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Attack on tourists
Cops need to pull up socks in walled city
New Delhi, September 19
With the shooting of two foreigners outside the gates of the Jama Masjid this morning, Delhi police has come across the hard reality that foreigners visiting the historical mosque and other monuments around the walled city can be made easy targets during the Commonwealth Games.

Policemen guard Connaught Place after the firing incident in Delhi on Sunday. Policemen guard Connaught Place after the firing incident in Delhi on Sunday. Tribune photo: Manas Ranjan Bhui

Donít panic: CM
New Delhi, September 19
Attack on foreign tourists near the Jama Masjid in the walled city today is a sad incident, but there is no need to panic, said Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit. Dikshit said that she was in touch with police commissioner Y. S. Dadwal to arrest the culprits who managed to escape after the attack. By such acts, the culprits tried to create panic in society. People should not panic, she said.


EARLIER STORIES




Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda unveil a statue of DLF founder Raghvendra Singh at the DLF corporate headquarters on Sansad Marg in New Delhi on Sunday. Tribune photo

Security beefed up at Games Village
New Delhi, September 19
The security at the Commonwealth Games Village in east Delhi was strengthened after a shooting incident near the Jama Masjid this morning. According to Delhi police officials, while security was beefed up in general all across the national Capital, paramilitary forces have been stationed at the Games Village and strict checks are being carried in and around the area.

Injured Taiwanese tourists stable
New Delhi, September 19
The two Taiwanese tourists, Zeseweiu and Chiang in their late twenties, are recuperating in the ICU of Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital. Both were brought to the hospital's casualty around 11:20 am and are stable. The hospital authorities refused to say anything about their condition and said they are under close monitoring.

Delhi under flood threat again
New Delhi, September 19
The threat of floods returned to the national Capital today again as Haryana released around seven lakh cusecs of water into the Yamuna.

Wet spell may continue
Vehicles wade through the waterlogged flyover at Laxmi Nagar in New Delhi on Sunday. New Delhi, September 19
After heavy rains lashed Delhi this morning, September has become the wettest month that the city has seen in the past five years. With a total rainfall of 250.6 mm, this month broke 2005's record, when Delhi received 231.4mm rain.

WETTEST SEPTEMBER: Vehicles wade through the waterlogged flyover at Laxmi Nagar in New Delhi on Sunday. Tribune photo: Manas Ranjan Bhui

Metro trains ready for Badarpur line
New Delhi, September 19
Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is all set to run over 25 trains at a frequency of around 2.30 minutes during peak hours on the Central Secretariat-Badarpur line as it provides connectivity to the most sought-after Commonwealth Games venue, the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium where the opening and closing ceremonies will be held.

Dengue: Public help sought
New Delhi, September 19
Amidst concerns over the city's resilience in putting up a tough fight against the unabated upsurge of dengue and H1N1, the last-leg preparation in on at the Games Village.

Cases shoot up in Noida
Noida, September 19
While private hospitals and nursing homes have around 600 IGM positive dengue cases, the district health department claims there are just six confirmed cases in the district.

Chatterati
G.B. Road learns the ABC of etiquette
Around 6,000 sex workers of G.B. Road have started learning English and tips on how to deal with foreigners during the Commonwealth Games. Lessons in make-up and etiquette are also being given.

Panel to probe kidsí abuse case
New Delhi, September 19
Taking cognisance of the ghastly acts of incest in which three minor siblings were drugged and abused in the Prasad Nagar area of Central Delhi by their cab driver, the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) has constituted an enquiry committee.

Barapulla road trial begins
New Delhi, September 19
The trial of Barapulla elevated road has begun today five days before its inauguration. Government vehicles are being driven on the road that is first of its kind in the country and has been completed in a record time of 20 months only, sources said.

 





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Attack on tourists
Cops need to pull up socks in walled city
Sandeep Yadav
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 19
With the shooting of two foreigners outside the gates of the Jama Masjid this morning, Delhi police has come across the hard reality that foreigners visiting the historical mosque and other monuments around the walled city can be made easy targets during the Commonwealth Games.

While the security arrangements for the officialsand players, related to the Games have been high on agenda of the police, the cops seem to be casual in their approach to other parts of the city, as evident from the incident.

