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After protesters targeted home, iron gates to guard Delhi CM’s colony


More than three months after nearly 200 protesters belonging to the BJP’s youth wing Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BYJM), along with Lok Sabha MP and BJYM national president Tejasvi Surya, broke through police barricades outside Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence and damaged his main gate, the Delhi government’s Public Works Department (PWD) is turning the Flagstaff Road colony where he stays into a gated one, it is learnt.

“We are constructing large iron gates on either side of the road to increase the security cover at the Chief Minister’s residence as well as to stop protesters from entering the society. Work started three-four days ago. Currently, the gate is being installed on the Rajpur Road on the Civil Lines side, and work on the other side will start soon. These gates will be big, strong and tall,” a PWD official said.

On March 30, the BYJM had staged a protest outside the Chief Minister’s residence, with several protesters being seen on camera indulging in vandalism. Police had lodged an FIR and arrested eight members of the BJYM, questioned Surya, and also ‘bound down’ former North Delhi mayor Jai Prakash, who represents the Sadar Bazar ward, and Delhi BJYM president Vasu Rukhar under Section 41A of the CrPC.

The incident had prompted AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj to file a petition in the Delhi High Court seeking the constitution of a special investigation team (SIT) headed by a retired high court judge for an independent probe into the attack. He also sought a probe into the role of police officers who were responsible for maintaining the security cordon outside the Chief Minister’s residence. Besides seeking a direction for appropriate security outside Kejriwal’s residence, the petition also prayed for compliance of an earlier court order for securing the road outside it.

In their reply, the Delhi Police had suggested that they are coordinating with the concerned agencies to install an iron gate at both ends — from Flagstaff Road to Rajpura Road to make the colony a gated one.

“We met with the Resident Welfare Association (RWA) and they later wrote a letter to PWD, Delhi Police and the departments concerned.

We coordinated with all departments and the PWD is all set to install iron gates,” said a senior police officer.

Amod Sharma, an RWA member from the Civil Lines Association, confirmed to The Indian Express that they had written a letter to agencies concerned and coordinated with the Delhi Police. “There are gated colonies in other localities of Civil Lines, but not Flagstaff Road where there are 30-40 houses. All these protests outside the CM’s residence create problems for other residents, but we are hoping that after installing these gates, this will be resolved. Earlier, the Delhi CMs never stayed here; this is the first time our CM is residing here,” he said.

Sources said the security wing of the Delhi Police also conducted a security audit after the attack and increased the number of security personnel at the CM’s residence. “We have deployed one more PCR van, changed the locations of motor police vehicles, and are planning to make a dedicated reserve force for the security of the CM’s residence,” an officer said.





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Eating out could cost more as dhaba, restaurant licences are set to increase


Eating out in restaurants, coffee houses, hotels, food courts and five-star hotels is set to get costlier in several areas in the capital as the corporation has increased health trade licence fees in areas under the jurisdiction of the erstwhile North and East MCDs, to bring uniformity in rates. This would likely affect the prices of the final product, said a senior official of MCD.

The MCD rules state that it is compulsory to take a licence in around 100 different categories of businesses, including grocery shops, paan shops, salons, water trolleys, circuses, clubs, sweet shops, medical stores, ice cream factories, restaurants, and amusement parks.

The corporation has the provision to issue a challan in case of violations.

The erstwhile North and East corporations had kept their rates lower as opposed to the South MCD, and the parity is now being brought in keeping the South rates as the standard, said a senior MCD official.

Earlier the registration fee for opening a dhaba was between Rs 2,500 to 10,000, which has now been increased to Rs 25,000. Similarly, the annual licence fee of banquet halls was between Rs 5,000 and 25,000 which has now been increased to Rs 25,000.

The licence fee for restaurants up to 20 seats, which was between Rs 240 to 10,000, has been hiked to 10,000 for the whole of Delhi. The licence fee for coffee houses was between Rs 240 to 10,000 and has also been increased to Rs 10,000.

The three erstwhile corporations used to earn more than Rs 16 crore per annum from health trade licence — North (Rs 5 crore), South (Rs 8.5 crore) and East (Rs 3 crore).

A senior official of the MCD said there are business centres in East and North Delhi which are no less successful than those in South. “What is the harm in paying? Also, the increase is nominal. There was no increase in East and North rates for years so a parity has been brought,” he said.





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Only one Delhi district has over 90% second dose coverage of Covid-19 vaccines


Despite the Delhi government’s ongoing ‘Har Ghar Dastak 2.0’ campaign, only one district, New Delhi, has completed two-dose Covid-19 vaccination coverage in over 90 per cent of the population (assuming that the number of people who have received their first dose is the total eligible population of the district). Three districts have been able to achieve between 85 and 90 per cent coverage, four districts 80-85 per cent, two districts 75-80 per cent and one district 70-75 per cent, according to data from the government’s CoWIN portal.

