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Centre plans survey of manual scavengers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Centre will soon be carrying out a survey to ascertain the number of manual scavengers in the country. To be conducted by the Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry, the survey is expected to counter the severe under-reporting of the number of these labourers .As per the Socio Economic and Caste Census, 2011, there were 182,505 manual scavengers in India. After the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013, the definition of manual scavengers was extended to include sanitation workers.The Act mandates that to be recognised as a manual scavenger to avail the benefits of rehabilitation (one-time payment of Rs 40,000), a person needs to be registered with the government.Till December 2015, only 12,226 manual scavengers were registered with the government. As per the 2011 Census, in over 182,505 households, human excreta is removed by hand, which has been outlawed under the MS Act.In a meeting chaired by minister Thawar Chand Gehlot earlier this month, the Central Monitoring Committee decided to carry out the survey. A senior ministry official said the National Safai Karamcharis Finance and Development Corporation (NSKFDC) will carry out the survey.Under the MS Act, the chief executive officer of a panchayat or any municipal corporation must be verified and given identity cards. “Yet, the numbers do not reflect the severity of the problem. There have been a lot of deaths in sewers,” the official said. This year alone, over 130 manual scavengers have lost their lives.Recently, the government made it mandatory for private companies and contractors to pay a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the family of any manual scavenger who loses his or her life during the job, over and above the Rs 10 lakh compensation paid by the government.

Halt action against Rohingyas: Right bodies to Myanmar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Seven human rights organisations put up a convention on Monday titled ‘Convention against ongoing atrocities on Rohingyas in Myanmar’.Condemning the action of Myanmar police and administration which has forced Rohingyas to escape to Bangladesh, the activists put forward a six-point demand. They include immediate halt of police and army action on Rohingyas, creating a favourable environment in Myanmar so that all of them can return and government should ensure their rehabilitation, government should take the responsibility of the security of their lives and property, police and army personnel guilty of killing and raping Rohingyas should be identified and punished, media and human rights organisations should be given access to the place and those who had taken refuge in India should not be forced back by the Indian government and it should put pressure on Myanmar government to take them back and give them citizenship.Human rights activist and national vice-president of People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Dr Binayak Sen, who was also one of the panellists, lent his support to the demands. “We condemn the inhuman treatment meted out to the Rohingyas from the pth of our hearts and intend to find a way out of it. On behalf of PUCL, we will support the resolution which will be adopted today,” Sen said.

CM offers suggestions to speed up slum rehabilitation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In order to speed up the slum rehabilitation scheme, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has asked officials to make necessary amendments to existing provisions so that slum dwellers get 300 sq ft houses instead of 269 sq ft.On Thursday, Fadnavis held a review meeting with the officials of Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA). Minister of State for Housing Development Ravindra Waikar, Additional Chief Secretary for Housing Sanjay Kumar and officials from the CM’s office were also present.Fadnavis directed them to make the law easy so that rehabilitation could be sped up, and ensure that slum rehabilitation does not become a long-pending project.Often slum dwellers can’t claim a house due to inadequate proof of being the slum’s resident. In such cases, Fadnavis suggested the possibility of including them under Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojana if the concerned person does not own a house elsewhere in the country. Fadnavis also suggested providing a separate police force for removing the hurdles in slum rehabilitation.Often the developer does not complete the project for a long time and in such cases Fadnavis told the officials to look for another developer if 90 per cent of the residents agree to it.

BMC plans to lure commercial encroachers with compensation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The demolition of encroachments in Mumbai has always been a challenging job for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). One of the main obstructions faced by the civic body is that owners of the encroached structures which are eligible for rehabilitation do not easily agree for the alternate accommodation provided by the BMC.The BMC’s estate department has now worked on a revised policy of rehabilitation of commercial structures by offering them compensation in the form of ready reckoner rate of that area. This, the civic body says, will expedite the demolition process.BMC commissioner Ajoy Mehta said, “We do not have enough places for rehabilitation of the eligible commercial structures so we thought of compensating them which will definitely speed up the demolition drives. I have already sent the proposal to the standing committee”.The revised policy for the rehabilitation of commercial structures was prepared three months ago, however it has not yet been presented to the standing committee.”The BMC has enough space for residential rehabilitation but not for commercial. If money is offered instead of alternate accommodation, the shop owners will get encouraged to evict the place. We expect this policy to be sanctioned by the corporation soon to expedite the demolition of encroachments in Mumbai”, said a senior civic officer, requesting anonymity.”The ready reckoner rate is applicable to shops with a maximum area of 225 sq feet. If the area of the commercial structure is 250 or 300 sq feet big, rate will be paid for 225 sq feet area as that is the maximum area limit for alternate accommodation. The policy was made three to four months ago but is yet to be sanctioned by the standing committee. If the revised policy is implemented, the demolition drives will speed up,” said an official from the civic ward.Despite repeated attempts, BMC’s standing committee chairman Ramesh Korgankar (Shiv Sen) was unavailable for comment.MONETARY WINThe BMC’s estate department has worked on a revised policy that offers commercial structures compensation in the form of ready reckoner rate of the area. The revised policy was prepared three months ago, however it has not yet been presented to the standing committee.

New guideline for severely malnourished children

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The women and child development ministry is working on a policy to tackle severe acute malnourishment in children under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme. A set of guidelines will be released sometime in October, said secretary Rakesh Srivastava. The policy, he said, will be separate from the revised guidelines for supplementary nutrition which has been submitted and finalised and is expected in the coming few days.Parameters like recommended diets including the calorie, protein and vitamin intake will be a part of the guidelines, apart from specified indicators that define severe acute malnutrition. To draw up the policy, the ministry has taken in recommendations of the Hyderabad-based National Institution of Nutrition.“Children who are affected by severe acute malnutrition need special treatment, as food alone cannot tackle the problem,” said Srivastav. Joint secretary Rajesh Kumar said that the mandate of the ICDS scheme is to bridge the gap between the recommended dietary intake and average daily intake of the beneficiary. “The new policy will be the first time the ministry will come with a set of guidelines to manage severe acute malnutrition,” he said.As per the World Health Organisation (WHO), severe acute malnutrition is defined by a very low weight for height ratio, which lies below -3 of the standard deviations and is visible by severe wasting or by the presence of nutritional oedema.In a written reply to the Rajya Sabha in April this year, minister of state for health Faggan Singh Kulaste said that there are over 93.4 lakh children suffering from severe acute malnutrition, as per the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) 4. “Out of these, 10% of the children with medical complications may require admission to the 966 Nutritional Rehabilitation Centres (NRCs) across 25 states and UTs across the country,” said Kulaste.India stands at 67 out of 80 countries in the World Hunger Index, and 44% of Indian children under five are underweight, while 72% infants have anaemia. Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Bihar have high incidences of malnutrition.

