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App to track autos, cabs through QR code

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

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Delhi transport dept may use QR codes to track autos, cabs

With an aim to boost passenger safety, the Delhi Transport department is working on a QR code based system to keep a tab on the autorickshaws and cabs plying on city roads.The department would set up a control room at its headquarters in Civil Lines, so that autorickshaws and cabs could be tracked while ferrying passengers, a senior official of transport department said.QR code stickers on cabs and autorickshaws would enable the passengers to have the details of the driver which they could also share with others through their smartphones.It would also give details of the GPS installed in the vehicle. The details of driver and GPS will help in case a passenger, specially women, face any distress while commuting in the vehicle, the officer said.Nearly 90,000 autorickshaws and over 60,000 cabs ply on city roads but only around half of them have GPS. Mandatory installation of GPS will help the department watch the routes taken by the vehicles, he said.QR code stickers are two dimensional barcodes that bear the details of the product on which they are affixed or printed.

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Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
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Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
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Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
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Now, Environment Marshalls to curb air pollution

Environment Minister, Imran Hussain on Wednesday announced the deployment of ‘Environment Marshalls’ in various parts of the national Capital to control the illegal burning of leaves or garbage in open, control of dust emanating from various sources and improper management of dhalaos — major factors contributing to air pollution.Around 14 home guards (volunteers) have been deployed as marshalls in seven wards of three municipal corporations, including three in East Corporation and two each in South and North Corporations. These wards include Anand Vihar, I P Extension, Jhilmil, Daryaganj, Okhla, Sanjay Gandhi Transport Nagar-Samaypur Badli and Shahbad Daulatpur-PoothKhurd.”A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) has also been developed for the working of the scheme. In the coming days, the Department of Environment plans to increase the number of marshalls to 100 who will be deployed in 50 wards across three corporations,” said a senior official.The department had organised a training programme for the marshals at the Delhi Secretariat. “The incumbents have been given basic inputs about their functioning under the scheme.,” the official said.

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Singapore deputy PM to lead ASEAN-India Prawasi Bharat Diwas

Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean will join India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for a two-day ASEAN-India Pravasi Bharatiya Divas to be held here next month.Apart from Swaraj, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari and chief ministers of Andhra Pradesh and Assam, N Chandrababu Naidu and Sarbananda Sonowal, will also attend the function, Indian High Commissioner to Singapore Jawed Ashraf said here today.The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) is celebrated every year to mark the contribution of overseas Indian community in the development of India.”External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari will attend the event on January 6, while Naidu and Sonowal, on January 7,” Ashraf said.Singapore’s Trade and Industry Minister S Iswaran and Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan will also be addressing over 2,500 delegates expected at the meeting, which is being held for the first time in Singapore.The India-Singapore/ASEAN Entrepreneurship Bridge (InSpreneur) will be also held on January 5 and 6, on the second day, co-terminus with the PBD.The event will focus on startups, fintech, cyber security, disruptive technologies in manufacturing and India Stack.In addition to panel discussions, startups will have an opportunity to pitch to investors and interact with other start-ups in curated “speed dating” sessions.The event will culminate in the launch of the India- Singapore/ASEAN start up portal.Around 600 invited delegates, including 300 curated start -ups, with around 120 from India, are to participate in the event.Over 60 investors have listed themselves for the investor pitching session and 100 start ups have signed up for speed dating sessions.In addition, 35 startups will set up booths in the Startup Exhibition from January 5 to 7.The event is supported by Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry and India’s the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), Invest India, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) and the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM).”We have also drawn upon the excellent pool of Indian professional and institutional associations, including IIM Alumni Association, IIT Alumni Association and TiE,” he said.”We expect Indian startups to tap into Singapore s investor community, develop links with them and also expand into the ASEAN market.”Equally, the other objective is to support our efforts to promote India as a global destination for Startups and fintech companies, and attract Singapore s excellent start up community to India,” Ashraf said.The event is intended to promote India’s successful model of UID-enabled governance, public services, financial inclusion and payment systems in Southeast Asia/ASEAN region.Fintech is emerging as an exciting new area of collaboration both at regulatory and promotional levels.The launch of the India-Singapore startup portal, anchored in startup India, will become a channel for pursuing these objectives on a sustained basis.The PBD also commemorates 25 years of ASEAN-India Partnership, ahead of the Commemorative Summit on January 25- 26.The event is largely organised through local support, the Indian High Commissioner said.The theme of “Ancient Route, New Journey: Diaspora in the Dynamic ASEAN-India Partnership” aims to highlight the ancient human, maritime, cultural, commercial and religious links between India and Southeast Asia; and, promote greater economic, cultural and diplomatic cooperation between India and Southeast Asian nations as well as ASEAN.The event will also showcase Indian Diaspora’s talent and achievements and deepen their especially the youth’s – emotional and economic links with India.The Convention has evolved into one of the biggest business meets on India and ASEAN in Singapore with a full day of sessions on ASEAN-India Economic Partnership; India and ASEAN in the Digital World, Infrastructure, Financial Partnership, expanding trade and services, Make in India, legal framework of doing business in India and ASEAN, Science and Technology, and Tourism and Connectivity.Over 40 Indian business heads from CII and FICCI will join business leaders from ASEAN in the event.Many of Singapore s leaders of the corporate sector are of Indian origin.ASEAN-India Business Council, Singapore India Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Institute of South Asian Studies, Singapore Tourism Board are among the institutional partners for the event.Other sessions at PBD will cover areas such as India- ASEAN partnership in the new world order and in the digital world, diaspora history, social impact contribution in India, culture, youth, education, and Ease of Being Overseas Indian in India and ASEAN.

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BEST may get back AC buses via wet lease scheme

The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) has proposed a fresh bid to go for wet-lease scheme and get 225 buses. This would include 100 AC buses and 25 mini-buses in which the contractor will provide drivers and take care of maintaining the buses. This comes as good news as the undertaking will revive the AC buses that have been removed from service.The BEST has proposed to revive wet-leasing of buses wherein they will only reduce the overhead costs for a period of seven years. The 225 buses include 100 air-conditioned mini-buses, 100 non-AC mini-buses and 25 mini-buses which can easily go through narrow roads and can cater to more number of passengers.According to the proposal, the total contractual value for seven years would be Rs 305.95 crore wherein the lowest bidder has agreed to supply mini AC buses at a rate of anywhere between Rs 49 to Rs 50.45 per km, mini non-AC buses at Rs 41 to Rs 43.09 per km and midi-buses at Rs 45 to Rs 47.30 per km.Earlier, the BEST Committee had rejected their last proposal for wet-leasing and asked to bring in a fresh proposal. The BEST has assured a run of 3,500 kilometres per month for mini-buses and 4,000 kilometres for midi-buses.The BEST Undertaking is a financial crisis with losses to the tune of Rs 880 crore; so, its parent body BMC has suggested a few reforms to reduce expenditure.Apart from this, even its supply division is under stress. The Undertaking’s contract with Tata Power — for supplying power to the BEST, which is then distributed by the latter to 10 lakh daily consumers — will end in March 2018.The BEST wants to lower its supply expenditure and thus looking at competitive bidding. However, in the last few days, there have been a lot of problems.”We have asked to extend the power supply by another 6 months, and if even by April 2018 we are unable to get a new power supplier,” said Surendra Bagde, General Manager, BEST.THE PROPOSALAccording to the proposal, the contract for seven years will cost Rs 305.95 crore wherein the lowest bidder has agreed to supply mini AC buses between Rs 49 and Rs 50.45 per km

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Cab drivers to approach Maha CM over parking space

Black and yellow taxi drivers in Mumbai are facing a tough time as parking spaces are vanishing in the city. So, taxi unions have decided that they will approach Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis with a blank cheque, asking him to fill in the desired amount to remove encroachments from parking stands designated for them.More than 27 lakh vehicles run on Mumbai roads and citizens find it difficult to find a space to park their vehicles. Many a times, they park their cars at the taxi stands. Over time, taxi unions have become desperate to revive stands that have either gone missing or have been encroached upon by private parking. The union claims that their taxi stands – which normally has a blue pole with a metal board showing a black taxi and number – have gone missing.”We will give a blank cheque to the Chief Minister’s office this week. The RTOs and traffic police authorities failed to clear them and the stands have disappeared,” said AL Quadros, leader, Mumbai Taximen’s Union.The union’s idea is that the authorities are not doing much on grounds that they do not have enough funds. The police said that they we following directives issued to them.”The taxi unions have been demanding additional taxi stands. We will follow the directions of the RTO and Transport department,” said Amitesh Kumar, Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic).The taxi drivers say that other than private cars, there are also areas where illegal food stalls have taken over the cab stands. There are almost 1,400 taxi stands across Mumbai, of which 800 stands have vanished, they claim.The unions have also demanded for double parking, especially near commercial hubs and office districts during peak hours as their designated spaces have vanished.”We will have to check if the taxi union has given such a proposal ,” said S Pedamkar, RTO (Tardeo).Quadros said that over months, authorities have been making false promises as far as reviving taxi stands is concerned. At present, there are 55,000 black and yellow taxis officially registered at RTOs of Tardeo, Wadala and Andheri. However, of these around 48,000 ply everyday, while others are shut for some reason or other.

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DTC loses Rs 9 crore monthly due to heavy road congestion

The Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) loses around 5,000 trips every day due to congestion and encroachments on roads, leading to a monthly loss of about Rs 9 crore. The national Capital’s public transporter is under fire from different quarters over its depleting fleet of buses and operational inefficiency.”We lose 5,000 of the scheduled 38,000 trips per day because our buses get stuck in traffic jams due to congestion and encroachments on the roads,” a senior DTC officer said.The financially ailing transport body runs a fleet of around 3,800 buses in the national Capital. “The daily earnings of the DTC come to around Rs 2.5 crore. We incur a loss of Rs 30 lakh per day due to the missed trips,” he said.Also read35% dip in DTC bus travellers: Centre for Science and Environment”Most parts of Trans-Yamuna like Shahdara, Silampur and border areas like Kapashera and Nangloi are heavily congested due to unauthorised encroachments,” the official added.According to a recent a report prepared by an NGO, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), the daily average ridership of the DTC has declined by over 35 per cent between 2012-13 and 2016.Also read’They are great nuisance, create noise,’ NGT raps DTC for poor maintainence of buses”The daily average ridership of the DTC went down from 47 lakh in 2012-13 to 30 lakh by the end of 2016,” said the report, which was based on the data available till November 2016.The report also highlighted the failure of the state government in launching the new fleet of DTC buses.”The DTC bought new buses in 2011-12. There has been almost no addition to the fleet in the past five years. If no new buses are added now, the entire fleet will get nearly phased out by 2025,” said the report.The DTC is currently operating 3,800 buses while the Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal System (DIMTS) runs around 1,600 buses under the Cluster Scheme. “There is a shortage of 5,000-10,000 buses based on various estimates and judicial mandates,” it cited.The Delhi government has started the process for procurement of 1,000 buses each for the DTC and Cluster Scheme. The report suggested for speeding up the process.”Bus procurement needs to be undertaken on a war footing to meet the target of 10,000-11,000 buses.”A fiscal strategy needs to be developed for the DTC, aiming at the reduction of costs, augmentation of fare and non-fare revenue and phasing of interest payments,” the report added.

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INLD MP enters Parl complex on a tractor

The security staff at Parliament on Thursday was puzzled to see a tractor approaching the entry gate meant for members on the first day of the Winter Session. Soon, they realised the one who was driving the heavy vehicle was no intruder, but a Member of Parliament.The 29-year-old MP from Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) Dushyant Chautala chose to ride a tractor to Parliament to protest against a government’s decision that will put tractors in the category in the normal transport vehicles.”You can call this a protest. If the government thinks a tractor is like any other vehicle, then what’s wrong in driving it on the roads,” Chautala, the youngest Member of Parliament, said. Chautala represents Hisar in Haryana, an agrarian state, with a high farmer population.The young MP believes putting it in the category of any other vehicle will lead to heavy taxes on purchasing a tractor. “This will be a big burden for thousands of farmers who are already in distress,” he said. There was drama as he sat atop a green tractor and wanted to drive into to the parliament premises from the entry meant for MPs.He was asked to use another entry and park the tractor in a different parking. Chautala claimed he gave the vehicle number of the tractor to Parliament security as per protocol and he got the clearance.Garima Bhatnagar, Joint Commissioner of Police, said, “As per rules, tractor and trolley for commercial purposes is not allowed in the National Capital. However, in this case it was only a tractor and moreover there was prior permission from the parliament security.”While leaving Parliament, Chautala was stopped by Delhi Police from driving through the Rajpath. He offered to pay a fine and face any punishment if he was violating any rule. The amendment in the Motor Vehicles Act that Chautala was protesting against also intends to put a limit on loading farm produce in tractor which will further increase the farmers’ woes, Chautala said. He claimed to have red flagged the issue at an all-party meeting whcih was held ahead of the session on Thursday and with Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari.

