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Friday, July 25, 2014

Kargil Vijay Diwas !

Status of parks or green belts !

Dear Mr. Vohra ji,

MCD/DDA are all hoodwinking us and giving a false and untrue picture to the Courts of Law regarding the status of parks or green belts etc. I would only vouchsafe about the pitiable condition of parks and green belts being (supposed to be) maintained by the said agencies. Their officials and workmen never work at the field i.e. ground level, but drawing sumptuous salaries with little contribution for the development and maintenance of such parks. For instance Anand Vihar colony has 14 parks, 5 tot lots, (all of MCD) 2 green belts and 1 NH park (of DDA). You can't ask for more! But apart from the 1 NH park, which is being maintained tolerably well by the DDA, rest of them are in a horrible condition. In fact most of them are being looked after by the local residents around such parks by paying hefty amounts to the private mallies. The MCD/DDA mallies are never to be seen in such parks and their supervisors are getting 'commission' from them for marking their presence. Corruption is rampant but not reported as the 'share' goes to everyone, right from the supervisory level to up! 

Now is the time for plantation, watering, manuring, leveling the ground with additional sweet earth etc. but rare to find in any of the parks. The parks are full of filth, broken swings, benches etc. the trees/plants are never pruned, watering is never done, but their attendance is being marked! I quote an instance. I have taken up the issue relating to 'pitiable condition of the green belt' being maintained by the DDA more than 2 years back with the highest authorities i.e. LG/Delhi, who is the Chairman of DDA, and constantly pursuing it at various levels, but no tangible result so far. You could well imagine what else an individual could do for improving the situation for the benefit of all residents over here. The issue had also been taken up by the RWA. Despite all this, It is a pity that the officials concerned don't reply at all, not even an ack.! Where to go?

You must have also read the news item today in HT that Govt. starts inspecting RWAs for rainwater harvesting! Again, I quote, the MCD had constructed in concrete the 'storm water' drainage system in Anand Vihar colony, covering all houses/blocks etc. but forgot to give a 'slope' for the flow of the water! Consequently, the water stagnates in the drains making them a fertile ground for mosquitoes' breeding! The Society had been pleading at the time of construction to give a slope or not to build a concrete surface, so that the water could seep into mother earth, but did not listen, as the contractors had to do the job as per contract with a built-in provision for commission to the officials concerned! Later, the Society had been pleading with them i.e. MCD as well as the DJB to punch the concrete base at several places so that the accumulated dirty water could seep through, but turned deaf ears. This being the ground situation how the Govt. will start inspecting the RWAs for rainwater harvesting! Are the RWAs against it? A point to ponder over! The RWAs are not the 'executive body' to carry out 'rainwater harvesting'! Are they not aware of it? Whom they are fooling - the people, the courts and themselves!

TK Balu/Anand Vihar

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Apathy plagues our children's parks : Deccan Herald

Children’s parks in the city are in a deplorable condition. Where swings once stood stand iron poles, giving a hint that once upon a time there used to be something for kids. Ironically, when it comes to a proper children’s park there is nothing much to offer, especially to those who don’t live in society apartments. 

Recently, the Delhi High Court also expressed its anguish over the poor maintenance of children’s parks in the City. The court was informed that most of the swings in the parks were damaged and bound to cause injuries. The amicus curiae in the case, advocate Nidesh Gupta, informed the court about the deplorable condition of the parks pointing towards the poor state of the swings, nails coming loose  and electricity wires spread  all over. 

The court also took suo motu cognisance of a letter written by Supreme Court judge Kurian Joseph, who visited the popular children's park at India Gate and Lake Park near Sarojini Nagar. He expressed his displeasure over the irresponsible attitude of the concerned authorities in maintaining the park. 

Metrolife explored other parts of the city to find out about the condition of children’s parks and learnt to its dismay that they were in a shambles, a victim of official apathy and neglect. 