State panel to examine Act execution

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi government has constituted a three-member committee to examine the implementation of the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013. The committee will comprise the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) Chairman, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) Commissioner, and the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) CEO.Appearing for the Delhi government, its counsel Siddharth Dutta informed the Delhi High Court on Monday that the committee will prepare an action plan for cleaning of drains, sewer lines, and septic tanks through mechanical means.The committee will also chalk out a roadmap to achieve 100 per cent mechanisation within a stipulated time frame, besides preparing Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for cleaning of sewer lines, which would be implemented by all agencies diligently.

Contractor denied ‘costly’ safety gear to sewer cleaners, DM’s report states

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The three sanitation workers who choked to death inside a manhole in Lajpat Nagar last month were not provided with safety gear by their contractor, a status report filed by the southeast District Magistrate, submitted in the Delhi High Court (HC) on Monday, stated. Reportedly, the contractor had said that the equipment was expensive.”The workers asked the contractor to provide the safety gear before lowering into the manhole but he refused, saying that the equipment was costly, and ordered the workers to carry on with the work without any gear,” the report stated.On August 6, Joginder, Anu, and Monu had died while cleaning a manhole near the Municipal Corporation of Delhi’s (MCD) office, opposite Sant Kabir Ram Mandir in Lajpat Nagar.Following this, an FIR was registered against the contractor under Section 304 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and relevant sections of the Prohibition of Employment As Manual Scavengers and Their Rehabilitation Act, 2013, which prohibits the entry of humans into drains and tanks, except in an emergency. In that case as well, the law directs the employer to provide safety gear to workers.Commenting on the matter, a senior Delhi Jal Board (DJB) official said: “Cost is not a factor. Contractors are supposed to give safety gear to workers, since the government is paying them for the job. In this particular case, however, the contractor was not employed by us and he was absconding. Also, investigators have to establish on whose directions was this contractor getting the sewer cleaned.”Meanwhile, to prevent such incidents in future, Lieutenant-Governor (L-G) Anil Baijal had directed the Delhi government and the DJB to ensure 100 per cent mechanisation of sewage cleaning and a blanket ban on manual scavenging.The three corporations — East, South and North — have around 2,500 sewer cleaners. The corporation pays Rs 15,000-20,000 to its permanent workers, even as no health benefits are given to them. The law, however, mandates the use of machinery to clean drains, sewers, and tanks. The civic bodies hire cheap manual labourers through contractors and they are paid Rs 250-300 a day.2 die in sewerTwo devotees of the jailed godman Rampal died on Monday after getting into a sewer at Rampal’s ashram in outer Delhi’s Mundka. Police said two other men were also affected by poisonous fumes while they tried to rescue the victims. The deceased were identified as Amarjeet, 30, and Makhan Lal, 27. Police have registered a case of causing death due to negligence. DCP (outer) Pankaj Singh said the men choked due to toxic gases and appropriate action in the case is being taken.

Suffering from AS, man gives up sitar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Little did Ankush Chhatrapati, 30, know that one day he would have to part with his beloved sitar due to an illness which would restrict a lot of his routine life. A healthy adult, who has been very passionate about his music and taking care of his health, Chhatrapati has now been advised to quit playing the Sitar permanently due to excruciating pain in his leg and spine.”After my graduation in music in 2009, I was passionately focused on my Sitar playing and even played across the country. But after I started having mild shifting pains in my left leg and stiffness, sitting for long hours became difficult,” says Chhatrapati.”Initially, I ignored the pain, but a few weeks later, strong burning pain made me quit Sitar for some time and doctors visit became a routine. At first, doctors could not understand the problem and they gave me medicines for almost every routine disease including Tuberculosis,” he adds.”Ankylosing Spondylitis is a chronic disease and we receive at least 5-10 patients between the ages of 20 and 30, suffering from back pain in our OPD, every day. This is a huge number and is affecting our young population, which is worrisome,” says Dr RK Wadhwa, Professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Safdarjung Hospital.”We conduct X-rays, MRIs, and HLA-B27 tests to determine the disorder. Pain-killers, exercise, and heat can help, but it is a progressive illness,” Dr Wadhwa adds.Ankush is now focusing on blog writing which pays him just enough to survive and pay for his treatments (physiotherapies and some medicines). He says he spends around Rs 15,000 a month on his treatment.Lifestyle disorderAnkylosing Spondylitis is a chronic disease that affects males between 19-40 years, affecting their spine and legsIn a research done on 8,145 people, it was found that over 7 people in 10,000 suffer from AS. Those suffer from this disease are known to have HLA-B27 gene

Building proposal department submits report on Chandivali building collapse

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Building Proposals department of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has submitted its report on the collapse of Krishna Business Park, an 18-storey building in Chandivali, to municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta.In the report, the department highlighted that the demolition work of the building was being carried out in an unprofessional way, which led to its collapse.On August 26, Krishna Business Park in Chandivali collapsed allegedly due to the weight of the poclains on the building. At least seven labours died while several others were injured. A rescue operation was conducted by the fire brigade department and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).According to officials from the Building Proposals department of BMC, the contractor had used heavy poclain to demolish the building. “The contractor had stationed two heavy poclains on the 11th floor of the building,” said an official. “The poclains had already demolised some of the floors, but the building could not sustain the and collapsed.”According to civic officials, Krishna Business Park was developed as an IT Park, but was not successful. Later, the developer applied for changing the building from an IT Park to a commercial zone. The civic body had granted permission. But when this failed to attract business, the developer decided to develop a housing project under the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA). The Sakinaka police had also asked the BMC and the Slum SRA to submit a detailed report about the incident, after which the police were to make arrests in the case.

Green corridor helped NDRF reach Bhendi Bazaar collapse site sooner

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>For the first time, the state government deployed a green corridor for the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to reach the building collapse site at Bhendi Bazaar, which helped the team skip peak-hour traffic.Normally, green corridors, which refer to traffic-free lanes for a faster commute, are used for medical emergencies and transportation of organs for transplant.The state government will now incorporate it as a standard operating procedure for emergency vehicles responding to a disaster call to improve response time.Medha Gadgil, Additional Chief Secretary (Relief and Rehabilitation), said the state disaster control room was intimated about the building collapse at 8.55 am, after which the NDRF unit was activated. The NDRF personnel started for the site at 9.05 am from Andheri Sports Complex, where they are based.”When chief secretary Sumit Mullick and I reached the Mantralaya control room at 9.30 am, we realised that the NDRF team was stuck in peak-hour traffic. We spoke to Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Amitesh Kumar to activate the green corridor to reduce the response time and save lives,” Gadgil said. “We will document and instruct all departments to create a green corridor for emergencies,” he said.Sachindananda Gawade, Deputy Commandant, NDRF, said they had taken almost 35 minutes to reach Vakola from Andheri due to heavy traffic. “But, the green corridor was activated after Vakola. The traffic police deployed a two-wheeler rider to pilot our vehicles, clear traffic jams and keep signals open to create a dedicated lane,” he said. The NDRF reached the accident site in around an hour. “Since this was peak hour, we could have otherwise taken more time to reach the spot,” Gawade said.The NDRF eventually deployed three teams, each consisting of 45 officers and two sniffer dogs to the site.