Commissioner of police, Y S Dadwal has often reiterated that the "Games can be secured only when the city is secured," but today's attack has shattered his claims.

The loopholes in the security were evident when the police Gypsy usually stationed at the gate number 3 of the Jama Masjid was missing from its spot. The attackers chose the spot after finding the Gypsy missing. As if this was not enough, it is now learnt that the CCTV cameras installed at the gates of mosque are malfunctioning. Despite the complaints lodged by the mosque authorities, they have not been repaired.

Pointing out the Delhi police shoddy security arrangements, Syed Ahmed Bukhari said that the police claims big things, but is always found wanting.

"When the incident took place, there was no police nearby. They claim to do so many things, but hardly ever delivers," said Imam Bukhari. Several letters have been written to the Delhi police and even to the Prime Minister's Office to beef up security in the area, he added.

"Even after the blast and fire, the police did not bother to check the source. It was only after the owner of the car Sanjay, alias Bobby, told the police that his car was stolen from the Azad Market cycle shop a few days ago and he had no clue to how the car had come to the Jama Masjid, did the forensic team visit the spot and picked up samples from the car," said a Delhi police official.

Several shopkeepers and residents of the area expressed dissatisfaction with the security arrangements in the area. So much so that one youth of about 18 said that he could shoot anybody in this area and disappear anywhere. "What police? They are busy having tea at shops the whole day," he said.

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Donít panic: CM
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 19
Attack on foreign tourists near the Jama Masjid in the walled city today is a sad incident, but there is no need to panic, said Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit. Dikshit said that she was in touch with police commissioner Y. S. Dadwal to arrest the culprits who managed to escape after the attack. By such acts, the culprits tried to create panic in society. People should not panic, she said.

Expressing confidence in the police, she said it should be more vigilant and security should be stepped up. There is no threat to the Commonwealth Games (CWG).

Meanwhile, leader of opposition in the Delhi Assembly, V. K. Malhotra said that the area is considered sensitive and has requisite police presence and there is also a police station nearby. The assailants could still fire seven to eight rounds and escaped which was a matter of concern.

Such incidents before the CWG put a question mark on the security preparedness in the city. Security agencies have time and again indicated that Delhi is on the target of terrorists. Today's acse is very worrisome, said Malhotra.

There was a proposal to put CCTV in all the prominent markets and sensitive areas. It has not been installed at the Jama Masjid so far, he pointed out. Malhotra asked the Centre to take immediate steps to bolster security in the Capital. The Union ministry of home affairs claimed yesterday that there was '120 per cent' security arrangement in Delhi. Today's incident has dented its claim, he said.

Meanwhile, LG Tejendra ordered the officials concerned not to allow parking of vehicle near the Games venues.

Games wonít be hit: Bhanot

The attack will not impact the Games, said secretary general of Games organising committee, Lalit Bhanot.

Bhanot said the Union ministry of home affairs and Delhi police had made elaborate arrangements in and around the venues, the Games Village and other parts of the city

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Security beefed up at Games Village
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 19
The security at the Commonwealth Games Village in east Delhi was strengthened after a shooting incident near the Jama Masjid this morning. According to Delhi police officials, while security was beefed up in general all across the national Capital, paramilitary forces have been stationed at the Games Village and strict checks are being carried in and around the area.

"There is ample security at the Games Village, but as a precautionary measure more security personnel have been deployed there today. A team of paramilitary personnel has been instructed to permanently reside at the Village," said the official.

Meanwhile, a high alert has been declared by the Delhi police and intense checking was being carried out across the Capital. "There is a high alert. We are checking all the suspicious vehicles, especially motorcycles matching the description of the one used in the shooting," revealed a police officer in south district, adding that strong vigil is being kept at the exit points of the Capital. 

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Injured Taiwanese tourists stable
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 19
The two Taiwanese tourists, Zeseweiu and Chiang in their late twenties, are recuperating in the ICU of Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital. Both were brought to the hospital's casualty around 11:20 am and are stable. The hospital authorities refused to say anything about their condition and said they are under close monitoring.

"The former had a head injury. After CT scan, the injury was found to be superficial. He is stable and under observation. The second patient, who had several intra-abdominal injuries, is currently under critical care. A bullet has been recovered and his condition is still critical though stable," said Dr Amit Banerjee, the medical superintendent. 

