SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


ADVERTISEMENT

Yahoo! Answers

 

THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
D E L H I   A N D   N E I G H B O U R H O O D

Bill on demolitions, sealings being drawn up: CM
Announcement after Congress delegation meets PM
New Delhi, May 8
A Bill to provide relief from court-ordered demolitions and sealings in the Capital is being drawn up ahead of the Parliament session being reconvened on Wednesday, Delhi Chief Minister Ms Sheila Dikshit announced today.

Safdarjung Hospital’s ex-CMO jailed for graft after 11-year trial
New Delhi, May 8
After 11 years of trial, former Chief Medical Officer of Safdarjung Hospital Prem Pal Singh was today sentenced to five years’ rigorous imprisonment for taking Rs 1,000 as bribe for issuing proof of treatment to a three-year-old patient.

Actor Farooq Sheikh lights a lamp at a function to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the First War of Independence as Union Minister of Youth and Sports Manishankar Aiyer looks on.

Actor Farooq Sheikh lights a lamp at a function to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the First War of Independence as Union Minister of Youth and Sports Manishankar Aiyer looks on.
— Tribune photo









EARLIER STORIES

 

‘Govt shortchanging people on RTI Act’
Gurgaon, May 8
The Chief Information Commissioner of India, Mr Wajahat Habibullah, expressed concern here that the Union Government was slow in fulfilling the duties enjoined upon it by the Right to Information Act, 2005.

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit paying floral tributes to martyrs in the Hardinge bomb case in the Capital on Monday.
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit paying floral tributes to martyrs in the Hardinge bomb case in the Capital on Monday. — Tribune photo

Youth relieves bank of
Rs 40 lakh

New Delhi, May 8
A youth posing as a human bomb today decamped with Rs 40 lakh from UTI Bank’s Vikaspuri branch in West Delhi this afternoon.

Heat wave has abated, says weatherman
New Delhi, May 8
The severe heat wave that has been tormenting the people of Delhi for the last nearly a week abated today with the temperature plummeting to 41.4 degree Celsius, one degree above normal.

Work on new SEZ to commence soon
Gurgaon, May 8
With Haryana Cabinet taking a decision to abandon the earlier plan to allow the Reliance group to set up the much-hyped Special Economic Zone here in favour of a joint venture between the private firm and Haryana Industrial Development Corporation, government circles are now busy clearing the decks for commencing work on it at an early date.

BSES fire-fighting measures only on paper, say firemen
New Delhi, May 8
At a time when emphasis is being given to strengthening fire-fighting measures in the city, particularly due to the scorching summer heat, it is strange that there is a complete lack of such preventive measures at most of the 30 power grid sub stations run by the BSES in the Trans-Yamuna area.

34 farmhouses sealed in Capital, MCD tells HC
New Delhi, May 8
About 34 farmhouses, which were unauthorisedly operating in the Capital, have been sealed, the MCD informed the Delhi High Court today.

Computers gather dust in absence of teachers
New Delhi, May 8
Expensive computers purchased by the Delhi Education Department and installed in over 400 schools run by Delhi Government are gathering dust for the last one year as there are no computer teachers in most of the schools.

Autopsies carried out under the open sky here
Noida, May 8
In Noida, the post-mortem examination of bodies is conducted under the open skies in the post-mortem house in Sector 94. The bodies are normally placed on the ground for the post-mortem operations.

Akali factions join hands against pro-Congress leaders
New Delhi, May 8
Despite ruling out any pre-poll alliance ahead of key Sikh elections in the Capital, Akali arch-rivals came together on a common platform with a single aim to unseat the pro-Congress controllers of Delhi’s Sikh religious administration.

Assembly may be convened to take up office of profit issue
New Delhi, May 8
With the sword of disqualification hanging over several local Congress lawmakers holding office of profit, the Delhi Government is planning to convene a special session of the Assembly to deal with the situation.

