SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
D E L H I   A N D   N E I G H B O U R H O O D

700 slum clusters to have toilet facilities
New Delhi, October 5
The Delhi government has decided to provide toilet facilities to 700 slum clusters as part of the "Swachh Bharat" campaign launched by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.


AFTER DURGA PUJA, THE DELUGE OF WASTE: A view of the Yamuna banks clogged with the idols and other materials in Delhi on Sunday. Tribune photo: Manas Ranjan Bhui


EARLIER EDITIONS



Kejriwal to address e-rickshaw drivers at Jantar Mantar on Oct 8
New Delhi, October 5
The AAP today hit out at Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on the issue of the plying of e-rickshaws in the national Capital and claimed that although he had "promised the moon" to the drivers of such vehicles, he had failed to protect their interests.

Electricity tariff may increase
New Delhi, October 5
Power tariff in the city is likely to go up next month as Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) is set to levy a fuel surcharge to help the private distribution companies adjust their power purchase cost.


Activists of the AIADMK during a demonstration at Jantar Mantar, demanding justice for party chief and former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalitha in New Delhi on Sunday. Tribune photo

Vendors selling goats near the Jama Masjid in Old Delhi on Sunday. Tribune photo: Manas Ranjan Bhui

Young scientists to lead tomorrow's India: Jitendra
New Delhi, October 5
Speaking on the eve of the national science exhibition and project competition for the youth under the aegis of the Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE) programme beginning tomorrow at Pragati Maidan here, Union Minister of State (independent charge) of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Jitendra Singh today said India's youth is destined to lead tomorrow's science. It is the young scientists who will lead tomorrow's India.

Yamuna banks, a sorry sight after immersions
New Delhi, October 5
The immersion of idols following the conclusion of the Durga Puja festival left the banks of the Yamuna wearing a sorry look today as everything from polythene bags to rotting flowers lay strewn on the riverside.

DDA makes website disabled-friendly
New Delhi, October 5
To facilitate partially or completely visually impaired people, the Delhi Development Authority's (DDA) official website has been made disabled-friendly. This has been done a few weeks after the launch of 'DDA Housing Scheme 2014. The urban body's website has so far received over 30 lakh hits since the launch of the flagship programme on September 1.

Bassi announces reward for tracing girl
New Delhi, October 5
The Commissioner of Delhi Police, B. S. Bassi, today announced a reward of Rs 50,000 for those who would help in tracing a three-year-old girl Jahnvi who had gone missing from India Gate last Sunday.

 





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700 slum clusters to have toilet facilities
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 5
The Delhi government has decided to provide toilet facilities to 700 slum clusters as part of the "Swachh Bharat" campaign launched by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. The decision was taken in view of the shortage of toilet blocks in JJ colonies, Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) Chief Executive Officer Amar Nath said today.

The DUSIB has already prepared a data base of toilet blocks available in JJ clusters as well as identified the deficit and is actively planning to implement the programme so as to provide more toilets at such places at the earliest, Nath said.

As part of the campaign, the DUSIB has already carried out a massive cleanliness drive in 185 night shelters in different parts of the Capital, he said in a statement. Under the drive, officials and NGO volunteers cleaned night shelters "by removing unrequisite material, debris and garbage from there and ensuring that atmosphere surrounding the shelters also remains clean", it said.

The DUSIB has set up a centralised control room at its headquarters to monitor the carrying out of the cleanliness drive which was covered offices and various complexes apart from night shelters and JJ clusters.

The board has also constituted 11 teams, each headed by a deputy director, to inspect the drive as well as ensure that it is a regular process in the night shelters and JJ clusters, Nath said.

NDMC area to be free of garbage by month end

The area under New Delhi Municipal Corporation will be made garbage-free by October 31 as per the target set by the civic body which is ready with an action plan in the wake of the launch of the Swachh Bharat mission by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In keeping with the decision to intensify its cleaning initiative, New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has identified areas for special attention and is stepping up operations directed at ensuring proper hygiene and sanitation.

The civic agency is planning to make special efforts for the cleaning of backlanes of several colonies and areas which attract a high footfall of visitors like Hanuman Temple Road, Sarojini Nagar Market, Connaught Place, etc., an official said.

Door-to-door garbage collection has already been started in six colonies, including Jor Bagh, Golf Links, Rajinder Nagar and Khan Market, he said. NDMC is also regularising the services of 762 sanitation workers who were working on contract basis. Also, attendance of the workers would now be registered digitally.

Also, sanitation workers will be asked to give specific attention to the corners, backlanes, and overflowing dhalaos where there is the highest possibility of garbage accumulating, said PK Sharma, Director (health), NDMC.

NDMC has also directed its tricycle rickshaws to now collect garbage thrice daily instead of the once earlier, Sharma said, adding that 800 new garbage trolleys have been ordered for the purpose.

