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Fire teams to conduct surprise checks at eateries

Alert and equipped, all Delhi Fire Services (DFS) officials will stand guard on the New Year’s Eve, with adequate deployment of fire tenders and emergency response vehicles. The officials have also been asked to carry out inspections and surprise visits at restaurants and pubs in their areas.A day after DNA reported that only three outlets in the Hauz Khas Village and four in the Khan Market have fire safety clearance, the Delhi Fire Services claimed to have taken sufficient preventive measures. The fact came to the fore a day after a tragic fire incident unfolded in Mumbai, killing 14 people.DFS chief fire officer Atul Garg said: “All DFS offices have been asked to carry out the inspection and make surprise visits at restaurants and pubs in their respective areas, especially at crowded places. It has also been decided that fire tenders will be placed at standby at all prominent places on the New Year’s Eve.”A day before the New Year’s bash, DNA carried out a ground reality check and visited Delhi’s party hubs to speak to owners, authorities, and Delhiites who are planning to head out to celebrate the New Year.Rajat Arora, who owns a cafe in Khan Market, said: “We have all the mechanisms ready, with fire censors in the roofs, to tackle any kind of mishap. Also, we plan to allow only a limited number of guests, so that there is no overcrowding.”Even as restaurant owners claimed to have the mechanisms in place, most of these eateries and restobars built on the first and second floors are like ticking bombs with narrow entries and only a single exit, sources said.Similarly in Connaught Place, where the civic body sealed 22 rooftop restobars earlier this year after two consecutive incidents of roof collapse, including one at the popular Unplugged Courtyard in the middle circle, only a handful have fire NOCs.Officials of the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), the civic body governing Lutyen’s Delhi, said they had recieved applications from owners to de-seal the rooftops for the New Year’s Eve, but they have denied these requests.Cafe owners at Hauz Khas Village, one of the city’s most popular hang out and party zone in south Delhi, which attracts thousands of youths and families every night, have their own ways to tackle a fire mishap.Most restaurants and bars in these neighbourhoods, which are usually booked in advance for New Year’s eve, have single exit-entry points with no proper ventilation.Speaking to DNA, SK Jain, owner of building number 30 in HKV that houses more than a dozen cafes, said they have their own fire safety measures.”We know mishaps take place on New Year eve, and fire is the most common one. Hauz Khas gets really crowded as its a party hotspot for youth. But, we are well equipped and prepared,” Jain said.He further showed the fire control panel system, which is set up in the basement of the building. When DNA checked the building, it had two exits and three fire equipment were fitted in the building and all were in a working condition.Jain further stated that the building has a underground tank, which has 40,000 litre of water stored, and a rooftop tank with 30,000 litre water. All cafes in the building have ordered more fire extinguishers for safety purpose.” Hauz Khas Village is my favorite place to party and hang out as it has a lot of good cafes. We should get practical about fire incidents. Places where there are fire security measures in place can witness an incident as well,” Rachna Luthra said.CIVIC BODY ON TOESSDMC has taken many precautionary measures for New Year’s Eve celebrations. South Delhi houses the largest number of hi-end restobars and pubs. The civic body held a high-level meeting in this regard and asked the deputy commisioners of its four zones to constitute ward-wise teams to inspect all big and small restaurants, banquet halls and premises. As per a check list, the teams will find out about fire extinguishers, alarm systems, water hydrants, emergency exits, and staircases.

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Gujarat Elections 2017: Satta bazaar bets big on BJP win

Even as the exit polls have predicted a sweeping win for the saffron party, the ‘satta bazaar’ in Gujarat has also put its money behind the Bharatiya Janata Party. The market, which predicted a close finish till the second phase of polling, has now increased the margin from 90 to 103-105 after the exit polls. As Congress president-elect Rahul Gandhi and Prime Minister Narendra Modi criss-crossed the state rallying votes, the market fluctuated, based on the sentiment of the masses.Initially, the market had predicted a clear victory for BJP, but as the campaign progressed, the Congress started gaining momentum as a series of Rahul Gandhi rallies hit their mark. Closer to voting day, the margin between BJP and Congress reduced, but at the end of the second phase of polling, the odds again changed and the gap widened.The bazaar had prized BJP at 70 paise, giving the ruling party about 90 seats till the second phase of polling. However, after the exit polls, the prize dropped to 25 paise, giving BJP seats in the range of 103-105.In market parlance, it implies a bet of Rs 1 lakh before the exit polls would yield a return of Rs 70,000 on that lakh, but one after would only get Rs 25,000. This indicates a BJP victory is now more obvious.While no such rate has been fixed for Congress, the market has reduced the tally to 66-68 seats after the exit polls, compared to 82-84 seats before.The market is also bullish on BJP candidates compared to Congress candidates. In Rajkot-West constituency, the rating for Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has been pegged at 25 paise, lower than 40 paise for his Congress rival Indranil Rajguru. It means that betting for Rajguru is riskier when compared to Rupani. Similarly for Mehsana seat, rating for Nitin Patel is pegged at 35 paise compared to 50 paise for his Congress rival Jivabhai Patel. The 2017 elections have been the most closely contested in about two decades.MONEY MATTERSThe bazaar had prized the BJP at 70 paise, giving the ruling party about 90 seats till the second phase of polling. However, after the exit polls, the prize dropped to 25 paise, giving BJP seats in the range of 103-105.

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Bomb scare at Khan Market, but nothing found after day-long search

A bomb threat sent Delhi Police and intelligence agencies into high alert on Friday. Early in the morning, an anonymous caller informed police that a bomb had been planted in the tony Khan Market and would soon blow up. The upscale market area also houses VIP residences.Police, fire-fighters, and a dog squad with a bomb disposal team surrounded the Market in no time and kept scanning the area until evening. However, no explosive was found.Since the Parliament is located within a radius of 2.5 km from the market, and bearing in mind that it was the first day of the Winter session, police presence was ensured until late. Chief Fire Officer Atul Garg of the Delhi Fire Services said, “After assuring the area was free of explosives, the parking space was opened.””A few shops also started functioning. Vigil, however, was maintained till around 4pm,” he added.Cleared of parked vehicles, Khan Market was fortified throughout the day with police vehicles, anti-terror Parakram vans and armed commandos.”The New Delhi District Control Room got a call through Police Control Room at 6.46 am today (Friday) saying ‘Khan Market mein bomb plant kar diya hai’ (A bomb has been planted at Khan Market), said Deputy Commissioner of Police BK Singh, “A probe revealed that the call originated from outside New Delhi district. Adequate measures were taken and all the concerned agencies were roped in without any delay.”He added that the police was verifying facts and following the steps required as per the standard drill to handle a threat call. “There is no need to panic,” he asserted.

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Gang targeting music fests in Delhi busted, two thieves held

A gang of thieves, which had chosen music festivals and concerts held in the Capital as its place of work, was busted after two of its members were nabbed. Many high-end mobile phones and other valuables were recovered from their possession.The arrested accused have been identified as Mohammad Yusuf, 32, and Saddam alias Danish, 24.According to senior officers, the gang came under the police radar after several complaints were received about people losing their wallets, phones, and other valuables while attending music festivals and concerts. It was also noticed that the NSIC Ground was one of the places where the frequency of such incidents was exceptionally high. So, the southeast district police took special initiatives and a strict vigil was maintained in the area.”Last Saturday, one Anmol Bhatia lodged a complaint that he had gone to attend a musical concert at the NSIC Ground, where someone stole his i-Phone. During the investigation, CCTV footage of the concert was scanned and intelligence was developed.Several workers of the venue as well as frequent visitors were questioned and it was revealed that two suspicious men, known to come to many major events, had visited this musical concert as well. It was also revealed that the duo stole valuables from marriages and parties also,” DCP (south) Chinmoy Biswal said.After identifying them, more information was developed and a trap was laid near the Kalkaji temple, from where the duo was arrested. “During questioning, the duo revealed that they used work as waiters in a hotel in Nizamuddin and would steal valuables from parties. Gradually, they gained confidence and started buying tickets for major concerts and festivals across the city . Ajmat would sell the stolen items in Nehru Place or Gaffar Market, with the help of their associates,” the DCP said.

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Cyclone Ockhi effect: Veggies and foodgrains to see a price 10-15% hike for next week in Mumbai

Due to untimely rainfall on Tuesday thanks to Cyclone Ockhi, the prices of vegetables and foodgrains are likely to go up by 10 to 15%.According to the traders at Navi Mumbai’s Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC), the untimely rain has ruined perishable crops such as onions, tomatoes, coriander, spinach, chillies, etc.“On Wednesday, the whole prices of onion in Nashik, was Rs 35 per kg, while on Thursday, it will be sold at Rs 40-45 per kg. The untimely rainfall will affect these perishable vegetables,” said Ashok Walunje, trader and former director at Vashi APMC. Walunje said that there will be a shortage of supply on Thursday because of the unseasonal rain.“Once the supply dries up, the vegetable and onion rates will automatically go up. This trend will continue for at least for another 10 days,” he added.Also readCyclone Ockhi: Mumbai receives highest December rainfall since 1967Besides, veggies and onions, other rabi crops, mainly wheat, barley, sesame, mustard, peas, maize, linseed, gram, cumin, have also been damaged by the untimely rainfall.The rabi crops are sown in winter just at the end of October October end and harvested in spring. Some areas such as Palghar, Raigad, Nandurbar, Dhule, Nasik and Jalgaon districts in north and central Maharashtra were affected by hailstorms
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‘Organic’ platter, talks on healthy lifestyle to enrich lives of CP locals

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>There is a new platter awaiting the residents of Cuffe Parade. The festival, called Organic Farmers Market, which kicks off here from Saturday, will see a host of organic fruits and vegetables on sale.The festival will be held from 10 am to 3 pm, close to Makers Arcade, where farmers from Nasik will sell organic products at affordable prices. The fest is organised by local BJP Corporator Harshita Narvekar with an objective to spread healthy lifestyle.The market will be a weekly event and will be held until December 17. The show will have stalls giving lessons on pottery making, tattoo booths, balloon sculpting and music. Narvekar said, “Even if the parents are busy buying the vegetables, the children can come and enjoy. Our objective is to promote healthy eating habits. We have also arranged talks by nutritionists”.Some of the major key attractions of the festival would be shopping stalls selling clothes made with organic elements for children, especially. Stalls selling organic cosmetics, clay cookware and organic cafe will also be put up. Devendra B, a resident of Churchgate, said, “It a very positive step that such festivals are being arranged, where ideas for enriching our lifestyle will be talked about. I am also interested in listening to the nutritionists and take guidance from them.”

