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Speak up Delhi: This winter, govt swings into action to provide warmth to homeless

As the cold wave intensifies in north India, the minimum temperature in Delhi drops to 6.4 degree Celsius. Taking this opportunity to help the homeless the Delhi government has once again rolled its ‘Winter Action’ plan to provide aid to the needy people. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal recently announced that additional bunk beds, geysers would be installed at the city’s many night shelters to ensure that homeless people do not die in the winter chill. Even the department of health started its drive to provide medical treatment to the homeless. In order to accommodate the families of patients, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) opened the subway where around 300 people waiting outside the hospital took refuge during on Saturday night. According to the officials, no deaths have been reported so far. People can call the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) control room for information on the homeless. The agency has also launched a Rain Basera mobile app, which can be used to upload photographs of the homeless with their location.In 2001, the Census pegged Delhi’s homeless at 21,895 while an independent study by Ashray Adhika Abhiyan in 2000 claimed the number stands at 52,765. The 2011 Census found that there are 46,724 homeless people in the city. The same year, the Supreme Court Commissioner’s Office (SCCO), DUSIB and other NGOs conducted an enumeration of the homeless population and found the figure to be 2,46,800.DUSIB has 83 permanent night shelters, 113 porta cabins and 55 temporary shelters, which can together accommodate around 20,000 people.In 2014, the then Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung had ordered that subways in areas with a dense homeless population, such as AIIMS and Kashmere Gate, be opened for the homeless during winter — providing some respite from the cold for those sleeping outside AIIMS. This year, however, subways at both locations are locked every night.HELPING THE NEEDYDUSIB has 83 permanent night shelters, 113 porta cabins and 55 temporary shelters, which can together accommodate around 20,000 people. There are an estimated 40,000 homeless people in the capital but a little more than 10,000 use these shelters. EXPERT SPEAKWe have asked the medical teams to visit the shelters twice a week. We have 83 permanent night shelters, 113 porta cabins and 55 temporary shelters, which can together accommodate around 20,000 people. All are safe as we around 20 night shelters are reserved for women and CCTV cameras have been installed for their safety. —Shurbir Singh, DUSIB CEOVOICESThe condition of homeless people in the capital is extremely deplorable, which worsens during winter season. It is very saddening to see them battle extreme weather out in the open as Delhi has very few night shelters. The government too seems indifferent to the plight of such people who brave cold nights every year in winters. It must provide some relief to them in this weather, especially to women and children.—Ashish Kaushal, Lajpat NagarThe government should put in more efforts to improve the condition of the existing night shelters. There are many people who are still living on the streets and loosing their lives due to the extreme weather conditions. There should be more awareness about these shelters to the general public. —Saurabh Galhotra, Greater Kailash Despite government’s claims of having enough night shelters in the city hundreds of people sleep on streets in our locality. Things become even more vulnerable for them in winter and for women it is highly unsafe to sleep on streets. We see a large number of people dying every year due to the dip in temperature. —Kamala Devi, TrilokpuriThe government has taken a right decision by converting these subways into the night shelters. Most of the time, these subways are occupied with anti-social elements and the government property is lying wasted. By converting them into night shelters, these places are providing space to the large number of homeless people in the capital —Sunita Kaushik, Geeta ColonyWe have several night shelters in our locality and most of us donate food and clothing. It is a happy feeling to see these people happy. The government is providing good facilities to the homeless in Delhi in comparison to other states. But considering the population of Delhi more initiatives needs to be taken.—Mohita Khatri, Civil Lines Every time I cross the AIIMS I see large number of people sleeping on pavements. It aches my heart to see these people sleeping on the roads. The government has provided night shelters but they are not enough in winters at least. More such night shelters with better facilities are required in the capital. —Lakshay, Hauz Khas

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3 of family found dead at home

A couple and their eight-year-old son were found dead while their 12-year-old daughter was found in an unconscious state at their residence in the Chhawla area of southwest Delhi on Sunday morning.Prima facie, it appeared the man tried to kill his wife, son and daughter before killing himself. The daughter survived. A note recovered from the house stated that no one should be held responsible for the incident.Ajay Kumar lived with his wife Manju and their children Magan, 8, and Chetna, 12. Ajay’s mother also lived with them. The police said Ajay’s elder brother, who lives in the adjacent house, called them around 10 am.They said sons of Ajay’s elder brother had come to call Magan for a game of cricket. They told the police that they found their uncle hanging by the ceiling fan while their aunt and cousins were lying unconscious, with injury marks on their necks. Chetna was found in another room with similar marks.The police arrived and rushed them to hospital, where Ajay, Manju, and Magan were declared dead on arrival. Chetna was shifted to the ICU, where she is now recovering. Ajay’s mother was sleeping in another room at the time of the incident.Ajay’s elder brother had committed suicide a year-and-a-half ago. After his brother’s death, Ajay had agreed to take care of his two sons, who had also shifted next to their house.Shibesh Singh, DCP, Dwarka, said in the suicide note, Ajay addressed his mother and sister. “He apologised to them for taking the extreme step and killing his children. He did not mention any financial constraints but we are exploring all possible angles. He even sent out messages through his phone to several people, stating that it was his ‘last message’. He worked as a property dealer in the area,” Singh said.

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On New Year’s Eve, restaurants see 20% surge in bookings

Leaving the agony of demonetisation behind, the Capital city is all set to welcome 2018 doing what it does best — party. The excitement is evident from the surge in bookings at the restaurants for the New Year Eve bashes. Restaurants and pubs in the Capital that faced a massive dip in sales in December last year are hopeful of doing brisk business this season.The popular outlets in markets like Connaught Place, Hauz Khas Village, Khan Market claim that booking for the parties have increased by at least 20 per cent this year compared to the slump that hit them last year.Hardly two months into demonetisation last year, the Capital welcomed 2017 with muted celebrations as restaurateurs rued their places going empty on the New Year Eve as people decided not to spend much. The scenario this year, however, seems different as outlets are running packed on Sunday.Inderjeet Singh Banga, owner, Prankster reveals that the Capital is soaked in party spirit this year. “We are already overflowing with enquiries and people are excited to be part of the farewell party at our restaurant. Our bookings were full by Sunday. There is no better time to party than New Year eve. In fact, the party season started on Christmas weekend.”Conceding to the view, Manuj M Gupta from The Darzi Bar & Kitchen in Connaught Place (CP), who is debuting its New Year bash, this year, says,”This is our first time. We have heard that last year December was badly hit because of demonetisation and the trend of partying out was restricted. However, we are enjoying a good footfall this time, as people are thronging to CP to party.”However, Umang Tewari, who runs Vault cafe and Local in Connaught Place, still feels that the influx of party revellers is not much. “December is better than the last months. I see the party season coming back to normal. However, I don’t see that much crowd because of so many restrictions imposed upon us by the government.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>
Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
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Allot vacant houses to poor: Hardeep Singh Puri to CM Arvind Kejriwal

Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri has requested Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to intervene in the matter of vacant houses in Delhi and get an action plan prepared to allot them to the poor.In a letter to the chief minister recently, Puri said all-out efforts were being made to provide houses to all poor in urban areas and so, “leaving completed houses unalloted to eligible beneficiaries or keeping the houses incomplete is a waste of resources”.He noted that the housing and urban affairs secretary had earlier written to the Delhi chief secretary, requesting for an action plan for utilising all completed/incomplete and unoccupied houses constructed under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) by March 31, 2018.However, a response is awaited, Puri said.“Since no progress has been made in this regard so far, I would request your personal intervention to get an action plan prepared to complete and allot the houses constructed under JNNURM to eligible beneficiaries under that scheme or Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban),” Puri added.JNNURM was a massive city-modernisation scheme launched by the previous UPA government in 2005. However, it was replaced by the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation after the NDA government came to power in 2014.Puri also referred to a media report that said nearly 26,000 flats built for the poor remained vacant in the absence of a uniform rehabilitation policy in Delhi.“I’m informed that vacant houses mentioned in the report pertain to the houses built under the scheme of Basic Services to Urban Poor (BSUP) of JNNURM in Delhi.“I’ve been informed that 16 BSUP projects involving the central assistance of Rs 1163.04 crore for construction of 55,424 houses were sanctioned for Delhi under JNNURM,” Puri said.Out of these, 31,424 have been constructed and only 2,201 houses have been allotted, he said.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>
Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
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Abide by PMMVY: Delhi High Court tells Centre, Delhi

The Delhi High Court has directed the Centre and the Delhi government to strictly abide by the terms of the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) and Janani Suraksha Yojana on a plea which sought the implementation of the National Food Security Act, 2013, in the slum cluster of Holambi Kalan area of the Capital.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar also directed the Centre and Women and Child Development Department, the government of NCT” to ensure that the schemes are strictly and efficiently implemented and all the benefits thereunder are released to the beneficiaries”.The court’s direction comes on the plea which contended that pregnant and lactating women have been facing challenges in getting the cash assistance benefit under the Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY). It sought directions to the respondents to ensure the implementation of the grievance redressal mechanism under the statutory enactment.In its response, the Centre filed an affidavit explaining that the IGMSY for pregnant women and lactating mothers was launched in October 2010, on a pilot basis in 53 districts across the country.Initially, monetary benefit of Rs 4,000 was being disbursed under this scheme which was revised to Rs 6,000 with effect from July 5, 2013, with the enactment of the National Food Security Act, 2013. The scheme was implemented through the state governments and the Union Territories and the performance/proper implementation was directly linked to the governance of the state.”Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana stands substituted by Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) with effect from 1st January, 2017,” the affidavit stated.On the other hand, the government of NCT submitted that there were difficulties with regard to identification of the beneficiaries for want of details of the Aadhaar card and as a result thereof, the same was not linked with their bank accounts.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>
Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
Will Alia Bhatt say yes to Priyanka Chopra?
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

App to track autos, cabs through QR code

In what can be a New Year’s gift, particularly for women, the Delhi government is set to come up with a mobile app for the safety of commuters in public transport. The app, which will track vehicles through GPS, will be able to tell if the cab or auto being taken is safe to board or not through a QR code.The move has come after a number of instances of crime against women were reported in the Capital and to overall strengthen the crumbling transport infrastructure in Delhi. The app is being developed for upgrading public transport as required under the upcoming policy to regulate public service vehicles (PSVs) under the City Taxi Scheme 2017.The app is expected to be ready for trial by January, said sources. “A central control room for real-time tracking of vehicles and receiving complaints is being built at the transport headquarters and more people to man the systems will be recruited. It will be a centralised system from where we will be able to connect all the Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) for data, queries and grievance redressal,” said an official.The control room will also be able to track and record offences by the vehicles, as the details of all PSVs will be linked with the system. “All PSVs will have a QR code and in case their GPS is not enabled, the app will immediately raise an alarm that the vehicle is not safe to board,” the official said.The need for upgrading the technology was highlighted after an app-based cab driver was held for raping a woman in 2014.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>
Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
Will Alia Bhatt say yes to Priyanka Chopra?
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

‘Petty’ issue leads to 30-yr-old man being shot at in GK pub

A 30-year-old man old was shot at inside the Rich Bratz 17 pub in south Delhi’s Greater Kailash area in the early hours of Sunday, after a fight over some petty issue.The accused was caught by the public and thrashed mercilessly.Initially, the police said that the altercation started in the parking lot. Later, however, they said the incident took place inside the club.Since the club was open beyond the permissible time limit of 1 am, the pub owner might lose the licence. The police officers found responsible for this will also face strict action.The incident took place around 3 am inside the Rich Bratz 17 pub in the upscale M block market in Greater Kailash.Vinay Bhati, 30, was partying with his friends at the pub, where Umesh alias Aditya Kumar was also present. A fight broke out between the two groups, following which Umesh whipped out a pistol and shot at Bhati.The bullet struck near Bhati’s collar bone. In the meantime, other people at the pub and locals caught hold of Umesh and started thrashing him. The police received a call regarding the incident at 3:48 am.”The victim did not give a clear reason behind the fight. When the police reached the location, Bhati had already been taken to hospital and Umesh, who was injured, was moved to the trauma centre. The weapon of offence was seized by the police. Umesh was arrested after his discharge from the hospital. A case of attempt to murder has been registered against him,” said Romil Baaniya, Deputy Commissioner of Police, South.After the police spoke to the victim in the morning, it was revealed that the incident took place inside the pub.The police have written to the licensing unit to cancel the pub’s licence stating that it allowed anti-social elements with weapons to come inside.On being questioned about the pub running beyond the allowed time limit, Baaniya said that a district-level inquiry is being conducted and necessary action will be taken during the course of investigation.Locals and several other visitors later claimed that fights often break out in the premises, which are generally hushed up by the club management, but also said that most clubs and pubs function beyond 1 am.The incident was reported at a time when the national capital is hosting hundreds of parties to celebrate the New Year.A major fire at a pub in central Mumbai, which claimed 14 lives, has also forced the police to remain extra cautious during this time of the year.LOOPHOLESThe pub was running beyond the permissible time limit of 1 am. Why did the local police not ensure that the pub was shut on time? The police initially stated that locals told them the incident took place in a parking lot but it was later revealed that it took place inside the pub. Why was the probe not carried out in the night? Why was the CCTV footage not checked to ascertain these claims?