New Delhi district has consistently been the best performer when it comes to vaccination, with 94.2 per cent second dose coverage at present. The district is also the best performer when it comes to precaution doses, with almost 18.9 per cent of those who got their first dose having received their third one. To be sure, children between the ages of 12 and 17 years who have received the first doses are not yet eligible for the third one.

Following New Delhi are South West Delhi with 89.8 per cent coverage, East Delhi with 88.5 per cent coverage and West Delhi with 88.4 per cent.

Interestingly, West Delhi and South Delhi – which have a coverage of 83.6 per cent for the second dose – are among the districts with the highest precaution dose coverage as per the data. Around 12.3 per cent of those who received their first dose in the West district and 11.96 per cent of those who did in the South district have been given their third precaution dose.

The precaution dose is offered free to people over the age of 60 years, healthcare workers, and frontline workers by the union health ministry. The others have to get it on payment at private centres in most states, however, the Kejriwal government has made the precaution dose free for all adults helping in increasing the coverage. The uptake of the third dose had been slow since it was opened in January this year.

The coverage of the second dose stands at 81.7 per cent in Shahdara, 81.12 per cent in North Delhi, and 80.24 per cent in Northwest Delhi. When it comes to precaution doses, North Delhi has been the worst performer with only 4.6 per cent of those who have got their first shot having received their third one.

The coverage of the second dose stands at 79.9 per cent in Northeast Delhi, 77.12 per cent in Central Delhi, and 70.5 per cent in Southeast Delhi, according to data.





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Tejasvi Surya questioned for 2 hours


Sources in the Delhi Police headquarters told The Indian Express that the investigation officer served two notices to Surya under CrPC Section 41A on WhatsApp.

“Surya responded that he would join the probe when he comes to Delhi,” police sources said.

Last week, Surya came to Delhi and the investigation officer, station house officer (Civil Lines), approached him again to join the probe.

Later, police went to his residence and questioned him. “He was questioned for two hours; police also showed him CCTV footage of the incident,” said a source.

Sources further said that departmental action has been taken against some personnel posted at the Civil Lines police station, and an advisory memo issued to the additional DCP-II of the North Delhi district, who was the main supervisory officer during the protest, which took place to oppose the remarks of Arvind Kejriwal during the row over The Kashmir Files movie.

“Police, during investigation, found video footage which shows Surya, along with Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha workers, protesting outside the Chief Minister’s residence on March 30. He was seen with protesters who later indulged in vandalism,” an officer had said earlier.

As per CrPC Section 41A, a police officer may not arrest a person accused of an offence punishable up to seven years till he continues to join the probe. However, he can arrest the person if he fails to appear for investigation or for reasons to be recorded that in the opinion of the police officer he ought to be arrested.

The North district police had earlier ‘bound down’ former North Delhi Mayor Jai Prakash, who represents the Sadar Bazar ward, and Delhi BJYM president Vasu Rukhar under Section 41A of the CrPC .

“They were called to Civil Lines police station from where they were released after legal documentation,” a senior police officer said.

DCP (North) Sagar Singh Kalsi had identified the eight arrested men in the incident as Chandrakant (27), Pradeep Tiwari (27), Raju Singh (28), Jitender Bisht (40), Naveen Kumar (38), Bablu Kumar (35), Neeraj Dixit (25) and Sunny (21).

They were identified based on CCTV footage and technical evidence recovered from the spot. They were later released on bail.





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Monsoon arrives, Delhi flounders | Cities News,The Indian Express


Heavy rainfall marked the onset of the southwest monsoon in Delhi on Thursday. The maximum temperature plummeted to 29.4 degrees Celsius at Safdarjung, seven degrees below normal for this time of the year, and 11.5 degrees below the maximum temperature recorded on Wednesday. This is the lowest maximum temperature recorded in June in at least 11 years.

The Safdarjung weather observatory, which serves as a marker for the city, recorded 116.6 mm of rainfall between 8.30 am and 5.30 pm, the highest in the city. Much of this rainfall was recorded before 2.30 pm, with the intensity reducing in the afternoon and evening. The weather observatory on Lodhi Road recorded around 107.6 mm till 5.30 pm, while the one at Ridge in North Delhi recorded 65.2 mm. The weather station at Palam recorded 31.8 mm, the lowest amount in the city on Thursday.

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Till June 30, the city had a deficit of around 67% in rainfall for the month. However, the rainfall on Thursday is likely to have covered that deficit.

