SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



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

Yamuna rises dangerously
Donít panic, situation will improve: CM
New Delhi, September 10

The Yamuna rose dangerously in the last 24 hours, incrementally by the hour, and crossed the 206-metre mark, way above the danger level of 204.83 metres, but Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit reassured people that there was no need to panic as she had got assurance from Haryana that the river would start receding by late night.
A man sleeping in his waterlogged house near the flood-hit Usmanpur in New Delhi on Friday. A man sleeping in his waterlogged house near the flood-hit Usmanpur in New Delhi on Friday. ó Tribune photos: Manas Ranjan Bhui

Haryana not releasing water in Yamuna deliberately
Chandigarh, September 10
Haryana today denied it was deliberately releasing water into the Yamuna river, thus posing a flood threat in Delhi.


EARLIER STORIES


CISF and police personnel carry out a mock drill in Gurgaon on Friday.
CISF and police personnel carry out a mock drill in Gurgaon on Friday. Tribune photo: Sayeed Ahmed

Army joins fight against dengue
The total number of positive cases climbs to 1,652
New Delhi, September 10
In view of the alarming rise in the number of dengue cases, the Indian Army today plunged into action and took charge of disinfecting areas around the Games Village.

With at least 7,000 participants,
Delhi to host biggest-ever CWG
Melbourne, which holds the record, had hosted 5,800 delegates
New Delhi, September 10
Contrary to the estimate of the organising committee (OC) of the Commonwealth Games (CWG),-- which had been expecting more than 8,000 athletes to take part in the mega sports event-- so far, only 7,000 athletes and team officials from 71 countries have confirmed their participation. Of these 7,000 conformations, India has the biggest contingent of 600 athletes.

Tree-like structures for green Games
New Delhi, September 10
In an attempt to present a beautiful picture of the city during the Commonwealth Games, the authorities have started decorating both sides of the road between Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium and the Games Village, a stretch which will be used frequently by the athletes.

Lane trials cause jams on 3rd day too
New Delhi, September 10
The Delhi traffic police trial runs on exclusive Games lanes caused traffic snarls once again.

Semester row: DUSU threatens stir
New Delhi, September 10
Delhi University Students' Union has raised serious concerns about the semester system and eviction of hostellers to lodge CWG tourists. DUSU stated that if its concerns were not addressed by the university, the students would resort to agitation.

Badarpur Khadar gets power, finally
New Delhi, September 10
In the power-surplus Delhi, as has been claimed by the government and the BSES this year, there is a village that has remained without electricity all these years of development till today.

Rashtrapati Bhavan gardener sent to custody
New Delhi, September 10
A city court today sent a gardener working on contract at the Rashtrapati Bhavan to judicial custody. The accused Gopal has been booked under sections of attempt to murder.

H1N1 kills 2 more
New Delhi, September 10
Two more persons--a four-and-a-half-year-old child in Chacha Nehru Bal Chikitsalaya and a 56-year-old woman in Sir Ganga Ram Hospital died of H1N1 flu today. With this, the toll in the Capital has reached 44.

13 low-lying villages hit by floods
Palwal, September 10
About 13 low-lying villages have been affected by floods on account of rise in the Yamuna water level.

Sold to brothel by boyfriend, girl rescued
New Delhi, September 10
A 20-year-old Uttar Pradesh resident allegedly sold to a brothel in GB Road by her boyfriend was yesterday rescued by a joint team of the UP and Delhi police.

Trader robbed
New Delhi, September 10
Some car-borne assailants robbed a trader in Punjabi Bagh, west Delhi, last night.





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Yamuna rises dangerously
Donít panic, situation will improve: CM
Syed Ali Ahmed
Tribune News Service

A man tries to rescue his cattle in the area.
Buses parked near ISBT.
(Top) A man tries to rescue his cattle in the area. (Above) Buses parked near ISBT. Tribune photos: Manas Ranjan Bhui

New Delhi, September 10
The Yamuna rose dangerously in the last 24 hours, incrementally by the hour, and crossed the 206-metre mark, way above the danger level of 204.83 metres, but Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit reassured people that there was no need to panic as she had got assurance from Haryana that the river would start receding by late night.

The breach in an embankment in Panipat was a blessing in disguise for Delhi despite the surging water flooding the Haryana villages as it also ensured that less water would be reaching the national Capital.

Irrigation minister Rajkumar Chauhan while surveying the Yamuna in a boat told media persons that there should be no repeat of 1978-like floods, when water crossed 207.49 metres and killed 8 people besides causing destruction in many parts of Delhi and rendering hundreds of families homeless.

