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Collapsed overbridge not to be rebuilt
HC hikes relief for victims

New Delhi, September 22
The Delhi government has ruled out reconstructing the foot overbridge near the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium that collapsed yesterday, injuring 27 persons. The decision was taken in an emergency meeting today. According to official sources, the government is left with little choice as only 11 days are left for the Commonwealth Games to begin.
 
The collapsed foot overbridge near Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi The collapsed foot overbridge near Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on Wednesday. Tribune photo: Manas Ranjan Bhui


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Bridge crash not to hit Games: CM
New Delhi, September 22
Security personnel at the site of the collapsed foot overbridge in New Delhi The collapse of a foot overbridge near the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium yesterday which invited much flak for the state government and the civic agencies concerned has made Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit respond to the queries raised over the Commonwealth Games preparedness.

Security personnel at the site of the collapsed foot overbridge in New Delhi on Wednesday. Tribune photo: Manas Ranjan Bhui

Latest toll: Parts of false ceiling of wrestling arena collapse
New Delhi, September 22
As the embarrassments continue to expose the Commonwealth Games (CWG) mess, a part of the false ceiling of wrestling arena near the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium collapsed today.

Games Security
Vendors, dhabawallahs told to leave city

New Delhi, September 22
In its anxiety to secure the city for the Commonwealth Games, the Delhi police is literally threatening migrants to leave the city for the time being and return after the mega-event.

Aerial vehicles to secure Games venues
New Delhi, September 22
As more than 7,000 athletes and officials start arriving in the Capital tomorrow, the authorities are pressing into service some extraordinary security measures, including deployment of high-resolution Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) by the Indian Air Force, usually used for reconnaissance to ensure that all the security concerns of 71 participating countries are taken care of.

CWG lanes operational from today
New Delhi, September 22
The Delhi traffic police today said that lanes earmarked for the Commonwealth Games vehicles would be put into operation from tomorrow on a need-based basis, i.e. without closing traffic for the entire day.

Oz channelís sting operation bogus: Police
New Delhi, September 22
The Delhi police today rubbished the sting operation carried out by an Australian television channel, claiming that there was a security breach at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

Yamuna breaks 32-yr record 
Likely to rise further
A view of the Tibet market near the Yamuna in New Delhi New Delhi, September 22
The Yamuna water level has crossed the critical 207-metre mark in Delhi, flooding low-lying areas. It has broken the 32-year record and the level is likely to rise further by tomorrow morning as close to 1.5 lakh cusec water from the Hathnikund barrage in Haryana was released today.

A view of the Tibet market near the Yamuna in New Delhi on Wednesday. Tribune photo: Mukesh Aggarwal

Delhi witnesses 4th consecutive rainy day
New Delhi, September 22
With the monsoon in no mood to recede, heavy rains lashed the national Capital for the fourth consecutive day today. And with the city witnessing heavy downpour in most of its areas this evening, the weather department has predicted more rains for tomorrow.

He survived unscathed, but regrets not alerting his brother on time 
New Delhi, September 22
It is the agility and presence of mind that saved young Sanjay Prasad from coming under the incomplete foot overbridge which crashed before his eyes near Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium yesterday.

Innocent man jailed for double murder 
Ghaziabad, September 22
An innocent man was arrested and sent to jail, due to the flawed investigation by the police in a double murder case on July 15 in the Vijay Nagar area of Ghaziabad.

Woman hangs self
New Delhi, September 22
A 27-year-old woman allegedly hanged herself in the Karol Bagh area of central Delhi last night. According to the police, the victim has been identified as Gulti, wife of Robin.

5 hurt in house collapse
New Delhi, September 22
Five persons were injured in a house collapse in the Rajeev Extension area of outer Delhi last night.

86 more dengue cases
New Delhi, September 22
Dengue is all set to create new high this season, with the number of positive cases refusing to show any break. As many as 86 persons were reported to be affected by the aedes mosquito today.

IGNOU to open centres in 6 European countries
New Delhi, September 22 Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), the largest in the world, is set to open study centres across six European countries, including France and Germany. The first centre in Paris will most likely be opened by next month.





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Collapsed overbridge not to be rebuilt
HC hikes relief for victims
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 22
The Delhi government has ruled out reconstructing the foot overbridge (FOB) near the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium that collapsed yesterday, injuring 27 persons. The decision was taken in an emergency meeting today.

