A bus driver's freak act of bringing a snake into the depot proved too costly. He was removed from service and was reinstated only in 2010, about 15 years after the incident, resulting in a loss of over 75 per cent of his back wages. Surender Singh, a driver with the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC), was removed from service in 1996. As per the charges, he came to the depot with a snake on September 13, 1995, along with conductor Jagpal Singh. Departmental proceedings were initiated against Singh and Jagpal, leading to the removal of the former. However, an amused Supreme Court directed the DTC to pay up Rs 1.5 lakh as lump sum amount to Singh. The order came after the DTCapproached the apex court challenging the Delhi High Court (HC) order to pay 25 per cent back wages.The HC had, on January 20, 2010, upheld the decision by the Central Administrative Tribunal, which had set aside Singh's removal from service and directed for his reinstatement. The tribunal had restricted his back wages to 25 per cent. As the matter came up before the vacation bench of Justices B S Chauhan and Dipak Misra on Friday, the court asked advocate Ghan Shyam Vasisht, representing the driver, Why did you bring a snake to the office?You wanted to scare other employees? See the problem is as soon as we see snakes, we get frightened... the bench said. Directing the DTC to pay Rs 1.5 lakh to the driver within three months, the court ordered, The misconduct stood proved against the respondent-employee and he has not challenged the judgment and order either of the Central Administrative Tribunal or of the High Court.
The police arrested four men on Saturday at central Delhi's Daryaganj for their involvement in the supply of illegal firearms to criminals in Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.They also seized 20 sophisticated pistols of 0.32 bore along with 20 magazines from Allauddin, 40, Mohammad Rustam, 28, Shakir, 30, and Shehzaad, 22. A case under the Indian Penal Code and the Arms Act has been registered with the special cell.The arrest came after the special cell tracked movement of well-organised criminal gangs involved in procuring and supplying illegal arms in Delhi and NCR areas, said Sanjeev Kumar Yadav, deputy commissioner of police (special cell). Sources have also been extensively deployed in UP, Bihar and West Bengal to develop intelligence. On May 24, information was received that Allauddin, along with his accomplices from Munger and Meerut, will be coming to a park near Shantivan.We were also informed that they will be carrying a consignment of illegal firearms to be delivered to a receiver for onward supply to criminals in Delhi and NCR areas, Yadav added.On the basis of the information, a trap was laid in and around the park. In early afternoon, they were apprehended while carrying illegal firearms hidden in bags.From the cursory interrogation, it was revealed that the gang was active for over five years. They frequently visited Munger in Bihar to receive the pistols which are ultimately used by criminals active in Delhi and NCR area for committing heinous crimes, Yadav said. They told the police that they had developed a network of supply of illegal pistols manufactured in Munger to Delhi and the NCR area. Allauddin has a criminal history over involvement in three cases of Arms Act in Delhi and UP. Rustam is involved in a case in Munger, Shakir is involved in two cases in UP, whereas Shehzaad is involved in one case in UP, all under the Arms Act.
Nerusu Lakshminivasa Rao, a software engineer from Andhra who murdered his wife and two children in the US in 2008, has been extradited to face trial there, police said.The fugitive, against whom an international arrest warrant was issued by a US court, was sent to the US by an American Airlines flight on late Friday night. The accused had brutally murdered his wife Nerusu Jayalakshmi (37) son Siva (12) and daughter Tejasvi (14 ) after he lost his job. After committing the offence, he fled to India. Subsequently, the US Police and FBI informed the Interpol and issued Red Corner Notice against the fugitive criminal, which was further sent to CID, Hyderabad. On February 21 this year the CID arrested Nerusu Lakshiminivas Rao and produced him before the a court in Hyderabad at Nampally and was remanded in judicial custody. On April 6, the CID team led by MB Sridhar, Inspector of Police produced the fugitive before the Addl Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court (Extradition Court) Patiala House, New Delhi for the further process of extradition.
The Mumbai Police on Saturday produced Chennai Super Kings (CSK) honorary member Gurunath Meiyappan before a local court here. The police contended that Meiyappan needs to be questioned for offences like forgery, impersonation, sending offensive messages besides gambling.The metropolitan magistrate court, however, rejected the police plea for six-day custody. Instead, Meiyappan was remanded in custody for four days. The police stated in their remand application that they were investigating offences under Sections 465 (forgery), 466 (forgery of public documents), 468 (forgery of documents with the purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document), 419 (cheating by personation), 420 (cheating) and 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC, besides invoking Sections 4 and 5 of the Gambling Act and Section 66 (A) of the Information Act ( sending/ communicating offensive messages electronically).The remand application also stated that Pakistani umpire Asad Rauf, who fled India a couple of days ago, was one of the key players in the betting racket. He was allegedly a close friend of actor Vindoo Dara Singh Randhawa, arrested for his alleged connection with bookies and Meiyappan.Meiyappan was taken into custody on Friday midnight after his name cropped up during the interrogation of Vindoo. Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) chief Srinivasan arrived at Mumbai airport on Saturday and met Meiyappan's legal counsel. He then left for Kolkata. Srinivasan told mediapersons that he had no intention of quitting the post of the BCCI chief.Meiyappan, who had refused to receive summons issued by the Mumbai Police on Thursday, landed at the Mumbai airport late on Friday. He was escorted straight to the Mumbai Police Detection Crime Branch -Criminal Investigation Department (DCB-CID) office. Unconfirmed reports suggested that Meiyappan, who was interrogated through the night, blamed Vindoo for his gambling addiction. Meiyappan has admitted to losing around Rs 20 lakh in bets on IPL-6 matches. Though he (Meiyappan) was evasive in the beginning, he confessed after we dropped hints about the evidence we have in possession, police officers told mediapersons. The police are in search of at least four mobile phones registered under fake names, which were used by Meiyappan for placing bets and talking to bookies. CSK owner India Cements on Friday issued a statement clarifying that Meiyappan was neither a CEO nor the principal of the team. According to the statement, he was just an honorary member. Investigators found that Meiyappan removed the designation CEO from his Twitter account only after the CSK's official communique was issued.