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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

American Sikh Actor Waris Ahluwalia Barred from Boarding Plane Due to Turban

Monday, February 8, 2016

#TRAIFreesInternet | Key take aways from TRAI’s ruling on Net Neutrality

with thanks CNN IBN News : @ibnlive

Delhi residents fear epidemic as government fails to clear rubbish off roads : Daily Mail

While MCD sanitation workers refused to call off their strike, the Capital’s Resident Welfare Associations have accused the Delhi government of failing to make arrangements to get garbage off the roads.

The heaps of rubbish lying unattended have left residents angry. With no garbage lifted from their houses and surrounding areas, locals are feeling helpless and fear the spread of an epidemic. 

Rajender Mewati, General Secretary, United Front of MCD Employees Association, told Mail Today that the sanitation workers will continue with the strike and wait for the high court’s decision. 

RWAs have accused the state government of not making any arrangements to get garbage off the roads
RWAs have accused the state government of not making any arrangements to get garbage off the roads

“In east Delhi, no task forces reached our lanes and the markets. Having known that east Delhi always remains the most affected area during strikes, the government should have been cautious and should have made arrangements. People have started burning the garbage, which in turn, is also creating pollution as they are not left with any option. The health of the residents is at stake and there is no visible action from civic agencies or the government,” said BS Vohra from East Delhi RWAs Joint Front Federation. 

Similarly, in north Delhi, heaps of garbage could be seen on GT road, near Amba cinema, polo road and Mukherjee Nagar. 

The MCD spokesperson told Mail Today that they did make an appeal to the sanitation workers to resume work as the Delhi government had agreed to pay for their salaries. 

More clarity can be attained only after the hearing at the High Court on Monday.

With Thanks : Mail Today : LINK

Suggestions - ODD / EVEN ...... Make it Convenient for us to Turn to Public Transport or People will Convert to CNG or 2nd Car

Dear Mr. Kejriwal,

When Columbus set out in search of India, he ended up discovering America ...... ODD / EVEN challenge too has ended up discovering additional benefits.

While curbing Pollution was the stated purpose of the ODD / EVEN Formula, many more benefits have accrued ...... App Based Pooling of Cars and Taxies will lead to 30% to 70% household savings on fuel. Less congestion on roads will surely lead to many Health benefits.

There are calls for extending the experiment and look to make it permanent. I too believe that the GOOD HABITS CULTIVATED during the fortnight long experiment should not be wasted and the Odd / Even Formula should be implemented periodically.

Success of the Programme should not be taken for Granted  .......  WHAT REALLY MADE IT SUCCESSFUL ???
  1. CLOSURE OF SCHOOLS – Private Cars ferrying children to schools were off the roads, as were the teachers driving to work. The additional busses added to the Fleet for Public, were School Busses.
  2. EXEMPTIONS TO TWO-WHEELERS AND WOMEN – The Public Transport would not have been able to take the additional load nor does the Police evoke confidence of security to women.
  3. PUBLIC SUPPORT – Citizens were willing to support as they realise the gravity of the problem and knew the inconvenience was for a short spell of 15 days, effectively 6-7 days.
  4. CIVIL DEFENCE VOLUNTEERS AND CHILDREN – The Government Machinery is woefully inadequate and the efforts of volunteers must be applauded but cannot be relied in the long term.
  5. SDM’S AND TRANSPORT OFFICIALS HELPED THE POLICE – The very fact that more Fines were imposed by SDMs and not the Police, shows that additional officials on the roads contributed in a big way, which may not be the case on regular basis, as they have other duties to perform.
The way Forward ..... PREPARE A THREE YEAR CIVIC ROAD MAP (Short, Medium and Long Term), with clear deadlines with the help of Data Collected and Additional Surveys:-

  1. DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN DYNAMIC AND DEAD PARKING – discourage people who use cars for Home-Office-Home travel, turning scarce Parking Space unproductive (Dead) for 8-14 hours. Shoppers and Visitors to offices for meetings etc occupy Parking Space (Dynamic) for a limited period of time and the same space is utilised multiple times, giving a fillip to Business. DEAD PARKING should be discouraged and made prohibitive ..... DYNAMIC PARKING Rates should be of 15 Minute Pulse, to encourage people to conclude business promptly and save money.
  2. PARKING FEE BASED ON SIZE OF CAR – To encourage use of small cars Parking Fee should be charged based on length of car, as one BMW occupies twice as much space as an I10.

