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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

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Dense fog hits train, air services
New Delhi, December 18
As dense fog continued to envelop the national Capital on Wednesday morning, several trains and flights were delayed. Traffic just crawled at several places in the city. The heavy fog affected several flights, leading to suspension of operations at Indira Gandhi International Airport for over an hour this morning.

Many development projects stop for want of govt: Vardhan
New Delhi, December 18
Attacking the Aam Aadmi Party for delaying the formation of government, BJP leader Dr Harsh Vardhan said in the absence of a new government, many development projects had been stopped.
BJP Delhi CM candidiate Dr Harsh Vardhan addresses a press conference in New Delhi on Wednesday BJP Delhi CM candidiate Dr Harsh Vardhan addresses a press conference in New Delhi on Wednesday. Tribune Photo: Mukesh Aggarwal


EARLIER EDITIONS



53 properties razed in 15 days in South Delhi
New Delhi, December 18
The building department of the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) has started a special demolition and sealing drive against unauthorised constructions in parts of south Delhi.

Couple held for stealing jewellery at wedding functions
New Delhi, December 18
The South district police today claimed to have arrested S. Kumar of Rajgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and his wife Sangeeta who were reportedly involved in theft cases during the wedding functions in Delhi and the NCR region.

Supporters of activist Anna Hazare as both the Houses of Parliament pass the Lokpal Bill, at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Wednesday
Supporters of activist Anna Hazare as both the Houses of Parliament pass the Lokpal Bill, at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Wednesday. Tribune photo: Manas Ranjan Bhui

CBSE summit on 'school health'
New Delhi, December 18
Considering that life skills, school health and well-being are valuable indicators of progressive schooling across the globe, the CBSE organised the 2nd International Life skills, Values, Gender, School Health and Well-being Summit in the Capital.

'Foeticide rampant in many districts of posh Delhi'
New Delhi, December 18
Female foeticide is still prevalent in many districts of the national capital region of Delhi, according to the results of a campaign conducted by the Centre for Social Research (CSR).

Formation of Madrassa Board favoured
New Delhi, December 18
The majority of madrassas in the city favoured the government's initiative to constitute a Madrassa Board in Delhi under which there would be a set syllabus, regular examination system and other activities prevailed in the education institutions.





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Dense fog hits train, air services
No respite for next few days, according to Met office
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 18
As dense fog continued to envelop the national Capital on Wednesday morning, several trains and flights were delayed. Traffic just crawled at several places in the city. The heavy fog affected several flights, leading to suspension of operations at Indira Gandhi International Airport for over an hour this morning.

According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), visibility dropped to less than 50 metres in some parts of the city at 8.30 am. The Capital has been witnessing dense fog since Monday and as per the Met office, there will be no respite for the next few days.

"We had to suspend operations due to bad weather and poor visibility for about an hour and a half. The flights resumed at 8.30 am as the visibility improved," said an airport official.

Services of more than 60 trains, mostly Delhi-bound, were badly affected today. "Over three dozen incoming and outgoing trains were delayed or had to be rescheduled. There are 37 trains which are running late by two to 11 hours while one train has been cancelled," said a Northern Railway official.

While some trains like the Lalquila Express, the Lichchavi Express and the Sampoornkranti Express were running 12 hours behind the schedule, the Purushottam Express was delayed by 11 hours due to foggy conditions.

According to the Northern Railway, poor visibility has affected the services of a total of 67 trains in the region. The Rajdhani trains for Bhubaneswar, Kolkata, Ranchi, Patna and the Shatabdis for Kanpur and Kalka have been affected due to heavy fog.

The Jansadharan Express and the Rohtak Intercity Express are among three trains cancelled due to fog. The departure timing of all affected trains has been rescheduled, said a senior Northern Railway official.

Traffic was also heavy on several arterial roads of the city as motorists drove with caution.

Today's maximum temperature was recorded at 22 degree and the minimum settled at 10 degree Celsius.

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Many development projects stop for want of govt: Vardhan
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 18
Attacking the Aam Aadmi Party for delaying the formation of government, BJP leader Dr Harsh Vardhan said in the absence of a new government, many development projects had been stopped.

He said according to the noms, government should have been formed by today.

Delaying its formation on the pretext of taking suggestions from the citizens is "just a drama" being enacted by the AAP.

Raising the questions through the media today, the BJP leader said that AAP should clearly tell whether it would form the government.

Eleven days have passed since the election results were declared. Kejriwal had met the Lt. Governor five days ago, but he was still playing a game with the people of Delhi. The working of government in the Capital has completely stopped and the people want to know how long the game of Congress and AAP will continue, Vardhan said.

AAP was born after 13 days of fasting by social activist Anna Hazare who had talked about making politics free of corruption, but Kejriwal and company just formed a political party.

Had the leaders of AAP consulted the people of Delhi before forming the political party, asked Vardhan.

If the AAP has any objection to the present Lokpal Bill, it should initiate a separate movement for a bill of its choice, added Dr Harsh Vardhan.

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53 properties razed in 15 days in South Delhi
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 18
The building department of the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) has started a special demolition and sealing drive against unauthorised constructions in parts of south Delhi.

The corporation has taken demolition action against 53 properties, including 15 at Sainik Farms in the past 15 days. "The department has achieved some success in curbing the menace of unauthorized constructions in posh areas," said a senior SDMC official.

He said that the drive was aimed at controlling the builder mafia who cheat people by luring them into buying flats with extra living space at cheaper rates. "They break the laws under the Delhi Master Plan and building bylaws. So, we have decided to intensify the drive," he said.

The corporation has formed a four-member team for taking action in the areas of Panchsheel Enclave, Mehrauli, Hargovind Enclave, Rajpur Khurd, Freedom Fighters' Colony and Mandi Valley.