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)president N Srinivasan might face some embarrassing moments when the BCCI top brass meets here on Sunday to discuss various issues, including the IPL spot-fixing scandal.The embattled BCCI supremo arrived here late on Saturday evening, after his attempt to meet his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, who has been arrested by the Mumbai Police for his alleged involvement in betting, failed to materialise. Before landing in Kolkata, Srinivasan made it clear that he wouldn't quit his post in the light of betting allegations against Meiyappan.Many other BCCI bigwigs have also arrived here and had an informal meeting with Srinivasan during the dinner party hosted by former BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya on the eve of the IPL final. The likes of Board vice-president Arun Jaitley, however, are expected to arrive only on Saturday. Meanwhile, IPL chief Rajiv Shukla met Dalmiya earlier in the day for a long meeting.Though it has been touted as a meeting of BCCI's Tournament and Fixtures Committee, the agenda on Sunday in all likelihood will be centered around the struggles of Srinivasan. The meeting assumes a lot of significance because a faction in the BCCI, led by Jaitley, is already believed to have started its moves to oust Srinivasan from the top job.Srinivasan, however, has remained defiant, saying he has the support of the board. A lot of BCCI members have sent me messages of support, he told a TV channel. It was media that was baying for his blood.The names of former BCCI President Shashank Manohar, Andhra Cricket Association President DV Subba Rao and Hyderabad Cricket Association President Shivlal Yadav have been doing rounds for the hot seat should Srinivasan step down.But the lobby trying to push Srinivasan out is aware that the task ahead of them is not so simple as the Tamil Nadu strongman has wide support from the member associations. For the process to be initiated, 10 State units should write to BCCI secretary Jagdale demanding a Special AGM, and it further requires a notice of 15 days to convene an SGM.But jettisoning Srinivasan is still a complex procedure because 20 state associations should vote against Srinivasan to remove him as BCCI president. Thirty units are affiliated to the BCCI at present.Srinivasan needs just 11 associations to favour him to continue in the top job. He can continue in the job till September this year, when his two-year tenure comes to an end, and also has the option of extending himself in the position till September next year, should he get re-elected. As things stand now, Srinivasan has enough support to hang on, but certain BCCI honchos under the stewardship of Jaitley might try to force him to put in his papers, citing moral responsibility in the light of Gurunath's actions.
At least 17 people, including senior Congress leader Mahendra Karma, were killed and former Union minister V C Shukla and 19 others wounded when heavily armed Maoists ambushed a convoy of party leaders inside a dense forest in Chhattisgarh's Bastar district.The Maoists also kidnapped Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief Nand Kumar Patel and his son Dinesh after attacking the convoy of Congress leaders in the Darba Gati Valley near Jagdalpur, headquarters town of Bastar district, on Saturday evening, police said.Joint Secretary (Naxal Management) in Union Home Ministry M A Ganpathy said in New Delhi that 17 people were killed and around 20 wounded in the attack. Most of the dead and injured were Congress leaders and workers, he said. Four to five of those killed in the attack were personal security officers of the Congress leaders.At a late night press conference, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh put the number of dead in the Naxal attack at 16 and did not give any figure of the injured.Shukla, 84, underwent an operation in Jagdalpur Hospital. He had received three bullet wounds.Congress President Sonia Gandhi said in New Delhi that Shukla was hit in the stomach.Raman Singh said Shukla's condition was stable.Besides Karma, former Congress MP Gopal Madhavan and former MLA from Rajnandgaon Udya Mudaliyar were also shot dead and prominent woman tribal leader Phulo Devi Netam, Bastar, wounded by the Maoists who attacked the convoy at 5:30 pm when they were returning from the party's Parivartan rally.Karma, a former home minister and founder of Salwa Judum (anti-Naxal operation by vigilante groups), was surrounded by about 100 to 150 Maoists who peppered his body with bullets.The Maoists had put up roadblocks by felling trees before triggering a landmine blast - that hit one of the vehicles in the convoy - and opening fire, police sources said.After carrying out the attack, the ultras set nearby trees on fire.The personal security officers of the Congress leaders returned the fire but soon ran out of bullets, becoming sitting ducks.The Maoist attack took place in a dense forest near National Highway 202 connecting Chattisgarh with Bhadrachalam district in adjacent Andhra Pradesh.Congress, which is currently in Opposition position in Chattisgarh, launched Parivartan Yatra on April 12 in the state where Assembly elections are due by year-end.In New Delhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh condemned the dastardly attack on Congress leaders and workers in Chhattisgarh and appealed to Maoists to release at the earliest all those who might have been abducted.Singh spoke to Raman Singh over the phone twice after the incident and offered all help in rescue and relief operations and said the government would take firm action against the perpetrators of violence of any kind.I have spoken to the chief minister of the state and urged him to provide all possible assistance to those who have been injured and to ensure the security and safety of those who have been abducted, said Singh who also had a meeting with Sonia Gandhi and party Vice-President Rahul Gandhi on the situation arising out of the attack.The Centre has rushed more than 600 CRPF personnel, including elite CoBRA anti-Maoist commandos, to sanitise and take control of the attack site in Chhattisgarh.The Centre has also mobilised the CRPF personnel to not only take control of the area but also launch search and rescue operations as it is suspected that some people may be present in nearby jungles. Top officials of the force, deployed for anti-Maoist operations in the state, will visit the encounter site on Sunday, official sources said.The CRPF has also asked all its formations in the state to remain on high alert in the wake of Saturday's deadly attack in south Bastar. Union Minister of State for Home R P N Singh, will visit Chhattisgarh on Sunday to take stock of the situation in the wake of the Maoist attack. He said in New Delhi, Our top priority is to find the missing PCC chief and his son.
