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Mixed response to bandh call in Delhi
New Delhi, December 1
The bandh called by traders against the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in retail sector today saw a lukewarm response in the national Capital, with many markets functioning usually.

(Left) Connaught Place Market in New Delhi wears a deserted look. (right) BJP supporters hold a protest against the FDI during the bandh at Karol Bagh in New Delhi on Thursday. Tribune photos

Delhi Assembly passes MCD trifurcation bill
New Delhi, December 1
The Delhi Legislative Assembly today passed the bill for trifurcating the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) amid pandemonium created by the BJP MLAs who demanded full statehood for the national Capital. The bill was tabled before the House yesterday by the minister of state for urban development, Rajkumar Chauhan, for debate.


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Schoolchildren take out an awareness rally at Gurgaon on AIDS day on Thursday (left) and Ghulam Nabi Azad, Union minister of health and family welfare, releases a book at the inauguration of the 66th World Homeopathic Congress-2011 in New Delhi on Thursday. Tribune photo: Sayeed Ahmed and Manas Ranjan Bhui

MCD split to hit civic services, says BJP
New Delhi, December 1
The ruling BJP in Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) today said that the trifurcation of the civic body, which has won international recognition in the recent past, would lead to poor management of civic services.

Protesting FDI, BJP burns govtís effigies
New Delhi, December 1
Staging protests all across the city to keep commercial areas closed for the day, the workers of the state unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) burnt effigies of the government under the leadership of senior party leader M Venkaiah Naidu at Karol Bagh.

Nod to Yamuna Action Plan-III for Delhi
New Delhi, December 1
The central government today approved the Rs 1,656-crore phase-III of Yamuna Action Plan (YAP) for Delhi under which it is proposed to rehabilitate damaged trunk sewers to maximise use of sewage treatment plants (STPs) in Okhla, Kondli and Rithala, apart from construction of a new STP at Okhla.

Tax officials raid DTH operators
Gt Noida, December 1
As the service providers have been asked to obtain licences by paying a fee of Rs 10,000, viewing television through DTH will become costlier in G.B. Nagar district.

DGP, 64 cops to be booked for beating Bhatta farmers
Noida, December 1
The Director-General of Police of UP and 64 other policemen will be booked for action against farmers in Bhatta-Parsaul in May 2011.

Vehicle runs over youth in Dhaula Kuan 
New Delhi, December 1
An unknown vehicle ran over a 23-year-old man at Dhaula Kuan this morning, killing him on the spot and then fleeing away.

Glued to earplugs, 2 schoolboys crushed by train
Ghaziabad, December 1
The widespread habit of listening to music while walking cost two teenagers their lives here today.

Drunk cop rams car into autorickshaw
New Delhi, December 1
A drunken constable posted at the Delhi police Special Cell, allegedly rammed his Wagon-R car into an autorickshaw, injuring the driver, at a police picket in Aruna Asif Ali road last night. A police official said that the accused, Raj Kumar was found in an inebriated condition at the time of the accident.

7-yr boy caught stealing jewellery
Ghaziabad, December 1
A seven-year-old boy has been caught while stealing a bag containing ornaments worth Rs 10 lakh from at a wedding function here, the police said.

Rs 3 lakh stolen from traderís car
Ghaziabad, December 1
Unidentified persons stole Rs 3 lakh from the car of an iron trader in Patel Nagar here, the police said.





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Mixed response to bandh call in Delhi
Many markets in the city stayed away from the protest against FDI in retail
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 1
The bandh called by traders against the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in retail sector today saw a lukewarm response in the national Capital, with many markets functioning usually.

Many market associations in the city today stayed away from the nationwide protest.

The all-India bandh call was given by the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) and other trades' associations in protest against the decision of the Union government to allow the FDI in retail sector.

President of the Delhi unit of CAIT Narender Madan said a large number of traders had kept their shops shut to participate in the bandh.

"However, some prominent traders associations like the Sarojini Nagar Mini Market Association and INA Market Association dissociated from the CAIT call for the bandh saying the protest was uncalled for," he said.

Today, wholesale markets and other big retail markets that pull in huge crowds, like Karol Bagh, Sadar Bazar, Kamla Nagar, Chawri Bazar, Kashmere Gate, Tilak Nagar, Rohini, Krishna Nagar and Greater Kailash M Block remained closed in favour of the bandh.

Sarojini Nagar and INA markets functioned as usual while nearly 10 to 20 per cent shops remained open at Central Market, Lajpat Nagar.

The bandh also received widespread support from the BJP and the Left parties.