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>
Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
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Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

Lodi Garden’s forgotten Baoli

Kyun mata-e-dil ke lut jaane ka koi gham kare, Shahr-e-dilli mein to aise vaqiye hote raheThe national Capital is like ‘Phoenix’ – a city which has been destroyed several times but has revived itself every time from the ashes. The city still holds impressions, in the form of structures/monuments, of all its bygone eras. While some of the structures have been revived over the time, few have completely lost their identity. One such forgotten structure is the Baoli, or stepwell, which once existed in the Lodi Garden, but got lost in colonial landscaping.A first monument list created by Maulvi Zafar Hasan, an archaeologist with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), worthy of preservation in 1916, refers to the Baoli in need of attention. Hasan’s list features 1,317 buildings in the Capital, of which 174 are currently protected by the ASI. While Hasan did not include the Baoli in his list, but he has written about it in his book ‘Monuments of Delhi, Lasting splendour of the Great Mughals and Others’.”To the North-East of the Sheesh Gumbad are the remains of a garden, the four walls of which, brick built, are broken in several places. The double-storeyed entrance is in no better condition. To the south of the latter is a mosque also ruined and neglected. The Baoli in front of the entrance outside the enclosure is in the same condition. In the center of the garden is a small brick-built enclosure furnished with arched openings, apparently intended for a tomb but now containing no grave.”The Baoli and the mosque came under the’Khairpur’village area back then. In 1936, Lady Willingdon, wife of the then Viceroy of India, got the villagers relocated and landscaped the garden which was then known as’Lady Willingdon Park’. It is believed that the Baoli was also landscaped around that time. But, its name was changed to Lodi Gardens post-independence.”There are such Baolis lost in time, most important being the ‘Palam’ and ‘Khari’Baolis, but we may never be able to unearth them due to the dense settlement around them. However, we should still try and revive this Lodi Garden Baoli. If the ASI and the government decide to restore these structures, they would attract a lot of visitors,” says Vikramjit Singh Rooprai, a heritage activist.A total 25 Baolis have been identified by historians in Delhi, of which 11, including Hauz Khas Enclave Baoli are not accessible to the public. Of these 25, 12 can be easily revived.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>
Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
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Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
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Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
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Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

Delhi govt to re-send to LG doorstep delivery of services proposal with detailed replies to questions raised

The AAP government will again send its proposal for the ambitious ‘doorstep delivery of services scheme’ to Lt Governor Anil Baijal for approval, with a detailed reply to each objection raised by him, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has said.The scheme is currently at the centre of tussle between the L-G and the Delhi government with Deputy Chief Minister asking Baijal if he was trying to “protect” the corrupt system by the opposing the proposal. Recently, Baijal had returned the proposal to the Delhi government asking to reconsider it and raised several objections, including safety of citizens and corruption. “We will again send the doorstep delivery proposal to the Lt Governor with detailed replies to all objections in the next few days,” Kejriwal told PTI.He said that the government is currently preparing a response to the L-G’s objections, adding that the proposal was good for Delhiites. Under the proposal, government wants to provide 40 services at the doorstep of citizens, including driving licence, ration cards, caste certificates among others. In his objections, Baijal had said the present proposal had implications on safety and security of women and senior citizens, privacy, loss of documents, and it added unnecessary expenditure for the government and the people.Also readLG vs AAP govt: Anil Baijal decries ‘misinformation campaign’ on doorstep delivery of servicesIn response to the objections, Sisodia had said that despite the online service system, people had to visit department offices once or twice to submit their documents. To the government’s comparison of the scheme with pizza delivery at the doorstep of citizens, the L-G had said “Pizza, unlike documents, cannot be downloaded”. Replying to the L-G’s pizza remark, the deputy chief minister had said that just like “pizza cannot be downloaded online, a human being seeking a certificate cannot be uploaded and sent to a government office for verification”.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>
Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
Will Alia Bhatt say yes to Priyanka Chopra?
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

Capital’s diesel use down but per capita income up

The Delhi government released its Statistical Hand Book on Saturday, which revealed that the consumption of diesel in the national Capital reduced to 1,267,000 metric tonnes in 2016-17, from 1508,000 metric tonnes during 2015-16The Book, released by deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, also stated that 7.78 lakh new vehicles, including 29,690 e- rickshaws, were registered in the city in 2016-17.The registration of new vehicles up to March this year was recorded at 1.05 crore, which included 31.53 lakh cars and jeeps and 67.08 lakh motorcycles and scooters.The document compiled by the city government’s Directorate of Economics and Statistics also contained data relatied to various socio-economic parameters. It stated that the per capita income of the city increased by 10.76 per cent from 2015-16.Besides, according to the report, the total number of electricity consumers increased from 52.63 lakh in 2015-16 to 55.68 lakh in 2016-17. Of these, 45.37 lakh were domestic, 9.27 lakh were commercial, and 52,397 industrial.Also, the consumption of electricity increased from 24,037 million units in 2015-16 to 26,865 million units in 2016-17, the report stated. On an average, 31.55 lakh people availed the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) bus services daily during 2016-17. The DTC has a fleet of 4,027 buses, of which 1,275 are air-conditioned.The report further stated that the number of road accidents in the city decreased from 8,085 in 2015 to 7,375 in 2016.The book recorded that the per capita consumption of water in the city was 47 gallons per day while the number of metered water connections increased from 19.49 lakh in 2015-16 to 23.16 lakh in 2016-17. The consumption of water this year was recorded at 14,914 lakh kilo litres.The minimum monthly wages for the unskilled category increased from Rs 9,568 in April 2016 to Rs 13,350 in April 2017, from Rs 10,582 to Rs 14,698 for semi-skilled and from Rs 11,622 to Rs 16,182 for skilled workers, the report stated.

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Parakram vans, commandos to ensure safe revelry

With an aim to ensure a safe New Year’s Eve for Delhiites on Sunday, the Delhi Police will be on its toes, with special drives being launched against drunken driving, smoking in public places, and hooliganism. The police will also stay alert against threat perceptions conveyed to them by the intelligence agencies. For the purpose, anti-terror Parakram vans and additional force have been strategically deployed on the streets.Senior police officers told DNA that at some places, a special drive to identify those smoking in public places has been taken up. Those driving after drinking and violating traffic norms will also be under strict scrutiny of the Delhi Traffic Police, which will step out with additional force on Sunday.”Preventive measures against possible threat perceptions, such as vehicular attacks or lone-wolf attacks, have been taken. Parakram anti-terror commandos will be deployed at crowded places and barricades will be erected to regulate traffic flow. Pickets are also being raised on identified stretches, so that all moving vehicles are under close watch,” a senior police officer said.Talking about ensuring a safe and happier New Year, Delhi Police PRO DCP Madhur Verma said three-tier arrangements have been put in place. “Places of gathering and party hotspots will have additional deployment of Emergency Response Vehicles and Quick Reaction Teams, along with Delhi Police’s patrolling motorcycle squads. These will keep an eye on every corner of the city and will be able to reach to any spot of emergency in no time,” Verma said.The DCP further said that the police station staff and traffic police deployment has also been ensured. They will be equipped with breath analysers to keep a strict check on drunk driving.”Traffic diversions have been planned, so that neither the party goers nor the vehicular movement disrupt each other’s functioning. Senior officers will be on round and the deputy commissioners of police have been asked to personally supervise the arrangements,” he said.”Many people prefer visiting religious places on New Year’s Eve. So, temples, mosques, and other religious places are also under tight vigil and additional deployment has been ensured at such places to thwart any kind of drunken brawl, robbery, and hooliganism,” the officer said.MEASURES TAKENParakram anti-terror commandos will be deployed at crowded and party places. Barricades will be erected for regulated and manned traffic flow. Emergency Response Vehicles and Quick Reaction Teams, along with Delhi Police’s patrolling motorcycle squads, to keep an eye. Deputy commissioners of police have been asked to personally supervise arrangements. Temples, mosques, and other religious places are also under tight vigil.

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Video shows students painting wall, Noida school gets notice

The district inspector of schools of Gautam Budh Nagar issued a show-cause notice on Saturday after a video showing students of the Father Agnel School of Greater Noida painting the school’s boundary wall went viral on the social media on Friday.While the school maintained that it was a “voluntary exercise”, the practice actually pertains to child labour.According to the district inspector, in the video, nearly 10 students can be seen, who identify themselves as Bal Bhawan hostel residents. The hostel is located inside the school premises.According to the school officials, the activity was a part of the preparations for the Bal Bhawan Day celebrations, to be held on January 13. The administration has, however, sought an explanation from the school, seeking the reasons behind the activity and whether recommendation should be made to the CBSE to cancel the school’s affiliation.”We have issued a show cause notice to the school and have asked for an answer in the next seven days. Failing to do so or if found guilty, action will be taken against the school,” said P K Upadhyay, district inspector of schools (DIOS), Gautam Budh Nagar.Upadhyay further said the students belong to the economically weaker category and were a part of the over 200 students who were admitted to the school through the Agnel Charities.Prep modeAccording to school officials, the activity was part of the preparations for Bal Bhawan Day celebrations to be held on January 13. As per the district inspector, 10 students can be seen in the video

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Outlets arrange for cabs for party-goers

Restaurants and pubs in the city have become proactive towards the safety of their customers ahead of the New Year’s Eve. To ensure that they do not drink and drive, and reach home safely after partying, a lot of outlets are arranging for cab facility.Inderjeet Singh Banga, owner of Prankster, said: “Safety of our customers is definitely of prime importance. At the same time, we don’t want them to compromise on their enjoyment, with concerns about who will drive them back home. Hence, we are offering special arrangement to pick and drop them on Sunday.”Sahil Sambhi, who runs Molecule, has tied up with cab aggregators Ola and Uber for diners who think they won’t be able to drive back home after downing a few drinks.Vault Cafe, Junction are some of the other places in the Capital which are taking measures to avoid cases of drunk driving. Umang Tewari, a restaurateur, said: “Traffic in Delhi-NCR becomes unruly, especially on days such as NYE. Constant checking, fog, unpredictable traffic, and alcohol intake, all factors are not safe to add to your positive party vibes. So, we are doing pre-bookings for transport.”

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Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
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L-G Anil Baijal takes stock of flyover beautification on NH-24

Lieutenant-Governor (L-G) Anil Baijal on Saturday took stock of the beautification work being done on a part of NH-24 in east Delhi’s Seemapuri. The flyover is an important link connecting Delhi and Noida.The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), which is looking after the work, was told by the L-G to make sure that the space under the flyover was kept clean and plants and installations were used for beautification on both sides of the flyover.”The L-G further directed the agencies concerned to develop a bus lane along the highway for better connectivity,” a statement issued by the L-G House said.Besides the NHAI, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), Public Works Department (PWD), and the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) are involved in the work.The beautification work is expected to be completed by January 26.Meanwhile, Baijal also inspected beautification work done on the Seelampur flyover in east Delhi, which bears the artwork done by an NGO. The work was done at a cost of Rs 20 lakh. The L-G, however, told the east Corporation to outsource the maintenance work of the flyover.The L-G further told the PWD to spruce up the Vikas Marg, Ring Road, and Pushta Marg with artworks on walls, greenery, lights, and proper signages, latest by January 15.