Sewer deaths: Delhi govt to train workers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Finally, taking notice of the frequent cases wherein sanitation workers suffocated to death while working, the Delhi government has decided to properly train all the people involved in cleaning of sewers and septic tanks. The government will also prepare a comprehensive action plan to ensure that such cases are not repeated in future.”We will identify the people involved in these activities and train them. Even contractual workers will be trained in how to perform the activity properly,”a senior Delhi government official said.”The notification in this regard will be issued in one or two days. The workers under all the agencies will be asked to participate in the training,”the official added.In addition, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has called an emergency meeting to discuss the issue. The meeting will be held on Tuesday and all Delhi Jal Board (DJB) executive engineers and other officials have been directed to attend it.Earlier this month, three sanitation workers, who were manually cleaning a sewer line maintained by the DJB in Lajpat Nagar, had died after inhaling poisonous gases. The incident was reported three weeks after the death of four men, who had gone to clean a septic tank in south Delhi’s Ghitorni.In the latest such unfortunate incident, a 40-year-old sanitation worker died while three others had to be admitted to hospital in a critical condition on Sunday, after they got into a sewer at a government hospital to clean it. This is the 10 such death in the national Capital since July.Section 7 of the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013, states that no person, local authority, or any agency shall engage or employ, either directly or indirectly, any person for hazardous cleaning of a sewer or a septic tank.DEATH PITSAugust 12: Toxic sewer gases killed two brothers, who were working without safety gear at a mall in east Delhi.
August 6: Three labourers were killed while another was left critical after they inhaled poisonous gases in a manhole in southeast Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar.
July 2017: Four men died in south Delhi’s Ghitorni after going into a private septic tank.

Soon, rehab policy for sex workers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Acting on several petitions filed for the rehabilitation of GB Road sex workers in Supreme Court (SC), the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has directed the Secretary, Department of Women & Child Development, Government of NCT of Delhi to provide the Rehabilitation policy for victims of trafficking/sex workers and closure of kothas in Delhi’s red light area.”I have been filing the petitions since 2014 after a case where young girls from West Bengal were being lured to Delhi on the pretext of marriage,” said petitioner Radhakanta Tripathy, Social activist and SC lawyer. “These brothels have several hiding places to keep these girls, including hollowed out almirahs,” she added.Delhi Police has been raiding brothels on GB Road, Delhi’s infamous red light area for the past two two decades.In 2012, the area was raided 23 times where 49 women were rescued. But the rescue of few women every year has not resolved the problem as thousands are trafficked across the country and many land up here.In an earlier direction on August 11 to Chief Secretary, Government of Delhi, the NHRC asked for a report on the current status of the area.During their enquiry the state government along with Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) found eight girls from Brothel No. 70, who were then counseled. These women were later brought to the court where six of them were released as they were adults and keen to return. The other two were handed over to their fathers.The Commission also received a report from the state government with inputs from which DCW, which indicates that several steps have been taken by the government in this matter.Based on the report, the NHRC has sought that the sex workers be rehabilitated as per the government policy.

Maha CM Fadnavis orders Lokayukta probe against Housing Minister Prakash Mehta

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today announced a Lokayukta probe against Housing Minister Prakash Mehta, who has been accused by the Opposition of impropriety in a slum-redevelopment project in the city.Mehta has been under fire ever since he allegedly allowed “unauthorised” transfer of extra building rights in the SRA (Slum Rehabilitation Authority) project at the MP Mills Compound in south Mumbai, originally granted to slum dwellers, to project-affected people.The opposition has been alleging that the move was aimed at favouring a particular developer.”After I dug deep into the MP Mills compound issue, there were many skeletons that were unearthed and I asked myself if this was another ‘Adarsh’ (referring to the Adarsh scam),” Fadnavis said replying to a motion moved by Leader of Opposition Dhananjay Munde in the Legislative Council.He said said all permissions for construction on this particular land were given between 1999-2004. “As per the property card, that land is owned by the Defence Ministry. How could the previous government permit an additional FSI on the plot when it was known that it was defence land,” he said.Mehta had wrongly mentioned on the file of the project that he had kept the chief minister in loop about the transfer, which was denied by Fadnavis.”I have decided to conduct a probe by the Lokayukta into the allegations made by the Opposition against the Housing minister, even though there was no decision taken in this particular case,” he said.The opposition has been raising the pitch for Mehta’s resignation and had repeatedly stalled the proceedings during the monsoon session of the state legislature over the issue.The Opposition had also accused Mehta of incorporating the names of his family members as the beneficiaries of a slum redevelopment project in suburban Ghatkopar.Meanwhile, on allegations against Industries Minister Subhash Desai of Shiv Sena, Fadnavis said the government will request the Lokayukta to consider the case.The opposition had alleged that Desai had illegally denotified MIDC land within two years.”Out of 16,909 hectares of denotified land, 9,335 hectares were denotified by the previous government and only the notification has been issued by the present dispensation.This government has denotified only 7,734 hectares of land,” Fadnavis said.”We will request the Lokayukta to consider this case as well, but if this doesn’t work out, then we will conduct an independent inquiry,” he said.The chief minister said mere denotification of land by any government does not mean that corruption has taken place.”Nonetheless, we will probe if land was denotified to favour builders or for some other reason. There will be a fair and an independent report conducted. We will table the report of both the probes in the House,” he said.In his reply, Munde said, “Fadnavis is highly skilled in trying to confuse members of the Opposition and that nobody has the capability to match the CM’s expertise”.Regarding the allegations of graft against IAS officer Radheshyam Mopalwar, who was recently removed as managing director of the Maharashtra government undertaking MSRDC, the CM said a joint SIT, consisting a serving IAS officer and officials of the Economic Offences Wing, will be formed and a probe will be conducted.