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Foundation of projects worth crores today

Union minister for Road Transport and Water Resources Nitin Gadkari is expected to lay foundation stones and inaugurate road works worth Rs727 crores in a programme at Baran district on Friday. Foundation laying ceremony of Parwan Irrigation project envisaged to provide water to 2 lakh hectare land in Hadoti region may also mark in the same program which will be chaired by the chief minister Vasundhara Raje.The desert state takes a big leap in infrastructure whenever Gadkari visits. Almost three months back, Prime minister Narendra Modi and Gadkari came to Udaipur and the former inaugurated highway and road projects worth Rs15,000 crore for the entire state. At that time, a major announcement was made by Gadkari to boost Rajasthan infra while spending around Rs2 trillion in the next five years for building the road and national highways in Rajasthan.With his focus, Rajasthan rolls with infra projects, and those big projects which were limbo for several years. One of such big projects is Parwan irrigation project, which will do away water needs in three districts-Baran, Jhalawar and Kota. Gadkari may lay the foundation stone of the project.Rajasthan expects financial assistance from the center to speed up works in the project that costs nearly Rs6489 crores. Raje, in several meetings, discussed it and Gadkari gave assurance as well. Parwan project, the project got embroiled in several controversies regarding displacement of tribals, the forests land getting submerged and most important, the project is brought in only to benefit two thermal power projects. According to the sources, Gadkari has scheduled visit to Baran to lay foundation stone, though final consent is still awaited.

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Yogi Adityanath looks for leaner bureaucracy, to merge 94 departments into 37

Not satisfied with the performance of the state bureaucracy, the Yogi government is mulling over drastic administrative reforms in Uttar Pradesh by allowing merger of 94 government departments into 37 to bring in efficiency, coordination and effective implementation of government schemes in the state.A proposal, drafted by the Additional Chief Secretary (Planning) Sanjiv Sharan, is ready and will be submitted to the government shortly for perusal and Cabinet approval. “The merger will gear up the administrative machinery and make it more accountable for effective delivery,” Sharan told media persons.During their visit to the state last month, officials of the Niti Ayog had also suggested to downsize the state machinery by merging different government departments under one for their effective functioning and greater convergence. Currently, Uttar Pradesh has as many as 94 government departments, highest than any other states in the country. The draft proposes to merge these 94 departments into one to bring down their numbers to 37.It proposes to merge important government departments like health, agriculture, cooperative, administration, cane development, Public Works department, estate and transport to streamline their functioning and better coordination.“At present, there are three to four departments for one sector which hampers the administrative functioning due to lack of coordination between them. If they are brought under one department, it will certainly help the state government to implement its various schemes more effectively,” pointed a senior officer involved in the drafting the proposals. A few senior bureaucrats are, however, against the government’s move fearing that many it may seriously affect the work allocation to the ministers and IAS officers. They suggest that the government should not drastically bring down their numbers but allow merger of only those department which have less or no work. The health department which is divided into four different departments viz family welfare, medical education, medical and health and Child Welfare is being proposed to be merged under one ministry. At present, these departments are headed by three Cabinet ministers.Dr Siddharth Nath Singh is Cabinet minister for Medical and Health, Ashutosh Tandon is Cabinet minister for Medical Education while Cabinet minister Dr Rita Bahuguna Joshi heads Child and Family Welfare.Similarly, the energy department is divided into two different departments – Energy and Renewable Energy being headed by Srikant Sharma and Brijesh Patahk respectively. The draft proposes to merge both and bring them under one Energy ministry.The draft also proposes to merge PWD, Rural Engineering, Transport and Estate under one Road and Transport department. Likewise, Secretariat Administration, General Administration, Administrative Reforms and National Integration are proposed to be merged under one department to be called General Administration.The Agriculture, Cooperative and Cane development are to be clubbed under Agriculture and Farmer Welfare. Once the proposals are approved, the Yogi Adityanath government is planning to effect a Cabinet and administrative reshuffle accordingly.

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Nitin Gadkari to herald Infra, irrigation projects

Infrastructure and irrigation services in Rajasthan are set to take a new leap on December 15 when BJP government will be celebrating programs on its 4th anniversary. Union minister for Road Transport, Highways and Water Resources Nitin Gadkari is expected to laying foundation of road works in the tune of Rs729 crore in Baran and ambitious Parwan water irrigation project cost at Rs6489 crore in Baran of Kota division wherein chief ministers Vasundhara Raje represents from Jhalrapatan.“The state has taken another step towards the development of roads. The Kota division will get road projects worth Rs729.23 crores this month. In a program scheduled at Baran Agricultural Production Market on December 15, the road works covering 294km will be laid. As chief guest of the function, Nitin Gadkari may arrive there,” says a statement released by the office of chief minister.The ceremony will see foundation stone laying for strengthening of 20km long road at a cost of Rs30 crore at National Highway-12. Under PPP model, 74.82km road between Kanvas-Khanpur-Aklera at the cost of Rs175 crore, 14.85km road from Deoli to Kanwas at the cost of Rs34.78 crore and Alot-Gangdhar-Suwasra road stretching 24.55km at the cost of Rs58.11 crore. Apart from them, Rs431 crore will be spent on for the restoration of roads and construction of five high level bridges on rivers like Kali Sindh, Aahu, Ujad and Kalikhar. Apart from the infra project, Gadkari will lay foundation stone for ambitious Parwan irrigation which has been envisaged to provide water for drinking and irrigation to 2 lakh hectare land spreading in three districts- Baran, Jhalawar and Kota.The project tabbed as a boon for farmers was limbo for over a decades. It got embroiled in several controversies regarding displacement of tribals, the forests land getting submerged and most important the project being brought in only to benefit two thermal power projects. Now, Gadkari will lay foundation stone of the project.

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Gujarat elections 2017 | GSRTC losses have surged: Randeep Surjewala

With elections just a few days away, political allegations are flying thick and fast. On Wednesday, Congress leader Randeep Surjewala accused the BJP government in the state of financial mismanagement and corruption in the running of Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation (GSRTC).In 1994, the number of buses under GSRTC was 7,853, and number of trips was 70,442. He alleged that the number of buses fell to 6,943 in 2017, and number of trips declined sharply to 44,700.”Looking at the growth in population and requirement in the last 22 years, the number of buses and trips made by them should have gone up by 4-5 times. Instead, both the number of buses and trips has declined,” Surjewala said, seeking replies from PM Narendra Modi and CM Vijay Rupani.He claimed that in 1994, when Congress was in power, ST buses were reaching all 18,225 villages, but the number had fallen to 9,000 under the BJP government.The Congress leader also came down heavily on the state government for huge accumulated losses at GSRTC.”The cumulative losses of GSRTC were at Rs389 crore from 1960 to 1994-95. Between 1996-97 and 2016-17, the losses are at Rs2,971 crore,” he said.According to the Congress, GSRTC made loss of Rs 401.78 crore in 2016-17, i.e. Rs 1.11 crore per day, and alleged that the services had declined even though the state had paid thousands of crores as subsidy to the Corporation.Surjewala also alleged irregularities and corruption in construction of five bus stations in the state.
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No exceptions for Odd-Even, govt tells NGT

After being pulled up by the National Green Tribunal (NGT), the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government finally submitted in court on Wednesday, an action plan to curb pollution in the city. Changing its earlier stance, the AAP government said the Odd-Even road rationing scheme will be implemented with no exemptions, as an ’emergency measure’.The plan also includes a ban on entry of trucks in city limits, shutting down of industries, prohibition on burning of waste, and a complete stop to construction activities, once the pollution levels touch the ‘Severe’ category.Earlier, the AAP government had told the court that due to the lack of adequate number of buses and keeping women’s security in mind, it must allow exemption to women drivers and two-wheelers.The green court, however, was not in agreement and told the government to add to its bus fleet. The transport department is still in the process of procuring 1,000 more Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses.The NGT also directed the city government to file a a detailed report, including details of exemptions given in the Odd-Even scheme, besides directing the Haryana and Punjab governments to submits their detailed action plan by Thursday. The panel will now hear the matter on Thursday.A bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar stated that the air quality in the national Capital was never normal. “You all (states) tell us what steps you will take at what level of pollution. What are your normal steps to check pollution?” the bench asked.The court also rapped the AAP government for not filing a comprehensive action plan on ways to tackle severe air pollution in the city, besides slamming the authorities for organising the India-Sri Lanka cricket test match, despite the bad air quality.The report also stated that after the NGT orders, sprinkling of water and mechanised cleaning of major roads is being done.”The Public Works Department (PWD) has deployed 51 water tankers every day, covering an average of 130 km of roads. The department also took help of the DJB. As many as 6 water tankers have been deployed at an average distance of 15-16 km from September 9 onwards,” the report stated.It added: “The PWD is making efforts to increase the number of machines by re-tendering procurement of sweeping machines.”Besides, monitoring and action against persons for burning waste material in the open has been going on as a special drive. Public notices have been issued on prohibition on open burning of leaves and waste.According to the plan, Sub Divisional Magistrates (SDMs) and Tehsildars (Executive Magistrate), Department of Revenue, have been authorised to take action against violators. Penalty will be imposed in accordance with the NGT directions. The report further stated that promotion of Battery Operated Vehicles or e-rickshaws has been taken up.Air quality in the national Capital had dipped close to ‘severe’ category again over the week. However, with the sun showing up and wind speed picking up on Wednesday, it improved to ‘poor’ from the ‘very poor’ category.
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Govt plans to stop registration of BS-IV vehicles after June 2020, draft notification issued

The government has come out with a draft notification to amend Central Motor Vehicles Rules to prevent registration of BS-IV compliant automobiles built before April 1, 2020 beyond June 30, 2020.In a major step to curb vehicular pollution, the government last year decided that the country will leapfrog directly from Euro IV emission norms for petrol and diesel to Euro VI standards from April 1, 2020.Issuing draft notification to amend Central Motor Vehicles Rules, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has invited objections and suggestions from stakeholders, affected persons and public by December 20 for consideration.Also readGovt advances BS-VI fuel rollout by 2 yrs in Delhi to combat smogThe notification said these rules will be called the Central Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Rules, 2017 and shall come into force on the date of their final publication in the Official Gazette.The notification said: “New motor vehicles conforming to Emission Standard Bharat Stage-IV, manufactured before April 1, 2020 shall not be registered after June 30, 2020.” It said amendment in the rules will be done in exercise of the powers conferred by section 110 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.Also readAutomakers give thumbs-up to Delhi BS-VI fuel planThe notification further said, “provided that, the new motor vehicles of categories M & N, conforming to Emission Standard BS-IV, manufactured before April 1, 2020 and sold in the form of drive away chasis, shall not be registered after September 30, 2020.”Vehicles having at least four wheels and used for the carriage of passengers fall under category M while power- driven vehicles having at least four wheels and used for the carriage of goods fall under category N.Last year, the decision to advance the date by four years to April 1, 2020 for implementation of BS VI (equivalent to Euro VI norms followed globally) was taken at an inter- ministerial meeting for supply of cleaner auto fuel, by altogether skipping the Euro V grade norms.The decision was taken at a time when an intense debate was going on rising level of pollution.
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Ab BUS karo