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Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
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Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

Lajpat Nagar flyover to be shut till Jan 14

Days after cracks appeared on the busy Lajpat Nagar flyover, the route will be shut in parts till January 14. The Public Works Department will undertake the repair work in two phases.In the first phase, a carriageway from the Ashram Chowk to Moolchand will remain shut between January 1 and 14. In the second phase, the carriageway from Moolchand to Ashram will be shut during the same period.According to traffic officials, in the first phase, due to the closure of the carriageway from Ashram to Moolchand, the traffic bound to go towards the Moolchand Hospital using the Lajpat Nagar flyover will be diverted to take the adjoining road beneath the flyover.Officials, however, warned that the commuters will have to face congestion due to traffic spilling on the adjoining slip road, till the repair work is completed.In order to avoid traffic snarls on this stretch, commuters are advised to take alternative routes, including Mathura Road, Ashram Chowk, Ring Road, Moolchand flyover/Lodhi Road, and Bhishm Pitamah Marg while commuting from south Delhi to central Delhi, and vice-versa.Meanwhile, commuters coming from Noida from the DND flyway may take the Barapulla elevated road to reach south Delhi or New Delhi and vice versa.Also, officials suggested that motorists and road users must plan their journey in advance to avoid long delays.A huge gap appeared between two girders on Ashram-Lajpat Nagar flyover on the busy Ring Road linking south Delhi to Noida. The cracks appeared for the second time this year and the flyover was shut for repair earlier as well.”I use the flyover to commute daily. The government has neglected this issue time and again. Only when some tragedy happens, the authorities wake up to fix such large loopholes in the system,” said Ajay Tyagi, a daily commuter.”The gaps are life-threatening, in particular for those riding two-wheelers. The stretch witnesses heavy traffic throughout the day because of Lajpat Nagar and Nehru Place being major shopping and commercial centres,” another commuter said.

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Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
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Drug peddling in Delhi University: 2 students of Hindu college, one each of Amity University, JNU arrested

Narcotics Control Bureau’s Delhi Unit has arrested four students in connection with drug peddling in Delhi University. Hindu College student Gaurav is allegedly the main kingpin of the drug peddling racket. <!– /11440465/DNA_Mobile_Article_300x250_BTF_1 –>Another Hindu College students has also been arrested in the case. One student of JNU and one student of Amity University have also been arrested. NCB has seized 1.140 kg of Cannabis and three LSD blot papers.They used to get the drugs from Himachal Pradesh and sell it to Delhi University students, reports ANI.

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Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
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Delhi: 13 trains cancelled as fog engulfs region; air quality dips to ‘very poor’

The cold wave continues to intensify in the national capital, with a blanket of fog engulfing the region, leading to disruption of normal life.Furthermore, the air quality index at Lodhi Road was recorded at a ‘very poor’ level – with PM 2.5 and PM 10.As many as 36 trains have been delayed, 13 cancelled and two rescheduled due to poor visibility and other operational conditions.The Meteorological Department has predicted a maximum temperature of 25 degree Celsius, with lows of 8 degrees and a moderate fog.A similar situation was witnessed in Uttar Pradesh’s Lucknow city, with a thick layer of fog and poor visibility.

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“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
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DMRC launches ‘Museum for Children’ programme

With an objective to groom children into”responsible” Metro commuters, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) launched the ‘Museum For Children’ initiative under which a number of activities oriented towards this goal will be organised.The rail corporation will organise visits to the Metro and workshops as part of the programme that also marks its ninth anniversary. On the occasion, a ‘Museum For Children’ booklet featuring all the activities by the Delhi Metro was also unveiled and an exhibition on the same theme was inaugurated on Friday.To commemorate the occasion, children and youth from’Action For Autism’ participated in the programme, that entailed a Metro ride followed by a tour of the Metro Museum for them. They also participated in a short cultural programme in which the famous puppet show on Metro travelling etiquette was performed.A special book titled’Challenging the Limits’which encapsulates the engineering challenges of the recently inaugurated Magenta corridor was also unveiled on the occasion. A replica of the front side of the new age trains of the Delhi Metro, which have recently been launched on the Magenta Line, was unveiled as well. The new exhibit sized 9 ft by 6.5 ft is made of MS sheet and is expected to be a major attraction for the visitors.CHILDREN’S DAY OUTChildren and youth from ‘Action For Autism’ participated in the programme that included a Metro ride followed by a tour of the Metro Museum.

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Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
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Delhi cop beaten, service pistol stolen

A Delhi Traffic Police Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) was robbed of his service pistol and belongings by unknown assailants while he was on his way home to Uttam Nagar in West Delhi.The incident, police suspects, is a fallout of a road rage where ASI BL Meena, who was deployed in the Burari traffic circle, was driving his car and had reached near the Najafgarh drain. As Meena was passing through, two others cars were coming from other directions.According to the senior police officials, Meena was taking a cut near the drain when two cars from the opposite direction were passing by during the same time. Since the road was small, the cars almost seemed to brush past each other. A brief argument ensued between them after which Meena left for home, only to realise that the occupants of the two different cars were chasing him.”Around five occupants from both the cars stepped out and hit Meena after which he fell unconscious. A passerby who spotted him came close and saw him in an injured state next to the car. When Meena regained consciousness, he did not remember with what object he was hit,” said a police officer.The passerby then informed the police about the incident following which a case against unknown was registered. The service pistol and the wallet of Meena were also missing.

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Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
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Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
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Family of raped minor made to wait for 12 hours for medical aid

After an eight-year-old girl was allegedly raped on Thursday, the family members had to roam around for more than 12 hours to get the medical aid for her. The girl was allegedly raped by a minor boy in a village of Jarcha area of Greater Noida.Narrating the ordeal, the victim’s father said that the girl had gone to play outside the house.”It was getting late for lunch. So my wife went to call her but when she couldn’t find her, she immediately raised an alarm. After searching her for more than two hours, a neighbour found her coming out of a nearby house crying. She was bleeding from her private parts and even had blood stains on her clothes,” said the victim’s mother.Police have arrested the accused and he was sent to a juvenile home on Friday.”She told me that while she was playing, one of the neighbour took her along with him on the pretext of candies. He took her to his house and assaulted her. We immediately informed the police,” the father added.According to the police, the incident took place at around 4 pm when she had gone to play.”The girl has been sent for medical examination. The accused was later arrested. During interrogation, the 15-year-old boy confessed to the crime. The boy was produced before the district court and has been sent to the juvenile home,” said Suniti, Superintendent of Police (Rural), Gautam Budh Nagar.However, the family alleged that the police, along with the minor, had to roam around the district for more than 11 hours after which the medical examination was done at 3:30 am on Friday.”First, she was taken to a local hospital in Jarcha where she was denied medical aid due to staff shortage. Then, she was taken to a hospital in Dadri where she was again denied to be admitted because of no medical kit available. Then she was finally rushed to the district hospital in Noida where the officials denied the medical saying there was no female doctor to attend to the minor her and that she should come in the morning,” stated the father.”I have spoken to the CMO about the matter and he has assured me an enquiry in the case,” informed Suniti.

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Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
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“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
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Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
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Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

Palace on Wheels finally on maiden trip

The heritage Palace on Wheels will finally arrive in Jaipur with 24 tourists on board on its maiden tour .Pradeep Bohra, general manager of the train who is accompanying the tourists, informed that the train left from Delhi’s Safdarganj station and will arrive at Jaipur’s Gandhinagar station on the last leg of its Golden Triangle circuit tour — which includes Delhi, Agra and Jaipur.Train officials were exhilarated over the maiden voyage of this train as it took quite some effort to get the tourists on board the luxury train.The passengers were given a warm departure in Delhi with band playing music and with all the gala celebration. The preparations are now being made at Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC) for the train’s arrival.The success of the train is essential for RTDC as it also plans a tour on Shekhwati circuit starting this January .This is the third royal super luxury train in Rajasthan which is being run by RTDC.While palace on wheels is a known name, RTDC had for years also run RROW (Royal Rajasthan on wheels) which was discontinued only few months back .Before starting off on the voyage it was kept at Bais godown railway station and was sent to Delhi few days back .The train will depart from Jaipur on Saturday itself at 8:30 pm from Durgapura station.

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ASI finds Mughal-era paintings inside Red Fort’s Chhata Bazaar

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has found rare Mughal-era wall paintings at Chhata Bazaar, set up by emperor Shah Jahan, inside the Red Fort, during lime plaster removal. India’s apex conservation body is now working on scientific treatment of the paintings.”The bazaar has been in use since the 17th century. There have been several coatings of lime plaster. After the removal of six layers, we started to see colourful patterns, well preserved in the seventh layer,” said ASI’s Dr DN Dimri.These are intrinsic floral geometric patterns in red, yellow, green and black — common during the Mughal era.Chhata Bazaar (roofed market) was earlier known as Bazaar-i-Musaqaf — ‘safaq’ means roof — as markets in those times were mainly open. This was one of its kind that led people directly from Lahori Gate to Naubat Khana and Diwan-i-Am, crossing through a fine exhibition of carpets, zari, velvets and even gold and ivories.The market still attracts crowds visiting the fort, but silk shops now mostly sell handicraft.The ASI’s work will take at least a year to complete as it is taking the layers off the entire ceilings and walls and applying chemicals to preserve the findings.There might be plans to copy the paintings on canvas for exhibition. “I had no idea that the walls are so pretty. Though they are all covered up with scaffoldings, I climbed up to see the work that and was amazed,” said Dharampal Nagar, a third-generation shopkeeper.

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NDMC official suspended for poor performance

While the city has been battling garbage and pollution woes, the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has suspended one of it’s top officers — medical officer (health ) (MOH) allegedly for “slackness in performance” over “waste management’ in Lutyen’s Zone.The order dated December 27, stated “disciplinary proceedings against Dr PK Sharma, medical officer – (health), public health department is contemplated.”The order undersigned by the NDMC chairman Naresh Kumar said “places Dr Sharma under suspension with immediate effect.”However, according to officials, one of the reasons for suspension was the upcoming ASEAN summit in January next year in which ten heads of states will be coming down to the capital while complaints of garbage not being collected we’re made from VIP quarters.”An observation was made after a few complaints of garbage being littered and not collected from the lanes were received after which waste management was geared up. However, the orders have come allegedly after negligence was noted on part of the department.”Lutyen’s Zone houses VIP and VVIP residents including the Prime Minister. The NDMC looking after the area is the richest civic body in Asia. The civic body had earlier this year suspended four executive engineers allegedly for “negligence”. However, the officers were reinstated after a brief period.

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AAP, NDMC reply sought on plea to seal illegal constructions in Chandni chowk

The Delhi High court has sought the reply of the AAP government and the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) after a plea was filed to seal and demolish illegal construction in the historic Chandni Chowk area and prosecute violators.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar issued notice to the Delhi Government, North Delhi Municipal Corporation and Delhi Police Commissioner on the petition which said that an effective mechanism be devised to check rampant unauthorised construction in Chandni Chowk.The PIL filed by Himanshu Bansal, a trader in Chandni Chowk, gave details of seven properties where alleged illegal construction was carried out and said other similarly placed properties in the the area be also inspected.Appearing for Bansal, his counsel stated that despite various orders of the Supreme Court and High Court, it has not worked as a deterrence and unauthorised construction has become a continuous problem.The plea had sought direction to authorities to forthwith seal and demolish the unauthorised or illegal construction carried out in Chandni Chowk and to prosecute builders and those responsible for violating the law.It alleged that illegal construction activities are being carried out in complete violation of environment laws and has increased the congestion in the area, endangering life and properties of local inhabitants and public at large.It also contended that authorities be directed to ensure that the rich cultural heritage of Chandni Chowk area is preserved on the lines of the master plan Delhi 2021 by devising an effective mechanism of checking rampant unauthorised construction and illegal use of properties in the area as well as ensuring swift action against violators and offenders.THE PLEAThe plea sought direction to authorities to forthwith seal and demolish the unauthorised or illegal construction carried out in Chandni Chowk and to prosecute builders and those responsible for violating the law.

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Students protest over conversion of morning school

The 2,900 boys were shifted to the evening shift, which begins at 1 pm and ends at 6.10 pm during winter. The move came into effect from July 1 this year.”
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<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written Bydna Correspondent <!–end of artlbotbor–>Friday 29 December 2017 2:13 ISTMust readPM Modi’s Noida visit: 2 cops suspended for negligenceControversy around vaccine gets muckier<!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>Hundreds of students from Government Boys Senior Secondary School No. 2 in Bawana’s JJ Colony were up in arms on Thursday after local MLA Chand Ram did not meet them. They were demanding to meet Ram over the conversion of their school which has been a morning school since 2008 but was turned into an evening one.Most of these students work in evenings to support their families. The students were supported by activists of the Krantikari Yuva Sangathan. “A large number of students studying here work after school hours to support their families. Many of them have stopped attending classes regularly after the change in the shift as they can’t stop working,” said Shahrukh, a class XI student.According to the school officials, the decision to convert the school into an evening one was taken after the neighboring Government Girls Senior Secondary School No. 1 ran out of space. The authorities then decided that the girls from Classes VI-VIII will occupy School No. 1 in the morning, while those from Classes IX-XII will occupy School No. 2.The 2,900 boys were shifted to the evening shift, which begins at 1 pm and ends at 6.10 pm during winter. The move came into effect from July 1 this year.