  1. INTRODUCE POINT TO POINT AC CHARTERED/SHUTTLE BUSSES – Care should be taken that Office goers are not inconvenienced and transport BEFITTING THEIR STATURE be made available at reasonable rates. People use Personal Transport out of compulsion due to lack of COMFORTABLE, SAFE & SURE TRANSPORT.
  2. STOP FLEECING BY AUTO/ TAXIS AND SURGE PRICING BY UBER / OLA: Autos have been notorious for Refusals and Overcharging. Now Uber and Ola are also fleecing hapless commuters, charging 1.5X to 3.9X SURGE PRICING. If citizens can be fined Rs. 2000/- then Service providers should also be penalised for Malpractice. INTRODUCE UNIFORM PRICING.
  3. ENFORCE LANE DISCIPLINE – Traffic Police should be instructed to enforce Lane Discipline and man Traffic Lights instead of hiding behind Trees to net offenders and pocket bribes.
  4. REMOVE BOTTLE NECKS ON ROADS – Potholes; Encroachments/Vendors; Parking on Roads; Religious Places; Trees; Defunct Poles etc. create congestion and slows the traffic.
  1. CREATE HALTING ZONES FOR AUTOS, GRAMIN SEVAS, TAXIS ETC – Traffic Jams are often noticed near Bus Stops/Metro Stations, Traffic Signals, Market/Hospital Entrances, Street Corners etc as these modes of transport bunch up at such spots usurping one or more lanes.
  2. IMPROVE LAST MILE CONNECTIVITY  – This proposal has been in the Pipeline for so long that it seems like a Pipedream, surely it is not as difficult as it seems.
  3. PUT THE PUBLIC TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE IN PLACE – Multiple modes of Public Transport adhering to a strict timetable be introduced in consultation with experts.
  4. CREATE SUBWAYS AND PEDESTRIAN CROSSINGS  Lack of pedestrian facilities make the roads dangerous and are the cause for traffic snarls, when people give up private transport there will be manifold increase in Pedestrian Traffic, so this aspect MUST GET PRIORITY.
  5. INSTALL NUMBER PLATE READING CCTVS - E-Chalaan traffic offenders and Trucks who enter the city before Entry Hours (which is Rampant)


  1. IMPROVE ROAD ENGINEERING AND POSITIONING OF BUS STOPS – Go anywhere in Delhi, most traffic jams occur at the start and end of a Flyover, due to merging traffic and positioning of Bus stops close to the Flyover.
  2. EXPEDITE COURT CASES FOR ROAD WIDENING – Ring Road at Nariana is a good example of what can be achieved by acquiring land for road widening …… there are many such points all over Delhi that are stuck in Court Cases.
  3. BAN PURCHASE OF VEHICLE (PRIVATE OR COMMERCIAL) WITHOUT PROOF OF PARKING SPACE – Introducedifferential Fee Structure for parking on Public Land with a percentage increase for 2nd, 3rd, 4th Vehicle Registered per Dwelling Unit instead of per family member. THE RECENT HIGH COURT RULING RESTRICTING ONE PARKING SLOT PER DWELLING UNIT IS WORTH EMULATING FOR EQUITABLE USE OF PUBLIC SPACES. Fleet owners should create own Parking Zones instead of using up public spaces.
  4. INTRODUCE FIRST CLASS COMPARTMENTS ON METRO – Airlines, Trains, Busses, Mumbai Suburban all have 1stClass compartments.

I have restricted my suggestions to Road Congestion Solutions. Once the Short and Medium Term targets are met, then the exemptions given to Women and Two Wheelers can be withdrawn. Till then ODD / EVEN Formula should be imposed during school vacations or every alternate month for one week, to keep the momentum going.

I congratulate you on the success of the first experiment and for constantly being open to suggestions. Finally, Pollution too will be curbed through collective effort and going after THE REAL POLLUTERS ……. Dust, Trucks, Generators, Waste Burning etc.

Warm Regards,

Rajiv Kakria

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

MCD strike day 7: Filth piles up in East Delhi, garbage burning rears head : Indian Express

On day seven of the strike, street corners were strewn with equal amounts of dry and wet waste. Several open drains were packed and dust on the roads assaulted the senses.