With Jaipur City Transport Services Limited (JCTSL) buying 30 new mini buses, the looming question is— will these buses meet the same fate as that of low-floor buses? There are about half a dozen old mini buses lying defunct at a slip lane near Agarwal Farm bus stand at SFS Mansarovar. The buses are lying with open windows and doors, many even don’t have tyres while engine and grease are lying scattered and spilled over the bus stand. This is the condition of the buses since many months.The condition of low-floor buses is not any different. Sources in maintenance cell of JCTSL buses inform that on a daily basis 15-20 buses go off the road due to being broken down.However, officials of JCTSL have assured that the fate of newly bought mini buses won’t be like that of the previous buses. “The buses are kept in Todi Depot. It has seven maintenance pits which are sufficient for upkeep of the buses there,” said a senior official of JCTSL.Every now and then a low floor bus is seen standing in the middle of a road after being hit by a trivial snag which only hampers the commute. The poor upkeep of these buses is also visible from the way they look. Notably, these buses are owned by the government and run under the supervision of JCTSL, however they are operated and maintained by private companies. The drivers are of the company and the conductors are of the government.It is observed that drivers many a time race the buses when they are not on time to avoid loss of revenue. This exposes the vehicle to accidents. In the month of September, an accident occurred in Brahmpuri area of the city wherein a low-floor bus ran over two youths on a bike resulting into their death.Sorry stateThe poor upkeep of these buses is also visible from the way they look. Almost all the buses now do not have the digital strip working on them which showed the routes on which they are plying. “It developed error and stopped working, we have put the route number on the screen,” said a bus driver.The officials had informed that that since the temperature is high and the capacity of engines is huge, buses get overheated. The problem is more with the buses having rear engines.Facts & figures8Maintenance pits in Sanganer depot, 7 in Todi and 6 in Vidyadhar Nagar depot. They are used to repair faults in the buses.400Buses owned by JCTSL & it takes more than 3000 trips on about 26 routes every day.2Lakh passengers board these buses everyday.30Mini buses will replace 15-16 low-floor buses in the coming few days in Walled City.
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Swaraj India attacks AAP on proposed DTC fare hike

The Yogendra Yadav-led Swaraj India, a breakaway faction of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) attacked the Delhi government of planning to hike fares of the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses on Thursday.The party alleged that the Delhi government was hand-in-glove with the Centre on the Delhi Metro fare hike issue and now plans to hike DTC bus fares as well.Yadav took to the social media site Twitter to attack the AAP. “One more lie nailed. Metro documents show MD of DTC told Fare Fixation Committee that they plan to raise DTC fares, following Metro fare hike. Metro hiked its fares on this basis. Now who controls the DTC? The LG? Modi government?” tweeted Yadav.However, AAP leader and Delhi Transport minister Kailash Gahlot rubbished the allegations retorting on the site: “Futile attempts to mislead the public. Have no basis. There is no proposal whatsoever to hike DTC fares – all these are lies.”Swaraj Party members also released a document on the site pertaining to discussions on the Fourth Fare Fixation Committee (FFC) where a proposal to revise DTC fares has been discussed.”Shocking to note that the Delhi Metro fares were increased on an assurance from DTC that bus fares will also be revised after that… Yet another proof that Delhi government was hand in glove in unjustly increasing metro fares and now plans to hike DTC bus fares…,” a member of Swaraj India wrote on Twitter.The AAP government had attacked the Centre for the hike in Metro fares last month. However, the central government had pointed out that the AAP did not raise an objection when the hike was being discussed by the Committee.UNDER FIREThe AAP government had attacked the Centre for the hike in Metro fares last month. However, the Centre had pointed out that the AAP did not raise an objection when the hike was being discussed by the Committee.
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Delay in issuing RCs puts vehicle owners in jam

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Regional Transport Office office is taking 15-20 days to issue the Registration Certificates (RC’s) of new vehicles causing troubles to the vehicle owners. Sources inform that there is a backlog of pending RC’s in the Regional Transport Office since Diwali festival.One of the vehicle owners in Mansarovar area informed that they had bought a car before Diwali but are yet to get RC for that vehicle.The result is that a large number of vehicles are roaming in the city without having RC. While the department claims that this is happening because of a large number of vehicles coming every day for getting registrations, sources inform that the server of the department is slow and many times faces troubles. Officials claimed that the capacity of the company issuing the RC’s is limited to 1500 cards per day.However, the number of vehicles which come for registration certificates are more than this and this leading to delays in issuing of RC’s.One of the sources revealed that during the Diwali festival days itself, more than 14000 vehicles were bought in the city.This took a long time for the Regional Transport Office to issue RC’s for them, however, it also leads to the backlog of the vehicles bought after Diwali. Now again the year end is coming, as such the transport officials are expecting that more vehicles will be bought than the usual time because of the discounts which the companies give on year-end. However, sources say that the server connectivity is also one of the reasons for the delay of the RC issuance.Till a few days back, the RC’s were being issued within 7-10 days .however the number of days has now increased in last few days.PENDENCYThe Regional Transport Office office is taking 15-20 days to issue the Registration Certificates (RC’s) of new vehicles causing troubles to the vehicle owners. Sources inform that there is a backlog of pending RC’s in the Regional Transport Office since Diwali festival. As a result, a large number of vehicles are roaming in the city without having RC. The capacity of the company issuing the RC’s is limited to 1500 cards per day.

Congress, NCP seek changes in BEST budget 2018-19

Ravi Raja demanded that the minimum fares should be decreased to Rs 6 for a 2-kilometre distance, which is presently Rs 8, and also the BMC should grant funds of Rs 150 crore to the BEST Undertaking <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On the second day of the discussion of Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) Undertaking’s proposed budget for the 2018-19 fiscal, the Congress and NCP raised issues that it should have necessary amendments so as to decrease the estimated deficit and make it commuter-friendly. The BEST management presented a budget estimate of Rs 880 crore.Opposition leader of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and BEST committee member, Congress corporator Ravi Raja, on Wednesday did not support the budget presented by the BEST management and demanded two amendments in it. He demanded that the minimum fares should be decreased to Rs 6 for a 2-kilometre distance, which is presently Rs 8, and also the BMC should grant funds of Rs 150 crore to the BEST Undertaking. The Congress and NCP later walked out from the BEST committee’s budget discussion meet.“BEST has already lost its commuters drastically. It should decrease the minimum fare of Rs 8 to Rs 6 so as to attract more commuters,” said Raja. The BEST management presented a Rs 880-crore deficit budget for 2018-19. The BEST had also presented a deficit budget of Rs 542 crore in 2017-18.

DWC issues notice to DTIDC after ISBT inspection

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In lieu of the World Toilet Day, Delhi Commission for Women chief, Swati Maliwal, conducted a surprise inspection at the Anand Vihar Inter-State Bus Terminal on Sunday evening. The commission found several lapses in the way the toilet complexes are being handled and thus issued a notice to Delhi Transport Infrastructure Development Corporation (DTIDC).On visiting these toilet complexes, the DCW team found that actual rates for using the toilets were deliberately kept hidden to charge more. The rate charts were covered with large paper sheets and the operators were found to be charging anywhere between Rs 5 and 50, whereas the official rates are Rs 5 for men. Women can use the toilets for free.”When the reason for charging such arbitrary high rates was enquired, the operator blatantly stated that those who wish to use the toilet have to pay the fee he demands. Further, it was observed that two men were sleeping right in front of the female toilet’s entrance, which rendered it unsafe,” conveyed Swati Maliwal, DCW Chief, in the notice directed to the DTIDC executive director.The notice also mentions that the toilets at the terminus are unhygienic and in bad condition, and some safai karamcharis were seen to be sleeping around or inside them in a drunken state.”We visited the complaint counter and inspected the complaint register. It was seen that several complaints had been made regarding the overcharging and poor condition of the toilets, but no action appears to have been taken. Due to this several women were seen defecating in the open. This is a major lapse which has put the safety of women in serious jeopardy,” it stated.ACTUAL RATESThe Delhi Commission for Women found the rate charts at the toilet complexes covered with large paper sheets and the operators were found to be charging anywhere between `5 and `50, whereas the official rates are Rs 5 for men. Women can use the toilets for free.

Speak up Mumbai: Why must commuters pay for BEST’s losses?

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply & Transport (BEST) Undertaking sitting on losses to the tune of Rs 880 crore, there’s no doubt that the Undertaking is in a financial crisis. In a bid to bring some relief to its balance sheet, the BEST approved a hike in fares for distances longer than 6 km, and school and college-going student commuters.For school students, the hike in fares ranges from 16 to 66 per cent. The monthly pass for students up to class 5 will cost between Rs 150 to Rs 200, quarterly Rs 450 to Rs 600, and six-monthly Rs 750 to Rs 1,000. These fares were earlier applicable to students from class 6 to 10, which too, have been increased to Rs 250, Rs 750 and Rs 1,250 for the mentioned brackets respectively.Until now, the BEST’s subsidy to school and college students, senior citizens, blind persons, and physically handicapped commuters amounts to about Rs 41.7 crore. However, parent organisation, BMC has asked the Undertaking to rationalise its costs in order to bring down its losses, of which the hike in fares is one such decision.DNA finds out from regular commuters of Mumbai’s iconic red bus whether the BEST’s decision is a move in the right direction.EXPERT SPEAKThis fare hike is important for the financial revival of BEST, and only targets a select section of passengers. We have been taking loans of about Rs 250 crore each month to pay salaries and maintain our assets. The hike in prices will be implemented only once the BMC committee gives its go ahead. We are also working on other measures that need to be taken to control the losses the Undertaking is currently under.—Anil Kokil, Chairman, BEST CommitteeRather than increasing the fares, the authorities should go for dedicated bus lanes that is lying in the dock for months now. Instead of spending so much money on the Metro, spend few crore on creating dedicated bus lanes. This way they can not only operate more buses but also ferry more people which will increase their revenue by default. The BEST should also consider doing away with routes that are loss-making which will bring down expenditure.—Ashok Datar, transport expertVOICESInstead of introducing a hike in fares for students and long distances, BEST should instead focus on providing quality service to its commuters. Decisions such as increasing the frequency of buses on busy routes and maintenance of buses are more important if it intends to attract crowds to build revenue and come out of its losses.—Hanmant Wanole, Santa CruzHiking prices for long distance journeys is okay but increasing the fares for students should be avoided. The school and college students who mostly use BEST’s bus services do not belong to affluent families. Wouldn’t they be using private bus services if they did? It would mean an unnecessary burden on the parents of these students.—Salman Khan, BandraBEST’s management should be privatised. Every time they want to hike fares, they put forth the story of financial troubles. Rather than resorting to this each time, BEST should create other avenues for income generation like transport of private sector employees, school children, offering group discounts for people wanting to go on short trips. They could event reinvent the look of their buses — make them more airy, comfortable and disabled and senior citizen-friendly.—Apeksha Vora, DadarBEST’s decision to increase the fares for commuters to make up for their losses is wrong. Students should be given concession as much as possible. Increasing the fares for students is not acceptable. Besides, BEST has to improve its facilities first to target commuters by increasing the fares. BEST has failed to suffice the needs of the commuters and has become an issue of government apathy.—Sohel F Fidai, Santa CruzBEST’s decision to hike fares, especially for long distances, to take care of their losses is in the right direction. When the organisation is facing such losses, the only option left is to hike fares in order to increase their income and to mitigate deficit. However, there are chances that BEST may face the heat for its decision and commuters could choose to opt for other means of transport due to the increased fares.—Rohit Ahuja, VersovaIt is silly of the BEST to hike the fares. In a city like ours, there is no shortage of commuters. With better planning and less corruption, it’s easy for the BEST to make money without increasing fares. You cannot pass the burden on students. And if they increase fares, they should also match up with the service. The state government should ensure they give privileges to those who do not have them, for any mode of public transport by focusing on just breaking even with their expenses.—Harish Iyer, Navi MumbaiThe fare hike will further hit people who are already suffering from the effects of inflation and price rise in other areas of daily life. It is the responsibility of the state government to ensure that public transport is affordable to citizens. Hence the government should help BEST in emerging from its financial crunch instead of allowing the Undertaking to pass its burden on to the commuters.—K Praveish Vishwanath Aiyar, SionIt is better to leave the future of the country, that is students, burden free in order to have a safe and successful future of our generation. Hiking fares for them is unfair. Also, BEST’s long distance routes are usually used by a group of the population who are already average on their income, hence increasing the fare on these routes will further burden them which is not advisable, especially if it’s a move for BEST to make up their own losses.—Prithvi Mhaske, Andheri

After green panel rap, Arvind Kejriwal promises 2,000 new CNG buses within a year

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Censured by the Supreme Court-mandated EPCA for having done ‘too little’ to augment the city’s public transport, the Delhi government today announced that 2,000 new CNG buses will be rolled out in next one year.The rollout plan for the procurement of 2,000 CNG propelled standard non-AC buses — 1,000 each for DTC and Cluster Scheme — has been finalised by the Transport department, an official statement said.”For the procurement of 1,000 Cluster buses, the Notice Inviting Tender (NIT) is likely to be issued by November 30, 2017, and the department has been directed to complete the rollout of these buses within 10 months,” said the statement issued by Transport minister Kailash Gahlot.The Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) has already published the expression of interest for appointment of a bid management consultant.”Following the appointment of bid management consultant, the tender for procurement of 1,000 DTC buses will be issued.The target is to rollout these buses within a year,” the statement added.Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) chairman Bhure Lal in a letter to Gahlot stated that the Delhi government has adequate land to park up to 2,000 buses and charged that no buses have been procured yet.”In our May 2016 report, after working with the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), we had explained that there was land available for parking of 2,000 buses within the available infrastructure. However, we find that as yet, no buses have been procured,” Lal wrote.Gahlot in his letter to Lal, on Wednesday, had charged that the EPCA “kept quiet” over obligations of the National Capital Region (NCR) cities to combat pollution while the Delhi government was criticised for “flip-flopping” over the odd-even road rationing scheme.