The admission season for the next academic year has just begun and hundreds of students have been benefited from Jnana Degula, the annual career counselling event, organised to help them choose their career.The Deccan Herald-Prajavani two-day event, which kicked off on Saturday, saw more than 1,500 registrations. About 70 different educational institutions across the state took part in the event. M N Vidyashankar, Principal Secretary of Department of Commerce and Industries, flagged off the event. Vidyashankar spoke at length about the various emerging employment sectors in Karnataka. He interacted with parents and students on the wide range opportunities before them. He also shared details about the projects lined up by the state government that would impact the growth of the newly emerging professions and traditional ones.Apart from this, Dr S Kumar, secretary of Consortium of Medical, Engineering and Dental Colleges of Karnataka (Comed-K) and officials from Karnataka Examination Authority were also were present.
Six days ahead of his retirement, Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) commissioner Siddaiah dropped a bombshell on Saturday by writing to the State government recommending a Lokayukta probe into financial irregularities in civil works in the Gandhi Nagar and Malleswaram constituencies.In his missive to the Urban Development Department, Siddaiah stated that bill registers (BR) from 2008-09 to 2011-12 should be probed because, according to him, there are glaring financial irregularities of massive scale.His recommendation for the Lokayukta probe is based on a report prepared two years ago by the Technical Vigilance Cell under Commissioner (TVCC). Two years ago, he had attempted a thorough probe into the irregularities in civil works by handing over the report for further investigation to the Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force (BMTF). Soon after getting the case, BMTF sleuths had arrested an executive engineer, Idaya Vendon. Siddaiah's action incurred the wrath of the City MLAs, corporators, officials and engineers, including Palikes Engineer-in-Chief B T Ramesh, who ensured his ouster from the Palike in November 2011.Meanwhile, the BMTF police station was also set on fire by some mischievous elements. The rage among the MLAs and corporators had compelled the then beleaguered BJP government to hand over the case to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID). However, the CID has shown only scant progress. The government brought Siddaiah back as the BBMP commissioner in December 2012, a year after his unceremonious exit.Attempts to reach Siddaiah for his comments proved futile. A senior Palike official requesting anonymity said the administration is pretty sure that the irregularities are not less than Rs 800 crore in each of the two constituencies.We are compelled to ask for a Lokayukta probe because the CID is not showing any progress in its investigation. The CID believes it is accountable only to the Home Department and not to the complainant or the people of the State, the official said.Siddaiahs action comes a day after the corporators and a City MLA targeted him and TVCC chief engineer N Devaraj for freezing 1,970 works worth Rs 532 crore when Assembly elections were in progress.
The State government has not yet started the survey to draw the boundary line between Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh passing through the disputed mining areas in Bellary district. While much enthusiasm is being shown for reopening the A and B category mines, the same is missing for conducting the survey — something very essential for drawing the boundaries of the mining pits, well-placed sources said. The Central Empowered Committee had directed the government to conduct the survey as the boundaries had been distorted by certain mining lessees, leading to illegal extraction of iron ore. No mining activity will be allowed to resume unless the boundaries are redrawn. Officials in the Revenue Department say they have no knowledge when the survey — pending since 2008 — would begin. In disputed regionThe survey is crucial to determining mining leases as at least seven of them are in the disputed eight km-long interstate boundary line in Bellary district. Redrawing the boundary has become contentious as the findings of earlier surveys were challenged in courts of law by certain mining lessees. That some powerful mine owners are in the Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI) has not helped the matter either, sources explained. The survey is to be conducted by the Survey of India (the National Survey and Mapping Organisation under the Union Government's Department of Science and Technology) in association with the Revenue Departments of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The non-completion of the survey also means the mining lessees cannot take up the reclamation and rehabilitation (R&R)measures. While A and B category mines have been reopened for mining, the C category mines have not been allowed to begin the extraction of iron ore. Also, seven to eight of the 'A' category mines have not come forward to submit their R&R plans to the government. Unless R&R plan is approved by the government, mining firms will not be allowed to continue their work. According to sources, the proposed Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to implement the R&R will be headquartered in Bangalore, and a chapter of it may be opened in Bellary. Final decisionThe chief secretary is likely to head the SPV. On its part, the FIMI wants the SPV to be a financially autonomous body. The Supreme Court is expected to hear in the first week of June a petition on issues related to the SPV. A final decision on the SPV's functioning will be taken by the end of that month, sources added.
The arrest of bookie Vinod Moolchandani here may make the IPL spot-fixing controversy murkier. According to Ahmedabad Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) A K Sharma, an incriminating SMS dated April 12 has been found in one of the 12 mobile phones seized from the bookie. He was asked to place a bet on Sunrisers Hyderabad in a match between Hyderabad and Delhi. The message said Hyderabad would win the match. Incidentally, Hyderabad romped home victorious. By far, it was only about spot-fixing in IPL matches, but by the looks of it, even the matches could have been fixed, said a police source. The Ahmedabad crime branch had arrested Moolchandani in connection with the ongoing IPL spot-fixing controversy in a posh housing society in Satellite Ahmedabad. The police have recovered 12 mobile phones, two laptops, 1 kg gold and Rs 1.26 crore in cash from Moolchandani. While he is still being interrogated, sources maintain that Moolchandani is connected to some of the big names in the business.