BJP activists joined the traders' protest at as many 20 different locations in the capital and organised protest marches. Supporters also burnt the effigies of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.

Despite some markets not participating in the bandh, secretary-general of the CAIT Praveen Khandelwal said the bandh was largely a success and since Delhi was such a big city, with a couple of markets and some shops not participating in the bandh, it did not make much of a difference.

"Around five crore traders belonging to 10,000 traders' associations across the country are participating in the bandh. We have received a favourable response from Delhi as well. The traders need to understand that the decision on the FDI will create an uneven playing field in the country which will tilt towards MNCs and prove to be a 'nightmare' for them and even their consumers," he added.

"We came to know about the bandh from the newspapers, we were never informed. Also, we don't fully support the view that the FDI in retail is dangerous. If the government is taking a decision, we believe that it would have thought over the issue," said Ashok Randhava, president of Sarojini Nagar Mini Market Association.

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Delhi Assembly passes MCD trifurcation bill
Syed Ali Ahmed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 1
The Delhi Legislative Assembly today passed the bill for trifurcating the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) amid pandemonium created by the BJP MLAs who demanded full statehood for the national Capital.

The bill was tabled before the House yesterday by the minister of state for urban development, Rajkumar Chauhan, for debate. After getting views of MLAs across the party line, the Delhi Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill, which also provides for transfer of some powers to the city government in overseeing functioning of the new bodies as well as giving approval to rules and bylaws framed by them, was passed through voice vote.

While participating in the discussion, the BJP MLAs demanded that before trifurcating the MCD the government should have got full statehood for the Delhi state.

When it was getting passed after the CM's speech, the BJP MLAs Trooped to the Well demanding statehood for Delhi.

Amidst sloganeering, the bill was put to voice vote and declared passed.

Replying to the debate on the issue, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit described the trifurcation as a "historic moment" and expressed hope that it would lead to improvement in civic amenities.

She said there was no politics in trifurcating the MCD. It could have been split the MCD three years ago when the Congress came to power in Delhi in 2009. "But we did not do it then as there might be criticism that we did it because the MCD was ruled by the BJP. Now we are doing it because the term of this MCD is getting over," Dikshit said.

The Chief Minister addressed the House for 25 minutes explaining everything in detail and trying to make it clear that it was being done to provide better civic amenities to the citizens.

The debate over the bill began with the speech of the Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, Vijay Kumar Malhotra, who said, "The trifurcation of the MCD is for political reasons."

Accepting a long-standing demand of Dikshit, the home ministry had last week approved the bill giving the go-ahead to the Delhi government to trifurcate the MCD ahead of civic polls in April next year.

He said he was not against trifurcating the MCD.

But before taking the decision, the Chief Minister should have got the full statehood for Delhi, all power of the MCD taken by the city government should be withdrawn and there should be Mayor-in-Council in the MCD.

Now, the bill will be sent to the President, Pratibha Singh Patil, for assent to make it an act.

As per the proposal, the new civic bodies in north and south Delhi will have 104 wards each while the civic body in east Delhi will have 64 wards and a directorate of municipal services would be set up to coordinate functioning of the three new bodies.

The Centre has also approved the proposal for increasing reservation of seats for women in the civic body to 50 per cent from the current 33 per cent.

In pushing for trifurcation of the MCD, Dikshit had to face opposition from within the Congress with several leaders even going to party chief Sonia Gandhi to complain against the move.

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MCD split to hit civic services, says BJP
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 1
The ruling BJP in Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) today said that the trifurcation of the civic body, which has won international recognition in the recent past, would lead to poor management of civic services.

Leader of the House Subhash Arya said the reasons given in the proposal of the MCD trifurcation by the Delhi government are politically motivated and baseless.

In the aims mentioned for the trifurcation, references of Bala Krishnan Committee constituted in 1989 and Virender Prakash Committee constituted in 2001 have been detailed.

"These recommendations are outdated and have no relevance today since almost 22 and 10 years have passed. Today the situation is different and the reforms initiated by the corporation have won international recognition. The outlook of the corporation has been adjudged as stable. The civic body has been awarded the National Long-Term Rating of 'AA' by the Ratings Fitch, an internationally recognized public finance body," said Arya.

He said that while giving the rating, the international organization studied in detail the financial organizational and infrastructural reforms done by the corporation.

The MCD manages solid waste in the 94.22 per cent area of the city and has been named as the first city in the country and the second in a study of 22 metro cities of Asia conducted by Simons Asian Green City in terms of management of waste. "In the study, Delhi has been recognised for better management of solid waste. Delhi's better management of carbon dioxide release has also been recognised as above average. Besides, the better waste management by Delhi's civic agencies despite limited resources has been termed as example to be followed by other cities," he said.