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Arvind Kejriwal launches SMC app for coordination of schools with parents, students

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday launched the School Management Committee (SMC) App, in a bid to help schools, parents and students for better coordination and management.Addressing the gathering of around 1,600 SMC members from across the government schools in the Capital, Kejriwal said, “It is certainly going to help the SMC functionary for effective delivery and will also decrease the paperwork and bring efforts at an ease. This app will help in making the process more transparent, and is going to be an effective help for all stakeholders by all means.”As per the Right to Education Act, 2009, the SMCs are formed to bridge the gap between the community and the school. “We have done an experiment towards democratisation of the school education system in Delhi. Our effort is to make the SMC members realise that they are the owners of the schools and will contribute their services for the betterment of education quality in the schools,” he added.Elaborating on the role of SMCs, the chief minister said that the Committees should be provided with some funds to carry out essential and need-based works in the schools, apart from giving power to the SMCs to fill up the vacant post of teachers in the schools on emergent and on hiring basis.Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister Manish Sisodia, who was also present at the event, said that a separate fund would be given in the ensuing budget for the SMCs to carry out the needy and essential works in the schools. “SMCs were created with the vision that it would transform the educational atmosphere of the schools for the betterment of teaching and learning process. Education without the active participation of the community is considered a one-sided activity,” he added.

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Impractical, hilarious to ban display of meat products

The South Delhi Municipal Corporation’s latest diktat for eateries — banning them from “displaying” meat products in their establishments — has left owners as well as diners shocked. Complaining that the SDMC is dictating its terms, “teaching” them how to run their business, they say that the new rule is foolhardy and impractical.The civic body recently passed a resolution, instructing food outlets to not display products like tikkas, kebabs, tandoori chicken as citing hygiene as a factor. It further reasoned that showing them with a flourish at counters also “hurts the sentiments of vegetarians”. It comes into effect from January 3.DNA spoke to eatery owners in different parts of South Delhi including Greater Kailash, SDA, etc, as well as vendors who sell non-vegetarian items from kiosks in small markets or roadside. They remained unanimous in their view that the decision is not prudent and will affect their business too. “They are talking about hurting vegetarians. This is not the first time that the civic body has discovered non vegetarian items being sold openly and on display as well in kiosks. They are simply playing politics over food and trying to appease a section of eaters,”said Kailash Kumar who sells tikkas and chicken soup from a kiosk in Greater Kailash-II.Restaurant owners, too, have a similar opinion. Places like Al Bake in New Friends Colony, Rajender Da Dhaba, that are popular food joint to have non vegetarian delicacies draw a lot of customers because of succulent meat items displayed with flourish in their eateries. Denying that they allow dogs to roam free around their establishments, causing hygiene issues, a worker at Al Bake said, “We value our customers and their health. We have been running this place for years now and no one has complained ever as we take extra care of keeping the surroundings clean. While we do not know the real reason behind the new rule, we will comply by it.”Diners too are finding it difficult to agree with the arguments given by the municipal corporation. Satvik Dhingra, a resident of Panchsheel Park says, “The argument that it hurts sentiments of vegetarians does not sound practical. It is hilarious and tells a lot about the way our elected councillors think. If I consume meat, does it mean I am callous?”Shreya Verma, who lives in GK-I suggests that the SDMC should “rethink” its decision. “I do not agree with any of the reasons given by the civic body. I have not seen dogs surrounding places that sell non veg items and even if they do, the shop owners are careful enough because they have to protect their business.”

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3 gangrapes in last 2 weeks, no arrests made

The last two weeks have witnessed three alleged gangrapes and two rapes of minors in the Capital. Even as the Delhi Police claims, with statistics, that the number of rapes has declined compared to the past years, some of these cases are yet to witness any arrests.On December 16, a 16-year-old girl was gangraped while her male friend was beaten up and robbed by three men in a park in northwest Delhi’s Shalimar Bagh. Police had said that efforts to identify the accused are being made. However, no arrests have been made even two weeks later.According to senior police officials, the matter was reported by the victim to her family which approached the police. According to the complaint, the minor victim used to work as a housemaid and was sitting with her male friend in the park near Haidarpur Slums in Shalimar Bagh area, when the three accused arrived and forcefully took her to a secluded corner and raped her in turns.DCP northwest, Aslam Khan told DNA that they are yet to make any arrest in the case and that the probe is on.Over the past two weeks, the Capital has witnessed many similar cases. Just five days later, on December 21, a 20-year-old woman was allegedly gangraped by five youths inside a park in northwest Delhi. Two days after this, on December 23, a 19-year-old woman was allegedly gangraped by two men who had offered her a lift from Gurugram and then dropped the woman at Dwarka.The very next day, an elderly man sexually assaulted two minor girls in southwest Delhi’s Palam area. The accused was arrested from his residence. On December 26, the police again claimed to have arrested a man who repeatedly raped a 14-year-old girl for 13 days in Madhya Pradesh, after kidnapping her from northwest Delhi. The minor was rescued and man was arrested from Chhatarpur in MP.Just a day after this, on December 27, a model alleged that she was gangraped by three men in Sarojini Nagar, whom she had met at a hotel in Mumbai on the pretext of giving her contacts in Bollywood. The police arrested three men.According to the NCRB, last year the conviction rate in crimes against women fell to 18.9 per cent – the lowest in a decade. Moreover, only one in every four rape cases resulted in the conviction, it said.Crime Against Women – (upto Nov 30)Rape – 1968Assault– 3146Kidnapping– 3250Dowry death- 118Recent Cases–Dec – 27 – A model alleged that she was gangraped by three men in Sarojini Nagar whom she had met at a hotel in Mumbai on the pretext of giving her contacts in Bollywood.Dec – 26– Police claimed to have arrested a man who repeatedly raped a 14-year-old girl in confinement for 13 days, in Madhya Pradesh, after kidnapping her from northwest Delhi.Dec – 24– An elderly man sexually assaulted two minor girls in southwest Delhi’s Palam area and gave them Rs five each to not disclose the matter.Dec 23 – A 19-year-old woman was allegedly gangraped by two men who had offered her lift from Gurugram and then dropped the woman at Dwarka and sped away.Dec 16 – A 16-year-old girl was gangraped while her male friend was beaten up and robbed by three men on Saturday evening in a park in northwest Delhi’s Shalimar Bagh.

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Every 3 mins, snatching/theft in Capital

Step out in the city, and there is no surety that your valuables will last with you for more than five minutes. Every five minutes, a Delhiite is either snatched of his/her belongings, or it is stolen. At a time when the Delhi Police is working hard on the ground to thwart the rising numbers of snatching and theft in the Capital, the same have grown to become force’s biggest challenge.Statistics say that till November 30 this year, 7,870 snatching incidents were reported; 24 a day on average. Apart from these, 1,02,954 thefts were also registered, which has a daily average of 308, more than 10 thefts an hour. Put together, 13 incidents of snatching and thefts take place in Delhi every hour. Senior police officers say that women outnumber men as victims of snatching as they are considered a soft target by the criminals.Last Monday, a 28-year-old woman fell off an autorickshaw and sustained multiple injuries while resisting two bike-borne snatchers in east Delhi.Not just this, in August, a 50-year-old woman was grievously wounded when she fell off a moving auto while trying to save her purse from motorcycle-borne snatchers in north Delhi.However, it is not just the common people who have suffered this growing menace. Last Saturday, first Secretary in the Permanent Mission of India to the UN, Eenam Gambhir, was attacked by two bike-borne men, who fled with her mobile phone in Rohini. Police are yet to identify the accused.In September, Ukraine’s ambassador to Delhi, Dr Igor Polikha’s phone was also snatched while he was clicking pictures near the Red Fort.Police, however, say they have taken stringent measures, as a result of which the number of snatchings has witnessed a dip than the last year. “We undertake special drives in areas prone to snatching. Some dark zones have been identified and installation of CCTV cameras and ensuring good illumination in such areas is being carried out. Pickets are also raised and following a number of raids many snatchers have been arrested,” said a senior police officer.They also said that it has been noticed that juveniles are a part of these gangs and due to non-stringent laws, they get away easily. The vehicles used by them are also mostly stolen and therefore cannot be traced, the officer said.POLICE VERSIONPolice, however, say they have taken stringent measures, as a result of which the number of snatchings has witnessed a dip than the last year. “We undertake special drives in areas prone to snatching. Some dark zones have been identified and CCTVs installed,” said a senior police officer. STEP OUT AT OWN RISK (*till Nov 30)7,870 snatchings reported (24 a day on average)1,02,954 thefts registered (daily average of 308)PAST YEARS2017 – 7,870 (till Nov 30)2016 – 9,5712015 – 9,8962014 – 7,3502013 – 3,6382012 – 1,4402011 – 1,476HOW THEY TARGETUsually in a team of two to be able to flee on a two-wheeler They modify bikes by removing fuel supply regulator for high speed Use stolen bikes to remain untraced While one waits on the bike with ignition on, the pillion rider commits snatching Target elderly women and women unable to chase or raise alarm instantly Melt ornaments and sell off valuables instantly to avoid any recovery from them Cover face or perform at dark stretches to keep identity hidden

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Negligence of authorities made Delhi a polluting city: Delhi High Court

Had the authorities kept their eyes open, the national Capital would not have become a “polluting city”, the Delhi High Court said on Thursday while coming down heavily on the authorities.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar expressed displeasure over the connivance of officials of the municipal corporations in allowing industrial units in residential and non-conforming areas.”If the authorities would have kept their eyes open, Delhi would not have become a polluting city. The hospitals here would have less patients,” the bench said. The court’s direction came while hearing a PIL filed by the Bawana Factory Welfare Association, which highlighted the failure of authorities to relocate industries from residential areas.It asked the three civic bodies to conduct an inquiry and inform the court about zone-wise details of the industries, before February 19 next year. It also asked the Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (DSIIDC) to ensure strict action against 1,706 industrial complexes, which failed to construct or shift to that site despite it being allotted to them.Appearing for the DSIIDC, its counsel informed the court that they have appointed a committee for maintaining and providing facilities in these industrial complexes. Following this, the court observed that “in addition to the huge impact on account of illegal industrial activities continuing in non-conforming areas and usage of the residential property for illegal industrial activities, public money is spent for maintaining these industrial complexes developed at a huge cost to the public exchequer”.”Additionally, these continued illegal industrial activities are putting a huge constraint on every resource of the city unreasonably and also putting a pressure on the available infrastructure and impacting the pollution levels,” the bench added.The plea had highlighted as to how the plots allotted to these industries in industrial areas remain unused while factories continue to be operated from non-profit conforming areas.

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Sexagenarian held for sexually assaulting 2 minors

A sexagenarian has been arrested for sexually assaulting two minors and trying to hush up the incident by threatening and giving money to the victims. The accused, Mohammad Jainul, has been arrested by the police.According to the police, the incident took place on Sunday night in Palam area of South-West Delhi when two minor girls were playing outside a friend’s house. Jainul saw both of them and lured them on the pretext of giving them sweets. “He took the girls to his house and then assaulted them in front of each other. While they were leaving, he handed them Rs 5 and asked them not to disclose anything about the incident. He is married and has kids, however, they were not present at home when the incident took place,” said a police officer.The two minors then returned to their respective homes. After one of the victims felt pain in her private parts and complained to her mother, it was then that the mother spotted some marks on the girl and the two families then informed the police.The minor identified Jainul, who was then sent to judicial custody. Both the fathers of the victims work as labourers and were out for work when the incident took place.

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Manish Sisodia visits Nand Nagri, takes stock of delivery of services

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Thursday visited the district magistrate’s office in Nand Nagri to take stock of delivery of services to the people and to take their feedback.Sisodia interacted with a large number of people standing in long queues at the office. The people were waiting to get their pending work done at the government office.”People are tired of paying money to touts, long queues and numerous visits to government offices for a single job,” he said while interacting with the residents.The residents told the deputy chief minister that they have to stand for long hours in the queues and have to visit the office time and again to get their job done; this makes them either spend a lot of time on visiting the office numerous times, or have to pay to the touts to get their job done fast.”There is no point having online services when we still have to visit these offices. Even the senior citizens who are unable to walk need to go to the offices. These services should be delivered at home,” said Rani Kumari, one of the residents.Discussing the scheme, Sisodia informed an elderly citizen about the Doorstep Delivery Scheme.”He was very happy to know about it and said that a huge sum of money is spent in commuting to government offices to get the job done. The scheme should be implemented so that we get the services at home,” said one of the officers present during the visit.After interacting with the people at the DM office, Sisodia said, “Delhi government had formed a scheme, ‘Doorstep Delivery of Services Scheme’, so that the residents of Delhi get their jobs done sitting at home. A resident will only be required to make a call on the helpline number and an executive will come and do all the paper work. The beneficiary resident will not be required to visit the government office which is called doorstep delivery.”