Arrested bookie Mohammad Yahya was in touch with several cricketers for spot-fixing in the Indian Premier League, apart from Rajasthan Royals' S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan. Names of international players have also cropped up during his interrogation, police said on Saturday.Yahya has been sent to police custody for five days. The 45-year-old former Bollywood spot boy told the police that he was in touch with some foreign players. Yahya has also disclosed the names of other Indian players who even played international cricket, said S N Srivastava, Special Commissioner of Police (special cell).The police refused to name the players, saying that investigation was on and they have to collect evidence. All teams are under scanner, but we will not prevent any foreign player from leaving the country after the IPL, Srivastava said.Sources further claimed that even the Bollywood angle in the betting racket is being explored since Yahya, who is associated with a production house in Mumbai, also knew actor Vindoo Dara Singh, who was arrested for his alleged connection with bookies. Srivastava, however, said they do not plan to seek Vindoo's custody for interrogation. Vindoo is not under scanner as we do not have any evidence against him, he said.Yahya kicked off his career as a spot boy for actor Dilip Kumar in 1984 and went on to work for Anil Kapoor, Boney Kapoor and Sridevi till 2010. He was arrested at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Hyderabad, while trying to escape to Dubai on Friday.Sources further confirmed that Yahiya was directed by his contacts to flee India.When asked whether IPL team owners were involved, Srivastava said: No such thing has surfaced in our investigation. On BCCI's letter seeking more details about the scandal, he said the police will share certain details with the cricketing body.
With no respite from the scorching heat, power consumption in Rajasthan has gone up exponentially breaking all past records.Highest temperature was recorded in Dholpur at 48.1 degree Celsius, while in other places the temperature dropped by a few degrees. But according to the Met forecast, heat wave conditions are likely to persist for the next couple of days.The state witnessed highest-ever demand of power till date on May 17 at 1,701 lakh units (LU) as against the same period in 2012, the highest demand was 1,515 LU. For June, the power department is expecting an average monthly demand of 1,489 LU. According to a source, the department is facing a deficit of nearly 100-150 LU against the total demand.To bridge the gap, the department is purchasing power from the grid and is also arranging from other states through the banking system. Solar and wind plants together account for power generation of 50 LU.Officials do not rule out power cuts in the days to come. At present, power cuts are due to local faults or technical glitches. But if the demand soars in June, there can be some scheduled cuts. But our efforts will be not to exceed it for more than 30 minutes at any feeder station, said a senior official of the Jaipur discom.A few days ago, a 315-MW transformer tripped in Jodhpur leading to blackouts in the entire western region. Jaipur also reported power failure because of additional pressure due to sizzling conditions.
Is Delhi turning into a hotter concrete jungle? Environmentalists swear that rapid urbanisation and vehicle emissions have made matters worse, while a section of experts say yearly temperature swing is a natural phenomenon and not a cause for concern.Is Delhi getting hotter every passing year? One may tend to think yes as the mercury has already touched the 45.7 degree Celsius mark on Thursday — making it the highest for the month of May since 2002. Even a study by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) strengthens this belief by referring to the Delhi-National Capital Region as an urban heat island with a 2-3 degree centigrade increase in surface temperature in the past three decades. Due to urbanisation, a lot of construction is taking place, which increases the land surface temperature, in turn having an impact on atmospheric temperature, says the study.But weather experts say atmospheric phenomena keep on changing every year; they are never constant. If it is hotter this year, next year the temperature may fall. Environmentalists say temperature is rising in the capital despite claims of increased green cover over the years, reasons being industrialisation, rising population and massive urbanisation.There is no such thing as waste. It is our inability to utilise resources at hand efficiently. It is about the approach that one wants to take, says P K Joshi, head of department of natural resources at TERI.Environmentalists believe development and energy conservation can go hand in hand. The change in land use consumption pattern has accentuated the situation. More and more urban settlement units are coming up. The demand is growing and there is no way construction could have been avoided, says Atiqur Rahman, associate professor of Geography at Jamia Millia Islamia. The unplanned city growth has caused the rise in heat. There is an immediate need to keep a check on the growth patterns, adds Rahman. It is imperative to opt for planned urbanisation.In Delhi-NCR, most water bodies have dried up, which also contributes to heat wave conditions, he says. The reduction in vegetation, illegal mining and quarrying across the capital also lead to rise in temperature, he says.Energy conservationists say these days people want the best of both worlds. On one hand they have become dependent on electrical appliances like air conditioner so much so that it has become a basic necessity. And on the other, they want a healthy environment to breathe in fresh air.Delhi has 6.6 million registered vehicles. Around 70 per cent of them are daily on roads. And about five lakh vehicles come to the capital from NCR. More than half of them use ACs. The energy released gets trapped in the atmosphere and adds to the heat, says Rahman.'Nothing to worry'Weather experts say there is nothing to worry about the rise in temperature this summer. It is a usual weather phenomenon. Some years the temperature is higher and other it is on the lower side, says an official with the regional meteorological centre, Delhi.No doubt urbanisation and rapid construction have contributed to the rise in heat, but they are not the only deciding factors. The all-time high temperature in Delhi, 47.2 degree Celsius, was recorded in 1944. To come to a conclusion or draw a trend, long-term research is required in which variations of meteorological parameters like temperature and rainfall should be studied over different epochs. And an `epoch' consists of a 30-year period, adds the official. The study by TERI, which used space remote sensing-based analysis of land surface temperature, was supported by the Central government's science and technology department.Urban heat island is prominently visible at night when temperature differences between urban Delhi and surrounding rural areas reach up to 5-7 degree Celsius. UHI thus causes a tremendous surge in air conditioner and electricity usage, adding the higher dimension of global warming to the regional scale problem, says PhD student Richa Sharma, who conducted the study.Environmentalists say if everyone puts in an effort then the rise in heat can be checked. Using white or reflective material to build houses, roofs, pavements and roads can help counter the heat island effect. All colonies should have a minimum green area to breathe easy, says Rahman.While constructing houses, people should not only keep the cost in mind but they should also try to make their homes eco-friendly. Light colour paints should be used in place of dark colours. A minimum of 40 per cent of total occupied area should be open and clean.For example, in Rajasthan people put small leftover pieces of marble on their rooftops that reflect the energy coming from the sun, he adds.Rooftop gardening is another method that can mitigate the effect of rise in heat. By putting 4 to 6 inch of soil on some portion on the terrace, a garden can be prepared, which will help in bringing heat emission level down to some extent at least, he says. Environmentalists also suggest ways to the government to beat the rise in temperature. In the construction of roads, tarcoal is used, which absorbs more heat. Instead, cement roads like the Yamuna Expressway should be made, which absorb less heat comparatively, adds Rahman.
