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Govt favouring pvt firm on ad rates, alleges DTC
New Delhi, October 9
The Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) is up in arms against the government's refusal to allow it to increase the advertisement rates for hoardings on bus stoppages maintained by it even as it has let a private operator charge heftier rates for similar commercial spaces.

Seats vacant, but no tickets
Fennell orders probe
New Delhi, October 9
People brave long queues to buy tickets at Talkatora Indoor Stadium in New Delhi on Saturday. Indicating a scandal in the sale of tickets for the Commonwealth Games (CWG), Games Federation president Mike Fennell today ordered an enquiry.

People brave long queues to buy tickets at Talkatora Indoor Stadium in New Delhi on Saturday. Tribune photo: Manas Ranjan Bhui


EARLIER STORIES




School attendant held selling complimentary tickets
New Delhi, October 9
A 34-year-old school attendant was yesterday night arrested outside the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium for allegedly selling complimentary passes for field and track events of the Commonwealth Games.

Games passes for school kids
New Delhi, October 9
The Commonwealth Games (CWG) organising committee (OC) has given thousands of passes of gymnastic and swimming events to the Delhi government to distribute among schools and NGOs, so that students and NGO activists get a chance to see the Games.

Rahul adds colour at wrestling venue
Haryana CM Hooda also among spectators
New Delhi, October 9
The presence of Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi made the sporting environment more exciting and colourful at the K.D. Yadav Wrestling Stadium in the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex here today.

Foreign athletes pick up Hindi
New Delhi, October 9
You greet a foreign athlete with a good morning and he returns the greting with a namaste. Many teams have provided their members with a reference sheet to learn some basics of Hindi and quite a few athletes and officials are walking the extra mile to learn the local language.

DTU students make robotic Shera
The live Shera might not be much visible these days, but there is another version of the Games mascot put up outside the organising committee (OC) headquarters. And this is getting quite popular, especially among children. A robotic Shera has been installed outside the building.


IN TUNE WTH THE GAMES:Tribune photo: Manas Ranjan Bhui

Special welcome for foreigners at Ramlila
New Delhi, October 9
The epic of Ramayana is beckoning all, especially the guests from abroad, to the famous Ramlila Maidan known for its grand Dussehra celebrations.The Ramlila at this venue has always been special and the organisers this year are going out of their way to display the famed Indian hospitality to the foreigners in Delhi for the Commonwealth Games.

2 bikers killed in accident
New Delhi, October 9
Two persons were killed, after a drunk car driver hit their bike from behind in the R.K. Puram area of south district last night.The incident was reported from the traffic signal of Mohammadpur village around 12:30 am.

10-yr-old raped
Greater Noida, October 9
A 10-year-old girl was allegedly raped by her neighbour in the Rabupura area of Greater Noida on Friday night. The accused was untraceable till late evening today.The incident happened when the victim Neena (name changed) was alone at home. Knowing that the girl was alone at home, the accused came to meet her.

INLD leader booked for attack
Faridabad, October 9
The youth wing of the INLD is alarmed over the police registering a criminal case against one of its leaders, Vikas Chaudhary.Chaudhary's name has been included in an FIR registered by the president of Faridabad Rehri Association, Deen Dayal Gautam. In his complaint to the police, Gautam has alleged that Chaudary was among the men who yesterday attacked and injured him.

 





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Govt favouring pvt firm on ad rates, alleges DTC
Syed Ali Ahmed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 9
The Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) is up in arms against the government's refusal to allow it to increase the advertisement rates for hoardings on bus stoppages maintained by it even as it has let a private operator charge heftier rates for similar commercial spaces.

DTC sources said the government was practising double standards while deciding the rates of advertisements. They allege Jindal Group is allowed to sell space at its stoppages at the rate of Rs 1.5 lakh for a month while the DTC is allowed to charge only Rs 75,000.

Bus stoppages in the city are maintained by the DTC as well as Jindal Group of Industries, which has constructed a large number of stoppages on a built-operate-transfer (BOT) basis.