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Rajya Sabha members asks govt to take steps to deal with Delhi pollution

Cutting across the party lines, Rajya Sabha members today sought concerted efforts by the government to deal with rising pollution levels in Delhi and its adjoining areas. The members also asked the government to refrain from putting the blame on farmers for causing pollution by burning stubble or husk after harvest and suggested steps to help the farmers for proper disposals of this agriculture residue.Initiating a short duration discussion on the issue, SP leader Naresh Agarwal said, “farmers are blamed for causing pollution by burning stubble/husk. The government should take steps to deal with the situation rather than blaming farmers because vehicle/industrial emissions and others area also the reasons for it.”Referring to the 12-point charter unveiled by the government to deal with the issue, Agarwal said that pollution will not come down just because the government would give directions to states or departments.He expressed unhappiness over non-spending of Rs 800 crore cess collected in the name of enviroment by Delhi Government, which was not spent to deal with the issue, as it said it does not have right to spend the money.Agarwal said the government should not refrain from taking steps to curb pollution because of fear of media criticism.T S Reddy (Congress) also expressed dissatisfaction over government’s 12 point charter to deal with the issue saying he wanted to understand the 12 points charter. He drew attention towards solid waste management saying garbage is being dumped in improper manner.Referring to the government’s plan to use electric cars for officials, he said there was a need for electric public transport system including buses and metro rail to reduce dependence on fossil fuels which caused pollution.He was also of the view that the state governments of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan should take steps to deal with stubble burning after harvest.A Navaneethakrishnan (AIADMK) also echoed similar views and asked the chair to consider conducting Parliament session in winters in Chennai where pollution levels are low.Derek O Brien (TMC) said a large number of lives have been lost due to pollution and suggested that the government should also look at other metropolitans and small town to deal with the problem there.He also suggested that the government can ask people to plant one sampling on the birth of every girld child as practiced in West Bengal where 15 lakh samplings have been planted.Prasanna Acharya ((BJD) and Harivansh (JDU) expressed the similar views and asked government to take steps to deal with the issues rather than blamming farmers.C P Narayanan (CPI-M) said people of Delhi were suffering from pollution due to lack of coordination among the Centre, state governments and local government. He also spoke about the need to educate people on waste management.Veer Singh (BSP) suggested that industrial units should be shifted from the national capital and action should be taken against big farmers for burning crop residues.D Raja of CPI said air pollution was a health issue and is not limited to Delhi alone and suggested that public transport should be encouraged and massive efforts should be taken to shift towards cleaner fuel. Raja said farmers should be given subsidy for adopting to to new technology to re- plough crop residues in the field.INLD member Ram Kumar Kashyap said trees should be planted to tackle pollution, while Pratap Singh Bajwa (Cong) urged political parties to make Delhi liveable by forgetting their differences. On crop residue burning, he said farmers would have to incur additional cost to remove residues and they should be adequately compensated.Satyanarayan Jatia (BJP) said pollution levels have increased and there is a need to find solution, while Kanimozhi (DMK) said pollution problem is not only in Delhi but other cities of the country. Many cities of Tamil Nadu are also facing similar situation because of industrial pollution, she said, adding that emission norms should be adhered to.The DMK member said farmers should be given alternate choice so that they stop burning of crop residues. The government should not intervene and help farmers, she said.

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Two weeks after showdown with Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Rajeev Dhawan retracts statements; to resume practice

Senior Supreme Court advocate Rajeev Dhawan has written to Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra, retracting his statement that he would be giving up legal practice.The move comes two weeks after Dhawan said he would give up practice, following a showdown with Misra.Earlier, upset over a “humilitating” exchange in the Supreme Court between him and Misra during the hearing on Delhi Vs Centre on statehood case early this month, Dhavan, in a strong worded letter, had announced that he has given up court practice.In the letter, he said: “After the humiliating end to the Delhi (vs Centre) case, I have decided to give up court practice. You are entitled to take away the Senior Gown conferred on me, though I would like to keep it for memory and services rendered”.Two recent run-ins of Dhavan with the Chief Justice were widely reported in the media. During the Ayodhya case, Dhawan, Kapil Sibal, and Dushyant Dave pleaded that the Supreme Court defer hearing in the Babri-Ram Janambhoomi case until after the 2019 Lok Sabha election.Also read’After humiliating end to Delhi case,’ SC lawyer Rajeev Dhavan quits court practiceAccording to reports, Dhavan shouted at CJI Misra during the arguments. In another matter of Centre vs Delhi, Dhawan while representing the Arvind Kejriwal government, wanted to further a few more arguments even though Supreme Court had reserved its order in the case.After these two instances, CJI Misara said the trend of lawyers raising their voices showed their “inadequacy, incompetence and the fact that they are not even eligible to become seniors”.CJI Misra said: “If the Supreme Court Bar Association does not regulate such members, we will be forced to regulate them”.CJI further said: “When lawyers argue in a manner, not in tune with Constitutional language, we will tolerate it, but for how long? ”

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Congress Foundation Day | Constitution under threat, it’s our duty to defend it, says Rahul Gandhi

In yet another stinging attack against the Narendra Modi government, Congress President Rahul Gandhi today said that, ‘ the BJP operates on the basic idea that lies can be used for political benefit and it is the difference between us and them.’Addressing the party members on the 133rd Foundation Day of the Congress at the party headquarters in New Delhi on Thursday, Gandhi said that his party may suffer or lose elections but would not give up truth.He also attacked the government over the Constitution row. “The Constitution, the foundation of our country is under threat, it is under attack directly, statements are being made by senior members of BJP and it is under attack surreptitiously from the back and its our duty, duty of Congress party and every single Indian to defend it,’ Gandhi said.Keeping up the ante against the government, Gandhi said, ‘What is happening today in or country is a web of deceit, The BJP operates on the basic idea that lies can be used for political benefit and it is the difference between us and them, we might not do well, we might even lose but we will not give up the truth.”He also highlighted the Congress’s “glorious” history, claiming the central idea of the party was truth and “we will continue to fight for it”.

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Govt land cannot be used as burial ground

Any open land, especially belonging to the government, cannot be used as a burial ground, the Delhi High Court (HC) held.”No person has any right to use any open land, especially government land, indiscriminately as a burial ground,” a bench of acting chief justice Gita Mittal and justice C Hari Shankar said, while dismissing a plea filed by an NGO.The bench’s ruling comes while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) that challenged a sub-divisional magistrate’s order, which questioned the use of government land in Uttam Nagar in west Delhi as a burial ground.The magistrate had issued a notice to an Uttam Nagar-based NGO, asking how it came to be in possession of the government land and how it was using it as a burial ground. The bench noted that the petitioner NGO, Kabristan Intzamia Association, had started using the government land on the basis of a statement made by an MLA and “no legal right is either pointed out or made out with respect to the subject land”.

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Glanders disease: 7 horses culled & buried

Six days after the confirmation of Glanders disease in seven equines in west Delhi, all infected animals were culled by giving injections and then buried at an open ground near the Sanjay Gandhi Animal Hospital on Wednesday.The horses had been in confinement since the confirmation of the disease and the entire west district was declared a ‘controlled’ area for the next three months, i.e. all animal movement to and from the district has been banned.”We gave high doses of anesthesia to the animals to put them to sleep. They were brought down peacefully and buried, following all necessary procedure. The affected animals in this case act as carriers and need to be culled,” said Dr Jitender Kumar Gaur, Director, Animal Husbandry, Delhi government.”The glanders bacteria, Burkholderia mallei, is a non-spore forming bacteria. So, burying the animals will not affect the soil or the people later on,” he added.With only a month to Republic Day, all horses in the city, including those belonging to the military, President’s guard, and police, are being tested for Glanders. Till Wednesday, samples from over 800 horses had been collected. There are nearly 3,000 horses in the city and all will be surveyed in the next nine days. All samples are being sent to the National Research Centre on Equines in Hisar, the only certified Government Laboratory for Glanders testing in the country.Glanders is a life-threatening equine disease that affects both the animal and its owner. Till date, it is known to have taken over 200 lives.

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Ban display of non-veg food outside eateries

Scrumptious seekh kebabs on skewers and juicy chicken tikkas put up outside food stalls to draw customers may soon have to be relegated to inside shelves, as the civic body in south Delhi has proposed that they cannot be displayed in the open.The proposal was brought in the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) in its last House, which approved it, Leader of House Shikha Rai said, adding that hygiene and “sentiments of people affected by the sight” of meat were the main reasons behind the move.“It was a private member resolution originally moved by a councillor from Kakrola village in Najafgarh Zone in the Health Committee meeting. The committee then moved it to the SDMC House, which then approved it,” a spokesperson of the SDMC said. “The proposal would now be sent to the Commissioner to be examined, if it in accordance with the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act,” he said. South Delhi is home to many eateries and restaurants selling meat products.

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Delhi nursery admission: Nursery nightmares begin

With most of the private unaided recognised schools in the national capital giving heavy weightage to the ‘neighbourhood’ criteria — children residing within the 0-3 km radius — arbitrary regulations issued by several schools are giving nightmares to parents seeking nursery admission for their children.In blatant violation of the Delhi government’s Directorate of Education (DoE) guidelines, while some schools are granting extra points to “vegetarian”, “non-smoker” and “teetotaller” parents, some are preferring children/grandchildren of former school promoters or office bearers.According to the criteria released by Mahavir Senior Model School on GT-Karnal Road, extra five points will be given to non-smoker, teetotaller and vegetarian parents, in a bid to shun “social evils”.”We have included the point just to make people realise how healthy and happy their lives would be if they won’t smoke and drink. We, however, are not asking them to give a certificate as a proof,” said SL Jain, principal of the school.Similarly, in another violation, Apeejay school in Sheikh Sarai is giving 15 points to the “Children/Grandchildren of promoters/office bearers/members of board of governors of the school” in its criteria, the move experts term a “disregard” of the government’s directions. “This is a blatant violation and disregard of the DoE’s regulations. The school is also giving a backdoor entry to the candidates coming from its own play school by giving extra 10 points to the child coming from a lower class at any other Apeejay School,” said Sumit Vohra, founder of www.admissionsnursery.com.”Some schools have issued absurd admission criteria which are nowhere mentioned in the DoE’s circular issued on December 19. Parents like us are really confused. The DoE Should immediately issue notices to such schools,” said Ritika Singh, a parent seeking admission for her 3-year-old daughter.Several schools, including Abhinav Public School in Pitampura and Sachdeva Public School in Rohini have asked parents’ to give details of their monthly income, educational and professional qualification in their forms. “How can our educational and professional qualifications can be the parameters of screening the forms of our children? This is absolutely unfair,” said Sikha Sharma, another parent.Officials at the DoE, however, said that they are receiving the complaints and strict action will be taken against all these schools. “We have received numerous complaints through our grievance portal on the first day. Strict action will be taken against all such schools,” a senior official said.The admission process in the entry level classes in 1,700 private unaided recognised schools in the national capital kicked off on Wednesday. The last date to submit application forms in schools is January 17 and the first list will be released on February 1. The admission process will wrap up by March 31, 2018.