The ongoing heat wave conditions in most parts of Punjab and Haryana on Saturday continued unabated, claiming at least eight lives and forcing people in the region to confine indoors.While six persons lost their lives due to intense heat wave in Punjab, two died in Haryana in the past three days, officials said.In Punjab, three persons lost their lives in Amritsar, two in Ferozepur and one in Tarn Taran, whereas in Haryana one each died in Hisar and Sirsa.All the eight deaths took place due to heat wave, officials said.According to the Met office, there are no chances of relief from heat wave in the next couple of days.The Met forecast that the maximum temperature will hover between 41 to 43 degrees Celsius at most of the places in the region.Warm winds will also sweep the region and dust storms might strike in some areas, the Met office said, attributing the unusually high temperature in the region to the absence of western disturbances.Chandigarh is braving a hot of 43 degrees Celsius, the Met said.In the wake of the intense heat wave, most of the markets in the region have been wearing a deserted look in the afternoons.The day temperature of the region, which is likely to hover between 41 to 43 degrees Celsius, will exactly be known towards the evening.Meanwhile, frequent interruption of power supply and low pressure of water added to the woes of the people in the region.Due to torrid heat conditions, water levels in most of the rivers, including Beas, Ravi and Sutlej had sharply fallen down, officials said.The water level of Bhakra Dam had come down to 1563.72 foot and that of Pong Dam to 1309.59 foot, they said, adding that the fall in the levels of water is up to ten foots in both the dams.Chandigarh, Hisar and Amritsar have been facing the hottest days in the past decade in the month of May, officials said.
Dr O P Singh, deputy director general of meteorology at Regional Meteorology Centre in Delhi, resists attributing the rising mercury this season simply to factors like urbanisation and greenhouse gas emissions. He also dismisses the notion that the average Delhi temperature has risen over the past decades. Excerpts from an interview with Avinash Singh Sudan:Do you think over the years the average temperature has risen in the Delhi-National Capital Region?It will not be correct to say that the average temperature has risen over the past decades. The studies which say there is an increase in average temperature may be based on a specific decade where the temperature was on the higher side. To study the variations like temperature or rainfall, two major techniques are used. First come the inter-annual variations that are observed from one year to another year. Second, a change that is observed over a longer period and is of a permanent nature. In between the two, there are epochal variations that are measured over a period of 30-40 years. In some epochs the temperature will be on the higher side and in other epochs it may be on the lower side. So after filtering out the inter-annual and epochal variations, whatever remains will indicate the future trend.What are the causes of rise in temperature and the persistence of heat wave in the capital and adjoining areas since May 18, 2013?The main factors that have contributed to the heat wave conditions are absence of western disturbance or thunderstorm activity, the advection of hot north-westerly winds from desert region. Advection means the transfer of heat or matter by the flow of a fluid, especially horizontally in the atmosphere. And finally, the subsiding air due to the anti-cyclone in north-west India. A right combination of these factors will lead to rise in temperature.The temperature has reached the 45 degree mark in May itself. Is there something to worry about?It is nothing unusual as in 2010 Delhi witnessed a prolonged heat wave spell around the same time. Atmospheric circulations and atmospheric conditions are not the same every year. There are large variations from one year to another year in meteorological parameters like temperature and rainfall. Moreover, the all-time record for the highest temperature inDelhi is of 47.2 degree Celsius, recorded way back in 1944. At that time the urbanisation in Delhi was not to the extent as is seen nowadays, yet the heat wave condition was such that the recorded highest temperature became an all-time record. The current rise in temperature is no way near to that. Even though the effect of urbanisation and emission of greenhouse gases has an impact on the meteorological variables like temperature, yet combination of atmospheric factors also plays a major role in the rise in temperature. Is the rise in temperature in Delhi-NCR a result of global warming?No, it is not correct to establish a one is to one correspondence between global warming and rise in temperature of a specific place like Delhi as there are a large number of factors that contribute towards an increase in temperature. Global warming is a reality. It is an established fact that the average global temperature including average sea surface temperature has increased. Greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide have increased in the atmosphere globally over the decades. A study needs to be undertaken with a long time series data to establish the contribution of global warming on the temperature of Delhi-NCR. It will not be correct to establish the rise in temperature of Delhi-NCR on the basis of short range data set. Does India Meteorological Department provide advisories to government to help it tackle the rise in temperature?IMD's role is to provide weather forecast and meteorological data to different users. There are other agencies like disaster management authorities which make use of the weather forecast and other inputs in preparing guidelines to mitigate the effect of the heat wave.
