Delhi Underground: A tale of three MCDs

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit may have succeeded in making the Municipal Corporation of Delhi trifurcation a reality,but it seems she still can’t resist an opportunity to take a dig at the municipal body.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: February 27, 2012 1:22:39 am

A tale of three MCDs

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit may have succeeded in making the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) trifurcation a reality,but it seems she still can’t resist an opportunity to take a dig at the municipal body. Last Monday,she got a chance during her customary annual address to bureaucrats. Over the years,Dikshit has repeatedly called the MCD inefficient because of its huge size. Addressing MCD Commissioner K S Mehra,who was sitting in the audience,Dikshit said he was the “last of the greats” to head the MCD,and should be given a bravery award. Taking the jibe a step further,she reminded everybody about the MCD trifurcation by telling Mehra,“Next year,there will be three of you sitting here.”

Walia,60 going on 18 Delhi Health Minister

Dr A K Walia’s birthday was celebrated with much fanfare in his East Delhi constituency. Lifesize pictures of a younger Dr Walia and colourful messages adorned the Laxmi Nagar crossing in East Delhi. “Our beloved Dr Walia maybe entering his late 60s,but for us,he is only turning 18,” read one. “It seems like only yesterday that Waliaji stepped into public service. Always young at heart,” read another.

Right letter,wrong man

The Medical Superintendent of AIIMS was in for some criticism from the Delhi High Court over his “non-application of mind” last week while shooting off a letter to a lawyer,instead of a victim of the 2011 High Court blast. The Medical Superintendent reportedly sent a letter to advocate Gaurav Bansal,asking him to appear before a medical board constituted by the JPN Trauma Centre,so a disability certificate could be issued to him. Taken aback,Bansal brought the letter to the court’s notice,stating that he had received it just because he filed a PIL on the victim’s behalf. “The Medical Superintendent should have verified the names before sending such letters in a mechanical manner,” he said. Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri agreed with Bansal and said that although this was an unintentional error,it definitely showed non-application of mind on the part of the Medical Superintendent. “Let him be careful about such errors in the future,” the judge wrote in his order,asking the hospital staffer to re-issue the letter to the right person.

One for the hotel room

Some people seem to have taken the anti-drunk driving campaign of the Delhi Traffic Police to heart. A 42-year-old businessman recently approached Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Satyendra Garg and demanded a Rs 10,000 refund. Piqued by the man’s demand,Garg asked him,“Have I ever borrowed money from you? Or is this the payment for something I bought from you? Why are you asking me to refund Rs 10,000?” The mystery unravelled after the man told the commissioner that a few days ago,he had gone to a party at a hotel and,after downing three pegs of alcohol,realised that he cannot drive back home on account of various police pickets. As the punishment for drunk driving is imprisonment,he did not want to take a chance. Attempts to call the taxi service also went in vain,and in the end,the man had to book a hotel room for the night at a cost of Rs 10,000. As it turned out,the businessman’s story impressed the police chief extremely. “He though it was better to pay Rs 10,000 for a hotel room than deal with the Traffic Police on the way home. It is good to see people acting in such a responsible manner,” Garg said.

A sad beginning

The much-delayed inauguration of the international check-in facility at the Airport Metro turned out to be quite an embarrassment with hardly any passengers turning up on the first day to avail of it. The saving grace,however,came on account of Air India’s prior notice to some of its Gulf-bound passengers. Around 20 of them showed up,stating that they have been asked by the airline to check in at the Metro station itself. “These are the only passengers who would have used the facility anyway,” said an Air India official.

‘Ei shob Greek ar Latin’

The first election rally held by the Trinamool Congress in Noida was an all-Bengali event. The candidates as well as the organisers spoke exclusively in Bangla. While the audience — mostly Bengali migrants — understood it,the journalists found themselves at sea. Most of them were seen looking around frantically for translators. At long last,they found two journalists who understood the language. In the midst of the melee,a journalist was heard telling another: “At this rate,we only stand to lose our jobs — either because we didn’t note down a single word or because we wrote the same thing.”

A surprise in khaki

A raid at GB Road,conducted last week by personnel of the Delhi Crime Branch and Andhra Pradesh Police,ended up with 16 minors being rescued from the sex trade. What it also did,incidentally,was create much consternation among local police officers who complained that they were kept in the dark until the last minute. However,NGO workers said that not informing the police was a ‘strategic decision’. “The local police was not even informed which brothels were going to be targeted. The trade on GB Road is driven by minors. Whenever we have told the local thana about raids in advance,the information is leaked and minors are removed by the time we reach. So,this time,we kept them in the dark until an hour prior to the raid,” said an officer.

An address to desire

Now,everybody seems to want a piece of the swanky Civic Centre. The newly constructed 28-storey building,complete with glass facades et al,has become the most preferred address of every organisation. Although the MCD had earlier decided that the office of the post-trifurcation South corporation would be located at the Civic Centre,the MCD is now forced to rethink the decision on account of intense lobbying by councillors and senior officials. Justifying the demand,a councillor said,“The Civic Centre falls in the northern part of Delhi. How can it be given to MCD South? It is clear that the new building falls under Minto Road,which will come under MCD North. So,the North corporation should have its office here. The earlier decision was a result of sheer misinterpretation on the part of the decision makers. They had instead falsely stated that the Civic Centre falls under Daryaganj.”

A blunder to behold

While pronouncing an important order this week,a senior district judge asked journalists assembled in his courtroom if they all had law degrees. When everybody looked back at him sheepishly,he said the question was raised because lack of legal knowledge could lead to big mistakes. Quoting an example,he said that on one occasion,when he had taken over a Sessions Court in 2000,he had diposed of an appeal that had been pending for 25 years. In fact,he had diposed of the case two months after taking charge of the court. Unfortunately,the headline in a local paper the next day read: ‘25 years after taking up case,judge passes order’.

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