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Max Hospital in soup again, kin say stents put in patient without permission

The family of a 58-year-old heart patient, who died in the Max Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, on December 25, has accused the hospital of negligence, a charge that the upscale facility has denied. The family said they will approach Union health minister JP Nadda on Thursday.Earlier on December 8, the Delhi government had cancelled the hospital branch’s license in another case of negligence. The services, however, resumed 10 days later, after the Finance Commissioner stayed the state government’s order.”We will try to reach out to health minister J P Nadda and the chief medical officer of Delhi on Thursday. We want justice. My father was on his feet when he visited the hospital on December 25. He was sweating, so they took him to the emergency ward and an ECG test was conducted. The test revealed that he had blockage in his arteries,” said Sarika, 35, daughter of the deceased Kamlesh Chander.According to the family, the doctors inserted a stent in Chander’s body without informing them. They also said that a senior doctor was supposed to operate upon him but instead a junior doctor performed the surgery.”Even as we were discussing the matter, they came and informed us that stents have been put in his body. They did that without even asking us. Also, the doctor under whose supervision my father was admitted was on leave. A few hours later, my father died. This is fraud and negligence. We demand justice. We are waiting for the autopsy and after that we will organise the funeral,” she said.The family further stated that the hospital gave them a bill of Rs 3 lakh. A police officer said inquest proceedings under section 174 of the CrPC has been initiated,The hospital, however, denied the allegations. “The patient was brought to the emergency (ward) in the afternoon of December 25, complaining of chest pain and breathlessness. There was blockage in three major arteries. The patient was 58 years old and had a history of diabetes, hypertension, and smoking,” the hospital said in its statement. It added: “The family was counselled by Dr Devendra Agarwal, who is a senior consultant and a well-qualified interventional cardiologist. The family was informed that Dr Navin Bhamri was on a leave. The family was fully informed about the diagnosis, the patient’s condition, and the treatment plan at various stages. The documents were signed by the family. Only one stent was used in the angioplasty procedure.”IN THE PAST7-year-old Adya Singh dies of dengue, hospital bills family Rs 16 lakh. On November 20, reacting to a tweet by the child’s uncle, Union Health Minister JP Nadda asked for details and said necessary action will be taken against the hospital.

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SDMC seals 30 shops in Chhattarpur

The South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) continued with its sealing drive on Wednesday shutting down 30 shops, most of which included marble trade showrooms, located on Chhattarpur-Bhati Road for “illegal” construction.The civic body had sealed a farmhouse on Tuesday in Chhattarpur. The sealing drive is being conducted as per the directions of the Supreme Court-appointed Monitoring Committee to crack down on unauthoursied constructions in the city.”The Building Department of South Zone took action against commercial establishment on Chhattarpur-Bhati Road on the direction of the Committee. All the three members of the Committee visited the site,” said a corporation official.Meanwhile, South Corporation Mayor Kamaljeet Sehrawat met the Monitoring Committee to discuss the plan to reduce the conversion charges for commercial-cum-residential properties from Rs 89,000 to Rs 22,000. The move has come days after the civic body conducted a sealing drive and shut down 51 popular restaurants and shops in Defence Colony market.

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Man rapes minor for 13 days, arrested

A 14-year-old girl, who was kidnapped from outside her house in northwest Delhi by one of her distant relatives and repeatedly raped by him in Madhya Pradesh, has been rescued. The 34-year-old man was arrested on Tuesday. Police said that the accused had managed to change his appearances and locations frequently to keep away from police net.Police said that the accused raped the minor girl for 13 days in Budh Vihar after which he dropped her at Pitampura. The minor managed to reach her home and narrated her ordeal to her mother after she saw her in tattered clothes and a semi-conscious state. Later, her family approached the police and reported the matter.”The victim was sent for a medical examination that confirmed rape. Based on her statement, raids were conducted for over a month and intelligence was developed. A team led by ACP Raja Banthia, after receiving a tip-off, raided the native place of the accused from where he was arrested,” said a senior police officer.In the first week of December, the minor girl had reportedly left her house to buy groceries from a nearby shop when the accused allegedly kidnapped her by putting a drug-laced handkerchief on her mouth. Once the minor girl was unconscious, he took her to his friend’s place in Budh Vihar where he raped her repeatedly.As per the statement given by the minor, the accused used to live in the same neighbourhood in Netaji Subhash Place where she lived and used to work as a carpenter, the officer informed.

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Delhi to take cue from Singapore to strengthen PUC centres

The Delhi government is all set to take a cue from Singapore to strengthen its Pollution Under Control (PUC) testing norms for which it has come under the scanner, as the city witnessed toxic levels of pollution with vehicular emissions being one of the major factors. Officials from the transport department had recently toured the city to study the technology used in Singapore.The observations will be part of the PUC strengthening programme, said sources. The move has come after the Supreme Court asked the government to implement the recommendations given by the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) in its audit reports of the PUC tests in Delhi-NCR earlier this year on upgrading technology for issuing fitness certificates to vehicles.The EPCA has recommended technological advancements in the checking equipment connecting the diagnosis to the PUC to cut down on vehicular emissions.The EPCA is an SC-appointed body appointed to curb air pollution in the city. It had found in its report that the PUC norms being followed were weak while the test units used outdated technology.According to a senior official, vehicle-testing for pollution in the Capital is done when it is in idle mode and does not show the actual levels of emissions because of which the rejection rate is too low.”Most developed cities, including Singapore have switched to load-mode testing (when the vehicle is in operation) which produces accurate readings. Besides, the PUC centres issuing fitness certificates are organised and follow uniform norms with an equally trained staff. In Delhi, vehicle-testing is done at the no-load condition. It is a setback to see visible smoke from poorly maintained vehicles, which must change now. A presentation for the same will be put forth for discussion soon,” he said.The department had carried out an inspection of these PUC centres this year between February and August, which revealed that of the 957 registered centres in the city, action against 353 was taken for various complaints.Of the 353 centres, 178 were issued discrepancy/deficiency notices, 134 were issued showcause notices, 27 centres were issued a warning, 14 were suspended while licenses of eight centres were cancelled.PUC CENTRES IN TROUBLETotal number of PUC centres in Delhi 957 Action taken against 353 Discrepancy/deficiency notices issued to 178 Showcause notices issued to 134 Warnings issued to 27 Licenses suspended of 14

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AAP sharpens attack after LG rejects home delivery scheme

"The BJP is getting sealing (drive) across Delhi. The BJP has got the doorstep delivery proposal of government's services rejected. The BJP has tried to stop the file of mohalla clinics through the LG.
"Why does the BJP want to destroy Delhi?" he tweeted. Labour Minister and AAP's Delhi unit convenor Gopal Rai said the LG's decision to return the proposal "defied logic". "The BJP is resorting to dirty politics and taking help of the Lt Governor's office," he claimed. Rai alleged that the Delhi BJP leaders cared little for the city and their motto was to keep obstructing the works being done by the Arvind Kejriwal government. The Delhi Cabinet had approved the proposal for doorstep delivery of essential public services last month and sent it for approval to the LG. ”
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Wednesday 27 December 2017 23:00 ISTMust readSurgical Strike 2.0: Indian Army planted IEDs to surprise Pak; toll could be higher Indian Army crosses LOC to retaliate, kills three Pak soldiers <!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) today alleged that the BJP was using the office of the Lieutenant Governor to obstruct in the works of the Delhi government, a day after Anil Baijal shot down its ambitious proposal to “home deliver” basic public services.LG Baijal had yesterday sent back to the Delhi government a proposal for doorstep delivery of basic public services such as driving licences, caste certificates and water connections for reconsideration.Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who had termed the LG’s move as a “huge setback” to AAP government’s efforts towards providing a graft-free governance, today took to Twitter to lambaste the BJP, wondering why the saffron party wanted to “destroy” Delhi.”The BJP is getting sealing (drive) across Delhi. The BJP has got the doorstep delivery proposal of government’s services rejected. The BJP has tried to stop the file of mohalla clinics through the LG.”Why does the BJP want to destroy Delhi?” he tweeted. Labour Minister and AAP’s Delhi unit convenor Gopal Rai said the LG’s decision to return the proposal “defied logic”. “The BJP is resorting to dirty politics and taking help of the Lt Governor’s office,” he claimed. Rai alleged that the Delhi BJP leaders cared little for the city and their motto was to keep obstructing the works being done by the Arvind Kejriwal government. The Delhi Cabinet had approved the proposal for doorstep delivery of essential public services last month and sent it for approval to the LG.

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Intel busts D-Company plot to assassinate Chota Rajan inside Tihar Jail

A plot, allegedly planned by Dawood Ibrahim, to bump off underworld don Chhota Rajan, who is currently locked up in Tihar Jail, was foiled, after Intel came to know of the conspiracy, The Times of India reported.According to the report, the crime was supposed to be committed by Delhi’s top gangster Neeraj Bawana at the insistence of D Company. The report added that the plan got busted after one of Bawana’s aides boasted about the plot to another associate during what was described as drunken banter. This was picked up by the agencies which brought it to the notice of all stakeholders involved in Rajan’s security. Currently, Bawana and Rajan are in Jail Number 2 of Tihar jail, but are in different cells. Following the intelligence report, Bawana has been shifted into an isolated cell.Rajan has been lodged in Tihar, and not in jails in Mumbai or Maharashtra, because officials felt it would be difficult for Dawood Ibrahim and his network to get to their target in the highly secure Delhi prison.In 2015, Rajan was arrested in Bali on the basis of a Red Corner Notice from Interpol and following a tip off by Australian authorities to the police in Indonesia. In the absence of an extradition treaty, the Indian authorities have already provided documents to their Indonesian counterparts about Rajan’s Indian identity to facilitate his deportation. The sources said Rajan was in touch with various police officials for last six months seeking a passage to return to India as he feared for his life in Australia from Chhota Shakeel, a henchman of Dawood.In 2000, there was an attempt on Rajan’s life when Dawood’s men tracked him down to a hotel in Bangkok but he managed a dramatic escape.Mumbai-born Rajan, once a close confidant-turned-rival of underworld gang lord Dawood, has said that he is not afraid of Dawood, the prime accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case. Rajan was arrested on a Red Corner notice by Interpol after eluding law enforcement agencies for over two decades. Out of these 75 cases, Rajan is facing four cases under Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA), one under Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) and over 20 cases under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act.

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Nobody has right to use government land as burial ground: Delhi HC

No one has the right to indiscriminately use any open land, especially one that belongs to the government, as a burial ground, the Delhi High Court has held.The ruling by a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar came on a PIL challenging a sub- divisional magistrate’s order questioning use of a government land in Uttam Nagar in west Delhi as a burial ground.The magistrate had issued notice to an Uttam Nagar-based NGO asking it how it came to be in possession of the government land and how it was using it as a burial ground.The court noted that the petitioner NGO, Kabristan Intzamia Association, had started using the government land on the basis of a statement made by an MLA and “no legal right is either pointed out or made out with respect to the subject land”.It held that the sub-divisional magistrate, Dwarka, passed the August 1, 2017 order, which was under challenge, after considering all the matters and there was “no illegality” in the decision.The bench also said that all the parties have to abide by the magistrate’s decision and directed the local authorities to take strict action for violation of the order.”No person has any right to use any open land, especially government land, indiscriminately as a burial ground,” the court said and dismissed the NGO’s plea.

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More trouble for Max Hospital: Man dies on Christmas Day; family alleges hospital negligence

The family of a 58-year-old man, who was taken to Max Hospital in Shalimar Bagh on Christmas Day for treatment of a heart condition, today alleged that he died due to the hospital’s negligence, a charge the upscale facility has denied.The allegation came weeks after the Court of the Financial Commissioner stayed an order of the Delhi government cancelling the hospital’s licence for wrongly declaring a newborn dead.Sarika, 35, daughter of the deceased, Kamlesh Chander, said: “We are devastated by the incident. Tomorrow, we will try to reach out to Health Minister J P Nadda and the chief medical officer of Delhi. We want justice.”Also readMax hospital case: Probe to be delayed in twin baby case as police still waiting for DMC’s reply”My father was on his feet when he visited the hospital on December 25. He was sweating, so they took him to the emergency ward and an ECG test was conducted. The test revealed that he had blockage in his arteries,” she said.Sarika said an angiography was performed on his father and the doctors told the family that Chander would need a bypass surgery.Also readFamily approaches court day after Max Hospital reopens”While we discussed the matter, they came and informed us that stents have been put in his body. They did that without even asking us. More so, my father was admitted under the supervision of a doctor who was on leave. This is fraud and negligence,” she alleged.”A few hours later, my father died… We demand justice. We are waiting for the autopsy and after that we will organise the funeral, she said.The family said the hospital billed them Rs three lakh.”We have submitted all relevant details and registered a complaint with the police,” she said.A police official said inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the CrPC was initiated based on the complaint.”A medical board will be constituted to carry out the autopsy. On the basis of the autopsy, further action will be taken,” the official said.Max Healthcare in a statement said: “The patient was brought to the emergency (ward) in the afternoon of December 25, with complaints of chest pain and breathlessness. Initial ECG confirmed acute STEMI.”ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) is a type of heart attack during which one of the heart’s major arteries is blocked.”Further investigation revealed Triple Vessel Disease blockage in three major arteries. The patient was 58 years old and had a history of diabetes, hypertension and smoking. Despite due efforts by the medical team, the patient could not be saved,” it claimed.Sarika, however, countered the hospital’s claim, saying, “My father was a vegetarian, non-smoker and non-alcoholic.”Max Healthcare authorities said, “We are really disturbed by the false allegation that the body was held pending payment. It is a part of our ethics charter to peacefully hand over the body under all circumstances.”Sarika has claimed that her father’s body was first taken by the police to Babu Jagjivan Ram Memorial Hospital, and from there to Safdarjung Hospital for post-mortem.