Kailash Gahlot urges EPCA to implement Odd-Even in neighbouring states

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot on Thursday urged the Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) to implement the Odd-Even road rationing scheme in the neighbouring states as well to bring down the overall pollution levels in Delhi-NCR.The environment minister wrote to EPCA chairman Bhure Lal in this regard, as the Odd-Even scheme was to be implemented as an “emergency” measure under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), which has been prepared by the authority to tackle various levels of air pollution.”The Delhi government immediately announced the implementation of the third phase ofOdd-Even, as air pollution reached emergency levels, in order to comply with the GRAP. However, due to the NGT orders bringing two-wheelers and women drivers in the non-exemption category for which the government again had to approach the green court to allow the exemption, we could not implement the scheme. However, unfortunately, the impression that is getting generated is that only Delhi needs to implement the scheme as mandated by the GRAP,” wrote Gahlot.The government has not been able to implement the same because of the NGT order, hence it must not be seen as a flip-flop on part of the AAP government, said Gahlot.The minister, further, requested the EPCA chief to advise neighbouring towns to implement the odd-even scheme as well, because it is only then that pollution levels could come down.Meanwhile, despite repeated attempts, Bhure Lal was not available for comments.Also, the EPCA in view of improving air quality on Thursday lifted the ban it had imposed on the entry of trucks in city limits, all construction activity in Delhi-NCR and the four-fold hike in parking charges.While the air quality has improved from the past week, it was still in the ‘very poor’ category.

BEST’s gift to kids: Pay more for season passes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In an ironic blow to students on Children’s Day, the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) buses’ daily commute just got more expensive, as the undertaking approved a proposal on Tuesday to increase fares of daily and season passes of students. The hikes range between 16 to 66 percent. On Tuesday, the BEST Committee approved the proposal that hikes monthly bus passes for students up to Class 5 from Rs 150 to Rs 200, quarterly from Rs 450 to Rs 600 and six-monthly from Rs 750 to Rs 1000. These fares were earlier for students in Class 6 to 10, which too, has been increased to Rs 250, Rs 750 and Rs 1,250 respectively.Sources in the BEST said that as per their rough estimates, they give subsidies of Rs 41.7 crore to school and college students. This amount stood at Rs 20.13 crore in 2015-16, and over the last two years, the number of students using this provision has gone up. The BEST officials said that this is part of rationalising and cost cutting measures taken up by them to reduce losses. The BEST Undertaking’s 3,700 bus fleet is used to transport 30 lakh people daily. “These are cost reduction measures that are needed to bring down losses,” said Surendra Bagde, General Manager, BEST Undertaking.On Tuesday, the BEST Committee also passed a proposal for fare hike in long-distance fares and bus passes. It scrapped the proposal of getting buses on wet-lease basis, wherein the Undertaking would have reduced cost by Rs 260 crore annually. However, this would have meant that they would get 100 buses from private operators while the BEST would use their drivers and conductors. They would not be involved in maintenance of these buses, and hiring them would have cost Rs 37 per km. This is taking into account buses which ply for a maximum of 180 km a day.The BEST is also mulling rationalising their bus routes. It operates 504 bus routes daily, of which 150 routes fall under Grade C – they generate only 40 paise for every rupee spent per kilometre.Subsidies speakThey give subsidies of Rs 41.7 crore to school and college students. It also gives subsidies to freedom fighters, physically challenged, senior citizens, press to the tune of Rs 45.34 crore It also passed hike for long-distance fares and bus passes

E-buses hit the road in SoBo on 3 routes, fourth to begin soon

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) Undertaking failed to roll out its four electric buses on Sunday, which were inaugurated amid much fanfare on November 10, three of the buses hit the road on Monday while the last of them is yet under maintenance.The electric buses, purchased at Rs 1.65 crore each, plied on three routes on Monday — Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) to World Trade Centre, Churchgate to NCPA, and CSMT to Backbay Depot — however their frequency was low as the officials are rolling out the services in a gradual manner.”Our engineering staff is currently being trained on using the fourth bus which too will be on the road soon,” said Hanumant Gophane, spokesperson, BEST Undertaking. The remaining two electric buses will join the fleet before December-end.These environment-friendly electric buses are fitted with lithium ion batteries of 160 Kwh that reach full charge within four hours, and are said to be more economical as fuel cost for them is Rs 8/km as opposed to Rs 15/km for a CNG bus and Rs 20/km for a diesel bus. This is the first time that the BEST buses will be gear less and will run on auto-transmission.Rs 10 crore for the six electric buses is being funded by the BMC. The BEST Undertaking is hoping to receive another Rs 20 crore from the Centre for the purchase of more electric buses. The floor height of these buses is 650 mm keeping the needs of differently-abled commuters in mind. The buses will also have six mobile charging points.ECO-FRIENDLYEach of the buses can run for 200 kms on a single charge.
The Backbay Depot has six charging points.
Each bus costs Rs 1.65 crore, as opposed to the regular single-decker bus which costs Rs 60-65 lakh.

Kerala: BJP workers protest outside secretariat to protest transport minister’s resignation in land encroachment case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hundreds of BJP workers today converged in front of the secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram and staged a protest demanding immediate resignation of Transport Minister Thomas Chandy, who is facing allegations of land encroachment for a luxury lake resort owned by him in Alappuzha district.The protesters began assembling in front of three gates of the secretariat since 6 AM and raised slogans against the minister.The Secretariat houses offices of ministers and bureaucrats.Only the cantonment gate was spared by the protesters to enable ministers and staff to enter the premises.The agitators drawn from four districts of Kollam, Alappuzha, Pathnamthitta and Thiruvananthapuram, also wanted action against the Congress leaders named in the judicial commission report on the Solar scam.Inaugurating the protest, BJP state President, Kummanam Rajasekharan said there was no question of any compromise on the demand for Chandy’s resignation.General Secretary, AN Radhakrishnan said the party would launch a series of agitations on the chandy issue.Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan should seek Chandy’s resignation, he said.A crucial meeting of the LDF held here yesterday had decided to entrust Vijayan with taking an appropriate decision on the matter.NCP nominee, Chandy, a businessman-turned-politician, was inducted in the state cabinet 8 months ago following the resignation of A K Saseendran after a sleaze audio clip with a woman went viral.There have been demands from the Opposition Congress-led UDF and BJP after Alappuzha district collector T V Anupama confirmed that paddy field had been reclaimed for laying the road to his resort, besides there was encroachment of backwaters constructed by the resort for its parking space.The State Advocate General C P Sudhakara Prasad had recently told the state government that the collector’s report had legal binding and cannot be ignored.

Delhi pollution: No respite for citizens, as smog continues to plague national capital

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The pollution levels in the national capital continued to leave its citizens gasping for air on Sunday.A thick smog cover was seen near India Gate and other parts of central Delhi. Runners and cyclists, all donning masks, told news agency ANI that they were finding it difficult to breathe.According to System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting & Research (SAFAR), PM 10 levels in Delhi’s Lodhi Road area were recorded at 560, PM 2.5 at 625, while PM 10 levels in Noida were recorded at 551, PM 2.5 levels at 541. This falls in the severe category.Earlier on Saturday, the the Arvind Kejriwal government announced that the car-rationing plan has been put on hold for now.Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot on Saturday made the announcement after the emergency meeting called by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.He said that in view of the two pre-conditions set by the NGT — no exemption for two-wheelers and women drivers — the Delhi government has decided to file a review petition on Monday.Earlier on Saturday, the National Green Tribunal gave it’s order for the car rationing scheme from November 13-November 17 saying no women drivers, government servants and two-wheelers will be exempted. They also said only emergency services and CNG vehicles will be exempted from the odd-even scheme.The green board also said that the odd-even scheme will come into force by default in future if the PM2.5 level crosses 300 and PM10 goes above 500.The NGT also asked Delhi government why the car rationing scheme was not applied before and why the AAP government did not take any steps to reduce pollution before in the national capital.The board said that Delhi government should reconsider the hike of parking charges by four times. “Won’t the hike of parking fees only benefit the parking lots, and would stress people even further, thereby encouraging them to park vehicles on the roads instead, choking them in the process?” NGT asked Arvind Kejriwal’s government.The top green court also asked the Uttar Pradesh governnment for details on the number of challans in Greater Noida and Noida.Meanwhile, the Central Pollution Control Board CPCB) submitted a report to NGT saying the possibility of rain in the next 2-3 days.

‘They are great nuisance, create noise,’ NGT raps DTC for poor maintainence of buses

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Green Tribunal (NGT) flayed the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) on Saturday for not maintaining its buses properly and running them without passengers for a major part of the day.”Your buses create so much noise on the road. They are a great nuisance. Most of parts of your buses are either hanging in air or broken. Why don’t you take proper steps for their maintenance. Either your buses run empty or they are over-loaded,” a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar observed.The tribunal rapped the DTC chairman-cum-managing director for not taking note of an NGT order on maintenance of buses and carrying out a rationalisation study so that the vehicles can be used more effectively.”Have you read our judgement? You have served 33 years in your department and we are shocked you have not got the time to go through our orders. How surprising,” the bench said.The green panel had earlier favoured small-size buses during lean traffic period and said, “You should change your buses when traffic is lean and ply buses which are smaller in size. We are not asking you to stop the bus service rather you should change the size of bus.”The tribunal’s observation came while examining the Delhi government’s decision to roll out odd-even car rationing scheme in the capital from the next week. The government later called off the odd-even scheme, which was to be implemented from Monday.The NGT passed a slew of directions and said that all corporations and authorities of the Delhi government should ensure that was no structural construction activity in the capital till November 14.”Corporations and Delhi Development Authority shall post special forces at land filling sites to ensure that there is no fire at those sites and if any such incident comes to the notice, the official concerned would be personally liable to pay the environmental compensation,” the bench said.​

Copters for aerial sprinkling on cards

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi government has approached a helicopter service company for aerial sprinkling of water over the Capital, whose air quality has entered the ‘severe’ mark in the last two days making the city unlivable.”The government is in talks with Pawan Hans for aerial sprinkling of water over the city to help bring down particulate matter,” Delhi Environment Minister Imran Hussain tweeted on Friday.The decision comes a day after Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan said the government should sprinkle water on the roads. “We have reinforced our instructions and are constantly monitoring the situation at our level. We have asked the government to sprinkle water on the roads and use mechanised dust removal,” he had said on Thursday.Meanwhile, the government will allow free travel for commuters travelling in DTC and cluster buses. The decision is a part of the third round of Odd-Even scheme launched by the AAP government with an aim to bring down pollution levels.”To encourage the use of public transport during Odd-Even, the government will allow free travel for commuters in all DTC and Cluster buses from November 13-17,” Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot tweeted.The Odd-Even car rationing scheme will be rolled out in Delhi for five days from November 13 as part of a graded response plan to tackle the alarming level of pollution in the city. The scheme will be in place from 8 am to 8 pm with exemptions for women drivers and two-wheelers.