According to official sources, the government is left with little choice as only 11 days are left for the Commonwealth Games to begin.

The bridge which collapsed was meant to serve a large number of spectators during the mega-event.

Public works minister Raj Kumar Chauhan said the department would remove the debris as soon as possible and forensic experts would test the raw material used to ascertain the cause of collapse.

When asked if action would be taken against the engineers, he said action should be taken against the firm involved in the construction. The FOB was being built with help of an American consultant, he said. The FOB had reportedly got the exchequer over Rs 5 crore.

Yesterday, the government appointed a two-member committee to probe the incident and blacklisted PNR infrastructure, the firm that had built the bridge. The committee is expected to submit its report in a fortnight.

The PWD has also suspended the construction of another foot overbridge that was planned to come up opposite to the bridge that collapsed yesterday.

In view of the Commonwealth Games, the city government in consultation with the Delhi police has started making alternative entry arrangements for spectators.

Chauhan said the maintenance of Games Village had been given to Delhi government. The DANIC officers have been given this job. There are a total of 34 towers. Each officer will be given charge of two towers.

Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court today came to the rescue 27 persons who were injured in the bridge collapse.

It has enhanced the government compensation offered to them considerably. The HC has asked the government to pay Rs 3 lakh to those who sustained grievous injuries and Rs 1 lakh to those having minor injuries, in stead of Rs 1 lakh and Rs 50,000, respectively, which was announced yesterday. The order was passed by a Division Bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra. 

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Bridge crash not to hit Games: CM
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 22
The collapse of a foot overbridge near the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium yesterday which invited much flak for the state government and the civic agencies concerned has made Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit respond to the queries raised over the Commonwealth Games preparedness.

Dikshit has admitted that the government had been facing problems. However, she overruled the point that the Games would be affected by the incident.

"These are minor glitches. And hitches do come around, but to turn it as the whole thing is collapsing -- I am sorry, we do not agree with that," Dikshit told reporters. "There will be some problems. But they are not insurmountable. If there is any concern or problem, they will be addressed to," she said.

She said that positivity should be maintained as the whole nation is involved in hosting the mega-sports event. It is a matter of national pride. Dikshit added that problems were being resolved to make the Games successful. "This is not my Games, this is not your Games. This is an event of the whole country. We will address all concerns and drawbacks. There is no reason to worry. We should look at it as an opportunity. Please become positive," she appealed.

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Latest toll: Parts of false ceiling of wrestling arena collapse
Himani Chandel
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 22
As the embarrassments continue to expose the Commonwealth Games (CWG) mess, a part of the false ceiling of wrestling arena near the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium collapsed today.

Small parts of the tiles at the roof of the complex fell down this morning, adding to the woes of the organizers.

The JN Stadium is considered the most important venue of all the stadiums as it will hold the opening and closing ceremonies.

It was just yesterday when a footover bridge, which was under construction near the stadium, crashed injuring 27 persons.

The false ceiling was reportedly just above the field of play. The roof collapse incident is the second collapse in a row in the JN complex in the past two days.

However, the Commonwealth Games CEO Mike Hooper said that he was not responsible for the day-to-day affairs of the Games. "I cannot comment on the ceiling collapse in the stadium," said Hooper.

While Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said the falling of false ceiling was not a major incident. "The minor hitches and glitches do come up, but they are corrected immediately. The CWG venues are not unsafe," she said. The Chief Minister blamed bad weather for the delayed preparations.

"It's been after decades that Delhi is experiencing such immense levels of rainfall. Bad weather is making the preparations difficult," she said.

This is not the first incident of roof collapse in the CWG venues. Earlier also, stadiums like Yamuna Sports Complex and Karni Singh Shooting Range had reported similar incidents raising doubts over the quality of infrastructure being built for the Games.

The heavy rains in July had bought down the false ceiling of Yamuna Sports Complex, which is a venue for archery events. It had led to severe waterlogging inside the complex, causing damage to furniture meant for the spectators.

In another incident at the Karni Singh Shooting Range located in the periphery of Delhi, parts of the roof were damaged by the stray monkeys.

After the spate of incidents pointing loopholes in the quality of the CWG stadiums, the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) ordered probe to check if the quality has been compromised by the building authorities. 