Irom Sharmila invites ‘Kakkoos’ director to be her bridesmaid for her August 16 wedding

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Internationally renowned human rights activist Irom Sharmila on Wednesday expressed solidarity with documentary film maker Divya Bharathi — who has been facing the ire of a caste group for her latest work on manual scavenging titled Kakkoos (toilet) — and invited Bharathi to be her bridesmaid.Despite opposition from fringe groups, 45-year-old Sharmila, who is known for her 16-year-long fast demanding the repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, is all set to get married to Britain-born Desmond Coutinho on August 16.“I will stand by Divya; I hope you will do the same. I invite Divya to stand beside me at my wedding next week. At this moment, I cannot think of a finer garland than the end of caste slavery,” Sharmila told reporters in Madurai.Madurai police had registered a case under two sections of IPC against Bharathi for promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, etc, and for promoting hatred among communities, classes. An office bearer of Puthiya Thamilagam, a Dalit party, filed the complaint alleging that she has wrongfully projected members of Pallar caste (a Dalit community) indulging in manual scavenging.Bharathi’s film, which is about the failure to implement the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act 2013, has shamed the government of Tamil Nadu and India. She equated US President Abraham Lincoln’s move to end slavery in the 19th century with the 2013 Act, which fulfills the promise made by Dr Ambedkar to abolish untouchability.She said that in the absence of statesmen in India, it was important that Ambedkar’s Constitutional safeguards of freedom of speech and association are upheld and treasured.“The government banned the film and arrested the director on trumped-up charges. When that failed to break her spirit, they used stooges to threaten her. We cannot look the other way. Watch Kakkoos. Tell your friends and family,” Sharmila said.The human rights activist has decided to get married despite a few activists and representatives of political outfits, including the Hindu Makkal Katchi, protesting it, saying her fights for the rights and welfare of tribals “might lead to unrest in the hilly region”.

India’s booming massage parlours drives demand for Thai sex slaves

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>By Roli Srivastava MUMBAI, Aug 9 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – The booming spa and massage parlour business in India has led to increasing demand for women from Thailand, many of whom are being duped and trafficked into slavery in the country’s sex industry, police, diplomats and activists said on Wednesday. At least 40 Thai women have been rescued this year during police raids on massage parlours acting as fronts for prostitution in western cities such as Mumbai and Pune. “The demand for Thai masseurs is high in India as girls from Thailand are considered high profile for their fair skin,” Jyoti Nale, programme director for Save the Children India, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “Girls rescued in raids are usually from different Indian states and neighbouring countries. But if all the girls in one rescue are from Thailand, it means there are many more (working in India).” In July, for example, 10 Thai women were rescued from a parlour in an affluent residential area in Pune, a car manufacturing and tech hub 150 km (90 miles) south of India’s financial capital Mumbai. There are an estimated 40 million sex workers globally, according to French charity Fondation Scelles. Activists say most have been lured, duped or forced into sexual slavery by pimps and traffickers, largely due to poverty and lack of opportunities. Girls from countries like Nepal and Bangladesh have long been trafficked into sex work in India. But police and campaigners say there is a rising demand among Indian men and foreign tourists for “more exotic” women from other countries such as Thailand. “This is the first time we have seen this trend,” said Police Inspector Sanjay Patil, head of the anti-human trafficking unit in Pune, who conducted the July raid. “They are not so literate, are from poor families and their families back home depend on their incomes.” He said following a tip-off about the parlour, an officer posed as a customer and found the Thai women, aged between 25 and 40 years, were being sold for sex. The parlour’s manager and another employee were arrested. The Thai women, some of them sex workers from Bangkok and other cities, are lured by the prospect of earning more money in India, said police. On average they earn 305 baht ($9) a day in Thailand, while in India they can earn twice that. “The girls we rescued had been working here for three to four months and had up to 100,000 rupees ($1,570) with them,” said Patil, adding the victims were now at a shelter home awaiting repatriation. Thai embassy officials confirmed more Thai women were being rescued from parlours across the country – including in the capital New Delhi, the tourist fort city of Jaipur, and tech hub Bengaluru. Rehabilitation schemes and skills training is being put in place for victims once they are repatriated, they added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Sewer deaths: DJB denies awarding work contract to any agency

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Police have sought some details from the Delhi Jal Board for its probe into the death of three workers while cleaning a sewer line in southeast Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar yesterday, even as the board maintained that it hadn’t authorised any agency to carry out the work there. Police said the contractor, who employed the workers, had been on the run and that a manhunt had been launched for him. “We have sought details from the Delhi Jal Board about the contract. The contract to clean the sewer pipe was awarded to either an agency or a private contractor. We are awaiting its reply,” said a senior police officer. Delhi Water Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam, however, said that the DJB did not have any work in the area. “It did not even authorise any agency or contractor to carry out work there. The DJB uses mechanical cleaners to desilt big drains. In cases, where machines cannot reach, beldaars are pressed into service,” he said. The minister also claimed that even beldaars are allowed to enter sewers only after being equipped with proper safety gears such as gas detectors, masks, gloves and gum boots. Even when a private agency is awarded any such work, the tender document lays down these terms and conditions, he added. Earlier in the day, National Commission for Safai Karamcharis (NCSK) chairman Manhar Valjibhai Zala directed the Delhi Police to invoke relevant provisions of the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013 in the case. He said that by invoking the legislation, family members of the victims would be entitled to seek compensation admissible in such cases. The relevant sections of the Act, as stated by the Commission, have been added to the FIR, said the police officer. Rajouri Garden MLA Manjinder Singh Sirsa today announced a compensations of Rs one lakh each to the families of the three workers — Joginder (32), Annu (28) and Mohan alias Manu (25). A fourth worker, identified as Rajesh, who had also inhaled the toxic fumes, was declared out of danger.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

CM Fadnavis cornered over SRA project

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After being cornered by the Opposition on the issue of alleged misuse of his name by Housing development minister Prakash Mehta while clearing a file pertaining to a Slum Rehabilitation project in Tardeo, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday announced an inquiry into the same.Opposition leaders including former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and NCP leader Jayant Patil managed to put Fadnavis in an embarrassing situation over a file regarding MP Mill SRA project. Chavan alleged that Mehta had written a remark on the file that he has apprised Chief Minister about this decision and had cleared the file. Chavan had said that the said builder SD Corporation would have received Rs 500 crore extra profit with Mehta’s decision by keeping the chief minister in dark.The MP Mill compound redevelopment involved building tenements for 2,334 slum dwellers with construction of around 2 lakh square feet area. While CM made it clear that he was not apprised by Housing development minister, it was difficult for Mehta to clear his stand.

