Delhi Underground: No media no drama

The change of guard at the Centre has resulted in the AIIMS website being completely revamped almost overnight.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:June 30, 2014 2:39 am
A car blocks Aruna Asaf Ali Road after an accident in the capital on Sunday. (Express photo by Ravi Kanojia) A car blocks Aruna Asaf Ali Road after an accident in the capital on Sunday. (Express photo by Ravi Kanojia)

AAP leaders have been making a conscious effort to steer clear of controversy, and the last one week has been largely peaceful at the party office. So much so, that several journalists have been enquiring why nothing was happening. One senior leader, however, let the reason slip: while MLAs have been busy conducting mohalla sabhas and several meetings, the media has largely not been informed. “When there’s no media, there’s no drama, just work,” the leader said.

Sincere civic bodies

Facing a funds crunch because of no government in the city, the municipal corporations of Delhi have been trying to collect money in the form of property tax and rent. Recently, when a representative from Meena Baazar visited the corporation to pay the rent for 633 corporation-owned shops, they were turned away stating that the corporation does not have the required documentation to accept rent. Although the corporation admits that the shopkeepers owe it lakhs of rupees in rent, the corporation said it could not take rent without proper documentation.

Website revamp

The change of guard at the Centre has resulted in the AIIMS website being completely revamped almost overnight. Sections that used to have pictures of former PM Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and former Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad during various events are now adorned with pictures of senior BJP leader L K Advani’s past visits to the institute and those of Harsh Vardhan’s only visit after he became the Union Health Minister. “We had to find old photographs of BJP leaders, since for the last 10 years only photographs of Congress leaders were maintained, despite senior BJP leaders such as Sushma Swaraj being a member of the AIIMS institute body. Very few pictures could be retrieved so we had to make do with pictures of Harsh Vardhan’s official visit. The second time Harsh Vardhan came to the hospital was after senior leader Gopinath Munde’s death. So we couldn’t photograph him then,” a senior official, who is part of the website management committee, said.

War of industrial hubs

Greater Noida authorities are so conscious of their reputation as a showcase NCR satellite town for industries that their website actually has a section on ‘superiority over Gurgaon’. There, the website lists 10 reasons — from land rates, accessibility, power, water supply, soil to pollution levels — to illustrate why Greater Noida is a much better place for industrialists to flock to.

Chaos over water

There was chaos in a police station after the key to the refrigerator went missing exactly when the station house officer asked for a glass of cold water after he returned from patrolling duty. The constables and assistant sub-inspectors seemed to be running around, playing treasure hunt. A constable was overheard saying, “There is not even a single bottle of cold water outside. It is so hot and sahab needs cold water. Where have you guys kept the key to the refrigerator? If one of you is playing a prank, then this is not funny. Give me the keys before I lose my job. Now, even I am thirsty.”

Condom protest

Activist Tehseen Poonawalla recently said he is planning to protest against Health Minister Harsh Vardhan’s recent statements regarding HIV awareness. The minister had suggested making “fidelity, and not condoms”, the face of campaign to spread awareness about HIV and AIDS. “I will tweet the Health Minister’s official address and those who condemn the statements of the Health Minster must register their protest by sending him a packet of condoms. Harsh Vardhan’s statement will stigmatise and stereotype every HIV-affected person as ‘immoral’. For a country of over 1.2 billion people, where the average age is 28 years, there is nothing ‘immoral’ about having sex. What is ‘immoral’ is not teaching people about sex and not encouraging measures that prevent both unwanted pregnancies and AIDS. I take full responsibility for any legal action that the minster may take when people send him condom packets,” Tehseen wrote.

Support for V-C

Amid the row surrounding the four-year undergraduate programme, a page has been created on Facebook called ‘VC Dinesh Singh supporters’. The page, created on June 24, has received 1,922 likes so far. Comments on the page include: “…there probably isn’t anything going on between the government and private universities, maybe the government just likes to play with the future of the country”. Another says, “Dr Dinesh Singh may have some gold medals, but the HRD minister has more than 10 years of experience of wearing too much gold? 0-1 lead”.

Royal treatment

Even as the national capital remained in the grip of blistering heat this summer, the two tigers gifted to Delhi by Mysore zoo are being given royal treatment. Two specialised air-coolers and ‘big-sized’ fans have been installed to protect the Royal Bengal Tigers from the heat. Also, water pipes with ‘suitable diameter’ and pressure have been installed to give the tigers a bath. The tigers have also been provided ‘supplementary’ diet to regulate the body heat.

Bad weather in DU

As controversy over the four-year undergraduate programme raged on in Delhi University and reports of the Vice-Chancellor’s resignation surfaced, weather prediction for the day seemed to predict the mood on campus. Reading the day’s weather prediction from his phone, a DU professor said, “The weather at the V-C’s office is mostly cloudy.”

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