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Games Security
Vendors, dhabawallahs told to leave city
Sandeep Yadav
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 22
In its anxiety to secure the city for the Commonwealth Games, the Delhi police is literally threatening migrants to leave the city for the time being and return after the mega-event.

Several migrants living in Masoodpur village of south Delhi alleged that the police had asked them to vacate their rented accommodations and go back to their native places. Reason -- security for the Commonwealth Games.

A maidservant working in the Vasant Kunj area who lives with her husband and brother-in-law at Masoodpur village alleged that the police barged into her house and not only slapped her husband but also tore away their ration card as they were living there despite the police warnings.

The maid, Sharda (name changed), said the police came to her building where other migrants also live on rent every day and asked them to leave the city for the time being. "If we do not work what will we eat? I come from Kolkata and have been working as a maid in houses around Vasant Kunj for many years. But the police is harassing us and threatening us to leave the place for the time being," said Sharda.

Ram Jivan (name changed), a migrant from Bihar who has been staying in Massodpur village, said everybody leaves early for work and return late in the night to avoid police officials. "We are poor people and are here to feed our children. Why do people think we are a threat to the Games," questions Jivan.

Several small-time vendors, tea shop owners, dhaba and vegetable sellers in various parts of the Capital have also been asked to shut their shops till the Games are over.

All this is being done in the name of the Games security. As a result, not only inconvenience is being caused to their customers, but these migrants who have travelled thousands of miles to this city to make a living on a day-to-day basis are finding life miserable. "What can we do about it? The police has asked us to shut shops and we followed the order. We are sitting at home," said the owner of a dhaba at ITO, adding that despite not having any work during the period he would have to pay half salary to his employees.

According to a senior Delhi police official, this exercise can discourage bad elements from the city. "There is no such rule to throw out migrants from their accommodations. But roadside shops and vendors can be asked to shut shops, if we feel anti-social elements can hang around in those places and create traffic problems. However, this exercise aims to create fear among anti-social elements," said the official, requesting anonymity. 

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Aerial vehicles to secure Games venues
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 22
As more than 7,000 athletes and officials start arriving in the Capital tomorrow, the authorities are pressing into service some extraordinary security measures, including deployment of high-resolution Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) by the Indian Air Force, usually used for reconnaissance to ensure that all the security concerns of 71 participating countries are taken care of.

All the stadia would be locked down from midnight tonight as security agencies start their multi-dimensional exercise to secure the venues.

Official sources said the athletes and officials would travel by special buses to be escorted by two police vehicles, one in front and the other in the rear, with armed commandos to be aboard the buses.

The UAVs based at Hindon air base near Delhi would keep a vigil along the routes while helicopters give aerial covers to the Games cavalcade. The Delhi police has already dedicated lanes in all the routes to the CWG traffic so that they cover the distance between the Games Village and sporting venues in the quickest possible time.

"The venues and Games Village would be completely sealed by Delhi police from midnight tonight. We would make the Games completely secure," an official said.

He said access control and all envisaged security would come in operation fully from midnight. 

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CWG lanes operational from today
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 22
The Delhi traffic police today said that lanes earmarked for the Commonwealth Games vehicles would be put into operation from tomorrow on a need-based basis, i.e. without closing traffic for the entire day.

According to Satyender Garg, joint commissioner (Traffic), anyone deliberately straying into the lanes while they are operational would attract a fine of Rs 2,000, from tomorrow. "The exclusive lanes will come into effect from tomorrow," Garg told media persons at a press conference this evening. He clarified that these lanes would be implemented in a need-based manner and there would be no 24-hour close down.

The public is advised to avoid CWG lanes in general and Safdurjung Road, Kamal Ataturk Marg, Panchsheel Marg, Sardar Patel Marg, Siri Fort Road, Harsukh Marg, Purana Quila Road and Mother Teresa Crescent Road in particular, as these roads are having two lanes in one carriageway and one lane of it is already reserved for Games-related traffic. 

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Oz channelís sting operation bogus: Police
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 22
The Delhi police today rubbished the sting operation carried out by an Australian television channel, claiming that there was a security breach at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

The police termed it as "totally bogus, motivated and deliberately planted". According to Delhi police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat, the sting operation was "totally bogus and incorrect" and the reporter was trying to create a false impression of security breach by walking from the barricades placed on the main road near the stadium which were meant to divert vehicles.

He said the spot was far away from the main entry gate of the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium from where the manual checking is done.