MCD strike, east delhi waste, PWD depty, delhi PWD dept, AAP, AAP gvot, kejriwal govt, manish sisodia, delhi news

East Delhi residents have a fight on their hands. It is a fight to ignore piles of garbage and block the stench. The Indian Express visited Preet Vihar, Azad Nagar, Kanti Nagar, Patparganj, Krishna nagar and other areas in East Delhi Tuesday, as the strike by municipal corporation employees demanding salaries, arrears and unification of the civic bodies completed a week.

The areas, like other parts of the capital, are facing the backlash of sanitation workers’ agitation. PWD department has chipped in to clean the garbage, but residents worry about how long such measures will help.

On day seven of the strike, street corners were strewn with equal amounts of dry and wet waste. Several open drains were packed and dust on the roads assaulted the senses.

B S Vohra, president of the East Delhi Resident Welfare Associations’ Joint Front, said people in East Delhi were no stranger to streets and drains packed with filth. “This is the third time in the last year that the workers have gone on strike. On both previous occasions, the area seemed like a sea of garbage. It is the same again this time. Sad as it is to say, it is actually good that students of MCD-run schools do not have working days at present because heaps of garbage are right outside these schools.”

Another worrying factor for residents is people are reportedly burning garbage in an open drain between Krishna nagar and Azad Nagar. Vohra said, “As a result of there being no workers to clear the waste, several residents have resorted to burning small piles of garbage at street corners at night, and even bigger piles in the open drain. This is against the orders passed by the National Green Tribunal and is nullifying the mild changes that the odd-even scheme brought about in the area.”

Rinku, who sells samosas and chai from a cart not far from the open drain, said, “The area has started to smell too much for people to feel like taking their chai break here. I experienced the same thing the last time the sanitation workers went on strike. But, no one can fault the workers. If I do not get paid, even I would not work.”

Residents of the area also have concerns about children’s health. “I have heard many of my neighbours complaining about their children falling sick, especially in the last week. These are neighbours who can afford private hospitals. Considering that MCD hospital staff are also on strike, I cannot imagine what the state of affairs is for those who rely on them,” said Anil Sindhwani, a resident.

with thanks : Indian Express : LINK 

Municipal workers’ strike worsening air pollution in Delhi : Hindustan Times

The ongoing strike by municipal corporation employees is polluting the city’s air as people are burning garbage that has not been cleared for nearly a week now by striking sanitation workers.

Heaps of garbage have been piling up in most localities in east and north Delhi with over one lakh municipal employees on an indefinite strike.
Burning waste is banned in the city and is punishable with a fine of R5,000. But because of the ongoing strike, there are no municipal officials to check and punish those who are burning garbage on the streets.
Hindustan Times spotted burning heaps of garbage at Gandhi Nagar’s Shanti Mohalla, Kanti Nagar, Jheel Khurinja and Patparganj Road in east Delhi.
BS Vohra, president of East Delhi RWAs Joint Front (Federation), said incidents of people burning garbage on roads had gone up. He said since garbage was piling up at homes and dump yards, people were openly burning waste. “Since garbage is not cleared due to the strike, it is being burnt at various places almost daily. The residents are bearing the brunt of the inefficiency of government agencies,” Vohra said.
Vohra said Jagatpuri, Preet Vihar, Kanti Nagar, Azad Nagar, Krishna Nagar, Vishwas Nagar, Ghazipur, Patparganj and Seelampur -- all in east Delhi -- were the worst affected. “The drain on road number 57, which runs through the entire east Delhi, is now being used as an open garbage dump. It is sad that despite being the most polluted city in the world, we are yet to understand the gravity of the problem and adding to it by burning waste,” Vohra said.
Though vehicular emission is the biggest contributor of pollutants in the city , burning of garbage and leaves contribute to 29.4% of the air pollution when it comes to particulate matter 10.
Exposure to these small particles, which can get lodged deep inside a person’s lungs, can result in cough, wheezing and even a heart attack or a stroke.
To combat air pollution in the city and to comply with the National Green Tribunal ’s order, the environment department had earlier authorised sub-divisional magistrates and tehsildars of the revenue department to fine people who burn waste.
With Thanks : Hindustan Times : LINK

City paints ugly picture on second day of strike : The Hindu

The municipal workers, including sanitation staff, are protesting against the delay in salaries

Trash littered the streets of the Capital on Thursday as municipal workers, including sanitation staff, remained on strike for the second day to protest against the delay in salaries.