After a day’s respite, it’s power cuts as usual
New Delhi, May 8
After a respite from power cuts on Sunday due to a dip in demand, Delhiites today had to again endure loadshedding as the peak requirement climbed to 3,368 MW, with a shortfall of 350 MW, even as Chief Minister Ms Sheila Dikshit renewed the appeal to the people to cut down electricity consumption.

Traders call for ‘Delhi Bandh’ on May 11
New Delhi, May 8
The trading community of Delhi will observe a ‘Delhi Bandh’ on May 11 to demand that the Centre introduce a Bill in ensuing session of Parliament to regularize commercial establishments in residential areas and unauthorized buildings in Delhi.

Govt-aided schools to close from Wednesday
New Delhi, May 8
Offering relief to thousands of schoolchildren from the tormenting heat, the Delhi Government today ordered closure of all aided schools in the city from Wednesday and asked public schools to advance their summer break.

CGHS scam: Interim bail of two accused extended
New Delhi, May 8
A city court today extended the interim bail of two former CGHS officials allegedly involved in the Rs 4000-crore Co-operative Group Housing Scheme (CGHS) scam till May 22.

Notices to DDA, MCD
New Delhi, May 8
The Delhi High Court today issued notices to DDA and MCD seeking action against all unauthorised constructions in the Patiala and Tis Hazari court complexes.

Kashmiri teachers get 3-yr extension
New Delhi, May 8
The Delhi Cabinet today decided to give three-year extension to Kashmiri migrant teachers employed on contract basis in Capital’s government schools.
Top




 

 


 

 

Bill on demolitions, sealings being drawn up: CM
Announcement after Congress delegation meets PM
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 8
A Bill to provide relief from court-ordered demolitions and sealings in the Capital is being drawn up ahead of the Parliament session being reconvened on Wednesday, Delhi Chief Minister Ms Sheila Dikshit announced today.

“A Bill is being drawn up and would be forwarded to the Union Cabinet soon,” Ms Dikshit told reporters after she met Prime Minister Mr Manmohan Singh as part of a Congress delegation to request that a legislation should be introduced in the coming session to stop the MCD drive.

The Chief Minister, who was accompanied by DPCC Chief Mr Rambabu Sharma and Congress MPs of Delhi, said the Prime Minister too agreed with their request that there should be “a moratorium on the current MCD drive”.

“We are hopeful that the Bill will come,” she said when asked about the government’s immediate plan over the razing down of illegal construction work and sealings of commercial establishments in residential zones in accordance with court orders.

The Chief Minister, who said both the Prime Minister and Urban Development Minister Mr S Jaipal Reddy were “seized” of the situation that developed in Delhi in the wake of the court orders, insisted that the Bill underway would cover a spectrum of issues related to housing and work space in the Capital.

“It will also cover rural areas of Delhi,” Ms Dikshit said.

The party delegation requested the Prime Minister to provide relief to J J clusters as well in the light of court directions to remove slums along the Yamuna.

Congress leaders Mr Kapil Sibal, Mr Jagdish Tytler and Mr Sajjan Kumar were part of the party delegation that called on the Prime Minister at his residence here.

In his comments, the DPCC chief spoke about a variety of requests the delegation made to Singh over housing and work space issues of Delhi, such as work space for hawkers and vendors and relief for slum dwellers.

On Friday, Union Minister of State for Urban Development Mr Ajay Maken told reporters that the Centre would soon identify space for hundreds of thousands of hawkers to work in Delhi.

His comments came in the wake of recent court orders to clear Delhi streets of unauthorised hawkers and vendors.

The series of court moves since December last year on housing and work space in Delhi have triggered protests, mostly by store owners, in the Capital.

Urban Development sources, however, say that the Bill would aim to provide relief only to minor violators of building laws.

There will be no leniency in MCD drives against encroachment on public land, the sources said. 

Top

 

Safdarjung Hospital’s ex-CMO jailed for graft after
11-year trial

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 8
After 11 years of trial, former Chief Medical Officer of Safdarjung Hospital Prem Pal Singh was today sentenced to five years’ rigorous imprisonment for taking Rs 1,000 as bribe for issuing proof of treatment to a three-year-old patient.