Haryana had released close to 8 cusecs of water from Hathnikund barrage yesterday and the day before, raising concerns that the Yamuna water might cross 207 metres, replicating the 1978 conditions.

Areas flooded in 1978 included low-lying colonies like Batla House, Garhi Mandu, Yamuna Bazaar, Nigambodh Ghat, Shastri Park, Madanpur Khadar, ITO, Rajghat, Daryaganj, Model Town and Mukherjee Nagar as well as settlements along the river bank.

However, government officials maintained that these areas are not under threat this time and the river embankments are higher now than in 1978.

The government had already evacuated many families living in the low-lying areas in August-end when the water level had crossed 205.91 metres. These families continue to stay in safe places.

Officials said they had kept 75 boats and 68 divers and boatmen ready to meet any eventuality like rescuing families if floods enveloped more areas and deployed a team of National Disaster Relief Force to meet any eventuality.

However, many evacuated families complained that the tents provided by the government were leaky and offered no protection from the rains.

Most of the families living on the stretch between Khajuri and Shashtri Park erected their own tents with tarpaulins and other materials.

"Whenever some VIP visits, we are provided with food, otherwise you can't rely on government food," Keshav, who stays in one such tent, said.

When told that tents erected for the flood victims were not in good condition, the engineer-in-chief said that rehabilitation was being looked after by the deputy commissioner, Revenue, East Delhi, S.S. Ghankrokta.

When the deputy commissioner was contacted, he switched off his mobile.

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Haryana not releasing water in Yamuna deliberately

Chandigarh, September 10
Haryana today denied it was deliberately releasing water into the Yamuna river, thus posing a flood threat in Delhi.

"Hathnikund is a barrage and not a dam. Therefore, Haryana cannot release water from Hathnikund barrage but it automatically flows down into the Yamuna with the natural flow," state principal secretary (irrigation) S.S. Dhillon said.

"About 707,000 cusecs of water was flowing in Hathnikund barrage on September 8, which reduced to 74,000 cusecs today. Water level in the Yamuna had risen because there was heavy rainfall on the riverbanks and now it has also started receding considerably," he said.

According to Haryana officials, over one lakh cusecs of water was released into the Yamuna this morning. ó IANS

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Army joins fight against dengue
The total number of positive cases climbs to 1,652
Ananya Panda
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 10
In view of the alarming rise in the number of dengue cases, the Indian Army today plunged into action and took charge of disinfecting areas around the Games Village.

"Efforts have been doubled. We are increasing steps to check larvae breeding at all Games venues. The Army's cooperation would be more than helpful. The city is well-equipped to cater to the health needs of athletes during the Commonwealth Games (CWG)," said Bhratinder Singh, chief medical officer of the CWG organising committee.

As per the plan, rapid response teams are monitoring all training venues and stadia. Anti-dengue activities are being carried out daily, but the polyclinic made of jute and tart would only be managed with fogging, which the Games officials claim would alone be effective.

Meanwhile, with the soaring number of dengue patients, the authorities concerned feel that the crisis this year would replicate or surpass the 2006 figures when Delhi had reported 3,366 positive cases and 36 deaths.

With the Capital recording 72 fresh cases today, the cumulative count of people down with the bite of aedes mosquito has reached 1,652 this year.

Health experts have attributed the crisis to over 35 per cent more rains this year, dug-up lanes across the city which have become a breeding ground for mosquitoes during the monsoon and the absence of a proper plan to check the outbreak.

Though measures to contain the outbreak have been taken by the authorities concerned, the worst seems far from being over.

Most hospitals in the Capital like-- AIIMS, Safdarjung, Ram Manohar Lohia, Lok Nayak Jai Prakash along with private labs and hospitals like-- Sir Ganga Ram, Moolchand, Max Healthcare, have seen an alarming upsurge in dengue cases.

"Though the number of cases this year is more than previous years, there is nothing to panic. There are many countries like-Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore that report dengue cases throughout the year. It is just that people have to be more responsive," said V.K. Monga, chairman, health committee, MCD.

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With at least 7,000 participants,
Delhi to host biggest-ever CWG
Melbourne, which holds the record, had hosted 5,800 delegates
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 10
Contrary to the estimate of the organising committee (OC) of the Commonwealth Games (CWG),-- which had been expecting more than 8,000 athletes to take part in the mega sports event-- so far, only 7,000 athletes and team officials from 71 countries have confirmed their participation. Of these 7,000 conformations, India has the biggest contingent of 600 athletes.