Doctors don't want to be alarmist, but with temperature soaring in the city, they warn of havoc in your system if you don't take precautions.Though children and the aged are more prone to heat-related problems, doctors say heat stroke and dehydration can affect people in every age group if they do not take precautions in terms of exposure to sun, their clothing, food and lifestyle.The common advice is to avoid staying out between 11 am and 5 pm. If you must go out, it must not be for more than half-an-hour at a stretch. But make sure you drink lots of water before you leave home and carry either water or any liquid containing salt in a flask, says Dr P C Kathuria, senior consultant of allergy and asthma at BLK Super Speciality Hospital.Take cover under black umbrellas while outside in the afternoon. Using an umbrella in summer is not in our culture. But people must realise that it is more important in this season than during monsoon, says Dr R N Srivastava, senior consultant of paediatric nephrology at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital.Sunglasses become a necessity instead of a fashion statement with the rise in mercury. But Dr Shashank Rai Gupta, senior eye specialist at Vasan Eye Care, says it is necessary that sunglasses are capable of protecting the eyes from ultraviolet rays. Dry eye and allergic conjunctivitis are two problems that affect many in this season. Dryness in Delhi's heat leads to conjunctivitis, which is very infectious. People travelling in buses and Metro should not rub their eyes before washing their hands, says Dr Gupta.Kids are most susceptible to heat strokes, diarrhoea and dehydration. But it is the children of daily wage labourers slogging out in the sun who are in real danger. Educated parents know what precautions to take. But the condition of women labourers' children is worrisome. The kids must be wrapped in wet clothes and kept indoors. The onus lies on employers, says Dr Srivastava.Dr Vandana Boobna, consultant of internal medicine and preventive healthcare at Max Healthcare, says parents should be on the lookout for signs in toddlers as they cannot express themselves. If kids show signs of lethargy, cramps, leg pain or increased sleepiness, they must be rushed to a doctor, says Dr Boobna.Avoiding unhygienic conditions and contaminated food can control heat-related problems to a great degree. Food from unhygienic vendors and water from roadside trolleys are a complete no-no. In fact, despite it also being a season of wedding and parties, parents must avoid taking their children to weddings, says Dr Srivastava.Next time you feel fatigue, your body feels very heated up or you tend to vomit, look for a cool place, drink lots of water and make a dash to the nearest hospital.
With the use of natural energy sources like sun, water, and air, buildings can be kept cool and comfortable in summer and warm in winter, says professor R L Sawhney, department of energy and environment, TERI.One such technique is called 'earth air tunnel system'. In this system pipes are buried in the ground at a depth of four to six meters. The temperature of the ground at that level is around 25 degree Celsius for Delhi-National Capital Region, which is equal to the annual average of air temperature above the surface.The ambient air which is around 40 to 45 degree centigrade in summer and around 5 degree in winter is sucked or forced through these pipes by a blower. As air travels and comes out of the pipes, it acquires a temperature of around 25 degree centigrade both in summer and winter, explains Sawhney. The air from these pipes can be injected into living spaces for its conditioning by air conditioners or coolers. The system can thus be used to cool the air in the building in summer, and heat it during winter. And at much less cost than the normal use of air conditioners and electrical heaters.The system saves up to 35 per cent of electricity consumption, in turn reducing the impact on environment, says Sawhney.Environmentalists say green building concepts like this one also minimise the use of toxic and hazardous substances in manufacturing and use of air conditioning equipment. It also helps in the control of air, water and sound pollution through efficient technology.Green buildings minimise the use of power and water to maximise energy efficiency. Environment-friendly technologies, energy-saving features, use of non-conventional energy, and natural and recycled materials are incorporated into such building designs.It is nothing new, it is indigenous knowledge. In ancient times, buildings used to have a big hall with ventilators. It was a scientific approach. As the hot air rises above, it would go out through ventilators and the cool air would take its place. When it gets warm it would rise and leave the building, and the process continued and kept the buildings cool in summer, says Joshi.But nowadays the size of rooms has become smaller. Plus, air conditioners work on the premise that the room should be airtight. Hence no ventilators. But what we have forgotten is that using ACs also adds to the rise in heat, says Joshi. So it is completely on us what we want. There is no one else to blame for increasing heat and temperature.
Defence Minister A K Antony has said that a separate cyber unit will be formed for the armed forces to counter threats from cyber space. A formalised architecture for cyber defence in the armed forces is on its way, the defence minister said in an informal interaction with journalists at the Indian Naval Academy (INA), Ezhimala, in Kannur district. Antony was at the academy for the passing out parade of the first batch of 60 Navy cadets who underwent a B.Tech course along with 242 other cadets of the Navy and the Coast Guard who have completed other courses.