Singh, a veteran in orthopaedic surgery and treatment, was found guilty of offences under the relevant sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act by Special Judge Vinod Goel, who also imposed a fine of Rs 12,000 on the doctor.

Declining any leniency to the convict, the court observed that “the maximum sentence of imprisonment is the need of the hour to the public servant found guilty of corruption”.

Three-year-old Vishal, son of a government staffer, was admitted to Safdarjung Hospital in 1996 for an impending bone graft surgery and was attended on by Singh.

At a very early stage of treatment itself, Singh managed to coax the toddler’s parents to pay him Rs 20,000 on an assurance of “complete treatment” of their son.

Despite this, Singh kept postponing the surgery and only agreed to operate on the boy after his parents moved him to a private clinic at Greater Kailash here, on May 2, 1996.

The operation was duly performed the next day, for which the doctor took Rs 4,000 as his ‘charges’.
Subsequently, the convict was approached by the boy’s father to issue an ‘essential certificate’ as proof that his son was under the care of the doctor for reimbursement of medical bills.

This time, Singh demanded another Rs 1,000 for the service, following which the irate father lodged a complaint with the CBI.

Singh was caught on November 3, 1996 while accepting the bribe from the complainant (Vishal’s father) at his residence by CBI sleuths, who had laid a trap for him.

The doctor’s defence that the complainant had deliberately framed him in the case held no water in the trial and the court closed the matter with a word of caution against the burgeoning of corruption in official hierarchy.

“Corruption is like a plague opposed to democracy and social order and has to be nipped in the bud,” it said. 

Top

 

‘Govt shortchanging people on RTI Act’
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, May 8
The Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) of India, Mr Wajahat Habibullah, expressed concern here that the Union Government was slow in fulfilling the duties enjoined upon it by the Right to Information Act, 2005.

While making a presentation at the prestigious Management Development Institute (MDI) here on the Act and on the obligation and responsibilities on the part of all concerned under it, Mr Habibullah said the government had been enjoined by Section 26 to encourage the authorities to participate in the programme aimed at increasing awareness about the whole gamut of issues relating to the Act. Also, it is to promote timely and effective dissemination of accurate information on the range of its activities.

Making out a strong case for mass awareness on the right to information and the Act per se, he lamented that the government was found shortchanging on this front.

At one point of his presentation, he observed that participatory democracy entailed that the public has timely and accurate information.

He was making the presentation during an interactive session with the public on the Act organised jointly by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) and the Gurgaon Chamber of Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI).

He said that at present eight countries in the world, including the USA and the UK, had Acts relating to freedom of information. While such laws came into existence in the USA in 1966, it came into existence in the UK in 2000. However, the law in UK got into effect only from January 2005. Hence, the law on Right to Information in India is not far behind the most progressive countries.

Rather, in terms of content it is most modern and forward looking than the law on the subject in other countries, he added. He cited the case in Indian law which allows the public to ask for samples of materials used in construction of roads, he added.

Expounding on public interest, which has always been cited as an excuse by the authorities to withhold information from the public, he said the concept had not been defined and it would be for the National Commission on the right to information to define it.

He clarified that the controversy on whether the notings on official files would be under the purview of the Right to Information had been settled in favour of the general public. The Act made it very clear, he asserted.

He further said any public authority, including the judiciary, and private organisations which had to part with information to the governmental authorities, fell under the purview of the Act. Even the Supreme Court had accepted the judiciary falling within the purview of the Act, he added.

He said the National Commission had so far received about 800 complaints and has disposed of more than 200 of them.

Speaking on the occasion, the former president of the PHDCCI and founder president of the GCCI, Mr P. K. Jain, hoped the Act would go a long way in further strengthening the roots of democracy and ensuring transparency in the working of public offices.

Top

 

Youth relieves bank of Rs 40 lakh
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 8
A youth posing as a human bomb today decamped with Rs 40 lakh from UTI Bank’s Vikaspuri branch in West Delhi this afternoon.