Speak up Delhi: Govt apathy acts as catalyst for hawker, parking menace

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Encroachments and haphazard parking of vehicles around the entry and exit points at south Delhi’s Greater Kailash M-Block market has become a shoddy reality of the post locality. The tall promises made by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government and BJP-led civic bodies, failed to tackle the issues over the years.The entire area is marred by unregulated parking services that affects the business of the traders and keep their associations on their toes. “These issues continue to remain more or less the same even as several governments have changed over time. This is south Delhi’s oldest posh market after independence but basic services like proper parking lots and broken approach roads have not been heeded to,” said Sukhvinder Bajaj, who deals in packaging material in the market.According to market association, it has around 250 odd shops and 73 buildings in total, with a parking space of 300 vehicles. This is besides two surface parking lots —one each with the capacity of accommodating 400 vehicles — at the entry and exit points of the market. “ A parking mafia is parallelly running to the civic boody-authorised parking here,”said Ankita Triwedi, a customer.The standard parking rate for an hour is Rs 20, however, when asked customers said during rush hours and on weekends they pay Rs 40 or more. “From 5-8pm on weekends, I have been charged around Rs 100 for a little less than an hour,” she said.Similar situation prevails in neighbouring Lajpat Market, where major portion of the locality has been encroached by the hawkers and street vendors. “The civic authority badly fails in controlling such encroachments. Despite clear directions by the lieutenant governor and later the Supreme Court for removing the squatters from this place, no one took the matter seriously,” said Sanjay Baruah, a trader in the market.Recently on October 25, the National Green Tribunal had also asked the Delhi police to remove encroachments in Lajpat Nagar market, in a bid to smoothen the traffic movement. “All these things are still on paper and nothing has been done so far. The encroachment of street sides by the vendors continue to cause traffic mess in the locality,” said another trader Anil Aneja.UNREGULATED PARKINGThe entire area is marred by unregulated parking services that affects the business of the traders. Some traders say that they themselves have to move out of the shop to stop people from parking anywhere. Footpath and bylanes been encroached has been happening for years now. But what I feel strange is hawkers encroaching bus stands. Bus stands at AIIMs and Safdarjung in the South are taken over by food sellers, which makes commuting difficult. People crowd at the bus stops to eat adding to already crowded localities.—Ishita Gupta One cannot confine encroachment to just hawkers, even auto rickshaw drivers have equal share in the encroachment of lanes near metro stations and educational institutions. Every time a student comes out of the college gate only thing he cans see is the line of autorickshaw in front of college gate.—Yash ChhabraSouth Delhi especially Lajpat Nagar witness a heavy footfall of shoppers but this footfall has resulted into parking issues as shoppers then park their vehicles anywhere they want, encroaching our green belts and making it difficult for the residents to walk on the streets of Lajpat Nagar.—Jatin AroraDuring my visits to famous market places like, Chandni Chowk, Sarojini and Lajpat, one thing that seemed common in all was the encroached market lanes. Usually by the hawkers but in Old Delhi, vehicles have equal and even major share in encroaching the lanes. I hope some day authorities will look towards the issues more seriously.—Sivaranjini REncroachment has taken away the beauty of the city that we live in. Even in my locality, hawkers are dotted on the streets making it difficult to walk on the streets during evening hours. Moreover, these hawkers are not even warned by the authorities to vacant the place, let aside the action on them. —Harshit Chawla Vegetable sellers, usually stand on the streets, affecting the movement of the vehicles passing by and then their are vehicles parked irresponsibly on the lanes. But the real issue is the reluctant behaviour of the authorities towards irregularities.—Priyanshu AgarwalEXPERT SPEAKWe try our best to ensure smooth and hassle free-parking facility in the markets across the city. The corporation has introduced multi-level parking facilities in different markets and localities to avoid encroachment on the streets. The North body has also introduced a parking app named ‘MCD parking’ using which the locals can directly send their complaints related to parking issues. To remove illegal encroachments by hawkers and street vendors, the corporation has also launched massive drives in different localities with heavy penalty being imposed on the violators.”—Yogendra Singh Mann, Spokesperson, North Civic Body

Apple tastes bitter for Congress in poll-bound Himachal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>If one makes their way through Shimla’s sun-stained Mall Road at this time of the year and talk about how cold the temperature is, there is a strong likelihood that a local resident will tell you that it should have been snowing by now. Small talk aside, this change in the weather has had grave consequences in the agrarian economy of the hill state, with losses mounting to around Rs 2,000 crore.According to data with the state department of horticulture, an increase in the temperature between April 4 and 5 this year was the reason behind the loss of over a crore apple boxes, informs horticulture development officer Dr Kaushal Mehta. “We lost another crore boxes due to the intermittent hailstorm. That is a loss of over Rs 2,000 crore approximately,” says Dr Mehta, adding that farmers hardly know how to use the anti-hail guns provided by the state government. He says that while Himachal Pradesh produced between three to four crore boxes in 2016, in 2017, the produce was only two crore boxes.Traders, growers and officials say that the change in the temperature has led to a dwindling crop year after year. In the Solan Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC), secretary Parkash Kashyap says that while they sold over 50 lakh boxes in 2015, it dropped to 32 lakh in 2016. This year, as the apple season has just concluded, trade of over 36 lakh boxes have been registered. In the Dhalli APMC, where most of Shimla’s apple trade is centred, secretary Dev Raj Kashyap says that in 2015-16, over 34 lakh boxes were sold. This quarter, only 22 lakh boxes have been sold so far.In over 15 APMC mandis across the state, most of the apple trade is carried out in the mandis at Solan, Dhalli, Parwanoo, Rohru, Bhuntar, Barala, Bautrol and Jasoor. The average rate of a box is Rs 1,100 and it ranges from Rs 400 to Rs 3,600.Apple grower and trader Narender Chouhan of the Dhalli APMC says that the apple plant needs a chilling period of over 1,100 hours in temperatures below 7 degree Celsius between December to March. But because of rising temperatures, most apple plants need to make do with 900 hours. “Because of this, traditional varieties of the crop like Royal Delicious, Red Golden, Golden, Red June, Summer Queen, Richard, Packham, etc., have made way for lab-made spur varieties like Vance Delicious and Tidesman Early,” says Chouhan. Spur varieties need a lesser chilling period but the fallout is that they ripen earlier and are less juicy; traditional varieties from the Kinnaur belt thrive for over 3-4 months.Farmer Amar Singh, who works in an orchard situated over 40 kms from Shimla, says the credit system has also led to a lot of discrepancies. “For every transaction of Rs 1 lakh that we make, the trader first gives us Rs 7,000-8,000. The full amount is usually handed out after he makes a deal later on. In case the deals falls through, we lose the produce and the earnings on it,” says Singh.APMC officials say that to curb these problems, an online trade mechanism e-National Agriculture Market (eNAM) was introduced. But traders and growers like Chouhan say that without mobile connectivity in remote areas, transaction does not go through. In Dhalli APMC alone, where they made a revenue of Rs 6.5 crore this year, trade worth Rs 88 lakh was done online.Another problem that growers complain about was the heavy use of fertilisers. “Pesticides have come to be used heavily in the last few years, and after that, we need to use an anti-healing powder to restore the plant, which is cumbersome,” said Singh. The levying of a GST of 18% on fertilisers, Chouhan adds, has led to their woes. He says that the state has opened nurseries in areas like Solan and Kullu where apples has never been cultivated, instead of apple-rich areas like Kinnaur and Kotkhai.Trying to cash in on these problems, the BJP has announced a horticulture university for farmers in its manifesto. BJP spokesperson Mahender Dharmani says that apart from that the BJP has more plans in store. “We have promised imported hail nets, which we will provide at 80% subsidy, and we will take cold storage to the grassroot level which is now restricted to only those who are rich. We will also come out with an annual formula for compensation due to natural calamities, and promote organic cultivation,” says Dharmani. “The Congress did not build roads in the apple belt, which is the trade’s lifeline. We will bring better roads.”Naresh Chauhan of the Congress counters these promises with the question of import duty. “When the BJP came to power in 2014, PM Modi said that import duty will be increased to counter the competition from foreign produce from countries like New Zealand, China, Chile, since the production cost for our farmers is very high. But they haven’t yet delivered on that promise yet,” says Chouhan.Dr Mehta says that irrespective of who forms the government, the state department needs help in its efforts to counter the dwindling crop. “We brought in plants from Italy with smaller plumage to make it easier to save them during hailstorms, and have brought in sprinklers to decrease freezing injuries in the crop. The government needs to perhaps bring in an insurance scheme for farmers to help ease their problems,” he says.Perhaps with the elections around the corner, the apple trade will find better takers.

Low Diwali sales for real estate

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Despite offers raining over homebuyers, the real estate market has behaved other than what was expected. Offers like — buy three bungalows in Karjat and get the fourth free, reduced prices on real estate deals, stamp duty, and free registration, or even exemption on VAT — haven’t been able to attract homebuyers. Housing experts claim that the sales this Diwali were not as expected, and may even be lower than last year’s, as buyers didn’t enter the market. Builders say that property prices have come down, but homebuyers are still expecting it to come down further.There are various reasons experts are citing for the bad performance of the real estate market. One of them being the negativity surrounding the market. Pankaj Kapoor, MD. Liases Foras Real Estate Research Agency, said, “The sale this festive period was not good. The launches were very few this year, and fence-sitters didn’t jump into the market, because of the negativity. Developers did give discounts, but then there was no exhibition. The inertia of negativity in the market continued, despite there being no property price rise in three years.”Kapoor has placed the blame entirely on negativity in the market, saying that in spite of banking loan interest rates being down and prices not increasing in the last three years, deals should have taken place, but they didn’t.According to experts, buyers are reluctant to buy. Dr Sanjay Chaturvedi, executive editor of Accommodation Times, a realty newspaper, buyers no longer fall for the gimmick of developers offering cars or discounts. “Sales weren’t as expected, and one can easily attribute this to lack of funds available. There were around 48 new project launches all over Mumbai Metropolitan Region, but still sales haven’t happened as expected. Observing the market scenario, I will put it this way: This Diwali for real estate has been bad compared to the last one too.”Manohar Shorff, Vice President, CREDAI-MHCI’s Navi Mumbai unit said, “There’s hardly any money in the market. Homebuyers are noticing that property prices have come down, but they are still waiting, expecting the prices to reduce further. Meanwhile, developers are hoping that GST will come down on real estate, and this will lift the market again.”Whatever sales have happened, it has been in the affordable segment, that too in the far suburbs. He added, “Deals are taking place, but not in projects where a developer is offering freebies, but where he’s giving a direct discount on prices. Flats are available.”Reason: NegativityA developer cited that the reason for low sales is because of negativity in the market, despite property prices not rising in three yearsManohar Shorff, Vice President, CREDAI-MHCI said that deals are taking place, not in projects where a developer is offering freebies, but where he’s giving a direct discount on prices

Now click on to get a performance licence online

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Artists, performers and food festival organisers can heave a sigh of relief as the Delhi Police will be launching an online system to grant “Casual Performance Liceses” for various performances across the Capital.Commissioner of Delhi Police, Amulya Patnaik will inaugurate the online system on Friday at the police headquarters.Atul Sikand, Director, Asian Hawkers Market appreciated the move, calling it progressive and in sync with changing times. “It is a very positive step that the Delhi Police has taken. It will not only streamline the entire process of seeking permission but will also encourage small players who do not have access to participate in big events, to come forward and showcase their talent. Most of all, it will make holding events easy and convenient,” he said.The Capital witnesses various weekend music/food festivals, concerts, exhibitions and performances by various artists at various locations in Delhi for which the licensing department of Delhi police receives various applications for performances in open grounds and other festivals.A senior police officer revealed that the online system would speed matters up, as earlier the organisers had to themselves come to the Licensing Department and then hand over their required documents in order to proceed.Later on, the file would be sent to the other relevant departments such as fire, Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), traffic police, local police, electrical department and other bodies.They will then inspect the location and give out their certificates. Some check by them can only be carried out when the event is about to commence such as the stage and relevant entry and exit points from the main stage.”The entire system was time consuming and sometimes took even weeks. With the coming of the online system the license will just be a click away as the entire procedure will speed up. In case there is an issue with someone’s license the adequate response will be sent to them within hours,” he said.