Plucking jackfruit from someone else's tree proved fatal for an Uttar Pradesh farmer in Kaushambi district. The farmer, who was detained by the police for stealing jackfruit, died in police custody on Friday, allegedly due to police torture.Enraged over the farmer's death, a mob later went on the rampage and indulged in heavy stone pelting and damaged several vehicles. A police constable has been suspended in this connection, police sources said.According to reports, the farmer, identified as Mahant Lal was plucking jackfruit from a tree near his village, when he was caught by some people, who took him to Charwan police station. The family members of the victim alleged that he was thrashed by policemen while in the custody following which he died a little later. Police took his body to the district hospital and fled from there without informing the doctors.Hundreds of villagers soon gathered near the police station on getting the information about the death. They damaged several vehicles and also indulged in stone pelting. A police vehicle was also torched by the irate mob. The mob demanded compensation to the family of the deceased and arrest of the guilty of policemen. Police claimed that Mahant Lal had died of heat stroke.A case has been registered against a constable and he has been suspended, police officials said.Earlier too, many deaths have taken place in police custody in the state. The UP police are already on the back foot over the death of terror accused Khalid Mujahid in police custody. A CBI probe has been recommended by the state government in the death and nine policemen have been suspended in this connection.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Bangkok next week may see New Delhi clinching an extradition treaty with Thailand - a country that has since long been used by India's underworld dons and insurgent leaders as overseas bases. We are now close to signing an extradition treaty with Thailand, Ashok K Kantha, Secretary (East) in the Ministry of External Affairs, said. He was briefing mediapersons about the prime minister's visit to Bangkok from May 30 to 31.India and Thailand already have a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty and the two countries also signed an Agreement for Transfer of Sentenced Persons during Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's visit to New Delhi as the chief guest of the Republic Day of India.We (India and Thailand) have strengthened cooperation between law enforcement agencies, particularly in counterterrorism and transnational crimes, said Kantha.New Delhi has been keen to sign the extradition treaty with Bangkok as it would complete the legal regime for bilateral cooperation to combat organized crimes and terrorism. The underworld dons of Mumbai has since long been taking refuge in Thailand, not only to evade arrests by law-enforcers of India, but also to escape attacks by rival gangs.Indian underworld don Chhota Rajan survived an assassination attempt on him in a hotel in Bangkok in September 2000, when his former boss Dawood Ibrahim purportedly sent sharpshooters to kill him. Though one of his associates was killed, Rajan managed to escape with a bullet injury and later also fled from a hospital to escape arrests by a Mumbai Police team that rushed to Bangkok to catch him after being informed about the assassination attempt. The cooperation between Thai and Indian law-enforcing agencies, however, led to the arrest of gangster Santosh Shetty, one of Chhota Rajan's close aides, in Bangkok in August 2011. He was later brought to Mumbai. He purportedly told his interrogators that he had in November 2010 killed another Mumbai gangster Bharat Nepali at Pattaya in Thailand.Naga insurgent outfit National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) too maintained an office at Chiang Mai in Thailand. Leaders of United Liberation Front of Assam and other northeastern insurgent outfits too used Bangkok and other places in Thailand not only as safe havens, but also to network with international arms dealers. During his visit to Bangkok, Singh will have official talks with Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on bilateral, regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest. We expect a number of documents to be signed and announcements to be made on new initiatives, said Kantha. He said that India and Thailand had broad-based defence cooperation, ranging from training, joint exercises, anti-piracy operations, maintenance of security of sea lanes, and exchange of visits.
When Rajendra Sharma, a teacher, married Puja (name changed) after a brief affair and against the wishes of her parents, little did he imagine that it would prove fatal for him after over two decades.A resident of UP's Unnao district, about 60 km from Lucknow, Sharma was hacked to death allegedly by his brother-in-law on Friday for the sake of family honour — a little over 22 years since his love marriage.According to reports, Sharma had married Puja, who also hailed from the same village, after a brief affair in 1991. Puja's parents were against their marriage. Anil Mishra, the alleged culprit, was barely 10 years old then.Futile escapeIn a bid to avoid the wrath of Puja's parents, the couple shifted to Lucknow, where Sharma opened a school. The couple then had two children.Sharma thought the anger of Puja's parents must have subsided after so many years of his marriage, but he had no inkling of the fact that Anil was still seething with rage and had vowed to punish him for humiliating the family.On Tuesday, Sharma came to Unnao to attend a function at his maternal uncle's house at Sidhoor village, a few kilometers away from Anil's village.Police said Anil, who had information about Sharma's presence there, intercepted the victim while he was speaking to someone near the village on Friday. Anil, who carried an axe, hit Sharma several times, killing him on the spot.Anil then returned home and fled from the village with his family.Senior police officials, who reached the spot after getting information of the incident, said it was a case of honour killing. A case has been registered and a hunt has been launched to nab the culprit.
Barely a few hours after Pakistani troops violated ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) on Saturday, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah hoped that contentious issues between India and Pakistan would be sorted out. The nature of campaigning by various political parties in Pakistan during the elections indicates healthy change in the mindset of politicians of that country towards the Kashmir issue and Indo-Pak relations, Abdullah said at a public gathering in the border district of R S Pora in Jammu.The chief minister said when the borders are peaceful and calm, people continue with their daily chores smoothly. Any tension on the borders and in relations between the two neighbours disturb peace and tranquillity, besides impacting economic activities and development process in the state, he said. Abdullah said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has initiated various measures to build confidence between the two countries. He hoped that Singh would continue with his efforts to foster friendly ties and the new government in Pakistan would exhibit a similar spirit. Jammu and Kashmir witnessed dark periods of violence. Bloodshed and disturbances inflicted great loss to life and property and marred the process of development and economy welfare severely, Abdullah said.Omar Abdullah further said dialogue was the only way forward to resolve issues. Wars fought by India and Pakistan have not solved any problem and violence has only given wounds. Friendly ties and good relations between the two countries would only help address issues and find solutions, he added.