The unidentified person, who had been waiting at the cash counter queue for nearly 30 minutes, went to the branch manager and demanded keys to the strong room, claiming that he had explosives strapped around him, police said.

The manager apparently panicked and handed over the keys to the man wearing a pair of jeans and a T-shirt, who went inside the strong room but did not take out the money, they said, adding the man then went to the cashier and demanded all the cash he had.

Police claimed that branch manager Sandeep Dham allegedly asked his office assistants to put the Rs 40 lakh from the cash counter in a bag and escort the man.

“This man was inside the bank for nearly an hour and the branch manager did not raise an alarm nor did he summon the four armed guards on duty,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (West) said. “We are probing all angles,” he said. 

Top

 

Heat wave has abated, says weatherman
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 8
The severe heat wave that has been tormenting the people of Delhi for the last nearly a week abated today with the temperature plummeting to 41.4 degree Celsius, one degree above normal.

Weathermen said the heat wave sweeping through the Capital in the last week, which saw the mercury touching a five year high of 44.5 degree Celsius on Saturday, had abated. “The heat wave that has been sweeping Delhi since last week has abated,” the weather office said.

With the clouds hovering over the Delhi skyline since early this morning, it was a pleasant day for the residents, a welcome relief from the sizzling heat experienced since Friday.

In fact, the conditions are likely to witness a further improvement in the next few days with the weathermen forecasting a partly cloudy sky with duststorms and thundershowers in a few areas.

They have also forecast a further drop in mercury to 40 degree Celsius tomorrow with light showers.

Even thereafter, the weather conditions would remain comfortable with the mercury expected to hover around the 41 or 42 degree mark.

“Delhi is unlikely to witness, at least in the next weeks or so, the heat wave conditions that were experienced from Friday to Sunday, when temperatures of around 44 degree Celsius, five degree above normal were witnessed. Mostly, the temperature would hover around the 41 degree Celsius or 42 degree Celsius mark,” they said.

In fact, the last three days have witnessed the mercury touching a new high for May. The temperature of 44.5 degree Celsius on Saturday was the highest for the month of May in the last five years.

The last time the mercury touched such high levels in the month of May was in 2002 when the maximum temperature rose to 46 degree Celsius on May 19, 2002, and touched 45 degrees on May 10 and May 12 the same year.

The highest temperature in May has been recorded at 47.2 degree Celsius on May 29, 1944.

Top

 

Work on new SEZ to commence soon
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, May 8
With Haryana Cabinet taking a decision to abandon the earlier plan to allow the Reliance group to set up the much-hyped Special Economic Zone (SEZ) here in favour of a joint venture between the private firm and Haryana Industrial Development Corporation, government circles are now busy clearing the decks for commencing work on it at an early date.

The Managing Director of HSIDC, Mr Rajeev Arora, who was here as chief guest at the 3rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the IMT Industrial Association, said the first phase of the joint venture would begin on 1,500 acres of land in Garhi Harsaru a few kilometres from here.

According to him, the HSIDC is waiting for the memorandum of understanding on the project with the Reliance group. He said the expansion of work on the joint venture project would be carried forward as and when land is acquired for it.

The SEZ will start from Garhi Harsaru in Gurgaon district and stretch all the way to Jhajjar district vide Badli.

He said the HSIDC would ensure that a captive power plant was set up in the proposed SEZ on 150 acres of land. An arrangement would be made with the Reliance group that the power generated from it is shared with the industrial estate of IMT, Manesar, in the interest of the units there.

In response to a demand from the IMT Industrial Association, he dropped broad hints of amending the law (EMP-2005) which made it mandatory for industrial plot holders to set up and run their business/project/production on their plots for at least one year before leasing the premises to other industries. The association felt this norm obliged small entrepreneurs who wished to operate from IMT, Manesar to move to other industrial areas of surrounding states since the rates of industrial plots in and around Gurgaon are high.

Mr Arora said the law would complete one year of existence in June-July, after which the HSIDC may recommend amendment to it. However, he said, the rationale behind the law was to prevent speculative cornering of industrial plots and ensure that only genuine entrepreneurs got them.