Look into recurrence of juveniles fleeing reform homes: HC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court today said frequent incidents of juveniles escaping from reformatory homes need to be looked into. A bench of justices S Ravindra Bhat and S P Garg also expressed concern over the issue of women inmates trying to escape rehabilitation homes. It said measures have to be taken to stop such incidents and one counsellor should also be attached to all such homes in Delhi. The bench also directed the Delhi government and other agencies to file their status report regarding the facilities and security at reformatory and rehabilitation homes by August 16. Besides proper security arrangements at these reformatory and rehabilitation homes, the authorities should provide the facility of one-to-one interaction of the counsellor with the inmates, the bench said, adding educational and sports activities should also be carried out at the homes. The court’s observation and direction came during a hearing of a case it initiated on its own after an incident in which juveniles at a reformatory home went on a rampage and the government officials failed to control the situation. During the hearing, the bench also noted a recent news report about seven inmates escaping from a juvenile correction home here at night after thrashing and tying up the security guard. It also expressed anguish on how woman inmates tried to escape from the rehabilitation home. The bench also asked the authorities concerned to conduct an enquiry into the two incidents and file their status report.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Congress may lose party office in Lucknow

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After losing government and Mahagathbandhan in Bihar, the Congress in Uttar Pradesh is facing to lose its 40-year-old palatial party headquarters building after a Lucknow-based businessman staked his claim over the Rs 100 crore property.Situated at posh Mall Avenue in the heart of Lucknow, Manish Agarwal, businessman has filed an application with the Lucknow Nagar Nigam for mutation of the building. The current market rate of sprawling building well over RS 100 crore.Staking his claim over the building, Agarwal said that his grand father Ramswarup Agarwal had bought the building on April 24, 1961 in an auction of the then Rehabilitation Ministry for Rs 1.75 lakh.Till 1976, the property was mutated in records in the name of Ramswarup Agrawal and Padmawati Agarwal. But after a decade in 1986, the property was mutated fraudulently in the name of senior Congress leader Mohsina Kidwai as a Caretaker of the property, charged the businessman.The Businessman alleged that his grandfather had rented out a room for the party office on the request of then Chief Minister Chandra Bhanu Gupta in early 1960. But later, the Congress with an aim to usurp their ancestral property occupied the entire building and changed records of the Lucknow Nagar Nigam by using their political influence.The UPCC has, however, rubbished the claim of the businessman saying that the party had bought the property in an auction in 1977.”The property was auctioned in 1977 when Mohsina Kidwai was the state president of the party. Narain Dutt Tiwariji had arranged the money to buy it from the auction for the Congress. The mutation was duly done only after that.If the property belonged to Agarwals why did they keep quite for so long?,” quipped Virendra Madaan, UPCC Spokesperson.The Lucknow Nagar Nigam has issued notice to the UPCC. “The Nigam has issued notice to UPCC and asked them to furnish papers relating to the property in question. If the party failed to do so, we will change records and mutate the property in the name of descendents of the original buyer,” said Narendra Kumar, Tax Superintendent, Zone 1.”An inquiry has been ordered to look into the fresh claim over the property. The Nigam will take any decision only after giving a chance to the UPCC to produce papers of the property,” said Udairaj Singh, The Municipal Commissioner.

ACB to register FIR against former SRA chief

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The special judge under the Prevention of Corruption Act, AD Tankhiwale has directed the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) to register an FIR against former chief executive officer of the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) Vishwas Patil, his wife and two developers, in an alleged corruption case.Patil, who was also the former collector of Mumbai, allegedly committed a major imbalance in the floor space index (FSI) of SRA land, after the developers made Patil’s wife the director of a construction firm owned by them. A private complaint was filed by one of the slum dwellers who claims to be affected by the alleged fraud.As per the Slum Rehabilitation Scheme, the maximum permissible on site consumption of FSI is 3. In SRA, there are two final plots of which one is the rehab plot and second is the sale plot. In the complaint it is alleged that there is a major imbalance in the FSI, where, on the rehab plot the FSI is far more than 3, whereas on the sale plot, the FSI is commensurately less.”Chandrasena Patil became the director of one of the companies of the developer and Patil had conveyed the land in such an imbalanced manner where the area became adverse to the slum dwellers. Further, after she was given the majority share in the stake, Patil on December 6, 2008 passed an order by which he allowed the entire project land owned by the government of Maharashtra, to the company controlled by the developer Ramjibhai Shah. On May 15, 2009, a lease agreement was given to the developer which said that of the entire 27,402 sq m of the land, 16,441 sq m were given to the developers, while the other agreement was of leasing 10,960 sq m towards the rehab plot,” the complainant alleged in his complaint.The complainant further claimed that there appears to be alleged ‘greasing of palms’ in the case. The court, after going through the complaint copy, held, “I find substance in the grievance made by the complainant against the accused as the accused are alleged of committing acts regarding criminal breach of trust and criminal conspiracy, thus definitely, the investigation through the ACB authorities would be necessary.”

Awarded death penalty earlier, retrial finds 11 guilty again

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Eleven people, sentenced to death last year for killing a woman in 2014, were again found guilty today of the murder by a Nadia district court during their retrial, held on the Calcutta High Court orders. Additional District and Sessions Judge Madhumita Roy found all the eleven guilty again. The quantum of punishment would be pronounced tomorrow, the court said after convicting the accused. Krishnagar AD&SJ Partha Sarathi Mukhopadhyay had awarded capital punishment to all the eleven for shooting dead a woman, Aparna Bag, on November 23, 2014 in their bid to grab a piece of government land. The case then went to Calcutta High Court which sent it back to the lower court on May 19, 2016 for retrial. After it was completed, the judge found the 11 accused guilty again. The 11 had been charged under sections 9B of Explosive Act, 27/35 of Arms Act, IPC 307 (attempt to murder) and 302 (murder). Among those who had been sentenced to death earlier in the case is a former Trinamool Congress leader Lankeswar Ghosh, but the ruling party has said that he was not its member. According to the prosecution, the woman was killed when Ghosh along with his gang tried to seize “21 bigha and 15 cottah” of land at Ghungragachhi under Krishnaganj block, which belongs to Refugee and Refugee Rehabilitation Department of West Bengal Government. The land was being tilled by 55 families for long and they claimed to have its possession. Some had even sold portions they claimed were theirs. On November 23, 2014, Ghosh and his men reached the field on a tractor and tried to take over the land by force but faced resistance from the tillers. In the clash that ensued, there was firing and three women received bullet injuries. Aparna Bag was hit on her chest and died. The other injured recovered later.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Maha Govt goes full steam to develop Mumbai-Nagpur expressway despite opposition from some farmers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Maharashtra government on Monday clarified that development of the 700 km Mumbai Nagpur Super Communication Expressway will be carried out as per the plan. This is despite protests by some farmers in the grapes- and onion-growing Nashik district and strong opposition from BJP’s ruling partner Shiv Sena, Opposition Congress and NCP. The state-run Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), which is the nodal agency, has hinted that construction will begin in October this year, and will be thrown open to traffic in October 2019.When contacted, MSRDC vice chairman and managing director Radheshyam Mopalwar told DNA, “Out of a total 392 villages through which the expressway is passing, there is some concern and resistance in 15 to 20 villages. Rates of land have been declared in nine of 10 districts (except Ahmednagar), and funds have been transferred to these districts. Payment to farmers will commence from Tuesday onwards. The preparatory work for starting the construction as per the present alignment is in full swing.”The rates so far declared for land ranges between Rs 15 lakh and Rs 87 lakh per acre, and vary from village to village. MSRDC will need 10,000 hectares of land for the expressway. The company has already raised Rs 7,000 crore and tied up Rs 24,000 crore for the Rs 40,000 crore expressway.The government and MSRDC have already made it clear that rates are different for every village as land values are different according to their locations. Besides, ready reckoner rates are also specific to a village as per the Maharashtra Stamp Act. The Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 specifically provides for valuation based on the Stamp Act.The rates fixed are for basic jirayat (non-irrigated dry) land and they will be 1.5 times that for the seasonally irrigated and double for the perennially irrigated land in the same village. These rates will be further added to the value of trees, structures, wells and orchards.During the first round of request for qualification (RFQ), the MSRDC has qualified 10 bidders and has now launched the second round, which will be completed by July 30. Financial bidding will start in August. Bidders from both the rounds are entitled to file their financial bids within 45 days from July 30.