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ED seizes Rs 26 crore assets of arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) today said it has seized assets worth Rs 26.61 crore of controversial arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari and others for alleged violation of the FEMA law.It said it has seized the properties “in lieu of undisclosed assets held abroad by him” and the action has been carried out under section 37A of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).Section 37A of the FEMA stipulates that if certain foreign exchange, foreign security or immovable property is held outside India in violation of this law, the equivalent value of asset can be seized within India. The ED had booked Bhandari, reported to have left India for a foreign location sometime ago, under criminal charges of the PMLA law in February this year as also under the FEMA.The Delhi Police had also booked him for alleged violation of the Official Secrets Act (OSA) last year. Bhandari’s case first came to light after the I-T department conducted searches against him in April last year and recovered certain “sensitive” official defence documents from his premises. As part of these raids, the taxman is also said to have recovered certain emails that talk about renovation of a costly apartment in London in 2010 which was allegedly owned by Robert Vadra, brother-in-law of Congress President Rahul Gandhi.Also readED attaches assets Rs. 21 crore of arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari case in black money caseVadra’s legal firm has denied that he owned the London property directly or indirectly. It also denied Vadra has any business ties with an arms consultant or his aides. The tax department had last year also shared a “seizure memo record” with the defence ministry to apprise it about the contents of these “sensitive” documents.

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Jaish-e-Mohammad’s ‘commander’ Noor Tantray killed in Pulawama wanted to join BJP in 2003 to eliminate top brass

Noor Mohammad Tantray, the ‘midget’ terrorist killed in Pulwama encounter on Tuesday, wanted to join the BJP to eliminate its top leaders way back in 2003.Also known as Peer Baba, the four-feet-tall Kashmir chief of Jaish-e-Mohammad even went to the BJP headquarters at 11 Ashoka Raod in New Delhi. He managed to get a form to get himself registered as an active member, snoop on the leaders and attack them, a plan that never materialised. Before he could have succeed in his conspiracy, the Anti-Terror Unit of Delhi Police’s Special Cell, then headed by Deputy Commissioner of Police Ashok Chand nabbed him and his associates from Delhi with huge cache of arms and ammunition.Tantray also went by the name Gulzar Ahmed Bhat or Uwais was a resident of Darganjgund in Pulwama’s Tral area and was arrested in Delhi in August, 2003.“Tantray was a member of JeM, a terrorist organisation banned under Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002 and was arrested for entering into a criminal conspiracy with four others (Rashid, Mohd Sahid, Habeeb and Khurshid Ahmed Butt, all said four others having since been killed in different encounters with security forces), to commit terrorist acts and wage war against India,” Chand told DNA.He was convicted in 2011 for life. He was languishing in Tihar Jail and was out on a parole since 2015 and thereafter started reviving the JeM in south and central Kashmir.In 2003, on August 29, the Special Cell received an intelligence inputs about Jaish terrorists being engaged in supply of arms, ammunition and explosive material transported in wooden boxes of fruits and vegetables by trucks from Kashmir to Delhi. The vehicles were also used to take back Hawala money from Delhi to Kashmir for being used for terrorist activities.On a specific information about a truck bearing registration number “153” of Jammu and Kashmir having reached Delhi with certain quantity of arms, ammunitions and explosives, efforts were made through a team headed by then Sub Inspector Govind Sharma, who is now Assistant Commissioner of Police, to locate the vehicle.It was learnt that truck bearing number JK-03-0153 had actually entered the fruit market in Delhi’s Azadpur at 10:55 pm on August 28, 2003. Since the truck could not be located in the market, extensive search was launched in surrounding areas. On August 30, 2003, at about 2.00 pm, then Sub Inspector Umesh Barthwal is said to have located the said truck parked in Qutub Road parking lot. A police officers comprising, amongst others, of then Inspector Hriday Bhushan was deployed to keep a watch over the truck in secrecy.At about 7.45 pm a short statured person later identified as accused Noor Mohd Tantray was seen approaching the truck and having a talk with the driver who was later identified as accused Parvez Ahmed Mir and cleaner later identified as accused Farooz Ahmed respectively of the truck.Tantray along with other two boarded the truck, thereafter three wooden boxes kept in the tool box were taken out. All three were nabbed and the three wooden boxes unloaded from the truck were opened and checked and beneath the fruit, 10 hand grenades, 10 grenades shells and one under barrel grenade launcher were recovered.Tantray during interrogation revealed that the consignment of explosives was to be delivered by his associates Zahoor in Pakistan and Aslam of Sikandrabad in UP, who were to meet him in front of Indraprastha Park on outer ring road in Nizamuddin. A team of police personnel at 9.15 pm in private cars and reached the park near and about 10.45 pm, a Maruti car bearing registration no. DL3C N8749 came from the side of Nizamuddin flyover and stopped.From the said car, two persons allegedly alighted and stood nearby and challenged by the police and when asked to surrender but instead of compliance the said they started firing at the police. The police returned the fire in the course of which both the said persons came to be injured and later scummed to injuries.In Delhi, Tantray had made his in house no A-44 at Mohindra Park in Azadpur as the base to carry out terror attacks. During search of his place, police recovered computer with its accessories, stereo cassette players, sets of Nokia, 10 channel cordless telephones, cash, Hawala money in the sum of Rs 19.20 lakh and certain incrementing documents. Sources said that these documents contained a form for BJP membership.The police team lead by ACP Rajbir Singh, who has since died, had then nabbed the accused under supervision of then DCP Ashok Chand. Chand retired from Delhi Police as Joint Commissioner in 2015.

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RTDC gears up to get tourists for ‘first trip’ of heritage PoW

After failing to muster enough number of tourists for the maiden tour of December 22, of Heritage Palace on wheels, the management of RTDC has started making intensive efforts for booking of passengers for December 29 tour, which is now being called as the first trip. However, on the website when one scrolled on “luxury on wheels” segment, only “Palace on wheels’ appeared.Marketing efforts are being made in full throttle and advertising in print media has also been started. The advertisement carrying the itinerary of the train, has been displayed along with the tariff per person. While the telephone numbers of the team running the train in Delhi and Jaipur both are mentioned in the advertisement, it carries information about the starting of online booking as well. However, when DNA logged on to the website www.tourism.rajasthan.gov.in, online booking for only Palace on wheels was seen on the page.Also when DNA contacted the landline numbers on Tuesday evening, the number’s remained unanswered. The golden triangle package will cover Delhi-Jaipur and Agra with departure of the train from New Delhi Safdarjung railway station. The desert triangle circuit will be started from January 5 and include places like Churu, Ramgarh, Nawalgarh, Tal Chhapar (Churu) before returning back to Delhi.Notably, the announcement of the new train was made by tourism minister Krishnendra Kaur Deepa and ACS, NC Goel during the press meet to list achievements of 4 years. They had declared that the new train will start from December 22. Officers were specially sent to London during the world travel mart few weeks back to market the train, however it could not get the passengers.

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Jaipur-Agra Shatabdi to improvise under project ‘Swarna’

The Golden triangle rail journey is all set to get more comfortable as the coaches of Jaipur-Agra Shatabdi are being revamped with unique features under the project ‘Swarna’ of Indian Railways.There are changes on cards in most of the aspects of rail travel. The features include disposable head rest cover for the passengers seated in the coach, for better view inside the coach, whilegood quality pictures and paintings exhibiting regional culture and heritage will also be displayed inside the coach.As bad odour was an issue of discussion earlier in this Jaipur-Agra Shatabdi, automatic odour control (AOC) system is being installed.The train is also being equipped with CCTV Surveilllance system, while Aadhar enabeled bio matric attendance system for staff for geo tagging has also been done on this train. This will ensure responsible behavior from the staff of the train.As a humanatrian gesture, the travel of visually impaired will also become easier as there is also provision of braille signage in the train. On his visit to Jaipur on Saturday, the chairman of Railway board, Ashwai Lohani had also inspected the coaches of this train which is amongst the 15 Shatabdi’s and 14 Rajdhani express chosen under this project.It is noteworthy that golden triangle is an important tourism circuit in the country attracting lakhs of tourists, mostly foreigners. This makes it a natural choice for the tourists to board this train everyday to travel between Jaipur and Agra. Notably, to improve passenger experience, Ministry of Railways decided to upgrade Premium Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains under Project ‘Swarna.’With improved passenger amenities, aesthetics and hygiene standards, country’s first Swarn Rajdhani (Train no 12313 New Delhi – Sealdah Rajdhani Express) was launched in New Delhi in the month of November this year.Well equippedThe train is being equipped with CCTV surveillance system while Aadhar enabelled bio matric attendance system for staff for geo tagging has also been done on this train. This will ensure responsible behavior from the staff of the train.

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Govt school students to get coaching in sports academies

The Delhi government said on Tuesday that students of government schools will now be able to get free coaching in their favourite sport by academies and clubs which, in turn, will use the institute’s playgrounds for private coaching after school hours and during holidays.The initiative is aimed at providing opportunities to government school students in sports coaching and ensure optimum usage of playgrounds.”They will be free to charge fees as per their own rates from the outsiders taking private coaching. However, 50% of them have to be government school students from the national capital,” Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said.The AAP government had last year decided to rent out playgrounds of 77 schools run by it to be used by sports associations and clubs to organise events after school hours.”The scheme was launched on a pilot basis and now we have decided to take it forward. The academies which will be using the playgrounds will have to give free coaching to the students of the particular school,” said Sisodia.For the pilot scheme, proposals had come for 50-60 schools. From these 18 academies did a good job in 27 schools giving a new lease of life to sports activities, he said.Sisodia added that the scheme will benefit those living in upscale areas, as the number of playgrounds in these posh neighbourhoods is less. “If there is an academy that is only for girls, they can meet the government officials to appoint a woman coach for them,”he saidEarlier 15 games were included under the scheme, in the new initiative training will be imparted for 31 sports, including badminton, basketball, boxing, chess, football, hockey, judo, kabaddi, volleyboll, wrestling and baseball among others.”We will start the process of inviting applications from sports academies and clubs for the purpose,” Sisodia added.

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1,700 pvt schools remain confused over fee structure

Days after the Delhi High Court stayed the order passed by the state Education Department, which enabled private schools to increase fees by 15 percent, left the latter in a fix. The 1,700 private schools in the capital are now confused over the fee structure of their entry-level classes for which admission to begin on Wednesday.”The Directorate of Education (DoE) has not issued anything on the fee structure as of now. There is immense confusion among the private schools on what to charge and what not to charge,” said SK Bhattacharya, president of Action Committee Unaided Recognized Private School.In October, the Delhi government had enabled the schools to increase their fee by 15 percent, apparently, to enable them to pay the teachers salary as per the recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission. Soon after that many schools had issued notices declaring increase of fees. Many schools even saw a face-off between school authorities and parents.”What about the rights of the teachers? Like any other profession the schools also have to give hike to them every year. What can be done in this scenario?” Bhattacharya asked, adding the government school immediately make things clear for them.

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L-G Anil Baijal for exclusive police stations run by women

Lieutenant Governor (L-G) Anil Baijal on Tuesday said that the Delhi Police should have police stations run exclusively by the women police officers. Laying emphasis on more women power in the Delhi Police, the L-G stated that the force needed more women officers at the forefront.Baijal was speaking at the ‘Sashakti’ programme organised by the Delhi Police where he was the chief guest as well. The programme saw the participation of over seven thousand school-going girls trained in self-defence sending out a strong message of ‘Ab nahi sehna, Na chup rehna’. Baijal, while addressing the audience, acknowledged that girls were the real chief guest on the occasion.The South Zone of the Delhi Police, in order to promote self-defence training for women and girls as a sign of women empowerment, organised a function wherein the girls who were trained by the Delhi Police displayed their techniques and skills. Over 7,000 school girls from South East, South, South West, Dwarka, West and Outer Delhi have been trained in martial arts and self-defence. Around 361 camps all over the area were held in order to promote self -defence training.On the occasion, Commissioner of Delhi Police, Amulya Patnaik highlighted the need for learning self-defense techniques as a tool for raising self-confidence and empowerment of women, and reiterated the commitment of the Delhi Police towards the safety and security of female citizens.”One year of Sashakti has been a learning experience and in the days and months to come, the training program will be further intensified and remodeled to compare with the best in similar community policing initiatives,” said Patnaik.A documentary film showcasing trained girls enacting real-life situations of stalking, snatching and harassment was also played at the event. Trainers also displayed their skills and gave live demonstrations on how one could save themselves from possible stabbing attack or acid throwers.