Though the last date for submitting confirmation of participation is September 16, even with 7,000 athletes and officials, Delhi Games will be the biggest-ever. The number of participants in the last CWG held in Melbourne, which has been the biggest CWG so far, was 5,800.

"We are delighted to announce that Delhi 2010 is set to become the largest-ever Commonwealth Games and are confident that it will be conducted smoothly," said OC CWG secretary-general Lalit K Bhanot.

Bhanot said that the entries might go up as late entry is allowed with the permission of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CWF).

"The number of participants is likely to go up as the CWF has a policy of accepting late entries," he said.

India will field the biggest contingent of more than 600 athletes and team officials while Bostwana will have the smallest team of less than five athletes and officials.

With a 220-strong contingent, South Africa will be the second biggest team from Africa. India's neighbours Pakistan and Sri Lanka will send contingents of around 125 each.

Meanwhile, Australia, Canada, England, New Zealand, Scotland and Wales will keep their record as the only nations to participate in all the editions of the CWG when they compete in Delhi.

The exact number of athletes will be known only at the Delegation Registration Meetings (DRMs) that will be held between September 16 and October 2.

"More importantly, there are many world, Olympic, CWG and continental champions among the participants," Bhanot said.

"We are sure that spectators and TV audiences across the world will enjoy watching these athletes perform at the world-class facilities created here," Bhanot added.

He said that the Games Village can house up to 7,200 guests . "Of course, we are confident that the athletes in 17 disciplines of sports and four para-sport events (150 athletes) will like the facilities here and deliver very good performances. They will also enjoy living at the Games Village," he said.

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Tree-like structures for green Games
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 10
In an attempt to present a beautiful picture of the city during the Commonwealth Games, the authorities have started decorating both sides of the road between Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium and the Games Village, a stretch which will be used frequently by the athletes.

Several sculptures depicting trees, which will be lit up in the coming days, have been installed alongside the Millennium Park on Ring Road. Also, mosaic sculptures would be put on display outside various stadia and other games' venues.

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today visited the Rajiv Gandhi Smiriti Bhawan near the Millennium Park and assessed the progress of the beautification works.

Dikshit said the plant-like sculptures of different varieties of plants had been prepared to give a holistic look. She asked the officials to light up the sculptures for a more beautiful and elegant look.

Dikshit credited officials of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), environment department and the Delhi Park and Garden Society for bringing out the unique public art and hoped that Delhiites would get a feel of the "Green Games".

According to officials, experts were trained in Japan for making these tree-like sculptures.

The Delhi Park and Garden Society has also decided to prepare iron wire structures of CWG mascot Shera, Games logo and signage boards for Games venues and other important sites in Delhi.

Apart from this, TERI was asked to provide tissue or clone raised plants of uniform growth. The MCD was assigned the task of filling structures with peat muck that should be covered with iron net and grow plants on these structures in artistic designs. Now, 12 Sheras, 12 logos, 17 signage boards and seven common signage boards are being created to put up at CWG venues and important sites.

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Lane trials cause jams on 3rd day too
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 10
The Delhi traffic police trial runs on exclusive Games lanes caused traffic snarls once again.

The trials were conducted on five stretches from 12 pm to 2 pm today. They are-from road no. 56 via road no. 58 to Yamuna Sports Complex, Kalkaji Mandir via Ma Anand Mai Marg via Lal Kuan via M.B. Road to Surajkund Road, from Bhairon Marg on Ring Road to Rajghat crossing and from Chandgi Ram Akhara on Ring Road to Mall Road.

The trials led to stories of commuters facing a tough time on roads. They have been facing similar harassment for the past two days on account of these trial runs.

The lanes on some roads have been earmarked for the exclusive use of officials, technicians and players during the Commonwealth Games and the trial runs are being conducted to practice smooth operation when time comes.

The exclusive lanes will become operational from September 20 and violators will face a fine of Rs 2,000.

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Semester row: DUSU threatens stir
Charu Singh
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 10
Delhi University Students' Union has raised serious concerns about the semester system and eviction of hostellers to lodge CWG tourists. DUSU stated that if its concerns were not addressed by the university, the students would resort to agitation.

DUSU has given a memorandum to the vice-chancellor on these issues, underlining that if the administration does not take action within 15 days, the union would launch an agitation.

DUSU president Jitendra Chaudhry said, "We are deeply concerned about the future of science students for whom the administration has implemented the semester system in an undemocratic manner. The system requires detailed planning and understanding between students, teacher and administration."

Chaudhry added, "No student is prepared for the 1st semester exams and if the administration forces the students to appear for them, there will be a large-scale agitation."