Long-term measures need to be stepped up

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The national Capital has been witnessing toxic levels of pollution with the Air Quality Index (AQI) hitting the 500 mark, beyond which no reading is available. The air has remained “severe”, the worst stage of the index, for four days.While the government finally took emergency measures by shutting down schools and announcing the third round of odd-even road rationing scheme, long-term measures to be implemented through the years have been missing from the scene.The measures as suggested under each category of pollution under a Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) prepared by the Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) include mechanical sweeping, sprinkling of water on major roads to control dust, monitoring of construction site for taking dust-control measures, preventing waste burning and finding a solution to do away with landfills. They have all been largely ignored by the civic agencies. The EPCA is a Supreme Court-mandated body and the agencies are bound by its orders.However, officials in the government said, unless the orders come through the Lieutenant Governor (L-G) or the Delhi government, it is difficult to implement these on the ground.Sprinkling of water on major public works department (PWD) roads by Delhi Jal Board (DJB) tankers was conducted only as a token drive this week at ITO, which is one of the most polluted spots.”Mechanical sweeping is a costly affair. We have floated tenders thrice to procure these machines but every time either the companies don’t come forward or the ones which do ask for very high prices. Only the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) had two machines to sweep Lutyens’ Delhi,” said a senior Delhi government official.The AAP government’s environment department said it has taken action against incidents of waste burning, however, it needs more monitoring teams and manpower to strengthen these checks across the city. The EPCA under its plan had asked all government departments and agencies, including DDA, PWD, DJB, Delhi Metro, Transport, traffic and the three municipal corporations, to create monitoring teams and implement the measures on the ground.

Are China made electric buses for BEST acceptable to Shiv Sena now?

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Just a couple of months after Shivsena’s Punjab unit chief called for a ban on Chinese products in the country, Aditya Thackeray, Chief of Yuva Sena will preside over handing event of pure-electric buses to BEST on Friday afternoon which happens to have been made by a Chinese company.Interestingly, the bus manufactured by Hyderabad-based Goldstone group is being made in association with China’s BYD Auto Industry Company Ltd which is the largest maker of pure-electric vehicles in the world. The company walked away with two contracts recently outbidding major Indian players including Ashok Leyland and Tata Motors. Goldstone will be supplying 25 fully built electric buses to Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) and 6 buses to Brihanmumbai Electric Supply & Transport Undertaking (BEST) in Maharashtra’s state capital Mumbai. The electric buses or EV which it is casually called is fast gaining traction as a mode of public transport in the major metropolis of the world as it not only controls air pollution but is also silent on ears.According to political observers, it is very common for the political parties to raise demand for ban whenever it suits them and then revoke it at other times. The demand for the ban on Chinese products erupts every time whenever the tension between the two neighbours rises.Talking to reporters in the first week of August during the Doklam border issue, Sena’s Punjab state vice president Inderjit Karwal had urged the central government to ban the sale of Chinese products in the Indian markets. He claimed that the public was already “wary of buying” China-made products and the central government should initiate measures to ban them to hit China’s economy. “On one hand, China is provoking Pakistan to foment trouble in India, while on the other hand, it was vetoing in the UN in the matter of declaring Masood Azhar a global terrorist” Karwal was reported as saying.

Post notes ban, BEST gets fake notes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) Undertaking received a maximum number of fake notes — including Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 denominations — in November 2016 when demonetisation was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, data shows.According to figures accessed by DNA, BEST received fake notes worth Rs 206,550 in the financial year ending March 2017 as part of revenue of Rs 1,195 crore from selling bus tickets and season passes; the latter accounted for Rs 28,050 of the total fake currency.In November 2016, BEST received 39 fake notes of Rs 1,000, 37 of Rs 500, and about 300 of Rs 100 denomination.”This was when demonetisation was announced. There was no way of identifying the fake ones and so such a huge number was accumulated,” a BEST official said, on condition of anonymity.However, those numbers fell soon — only 13 units of Rs 500 and two of Rs 100 were received in December 2016. Since January 2017, the BEST received only Rs 400 in fake currency.

Is any special consideration given to Thomas Chandy? HC asks Kerala govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Kerala High Court on Thursday came out against the state government for its inaction against state Transport Minister Thomas Chandy, whose company had allegedly violated rules to construct a road through paddy fields to a lake resort owned by him in Alappuzha district.Considering a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking registration of an FIR against Chandy, the bench of Justices P N Raveendran and Devan Ramachandran asked whether there is any special consideration given to the minister.The Court observed that if it was an ordinary citizen, he would have been evicted using bulldozers.All are equal before law, the court said.When the matter came up, the government counsel informed the court that it was probing the cases against the minister.The authenticity of documents produced by the minister on the issue need to be examined before filing a report, it said.The government also pleaded that no special consideration was given to Chandy.The PIL filed sought a court directive to register an FIR for alleged violation of provisions of Kerala Land Conservancy Act and Kerala Conservation of Paddy Land and Wetland Act by Water World Tourism company which owns the Lake Palace Resort in Alappuzha.Chandy has been facing allegations for allegedly filling paddy fields for the construction of a parking space and encroaching Marthandam backwaters.Chandy, a nominee of the NCP in the CPI(M)-led LDF government, has been under attack from the Congress-led UDF opposition and the BJP ever since the allegations surfaced some time back.Stepping up its demand for Chandy’s resignation, opposition alleged there was “mystery” behind Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan protecting the transport minister even after the revenue minister had accepted the district collector’s report that “found serious violation of rules”.A businessman-turned-politician, Chandy joined the ministry in April following the resignation of A K Saseendran over allegations of sexual misconduct.​

Tempo kills 9-yr-old Malad schoolgirl

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A nine-year-old girl died, and three of her schoolmates sustained injuries after a speeding tempo rammed into them at Malad on Tuesday morning. The deceased has been identified as Muskaan Memon, and one of the three injured, who are siblings, is in critical condition. Meanwhile, CCTV footage of the accident has gone viral.According to Malwani police, the incident took place around 8 am, when Memon and her friends, all residents of Malwani, were walking at Marve Road near Jari Mari temple.The police suspect that the driver lost control over the vehicle, rammed into a parked auto rickshaw and then went on to hit the children. Passers-by immediately rushed to help and tried to grab the tempo driver who, however, managed to flee.”While Memon died on the spot, we rushed Neha (13), Bhupendra (9) and Kamal Menali (12) to Shatabdi Hospital. While Kamal has been discharged and Bhupendra is out of danger, Neha is still in a critical state. They were later shifted to KEM Hospital,” said Deepak Phatangare, senior police inspector, Malwani Police Station. A case has been registered against the driver.”The tempo has been sent to the Regional Transport Office (RTO) for expert inspection to ascertain whether there were any glitches with the vehicle. The owner of the tempo was contacted, who gave us details about the driver, and efforts are on to nab him,” Phatangare said.A relative of Muskaan said, “She was a very bright student and was studying in a municipal school.””She was the only daughter of her parents.”The police maintain that the children had bunked school, however one of the kids said they had decided to go for a stroll before classes began. “We left home around 7:30 am,” says Kamal, “but since there was still time left for school to start, we thought of taking a stroll. Suddenly a vehicle came from behind and hit us.”Auto driver Ram Kushwaha, whose vehicle was damaged in the accident, had a lucky escape as he was not near the autorickshaw. “I saw a speeding tempo crash into my auto and then drag it, before knocking down the four children,” Kushwaha said.

Pollution checks must from today

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Transport department as made pollution checks mandatory from November 3. Failing to which would invite penalty to vehicle owners. However, the transport department has not given prior information to people.Usually, any new law or rule is implemented after wider publicity through media. But, this time the transport department has not followed this procedure. People have not been informed that from tomorrow they would invite penalty for not having pollution check.Though, the department had made pollution check mandatory a month ago.Now, the vehicle owner would be subject to penalty directly because Rajasthan Vehicle pollution online checking scheme 2017 was launched on October 3 without any publicity. In fact, the department has issued new orders saying that penalty should be imposed from those not having vehicle pollution certificate. “Order for compulsory vehicle pollution check has been received. The officers will now first check pollution certificate before initiating action regarding any application for vehicle-related work,” said Kalpana Agarwal, RTO, Jaipur.

Now, app cab driver check every month

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mobile aggregators have changed the dynamics of travel for Mumbaikars but on the flipside, due to the several complaints of molestation and harassment cases against women passengers, proper background check of drivers has come to the fore again. Over the last several months, the biggest problem faced by the government is getting details out from aggregators like Uber and Ola, who according to the officials from Transport department, share limited information. Now, for the first time, a basic skeletal of details that needs to be provided by the App-based aggregators has been prescribed by the four-member BC Khatua Committee, in which data should be updated and shared every month. In a bid to strengthen safety of passengers, the committee has categorically stated that the aggregator companies need to sign a consent letter with the driver or owner of a vehicle, who join them.The RTO officials claim that over the last 2-3 years there are nearly 4 lakh vehicles that have joined the aggregator platforms in Mumbai and its metropolitan region but then there is little detail about the owners and drivers. Now, the report mentions the need for the aggregators to send a soft copy of the number of taxis plied by them and drivers working for them.With details of each and every driver right from his name, address and government identity proof will fill the loophole.“This will be updated every month before 7th. This is an important point taken up by the committee as we have been struggling to get correct numbers which would help us in maintaining data for transport planning,” said an official from Transport department. Apart from the safety aspect, the travel patterns too have changed since App based aggregators arrived in the scene. The government wants to create a mobility plan and maintain data for the same.

With 50% vacancy, RTOs face personnel shortage

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Figure this. There are 1,000 new applications for driving license and around the same number of new vehicles registered at the four Regional Transport Office of Tardeo, Andheri, Wadala and Borivli each day.There are thousands of auto and taxis which come to get their fitness done. But the burden is on only 50 per cent of the government employees working at these RTOs due to a 50 per cent vacancy across grades at all the RTOs.With an unprecedented growth in the vehicle population in the last 10-15 years, the number of vehicles has increased from 10.30 lakh vehicles in 2000-01 to 16 lakh vehicles in 2007-08. Until March 2017, the number of vehicles had gone up twice and now stands at over 30 lakh vehicles in the city. Across the state, these numbers are huge.This has resulted in a substantial increase in the workload of the motor vehicle department. This has been raised by the BC Khatua Committee which studied various aspects of public transport. They highlighted the disparity in sanctioned strength and vacancies that need to be filled, which, when collated across the four RTOs, shows a 50 per cent vacancy.”In the course of time, the Transport department has helped generate a substantial share of the state’s revenue. Many states like Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, which have a lesser vehicle population, reportedly have a higher number of offices and officers than that of Maharashtra,” states the Khatua report.According to figures, the total vacancies across various groups and departments is 3,637 posts. Of this, most requirements are at the assistant inspector level in charge of checking vehicles, testing drivers, inspecting vehicles involved in accidents, going on field to catch motorists breaching laws and giving licences at the RTOs. At least 77 per cent of the total sanctioned strength of 1,302 posts are empty.The unions have been complaining the lack of manpower has seen little detection of illegal operations of taxi and autos plying in the city. The report has mentioned that even commuters complain against the non-use of meters, overcharging and misconduct of drivers; which barely gets addressed as there are not enough men to do the job at the RTOs.The Transport department officials agree that basic infrastructure like software, computers and other hardwar provided at RTOs is inadequate. The Khatua Committee has now recommended the government to fill up these vacancies within a year.

Himachal Pradesh: At least 3 killed, 18 injured after bus tumbles down 400 feet gorge

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At least three people were killed and 18 others injured today when a bus plunged into a 400-feet gorge at Kumarsein on the Hindustan-Tibet National Highway, about 85-km from here, police said.The Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) bus, carrying 36 passengers, was travelling from Jhakri to Dharamshala, they said.One person died on the spot while two others died during the rescue operations, Director General of Police Somesh Goyal said.Six people, who were seriously injured, were taken to the Indira Gandhi Medical College here while 12 others were undergoing treatment at the Community Health Centre (CHC) in Kumarsein, he said.The police and local people rescued the passengers and the deceased are yet to be identified, the police said.The death toll may rise as six people are in a critical condition, they said, adding investigations are on to ascertain the cause of the accident.

