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Delhi’s oldest church, St James’, restored after 8 months | Delhi News


Eight months after it was taken up for restoration, the Capital’s oldest church, St James’ in North Delhi’s Kashmere Gate, has been restored and was rededicated Sunday.

Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena, who presided over the ceremony during which Bishop of Delhi, Reverend Dr Paul Swarup, and Presbyter of the church, Reverend Pratik Pillai were also present, commended the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) for restoring the 187-year-old church, built in 1836, in record time.

Restoration and renovation work at the church, also known as Skinner’s Church after Colonel James Skinner who got it constructed, was taken up by DDA with support from INTACH in November 2022.

“Humbled to have rededicated the Historic St James Church in the Capital. This Iconic & Grand house of faith…has stood witness to the 1st war of independence, as indeed our entire struggle against colonialism,” Saxena posted on X, formerly Twitter, following the event.

“I commend DDA officials and the curators, who, with utmost diligence, restored this heritage in a record time, while keeping the originality of the structure intact…St James’ Church is known to be the church of the British Viceroy of India in Delhi,” he added.

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The church, apart from serving its parishioners, will also serve as a major attraction for tourists visiting nearby monuments like Red Fort, Jama Masjid, and the popular Chandni Chowk among others during the G-20 Summit, LG House officials said.

Saxena, while inspecting the renovation work of the church on different occasions, had instructed the officials to strictly ensure that the originality of the heritage structure was retained.

St James’ Church, a part of the Church of North India, Diocese of Delhi, is located near several historical monuments in the Old Delhi area frequented by thousands of visitors every day.





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1984: Court reserves order on Tytler’s anticipatory bail plea | Delhi News


A Delhi Court Wednesday reserved its order on former Congress minister Jagdish Tytler’s anticipatory bail plea in a case related to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots involving arson in a North Delhi gurdwara.

Medical conditions, mental health issues and old age were cited by Tytler’s counsel as grounds to seek anticipatory bail. The matter will now be heard on August 4.

In May, the CBI filed a supplementary chargesheet against Tytler based on statements of new witnesses who claimed they saw him allegedly instigating the mob which had assembled at Azad Market’s Pul Bangash Gurdwara on November 1, 1984, following which it was burnt down and three persons were killed. The chargesheet alleged that Tytler “incited, instigated and provoked” the mob, after which he had moved an anticipatory bail plea at Rouse Avenue Court on August 1.

Public Prosecutor Amit Jindal told The Indian Express that statements of two new witnesses, who had never spoken regarding the case earlier, were recorded during the investigation.

Tytler’s counsel, Manu Sharma, argued that closure reports filed by the CBI in 2009 and 2014 proved he was innocent and he was at Teen Murti Bhavan when gurdwara was set ablaze, on the basis of a DVD which the agency relied on while filing a closure report. “In 2009, the CBI recommended no action… In 2014, again the court recommended no action against Tytler. But 11 months before a general election… the CBI decides… there is a case…,” said Sharma.

The summoning orders, he said, suffered from a “serious infirmity” as they were passed based on a few witnesses who showed up after decades.

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HS Phoolka, the counsel for the complainant, argued that the grant of bail was not necessary since accused had committed offences punishable with death, imprisonment for life or for more than 7 years. He argued that the gravity of the offence and the likelihood of the accused threatening witnesses needed to be looked at. “It is not a case of three murders, it is a case of genocide…” he said. “Threats took place for a closure report. Imagine what would happen for a chargesheet,” he said.

Sharma said the delay in the witnesses coming forward tilted the case in favour of the accused. “… The new witnesses have to explain why they didn’t come forward earlier during trial,” he said.

“Witnesses react differently. Just because there is a delay in their statements doesn’t mean they’re lying,” Jindal countered.





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Back to work after protest, safai karamcharis of Gr Noida have a tough task at hand | Delhi News


After 16 days of protest, Greater Noida’s safai karamcharis resumed work Friday. However, they have a huge task at hand with locals complaining of choked drains and garbage strewn around in many areas.

A resident of Aicher village in Greater Noida, Sheeshpal (50), has been running a tea shop in the area. “The garbage scattered on the road is near the shop. This is affecting my sale. People do not like to sit here because of filth and smell. Today, some safai karamchari came here and cleaned the roadside, but nobody had come to pick up the garbage lying here for more than a week now.”

“Not only the authority, but people also are responsible for this situation. They do not throw the garbage into designated bin and garbage truck or trolley does not come here regularly. The garbage kept on piling,” he said.