"The department of the South Zone took action against six properties today besides sealing five," said the official. "During the action, properties were left in uninhabitable conditions with the use of equipment such as JCB, pneumatic hammer, gas cutter, etc.," he said.

A large number of people gathered at the sites and tried to stop the corporation staff from carrying out the demolition action.

"By taking stringent action, we want to send out a message to the unscrupulous builders engaged in unauthorized constructions to strongly follow government protocols and respect the enacted laws," added the official.

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Couple held for stealing jewellery at wedding functions
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 18
The South district police today claimed to have arrested S. Kumar of Rajgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and his wife Sangeeta who were reportedly involved in theft cases during the wedding functions in Delhi and the NCR region.

With their arrest, stolen diamond and gold jewellery, including two diamond sets, a diamond ring and a gold chain, have been recovered. Five cases of theft have been worked out, the police said.

The police received a number of complaints of theft during the wedding functions. During investigation, the police came to know that a couple who belonged to Madhya Pradesh lived on rent and used to often change their house. They were suspected to be involved in theft cases.

The police arrested one Bunty in November who also disclosed the involvement of S. Kumar and his wife in theft cases. The couple were accordingly arrested from Saket.

During interrogation, the accused disclosed that in view of the marriage season, several groups of people from Rajgarh, MP, have come to Delhi to commit thefts. They used to stay in rented accommodation, particularly in Govindpuri, Sarai Kale Khan, Badarpur, Jaitpur, Trilok Puri, etc. for a couple of months.

They used to hire a three-wheeler or Maruti van for a night and roam around farmhouses where the wedding functions are held. The couples would stay outside in three-wheelers while their smartly dressed children would enter the function and loiter around the stage. They targeted the hosts who carried cash and jewellery bags. Sometimes they threw a balloon towards the stage and reached there to take it back. The host did not suspect any criminal movement. After the commission of the theft, the children joined their parents, waiting outside. They would thus escape from the spot.

Sometimes the couples themselves entered the functions and targeted the host's valuables. After reaching their rental accommodation, they dispatched the jewellery articles to their native places so that nothing could be recovered from them, the police said.

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CBSE summit on 'school health'
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 18
Considering that life skills, school health and well-being are valuable indicators of progressive schooling across the globe, the CBSE organised the 2nd International Life skills, Values, Gender, School Health and Well-being Summit in the Capital.

Concluding today, the three-day summit saw the presence of Minister of Human Resource Development M.M. Pallam Raju, CBSE chairman Vineet Joshi and CBSE Director (Academics, Research, Training and Innovations), Dr Sadhana Parashar.

The objective of the summit was to understand and review the concept, needs and trends of school health and life skills. It emphasised the need for ensuring good practices in assessment and continuous evaluation of skill-based co-scholastic development along with integration of school safety, sanitation and health checkup programme within the comprehensive school health education curriculum.

The CBSE has introduced life skills education as an integral part of the curriculum to empower the affective domain of the learners so that they are able to develop a sense of self-confidence, eco-sensitivity and right approaches to life processes, health, well-being and gender.

"It is good that students put in so much effort and realise the value of gender sensitisation, well-being and values. I am glad that CBSE organised such an event to help students develop in-depth values, said the minister.

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'Foeticide rampant in many districts of posh Delhi'
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 18
Female foeticide is still prevalent in many districts of the national capital region of Delhi, according to the results of a campaign conducted by the Centre for Social Research (CSR).

The CSR has been implementing an action-based research programme against gender-based sex selection in all the 11 districts of Delhi from February 2013.

The action research project supported by the German Embassy, New Delhi, aims to arrest the declining sex ratio by creating awareness among the people against the social malpractice of aborting female foetuses.

Delhi, as per 2011 census, recorded a low child sex ratio of 866 girls to 1,000 boys. The situation is becoming even worse with some sections of media reporting the child sex ratio of 789 girls per 1,000 boys in the last quarter.

Director of the National Mission for Empowerment of Women, Ministry of Women and Child Development, Dr Rashmi Singh, said "Sex selective abortion was earlier considered an urban phenomenon. However, with easy access to technology these days (ultrasound devices), the problem has become widespread and we are witnessing a skewed sex ratio even in rural areas. It is unfortunate that in this case, the technology is not being used for the betterment of society, but for destroying the foetus in a woman's womb. This skewed sex ratio in turn is leading to increased violence against women."

Addressing the conference, Director, Centre for Social Research Ranjana Kumari, said, "Our joint efforts with the German Embassy and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, have helped in protecting the lives of thousands of daughters. Apart from women's rights organisations, the medical fraternity also needs to build pressure on society to curb this problem. We would need the cooperation of various law enforcement agencies in order to improve the sex ratio by Census 2021."

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Formation of Madrassa Board favoured
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 18
The majority of madrassas in the city favoured the government's initiative to constitute a Madrassa Board in Delhi under which there would be a set syllabus, regular examination system and other activities prevailed in the education institutions.

The Delhi Government had got a survey done by the Delhi Minorities Commission (DMC) to know the views of the Madrassa Management Committees. In Delhi, 446 madrassas were contacted.

Of them, 314 favoured the government's initiative for the formation of a Madrassa Board, said the DMC chairman Safdar Hussain Khan on the occasion of International Minorities Day.

When asked that a number of madrassas had complained that they were not contacted by the DMC for their comment, Khan said that he would get their views registered and send them to the new government when it was formed.

Talking to mediapersons, the chairman said that the DMC had not only done a survey for Madrassa Board, but had also carried out a number of commendable tasks for the minorities registered in Delhi. The commission has also launched vocational training programmes for the minorities.

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