People wade through a waterlogged street in Tughlakabad on Thursday morning. The rain left several arterial roads waterlogged and led to traffic snarls. Photos: Abhinav Saha

The monsoon has hit the city after a scorching summer that was Northwest India’s hottest in 122 years in March and April. Both months recorded massive deficits in rainfall – March saw no rainfall at all, while there was a deficit of 98% in April in Delhi.

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Cloudy skies and moderate rainfall or thundershowers are on the forecast for Delhi on Friday. The IMD issued an ‘orange’ alert for the city on Friday, which is a warning to be prepared. The impact expected includes traffic disruption and water accumulation. The alert has been lowered to a ‘yellow’ on Saturday and Sunday when light rainfall is likely. A ‘yellow’ alert means ‘be aware’.

Light rainfall remains on the forecast till July 6, and the maximum temperature is also likely to remain below 40 degrees till July 6. On Friday, the maximum temperature is likely to be around 32 degrees Celsius.

The southwest monsoon also covered all of Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, and Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday. It advanced into parts of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan as well.





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Delhi weather: Maximum temperature to hit 40 degrees today, says IMD


The maximum temperature is likely to hit 40 degrees Celsius in Delhi on Saturday, going by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecast. Partly cloudy skies are also on the forecast for the day.

On Friday, the maximum temperature settled at around 39.3 degrees Celsius, a degree above the normal, at the Safdarjung weather observatory. Meanwhile, the minimum temperature early on Saturday was 24.3 degrees Celsius, four degrees below the normal.

The maximum temperature crossed 40 degrees at a few weather stations in the city on Friday. The weather observatory at the Ridge in North Delhi, for instance, recorded a maximum temperature of 41.5 degrees Celsius. The observatory at Mungeshpur in Northwest Delhi recorded 41.4 degrees Celsius, while Najafgarh in Southwest Delhi recorded 41.9 degrees Celsius.

At 8.30 am on Saturday, the temperature was 29.6 degrees Celsius. The relative humidity was 58%, higher than the 40% recorded last evening.

The maximum temperature over northwest India is likely to increase by around two degrees over the next 24 hours, according to an IMD bulletin issued on Saturday.

Parts of northwest India are likely to receive rainfall from June 27 onwards. Rainfall is likely over Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh from June 27 to 29 on account of easterly winds, going by the IMD forecast. Scattered to fairly widespread rainfall is also on the forecast for northwest and central India from June 30 to July 2. Rainfall remains on the forecast for Delhi from June 28 to July 1.

The maximum temperature is set to fall to around 31 degrees Celsius on July 1, according to the IMD’s forecast for the next six days. The minimum temperature could range from 24 to 27 degrees Celsius over the next six days.

On Friday, the air quality in Delhi was in the ‘moderate’ category, when the air quality index (AQI) was 197, higher than the figure of 140 recorded on Thursday.





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Man robbed of Rs 34 lakh on Sarai Rohilla flyover


A money transfer agent was allegedly robbed of Rs 34 lakh by two bike-borne men in North Delhi Wednesday night on the busy streets of Sarai Rohilla, police said.

The victim, Vicky Gupta, was on his scooter when the accused allegedly hit him with their bike and Gupta fell on the road. While he was trying to get up, the accused waylaid him and fled with his bag containing Rs 34 lakh in cash, police said.

No arrests have been made in the case yet. Police said they are scanning CCTVs in the area and conducting an enquiry to identify and nab the accused.

A PCR call was made around 12.50 am Thursday about the incident.

Sagar Singh Kalsi, DCP (North) said, “The caller told us that Rs 15-17 lakhs was looted as he was uncertain of the amount. When we spoke to Gupta, he said he works with a businessman and was tasked to collect Rs 34 lakh from one shop and deliver it to another shop.”

During the investigation, police found that Gupta is a money transfer/ cash collection agent.
Raids are being conducted to arrest the accused. A case has been registered against unknown persons.





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L-G directs MCD to restore dead lake, chalk out revamp plan for world-class nursery at Roshanara Bagh


Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena today directed the MCD in North Delhi to redevelop an identified 8.5 acre of Roshanara Bagh as a world-class nursery of rare and exotic plants and flowers. The work must start “today”, Saxena said, with the project set to be completed in the next three months. The nursery will not only provide 3 lakh plants and saplings annually for plantation across the city, but will also be provided to the people of Delhi at a nominal cost, he said

A dead lake spread over 3.8 acres will also be restored, with the L-G directing the officials to dredge and clean it to a depth of 4 metres.

