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MCD identifies 2000 roads for commercial activities 
New Delhi, September 11
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi, at a special meeting of the Standing Committee held today, identified 2,000 roads for mixed land use and commercialisation. The list of identified roads has been sent to Delhi Government for its approval.


Coal traders sitting on dharna against the ban on sale of coal and wood at Jantar Mantar in the Capital. —Tribune photo by Rajeev Tyagi
Coal traders sitting on dharna against the ban on sale of coal and wood at Jantar Mantar in the Capital

Gurgaon’s 46 projects await environmental clearance
Gurgaon, September 11
Gurgaon has emerged as one of best districts, not only in Haryana, but also throughout the country, by following the environmental guidelines in new residential and commercial projects.


 




Professionals affected by ban on practice in basement meet Walia
New Delhi, September 11
Professionals have been most affected by the notified amendments of the Delhi Master Plan 2001 whereby professional activities have been banned in basements.

Row over UPSC refusal to abide by RTI Act 
New Delhi, September 11
Hundreds of civil services aspirants, who had sought information under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005, from the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) are contemplating legal recourse after the commission refused to abide by the directive of the Central Information Commission (CIC) to disclose their marks and the model answers.

DU takes busts of Mahatma, Rajiv Gandhi in custody 
New Delhi, September 11
The authorities at the University of Delhi have taken the busts of Mahatma Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi which the National Students Union of India (NSUI) wanted to install in the DUSU office into custody.

Metro coaches to have CCTV cameras 
New Delhi, September 11
With the threat from terrorists looming large over the safety of packed commuter trains, the Delhi Metro has decided to install security cameras inside coaches to keep track of the activities of passengers.

NHRC notice to GTB Hospital for endangering pregnant woman’s life 
New Delhi, September 11
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked the Health Secretary of Delhi Government and the Medical Superintendent of Guru Teg Bahadur (GTB) Hospital to give their comments on a news report accusing the hospital of demanding blood before admitting a pregnant woman despite her critical condition.

Lalu escapes wrath of EMU train passengers
Ghaziabad, September 11
Railway Minister Lalu Yadav escaped being the target of daily commuters’ wrath when he passed via Sahibabad railway station on Saturday. At 9.30 am, Lalu’s special train had passed Sahibabad while at 10.30 am, daily passengers created a commotion as their EMU train was late.

Blood donation camp held
New Delhi, September 11
The 19th blood donation camp organised by Sawan Kirpal Ruhani Mission was held at Kirpal Bagh here in memory of Sant Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj. The camp was held in collaboration with the Red Cross Society of India.

Speeding dumper collides head-on, 2 dead
Faridabad, September 11
Two persons were burnt to death this morning when a dumper truck in which they were travelling caught fire after a head-on collision with another truck near Pali village, about 15 kms from here.

6 killed, 30 charred in village after cylinder explosion
Noida, September 11
Six persons, including three children, were charred to death and more than 30 persons sustained burn injuries when a gas cylinder exploded at a house in Rasoolpur village under Jarcha police station of Dadri last night.

Death at mall: Club may lose licence
Noida, September 11
The death of entrepreneur Abhishek Verma, who allegedly fell from Elevate discotheque in Centre Stage Mall, Sector-18 yesterday, has given rise to a number of questions which can put the management of the club in the dock.

Four suicides in East Delhi
New Delhi, September 11
Four persons, including an ailing senior citizen and a teenaged boy and girl, allegedly hanged themselves to death in separate incidents in East Delhi today, the police said.

DUTA demonstration today
New Delhi, September 11
The Delhi University Teachers’ Association is holding a demonstration on September 12 to press for the resolution of their demands.

Tax-free status for ‘Munnabhai’
New Delhi, September 11
The film, ‘Lage Raho Munnabhai,’ has been made tax-free in the Capital.

 

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MCD identifies 2000 roads for commercial activities 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 11
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi, at a special meeting of the Standing Committee held today, identified 2,000 roads for mixed land use and commercialisation. The list of identified roads has been sent to Delhi Government for its approval. Later, it would be tabled before the Lt-Governor for notification.

Standing Committee Chairman Jaikishan Sharma said the MCD had declared these roads as mixed land use and commercial ones to provide job opportunities to traders, small-time vendors, mechanics etc. The list of roads, pertaining to the E, F and G colonies in Delhi for which a flexible mixed land use policy had been prescribed by the amended Master Plan, includes 682 commercial streets having more than 70 per cent commercialisation, 573 mixed use streets having 50 per cent commercialisation, 599 pedestrian shopping streets (streets of less than 6 metre) and 125 roads or streets already notified as mixed use streets and now identified as commercial streets.