Safai karamcharis ended the protest Thursday after Greater Noida Authority gave assurances and sought some time to fulfill their demand to hike in wages and Rs 10 lakh life insurance.

Kailash Kumar, a resident of Bundelkhand who has been living in Aicher village since 1998, said, “Most of the people in the area live in rented accommodation. Because we are tenants, supervisors do not listen to us. We have asked our owners to raise the sanitation issues with the authority, but they do not care as they do not live here. The situation has turned pathetic due to the protest. However, even on other days, we see very few cleanliness workers deployed in the area.” Kumar, who works as a painter, said, “There are a lot of carts selling food in the middle of the garbage. It is unhygienic… We are prone to many diseases as this is a favourable breeding ground for the mosquitoes.”

In Tugalpur village, Jagveer Singh said he has spats with his neighbours recently over the issue of garbage.

“They throw it from upstairs. Earlier, the safai karamcharis would come and clear the area. But for the past few days, nobody came here and it got accumulated. I asked them multiple times to not do this, but they do not listen,” said Singh, adding that his mechanic shop is just beside a plot full of filth.

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Singh’s shop opens to a drain, which he said was choked, resulting in sewage spilling in the area and a foul smell. Around 20 meters from his shop, there is a designated site to throw the waste, but he said the garbage has been lying there for days. “The van does not come here frequently to pick up the waste. In the rainfall, it has turned into havoc…,” said the man.

Manoj, a safai karamchari who works in the Pari Chowk area, said he has come back to work after the authority’s promise that their wages would be revised. “Our request to the authority’s CEO is that our salary should not be deducted for the time we were at the protest. We are back to work after his promise and are working round the clock. Our promises must be fulfilled at the earliest,” said the worker.

NG Ravi Kumar, Chief Executive Officer of Greater Noida Authority, has formed a five-member committee to look into the issue. “The committee will see if their salary can be increased after assessing the financial implications for around 2,000 safai karamcharis,” the CEO had earlier said.

 

 





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Rain lashes Dalhi; Yamuna water level rises again | Delhi News


Parts of Delhi recorded heavy rainfall early on Wednesday with more rain expected on Thursday.

The India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) weather observatory at Mayur Vihar recorded the highest amount of rainfall on Wednesday morning – 110.5 mm. Other parts of the city recorded what the IMD categorises as moderate rainfall – the Safdarjung weather station, the city’s base observatory, recorded 37.1 mm, while Lodhi Road logged 35.1 mm. The weather observatory at North Delhi’s Mungeshpur recorded 53.5 mm of rainfall.

Very light rainfall continued in parts of the city till noon. Rainfall offered some respite from high humidity levels, and the maximum temperature Wednesday dropped slightly to 31.3 degrees Celsius, four notches below normal. The IMD forecast indicates that moderate rainfall and thundershowers are expected in Delhi on Thursday as well. A ‘yellow’ alert has been issued, which is a warning to ‘be aware’. The alert points to the likelihood of minor traffic disruptions and waterlogging in low-lying areas. Light to moderate rainfall is also expected on Friday, and light rain is on the forecast for the weekend. So far this month, the Safdarjung weather station has recorded 368.6 mm of rainfall, which is more than the normal or long-period average of 209.7 mm for the entire month. The city has seen 16 rainy days so far this July.

A western disturbance has been affecting northwest India. Additionally, the monsoon trough, a feature of the southwest monsoon, is active and lies south of its normal position, but is likely to shift northwards in the next two to three days, according to an IMD bulletin issued on Wednesday. After remaining a little below the ‘danger’ level on Tuesday night and early on Wednesday morning, the water level of the Yamuna at the Old Railway Bridge in Delhi returned to a figure above the ‘danger’ mark on Wednesday evening. The level at 8 pm was 205.5 m, which is a little above the ‘danger’ mark of 205.33 m. It is set to rise further to 205.73 m by 10 pm on Wednesday, going by the Central Water Commission (CWC) forecast.

It is likely to remain above the ‘danger’ mark on Thursday and Friday, according to the CWC’s flood situation report and advisory issued on Wednesday.v





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3-year-old boy drowns in waterlogged basement in North Delhi


A three-year-old boy, who had stepped outside his home to play, drowned in the waterlogged basement of a building in North Delhi’s Kirari Saturday, police said. The boy lived with his family at their rented accommodation on the ground floor of the same building, they added.

Residents of the locality said the basement, used for storage purposes, had been waterlogged for many days. Police suspect the boy went down the staircase, slipped and fell into the basement where he drowned in the water.