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After Defence Colony traders protest, SDMC plans to reduce conversion changes

The South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) plans to reduce the conversion charges of commercial-cum-residential properties from Rs 89,000 to Rs 22,000. The move has come days after the civic body conducted a sealing drive and shut down 51 popular restaurants and shops in Defence Colony market for”illegal” construction and not paying the conversion charges.Kamaljeet Sehrawat, Mayor, SDMC, on Tuesday agreeing to the traders’demands said she will meet the Monitoring Committee in this regard on Wednesday.”We will be meeting the Committee to take the drive in a phased manner and give enough time to traders to deposit the charges. Also, we plan to reduce the conversion charges from 89,000 to 22,000 as per the proposal,” said Sehrawat.However, the civic body continued with its sealing drive on Tuesday even as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) alleged that the move was rather to”fill its coffers”. The corporation also extended its drive to agricultural properties being used for commercial purposes while sealing a farmhouse in Chhattarpur.The farmhouse used to host social functions and events, and had an additional built-up area, said the civic officials. The sealing drive is being taken on the directions of the Supreme Court-appointed Monitoring Committee which, in a meeting with commissioners of the three municipal corporations and the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) on Tuesday, directed the agencies to carry out the drives in all the areas under their jurisdiction.The AAP, however, alleged that the Monitoring Committee was acting as a”tax collector” for the BJP-led corporations in the city.”We have asked all the civic agencies to carry out the drive in areas under their jurisdiction,” said Bhure Lal, former bureaucrat and member of the committee.Meanwhile, the trader’s body of the Defence Colony market, along with AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj and local councillors, met the south corporation commissioner demanding the withdrawal of the sealing drive. They also asked for some time to pay off the conversion charges.”We were assured that the drive will be halted immediately while we have got three months time to pay the pending conversion charges. We have also urged them to reduce or waive off the conversion charges from Rs 89,000 to Rs 22,000 for which a proposal is pending with the Central government’s urban development ministry,” said RK Bhatia, member of the traders association.

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Delhi Nursery Admisions: School has ‘novel’ way to curb population

Landing itself in controversy yet again, this year as well, the popular Salwan Public School in Delhi has barred parents with more than two children from seeking admission for their wards in nursery. The school will mention this criteria in its admission form, to be uploaded on Wednesday. According to Sushil Salwan, chairperson of the Salwan group, India’s rising population has become a major hurdle in its development and everybody should contribute to help the nation in curbing it. “ It is our way of motivating people to have less children. We have already mentioned this in our admission form, which will be uploaded on Wednesday,” he said.Last year, both branches of the school — Salwan Montessori and GD Salwan — located in Rajendra Nagar in west Delhi, were slammed by parents for mentioning this clause in its admission form, which stated: “Parents having more than two children, including whose admission is sought, need not apply.” The Delhi government had issued a show cause notice to the school.Unfazed by the criticism, Salwan said: “We are ready to take all the media gagging for the sake of our country. We are not afraid. Criticising those who take bold initiatives has become a norm these days.” When contacted, the Delhi government officials said they will take action against the school, if this happens. “Strict action will be taken against any school for setting such unjustified criteria,” said Atishi Marlena, advisor to Delhi deputy chief minister and education minister Manish Sisodia.Experts also slammed the move and termed it “arbitrary”, with no mention in the Directorate of Education (DoE) guidelines. “Last year also, the school had included this clause and faced criticism from parents as well as the government. This is no way of contributing to the country’s development. If the school actually wants to do something for the welfare of the nation, it should provide underprivileged children with more opportunities to study,” said Sumit Vohra of the admissionsnursery.com.Meanwhile, parents who were preparing to apply at the Salwan School, are in a fix. “How can a school accept or reject us on the basis of how many children we have? This is the most bizzare regulation one can put,” said Ankit Saini, a Rajendra Nagar resident.Admissions in entry-level classes in 1,700 private, unaided, recognised schools in the national Capital will begin on Wednesday. Strange solution Salwan Public School in New Delhi has barred parents with more than two children from seeking admission for wards in nursery as a way of motivating people to have fewer children.

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‘Severe’ air pollution likely to return to Delhi in run-up to New Year

‘Severe’ air pollution may return in the national capital in the run-up to New Year, the Met department has forecast, prompting the CPCB to direct agencies to step up action against polluting sources.The concentration of pollutants will rise till at least December 29 due to low velocity wind and the coming down of the atmospheric layer where air and pollutants mix close to the surface. Wind speed 900 metres above the ground may fall to 4 km/hr on December 29, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said. On December 27 and 28, it will be around 17 km/hr and 6 km/hr, respectively. However, from December 30 wind speed may pick up a little and rise to 13 km/hr on the eve of New Year. Ground-level wind speed will be between 5 km/hr and 8 km/hr during this period, the IMD said.The day’s Air Quality Index (AQI) was 335, classified as ‘very poor’ by the CPCB, which may trigger respiratory illnesses on prolonged exposure. “The IMD has predicted that low winds, poor ventilation coefficient and stable atmospheric conditions are likely to cause episodic severe air quality events particularly in the evening and night till December 29,” CPCB’s air lab chief Dipankar Saha said. Poor ventilation coefficient essentially means that the ability of the atmosphere to dilute and disperse the pollutants over a region will reduce.Also readDelhi chokes again as smog strikesAll these factors do not allow dispersion of pollutants leading to their accumulation in the air. In view of the emerging situation, agencies concerned have been requested to remain alert and take all necessary measures for preventing emergency situation, Saha said. In Delhi, agencies such as the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) and the civic bodies are in charge of acting against open burning of waste, coal and firewood, visibly polluting vehicles, diesel generator sets, factors which spike pollution at the local level.

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Some Delhites to pay more for water bills

The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) today approved a combined 20 per cent hike in water and sewer charges in the national capital for consumption above 20,000 litres a month.However, the DJB will not charge households consuming up to 20,000 litres a month, in line with the subsidy scheme of the Arvind Kejriwal government, which was a key poll promise of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), an official said.The new rates will come into force in February, 2018. In 2015, days after coming to power, the AAP government had hiked water tariff by 10 per cent for consumers falling in the same category, keeping with an annual automatic 10 per cent rate hike mechanism put in place by the Sheila Dikshit government in 2009.However, in 2016, the government decided against following the auto mechanism and put another hike on hold. The current hike comes three months after Kejriwal took over the ministerial portfolio of water after the removal of Kapil Mishra. It will effectively lead to a rise of Rs 28 per month for consumers crossing the 20,000 litres limit, DJB vice chairman Dinesh Mohaniya, who is the AAP MLA from Sangam Vihar, said. “No change in water tariff in Delhi for households using up to 20,000 litres per month for third consecutive year. Above 20,000 litres, a 20 per cent combined hike on water and sewer charges approved in the Delhi Jal Board meeting,” Delhi government spokesperson Nagendar Sharma tweeted.Also readTaps run dry as DJB cuts supplyThe DJB has been providing up to 20,000 litres of water free of charge to domestic consumers. For domestic users who consume between 20,000 litres and 30,000 litres of water per month, the service charge is Rs 219.62 and the volumetric charge is Rs 21.97 per 1,000 litres. Customers who use over 30,000 litres a month pay Rs 292.82 in service charge and Rs 36.61 per 1,000 litres in volumetric charge.

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Who will challenge BJP? For Arvind Kejriwal and Rahul Gandhi, one’s loss is the other’s gain

They are roughly the same age, both have been lampooned mercilessly on social media and are hoping to oust the BJP from power.But the similarities, perhaps, are not the link between Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal, 49, and Congress president Rahul Gandhi, 47. What threads their fates together is that one man’s success could spell the other’s failure.”Rahul Gandhi’s gain is Kejriwal’s loss,” said rebel AAP MLA Kapil Mishra. “Both parties vie for the same vote base.”Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal’s attempts to establish himself as an alternative to the Congress seem to be running into rough waters with the party’s improved performance in the recent Gujarat polls under the leadership of its president.The two parties are vastly different, of course. The Congress is 132 years old; AAP has just celebrated its fifth anniversary. The former has a pan-Indian presence, while AAP rules Delhi and is present only in patches in the north.But when AAP came to power in Delhi, it did so by engulfing Congress votes. In 2015, the Congress couldn’t win a single seat. Its vote share dipped to 9 %, whereas the BJP’s remained more or less the same.Now a string of ignominious defeats has battered AAP’s image, posing a threat to the image of its leader, Kejriwal.The chief minister’s influence now seems to be on the wane, while the Congress president’s is on an all-time high.AAP’s success was linked to Congress defeat. Will the Gujarat elections, fought by the Congress leader with such vigour that it upped its 2012 tally of 61 seats to 78, spell bad news for AAP?”Gandhi is yet to make a mark if you compare him with Modi’s electoral performance since 2014. But his rise will have an impact on Kejriwal,” said a former AAP leader.Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) director Sanjay Kumar points out that the AAP leader’s popularity has already taken a hit.?Kejriwal?s ratings have already gone down drastically, as has his popularity in the last few months,? Kumar said.A recent survey by the Pew Research Center, a US-based fact-tank, states that in 2017, 39 % of the people had a favourable view of Kejriwal, down from 60 % in 2015.Born out of the anti-graft movement, four years ago Kejriwal seemed to have captured the imagination of the people, fatigued by the corruption charges that mired the then UPA government led by Mammohan Singh and the Delhi government of three-time chief minister Sheila Dikshit.The Congress’s vote share in the 2008 polls was 40.31 %, which earned it 43 seats in the Delhi Assembly.In 2013, when Kejriwal’s AAP’s stormed to power in Delhi, the Congress was down to eight seats. A year later, in the Lok Sabha polls, Gandhi’s party managed a mere 44 seats.In the Assembly polls in 2015, AAP decimated the opposition, bagging 67 seats with a vote share of 54.3 %. That it won from all the minority dominated areas in Delhi indicated it had ousted the Congress from its bastions.Kejriwal?s visit to the Hyderabad University campus where Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula had committed suicide and a job offer to his brother in the Delhi government were also seen as moves to attract Dalit votes, traditionally won by the Congress, at the national level.AAP’s strategy was to attack BJP leader and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and establish itself as an alternative to the Congress. But while Kejriwal took Modi on, his campaign sought to project Gandhi as an ineffective rival.In an interview to NDTV, Kejriwal, attacking Modi over the turf war between the Delhi government and the Centre, had said, “Narendra Modi, get this that I am not Rahul Gandhi”.At a press conference in 2016, he said, “Modi ji I am not Rahul Gandhi whom you can scare off.”But then the tables turned. In 2017, the party had expected to do well in Punjab and Goa, which, AAP leaders believed, would help it in Gujarat and the 2019 elections.But the party failed to make a mark in the states, and lost ground in Delhi — where it lost the Rajouri Garden bypoll and the MCD elections.In the traditionally bipolar states of Goa and parts of Gujarat, Kejriwal campaigned hard to make AAP replace the Congress, but his attempts failed, with almost all candidates losing their deposits.While Gandhi may be getting his mojo back after Gujarat, is brand Kejriwal, carefully crafted on the weakness of the Congress president, now under threat?AAP leader Ashutosh does not believe Gandhi’s electoral success will impact Kejriwa’s national ambitions.“We have a very competitive climate in our polity. Rahul’s rise will not have any effect on Kejriwal,” he said.

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Central medical units not following MCI norms

In its recently revised guidelines, the Medical Council of India (MCI) has enhanced the upper age limit for appointment to senior residentship from 33 to 40 years. Some doctors have, however, pointed out that some Central and autonomous medical institutions have still not implemented these guidelines.In a letter written to the Health Minister on December 25, 2017, the Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association (FORDA), an umbrella body of resident doctors, pointed out that the guidelines have been implemented in Delhi government institutions but the not in Institutions such as AIIMS and PGI, Chandigarh.”Implementation of the 40 year age criteria for senior residents will help in filling up the posts lying vacant in our medical institutions. In addition to this, various state governments have rural service bonds after MBBS and some have service bonds after post-graduation as well. Many doctors are well above the age of 33 years when they complete the compulsory posting. Bringing uniformity in age criteria for SRs will help in solving the problem of shortage of doctors in the country,” stated the letter signed by FORDA president Dr Vivek Chouksey.

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