Two of the three municipal corporations of Delhi – North and East – have not handed out salaries to most of their employees for three months now, though safai karamcharis have been issued wages for December last week.

The two civic bodies have been hit by a financial crisis and have failed to disburse salaries on time for about a year.

On Thursday, a group of protesting workers threw garbage into Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s camp office in East Delhi, which was the worst affected by the strike.

Shouting slogans, the workers hurled trash over the gate of the office. Mr. Sisodia is an MLA from Patparganj in East Delhi.

“When we are finding it difficult to put food on the table, how can we be expected to work? There was no work done on Thursday and we will continue to strike till our salaries are paid,” said Sanjay Gehlot, president of the Swatantra Mazdoor Vikas Sanyukt Morcha.

Garbage was seen on the streets in East and North Delhi, including areas like Mayur Vihar, Anand Parbat, Karol Bagh and Jahangirpuri.

The situation may deteriorate as some unions have announced an indefinite stir till their demands of regular salaries, arrears and medical insurance are met.

However, some employee unions plan to end their strike on Friday.

Residents said the strike, the fourth in the past one year, had hit them the worst. “Wherever we went we saw roads lined with garbage, whether it was Krishna Nagar or Geeta Colony. We don’t understand why citizens are being harassed like this,” said B.S. Vohra, president of the East Delhi RWAs Joint Front Federation.

A large number of employees of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation protested at its headquarters – the Civic Centre. Thursday’s protest included mid-level managerial staff, who had so far not participated in any strike.

Doctors in the civic bodies’ hospitals had not joined the strike as of Thursday evening as they did not want to inconvenience patients.

“We will hold a general body meeting on Friday to decide whether to join the strike. As of now, hospitals and dispensaries are working smoothly,” said Dr. R. R. Gautam, president of the Municipal Corporation Doctors’ Association.

with thanks : The Hindu : LINK

Saturday, January 30, 2016

NDTV Panel Discussion on MCD workers Strike in Delhi : B S Vohra

with thanks : NDTV

Delimitation of MCD Wards

I came to know through sh Kakaria letter that municipal Corporation Wards are being Delimitated now. Sir I wants to draw the attention of authorities towards unsensible delimitation done previously. There are Five Appartments in East Arjun Nagar Delhi-110032 1Anupam Appartment,2 Jeevan Bima apartment,3 Navrachna Appartment 4 Chiutrakoot Appartment 5 Hans Appartment During the last Municipal Election Navrachna and Jeevan Bima were put into Ward No 225 and other three in Ward No 226. We the residents of Navrachna Appartment were sandwiched between the other Appartment. Development work suffered even for fogging and all petty works we were forced the Complaint at Public Grievance Monotoring system. Now appeal to concerned authority that all the Five Appartments may be put either in Ward No 225 or in 226 do not sandwich  us so that development work could be done smoothly. 
with regards 
Chander Mohan 

In war of funds, Delhiites will be first to suffer

Dear Mr. Vohra/Editor/HT,

It is not clear from the press reports and the ground situation who is at fault and who is to be blamed! While the Delhi Govt. claims that there is no dues to the MCD, but on the contrary the latter says that money due to them is not being released. In this fight and claim and counter claim, while the media gets a lot of 'masala' to fill their pages and telecast too, the factual position is not known to aam aadmi and they only suffer in this process caring little for their welfare and health! Why the Govt. does not bring out an 'white paper' on the subject and release it to the media so that people at large will know who is at fault and what remedial action could be taken. The people are in a quandary and they don't know what to do in the circumstances. 

It is a pity that even volunteers who wish to do the cleaning on their own volition to keep their premises clean and tidy are not permitted to do this voluntary job and are even prevented to do the job! On the other hand the karmacharies who are on strike spread the garbage deliberately all over the streets and do not realise their responsibilities! What an image we are building up in the process to the world to see in this unfortunate and uncalled for and unwarranted tangle! 