Police said they received a call about the incident at 10.24 pm Saturday. The boy, Arif Ali, was taken to a hospital where doctors declared him dead on arrival.

GS Sidhu, DCP (Rohini), said, “We received information at Prem Nagar police station from the SGM hospital regarding the death of a boy. The boy lived in Prem Nagar, Kirari. Local police reached the hospital where the parents stated that there was waterlogging in the basement. Necessary legal action is being taken in the matter.”

The boy’s father, Ashraf Ali, is a rickshaw puller and has five other children.

He said, “On Saturday, I was outside for some work while his mother was at home. Within 10-15 minutes, we realised Arif was missing. We searched for him everywhere… I then found his body in the basement.”

The family alleged that the basement has been flooded with water and sewage for weeks, adding that none of the authorities has taken any action.

“We called the councillor and other MCD officials several times. They have still not done anything to fix the waterlogging issue. I just want them to act now. I have lost my son. I don’t want anything like this to happen to someone else…,” said the father.

Locals in Kirari alleged the entire colony has been facing waterlogging problems for weeks after the heavy rain in the city, adding that there is inadequate drainage in the area. “Neither the local MLA nor the councillor has come to meet the family or us. How can we live here when our houses are all filled with water?” said Rajdev, a local.

Kirari MLA, AAP’s Rituraj Govind, said, “I am very sad to hear this news. We found that three-four houses were constructed in the middle of a water body… including the house where the incident took place… on encroached land… This is a natural body, called Machli ka talab… Rescue operations take place at settlements located around the river fronts and banks. Kirari is very far from Yamuna. It will get flooded after the entire city gets submerged. The natural water body was dry but this time, with heavy and unprecedented rain, water filled the houses. Hence, the water entered the houses…”

“We are planning to shift the families to a rescue centre. We will also provide compensation to the boy’s family,” he added.

The BJP, meanwhile, hit out at the AAP. In a statement, Delhi BJP president Virendra Sachdeva alleged, “The criminal negligence of the Delhi government is taking the lives of children in Kirari. We demand immediate compensation of Rs 25 lakh to the family from the Arvind Kejriwal government. Every year, during monsoon, waterlogging happens in Kirari and the Delhi government has never made any effort to ensure laying of proper sewer lines and sanitation in the year. In most parts of Kirari, water enters houses and they’re submerged in 3-4 feet of water…”





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After 66,000 landmark, Sensex rally continues: who is driving up the markets?


Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) are driving up the stock markets to new peaks on a daily basis, sending investors into a buying euphoria. After renewed interest from FPIs helped the benchmark Sensex surge by around 10 per cent in the first quarter of fiscal 2024, the superfast Sensex has spurted 2.38 per cent, in July so far even as analysts cautioned investors against entering into an overheated market.

Domestic stock markets continued their rally on Monday with BSE Sensex, which closed above the 66,000-level last week, hit a new high of 66,310.96 and the NSE Nifty jumped to 19,641.90, a rise of nearly 0.30 per cent, in early morning trades.

The major driver is the return of FPIs, the buoyancy in the global markets, strong macroeconomic fundamentals and the easing of inflation in India. “The scenario has changed with US consumer inflation declining more-than-expected to 3% giving hopes that the US Fed is near the end of the rate hiking cycle. Consequently, the US 10-year bond yield has sharply dipped from 5.1%to 4.7% and the Dollar Index has crashed by nearly 4% from 103.57 to 99.9. This is positive for emerging markets like India, which are likely to witness more capital flows,” said V K Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist at Geojit Financial Services.

This resilience of the US economy, which was not anticipated and discounted by the market, is the strongest pillar of support for the global markets now, he said.

The mood in the frontline market is very optimistic looking at the aggressive FPI inflows and settling down of global macro headwinds followed by better than strong domestic micro economic data. The 5-big positive domestic catalysts driving the current upsurge are India’s strong GST collection that crossed Rs 1.60 lakh crore mark in June, better recovery in monsoon in June and normal rains expected in July as well, expected stable interest rate scenario worldwide, the US Q1 GDP reassessment from 1.3% to 2%, and easing of US PCE inflation that offers relief to investors who were worried about further interest rate hikes.

Global markets are supported by resilient economic data, avoiding the possibility of a recession. India’s stock market trend was broad-based, owing to the outperformance from energy, financial, metal, and FMCG sectors. Economic activities are gaining strength with the manufacturing PMI level at 57.8, indicating sustained demand for products, fostering a sense of confidence in the manufacturing prospects.

