate meetings- with key party leaders as well as office-bearers of various wings of the state BJP- at the party headquarters in Gandhinagar,” state party spokesperson Bharat Pandya said in a statement. During the meetings, chaired by state party chief Jitu Vaghani, the new party in-charge was introduced to several party leaders here. Yadav was also informed about various programmes taken up by the state BJP in the run-up to the elections, Pandya said. “Yadav then called on Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and attended a meeting of BJP MLAs to provide them guidance,” the statement said. Assembly polls in Gujarat are expected to be held towards the end of this year. Between May 28 and June 5, party vistaraks (full time workers) would reach out to people in all the 48,000 booths across the state to inform them about the pro-people work done by state as well as Centre government, the statement said. On May 13, the party would organise a state-level training workshop for these vistaraks for effective implementation, it added. Pandya said that several central ministers would visit the state between May 24 and June 24 to share the three-year report card of the NDA government with public.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Will not remain silent spectator if code of conduct is violated: EC to parties

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Election Commission on Tuesday warned political parties that it will not remain a “silent spectator” and will undertake stern steps if the model code of conduct or poll laws are violated by them during the forthcoming Assembly elections in five states.In a strong letter, citing a recent judgement of the Supreme Court, the Election Commission (EC) said peace and tranquillity during the polls process is “absolutely essential for free and peaceful conduct of elections in the country.” “As you are kindly aware the model code of conduct and various provisions of IPC, inter alia, provide that political parties and their leaders should desist from making statements to the effect of creating disharmony between different sections of society on the basis of religion as the same disturb peace and tranquillity of the society which is absolutely essential for free and peaceful conduct of elections.”Even, the apex court of the country has expressed its deep concerns in the matter vide its judgement and order dated January 2, 2017…,” it said. The EC communication to the national and state parties added: “The Commission will not remain a silent spectator if the provisions of law or MCC are violated and no one can do it with impunity. The Commission will take stern actions for any violation under all powers available.””All may please note it and issue suitable advisory to all concerned,” it added.In a landmark verdict seeking to separate religion, caste and other issues from politics, the Supreme Court, by a majority verdict, had held as “corrupt” the practice of candidates appealing for votes on the basis of these identities included not only him but his agents and voters. The court held that the provisions of the R P Act, which say that seeking vote by a candidate in the name of “his” religion, caste, race and language in the election law, included candidates, his agents and voters also.”An appeal in the name of religion, race, caste, community or language is impermissible under the R P Act, 1951 and would constitute a corrupt practice sufficient to annul the election in which such an appeal was made regardless whether the appeal was in the name of the candidate’s religion or the religion of the election agent or that of the opponent or that of the voter’s,” the apex court order had said. Between February 4 and March 8, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur are going for Assembly polls and the Model Code of Conduct came into force on January 4 when the EC announced the election schedule.

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