Wholesale onion prices crash 50% in auction after I-T raids

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Wholesale onion rates at the Lasalgaon market went up for auction on Monday and prices crashed by over 50 percent. The auction started five days after Income Tax raids on seven biggest traders last week.According to traders at the Agriculture Produce Market Committees at Lasalgaon, Pimpalgaon and Vashi, onions were sold at Rs 800-Rs 1,200 per quintal as opposed to Rs 2,400-to-Rs 2600 per quintal ten days ago.”Total quantity of onion at Vashi APMC was 17,920 quintal on Monday. The rates were down by more than 50 percent on Monday. The old stocked onion will be disposed of by end of this month. From mid-October, there will be fresh stock,” said Ashok Walunje, an onion trader from Vashi.Traders had imported 300 containers from Egypt in a bid to get good rates. “Each container carried 12 tonnes of onion and cost traders Rs 16 per kg. Wholesalers were expecting to get margins of Rs 8 per kg at least, but the raids killed their hopes and they have been forced to sell at lower rates,” said a trader, requesting anonymity.”While rates crashing by 50 percent is good for a common man, it’s not really good for the farmer. We are not opposed to the government taking action against unscrupulous traders, but the farmers should not be made to suffer,” said Nanasaheb Patil, chairman, APMC, Lasalgaon.”Government has also listed the onion in the essential commodities list. If the government is really serious about controlling spiralling prices, it should offer minimum support price. Looking at the current input cost, it should have a MSP of Rs 2,000 per quintal,” Patil added.

After green and white revolution, now it is time for ‘blue revolution’ and ‘sweet revolution’: PM Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday called upon farmers to launch ‘sweet revolution’ and ‘blue revolution’ by taking up honey bee farming and optimising use of waterways for transportation.The prime minister, while addressing a conference of cooperatives at Amreli in Saurashtra, listed various initiatives which the farmers can take up to increase their income. “After green and white revolution, now it is time for ‘blue revolution’ and ‘sweet revolution’,” Modi said. “These two revolutions have the potential to transform the lives of people of Saurashtra,” he told the conference after inaugurating the new Amreli Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) building.Sweet revolution can be an additional source of income for farmers, he said. The PM also urged various milk cooperative unions of the state to collect honey from farmers and sell it so the agruculturists get good returns.On ‘blue revolution’, Modi said Gujarat has the largest coastline in the country and the Saurashtra region can benefit heavily from water-based transport. He said sending goods through waterways can bring down transportation cost. Modi said goods from Saurashtra could be sent to ports in Visakhapatnam or Kolkata.Modi also urged farmers to take up growing timber on the boundaries of their fields. “We have to currently import timber but if our farmers take up timber farming, it will benefit them in the long run,” he said. He also asked farmers to adopt drip irrigation and solar power for drawing underground water, saying it will reduce cost and yield more benefits. The PM also stressed on cattle rearing and increasing milk productivity in every milch animal.

End of joyride? State to fix floor limit for cab, auto fares

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Are you used to commuting at relatively lower prices on app-based taxis using discount codes? The good times may soon come to an end.A state-appointed panel examining fare fixation for taxis and rickshaws may suggest a floor limit on fares offered by these aggregators, which “distorts the playing field” for other stakeholders like black-and-yellow taxis and rickshaws.The state government has appointed a four-member committee under former IAS officer B.C Khatua to review the taxi and auto-rickshaw fares fixed by the PMA Hakeem committee in 2012.”The committee may suggest a ceiling on surge pricing by app-based cabs and also a minimum floor limit.Though heavily discounted fares help operators pitch their brand, this predatory pricing distorts the market for the four other market players, namely, black-and-yellow taxis, auto-rickshaws, radio taxis and cool cabs. It impacts livelihoods and may edge out a few players, helping these online aggregators corner a huge chunk of the market,” a source told DNA.”Hence, a restriction on minimum fares is necessary to protect existing players. It is essential to have a high number of players (taxi and rickshaw drivers) in the market,” he said.A Ministry of Road Transport and Highways committee has suggested range-bound dynamic pricing with minimum and maximum fares.Maharashtra has around 8.5 lakh licensed taxis and rickshaws. Transport department officials said Mumbai has around 45,000 black-and-yellow taxis while the number of cabs registered with app-based aggregators such as Uber, Ola and Taxi for Sure is 30,000.The source said that the report, which may be submitted to the state government in a fortnight, was likely to suggest a pricing formula for taxis based on their engine capacity, price and seating.This is unlike states such as Karnataka where the fares are based on the price of the taxi. For instance, cars below Rs 4 lakh can charge minimum and maximum fares of Rs 12 and 24 per km and this rises to Rs 23 and 45 respectively for luxury cabs above Rs 15 lakh. “Our formula will be more equitable and broad-based,” he explained.While the committee will also examine the pricing of electric taxis, sources said that the commercial use of these vehicles may not be feasible for now due to the high prices of such cars, time taken for charging them and lack of supporting infrastructure.

We tell shopkeepers what to do in the event of an attack: Romil Baaniya

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Is it possible to carry out such an attack since the market is an open area and movement of traffic is not regulated?We are apprised of the possibility of vehicular attacks and lone wolf attacks in the market. In the wake of similar recent terror attacks around the world, on any slip road that has a heavy footfall, we have put jersey barriers. These are cemented blocks to prevent entry of even heavy vehicles. These have also been put on the approach roads and traffic movements are controlled by these.What arrangements have been made to prevent any such attack?In all, Lajpat Nagar is covered with 44 CCTV cameras. 1,302 cameras are installed in total, including the residential areas,. Our men are deployed on machans and barricades, and even morchas have been set up at strategic entry points. The Nigehban Scheme started by Delhi Police has also helped a lot in keeping an eye on every corner of the market.What are the challenges faced in this market?The biggest challenge is that these jersey barriers can ideally be used on streets with less traffic and is dedicated only for pedestrians. Otherwise, it causes slowing down of vehicular traffic causing traffic jams and chaos.Any strategic steps taken apart from increased surveillance and additional deployment?We often address RWA meetings and meet the shopkeepers’ associations to apprise them about possibilities of attacks and how to react in any such situation. We have asked them to take shelter inside a shop or a house in case of a vehicular attack.

Living in fear at Lajpat Nagar market

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Almost a month ago, an unattended small bag kept on a cycle outside a shoe shop in Lajpat Nagar’s central market sparked panic. This led to closure of the market ahead of its regular time and the entire area was cordoned off. Movements were normalised after an hour, when the Delhi Police’s bomb detection squad declared the bag as harmless. A week later, the market witnessed a similar event.Residents, shop owners and members of market association say that in the wake of London, Paris, Berlin attacks, and the most recent one in Barcelona, they are more alert and vigilant than ever before.On Wednesday, when DNA visited the market to assess the security arrangements it came across unmanned door frame metal detectors (DFMDs) and empty police posts.Members of the market association say that with inadequate cameras there, keeping an eye on more than 1,000 shops is not an easy task. However, they claim to have hired private guards who ensure a tighter vigil.”The market is an open area and there are no enclosures to regulate visitors entry and exits. We barely have half a dozen cameras installed by the police. Unfortunately, only half of them work. It is the cameras installed by the shop owners, which helps police in ensuring a tight watch. In addition, the association has hired ten guards, six during day and four for night,” said Yoginder Dawar, president of the Central Market association.Dawar added that the market has good security, and police always cooperates when need arises. He also said that the association recently had a meeting with senior police officers of southeast district to formulate a plan to install 150 additional CCTV cameras in the market.On May 21, 1996, the market was turned into piles of blood-drenched clothes and accessories when a bomb blast left 13 people dead and several injured. Jammu Kashmir Islamic Front — a terrorist outfit — was held responsible for the blasts. Even though the market gained its pace back, the residents who witnessed the horror remain vigilant to any sound of high decibel, even till date.Rajinder Sahni, who once owned a shop in the market and lives near the market, said he cannot forget what he witnessed that day. “I was a little ahead of my house when through my friends from the locality told me that a blast had taken place. My family members did not allow me to go to the spot as they were scared there might be more blasts in the area. I was told that the blasts tore limbs off of people and there was blood all over the place. We still get goosebumps whenever we hear any sound of high decibel,” said Sahni.Rakhi Narang, who visits the market often from her house in Alaknanda, says she has barely seen any cop or guards asking to get her bag checked or body check. “People should not mind when asked to get frisked. Even at airport we go through the process because it is enforced upon us. This rule should be followed everywhere. If police enforces this, people will have to follow. This will improve our safety standards. Otherwise I don’t see it difficult for any terror outfit to target the market,” said Narang, a BTech student.LAJPAT NAGARMarket – Lajpat NagarFootfall – 80,000 to 1 lakhLocation – next to Defence Colony, 4 km from JLN StadiumKnown for – apparels to household, accessories to decoratives

Like two peas in a pod: Zaveri Bazaar and Crawford Market

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Shaikh Memon Street or Zaveri Bazaar as it is popularly known and Crawford Market are city landmarks and among its earliest shopping districts. While it’s barely a 10-minute walk between the two iconic markets, the markets are separated by three cloth markets and various other clusters selling specialised goods such stationery, electronics, cooking ware etc. There are also heritage and religious places like Mumbadevi and Juma Masjid at the end of the Sheikh Memon Street.According to Bombay: The Cities Within by Sharada Dwivedi and Rahul Mehrotra, “Despite its shoddy outward appearance, the portion of Kalbadevi Road near the Pydhonie-end of Shaikh Memon Street was considered to be one of the wealthiest streets in Bombay, primarily due to the existence of the sona-chandi (gold-silver) market. Gujarati jewellers settled here in the 18th and 19th centuries to conduct business in gold, silver, ornaments and precious stones.”Crawford Market, on the other hand, was the first public market with electricity, according to Abha Narain Lambah Associates. Now it is known as the Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Market. The market, a mix of Norman and Flemish architecture, was designed by British architect William Emerson, and its construction was completed in 1869, the firm said.

Gorkhaland issue arose after patriotism was questioned- GJM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) released a statement saying that the demand for Gorkhaland arose when people started questioning their patriotism. They also mentioned that they have contributed during the freedom movement as well. The ongoing demands for a separate administrative framework for the Darjeeling hills, Tarai and Dooars have been there since 1907. The demand is yet to be fulfilled. They stated that it is because of this reason that Gorkhas living across India have been demanding Gorkhaland for the past two and half months. In the letter they mentioned that they have always pressed for democratic forms of protest to realize their dreams of Gorkhaland. They also said that the movement was non-violent even in the past and this movement is non-violent today, and it will continue to remain democratic, non-violent and peaceful in the days to come. They have condemned the acts of violence that have taken place in these past 65 days in Darjeeling hills, Tarai and Dooars, and condemn such acts that are perpetrated to destroy peace. The GJM has demanded a High Level Committee comprising of NIA officials to investigate into the blasts in the Super Market in Darjeeling town and near Thana Dara in Kalimpong town. They have also demanded strict action against the ones who are responsible. The GJM has also reiterated that they do not have any tie ups with any insurgent organizations either in the North East India, Nepal or any such organizations anywhere else in the world. They added that the people living in Darjeeling hills, Tarai and Dooars are not the only ones responsible to ensure peace but the Central Government and the Government of West Bengal must look into it as well.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Class 12 student becomes unconscious, dies at school assembly

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Class 12 student of the Kendriya Vidyalaya in Gole Market today died after he allegedly became unconscious and fell during the school’s morning assembly, the police said. The deceased, Sonu (17), belonged to Bihar, and was staying with his family at the Railway Colony in Kishanganj, they said. Prima facie, no foul play is suspected in the incident, the police said. The police said that the boy lost consciousness and fell during the assembly. He was rushed to a hospital where doctors declared him brought dead, they said. After being informed, a team rushed to the spot and started investigations, the police said, adding that the post mortem report is awaited. His family claimed that he did not have any health issues and was completely fit, they added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Class 12 students becomes unconscious, dies at school assembly

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Class 12 student of the Kendriya Vidyalaya in Gole Market today died after he allegedly became unconscious and fell during the school’s morning assembly, the police said. The deceased, Sonu (17), belonged to Bihar, and was staying with his family at the Railway Colony in Kishanganj, they said. Prima facie, no foul play is suspected in the incident, the police said. The police said that the boy lost consciousness and fell during the assembly. He was rushed to a hospital where doctors declared him brought dead, they said. After being informed, a team rushed to the spot and started investigations, the police said, adding that the post mortem report is awaited. His family claimed that he did not have any health issues and was completely fit, they added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Ahead of I-Day, Delhi Police get 14 more Parakram vans