He further said the HSIDC for the first time would set up a dormitory for 400 persons and also 192 one-room tenements as part of the government labour housing scheme.

The provision for it was made in the 2006-07 annual budget of the state. Already, a sum of Rs 2 crore had been provided to the HSIDC for the project.

Also, the HSIDC would set up housing provisions for 6,000 labourers when phase V of the IMT, Manesar, was developed, he said.

Top

 

BSES fire-fighting measures only on paper, say firemen
Nalini Ranjan

New Delhi, May 8
At a time when emphasis is being given to strengthening fire-fighting measures in the city, particularly due to the scorching summer heat, it is strange that there is a complete lack of such preventive measures at most of the 30 power grid sub stations run by the BSES in the Trans-Yamuna area.

Even as the BSES runs its own fire fighting system, as it claims, it is not capable of controlling major fires at these power sub stations. Such limitations were exposed when a major fire broke out in a power grid sub station in Laxmi Nagar area last year.

According to sources, of the 30 power stations, there are 16 with a capacity of 66 KW and 14 with a capacity of 33 KW. The 66 KW power stations are located at Dallupura, Bhagirthi, Dilshad Garden, Gauda, Group Housing Society 1, Group Housing Society 2, Khicharipur, Kondali, Mayur Vihar Phase 1, Mayur Vihar Phase 2, Patparganj Industrial Area, Tahirpur, Shastri Park, Yamuna Vihar and Vivek Vihar.

The 33 KW power stations are located at Viswash Nagar, CBD Ground, CBD Ground 2, Dwarkapuri, Geeta Colony, Shahdara GT Road, Guru Angad Nagar, Kailash Nagar, Karkardooma, Kanti Nagar, Karawal Nagar, Preet Vihar, DSIDC – Jhilmil, Shakarpur and Silampur.

“Hundreds of tonnes of ST cables are stored at every such power sub stations. These cables are highly inflammable. Despite that, fire fighting measures are not up to the mark at these stations,” said an officer associated with the Delhi Fire Service (DFS).

He said the BSES had even opened its sub offices in the sub stations in Tahirpur, Bhagirthi, Shahdara GT Road etc.

“Apart from the movement of its employees, local people come here in masses and stage protest and agitation here. These activities certainly breech the fire-proof status, as claimed by the BSES, of these power stations-cum-offices,” he said.

Another senior officer of the DFS said that the BSES fire-fighting measures were only on paper. “A power grid sub station cannot be converted into a complete fire proof office. What we can do is to strengthen existing fire-fighting measures. We have written in this regard to the concerned officials of the BSES and given suggestions in this regard to the company,” said the officer. 

Top

 

34 farmhouses sealed in Capital, MCD tells HC
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 8
About 34 farmhouses, which were unauthorisedly operating in the Capital, have been sealed, the MCD informed the Delhi High Court today.

In an affidavit filed before the Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Vijender Jain and Justice S N Agarwal, the MCD said 15 farmhouses each were sealed at Najafargarh and Narela while two each were sealed in south Delhi and Civil Lines area.

According to the MCD, 111 farmhouses which fulfilled the norm of having a minimum of 60 feet approach road were being allowed to conduct marriage and other official functions.

The MCD filed the affidavit in response to the court’s directive during the last hearing after the civic body and the DDA both claimed that not a single farmhouse which did not comply with the minimum layout plan was being allowed to operate in the city.

The Bench, while taking on record the affidavit, asked the Deputy Commissioner to examine the petition filed by a farmhouse owner at Vijaynagar who complained that he was served with a sealing notice by the MCD despite complying with all the norms.

According to the petitioner, the farmhouse was located outside the peripheries of the residential colonies and also had 3,000 square yards of parking space to accommodate 200 cars at a time.

The Bench had in November last year asked the MCD and the DDA to close down all unauthorised farmhouses in the Capital and its outskirts as they were causing severe traffic jams and inconvenience to the general public.