The civic body has also signed a contract with a private company, JCD Cox, for the upkeep of Connaught Place where redevelopment work ended earlier this year. It also recently organised a rally during which schoolchildren offered flowers to people who were found littering in Connaught Place.

The civic body has a created a Facebook page, 'hohoshameshame' where it has asked people to post photographs of those they find littering or urinating at public places. The prime minister had on October 2 wielded a broom and swept a pavement in Valmiki Basti, which falls under NDMC's jurisdiction, as he launched the country's biggest-ever cleanliness drive.

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Kejriwal to address e-rickshaw drivers at Jantar Mantar on Oct 8

New Delhi, October 5
The AAP today hit out at Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on the issue of the plying of e-rickshaws in the national Capital and claimed that although he had "promised the moon" to the drivers of such vehicles, he had failed to protect their interests.

The party further said in a release today that former Delhi chief minister and AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal will address e-rickshaw drivers at Jantar Mantar on October 8 as they seek simplification of the Centre's draft notification regarding the plying of such vehicles along with removal of the exorbitant fees which the surface transport ministry has proposed to levy on them.

The AAP claimed that the draft notification does not fully address the 
concerns of e-rickshaw drivers.

"It is surprising that Gadkari made very tall promises at Ramlila Ground on June 17 and promised the moon to e-rickshaw drivers, but miserably failed to implement any of his promises for more than three months.

"The road transport ministry has now brought e-rickshaws under the Motor Vehicles Act despite Gadkari having publicly stated that (vehicles) with motors of up to 600 watts would be exempted from the MV Act. Was he ill-informed or was the announcement made to mislead the poor drivers?" said the AAP.

The party said it was "shocking" that e-rickshaw drivers were subjected to a four-month wait till the draft notification was released.

Although the draft notification allows the plying of e-rickshaws after 10 days, the AAP said that "practically, it will take much longer".

The party clarified that it supports regulation of e-rickshaws so that they can legally ply in the national capital and "there is no problem in imposing traffic-safety related restrictions on them".

One of the issues pointed out by the AAP is the "high and unjust" registration cost of around Rs 5 lakh prescribed in the draft notification, which the party wants waived.

Another issue raised by the AAP is that "there is no registered association of e-rickshaw drivers and individual drivers would have to run from pillar to post to obtain all the legal clearances".

"The Delhi transport department must be directed to hold special camps for giving the necessary clearances," the AAP said.

"Since the manufacturers who assembled the e-rickshaws with components of different brands, including imported ones, might not be able now to provide the required certificates, the authorities concerned must find a way of providing fitness certificates to existing e-rickshaws," the party added.

"What is important is that all the bottlenecks must be immediately removed to ensure the plying of e-rickshaws, since around two lakh poor drivers are struggling to earn their livelihoods and their families are facing numerous hardships due to the government's negligence," the AAP said. PTI

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Electricity tariff may increase
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 5
Power tariff in the city is likely to go up next month as Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) is set to levy a fuel surcharge to help the private distribution companies adjust their power purchase cost.

"We will take a decision on the fuel surcharge based on petitions of the discoms. A decision will be taken by the end of this month and if there is a hike in tariff, it will come into effect from November," said DERC chairman P D Sudhakar.

He said a decision on 'readjusting' the tariff will be taken by end of the month after examining the petitions of the three private discoms to review the Power Purchase Adjustment Cost (PPAC).

While hiking the power tariff by up to 7.5 per cent for domestic consumers, the DERC in July had withdrawn PPAC of around eight per cent till October.

The regulator had introduced PPAC in 2012 to help the private power distribution companies recover additional cost on account of increase in coal and gas prices.

Delhi gets power from a number of gas and coal-based power generation plants. Power experts said the three discoms Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd, BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd and BSES Yamuna Power Ltd may see a hike in the range of six to eight per cent.

While hiking the power tariff by up to 7.5 per cent for domestic consumers, the DERC in July had withdrawn PPAC of around 8 per cent for three months.

The withdrawal of the PPAC resulted in marginal decline of tariff for the consumers, whose monthly consumption does not exceed 400 units.

In January, the DERC had hiked the fuel surcharge to the tune of 8 per cent for BSES Yamuna Power Ltd, 6 per cent for BSES Rajdhani and 7 per cent for Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd.

The private power distribution companies, particularly, BRPL and BYPL, have been demanding significant hike in tariff, citing rise in power purchase cost.

Both the discoms supply power in 70 per cent areas in Delhi. According to DERC figures, the private discoms operating in the city have a revenue gap of a whopping Rs 19,500 crore.

The city has seen a series of hike in power tariff in the last two years. The tariff was hiked by 22 per cent in 2011 followed by five per cent hike in February 2012. The tariff was hiked by up to two per cent in May 2012 year and again by 26 per cent for domestic consumers in July 2012.