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Days ahead of Independence Day, the Delhi Police got yet another set of anti-terror Parakram vehicles on Friday. These vehicles will be deployed at strategic and vulnerable locations, usually crowded places that might become a target of terror activities. The step has been taken to step up the vigil and ensure multi-level security blanket over the Capital.Earlier in May this year, 10 Parakram vans were deployed as a pilot project. Senior officers said that after the impact assessment, 14 more vans were added to the fleet. These vans are meant to tackle terror activities and other such serious law and order problems, the officer said. The primary aim of deploying these vehicles is to instill a feeling of security and safety among citizens through visibility deterrence, the officer added.”ISIS has surfaced to threaten world peace. Even Western countries with fool-proof and advanced intelligence systems have been targetted by groups such as ISIS, as is evident from recent incidents of terrorism in Manchester, Nice in France, London, Brussels, and Paris. The situation on the Line of Control (LoC) in J&K is volatile, and Delhi being the national Capital has to remain prepared to thwart the evil designs of wrongdoers. The job of the law and order enforcing agencies here is onerous and they have to remain one up to counter any nefarious designs,” Special Commissioner of Police Dependra Pathak said.He further said the Parakram vans will be located at select vulnerable, strategic, and iconic points that witness high footfall. The Phase I Parakram vans were located at Vijay Chowk, Palika Bazaar, Saket Select Citywalk Mall, Police Headquarters, Pacific Mall, Akshardham Temple, Lotus Temple, Chandni Chowk, Jhandewalan, and DLF Mall in Vasant Kunj.The newly inducted 14 Parakram vans will be located at the Supreme Court of India, Sardar Patel Marg, Diplomatic Area, Delhi High Court, Khan Market, Parliament House, India Gate, LG House, Sarojini Nagar Market, Lajpat Nagar Market, Akbar Road, and Netaji Subhash Palace. Two vans will be reserved for emergencies.”All these vans are GPRS-enabled and fitted with pan-Delhi wireless communication system. Each van has been provided with a phablet with internet connectivity and recording facility. Every van will be manned by a driver, an in-charge, and three commandos. The drivers will be armed with small weapons and will be trained by the NSG in offensive or evasive driving. The in-charges will be wearing tactical vests and will be equipped with stunner guns with light, body-worn camera, pepper spray, baton, and so on. Commandos will be in war mode round-the-clock and will be attired in dungaree fatigues to enable agile movement,” Pathak said.Talking about the weapons, Pathak said the commandos will be armed with AK-47 and MP-5 rifles, and provided with tactical gear, including BP Jacket, tact belt with pouches, all-weather caps, arms and knee pads, anti-ballistic goggles, half gloves, and pepper spray.”All the commandos have undergone firing training at the Delhi Police Short Range training facility in Old Police Lines, Civil Lines. The contingent of commandos also includes women,” he said.

Pepper futures extend losses, slide 0.80% on tepid demand

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Continuing its falling streak for the third straight day, pepper prices eased further by 0.80 per cent to Rs 47,800 per quintal in futures market today as speculators engaged in reducing their positions on the back of muted demand in the spot market. At the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange, pepper for delivery in September fell by Rs 385, or 0.80 per cent, to Rs 47,800 per quintal, with an open interest of 180 lots. In a similar fashion, the spice for delivery in October declined by Rs 25, or 0.05 per cent, to Rs 47,800 per quintal in 43 lots. Market analysts said offloading of positions by participants due to sluggish demand in the physical market against adequate stocks position on increased supplies from producing belts, mainly kept pepper prices lower at futures trade.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Uttarakhand’s Pauri district on the edge after man is arrested for raping a cow

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 23-year-old man was arrested for allegedly having sex with a cow at Pauri district’s Satpuli town where tension prevailed as right-wing outfits forced a shutdown of the market and staged a protest at the local police station.ABVP and Bajrang Dal activists hit the streets as the news about the arrest of the man spread through the hill town on Wednesday, Pauri SSP Jagat Ram Joshi told PTI.They forced a shutdown of Satpuli market and also vandalised a furniture shop owned by the accused, he said.Later the protestors gheraoed the Satpuli police station demanding action against the accused.Additional forces had to be deployed in the town to restore peace and maintain vigil.A case under Section 377 (unnatural sexual offences) of the IPC has been registered against the accused and he has been sent to Pauri jail, Joshi said.The market shutdown is continuing in the town amid heavy deployment of forces, he said, adding that the situation is tense but under control.

Farmers in Garo Hills switch to banana cultivation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Meghalaya with its favorable climate for various crops cultivation switched from widespread jhum cultivation to banana cultivation. The farmers of Garo Hills have taken to banana cultivation to conserve the green cover and as a sustainable means of livelihood. Beckingson Sangam, a farmer, said that Jhum cultivation have led to large scale deforestation. He said, ?We have realized that we need to conserve our forests. We have lost our forest cover to jhum cultivation, now there is a realization and people are getting back to their roots to conserve and protect the forests.? ?I get a profit of around Rs. 10,000 a month after selling bananas at Adokgre market.? he added. Despite having burnt vast areas of land, the farmers are making its best use by cultivating bananas and other cash crops like areca nut. Banana cultivation has yielded better income and has ensured better sustainability for the farmers. Charles Sangma, adviser of Adokgre Farmer?s Market said, ?At Adokgre market, we have been able to help the farmers who bring their produce here. The buyers from different areas come and buy it from us.? The bananas that are produced organically attract buyers from Bihar and West Bengal states. 60 percent of bananas which have a monthly turnover of Rs. 4 crore in the market of neighbouring Assam come from North Garo Hills. Rajen Sahu, a trader from Bihar said the cultivation has helped both the farmers and traders. He said, ?I have come to Meghalaya to do some business. I learnt that bananas from the region are good and started buying them from here and selling them in Guwahati market and later decided to take it to Bihar. The cultivation of bananas has helped the farmers as well as traders, who are dependent on each other for sustenance.? With the increasing temperatures in the area which will likely make the conditions more favorable for production, the framers can reap more benefits.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

BJP chief opts out of Rs 9 cr Worli flat, looking for buyer

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP city chief, Ashish Shelar recently bought a flat worth Rs 9 crore in Worli’s Omkar 1973. He even paid Rs 45 lakh as stamp duty for the flat, located on the 31st floor of the building. However, when contacted on Sunday to confirm the deal, Shelar claimed he was waiting for a loan and on seeing the market situation he had decided to cancel the deal. Now, to recover the money spent on registration, he is looking for a buyer to sell off the flat. If Shelar stays back, he will have Virat Kohli and Yuraj Singh as neighbours.According to documents available with DNA, Shelar bought the flat along with his wife Pratima and recently registered it with the registration department. When contacted, Shelar confirmed he had paid Rs 50 lakh for booking the flat, but has now decided to cancel the booking. “We have done the booking but not purchased it yet. We still have to pay the full amount, for which we were waiting for a loan. But looking at the market situation, we have decided to cancel the booking and will not be going ahead with the deal,” said Shelar. “We are waiting for a third party so that we can recover the entire money along with registration and booking amount.”The decision based on the market situation, Shelar claims, is so that he can get a better deal for the same amount. Currently the flat is booked on his name and Shelar, along with his wife, owns it.If Shelar cancels the deal directly, he may just get the booking amount paid to the builder, but not the registration amount, which he has paid the government.

NDMC’s smart city projects to be completed by 2020

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The NDMC’s smart city projects will be completed before the 2020 deadline with most of the work getting into implementation mode by this October, the civic body’s chairman Naresh Kumar has said. He gave this assurance during a meeting convened yesterday by Housing and Urban Affairs Secretary Durga Shanker Mishra to review the implementation of the New Delhi Municipal Council’s (NDMC) Smart City Plan. Stressing that the NDMC has set up solar panels with 3.30 MW of power generation capacity on building roofs, Kumar suggested the ministry to consider allowing it to install solar panels on central government office buildings either for free or nominal charge. During the meeting, timelines for various projects under the Centre’s Smart City Mission for the NDMC were fixed. Of the Rs 1,800 crore Smart City Plan of the civic body, work on a range of major projects will begin in phases by October this year for which tendering is in progress, an official release said. These include setting up of a unified command and control centre, multi-level parking at Khan Market, public bike sharing, sewage treatment plants, redesign of 13 roads totaling 31 kms, including seven leading to Connaught Place. Implementation of other projects will begin by March next year. These include India Investment Centre at Yashwant Place, Shivaji Terminal Transport Hub, World Class Skill Centre at Moti Bagh and Paryatan Bhawan. “Kumar assured that with most of the projects getting into implementation mode by October this year and the remaining by March next year, all smart city projects will be completed before the scheduled deadline of 2020,” the release said. The NDMC was also asked to pursue pedestrianisation of Connaught Place and Khan Market with appropriate action plans.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Cattle: SC to hear plea to modify its order on cattle rules

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today agreed to hear a plea seeking modification of its July 11 order by which the stay order of Madras High Court on Centre’s notification banning sale and purchase of cattle from markets for slaughter was extended across the country. The fresh plea, mentioned for urgent hearing before a bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar, said the Madurai Bench of the High Court had only stayed the operation of one of the two notifications, that is the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal (Regulation of Livestock Market) Rules, 2017, which is also referred to as Livestock Market Rules. Senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, appearing for animal rights activist Gauri Maulekhi, said the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Care and Maintenance of Case Property Animals) Rules, also referred to as the Case Property Rules, was not challenged before the High Court. The Case Property Rules deal with the issue of care and treatment of those animals which are seized by law enforcement agencies for offences under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. The Livestock Market Rules pertain to the sale and purchase of animals at the notified livestock markets. Another senior advocate V Giri said the Livestock Market Rules and Case Property rules are different and dealt with separate issues and hence, the fresh plea needed to be heard. The bench, also comprising Justice D Y Chandrachud, then agreed to the plea on July 21. The petition has submitted that the July 11 order was passed on the basis of “an incorrect assumption and belief” that both the rules were challenged before the High Court. “Allow the application and clarify the order passed by this Court on July 11 to the effect that the order passed by the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on May 30 is restricted to the operation of Rule 22(b)(iii) of Prevention of Cruelty to Animal (Regulation of Livestock Market) Rules, 2017,” it said. Earlier, the apex court had extended to the entire country the Madras High Court order staying the May 23 notification of the Centre banning sale and purchase of cattle from markets for slaughter. The order had come after the Centre had asserted that it was not seeking lifting of the stay on the notification by the High Court but was rather looking at it afresh by considering objections and suggestions. The court had then disposed of the plea of Mohammed Abdul Faheem Qureshi, President of Hyderabad-based All India Jamiatul Quresh Action Committee, challenging the constitutional validity of ‘Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017’ issued under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. The apex court had said the amended rules, to be notified later, would be also open to challenge before it. The Centre had on May 23 issued the two notifications. The plea had said that the Rules unconstitutionally prohibited the sale of cattle for slaughter imposing absolute ban on the purchase of the animal and violated the fundamental rights of freedom of choice of food. It was also said the Rules tend to regulate livestock markets with an intention of preserving protecting and improving stocks, though the legislation was earmarked for the state legislature.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Textile traders continue indefinite strike against 5% GST

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after protesting textile traders in Surat were lathicharged by police, textile traders in various parts of the state downed their shutters on Tuesday to oppose the incident as well as the 5% GST levied on textiles.Gaurang Bhagat of Maskati Market in Ahmedabad said that the whole market remained shut in protest of the GST (Goods and Services Tax) levy. “Thousands of shops in the market remained shut. Textile traders in New Cloth Market, Panchkuva Mahajan, Sarangpur and other markets also observed a total bandh. We are not in favour of small traders being brought under GST, and as per the decision taken by All India Textile GST Sangharsh Samiti, we will keep our shops and establishments closed till July 7,” Bhagat said.According to insiders, many textile traders have not registered for the new tax system and do not have a GST number.Bhagat said that they have held talks with government officials, explaining to them the practical difficulties of bringing small traders under GST, and are hopeful that the government will reconsider.Ritesh Shah, a textile shop owner in Maskati Market, said that police action on protesters in Surat is unacceptable and accused the government of trying to use force to suppress their protests. Traders said that business to the tune of crores has been hit.—(with agencies)Surat markets remain shut tooContinuing the strike against GST on textiles, textile markets in Surat, the hub of synthetic textile production in the country, remained shut on Tuesday.Manoj Agarwal, president of Federation of Surat Textile Traders Associations (FOSTTA) said that 65,000 textile traders are continuing the strike. Anger is also brewing among traders over Monday’s lathicharge.