At one stage the High Court had threatened to invoke its extraordinary powers to dissolve the MCD if the civic authorities failed to close down illegal and unauthorised farmhouses. 

Top

 

Computers gather dust in absence of teachers
Syed Ali Ahmed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 8
Expensive computers purchased by the Delhi Education Department and installed in over 400 schools run by Delhi Government are gathering dust for the last one year as there are no computer teachers in most of the schools. Computer education is compulsory for the students of senior secondary classes.

The Delhi Government runs a total of 1,132 schools out of which computers were installed in 432 schools at a cost of Rs 686 lakhs, but ironically, there are no teachers to utilise them. As a result, students are forced to go to private institutes to learn about computers.

What is even more intriguing is the revelation by a senior official of the Education Department that there were no plans to appoint computer teachers in the near future.

According to sources, a private company which was given the contract to install the computers and also help in teaching students left the scene suddenly for some reason, leaving the government burdened with thousands of computers worth lakhs of rupees.

What is also intriguing is the fact that no senior officer of the Education Department of the Delhi government was willing to comment on the issue.

Most of the senior officials when contacted passed on the buck to some other officials.

Meanwhile, thousands of students who were promised computer education are now left in the lurch with little hope of things improving in the near future.

Top

 

Autopsies carried out under the open sky here
Parmindar Singh

Noida, May 8
In Noida, the post-mortem examination of bodies is conducted under the open skies in the post-mortem house in Sector 94. The bodies are normally placed on the ground for the post-mortem operations.

The post-mortem house is plagued by lack of water and power facilities. No wonder, many bodies waiting for cremation become infested with white ants and other insects. Obnoxious and foul odour permeates the atmosphere.

The Noida Authority and the Health Department officers are, perhaps, oblivious of this state of affairs.

In the post-mortem house, there is no facility for proper upkeep of the bodies. The bodies are dumped on the platform where the postmortem of these bodies is to be conducted.

Normally, unidentified bodies are kept for 72 hours after which they are cremated after postmortem.

In the absence of deep freezers, the bodies become decomposed and give out extreme foul smell. It has bad effect on the health of the policemen, doctors and other staff.

Top

 

Akali factions join hands against pro-Congress leaders
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 8
Despite ruling out any pre-poll alliance ahead of key Sikh elections in the Capital, Akali arch-rivals came together on a common platform with a single aim to unseat the pro-Congress controllers of Delhi’s Sikh religious administration.

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) general secretary Onkar Singh Thapar shared the podium with former Akal Takht Jathedar Ranjit Singh, a fierce critic of Parkash Singh Badal, at an event organised by Delhi’s Akali Dal (Panthak) last evening.

Both leaders attacked Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) chief Harvinder Singh Sarna and his party leader Paramjit Singh Sarna, kicking off the campaign for the not-yet-announced general elections to the religious administration due in July.

A known opponent of Badal, Ranjit Singh, who had served a jail sentence for the 1980 assassination of Nirankari leader Gurbachan Singh, backed the Sarna brothers in the 2002 DSGMC elections that witnessed rout of the SAD from religious power in Delhi.

This time, the former top Sikh cleric, who has a sizeable support in the DSGMC, has thrown his weight behind Akali Dal (Panthak) leader Manjit Singh, a senior DSGMC member opposed to the Sarnas.

Top

 

Assembly may be convened to take up office of profit issue
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 8
With the sword of disqualification hanging over several local Congress lawmakers holding office of profit, the Delhi Government is planning to convene a special session of the Assembly to deal with the situation.

“We are thinking on it,” Chief Minister Ms Sheila Dikshit told reporters when asked whether the government was contemplating such a step after the weekly meeting of her Cabinet.

The Election Commission has issued notices to 19 Congress MLAs and an MP on a complaint seeking their disqualification on the office of profit issue filed by BJP MLA Vijay Jolly last month.

Though the Delhi Government has not revealed its plan of action, sources said it may convene a one-day special session and bring in a Bill to exempt certain offices and posts from the office of profit category.