Mr Jaikishan Sharma said a survey was also being carried out in the C and D category colonies to designate commercial and mixed use streets.

Addressing the media after the meeting, he said that the Centre had delegated powers to local bodies like the MCD to designate commercial areas to localities having commercial activities.

Areas where 50 per cent commercial activities are going on will be declared as mixed land use ones and those having more than 70 per cent commercial activities will be declared as commercial areas.

Meanwhile, answering questions of the councillors, Municipal Commissioner A. K. Nigam said the present list of 2,000 roads in E, F and G colonies was prepared on the basis of field surveys conducted by survey teams under the respective Deputy Commissioner of the zones.

The notification of the list is in keeping with the present ground realities.

He said that in case any area with more than 50 per cent commercialisation had been left out of the list cleared by the Standing Committee today, the deputy commissioners of the respective zones should be informed.

The Municipal Commissioner said, “We will try to ensure that these roads are notified along with the present list of 2,000 roads.”

He said the notification of the list of commercial and mixed use roads in C and D colonies would be done after consultations with the RWAs as stipulated in the amended Master Plan.

In this context, he clarified that the provision in the amended Master Plan of obtaining an NOC from the RWAs for designating a road in C and D colonies as commercial or for mixed land use was just to facilitate consultation with them and did not amount to handing over total power to these bodies.

However, commercial activities in A and B category or posh colonies have been banned and notification of certain streets in these areas as commercial or mixed use will be considered only on a specific request of the RWA.

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Gurgaon’s 46 projects await environmental clearance
Abhay Jain

Gurgaon, September 11
Gurgaon has emerged as one of best districts, not only in Haryana, but also throughout the country, by following the environmental guidelines in new residential and commercial projects.

According to Regional Officer (RO) of State Pollution Control Board, Haryana has a total of 62 pending projects lying with the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) that have applied for environmental clearance under Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). Out of these, Gurgaon has 46 projects, Faridabad — seven, Sonepat — four, and Karnal — two, while Panipat, Punchkula and Sirsa districts have one each.

As per the rules, any new construction project of 32 categories, including new residential or industrial townships, settlement colonies, commercial complexes, hotels, hospitals and office complexes, has to seek environmental clearance if it is either (a) costing more than Rs 50 crore, or (b) a project which would discharge 50000 litres of water sewerage per day or (c) a project where more than 1000 persons are expected to make visit per day, informed the RO.

The projects from Haryana that await environmental clearance included residential apartments, commercial complexes, five star hotels and shopping malls. The leading developers such as Unitech Ltd, Parsvanath Developers, Ansal, Omaxe, Park View Infrastructures and Vipul Limited, besides a couple of new players, were involved in these projects, the RO said.

Some of the pending applications lying with the MoEF date back to October 2005. Strangely, not a single project from the state had received the environmental clearance certificate from the ministry, informed a senior official on the condition of anonymity.

Out of the total 46 projects from Gurgaon, nine had been “processed for closing due to non-submission of full documents as per the EIA-notification,” the official said. In Faridabad, two projects had been recommended for closing on the same ground, while in Sirsa and Karnal one project each were issued the same recommendations, revealed the official.

Some projects where construction works had come up to the plinth level before July 2004, when EIA came into operation, are currently at different stages of completion. But these buildings cannot be issued completion certificate and then occupied unless they get the environmental clearance from the MoEF.

The construction work in majority of the projects had not started, as the developers involved first had to take the environmental clearance, the official said. 

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Professionals affected by ban on practice in basement meet Walia
Syed Ali Amed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 11
Professionals have been most affected by the notified amendments of the Delhi Master Plan 2001 whereby professional activities have been banned in basements.

Since the notification to amendments of the Master Plan, hundreds of offices of chartered accountants and advocates, boutiques, gyms, nursing homes, clinics etc have been sealed. The notification is effective from September 7.

Sources said delegations of these professionals visited Delhi Urban Development Minister A. K. Walia for submitting their representation to the Union Government. They wanted to be allowed to practise in the basement.

The delegation members said a 50-metre plot was required to run a clinic or nursing home. In almost resettlement colonies, the plot size is between 12 metres and 25 metres. At present, private practitioners run clinics in small rooms. A senior official of the Delhi Government said that limitation of size of plot was not practical.

This issue was also discussed at a high-level meeting of the Delhi Government held today.

The notification said no auto repair shop could operate from a street having width of less than 30 metres. The officer said that thousands of motor mechanics would be unemployed. The sources also said that with the notification 231 liquor shops would also be closed.