Anil Sidhwani, president, Residents Welfare Association (RWA), Azad Nagar, East Delhi says, “There are two parks in our area – one is under the MCD and the other under DDA. And, both these parks don’t have a single swing for the children. Everything has been destroyed and damaged and there is no cleanliness either. No action has been taken despite our several complaints to the area councillor and  government officials.” 

Sidhwani also mentions the fully-equipped gymnasium that was constructed in the DDA park four years ago but which could not be opened to the public.  “It was for all age groups, but it hasn’t been opened since four years as officials couldn’t find an instructor! Today, all the windows of the room have been broken and some equipment has  also been stolen,” lamented  Sidhwani. 

Similar is the condition in South Delhi parks too. Sanjeev Bansal, president, RWA, Ashram says, “There are three to four parks in our area and none of them is in a good state. Forget about swings, there is litter everywhere. There are no gardeners to look after the park.”

Commenting on the High Court’s concern over the parks, he said, “The bench must have sought a status report from civic agencies on the issue and directed them to take immediate steps to improve the parks. But it is definite no action will be taken. Over the years we have been asking for the renovation of the parks but no action has been taken by the MCD or DDA. Now, when there is no ruling government nobody  is interested in looking into  the matter.”

Citing the main reasons behind the poor maintenance of children’s parks, which is an essential part of any residential area, B S Vohra, president, East Delhi RWAs Joint Front says, “It is due to the lackadaisical approach of the officials towards parks. No doubt funds are being released but they aren’t being utilised where they should be. In the absence of gates, drug peddlers easily enter parks during night hours. They destroy the swings and sell it to fulfil their drug demand. The fact is everybody takes children’s parks for granted.” 

with thanks : Deccan Herald : LINK

Power Tariff issue with DERC : The Hindu

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Thanks to News Nation for Exposing the %age game of Doctors & Diagnostic centres !

It was a common saying & hugely doubted, that it's a percentage game between Doctors & Diagnostic centres, between Doctors & Chemists but with no proof. 

Thanks to the News Nation TV channel, it has not only exposed the nexus, it has also shown the cheques given as the percentage to Doctors & that too from the Top rated Diagnostic centres of Delhi. 

It clearly showed the Diagnostic Centres ready to do MRI at any price of 9000, 8000, 7000, 6000, even 5000  with upto 50% to the referring Doctors. Upto 30 % , 40%, 50% and even 60% commission to referring Doctors on various tests.

Think of the plight of a person who visits a Doctor with a patient for treatment. Doctor charges his Fees & refers a dozen tests from a particular centre, just for his designated PERCENTAGE, even though the tests may or may not be required.

It's not the end of the story, instead, a tip of the big iceberg. I have seen the cases where a person was asked for an immediate operation but when cross checked, no operation was required at all. I have seen the patient in ICU, when challenged, was shifted outside in minutes. I have seen the patient with simple gastric problem, being treated as a Cardiac patient. I remember a simple case of Jaundice, where the patient was admitted & dripped & hugely billed & later the Doctor said while smiling, " I am a surgeon, agar kattunga nahi to kam kaise chalega". I have heard the instances of dead patients kept on ventilators for days for making money.

Think of these Private Hospitals who make Lakhs every month in just Room rentals + the commission percentages & they call that it's a NOBLE profession.

Probably it's the right time, as we have our Dr Harsh vardhan as the Health Minister of India. We hereby request Dr Saab to impose stricter norms & regulations on these Private hospitals & Diagnostic centres. As it is very much clear that Exorbitant prices are being charged by these Private hospitals, we hereby request Dr Saab to fix the Lowest Possible prices for all kind of Medical Tests, MRIs and even Room rentals so that the Public of India could have a sigh of relief.

Thanks again to News Nation, Thanks to its entire team, for exposing this nexus with a hope that it will continue its muhim.

B S Vohra

Why the Elections in Delhi are likely to be held in Jan. or Feb. 2015 ?