"Such a sting operation seems to be motivated and deliberately planted in which the reporter does not even know that ammonium nitrate is a fertiliser and

non-prohibited item for sale in India," Bhagat said.

An Australian TV channel has claimed that its crew got past security personnel and entered the Commonwealth Games Village with crude explosives bought a few days ago in New Delhi.

Channel 7 journalist Mike Duffy claimed that he walked into one of the Games venues with a case of explosives which could have triggered explosions if fitted with a detonator.

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Yamuna breaks 32-yr record 
Likely to rise further
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 22
The Yamuna water level has crossed the critical 207-metre mark in Delhi, flooding low-lying areas. It has broken the 32-year record and the level is likely to rise further by tomorrow morning as close to 1.5 lakh cusec water from the Hathnikund barrage in Haryana was released today.

Breaking the record, the water level reached 207.06 metre this evening, 2.23 metre above the danger mark of 204.83 metre. Officials further suspect a rise in the level to 207.30 metre by tomorrow.

Some estimates put the number of people affected by the floods close to 10 lakh. Several low-lying areas of Delhi like New Usmanpur, Sarita Vihar, Kalindi Kunj, Jamia Nagar and Wazirabad were flooded and many people shifted to temporary shelter camps. New places like Civil Line, Mukherji Nagar and Indira Nagar were also heavily affected while the situation worsened in Batla House and areas around ISBT like Monastery. At many places, water was touching the outer ring and if it crosses the ring, the traffic would be severely affected.

As the water level rose, drainage and sewer lines were blocked at many places. The power department also cut off electricity supply due to floods which only aggravated the woes of people.

"My toilet is blocked and the first floor is flooded. It's a miserable life," Osman Khan of Batla House told The Tribune.

Authorities said things could improve only later tomorrow or day after, but it would also depend upon the weather conditions as more rains would force Haryana to release more water.

"We are fully geared to deal with any situation. Low-lying areas were evacuated yesterday. There has not been any major discharge from Hathinikund in the past two days, so we are hopeful that the situation will soon be under control," said an official of the flood control department.

The Yamuna overbridge that links the national Capital with its eastern district and western Uttar Pradesh was closed to traffic yesterday and today also.

A discharge of over six lakh cusecs of water from Haryana earlier this month had also caused a flood threat. However, the water was dispersed as parts of the embankment were damaged at Panipat in Haryana.

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Delhi witnesses 4th consecutive rainy day
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 22
With the monsoon in no mood to recede, heavy rains lashed the national Capital for the fourth consecutive day today. And with the city witnessing heavy downpour in most of its areas this evening, the weather department has predicted more rains for tomorrow.

The city has received 3.2-mm rains till 5:30 pm today, thus taking the total rainfall recorded this season to 1007.2 mm, which is 62 per cent above average.

Delhiites had a pleasant day largely. However, traffic remained disrupted in most parts of the city.

The maximum humidity level recorded was 98 per cent, while the minimum was 78 per cent. The maximum and minimum temperatures were recorded at 29.5 degree Celsius and 24.6 degree Celsius, respectively.

"For tomorrow, we expect more rains. The city will see few spells of rain or thundershowers with a couple of them being heavy in some parts of the city. While the maximum temperature is expected to hover around 32 degree Celsius, the minimum is expected to settle around 25 degree Celsius," said an official of the Indian Meteorological department.

"The monsoon will start withdrawing only towards the end of this month. Over the next few days we will continue see rains in the region," added the official.

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He survived unscathed, but regrets not alerting his brother on time 
Ananya Panda
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 22
It is the agility and presence of mind that saved young Sanjay Prasad from coming under the incomplete foot overbridge which crashed before his eyes near Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium yesterday.

Sanjay, who was one among the 20 odd labourers engaged in laying concrete on the 95-metre-long bridge, however, has one regret. He could not alert his brother Triveni (40) who is lying critical in the ICU of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) trauma centre with blunt chest injury and a fractured leg.

"I was putting concrete when I heard a cracking noise. Before I could scream, I jumped and heard the deafening thud of the fallen bridge. I wish if I could have sent an alarm," said Sanjay, who along with his brother had come to Delhi four months ago in search for a better livlihood.

Seeing his brother lying in a ward, he said, "My bother had come here to ensure a good living for his five children back home, but now we would go back to our place."