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Young scientists to lead tomorrow's India: Jitendra
Science exhibition to begin at Pragati Maidan today
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 5
Speaking on the eve of the national science exhibition and project competition for the youth under the aegis of the Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE) programme beginning tomorrow at Pragati Maidan here, Union Minister of State (independent charge) of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Jitendra Singh today said India's youth is destined to lead tomorrow's science. It is the young scientists who will lead tomorrow's India.

Dwelling on the wide dimensions of INSPIRE programme for the youth, Singh said this is one of the most innovative programmes developed by the Department of Science and Technology headed by him and is aimed to attract talent to study science at an early age, thus helping build the vital human resource pool for science and technology.

"Ever since I took over the charge of the Ministry of Science and Technology four months ago, it has been mine constant endeavour to catch young minds with innovative aptitude at their formative stage, so that foundation of future India based on science, rests in the hands of the best talent available," said Singh.

In this regard, he cited the introduction of a scheme called Scheme for Early Attraction of Talent (SEAT), which aims to attract talented youth to study science by awarding them for their work and another scheme called Scholarship for Higher Education (SHE), which aims to encourage talented youth to undertake higher education in science programmes.

The science exhibition-cum-project competition beginning tomorrow will follow a scientific method to select the best. Two students are selected from each middle and high school of the country, who then participate in district-level competition, following which the best 5-10 per cent entries from the district level are selected for participation at the state level and eventually the best 5 per cent entries from the state go on to participate at the national level.

Referring to his recent decision making it mandatory for over 5,000 scientists working in the Department of Science and Technology to take at least 12 hours of classes in schools and colleges in each academic year, Singh said this would enable scientists to come out of the confines of laboratory and play the role of mentors.

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Yamuna banks, a sorry sight after immersions

New Delhi, October 5
The immersion of idols following the conclusion of the Durga Puja festival left the banks of the Yamuna wearing a sorry look today as everything from polythene bags to rotting flowers lay strewn on the riverside.

The littering of the Yamuna bank as a result of the immersions yesterday occurred just a couple of days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Swachh Bharat Mission here on October 2 with the aim of creating a clean India.

"All the idols (which were immersed) were removed from the river last night and kept on the banks. The civic bodies are in the process of cleaning the banks and taking away the idols for disposal," said District Magistrate (East), Kunal.

A senior Delhi government official said that more than 760 idols were this year immersed at six ghats, including Kalindi kunj, Shyam ghat, Hathi ghat, Geeta ghat and Mayur Vihar ghat.

"This time we had issued directions for the public and the majority of the people opted to carry out the immersions at the spots designated by the government.

"We had held several meetings with the registered puja committees, asking them to use only environment-friendly material for the idols so that the river is not harmed," the official said.

Almost 70 per cent of Delhi's water needs is fulfilled by the Yamuna and the government has spent nearly Rs 1,500 crore over the past two decades on cleaning up the river. PTI

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DDA makes website disabled-friendly
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 5
To facilitate partially or completely visually impaired people, the Delhi Development Authority's (DDA) official website has been made disabled-friendly. This has been done a few weeks after the launch of 'DDA Housing Scheme 2014. The urban body's website has so far received over 30 lakh hits since the launch of the flagship programme on September 1.

A senior official of the DDA said, "We have made our official site disabled-friendly. People who are visually impaired can install software that reads out aloud the text and for people who have partial impairment like colour blindness can choose from an array of colour spectrum that is displayed on our website."

The DDA website following its launch had crashed on the opening day, receiving a total hit of 11 lakh on day one and an average hit of over 18 lakh in the first two days.

There are five dual colour bands. While the first colour represents the background, the second stands for the foreground. This is to make the site friendly for those who have colour blindness, he said.

The last date to apply for the scheme is October 9 and as the DDA is expecting a huge rush at the end time as well as at the time of the draw, it is planning to further ramp up its technical capacity.

In the last week of September, the urban body had also posted a video guide for online users.

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Bassi announces reward for tracing girl

New Delhi, October 5
The Commissioner of Delhi Police, B. S. Bassi, today announced a reward of Rs 50,000 for those who would help in tracing a three-year-old girl Jahnvi who had gone missing from India Gate last Sunday.

The police are not sure even after one week of the incident whether Jahnvi was missing or kidnapped as in its announcement for reward, they have used the term missing or kidnapped.

Jahnvi has been missing from India Gate where she visited along with her parents. Police remain clueless about the child despite the availability of CCTV footage.

A photo of Jahnvi peeps from the posters stuck on the walls of the Capital by the child's relatives. A case regarding this has been registered in New Delhi's Tilak Marg police station.

The CCTV footage show that the little girl was loitering in the India Gate area. The police have not been able to identify those around her in the footage.

No ransom calls have been received by the girl's parents. Hence, the police suspect the girl might have been taken away by a gang that steals children in order to sell them to childless couples. TNS

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