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Delhi under flood threat again
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 19
The threat of floods returned to the national Capital today again as Haryana released around seven lakh cusecs of water into the Yamuna. "Around 6,89,420 cusecs of water was discharged in the Yamuna and the water levels are still increasing. The Yamuna is flowing at 205.18 cm, whereas the danger mark is 204.83 cm," said V.P.S. Tomar, chief engineer of the Delhi flood control and irrigation department.

In view of the heavy rains in the hills of Himachal Pradesh and neighbouring Haryana, the inflow of water at Hathnikund barrage in Yamunanagar district of Haryana has increased, forcing authorities to release additional water in Yamuna river.

The officials are expecting the level of Yamuna to further rise to 205.65 cm by 5 pm tomorrow. However, this time, rescue boats and booster pumps will not be required as people have been evacuated from the low-lying areas.

"Residents of the low-lying areas have still not returned to their houses that they evacuated earlier. They are still living in the make-shift camps. The water levels are expected to subside by the next weekend," said Tomar.

The water level in the river may rise up to 207 meter within 60 hrs years from 8 pm today. This much water has come to the Yamuna for the first time after 1978 when major flood had submerged the entire area of North East Delhi.

As a precaution the irrigation and flood department has closed all the drains falling into the river.

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Wet spell may continue
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 19
After heavy rains lashed Delhi this morning, September has become the wettest month that the city has seen in the past five years. With a total rainfall of 250.6 mm, this month broke 2005's record, when Delhi received 231.4mm rain.

"By 8.30 am in the morning, the total September rainfall was 194.4 mm. However, the downpour later in the day took the total to 250.6mm, breaking the earlier record of 231.4mm." said Indian Meteorological Department director SC Bhan.

However, the average rainfall at this time in September is 106.5 degree Celsius. Rains today led to the maximum temperature plummeting to 11 degree below the average at 23.3 degrees. The Met office has predicted more rains tomorrow and next few days.

"We expect more rains tomorrow. While the maximum is expected to hover round 26 degree Celsius, the minimum is expected to settle at 22 degree Celsius," said an official of the IMD.

The Capital today received a total of 56.2 mm rainfall which brought back the waterlogging and traffic hurdles for city residents in many places.

According to the traffic police, water accumulated on many roads, including Mathura Road, Ashram and Moolchand intersection, Moti Bagh and Shanti Niketan in south Delhi, Mother Teresa Crescent in central Delhi, Kashmere Gate and the Mori Gate roundabout in north Delhi.

The waterlogging resulted in smaller cars getting stuck in water in some localities. The MCD reported 60 waterlogging complaints, 12 cases of fallen trees and two buildings getting damaged.

The humidity levels today oscillated between 100 per cent and 76 per cent.

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Metro trains ready for Badarpur line
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 19
Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is all set to run over 25 trains at a frequency of around 2.30 minutes during peak hours on the Central Secretariat-Badarpur line as it provides connectivity to the most sought-after Commonwealth Games venue, the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium where the opening and closing ceremonies will be held.

The 21-km corridor, set to open on September 30, will connect Central Secretariat to Badarpur along with some of the most densely populated areas of south Delhi like Jangpura, Lajpat Nagar and Greater Kailash.

With less than two weeks left for the inauguration of the line, the Delhi Metro has started commissioning standard gauge trains required for this corridor at the Mundka depot. A total of 29 trains have been commissioned at the Mundka depot and 14 of them have been shifted to Sarita Vihar depot, which is the final stage of commissioning.

The remaining 15 trains will be transported by road from Mundka depot to Sarita Vihar depot by Saturday so that all these trains are available for service before the opening of the line, Delhi Metro spokesman Anuj Dayal said.

Just two days back, the Delhi Metro had extended the trial runs from Nehru Place Metro station to Okhla station. Once the trials are completed, the commissioner of Metro Rail Safety will be invited for inspection.

The Badarpur and Airport Express lines are the only two lines that are yet to be completed under the Metro's Phase-II projects.