Why are FPIs back with a bang?

FPIs have pumped Rs 30,660 crore into stocks in July so far, pushing up share valuations. In the April-July period, FPIs pumped in Rs 1.07 lakh crore ($12.5 billion) into equities, according to National Securities Depository Ltd (NSDL) data. They remained consistent buyers, with average daily inflows of over Rs 2,000 crore in July. In June, foreign capital flows into equities were Rs 47,148 crore, the highest since August 2022 when inflows stood at Rs 51,204 crore.

FPIs have been bullish on Indian equities on the expectation that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has come to the end of its rate hike cycle. Retail inflation increased marginally to 4.81 per cent in June. “India is the best-performing economy compared to the other economies. The corporate sector also showed a turnaround in the fourth quarter. These are the factors because of which we have seen more FPI interest in India,” said Madan Sabnavis, Chief Economist, Bank of Baroda (BoB) said. Higher fund flows also resulted in a stable rupee during the quarter. The domestic currency moved in a narrow range of 81.68 to 82.90 against the dollar in the April-June period.

The big question is whether investors can trust FPIs to stay back when any negative news hit the market. Any policy change in developed markets like the US can change their perception about Indian markets. “The concern, however, is the rising valuations which are getting stretched. The valuations in China (PE is 9) is hugely attractive now compared to valuations in India (PE is around 20) and, therefore, the ‘Sell China, Buy India’ policy of FPIs cannot continue for long,” Vijayakumar said.

Why are domestic institutions selling?

Unlike FPIs, domestic institutions (DIIs) led by LIC, insurance companies and mutual funds, who were big buyers when the market was down in the second quarter and fourth quarter of FY2022-23, are now sellers on many days. In the last quarter (January-March) of FY 2023, DIIs had bought stocks worth Rs 83,000 crore while FPIs sold stocks worth over Rs 50,000 crore. “Domestic institutions are contrarians. They buy when other big operators like FPIs sell… and sell when FPIs and others buy. They have made good profits through this strategy,” said a fund manager.

LIC, the largest investor in the stock market, normally sells stocks when the market soars to new peaks. “We sell when others buy, and buy when others sell. LIC has been making consistent profit from its market operations in the last several years. LIC is a long-term investor in the markets,” said an official.

“Clearly, DIIs are sitting on a good profit on investments made by them in the last quarter of FY2023. They are not accumulating stocks at high levels. Ideally retail investors should follow the investment strategy being followed by DIIs. Then they won’t make losses,” said a market analyst. There’s a perception in the market that the stock markets are entering into an overbought zone with valuations hitting new highs. If there’s a major correction, DIIs won’t get any major impact while FPIs and retail investors – normally aiming at making a fast buck — who invest at high levels, will suffer losses.

Why should retail investors be cautious?

Retail investors have a tendency to enter the market directly and make aggressive purchases when prices have peaked and valuations are already stretched. “We have seen retail investors losing money in the stock market bubbles in the past. They usually buy when the prices are high and left holding the babies in the subsequent correction and falls,” said an analyst with a brokerage.

Analysts have cautioned that there is no room for exuberance or going overboard with the ongoing market rally. Globally growth is low and there is a possibility of the US economy slowing down in H2 of CY 2023. This can impact India’s exports and thereby India’s growth, too.

“The ongoing rally in the market has made valuations very rich. Nifty is trading at above 20 times estimated FY 24 earnings. This is higher than the historical average. Momentum can take the market higher, but at high valuations risk is high. Some presently unknown negative developments can trigger a sharp correction. So, even while remaining invested in the market, investors have to be cautious,” said V K Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist at Geojit Financial Services. Domestic institutions are already sellers in the market and pulled out Rs 8,129 crore from the markets in July so far. On the other hand, foreign investors have pumped in Rs 30,660 crore – which is considered as hot money. Foreign players exit the markets faster than they enter, leaving retail investors in the lurch.

What is the outlook on markets?

In July, the market trend will be influenced by auto sales numbers in June, first quarter results, progress of the monsoon and the Fed rate decision and commentary by the month end. The retail inflation for the month of June will also be an indicator about the future course of action by the RBI. As a fund manager put it, the market always fears the unknown, whatever seems to be lurking in the shadows. The RBI will review the monetary policy in August first week at a time when vegetable prices have surged and inflation has shown an uptick.