Since the Election Commission had given time till May 22 to Outer Delhi MP Sajjan Kumar and Congress MLAs to file their replies on the issue, sources believe that the special session would be convened well before that date.

Jolly had in March petitioned President A P J Abdul Kalam against the Congress lawmakers, which was then forwarded to the Election Commission.

The MLAs under the scanner are: Naseeb Singh, Narendra Nath, Anjali Rai, Mateen Ahmed, Rajesh Jain, Prahlad Singh Sawhney, Braham Pal, Ambrish Singh Gautam, Rajesh Lilothia, Bijender Singh, Balram Tanwar, Kiran Walia, Ashok Ahuja, Tajdar Babbar, Vijay Singh Lochav, Mahabal Mishra, Kanwar Karan Singh, Veer Singh Dhingan and Bhisham Sharma.

Several of these MLAs had handed over their resignations to Ms Dikshit. 

Top

 

After a day’s respite, it’s power cuts as usual
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 8
After a respite from power cuts on Sunday due to a dip in demand, Delhiites today had to again endure loadshedding as the peak requirement climbed to 3,368 MW, with a shortfall of 350 MW, even as Chief Minister Ms Sheila Dikshit renewed the appeal to the people to cut down electricity consumption.

Several areas in the Capital experienced power cuts as the electricity authorities resorted to substantial loadshedding of 281 MW, a senior Transco official said.

“A loadshedding of 281 MW is quite substantial and is bound to have been felt in the form of power cuts,” the official said.

She said the cut was a result of the persistent low frequency in the Northern Grid. “Overdrawing of power by the other northern states is resulting in law frequency, and we have to carry out loadshedding to keep the grid from collapsing,” the official said.

While compared to yesterday’s power demand of 3,059 MW, the peak demand today rose to 3,368 MW, and the Capital had to tackle a shortfall of around 350 MW on account of many of the power stations supplying electricity to it not functioning to their optimum capacity.

Meanwhile, Ms Dikshit said her government was making every effort to save the situation from worsening and appealed again to the people of the Capital to cut down power consumption during peak hours. She said the power crisis was the result of overdrawing of electricity from the Northern Grid by neighbouring states and asked everyone to maintain “grid discipline” and assemble on a common platform to deal with the situation.

“We got 100 MW extra power from Himachal Pradesh yesterday and will get 40 MW today. We are making every effort to save the situation,” she told reporters after a weekly meeting of her Cabinet here.

The Chief Minister asked citizens to take power austerity measures like using one air-conditioner at a time.

Meanwhile, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) today clarified that it is not adding to the national Capital’s power shortage and claimed that it was actually contributing to electricity saving efforts in the city.

Delhi Metro used a very small percentage of Delhi’s total power requirement; out of an average demand of 3,200 MW, it used 45 MW, which came to about 1.5 per cent, DMRC sources said.

The Metro, carrying more than 4.5 lakh passengers each day, was five times more energy efficient than any other mode of public transport, they added.

Besides, Delhi Metro was undertaking a number of power saving initiatives in the trains that helped in reducing power consumption during starting and stopping, they added.

Top

 

Traders call for ‘Delhi Bandh’ on May 11
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 8
The trading community of Delhi will observe a ‘Delhi Bandh’ on May 11 to demand that the Centre introduce a Bill in ensuing session of Parliament to regularize commercial establishments in residential areas and unauthorized buildings in Delhi.

This decision was taken today by leaders of about 200 trade bodies of Delhi at a meeting held at National Club in Walled City area.

Participating in the meeting, trade leaders strongly condemned the attempts to destabilise centuries old distributive character of trade in Delhi. In a unanimous resolution adopted at the Conference, the traders demanded that the Union Government immediately bring a Bill in ensuing session of Parliament for regularising business establishments of Delhi by maintaining status quo.

It was further demanded that in order to end the atmosphere of anxiety and chaos in Delhi markets, the Union Government immediately list introduction of Bill in business list of Parliament session.

The BJP Delhi Pradesh has announced its full support to the ‘Delhi Bandh’ to be organised by the traders.