Terrorism in Kashmir small issue, Army can handle it:Ex-Lt Gen

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Lt Gen (retd) D S Hooda today said terrorism in Kashmir was a small issue and the Army can handle it on its own. “There has been a lack of political will when it comes to solving the Kashmir issue. Terrorism in Kashmir is a very small issue as a handful of militants are active in the Valley and the Army can handle it on its own,” Hooda said at an event. “However, there is a need of greater, mature political will to address the dissatisfaction growing among the youths of the Valley,” he added. Noting that social structure in the Valley is breaking down, Hooda said the younger generation is not listening to the elders and is coming on the roads and pelting stones. “After the killing of Burhan Wani, anger (of the people) came out on the street and unfortunately, there was mishandling in terms of maintaining law and order and the use of pellet guns caused injuries and anger spread through social media,” he claimed. Hooda claimed that after the 2014 floods in Jammu and Kashmir, the rescue operation carried out by the Army was good, but later the process of rehabilitation and compensation slowed which is one the contributing factor for people’s dissatisfaction towards the government.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Liquor addict dies at rehabilitation centre, kin cries foul

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 36-year-old man today died under mysterious circumstances at a rehabilitation centre in outer Delhi’s Nihal Vihar, the police said. The deceased, Rajesh Gupta, was admitted to the rehabilitation centre by his father as he was addicted to alcohol. According to the police, Gupta died prima facie because of a delay in taking him to the centre for treatment. However, the family members of the deceased have accused the rehabilitation centre of negligence. The body was sent for a post-mortem, the police said, adding that an initial probe suggested that Gupta used to have epileptic fits, which could have led to his death. The deceased was addicted to alcohol since childhood, the police said, adding that his wife had left him because of his addiction and his father got him admitted to the rehabilitation centre around 10 days ago. The centre had reportedly informed Gupta’s relatives about his deteriorating condition, but even as the family members were mulling to shift him to a hospital, he died today, the police said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

NGT asks Himachal to expedite Manali-Rohtang ropeway project

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a bid to smoothen traffic on the Manali-Rohtang road, the National Green Tribunal has directed the Himachal Pradesh government to expedite the ropeway project on this route without any delay. A circuit bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar directed the secretaries concerned of the state government to ensure the compliance and file a report within four weeks. “Keeping in view the need for tourism and to ensure that least adverse affect is caused upon the ecology and environment of that eco-sensitive area it is important that the ropeway project should be completed with utmost expeditiousness,” the bench, also comprising Justice Dalip Singh, said. The green panel asked the state government to make all possible efforts to take forest clearance from the competent authority. With regard to rehabilitation of people affected due to ropeway project, the tribunal made it clear that the people who will be displaced of their business would be given complete priority for rehabilitation under the Relief and Rehabilitation scheme prepared by the state government. “We direct Deputy Commissioner, Kullu to inform this direction to the residents of that area and the locally to the panchayats or otherwise they should be made to understand the benefits that would accrue to them rather than feeling discouraged by construction of the ropeway in that area. “We do hope that the alignment finalised by the Committee afore-stated will take care that it will be in the interest of environment and ecology of the area that least number of trees are to be felled,” the bench said. The Himachal Pradesh government had earlier signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Malana Ropeway Pvt Ltd for execution of 9-Km long Palchan-Rohtang ropeway to be constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 390 crore. The NGT has directed the state government to explore the possibility of passenger ropeways to other places like Bhrigu Laka, Hamta Pass, Patalsu Peak, Kothi Peak, Shilla Thatch and Chanderkhani Pass, where tourists can see snow.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

BMC set to connect JVLR to Andheri New Link Road

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After a wait of seven years, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has finally chalked out a plan to connect the Jogeshwari-Vikroli Link Road (JVLR) and New Link Road. The stretch will be connected through a 900 metre long bridge that will start at the SV Road intersection with JVLR, and connect to the New Link Road near Infinity Mall in Andheri.Prashant Gaikwad, Assistant Municipal Commissioner of K-West ward said, “Around 600 metre area of the 900 metre area required for the work is already in the possession of the BMC. Of the remaining 300 metres, around 150 metres is with the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA). We are already in touch with them with regards to rehabilitation of affected persons,” said Gaikwad.K-west ward has already started clearing the stretch for the project, which is expected to shorten the travel time by around half an hour for motorists going towards JVLR or Eastern Urban Road from New Link Road. The reason for the delay is believed to have been encroachments along this stretch. According to an official, after clearing the stretch and acquiring the land, the BMC will float tenders. “The land acquisition and removing of encroachment will be completed by January 2018,” said Gaikwad, adding that around 563 units have to be removed. “We have already demolished around 50 structures,” added Gaikwad.As per the plan, initially, a 36.6 metre wide proposed road will be constructed. He added that a bridge has also been planned that will come up later.AnalysisThe long awaited project will help to connect Lokhandwala, Juhu and other western suburbs to the eastern suburbs directly. The travel time using the JVLR to reach the eastern suburb will also come down by around 30 minutes.