With onset of monsoon, prices of staple vegetables see a rise

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The rise in vegetable prices in markets across the city have started giving an extra pinch to Mumbaikars’ wallets. Prices of staple vegetables have seen nearly a 10 per cent spike in the past fortnight, and an average 25-50 per cent jump over the past month. The highest jump was of tomatoes and coriander which were sold at Rs 30-40 per kg/ bunch two weeks ago, and are now being sold in the range of Rs 60 to 100 per kg/ bunch respectively. Vendors attributed the price rise to excessive rains in Latur, Pune and Satara districts of Maharashtra, from where most of the vegetable produce is sourced.Harilal Sahu, a vegetable vendor in Cuffe Parade said, “Vegetable prices keep fluctuating anyway. Excessive rains cause the price of vegetables like tomatoes and coriander to spike. From a week or two ago, prices of tomatoes and coriander have increased steeply and almost doubled.”Pankaj Singh, vegetable vendor from Colaba Market said, “Prices of other vegetables, even with fluctuations, are not beyond five to 10 per cent from the prices of the past fortnight.”Ramdas Vare, a vegetable vendor near Grant Road station said, “Tomatoes, if not stored properly, are prone to damage. Excessive rain in the interiors of Maharashtra has only added to our dilemma. We usually buy produce from Vashi’s Plaza market and Dadar’s Kohinoor market, but it is difficult to obtain good stock even from here. This leaves the customers disappointed.”Another vendor added, “Customers are visiting less often ever since the price of tomatoes has doubled. This dip in sales is bound to continue until the prices go back to normal.” What adds to the rise in prices is vendors being forced to throw a minimum of 5 kg from every 50 kg of vegetables purchased in June-July, as the rains spoil most of the produce.Meanwhile,consumers have also voiced their concerns over the price rise and the poor quality of the vegetables.”I run a catering business and have no other option but to buy vegetables daily, neither can I cut down on my usage, since tomatoes and coriander form staple ingredients of the Indian cuisine”, said Deepali Lagad, a resident of Tardeo.

Revenue department told to follow RR rate directives

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>To control the soaring ready reckoner (RR) rate, the Maharashtra government has made it mandatory for the town planning branch of the revenue department to refer to the given directives while calculating the government rates each year.According to the cabinet decision, the ready reckoner rates are decided as per the 1995 formulas. “That includes the land value, construction qualities, advantages and disadvantages, education facilities, transport and appreciations in property. But most of the times, these directives are not considered while fixing and increasing the government rates. Now, it will be mandatory to refer to these directives, and then hike the rates. This will give a true picture of that particular locality,” the cabinet notice stated.The government had made an amendment to the Bombay Stamp (Determination of True Market Value of Property) Rules, 1995 and the revised rules were issued through a gazette notification.“Due to a haphazard rise in property rates at most locations, the rates provided by private builders are usually higher. The stamp duty and registration is based on the government rates. In that case, the builder has no options but to increase the property rates. It makes it difficult for home buyers to buy a property. We want to control the prices therefore the given directives have to be followed while deciding the RR rates,” said an official from the state revenue department.CHANGE IN DATESEarlier, the Maharashtra government used to announce the rates on January 1 of every year, but since last year, the RR rates are announced in April.

Capital chaos over compliance on GST Day 1

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The dawn of a new tax era broke on July 1 but soon descended into chaos when it became apparent that most of the national capital’s small and medium shopkeepers and restaurants were not in compliance with the Goods and Services Tax (GST). Instead, they were giving out hand-written bills to consumers since they either hadn’t registered for GST or their computer systems did not support the network for the new format. Most were clearing out old stock at old rates, and offering discounts even after the GST rollout. Even Smoke House Deli, a leading restaurant in Khan Market, was giving out hand-written bills, explaining the break-up to each customer. Most other shopkeepers in one of the nation’s priciest retail space were offering hand-written bills, too. Mother Dairy, one of the largest milk and milk-food supplier of Delhi NCR has more than 800 booths, but not one has registered for GST yet. The first batch has been called for registration process on Saturday on Patparganj Mother Dairy plant.The owner of a shoes and sports equipment store said she was “trying to get through our invoice format ready as per GST system, but we are not able to do it because of the unavailability of the computer programmer”. Until then, she, too, was providing hand-written bills. “First we have to clear our old stock then only we can think about new order and GST” she said. Another shopkeeper said it would take at least a week or two to align with the new system.Praveen Khandelwal, national secretary-general of the Confederation of All India Traders, said “There are many traders who have multiple commodities attracting multiple taxes. Wherever there is confusion, traders are asking fellow traders or consultants to understand the rates. I think in another week or 10 days when traders have accustomed this confusion will also not be there”.Most of the traders said they would have a clearer picture of how GST would play out once new stock arrives. Most of the big businesses, however, have migrated seamlessly into the new system, while smaller ones are struggling to change their billing system with the different tax slabs. The only ones laughing their way to the bank, for now, seem to be consumers, who are taking full advantage of discounts even in the GST regime.

3 held for ‘abducting’ Italian woman from IGI airport, taking

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three men have been arrested in connection with the alleged abduction of an Italian woman from the Indira Gandhi International Airport here, the police said today, adding that she was taken to Chandigarh by two of the accused. The 36-year-old woman arrived in Delhi on June 20 and booked a pre-paid taxi at the airport to go to her hotel in Paharganj. However, the driver allegedly told her that all the roads to Paharganj were blocked due to elections and took her to a travel agent’s office at Gole Market, where he was joined by another man. The woman started getting suspicious and posted a message on Facebook about her situation. Soon after, the driver and the other man allegedly robbed her of 500 Euros, threatened her of dire consequences if she raised an alarm and took her to Chandigarh. At Chandigarh, the woman managed to escape from their clutches and got in touch with the Italian embassy, which alerted the Delhi Police and a case was registered. The two men in the car — identified as Nikki and Prithvi Raj — were arrested on June 25 on the basis of technical surveillance, the police said. On June 26, Ramesh (40), the travel agent at Gole Market, was arrested from Connaught Place.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Hustle-bustle of city markets, illegal parking add to citizens’ woes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>There was a time when people would look to rent or buy near markets owing to their proximity to marketplaces. Now, these markets have begun to spell misery for those living nearby as the lanes get choked with traffic. Also, the area outside their homes have turned into unofficial parking lots for thousand of shoppers daily. Residential areas located in and around market places, such as Greater Kailash, Malviya Nagar, Sarojini Nagar, Lajpat Nagar, SDA Market, Satya Niketan, Punjabi Bagh, and Hauz Khas, are becoming more crowded and noisier by the day. Besides problems related to traffic, the locals are also getting worried about their security.Kuldeep Singh Sawhney, President of the Sarojini Nagar Market Association, said the traffic issues and mismanaged parking have had a huge negative impact on their lives.”A fire broke out in a shop and spread to the residential area. But as the roads were packed with haphazardly parked vehicles, the fire tenders could not reach the spot on time,” he said, adding that he has brought the issue to the notice of the authorities concerned over 6-7 years, including Home Minister Rajnath Singh, but to no avail.The situation is the same in areas around the Central market in Lajpat Nagar, where shoppers park their vehicles in colonies to avoid paying a parking fee.”It is very irritating to come home after a hectic day and see someone else’s car parked in your spot,” local Dhruv Narang said.Areas like Greater Kailash and Hauz Khas face the additional burden of pub-goers. Many residents have complained that two-way lanes are often used as single lanes, leaving no space for pedestrians. A few days ago, the Delhi Traffic Police had marked some lanes in the Sarojini Nagar market as ‘no parking zone’, a move that was heartily welcomed by weary residents.EXPERT SPEAKParking problems are on the rise in Delhi markets. Every year, a large number of vehicles get added on the road but the area is minimum. I think the last mile connectivity plan from the Metro station to these market areas should be implemented soon, which may help in reducing traffic woes. Also, I feel the traffic authority should hold the right to decide the number of vehicles to be added every year in any city. Residents who stay around the market areas will have to bear the brunt of this, they too will have to pay and park their vehicles.—PK Sarkar, Head of Department of Transport PlanningQUOTESAs per the plan, we are supposed to be allowed to park our vehicles around our homes. But due to random parking by shoppers we are at a loss for space. The police does not allow us to take our cars right up to our buildings, as some lanes have been marked as no parking zone. My 86-year-old mother has to walk all the way to the main road get in to her own car.—Ranbeer Singh Bedi, Sarojini Nagar residentLike most areas, Hauz Khas market area also suffers from traffic snarls. Despite having a parking lot, people prefer parking on the road, as parking lots charge Rs20 per hour. In my opinion, parking lots should not charge so steep fees for an hour. They should consult malls and take a cue from them as how they manage their parking lots with so many cars entering on regular intervals.—Vijendra, Hauz Khas residentRandom parking is an issue in this area, but, lack of civic sense among the people is adding to the already existing problems. Shoppers eat on the go and dump on the road leading to garbage piling up on the roads. The already congested roads are getting blocked as authorities fail to have put dustbins at regular intervals, and nor do people look for a dustbin and discard waste properly.—Saquib Siddiqui, Malviya Nagar, Employee at IT coI think I just have to live with the fact that parking is never going to get better in this area. To reach to my college which is barely eight kilometres away from here I take over an hour to reach there. The major reason is random parking by shoppers. Even if you bring to their notice that they need to park their vehicle at parking lots or the other lane they will throw an attitude as if they own the place.—Manav Singh, Malviya Nagar, residentAfter a tiring day of work, one has to reach home to see that the designated parking has been taken away by an unknown person. We run from shop to shop expecting that we fin the owner of the car, this exercise is the most irritating part of staying in a market area—Dhruv Narang, Central Market resident