Citing another instance, the sources said the DTC had requested that for ads on handles inside buses, it be allowed to charge Rs 100 per handle per day, but the finance department objected, saying that the rate was too high.

"There are 34 handles in each bus and by charging Rs 100, each bus would be earning Rs 3,400 per day," sources said.

They said the government should have allowed the DTC to charge the money and see the response instead of rejecting the proposal outright.

Though no official explanation has been given by the government for differentiating between the DTC and the private operator, sources said it could be because private groups wielded more influence in the official circles.

The director of information and publicity wing of the Delhi government, Keshav Chandra, who is incharge of the advertisement section, was not available for comment.

A senior officer of the DTC said the corporation would very soon cover its losses through its own sources and thereafter would not display government advertisements. 

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Seats vacant, but no tickets
Fennell orders probe
Himani Chandel
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 9
Indicating a scandal in the sale of tickets for the Commonwealth Games (CWG), Games Federation president Mike Fennell today ordered an enquiry.

"We have received reports that people are not able to buy tickets at the counters even when the stadiums have vacant seats. We promise full investigation because there is definitely something not right in the sale of tickets," said Fennell.

He said in a meeting with organisers, the federation has asked for a thorough report on the matter. Fennell said the report would be available by tomorrow morning.

However, the organising committee officials are still claiming that the tickets' sale have gone up. "We have said the sponsors have distributed tickets among their guests who might not be attending the events. It is not that the stadiums are empty. We can say that attendance is less," said Lalit Bhanot, secretary general of the OC.

However, he denied the allegations of black marketing, saying that they do not have any information on it.

Commenting on a foreign athlete who slammed the crowd with monkey jibe, Bhanot said the remark was unfortunate but nothing could be done in the matter. "I have no report about it. But if it has been said, it's unfortunate," said Bhanot.

"We will try to ensure that these things do not happen again. We do not want to lodge any complaint," he said.

While, Fennell said these things were common in sports events throughout the world. "This is a key issue with sports events around the world. We do have special sports presenters to ensure that the crowd keeps quiet. We hold regular meetings with the presenters and ask them to provide all information to the public for the smooth running of the sports," he said.

"When we get to know about these incidents, we do take action and try to prevent it," said Fennel.

However, the organisers came up with a transcript of the athlete's rude comment suggesting that he indicated the people's behaviour as that of monkeys and did not call them 'monkeys'.

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School attendant held selling complimentary tickets
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 9
A 34-year-old school attendant was yesterday night arrested outside the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium for allegedly selling complimentary passes for field and track events of the Commonwealth Games.

According to the police, 96 complimentary tickets of different costs and dates have been recovered from the woman. The seized bundle of tickets includes 11 costing Rs 500, 45 Rs 250 and 40 costing Rs 100.

A case of cheating has been registered against her at the Lodhi Colony police station.

According to H.G.S. Dhaliwal, DCP (south), the woman, identified as Rekha, was arrested outside gate number 14 in the outer periphery of the stadium close to the organising committee's ticket counter.

"She told us that she got these tickets from a physical education teacher of the school where she works. The teacher had given the tickets to her for distributing them among students," Dhaliwal said.

"However, no record of receiving complimentary tickets was found either with the lady or the school," Dhaliwal said, adding that a decoy customer was sent to catch the woman red-handed.

According to information, the father of a renowned national-level swimmer, who got a number of complimentary tickets from the OC, distributed them to many schools, including the school in which Rekha works. Rekha is a resident of the Madipur area of north Delhi.

Another case at Siri Fort

The Delhi Police has arrested a man who was allegedly selling Commonwealth Games's tickets outside Siri Fort Sports Complex today.

Sanjay Singhvi (45), who hails from Green Park in south Delhi, was carrying many tickets, four tickets of Rs 100 each and nine of Rs 250 each, and soliciting customers for selling them at jacked up prices.