Bhiwadi: Panther caught after five hour rescue operation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A panther, which strayed into an office of the central excise department and then moved to a godown in Bhiwadi town of Alwar district, was caught after a five-hour long rescue operation. Panic stricken tax officials at the central excise office ran for life inside the office campus and made calls to the police and forest department after the panther, a male aged 8-9 years, walked in. But fortunately no one was injured and the big cat moved into a nearby godown. Forest officials rushed to the spot and after a five-hour long rescue operation, the animal was caught. The panther was tranquilised and taken from Bhiwadi to Sariska, said Alwar DFO Shalabh Kumar. Further action on his rehabilitation will be taken after examination, he said. On Tuesday, a panther had entered into an under- construction shopping complex in the Sikar district of Rajasthan. It was later tranquilised by a forest department team and released in the forest area in Patan in Sikar district.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Throat cancer survivors speak again, a burp does the trick

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Babies learn to burp even before they begin to talk. For throat cancer survivors who have lost their larynx (voice box) to cancer, it is this instinct of a baby that they are reminded to go back to and produce a sound. The technique is neither simple nor does everyone learn to master it, but for those who do, talking again feels like a rebirth.”Drink water and then try again,” Pradeep Lahiri, 74 tells Nayan Shah, who has mastered the technique after months of trying. They are carrying out a demonstration for new patients. “I run a printing business and before my operation, I used to take 100 calls a day. Losing my voice was very difficult but now I take calls again,” Shah, 57, says in a low pitch nasal sound, even though the sound has been created by breathing through the mouth and using the oesophagus to modulate it.Twice a week — on Wednesdays and Saturdays — for three hours in the morning, cancer survivors sit and train others in oesophagal speech at the Cancer Rehabilitation Centre of Prince Aly Khan Hospital in Mazgaon.Pradeep Lahiri, who at 49 lost his voice following a bout of cancer, joined the centre in 1998, two years after it was started by Anita Vesuvala, a breast cancer survivor. He taught himself to speak using the oesophagus and then learned the nuances in Japan following which he started training others.”Communication is a basic need. A common person cannot understand what it is to lose one’s voice. But our body is amazing. When we lose one organ, we have another to fall back on,” Lahiri explains.When cancer survivors first come, the are taught to turn the burps into vowels and create simple sounds. Creating the sound without a voice box takes a lot of effort and some give up but return eventually when the need to learn to communicate overpowers.”The patient needs a lot of psychological support and needs counselling. They gradually become more confident,” says Meena Kamdar who is associated with the centre. In any given session, there are close to nine patients and volunteers who drop by to help.The centre also has patients who are learning to talk using an electrolarynx, a small medical device. Then there are others like Naima and Santosh Mhatre, 35, who tried three electrolarynxes, but found it troublesome and wanted to learn to speak without it.”I used the electrolarynx five years back, but the sound was very robotic, so I came here to learn to speak without it,” says Naima Kakahiwala, 73, who continues to volunteer.”Patients with laryngeal cancer require surgical removal of their larynx or voice box. We have to teach them to make their oesophagus vibrate. The electrolarynx too allows patients to speak continuously but it gives a very metallic sound,” said Dr Sujatha Gandhi, audiologist and speech therapist, Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital.What is oesophagal speech training?It is a method of speech production that involves using the oesophagus instead of traditional laryngeal (voice box) speech. Air is injected into the upper oesophagus and then released in a controlled manner to create sound used to produce speech. Because of the high level of difficulty in learning oesophagal speech, some patients are unable to master the skill.
Good oesophagal speakers can produce an average of 5 words per breath and 120 words per minute.

Par panel to invite states to present views on land bill

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A parliamentary panel reviewing the 2013 land acquisition bill will invite all states to present their views on its consent and social impact assessment clauses. The Joint Committee on the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Second Amendment) Bill, 2015, is reviewing the legislation and has already taken feedback of the Karnataka government on the 2013 land bill. “The panel will invite all state governments one by one and will also visit states to listen to the views and experiences of the state governments, especially in context of consent and social impact assessment clauses,” a member of the committee said. According to the 2013 land bill passed during the UPA tenure, consent of 80 per cent of land owners had to be obtained when the land was acquired for private projects and 70 per cent for public-private partnership projects. But, the bill which was moved by the BJP-led NDA government in 2014 exempted five categories of projects from the consent and social impact assessment clauses of the 2013 act. These categories were defence, rural infrastructure, affordable housing, industrial corridors set up by the government and government undertakings, up to 1 km on either side of road and railway, and infrastructure projects. The land bill which was cleared in UPA tenure in 2013 was was altered in 2014, followed by two subsequent ordinances in 2015. But after opposition from all quarters, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared in the Mann ki Baat that the government will not push any more ordinances on the bill.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

‘Need to bring children in juvenile homes to mainstream’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Supreme Court Justice Madan V Lokur today called for bringing the children in juvenile homes into the mainstream, adding that the issues related to crime against children and their rights should be discussed at all levels. He was addressing the concluding session of the two-day consultation on ‘Effective Implementation of the Juvenile Justice Act 2015: Focus on Rehabilitation and Linkages with the POCSO Act 2012’ here. Justice Lokur said the police needed to understand both the acts with sensitivity and work for their effective implementation. “We need to understand the standards adopted by organisations at the international level and work for the development of juvenile homes and rehabilitation centres, he said. Speaking at the event, Rajasthan High Court Justice and president of State Legal Services Authority, K S Jhaveri underlined the need to take urgent steps to stop crime against children in juvenile homes and rehabilitation centres. President of National Children Rights Protection Commission, Stuti Kakkad said measures should be taken to stop trafficking of children abandoned by families. “Also, there are several states without rehabilitation centres,” she said. The workshop was attended by Justices of various high courts, legal experts, and administrative and police officials.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Arrest cow vigilantes who lynched man: CPI(M) to Raj govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The CPI(M) demanded today that the Rajasthan government arrest cow vigilantes who allegedly lynched a man to death in the state’s Alwar district. The Left party made the demand after its delegation paid a visit to Alwar’s Behror, where Pehlu Khan and four others were allegedly thrashed on April 1. Fifty-five-year-old Khan succumbed to his injuries on April 3. “All those accused of violence and murder must be arrested and the cases disposed of expeditiously,” the delegation, led by party Politburo member Subhashini Ali, said in a statement. The delegation also asked the state authorities to compensate Khan’s family and help in their rehabilitation. “Others who were injured shall be compensated and their livestock must be returned to them,” it said. The state police has so far arrested four persons for allegedly lynching Khan.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Hospitals told to set up rooms to treat heatstroke patients