There are concerns about the rise in domestic food inflation, influenced by higher mandi prices trending above Minimum Support Prices (MSP), and muted Kharif sowing, which led investors to exercise caution. The progression of the monsoon and the trend of Kharif sowing in July will be crucial factors in determining future inflation, said an analyst. Besides, the market seems to be flooded with strong FPI inflows, and with US inflation moderating investors are hoping for a rate hike pause by the Federal Reserve later this month.

If FPI inflows continue at this level, the key indices are likely to scale new peaks in the coming days. That said, the market is likely to witness occasional correction as prices of heavyweights have already shot up. DII selling is emerging as a countervailing force putting brakes on the rally.





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Govt begins search for IRDAI members in advance


The government has started looking for suitable candidates to fill the two posts of Members — Finance and Investment and Actuary — for Hyderabad-based  Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority(IRDAI) nearly six months in advance.

It is for the first time the government has started looking for the top posts in IRDAI much in advance. The regulator usually gets a replacement several months after the retirement of an official. The current IRDAI Chairman Debasish Panda was appointed nearly nine months after his predecessor retired.

Rakesh Joshi, Member, Finance and Investment, IRDAI, who had joined on March 22, 2022, will be retiring on December 2, 2023 after reaching 62. Parmod Kumar Arora, member, Actuary, IRDAI, who had joined on Jan 4, 2021 will be completing his three-year tenure on Jan 4, 2024. Arora will be 58 at the time of completing his three-year stint at the IRDAI.

The government had selected State Bank of India (SBI) Managing Director Swaminathan Janakiraman as a Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India in June.

According to the existing regulations, a member can continue till the age of 62 while the Chairman can hold office till 65. The IRDAI, headed by chairman Debasish Panda, chairman, has currently five posts of members.

Before Panda took over in March 2022, senior officials of PSU insurers were a preferred lot for all posts of members except Actuary. Setting a new trend, Panda wanted dynamic professionals from the private sector only as members that led to the appointments of Joshi, whose last job was in SBI Caps and Thomas Devasia, (Member, Non-Life), who was working with an international insurance broking firm Marsh India.

However, BC Patanaik, a former Managing Director of Life Insurance Corporation, was suddenly inducted as Member (Life) in April after the post had lied vacant for almost a year. Now, it is to be seen whether public sector unit officials will be considered for the two posts, sources said.

The applicants should have a minimum of two years of residual service as on the date of vacancy — the applicant’s age should not exceed 60 years on the said date. The last date for receipt of applications for both the posts is August 10. A Whole-time Member gets consolidated pay and allowances of Rs 4 lakh per month.

For the Member (Actuary), an applicant should preferably be Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries of India (IAI) or Institute and Faculty of Actuaries in the UK (IFA) or Institute of Actuaries of Australia or Society of Actuaries in US or Canadian Institute of Actuaries, Canada.

However, for both the positions, applicants should preferably have at least 25 years’ experience in the area of finance and investment, with a minimum of three years’ experience at a senior level, not below the rank of a chief general manager of the Reserve Bank of India or equivalent thereto in other financial institutions or regulatory bodies. Applicants from the government should preferably have worked at least at the level of Additional Secretary to the Government of India or its equivalent level. An applicant from the public sector official should have worked at a level which is at least one level below the board, whereas a private sector applicant should  have worked at the level of functional head at a level below the board. Similarly, an academician should preferably have worked at least as professor in the department or faculty concerned.





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Delhi floods: Traffic movement takes a hit as arterial roads still choked due to waterlogging


While the Delhi Police had reopened a few roads after the water level at Yamuna river receded, police said the traffic movement is still affected on arterial roads due to waterlogging.

Police said many areas reported waterlogging due to rains, overflowing sewer water and river water.

For the last few days, police said they have been keeping a strict vigil on the roads for safety of citizens as the water level at Yamuna river crossed the 207-208 metres danger mark.

Even as the water level is now receding, several roads are still inundated due to drain water and the incessant rains over the weekend.

The Traffic Police said vehicular movement is affected on the Ring Road due to overflow of sewer water near IP flyover from Rajghat to Nizamuddin carriageway. The Ring Road along with Pragati Maidan were reopened after Friday night. However, the rains and drain water has affected the roads.

“Commuters are advised to take alternate route via Shanti Van, Rajghat, JLN Marg, BSZ Marg to avoid the stretch” said the police.

Due to rains in evening hours on Saturday, some roads have been affected by water logging and fallen trees, said the police.

Nine calls of waterlogging were reported in Delhi since Saturday evening. Police said these were – Khan Market, Teen Murti Marg, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, Gurugram Road, Ring Road, Bhairon Marg, MB Road etc.