Stating that rainwater might not be sufficient to fill the lake, he asked that water from neighbouring areas that are prone to flooding and waterlogging such as Roshanara Road, Kamla Nagar, Malkaganj, and Andha Mughal be channelised to the lake through dedicated pipelines.

Saxena said the soil being de-silted from the bed of the lake be used to build a 4-metre-high bund around the lake. To secure this embankment, the L-G said the waste dumped at Bhalswa landfill should be used, adding that this will not only ensure that the soil does not flow back to the lake, but will also reduce the burden on the landfill. These works, he stated, should be completed within a month.

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The place should evolve not only as a visitor attraction but also as an ecosystem that can sustain varied flora and fauna. While walking through the 57-acre park, the L-G said that it should be redeveloped as an ecologically rich landscaped area like Lodhi Garden or Nehru Park.

He also said the walkways should be developed, trees be pruned, and the plantation be scientific in accordance with the soil and climate of the area. The redeveloped gardens should be replete with eco-friendly public utilities, eateries and recreational spaces, he said.

Laying emphasis on environmental concerns of the capital, he said he will ensure every dead water body, park and green stretch and garden is reclaimed, revamped, and rejuvenated in line with his commitment to making Delhi a City of gardens and flowers.





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Delhi Police arrest Saddam Gori gang members, recover illegal firearm


Two alleged members of the Saddam Gori gang were arrested by the Anti-Auto Theft Squad of the Delhi Police in Southwest Delhi’s Dabri area for alleged possession of an illegal firearm and theft of a car. The accused were identified as Muzaffarnagar residents Mohammad Mustkeem, 25, and Mehandi Hasan, 35.

Officials said that both alleged gang members were former street hawkers. Mohammed Mustkeem is allegedly the current leader of the gang operated by Saddam Gori, who is currently in jail. Alleged gang members Sultan and Shavej are absconding, along with another unknown Muzaffarnagar resident, they added.

The accused were arrested based on an FIR filed in Central Delhi’s Rajender Nagar on June 8. The complainant, Nitin Dhawan, alleged that he had been robbed at gun-point of his gold ornaments while standing outside his house by four men driving a Chevrolet Cruze.

“The modus operandi of the gang was to use stolen vehicles to rob people at gunpoint from late evening to early morning. In case they fired their weapons or their vehicle was identified, they would discard it and steal a new one. They wore masks and caps to hide their identity. The gang has been active in the NCR, especially in West, Central, and North Delhi,” said Shweta Chauhan, DCP (Central).

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Officials also noted that by the time of the latest FIR, the five-man gang had committed nine robberies and carjackings in Delhi, and had also snatched a gold chain in Hari Nagar on June 8. The Cruze was also stolen from Ghaziabad on 2 June.

The police said that they tracked down the stolen car over the course of five days, using teams sent out at night as well as examining CCTV footage. It was located in Dabri’s Nala Road area. The police then arrested the two accused who started driving the car.

Officials said that a Chevrolet Cruze, a two-wheeler, two rings, a gold chain, and a sophisticated semi-automatic Beretta pistol with five live cartridges were recovered.

DCP Chauhan said that further investigation is underway.





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Delhi L-G directs MCD to prepare action plan to raze landfill sites


Delhi Lieutenant-Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena on Sunday visited the Ghazipur landfill site, and has asked officials of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi to prepare an action plan, within the next three days, for completely razing the three garbage mountains at Ghazipur, Bhalaswa and Okhla.

The MCD has also been asked to constitute a dedicated team to draw out the plan with a fixed date of completion.

According to information shared by Raj Niwas, the L-G will monitor the project at a personal level and will visit the sites at regular intervals to see the progress. The MCD was also directed to operationalise the waste-to-energy plant to reduce the load of fresh waste.

A special cell will also be put in place in the L-G Secretariat to monitor the work on a weekly basis, said officials.

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Spread over 70 acres, the Ghazipur landfill site has legacy waste amounting to 140 lakh metric tonnes and the East Delhi areas that it caters to generate 2,600 metric tonnes on a daily basis. Similarly, Bhalaswa in North Delhi and Okhla in South Delhi contain legacy waste mounds amounting to 80 and 50 lakh metric tonnes respectively.

The solid waste at these sites is of three categories – refuse derived fuel (RDF), construction & demolition (C&D) and inert waste. While the RDF waste is being used to generate power from waste-to-energy plants, a small quantity of inert waste is being taken by NHAI for its road construction activities, the processed C&D waste can be used for construction and filling activities, said Raj Niwas officials, in a statement.

The MCD has further been directed to regularly put out the reduction in height of the mounds achieved, as a result of their efforts, in the public domain at all three sites.





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