Nitin Gadkari urges automobile makers to use coastal shipping to transport vehicles

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Saturday flagged off export of Ashok Leyland trucks by coastal route to Bangladesh, and appealed to automobile manufacturers to opt for coastal shipping mode to transport vehicles.Transportation by road was costly and would pollute the environment even as there was the risk of accidents, the Union Minister for Shipping, Road Transport and Highways said.”That is the reason that we have decided to use waterways and coastal transport. This is going to reduce the cost, save time and at the same time will be very good for environment.” “I appeal to all automobile manufacturers to use waterways for transporting their automobiles,” he said over video conferencing from Nagpur.Earlier, he flagged off auto major Ashok Leyland’s consignment of 185 trucks transported through the roll-on roll-off (RoRo) coastal movement from Chennai Port to Mongla Port in Bangladesh.He recalled that India had signed a coastal shipping agreement with Bangladesh during Prime Minister Narenda Modi’s 2015 visit there.RoRo service was already happening between Chennai and Kochi and Kochi to Kandla and “this is a great example which is going to inspire and motivate all automobile manufacturers,” Gadkari added.Minister for State for Shipping and Road Transport, Pon Radhakrishnan said export of trucks by Ashok Leyland by sea route to Bangladesh would reduce the time by about 15-20 days as it takes only five days to reach the destination by sea.The benefits include avoiding pollution and possible accidents, the Minister, present at the Chennai Port, added.Ashok Leyland Managing Director Vinod K Dasari said the company had been exporting trucks to Bangladesh for 40 years using the road route and added that various issues, including congestion at the border and delay in crossing it had prompted them to think of an alternative following which the government suggested the sea route.”We do about 5,000 vehicles per year for Bangladesh. This is the first lot of 185 vehicles (through RoRo) and hopefully we continue to do more and use this as a route rather than the long (road) route,” he said.The cost-wise benefits of opting for the sea route were still being worked out, he said, adding “I hope it is more profitable and if profitable we will do more.” Meanwhile, a government release said that following the 2015 agreement between the two countries, transportation from Indian ports to Bangladesh ports “is being treated as coastal movement, making it eligible for 40 per cent concession on vessel-related and cargo-related charges.” “For coastal movement through RoRo vessels, 80 per cent concession on vessel-related and cargo-related charges are applicable in Indian Ports,” it said.Chennai Port started coastal RoRo service in August 2016 when 800 Hyundai cars were shipped on RoRo vessels from Chennai to Pipavav in Gujarat for local distribution, it said.”Initiatives like this are aimed at providing innovative logistic chain solutions under Sagarmala. The ultimate objective is to save logistic costs and time of transportation and boosting trade by making Indian goods competitive in international markets,” it added.

Odd-even scheme set to make a comeback

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi government is all set to bring back the odd-even road-rationing system in the national Capital if pollution levels cross the ‘severe’ category mark. Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot, in a letter to the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) and senior officers in the ministry on Wednesday, asked them to be “fully geared up for the implementation of the odd-even scheme, if pollution levels increase”.The plan to reduce the number of vehicles on the city roads, to cut down vehicular emissions contributing to 20 per cent of pollution in Delhi-NCR, was first introduced by the Kejriwal-led AAP government in 2016. It was first implemented during January 1-15, 2016, and then again from April 15-30, 2016.DNA had last month (September 25) reported that the scheme may return this winter, as part of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) which suggests resorting to the measure, if pollution levels cross the ‘severe’ mark touching ’emergency’ category. The GRAP was enforced in Delhi on October 17.”With the increase in pollution levels in Delhi, the government may have to resort to emergency measures, including implementation of the odd-even scheme. It is, therefore, essential that the transport department, DTC, DIMTS, are fully geared up, as and when the same is announced,” the letter stated.The procurement of additional buses by DTC shall be the main component, it further said.Gahlot, in this regard, also asked the concerned departments – DTC and Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System (DIMTS) – “to chalk out an Action Plan for procurement of buses, conductors and submit the same within seven days”.The minister had discussed the implementation of the scheme with officials of the transport department in a meeting on October 23.”We are considering the implementation of the scheme in view of the increase in pollution levels beyond the severe mark. However, we have to make sure there is enough preparation if the situation turns so,” said a senior Delhi government official.The scheme, however, had failed in 2016 in absence of a robust public transport system, receiving much flak from the public at large.According to a recent survey, Delhi needs at least 11,000 buses plying on a daily basis. However, the DTC at present has a fleet of around 5,600 buses, of which only 4,200 are plying, as the remaining have turned defunct.The AAP government in 2015 had promised to add 10,000 buses to the DTC fleet and 736 cluster buses. However, while no new DTC buses have been procured, only 215 cluster buses were added.

Ola, Uber users may soon be able to choose co-riders

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi Transport Department is mulling a new set of rules for shared cab services, which will enable passengers to choose their co-travellers. In the existing practice, commuters sharing a cab are shortlisted by the service providers through a specially designed algorithm.The move, which is still in the discussion phase, may enable sharing facility to continue. The service has been under the radar for sometime now, for violating the Motor Vehicle Act. The Contract Carriage Permit does not allow multiple bookings of a cab by different passengers, which is the core of sharing service that is being provided by aggregators such as Ola and Uber.A cab can be booked by as many as four passengers sharing a ride. As per a clause under the permit, a person has to book the entire vehicle. The Stage Carriage Permit, however, allows booking of a seat in commercial vehicles, such as bus.As per the new proposal, the primary passenger or the one who booked the cab first will be able to decide who he or she wants to travel with. Sources in the Transport Department said they will soon discuss the new measure with app-based service providers. They further informed that they would ask the service providers to devise an algorithm and put in a system in place in this regard.The move, if brought into force, will save the sharing service that has become hugely popular among commuters for being economical. A few months ago, there were reports that the Delhi government was thinking of banning the shared service as it was violating the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988. According to reports, instead of banning the facility, the Delhi government is bringing in new clauses that will allow cabs to ply on roads under shared category.One of the salient features of the new policy, which will bring all radio-based cab providers under one umbrella, will be zero surge pricing. The government will fix a maximum fare, charging anything beyond which will invite a heavy fine. The cab operators will also have to get license from the state transport department to run on roads. A fleet of minimum 100 vehicles will be mandatory to get a license.AS PER CLAUSEA cab can be booked by as many as four passengers sharing a ride. As per a clause under the permit, a person has to book the entire vehicle. The Stage Carriage Permit, however, allows booking of a seat in commercial vehicles

Bombay HC calls MSRTC strike illegal, orders to call it off with immediate effect

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bombay High Court on Friday termed Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) strike illegal and ordered to call it off with immediate effect.MSRTC employees went on an indefinite strike on October 17 demanding the implementation of 7th pay commission.Earlier in the day, the High Court observed that no concrete steps were taken by the government to end the strike.It also added,’If you (state) constitute high power committee, court is ready to give you time.’After that the State Government submitted undertaking before the court that it is ready to constitute a high-power committee which will submit report within three weeks.More than 17 thousand MSRTC buses run throughout the entire state, and about one lakh workers are on strike.The strike has left the daily passengers troubled and they had even appealed to the government to look into the matter.

STs remain off roads for third day in a row

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Despite a marathon seven-hour meeting that went past midnight on Wednesday, negotiations failed and state transport buses remained off roads for the third day in a row.Talks between transport minister Diwakar Raote and the labour unions on Wednesday, who have been demanding salary revision through a 25 percent hike based on 7th Pay Commission, among other demands, proved unfruitful. The unions remained adamant on their strike almost after 13 rounds of discussions. “We have offered whatever we can,” said Raote.”We cannot give one penny extra. Now the union leaders have to take a call”. Sources said the government had offered a hike up to Rs 7,000, and even an increase in pay to those hired on contractual basis.Many people were forced to use private buses or go by special trains, and private operators and taxi services continue to levy higher-than-usual rates. Some sectors, such as Mumbai-Pune, Mumbai-Kolhapur and Konkan have seen a 100 percent jump in rates.The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) is the largest public transport body in the country with fleet of more than 18,000 buses.

65L people affected as state transport buses go off roads

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Leaving holidaying Mumbaikars stranded, more than 95 percent of the total 1.07 lakh staff of Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) went on strike from midnight on Monday. The Maharashtra State ST Kamagar Sanghatana (MSSKS), supported by six other labour unions, have given an indefinite strike call demanding implementation of the 7th Pay Commission, as well as a hike by 2.5 times in their salaries.The state-run corporation termed the strike illegal, claiming that they had already agreed to pay dearness allowance and Diwali bonus amounting to around Rs 20,000 per person.The situation will remain grim for lakhs of people across the state as the unions are yet to call off the strike. However, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis expressed confidence that the strike would be called off, and he would intervene if needed.A total of 18,000 MSRTC buses remained off road on Tuesday, causing hardship to around 65 lakh people, many of whom were headed to their native towns and villages.On Tuesday morning, all 250 state transport bus depots were filled with stationary buses. This in turn, increased the load on the Indian Railways.MSRTC usually operates 58,000 bus services across the state daily. On Tuesday, it could operate only 680 services. In Mumbai region – which includes Thane and Konkan — it operated just 28 services, and of those, only one in Mumbai city.The MSRTC administration had set a 5 pm deadline for the unions to resume work, which was ignored. Stressing that they stand firm on the strike decision, Sandeep Shinde, leader of MSSKS said that they were ready for negotiations, but were not invited for it by the administration.Transport minister Diwakar Raote said that the government was supportive of the pay hike demand made by the MSRTC employees. “All through the day, we asked the unions to come and resolve the issue, but they didn’t,” said Raote. “This is the doing of Congress-led unions. They didn’t even listen to the Chief Minister. There are employees who want to work but are afraid.”Meanwhile, the state government allowed private vehicles including trucks, buses, school buses and other vehicles to ferry passengers. Transport authorities roped in more than 3,500 private buses, school buses and black-and-yellow taxis for passenger service till 2 pm, but they did not prove sufficient.The Dadar-Pune Shivneri bus stand, from where a bus departs for Pune every 15 minutes, was did not have any staff or buses. Passengers complained that some private operators had hiked their fare. “I was not aware about the strike. I came to know when I reached here,” said S More, 33-year-old Pune resident. The Mumbai-Pune Taxi Owners’ Association said the demand for their taxis had grown two to three-fold.The MSRTC is expecting a loss of Rs 22 crore due to the strike; they will be refunding money to people with prior bookings.

Stop Mayor from using red beacon, says officials

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Politicians and their penchant for beacons on top of their vehicles continue despite the Union government wanting to end VIP culture. In the latest case, Mumbai’s Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar of Shiv Sena has allegedly been found flouting the ban on red beacons on cars of dignitaries and officials. The Regional Transport Office (RTO) of Tardeo has now sent a notice to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) asking them to remove the red beacon from his vehicle.The officials from Tardeo RTO said that both old and new cars belonging to the Mayor have a beacon atop them in violation of rules.”This notice was sent to the BMC on October 13 after the administration installed red beacon on Mayor’s Innova Crysta (MH-01-CT-1935) car that the civic body brought after paying Rs 19 lakh and was registered with us on October 4,” said an official from Tardeo RTO.The limit to be spent for Mayor is Rs 15 lakh set by the state government. Sources said that Mahadeshwar was also using a red beacon on his old car XUV 500 (MH-01-AN-5424).When contacted, Mahadeshwar said that he has not received any notice from the RTO and he does not use a red beacon. He said that the beacon is covered. Mahadeshwar’s predecessor as Mayor, Snehal Ambekar had also refused to do away with the red beacon.

Govt to recruit 3500 PT, drawing teachers for state schools

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Gujarat government has announced that around 3500 teachers having specialisation in Physical Training(PT) and drawing will be recruited on contractual basis. The proposal put forward by education minister was passed during cabinet meeting held on Sunday. CM Vijay Rupani had called this meeting as government could not hold cabinet meeting in last two weeks.The deputy chief minister Nitin Patel said, “Gujarat government has decided to recruit 1,739 PT and drawing teachers each.They will serve in different government schools and their recruitment will be on contractual basis for five years with monthly emoluments of Rs. 9000. If their work is found satisfactory after the review, they will be made permanent.”The government also extended the time limit of offering allowance to farmers for foreign export or transportation of tomatoes and potatoes in other states from Gujarat. The government gives Re 1 per kg to farmers as transportation allowance. Earlier the term was to expire on October 31 which has been extended to December 31 now.”We observed that the farmers were hugely benefitted by this scheme but the production of potatoes and tomatoes has increased this year. Farmers have a huge stocks of tomatoes and potatoes and they had made representations before the government to extend the limit of this scheme. The government has agreed on their demands and the term is extended up to the year end,” added Patel.CM TO INAUGURATE CITY PROJECTS TODAYChief minister Vijay Rupani will inaugurate several public projects, including flagging off 40 new buses of Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation, in Ahmedabad on Monday. The CM will dedicate different public amenities, prepared at an expense of Rs. 155 crore and prepare grounds for upcoming projects by Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation at an expense of Rs. 49 crore. Rupani will also lay a foundation stone for projects of Rs. 181.33 crore to be made by Ahmedabad Urban Development Agency.