The department concerned is planning to find suitable places in commercial areas for opening liquor shops. If this is not done, it will have an impact on the coffers of the Delhi Government.

A delegation of unauthorised colonies also met the Urban Development Minister to put up their case. However, talking to the delegation members, the minister said the notification of the Union Government was for authorised areas. People living in unauthorised colonies need not worry. 

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Row over UPSC refusal to abide by RTI Act 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 11
Hundreds of civil services aspirants, who had sought information under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005, from the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) are contemplating legal recourse after the commission refused to abide by the directive of the Central Information Commission (CIC) to disclose their marks and the model answers.

These candidates who, after failing to clear the preliminary examinations, had filed applications under the RTI Act, alleged that despite instructions from the CIC, the UPSC had refused to part with the information on grounds of “protecting national interest”.

“They are citing the Official Secrecy Act and claim that providing the model answers and the break-up of marks for each category and individual is not in national interest,” said Sameer Panda, who has also filed an application under the RTI Act. He added, “The CIC is a quasi-judicial body and the UPSC has refused to accept its instructions. If the CIC wants, it can take action. We, on our part, are thinking of taking legal recourse”.

Another aspirant, Neeraj Gupta said, “We are meeting the Chief Information Commissioner, on Wednesday and will decide our future course of action after that”.

These youth, who have been staging demonstrations for the past few weeks and have found support from Magasaysay award winners and RTI activists Aruna Roy and Arvind Kejriwal, want the UPSC to disclose the selection process.

“We had asked the UPSC to post the model answers on their website, which has not yet been done. We had asked them to tell us the break-up of marks in every category. But the UPSC Chairman has not even bothered to meet us. A joint secretary and two under secretaries, who met us last week, told us they would do their best. But they have gone back on their word,” one of them alleged.

Another youth contended, “How can the authorities claim that disclosing the information will affect the national interest. Hundreds of applications have been filed for seeking the same information. That shows this information is in public interest.”

Incidentally, the CIC had recently ruled that the candidates had the right to know the procedure followed in determining cut-off marks apart from the marks scored by them, both in the written examination and the interview.

The CIC had also asked the UPSC to allow candidates access to model answers to the written exams.

In its letter to the aspirants, the UPSC wrote that since the preliminary examination was only a screening test, no mark sheet would be supplied to either the unsuccessful or the successful candidates.

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DU takes busts of Mahatma, Rajiv Gandhi in custody 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 11
The authorities at the University of Delhi have taken the busts of Mahatma Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi which the National Students Union of India (NSUI) wanted to install in the DUSU office into custody.

The fracas that broke out in the university over the installation of these busts has prompted the authorities to step in. Following the NSUI announcement that the busts would be installed in the DUSU office, members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad went on a hunger strike protesting against the move which, they alleged, “smelt of sycophancy”.

“We have taken the busts into our protective care to ensure that there is no disturbance in the university among the student factions and also no damage is done to the statues of national leaders,” said Prof Gurmeet Singh, Joint Proctor.

He said, “It is a shame that leaders like Gandhiji are being dragged into a needless controversy. Until the time a decision is taken about their installation, we will keep them in our care”.

The Joint Proctor also denied the allegations made by some students of the Mansarovar Hostel alleging police brutality. The students, who are on a strike, have sought action against the Additional DCP and the Joint Proctor on the grounds that they were subjected to police excesses on the night of September 8.

“The students have been alleging that the police thrashed them up for no reason, which is not true. They were blocking traffic on the Ring Road and pelting stones, which damaged a bus and a car. It is only natural for the police to take action against such unruly behaviour,” Professor Singh said.

The students had claimed that they were dragged out of their hostel rooms at midnight and assaulted by the police.

“A group of students led by a candidate who won the election at the Campus Law Centre came to the hostel on September 8 and teased the students affiliated to the rival group. A scuffle ensued and students rushed out into the streets and tried to block the Ring Road. They later began pelting stones and even manhandled the area SHO following which the police retaliated,” said a university official.

It was also pointed out that hostel residents had been receiving support from some MLAs and senior leaders of the political party they were affiliated to. 

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Metro coaches to have CCTV cameras 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 11
With the threat from terrorists looming large over the safety of packed commuter trains, the Delhi Metro has decided to install security cameras inside coaches to keep track of the activities of passengers.

The security cameras will be installed in the second phase of the Metro Rail project. This will be completed before the Commonwealth Games scheduled to be held in the Capital in 2010.

The security measure was apparently taken in the wake of the recent serial bomb blasts in rush-hour passenger trains in Mumbai and similar attacks on rail networks in Madrid and London.