Jat stir affects rail, road network in Bharatpur, Dholpur

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rail and road network remained affected in Bharatpur and neighbouring areas in Rajasthan due to stir by Jat community members demanding grant of OBC reservation benefits to the community in Dholpur and Bharatpur. Rail and road network connecting to Bharatpur are jammed due to the agitation. Roads connecting Mahua, Agra, Bharatpur, Jaipur are blocked. State transport and private buses are being diverted to take alternative routes. Market in Bharatpur is closed to avoid any untoward incident, SP Bharatpur Anil Kumar Tank said today. Sources said that Kaman, Bolkheda, Nadbai, Kumher,Khedli, Vehaj, Bandha, Bedham, Deeg, Garoli apart from Jaipur- Bharatpur highway are jammed due to ongoing agitation of Jat community members who had blocked railway track between Bedham and Vehaj railway station yesterday. The members are led by Jat leaders and Congress MLA Vishvendra Singh who are demanding reservation for Jats of Dholpur and Bharatpur districts. “People are agitated and they don’t want any assurances. If government is really willing to provide reservation to Jats in OBC, they should come to Bharatpur and give people in writing when it will be implemented,” Singh told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Union Cabinet approves sops on short-term crop loan to farmers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a bid to arrest farm distress and protests by farmers across the country demanding loan waivers, the Union Cabinet which met here on Wednesday under Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved a 2 percent interest subsidy on farm loans and an additional three percent for timely repayments. According to government sources, the interest subvention scheme will provide a big relief to debt ridden farmers. The decision has come in the backdrop of protests by farmers in different states for loan waivers. The scheme will apply to short term crop loan upto Rs 3 lakh. The Interest Subvention Scheme (ISS) for farmers for the year 2017-18, as the scheme is named, will help farmers getting short term crop loan up to Rs 3 lakh, payable within one year at only 4% per annum. The government has earmarked a sum of Rs 20,339 crore for this purpose. The interest subvention will be given to Public Sector Banks (PSBs), Private Sector Banks, Cooperative Banks and Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) on use of own funds and to NABARD for refinance to RRBs and Cooperative Banks. The scheme will continue for one year and it will be implemented by NABARD and RBI.According to the Cabinet note, the objective of the scheme is to make available at ground level, agricultural credit for short term crop loans at an affordable rate to give a boost to agricultural productivity and production in the country. The scheme also envisages other benefits, including interest at concessional rate of 7% for storage in warehouses accredited by Warehousing Development Regulatory Authority (WDRA) for upto 6 months post harvest for avoiding distress sale. This provides institutional credit to the farmers and disengages them from non-institutional sources of credit, where they are prone to exploitation by private money lenders. All short term crop loan accounts will be Aadhaar linked from the current year.Salient features of the scheme:a) The Central Government will provide interest subvention of 5 per cent per annum to all prompt payee farmers for short term crop loan upto one year for loan up to Rs 3 lakhs borrowed by them during the year 2017-18. Farmers will thus have to effectively pay only 4% as interest. In case farmers do not repay the short term crop loan in time they would be eligible for interest subvention of 2% as against 5% available above.b) The Central Government will provide approximately Rs 20,339 crore as interest subvention for 2017-18.c) In order to give relief to small and marginal farmers who would have to borrow at 9% for the post harvest storage of their produce, the Central Government has approved an interest subvention of 2% i.e. an effective interest rate of 7% for loans upto 6 months.d) To provide relief to the farmers affected by natural calamities, the interest subvention of 2% will be provided to Banks for the first year on the restructured amount.e) In case farmers do not repay the short term crop loan in time they would be eligible for interest subvention of 2% as against available above.Major Impact: Credit is a critical input in achieving high productivity and overall production in the agricultural sector. The Cabinet’s approval of a sum of Rs 20,339 crore to meet various obligations arising from interest subvention being provided to the farmers on short term crop loans, as also loans on post harvest storages meets an important input requirement of the farmers in the country. This institutional credit will help in delinking the farmers from non-institutional sources of credit, where they are compelled to borrow at usurious rates of interest. Since the crop insurance under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) is linked to availing of crop loans, the farmers would stand to benefit from both farmer oriented initiatives of the government, by accessing the crop loans.An important initiative of the government is market reforms, with a view to ensuring that the farmers benefit from remunerative prices for their produce in the market. The electronic National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) that was launched by the government on April, 2016 aims at integrating the dispersed APMCs through an electronic platform and enable price discovery in a competitive manner, to the advantage of the farmers. While the farmers are advised to undertake on-line trade, it is also important that they avail themselves of post-harvest loans by storing their produce in the accredited warehouses. The loans are available to Kisan Credit Card (KCC) holding small and marginal farmers at interest subvention of 2 per cent on such storages for a period of up to six months. This will help the farmers to sell when they find the market is buoyant, and avoid distress sale. It is, therefore, needful for the small and marginal farmers to keep their KCCs alive. The government is keen in improving income of the farmers, for which it has launched several new initiatives that encompass activities from seed to marketing. The credit from institutional sources will complement all such government initiatives like Soil Health Card, Input Management, Per Drop More Crop in Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sichai Yojana (PMKSY), PMFBY, e-NAM, etc.Background: The scheme has been running since 2006-07. Under this, the farmers can avail concessional crop loans of upto Rs 3 lakh at 7% rate of interest. It also provides for an additional subvention of 3%. Prompt Repayment within a period of one year from the date of advance. As a measure to check distress sale, post-harvest loans for storage in accredited warehouses against Negotiable Warehouse Receipts (NWRs) are available for upto 6 months for KCC holding small & marginal farmers. During the year 2016-17, the volume of short term crop loan lent stood at Rs 6,22,685 crore, surpassing the target of Rs. 6,15,000 crore.

Amid stir, farmers’ market in Mandsaur grinds to a halt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The wholesale agriculture market in Mandsaur, one of the largest in Madhya Pradesh, wore a deserted look as agitating farmers stayed away from it for the 10th day today, leading to losses running into several crore rupees. The Mandsaur Krishi Upaj Mandi, spread over 30 hectares of land on the outskirts of the town, saw a sharp dip in the arrival of farm produce on June 1, when the farmers’ stir, demanding better price for their produce and a loan waiver, began in the state. The mandi normally attracts about 5,000 farmers everyday from several districts of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan and records an average daily turnover of Rs 4 to 5 crore. Since June 2, trading activities have come to a complete halt and the market remained empty, causing losses of several crore rupees, said M S Muniya, the secretary of the market committee. The market mainly deals in wheat, garlic, coriander and lentil. The mandi committee, which collects a levy on the sale, has suffered a loss of Rs 10 lakh so far and its 400-odd traders too have incurred huge losses. “The stir has hit us badly. There has been no business for the past 10 days. But we have to pay our employees and workers,” said Bablu Agarwal, a trader. Another trader, Narendra Anna, echoed Agarwal’s views and expressed hoped that the situation will become normal soon. Scores of daily wagers too bore the brunt of the agitation. With no income, they had to struggle to make ends meet. The market committee secretary hoped that once the curfew was lifted, farmers will return to the market with their produce. A curfew was imposed after five people were killed in police firing when the farmers’ agitation turned violent on June 6. Later, another farmer Ghanashyam Dhakad (26), died in Badavan village in the violence-hit Mandsaur district. The villagers alleged that the local BJP MP and MLAs have not visited them yet. The Mandsaur-Neemuch region, about 300 km from the state capital Bhopal, was the nerve centre of the stir. Later, protests spread to some other parts of the state. Earlier today, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan sat on an indefinite fast at Dussehra Maidan in Bhopal for “restoration of peace”. He has appealed to farmers to come to Dussehra Maidan and have a dialogue with him.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

UP flea market vendors take out protest rally; 12 detained

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A dozen street vendors from the weekly flea market here were detained today after they took out a rally towards the mayor’s house against the injustice meted out to them. SP (City) Aakash Tomar said unruly vendors of the ‘Sunday flea market’ were trying to block the road at Hapur Chungi area. The police had to use mild lathicharge to disperse the crowd, he said. The street vendors of the weekly flea market have alleged that the shop owners of the area have created hindrances in their craft, rendering them jobless. On the other hand, the shop owners associated with the Navyug Market Vyapar Mandal (NMVM), including residents of nearby colonies of Bihari Nagar and Chandra Puri, have claimed the flea market occupies a large area of the market and hinders the vehicular flow in the area, especially in cases of emergency. The weekly flea market is considered as one of the biggest markets in NCR, wherein thousands of temporary shops come up every Sunday.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

New rules will curb illegal cattle sale: Environment Ministry

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The new rules banning sale and purchase of cattle at animal markets for slaughter will remove the scope of illegal sale and smuggling of bovines, besides ensuring their welfare, the Environment Ministry said today. The statement of the ministry came days after it notified the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017, banning the sale and purchase of cattle at animal markets for slaughter. It said the rules will ensure adequate facilities for housing, feeding, feed storage area and water supply for the cattle. “The basic purpose of the rules is to ensure the welfare of the animals in the cattle markets and ensure adequate facilities for housing, feeding, feed storage area, water supply, water troughs, ramps, enclosures for sick animals, veterinary care and proper drainage etc.,” the ministry said. To facilitate this, two committees have been constituted — the District Animal Market Monitoring Committee for registration of the animal markets and the Animal Market Committee at the local authority level for the management of the markets, it added. The ministry said in the rules, it was envisaged that the welfare of the cattle sold at the markets would be ensured and that only healthy animals were traded for agriculture purposes. The livestock markets were intended to become hubs for animal trade for agriculture through this process and animals for slaughter would have to be bought from the farmers, it added. “The notified rules will remove the scope of illegal sale and smuggling of the cattle which is a major concern. “The specific provisions apply only to animals which are bought and sold at the notified livestock markets and animals seized as case properties. These rules do not cover the other areas,” the ministry said. The new rules also prohibit the establishment of an animal market within 25 kms of a state border and within 50 kms of the international border. The ministry today received representations regarding certain provisions of the rules, which it said would be “duly examined”. “The prime focus of the regulation is to protect the animals from cruelty and not to regulate the existing trade in cattle for slaughterhouses,” it said. The ban is expected to hit the export and trade of meat and leather. The rules also prohibit certain practices that are “cruel” to animals, including painting of horns and putting ornaments or decorative materials on them. The rules define cattle as a bovine animal including bulls, bullocks, cows, buffaloes, steers, heifers and calves and camels. In a case filed by Gauri Maulekhi, the Supreme Court had passed an order dated July 13, 2015 directing the framing of guidelines to prevent animals from being smuggled out of the country for the Gadhimai Festival in Nepal, where large-scale animal sacrifice took place. The apex court had constituted a committee under the chairmanship of the Director General (DG), Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB). The committee had put forward certain suggestions, including measures to curb trans-boundary cattle smuggling. The Supreme Court had also directed that the rules regarding livestock markets and case property animals be notified. On July 12, 2016, the apex court, in its final order, had directed the Environment Ministry to frame rules under Section 38 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. Subsequently, the Animal Welfare Board of India had prepared the draft rules, incorporating all the suggestions put forward by the Supreme Court. The Draft Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 was notified on January 16, inviting objections and suggestions within 30 days. Altogether, 13 representations were received regarding the rules which were duly examined and the suggestions incorporated, the ministry said. The rules were finally notified on May 23.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Read: Full text of Kerala Chief Minister’s Letter to PMO India