The police is investigating how he had managed to get the tickets and if he was a part of some gang of blackmarketeers or doing it on his own to make some profit.

Cops have blamed glitches in the sale of tickets for the illegal sale.

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Games passes for school kids
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 9
The Commonwealth Games (CWG) organising committee (OC) has given thousands of passes of gymnastic and swimming events to the Delhi government to distribute among schools and NGOs, so that students and NGO activists get a chance to see the Games.

This has been done after Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit demanded from the Union government for the passes. She made this demand as a large number of seats are empty in stadiums.

The passes are of those sports that are not very popular.

Sources said passes were given to MLAs and ministers so that they could distribute them in schools in their constituencies. People queuing outside the residences of various MLAs were seen.

According to sources, some passes will be given tomorrow.

The government has demanded that passes should be given to schoolchildren for all remaining matches. 

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Rahul adds colour at wrestling venue
Haryana CM Hooda also among spectators

New Delhi, October 9
The presence of Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi made the sporting environment more exciting and colourful at the K.D. Yadav Wrestling Stadium in the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex here today.

Rahul, 40, had come here to watch the freestyle wrestling bouts of 60 kg and 74 kg categories and his presence boosted the morale of the Indian grapplers. Clad in white kurta-pyjama, Rahul spent nearly an hour at the venue.

Security officials had a real tough time as Rahul breached all security cordons and preferred to sit in a row of one of the spectator galleries in place of the VIP block. He had become the main centre of attraction not only among the spectators but also among the officials and volunteers.

There was a streak of enthusiasm running amidst the spectators who were virtually enthralled with the surprise visit of the Gandhi scion. Majority of the spectators gave a standing ovation to him upon his arrival.

"Rahul Gandhi is a youth icon and it is a dream come true that I have shaken hands with him. He is so down to earth and sat amidst us in the general stand. We really want more such politicians in our country," said Deepika Gaekwad, an engineering student of Delhi.

On seeing Rahul, many people thronged towards his stand and took autographs. There were some lucky ones who managed to click photographs with him.

"We were totally surprised when we saw Rahul Gandhi sitting in the general stand. We salute his gesture," said Kamleshwar Singh, a spectator.

Not only Rahul but Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda also took a seat among the spectators.

Wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt, who won the gold in the freestyle 60 kg category, also went to meet Rahul after winning his final bout.

"The presence of Rahul Gandhi and Haryana Chief Minister among the spectators added to my energy. I really wanted to give my best performance before Rahul Gandhi and I thank god that I was able to do that," said Dutt.

Before coming to the wrestling venue, Rahul had gone to Talkatora Stadium to watch the boxing quarterfinal matches.

According to a volunteer in the stadium, Rahul bought the ticket for the match.-- IANS

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Foreign athletes pick up Hindi
Himani Chandel
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 9
You greet a foreign athlete with a good morning and he returns the greting with a namaste. Many teams have provided their members with a reference sheet to learn some basics of Hindi and quite a few athletes and officials are walking the extra mile to learn the local language.

"We have been given a reference sheet which has English to Hindi translation. I have learnt some basics and I keep trying. I watch a lot of your Bollywood movies also," said Roseline, an athlete from Canada. She often asks the local officials, "Aap kaise ho?"

The motivation to learn the language varies from person to person.

While, for some athletes, it will help them understand the city, others just want to cram a few sentences to show off their newly acquired skill in public.

It also helps them break ice with the support staff who are a key to their comfortable stay in the village.

Ask them what all they have managed to acquire of the language and they promptly reply, 'Aap kaise hai? or 'tum achhe ho'. Some are just able to recall words like 'namaste' and 'dhanyawad'.

"We say 'namaste' to each other or when we go for shopping," said Steven Watterson from the Isle of Men.

Some athletes have even bought books for translations and others are taking random and casual lessons from whatever Hindi speakers they are coming across.

Though, the tight schedule of the athletes leaves them with little time to take formal lessons in Hindi, they are enthusiastic to grasp whatever comes their way. "When I go to the dining hall, I say 'dhanyawad'. That is very exciting," said Ra Hel Lynch from Australia.

However, the athletes are also disappointed with the fact that their rendevouz with the city is still not confirmed as they would hardly get any time to move around after the Games.

"I have not been able to go anywhere as of now and they are a few places I would definitely like to visit such as Red Fort and Qutub Minar," said Olivia De Maroussem,a swimmer from Mauritius.

Undoubtedly, a trip to Agra to witness the 'majestic and awesome' Taj Mahal, as described by them, is on the top list of every foreign athlete. 

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DTU students make robotic Shera

The live Shera might not be much visible these days, but there is another version of the Games mascot put up outside the organising committee (OC) headquarters. And this is getting quite popular, especially among children. A robotic Shera has been installed outside the building. Its blend of technology and creativity attracts one and all. Developed by the students of Delhi Technological University, it can blink eyes, move hands, bow and smile at you. With Rajinikanth starrer, 'Robot', a sci-fi film where the superstar plays a robot, catching people's imagination, this robot too is finding a lot of takers.

The engineering students said the robot has been programmed in a way that it gives people a human feel with its smile and blinking eyes.

Charity under compulsion

The ban on carrying coins inside the Games venues is indirectly making people contribute towards a noble cause.

Many spectators ignorant of the ban turn up at the venues with coins and are stopped by the security personnel. The option before them is either to give the money to the security personnel and leave it to their discretion or, walk some distance to a Red Cross Society donation box and deposit it there with an assurance that the money would be put to good use.

The idea of putting up the charity box came from the Delhi police, after it received flak for not keeping any account of the large sum of money it had collected on the day of the opening ceremony. Estimates vary about the value of coins, including those of foreign denominations, collected on the day, with some reports putting it over a lakh.

Meal irks village docs

The shabby treatment meted out to thousands of volunteers and doctors, working for the smooth conduct of the Games, has irked many.

Even the Delhi government sources have acknowledged that the OC has reserved all generosity for its members and their chosen guests, while not caring much for the comfort of others.

The doctors posted at the Village had even threatened to go on strike when the food provided to them was of poor quality and, at times, stale. The alarmed organisers decided to source their food from Millennium Park. Food for more than 5,000 persons, mostly officials of the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC), is prepared there.

However, it did not assuage the doctors' anger. Health minister Kiran Walia visited the village to appease them and improve the facilities.

Museum makeover

India's National Museum is getting ready for a 100-day makeover, which, it hopes, would put it on the international map.

The makeover, beginning on October 25, will be both in terms of capacity and technological upgrade.

Soon after the Commonwealth Games (CWG), the museum will begin its state-specific weekly shows. One state of India will be represented for a week in a special exposition, which would comprise culture soirees, art displays and discussions.

The museum's calendar is full for the next three months.

The museum authorities are networking with the museums of states in the country to build a database for culture compendium.

The exercise will be an annual feature of the 61-year-old museum. The museum has 2,00,000 collections, some of which have never been exhibited.

(Contributed by Himani Chandel, Syed Ali Ahmed, Sandeep Yadav, Jyoti Rai)

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Special welcome for foreigners at Ramlila
Rashi Agarwal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 9
The epic of Ramayana is beckoning all, especially the guests from abroad, to the famous Ramlila Maidan known for its grand Dussehra celebrations.The Ramlila at this venue has always been special and the organisers this year are going out of their way to display the famed Indian hospitality to the foreigners in Delhi for the Commonwealth Games.

While the city is making all efforts to entertain its guests from across the world, the Ramlila Maidan has also made special arrangements to welcome foreign tourists.

The organisers have decided to give special welcome the foreign guests coming to the Ramlila Maidan where the 10-day-long ceremony has already begun.

"All foreign tourists coming to Ramlila Maidan will be allowed entry from the VIP entrance. Seating arrangements for them are in the VIP enclosure. We have deployed volunteers, fluent in English, to escort the guests," said Rajesh Khanna, a member of the organising committee.

To ensure the safety of guests, police personnel have been spread along the area. "We have reserved a few seats in the VIP enclosure for CWG guests. We are ready to welcome foreigner belonging to any religion from all over the world," added Khanna.

Besides, the authorities have also planned to gift a souvenir to all foreign guests attending the function. The gift includes a special kit containing one of the greatest epics of India- the Ramayana.

"It was little difficult for us to decide a souvenir for the guests. Then it occurred to us that what best than the holy book," said a member of the publicity committee.

He said the special guests would be welcomed with a handmade Indian shawl and photo frames of Indian deities.

The ceremony commenced today with 'ganesh mohotsav'. The chief guest of the function is Sardar Buta Singh.

The large open ground came alive with brightly-lit stalls, rickety giant wheels, merry-go-rounds, brightly-painted manually-run mini giant wheels with bucket seats for children.

The organisers say that this time they have enhanced their preparations by putting in extra effort and money to make the show more attractive, gaudy and beautiful.

"We have taken special care that the sound and light system is much better so that we can dish out a great show for our guests from outside India," said an official.

So, apart from the various attractions available in the city like exhibitions, dramas, fests, literary meets, live band performances and folk dances, foreign guests are invited to the Ramlila Maidan to be a part of one of the greatest festivals of India.

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2 bikers killed in accident
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 9
Two persons were killed, after a drunk car driver hit their bike from behind in the R.K. Puram area of south district last night.The incident was reported from the traffic signal of Mohammadpur village around 12:30 am.

"The deceased have been identified as Ghiyasuddin (25) and Sooraj (24), both from Manipur. The incident occurred when the victims were going home, after their night shift. The Alto car driver hit their bike from behind and fled," said a police official.

According to the police, the injured were rushed to the AIIMS trauma centre where doctors declared them brought dead.

"The accused car driver, identified as Piyush, a resident of Kotala Mubarakpur, was arrested after few hours of the incident. His car has been seized and a case of drunken, rash and negligent driving has been registered against him," the official added. 

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10-yr-old raped
Our Correspondent

Greater Noida, October 9
A 10-year-old girl was allegedly raped by her neighbour in the Rabupura area of Greater Noida on Friday night. The accused was untraceable till late evening today.The incident happened when the victim Neena (name changed) was alone at home. Knowing that the girl was alone at home, the accused came to meet her.

He initially tried to entice her with chocolates but when it didn't work, raped her at knifepoint. When her parents came back, they found the girl unconscious. On gaining consciousness, she told her family about the incident.

"Her father has lodged a rape complaint against the neighbour, Rinku Singh. The accused has absconded. The victim has been sent for medical examination," said P.L. Verma, SHO, Rabupura police station.

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INLD leader booked for attack
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, October 9
The youth wing of the INLD is alarmed over the police registering a criminal case against one of its leaders, Vikas Chaudhary.Chaudhary's name has been included in an FIR registered by the president of Faridabad Rehri Association, Deen Dayal Gautam. In his complaint to the police, Gautam has alleged that Chaudary was among the men who yesterday attacked and injured him.

A delegation of the office bearers of the Faridabad unit of the INLD's youth wing met the police under the leadership of Rajeev Jaitly and told the cops that Gautam's statement was not true as Chaudhary is in Malaysia since October 4 and would return only on October 12.

According to Jaitly, the delegation expressed before the Faridabad police commissioner P.K. Aggarwal that Gautam may have named Chaudhary on account of political influence from some quarters.

Four liquor smugglers held
Our Correspondent

Greater Noida, October 9
The excise department has arrested four persons for smuggling liquor. Two cars and 50 cartons of smuggled liquor have been seized. "The accused revealed that they were taking the liquor to Bulandshahr for panchayat polls, said an excise officer.

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