All 400 coaches for the second phase are to be equipped with closed-circuit cameras with a monitor installed in the train operator’s cabin. This would help the cabin crew monitor passenger activities inside the trains.

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NHRC notice to GTB Hospital for endangering pregnant woman’s life 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 11
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked the Health Secretary of Delhi Government and the Medical Superintendent of Guru Teg Bahadur (GTB) Hospital to give their comments on a news report accusing the hospital of demanding blood before admitting a pregnant woman despite her critical condition.

Taking suo motu cognisance of the report, published in a Hindi daily, the commission said that it is true there was a serious issue of violation of human rights. The commission has directed that a copy of the news report be sent to the government, and the hospital for a response within two weeks.

According to the report, one Mohd Afaq spent 40 hours moving from one government hospital to another to try get his pregnant wife admitted. When he went to GTB Hopsital, Shahdara, on August 14, a doctor in Septic Labour Room recommended a Caesarean section and asked him to arrange one unit of blood to get his wife Naima admitted.

Since her condition was critical, Afaq took her to Swami Dayanand Hospital, Shahdara. The situation was no different there as doctors asked him to arrange for blood before the woman could be admitted.

It took the intervention of the local MLA to get her admitted, but the same night, she was discharged. Afaq could not arrange blood.

He returned to GTB Hospital, where Naima was admitted on the condition that he would arrange for blood. It was only after he arranged for and deposited one unit of blood on August 16 that the doctors finally operated on his wife.

Meanwhile, in a similar case reported from the Capital’s suburb Gurgaon, the local Health Department has constituted a three-member team to inquire into the case of a women giving birth to a baby in the premises of the local Civil Hospital after she was denied admission yesterday evening.

According to head of the local health department and Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of the hospital, the team will submit its report in three days.

The woman, Kamla Devi, who hails from Uttaranchal, had gone into labour when she reached the hospital along with an attendant. But the personnel at the hospital allegedly refused to admit her. Her relatives alleged that the personnel asked them to go to a private nursing home.

When she was refused hospitalisation, she left the Labour and Maternity ward and sat under a tree in the campus of the hospital where she delivered a baby girl after about an hour.

As the news spread, the hospital staff admitted her.

The CMO said both the mother and the child were hale and hearty. He, however, claimed that preliminary inquiry had revealed that the attendant with the patient showed impatience and took her out of the ward on his own.

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Lalu escapes wrath of EMU train passengers
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, September 11
Railway Minister Lalu Yadav escaped being the target of daily commuters’ wrath when he passed via Sahibabad railway station on Saturday. At 9.30 am, Lalu’s special train had passed Sahibabad while at 10.30 am, daily passengers created a commotion as their EMU train was late.

The crowd squatted on the railway track and did not allow trains to pass till 12 noon.

EMU trains are often delayed to let express and super fast trains pass. Daily passengers have often held demonstrations and even damaged trains at NCR stations like Ghaziabad, Sahibabad, Sonepat, Gurgaon and Faridabad.

What daily passengers had done by holding trains and pelting stones on express trains at Faridabad on Friday was repeated at Sahibabad on Saturday.

The Shakurbasti EMU from Ghaziabad was late by 90 minutes. At 9.30 am, the Railway Minister special train had passed Sahibabad and by 10.30 am, the daily commuters lost their patience and started demonstrating and resorted to violence.

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Blood donation camp held
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 11
The 19th blood donation camp organised by Sawan Kirpal Ruhani Mission was held at Kirpal Bagh here in memory of Sant Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj. The camp was held in collaboration with the Red Cross Society of India.

There were more than 165 blood donors. Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj, president of the 23rd

International Human Unity Conference to be held from September 13 to 20, inaugurated the camp.

In his address, he drew attention to the fact that voluntary blood donation was an expression of the innate respect and value for human life. 

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Speeding dumper collides head-on, 2 dead
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, September 11
Two persons were burnt to death this morning when a dumper truck in which they were travelling caught fire after a head-on collision with another truck near Pali village, about 15 kms from here.

The trucks, which were reportedly coming from opposite directions at very high speeds, collided with each other around 5 am near Main Chowk at Pali village.

The driver and cleaner of the dumper truck, identified as Ali Mohammed and Abid Ali, both hailing from UP, were charred beyond recognition after the fuel tank caught fire and exploded.

The driver and another occupant of the other truck, which was loaded with stones, however, managed to jump off just before the collision. They fled away after the mishap.

The dumper belonged to one Vinod Kumar, a local resident, while the other truck was reportedly owned by a resident of Sirsa district.

A case has been registered by the police. 