Of the 27 injured, 17 have been discharged while eight, including four are critical, and two are still recuperating in the AIIMS' Trauma Centre and the Safdarjung Hospital (SH), respectively.

Besides, Triveni, Nirmal (33), who has suffered multiple injuries in the chest, spine and thigh; Punni (22) and Jitendra (23), with isolated head injuries and are on ventilator continue to be critical, but stable, said doctors at AIIMS trauma centre.

Of the other four patients, Jagdish (25) with a serious spinal injury, remembering the whole nerve-wrecking sight, said, "I was painting the railing under the iron bridge when it came down heavily upon me and I was trapped under the broken structure." He said this while he was being shifted from the emergency to the TC 7 ward today.

The other three - Saheb Singh (21), Khalinder (25), both admitted to polytrauma ward TC 4 with spine fractures, and Valista (45) also with an injured spine - are awaiting surgeries.

"All are stable and few would require surgery. But their condition is yet not fit for any operation," said Dr Amit Gupta, assistant professor of surgery.

According to doctors, in accidents involving fall from a height, certain wounds, especially internal ones, become evident later. "Such patients have to be constantly reviewed as some injuries become visible later. Most of them working on the bridge have injured spine and back. On a grading scale, they fall under the category of grevious injuries," said Dr M.C. Misra, chief of AIIMS trauma centre.

At Safdarjung, of the four, two have been discharged, while one of the two others still at the hospital, one has been operated for an injured vein. 

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Innocent man jailed for double murder 
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, September 22
An innocent man was arrested and sent to jail, due to the flawed investigation by the police in a double murder case on July 15 in the Vijay Nagar area of Ghaziabad.

Fresh probe revealed yesterday that it was one Rakesh Kumar who had murdered 50-year-old Sangeeta Mukherjee and her 4-year-old granddaughter. Rakesh Kumar is a mechanic of the Bhrampuri area in Meerut district. Mohammed Israr, who had been arrested, is presently lodged at Dasna jail and is being freed, SSP Raghubir Lal said.

Officials nabbed 25-year-old Rakesh Kumar and said he was the actual culprit. "Israr is innocent. We were always suspicious over his arrest," Lal said.

"Electronic surveillance revealed that Rakesh had murdered the two victims and taken away their mobile phone which finally led to his arrest," he said.

Rakesh Kumar said that he was deeply in love with the victim's daughter and had proposed to marry her. But she refused. "This infuriated me and I killed her mother and daughter in anger," the accused said.

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Woman hangs self
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 22
A 27-year-old woman allegedly hanged herself in the Karol Bagh area of central Delhi last night.
According to the police, the victim has been identified as Gulti, wife of Robin.

She was found hanging around 9:30 pm in her house. "Gulti was found hanging by her husband last night. We are investigating the matter. We did not find any suicide note," said a police official. 

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5 hurt in house collapse
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 22
Five persons were injured in a house collapse in the Rajeev Extension area of outer Delhi last night.

According to the police, the walls of the house were surrounded by water due to the rains. The incessant rains probably led to the collapse.

The injured persons have been identified as Kanti, Parmeshwar, Dinesh, Parmeshwari and Parmanand. All were rushed to the Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital. Parmanand was referred to the Safdarjung Hospital.

"Parmanand who had received head injuries is critical," said a police official.

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86 more dengue cases
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 22
Dengue is all set to create new high this season, with the number of positive cases refusing to show any break. As many as 86 persons were reported to be affected by the aedes mosquito today.

The city has reported the maximum number of cases today. However, several private hospitals have been projecting the daily cases to be higher than this for quite sometime.

Though the city authorities have rebutted the claims of the private hospitals, trouble seems to be mounting for the authorities, including the Commonwealth Games (CWG) organisers, in the wake of concerns being raised over hygiene by several participating contingents.

However, concerned authorities maintained that all possible measures were underway to ensure that the athletes and the delegates had a healthy stay during the 12-day sporting event, which has been inviting blatant criticism from all corners. 

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IGNOU to open centres in 6 European countries
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 22
Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), the largest in the world, is set to open study centres across six European countries, including France and Germany. The first centre in Paris will most likely be opened by next month.

"Our target is to open at least five-six centres in Europe by July 2011. Apart from Paris, negotiations are on with Germany. We hope that the Germany centre should kickstart by the end of this year," said an IGNOU spokesperson.

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