According to DUSU, the semester system has not been implemented in an organized manner and students bear the brunt of this lapse.

Priya Dabas, DUSU vice-president, said that the varsity administration's unprecedented step on evicting hostellers to accommodate Commonwealth Game athletes has not gone down well with the student community.

Dabas said, "The university is unsympathetic to the students who come from outside and need hostels. In the name of the Commonwealth Games, the varsity has not given the hostel facility to them. Consequently, they are facing lots of economical and security problems while trying to get accommodation somewhere else. Compensation to the hostel seekers should be given.

According to DUSU members, the varsity is taking a "casual view of the various sexual harassment cases pending in the colleges and departments."

The union has demanded that the university should ensure the security of complainant students.

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Badarpur Khadar gets power, finally
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 10
In the power-surplus Delhi, as has been claimed by the government and the BSES this year, there is a village that has remained without electricity all these years of development till today.

Badarpur Khadar, a village that is over 8 km in UP, surrounded by Delhi on three sides and the Yamuna on the fourth, got a power gift on Eid eve today. Homes of families mostly from economically weaker sections were all lit up.

An official said it took time to electrify the village because the power distribution company had to seek the consent and cooperation of UP officials as electric lines could be laid there through the state.

BYPL, which is a division of the BSES, said it raised power distribution infrastructure at Rs 6.6 crore to electrify the village.

Though the formal inauguration of power supply to the village would be done in some time, electricity reached its houses today.

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Rashtrapati Bhavan gardener sent to custody
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 10
A city court today sent a gardener working on contract at the Rashtrapati Bhavan to judicial custody. The accused Gopal has been booked under sections of attempt to murder.

A few days ago, Gopal had asked Kishan, son another employer at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, to get some snacks. When he refused, Gopal allegedly attacked Kishan with a knife and fled.

"The incident took place on September 1 when Kishan and Gopal were consuming alcohol. During the session, Gopal asked Kishan to bring some snacks from a nearby shop. When Kishan refused, Gopal pulled out a knife and hit him on the stomach," said a police official.

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H1N1 kills 2 more
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 10
Two more persons--a four-and-a-half-year-old child in Chacha Nehru Bal Chikitsalaya and a 56-year-old woman in Sir Ganga Ram Hospital died of H1N1 flu today. With this, the toll in the Capital has reached 44.

"One Delhi-based child and a woman from outside Delhi succumbed to the disease. In total, 28 people of Delhi and 16 outstation patients have fallen to H1N1," said H1N1 nodal officer Dr Debasis Bhattacharya. Also, 28 more people were diagnosed positive for the flu today.

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13 low-lying villages hit by floods
Tribune News Service

Palwal, September 10
About 13 low-lying villages have been affected by floods on account of rise in the Yamuna water level.

While the water has entered only the fields of 11 villages, it has also entered the houses in Mahabalipur village and Indra Nagar. The residents of the two villages have been shifted to relief camps in Khataka Nangli and Acheja respectively. Water has entered a few houses in Kusak also.

The other affected villages include Gurwadi, Tappa, Bilochpur, Atwa, Kasipur, Phat Nagar, Satua Garhi and Hassanpur.

The villages are in low-lying areas along the Yamuna. Water started entering the village in the afternoon.

The commissioner, Gurgaon division, T.K.Sharma along with district officials visited the villages. The official version is that the situation is under control.

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Sold to brothel by boyfriend, girl rescued
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 10
A 20-year-old Uttar Pradesh resident allegedly sold to a brothel in GB Road by her boyfriend was yesterday rescued by a joint team of the UP and Delhi police.

The joint police team raided the brothel after it traced the girl's presence through her mobile phone.

The accused boyfriend, Ajay, has absconded.

According to an official from the Kamla Market police station, the rescued girl has named Ajay, a resident of Lado Sarai in south Delhi, as the one who sold her to the brothel.

"The girl was in a relationship with Ajay. He brought her to Delhi from UP on the pretext of marriage. Meanwhile, the girl's family lodged a complaint with the UP police, who then traced her by tracking her mobile phone. The UP police contacted us and in a joint operation, we managed to find the girl yesterday," said a police offiical.

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Trader robbed

New Delhi, September 10
Some car-borne assailants robbed a trader in Punjabi Bagh, west Delhi, last night.

The incident took place around 8 pm and the victim was robbed of Rs 6 lakh.

"Ashok Gupta and his relatives Mukesh and Lovekush were in their car when some car-borne men waylaid and robbed them at gunpoint. Mukesh was shot on the leg," said a police official. ó TNS

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