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>’Beef Fests’ were held in various parts of Kerala today to protest the Centre’s decision of banning sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter, even as Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said he would approach the prime minister in this matter.Activists of the ruling CPI(M)-led LDF, opposition Congress-headed UDF and their youth wings took out marches and organised these fests across the state, where beef is widely consumed. The central government has banned the sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter, a move that is expected to hit export and trade of meat and leather.Demonstrations were held outside the secretariat in the state capital where the protestors cooked and distributed beef on the road side. “We will eat beef to show our protest against the central government. We want to tell this to Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” DYFI national president Mohammed Riyaz, who led the protest, said.Meanwhile, Chief Minister Vijayan remained true to his words and took to Facebook to write an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Read the full text below: This is to bring to your attention the recent Government of India’s Gazette Notification imposing restrictions on cattle trade, which would have serious impact on the livelihoods of millions of Indians.It may be noted that the notification issued by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change regarding the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 mandates that cattle can be traded only by those who have valid documentation that the cattle will be used only for agricultural purposes. Of the millions of farmers in our country, only a miniscule number of them have documentation to prove that they are engaged in agriculture. Therefore, it would be extremely difficult for the vast majority of our farmers to legally procure draught animals used for agriculture and other domestic purposes.The rules also envisage the constitution of District Animal Market Monitoring Committees and an Animal Market Committees. The constitution of such committees to monitor cattle trade will also jeopardise the free hand trade of cattle between farmers in our country. Legitimate fears are also being raised if they would take upon themselves the role of Gau Rakshak Samitis which have conducted attacks on cattle traders and transporters in the recent past.May I also remind you that meat is the primary source of protein for millions of poor and ordinary people in this country, particularly the Dalits. Such restrictions being imposed on the eve of Ramzan, would certainly appear to certain communities of our country as a direct attack on them. People of all faiths consume meat in our country, not just the minorities. Once the prohibition comes into effect, it will not only deprive them of adequate nutrition, but also prevent the availability of raw material for the leather industry. More than 2.5 million people work in India’s leather industry and most of them are Dalits, especially those engaged in skinning the carcasses. Hence, this prohibition will severely affect our disadvantaged sections, in terms of both their lives and livelihoods.I am sure you are very well aware that India has a thriving meat export industry and that we are the global leaders in the field. The prohibition of sale of cattle for slaughter will have a cascading effect on Indian industry as a whole, especially because of an insurmountable deficiency that will occur in our foreign exchange because of the drop in meat export. Several state owned meat processing industries across the country, like Kerala’s Meat Products of India Ltd., would become unviable because of the new regulations and hence would be forced to shut down.In my own state of Kerala, vast majority of the population consume meat. So is the case with all the other South Indian states and North East Indian states. Even in states like Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Odisha and West Bengal, non vegetarians out number vegetarians. Therefore, the new rules should have been introduced in consultation with the states. The absence of efforts to take the states into confidence on such a drastic move with far reaching consequences is detrimental to our democracy. I am afraid it amounts to an intrusion into the rights of the states in our federal structure. The introduction of such restrictions in a hasty manner would certainly prove to be a challenge in upholding our plurality, the essence of our nation. It would also be against the principles of secularism and federalism enshrined in our constitution.I conclude by requesting you to kindly intervene in this matter and repeal the newly imposed restrictions, so that the lives and livelihoods of millions of our fellow countrymen can be protected, while safeguarding the fundamental principles of our constitution.

Propaganda on terror lethal than bullets, IEDs: Delhi HC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Spreading propaganda about terror acts is more lethal than the use of bullets or detonation of IEDs, the Delhi High Court today said while rejecting the bail pleas of two Indian Mujahideen members accused in the 2008 Delhi serial blasts case. Justice Ashutosh Kumar dismissed the pleas of Asif Bashiruddin Shaikh and Akbar Ismail Choudhary, both said to be members of the media cell of the banned terror group, holding that he was not inclined to grant the relief while the trial court was yet to complete examination of all the 610 witnesses. The court said a detailed order giving reasons for rejection of the bail would be passed later. The lawyer for the two accused had claimed that the role attributed to them was that they were part of IM’s media cell which had sent out threat emails after the blasts which claimed 27 lives and injured 135. He said they were moving the high court for bail for the first time after being arrested in 2008 and sent to judicial custody in March 2009. The lawyer said that till date only 221 out of the 610 witnesses have been examined despite the trial court exclusively hearing the case on all working Saturdays and it could take a substantial amount of time to examine the rest. The court, however, said it would be difficult for it to grant the relief sought by the accused at the present stage of proceedings in the trial court. On the accused’ lawyer’s claim that the duo were only allegedly part of the media cell, the court said, “Dissemination of propaganda in such cases was more lethal than the use of bullets or detonating of an IED.” Five cases were lodged in connection with the blasts at Gaffar Market in Karol Bagh, Barakhamba Road in Connaught Place and M-Block Market in Greater Kailash and recovery of a bomb near India Gate in September 2008. All the five cases were clubbed by the trial court for the purpose of framing of charges and trial saying “they arise from the series of same transaction”. The 13 accused facing trial in the case are Mohd Shakeel, Mohd Saif, Zeeshan Ahmed, Zia-ur-Rehaman, Saquib Nisar, Mohd Sadique, Kayamuddin Kapadia, Mohd Hakim, Mohd Mansoor Ashgar Peerbhoy, Mubin Kadar Sheikh, Asif, Chaudhary and Shahzad Ahmed.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Centre comes to rescue of distressed chilli farmers in Andhra

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Centre has ordered the clearance of the Market Intervention Scheme (MIS) with immediate effect to help distressed chilli farmers in Andhra Pradesh. The Centre will buy chillies at Rs. 5,000 per quintal till May 31. Earlier, leaders and public representatives from Andhra Pradesh Hari Babu, along with a delegation of MPs from Andhra, Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy, Laxman, President Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Kishan Reddy, where MLAs from Telangana met Union Minister, M. Venkaiah Naidu, requested for his intervention in the matter. Naidu convened a meeting with the the Agriculture Minister, leaders of AP and Telangana and officials of Central and State Governments, wherein the crisis was comprehensively discussed. Following detailed discussions and submission of data and statistics, the Government assured that it would come to the rescue of the states under Market Intervention Scheme. Agriculture Ministry announced now the procurement of red chillies under MIS scheme in both the Telugu States. Naidu said he was happy that with this decision of the Union Government farmers will not resort to distress sale at astronomically lower prices. He expressed hope that the States would immediately swing into action and provide succor to the agitating chilli farmers, adding that the Central Government would always extend its helping hand when it comes to the issue of farmers and their livelihood. The salient features of the scheme are given below:- ?This Market Intervention Scheme will remain in force from 2.5.2017 to 31.5.2017 ?A maximum quantity of 88,300 MTs of Red Chilli in Andhra Pradesh and 33,700 MTs in Telangana can be procured under the scheme by the State Agencies. ?The Market Intervention Price (MIP) will be Rs.5000/- per quintal of Red Chilli with the overhead expenses of Rs.1,250/- per quintal or actual whichever is less. The overhead expenses include purchase tax, mandi tax, godown charges, packing material, loading/unloading, commission, transportation, grading, packaging /stiching charges etc., ?The losses, if any, will be shared on 50:50 basis between the Central Government and State Governments. However, the loss is restricted up to 25% of the procurement cost (maximum limit of loss to be shared between Central and State Governments) including the permissible over heads. ?The scheme will be implemented by the State Agencies. The stocks will be purchased from the Cooperative Societies, farmers? organizations or directly from the farmers to eliminate the possibility of middlemen taking advantage of the scheme.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

When Ola charged this Mumbai resident Rs 149 crore for a cancelled ride

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>What if you had to pay Rs 149 crore for a cancelled ride?Mumbai resident Sushil Narsian was fooled for real on April Fool’s Day when he was asked to pay Rs 1,49,10,51,648. According to an Indian Express report, Narsian had booked an Ola cab from his residence in Mulund West to Vakola Market on Saturday. But the driver cancelled the ride when he couldn’t locate Narsian’s house. However, that was just the beginning of once in a lifetime day for Narsian as he was in for a huge shock after that. When he used his app again to book another ride, the cab hailing app wouldn’t let him make a reservation because Rs 149 crores was the amount due on him. Also, Rs 127 were deducted from his e-Wallet.However, when Narsian took to social media, his problem was resolved:Ola also offered him a special offer after that:Social media was however abuzz with jokes on the incident:Well maybe, all is fair on April Fools Day?

Telangana govt seeks Centre s help to rescue chilli farmers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Telangana government has sought assistance from the Centre to bail out chilli farmers in the state who have been left financially stressed due to lack of fair price for their produce. Telangana Marketing Minister T Harish Rao today urged Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh to help the chilli farmers in the state by providing funds. During the current year, chilli production increased by 14 per cent resulting in adverse impact on prices. The commodity which commanded a price of Rs 10,000 per quintal last year was available in a range of Rs 5,000 to Rs 6,000 this year, Rao said in a letter to Singh. A committee of officials has recommended procurement of chillies at Rs 7,000 per quintal directly from farmers, he said. “Against the total chilli production of 698353 MTs this year, 10 per cent of the production which is 174588.25 MTs, is proposed (to be procured) under MIS (Market Intervention Scheme) with an estimated cost of Rs 502.59 crores,” said the letter. He requested for 50 per cent Central assistance under the Market Intervention Fund under the MIS be made available to Telangana by the Centre. Telangana Agriculture Minister Pocharam Srinivasa Rao said he spoke to the Union Agriculture Minister to get the produce purchased through NAFED (National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd). Upset over not getting remunerative price, scores of farmers staged a protest at the Enumamula agriculture market at Warangal last week and some of them burnt some quantity of chilli. Similar incidents took place in other places in the state. Meanwhile, both the Congress and BJP have attacked the Telangana government for inept handling of the chilli farmers’ issue. The state Congress alleged that the TRS government was in “deep sleep” to the woes of Chilli farmers. It has called for protests tomorrow in headquarters of Assembly constituencies. Telangana Congress president and MLA N Uttam Kumar Reddy demanded that the state government purchase chilli produce at a price of Rs 12,000 per quintal. He asked the party cadre to submit memoranda to Tahsildars tomorrow to make the state government act on the issue. Telangana BJP spokesperson Krishna Saagar Rao said in a statement that the state government should be more accountable on the issue. Referring to the reported comments of TRS MP Kavitha that MSP is Central Government’s responsibility, the BJP leader said the state government cannot escape its responsibility by making such statements.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Girl’s death in ritual: Police refers case as ‘action dropped’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The police, probing a 13-year-old girl’s death after she undertook a 68-day fast as part of a community ritual in October last year, has referred the case as “action dropped” in a court here. After a complaint in this regard was lodged by a local child rights NGO “Balala Hakkula Sangham” with the Market police station, a case of the culpable homicide not amounting to murder under section 304 (II) of IPC, and under section 75 of the JJ (Juvenile Justice) Act was registered against the parents and other family members of the girl. The Police subsequently reported the case to the 10th Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate at Secunderabad and referred it as ‘Action Dropped’, and yesterday served a notice to the complainant Anuradha Rao, president of the NGO, in this regard, a police official said today. In the notice to the complainant, the police said, “Your case has been referred as ‘Action Dropped’ and that if you want to oppose this report, you will have to do before the court within a week from the date of receipt of this notice”. When contacted, a senior police official today said, “during the investigation, the allegation of culpable homicide was not proved. As no evidence is available, further action is dropped in the case.” Rao, in a letter to Hyderabad Police Commissioner, had alleged that the minor, who belonged to a minority community, had died under “suspicious circumstances” on October 3. She alleged that the girl’s parents and other family members made her undertake the fast for 68 days as part of the ritual. Meanwhile, following the notice, the NGO has alleged that the police are not arresting the accused as they are biased in their favour. The NGO said they will move court seeking a through investigation by a Central agency. Police had said the girl, a student of class VIII in a private school, was on a fast for 68 days, which ended on October 1, after which she was on a liquid diet. According to the police, on the night of October 3, the girl suddenly fell ill, after which her family members shifted her to a hospital, where doctors declared her brought dead.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Pune: Fire breaks out in Phoenix MarketCity mall

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A fire broke out in the Phoenix MarketCity mall in Pune. According to representatives from the mall, the fire was doused in 30 minutes and the mall is operational and its structure is intact.A post shared by Pune Pet Park (@punepetpark) on Mar 15, 2017 at 8:01am PDT “There was a minor smoke incident in basement which was extinguished within 30 minutes. The mall is intact and operational,” the statement by Phoenix MarketCity’s management said.The reason for the fire has not yet been revealed.Further details are awaited.