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6 killed, 30 charred in village after cylinder explosion
Our Correspondent

Noida, September 11
Six persons, including three children, were charred to death and more than 30 persons sustained burn injuries when a gas cylinder exploded at a house in Rasoolpur village under Jarcha police station of Dadri last night.

Of the 30 injured, 18 are in a critical condition. They have been admitted to different hospitals in Delhi. Six of the injured are admitted to NTPC hospital.

According to information, the owner of the house, Mam Chand Jatav, who had a licence for selling diesel only, was allegedly indulging in illegal refilling of gas also.

It seems that Mam Chand’s elder son Satish was refilling gas in a cylinder when it suddenly exploded yesterday night. Other cylinders lying there also exploded. Petrol and diesel kept in the house at once caught fire. Satish was killed on the spot.

The fire engulfed almost half of Rasoolpur village within 10-15 minutes. Mam Chand and his second son were also charred in the explosion. Some of the victims were charred beyond recognition.

Fire tenders from Ghaziabad and NTPC took two hours to douse the flames. 

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Death at mall: Club may lose licence
Parmindar Singh

Noida, September 11
The death of entrepreneur Abhishek Verma, who allegedly fell from Elevate discotheque in Centre Stage Mall, Sector-18 yesterday, has given rise to a number of questions which can put the management of the club in the dock.

How was it that the club was open even after the closing hours? Normally, a night club can be run from 12 am to 4 am. The club management has also landed itself into trouble by removing the dead body and washing the place of spilled blood.

The authorities will proceed against the club on getting the details of the suicide or murder.

The District Magistrate said in case it was found that Elevate Night Club was open even after closing hours, its licence could be revoked. The Entertainment Department has been instructed to carry out its enquiry into the case. The DM said an administrative enquiry would also be conducted. Even a magisterial probe was not ruled out, the DM added.

Abhishek Verma, a resident of Sector-11, Rohini, had gone to the mall along with his fiancé Parul Khama, cousin Deepak Walia, Deepak’s wife Amisha, and Deepak’s sister Ritu. Abhishek was drunk at the time of his fall. His sister said he could have been saved by the person accompanying him. She has called for a through probe into the case. 

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Four suicides in East Delhi

New Delhi, September 11
Four persons, including an ailing senior citizen and a teenaged boy and girl, allegedly hanged themselves to death in separate incidents in East Delhi today, the police said.

Poonam Roy, a student of Class 10, was found hanging from the ceiling of her bedroom in Karkardooma village.

The police said the 15-year-old was suffering from depression as she was missing her father who had gone to his village in Bihar four months ago. He had gone there for performing the last rites of his elder son.

A suicide note recovered from her said nobody was responsible for her death.

In the second incident, an 18-year-old man was found dead in similar circumstances in Anand Vihar. Arjun was working as a servant at the house of an income tax officer in Shresh Vihar. No suicide note was recovered from his possession, the police said.

In another case, 50-year-old Charanjit ended his life in Geeta Colony. An alcoholic and TB patient, he had been missing for the last three days after a fight with his wife. His body was found at a local park.

Also in Anand Vihar, a 21-year-old employee of a gutka company allegedly committed suicide because of a tiff with his neighbour.

Amar Singh’s body was found hanging at his Kasturba Nagar residence and a suicide note apparently written by him said he was taking the extreme step because of a fight with neighbour Naresh.

A case of abetment of suicide was registered and an investigation was on, the police said.— PTI

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DUTA demonstration today
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 11
The Delhi University Teachers’ Association is holding a demonstration on September 12 to press for the resolution of their demands.

The Delhi University and College Karamchari Union (DUCKU) will also organise a protest in front of the Vice-Chancellor’s office on September 13 to seek their dues. DUCKU has been asking the authorities to grant the pay scale of Rs 5000- 8000 to the assistants placed in the non-hierarchical pay scale of Rs 4500-7000, restoration of washing allowance of Rs 60 per month for group D staff, restoration of the pay scales Rs 5000-9000 for senior assistants, library and laboratory attendants and rationalisation of the scales of drivers and promotion of library attendants.

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Tax-free status for ‘Munnabhai’

New Delhi, September 11
The film, ‘Lage Raho Munnabhai,’ has been made tax-free in the Capital.

In view of the Sanjay Dutt-starrer promoting the Gandhian ideals of truth and non-violence, the Delhi Government today decided to make it tax-free, a government spokesman said. The movie will be tax-free with immediate effect, he said. The movie is being shown in theatres even as the country commemorates 100 years of the Satyagraha movement launched by the Mahatma. — TNS

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