At Bhairon Marg and Rajghat, police said the streets are submerged due to excessive water from under the Railway bridge

Several areas in North Delhi are still inundated and police teams have been deployed to help rescue locals near flood-hit areas and those living in low-lying areas.

The traffic is also affected on Mathura Road (in the carriageway from Badarpur towards Ashram) due to waterlogging opposite Jasola metro station. Police said there’s slow movement of traffic near Sarita Vihar Flyover due to the same waterlogging issues.

Areas such as Yamuna Bazaar, Ashram, Okhla, Civil Lines are still affected due to the water.





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Production at water treatment plants hit, RWAs complain of water shortage


Written by Sabika Syed

A day after three water treatment plants — Okhla, Wazirabad and Chandrawal — were shut owing to the Yamuna flooding the city, residents have complained of water shortage.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said while the plant at Okhla resumed functioning on Friday, the other two will start operating by Sunday morning if the water level goes below 207.7 metres. As of 8 pm on Friday, the water level was 208.12 metres. The Sonia Vihar water treatment plant’s production has also been reduced by 25%.

On Thursday, the DJB had said water supply will be affected for at least the next two days in areas including Civil Lines, Karol Bagh, areas under New Delhi Municipal Council, Rajinder Nagar, Govindpuri, Kalkaji, Model Town, Punjabi Bagh, Moolchand, Greater Kailash, South Extension among others.

In North Delhi’s Model Town, which receives water from the Wazirabad plant, Sanjay Gupta, General Secretary of Model Town Residents’ Society, claimed that the locality has not received water in two days and that the situation is dire. He said, “People had stored water but it is running out now. We have been buying bottled water…”

Gupta said the local market has run out of bottles of larger quantities of water: “We have to buy 1-2 litre bottles now, even 5-litre bottles are not available.” He said officials concerned did not respond to his calls over the issue.

Water supply has taken a hit in Dwarka as well. Rejimon CK from the Dwarka Forum, a welfare association of residents, said while water supply hasn’t been completely cut off, it has been reduced. “In a society with 256 flats, 74,000 litres was provided,” he said.

Residents of the locality are calling for private tankers to make ends meet, he said.

Rajiv Kakaria, member of a Greater Kailash RWA, said there is an intimation of water supply being disrupted Saturday: “We were told supply might be hit so residents are taking precautions by storing water and only using it for essential tasks.”

Kritika, a resident of Paschim Vihar in West Delhi, said their water supply got cut on Thursday and that the water tank in the society was empty. She added, “There is no drinking water in our locality so we have just been shifting between other people’s houses.”





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Saving people, cattle along Yamuna, Police have their task cut out


On Wednesday, Inspector Sukrampal along with head constable Sandeep and constable Deepak from Usmanpur police station received a distress call. A 25-year-old man, Jitendra, had been trapped in the area amid rising waters and had been sitting atop a tree for more than 22 hours.

“His house was damaged. We took a motorboat and went to save him. The situation was such that we had to remove shoes and life jackets to access the land. But we managed to get the boat near the tree, pick him up and take him to safety,” said Sukrampal.

The rescue operation is one among several that Delhi Police personnel have been carrying out for the last couple of days as water level in Yamuna crossed the ‘danger ‘ mark of 207.72 m, necessitating evacuation from low-lying areas. Teams from North Delhi, Northeast Delhi, East Delhi and other districts have been helping hundreds of persons for the last couple of days.

Sanjay Singh, Special Commissioner of Police (Licensing & Legal Div), said the police have responded to 1,919 calls related to traffic, 200 on water logging, 82 on building-collapse, 142 related to tree-falling, and six road cave-ins in the last three-four days. In total, more than 760 persons, including women and children, along with 271 cattle have been rescued in the last 24 hours, as per data released by the police.

Staffers have been deployed around Yamuna plains, Kashmere Gate, Ring Road, Shahdara, Sonia Vihar, Usmanpur, Mandawali etc to rescue persons. Sources said leave of all police personnel in the districts have been canceled.

Joy N Tirkey, DCP (Northeast), said more than 250 police personnel have been working with teams of NDRF, Civil Defence volunteers, boat operators and others.

In Shahdara, rescue operations have been going on at Geeta Colony area and Gandhi Nagar to save locals. In East Delhi, maximum number of distress calls were received from Pandav Nagar, followed by Mayur Vihar and Mandawali area.

Amrutha Guguloth, DCP East, said her staff rescued more than 575 persons in the last three days.





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