A team of 30 technicians, engineers and staff are involved in shifting these trains from one depot to the other and it takes almost 16 hours to complete the entire process of loading, transportation and unloading of these trains since each standard gauge coach weighs 41 tonnes and requires a 170-tonne capacity crane to lift the coach on to the trailers used for road transportation, Dayal said.

Each of the 29 trains needed 30 days for commissioning in the Mundka depot where all the sub-systems such as brake system, electrical, signalling of the trains were checked and tested.

The Sarita Vihar depot will be ready before the opening of the Central Secretariat-Badarpur line and includes a workshop-cum-maintenance facility situated on over 29 hectares with 22 stabling lines and 7 double rake lines so that all the 29 trains can be accommodated together.

In addition, a test track, four inspection bay lines, one shunting line and four workshop lines are available in the Sarita Vihar depot.

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Dengue: Public help sought
72 fresh cases in Delhi
Ananya Panda
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 19
Amidst concerns over the city's resilience in putting up a tough fight against the unabated upsurge of dengue and H1N1, the last-leg preparation in on at the Games Village.

"Every thing has been put in place and the Capital is ready to provide a safe and healthy stay to over 7,000 Games athletes and visitors during the 12-day sporting delight. The final cleaning is on at the Village and all preparations at the venues have already been reviewed," said Lalit Bhanot, the general secretary of Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (CWG-OC).

One area that still needs to be looked into is the Siri Fort Complex, which would be holding badminton and squash games. Waste is lying in its vicinity while all the sites are being routinely inspected to ensure that no mosquitoes and flies are allowed to thrive. Teams of civic authorities and National Disaster Managment Force are engaged in fogging and spraying areas in and around the Games venues with the incessant rain disrupting the work. Just three days are left for the teams of the playing countries to reach city.

"All the measures are being taken to sanitise the venues. One problem is at Siri Fort. We have discussed the matter and in a day or two, the waste around it would be removed," said Dr V K Monga, the chairperson of Municipal Corporation of Delhi.

When asked whether the city authorities are finding it difficult to tackle the dengue threat as a large part of the civic bodies' manpower is diverted towards the CWG sites, Dr Monga said, "Fogging is no solution at all. Delhiites have to develop a sense of responsibility and people have to take charge of their own safety. Public partership is a must."

Highlighting the indifference of the educated lot, especially in the VIP and posh localities of the city, he added, "More than 40 per cent of the violation has been detected in the South, Central and NDMC areas. Nearly 15 per cent of houses of Vasant Vihar are locked with their owners staying abroad. The high-end security zones, across Lodhi Road, Moti Bagh, among others, have remained largely inaccessible," said Dr Monga.

While the city reported no deaths today, there were 72 new cases of the vector-borne disease, taking the total number of people affected by the disease to 2,296.

Meanwhile, the government has issued an advisory to all the participating nations, asking them to carry full-sleeved clothes and mosquito repellants during their trip to India.

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Cases shoot up in Noida
Parmindar Singh

Noida, September 19
While private hospitals and nursing homes have around 600 IGM positive dengue cases, the district health department claims there are just six confirmed cases in the district.

ESI hospital, director, Dr B.J.S.Sarang, said, "Every day we receive around 100 high fever cases and 30 of them are found to be dengue positive in clinical tests. We then send the blood samples for serological tests. Today there are around 45 clinically positive dengue cases at the hospital. Due to rush of patients with high fever, we have to put two or three patients on single bed."

"Dengue cases have shot up in the city. There are around 300 IGM positive dengue cases at various major hospitals. Private

hospitals have to increase the beds to accommodate the rush of patients," said Indian Medical Association (Noida), president, Dr S.P. Sharma.

"Dengue NS1 antigen test at private laboratory costs around Rs 1,400 to Rs 1,800. Moreover, NICD reports come late. IMA has requested the chief medical officer to set up an NICD-approved centre in Noida so that one can get dengue confirmation on time," said Sharma.

Representative of Association of Medical Clinics of Noida, Dr K.C.Sood said, "IGM positive test is found in one or two cases at one nursing home every day. In 200 nursing homes in the city, there could be around 300 such cases of dengue. Though patients are being given treatment for dengue, these cannot be declared dengue cases unless confirmed by NICD test."

