Delhi underground

Even as the ‘hijack’ scare on an Indigo flight early this month had adequately scared the authorities,the time lag in dealing with it...

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: February 16, 2009 1:12:49 am

Mock zeal
Even as the ‘hijack’ scare on an Indigo flight early this month had adequately scared the authorities,the time lag in dealing with it,as some officials pointed out,was because authorities were under the impression that it was a mock drill. Earlier,CISF officers had been informed that a mock drill would take place at the IGI Airport on January 31. But due to some reason it did not occur. Now when the news of a ‘hijack’ situation at the airport reached them,officials wondered if it was the same mock drill. Off the record,the officials say they were overzealous in dealing with “just another unruly” passenger because Home Minister P Chidambaram was personally monitoring the situation from the IB headquarters.

As Transport Minister in the last administration,Haroon Yusuf was quite a presence in the Delhi Secretariat — he would be seen rushing from one meeting to another. Now,being divested of the portfolio after a very narrow victory in the recent Assembly elections,Yusuf seems to have done a disappearing act. While other ministers make it a point to be present in their offices in the secretariat,Yusuf makes a once-a-week forlorn appearance — for the Cabinet meeting every Monday. He does not even address the weekly meetings of his Department of Food and Supplies,preferring to work from home instead.

Conspiracies galore
What’s in a name? A lot,if you go by what the administration of the cancer centre at AIIMS has to say. Recently,the institute shot off mails to all health reporters,reprimanding them for not referring to the Institute-Rotary Cancer Hospital (IRCH) by its full name: Dr B R Ambedkar Institute-Rotary Cancer Hospital. In the mail,the institute’s spokesperson noted: “We have observed in media reports that the cancer centre is referred to as just IRCH,whereas it has been named after the architect of Indian Constitution Dr B.R. Ambedkar.” Apparently,the institute’s SC/ST Employees Welfare Association was of the opinion that the institute’s full name was not being used due to some conspiracy against the Schedule Castes and the Schedule Tribes.

Elbowing in
Although BJP leader Vijay Goel has started lobbying for a Lok Sabha ticket from the New Delhi constituency,it seems he is not getting much support from local workers. Recently,a team of councillors and office bearers from the constituency met BJP Delhi unit president O P Kohli with complaints against Goel. Their main contention: New Delhi is a predominantly Punjabi seat where Goel could be seen as an outsider. The team also met Arun Jaitley. However,Goel is reportedly uncomfortable contesting from his previous constituency,Chandni Chowk,from where Congress is planning to field sitting MP Kapil Sibal. Meanwhile,Goel has already started making rounds around New Delhi without a green signal from party seniors.

Problem of plenty
In a bid to please all student groups,the JNU administration ended up displeasing the entire student body last week. The administration stepped up security and refused to allow outsiders in the campus after midnight. Besides,dhabas that usually close at 2 am were asked to wrap up by midnight. The move led to protests by the angry students. Irritated,an administrative member said the problem with students is that they can never reach a consensus on anything: “One group says we should tighten security,while the other protests against the move. How are we to solve such problems then?”

Keep an eye out
After inauguration of the Vishwavidyalaya-Jahangirpuri Metro stretch,all announcements on the line have fallen off track. Every alternate train from Central Secretariat goes to Jahangirpuri,five stations after Vishwavidyalaya,and therefore,the announcements from thereon have to be manually changed. Of late,as the announcements go haywire and incorrect stations are mentioned,some new commuters are left baffled; for the regular commuters it is a constant source of amusement. However,the incorrect announcements leave all commuters gaping at the signboards on the platforms,wondering which station they have landed on.

No waiting
Finding parking space in Delhi is not an easy task,and in some cases it can prolong one’s stay behind bars. Recently,a lawyer who had to reach a court at 2.30 pm to release his client from prison got late by a few minutes. The judge wasted no time in adjourning the matter. The lawyer’s plea that finding parking in the court premises caused the delay cut no ice with the judge,who told him that nothing could be done about it now as another hearing was on.

Take a bow
If you give respect,you get respect. This is what a packed courtroom at the Delhi High Court learnt last week. Minutes before the judges were to enter,the audience,including some august personages,diligently stood up for a Court Usherer — a gentleman wearing a resplendent white turban and equally elaborate cloak with the Ashoka Pillar seal on his tunic — who entered the court with a glass of water through the door reserved for senior judges. Even as the people realised amid low-pitched giggles that they had bowed to the wrong person,the Usherer,not to be outdone,bowed back and signalled the embarrassed crowd to take their seats. Now,is that what they say about making your presence felt?

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