Out of different government bodies in the city, MCD is the only body to implement the biometric attendance system, he said. "The e-governance programme to provide services related to the local bodies to the citizens at their doorstep has also been implemented in most of the services," he said.

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Protesting FDI, BJP burns govtís effigies
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 1
Staging protests all across the city to keep commercial areas closed for the day, the workers of the state unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) burnt effigies of the government under the leadership of senior party leader M Venkaiah Naidu at Karol Bagh.

Demanding an immediate rollback of the FDI decision, senior BJP leaders said that the Central government's move would render lakhs of people unemployed.

The BJP workers took out demonstrations in the areas of Chandni Chowk in protest against the move to allow FDI in retail trade in India and apprised the traders of its adverse effects.

"Almost 95% of retail trade in India runs under the unorganised sector. About 15 crore people are supporting their families with the help of retail trade in every lane of the country. If foreign companies are allowed retail trading, millions of people will be rendered unemployed. This earning section of the country will start committing suicide," said Naidu.

Armed with the banners and flags, they raised slogans such as 'rozgar de nahi sakte to rozgar chhino mat (if you can't give employment, don't snatch it away).

The party burnt effigies of the government at various places of Delhi. Other places where the 'bandh' effect was seen include Town Hall, Chandni Chowk, Madhuban Chowk, Pitampura, Indira Chowk, New Kondli, Bata Chowk, Lajpat Nagar and Uttam Nagar.

"If the government allows foreign multi-brand companies to start trading and open showrooms, we will come on to the streets and oppose its anti-people decision," said Vijender Gupta, president of Delhi BJP.

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Nod to Yamuna Action Plan-III for Delhi

New Delhi, December 1
The central government today approved the Rs 1,656-crore phase-III of Yamuna Action Plan (YAP) for Delhi under which it is proposed to rehabilitate damaged trunk sewers to maximise use of sewage treatment plants (STPs) in Okhla, Kondli and Rithala, apart from construction of a new STP at Okhla.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, approved the proposal of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)-assisted YAP phase-III project under the centrally-sponsored scheme of National River Conservation Plan.

"The project will be implemented on 85:15 cost sharing basis between the Government of India and the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi for a period of 7 years," a release said.

Under the YAP-III, it is proposed to rehabilitate the damaged trunk sewers to maximise the utilisation of available treatment capacity and modernise the STPs in three catchment areas of Delhi, namely Okhla, Kondli and Rithala.

It is also proposed to construct of a new, state-of-the-art STP in place of old STP of 136 million litres per day capacity at Okhla and to equip them with tertiary level treatment facilities to achieve treated effluent quality of 10 mg/1 for biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and total suspended solids (TSS) so as to improve the water quality of river Yamuna.

"These works will be integral to the Sewerage Master Plan being prepared by Delhi Jal Board (DJB). The project will be implemented by DJB under the supervision of the Department of Urban Development, Government of NCT of Delhi," it said.

"The implementation of the project shall improve the water quality of the river along with improved aesthetics of the area through tackling of sewage generated from identified catchments of Delhi," it added. 

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Tax officials raid DTH operators
Our Correspondent

Gt Noida, December 1
As the service providers have been asked to obtain licences by paying a fee of Rs 10,000, viewing television through DTH will become costlier in G.B. Nagar district.

Following an order of the Allahabad High Court which dismissed a petition filed by DTH operators, seeking stay on the imposition of licence fee, the entertainment tax department has started conducting raids on the offices of the service providers.

On March 31, the state government had introduced licence fee for DTH operators, treating them as signal receiver agencies.

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DGP, 64 cops to be booked for beating Bhatta farmers
Parmindar Singh

Noida, December 1
The Director-General of Police of UP and 64 other policemen will be booked for action against farmers in Bhatta-Parsaul in May 2011.

The chief judicial magistrate, Vipin Sharma has ordered a case be registered against the cops for looting cash and jewellery, beating up farmers, molesting women and destroying household goods.

The CJM has ordered the FIR to be filed against DGP Brij Lal, Special D-G, Additional D-G Gurbachan Lal, IPS officer M.N. Singh, DSPs Uday Veer Khokhar and Amlesh Tyagi, SDM Vishal Singh, SOs Laxman Verma, Rajiv Kumar and M. Singh and 60 unnamed cops.

Advocate D.S. Bhadana, fighting the case for the farmers, said Vijay Devi, a resident of Achhepur, and Archana and Rajwati, residents of Parsaul, had filed a case in CJM court, alleging that in the morning on May 8, the then Special DG Police Brij Lal and Additional D-G NCR Gurbachan Lal reached their village with a large police force.