Manipur: Another IED blast in Imphal near Singjamei Super Market

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An IED blast took place near Singjamei Super Market in Imphal, Manipur at around 4.20pm, reported ANI. No injuries reported.The blast comes on the heels of a bomb explosion on Wednesday evening in the heart of the Imphal city, hours after the final phase of the Assembly poll in Manipur concluded. Eight people were injured in the blast.The blast took place in the Kasturi Thong area in Imphal. The injured were admitted to the Regional Institute of Medical Science, a government hospital.Repolling was held in 34 polling stations in three districts of Manipur on Thursday amid tight security. Polling in these booths in Imphal, Churachandpur and Kangpoki districts was held in the first phase of the elections on March 4. The repoll was ordered on Tuesday following electoral malpractices in these polling stations, the official said.With ANI and PTI inputs.

Take steps to end pig menace, rein in stray cattle;Kiran Bedi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>: Lt Governor Kiran Bedi has asked officials of the commune panchayat at nearby Villianoor to take steps to tackle the pig menace and also the hardships caused by stray cattle in the market area there. Making a weekend visit to the municipal market, accompanied by officials of Raj Nivas, police personnel and municipality officers, she went around to see for herself various deficiencies and also lack of cleanliness. She advised members of Traders and Merchant Associations in Villianoor to function in tandem with the municipality and ensure that the market becomes a ‘clean and safe market’. There was a plea that the market be reconstructed to offer space for the merchants to carry on their business. She said that the plan conceptualised for the modern structure could be taken up in association with the local legislator and PWD Minister A Namassivayam.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

2 firemen die in cylinder blast while fighting blaze

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two firemen died and as many were injured after an LPG cylinder exploded when they were fighting a blaze at a shop in west Delhi’s Vikaspuri area today. The cylinder blast occurred when a fire brigade team had gone to attend a fire call at 5.35 AM. Two firefighters, Hari Singh Meena and Hari Om, died after getting trapped in the fire caused by the blast, said a Delhi Fire Services official. Two other firefighters, Navin and Ravinder Singh, suffered injuries and are undergoing treatment at BL Kapur Hospital. Their condition is stated to be critical. “We received a call at around 5.30 AM about a fire breaking out in a small 10×10 shop in H Block, Lal Market in Vikaspuri. Two firetenders were rushed to the spot,” said the official. The cause of the initial blaze has not been ascertained yet.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Mother’s market traders want shops repaired, better schemes,

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The politics of poll bound Manipur may revolve around the economic blockade, but women traders of Mother’s market here want their shops damaged in an earthquake a year ago to be repaired soon. Mother’s market or ‘Ima Kheitel’ in Manipuri is centuries old and is the largest women run market in Asia. It is not just a market but a sign of empowerment of women. More than 5000 women sell fish, vegetables, bamboo and metal craft, dry fish, ‘phaneks (sarongs)’ and ‘innephis’ (stoles), herbs, bangles and other items in it. But an earthquake on January 4 last year served a blow to the market as many structures were damaged. “Our market got badly damaged in the earthquake. One year has passed but repair work is still going on and we are yet to get back our shops,” Yasomati, a trader, told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

NDMC to conduct safety audit of Khan Market buildings too

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The New Delhi Municipal Council has decided to conduct a safety audit to assess the structural stability of the buildings at the popular shopping hub Khan Market, after a similar exercise at Connaught Place. The move by the civic authority was prompted by two incidents of roof collapse at Connaught Place within a fortnight, raising concern about the structural safety of the city’s iconic buildings. Besides carrying out safety audit of heritage structures at Connaught Place, the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has sealed 21 rooftop resto-bars for violation of norms. “Notices had been issued time and again to the owners of restaurants and outlets that have been found to be violating structural norms, but the roof collapses have definitely rung alarm bells. To eliminate the possibility of another such tragedy, similar exercise will be conducted at Khan Market as well,” a senior NDMC official said. “After the safety audit is over at Khan Market, the defaulter units will be asked to submit structural stability certificates. Though the market doesn’t have any heritage structure, there is a need to conduct an audit as some residential flats have been modified as shops and restaurants,” the official said. The NDMC had formed a six-member panel, comprising structural safety experts from IIT-Delhi, officials of Central Public Works Department and NDMC and the Sub Divisional Magistrate of the area, to inspect the collapse sites at Connaught Place. “While the audit team is yet to compile its report, it has been observed that the terraces of certain buildings were overburdened with the weight of generator sets, furniture, water tanks and other heavy equipment resulting in the crumbing of old buildings. “Seepage, cracks in walls and dilapidated plasters have also weakened the foundation of the buildings at Connaught Place,” the official said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Posh markets by the day, drinking spots by the evening

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The local markets in the residential areas of Noida — adjoining Delhi — have become an open drinking zone for the youngsters. At any residential market in the city one can clearly see the youngsters drinking alcohol fearlessly and playing loud music in their car in the evening and late at night. This has not only created problems for the shopkeepers but for the local residents also.”It has become a major law and order problem in the city and our daughters and sisters can’t step out of house after 6 pm in our own local market,” said Vijay Kochar owner of a snack centre at Godawari market in Noida.On Thursday, a bunch of youngsters were seen drinking on their car’s boot space openly and dancing on the streets at Godawari market. Just a few meters away there was a PCR van from where the cops were witnessing the scene but weren’t doing anything to stop them.”Despite knowing that drinking in public is a punishable offence, these guys were creating nuisance. And UP police is as usual,” said another resident.According to a shopkeeper, everyday people come here to drink and do drugs in their parked cars.”Despite several complaints and police calls no action has been taken,” said a tea vendor in the market.Not only people come here to drink but the dingy lane adjacent to the market helps them find a place to do drugs.”I have seen people doing drugs and they get weed from the lanes leading to the slums behind the market area,” said Kochar.The residents say that the place becomes so unsafe that it is difficult to go to the market.”We find it unsafe to go to the market place in the evening as this place gets filled with people under the influence of drugs and alcohol. There is no police patrolling after 8 pm. We make police calls when some nuisance is taking place but still our complaints go unheard,” said Rekha Kapoor, a resident of Sector 37 of Noida.When DNA checked out marketplaces across the city at around seven, the shopkeepers and residents shared the same problems.At Bhramaputra Market in Sector 29 an owner of a food stall said, “It is illegal to drink in open but we earn extra money to serve food to the people drinking in their cars.” Interestingly, there is a shattered police post just opposite the market which is always locked and a police control room van parked near the market area allows these youngsters to drink openly.Similar scenes were seen at Sector 30 market where people drink in open behind the restaurants.It was also witnessed that the police personnel inside the PCR vans were mutely watching the people drinking at public places.

Mamata asks govt to release funds for development

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Stating that demonetisation had caused lot of problems, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said the BJP-led central government should stop lecturing the state government on development and should instead release funds for the same. “The notes ban is causing a lot of problems in villages. The Centre should stop lecturing us on the issue of development. We, the people of West Bengal, believe in doing work more than talking about it. The Centre should stop giving lectures and start releasing funds for development of the state,” Banerjee said while addressing Panchayati Raj Sammelan here. She also asked the members of rural bodies to remain cautious against rumour mongering and protect the communal harmony of the state at any cost. “The communal harmony of the state should be protected at any cost. Panchayat members should always stay alert against rumour mongering. As certain section of people are trying to instigate communal violence in the state,” she said. While noting that Bengal tops the chart in successful implementation of 100 days work scheme, Banerjee said the state government has taken several steps for strengthening the rural economy by bringing out various schemes and projects for self help groups. “In order to ensure that products made by self help groups get good exposure in markets and get proper prices, we have tied up with Super Market retail chains where the products made by these self help groups will be kept for sale,” she said. Banerjee also announced a hike in the remuneration and allowances of the members of the Panchayat and rural bodies. She also cautioned public representatives of rural bodies to keep away from infighting and factional feud as it might affect the developmental work.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Delhi’s hi-tech ghost parking lots

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even as the paucity of parking spaces continues to be a major issue in the national Capital, the multi-level parking lots in the city have failed to attract consumers. The reasons range from the lots being non-user friendly to having structural flaws. The automated multi-level parking lots in the Capital were offered as a solution to the city’s problems of shrunken road space, increasing number of vehicles, and the resultant traffic snarls. They were developed under the respective municipal corporations of Delhi on a public-private partnership (PPP) model. The lots, however, have had few takers. Most of these spaces are massively under-utilised, with less than 15-20 per cent of the space being used.The deserted hi-tech parking lots, including in Sarojini Nagar, Hauz Khas, Munirka in south Delhi, and Kamla Nagar and Model Town in north Delhi, make it evident that the concept did not get customers’ thumbs up. Even the underground parking lots in the busy Connaught Place area — Palika Bazaar and Shivaji Stadium parkings — have only 20 per cent utilisation. Moreover, the issue of lack of parking space in the city persists.The multi-level facility in the crowded Kamla Nagar exists within a mall located in the centre of the main market. It remains nearly empty even on weekends, when the place gets a footfall of around 25,000 people. The facility can accommodate 828 cars and 300 two-wheelers.“On any given day, the occupancy here remains around 100-120 while the approach roads outside remain jam-packed with vehicles. This is despite the fact that the roads are in the no-parking zone. Commuters park their vehicles outside at the risk of them being towed or damaged,” said Anil Bansal, who owns a garments store in the market and is a member of the traders association.The fully robotic facility was thrown open for the public in 2013. It has a total of seven floors with six elevators and assures safety with 24×7 CCTV surveillance system. According to municipal officials, however, despite the modern system, people prefer to park on roads. “The average occupancy rate is 30 per cent. The structure was built by a private concessionaire as a commercial complex and was meant to reduce congestion outside by providing a huge parking space. It is up to the private player now how he wants to recover the cost. The company can rope in traffic police to enforce the rule against unauthorised parking on the streets to make more people use the parking lot,” a senior north Corporation official said.Meanwhile, most users said they don’t find the facility user-friendly. “It takes more than 20 minutes to get to the parking lot and then to one of the floors to park the vehicle. It doesn’t make sense to make customers wait for so long. People prefer to park their vehicles along the road side,” said Anuj Rohtagi, a regular at the market. The situation is the same at the Sarojini Nagar market, where the automated parking was the first one to be opened in 2011. Years after it became operational, the multi-level car park facility remains grossly under utilised, and the approach road leading up to the facility has been encroached upon by squatting vendors. The market also faces a space crunch, especially on weekends and holidays. The already congested place becomes even more difficult to approach with a battery of vendors and hawkers squatting on roads, traders said. In addition, shoppers prefer to park on roads and in surface parking lots rather than using the NDMC-DLF facility. An attendant at the automated parking facility said the lot, which can house 824 cars at a time, is not even half utilised, including on weekends. The market has 200-odd shops and 150 residential units.Traders said that in a series of meetings with the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and the Delhi Police officials, they had put forth the demand of removing vendors from roadsides. Also, the G-Avenue approach road to the parking is closed on weekends on account of security after the 2005 bomb blasts. “The wide entry leading to the multi-level facility is barricaded on weekdays and completely blocked on weekends. This adds to congestion, as people avoid taking a longer route to the lot and end up parking in bylanes, roadsides and colony roads,” Sarojini Nagar resident Anuradha Mehta said. She added that only six of the eight lifts of the facility were functional, and those were slow as well. A senior NDMC official said: “We are striving hard to make the multi-level facility convenient and user-friendly. We have staff deployed to take action against vendors causing traffic congestion.”Another failed project is the Hauz Khas multi-level parking lot, which was opened on a trial basis. Since its inauguration in September 2013, it is being operated free of cost. The facility still remains mostly unused. Customers said the flaw lies in the structural designing, which makes it difficult to steer in and out of the lot. “The contractor seems to not have taken into account the size of SUVs. There are technical issues in getting the cars in and out,” businessman Vikas Khanna said.Multi-level parking capacityNorth CorporationKamla Nagar: 828Model Town II: 105South Corporation(open on trial basis)Hauz Khas: 320Munirka: 400Jangpura: 308 New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC)Sarojini Nagar: 824

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