Dr B.R. Ambedkar District Hospital medical superintendent Mina Mishra said, "There are six IGM positive dengue cases and 30 suspected cases. Due to a large number of cases, we had to increase around 25 beds, but still there are large queues of patients whom we had to refer to other hospitals."

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Chatterati
by Devi Cherian

G.B. Road learns the ABC of etiquette

Around 6,000 sex workers of G.B. Road have started learning English and tips on how to deal with foreigners during the Commonwealth Games. Lessons in make-up and etiquette are also being given.

An enterprising city-based NGO has started teaching the workers so that they can take advantage of the business opportunities the Games will bring. The dingy brothel rooms are also getting a makeover by designer tiles, LCD television sets and split air-conditioners. The workers here, some from Kathmandu and Tamil Nadu who could not even understand or speak Hindi, are now practising to speak English day and night. Some of the sex workers also take their children with them to the English classes.

The Capital's prime red-light area houses around 6,000 sex workers who are now as excited as the rest of Delhi about the Commonwealth Games.

5 star comforts

S.M. Krishna
S.M. Krishna

It seems that no one in the Centre takes any instructions seriously. A ruckus was created and strict instructions were given against the use of 5 star hotels for minister and their ministries. External affairs minister S.M.Krishna and his deputy Shashi Tharoor faced the anger of the Congress president and the Prime Minister as they were asked to leave their 5 star accommodations immediately. It has been four years that the panchayati raj ministry has been operating from the ITDC 5 star hotel 'Samrat' while the panchayati raj ministers are sitting in a tiny office at Krishi Bhavan. The ministry officials refused to leave the 10 luxury rooms on the 6th floor of this plush hotel. The ministry pays a rent of Rs 1.15 crore annually for its hotel-office, in spite of being allocated office space on Kasturba Gandhi Marg.

It has been paying an additional rent of Rs 3 crore for its Kasturba Gandhi Marg office for the past one year. It is not wrong to say that the UPA government can rein in its ministers but the bureaucrats are having a field day.

We are family!

If we thought that dynastic rule is only in the Congress then we have to take a look at the Mumbai OBC leadership. The NCP's Bhujbal and BJP's Munde have always supported the caste census. They have done so for political benefits and adjusted their own family.

Deputy C.M. Bhujbal is elected from Yeola while his son Pankaj is M.L.A. from Nandgaon and his nephew Sameer is M.P. from Nashik.

Munde is the deputy leader of the BJP in the Lok Sabha and his daughter Pankaja is an M.L.A. His nephew Dhananjay has been nominated by the BJP for the State Council and will emerge victorious unless there is cross-voting. His niece Poonam Rao-Mahajan lost the election. The third-most powerful OBC leader in the state is Ganesh Naik. Again, Naik is a minister in Maharashtra while his son is an M.P. and his nephew is the mayor in one of the richest corporations in the state. Clearly, there are no able leaders among the OBCs except Munde-Bhujbal-Naik.


The 'M' factor

The political pundits are busy trying to find out a common factor in the leading political women leaders. It is their names, all start with the same alphabet 'M' be it a Mehbooba in Kashmir, Maya Behenji in U.P., Mamata Banerjee in east and you could say that for M.G.R. Jayalalita in the south. They are trying to work out the 'M' factor and if it has some mantra to it.


Mamata Banerjee

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Panel to probe kidsí abuse case
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 19
Taking cognisance of the ghastly acts of incest in which three minor siblings were drugged and abused in the Prasad Nagar area of Central Delhi by their cab driver, the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) has constituted an enquiry committee.

It has also sent notices to several agencies, including the two principals of J D Tytler School and Salwan Girl's Public School, Old Rajender Nagar, where the children studied, director of education, NCT, the deputy commissioner of police, central district and commissioner of police, Delhi.

According to the commission, all the children should be under the guardianship of either parents or caretakers. The committee would give its views on the case after ten days.

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Barapulla road trial begins
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 19
The trial of Barapulla elevated road has begun today five days before its inauguration. Government vehicles are being driven on the road that is first of its kind in the country and has been completed in a record time of 20 months only, sources said.

According to the sources, the elevated road would be inaugurated on September 23, thereafter it would be used for the sportspersons participating in the Commonwealth Games, guests and officials. It would be opened to the general people after the sporting event is over.

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