“The BJP will not allow any Congress conspiracy of depriving the traders of livelihood to succeed. The additional constructions in the houses of Delhi will also be got regularised,” senior BJP leader Vijay Kumar Malhotra, Delhi BJP chief Harsh Vardhan, leader of the opposition in the Delhi Assembly Jagdish Mukhi and leader of the Opposition in the MCD Subhash Arya said at a joint press conference.

Addressing reporters, they said the party will raise this issue inside and outside Parliament with full force.

“The only way left to provide relief to the people of Delhi is by introducing a Bill in the forthcoming session should announcing all the illegal and additional constructions as regular by implementing an amnesty scheme. In view of the future of Delhi by framing far reaching public welfare schemes and by incorporating them in the new Master Plan, all round development of the entire NCR should be ensured,” the BJP leaders said.

Top

 

Govt-aided schools to close from Wednesday
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 8
Offering relief to thousands of schoolchildren from the tormenting heat, the Delhi Government today ordered closure of all aided schools in the city from Wednesday and asked public schools to advance their summer break.

Around 250 government-aided schools have been directed to close for summer vacations from Wednesday in view of the searing heat wave sweeping across North India, Delhi Education Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely told reporters here.

The Government schools in the city had already been closed from May one, he said after a weekly meeting of the Delhi Cabinet here chaired by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.

The Government has also issued an advisory to nearly 1,200 public schools in the Capital to advance by a week their two-month summer break scheduled to begin on May 15.

North India has been reeling under blistering heat wave conditions for the past several days with the mercury crossing the 44 degrees Celsius mark in the national Capital during the weekend.

“We want to save the children from the severe heat. Public schools will have the option to reopen a week earlier to compensate the early closure,” he said. The Delhi Education Minister had reviewed the situation arising out of the heat wave conditions yesterday after he received representations in this regard from parents and teachers. Lovely said such steps have been taken by other states also. 

Top

 

CGHS scam: Interim bail of two accused extended
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 8
A city court today extended the interim bail of two former CGHS officials allegedly involved in the Rs 4000-crore Co-operative Group Housing Scheme (CGHS) scam till May 22. Special Judge Indermit Kaur Kochchar extended the interim bail of an advocate Jaideep Malik and Sushil Kumar Gupta arrested by the CBI on April 24, till May 22.

However, the court ordered them “to co-operate with the agency for further investigation”.

The court also remanded CBI Inspectors Yoginder Kumar and N M Sahrawat, and a mobile phone dealer R K Bisht to judicial custody till May 16. Both inspectors were part of the investigating team that is probing into the scam. CBI said the officers contacted certain accused either “directly or indirectly” for obtaining bribes.

After the arrests, the CBI conducted raids at the premises of the accused in 30 places in Delhi, Haryana and Jaipur. Rs 11 lakh in cash and other incriminating documents showing links between the CBI officers and the accused were seized. They have been charged with misusing their official position and entering into a criminal conspiracy for undue personal monetary gain, the CBI counsel said in the court.

Top

 

Notices to DDA, MCD
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 8
The Delhi High Court today issued notices to DDA and MCD seeking action against all unauthorised constructions in the Patiala and Tis Hazari court complexes.

A Division Bench headed by acting Chief Justice Vijender Jain granted four weeks time to the respondents to file their reply and posted the matter for further hearing on July 26.

The petition was filed by J K Jain, chairman of Jain Television, alleging discrimination by authorities in demolishing illegal structures in the Capital.

Top

 

Kashmiri teachers get 3-yr extension
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 8
The Delhi Cabinet today decided to give three-year extension to Kashmiri migrant teachers employed on contract basis in Capital’s government schools.

At its meeting chaired by Chief Minister Ms Sheila Dikshit, the Cabinet approved extension of the services of 230 Kashmiri migrant teachers.

“We will make efforts during these three years to absorb them as permanent employees. If it does not materialise, we will give them a further extension,” Ms Dikshit told reporters after the Cabinet meeting.

Top

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |