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Chill pill: City wears fog blanket
New Delhi, December 26
As dense fog made its presence felt for the second day here, Delhiites have started experiencing the real chill of winter.
A view of the morning fog in New Delhi on Sunday. A view of the morning fog in New Delhi on Sunday. Tribune photo: Manas Ranjan Bhui

Accidents claim 2 lives
New Delhi, December 26
Two died in separate road accidents in Delhi last night, the police said. The first incident was reported from northeast Delhi's Seelampur area, where a 21-year-old youth died after a bus hit his bike.
The mangled remains of the vehicles involved in the accident at Rajghat in New Delhi. The mangled remains of the vehicles involved in the accident at Rajghat in New Delhi. Tribune photo


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More six-coach Metro trains coming
New Delhi, December 26
The Delhi Metro commuters can now look forward to a hassle-free travel, with the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) planning to introduce at least one six-coach train on the Noida-Anand Vihar line every week from the next month.

Chatterati
More Delhiites game for polo now
Delhi in winter is a host to many different sports. It is fast becoming the polo game capital. It seems to have fast taken over from Jaipur and Bombay. Polo is a game clearly for the rich and famous. It has a touch of royalty and it attracts the most sophisticated crowd.

Ghalib’s admirers hold candlelight march
New Delhi, December 26
To commemorate the 212th birth anniversary of legendary Urdu poet Mirza Ghalib, a candlelight march was organised this evening by his admirers here in the national Capital. The march called as the Ghalib Memorial Movement is an annual affair spearheaded by renowned Kathak dancer Uma Sharma.

Children buy books at the 16th Delhi Book Fair at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi on Sunday.
YOUNG READERS: Children buy books at the 16th Delhi Book Fair at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi on Sunday. Tribune photo: Manas Ranjan Bhui

Death in Najafgarh celebratory firing
Accused held
New Delhi, December 26
The Delhi police yesterday arrested a 29-year-old man for allegedly killing his cousin's wife at a family function in south-west Delhi.

Two boys held for raping Internet friend, filming it
New Delhi, December 26
The Delhi police has arrested two youths for allegedly raping a 25-year-old share trading agent. The accused have been identified as Shanu Dhingra and his friend Sumit, both in their early twenties.

Nizamuddin area to get a facelift
New Delhi, December 26
The Hazrat Nizamuddin area may soon see a makeover as the streetscaping, electricity and water plans for the area that houses many of the Capital's historical monuments are finally under the planning stage.

Okhla sanctuary draws 50,000 birds from Europe
Greater Noida, December 26
Thousands of migratory birds of hundreds of different species have come to the Okhla bird sanctuary this year due to a longish cold spell in European countries.

Sons beat father, sell his house
Greater Noida, December 26
In Kadalpur village under Rabupura Kotwali, two sons first beat up their father and then threw him out of the house. Later, they sold their father's house.

Vehicle thief nabbed
Ghaziabad, December 26
The Sahibabad police has nabbed a criminal carrying a reward of Rs 15,000 on his head who used to steal luxury cars to impress his girlfriends. The police has recovered four luxury cars and two bikes from him. About a month ago, he snatched a bike by injuring an Air Force Plying officer in Lajpat Nagar.





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Chill pill: City wears fog blanket
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 26
As dense fog made its presence felt for the second day here, Delhiites have started experiencing the real chill of winter. On Sunday, the mercury levels slid down to seven degree Celsius, one notch below the normal, and the visibility due to heavy fog dropped to near zero, making it difficult for drivers.

Even as the India Meteorological Department had predicted the skies to clear as the day progressed, a distinct layer of fog cotinued to blanket the city's skies till late afternoon even as the visibility improved.

"At 8:30 am, the view was very less and gradually the visibility improved and till 10:30 in the morning, it was recorded at 50 metres. Around noon, it went up to 500 metres. The visibility was expected to fall," said M Duraiswami, director of the regional meteorological director.

The heavy fog could be attributed to the high humidity levels, with near 100 per cent being recorded in the Capital today, due to which scores of passengers were left stranded in the city's Indira Gandhi airport and therailway stations.

While the minimum was just one degree below the average, the maximum plunged to nearly 4 degees below the average for this time of the year and settled around 19 degree Celsius.

Tomorrow, the weather is expected to be the same, with a slight change, even as around the New Year, the mercury is expected to dip further.

"There could be an increasing trend in the minimum temperature till December 30, when there could be rain/thundershowers in the northern and adjoining regions, including Delhi and then the minimum would see a low," said the official.

As per IMD statistics, the coldest day of the season in Delhi so far was Dec 22 with a minimum temperature of 5.2 degrees.

 

Cold snuffs out life

A homeless man in his early 30s was today found dead in west Delhi with the police claiming this to be the first death of the season due to the freezing cold. "The death is suspected to be caused by cold,” said the police—IANS.

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Accidents claim 2 lives
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 26
Two died in separate road accidents in Delhi last night, the police said. The first incident was reported from northeast Delhi's Seelampur area, where a 21-year-old youth died after a bus hit his bike.

The deceased has been identified as Nitish (21), who along with his friend, Shashank Shekhar, was going towards Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh.

While he was crossing the Seelampur flyover, a bus hit the bike.

Nitish and Shashank were rushed to Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital where Nitish was declared brought dead while Shashank sustained injuries, confirmed a senior police official.

"Nitish's body was handed over to his family after the postmortem while Shashnak is still undergoing treatment," added officials.

Nitish was going to meet one of his relatives in Ghaziabad when the accident took place.

Nitish, who hailed from Varanasi, was a second year BCom student in Delhi University. Nitish and Shashank lived together at a rented house in Ashok Vihar.

Meanwhile, the police has registered a case and is investigating the matter to nab the driver and recover the vehicle.

The other incident took place near Rajghat where a 40-year-old man died while four were injured when a container collided with his car in the Daryaganj area of central district last night.

The deceased has been identified as Umesh, who along with his friends Ranjeet, Shankar, Manoj and Ranu, all residents of Rohini, was going towards Kashmeri Gate after returning from a party in Gurgaon, the police said.

The incident took place around 1.30 am on Ring Road near Rajghat.

Umesh and his friends were returning from a part in a white Scorpio car when he lost control over the car and collided with a container which was coming from the other side of the road breaking through the divider.

According to the police, all were drunk and driving speedily.

They were rushed to Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Hospital where Umesh was declared 'brought dead', while the others are still undergoing treatment.

Meanwhile, the driver of the container fled from the spot, said a senior official.

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More six-coach Metro trains coming
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 26
The Delhi Metro commuters can now look forward to a hassle-free travel, with the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) planning to introduce at least one six-coach train on the Noida-Anand Vihar line every week from the next month.

While eight six-coach trains, including the two which have already been inducted, would be brought in for service on the Line 3 (Dwarka Sec-21 to Noida City Centre/Anand Vihar) by January-end, six-coach trains would be flagged off from February onwards on another over-crowded corridor that connects Jehangirpuri with HUDA City Centre in Gurgaon.

Among the trains to be introduced on Line 3, four would ply between Dwarka and Noida City Centre and the other five would run on line connecting Dwarka to Ananad Vihar.

Also, said Metro officials, over 150 cars, supplied by German train maker Bombardier, would be added to the existing four-coach trains. The cars are still awaited and would be put into service only after exhaustive trails, especially in view of the recent technical glitches occurring in Metro trains.

As per the DMRC officials, the introduction of six-coach trains on these two lines would enable in smoothening the passenger traffic and offer them an ease from rush along with a comfortable ride. Overcrowing has been a significant problem in trains and in November, the total ridership had crossed 16 lakh.

It is believed that the two lines alone have over 12 lakh ridership daily and the six-coach trains, having a capacity of accommodating an additional 600 passengers to the 1,200-1,500 figure of the four-coach, would definitely be of help. By the end of next year, Line 2 and Line 3 are said to have 54 and 38 six-coach trains that can accommodate 1,800 to 2,100 passengers on every ride.

New helpline

In an attempt to make the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) services more accessible, the city’s lifeline would be equipped with a new round-the-clock helpline number from January 1 that will allow commuters to register their complaints even from their mobile phones.

The new helpline number ‘155363’ would replace ‘128128’, which would automatically become non-functional from the same day.—TNS

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Chatterati
More Delhiites game for polo now
by Devi Cherian

Sharmila Tagore
Sharmila Tagore

Delhi in winter is a host to many different sports. It is fast becoming the polo game capital. It seems to have fast taken over from Jaipur and Bombay. Polo is a game clearly for the rich and famous. It has a touch of royalty and it attracts the most sophisticated crowd. The royal family of Kashmir has kept the tradition of organizing the Hari Singh Memorial polo club. Vikramaditya Singh of Kashmir has kept the game going with the right spirit and dedication. Many foreign teams and players come here to enjoy the winter sun and polo. The big budget sponsors of this game prefer Delhi to other polo cities. Delhi has a polo culture which is much stronger than Mumbai and spectators in Delhi are much more glamorous.

The ladies in their chiffons and pearls and men in their jodhpuris. It's like a fashion parade here on a Sunday afternoon when the finals take place. The wannabes in their hats and sometimes underdressed or overdressed to make it to page 3. There is a lot of fun in the sun and the high tea served later is as good as the Queens in London if not better keeping in mind the recession there. Even weather-wise Delhi winter is much better suited for this game, even though this sport is said to have originated from Kashmir.

Ritu’s haute couture

Ritu Kumar
Ritu Kumar

If you can think of Royal and fashion, it is obviously the talented designer Ritu Kumar. Recently she showed her couture collection in the Capital. The show was very special as Ritu was reviving the royal vintage crafts. Ritu made every piece worth a million. Her design and style complemented the fabric that she had chosen, which were all handmade and crafted. The models were perfect as they walked the ramp in ghaghras and salwar kameez which were heavily embroidered with pure gold and silver zardozi work and different kind of ethnic embroidery. But the one who stole the show from the models was the evergreen Sharmila Tagore. She was the show stopper and walked the ramp much more confidently than her daughter Soha Ali Khan.

Obviously age has given the mature touch to Ritu Kumar and Sharmila Tagore.

Ritu makes us all proud of our heritage, style and design. She is the link for our future generation to view our rich heritage by her expertise and remaking the old era alive.

Ritu has dressed many of our Miss Universes, Miss Worlds and famous personalities the world over like Jemima Khan and the late Lady Diana.

Xmas cheer all around

Ramola Bachchan
Ramola Bachchan

Christmas in the city means that the markets will be lit up. Christmas decorations are set up and there is a festive and holiday mood all over--new pubs and restaurants. The famous Olive restaurant has been having a lot of wine-tasting events lately.

Ramola Bachchan has been hosting these events with different socialites and celebrities playing the host for her. This is the new trend in the town. She is sister-in-law of Amitabh Bachchan. The other new fancy eating places are in the huge malls whether it is the Ambience, DLF or the Select City. They have peppy Christmas carols playing and are full of lively people. They have wonderful Christmas decorations with artificial snow, reindeer's sledges and lucky draws--discounts on everything of course. They even have a kids section for all ages with games so while you shop you can leave the children in safe hands in these play dens. They have the best eating sections, from fine dining to street food and fast food.

One of malls has even got purani Dilli paratha walas and chat wala stalls. It's amazing to see how Delhi has developed into a city which is equal to any other international capital. Travelling now for most of the middle class is done in the Metro. Clean fast and secure. 

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Ghalib’s admirers hold candlelight march
Tribune News Service

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, lyricist Gulzar and Indian ambassador to Bhutan Pavan K. Varma at the event in Delhi on Sunday.
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, lyricist Gulzar and Indian ambassador to Bhutan Pavan K. Varma at the event in Delhi on Sunday. Tribune photo: Manas Ranjan Bhui

New Delhi, December 26
To commemorate the 212th birth anniversary of legendary Urdu poet Mirza Ghalib, a candlelight march was organised this evening by his admirers here in the national Capital. The march called as the Ghalib Memorial Movement is an annual affair spearheaded by renowned Kathak dancer Uma Sharma.

While the occasion was marked by unveiling of his bust at his haveli in Old Delhi by the Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, the honour-march, from Town Hall to his haveli at Gali Qasim Jaan, saw the support of many, including art director and lyricist Gulzar, director Vishal Bharadwaj and his wife and singer Rekha Bharadwaj.

On the occasion, Gulzar said, "Conserving the city's heritage and its history is in our hands and this candlelight walk is a step in this direction. Rather than blaming the government, people have to come forward and contribute towards protecting its gone-by artistes. To keep the great poet's memory alive, a people's movement should be started to convert the haveli into a museum. We do not need money from people, but only their support. It is important to conserve our monuments in order to preserve our tradition and history."

Danseuse Sharma, reflected over how the movement began and said, "After I found the haveli in a bad state during a show, I felt a movement had to be started to protect the identity of the great poet. We started the Ghalib Memorial Movement to keep his memory alive and got the government to preserve the haveli. I heard about a marriage party taking place in the haveli a few days back. The entire episode is very sad and shows that no one is looking after the monument. We have now decided to hold cultural events on his death anniversary also."

According to writer Pavan K. Varma, the memory of Ghalib and his works should be kept alive and that can only happen by reviving Shahjahanabad.

"Shahjahanabad is simply living, not growing. If we do not look after our heritage, Old Delhi will soon be a deserted place with its own people leaving the area," he said. 

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Death in Najafgarh celebratory firing
Accused held
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 26
The Delhi police yesterday arrested a 29-year-old man for allegedly killing his cousin's wife at a family function in south-west Delhi.

The accused has been identified as Anil Dagar, a resident of Jaffarpur. "He was arrested from Najafgarh," said Sharad Aggarwal, deputy commissioner of police (South-West).

On December 17, during a puja ceremony at Najafgarh, the accused was firing celebratory shots. One of the shots hit the left ear of his cousin's wife Amita Dahiya. Dahiya, who was dancing, fell on the ground. She was taken to a nearby hospital where doctors declared her dead. Meanwhile, Dagar fled and had been absconding since then.

The incident took place at the residence of Rajesh Kadyan, Dahiya's brother.

On interrogation, Dagar confessed to his crime and revealed that Dahiya had scolded him in front of all the relatives over celebratory firing. He felt insulted and later went to Dahiya and shot her from close range.However, the weapon used for the crime has not yet been recovered, an official added.

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Two boys held for raping Internet friend, filming it
Tribune news Service

New Delhi, December 26
The Delhi police has arrested two youths for allegedly raping a 25-year-old share trading agent. The accused have been identified as Shanu Dhingra and his friend Sumit, both in their early twenties.

They have been arrested on the complaint of the victim who said that she was sexually assaulted by them in Hauz Khaz last Monday when she went to collect some photographs from the accused.

The boys were arrested from Haryana's Panipat on a tip-off.

The victim, a resident of Rohini and a divorcee, three months ago met with Dhingra through Internet and the two soon fell in love. After winning the woman's confidence, Dhingra clicked some photographs of her. He and Sumit then started blackmailing her over the photographs.

"Threatening to make the photographs public, Dhingra allegedly demanded money from the victim," said a senior police official.

The victim paid Rs 1.6 lakh to Dhingra in two installments, after which he asked her to come to the Kashmere Gate Metro station to collect the photographs. From there, Dhingra took her to a house in Green Park. Sumit was waiting at the house, said officials.

There the two forced the victim to drink cold drinks laced with sedatives, after which she became unconscious.

The victim then allegedly took turns to rape her and even filmed it. Next morning, Dhingra dropped the victim at Kashmere Gate Metro station and threatened to release the video if she disclosed the incident to anyones.

Dhingra is studying from IGNOU while Sumit has done a diploma in textile designing.

The police has booked the duo under sections 376 (rape), 328 (causing hurt), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 34 (common intention) of the IPC.

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Nizamuddin area to get a facelift
Jyoti Rai
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 26
The Hazrat Nizamuddin area may soon see a makeover as the streetscaping, electricity and water plans for the area that houses many of the Capital's historical monuments are finally under the planning stage.

The initial proposal floated by the Aga Khan Trust Foundation has been approved and the details are now being worked upon by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi. As per the memorandum of understanding (MoU), the urban renewal project of the area is being jointly looked after by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the Central Public Works Department (CPWD), MCD and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture.

The area was supposed to get a facelift for the Commonwealth Games, but the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) was unable to finish the project on time. Now, the task has been taken up again and is likely to be completed by the next year. If all goes according to the plan, the project would ensure better footpaths, greener roads, an enhanced storm water drainage system and cleaner community toilets.

The Hazrat Nizamuddin area is broadly classified into three zones: the Nizamuddin Basti, Sunder Nursery and the Humayun Tomb. The basti has been a challenging area as it required strong cooperation amongst all the MoU partners and after a lot of consideration, the plans have taken off.

"The MCD held consultations with the Aga Khan Trust for Culture before going ahead with the project. The Nizamuddin Basti sees thousands of visitors every day and it is necessary for the place to be restored in a way that would make the visitors and the residents feel comfortable," said Farhad Suri, councillor of the area.

The first phase, which would take five months for completion, would comprise hard landscaping or concrete work on Dargah and Market Street, Ghalib Road, Plaza and Baoli Gate.

According to the redevelopment plan, the MCD will construct toilets, special parking and foothpaths. In the first phase, all the overhead cables in the area will be made underground.

"We have paid Rs 50 lakh to BSES for this work. They are likely to start the work sometime next week. Once this is over, we will start the streetscaping project," said Suri.

"The basti has a dense population and attracts even international visitors and pilgrims every year. In order to improve the quality of life of the residents, it was necessary to carry out a major street revamp by providing interlocking tiles and relaying of storm water drain wherever required," said a senior MCD official.

Added Ratish Nanda, project head, Aga Khan Trust Foundation, "One has to cross the basti to reach the dargah or other important historical monuments. There is a need to beautify all the five approaches to the dargah and for this the MCD has given approval of Rs 9 crore for the project."

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Okhla sanctuary draws 50,000 birds from Europe
Parmindar Singh

Greater Noida, December 26
Thousands of migratory birds of hundreds of different species have come to the Okhla bird sanctuary this year due to a longish cold spell in European countries.

According to officials, every year over a 100 migratory bird species arrive here.

Common hoopoe, kingfisher, painted stork, white ibis, great egret, cattle egret, red vented bulbul, spotted owlet, bank mynah, and several local species could be seen at the park.

The sanctuary has witnessed a 30% increase in the inflow of birds this season as western and European countries have been experiencing long spells of snowfall.

According to officials, more than 50,000 migratory birds have found their temporary home at the park.

JM Banerjee, ranger and in-charge of the park, said, "There are around 25,000 Austrian gulls at the park. In a survey conducted last week, it was found that there were around 250 painted storks, 80 purple moorhens, 70 spoon bills, 150 spot bills and 250 cormorants. Total bird count was around 50,000.

Meanwhile, to develop the bird sanctuary at Surajpur in Greater Noida, Rs 6 crore has been released to start the work for the first phase.

The project, which will come up on 300 hectare, will be 13th such facility in Uttar Pradesh.

The forest department which has been given the money has already started the work for the pathways and fencing. "More funds will be given as and when needed. The project is expected to be completed in next six months", said Rama Raman, chief executive officer, Greater Noida Authority.

The purpose of the project is to set up a base for migratory birds. Bird specialists are being consulted to give the final shape to the project, he said. Fountains will be set up amid the dense forest area. Artificial ponds and lakes will add charm to the whole area.

It will act as an entertainment centre for Greater Noida residents and a place of research for students.

It will be a repository of information on birds. An exhibition hall will be set up where habitats and life cycles of various birds will be displayed. It will be a unique project in the NCR region.

The authority is bearing the cost of the project and the forest department is providing the land. Besides, the department is developing the project, it is learnt. The park is being developed as an ideal destination for bird watchers. Trees like neem and acacia will be planted.

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Sons beat father, sell his house
Our Correspondent

Greater Noida, December 26
In Kadalpur village under Rabupura Kotwali, two sons first beat up their father and then threw him out of the house. Later, they sold their father's house.

Kannu, 75, of Badalpur village, stated in his written compliant to district magistrate Deepak Agarwal that the house was in his name which his sons wanted to sell. When he refused to sell it, they beat him up with lathis and threw him out. Later, they sold the house to a bad character who is now living in the house.

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Vehicle thief nabbed
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, December 26
The Sahibabad police has nabbed a criminal carrying a reward of Rs 15,000 on his head who used to steal luxury cars to impress his girlfriends. The police has recovered four luxury cars and two bikes from him. About a month ago, he snatched a bike by injuring an Air Force Plying officer in Lajpat Nagar.

City superintendent of police Avdesh Kumar Vijaita said a police team had signalled a luxury car to stop at Karhedo on Friday evening, but the bandits accelerated the speed. Later, a criminal was nabbed after an encounter while his two accomplices escaped.

The arrested criminal has been identified as Feroze, alias Fauji, a resident of Bawli Bagpat. He used to commit crimes along with his brother Imran. The police recovered one Accent, I-10 Maruti and Tavera cars. 

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