Heart from Mumbai saves Lebabon businessman’s life in Chennai

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Waiting to receive a heart for a month, 61-year-old Lebanese businessman in Chennai finally received a heart on Thursday, October 12. As per the Zonal Transport Transplant Co-ordination (ZTCC) centre, it is the first time that a heart has been transported to another city from Mumbai.A green corridor was formed from Apollo Hospital in Navi Mumbai to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (Domestic) Airport in order to transport the 43-year-old donor’s heart to Chennai. A distance of 32 km was covered in 40 minutes during the green corridor.Dr Prasad Mugalikar, Medical Director, Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai, said, “Chetan Tailor from Khapoli, was admitted in a critical condition. On medical evaluation he was diagnosed to have bleeding in the brain stem and despite efforts, he could not be revived. He was declared brain dead on Thursday. The family members were counselled and they agreed to donate his organs. The heart was retrieved as other organs were not suitable for transplantation.”The heart recipient was diagnosed with cardiac ailments a year ago in Lebanon and the condition of his heart worsened over time. 61-year-old heart receiver was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, an end stage heart failure and was immediately registered on Organ waitlist. The heart recipient was born and brought up in Lebanon, his family comprises of three children and his wife.The heart landed in Chennai at 4.05 pm and reached at Fortis Malar Hospital by 04.36pm. A green corridor was organised at Chennai and at traversed a distance of 12 km in 26 minutes.

Truckers go on 2-day strike, Rs 600 cr biz hit

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Business worth Rs 600 crore was hit in the state as truckers began their two-day strike against GST on Monday.Transportation of goods was affected, said industry sources. Truckers had called for the strike in protest against the indifferent attitude of the government. However, the recent meeting of the GST Council sorted out certain issues while some are still pending.Truckers in Gujarat joined their 1.5 crore brethren across the country for the strike. Industry sources told DNA that the strike evoked a mixed response as it was not expected that trucks already in transit would participate in it. “However, new departures were affected. While it is difficult to quantify the losses, it can be estimated at Rs 500-600 crore,” said Mukesh Dave, vice president, Western Region of All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC), which had given called the strike.The recent rollbacks by the central government after the GST Council meet on Friday had eased pain points like the Reverse Charge Mechanism and e-Way bill, whose implementation was deferred till March 31, 2018. This also placated transporters to an extent.However, the issue of 28 per cent tax while buying and selling of vehicles is not yet resolved. AIMTC said that the registration is coercive and many of the compliances unnecessary. An unregistered transporter has to pay GST while buying and selling of trucks. Also, GST needs to be paid even if the goods are shifted from one branch of the office to another.AIMTC also suggested that diesel and toll expenses be brought under GST fuel expenses, constitute 50%, while toll expenses constitute 20% of truckers’ total expenses. “The exorbitant rise in the price of diesel and daily fluctuations have brought the neck of the road transport sector,” said AIMTC. The central government had announced a reduction in excise duty on fuel and had urged the state governments to reduce Value Added Tax (VAT) on the products. “Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani is ready to reduce VAT,” said Dave.

Delhi Metro fare hike can’t be put on hold: Centre tells Arvind Kejriwal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Centre on Saturday told Arvind Kejriwal government that the Delhi Metro fare hike can’t be put on hold as it would be against the Metro Act.“Your (Delhi government) suggestion that this ministry direct that the fare increase be kept on hold overlooks the fact the Central government does not have any such authority. Tampering with the recommendations of FFC is legally untenable,” Union Minister Hardip Singh Puri was quoted as saying by the Times of India.The Union Minister also sent a letter to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal that has ruled out any rollback on the fare hike.Puri, who has taken a firm stand on the issue, had said that the last fare hike was implemented in 2009. He had said that the Delhi Metro needs money else it would turn into DTC, referring to the poor condition of buses run by the Delhi Transport Corporation.Reacting on Puri’s statement, Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had said that the DTC may be suffering losses, but it was at least serving the people. “The DMRC should go for property development, food courts and advertisements to generate revenue and not just passenger fares,” he said.

BEST puts AC bus revival on ice

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mumbaikars will not have the luxury of travelling in AC buses — at least at this point in time. After its proposal to scrap 259 AC buses, the BEST Committee on Thursday rejected the plan to hire 50 mini AC buses and 50 non-AC buses. This decision was taken after the committee claimed that there was no proper process followed in the inception of the plan and that no tenders had been called for the same.”We are cancelling the proposal to procure these mini AC buses,” said Anil Kokil, Chairman, BEST Committee. The decision has inadvertently hurt the future of air-conditioned buses in a Metropolitan city like Mumbai.The committee members claimed that proper tendering process hadn’t been followed to procure these buses. Earlier in April, the BEST Undertaking had planned to get these 50 mini AC buses on a wet lease basis where the buses and drivers would be provided by a private operator with no conductor on board.The BEST was to procure these buses which would have cost them Rs 28 per km as opposed to their present expenditure of Rs 48 per km for each bus.An entire lot of these AC buses were expected to ply 4,500 km per month. The cost of repairs and maintenance would be borne by the private contractor and the buses would be parked at Deonar, Shivaji Nagar and Malwani depots at an annual rent of Re 1 per bus.BEST also had plans to get 50 mini non-AC buses, which has been cancelled.”Getting buses on a wet lease is the most economical way for the BEST. Now, this has been cancelled,” said Surendra Bagde, General Manager, BEST Undertaking.Committee members said they have not approved it because the BEST was procuring these buses on ‘rate contract’ whose cost is decided by Association of State Road Transport Undertaking (ASRTU) and not through tendering process.However, BEST officials said that political representatives from different political parties are against privatisation of bus services.”They have the wrong notion that a wet lease would mean complete privatisation. But this is how many global city bus services function,” said a BEST official.In limboThe BEST kept scrapping the proposal for 259 AC buses as the case is being heard at the High Court. These buses barely saw 7,000 passengers annually. Over the past few weeks, the BEST stopped plying AC bus fleet.This is being done as part of the plan to help ease financial burden and save the undertaking Rs 700 crore annually.

Will Delhi Metro revert its ‘anti-people’ fare hike decision after Arvind Kejriwal’s intervention

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi government on Thursday have directed the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to put on hold any impending fare hike till the completion of enquiry on the matter.In a letter addressed to the DMRC, Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot on Thursday said, “Delhi Metro is directed to put on hold any further hike till Delhi government completes its enquiry and forms an opinion on this subject.””The proposed fare hike by Delhi Metro is likely to adversely affect the interests of a large number of commuters in Delhi,” Gahlot said. “Delhi Government is completely against any hike in Metro fares,” he added.The transport minister also said the it is not clear whether the Delhi government’s stand was considered by the fare fixation committee of Delhi Metro.Earlier, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal came down heavily against fare hike in Delhi Metro. Terming the fare hike as “anti-people”, Kejriwal in a letter to Gahlot directed the transport minister to look into the matter immediately and stop the proposed fare hike.“The Metro fare hike is anti-people. Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot has been directed to find a solution to prevent a hike in metro fares within a week.”The revised metro fares are likely to be increased by Rs 10 next month. Under the revised fares, commuters will have to pay Rs 10 for 0-2 kms, Rs 20 for 2-5 kms, Rs 30 for 5-12 kms, Rs 40 for 12-21 kms, Rs 50 for 21-32 kms and Rs 60 for more than 32 kms. The fare hike is likely to be implemented from October 3 as October 1 is Sunday and October 2 is Gandhi Jayanti, This is the second time the fares are set to increase this year. Earlier this year in May, DMRC had revised its fares with effect from May 10.

Find ways to stop waste burning, MCDs told

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a bid to curb air pollution this winter, the Environment Control Pollution Authority (EPCA) on Tuesday asked the municipal corporations of Delhi-NCR to make a strategy to put a stop to burning of waste in the open as well as to monitor construction sites.The EPCA, a Supreme Court (SC)-mandated body to check air pollution in the Capital, directed the civic bodies to file action taken reports (ATR) on a fortnightly basis. The move has come just ahead of the implementation of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP). The plan will be implemented in the city from October 15.”We have directed the civic bodies to prepare contingency plans to tackle instances of blazes at landfill sites, all of which are operating beyond their saturation points. We will have to ensure monitoring and vigilance throughout this period, to prevent a repeat of November, 2016, smog,” said Bhure Lal, a former bureaucrat who heads the Authority.Besides, the corporations have also been told to form vigilance teams to conduct intensive patrolling in their respective areas and submit reports of the same with the authorities concerned as well as with the EPCA.Delhi Environment Secretary Keshav Chandra, who attended the meeting, said fire from landfill sites, fireworks during Diwali, and burning of garbage were the major factors that contributed to a spike in pollution levels during winter.The environment body made it clear that no fireworks should be coming to Delhi from the NCR. Besides the NCR areas including Gurgaon and Faridabad, which do not have an organised garbage collection system , to have a mechanism of proper collection and disposal of waste by December.According to the GRAP, measures under the ‘severe’ and ’emergency’ categories include stopping heavy goods vehicles (except those with essential commodities) from entering the city. The Transport Department and the Traffic Police will be responsible for identifying alternative routes for these vehicles.Also, the corporations and government agencies will be tasked to identify construction sites across the city. “All construction will be stopped, in case of air quality reaching severe levels. District-level committees will be formed to monitor construction sites,” he said.Under the GRAP, each category — emergency, severe, very poor, and moderate to poor — comes with it own advisory. Besides, Pollution Under Control (PUC) test centers will be monitored by the state transport authority and the government’s task force.

Two nabbed for killing businessman

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The North West district police have arrested two people involved in a robbery and murder case of a businessman from Ashoka Park area of Bharat Nagar.According to police, the accused, identified as Sanjay, 24 and Dalip Singh, 31, residents of Azadpur and Shakti Nagar respectively, were arrested along with two others who robbed and murdered Sanjeev Gajwani, 42, a merchant of threads of hosiery at Shastri Nagar, last month outside his house.”According to eyewitnesses, of the two bikes used in the crime, one was a white colour Yamaha R15. Details of the bike were obtained from the Transport Authority office after which we managed to trace the location and arrest the duo,” said Milind Dumbere, Deputy Commissioner Of Police, North West district.According to a police officer, the two accused revealed the names of their associates in the crime, Rajesh and Ravi Dedha, residents of Kaithal and Ghaziabad, who are still absconding. It was revealed that since Dalip used to work in Shastri Nagar he was aware that Gajwani used to carry heavy cash on weekends. The accused revealed that on August 22, they chased the businessman from his workplace, snatched his bag and fired at the Gajwani’s throat when he tried to chase them.

Mumbai: Metro operator seek help from Mumbai Police after security staff goes on strike

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Carrying more than 3 lakh commuters daily, the Mumbai Metro One Private Limited (MMOPL) operating Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro-1 corridor has sought help from the Mumbai Police as security staff of the Maharashtra Security Force (MSF) went on strike Tuesday. The security staff from MSF have gone on strike demanding they be made permanent government employees from the current contract employees. The MSF is not staff recruited by MMOPL but by the state government and is also deployed by the state government for the security of Mumbai Metro.The MMOPL, however, said that due to the security staff of MSF going on strike it has sought assistance from the Mumbai Police including the state government and has also deployed its private security guards to secure the entry and exit points of the 12 Metro stations and depot at Andheri. MMOPL has maintained that no services of the Metro-1 were affected due to the MSF security staff going on strike. A MMOPL spokesperson said, “Today some MSF staff has not reported for duty without any notice. Keeping in mind the convenience and security of commuters, Mumbai Metro One promptly deployed the alternative arrangements. We have also apprised the issue to state govt., MMRDA and Mumbai Police for assistance.”The 11.40-km Metro is jointly owned by Reliance Infrastructure-led MMOPL and Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA).MMOPL, MMRDA, and Veolia Transport SA of France jointly own 69%, 26% and 5% stakes respectively.

Private school cabs won’t face action till Sept 28

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi government’s Transport Department on Monday gave relaxation from action to private vehicles operating as school cabs in the city, till September 28, when examinations in most schools will get over. Most of these vehicles are private vans and mini-buses that ferry schoolchildren. Last week, the department had started a drive against these operators for violation of safety norms and for not having valid commercial permits.Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot told the associations that “action against violators will continue. On request of school owners, however, enforcement action will not be taken against these vehicles till September 28”.Also, by last week, the enforcement teams had impounded over 19,00 vans for flouting norms. The government has now planned to update the School Cab Policy, 2007, with new rules for transporters as well as schools, by the year-end.According to officials, over 70,000 such private vans ply in the city, without following any guidelines. Data says, in 2016, as many as 14.70 lakh students were ferried to schools in illegally plying vans.

Nitin Gadkari suggests electric buses

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) Undertaking is already reeling from severe financial strain, Union Road and Transport minister Nitin Gadkari’s statements in Mumbai on Monday could be cause for added concern. Addressing a conference at the Indo American Chamber of Commerce, Gadkari said that public transport should run on electricity and not depend on diesel.The idea seems environment-friendly though it would a further impact on BEST’s financial health. The cost of each electric bus is about Rs 1.75 crore. This comes at a time when the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has begun procuring 25 hybrid buses at a cost of Rs 2 crore each, that can run on both diesel and electricity and the first such bus has already arrived.”There is a need for public transport to run on electricity. Why should we spend crores on petrol and diesel?” said Gadkari adding that electric buses run in cities like Nagpur.Sources said that the BEST is already working on procuring these electric buses but the undertaking is under prepared for the same. “Our engineers have been working on getting six electric buses on a pilot basis. The cost of each is around Rs 1.75 crore,” said a BEST official.A Bengaluru-based bus manufacturer is working on the interiors and technical aspects of this bus. “The idea is good but the Centre should fully fund these buses. Here, the BEST is taking loans to pay off salaries,” said Ravi Raja, BEST Committee member.The government is also working on electric two-wheelers that will mainly operate in metropolitan and two-tier cities. “Those who can afford it and find it economically viable should convert their car into an electric vehicle. We are working on a model for having electric two-wheelers as public transport,” said Gadkari.The minister claimed there are too many vehicles on the road thus people should use better public transport instead.Best’s strugglesBEST’s total fleet consists of 3,800 buses which include 1,200 diesel buses and 2,600 CNG buses.BEST is suffering losses of Rs 2,500 crore, and taking loans amounting to Rs 150 to 200 crore to pay off salaries and maintaining their buses.They have also taken a loan of Rs 1,600 crore from the BMC. It is also cutting down its fleet of 259 AC buses to manage costs.

Narendra Modi and Shinzo Abe launch bullet train project: 10 important statements made by PM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe laid the foundation stone for India’s first bullet train project on Thursday at a ceremony near the Sabarmati Railway Station in Gujarat. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, on day 2 of his visit to India said: PM Modi and I will work towards realising ‘Jai Japan- Jai India’. Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his gratitude towards Japan by saying: Thank my friend Shinzo Abe, he took a personal interest and assured that there should be no glitches in the project. Here’re other important statements made by Narendra Modi:1. Travel time between Mumbai and Ahmedabad will come down to 2 hrs, almost the hour it takes to reach the airport: PM Modi2. Now next generation growth will happen at places where there are high-speed corridors: PM Modi3. Transport system is of prime importance for a nation’s development: PM Modi 4. A new bullet-train economic zone will be created in the zone after the project kicks off: PM Modi5. Bullet train project brings direct and indirect employment opportunities and thousands will get employment: PM Modi6. Be it the railways, the highways or the airways, we have given same focus to all those sectors. We have done unprecedented work on all the networks: PM Modi7. If technology is used to empower the poor we can win the fight against poverty: PM Modi 8. If one says take loan & return it in 50 yrs, is it believable?But Japan is such a friend, they gave us loan of 88,000 crores at 0.1% interest: PM Modi9. Our railway network is so huge that number of people travelling in trains every week in India is equal to Japan’s total population: PM Modi10. On 75 years of India’s independence around the year 2022-23, wish that both PM Shinzo Abe and I inaugurate the BulletTrain: PM ModiJapanese Prime Minister expressed confidence that this partnership between India and Japan will extend to other areas and turn out beneficial for both the nations. 1. If we work together nothing is impossible: Japanese PM Shinzo Abe 2. I hope to enjoy the beauty of India through the windows of the Bullet Train when I come to India in a few years: Shinzo Abe 3. I wish that when I come here next I come with PM Modi in a Shinkansen: Shinzo Abe 4. Japan is committed to supporting Make In India. Our industries are working with India to give a boost to manufacturing in India: Shinzo Abe

Bizman challenges decision to scrap AC buses

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The decision of Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking to scrap 259 air-conditioned (AC) buses from its fleet has not gone well with Mumbaikars. A businessman with an office at Nepeansea Road, Firoz Khan along with others has challenged the decision in Bombay High Court.The plea has been filed through advocate VP Patil. “We have prayed for directions from the court to stay the decision of the BEST Undertaking to scrap AC Buses,” he said.The petition also opposes the BEST’s plans to lease out their properties to raise capital and instead convert them into playgrounds.”BEST had procured its first batch of 45 air-conditioned buses in 2008-09 at a cost of Rs 55.53 lakh each. In the next financial year, 200 AC buses, purchased at Rs 65.56 lakh each, were added to the fleet. In the last phase of procurement in 2010, the Undertaking procured 14 AC buses at cost of Rs 67.04 lakh each. However, the buses suffered many problems like regular breakdowns, non-functional ACs and rusting bodies.Patil is likely to mention the plea before a bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur on Tuesday, seeking for urgent hearing. He has also attached a report that appeared in DNA on September 8, titled “BEST to finally scrap 259 King Long AC buses,” along with his application.JUDICIAL INQUIRYThe petition also states that from 2012 to 2016, the total losses accumulated by the BEST undertaking are more than Rs 33,000 crore. “A judicial inquiry should be conducted into the matter,” Patil said.

Civic body to clear area below Dadar TT flyover

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The space below Dadar TT flyover is set to get a facelift, and will most likely feature a green landscape. This comes after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) issued letters to those occupying the space below the flyover following an order from the Bombay High Court in June.Apart from the pay-and-park, which has been cleared, the Mumbai-Pune taxi stand and Shivneri buses also operate from here. The BMC’s letter to the occupants states that parking below the flyover is prohibited as it is a security threat.Since 2001, cool cabs using the space were paying rent of Rs 50,000. There are nearly 100 to 120 cabs parked below the flyover. According to sources, the BMC had given the space within 10 pillars under the approximately 2-km long flyover which permits half the number of taxis currently parked.The Mumbai-Pune Taxi Owners Association owes nearly Rs 1 crore to the BMC. They have been asked to pay the balance license fee with immediate effect. “We were asked to use this space as the BMC had some road-related work at our earlier parking place. We are ready to move provided the BMC hands over the 100 plus parking space that belongs to us at our original location,” said Shankar Shetty, union leader of the Association.Even the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC), that runs the inter-city Shivneri buses from Dadar, operate from here. “We operate 52 buses from here for which we have been given special permission. We park our buses at Parel depot,” said an official from MSRTC.Meanwhile, locals are happy with the decision. “We will write to the BMC to have a skating ring and mini garden below the flyover,” said Nikhil Desai, civic activist and local resident.TIME UP, MOVE OUTThe pay-and-park that operated from below the flyover has been cleared
The Mumbai-Pune Taxi Owners Association owes the BMC nearly Rs 1 crore
The taxi association wants their original location returned to them before they move

Govt to discuss City Taxi Scheme with all stakeholders today

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi government is all set to discuss its much-awaited City Taxi Scheme, 2017, with all the stakeholders on Monday. The comprehensive policy aims at regulating fares and terms of services for all types of taxis plying in the city, including kali-peelis, economy radio taxis and app-based taxi aggregators, such as Ola and Uber.The meeting with the representatives of taxi unions in the city, meant to finalise the modalities of the scheme, will be chaired by Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot. “The policy has been prepared. We have held discussions with the minister. This is supposed to be our final meeting with the stakeholders to apprise them of the guidelines being framed. We have tried to keep their best interests in mind while preparing the policy,” a senior Delhi government official said.The policy is intended to bring all taxis plying under the same umbrella, which will ensure the safety of passengers, especially women, the officer said.The taxi unions, however, are opposed to bringing the app-based cab services under the same policy. The auto and taxi union drivers claim the app-based cabs “affect their business” and do not hold “valid permits”.Most of the nearly dozen major auto-taxi unions in the city are affiliated with political parties, including AAP, BJP, and Congress.Kishan Verma, President of the All Delhi Auto-Taxi Transport Congress Union, said: “We may even boycott the meeting. These app-based ride services do not have permits to ply. Also, they are a threat to passenger safety as their drivers are not verified. We have held three meetings with the department officials in this regard.”Last month, DNA had reported that the scheme was likely to be bifurcated for normal taxis and technology-based aggregators. The bifurcation will mean that app-based aggregators will be able to procure permits to ply as on-demand transportation technology, with fixed fares and service benefits for employees, unlike at present.In 2014, the Delhi High Court (HC) had suspended Uber operations after one of its drivers was accused of raping a passenger.The new rules will require cab aggregators to install panic button, PSV badges, fixed hours of work, and no surge pricing. The scheme, being readied as per the Centre’s Motor Vehicles Act Amendment Bill, 2016, of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, is yet to be reviewed by Lieutenant Governor (L-G) Anil Baijal.PATH TO FOLLOWThe Karnataka and Maharashtra state governments had recently formulated new polices to regulate taxis and aggregators. Last year, the two state governments brought in the Karnataka On-demand Transportation Technology Aggregators Rules, 2016, and the Maharashtra City Taxi Scheme, 2016, respectively, to license app-based cab services.

School vehicle not registered with RTO

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the school vehicle accident which happened on the Navapura road in Changodar, 20 people were injured including 19 students and a driver after a school vehicle collided with a truck. It was revealed during the investigation that the school vehicle was not registered with the Regional Transport Office (RTO) and it was not authorised to ferry schoolchildren.According to Changodar police sub-inspector JV Rathod, “The school vehicle which was carrying schoolchildren neither had any logo nor the name of the school. We suspect that the vehicle was privately arranged by parents to drop their kids to school. We have started an investigation into the incident and school authorities will be questioned as to whether the vehicle was authorised by the school or not.”The Bavla Regional transport officers had also reached the spot and found out that the van which was ferrying the schoolchildren was not authorised to carry school kids as the vehicle was not registered with the RTO.As per RTO norms, a school vehicle and driver’s name should be registered with the RTO by the school authority. In this case, it was not registered and had the registration of a passenger vehicle.As per RTO officials, a school vehicle should be coloured yellow compulsorily. It should also have a fire extinguisher, First Aid kit and more importantly an attendant to guide the bus driver regarding traffic and to take care of the children inside.DH Yadav, RTO of Bavla, said, “We have are going to issue a notice to the Divyapath school for not following RTO norms and for their negligence. As it is their duty to verify whether the school vehicle is authorised and is following the norms.We will also suspend the driving license of the driver and his permit for his negligence.”Help pours in from AmdavadisAs messages of requirement of blood started going viral on social media, help from different walks of life started pouring in. Ritesh Sharma, 29-year-old social worker said, “As soon as I saw the message, I rushed to Zydus as I live nearby. I also took three people along with me. When I reached there were around 40 people volunteering to donate blood.”Injured rushed to hosp in Police vanThe injured were rushed to the hospital in Police vehicles after reaching the spot along with 108 emergency. Some were ferried in the 108 while Changodar police rushed the remaining in their vehicle. As per police officials, when they reached the spot, only one ambulance was present, which could not ferry all victims. “Around six were taken to hospital by in the police van,” an officer said.Statement released by Zydus HospitalOn Friday morning, 13 schoolchildren and one adult (driver) were brought into the emergency medicine department of Zydus hospital with multiple injuries. Of the 13 kids, one was discharged after treatment. Rest of the schoolchildren were admitted in the paediatric intensive care unit and neuro intensive care unit for treatment.We are thankful to Amdavadis for coming in to donate blood to the victims. All our requirements for blood have been met. As of now we do not require anymore blood.

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