Policemen broke open doors and windows of their houses on the pretext of search operation and cash and valuables, including jewellery worth lakhs of rupees kept in almirahs, were taken away. Even cattle kept in sheds were untied and driven away. When women resisted the action, they were beaten up badly.

The farmers complained in Dankore police station, but the cops refused to register cases. Hence, they were forced to approach the court under Section 156, (3), advocate D.S. Bhadara said.

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Vehicle runs over youth in Dhaula Kuan 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 1
An unknown vehicle ran over a 23-year-old man at Dhaula Kuan this morning, killing him on the spot and then fleeing away.

The deceased is identified as Gaurav (23).

He runs business in construction material.

A police official said that they are yet to identify the culprit.

"The accident happened during the rush hour on the road from Dhaula Kuan to Naraina about 8 am. But, people who had witnessed the accident did not report it to us. A person who was walking with his child in the vicinity placed a PCR (police control room) call about Gaurav," added the official.

His body has been kept at the Safdarjung mortuary.

The postmortem will be conducted tomorrow.

A case has been registered by the Delhi police under the Indian Penal Code section 279 (Rash driving or riding on a public way) and section 304 A (causing death by negligence).

Gaurav stayed with his family, including four sisters, at Fatehpur Behri.

His father and mother are residents of Bihar. 

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Glued to earplugs, 2 schoolboys crushed by train

Ghaziabad, December 1
The widespread habit of listening to music while walking cost two teenagers their lives here today.

The cousins, who were walking on a railway track, could not hear the train coming from behind them as they were glued to their headphones, the police said.

Kuldeep Chauhan, 15, and his cousin Rahul Singh, 17, were students of Dehra Dun Public School (DDPS) in Madhuban area. They had bunked classes today and wanted to watch a movie.

The police said that after leaving their homes, the two were walking on the track on their way to a multiplex, when the Delhi-bound Jan Shatabdi Express hurtled towards them from behind.

Not only could they not hear the train's whistles, they were also oblivious to shouts of the people nearby.

Both of them were killed on the spot.

Kuldeep was the son of a security agency owner Bhopal Singh, while Rahul's father Om Pal Singh too runs a security firm here.

The police blamed the parents for negligence.

"The parents allow children to carry mobile phones to school. Such freedom has cost them their lives," circle officer Praveen Ranjan said.

The duo's school principal Richa Sood said: "The two students were bunking classes for the last three days. Their mobile numbers given to the school were found to be non-functional." - IANS

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Drunk cop rams car into autorickshaw
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 1
A drunken constable posted at the Delhi police Special Cell, allegedly rammed his Wagon-R car into an autorickshaw, injuring the driver, at a police picket in Aruna Asif Ali road last night. A police official said that the accused, Raj Kumar was found in an inebriated condition at the time of the accident.

"At about 12 am yesterday, some policemen at a picket on Aruna Asif Ali Road had stopped an autorickshaw being driven by Shailender Paswan. They were checking the vehicle, when a Wagon-R car driven by Kumar rammed into the rickshaw. Paswan was rushed to the Safdurjung Hospital, where he was treated for his minor injuries," said the official.

Kumar did not suffer any injuries in the accident. A case has been registered against Kumar under Indian Penal Code (IPC) section 279 (rash driving or riding on a public way), section 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 185 Motor-vehicles Act (driving by a drunken person or by a person under the influence of drugs).

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7-yr boy caught stealing jewellery

Ghaziabad, December 1
A seven-year-old boy has been caught while stealing a bag containing ornaments worth Rs 10 lakh from at a wedding function here, the police said.

The boy was caught last night by some persons who were present at the wedding and later handed to the police.

Anil Gupta, whose niece's marriage was taking place, alleged that the police allowed the minor boy to go after he accepted his fault.

The police, however, said it was looking into the incident to ascertain whether any gang was involved as this was the second such incident in the last one month. - PTI

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Rs 3 lakh stolen from traderís car

Ghaziabad, December 1
Unidentified persons stole Rs 3 lakh from the car of an iron trader in Patel Nagar here, the police said.

Ashish Tapadiya yesterday sent his driver to withdraw money from his accounts in ICICI Bank and Bank of Baroda here.

The driver withdrew Rs 3 lakh from ICICI Bank and kept it in the car. He then parked the car near the other bank and went there to withdraw money, the police said.

The money bag was missing from the car when the driver returned from the bank. One of the car windows was removed to steal the bag, ir added.

A case has been registered in this connection. - PTI

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