Even the Court's intervention and direction in this specific matter has no positive result or impact! Then who else will bell the cat!! Should we seek the assistance of any foreign agency to intervene in this pitiable matter and settle the issue or call for donations from the public to arrange payment of salaries to the poor staff who are also suffering in this tug-of-war game!!!

In the circumstances should the Central Govt. should be gracious enough to give a loan to the MCD direct, albeit unprecedented, as an one time exercise to overcome the present impasse or the MCD seek a loan from the IMF or such other international agencies to give them an interest free grant or loan to solve this perennial issue coming to the fore from time to time tarnishing the image of the City and the country's capital!! 

Can anybody make an useful and practical solution to the above to ponder over the matter publicly? Why not the our representatives in the MCDs e.g. Councillors, Mayors and officials loan a certain amount voluntarily and help them which will be greatly acknowledged and could fetch votes in the coming election too by giving adequate publicity for the 'sincere and genuine sacrifice' they have made to resolve the issue in the overall interest of the people, whom they represent!!!

TK Balu/Anand Vihar

MCD – MESS COMPOUNDED over DECADES - What was NEEDED ....... What was DONE

What was NEEDED ....... What was DONE



Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) ..... HAS IT LIVED UP TO THE PURPOSE FOR WHICH IT WAS FORMED ??????

Anyone who has dealt with MCD knows that it takes three departments to change a Light Bulb in MCD. Multiplicity of Authority has been the Bane of MCD and has been the real cause for the mess we find ourselves in.

MCD has seen many changes in the past decade, ALL OF THEM MISPLACED, instead of CHANGING PROCEDURES TO GET THE JOB DONE, the solutions have compounded the Problem ...... (A) Development Funds (LAD) placed in the hands of Politicians (B) Doubling the number of Councillors from 136 to 272 to accommodate more Politicians (C) Tripling the number of Mayors and Commissioners to give more positions of power to Netas and Babus by creating three Municipalities.

The moot question is, did any of the modifications bring about any change in the city’s Civic Infrastructure? Each passing year things have gone from bad to worse, LAD Funds are used more to please Vote Banks, with little emphasis on routine Maintenance or Planned Civic Development. No Social Audit has ever been conducted to determine whether doubling the number of Councillors have brought any Efficiency or Qualitative Improvement in the functioning of MCD. To make matters worse MCD was trifurcated, which proved to be the last straw in breaking the proverbial Camel’s Back ..... Today, North and East Corporations are Bankrupt and South is barely breaking even.

One wonders where all our Tax Money goes, GK-I Roads have not been recarpeted for Nine Years, although they ought to be re-laid every Five Years, forget that, Potholes on roads are rarely repaired. Most Parks in GK-I are maintained by the respective BLock RWAs; Backlanes are in a pathetic state; storm water drains are nonexistent; footpaths and kerbstones are dishevelled; unauthorised construction is rampant; no checks on misuse of residential property for commercial purposes; just 35% properties are in Tax Net; illegal hoardings and posters dot the cityscape; footpaths are encroached upon; malba is lying dumped all around; garbage collection and dhalaos have not kept pace; Sanitation Staff is not seen beyond 10 am; horticulture waste disposal has not been mechanised; no policy for removal of abandoned vehicles; parking policy is designed more to benefit contractors; house number signage is nonexistent; PM’s Swachh Bharat Campaign reduced to a Photo-opp  .... MCD has failed on all counts.

MCD is a Bottomless pit, money pumped in goes in salaries but no one knows how many employees there are? There have been no new recruitments in MCD for a decade and many have retired, leading to fewer employees; the ghost employees have been eradicated by way of biometric attendance; Property Tax has been raised over the years; computerisation of some services has reduced operating cost ...... yet there is no money to pay salaries.

More money has been spent in redecorating MCD offices/buildings and installing fancy Furniture, LCD TV’s, AC’s, etc than on the upkeep of the city. No new policies have been introduced to increase income nor has there been any effort in collecting data of properties out of the Tax Net.

Delhi will benefit more if MCD is disbanded as it has only benefited Political Parties to take care of carders and the corrupt employees to amass wealth beyond their means. IS IT NOT TIME TO REDRAFT THE DELIVERY MECHANISM ...... INSTEAD OF CONSTANTLY REORGANISING THE POWER STRUCTURE ?????

Rajiv Kakria