In yet another ceasefire violation, Pakistani troops on Friday opened fire on Indian posts along the Line of Control (LoC) in the Nowgam sector of north Kashmir's Kupwara district. Sources told Deccan Herald that Pakistani troops resorted to indiscriminate and unprovoked firing with medium and light weapons on some forward pickets. Indian troops retaliated and intermittent firing went on till Saturday morning. However, since Saturday morning, the exchange has stopped, they said. No casualty was reported in the Indian side. It was not immediately clear if the Pakistani troops suffered any casualty, they added.A senior official said the Army was conducting searches in the area to weed out infiltrators, if any. The Pakistani troops fired at the forward Indian posts with an aim to create confusion and push infiltrators from other areas. This has become a routine in the last one year. Keeping in view this aspect, troops have been put on high alert, he added.Sources said the Indian troops have fortified their positions along the LoC and the international border (IB). Additional troops have also been deployed. The purpose behind increasing the deployment was to further strengthen the counter-infiltration grid as the agencies across the LoC and the IB have been trying their best to push militants into Jammu and Kashmir, said a senior Army officer. He added that the agencies across the border, including handlers of militants, are peeved at the dwindling size and strength of the ultras in Jammu and Kashmir.
A militant and his family who returned illegally to Jammu and Kashmir from Pakistan have been arrested, police said.We had reports two days back that this militant, Nazir Hussain, was returning from Pakistan via Nepal to his home at Marhot in Poonch district, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Poonch Shamsher Choudhary said on Friday. The police were waiting to nab the man, as he had returned without following the procedure announced under the rehabilitation policy for ex-militants. We caught him at Jogi Morh on Thursday, just before he could make it to his village, the police officer said.Nazir Hussain, about 30-years old, was arrested along with his Pakistani wife and three children, the youngest of whom is about two years old and the oldest six. Choudhary said: All of them are in police custody and we are interrogating Nazir.The arrested militant had illegally crossed over to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) in 2001, along with a group of people who were to undergo training in handling arms to join the rank of militants. He was trained at Nakhial camp, and had returned to Poonch, where he was active as a militant. He had later joined the Harkat-ul-Jehad-e-Islami (HuJI). He later left militancy to work as a taxi driver in Karachi. It was in Karachi that he married Rifat Bibi. He had recently come back to PoK, from where he managed to get a Pakistani passport. He then flew to Kathmandu from Karachi on May 21. He entered India from Uttar Pradesh and reached Poonch district yesterday (Thursday), Choudhary said. This is third instance in the last one year of a militant being arrested with his family in Poonch and Rajouri districts on return from Pakistan. In 2009, the Jammu and Kashmir government announced a rehabilitation policy for Kashmiri youth who had crossed over to Pakistan or PoK for arms training to become militants, provided they were willing to shun violence, and took the route of return prescribed by the government. The kin of such militants residing in the state could apply on behalf of the youth, many of whom were stranded in Pakistan. The state government considers the merit of each application.
The battleships of India and Japan will hold regular drills as New Delhi and Tokyo are set to institutionalise exercises between the two navies. Notwithstanding Beijing's call to stay away from the US-led bid to contain China, India is now likely to regularise its naval exercises with Japan, as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is set to discuss regional security with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe in Tokyo early next week. What we have done is to invite Japan to hold exercises in the Indian Ocean and now to institutionalise them because what we were told is that they need to have a fixed programme that they can work on so that they know when we are planning our exercises together, Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai said, while briefing the media about the prime minister's ensuing visit to Japan. India also expressed its strong reservation over Beijing's vow to continue to help Islamabad develop infrastructure in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). We certainly have made our views known to the Chinese leadership at the highest level. We have serious reservations about this, Mathai said. He was reacting to the MoU signed by Beijing and Islamabad during Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's recent visit to Pakistan. The MoU envisages a China-Pakistan economic corridor that would pass through the PoK.New Delhi maintains that the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir, including the PoK, is an integral part of India and any project undertaken by Pakistan-either on its own or with foreign assistance-in the territory under its illegal occupation has no legal basis and is completely unacceptable. Singh is set to visit Tokyo at a time when China's territorial disputes with both Japan and India have come to the fore. He will hold the annual summit with Abe, who took a hard-line stand on Tokyo's row with Beijing over the islands known as Diaoyu in Chinese and Senkaku in Japanese.New Delhi's move to step up its defence ties with US-ally Japan too comes close on the heels of Li's visit to India and Pakistan. The Chinese premier had said in New Delhi last Tuesday that a distant relation might not be as useful as a near neighbour. He apparently made the remark to send out a tacit message to India to keep off the US policy of rebalancing towards Asia, a move Beijing perceives to be aimed at containing China. The first bilateral exercise between the Indian Navy and the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force-JIMEX 12-was held in June 2012 off the coast of Tokyo. The next edition of the exercise is likely to be held in the Indian Ocean later this year, marking commencement of regular drills.India had in 2007 joined the US, Australia, Japan and Singapore for the Malabar naval exercise in the Bay of Bengal. The five-nation drill had purportedly rattled China, which had earlier that year issued strong demarches to New Delhi, Washington, Canberra and Tokyo seeking to know details of the quadrilateral initiative. Revealing that New Delhi, Washington and Tokyo had recently explored possibilities of a trilateral naval exercise, the foreign secretary said it had not worked out, although India and Japan were set to go ahead with the bilateral drills.