But why the Elections in Delhi are likely to be held in January or February 2015 ? It's already 6 months & we dont have our elected Govt. If the things are quite clear that none of the political outfits are in a position to form a Govt., than why the Elections are being delayed till January / February 2015 ? And that too in a situation where the General Public can't even reach the Hon'ble LG.

Friday, July 18, 2014

‘Residents are not willing to bear any more burden’ : The Hindu

A report from our Special Correspondent:
The East Delhi RWAs Joint Front has criticised the power tariff hike stating that the residents were not willing to bear any more burden based on the whims and fancies of the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission.
In a statement, the Front’s office-bearer B.S.Vohra said while the power tariff in Delhi has gone up by 8.32 per cent to 9.52 per cent, the DERC has claimed that it has provided relief by scrapping the power purchase cost adjustment (PPAC) charges. “It clearly means that the PPAC being charged till date was totally unjustified or this time they have raised the power tariff and sooner or later they will re-impose the PPAC. Moreover, the imposition of another slab of over 1,200 units at the rate of Rs 8.75 per unit is also absolutely unjustified.”
General Secretary of United Residents of Delhi which is an umbrella body of a group of RWAs accused the regulator of acting at the behest of private power distribution companies. The RWAs termed the hike as “arbitrary and illogical” alleging it was “based on fudged accounts of these power companies”.
“There is enough evidence on record to suggest that the discoms have siphoned off huge amounts by fudging their account books. On the basis of the evidence available in public domain, a CAG audit of all the three discoms of Delhi was ordered,” said Mr. Gandhi
“The CAG has been complaining that the discoms have not been cooperating with the auditors and have so far refused to make their account books available to them. Instead of forcing the distribution companies to comply with auditing norms, the DERC has come to their rescue by announcing this undue hike,” he alleged. Rajiv Kakria of GK-I RWA slammed the DERC for hiking the tariff. “The decision to increase tariff is completely unjustified,” he said.
Varinder Arora, Convenor of the Delhi Residents Forum, said “The various reasons like inflation cited by DERC for increasing tariff have no relevance as these companies are not selling onions or tomatoes. We demand immediate roll back of power tariff.”
with thanks : The Hindu : LINK

DERC Power Tariff : Hindustan Times

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Why not involve RWAs, corporates to maintain parks? HC

The Delhi High Court today suggested roping in of Resident Welfare Associations (RWA) and corporate firms to manage the parks in the national capital as the civic agencies do not seem equal to the task. 

"Why don't we involve RWAs and corporates to maintain parks? They (civic agencies) are not doing the needful," a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice R S Endlaw said while hearing a plea on the issue of poor conditions of children's parks in the city highlighted in a letter written by Supreme Court judge Justice Kurian Joseph. 

The court also invited suggestions from senior advocate Nidhesh Gupta appointed as amicus curiae to assist the court.

During the hearing, Gupta submitted photographs of various parks in the city and said that except two, at India Gate and Sarojini Nagar, the rest are in poor condition. 

He also said the status reports of New Delhi Municipal Council and North Delhi Municipal Corporation stating that the parks have been repaired and are functional and the pictures attached by the civic agencies, both are incorrect and misleading. 

He also cited the standards followed by various countries in maintaining parks and such amusement facilities and submitted that it is the responsibility of the central government to take care of upkeep of such places. 

Earlier, he had told the court that "facilities in parks are like death traps. Almost all the swings, slides and other facilities are in pathetic condition. In some of them, nails are coming out." 

He had made the submission after visiting parks at various places including Vasant Vihar, Vasant Kunj, Greater Kailash and India Gate. 

In his letter, Justice Kurien had mentioned India Gate children's park and the Lake park at Sarojini Nagar but the high court had expanded the scope of the PIL by including all such parks in Delhi and had asked the agencies to give details regarding the number of such places and their proposed action plan to upgrade, maintain and repair facilities there.

with thanks : Business Standard : LINK