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Maharashtra government has directed state-run district hospitals and medical colleges to set up special rooms to treat patients affected by heatwave, the legislative council was informed today. The sudden rise in day temperatures and the prevailing heatwave conditions in the state figured in the Council today. All 36 district, 125 sub-district hospitals and medical colleges have been asked to set up special rooms to treat patients suffering from symptoms of heatstroke, said Minister for Public Health Deepak Sawant. “Normally, these instructions are issued in April, but they have been issued in March itself due to rise in temperatures,” Sawant said. He said so far, two persons, one each in Aurangabad and Solapur, are reported to have died due to heatwave. Meanwhile, Minister for Relief and Rehabilitation Chandrakant Patil, speaking to reporters, said the government has issued advisory of “Do’s” and “Dont’s” for the public to follow in view of the heat-wave like conditions. Patil said there was no provision for compensation to people who succumb to extreme heatwave conditions. Intervening in the debate, Council Chairman Ramraje Naik-Nimbalkar mentioned about the committee of experts and NGOs set up by Parliament to dwell on climate change, and said the state, too, needs to set up such a panel. “At least the House should set up such a committee comprising all party members to dwell on the issue,” he said. Speaking in the Upper House, Hemant Takle (NCP) said the government was not serious about the handling the issue of heatwave. Day temperatures in places like Chandrapur, Yavatmal and Nanded had already touched 42 to 43 degrees Celsius. Meanwhile, sources in the Relief and Rehabilitation department said the government has issued general advisory asking people to take precautions during the summer season.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Universal identity cards to be issued to all disabled: Govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A universal identity card, to be accepted by central and state governments, will be issued to all disabled to help them avail various welfare schemes and quota, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawarchand Gehlot said today. As per 2011 census there were 2.68 crore disabled in the country, but so far there is no proper identity document for them, he said in Lok Sabha. “We are planning to distribute the universal identity card to all disabled persons in the country. The card will help the persons with disabilities to avail all government schemes and reservation. These cards will be recognisable by all the states,” Gehlot said during Question Hour. The card will be linked with the Aadhar card and the data will be available online to ensure transparency, he said. Under the Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme, 371 special schools across the country were provided financial assistance to the tune of Rs 31.31 crore.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

AIIMS ‘lacks’ facilities for smooth access to disabled

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The country’s premier medical institute AIIMS “lacks” facilities which allow smooth access to the physically challenged on its premises, a recent audit conducted by the hospital administration has revealed. The audit comes in the backdrop of the Ministry of Social Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment advising public health facilities to conduct an inclusive accessibility audit to identify infrastructure gaps and make buildings disabled friendly as a part of the ‘Accessible India Campaign’. “The review brought out that there are few places in the institute where toilets for the wheelchair-bound patients are lacking. Certain areas like the administrative block, the teaching block, JLN auditorium and biotechnology block are not accessible for persons with disabilities,” said V Srinivas, Deputy Director (Administration), AIIMS. “These blocks will be retrofitted to make them wheelchair accessible. The existing AIIMS building is old and needs significant modifications. Efforts are being made to convert the old blocks barrier free,” he added. Currently elevators, installed in the hospital areas have an operator to guide the patients with special needs. Signages and announcement systems have also been put in place. Further, three departments — Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Engineering and Hospital Administration — have been asked to identify the gaps and draw out the modalities to make the building disabled friendly, he said. Meanwhile, the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, a division under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, has also asked the faculty of IIT Roorkee to conduct an external accessibility audit of AIIMS. “AIIMS is visited by a large number of physically- challenged persons. The institute would strive to take all necessary action to ensure that the disabled persons are provided inclusive accessibility,” Srinivas added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Experts deliberate on ways to strengthen dams safety

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Over 400 delegates from across the country and abroad discussed ways to further strengthen the safety of dams during a two-day conference which culminated here today. The third ‘National Dam Safety Conference’ focused on key challenges that are being encountered in the implementation of the Dam Safety Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP). Dams have played a key role in fostering rapid and sustained agricultural and rural growth and development, which have been key priorities of the government of India since independence. “The conference received an overwhelming response with over 400 delegates attending and submission of over 70 technical papers from experts within and outside India. About 40 national and overseas organisations showcased their technologies, products and services through exposition organised at the conference venue. “The professionals from the USA, Australia, Japan, the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, and Germany attended this event,” an official release said. Globally, India ranks third after China and the United States of America in terms of number of large dams with a total storage capacity of about 283 billion cubic meters. “Close to 80 per cent of large dams have surpassed the age of twenty-five years, and many of them face the challenges of deferred maintenance. “Many of these dams are considerably old (about 170 dams exceed the age of 100 years) and built in an era whose design practises and safety considerations do not match with the current design standards and the prevailing safety norm,” the release said. Water Resources Ministry Secretary Amarjit Singh had yesterday inaugurated the conference, organised by Central Water Commission (CWC) along with Uttarakhand Jal Vidyut Nigam and IIT-Roorkee. (MORE)(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Maha mulling mass remission for jailbirds

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jailbirds languishing in Maharashtra prisons may soon have a reason to cheer. The state government is considering giving remission to all the prisoners to mark 125 years of Baba Saheb Ambedkar’s birth anniversary. Such a mass remission was last given two decades ago—when India celebrated 50 years of Independence in 1997.The term of proposed remission will extend upto three months depending upon the term of sentence of the convicts. Ever since Independence, the Maharashtra government has only given remission on six occasions, including celebration of birth anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.While Babasaheb’s 125th birth anniversary was celebrated in 2016, the decision to give it away ahead of elections in two leading states—Uttar Pradesh and Punjab—and civic elections in Maharashtra may be seen as BJP trying to gain some political mileage amongst Dalit voters.As per the proposed plan, prisoners undergoing imprisonment for more than five years and up to 20 years will be granted a one-time remission in sentence of upto three months. Prisoners undergoing imprisonment for more than one year and up to five years would get remission for two months, while those serving sentence from three months to upto one year would get remission upto 15 days and those sentenced for three months will get a remission of seven days. Those convicted under TADA, POTA or any law on engaging in war against the nation will not be considered under the proposed policy.Sources claim that the proposal petition demanding remission came from an Amravati-based NGO Voluntary Action for Rehabilitation and Development. The initiative was also supported by the area MLA who wrote a few letters to the department recommending the same.”The file is still at an initial stage. We may send it to the cabinet soon after discussions. It is still at conceptual state,” said a senior Home department officer.As per section 432 of CrPC when any person has been sentenced to punishment for an offence, the appropriate government may, at any time, without conditions or upon any conditions which the person sentenced accepts, suspend the execution of his/her sentence or remit the whole or any part of the punishment to which he has been sentenced.In 2015 both Haryana and Punjab governments had announced remission of upto one year for the convicts to mark 50 years of state formation days.

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